Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm a passionista!

In furtherance of the Year of Yes! (well, ok, the fourteen months of yes), this month's focus is on passion. And I'll be honest, I've really been struggling with it.

Part of my struggle is the fact that the Year of Yes! (well, ok, the fourteen months of yes) is really about doing things on my own. Being alone, but welcoming others to join me in my adventures. But the things that I'm most passionate about involve connection, communication, and otherwise engaging with people who aren't me. So I got a little stuck.

I've been refocusing my attention on passion, and trying to define what I mean when I say that someone "is passionate." Can a person be passionate without having an object of their passion? For example, can I simply say that Kate is a passionate person? Or do I have to say what Kate is passionate about? And if I say that Kate is simply passionate, what is it that she says or does that demonstrates that she's passionate? How do we recognize passionate people? And will identifying those qualities help us define passion?

Can passion stand alone? Or does it act as an amplifier to something else -- like being passionately angry, or loving passionately?

Another trap I fell into earlier in the month is thinking that passion is some all consuming thing. That it's bigger than life and only a scant few really have it. Because I think our society believes that's true. That passion is this driving force that keeps those dedicated people who are lucky enough to be in touch with their passion up until the wee hours of the morning, working to save the world. And maybe it is. But I think that passion is anything that's worth getting up early in the morning for. So I'm passionate about my family. And I'm passionate about a beautiful sunrise, or my job. (This wasn't always the case, my friends. Hooray for new jobs!) And if someone else would wake up early in the morning with me, I'd be more than delighted to have a deep conversation with them at 5:30 a.m. Because as I said before, connection is a huge passion.

But I have so many more questions.

Are there downsides to passion? Can it burn out like a flame, or burn up like a house on fire?

And what's the relationship of passion to compassion?

What do the major religious traditions have to say about passion?

What do YOU have to say about it?

Please join me for a phone conversation on passion this Sunday, February 20th at 4:30pm Eastern. Just call 712.775.7100 and use the participant passcode of 500681# to join.

1 comment:

  1. hi kate

    Like the wiki definition states, passion is enthusiasm.... extreme enthusiasm. when we dive into whatever it is we do in life we become people enjoying passionate lives. l am someone who people have told is a "passionate person" and haven't been sure how to take that. l think what people may see in me is my excitement and willingness to be present and enjoy each and every moment to its fullest.

    a note about your struggle.... we are never completely alone. no matter what, we exist in a community of others. perhaps what you mean is taking initiative on your own. either way, the initative you take is toward and among others.

    Meditation allows us to look within and find a centered quality of knowing who we are, of being with our self. Perhaps this is what you search for; to know the self more completely so you can thrive passionately with and among others.

    With passionate love and light to you and your readers,