Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dance of Passion

Few of us can do more than a small handful of things well and with the proper passion, so don't spread yourself too thin if you can help it.  Jalaluddin Rumi said, "A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home."          -- John Geirachfocus
 This morning I intended to write about passion and its gravitational force.  It was prompted by watching the kids this weekend and one student in particular whose favorite movie is "Little Miss Sunshine."  It turns out that the movie was filmed in Ventura at a hotel just down the road from the one we were staying in.  We had a full schedule and a deadline time for returning but on Sunday morning I found out that the whole group was going to go to the Little Miss Sunshine hotel before leaving for home.  To my surprise, since I thought our scheduled was clearly fixed, one person's passion redirected the entire group. 

It was more than "just passion" though.  It was passion expressed. The student made it clear that she really wanted to go see the place where her favorite movie was filmed and her passion was contagious.  Passion is like that.  It pulls us into its jet stream and sets off a vibration within us that makes us respond to the source of the energy.  Passion changes the course of the world just as it changed the course of our weekend plans.

As I was looking for a quote about passion, however, I found the one above and it made me realize that passion truly is more than a "half-love."  It is a singularity, a laser focused, whole-hearted engagement with one thing.  The student above didn't have a list of her top ten movies, she had one great love and she could tell the story and the intimate details of it in a way that swept everyone into the desire to experience not only the location of the movie but her passion for it.

There is much written about intentions and the power of attraction.  Perhaps it all boils down to recognizing our passion and having the courage to express it, to put it out into the world and allow its power to pull action toward it.  But passion is also a dance requiring exquisite balance between self-fulfillment and obsession.  On one-side honoring the great love that is at the center of our being and opens us up to the joy and beauty of the world ... and on the other, a tunnel-visioned obsession that narrows the world and our connection to everything outside our passion.

Viva la dance!

About the image:  Passion Emerging


  1. This is a very good essay, Joyce. You raise much worth thinking about and thinking through and bring it all together beautifully in your last paragraph.

    We parents have to approach our children's declarations of passions in a way that guides them to understand what you've expressed here.

  2. I too find this to be an excellent essay with some really good thought-provokers and ideas on how to live our passions without becoming narrow in our perspectives.

  3. I like the idea of passion being a dance between self-fulfillment and obsession. So true!! Love how you've said this.