“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” ~Rumi.
There’s a little bit of irony that I begin this piece with a quote from a poet.
You see, I used to be one. I would write lines everywhere, on everything – notebooks, napkins, receipts, even money. And then it was gone. That fire, that incessant need to pull words out of my head and into the world had disappeared. It was almost overnight. It also took a long time for me to recognize that it was gone – way too long. I woke up one day clear as a bell – wondering what the hell happened to something I held so dear?
So now here I am, igniting that fire again, hoping the flames begin to smolder and burn high and bright – if only just for me.
Passion comes from the word passio, which is Latin for suffering. It’s not a state of constant fun and enjoyment. It’s a state of belief so deep, you’re willing to endure whatever it takes to see that belief see the light of day.
-The Passion Trap, Spencer Lum
So what about your passion? Are you following it? Do you even know what it is?
Oftentimes following our passion is interpreted as dropping everything, quitting your job and chasing that spark – that one thing that burns in us – at any cost. AND WE THINK THE REALITY OF THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way – hell, it shouldn’t be that way.
YES! Find your passion – pour yourself into it – but there is room for other things in your life. We need balance and support in order to thrive. If all we do is eat, sleep and breathe our passions, the rest of our lives suffer. Find your tribe and support each other.
Your passion should bring you joy, and sometimes disappointment (there’s that balance again). Now here is the key – in order for it to thrive you need to breathe life into it. Fan the flames.
But passions aren’t always things that ca be transformed into a livelihood – rock on if you can do it – but first and foremost, your passion should light YOU up in a way that nothing else can. Whatever else happens past that is just gravy.
It’s enough that we have the courage to write that book, teach that yoga class, paddle into that wave, paint that picture and allow ourselves to enjoy it; to allow ourselves to live in that moment.
Life is fleeting friends, we shouldn’t be denying ourselves what truly makes us happy, for any reason. Be brave, be bold and look deep down inside for what you want, for who you are. Once you know what that thing is and you take those first steps towards it, the universe will do the rest.
What I will leave you with is this: Set your life on fire.
But really – seek out those who will fan the flames.
Michele Dougard is an artist in the truest sense of the word. She is a writer, photographer,
painter, tie dye enthusiast, surfer and collector of vintage lunchboxes. She is a yoga teacher
(200RYT) and has an insatiable travel bug. Her thirst for knowledge and lust for life have steered
her to some amazing places and experiences of a lifetime. Michele’s work as both a writer and a photographer gives her a unique perspective of seeing the same things through different lenses. Her educational background, with a B.A. in Communications from Kean University and an M.B.A. in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Felician University creates a solid foundation to help her pursue her passions. Also an enthusiastic yogi, Michele earned her 200 RYT at Inlet Yoga (where she teaches currently), studied Katonah with Ivy Ray, and spent time studying with Laughing Lotus as well. Ever the perpetual student, Michele is working toward her 300 Hour certification with Yoga Bohemia on LBI. Her media company, 13 th Ave Studios is based in Belmar, NJ and offers not only photography services, but also web development, marketing, event planning and social media and content management. If you have a project or event idea or would like to learn more about opportunities to collaborate, you can connect with Michele on her website www.13thavestudios.com or on Instagram @micheledougardyoga.
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