Susan L. Taylor on Finding Bliss

he hustle and bustle of the holidays can quickly change from wonderful to worrisome-but it doesn't have to be that way.

Bliss*: Living Fabulous Not Frantic on Nov. 13 is BLAC's how-to guide for disconnecting from the barrage of busy living and reconnecting with life's luxuries-happiness, peace and bliss.

Here, special guest speaker Susan L. Taylor-CEO and founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement and editor-in-chief emerita of Essence Magazine-previews her talk on living fabulous, not frantic.

What's bliss mean to you?

Bliss is peace-simply put. To achieve that in this very fast-paced, non-stop world, we have to be intentional about it.

When were things most chaotic for you?

I always say my greatest challenges hadn't been the drama in relationships, not the breakups or the shakeups. My moments of greatest despair have been around money-not being able to take care of myself and my daughter when I was raising her.


Money issues can bring people to the edge.

Absolutely. So it was when I was at the edge-literally at the edge, absent the will or the courage to hold on. And that's when I surrendered. Surrendered to life, to God, to the Holy Spirit, to the divine within. And I stopped fighting. I got off the treadmill. And just got still.

And there is an answer. But when you have the cacophony of the world beating at your door-and everything is ringing and buzzing and screaming for your attention-you can't hear what that still small voice within us is trying to council us to do.

I am still working on it. I think it's a lifelong journey. But what I did come to say is that I am 100 percent responsible for myself.

This is a way of embracing the good and bad?

Yes. And I have looked forward to make myself anew every moment. And to stop looking in the rearview mirror and blaming.

I always ask, What has this painful experience come to teach me?' And there's always, always, always an answer.

The other question you ask is, 'Am I happy?'

That's the critical question.Pain is information. Wherever we are hurting is where we need to focus our attention. When we understand why your heart hurts, or why you have particular health challenges, or there is anger that you are holding on to … we are here to learn how to be happy.

And happiness is something that resides within us. Joy is something that resides within us, no matter what's going on.

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