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Mindful : December 2016
DISCOVERY 1 Clarify your values What really matters to you in life? What do you believe in? What brings you the most joy or lights you up? It could be justice, exploring new places, family, or suppor ting the arts, as examples. PRACTICE Think of an object related to your values and how it might be utilized through a voca- tion or avocation. Sit quietly, breathe in and out, holding the object in your mind, and see what arises. Allow its story to unfold without judgment. Does this story point to a new activity or direction for you? Don’t be discouraged if your first answers don’t reveal a fiery passion. Keep asking, and keep listening. Let Your Passion Bloom Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. — Howard Thurman 2 Identify obstacles What is in the way of living in alignment with these values? It could be lack of time, dis- traction, resources, or even a lack of imagination. PRACTICE Contemplate that question. Listen for how to overcome them. Maybe it is a suppor tive community, more research, overcoming conditioning. Keep asking. When negative judgments arise—I can’t star t my own business because I don’t have the skills—try using the word “yet.” I don’t have them yet. We’re told again and again to live our passion. But what if we don’t know what we’re passion- ate about? With a little mindful investigation, your passion will start to reveal itself and point you in a direction—whether to pursue a vocation that engages you on every level or explore interests that feed your soul—that feel in alignment with your very purpose. Here are some tips for unearthing your hidden passion. 3 Remember your super- powers and develop your skills What do you do really well, and is there space for you to do it? When you ask this of chil- dren, they can tell you without hesitation. My granddaughter Dahlia tells me: “I am a good ar tist—I just drew a por trait of McKinley (the cat). And I have a good voice—I can sing. And a good memory—I remember the words.” I wish I could see into the future and see if she brings those talents into what- ever work she finds. PRACTICE Imagine yourself as a child. What did you love to do and what did you know you were good at? Let images arise. Remember how it felt. Is it still true? What else is true now? And then identify the skills you’ll need to bring that latent passion back to life.