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What's Your Passion Signature?
People use five signature styles to express passion and seek fulfillment: the Lover, the Creator, the Warrior, the Visionary and the Prophet. These signatures have corresponding survival styles: the Vamp, the Martyr, the Conqueror, the Perfectionist and the Escapist. We'll be exploring these passion signatures individually in the next five chapters. Each has specific evolutionary gifts that are used to open to and reveal the love force within us, and each also has specific survival strategies that are used as closures, for self-protection. Most of us tend to flip back and forth between our more evolved, higher-minded, life-loving selves and our selves that seem to operate mostly through knee-jerk reactions provoked by fear. Unfortunately, responding in a habitual way usually appears to make perfect sense at the time.
On a good day, we're resilient, open-minded and able to cope emotionally with the challenges that life hands us. But on bad days, or in tough circumstances, watch out! Then we're up to our old tricks and games. Since the fearful self seems to sabotage every aspect of our daily lives, romances and career objectivesalways in the same wayswe begin to cycle and recycle through similar events. Our higher natures can't win. Despite having incredible dreams, aspirations and potential, we keep stubbing our toes.
Every passion signature has its own way of using its life force, or energy. You cannot see energy, and you may not even believe it exists, but I am certain that you feel its impact around you every day. Emotion is catching. Emotion carries energy. If you've ever had bosses, friends, or loved ones spew anger on you, and suddenly you found yourself feeling resentful and anxious, then you have felt the impact of another person's energy. Similarly, if you've ever been in a room with someone having a great day, you may have walked away whistling a happy tune. Your energy also affects other people.
In relationships, energy is expressed and perceived in different ways. It can be sent and received through the words we use and our tone of voice. It can be sent and received through our body language. Often we reach out to other people using eye contact. This is not just looking at someone. You know the difference between having someone look at you with an invisible veneer over his eyes and no connection, and feeling someone reach out through his eyes to connect. If you pay attention, you'll begin to notice that sometimes the person pulls on you, or pushes into you, through the eyes.
Think of yourself as an old-fashioned switchboard with phone lines coming out of it. Most of the time you're all hooked up. You're plugged into the people you know around you and also those who are far away. Have you ever had a family member who was going to hell in a handbasket and it just wrecked you? That's a sign of an unhealthy hookup. A sign of a healthy hookup is when someone comes to mind and you feel stronger and lighter.
Perhaps the greatest power of relationships is that they can teach us where we need to improve how we use our own energy, as other people mirror for us our healthy and unhealthy qualities. Relationships help us develop awareness of our availability to exchange love and support as an equal. They also help us discover where we are giving ourselves away or leaching off others. As we practice taking good care of ourselves, the reflection we see gradually changes and we begin to sidestep old, unhealthy patterns.
When we are healthy and form healthy connections, our relationship energetics function optimally. We do not push or pull energy. We do not leak energy, like a cracked cup of water, but instead contain it. We are able to assert ourselves and we are able to receive. We are able to respond to our own needs with self-nurturing. As we expand into the promise of our passionate selves, we develop the ability to stand on our own. Like the sun, we radiate energy from our own central source and do not need to hook up with others to gain a sense of self. We are able to love and support others to the best of our ability without allowing them to drain us. We are able to exchange energy in a balanced flow. And if we catch ourselves misusing energy, we can correct the imbalance.
For information on the care and tending of your energy, including exercises about pushing, pulling, leaking and stagnant energy, visit the Web site www.thepassionprinciple.com/passiontools.
Understanding your passion signature is a shortcut to a happier, more successful and fulfilled life. How do you determine your passion signature? Look at both the loving, inspired patterns and the fear-based patterns in your life. These are your guideposts. . . .
Do you experience any unfulfilling patterns, such as the following, in your life? You want a new job, but end up staying in the old one because it's safe. You want love, but shrink from it when it stares you in the face. You are a gym rat who runs for the hills at the first sign of intimate connection. You are a spiritual seeker who can't pay your rent. You are a therapy junkie who stumbles endlessly over the same mental garbage. You have potential and dreams that never seem to come true. Oppositional patterns such as these are signs that, on some level, fears are running your life. You are locked in place.
So what's in your recycling bin? Let's start with a brief self-inventory.
What's Your Passion Signature? A Quiz
Please put a checkmark beside any items on the following five lists that apply to you. There are no right or wrong answers. Check as many items as fit, including those that are true only under certain circumstances along with those that seem very true all the time. People embody five common relationship patternsoften several in combinationand this quiz is designed to help you identify the ones that are most prevalent in your life.
Do You Embody Qualities of the Lover?
____ Your main focus in life is on your relationships. You may even have an insatiable sex drive.
____ You hate to be alone, yet you are frequently abandoned.
____ When you get in a romantic relationship you drop your friends and put your beloved at the center of your life.
____ You can't figure out why people say you are 'too needy' when all you're doing is trying to connect.
____ At work, you love to talk. You're always leaning over someone's cubicle wall or hanging around the water cooler. At night, you're on the phone with your friends until the wee hours.
____ Being financially provided for is an aphrodisiac.
____ You smoke cigarettes, do recreational drugs or drink alcohol in order to nurture yourself when the world isn't giving you what you need.
____ Others have accused you of flirting with or seducing their mates, when you were just being friendly.
____ You love receiving gifts because it makes you feel special.
____ When people tell you their personal stories, you get so excited that you jump in immediately with similar stories of your own. Be honest, you really like having the attention on you.
Do You Embody Qualities of the Creator?
____ You're the shoulder everyone cries on, the eternal 'nice guy.'
____ You often think about food and like to reward yourself with it after giving too much to others. After you put your kids to sleep (or finish your day), you often sit alone in front of the TV eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
____ You live in a messy house.
____ If you're single, you're always putting relationships off for fear that if you commit to one now you will be deprived of something else later on. If you're married, you feel crowded by your mate and claustrophobic, so much so that you've even lost your sex drive.
____ When you make a purchase you think about the money you're losing, rather than the value of what you're acquiring.
____ You have little time for yourself because you spend so much time taking care of everyone else's needs.
____ You have trouble with commitment. Whether it is making an appointment or agreeing to meet someone for dinner, you feel tied down, locked in and engulfed.
____ You're a phenomenal problem solver, communicator and mediator.
____ You are a bit of a couch potato and have a tendency to carry extra pounds around your midsection.
____ When you have an opportunity to choose between two good things, you get paralyzed with indecision because you get focused on what you'll be deprived of later if you choose one and not the other.
Do You Embody Qualities of the Warrior?
____ You are ambitious, self-motivated and generally work hard.
____ You spend so much time pushing toward your goals that you rarely have enough time to exercise or eat right. You can't remember when you had your last vacation.
____ You are a sports fanatic and love the adrenaline rush when your team wins. You are an outstanding competitor and like to win at all costs.
____ In the office, you have no time to socialize because you are determinedly moving toward your goals. You have little tolerance for small talk.
____ You've been accused of 'bulldozing' and 'dominating' people, but you're just trying to get to the finish line.
____ You always conquer your prey, whether that 'prey' is a romantic partner or a business deal.
____ People say you're strong, but inside you feel like a 'softie.' You wish you could trust someone enough to drop your guard.
____ You are driven by an internal code of honor. When you see an injustice, your blood pressure rises. You will fight for the underdog and any worthy cause.
____ You don't care what people think about you; you always do what you think you should do.
____ You are a bottom-line, brutally direct person, and your voice can sound like you're barking orders at people.
Do You Embody Qualities of the Visionary?
____ Your daily regimen often includes a visit to the gym, carefully monitored food intake and precise scheduling. You are an immaculate dresser and have a well-toned physique.
____ You constantly move toward higher goals, raising the bar for excellence. In fact, you may even have a fear of making mistakes.
____ You are an optimist. You can put a positive spin on just about anything.
____ People accuse you of being a 'control freak' and 'nitpicker,' but you're just detail orientedand with good reason. After all, if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right.
____ You are known for your social savvy.
____ You are a masterful lover but, ironically, it may be hard for you to meet Mr. or Ms. Right.
____ You achieve your financial goals, make regular deposits in your 401(k) and savings plan and regularly balance your checkbook and track pennies.
____ You are a highly principled, ethical person with tremendous foresight. Everything you do, you try to do perfectly.
____ People seek you out when they need coaching to achieve a goal, because you are a well-organized planner with effective time-management skills.
____ It's important that your mate/partner looks good and makes you look good.
Do You Embody Qualities of the Prophet?
____ You are so sensitive that you often feel like you have no skin.
____ You are a recluse because the world seems to be a harsh and threatening place.
____ People keep telling you that you're 'spacey' or an 'airhead,' but you perceive yourself as a dreamer and a philosopher.
____ You feel as though you're telepathic and can almost read people's minds. You may be a little psychicor a lot.
____ If someone yells at you, your mind goes blank, as though you've left your body.
____ Although you are a megawatt superstar with awesome gifts, you hide in your house so no one will think you're a 'freak' or a 'weirdo.' You may even fear standing out because you could be attacked.
____ You often forget to eat, and your body may be very skinny and frail.
____ Sometimes you don't feel like a sexual person.
____ You like to do jobs where you're on your own and removed from people, such as computer graphics or programming, astronomy or laboratory research.
____ You have a sense that you don't belong on this planet, as though you are an alien from outer space and different from other people.
Scoring and Interpretation
This quiz reveals your general leanings toward the various mindsets, feelings and typical behavior of the five passion signatures. It is designed to determine the degree to which you embody each of them. Score the quiz as follows:
• If you put any checkmarks in a category, it means you have some of the tendencies of that passion signature (the Lover, the Creator, and so on).
• No checkmarks shows you have no tendencies of that signature.
• Five to ten checkmarks indicate strong tendencies.
• If you couldn't find yourself in any of the statements above, I suggest you give the quiz to someone you love or who knows you well and ask for help.
Please note: Most people are not exclusively one passion signature, so you could easily be a Combo Platter of two or more of them. If you have placed three or more checkmarks in more than one category, it means you have strong combination tendencies. You will want to pay special attention to the traits of every passion signature that is even a little bit true for you, as each reveals a different aspect of your character.
Are you the Lover? If you possess many qualities of the Lover, you thrive on one-on-one relationships. You are a superhero of nurturing who delights in exploring other people and their lives. You feel uneasy when you're alone. Ironically, your life in the past may have been marked by abandonment. An issue you need to work on is standing on your own two feet. If you're unattached right now, finding new love is probably a major theme in your life. You just don't feel as though you were cut out to be single. You are at your best when you're in an intimate, loving relationship. (See Chapter 2.)
Are you the Creator? If you embody a number of Creator traits, you are one of the best problem solvers, communicators and negotiators on the planet. You have a world-class ability to get inside other people's skin and bring them together. Because you can see all sides of an issue and help people arrive at a common understanding, you give the word 'peacekeeper' new meaning. But you frequently take care of others at your own expense, perhaps to the point of martyrdom. So you also have a tendency to withdraw. People can easily overwhelm you, and your fear of getting trapped makes you a bit of an isolator. You have bursts of creativity that lead you in several directions at once, but you probably lack follow-through. Your energy is scattered. Once you cultivate focus and discipline, you'll be empowered to share your talents with the world generously. (See Chapter 3.)
Are you the Warrior? If you have several Warrior characteristics, you thrive in a leadership role. This can mean leading a family, leading a struggling business to financial security or leading troops onto a battlefield. You are probably a bit rough around the edges, and your mouth sometimes gets you in trouble. Underneath, you have a good heart, pure intentions and loads of integrity. You do what you must to take care of your clan (as you define it), even if you must ignore your own needs. At times you may feel deeply misunderstood by the world, and in the past you've probably been betrayedor feel that you were. You would benefit from overcoming your tendency to try to dominate people. Life does not always have to be a battleground. (See Chapter 4.)
Are you the Visionary? If you exemplify many qualities of the Visionary, you are motivated by excellence and beauty. An optimist and a born leader, you aspire to bring out the best in others and want to make the world a better place. Whether you're planning a business deal or a family vacation, your attention to detail is fantastic. You set high goals and thrive in a clean, well-ordered environment. But you're also a bit like a rat caught in a maze because you are such a perfectionist. You live so much for a future outcome that you probably don't enjoy today as much as you could. You manufacture how you feel and have difficulty being authentic if your reality is less than positive. You are challenged to let down your emotional guard and ask for help. Once you figure out how to drop your mask and let others be imperfect, your relationships will improve. If you learn to live for the process rather than the goal, you'll have more energy to spare for the real experience of living, and your efforts will begin to bear fruit. (See Chapter 5.)
Are you the Prophet? If you possess many qualities of the Prophet, you are a powerful being. You feel as though you have great spiritual teachings or new scientific knowledge to share with the world. But you live in obscurity due to your fear of coming out and getting annihilated. You have psychic abilities, although you might not have identified them yet or developed them. You've had several out-of-the-box experiences and probably have difficulty translating what you know of the nonmaterial world into language ordinary folks can understand. You have a sense of being alien. You would do well to find someone you trust and establish a grounded relationship with this individual. You also need to get more in touch with your body. Taking these steps will ground you. (See Chapter 6.)
No matter which passion signature or signatures you identified with, make a personal commitment to observe your thoughts, feelings and behavior as you go about the day. Read through the chapters in Parts I and II and explore the concepts you find there. Then come back and review the self-inventory. Soon the patterns articulated in the quiz will become much clearereven obviousto you.
©2007. Donna LeBlanc. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Passion Principle : Discover Your Personal Passion Signature and the Secrets to Deeper Relationships. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.