Can you use your passions to slow down?

Busy-ness and passion. Those are two things I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m busy packing, storing, throwing out, doing all those things involved in moving. Oh yes, and then there’s my work, filled with projects and clients who need time and attention. I’m madly running from one place to another, trying to organize while my head is spinning around on my shoulders.

All I really want to do is indulge in my passions for a while – skiing, running, fishing, and music.

Because when I am involved in something I am passionate about, “it”, and not all the other “stuff”, captures my attention and focus. My mind, that is currently flitting from project to client to tape and packing crates, will slow down and focus on one thing instead of a gazillion. Here’s what I wrote to a friend last year about how I feel when I am fishing…

For me, there is a bizarre sense of urgency coupled with a peace of mind, body and soul that salmon fishing brings. A sense of urgency, because once I am near “the river” (which is any river where I might wet a fly), I want get out, walk around, make decisions about type of fly, where the best lies are, and how quickly can I get my waders and gear on to get out in the river. My heart just races, and I usually laugh out loud because I’m so anxious. Once I get geared up and I know where I want to cast, I step into the water. 

And that’s when time stands still.

Just one more cast?

Just one more cast?

The urgency stops. All the thoughts that seem to bang around in my head – about kids, money, relationships – everything leaves my mind. I feel the pull and push of the water, and focusing on balance becomes essential, and then second nature. The temperature of the water means my feet get cold, but it doesn’t matter. My heartbeat seems to slow down and as soon as I start to cast my line out, there is a peace the just embraces me. 

Things that we are passionate about allow us to rest, or allow our minds to rest. For those of us who are busy doing those gazillion things, when we indulge in our passions, we let all the extraneous busy-ness float away, and we pause. Casting a fly rod, riding a horse, skiing down a mountain…it is all the same. Our minds, used to traveling at warp speed and changing directions at a moment’s notice, are quieted and focused.

For you, it may be the thrill of the steeps at Whistler. Or the calm and delight that comes from writing a new song. Perhaps it is walking in the woods, or playing a guitar. But that time when you are focused on your passion allows you to pause and rest.

When I really think about all the work I have ahead of me, I get so anxious my teeth chatter and I want to chain myself to my desk (or cover myself in packing tape!). But then all I do is focus on my ankles…where I can imagine the water coming up over my wading boots and the feel of the current pressing on my legs.  My passion allows me to pause and rest.

What is your passion? Can you use it, in these busy and hectic times, to pause and rest? Try it. Tell me how it works.

Pretty passionate about skiing as well. Peak to Peak Gondola with no one else but the two of us!

Pretty passionate about skiing as well. Peak to Peak Gondola with no one else but the two of us!

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