This “passion” post is part of our monthly theme at Kids Yoga Stories. I asked my dear friend, Karen Hancock from KMHmakes, to share her thoughts on Passion. I consider her a Passion-Creativity expert. She’s also a phenomenal jewelry designer.
On Passion, Part II
In Part I of our chat about Passion, we looked at the definition of Passion and what it might be for you.
Now we’re going to explore what role Passion plays in your life.
You already know you have at least one passion, something you get very, very excited about and just love spending time on. It could be anything – antiques, education, running, pizza, motorcycles, travel, musicals, movies, whatever lights you up.
Now answer: how does this show up every day in your life?
It’s quite possible your answer was, “not at all.” That’s understandable – there are important things you need to do in life around your family, your job, all that.
BUT (you knew that was coming) BUT I would like to suggest, because I truly believe, that spending time with your Passion each day will improve your well-being. Mind, body and soul. Yes, beneficial, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day.
Think back to the Wikipedia definition of Passion we talked about in Part I: a “feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.”I think the words “compelling” and “emotion” are the important ones to note.
As we said, we’re not sure why we have certain passions, but we’re compelled by them. Compelled deep down to explore this love. It’s like our soul talking to us, and that’s something we should listen to. And the fact that it’s an “emotion” means it’s part of who we are, not something external or dictated to us.
Ignoring this powerful thing blocks us up in some way, either by chronic physical aches or a vague feeling of searching or just a general unhappiness, small or large.
If you don’t believe me, try spending at least 15 minutes a day with your Passion for two weeks, and see how things have changed. I bet you’ll be stunned. I’m serious, take the challenge. After two weeks, you won’t stop. You will need to continue to feed this love or feel like a bit of you is missing.
Although satisfying, this won’t be easy. Along with the joy of it, Passion still does hold some of the “suffering” from its original definition. It will take some juggling on your part, some sacrifices, and patience.
It’s a type of Tapas, which in Yoga Sutra means “fiery discipline.” It’s the type of focus and intense commitment that is a practice and brought forward a little bit each day. And the goal is the lifestyle you want to live.
Whether your Passion is something you enjoy as a hobby, or what you want to dedicate yourself to full time, here are five things to ponder to help you on your way for long-term Passion.
1. Define your personal relationship with time
It’s important that you see your time realistically. A person raising a 3-year-old does not have the same daily time schedule as a person in college. Meet yourself where you are. Be honest with your no-kidding, must-do obligations and give yourself props for meeting them. Then, look at the rest of your available time and decide what you want to dedicate to your passion. It takes a lot of work, but maybe not as much as you think.
2. And money
The same process goes for money. Be honest with yourself and your needs. After the necessities, how much do you estimate you need for additional things? And how much will your passion need? Facing money is something we all shy away from, but knowledge is power. Once you know what you will need to live at your desired comfort level with your passion, you can start planning changes, big or small, that will get you from where you are to where you want to be. Remember, it doesn’t happen overnight.
3. Know where your line is, and how you get yourself around it
Pursuing your passion not only includes the technical aspects (time, money) but an emotional one as well. The best laid plan runs into bumps, and it’s important to know how you’d usually respond. What levels are less than ideal, but bearable? What levels would you never, ever go to? What values do you hold to, no matter what? And what avenues do you have in place to help you through the hard times? This isn’t about creating a safety net – it’s about trusting yourself to get through the tough times.
4. Find support
There are infinite levels of support available to all of us. You just need to know what you’re looking for. Again, this goes back to knowing yourself. Maybe you need guidance, maybe an assistant, maybe advanced skills, maybe more industry contacts. Be clear and specific. Because as opportunities come into your life, you’ll know which ones you want to pursue.
5. Mind the gap
Ira Glass, of NPR’s This American Life, has a famous quote about starting out. (see You Tube, “Ira Glass on Storytelling.”) In the beginning, there’s a gap between what we see in our heads and what we’re actually producing, because we’re just not that good yet. This gap is why most small businesses close within the first two years, and why my closet is full of half-done projects. This is not to scare you – this is to encourage you to keep going. Keep producing/learning/creating/practicing. One foot in front of the other. It takes time, but if you figured out the first four steps, you can get through the gap.
Karen Hancock is an independent jewelry designer that lovingly melds metal into geometric patterns. She is also a writer and a speaker on the topic of creativity, because she really, truly wants to understand this mysterious thing. Find her jewelry at KMHmakes.com and her other stuff at GoodEleven.com.