i’m not passionate, just curious

Last weekend I listened to a fabulous interview with Liz Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love (or EPL, as my bloggette pals like to call it) and The Signature of All Things. The discussion was full of gems, but what stood out was Liz’s take on passion.

‘Passion’ can be such pressure! Find your passion. Go after your passion. Live your passion. In Liz’s words, passion is a very ‘rock star’ state of being. But for many of us, including me, our passion is not obvious.  We can’t pinpoint it to something specific.

i took this by accident, but i like it

i took this by accident, but i like it

When our passion is not clear, we may feel bad about ourselves. We perhaps feel inept that we can’t find it, or assume we don’t have one.  We become blocked and discouraged. We believe passion should be *big*, so we don’t train ourselves to watch for more subtle cues from the universe. Maybe we don’t think those cues exist.

Liz suggests going with curiosity instead. Now this I can get on board with! The word ‘curious’ is showing up for me a lot lately. A few weeks ago, I watched a YouTube interview featuring the wonderful Danielle LaPorte, who wrote The Fire Starter Sessions – a hugely motivating manual on how to get-off-your-ass-and-start-really-living.  (This book has inspired me on so many levels, and is partly responsible for me quitting my job!)

Danielle spoke about discovering the top five feelings we want to cultivate in our lives, and living from those states, rather than focusing solely on achieving goals or acquiring ‘stuff’.

Curiosity made my list.

There are so many things I’m curious about; I couldn’t stop wanting to know ‘why’ if I tried! Curiosity keeps me interested in, and ever-learning about, life.  This is very important to me, as I don’t ever want to assume I know it all.  I especially want to stay curious about people. And our role in the mystery of the cosmos. (Ok, that’s another post.)

Curiosity is very powerful.  It will never burn out. It stokes itself!

I’m certainly not discounting passion; it can be a very good thing (hehe). But passion can be viewed as a sweet, deepening revealing, rather than something I have to find, now.  I’m relieved to take that pressure off myself.  And curious to see what unfolds as a result. 😉

 

37 thoughts on “i’m not passionate, just curious

  1. Pingback: passion, resistance, and kundalini yoga | alohaleya

  2. Love the pic! What a great “Selfeet” – – – LOL (and that’s not original – a fellow blogger’s daughter took a “Selfeet” of her pretty toes – – 🙂 but saw your pic, made me smile! 🙂 Been enjoying my time here this a.m. – – sorry for my long absence, but it is so wonderful to wander through and get caught up! Wishing you a very, very Happy New Year! 🙂

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    • haha i love it, selfeet! i’ve never heard of that before. i’ll have to borrow it. 😉 no worries about the long absence, oh how i can relate to that…hoping you are doing fabulously well. 🙂 aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicely put Aleya! And a lovely observation about the value of curiosity. The world is full of people yelling from the rooftops about what they are passionate about. Nothing wrong with that. But it is a bit of a falst beacon for ‘the rest of us’.

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    • hi brent, thanks so much for stopping by and reading! yup, passion is all good – but curiosity is what keeps our minds eternally young. even better if we’re ubercurious! lol. 🙂 aleya

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  4. I really like the idea that you don’t have to put pressure in yourself about finding your passion. Passion is such a strong-sounding word. I don’t want it to overpower other emotions (or me! ) 😉 I like curiosity as a very important trait very much! My dad once told me it had been a guiding force in his life, and he has always been such a learner! (87 now -and slowing down-but has left me such sweet memories and wisdom). Thank you so much for reading my blog!

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    • your dad sounds like a very wise man! there are endless thing to learn and be curious about in the world…i’m convinced it’s what keeps us young and heart, and interested in life and the world. it’s nice to be around curious people, isn’t it? 🙂 thank you for visiting and commenting; i enjoyed reading your blog! aleya

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  5. Accident… you’re showing off your shoe!
    I like it too! =)

    I have a haiku about curiosity. Let me rummage thorugh my files here and I’ll dedicate it to you.
    Miss you, sweets… xo

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    • lol…it was an accident, for reals. but it works! miss you too…keep thinking all my activity will slow down and i can spend more time on WP like the old days, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. 😦 yes, find that haiku! xo

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  6. Hi Aleya, I wanted to comment on this post when I read it yesterday, but life intervened, as it does 😊. I love Elizabeth Gilbert, and find myself more inspired by her as time goes on. She has a fabulous Facebook page which is really worth following. I saw that talk on passion, and it thought it was really interesting. I tend to be a moderate creature – and it seems to me that there is a fine line between passion and obsession…I love writing, my family, my friends, yoga, our planet and more besides, but I am not consumed by anything to the point where I can’t thing of anything else. I don’t think this makes me shallow – I prefer to think of it as balanced lol 😜 I love your blog, by the way, and am looking forward to reading much more of your writing. I think we have lots in common!

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    • hi sara, thanks so much for commenting. i’m glad we’ve connected! i too love elizabeth gilbert but don’t follow her on FB or anywhere else – maybe i should, since pretty much everything i’ve read/heard from her resonates deeply. i saw on your blog that she liked one of your FB posts – so amazing! i think we do have lots in common because i love all the things you love – writing, yoga, my family. hmmm i guess you could even say that i’m passionate about them! but in a balanced non-obsessive way. lol. looking forward to reading more of your blog! 🙂

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    • diana! ❤ ohhh 'the signature of all things' is amazing. do let me know what you think of it once you've had a chance to read!

      i think i've seen liz gilbert's TED talk on creativity…or maybe there are two. she is so wonderful. i'm doing some work for a travel company that has journeys planned for bali in march, and india in december. i so want to go to both! maybe i will, you never know!

      LOVE the curiosity poem – so fitting. 😉 i had never heard of it. thank you! (i'm allowed to say it now – lol!) xo aleya

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  7. While I haven’t listened to this interview of Gilbert’s, I have read about it (from another blog I follow here on WordPress) – and I thought the concept was totally inspiring! (https://plus.google.com/108098665171073670732/posts/EKPFPJtLTJZ)

    I have spent a whole lot of my life beating myself up for either (a) not being able to discern my passion and/or (b) believing that maybe I just didn’t have one. Gilbert’s idea of “curiosity” instead, though, was right up my alley – which sounds like your post, too =).

    I think it’s rad that you managed to come up with curiosity on your own, in response to a question about the feelings you want to cultivate in your life. I might have to check out that book myself.

    Cheers!

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    • thanks so much for reading and commenting! it’s ironic that searching for that one great passion (getting stressed about it) probably kills off the passion that’s been there all along, just manifesting in different ways (like curiosity). i’m going to check out that link now – thanks for sharing! aleya

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  8. Love your photo and your passion!

    “passion can be viewed as a sweet, deepening revealing, rather than something I have to find”

    I had a Wise Woman tell me once that for some of us, we want to find that “one thing” (which in many ways is a societal value pushed upon us) but perhaps, some of us have “many things” with which to grace with our Presence, Love, and as you say Curiosity. I was so passionate about photography for many years, and I faced a weird period of grief and confusion when, one day, it lost the magical power it always had over my life. I think in some ways, the labyrinth of the Soul guides us even when we do not understand where it is we are going.

    Much love to you my dear Chickpea,
    Amanda

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    • amanda, you always offer such divine words. i’m so happy to see you back here, though i completely understand the need for blogging breaks! i agree that the ‘one thing’ is a largely a societal value. passion manifests in all kinds of ways, different for each person. i like the idea of passion being an energy, a current, that underlies everything…intrinsic to us, therefore we can never be separated. and then we can fully enjoy all our various interests and curiosities, excited for the next! ❤ love, chickpea

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  9. Hey Aleya, passion is a curious subject, one of my favorite 🙂 . For me, passion is the essence of life, its ny fuel. I don’t feel passion for only one specific thing or person, I feel passion for many many things, for all life, and many many people including myself 😉 . I cannot imagine living my life without passion. In being passionate, I find joy, motivation, and perseverence to keep going and giving my best. For me, passion is found within and it doesn’t happen as a result of liking or loving my external environment. I think it is an integral part of spirit and helps make everything come into being.
    You must be passionate about your new school. Aren’t you consumed by your new school, in a goid way? Passion consumes us in tge best possible way. Luv u xox

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    • that is a beautiful interpretation of passion, and so YOU. ❤ your words resonate and i want to feel that way too! but i suppose i've been so busy lately that life has been more about 'doing' than feeling. though i really enjoyed my program (classes just finished), i don't know if i was passionate about it. i think the passion will come as i create my next steps. but it will be in the act of creation that i feel it…that sense of being alive, inspired…not necessarily those external things (as you say). big love to you, always ❤ aleya

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  10. look what I found on twitter now : Cynthia Sue Larson ‏@cynthialarson 2h2 hours ago
    “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
    —Albert Einstein — To Carl Seelig – March 11,1952

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  11. Firestarter sessions, since I almost burnt my place down, perhaps I should skip those 🙂
    Curiosity is a great gift and I also have it in spades. I do think that you have passion, just maybe it is less evident right now. Love Liz of EPL fame. She really is a trendsetter for women in her own unique way. There is plenty of pressure to find your passion and then all will be well. Most of the folks saying that, however are quite affluent and famous, hmmm I would say you are passionately curious , how do you like that? Great post, per usual you got me thinking!

    love ya,
    Linda

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    • when did you almost burn your place down?! wow. that’s a little stressful!! i hope all is ok. my smoke alarm was doing recently doing fun things like going of at 3am for no reason…but no fire.

      i’ve just always seen myself as jack of all trades master of none. but i really like the sound of passionate curiosity; that feels right to me. ❤ thanks linda

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      • It happened after I went for the sound healing I started manifesting kundalini-ish symptoms and lamps started flickering and a tiny candle left unattended began to burn out of control and was close very close to catching onto my wood table and paper greeting cards. It was a miracle I figured out how to extinguish it in time! Smoke alarms at 3am, that is a sign of some kind 😉 Let’s stay safe and free at the same time!

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  12. I completely identify with this post. And I love the Danielle LaPorte take on living my desired emotions. I read something she wrote about that recently and of course, quickly forgot about it. Now you reminded me, and I’m going to do something with it. Thanks!

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    • awesome! thank you for reading and commenting! i also have to go back and re-read my danielle laporte. she just has a way of cutting right to the chase, helping me stay focused and inspired. i’m starting a business and she’s been a big inspiration. all the best! aleya

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