In Pursuit of Happiness: How to Access Your Passion
Several years ago I wrote an article entitled "The Bliss Is In The Breakthrough." In it, I was attempting to find myself, what my life's purpose was, and in turn help other women along the way. When I look back at that torturous process now, I realize I should have called it "Wish, Fish, Bliss"! Because honestly, I wasn't getting any closer to my truth and at times felt like a fish out of water.
There are many methods and courses out there to help you hone in on what would make your heart sing (many of which I've suggested in past articles) but the uncomfortable truth is that for most of us, that epiphany doesn't come from something or someone outside oneself. In my experience, finding your true self comes from periods of great introspection.
How Do YOU Access Your Passion?
Rather than give you more "stuff" to do, allow me to share some strategies that I've had great success with. Pick and choose what feels right for you; there is no one right way.
Journalling has been very helpful for me, most particularly when handwritten because it allows me to tap into my stream of consciousness as my hand moves across the page. In fact, as any writer will tell you, I don't always know what is going to emerge and many times I'm shocked at what I've written! But from that process have come my greatest "aha's."
Meditation, both walking and sitting, has been another of my saviours. Now before you say "I can't meditate. I've tried and I just can't clear my mind," let me tell you that you don't have to have a completely clear mind. The reality is that achieving that state of meditation is usually reserved for Zen masters who have practiced for many years upon a mountain top. The rest of us mortals can just focus on our in and out breathe and just be. When you find yourself planning tonight's dinner, just observe it and let it go rather than trying to chase the thoughts away. What do you think of when someone says "Whatever you do, don't think of a pink elephant"? I don't know about you but I have my elephant dressed in a diaphanous tutu, engaged in an elaborate circus act!
Know and Honour Your Boundaries
When I floundered the most in my self- discovery journey was when I didn't even know what my boundaries were, never mind honour them! We need to be vigilant in letting in the good stuff and keeping out the bad. Now, I am aware and able to (non-judgementally) walk away from what my beloved is watching on TV because it goes against my feelings about violence or mindlessness. In the past, I'd stay in a conversation that belittled others or that perhaps was indulging in gossip. Now, as much as I'm able to recognize what's happening, I change the subject with such clarity that it is obvious that I'm unwilling to cross my boundaries.
Check Out Your Assumptions
If you had five other lives what might you have liked to be? I would have liked to be an actress, a singer, a pilot, a journalist and a real-estate investor. When you look at your list, do you find that you censor yourself by thinking things like: I'm too old, or not talented enough or I'd get too many rejections?
I love the mainstay of Byron Katie's work (appropriately named "The Work") in which she continually asks "Is that true?" In other words, what could you be without that thought? An actor in a community playhouse? A singer in a gospel choir? A reporter for your local newspaper?
Don't Die With Your music Still In You
It's never too late to follow your passion; sometimes you just have to get creative about how you do it. Your "music" is anything that is in heart that you dream of fulfilling before you leave this earth. I know without a doubt that you have a special gift (or gifts) inside of you that you were sent here to use. God or the Universe doesn't make any junk and it would be a cruel twist of fate indeed, if we weren't capable of using the gifts we have been given. So go for it!
Until next time, remember to be authentically YOU and to discover the magic of finding and following your bliss!
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