Finding your Bliss—Paso Style

Follow your bliss and you will always be living the life you should be living.

Words to live by. Ever since I read these words from the mythologist Joseph Campbell I have been inspired. Inspired to discover what the hell my bliss was! What is that thing that makes you deeply happy? That is your bliss. Not always an easy thing to discover.

Discerning one’s bliss, according to Campbell, requires what he calls “sacred space”—a place for uninterrupted reflection and unrushed creative work. In so doing you may be lucky enough to actually live in your bliss.

Which leads us to Paso Robles. A blissful place to live—or visit—by anyone’s standards.

Now, I have a lot of Irish in my heritage, which means to me that at times I am prone to wake up a bit depressed. Why I attribute that to my Irishness I can’t fathom — but I like the way it sounds. But with a short walk or a view of the rolling horizon or a glimpse of the symmetry of the vineyards I get over my “bloated nothingness” in a heartbeat.

There is calming symmetry to our piece of the country here in the Central Coast. A marriage if you will of light, land, peace, and pride.

In any season you will find something that touches you. A glimpse of something that moves you to stop, take a moment, and breathe. Take it from me. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. Actually I live here and I do that.

Personally I have been fortunate to be the “Paso Wine Man.” As such I have done a series of short commercial spots promoting and highlighting the Paso Robles wine region. They are very funny and informative.

I have been recognized around the world as “You’re that guy from Paso!” And I am very proud to say, “Yes I am.” I can extoll the virtues of Paso with passion and poetry. And I do.

If driving by a long-horned steer on your way to discover a boutique winery is your idea of bliss, well, you’ve found it. (We have more than two hundred and fifty wineries.)

If sampling a plethora of craft breweries after you’ve zip-lined over breathtaking vineyards is your idea of bliss, you’ve found it.

If stumbling upon a concert in a band shell in the middle of the town square is your idea of bliss, you’ve found it.

The central coast of California is a very seductive place. I liken it to the first time I visited Santa Fe. You’re walking around looking at the town and suddenly you think, “I get it!” You become aware that you are in a very special place indeed.

Being a musician as well I am flabbergasted at the deep well of talent that resides here.

On any given weekend there are more than twenty venues presenting music. From wineries to tasting rooms to brew houses to Symphony in the Vines. You can hear blues, rock, classical.

It’s the culture of Paso Robles and the Central Coast that gets under your skin. Horses (what’s better than riding a horse through the vines ending up at a tasting room), agriculture, performing and visual arts. And festivals. Boy do we have festivals. Wine festivals. Lavender festivals. Olive festivals. Art festivals. Antique festivals. Honey festivals. All unique and one of a kind. People following and sharing their bliss.

Our farmers market in Templeton will inspire you to run back to the kitchen and create your own farm-to-table meal to go with that bottle of wine you just discovered at a winery so unique you just know you’ll be back.

My wife Brigit Binns, who is a renowned cookbook author, couldn’t be happier to have landed in this community. The embarrassment of riches she finds here fuels her work and her beloved “Wine-Country Cuisine” in her cherished home state of California.

She has called it “Tuscany with Cowboys.” She’s right.

If it’s bliss you’re looking for, I suggest you come to Paso Robles and find out what makes you deeply happy. I have.

Cheers!