So many of us stumble around life with the feeling that we’re not yet in our element. We haven’t founded our passion. We’re…discontented.
That’s because we haven’t yet discovered our own true nature.
My reading today in one of Mark Nepo’s books addressed finding our own true, God-given nature. What he calls “that vital element that keeps us alive.”
He says we’ll recognize that true nature when we feel energy, excitement and maybe even the sense that life is happening for the very first time.
I’m wondering today if you’ve found that for yourself. Maybe it’s been different at various points in your life–nothing says it has to be a lifelong decision. Although there ARE people lucky enough to find their passion and their heart’s desire very young –and it stays fresh for the duration of their life.
It’s been different for me over the years.
For a long time, I found great energy and excitement in teaching college students. For another long time, I found joy in writing first-person essays. Such excitement when they were accepted for publication!
I had a really great job that fulfilled me for a long time. And then, it didn’t.
It was the pandemic that helped me find my latest passion. I stumbled upon it while I was in quarantine in my home town, waiting out two weeks required of those who traveled to New York state. I started writing what I thought was an essay, but 18 pages in, I realized that it was a performance piece.
That set off a chain of events that led to my one-woman show currently in development. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to apply my writing skills in this new way–and then to actually perform what I’ve written. It’s exciting, and since I have completed 71 years on this planet, finding this new joy each time I write, rewrite, attend class, rehearse or perform was completely unexpected.
Joy, Nepo says, is a sign of deep health.
If you’re still looking for your own true nature, here’s what I suggest.
Think out of the box–remain open to the unexpected. That means being fully awake to what’s going on around us and in our lives.
If you don’t have a skill, go after it. I had never performed before and while my first three performances were amateur at best, my fourth was much better and I anticipate that my fifth, this December, will be even better than that. It’s because I’ve been in classes for two years–and I am continuing. Supplementing class is coaching time with a professional solo performer and rehearsals I do with classmates who are for more experienced than I.
Take input. I remain open to what my teacher, coaches and classmates have to say about my piece and my performance. I started out with the objective that I didn’t want to “suck” at performing. ;-). Met that objective and so now, I want to be halfway good. And I’m getting there!
Don’t let anyone discourage you. When you start something new it’s always clear who your supporters are and then those you thought were friends who maybe do not wish the best for you, for whatever reason. Yes, that happens. Do not let it deter you.
Some months ago, I was describing to a friend in my age group my feeling of being right where I was supposed to be.
“I haven’t found that yet,” they told me.
I’m pretty sure it’s because they don’t color outside the lines. So yes, scribble away! I’ve even supplied the crayons.
Have you found your true nature? That joy in doing something that is, well, pretty indescribable? Try to describe it below, if you have!
Oh, and if you know someone facing a health challenge, or grieving a deep loss, consider the love grief and healing gifts in my shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AHealingSpirit
The pandemic opened a Pandora’s Box of possibility for me personally.
Teaching English writing skills to young people on Zoom and seeing them bloom!🌺🤩
Traveling solo to Ireland in 2021 when that country was still in lockdown.🍀
Writing and performing three performances in one year at
The Marsh in San Francisco.🎭
Meeting and getting to know new people—like you!—through on-line education.😍
Taking the first-ever online class at The Modern Elder Academy with 300 people from around the world. 🧐
Buying and decorating our first home as a couple, leaving living in San Francisco, and making new neighbors.🏡
*. *. *
Reading, writing, teaching, learning, exploring, and growing never gets old!📚📖🎁
All these actions—and finding and sharing the Beauty in every day life—keep me young at heart.
P.S. Mark Nepo’s online talks at The Modern Elder Academy were inspiring!
They can be found on youtube.
He is so incredible.
I give you such credit for performing, where you learn as you go, in public. It takes great courage and grit to do that. Very inspiring!
It surprises even me!
I do feel as though I’ve found my true nature at different points in my life, but as I change and life changes, so do the things I value and love.
Yes, how true that is, Karen.
You never cease to be a source of inspiration and a breath of fresh air to me! You certainly have guts when it comes to solo performances and I admire you for it. The pandemic certainly put a new perspective on my life path too 😊
No one more surprised than me! Leaving for SFO soon and so looking forward to hanging out Friday in London!
Yoga sutra 1.3 states, Tada drashtuh svarupevasthanam, which basically translates to, “then the seer rests in her own true nature.” It’s that moment when we recognize our own true nature and connection to others. I think you’ve always rested in your own true nature, it’s just changed and evolved over the years.
That’s probably true. Worth a discussion one day, Jen.
Back around 2009 I found blogging. It combines two things I like to do: informal writing (not needing to worry about plot, character development or doing heavy research) and taking photos. No stress, no performance anxiety, no public appearances. I look forward to waking up and finding what I will be blogging about in the near future. Sometimes it surprises me! I have a small audience which is more than fine for the introvert in me. It was made for me.
I’m looking forward to writing and taking lessons in 23. Time for a break from the stress.
Your performing is amazing! I enjoy it SO MUCH! Writing always does it for me. Creating worlds on the page. There is nothing that describes the rush other than…it’s a rush! 😉
Oh honey, I so do get that!