“What if Socrates had been in a hurry? Would his name be known today?”
(Richard Neville, ‘Footprints of the Future’)
Do you have time for your passions? As you ricochet from a cramped inbox to a red hot mobile phone, do you have time to ponder what is really important to you?
Increasing demand for the quick fix has brought to harvest a fat crop of ‘big bang’ self-development programs that shoot for catharsis, self-knowledge and transcendence, all in an evening or a weekend, and that focus more around the ‘highs’ than the value of long-term practice. We spend our lives in close proximity with so many others, and yet, in our haste, not really meeting them at all.
In the midst of all this rushing, many of us settle for mere snatches of a bigger way of being; a great round of golf, a walk by the sea, a trip overseas. Or sometimes at work; clinching the deal, the buzz of networking, making someone’s day. Tiny splashes of vibrant colour in what can often appear as a large backdrop of subdued obligation, or a wilderness of stress.
The truth is, however, that to live life on a deep and fulfilling level, bite-sized chunks of meaning are not enough and people that grab for change while on the run are destined for disappointment, big time. What we have discovered in our passion processes is that once people have a real and lived experience of self, and the deep sense of knowing that comes with that, then they also have access to both the drive and the tools to incorporate new life-building and long-term habits into their lives. In other words, by getting in touch with and continually using the energy of their passions, and with some basic tools and guidance in how to incorporate those into their lives, these people were able to bring about lasting and positive change.
Quick Tip – Stop and Breathe
If you catch yourself rushing and stressed, unable to think clearly, then stop, just for a moment, and breathe. Fill your lungs. Release the air slowly. Turn your awareness within, and just be with yourself. Just for a moment. Let your breathing center you. Notice what you are feeling – irritation, frustration, fear – whatever. Let it be there. Don’t push it away. Just breathe. Then bring to mind something you are passionate about – an aspect of your life you enjoy, a special memory, a loved activity.
Connect with the energy of that – perhaps it’s uplifting, centering, exciting, grounded, buzzy, light. Whatever. Let that energy permeate through you. Just enjoy and observe the feeling for a short while. Allow yourself to be open to new insights about the situation at hand. Reconnect with whatever you were doing before you stopped to breathe, and notice how you feel now.