Many moons ago, a guy named Joseph Campbell told us we’re supposed to follow our bliss.
If we do that, according to him, everything gets seriously groovy.
Doors start to open. Money flows in. Our chakras get all lined up and our aura turns into a Technicolor light show.
Speaking as someone who is currently following her bliss, I have to say this is true.
Doors are opening and my chakras are happy.
Most of the time.
But here’s something the Follow-Your-Bliss teachers sometimes forget to mention.
Sometimes your bliss brings up your bleccch.
I know, bliss and bleccch are not the best combination. But in this case, it’s actually pretty cool, because bliss trumps bleccch.
Let me explain.
One of my favorite things to do is something Melissa and I call Word Songs.
They combine my writing, my musicality, my spirituality, and my connection with my wife Melissa. When we perform our Word Songs live, we bring a whole bunch of people along for a Word Song ride.
It’s amazingly fun and powerful and joy-filled: for us and everyone (or almost everyone) in the room.
Does it get any better than that?
No, it does not.
But here’s the catch.
Sometimes, after we perform, I start to hear these weird little voices in my head.
In between my ears, I hear things like:
That wasn’t very good.
You’re just talking. Melissa’s singing. Singing is real talent. You’re not really doing anything special.
And what about that guy in the third row? Everyone else was really getting into it, but he looked like he was having a colonoscopy the entire time. He hated it. Or it looked like he did. So it must have sucked.
These are the Voices of Bleccch.
And sometimes, when you follow the Voices of Bliss, you end up, off in the corner, being pummeled by the Voices of Bleccch.
I’ll tell you what gives.
In order to follow your bliss, your old self has to go.
The self that played small. The self that thought it wasn’t any good. The self that listened to what other people said instead of the calling of its own heart.
And one of the ways this self retreats?
Well, first this old self fights back.
As you follow the Voices of Bliss and act on them, the Voices of Bleccch make themselves known. They try to keep you small. They try to stop you from moving forward.
Indeed, following the Voices of Bliss often means the Voices of Bleccch are going to make themselves known.
It’s actually a sign you’re on the right track.
The key is to not take them seriously.
It’s like those stories about the hero’s journey:
You’re out there, slaying dragons and fighting off demons and everything’s awesome.
Until you get to that one cave.
You know the one.
Where there’s this little old lady who looks really harmless, but then you say the code word – like raisins – and she turns into a five-headed monster who tries to rip your arms off.
Then you have to think really fast to get past her and keep going on your journey.
And you do, ‘cuz you’re a hero like that.
Dealing with the Voices of Bleccch is like the cave and the little-old-lady-who’s-really-a-monster.
It’s important to remember this, because the trickiest thing the Voices of Bleccch do is try to convince you that their mere presence indicates that you’re not following your bliss.
In my case, they said:
Hey, if it feels so bad and angsty after you perform this supposedly-special nerd rap, maybe you’re not on the right track. Maybe you’re not actually supposed to do this.
But it wasn’t during the performance that I felt like crap. It was after. And it was because I was listening to – and believing – the Voices of Bleccch.
Once I got hip to what was going on, and realized that the whole process was an opportunity to let go of the small, unempowered version of me – once I got clear that the Voices of Bleccch were total liars – they immediately fell silent.
Just like that.
No more cave. No more little old lady who became a super-mean-monster-with-a-penchant-for-arm-ripping-activity just because I said the word raisins.
And the cool part?
It was the act of following the Voices of Bliss that allowed me to purge the Voices of Bleccch from my head.
Does this mean I’ll never hear the Voices of Bleccch again?
But every time I hear them, I’ll take them less seriously.
I’ll see them for what they are, bless them, and move on.
Indeed, part of following my bliss is purging the bleccch.
Because, really, there’s no better feeling than having it gone.
And saying the word raisins whenever I want!
What’s your experience with the Voices of Bliss and the Voices of Bleccch? Share your comments below!