“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” ~Unknown
I’ve always believed in the benefits of having a healthy, strong body.
I admit, as a young adult my healthiness was driven predominantly by fear. Fear of being fat. Fear of being sick. Fear of missing out at events (aka FOMO).
So, I went to the gym, I ran, I dieted, I had strict rules, and if I followed them I’d be okay… or so believed.
From my daughter’s perspective, I wasn’t much fun to live with. She preferred reading and dabbled in ballet and horse riding. But the gym? Definitely not. Running? Hell no!
So, I did what any fear-driven mom would do. I exerted my will. I forced her to participate. Because I knew better! Didn’t I?
I coerced, cajoled, and even threatened.
In my limited view, she was simply being lazy. Nothing that a bit of “discipline” couldn’t fix, right?
She’d eventually do it. Begrudgingly. Just to get me off her back. And, no surprise, she hated it (and, probably, me too).
With hindsight, I now see just how much I contributed to her deep-rooted dislike of physical sports. Guilty as charged.
Over the years, as we both grew up (yup, me too), I learned about passions. And about how different it supposedly feels to participate in anything from a place of “passion.” Until then, it was theoretical. Something I had yet to experience.
And then I found trail running.
Yes, I already loved running (on tar), but running in nature, preferably on a mountain, transforms the experience. Completely.
When I’m running on a trail, I’m fully engaged in the moment. I’m in awe of my surroundings. And I totally lose track of time.
That’s what passion feels like.
No rules, no effort. Just pleasure.
I was thirty-seven when I “found” my passion. I wasn’t looking, it found me. When I was ready. When I allowed it.
The wiser side of me realized that this formula applied to everyone. Including my daughter.
I needed to drastically change my approach with her.
So, I eased up on my controlling ways. It was her path to walk, after all. Whether she found her passion (or not), was none of my business. I simply backed off. It was hard.
A year or so ago, my daughter announced that she was taking up surfing. Completely out of the blue.
She’d never really been an avid beach goer. Or outdoorsy. It simply wasn’t her thing.
So, not surprisingly, I was fairly skeptical. I assumed she’d been influenced by a friend, or was following a trend. This would be another hit-and-miss.
But she wasn’t influenced. And it wasn’t a hit-and-miss.
In fact, she loves it. Completely.
Yup, I was wrong. Dead wrong.
And, for once, I was pleased I was wrong.
About six months in, we were chatting, and she announced, very excitedly, that she’d had an epiphany of sorts.
I immediately zoned in. I love epiphanies!
“’I’ve realized that surfing is actually exercise!” she said.
“And yet I still love it!” she said further.
This was big! She was thrilled!
You see, until that moment, surfing had been simply a way to have fun. No rules. She hadn’t associated it with any of the limiting and uncomfortable feelings that automatically accompanied any form of exercise in her world.
In fact, to put “love” and “exercise” in the same sentence was foreign for her. In every way.
And that is the message here today.
That when you’re passionate about anything, it’s easy. And fun. It’s something you anticipate. Feel eagerness for.
And here’s your biggest clue.
When you’re engaged in your passion, time, literally, has no meaning. Hours fly by, without you realizing they have.
So, here’s the big question: how do we find our passion?
I believe it’s easier than you think…
Firstly, call off the search!
When we’re searching for something that we feel is missing, our vibration is often one of lack.
From lack, we approach opportunities with agendas, attachments, and expectations.
And we’re so busy evaluating every experience that we forget to really engage it.
We get caught up in our thinking.
“Is this it? Is this my passion?”
Relax! Don’t take it all so seriously.
Secondly, start noticing and following your interests.
What are you curious about? What do you find intriguing?
What did you find fun when you were a teenager? That’s often a clue.
Maybe playing a musical instrument? Participating in school theatre productions? Or singing? This list goes on…
Explore those things.
But do it for fun. Without the above agendas, or attachments.
And thirdly, be open to new experiences.
If we haven’t yet found our passion(s), it’s not yet in our current reality, obviously.
Which means we need to try new things. Yay!
So, be courageous. Be adventurous. Be curious.
Say yes to invitations.
Book clubs. Dinner. Hiking. Art galleries. Even dog shows!
Just say yes.
You can never tickle your fancy if you never grasp the feather.
Passions really are worth finding. And indulging.
They’re the icing on the cake. The cherry on the top!
They add value and depth to our lives.
We all have them.
And we can recognize them if we simply allow ourselves to.
What have we got to lose?