I first heard the phrase vocational arousal from inspirational teacher Barbara Marx Hubbard. This is about emotional arousal not sexual arousal. In my book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership, I talked about combining our avocation (our personal purpose, what we want to do) with our vocation (what we are paid to do). Robert Frost, in his poem, Two Tramps in Mud Time, put it this way: “My object in living is to unite, my avocation and my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight.” Identity, purpose, and calling are all important aspects to consider when combining our avocation with our vocation.
In Discovering Vocational Arousal, Barbara Marx Hubbard wrote, “Vocational arousal is Spirit in action. It is Source sourcing you. It is the Creator within you activating you as co-creator.” In the same ebook, Marc Gafni wrote about our identity, our unique gifts, and our unique obligation to use those gifts. Vocational arousal requires us to notice what is going on inside us, that inner voice, as we react to those injustices in the world that inflame our passions, to identify our unique obligations, and for us to take responsible action. What’s erupting in you?
As we consciously seek a more fulfilling life, awakening to a new sense of vocational arousal will help steer us in the right direction. Ask these questions: What are the injustices in the world that make me frustrated and angry? What am I being called to do? Who do I choose to be at this time? As you transition from full time careers into whatever is coming next, be more intentional and commit to take action for the good of humanity.