You know, there is a lot more to the phrase “Follow your bliss” then simply gravitating toward stuff you like to do.
It is one of those phrases seems simple at first but reveals layers of complexity the more that you examine it.
I’ve been noticing these days that I can barely stand some social media sites and at the same time I can’t seem to stop scrolling through the site. Finally I stop, usually after way too long, my break stretching out as my distracted mind finds one more tangent to follow or one more meme to be irritated at. Whatever the case may be, when I close the app and began living my life again, I feel much better. So why do I keep getting sucked into it, and neglecting my real life? There are a number of studies that show how literally physically addicting that type of activity is, but for me there is another layer.
Being self-employed allow someone a lot of freedom to create the daily life that they want to live. As self employed folks we can do whatever we want to to a large degree, but generally those who are successfully self-employed have figured out what works for them in terms of responsibility and productivity. Slacking off doesn’t help with building a business most of the time. But in any case, being self-employed means being self-driven to a large extent. Being self-driven can mean being your own worst critic as well.
Now I know I’m kind of a perfectionist. I can ignore it sometimes, but it’s always there. So even if I pretend something is good enough for now, it is still eating away at me until I improve it. That’s just the way I’m wired right now (I believe we can all change in many ways throughout a lifetime). So when I don’t want to start a project or a task sometimes its because I don’t want to work through all the repetitive stages that I will have to work through in order to get it right. Almost everything productive I do involves this repetition. Repetition is maintenance and practice, and a lot of life seems to boil down to those two things.
What does this have to do with “following your bliss” you may be asking…
First of all, the phrase doesn’t say “be your bliss” or “find your bliss” it says “follow your bliss”. What is acknowledged in this phrase is that you are always on the path toward finding your bliss and that the path itself may be the ultimate source of enjoyment.
“Follow” is an action. When we are on our social media sites scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, we are not doing anything at all. We pretend we are, but not really – it’s an illusion. Just like when you are tricked by a green screen and CGI graphics, no matter how realistic it looks nothing is actually there and the actors are flailing away in thin air. So getting away from illusion is a key concept in the “follow your bliss” idea. Getting away from illusion and actively participating in you life may be the only real step one needs to take to find bliss.
Why “bliss” and not happiness or joy? Perhaps because in bliss we lose ourselves, and in losing ourselves we reconnect with all others. Happiness and joy are good things of course but they don’t convey the ecstatic moment of being one with the universe like bliss does. In that moment, which can be called the flow state, we are more then simply ourselves, we are immersed in the sea of life and all it’s complexity is resolved in a dance.
Acknowledging that there is no perfection, that perfection is a myth, may help us move forward toward our bliss. I’m convinced that play is our ultimate secrete weapon, not only to find our bliss, but to follow it. The more that we can play in life, the easier it is to follow your bliss.