By Lissa Rankin MD
How can you tell if you’ve found your calling? As a doctor who was called to medicine at a young age but then wound up disillusioned by the system, questioning my calling, I’ve asked myself this question a lot. It’s been a long strange trip- first leaving medicine, then feeling called back, then leaving again only to find my role in healing our broken healthcare system as a writer, speaker, revolutionary, and teacher of physicians. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things about how to know whether you’re on the right track.
1. You’ll realize you’ve been training for your calling since the moment you were born.
Even the gritty things, the disappointments, the regrets, and the screw ups, they were all prepping you for what you’re now being called to do. You’ll realize that the divorce, the bankruptcy, the death of your loved one, the failure, the rejection- it was just school, teaching you the lessons your soul needed to learn in order to be who you’re being called to be.
2. Mystical things will start happening.
You might be tempted to write them off as coincidences, only they’re too perfect, too exactly what you need in that particular moment, too much like miracles to call them accidents. The synchronicities will fill you with a sense of wonder, because they’re proof positive that you’re being guided, that you’re not in this alone, that Someone is moving mountains to ensure that your mission is a success.
3. When you get off course, you’ll get redirected.
Doors you longed to walk through will slam shut. If you take the wrong fork in the road, your path will be littered with barbed wire and mustard gas and dragons and sharp knives lining the path. You will get the hint that you’ve made a wrong turn, steering yourself off course from your date with destiny, when the journey becomes a relentless struggle. The deal will fall through. The money will run out. The mentor who’s been providing the magical gifts won’t follow you onto the wrong path. People won’t sign up. You’ll be rerouted just as magically as you were steered to your calling in the first place.
4. You’ll be guided by ease, even in the face of obstacles.
When you find yourself struggling to get through an obstacle-ridden forest, it can be hard to tell- is your commitment just being tested, or have you veered off course? Obstacles can be part of the growth process, the cultivation of your inner hero, a necessary part of your hero’s journey. But they can also be signs that you’ve made a wrong turn. How can you tell the difference? The guidepost you can trust is a sense of movement towards ease. If the challenges are mounting, things are getting worse, one hard struggle is piling upon the other, you’ve probably gotten seduced off course from your true calling, and the Universe is just waiting patiently, twiddling Divine thumbs because you have free will, but never giving up faith that you will find your way back to your calling, which will always lead you to your own holy grail. When you’re back on track, things start to flow again.
5. Magical mentors will appear just in the nick of time.
Just when you need it most, the right people will show up, with just the tools you’ll need to support you and your journey in an almost mystical way.
6. Your health is likely to improve.
A strange but welcome side effect of finding your calling is that your health is likely to improve. You may notice fewer cravings for unhealthy foods, you’ll have more energy for moving your body, aches and pains that used to plague you might disappear, you’ll feel less tired, and chronic illnesses you may be battling may start to get better.
Take Andy Mackie, for example. At 59 years old, Andy Mackie had undergone nine heart surgeries and was taking fifteen medications to try to keep him alive, but the medicines left him feeling horrible, so one day, he told his doctors he wanted to stop the drugs. They told him if he did, he would die within a year, so Andy decided if he was dying, he wanted to do something he’d always wanted to do. So he took the money he would have spent on his medications and used it to buy 300 harmonicas, and he gave them away to children, complete with harmonica lessons. The following month, he was still alive, so he bought another 300 harmonicas. Thirteen years and 20,000 harmonicas later, Andy Mackie finally passed away.
7. You may find that money flows in just as you’re ready to throw in the towel.
I’m not suggesting that you won’t wind up in debt or staring at an empty bank account when you used to have a full one or even bankrupt. But if you’re on the right path, you won’t wind up living under that freeway overpass near what used to be your house, and you may find that money appears almost magically once you’re really right in the dead center of your life’s purpose.
8. You may feel strangely peaceful, even when you have every reason to be anxious.
Everyone around you will likely think you’re crazy. A part of you will agree with them. But a wise inner knowing, that part of you I call your Inner Pilot Light, will be so comforted by the fact that you’re finally on the path to your purpose that you may feel unusually calm- until your rational mind kicks in.
Our souls long to express what we’re here on this earth to express, and when you finally fall into alignment with your calling, your soul does a little happy dance. It may appear as if everything else in your life is falling apart, but you’ll have this sense of peace, a huge relief, that at least- finally- you know what you’re called to do.
9. The Universe will roll out the red carpet.
When what you’re being called to do is what is needed for the highest good of all beings, the Universe will bend over backwards to hand you whatever you need on a silver platter. No request is too small. A copywriter may volunteer to help you just when you were thinking you needed to write a sales page. Someone will donate a printer when it’s time print a flyer. You’ll feel so supported, so lucky, that you’ll know you’re on track, even if you’re not quite clear what you’re on track to do.
10. Your people will find you.
Few can fulfill a calling alone. Most of us need a tribe to lift us up as we do brave, scary, world-changing things. But don’t worry. When you’re really on purpose, your people will find you, if only you’re courageous enough to be vulnerable about what you’re being called to do.