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Grief Massage Blog

The Institute for Grief Massage Inc blog features articles and posts about grief massage therapy, spirituality, and honoring ones calling. Read about our grief massage therapy training program, and be inspired to help support grieving clients through massage.

Setting an Intention to Connect With Your Calling

I write a lot about connecting with one’s calling because it has been an important part of my own life.

I doubt I would have ever had the courage to create a massage therapy approach for grieving clients, found The Institute for Grief Massage Inc. and even offer training to others if I hadn’t felt deeply called to this work.

There has always been an inner push and inspiration that has led me down my own path. I believe that inner push and inspiration is my calling.

I will be writing more about the importance of connecting with one’s calling this year, in 2019, because I believe it is very important to empower massage therapists and healers to find the courage to connect with their life’s work and life’s purpose.

So, let’s start by defining a “calling”.

What is a Calling?

The Online Etymology Dictionary defines the noun “calling” as coming from the middle 13th century and referring to “a summons or invitation”. Religious roots from the 15th century relate to the use of the word calling as a “vocation, profession, trade, occupation.”

If we explore further along the route of a calling being related to one’s vocation, we can find that the Online Etymology Dictionary defines the noun “vocation” as coming from the beginnings of the 15th century and relating to “ a spiritual calling”.

The old French word vocacion and the Latin word vocationem both refer to being called in a specific direction , with the Latin word actually being literally translated to “a calling, being called.” I see this as not having to be religious or spiritual - although, there often seems to be a sense of something larger than oneself summoning a person towards their life’s work.

What does this mean in our modern world?

Well, to me it means that for centuries people have had a sense of being drawn, or invited, to do specific work. And again, for some people, there is a spiritual (or even religious) component to this sense of being called. But there doesn’t have to be.

With respect for all religious traditions, as well as for those who do not identify as spiritual or religious, I offer the perspective that there is always a purpose for your life.

There may be work that you alone can do in the world, to increase peace, healing and wellness for those around you,

The inner nudges, the sense that there is more to life than simply earning a paycheck, and the quiet knowing that you are meant to do more than simply survive…these things may point to a calling, To an invitation or summons. To a path that is meant for you.

Why Is Setting an Intention Important?

For me, setting a strong intention to connect with my life’s work and life’s purpose has been so important. I was fortunate to be exposed to practices for intention setting early in my life.

In my spiritual tradition, the practice of a “Burning Bowl” at the New Year holiday has been especially powerful. In a “Burning Bowl” ceremony, one writes down all the things that she/he desires to leave behind in the old year and then that letter is burned (with regard to fire safety of course).

Afterward, a new letter is written with intentions for the new year.

The intention letter is sealed as the new year begins and an especially helpful practice for me has been re-reading the intention letter at the next year’s Burning Bowl ceremony. My mom introduced me to this practice in my early twenties and it has served me well on my path. Ultimately I believe that the Burning Bowl practice helped me to connect with my own calling - my life’s purpose and life’s work.

Even when I suffered significant losses in my middle and late twenties and struggled to find meaning in life, setting strong intentions to connect with my calling helped me to connect with my own path.

So, I believe that if you want to connect with your calling (or vocation) and purpose in life, it is important to find a way to strongly set the intention to receive the guidance that you need.

You don’t have to be religious or spiritual in order to set an intention. But you do need to take the intention setting seriously. I believe that the more energy you put into your intention setting, the more powerful your results can be.

So, how does one start setting an intention?

How to Set an Intention

One of the simplest ways to set an intention is, like in my example of the Burning Bowl ceremony, to write a letter.

You can write a letter to your future self, to the Universe itself, to Life, or to a religious or spiritual deity that you feel especially connected to. In this letter, you can simply state your intention to connect with your life’s work and life’s purpose. You may also write about your sense of feeling called in a certain direction (if you are experiencing inner nudges of some kind).

I recently created an online 5 week course called “Connect With Your Calling: A 5 Week Journey”. In that course, I recommend that students specifically set these intentions:

1- I want to connect with my life’s work/life’s purpose

2-I want to know how I can be of service

Feel free to use those intentions to write your letter and get started. Setting an intention doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to know anything more than the simple fact that you want to sincerely connect.

I believe that the more strongly you set this intention, and the more energy you put into it, the better.

I hope this information was helpful for you!


In this blog post we explored the history and meaning of the word calling, the fact that a calling doesn’t have to be religious or spiritual (but that there is often a sense of being connected to something bigger than/beyond one’s own self), and how important it is to set an intention if you want to connect with one’s life’s purpose/life’s work.

We also explored letter writing as a simple way to get started with intention setting.

If you would like to learn more about connecting with your own calling, I invite you to join me in the “Connect With Your Calling: A 5 Week Journey” online course! Learn more here.


Harper, D. (2001-2019). Online Etymology Dictionary. Calling: Origin and meaning of…. Online:

Harper, D. (2001-2019). Online Etymology Dictionary. Vocation: Origin and meaning… Online:

Aimee Taylor
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