Finding the Fire
Updated: Apr 11, 2018
Mary Oliver, writer and poet, writes, "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" She points to an important fact. We only have one. One life. Emphasis on precious. And, she asks, what will we do with that one (quite major), responsibility? When you're young (at least if you are like me), you don't put a lot of emphasis on the target (I'm not talking to you super goal-oriented types out there). You might have had general ideas about who you wanted to be when you grew up, but, rare is the one who finds the target, focuses and lets the arrow fly to the bulls-eye.
Another analogy might work for you (in case you're not a expert with a bow and arrow). Finding your fire is like unwrapping a birthday present - unwrapping what's inside that package, discovering the gift that is you. If you haven't found the bulls-eye or unwrapped your gift, no worries, awareness is the first step to change, right?
You may decide to start taking steps today... No pressure. No regrets about what you may not have done up to this point. The regret would be in never finding your passion(s) - (hint, you can have more than one!). There is no down side to discovering. Exploring can bring out the adventurer in all of us. This is fun stuff! So, let's take off on the finding- your- passion journey.
What motivates us to find our passion? Sometimes it's a life change - a loss of job, divorce, or a move and the need to create a new normal. Sometimes you have no life change and it's just a recognition that all is not well with your world - the feeling that life is passing you by, that you are not energized by your life. Something is missing. Maybe it's you today, reading this blog and thinking, this is a journey I want to embark on. Since I seem to be the self-appointed guide of the day (whew, if you knew my directional disabilities you would be questioning your decision to follow me right now) . Anyhow, for the moment, I'm all you've got on this journey, so let's go.
How is passion-finding done? There is not one prescribed way. It all depends on who you are. You might be the personality that researches, examines their interests, takes a personality or career inventory (does Myers Briggs or the Enneagram ring a bell?). Or you might be less analytical, more intuitive. You might opt for retreat time to be open to the universe - allow space and time to percolate, so to speak. There has to be space for something new to enter. You physics buffs have heard of the Pauli Exclusion principle - the premise that two things cannot take up the same space at the same time. To make space for the new passion to come in, you may need some time to be at one with nature. That sounds wonderful to me. (Big Clue - but kind of like "duh" - if something sounds wonderful to you, it is pretty much guaranteed it fits in the passion category).
How do you know when you're there? (Again you're asking the person, who pre-GPS, could never have driven in LA or taken the subway in NYC. I get frustrated by technology sometimes, but without it, I would be totally lost (literally). Some describe finding their passion as a "rightness", as" feeling in the flow". Others say it's like you are "on the bus, but not the driver". There is a sense of ease, of things coming your way effortlessly. But mostly, it's that you are energized. You are having fun. You feel more alive.
I have found a passion in organizing. I love to group like things, to find the best way to arrange and store things in the most logical, findable and functional place. I love the beauty of a home that is orderly, when the focus can be on the fewer lovely things in the environment, instead of on overall chaos, where no one thing is noticed and admired. I love the peace of it and once you are done organizing, I love the freedom - the freedom for family, friends, (adventure!), for whatever YOU love!
Organizing is not my only passion. I am passionate about children and how to raise them. In another life I helped parents find their paths to observing and respecting their children, giving them roots and wings (thank you Stacey York for your book of that same name). I raised my own and they do have wings for sure, living in LA and NYC respectively, with periodic travels to Paris, Istanbul, India, England,Brazil, Scandinavia... (I am passionate about travel also, so you may sense a bit of envy here!).
Not to digress too much or to budge in on your parenting, but if you're a new parent looking for great guidance, here's a thumbs up for child specialist, Magda Gerber, born in Hungary, educated at the Sorbonne, and an immigrant to this country in 1957. Her views are best expressed in her words "Let the child be the script, the director and the actor in his own play". Magda knew about passion.
In my quest for finding my passion, I have surprised myself. Suddenly, I seemingly have an artist's soul. And it gives me great pleasure to say that, having been the child who wanted piano lessons, but never was guided to take them. I was that kid who loved to sing and did, but mostly annoyed the non-musical family I grew up in. Art and music were not valued. I am now writing and singing and drawing and painting and not really sure where the ability (we're not talking Van Gogh here!) is coming from. Some inner, unexplainable, unknowable place. I love that we all have those unknowable places within us. What are yours and isn't it time to find out?
This is my story about passion. It is not always easy to change, to reinvent. We get absorbed by life's demands. Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes to mind. The psychologist, Abraham Maslow, in 1943, said it best (paraphrased), that humans are obliged to take care of basic needs first, but that they yearn for more, to get to that place of self-actualization. That's what I am talking about today: You self-actualized. Your passion. Your fire. I challenge you to start looking. If nothing else, it will be an interesting journey unwrapping the gift that is you.
Look for my next blog post and subscribe! In the meantime, contact me with your organizing needs. When the organizing is done, you will have time for your passions!!