“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
― Joseph Campbell
I have a reoccurring dream. I’m with my friend at some college or another and we’re wandering through these old dormitories. In the dream my friend finds a secret passage in the wall. We open it and slip through finding a whole other world within the walls. The mood is one of playful adventure and though there’s always a tinge of apprehension, it is always counterbalanced with the thrill of exploration.
Because of these dreams I’ve been fixated with secret passage ways…doorways where there should only be walls. This is my life as of late…I’m wandering with purpose, discovering as new passageways as they open themselves to me and I like to believe it is because in part I’m following my bliss, because I’m doing what I love. And in this process of finding myself I am looking life in the face and saying “I’m not scared of you anymore.”
There’s a lot of uncertainty when you follow your gut. You never know where the next doorway will be. But in spite of all I don’t know, here’s what I know about life…and bliss: I love to tell stories.
For me story telling—whether it’s in the form of the written word or spoken– is an act of seduction. A good story teller slowly brings their reader in, enticing them. She them wraps them up, immersing them in the mystery of a new found reality, shifting and twisting and suspending them within the magic of her words and then when the story is complete she spits them out, leaving them satisfied and ever so slightly changed. And when I get to do that I am in a state of joy.
This last weekend I was part of a very special event. War of the Words was a literary fiasco organized by myself, my friend Tim Baker and Nadine King as a fund raiser for her charity. We took four story tellers, Tim and myself included and pitted them against each other allowing the audience to vote for the winner. It was crazy fun and a huge success.
But here’s the deal, although I thrive off of being pushed me to my limit, I was managing twelve people, with differing goals and viewpoints and was hearing contention every step of the way. I found myself pulled between differing factions, which didn’t bide well with my people pleasing tendencies. I was not in my element. Bliss was left somewhere far down the road.
But here I am two days later and I can still say it was it was worth it. We made people happy, we raised money for a good cause and I got to tell my stories.
And here’s the clincher for me: In those ten-something minutes I stood on that stage I was back in my bliss, letting all the frustration from the weeks before melt away. It didn’t matter whether I was the best or the worst reader that night, when I was up there I was bringing my stories to my listener’s ears I was moving them, making change.
That night on stage a secret passage opened for me. I was reminded how much I love to do what I do. I don’t know what purpose this door serves or where it will lead…but that’s the fun of it, right? I’ll be heading down that path soon. I’ll keep you posted as to what I find.