Fifteen years ago I didn’t know what this word was.
I’d followed my heart down the aisle and across the country and back home to my parent’s front door. It was quite a ride, but not quite the coming home I dreamed about. For three decades I followed rules, regulations, and right and wrong. I was a good girl, but it wasn’t all that interesting. Neither was I.
His hobbies were mine, everyone else’s perspectives were true, and passion was a word I barely knew. But I wanted to. I just didn’t know where to start.
Slowly I began spending time with myself. Immersing my mind in books, pursuing hobbies I thought I couldn’t, and traveling to far off countries all on my own. For three years I challenged myself in every area of life: mind, body, spirit and soul. And I grew.
Ideas flourished. Somewhere in the deepest places of my heart, passion formed. I started to believe there was more for me than a lukewarm life. I tried new things, met new people, and slowly my world expanded. Each person, whether they remained in my life for a short time or a lifetime, left their mark on me. Who I was becoming. Each person, in their own unique way, inspired me to reach farther, seek deeper, and stretch longer. To expand all I thought I knew to discover what was hiding beneath the surface.
The people who influenced me the most did so not out of concerted effort, but simply by being kind. They were generous with their affection and encouragement; genuinely cheering me on to something more – something they saw in me that I didn’t yet know. Slowly I realized passion wasn’t a thing I could acquire but, rather, a way to live.
Open. Teachable. Enthusiastic. It’s far more natural to sit back and wait for things to come rather than seize opportunity with everything we have. But passion isn’t static. It’s not something we grasp hold of and hold. It’s something we must continually pursue. Seek.
We must engage with in the world over and over again until we find it, let it go, and then do it all over again. Every time I seek out of empty to be filled, I am met with reason to grow. Inspiration to endure. Hope for so much more. Passion surrounds us. It is in us. Waiting to be found.
Roald Dahl said, I began to realize how important it is to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.
What makes your heart beat fast? What makes your tears fall? Stop wondering if it’s right, or okay, or good enough and start running at it full speed. Chase passion not as an accessory to hold but a way to live. Get out of your rut, engage in your life, and just be willing to be brave.
Passion won’t come looking for you — but it is willing to be found.
This weekend I found inspiration everywhere. The beautiful fall colors on my strawberry plants, a heart shaped rock found on the shore of our property, and the rays of sunlight filtering through the trees on a morning trail run through the woods. For me, the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and passion is merely the fuel for my purpose. To live and love with all of my heart.
Passion is the spark of inspiration. The wheels of ingenuity. The fire of perseverance. That thing that reminds me to be all that I am with all of my heart.
What fuels your purpose? What reminds you of why you are here and the gift you give to the world?