“If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (p.148)
This morning, I was asked a good question: How have you changed in the past five years? Thinking about it for a while, I answered the following:
I think I came closer to myself. I am less on the outside and more within, into what does me good that I can come from to other people—asking what I can do for them from inside my true self. There’s a balance I struck, in the past year mostly, that enables me to do more for others without losing myself in the affaire.
This has not been easy; I worked myself out of balance for the creations I was working on and served for years. When I work on a project, I put myself at its service. There are no working hours; my body, mind, and soul are all tuned to the project at hand. I am a total person. I think all of us artists and creators are prone to that. It’s difficult for us to balance the personal and professional; we give ourselves wholly to what we do.
This is why it’s so imperative to follow Joseph Campbell’s advice and “follow your bliss.” It eases things a bit. It gives us the power to proceed and push forward, even in the hardest of times. It’s good advice, but for most of us extremely difficult to implement. Even I, who for years thought I found my bliss creating contemporary circus, have done that without really asking where my bliss was through it all.
Bliss is a tricky concept; because of the intricate nature of artistic creation, our creator’s primary focus is on “how to make this better?”. What isn’t working is an innate contradiction to what “our bliss” might be. The question of discomfort, “Getting out of one’s comfort zone” to get to higher creative grounds, is misleading in ways that inhibit us from finding the bliss Campbell speaks about.
In his interview with Bill Moyers, he also speaks of “invisible hands” assisting him, that he feels. This implies, not surprisingly from Campbell, “something bigger than ourselves” at our assistance. How will we know? In any case, it’s a question of attention and focus; when you’re young, it’s sometimes difficult to find (the focus). You have to prove yourself; your ambition and professional aspirations may blind your attention and mislead you from the question of bliss.
I believe that now, after many years of practice, only now, I am getting to a fragile, precarious balance between who I am and what I can be for others. This has been a lifelong aspiration and search. I hesitate to say I am riding this wave now; who knows how long this will last?
So, how have you changed in the past five years? Have you come closer to following your bliss? Leave a comment or share the post if you can relate.