Give yourself permission to be passionate.
There I said it. Without passion or a purpose we lose sight of who we are and why we’re here. Having a purpose is especially important if you’re retired or thinking of retiring.
Reigniting our dormant passions at this stage of our lives so key to our happiness. My gut feeling is if when we feel passionate we’re in the flow, we lose track of time and feel 100% engaged. That’s anybody’s definition of happy!
Take my current passion for traveling. In the past, travel was a random experience. I would take vacations or trips but they were never long enough to immerse myself. The clock was always ticking. I couldn’t relax and enjoy myself and always felt I had to keep my feelings and passion for going further in check. Now that I’ve given myself permission to reach out and experience places without a specific time limit, I’m aware of how it fills me up. Especially as I’m one of those people who love new experiences and places!
It may have evolved from moving to three countries by the time I was 13, or it may be built in wanderlust. Whatever it is, I’m now saying yes to it and to my passion for discovery.
Your particular passion is always there, ready to fill the place in you that work, friends or family used to. The parts of our life which ebb and flow. If we figure out how to tap into our true passion, we’re primed to fill ourselves up at any time in our life.
What are you passionate about?
Do you consciously pursue it and make it a part of your day? If we truly want to feel fulfilled and authentically “us” making time to think about what’s important to us and set aside space for it is the first step.
When did you last spend time thinking of what turns your brain on. Whether it’s knitting, golfing or sailing around the world; when was the last time you indulged? Do you make a point of setting aside time to pursue what you love or do you mentally think, “I’ll do it another day”?
- What gets you excited about getting out of bed in the morning? Is it seeing your grandkids?
- What do you lose track of time doing? Reading a good book or getting your hands dirty in the garden?
- What do you pursue when you have time. For me it’s catching up on reading magazines and newspapers.
- What do you find yourself posting on your Facebook, Instagram or other social media. There’s your clue to what fires you up!
We all have our little guilty pleasures. Although I drew the line at Keeping up with the Kardashians, I did my stint of watching Real Housewives and even yup The Bachelor. I don’t really feel watching other people live their lives is something to get excited about, its more of a time sink!
Passion is ours. We might share it with loved ones, but deep down, immersing ourselves in what we love is very personal.
Uncover your passions with a journaling practice
How to Discover Your Passions
Take the first step and jot down your passions. You have to name them to claim them as Dr Phil would say.
- Write down at least 5 non negotiable passionate pursuits. Writing helps make them stick and becomes a conscious reminder. Heck put them on a post it note and stick in on your fridge or mirror. Make your passions stick in your mind.
- Pick one. Let’s say you’re going to reignite your passion for swing dancing. Research online or through your social networks. Find local swing dance lessons or join a Meetup group that meets regularly to dance. Sign up and go!
- Visualize like a ninja. Once you’ve committed to your passion for dancing (golfing, swimming, bungee zip lining), visualize dancing as if your feet may never touch the ground. Really get into feeling your body and smile as you feel the movement. Seeing is believing. Visualizing for a few minutes each day will prime your body and mind to stay committed. The bonus? You’ll get the same mini jolt of passion fulfilled!
- If you’re pursuing a passion for swing dance, go and buy the proper shoes and outfit. Try them on in front of the mirror. If traveling abroad is what floats your boat, start researching where you want to go. How much will you budget? What do you want to accomplish. Start saving now and put a time limit on when you’ll go. Our first trip to the UK together was September 2016. We both started saving a year ahead, committed to how much each of us would put in the kitty monthly and by the time our trip rolled around, we were funded. So start with a step that takes you to the next one, and the next.
- This may sound counter-intuitive but don’t share your passion with just anyone. Only tell the peeps in your life who are super supportive and will feel your joy with you.
- From your five non-negotiable passions, pick one that’s a no brainer, doesn’t require any expense or very little. Start doing it. If you’re like me and you get giddy when you dance, wait until no one else is home, crank up your favorite tunes and dance away. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
- Rinse and repeat. Make a habit of visualizing your passionate pursuits. Feel and see yourself enthusiastically practicing them every day. Consciously say boo to your inner sceptic when it tries to talk you out of pursuing passion. Keep an enigmatic smile on your face when asked how you’re doing. Give yourself permission to feel passionate about your healthy happy joyful pursuit.
Giving yourself permission to be passionate is self care at it’s best. Passionate pursuits are meant to feel good, reward us with a sense of purpose and add a dash of happy to our brains. It’s not about pleasing anyone else, it’s all about you.
Whether you’re retired or still working, your personal passions will always feed you. Give yourself permission to be passionate and feed your soul and spirit!