As the famous Joseph Campbell quote goes: “Follow your bliss…” Most of us have heard the quote a million times yet many of us, myself included, forget it consumed by the avalanche of daily demands. It is Monday morning at my office. The July California sun is not disappointing – it is a glorious day. Aside from the oh-so-obvious fact that I’d rather be playing outside, taking a pre-lunch yoga class, hitting a farmer’s market, polishing my novel and spending a lazy afternoon with my lover, I am here and not resisting the moment. I am sticking to this journey no matter what and no matter how much time it will take me to get there. This is exciting regardless of the obstacle course and the intrusive doubts. I can do it, I will do it and so can you. I will walk my destined path! I am inviting guidance of my heart.
The Monday morning freshness I still feel usually wears off around noon when the workweek roots itself in the neo-cortex of my brain and holds on tight like a stubborn clingy ivy weed until Friday evening. Each time I hear the demanding voice of my responsibilities, the ivy’s hold reinforces itself and my stress levels climb until reaching new thresholds around Wednesday. But I want to stroll the meadows and write poetry on Wednesdays! I want to stand motionless in the middle of rushing crowds and look up towards the sky, feeling the sun rays caress my skin, so grateful for this moment of freedom and bliss. Because creativity is born in stillness and I am a creative being. I shall give myself the gift of time and space to nurse myself to let my inner genius be unleashed! That’s my prayer today.
The story of Tama Kieves has been a huge catalyst for my journey into this career-transformation whose echo I believe shall reverberate through all corners of my life. I can feel it already. I live it already. It is a state that is growing like spring flowers, opening to the warmth of my radiant self-care. This Thursday and for the following three more, I will be spending telephone time with Tama soaking up inspiration for the next steps. Change is inevitable. I feel as she felt when office bound working in a law firm on her way to become a partner – she had all the reasons to feel successful and happy – academic and career achievements, growing bank account but on the inside, she was dying. It was a slow and sneaky death. While all looked great on the outside, inside her stifled spirit was calling out for help, the call getting louder with each passing day. She made it, she jumped into the unknown and for that I am grateful because this way she’s become a shiny beacon of light for us all to look to in moments when gray desperation clouds our joy of being alive.
One of my favorite quotations is that of Pablo Picasso: “It is your work in life that is your ultimate seduction.” How great is that? How do we get there?
There are millions of resources out there as to how to accomplish that. Thousands of self-help books and websites await our picking through them, hunting for gems. But ultimately, the journey is about unearthing the greatest gem of all – what already lies buried inside under a layer of unattended emotions, memories, dreams and yearnings. Do what you love… it sounds so simple. And simple it is, easy? Not so fast. It takes time and lots and lots of attention but finding out what it is we must in order to live a more fulfilling life. I find two tools offered in Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” to be of priceless significance here – the Morning Pages and the Artist’s Date. I noticed over and over again that when I use these tools my days flow more effortlessly and I feel so much less strained and approach life more playfully and innocently. Basically the pages involve three stream-of-consciousness, preferably hand-written pages of whatever is on our minds. All the moaning, complaining, over-analyzing or lazy musing goes there. I usually do them during breakfast, although it is best to do the pages right after waking. They get rid of the “static” in our brains, clearing way for creative thought and insight and hopefully a productive day. The weekly 1-2 hour date is personal time to do whatever I please. Seeing a movie, preparing a healthy meal with deliberate attention, taking a lone walk through the hills, or paying visit to an art store are just few examples. While the pages clear the water in the well, the dates replenish the well. Out with the old and in with the new, the saying goes. We are creating fresh inner balance through dynamic movement. I can stand by the power of these tools. Thanks to them, I have written a nearly 400 page novel in six months.
Ever since my return from my trip to my home country and beyond, I have been also following a regular dietary and exercise regimen that’s been of utmost help in assisting me on this journey that does and will require a lot of physical, mental and spiritual energy. I went back to utilizing the transformative effects of raw vegan foods and moving briskly for at least 20 minutes before starting my day as well as including at least two evening yoga classes per week. The effects have been nothing short of amazing. Within the first week I lost about 4 lbs I picked up in Europe from eating a ton of baked and grilled delicacies and partaking in late night partying. The trip was awesome but so is being back and feeling super healthy. Again, it’s about finding balance : ) but I also do want to stress the importance of being healthy and lovingly attending to our bodies.
So, in respect to my own journey and my commitment to my growth as a creative being, I’ve been pondering next steps during a relaxing weekend by a lake. (Amazing how easy it is to just be – creative ideas just flow unencumbered then…) I had a wonderful yoga practice and a jog through the woods, inhaling the sweet scent of trees in bloom and using a fallen log of a tree as a bench for pushups and a whole gamut of other exercises to create that sweet burn in my muscles. I took a swim in the cold lake and soaked up some sun. I watched and felt my well replenish itself. Through all this and nourishing and enlightening conversations, I have seen an array of possibilities lay out in front of me like an exotic fan. I am actually thinking of making a list or a special vision board collage titled: “Possibilities.” Planning to take next steps also by participating in two enticing workshop series that should clear the way even more. And most of all, I vow to myself to play and breathe deeply throughout this week remembering that the sense of blissful abandon I find in a smiling face, a message from a friend or the inception a new idea is what I can always choose to follow.
Wishing you much peace and clarity this week!