Earlier this week, I perused the e-book selections from the New York Public Library and checked out One Beautiful Dream by Catholic convert and author, Jennifer Fulwiler.
I was vaguely familiar with Jennifer’s work, as I follow her on Twitter, but that was about it. In the vein of social media, I am a member of a robust women’s group affiliated with the Blessed is She ministry. One day while browsing the group, another member mentioned Fulwiler’s book and the concept of a “blue flame.” Essentially, in Dream, any activity that we love and gives us joy is our “blue flame” – it lights us up and gives us a passion in life.
(Knowing that I also needed a kick in the pants regarding my own passions – I immediately perused the digital book offerings from the NYPL – and became excited when Fulwiler’s book was available).
However, Jennifer goes on to mention how that many women – especially moms – feel guilty for lighting up their “blue flame” and chasing their passions. The reasons are many: women feel like as if they’re neglecting their kids and husbands, they believe that they’ve “moved on” from that phase of their life, or they just can’t make time for it anymore. Us women, we’re very good at becoming our own worst enemies. As I read, one particularly powerful example was that of a mom who was an accomplished musician- yet she gave up her music when she began her family. Fulwiler notes that when speaking of creating music in private, the woman began to cry – perhaps longing for the joy that her craft once brought her.
Myself, though I am not a mother, have fallen to the same mentality that extinguishes my blue flame. I have every excuse in the book – I’m busy, I have to rest, “That’s not who I am any more.” For me, my blue flame is, hands down, writing. In another world, I am a paid writer who has time to hone her craft into something more (preferably more *money*). But, in this present world, writing is a hobby that fills my time between my 12-work days and various other commitments. It’s easy to see where I give up my writing in exchange for a moment of rest that doesn’t truly recharge who I am as a person.
On this lovely Sunday morning, I challenge you dear readers, to light up your blue flame this week. Whether it’s a workout class, reading a book, writing, baking, or just sitting on your back porch, turn on the light that makes you you. Everyone will be better for it.