Taking Flight: My Journey to Live a Passion-Driven Life

Last November, I watched Elizabeth Gilbert’s SuperSoul talk, Flight of the Hummingbird. At the time, I had a well of passion burning in my heart that was not-so-patiently waiting to be unleashed with fury. These passions of mine were dying to live, yet I had no idea how to give them life. Liz’s words took that passionate drive within me and gave me the courage to curiously embark on my own flight.

You have to identify your passion, that tower of flame, that will be your guiding, purposeful light; and you have to find that thing that makes you feel like your head is on fire; that makes you feel like there is a soul revolution going on deep inside your rib cage; that makes you feel like you would sacrifice and risk everything for that thing, that nothing else matters; that thing that you know you were born to do; and then you have to get every molecule in your being and you’ve got to funnel it directly and powerfully into that one thing and no other thing and you have to focus on that forever and that way, and only that way, will you succeed.

— Elizabeth Gilbert

I hadn’t the faintest clue where my passion would lead me or how it would evolve to take on an entirely new life within me. All I knew was I felt a deep calling to serve a meaningful purpose through my career. The courage I mustered opened up the door that my fear was keeping shut; until I honored the truth in my very heart and stepped bravely into curiosity, that door beckoned day and night.

The beauty of the road-less-traveled lies in the very nature that it holds: unknown landscapes and raging uncertainty. I learned to lean fully into faith, and trust in the unfolding of God’s plan for me. My motto became:

Certainty is irrelevant when you have faith in your pocket.

— Karilyn Owens

The practice of faith and trusting fully in my journey is the only way I could manage otherwise crippling uncertainty. I slowly surrendered and loosened my grip on control; each act of surrender allowed more miracles to unfold and gave me stronger faith to lean on. At the point in which I fully surrendered and left my full-time job (to dance fully in the pool of uncertainty), I truly began to watch my passions and curiosity take flight.

My curiosity gave me an outlet to allow my passions to fully live through my career. I had to eventually jump onto a path still seething with control; going down the wrong path allowed me to see what the right one was. I had to be open to making mistakes and falling in order to see what my capacity to rise was. And rise I did when I course corrected.

As I flew along my curiosity-driven flight, my own truth (via intuition) took flight as well. I began to find messages in places I couldn’t have fathomed prior to taking this journey. The magical phenomenon of spirit animals made itself known to my spirit after I connected further with my spiritual nature. The animals represent a message I need to hear at the time for the potential of my path to be fulfilled.

I have always held an affinity for hummingbirds. They are my beloved grandfather’s favorite bird, and their feats are stupendous despite their size. Soon after my grandfather’s passing, hummingbirds began to appear to me and my family with increasing prevalence. I felt the hummingbird was (and still is) a sign of his love. I couldn’t help but smile joyfully when a hummingbird flitted by with its glorious splendor. My grandpa loved putting a smile on our faces, and he no doubt continues to do so from Heaven.

Hummingbirds recently took on greater meaning when I learned the specific messages animals carry (aside from a sign from a loved one). They became my universal symbol of joy—a way to soak up the sweetness of life no matter what was happening around me. I tend to take my life and my spiritual purpose very seriously, but Hummingbird reminds me to simply enjoy the pleasures of life. When I work too hard, I forget to stop and smell the roses (one of my favorite pleasures to indulge in).

As I reached my calling with increasing clarity, Hummingbird appeared outside my window as I worked daily (often several times). No matter how frustrated or discouraged I am, I know that I am making progress toward my goals. When I stay focused on the impact I aim to serve, the daily trials seem insignificant compared to the overall journey I am on. And the joy that consumes me when Hummingbird furiously flies into view certainly keeps me motivated to move onward.

I have worked endlessly to get to the point where I can say with extreme pride that I found my calling and the means to fulfill it in a purposeful manner. When Hummingbird takes the time to perch on a branch, I get the sense that even Hummingbirds take a moment to sit in stillness (even though we rarely see this phenomenon). Each time they perch, I realize I can perch amongst the hustle of my journey. I can soak up the sweetness of the fruits born of my own flight, knowing I have found the passion-driven path.

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