Do you know what your passions are? Do you know what you’re here to offer the planet? Are you unhappy with your work? Do you have a sense that you have a calling, but you don’t know what it is or how to find it? Discover what you need to notice that can lead you to your passions and life purpose and a life of joy and wellbeing.
Hi everyone, Dr. Margaret Paul here with the Inner Bonding podcast. Today I’m addressing the issue of whether or not your life is being directed by what you are passionate about, or if you even know what you are passionate about.
I’ve often heard complaints from my clients, such as:
“I can’t seem to discover why I’m on the planet,” or
“What is my purpose here? I know there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, but I don’t know how to find out what it is,” or
“I don’t seem to be passionate about anything.”
The blueprint for this information lies within your inner child – your essence, the true soul self that may have been buried during your early years. If your true soul self was not seen and validated by your parents, teachers, or other caregivers, it is likely to have gone underground. The self you know as your “self” is likely your wounded self, your ego, the self you created to get love and avoid pain. The wounded self has within it all your fears and false beliefs and does not have access to what is true and joyful for you.
How, then, do you discover your passion and purpose, if the blueprint for this information is long buried? The good news is that while it’s buried, it’s not lost. You can reclaim this information if you are willing to do your Inner Bonding work.
As many of you know, Dr. Erika Chopich, co-creator of Inner Bonding, and I share a home and ranch as Golden Girls. We have a healing barn and Erika often helps the people with Inner Bonding who help us in our barn with our horses, and on our ranch.
What follows is what Erika has this to say about discovering your passions.
“We have all age groups in our barn team, everywhere from children to middle agers, and we often have discussions about life passions. What continues to surprise me is that whenever I ask the question, ‘What are you really passionate about?’ they usually respond with a blank stare and meekly say, ‘I don’t know.’ I know that’s not possible because everyone has at least one passion but accessing it and owning it seems to be difficult for many people, and they don’t even know how to find their passion.
“Life passion is the result of the marriage between the loving adult and the inner child. It’s the inner child’s creativity and spontaneity and joy, but it’s also the loving adult’s competency that brings forth a true passion, and it is also spiritually guided. But what the answer I always give to my barn team is that it’s what you think of at times without even being aware. What makes you smile when you hear a reference to it? What do you dream about? What’s the last thought you sometimes have at night before you go to sleep, and what is sometimes the first thought you have when you wake in the morning? Somewhere in there in that tiny little joyful pocket is your answer. It is your passion.
“If you are in the dark about your passion, it’s your sense of joy that is the flashlight to help you find it. It’s what brings a spark of joy to your body and to your soul. It’s what lights you up, and what’s fun for you. What moves your soul when you see it or hear it or experience it? What makes you dance? What makes you feel like the kite rather than string? Finding your passion does not require deep soul searching. It only requires that you pay attention to your lightness of being. Passions in life are the bubble lights on your Christmas tree! They make you smile and make you feel light and bring joy to your life.
“On rare occasions I will hear an answer from one of our team members that says, ‘I don’t know what my passion is because I have too many of them.’ I have had this problem in my life as well. The advice I can give you is that if you are more towards the beginning of your life than the end of your life, then I say to you try them all! There is no rule that says you must have one passion and one passion only in your life. If it works out that way, that’s wonderful, but often our journey is to move from one passion to the next passion.
“Often, what keeps the person from knowing and deeply owning their passion is fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection if you’re too successful, especially if you’re a woman – the fear of disapproval if you seek out your passion and embrace it. Remember that spirit is always willing to guide you, but you must choose the direction and hopefully your direction comes from your heart, not your head. Each passion we discover and spend time with and envelope our lives with, leads to another passion and another passion and they are all beautiful pieces of the mosaic that is you.
“For example, my first passion in life was music and it is still with me. Another passion of mine was flying and I still soar in other ways in my life. My passion for horses is with me every day. My passion to help others heal guides my footsteps every day. Passion is not necessarily a singular thing. I think when you find multiple passions ultimately you end up having a passion for life.
“I often hear, ‘My life is too complicated. I’m too busy to even have time to find my passion.’ This is a lie that comes for your wounded self. In most cases, your passion is right in front of you and all you need do is be open to the experience. Life without passion is colorless and has a low frequency, while on the other hand, a life that is filled with passion is filled with discovery, filled with spirit and with love and with joy. If you learn nothing more on your journey this lifetime, I think one of the most important discoveries you can make is your own inner passion.
“It’s really about being open versus closed. If you’re living your life in a state of openness, you will no doubt discover many passions within you, but if you live your life in a state of closedness, passion will always be elusive for you. If you have the intention to learn, you will find your passion(s).
Erika has been very instrumental in helping many of the young people who help us find their passions and sense of purpose.
I’ve worked with thousands of clients who, as they practice Inner Bonding, gradually heal their fears and false beliefs to the point where their true soul self, the vital, alive aspect of yourself that holds the blueprint for your passionate purpose, comes peeking out. This is the aspect that just wants to joyfully express itself in the world. As you allow this aspect to emerge, you will gradually discover what truly brings you joy.
Were you encouraged to ignore your special talents and instead choose your career according to what will give you a sense of security? Too often, what makes you feel safe does not fulfill you emotionally or spiritually.
For example, Justin worked for many years as the head of a business, but he never enjoyed it. He made very good money, yet when he consulted with me, he was suffering from anxiety and depression. He had taken over his father’s business because his father had wanted Justin to follow in his footsteps. Justin had gone along with what his father wanted for him because he didn’t know what else he wanted and now, in midlife, he was miserable. He yearned to discover his passion.
A few months after starting to practice Inner Bonding, Justin remembered that he had really wanted to be a college professor. He had never seriously considered this career because he felt he couldn’t make enough money to support his family, but now he was willing to make less money because he was so unhappy with his present work. Justin went back to school and eventually got a job teaching biology at a university. The last time I spoke with him he was radiant! He loved working with young people, and he felt he was making a real contribution to their lives. For the first time ever, he felt alive and passionate about his life.
Renee came to see me because she was so unhappy working as a sales rep for a major company, even though she was very successful. Yet she had no idea what else she wanted to do. It took about a year of practicing Inner Bonding before her true soul self, her inner child, told her that she wanted to be a therapist. Renee hadn’t wanted to hear this because she didn’t want to go back to school. Finally, she was so unhappy that she decided to listen to her inner child. She is now back in school, feeling so much happier.
While it may not always be possible to change your work immediately to something you love, if you follow your passion, it will often lead you there. And even when you have to earn money in ways that do not express your soul, you can seek volunteer opportunities and hobbies to express who you are. Often these can lead to the work that you will eventually do.
Your soul has a deep desire for you to express yourself in ways that bring you joy. Through a devoted Inner Bonding practice, you can discover what that is and bring it about.
I love it when someone is truly passionate about something in a delighted and joyful way. I know that when someone is motivated to do something or achieve something that gives them great joy and delight, they will likely succeed in doing or accomplishing what they desire. Our ability to manifest our dreams is deeply connected with following our passion – provided it’s from your true soul self and not your wounded self. Where it comes from within often determines the experience and the outcome.
For example, a friend of mine was passionate about acting. She wanted to be a famous actress. Yet every time she got a good part, she became terrified. It wasn’t fun for her at all because her wounded self was totally in charge. She wanted to be a famous actress from her ego, to prove her worth. Her passion was not coming from joy and delight in the experience of acting, but from fear of inadequacy and failure, and from a need to control how people felt about her. As a result, she struggled and struggled, never really making it as an actress.
When we discover something that we love doing, something that gives us great joy and delight, we are deeply motivated to do it. Joy and delight create a high frequency, which enables spirit to help us manifest that which we desire.
The secret to manifesting what we desire is to stay focused on the passion, joy, and delight that the experience gives us. If we get caught up in the fear of not getting it or of failing in some way, we will lower our frequency to the point where spirit cannot help us manifest what we want.
Joy and delight need to be our guiding lights. Our joy and delight let us know that we are on the right track, that we are in alignment with our soul’s desires, that we are following the journey our soul set out to follow.
When I was in college, I had a double major – art and psychology. I loved both of them. One of my great delights was to be in the pottery lab, throwing pots amidst the wonderful community of artists that gathered at U.C.L.A. We created together, laughed together, cried together, and generally supported each other through our various ups and downs. It was a wonderful part of my life, and I got to study ceramics with one of the world’s leading potters. I set up my own pottery studio and I continued potting for quite a while after leaving college. However, at some point, between kids and work, making pots fell by the wayside.
About 18 years ago, when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was dialoguing with my higher guidance and letting her know that I needed some guidance regarding fun and creativity, I heard her say, “Pot.”
“What?” I said.
“Pot. Make pots,” she said.
“Make pots? Where should I make pots?” I asked her.
“Look in the phone book,” she said.
I did and discovered that there was a wonderful pottery studio not far from my home in Santa Fe. I’d lived there for a few years and had never known this place existed. For a nominal fee, I joined this studio, where I went a couple of afternoons a week. I felt such joy and delight just walking in there! It was like going back into the past to U.C.L.A., except, fortunately for me, most of the people were not young college students, but were around my age.
My higher guidance certainly knew what she was talking about. My inner child was ecstatic about making pots again!
Now I have my own pottery studio, as well as my own painting studio, where I live on our ranch, and sometimes others join me in my studio. I enjoy teaching others how to make pots!
The joy I feel in giving my inner child time to be creative, colors all the rest of my life, bringing a sense of fun and excitement to everything. Making pots and painting stirs up my creative juices and extends into other areas of my life.
I hope you follow your joy and passionate delight. It will always take you just where you need to go.
While hobbies, such as my potting and painting, are a very important of life, it’s also very important to discover your true life purpose.
Writer and Lecturer, Joseph Campbell, said,
“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living.”
What does it mean to “follow your bliss?”
One of the main tenets of Inner Bonding is that all our feelings are informational letting us know when we are loving ourselves and when we are abandoning ourselves, and letting us know when something external to us is loving or safe, or unloving or dangerous. Our true bliss can be highly informational for us.
Bliss can be defined as complete happiness, delight, spiritual joy, ecstasy—a bit of heaven. The opposite of bliss is misery.
Sometimes this can get confusing, as when people say they are “blissed out” from a drug or from sex. Getting blissed out on drugs or sex is not going to lead you toward a healthy life of passion, meaning, and purpose for you.
Following your bliss means noticing the thoughts and actions that bring you joy, as well as the thoughts and actions that create your misery.
Misery is a road sign saying, “Wrong Way!” while joy is a road sign saying “Yes! You are going the right way for you.”
Isn’t it wonderful that spirit gives us this simple, yet profound, inner guidance to point the way?
Yet, many people ignore these road signs, preferring to avoid the misery with various addictions, anesthetics, and medications. How strange that we have learned to ignore these blaring signs!
I have learned to completely trust my feelings of joy and misery. I know that my misery is clearly telling me I’m off track in my thinking or behavior. This is when I do Inner Bonding to learn what is true. My joy points the way toward my highest good and true life path. I’ve found these road signs to be infallible.
When the people I work with learn to trust and follow their bliss, they ALWAYS eventually discover their true life path, because this is the way we are wired. We are NOT dropped on the planet to blindly find our way!
When I work with someone, I listen closely when I hear them say what they love doing. Often, when I say something like, “This is the first time I’ve ever heard you say that you love doing something,” they discount it. Perhaps they think it’s not important – maybe because the thing they love doing, the thing they are passionate about, is easy for them. Many of us have been programmed to believe that what comes easily doesn’t have value. Yet the exact opposite is often true. It’s what you love doing and are passionate about – which sometimes comes easily and naturally, and sometimes involves hard work and persistence – that is most likely your true life path. As Joseph Campbell said, it “has been there all the while, waiting for you…”
The reason so many people are lost regarding their true life path is because they have learned to avoid feeling their feelings. I find this incredibly sad. When I hear about people avoiding their feelings with alcohol, drugs, food, medication, TV, sex, work, gambling, spending, staying in their head, judging themselves or getting angry and blaming others, I feel so sad that they are bypassing the very feelings that could point the way toward their true life calling. By avoiding feelings, our society has gotten disconnected from the very information that helps us to stay on track.
By following your bliss – that which brings you joy and delight – and by noticing your misery, you will find your way to your true life purpose: to what you came to the planet to express.
Rumi said, “Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.“
On one of my trips to lead an Inner Bonding Intensive, I was standing in line waiting to board a plane, and a man next to me started chatting with me. As we shared why we were each flying to New York, he looked wistfully at me and there was sadness in his eyes. “I can see you love what you do, and I do what I do for the money.” He looked like he was ready to cry. We spoke a bit about discovering one’s passionate purpose and then started to board. As I was about to board the plane, he said, “Dr. Paul, you’ve inspired me. I’ve been selling myself out for money and it’s not making me happy. I’m going to start to explore what else I want to do.” I was happy to hear that.
Do you know “the beauty of what you love”?
If you had been brought up with parents who were devoted to encouraging you to be totally yourself, and who deeply valued your unique gifts and talents, what kind of work would you be doing today? Would it be different than what you are doing?
If you had parents who mirrored to you your magnificent soul essence, and you grew up knowing who you are, what would you love to be doing for your work today?
Do you even know “the beauty of what you love”? Without knowing the beauty of what you love, you cannot be guided in what you do by what you love.
“The beauty of what you love” is in your soul self, waiting for you to discover it. But if your soul – your feeling self – is hidden beneath your ego wounded self, who learned to protect you from pain by ignoring your feelings, or by judging your feelings, or by numbing your feelings with addictions, then you may not yet have discovered what you love. We can’t avoid our painful feelings without also burying the joyful feelings that tell us what we love.
If you feel lost regarding your calling in life, don’t despair. You DO have a calling and you CAN find it!
In order to find it, you need to practice Inner Bonding in a deep and committed way, devoted to taking full responsibility for learning how you are creating your painful wounded feelings – your anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness and emptiness – and devoted to fully nurturing your painful existential feelings of life – your loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others – with great kindness and compassion. You need to be fully devoted to being so loving to yourself and others that you are willing to feel the painful feelings of life, rather than protect against them with addictive and controlling behavior. It is your protections against pain that are covering the feelings of your true soul self, which contain the knowledge of what you love.
Some of us are lucky and have always known our calling. But I have many clients who wander around trying one thing after another, never feeling like they are where they belong. Others have a sense of what they want and what they love, but are afraid that if they go for it, they will fail. Others put it on the back burner because they are afraid that they will not make enough money. They suffer in jobs they hate because, like the man I chatted with at the airport, they have made making money more important than the beauty of what they love, and, like him, they generally feel empty and unfulfilled.
Your beautiful soul essence is a unique expression of spirit and contains your unique gifts, talents, and what you love – what has true value to you. When you discover what has true value to you to express, and you offer this to the world, you are letting “the beauty of what you love, be what you do.”
If you have children, hopefully you are seeing and mirroring their soul essence. One of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is to support them in following their passions. However, if you are supporting them in following their passion, but you are not following your own, what message are you giving to them? So, the other great gift you can give to your children is to role model following your own passion. But in order to do this, you need to know what your passion is!
Once again, here is where Inner Bonding comes into the picture. The more you practice Inner Bonding, the more you will get to know your soul essence, which opens the door to discovering the blueprint for your true calling.
Don’t sit on the sidelines of life, allowing the fears of your wounded self to keep you unhappy and limited. As Lee Ann Womack suggests in one of my favorite songs, I hope you dance, “Don’t sit it out – dance! “
I hope you join me for my 30-Day At-home experience, Passionate Purpose, Vibrant Health! Discover your passionate purpose, enhance creativity and create a joyful, vibrantly healthy life!
You can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:
- And, How to Become Strong Enough to Love: Creating Loving Relationships Through the Six-Step Pathway of Inner Bonding
And we have much to offer you at our website at https:www.innerbonding.com.
I’m sending you my love and my blessings.
©Dr. Margaret Paul and Inner Bonding® Educational Technologies, Inc, 2022