Joseph Campbell famously wrote: “Follow your bliss.” But what if you don’t know what your bliss is? What if you have spent so much of your life being what you think you should be; doing what society, family, friends have told you to do, you’ve lost sight of YOUR bliss? Maybe you’ve spent so long doing the “right thing” you can’t even remember what bliss feels like anymore, let alone your personal brand of it. So then what? What do you do? How do you follow something you no longer recognize?
The irony of living in a time where instant gratification is everywhere, touching most all aspects of our lives, is most of us do not even know what we truly want out of our lives; be it immediately or a little bit down the road. We’ve gotten so use to tapping, clicking, swiping our wants into existence, we have lost touch with what inner bliss truly feels like. The sensory experience of even a moment of bliss has been reduced to a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. Meanwhile the notion of individual bliss and personal satisfaction is sitting in the “Recovered Files” folder on our laptops; there – all but forgotten.
So what do we do? How do we find, what we forgot we had lost?
There is a part of me, the part of me too that has become overly accustomed to a touchscreen life, that wishes I had an app, simple answer or a magic wand and biddy-boppity-boo my path to MY bliss, and the memory of what it feels like were again in the forefront of my mind. But alas, no such luck, for you, or I.
Rediscovering our bliss can be a bit like trying- to use an overused analogy- explain a rainbow to the blind. But all is not lost. As I too am on this journey. I leave you not so much with answers but with some first steps.
You did know bliss once, even if it takes you a bit to recall what it felt like. When bushwhacking our way back to OUR path to bliss, one of the first things to do is to forgive yourself for misplacing and or neglecting it. We humans excel at self-shaming and to truly rediscover OUR bliss, we must let it be OK to feel blissful, and that we have struggled to let ourselves’ feel it.
Let this is the first step. I’ll be writing about this more in the coming weeks, but today let’s just try to let ourselves feel joy. Maybe it’s just over a small thing like the uninhibitedness of a child’s laugh. Maybe it something larger like feeling joy in a task you have accomplished; and not critical of how well you did or how long it may have taken to finish. The point is just to let yourself feel joy. Feeling joy, however fleeting, will help you find YOUR path to bliss.