Sunday, May 19, 2013

Follow Your Bliss

During a long commute last week, I found myself reflecting on a birthday post on a friend's Facebook wall.  It contained the usual wish but included 'Follow your Bliss'.  That seems like such a simple phrase, but is so profound when you stop to really think about it.

Numerous birthdays in this journey of life has given insight, or an understanding of timing and the things that really matter, and I found myself pondering, 'what is your Bliss?'

I googled it naturally, and found a multitude of diagrams, links to books, articles; some have even given us the graphic of what it should look like and how we arrive at our bliss. Of  course, everyone's bliss is different and looks different, but could it be that we are all in search of that 'something'?

My bliss will obviously include family, friends etc., but what is it that gives me a fire in my belly, the something that touches my soul?  What is so natural and such a good fit it's like breathing, effortless. What is it I hanker after? 

Some would call me an Empath, some an Activist. While both are true to a greater or lesser extent, I call myself a champion of causes, protector of the underdog, a nurturer of those who hurt and mission driven to make a positive difference in this journey called life.

The Bliss, and life begins in Africa. The Motherland. The beauty, the poverty, the wars, the struggles, the politics. The lack - lack of safety, lack of refuge, lack of shelter, lack of water - and abundance - of poaching.  If current trends continue elephants will be extinct by 2022 or 2025, depending on the source of the research. Extinct. Gone. Forever. Our children and our grandchildren will learn of elephants and rhinos from pictures in books. What poor stewards we have been of our miraculous world.

My South African family know that trips home center around them, in the bush. The two go hand-in-hand. I am blessed because they understand the need. Some will call me selfish I'm sure, but there is no desire to mingle in the rush and bustle of the busyness of life in the sprawling city.  It's time in the bush that feeds my soul - the adventurous warthog, the buzz of the cicada beetles, the rustle as buck move through the trees, identifying the dung on the road hoping to see your favorite animal. It's time in the bush that gets me to realign and go deep within myself - and that gives me momentum to face everyday life, and the challenges it brings. Perhaps Wayne Cordeiro said it best "Solitude is a chosen separation for refining your soul. Isolation is what you crave when you neglect the first."

African isolation refines my soul.

As a Scatterling of Africa (credit to Johnny Clegg) the earthy wild Africa, and my Bliss, is still available to me. The wildlife may not be. Poaching is a very real threat to the extinction of elephants and rhinos - the slaughtering horrific. If you have a way to become involved to fight against this tragedy, I urge you to.  Below are a couple of links to sign petitions and adopt elephant or rhino orphans, 

http://www.bloodyivory.org/petition
http://www.iworry.org/

Adopt/foster baby elephants and rhinos
http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/fostering.asp

You don't visit or 'go' to Africa, you experience it, inhale it - it becomes part of you.  Plan a trip - until you go you won't know.

When you’ve acquired a taste for dust,
The scent of our first rain,
You’re hooked for life on Africa,
And you’ll not be right again
Till you can watch the setting moon
And hear the jackals bark
And know that they’re around you,
Waiting in the dark.

When you long to see the Elephants,
Or to hear the coucal’s song,
When the moonrise sets your blood on fire,
You’ve been away too long.
It’s time to cut the traces loose
And let you’re heart go free
Beyond that far horizon,
Where your spirit yearns to be.  -  Emily Dibb

Perhaps 'my bliss' may just become yours too.