Read Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy Online


How do we know if we're following our true callings? How do we sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us? is the first book to examine the many kinds of calls we receive and the great variety of channels through which they come to us. A calling may be to do something (change careers, go back to school, hHow do we know if we're following our true callings? How do we sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us? is the first book to examine the many kinds of calls we receive and the great variety of channels through which they come to us. A calling may be to do something (change careers, go back to school, have a child) or to be something (more creative, less judgmental, more loving). While honoring a calling's essential mystery, this book also guides readers to ask and answer the fundamental questions that arise from any calling: How do we recognize it? How do we distinguish the true call from the siren song? How do we handle our resistance to a call? What happens when we say yes? What happens when we say no?Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and powerful stories of people who have followed their own calls, Gregg Levoy shows us the many ways to translate a calling into action. In a style that is poetic, exuberant, and keenly insightful, he presents an illuminating and ultimately practical inquiry into how we listen and respond to our calls, whether at work or at home, in our relationships or in service. Callings is a compassionate guide to discovering your own callings and negotiating the tight passages to personal power and authenticity....

Title : Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780609803707
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life Reviews

  • Jeff
    2019-06-09 10:56

    I first read this book back in the late '90s and have proceeded to read it at least once a year annually since then. I am now on my fourth copy, having read two copies to tatters and loaned out a third to a good friend (who is undoubtedly affected enough by the material for me to not warrant asking for its return).In paradoxically light yet profound way, "Callings" trolls the collective human consciousness for familiar and foreign concepts interwoven in history through such vehicles as fable, parable, mythology, spirituality, philosophy, and more that are meant to address such issues as:* The existence of transformative "callings" in life* How to distinguish the "true call from the siren song"* Learning to appreciate and act upon the smallest signs and calls for change* Do we have any obligations with regard to callings? If so, what would/could be the consequences?Moreover, the author is blessed with an intoxicatingly addictive writing style that pulls from international historical, spiritual, and contemporary sources to paint the prose with a rainbow of multi-sensory literary hues. The information herein appeals to humanity on a larger, higher level for it is a common navigational thread throughout all of recorded existence and one that transcends denominations, political parties and even commercialized pop thought. It provides an avenue to understanding and embracing the ubiquitous human question we all (typically silently) ask. Very insightful and masterly written, "Callings" is a call to action for the armchair life enthusiast in all of us and proffers a host of relevant and accessible thought trains that will simultaneously entertain, stimulate, and bless the reader's mind with enrichment.

  • Dave
    2019-06-12 06:54

    This book has a special place in my heart and it's impacted my life in a signficant way. It all started when I met the author "by chance" in Asheville, NC last year.At the time I was searching in my life and had travelled for a vacation to Asheville (my first time in Asheville actually). One evening I was in downtown and saw a group of people playing drums outside in the open air. One of the men playing seemed to stick out to me - somehow you could tell he had great passion for what he was doing. I noticed it immediately and for that reason he made an impression on me. Later that night I was in a coffee shop and looked up to see him sitting outside alone. I don't often get this feeling but something inside me compelled me to go talk to the guy. I introduced myself and told him a bit about my life, how I was searching, wondering about careers, passion in life, and that I had noticed when he played he did so with passion. We talked for a while and he mentioned that he was an author and had just written a book about people that have passion in their life, and people that don't. I was fascinated and before the weekend was over I had bought the book and started reading it.The book is very thought-provoking, very deep. Often I will read just a few pages and feel I need to stop and really think about the meaning for my life.I don't agree with all of the authors viewpoints, and at times the thoughts seem somewhat scattered and random. But in general it is a fantastic book, loaded with a lot of meaning and things to provoke thought. I would highly recommend it to anyone searching for clarity in their career or life. It provides an excellent resource for extracting the basic "themes" of one's life, and helps get to the crux of your values and beliefs.

  • Brenda Brown
    2019-06-03 14:00

    I wasn't "looking" for this book but saw it on a table many years ago at a large bookstore in Atlanta. This is simply one of the most influential and lovely non-fiction books I have read in my 46 years; I have recommended it to many others who have told me how special it was to them. Thank you Gregg Levoy.

  • Michael D
    2019-05-30 07:45

    Beginning a new venture? This may be the next 'right' book for you. Gregg is a Master of metaphor, and his writing is an immense pleasure to take in. Poetic. Poignant. Insightful. I've pulled more quotable statements out of this book than any other to date.

  • Annette
    2019-06-04 08:01

    Use this book often with clients. Return to its poetry and clarity myself from time to time when moving into a new project.

  • Becky
    2019-06-18 05:46

    This is an excellent book on identifying and acting (or not) on personal callings. I had begun this book several times since I got it back in the late 90s but never finished it - obviously because I wasn't ready for it. But this time I relished it from cover to cover and gained much from it's words. Levoy helps the reader identify what a calling looks like and feels like and then provides the pros and cons of both accepting and denying a calling. This is not a book of magical thinking. It is a book of straight talk about what one gains and what one must lose in the acceptance of a calling and how that acceptance is an ongoing process that must be repeated as needed - one "yes" isn't enough. We must continue to say "yes" and continue to act and move forward in the direction of the calling even if it is only in the smallest of steps. I found it very enlightening and affirming in my own recognition and acceptance of my own calling. Highly recommended to the spiritual seeker.

  • Laurel
    2019-05-30 12:01

    This is one of the most helpful books I've read on vocation. Levoy is an elegant writer whose synthesis of mythology, religion, psychology, and well-chosen biographical vignettes calls readers to be attentive to the many ways in which calls manifest themselves (including dreams, synchronicity, and illness). He shows us how to clarify our callings through the use of art, journal-keeping, other memory work, and pilgrimage. Finally, he helps us to weigh the costs of following or ignoring a calling. I look forward to reading some of the books on his extensive bibliography. I do wish, however, that he had listed writing questions and exercises at the end of each chapter rather than embedding them within the text.

  • John G.
    2019-06-12 07:42

    This is one of the best books about calling and vocational discernment out there, the author writes with clarity, experience and sensitivity. He's not preachy or condescending in any way, this book heavily relies on the subjective, sorry no easy, set pat answers here for you or me. There's a lot of wisdom in this book, he's walked the walk and you can sense he's truly motivated to share with answers, he in fact, shines from one who has found his own calling. Highly recommend, it will bear repeated readings, but in the best of ways!

  • Len Edgerly
    2019-06-20 11:50

    I am one of the people profiled in this book, which makes me know the author did a very careful job of listening and getting it right concerning people who have made big leaps in their lives, based on a sense of calling. In my case, it was leaving a natural gas company to become a poet. This is a great book for finding tools to discern what's next in your heart and soul.

  • Maria
    2019-05-29 08:42

    Excellent for those of us looking at our next step.

  • SandyKemp
    2019-06-19 06:03

    Just did not find this book very accessible for some reason :(

  • Susan
    2019-06-17 13:46

    Get out your highlighter - some great quotes and ideas to discuss with colleagues and friends.

  • Caitlin H
    2019-06-18 11:54

    I put this on my to-read even though, when it came time to read it, i was uncertain about it. I didn't know if it would be filled with out-of-date claims, or drivel that was never in date, so to speak. I thought maybe it would be too optimistic, too late '90s, too baby boomer for me to take seriously.Thankfully, none of this turned out to be the case. Instead, the book is, on the whole, thoughtful, rich, & deep. For example, Gregg Levoy doesn't advocate for throwing your job away, which usually seems to be the sentiment of most people who parrot "follow your bliss". This, aside from some Tweets recently, is the first time that i feel like i've seen this practicality. Some of us need a day job, if only for a while, but we're still practically made to feel like shit about it. Even though society might collapse if everyone who had a bliss or a dream went & followed it, we're still hearing that's what we should be doing, & that we're wasting something if we're not. And you could argue that Levoy is kind of on this side, & you wouldn't be entirely wrong. But i feel that Levoy is more concerned with what we ignore in our lives, what we sacrifice on the altar of practicality even when we could have a more fulfilling life.Levoy goes through it all in this book, & he tells stories of others as well as himself to illuminate his points. You get to see his own foibles, which makes me feel more willing to hear what he has to say. He's no guru. He also struggles. He's not holier than thou, he's in life with everyone else. But he pays attention to things, & listens to people. He relates many stories throughout the course of Callings, & oftentimes, they begin with people holding themselves back somehow. They're people who have something that they want to do, but they push it off & away, saying they couldn't possibly do it. It's like pushing away food when you're incredibly hungry, while insisting you're not. Only once these people admit that they are hungry do their lives open up.And i'm sure that there's still a healthy dose of '90s optimism. The book was published in 1997, after all. But Levoy doesn't make it sound like everything will easily fall into your lap once you say "yes" to a calling. Contrary to other modern "law of attraction" type things, Levoy lets you know that it will most likely be hard, that you'll have to work for it, that it won't be smooth. He actually counters a lot that gets parroted these days: if your path is smooth & straight, he says, that doesn't mean it's the right one. And vice versa, with a rough path, it doesn't mean it's the wrong one. There were parts where the writing grew rough, like when the author meets a trans woman. Aside from his "holy shit" response, he misgenders her, using "he" as the pronoun. This was, thankfully, very brief. Although Levoy sounds sympathetic to the woman trying to live her life, it's still not taken care of so well. If you are queer, especially if you're trans, this could be incredibly jarring & mar the whole experience of the book for you.Overall, this book was deeply impactful for me. I want to own a copy, I want other people to read it. It makes you want to reevaluate your life & priorities. It makes you thoughtful.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-17 09:48

    I have mixed feelings on this book. It brought me closer to knowing what I'm meant to do in life, helping me to arrive at a general type of work, but leaving to question only an exact occupation. It also helped me to realize that my biggest barrier in reaching this calling was my need to increase my courage. I am grateful for both of those. The reason I couldn't go higher than three stars though was because, in my opinion, a great many parts were dreadfully boring. I had to reread certain parts numerous times because I couldn't concentrate enough the first time through. A lot of the writing seemed more fanciful than necessary and not direct enough.

  • Ben
    2019-06-19 11:58

    Excellent insights into exploring opportunities that may provide a deeper sense of fulfillment. A lot of anecdotes and recommendations for other authors or sources to consider in your discovery path. A good tool to help sharpen your senses about what may be right in front of you but is difficult to see and feel. It reminded me of the lines at the end of T.S. Eliot's poem "Little Gidding" We shall not cease from exploring and the end of all our exploring we be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

  • David Hesson
    2019-05-24 10:45

    Highly recommend this book

  • Valerie Gangas
    2019-06-16 11:47

    The is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. Every human on the planet should read and then reread this book. Mind. Blown.

  • Marese Hickey
    2019-06-16 11:07

    This is a fantastic book. It has a broad canvas, from Joseph Campbell to James Hillman, with relevant stories interwoven to bring the teaching to life. Highly recommended.

  • Cindy Thistle
    2019-06-14 07:55

    I've read this book a number of times over the years and always learn something new on each page.

  • Lucydad
    2019-06-03 10:08

    A very meaningful book for me suggested by Unity pastor to help discern real callings. Synchronicity occurred in many ways, including meditation guidance. I achieved clarity: choosing the right paths and avoiding one that was only mind, and no heart. Superbly written, and Levoy's use of metaphors is both accurate and entertaining. A beautiful effort, a true keeper and a valuable life resource.

  • Danielle Shroyer
    2019-06-20 12:03

    I kept putting this book down and forgetting about may be that it was repetitive of many other books I've read (often quoting them) but I imagine it could be helpful for someone looking to make a change and needing some ways to think through that process.

  • Nick Scott
    2019-06-10 11:53

    I found Callings to be a well-written, eye opening book, about following callings in life. The book prepares you to listen to calls, to know the price of following or not following the call, and how to deal with doing so within yourself and around others. It made me feel more confident about staying true to what I want to do, and better equipped me to deal with the fear of not being good enough as well as the less thought about but even more dangerous fear of succeeding. For everyone who isn't satisfied with what they're doing in life, or have a constant sense of things just not being right, I highly recommend this book. This book will help you find the path that you should be on. One of the biggest lessons I got from this book: anxiety and obstacles will be there whether or not the thing you are doing is right or wrong. My major complaint is that the author clearly at times leans towards a religious perspective, but I was still able to gain things from it. Also, a lot of the callings he chronicles in the book are very artsy or hippie-dippy. It's important to remember that people can be called to do anything, not just artsy or living in a wood cabin and kayaking type things.

  • Emma
    2019-05-24 10:44

    Update: just read for the second time and still just as helpful as the first time. This time through I noticed more the emphasis on (Joseph Campbell-esque) personal (individual) authenticity as having priority, which some could critique, but this is grounded for Levoy in the belief that this leads back to better contribution to the community and the world as a whole, not as an end in itself. This is written in such a word-careful, image-laden way that it's hard to pick quotes. He talks about self-sabotage of your callings "as if you're sending up balloons in a room whose ceiling is studded with nails." (12)The discernment process, he says, is about "feeling our way like a bird that travels for thousands of miles guided only by instinct and the whisper of magnetism." (43)***This is as good as they say. I have so many sticky notes in my library copy I guess I shall have to buy one. It's less personal memoir than a collection of wisdom from all over the place, and especially pulling together other people's stories (rather than, say quotes from Rumi). It's a great resource.

  • Nikmaack
    2019-05-28 07:40

    I give up. As much as some of the content in this book is great, other parts are torture. The author takes 5 pages to describe ideas that only need a paragraph. He also has that habit of referring to experts and quotes when it's just not necessary.He also seems a little credulous when it comes to ideas that are WAY out there. "I cured my cancer with drawing and dance!" to paraphrase and oversimplify one of his anecdotes.As much a I would like to think that's true, or even possible, I just can't. Yes, stress symptoms can manifest symbolically. I can't bring myself to speak and so I grind my teeth. I can't bring myself to play the piano and my hands tingle.I can't bring myself to dance the way I should so I got cancer? I'm out. But to be honest it was more the writing style than the content that finally made me give up on this book.

  • Barbara P
    2019-06-12 09:07

    Here I am at 75y/o and reflecting on calls I have had in my life. Yet at every age my desire has been to be participating in areas where I have felt called and in the perfect place for relationships, family, mission, every day "work", etc. This does not change as I am growing older but the desires of vocation/volunteer places/etc. lessen, tighten up but continue to be significant. I came upon Callings: Finding and following an authentic life. It has been sitting on my book shelf for years and I finally plunged into it. The author Gregg Levoy brings depth, spiritual and psychological perspective to his writings.He examines different kinds of calls we receive to do or be, resistances to that call, what happens when we respond? There is so much wisdom and insight.

  • Joy
    2019-05-30 10:48

    How do we know if we're following our true callings? How do we sharpen our senses to cut through the distractions of everyday reality and hear the calls that are beckoning us?Wonderful book about finding and understanding your true calling. And also defending the soul's right to be heard. Sensitively and beautifully written. It's like speaking with a dear friend, guide, mentor and really. I'm reading it again for the wonderful company and deeper insights. I'm enjoying it even much better this time.

  • Stephen Plank
    2019-06-13 08:45

    Read for a counseling class and did not care for it since most of these people had already decided upon a life change and used things like canoeing the rapids to justify leaving husband and kids behind as a result of the adventure. Truthfully, there is no counseling here ... simply justification for making a life change that meant leaving responsibilities behind. Running away is not always the answer to a life challenge unless we are talking about the safety of self and others.

  • LemontreeLime
    2019-06-01 11:39

    This was a surprise. I knew Gregg Levoy had a new book coming out, and decided to read his first one from the late 90s. Several times I laughed out loud, but mostly I felt his commitment to telling the story, or the story's story, and the nuggets of wisdom to be found therein. This is the kind of book you reread occasionally, because there is so much in it you can't absorb in one sitting. Looking forward to the newest book.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-22 11:09

    This book was given to me by a good friend of mine. Despite being in somewhat of a turmoil in my life right now, I didn't find this book to motivate me to do anything differently. The book is well written, and has inspirational, thought-provoking anecdotes, but I can't say it has changed my life after reading it. Perhaps I'm not ready to look for my calling, or perhaps I've missed the signs. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading it; I speak only for myself.

  • Sophia Dunkin-Hubby
    2019-05-25 09:50

    This book found its way into my hands at the perfect moment. It is about listening to the world around you and your innermost feelings to figure out and follow your callings - things that you are passionate about and driven to do. It is well written. The advice is sound without being preachy and the stories that illustrate the advice are well chosen. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to make a change in their life, or struggling to figure out what they are passionate about.