Friday, February 19, 2010
An Inside Look at My Bliss
(Orange snack on apple green desk.)
Last Friday, I got a comment on this post that I starred in my inbox. I knew I wanted to respond but was not sure how. Then yesterday, I had this crappy thing happen and the way I handled it was so completely different from how I would have handled it a year ago that I knew then that I was ready to write about this comment from Bethany:
Love how you put into words what I'm only just starting to learn.
I've been reading fewer blogs lately, exercising in the evening. But the other night before bed I clicked on one of yours. I was so tired I couldn't read it through. But I woke up in the morning, asking you this in a dream:
"What does it feel like inside your bliss?"
The way I define Bliss on this blog, as I've said so many times, is the way Joseph Campbell meant it. I think of my bliss, your bliss, as that thing that you were born to pursue (and yes, it can change for some of us over our lifetimes; for others, it won't). Bliss is a concrete thing. It is your Path.
It is not an emotional state.
This is not the same as defining yourself by some external. No. It is not putting yourself in a box or limiting yourself. It is merely a path, that you are compelled to walk. The path and the walker are not one and the same.
Do not, as they say, mistake the map for the territory.
If you are not walking your path, you will have this gnawing feeling in your tummy. You probably know just what I mean. Or you will become angry. Look at our wider culture -- all these angry, walking dead. They have not acknowledged or refuse to acknowledge their paths and so they walk around stuffing themselves full of empty calories -- cars, bigger houses, whatever they can get their hands on -- because thet won't fulfill their purpose for whatever reason -- severe depression, being a common one.
Severe depression has long been my block to a happy and fulfilled life. I was refusing to live, and when I stopped dancing, it was my final and most deadly temper tantrum.
Nothing else could do what dancing did for me. I tried to replace it, but you can't replace your spark.
What does it feel like inside my bliss?
In the morning, it feels like I want to get up and go because I no longer lay there startled or even frustrated that I have awakened. So many mornings, I would wake up and feel disappointed that I had.
I appreciate this life now, there is no other way to put that.
During the day, I am on fire with this appreciation.
I am Exhilarated. I am Challenged. I am Radiant.
No matter what.
Our cat, sweet Rosie, passes away, but I know all is well.
Someone tries to steal some thunder from my work, but I know all is well.
When that crappy thing happened yesterday (and it has to do with ethics and a lack of them), when that happened, I wrote that person a polite email. A year ago, I would have ripped that person six new ones and I would have done so in a very public manner.
For the past 15 years, I have been surrounded by love and beauty but I was still refusing to dance, still refusing to walk my path, and so I was still confined to a Prison Cell of Anger and Self Hatred.
I have flown out of that cell door that was open all along, as Rumi puts it.
The door in the center of my chest has flown wide open and the most amazing, sparkling things are flying out. Things I did not know I had in me.
When I dance, this is when it's most obvious that I have changed myself. By walking on my path, by saying Yes to the life I am meant to live, I have changed on a molecular level. I am a different person. I am the person I was born to be and not the one that was twisted and distorted by circumstances.
When I dance, I fly. There are no words to describe what it feels like in the eye of this bliss storm.
I fly. I am free. I am out of my body and completely settled in my body at the same time. I am a localized expression of this Giant and Beautiful thing called life.
I am fury; I am rage; I am joy; I am rapture; I am ecstasy.
I am prayer.