What’s bliss anyway?
Have you noticed that there’s a lot of attention lately on working moms and how they should find their bliss?? Well, I’m on the cusp of calling BS on yet another word that I believe is shaming working moms… bliss.
As in – Dear working mom, (this is the popular press talking, and yes – we’ve now affected your sub-conscious…)
You’re just not good enough yet… You haven’t found your bliss!
Although you represent the majority of people employed, you carry arguably 85% of the domicile duties, you are responsible for 90% of childcare responsibilities, you are relied upon by all, you’ve absorbed centuries of gender expectations from the generations who’ve gone before you, you’ve assumed the roles of mom, bread-winner, organizer, communicator, family nurturer, scheduler, errand runner, home-maker, and now, all you have to do is find your bliss…
No worries, just add it to your schedule. In fact, why not book it as a destination. You know it’s out there. EVERYONE ELSE knows how to find it…
Come on! What are you waiting for? You’ve done everything else already… Let’s go!
The fact is – working mothers are arguably the busiest people on the planet today, and I’m here to say that we are getting fed up with all the messages that we’re not quite there yet. The fact is, we are EXACTLY where we’ve put ourselves.
BUT – I think it’s time for working moms to STOP owning all the shame and embarrassment of some of the natural bi-products of an over-busy, over-burdened, wigged out lifestyle. I think it’s time to take off the gloves, put down the wine, drop back and get some perspective.
The word ‘bliss’ is derived from the old english term ‘blithe‘ – an adjective used to describe one as carefree, light-hearted and one who shows a general lack of concern. It is used to describe one as happy and cheerful.
The Middle English derivative: bliss is similar, however – it is a NOUN meaning joyful, serene, peaceful and identifies one who has attained ecstatic happiness.
‘Finding Your Bliss’ is a colloquialism that assumes there is a state of being completely happy and fulfilled… and that this state is reachable by all, if only we could determine what it is that satisfies us at the most basic roots. However, upon further inquiry – I argue that ‘Finding your bliss’ as a state of attainment and being (noun), like ‘balance’ (noun) might actually be a misnomer. (We’ll revisit the word ‘balance’ in next week’s post.)
Can you achieve ‘bliss’?
Upon further inquiry I think that ‘bliss’, as a destination or state of being, like balance, is rather a misnomer (noun. A word, term or name that is ‘wrong’ or ‘not appropriate’.) And here’s where I call BS!
Why? Well, when searching for this colloquialism (finding your bliss), the only NOUN I uncovered that comes definitionally close to the word ‘bliss’ is ‘yoga’. Hmm – so let’s take a closer look at the word yoga, shall we?
The word yoga is defined as a Hindu Theistic system, philosophy, and physical practice aiming at the mystical union of the self with the Supreme Being in a state of complete awareness and tranquility through certain physical and mental exercises.
The words systems, philosophy and practice (while nouns themselves) describe a set of principles, ongoing behaviors and routine activities that (here’s the thing to pay attention to…) when combined and practiced regularly create a state of being.
It follows then, that bliss – describes the result of such ongoing activities.
Therefore, ‘bliss’ as a noun – may exist… But, I believe that it’s more clearly defined as: a temporary state or condition of being joyful, happy, serene and peaceful that is the result of routine physical, mental and philosophical systems, practices, and activities aimed at achieving complete awareness and tranquility.
So – while I do believe ‘bliss’ is available to every working mom, I believe rather that ‘bliss’ should be thought of as a verb for working moms. In other words, if you’re not ‘finding your bliss’ – perhaps it’s time to STOP overscheduling, overburdening, and stressing out – And START making time for routine activities that are the complete opposite from what you’re doing now.
As a long-time practicer of yoga, I know that for each posture or pose, there is an equal posture/pose that is aimed to release the stress caused by the first. Yogi masters seek to find the perfect balance and harmony by creating routines around this fact.
Have you honored this universal law of nature? Are you creating equal and opposite postures and poses for your work and life, working mom?
I believe that living your bliss as a working mom is possible through the regular practice of methods by which self awareness, physical expression, mental clarity, emotional expression and tranquility are attained.
It follows then that ‘finding your bliss’ is not a result or destination (noun) but, an ongoing journey, comprised of a deep understanding of what is most important to you, and then by implementing routine practices, exercises (postures), behaviors, activities and habits that are truly designed to not only ground you, and promote your physical, mental and spiritual well-being, but be equal and opposite to the stressors and postures you assume daily through work.
Therefore – working moms searching for their bliss, might do better to create ‘blissful activities’ as the foundational practice of their days…
And [Tweet “drop the guilt, shame and anxiety of ‘never enough.'”]
In fact, not only do I give you permission… I implore you to do so, and see if bliss shows up on the other side…
The next post will examine my next least favorite noun enslaving and shaming mompreneurs world-wide: Balance.
What do you think? Scroll down past those pictures, and Comment! Share your insights and Ideas… We need your voice!
Is bliss a noun or a verb? And, how do you define it? Please share your insights and thoughts about bliss in the comment box below.