Follow Your Bliss

See what I mean? Perfect ocean peace… no mention of riptides or sharks…

There’s a very popular saying of “Follow Your Bliss” that comes up a lot especially on Pinterest, in hand lettering, and in self help books or life classes. And while I’m pretty sure I agree with the spirit of the saying- that your passions will lead you to your vocation, I don’t love this saying- ok, I actually don’t mind the saying but I don’t love the way it is presented, all frilly and polished. I feel like it implies that if you just follow the path you seem meant for then everything will be sunshine and lollipops.

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This image of insanity is an example of when following your bliss can be amazing and terrible at the same time… we call this picture “baby’s first show” because it was taken backstage about a week after I found out I was pregnant in 2013. We were elated and exhausted and we were performing a show that I loved… aside from when I was praying that morning sickness wouldn’t keep me from performing. (Made it through every show though! Miraculously…)

When really, following your bliss more often seems like following that crazy town white rabbit into Wonderland. It can take you to beautiful places, but there are a few moments where you wonder if you’re going to lose your head or be kept awake all night wondering why a raven is like a writing desk. Or maybe not. Maybe your bliss is simpler than mine. Mine involved balancing being a mom with being a theatre artist. Theatre artist- I have to use an umbrella term because I find bliss in so many aspects of theatre- acting, directing, writing, teaching, text coaching. I love it. And I love having a family. And if those two aspects of my bliss are out of balance, I tend to end up overwhelmed or miserable or both. And it is hard to not get pulled away from those things by all the crazy energy stealing distractions.

While I may not always perform in productions that are child friendly, I certainly don’t think children and a life in the theatre are mutually exclusive… (Photo Credit: Woods Pierce)

For a long time I let other people’s opinions on one aspect of that bliss or another cloud my hope of following my bliss.  I have been told that pursuing life as an artist is selfish and unsustainable if I want to successfully start, take care of, and manage a family. Some of those people thought that women shouldn’t work outside the home at all if they are moms. Others thought that jobs that made more money or had more stable hours were more acceptable to balance with a family life. On the other hand, I have been told that having a family would ruin my artistic life. That I could not be successful and be in a committed marriage, let alone have children. I was told this by teachers whose craft I respected and for a few years I believed it.

Thank God for changeable minds. I’m still following and I don’t know where the road will lead next or how many twists and turns it may take. I didn’t expect to love blogging as much as I do so far. I didn’t expect to be writing as much as I do for a living at all. But that’s just part of the crazy tapestry God’s weaving in my life.  I can tell you with certainty that following your bliss is not a recipe for all sunshiny days and I can tell you with even more certainty that it is worth it. And the more I fuel my passion, the more I am able to find moments in everyday life to bliss out over even when the dark clouds are present.

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Photo Credit: Katherine Miles Jones (HOW is this almost 11 months ago?!?!?)

What is your bliss? How are you following it? I’m loving some of the feedback I’m getting from these end of post questions either publicly or privately. It means so much that you are reading these posts and even more that you want to engage with them 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Follow Your Bliss

  1. For me, bliss is unadulterated happiness. That feeling of happiness that *doesn’t* feel like it comes from the absence of sadness/pain. I’m still getting there…

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    • Yes! I think the dictionary definition is perfect happiness. I think it is closer to joy though because it is deeper than fleeting happiness. I also sometimes think of it as what makes me feel most alive. I hope you keep looking! I definitely lose sight of my bliss sometimes, so I think it is a constant journey.

      Liked by 1 person

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