Sunday, September 19, 2010

Following Your Bliss

I am not sure that you have noticed (I hope that you have), but I have not been posting on my blog and writing to you as much lately.

I am now a true empty nester and it’s time to figure how what I want to be “when I grow up”.

Hmmm, sounds like an opportunity.  It’s also overwhelming because I really want to do something that I love.  As I have mentioned before, practicing law did not bring me any joy.

Actually, that’s what scared me.  The other day, I thought about going back to law.  That’s when I knew I was in trouble (apologies to those lawyers out there who love what they do).

Anyway, I feel like I have spent the last two decades preaching to my children that I didn’t care what they did as long as they loved it.  I can’t really think of anything that I said more often than “do what you love, please”.

In the last couple of months, as my empty nesting time was approaching, I found myself more disheartened in trying to figure out which direction I should go to find what it is that I am passionate about.  I started thinking maybe you just can’t do what you love.

And, then, in the way life just seems to work, I started living vicariously through my oldest son.  In the last year, he just kept following his passion and before he (or I) knew it, so many doors had opened, it was hard for him to decide which way to go.  Naturally, he has chosen them all.  I say this, not so much to boast, but because he taught me the lesson that I had forgotten.  In watching him follow his bliss (as Joseph Campbell would say), he is on the journey that I had hoped he would follow and he has reminded me that it truly is possible. 

That is a lesson that I really need to see again and I was beginning to give up hope.

It’s strange how we think that parenting is all about teaching our children lessons.  My son doesn’t know it, but he has returned the gift many times over and I am very grateful.

Now, with more enthusiasm and my core belief reinstated, I can go follow my bliss.  

Joseph Campbell, the wonderful mythologist, said, “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 are living is the life you ought to be living.  When you see that, you begin to meet people that are in your field of bliss, and they open 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”.