As a young woman, I was told time and again that if I simply followed my passion and worked hard – everything would be ok. It seemed like relatively easy direction, but there was one very big problem. I didn’t know what my passion was! Not knowing my passion didn’t mean I was a failure or someone who wasn’t creative or alive with ideas. It just meant that nothing really truly seemed to spark the fires inside of me in the way I thought true passion should.
Sure, I could tell you what I enjoyed and what I wanted from life. I could also show you the things I was good at – but my ideas about what ‘passion’ actually was existed way above and beyond that. I thought finding my passion meant I would leap out of bed each morning and find myself truly connected with the lofty source of inspiration that fuelled geniuses and artists and prodigies. Little did I know how many times my passion would change over the next ten years!
Finding new passions at every stage of life
Running a yoga retreat in Bali means I’ve been lucky enough to meet so many gorgeous women in the process of transition – or like me back then, wondering what their passion really is. Often they may have the realisation that they are stuck in jobs that aren’t meant for them. It’s taught me many things, but one of the most important is that it’s completely normal to not know what your passion is at various times of life – and even more normal for your passions to change as you grow and mature.
Women often come to our Bali yoga retreat because they know something has to change or they know they need to find a new path to walk down. They make the first step in honouring themselves to take that precious time out. Sometimes the women on retreat make big decisions together, other times they just hold the space for each other to have new realisations.
One thing I always do when it’s time to find my next passion is to take guidance from the wise women that I am fortunate to be surrounded by, in my life. So, I’ve created a short personal reflection task. I guess you could call it a ‘find your passion’ test. It includes some of the wisdom that was shared with me before I came to Bali and started my yoga retreat. It includes an old favourite I use to inspire me when I feel a little lost. I hope these questions will help you to find your new direction too!
Gift yourself 15 minutes to work through the process and know that you’ll be that much closer to where you want to be.
Before you start the passion seeking process, make sure you have chosen the right mindset. It’s so easy when exploring something new our familiar friends of fear and judgment raise their unattractive heads. If you allow them energy and space, you’ll block the possibilities that are waiting to be found. If you believe you can discover your passion, you will. You’ll be open to the nudges, hints and whispers of your calling and you won’t shut them down at the first turn or dismiss them as ‘being crazy’. I did this at my first chance of entrepreneurship when I was living on a boat in the Carribbean. I had just started allowing myself the idea that perhaps this career break that I was on then, didn’t have to end and that this island and water based lifestyle that I loved so much, could be sustained through various business ideas. Unfortunately the voices of little miss sensible that was sitting on my shoulder at the time and dogma of my parents asking about all that education and experience going to waste won and I shut down those clear signs and whisper of my heart. Luckily, they rose again a few years later and paved my path to Bali and our yoga retreat, Escape Haven.
Honour yourself by setting the intention that you will be open to the possibilities that present themselves. If you need this reinforced, surround yourself by the people who say yes – those that see possibilities, realise dreams and cheer each other on. If that’s not your friends, it may be time to edit your circle with those that you wish to emulate and are on the same path of potential that you wish to share too.
Passion seeking exercise:
- Get clear on the no’s!
If you’re like me then this first step will be easy. Make a list of everything you 100% know is not your passion. Write down the things you have tried and not fallen in love with, get them out of the way first of all so they don’t sneak back in again later disguised as your passion when really they’re a step backwards.
- The lottery question
Ask yourself what you’d like to do each day if money were no object. For example, if a large windfall came along that meant you never had to work again. What would you spend your time doing? List three things. (Other than endless spa holidays on tropical islands!)
- The stuck in a library question
This one is a close sister of the ‘stuck on a desert island’ question but instead, I’m going to ask you which subjects you would choose to read about if you were stuck in a library without release for eight hours straight. To be specific, which non-fiction books could you bear to read for a whole day if you absolutely had to. Would it be history or gardening, or health or medicine? What subjects hold enough interest to draw you towards them? List three topics.
- The little girl inside
Think about the things you used to do as a child, what were the hobbies or activities that filled you with a sense of joy back then and how could you bring them into your adult life as a hobby or casual activity now?
- What are you just OK at doing?
Most of us think that talent and passion come together, but the key to uncovering new paths and ideas for yourself is to open your mind. So, ask yourself, what am I just OK at doing? Not excellent but ok – and then note these things down. There is a lot of research that points towards linking the things that you are ok at to find your passion.
- Seek the limits of your courage
Find the limits of your courage. See what you are willing to bargain in order to follow your passion. Will you ultimately choose Comfort or Courage?
Women need inspiration and permission to follow their greatness. Make a commitment to finding yours and know by doing this, you will be guided to the right places and will in turn, inspire others to do the same.
Combine your reflections to form a new path
Once you’ve answered the questions, put the paper away for a few hours. Your mind is likely to produce some new ideas that you hadn’t thought of as soon as you stop trying to focus. Then, once you have your final list, take a quiet moment to hold each one in mind and see how it feels to you. Are there any passions or hobbies on that list that bring you particular excitement? Any ideas or new directions you feel drawn to follow up on? Use your intuition and get quiet with yourself. I’m not saying this will give you an answer but it could just open the door to a new pathway you’ve never imagined before.
Escape Haven Bali Retreat, supporting women on year making wellness experiences.
We invite you to come and experience for yourself our award winning Bali retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and shrug off all the roles that you wear and all the balls you juggle in your busy life, we’d love to pamper you. From transformational yoga and meditation classes, to exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness in our tropical gardens to restorative healing and pampering sessions, how much or little you do is all up to you.