Saturday, February 02, 2008

Activate Your Passion

The Blessing of the To-Do(or was that To-Be?) List© 2008
Julie Jordan Scott

My eyes scanned the day's speedily written to-do list, outlined
fetchingly in black crayon.

I looked at my mood indicator on myspace, where I had for unknown
reasons declared I wanted to explore the river, but I wasn't exactly
sure what that meant. On my list of "to-do's" I had written
"collect wood" so I figured that would combine with river exploration.

I read a quote from Maya Angelou and again, wondered what
syncronicity was doing tap-tap-tapping on my heart.

"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing.
She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her
destination prepared to be herself and only herself."

The only two things on my daytime carved in time-allotted stone
schedule were a phone call and to be home when Sam was due
back from school at 2:45. The phone call was to be at 9:00 o'clock,
nice and early, with my friend, Stephanie, who agreed to talk to me,
deeply and soulfully once a week while I dealt with some of this
"stuff" of life that came as a part of my reawakening. I felt like I hadn't
"done" enough to merit a conversation of substance.

I stood back for a bit, though, prior to the prearranged time for our
phone call and I discovered that lo-and-behold there had been a lot
of growth this week, that I had taken what we had talked about
before and integrated much of what we spoke of and
amplified it… many fold.

I had gotten stuck in my self-critical inner dialogue of the day before and lost
sight of the beauty and wonder of the preceding six days.

"I just don't feel like I have big enough swaths of time and yet
I know that isn't so, I mean, I am aware that I make that up, that the
swaths aren't wide enough… I know this lack based thinking is just
creating more lack rather than abundance… and… I mean…" and I tap
danced in circles of belief and misbelief during our conversation.

I continued speaking: "I just need more time in silence, and study,
and contemplation." I told her. "I have felt such grace, such
abundance since we last spoke," I said as I told several stories of
receiving, abundantly, simply as a result of me being 100% myself – not trying
to get anything accomplished in particular or aiming at a particular intention
beyond simply being me and doing exactly what
my heart called me to do.

Maya Angelou floated back into my mind.

"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She
goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to
be herself and only herself."

The river was calling.

I climbed into my beloved Ford Explorer, Jane, and started to
drive east. Live Oak, Live Oak, Live Oak was a chant running through
my veins – the echo of my heartbeat itself.

Live Oak is a daytime use section of the Sequoia National Forest, five
miles into the Kern River Canyon. I hadn't been there since July and
I was curious how it was during the winter as compared to the Summer.
I figured the flow of the river would be satisfying given all the rain
and snow we were having.

I was excited.

Jane started making a sound I thought was weird and I felt fear grip me. "Maybe
I shouldn't go to the river. Maybe it isn't God
calling, maybe I should get an oil change first, maybe I should turn around, oh
it looks dark in the canyon, maybe I am going to get into an accident if I drive
in, maybe....maybe.....maybe....."

The circle dance of belief and misbelief was taking up residence
in my belly.

"Maybe you should tune into that silence you said you wanted," a
whisper-thought came into my heart.

I heard the Live Oak chant again as my car entered the canyon.

I drove into the call of the Canyon, into the call of the river. I drove into
the darkness of my fear. My heart was pounding rather loudly in the fear places
and I wasn't comfortable at all as I drove into the mouth of the Canyon. It was
dark, the fog closed behind me – a door shutting my escape, and I surrendered to
the call.

I uncomfortably surrended, as Teresa of Avila reminded me,
"Surrender requires courage."

The road was beautifully empty so I felt no pressure to go fast
along the curves. I could take my time and really see what I was
passing in each moment. I started to relax into my heartbeat
and to the rhythm of the call itself.

A red car came up behind me and the "Live Oak" chant became
"take a turn out" so I did and the red car behind me happily
tooted a "thank you" horn as it moved past me towards its destination.

I was almost sad when Live Oak arrived so quickly.

I took the "Road Closed" into the parking lot as a set back
until I realized there was a ready-made turn out parking spot to use so I parked
Jane and climbed out and just stood, stood, stood for a
moment breathing the chilled, crisp air.

I spent, in "human time" about 45 minutes by the River. I
didn't need an enormous "swath of time" in which to experience soul
fulfillment. I could have stayed there for a lot longer, but there
wasn't a need. I was able to celebrate the sounds of squirrels,
the sight of a tiny bird with yellow and green in its very small
flight across the sky. I was able to celebrate the sensual aroma
from an enormous pinecone, the sweet kisses of the wind on
my face and the divine direction telling me which path to take,
which tree to honor with my touch, my prayers, my tears.

In following the call into the canyon, I slashed out sections
of misbelief that were whining or complaining or coming
remotely close to anything labeled "less than" or "not
enough" or "I don't have" or "I can't."

This very short "field trip" away from my cocoon like home
brought me to astounding levels of awareness and presented
me with a gift that I can continue to pass around to my friends,
my beloved readers, to complete strangers who happen upon
these words and say, "Yes, this is good."

It took letters hastily scrawled on a black crayon written to-do
list and leveraged what was there and followed it to slicing through
fear and into the expansive soulfulness of simply being in the moment.

Passion rang out from the crayon, it was in the machete-like movement
of my car into the canyon, it is in being bold and courageous when I
particularly feel like being bold and courageous when I trusted
in the rhythmic call and kept moving forward anyway.

And I am so grateful I did.

This story repeats itself countless times in my life.

And each time it is richer and deeper and sweeter. I never fail to be
amazed, awestruck, grateful and so glad I am exactly who I am with exactly this
perspective in exactly this moment.

I hear Maya speaking again.

"A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She
goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to
be herself and only herself."

Yes, Yes, Yes – so be it.

+ = + =
Julie Jordan Scott is a Writer, Life Coach, Poet, Speaker,
Actor, Director and Mom Extraordinaire whose deepest passion
is helping people - like you - discover and live with
passion. Call 661.444.2735 to book your complimentary
coaching session or visit

for plentiful resources to live a passion-rich life.

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