Joan of Arc said,
I want to know what I was born for and I want the courage to do it.
When it came time for me to retire from corporate life several years ago, I felt empty. I didn’t know what I had been born for but knew there had to be something more. I experienced some terrifying moments. I pictured myself sitting and gazing out of my living room window for the rest of my life. I knew there was a song inside of me waiting to be sung.
I realized that composing that song wasn’t something that I could force to happen. I had to allow the tune, the words and tempo to come naturally and spontaneously. I had to trust.
In the second half of life our goals and values change. We are not the same person we were 20 years ago. Self expression is now more important than ambition. We don’t want to follow someone elses rules or spend time doing things we think are unimportant.
Time is of the essence. It is about what makes us feel passionate. What makes us come alive.
Passion can be perceived as frightening. It may conjure up thoughts of acting out of control, following irrational instincts and being totally and neglectfully self-involved. No wonder it engenders fear. However, in actuality, experiences that are relegated as off limits by fear are the ones that hold the most promise for discovery.
Passion can either be a pilot light that has been simmering in your soul for a while or it can be a blinding flashing light that has recently gotten your attention. Either way, it has the potential to be life changing.
It is passion if:
- It is an activity that when you do it, time goes by without you even knowing it.
- The more you focus on it, the more excited you get.
- As a firey kid you were obstinately passionate about this pursuit or pleasure, before you began to fit into the uniform of society’s expectations
- Whenever you think about it, you get a feeling (sometimes just a tickle) of familiarity and attraction.
By considering these ideas, you learn to understand yourself more fully. The process of discovering your passions is a form of purpose and passion itself. When you begin seeing new connections, it will be so satisfying and exciting that you will be hooked and will understand the power behind all of it.
Wherever you put your passion, there is your power.
My inquiry drew me to writing about our power in the second half of life. I had never had much interest in writing. I really didn’t think I knew how to write. However there was some internal nudging that would not leave me alone. One day I became irritated with this nudging.
I sat down and began writing about not being interested in writing. One word led to another and I began to greatly enjoy expressing my thoughts on paper. I found that I didn’t notice time going by. The more focused I was on writing the more excited I became.
Old friends and people who I hadn’t even met began to contact me after reading some of my work.
“I can’t tell you how much your article on Change gave me a light bulb moment. I even went on line and join a dating website.” Pat-a new friend who I haven’t met yet.
“I think your ideas are positive and interesting without being the least bit saccharine-a fine line indeed. So, I hope you will keep them coming.” Margot- a high school friend.
Finding passion is a personal journey. Your passion may be similar to something you did in the workplace or the complete opposite. It may take you to Africa to teach school or to your dining room table to take up scrap-booking or playing games with the grandkids.
Passion can feel like a breeze or a hurricane. If you know that you have a song yet to be sung, listen to the messages coming from within. Listen to those ideas that you keep hearing but perhaps haven’t paid attention to.
Listen to what makes your soul sing. You came here for a reason and the world is not complete without you. Rather than diminishing with age, your importance has increased.
The world is waiting for your song.