As I offered over the word Passion to those I spoke with, for reflection, asking them to take time to ponder its’ distinct and personal meaning I immediately noticed a most intriguing transformation in both their posture and expression. It wasn’t so much the look upon their faces as it was the flickering presence of something that surfaced from a deeper area of their being, the internal place which holds the very substance of the visions of our grandest of experiences. As with many other expressions stemming from the very ‘core’ of our original spiritual essence, there can be somewhat unconstrained, often impulsive, even impetuous feelings and sensations. It is not easy to find a comfortable home in our daily, civilized, disciplined and organized world for the placement of these unusually intense feelings . Certainly our culture can be prudent and careful to maintain control of and attempt to contain, with watchful and sensible eyes, the spontaneous, sometimes unrefined nature of these potent energies of passion. They are the qualities of our being that go surprisingly deep, reflecting some of the most profound and powerful aspects of inner nature and inherent responses.
As these visions crystallized in the mind’s eye of those I spoke with, their faces showed a faint, yet suggestive spark of familiar affection. With curious fascination, I witnessed this spark transform into expressions suggesting the presence of wonderful, breathless wisps of memories, carrying upon them the stirrings of daring imaginings. Although these expressive overtures were somewhat shrouded within each person’s astute attempts to conceal such ‘reckless abandonment’ of their most confidential and intimate thoughts…..these emotional projections prevailed and were undeniable in their truth and communication.
As I continued with my careful probing, it was clear that the very exploration into the ethereal mysteries of passion continued to test any efforts they made to camouflage what overflowed so uncontrollably and enthusiastically. Their strong, emotional identification and connection to passion so roused and motivated the flow to happily escape, they could do nothing but surrender. When they did finally resign to this powerful and determined stream of thought, I could see that passion had fully inflamed each of their senses and proceeded to imprint their minds with continuous pictures sweeping from one to the next with joy and ease. As these images so clearly presented themselves onto the mind’s internal picture screen, each person was alerted to their own, personal moments of awakened passion. Then, there followed a distinct and audible sigh, their mouths forming slightly mischievous smiles while their eyes spoke a longing for this ‘something’ – elusive, and deeply desired. It was clear that they protected, with cherished appreciation, the concept, the imagination, the very possibilities of passion …… even if they were only able, at that moment in time, to reminisce about, or wistfully imagine such a thing.
I found myself intrigued by this somewhat unexpected, yet engaging ignition of exhilarating energy and, as a result, I was most interested to move forward in order to understand more of this exceptionally unique emotional and physical manifestation I was witnessing. It was easy to see that the attempts to translate the deep, textured, and colorful portrait of passion into mere words was extremely difficult for them. Each person took immediate pause and carefully gathered the words that would reflect most accurately their sense and experience of passion. The words to best illustrate its meaning, its impact, and even beyond, to its precise authentic essence. Could this be done? I believe that passion may be one spiritual expression in life that cannot be defined or bound by words alone.
It was obvious that the substance of passion had levels of existence, experience, and influence that commanded the deepest, most dedicated exploration. Only if one deliberated for a time, not only to the thought of, the memory of, but also the feeling, on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level, would they be able to fully give reverence and honor to the profound and intense force, design, determination, and, finally, the ultimate purpose of passion’s existence and truth. It seemed to be all consuming in its’ power and authority.
I saw their bodies expand and unfold. I noticed their arms and hands grow in movement, attempting to somehow complete what could not be finished with the simple articulation of the words they had chosen.
One young man, finally completing inner analysis of his personal sense of passion, declared firmly, “Passion is life…….a perfect expression of life. Passion is important to the meaning of life”. He added, accentuating his point, “spirit is passion”. He spoke with no hesitation, no question and no conflict. He simply knew only that, to explain passion’s impact effectively, one must envelop the totality of life and its’ meaning. He emphasized this by declaring how passion is alive, and how it incorporates the sum total of the full embodiment of life, however you define it. One must be thoroughly participating in the experience of life to embrace the effects of passion. There can be no detachment or withdrawal, no isolation from either. The mutual exchange of life and passion was essential to comprehend and completely understand its’ fullness and its’ vastness. There is, successfully expressed, no separation. Without the one, there could truly be no other. Passion is just as critical to life as the full presence in Life is necessary to the experience Passion.
Another man spoke of passion as the “Wonder and unfolding occurring through life”. It is clear, just from these two men’s words, that passion births more passion in a continuous cycle, if allowed. Passion relates as the deepest, highest, greatest, and fullest of life, filling, then expanding and encompassing all. So immense is passion’s effect that any ‘specifics’ were difficult, even unnecessary.
This is about passion as the deepest of spiritual, physical and emotional experiences. To be centered totally within and engulfed by passion is to have your senses purged with fire, with lifeforce. Passion presents a delectable meal that we can savor, tasting every level of sweetness, spice, tartness and saltiness – examining the texture with every grain and fiber, relishing the coolness or warmth upon the tongue. As we feast on passion, we discover our senses exploding in our body, mind, and spirit, just as the senses are caressed with every morsel of food we choose, prepare, and enjoy.
This passion yearns to feel as alive as one can feel. It does, in some of you, bring the very confirmation, the absolute knowing, that you are truly alive. Passion provides a door that, when opened, will expose how far this level of being alive can take you. This door is not easily opened by the timid, composed or by the controlled. It is a door that will unlock unknown parts of our being that, once revealed, will remain awake, just beyond the outlines of our daily activities, relationships and experiences. It’s goal is to pursue the fulfillment of its’ own destiny. It will remain in this pursuit once the ‘switch’ has been turned on. It is a journey beyond the 5 senses. It is to venture into a dimension that is free of the familiar space our beings reside. A place illusive to our conscious minds alone. A place that cannot be ‘thought’ or taught. It can only be embraced and channeled, charged with our own individual character and essence.
Passion is the praise and dedication of the spirit. Passion discloses the depth into which we exist and are submerged in the life experience. Passion is ignited by and moved through what has the deepest heart and meaning to an individual. Passion stimulates the truth, discloses our wisdom, deepens our insight, expands our vision and can, literally create a force that changes, transforms, heals, activates, manifests, and brings to light, what cannot and will not exist in the shadows.
Passion is the force that has brought the timeless, everlasting shifts and cycles of evolution and advancement throughout history. Passion bears and projects energy that has the power to gather the multitudes and brings forth the uprising of voices. Passion gives birth to, and energizes the calling of the people. It is the force that breaks down the walls of separation and oppression. Within passion there is no fear, it exists without doubt, and develops opportunity where there has been condemnation. Within passion there rests certainty and clarity, it builds character and integrity and honors the fullness, strength and courage of our spirit.
When I was very young and through my youth my mother instilled in me the value, the very necessity of passion to one’s living. To best describe her sense of passion, she identified herself and her view of the possibilities in the world through the eyes of Don Quixote in the story “Man of La Mancha”. He was a character who, without difficulty, without question, saw beauty instead of ugliness, chose to dream what were considered ‘impossible’ dreams and reach destinies that others declared unreachable. He did not see life as earthbound but rather the spirit as limitless. He saw light within all shadows. His vision that others saw as an illusion, even a delusion, became his cause, his very standard by which he chose to live and how he chose to love. Although but a story, my mother fully embraced and bonded very personally with this character and believed in its’ power. For her, this sometimes brought sorrow from the challenges she faced attempting to bring it into the structured society in which she lived. One with established guidelines and generally accepted, culturally learned limitations. But, by her embracing this concept, she changed my view of life permanently. She showed me that door through which passion existed and could be fulfilled and, through witnessing her dedication to this and experiencing her love for the passionate spirit, this door has remained forever open in my own life.
Passion extensively alters individual and collective changes in thinking and provides the love to generate prayers that heal. Passion consummates group support in aid of the masses as well as the individual, hearing their causes and needs. Passion stands to amend unjust and discriminating laws and fulfills the cries for justice. Passion gives birth to creative magnificence………Let us take into consideration, as an example of this, the building of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, and the Sistine chapel in Rome. Here there are examples of both individual and collective passion, expressed. Passion stirs scientific discovery and medical breakthroughs. Passion embodies the fortitude to excel beyond one’s own physical limitations. Examples of this would be the peak of Mt. Whitney as an adventurous climber’s quest, the various sport’s disciplines, the Olympic hopefuls and the sailing across vast oceans in search of great lands. Passion unveils the heavens for astronomers and astronauts, expanding our reality. The breath of passion channels movement of truth, hope, dreams, change, creative expression, and exploration and discovery. These all are the children born to passion.
Passion from the heart and spirit gives way to direction of the mind and body. Passion’s destiny is to continue to be reborn in the goal of self-fulfillment. Passion is the director of imagination, the inventor of growth and technology, the stimulator of our own heart’s direction. Passion drives the force of mystery, magic, wonderment, desires, courage and compassion, tolerance and truth.
We have to be passionate about something to bring it forth beyond mere flickers of thought and possibility. Passion gives the strength, conviction and tenacity one needs to go further into the unknown. It encourages the willingness to be moved, and to trust that movement. Passion faces and stands up to the doubts, fears, and discomfort of others and will still continue to forge ahead. Passion sees no darkness or division. Passion moves us beyond our present and supports our constant evolution of thought and purpose. Passion bears witness to the impossible and re-establishes new boundaries of the possible. Don Quixote exemplified passion as the master of our dreams, our visions. Passion transforms illusions into realities. Passion manifests all things driven by the spirit and by the deepest love of life. Passion awakens the spiritual dance! Please take a moment to close your eyes and call upon your imagination to form a vision that would fully represent the picture, power and magnificence of what absolute Passion means to you. What vision would be most representative of a passionate moment? What past experience, for you, would so completely define the feeling of Passion that just viewing it in your mind would stimulate the zest and delight of it’s essence? What would represent most completely the expanse of experience and depth of the feelings of Passion? Continue to form in your mind’s eye what would inevitably take place as a result of Passion’s induction into the human spirit. We can then begin to understand.
There are some challenges, however, to bringing passion within, embracing, and making it an integral part of life. Passion takes us on a journey that pushes us through levels of experience, emotions and senses that remain untamed. As ‘responsible’ adults, we are encouraged to settle into our lives, create a sense of order, security, safety, and, of appropriateness – we must devote important attention to taming this ‘wild’ unstructured, responsive, “excessive” aspect of our character. How else can we successfully build our necessary sturdy, productive, responsible, safe, and structured lives? Our culture’s definition of self-discipline, in itself, is the conflict, the contradiction to passion. Or so we are taught to think. Rather than encouraging the most responsible and honorable expressions of passion, we encourage those characteristics that fulfill the standards of our society, institutions, family, and community. Unbridled energy, emotion, and spirit will not be contained within these codes or principles. Where does passion fit into productivity, responsibility and appropriateness?
During counseling sessions clients have asked, in desperation, to find, once again, their ‘passion’. They feel confined within such a small and limiting container and fear if they let out what is stirring within, they will undoubtedly create chaos and destruction. They are struggling to give themselves permission to express something they don’t even recognize as passion, and they certainly do not recognize it as a safe and positive part of themselves and their personal expression. They just know that the yearning is ceaseless. It is a joyful place for me to help them identify this ‘simmering’ energy. When they come to understand the true nature of what is striving to come forth, that it is a natural and important part of their spiritual, mental, and emotional creation – that, in reality, passion will be the support and confirmation of that very spirit, mind and heart, then they begin to see that to totally fulfill their complete personal potential and unique gifts within their lives, they will need to welcome the energy of passion, allow it to surface and purge into the veins of their life’s expression. They see that what they have been struggling with, trying to get into control, is actually the very thing that will revive their sense of wholeness, relieve their sense of limitation, and direct them to the completion of the full awareness and expressive creation of their being.
The child naturally, instinctively moves and breathes, responds and thinks from passion. Very young spirits are so close to their origin, having just newly sprung from their indigenous seed. It is natural for them. They think nothing about it. It is an automatic extension of their being to be fully engulfed in every moment, every vision, every thought, and every creation of life. They remember, as we need to remember how natural and necessary the expression of passion is to our existence and the fulfillment of the experience of life, heart, and the spirit.
When we envision passions’ energy, it looks and feels of the things of our origin……quite primitive, even primal. It has been known as that part of us that ‘gets away’ – frees itself from the confines of our control. It is commonly thought of as something we need to conquer and have restraint over. If left ‘unleashed’, we might behave wildly, overtly sensual, expose deep intimacy, or stimulate movement of our body without exercising appropriate discipline. It is only our conditioning that has activated and
continues to perpetuate these fear-based myths.
One young woman, a dancer, was the representation of a childlike passion without fear. She exemplified, in the most perfect and extraordinary way, the full and beautiful expression of passion. With every movement, word and expression, she seemed to own the Universal representation of passion………it’s sounds, movements, how it communicates. It seemed that her very goal through each day of her life was to more perfectly embody passion’s most complete potential. She carried an undeniable admiration for passion’s power. She paid tribute to it with her dance as the purest celebration of ecstasy for life, the heart and the spirit.
One special and wondrous, very important expression of spiritual passion is the passion of the heart. Romance, dance, intimacy, human bonding in closeness. It is the warmth of love, fantasy. It is ‘amour’. The experience of this type of passion surging through your being has the absolute power to heal the tired, weary heart. It can return a partnership to a union that was known at the first sparks of love, of attraction. The passion here is that which is activated by the ‘romantic’ experience. The one that is filled with adventure, excitement, music, scents, textures and colors. An example of this would be the ‘getaway’ a couple takes to re-ignite what they may feel has been lost amongst their busy, complicated lives. In the beginning, their world was made of ‘two’ and usually feels, if we remember back to a partnership when it emerged into creation, like the most wonderful, the most extraordinary, the most all consuming and critical event that could possibly take place. Ah…..the wonder! The electricity! The exhilaration! The rapture induced simply by the melding of the two hearts into one, like an explosion!
Remember when your romantic passion awakened through love’s embrace? The beating of the heart how time seemed to be altered, the mind was full of the other and all life looked and felt different? This characterizes passion’s onset, streaming in and engulfing our hearts and our every thought. It fuses into our bodies, and it will, if we let it, surprise us, excite us, thrill us, and tantalize us.
Throughout history, as is today, there is a never-ending, sometimes driven interest in stories showing fervent and intense love, mystery, adventure and excitement, just as we presently see in movies and television, read in ‘romance novels’. There is an allure that tunes into a most private place that stirs with excitement, longing to be awakened into lively participation in this enticing energy. The images created through fiction attract us to them because they remind us of what we desire – which is the fulfillment of our own innate expression. We bond with the exterior stories because we might conclude, incorrectly, that we can’t really have, in our own experience, the depth and intensity of what we see on the outside. However, we are actually attracted to that which is the strongest, truest, parts of ourselves, yet unexpressed, waiting to be discovered and manifested in our reality. Without what we perceive as an acceptable outlet, we can only live these more spectacular energies by way of other people and exterior creations.
Some of our more intimate, romantic, even lustful feelings that flutter persistently in our beings have been unnerving and certainly could be disturbing in the midst of appropriate, moral human feelings and expression, especially when we imagine actually bringing to fruition a passionate experience. Our culture is more repressed in sensuality, sexuality, and intimacy than many other cultures, particularly the European cultures. How can we be close, intimate, sexual, and sensual if we are not comfortable with our bodies, physical movement, touching, caressing, or exchanging intimate energies without fear or shame or discomfort?
It is time to reclaim the passion in our lives and within our relationships. It is time to personify all of its’ fullness, greatness, depth, grandeur, splendor, and dazzle. Relationships have the opportunity to call passion back to reside in the hearts once again, remaining there to touch, to embrace, to swell from that hidden cave of safety and caution. Not only our partnerships with others, but also our partnership with life itself is ready to be transformed and fully revealed for all of the possibilities within. It is time for us to experience, as in the time of inception of relationship’s first romantic sputter, the spark of wonderful union with another. The time that our hearts joyfully, and most willingly aroused passion from its’ womb.
Many of the people I spoke with shared their despair from the loss of their hearts’ passion. Their passion for their partner, their jobs, their interests, their life. They know they once felt this celebration of the spirit with the depth and intensity and totality that would describe passion’s experience. Their eyes move upward as their thoughts roam along their personal time-line. This line extends through their private history, moment overflowing upon moment, slowly disclosing their own most intimate experiences of passion. They recall the time and remember its’ presence. There are attempts to share what these moments and feelings were like for them, finishing with communicating their desperate desires to reaffirm what they have recalled back into their lives.
There can be a feeling of emptiness, a void, without the experience of passion in ones’ life and within relationship. The essence of it brings with it multitudes of gifts for the heart and spirit that nourish, rejuvenate, revitalize, refresh and restore. We can all remember times when we have witnessed older couples, sometimes way into their senior years, spending, what you knew easily, from the waves of passion flowing from them, that these were special times together. They may have been walking along the shores of a beach hand in hand, or sitting across from each other in a restaurant, or enjoying themselves side by side on a park bench, just watching the world around them, together. You could feel their warmth and devotion, their passion. It was abundant to the point of illuminating from and encircling them. Although they were somewhat older, you noticed, with curiosity and amazement, the youthfulness in which they were engulfed. It was in constant motion around them, with them, and between them. They were like ‘teenagers’ and you looked upon them with hopefulness that you too, someday, would be able to be filled with such generous youth, in closeness with another. This is the power of passion….ageless, timeless, without fixed or customary dimensions, fluid and fresh and new, no matter what the chronological age. Passion engages us in regeneration of the spirit and brings us back to original innocence.
I asked a woman to share her thoughts about passion. “Another word for passion is Life-Force”, she said, “When a relationship is healthy and aligned in other areas, it will be a channel for the life-force itself and will come spontaneously and naturally.” She thoughtfully added, “Due to relationship, there is actually more passion for all the other areas of life. It generalizes.” I have known this woman for several years and she is a perfect example of someone who commits to being aware of, consciously pursuing and accessing that which is the substance of life itself. As she speaks, she continues to emphasize the power and regenerative aspects of Passion as well as the possibilities available by bringing passion into relationship. She directs the attention towards her own partnership, explaining, ”after 14 years of being together, there is truly more passion in our relationship than there was in the beginning.” Her personal story results from her dedication to activities and attitudes in living that will stimulate, nurture, protect and generate the deepest of the experience of passion.
Passion becomes the dance. There will be no area of our being left concealed. How we choose to befriend these discoveries is left to us. However, since the relationship experience generates never ceasing energy, our first movements, no matter what they impart, will naturally, automatically feed and build into the next. Imagine, in your mind, an ocean’s water along a shore, arriving onto the shore. You can see each generous wave move into the last, in one continuous ebb and flow delivered passionately and powerfully, yet lovingly onto the sand. A Dance! This is what passion spurs and this is the power of passion’s momentum. This is the tireless, potent, and driving force of the passionate experience.
We can, then, fully appreciate passion as the instrument through which we come full circle as human expressions by integrating the deepest and fullest and grandest totality of essence and expression, perfectly uniting, even transforming our earthly body, mind and spirit into purely magnificent Universal Beings of life.