lifespan

Whole and Complete as You Are

Not long ago, I read that our average lifespan is 30,000 days. How many days have you already used up and how many might you have left?

Life is so precious. Each day is a blessing that holds a responsibility to express your special gifts into the world. What would your days be like if you weren’t bogged down by the past, reacting emotionally in the present, or anxious about the future? What if you could feel really at home and at peace in your skin, be in tune with the deepest desire for your life and express your best self in the world?Continue reading

interconnected with nature

Surrender to the Season

Let me share an amazing story of a relative of mine who recently passed away peacefully in her sleep at the ripe age of 94. Ruth not only lived in the flow of life, she danced in it! During her lifetime she had four husbands. She knew how to pick good ones, since they all danced. However, the first and second marriages were short-lived. One died in the war and another died of a brain tumor. Raising three small children she was a single working mom focused on building a strong, loving family bond. Continue reading

horn of plenty

An Invitation to Life!

Traditionally, the year end holidays are a time for expressions of gratitude and gift-giving. We acknowledge others for their contributions and thoughtfulness and give thanks for the yearly harvest we have reaped. Are your life working and are your coffers full of all the resources, joy and love you desire for living the good life? Or do you fear a winter of discontent?

Why not accept an invitation to change course and get more fully engaged in the flow of life.Continue reading

What Autumn Teaches Us

Autumn's grand displayOnce the autumn harvest passes, nature goes through the process of housekeeping.  Making everything bare, it lets go of its abundant creation of spring and summer in a final grand display. As aging leaves fall to earth, they enrich the soil to promote next year’s new buds and new harvest. The end of the growing season marks a turning inward and a falling away of outer-direction energy.

This energy shift offers us, more than in any other season, the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Autumn returns us to our essence, moves us to eliminate what we no longer need and reveals what is most precious in our lives. Autumn’s mission is to clear out the old and the negative.

Nature offers insights on our own cycles of creating and letting go. Trees in autumn don’t hold onto their leaves because they might need them next year. Yet how many of us hold onto what we’ve generated or collected—old magazines and clothes, decayed relationships, old or negative thinking—and defy a natural cycle?

How can we hope for a harvest next year unless we cut back the old and start fresh.

Lessons of Chinese Medicine

As a holistic body-mind approach, Chinese medicine believes that autumn holds the energy of the metal element. The emotion associated with this element is grief. Whenever we experience loss, separation and “letting go,” we naturally feel grief. Grief helps to cleanse us of what is no longer needed in our lives. When our internal metal energy is blocked or imbalanced, we may find it difficult to let go of grief—or be unable to express it.

The colon and lungs are the organs associated with the metal element. Their overall function is to take in, assimilate, utilize and eliminate what is unnecessary or toxic from our body, as well as from our mind and spirit. Yet the daily onslaught of “garbage” we ingest and assimilate in the form of negativity from the world can cause “constipation.”

In autumn, nature squeezes out the juices within life forms. In hibernation, energy is stored to handle the cold winter. Metal helps us to conserve energy, store necessary nourishment internally and pull together resources for creating and reaping the future harvests of our lives. With fewer hours of sunlight to energize us, we too must learn to contain and conserve our energy during the dark time of year.

Letting Go, Letting In

brisk fall airThere is more to this season than “letting go.” It is also a time to take in the pure and the new. The lung, the other metal organ, grants us the inspiration of fresh breath, as on a brisk fall day when you fill your lungs with clean, crisp, cool autumn air. In classical Chinese medicine, the Lung is described as “the receiver of the pure Chi from Heaven.”

Letting go can be a frightening prospect. But, just as the trees let go of the past year’s leaves and Nature has something new in store, the ending of one cycle gives rise to the next.

Nature abhors a vacuum. When we clear out the things that no longer work in life, or serve our higher purpose, we have the opportunity to invite harmonizing energy in the form of new people and opportunities to enter.

Begin by discarding stuff you no longer need or does not serve your higher self. Donate, sell, dump, or circulate what might be of value to others. As you let go of things, do a mental inventory of old hurts, habits, beliefs and assumptions that linger in your consciousness and use the breath to help you with the process of letting go.

gemstoneJust as metals give value to the earth (gold, minerals, crystals and gemstones), the metal element within us gives us our sense of self-worth. Each of us is a miracle of creation, more valuable and special than any object we could ever pursue. We each have a unique and priceless contribution to make.

Get in sync with the rhythms of autumn. Change your mental diet. Breathe in autumn’s energized and purified air. Exhale old negativity, impurities and pain from your body, mind and spirit. Contemplate who you are without these old identifications.

Create a new personal story with your authentic self as the heroine
and ride the effortless wave of the “new you” into the world.

Need help in clearing out the old? Let’s talk.

Doubt and Be Happy!

Live, Love, Doubt and be Happy? Really?  How is it possible to be happy with a doubting mind? Isn’t happiness synonymous with contentment? Perhaps for the moment. But we live in a world of constant change, and it is inevitable for doubts to arise, which can rob you of happiness–if you let them. Yet the paradox of “healthy doubt” can coexist with happiness, enabling us to live a life of harmony in ultimate freedom. Let’s explore how.

Beliefs and the mind

Our culture values certainty over doubt–no doubt about it! Uncertainty is for cowards. Yet, not long ago, the view that the stock and housing markets would only continue to rise seemed a certainty. What if a healthy dose of doubt had been heeded by business and government leaders? Think of the different trajectory our economy would be on right now.

Doubt is a mental state where being uncertain can create fear and anxiety. Doubt is expressed in questions like “Am I marrying the right person?”  or “Do I really trust him?”

More intrinsic doubts deeply affect our self-confidence, leading us to question “Can I do this?” and “Am I good enough?”. Doubting thoughts can zoom out of control, ultimately affecting our health and well-being. The result is a life poisoned by doubt.

Ego - all about meUnderneath all this doubt is the thinking mind. The ego is our self-image, based on our conditioning. It wants us to believe that we are the center of the universe whose happiness is dependent on outside circumstances and objects. Since life doesn’t revolve around us and we can’t always have what we think we need, doubt arises. Our ego is happy only as long as it feels in control and acts to maintain its powerful rule over our lives.

Power of doubt

Research has shown that our brains react almost instantaneously to statements that contradict our values and beliefs, causing us to stop listening, become angry, and start arguing. Yet research has also revealed that those injected with doubt can become stronger advocates for their own beliefs. Healthy doubting can produce increased tolerance, self-confidence and deepen intimacy in relationships.

An enthusiastic advocate may appear certain in their convictions. Yet, their advocacy may unknowingly seek to convince themselves as well as others. A peacebuilder can encourage opposing parties to find a common middle ground by acknowledging their doubts. When opponents acknowledge where each side may be vulnerable, they are likely to deepen their understanding of themselves and each other.

Shakespeare said, “Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.” Keeping the door open to doubt, probing uncertainty, and questioning everything are the very foundation of science. Think of Thomas Edison, who conducted over 10,000 experiments in order to invent the light bulb. At the core of his motivation was a love for invention. His unceasing doubting served as fuel to keep him going.

Doubt: A ParableMany things in life can never be fully understood. John Patrick Shanley, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning play, Doubt: a Parable, wrote in the introduction, “doubt requires more courage than conviction does…because conviction is a resting place,” while doubt “is infinite.” Certainty can be blinding, while doubt can reveal a deeper sense of our true nature.  

Unprocessed doubt can result in paralyzing fear. But using doubt to question yourself can strengthen your beliefs and free you from fear. Instead of hiding doubts about your beliefs, welcome discussions with others. 

Core of happiness

We are taught that happiness is dependent on circumstances and objects: a toy, a lover, a job, money. Yet joy and happiness are in fact our birthright. They are at the core of who we are. They’re always present, like the sun behind stormy clouds, though mostly hidden underneath our divided, thinking mind.

True joy, including desire, happiness and equanimity, is independent of objects, beliefs and circumstances. It doesn’t need the ego to find fulfillment. The fearful ego puts up red flags of doubt to help it remain in control. But doubt can’t rob you of happiness. Humor the ego, make it a friend, and take it along for the ride.

Richard Miller, PhD

Richard Miller

Richard Miller, PhD, founder of the Integrative Restoration Institute and yogic scholar, has written “Our desire for happiness is taking us away…. Each moment reveals the great Mystery that joy and happiness are already the case.” When we search for something outside ourselves to bring lasting happiness, we always miss the mark. When we tune in to the heart and examine what we care about, our purpose and heart’s deepest desires, we create the opportunity to engage our deeper passions.

Welcome doubt

So, don’t see self-doubt as a negative. It can be the door that opens us up to receiving messages that can enhance our lives. Invite doubt in for tea or coffee and have a doubt-filled inner dialogue. We don’t need to know things for certain. We can make peace with our doubt.

We have a choice. If you challenge beliefs that rule your life, you’ll be able to dip into the wellspring of your True Self where love resides. Let doubt—and your ego—be your powerful friend, not your controlling enemy.

Find happiness. Be love. Be your true self.

How do you handle doubt in your life?

Liminality: Navigating Life’s In-Between Spaces

We’ve all had this experience.

inbetween spaceThings are moving along in a natural progression. Life is good. Then something happens that turns your whole world upside down.  You may feel overwhelmed, confused, or you may feel euphoric. Perhaps you’re not sure how you feel. You’re in a state of liminality.

Navigating Liminality can be challenging and requires great courage.
It can also be a time of deep inner reflection.

Rites of Passage

DSCN1232The word liminality, originally coined by anthropologists, referred to various rites of life passage. The root is the Latin word, “limen,” meaning “threshold.” It’s the crossing over from one state to another, as in the space between wakefulness and sleep.

A change of place, social position or age can precipitate this condition. Liminality has three stages: 1) Leaving where you’ve been or experiencing a loss 2) Passing through an ambiguous stage 3) Emerging into a new realm with renewed resolve.

Life passages are often celebrated through formal rites or rituals.

In an indigenous culture, an adolescent moving into adulthood performs a vision quest to find himself and his intended spiritual and life direction.

In modern culture, ceremonies are performed for graduations, engagements and weddings. One’s entire life is recognized and honored at a funeral or memorial service.

Often these events are led by elders, shamans or clergy. They help guide us through these transitions, offering wise counsel and encouragement to pass through the liminal threshold for what lies ahead. Wise guides are not always present for our passages, though.

Navigating loss

Alice meets caterpiller

Alice meets caterpiller

“Who are YOU?” asked the Caterpillar. Alice replied, rather shyly, “I–I hardly know, sir, just at present –at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”

~Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Some life changes come about through an unexpected circumstance or catastrophe. There is little, if any, time to prepare. Whether experiencing a natural disaster or a personal loss, we can never know how we are going to feel or react. This can be the most challenging liminal state of all.

Losing a loved one, even when it is inevitable,
creates a void and can leave you feeling empty.

When my mother died, I felt like an orphan. As I dwelled in the liminal cave of healing, I began to rethink who I was and what was my purpose in the world. With the help of a strong support system, I emerged at the other end inspired and with a huge amount of creative inspiration and lust for life.

Loss of a relationship can be a blow to your self-esteem. Thoughts like, “what did I do wrong,”  “I’m not lossloveable”, “I’ll never find another”, appear and cloud your mind.

When this happened to me a few years ago, I made the decision not to take it personally, trust that it was for the best. Beating myself up or holding anger served no healthful purpose. I’d been through other losses and always bounced back. I needed to forge a new path. A surprising healing takes place over time for most of us, especially those with a strong support system.

Job transition

With job loss, however, the longer one is without a job, the more likely one’s liminal period can include anger, depression and loss of self-esteem. A plummeting sense of self-worth can paralyze.

Yet, this can be a real opportunity to reevaluate your life. Examine your gifts and talents and uncover your true passions. Discover how you want to live the next chapter of your life. I have led many people in transition through this process.

Transformation

A liminal period can be life-transforming – for better or worse. It may be short or long-lived, even permanent.

Sometimes people drop out of society. Some vow never to be in relationship again, living with anger, guilt and resentment. Some accept jobs at less pay or status. Others heal, seek new relationships, start businesses, and re-enter the social whirl in a new form.

This can be an opportunity to step back, to review your creative foundation and life purpose. A time to test your potential.

I move into liminality every time I begin to write these articles. I may think I know what I want to say. Then, through research, introspection and extemporaneous writing, new ideas emerge and flow onto the page.

Inner Work

Liminality can be the rich soil to grow creative ideas,
a new road to travel or even a new identity.

IntentionOur lives are constantly in flux. We’re absorbing new information, reflecting on the past, aspiring towards the future. Discomfort with transition can cloud our perspective. Anxiety and fear may try to divert us. Know it is just your fragile, threatened ego trying to block change.

Liminality can be taken into meditation where you can step back and reflect. Watch your mind, your thoughts and feelings. See problems as objects floating inside your head based on your perceptions, not who you really are.

Invite the ego to sit in your guesthouse of awareness, while you explore with openness the vast potentiality available to you. Explore the liminal space between thoughts, between breaths. This clears the pathway to commune with your Source where truth, peace and love reside, bringing you to a place of wholeness and enabling you to reenter the world anew.

“From the moment I fell down that rabbit hole I’ve been told where I must go and who I must be…….but this is my dream. I’ll decide where it goes from here.”Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

Welcome liminality to help you decide where that will be. ~ Namaste

Welcome Your Emotions: The Language of Your body

We live in a culture that stresses suppression of emotions. Don’t show your tears or depressed with happy faceyour anger. Hold it all in – and be nice! Yet, emotions such as anxiety, anger and sadness are not truly unhealthy in and of themselves. Our emotions provide valuable information. Welcoming emotions and learning how to decipher their code and language can lead us down the path to wholeness.

The body offers emotions as messengers, signals that something is not quite in synch with our needs, values, or inner drive for fulfillment, to contribute meaningfully, connect with others, and so on. By welcoming these emotions, and asking questions, they can share information to guide us to something we need to know about our health and well-being.

As we learn their language and heed their message, we can then learn to live with them, and use them to help us make better life choices, while being free of their potential negative impact on our body and mind.

Of course, there are positive emotions, too. They also need to be questioned; for example, we need to examine our euphoria as we indulge in luscious desserts or buy another new outfit.

We’re going to focus on the emotions that contribute to feeling bad and stress that causes pain and suffering.

Stress itself isn’t really the problem. It’s how we handle stress that gets us in trouble. At an early age we taught ourselves how to handle stressful situations. Based on our core beliefs,surpressed emotions our subconscious is automatically triggered by words, language, actions or circumstances around us. Perceptions and judgments arise along with a whole chain reaction of thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions.

Often emotions seemingly rise up for no apparent reason. Yet, there is always something that triggers them, whether from your external environment or inside you.

One way to address this is to pause whenever you notice that you are feeling discomfort, distressed or depressed. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what you were thinking or doing before the feelings arose, or what happened around you. Creating this awareness can help you consciously work things out or make the appropriate changes in your thinking. Each time you pay attention to these triggers you’ll begin to experience a release of the negative emotion or feeling more quickly.

neurocircuits 2What you are actually doing is re-wiring neuropathways and brain patterns that you unwittingly formulated long ago. The good news is that modern brain science tells us that the brain has plasticity. No matter how old your brain, you can change these patterns and eliminate the reactions to previous stressors.

The body can hold memories of stress stored over time. For many years my job involved a lot of phone work. This was before headsets. Over the years muscle tension accumulated in my left shoulder, neck and ribs. Even after I started using a headset, my body automatically positioned itself as it had learned to do. A pattern was ingrained within my body and brain. One day I realized what was happening and moved the phone to the right side and consciously worked at retraining how I held my body.

PTSDThe body and mind also can hold memories of a traumatic event or accident. This is referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We frequently hear this term in reference to rape victims, people living through natural disasters and war veterans. It’s estimated that up to 20% of today’s returning veterans have some degree of PTSD and 30% for Vietnam veterans, many who continue to suffer today.

Many years ago I was at a friend’s home and accidently chipped a ceramic piece. The friend said not to worry as her husband could repair it. However, the next day she phoned me extremely angry about the incident and the fact that “you didn’t even say you were sorry.” Following that call the emotions poured out of me. I suddenly had a flashback of being a little girl playing with a little porcelain tea set that I broke. My mother, bless her heart, was an ‘emotional spanker’. When she discovered what I had done – she became very angry and punished me. I now know my mother was doing the best she could based on her challenging life. But, at the time, I simply felt ashamed that I wasn’t a perfect little girl for her.

While my experience can hardly be compared to those who have experienced war or disaster, I was reliving a traumatic experience. We all experience mini traumas early on that can come to haunt us into our adult life if not nipped in the bud. To this day, the words “I’m sorry” are expressed like a knee jerk reaction whenever I “mess up.” But more and more I feel compassion, for myself and others who may be reacting.

Engaging mindfulness
I work with military veterans, mostly men from the Vietnam era, facilitating a guided meditation called, “Integrative Restoration, iRest.” Research has shown this modern adaptation of the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra to reduce the effects of PTSD, insomnia, chronic pain, and more. I am so proud of the dedication of the men I work with who, after only three months, experienced many positive effects.

drop in waterOne of the hallmarks of the iRest protocol is to welcome emotions, as well as sensations, thoughts and beliefs that show up. We’re not trying to change anything. Rather, by welcoming and learning to be with the emotion or belief, the nervous system and the brain begin to return the body to its natural state of well-being and equanimity.

You can use your positive emotions to help combat the negative ones. In the iRest protocol we feel into an emotion and where it shows up in our body. We do the same with an opposite emotion followed by feeling back and forth between opposites. Finally bringing both together neutralizes their impact, restoring the body and mind to natural calmness.

Many factors impact how our body experiences emotions – foods we eat, exercise, the thoughts we think, and our inner exploration can play a role. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, being in nature, and recreational activities all can contribute to a healthy functioning of our brain, mind and body.

Balance and Harmony
As a former dancer I love moving my body, and often take a break to just move spontaneously with music or in silence. I recently led a workshop with female veterans, many who have the added impact of sexual assault issues. The workshop is called, “The Joy of Being in Movement.” This playful, expressive and guided meditative movement and body exploration experience provided them with a great outlet to express and release the emotions of the child within.

Our bodies, in synch with our brains, are constantly seeking a state of balance and harmony. We only need to tune into its channel and heed its life-enhancing message.

Joy of Being in Movement

wordart nl

Rediscover the joy, freedom and spontaneity you were born with

Presented by Jacqui Neurauter
Sunday, June 17, 2012
10 am – 4:00 pm

~ A day of playful, free spirited movement ~

  • Let go and release the child within
  • Rediscover the Real You
  • Elevate your healing life force
  • Integrate and move with this force
  • Experience deep relaxation
  • Restore a natural state of wholeness, harmony and freedom
    that can flow into every aspect of your life.

    Let me be your guide:

    ~ Let me be your guide ~
    to living, moving and being more in sync with your true self.

    –Jacqui Neurauter

    Who is this for?:
    Anyone who wants to live with more joy and harmony in their lives. Come with the willingness to let go and allow the child within be your guide helping you rediscover the Real You.

    Location: Radiant Health, Hoffman Estates, IL –
    (Conveniently located near Barrington Road and I–90.)

    Cost: $75 for early registration by June 8/$85 after (PayPal, credit card or check. If you wish to pay by check please contact Jacqui below)
    to register
    Our workshop consists of:

    Music, guided imagery, props and guided movement provide the foundation for individual and group processes that include listening and feeling, movement and relaxation, introspection and self-inquiry, journaling and group sharing.

    We create a nurturing space of non-judgment inviting you to engage to your own capacity and interpretation in expressing your body, feelings, and expanding awareness.  A segment of deep relaxation will be included after lunch. Bring a light lunch.

    Facilitator: Jacqui Neurauter is a Holistic Coach and Integrative Restoration, iRest meditation instructor. She is on the adjunct faculty of Harper College and writes the Living in Synch column for Yoga Chicago, along with her own e-newsletter/blog. A former dancer with the Near East Heritage Dance Theatre for 20 years, she has led many movement based workshops over the years. Her passion is helping people to live, move and be in synch with their true self.

    For more information contact Jacqui at 847-359-6391
    Jacqui@HarmoniousPathways.com

    Registration is on Meetup.com

    to register

    (PayPal/ credit card – To pay by check contact Jacqui above)

    ~ Space is limited. Sign up early ~

    Uncover Your Motivating Passions

    In my last post,Your Passions: Pathway to the ‘Real You‘,” I shared how knowing and engaging your passions, with what and whom you truly love, helps to align you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life.  This generates a spark of aliveness that becomes a powerful motivating factor in your living a truly fulfilling life. Now I let’s explore how to uncover your passions.

    optimism-new-eyesProust said:The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

    Getting Started
    I like to help people start to uncover their passions by reflecting on their greatest achievements, what they are most proud of, and reviewing their strengths, talents, skills. This can provide fodder for opening your eyes to your true passions.

    People often say: “I really haven’t achieved anything important.”

    Please don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, reflect on what you feel good about or where, even in some small way, you made a difference. Your strengths, talents and skills are what you do naturally with ease or what gets you through challenging situations.

    We also look at what you treasure and love most in life and the people who have inspired you and why. Everyone can come up with a list of these. We don’t discount anything, even if it may seem incidental.

    We explore what you stand for. This can relate to family, friends, nature, cultural, civic, work, morals, beliefs, faith, etc. This is a brainstorming project, like an “archaeological dig” where everything can provide clues.

    We reflect on unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. We look at what you truly want for your life. This is not about material things. Rather, it’s your deepest heart’s desire, or how you want to live or be in your life.

    We shine a light on all of these things inside you. We can then sift and examine each part, like fragments of different aspects of yourself, and determine what fits and what may no longer serve you.

    We’re now ready for the next step.

    The Passion Test

    Here is where I draw from an inspiring little book called, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, by Janet Atwood and Chris Atwood. Take your FREE Personal Passion Test Profile Here.

    List 10-15 passions that would give you a life of joy, passion and fulfillment reviewing all the information we’ve compiled for clues. The heading of this page is: When my life is ideal, I am…. List each passion in short concise sentences each starting with words like: being, doing, having.

    Essentially you are writing these statements in the present tense as though you are already experiencing them. For example: being creative, or inspiring others…………Passions are not goals or what you want to achieve, rather how you want to live your life.

    Next you select your top five passions by comparing the first to the second, second to the third, etc. much like an eye exam. Once you have these listed you determine markers. A marker is actual evidence that you are indeed living that passion.

    People are often surprised when they have come to me to find a path to a better job or career path, we find that most of their passions appear to have nothing to do with work. This is okay, since we are looking at the whole of you.

    Once you define and refine your passions and start living them, the work or career piece falls into place quite naturally with often unexpected surprises.

    In a future article I will discuss how to engage your passions – how to match your unique gifts to your passions and overcome obstacles. In the meantime, you have plenty to keep you busy. This process is truly a gift you give yourself.

    As my mentor, Richard Miller, often says, What you do for yourself you do for others. What you do for others you do for yourself.”

    Are you ready to start uncovering your motivating passions? Join one of my upcoming “What’s Next in Your Life” courses to get you started.

    Your Passions: Pathway to the “Real You”

    shakespeare

    To thine own self be true,” wrote Shakespeare. Yet, how many of us are living a life being true to ourselves?

    In fact, how many of us actually know what that means?

    We start out as youngsters with dreams, passions and aspirations that often become stifled by well-meaning family members, teachers, friends, limitations of resources, or our inability to find our true path. We complete our studies and training and then find ourselves in jobs, careers and situations that seem right at first, but later fall flat.

    We can always find a fork in road, though and an opportunity to re-align with the “Real You.” While there are many pathways to accomplish this, one is to uncover and engage your true passions.

    It’s never too late to re-generate that spark of aliveness we have when we engage with what and whom we truly love. Identifying your true passions aligns you with your life purpose and what gives meaning to your life.

    Inner fire

    Inner fire

    Passions get your inner fire burning and motivate you. They help you develop an inner compass that guides you to making better life choices. Following your passions is following your heart and connecting most profoundly with the Real You.

    In my work as a life coach I frequently engage with clients who may be good at what they do, but are not fully living their passions. Often, your relationships may be great but the job is unfulfilling – or vice versa. Sometimes neither is satisfying.

    For one of my clients, his family encouraged him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a trial attorney. He became very good at his profession, but his compassionate caring nature was being stifled. For many years he had been taking time from work fulfilling his true passion by volunteering with communities and disadvantaged children both here and abroad. Finally at midlife and in a loving and supportive relationship, he started examining his life and passions. He decided to go back to school to train to become a special needs teacher and move to an area of the country that fed his spirit.

    But I have no passions!

    I commonly hear this from my clients and students: “I’m not passionate about anything.”
    For some people passion is too strong a word.

    Another way to view passion is to reflect on the things you care about – what you truly value and what provides meaning. When you feel in the zone, when you ask, “where did the time go?” you’re doing your passion.

    open arms - anewIt’s what gets you up in the morning
    – or would if you were living your passion.

    Your passions can be found in aspects of your work, projects you do, talents you engage, play, hanging out with friends or family, caring for others, being in nature, your faith or spirituality, volunteering…what brings you joy or inner peace.

    There are a myriad of potential passions inside waiting to become fully embodied. Your job is to identify the strongest ones and take steps towards bringing them fully to life.

    What’s inside the real you?

    We’ll explore this in our next issue.