FOLLOWING YOUR PASSIONS AND FINDING YOUR PATH

Fotolia_81832144_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg
One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions, your passions choose you. Jeff Bezos

This piece of wisdom is a 21st century version of Joseph Campbell's "Follow Your Bliss". But in working with students and clients over the years, most people truly struggle with this. It can be difficult for some people to even know what their passions are. Compulsory education and authoritarian parenting have a way of drumming that out of you. It's all about "getting a job", "being successful", and "making something of yourself". 

Jeff Bezos had a job most people would say was a good one, with an income of $300k a year. He left that to follow his passions and is today a billionaire lit up by life as a result. He didn't go "for the money". If he did, he most likely would have stayed in a passionless job waiting around for promotions to be given to him. In other words, settling. I can personally relate to that choice because I left careers with even higher incomes. I know what it's like to hear everyone tell you that you are crazy, that "no one in their right mind would leave a career like this" and "are you kidding I would kill to make that kind of money". I know what it's like to move beyond the noise of what everyone else says they would do. I never wanted to do what "they" would do, because I didn't see THEM being fully lit by life...passionate, engaged, happy, pursuing their highest path. So of course I ignored all the noise.

And today,  I am fully in my bliss, and I have more abundance, joy, adventure, passion and happiness than I've ever had in my life. And that's because I am dedicated to my true passions and my authentic life path.

The universe always helps you by affirming your gifts. Your true passions come with gifts and positive affirmations that let you know when you are on the right path. Teaching has been one of my deepest passions since I was a toddler. In fact, I used to line up my stuffed animals and "teach" them. Then it was my elementary school friends who I would "teach" whatever it was we were learning in school. That continued throughout my whole life,  including college and law school when my classmates regularly asked me to hold study groups so I could teach what the professor had already taught. My ability to take any subject matter, first master it myself, and then teach it in a way that connects with people was one of those gifts I realized early on was pointing me in the direction of teaching. My gifts as a visionary, a Shaman, and my ability to see the Akashic records are gifts that I use in my teaching. Every session I have with clients is not just about seeing, or moving energy, or accessing past-present-future... but using those gifts to inform the teachings that come through me.

I noticed back in law school that a lot of people who "teach" primarily for income are not really passionate about the teaching itself. They are passionate usually, about the subject they are teaching, but not about teaching itself. Truly, teaching really is an art. There are also a lot of teachers who teach from ego, who teach from the mind. These are teachers whose ego gets in the way of being a clear vessel for the information to flow through. These are the teachers who don't encourage their students to find their unique gifts and path, but who instead encourage their students to do what they do. It's a form of ego validation because for many teachers, if their students decide to do something different, they perceive that as personal rejection of what THEY do. It's like the the author who teaches his students to write like him...the French chef who teaches her students at culinary school to focus on French food, the artist whose student's paintings all look similar to his own. And because so many people already have a lifetime of conditioning that has discouraged them from finding THEIR passion, they don't realize what has happened.

But they are no closer to finding their unique path than they were before.

I experienced a truly sad situation with this during law school when I worked for a professor as a research and writing assistant.  My property professor who had been teaching for over 20 years at that time, and was on the President's Council for Sustainable Development called me into his office one day to ask me "how big is your ego?" I asked "why" and he said, "because when I'm done telling you what I have to tell you, you probably won't be able to fit your head through the door". He was laughing and said  "all joking aside, in 20 plus years of teaching I have never ever seen a final exam written as eloquently, logically, and with so much deep insight." The exam was entirely about the concept of provenance of a piece of fine art work! (In property law, which covers personal and real property, provenance is a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity).

We hit it off and from that point on worked closely together for two years. I was so grateful for the opportunity and felt truly humbled. After my second year of law school I was offered a prestigious summer associate position, which led to a full time position during my third year. Once I accepted this job offer, my professor completely stopped talking to me. He was personally devastated that I was not going to become a land use lawyer. He felt personally rejected. He felt as if my personal choice in life was a shunning of his own choices. His ego expectation was that I should do what he did, despite the fact that the entire time working for him I not only told him the type of law I wanted to do, I told him the firm I wanted to work for - my dream firm. He would say "you don't want to work there" and "it's almost impossible to get a job there anyway". I continued to say "I will work there."

When it happened, it was game over. I was sad. Very sad. At my graduation he walked right past me and would not even look me in the eye. He was unable to get past it. It was then that I really understood that to master the art of teaching, you MUST be clear of personal ego. You MUST seek your students's highest good, and be a clear vessel to allow the correct guidance to come THROUGH you, not FROM you, so they can uncover THEIR passion and life path. 

In the past two months I have been working weekly with a few amazing women who are committed to clarifying their life purpose. They are separating what they are passionate about from what they "think" they should be doing, they are finding more clarity about what they thought they needed to do versus what they LOVE to do. You see what we love to do comes from the heart space. Thoughts about "we need to do this" or "this will make money" come from the mind. And while the mind is a perfect asset once the heart sets the course, the mind is the absolute worst place to get direction from. It is just too influenced by what we see other people doing. "Oh that worked for her, so I'll do that", or "He made a ton of money doing that, I'm going to try that too", or "I can totally do that if she can", or "my dad will definitely approve if I do this, I will be validated". And without a true teacher who has mastered the art of teaching in our lives, you can be sidetracked for life and drift through life never landing on your life's purpose. Eventually you stop looking. You settle. The worst thing about that? All of the energy used to fuel your sidetrack is energy you don't have to pursue your true passions and life path.  

I was blessed to be born to a dad who mastered the art of teaching long before I was born. He always taught me that my life path would completely reveal itself when I was ready to fully surrender to and trust God in all the way. Complete surrender, he taught me, meant that I would be able to let go of the "socially validated" ideas that had come into my mind from the decades of being a high-achieving student in academia.

My message for you today is one of encouragement to seek your true passions and life path.  This can happen much with grace and ease if you surround yourself with people who support you in your uniqueness, and you seek out teachers who help you access your purpose and gifts. If in the interim if you have a "job" that helps you "pay the bills", that's great. That's a blessing. But never let that draw you away from seeking your most authentic self.