How to find your….PASSION: HINT: It aint in your head.

fear -pema chodron

Recently, while pumping Xavier Rudd and mopping the floors (awesome combo – btw!), my mind drifted to the amazing message this soulful and passionate singer brings to the world. A message of peace, love, respect, empowerment and equality. He is truly an angel spreading an elemental message to the world – in his beautifully authentic way.

I have so much respect and awe for people who are living their purpose, their message and being honest and wholly themselves. Whatever form that takes.

For many of us, getting that level of clarity about who we are and what we are born to do can be complex, to say to least. But it doesn’t have to be..

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When I was little I was pretty sure I was going to be famous! Anyone who knows me well (especially family) will agree that if you handed me a microphone and a stage my little magic shone! I was confident in my body, my language, my voice, and most certainly my message. I loved to sing and dance, but I certainly wasn’t a wallflower. I was also the grade one kid in the schoolyard yelling at the grade six bullies for teasing someone younger than them (and yep, they listened to little me!), the principle would tell my Mum how brilliant it was as I was basically doing his job for him!

I tossed between wanting to be a famous dancer or singer and wanting to be a social worker or lawyer – I was a creative and expressive little butterfly on a mission to save the world. Seriously – god bless that little girl!

Since that time so much has changed, and yet I can see my life’s dreams and purpose have come full circle in a way. It’s amazing how truthfully ourselves we are when we are young, not tarnished by world-views and societies impressions, just pure, simple and honest.

And as part of my growth I went through what seemed like a painfully long stage in my life where I had absolutely no freakin’ idea what I wanted to do. My self-doubt was high and my self-esteem was low. I hated (but completed) university then worked in Journalism and PR, both left me uninspired and unwell. Until, while living and working overseas I was presented with the opportunity (which felt more like a horrific joke at the time) of being made redundant.

This was in fact the universe nudging or pushing me to begin to walk my talk and seek and live my true passion and mission in life. My life’s purpose is still unfolding of course, one step at a time, but each day I am working towards being fully expressed and living and working my message. Now, when I look at my life I feel full, I feel abundant, I feel authentic and I am able to easily say ‘no’ to things which aren’t in alignment of my big dreams or which go against who I am and who I aspire to be.

As child I wanted to be expressed, creatively – and to ‘little me’ that meant dancing and singing my way to fame. Cute!

I wanted to advocate for people who couldn’t do it for themselves, so as I kid I thought a lawyer or social working was the way to do that.

Now… I express myself creatively through my writing and am developing an exploring other ways to do this. I advocate for people by teaching them the tools to stand up for themselves, to love themselves and feel confident out in their world!

My mission really hasn’t changed at all. I’ve just evolved and my understanding has matured, so my mission is being manifested in a fuller and more rounded way. And this will likely continue to evolve as I grow.. but my core ideals will likely remain.

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 It’s not in our heads….

Finding that illusive “passion” or “life purpose” can feel akin to chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I see now that most of us get stuck in the same place – our heads. We try to be logical, think with reason and accountability and that leads us to search outside of ourselves for the answers.

Society has created an overview of life that says we ‘need’ to have these remarkable jobs and crazy-cool careers because that represents who we are. It’s drummed into us that we need to earn big cash, have everything new/cool and look a certain way to be happy and fulfilled.

And, on the odd occasion when we do hear about people who don’t conform to this way of life they are referred to as “alternative” like it’s a disease!

Passion & message – how to find it, how to live it.

How do you want to feel?

This part is vital, and many would say THIS should be your starting point.

It’s about getting out of your head and into your body & heart – your truth.

How do you want to feel each day? What feelings do you wish you had more of in your life? When you do things you enjoy or that make you feel satisfied how does that feel? How can you get more of ‘that’?

For me: I like to feel like I’m being of service, like I’m helping and elevating the people around me. I like to feel inspired and unique.

Flesh this out for yourself in your journal or on a big piece of butchers paper entitled: FEELINGS I WANT MORE OF… Then reflect on each feeling and ask ‘how can I get this more? And think outside the box.

For more on this check out the wonderful Danielle LaPorte & her Core Desired Feelings book.

What do friends & family come to you for advice about, to help with or enjoy doing with you?

We naturally gravitate towards people who can help us with particular things. I have friends who are Naturopaths by trade, but more than that they walk their talk, they LOVE what they do and so I always seek natural medicinal advice from them (lucky me!). I know people who don’t work (get paid) in the adventure industry but are always taking out their friends and family to new hikes, walks and camping trips because they LOVE it, so I naturally ask them where the best camping spots are, or what hiking equipment I need to upgrade to.

People (including strangers) have always sought my compassionate listening ears and guidance with personal growth and counsel. I’ve always offered my help happily because I LOVE talking about this subject. I love reading about it, I love practicing it for myself – I just LOVE it. So it’s a joy for me to listen and to share. That’s a passion!

What do people gravitate towards you for? What do you love talking about? What do you love doing? Why (there’s that ‘feeling’ part again)?

If all your problems were solved (food, money, shelter etc) what would or could you do all day!?

Maybe you love knitting? Or snowboarding? Or perhaps playing with puppies all day would totally float your boat? You’ve secretly dreamed of writing a children’s book or a research piece on women’s reproductive health?

Maybe not all of your passions are going to be for financial gain, some may be volunteering, or part time or a hobby you love – remember money is such a small slice of your whole life picture.

When you are doing what you love more, stuff like work (if it’s not your passion) seems doable, it’s a means to an end which you can totally manage without feeling resentful and uninspired.

However – I must stress that if you are working in a job for money you do need to like where you work – even it that means you just enjoy the social side of work, or your customers, your boss or tasks. If you don’t your body will let you know very quickly.

Living on message

When we feel confident in who we are and what our beliefs and values are, we are living ‘on message’.

When you’re inspired by those people who are “walking their talk” – they are living on message. They are being authentic to who they are, they don’t apologise for rocking the boat, or doing something which their tribe may not fully understand or agree with. They keep seeking to be the best of who they are and feel confident (in a non egotistical way) with the choices they make.

That’s living your message. Speaking about, acting, sharing and ‘being’ the things you love.

So, I invite you to ask yourself today:

How can I be more fully expressed? How can I walk my talk? What steps could I take or habits could I adopt to really become the best version of me?

Feel the fear!

What inhibits most people from living their dream – whatever form it takes – is Fear.

Do these phrases sound familiar?

I am not good enough // My idea is not good enough // I could never succeed // I can’t make a living off that // What if I fail? // What would people think of me?

Pema Chodron, an American born Buddhist Monk and Spiritual teacher says:

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth..” (I could literally weep at the strength and truth in that statement!!)

“We all have fears, but when we look closely at them, we discover that behind each fear resides a basic fear of ourselves. We’re afraid to look at our habitual styles of thinking and behaving because we might not always like what we see. Ironically, it is this fear of honest self-reflection that keeps us trapped in patterns of stress and discontentment.”

By working through our stuff (aka: understand and dismantling our fears!) we begin to release those old patterns, outdated and untrue beliefs that keep us small and that keep us from realizing our truest potential. We are then able to break the cycle and soulfully move forward propelling ourselves into living our greatest dreams.

Are you living your passion, your purpose? I would love to know – what ways have you found useful in journey towards living this way?

Love to You,

Catherine xxx

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