Every once in a blue moon, or in this case a solar eclipse, I find a few hours just for me. No commitments. No homework. No grading. No housework. Okay that one isn’t actually true because everyone knows housework never ends. While the kids were on their various adventures with friends, I too set off on my own adventure and it began at the Orange Circle, a quaint community over 100 years old lined with antique stores, coffee shops and local restauranteurs.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I have recently discovered peace in Starbuck’s nonfat, iced caramel Macciato. So there I was, me, my grande cup, my journal and favorite pen to capture the day’s journey of presence and passion. Earlier this morning I had finished Eckhert Tolle’s quick read Stillness Speaks, a powerful punch of spiritual enlightenment packed in a short 162 page book. I underlined, starred, circled, boxed and made notes as I turned each page, hoping by doing so the messages would sink in even deeper into my often forgetful memory. Tolle’s overall message throughout the book is one many mentors speak of so it wasn’t a new concept. Tolle just brings it to a whole new level of consciousness. I’m speaking of the stillness of being over doing – that by connecting to the “stillness within, we move beyond our active minds and emotions” we discover peace, contentment, serenity and presence. It was Tolle’s words that were with me as I sat in Starbucks, journal in hand drawing out my passion and purpose across its pages. I listed the passions from my distant past, some lost to the winds, others still lingering today.

After an hour, I shifted my environment and walked to the park. I continued to identify my current passions, what keeps me focused and present. After a short lunch and flipping a few pages in my latest read Robin Sharma’s The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, I drove over to the local Barnes and Nobel – my personal heaven on earth next to a movie theater. Once inside the welcoming doors of the “booksellers,” I leisurely grazed among aisles of inspiration – art, theater, design, business, marketing and self help books. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular and vowed to myself not to purchase any more books until I’ve read half the ones already stacked upon my nightstand…yeah, you guessed it, that didn’t work. Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning has been on my radar for months and it was available for a very affordable price. Also among the business section a small pocketbook popped off the shelf titled The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschappeler. A quick skim through the pages and Eureka! The gold I had been searching for found me…“50 models for strategic thinking.” I’m sure many future posts of wisdom will find their way here.

Before I left my last refuge on this afternoon of self discovery I wrote a few pages of unfiltered projection and possibility. I imagined myself five years in the future, where I would meet my passion daily and who was around me when I did. Paris, London, on the beaches in Australia, I saw myself traveling with my family living and sharing my passion through words and actions without apology, without fear. Today, I planted the seed for this tree of abundance. Many patient days and months of love and nurturing lie ahead before its sweet fruit can be harvested. No orchard will be richer than the one sown from passion and purpose.

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