Adjusting, Calibrating, Balancing

I was honored to be able to write a guest post for my friend and colleague Amoret of Siren Afire and Bone and Briar a short while ago. (We traded posts – the excellent one she wrote for my blog on finding passion is here.) The topic she gave me was “what to do when the Work no longer works.” It turned in to an exploration of balance and finding the point where I am in alignment, rare though it may be.

Ever since I sent it off to her, I have been seeing all sorts of examples and approaches to the same concept, just from different perspectives. A dear friend of mine who has sat through a number of my classes reminded me of my “Yellow Jeep Theory” — which states that if you own a yellow Jeep, you tend to notice tons of yellow Jeeps on the road. There aren’t necessarily more yellow Jeeps than there were before, you just have more of a tendency to notice them, because yellow Jeeps are part of your daily experience. So stories about balance and adjustment aren’t necessarily more prevalent, I’m just noticing them more. No complaints here.

One lovely example that came across my reader this morning: sexuality educator Charlie Glickman offers an excellent example of this idea of “calibration” in intimate relationships in his latest post. I thought it was excellent (his posts usually are), and applies many of the same principles.

Since it’s up, I am trying to weave more conscious balance-finding activities into my day. I have started an “apartment beautification” practice, where the first thing I do when I get home from work is find some way to beautify my living space. That might mean vacuuming or washing dishes, and some days – dusting one shelf is all I have in me. But other days, it could mean adding a new houseplant or building a stand for new kitchen appliances. My ability to feel comfortable and safe in my home is currently out of whack, so this is helping bring things into balance.

I am also trying to write more, to reach out to friends more, to connect with my family more, to send out more resumes… anything to adjust my life so I can bring it back into alignment. I am consciously trying to identify where I am sending my energy these days — what’s getting my power and attention? Where am I adding weight to the scales? Where can I lighten my load a bit?

What about you? What does balance look like to you? What does it feel like? How do you bring yourself back to center? What are your strategies for alignment? I am always curious to hear what others are doing for themselves, and how practice brings us back to wholeness.

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Guest post by Amoret from Siren Afire and Bone and Briar

Recently, my friend Amoret asked me to write a guest post for her blog, Siren Afire – a space that offers regular exploration into personal and spiritual growth. I have a great deal of respect for Amoret and her work, and I couldn’t resist asking her to do the same for my blog. Lucky me, she agreed.

I had so much fun with this process that I would love to do it again. Drop me a note if you would like to exchange blog posts. I am particularly interested in different takes on finding your passion, risk-taking, and the practice of cultivating delight — but if you’ve got a good pitch for something you feel would fit, let’s talk!

But for now and without further ado, let me introduce you to the lovely Amoret and her take on listening to and answering the call to passion.

* * * * * *

I Heard, I Heard, I Heard It Clear: Soul, Passion and Purpose
By Amoret

It’s not the dazzling voice that makes a singer. Or clever stories that make a writer. And it’s not piles of money that make a tycoon. 

It’s having a dream and wanting to live it so greatly that one would rather move with it and “fail” than succeed in another realm.

~Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe

I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so hauntin’ hollow
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear
I was afraid to follow.

~Shel Silverstein, The One Who Stayed

I have a friend who is a talented actress. She is burning out, auditioning for role after role, not getting cast, watching parts slip past her fingers. Over the few years I have known her, she has stopped talking about her passion for acting. Instead, she talks of being tired of the constant auditions and the low pay of her day job, and of finding a more mainstream career. She wonders if focusing on an acting career was a mistake.  More and more, she vacillates between commitment to her current path and giving up the work that has been her dream for many years.

Is acting, her passion? She is no longer sure.

This is a pretty common state of affairs for human beings, at least in my experience. I think we are often wandering around, asking our souls to speak, not knowing how to translate what we hear, or playing telephone with the messages we get.

For me, hearing the voice of my soul and recognizing my passion has been a long process. In 2003, doing work at Diana’s Grove, I recognized that my soul lit up when I was priestessing, creating rituals and working with others in intentional community. The desire to devote my life to spiritual pursuits was intense and joyous, and I knew that I was being called to my purpose.

But soon after, the Voice of Reason spoke up. It reminded me that I had bills to pay and that I liked having a comfortable lifestyle– would I be financially stable if I followed this longing? I also had a spouse that wouldn’t take kindly to a full life overhaul – what would happen to that relationship if I followed my bliss? And goodness, what would people think of me if I dropped everything and lived a life they didn’t understand? (Personal observation: isn’t there always a seed of “What will they think of me?” in the Voice of Reason?)

Long story short: I heard the call, but I was afraid to follow…and I continued to work in “safe” jobs, and I ended my marriage, and I did spiritual work here and there…and I was haunted by the road not taken while living my safe and stagnant life.

Over the last year, the voice of my soul has become more and more insistent, and it is speaking with a clarity and wisdom that I cannot deny. This time, I am listening. This time, I am following. Stepping out into the unknown, I do know this: the soul does not interface with reason. Passion doesn’t need to be understood; it needs to be trusted.

I ask you this: What makes your growth inevitable? What do you do without thought of reward? What do you want more than success? What excites you when you envision it manifesting? What scares you when you envision it slipping through your fingers? What are you willing to humble yourself to? What do you need to awaken in the world?

I believe that most of us have heard the voice of our soul, and doubt it, reason with it, fear it or flat out ignore it. Hearing the call isn’t necessarily the hard part – it’s the following of that call that takes some “soul stamina,” in the words of Caroline Myss…and for good reason.

Your purpose will be bigger than you or your personal desires. It will demand that you grow to birth it, to hold it, to release it into the world. Passion moves through you, and is not yours, for you exist to bring it into being. It is joyful. It is ceaseless. The work your soul requires will be invigorating, for it will align with all you already bring to the world. It will feel exhilarating and frightening at the same time, but know this secret: the delight will outweigh the fear.

Here’s to hearing the call. Here’s to knowing our purpose.

Here’s to doing it afraid.

Amoret has been working in the Reclaiming and Feri witchcraft traditions since 2000. Her passions include the search for Truth and Desire, co-creation and manifestation, ecstatic ritual, and the power of good reading material. Amoret believes in full-on surrendering to transformation.