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  • Writer's pictureVlada Zapesotsky

The very short story of how I found my true calling...

Updated: Aug 22, 2018

This is a very short story of what happened to me on the way to my true calling. You can read the longer and deeper inner story of this journey in my book The Way Home: Discovering the Path to your Truth, Nature and Inner Treasures.

At the age of 16, I felt that I needed to make some sort of a big step, break out of my usual surroundings, and discover something new, discover myself in some new space. And so, I transformed this feeling into an action. This action for me was the move from Russia to Israel by myself, literally set out to conquer new territories. This was my first step toward freedom, toward something bigger than what I knew about myself at that moment. At the same time, I did not just randomly choose Israel. I was a Russian Jew, and the theme of true belonging was very close and dear to my heart. I was searching for a feeling of my true home, where I would be able to let my own self be free in all its expressions, aspects, and manifestations. Israel became for me a wonderful space for growth and development, personally, professionally and spiritually. It was there that I discovered for myself various spiritual practices, became interested in mysticism and metaphysics, and began to consciously learn about my own inner world. However, the most important discoveries came, of course, from the life itself. At the age if nineteen, I became a journalist at one of the largest International Russian Channels, and eventually wound up in the world of movie production, taking different roles of scenarist, director’s assistant, and producer.

When I was just 20 years old, I met my future husband, and around 3 months later he proposed marriage to me, which I immediately accepted. I had that familiar instinctive feeling that I was doing the right thing, despite all the external rules and laws, pointing out that early and quick marriages are short-lived. I needed my own space for love, creativity, and realization – for the creation of my own little world. So, I began to build this world with all my inspiration and faith that I was going to create something beautiful, strong, and independent from the surrounding reality and external factors. Not surprisingly, only one year later we had our first son, and even though I was only 21 at that time, this experience happened at the right moment and had an incredibly positive impact on my personality and my entire life. After spending a year with my son, watching him, and uniting with his pure and true soul I, for the first time, truly felt my own soul, my higher purpose, and the forces of my soul. For me, that year was the best spiritual university from which I could ever graduate. Some 2.5 years later, our daughter was born, and my world became even more filled with mindfulness and love. I was lucky, not only because they came into my life and filled it with a new and special meaning and significance, but also because they gave me an opportunity to see what I was capable of. I think it was then that an impulse was born in me to find my true purpose beyond the limits of my home. At that time, I was already very fascinated with Psychology and had begun to study Educational Psychology – more for my own pleasure than for any other reason. I still considered myself a person who needed to be involved in something artistic, while working with actors on the scene and helping them navigate their complex emotional states and inner world (completely oblivious to the fact that I was already using therapy with them and intuitively applying many psychodrama techniques that I would only learn officially much later). I remember very well the moment when I suddenly heard inside of me that this work was not my true calling, and that I needed to continue searching until I found it. When such honest and direct truth comes from inside, it is impossible to pretend to not have heard or to have forgotten it. I remember I returned home completely devastated by such realization and could not find any comfort in anything. I thought: “But how can it be? I spent so much time and effort to make my way into this artistic world, I worked so hard, overcame so many obstacles, believed in my dream. And now, when I am so good at it, and everyone has recognized the results of my work, should I simply give up all this? And start from scratch?

I spent several nights in a row unable to fall asleep, looking for the answer to my questions. Suddenly, I recalled how a couple of years back, an acquaintance of mine was telling me about the science of Psychodrama. I almost did not remember anything from that conversation, but the very word had firmly planted itself in my mind. I jumped up, ran to my computer, and began searching for information on what Psychodrama was. As soon as I began reading, I realized that I had found my answer. I felt as though this area of science had been created especially for me – it matched so naturally with my personality, my way of thinking, and my life journey. After that, I was no longer worried because I knew that I was on the right path. I left my previous work and enrolled in a 3-year Psychodrama and Art Therapy program at the Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. At the same time, I was interning at different institutions and was gaining practical experience. I accepted any job that came my way during my studies and got to work with different groups, all with their unique psychological problems and diagnoses. I worked at a boarding school with children form socially dysfunctional families; with teens suffering from heavy forms of depression and panic attacks; with mentally-ill people at a hospice; with people with autism and their families; with female victims of violence; with the elderly who suffered from loneliness and loss of interest in life… During the 3rd year of my studies, I got to do my residency with an open psychiatric division of a big medical center called Barzilai University Medical Center, and immediately realized that I wanted to stay and work there. Despite my education and experience, everyone was telling me that getting a job as a psychodramatist in a hospital division was virtually impossible. This was because no government institution saw psychodrama as an official psychotherapeutic method and, hence, would not open a position for such specialist. I will not tell you about my extensive work that I had conducted at that hospital over a year and a half of my residency. The most important part was that with time, the entire medical staff was talking about Psychodrama as the most effective therapeutic approach (I had organized a psychodrama group for the staff, so they had an opportunity to experience first-hand the variety of Action Methods). I received a position at the hospital: first under the cover of a different title, and then our Department Chair pulled some strings at the Healthcare Ministry, and I received a permanent government contract as a Creative Therapist on Psychodrama and Art Therapy. Never had a similar position existed before. Exactly in that moment when I had decided to relax and enjoy my achievements, my husband told me that he had received a very exciting job offer that would involve a relocation the Silicon Valley in California. At that moment, I had realized that my purpose in life, evidently, was discovering and conquering new territories and myself, and that the time had come to accept it and calmly follow the scenario the life offered, while enjoying the journey itself. I, of course, could not imagine that I would open my very own Center for Healing and Creativity “The Way Home”, where I can grow and mature as a person and as a professional, thanks to the new space, freedom of action, and diverse activities. Most importantly, not even in my wildest dreams could I even imagine that I would discover my true calling, develop my own – working! – healing model that I called The Way Home-to Your True Self, and write a book describing this vision and my own journey.

Only a few years ago, I have truly understood what does it mean to hear your true calling, something that "calls" you, whether you want it or not, something that's bigger than you are at this moment. It's not just a profession you are good at, the work you enjoy doing or service of any kind. It's a feeling of Home that comes from this natural, real and contained expression of who you truly are. This is a Home where it's safe to grow and continue the journey. When you intent to find it, there is no way you can miss it!!!!

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