How to Honor Your Calling (Even When Life Gets in the Way)

Honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Honor Your Calling

Have you ever felt off track like you have a purpose but you’re not honoring it? Maybe you have good intentions but your obligations always seem to get in the way. They fill up your calendar and at the end of the day, you feel frustrated at your lack of progress on what you consider most important.

How do you get back on track? Where do you go for assistance? You can seek advice from many sources but how will you know if it’s authentic?

How to Honor Your Calling Even When Life Gets in the Way

In the end, your best guide through the maze of advice and information is your intuition, your inner voice.  Once you hear it speaking, you need only welcome its gift and act on the advice no matter how illogical it may seem.

Of course, that’s easier when the messages are positive like the time I attended a meditation retreat hoping for guidance about a decision I had to make.  I needed to move and couldn’t decide where. At the end of the retreat, the leader said: 

“Some of you will go home and forget all about your experiences here.  Others will never leave.”

I instantly knew he was speaking to me and relocated there within a couple of months.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Sometimes the most powerful messages arrive in packages we find hard to accept such as painful experiences. In these cases we may be so caught up in the pain we don’t acknowledge the messages, rejecting them and the guidance they bring.

In other words, we shoot the messenger.

Not long ago I consulted my doctor about serious fatigue and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto-immune condition.  I also had infectious mononucleosis. 

While not life-threatening, these conditions are not fun. Hardheaded that I am, however, it took me months to welcome them as the gifts they turned out to be.

I started to get better with treatment, but six months later the fatigue returned along with the mono. I also had a Lyme infection and my thyroid was deteriorating. 

I added a regimen of herbs for Lyme and nine months later I felt almost normal.

Then I had another relapse.  I could work only a few hours a day, required long naps in the afternoon and was unable to stay awake past 8 p.m.

I knew something had to change.

Welcome the Messenger

I know my calling is to be a writer that inspires others, but I had often let unrelated obligations fill up my calendar leaving little time to write, causing me great frustration. 

Then one day I happened upon something called shaman sickness.

It seems that in some traditional cultures, individuals born to be healers (shamans) must honor this calling.  When they don’t they get sick and nothing seems to help them get well again.

Eventually, they recognize they must fulfill their roles as healers or stay sick.

The relapses that flared up when I lost focus on my writing suddenly made sense.

I realized I had to honor my calling by making writing a priority, which meant letting go of other obligations.  When I did that, my real healing began.

5 Ways to Honor Your Calling Even When Life Gets in The Way

If  being on track with your purpose is a priority for you, these five steps will help you to honor your calling (even when life gets in the way):

1. Eliminate

Eliminate activities and obligations that don’t honor your calling, even when they seem to make logical sense and offer some kind of payoff.

I once joined a business networking group convincing myself the connections would lead to cash flow for an unrelated business that would then support my writing.

The longer I was a member, though, the more I dreaded the weekly meetings until I finally quit. This was about the time I first consulted my doctor about fatigue, and dropping out of that group was a first step towards reclaiming my health.

2. Awareness

Learn to recognize how you respond when you are out of touch with your purpose. Do you feel overwhelmed and unable to focus? Are you angry and frustrated?

I can get very embarrassed thinking about the times I blew up at some well-meaning person because I was out of sorts and off purpose. I finally realized it was never them but always me who needed to change by making writing a priority.

3. Tune into what makes you happy.

What puts a smile on your face and gives you a reason to get up in the morning? 

Make space for more of that in your life. 

Hint: If you are already full-up with obligations, making space means saying NO to something else.  This might be very challenging but do it anyway.

4. Be alert.

Be alert to messages of all kinds that nudge you in new directions. Illness is just one possibility. It took a horrendous car crash to convince a friend that he had ignored a promise to train people struggling in his industry.

He went on to help many find clarity and purpose in their lives.

Guidance may also appear in books, on blog posts, in overheard conversations or as “downloads” direct from your higher self.

Stay alert.

5. If you get a hunch make acting on it a priority.

Follow these steps and watch your awareness grow along with your willingness to accept powerful insights every day.

Welcome the advice that comes and be amazed.

What about you? Is there something you know for sure you need to do but for some reason don’t do it? What keeps you from honoring your calling? Share your experiences and feedback in the comment section below.


Celeste Smucker

Celeste Smucker is a resilient mid-lifer who inspires women to get unstuck from predictable lives and confidently welcome the challenges of life after 50 with humor and grace.  Grab your free guide: 5 Quick and Easy Ways to Inspire Yourself to REALLY "have a great day" even when inspiration is a four-letter word. Visit to download.

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