Friday, August 1, 2014

Follow your bliss ... Don't be afraid ...
Doors will open

By Antoinette Rainone 

       My friend Kathy recently told me that my desire to inspire people to “find your wings” reminds her of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s telling his students during the ‘70s to “follow your bliss.”
       I had read Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” in college and watched Bill Moyers interviews with Campbell on PBS, back in the day. Decades later, I find myself writing this blog to inspire people to “find their wings.”
       Perhaps my bliss was following me all along?
       When I looked up The Joseph Campbell Foundation, I found a partial interview between Moyers and Campbell.

       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.”

       The word "bliss” is key. Notice Campbell did NOT say...
       ...“follow the road to success
                  ...“follow the college major that leads to a job” 
             ...“follow an organized and well laid-out plan for a lucrative career” 
                         ...“follow the money trail.”  

      On the contrary, he said, simply: “follow your bliss.”
    defines bliss as:

                     supreme happiness!

                                 utter joy!

                             the joy of heaven!

      And Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds these synonyms for bliss:

                Elysian fields!

                                    Kingdom Come!

                        New Jerusalem!


      Wow. Imagine advising a high-school senior not to stress out over SAT scores, the process of college admission, and declaring the right major that will lead to a lucrative career? Imagine, instead, telling the high-school senior, “Now, just sit back, relax, and day dream about life for awhile. Listen to your heart. Follow your bliss.”
       That is exactly what Joseph Campbell encouraged people to do. And so do I.

      Find your wings! Find the supreme happiness in life that makes your spirit soar with utter joy! 

      Listen to your heart and seek out that special something that lifts your feet off the ground to a place where you experience the joy of Heaven!
          Follow your bliss!

       As the wisest Man of all once said, “But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

        My friend Kathy, by the way, is following her bliss. She and her husband Dan are following their deep desire to help people by opening their own home-healthcare business. Through Comfort Keepers, they will offer services that help people age safely in their own homes. Kathy and Dan's personal experiences of caring for several of their own aging and ill relatives had given them a deeper understanding of the issues facing seniors living at home. Now, they will spread their caretaker experience to help many others. 

         Kathy and Dan are finding their wings … at any age. They have reached an age that they could easily kick back and take it easy. And yet, the part of their beings that define their bliss — the passion burning within that makes their spirits soar with utter joy — is to embark on a venture that will make a real difference in people’s lives. And, in turn, their desire is to help those people experience their own supreme happiness.
         How about you? Won't you share your stories of bliss with us? 

         Find your wings … at any age.

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