Pain, Passion & Purpose

Updated: Jan 27

By Nika "Nilanjo" Hollingsworth


My recent interviews focus on passion and purpose. My awesome subjects opened up about their intentions and motivations that have led them to where they are right now. As we all continue to navigate through change, revelations and healing, we become more self-aware along the journey. We begin to transition toward our intended destinations; moving beyond pain, moving within our passions and moving toward our purpose. Some of us have multiple passions and thus our purposes may be multi-faceted or even change over time. That change may mean it longer serves us or that it evolves into something greater later. The one thing that is for certain is that it comes when it comes. While some will repeat the sentiment that says "if you didn't find your hustle in 2020..." yadda, yadda, yadda. I won't finish it because it is a statement I cannot personally get behind. If you maintained your mental health and are actively surviving this mess, then kudos for that. Everyone deals with things differently and everyone grows at different paces. The pandemic doesn't change that. Life is not a race. It is hard enough without trying to live up to the expectations of others. Who needs that pressure? And if you are out here trying to connect to your hustle and your passion, maybe the difficulty lies in the fact that you just haven't found it yet. Who told you that you had to have it all figured out right now?

People won't always see the vision that God gives YOU.

Try to move out of a singular perspective of what you are "supposed to" be or do. At the same time, don't think manifestation alone will get you where you want to be. You cannot get where you've never been without being willing to do what you've never done. Changing perspective may require education (formal or informal). Trying things out is a requirement. Remember, not all risk is bad. I feel like we often get stuck, sinking in the mud of "what if's". BUT - "What if" doesn't have to be all negative. What if you try and it works out? What if you decide to anticipate success instead of failure? We miss 100% of the shots we don't take. I took a variety of virtual classes over the last 6 months to learn processes behind some of things I am interested in. I didn't master any of these things but I have a better understanding of them and was able to make an informed decision before diving all in. Some things were an immediate opt out for me. Some may call it a waste of time, but education is never a waste of time in my eyes. You cannot live your life by other people's perspectives and standards. People won't always see the vision that God gives YOU.



Some of us allow our pain to be our purpose. The very things we struggle with, tend to give us the most motivation and insight into our purpose. When we reflect on our lives, what may exist is a passion that alleviates the pain experienced through our struggles and traumas. I know I tend to place myself in roles to advocate and collaborate with the community and small business owners because I recall those voids growing up. There was a lack of female role models and examples of successful business owners who looked like me. Now I want to be an example of what I've missed and help be an accessible resource or at least steer people toward the tools they need to better their lives. It is important to me that I focus on something bigger than myself. We can even spin that the other way. Reflect on what you enjoy. If you took time to reconnect to your inner child, you could go back to a similar time and think about the little things that made you happy. How do you go back to when you were a kid? What are some of the things you used to love to do when you were a child? I can recall so many ways I used to spend my time and some of my favorite activities and interests. I loved to color and paint. I loved to dance. As a person who loves hosting events, that translates to paint nights and music driven events. I host Musical Bingo events and they are amazing!!! This is my example but there are other avenues that can be considered that could get you back to basics today.


Give yourself permission to explore and take away the burden of expectation.

It is very important that you take the pressure off of yourself. As I said previously, you don't have to figure it all out today. The world will keep turning and people will keep talking. There is this pressure to turn our passions into sources of income. While it is always a goal to love what you do and do what you love, you have to get out of your head. So what if you didn't monetize your passion during the pandemic. And what if you have more than one? Passions, just like purposes, can change and multiply. Some even fizzle. Give yourself permission to explore and take away the burden of expectation. If you have people around you who are pressuring you, remove them from your circle. Constructive criticism is one thing but if it causes you stress and doesn't encourage your overall betterment -- you don't need it. I truly suggest trying things out but have fun in doing so. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You don't have to perform for anyone else or be perfect at it in a specific timeframe or need to show anything to other people as proof of your hustle. Just getting to the next day is doing something amazing. Because LIFE IS FREAKING HARD AND UNCERTAIN right now. Why add pressure?


Maybe you are meant to take this time to be still. Silence is a blessing. Use it to declutter your mind and recharge your energy. If you want to pursue your passion, have at it. There is nothing wrong with spending time with yourself, meditating and being mindful. Meditation is a powerful tool. It encourages you to release and let go of negativity. It requires you to be intentional in your thinking and breathing as well as promotes clarity. Surround yourself with more like-minded people. Your common interests bond you and if they are out there living their dreams, contributing to the world or doing things you desire to do one day, use that as an empowerment tool. I know so many creatives and it is great to see them living their passions on their own terms. It makes me proud and keeps me motivated. Be willing to remove people who are leading lives devoid of real purpose. They are happy fluttering about with no real direction and seem to pass the most judgement. You may need to evaluate your connections and surround yourself with a different group of people - those who are leading the kind of lives you want. Time to start sitting at the table with those who are winning. The conversations are quite different.


I look forward to a better and brighter future, appreciating each day as it comes. Love and light, always. And be safe.


-N




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