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3 Ways to Tell If You’re Living Your Passion

photo: Zabara Alexander on flickr

photo: Zabara Alexander on flickr

How do you feel about the phrase “living your passion”?

Does it make you tingle from head to toe, eager to bust out and share your passionate stuff with the world?

Or does it piss you off?

I used to be in the latter category. Mostly because I wasn’t living my passion.

It seemed impossible. Unattainable. But with time, and spiritual practice, the impossible and unattainable became possible and attainable. (To read more about how I got there, go here and here and here.)

These days, my passion shows up in three forms: writing, speaking and music. Sometimes, like with metaphysical nerd rap, I get to do all three at once and achieve living my passion nirvana.

photo: Lisa Barry

photo: Lisa Barry

It was while frolicking in the land of nerd rap nirvana that I came face-to-face with three very different reactions to what I was doing.

What was most helpful about this experience was that each reaction was like a barometer, helping me to assess just how fully I’m living my passion.

Or not. 

Are you thoroughly confused?

I hope so. Cuz I’m going to explain it all. Right now.

Way back when, I participated in a One Heart Choir concert at the Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa. I accompanied the One Heart Choir for six years. The experience transformed me as a musician – I bloomed and blossomed in the love of the choir and its director, Claire Victor.

photo: Will Bakx

photo: Will Bakx

Because of all that bloomin’ and blossomin’, I left my choir gig to pursue other activities. Like building OhMyGod Life with my wife Melissa.

For my last concert with the One Heart Choir, Claire invited Melissa and I to do one of our spoken word songs. We chose a song called Peace, Presence, Power.

In this song, we invite the audience to do the spoken-word chorus with us. Every time we do it, Melissa and I go into a trance.

In a good way.

photo: Will Bakx

photo: Will Bakx

At that point, this particular song was still really new, and I’d never done it at my home Center before. I was feeling apprehensive. Although there were hundreds of people in the audience, I managed to channel my apprehension into worrying about the reactions of two key people.

The first was A-Person-I-Was-Sure-Wouldn’t-Like-It.

Spoken word is not her thing. Melissa’s music is not her thing. I knew she was going to hate it, or at least not like it very much, and I was dreading her reaction. Not that she would tell me she didn’t like it.

But I was sure I would somehow know that she hated it.

The second was A-Person-I-Really-Wanted-to-Like-It.

Her opinion is important to me, and I really, really wanted her to like the song. I thought she might, I hoped she might. But I wasn’t sure.

The rest of the audience fell into a third category, one I’ll call People-I-Hoped-Would-Like-It-But-I-Didn’t-Care-One-Way-Or-The-Other.

Of course, I wanted everyone to love it, but I know that’s not always the case. As I’m learning from Karma Yoga, it’s about doing my best and turning the results over to the Divine.

photo: JD Hancock on flickr

photo: JD Hancock on flickr

After the concert was over, one of the first people who came up to me was the Person-I-Was-Sure-Wouldn’t-Like-It.

She loved it. She said the song moved her deeply. She said Melissa and I were onto something really cool and we should keep doing more.

Alrightee then. So much for my assumptions.

A little while later, I saw the Person-I-Really-Wanted-to-Like-It. Although I would love to say I was totally cool and nonchalant about it, I wasn’t. Not at all. First thing I did was ask her if she liked the song.

She said she did, but it was what I’d call a lukewarm response. Like piping hot tea that’s had plenty of time to cool down and is now the temperature of spit.

It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

I then spent the rest of the night interacting with the People-I-Hoped-Would-Like-It-But-I-Didn’t-Care-One-Way-Or-The-Other. Many of them loved the song. Others didn’t mention it. It was all fine with me.

Until the end of the night.

That’s when I was approached by one final member of the People-I-Hoped-Would-Like-It-But-I-Didn’t-Care-One-Way-Or-The-Other group.

This person said he loved my piano playing. He wanted to me to know that I was a great piano player and that, no matter what, I should keep playing the piano.

photo: fivehanks on flickr

photo: fivehanks on flickr

He didn’t mention the song at all.

Once the event was over and I’d had a moment to catch my breath, I realized that these three different reactions were a great litmus test for me. Indeed, each reaction provided a way for me to gauge how fully I’m living my passion.

Check it out:

1. The reaction of the Person-I-Was-Sure-Wouldn’t-Like-It was one of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm fueled my own.

She gets it! How cool is that?! I loved doing the song, and she loved hearing the song! Yesssssss.

It was like the Universe saying: Ding-Ding-Ding! You’re on track!

2. The reaction of the Person-I-Really-Wanted-To-Like-It was one of room-temperature spit. This lukewarm reaction made me realize that it’s not my job to make everyone love what I’m doing. Not even people I really, really, really want to impress.

It was like the Universe saying: Do it for Me. Not for others. Do it because you love it. And I love it. That’s enough.

3. The reaction of the Person-I-Hoped-Would-Like-It-But-I-Didn’t-Care-One-Way-Or-The-Other group was one of totally missing the mark. His reaction helped me see that playing the piano is not my passion. Yes, I like doing it. But it doesn’t have the same charge and excitement as the spoken word songs.

It was like the Universe saying: He might not be able to see the power and importance of what you’re doing. But I can. And that’s all that matters.

Each one of these 3 reactions – the person who got it, the person who kinda got it, and the person who didn’t get it at all – allowed me to see more clearly what was important to me. And to the Divine.

The key was to notice my reaction to their reactions.

As I did so, I was able to use each of their reactions to bring me closer to owning and claiming my passion.

So the 3 ways to tell if you’re living your passion are:

1. How do you react to people who appreciate your efforts to live your passion?

2. How do you react to the lukewarm spit people?

3. How do you react to people who don’t get it at all?

Your reactions might be different than mine, but they’ll help you see when you’re on track.

photo: hermetic hermit on flickr

photo: hermetic hermit on flickr

That said, I know there are lots of other great ways to tell if you’re living your passion. What are some of yours?! Share your comments below!

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15 Responses to 3 Ways to Tell If You’re Living Your Passion

  1. Carol Davis June 17, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    Love, LOVE, love it!! Love you style of writing and you blog. Thank you. Living your passion is a wonderful topic. It was my first topic in my new blog (May 28). Yours is way more powerful, fun, and interesting. Thank you

    • Z Egloff June 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Congratulations on your new blog!! There is no “better” or “worse” in Spirit, so I know that what you’re doing is incredible, powerful, a miracle, Divine!!

      Thanks for stopping by and come again!! :)

      XOZ

  2. Kat June 17, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Dear Z,

    I was fortunate to be in the audience the night you ‘unveiled’ your rap at the Center, and I LOVED IT! I tend to be a bit shy with audience participation, but found myself completely immersed in your rap.

    When I had the opportunity to speak with you, I may not have mentioned it because as a ‘Z groupie’ I felt a feeling of awe meeting you in person! Your blog has touched my life in a myriad of ways that I am very grateful for, and to be able to speak with you was a gift!

    You and Melissa really are ‘onto something’, and putting your Metaphysical Prayer Rap out into the world makes it a better place for all of us, no matter what the reaction to it is. You are planting seeds for the Divine and cultivating awareness of Peace, Presence, & Power that serves all of us!

    Thank you for sharing your heart, soul, & wisdom!

    Bountiful Blessings,
    Kat

    • Z Egloff June 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Kat,

      No worries that you didn’t mention the rap!! I’m glad that you enjoyed it, but I’m also learning to accept however people react to what I am/we are doing! I’m glad that you came and introduced yourself and I’m grateful for you letting me know that the blog is something that’s inspiring for you. I just took a little break to help out my brother, so it’s nice to be back. Thanks for being here!! :)

      XOZ

  3. Jo Lauer June 17, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Yup, do it for yourself and for Spirit… the rest is small stuff. As a writer, I’m very aware that there are a whole bunch of people with luke-cool responses to my work. That’s okay. People who enjoy what I write are a nice bonus… but they’re not the point. The point is, I’m living my bliss. Thanks for the reminder, Z. Love ALL your expressions of the Divine as it shows up in you.

    • Z Egloff June 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi Jo,

      I guess it’s something every creative person has to learn – how to let other people’s reaction to our work roll off our backs. I’ve found that both “positive” and “negative” reactions can trip me up. Better to just do it for me. And the Divine. A much safer endeavor! Glad that you are discovering this as well! :)

      XOZ

  4. Lillian June 17, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Wise and deep and funny! The photo of frolicking in the land of nerd rap nirvana is the best!

    • Z Egloff June 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      Hello Lillian!

      Frolicking in nerd rap nirvana is the best! I’m glad it shows!

      So nice to see you here. And SO great to see you this past weekend.

      XOZ

      • Lillian June 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

        You inspire us. You and Melissa both — Congratulations on your wonderful graduation!

  5. Sherry June 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    This was a very well-thought-out article. Thank you!

    • Z Egloff June 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      You’re welcome, Sherry!! :)

  6. Claire June 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Dear Reverend Z,

    I Love love love you and it doesn’t even matter what you are doing because I just adore the beingness of you. As I read this, in my very humble mind, I of course, wanted to be the person you REALLY cared about – until I read that she gave a luke warm reaction to your brilliant rap!

    I am sure all your readers are now wondering what category they fell into – maybe you can create a FB questionnaire – “What category of Z critique barometer do you fit into?”

    The One Hearters will miss you so much Rev Z! Not just because you play piano but because you are our one and only Z. Nothing and no one else compares to you. Can’t wait to see where your powerful passion takes you though!!!!

    • Z Egloff June 18, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Hi Claire!

      Oooooooh – a FB questionnaire! Sounds fun! Except, for now, I’m fine with holding off on any more critiques of the rap! 😉

      I will miss the One Heart Choir peeps! I look forward to staying in touch with y’all and hearing you in your next gorgeous incarnation. I know that all will be fabulous!

      XOXOXOXOZ

  7. Karen June 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    The less I care about what other people think of me and what I’m doing, the happier I am, for sure, and I certainly concur with the conclusions in this, as always, warm and witty post.

    As creative people usually learn eventually, people are fickle. They can adore you one week, abhor you the next. Creating for the sheer joy of the journey is the best way around that. :)

    • Z Egloff June 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      Ah yes, the fickle folks. I’m grateful that, more and more, I don’t let the fickle folks dictate what I do with my time. What a blessing! :)

      XOZ

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