“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the 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. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
– Joseph Campbell
One of my friends commented that it takes a lot of courage for some of us to do that. She’s absolutely right. And I’m just beginning to really understand that. Its easy when there’s a regular income coming in and the structure of the 9 – 5 routine. Something altogether different when you are responsible for you.
What I’ve learned so far in this crazy journey is that once you say goodbye to the J-O-B you quickly run out of people and things to blame for being unable to pursue your creative passion. I know. I’ve looked.
“I’m too stressed out after a week at work to do my art”. Nope.
“I’m jetlagged because I just got back from a business trip to Beijing/Tokyo/London”. Nope.
“I had to bring work home”. Nope.
“My boss is a jerk”. Oh, that’s right. I’m my boss now.
“I’ll just clean the house because I haven’t had a chance to do it all week”. Now we’re on to something. A little thing I like to call “avoidance”. My house has never looked so clean.
Truth is that following your bliss is a job just like any other. The only problem is that this job comes without any regular salary, no paid sick days, no healthcare plan.
In fact, no benefits at all.
This job comes with the benefit of living life on your terms. And you get to decide if that means making excuses or making art.
We live in a society that is constantly entreating us to play it safe. How can we not be seduced by that message? Play by our rules and you too will have a nice pension to look forward to.
As Diane Ackerman said, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
So yes, following your bliss is scary. Many of us stand around at the edge of the pool for years before jumping in. And maybe some of us will get in gradually while others will just leap right in. As long as we are gentle with ourselves and allow the process to be whatever it turns out to be, we are on the right path.
Doors will open.
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