Passion is a “strong and barely controllable emotion.” It’s that which physically lifts your spirit, warms your heart, and brings butterflies to your belly. For some, it’s a source that drives them; for others, it’s a long lost hobby, lingering idea or curious thought yet to be embraced.
Some are fortunate to live their passion every day while others have never experienced that joy. It’s something we should always pursue, as passions can change and grow over time, and living each phase of our lives – youth, career, family and retirement – with passion can create a sense of unsurpassed satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose that makes our lives complete.
Many retirees who move to the desert to enjoy their next phase commonly ask, “What should I do now?” My question is always, “Well, what’s your passion?” A look of confusion often follows, as if the thought of actually living their passion never really occurred to them. The conversation is often the same when speaking with students about their futures. “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?”
I’ve been driven by my two greatest passions, writing and horses, my entire life. In looking back, I see where each has shaped the different phases of my life and helped define who and where I am today. At 10, I rode the school bus to the barn and mucked stalls to help pay for riding lessons; a love of creative writing in high school led to a major in communications; a desire to work in public relations took me to New York City, and the realization that I immensely missed horses influenced my move to California. I’ve enjoyed an entrepreneurial venture in the equine industry and now cherish my job as a writer.
My passions have always been at the nucleus of who I am, and I have returned to that place time and time again throughout my life. It wasn’t until moving to the Desert and becoming more self-aware through meditation and yoga that I realized how blessed I have been by this, and how sharing the subject can help inspire others to do the same.
Identifying Your Passion
In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, palliative care practitioner Bronnie Ware lists the following at the top: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Living your passion is doing just that: living a life that is true to yourself. It is unique to you and nobody else can own it, embrace it, or make that passion your life’s reality.
Passion stems from your creative self, your spirit, and often takes personal reflection to identify. It can come to us when doing something creative like painting or drawing, or simply sitting with a cup of coffee and a journal. Think about things you love doing; ideas that make you feel alive. Think of that solution you had long ago which made you feel great about helping others. Take a trip back to your childhood and remember the moments you loved the most; they still live in your heart and have been waiting for you. Carve out time each day or week to connect with your spirit and your passions will start to glow.
Make Space in Your Life for Your Passion
If you are aware of your passion, do you honor it with a place in your life, or is something holding you back? Turn the page in that journal, make a list of your reservations, and let them go. Dream with youthful enthusiasm and don’t put limitations on yourself before you begin. If your passion is your true purpose, the universe will support you and those limitations will magically work themselves out.
Start small. Start big, but just start.
In her article The 5 Stages of Living Your Passion for Forbes.com, Mandy Ho states, “Nobody but you cares about your passion; if you don’t make time for it, it’ll never happen. What it takes is commitment — not only to your passion, but to yourself. You don’t have to be good at it; you just have to show up and do it.”1
I find truth in saying that if you follow your heart, doors will open. Research what others who share your passion are doing with it and realize that, as with any dream or project, you can’t do it alone. Share your thoughts and feelings with friends; express your passion and continue to lead with your heart.
Give Your Passion Power
If your passion elevates your mind and spirit to a new enlightened place, give it the power to fly. Commit more time to making it your reality and build a team to support your dream.
In 5 Things I Have Learned About Living Your Passion, Jessica Semaan, founder of The Passion Co., recommends creating your personal board of directors.2 “Support is a necessary part of pursuing your passions. Surround yourself with people that inspire you and want to help.” Pick an expert in the field, others pursuing similar passions, and maybe a close friend. “Most importantly, be sure you are on this board too, supporting yourself throughout the journey.”
As you begin to live your passion, start to recognize opportunities as they arise and realize there are no coincidences. I’m a firm believer that if your efforts seem effortless, you are on the right path. However, if your efforts seem fruitless and begin to wear you down, look for another turn in the path as some passions are merely stepping stones to even greater passion.
And always remember…gratitude is the water that helps passion grow into true purpose.
Lauren Del Sarto is founder and publisher of Desert Health.
References: 1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2017/07/10/the-5-stages-to-living-your-passion/#1aec471c43be; 2) https://www.forbes.com/sites/women2/2013/12/02/5-things-i-have-learned-about-living-your-passion/#724dae494bfc