I read an article in Vogue Magazine today which got me thinking about my life. Now, I would never think to buy Vogue, but both my daughter and daughter-in-law are ‘fashionistas’ and love looking at these beautiful, glossy magazines full of high fashion. On this occasion, my daughter-in-law passed Vogue on to me … and there I read a great article, but more about that later.
I love it when I am given magazines that I would not normally buy. Why? Because they expose you to ‘things’ that you would not normally be exposed to; I think this is a good thing. Once, when I was seeing my daughter and family off at the airport, I was left with a few Donna Hay food magazines after we rearranged her overweight luggage on a tiny bench at the airport. It was hilarious and a tad hectic as the time for boarding was getting very close!
However folks, being left with this heavy cache of Donna Hay magazines changed forever my negative attitude to what I perceived to be useless (read here ‘expensive’) magazines, full of not much else but glam and gloss. But, how wrong I was: what a treasure they turned out to be! Well-written; great recipes; beautiful glossy pictures and thought-provoking articles. I was only too happy to be proved wrong.
So now … let’s get back to Vogue magazine. Again these same preconceived ideas came with me as I picked up this magazine to read while I had my cup of tea. I thought, Well, I could enjoy the photos of clothes surely?What a negative attitude I had folks!
But no, there were more than clothes here! Pretty soon I was reading about an Australian writer – Tara June Winch – who had spent the last decade travelling the world with her child, and by the age of 28 had ended up living alone (with her daughter) in Paris where she finally found the woman within her. Something she had been trying to do since she was 18 years old!
It was such a heart-warming story and Tara ended the article by saying:
Maybe I was heading here all along, to find the self-respect to stay, to take the ultimately solo leap to live my bliss, for myself, and for my daughter, to become a woman. Whatever the forks, I’m thankful I’ve finally arrived, for the rest.
Now, reading Tara’s story made me reflect on my own journey of self-discovery. If Tara thinks, at barely 30 years of ago, she has ‘found her bliss’ all I can say is “Good luck to her!” Some people take a lot longer than that to find anything let alone their bliss! But when she did find ‘her bliss’ she found she had learned to identify the woman within herself that was doing exactly what she loved and what she had always wanted to do.
How many of us get to achieve this so young? I remember when I was 14 years old, I read a book called “The Pen and Pencil Club”. It was about the struggles of a group of teenage school girls who banded together to put out a monthly paper called … yes, you guessed it … The Pen and Pencil Club!
I knew – right at that moment – that I wanted to be a writer! With that insight, I promptly began writing a diary on some letter writing paper that I had on hand. I still have that early diary in my possession today … and I haven’t stopped writing since!
But my point is this: despite knowing that I loved writing, I did not become ‘a writer’ in the true sense of the word … not really until I began writing every day on this blog on 1st January 2012. Looking back, my life has taken me on many different twists and turns, some of which involved writing assignments and then some business writing during my career, but basically I had not become ‘a writer!’
So, my dear friends, the article I read by Tara June Winch, spoke to me about how many people actually find their bliss. And, if they do, perhaps they find it much later in life? And, here is another question: how do you actually ‘ find and follow your bliss’ if you have no idea what your bliss really is?
And here is where I began to learn an awful lot of things folks. There is an art to finding … following … and living your bliss. For me, there were other things I needed to do BEFORE I started living my bliss. In fact, the very occupations I had undertaken through all those years since I decided to be a writer, have made me the writer I am today so none of it was wasted.
Which just goes to show there is a lot more to following your bliss than simply stopping what you are doing now and starting to do what you love. It is far more complicated than that … as my research showed me:
“I’m betting you’ve heard the advice to “follow your bliss.” While I find there to be much value in those words, I submit that this mindset can become a trap.
It’s not the bliss I have an issue with. It’s the part about following.
And herein dear friends, lies a whole new tale. The author goes on to explain how she found her calling in Yoga through the most unlikely route. It is a lovely story and one you can read on the link above. I loved the quote the blogger had on her page:
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama
Yes, sometimes the things that lead you to your bliss, are things you would not have opted to do! And that is where this saying comes into its own. Because then, when you least expect it – and when the time is right – your bliss will appear and no one will be more surprised than YOU!
There is so much more to ‘following your bliss’ so I plan to write further on this topic, watch for it dear friends …
NB: A little about Tara June Winch
Her first novel, Swallow the air, won several awards. The judges for the Sydney Morning Herald’ Best Young Novelists award’ wrote that the book “is distinguished by its natural grace and vivid language” and that “As with many first books it deals with issues of family, growing up and stepping into the world. But it strives to connect these experiences to broader social issues, though never in a didactic fashion”