This summer my niece visited for 3 weeks. She loves crafts so much that we set up a basement room with sunny windows for “Creative time”. I bought a bookshelf at the 2nd hand shop nearby. All the craft supplies I had in the house filled up the shelves. Everyday at 3:30 we’d head down to the basement and begin our “Creative Time”. We also wrote and cooked together. We watched inspirational youtube videos to figure out how to make interesting crafts. Now, even though she’s back at home in San Francisco, I’m inspired to get down to our creative room every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
And then I recently took two incredible cheese making class. I never dreamed I could actually make cheese!
I’m a foodie and a cheese freak! Taking a cheese making class was high up on my list of things to do. For the last year, I’ve put off taking this class. My friend, Amy, who wanted to take the class, too, went ahead and found a class for us taught by the owner of a goat farm.
At the first class we made ricotta, mozzarella and burrata (which is a combination of the two). We took brie and blue cheese making in the second class.
Kate is a great teacher! She was a life coach before a cheese maker. She would tell her clients, “Go where the energy flows.” She did this herself and now she is teaching her bliss, cheese making. My energy was definitely flowing for making cheese! Since the class, I’ve made ricotta and the mozzarella twice plus a batch of Brie. I’ve definitely made mistakes. Yet even so, I feel energized.
All this has made me think of the man who coined the term, “Follow your bliss”, mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell. He was interviewed in 1988 by Bill Moyers and that interview became a classic called The Power Of Myth. Joseph Campbell felt that most people are not “quite awake” which translated to not being quite alive.
In the interview he says:
“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.”
Your bliss can be anything! Joseph Campbell said, “The way to find out what makes you the happiest is to focus on being mindful of your happiest moments—not simply excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.” Skiing, jogging, hiking, music, coffee, people, photography or even cheese. It’s wonderful when it’s your job or career but if not, what hobby gives your energy? Where does your energy flow? It can be scary to figure it out!
Following your bliss requires what he calls “sacred space” — a space for uninterrupted reflection and unrushed creative work. He says in the Moyer’s interview:
“[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.
“Our life has become so economic and practical in its orientation that, as you get older, the claims of the moment upon you are so great, you hardly know where the hell you are, or what it is you intended. You are always doing something that is required of you. Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.”
That reminded me of our creative room where we had our “creative time” this summer. So create a bliss station. Start with just a few minutes a day.
You’ll know that you’re in your state of bliss when:
You feel energetic.
You are feeling creative.
You feel alive.
You feel a sense of direction in your life.
You have a deep sense of meaning.
And often coincidences occur otherwise known as synchronicity..
I thought I’d share this positive affirmation I found recently: I am incredibly creative. It’s easy for me to let creativity express itself through me in my art, experience and practices. It feels so good to share myself through creative expression!
Be curious! Be open! Be dedicated! And then maybe you’ll be able to find and follow your bliss.
I’d love to hear how you experience bliss? Please add in the comments below!
P.S. If you’re a parent, include your kids in your bliss! You’ll be amazed how much they love it. My youngest son (aged 19) just texted me from college that he spent 3 hours having “creative time” and made a wonderful garage band song!