I think this is a fabulous question but I don't think I've ever asked anybody this question before. It's something I've always found out from my friends in the process of getting to know them. I think that if you ask someone you don't really know this question, it will really give you an invaluble insight to them; the way they think, the way they act, the way they relate to people and their general outlook on life. It can be asked as a general question, but can also be asked in so many different scopes like 'what music makes you come alive?', or 'what novels...', 'what programmes...', 'what activities...' etc. For me, to know this is to know the very essence of a person and understand how they're wired away from the things that society and culture sculps them into being. In other words, the things we are dictated to do to get by in life and to live peacably with those around us such as working hard for a promotion, looking for work, common curtosies, etc.
The funny thing is, although we all have very different passions and loves they are all ultimately sourced from the desire for both acceptance and freedom. Acceptence; the need to belong somewhere. If meeting new people makes you come alive, you will do whats natural and be around people. If dancing makes you come alive, you'll natuarlly want to make time to go to clubs or dance nights where you can share the love of dancing with others (few people want to dance on an empty dance floor!). In life there is almost always someone or some group of people who share our passions and we very often flock over to these people; our acceptence.
But of course not all things that make us come alive can necessarily be shared by others which would ultimately mean we find our acceptance in them rather than with the people that share them. So singing may be what makes some of us come alive regardless of whether or not we can actually sing, so we find comfort and acceptance away from others in singing in the shower or while cleaning etc.
At the same time, these things often beg the yearning of our hearts for freedom. How great does it feel to be lost in a good book after a hard days work? Or dance with reckless abandon on the dance floor after a stressful week?
Another funny thing about this question is it implies that when we are not doing the things that make us come alive, we are not alive. Society demands so much from us that this is quite probable. So how can we set it up so that we are 'alive' all the time? Is this even possible? Would being alive all the time create an imbalance in life? In my opinion I would say no to the second question and both yes and no to the third. Firstly, circumstance often dictates our emotion and drive in life so in this case it isn't possible to be alive all the time. We often seperate our passions from the painful realities and practicalities of life. So for example, if you know you have a deadline to meet for work in 24 hours and you've barely reached halfway, it would be foolish to go out with friends or take a trip somewhere. Even if you did you would suffer the concequences and then learn from them, knowing that next time you'll seperate the two. Or if you've lost someone very close to you or split from a longterm partner, you'll be very reluctant to have fun or live your passion all the time.
Secondly and most importantly I believe we have to learn to translate our passions into every aspect of our lives be it work or leisure, rough circumstance or good. In this way we don't treat life as merely a game, but we see the things that we are passionate about being played out in our work life and our home life. But how can we translate it? Is it a direct translation? I don't believe so. In order to do this I believe it must come from the source of our passion; acceptence and freedom. In my next blog all will talk a little about the things that make me come alive and the generic need for acceptence and freedom in us all.
But for now I'll sign off and say toodles to you all