Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is your passion?

Muse on this a few moments. Where and what is your passion? In what are you engaged when you sense a quickening of your heart and soul? When do you feel most alive, most in touch with your own essence?

Each of us may have multiple replies. Perhaps your list is ever growing.

Scanning back over the years can yield important clues to opportunities for future inclusion, for ways to bring more passion into life.

As a child, what activities held your attention? You might recall such deep absorption that you were surprised by hearing, “It’s time for dinner!”

I remember experiencing this phenomenon when I was reading, writing stories, finger painting, choreographing little dances for myself, lying on my back in the grass while watching clouds, and being steeped in imaginative play. I enjoyed playing checkers, card games, jacks, jump rope, and hopscotch.

My sister and I nurtured our doll children in our play house (converted from a chicken coop by our father and uncle, bless them). We took our host of “little ones” for wagon rides near the woods and on picnics in the backyard. When they were sick we held them, murmured encouraging words, and gave them medicine.

Within these reflections, I can see some roots of what feeds my soul today: writing, spontaneous dance, meditating, making art, walking in woods and on beaches, and reading. I feel intensely plugged into the heart of life when I teach meditation to eager students, when I connect with individuals in therapy sessions, and when I place my hands in someone’s energy field.

At parties and other social gatherings, the one question I like to ask is, “What feeds your soul?”

SO - - what feeds YOUR soul?

~ Dena Ward Clayton


Anonymous said...

hi, dena.
i try to get thru my daily moments, with the intention of creating more joy?, less pain.

experiences of pain, do make me stronger.

my passion/soul purpose seems to change after every life event/moment !

i had a near death experience after having my son & still on the operating table.

there is NO death.

yet...i fought for my right to stay here.
i fought for this life in 3d.

it is the little miracles in life that matter.


Anonymous said...



Dale Morgan said...

Wow, Dena, that's a loaded question, but a very good one. My passion was always anything to do with animals. Evidence of that is an early entry in 1960 in my childhood diary when I got my very first puppy...I state that I am going to marry "Inky." Looking back on my marital success (failure???), I probably should have followed that passion, huh?

I have followed that passion into adulthood by heavily volunteering for animal shelters throughout the 1980's and by having as many animals as I could take care of properly.

But to be honest, I am currently searching for my passion. It seems to have dodged me lately. I feel like I just can't plug in that last piece of the puzzle. But I am going to keep on trying.

Thanks for those insights, Dena.

Dena said...

Nan, you are so right about the little miracles in life mattering. And, oh, I cannot imagine the near death experience you had when your son was born.

Dale, a wondering popped up the other day while I was in traffic. I wonder if art might be or become a future passion of your soul. I recall you writing about an art class you took in high school.
And you have displayed one of your paintings from then in your home now. If you're interested, I have a friend who is gifted at giving private & group classes by PHONE!

Sean said...

Now, that's a great question. And the answers so far more intriguing. Nan if you can end each day creating more joy, you are rare among those I have met, and such a pursuit could not be more noble.

Dale, I agee with Dena, art could be that passion. Creating art from a blank piece of canvas or drawing paper can bring such joy. I studied art for a short while, taking lessons at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, and private lessons afterwards. Time just seemed to stand still, and those pieces I created I still have and cherish. I think in my next life I'll get into the arts. It was so much fun.

You have to admire those folks who knew their passions early on. I have a friend, Bob Fern, who retired yesterday from American Airlines. At the age of 16 he had a passion for flying, and made a career out of it. I always wondered how those folks KNEW precisely what they wanted out of life, and the rest of us were left scratching our heads.

I find riding a motorcycle, taking a long sweeping curve, comes as close to Heaven as I may ever get. The thrill of the ride, the risk of possibly having an accident and never returning, those feelings give me a sense of being alive that I can not seem to find anyplace else. Mind you, I'm certainly not an adrenaline junkie, but there is something about having something at risk that really gets your senses on high alert, and it becomes exhilarating when it's over.

Anonymous said...

[[hugs to everyone here !]]

my passion today, was learning my new temporary position making books at a local factory !!
i had no idea how that process was accomplished.
the factory is family run and everyone is so friendly.
we take those scholastic paper covered books that are sold in the elementary schools, and we make them hard bound.

tis kewl.


Dena said...

Way to go, Nan, work that lights passion within you!

Sean, thanks for the vicarious rush via your description of "a long, sweeping curve" on a motorcycle.

Have folks been sitting with these ideas? Maybe some more ideas are surfacing . . .

~ Dena

Anonymous said...

When I don't have something to be passionate about, life seems lack luster...Several years ago, I was in just that kind of place...lack luster...after a great deal of therapy...well spent...I siezed on what would give my life that lift and something to feel passionate about...I wanted an adventure and the adventure was to return to Hawaii to live (this dream was something I had always wanted but felt it impossible)...I came to WTW in our junior year from Oahu...kicking and screaming ( ironically enough, I value the two years spent with the people I met and befriended at WTW more than I did the relationships in Kailua)...I partner of 21 years and myself sought to find a place in the islands to took many trips here as things had changed so much...we fell in love with Kauai and bought a piece of land on the North first we had a ten year plan to make this our home...we cleared the land and fenced it in...we returned every year for two weeks...we planned, we dreamed, and we made friends...during the winter months we designed a house and bought furnishing on e-bay and else where...always dreaming...I put pictures on my station at work of our land and the view of the valley to remind me of why I came to work...Then in April of 04...five years into our ten year plan...we started to build and moved out here that Sept to oversee the final building...that was just the beginning of pursueing my passion...more have made themselves known since we began this adventure...At times,for various reasons, it seemed that it might be impossible to make this dream of 40 some years come true...and if we hadn't been able to make it happen, the one thing I learned from all the time spent in planning and dreaming is that "The Joy Is In The Journey"....Dudley

Dena said...

Wow, Dudley, your account is vivid, it conjured much imagery and a connection with the passion you describe. Thank you for the mini-vacation, as well (it's my first "trip" to Hawaii).

~ Dena

Anonymous said...

Dudley, you have always been such a positive and passionate person; a huge source of inspiration for the rest of us. I love the story of your migration home to Hawaii. Thanks for that, Helen