Our public school systems and institutionalized places of learning are not always inspiring for many of us. What I came to believe about myself during my early education in public schools was that I lacked any skills in art or writing (English). My strengths were languages and mathematics, so I sought further education down those academic paths. Although successful in my studies, work in the business world did not satisfy me. As my children grew older and I considered going back to work or school, I was horrified by the thought of returning to what I had done in the corporate accounting world. Remembering when I left my job to raise my family the vow I had made to myself never to look back, I set out on a journey to discover my real work in the world, not just something to do to make money. I was on a quest to find out who I was in this way. What I discovered is that I am an artist of sorts. No, I am not a classical, talented oil painter of fine art like my son, but I do love arranging color through flowers, immensely enjoying the creative process of putting beauty in an order that appeals to me. Gardening became a passion as I kept a part of me alive though this creative process while my children were very young. My return to creative gardening during the past year with my new husband has been a delight for both of us, as has been decorating our home together. Our new perennial bed calls me to continue the process of arranging colors, shapes, heights and beauty as I gaze upon the creation thus far. I feel like an artist when I am in the kitchen surrounded by the beauty of fresh vegetables and fruits, herbs snipped from the garden, and a loaf of delicious baked bread. Making a meal in a leisurely way, really seeing the beauty of my creation, sitting with loved ones and enjoying a relaxing repast satisfies me deeply.
My return to higher education was not made until I had a clear sense of my purpose in that undertaking. During my graduate studies in Counseling Psychology, more often than not, I took great pleasure and interest in my courses, hungrily reading literature and writing my papers. My course of study felt like a course into my inner world, an organization of the review of my life and the “me” that had developed up to that point. As I engaged in my studies, I found another part of me that felt utterly natural and fulfilling, the therapeutic process. Leading others into their own inner world, encouraging them to look beyond their past wounds and current confusions, guiding them to honor their lives through making healthy choices all feel like an organic experience of “me” and my sense of connection to a divine source of wisdom. These studies complemented my growing personal study and interests in energy medicine.
Sharing spiritual studies with my son during our individual quests to delve deeply into the knowledge of the workings of the universe is another of my current passions. Our learning process is motivated by our internal desires to understand life both seen and unseen more fully, to develop ourselves to our highest potentials and to live with a sense of passion and joy everyday, just for the love of being alive, able to partake in this glorious and mystical endeavor of life. Without an assigned syllabus, but rather with the loose but important guidance of a teacher who has walked the path before us, searching for helpful books, learning exercises and meditations that enable our process to flourish, discussing insightful areas that may be boggling our minds for a time, and reveling in the positive energy we cultivate from our efforts all demonstrate our love of learning.
And now here I sit, writing daily, honing my new craft. What I once thought was one of my weakest skills has become my main pastime presently. In the past, I had compared myself with the great writers, and with my mother who is a gifted writer, always coming up quite short. In school, my grades indicated that this was not an area in which I would excel, therefore I shied away from writing and it became a difficult process. But I have found that the challenge and reward of expressing myself through honest writing is a newfound love. Engaging in the process of deeper healing through writing has been a liberating experience.
All of us have particular passion(s) for learning, whether we have discovered them yet or not. To find what makes our hearts beat faster, that which lights a spark of excitement within us; something that calls to a deeper part of us can be the journey of a lifetime. Do not let any lingering blasé that may have developed from our often rote way of educating in schools keep you from your own quest for living in awe and splendor of the world around you. Our own individual love of learning will be ignited when we are on our heartfelt path in life. We all deserve to travel that path; it’s our responsibility to ourselves to find it. And when we do, we have opened a door to whole new world.