A Many-Splendored Life

art of encore living personal development Aug 24, 2022

Humans embrace a many-splendored life.

We crave comfort—a desire to know where we stand and what’s expected of us.

Societal, educational, and occupational institutions provide the external validation and rewards that encourage this monolithic, linear view of who we are and what we do.

But we also need to reach beyond our comfort zone—embracing chaos fulfills our need for adventure and to explore our undeveloped potential and undelivered promise.

Instinct and intuition inspire us to seek the internal validation and rewards that come from pursuing diverse interests and a holistic view of our identity.

To personalize this for each of us, Walt Whitman summed it up nicely in his seminal poetic work, Leaves of Grass.

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

One way to resolve the contradiction is to toggle back and forth.

Too much comfort? Introduce some chaos.

Too much chaos? Seek comfort.

But maybe there’s also a “both-and” solution to be found and embraced.

Can we cultivate comfort within the chaos?

This is the role of your calling.

When you identify and engage your unique gift in service of your vocation, you nurture the purpose and passion that makes navigating the uncertainty in chaos AND the complacency in comfort possible.

I know that engaging the work I’m meant to do now, what I call “the difference only I can make,” reveals a hidden wholeness. Calling cultivates a sense of comfort within the chaos.

What about you? Does it feel like your life is careening between comfort and chaos? How might heeding the call of vocation help you accept and hold space for both and find stillness in life’s storms?

Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at The Art of Encore Living

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