Artwork by Annelinde Tempelman
“The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion” - Yves Saint Laurent
Passion is misunderstood. At worse, it is the root of all evil. At best, it is confused with lust. Most people who seem to have it, appear to use it unwisely. Others utterly lack it. Certainly we have few role models in this domain. Yet all the great masters lived with an abundant dose of it - spiritual teachers, artisans, painters, musicians, sports people, leading professionals in all sectors. It seems like one common denominator in all their greatness is… passion.
Perhaps we could start by stating that passion is a quality of the soul, not of the personality. Hence we could all have it: it is part of our nature, not our nurture. So if we feel our current life is not passion rich, perhaps, we can find traces of its essence in our early childhood. What were our impulses, our tendencies, even back then? Like a flower who turns to the sun, what were we drawn by? What lit us up and brought us joy? What were our gifts, our qualities? Were we more physically able or more mentally apt? What was our strongest sense? And most importantly, how did we proceed or tackle our pursuits? With what kind of energy?
As adults, we have to consciously re-claim our right to passion, for it is likely to have been judged, rejected or even punished. This requires a tremendous amount of courage. We then have to consciously carve out the space in our lives for it. For we are not used to accommodating it. In fact, we may have built our daily routines without it. This takes strength, to confront the status quo and re-assess our choices.
But to do so, we need to understand the truth about passion. What it is NOT is a quality of the sexual organs divorced from the heart. Rather, it IS the fire that is awakened and burns in the heart when sexuality has found its rightful place. And what it LOOKS like when it is alive is a remembering of our purpose. When our heart is on fire with divine passionate purpose, there is boundless energy pulsating through us, that we need to receive, contain and channel into our ‘craft'. It feels like the entire creation has stepped in to assist us in reaching our goal, in manifesting our heart’s desire. Dare we aspire to this fulfilment?
Each of us, in our very own unique way, is a conduit of an expression of the divine that is waiting to come through - hence, no-one can live our life purpose for us - even if they have similar talents or a comparable offer. For our purpose is more than a job. it is the reason we are here and our way of being, living and giving on this planet.
Alana Fairchild puts it beautifully in her Mother Mary Oracle Cards:
“Your purpose is to become what you are - that is why no-one can steal your purpose or live your life for you. Each of us needs to find our own way home to our heart, and to liberate our passion to love our particular life path to the fullest.
Within every human heart there is a divine passion growing and awaiting liberation: to desire, to give, to create, to connect, to express, to heal, to feel alive, to thrive - all of these are valid and come from a place within our hearts that grows stronger as we mature spiritually.
As the light within grows we cannot help but search for that which inspires us, that brings some kind of meaning and connection to our lives. Once you have connected with the passion of your heart, to live that passion becomes as natural and essential and unquestionable as breathing. Trust in what your heart shows you over time, just like the blossoming red rose, knowing that in time the fullness of the passion will be so alive in you that you cannot possibly miss what you are meant to be doing, how you are meant to be living. The beauty and perfume of that manifestation will lift the spirits of others.”
To complement this interpretation, Fabio Fabbri shares his understanding of Passion. This is the perspective of a mature man, an Italian man, and a man who has devoted many years to the study and the teaching of Yoga:
“Passion is a quality of the heart, one that you pour into something that you do whole-heartedly. So it describes your approach. It could also be cultural, hence learned. But I can say that my nature is high intensity, I approach everything with that, even slightly obsessively, whether I like something or dislike something. I experience passion in everything I do; it is my main motivation. I have noticed that if I make a choice from my head instead of my heart, I fail miserably.
My earliest memory of feeling passion is from when I was 6 years old, playing soccer on the road with my friends, dodging cars, falling, scratching our knees. But we all loved it, we didn’t stop for any reason, we just kept going. We all wanted to become soccer stars! I can say that as a more mature man, this has not changed much or I don’t manage it any better. But my advice to younger men would be to nourish it, to channel it, not to let the rational mind suppress that instinctual, almost romantic side. But passion can be a double edged sword; it can be either a curse or a great gift depending on how you conduct it. Discipline is key here to channeling this force with wisdom; without that, your emotions run your life.”
So to sum up how to harness Passion, we need the following:
a. Meditation or self awareness as to how it feels to live with this force, and how to hold it
b. Maintain healthy boundaries in our relationships and activities
c. Conscious choice as to what to channel it into - our heart’s deepest desire
d. Discipline so as to stay focused and not be distracted by our emotions, including any fears that may creep into our heads ‘about the consequences’ of approaching life this way
Passion in life is closely intertwined with creativity, here is another little bit of guidance from Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic:
“What is your favourite flavour of shit sandwich? Every single pursuit - no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem - comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. Everything sucks, some of the time. You just have to decide what sort of suckle you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much ‘what are you passionate about?’, the question is ‘what are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?…. Because if you love and want something enough - whatever it is - then you don't really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.”
Need help navigating all of the above to re-create yourself or an area of your life? You can work privately with Natalia via Skype or join her in a playful way within a creative, caring and encouraging circle in her “Spectacular Côte D’Azur Creative Journey”, travel sketching as a metaphor for life, with art tutor Catherine Moullé, 11 - 19 April 2020.
Details on www.saffronrose.com.
To read this article in the New York Spirit magazine, click here.