For a long time the word passion sounded so scary to me. It’s usually the word at the end of a sentence followed by a question mark; “What Is Your Passion”? There was nothing else that could make my mind go blank more quickly. At the time, the word “passion” had no meaning for me and I didn’t understand it. It conjured up an uneasy feeling inside of me because I didn’t know what my passion was. I carried this feeling inside of me throughout most of my life. There are many reasons for this disconnect:
- I didn’t know what I really wanted. I didn’t stop to figure out who I was and what mattered to me. My personal desires, beliefs, and contribution to the world were never explored.
- I was convinced that success and happiness was just a matter of getting a good job and making lot’s of money. Consumed by tunnel vision, I felt that in order to have everything I wanted (which was based mostly on materialistic things) solely depended on how much money I made from a super important job with the corner office.
- The mentality that going with the grain was more important than expressing myself. Following the path where being realistic is rewarded and going off the beaten path was scrutinized.
- Fear. It can truly be paralyzing when you’re faced with the unknown. My inner voice conjured up all sorts of nasty words like failure, disappointment, and rejection, which distorted my view and prevented me from moving forward.
Most of us can relate to having had this feeling at some point in our journey. We float through life wondering where we fit in and what our purpose is. Sometimes we fall victim to the belief that our passions do not exist. But I’m here to tell you, they do.
What are passions?
Passions are our life’s purpose; a talent that comes naturally to you or a feeling that is free flowing. They make us happy and bring a warm feeling inside that makes you feel like “yes, this is what I’m supposed to be doing”. Passions are a driving force that comes from inside and keeps nudging at you until it can be brought to life. Some people are lucky enough to find their passions at a young age when playfulness and curiosity are at its peak. Others notice it more obscurely as a soft internal voice that calls out in the middle of the night, waiting to be heard.
Mine appeared to me gradually after some much needed self-reflection. I was (and still am) a free spirit at heart, with strong desires to meet new people and be inspired by them. I also had a longing for artistic expression that led me to one day pick up a camera. Photography has allowed me to "be" who I am through creativity and free form expression. Discovering photography came with the gift of revealing my second passion towards living a purpose filled life and inspiring others to do the same.
A state of Being.
Our passions come to us by listening to that quiet voice inside you when you engage in an action that feels timeless and transcends you to a joyful state of mind. Just think about something or a feeling in your life that if it were taken away, it would devastate you. For me, that thing would be my camera, or my desire to empower and motivate others to lead a life of purpose. Passions show up in different forms and everyone is different in the way theirs manifest themselves. But the moment we can release self-imposed limitations and break down mental boundaries and simply just BE, you will be guided on a journey in a world that continues to open up to you.
It’s not so much what your passion is that is important, but more so that you discover it and turn it into action. It will lead you on a path that will constantly redefine your character and ultimately change the world for the better because you will be living your purpose. Unleash your passions as a hobby, to make a living, to grow, to serve, to heal, to release. No matter what the reasons are for living a passion-filled life, when we do, we open up to something much bigger than ourselves. And that is only the beginning.
"Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to." –Alan Keightley
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