One of my all time favorite quotes is from Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss!” This is something I’ve always wanted to do. There are so many books and spiritual teachers that talk about finding your passion and following it. Paulo Coelho, wrote masterfully, on the subject of passion (or treasure as he called it) in The Alchemist. I’m also re-reading and re-listening to Wayne Dyer‘s Excuses Be Gone and Change Your Thoughts – Change Your LIfe.
I admit, they are powerful books. But, sadly, I feel, at times, that they are lost on me. They are lost on me for two major reasons: 1) I can’t narrow down just one passion and 2) I use the exact excuses they discuss in the books to avoid following my passion(s). What’s worse; I take it a step further and berate myself for not following the advice laid down by these brilliant men, and other brilliant writers such as Louise Hay (whom I adore). How do I stop the cycle of madness that keeps me locked in a place/job/life that I’m “content” with but not passionate about?
Let’s start with issue #1. I can’t narrow down just one passion. I am passionate about writing though laziness often gets in the way (this will be discussed with issue #2 momentarily). I am passionate about travel though I often feel I can’t afford it (another issue #2 thought). I am passionate about singing though I talked myself out of this many years ago (wow, a lot to discuss with issue #2). I often ask myself, “how do I make a career of writing, travel, and singing?” How can I earn a comfortable living doing the things I enjoy? Better yet, how can I simply afford to do the things I enjoy? In actuality, only one of my passions truly costs money, travel. I have been lucky enough to see some amazing places in my life. Chicago, NYC, Washington DC, California, Colorado, North Carolina, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Monaco. There are so many more places to go and adventures to be had. I suppose there really is nothing holding me back from following any of my passions…well, there is; ME.
Wayne Dyer, in his book Excuses Be Gone, makes a list of typical excuses people make to avoid following their passion in life. “I’m too old.” “I’m too tired.” “I can’t afford it.” “Friends and family won’t approve.” “I’m not smart/good enough.” There are many and I’ve used quite a few. The other day I was with a few people and a friend turned to someone in the group and said, “Did you know Matthew has a blog?” The person my friend was talking to said, “Really? What’s it about?” When I told him it was about my spiritual journey this person started laughing telling me how silly a subject that was. Luckily, one of my favorite pieces of advice I often give to myself and others is, “Your opinion of me is none of my business.” I turned away and began a conversation with another person I was with. But, there is a certain amount of self-criticizing that we do. To make it easier on ourselves we will put the blame on others. “My mom will not approve if I quit my job to pursue…” “My friends will not support my decision to…” When in actuality we should just replace “my mom” and “my friends” with “I.” Or, better yet, which is my true excuse, even if I say, “I can’t afford it,” “Mom won’t approve,” “I’m too lazy,” what I really mean is, “I’m too scared.” I’m too scared to leave the comfort of my job. I’m too scared to give up what I know for the vast unknown. I’m too scared that I won’t be able to afford anything. I’m too scared that I’ll fail. Fear is the excuse that Wayne Dyer, Paulo Coelho, and Louise Hay all state as the number one absolute hands down reason people do not follow their passions…FEAR!
I am ready for fear to dissipate from my life. My affirmation for this is, “There is no room for fear in my life. I will pursue my passions unhindered by fear.” This is an affirmation we should all begin saying to ourselves daily. I’ve talked myself out of so many amazing experiences in my life because of fear. I keep turning back to the safety and comfort of the fearful life I’ve laid out for myself. Does that mean I will be perfectly fearless from here on out? No! But, now that I am aware of what is holding me back do I have a better chance of fighting that fear, little by little every minute of every day? YES!
Say it with me now…the more of us that say it the more it will resonate in the universe. “There is no room for fear in my life. I will pursue my passions unhindered by fear.”