I am just thrilled to have Sue of Magnolias West back with us today. Longtime readers may remember the last time she visited to talk about Resolve. She had us clearing the obstacles between sacred intention and moving toward powerful action. Today she is back to talk passion…
I am both passionate and indecisive by nature. (Scorpio Sun, Leo Moon, Gemini rising). Many things trigger my passion and then flame out unless I can remember to tie commitment to the tail of my passion. And the commitment doesn’t occur to me until I’ve learned another painful lesson.
The lessons, they just keep coming, don’t they? And if I don’t get the message of a particular lesson the first time around, I don’t have to worry, because the lesson will repeat—and repeat—until I do get it. Love that! And then, when I’ve surrendered, and accepted the teaching, the bar just keeps getting raised. Learned that, did you? Okay then, now learn this!
I’m getting ahead of myself. So…
My journey has been, for the last year and a half plus, in equal parts about 1) being of service to my tribe and growing my business, and 2) dealing with a chronic, so-far undiagnosable health condition. It’s funny, when I got sick I didn’t plan to be sick for a very long time. Of course. Who does? I had no way of knowing it would turn into a condition. Which it did. An everyday, without fail, serious digestive condition that has impacted my strength and my stamina.
I’m a pretty passionate woman.
[Fair warning: fierce honesty ahead.]
I was passionate about chasing oblivion for 22 years. I used substances to soothe my discomfort, unsettledness, never-enoughness for a long long time. Getting, and staying, loaded was my primary goal. Each and every day for a long long time.
Then I got clean and sober. And spent over ten years in a dumbfounded WTF state. Yes, I’m a slow learner, and it took me a long time to come around to being glad, and grateful, and in touch with the good. Luckily for me, I finally started to find new outlets for my passion, positive, productive, joyful outlets.
Now I’ve been clean for as long as I used, and now I’m passionate about things like:
being of service
living a worthwhile and productive life
making sure people who have touched me and changed me for the better know how much I love and appreciate them
eating locally and sustainably—I even grow some of the food I eat!
taking exquisite care of myself and living a moderate and healthy life
How did I apply my passion to this health condition, you ask?
I had tests. Even stool analyses. Twice. Now that was fun! You haven’t lived until…
I went to nutrition doctors, acupuncturists, woo-woo chiropractors, holistic MDs, and even a shaman.
I changed my diet and then I changed it again. And again.
I tried one set of remedies and supplements. And another set. And another. Including the pharmaceutical anti-parasite treatment that almost killed me.
I chased a cure with passion, and commitment.
And I got really really tired. And disheartened.
Luckily for me, addicts are really good at making habits—bad or good. So even though I was sick and tired of being sick, I was able to stay in my commitment to show up for my life, no matter what. Part of that commitment includes a daily meditation practice. And because I am easily bored i kept seeking out different guided meditations. I eventually found a series of healing meditations led by Deepak Chopra. In one, the focus is to imagine sitting across from yourself, from your dis-ease, and love her just as she is. To sink into compassion, and acceptance, and love for your own sick self.
I didn’t really like doing this the first time, because it invited me loosen my death grip on resentment and discouragement, and I was oh, just a little resistant. But then I found myself coming back—and back again—to the concept of acceptance. I found myself dancing with new thoughts and questions:
Maybe I don’t need to be so pissed off and feel so damned sorry for myself, what could that look like?
Maybe I can feel love, compassion and mercy for myself and for what is—I felt lighter just to entertain this concept.
Maybe I could even find my way to gratitude!
This is seriously embarrassing, but I’m gonna tell you anyway: I specialize in gratitude; it’s a cornerstone of my practice and my writings. I blog about gratitude all the time. I’ve been a gratitude-list writer for over ten years. And never once, in the sixteen months (to that point) that I had been sick, not for one second did I think of being grateful. Yeah, I know, pathetic.
Once the gratitude door was opened, even just by an inch, everything began to change. Once I got to…
…I’m grateful I don’t have a diagnosis of a terminal disease; I’m grateful it’s not worse
…I’m grateful that I’m strong enough to show up for my business, my clients, my tribe
…I’m grateful that I have enough stamina to garden, to do yoga, to walk (okay, not so well up hills, but still…), to socialize, to love, to work
…Once I got around to expressing gratitude, my relationship with what is got funneled down to this now moment, and the next.
And then I stopped chasing a cure
Since the context and my perspective shifted for the better, I found myself rethinking my process.
I made two decisions.
One was to stop chasing the cure. To stop throwing money and time at sets of remedies and take a break, a six-week break–for starters–from supplements, and homeopathics, and herbs and tinctures and more. I’m in that six-week period now.
The second decision came from an even more embarrassing (let’s just tell the truth and call it humiliating, shall we?) realization. I have had a really unconscious relationship with food. All my life. Yes, I’m that one. I’m the one who eats while I watch TV while I play games on my iPad while I’m talking on the phone. And I inhale my food.
So guess what I’m doing during this six-week abstention from cure-chasing? I’m inviting more mindfulness around food. I’m bringing all the passion and commitment I can to this. I’m restricting my distractions when I eat to just one. I can read a book. Or I can listen to the radio. Just one. Not two, not three. And for one meal each day I’m going away from my books and tech toys and eating in the sunshine, watching the birds and the garden.
I’m surrendering. Instead of chasing healing, instead of looking for the right and perfect formula that will cure me, I’m inviting healing. However it comes, whatever it looks like, I’m open to receive.
Feels different, and a whole lot better than chasing.
How do you manifest your passion, precious? What does it take for you to tie your passion to your commitment. Talk to me. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Sue Kearney is Chief Inspiration Officer at Magnolias West, a coaching, branding and web design practice. She is a dancer, DJ, artist, gardener, cook, and a maker of herbal remedies as well as a fermenter of foods like kombucha and ‘kraut. Sue is a student of astrology, tarot, and a practitioner and facilitator of women’s spirituality.
Sue coaches women in business who want to integrate their most sacred heart’s mission and soul’s purpose in every area of their business. She offers the Unmask Your Brand program, where the passionate woman in business can fully express her heart and soul in her brand, website and social media marketing. She also offers the Share Your Magic coaching program designed to help you envision, manifest and sustain the business of your dreams. Connect with Sue at Magnolias West. You can also read her blog, subscribe to her spiritual and practical newsletter, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.