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Finding Your Calling: It’s Clear & Easy… When the Time Is Right

August 22, 2013
Haleiwa sunset

Haleiwa sunset

Yesterday I arrived in Haleiwa, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.  I’m staying for a week with Ele Fong, a California native who recently relocated to this much more relaxed, tropical environment, and who offers a room in her airy house listed on AirBnB.  As a first welcome, we went to happy hour at Luibueno’s Mexican Seafood & Fish Market, and unexpectedly talked about her calling to make an impact in this world.

It all began for her while majoring in cross-discliplinary Gender Studies at UCLA, where she had a visceral (negative) response learning about the mistreatment of women and children around the world, and its correlation with socio-economic status.  This was like the seed or, as she says, the passion in her heart.  Over the next more than 10 years, she made up her mind to explore various jobs around this humanitarian theme: counseling children (she has a masters in counseling), working at shelters in San Francisco, ministering weddings, and more…  At one point, she sold tea for a commercial Japanese tea company, a time she says she was the most lost.

But then, she recalls, in December 2008 relaxing in her Larkspur home by the fireplace, it hit her so crystal clear in her body and heart that she would create a revenue-generating business around tea that would fund a school and programs for women and children so they had viable alternatives to human/sex trafficking.

tea

A goddess of tea

The business would be called the Goddesses of Tea, and it would spotlight and empower all the women around tea: growers, makers, distributor buyers, and drinkers — because tea allows the drinker to embody all the goddess characteristics of a woman: to quiet yourself and relax, connect with spirit, and nurture yourself and others.  Funds from the tea business would then support programs on-the-ground in the countries that produce tea – directly impacting these impoverished rural regions and providing safe, economic alternatives to selling yourself or your children for cash.

Bam, just like that, the seed passion turned into a concrete vision and, as she says, doors keep opening and things unfold bringing her closer to making this dream a reality.  Next up are rev-generating tea tours, where she will bring small groups with her for eco-educational tours as she develops more relationships with the tea growers and makers in Asia, and identifies where the future schools may be.  (I also have to give props to my uncle Fu-Tung’s business Teance, as she just visited with his business partner Winnie as part of her research. Small world!)

ANYWAY.  Hearing about how her vision came to her in a flash with no thinking at all reminded me of how I dove into sustainable agriculture.  At the time, I was actually painstakingly trying to develop a travel program for malleable American teenagers, so they could be exposed to other cultures and perspectives, when I had my “flash crystal clear calling”.  In July 2002, I was en route back to the States after living in London when I had a layover at JFK and skimmed Fast Food Nation and Kitchen Confidential.  Aside from seeking out organic foods in London from a purely non-chemical freshness perspective, I had never even thought about farmers.  And yet, reading about the demise of ethical and environmental food production and quest for quality ingredients in these two books, I knew without a doubt that I was going to create an organic farm-to-restaurant co-op in San Francisco.

Rounding up orders at the market

Rounding up orders at the market

Literally the day after I arrived back home, I went to the Green Street Farmers Market (now the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market) and signed up seven organic farmers right off the bat.  That week, I signed up five more organic farms and within two weeks I had enlisted chefs from 17 of the top restaurants I had always loved.  It was oddly too easy.  By the end of August, the Om Organics co-op was started.

That’s the funny thing.  It seems that finding your vocation (which literally means “a call” or “a summons” in Latin) can’t be found with effort or by trying to think about it.  It is truly like divine crystal clarity that hits you over the head with inspiration to do something specific, and having things weirdly and magically just fall into place.

As Abraham says: “Inspiration comes forth from within. It’s what the light burning within you is about, as opposed to motivation, which is doing it because if you don’t do it, there will be negative repercussions…Inspiration is having the clear picture of what I am wanting — and letting Universal forces come into play to get the outcome.”

It’s a beautiful thing and a comfort to know that you just have to be clear-headed, heart-centered, and open to listening when your calling may come, and somehow everything you have done up until that point will oddly be perfect prep for your intended work.  Eleanor Roosevelt was right on in her quote below, although sometimes a good vacation away from your routine is all you need to be smacked over the head with your vocation.

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