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