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On Passion: Part 1

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 1

“Follow your passion.”

It’s a mantra you hear often these days. It’s meant to inspire, to get you going, to push you to reach for the stars! So there you have it – those three words are all you need. So go forth – Follow Your Passion! Fly high! Shoot for the…oh, wait. You seem confused. Did we forget something?

Indeed. This very positive and good advice seems to have skipped a step – figuring out what Passion is in the first place. With over 9 million Google searches on it a month, especially “What is passion?” it seems we’re all confused. So let’s start at the beginning.

Etymology tells us that the word “passion,” in its early Latin root, meant “suffering, enduring.” Pretty stark. It was the Greek philosophers of the 3rd Century BC that believed strong emotions, or passions, were the root of suffering and one should choose reason over emotion. And this meaning stuck as it evolved through the centuries in other dialects. It was only recently, in the 1800s, that the romantic idea of passion and its important place in art and industry came about.

Today Passion is synonymous with happiness and contentment.

Per Wikipedia, it is a “feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject.” I simply think of it as the thing(s) you seem to gravitate towards in your free moments. And you probably have more than one thing.

For me, I love music – listening to it, talking about it, watching documentaries about it, playing it. I also spend a lot of time thinking about creativity, reading books on it, writing about it, and of course, creating things. So I am sure that off the top of your head, you can think of at least one thing that gets you all excited and you’d chat my ear off about right now.

Well, that seemed pretty easy, defining what your passion is. It’s there right in front of you. So if it’s that simple, why are so many people searching for answers on Google for it?

One reason is that its simplicity is quite opposite to its romanticized definition. I love music – I don’t know why, it just showed up, I loved it, and it stuck with me. Isn’t Passion supposed to be a thunderbolt or a blood-pumping thriller or something you think about 24 hours a day? The way it’s talked about, Passion is such a big word, holding the weight of your existence. Relax. Forget about the supposed way Passion is your passion.

Your passion just is.

It’s yours, and yours to do what you will with it, making it as big or small as you’d like.

Maybe you’ve never really given this much thought before. You’ve just been doing stuff you enjoy and not labeling it Passion. That’s fine, too. You don’t have to name it, but please be sure to respect it. When we enjoy our Passion so much, and (sometimes) it comes very easily to us, we forget how truly unbelievable it is that we have something this joyous in our life. So keep on doing your thing but remember to celebrate it regularly for the gift it is.

Labeling something a Passion seems to suddenly add weight to it. It becomes a bit more serious. I believe that’s a good thing. We’re declaring that yes, we choose this specific thing because we love it, appreciate it and want to dedicate ourselves to a more meaningful relationship with it. You step up.

Now if you’re a person who has many interests, it might seem scary to just choose one or two to concentrate on. Yes, you are letting go of something else and it is hard. But by doing so, you have the gift of getting deeper with this love. So observe yourself and see if you prefer variety or intensity. And if you still dread choosing, it might be helpful to read the biography of a person you admire and see how they went about it.

More often than not, our role models focused on one thing and got to know it intimately.

So in this Part I, we focused on defining Passion and what it is for you. It seems the next logical step is to tackle the idea of what role Passion plays in your life. In Part II, I’ll offer some guidelines to help you figure it out. Until then, stay inspired.

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.

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