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I Do It For Me

This past week started banding season. For the next four months, once a week, I get to sit in a tiny little hut on a stool without a back and stare out a little slot in the wall that never fits exactly to my height. I get to wear 10 layers of clothing and still feel miserable in what feels like 30 degree weather, with a west wind blowing fog at 40 mph into my face so that I and everything around me inside the blind gets sopping wet. Or I get to sit stripped down to very little, with doors cracked to try and capture a non-existent breeze, and bake in 100 degree heat while everything and anything that has even a tiny brain, is tucked away in some nice cool corner taking a siesta.

I get to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, to get there at 6:00 in order to be up on the hill by 7:00, but not be able to leave the hill until 5:30, finally dragging home close to 9:00 and not be able to do anything else except fall into bed. I get to walk up hills that make my knees hurt and my breath come in gasps. I get to run down rocky hills as fast as I can and have the pleasure of falling down and hurting myself. On occasion, I get to pry inch long talons out of my leg or arm or hand or even one time, my face. I also get the delight of having constant poison oak somewhere on my body so that it seems that I am one perpetual four month itch.

And for the eight months that are not the banding season? I dream and long for those four months that are.

Why would anyone subject themselves to such hardship and extremes? I do because I am hooked. Captivated. Obsessed. Addicted. I do it so I can, just for 10 minutes, hold a wild hawk in my hands. I do it for the chance, not even the guarantee, of being able to look into its eyes and see the wild freedom there. I do it so I can smell the wind of far off places on its wings. I do it so I can sit in silence and see to the ends of the earth. I do it so my heart can sing. I do it for me.

I probably have different ideas about passions than other people. I think people refer to what they may be passionate about as being their passion. While the concepts stem from  the same word, to me, they are two completely different kinds of feelings. For example, when I worked as an attorney, I helped disabled people. I loved what I was doing. It was a kind of  law where I could save people’s lives (literally and figuratively) and go home and feel good about myself. It wasn’t fancy. It didn’t make huge amounts of money. It didn’t get me headlines on the evening news. But it did make me feel good and I was passionate about helping people…but my job wasn’t my passion.

I absolutely love my kids. I’d give my life for them in a blink of the eye. I am definitely passionate about my family. But, my family is not my passion.

So, in my mind, people can be passionate about lots of things, but these things may not be their true passion. In fact, I suppose a passionate person could go their entire life without actually having a passion that opens that part of the heart reserved for singing. In banding, I found a passion that grabbed my heart and won’t let go.

Knowing this feeling, my hope is that everyone gets to have at least one passion in their life that is individual to them whether they find it as a child or (like me) later on in life. That they find a passion where they don’t have to be helping someone else or doing for others. That doesn’t have to be public. A heart passion that changes their lives and forever makes them look at the world with different eyes. A passion that makes their heart sing. A passion that they do just for them.

Do you have a passion that makes your heart sing?

Reader Comments (28)

I really enjoyed reading your article here. I personally believe that not all people are living their passion. And not all people have realized their purpose in life. I know I haven't. But I am willing to go a long way to find my way.

Like Nelson Mandela said: There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

I hope I will soon find my passion.

Oh by the way the picture you added to the article seems to be way too big. It loads extremely slow. I would reduce the picture size next time.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulius

Sounds like nirvana to me! It's sad but true, that life itself tends to kill passion. Just the act of survival, day in, day out, drains and wears down everyone. The trick is to realize it is happening and allow that knowledge to renew your appreciation of everything that comes FROM surviving every single day. It's not about just living. It's about being ALIVE. You've embodied that well in this post.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Novak

I so enjoyed this, Candace! I confess it took me more than one reading to start to understand what you were talking about--I started out thinking musical instruments...! (couldn't figure out the picture, either!) I am so intrigued by the unusual passions people find, and I believe these individual passions are what make life--and aging--exciting rather than depressing.

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Stone-Goldman

Julius- I think passions happen almost by accident. If you had asked me 6 years ago I would have said, huh? Mandela had it right. One day you will wake up and it will be there!

Paul- I love your line: "It's not about just living. It's about being ALIVE." That is it exactly!

Judy- You get it too- these passions are what makes life exciting.

Thanks for commenting!

Candace Davenport
Our Little Books

August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

wow, an amazing read! i loved the way you described how intense the four months are only to say that it is exactly what you missed because you're passionate about it! wow, amazing. loved it :)

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersm

Candace!!!! This was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Gosh. Where do I begin to comment??? I feel like I am up there on that mountain top with you.

"I do it for the chance, not even the guarantee, of being able to look into its eyes and see the wild freedom there." This quote from your exquisite blog post was one of the segments that particularly spoke to me. I believe that what you sense in your hawks' eyes is what we as humans have within us that, if we are in tune, will seek to discover throughout our entire life. That freedom, that right to the life that we were born to live, that craving to soar are all just a few of the parallels that I project are our human equivalent to what such a bird embodies. I call it the Call Of The Heart.

"A heart passion that changes their lives and forever makes them look at the world with different eyes. A passion that makes their heart sing. A passion that they do just for them." When those passions are identified, honored, and lived, I believe that such a life then becomes truly a life worth living at the very essence level of a person. Being a Passion Test facilitator (which you know). I am continually in awe of how the power of one's spirit floods through their lives when a person is indeed living their passions... "just for them." And, it is in those moments that a person's Soul Purpose Brilliance brings a person face to face with why they are here in life time and what they were born to do.

Candace, thank you so much for this blog post. You gifted me with an extraordinary experience through your words and heart.


August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSasha Sabbeth

Thanks Sasha- I thought you would like this one since it is right down your alley! Thanks for the kind words.

SM- thanks to you as well. It is nice that people are picking different parts which speak to them.

August 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

Beautiful post - very evocative, I could almost feel myself there. It is a gift to find one's passion and to be able to experience it.

I'm going to share this with a friend who loves hawks.

Be well, Merlyn

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMerlyn Sanchez

Wow, Candace... am in awe that you are able to have this experience! Well, not just experience, but such passion for hawk banding. You are truly fortunate living these exquisite moments within nature.
Passion, is such an interesting topic. I think we all have things we are especially drawn towards, and innate talents, which may, or may not be, passions. Sometimes, I've found, the things we are most passionate about, don't always lie in our inborn gifts. For example, I am very passionate towards tennis. I'm a decent enough player, but I'll never be Venus Williams! And, we all have people in our lives who are passionate about singing, but would certainly never be asked to compete on American Idol.
When your heart is filled with enthusiasm and passion, you are in "the flow", or "the zone", as some folks say... and that's a beautiful place to be!

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Alberti & Atticus

Candace, what a great shot of the hawk. Having grown up in SW MO and SE KS, I always enjoy watching hawks.

A Passion is what I feel in connecting people. I know you said that didn't involve people but my passion is involves people.

Great post.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Cavitt

Thank you for expressing so well what I think we all crave. Passion for something that is just for us...while I haven't found mine yet...I'm on the look out for it and am inspired by your description of how yours makes you feel.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarcie Newton

Passion seems to be a theme with Blogger Monday this week. Doesn't matter what others think, just that you are passionate.

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWeb & SEO tips

I think you are a great writer, Candace, and loved how you made me share your experiences with the hawks -- it must be passion on your part to endure what you describe! I have been passionate about many things in my life, sometimes only for a season; and then there are the ongoing passions I have for my family, for helping others, for my business, for animals, etc. But I don't think I have ever really identified my one personal passion just for me -- your blog has made me think about this, and when I remember myself as a child and what made me "sing", and then zoom in on what still makes me "sing" as an adult when I can find the time for it, it is expressing myself with the written word. And it has to be using a pen or pencil on paper, not sitting in front of a computer -- the experience of pouring out my heart and mind onto paper is all-encompassing for me -- physical, emotional and spiritual, not for others to read, but for me. Thank you for your words that moved me to reconnect with my passion!

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDonna McCord

I've been mulling it over all day as this post really got me thinking (though you weren't selling it to me when I read the first paragraph - LOL). I haven't found an all encompassing passion in my life though I am passionate about many things. I wonder if some people don't have it in them to show as much time and devotion as you do to your passion - it wouldn't move fast enough for me. I love connecting and helping others, hooking them up and facilitating - that's always been a passion of mine and I am excited and loving doing this through blogging etc. I could (and often do) spend all day posting, writing, connecting etc so for now that's my passion.
Maybe it's easier to find and truly focus on your passion as your children grow up - for now everything has to fit in with my girls - would you agree that that might often be the case?

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouise Edington

Louise- I don't think a passion waits patiently until your kids are grown up. I think it grabs you when ever and where ever you are at the time. I think kids can have a passion just as easily as older folks. I don't think you can plan on when it hits you. And I am sure there are many, many people who never get to experience a passion that makes their heart sing.

I think if you have to wait for something to happen before you allow yourself to experience a passion then maybe it really isn't a passion (like I described). Again, I think many people are passionate about many things but may never really experience a heart passion. Of course, this is only my opinion as any blog post is!

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

I see what you are saying and I'm happy for people that find this sort of all encompassing passion. For me that would take focus and time away from my family and I don't want that right now so perhaps I would avoid it? Perhaps my passion for spending time with my family outweighs any other right now and that might change when they are older.

I just find it interesting that there are comments such as 'there are many who never find their passion' . For me, I think my passions change with time, different things make my heart sing at different stages of my life. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Just saying :)

August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouise Edington

Louise- you have it absolutely correct. There is no right or wrong here percisely because what people are passionate about or have as a passion are all unique to each of us! That's a feeling! Noone can tell us how or when to feel.

Just my opinion, not right or wrong, and glad it started a dialog!

Candace Davenport
Our Little Books

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

Wow Candace. I love the distinction between being passionate and having a heart passion; of doing it just for the chance with no guarantees; of having a passion that you do just for yourself - that doesn't involve others.

That last statement stopped me in my tracks. I'll have to spend some time with that. Thanks for a great post.

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Browning

I used to get that feeling running full speed on horseback... Used to, as I am afraid that I will break every bone if I do that again!

I also love dogs so I channel my love for animals into 4 furry beasts that now reside in my home!

Loved your article! Thanks for reminding me!!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKarin Six

Beautiful Candace. I get what you are saying completely and am having a great time contemplating this whole idea. I definitely am passionate about my work. I love creating beauty and being around beauty. I love that beauty makes people feel good, and yes, it even makes my heart sing at times.
But my passion is my spiritual quest. Being in the presence of an enlightened being, and having my heart sing is truly transforming for me, and the quest for that experience in daily life drives me...It serves no one else but me...I do it for me.
Thanks for the great question at the end of a beautifully written and heartwarming personal experience.

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIrene Turner

Thank you everyone for all your great comments. I often think that the comments read better than the original post! But as a writer, I want to make people think and reflect. From your responses, it seemed this was successful and that makes me happy! Thanks for all your thoughts. I really enjoyed them.

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCandace C. Davenport

Candice, I can't agree with you more.... PASSION is the key to our purpose and brings such joy to life. All my writings and coaching in starting a business start with it. If people don't have it, we need to help them find it. I love meeting people who have found it like you - just reading your story inspires!

I'm forwarding your blog post to my kids. I'm always looking for something to help inspire them to follow their passion and your post certainly well!

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Van Valer

Candace, I could feel all your passion when you described what banding means to you. You are very fortunate to have found something that you truly love. I don't think I've found that kind of passion yet, but I'll always be looking. Wonderful post.

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris L Wagner

You're doing it for the right person! Enjoyed reading about your passion. Haven' t figured mine out yet, but I'm working on it.

August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJean Bentley

Oh, Candace - this was sooo good! Just loved it! You should repost to Ann's site because it isn't showing up and this is really a wonderful read, so descriptive. Based on your definition of passion, I would say my true passion is being on the water in a boat, moving very fast over the ocean's waves with the wind blowing my hair back as I try desperately to hold on. I don't get to do it often, but I love it and it makes me feel free. I can't help but smile :-)
Thank you for the post!
Brandy Mychals

August 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy Mychals

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