A “practical” career search won’t lead to an inspired outcome. I want you to have an inspired outcome. That’s because you have a calling inside you as bright as ten thousand shooting stars. You are not empty or misaligned or born in the wrong time. It’s not like the world doesn’t need exactly what you have to give us, and desperately, I might add. But you are searching with the wrong tools. You are looking for butterflies with a shovel and a pick axe.

You probably don’t trust the right tools. You think looking for the work you love should involve focus and strife. I want you to know your right work doesn’t come from force. It comes from trust. It comes from flourishing. It comes from loving what you love so much that you just blossom into an irresistible force of nature. I’m not talking about finding a job. I’m talking about finding your life.

If you want to find the work you are born to do, it’s not about looking for the jobs that are “out there.” It’s about looking inside you and discovering what you came here to give. And, then, for most of us it’s not even so much figuring out our exact desires and actions. It’s more about letting go of fears and twisted, incapacitating beliefs. When you abandon your false limitations, you will discover an unstoppable fire already blazing within you. It’s a wonder you’ve held back your power for this long.

I’ve been a career coach for 20 years now, and lately, I’ve been traveling the country offering retreats and workshops on “Unleashing Your Calling.” I do not stand in the front of the room as the “Grand Mistress of Life Purposes” and dispense out missions for very good boys and girls. My goal is simple and life-changing. I am there to introduce participants to the power of their Inspired Self. I help people find their next True Step. I know that one true step will awaken the intelligence and strength of their soul. I know that one true step will put them onto a different game board with different rules and extraordinary new possibilities. I also know how horribly common it is to miss your next true steps, or to avoid them because you think they are impractical or indulgent.

I’ll give you an example. You may know this story from my book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love. At the time I was a barren, overworked attorney and I couldn’t imagine what to do with my life, except wolf down Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and nest under my quilts. I was working with someone who asked me to draw with crayons, all the life paths I could imagine. Believe me, with my self-important Harvard Law School trained deductive legal skills, I did not see coloring as a next career step. I may have thrown Magenta Pink into his face, but fortunately, I am polite when desperate.

Good thing. Because those colors and lines leapt from the pages and pointed out a spontaneous, unconscious direction, I would never have gotten from a standard career assessment test. More importantly, I learned that my Spirit always had abundant and loving guidance for me. It was not withholding direction. But my preconceived attitudes were. That’s when I first began to see that my fearful self—aka “the practical one”-- shouldn’t be at the helm of a creative career search, or anything that involves grace in my life. Mr. Albert Einstein said it this way: “A problem cannot be solved at the level of the problem.”

That said, I’d like to offer you some non-traditional next steps to consider. Put away the want ads, the career books, and maybe light a candle, because we’re diving in to another realm of inquiry:

RELAX: A bubble bath may be better than an interview

An anxious mind is a mind that is not in touch with its deepest love and centered powers. A fearful mind can never realize inspired answers. If you’re starving and go down the junk food aisle, you grab things, your healthy self does not want. The choices that satisfy you when you are desperate are different than the ones that delight you when you’re calm. What makes you calm? What builds your trust? I often urge my coaching clients to look into spiritual practices, religious traditions, walks in nature or anything that makes them feel more connected to something larger.

Here’s the biggest career secret I know: The more connected you feel to your God, or to a Loving Energy in the Universe, the more you will experience enriched options, stamina, and creativity. Big mind offers you a bigger life.

So much of discovering a calling is staying with the unknown and not soothing your uncertainty with quick fixes that upend the process. Neuroscience research has consistently shown that people who regularly meditate, focus better and have more control over their emotional and physical response to stress.

HEAL: A good cry may do you more good- than networking

The linear mind compartmentalizes. That’s why it’s “logical” to think you can find the job or work of your dreams while hating your ex-boss, seething about your father, dragging around doubt or shame over past decisions, and still having heart palpitations when you think you about certain incident in your life. Believe it or not, forgiveness can be relevant to your career search. The soul doesn’t have lines. The soul is all about your energy and clarity. Wherever you are angry, you are blocking your own light. Wherever you are hurting or wounded, you are diminished in your strength, love, and excitement. Healing restores you to your big, free all empowered spirit.

Not only that, but many times when someone heals their own pain or finds a new approach to tragedy or frustration, they uncover a strand of their real calling. It is possible and natural to look at an area of your life that demands so much of your emotional attention, and turn it into a resource and garden for others. Many leaders, teachers, healers, artists, business people and visionaries grew into an answer to a difficulty they experienced. Carl Jung said, “Where you are wounded, you are gifted.”

PLAY: Playing the drums might help a light bulb go off in your mind

We underestimate the incalculable value of fun in our society. We think that feeling good is the road to delusion and irresponsibility. Consider this: you have a responsibility to your family, to your community, and to humanity to feel good. When you feel good, you enjoy better health and more energy. You are likely to be more resilient, and more generous and kind with others. Fun changes the chemistry in your brain. When you are having fun, you are not in fear. The creative mind thrives in safety and joy.

Play is the practice of meeting yourself again in this moment, of discovering what is alive for you now. Your sense of fun is often a hidden indication of energy, creativity, interest and aptitude. Also one fun thing can lead to another and help you hopscotch into territories you would not have consciously chosen. I urge you to experiment, try new things, and meet yourself again. Adopt a loving attitude, too. You are here to explore, not to prove anything or measure your skill. Observe your joy and fascination. Let the blue birds fly into the open window of your mind.

Finally, please know there is no way to do this wrong. It’s what you are. Some of you may take months to do this -- and some of you will take years to walk this walk. It’s worth it. It’s worth every step. You’re not just looking for a way to make a living. You are discovering wings, fire, and a Love within you that will rock your world and ours.

Copyright 2010 Tama J. Kieves. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Tama J. Kieves is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School who left her practice with a large corporate law firm to write and to embolden others to live their most fulfilling lives. She is the bestselling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love and is a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their creative dreams. Visit her at http://www.ThisTimeIDance.com and sign up for free inspiration and support through her monthly e-newsletter. Download her Free Report on “Finding Your Calling Now.”