“What is my passion in life?” A 30-something woman client asked me this as she was starting out in her career. And, a Baby Boomer, facing a life transition, asked “How do I know if this is truly my calling?” As a coach, the biggest fear I hear is, “I’m afraid I’m not living up to my potential, because I don’t know what my passion is!”
But this is just a fear. We DO all know what our passion is. But we hide it from ourselves. For so many reasons: we’re scared; we’re worried people will judge us; we don’t have money or access or support; or we’re just numb. But there’s a way to find your passion – through your body.
Our body talks to us, tells us what we need to know. If we just tune in and listen we’d know what makes us happy and what makes us stressed. But we rationalize; we cover up our stress with food, alcohol, and technology, and don’t relax our body so it can tell us.
Haven’t you felt the sensation of doing something for three or four hours and being so completely absorbed that the time just flew by? That is very telling!. That’s our bodies telling us we love this, we enjoy it, and we want more.
Recently I was riding a young horse in the arena and felt confident and relaxed that we were doing just fine. I decided to move out of the arena into the much more stimulating world of trees, dogs and tarps flapping in the wind. Uh-oh. As soon as we stepped out of the arena my real fear showed up. And the horse responded with a high head, ears perked, and she pranced all over, tense as can be. Without a word, I told her I was scared, and she got scared too! I realized I was not ready to ride on the trail. She told me so.
So, the first step to finding your passion is to pay attention to where you are and what you need – a lot of self care. This may involve rest, meditation, nature, exercise, acceptance of where you are, or slowing down. Then, once you’re in touch with yourself, notice what pops up, what gets your attention, what makes your body feel good.
And then, do it. Act on it. Follow that pull that draws you in. Don’t be afraid; if you follow it, and pay attention, eventually it will lead you to your calling or passion. Maybe it will be your career – maybe you’ll be the next Mrs. Fields, creating cookies, or a successful party planner or accountant or high school teacher.
Or, maybe it will be your hobby or way to give back. It doesn’t really matter because when you get involved in it you will no longer ask that question, “Will I ever find my passion?”
You’ll know it because you’ll feel it… in your body and in your soul.