I looked up “passion” this morning before teaching my Nia class. I wanted the etymology of “passion”. Like “love” and “truth”, passion is one of those words that is filled with cultural baggage and connotations about how it supposed to feel. And yet there is something so personal about what we are individually passionate about and how that passion manifests. Definitely there is the sexual passion piece and then there are crimes of passion; something a little out of control.

So when I read that the root of passion is suffering which comes from the Latin word for patience, well…it threw a little wrench into what I had cast out for my class. How was I going to put passion together with suffering and patience? Okay, mental realm analyzing: When I am passionate about things, I am definitely willing to suffer for them and I am able to be patient. Off to class.

What I taught was the first 2/3rds of the routine called Passion. On my way in, I ruminated on how many of the songs definitely have this sense of intense longing about them, the suffering that comes with passion, the desire of wanting and yet not wanting to be consumed by passion. It’s actually a pretty spiritually juicy energy to play in. One of the first meanings of passion had to do with the passion of Christ and his suffering on the cross. Good image. How about the Ecstasy of St. Teresa by Bernini? Lots of passion there, but then ecastasy is one of passion’s sisters. There is something abotu passion that connect my body heart and love with desire not just for the flesh but for the spirit as well. Passion is ecastasy embodied in purpose.

Inviting passion to play for an entire hour is something I encourage you all to do. I felt so alive for the entire class. Inspired by the music and by the movement, I lived each moment with my full body and heart. We were all sweatier and hotter than usual. Passion does that on a physical level by amplifying the 5 Sensations: Flexibility, Agility, Mobility, Stability and Strength. Passion is something I am all there for.

After class the conversations swirled around what we are passionate about in our lives, what we are willing to fight for, what we do when the passion is not there. It occured to me then that, like joy, perhaps passion is something that I can choose, sustain and increase. The illusion is that if it is not there, then it is missing.  The reality is that we are in relationship with our emotional field, it is not random and it is not controlling us. I wonder what it would be like to live with passion always present?  What if  I chose to bring passion into everything that I do, into all my relationships, into every breath? And what about the connection with suffering? And Patience? Am I willing to bring passion to all that I do and risk suffering? Am I willing to be patient enough to let the fruits of my passion to ripen?

That is what I am left with after this morning’s class. Througthis fabulous body~mind practice, I have explored the sensation of passion and come to a new place that is ripe with passion.  Not bad for a movement as medicine loosly disguised as fusion fitness. And that is what I love about teaching and sharing the Nia Technique.

5 thoughts on “Passion

  1. A thoughtful and inspiring post. As I read through your experience, I was drawn back to my college years, remembering a conversation with a woman, Katie, an upperclassman to my freshman ears. I can’t recall what I was telling her that I was unhappy about, but I can still hear her words: “If you are truly unhappy, then be passionate about that unhappiness…” What I took from our brief conversation was to be passionate about all feelings – happiness, pain, confusion, etc. Her invocation to me was to live my life, and embrace whatever I encountered, passionately. I saw her years later at a reunion (she had married a classmate of mine), still exuding that sense of passion in her own life–through joyful and painful times, and thanked her for the reverberation of her wise words, that waft back to me from time to time.

    You’ve inspired me to learn Passion passionately.

  2. Wow Maria. I’m ready for a focus of passion!!!! Yowza. I can hardly wait for Nia tonight…I’m using that focus, as well as my original focus of sensing the connection between….(you fill in the blanks).

    Passionate connection. Yummm…a sensory delight for sure.

    My own blog today (before I read yours) was very simple and straightforward: be your own wild thing.



  3. Hey Maria,

    Joan and I have been working on Passion. We met this morning and started with a passionate discussion about what is going on in our lives, especially the suffering aspects of it. We talked about the importance of being patient. Then we danced the first 5 songs of Passion. The way my emotional and spiritual realm felt after the conversation (i.e. dancing Passion) was completely different than just speaking of Passion. I have come to the conclusion that moving Passion is essential to the total experience of it. Thanks for your blog!

  4. Maria – love your thoughts on passion. Especially the concept of choosing it in daily life. I will try that and let you know!

  5. Wow, you struck kgold her Maria!!! Passion is something that many folks are looking to connect and/or reconnect with…in my own routine Wednesday night, I borrowed your focus of passion and invited my students to “passionately connect with…(you fill in the blank).

    We passionately connected with Nia, with the voice of the artist; with one another’s movements; with gravity, Mother Earth, our own hearts, minds, spirits. It was a remarkable and memorable class.

    My husband and I passionately love life…individually and together. We have created a gift shop, a coffee bar, a dance studio and 2 1/2 acres from our passionate response to life’s invitation.

    Thank you for yours.

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