By Leta Hamilton
If you are like me, you grapple with doubts about your capacity to turn dreams into reality. When I quit my full-time job as the well paid Executive Assistant to the CEO of a powerful London-based private equity firm in order to spend more time with my baby (as in actually see him from time to time), I lost my sense of identity as equal wage earner and successful career woman. My spiritual quest to redefine “success” as a woman, and as a mother, led me eventually to turn in the direction of my children for the answers I was seeking. Through powerful observation, I documented and later published a book on the craziness of modern motherhood and the spiritual lessons taught to us by our Zen masters in diapers.
Now, in addition to being the full-time primary care-taker of my three boys (6, 3 and 1 at time of writing), I also work out of my home producing and hosting a weekly parenting talk show, write parenting blogs and articles, am interviewed regularly for other radio shows in the U.S. and Canada, market and promote my book and travel extensively to teach workshops on practical ways mothers can experience inner peace now – even in the midst of the poopy diapers and piles of laundry. This journey started out as a passion for my own sense of inner peace that no amount of peas all over the floor could shatter. Sharing this passion with other moms is a tremendous joy and, indeed, I believe my calling in life.
Here are 6 tips I have learned along the way that have made living this dream possible:
1. Follow the "one thing a day" rule that means if every day you are doing one thing for your passion, you are on the right track. It isn't necessary or possible to fill our days with only those things about which we are passionate (as a mom to 3 boys I have to balance my needs with theirs and put my passion to the side when it comes time to change a poopy diaper), but if we can lay our head down to sleep every night feeling as if we accomplished one thing in the day that makes us smile because it is truly where our passion lies, then we have done more than most.
2. Allow yourself the grace to grow. What you were passionate about when you were 20 and the thing you feel passionate about now may have nothing in common. It took a great deal of courage for me to admit that I had grown out of one passion and moved into another. Figuring that out, however, meant that I could stop pretending and start doing new things that served me better. Now both I and my family benefit from a happier countenance.
3. Schedule! Schedule! Schedule! Managing a family and a business means that if I don't schedule everything with precision, I won't get my "one thing a day" in.
4. Do a "Rules" List. This list is your basis for how you want to live your life. My 17 Rules encompass how I run my business and life; it provides a foundation and framework that keeps me on track and in integrity: my passion is easily followed with firm rules in place.
5. Every year (I do this during the first week of January) take a few days off from following your passion to reflect on your current level of enthusiasm, if you have grown out of it and if it has grown out of you. This breathing space always surprises me with its insights and I feel more ready to dive into the New Year with a clearer head.
6. Take the opinions of others with a grain of salt. Everybody's passions are different. Don't let the opinions of others keep you from following a passion if it is truly heartfelt. After all, you are the one that has to live with you.
With those 6 steps, you are well on your way to living your passion. There is no stopping such a woman. She has learned to embrace her unique and irreplaceable imprint on the world. Nothing could be more beautiful.
In keeping with Identity’s mission of Accept Appreciate Achieve, below are some more questions that fit in with that theme:
1. What have you accepted in your life that took time?
I have accepted my body.
2. How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I Love My…Life.
3. What do you appreciate most in your life?
The love that surrounds me.
4. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life?
Achieving to publish my book.
5. What is your not so perfect way?
I’m still figuring out how to do a load of laundry, fold it and put it away in the same day.