“I must find my way back to the central fire to be warmed. I must find the Source, if I am to be supplied.” Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes
A few years ago, I was reminiscing with a friend about my years performing and teaching modern dance and how much I loved what I was doing then. It was impossible for me to talk about it without becoming very animated. She commented that I obviously had a passion for what I did and added that she had never felt a passion for doing anything. She had tried a few things but none of them really caught fire.
At the time I was dancing, I always felt inspired, invigorated, alive in the most complete sense. I began to notice that dancing felt better than going to church ever had; it felt holy. Where did my ideas for dances come from? Of course, I consciously created some of the movement through thought or was inspired to move in a certain way by the music, but sometimes the most amazing ideas appeared like magic. Was God helping me choreograph? After all, ancient Greek theatre had been a celebration and worship honoring Dionysus, the god of wine and inspiration. When I danced or choreographed, I felt connected to the Divine as if the altar candle had been lit inside me. When I created, I burned with a joy and a hunger. I dared to go places I had never dared to go before.
Doing any creative activity takes one to the edge of the unknown, even if the creation is a business or product. Only the risk-takers go there. Perhaps that’s why my friend had never found her passion. She preferred the safe and secure paths.
One year I was choreographing a concert and wanted to include a jazz piece. I didn’t usually choreograph jazz and after creating a couple of minutes of movement, I had to admit the work was uninspired and boring. I kept trying to think of a more entertaining concept that I could wrap around the dance. Fortunately, by this time in my career, I had learned to be patient. I trusted that something would show up.
One night, about two weeks into rehearsals for the concert, I woke up laughing, knocked over the glass of water on the nightstand with my flailing arms, and like a movie, the dream I had just experienced flashed before me. A group of vagabond actors were wondering across the countryside (rolling hills) laughing, singing and entertaining anyone they encountered, each trying to upstage the other with their comic antics. The leader of the group was called Dr. Pepper. So the dance became “Dr. Pepper and His Traveling Companions,” a fun piece with each of the dancers vying for the spotlight in comic ways. Spirit has a sense of humor just as we do.
Allowing oneself to be a channel through which the Divine can express is what all artists and other creative people do whether we realize it or not. Through this creativity, we find the way back to “the central fire to be warmed.” As a result Source supplies our needs with ideas, insights and occasionally a supportive patron or free use of a studio.
I have a friend who loves to hunt and learn about mushrooms. I love to eat them, but I’m probably not ever going to read about or hunt them. I do like finding the really colorful, unusual ones on my walks through the forest and spending a moment examining them, but my friend has a real passion for them. I really like the fact that she has a passion for something and that’s part of what draws us together as friends. We are both people who allow ourselves to be passionate.
One way to find your way to the “central fire,” to Source, Spirit, God is to find your passion. When you follow what you truly love, Source is always there. Most of us have forgotten before childhood is over, what warmed us when we were too young to make judgments about it or see it as impractical, before a parent said, “What are you doing that silly thing for?” or “You don’t really want to do that, you just think you do.” If you can remember what gave you joy before then, that will be your first clue. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to dance. Paul Taylor, the famous modern dancer once said when asked why he danced, “Because I have to.”
The greatest tragedy for those who are taught young not to feel or express their passion is that this cuts them off from Source. How can you find “the central fire” if you can’t find the fire within; they are the same.
What is your passion?