4 Unexpected Ways to Cultivate Passion
June 8, 2017
Do you remember the last thing you got really excited or loud about? What about when you were a child and the first few notes of a song would make you dance in your seat, or when the sight of your favorite friend would set you into a sprint? What was the last idea you were obsessed with?
Passion is an aspect of our personalities that we’ve had since childhood. It is the pure arousal for life – and not just the lusty, sexual passion that is so easily portrayed in many a famous movie and song. Think about this quality like a provocative, curious, get-your-attention-and-keep-it fascination with life. The daily grind and constant distraction with media will dull it, but there are ways to bring it to the surface.
Try these 3 unexpected ways to cultivate passion in your everyday life:
1. Get Angry
You know the famous saying: “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” Well, if you find yourself bored or uninspired, start digging into any form of current news media. These are ripe times for paying attention and nearly every platform of social, technological or political cause offers an endless array of facts to get you riled up. Of course, “do no harm” rules apply so try not to stir the pot if it means instigating a negatively charged situation for yourself or other beings.
Anger isn’t an emotion we want to bask in regularly, but it can catalyze enthusiasm and action when channeled with a non-violent discipline. Use that fiery, emotional fuel to become proactive and solution-oriented! Chances are you will find other people as passionate about the topic as you are, (like on our Umbria Retreat)!
2. Mind Your Excitement:
What gives you a little jolt of life during the day? If it’s that office friend who always makes you laugh, engage with them more often. See if you can take it to the next level as a full -fledged friendship. If it’s doing new things in a yoga class, take it a step farther by actively seeking out new classes or teachers, or book a retreat in 2018! If what perks you up is a new recipe, live music or kittens, give that thing your undivided attention and completely absorb all of its quality for however long it lasts.
During times when you feel really unimpressed with life, the flickers of excitement might be very subtle. Stay mindful of any trigger that grabs your attention or lights up your face and then dive into it for a few moments longer. We get great at what we practice, so mind the moments that trigger you and it will get easier to connect to your sense of passion.
3. Beginners Mind:
It is a staple practice in all of the contemplative traditions for good reason! This one might take more effort, as our judgments and analytical mind are self-preserving mechanisms we learn as we grow up. They have helped us to achieve a sense of safety and control over our life. Put aside what you think you understand about that thing you’re about to do or that person you’re eating lunch with. Don a no-judgment, “I’m new here,” attitude and let your open mind give you the ability to see things as they are, for the first time.
Traveling to a new place where everything is different forces the practice of paying attention. Being in a different culture teaches us about our native one and change of scenery demands our appreciation for either the newness of it or the yearning for our familiar territory. Whether you love where you’re going or realize that you truly prefer where you’ve been, traveling will clarify it in a big way!
When your life or your attitude has been too comfortable, too routine, too lackluster, you’ve got to stimulate that little seedling of creative force that lies in wait within. That stimulation is going to be uncomfortable…a little. It has to be, though, or you won’t budge.