Passion Attracts Energy
Ironically, what I once thought was passion was often just a grand distraction. It was feel-good-fluff designed to placate me and postpone actual change. It was an opiate that both medicated my pain and enhanced my addiction to the pain/pleasure cycle.
Eventually these pretend passions fell away and this created a certain paradox: if passion is what attracts energy into my life, and what I think is passion actually prevents its presence, how do I find the real deal? How do I weed my garden and cultivate real blooming bliss?
Pursuing Passion for Pay
This new business starts small. I’m invited to a party where I can sell my art, and I set my table up next to the make-up lady and the jewelry maker. The wine is flowing. The women are talking. I am hiding behind my art, twitching like a wall-flower.
Then a woman pulls me over to the couch and tells me she works at a local university where she teaches marketing. She likes my work and asks if I would I like to be her class project for the next semester! She wisely assumes that my tearful squeaky response is a 'yes' and informs me that once her students understand my vision, they will develop different marketing strategies for my company, including logos, color schemes, website designs, and possible next steps. At the end of her class I will leave with a brand and a plan, AND her agreement to work with me after to implement it. I am euphoric!
Over the next few weeks I prepare my presentation for her students, which brilliantly compares the way artists create art to the way people re-create their lives.
Then I learn that a local hospital is soliciting art for a new building. What place would be more perfect to install my art than a hospital? People there are dealing with all kinds of life transitions, and my art could inspire renewal. Seems like a fit! I’m super excited.
First the hospital thing falls through. I go to all the meetings, which are attended by everyone from starving artists to corporate big wigs. Oh, my goodness, the competition and egos! I am reminded of exactly why I stopped my professional art career years ago; but I push ahead and submit my proposal anyway, including a grand description of the gifts my art offers to people in transition. Surprise, surprise, I get rejected.
The class comes back to me with their proposals at the end of the semester, but I forget to ask them for the hard copies of their presentations. I manage to track down one of the students now on her summer break, get her notes, and re-create a logo on my own. I whip together a possible marketing strategy. I contact the teacher and give her my goodies, but a life situation arises for her and she is no longer available to help me.
The air in this balloon has now fully deflated. Something changed, and all the supportive energy drained right out of my dream. My heart is breaking, and I am feeling really scared. I don’t know what to do next. With true sincerity, I sense into what I need to know...and it is really painful. Here is the skinny: I have not cleared my core issues, so I do not yet recognize the unconditional value of my being; therefore, my actions are mis-directed because I am still trying to prove something to other people and to myself. Additionally, I’ve been trying to force healing on others instead of allowing my own. This part of me that has been pushing to create an impact is the very part of me that needs to be integrated, and it is now time to put everything down and allow that to happen.
Oh. &%$#@! (*sob*) (*sniffle*) &%$#@&^ #@*&^@#%$#@!!!! (*deep sigh*)
The Purpose of the Void
Allow false passion to fall away.
I first had to let go of my agenda completely, which was trickier than I realized. This meant becoming aware of every “I should,” “I have to,” and “what will happen if I don’t” that drove my choice-making like a bully with a whip. For some twisted reason, I thought this bully kept me safe and I found it hard to ignore his screaming.
The next step was to allow anything that was no longer serving me, but that I thought I couldn’t live without (e.g. roles, identities, hobbies, habits, and even treasured relationships), to dissolve or be redesigned as needed. Some things changed organically. In other situations, a clear choice was required. This experience was truly excruciating.
Chaos Theory describes how one small catalyst can have sweeping effects - the breeze created by a butterfly's flapping wings can create a hurricane on the other side of the world. My inner butterfly was causing havoc. I saw how a single choice, made with soul knowledge by a very scared human, unravelled everything I thought was important to me; and I knew for a fact that these endings were felt by every life I had ever lived.
Allow the ABC's of anti-passion.
My deconstruction brought to an end a long karmic cycle, and I felt the deep grief that comes with letting go of a way of being that had sustained me for many incarnations.
What remained after emptying out was an epic void I could not fill, except with these little darlings: Anxiety, Bitterness, Chaos, Despair, Ennui, Fatigue, and Grief.
I was miserable. I felt like a failure. I had no idea what to do next and I wallowed in self-pity, not for a few short weeks or even months, but for years.
Allow the void.
Someone once told me that the scariest place to be is alone with yourself. I heartily agree, for it is there that your shadow finds you. When there was nowhere left to run, and no place left to hide, I came face-to-face with all my unaccepted bits and the tangled knot of my beliefs and conditioning. Loosening the threads to liberate myself required complete allowing.
Since power had been my conditioned response to everything (eat or be eaten, save or suffer, fight or flee), I could do nothing to help this process along because the way I did everything was conditioned. I simply had to “be” and allow my consciousness to lift really uncomfortable truths up into my awareness and then let the patterns work out of my body and life. Micro-management created more suffering.
I was surprised to see how duality had ruled me. I could sense I was once a very “dark” priestess. In response to the horrors of that experience, I ran the other way as far as I could and became a very “bright” priest who was intellectual to the max and, ironically, equally brutal and controlling (but this time in the name of righteousness). These were long-running themes.
Consequently, the first 50 years of this life were all about being virtuous and pure. I was afraid of expression, afraid of my gifts, afraid to be seen, afraid to make waves. I was trapped between two fundamental extremes and could find no peace. This lifetime, it seems, was destined to be the time of my integration, so when being whole became more essential than being good, my great deconstruction began.
The resulting void allowed me to bring my wounded masculine and feminine aspects back together again. Their reunion created a safe space for my rebirth, which is something my scorpio astrology celebrates and has supported.
The void isn’t empty, though it feels that way at first. It is the spaciousness that holds all of who we are and all of our possibilities. I think it is similar to the quantum vacuum, which physicists describe as the ground state of energy for the universe. Our time in the void puts us lovingly in our own chrysalis, where we can reconnect with our potentials and begin re-imagining ourselves.
Butterflies have this concept nailed down. The caterpillar knows when it is time, creates his own container, and allows himself to go completely to juice within those safe confines. It is in the liquified state that the imaginal cells (yup, that is what they are actually called) go to work and and bring forth the potential of flight that had been lying dormant, awaiting the perfect moment to be realized.
So it is for me. My evolutionary potential, which had always been there in hiding, is now revealing itself. I also see that my gifts and abilities survived deconstruction. They are in a clear, pure state, stripped of my egoic needs and motivations, and I'm waiting to see how they now want to be expressed.
In the early stages of my emergence, new beginnings came to me, but they were things I didn’t recognize, or even know I wanted. At first I tried to push them away because my old caterpillar mind never would have chosen them, nor believed I was worthy of having them, but they were things I was actually ready to have. Ironically, some things that I desperately desired were delayed or denied, and that was appropriate as well. Everything came in perfect service, even the stuff I didn't want at all.
I learned the new really does come to you...in its own good timing. Pursuit is perilous. We want to fill the void because the emptiness is uncomfortable, but if we break out of our chrysalis before the cooking state is complete, the half-formed goo that dribbles out will never fly. Patience is necessary.
When my mind gets stuck in doubt, my new butterfly self bypasses it completely, bringing in new potentials through side doors that are unguarded. Once in, the new potential can’t be denied, and my mind opens into it. This newness then engages my curiosity, and sparks a childlike passion that seems to rise in sporadic whiffs and bursts that I can neither cling to nor command. Most often, I feel passion sneak up on me in the simple acts of daily living when I would least expect it. Instead of heat and fire, it glows in quiet moments of joy.
I discovered this first while cooking, which is a task I used to find monotonous, frustrating, and unfulfilling. I live now with a chef, and he’s been inviting me into a new sensual world where I can follow my curiosity, play with ideas, and enjoy the fruits of my labors. Much to my surprise one day, I realized how much fun I was having in the kitchen. It totally snuck up on me.
I’ve learned too that passion builds and reveals itself in layers. A chef creates layers of flavor when preparing a dish and orchestrating a meal. This is true also for the watercolor artist who applies the paint in separate layers so the colors shine through each other. It is true for the writer, who plays with words, editing and rewriting, until the desired flavors and colors emerge. It is true for the composer and for the singer. A song has layers that are built through the choice of key, of chord progression, of note and lyric, and this is woven together by the singer through the beauty of a nuanced performance.
I’m learning that to be an artist of life is to bring my awareness into the sensuous layers of daily living. The more I pay attention this way, I see even my senses are layered. Perceiving through love, and beauty, and unity isn’t a linear experience. They flow through and over each other, and energy responds in a grand dance that calls forth passion.
Passion enjoys the vulnerable and the visceral and is never afraid to be visible, even when things are messy or chaotic. Nor does passion care about proving anything or changing anything. It never needs validation. Passion rises naturally when I dive into the spectacular, juicy, paradoxical play of life.
The Moral of My Story
In reflection, it seems that the reunion of my dualistic priest and priestess birthed a magical Divine Child. She is the love child of the feminine creative heart and the masculine divine mind. She attracts new free energy, and she knows it responds to her effortlessly. She has no need for anything. She is simply in joy. I'm inviting this child-like wonder to be my constant playmate because Passion, it seems, is Presence at Play.
I’m now feeling the nudge to get some ice cream…in a cone, dipped in chocolate…with sprinkles…EXTRA sprinkles, so I believe this blog post is done. 😉