Recently at a professional book club meeting, the topic of passion came up. One of the questions was what are you passionate about personally? The question kind of took me by surprise because I had always related passion to work. When you are growing up and planning your future, you always hear the advice “Find something you are passionate about and then figure out how to make a job out of it.” For me, teaching is definitely one of my passions. And just recently I’ve recognized some things that have driven my level of passion with teaching sky-high (another blog post on that coming soon!) But when I was asked “What are you passionate about in your personal life?” I was really taken aback – what am I passionate about?
Of course, the most natural of answers came to me right away – I’m passionate about my family, about spending time with loved ones, and making sure they are taken care of. But is that really a passion? Sure, I care immensely about my family, but what interests do I have that excite me, inspire me, light a fire within me on a daily basis?
My colleague suggested my love for the Toronto Blue Jays. I am definitely a huge fan. I watch games religiously on television, attend as many games as I can throughout the summer, and proudly wear my Jays gear whenever given the opportunity. I can name all the players, know what position they play, and know the basic stats. But I don’t live for the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s an interest but it doesn’t create a burning desire inside of me. Watching the Jays doesn’t inspire me, it’s more just like a really enjoyable passtime.
So what is my passion? I started to think about things I am good at and enjoy doing. I know, I thought, my passion is writing! It’s true I’ve had many fantasies about making a living as a writer – spending my days in a quiet room, alone, sipping flavoured coffee, and lighting my keyboard on fire as thoughts and ideas come flowing out of me and onto the screen. I do feel I express myself best in writing. I do get great satisfaction from writing blog posts and putting my ideas into words. But is it my passion?
I started thinking of a passion as that one thing you can’t stop thinking about. It permeates your life every single day. It makes you feel excited, inspired, thoughtful… but sometimes overwhelmed, confused, and scared. Then it hit me! I think I know what my passion is…..
Health and Wellness!
For years, I have been interested in health and wellness. For the most part, I have been interested in health as it relates to weight-loss. The story of my adult life is that I am consistently trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss. I am constantly seeking out the right plan to follow that will help me to look and feel great. But more recently, the idea of health and wellness has evolves into something different. Yes, I still want (and need) to lose weight. But more importantly, I have recently become more interested in simply making myself healthy.
This has stemmed predominantly from my diagnosis a few years ago with ulcerative colitis. I consider myself lucky in the fact that my colitis is fairly mild compared to some others. Most of my symptoms include bloating, a lot of foul-smelling gas, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation. At it’s worst, I’ve also experience severe abdominal pain that has landed me in the emergency room. I’ve also experienced severe urgency that has disrupted my workdays and interfered with social activities.
What I didn’t realize until recently though, was that some of the other symptoms I’ve been having could be directly related to the inflammation in my gut. I’ve had excema, skin problems, achy joints, headaches, extreme fatigue, and mood swings. These things are all symptoms of inflammation (mind blown!)
My most latest motivation to get back on the “healthy eating/exercise bandwagon” has been not only to lose weight, but to heal my gut and to feel better overall. I am tired of being tired. I am fed up with the mood swings (irritability, crankiness, anger, sadness). I want to feel energized, positive, and happy – every day, all of the time!
This has inspired me to start a kind of “new” health journey. In order not to overwhelm myself (which can happen so easily), I have decided to focus on nutrition and making better food choices, not only for weight loss, but also as a means to heal my body from the inside out. I am slowly starting to learn about whole foods, natural ingredients, eliminating sugar, processed foods, wheat, and dairy, eating more plant-based foods, and feeding my body so that I can feel energetic, vibrant, and strong rather than bloated, tired, and irritable!
I have chosen nutrition because there are SO many areas of health and wellness that if I jump into too much of it, I will totally overwhelm myself and may give up altogether. But that’s not to say I am not dabbling and looking into other areas of health and wellness (mindfulness, meditation, exercise, to name a few). I am so enthusiastic about this topic that it’s actually kind of hard to rein myself in but I do have to remember that it’s a HUGE learning process. Lord knows, I have a LOT to learn. But the most important part is, I am not only open and willing to educating myself, I am so excited to do it! I have this strong natural urge, this passion burning inside of me that wants to know all I can about how to live the best life I can!
Whether it’s articles, videos, books, websites, social media pages, internet sources, or people… if it has to do with health and wellness I am interested! Here are just some of the topics that have grabbed my attention, that I’ve experimented with, researched, read about, or thought about so you can get the idea of how interested I really am!
Nutrition – gluten-free, elimination diets, anti-dairy, the wheat belly diet, holistic approaches, Weight Watchers, eliminating sugar, processed foods, 21 Day Fix (Beachbody), Shakeology, supplements, anti-inflammatory foods, recipes, plant-based foods, whole foods, Paleo diet…..
Fitness – going to the gym, walking, running, yoga, 21 Day Fix, home workouts, Tai Chi, pilates, weight lifting, heavy lifting, CrossFit, Pure Barre, ballet, dance, hiking, paddling, skiing, baseball, soccer….
Spiritual/Mental Wellness – mental health illnesses/conditions, mindfulness, mindful vs. Mind full, coping with stress, anxiety, depression, yoga, meditation, self-care routines, prayer, journaling, grounding techniques, therapy/counselling…
Wellness – natural self-care products, natural cleaning products, environmental factors, essential oils, sleep, balance, self-care, time spent in nature, self-help books, self improvement, positive thinking, mindset
No matter what it is whenever one of these topics comes up, I find myself wanting to know more. I ask questions, I think, I reflect, I analyze, I read, I consider… and most of all, I get so excited and so emotional! If that doesn’t describe a person passion, I am not sure what does!