Saturday, August 30, 2008

Following my bliss

In my previous post I felt inspired but at the same time rather frustrated and disheartened about where life seemed to be leading. Although nothing has changed in terms of logistics and complexities of life at the moment I feel more empowered and inspired to step up to the challenge.

Yesterday I attended an international careers conference put on by the Australian Institute of International Affairs. There were speakers from many fields- government, NGO, commercial etc and there were some interesting stories. Listening to a range of speakers consolidated a couple of things for me. Firstly, it's not just about travel. I could do that now, as a teacher I have regular holidays and a comfortable income and so can travel as much as I like. Secondly, it is certainly not about earning money while being overseas. There are many opportunities in the private sector but they did not resonate with me at all. Finally it is becoming clearer that this desire is a part of who I am. It cannot be placated by other things, no matter how worthy they might be. Denying this passion is denying who I am. When was I most content and feel the most complete? During my short time in Cambodia when I was immersed in a lifestyle that fitted with who I am. Enough navel gazing.

Tim Costello (CEO of World Vision Australia) was the keynote speaker for the afternoon. I have always admired him but this was the first time I have heard him speak in the flesh. He was fantastic. If you get the opportunity, go and seem him. He spoke with no notes, for nearly an hour and the time went like I flash. He was engaging, insightful and honest. I made no apologies for his political or social perspective and was open about his faith. He was confronting but his passion was infectious. I felt quite emotional by the end. I felt like he was speaking to me. Be cause it was a careers conference the theme of his address was about the difference between a career and a vocation. He spoke about finding the question that drives you (and then answering it), 'following your bliss'*.

* A term coined by Joseph Campbell- The Power of Myth

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