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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

96% Trusting

Lately, my life has resembled a roller coaster ride that has had me gripping the safety bar with eyes closed as I had a few years ago when I was on the legendary California Scream in Anaheim, during twists and spins that turned me upside down in the process. The difference is, I was certain that the amusement park ride would end in a few minutes and I would be able to disembark, walk around and compose myself before getting on the next one. In my daily life, I have no clue how long it will last, how I will feel when I get off and where the next ride will ferry me. At the moment, it relates to job uncertainty.

I have had this (perhaps erroneous and dysfunctional) belief that if I did ‘the right thing, followed the rules, performed above and beyond expected standards, was a caring and loving person,’ then everything would turn out just as I wanted it to. Conversely, I had this mindset that if people lied, cheated, stole, were lazy, expected other people to cover for them, were not motivated, were mean and hurtful, then karma would do its thing.

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It bumps up against my current reality. A few years ago, I had landed a well paying, full time job in a field for which I was well qualified. I was able to use my education and experience to do creative work that I loved. I was happy being a member of a far flung team of journalists who worked and played well together. We would feed each other ideas and support each other’s endeavors. I thought it would last far longer than it did; anticipating that I would hold the position for several years at least. A year and a half later, due to budget cuts, I found myself seeking other employment. Within a few weeks, I had secured yet another lucrative writing job and picked up some side gigs as well, assured by the Universe that this one would last. Less than three months later, the same news was delivered and I found myself scrambling to fill the financial gap. Did it make a difference that the job changes had nothing to do with my competence?  A little, but the result was still the same. My confidence in my ability was not what was shaken, but rather in the seemingly random nature of the Universe. How could I count on anything?

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Today, as I was finishing a session with my friend and chiropractor, Darin Mazepa, he said he had a ‘cute’ message for me. His intuitive powers often are a bonus with his other professional talents. “You are now 96% trusting,” is what he shared. Hmmm,…. being an overachiever, I wondered how I could bump it up to 100%. It also caused me once again to consider the difference between faith, trust, belief and knowing. Still not clear how to separate them out. For me, trust is what I think of as the Nestea Plunge as I fall backward, eyes closed into the metaphorical arms of the Divine. Faith is an awareness that even if I am not sure how long the wait between leaning back and being caught, I do it anyway. Belief is a series of mental constructs that tell me that events and people are a certain way. THAT is where I get tangled up, like a kitten in a ball of yarn. If I test my beliefs, sometimes they serve me and some times they are way off the mark. I wonder if I change them, it will alter the outcome. Is it a self fulfilling prophecy that people act in certain ways because I expect them to, or events unfold as they do, because I anticipate them? Knowing is about reminding myself that I have always rebounded, regardless of circumstances.

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The question remains, “Will trusting in the Highest Good outcome bring about the desired result? Possibly. What I do know is that it will help me maintain my sanity and peace of mind in the meantime.  I am willing.

 

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The Trigger Is The Treasure

“The moment we have an expectation or require anything to make us feel whole and free we have committed it and ourselves to a form of bondage; and in our desire for freedom and liberation we have become its slave.”-Erica Taxin Bleznak

This being human carries with it myriad opportunities to test our loftiest ideals. As someone who is aware that I am a spiritual being having a human experience, I am faced daily with the challenge to stay real, to remain engaged and not withdraw into the cave of solitude.

I was speaking with a new friend over the weekend named Beth Nolan, about a time in my life not so long ago that it seemed  easier to steer clear of intimate relationships, since they were so messy and complicated. It was enough to keep up with my own quirks and needs, without entertaining those of others. I was content to let the Creative Muse be my companion and lover, since most of the time, I could take charge of our interactions. Even then, I began to realize that I was not the one in control of my creative flow and that I needed to do its bidding. Still, it isn’t a person with its own needs, desires and requirements.

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In the Fall, I came to the not so shocking conclusion that if I wanted to live in the world with other people and to have intimate relationships, I needed to be willing to muck around in my own emotional swamp and theirs as well. Did I like admitting that I have dark and scary cobweb strewn corners that I had allowed to grow dusty? Not one bit. I also knew that if I didn’t want them to become nests for spiders and who-knows-what-else, I needed to put on my big girl panties and get in there with a dust buster, so I wouldn’t eventually need a blow torch to blast though it. Still not much fun, but at least I can see the walls and floor.

Yoga teacher Erica’s wise words are also reflections of my own musings. For a long time, I have surrendered my power to others, for approval of my actions and at times, my very being. As a precocious child, I thrived on the attention lavished on me by the adults around me. I was groomed to please. In exchange for that, I received abundant love. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, huh? It was  a tender trap, since the more loving attention I received, the more fearful I was of losing it, so I kept coming up with ever more clever ways of maintaining it.

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That dynamic spilled over into my adult relationships as it had become so habitual that I need to be mindful of times when I attempt to dazzle to maintain the flow of love that I had erroneously attributed to others. There are times when I need to repeat to myself that no other person is the Source of love in my life. People come and go; sometimes unpredictably. Does knowing that make it any easier?  Nope. I do some of my best thinking in the car and it came to me that it would be so much easier if people didn’t allow their wounds to take over their lives. I have found that fear is often fueled by the belief that we are limited and can’t overcome old programming.

I saw the line, “The trigger is the treasure.” on my friend Monique Darling’s Facebook page this morning and did it ever resonate! When I think about the interactions that trigger my ‘not enough,’ fears, they fall into the categories of others distancing, disapproving or disappearing. When I consider what it is that pushes my buttons and has me questioning the very nature of my purpose here on the planet, it generally shows up in a mirror-mirror manner. Someone else reflects an aspect of myself that I don’t want to look at, but there it is, in my face. If I can focus on the treasure, I can allow it to let me shine. If I can source my own love and approval from within, it is then that I am truly free.

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Masterpiece and Work in Progress

When you think of the word ‘masterpiece,’ what comes to mind?  Likely a stroll through a museum or art gallery filled with richly hued paintings created by legendary artists such as Renoir and Matisse and marble sculpture carved by Michelangelo. A slow meander with hands behind your back as you take in the magnificence that surrounds you. Silence captures the echoing sounds of your shoes on the floor and light streams in through high domed windows. A sense of peace enfolds you. Fellow art lovers join you in partaking of the beauty. You sigh in gratitude that you have senses that can appreciate what is in front of you and the emotions they invoke.

How about the idea that you yourself are just as rare and precious as those works of art? You might shake your head at the comparison and yet, you are that. Designed from love and DNA. The accumulation of generations of genetics and a one in a gazillion possibility that you are unique among all of the souls on the planet. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it.

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But….you may demur, “I’m more like a paint by numbers picture of a horsey than a Picasso,” since you see yourself as imperfect. What if, instead, you could view yourself as perfectly imperfect? It is said that when oriental rugs are woven, one thread is left undone beneath it with the idea that nothing is perfect.  The Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi (perfection in imperfection) highlights that same sensibility. A chipped tea cup is no less beautiful for its broken place. Kintsugi uses gold and silver dust to fill in the cracks. Rather than disguise the alleged damage, instead it brings attention to it.

We may feel we have so many broken places, so much damage from lifetime trauma. How is it possible to get beyond that to see our own magnificence? One way is to be around people who mirror our beauty. Those who see us as we long to be witnessed. Those who revel in our perfect imperfection. I have many in my life who are my reflections. When my own self compassion meter is running a quart low, they are there to help me refill. When my own lenses are smudged, they assist with reminding me that I need not see things as I do, but instead with clear and clean specs.

I am poignantly aware that I am both masterpiece and work in progress, since I sometimes feel like that cracked cup, with chips that I have placed on it by unconscious choices. May I be ever mindful.

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Being Essential

Snuggled down under covers while white stuff wafts down and sleet taps on my roof. Wind gusts awakened me at 3:33 this morning and blessedly, I was able to go back to sleep and immerse in dreams. I rolled over again at 8:15, grateful that my home is also my office and that I need not go anywhere. Some in my life are not so lucky, as they needed to dig themselves out to drive to their jobs.

As I was perusing Facebook, I saw a post from a friend whose husband was in that position. His current employer is my former employer. I had worked at a hospital a dozen years in my role as a social worker. On one occasion, a blizzard was brewing and the supervisor sent home all ‘non essential’ staff. Social workers were in that group. For the first time in my life, I was glad to be dispensable, at least for the time being. I bundled up and headed for my car to trek home, with a smile on my face, as I looked forward to hunkering down in my own environs, instead of in the confines of the four walls with the locked doors.

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When I think of what it means to be essential, I realize that it can become a trap. Is there anyone who doesn’t like being needed and valued? When we hear from another that we have made a difference in there lives, it certainly feels good. The double edged sword of that role, is that they may come to rely on us to the exclusion of self reliance. Being on call 24/7 can be arduous, especially if you have stated an open door policy. People will take you up on your invitation. Setting boundaries is important as you decide what you can do for them what you can do with them and what you can encourage them to do for themselves Sometimes the greatest service is encouraging independence.

The other hazard of wanting to be essential, is that it can become an ego trap and a method of commerce. If someone becomes dependent on the time, love and attention that we deliver, we might feel as if they ought to return it to us in kind. The truth is, they may not want to, or have the ability to, even if  they had the willingness to do so. How to handle that dynamic?

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* Ask yourself if you are willing yourself to offer those people genuine service without expectation of return, knowing that they might be able to reciprocate to the best of their ability.

* Consider if the return of investment of your time and energy is indeed worth it.

* Immerse yourself in activities that nourish you.

* Be with people who give to you while you graciously receive.

* Consider why you are giving. Is it to feed the desire to be indispensable?

* What if the people in your life wanted you but didn’t always need you? (That one causes me to flinch) Could you trust that they would still want you around?

Give to yourself as you give to others. Love is an essential nutrient. Sprinkle it on everything in your life.

 

Previous Posts

96% Trusting
Lately, my life has resembled a roller coaster ride that has had me gripping the safety bar with eyes closed as I had a few years ago when I was on the legendary California Scream in Anaheim, during twists and spins that turned me upside down in ...

posted 1:40:26pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

The Trigger Is The Treasure
"The moment we have an expectation or require anything to make us feel whole and free we have committed it and ourselves to a form of bondage; and in our desire for freedom and liberation we have become its slave."-Erica Taxin Bleznak This ...

posted 10:21:06am Feb. 01, 2016 | read full post »

Masterpiece and Work in Progress
When you think of the word 'masterpiece,' what comes to mind?  Likely a stroll through a museum or art gallery filled with richly hued paintings created by legendary artists such as Renoir and Matisse and marble sculpture carved by ...

posted 9:27:26am Jan. 26, 2016 | read full post »

Being Essential
Snuggled down under covers while white stuff wafts down and sleet taps on my roof. Wind gusts awakened me at 3:33 this morning and blessedly, I was able to go back to sleep and immerse in dreams. I rolled over again at 8:15, grateful that my ...

posted 10:54:41am Jan. 23, 2016 | read full post »

Whose Life Is It Anyway?
I have long been fascinated with the concept of reincarnation since reading the book The Search For Bridey Murphy, written by Morey Bernstein. It tells the story of a woman in the 1950’s, who, under hypnosis is regressed back to a lifetime in ...

posted 2:43:10pm Jan. 19, 2016 | read full post »

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