"If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else." ~ Joseph Campbell
Thursday, December 30, 2010
This was the quote of the day from Gratefulness.org. It seemed to strike a chord with me. Yet, to be honest, I'm not sure what "bliss" is exactly. The dictionary says it is "supreme happiness, utter joy or contentment, the joy of heaven." I think, however, it's become kind of a new age catch-all term like "paradigm shift." What, may I ask is a paradigm?
So I ask what is my bliss? How do I find out? And then how do I follow it? From what Campbell says, I think it must be something that starts in my gut and radiates out. I can usually tell if something is right or wrong for me by trusting my gut. When it feels like it's grabbing me from the inside out, I've learned I should pay attention, although I don't always do it.
Before I moved home 15 years ago, I had a "feeling" that I was heading in the right direction. I used my head for the logistics of the move, but I didn't spend a lot of time judging the pros and cons of the move. I'd like to believe that even though there was money involved it wasn't the primary concern. "Taking care of my parents" had a kind of angelic, good-girl appeal to it. But it was also more than that. When I first got here I wasn't the caregiver I've become. I was just another person in the house to help out. While I felt (and still do) that my return home was Divinely orchestrated, I'm not sure I'd call it bliss.
Is bliss the same as love? I love my Sweetie with all my heart. I was okay with the way things were going for most of our relationship. When the whole marriage thing came up last Spring, I knew in my gut, mind and heart that it was important to make our union "official." I was/am very happy. Is marriage the bliss that will "open doors for me?"
In my uncertainty, I'm left with two things that may or may not be my bliss. Should I point my bliss GPS in their direction? The Guild of the Christ Child ministry that I started continues to touch me in a way I can't quite explain, even when I can't do what I want to make it bigger and better. It sits on a back burner of my life and I've had to learn that that is okay for now. The other thing is writing. Does following my bliss mean making a concerted effort to write seriously? What does that look like? Is writing a blog serious enough? What doors might open for me if I set my intentions to write a book - a real book? Does it follow that once my "bliss" is named that my fears will disappear?
As this year draws to an end, I see a different future looming before me. While I don't know when my Dad will pass away, I can be pretty sure that it will be sooner rather than later. Of course, I thought that last year too. I don't want to spend the next 365 days waiting for life to come to me. I want to reach out and grab it. I think it's about time to find and begin pursue this thing called bliss. Got any suggestions?
Wishing for you days of utter joy,