“Follow your passion and everyday will be a joy”
‘When you pursue your passion everything will fall into place’
“Whatever you are passionate about make this your purpose”
Sound familiar? Sentences like these and quotes have long since been recited in order to enthuse, motivate and direct the many who might feel lost. They get you riled up, excited and even a little aggressive in the chase to figure out what the heck is my passion?! That last one would lead me to constantly eat cake! (as this seems to be my current “passion”).
Many, like myself, are unsure what our true passion is, worried we don’t have one and scared that it’s uncertainty means our lives lack purpose or meaning. Frozen with indecision as we fear a lack of clarity without passion. We have lots of interests, we like to change our focus and have many fingers in many pies. And this my lovely readers is totally fine!
I was reminded of this on a recent listen to Elizabeth Gilbert talking on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast. A highly passionate writer, she was faced with a human truth that not all had a passion. And that in her previous talks or presentations, her advocation of passion was making the lost even more isolated.
This is how I’ve felt in the past too, especially when what I thought was my passion for Dance and dance teaching was no longer serving me. In fact it was making me ill, injured and stressed. Elizabeth Gilbert asks in the podcast to think back to a relationship in which you were head first, all in passionate? Then remarks “How’d that work out for you?” I laughed out loud as I remembered a nearly 4yr relationship that, simply put, broke me. But at the time it was all-consuming, my life evolving reason to be.
Passion is all consuming, blinded, unaware of anything beyond it. It wants it all – your time, your thoughts, your energy, your focus. For many it is their get up in the morning, the reason they function and do thrive. Building successful businesses, scientific discoveries and leading initiatives. How could they not when everything goes into that passion.
If you don’t have that passion, it does not make your day to day less meaningful or valued. You are the curious, the explorer, the risk taker, the experimental soul; seeking to experience the day to day and follow your winding path wherever it may take you. As you go, you feed into the passions of others, learn about yourself and get to revel in the freedom that not having an all consuming passion gives you.
When someone asks what you are passionate about say ‘life!’, in all its glory and splendour and crazy and complicated. Don’t let the word passionate cause you unnecessary stress or pressure. Step away from it if you must and instead follow your notions, interests, gut feelings, your curiosity, your current bliss!
That’s my plan as I step away from the pressure of passion and embrace the exploration of life. I know it will involve movement and helping people, those two factors have always been present and movement my consistent love and saviour, but they no longer envelope me in their passionate grip. Instead we chill side by side, open to change, excited about the possibilities and freed from the word “passion”.
(Listen to Elizabeth Gilbert on Super Soul Sunday podcast – be reminded that your unique journey matters too)