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Live More Passionately! 

By Lynn Larkin MSW, ACSW

“You, I know you. You are a seeker. You are a fledgling ready to take flight. You sense intuitively that you have potential that you’ve barely begun to tap…. Individually and collectively, we are being called to realize our passions and our potential.” Jean Houston

Answering this call is not always easy but I believe we all have a responsibility to both those around us and to ourselves to live life as passionately as possible. Living passionately allows you to feel more alive, more energized and more connected to your true self. We are all more than we think we are and getting in touch with our passions gets us in touch with our true potential. (If you’re unsure what your passions are see my article, Finding Your Passion.) Your passions are more than just major lifetime goals and include everyday things like hobbies, spending time with family/friends, spiritual practice, writing, cooking, art, music, sports, travel, photography, pottery, nature, etc... It is discovering what you really love to do and making the time to do these things.

Living more passionately is not only enjoyable (that wonderful feeling when everything feels right) but I also believe this is where we find our unique talents and it is our responsibility to others to bring forth our gifts and offer them to others. We each have something unique to offer, that spark of God within us, which we share with the world. Not living up to our potential is denying the world of something special. 

If doing things you genuinely love is great for both the world and us, why don’t we just do it? This is another case of “easier said than done” since getting in touch with our passions also tends to get us in touch with those fears and insecurities which we work so hard to ignore. Discovering and learning to live more passionately is a lifelong process and unfortunately I don’t have any easy answers. 

As I was preparing for my first workshop on finding and living your passions I asked my friend Jim (who is a master of trivia) for an appropriate quote. He thought for a moment and then responded, “If thine eye offends you, pluck it out”. Since Jim also has a tendency to be off the wall at times I initially just laughed. He calmly went on to explain his thought process saying: “If you’re seeing and doing things in your life that don’t support living your passion then get rid of them”.

Simple advice nevertheless probably the first step to living more passionately. Just making a conscious decision to prioritize the things you love and arranging your life to support these passions will speed you down the road to living more passionately. Many people complain of lack of time and money keeping them from doing things they love but they may need to ask themselves if there is some way they can prioritize these resources. If you’re one of these people you could ask yourself these questions: “Are you watching TV or surfing the net out of habit when you could be spending more time doing X?” “Do people in your life distract you from living your passion?” “Are you committing time and energy to things out of obligation or habit rather than doing what you really want to do?” If money is an issue, “Is there something you could do related to your passion that you can afford”, or “Is there some way you can adjust your budget to save more money towards what really matters”. To live more passionately one must be consciously aware of how they are spending their time and money and make deliberate choices.

You may find that even after you’ve made a commitment to living your passions things always comes up that keep you from following through. Many of my clients complain of being lazy, not having enough time or any number of excuses. The field of psychology talks about resistance as if the client is deliberately choosing not to do something. A better way of looking at this is that a part of you is trying to protect you from something. These fears may not be realistic nevertheless they are real. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of unknown, fear of change, fear of not being perfect, fear of appearing selfish, fear of appearing foolish, fear of others disapproving of you or not loving you, and on and on. While on a conscious level these fears may seem silly they are very real to a part of you that will keep finding excuses to protect you from the risk it thinks is involved in living more genuinely.

Conquering these fears may be as simple as Niki promotes (“Just Do It”), recognizing your fears and acting despite them with perhaps some extra encouragement and reassurance from others or yourself. Still, many people need more than pep talks. Often fears stem from deep-seated beliefs that take deeper exploration to understand why this part of you feels you need to be protected. This process can be challenging and scary. Nevertheless, you have lots to offer the world and yourself and you should make the effort to be all you were meant to be. As Jean Houston said, you are being called to realize your passions and your potential.

©Lynn Larkin ( This article was previously published in The New Times.





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