Saturday, May 17, 2014

Igniting a Passion

By Sheala Dawn Henke

How many of us draw a line in the sand before our passion? Allowing it to dangle just out of reach, before our very eyes, as we find ourselves incapacitated to move toward it. Where did we learn that we have to sacrifice important parts of ourselves to meet the standards of everyday life? Whether it be the family, the job or the day to day responsibilities, we somehow find it easy to neglect our desires. Perhaps it's simply the fact that it seems impossible to make room for one more thing.

Audrey Hepburn once said, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I'm possible." So how did we ever get it so turned around? I guess one place to start might be in the early stages of our lives. A transition from a time when play was critical in our development and we were given free reign of our passions for passion sake. I take this into consideration every morning as I enter my classroom where we've developed a culture to allow time, supply and space for this sacred part of our day. It's what we call our "Pleasure Time", honing happiness and joy in our daily routines. Those who don't see the value in this orientation toward creative capacities might suggest that this is a designated 'free' time. Yet, to the open-minded eye, one would witness this as a highly productive facilitation of active involvement in which the child is fully invested. And what I've discovered is that when I give my students the opportunity to ignite their passions, it somehow supersedes any other challenges they might face throughout the year.

I read something recently that said "All the colors of what we see only represent 1% of what exists in the electromagnetic spectrum." That same anonymous author went on to suggest that the existence of the rainbow depends on the conical receptors we were born with. Consider the implications of this as a metaphor for what we've been exposed to in our lives. We go through life with differentiated needs, interests, experiences and values, but we're often confronted with a pigeonhole approach to a scripted list of priorities. What might be possible if environments shifted in schools and at the workplace if there were more opportunities for self expression? If we could take the necessary time to delve into our passions and feed all of the facets of ourselves that make us unique and special, we might not only witness the rainbow, but create it in our lives.

Feed your passions and support others to do the same. It isn't selfish. It's not wasteful. In fact, it just might lead to a pivotal change in this world. So play that instrument, paint that picture and write that novel and pay attention to the inner voice who declares, "Pleasure time is my favorite subject!" And look upon what you've created in your world to see that you may have found your pot of gold.

Sheala Dawn Henke lives in Fort Collins, CO where she has worked as an elementary school teacher for 15 years. In a critiquing partnership with past and present students, she has successfully published her debut novel in the first of a series of young adult science fiction books titled IDEA 33- A Regeneration


RichardK said...

There have been plenty of theories and methods developed that promote the importance of play in a child's earlier years. The less structured they are the more imaginative they'll get. We were much more structured with our first child as opposed to our fifth, and you can see the huge creative differences between the two.

On a personal level, my passion was muted due to a parent who was disappointed in his own life and wanted to life successfully through his children. It took years of talking it out with others before my creativity burst open again.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I agree 100%, Sheala. I love to see a full week of empty spaces on my calendar because then I know I have time to indulge in all my passions that week....and I have a lot of them from writing to gardening and many more.

Anonymous said...

As a result of my passion for writing, I've published two books in the past few years, and another is due out sometime this summer. It's a chapbook called That's Life: New and Selected Poems. The other two are a romance novel, We Shall Overcome, (2007) and another poetry collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. Both can be purchased from my Website at

Sarah Sullivan said...

I wish you had my teacher! I have never heard the quote about "impossible" being "I'm possible." I love it!

Sarah Sullivan said...

That should read "I wish you had been my teacher." As you can see, I needed a good teacher. : )

Dean K Miller said...

No on will ignite our passion for us. I was fortunate to be allowed room to explore, grow, and "be" outside of the box. And I'll never crawl back inside.

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