Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The passion fruit is a wonderful fruit. It is small, perfectly formed and leaves you with a rush of sharp sweetness in the mouth. Like sunshine on a Spring morning, it invigorates, wakes you up. This is what passion can do. But before you write off pursuing your own passion as a whimsical self indulgence, consider where this value-judgement came from. You? Or a system that relies on people devaluing their genuine passions to drive it?
Read below an interview with Corrina Gordon Barnes, a refreshing new voice in the world of entrepreneurship, outspoken about the need for your passion in a consumerist system that has - arguably - alienated people from their passionate selves, that tells us 'we are consumers, not contributors'. In a world that is changing at unprecendented rates, you following your true inspiration, your dreams, is more precious than ever before. Whatever that passion is: for the arts, science, health or spirituality - follow your bliss.
Believe it or not, your passion could be a raw ingredient for global transformation ...
Corrina, why does the world need your passion?
We humans are interdependent. When I hold back my contribution, my community suffers. When you don't act upon your passion, we all miss out.
We've created a society which has made it so easy to forget that we are needed. Cheap oil has created the foundation for industrialized nations which position us as consumers instead of contributors. The truth is: We are each of us precious, finite resources. We only have a brief moment in history in which to fully experience each of our unique gifts. It's not okay to squander the planet's natural resources and nor is it acceptable to waste our own potential.
Among us there are people who can turn old plastics to jewellery, teach children to cook, inspire an MP, design sustainable homes, chair community meetings, give healing massages, forage for wild food, create powerful film documentaries, write songs and make clothes. We need all these gifts. In these transition years, as we explore how to create a truly sustainable society, we need all the obvious environmentally useful skills and we also need people who can tell jokes, organize offices, care for children and counsel relationships. People who know how to clean buildings, paint, spread the word, design websites, campaign for justice.
What are you truly passionate about? When do you feel most alive? What is your unique contribution to society - that thing that only you can do in exactly the way you do it? These are the important questions to ask.
How do you keep connected with yours, Corrina?
I'm continually receiving new information about what I'm passionate about; the details shift from day to day. I stay alert to that - fluid and flexible - rather than feeling stuck in a particular groove.
I was preparing a seminar on social media recently and just wasn't feeling excited by it anymore; I begrudgingly took my plans to London and ended up writing the seminar in the lobby of the Paddington Hilton which felt very different from my home office and it helped me realize that I want to take this work further afield and in to new areas of business.
If I get involved with a project and then find that my enthusiasm wanes, I have a couple of options. I can dig deep and reconnect with what is important about the project - which might be a new motivation from what I felt originally. Or I may need to let it go for a while and see if my enthusiasm remerges.
There's something about trusting that we can let go of projects and they'll either come back to us in a different form OR they weren't really right for us in the first place. That involves trust and it involves a belief that the most important measure with any venture is whether our passion is present. I also connect with what I'm passionate about by surrounding myself with other supportive, inspirational people and by continually putting myself forward to learn new things. I make sure I spend time outdoors where life moves at a different pace from behind my computer, and that I spend regular time in meditation, allowing the still voice within to speak to me and offer guidance.
What 'gift' or piece of advice could you give that will keep women inspired to keep going?
My advice would be: The path of finding and following your passion is a rich journey. It will throw many challenges your way and will also bring you deep joy. As the saying goes, "No-one said it would be easy, they said it would be worth it". Once you've committed to it, know that you will find the resources (both inner and outer) that you need for that journey. Ask for help, remind yourself why you're doing it, make sure you celebrate even the smallest achievements.
In terms of a gift, I offer free subscription to The World Needs Your Passion, my fortnightly newsletter, which delivers inspirational articles straight to your inbox twice a month. Subscribe here: You Inspire Me
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Photo by Amelia Mary
Spring, April Fools and Easter is a time long associated with transformation, re-birth, re-invention. It ain't all about the daffodils, chocolate eggs and joking around: before 1752, England's new year even began on 25 March. In Tarot, The Fool signifies making a leap; new life, new adventures. As photographer Amelia Mary who's currently collaborating with me on an exciting re-invention on the Tarot as a glamorous female mythology commented, (she is shrewd): 'human beings are constantly influx in terms of our physical make-up and our mental development'. We are always changing, yet fight change. 'How transient and fragile our existence is'. But this journey of reinvention can happen at anytime, anywhere, to anyone ...
I've recently had to let go of something incredibly precious to me, that was fundamentally flawed. It is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it's painful. But I'm choosing to look at it as a chance to clear dead wood from the decks. As French philosopher Helene Cixous writes, these are "deaths-as-beginnings". It's a chance to let go of what you don't need, and decide what you do. This Easter, I need quiet time, and nice things. I'm filling my house with daffodils. I'm not just eating chocolate bunnies, I'm being given a real one - a tiny dwarf rabbit! I make no apologies for how girly this really is; I have always, always wanted one.
Spring is an excellent time to Spring Clean your life and renew your passions. If your idea needs a boost of inspiration, why not take part in Kick Start Your Venture led by Corrina Gordon-Barnes in Cambridge this April? Pamper yourself, give yourself and your ideas the time you need.
5 TIPS for Renewal, Rebirth, Reinvention
1. Spring Cleaning is not just about your physical space, it's a holisitic process. Declutter your space, your work, your life of outdated baggage. Sweep your house from top to bottom, and pay special attention to where you work - whether at home or in your own office or studio. Space-clearing is a powerful process.
2. Recycle. Hold a clothes-swap with friends. I'm only just returning clothes swapped with a girlfriend two years ago! Customise clothes rather than just sling them. Remember charity shops can't always take old garmets and often send them to landfill. E Bay can be worth the effort and make you a tidy little windfall. Why not set up your own little online boutique? Hold a bookswap?
3. Reconnect with your core values, your ideas. Make a list of 10 words that crystallise your core values in life. These are the values that shape your work, your daily life. How true to them are you being?
4. Revisualise what you hold dear. Cut out images that illustrate these values, paint or draw them; bling them up with glitter! This is also a powerful branding exercise and works well with a whole dream book full of vibrant images that represent your projects and work. Put the vision-map somewhere you can see it every day. Add to it! Have fun with it!
5. Release your fears. Take a leap. Go somewhere you have never been before. Stretch yourself. Embrace change. Do something brilliant!
As the financial year re-starts and we approach Easter, what regeneration can you bring into your projects? How can you Spring Clean your work and your goals? What can you choose to let go of, that is no longer helpful? Take the time out this weekend to consider who you really, truly want to be. And rest.
We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old. This seems to be close to the heart of that mystery. I know no more now than I ever did about the far side of death as the last letting-go of all, but now I know that I do not need to know, and that I do not need to be afraid of not knowing. Frederick Buechner