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Let Your Passion Howl

“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping…waiting…and though unwanted…unbidden…it will stir…open its jaws and howl.” – Joss Whedon (American Screenwriter, Producer)

Marianne, one of my lifelong friends, grew up with a mother who hated her job. It was a good job from the outside. Good pay, intellectually stimulating, and of service to the world.

Did I mention her mother hated this job?

I didn’t know this straight off. I was only 9 when I first met her. But Marianne knew this, lived this, even then. Years later, it became even more evident, and at times likely permeated their home.

Then about 10 years ago, her mom switched careers in a big way. She left the healthcare world for the retail and consumer world. And it was as if a light switch was flipped, a fire ignited, and the light that was always inside her shone through to everyone.

Her energy, tone of voice, posture, and outlook were visibly different.

She was awake.

She had passion for this new life. And it was not just about the new job. So much of it was about deciding she was worth the risk to leave the safe but unhappy place. She knew there was more. She knew she was more.

This new and passionate persona has continued ever since. She even walked her first marathon. Marianne and her husband flew out and surprised her for this occasion. There may have even been howling.


When I read Joss Whedon’s quote on passion I thought of Marianne’s mom.

Although a bit raw in its description, this quote made me feel. And that’s why it is perfect.

Because passion is mostly about what makes some primal part of us say, “YES!”

It is the energy behind our favorite accomplishments.

There’s a lot of talk about ‘finding your passion.’ As if it is out there somewhere at the summit of our existence. As if only those with an excess of time and money have the resources to discover their passion while the rest of us live in reality and go to our ‘real jobs’ everyday.

Instead, what if it’s inside of each of us, relatively dormant until we decide to let it rise to the surface, boil, and let off steam? What if it’s really about choosing to live from a place of passion rather than assuming we are stuck with the circumstances we’ve always had?


How to recognize passion in your life:

  • When engaging in something you’re passionate about, you may get this feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like a mixture of adrenaline and happiness.
  • The feeling comes up through you. It is usually contagious.
  • Time passes quickly rather than slowly when doing something you’re passionate about.
  • You may wake up more easily and sleep more soundly.
  • Your eyes are alive and sparkly when speaking about your life.
  • You have more energy, better posture and muscle tone (think Tigger versus Eeyore).
  • You’re more creative than usual.
  • Like Marianne’s mom, you feel awake.
  • Even when things are challenging you find you are clearer, centered, and able to cope. As if your very chemistry is different.

What is lying dormant in you?

Let it howl.