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The Bliss Blog

I wrote this on November 19th, 2017 when it was still an open question as to whether these two individuals had passed or were still among the land of the living. At this writing, David Cassidy is still in a hospital.

Pondering what happens when notables and notorious die. On the same day, a beloved musical/cultural icon (David Cassidy) and violent criminal (Charles Manson) crossed or are crossing over to whatever awaits them. (the news keeps reporting that they are still here or are already gone) If people are forces for good or evil, is there are a consequence? Do their souls transcend their earthly actions? I like to think that I do good, not for reward on the Other Side, but to make a difference while I am still on this side of the veil.

I imagined what might happen if they were to meet in the Beyond. Would they retain the energy that they had embodied when they walked the Earth? Would they do a life review and stand accountable for they did and the choices they made to do good works or commit evil acts? Although I am not 100% certain of what occurs when we leave our bodies, I have a sense that it is not ‘nothing’. There are those who believe that once we are dead…that’s it.

I polled social media peeps and was astounded by the variety of responses.

“I can never presume to judge another’s afterlife direction; even in disliking the actions of some public figures, I try my best not to insult them personally, although I do join protests against their policies and actions. When people are reduced to name calling, it tears down the quality of dialogue and nothing is accomplished. But I won’t speculate on what might or should happen to anyone after they die. Curiously, I once dreamed I had died and was in something like a hospital, first in a room where I was being registered or examined and then as I was being led elsewhere, I woke up. During the dream, I was treated kindly, at least courteously, not judged, just cared for, although not in a blissful place either, just generally comfortable, but wondering what to expect.”

“Everything is either love or a call for love.”

“I too am more concerned with being loving on this side of the veil than with what it will do for me on the other side.”

“I think that regardless of what you do in life, you are met with love and shown how your actions affected others, good and bad. Perhaps, in the case of bad actions, you get to feel their pain.”

” On the other side there is no good or evil. Everyone enters a hospital of sorts. Until they surrender their belief systems.”

“There is no judgment. We are here for the experience.”

“I have crossed a few people over and the worst went right back in. The rest shoot up and bliss out. I think they know how to make things better and don’t waste time. That was my impression.”

“Charles Manson died today of natural causes. I too wonder what awaits a soul… in reflecting upon this. Then I tried to reflect upon how tortured his soul was in this life. Then I examined my own life to look at the seeds on me of anger, greed, fear etc. How do I continue to reflect upon myself and weed out what does not serve me or humankind and keep me from being love.”

“All is energy. Consciousness is what we all are. All thoughts ideas attitudes words and actions are massive “Attractors” within a certain field. Like unto like. All are eternal.”

“As a Medium for many many years I can tell you there is no punishment.”

“Those were the answers I received from the King Salomon Lineage when I stepped on the path of empowerment. The knowledge, tools of connecting and knowing our divine power put my mind to rest and I could finally reach deeper inner peace. Join us. With Light. Ula”

“The sides are ever-widening… we have the service to self, vs. the service to all…..Those that utilize hate or anger, judgment or jealousy are usually, service to self…They have something to learn there, so no matter our wanting to shake them sometimes…. we have to let them learn it on their own…. its that thing, about disliking Humans, but loving Humanity….Everything is coming undone, There are ancient prophecies from all over the world to this time period……. the trick to surviving this time is not to box your self in, to your old beliefs….utilise your inner tools, intuition, discretion, love …. then go with the flow.”

“Charles Manson was an awful human being and led others to murderous actions which most on earth find unforgivable. At the same, there are others who have committed 1st hand 1st degree murder who have paid far less for their crimes. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that Manson needed to spend his time behind bars, as for the death penalty I believe that might have been too merciful. For, me the question remains as to why he was motivated to do this harm to people involved. In enlightenment that Roman Polanski had been a pedophile, I have often wondered if that had some tie do the murderous outrage – Think “Dexter,” as while others were also killed, it has appeared to many that Sharon Tate, married to Roman at the time and her unborn baby, were the primary targets. While the outcome was sheer murderous madness – a very sad one, it is possible that were certain motives which may have never come to light. I can not make a new paragraph or I would. I also do not understand how two of out those actually having committed the murders have now been granted parole nor will I. One of which is still in the hands of a California Governor. As to whether or not souls of mad men and mad women or those sane whom commit these crimes cross over, I believe that some may spend a life in purgatory(such as Manson and other serial criminals, pedophiles and murderous) while others who had shown a change of heart, remorse and later helped others may very well have access to the light across the veil.”

” I’ve had a NDE. I think where your spirit wanders to has a lot more to do with your state of mind/ being at the time of death than anything else. This is why it is important to cultivate presence and do things like meditate. To train yourself to be heart-centered and present even when things feel chaotic.I suppose practicing for your death and preparing for it helps too. I recommend a book called “a year to live” to lots of people. Not only does it help people who may be facing death, it helps everyone be more present to and come to terms with their lives in a way that is very life-affirming. I don’t think things are as simple as good and evil… at least not where I’ve come from. I think when it comes to Manson andthat other dude, what is likely much more relevant is what happens inside each of us around the topic.Things are dying all the time. “Good” and “bad”. This isn’t a novel happening except that many people are aware of it because these ones were famous.”

“The only thing I will say is something I once heard Gary Zukav say, which I will paraphrase. Part of the soul’s evolution is to experience what it causes. Only then will it learn to stop repeating the cycle of causing harm to others.”

“My Destiny. A thin veil Separates our reality from the next. I have a small circle of friends who know My premonitions have a way of unfolding. You can sense it in moments of transcending. It’s in those times when the veil is lifted. I dreamed my destiny the other night. I feel no pain as  my Spirit walks away.”

A friend of mine, deeply spiritual, grounded and kind, once had a vision of being in heaven (or a place like that.). She felt this incredibly loving God presence/Light shining and enveloping both her and another person to her right. Imagine her surprise when she realized the other person was Hitler. (And she is Jewish.) Apparently, God loves us all!”

“Spirit has shown me that those who die in fear or with anger and hate in their hearts are incubated in a separate area in their dimension and bathed in pure love until such time as they are ready to be shown the consequence of their words and deeds. At that time, they are taught through empathy. There is no time and space so their soul travels to each and every moment they impacted another. Their soul blends with the affected person, animal, being, and that departed soul experiences the effect of their words and actions AS the other person. They also must personally experience the repercussions of their deeds on future generations.
Imagine how many experiences a mass murderer would feel? Hitler, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Christopher Columbus, Idi Amin…
After the learning is complete, they return to this or another parallel universe to live another life. Maybe the same one, maybe another. Perhaps they return as the victim instead of the victor. There is no punishment, only growth, and learning. The hell, if you choose to call it that, is of our own making. That’s what I’ve been shown. Hope that’s helpful or at least food for thought.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask for what you want. Ask again. Once again. Keep on asking. There’s great power in daring to make a request. -Price Pritchett

I received this message this morning from my coach, Lori Ann Davis. She has been my guide for the past eight months on my journey to meet and grow a relationship with the love of my life. As Spring turned to Summer and now Summer to Autumn, approaching the end of 2017, she has seen me through growth and change, stretching comfort zones, expressing my joys and challenges in writing and out loud. A vibrant cheerleader, she has helped me to put down the self-deprecating thoughts and replace them with those that empower me. I have had dates and almost dates. I have let love in an open door and set boundaries that were self-preserving. I have felt frustrated and triumphant.

As a therapist, I encourage my clients to ask for what they want and be open to receive it. Why is so darn difficult for me to do that at times?  It isn’t about worthiness, but rather, not wanting to hear ‘no’.  Who does?  The truth is, no one can give me what I want if I don’t express my needs. I have learned to differentiate between that and ‘ew… ick’ neediness.  There are some who would encourage me to be content with what I had rather than reach for more.

In the shadowy recesses of my mind linger thoughts that I shouldn’t need other people to take care of me. Fiercely independent at times, I would push away assistance when it was offered. Recently, I have willingly accepted hugs, kind words, gifts, quality time, work opportunities, prayers and healing energy. No different than what I give to others without judging them for having simple human desires and requests.

This whole series of ponderings came about as I have stepped out the cell in which I had imprisoned myself. The bars were comprised of stainless steel, solid as a rock. They might as well have the words, “Don’t let people know you are fully human, or they won’t trust you.”  As ridiculous as that might sound, it felt as true as I know my own name. What I have learned is that I more trustworthy when I am transparent.

I also have restricted myself from asking the Universe too many times (whatever that means,) for what I want, imagining God, as an exasperated parent. “How many times does she need to keep badgering me?” Another analogy is “How many times can you mail the same letter?” Sometimes I wonder if it is all just random anyway, and all of my wishes either come true or they don’t.

In this moment, I choose to ask, if not out loud all of the time, at least in my heart.

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Starting this day by drinking in JOY in the form of what my father would have called a concoction. Today, I included chocolate almond milk (chocolate being my drug of choice), celery, avocado, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ginger and a spoonful of peanut butter. When I make these shakes, I usually think of my dad. He grew up as a ‘meat and potatoes guy,’ which was a surprise to my mother since my father’s family was on the lower rung of the socio-economic ladder and she wondered how they could afford to feed a family of six (my aunt, two uncles, my dad and my grandparents). Maybe my Russian immigrant Bubbe was friends with the butcher. One of the conditions my mother placed on agreeing to accept my father’s marriage proposal was that he had to change his diet a bit and ‘eat his veggies,’ as she described it. I sense that she was joking, but it did have an impact on his life and health and when he died from Parkinson’s disease at age 84, he had a cabinet filled with nutritional supplements. Until a few years prior, he worked in a gym and had six-pack abs into his 70’s. He was a lifelong athlete and Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy. He would jump rope and jog, use a speed bag and lift weights. He encouraged athleticism for my sister and me.  Jan and I joined our local (Willingboro, NJ) and then regional swim teams. In the summer, daily practices were part of our routine and then during the school year, we headed to the pool at Burlington County College a few times a week to hone our skills and tone our bodies. I still marvel at the lean swimmer’s physique I sported in my teens and 20’s and now as I have just turned 59, I am grateful to be able to enjoy good health with 3-4 times a week gym workouts at Planet Fitness (the Judgement Free Zone), yoga, some walking, and dancing. I did my first 5k back in September. More to come, I’m sure.

I contemplate the difference between happiness and joy. Back in the early 2000’s I teamed up with my friend Peter Moses as we taught a workshop called Happiness is Just the Icing, Joy is the Cake. It was based on the idea that happiness is fleeting and based on externals, while joy is eternal and without direct cause. Maybe we are hardwired for it when we came into this life. It is an effervescent feeling for me, a bubbling over. It is a recognition, somehow deeper. It is not about, “I’ll be happy if or when…..” certain conditions are met. I can conjure joy up anytime I desire.

Moving my body brings me to a state of joy.

Being with kindred spirits brings me to a state of joy.

Being in nature brings me to a state of joy.

Watching children play brings me to a state of joy.

Playing along with them brings me to a state of joy.

Laughing brings me a state of joy.

Hugging and cuddling bring me to a state of joy.

Writing brings me to a state of joy.

Creative activities bring me to a state of joy.

God-versations bring me to a state of joy.

What brings you to a state of joy?

 

 

 

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This morning, as I am writing this, it is All Souls Day. In the Christian tradition, it recognizes those who have departed this earthly plane. It is in response to the pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) during which the veil between this world and the next is told to be thinner. Messages, images, and visitations from those who have passed are more in evidence. I have had that experience powerfully in the past week. My mother, who crossed over on November 26th, 2010, has come through twice. Her voice, loud and clear, spoke to me a few days ago and said, in response to a few periods of self-doubt, “You’ve got what it takes, babycakes!” She was my most ardent cheerleader and always knew what to say to help me navigate sometimes fierce inner critiholism.

The second was delightful. We used to listen to the soundtrack from South Pacific, with the songs, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught, Happy Talk, Some Enchanted Evening and Dites-Moi. It was the last one that she sang to me in my sleep a few nights ago. She had a sweet voice that had lulled me to sleep on many occasions. Although my father tried mightily, his was not so soothing. To his credit, what he lacked in talent, he made up for in enthusiasm. Blessedly, my voice more resembles my mother’s lilt than my father’s gravel.

I was blessed to have gotten myself born to them. I would like to think it was not a random occurrence, but rather a soul contract by which we agreed to incarnate at the same time with this family configuration. Although they were not saints, they were darn good parents who offered love in abundance and what I call Mom-isms and Dad Wisdom. I’m sure that they did a lot of seat of the pants parenting by which they ‘winged it,’ improvising as need be. Some of what their parents offered influenced them. I never knew either of my grandfathers, since my mom’s dad Edward (I was named after him as is traditional in Jewish families) died when she was 18 and my dad’s dad Jacob for whom my sister Jan was named, passed between the time he and my mother married and I was born. My maternal grandmother Henrietta was more modern and flexible and my paternal grandmother Rebecca, ‘from the old country,’ as she described it (Mother Russia), a helicopter parent who offered ‘smother love’ was overprotective. Having come to America during the pogrom in her homeland at age 16, I am sure her early life was not an easy one.

I wrote about officiating at the wedding of friends in Central Park a few years ago and highlighted this experience at the reception which was on a boat in the New York harbor:

“At one point in the evening, a touching revelation occurred. I was leaning over the railing feelin’ a bit like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl; except no one was raining on my parade. In the evening twilight, the Statue of Liberty was beaming brightly and a thought occurred to me. My Russian immigrant grandparents, Rebecca and Jacob had landed at Ellis Island in their youth, not knowing what awaited them. This was likely the first sight they saw when approaching New York.  Their trip across the ocean was not first class, of that I’m certain and here was their grand-daughter (who he never met, since he died before I was born) enjoying the luxury of this boat trip around the harbor. I felt a wave of gratitude wash over me.”

A story from my mother’s young adulthood came to my awareness several years ago. When Barack Obama was elected for the first term, I mused with her about how amazing it was, given that I grew up in the 1960’s and witnessed the inequities that divided folks based on the color of their skin. She related that when she was 18 and her father had recently died, she and my grandmother took a bus trip from Philly to Florida. This was 1942, during WWII and the bus was filled with soldiers, sailors, and marines. When the bus pulled into DC, the white bus driver yelled, “All you (and he used the N word that I won’t glorify by spelling out), get to the back of the bus.” At that, my mom stood up and said to my grandmother, “Come on, we’re moving too.” And so they did. I asked her what the driver said and she replied, “Nothing.” And, what did the other passengers say?  “Nothing,” but each time they stopped along the way, the military personnel surrounded them to protect them from potentially angry white passengers. I marvel at this anecdote and the family in which I was raised.

My parent’s example of social conscience fueled my own and it is what I have passed on to my son who, at 3o, has volunteered his time for various charities. He has become a man of whom my parents, his father, and his parents would be proud. The ancestors are smiling on us now, I know.