Find Your Passion

What do I want to be when I “grow up?” What’s my passion?

If I only knew, then I could get on with my life. Then I would be happy, my life would have more meaning, I would be more motivated, less depressed, a better wife, mother, sister, friend, I would find the perfect job, I would be ______________________.

The answers to these questions seem to be on most people’s minds across all age groups. The search for them seems to create a sense of lifelong yearning.

What if finding your passion was closer than you thought? Literally. Because I think it is!

I too want to live a meaningful life filled with purpose. I want what I do to be aligned with who I am.

After reading Brene Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, I realized that if we live within our values we will always be living with passion. We will always be living our best life.

WHAT we do is really secondary to WHO we are. We can bring our values to anything we do and therefore we will always be in alignment.

According to Brene, “A value is a way of being or believing that we hold most important. Living into our values means that we do more than profess our values, we practice them. We walk our talk-we are clear about what we believe and hold important, and we take care that our intentions, words, thoughts, and behaviors align with those beliefs. Our values are our North Star.”

This sounds like passion to me!

Although finding our passion may be more tangible than we think, it still requires some introspection. Brene goes onto say that, “We can’t live into values that we can’t name.”

In her book she encourages her readers to make a list of their values or choose from her list. She suggests narrowing down the list to one or two values.

“Choose one or two values-the beliefs that are most important and dear to you, that help you find your way in the dark, that fill you with a feeling of purpose.  If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities. ”

“Our values should be so crystallized in our minds, so infallible, so precise and clear and unassailable, that they don’t feel like a choice-they are simply a definition of who we are in our lives. In those hard moments, we know that we are going to pick what’s right, right now, over what is easy. Because that is integrity-choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy; and it’s practicing your values, not just professing them. “

LOVE Brene!

So, I made a list of my values-adventure, connection, authenticity, balance, family, ….. and came up with 18! How to decide? After much deliberation and further reading, I learned  that some broader values encompass other specific values (for me, connection includes family), I was able to narrow it down to just two core values, connection and authenticity.

finding your passion

That was the easy part. The next step is aligning our behaviors with our values, or as Brene calls it, “Taking values from BS to behavior.”

I think this is a life long process. We can infuse our core values into everything we do. In doing so, we ARE living our passion. No more searching, just BE who we are.

So next time you’re searching for your passion or trying to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up” just remember:

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”

-Glinda the Good Witch

 

This post is dedicated to someone I know who is at the end of a difficult journey. She has inspired me with her strength and courage and has been questioning what she will do next, what she will do when she, “grows up.” I hope in some small way this creates some light along her journey to finding her passion.

 

Layer Cake Wisdom

Not sure if it’s that food has been inspiring me to think more deeply about life (read what I learned from a veggie wrap in a previous post here: https://beallthere.net/2015/10/17/a-lesson-in-perspective-from-a-veggie-wrap/) or if it’s the fact that I’m more open to learning these days. Either way, as Alanis Morissette belts out, “You live, you learn.”

This time the lesson began with a picture of a festive layer cake I saw on line. It was stunningly beautiful and I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to make it and bring it to my sister’s house for Christmas. It was at least a foot tall and consisted of multiple layers (more than two) of snowy white cake and icing with flecks of red and green inside the cake (creating a tie-dye effect), and a dusting of the same red and green bursts of color between the layers, on the sides and on top of it.  It would be a show stopper!

The ingredients were pretty basic and I knew I could easily alter the recipe to make the cake vegan. The most challenging thing to find was the container of red and green “jimmies,” as I call them, or “sprinkles,” as you may know them.

After searching the entire supermarket in town for this pivotal ingredient with my daughter, we spotted the lone container of red and green jimmies in the last aisle on top of the ice cream freezer. Desperate to get the goods, we both lunged for the container as if there were others competing for it, and then laughed to each other about our silliness, since we were the only ones in that competition. We were satisfied with our “win” just the same and knew that no one could have rivaled our split second timing in making the jimmies our own and putting them in our shopping cart!

cake

My mind wandered while we were waiting for the movie to start and I was relieved that I remembered to bake the layers for my holiday masterpiece earlier so I could ice it the next day when it was completely cooled.  I felt happy that I was with my family of four as we continued a relatively new Christmas Eve tradition of going to the movies and out to dinner. My relief quickly changed to regret as I realized that I had forgotten to add the red and green jimmies to the batter! Just as quickly, I was back in my happy place again, seeing the humor in the whole cake thing. It was only a cake and it would still look and taste great.

The next day (Christmas), right before we left for my sister’s, I was ready to assemble “The Masterpiece.” After I put some icing between the two layers, I iced the sides and then the top of the cake. Just as I was about done, my daughter walked into the kitchen and asked why I hadn’t added the second layer of cake before I completely iced it. I informed her that I HAD added the second layer and we both laughed at how flat the cake was, in comparison to our muse.* I hadn’t considered that the vegan recipe might limit the cake’s height and it looked lost on its large palette. When we covered it in red and green jimmies, it looked festive, and I was certain it would taste great.

cake3

We had a wonderful time at my sister’s and the cake looked and tasted fine. Even though it was drastically different from what my daughter and I had imagined, it was so much more. When my daughter thought back to the new Christmas memories we made this year she commented that lunging for those jimmies together in the supermarket with me would be one of her fondest.

As I continue to feel somewhat restless about and unsure of my future, my passion and my place in life, I am reminded that,

Life is a journey, not a destination

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be brave, be kind, take risks, stay curious, embrace change, keep striving to make what’s in your heart and what’s in your head a reality, have self-compassion when you fall short of your goals, and know when to ask for help.

Happy New Year!

 

Peace, Love and Presence,

Jeanne

 

*If you want a good laugh, just search google images for “green tie dye cake” and you will see what my inspiration was for my holiday cake, and how much I fell short (but not really).