Follow What?

By Jenifer Tull-Gauger

“Follow what you love, and it will take you where you need to go.”  -Natalie Goldberg

Then there’s the quote attributed to David Gerrold, “Life is hard and then you die.”

Following what you love will not take away the hard times and difficult things in your life.  Following your bliss is not an excuse to try to run away.  We still have responsibilities and priorities.

However, when we lose sight of our dreams, forget what we love, and walk a path that does not include our bliss, life is harder, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel on those dark days.  It is important, even essential, to be aware of those things in life which bring us personal joy.  Most people can make a list of many such things.  The rare person might only come up with one thing.

If you are having trouble listing your bliss items, think about your childhood, or earlier years in your life.  What activities or things made you smile, laugh, love?  What does that now?

Once you have honed in on your bliss, it’s time to figure out how you can regularly and practically fit it into your daily life.  I hope you take pride in and find joy in fulfilling your responsibilities.  Those come first.  You may be able to bring more of what you love into those facets of your life.

If not, that’s okay.  You can always fit some of the simple joys into a week full of responsibility.

My hope for you is that following your bliss will inspire goals in your life.  Yes, dreams, but not just dreams; action items.  If you take any steps toward goals like that, they will lighten your dark days.  They can be tiny steps, small goals.  If they are in line with what you love, they will lighten the load.

Then when you die, even if you didn’t reach some big life goal, you can still say, “I held up my responsibilities, and I followed my dreams.”  In my opinion, that’s a life well-lived.

“Dream-travelers, there is no path, paths are made by dreaming.”  -Antonio Machado