When Passion is the Guide – JoAnne Dodgson

I found this exquisite piece of writing by JoAnne Dodgson in the most recent edition of the Wise Brain journal – it speaks so eloquently to the nature of existence, change and the power and passion of being in the flow of all of life. I loved her story about how she experienced her father’s passing, as I had a very similar experience with mine. She is offering a unique perspective on some familiar territory. May it inform your weekend. And, enjoy!


“When Passion is the Guide

There are always changes going on – in the shifting seasons of the earth, in our personal and collective lives. Whether planned or unexpected, change involves endings and beginnings, the dismantling and rebuilding, the death of what has been and the birthing of the new.

Though change is ever present in the natural flow of life, we tend to fear and fight against it. We struggle to hold onto what’s known and familiar while longing for something fresh, dynamic, and new. Endings tend to get fueled by anger, disconnection, and disappointment. Beginnings often evoke fears of unknowns, doubts about survival, questions about which direction to go.

So how do we find our way?

Lean Into the Ending

Every change is a death of sorts. And life is a ceaseless flow of change. So to really live, it’s essential we befriend death and honor the transformations that unfold in every moment, in our own bodies and beings, in everyone and everything, everywhere in the world around us.

My dad, in his dying, was a great teacher about accepting death and courageously going with the momentum into this significant change. So was Jasmine, my four-legged friend. With both of these loved ones, I didn’t want to miss a moment, I didn’t want to miss a breath, as they made the passage from this world to the realm of spirit. Instinctively, I dove deep into the sharing of their journeys, offering companionship and care, even though this was new territory filled with not-lived-before experiences.

Leaning into the ending – really being there, connecting with it. Witnessing. Learning. Feeling the feelings. Exploring the mysteries. Accepting all the messiness. Finding the magic. Breathing love.

Lean into the ending and join up with the dance of life. Awaken gifts sacred and beautiful beyond words.

In this present time in your life, what endings and completions of cycles are happening? Lean in, with all the courage and acceptance you can gather up. Take a close-up look and see what you see, without any judgments, without any fear. Acknowledge with deep respect whatever is dying away, whatever is no longer needed and ready to be let go.

Love What You’re Letting Go Of

In the natural movement through transitions, letting go is an expression of love. Pure love. This is the organic way of life on the earth, which we often forget we’re inherently part of. To help us remember, there are countless brilliant guides very close by, readily within reach.

Just take a look at the trees.
When it’s time for the trees to drop their leaves, they don’t release them with resentment, regret, or a sense of failure. They don’t shrug them off with anger and disrespect. The leaves have been birthed by the trees, beloved by the trees, essential for gathering rainwater, synthesizing sunlight, protecting and nourishing life.

When the purpose has been served for this particular form of relationship, when the cycle is complete for this certain way of being, it’s naturally time for the letting go. Guided by the earth’s shifting seasons and the knowings carried within, trees make ingenious intentional internal changes which allow the leaves to fall away.

This is not about withholding and withdrawing love. Rather, the process is infused with beauty and grace, with loving appreciation for all that has been. With such exquisite ease, the trees’ letting go is colored with purpose and shared understanding.

With clear and loving endings, boundless energy is freed up to move into the next cycle, to pursue whatever now fully supports the flourishing of life. Nothing is stuck or blocking the way. Remnants from the past aren’t weighing things down.

So love what you’re letting go of – clutter in the closet, addictive patterns, particular foods, completed projects, money given to pay the bills, an illness, old ways of relating with yourself and others, limited beliefs about the world and your dreams.

Surround yourself, everyone else, the history and the circumstances, all the letting go, with love. Pure Love. This awakens peace, allows genuine feelings to flow, and creates wide open space for the new.

Let Passion Be Your Guide

Change is a passage, a journey through a doorway leading from what has been into something not-yet-known. Heading right into the mystery can be rather daunting and fear-filled. So what carries us through? What compels us to open doorway after doorway after doorway of change?

If we reach beyond the fears and the shouldn’ts and the shoulds, we’ll find the passion of our hearts calling us, guiding the way. The desire to live fully. The creative adventure of our aliveness. Reaching toward our potentials. The hunger to flourish and thrive.

Like the salmon swimming upstream hundreds of miles, tenaciously finding their way home.

Like baby birds tapping open eggshells, boldly leaving behind the only world they’ve known.

Like a butterfly coming out of the chrysallis, readying to fly into an entirely new life. Unstoppable uninhibited Passion. Let this be your guide.”

Since 2000, JoAnne Dodgson has been living and learning the kala keh nah seh lineage of Ka Ta See, a tradition from the Eastern Andes. A shamanic healer and teacher of these ancient medicine ways, JoAnne offers spiritual counseling, Bone Throws, traditional energy balancing, spirit journeys, and community ceremonial gatherings. Prior to her shamanic initiations, JoAnne completed her doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Holistic Health. She has many years of experience as a therapist, community activist, and college instructor in holistic healing, women’s studies, and transpersonal psychology. For more information, please visit www.pathwaysforhealing.net.



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