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The Process Of Passion

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I have been a student of  martial arts since I was 24 years old. Under the guidance of my amazing teacher Sahnya Thom in Milwaukee, WI, I was exposed to a wide range of styles and techniques within kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Jeetkundo (a blended martial arts style pioneered by Bruce Lee). I left Wisconsin in 2015 to start a new career in Portland and my physical practice of martial arts was pushed to the back burner. The practice was crowded out by my yoga practice and the challenges of starting a new career. That being said, I never lost that feeling of passion for martial arts. I knew I deeply missed it but was always making excuses. I told myself I didn't have time, I couldn't afford it, I didn't know a good school to go to. This winter I finally committed to a regular practice again and decided to try a new art form at Portland Shaolin Center. Here I found my passion again. 

Getting back to my first passion has really lit a fire in me. It feels amazing to reconnect to that inner warrior that has carried me through so much in my life. I am reminded of my power, my talents and my desire to live with passion and courage. 

Walking into the Shaolin Center on that first day was daunting. I wondered if my ego could handle going back to white belt. I wondered if I would still be good at it. I wondered whether it would be a good fit. I felt the fear of being new. Then it came back. The belt didn't matter, the movements came, and the fear dissipated. Connecting to this passion has filtered into other areas of my life. My yoga practice has become more focused, I am meditating more, and I have been commuting by bike most days. Most importantly, my self-confidence has been given a boost. How can your passion, whatever it might be, facilitate change in your life? How can you change your life practices to shift your consciousness? This practice might be yoga or another physical endeavor. It might be a creative art.

Whatever it is, connecting to your passion can have a powerful effect on all aspects of your life, if you tune in. 

Take time to investigate what stirs passion in you. What can you let go of to get you out of a rut. My negative patterns are to make excuses to avoid what is hard; to hide behind my fear of failure. What patterns can you let go of to allow for a shift of consciousness.  What can you renunciate to make space to grow and transform? What steps can you take to renunciate fear, move into courage, and live fiercely?