Yes, May I Have Another?

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Words of Wisdom from Joseph Campbell:

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

~ Joseph Campbell in Reflections in the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion

I was reading my second favorite website today—MindBodyGreen (obviously Ele is my steady) and ran across this post highlighting an excerpt from the genius Joseph Campbell.

Bliss is a funny word. I can safely assume if offered—everyone would like a heaping side of bliss to compliment their main course of chewy reality. For me, bliss is a connotation of deep happiness and contentment. I can honestly say that I do my very best to follow my bliss everyday but often don’t end up feeling so blissful. The past month has been especially trying (see: Why It’s Okay to Not Be Nice) and as hard as I try, I feel like I keep ending up feeling dangerously related to Liza Minnelli.

This Joseph Campbell quote took me straight back to an amazing lunch I shared with the insanely inspirational Seane Corn. She told me that we have the opportunity to set intention. The Universe asks us, “Who would you like to be.”

Now, I’m not talking about being a lawyer or professional Trader Joe’s food taster when you grow up, but who do you want to be. What kind of person do you strive to be and what message do you want to share with the world. Once you set that intention and offer it up to the Universe—she’ll make you keep your promise. We often interpret that as being slapped down and treated horribly. We lose jobs, have our hearts broken, break bones and stare jealousy and possession straight in the eye. The easy response is to think—why does the Universe have it out for me? Why can’t I get what I’ve been looking for? Why cruel world, why??

Well, give the Universe a break because she’s actually looking out for you. Once you make that intention of who you want to be, every time you fall off track or start to walk in the wrong direction she hits you swiftly with a ruler and gets you back in line. We interpret this as defeat, when some of the worst pain we can experience often brings the most immense joy and bliss down the road.

Trust your intention and that its energy is surrounding and supporting you. Doors will begin to open for you —without a doubt. Sometimes from the places that we’ve placed our energy and often from such lovely and unusual sources. Many doors will need to be closed forever with no trace of a key. This can be painful, but trust that a small amount a pain and a few road bumps will lead you and keep you connected to your bliss.

And that’s Blissful with a capital B.

Kathryn is a lover and teacher of yoga by day, a wizard in the kitchen by dinner time and a professional dog snuggler at night.

Headshot by Heirloom Creative Photography

‘Bouncing with Bliss’ shot by James Brown

Follow Kathryn @kathrynbudig or on Facebook

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Kathryn Budig

Kathryn is a lover and teacher of yoga by day, a wizard in the kitchen by dinner time and a professional dog snuggler at night.

Follow Kathryn @kathrynbudig or on Facebook.

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anonymous Mar 6, 2013 8:15pm

[…] ~ Joseph Campbell […]

anonymous Mar 15, 2011 1:02pm

[…] […]

anonymous Nov 4, 2010 1:58pm

Bliss is a state of being unintentionally explained by Dr. Peter Berger in his book "A Rumor of Angels" in which he points out that one archetypal human characteristic is our tendency to "suspend time during play" — evidence, he claims, of our innate knowledge of the infinite. Campbell wisely advocates this experience, and even its vigorous pursuit. So do I.

anonymous Jun 29, 2010 6:21pm

[…] another post titled Words of Wisdom, she writes about the universe and bliss. By all means, read her entire article, but what stood out […]

anonymous Jun 8, 2010 7:48am

Joseph Campbell was the start of it all for me…he was my first muse. Thanks for the reminder, the inspiration and your beauty.

anonymous May 21, 2010 6:52pm

Thanks Kathryn, I'm enjoying your contributions to the internet (video, articles, photos) very much. It's been Budhig week in the blogosphere too. Please keep writing and sharing. Love it.

anonymous May 17, 2010 10:01pm

My take on the subject~ . KF

anonymous May 17, 2010 9:34pm

Just took notes from this into my sketchbook. Thanks Kathryn.

anonymous May 14, 2010 10:51am

Sure Robbie, anyone can do whatever they want. To me, it seems that it’s more about the drama than anything. At some point one thing becomes right and then another wrong almost as a shift in consciousness and then everyone follows a different bliss for a time.

They could be called concurrently evolving fads outwardly expanding, reaching an etherealness that dissipates from human consciousness and then there are the other ripples from places other then earth.

I look at things in a way where if for some reason a person excels in unconsciously responding to the unconscious subconscious, for example, it’s like being called and guided into a difficult situation, sorta like a reckless politician who gains some popularity. Not everyone successfully presents a manner of ingenuity that resolves the problems received.

It’s almost a manner of evolving a new cliche into consideration, a mini fad even. Something that sounds catchy that people don’t seem to understand but like because it sounds good.

This takes time, saying different things here and there to different people where it might sound weird or something, until some ingenious, for example, is revealed to the person working for change for public good, which can then be expressed and appreciated. So, I’m guessing you’ve probably gotten good at something without really knowing it and you might be being asked to expound.

In some sense it’s about helping beyond knowing. For example, in my case, I’d never have asked for what I’ve dealt with. In short, a problem I’ve been dealing with, in some sense in the form of an Odyssey, people are destroying Creation on Earth, if just considered from the standpoint of the species that will probably never return to Earth as had been evolved into existence and in general the wrong people are in power and the wrong people are benefiting from such a circumstance.

A good question might be, if there is very little left of Creation on Earth, or half even, 2,000 years from now what might abiding of this solar system be like and what if becoming a human being becomes something more problematic then the worth of trying to be part of it, especially when it would be so easy for the world to stop now and do the right thing?

I hope no-one minds, I’m sorta trying out a new set of wings while offering my two cents worth.

anonymous May 13, 2010 3:00pm

This article, to me, raises the question, what about cliche? Seeing all the replies of support, can you tell already that I became familiar with knowing before I understood innocence? Oops, a question followed by a question.

So, really, the world looks different to me than most people, if you can imagine? Maybe I just haven't learnt to ask the right questions? But really, expressing myself is like setting land mines, one after another and all I notice, or what stands out is that the cooperation of people in the know seem to always be turning a cheek to a point where life is about being of a bliss that lacks any sense.

For example, what is that cliche? Something like, an un-examined life isn't worth living. Is how the cliche is usually expressed? A question I sorta have is, if one is living by direction of cliche, such as following ones bliss, how does one examine ones life if cliche is responded to as if the meaning isn't demeaning, meaning something like following ones bliss might be more or less like being adrift in the ocean with blinders on?

anonymous May 12, 2010 11:59pm

right on!

anonymous May 12, 2010 7:48pm

how do I find my bliss, is my question? Everything is mind = ego. Allowing myself to just allow even this dead place be OK. No motivation to go to the gym and work out or do charity work. I am burnt out and feel so much sadness that my life is a waste of time and pointless right now.

    anonymous Jun 8, 2010 3:11pm

    listen. your bliss is inside. meditation, yoga, hypnosis…talking to a friend or counselor. no life is pointless. email me if you want to talk…[email protected]

anonymous May 12, 2010 7:38pm

Absolutely, so true! Very nicely put. Will share this will my friend and kids yoga community as well.

anonymous May 11, 2010 5:48pm

Amazing read and spot on. I will be sharing this with my FB friends. 🙂

anonymous May 11, 2010 11:41am

[…] but you know what? We could all use a little more bliss these days. And I’m really digging this post from Elephant Journal today with some word of wisdom from Joseph […]

anonymous May 11, 2010 4:02pm

wow, a really timely piece for me…. thanks SO much!!!

anonymous May 11, 2010 10:59am

Right on..100%. Love it!

anonymous May 11, 2010 4:59am

love your blog <g>

anonymous May 11, 2010 3:47am

Ahhhhhh, nice one, my Beautiful and Talented Friend. The ruler slap was a nice touch too. Mother Universe, perhaps?

Bob Weisenberg May 11, 2010 2:51am

Thanks, Kathryn. Enjoyed reading this. And thanks for reminding me that I want to read some Cambell. Any recommendations?

Bob Weisenberg

anonymous May 10, 2010 11:48pm

as usual.. perfection:)

anonymous May 10, 2010 11:33pm

Great Kathryn, enjoyable read…. Just what I needed at this moment to reinforce the spiritual values… Namaste

anonymous Jun 8, 2010 7:46am

bliss is not in the action…you must go deeper…the univers only shuts out one thing to help us see another…ask yourself what makes running and cycling a passion? and what do those actions give back to the world? create something around those things and the universe will respond! Much love. It isn't easy I know…