Flare or Fog, It Matters Not

“Don’t pursue your passion. Be it” was Anita Moorjani’s response to a Hay House interviewer’s request for one bit of advice for everyone. The interview was months ago but the words stayed with me, like distant notes of a tune I almost recognized.

The words dropped in and out of my attention, showing up when I least suspected them. About ten days ago, the lupus flare I thought was on the wane gained new life, joined by the light of Sjogren’s syndrome.

It has been four years, maybe even five, since I have known the light of a Sjogren’s flare so it took me a while to recognize it. Sjogren’s attacks the body’s moisture glands–the exocrine system that produces tears and saliva—the primary symptoms are dry eyes, dry mouth, and fatigue. Even with the use of prescription medication, my salivary glands were destroyed years ago.

For me, Sjogren’s has always meant debilitating fatigue but in tandem with lupus, the brain fog and joint pain are in high evidence. I have to be careful not to give them too much credit because they will take it and more. They can seem insatiable.

Foliage Waverly 0713

For me, any kind of flare is a flash of light within a fog for the brighter the flare, the thicker the fog. I sense the energy of the flare but the fog is just as intense; for the past ten days, it has been flare and fog, quite fatiguing.

Still, Anita Moorjani’s words wandered in and out of my days for passion is the energy of this flaring duo. As the fog began to lift and the energy of the flare remained, the question emerged: what if I stop pursuing my passion? There is still sufficient fog but the question is clear enough to be considered.

I am not given to labeling passion, not in my later years anyway, but the gift of such flares is to be in life fully, letting one moment go for the next. Each moment presents its infinite possibilities, if we will allow it to reveal itself.

“To access the state of allowing, the only thing I had to do was be myself. I realize that all those years, all I ever had to do was be myself, without judgment or feeling that I was flawed” (Anita Moorjani, Dying to be Me).


Perhaps, being one’s passion is a mere matter of showing up for every moment mindfully, whether in fog or in flare matters not. It is a thought that enters my mind but I push it away in favor of sleep. It revisits me in my next morning’s meditation; I am tired and take a while before sitting meditation but I sit for my usual hour.

The morning is as it has been for over two weeks–overcast, humid, and rain seems imminent–but as my morning meditation ends, there is not yet rain and as often happens, I have more energy after meditation.

I decide to go in search of Lake Miccosukee, something that has crossed my mind from time to time but the moment never seemed to suit. The morning is still early, hazy with humidity, and I am a bit foggy myself so we are a perfect fit.

Driving down canopy roads of Live Oaks, crape myrtles bloom beneath the oak boughs as does the delicate mimosa. Many consider the mimosa a weed for it grows quickly anywhere, offering feathery blossoms in a fan like wave. I admire the mimosa’s tenacity to bloom, to return time and again, only to be chopped down. Nature is perpetually passionate.

Arriving at Lake Miccosukee, I have the boat dock all to myself for a moment, unbelievably good fortune and an omen for the rest of my day. Miccosukee is a prairie lake. Sometimes, it’s a prairie and other times it’s a lake, too, but always aquatic plants are abundant.

Prairie Lake 0713

I have grown used to lakes controlled by sinkholes, coming or going, either way works. In this moment, Lake Miccosukee is a floating prairie, and it occurs to me that here is yet another version of the island of vegetation from The Life of Pi. Imagine that.

I am already tired but it has been another marvelous hour. Would that all mornings were just like this one but if they were, this one would not be what it was, its own. I am learning the practice of being one’s passion, allowing the day to unfold, be it in flare or fog. It matters not.

“When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are only changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will have peace. Wherever you are, you will have this attitude of practice with you constantly. You will have a steady awareness within yourself. The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of like and dislike and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice.

~Ajahn Chah~ 

Again, thanks for all of your warm wishes and kind words as I sit within the flare of this fog. My plan is to post weekly, whether it is a Sunday Something or a Thursday Tidbit but I am letting nature be my guide.

26 thoughts on “Flare or Fog, It Matters Not

  1. Hi Karen,

    This is a great post and my take-away is this powerful line, ” Perhaps, being one’s passion is a mere matter of showing up for every moment mindfully, whether in fog or in flare matters not.”

    As we strive to reach this Nirvana level, what do we need to do to discover that passion that will be us?



  2. I had a friend with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.Over time, the disease became more and more the dictator of what she could and couldn’t do, yet she was the most positive and giving person I ever knew. She lived in the moment and with gratitude. Through fogs and flares, like you, she remained present, and lived her life so much more vividly than those around her who had the luxury of taking life for granted. Like Cindy, you are a living example of life done well. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.


  3. Karen, may you have many more hours of healing meditation, fog lifting, and being in your passion. Thank you for sharing your insights and personal journey – your inspiration and reflection touches more people than you know.


  4. Hi Karen,
    I hope this comment goes through as it’s my third try. I seem to be having issues with my WordPress log in regardless, I was thrilled to see your post show up in my email this weekend. I’ve been thinking of you and hoping that you are faring well. Your ability to focus on inner peace while navigating your way through the stormy waters is such an inspiration. I’m glad you were able to enjoy a beautiful visit to the lake and thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. Sending you continued peace and healing energy and as always wishing the best for you, my friend.



  5. Karen, another wonderful post, and I very much admire the way you are at peace with what is. As, I think, we must be; and yet, so often, we are not. A fault, perhaps, in western philosophies; in the notion that we must fight often unwinnable fights – as opposed to accepting what must be. Yet if we accept,things as they are, we preserve our energies for where they are needed.

    I do hope all settles for you.

    All positive thoughts coming your way from this side of the world!


  6. Karen, thanks for sharing what is so, and for expressing how you are dealing with such challenges. I just saw a snippet with Anita Moorjani speaking, and yes, her life is a potent reminder. May your body be healed, the brain fog cleared, but no matter what, may peace enter each cell with Loving Awareness.


  7. Before I began writing this morning, I saw a starling outside my window, hopping in the branches of a cherry tree, its iridescent green and purple feathers gleaming in the sun. This is a scavenger bird, despised by many, yet beautiful, a survivor, finding its summer forage among the now ripe cherries. Your writing always opens me to the now. Today’s message, to simply let what will happen flow through you, carries me past disappointment and silly fears. I will be like the starling and go about my business, sending you thoughts of strength.


  8. Another insightful post Karen, which leaves me with admiration again for your positive outlook. The lake visit certainly sounds worth the effort – nature can be one of the simplest rewards available to us. I did try some meditation after some sitting yoga – on a train of all places, where in seat TV helpfully had stress relieving options to listen too and watch natural images! At least I got an idea of the possibilities. Thanks for your thoughtful response to my previous comment.


    1. Thanks, Diana, and actually, meditation on a train makes sense to me but you know how I am…. I hope to post some more lake pictures as these “sink hole” lakes continue to fascinate me. Thanks for the words of encouragement, much appreciated.


  9. This quote from “Thoughtful Mind” made me think of you. “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


  10. Yes , be yourself – to do that , first know ourselves and as Ajahn Chah says -Let go of like and dislike and let things be.


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