Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Follow Your Heart

By Carol H.

Before I turn the page over to Carol, I have the very sad duty of informing you that this will be Carol’s last regular post with FOL. You see, Carol has another love … in addition to her husband! You'll find the 'rest of the story' in her beautiful post below.

Carol promises me she’ll pop up on our pages every now and again and there may even be a mystery blogger waiting in the wings. So today, be sure to stop by to wish Carol well. We’ve all been inspired by Carol’s photography and writing and have learned from her and about her. I say with all sincerity, ‘Carol, we hardly knew ye!’ So come back often. ~ Dotti


Seems like sound advice doesn’t it? Follow your heart, find your passion, and then do that. But what if you have more than one passion?

I love taking pictures and processing them. I love combing them with words to tell a story. That’s what is so great about the blog platform. It’s a place where we can combine these things to tell stories. And when we’re lucky, we find a community like Focusing On Life where these stories are shared and a conversation begins. In these conversations we have learned from one another, been inspired by one another, and been comforted by one another. This has been my experience here at FOL and I am truly grateful to everyone for that gift.


But I have another passion – gardening. I don’t have a degree in horticulture, nor could I tell you the Latin names of the plants in my garden. But I can tell you how wonderful it feels to work the soil, feeling its cool moisture between my fingers. Its sweet smell reminding me that nourishing the soul is work that begins beneath the surface, deep within. I lose track of time when I’m out there.



I've been a member of Northwest Perennial Alliance (NPA) for a number of years. It is a wonderful non-profit organization dedicated to binging gardeners together to learn from one another through classes, workshops, and their Open Gardens program. I have benefited greatly from them and have been looking for a way to give back. That opportunity has now presented itself. I will be the new Open Gardens chair in 2014. It is a great honor, but one that requires a serious amount of time. In order to balance this responsibility with the rest of my life, I find I have a difficult decision to make. Following my heart I have found is very much like walking a labyrinth. Though I want to walk a straight path to the center, there are times I am forced to make a turn.  And so, it is with much regret that I must step back from being a regular contributor here at FOL. I am so grateful to have been on this journey. All of you, contributors and followers alike have been so kind and encouraging. This community is a wonderful place to share. Focusing On Life has taught me the importance of focusing on my own life as a creative and surrounding myself with like-minded souls on the same quest, even though we may take different paths. All roads lead home. Just follow your heart.



Do you have more than one passion? How have you balanced your life to include them? What sacrifices have you made in order to follow your heart? Please share your story here, on our FB page, or show us through your pictures on our Flickr page, our Flickr phoneography page, or on Instagram with the hashtag #focusingonlife.

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Happy Holidays everyone! May the spiritual light of the season guide you through the new year. Much love,
Carol


PS – I hope to be a guest poster from time to time so I know our paths will cross again!



 

17 comments:

Viv@within the Frame said...

I don't think it's goodbye just au revoir good luck with your new venture they are lucky to have you...

AFishGirl said...

Carol, thank you for each and every post. Bravo to you for both listening to and following your heart. It is not easy to do in today's world. Have a wonderful time in the warm, sweet earth.

stamper2 said...

Thank you Carol for sharing part of your passion for photography with us on FOL! I will miss your posts and the contribution of your knowledge. However, gardening tugs at my heart as well, so I'm feeling your happiness! It's a wonderful thing to follow your heart! I'll look forward to seeing your guest posts here.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Congratulations Carol! We will miss you here but I am so excited for you that you are following your passion and your love of gardening. I know we will see many more wonderful photographs from the garden so all is not lost. I need to get back to my passion for writing and I am making steps to pursue that in 2014 as well as continuing on my photography journey. 2014 a year to be courageous!

Carol said...

Looks like Sarah has chosen her word for 2014 already .... - Go for it Sarah!

I always love people with a passion - but even more - I love passionate people. They are the ones who make room to follow their heart.Congratulations on your new post. As Viv said they are lucky to have you - as we were! Chuck us some pics now and then, won't you? - we'll miss your beautiful work, with it's individual style!

Linda said...

Yes, congratulations on your new assignment as chair of Open Gardens. I'm sure you will give as much and more than you get from it! I hope to continue to follow you on that journey as well! It is important to follow your heart, no matter how difficult it is at first. I wish you many happy days ahead and hope you do stop by here often!

Susan said...

Oh, wow Carol! That was a beautiful post and such a blessing to follow your own heart! You have inspired so many (including myself) to do the same with all your photos and inspirational messages here on FOL. Remember, that when one door closes, another one opens! I wish you the best with your new found love and journey in life!

terriporter said...

Even knowing this day was coming has not kept me from sitting here with a few tears as I drink my coffee and read your post. I remember the day we met at Oasis, how you were exactly as I imagined you and how we got to know each other a bit over those few days there. I remember how excited we all were when you agreed to join us here at FOL and have loved every minute of having you here. Meeting you in person last spring was the icing on the cake and now I feel I know you as a friend as well. But knowing you are going to be doing something you love helps ease the pain of losing you here and, as you said, we're really not losing you because you'll be guest posting occasionally and hopefully posting some of those wonderful photos (from your garden?) in the Flickr pool. I know we will also continue to keep in touch through IG, so it's not really goodbye, just my best wishes to you for health and happiness going forward. You are a very special woman and we have been blessed to have had you here. Thank you for everything, my friend, and enjoy your new venture.

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

What an exciting time for you. Balance my passions? if I ever find out how, I'll let you know. In the mean time I'll just enjoy them all. I've always loved your garden photos.

Dotti said...

Yes, I've known this day was coming for some time now but oh! It is still bittersweet. I'm so happy for you, Carol, to have this challenging opportunity to nourish your 'other' passion and, as you say, to 'give back'. But their gain is our loss and we will miss you! However ... be assured, we will expect to see you in our pages as a 'Guest' {really a misnomer ... once a sister always a sister} and, of course, on our Flickr pages and IG. I'm so happy we were able to meet at Oasis and I remember that singular experience that you, Linda Owens and I shared: watching the final 2012 Presidential debate while eating crappy take-out food that got cold on the way back to our room. :-D I hope we're able to meet again but in the meantime, I'm sending a {{{ BIG HUG }}} and wishes for health, happiness ... and love. PS - If you ever find out how to balance your passions be sure to come back and tell us. xo

susan said...

'Follow your heart'…oh yes indeed! Congratulations on your new position as chair of the Open Gardens! Best of luck to you in your new endeavors and following your passion…your heart. Looking forward to you guest posting here in the future Carol! xoxo

Deanna said...

Carol, it has been my pleasure to meet you and get to know you from your beautiful posts here on FOL. I understand the pull of two passions and making the time to doing your best. Sometimes one has to move back while the other comes forward. Much luck and happy wishes on your new endeavor and I know we will see you again. May many blessings come your way during this joyful season and thru the New Year.

kelly said...

carol, i have enjoyed getting to know you through FOL. although i will miss your posts, i know that we will stay connected. best of luck on your new adventure!

heyjudephotography said...

We must always follow our heart, and I'm so glad you did. You will be a wonderful addition to Open Gardens, just as you were here. I'm so glad to call you my FOL sister, and I wish you good luck in your new adventure. Happiest of Holidays to you and yours, and I will look forward to some guest posts from you in the future!

Karen Gehrke said...

Carol, congrats on your new chair position AND for following your heart! I've loved your posts on FOL and will miss them, but I'm sure I'll see lots of lovely pics on IG! I'm not much of a Flickr user these days, but I'll look for you there also when I am on there! Seems there's just too much out there and I get "overloaded"...my ADD kicks. in... LOL! Can't wait to see all the lovely garden pics... your photography is wonderful and inspiring! See you around...! Karen

deevlasak said...

Carol, You are a multi-talented lady, so choices must be made. I've enjoyed seeing your photos and am sure our paths will cross again. Your garden is amazing, so I know you'll be exceptional in your new quest, but I wish you luck anyway. Enjoy the holidays. love, Dee

radish38 said...

We all know your gardening passion and have enjoyed the photo by product. Go forward. We know we will be seeing you somewhere again.

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