By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired. ~Nikos Kazantzakis

I am precious, unique, and authentic.

Namaste’ Fellow Travelers,

The next step on our passion exploration path is to create a picture of what following your passion looks like for you. Picturing your ideal vision may however present a challenging prospect since passions have a habit of evolving and morphing, which is ultimately part of the adventure.

As a child, my grandparents lived close by and put in long days working the cotton farm until Grandad had a heart attack. I was eight at the time. Back then, the only known remedy was rest, so he spent months in the hospital with Grandmother right by his side. I’m not sure what went on in Grandmother’s head during that hospital stay, but as soon as she and Grandad came home, she became a woman with a mission. First, she had a shell/cover installed over the bed of their pickup. Next, she created a sleeping space in the pickup bed as well as a means of cooking on the road. Then, they took off for months at a time. One year, they drove all the way to Alaska from their home located in the Texas Panhandle.

Along the way, she took lots of pictures, often in the form of slides, so when they got home, we had a family get together and the slide-show began. For everyone else, the image of one mountain and river after another became long and boring, but I never tired of laying on my stomach, mesmerized by the pictures of various locations.

When I was twelve, my grandparents asked my sister, Mary, and me to join them on a seven-week summer journey. By that time, they had graduated to a trailer, which they pulled with the pickup, so Mary and I slept under the original camper-shell. First, we went to Louisville, Kentucky and spent a few weeks with an aunt, uncle, and their five kids whose ages dovetailed Mary and me. Then we went to Lansing, Michigan to visit another aunt and uncle who had a couple of boys close to our ages. Their family went with us into Northern Michigan via the Mackinaw Bridge. We spent one day on a boat trip around Mackinaw Island. I vowed at that time I would one day come back and visit the island where there are no cars. It’s still on my list of places to go.

On the way home, we went to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. While there, I took a picture of Grandmother wearing a dress coming down a circular slide with her feet up in the air. She would not miss out on a single thing. The last day of our trip, we were 100 miles from home at 5:00 p.m., Granddad’s quitting time, so he found a trailer park and set up camp. Mary and I took a walk after supper, and she cried because she was homesick. I was sad too because the adventure was nearly over.

Inspired by the travel photographs I saw as a kid, I took photography classes in college. During that time, I printed a series of pictures of my maternal grandmother, which I have used while painting her image in watercolor and also to construct her portrait in stained glass – a good example of how a passion can reap multiple rewards.

Passion does not need to be a particular art form or skill. It may be your commitment to family, community, or a particular cause. It is that desire to express yourself in your own unique way. Answering your calling may change as you go through your life, depending on where you are with your family, career, and/or health. Whatever it looks like for you, passion is following whatever road leads you to a greater sense of yourself, a deeper understanding of what is meaningful and rich for you. It may be a mission that takes you around the world, and it may be something that keeps you firmly planted in your own backyard. Whatever it is…is yours to decide. The key is to give yourself permission to accept it and to answer its call when and as you are ready.

Following your passion is not an all or nothing proposition. Rather than filling your days, passion is sometimes a healthy diversion, a hobby, an interest, a skill that you turn to as a means of escape and refueling while you maintain your “day job.” It is an important part of who we are that needs to be recognized and honored, yet like all of the subject areas in this Camino Journal balance is key.  

Ultimately, following your passion means giving yourself permission to be yourself and to see where that takes you. If part of your picture includes giving yourself permission to follow your passion, that is a perfect place to start creating that picture. Setting off on this passion journey is something only you can initiate and only you know the journey you want to take.   

Journal: This journal assignment comes with a warning: Creating a vision of what following your passion looks like for you will initiate a never ending journey.What does following passion look like for you? Start wherever you are now, and create a picture of where you see your passion leading you. Note: Save your ideas for how to achieve living my most passionate life for the next journal.

Affirmation: Create a positive, powerful, personal, one sentence summary of your journal writing. Example: I follow my passion where it takes me.

Letter from the Divine: Review your journal entry and 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 your soul has for you to passionately pour out onto the page.

Buen Camino, Pat

Each one of us is a unique individuation of an Infinite Creator, and, therefore, we each have our own song to sing. ~Michael C. Rann & Elizabeth Rann Arrott  

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