You may or may not have heard of the phrase by Joseph Campbell called “Follow Your Bliss.” I studied Joseph Campbell in high school in my humanities class. He studied multiple world cultures and religions and was able to find one common theme: The Hero’s Journey. It’s a cyclical process that transcends all culture and religion. It’s the struggle of humanity that each person faces when trying to find true happiness on his/her own terms. It’s fascinating to read about and once you know The Hero’s Journey, you’ll recognize it in many books and movies.
As I’ve gotten older and have had to work through multiple challenges, this phrase, “Follow Your Bliss” is the one that keeps me anchored to the ground. I wrote about my personal collapse in my blog “That Which Does Not Kill You…” What was instrumental in my journey at this low point in my life was Kung Fu Panda. Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But by a series of unexpected circumstances, an overweight panda is selected as the next “Dragon Warrior” when he knows nothing about how to perform martial arts, but knows he loves the concept. Through a series of missteps, trials and tribulations, he’s handed the sacred Dragon Scroll. Inside the scroll is supposedly only meant for the eyes of very few, because a deep secret resides inside. As the panda opens the scroll, he sees there are no words. Only his reflection. He’s confused and disappointed. As the story continues to unfold, he comes to the most critical realization that any one of us can possibly achieve. His reflection was the answer. It’s that he’s his own “secret ingredient.” He’s the hero of his own story. Only now does he truly believe that all along, he’s had what it takes to conquer the unconquerable. And he’s been his own worst enemy.
We live this cycle multiple times through our lifetimes when we pursue a life that’s true to our dreams. The Dragon Scroll moment in the movie resonated deep within me during my time of loss and confusion. I came to that realization that I’m my own white knight, the hero of my own story, and to follow my heart. The biggest demons I faced were actually my own personal doubts.
Following your bliss isn’t necessarily a blissful journey. It’s usually the hardest path to walk. There was a study done at hospice and the one major regret people taking their dying breaths all had, was they hadn’t lived their dream. They hadn’t been true to themselves. Being true to yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. You might make a choice that others strongly disapprove of. You might fall multiple times right on your face. You might hobble through bushes of thorns, all tattered and bruised. BUT, at the end of it all, you’ll know you led a life that was authentic to you. You followed your bliss.
In the aesthetics room, there’s an unspoken rule of confidentiality. Salons can be the best places to vent and share because we often relate to each other on so many levels. There’s the one common thread that consumes nearly 100% of the conversation. It’s the common story of adversity, searching, finding happiness, living happiness, or the heartbreaking stories of people who are giving up on their own dreams just to keep the peace and status quo to please others and keep their lives as conflict free as possible. Having been one who’s walked through the valley of the shadow of death, having made decisions that baffled the community around me to
live my authentic life, I find sadness in this. The slow process of giving up robs a person of their inner light.
The inner light is what gives us the spark we need to forge ahead. It creates the biggest smiles and the most contentment in our own skin. The littlest things can create happiness and joy, even if you’re pulling yourself out of that last sticker bush that was right in the middle of your path that you fell into because you tripped on a big rock where there was a snake.
True beauty is about that inner spark. That confidence you have while pulling thorns out of your arm, but you can’t help but laugh at the same time. Radiate. Smile. Know you have true purpose in this life that’s unique to you. The impossible can be possible once you are able to conquer the biggest obstacle that stands in your way. And it’s yourself.
Come and see me in my space of bliss. It’s contagious. You can tell me about your story and I’ll cheer you on. God knows the path I’ve walked. Let me help you with my contribution to feeling good about yourself, which involves beautifying your external self in the best way I can. You’re a snowflake. All of us have beauty and there’s only one of you in this entire world. The hardest part in realizing your dreams and happiness starts with you. I’m here to help you. What I do is simply icing on the cake. Most important of all is to be true to yourself and to Follow Your Bliss. The excitement in the adventure is waiting for you!