May 8, 2020 at 4:09 pm #73437
Campbell on Bliss:
“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are — if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”
To me, bliss seems to be joy; a purpose; an excited state of being. A ticket to evaluate one’s own experience and commitment to a higher path.
How do you know bliss?May 8, 2020 at 6:31 pm #73442MichaelKeymaster
The age old question! I suspect it’s going to vary from person to person, but, in general, what stops time for you? To make my own long story short, I worked with kids a lot when I was a teenager. I loved it! Senior year of HS my English teacher was horrified when she found out I wasn’t going to college. “You have to!” she said. “You need to be a teacher!”
That’s the refusal of the call, right there.
Well, off I went to work at a bank, department store, did this, did that until one day I realized I was wasting my time and went to college and majored in English (another passion). Senior year I was chatting with a grad student about how I didn’t know what to do after graduation. She told me her fiance was the asst principle of a private special ed school that needed assistant teachers. (meeting with the mentor/guide)
So I did that. And there was that “loving working with kids” thing again. Started a grad degree in education, became a spec ed teacher which filed my sails for 20 years. In the meantime, I’d had my transcript evaluated and found I had enough English credits to be certified in English. Became an English teacher and spent the last 7 years of my career teaching a college prep course for seniors that I designed, centered on the hero’s journey. Never worked so hard or loved my job so much. I taught for 32 years and during much of that, time stopped in a feeling of overwhelming fulfillment.
So, for me, bliss revealed itself when I was an adolescent, and it took a bit of time to realize that. I do suspect that this probably works for many people. It is interesting though, that as soon as I decided to go back to school, doors started opening for me along the way, guiding me to where I was meant to go. I met people who said the right thing at exactly the right time for me to shift course in the right direction.
That’s how it worked for me. But we have to be mindful of our opportunities as they arise and be willing to take a risk.May 9, 2020 at 6:24 am #73441
I love your story, Michael. I knew you had been an English teacher but I never knew you were a special ed teacher. It is always interesting when someone else can spot someone’s call/vocation–or one out of however many the person could choose from. I guess your teacher spotted the Teacher archetypal energy in you! I am glad for you that you were able to spend all those years doing what you loved to do.
–Mary AnnMay 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm #73440MichaelKeymaster
I was a spec ed teacher for 23 of my 32 years. I would have jumped right into English, but all those positions were filled by my older Boomer colleagues. Spec Ed was a wide open field, and I did have experience working with special needs kids during my camp counselor days. This included two weeks working with kids from the infamous Willowbrook facility at a sleep away camp in Harriman State Park in NYS, so I had that groove, also. But I was particularly blessed to be able to shift departments to fill a vacancy. I did one year in 7th and to years in 8th grade when my dept. chair said, “You’re stuck here. You need to move to the high school. There will be vacancies next year.” So one more guide showing me the way, which put me exactly where Mrs. Huey, my senior year English teacher, thought I should be.
Interesting how the world works sometimes.June 7, 2020 at 6:43 pm #73439
It is so fortunate when the wheels of our worlds click into place and our calling finds us. 🙂June 7, 2020 at 7:01 pm #73438
Hi Mythic Warrior,
I think it is a wonderful idea for us in the Forum to share what brings us bliss, and it is so nice of you to ask. I am curious too!
What brings me bliss:
Mythology in general–it is a true treasure, like finding ancient buried treasure of relics from long ago!
Folklore, from old folktales to old sayings to garden lore to moon lore (one reason why I love the Farmer’s Almanac)!
Literature, especially with mythic themes–and ancient literature/old World Literature!
Films, especially with mythic themes!
Music and playing the piano!
Dance or dancing, modern dance or the ballet–I love the stories in the ballets too put to music!
Visual arts, especially works of mythic beauty!
Fairy tales and fairy tale art illustrations!
Walking in nature –the lake or woods, and the ocean–meeting animals like ground hogs, butterflies, dragonflies, squirrels, eagles, hawks, ducks, herons, swans. etc. along the way, too!
I guess I could answer that what brings me bliss are the arts and nature. And atmospheres to enjoy them in whether reading on my patio, weeding the garden, or being at a museum/coffeeshop. I find bliss here, too, online, in this website and this forum, in the midst of all these mythic works and people who appreciate them. And in The Power of Myth, Campbell stated,
“Shakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
The inner world is the world of your requirements and your energies and your structure and your possibilities that meets the outer world. And the outer world is the field of your incarnation. That’s where you are. You’ve got to keep both going. As Novalis said, ‘The seat of the soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
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