happy monday, friends! i’m back from sweden (and a little side trip to the beach in north carolina) and it feels like i’ve hit a mini-reset button in my life – like one little phase is over and new one is beginning. and that’s always a good thing because i like beginnings and endings, actually. i thrive by the cyclical nature of life. i think it provides me a sense of comfort and hope and renewal – and a sense of adventure too.
so, it’s a new week, a new month, and there many new adventures on the horizon. plus, it’s a really big day of celebration for be.love.live…
this post is my 1000th post!! feels like an amazing milestone, and i want to celebrate it with a very special blogging moment – reflecting a little, and looking forward a lot.
while i was in sweden in july, i read the geography of bliss by eric weiner, a book that i had been wanting to read for a while. i mean, really. travel and the search for happiness/bliss… what could be better? well, it was a very interesting book. weiner took off visiting different countries that rated high on some happiness scale, to find out why they were considered the top happiest countries in the world. the book was not my favorite book of all time, but it was totally inspirational. i’ll not review it here; what i will say, though, is that it really got me thinking about happiness and bliss, and the pursuit of it. but more personally, i thought about what makes me happy… really, truly, blissfully happy.
and then, that made me think about this blog: a blog about the life, love, and adventures of a free-spirited ex-pat following her bliss. when i first started the blog, when i moved to sweden 4 years ago, i ran across a quote that has become one of my favorites (if not my absolute favorite). i even had it posted up here on the blog for a year or so, highlighting it in my sidebar. it touched something deep within me, and left me thinking: yes. this is it. this is what i seek. the inner peace that i wish to bring to my life can also be called bliss.
here’s the knock-me-off-my-feet quote:
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
― Joseph Campbell
that quote has put me on a journey that i realize i’d already been on my whole life. it was, in a sense, my own search for happiness – like eric weiner’s in the geography of bliss. however, my search has been mostly an inner search, though i have journeyed and travelled far and wide. eric weiner’s search was an outer search, taking him to different countries, which affected his inner search, i believe. still, what he discovered, in my opinion were a few things that the happiest countries had in common: a life close to nature, a connection to community & history ( = we need each other), and an awareness of the reality of our mortality ( = struggles, darkness, having to work hard, and tough times make us stronger), and a certain kind of energy ( = living in a place that feels right in your soul, allows for creativity, imagination, and an enjoyment of life) .
in any case, happiness/bliss, seems to be what we are all after. and, this blog has been my way of chronicling my search for and moments of bliss – and it is an ongoing, lifelong journey of simply learning to be and love and live. it is a lifelong discovery of what truly makes me happy, what is most important in life (relationships and authenticity and love), and learning to live life to the fullest – embracing the good, the bad, and believing that love always wins. looking back over the past 1000 posts, i can see who i am, who i was, and who i have become – and they are not really all that different. in fact, it’s actually just been 1000 posts about me learning to become more and more me, of becoming more secure in who i am and what bliss means to me…. and, of course, the journey continues.
so, what makes us happy? what makes me happy? where do i find my bliss?
well, if i think deeply from my soul, i know that bliss is found within – that whatever may be going on on outside in the world, i have the chance to always have calm & peace within me – no matter where i live. bliss is being grounded in who i am. it is being aware of who i am, accepting who i am, and knowing that who i am is exactly who i am supposed to be. it is not being afraid to take risks, but soaking up life and chasing after my dreams – as crazy and ridiculous as they may seem to you or to others. and it is an awareness of the fragility of life – the knowledge that my days are numbered, that life is fleeting, and therefore, i’m gone live it up and celebrate every single solitary moment that i am alive. bliss is knowing the pure joy of being alive, of seeing beauty, of believing in hope, of connecting with others, of breathing deeply from my soul.
and there are moments, places, and people who help to boost my inner peace. so, to celebrate this 1000th post, and as my journey of following my bliss continues, i thought i’d share with you 10 ways that nurture and increase my happiness. 10 things that bring me joy. 10 ways that i have discovered in the past 1000 posts (and throughout my life) that bring me moments of bliss.
4. connecting with someone (authentic relationships)
5. traveling to anywhere (and the thrill of adventure that awaits)
6. weekend mornings at home
7. a good song
8. a silent cathedral
10. sharing life with my love
my final bit of bliss tonight is dedicated to the 1000 posts i have written and created here on be.love.live. i have loved sharing every single post, and i can see part of the story of my life unfolding on these webpages – for me, that it such a gift. for, many beautiful and challenging and confusing and amazing memories are saved here. and while i blog and post for me, because it is like breathing, i am so grateful for all of you that i have met along the way – and that you tag along with me on my quest to seek bliss. i am so thankful for your dedication and willingness to look at my photos, read my words, and journey with me. so, tonight, we celebrate! blogging, happiness, bliss, and the joy of simply being alive! here’s to 1000 more posts and 1000 more moments of the journey!
Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, “I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.” I think it worked. — Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, pp. 113, 120
and with that, my dear friends, i will leave you tonight. may you find peace and joy and happiness in your journey. may every day, every step you take, every breath you soak in, every moment that you live, be one in which you hold on to your bliss, to who you were created to be.
i wish you boundless, never-ending love and peace.