What is a Calling?
I consider my calling to mean working in service to people who are suffering, by inspiring in them their curiosity and their appreciation of their own life, its images, dreams and even of its hurdles, which most spiritual traditions consider essential doorways for growth and wisdom.
Healing, counseling, therapy, reaching out for help — all have been distorted by a narrow medical model of pathologizing difference, and blaming internal suffering on a supposedly isolated individual — you or me alone.
I believe we are all part of a large, complex living body — of the community, of the world. When there is suffering in the world, of course the suffering will resonate in each of its parts. Of course we develop 'symptoms' inside us, which reflect our response to the larger world.
This is largely Carl Jung's teaching, and James Hillman's (and Keats' and Whitman's!) — that we must all work to 'grow our souls'. That is, to wake up to the world, to use our years here on Earth as a school for developing—teaching, growing— our soul, answering the question "why am I here?" by using all the challenges and difficulties that inevitably will come to us.
I am a California-licensed Marriage and Family Counselor (MFT) with a PhD in Somatic Psychology, which looks at how the body holds story and meaning in many non-verbal ways, and how suffering can often be reduced by attending very gently, and with great acceptance and interest, to the sensations the body experiences every day. That is also one definition of love.