"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Get Your Passion On!

Passion should overwhelm reason time and again. (Alvaro Castagnet)

What a mistake to suppose that the passions are strongest in youth! The passions are not stronger, but the control over them is weaker! They are more easily excited, they are more violent and apparent; but they have less energy, less durability, less intense and concentrated power than in maturer life. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

Are you passionate? Do you try to squeeze the most out of every minute of every day, savoring life to the fullest? Do you laugh loudly, cry intensely, express yourself strongly, love deeply, hate vehemently and breath every breath with gratitude?

Passion, zeal, spirit, soul..... the joy of getting the most out of life. It's a great thing!

Life is a cacophony of experiences, some good, some bad. We all start out with raw grit passion in our childhood. We cry loudly when our diapers are soiled or we feel hunger. As children we approach life with curiosity and boldness. Soon we find out that feeling our emotions intensely and expressing them gets us in trouble with those whose lives we have inconvenienced. Throughout life, when painful experiences come our way the feelings of sorrow can be too great to handle so we mask them with "soothers" such as TV and other forms of entertainment, drinking, food, etc.  Even our ecstasy and joy need to be masked or we are labeled as annoying or loud. It doesn't take long before we go through life like a zombie dialing down all our emotions to a socially acceptable level. You can check your own zombie rating with one simple test; how do you feel about teenagers? Nuff said...

As a creative, it is important to experience passion so that you can bring it to your creations. If you do not feel your feelings, how can you bring them into your art? If you are out of touch with your soul, it's very hard to put "soul" in your work. Art can become boring and lackluster without an honest expression of life.

How do you put the passion back in your life? Remember the feeling that you had when you first fell in love? The grass was more green, the sky was more blue and there was a bounce in your step that you could not explain. Puppies were cuter, food tasted better and optimism was your best friend. This is the feeling that you want to tap in to.

We need to get this passion back in our lives. If you have the chance, get that love moving in the right direction. Bad relationships zap energy, good relationships heal. Unfortunately life is not a romance novel for most people so there have to be other ways to get your passion on. 

For starters, do something different with your day. Sit in a different chair, listen to different kind of music, etc. Do anything to get out of your rut.

The truth is that puppies are STILL cute. Grass is STILL green. All the things you noticed in your ecstatic love state are still all true, you just paid more attention to them then because YOU WERE HAPPY! You were viewing the world in a very positive way with intrigue and pleasure. Try to get back there with your thankfulness radar. Focus on all the good things. I mean REALLY focus on them.

Engage in something today fully. Let me give you an example. I went to the beach a few days ago. I sat in my chair and read for a while feeling the breeze in my hair and the sun on my back. Soon I realized that I was wasting my beach time because I can read at home too.  I got up out of my chair and walked around a bit, gathering shells and feeling the wet sand under my feet. Heading back to my chair I had a "rethink" and sat right in the sand, running my hand on the surface of the ground, watching the patterns. I sifted the sand through my fingers, watching it fall to the ground. I picked up shells and studied them, making lines. Then right on the deserted beach, I laid down making angel wings in the sand. I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of the surf pounding the beach.  If the air wasn't so brisk, I could have taken it one step further and gone into the water. This was the act of really experiencing the beach. I embraced the fullness of the moment and the environment.

What good is an experience if we do not do justice to it? Will we go through life passively only half noticing all the miracles that lay before our eyes? We need to ignite passion again for all that life has to offer. Passion is the very expression of love. Lukewarm love is worthless. Love should be real and full and encompass all areas of your day and your experiences. Shower your family with love today! Love on your pets! Love your food... enjoy every bite! Love the moments between the beating of your heart... your travels... your adventures... your cooking ... your cleaning... your chores... your job.... your art process. Get the most out of every experience and throw yourself into it with reckless abandonment! Why hold back? Life is not a dress rehearsal - it's the real deal. Every day that you do not passionately engage in your world is a day of your life wasted! 

So put some passion in your life today... it's good for the soul!

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