What makes your heart sing? What sets your body on fire? How much passion do you have for life? do you live with joie de vivre? It’s delight simply in being alive. People who have a passion for life are simply happier and we can all cultivate more of it.
Today in week 2 on Getting Happy, we’re talking about Passion, #5 on my list of ways we can create more happiness in our life.
Oprah and Deepak’s theme for today’s happiness meditation was “Living with Passion” and the centering thought, “My happiness energizes and inspires me.” The sanskrit mantra “rabhasa hum” which means, “I am pure delight.”
In Sam Keen’s brilliant book, To Love and Be Loved, he writes, “Human desire is not psychological but ontological, rooted in our being. Therefore, insatiable.” Do you like living in your own skin? Do you appreciate the wonders of your body and all of your senses?
Everything in my life is “research” for my stories, but my stories are also gateways to understanding my own psyche and what makes me tick. I hope you’ll join me these six weeks as we explore what it takes for us to “get happy” and stay there despite loss and hard times and disappointments.
So combining these two “passions”, today I’d like to call attention to #5 on my 7 Keys to Getting Happy list, “feed your passions” and by that I mean connecting with the spiritual passion that is the wellspring of happiness that never stops flowing – the gift(s) you were brought here to do – and as the Wild Mystics said in today’s lesson, “I will not apologize…” for desire, for curiosity, for the body that you are housed in to live a unique story that only you can live. In fact, Keen also writes that “Curiosity is foreplay.” What are you curious about? Explore. What else do you need permission for? Lovingly accepting what turns you on, be it intelligence, entertainment, particular body parts, particular people, and actions.
Feeding our passions does imply we know what they are and if like me you believe in the law of attraction, you will find that by keeping your passions a priority AND GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION TO EXPLORE THEM, the Universe conspires to bring you MORE OF IT. It’s kind of like those makeup bonus gifts I love so much. I buy what I need and SURPRISE! I get a whole makeup bag full of more goodies. The universe is awesome like that. Deepak says, “Nature moves to restore balance.” So rest assured that the crappy times won’t last long and with #2 Change your attitude, those crappy times don’t have to feel so crappy because it’s not the situation that causes unhappiness but our mind’s reaction to it. That took me YEARS to grasp and put into practice.
I used to think it was possible to control life and it made me a little crazy trying to live up to the perfection my Type A / Aries / Alpha Female personality seems to thrive on. And don’t even go there with thinking we can control other people or outcomes, either. That’s a recipe for heartache right there. What we can do is choose happiness by not only creating it, but going so deep with it that the wild winds of change and ugly realities cannot touch it. That’s unconditional happiness and that’s what we’re aiming for in this six-week series on Getting Happy.
Our happy guide today is none other than Brene Brown, who boldly discusses shame, vulnerability and courage with us as HER life’s passion. As a researcher, she’s done the work, talked the talk and walks the walk. We should do the same.
A few of my favorite quotes and ideas from Daring Greatly that can help us on our Get Happy journey and passion-fueled life:
- Hope is not an emotion; it’s a thought process. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is just show up.
- Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage.
- Good enough is really ‘effin good. (take that to heart, perfectionists!)
- Connection is why we’re here. We are hard-wired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.
- We must be vulnerable and open up to the risk. Wholehearted people take those risks.
- The vulnerability journey is not the kind of journey we can amke alone. We need support. We need folks who will let us try on new ways of being without judging us.
- We need to not be afraid to talk about shame. Bring it into the light.
- Perfectionism is doing things to win approval from others. It is NOT self-improvement or striving for excellence. Those are good ambitions. But if we are doing it only to please others and not our own journey, then it is preventing us from happiness because we feel it will never be “enough” and sets us up for shame.
- Showing your true self and living your passions means you will be on the receiving end of cynicism and criticism and plain ol’ mean spiritedness. Don’t let it get it to. Remember what I said last week about the “jackass whisperer”.
- Leadership requires discomfort. – Seth Godin (so does following your passions!)
More questions to ponder this week:
What are my passions? What passions am I not giving enough attention to? How can I make those more of a priority in my life?
What am I ashamed of and why? How can I remove that shame? Do I need to talk to someone about it?
Have I put my own sensuality on the back burner because of family and work duties? How can I feel pleasure again? What desires do I have and how can I bring those to fruition if they serve to bring wholeness and are not destructive?
How do I really feel about my body? How can I love it and give it the self-care it needs? How can I feed my mind and spirit for wholehearted living?
Do I have a sacred circle where I can discuss these things? Should I talk to a therapist or trusted friend? (And please don’t be afraid to SEE a counselor or life coach. There is no shame in talking through our challenges with professionals. I’ve seen several and they always provide extraordinary perspective and make me think, validate my feelings, and help gently push me in the direction of my unique life path. Each one of ours is different!)
Each week I’ll close with reposting my 7 Keys with a new example of each. Feel free to add more keys in comments.
Until then, feed your passions!
Here’s my list of 7 Keys to Getting Happy WEEK 2
1) Remove roadblocks to happiness – just say no or limit time with negative people
2) Change your attitude (as the song goes, “take your life from negative to positive” – learn to take deep breaths and not respond immediately to every situation
3) Practice gratitude and self-care – make yourself feel beautiful. You’ll feel more passionate when YOU believe you look good. Treat yourself to a haircut, new lipstick, fall nail polish covers, whatever makes you rock it.
4) Live with intention (on purpose) – when you make a commitment, stick to it
5) Feed your passions – schedule time this week for our passions and stick to it. If that’s in the bedroom, even better.
6) Take time for stillness/ be mindful – instead of judging when you see something, just practice being an observer. It just is.
7) Be an adventurer. Stay curious. Play more. Be silly. – try a new class this week. Last week I joined Barre 3 and also did a Stand Up Paddle board boot camp class and loved both. Challenging yourself feeds your courage and happiness.