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“As writer and transformation teacher Jamie Walters notes on her blog, it should make us feel better that the tenth-century monk, mystic, and Cistercian Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux — who would seem to have already figured out this question of vocation — would wake up each morning and, as he rose from his pallet, would ask, ‘Bernard, Bernard, why have you come here?’

“As someone who mentors and guides people through the process of change, Jamie has heard this question come up many, many times before — and she herself has grappled with it, having been the founder and owner of a successful big-city consulting company and now working primarily alone as a writer and guide through the transformative process, and having undergone many transformations herself along the way. Jamie says, 'For me, vocation and avocation are like two sides of the same coin. And what I've seen is that so much of what is happening even with clients is about vocation — when what we've built has fallen apart.'

"During those times, Jamie feels, a gratitude practice is key; either giving thanks for what is, or in anticipation of what can — and it is affirmed, will — be. Jamie has found the making of a honey jar to be a helpful practice and reflection.

"A honey jar can be used for a lot of things — there are all kinds of variations of this. I learned this practice from a friend who comes from the hoodoo tradition of the southeastern United States, a confluence of Cajun, African, Christian, and European influences. The purpose of a honey jar is to invite synchronicities, ask for clarity, and give gratitude. 'As a gratitude practice,' Jamie explains, 'the gratitude is in the practice of it, the practice is the prayer. It's a way of giving thanks either in retrospect or in anticipation.'