Nurturing a mountain

Bear Butte Mountain - Southern View

A view of Bear Butte from the south. It gets its name from its resemblance to the form of a slumbering bear.

In early July, I visited my Mom and step-dad in South Dakota, where they spent this summer volunteering at Bear Butte State Park. Bear Butte and its staff left quite an impression on me.

As someone who has been pondering passion – how to find, follow, live, and sustain it – I came away from Bear Butte with the understanding that following a passion and sustaining it is difficult, sweaty, hard physical work mixed in with a lot of emotional labor. Most importantly, the staff at Bear Butte are not the ones calling what they do “following their passion,” or pontificating about whether or not they’re living the passionate life, whether or not they’ve found the thing they’re on this earth to do. More often than not, there are people out there, like the staff at Bear Butte State park, just doing the hard work under less than optimal circumstances, because the works needs to be done. Continue reading

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Passion: hype, annoying, or…it’s complicated?

There are people who are so sick of the word “passion” that they shudder visibly when they hear or read about it. It’s trite. It’s overused. It’s hype. In my earlier post, The Passionistas vs the Passion Skeptics, I revealed a little of what the Passion Skeptics are writing about. They don’t want you to face “the grand betrayal of the false idols of passion.” Stop being so self-absorbed. It’s not about you. Focus on the world’s needs. You have to suppress yourself to get ahead. Get in line with reality.

RESPOND TO FALSE IDOLS

Passionistas send a not so subtle message.
CC: RESPOND TO FALSE IDOLS by andeecollard, on Flickr

I believe people are unhappy with the word because it’s too simple to explain the complexity behind it. Passion is overused. Passion will break your heart. Passion will lead you down a broken path. We can’t stand to watch people getting played by over-simplistic romanticism and tear-off calendar truths. We get frustrated and blame the language. Continue reading

The Passionistas vs the Passion Skeptics

Passion

Passion by neil conway, on Flickr

A year ago, I began exploring the topic of passion. A good friend of mine was frustrated. He was looking for something….more…something not quite nameable. As we explored the topic, we decided he was looking for his passion – that elusive thing that makes you excited to get up in the morning. Work, and by consequence life (since we spend so many waking hours at work) had become dull, unchallenging, gray.

One day, after chewing over the many conversations we had on this topic, I asked him, “How many of your friends are looking for their passion?

Almost everyone,” he replied, without hesitation. “Why?

Continue reading

Vienna Waits For You

Sometimes, someone comes at us with something we can’t really understand. There’s a word or concept that’s new to our vernacular. There are a number of possible responses. Maybe we cast a furrowed, skeptical brow in their direction. Maybe we nod, as if we want to seem knowledgeable, when we really have no idea. Maybe we take it on board, like tapping our feet to the rhythm of a song to which we don’t know how to dance. Maybe we even recite it back, like poetry whose meaning escapes us, but we like the sound of the words. Perhaps we discount or ignore it, even if it perks our interest just a bit. We’re busy, so what’s your point?

"Does Not Work"

Does Not Work by CarbonNYC, on Flickr

Eventually, we’ll hear it again. Continue reading