Midlife Mist

Over the holidays we’ve had some interesting weather here in the Washington DC region. Cold winter weather with a snowstorm followed by unseasonably warmer weather which caused late-night and early-morning fogs. As I drove through these foggy conditions, I started thinking about the fog we can sometimes feel like we’re in at certain times of our lives.

Feeling unfocused and befuddled we may feel like we can’t see what direction we are headed in.  All of a sudden we are stuck because we’re afraid we might run headlong into “something hidden in the fog.” Sometimes it takes a fog to slow us down so that we can become still and go within.  Perhaps there is an important lesson here that we need to learn.  Is there an emotional issue that we need to deal with? Are we bored and unmotivated in a job? Have we lost our way in life and need to find the light in the mist to get us back on track?

It’s uncomfortable being in a fog, but when the sun comes out, the fog lifts. You can find that sun inside by determining what is important to you in your life right now. What would get you excited and motivated to jump out of bed in the morning? What are you really passionate about? What do you do that seems to make time stand still?

Harness that excitement, start to take some steps in the direction of your passions and you will feel the warmth of the sun dispersing the fog around you. Those foggy times in our lives come and go.  When one surrounds you, don’t let impatience take over.  Stop, redirect your attention onto your inner light and let it guide you out into the sun. 


I Don’t Have Time to Follow My Passions!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”      — H. Jackson Brown, author

Ask Yourself…

  • Is this really a passion or just something that might be fun or nice to do?
  • Will you be extremely upset if you NEVER get to do “this passion”? If the answer is yes, what’s stopping you from finding the time to at least take the next step?
  • What is the benefit of choosing in favor of your passions?
  • How will you feel when you are doing something that you’re really passionate about?

Take Action …

  • Understand that it’s YOUR choice as to how you spend your time.
  • Be more conscious of how you are choosing to spend your time today.
  • Spend less time on those things that you aren’t passionate about.

It’s not always easy to choose between mundane tasks and those things that “light your fire” but with practice, it can become a habit.  When you’re fully engaged in doing a task that is truly important to you, time will appear to stand still and you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.  As an added benefit, you’ll reduce your stress level!

If you still don’t know what you’re passionate about, contact me, evelin(at)blueprints4change.com, so that I can take you through The Passion Test.

Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out into the ocean —  

Christopher Reeve, Actor






This quote brought back memories of when I learned to scuba dive many years ago.  All the initial lessons I took were in a swimming pool where it was easy to feel safe and secure. You couldn’t get into too much trouble in 6 feet of water!  By the same token, the environment quickly became boring and confining. 

Then it came time for my first open-water dive.  The location for this momentous occasion was a couple of miles off the coast of St. Martin in the Caribbean.  Was it a little scary – you bet!  Not to mention the fact that during my first few minutes in the water, my regulator blew off the end of the hose! But not to be deterred, by fear or equipment malfunction, I borrowed another “rig” and down I went.

It was spectacular!  I lost all sense of time (good thing the Dive Master didn’t!) and became totally captivated by the vivid colors of the many varieties of fish, the ghostly wreck around which we were diving and above all, the absolute serenity of floating around almost without a sound save the quiet bubbling of my breathing.  A time in my life I will never forget.

It’s only when you stretch, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs and fears that a whole new world can open up for you.  And it could be even better than you might have imagined!  But you won’t know if you don’t try. Are you playing around in the shallow end of the pool or are you ready to take a leap and dive to great depths in the ocean?

Passion Deficit Disorder: Did You Miss a Day of Practice?

If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it.
If I miss two day’s, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.
— Ignacy Paderewski, Concert Pianist

Practice Makes Perfect!

Practice Makes Perfect!

It takes practice to follow your passions. We often get so caught up in getting the next thing done that we don’t stop and ask ourselves if what we’re doing is in line with our passions. Yes, you may have to miss a day’s practice but do you then remember to get back on track!  Do you continue to ask yourself “is what I’m doing going to take me closer to, or further away from, my passions … those things that I say are truly important to me?”

Missing a day, or even two, of practice is not about beating yourself up and feeling guilty.  It’s just information. It’s a message that you’ve taken a fork in the road you didn’t intend to. We all get lost from time to time.  Don’t waste your energy on feeling guilty … use that energy to pick up where you left off and take the next step towards finding meaning and fulfillment.

Midlife: Deserting Our Ideals

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
-Samuel Ullman (from “Youth”), businessman and poet (1840 – 1924)

Are you becoming disillusioned with your life?  Not sure what your purpose is? Think you’ve found your purpose but it isn’t “moving you to tears”?  These are some of the questions that participants in my classes grapple with. 

Discovering what is truly important to you is an “inside job.”  You can’t think your way there using your mind.  Go within by focusing on your heart (it may even help to put your hand over your heart) and let the feelings bubble up. If you start to get excited about a particular path, follow it and see what else comes up.  Some people find it difficult to connect to the heart so it may take some time.  Don’t let impatience and the need to find the answer get in the way of allowing the journey to happen.


Ask Yourself…

What ideals have you deserted? 

In what area have you become less than enthusiastic about your life?


Action Steps …

Look at your ideals – to see why they have changed.

Become your own architect – create something that will make you jump for joy every time you think about it.

What one small step can you take TODAY to stop your soul from wrinkling?

Midlife: With or Without Color?

From …                                                                          To …

Life with Passion

Life with Passion

Life with Passion

Life without Passion

A 2005 Harris Interactive Study showed that only 20% of Americans are passionate about what they do. That leaves 80% who are leading lives somewhere from “quiet desperation” to “dull and boring.”  Life without color!

This theme came through loud and clear in a movie I saw this past week – “An Education.”  It’s the coming-of-age story about a young teenage girl in the early sixties in suburban London.  Her parents, especially her mother, appear to be living lives relatively close to the “quiet desperation” end of the continuum. 

Jenny wants something more out of life and finds it when she meets a playboy twice her age. Her “grey” life all of a sudden becomes filled with color. Her passion for the exciting new lifestyle leads her to experiences she could only have imagined in her dreams, at least for a while. I’ll leave the story there so as not to spoil the ending in case you see the movie.

The point here: passion for living, for doing those things that are truly important to you, will add so much color to each day. You will wake up with a new zest for life … joyful and excited, ready to take on each new challenge. Passion is the motivator that will help you achieve success.

If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, take The Passion Test™. The participants in my workshop this past weekend found it to be a real eye-opener!  Contact me – evelin@blueprints4change.com

Loss of a Loved One

With Veteran’s Day just behind us, the killings at Ft. Hood and in Orlando plus the scores of others who have lost their lives recently, I thought I would share a poem my husband wrote some years ago when a close friend of his committed suicide. 


If you have lost someone close to you, may these words remind you of the gifts that person shared with you and the world.



We Miss Him


Our Lives are puzzles that constantly grow

          Each piece a person –

each person we know.

And when one falls out we wonder how

          The place will be filled –

that is empty now.



There is pain in the place where he used to be

          We’re left in this world –

his soul is now free.

We know the ache will in time go away

          If only we can bear it –

through the rest of this day.



We’ll not forget his style and his grace.

We’ll remember well –

                                                his manner, his face,

We’ll recall him always in our list of those

          Who touch our lives –

                                                our hearts, our souls.



We leave this world as God has arranged

          He that has passed before –

                                                leaves the rest of us changed.

Better for knowing God’s unique expression

          That through this person –

                                                God left His impression.


William J. Guinan



Here’s a moving Veteran’s Day video – A Pittance of Time

Midlife: Is Age Holding You Back?

“I’m too old, I couldn’t do that now.”  That’s a statement I hear all too frequently during my “Find Your Passion” programs.  Do you feel like you’re too old to start following your passion, even if you knew what it was?  What makes you believe that?  Other people’s comments, societal norms, your parents’ “self-talk” …?

Yesterday my husband and I visited the exhibition Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors presented by American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in Washington DC. The exhibition showcases Australia’s leading indigenous artists with works from the traditional to the modern, some with obvious political overtones. Works include paintings on bark and canvas, sculpture, textiles, weaving, new media, photomedia, printmaking and installation.

When the exhibition made its debut in 2007, it coincided with the 40th anniversary of a landmark 1967 referendum mandating that indigenous Australians be included in the country’s census. Imagine that just 42 years ago, two-thirds of the artists were placed under the same category as Australia’s flora and fauna.

Racial conflict aside, what struck me was that one particular artist hadn’t started painting until five years ago, at the age of 90. Here was a man who was so passionate about wanting to pass on the story of his culture that he didn’t allow his “ripe old age” of 90 to stop him. Five years later he is being recognized as one of Australia’s top artists.

So let me ask you again, are you allowing age to stop you from doing something you truly love?  Perhaps it’s time to let go of that false belief and start living your passion.

Blueprint for Change: To Grow or Not to Grow!

Optimal growth increases the development of self, while lack of growth produces a sense of worthlessness accompanied by strong feelings of self-blame.

Doubt is a killer. It serves no purpose.  It will not help you in moving forward but rather keep you stuck or moving backwards. More often than not you will become the victim of paralysis – frozen in the “checkmate” position.

In order to achieve the success you want in life, you must say “no” when doubt rears its head.  Believe in the words “I can” and you will find yourself moving forward once again.

If you’re not sure whether or not you are growing, ask yourself how often the following “non-growth” thoughts come to your mind:

I feel a sense of worthlessness
I can’t keep up with change
I am a failure
I lack confidence
I am a marginal performer
I can’t forgive myself
I’m afraid to try new things
I do little to correct my faults
I have mistakes to make up for
I avoid new situations
I have a defeatist attitude towards most situations
I don’t take responsibility for my own life
I have a pessimistic view of the future
I have difficulty setting future goals
I blame myself all the time
I am disgusted when I look in the mirror
I associate with people into self-blame
Everyone else can do a better job than I can

Individual growth depends on a belief in progress.  If you believe you can improve yourself, believe you have the potential to learn and believe you can overcome your faults, you allow great growth and self-development to occur.

Midlife Dreams: Do You Believe They’re Possible?

“The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.” -­ Richard M. DeVos

Points to Ponder 

What do I want from life?

What is standing between me and getting it?

How would I feel if I never achieved what I wanted?

How will I feel when I get what I want?

Do I believe getting what I want is possible?

Take Action!
If you don’t know what you truly want, take the time NOW to find out. Don’t leave this life with “if only I had followed my heart.”

Imagine the feeling of getting what you want – joy, excitement, enthusiasm for life, bliss, contentment. Focus on it as often as you can.

If you don’t believe it’s possible, ask yourself “why not?”  The answers will undoubtedly be self-limiting beliefs that can be overcome.

Commit to taking one step, today, towards overcoming whatever is blocking you.

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