I woke up in the middle of the night, breathing heavily. My long hair stuck to my shoulders and back; my face was covered with tiny drops of sweat; I turned and lay down on my back, trying to calm down my breath. It was hot in the room; even an open window and a little ceiling fan didn’t help to cool down the temperature. It was my eight’s year living in Cancun. I should have gotten used to this tropical heat, extreme humidity, and my body’s inability to tolerate an air conditioner, but I didn’t. I was lying and staring at the dark, pink sheets crumpled in the left corner of my queen size bed. Thoughts were rushing into my mind, and I was trying to understand if it was a nightmare that woke me up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember and instead concentrated on a confusing feeling of uneasiness.
I put my hands on my belly and started inhaling and exhaling deeply, trying to relax. After a while, this breathing exercise brought me a soothing feeling of clarity.
“I want to write,” – I mumbled. “I can’t even think of anything else.” I felt a physical need to open a laptop and type all the thoughts ready to burst out of my head. Those were the ones that woke me up. They wanted to be understood, conceptualized, and imprinted.
A week after the Global Pandemic was announced, I started writing and was utterly engaged in this creative process for three months. Every day I spent five-six hours doing that, and at the end of May 2020, I had two hundred thirty pages in my memoir. It wasn’t about passion for life but how to find it when you don’t know where to look.
That day, at 3.34 AM, after I calmed down my breath, I knew I wanted to write. It felt like some instinct had awakened in me, and the words were given to me by some invisible source. Was it magic? As much as I love the concept of magic and “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite books, what I experienced can be better described as a reemerging passion for writing.
That early morning, the chapter I wrote was about love and my dear friend Alma Gonzalez who taught me how to say the words “Te Quiero” (in English, “I love you”) with grace and sincerity. Alma is a life coach with a beautiful spirit; her web project is called “Ama tu cuerpo con Alma.”
Love and passion are in the same group of feelings, so it doesn’t surprise me that I remembered this chapter while writing the article. You can read it following the following link, “Love is for everyone” (Spanish version “Tu tienes amor para todos”).
Do you have a passion for life?
Some dictionaries explain passion as a strong feeling of excitement for something or doing something. I understand passion for life as a concept described with simple words: I WANT and I WILL (to experience, to learn, to expand my own consciousness, to live through).
In everyday life, we use the word “I want” to explain our basic needs and desires. That’s when we say: “I want a cappuccino,” “I want a vanilla ice cream with Oreo,” “I want to watch Netflix,” “I want orange juice,” “I want to see what’s new on my Instagram” In a context of a passion for life we need to extend and elevate the meaning of “I want.”
My passion for life keeps growing every time I extend my list of “I want….” As of this date, it includes things like:
- visit all seven continents
- go on a Safari tour
- organize an exhibition to show my photography art
- wear a Dior dress (I love the story of the founder Christian Dior and his timeless, classy and elegant designs)
- do a TED talk
- have my photo studio
- visit as many museums in the world as possible
It will be a big challenge to make all that happen, and that’s part of my passion for life. And such graceful challenges leave a delicious aftertaste once you set on a journey to make them happen.
My first deliberate passion for life was my desire to become a photographer, and I started learning every aspect of photo art. In 2007 I admitted to myself that I wanted to be a photographer. That was the beginning of my journey that later became the foundation of my blog “Fine Art Lifestyle.”
The next period of my life filled with special passion was in 2013 when I discovered that “I want” to travel alone. I trusted that passion, allowed it to guide me, and in return, made the impossible possible in eight months. I went half-across the world with a one-way ticket, one suitcase, and a backpack to a country where I didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language. I describe this adventure in the article “How traveling solo with a one-way ticket changed my life?”
Passion for life has an individual character and goes hand in hand with the words “interest” and “curiosity.” It’s when you explore and ask questions about topics outside the comfort zone of your work and habitual hobbies.
- trying some new cuisine or adding healthy snacks to the everyday diet
- finding a new route to the office
- adding some bright colors to the wardrobe
- listening to a new music
- taking cooking classes
Did you try something new recently? Share your experience in the comments section; I would love to hear from you.
Passion for life can manifest in simple, everyday actions. For example, when you walk along a street and notice fancy stores and some cute details that add character to the overall image of the place. The first time I walked around Avalon, located in Alpharetta Georgia’s downtown, I noticed a little squirrel peeking into the window of an Orvis store. At first, I thought it was alive, but coming closer, I realized it was a decorative statue.
Later on, I found out that there are several others squirrels statues randomly spread around Avalon. The mere process of discovering these squirrels infused me with joy and curiosity: “Why are they here? Who is the artist who made them? How did they come up with the idea? Where did they make it (home or studio)? How long did it take to produce them?”
There are many things to do in Avalon Alpharetta, most of which require spending money. However, just walking around, paying attention to little details, and wondering about the story behind them doesn’t cost money. The only investment is time and attention. Feeling enthusiastic after will be your personal ROI. It’s not what investors expect, but it might energize your mind and spirit, thus attracting a creative influx in your life. And that is a necessary element in the overall success in life and business, which research has proven.
In general, observing and making Art offers so much to be curious and ponder about, and I’ll discuss it in the other article.
Every passion starts with a flirt and a romance.
Now I know that I have passion for life, but it wasn’t always like this. The journey of finding it was full of ups and downs.
When I was a teenager (it was in the late 1990s), I believed that having different interests and hobbies was a sign of indecisiveness and would not help me in the future. One such was writing. I enjoyed it, but I never thought of becoming a writer or a blogger (it was long before the global expansion of the Internet). I also loved theatre and took several classes at a local Art school. At the age of 17, I became interested in the history and Art of Egypt, and for several months was going to a local library to read books about it. When my grandmother presented me with an Olympus camera on my 15th Birthday, I was super excited. Since then, I have always saved some pocket money to be able later to buy a roll of film. I enjoyed taking my camera everywhere I went and occasionally taking photos.
My parents were focused on their jobs, trying to make ends meet, and explained that I needed to get an education in something more stable like marketing, management, or foreign languages. I was never friends with mathematics, so getting a degree in economics was not an option for me. In 2005 I graduated from the Saint Petersburg University of Culture and Art with a Master’s Degree in Art.
In my early 40s, I understood it was absolutely fine to try different hobbies and activities early in life because it was one of the best ways to find out what I liked. I know it was normal behavior for a young human who was starting her life and trying to figure out what she enjoyed doing.
Flirting with life – trying out different creative activities as a way of finding a special one. That later can transform into a Romance (something more profound than flirt) and eventually into a Passion for life.
Aesthetics, Art, style, traveling, writing, and photography are my greatest passions. And all that started with a flirt. I learned to trust myself and follow my curiosity, like the main heroine in the book “Alice in Wonderland,” who followed the White Rabbit and had a fantastic adventure. I love being curious; it fuels my passion for life.
How to find a passion for life?
I found my passion for life by exploring life’s colorful palette of possibilities and expanding my own set of skills necessary to achieve my goals.
In 2013, when I arrived in Cancun, I didn’t know anything about WordPress and SEO optimization. Step-by-step, I learned how to build a website by doing it; trials-errors-wins were my way of expanding my set of skills. Later, my international website became a platform for my growing photography business in Cancun.
Passion for life is also a process of discovering what you like and later enjoying it. It’s less about complaining and more about encouraging; it’s not about looking for shortcuts but rather about unfolding your potential by inventing every next step on your way.
I am passionate about writing articles for my Fine Art Lifestyle blog and photography website. And I do that because playing with my imagination in search of the right words excites me and gives me a sense of fulfillment and balance. It’s nice to scroll through my published articles, but I admit that my passion for writing comes first. Sometimes it takes hours to finish one paragraph, and other days minutes. But those moments of creative struggle make the whole process more delicious.
So, how to find a passion for life? The short answer is to be more curious, ask more questions, try new experiences and trust yourself in that process.
Have you ever thought of learning a new language? Just for fun and not for any other reason. There are 7100 languages worldwide, so many of which are easy to learn and pleasant to listen to. Let’s take the phrase “have a romance with life” as an example and translate it into different languages:
Spanish – “tener un romance con la vida ”
Italian – “avere una storia d’amore con la vita”
French – “avoir une romance avec la vie”
Czech – “mít románek se životem”
German – “habe eine Romanze mit dem Leben”
Japanese “人生とのロマンスを持っています” (Jinsei to no romansu o motte imasu) Okey! I know it looks and sounds different, but maybe it can help you bring passion to life. “Details matter!” and sometimes the answer is in the least expected place and/or experience.
If you feel stuck and are looking for a passion for life, I would highly recommend reading a book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Finding flow. The psychology of engagement with everyday life”. I found it very helpful when rebuilding my passion for life after my second divorce during a Pandemic.
Enjoy the little things, and may the creative vibes surround you always!