This appeared in my subscription feed yesterday and struck such a chord that I chose to reprint it on my blog as well. This is from Alex Blackwell whose blog is The Bridgemaker. Here is the link to this blog on his page
Set Your Soul on Fire
Posted: 14 Sep 2014 12:48 PM PDT
Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames – Rumi
Is there a hole in your heart you can’t explain? Is there a hunger inside of you that’s not being satisfied? Is your soul ready to catch fire and burn for something so meaningful that your life will change forever?
Igniting the spark
When you sense the hole or feel the hunger, it’s your soul telling you that it’s time to ignite the spark and light up the world with your amazing colors. Simply put, when you discover your passion and let the fire burn, then you are living on purpose – you are following your passion.
The journey begins by finding what sets your soul on fire. To discover your answer, consider…
…what gives you energy?
…what captures your attention?
…what gets you up every morning?
…what fills you with a sense of purpose?
…what one gift has the ability to enrich the lives of others?
Reflect on your answers and grab a sheet of paper. After writing down what you hope to be, or want to do, the one thing that jumps off the page and makes you cry with joy is your passion.
Feeding the fire
When I stepped away from writing this summer, my fire started to smolder. Even though I needed the break, my soul felt like it was put on hold. Though I love my family more than anything else, using my words to help others is what I consider to be my purpose; my passion. Writing is what sets my soul on fire.
But to be honest, sometimes I’m frightened of following this passion because I don’t know where it’s taking me. And sometimes I’m afraid my passion will betray me and leave me thinking that my life was meaningless.
That’s the paradox of living your passion – you need to have faith to let go while you are fanning the flames even higher. Every day you have the choice to feed the fire or let it fade.
Here are three barriers to overcome so you can let your passion burn bright:
Understanding sacrifice is needed. Surrendering to your passion means you have to limit other things, like watching television or spending time on hobbies. It could mean getting up an hour earlier or going to bed later than you like. This doesn’t mean you have to obsess over fulfilling your passion; it just means you have to give it the time it needs.
Moving past being a victim. Holding onto your victimhood while pursing passion doesn’t work. If something from your past has created your passion, then certainly don’t dismiss it. Instead, use the power and knowledge you’ve gained to take meaningful, decisive action to move forward.
Making tough decisions. Decisions like how to spend your time or where to spend your money. Decisions like who you will allow into your life and deciding who to keep at a distance. Devoting your life to your passion requires tough decisions and then standing by them.
The most important gift
Finding what sets your soul on fire, and then pursuing, it is an amazing gift. However, the most important gift your passion offers is it takes away the need to self-sabotage.
When you know what sets your soul on fire, then you will live more intentionally and with greater clarity. Following your passion gives you the confidence to get out of your own way and truly love you and your life.
Igniting the spark reminds you that you are human – capable of doing great things, but also capable of falling short. On the days you do fall short, you can rely on the energy the fire provides to keep going.
When you see your fire burning brighter, you will come to terms with what your life is all about. And in that discovery, you will probably see that you were made not to suffer, but to prosper and leave the world better than how you found it. You will find that life isn’t about living with regrets – it’s about living fully.
So, bring on the fire. Let your soul burn. We can share the warmth together.
Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender.