The Dance Between Our Vocation and Our Art by Ed Bonapartian

The Dance Between Our Vocation and Our Art

Regardless of the endeavor, as Highly Sensitive people it isn’t what we do but how we do it which leaves our Art on the world around us.

We are about two miles into an early morning long run when Maddie tells me she is starting a coaching business. At our age it takes a couple of miles of running before the creakiness leaves our legs, therefore most of our conversations start around the two or three mile point.

I just can’t deal with my job anymore.” Maddie says in an angry tone when I ask her how she is doing.

“All the negativity at work is sucking the life out of me and to make matters worse, I’m getting this nagging feeling that it’s time I did something meaningful with my life”.

Her comments don’t surprise me. I know the driving force behind those comments well; it’s the struggle we Highly Sensitives experience when we reach that stage in life where our vocation and the pull of our Art start to clash.

It’s a dance created in our minds when we think of our art and vocation as being similar vehicles. They aren’t. Vocation is what we do to pay the bills; it’s a societal survival mechanism.

Our Art on the other hand, are those actions which come from the level of soul. Our Art is shown through actions which reflect who we truly are.

While our vocation gives us a monetary reward, there is a much deeper reward from our Art. That’s because through our Art, we can feel in our bones that we are doing what we came here to do.

As I explain this to Maddie, she tells me that while she has a strong desire to coach, there are still a lot of questions in her mind as to how to manifest it.

I respond by telling her that creating our Art takes time before we can truly see it for what it is.

Maddie, for Highly Sensitive people like us, our art is the sensitive touch we leave on the world around us through our intention. Like a jigsaw puzzle, our intention builds this art through our individual actions and only over time does a bigger picture take shape so that we can clearly see it.”

I ask Maddie why she has chosen coaching although I know from experience she will make an excellent coach to those fortunate enough to be taken under her nurturing wing. Through my question I’m looking for a confirmation of sorts.

Maddie answers me by telling me coaching is something she feels called to do. I love her answer because it is the exact confirmation I’m looking for; that deep down feeling that she is doing the work she was put here to do.

It’s the voice of soul talking to her through her intuition. Although starting her own business is not without a measure of risk, somehow she knows it’s the right thing to do. I can hear it in her voice.

As we finish our run, I remind Maddie of a Highly Sensitive mutual friend we know who has the done hard work of blurring the boundary between her vocation and her Art.

Because her business is a true reflection of her Art, over time she has a six week waiting list of clients waiting to see her.

Maddie gives me a strong hug and her mood seems much better than when we started.

I always feel so much better after our talks,” she says, leaving me with a smile as she heads to her car.

Her comment reminds me of my own Art; an Art created through my intention to bring people back to their true selves through conversation.

But it also serves to remind me of the dance between my own vocation and Art; a dance which highlights that if I were to choose a career over again, I would become a counselor.

Next to my desk is a bulletin board containing thank you notes from people from I have shared my Art with.

Each of those handwritten notes was created from a conversation in awareness.

For the Highly Sensitive, life never travels in a straight line.

Therefore, at certain points in our lives we are forced to witness the dance between our vocation and our Art; a dance which has the soft song of awareness playing in the background and if you listen carefully, you will not be the same person when the dance ends that you were when it began.


Pic credit via Myriams-Fotos



Ed enjoys sharing stories highlighting the connection between Highly Sensitive People and their naturally intuitive nature. An avid distance runner, Ed loves to explore self-awareness through a good conversation.

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