What makes your heart sing?
Are you living your passion?
Do you know what it is?
* Passion is the fire that burns within your soul.
* It may start as a spark or a flame and eventually turns into a blazing fire that can consume you.
* Passion is an energy that infuses your life with meaning, joy, purpose and love.
* Living your passion takes commitment, determination, patience, fearlessness and courage.
* Passion is doing what you love and using your God-given gifts and talents for the good of all.
* Passion is an emotion that helps you go places others are afraid to go, to try things others are afraid to do.
* Passion creates the energy required to do what others think is impossible.
* Passion helps you work through your fear.
*Living your passion wakes you up in the middle of the night and creativity is flowing.
How do you find your true passion? Bill Strickland, author of Make the Impossible Possible offers some clues, writing: “Passions are irresistible.… If you’re paying attention to your life at all, the things you are passionate about won’t leave you alone. They’re the ideas, hopes, and possibilities your mind naturally gravitates to, the things you would focus your time and attention on for no other reason than that doing them feels right.” Strickland believes that only by following your passion will you unlock your deepest potential. “I never saw a meaningful life that wasn’t based on passion. And I never saw a life full of passion that wasn’t, in some important way, extraordinary.”
He goes on to say “When people can answer these three questions clearly and the answers intersect, they become passionate about what they do. Few things are professionally more fulfilling than doing work that you are extremely good at and turned-on about. It’s an incredible feeling when what you’re good at and excited about enables you to make a contribution that truly adds value to the business and its customers! Work ceases to be a vocation and becomes an avocation or a passion. The questions to ask yourself are:
1. What are my gifts and talents?
2. What am I passionate about?
3. What needs to be done?
Many people experience frustration and feel trapped because they are engaged in work that they may be good at but are not passionate about. They may be excited about something, but lack the skills for the job. Or they may need a degree or certification and they don’t have the time or the means to go back to school to obtain one.
Since work is so much a part of our lives, it is important for our well being that it is meaningful and fulfilling. One of the deepest needs of human existence is to know that our lives count for something and we are living our purpose.
We need to know that our God-given gifts and talents are being used to make a difference in the world. We need to know we are helping others and being of service to humankind. We are all searching for what gives our life meaning. Doing what we love often doesn’t feel like work because it is so fulfilling and rewarding. Being our authentic selves at work and being passionate about who we are and what we do can be a spiritual experience. It is a gift we give ourselves and the people we serve. We cannot be truly happy unless we are doing something we love. Following your passion is about doing something that you love and making it happen.
I feel blessed that I’m able to do what I love and had the guts to make it happen. It took courage to follow my heart and leave a secure job of 20 years. Having a daily spiritual practice enabled me to face my fears and believe in myself. I showed up daily and asked for help.
As a spiritual coach, it is my passion is to empower women to connect with the Spirit within and love themselves. When someone asked me what made my heart sing, I had to think about it for a minute. What makes my heart sing is public speaking. I love to speak and share my stories of God’s love and synchronicities that happen so often. I know my stories encourage people and give them inspiration and hope.
Living passionately has its challenges. My challenge has been to keep myself centered and peaceful because it is so easy to get out of balance. A balanced life is important and essential to my well being and spiritual life. When I am so focused on doing what I love and neglect important areas of my life, like exercise, eating right, having fun, spending time with family and friends, I am out of balance and lose focus.
I know I am out of balance when I feel stressed, tired, can’t sleep at night, my mind is like a blender and won’t shut off. Slowing down, breathing, taking a walk, a hot bath, meditating helps me get centered again. So it is possible to be passionate and peaceful at the same time. It takes awareness and a decision to stay connected to my spirit and to what is truly important.
6 TIPS TO LIVE IN PEACE AND LIVE YOUR PASSION
1. Show up: Develop a daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.
2. Ask for what you want – expect an answer. Visualize and believe.
3. Be grateful – An attitude of gratitude is the key to make things manifest and to live passionately.
4. Forgive yourself and others –Holding onto anger blocks the energy flow.
5. Have faith – that your life has meaning and you can live your passion.
6. Let go of control – trust the process and surrender to what is.
MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN YOU LISTEN TO THE SMALL STILL VOICE WITHIN
About 30 years ago, my daughter and I were living in a “coffee shack” in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were there because I was in love with an adventurous and un- bridled man who followed only his inner voice. This was earth moving for the two of us, coming from a small New England, predominately Catholic Italian culture where you just didn’t do anything like that. Thankfully I was young enough not to be fearful.
Mr. Adventurous was a part of a crew of men who went into the French Frigate Shoals to fish on a huge refrigerator boat. The freezer boat was docked in O’ahu and Mr. Adventurer would fly from Kona each week to catch the boat. He’d already made a number of trips, leaving my daughter and I alone in this “strange new land” to explore and survive.
A few days prior to his next trip, I expressed to him that I felt uncomfortable about his going. He wanted sound reasoning and I couldn’t provide any more than,” I don’t know, it’s just a feeling, but something’s going to happen out there, please don’t go.” We went back and forth on this until the day arrived when he was scheduled to leave.
He was still undecided when he called his captain. He felt silly saying, “I’m not going because Jackie has a feeling something is going to happen out there.” I don’t remember what he told the captain, but thankfully, he listened to me and didn’t go.
We found out a few weeks later, when the boat didn’t return to O’ahu what happened. The crew member who had the night watch fell asleep and wasn’t monitoring the depth finder. The bow struck an underwater shoal, a reef that’s actually the top of an underwater mountain peak, severing the boat like a hot knife through butter.
The crew literally had five minutes to pull on their survival suits, grab the radio and abandon ship. They floated in shark infested waters with no food or water for over a week before another ship heard their distress call. Thankfully, all were saved.
Prior to this time in my life I had always listened to my “instincts” and my gut feelings. But I had never had a premonition before and this was life altering for me as well as Mr. Adventurer.
Jackie Van Dusen
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Closed doors are a vital part of guidance. When God closes a door, it’s because there is another plan, a better plan. If He closes the door, He’ll open another- according to His timing, not mine. I keep moving in faith, even in the face of closed doors.
My mini-retreat vacation to Bermuda is a great example of one door closing and another opening.Last January, I had been invited to lead a retreat at one of the churches in Bermuda. Unfortunately, they notified me in March telling me they couldn’t get the funding to bring me over there. Of course, I felt disappointed. I led a retreat in Bermuda last year in May and the women loved it.
I accepted the closed door and trusted that if it was meant to be to lead a retreat in Bermuda in May, God would open another door. Several weeks after this, I received an email from a woman who attended one of my retreats several years ago. She said “Pat, I’m a little nervous asking you this, BUT I would like to go on a cruise to Bermuda and I have no one to go with. Would you consider doing a mini-retreat on a cruise ship? With all the women you know, I’m sure some others would be interested.
What a great idea, I thought and jumped on it. I called the Norwegian Cruise line and got the details. I put in on Facebook and sent out my newsletter. Within a few days, several women called and booked the cruise. We leave May 14 for 7 days.
I have an intention book that I mediate with daily. One of my intentions is to be an inspirational speaker and lead workshops on cruise ships. God opened the door and I truly believe this is just the beginning. Be careful what you ask for, YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT.
It was my birthday, the first since my father’s death. Two and a half months had passed, yet the pain and shock of his unexpected passing was still very raw. I simply wanted my birthday to pass by, just like any other day. I certainly had no reason to celebrate.
I planned to have a quiet dinner at a local restaurant with my grandmother, boyfriend, and brother. In a long conversation with my brother, I told him there was only one thing I wanted for my birthday. My father had a 16×20 framed print that hung on his bedroom wall. Ever since I was a little girl, I was taken by that picture. It is a famous print called the “Light of the World” that shows Jesus as a young child. My brother told me he would go to my father’s house, get the print from the wall, and bring it with him to the restaurant.
My boyfriend and grandmother met me at the restaurant. We waited for my brother, but he didn’t show. He called to tell us his meeting ran late and he couldn’t make it. He assured me that within the next few days he would bring me the print. I was very disappointed because the picture was all I wanted for my birthday.
After dinner, my boyfriend went his way and I went the opposite direction to bring my grandmother home. While driving her home, my grandmother said, “Oh, Cynthia, I left some things in Peter’s truck for you. I cut some plant shoots for you to root, so don’t forget them. They will freeze if they stay in the truck overnight.”
I dropped my grandmother off and headed back to my boyfriend’s house. After I was there about 20 minutes, I said, “Gog [our name for my grandmother] said she had given you some cuttings from her plants for me to root. Are they still in the truck?” He said, “Oh no, I brought that stuff in for you.”
I started going through the things she had sent me. I put the plant cuttings in vases of water, then returned to look through what else was there. There was a flat, brown paper bag on the bottom of the box. I picked it up, puzzled, thinking, What can this possibly be? As I pulled out the contents, I was speechless and a bit overwhelmed. It was an 8×10 print of “The Light of the World.”
O my God, my father had to be behind this . . . from above. I never discussed the conversation between my brother and I about the print with my grandmother. I called my grandmother immediately. When she answered, I asked, “Gog, why did you send me that picture? And where in the world did you get it?”
My grandmother was a woman of deep faith and was in church every Sunday. She explained “Well, Cynthia, after the church service on Sunday last week, we went to coffee hour. I helped clean the room after most of the folks left. That picture was sitting on the floor next to the trash receptacle. Nobody knew who put it there and nobody wanted it so I took it. On the way home from church, I decided I would give it to you.”
Totally speechless, I knew my father heard my prayers and my desire to have that print for my birthday. From heaven he was creating a divine experience in my life on Earth. It is so much easier to receive when you believe in the power of the spirit.
Cynthia Burke, Author of My Glimpses of Heaven
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