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