May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love; to postpone my dreams no longer, but to do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more. ~John O’Donohue

I am entitled to miracles. Through forgiveness, I know I am love.

As a child, I passionately built play houses. When my son and I restored my home after it flooded during Hurricane Harvey, I experienced great satisfaction by restoring my condo. The hard work and creativity we funneled into that nine-month process gave me a sense of finally designing and constructing exactly what I wanted. Doing so much of the physical labor myself gave me an energetic investment I could not achieve any other way. It was like building the ultimate playhouse.

Occasionally I have found myself abruptly detoured by life experiences like when my three-month marriage ended abruptly. At that time, I realized returning to my writing would hopefully get me back on track. Now that I am retired from teaching, I once more return to this passion of pulling words out of thin air and magically composing ideas and stories. Realizing I now spend much of my time with my hands on a keyboard makes me laugh. In high school, I nearly failed typing because I was so slow and prone to mistakes. When my husband brought a computer home in 1991, I was a bit miffed he spent that much money on something we would never use.

In my thirties and then again in my sixties, I pursued the idea of getting a degree in family therapy. Neither time worked, but I value the concepts and understanding I reaped from my personal studies, which have enabled me to work through a lot of my own issues. One of the greatest nugget of Truth that evolved out of this work is the gift of forgiveness. Releasing the dysfunctional beliefs I formed in childhood opened me up to reinventing myself and pursuing my creative passions.  

The real gift of self-reflection is to see how the Universe has taken the circumstances of my life and made the very most of it – even when I was blocking the flow with my own fears and expectations. This knowledge coupled with turning within to find my own answers has given me the tools and the wisdom I need to examine my dysfunctional beliefs of unworthiness and allow myself the gift of letting it go.

Art is a passion I found early in life and continues to this day. I do not see a painting or visit a museum without realizing the gift I received by being exposed at an early age to the concept that not only could I see it and appreciate it, I could also pursue the making of art, whether it took the form of painting or stained glass or pottery or any of the other mediums I have experienced.

When I was a kid, I spent a big part of my summer helping my mother pick and can the field garden we grew every year. The joy of growing our own food and being an integral part of storing it for the winter made me appreciate the hard work this required. To this day, I find great joy in every phase of gardening, the preparation, the planting, the weeding and nurturing, and of course the harvest. So much of this experience has translated into metaphors for living my life. I don’t pick a green bean without thinking of my grandmother’s instructions to be gently, so we will have more green beans next week. One of the phrases Mother and I often repeat to each other is, “Surely this bag will hold just a few more black-eyed peas,” because we could not leave the garden without grabbing a few more peas and piling them on top of an already overflowing bag. A rich life is like that, sometimes full to capacity, yet inundated with rewards and lessons, things to let got of and things to accept.  

All of these passions have combined and interwoven themselves throughout my life, and at various times I have found in them exactly what I needed at that moment. There was not enough time or energy to keep all of them going, so I had to learn to pick and choose, knowing I can maintain a degree of fluidity about where I focus my passion and energy as I move through life.

Journal Prompt: What limiting belief about passion are you willing to release? This could be the ‘thing’ that has stopped you up to this point. What empowering belief are you willing to accept? It does not need to be elaborate. Simply accepting now is your time to follow your dream is highly empowering. First, we must give ourselves permission to take the next step, and after that, you may be amazed at how the puzzle pieces fall into place.   

Affirmation: From journaling, create a positive, personal, and powerful one sentence summary. Example: I accept the miracle of peacefully pursuing my passion.

Forgiveness Practice: With this final week on passion, you have the option to create a forgiveness practice. First write your limiting belief on a small piece of paper and your empowering belief on a different piece of paper. You may want to physically walk a labyrinth, or you can trace a paper one with your finger. As you move toward the center of the labyrinth, prayerfully release the limiting belief. At the center of the labyrinth, destroy the limiting belief by shredding or burning it. As you walk out of the labyrinth, embrace the empowering belief.   

Letter from your soul: Review your journal entry, your affirmation, and the forgiveness practice. 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

The story of your life is really the story of the relations between yourself and God. ~Emmet Fox