When I was younger I used to have posters of Rocky Balboa on my wall. I not only fell in love with the movie but also the love story between him and Adrian.
I certainly wasn’t the only admirer as the film generated into six sequels. Looking back perhaps this was some of my earliest experiences with passion which is described as an uncontrollable feeling for someone or something.
No doubt Rocky’s passion for fighting, winning and his family were captivating. One might say he had an uncontrollable urge to get back up when he was knocked down. This brings me to the second part about passion it can also be associated with suffering. Those of us who have opened our hearts and have gotten hurt know exactly what I am talking about. What once felt like love and passion gets transformed into heartache and emotional scarring.
It is almost as if there are two sides of passion a light side and a dark side.
The lighter side motivates us to take a stand or action for what we believe in while the heavier darker side fixates us to suffering. As a result we may become stuck in our woes, closing off our heart to protect it further damage.
Passion can either run off wants or desires. When it runs off wants it sounds like, I want to be happy, I want a relationship or I want to fall in love. When we want something very often we have trained ourselves (unconsciously) to believe we don’t have it.
The Latin meaning of desire offers us a new viewpoint. Desire means “of the father” meaning we already have what it is we are craving. In other words, my love for Rocky was illustrating the passion which already existed within me.
So this means there is hope for those of us who believe the love ship has already set sail. We don’t have to get our passion fix just from watching old movies. What we can do is tap into our desires.
In order to do this, we must be willing to embark on a journey of feeling. Most of us have been taught to push (e.g. complaining) or shove away (ignoring) our emotions. It turns out these types of behaviors suppress love. This inevitably makes it more challenging for us to attract, magnify and ignite the passion love can offer.
The good news is, increasing feeling (igniting passion) is simpler than we may think. To do this we must understand there is a difference between reacting to (thinking) and experiencing our feelings.
Feelings are a form of sensation in our body. Sensations are made up of energy. Passion when experienced by the lighter side gives us the ability to be motivated from compassion and love. The heavier side without awareness can numb our sensations increasing fear and anxiety.
To ignite our passion we must get clear about which side we are leaning, the lighter side of passion (love and compassion) or the heavier (fearful) side. To lift our energy so that we are able to experience the lighter more fulfilling side of passion we can give ourselves permission to feel our emotions. As we experience our feelings from beginning, middle, to end our energy lifts which when practiced over time strengthens passion.
One of the ways we can do this is to sit for a few minutes a day and focus on our breath. Observe ourselves inhaling (inflating our abdominals) and observe ourselves (with non-judgment) exhaling (tugging our navel in toward our spine). Doing this for 3-5 breaths at the beginning and end of the day is similar to replacing the bulbs in a burnt out chandelier. As our energy increases our inner bulbs (passion) reignite.
To this day, I still love to watch Rocky. The movie truly brings to light the two sides of passion. Rocky’s physical and emotional turmoil (heavy side) and strong desire to overcome life’s challenges (lighter side) is a true reflection of the passion which exists inside each and every one of us.