As usual my passion for reading has sent me down yet another thinking trail. This morning I am intrigued and haunted once again by something that I've heard a thousand times or more in various ways. An article in Lake Norman Magazine by Jen Aronoff details the story of how Shawna Robinson, NASCAR driver turned designer, has found her happy place. Speaking of this change in Shawna's life direction, a friend quotes "I think she's started to listen to herself inside". And off I go......
I have been trying to listen to my inside self for an entire lifetime. Just about the time I think I have myself figured out something comes along that derails the whole process. I suppose that in reality, like many women, I feel drawn towards something I cannot quite name or frame. Something deep inside is longing for expression...and oh yes, can I make a living this way?
I am nearly supernaturally attracted to books and articles that explain how to discover and live out the passion that resides deep within. My bookshelf groans under the weight of these books, torn magazine pages and journals that testify to my seemingly never ending journey. Among these archives there must surely be a clue as to who I really am at my core and how that core self can live out the purpose for which I was created.
What fascinates me the most about Shawna and people like her is that they have discovered how to do what they are and it's expression is bringing a depth of life satisfaction that is both tangible and visible. Pilgrims, that is exactly the place to which I am drawn.
The revealing thing about all this is that I may have stumbled upon the who of me while reading about the how of others. Turns out I might be closer than I ever imagined to my own happy place. As a Life Coach I invest a lot of time in helping clients listen to the differences between what they are saying and how they are living. My insatiable desire for listening and learning has proven to be a great gift as I weed through unabridged stories in search of what matters most.
One of my favorite pictures of younger me displays this calling even then. I am stretched out on a favorite chair and ottoman, backwards and stomach down with legs crossed and feet in the air. My elbows prop up the skinny arms that hold the book into which my nose is pressed. What am I reading? Who knows or cares. The point is that in this picture I am doing what I am. I am an information gatherer with a passionate love for learning. I do not care about passing a test to prove that I have learned anything. I will have passed the test on the day I use this information to help someone find the happy place, myself included.
Now...if I can only figure out how to market this gift in a way that brings life to others and livelihood to me. Gotta' go now. Barnes and Noble is calling my name. I'll be in the marketing section if you need me! My happy place indeed.