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June 2005
Success Harmony Newsletter


I can remember my first pony ride as if it were yesterday. I was about 14 years old and had been horse-crazy ever since I could remember, but never had a chance to ride until then. My family went to a local fair and I saw some ponies there. I waltzed off and got on one of these poor little creatures. With my 5'11'' height, the pony could just about walk underneath me, but that didn't matter. I finally had a chance to do what I had always wanted to. For the few minutes, the world stopped for me. Although, for an experienced horseman, the thrill of this ride was equivalent to a racing champion riding a tricycle in the parking lot, for me it was the ability to experience what I had always dreamed of.

At this point in my life, I have had much more to do with horses and the thrill never seems to dissipate. When I am around them, I forget whatever else is going in the world. When I am not around them for a while, I feel like I'm missing an arm. I get irritable. When I am back around horses, very little else matters. Financially and logically speaking, I would have preferred to have a passion for making origami or doing crossword puzzles, but finding a passion isn't about logic or finances. When we feel the call towards something we love, we must follow it. If we don't, a part of us dies and it is tough to get it back.

Sometimes people ask how they find their passion. Self-help books are full of talking about having a passion and following it. So where in the world is it hiding for you? First of all, I don't really believe that we find our passion. It finds us. It often finds us as little children. If we are lucky, the big people around us notice and encourage the fire that the passion ignites in us. Unfortunately, for some reason, our passions are often quite off from our parents' and teachers' expectations. Also, as if by some freak accident, children's passions seem to appear in the families that expect them the least. The happy little boy with a flair for colors and interior design is likely to sprout from a family of beer loving and football watching Harley bikers. My Mom, with a greater preference for spending her spare time solving math equations rather than knitting, grew up in a family with strong preferences for female roles including more housekeeping and less education. For me, there was no other animal-crazy relative in sight. If the trend continues, my children will prepare tax returns for fun. If that happens, I only hope I will have the patience to give them a blessing rather than admit them in the psychiatric ward.

As children, we don't quite know how to press for something we love, so we tend to forget what it was that we loved in the first place. Without encouragement from those around us, it becomes easier to deny the call than to keep fighting for something we know we love but don't understand enough to explain to someone else who doesn't understand. How can you explain to a worried parent that going into outer space or racing cars is something you just have to do? How do you tell your small-town friends that reading Einstein's theory of relativity is your idea of heaven? How do you endure the "oh God, s/he is SO weird" looks and stares? You forget and you conform. And that's the greatest tragedy.

If you know what your passion is already, be protective of it. If you get to get paid for what your passion is, great. That's what Einstein did. That's what Jewell does when she sings her heart out and sells millions of CDs at the same time. You will never feel like you're working. If you have a job that pays you and a passion that feeds you spiritually without ever giving you a dime, that is fine as well. It doesn't matter what the passion is. For my husband's grandfather, it was making inlaid wood furniture in his spare time. For my great-grandmother, it was gardening. For my friend Veera, it is singing. She stops singing, she stops living. Having a passion is like oxygen to our lungs. With it, there is a sense of purpose to getting up in the morning. Without it, it's like drought to plants. Following your passion may not change the world around you, but it changes YOUR world. And that may change the world around you as others feel the same permission to follow their happiness, even if it's for short spurts in an otherwise crazy schedule.

So what if you don't know the passion you are supposed to have? Again, you don't find it, it finds you. All you can do is remember moments throughout your life when you were truly in the moment. What were you doing at that time? Who were you with? What were you talking about, thinking, planning, imagining, day-dreaming about? Who do you admire, whether currently alive or long passed away? What were they known for? When you turn on the TV, what is of interest to you? Just observe yourself and what you react to. Quite telling are the moments when we are interested in something but another part of the brain says, "whoa, that's stupid!". If you're fascinated by UFO's or have a flea farm fetish, maybe your boss at the accounting firm doesn't need to know, but you'll feel better when you follow through. Once we allow ourselves to be who we are meant to be, I believe that the world around us gets more out of us in all respects.

Sunshine and smiles,


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"We can not do great things. We can only do little things with great love."
Mother Teresa

"There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
Michelangelo Buonarrotti





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