FOLLOW YOUR PASSION BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…
Have you seen any of the endless supply of quotes, affirmations, and books telling you about the joy that comes with following your passion? Reading such a quote, or affirmation can evoke joyous feelings. The feeling of joy we experience while reading and pondering the quote or affirmation, while pleasant in that moment, lasts only a few seconds. Unfortunately, the joy we sense while contemplating our passion is not the joy to which the quote or affirmation point; it is not the joy that comes with actually following our passion. For many of us, that momentary feeling of joy is enough, and we return to life and doing shortly after. Occasionally, if the conditions are just right and we are ready, a simple quote is all we need to shift us in a new direction.
When writing and sharing my experiences with others emerged as my true passion, I remembered the joy I felt when I used to write in my youth. I did not follow the passion then and I spent much of my life denying my passion in favor of doing what I thought I was “supposed” to do. At some point, I experienced a significant shift in my experience of me and the world that moved me to return to writing. Since that shift, I have written and published several books and many blog posts over the course of several years. All the while experiencing deeper peace and joy than I had ever known when I was busy not following my passion.
Recently, I have noticed a shifting back to doing without joy – doing for the sake of doing and in reaction to my deep-seeded fear of survival. The doing reached a pinnacle the other day when I experienced anger and frustration I had not known for many years. In the midst of the anger, I became acutely aware of how unconscious I had become. Within a few seconds of the awareness, the anger subsided without resistance or reason; it just went away. Bringing awareness to it was all that was need for me to recognize there is nothing I value in being angry.
Shortly afterwards, I found myself getting a piece of paper and doing a simple exercise that brought even further awareness to the depth of my self-delusion. I say self-delusion because in the awareness I realized for the first time in months, that I was telling myself every day what I wanted tomorrow to be like. I was feeling less-than-peaceful every day because the world was not letting me attend to my passion. The curious thing is that while I was telling myself this every day, I was unable to stop and honestly look at what I was doing relative to what I was telling myself.
I got a piece of paper and did the following simple exercise. I offer it here for your use if you find yourself so inclined.
Passion and Priorities
What I THINK Are My Priorities (what the soft, quiet voice in my head says I “want” to do)
1. Writing (passion)
2. Playing music
3. Quiet time / Stillness
My Priorities Based on Recent Behavior (what I’ve actually been doing day to day)
3. Play Music
4. Quiet time / Stillness
And there it is!
The internal conflict and sense of loss associated with denying my passion was the cause of the anger, not the other person onto whom I projected the anger.
With this simple exercise, and a little willingness to be honest with myself, I saw the self-delusion that was robbing me of my inner peace. Now it’s up to me; continue to allow the fear-driven behavior to dictate my priorities, or shift, and honor my true priorities.
While the shifting and honoring may be risky, the only question that remains is; am I worth it?
Visit the StudentOfExperience website for more exercises and resources to facilitate your awakening.