by JoAnn Campbell-Rice

I’m reading Mary Pipher’s newest book, Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age in which she states a truth that I’ve been thinking about ever since:

“With each new stage of life, we outgrow the strategies that worked for us at an earlier stage. We find ourselves in an environment that pelts us with more challenges than our current self can manage. If we don’t grow bigger, we can become bitter.  When our problems become too big for us, our healthiest response is to expand our capacities. That growth is qualitative. We become deeper, kinder to ourselves and others, and more capable of bliss.” (2)

I’ve recently taken a new job as a coach with Bright Line Eating, an online company that helps people lose weight and maintain a healthy body.  After 10 years at Hazelden Betty Ford, offering spiritual direction to people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, now I’m coaching folks struggling with food addiction.  It’s not a tremendous difference, but there are distinctions between spiritual direction and coaching, between food and alcohol, between working face to face and working remotely in virtual settings.  I find myself in an environment that requires different capacities and has already created a different life than I had a month ago.

Today I face a marvelous opportunity to grow more flexible, more technologically savvy, and to create an unshakable foundation for my own eating recovery.  I have no question I was called by the divine to apply for this position. I will likely be changed in ways I cannot imagine.  I think that’s how the universe works—nudging us toward our heart’s desire, inviting us to say yes, and then showing us all the ways we need to grow to truly do what we’ve said yes to.

Is there an invitation awaiting your heart’s yes? Where is the divine calling you to stretch, grow, develop new capacities, deepen your own kindness or cultivate more bliss?  Perhaps you can bring this inquiry to your next spiritual direction session. I would certainly welcome that!