a week ago, i had a little retreat with myself at home and spent some of the time reading about a new person i discovered… joseph campbell. he was a university professor, a writer, and a spiritual man… but not of any one religion (this i like). instead, he saw and taught about the threads that run through all myths, all stories, all religions. instead of focusing on the things which made religions different, he made connections and drew a bigger picture. but, what i believe he is most well-known for is coining the phrase, his own personal mantra, “follow your bliss.”
that is, live the life that you were meant to live. do all the things that feed your soul. walk on this journey in life and seek out everything that makes you feel like singing, dancing, twirling, engage in and follow your dreams. live with wild abandon and with limitless freedom. do not hold back. do not get stuck. dream big. do what may seem crazy. risk being misunderstood. squeeze out everything you can from life, and by all means, be true to yourself. deep down you know who you are. you know what makes you feel whole, what fills you with passion. so, live it.
four years ago i put this mantra into action. i understood that in order to breathe, i had to follow my bliss. but that was not my mantra… my mantra was “come what may”. inside i knew that i was going to follow my bliss (though i didn’t call it that then), to be true to who i was… and i would do that no matter what. and, if i was true to myself, my dreams, & what appeared to be my craziness at leaving behind a once stable life & amazing job, then all would be well. come what may. i believed it.
and you know what. all has been well. in fact, because i followed my bliss, all has been more than well. of course, the past 4 years have had their share of deep pain, heartache, misunderstandings, and fear. but, in the end, all has become more than i ever could have imagined. for, i had no plans really, no job, no place to live, no money stashed away, nothing concrete. only insane hope, a loving family (who also thought i was crazy), supportive friends, and a best friend, who became the love of my life. i packed everything up, or sold it all, or gave it away, and moved to denmark… where open arms waited to give me unexpected shelter, new friends & colleagues inspired me, i discovered a love like i had never known, and a cozy, danish city became my temporary home.
yes, i followed my bliss. and then i did it again. and again. and again. i’m still doing it today. and i am determined to live a life filled with bliss & joy. 4 years ago i learned what it means to turn your life upside-down based on a deep feeling that would not let me be. one week ago, i learned that what i did was called following my bliss. and i encourage you all to look inside your soul, listen to your heart, take a leap of faith, and do the same.
this is only the surface of what joseph campbell said during the 20th century. i’m certain that i will find time to read more, and upon being inspired, i will share all my thoughts here again. but, for now, i just have this simple message from him: follow your bliss.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”