Being Who You Are

Being Who you Are — an introduction to living out your passion or vocation

In This Moment

I decided to answer some client requests with a short e‑book in pdf format. Below, the first part, more next week. Also, soming in December, excerpts from my new book, The. Best. Relationship. Ever.

bwing who you are
Several clients have asked me to help them discover their passion. I decided to write a booklet! This week and next, the first 2 chapters. Next week, a link to the downloadable pdf — for FREE

Intro to the Theme

Many of my clients have reached a really fun part in their process or self-awareness. Once they see that all “issues” can be reduced to this: they are repeating behaviours and thoughts that get them lousy results — the conclusion is obvious.

Though diligence, I can shift my thinking and my behaviour, and get different results.

Once the games, evasions, and “blocking” go background, there’s a new-found sense of freedom.

It’s both physical and mental.

  • Physically, the body loosens. This is felt as a rush of energy or as an increase in flexibility. In Chinese thought, there is more Qi available, as blockages let go.
  • Mentally, there is a lessening of obsession. Replacing this is the relief that comes from less rigid patterns of thought and action. Clients discover, through self-awareness, that any belief can be shifted, through gentle noticing, acceptance, and implementing more elegant responses.

How we get stuck.

In our culture, having “issues” is a major source of stuckness. As we recycle the same story and behaviour, life itself seems to shrink””to become limited.

We may only be dimly aware of how much energy and effort it takes to stay stuck. I see it in tight, rigid bodies, and tight, rigid beliefs. As Bodywork and dialogue “loosen things up,” you suddenly aren’t maintaining a rigid structure and belief system.

Our thoughts, formerly mired in gloom and doom, are freed from patterned thinking. We become freed to explore “dancing with life.” In Bodywork, the shift is to more pleasure, less pain. Fluidity, flow.

The key here is this. The first and most difficult level of this work is to recognize that we are stuck. Then, we shift behaviour and thinking. Interestingly, this is the place where many stop!

The next level is “what comes next.”

Clients that stick around find themselves asking, “Now what?” They’re asking, really, about passion, vocation, and simple being.

When you think about it, our upbringing and education is all about learning skills necessary to

  • fit in, and
  • be a productive member of society.

A lifetime (or even 10 years) of this, as an adult, is deadening.


Or, conversely, think of people who appear to be living with passion. Often, the “expression of the passion” is artistic””writing, dance, photography, painting, acting. But interestingly, once you know what to look for, you’ll start tripping over passionate plumbers, accountants, teachers, and tour guides.

The difference? It’s heard in the excitement in their voices, the bounce and wiggle in their step, and the intense focus in their eyes.

Let me just slide this in. In order to by truly passionate, or to truly live a vocation, you have to have done the first steps mentioned above. If you haven’t cleared out the dysfunctional thinking and behaviour, if you haven’t “let go” of your tightness, engaging in your passion becomes an escape, not the ultimate freedom.

About Passion, vocation, and simple living

Passion and vocation are cousins. They are not the same, and you can have one without the other. They have the following things in common:
1) a fire in the belly (FIRE)
2) a clarity of focus and intent (AIR)
3) a flowing mastery (WATER)
4) a groundedness based in self-knowing (EARTH)
5) a tenacity and steely resolve (METAL)

These are the 5 elements of Chinese thought.

Vocation, additionally, contains a sense of “calling.” It’s who the person “is,” 247.

The word “vocation” originally was limited to “the Religious.” For them, this vocational calling was often to the “priesthood.” The word calling demands a “caller,” often identified as god.

A “Ministerial example”

I certainly relate to this, as I remember at 3 or so declaring that I was going to be a Minister. I remember a much more direct “call” at age 17 (complete with a 20 foot tall Jesus, another story altogether”¦) and a full body, felt sense when I was ordained.

Once I landed in the Ministry, I pretty quickly realized that the “call” or pull was coming from me, and it was not “to be a Minister” It was to live a life of service.

Vocation is a “pull,” whereas passion is a “push.”

  • Vocation is “of the heart,” and passion is “of the belly.”
  • Vocation seems serious, and passion seems playful and intense.
  • Vocation is a 247 focus, and passion might be described as an avocation.

Example: I knew a guy who was a banker by day, and who was a Square Dance Caller “by night.” He was quite successful at the bank, but it was clearly his “day job,” not his vocation. It paid the bills, so he could live out his passion in his spare time””his eyes glowed as he did anything that had to do with Square Dancing.

And lastly, simple living

This is the Zen piece. The reason we are able to identify passion and vocation is that there is a different “feel” to them””a resonance, a charge, a quite tangible physical response to “enacting them.”

With simple living, it is the act of living itself that is the “turn on,” as in being awake, in touch, in tune, present. This way of being steps away from the element of more””more exciting, more stimulating, more interesting. It steps away because everything that one chooses to do is raised, or allowed to be, equally exciting.

Being fully present is like this

I’d like to suggest that you keep this idea in the back of your mind as we go along. Imagine walking along, and turning a corner, and you see the sun through autumn leaves. As your breath catches, you fall into a full-bodied moment of presence””a wave of energy that stops the mind chatter.

This is what passion / vocation feels like.

Now, many who live their passion feel passion regarding the thing they are passionate about, and “normal” about everything else.

We’d just like you to imagine living a life where focussed presence is reserved for… absolutely everything!

Make Contact!

So, how does this week’s article sit with you? What questions do you have? Leave a comment or question!

About the Author: Wayne C. Allen is the web\‘s Simple Zen Guy. Wayne was a Private Practice Counsellor in Ontario until June of 2013. Wayne is the author of five books, the latest being The. Best. Relationship. Ever. See: –The Phoenix Centre Press

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