How to reclaim your passions (when you’ve lost touch with them)


I’m on a road trip for a month with my husband John, and our two dogs, Lilly and Pearl. This has been a dream of mine for the past 6 years.

I had a picture of Bambi (a particular model of an Airstream) on my vision board for at least three years before we bought a 19’ 2006 Bambi model Airstream.

John was part of this decision but it was driven by my own dream.  Adventure is one of our top values in our marriage.

In 1992, I wrote a personal ad for a partner that I wanted. That ad read:

“Looking for a partner in adventure and travel. DSF (divorced single female) who loves to ski, backpack, hike, raft and likes to dine out and see performing arts events.”

John answered my ad.

When I was growing up, I loved being in nature. My parents and grandparents took us camping in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Every year when I was in grade school, mom and dad packed the car with the heavy green canvas tent that slept 6 people, our wooden cots, dark green scratchy wool army blankets and everything else we needed for a week of camping at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

When I was in 4th and 5th grades, I went to Camp Whip-poor-will, which was a weeklong Girl Scout Camp in Tennessee. We were assigned to cabins with bunk beds full of girls I didn’t know.

While I was shy and timid, I felt alive in the outdoors. I felt at home inside myself.

It was there that I learned how to canoe, make lanyards, sing campfire songs and make samores.

My favorite TV shows were Rawhide, Bonanza, Gene Autry, Sky King, and Lassie – basically outdoor adventures with cowboys and animals.

My favorite books in grade school were the Nancy Drew Mystery series. I also read the Hardy Boys.

In high school I discovered Jane Goodall and she became my shero.  I listened to Joni Mitchell albums over and over again.

I was a child of 60s when my generation (now baby boomers) were revolting against the status quo and the Vietnam war.

Now I know one true thing. I’m closest to God when I’m in nature (if the God word bothers you use Creator or Universe).

canoe-photoMy soul is at home in the great outdoors.  I’m more of who I am when I’m in nature.

As we become busier in our daily lives and more plugged into devices, it’s easier to lose touch with who were when we were children and what we loved.

As a child, your passions were evident by what you loved spending your time doing.  As you grew up, you were conditioned by your family and institutions so that you fit in and could get along in life.

Often we leave behind our true self in order to fit in and conform.

What I know for sure is that when you reach midlife, you’ll want to reconnect back to what you once loved.

This is how you live a meaningful life.  You go back to what was true for you as a child or you find what makes you feel alive as an adult.

I witness many of my client’s fears of not living up to their true potential or most of all – they’re afraid their life will not have meaning.

In the U.S., we grew up thinking that if we could just achieve the American dream – get a college education, get a good job, buy a house, get married and have kids – that we’d be happy.

That dream is not available to most people in the U.S. anymore.

What’s true is that dream was created to fuel our Capitalist society.  When it all comes down to it – the material world does not provide happiness and meaning.

A well-lived life is one that is driven by your passions plus using your unique gifts and talents that only you have to use in this lifetime.  

How do you make a life worth living?

What are you really here to learn in this lifetime?

I believe you’re here to become self-realized.

You’re here to wake up to who you really are and to get back to whom you were as a child —  before society conditioned you to believe you weren’t enough.

If you feel unsure of your passions and what makes you the happiest, go back to look for clues in your childhood.

I’ve put together questions to help you reclaim your passions if you’re out of touch with what you want or what you want more of in your life. 

  1. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
  2. When you were a child, were there any activities that were so interesting to you that they could cause you to lose track of time (you had to be reminded to come home for dinner or go to bed)?
  3. Are there any activities in which you now participate that cause you to lose track of time?
  4. What are five activities that you engage in on a regular basis that you enjoy?
  5. Choose five books that have influenced your life. Why were they important to you? How did they change you?
  6. What do you care about?
  7. What makes you come alive?
  8. Who makes you come alive?
  9. Name five things you did as kid that you loved and did well.
  10. Name five things you have done as an adult that you love and do very well.
  11. What would you dream if you knew you could not fail
  12. What would bring more meaning to your life?

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