Path to Joy: 11th of 12 – Follow Your 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.
– Joseph Campbell
What is bliss? Answer: Perfect happiness. Gladness. Pleasure. Delight. Joy.
I first heard “follow your bliss” on the eve before traveling to the Dow Creativity Center in Midland, Michigan. That charming town’s library had a whole section of Joseph Campbell interviews and lectures. After watching one every morning, I realized that life could be understood as an amazing and magical journey.
In myths, heros encounter dragons and shape-shifters, unicorns and gryphons, basilisks and phoenix birds. I’ve found those traits in people. Against obstacles built by trolls and opportunities opened by fairy godparents, one goal is clear: Maintain personal truth, grace and internal harmony. As Abraham Lincoln said of the 11th Path to Joy:
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.
In that light, happiness is possible. How?
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
– Mahatma Gandhi
A Path to Joy Arts Meditation: Grace & Harmony
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. – Heraclitus
What I like best about the picture:
The flowing, multi-colored lines.
Why I like the image:
The lines suggest the graceful, harmonious, effortless dance that life can be.
What the picture teaches:
To me, this picture suggests letting my life flow toward beauty, grace and harmony.
The insights gained:
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.
— Henry David Thoreau
I gain the belief that living in my best and brightest truth [despite the price], in finding and following my unique way through life as best I can is a Path to Joy.
Seek joy and stay safe!
These ‘Paths to Joy’ are adapted from The Treasure Chest, an old book I found years ago. Page 117 contained “The Twelve Rules of Happiness.” Of special delight is using paints markers and ink to illustrate meditations inspired by this wisdom. The technique is adapted from the book Visual Journaling, Going Deeper Than Words, by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox.
For information about and to purchase the art, visit Sandra’s Galleries.