Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Icebergs and Inspiration

A few years ago I hit a bump in the road - of life. I was feeling like an iceberg with only part of me visible and functioning - the wife, mother, cook, shopper, laundress, housekeeper, chauffeur part . . . and the bigger part of me, the intuitive, emotional, sensitive, and sacred part was hidden. I wanted to acknowledge this part and allow it to be nurtured and developed.

It was during this period that I was introduced to the concept of The Passion Test by Chris Atwood and Janet Bray Atwood. Their website claims it is the "number one process worldwide for discovering your passions and life purpose". The interview piqued my curiosity and with their web address I decided to investigate.

Once there I found this book excerpt, 

"Why are you reading this book? You must have a deep feeling inside somewhere that you have a personal destiny which is more or different than what you are living right now.
Or maybe you just want a happier, more fulfilling life. We feel fortunate and grateful to have discovered how to live life immersed in our passions.
Maybe you know what it's like when yet another great plan fails, when that feeling of depression and discouragement rises up and overwhelms you, turning your insides out and making you wonder, "Is all this really worth it?" 

















We've been there too. We've discovered those feelings come up when you are not aligned with your personal destiny. And it can all change in a moment . . ."




Aligned with my personal destiny? Wow, that sounded pretty amazing. I had never really considered that I had a "personal destiny". Instead it seemed all tied up with other people and supporting their desires and dreams. But, Chris and Janet certainly thought I had a personal destiny, and if it was true, what was it?

The Atwoods, through their website, administer The Passion Test for free. I took the time to take advantage of their offering as well as bringing other aspects of their teachings into my life and here is what I learned.

After completing the Passion Test, I was able to identify five passions:



#1 Holistic Health – Spirit / Mind / Body

When my life is ideal, I am respecting my body through a healthy lifestyle.

Time with God. Daily walk 30+ minutes. Healthy eating. Bath to relax. Reading, writing, and growing in knowledge and wisdom.

#2 Love Partner

When my life is ideal, I am enjoying a dynamic relationship with my love partner (husband).

Showing daily appreciation through words and gestures. Receiving with grace and thankfulness. Being respectful, vulnerable, and open.

#3 Play

When my life is ideal, I am playing at things I enjoy with the people I love.

Fun physical activities like bocce ball, bowling, or dancing. Travel to new places or to visit cherished family and friends. Outdoor activities like camping, hiking, picnics. Cultural activities like going to the theater and museums. Creative outlets pursuing fiber art activities.


#4 Securing My World

When my life is ideal, I'm working to create a secure life for those closest to me.

Working with the skills I have and learning new ones - gardening, landscaping, cooking, brewing, fermenting, beekeeping and woodworking. Creating an environment that fosters a self reliant lifestyle. Reaching out to others to share knowledge to create a community that is mutually supportive.


#5 In Relationship

When my life is ideal, I am fostering a positive relationship with those around me.

Good Communication – Acknowledgement – Time Together – Honoring Difference






Here's how to live a life of passion:



Three secrets to living your passions: 
Commitment - Clarity - Attention 

  1. Commitment - "Until you are committed, nothing will happen for you."

    And why should it? If you're not willing to make a change yourself, how can you expect your world to suddenly get better?

    There's nothing more important for creating your passionate life than making an unshakeable commitment to start choosing in favor of your passions.

    So, if for any reason, you're still not choosing in favor of your passions, make the commitment now and start creating new patterns for success and happiness.

    Yes, you'll always be asked to put other things ahead of your own passions. But by committing to your passions, it will get easier and easier to do the things you love first, not last or never.

    2. Clarity - "When you're clear, what you want will show up in your life, and only to the extent you are clear."

    The Passion Test is designed to bring you a new level of clarity about what you want. Once you gain that clarity, the things you want can literally start "showing up" immediately, and often in the most unexpected ways.

    3. Attention - "What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life."

    So your job is to become aware every day, every moment, WHAT you're putting your attention on. Through this practice you'll start attracting the people, places and things you need to manifest and support your passionate life.


Four keys to change your life from doubt and frustration to success and happiness
Stay Open - Integrity - Persistence - Follow Your Heart

1. Stay Open - Your greatest good may not be what you think it is.

When you are open to whatever is appearing now, even if it's different than the way you think it should be, you release your individual will and open to God's will for you.

This is the path to living your highest purpose, and also the secret to overcoming any obstacle, which may arise in your life.

2. Integrity - Be as true to yourself as you are to others, and as true to others as you are to yourself.

The biggest challenge most of us face is to meet our responsibilities to others while pursuing our passions at the same time.

When you make commitments to others, make sure those commitments are aligned with YOUR passions. Then you can fulfill both your passions and commitments to others in one stroke.

And when you make a commitment to yourself, treat it with the same respect as a commitment to anyone else.

3. Persistence - Many begin the journey, but those who finish it are the ones who achieve success and fulfillment in life.

When you're living a life that is truly aligned with your passions, persistence gets a whole lot easier. You'll find that you don't want to stop, or that you can't stop, even if you think you want to. Your deepest passions will drive you onward.

4. Follow Your Heart - Passion emerges from the heart, not the mind.

When you don't know which direction to head, just start walking and pay attention to what your heart tells you.  “You must listen carefully because your heart whispers.”  (Littlefoot’s mother)

Follow your heart's direction and the path to fulfillment in life will naturally unfold before your eyes as you learn to Stay Open, build your Integrity, demonstrate your Persistence, and Follow Your Heart.


Courtesy Elizabeth Hammond - Pinterest


My life doesn't seem so much like an iceberg any more. I'm learning to balance the desires of others and my need to pursue my passions. That bump in the road turned out to be a good thing as it sent me in a new direction. I highly recommend finding your passion if you've hit a bump in your road, because as Nelson Mandela said,



“There is no passion to be found in 
playing small — in settling for a life that 
is less than the one you are 
capable of living.”




For more information, here's some links to helpful resources:

The Passion Test

The Passion Test Book

Oprah's Find Your Passion

Oprah's Find Your True Calling 

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