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« Change is the Imminent Event! | Main | Practicing for this Practice called Life »

Passion with a capital P

Why would you or I commit to doing anything we feel less than passionate about? Okay, I know paying taxes or taking out the garbage may not make your heart sing, but even those requisite tasks are staples that remind us we are alive... and being alive is definitely something to be passionate about and committed to!

Seriously, when I slow down enough to let the magnificence of life sink in, it is absolutely fantastic! One of my favorite pleasures is practicing hot yoga where I can sweat profusely and feel the strength (and weakness) of my body. My lungs expand, muscles tighten, and my brain sharpens. Occasionally my balance wavers, but all these motions work together to nourish a more passionate me—one who is ready to engage with the world outside the yoga studio.

In his national bestseller, “Flow,” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says there is a vast difference in doing things out of obligation and doing them from a place of personal interest and development. It’s about reaching for things that are challenging and will not only enhance ourselves, but also how we feel about the world. Csikszentmihalyi calls this ‘flow’ and I translate it to ‘passion’ with a capital P! Passion is life giving not draining. When we come from a place of flow, our lives reside in that sweet spot between anxiety and boredom where things are challenging, but not overwhelming. Time becomes irrelevant as passion pushes us toward meaningful living. So, I ask again... why would you (or I) do anything without at least considering what passions might lie within?



“A person who is constantly worried about how others will perceive him/her, who is afraid of creating the wrong impression, or of doing something inappropriate, is also condemned to permanent exclusion from enjoyment.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Warning: Being passionate involves risk, because impassioned people are often subjected to judgment and misconstrued perceptions by others. They (we) can be seen as ‘crazy,’ ‘eccentric,’ ‘flighty,’ and occasionally ‘genius.’ Singularly focused people typically roll into the genius category after they have died—Thomas Edison, Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, etc. My hunch is while living they were absorbed in their work—spending countless hours each day—while those around them declared them something other than ‘normal.’

‘Flighty’ is reserved for we multi-passionate people who come alive while doing a wide variety of things. Personally I love exploring life and helping others experience their own sweet spot (which takes on many forms). In my former career as an accountant I was good at it, but not brilliant. It was a profession I pursued because someone suggested it was practical and stable. While adequately capable of doing the work, I found little pleasure or enjoyment in it. I took the CPA exam a few times and never passed, because I couldn’t ever convince myself to study. The passion and desire simply weren’t there and could not be conjured up no matter how hard I tried to convince myself it was the “right” thing to do.

On the other hand when I discovered the personal growth field, study became like white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce—tasty and complex. I couldn’t get enough of it! Opposite to the drudgery of my accounting experience, I completed a 3+-year degree in 26 months, passed a licensure exam with ease, and continue to immerse myself in studies and adventures that support this passion for life and human development. It may look disjointed (or flighty) to others, but for me the multiple pathways are fully connected and thrilling. Combining ALL I know and love is what makes my life and work successful (i.e. enjoyable). It’s my task to push aside any internal and external naysayers and keep moving onward with my exquisite brand of personal flow.

Being passionate takes courage. Being multi-passionate involves super hero powers! You cannot worry about what others will think or allow their weight to clip your wings. If you need to dive into a phone booth to get your cape on (or hop a plane to Paris or immerse yourself in more training or all of the above) to feed your Passion, Go for It! Why would you consider anything less for yourself or the world?

“You have to go where the heart says go. Isn’t that so?” Lyle Lovett, songwriter & musician

Ponder time:

  • ·      Take a few minutes to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and allow the moments that make your heart sing to flow through your whole being.
  • ·      Notice what brings you alive. Where does your heart say, “Go”?
  • ·      Consider who the naysayers are in your life and how they clip your wings.
  • ·      How do ALL of your passions combine to create a uniquely fabulous YOU?

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