A few months before Joseph Campbell died, Bill Moyer’s asked him this question in a PBS interview that would later be called “The Power of Myth.”
BILL MOYERS: "Do you ever have the sense of… being helped by hidden hands?"
JOSEPH CAMPBELL: "All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that 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 that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open 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."
Joseph Campbell, a famous teacher of mythology who inspired great Hollywood films such as “Star Wars,” would never know how powerfully his last words would affect the American psyche. Seven months after his passing, , the adage “follow your bliss” became mainstream.
Following your bliss may sound like a tall order. It is a big order when you think about one thing that fulfills your whole life. What did Joseph Campbell mean by following your bliss, and how do you start doing that? Does it mean you have to quit your day job to be happy? I don’t think so. I believe “following your bliss” is less of static goal or singular activity that you are moving toward, than it is an inner state of flow.
Consider this: your body contains the truth to the answers you seek. Oftentimes people are looking for guidance. Do I do this, or that? It is less about the “this” or “that” per se--the external path that you are looking at--rather than what does “this” or “that” create in your inner sense of being? Notice the way you feel when you consider your options. What brings you into a greater sense of peace, ease and flow? Your body knows. Your body has consciousness, and your consciousness speaks to you through your body.
You can also try this by tuning into your heart and holding your vision in your mind’s eye. When you meditate on what steps to take next, what do you feel in your heart? Is it contracted or tight, full or free? Your heart and body will not lie, and while some ideas may make your heart beat a bit faster, you will know if it is from fear or excitement. Follow the activities in your life that give you a sense of fullness, wonderment and growth at every level of your being. Let yourself go beyond the limits of what you think you love and should do. Trust your inner feeling and state to guide you, and allow this feeling of inner flow to become your guiding principle. Think less about “a thing” or “goal” that fulfills you, rather the feeling of inner flow it creates within your entire energy field.
Moving towards those activities, environments and people that give you a sense of lightness, freedom and expression, is a way of living your bliss. There is no destination for following your bliss. It is a natural state of being that is self-fulfilling and constantly rejuvenating. Be willing to feel deeply and let your inner feelings guide you. Follow your inner flow.
Sura Kim is a speaker, author and yoga instructor. She is the creator of Sura Flow “Self-Discovery Yoga,” an integrative & intuitive approach for healing. Sura Flow is a unique synthesis of meditation, yoga, healing and coaching. You can learn more about her work at www.suracenter.com.
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