Blissful Living Principles: Bliss is a Practice

Blissful Living Principles: Bliss is a Practice

Blissful Living does not mean that every single moment of your life is blissful. Like the moon and the seasons, bliss waxes and wanes. It is not a permanent state of being and it is not about perfection or bypassing the struggles of life. To live blissfully is to be aware of the presence of bliss, no matter what you’re going through. It doesn’t always mean “happy” — it is choice that requires practice. Now that we’ve explored the foundation of blissful living through principles 1-6, the 7th principal covers the maintenance aspects of this practice.

To be human means that we will inevitably go through difficult times in life, and it’s during these times where we tend to lose sight of ourselves and the inner critic takes over, filling us with fear, doubt, shame, and guilt. We are here to remind you this is okay and that two truths can coexist at once. Yes, you can be going through a dark time, but there is always something to be grateful for in every moment, even if it’s the simplest of things. We must allow and create space for our shadows and our light, we are most often a combination of both. The mind will try to fixate on the shadow emotions and when they are allowed to run the show, they block the joy that is present too. The big lesson is that they can coexist and will. Even in the darkest times, we can still cultivate 1 percent more bliss.

Picture yourself in a beautiful meadow filled with flowers and butterflies. The sky is blue, and the golden sun is beaming down. The birds are chirping and the air smells fresh. This is your highest self. Like a child, it is pure loving awareness. Suddenly, the storm clouds of life roll in. The sun is gone, the birds have flown away, and the meadow has been replaced by a dark, shadowy forest. Faith is knowing that the blue sky and the meadow is still there, even if we can’t see it. And the magic is we can access it, in other words, we can access our highest self, if we quiet the mind and still the body. We do this through meditation and the more we meditate, the stronger our awareness becomes of this ever-present bliss inside our hearts.

When we do this, we allow a safe space for the inner critic to be met with our inner healer. It's soft, gentle, loving, and wise and it’s saying, “you can always find me in the stillness… I'm a few deep breaths below the surface of your fear-based thoughts”. The more we practice this, the more we develop self-compassion and self-empowerment. It’s not about connecting to a higher power outside of ourselves, it’s about realizing that we have a higher power within ourselves. We are but a drop in the ocean, but we are still the ocean.

We don’t access the light through ignoring or suppressing our shadow emotions either, we get curious about them and see what they need. Emotions are just energy in motion and when we deny or ignore the shadow emotions that need to be acknowledged, felt, and experienced then illness occurs. It’s also helpful to re-frame our thoughts around them. Instead of telling ourselves “ I am sad”, we can say “sadness is present”. This simple shift of removing the “I am” of emotions is a profound way to develop compassion, love, and patience for yourself while learning to flow with life instead of fighting it. The other part of this equation is learning when to move out of our shadow and be in the light. It is not a denial or a bypass – it is the realization that so many emotions are swirling and coexisting, and the mind can latch onto the hardest ones that tend to consume us, creating a barrier where we close off in fight, flight or freeze mode. And when we’re constantly living in this state, the joy, the love and the tiny, wonderful moments can’t get through to the heart to nourish it.

This is why we say that Blissful Living is a lifestyle and not a state of being. Defining our bliss, creating it, nurturing it, enjoying the blooms of it... does not mean total immunity from storms – storms that may seem like they will destroy the garden of bliss you have so diligently enjoyed building. Blissful Living is not only about what grows externally, but all that is within and above too. It’s about making sure the roots are grounded, protected and safe – that no matter what weather pattern comes, when the roots are healthy, nourished and supported, they will withstand the storm and bloom again.

So next time you feel like life has knocked you down, just remember that it doesn’t mean you aren’t living blissfully, it means you are a human being having a human experience. Sometimes that is extended periods of bliss and sometimes there may be none at all, but it doesn’t mean you get off the path or run back the other way. Sometimes it just means a pause – a storm has come and covered your blissfully blue sky, but it’s not gone. The blue sky is still there within your most connected, heart-centric self and you can always access it.