Losing and Finding Your Bliss

A few lifetimes ago, I ended up in a very troubled state because i did not know where to direct my energy. I had always been active and creative, yet i realized that the energy was simply not flowing anymore.

What happened to my passions and my desire to draw, sing, dance or write?

Sure, I was still able to appreciate other people’s art, but i was no longer expressing directly. The thought of making art was becoming a mere “idea” and no longer a reality. I was mired in a strange lethargy that was extremely hard to overcome. It made me feel truly impotent and I wondered if the condition was permanent. (please read “wondered” as actually “freaking out”.)

So how did i “lose” it anyway?

Well, working at something that you don’t enjoy will certainly help to smother the fires within. I was in a job that had as much security as you can get in the modern world: good salary, great hours, medical and dental coverage and a position that was akin to having “tenure”.

Despite these facts, it wasn’t suited to my nature and every day was an exercise of sheer tolerance. I repressed my inherent “being” in order to keep “doing” this day after day, even though my soul was begging me to leave.

Luckily, I’m not deaf to the cries of my “inner child”… especially when she has a piercingly LOUD voice.

After great consideration, I decided to take a leave of absence. During that 3 month period, I took on a different job for some contrast. Boy, did i get it. Though i enjoyed the work itself, the environment was emotionally unhealthy. During this time, I started to develop some health problems. Nothing life-threatening, but it was definitely a message from my body: Are you gonna listen now, or do we need to pack you a really good punch?

So I quit that job and returned to the first job. It ended up being 2 more years of day-job confinement before I took a big leap of faith.

In November 2001, as i rode the bus one day, I started to write my letter of resignation. It was a crafty piece of prose, embedded with tidings of joy and freedom. Life was beckoning me with her incessantly wagging finger and i was finally heeding it. Good thing she didn’t give up on me.

When I left that job, I had not secured anything in its place. I was just finally willing to follow my heart and trust that answers would unravel in due time. With some savings to back me up, I began the sincerest search for my passions. However, even though i was finally “free”, I didn’t feel the call of the wild artist in me. She was still threatening me with her silence and I was appalled. Where O’ where was my muse?

Yes, I did read the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron… Yes, I did the morning pages. Yes, I went on artist dates with myself. And then? Nothing. No feelings of desire arose from within. No epiphanies that released a torrent of talent.

Then one day, when I read “I could Do Anything” (if i only knew what it was) by Barbara Sher, I experienced my first little breakthrough. It was when she said: Any action, even in the WRONG direction, will show you more than if you do nothing.

Harnessing some of this kind of healthy detachment, I was able to overcome the looming inertia. I tried many things, took many classes, read many books. I was meditating, going to counseling and looking at my whole life as an archetypal dream.

Slowly but surely, I began to elicit a response from my creative engine. It was timid and it was shy, but some pistons were beginning to fire! As I watched this beast come alive, I saw that it had never died because my core interests were essentially the same. It had simply gone to sleep (like that forgotten US dollar bank account that’s gone dormant from lack of use). It was clear that I had placed my focus more on “survival” instead of on my heart’s desires. When you don’t listen, it does stop talking for a while. Then I had become so unduly fixated on my “blockage” that it just perpetuated itself. As Abraham-Hicks puts it, what you focus on will increase. As the Chinese would say: Aiya!! (which basically means the same as it sounds.)

Over the last few years of self-employment, I’ve realized that Passion for me is like an exquisite flower that I must appreciate when it is blooming, nurture it when it is budding and let go of it when it is waning. If Sanaya Roman says that detachment is a mental letting-go and surrender is an emotional letting-go, then one of my key lessons is to detach AND surrender when the time is right.

My life is a cyclical yet spiraling tunnel INTO the Light, and then OUT! Again and again…
I am like Dorothy, except I keep returning to Oz in between residency in Kansas. Guess I have dual citizenship and jobs in both worlds!

So yes, i’m learning to live with both experiences. I’m learning to relax a bit more during the dry spells, and enjoy the rain when it pours. I’m getting better at following my heart’s impulses and honouring my intuition when it speaks. The price that I pay when i don’t listen is rather steep.

If you too are tending to your passions, remember that it never really leaves your side but it can get sleepy. Be gentle and don’t give up on it. Focus on the things that you love to do, even if it makes no sense as to “how” you will make income doing it.

If you don’t know what you love, then be willing to experiment with an open mind. Take some classes, attend some events, get out into the world and taste the many flavours. One bite leads to another. Soon, you’ll look back and be amazed at where that first timid step has led you.

If you have a day job that you don’t feel ready to release yet, then simply make a little time to fan the fire within. Even if it’s only minutes each day or an hour a week. If you hate your day job, aim to start seeing it from a different point of view. Consider it as a temporary stepping stone and appreciate the teachings it has given you. If you lightheartedly maintain your intention to uncover your passion, a magical series of events will manifest to show you the way. Just be prepared to acknowledge the signs, regardless of how small they are.

Remember your essence. Your spirit is divine and your true nature is to express with joy.

Trust, trust, trust. Play, play, play. Choose, choose, choose. Ah, the basics of creation…

~ woo, 2004

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