My partner and I are lucky enough to have our own 2.5kW wind turbine feeding our household electricity supply. It stands there, just 6 metres tall but still magnificent, moving with the wind and providing us with the power to run our computers, heat our water, cook our food. When it produces more than we need, the surplus goes into the national electricity grid; when it produces less than we need, we get the extra we need back from the grid. Since it was set up four years ago, we need do nothing but watch it twirling. It’s a passive system.
Passion and energy
The word ‘passive’ has the same root as the word ‘passion’ – they both come from the Latin verb ‘passio’, meaning to suffer, to allow or to undergo. Passion is something we undergo, something that happens to us, just as the wind happens to the turbine. Also like the wind on the turbine, our passion, when it happens in and to us, can provide us with energy, but we need to use it, to harness it.
When we have power cuts, usually because high winds have caused trees to fall on electric cables some miles up the line from us, our connection to our wind turbine is severed. It is one of the most frustrating experiences I have had, watching our wind turbine spinning around at high speed, producing the equivalent of three times our day’s electricity needs, and none of it reaching us.
Getting cut off from our passions
This is what it’s like when we’re cut off from our passion, when we feel ashamed of it, or embarrassed to show it in public, or when we just forget about it. This might be because we’ve been told from an early age that we can’t make our passion central to our lives or ruin will follow, or because we’ve shared our passion with someone who matters to us and they’ve ridiculed it. It might be because our passion is so close to our hearts, or so big, that it feels too scary and risky to fully connect with it, to allow it to power our lives. It might be that our passion just gets buried under our everyday work and worries, so that it seems a million miles away.
When we’re cut off from our passion, it’s still there, it’s still spinning away – like that wind turbine – but we can’t access that amazing source of energy. Sometimes, we’ve been cut off from our passion so effectively and for so long that the parts of us that are fed by it have shrivelled. Sometimes we’ve been cut off from our passions so effectively and for so long, we don’t even know what those passions are.
Do you know what you’re passionate about? Can you feel the potential of that energy, lying within you?
I’m passionate about people finding their spiritual path, the practice and community that allows them to feel their place in the Universe, at home in their lives and aligned in their actions. It fills me with joy when I meet someone who has found this, and with awe when I’m able to help someone on their way.
I’m passionate about honouring, including and knowing myself as part of the more-than-human*, all-species tribe* of all beings, whether human, animal, vegetable, mineral, spiritual or elemental. Remembering this life-wide connection and relationship grounds and settles some deep part of me.
I’m passionate about the magic that happens when people come together in love, and consciously dedicate themselves to each another, to their deepest common purpose, and to supporting one another through thick and thin. Every wedding ceremony, every ceremony to accompany a civil partnership, every hand-fasting I’ve conducted has been a sacred monument to joining.
What are you passionate about? How can you allow your passion to energise you? Let’s talk about it.
* I first came across both of these phrases in the work of David Abram.