Passion, Purpose and the Magic Shoes

Discovering our purpose can seem like an enormous burden, a significant thing to contemplate.  But if we are passionate about something, we can more readily come to know our purpose.  We live our purpose as a natural expression of the passionate self. 
Passion is visceral.  When our bodies are alive, we are alive. According to Angelis Arien, anthropologist and storyteller, questions indigenous healers ask a person who comes to them complaining of dis-ease are: "When did you stop singing? When did you stop dancing?  When did you stop being enchanted with the stories, especially the stories of your own life?" Certainly, alienation from our own passion and purpose is a critical dis-ease.  Singing, dancing, storytelling, and other creative expressions return us to the seat of our instinctive selves, the body.
As a professional coach who works with creative people committed to living their dreams, I have seen that if we let ourselves create, we can hear the note we sang, feel the steps we danced, weep at the story we told and say, "Ah!... This is who I am."
On fall a few years ago, I had lost sight of that great "Ah!" while trying to complete a masters degree, finish writing a book, and design a workshop to be held the following January. 
At about the same time, I spied in a catalog, some pink, blue, purple and yellow shoes with moons, stars and gold spirals splashed across the toes.  To me they were magic shoes.  I wanted a pair so much I felt like a little kid wanting candy, but they didn't come in my sturdy size eleven.  I lusted over those magic shoes, thinking that I could make some myself if I just had the time.
Of course there wasn't time for making magic shoes in my busy life. Besides, what could they have to do with anything important?  I not only had a purpose -- to be the best coach I could be, I had a mission -- to meet my deadlines.
One day my coach said to me, "Lynn, when are you going to make those magic shoes?"  With her gentle persistence, I agreed to at least find out what kind of shoe dye to use.  By the next week, I not only found the dyes, I bought some high-top white leather tennis shoes, got some black and gold acrylics for the moons, stars and spirals, and just started. 
Yes, I was up a little late a few nights.  Yes, the dining room table was covered with newspaper splashed with colorful paints and dyes for a few days.  But I felt alive again in a way that the projects and the plans didn't provide.  My whole body was engaged; a creative dance had begun that I couldn't stop.  I was scared I might ruin a perfectly decent pair of new shoes, but I didn't.  They are the most fun, beautiful pair of shoes I could ever imagine.  I tie them with turquoise
Someone asked me, "How do you know your shoes are magic?" 
"Because I say so," I replied.   I realized as I was creating them that I was creating the magic.  I can dance in my magic shoes.  I can sing.  I can tell people off.  I can flirt.  Standing squarely in the center of my life in my magic shoes, I am enchanted with the stories of my fellow travelers, and with my own story once again. 
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