Following Your Passion

“When you start doubting yourself, remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” – Idil Ahmed

“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”  – John O’Donohue


Life is difficult, yes? We know way too much about every little thing that’s happening around the world. Bombarded by The Awful day after day, most of us can find ourselves desperate to find some place of escape. Some place where The Awful recedes. Some place where ordinary is enough and there is an island of sanity and grace.

It can be pretty easy to just slog along, feeling powerless and depressed and angry about The World Situation. But we have plenty of interesting options when we’re tired of fear and discouragement and anger and want to find some sanity and even peace of mind.

After a long lifetime of finding interesting options in the midst of discouragement, I’m going to say that we are most likely to find our own “place of escape” when we follow our passion.

We find our “island of sanity and grace” by following a passion that connects us to all that is good and beautiful and powerful and meaningful and lasting. A passion that expands our world, that grows us spiritually, that may sometimes terrify us even as it delights us.

We all know what it feels like to connect with something that we love. That’s how we know that we’ve found that “place” where we’re meant to thrive.

It doesn’t have to save the world or even change it. But it can save us, and in doing that, it changes us. And a changed “us” just might change some small part of our world.

Most of our passions will involve some measure of creativity.

Calligraphy and meditation – in that order – have been my two creative passions over the past few months. They waited in the background for years before I finally opened the door and let them in. I’m no artist, so I’d always figured I needed some artistic ability to do something as delicate and difficult – and artistic – as pointed pen writing.

Meditation had been meaningful years ago, but I’d tried it again more recently and it just didn’t work. So I deemed myself a meditation failure.

It took years to give either one a decent try. Until opportunities just happened to show up at the right time, and I found myself diving in – head first – without giving it a second thought. And both have been islands of life’s joy and tranquility and growth and centering and excitement and connection. Who knew?

Add to that the ongoing satisfaction of writing this blog, and I’ve accomplished the Trifecta! Whoo hoo!

All three could have happened sooner, but each one met with resistance for a while. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t this and I wasn’t that. I held back. I wasn’t good enough. Especially as a writer. Until my favorite writer told me that I was good enough, and White Hair Grace was born.

We don’t have to wait for someone to tell us that we’re good enough, though, my friends!

It’s mostly our fear and self-judgment that holds us back!

The John O’Donohue quote at the top – written in my calligraphy – is testament to what happens when we follow our passion. A “sacred gift wrapped around the heart of wonder” is surely something to be passionate about!

Cook your first gourmet meal if you love to cook.

Climb your first mountain if you’ve longed to do that.

Write a personal journal if you’re not ready to write a book. Or an autobiography for your descendents.

Take a painting class. Or sculpting. Or dancing. Or yoga.

Snowshoe 10K for the first time ever, as my daughter-in-law did in her 50’s.

Learn a new craft. Make elegant jewelry, like my niece has started doing.

Make something out of “stuff.” Or build a playhouse for your grandkids.

Learn some auto mechanic skills. That gives you lots of power!

Take a cross-country trip and visit with “the people” along the way.

Start a blog. Seriously.

Turn your passion into a small online business.

Start a movement.

Learn a spiritual discipline. It can take time to find the one that fits you best, but it’s worth it!

Learn to sail.

Become an aide or a tutor in a grade school.

You get the idea…

The possibilities are endless.

You are the only one who can name what you need.

And the only one who can stop yourself from arriving there.

And that calligraphy at the start? It’s not perfect. But it’s the best I can do at the moment, and that’s good enough for me for now. Am I putting it out there a bit reluctantly? Well, yes. Kind of vulnerable. But I’m proud of reaching this level, and I like it. And that’s what’s most important in the end anyway.

Finding our passion and turning it into our happy place.

This is good.

The Awful will have to take a break.

And that’s very okay with me!