We’ve all heard of the midlife crisis, right? Some of us are hit hard, as in the “get-a-divorce-and-buy-a-sports-car” kind of crisis. Others can get away with just a nose ring or tattoo, or maybe even a boob job.

The thing is, the root of the crisis is the same – as we age, we start to ponder the BIG questions. What is the meaning of Life? Why are we here? What is our purpose? We start to realize that the nine-to-five treadmill we’ve been on isn’t all that fulfilling.

Spiritual teacher and bestselling author, Rebecca Campbell, explains that instead of thinking about it in terms of our purpose, which can seem so overwhelming, it’s really as simple as finding things that light you up! She asks…

What is it that, when you are doing it, you stop for a moment and realize that you are happy and having fun?

Follow your bliss! It’s a theme that has been espoused by many people, folks who are much more famous than me (actually, since I’m not yet famous, that would include most everyone, but I digress…). In fact, Joseph Campbell, American mythologist, writer and lecturer, is probably best known for this idea:

“Follow your bliss. If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you. You begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be – doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”

In other words, do what makes you happy! Fear not!

Abraham-Hicks explains that when we are “selfish enough to really follow [our] bliss, [we will] immediately be tapped into the Pure Positive Essence of who [we] are.” In other words, we connect to our own innate wisdom – the part of our self that has been there all along, patiently waiting for us.

As I’ve previously shared, the minute Bill and I discovered (and started living) our passion – providing Reiki to disabled veterans – the “right” people and circumstances lined up effortlessly! Same thing happened with my writing…once I decided to honor the inspiration that kept bubbling up inside (discussed in more detail here), I found an awesome mentor, gave two radio interviews, and eventually completed a book proposal that is currently being sent out to publishers! Doors that I didn’t even know existed started opening up. The best part, though, is when I’m in the zone – tuned in, tapped in, and turned on, as Abraham-Hicks would say.

In a nutshell, fearlessly following my joy “blissfully” (re)connects me with Spirit.

Having a purpose doesn’t mean that we have to accomplish anything. It just means that we put our light out into the world…and we do this through our creative actions. When we engage in joyful endeavors, we raise our vibration, which in turn, reverberates out into the world, like ripples on a pond.

So, rather than searching futilely for purpose and meaning, Joseph Campbell suggests that you identify your passion and find a way to give yourself over to it, wholly and completely. “In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.”

It’s a win-win!

Written by : drallisonbrown

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20 Comments

  1. Brenda December 9, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

    YEAH! This is something I have advocating for years. Love how you put doors will open for you which is so true (just pay attention). Blogging has opened doors – just putting myself out there for other opportunities. Meeting inspiring individuals like yourself and knowing I have a “tribe”. Thank you for always knowing what I need to hear! See you tomorrow for Sunday Share!!

    • drallisonbrown December 9, 2017 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Brenda! It means so much to hear someone say that you’ve written something impactful. As you know, we blog for the love of it, not expecting anything in return. It is my creative outlet! It’s purpose is – as I just wrote – the way I connect with Spirit and release my inner joy! That being said, it’s like icing on the cake when someone tells you that your writing meant something to them, as well.

  2. Angela Noel December 9, 2017 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I agree, trying to find an overarching purpose and meaning can be too overwhelming. I happen to love Joseph Campbell. (I’m sure you’re not surprised.) Identifying what lights me up, or the moments when I’m in flow, or simply, effortlessly happy, takes a practice in self-awareness. I had to unpack many layers of what people told me I was “good at” versus what I truly enjoyed.
    I’m so glad you and your husband identified a way to do what you love and marry the practice with helping others. That’s one of the keys to this whole big thing called life–becing a joy machine. Starting with the assumption that true joy never has its root in ego, anything we choose to do that gives us joy contributes to the joy experienced by others. That’s the joy machine I think. And it’s definitely something worth building in our lives!
    Also- yeah book proposal!

    • drallisonbrown December 9, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

      No, Angela, not surprised about JC (that made me laugh)! You are so right….we grow up ignoring our own inner voice and depending solely on the voices of others regarding what we are good at, what we should do, how we should behave, etc. It’s amazing! We spend the first half of our lives being brainwashed out of ourselves and the second half (if we are lucky) undoing it!

  3. Shannon December 9, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Absolutely true! Ever since I began following my passions and connecting with others who share them, the world has completely opened up and taken me places I NEVER imagined. Aren’t we so lucky to have found the secret to a fulfilling life. It’s too bad we all don’t head down this road much earlier!

    • drallisonbrown December 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      That’s so true, Shannon! I recently heard Richard Rohr speak about how, during the first half of our lives, we create the container (develop our Ego selves), which is important, as long as we don’t over-identify with it. Then, during the second half of our lives, we create the content (that which fills the container). I thought this was a beautiful description of life!

  4. Emily Page December 9, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I hadn’t thought of following your bliss replacing the concept of finding a purpose, but I like it. It kind of gives us permission to be a little selfish for once.

    • drallisonbrown December 9, 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Exactly, Emily! We have to take ME time, and if that ME time is a joyful activity (in other words, not just relaxing, like a massage – although that’s important, too!), I think it can lead us to our purpose without even trying!

  5. Gabe December 9, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I can relate with the anxiety caused by existential crisis’ and with our (sometimes) irrational choices to compensate. After decades dedicated to achieving goals, the “what next?” and “why did I bother?” are hard to answer.

    There is something soothing about your premise here. Rather than shift to another goal (which would inevitably lead to another series of “why did I bother?” challenges), you’re suggestion to follow our BLISS instead leads to fulfillment.

    I’ll have to give it more thought, and perhaps, take a look at a few of the references you’ve mentioned.

    Thank you Allison!

    • drallisonbrown December 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Gabe! I like that I gave you something to ponder :) I do think we all tend to put too much pressure on ourselves, though.

  6. Lucy December 10, 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Love this and is exactly what I am experiencing right now!

  7. […] Follow Your Bliss (Or, Perhaps It’s Time For A Nose Ring) […]

  8. Ellen Best March 29, 2018 at 6:53 am - Reply

    We use a different description from ‘follow your bliss’ but it has the same out come. P.s. he had the nose ring and we have the good life. G+ THIS POST. Happy Easter.

    • drallisonbrown March 29, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Ellen, that gave me goosebumps! Thanks so much for sharing that!

  9. Jennifer March 29, 2018 at 11:14 am - Reply

    I love this quote by Joseph Campbell and often talk about following your bliss/passion on my blog. I love seeing how it comes together for people when they do.

    • drallisonbrown March 29, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Me too, Jennifer! When you’re following your bliss, things seem to come about effortlessly and it’s a joy to witness!

  10. Erin - Unbound Roots March 29, 2018 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Goodness, I love this post. I feel like it was written for me this year. The past year has been filled with what makes me happy – writing, painting, spending time with my family, etc. I’ve never been happier. Everything in your article is absolutely true. Thanks for sharing this with us, and I look forward to sharing this article with others. Wonderful, Dr. Allison!

    • drallisonbrown March 29, 2018 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Erin! From your pictures and your writing, I can definitely tell you are living your bliss!

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