Our essential energies are nourished by passion, which is defined as powerful or strong emotions.
Passion in its positive state is a form of love and can lead to more blissful states. Bliss is accessed more easily when we are able to connect with our feeling states and integrate the spiritual lessons that emotions teach us.
When we are engaged in activities or relationships about which we are passionate:
Many of us actively and consciously build a life where we can engage our passions daily through our relationships and activities. Such people have a natural glow of enthusiasm and joy even during challenging moments. These are people who are uplifting to be around–their vibrancy is contagious and makes everyone around them feel good.
Others of us move through life disconnected from our passions or compartmentalized, where we only allow ourselves to experience passion in certain situations.
Over time, people who compartmentalize their feelings, are not able to integrate lessons that emotions and passion provide as richly and deeply as those who are connected to feelings.
Ways to Connect with Passion and Bliss
1. Expand Your Capacity to Feel: Practice Feeling and Expressing Emotions
When we are deeply connected to feeling, we feel passionate about many things. We are awake. We notice a small flower blooming amid the winter landscape, or the smile of a stranger while we wait in traffic. It lifts our spirits to notice these things.
When we are dispassionate about experience, life appears more dull. It becomes more routine. We tend to go on auto-pilot and take experience for granted. We tend to be half-awake and not notice the small things in life that can brighten our experiences.
One way to practice expanding your emotional connectivity is to first become conscious of how many times you choose to embrace feelings or distance yourself from feelings (your own or the feelings of others).
Next time you interact with a a dear friend, family member or love, notice how much of the interaction you spend connecting and expressing feeling. Ask yourself:
After months of unemployment, Johnathan finally landed a job and shared this information with his girlfriend and mother.
His mother responded from a logical place: “That’s so great you got the job. I hope it goes well. What is it going to be like working for that company?”
His girlfriend responded from a passionate place: “I am so happy and proud of you. What does that feel like to be employed again? Let’s go have some fun and celebrate…woo hoo–I am so happy for you!!!”
While Jonathan felt supported by both of the women in his life, what made him feel more alive and connected was his girlfriend’s response. Her passion magnified his joy and contributed to his enthusiasm while his mother’s rather dispassionate response did not contribute or magnify Johnathan’s excitement. Thus, he felt closer to his girlfriend after her comments and more distant from his mother after their exchange.
In terms of energetics, when two people are passionate and connected to feeling, energy flows back and forth in a way that encourages growth and nourishment in a joyful and vibrant way. The relationships stay fresh, exciting and inspires closeness.
The same is true of activities. When we bring passion to those activities, they become more vibrant and fulfilling, reciprocating an energetic cycle that nourishes satisfaction and blissful states.
Why do we choose to disconnect emotionally from experiences?
Dispassion, aloofness and lack of empathy are often defenses –ways of keeping emotionally distant from others because often there are fears around emotional intimacy.
Emotional intimacy is not only expressed in relationships but also in the activities we choose to engage. Think about a poet or artist who passionately creates a piece of emotionally revealing work that then touches others. Certainly, one has to be courageous and confident to bear one’s emotions in an intimate way through self expression.
2. Stay in the Moment
We often censor feelings when we project ourselves into the future and imagine how others might respond to what we express. Thus, we distance ourselves from communicating with others authentically.
Yet, when we allow ourselves to stay in the moment and stay mindful, we then are able to feel what we are feeling and also find positive words to express what is real for us. This allows our comfort level with feelings to increase, which then nourishes a sense of passion.
Sometimes we might need to take a break to process and understand our feelings before we express them, in which case, we can positively communicate that too by simply saying, “I am feeling some emotions that I need to sit with before I can talk about it.” This keeps communication open and lets others know where you are.
Staying in the moment also helps us to actually feel the emotions that arise, and expand our fluency with the language of emotions. Higher levelsl of fluency with feelings plays a role in our ability to feel passionate about our lives, because if we are uncomfortable with feelings, it reduces our capacity to hold strong feelings, which is what passion is all about.
There are specific qi gong meditations (The Taoist Five) that correlate movement with emotions to help people practice staying in the moment with feelings. The movements help to discharge the uncomfortable aspects of emotions such that one can truly learn to embrace feelings and express them vibrantly and positively.
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