Sometimes the people who elicit trust most are teddy bears: soft, predictable, comfy.
But sometimes they’re Dyana Valentine.
Dyana is a lion-lamb. She’s fierce, energetic, and untamed, but just as capably gentle when her lion-sized heart directs her to be. My first introduction to her was this video – an excellent example of her character and worth the 2.5-minute watch.
I worked with Dyana last summer as a coaching client and a client of Woke Up Knowing, and have since come to know her as friend. I’ve been struck the whole way through by her fierce love of people, her willingness to risk for the sake of saying YES! to the universe, and her uncanny gift to see and call out people’s power.
Trust gets grown in SO many ways, and I love the break-the-mold ways that Dyana does it (and has done it for me).
Dyana joins us today for a 20-minute interview about where the rabbit trails of her calling are taking her (“calling” is the theme here this week). My favorite segment begins at the 12-minute mark.
Check out Woke Up Knowing here (in the sidebar you can listen to a podcast of a Woke Up Knowing Experience if you want to get a feel for how they sometimes go), Dyana’s coaching business here, and the live, immersion experience of Woke Up Knowing here.
Also mentioned in the interview is Tara Mohr’s elucidation of the two Hebrew terms for fear.
Whether or not you’re religious, chances are you’ve been exposed to the idea of calling – this notion that someone or something or some myriad of circumstances have singled you out for a purpose: a lifestyle, a job, a relationship, a vocation.
Sometimes this idea sparks joy or curiosity and is a source of great strength through the rough and tumble that every life, no matter what our conscious sense of calling, contains.
But more often than not, and particularly when it’s experienced unconsciously, “calling” becomes a deadening force at the roots of our trust.
Because if I believe I’m called to something but I don’t know what that is, or if I have a sense of it, but continue month after month, year after year, to see mostly only fog in its regard, I can begin to feel like I’m failing. Like I’m missing my own boat. Like there’s this thing I’m supposed to know and do already, and everyone else who so beamingly figures theirs out has passed me up.
Even when we aren’t thinking about calling, though, or when we actively eschew the idea, human nature itself comes into play, with the hopes and expectations of parents or other respected adults (or society itself!) getting deep inside our bones, shaping how we feel about ourselves by how well (or how poorly) we’re measuring up to our internalized views of their wishes for us.
“Being called” comes in many forms, and often discourages us greatly.
Shifting “Calling” Trustward
But what if we set aside our deadening views of calling, consciously, and sought out some alternative?
What if instead of seeing calling as a riddle to decode, or a treasure to hunt, or a train to try to catch, we understand it as a conversation we’re uniquely positioned and feeling drawn to join?
Conversations – at least like the ones I have in mind – are less about getting something “right” than about being present, participating. Shaping.
And WOW! – can we shape them! Individual people are changing the conversational landscape on so many fronts! – truly, are changing our world.
Conversations can be with institutions. They can be with industries. They can be with cultural norms or nature itself. They can be private, or part of the public domain.
And they can and do take us (as individuals, as groups, as a planet) to new and never-known-before places.
Wherever your thoughts, your impressions, your feelings, your knowledge, your stories intersect and have “dialogue” with another’s, you’re in conversation. Conversations might be literal, but might just as well involve other forms of action (writing, making art, coaching, organizing, falconing…).
What sets “regular” conversation apart from the kind that’s a calling?
I’m still parsing the answer to this one, but “called” conversation seems to be what emerges when we listen to our lives deeply, and over a length of time.
It emerges when we listen past the surfaces to what we wouldn’t necessarily put on a resume: to the questions we ask ourselves in the night; to the ecstasies and heartaches we know in love; to the longings and scratchiness we experience and the satisfactions that we’ve known.
It emerges when we listen to what our lived experience of our resume (rather than the resume itself) says to us about what we value, what we despise, what we know, deep down, we want.
When we listen to our lives like this, we begin collecting impressions that form around ideas. From these impressions, we begin to recognize patterns of deep and deepening conviction. And we begin to see holes in “conversations” (e.g. the world of art; the justice system; power structures; the lives of the kids in our care) that only we, with our particular perspective, can fill, and that we’re drawn to fill.
These holes are our invitation to step up and in. These, I suggest, are the beckoning, enlivening voice of our call.
And they are as varied as there are people.
But I don’t see any holes!
Some people seem conscious of a calling from early on. But the majority of us come to our callings over time. The epiphanies we occasionally experience and the “writings in the sky” come not in vacuums, from out of no where, but after periods (months, years, decades…lifetimes…?) of built-up impressions.
They come when the time for them is ripe.
So if you haven’t felt one – if there isn’t a conversation you feel uniquely positioned and drawn to join – maybe you’re somewhere in the midst of a listening season.
Maybe you haven’t been listening, and your boldest, most courageous move right now would be to stop, as often as you can, to do so.
And maybe you have seen such a hole. Maybe it’s been in your line of sight for some time but you haven’t been ready to…see it.
Maybe the conversation I feel called to join and shape – about fear and the power of trust to free us to live and thrive beyond it – can grow your trust enough to get you ready.
I hope it can!
Because with all my heart, I sense that the more that we listen to our lives (<--this poem is fantastic), and the more that we cultivate the trust required to see and step into our called conversations, the more all of us will thrive.
What conversation, if any, do you feel called to join? What’s freeing you to do it, or, conversely, what obstacles feel in your way? I’d love to hear your answers!
- You Are Enough
- Seasons are universal. Treat yours uniquely.
- A Lesson I learned while staring at a stranger
- Everything Belongs