Follow Your Bliss

In celebration for the month of Bliss that we are celebrating at CSL Kaua`i, I am reposting a blog I found from the first year I landed on the Island 2013. I hope it encourages you to follow your bliss. I am truly living my bliss and I am grateful.

“As I look ahead at my day, I feel gratitude. I’ve created the perfect life for myself. It is the life I’ve always imagined living. I am by the ocean. I always knew I would live there some day. I am doing what I love to do. I am blessed. 

This life didn’t come about through coercion. It didn’t come about by sitting back either. It came through living. I realize that every moment I’ve lived has brought me to this point. Each decision I’ve made took me in the direction of here. I had a few side trips; but they were brief; and still, they added to the now. I regret nothing. 

If I had a prayer for everyone, it would be that each would truly follow their bliss. You know the Joseph Campbell quote,  “When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors…” 

This is not a cliché. It is my life in a nutshell, and I can attest to it being true. Following your bliss is the same as saying, live that thing which makes you sing, that thing that awakens your passion, that thing in which you live the deepest. 

Sometimes following our bliss makes us let go of everything we think we planned in order to, as Joseph Campbell also wrote, “accept the life that’s waiting for us.” My life here in Kaua’i has always been waiting for me. That is why it is so right here. 

If you feel you do no know what your bliss is, ask this: When am I the most happy? What am I doing when time seems to slip away because I am so present? Follow that. live that. The circumstances will surely change, but the feeling will never go away. 

I’ve been in so many places and lived so many lifetimes within this one life, but I’ve lived the answers to those questions. And, when I didn’t, I finally had to make a change or the change would make me. 

Follow your bliss. Truly, when you do, even if you ride a few rough waves, you iron them out with ease and grace. Today, let us all accept the life that is waiting for us. The doors are already open. As I was growing up and into my 30’s I was always accused of being too scattered in regards to what I wanted to do with my life. The interesting thing was that at this point I was happily married and raising three children. Still, did I want to be a teacher? Did I want to be an actress? Did I want to be a director? Did I want to be a singer? How about a writer? I did it all, and was always scolded by my parents and, yes, my ex-husband. You need to focus. You need to choose one thing. Of course, it was the one thing they wanted for me. However, I explored and tried it all.

When it came to spirituality, I was the same way. Did I still want to be a Catholic? Did I believe in God? Did I want to be a Baptist? Did I believe in reincarnation? Did I want to be a Mormon? Where did I belong? I have to say, I explored it all. However, what I knew all along, was it was all about me, the deep part of me.

I can see now why it seemed to others that I had no focus. However, we take snapshots of people. Have you ever done it? You think you know all about someone by what you are experiencing of them. This is so far from the truth. 

There was a deep evolution going on within me. All my choices were coming from a deep place within me that I wasn’t even aware of at the time. I was reaching out for something that I felt was mine to be. I was making choices all the time? The only guide I had was my inner self which I had not fully developed yet. And still, I was being guided. I believe we always are guided. I believe that inner Knower is still leading the way even when we don’t seem to be listening. Ernest Holmes once wrote, that we can learn in two ways: 1) by inspiration or intuition, or 2) by bitter experience. 

I’ve learned both ways; and, even though at times, I appeared to be lost, there was always an inner pull, an inner guide silently leading and prodding me. It came in the form of my passions: to write, to sing, to teach, to explore religions, to have a family, and most of all to love. 

I believe our passions do lead us to our purpose and I believe I have finally found mine. Here I am in ministry and I understand why many of my old friends and family do not take me seriously. “There she goes again,” they say, as they shake their heads fondly. 

Yes, there I go again. However, all my passions are still here being lived through my ministry. All those trails I have left behind really led me right here. I’ve brought them all with me in a good way. 

I believe that when Joseph Campbell challenged us to “Follow our Bliss,” these were the most profound words that were ever spoken in the way of finding our purpose. Our bliss leads us to our purpose. If we don’t follow it, we might find many bitter experiences; however, one day, through inspiration or intuition, it all becomes clear. We were never lost and everything brought us to exactly where we are now. Moment by moment, choice by choice, decision by decision, we are here. 

The Universe is a Universe of order, not chaos. It is not possible to live a chaotic life. Although it may seem that way, there is always something very deep and good going on beneath and beyond it all.”

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Co-Spiritual Director, CSL Kaua`i

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