Passion, what is passion?

I recently attended a basketball game. Fantastic seats and a packed house! The lights were glaring, music was playing loudly, mascots were dancing around, and the home team was on a winning roll. Fans were cheering, jumping up and down, screaming, hooting and hollering.

I walked into an arena already bursting with activity coming from all directions. Sitting down in my seat, I first took some time to acclimate. It takes me a while to find center in the midst of such intense stimulation. Soon I found my footing and my passion.

My passion happens to be a bit quieter. I’ll clap enthusiastically and share my appreciation of the effort provided. But I’m not a sports fan, and jumping up and down or shouting just because I’m supposed to isn’t my style. I have my own personal manner. Finding my own groove, I was waking up, opening to all my senses, feeling alive. I looked around and found passion in witnessing so many people coming together in one place, feeling joy, having a great time. The colors, lights and entertainment were a feast for the senses. I felt blessed to have such abundance (the seats were valued over $500). I breathed in my own aliveness, grateful to be spending this amazing time with my partner. We were having a fantastic evening laughing, sharing a drink, winning a Jack Daniels tee shirt. My passion quietly emanated from my body in my own particular style. I’m more like the steady glow of warm light then a flashy, blinking neon sign.

There I am, feeling alive and passionate. Living life my own way. Suddenly, an older woman sitting to my left, obviously an avid and vocal basketball fan, turns to me and asks why I’m not screaming for the team. Moments later, my partner Ray, who was sitting to my right, turns and playfully urges me to go along with the crowd. Ray is the type of person who has the capacity to be wonderfully loud. He holds my hand and pokes at me to yell the customary phrases, “Defense!!! Defense!!!” “Go Team!!!” I humor him, go along with the custom a couple of times, and it’s fun to play along with him. His spirit is joyful and contagious and I’m happy to play with him in his joy. We don’t have to be stuck or defensive in our particular way of being.

Later, I paused to reflect on the situation. I’m sitting in one of the front rows, and I suppose my relative quietness would be perplexing in relation to the expense of the seats. The situation led to me to consider passion. In my opinion, passion doesn’t “look” any particular way. It is a feeling carried inside. It is a feeling, an energy applied to an individual way of being. In the above example, I felt passion. It wasn’t for the basketball game being played, and it wasn’t a jumping up and down kind of passion. Instead, I felt passion for my own aliveness, and gratitude for the opportunity to share in a part of life my partner finds exciting. I felt excitement for the evening, for the experience. My passion was quietly shared with those around me.

Passion is a feeling inside, a feeling in which we connect with a certain humming. Our hearts open to receive our passion and to pour joy into our physical body’s. Passion is love. A love of life, a love of being alive. I was happy with life and filled with a sense of aliveness. I felt my passion. Turning up the volume on my passion, I created an opportunity for myself: I brought passion up into my body, connected it to the dreams I am dedicated, devoted and committed to creating and brought it all into connection with my heart. Maybe most people don’t take a moment in the midst of a bustling sports event to reflect and nourish their dreams, but this is what I do. Passionate energy was available with me, and what better time to link passion with my purpose.

The outward display of passion is revealed through us — although passion may not look like we think it “should” look. Passion involves taking the time feel alive in the body. Sometimes it takes a moment of grounding and adjusting our attitude. Passion necessitates taking time to consider the question, “What is important to me, right now in this situation, and am I including those feelings in my body?” Crowds, basketball and jumping up and down with joy weren’t particularly important to me at that moment. It took a decision to sit, center and decide what was important. Being alive was important. Being connected with life was important. To do so required opening my senses (at my own rate), connecting with a sense of groundedness, and filling myself with joy. Often we find ourselves in situations that do not specifically excite us. Passion is when we decide who we are in any given situation or experience, and how we choose to feel. The unique external expression of passion is an individual choice. Only we can decide where passion resides, decide how to enlarge this feeling within, and how we wish to give passion the freedom and opportunity to emerge.

Applying Passion
Often people begin to move toward their goals with a hopeful outlook and heart-felt enthusiasm. But without a committed inner passion and a sense of the true value of achieving the goal, they are easily defeated when the going gets tough. They give up too soon.

No one promised achieving a dream or desire would be easy. It is inevitable hurdles will be encountered, along with road blocks, pits and perhaps even mountains. The stumbles are the necessary learning experiences we provide ourselves to uncover hidden strengths and abilities needed to continue on. Too often people encounter an adversity of some kind, and instead of recognizing it as part of a necessary learning curve, they criticize themselves for having failed, then fold and crumble.

Passion is a process, unattached to outcome. Mastering any new dream in life — including the ability to learn new ways of coping without using food — takes work, dedication, persistence and time. Most anyone learning new skills and unfamiliar ways will be clumsy and fail at times. We require an inner passion to continue on when facing challenges. Passion is the energy required to continue moving forward when no guarantee of success exists. Passion is the motivational energy required to move us forward through the hard times, the bad times, and the good times. It is the energy within, an energy urging us to continue no matter what the obstacles or fears.

For What Purpose?
Before continuing onward in efforts to achieve a personal dream, consider the following questions:

For what purpose am I attempting to achieve this dream?

How do I fuel the efforts required?

Is my leadership of self motivated through force and criticism,
or through excitement and passion?

Go deeper than the obvious answers of wanting to feel “better, be happier, etc. Exactly how do you want to feel, right now, as you are going through the process of creating your dream? Look into the depths of your heart and soul, and search for the true meaning of your journey. What strengths will be uncovered by overcoming this particular challenge? What lies do you believe about yourself that facing these difficulties will erase forever? What negative belief systems within you will be challenged by the current situation? What new beliefs will be born? Can passion fuel a greater perspective of the journey? George Herbert (1593-1632, British Metaphysical Poet) wrote, “Without danger you cannot get beyond danger.” What is your soul’s purpose of getting beyond your particular danger?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD
Nutrition Therapist & Master Energy Therapist

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