by Peter Milhado, PH.D.
May 2008, VIEW #2: James Hollis, Ph.D., differentiates between a job and a vocation. A job is strictly here to earn money to meet economic demands and retirement is usually longed for, like an oasis in the desert.
A vocation is a “calling” – what we are meant to do. It is part of the process of individuation. We do not really choose a vocation; rather it seems to choose us. If we don’t respond to our “calling”, some form of damage occurs to the soul and it is in mid-life that suffering over this issue becomes acute. That is why more people make more profound changes in midlife that at any other time. The greatest inner creative unfolding is possible in the middle and later years.
There are many people, who at least for a while, have a job to meet the escalating economic demands. They might drive a cab, deliver morning papers, work in a coffee shop and after work pursue their calling which might be playing music, painting, studying carpentry, going to school for forestry, taking a creative writing course etc. It is in the pursuit of our ‘calling’ that our souls get replenished. The “search for meaning” can be greatly satisfied when our “calling” comes knocking on our door and we say “Yes”. Soulful parenting is one of the most creative endeavors we can undertake.
Sometimes we don’t know what our “calling” is, therefore we periodically have to ask ourselves, “What am I called to do?” Then we humbly wait and listen to our dreams, daydreams, visions, feelings, intuitions and passions to arise from within... if we can be silent long enough the instructions will come.
Of course, when the call comes we have to be willing to sacrifi ce our ego comforts, security, and pay our dues, which all vocations require. It takes courage and is often painful, but not as painful as regretting that we have failed to answer the call and are stuck in inertia, boredom and despair.
Our calling allows us to become more fully ourselves. “The soul has its needs which are often not served well by paychecks and perks” (Hollis). Relinquishing securities and the status quo might be frightening, but in this case, the fullness of our courage is equally important to the goodness of our hearts.
Love to Mother Meera. One for all and all for one.
PETER RUDOLF MILHADO, PH.D.
40 Years Experience
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