“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.
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.
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.
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.