Monday, August 22, 2011

Ask Parvati 26: Follow Your Bliss - Part 2, Name It To Claim It


(Continued from Whose Life Are You Living?)

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
 - Eleanor Roosevelt

I have shared in these blog entries the need for us to challenge our core beliefs, because there we find the voices of external authority that we have internalized, which are not the voice of our soul. We need to ask ourselves, who is really in the driver’s seat of our lives? Is it our soul joy? Or are we trying to please our mother, our father, our schoolteacher or our religious leader? We need to look at what is writing the story of our life and reclaim authorship over it. Our unconscious patterns are part of creating our reality until we have the courage to look within and find out what is really going on.

In my case, the depression and ill health I experienced when I was in architecture was a gift from my soul that helped me wake up to live the life that expresses my joy. Living the life of an artist is not an easy one. I understand why my parents, though they encouraged my artistic skills, discouraged it as a career path. There is tremendous financial uncertainty and stress and there is a transparency that happens when we put our expression out into the world. For me the uncertainty has provided the most powerful spiritual seedbed for the cultivation of faith. It has fueled my spiritual growth in ways I could not have imagined. Then need for transparency helps me every day to face my shadows and purify my ego so that my personality and consciousness may be rooted in service and humility.

When I am asked today for guidance on a career as an artist, I always say, you must really love it, because it is not easy. But because what I do feels connected to why I am here on the planet, I feel connected to my soul voice and so very alive when I engage in artistic work. It is not like I am doing a job when I work on music. I am engaged with life and evolving spiritually. My artistic career feels like my spiritual path. I feel aligned with my purpose.

Part of letting go of living for other people’s dreams is being able to articulate our own dreams. We may judge the idea of dreaming as a waste of time and not even allow ourselves to go there. Before we have begun to connect to our soul voice and our purpose, we have already sabotaged ourselves by judging it as useless.

Once we determine whose life we are living and what voices we are listening to that silence our own, we begin to find the space to express even to ourselves who we are. “I love painting! My dream is to be a full time artist!” Or perhaps “I love flying airplanes. My dream is to fly jumbo jets!” Once we are honest with ourselves, we can be honest with the world and begin to take the necessary steps to make our dreams a reality.

In this clear, inner honesty, we can hear the call of our soul adventure. We can hear our soul speak, because we are now open and listening. We may feel some fear, but we are starting to realize that to resist our soul voice is to live in unhappiness. Though the fear of newness is great, we open to possibility. We welcome the new. We know that if we don’t, our life will remain the same and we will be unhappy. When we say yes to ourselves, doors begin to open and we see things that before were blind to us.

Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer. He had a lifelong passion for the study of the cohesive threads in mythology that seemed to run through disparate human cultures. He spoke actively about the Hero’s Journey, something that we all must face if we are to follow our bliss. It was he who coined the phrase, "follow your bliss". Campbell said: “If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.” What inspiration!

Here is a quote Campbell interestingly said he derived from the Upanishads, inspired by the word Sat-chit-ananda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss), the high yogic state of bliss. He said, “If you 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. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

To me that is a perfect summation of what it means to live in the positive possibilities versus impossibilities. When we live in the positive possibilities, we embrace the notion of support and interconnection and doors do open that were closed to us before. If we remain in the impossibilities, we remain closed and disconnected from who we truly are.

When we name it to claim it, we align ourselves with our soul voice and our life begins to move in support of our highest purpose. Though we will be tested, though we still face fear and doubt, we have begun our own hero’s journey, our soul path. And so it begins…

(Continues tomorrow with Managing Fear And Doubt)

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