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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Why Do We Write What We Do?

A come clean. When recently reading an artist friend’s post about not being responsible for how her art is viewed or perceived, it occurred to me that often I write with the intention of evoking certain responses in the reader. Like all journalists, I have strong opinions about mostly everything. Love, relationships, spirituality, politics, world events, human behavior, the whys and wherefores of the world fascinate me. I love to wax poetic and philosophical about all of those topics. There are times when I want to go full bore when I read or hear about cruelty and destruction, with a righteous ‘How dare they ….?” That is so whether it is about a ‘protected’ lion murdered by someone who was trained to be a healer and admits enjoyment of  bloodshed , or the numbers of children who are abused on a daily basis, by those who are expected to love them.

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Social media is rife with opportunities to get my stomach churning. Violent videos, Fox News spewing lies or half truths in the form of click bait, people glorifying behaviors that cause harm to themselves others, bigotry, homophobia, war mongering … all of these are writing prompts. Some I follow up on, while others I let be. Even those that demand my attention, call out for restraint. Good thing I have filters. If something stirs up a visceral reaction, rather than a well considered response, then I know I need to take pause and run my thoughts through them, lest I release a firestorm of pushback.

There have been times when on my Facebook page, people have expressed vastly differing opinions from my own and have been confrontational. I have to decide how to address them. Interestingly, friends have responded on my behalf, assuming always that my intentions are good. Am I judgmental? Sometimes. Do I wish people would see the world as I do? Yup. And then I consider that reality is an individual concept. We each see the world through the lenses of our experiences and the decisions we make as a result.  If I had lived the lives that those who disagree with me, have experienced, then I too might feel as they do and I too might take the same actions. Hard to accept that I am capable of engaging in behaviors I abhor. Even as I am writing, I continue to strip away my resistance to having a full range of feelings about every decision people make.

What if I just wrote what I felt and let the chips fall where they may? Unless I do that, I am stifling The Muse, who feeds my soul. I will still use discretion, keep the filters operational and speak my truth at the same time.

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Pleasurable and Effortless

For much of my life, I have resisted struggling. I know that sounds weird, since on some level, resistance IS struggle. Efforting. Pushing against what is, rather than accepting it. I have often denied that some things are just plain difficult, because I haven’t wanted to admit that sometimes I need help. Never liked to feel vulnerable and am learning that sometimes it is necessary.

I have been calling into my life, the opportunities I have wanted in terms of writing and speaking. There are times when I bump up against impatience and pout petulantly that things aren’t happening fast enough for my liking. I then recall where I was a year ago and two years ago and a decade ago and realize how far I really have traveled to get from there to here.

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Today, I attended, via phone, a rehearsal for GMP (Good Men Project)  Live that is a story telling event in which I will be participating next week in New York City. Here I was in my suburban Philly home and through the marvels of modern technology ‘sat’ with the other participants as we practiced telling our tales. I am both excited and nervous about sharing the story called Meet You at the Gate,  since it is about my parents who I treasure and miss. In the midst of counting the years since they have passed; seven for my dad and almost five for my mom, not a day goes by that I don’t think about them. Sometimes they pop into my mind several times in 24 hours. There isn’t an aching longing for their physical presence, but rather a wistfulness. I sense that I have indeed gotten accustomed to living without them.

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Other potential struggles have to do with keeping up with the myriad deadlines I face. It’s not that I can’t keep pace with them; rather it is thinking about thinking that I can’t meet the requirements people have of me. THAT is one the most annoying truths I know. The monkey mind on a hamster wheel keeps on spinning.

Much of my life these days truly feels like I am in the flow. People, experiences, money, messages and creative opportunities arise as if they whisked into my world and all I need do is stand there and let them in. Isn’t that how it oughta be?

I welcome life being pleasurable and effortless.

 

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Facing Life-A Ten Week Journey- Week Seven

I entered into the seventh week of treatment with Debra/Deva Troy  in the modality called Facial Reflex Therapy designed by Lone Sorensen . She has found that when applied, it has assisted with balancing the various biological systems and stimulate the body’s natural healing process.

In my case, I have indeed noticed shifts in my ability to sleep, which has been essential in enhancing my quality of life. For many years, I have had difficulty remaining asleep once I had drifted off. It could be a component of aging, combined with run amok creative thoughts. Some people stay awake and worry. I have been known to stay awake and write.  In the past week, my sleep has been sounder and I have awakened feeling more rested and refreshed.

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Another thing I have noticed is that my hormones still feel as if they are doing a bit of an improv dance, with steps and turns that are totally unstructured as they moved to the beat of their own drummer. Sweats and power surges have been daily occurrences.

As someone with a cardiac condition, we are taking special care with cooling the inflammation in my heart/circulation and offering support for my pulmonary system. Childhood asthma had impacted on my lungs in a manner that had me receiving medication, including steroids around the ages of 4-6 and then in my tweens-teens, I strengthened them with swimming. These days, cardio a few days a week helps to keep them flexible.

One of my emotional issues is still feeling the compulsion to fix, heal and help people in need … savior behavior is how I refer to it. If I am not being of service, I feel as if I am not earning my keep. Sometimes it goes to an extreme and I need to find balance there as well. Deva and I discussed how that was related to the pancreas and she did some work in the area of my face that connects to that particular organ.

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I also noticed a tingling in my arms and hands as if they too had fallen asleep. As much as I wanted to remain conscious during the process, so I could recall what transpired, I found myself nodding off which is an additional benefit. By the time the session was complete, I felt ready to take a walk around town to expand those lungs and pump that blood through my healing heart.

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To Those We Treasure

Awake, truly awake and well rested after a weekend that was filled with laughter and joy, music, friends, dancing, singing, healthy eating and a power nap at the end of a long, sun streaming down day. On Friday night, so began one of my favorite events of the summer. The XPoNential Music Fest is the creation of WXPN; a member supported radio station out of the University of Pennsylvania. It calls together top notch talent from all over the world and creates a family friendly environment, at a riverfront setting in Camden, NJ. The weather could not have been more perfect. Two years ago, there was what I call ‘the monsoon,’ complete with torrential rain that blew sideways on the wings of swirling winds and had a friend and me hunkering down under an overpass while the flood waters rose. Bright sunshine with blessed cloud cover at times and cool breezes off the river made it a lovely experience. The group that particularly drew me there and kept me there late into the night is Dawes. Music that seems inspired by Jackson Browne and Dire Straits was sing-along and dance-along-able. By the time I tumbled into bed, it was 2 a.m.

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I needed to arise only a short few hours later to attend the memorial service for a dear friend and teacher, Hannelore Goodwin who had passed a bit more than six weeks earlier. Hard to imagine that this tiny but mighty woman is no longer in body. I know that she is still doing her work from wherever she is now. A Reiki master, minister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and mentor to many, Hannelore left a loving legacy that we will all carry into our interactions with those who cross our paths. Although there were tears, there was also a deep feeling of rejoicing that she had touched our lives in such away that we were mourning the loss of her physical presence.

The transition back to Wiggins Park where once again I was immersed in musical magic was smooth and soul nourishing after the experience. It gave me time to ponder this question: What is the difference between a memorial service/funeral that occurs immediately following the death and one that occurs more than a month later?  The first feels like first aid, that binds the heart wounds and the second more like maintenance since time has passed that allows us the reality to sink in. It gives us a chance to live without the person. Regardless of the passage of time, what is common to all such gatherings is the need for human contact and hugs. A sense of ‘I know that you know,’ and an honoring of our connection through the one who has passed. I carried them with me as I left the church that was filled with those who love her.

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When I walked onto the field again after the 90 minute drive and placed my blanket down, I was acutely aware of the human experience of loss and wondered how many other people there contemplate these things in the midst of revelry. Do we so enjoy the experience of music as a means of coping with the many losses we face or is it just fun for its own sake? Do we gather together with our tribe so we don’t feel alone? I am  immensely grateful for mine with whom I feel a sense of Homecoming. What amazes but never surprises me is that amongst thousands of people, those I know ‘randomly’ find me. One was a woman who I met on an airplane and spoke for almost the entire flight in May when heading to San Fran to officiate at my niece’s wedding, who serendipitously sat down next to me on a grassy hill.

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On Sunday, another cosmically coincidental experience happened when someone I know from a spiritual community in Delaware where I speak a few times a year happened to be standing next to a long time friend of mine while singing along to the sounds of Indigo Girls. Said friend had come there to hear them specifically, but had arrived a bit earlier and had left her phone at home and as a result, couldn’t text me. We both kept putting out signals; a sort of psychic GPS. I had walked over to one of the stages and felt guided to perch on a hill. From that vantage point, I almost immediately spotted my friend dancing to the sonic shakin’ music of Kopecky who do a spot-on cover of Fleetwood Mac’s  song Tusk. Kindred spirits always find each other.

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The weekend climaxed with The Wailers — minus Bob Marley obviously, although I could feel his presence.  One Love, indeed is what we shared as the sun set magnificently, with wispy paint brush splashes of color.

I cherish these people who make my life such a celebration.  I invite you to lift your glass with me to those we treasure.

Previous Posts

Why Do We Write What We Do?
A come clean. When recently reading an artist friend's post about not being responsible for how her art is viewed or perceived, it occurred to me that often I write with the intention of evoking certain responses in the reader. Like all ...

posted 11:07:57am Aug. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Pleasurable and Effortless
For much of my life, I have resisted struggling. I know that sounds weird, since on some level, resistance IS struggle. Efforting. Pushing against what is, rather than accepting it. I have often denied that some things are just plain difficult, ...

posted 9:37:02pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life-A Ten Week Journey- Week Seven
I entered into the seventh week of treatment with Debra/Deva Troy  in the modality called Facial Reflex Therapy designed by Lone Sorensen . She has found that when applied, it has assisted with balancing the various biological systems and ...

posted 10:39:19pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

To Those We Treasure
Awake, truly awake and well rested after a weekend that was filled with laughter and joy, music, friends, dancing, singing, healthy eating and a power nap at the end of a long, sun streaming down day. On Friday night, so began one of my ...

posted 5:16:22pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life-A Ten Week Journey- Week Six
Lately I've been letting emotions flow, and along with them, have come insights that had lay dormant for years.  This session was overseen by Debra/Deva Troy 's teacher Lynn Diehl  for the sixth of ten Facial Reflex Therapy visits. This ...

posted 8:57:21pm Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

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