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Our Sacred Call: Identifying and Responding to our Inner Knowing

Written by: Rev. Carolyn Tobin | Posted on:

Rev. Carolyn Tobin

Our unique purpose, calling to us from a sacred place of inner knowing, is a subject near to my heart. I recently said yes to a dream that took root thirty-seven years ago. Not long after my ‘big yes’, I came across a book by Dr. Terrari Trent, that fired up my interest and passion even more, The Awakened Woman: A Guide to Remembering and Igniting your Sacred Dreams (2017). Terrari Trent grew up in desperate poverty in Zimbabwe in the 1970’s, was married by age fourteen, and had four children by age eighteen. However she had a dream. At twenty-two her dream was to gain an education, to get her GED, a bachelors, a masters, and a PhD. Her fifth goal was to use that education to improve the life of her community; a dream she fulfilled against incredible odds.

In her beautiful and inspiring book, Dr. Trent recounts how she learned from her mother to distinguish between “little hungers” and “Great Hunger”. Little hungers are often the things we find ourselves getting caught up in, in the normal run of a lifetime. The emphasis is on consuming, acquiring, promoting, and grasping which often leaves us empty and depleted. Conversely, connecting with our Great Hunger can offer healing to ourselves, our communities, and our world. Our Great Hunger is a hunger for meaning. It energizes us, and enables us to move beyond immediate gratification towards fulfillment. In it we find our purpose, and our sacred call. The significant difference is that our Great Hunger leads us to the service of others.

You may already know what your sacred dream is. Some, like me, had a seed planted many years ago that rises to consciousness whenever we become quiet or reflective. Sometimes in meditation, in prayer, or on retreat that dream re-emerges. It will not let us go until we say yes!

How can we tune into our great hunger in order to access and affirm our sacred call? Dr. Trent suggests we ask ourselves, what is it that breaks my heart? What am I passionate about? What is that issue that always lights me up or breaks me open? The answers may take time and reflection. Courage, vulnerability and risk taking are the touchstones by which we embrace our sacred call. Facing fear of failure and resolving to do it anyway creates space to allow our dream to flourish. In doing so we offer our yes to a life of adventure and purpose.

The Irish poet and mystic John O’Donohue, describes how each of us has an individual capacity to imagine, which is another word for dreaming. He talks about the way our sacred call takes root deep within us, sometimes without our awareness. He expresses the beautiful truth that the Divine is always at work in us, always speaking to us:

“…we must slow down time in order to connect with ourselves and therefore to connect with our presence and purpose. There are gestations and fermentation occurring within us that we are not even aware of…because secret work is being done in us, of which we have no inkling, we are able to cross the threshold into the new way of being that our great hunger calls us to…” The Inner Landscape of Beauty (2019) may be found at

Here O’Donohue argues that the soul choreographs one’s biography and one’s destiny. WE are dreamers, “imaginers”, creators and co-creators with the divine; we dream our futures into being in collaboration with our Beloved, and in so doing we change our own lives for the better, but also the lives of our families, communities and those we serve.

If you are drawn to the idea of being part of a sacred circle, where we meet to support and encourage each other to find our Great Hunger and live our sacred call, please come join us in future “Sacred Call” circles.

Please email me at for more information. In the meantime, dream courageously, dream big.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” — Goethe

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