My journey as a blogger started because I wanted to encourage people who parent. All of my life I have chosen opportunities that connected me with young people without considering the consistent theme each time I made the choice.
A few months ago a good friend and mentor heard me say that my body of work over my lifetime has been in service to young people. She asked, “Has it really?” I responded, “Yes.” My mentor’s question begged a response that was more than a “yes” so I explained. A few weeks later I was thankful that I had a practice run with my mentor because life offered me an opportunity to apply the reflective moment shared with my mentor with a student having difficulty understanding how to use elements of a seemingly imperfect, temporary situation as preparation for the thing you think you would rather be doing with your time. The student’s frustration and confusion was not foreign to me so I shared my journey with the goal of demonstrating how a winding, bumpy path can lead to a really cool space.
When I was very young, I wanted to be a pediatrician so that I could take care of children. Then, life brought me a couple of family members who spent a lot of time in hospitals and I decided that I wanted children to receive excellent health care, but not from me. When I was about ten or eleven, my mother decided that I was a good babysitter so she volunteered me to watch young children so that her friends who were single moms could go take care of things they couldn’t manage with children in tow. Those unpaid babysitting gigs were good, but failed to spark any desire in me to spend the rest of my life with more than a handful of little people in my personal space for eight hours a day. As a fourteen-year-old, I volunteered at a community center one day a week during the summer before I started high school. I escorted children to the movie theatre that offered free movies to children when school was not in session. I loved animated movies so I enjoyed these trips to the cinema as much as they did, but this work reinforced that I enjoyed short stints with larger groups of little people. It was something about having to count heads on a regular basis and hold sticky hands that made me think this might not be the career field for me. As a young adult, I continued to engage in volunteer work involving children and other young adults. Then, I became a parent of two and chose the role of stay-at-home mom. In that role, I worked on not-for-profit boards, in teen ministries, and used my kidkab to provide a safe haven to many children. I demonstrated to my student that my roles and opportunities were all different, but yet the same. The nonverbal cues meant that I needed to be more clear. My passion motivated my performance. My passion motivated me to perform in all sorts of arenas. Even the most unexpected venue can make room for your passion if you are a willing participant.
My message this week is very short and succinct: Let your passion motivate your performance. Things don’t have to be just alike to be relational and relevant. Use even what appears to be the most unrelated experience or frustrating encounter to enhance your ability to work within your passion wheel. This decision will change your perspective and give you strength to survive the challenge of the seemingly unrelated or situation what probably feels like a speed bump slowing your pace to the good thing. Pump your brakes and take in the details of the things around you. Speed bumps exist for a reason. Notice the cool blue color of the sports car on your right. The blue will do what blue does; it will be a calming color. Noticing the blueness will relax your countenance enough for you to notice the children on your left smiling and waving as you drive by them. In your relaxed state, you can be grateful for the speed bumps that made the children felt safe enough to play ball or skate in the street. You might even be thankful for a speed bump giving you opportunity to inhale and replace the stress of “adulting” with the aroma of childhood innocence.
Right now stop reading, close your eyes and breathe.
Breathing deeply will be your key to surviving the things that don’t seem to make sense on your road to your dream destination. Breathing will fuel your mind and your body. Every time you close your eyes and do some deep breathing cruise through a peaceful place and meditate on your passion. See yourself living out your passion so that your body can remember the feeling. Open your eyes, keep breathing, and live out the passion regardless of the speed bumps along the way. Eventually, your passionate performance will take you to a wide, open road where you can enjoy the peace of living out your dreams and passions with your eyes wide open.