I once was a full-time career woman, teaching kids all day in an elementary classroom.
I was happy & fulfilled, until one day, I wasn’t.
The call (of my soul) was quiet at first. Subtle thoughts, quiet rebellion, arising inside.
Soon, I said it out-loud.
I’m leaving my career. That was the game changer.
Once blurted, it took on a life of its own.
I couldn’t deny or take back the truth that had sputtered forth.
Yes, Joseph Campbell was an inspiration.
I think it was all those picture quotes from Facebook, too.
I wanted to see what would happen if I did play around with following my bliss. What was my bliss? Did I even have one/it?
I imagined I’d sail off into the sunset, free!! Free to...do what exactly??? I hadn’t thought that far.
It took me nine months to learn how to connect with myself.
I didn’t even know what to do with all that space.
I had imagined that I’d go to yoga every day, take walks in the sun, have long lunches with friends.
That’s not what happened.
I faced regret, sadness, confusion and resistance.
I stayed in bed for days at a time.
I enlisted the support of a therapist, nutrition coach & acupuncturist.
For nine months, I tried to put me first.
For nine months, I struggled to eat right, to get out of bed, to write my book, to exercise.
Finally, one day, after spinning & struggling, I found a rhythm that worked for me. I noticed I was writing my novel. I realized I was cooking food. I was enjoying long walks in nature.
I had found my bliss. Little by little, I found it.
It came in the form of business building, blogging, on-line marketing, writing a novel, dancing.
It came through chats with friends, taking new classes & strolls down my city center. (To read more about what I accomplished in one year, click here.)
I suppose when I first set out on this journey of following my bliss, I imagined it would be some dramatic affair, some great leap that would lead to my wildest dreams, fame & fortune.
That hasn’t happened yet. What it has lead to is some simple realizations of what really works for me. I’m surprised by what I’ve figured out.
You see, when I first quit my career, I was desperate to have freedom, to choose for me, day in & day out. The last thing I wanted was routine. I was rebelling against years of a bell schedule, following a clock, a long commute & lots of responsibility.
When I first started blogging, I passionately proclaimed that people should quit their jobs if that’s what they wanted, cut all ties that bind & be free! I still believe that. And, I get that for some of us, having some ties just works.
Here’s what I’ve learned in my year-long spiritual journey of following my bliss:
1. Structure works. For me.
2. Have more to do. I get more done when I have more to do.
3. Have a routine. Wake up & go to bed at similar times each day. I like having a bed time & wake up time, otherwise, I’ll stay up all night long. Or, I’ll go to bed between 4 and 5 and get up ’round noon. Pretty much every day.
4. I enjoy a paycheck. It feels nice to my nervous system to chill out & not have a ton of pressure on me to make it off of my business alone.
5. I like having health insurance. Again, my nervous system relaxes knowing that I am taken care of if something happens. Plus, my mom can get off my back about it.
6. I love working with kids. Hanging out with young people as a mentor, teacher, guide and coach is a true passion of mine & part of my purpose. It’s so healing, fun & joyful to be amongst the young.
7. I like teaching. It is a natural expression & a good use of my talents.
8. Have healthy boundaries. Sometimes, the greatest freedom can be found in healthy boundaries. Liken it to a child, who feels safe when they know the rules or limits; or a couple, who feel free inside the commitment of a relationship. Sometimes, it’s in the work that we find play. Sometimes, it’s inside of the boundaries that we find bliss.
9. Play. Everyone, at some time in their life, should have the opportunity to unplug from their job, or school, or having anything they have to do & have time to play, be creative & just see what happens. With so much pressure from such a young age to know what want to be when we grow up, and to go to college, and get a job, if you can quit it all and take a break and carve out some free time, do it!! (Maybe you wanna cash in your retirement like me?)
10. Be Creative. If you can’t unplug from it all because you have kids, or other responsibilities you choose to keep, at least allow yourself to play around creatively. Sign up for different classes, make different art, do that thing you’ve often thought of doing & give yourself the pleasure of experimenting with your bliss.
All that to say, I’m heading back to teaching.
I’ve been hired for a part-time teaching job at a local private school. I’ll be teaching Literature to my favorite grades- 4th & 5th graders! How does it get better than that!?
As August approaches and I head in to being a working girl again, I am grateful. So grateful for this time I took for myself to get heart-centered & re-direct this ship towards winds that feed my sails.
I’ll still be seeing clients, so don’t you worry! I’ll just be playing with young people every day, too. Yeehaw!!
I guess I realized that there is no “bliss” out there. There is only now. Each new moment of now, in which we get to choose newly, that which feels generative & light.
For me, now, ironically, choosing what some call “work” is quite blissful. I relish leaning into the freedom that having a full plate affords.
I’d love to hear from you, what’s the bliss you’re choosing now? What are you making time for now that feeds your soul?
Leave a comment below.
All my love,
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