This is the hand of a Man of Passion. The fingers of a Farmer. Well, not just any farmer. Rick Bishop, a/k/a The Soil Whisperer. I photographed this hand well before I ever met Rick. I couldn't help myself the first second I spotted this handscape, I KNEW it was the hand of a major Passionista. Since I created the word, I'll share with you what it means (to me). Passionistas are people who are not only doing what they love, they are BEING that. And, in their fullest embodiment, they are also actually great at what they do. Their "What" (they are doing) and their "Who" (they are) are working together fluidly. Seamlessly. Congruently. Over the last few years I have been saying to anyone who will listen that I want to meet any person who is involved in a project with me at their intersection of what they love doing AND are great at. Because that's where the magic comes from, where we are giving openly and fully and generously, excited to be able to give and receive, without keeping score. The tapestry weaves together more seamlessly when this. happens. And, oh yeah, everybody seems to win when this happens. It's quite something to experience. The Flow state, individually and collectively.
It is often said about people like this that "they are doing what they are supposed to do" or "God put them on the planet to do this." All I know is that they are the lucky ones. Meeting Rick Bishop several seasons after I first saw his fingers during potato season at the Union Square Greenmarket, and witnessing people lining up before the Market opened on a Saturday morning for his unparalleled strawberries, I came to see that Straberryman was also "my potato guy." And the more I read about him online, and what moves him - his Why - the more I knew I needed to know him. I had the good fortune to take Cooper and his BFF up to Rick's farm in them Catskills one Summer day, and witness the real Soul attached to those fingers be completely lost in his life. His work. Someone clearly not doing it for the money, while also creating the means to prosper, and share his gifts with others. I always use Rick as a fave example of someone "doing what he's supposed to be doing."
It truly took me into my 40's to understand that this could be me. That I could choose. That I could create a life of intention and, at the very least, TRY to do so, regardless of where the path leads. For most of my life, my What and Who were disconnected. Every time I tried to fit in, or was motivated to succeed for external reasons, it consistently was unfulfilling. Being a lawyer, with the heart and soul of an artist and an empath, is not a great match. I could DO it, even do it well. Yet I came to realize that I could never really succeed on my own terms (when I figured out what they actually are!!) unless I am doing what I love (and what I believe I am great at). It's just true. I have never been one, nor do I ever expect this to change, who can prosper by doing what I don't like, or love. Some people can, and that's cool, we are all different. And that is the key. To create a match for yourself, to understand what moves you, and go for it. As soon as we're clear, and honest with ourselves, it's our own path to carve. No one has power over our choices like that, unless we give it to them.
I sometimes wish that I got all of this sooner, earlier in my life. And then I come to my senses and realize the deep gratitude for having chosen to blow up some paradigms on a better late than never basis. When I am periodically acknowledged for having been brave, or courageous for having made some of the choices I did that broke me open, and start from basically;ly scratch, I always say that I didn't do it to BE brave or courageous. I just did what I had to do, realizing that while I may not have known where I was going, I surely knew where I did not want to be, and could not, any longer. I had no choice. I became someone who believed that I am a Passionista, and I don't want to live my life as anything else. M y true self. And, all I know, my friends, is that if I can do it, struggles and all, you can too. I am happy to be that mirror, that catalyst for others, if you want, or need, some inspiration. You know where to find me.