Much of what we call ‘difficulty’ or ‘stress’ disappears when the thing is of your own choosing. This is when stress transforms into bliss. Bliss that lies in walking a path — your path. To others it seems like a ‘struggle’, but to you, it is what you want.
Labour of love
Indeed, we find similar ideas in everyday phrases such as ‘labour of love’. The difference here is that ‘labour of love’ is still considered hard work by one who does the work. No such considerations appear when stress transforms into bliss. There is no concept of the work being hard or difficult. It is what you want to do, because you just love doing it!
This is then a place beyond labour of love, a place of wholehearted immersion with no second thoughts.
Something to prove?
We must remember that doing whatever you want is not automatically a place when stress transforms into bliss. You might be fooling yourself into thinking that you are walking your own path, while being in a state of existential stress. How so? Because your path is still about proving something — desperately (secretly?) chasing achievement and the approval that comes with it.
The need to prove anything to anyone only betrays insecurity within oneself. And, insecurity and bliss cannot co-exist. If you are truly comfortable about it, there would be nothing to prove to anybody, including yourself. That is when stress transforms into bliss, when you do whatever you want, but for its own sake. Not because you pin your self-worth to the achievement of some external benchmark.
Noticing when stress transforms into bliss
The first step in all this is simply noticing. Noticing how things feel in your life, at work and at home. What feels difficult and stressful? Do you really want to do these things? Perhaps you really do, but only because you are trying to prove something? If so, notice it.
Then consider what feels blissful in your life today— what’s going on here, what makes those activities different? Now notice those moments when you experience stress dissolve and turn into enjoyment. What makes that possible for you?
Transforming stress into bliss is something available to us all, if only we give ourselves permission to do so. To really walk our own paths.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.