When was the last time you felt passionate and fully alive?
We love having our passions aroused by movies, music and moments with friends and family. Yet as our daily duties consume our energies, we live passionless lives.
Is this by choice or biology? Does passion erode with age?
I remember what it felt like when I left my last job, when I was free of endless meetings, of searching for the truth in office gossip and of fighting battles I thought I wisely chose. In a moment of silence I realized how numb I felt. In order to deal with the worries, frustrations and exhaustion tied to my work, my brain trimmed the edges of my emotions to allow me to survive. My brain kept me from breaking down. In the process, I lost my ability to fully feel.
Even now as I travel around the world sharing ideas that I hope will lift the consciousness of those I touch, I question if I am still living within boundaries that keep me safe and a bit anesthetized.
I had the great pleasure to hear the poet Azure Antoinette at a conference I spoke at. The words she spoke still ring in my ears are, “Well-behaved women never made history.” I was the consummate rebel in my youth. Have I lost this energy?
I question my politicians but do little to help my candidates of choice to win. I question the hierarchical male-dominated structure of our organizations but do little more than coach and teach others to cope within this system. I question why my writing has not made me famous but do little to market myself on a larger scale.
Am I being well-behaved or worse, too logical to play big?
I am making a goal to be conscious of my excuses. Time, money and health are easy defenses to spot. And then there’s lack of direction. Azure also said that the words “I don’t know my purpose” create the worst excuse we can use for letting mediocrity settle in. Instead, we should consciously choose to live in the spirit of the purpose we seek.
What about you? You might not be ready to leap across your boundaries, but can you take one step toward the other side? What would that look like? What would you have to do to allow yourself to misbehave?
If we all take these steps together, one step at a time, one human at a time, we will change the world. If that doesn’t wake up your senses, I don’t know what will.