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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Everyone Is On Loan To Us

In the dark days of late Fall into early Winter of 1998, I lived between worlds. Mostly, I walked, slept, eat, drank, cried and prayed in and around the ICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and on occasion would venture out onto the streets as family and friends insisted. As I reluctantly did so, I observed people living ‘normal’ lives in the midst of  being on the edge of the life and death experience that I was immersed in. My husband had been admitted to the unit in a coma while awaiting a liver transplant as a result of Hepatitis C.

From November 11th to December 21st of that year, I engaged in what I referred to as “God wrestling sessions,” that had me proclaiming, “He’s mine and you can’t have him.” The loving and resolute response from the Creator was, “He’s mine and he’s on loan to you, like everyone else in your life.” That was the wake up call that cast me into the truth that he was likely to slip away and I would have no choice but to release him. Playing tug of war with someone who is in pain and on their way to their next destination is a futile endeavor.

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It also had me recognize that the people who were gathered around me, both at the hospital and in support of us from all over the world, were fleeting beings in my life as well. In addition, what came to me was the reality that everyone we know and love will one day die or leave us, or we will die or leave them. Harder to accept since it is sometimes is seemingly random and unexpected.

In the past few months, we have been bombarded with news about celebrity deaths that sent people reeling, when in fact, people die all over the world, 24/7. We just aren’t aware of it unless it impacts us directly. Some of the deaths have been expected; such as if someone has an illness, while others come as a result of an accident, sudden heart attack or assault. A person may leave their home in the morning and not return.

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It is easy to take those we love for granted and forget that hug or kiss heading out the door. We may neglect relationships and allow them to die on the vine, since they take watering and nourishing much the way a flower does. One of the things I pride myself on is being that watering can which showers people in my life. I was thinking about legacy the other day. I asked myself how I would want to be remembered. Here it is, plain and simple. I want people to feel loved in my presence, whether it is in face to face, hug to hug physical form or in essence/thought.

I tap into the wisdom of my friend Brian Hilliard who is referred to by his wife Arielle Ford as ‘a heart chakra on legs’ and someone our friend Jill Mangino calls a ‘love guru’. I agree with both descriptions by the way, having met him for the first time a few months ago. We had been Facebook friends who danced along to heart and soul stirring music and rode the wave from West Coast where he is to East Coast where I am.  I happened to be standing in the lobby of the hotel where the conference was held when the two of them strolled in. Hugs were immediate and there was a sense of instantaneous recognition and homecoming.

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His message today about our connection served up smiles.

“There ISN’T a DAY that goes by that I don’t pause and send you some love and good good thoughts Edie–our weekend in Phoenix was certainly a loving HUGfest but ONLY the beginning..cause I’m a “LIFER and beyond” in terms of my friendship and devotion to having a great time and expanded LOVEfest with all our LOVEtribe–and YOU are one of our conductor’s of the LOVE TRAIN indeed!!!!”

To be that blatantly loving and expressive eludes some people and yet it is what most of us crave.  What stops us from being that mushy-gushy?  And what keeps people from soaking up the juice? For me it is a concern that someone will feel overwhelmed by such effusiveness. It has played itself out that way from time to time in certain relationships, so I have toned it down, sadly. The second question reflects a willingness to feel worthy to receive such love showers from love show-ers.

I am no longer willing to bet on the chance that people will be here tomorrow, so I love them today.

 

 

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Surrender Arms

Writing prompts sometimes arrive unbidden. Today’s inspiration showed up while I was on the table of my friend and chiropractor, Darin Mazepa. He is a a practitioner of a modality called Network Chiropractic. While I was lying face down, he asked me to lift both arms and allow him stand in front of me to support them. As was to be expected, I attempted to lighten his load by holding them aloft.

He laughed as he said, “Your arms are an expression of your mind and heart.”  What he meant was that my typical way of being in the world was to hold them up on my own and everyone else with them. On a physiological level, I have been working them at the gym so that my biceps and shoulders are in a condition that would do Michelle Obama proud. For most of my life, I had believed I needed to carry the literal and figurative weight of the world.  I was afraid to let people down, so I didn’t let my arms down and as such, I did what was expected of me. I took care of people, anticipating their needs before they could think to ask. In service to my co-dependent fear of abandonment, I learned how to inspire and uplift.

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I wondered what people would think if I asked them for their support. Would I be trusted?  Would I still be the go-to person?  That role is a mixed blessing, since it is a responsibility that I would sometimes like to forgo. My friends have told me that it is a gift to them to allow them to be there for me as I am for them. I am taking baby steps in that direction.

Tech challenges fall into that category too as I was having difficulty locating a file I needed, so I had to re-write the copy for spots for my radio show. Sighing through the detours and re-directs in my life.

Still God-wrestling as I woke up this morning to more shifts that call on me to engage in attitude adjustment. If I wasn’t worried about finances since a major job change, how would I be feeling about my life?  Pretty darn good, since I have loving family and friends, vibrant good health since a series of bumps in the road in that realm in the past few years, creative work that I love, travel, adventure…. much to be grateful for.

I am learning to surrender arms and embrace life fully as I breathe~

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A Lunar Legacy

I discovered this morning that a man whose life touched countless others, not merely by virtue of being shot up into outer space in Apollo 14 and land on the moon, but even more importantly, became an explorer of inner space, had died on February 4, 2016 at the age of 85. That was one day shy of the 45th anniversary of his moonwalk. Dr. Edgar Mitchell was one of a few astronauts who were outspoken about their experiences of having an epiphany; a spiritual awakening as a result of viewing the planet  from space.

In 1992, while living in South Florida,  my family and I had the opportunity to visit him in his home. My husband and I arrived earlier than anticipated and when we knocked on the door, accompanied by our five year old son, the esteemed Dr. Mitchell was vacuuming his living room floor, comfortable in Bermuda shorts. We thought he would be thrilled to meet a real live astronaut and shake his hand. Adam was more impressed with the fact that Dr. Mitchell had been a pilot, since at that time, our little guy was fascinated with planes. We lived near the Homestead Air  Force Base at the time, so he got to see them daily. The other thing that had little impact on him was that we pointed out that even astronauts had to do their own house cleaning.

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I interviewed him for the July, 1992 issue of our publication: Visions Magazine. Here are a few excerpts.

“Imagine anticipating an interview with a person who has done what a select few individuals on the entire planet have been chosen to do.On the day I interviewed Dr. Edgar Mitchell, I found myself in the presence of a man who has seen and done a lot, but is an average family man and South Florida suburban homeowner with several cute terriers. The only evidence of his lunar stroll are pictures of him in uniform on the moon, with the lunar module in the background. As impressive is his considerable collection of books ranging in subject from philosophy to psychology, from quantum physics to ecology. Edgar Mitchell is a true Renaissance Man.”

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When asked how it felt to be part of that elite group whose footsteps traversed the surface of the moon, he responded, “It was wonderful, but it was a planned career move in my case. I made the choice in 1957 when Sputnik was launched. I was a test pilot in California for the Navy.  I was 27 years old at that point. I was too young for the astronaut program; they weren’t taking people until they were 30. I set my goal on additional education, ending up with a Ph.D. from MIT. I needed additional jet time to quality, so I spent the next nine years getting the flight time, education and management experience, so while I was still in the age zone, I was selected. My choice was to become a specialist in the lunar module, because it would enhance my chances of going to the moon. It was circumstances, accompanied by a helluva lotta hard work that positioned me.”

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From the perspective of the man who gazed at our big blue marble of a planet from from space, he had this profound description, “That’s the big story and in my mind, the most powerful experience of our flight. I can’t speak for anybody but myself, but the consensus seems to be that looking at Earth from space is the overwhelming psychological issue of the entire flight. We are explorers; I particularly am an explorer. That’s what I am, that’s what I do. I try new things, see new places, understand what they are all about. We went into space as technicians. We came back as humanitarians. It was instant global consciousness to see the Earth that way. for me it happened on the way back. after the mission was completed and the heavy work was done. and there was time to be reflective. As I looked at Earth with the back drop of billions of stars and galactic clusters, which is 10 times more than you can see from Earth, I had a sense of being one with the universe, knowing that I was a part of the process, knowing that it’s an intelligent universe. Shortly after the flight, British scientist Jim Lovelock came up with the concept of Gaia; Earth as an organismic concept.”

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He expressed being proud of founding The Institute For Noetic Sciences , “which was set up to do research into the nature of consciousness. It has pursued that goal for 20 years. It’s very strong and forward looking. The idea has always been to sponsor new thought. We did work into the nature of healing. We did some of the first work in acupuncture.. We gave Carl and Stephanie Simonton their first research grant on the relationship between attitude and cancer.”

Mitchell added that they were working on the concept of causality, which he defined as “what makes things happen,” and continued, “Scientific causality means everything builds from the bottom up; from atomic structure, subatomic particles and that’s the cause of things. Theological causality is from the top down; the Will of God. So what is the nature of causality? Science has not been interested until recent years.”

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Toward the end of our time together, he sealed the conversation with thoughts that remain with me all these years later. He spoke about the famous concept espoused by fellow scientist Albert Einstein, “Almost to his dying day and only near his deathbed did Einstein accept the concept that quantum mechanics was real, saying God didn’t play dice with the universe. Turns out that God does play dice with the universe. Where this all brings us,very simply is that instead of being physical beings looking for spiritual experience, we are eternal conscious beings creating physical experience. The consciousness that is us is the consciousness that is God.

Soar high into the wild blue yonder, Starman.

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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.

 

Previous Posts

Everyone Is On Loan To Us
In the dark days of late Fall into early Winter of 1998, I lived between worlds. Mostly, I walked, slept, eat, drank, cried and prayed in and around the ICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and on occasion would venture ...

posted 1:07:10pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

Surrender Arms
Writing prompts sometimes arrive unbidden. Today's inspiration showed up while I was on the table of my friend and chiropractor, Darin Mazepa. He is a a practitioner of a modality called Network Chiropractic. While I was lying face down, he ...

posted 4:03:54pm Feb. 09, 2016 | read full post »

A Lunar Legacy
I discovered this morning that a man whose life touched countless others, not merely by virtue of being shot up into outer space in Apollo 14 and land on the moon, but even more importantly, became an explorer of inner space, had died on ...

posted 6:14:48pm Feb. 06, 2016 | read full post »

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 »

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