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.