"Excuse me sir, we are going to need this spot", a deep voice awakened me from my sunset reverie. I looked up, brushed the sand from my cheek, and saw a young man in black tuxedo trousers and a short white waiter's jacket, his head crowned by the palm tree swaying behind him. I picked up my towel, moved ten yards to the left, and watched him and an assistant set up a dining table on the grassy hill. They prepared the table with fine white linen and cutlery as if it was overlooking not the beach, but the New York skyline.
"Is there some kind of party happening?" I asked.
"It's a wedding anniversary."
"How many people are you preparing for?"
"Yes, it's the couple's twenty-fifth anniversary. The husband is surprising his wife with a private catered dinner overlooking the beach."
In just a few hours, on a verdant knoll overlooking Wailea Beach in Maui, a happy woman would have the surprise of her life. I imagined the couple strolling along casually when the husband says, "Why don't we sit here, honey?" As she sits, perplexed, a gourmet restaurant crew emerges from the behind the bushes and serves them a meal fit for a king and his queen, before one of the most spectacular backdrops on the planet.
Let's hear it for romance, folks.
Passion - The Juice of Life
Passion is a very holy thing. You can lose many material things, but if you lose your passion, you're a goner. It is the very juice of life, the electricity that sparks all human growth, expression, and achievement. Passion is the hand of God reaching into humanity to elevate it to divinity.
The film Sirens makes the statement that God is knowable through the appreciation of beauty and wonder right here on earth. Based on a true story, an uptight Anglican minister and his even stuffier wife are dispatched to mend the evil ways of an Australian painter who has attained notoriety for drawing nudes. When the couple arrives at the painter's compound, they find that he has surrounded himself with all manner of color and delight, including nude Elle McPherson (why not have it all?). During their stay, the priest and his wife undergo a striking transformation – they begin to appreciate the earth as an expression of Spirit. Instead of convincing the painter that he is a sinner, they open up to a new discovery of divinity. While they intended to shut his heart down, he set theirs on fire.
Jay Larrin sings a marvelous song, "Don't Let the Song Go out of Your Life". It reflects some important questions asked by shaman Angeles Arrien: When did you stop singing? When did you stop dancing? When did you grow uncomfortable with the sweet territory of silence? When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
In one way or another, all of us have sold out on our passion. Perhaps even at an early age, we traded our joy for approval, acceptance, and the illusion of security. But the only real security is in living life from the heart, not hiding out in convention.
The good news is that it is never too late to have a happy childhood. While we can stifle our passion, we can never extinguish it. At any moment we can take it back and start to live as if our life depends on it. Then we become a master painter, all of life our palette.
Romancing Life with Passion
In the Los Angeles Airport, I saw a young man propose to his girlfriend by holding up a huge "Will you marry me?" sign when she met him at the jetway. My friend Karl proposed to his wife (in front of a video camera) atop a high ropes course. (Symbolic?) Another friend spelled out his proposal in a flower arrangement on the deck of a cruise ship, and then invited his beloved to stand on the pier and gaze down at the ship.
Real romance is not confined to sunset dinners and marriage proposals. True romance is a quality of aliveness that we bring to everything we do. We can bring passion to our career (indeed it is a coffin if we do not), to our home, and to our spiritual life. If your spiritual path is not loaded with passion, you cannot truly call it spiritual. The word "enthusiasm" comes from the Greek, "en Theos" – in God. This means that whenever you are enthusiastic, you are in God. Therefore the most powerful way to bring God to life is to do what you are enthusiastic about.
Let's have a passion revolution. Random acts of kindness have gotten a lot of press over the last few years. Now let's go for the gusto and get on with random acts of passion. Why settle for kindness when you can be a twenty-four hour lover?
Make a list of the ten most outrageous things you could do for yourself and your loved ones. Then get on with living your visions. Before long your entire life will be set at a table with an unexcelled view.
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About The Author
Alan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Join Alan and musician Karen Drucker in Hawaii, December 1-6, for an extraordinary retreat, “A Course in Miracles: the Easy Path.” For more information about this program, Alan’s Holistic Life Coach Training beginning January 1, his books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com