What’s Calling You? Tips For Listening to Signs from the Universe That Guide Your Path

by Lissa Rankin, MD


At dinner the other night with a group of girlfriends, life coach Joy asked each of us, “What’s calling you?” Way to get a group of giddy, slightly tipsy girls to shut up and take notice, Joy!  The question stunned us into silence, but we were amazed at what came up.


What’s calling me is screaming so loud that I can no longer ignore it. I’m in the throes of surrender, dropping to my knees before my calling and finally relinquishing the resistance I’ve been feeling for four years as I’ve watched the still-small voice of the Universe grow from a whisper to a rebel yell.  I HEAR YOU!


My Calling

What’s calling me is that I’m supposed to lead the way for people- health care practitioners and patients alike- to redefine what we consider “health.”  In the process, I’m supposed to empower other leaders to redefine other key parts of our wholeness, such as success, spirituality, and creativity. I am supposed to lead a movement- a Pink revolution, if you will through what we’re creating at Owning Pink.


And it scares the hell out of me.

Resisting the Call

I first heard the call five years ago on my wedding day in Big Sur, California, but the message I received had no meaning to me. I knew only that something was shifting and that my life was going to change forever.  The Signs from the Universe came calling, and it took three years before the message became more clear. When I realized what I was being called to do, I recoiled.  I had quit my job as a doctor completely, with the intention that I would never go back. I was so disillusioned by how we practice medicine today that I decided I’d rather quit, after 12 years of education, than continue as part of a system that is so broken. I thought I would paint and write books and pursue a purely creative life.


But I discovered that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. I resisted in every way possible. I denied the call. I rejected the call. I bargained with the Universe. I pleaded that someone else be chosen to do this work. I cried on my knees.  I didn’t want to be a trailblazer. I wanted to live this quiet life in the country with my family, rather than put myself in the spotlight and become a missionary for the purpose. I wanted to retreat, and yet I was being called to be the Universe’s spokesperson.


Fast forward two years, and here I am, face to face with the call, and I’m in. Both feet. Taking one Pink leap of faith (Pleap) after another. I am – finally – obeying my call. I’m still terrified, but I’m no longer letting fear make my decisions for me.


How Do You Know When You’re Being Called?

In the beginning, I didn’t know I was being called. It wasn’t until the small voice grew louder, and the Signs from the Universe grew unmistakable, that I finally understood. I think I was so bull-headed and resistant that the Universe had to try exceedingly hard to get my attention. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. If you’re in touch with the quiet voices within you, your calling can whisper in your ear, and you will here.


Tips For Finding Your Calling and Hearing The Signs From the Universe

  • Pay attention when you notice any of the following:
  • Occurrences that you might even call coincidence, except that the timing is too perfect.
  • Dreams that offer you messages or suggestions.
  • Books (or blog posts!) that speak directly to where you are in your life.
  • Physical symptoms that signal something deeper (like back pain when you’re carrying the weight of the world on your back).
  • Roadblocks on your current path. If something seems much harder than it should, it may be a sign that you’re supposed to take a fork in the road. When you’re listening to your calling and in the flow, things can feel effortless.
  • Messages that arise during meditation.
  • Gut feelings or instincts you can’t ignore.
  • Something someone says that cuts right to the core of you.
  • A sense of inner knowing that something is true, even though it feels completely crazy, implausible, or unachievable.
  • Song lyrics that pop up over and over again.
  • Answers to prayer that direct your path.
  • People you attract who share your calling and guide the way or share the path with you.


When you discover your calling, the whole world begins to feel magical. You notice a flow you never experienced before. You feel a profound sense of inner peace, even as the calling itself rocks your world into chaos.  When you hear the calling and choose to ignore it, I believe that’s when you suffer. A calling is not an order. It’s a choice. It’s an invitation. But when we choose not to listen to the call, we turn our backs on the truth of who we really are.  Life will never be the same if you let fear prevent you from heeding the call.


What about you? What’s calling you? What would you do if you took fear out of the equation?  If someone handed you a microphone and put you in front of an audience on the last day of your life, what would you say to the world?


Dr. Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, an author, a nationally-represented professional artist, and the founder of Owning Pink, an online community committed to building authentic community and empowering women to get- and keep- their "mojo". Owning Pink is all about owning all the facets of what makes you whole- your health, your sexuality, your spirituality, your creativity, your career, your relationships, the planet, and YOU. Dr. Rankin is currently redefining women’s health at the Owning Pink Center, her practice in Mill Valley, California. She is the author of the forthcoming What's Up Down There? Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin's Press, September 2010).


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