“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.” – Joseph Campbell
Setting lofty goals is one surefire way to taste failure. Without failure, there’s no learning so, by all means, feel free to set goals and work towards achieving them. But if despite all your efforts it’s not panning out, then don’t beat yourself up.
It’s not you. It’s your goals.
Most likely what you’re looking for isn’t your heart’s true desire. Can you be sure that you listened to yourself, and not those around you when you pictured your happy future? Maybe it was your parents who wanted you to pursue the career you feel stuck in? It may be society’s script dictating to you that success is a house, a family, a car or other material trappings. You might feel your spirit suffocating as you chase after these things.
Fret not, there are little signs around you to guide you back to the joy of childhood dreams. Stop fighting, struggling, chasing or frantically ticking boxes and take a breath and look around you.
Growing up in Izmir, Springtime was heralded by wild jasmine and various wildflowers from which the older girls in my neighbourhood would weave hair wreaths. No summer’s eve was complete without collecting four-o-clocks of rainbow colours.
Fresh flowers are never in short supply in Lane Cove. Almost every garden has flowers that blossom at different times of the year. There’s never an absence of colour and scents in the air to engage the senses and revitalise a person.
Cozy Cove Cafe, which is fast becoming my favourite spot for a coffee, tea, people watching and writing has also become a place to enjoy the beauty of nature. It’s a minor detail to decorate the outside tables with fresh flowers but that soft touch makes all the difference in the world to me. If you look carefully at my photo, you may recognise today’s flowers at Cozy Cove Cafe where I was sitting earlier today before my Yoga class.
Oh, want to start appreciating the most vital thing in your life, your breath? You can’t go wrong with Yoga. If you want to experience Yoga in a positive and gentle way, try Exhale Studio.
You can look at your phone’s camera, like I’ve been doing, snapping a selfie a day leading up to my 40th (in 43 days!) to get an indication of how you are. Observe whether you have bags under your eyes, puffiness, blemishes, greys in your hair and make peace with them. Relax and accept yourself as you are because if you don’t, you can’t do the things that will make you more beautiful naturally.
Get more sleep, drink water, eat better, laugh more, hang out with those who energise you and see if you can spot the difference.
Or, if you’re a literary type, like me, use writing to tune into yourself and relive the day noting how you felt in various situations throughout, what you judged, who or what irritated you. This is a good exercise to hone in on your bliss.
Grass Between Toes
Grounding yourself will lead you to your true bliss. Sometimes when we’re bombarded by marketing messages we may get confused and think our bliss can be found in a new toy. This only leads to buyer’s remorse and eventually a piece of junk that collects dust in your house. If you’re into Marie Kondo, you will have to face the item and find it doesn’t spark joy. Then it’ll end up in the bin, so cut out those unnecessary steps and go find some grass.
Luckily, Pottery Green is a huge green grassy area in the heart of Lane Cove. Kick out those shoes, practice a bit of Tai Chi or Qi Gong if you’re thus inclined, or simply just walk feeling that luscious goodness cushioning your feet.
What a marvelous way to start the day!
Over to you…
What are the simple things that cheer you up which you can find in your neighbourhood?