“When you follow your bliss…doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.”
Joseph Campbell, ( Campbell, Cousineau & Brown, 2003)
Over the course of my work with clients and even in my own personal life, I’m continually reminded that when one follows their bliss, opportunities appear.
Clients come to me when they are wrestling with a concept or need direction and clarity. Usually what I find is that they’ve stopped listening to their own inner wisdom and trying to please someone else or do it the “right” way. They’re fearful of making the wrong choice and that fear prevents them from following the path to their bliss.
Part of this has to do with fear of the unknown. Recently, I’ve begun to accept that the unknown, and the fear associated with it, is part of the journey. In addition, the consistent practice of meditation has brought a sense of awareness of something greater than myself. This newfound appreciation has led me to see the examples of simplicity set forth in nature and the understanding the journey of life has a beginning, middle and end. Bliss connects the journey and adds meaning to it.
Why is Bliss Important?
Bliss is a state of perfect happiness. One could say that nature naturally follows its bliss. It doesn’t skip steps or try to make things happen. Nature works from moment to moment to moment.
If we take the same approach to our journey, each day presents new possibilities to make new choices and follow ones bliss. We can embrace the possibility and allow projects to shape themselves organically.
Many times we hold onto the projected outcome envisioned and, in our impatience, forget to allow space (the middle of the journey, if you will) to shape the outcome organically. When my clients allow for projects to happen organically, magical surprises occur. Mistakes turn into strokes of genius or add to the possibility of what’s to come. They aren’t judged; they are celebrated.
The Hero’s Journey
In finding bliss, it’s also helpful to look at the journey in story form. My favorite story happens to be Star Wars. It resonates because it was created with the themes of the Hero’s Journey in mind. The Hero’s Journey begins with a call to adventure, which is a move into a new direction due to a crisis or invitation. It’s the seed or the reason for the journey. Luke wants to leave his desert planet to become a pilot like his friend Biggs. Once the Journey has begun the hero will cross the threshold. This is the point at which the hero goes from the familiar to the unknown. He leaves with Obi-Wan Kenobi. At some point the hero will come across a Supernatural Aid someone who will act as a mentor to help the heart on the journey. Obi Wan and Yoda serve as Luke’s mentors. The journey also contains The Road of Trials. This is where the hero has successes and failures which helps the hero gain new awareness and perspective. One the span of the 3 movies our hero experiences many trials. Finally, there is the return, when the hero returns to where they began forever changed with a new skill set and new knowledge. Luke at the end becomes a Jedi like his father before him.
My Hero’s Journey reminds me that following my bliss brought me plenty of opportunities and luck along the way. In my case, my journey began when my father, who was in the church choir, would bring me to rehearsal on Sunday mornings. I loved to sing and without asking, warmed up with the choir at 3 and 4 years old (The choir was kind enough to allow for that.). Church introduced me to performing, which introduced me to musicals, which in turn introduced me to acting. I went to a college that would allow me to continue to sing, act, swim while I also explored other areas creativity by earning a communications degree. The interest in both led me to New York City which starting a coaching business which led me to discovering meditation and eventually earning my Master’s Degree in Positive Coaching and collaborating with Pregame.
Examining one’s life using the filter of the hero’s journey can prove to be a very powerful tool. By recognizing that each person is the hero of their own journey it helps each individual understand their journey and places the responsibility of choices in the hands of the hero, YOU!
In this new year, take time to outline your journey; The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. The Journey has brought you to your present point and offers the keys to following your bliss, especially when one feels they may be off track. Take time to online chronologically the following.
- What was your calling? Has it changed over the years?
- When have you crossed the threshold into the unknown?
- Who have been your Mentors? What have you learned from them?
- What have your trials been and most importantly, what have you learned from them?
The possibilities are endless. No matter what your present circumstances are. Your story has not been completed. There is always time to reshape your life, your business, and your relationships. You are in the middle of the journey. Where you go from here in 2017 is up to you!