Friday, December 4, 2009

BlissObstacles: Falling into the State of Overwhelm

If you've been a commenter at all here at Blisschick, you probably recognize the name Karmacoy. She's been a faithful reader and a vibrant contributor to the conversation for so long now that I can't remember when her name first started popping up in my inbox.

It has been a joy to watch her blossom, and I love how shiny and strong she looks in the above photo. The biggest joy has been watching her return to her passion -- music and singing.

She blogs here and here and you can find her on facebook here.

Today, she joins us to write about obstacles to bliss.

A Course of Obstacles

What is the main difficulty you have encountered in trying to craft a life of Bliss? What have you tried to do about this?

When Christine first posed these questions, I immediately thought my main difficulty would have to be my lack of focus. I then began to formulate my list of tactics for dealing with this obstacle. I couldn’t decide how to say what I wanted, which led me to agonize over how often indecision has been my nemesis.

I decided to mull this over for a while.

Over the course of the next few days, I was hit with a case of the “poor hopeless, useless me’s” in which I felt totally negative and burdened with inability. My old familiar hindrance of doubt and inferiority had crept in. This wasn’t due specifically to the task of answering Christine’s questions, but it is just a general cycle I find myself in from time to time.

A day or two later as I dragged myself out of the doldrums, I realized that while in my down state I had (once again) let several things go. I was behind on housework, homework, deadlines and SELF-CARE. I entered into the state which usually follows doubt and inferiority: the state of overwhelm.

So there you have it. I have a list of four major obstacles to my crafting a life of bliss. It’s hard to say which one is the main difficulty, as they all tend to support one another.

The good news is, if I can manage to diminish (dare I say eliminate?) one of the cones of the obstacle course then the others tend to shrink away as well.

And the strategies devised to overcome one difficulty are often helpful in conquering one or more of the others.

So, in my efforts to craft a life of bliss, here are some of the methods I’ve come up with for ducking and weaving through the course:

Stating my bliss. Creating “Bliss Lists." In ink, paint, and computer graphics. Painted on stones, clipped out of magazines, stuck to the fridge, lipsticked to the bathroom mirror. Daily visual reminders. This really helps with leaping over lack of focus.

Scheduling of time into my daily/weekly routines (hell, even just having solid routines) in order to follow that bliss. For example: weekly choir practice, song writing sessions, going to see live music, etc. This addresses lack of focus and overwhelm.

Living a life of balance and making time for other interests as well such as reading, socializing, family and volunteering BUT making sure that I don’t fill my plate up so much with all that stuff that there is not enough room for my main course, Bliss a la mode. A recipe for anti-overwhelm.

Creating and posting (in an in-my-face place) a list of “essentials for a happy me." I, like many people, have noticed that when I’m eating properly (for me that includes eating blueberries daily if possible), exercising regularly, taking my vitamins, and getting outside, most of the obstacles make their appearances less frequently. Daily Gratitude is included in this list.

Meal and task planning appeals to my indecisive nature and helps to hold overwhelm at bay. When I don’t have my meals planned out, I can spend hours agonizing over ‘what’s for dinner?’ Mapping out a rough plan, including household tasks and errands, simplifies my life immensely.

Developing a network of Awesome Supportive Friends. This is the best remedy for doubt and inferiority that I have found. When someone else believes in me, it makes believing in myself seem not-so-crazy after all.

I just want to draw a small bit of attention to the wording of Christine’s question. She asked, “what have you tried to do” about the main difficulty.

These are things that I have tried.

Usually they help.

Sometimes I forget to try them.

Sometimes I don’t want to try them and avoid doing so for longer than is healthy for me.

Then I get back up, stare at those bright orange cones in my way, and try to overcome them again. Crafting a life of bliss is worth the effort.

What I need to remember, what WE ALL need to remember, is to just keep TRYING.


Claudia said...

Great suggestions!, and yes that was quite a question!

Ellen said...

I have these obstacles of doubt and inferiority feelings also, and I like your list for tackling them!

Katherine Jenkins said...

I love your upbeat approach to life and your guest bloggers. You have TWO blog awards waiting for you on my most recent post on

Laura Cococcia | The Journal of Cultural Conversation said...

Love this post - I have encountered so many of these obstacles - and continue to, but the message of "trying" and "practicing" is what I need to remember. Thank you for sharing these reminders - I need them constantly!

karmacoy said...

Thanks to Christine and all you fellow commenters for the opportunity to share and for the positive feedback.

Christine's was one of the first blogs I came across on a search for deeper meaning in my life. In trying to find and follow my bliss, I found BlissChick.

When I first started following her, she had 40 followers and I was impressed. I see now that there are 245 BlissChick followers.

Here's to us and our Awesome Supportive Friends Network!

Laura Hegfield said...

great ideas...and I like the kaizen approach to tackling one cone at a time!