"Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see."
"Following your bliss" is a phrase used in self-help circles to mean living a lifestyle that gives you a sense of peace, satisfaction, and wholeness. It is often centered on both modern and ancient spiritual quotes that serve to motivate and encourage people to chase after what truly makes them happy and to see the bliss that is already inherent in the world around them.
For example, consider when Confucius said that: "Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see." Those who follow their bliss strive to live in a way that brings this beauty into every moment of their life. This is because it is only once we find such beauty that we can then "follow" it and use it to improve our lives.
The idea of "following your bliss" was coined by Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer. His studies of the human experience led him to coin the phrase to explain elements that lead people to a successful life. A closer look at what is meant by it will help you to understand how "bliss" and its pursuit can enrich your own life.
What Is Bliss?
Many people become confused about what the term "bliss" means in this context. It's not the temporary feelings of pleasure, joy, or even rapture that humans often experience. Real bliss is rather inchoate, in that it is hard to find words to describe it adequately. Instead, it is a deep and abiding calmness, and a consciousness of expansion. Real bliss encompasses feelings of peace, happiness, and connection with everything around you. It also includes a knowingness or certainty of what must be done and what steps to take to accomplish the goal. Bliss involves a focus of activity that often feels effortless because it is so natural to you.
Why Is It So Hard To Find?
Bliss involves a person's natural talents, interests and rhythm. Unfortunately, we are often encouraged to follow paths that do not include any of these naturally occurring traits. Family, friends, teachers, and others may influence people to go in other directions, either for their own reasons or because they truly do not understand the person's true nature. People often lead themselves into wrong careers or superficial relationships in order "be like" someone they admire, or because they hope to please parents, or for other reasons that have nothing to do with their own talents and natural inclinations. This choice often leaves them with feelings of dissatisfaction and inner turmoil.
Where Is Bliss Located?
The most difficult part of following your bliss is first finding it. Many people are so accustomed to doing thing that other people want them to do, they may find it difficult to strike out on their own paths. They may be afraid to try new experiences or hone new skills. This is where those people must find the courage to break out of old patterns and find new ways of doing things. Finding bliss can lead to job changes, breaking old relationships, and dealing with uncertainty. It can also lead to more self-confidence as you find the work, hobbies, and relationships that are more comfortable and fulfilling.
Once Found, How Do You "Follow" Bliss?
In the period of experimentation, you should look for those activities and people that make you happiest and feel most suitable for your personality. Engage those things that bring their own energy to the process and do not have to be "forced." Allow the energy to come into your daily life to give you new attitudes and goals. Joseph Campbell once said that once he had begun to follow his bliss, he often felt "invisible hands" were helping him. He attributed this feeling to the correctness of his path, as it had been there the whole time waiting for him, and as if all energies were being harnessed correctly making it easier for him to continue it.