How she found passion + peace December 29 2014

Let's pretend you've magically traded places with someone who runs a large design company, is a worldwide in-demand speaker and author, and is a mother of three and wife. You're also very financially successful.

Now - imagine this new life: you might suspect you've just entered a world of luxury cars and the latest designer wardrobes, dripping with expensive jewelry and other symbols of status.

You might also guess that people are constantly coming to you for decisions and asking you to put out fires. The emails and voicemails are endless. All you do is react to demands for your time all day. With what little you have left, you try to squeeze in writing your books and doing your speaking gigs, which require a lot of travel. 

Sure, you're rich and you have a ton of "impressive" stuff, but your time is almost never your own. At that point, is your life even your own?

But wait, back up - it could be so different! Nancy Duarte is who I described in that first "Let's pretend" paragraph, but she's none of the things other things I described.

She seems to thoroughly enjoy life, yet pricey symbols of status aren't of interest to her. Beyond her loved ones and creative passions, she said what interests her is paying her people well, helping others succeed, and giving a lot of her surplus away

I listened to a wonderful podcast interview with Nancy last night and woke up today so excited to talk about this lady who lives life so differently - with so much intention and joy. Because we need outside-the-box stories like this - true possibilities to live into.

Near as I can tell, this very successful woman gets a great deal done and creates a happy, healthy life for herself by doing shocking things like taking a couple quiet 3-hour hikes each week and blocking off her daily schedule until noon for "sacred time." Her sacred time is when she is writing, working on a book, and thinking and dreaming of the future and the role her firm can play in it. "It gives me the space to invent," she said. (And yes, she said it requires tons of discipline to keep that time blocked off!)

And, her hiking or biking time in nature lets her mind process and churn until it finally gets quiet, and then, as she puts it, she can hear her heart and "my heart can talk to God."  She attributes a lot of her good ideas, productivity, and coping ability to those long hikes and bike rides.

My favorite discovery from the interview was that she created her remarkable lifestyle by living each day with a very specific intention: She says that she and her husband (of 30 years!) have always said, "I want to wake up every day and do what brings me peace and what gives me passion. And just do those things." 

Imagine starting every day, every decision, and every year that way: What will bring me peace? What will fuel my passion? If you're the creative, spiritual type (I know you are!), you probably already place a high value on what you're passionate about. But still, I personally find it's easy to slip: months go by without travel plans or a trip to an art showing; or I forget to ask what I could do this year to support the wellbeing of wildlife and animals.

Nancy's inner peace intention is the other key part of a full YES. Very grounding. I'm not passionate about decluttering my closets and drawers, but I did so this weekend because I could feel the inner peace (of having it done) calling me. Seriously.

So, on my altar, in my Spirit box, I've offered those questions to my Divine higher power. And I'll put in more intentions (or questions) each day, as the answers unfold.

If you had to answer, "What will bring me peace? What will fuel the passionate me?", what would you decide to do this year?

May this be a year of getting the giggles just thinking of some of the things you get to do, and of ending your days with a catlike stretch and satisfied sigh of peace!