Thought for the Week: Harmonizing with the Present – Imperfect Passions

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In the beginning of this year, I shared a checklist for creating a more restorative life, by making a small change every day.

Today, I’m introducing another approach to becoming more sustainable and creating more joy and harmony in your life.

In this week’s video, I’m sharing an approach for harmonizing our imperfect passions. I start with defining imperfect passions and why they can be the key to creating more harmony, more joy, and becoming more sustainable without sacrificing our unique individuality.

Here’s a video of my Mindful Earthkeeper Thought for the Week:

If you prefer, you can read more below:

Imperfect passions are those activities that we do because we enjoy them, they bring us some kind of pleasure, and if done to extreme can pull us out of balance.

If we refine our imperfect passions, we can also become more sustainable.

We refine our imperfect passions, by noticing our harmony points, or harmony boundaries. This is something you have probably been doing throughout your life, but you can become more mindful.

Working with our imperfect passions, allows us to create our own unique approach to create more joy in our lives, and uplift the “song” of our life.

Imperfect passions are often not life goals, though sometimes they can be associated with the type of life we want to live.

Let me share an example from my experience.

I first started to become more aware of the idea of acknowledging and claiming our imperfect passions in an unlikely way.

This probably happened in the 1990’s. I was reading something and came across a quote from the humanist philosopher Erasmus. I had read In Praise of Folly in high school. The quote that I remember was something about enjoying food, clothes and books, and not necessarily in that order.

When I went to look for the exact quote online this last week, I found this one.

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.


Here’s the thing about that quote.

It weirdly made me happy to realize that I enjoyed some of the same things as a famous philosopher from the Renaissance. Somehow, that little quote gave me permission to like what I like, and to have the passions that meant something to me.

Give yourself permission to like what you like.

Imperfect passions are different than life goals or toxic passions.

Imperfect passions can contribute to life goals but usually they’re not.

Life goals are different. They’re goals we want to achieve like getting married, having a child, having a great retirement.

Imperfect passions are activities we do for pleasure, happiness and enjoyment.

Some people create a business around an imperfect passion, but most of us probably don’t.

The reason, I’m calling these imperfect passions, is because of we don’t have boundaries around them, they can be unhealthy.

Toxic passions are things we should not do. For instance, if you’re an alcoholic, drinking is unhealthy for you.

Having no boundaries around imperfect passions can lead to addictions.

If we want harmony and joy in our life, I believe we need to acknowledge, enjoy and refine our imperfect passions.

That process is what I’ll be teaching next week in the Harmony for Life Workshop.

We will build upon that even further in the Equinox Retreat in March.

My suggestion for you this week is to try to identify three to five imperfect passions that you have had throughout your life or have developed over the years.

And honor them, and be grateful for the unique passions that give you joy in life.

To become more sustainable, we need to develop these passions, not dismiss them, or feel badly about them.

We’ll talk more about how to do that next week!

Published by Karen Powers Wan

Writer, Restorative Lifestyle Coach, Sustainability Project Manager, and Meditation Instructor.

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