Distractions come in all forms; after all, the devil as they say is in the details. We have all found reasons not to follow our passions. I know I have bills, children, money and time. But these are excuses, and if we are honest with ourselves, we know that the real reason we don’t follow our passion is fear.
Fear is very good at making excuses that look like valid reasons. These excuses are perfectly logical––even our loved ones will tell us we should be sensible, after all, bills, kids, responsibilities remember? And then you have the cry of the Naysayers. We hear them loud and clear––if you don’t have any excuses for why you shouldn’t follow your passion, they are happy to give you the ones they fed themselves. But who can blame them? We have always been given small spaces of times to do the things we love. Everything else is regimented and scheduled. How we spend our time has always been decided for us. The “important things” keep us busy.
Fear makes us busy, too. We tend to get really busy when we are hiding from our passions. Being busy can become a full time job, so can feeding the excuses fear gave us, and eventually our excuses will continue to grow until we are so busy feeding our excuses that we forget to feed our passion.
Before I started writing regularly, I always felt like I was forgetting to do something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. I was always very busy (chronically so). I would be busy doing things for other people, for my work, for my kids, for my husband. But every now and then, I would sit up in the dark in a panic, as if I had forgotten to take the kids to school or left the kettle on. I would eventually settle back into sleep, but I would always be left with a feeling of uneasiness. One night in particular, a story woke me out of my sleep, it was silly really, a simple story about my deaf dog and my daughter trying to communicate, but it made me smile. So I wrote it on a notebook that I kept in my drawer. When I woke up the next morning, it was sitting on my nightstand looking up at me. I smiled at it and said “later.” Off I went being busy and forgot about the story until later that week when the dust from mommy duties had settled. I picked my notebook back up again, and I slowly began to feed my passion.
I am restless. Things are calling me away.
My hair is being pulled by the stars again.
Ahhhhhhh……. Feeding your passion can feel indulgent, like taking off an article of clothing after a long day, it’s so freeing. You get all comfortable in your skin or out of it, whichever you prefer, however the passion moves you. It just feels good to take time out for your passion.
A year later, I wrote and self-published my book born from some notes taken late at night because my passion wouldn’t let me sleep. I did it because I wanted to breathe life into my story. I wanted to see what my dreams really looked like on paper. It wasn’t perfect or the next bestseller, but it was mine and I am enormously proud of it. I learned so much from my experience in self-publishing. The amount of growth that I experienced from that process cannot fully be put into words. The respect that I have for editors, writers, and every book that’s ever been made, only continues to grow.
All through my journey of self-publishing my fear was ever present, it never went away. There was a consistent rambling of self-doubt, but as I continued to feed my passion my fears no longer took center stage. The voice of uncertainty became a quiet whisper, and my joy grew roots and went deep into my soul.
I changed, I transformed. I know what it is like to breathe life into an idea and see it come alive. That knowledge drives me to create more. And as I continue to feed my passion, I learn and I grow. My passion has now found its rightful place in my life amongst the busy. And even though I don’t always have time for my passion, I make time––I borrow, or steal it. I carve it out and take it, because I must.
I know with all certainty that our passions will continue to call to us; they will wake us from our sleep or call down to us from the ethers. We all have a choice: We can continue to ignore our passions and perfect the art of being busy by feeding our fears and staying the course or we can remind ourselves that our passions carry us upwards towards the heavens. Following them is often full of risks and fears to be conquered, but more often than not, we must go down the rabbit hole in order to come right side up.
At heart, we are all star chasers, following the call, and I hope whether in sleep or in our waking hours, the stars will continue to pull at my hair, taking me out of my busyness and guiding me away from my fears. I know the devil may be in the details, but the Divine is, too.