In Break Free, we worked on turning around our fears to look at our strengths. At this very moment, we’re at the point where Fear and Desire collide. Now the choice comes as to which way to turn — towards desire, where everyone wins, or toward Fear, where only Fear wins, and you get to stay stuck.
The choice is always yours. You may not feel ready to move onto mapping your desires like stars in the sky to guide you, but remember, you will be writing and rewriting the stories of your life for many years, and the best way to get insight is to take action and move forward.
You probably feel you’re not ready, or you don’t trust yourself. There is never the perfect time to do anything. There will always be doubts and questioning and challenges. But, how we grow is by turning left to the desires of the heart.
The Zone of Genius
One of my favourite books on following heart’s desires is The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. It’s about living your life in your Zone of Genius. We all have zones of Incompetency (mine is numbers), Competency (things you’re good at that many others are good at too), and Excellence (things that you excel at, that make you unique).
And then there is the Zone of Genius. It’s very much like your life’s purpose. It’s those things from your Zone of Excellence that feel effortless and transcendent at the same time. You wish you could do only them. That is your Zone of Genius that fills you up and makes you jump out of bed in the morning and where Hendricks says you want to be spending the majority of your time.
Maybe there isn’t just one thing you want to do with your life
I must admit, that, even though I feel as though storyhealing (helping people to heal through journaling) is my life’s calling and my Zone of Genius, I thought the same thing about writing when I first realized it filled me up like nothing other. I have no idea if I will be doing this the rest of my life, or if there’s another turn in the path ahead of me. There is always room for more passion in my life.
The same can be said for you. Your desires can change as you change. This work doesn’t have to be a lifetime commitment chiseled in stone.
I’ve met a lot of people who are passionate at many things. I want to put it out there that many of us struggle because we try to find that ONE thing that we are meant to do. Here’s a radical notion: maybe trying to find only one thing is the reason why we feel like something is missing. The notion that we have only one thing we are meant for limits us from fulfilling our greatness.
I know someone who has six different job titles: coach, freelance writer, video editor, marketer, tech instructor, designer. Each thing she does brings her joy, and none of them is her purpose — they are her passions.
She’s young, so she has lots of time to figure out if she has just one thing. But, that may well be the gift the Millennials give to this world — the dawning of a new realization — WE DON’T HAVE TO STICK TO ONE THING OUR ENTIRE LIVES.
How can we possibly decide the rest of our lives in our twenties when we’re still wet behind the ears? When I was twenty, I just wanted to explore life, not get bogged down it what I was going to do with it. The world was open to me. But I also know there those who know who they want to be when right from childhood, and if only one thing calls you, go for it. Just, please, never lose the ability to be open to new desires as they present themselves.
Let’s make the goal be to live your life with passion and purpose!
We can have many desires and follow all of them if we don’t get tied to the belief that a productive life means we must buy into the myth that it must come with the partner, the dream home, and other ‘stuff,' children and the job that pays for it all. (But, if that’s what sparks you, again, go for it).
If you’re young and un-sparked by the idea of having the same job year after year, which squeezes the air out of your lungs, start listening to your inner drummer and get in touch with your desires! Hells bells, if you are older, like me, and feel the pull to try something new, go to it, don’t put it aside for some day!
When we lead a passionate life, we are living our life on purpose
Let go of thinking there is only one purpose for you and embrace the idea that our purpose in life is to love life fully by engaging in all of its beautiful messiness. It means we take the leap and try new things; we stop resisting the unknown and we participate in what is happening right here, right now — the only place we actually have influence.
That feeling that something is missing goes away when we take action and follow our desires. The need to seek our purpose comes from a lack of passion. When we don’t feel connected to your life, we lack purpose and passion. To fix this emptiness, simply add more passion — turn off the TV, the computer; put down that glass of wine; spend some time listening to your heart to unearth those long buried desires underneath all that worthiness and follow your heart.
HERE’S WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE
Remember when I told you about my friend and her six (and counting) passions? Well, she has found a way to include most of them in her business as a coach. She helps entrepreneurs with the mind work, the tech work, and the marketing work. Perhaps that’s another way to look at it. Most of us have many, many experiences and paths in our lives that we follow and learn things that made us feel alive. The thing to do might be to find a way to include the ones that make our heart gallop the fastest into the über career or gift that we share with the world.
Instead of thinking that all those passions are separate entities, you could combine your years of business training with your passions of cooking, entertaining, interior decorating, and gardening — to open an amazingly successful bed and breakfast!
Anything can happen if you keep your ears open to the callings of the heart.
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)