“It is a terrifying experience to have your consciousness transformed.”
~ Joseph Campbell
If you’re even remotely immersed in the world of personal growth, you’ve heard the axiom “Follow your bliss” made famous by mythologist Joseph Campbell. What you may not be aware of is that later in life, he regretted how his message had been belittled to mean, “Only do what feels good.” He mused that he should have said, “Follow your blisters.” After all, he wasn’t advocating a life of hedonism; he was encouraging people to transform their consciousness, which he himself described as a “terrifying experience.”
So what happens when you’re going through life, following said bliss, and a foreclosure notice shows up on your door? Sure, you haven’t been able to pay all the bills, but you’re living out your purpose, right?
Or you’re out there changing the world and then you end up in bankruptcy court.
Or you’re coaching people on following their bliss, while you’re living out of your office.
Sound like bliss to you? Me neither. Yet, each of those experiences has been a part of following my bliss.
In this course, I’ll describe how to follow your bliss (and blisters) through the ups and downs.
Top 10 Big Ideas
1. Redefine Bliss
Let’s get clear on what JC was talking about when he described bliss. He states:
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.
2. Know What You’re Here To Do
I’ll share my simple three-step process to answer the seemingly monstrous question, “What am I here to do?” You need to know where you’re going in order to head in the right direction.
3. Accept the Gift of Setbacks
Often, you can glean great wisdom from the obstacles and roadblocks that come your way. Perhaps there was a more efficient way to create something or you simply are a more balanced person for having learned patience.
4. Avoid Spiritual Bypasses
It’s very easy for those of us self-aware individuals to gloss over the hardest parts of life and say “everything happens for a reason.” I believe that is true, but be careful not to suppress the feelings and emotions that arise when bad things happen. A spiritual bypass is when you attempt to jump over the processing part and land right in the “I’m stronger and wiser for having gone through that” part.
5. Call in Your Advocates
You are not alone. When the going gets tough, it’s crucial to call in your support buddies. Be it family, friends, colleagues, whomever. Create a network around yourself so that there are people in your life to whom you can reach out when needed.
6. Get Moving!
I have spoken with clients who tell me they are meditating on what they should do next or journaling about it. Meanwhile, nothing is changing in their experience.
I’ve been drawn into that trap, too: practicing the law of attraction, being certain that the next right step will fall into my lap.
In my experience, it doesn’t happen quite that easily. It’s possible, of course, but not for the majority of my clients and definitely not for me. You need to get moving and take actual steps toward your purpose and your bliss.
7. Celebrate Each Little Victory
It’s easy to put off celebrating until you’ve “made it.” The big client, the lucrative deal… However, it’s equally important to highlight the steps you have already taken in following your bliss.
8. Reach Out for Help
Inc. Magazine published an article about how entrepreneurs often suffer in silence as they build their businesses. After all, it’s typically a solo job with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Instead of the “fake it till you make it” mentality, it’s become more acceptable to show your vulnerabilities and reach out for help. And this is very good news.
9. Tune Out the Naysayers
You have to be a little bit crazy to do this type of work. That is, excavating the depths of your heart, your soul, your unconscious mind. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.” No one else can define your path, or your bliss, for you. You must walk the path yourself.
10. Keep Going
The bottom line, and most important piece to remember here, is to keep going. If you are certain of the path your heart would have you follow, persevere through the valleys and the hills. There is transformation in both. There is bliss in the journey.