Follow your bliss

UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young

When you follow your bliss…doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else. – Joseph Campbell

Is there something you have always dreamed of doing, but either it has not happened or you do not really think it is possible? Have you wondered about the purpose of life or if there is more to the one you are living?

If so, you are not alone. As we grow, we may pick up many limiting beliefs along the way. We may have limited opportunities or be limited by what our parents believe. From early on in our lives, we get the sense there is a path we must follow: go to school, get good marks, get further schooling, choose a career, progress in a job, buy a house, have children and so on. While this may not be true for everyone, it does seem to be the default program expressed by parents, educators and the media.

two chairs on a beach

In our culture, no emphasis is placed on helping you figure out who you are, how you want to live in the world or how you want to spend the time you have been given. There seems to be a division between what is fun and exciting and what is practical and realistic.

In order for a growing human to discover who he or she is, there would seem to be a need to have opportunities to explore different things and for time alone to think and reflect. It would also be important to have others with whom to discuss ideas in an open-ended way. And, of course, it would be wonderful to be encouraged to be open-minded and to trust one’s inner thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Well, yes, it would be nice, but for most of us this is not the way it was. Many people, therefore, find themselves perhaps ‘successful’ in their lives, but not necessarily as happy as they would like to be.

There seems to be an epidemic of stressed out people going a million miles an hour at work and then finding themselves just as busy at home. Of course, technology has sped things up a lot, but there is also a culture of ‘busyness’ that is assumed to be ‘normal.’ Perhaps it has crept up on us so that it has become the new normal, but this normal is not good. Perhaps it is normal for lemmings, every once in a while, to madly throw themselves en masse into the ocean to die, but even the scientists who study them still find it strange.

Is it any wonder then that with all of this it can be possible to be somewhere in adulthood and wonder firstly, who you really are, and secondly, what you would like to be doing with your life? How would one begin to answer these questions? Well, you can read lots of books, take workshops, Google numerous things and try to use your brain to figure it out. I have seen people do all these things and end up even more confused than when they started.

Joseph Campbell has a much better idea. He says, “Follow your bliss.” Do what makes you happy. He says he does not believe people are looking for the meaning of life so much as they are looking for the experience of being alive. When do you feel most alive? What truly makes you happy?

Most of us cannot just chuck the life we have and start a new one. But you can begin doing more of the things you love. You might think there is no time or it’s too late in life or you will not be good at it. You might also wonder what people will think. Well, you can make the time, it is never too late, it does not matter if you are good at it, just that you love it, and who careswhat anyone thinks?

Take a moment right now to think of your bliss and plan to take action to bring more of that into your life. Let me know what happens.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books and CDs, visit www.gwen.caSee display ad this issue.

photo © Ersler |

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