After a warm welcome-back to Gretchen, Adriana, Xavier and Kerry, a brief poem written and read by Ricci, Tisiola took us straight into the evening’s topic, of “Understanding Your Passion and Purpose”.
As she noted, this subject is inter-related to the topic discussed at our recent retreat, looking at how to become “The Authentic Creator of the Life You Love to Live”. Of course, finding your passion is one thing, and then finding your purpose, another.
As we all know, passions rise and dissipate, throughout our lives. In fact, over the course of our journey we are likely to experience many passions, and purposes. Those who know their soul’s purpose, and passion from an early age, and are privileged to have it journey with them throughout their lives, are very much the exception to the rule.
For the remainder of us, it is as if we are calibrated to enquire from an early age, “Who am I, Why am I Here? What is my Purpose?”
Often we find a purpose and passion only to discover it’s not really the right fit for us. Or, after doing the things other’s have asked of us or expected of us, we become more self-aware and decide we want to find our own passion. Our own true purpose.
Or, as in the case with Tisiola, we return to a passion that has been buried by circumstances and remained covered by the hands of time, for more than half her life.
Retracing her pre-school and primary school childhood years in Tonga, we see a very happy, inquisitive, nature loving child, who had an innate love for learning.
Unfortunately, because she loved to learn and was therefore advanced with her studies, when at high school, she was parachuted into a more senior class, where for the first time in her life, she encountered fear. Something she had never experienced before. She described it as a “fear of others”.
Her life, when growing up, was surrounded with love from her family and her natural environment which supported her love for education. But encountering “fear of others” for the first time, changed her love for learning and her passion for higher education.
We now have a language for what she experienced in high-school – we now call it “bullying” but at the time she didn’t understand what it was. For the first time, Tisiola experienced learning for the fun of learning came hard up against competitive learning. It was like putting a pin into a balloon. She went from freely doing the things she loves, to being afraid of being seen. She dropped back to her previous class by her own choice, and although she completed her high school studies, her love for learning had been soured. Quashed internally!
Like many victims of violence, she felt shamed by her painful experience; chose to bury it from sight, and replaced her love for learning, with being very busy. Everywhere. Especially around the village she grew up. Instead of going to University as expected, she chose to do some missionary work on nearby islands - she became hyper-busy.
After her time in the missionary field, eventually she returned home to revisit the previous plan of pursuing her higher education. The thought of doing the things that she once loved became a fear of competition and facing up to bullies and unfair systems. As fortune would have it, her parents had taken in an Australian boarder, who after a time, she married, and soon after, they emigrated to his hometown of Wollongong, N.S.W. Australia.
As you can imagine, life in her new home was very different, from living in a small communal village in Tonga, so again, in order to survive the culture shock, Tisiola employed the assistance of her old friend; Busy-Busy.
Busy raising three children; busy working and paying off a mortgage; busy trying to find her place in the new community; busy shopping and playing do-up-the-house, just like everyone else; it was a busy, busy, lonely time, for Tisiola, and she missed her family immensely.
Eventually she had a breakdown, and Busy-Busy, was sent packing.
The time had come for her to take stock of her life, and with this came the birth of her Self-Awareness, and eventually, her breakthrough.
Our level of awareness is limited and needs to be developed. Once the inner landscape has been navigated, studied and understood, we begin to recognise our intuition, which we have basically been told is hogwash and to ignore. And this is such a shame, because this is the important stuff we should be taught about. This is an essential part of our whole system. Which is what we are. An entire system. Mind, body and soul.
Our ability to think and feel, is all part of being human. We are psychic beings, and as such attract the energy of light and love.
This is what we needed to learn about in schools. Tisiola started to feel the ancient, deeply buried rousing of excitement that she had felt as a child learning stuff. To her joy and amazement, it was all still there.
In 2007 she scraped together the money to do every course available to her in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), studies.
Passion was once again coursing through her body. This was her Passion. This was her Purpose. She set up her Coaching and Mentoring business in 2007. She worked with individuals, mainly women and children.
Ah, but no, this wasn’t it.
Later in 2009, she did a course in marketing.
Bing! She realised; of course! She wasn’t meant to be in a room, doing one-on-one work. She was brought up in a community. Her parents had modelled her to be a community leader, and she had done it and loved it. She traced back the pattern of her life and realised that her purpose is about human connection and adult education. And the essential part of her passion is working in collaboration with other like-minded people, especially women.
In 2010, EWP became a registered organisation. She started branching out to the community through a combination of social and educational activities, high-teas and focus group gatherings, seminars, and workshops. Then she realised she needed more help to support the development of EWP. Therefore, in 2011, EWP went from a team of two (Barb and herself) to forming her team of five women to help her run EWP yearly social and educational programs.
Thus it became clear to her that her niche, passion and purpose are to serve women. She wanted to help them, overcoming the challenges and set-backs similar to her own. She wanted to be able to teach them all the things she has learned on her journey, and her studies with the likes of Jean Houston, her teacher and mentor.
Things like: learning to integrate the inner and outer, through deep listening in order to bring about the self: to acknowledge our body rather than suppressing it. Bring it with you, sit with it, breath with it, and it will enable you to listen to one another, through unspoken energy passing between you. This is compassion.
When we train our mind/body system to really hear that within ourselves, not only do we do the deep seeing and deep listening, we are able to also do the cross/sensing. In other words, see with our ears, smell with our touch etc.
Now in case you think such things are not possible, in this day and age, neuro scientists are able to witness this happening by re-training the mind to use different parts of the brain, for different functions, when damage has occurred. It is very possible.
Tisiola’s journey, from childhood to growing up and breaking down; finding her self-awareness and the path leading back to her passion for learning and forward to her true purpose of awakening other women (through education and love) to discover theirs; was over for the evening.
Julie played a great rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now”, and we helped her along, before opening the floor up for some group sharing:
· Sometimes we need a mentor to bridge the passion and getting things done, and maybe discovering our true purpose.
· Follow your passion wherever it leads you. The way ahead becomes clearer, the closer you move towards it.
· The light that illuminates the purpose is the energy of love you will find when you lose yourself to the singular joy of doing what you love.
· No amount of money can reward you as much as the pleasure you receive from doing what you love.
· The passion and purpose of music, is crescendoed when shared.
· Returning to what you loved as a child, will often lead you to your adult passion and purpose.
· Once you’ve found your passion and purpose, it doesn’t mean you can’t find more.
· When you are aligned with your passion and purpose, it is amazing how resources, people, and answers, miraculously appear.
· Bridges are built, between the most unlikely banks, when good energy flows freely between them. That is when you are in life, and life is in you, and you are cocreating.
And just in case anyone thought, “But who am I? What can little ‘ol me do?” Tisiola brought our session to a close with us listening to Greta Thunberg’s address to the U.N. Climate Change summit, 2018.
Wow! If you haven’t already done so, go and listen to it now. And if you have – go listen again. It is very empowering. No one is ever too small to make a positive difference nor too old for that matter. We can all do it – if we want and choose to do so.
Meanwhile, it’s toodle pip from me,