Let Your Passion Howl

iStock_000003866695XSmallToday’s post was written by guest blogger, Sue Ludwig. Sue is the President and Founder of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. She is also a consultant to neonatal intensive care units around the country, a national speaker, and a published poet. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping…waiting…and though unwanted…unbidden…it will stir…open its jaws and howl.”

Joss Whedon (American Screenwriter, Producer)

Marianne, one of my lifelong friends, grew up with a mother who hated her job. It was a good job from the outside. Good pay, intellectually stimulating, and of service to the world.

Did I mention her mother hated this job?

I didn’t know this straight off. I was only 9 when I first met her. But Marianne knew this, lived this, even then. Years later, it became even more evident, and at times likely permeated their home.

Then about 10 years ago, her mom switched careers in a big way. She left the healthcare world for the retail and consumer world. And it was as if a light switch was flipped, a fire ignited, and the light that was always inside her shone through to everyone.

Her energy, tone of voice, posture, and outlook were visibly different.

She was awake.

She had passion for this new life. And it was not just about the new job. So much of it was about deciding she was worth the risk to leave the safe but unhappy place. She knew there was more. She knew she was more.

This new and passionate persona has continued ever since. She even walked her first marathon. Marianne and her husband flew out and surprised her for this occasion. There may have even been howling.

**

When I read Joss Whedon’s quote on passion I thought of Marianne’s mom.

Although a bit raw in its description, this quote made me feel. And that’s why it is perfect.

Because passion is mostly about what makes some primal part of us say, “YES!”

It is the energy behind our favorite accomplishments.

There’s a lot of talk about ‘finding your passion.’  As if it is out there somewhere at the summit of our existence. As if only those with an excess of time and money have the resources to discover their passion while the rest of us live in reality and go to our ‘real jobs’ everyday.

Instead, what if it’s inside of each of us, relatively dormant until we decide to let it rise to the surface, boil, and let off steam? What if it’s really about choosing to live from a place of passion rather than assuming we are stuck with the circumstances we’ve always had?

**

A few thoughts on how to recognize passion in your life:

When engaging in something you’re passionate about, you may get this feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like a mixture of adrenaline and happiness.

The feeling comes up through you. It is usually contagious.

Time passes quickly rather than slowly when doing something you’re passionate about.

You may wake up more easily and sleep more soundly.

Your eyes are alive and sparkly when speaking about your life.

You have more energy, better posture and muscle tone (Think Tigger versus Eeyore).

You’re more creative than usual.

Like Marianne’s mom, you feel awake.

Even when things are challenging you find you are clearer, centered, and able to cope. As if your very chemistry is different.

**

What is lying dormant in you?

Let it howl.

Comments

  1. says

    What a great post! Before I found my passion, I remember sleepless nights, restlessness and a general sense of blah. That energy needs to be released in all of us! Thx.

  2. Kelly - Sister of another mother says

    Suze,
    Thanks for hitting it again. When you wrote about what passion looks like, I pictured you. Your passion for NANT is sparkly, contagious, and energizing. Love you, Kel

  3. laine says

    You had me at the Buffy quote.

    I was working on some new things for my business the other day, and it was just flowing from me and I stopped and thought “I feel like I’m on fire.” It was so amazing to see what it feels like when you are doing what you actually should be doing, rather than what you think you should be doing.

  4. says

    Sue,
    Thanks for this howling article. It is absolutely true and speaks to me very deeply. I started whispering last year because I knew something had to change. When I took Christine’s ‘Uplevel your life’ class I started howling and I haven’t stopped since :-)
    I am still in a job I am not passionate about, but I am slowly stepping from the shade into the sunny side – and it’s looking very good and I am more passiante, enthusiastic, happy and awake than ever :-)
    Mimi

  5. Your friend says

    Sue,

    I could not wait to read your blog! You have such a talent and your timing is perfect! Thanks for sharing! Susan

  6. sue says

    Tonya- yes the general sense of blah is right. It is obvious that your current life is one you are passionate about!

    Kel- Thanks sista. I think on a good day you and I could change the world. :)

    Laine- So cool that you noticed that, “I’m on fire” feeling in the moment. Then you begin to feel pieces of it everywhere.

    Mimi- Christine’s programs have a way of taking people from a whisper to a howl! And I’m happy that is what has happened for you. Being more awake than ever is a very great place to be!

    Susan- Love your howl. :)

    Anna- hee hee. Yes, it is very waggy indeed to find your passion. I imagine you were smiling when you wrote that too. Thanks!

  7. Angie Dwyer says

    Sue,
    Your descriptions are so vivid. You are showing me rather than telling me…as Mr. Foley would say. :) I totally felt that awakening when I left my hated job and went to the job I truly enjoy going to everyday. I’m so happy for you that you have the NANT, UH NICU, Rob, Jake and Ab. I can hear you howling from here!! Love you! Angie

  8. Terri says

    Sue,
    What a special person you are….thanks for making me think. I hope to someday discover my true passion like you have.. Right now I’m just trying to get the men in my life to stop barking all the time!

  9. says

    It is just amazing how there are just signs for me everywhere – particularly here in Christine’s world!
    Sue: I am in one of those gilded cage jobs right now, feeling guilty every time my heart screams “I want out!” I am trying to build a business and find an alternative, and there are days when I have passion to burn. Right now, my task is to figure out how to harness all of this beautiful dizzying stuff and make it work for me rather than make me feel simply disembodied and a little crazed. That’s the secret, isn’t it? Harnessing all of this creative passion and being the alchemist who turns it to life altering gold?

  10. Heidi says

    Hi There!
    Love you writing on passion. I find it interesting other people’s responses to your passion. Some people embrace it and some people walk away from you. Choosing to live a life of passion can cause people to go away or shift.

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