The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it. ~M. Barrue, Peter Pan
I am my vision, how I choose to see myself and others.
Namaste Fellow Travelers,
I love stained glass. Seeing the colors and designs radiate from the glass when light moves through it is almost mystical. Back in the 80’s, I took a basic class in constructing a stained glass panel. Being able to cut glass and create a design with this magical substance felt empowering. At the end of the class series, a fellow student asked the teacher where to to get more resources beyond what the small shop we were sitting in had to offer. His response was, “First use what you already have.” Forty-plus years later, I find myself looking around and determining what I already have to work with rather than going out and finding more. What is within my control?
While the two concepts, manipulating glass and using what I already have may seem unrelated, for me they are deeply intertwined and each symbolically offers personal empowerment. Being the observer of light through glass is satisfying in itself, but to also create my own designs and combinations of colors took this joy to a whole new level. It gave me power over a substance that felt extraordinary. Over the years as I acquired a collection of glass, I never forgot my first teacher’s advice to use what I had first, which made me look at my treasures with an attitude of renewed possibility. That same idea translates into all other areas of my life. In recent years, I have discovered that I nearly always have everything I need. I just have to recognize that.
Because glass allows light to move through it, it has an almost spiritual quality. The use of it in churches has always felt highly appropriate because the language of glass is at a soul level. Working with and teaching stained glass moved me from an observer/admirer point of view to a creator perspective. When I started creating my own designs, I saw an unworldly substance take on a life of its own as it transformed into lamps, panels, and kaleidoscopes.
Too often passions like stained glass get lumped into the hobby category and put on the top shelf along with the things that I’m ‘going to do someday’. We convince ourselves that following our passion is selfish when others need our time and energy, or we have other more pressing matters like earning a living, which is certainly a priority over pursuing a personal interest. The real challenge is to find a way to have both, which may require some creative scheduling and mindful pursuit of taking a class, reading a book, or making time for your avocation.
Another stumbling block can come in the form of perceived inadequacy and self-judgment. Too often there is a voice that says I can’t do something if I’m not as good as someone else, who may have been doing this for years. At that point, remind yourself that everyone was at one time a beginner no matter where they are now. Being a novice is part of the process of learning, and actually one of the most gratifying aspects of acquiring a new skill. You are starting fresh like a toddler learning to walk and who knows where this interest will take you.
When you feel stuck about following your passion, take one small step toward doing even the smallest action – do an Internet search, watch a few YouTube videos, or talk to others who have dabbled in your area of interest. A tiny investment in time and energy can lead to the next step and the next if you are willing to pursue it.
Along with the permission to be a beginner or take that first step, I encourage you to accept the Truth that the divine is working with you in this pursuit. When I wrote Too Much Gold to Flush, I had no idea how to publish a book, yet people and resources fell into my lap in countless unexpected ways. This told me Spirit was on my team.
Taking a creator role with your passion means acting on your urges and getting honest about when you are allowing the world (work, relationships, family….) to supersede your desires. Taking action moves you from an observer to a mover and shaker in your own story. You are not merely looking through the stained glass of your life, but you are creating the design and message it offers the world based on the resources at your disposal – which are unlimited.
Journal: What have you already done toward following your passion? It may be a small thing, an article on walking the Camino that you clipped years ago, the name and phone number of someone who has a shared interest in starting a critique group. What can you do to start moving closer to actually doing that thing you truly love to do? How is your attitude/self-talk helping or hindering you?
Affirmation: Write a positive one-sentence statement summarizing your journal writing. Example: I fully pursue my passion. Or I am showing up as my creative self.
Letter from your soul: 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
Only you can coax yourself into a daring adventure to find your untapped potential. ~Vironika Tugaleva