Passion?! Who has time for that?!
Most days, the idea that I can take time out of my day-to-day busyness to think about what lights me up can feel laughable as I juggle all of life’s things. Hands in the air if you ever feel the same way?!
But it’s an idea that I have been thinking about for the last few months and trying to take action on. This idea of engaging in things I enjoy for the sheer enjoyment of them.
Last month, in the spirit of enjoyment, I collaborated on an art piece with my incredibly talented friend and artist Cera-Tan called “Rooted in Diversity”, and we were delighted to have it accepted into the 3rd Cayman Islands Biennial. Cera-Tan created a portrait of me on the Adara print background, and together we embroidered portions of the final piece. The Adara story is about a girl who learns to listen to her inner voice, and in doing so discovers her power (a practice I try to implement in my life!).
It took several weeks of work to complete and a question I've been asked by my nearest dearest is why, given the demands of my work schedule, would I spend time on a time-consuming project like this one?
My answer is that even though my work at Isy B. feeds many of my passions; creating, drawing, writing, spirituality, connecting, etc. To continue to keep the energy and passion for Isy B. that stops it from becoming just about work, sometimes I need to choose to do things for the sake of creating and playing.
Collaborating with Cera-Tan allowed me to do so, and in the process make a new friend by spending time with one of the most incredible human beings on the planet. Read my conversation with Cera-Tan about her work and how she discovered and engages with her passion.
A few other great reasons I’ve found that finding and engaging with the life-affirming activities you are passionate about include:
- The benefits to your overall health and well-being are immeasurable
- Honoring yourself and who you are as a person, not what the world needs you to be
- Connecting with your personal authority, intuition and creativity
- Discovering aspects of yourself you never knew or rediscovering aspects of yourself you’d forgotten
- Becoming even more of the wonderful being that you are
Frankly, as we’re only here for a short (and sometimes rough time), we may as well find ways to enjoy the journey as best as we can!
I have a beautiful friend who, mid-career as a very talented and highly sought-after lighting designer, discovered a passion for anthropology. She found the courage to engage with that passion by enrolling in a course of intense academic study alongside her work and raising a young family. When I asked her why, to my deep admiration she replied; “I am a curious person, and I am curious to understand what drives people in the external world.” She feels no need to develop it into a new career or make it be anymore than it is. She does it simply because she loves it, and it’s obvious that her passion makes her feel alive.
How to figure out your passion/s
Another lovely lady I met recently, in trying to figure out what could be a new creative outlet for herself after a successful professional career, bought herself a painting set, put it in a cupboard, and then proceeded to beat herself up for not using it. She wanted to try being more creative but ended up feeling disillusioned with herself. During our conversation I suspected that the reason was that painting just didn’t speak to her soul. I'd also noticed that she was wearing an amazing pair of earrings and so asked if she had any interest in jewelry. The glow on her face was immediate as she proceeded to tell me about a jewelry making workshop she had taken many years ago and loved. Could it be that jewelry making could be a passion of hers? She would have to engage with it in some way to find out for herself.
Because this process is an exploration, there is not necessarily a right or an immediate answer. It may involve a lot of trying new things, and yes, discarding them if you don’t find yourself at the very least curious to know more and try it again. It's also perfectly legitimate to have multiple passions.
You may be already engaging with your passion even in the most tentative way by even just thinking about it. But spending a little time with yourself and perhaps asking yourself these questions might help identify some areas to explore. I find journaling particularly useful for having these conversations with myself:
- What activities do you enjoy at the moment?
- What activities do you remember enjoying as a child?
- What would you do for free i.e. you would do it even if you didn’t get paid?
- Imagine that you had all the time and money in the world, how would you love to spend your time?
- What feels like play?
- What do you do when it feels like time has passed so fast without you realizing it?
- What activities feel positive and life-affirming to you? Dancing, singing, stamp collecting, birdwatching, travel, yoga, perfumery, tarot? It's an entirely personal thing. Literally, you get to choose.
How to engage with your passion
Just start - It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. What little can you start with? Even making time to daydream about it counts as a start, taking part in a workshop, or connecting with other people who have the same interest. I love to dance so I do a dance cardio class once a week that feeds my soul. I also love writing, so once a month I sign up for an online writing class.
Know that it’s a practice - Humanity has adopted the mistaken idea that if you’re not immediately acknowledged as an emerging genius in any creative field, then it’s not worth persisting. Please don’t let the fear of other people’s judgment put you off! Be inspired by the Adara story!
Remember, any activity that allows your mind to change gears from the day-to-day and move to a different plane or put you in the zone can feel life-affirming and transcendent. This is what being in flow feels like to me.
On my kindle this month:
Book: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to finally, really grow up by James Hollis
I had so many amazing insights in exploring the ways in which we can evolve to fully become ourselves beyond the traditional roles defined for us by society, culture, gender, economics, etc. IMHO, this book should be required reading for anyone over the age of 35! One of my favourite moments from the book - "Find what is true for you; find the courage to live it in the world."
I loved some of these surprisingly easy ideas to make yourself feel great. Which can you try today?
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