“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult” Melinda Gates.
In Part One we talked about what voice is. Let’s talk about how to find it.
How many have you have been asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Do you know the answer?
What if I told you that is the wrong question.
You know who what you are going to be when you grow up? – YOU!
The common answer to that question is an occupation. An occupation does not define you. It is not the sum of all that is you.
What we should be asking is “What is your bliss?”
J.K. Rowling said “And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while is just bliss.”
Bliss is that feeling in your body when you are doing something that you love. Something that challenges you, something that at times comes easy to you, something that you crave. It’s something that you dream about at night, or even keeps you up at night.
Basically it’s this:
Every job is hard. I’m a filmmaker, and at times I get responses – oh that must be wonderful. It is and it isn’t. Long days, weeks away from home, fights, delays, actors not showing up, running out of money, mother nature throwing you a curve ball, empty theater seats. But you know what, there is more that I love than I don’t like. The night before a film shoot, I can’t sleep. I can’t wait to get started. I love the whole grewling process. It’s my bliss. My bliss drives me.
So how did I find it? I was 10 when I watch Charlie Chaplin’s the Gold Rush. There was a scene where the Tramp ate his own shoe and something in my brain clicked – how did they do that, he’s not really eating a shoe is he? Because this was before the internet I went to the library and learned that the shoe was made of licorice and they did so many takes that Chaplin ended up in the hospital from a diabetic coma. This was my trigger asking “how or why”. I didn’t see it then – I didn’t connect the dots yet – all I knew was that I loved movies.
Hilary Clinton’s story is amazing. I think the media berates her so about her appearance because if you look at all the things she’s done it’s hard to destroy her character. Hilary found her bliss at the age of 13, she was helping with the 1960’s election on the south side of Chicago where she found evidence electoral fraud on the part of Richard Nixon. This injustice has been a dot-connecting part of her life. She’s gone on to fight for civil rights, women’s rights, safe working conditions, children’s rights. She also asked “how and why”
To start the lifelong journey of your bliss I recommend one of two things:
#1 Write out 50 things you like. See if you can find a common theme to start connecting dots. Do this each year as the things you like change as your priorities and life experiences change.
Look at things on your list where you asked yourself how or why. How did they discover that? Why is that a problem? How do they do that? Why do people gravitate toward that? The how’s and why’s are your natural courtesy and a trigger to jump start the track to your bliss.
#2 The castle story. This is a mental-visual exercise and I recommend doing this when you have total silence and at least 20 minutes to dedicate to it. Close your eyes and imagine a castle. Start outside the castle and walk the grounds. Admire the architecture, the landscape, the surroundings – everything. When you are ready walk inside the castle. Walk around until you reach floor with infinite doors. Each closed door is unique with different handles, texture, finish and paint. Take a look at each door until you feel you have found “your” door. When you feel you have found your door, open it. What is inside that door is what you are meant to do with your life.
Finding your bliss can be as hard as finding your voice. The opposite is true, finding your bliss can be as easy as finding your voice. It’s a personal journey that need curiosity, bravery, and a proactive nature.
This is the best way I can explain the journey of finding your bliss and surprise, surprise it comes from a movie…Zero Effect is a movie with Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller. Pullman is a unorthodox detective and when searching an office for clues he says this remarkable thing that has always stayed with me.
From a presentation entitled “Strong Females” given by Kate Chaplin at Starbase Indy, Dec, 2013. Part 1 – What is voice and why is it important? Part 2 – How to find your voice Part 3 – How to keep your voice
“Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad because of all the things in the world, you’re only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good. Because of all the things in the world, you’re sure to find some of them.”