Pause for a moment and listen within?
What do you hear within your heart as a longing or yearning that’s calling to you right now?
Your heart has a wisdom that’ll guide you on your path. Picture it as a type of a roadmap that keeps steering you back to what you’re being called to do, if you start to wander astray.
The yearning you feel or the call you hear to do something, to create something, is the voice of this divine wisdom. You’re meant to manifest whatever’s calling to you now and offer it as one of your gifts to the world. That’s why it continues to tug at your heart!
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi
St. Hildegard heard a strong calling in her life at the age of 42 that still inspires me today. This is when she experienced a powerful vision, unlike anything she had experienced in the past.
Later she wrote about it and described how she suddenly gained great wisdom in this vision, a deeper, spiritual understanding that she’d not had before. And soon after this vision, she heard a voice speak to her, telling her to share, through writing and speaking, what she had experienced in all her visions.
It was with the help of her dear friends and receiving support from her abbot Kuno at Disibodenberg that she began to feel confident enough to begin writing the first of her major works, Scivias.
Her two close friends, Volmar, a dear teacher and mentor, and Richardis, a close friend and nun at the monastery at Disibodenberg, helped her begin this project. Together they worked out a system where St. Hildegard wrote what she had seen and heard in her visions in Latin, then Richardis corrected her grammar. Finally, Volmar copied a final version neatly on parchment and then illuminations of the visions were painted. And so, she got started on what became a 10-year endeavor on this divine calling!
But, it wasn’t smooth sailing necessarily. At one point, while writing, her insecurity led her to question whether she should continue. Would anyone believe her? Would anyone be interested in what she shared? Would they think she was insane?
She felt that the work she was doing was necessary due to the failings of the Church at that time. She believed the Church had neglected the scriptures and had not taught the people how to live a life of faith in God. And now, as a woman, she needed to share what she was hearing and seeing in her visions. But she wondered, would anyone listen?
This time, she sought advice from the monk Bernard of Clairvaux who encouraged her to continue and interceded on her behalf with the pope. After reading some of her writing, the pope felt that St. Hildegard’s work was divinely inspired and gave his approval. He encouraged her to continue writing and to speak publicly. Here is an image of a map of St. Hildegard’s four preaching journies.
And because St. Hildegard persevered, we have the great gifts of her writing as a woman of the 12th century. She followed the wisdom of her heart that kept leading her back to her purpose and path. With the support of those close to her in the community, she was able to move through many obstacles that she encountered, including her own self-doubt. What an inspiration to all of us today!
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” -Rumi
Looking for a supportive community to cheer you on as you respond to the longing within your heart? Join me in my upcoming course, “Master Your Creativity”!