I might be a little obsessed when it comes to getting happier with Gretchen Rubin, but with good reason! This is one of my favorite podcasts, and I think I’ve recommended it to everyone I know at this point, because it’s so helpful, insightful, and accessible. There’s also this INFP love of personality investigation, and Gretchen is a great guide along that path.
This week, her idea to try at home is to invest in your identities. The podcast discusses how our identities are important to us, our sense of self, worth, place etc. The “try this at home” encourages us to reflect upon our identities and if we’re investing in them according to their importance to us.
This coincides with some self work I’ve been doing this year, my motto being “EMBRACE BEING MULTI-PASSIONATE”. Funny that I couldn’t come up with a word for 2019, so I picked this motto – quite appropriate.
What’s this about being multi-passionate? Well, I wanted to look at the things I love, and increase their volume in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at how I spend my energy (when my body literally doesn’t do a good job of making it) and learning to make better choices for my needs and wellness. I wanted to make sure this resource was spent in the places I wanted to grow, not wasted. We all have some sort of limit on our resources. I think of this as a sort of budget for the good in life. (Umm, budgeting isn’t really fun, but this feels more like dreaming up plans and finding space for them).
I can’t say that I have just one thing I’m passionate about. Yeah, I’ve always loved art, but that’s incredibly broad! I feel like I needed to accept that I’ve got multiple things I’m passionate about in order to properly feed them all. Sometimes the things on my passion list have overlap – like when I get to take my nieces and nephews to the art museum (we’ve got #auntielife & #artlife happening together). And other times, they’re more singular experiences. Combining multiple things I’m passionate about definitely increases the happiness factor. Like going for a walk in nature, with my dog, and taking photos. (#pantheism, #furmom, #artmaking).
I’m also making connections with my trauma work in therapy. Staying grounded often takes layered approaches – mindfully engaging multiple senses at once. Embracing multi-passionate-ness enables me to see how everything can work together better, and dissociate less. I can be a sick person who also is a leader, an artist, an activist, a friend, a family member, a writer, and a magic player. Taking steps to invest in identities that resonate with my true self has obvious benefit, even though the work isn’t always as obvious or easy.
Awareness is the start of it, and Gretchen provides us with a wonderful prompt with her “try this at home”, to become more aware of our identities and examine what we want to put more time, money, and energy into.
Gretchen mentioned in the podcast that it is good to have multiple identities so that if one changes or shifts into something else, you aren’t lost. I think this is the strength of being multi-passionate, the more I layer these identities and passions, the stronger my sense of self and my happiness with being who I am in the world.