Do you ever wake up in the morning and not feel like getting out of bed? You’re not really feeling enthused about your job or your business? And if you asked yourself, “what am I passionate about in my life?” you’d struggle to come up with the answer?
It almost feels like someone turned off your “passion switch”! You’re definitely not alone. Life can wear you down. We all get caught up on the hamster wheel of the day to day – work, family, paying the bills, just to name a few. Sometimes it’s a loss or series of losses that make us feel like shutting out the world or giving up.
For me, it’s been all of the above and more! For a couple of years it felt like I had wakes and funerals every other week, with my elder generation and many friends and family passing away. I was going through career transition after being down-sized from corporate and struggling to get my own business going. I remember a good friend and business consultant sat down and asked me to make a grid of the things I was good at and loved to do. And I stared at the blank grid and had a hard time emotionally connecting to anything to put in the first square!
This started me on a journey of exploration, connection and evolution. I attended workshops, watched videos, and listened to inspiring teachers and thought leaders, and slowly but surely started to open my mind and my heart to get excited about my life again! And I want to share what I’ve learned. First you have to “clear the decks”. By that I mean you have to get into a more positive state to be able to tune in to your real passions. Here are 5 things to get you started:
- Get quiet with yourself – meditate. I found out that you can’t even begin to uncover your passions if you’re in a frustrated or anxious state of mind and if you’re grasping desperately for the answers(it makes me feel negative just typing those words!). I am no master meditator by any means! I still struggle with it and have been doing it off and on for a long time. I’ve found guided meditations can be very helpful and still use them today. Oprah and Deepak Chopra periodically do a Free 21 day meditation series that you can listen to online. Sign up for their newsletters and you’ll get a notification on when a new one is coming up. I have since purchased a few of them that are my g0-to when I fall off the wagon or am just in a state of mind where I can’t quiet it down on my own. (you can buy them at choprameditation.com) One thing that came out of meditating for me was the word “teach”. I have to say I had no idea what that meant or what I was supposed to teach. Then an opportunity showed up to speak for a networking group and I realized how much I loved it! I’ve been teaching workshops and speaking ever since!
- Do something that makes you feel good – notice where and how you feel it. This piggy backs on the first point above. If you can’t connect with what you’re passionate about, sometimes this is actually quite hard. So start small with things that are easy for you. Like for me, it’s going for walks out in nature. Paying attention to the birds, the sky, the sunlight, the trees, the air, my breathing. Sometimes I’ll count my steps to get my mind to focus on something other than my chatter brain thoughts! No earbuds and music. Those only help you to zone out, not tune in. Another thing that makes me feel good is playing with my dog. For you it might be spending quality time with your kids or spouse. It might be doing something for self-care like a yoga class, a walk on the beach, a long hot bath. Take note of how these things make you feel in your body and your mind. Journal about it. You can use this to help you tune in when you need the bigger answers.
- Start a gratitude journal – write in it every day. I keep a very small book by my bed with a pen and I write SOMETHING in it every night. The first book I got had the title “favorite moment of the day”. I started this practice about 1 year ago and have stayed with it. Some days it’s one thing, other days I fill the page. They say if you can write 3-5 things every day, it makes a huge difference. I do it at night and find that it helps me to sleep. You can do it in the morning, too, to start your day off right. You begin to look for the things you can write about!
- Try something new – or do something you do all the time in a different way. This helps you to get a different perspective. It can be as simple as taking a different route home from work. In fact, I just did this yesterday on my way home from a meeting where I took the slightly longer way home through a beautiful area. Or you can take a cooking class, art class, yoga class or dance class. Last year I tried a glass-blowing class and several years back tried belly dancing! (okay, that might be a scary thought, but it was fun and good exercise!!) Doing these can shake you out of your routine, and you might discover a new passion along the way!
- Express your creative side. When we’re caught on the hamster wheel we have a tendency to put those creative things on the back burner. They can be traditional arts and crafts like knitting, scrapbooking, jewelry making, paint nights and more. Maybe you like to take photos – this is helpful to notice the beauty around you. There’s a great Soul Pancake experiment where they put frames on a wall and asked people to go and frame beautiful things. You could do this as an experiment for yourself with an empty frame. If you’re the type that likes to stay within the lines, there’s always coloring. This has become a relaxation technique used by many adults today! Why do this? When you think about it, your ultimate creative expression is creating your life, so this can lean you in the right direction.
This is just the first step in the process to be able to “turn on” your passion switch. If you get in the habit of doing some or all of these, it can open you up to new possibilities, see things from a new perspective and get you moving forward. And you might even discover something new that you’re passionate about! I start here with all my clients who are are exploring their next step or “encore career”.
If you want to dive deeper into this work, call me at 781-953-4350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.