Answering Your Soul’s Calling

Three white pebbles against the background of the sea and sky

by Gregory Toole

I often receive the comment, “how brave,” when I share with people the story of leaving my corporate career. My response is always the same: bravery played very little part. June 30 of this year marks 20 years since I left my corporate career. One day, I just walked away and I knew I would never return. I hadn’t much of a clue what lay ahead, but I knew my corporate-ladder-climbing days were over.

To give a little background, I had come into the computer industry out of college when it was the hot field to be in, when jobs were thought to be somewhat scarce in other industries. I quickly advanced and after five years I earned an MBA and moved into the business side of the industry. One of the gifts I received while there was that I worked with people who were really passionate about what they did. They were really passionate about creating the best computer and software products they could. Try as I may, I did not find myself excited or passionate about that.

What I did find is that I wanted to be involved with something I was just as passionate about as my colleagues in the computer industry. Going back to my college days, what excited me was serving more in the social sector to make a difference in people’s lives. While I wanted to leave my corporate career, I had prepared so much for this work I had no idea what else I would do.

Then I entered a Center for Spiritual Living. I found people on a spiritual journey much like my own. Within just over six months of finding spiritual community I found the support and the clarity to leave my corporate career. The people in my spiritual community understood what it meant to follow one’s heart and to answer the call of the soul.

While the only clarity I had was that I wanted to serve humanity in some greater way, it was enough because the call was so strong. Everything in me pointed to moving in this new direction, while the thought of staying in my corporate career felt like severe contraction and the extinguishing of the fire in me. In fact, it didn’t seem like much of a choice at all: one option took me toward fulfillment, soul-alignment, and felt like full expansion of my energy field, while the other option felt like contraction of my energy field and ultimately death. Not much of a choice, which brings me back to why I have always said it really wasn’t about being courageous.

When the choices are that stark, there really is only one choice. I feel thankful that the call within me is so strong, although there were times I wished it weren’t, that I could have just stayed in what was comfortable, even if it weren’t all that fulfilling. But my soul would not allow it. I believe it literally would have killed me, staying in something that was going so against the grain of my soul’s calling.

Having made the choice to follow my soul’s calling, within a year I became Executive Director of a non-profit youth development organization, within four years a licensed spiritual practitioner, and within 10 years a minister in Centers for Spiritual Living. I did not foresee any of this when I took that first step to leave my corporate career, but I did feel a strong calling in the direction of something important. I have never regretted the choice and never looked back.

What is the deeper calling in you that is seeking expression? Are you fully aligned with your soul’s calling, with what expands you and has a deep resonance in your heart? My vision is of a planet where everyone is following the call of their soul. In this vision, I see a more vibrant, peaceful, loving, and creative world, free of fear, greed, and addictions.

Will you join me in that vision? If so, just check in with your heart and see what you are called to in this moment, and the next, and then the next. What a world we are creating together!

Enjoy the journey.

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