The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Uncovering My Heart

lilithbookcover

 

I attended a workshop this afternoon that was facilitated by an old friend that I had not actually met hug to hug until today. Her name is Ambika Devi, author of the cosmic journey called Lilith which combines historical teachings, powerful legends, in this case the s/hero’s journey, as well as colorful, sensual concepts. We have traveled in the same circles since likely the 1980’s, have emailed and if memory serves, have spoken on the phone. I was honored to have written the foreword for her book and eagerly anticipated seeing her and immersing in the rich juiciness of the teachings she was to share. I described her as equal parts yogic scholar, playful pixie and fire-y Goddess- a definite kindred spirit. Some of our time together in a group of 20 included Vak yoga, seated meditation, chanting, journaling and moving meditation that took us outside in the crisp early autumnal air. She had asked us to be aware of the sensations, emotions and insights while chanting the bija (seed mantra) of Gam which relates to the Hindu God Ganesh who is the remover of obstacles. Moving in slow motion, I found myself in no rush to do anything; pulled inexorably by the breeze, crunching leaves beneath my feet, smelling the spicy aroma, feeling like the waving tree branches that were being danced gracefully. Standing in an open clearing, allowing the sun to melt a place in my chest where my heart had been shielded for so many years. I told myself that it needed that protective covering to remain safe. Such a fallacy that was. I have been hiding from repeating interactions that felt toxic and self limiting. I had become accustomed to hiding, ducking and weaving, all the while making it look like I was open and receptive to life experiences, when in reality, I wanted nothing more than to avoid the pain not being known and seen. Instead, I settled for being perceived as wise and confident, competent and compelling. I also perched on the edge of a winged angel chair. I noticed that a piece of it had broken off and was on the seat. I picked it up, cradled and rocked it, as I felt it represented a part of my own wings that had felt cut off at times. I haven’t always soared above it all, as much as I wanted it to appear that I had.

After the workshop I was called on my stuff by a friend who expressed dismay of my reaction to something that occurred between us. I found myself falling into old co-dependent patterns  and felt it was my job to relieve her pain even though it wasn’t requested or expected. Paradoxically, my response didn’t feel caring to either of us. I confessed that it was easier to be in fix it mode than to witness her experience. Part of that came from not wanting sit in my own pain, preferring instead to problem solve, even though I think of it as solution finding. I shared that I would rather safely avoid an intimate relationship with a partner, since melting away the glaciated parts of my heart would put me at greater risk for emotional pain. So much easier to sink back into newly familiar behaviors that look like self care- napping, solitude and quiet time to myself. While it does serve that purpose, it also prevents me from letting love in fully. Still tender places from a paradoxical marriage that ended nearly 16 years ago with the death of my husband. Choosing to slowly peel away the layers, rather than ripping them off like a Band-Aid from a boo boo.

Life Smoothie

In conversation with my flight attendant friend Jewelee Landis, about whom I have written many times over the years, we were musing about life being like a smoothie. She, like most of us, wears many hats.  Hers- wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter,  friend, doggy and kitty mom and now grandmom to newly born pupsters. She is also, as I mentioned, a world traveler who came into my life in 2010 when she took care of me en route from Philly to Ft. Lauderdale when my mom had just died. Now, her life has shifted and she is caregiver to her beloved ‘Gran’, a.k.a.’Mom-mom’ who is living with her family. Alzheimers has become an unwelcome visitor to their home and Jewelee, Scott, Sabrina and Vanessa (her devoted firefighter/paramedic husband and adorable, creative, dancer young daughters) share the care for this woman who often forgets who they are. Although love always prevails, sometimes it seems to play hide and seek.

So, back to the smoothie analogy….lest you think I have Alzheimers….she was indicating that all of the ingredients of her life were tossed into a blender- trying to balance the various roles she claims. Off on trips, school events for her kiddos, making health care decisions for her grandmother, after having participated in the same for her father in-law in the last year or so, adopting a dog found on the road, not knowing that she was pregnant…the surprises continue. Sometimes, she says that the smoothie gets stuck in the straw and needs to be blended a bit more before it is ready to be enjoyed.

I have learned ALOT recently that we may not have a choice about the ingredients of the smoothie and that life is not always smooth, no matter how much we blend it. We do have a choice about how to sweeten the mix to make it palatable. Love is an essential ingredient and Jewelee has that in massive quantities; enough to fill a blender the size of one of those big old jet airliners that is her office in the sky.

Sluuurrrppp!

 

The Smoothie Song by Nickel Creek

What Does Your Facebook Page Say About You?

What did we ever do before the Phenom of Facebook?  It is where people turn for companionship and to relieve boredom. To learn what is happening in the world, without watching the news. It serves the purpose of entertainment and to gain a different perspective,  as well as to rally the troops for one’s particular world view. It gives people a place to vent and offer/receive support. It is a place for requesting and sending prayers and healing energy. It is a place in cyberspace where someone offering a product or service can spread the word.

I have come to the conclusion that it is even more effective at helping folks get to know each other, than a dating profile, because it reveals interests and hobbies, political and sometimes spiritual affiliation, relationship status, who our friends are and how we handle discord or disagreements.

What does your Facebook page say about you? Mine says that I am a love-advocate, way left of center, gracefully aging, tree-hugging eco-hippie, colorfully creative writer and God(dess)-infused universal traveler, collector of heart-friends and kindred spirits, ever more daring explorer, emotional bungee jumper, cheerleader, PR Goddess, cosmic concierge, connector, seasoned wild woman, compassionista, Bliss Mistress, opti-mystic who is adding more descriptives each day.

For Me

I had a revelationary thought today as I recognized that for much of my adult life, I have done things for the benefit of others first and foremost, or to please someone so as to gain or not lose love and/or approval. Now, since the heart opening experience in June, I do more things for my own satisfaction, fulfillment or pleasure. Something as simple as driving leisurely down a leaf strewn back road, drinking in the magnificent hues of the Fall foliage, rather than rushing to get somewhere, has taken on new meaning. I am accepting my ‘new normal’ of much improved physical/spiritual/emotional/mental self care. It’s only been 56 years…what took me so long?

Looking back at my history,  I realize that I received mixed messages. For the first 2 1/2 years of my life, I was an only child and then along came my sister, Jan. I don’t remember feeling jealous or displaced.  Our parents made sure we each received in equal measure materially, although she will tell you that because I had asthma, I received special attention. As a result, I internalized the idea that I needed to ‘earn my keep’ and be a ‘good girl’ who was cooperative and low maintenance in other areas of my life. My parents modeled generosity with family, friends and community. My dad was described as someone who would “take the shirt off his back to help others,” and yet,  he would often say “Charity begins at home.” We were not deprived in any way. I learned to share and play nicely in the sandbox (I don’t think I ever ran with scissors:)

Many of my adult relationships bore the hallmarks of co-dependent caregiving and ‘savior behavior’, in which I would repress my own needs in the service of keeping the peace and that person’s presence in my life. Now I cringe when I consider ‘what I did for love.’ I feel a sense of embarrassment that I gave myself away, thinking it was all spiritual of me to do that and that I would be adored all the more for it. Nah. Didn’t work that way.

About 10 years ago, I was at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico and during one of the workshops, we did an exercise in which we sat with a partner and volleyed back and forth the words “For you.” in offering and “For me.” in accepting. I worked with a woman I hadn’t known coming in, but felt greatly gifted by her presence in this experience. At first, I had a hard time being in receptive mode, pushing it away energetically. When one of the facilitators noticed my challenge, he asked if I would be willing to allow the entire group to offer the words “For you”. As I felt them flow over me, I began to cry, since I didn’t feel worthy of that kind of attention from strangers (or perhaps even loved ones, for that matter) Not sure why, since I had always felt loved by family and friends.

Now I honor myself, my own needs, and desires, believing that I deserve to receive just FOR ME.  And by giving myself permission, it opens that same door for you. I invite you to waltz through.

 

 

Previous Posts

Uncovering My Heart
  I attended a workshop this afternoon that was facilitated by an old friend that I had not actually met hug to hug until today. Her name is Ambika Devi, author of the cosmic journey called Lilith which combines historical teachings, powerful legends, in this case the s/hero's journey, as

posted 9:29:08pm Oct. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Life Smoothie
In conversation with my flight attendant friend Jewelee Landis, about whom I have written many times over the years, we were musing about life being like a smoothie. She, like most of us, wears many hats.  Hers- wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter,  friend, doggy and kitty mom and now grandmom to n

posted 7:07:24pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

What Does Your Facebook Page Say About You?
What did we ever do before the Phenom of Facebook?  It is where people turn for companionship and to relieve boredom. To learn what is happening in the world, without watching the news. It serves the purpose of entertainment and to gain a different perspective,  as well as to rally the troops for

posted 11:50:22pm Oct. 16, 2014 | read full post »

For Me
I had a revelationary thought today as I recognized that for much of my adult life, I have done things for the benefit of others first and foremost, or to please someone so as to gain or not lose love and/or approval. Now, since the heart opening experience in June, I do more things for my own satis

posted 7:48:13pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Face Your Fears Day
The calendar has all kinds of quirky holidays and the block that is set aside for the second Tuesday in October is National Face Your Fears Day. This year, it occurs on October 14th.  Oh, that's today!  What if we really could do just that? What if we could look at what is an imposter, cleverly

posted 11:06:54pm Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »


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