your passion quest. a kind of manifesto.



“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”

― Joseph Campbell

You have an inner source code – a soulcode — that holds the secret to where you belong in the world.

You unlock that secret slowly, over years, on a passion quest.

The quest is necessary because it makes you into what you need to be.

Your place of belonging, your golden niche, is defined by your ruling passion: the thing you do in the way that only you can do it, that puts you in the heightened state of flow, evoking your best and most creative self in service to something larger than yourself.

A ruling passion is twofold: your purpose, and the method by which that purpose is delivered into the world.

Your purpose is timeless and unchanging.

The way you choose to express that purpose depends on your time and place, and it evolves as you evolve (or transforms into a different expression altogether).

Your purpose is often connected to an inner wound of some kind. Those places of hurt and shame can be valuable clues to who you are and what you’re meant to do.

The word ‘passion’ stems from the Latin word for suffering. To discover your ruling passion is to die to your immature identity and be reborn into a deeper relationship with the world.

It is an initiation.

It involves a separation from the known and the comfortable; a time of trial; and a death of the old.

You know you’ve been initiated when you paradigm-shift from serving your ego to living for the world. The ego is an excellent ally, but it is a very small place in which to live.

Every ending contains the seeds of the next beginning; every psychological ‘death’ opens into a rebirth.

A crisis serves to disorganize the self, so that it may reshape itself for a bigger conversation.

Initiation involves going into your personal darkness, to reclaim and integrate lost parts of the self. Your soulcode drives you toward wholeness.

We live in a consumer culture that suffers from what Jung described as “soul loss” and the greatest injury of our time. We do not know our place in the world, we have forgotten our interconnectedness. Most people refuse to see the process of initiation all the way through, or fail to recognize it when it comes for them, or give up on the passion quest altogether.

In the absence of a ruling passion, there is a void we try to fill with things and addictions that leave us wanting more, or devising new forms of escape.

An initiated culture is one in which members move into a state of flow on a daily basis, and utilize their highest and most creative selves to save themselves, each other, the world.

The initiated creative can open pathways of soul and light the way for others.

Jun 24, 2014

6 comments · Add Yours

Well said, Justine. My passion is teaching. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a teacher. I guess I could consider myself as an initiated artist! I really loved reading this. Thank you


This was so perfect for me today as I am in the luminal space between death and rebirth. New city, new family, new work when I find the right place. I needed to remember the bigness of this and my opportunity to shape the Phoenix that rises from the ashes is taking.


I love synchronicity.

I’m going on a yoga retreat this weekends down into the hills. I will be doing nothing but meditating, yoga, hiking, journalling and preparing food. I’m going to keep this blog post in my minds eye this weekend. Thank you.


This is badass.


Sometimes we lose ourselves so we can find our way back to our true purpose. Feeling overwhelmed in the absence of a clearly defined goal chains us to feelings of unworthiness and keeps us from the pot of gold hidden deep within the psyche. We get to the pot of gold when we dare to venture where the pain is.

Facing our wound gives us strength to heal it and evolve into something greater.

Brilliant post.


Your essays speak to me so much – I’m so glad I found this website. I find that as women, society treats us different than men, but more so when we get on in age. While this infuriates me to some degree, I found your message so refreshing and revolutionary.
I feel that our mistakes often lead us to our ‘true selves,’ and are often the key to unlocking that ‘source code.’ This directive was, to me, a pass to forgive myself for my regrets and to move forward, and to embrace those regrets as a part of myself and make positive energy from them. Thanks for getting to the heart of what so many of us women feel. Very glad I found this site :)


Add your comment