I have been incredibly fortunate in where I have landed in the latest rendition of my work life. I work with a group of people that makes the work day a great deal of fun. My co-workers are people who I admire and consider as friends, and I still can’t get over my good fortune at having arrived where I am.
Having so often worked in situations where this was not the case, I find myself constantly watching the group dynamics and the individual interactions to try to discover the secret of what makes this group so different so I can do what I can to make sure the goodness lasts. I think there are several reasons why this group works so well—some that may be unique to this group, some that aren’t.
I’ve given a lot of thought to the idea of finding a way to live out my life’s passion as a career. This, of course, first involves identifying my passions before I can go about finding a way to incorporate them into my life. Even once they are identified, though, the process of finding a way to live into them is not always easy.
This has been a real journey for me (one that is far from done) as I have “tried on” a variety of different things in the search for one (or a set) of them that will allow me to live the life I dream of, filled with work that I am passionate about. In some cases, I’ve discovered that I just didn’t have the necessary talent for it to be a good match. In other cases, I’ve found that I wasn’t nearly as passionate about doing the work as I thought I’d be. And in yet other cases, I encountered other roadblocks that I wasn’t determined enough to overcome.
This week’s set of links are all about finding one’s passion, what it is like to live one’s passion, and what else is necessary besides passion for a given career to be successful.
I’ve been on a major creative roll lately. I’ve never known anything quite like this. I have more ideas than I have time to work on them, and these ideas are for creating things that don’t come with a pattern. That doesn’t sound like much, but this is unprecedented territory for me.
I’ve never considered myself to be creative. I only cooked dishes for which I had a recipe. I only made craft projects for which I had a pattern with clear instructions. I never colored outside the lines.
My life journey over the past few years has been one involving lots of change and transformation. While change is hard enough in and of itself, this particular bout of change has had the additional challenge in that so much of it has involved moving away from what’s expected of me to dance to the beat of my own drum.
While learning to be more authentically myself has been a wonderfully freeing experience, choosing to be different from the culture around me has often been challenging. The set of links that I have collected for tonight are all about learning to be oneself in a world that would really prefer that we conform to the mold. These are great encouragement!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, because the world needs people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
I shared recently about the struggles I’ve been having trying to determine what I’m meant to do with my life and what it is that I have to offer. I received such an outpouring of support and encouragement in response to this, both here on the blog and privately, that it really amazed me. Thank you to all of you who reached out!
I’ve often heard it said that people tend to take their best gifts for granted because those things come so naturally to them. I know this is true in my experience. People have often commented on how organized I am (particularly in a work setting—less so in my personal life), but I tend not to think of that as a strength of mine because it’s not something I work at. It’s just how my brain works.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell
Finding balance is a constant, ongoing struggle for me in so many areas of my life. There are days when I think that almost everything that I ever struggle can eventually be reduced down to a question of balance.
The particular area of balance that I am struggling with today has to do with trying to figure out what I am called to do in this life. I want to make a positive, healing difference in the world around me, but I seem to be particularly unsuited to do so. But the longing to be able to do something in this world along those lines is so intense that I cannot seem to leave this question alone.
I had my first opportunity in several weeks to teach a yoga class tonight as a substitute teacher for one of my yoga teachers who is out of town. The group was the largest I have ever taught, and over half the group had never done yoga of any kind before. Several didn’t even have mats. This was their first asana class of the semester in an undergraduate level yoga class.
To start with, the class was held in somewhat of an unusual location in that it was a regular university classroom where we had to move the tables and chairs out of the way to make room for our mats. The room was so packed with people and furniture that the only space I had to demonstrate poses was to climb up on a table!
There was a time—not so long ago—that this would have completely unnerved me, but instead I found so much joy in sharing my love of yoga with people who were new to it that the time flew right by without me once ever stopping to think of being nervous or self-conscious. It was an amazing feeling, and it shows me just how far the time on my own mat has brought me. Even when I wasn’t doing the poses with them (some of them just shouldn’t be tried atop a table!), my body knows them well enough for me to still cue them without hesitation.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” ~Stephen King
I’ve been doing lots of things lately that scare me. This process of setting up a business seems to involve a whole list of things that I find quite scary—from sorting out government filing regulations to figuring out liability insurance options to learning to market myself. Getting through each hurdle seems to bring along a new one for me to face.
“Stoop and you’ll be stepped on; stand tall and you’ll be shot at.” ~Carlos A. Urbizo
I’ve stooped for as long as I can remember. I raised to think that in order to be a good Christian woman, I needed to excel at being a doormat, and I learned that lesson well. I’m tired of stooping and being stepped on, but it’s all I know.
The few times I have scraped my courage together and stood tall, I got shot at. I really don’t like being shot at. It feels much more threatening and hurtful to me than being stepped on. I realize that’s probably just because I’m not used to it, but being shot at feeling potentially lethal whereas being stepped on is just uncomfortable.
We had a line of thunderstorms blow through town this evening. The day had been quite warm with brilliant blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds. There was a bit of a breeze, and the ground is dry and thirsty from too little rain for too long. It was a lovely day to be outside enjoying a summer weekend.
As the storms approached, it rapidly went from blue sky to black. Street lights came on early. The temperature dropped 25 degrees in a matter of minutes, and the wind became fierce. I heard at least one sizable tree limb hit the roof, and leaves rained down from the trees. Thunder, lightning and heavy rains quickly followed. Although the storm blew through rather quickly and we did not get nearly as much rain as we needed, I was struck tonight at how clearly the storm paralleled the way changes can appear in our lives and overturn everything in what seems like minutes.