Day 3 ~ What Bliss Is Not

The beauty we see, is the magic we feel, the u...

The beauty we see, is the magic we feel Photo credit: || UggBoy♥UggGirl ||

“You don’t know what you’re going to get into when you follow your bliss.” ~ James Hillman

 James Hillman was a psychologist, born 12 April 1926. He died 27 October 2011. Between those two sentences was a life. I am not going to give you a rundown of this brilliant man’s life–but his simple remark that “You don’t know what you’re getting into when you follow your bliss” is not contextualized here, but if you Google him, you will find a man who found his bliss. Seriously, if you have not heard of him, he is worthy of your time. I just did a cursory search, found his obituary, and was impressed with how this man used his life.

In finding my bliss, I want to use my life. I think that the thing that keeps me, and most people going, is to use the gifts we have been given and not squander them. I have been guilty of wasting time and energy on things that I know now were not part of the reason I was put on earth. But I think in doing those things, I discovered, by process of elimination what I was not meant to do. All those things that we do contextualize our lives and give it meaning.

Bliss is not a dead end. It is not just getting by. It is noticing all those things that make us vibrant human beings. It is that first cup of coffee in the morning (excuse me while I go get mine); reading the paper and discussing it with your spouse; delighting in the good news of others; watching a favourite program (my latest obsession, Downton Abbey comes to mind); eating a particularly good meal; expecting company. It takes so many forms, small and big. Don’t get me wrong, I am trying to find the big bliss things too, but I recognize when magic happens–and when I win that big lottery, or publish my first book I will be ready.

I think Hillman had a good point: you have to be ready for bliss, you have to recognize it~or it will elude you. Though his statement sounds like a warning, I would like to take it as his way of saying bliss is a delight we need to embrace. I think he is daring us to find our bliss.

Are you afraid to find your bliss?

Published in: on January 3, 2013 at 10:50 am  Comments (36)  
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  1. The big bliss is there….it’s all the little blisses combining to make a meaningful life…..I think.

  2. Love his thinking.. I’m ready for bliss, for sure 🙂

  3. Hi…I agree that bliss is often found in the little everyday things…and after the number of years I struggled with depression I think that I have found my ‘bliss’ ….living in ‘freedom’ without ‘It’!…Diane

    • depression is an awful heavy thing–I do not know many who have escaped it–though I think your struggle from the reading of your blog was a bit more intense–so glad you are free of it now

  4. Here you again with the bliss thing. 🙂 Anyhoo, I would welcome bliss with open arms. I take just about everything in my life currently and in the past and ruminate sp?. You know- chew on it over and over. Right now at this very minute wordpress is having a “spell” and whereI am typing it’s got all this garbage saying pets people and life and I an typing over it and can’t see my typos. I can not get notifications from WP either as of last night.

    But I feel that bliss might just be lurking around the corner. Notice I used might instead of may since if you write might it means that something is less likely to happen. I don’t think that makes any sense at all of may and might but that is my understanding. So you with a God given talent for writing, etc. how does one use may and might. Also notice that I rambled away from bliss but I have high hopes to find “it.”

    • I have high hopes too–and I hope you do not get tired of it–but I think I may be writing about bliss a lot–it all depends

      • Lou Annm I was joking when I wrote here you go againwith the bliss thing. I am sarcastic when I joke- sometimes or maybe a lot of times. I am not tired of reading about bliss- I will read anything you put out. I am now “put out” with WP for it is doing odd things. Notifications do not show up and neither does the Reader. I have to go back to everyone’s blog and this is a nuisance. I may/might stop blogging until my blog is not giving me a headache. Maybe that it is sign that I should stop anyhow and go back to watching TV or just plain sleeping or reading.

      • no no no – stick with it–I had problems with one of the wordpress–what is it you call it–you know the style we use for our blog and changed mine–and then everything was alright again–the printing of my posts became really small–get in touch with a WP techie–
        -I hate it though when things go wrong

      • Since you know far more than I about wordpress and all that jazz- how does one go about getting in touch with a WP tech? I have looked high and low and can not find a source. But if you can direct me then I bI bet that I will find BLISS! 🙂

      • I can never remember from one time to the next (it is not all that easy) but will get back to you when I remember

  5. You’ve got me thinking about bliss now. I’m going in search of Hillman to find out more 😉

  6. I think Hillman’s remark is a little similar to the saying, “be careful what you wish for.” While we think we’ll be happy when we achieve what we want, I think you’re right in that we need to be ready for it. As humans, we’re quite a contradictory species in regards to wishing for something and actually getting it, I think. 😉

    • By jove, I think you are onto something Watson–I knew that it rang familiar–and you are so right–sometimes when we wish for something and then get it, we are still not satisfied or know what to do with it

  7. Another blissful post you have written LouAnn. 🙂

    • thanks LuAnn–I think this could become a series

      • I believe you are right!

  8. Happy BLISS LouAnn! I’m reminded of Joseph Campbell and his sage advice to “Follow your Bliss”. Thanks for a timely reminder 🙂

    • I am going to look Mr, Campbell up and use his advice in my seach

      • “He opened and continues to open the marvels of myth to the dulled, commodified imagination.” -J. Hillman on Joseph Campbell, Saturday, June 6, 2004 Mythic Journeys Conference Atlanta, Georgia. LouAnn, I think you will like reading Campbell as well as Hillman 🙂 They are kindred souls. When I was ‘coming up’ Joe Campbell had a large influence on me along with a heaping helping of the Beat writers/poets, Campbell’s ideas have matured within me and while I still love many Beats the ideology no longer resonates as it did in my 20’s 😉
        I adore the synchronicity of your bliss journey and my need to be reminded of it.

      • is that not the great thing about being blogging friends–thanks so much for the insights–I will continue my journey with M. Campbell — thanks anna

  9. Lou your message on bliss so timely in my life. Thank you for sharing with us.

    May I add this to your collection?

    “Blissfulness is not a rare visitor in your life, blissfulness is your constant companion, because that is the nature of your being”
    . – Jaggi Vasudev

    We only need to open our heart to it, and what a handsome companion “he” is.

    • I love your addition to my collection–I am going to try to stay “bliss” inspired in my posting

  10. Don’t you just love Downton Abbey. We started watching it when we moved here and now I’m hooked. I still haven’t seen the first season, but I have it requested. Did you see the Christmas special? I don’t want to spoil the story for others, but wow.

    • I saw the Christmas special for the second season–but the third does not start until Sunday here–I got both the first and second season for Mother’s Day last year–I am addicted

      • Enjoy the 3rd season. Let me know what you think of it.

  11. Love Hillman’s writings… this is bliss. 🙂

    • thank you–I am going to read more of his writing–I am impressed thus far

  12. I agree…often I am so busy looking, hoping, waiting, for the big things to happen…it’s easy to miss all the small things that are so important to a happy and productive life. Great reminder! ~ Sheila

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