Yesterday, my friend, Delaram, and I met for lunch at one of my favorite local spots. We shared heart-felt conversation, over a cup of Chai and a steak sandwich, which was delicious by the way! YUM…

Delaram is a Virtues Project facilitator, and happened to have her deck of virtue cards with her.

She asked if I’d like to do a reading.

Since I have a dream of creating my own deck of Divination cards, and am always interested in adding new tools to my tool bag, I enthusiastically said YES!

As she shuffled the cards, I got quiet and took a deep breath.

I silently prayed to be guided to the card that held the wisdom my deep heart most needed.

Then I drew my card.


The card I drew is red and the bottom half of the page is engulfed in flames.

At first I was struck by the flames.

But I also felt unsure about how this card applied to me, since “zeal” is not a word in my day-to-day vocabulary.

However, as I began to read the card aloud, it was obvious why this card was perfect for me – and why it is now my 2015 word of the year.

The card read:

Zeal is passion for a purpose we deeply value.

We follow a vision of what is possible with enthusiasm and ardor.

When we are zealous, we give our all.

Zeal is fueled by our belief and faith.

What gets in your way?

We do all that we can to serve a cause we believe to be real and true.

We need tolerance as the ballast for our zeal with others’ beliefs differ from our own.

Zeal is being for something, not against anything.

Zeal is the fire in our belly.

It illumines even the smallest task with joy.

The Quote on the card read:

“Experience shows that success is due less to the ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work body and soul.”

-Charles Burton

The Practice of Zeal

I have a deep sense of purpose.

I am passionate about what I value.

I give all I have.

I persevere in my enthusiasm.

I am considerate of the perspective of others.

I work with joyous energy.

The practice is to then reflect on and share the meaning the card holds for you and how it might apply to your life.

This card highlighted how rarely I ever allow myself to live with fire in my belly.

In fact, I have worked very hard to keep my passion for life, creative projects, and views on social injustice, tamed & quiet. And mostly to myself.

I do so out of fear of being “too much”.

As though watching a movie screen, several instances from my past flashed before my eyes…

And I recognized how being “too much” is so much a part of my story.

And how “holding back” affects everything in my life.

Play small is painful. As is always being careful to not to rock the boat, or step on any one else’s toes.

I saw how my fear of being too much causes constriction in my body and is directly tied to my chronic pain and my voice getting stuck in my throat.

It also reminded me of how much I believe in the healing impact of my story.

Then it became clear that the freedom I seek isn’t defined by a 6 figure business, or some ariy fairy promise of “happily ever after”.

The Freedom I seek is the full and complete expression of who I am.

Even if that means being overly sensitive, too loud, too emotional, or in some other way “too much” for others.

While I was walking home, I noticed small bunches of spring flower shoots starting to poke their heads through the earth.

I felt as though I was looking at myself.

Roots, firmly planted. Ready to burst forth, vibrantly sharing my creative genius with the world.

I was also aware that half of the country is under snow right now, and realized that we are all on our own journeys, and in different places, and that no one way is the right way, brining full circle the part in the card that my friend was struck by:

…Zeal is being for something, not against anything…

What are you passionately standing for?




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