By Glenn Baja
You’ve heard the term “follow your bliss,” but do you really know what it means? Is it just New Age hippy stuff that’s popular today? Is it a concocted recipe of eastern philosophies that have a mystical voodoo nature about it? Just what does “follow your bliss” mean, and what does being “blissful” look like?
Bliss, according to dictionary.com, is considered to be living in supreme happiness, utter joy, and ultimate contentment. Some believe it’s a state of spiritual blessedness, typically only reached after death. Others believe it’s the joy of heaven––an eternal paradise that is already right here in front of us––if only we can follow our bliss.
But where and how does one find their bliss? Is it something unforeseen that lurks around the next corner, suddenly giving you acute clarity as if a light bulb suddenly goes off in your head? Is it something that comes to you as you age and wisdom grows? Or is it bestowed upon you by your level of commitment to your faith and the church you belong to? Then again, perhaps it’s something that is totally mystical and unknown, something that requires us to overcome great personal fears and seemingly unsurmountable odds to achieve.
In all honesty, and based upon my experience, this last idea is probably closer to the actual experience and truth of what it is to follow and find your bliss.
Simply put, defining bliss means listening to your heart and following your truth. As simple and elementary as this may sound, defining and then following your bliss requires great resolve, courage, risk, and adventure. Having the courage and resolve to look within yourself and ask what interest, fascinates, and intrigues you, and then start walking down that path, especially if you’re not clear as to what that is, can be very scary and discomforting. And that’s okay. Just starting down the path by taking action puts you on the road to finding your bliss, as long as it’s your authentic road.
Questions to ask yourself: What am I here to give? What is it that I’m meant to do? What do I love doing?
Bliss is the one thing that you can NOT do. Maybe it’s your art, helping out in your community, or starting and running a business that you love. Regardless, it’s about taking steps towards that which brings you joy. Often it involves personal risk. The risk is your willingness to step out of your comfort zone and starting down the road of the obscure and unknown. It’s taking the risk of listening to your internal voice and “gut” that is trying to steer you towards that which you really want and desire.
Do you know what your destination or end-goal is?
Most of us don’t have a clear idea of what it is that we want, even if money and time were non-issues. This is part of the risk. Is what you want really what you truly want? Why is that? Be clear with your why’s. You don’t wish to find years down the road that your ladder was leaning up against the wrong wall all along.
The risk also involves disavowing much of what you’ve been told is true in life, and learning to trust in yourself and your voice. This can be difficult to do since we’ve been largely brainwashed into thinking and acting in ways that others wish for us to behave…ways that benefit them and their agendas…not ours.
Tap into and examine the core of who you are. Look at the foundation you’ve built your life upon, taking a second look as to whether or not it still fulfills and nourishes you. You may find that there is yet another ladder to climb––one with greater potential rewards and bountiful golden nuggets––than the one that you’ve been on that has left you feeling unfulfilled, lacking, and wanting for more.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
~ Joseph Campbell
Finding your bliss involves the process of learning to love and accept the person that you really are, and letting go of the lies that you’re “broken,” incomplete, or lacking. Know this: you are not broke, incomplete, or lacking in any way. You never were and you never will be. You’ve just been mislead and misinformed, just like all of us have. And it’s only just now that we are truly beginning to understand and internalize that. And what about that feeling you have deep within that life seems incomplete and that there has to be more? There is. It’s only because we have dutifully behaved just as we were taught, herded through our learning years to be just like everyone else, and brought-up to work hard in a narrowly defined way that, if we did, would lead to a well-lived, forever happy, and fulfilled life.
HOGWASH! We’ve been led astray and misinformed. Too many of us feel something is lacking in our lives. We were never brought up or taught to find and follow our bliss.
The Road To Bliss
Defining and following our bliss is about bringing forth those subliminal traits, talents, and qualities of ours into the outside world, and using them to live a life that is true to our heart and spirit. It’s finding that voice that has been so obedient and docile, and taking the risk to use it to speak loudly, forcefully, and expressively. This is who you are. This is what you believe in.
Listen to your inner call of spirit and purpose. Garner up the courage to walk down your own unique road, not someone else’s. If you are following a path that already lies before you, then you are not following your own. You may learn from others, but at some time you must forge your own path. Nobody else shares it. It is yours alone.
The end goal is not about making lots of money, having lots of things, or being able to exert power and control over others. It’s not about having more than the next person, getting your ego stroked, or having all the partners you desire. Nor is it about hoarding, security, or comfort. Rather, it’s about getting to know your dreams, your hopes, your talents, and learning from the lessons and the wisdom that have come your way. It’s about following your voice from within, heeding its call, and following it’s direction.
It’s about finding your own authentic joy and happiness.
What is it that, when you’re occupied, the hours go by in minutes? What are the things you absolutely love doing? These are clues. What is it that set you apart from others when you were young? What were the things that made you cry, made you feel alone, and caused you to feel separate from others? What was it that caused you to isolate in your bedroom and believe you were different? Your clues lie here.
Reacquaint yourself to your dreams (old and new), your talents, your gifts, your hopes, and your strengths. Release the need for comfort and security, for they will only serve to cage and stifle your creativeness and exploratory nature.
Live on the edge of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Set meaningful and purpose-driven goals, and then set out to do those things you always wanted to do, but never did. Stretch yourself. Stretching leads to growth. You will discover a part of yourself that you never knew existed. It’s in this search for self that you will find your reason for living, for existing, and the knowledge of what it is you’re meant to do…your bliss.
Things To Remember
- Bliss is a state of inner joy: You will not find it outside of yourself. Someone else’s bliss will not be yours.
- Bliss is a feeling of oneness and connection with all creation: The common denomination with all things is abundance, vitality, joy, and freedom. If we are not growing, we are dying.
- Bliss is where truth, happiness, and meaning all converge: Once you get a taste of your bliss there is no going back. It will change your life forever. It isn’t about having more, competing with everyone else, or operating like there is only so much to go around and you must do whatever you need to do to get your fair share. No. It’s about doing for others, bringing joy to the world, and for once and all, finding what it is that truly makes you happy and brings you joy.