Reflections on living passionately.
We live in a fast pace world, one that is probably not changing anytime soon.
But here is what can change…ourselves.
I recently had the privilege of leading a class at Community Chocolate called “Craving Quiet” and the magic that was elicited simply by taking the time to reflect and journal was amazing!
There was both a depth and a lightness experienced in that it was like peeling off layers. When we truly clear our minds and unburden our hearts from the weight of unprocessed thoughts and emotions as well as finally taking a break from so much stimuli we emerge refreshed and renewed.
We experienced spaciousness and a return to our most generous and peaceful state.
Craving quiet was a journaling class where we contemplated what it means to live passionately (this months theme at Community Chocolate). I thought what better way to begin a class like this then by sharing a few quotes from Paulo Coelo, one of my favorite authors who is both inspiring and romantic.
“No desire is vain and no request futile. Each of us knows how to best feed our own soul. Only by accepting our desires can we begin to understand who we are.” (Paulo Coelho)
“Whenever you want to find out about something, plunge straight in.” (Paulo Coelho)
“You must be careful never to allow doubt to paralyze you. Always make the decisions you need to make even if you are not sure you’re doing the right thing.” (Paulo Coelho)
The women in our community took the opportunity to journal on questions about living passionately or contemplate on what living passionately means to them while doing the meditative exercise of coloring mandalas.
Here are some of the journaling exercises for you to explore:
These first four exercise are from The Artists Way Workbook by Julia Cameron
- Describe yourself at 80. What did you do after 50 that you enjoyed? Be very specific. Now write a letter from you at eighty to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself? What interest which urge yourself to pursue? What dreams would you encourage?
- Remember yourself at eight. What did you like to do? What were your favorite things? Now write a letter from you at eight to you at your current age. What would you tell yourself?
Picture your house. Is there any room that you could make into a secret, private space for yourself? Convert the TV room? Buy a screen or hang a sheet and cordon off a section of some other room? This is your dream area. It should be decorated for fun and not as an office. All you really need is a chair or pillow, something to write on, some kind of little altar area for flowers and candles. This is to help you center on the fact that creativity is a spiritual, not an ego, issue. Describe your new private space below.
If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them? I would be a pilot, account hand, a physicist, a psychic, a monk. You might be a scuba diver, a cop, a writer of children’s books, a football player, a belly dancer, a painter, a performance artist, a history teacher, a healer, a coach, a scientist, a doctor, a Peace Corps worker, a psychologist, a fisherman, a minister, an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a sculptor, a lawyer, a painter, a computer hacker, a soap-opera star, a country singer, a rock ‘n roll drummer. What ever occurs to you, jot it down. Do not overthink this exercise.
The point of these lives is to have fun in them – more fun then you might be having in this one.
Now write down plans for doing bits and pieces of these lives in the one you’re living now. If you have listed a dancers life, do you let yourself go dancing? If you have listed of monks life, are you ever allowed to go on a retreat? If you are a scuba diver, is there an aquarium shop you can visit? A day at the lake you could schedule? If you said country singer, could you pick up a guitar?
How does it feel to write about this possibility?
Starting An Image File
- If I were 20 and had money… List five adventures. Add images of these to your visual image file.
- If I were 65 and had money… List and describe five postponed pleasures. And again collect these images this is a very potent tool.
For those who were looking to define their passion more clearly, the following questions were helpful to consider. They were created by Scott Dinsmore , I’ve posted the first 10 of his 27 Questions to Live Passionately, but you can find more at at www.LiveYourLegend.net.
1.What makes you happiest in your life? What excites you?
2.What do you do that makes you feel invincible?
3.What do people thank you for?
4.What are you ridiculously good at? What are your precious gifts?
5.Who do you look up to? Who are your mentors? Who inspires you? Why?
6.When was the last time you massively over-delivered on something? What was it and why did you work so hard?
7.When was the last time you were in a state of flow, in the zone and totally lost track of time? What were you doing?
8.Imagine you won $158 million in the lottery. It’s now three months later. How will you spend tomorrow?
9.What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
10. If you could have or do anything, what would it be?
If you’ve been craving quiet, perhaps you’ll take some time for journaling as well!
I hope you’ll join us for a class or event at Community Chocolate soon, you never know what you may learn or who you will strike up a conversation with!
Community Chocolate…connection is sweet.