Last week, I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the feelings associated with depression.
I've had a couple of periods in my life where I've experienced extended periods of feeling low. I think most people have, and I went to see a therapist about mine years ago before I became serious about making jewelry. I felt like I needed some professional help dealing with a particularly difficult passage in my life, and am so grateful I did.
My friend asked me what I did to overcome my feelings associated with the different levels of depression, and the conversation prompted me to think about what I could share regarding what worked for me to get to the other side of those every day feelings that prevented me from living life as fully as possible.
As I sit here writing this, there are three things that jump out at me that helped me more than anything, and all three were up to me to ultimately figure out how to implement in my life.
Passion, purpose and sharing what I learned with other people were instrumental for me at that time, and continue to be.
Passion led me to what I discovered to be my purpose, and sharing what I learn about myself on a spiritual level with other people helps me to feel fulfilled, valuable and happy.
I really lucked out when I made my first appointment with my therapist, because I felt like I had an instant connection with her as soon as we began discussing my issues.
One issue that I had trouble with that she was able to help me immediately with was regarding my passion.
I love that quote by Oprah about passion and energy, and how passion gives you energy. I know it does for me.
Living your life without engaging in something you are passionate about drains your inner energy battery in tiny, incremental ways.
I felt like something was missing from my life for years...and after a long time, I was just drained emotionally. I was short tempered, tended to look at the negatives in life, and got physically sick a lot.
When a car's battery is low...it doesn't want to go and the lights get dimmer and dimmer.
My therapist told me to watch what I did with my time when I didn't have to do anything, and to follow that spark or passion on a daily basis as far as I could.
So I did.
There was one thing that I enjoyed doing when my have-to-do's were done, and that was beading. I never in a million years thought that my hobby would be the key to my overall well-being that it turned out to ultimately be.
With my therapist's gentle help, I began excavating my childhood for clues about what I used to be passionate about. Before I had to worry about feeding and clothing myself...when I had time to just explore and discover what I fell in love with.
I was passionate about telephone wire and making things with it to give away to others. I loved to hang out with my friends, using our imagination to build things and I loved art in all forms.
I was a heavy reader and writer too...I loved to learn what others thought about life and expression. Reading a book is reading someone else's mind. As a kid, this was super cool.
I loved journals and writing. I kept a journal as a teenager and young adult, and it helped me figure out what I thought about the experiences I had while growing up.
None of my interests had changed, I just wasn't actively involved with them anymore.
My passions eventually led me to my purpose.
When I started down this road of self discovery, I had no idea how it would turn out.
And that is ok.
You don't have to have your whole life mapped out. Once you start acknowledging and working with what makes your own lights turn on...your life expands in ways often unimaginable at the time.
I didn't know that I would eventually be writing tutorials for other people to follow to make their own jewelry out of metal and wire.
I didn't know that I would meet people that would become lifelong friends that were interested in using their imagination too...to make art jewelry, to paint beautiful paintings, take breathtaking photographs or write stories that would touch me in surprising ways.
That would open my heart up and allow me to expand in ways unimaginable at the time.
Passion isn't just for the bedroom when you grow up.
Why do so many of us leave our personal passions back in our childhood, forgetting that all that energy that children naturally have comes from passion.
Danielle LaPorte has written a book that is a great tool for discovering what your own desires are for the life you want to live. Desire Mapping is my go-to for inner excavation regarding what I am most passionate about, what I currently desire and where I want to take my life.
I truly believe that your passions will lead you to your purpose, and to a more fulfilled way of being in the world.
I am so grateful for the help I received from my therapist that led me back to myself, to my passions and for helping me find my purpose.