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Archive for 'favorite quotes'

Rebecca Harmon: Following Our Bliss
Friday, November 27th, 2020

A big Thank You to Delilah for the opportunity to write a guest blog!

I write about spirituality – some of it deeply traditional and some of it in the practical context of everyday life. Since we’re in the season of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a story about GRATITUDE and how this simple practice worked some serious magic in my life.

George Lucas – the creator of Star Wars – referred to professor and spiritual guru Joseph Campbell as his “Yoda”. Campbell remains a favorite among the intellectual literati in spiritual circles, and his best-known one-liner is probably this one: “follow your bliss”.

This mantra sounds great when we’re stuck in a miserable place, but the truth about how it works is a bit more nuanced. Let’s start with the full quote by Campbell:

“Follow your bliss, and the Universe will open doors where there were only walls”.

There is perhaps no better context for this quote than when we seem to be stuck in a miserable job.

That’s it!” we tell ourselves. “I need to get out of this awful place and do something that brings me joy – I’m going to follow my bliss!

I know a number of people who have left a job to “follow their bliss” only to find themselves in a place of regret. I have learned that it’s a bit more complicated than just doing what feels good, which is – unfortunately – how Campbell’s quote is often interpreted.

Like most spiritual wisdom, the statement is at the same time complex and simple. To illustrate what I mean, I’ll share my experience with the concept.

A few years back, I left a position with a tech start-up to go into a much more traditional position in a government agency. I took a pay cut, went from working at home to driving into an office 5-days a week, and turned in the corporate Gold card and business class travel options. Some people thought I was crazy, but I had my reasons, and knew it was the right thing to do.

About a year and a half into this position, I was miserable with a capital M. The culture was old school bureaucracy, and there were many long-time employees whose favorite game was creating conflict. Many days it felt like the Hatfield & McCoy feud, and it was the place where I learned what the term “gaslighting” meant because I experienced it almost daily.

I was ready to admit that this career move had been a HUGE mistake and began to make plans to find a new position – ANY position away from these mean and spiteful people…except it wasn’t that simple.

One of the reasons I had come to this organization was to capitalize on my military time, and I had planned to at least stay long enough to secure my pension. Things had gotten so bad that I wasn’t sure I could even do that; but before I walked away, I decided to apply some of the spiritual tools I was writing about and teaching to others. If those didn’t work, another job was always an option.

In the darkest days, I found very little to appreciate, but I kept looking and doing my spiritual work. Finally, I settled on the fact that the store on the installation had fresh, cut-up fruit available every day. I was working on eating healthier and this little treat was a $2.17 way for me to stay on track – and it didn’t require me to do any food prep or remember to grab something from my fridge on the way out the door.

Each day on my break I looked forward to the strawberries, cantaloupe or grapes that I would find in the store and I focused my appreciation on this small piece of sanity during the workweek.

Soon after shifting my focus to appreciating the fruit, I realized that the culture – while still leaving a lot to be desired – at least encouraged people to walk at work. The campus is a lovely, suburban one where walking in decent weather is not only feasible but pleasant.

I kept my focus on being grateful for these 2 things, not letting myself descend into the misery that seemed to be all around me. I also discovered that the commute, while aggravating at times, was perfect for listening to audiobooks. Another plus!

My mood began to soften, and I decided one day to make a list of the people at this job who were positive additions to the experience, and I quickly had a fairly long list.

Now almost halfway into my 7th year in this job, I have achieved multiple awards, career recognition, and a stability in my position that I could have never foreseen in the depths of that darkness. Indeed, the Universe had opened doors where I once saw only walls.

The “bliss” I followed was not running off in a huff when things were going badly. I found it in small islands of good that I discovered when I opened myself to the possibility that they existed – even there.

While it is lovely to be able to walk into stores and see some of our favorite spiritual quotes emblazoned on t-shirts, coffee mugs, throw pillows, and more; we must take care to remember that these teachings are MUCH deeper than cute one-liners.

I did follow my bliss, and the Universe absolutely opened doors where there were once only walls – but it didn’t happen with me throwing up my hands and quitting in a dramatic, made-for-TV resignation. It happened when I spent time in quiet meditation, which helped me to see the great value in staying and securing my pension. It happened when I practiced the pivot, moving my energy and attention to all the positive aspects of the position and letting go of the negative ones. It happened when I focused on being grateful for the small things that were all around me.

Following our bliss is not a magic spell we can cast to transport ourselves from a tough situation to sipping cocktails on a white-sand beach. It is a process we can use to, one step at a time, transform the formidable walls in our path into doors that open to better experiences, happiness, and peace.

Wishing everyone a bountiful & blissful Thanksgiving weekend!

About the Author

Rebecca Harmon is a mother, grandmother, US Navy veteran, and keeper of cats who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A healthcare professional and educator, she maintains a blog on spirituality and enjoys speaking in front of large groups of people! She has self-published 2 non-fiction books about careers and the workplace: Discover Your Path – a map to job happiness and 7 Simple Steps – job satisfaction, any place, any time – both available on Amazon – and would love it if you dropped by her blog for a read, a Like, a Follow or a Share!

Follow Rebecca’s blog: A Practitioner’s Path
Follow her on Twitter: @Practitioner2Be
Instagram: PractitionersPath
Follow her professional journey on LinkedIn

A Happy Quote & a Question (Plus OPEN CONTESTS)
Sunday, October 4th, 2020

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.” ~ Voltaire

At least, that is what this shut-in/hermit writer believes. And then I laugh. I may live in the country, but the only time I have solitude is in the early, early morning before everyone else is awake.

So, tell me how you feel about that quote! 🙂

Open Contests & Giveaways

  1. Blathering a Bit & Open Contests! (New Contest, too!) — Ends tomorrow! Win an Amazon gift card!
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What are you afraid of? (And enter these contests!)
Sunday, June 14th, 2020

“I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet but as dull as ditchwater: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone…” ~Tallulah Bankhead

Last night, my daughter and I heard a very loud whomp while we were sitting outside in the dark gossiping about our day. Spooked, my dd told me to go upstairs and tell her big, brave hubby to take his high-powered flashlight and see what it was. I did. I found him already asleep, so I turned on my phone battery and wandered out into the front yard, checking the gate, fences. No bear (we have neighbors with pics of bears going through the trash). No intruders (we’re on hyper-alert due to warnings to LEO families of random attacks). So no, I’m not afraid of things that go bump in the night like she is.

Three things I am afraid of…?

I’m afraid of being normal. (I know it sounds silly, but it’s been my thing my entire life. I never wanted “ordinary”.)
I’m afraid of losing a child or grandchild.
I’m afraid of heights.

Now, how about you? What three things are you afraid of?

Enter while you can!

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  3. Okay, I’m officially tired of… (Plus, a Puzzle-Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
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I don’t want to do nuthin’…
Thursday, June 4th, 2020

My ex said there was an old Irish saying that went like this: Never do today what you can do next year.

Yeah, that’s his sense of humor. Born and bred Irish. It’s why we’re still great friends.

Today’s one of those days. It started off well. I got out of bed at 6:30 AM. I decided to try to catch up on artwork for the two challenges I’m participating in. I completed them and was sitting down at my computer to begin my “real work” day when my daughter came downstairs in a tizzy to remind me we had dental appointments.

We had both completely forgotten, which meant no time to shower (ew!) and barely enough time to brush our teeth before we hurried into town. That was a long ordeal due to the COVID precautions—time to sterilize in between, waivers, etc.

Once we came back, I sat back down at my computer, but one of those “70’s stars—Where are they now?” popped up on my news screen when I first opened it up, and an hour later I was dozing in front of my screen.

Now, it’s time for a late lunch…maybe a swim…don’t I need to vacuum? You get the picture. Anything but what I need to do to keep on track. I have tons of items on my To Do list to tackle, but…really, can’t I take a “do-over” tomorrow?

What do you think?

Childhood Fears — and check out the open CONTESTS!
Friday, May 29th, 2020

“We kids feared many things in those days—werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday school–but they all paled in comparison with BRUSSELS SPROUTS.” ~ Dave Berry

So, I was looking for an inspirational quote to share today, but I found this one instead. Since it made me smile, I figured it was worth as much as any uplifting quote. And it got me thinking about what I feared when I was a kid…

Heights (still have that one), being called on in class (I got over that one because I was almost always smarter than the teacher–or so I thought), nuclear bombs (I did those “get under your desks” drills in school), being left behind at a rest stop by my parents (they did that one time with my little brother), or my parents being taken over by aliens. I never feared werewolves or vampires because I wanted to be turned into one; didn’t matter which.

So, how about you? What did you fear when you were a child?

And speaking of children, here’s the 6-year-old feeding goats. The goats were one of our stay-at-home projects. 🙂

These contests and offers are still active!

  1. Diana Cosby: Nature – Amazing Muse Inspiration (Contest) — Win a SIGNED book!
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Fantastical Quote
Monday, May 20th, 2019

I save quotes, quote books, etc. to give me inspiration. When I’m feeling at a low ebb energy or idea-wise, I thumb through them to find something that “fits”.

Here’s one that always makes me smile…

If you have enough fantasies, you’re ready, in the event
that something happens.
~ Sheila Ballantyne

Do you love quotes or daily mantras to get your creativity or gumption going?

A Favorite Quote
Friday, May 10th, 2019

This will be my shortest post ever because tonight I’m thinking that tomorrow will be a perfect day. I’ll be in the company of my family as we head to the theater to watch Avengers: End Game. I think I’ll dream happy dreams.

Follow your bliss. ~ Joseph Campbell