Beyond the chaos, into the bliss

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Sonoma Valley Sun

By Audrey Krafft | Special to The Sun —

Is there a time in your life you recall feeling so connected to the moment that you felt completely free from any fear or responsibility? Maybe you were standing in front of the ocean on a cloudy day with nothing but the sound of waves echoing around you. Or maybe you hiked to the top of the Overlook Trail on a clear morning and could actually see San Francisco.

When the stress of life gets to us, sometimes the only escape is to reflect on a distant memory when everything felt right in the world. The moment we close our eyes, breathe, and transport ourselves back to that moment, the feeling of bliss can come rushing back, even if just for a second. 

But what if the feeling of bliss didn’t have to just be an occasional experience? What if we could create moments of it on a regular basis? Sure, responsibilities exist and so does COVID, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait for the world to reopen or go on planned vacations to find deep and meaningful moments. 

There is, though, a difference between happiness, which is an emotion, and bliss, a condition of the mind. 

Photographer Diane Askew often finds moments of bliss during frequent walks around Lake Suttonfield on the Sonoma Developmental Center land.

Happiness we can feel often – seeing a puppy run around with big floppy ears, treating ourselves to an oat milk matcha latte from The Porch or a scoop of vegan cookie dough ice cream from Sweet Scoops. And these experiences are also incredibly important. The term “self-care” comes to mind, but that’s a topic for another day.

Bliss can be found in any situation at any moment; it’s a condition of the mind, which means we don’t need external things to experience it. Finding bliss is like tapping into your internal compass and following it north. Easier said than done? Let’s keep exploring.

Maybe your “bliss base” was at some incredible, distant location you know you’ll never get to visit again or anytime soon. Don’t worry, that factor is irrelevant. What matters now is that you take the time to create that same feeling where you are right now. 

For me, I can’t just walk outside and be at the beach on a cloudy day, but I can walk outside and choose to detach from technology and responsibilities. And that’s the point here. We have the choice to take a pause from reality every day and create the feeling of bliss, to feel alive and free. It’s up to us to reshape our reactions to life by creating new habits that support our mental health and well-being. 

When work and life are weighing heavily on your soul, that’s when you know it’s time to walk away from your responsibility at hand and snag a moment of bliss. It can be as easy as putting your phone down and walking outside or grabbing a cup of tea and taking a few deep breaths. 

What I find in my moments of bliss is a deep appreciation for the present. I’m able to get out of my head and be here now, finding beauty in the seemingly insignificant things we so often take for granted, like how majestic trees are or how amazing it is that we never need to worry about whether or not the sun will rise the next day. 

In these uncertain times, it’s up to us to either fuel the negative or the positive. We can get all caught up in the chaos and let it run our lives, or we can choose to create the habit of stepping out of the rush of life and into the flow of bliss. It’s your choice. 

Audrey Krafft lives in Kenwood and is the creator of Kraffty Kitchen, a local company that makes sugar free cookie dough.


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