God can only do for you what you let God do through you. ~Ernest Holmes
I am divinely, creatively, and lovingly present.
Namaste’ Fellow Traveler,
Now we move into passion. What I was passionate about as a child is certainly not what I want to do now, although I see similarities. For me the common thread of my passion has always been creative expression, building playhouses, writing, painting, teaching, photography, traveling, gardening, parenting, and even exploring family therapy. Each one has a inventive and formative component. I love the planning, the organizing, the studying, and the constructing of something. The end results is the ultimate goal, although for me the creative process is the most satisfying aspect of these various passions.
Currently I am doing what I love to do – writing – to my heart’s content. Yet, even now that I am retired, my children are grown, and I am in the midst of a pandemic, I can distract myself with obligations and activities that would not qualify as following my bliss as Joseph Campbell would put it. Last summer I set aside three months to create a custom-designed Camino in order to pursue this desire that burns in my heart. I was officially on my Camino for a couple of weeks before I began what I would consider a true immersion in following my passion. Initially, I spent most of my time getting ready to write.
It finally dawned on me I was scared. What if I took three months, traveled to another part of the world, and then found I had nothing to say? Writer’s block. With that understanding, I developed a routine and started moving past my fears into emerging myself in what I had come to do. And it felt wonderful. When the pandemic hit, I knew it was a gift, an invitation to once more give myself permission to do what I love doing – write.
Part of what stops me when I struggle with my writing are the pointless thought-loops I can get into around what others will think of what I am writing. I can also take that a step further and consume myself with whether or not others will be impressed with the amount I have written. Too often while I am writing, I pause to wonder if anyone outside my closest friends will ever read these words. Then I remind myself that I am not writing them for others. I am writing them for myself. Truly following my passion starts with letting go of what anyone else thinks, and simply doing what is mine to do.
My desire to write was there as an early teen, and revisited in my late thirties and lasted into my early fifties when I went through major life changes and focused more on my teaching career. In my late fifties, I had an experience which caused me to reengage with writing as therapy. I was married for three months and my new husband decided he was in love with someone else, an old girl friend from his twenties. Needing to understand my part in all that, so I could hopefully avoid getting sucked into another dysfunctional relationship, I spent one year actively writing Too Much Gold to Flush, The Gift of Infidelity. Toward the end of that writing process, I realized that the key to having a healthy relationship with someone else, started with developing a healthy relationship with myself. In other words, I realized I had to learn how to truly love myself before I could love others.
Having volunteered at women’s shelters, I knew that the national statistics of women going into a shelter is seven times in their lifetime, so obviously there is a pattern in place, and I did not want to recreate my own dysfunction. I wanted my writing to somehow combat this staggering statistic, so I decided to donate one-half of the proceeds of all my writing to women’s shelters, which I do through my business, Dedicated to Empowering Women. Since publishing Too Much Gold to Flush, I have released two novels, Call It Quits and Living with Abi, both depict women coming into their own through overcoming considerable challenges.
My intent is to support women in seeing themselves as worthy of a safe, healthy life, and I know that the shift has to happen within their own thinking. So my writing is always about seeing the power of choice, whether it is a novel or non-fiction like this Camino Guide. By connecting the dots, I see where my passion for writing bridges over into another passion, self-empowerment, which I personally find through my writing and hope to share with others. Following my passion is the closest I can come to allowing Spirit to move through me. Doing what my heart is telling me to do, feels like answering a deep longing that needs to be expressed.
Journal questions: What is your heart’s greatest desire? To what degree are you following that yearning? What are your greatest distractors? (Note: Save your ideal vision of following your passion for tomorrow’s journaling. For today, focus on what you are currently doing or not doing.)
Affirmation: Write a positive, powerful, and personal affirmation that sums up what you got from journaling. Example: I am doing what is mine to do. Or, I allow the Divine to Creatively express through me.
Love Letter from the Divine: Review your journal entry and your affirmation then write a letter from your soul to you reflecting on both. Address the letter with a term of endearment because that is how your soul sees you. Then allow the love that your soul has for you to pour out onto the page.
Buen Camino, Pat
Your soul wants to sing. ~Michael C. Rann & Elizabeth Rann Arrott