“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” – Joseph Campbell
Discovering Your Bliss.
You may have stumbled across the opening quote in recent times. It appeared in the film, The Secret. The quote was coined by the American mythologist, writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell. He was known for his prose about mythology and religion among other things. Most importantly, he wrote a good deal about archetypes and the roles we play in adopting them in our life.
His work ignited my appeal in pursuing my dream of writing and speaking years ago. When pursuing that which you love and are passionate about, you’re serving the universe and yourself. You’re adding your gift to the cosmos by following your true nature. This is what I mean by awakening your authentic self; being in alignment with universal intention.
A useful metaphor to illustrate this concept is revealed in nature. A tree does not pretend to be anything else other than a tree. It bears leaves in season. It turns toward the sun seeking rays to grow and offer shadow to those beneath it. It doesn’t have illusions of grandeur about becoming anything else other than what nature had intended it to be.
I invite you to adopt a similar line of thinking. Your authentic self means awakening to the magic; the splendour and beauty of your birthright. Most will never experience the delight of becoming their best, since they believe it to be untrue. They feel unworthy of being all that nature had intended for them. Going back to the tree analogy; it would be equivalent to the tree not bearing its leaves in season since it felt inferior to other trees who were grander in size.
So what does following your bliss entail? How will the universe open doors for you, where there were walls? In order to examine this further, allow me to introduce another quote by Patanjali; who wrote the ancient yoga sutras. The quote supports Campbell’s philosophy entirely: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
The above quote is what I believe Campbell means when he speaks about following your bliss. The tree analogy; although simple in its description, serves to illustrate your bliss is – your story. It is the reason you were born on this earth. It is your purpose and your destiny; it is your dharma.
Have you watched an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” recently? Take note of the judges when giving their appraisal at the end of the dance routine. They’re often swept away by the dancer’s performance; they’re moved at the intensity of the piece. The dancer is also in a similar state. They’re present; grounded and completely in sync with their repertoire. If you listen closely to the short monologues in-between the acts, you’ll note how dancing has become a way of life. It’s their passion and purpose. It gives meaning to their lives. It’s not something they DO. It’s something they ARE.
A performer doesn’t refer to their art as something they LIKE doing; it’s much too passive a description. They tell you “I AM” a dancer. They tell you who they embody as a person; they personify an archetype, much like Campbell wrote about. Think about the same context in your life. What do you tell people when they ask you “what do you do?” The message is not to identify only with your skill or passion. The message is; your passion or purpose becomes your meaning. It personifies who you are. If you were to omit that aspect of yourself, who would you be?
My passion and purpose is to communicate the message of awakening your greatness and genius. It is teaching and showing people how to access their inner wisdom. I am lost and absorbed by every aspect of the process. When I watch, listen or read inspirational stories or documentaries, I’m moved to tears of gratitude; knowing I have access to the same wisdom within me.
There’s nothing stopping me from following my bliss. Writing this blog bring me joy. My fingers don’t leave the keyboard as I type. It flows through me. I am present in the moment. I feel rapture toward the words leaving my mind onto the page. I trust and know these words will be meant for someone; even if it impacts one life, I have been authentic and true to my nature.
Recognising Your Bliss.
So, what is your bliss? Your bliss is something you’d do for free; devoid of money. It’s something you can’t wait to do upon rising each morning. It’s something you’re consumed by. Your friends and loved ones constantly tell you how much time you spend absorbed in this behaviour. You’re oblivious to time, since you have no concept of it when performing this task.
Your bliss may also be your calling in life. If you find joy and energy bringing happiness and fulfilment to others; your bliss is your blessing. Doctors, nurses, teachers, tour guides etc all experience this wonderful enthusiasm when undertaking their job. Yes, the hours may be long; often making sacrifices along the way. The reward reveals itself in pleasure and excitement. It’s an uncontainable energy that no undertaking is too big. There is always time to pursue your pleasure.
When you’re following your bliss, you’ll notice the path may reveal itself. There are no longer obstacles which block your success. Everything is effortless and easy. The right people show up in your life to help you advance forward. The right circumstances befall you at the right time; since you’re now in alignment with nature and universal energy.
For a moment, think about friends or loved ones in jobs, relationships or circumstances they loathe. Think about the energy they expend to do that task or to be in that relationship. They’re depleted of their life-force. They may be forlorn and exhausted. You hear it in their words and see it in their body language; everything becomes an effort.
Don’t become that person. Yes, many have obligations to their families or business. Yet they all chose their path in life. They chose not to pursue their bliss. Society may have told them it’s impossible to follow your bliss. Believing this, they acted upon this advice telling themselves the same story. Now, think about those pursuing their bliss in the world and the effect they have on humanity?
Make a choice what you’d like out of life. If you’re already following your bliss, I wish you continued success and joy. If you’re not, I hope this post ignited something within you to take action NOW. Even a phone call or an online inquiry is enough to propel you in the direction of your dreams.
Finally, my interpretation of Joseph Campbell’s quote would read: “Follow your bliss and awaken your authentic self to the beauty and splendour of life that awaits you.”
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