Finding Your Bliss

Bliss

“Do What You Love”

That’s what the card said, pulled from the deck with the question of “what should I be doing?” held in my head and my heart.

Right.

“What do you really love doing?” I was asked.

I hesitated as a million options came and went across my mind.

To write? Yes. But mainly in that spontaneous, conversational exchange of comments. The commitment and inspiration required for a more sustained effort eludes me.

To sing? Yes. But not in public. Not too many employment options for a singer restrained to singing along to the stereo in her car.

To draw? Yes. But only for myself, the only one who could possibly be amused by my amateurish efforts.

The running and the rowing? My absence from either activity in recent wintry weeks clearly reveals it is a thing I do only with effort. No bliss there, then.

To teach? Yes. And No. Currently working as a relief teacher in a special school, what I love is interacting with the children. What I don’t love is the daily terror of being found out for the fraud I am, lacking in any qualifications or experience for such work.

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.” – Joseph Campbell

If finding your bliss is putting yourself on the right path, I’ve been wandering lost in the woods for a good long while.

But.

Does finding your bliss have to be finding that one thing that brings you daily joy? Could it not be a combination of things? Could it not be the thing that brings you joy at that moment?

I have not sat at the piano and played my own music for many months. Yesterday, the compulsion overcame me and I pulled out songs I haven’t sung since last year. I can’t explain why. Even now, as I type, my eye continues to be drawn to the piano in the corner, my fingers itching to produce music instead of words.

Why? Why now and not then?

[shrugs]

I have no idea.

All I do know is that there is no single thing I can provide as an answer to “What do you really love doing?” because I love it all, just in certain measures, at certain times, in response to certain needs.

What about you? Have you found your bliss?

Postscript: Thinking about the question later in the day, one answer did occur to me. I love to read aloud, especially to children. The silly voices, the funny faces, I love it all. So if you hear of a job going for a storyteller, you will let me know, won’t you?

 

 

 

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111 thoughts on “Finding Your Bliss

  1. I don’t think *bliss* is one thing … actually I’m thankful it’s not. Different things at different times provide comfort, excitement, peace, joy … because we need different things at different times.

    When I think of the expression *follow your bliss*, I’m inclined to think that it means follow what your heart wants at this time … like you being pulled towards the piano.

    On the other hand, we already know that you and I are cut from the same cloth so it’s not surprising I have a Jack of All Trades approach to bliss 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’m like you, I have a thousand and one things I do so can never be great at any one of them. (Not saying you’re not great, but you know….) And funny thing, like you the last few weeks has been “piano”, though for the most part I’ve been playing with my electronic instruments, not the wood and steel instrument, though I have played it a little. So, yeah, can I quit my job and stay home playing the piano all day yet?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bliss being one thing would be like eating the same food all the time……your tongue was given many little buds to pick up many different tastes…..same with your brain…….follow your bliss wherever it leads you at the moment and perhaps that will take you to a new bliss and on and on. The great thing about you is, it’s like having 20 (and more) friends in one…..we could meet on 20 different days and never do the same twice because you are so varied!

    Liked by 4 people

      • I think you have got the point. Life IS like a box of chocolates. How boring would it be to eat orange creams all the time, because as nice as they are one would still get fed up with them eventually. I suppose some people are very lucky in that their working lives and home lives follow the dream – musicians, artists, actors. Most of us have to compromise. But following your bliss changes throughout your life. What I loved to do as a youngster (climb trees, play cricket with my brothers, scrump for apples) is not the same as a teenager (buy clothes, records, go to discos and rock concerts, travel) or as a mother (bliss then was having all the kids asleep and enjoying a glass of wine in peace). Now I am approaching the winter of my life, bliss takes on an entirely different meaning. Blogging, photography, exploring places close to home, being well and having most of my marbles 😉

        So enjoy the piano, sing aloud (I’ve got good earplugs) and embrace your life. It is after all YOUR life.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks for the reminder, I need to get Joseph Campbell off the shelf again. I’m with the others – bliss can be simply being able to see round corners, play with the possibilities etc . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As i read your thought provoking post I thought that you could be in my head and looking at my own thoughts. Bliss seems more about in the moment than I shall do this for the rest of my days and feel blissful. For me is it travel, writing, socializing, cycling? I think it’s more about the variety. Like you I could not possibly sit down and write eight hours a day. Also like you I love the speaking aloud but truly for me it would be as the voice in animal movies. There is a large calling for that I’m sure.
    Anyway as I ramble on and on and on, apparently talking is my bliss. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • You should get in touch with John Lasseter and make a pitch. But if he gives you a job, you have to get one for me. I’ve always wanted to work for Pixar. Don’t have any skills but it looks like a cool place to work. 😀

      Thanks for your thoughts, Sue. Guess we multiple bliss people are more plentiful than I first thought. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • As I was writing the comment H I wondered about doing voices for audio books. That could be fun too. 🙂 Here’s to finding our bliss and if I find any leads on voice overs I will let you know!

        Liked by 1 person

            • I would be doing it, but, stupidly, didn’t know while living a stone’s throw from one for twenty-five years, and now, would need a mighty arm and aim, and plenty o’ patience and gas $, to travel there weekly. Not impossible, but friggin L.A.-ugly.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hate it when things don’t time with when we want them…

                An initial search has not been fruitful. The only school in the state is several hours away and the wider vision body only wants admin and op shop volunteers at present. But I’ll keep it in mind.

                Like

              • Do you-all have Craiglist? There may be a parent of a blind child who would treasure the assistance. I love reading to kids so much, and have such a huge collection of books, that I considered making YouTube vids just of me reading. How stupid is THAT?! Who would watch them? Trolls only. I, insecure enough about my looks that I have never even skyped or taken a selfie, would, if anyone saw the vids at all, get disparaging remarks from pathetic losers. And, pathetically, they’d HURT!

                Liked by 1 person

              • I was going to say “no” to your question of Craigslist but thought I should check with Mr Google first. It came up with a local version but when I clicked on it, it took me somewhere….unsavoury. (I landed in the Personals section. More specifically, the “Casual Encounters” section of the Personals section.) In the end I had to go via Wikipedia to find the right place. I’ll check it out. We have a similar thing called Gumtree here so I’ll check that too. Thanks, Babe.

                The thought crossed my mind as to whether I could develop a story app. Quickly dismissed on the grounds of lack of skills but wouldn’t that be cool?

                Liked by 1 person

              • Yes. Yes it would. The shortcoming to YOU doing any if this would be that riDICulous accent. The poor tots would get tired of hearing the same “Koala and Roo Are Friends” books over and over, and that dreadful “GoANNa Makes Good”, but try reading anything else and they’ll simply be lost.

                Liked by 1 person

              • I have just wasted the bulk of the last 52 minutes of my life–time I doubt I get back unless I head Hades-ward at the end–searching for where I thought I remembered seeing that word used in a funny context. Finally found it. If you ever get the chance, because she’s so d#mn quick and clever and entertaining, you might enjoy reading the banter between Unreqwrited’s Stephanie and me in the comments on this post. It works in crustacean toward the end.

                Liked by 1 person

              • I did. Late reply because it took me three attempts to successfully negotiate time to read it. Hilarious post and the both of you are too clever for words. Or with words. And I spit in the eye of Mr Anonymous. What makes people do that and think it’s okay?

                Like

              • Wiping spit out of my eye now. Yes–it was eye.
                At the time, my bud Joey and I were in close communication about the post, and I was so surprised he did not tumble, but so very touched that he jumped to my defense like that. Even though his doing so that quickly mucked up why I invented Anonymous: I knew some folk were disgusted and offput, or just afraid to be the first to comment (after I posted, the silence was deafening), and I also suspected some would wonder why no big-girl Dydees. So I felt inspired, and was going to jump to answer my fake commenter when Joey jumped in first, the dear. Pretty funny!

                As for you being “late”: Holy Feces, woman, you have a husband, a family, a job, and several interesting pursuits besides. “Late”? Pffft. Whenever I include a link or referral to anything, for anyone, it’s no-strings. I honestly hadn’t thought I was referring you to read the post–just the funny banter with the goofy site that thinks -ean always rhymes with a shiny clean bean.

                Thank you for reading the whole post!

                Liked by 1 person

              • I am both relieved (that it was a joke) and cross (that I didn’t pick up the joke). Cackling like mad now. Ooh. Such a tricky, sneaky, hilarious idea! Hm. Tempted…..

                Yes, but I am currently on holidays so no excuses really. I could, of course, be scrubbing toilets or making jam or sewing a new heatpack so I don’t have to be constantly vaccing up spilt wheat from the old one that got eaten by moths but, you know, priorities.

                I know you were only referring me to the comments but I like context. And I love what you write so why wouldn’t I read the post and all the comments anyway? 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

              • “Love”… Thank you.

                I will go treat my self to some Edamame of Happiness now.
                🙂
                I'd make it the amazing-can't-believe-they-make-them-just-found-them-day-before-yesterday Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Dipped-Rice-Cakes of Happiness that I promised myself when I bought them I'd save for only special occasions, but I ate the second box after breakfast this morning.
                :/

                Liked by 1 person

  6. You being a Mastress of Many Trades, despite your feeling less so, you need no central passion. Your drive to DO is your passion.

    I do wish I had a driving passion. When I did, for my wok, that made me very happy during those many hours. My brain was fully engaged in a creative, challenging, way-fun pursuit (either programming, or, later, designing). Even designing and writing marketing materials used some of those skills (I was marketing software). I hated all the bullsh#t aspects, but the work was good.

    If you had one strength–let’s say your brain–and its gears are gone gummy, finding new multi-blisses or one big one to replace the old can be elusive. I suppose this is what many men of the past felt like when they retired. I hope my future holds a new passion my slower self can grab hold of. I still have four decades to go (!), genetically, if the autocide continues to behave itself.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think the thing about “bliss”, is that the more one thinks about it and looks for it, the more elusive it is. Ignore it, and there it is (but only for that second you’re not looking).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like Cynthia I have lived a long and full life. For much of it I spent trying to prove I could “do it all”. And I did do most of it. Of late I sometimes find it nice to sit back and enjoy the memory of it all. It’s good to finally figure out things I was never aware of. Things I thought I knew don’t seem as important, and I’m constantly surprised by learning something new. As a young person we are always trying to promote our own resume, which doesn’t leave time for the small stuff which slips in between. As time grows shorter, our minds seem to open wider. I am finding the aging process to be one of the most interesting of times. There is bliss in sometimes just “smelling the roses”.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I think our definition of bliss is ever changing. I could not have foreseen my love of so many things I deem to make me happy, at this stage in my life. I suppose there are those that have a “calling” of some sort to something they love but I would guess that most of us make it up at we go. Following our hearts as we travel through time, paying attention to those little things that make us happy. Life is blissful. We just need to pay attention to what gives us joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think sometimes I get caught trying to follow my heart in six different directions. That’s when I start to wonder if life would be simpler with just that one thing. But it would possibly also be boring so I guess I’ll keep meandering.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I really chimed with you on this. I am a jack of all trades, and have fully changed career three times (with a lot of other stuff in between). I do lots of things, but none of them brilliantly, though many of them make me blissfully happy. I have concluded that it is projects that make me happy. I like all the phases: creative, engineering, labour, presentation and peer review (sculpture, psychology, writing, gardening…). When you’ve got that far, you have an excuse to start again and see if you can do another similar project better, or something new and different. Well, it’s a perfectly good way to use up a life.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. This isn’t one bit surprising, H … You do lots and lots of things REALLY well – more than likely as well as they can be done (I wouldn’t know) – and that’s because you love doing ’em. Seems to me that being a JoAT is something to be proud of: it certainly provides you with an awful lot of help in raising your family, just for starters.
    One of the things you do AUX POILS, as my vulgar Mauritian friends used to say (meaning, to the nth degree), is be you.
    Only the gods know why you entered my life at this late stage, but I do not intend to let you out of it again. Well, not till I kark, anyway.
    [grin]

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Bliss is not one thing. It’s chocolate and coffee, and riding my bike down the trail on a beautiful summer day and sitting in silence with a glass of wine and laughing until I cry with my best friend, and feeling the soft purr of a kitty, and sleeping 10 hours straight and singing to Journey at the top of my lungs and…so many things. I can’t pick just one.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. … and there I was going to say something!!! Actually by the time I read all the comments I don’t have anything new to add, except I do know someone who makes a living as a professional storyteller. Although I suspect he may also be a gigalo. Just sayin.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such a good question. What is bliss. I agree with you – it can be a combination of things. For me, I’m in a happy state when I’m writing, writing something for my blog or just randomly writing in my journal or writing down an idea I’ve got. Then again, there are times when I get stuck and the words don’t come out and it’s frustrating… Come to think of it, I don’t think doing this one thing for a while will really make me happy. Like you, I like playing piano too but I haven’t touched the piano in a couple of years. On some days I feel most relaxed and contented just sitting at home and starting at the clouds 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I envy your random writing for yourself. I am slowly coming to the sneaking suspicion that my bliss hides in doing things for others. Thus, I can spend all day making a Muppet beanie for a friend’s child and absolutely love it but were I to spend all day making something for myself, it first of all is unlikely to happen and secondly I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much. It’s an intriguing discovery.

      Like

      • You’re very selfless. That’s a great trait to have. Maybe you set high expectations for yourself 😀 Interesting observation. I feel that when I don’t have to think about others, I can go about on my own pace.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think I might need to work on that. Not for all the time (I do like doing things for others) but just now and again perhaps I should try to do something creative just for me. (Actually, I made a new heat bag for myself today. Mainly because I was tired of picking up the wheat kernels that have been falling out of my old one since the clothing moths got to it. But only because I got the sewing machine out to repair the Youngest Son’s backpack. 😉 )

          Liked by 1 person

  15. see I’m not sure one should try to make your bliss your life, for many of the reasons mentioned above, that’s not to say you should spend your life doing stuff that makes you miserable… but finding a happy medium (one day I’ll get all the splinters removed due to my fence sitting habit, after I quit procrastinating that is…..) where you enjoy at least some of what you do and get to have hobbies that help you rediscover your bliss, whichever bliss that might be today…. and friends/family who share some of the thing that bring you bliss, so some of the time you get to experience bliss in
    company….

    Liked by 1 person

    • All very valid points. I’m not sure I’m expecting to live blissfully 24/7 but I was intrigued that I couldn’t narrow in on one thing (or even two!) that is my “go to” thing for bliss. But it appears I’m not alone in that, so that’s okay. 🙂

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  16. Reading all of these comments makes it daunting to respond. I did like Babe’s suggestion about reading stories, and am sure the library could help you to discover where this might be done, perhaps? I feel very fortunate to have come through life to now live in a blissful state. I appreciate every day that is left to me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’d love to be able to find you that job, Heather. I can just picture you doing it and getting immense pleasure therefrom (have I just made up a word? Scratches head bemusedly 😦 ) I was dragged into this post by the irresistible title and photo- you promised me great things!- and I even held off reading how you got on with Mrs. M (I can guess 🙂 ) You probably know my answer anyway- wandering, wild and free, but the old legs do get tired after a while 🙂 I like the quote though. Wishing you much bliss, in any form you like!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m here late…and maybe I’ll be the most annoying?! I live in bliss every single day, time spent with my husband, my son and my puppy are my idea of bliss, all together or individually. Any day that my husband isn’t working and is home with me is my idea of bliss; having my son snuggled up to me in the evening is my idea of bliss; walking through the countryside in silence with my puppy is my idea of bliss. Cooking something that they enjoy and watching them eat it comes along behind all them too 🙂
    I’m easily pleased x

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Later in life, I’ve found my bliss in mindfulness, whether it be hanging up the washing, walking, writing, working, etc. I wish I’d learnt this as a young person; I might have achieved a lot more for myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Pingback: Finding Your Bliss | edwinslog

    • It’s so strange that you should write your comment at this time. I’ve just done the exact same thing I wrote about in this post – played my own songs on the piano after many months of not going near it.
      I’m glad to hear you have a similar experience with your guitar. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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