Life is in a constant state of flux. Stagnation and stillness only truly exist in death, so you are always moving in some way or other.
You are growing, evolving, learning, experiencing, and ultimately changing. In fact, change is one of the very few constants in the entire Universe.
Change is inevitable. Yet many people are utterly terrified of change. It frightens people into being close-minded, manipulated by various leaders, educators, gurus, and pundits, and making choices that actually cause them more harm than good.
If you learn instead to embrace change and see it as an opportunity rather than adversity, you can learn to work with it. Rather than resist change, you can work with it and use mindfulness to recognize its impact upon you, and your ability to influence and/or control it.
Why does this matter? Because you are constantly being sold on this idea that there is One True Way and similar notions. Be it your “soul mate,” your passion for a career or other activity, or means to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’, change means that there will, ultimately, be many ways and means.
In other words, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
You change, desires change
When I was in my twenties, I wanted more than anything else to be a radio DJ. Even though I loved the theatre, and got my useless bachelor’s degree in that subject, my real passion was radio. The hours I spent behind the mic in the studio, on the air or recording PSAs, were some of the best times of my life.
And yes, my other major passion at that time in my life was theatre. I wanted to direct plays. At one point I even toyed with the notion that I would maybe start my own theatre company and produce shows to appeal to mass audiences.
In my twenties I also wanted more than anything to be a parent. It was an intense desire on my part to raise kids and give them all the affection and attention I could muster. I would be a great dad.
Now, in my forties, all of these hold no appeal to me. I don’t even listen to radio stations anymore; I haven’t the necessary drive to produce or direct theatre (because it eats every single aspect of your life, FYI); while I love kids and am super fond of my niece and nephews (and all the non-blood nieces and nephews among my friends’ kids) I couldn’t imagine trying to raise one.
The experiences of my life over the past two decades have changed my passions and desires. This is a perfectly natural thing. It only is troublesome when you are unable to accept change for what it is.
This is why there is no One True anything.
There are a number of things which I have a passion for. Some of these I can use towards career goals, some are just things I do and love to do or experience when I can.
You most likely have the same. Something in your life for which you feel tremendous passion, joy, excitement, and so on. It might be a tangible thing, an activity, or some combination of these things.
Years ago I listened to a program by Tony Robbins. At the end of each segment, he finished by concluding “Live with Passion.” Some people see this as an unrealistic ideal. Others only equate passion with romance.
I see passion as an overall zest for life.
Bad days happen. Unfortunate things will happen to you and the people you care about. Numerous matters outside of your control will alter your world view, and the collective conscious aspects of your reality. Still, having something to be passionate about can drive you through and beyond bad times, and provide the impetus for living a full life.
Even the things you are passionate about can change. For me, that includes writing. While I started out with a passion for writing sci-fi, fantasy, and other works of fiction, these articles have come to mean a great deal to me. I love to share my experiences, and in doing that help others to work with, seek out, and develop their own life stories, too.
Passion changes, because like everything else in the Universe it evolves. When all is said and done, this is a very good thing.
Finding balance in an unfair world
It is all too easy to fall victim to negativity. The world around you and I is full of unfortunate happenings; bad people doing selfish, cruel, inhumane things to other people; greed; corruption; narcissism; and other matters far beyond your personal sphere of influence and control. They can seem out of hand, and scary…but ultimately they can be changed.
The Universe is not fair. But fairness is, really, a human construct. Often in the process of attempting to create balance you get imbalance because you go too far from one extreme to the other. Balance can only be found in the places between extremes.
Why does this matter? Because if you do not pursue your passions in some way or other, you will imbalance yourself. I know that there are any number of circumstances that can complicate this, but that doesn’t lessen the importance of creating a balance between that which you can influence or control and that which you cannot.
Of course, the only thing you can truly influence or control is your own thoughts and feelings. How and what you think and how and what you feel are the only things over which you can exert true influence or control, and with that create intent behind your actions. This is where mindfulness comes in to play.
When you are mindful, you gain the ability to recognize and roll with changes not only from without, but also from within. As such, you can find new passions and pursue things that make you feel the most alive.
Change is how the world improves. You can improve yourself by becoming mindful of your thoughts and feelings. That awareness will allow you to then choose to see change as it happens, rather than to be caught up unaware by it.
Because change is inevitable, fearing it won’t stop it. Learning to embrace change can ease any transition as it happens, as well as allow you to potentially redirect, influence, and/or control that change.
Whatever your current One True *insert notion here* may be, recognizing that it can and will change allows you to change with it. When what you are passionate about today ceases to draw that same response tomorrow, you will be better able to find a new passion.
This is where mindfulness can be so powerful. You are worthy and deserving of creating a life that you feel passionate about. Don’t hesitate, don’t fear what that could be…take it for a ride and see how much you can do and what you are capable of becoming.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done, you matter, and you are worthy and deserving of following your passion.