How to Find Unconventional Bliss

05/26/2015 10:37 am ET | Updated May 26, 2016

Unconventional Bliss.

If your happiness had a name, what would you call her?

Would she be an old friend you think of fondly but infrequently, or would you be constant companions linked together in daily routine?

Would you justify her influence on your disposition to others, or would her presence speak with conviction for itself?

Would you trust her if, tomorrow, she asked you to start over entirely?

I remember the day I realized I could no longer afford to ignore her. We'd been fair-weather friends for years, my happiness and I. She, an elusive dream girl that would float in and out of my life with, what seemed like, random inconsistency; I... had fallen on my face yet again; broken by way of love, disillusioned by way of job, lost by way of identity. Like a tortoise, I withdrew to introspect and recollect. From the quiet emerged an undeniable truth; the randomness in which my happiness had present over the course of my life was not random at all. In hindsight, I could see that all the relationships or career changes I tried for and failed at simply were not going to lead me the right way. My happiness expected more of me. Each time she faded away, it was a sign I was losing myself in this relationship, or that wrong career choice. Equally, each time she slipped back into the limelight directly correlated with chapters of my life where I was driven by internal persuasion and focused on pursuing my own dreams. The mistake I'd made over and over was failing to recognize her outside the frame of conventional norms. It so happened that my definition of happiness just didn't align with the storybook that many women my age followed; she is, as I've come to know her, an unconventional bliss*.

{*unconventional bliss: self-fulfillment attained by leading a curiosity-driven, fear-facing life; pursued primarily by those who heed their inner guide to achieve individual happiness and share their natural gifts to positively impact the world.}

Stepping outside conventional thought allowed me to map out a new strategy for achieving happiness. Accompanying this map was an internal compass; an inner voice I learned to heed, wisely. She pulled at me gently when I wavered and stumbled, not so gently when I took a wrong turn -- and held steadfast even when I desperately tried to twist the arrow in the opposite direction. Sometimes, she called for a slight realignment of the wheels, and other times - a complete shifting of the sails.

In the months and years that have followed, I have whittled down the 4 basic steps I take whenever I veer off-course.

Step one: acknowledge your gift.

You have it in you. We were all born with a unique gift to share. Everything you need to discover, embrace, exercise, and share this gift is within you. Every question you have about your life's purpose can be answered by the voice already inside you. You just have to listen.

Your inner voice is an intuitive muscle; it is built with gradual patience and constant practice. The more you tap into this voice and the more you heed its guidance, the stronger, louder and more confident the reply.

Step two: harness your power and protect it from conditioned thought and the voice of fear.

Don't let fear dictate your reality. As often as necessary, step away from conditioned,
unimaginative thoughts. Take that quiet time to remind yourself of what makes you happy, unique, and at peace. Shut out all the fearful voices of "should" and "shouldn't" -- and just tune in to your inner voice.

Don't say no to yourself; fear is our loudest and most convincing critic. And any form of fear is just another frame for no. Don't allow either any navigation of your life.

Step three: exercise and assert your belief in your craft daily.

If you hear "no" a lot more these days, that is good a thing. "No" means you are asking for a means to pursue your unconventional bliss. When you hear no, it's often from someone operating on fear. Don't get distracted. Accept that many people default to what is safe; you can't change the fearful.

Continue your pursuit knowing that you will never hear "no" from the universe. Once you ask for a tool to achieve your goals or a means to continue your passion, the universe gets to work on giving you a yes -- albeit, the answer does not usually arrive right away, but you can be certain it is always right on-time.

Be relentless in the pursuit of your dreams; keep asking the universe for what you want for your life.

Step four: be mindful of synchronicities.

The universe constantly delivers signs that you're on the right path; you just need to heighten your awareness of its guidance. The first place to check for reinforcement is within: is your inner voice speaking up? Is your inner compass gently tugging? Meanwhile, the universe will provide subtle hints that will reflect what you are finding inside. Synchronicity is a powerful tool; use the signs as a pulse check for your purpose.

There comes a point in your life when you know in absolution who you are and what your purpose is. At that point, you have no choice but to shed all the other versions of the "you" that life demands - and stand fully basking in the simplicity that is the one, true, authentic you. This authenticity inspires those who want to follow their dreams; serving yourself lights the way for others to serve themselves as well.

The first step is always the hardest, but it sure beats a lifetime of standing still.