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Susan Marek's blog about angels, chakras, spiritual living, and more.

Filtering by Tag: human trafficking

What is your Burning Bush Moment?

Susan Marek

July 4 represents freedom for all Americans. We have freedom of choice in our daily life, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.  For example, we may not FEEL free to leave our jobs or bad relationships, but we ARE free to make different choices around both, which could then free us from the circumstances that are binding us mentally or emotionally.  But today is not July 4, you say.  It has taken a few days for thoughts in an email I read to percolate in my head and then take written form.

I receive a daily meditation from Richard Rohr, an American Franciscan friar, and the one that appeared in my email inbox on July 4 was especially profound for me.  In this excerpt, Rohr is speaking about Moses’ experience with God at the burning bush:

Immediately after Moses had his heart-stopping experience, YHWH said to him: “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt. Now, go! Tell Pharaoh to let my people go” (Exodus 3:7, 10). God gives Moses an experience of an unnamable Presence, and it has immediate practical—and in this case socio-political—implications and direction. Rather than invite Moses to worship or attend a church service, God says, “Go make a difference, Moses!”

The fire burned for him, then in him, and finally through him.

It’s the last sentence above that really struck me.  “The fire burned for him, then in him, and finally through him.”  Because of the work I do with Someday (see my book “Make Everyday Your Someday: The Guide to Living With Passion and Purpose), I have come to trust that there will be a moment, several moments actually, in your life where your heart will say, “No more!” and you will begin in that exact second to change your thinking in order to save your soul.  Now that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  Our divine purpose, known by our hearts and craved by our souls, will make itself known to us, and we will, in that split second, declare that it is time to move in the direction of our passions and will no longer accept the false life that ego has been feeding us.  Do we always stay on the path? Nope.  There are many reasons for that that I won’t go into here.  My focus today is on the burning bush of our lives.  What is your burning bush moment?

The fire burned for him.  A powerful cause or some unrequitedpassion of yours is unearthed or revealed to you. Your soul is stirred.  You listen. You watch. You are affected profoundly.  It could be a pivitol occurance: a death, a birth, a life-changing event. 

Then in him. You begin to study it, read about it, talk about it.  It occupies your thoughts, and you feel compelled to change aspects of your life because of it.

And finally through him.  You have started to change and realize that is not enough.  In order to live authentically and honestly with your life’s purpose, you begin to teach what you have learned.  You give the gift of yourself to others through your passions.  And that original fire, that burning bush moment, has now burned all the way through you and is igniting passion and hope in others.

My work with Durga Tree Int’l has been a result of a burning bush moment.  The horror of human slavery was the bush, igniting a fire in my soul.  I was profoundly moved by the plight of the millions of women, children, and men enslaved around the world.  They have no fundamental freedom, no choice in their lives.  It burned in me and then finally through me as I knew I could no longer just read about it and wring my hands, thinking how terrible it was and someone needed to do something about it.  I became one of the someones.  It is part of me now to speak to others about the atrocity of human trafficking and do what I can with my gifts to help abolish slavery.

What is your burning bush moment? What ignites passion and purpose in you? Are you allowing it to burn in you and then through you or are you extinguishing it with excuses and fear?  I promise you that if you allow that bush to start that fire in you which pushes you on a purpose-filled path, you will not regret it.  The interesting thing is the burning bush is never consumed.  It just keeps burning brighter and brighter, illuminating your purpose.  As it burns within you and ultimately through you if you let it, your accomplishments can become the burning bush for others.  Your choice to let the fire lead you to a passion-filled life is because you have freedom. Even though July 4 is behind us, celebrate your freedom everyday by choosing to live full out and be an example to others to do the same.


Me? An Abolitionist? Yes!

Susan Marek

I never thought I would say, “I’m an abolitionist.”  I might say, “I’m an author” or “I’m a teacher.”  Even “I’m late for dinner.” But never “I’m an abolitionist.”  I think that’s because I didn’t really understand what that meant.  I’m a 40-something woman with three teenagers, an awesome husband, 3 dogs, a cat and a rabbit.  I am president of the junior high parent organization, chauffeur for my non-driving teens and expert whisky drinker.  I love to travel, exploring ancient sacred sites during the day and drinking a nice glass of sparkling in the evening.   I have authored children’s books, novels (I promise they are coming!) and a book for those of us who need to get off their status quo asses and do what we were meant to do (That last one I wrote for me.).  I am busy most days riding (and surviving) the waves of teenage hormones mixed with angst mixed with know-it-all-itis.  I make professional phone calls in yoga pants and write while sitting on a couch with dogs piled on top of me. 


I am one of the nameless people you see in the grocery store, trying to figure out how you know an avocado is ripe (hint – remove the stem like thing.  If it’s green underneath, it’s ripe). I stand in line with you at the DMV and commiserate about the long lines and short tempers.  I worry about my kids, wonder if I can wear sparkly eye shadow as I approach 50 (the answer is YES!) and try to come up with new home decorating ideas by spending hours on Pintrest.  I might seem ordinary, but my life is anything but.  My life and I are made extraordinary because I don’t settle for mediocrity.  I say YES to things that challenge me and take me out of my comfort zone.  With a mountain of fear, I said, “Let’s do this!” when asked to help end human trafficking.  I had no idea how but I did know why. So how can someone who seems so ordinary, become an abolitionist?  A Change-Maker?  Simple.  I had my eyes opened to the fact that slavery is alive and doing very well throughout the world.  I listened to an enslaved young woman tell the story of her life in clothing manufacturing.  I saw that children who were the same ages as my son and daughters were being sold as sexual playthings 20, 30, 40+ times a day in this country and other countries.  I heard that a young child, barely out of diapers was rescued from life as a sex toy.  She had the DNA of SIXTEEN MEN inside of her when rescued.  I want you to stop for a moment and let that soak in.  4 years old.  SIXTEEN MEN.  I nearly threw up when I heard that.  I wept huge tears full of sadness and mama bear anger.   I wept for those children bearing children from rape, for the individuals forced into slavery by lies and greed, for the families torn apart by traffickers.  Some things you can never unsee, unhear or unknow.  My eyes were opened and I was angry, frustrated, appalled.  You don’t have to be a parent to understand that this is so very wrong on so many levels.  It’s not just my maternal instincts that get me fired up.  It’s my humanity and my heart saying, “No more!” 


I began to educate myself more on the trafficking issue.  I donated. I read endless articles about the plight of the modern human slave.  When my friends Beth and Tim Tiger and Jess Hoertel started Durga Tree International, I knew this is where I wanted to give my time and energy.  I still donate, I still read and now I use my gift for writing to help educate people on this horrific crime against humanity.  In this way - in MY way - I have become an abolitionist.  A Change-Maker.  Using my gifts, I am making change happen. Try the word “abolitionist” on for size.  I’m sure it fits.  One size fits all in this struggle for freedom for all.  We ordinary people can have an extraordinary life when we stretch ourselves and live from our hearts.  So I confidently now proclaim, “I am an Abolitionist, a Change Maker.” Who’s in?  Who will say YES with me in helping to abolish human slavery? It requires nothing but your passion to help others have choice in their lives, some for the first time ever.  Use your gifts, whatever they are, to make this happen.  And you can even do it in yoga pants. 


Think about your gifts and talents because I am coming back to this one…