From the Editor: Following Your Bliss

U.S. Games Systems Inc.
U.S. Games Systems Inc.

I HAD A LOVELY CHAT recently with intuitive and healer Nadine Penny, a regular monthly Edge columnist who shares her “Words of Wisdom” each month in print and her “Spirited Kidz” column each month online. Her desire to support the holistic development of young people is admirable.

She inquired about the history of The Edge, and how it got its name. I told her the naming process took place three years before I was hired as editor, but my perspective of “the edge” is aligned with the sentiments of French poet, playwright, writer and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire, who was quoted:

“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We’re afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can’t. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.

I liken that sentiment to the tarot card known as “The Fool.” In the popular Rider-Waite tarot deck (right), we see a young man who is walking (perhaps foolhardily) to the edge of a cliff without a care in the world, his satchel of belongings tied to a staff held in one hand and a rose held in the other.

What is The Fool thinking? Perhaps nothing. He appears to be enjoying the mountain scenery and the sunshine, saying to himself, “If only I could stay here forever.”

Symbolically, this tarot card reflects the childishness within us to follow our bliss, despite the distractions of the real world, like a puppy nipping at our heels. The Fool is a mystic on a journey with no beginning and no end. He probably doesn’t even see the cliff as danger, but a tremendous opportunity to be present without fear.

The Fool relates directly to the challenge facing many of us who are walking together down a holistic path at this particular time in history, when entertainment and financial investment (in all its myriad forms) are heralded as the paths to glory and success, when young boys grow up wanting to be rich like their music or sports idols and girls want to be divas.

It’s always tempting to follow the sparkle of gold. But The Fool, standing (gleefully?) on the edge, reminds us that the journey ultimately isn’t about having the most gold at the end of the game, but accumulating the most wisdom from experience.

But what does following your bliss truly mean? Some people mistakenly think it means you can do whatever you want to and all your bills will be paid, but no one ever said that.
Joseph Campbell, on writing about “the hero’s journey,” said that following your bliss, and not being afraid, will allow doors to “open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

Following your bliss is a journey of self-expression — the journey of soul expression. It is part of the hero’s journey because it requires patience and courage to embody the reason you are alive.

What we’re learning about living now, especially during this time of great upheaval, is that many of us are having to become multitaskers, blissfully creating two or three channels through which prosperity can flow — multiple ways in which we can express our soul’s intent — and make a living at the same time.

The greatest challenges we face are not comparing our path with those of others, maintaining the ethics that underlie what it means to live holistically, and simultaneously summoning the compassion to live in such a way with grace.

No one said it would be easy.


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