And a FREE one-hour-workbook to get there!
For some, permission to follow their passion was never an issue – whether encouraged by family members or rebelling against them, the drive to follow their passions was a birthright recognized early on. That was not my experience.
I grew up fearful, repressing my own basic nature, talents and passions, in part, the result of growing up gay in the 1950s and 60s. And partly, the result of a loving, well-meaning father who feared for his son’s journey and encouraged a path he would have chosen for himself had he the means.
Bottom line – at the age of thirty-one, with the help of a good therapist and a loving support system, I stopped letting my fear of societal judgment make my choices. I also stopped thinking with my father’s brain and began exploring my own.
With courage, excitement and a managable amount of fear, I left the safe harbor of my law practice to follow my passion, a decision that forever changed my life. What happened next?
With joyful abandon I studied dance, acting, improvisational theater, nonprofit management and psychology. I eagerly walked through my fears to perform in plays and musicals on regional and off Broadway stages, created and sang in a four man accapella group for five years, choreographed for the Philadelphia Area Repertory Theater Co., became the Founding Board President of Philadelphia’s lgbtq youth center The Attic (now in its 27th year) to provide youth the support I wish I’d had. Became the Pied Piper of uncles to the two greatest kids on planet earth – embracing the role with love, acceptance and encouragement, used my legal chops to help launch a variety of nonprofit organizations including Philadelphia’s Art Sanctuary celebrating the power of Black artists and art, always with an eye toward giving back to my community. Wrote several screenplays, got an agent, produced the award winning feature film, (Broadway Damage) and traveled the world to twenty-five film festivals including Cannes 50th Anniversary. Restored a 1700’s property into a working sheep farm/dance-studio/bed & breakfast where I raised three breeds of sheep for their wool, designed beautiful blankets and taught dance fitness classes for six years, eventually helping to create a fitness community spanning 180 countries and traveled the world AGAIN! Produced a music CD for the brilliantly talented David Underwood, directed my first music video (Autumn) and wrote a book. Exhale. And at 67 I’m eager to see what’s next!
Grateful for my journey and to those who helped me take that initial leap of faith, several years ago I created a workshop, PERMISSION TO FOLLOW OUR PASSION, presented at a convention in Miami, FL. The workshop, intended to uncover the roadblocks keeping us from exploring our gifts, passions and intuition, includes a one hour workbook. (below)
Whether you select only three of the questions that speak to you or go for all twelve, I encourage you to take pen to paper and begin your next phase of self-exploration. If you have read this far, your intuition may be telling you it’s time. I leave you with this simple exercise and wish you well in what might just be a change in the trajectory of your thoughts, your day or your life. Gratefully yours.
PERMISSION TO FOLLOW OUR PASSION
12 questions to uncover and unblock passions
1. As a child I recall being happy when I would…
2. As a child I used to dream about…
3. Name one person and one thing that inspires you.
4. Notwithstanding the love I have for my family, it would have been thrilling to have been raised by ______________________________
5. Have you ever used age, education, finances, physical appearance, gender or fear of being judged as a reason to deny yourself from going after something you truly desired?
(Check one) Yes ____ No _____
(If yes, circle those that apply)
6. Describe who you are in 25 words or less without referencing what you do or have done for a living.
7. Life is a series of moments. Take yourself back to a moment that you would like to relive. Why this moment? What made it memorable?
8. Where do you fit in? Where, when and how do you stand out?
9. You’ve been gifted a two day stay on the island of your dreams and can bring one historical figure, living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
10. What would you like to tell your ten year old self?
11. In what area do you need more encouragement?
12. When it comes to following my passion, from this day forward my new *personal mantra is …
*a personal mantra is a short affirmation to inspire one to become their best self, providing motivation and encouragement for enhanced focus toward achieving goals.
BONUS QUESTIONS FOR GREATER FOCUS
1. How do you want to contribute to the world?
2. What do you need a second chance at?
3. List 3 wonderful things about yourself.