The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Draining or Sustaining?

photos taken at the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic over the years


What if you had a decision to make that involved your livelihood, relationships, your health, where you live, who you choose to have in your circles, or whether to pursue new ventures?  How would you face it? Daily, I speak with people in my personal and professional life who ask these questions.  I examine them myself  as well. When speaking with a friend tonight, I asked a question…”Is what you are doing now draining or sustaining?”; by my way of looking at things, a pivotal query with a ‘no brainer’ answer.  Back in June I left a job that I had held for more than a decade that had me on both sides of the equation. While much of it was rewarding and I made a difference in the lives of those I served, eventually the see-saw was imbalanced and I knew it was time to step outside of the pseudo-safety of full time with benefits job into the freedom and major responsibility of being a self employed conscious entrepreneur. I make my own schedule which explains why I am up at nearly midnight, writing this article and took time earlier in the day for such health enhancing activities as going to the gym, having dinner with a dear friend who is soon to be heading westward to her new home in Crestone, Colorado, and then enjoying a  massage. Prior to that, I designed a flier for a workshop I am teaching, paid bills, renewed my social work license, did promo work and laundry.


I consider relationships that I held onto way past the time when it was nurturing to my soul and plummeting into a feeling of toxicity. If I had allowed myself access to those polarities:  draining or sustaining, they would have been mercifully shorter and far less damaging. I might also have entered into other situations with greater gusto, if I recognized their power to enliven me.

Another recent conversation had an image come to mind about a hot air balloon tethered to the ground in anticipation of take off. What needs to happen in order for it to soar skyward is to lighten the load by tossing the sandbags out and untying it.

Sometimes it takes a leap of faith into something uncertain, growing my wings on the way down that has me leaning over a precipice, trusting that I will land safely. I am reminded of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems:


The Journey
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice —
though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
Mend my life!” each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
 determined to do the only thing you could do — determined to save the only life you could save.
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