My brother has a decent job with the government, his wife is an architect. They have an expensive house, situated in a posh part of town. They have a couple of kids, new cars, designer clothes – the best of everything. By all accounts they are a complete success.
When my brother isn’t working two jobs, or chauffeuring the kids to soccer or gymnastics, he goes to his basement, all by himself and he locks the door. For the few spare minutes he allows himself, every once in a while, he loses himself in colors, ideas, shapes, forms – in his art. He has a gift for painting and drawing that I do not have. It is uniquely his. As you can see from the image above, he’s quite good at it. It’s what his soul yearns to do and when he indulges in it, it gives him a sense of peace, calmness and pleasure.
“Your life is always speaking to you.” – Oprah Winfrey
This is the reality for most people. We have to work to pay the bills and we spend tiny bits of time here and there doing what we love. Being a provider and going to a job, we can barely tolerate, takes up a disproportionate amount of one’s time, time that we would rather spend doing something else, anything else. No wonder most of us are so unhappy.
Our possessions are the bare minimum of existence – yes even if they are designer. We are here on this planet, at this time, for so much more than that. The problem is that our lives are so busy – we are so distracted, that we don’t have time to figure out our soul’s purpose and what makes us happy. I’ll spare you the rant on how debt is the new prison, but the truth is we get so caught up in trying to create the illusion of success – buying things we can’t afford to impress people we don’t like, that we lose sight of why we’re really here.
Be Still and Listen
Many of us make time for the gym to keep our bodies in good physical condition, but very few of us make time to just be still, to reflect, to pay attention to what your life is trying to tell you. You know when you’re on track. You feel it. I call it being in the zone and man, when I’m there, there is nothing like it.
Once my parents had both passed, I spent a lot of time searching for answers about where they were, if they were ok, if there was life after death. I looked into all the major religions, Eastern and Middle Eastern philosophies and I found myself on a hypnotist’s couch doing a past life regression and a life between lives session.
This was a couple of years before the idea of esteemology had even dawned on me and my hypnotherapist asked my spirit guide if I was a healer. I liked the concept of being a healer. I wanted to be a healer, though I didn’t really know how or what I could do. The answer I got back was no, you are a teacher. I remember being very disappointed by that answer. To me being a teacher meant standing in front of teenagers, writing out math problems on a chalk board. I did not want to be a teacher. I have great respect for teachers, but I knew that profession was not for me.
It wasn’t until many years later that I understood what being a teacher really meant for me. I had experienced something so horrific and I had found my way out of it. I solved my life’s riddle and I had to help others figure it out too. That’s what I had to teach. Words were my art, my outlet, my creativity, my purpose – my bliss.
“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling
After my mother was killed, my partner of 10 years left me for another woman and I lost everything. I was so lost. I was bankrupt in every way, except legally. There is a profound stillness at rock bottom. It’s very quiet and there is no one around to distract you. It’s a place where you are completely alone with nothing but your thoughts for companionship.
The beauty of rock bottom is that it’s a place of reflection, of where you can actually hear what your spirit has been trying to tell you, but you were too preoccupied with your life to listen. There is nowhere to go at rock bottom but up and it’s here where you create the path out. It’s here, when we get to map out the plan for the life we should have been living all along. It’s here, where we get to start again.
A Leap of Faith
A very real drawback of rock bottom is, it’s very uncomfortable and no one wants to stay there. When we’re content or we can at least tolerate our surroundings, we aren’t motivated to action. We become complacent. Discomfort or dissatisfaction forces us to do something about those unpleasant feelings.
When you have been through a trauma and a lot of pain you can become fearful and stuck. Finding your joy, your purpose, your bliss requires a leap of faith.
In your sacred stillness you get to reconnect to your emotions, you learn how to listen and how to trust them. You learn that the Universe really is on your side and that you have to trust the process and understand that it requires your participation.
You get to rock bottom by refusing to hear or act upon all the carrots your spirit has put in front of you, but you don’t have to hit rock bottom to find that stillness. All you have to do is create that sacred place, where you can take time for you. Where you can stop, think, create and dream. Meditation, visualization, reflection, planning, believing and listening – that’s what happens in this workout room.
When you meditate you feel good.
When you visualize you feel good.
When you feel good you are on track and in the zone.
When you are in the zone you are creating the life you were meant to live – an authentic life – that’s where you find your bliss.
This leap of faith asks that you change your perspective and see the journey as the reward. That you find joy in the work and perceive your life, all of it, bumps and all, as the adventure that it is. It asks that you make time for stillness and that you keep a clean connection to your spirit and really hear when it speaks to you. Pay attention to those gut instincts and act on them – trust them. Be present, always in the moment, because that is where life happens.
Do not concern yourself with the opinions of others, because they do not walk your path and they have no knowledge of your purpose, or your journey. Love where you are now, even if it’s not where you wish to be. Find joy in simple things like nature, pets, the smell after a rain fall, flowers, bubble baths, pumpkin pie – whatever makes you feel good. Know yourself, what brings you happiness, what makes you laugh, what makes you feel alive and do those things.
Finding your bliss is about being true to you and discovering those talents and gifts that make your heart sing and that are unique to you. It’s about being present and allowing yourself to receive joy and happiness and knowing that you deserve it. Finding your bliss is about discovering who you are – make time for it. It’s more important than shopping for that designer scarf!
Image courtesy of my brother’s basement art.
I’m from Indonesia. I kept coming here through my worst time of my life back in 2015 and 2016. Had a back and forth relationship with a narc, until I had courage to leave him and run. I promised myself, in 2017 I will be healed and shining again like I used to be…A happy independent lady….And yes, I am totally healed now. My life is great again….I did a big holiday trip last month to give myself a reward for not giving up to forgive myself and move on.
Thank you for this encouraging blog. God bless you. Much love from Java.
— Enur Solihah
Thanks Savannah. What a amazing blog and so wisely written. It was written in a way that makes it sink in. Absorbs you literally.
We all know that only we can create our own happiness….we know we know. But for so long I believed it was my ex narc partner that made me happy and didn’t think I would ever be able to get over the love of my life.
Reading your story today really made me happy and gave me some extra strength to create my own happiness and believe it.
xxx Love to you
Wonderful, thank you for this beautiful reminder. I am doing so much better, a year after my accidental encounter with a Narc, but every so often I get angry and still feel disbelief that I got got. I come back to this blog for support, and today reading this article re-affirms that I am on the right track, and to focus on THAT, rather than waste a second being angry about the past.
This is beautifully written. It’s just what I needed.
Excellent! Well written ~ just what I needed. Thank you.
Teachers ARE healers my friend. Anytime you express your authentic self in the world you are healing it.
This is so true. Teaching people the way out and how to truly be connected to your full essence allows them to heal in the deepest ways.
There’s an art in finding a bliss when you reached the bottom. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be so many therapists, self-help books, preachers, hypnotist and Savannah’s wonderful blog would die its natural death.
The essence of this post is: you have to do the work yourself. Yes, there’s a silver lining to your misery but you have to reach for it. Nobody is going to come and give it you. Nobody is going to figure out what your bliss is and tell you how to get it. The bottom is not on the spring that you can just bounce up to the top and catch the bliss. Hard, tedious work but so worth it!
I’ve been there and occasionally I still sink a bit here and there. But once you know what freedom from your own internal demons is and once you get a taste of your own bliss, you will do anything and everything not to fall back all the way down because you know how hard you worked to get out.
Also I left home at 16. Met my future husband at that time He was abusive but married him anyway. All I knew was I loved him so much. It was powerful. We married at 19 and went to have 2 kids. 4 years later I had to get out the marriage, he tried to strangle me and punched my head till it bled. A broken nose while we were dating. I felt I couldnt live without him. When the oldest was 2 yrs in 2976 I left him and my father said dont go back as he will kill you next time. I listened to that. Most recent relationship turned out to be a narcissist. I ended up feeling suicidal. But went to my doctor and asked to see a psychiatrist. Who put me into a group with other sufferers. It was too early in morning for me as was on strong tablets that just left me totally exhausted.x
Hi thank you for your article. I have a problem where I have reached rock bottom. Your mind can tell you certain others are not treating you well and this can be true. My whole life has been stressful even as a child. It has continued to be so. 4 to 5 years ago I experienced the worst (well I thought it was). I took on my 2 grankids full time. I became physically and mentally sick. iec diabetis underactive thyroid hormone problems exhaustion.After 9 years of caring I knew I nweeded a rest. I asked social services for a 3 month break of respite. They kept the children. I believed when I asked I swas at the start of some kind of breakdown. It got worse when I started having problems with their foster carer from hell. Not to mention the new social workers who stepped in. They tried to stop both kids from seeing me all due to the foster carer who wasnt treating kids right . They were crying at her treatment of them This sent me over the top as I was now suffering from guilt at not being able to look after them and the emotions of both kids unhappiness was tearing me apart. The boy was a bit older and stronger and he managed to keep seeing me. The girl was veryh nervous and not a lot of confidence. A teacher when she was 5 frightened her. I felt I was always fighting battles with authorities even with my own children Anyway social services left me with so much anger that I wished they would all die. I even thought about how I could go about it to make that happen. I am not a violent person. Ive been quiet all my life, bullied by my mother and felt unloved. To cut a long story short my youngest son met a girl and everything changed. He had already moved out the house because he knew there was not enuf room and he wanted to spread his wings. I gave him a set of keys for my house incase things didnt work out with the girl Anyway he kind of turned his back on me and when he got married I was kept in the dark about everything till last minute. Told not to wear a hat and no confetti when I had already bought 2 hats.lol Their baby girl arrived and I would face golieth for this baby. She is very special to me. But He stopped answering his fone to me and my grandson and ignored us for lengths of time. My anger started to build up and one time I foned got the ansa machine and let rip to him called him a name and his wife and her family. I hadnt taken my antidepressants and took 1 glass of wine. Im not a drinker but my brother bought alcohol from france when he visited. Anyway I know I did wrong and my youngest got the brunt of my anger because of the small things he did to me. Like not letting me see the baby until she was about a month old. Told me cheekily I couldnt take photos while he had a stranger in taking photos. I now lost him and that baby girl. She is now 2 and a half/ She talks 2 lauguages. His wife is not friendly towards me. theres lots more but I will cut it short. I feel our relationships is irrepairable and even if it takes a couple of years I am going to miss out on the baby. You see I was left alone with TOO much time to think. And I wasnt thinking positively. I dont think he will ever forgive me.I took my anger out on my nearest and dearest.x
That’s very beautifully written, and wise. Thank you Savannah.