Affirmation: I am motivated, empowered, and excited to follow my bliss today.
It’s been two years since I bought a domain to begin my spiritual writing journey. The date was August 21, 2015 to be exact. I had a dream. I had a name. I had a terrible bout of procrastination.
I am certain that I have mastered the Art of Procrastination. Do you have a plan? Just give it to me and I promise that I can delay it for another day. Yet, despite my unwelcome talent, there is a vision within me that doesn’t want to shut up. Sometimes it’s a faint whisper in those moments between waking and sleep. Other times, I hear it screaming when I’m performing mindless tasks that couldn’t be further from my path. Its favorite phrase:
“What are you doing?!”
When those times arrive, we have two choices. We can choose to ignore it and live our lives in ‘bliss-like procrastinating ignorance’ or we can wake up and find true bliss. The kind of bliss that only comes from following our calling.
“Follow Your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
This quote is the inspiration for the next step on the road I call life. It is a calling to follow my calling, my bliss. And I invite you to do the same. On this life journey, many excuses pop up along the way. Yet, the longer we wait, the more we are paralyzed. We all have our favorite brand of excuses and I have many. See if any resonant with you:
1: My dreams are not well-defined enough
Have you ever had that feeling when you know you’re being called to something great but you’re not sure about all the details yet? I get this urge all the time. It’s like I can see the hazy picture of where I’m supposed to be going, but I’m ready for grainy television to switch to HD already.
2: My life isn’t where I want it to be in order to start following my bliss
I feel comfortable sharing my journey with close friends, but when it comes to sharing it with the world, I’ve always felt inadequate. I am on a long and beautiful road with stories to share along the way. Despite my path, I feel like I will never be spiritual enough to be considered an expert on this path I love most. But when do any of us become experts? Isn’t it better to share where we are now? It’s not about waiting for the perfect path around the bend, but sharing each twist and turn, no matter how lost.
3. My friends, family, boss, fill-in-blank won’t understand
I have many people in my life who know this part of me and embrace it. I have just as many who expect me to follow the expectations they had for me as a child. Change is not always easy and the more you become your authentic self, the more uncomfortable you will make some people. Seeking other people’s approval is in direct contradiction to following your own bliss. Although I take people’s opinions into consideration, my life decisions come from the heart. When I trust my inner voice, instead of allowing outer chatter to hold undue sway, I find greater happiness on my path.
4: What if I fail . . . ?
It is terrifying to think of my dreams going unrealized. But we fail 100% of the times we choose not to make an effort. Any other so-called ‘failures’ are just learning experiences that we can use towards growing on our path to bliss. All great innovators created many “learning experiences.” There’s a great TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson entitled ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ In it, he says schools were designed to make us fear failure. True innovation is about failing 99 times so that we can integrate those ‘mistakes’ into our special 100th masterpiece. We cannot be afraid of failure.
5: What if I succeed . . . ?
Marianne Williamson said it best in Return to Love: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness that most frightens us.” Why are we hiding our light? That isn’t the path for us. To follow our bliss means we must Shine Bright. That is why this I named this website, Cassandra Shines. It is a daily reminder to myself and everybody else that we are called to shine.
One of the biggest reasons we are so afraid of success is that if we are successful, it means that we will have to live beyond the ordinary. Success on the path to bliss equals vulnerability. This is a beautiful place to be, but with beauty comes pain. When we live an ordinary life, we can get away with procrastinating for two years or complaining about external factors, instead of taking 100% responsibility for our lives. But once we successfully step into bliss, we can no longer make excuses.
Is that your alarm ringing?
Consider this your wake-up call. There is no need to feel guilty about the past. Instead, we are uniquely called to take 100% responsibility for this moment forward. If you want to feel unburdened from the shackles of excuses, take one step forward on your road to bliss. If you are unsure of where to go, use these tips to make your journey a bit easier.
1. If you’re unsure of how to follow you bliss, look to your values
If your path is still hazy or if it seems like you have 100 roads to follow, take some time to write down what you value in life. When we begin to write out our values, they transform into our dreams. I value diversity, spirituality, compassion, and the open exchange of ideas. As I began to look at what I valued, my path—which branched off in a thousand directions—began to shine more brightly one way. That is where this website originated . . . My desire to create a platform where we can freely learn about different cultures and how to grow spiritually. Of course, this website is just one part of my path to bliss, but it is a way to tie together other pieces that will expand in the future.
2. Set your intention
People often mistake the Law of Attraction (LOA) as thinking only good thoughts. However, it is much more complex. To follow LOA, you must be direct in setting your intention and developing a plan to make that intention a reality. Many plans focus only on all of the obstacles. However, LOA empowers you to imagine all of the possibilities and focus primarily on these. Your bliss is within your grasp and you have the power to seize it. Write your intention. Write your values. Place them throughout your house and your car and your office. Repeat it every morning when you wake up and before you go to sleep. When you take a bite to eat, remember that food may help sustain your body, but following your bliss helps to sustain your soul.
3. Focus on the journey, not just the end goal
Create goals and have defined plans to accomplish them. However, in this goal-focused world, it’s easy to suck the joy out of our bliss by reducing it to milestones on a sheet of paper. Instead, take time to truly relish in the journey. Celebrate the big and little steps you walk. Be aware of the inner changes you undergo on the road. Don’t set your eyes only towards the end, but dance along your path.
4. Take baby steps
Writing a novel seems over-whelming. As does starting your own business or opening up your own wellness clinic. You don’t have to do it all at once. Nobody is expecting you to quit your job today and dive into this head-on. Remember that every novel begins with a paragraph. Write that first paragraph, that first page, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Watch your bliss take form without judgment.
5. Find your walking buddies
As you start your journey to bliss, there are always people who will react negatively. You cannot control other people’s reactions. You can control how you react to their reactions. First, don’t take it personally. Second, find people who are excited to walk with you.
When you first begin this journey, it’s easy to feel unsure about your path. Many people who are unhappy with their own lives may subconsciously choose to keep others down for group commiseration. Don’t judge those that do this, but in order to become more sure of yourself, don’t spend time with this type of negative energy. If this is impossible for you, do not share your project with them, as they will often try to find ways to criticize what you are doing in your life.
Stick with your walking buddies . . . People who are not only willing to support what you are doing, but will hold you accountable to follow through on your bliss. I have many walking buddies. Some of these buddies share similar goals, others are wildly divergent. However, we all support one another along the way.
One great way to formalize your walking group is through creating or joining a Mastermind Group. A Mastermind group is a peer-to-peer network designed for personal growth and business development. As each person creates a goal, they have a group of people who not only help them with accountability, but also provide resources, networking opportunities, and brainstorming activities on how to be the Best You.
See you on the road!
What are you waiting for? Another book, article, or blog post explaining the best ways to make your dreams come true? Stop procrastinating. Stop allowing guilt from procrastinating to paralyze you further. Take a few deep stretches and even deeper breaths, stand up, and start walking today!