3 Simple Ways to Follow Your Bliss

by Julie Hoyle

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”  ~Joseph Campbell

Several years ago, I learned about a month-long silent retreat designed to incorporate extended periods of meditation, three-times-daily hatha yoga sessions, and in-depth self-inquiry practices. The moment I heard about it, my heart literally jumped out of my chest and I knew I had to be there.

Yet, while my heart was gunning for it, I could not get my head around how to find the money for the airfare, accommodations, and registration fees. All told, the total was going to be close to three thousand dollars, something I did not have.

Undeterred, I came to the conclusion, via my heart that I did not need to get my head around anything. If I was meant to be there, then the universe would take care of the details no matter how daunting the financial cost.

In support of my belief, I made flight and accommodation reservations, shared my intention with several of my close friends, and trusted the universe to align everything in support of my goal. Sure enough, just four weeks before the start of the retreat, I received an unexpected call from my neighbor.

Liz was a casting agent, searching for extras to audition for the movie My Father the Hero, which was being shot on Paradise Island. She asked, “Are you available? I am having difficulty finding people and I think you would be a perfect fit.”

I jumped at the opportunity. She cautioned me that the shoot I would be involved in was a boat scene, probably only lasting a day, maybe two. However on the day we started filming, on driving out to the harbor, the weather took a dramatic turn.

High winds began whipping around the boat, affecting the ability of the professional stuntman to execute water skiing tricks. Then a power boat, meant to be driven alongside ours and intended to be a highlight of the scene, crashed into the bridge, requiring it to be sent to dry dock for repair.

Added to that, several days passed with intermittent sunshine and long periods of cloud cover and rain.

With these events and subsequent delays, the one or two day filming time turned into a week, then two, until three and a half weeks later we finally wrapped the scene, just hours ahead of the start of the retreat.

Picking up my paycheck I was in awe. Calculating a rapid mental note of all the outgoings necessary, I realized my earnings covered the flight and retreat costs down to the last cent. In fact there was an additional $15 left over, which I realized would cover the Bahamas Government departure tax.

This unexpected and highly unusual turn of events reinforced that when we have the courage to follow our inner prompts and go after what we are most passionate about, the universe often finds creative ways to support our every need.

Since that experience, I have utilized a simple check list in order to embrace the wisdom of the heart and go after what I am most passionate about. This ensures I am aligning with and acting on what I am hearing inside. The check list goes like this:

1. Listen.

Take note of when your heart rises up with joy and excitement in response to a path of action, a new idea, or an opportunity. Don’t miss the moment and let it slip away. Trust what you are hearing.

2. Act.

Take at least one step toward what your heart is saying and create an intention. Keep a journal and inquire, “What can I do right now to bring this dream into manifestation?”

3. Share.

Tell those you trust and who are able to safely hold the intention with you. Ask for support and input. Don’t be afraid to express your wildest, most extravagant dreams.

When we listen, act, and share, we are saying, “YES!” to the flow of the universe, which is dynamic, alive, and charged with immense power. We are proactively stating,

  • I trust my heart by acknowledging and acting on my intuitive wisdom.
  • I love and honor who I am.
  • I respect and stand behind what I have to offer the world.

In contrast, when we do not listen, act, and share, we are made aware of it in several ways.

First: We feel depressed, intuitively recognizing that we have missed an important message meant to open us to new and expanded possibilities.

Second: We feel sluggish, “stuck,” and unable to see clearly. It’s as if our eyes have clouded over and we are trying to look through thick, dirty glass.

Third: We contract, which leads us to feel alienated from the ones we love, as well as from the world at large.

Inevitably, at different times on our journey, we flip-flop between the two opposites until we begin to see that we do have choices and we can follow the wisdom of the heart. When we find the courage to say “yes” to the heart, we are choosing the response of love calling back to love.

The other response is a non- response where we are frozen in fear and submerged in self-doubt, reinforced by a belief in lack. Only when we have had enough of suffering in this way do we finally learn to let go.

At the moment of letting go, we instantly arrive at a place of trust where we wake up to the truth that the universe is, by its very nature, abundant and willing to take care of us, if we let it.

Then we realize that bliss is always with us, ready to bubble up and overflow at any moment, pointing to new pathways and directions for our lives.

Even if we don’t at first see how, when we trust and follow the wisdom of the heart, doors will magically be carved out of the most impenetrable walls, and we will be shown a beautiful and unexpected way through.

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