Don’t just find your passion. Find yourself through it

These days, there is so much talk about finding your passion; finding that ONE thing that is magically embedded deep inside us. For some of us, this is perhaps true. You see some people who are born with a talent for music or for art or for fixing engines. But for most of us, we do not discover that we want to be a mathematician at the age of five. It just doesn’t come to us. And when we hear motivational talks, asking us to find our true calling, we feel lost, hopeless and defeated. What to do?

  1. Start by identifying things that bring you joy. This could be whatever – cleaning the house, cooking, drawing or music. Something that is seemingly insignificant, but when we do it we find ourselves in a space of ease and calm. We often override this saying “Oh but what use is my painting, nobody would appreciate it”. That’s the whole point. You do not want it to be appreciated. We do it because it makes us feel ‘right’. ‘Right’ being calm and centered as opposed to “Oh my God! Look at my painting!’. A step towards finding our passion is to start looking at those small and seemingly insignificant things that create a sense of space in us. We know this is IT, when we lose track of time; when we do not realize that we are putting in effort to do this; when we feel at home.
  2. Start observing how you bring yourself to this activity. Here lies the key – YOU are bringing meaning to this activity and not the other way around. You notice the veracity of this claim when we are emotionally disturbed. Those things like watching our favorite movie or reading a book becomes impossible – we simply aren’t in the right state of mind. Therefore, WE are equal if not greater than the thing we do. By bringing our attention to the way we feel and the space that is created within us, we begin to dwell in our true nature, which is peace and calmness. Eckhart Tolle calls this ‘Presence’.
  3. Cultivating the attitude of presence in all things. Once we gain the mastery of dwelling at peace with a passion or a hobby, we know that we can do it with almost anything else. You have a report to write? That’s easy, you connect to that space of calm within you and then act. You have to make a meal for unexpected visitors, no problem you get into action mode, by staying fully at home within yourself. The important fact here is we do not get trapped into the world of opposites – of likes and dislikes, of love and hate, of doing and not-doing. We know that we experience a sense of completion within us and not externally. Therefore, we know that we can just about do anything with a sense of great calm – washing the toilet or fixing your engine. Differences in external action begin to diminish. It isn’t as though you lose preferences – no you might still like Chinese food over Mexican – but those choices do not bind you anymore.

Finding your passion is just the first step. We are actually on the journey to find ourselves. And by that I mean the space of peace and calmness that is within us. Our passions are keys to unlock this space within us. What use is a passion that triggers greed, competitiveness, feelings of insecurity and a race for getting ‘likes’ from people? These external definitions of success always lead us to misery and pain. Drop the wanting to be successful through your passion. The purpose of your passion – as I said – is a doorway to your own self – to show you that you already have the sense of peace and home that we are so desperately looking for.

Let us find our passion, to find out who we truly are.

The sun sets magestically over the Sabarmati ravines. Gandhinagar June 2020.

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