October 24, 2012

All You Need is Bliss.

If you’ve been around the yoga community at all, then you know that bliss is key.

Bliss is the thing. Bliss is the center. But, man, that’s hard to remember, much less achieve.

When there are bills, struggles, illnesses, relationships to juggle and consider, bliss can take a backseat. (You know, like the way-back seat of the station wagon, where you sat to get away from your parents and make faces at the cars behind you.)

But I’ve been thinking about bliss a lot lately. And when I say “bliss,” what I mean is that ever-burning fire in our soul that lights up whenever we’re near the source of our passion, be it yoga, work, books, running, children, welding, spelunking, whatever. I’ve been thinking about bliss and I’ve been thinking about roles—my role as teacher, partner, friend, sibling, daughter. And this: how does one find one’s bliss when one is attempting to fit into all of these disparate roles? And can one be one’s essential self and still fit the expectations that these roles present?

I don’t know. But I will tell you one thing: once I realized that those roles were arbitrary and crafted by someone else and that my participation in the dogma of their expectations was voluntary, the path toward my bliss became a hell of a lot clearer.

When we begin to define ourselves by our roles and make decisions based on those definitions—“oh, well, she’s my sister/friend/spouse, so I have to do ‘a’ or ‘b’…”—then we begin to lose our essence. And what is our essence, the essence of everything we have or want to have? Bliss. Fire. Passion.

I know all of the arguments because I’ve been living them: I can’t afford to leave this place or this job or this person or she’ll never speak to me again if I do that or I’ll lose all of my friends if I take this next step.

Hey, no one ever said finding the way to bliss was easy.

If it were, we’d all be blissed-out and the world would be a very different place (with lots more coffee/ice cream/nap breaks, of that I am certain).

But you know what? Find a way. I don’t care about your excuses. Hell, I don’t care about my excuses. I don’t care that it scares the ever-living stuffing out of you. Just do something. Have that conversation that panics you. Go back to school. Get out there and find a new job. Bring your bliss to you. Call to it. Signal it. Use flares. Cry. Weep. Scream to the heavens. Just flag it down. Trust me. Once it realizes you’re looking for it, it will stop and it will stay.

Look. I know this life stuff is tough. I know it’s challenging. Grueling at times. There’s no answer for that. All we can do is go on. Go on despite the challenge, despite the rain, the cold, the guilt, whatever it is that weighs us down.

Just don’t you dare postpone your bliss.

In the end, it is the center, the core, the spirit of everything we have.

As long as you can hold it in your heart, you can take it with you.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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