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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Great American Grumpout

Yes, it really is a thing and it is today. Here in the United States, home to many  grumpy people, a created holiday is celebrated ….if you can use that word, to glorify what is defined as “a person who is angry, rude or often complains.”

According to the website known as the Home of the Great American Grumpout, created by self proclaimed Grumpoligist, Janice A. Hathy: “Grumpology is the in-depth study of the Grump’s environment, interactions and collective behavior as it relates to family, friends and co-workers. Grumping requires a significant skill to effectively deliver unpleasant, unwanted and unwarranted behaviors.”

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I have rarely been grumpy; too busy being grateful as was taught to me by my parents. My father would often meet my vague complaints with “If that’s the worst thing that ever happens to you, you will be okay.”  I would smile and work my way through whatever was going on at the time; sometimes with the help of my folks, or others and sometimes on my own. As a therapist and natural empath, there have been plenty of times when; like tofu, I have absorbed other people’s snarky, whiney emotions. I have quickly chosen to shake them off, since miserable moods are contagious and grumps don’t like to go it alone. In attempt to hornswoggle others to join in the grouch-fest, they will often assume that people will commiserate with them. I happen not to be one of those who jumps on the bitching and moaning bandwagon. There are times when I run an inner dialog about the behaviors that range from mildly annoying- such as people who use improper grammar and spelling; to abhorrent- such as violence in word or deed.  I do what I can to productively express displeasure and offer alternatives to the choices made. Complaining for its own sake may have some small benefit, such as permission to vent and when used as problem solving, as long as it isn’t sustained as a way of life.

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Humor helps as well. When something isn’t to your liking, can you find a way to laugh about it and see the ridiculous side of the issue?  Kind of like chuckling when the person who was honking their horn while riding your bumper and then zooms past you, gets stuck at the next traffic light. If we could do that, then I imagine the incidents of road rage would drop considerably. Some things just ain’t worth sweating.

I encourage you to take a grump fast by noticing when you may be tempted to complain. Then decide if it is worth getting your panties in a twist about. Can you do anything to change the situation?  If so, do it. If not, let it go. My stretchy edge is letting go of being angry and annoyed with folks who smoke since their habit impacts on everyone else. Beyond educating, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. Harping  in my head about it is only going to surround me with toxicity which is what I want to avoid in the first place.

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Smile when you can with a big toothy grin.  Laugh when you need to. Laughter Yoga is one means to overcome the grumps. One of the exercises teachers of this ha-ha healing modality is speaking in gibberish. When you have something that is asking to be vented, say it in nonsense words, with exaggerated movement; temper tantrum style if need be.

If that doesn’t work, then sing along with Oscar.

 

 

 

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Prosperity Mantra

Last year, in the midst of experiencing emotional turmoil, physical challenges and financial woes, I had a conversation with Spirit. We are on such intimate terms that there are times when I wonder if it is a dialog or monologue, as in ‘there is only one of us here.’  I asked for guidance and support to get through it all. As has been the case for years, the loud and clear message showed up in the form of a question that goes something like this:  “Have I ever dropped you?  Have things not worked out better than you can imagine, even in the face of challenges?”  Ah, nope. Ah, yep.  And then a spark of insight came through. No matter who signs my paychecks, I am aligned with the Divine and am on the celestial payroll.

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The mantra then came roaring through. “I work for God and the salary and benefits are out of this world.” I smiled broadly as I realized the absolute truth of those words. It occurred to me that the more I said them, the more they would latch on and the more they would be my manna-fested reality. Shortly after invoking their magic, an opportunity arose to do what I love and be well compensated for it. I am finally living a writer’s life. Since my work is portable, I can do it from anywhere. I wrote a few articles while on my maiden voyage to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I will be heading to California this week to officiate at my niece’s wedding and will have my trusty computer with me to translate new ideas to readable form.

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The rewards are not all monetary, although that certainly is lovely. Some of it is knowing that what comes through me touches others. It is a gift for me immediately and then a blessing to be able to offer it out into the world.

I encourage you to see yourself as infinitely abundant.  What would your life be like if you were in receptivity mode? What would the world be like if populated with folks who knew that there was enough for everyone? No withholding. No taking from anyone. No fighting over scare resources. Generosity flowing like honey. Paying it forward. Praying it forward. So it is.

 

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Live Your Great Story

Skyheart

 

We are all repositories for experience. Nothing that happens in our lives ever goes away. While we may repress memories that could be too painful to recall, they remain in our cells. What if, instead, we decided to live our stories in healthy, productive and celebratory ways?

Leaving New Orleans tonight after a few days here with friends. I had been excitedly planning this trip for more than a month, but really, for years, since I had decided that I wanted to go to Jazz Fest. Circumstances had stood in the way before, but more recently, the stars aligned to make it possible and I’m so glad it did. As I have long believed, the trip began the moment I committed to going; not when I packed, got in my car, drove to the airport, hopped on two different planes or even arrived here. Those were just the paragraphs in the chapters that I co-wrote with the characters I encountered. Along the way, I met friendly people- from the folks in TSA who checked me through, to the people at the ticket counter, to the flight attendants and pilots, to the woman who was traveling with her therapy cat, to the retired mother and her adult son with whom I had a lengthy conversation about family, health and spirituality, to my friends Jewelee and Scott who greeted me when I arrived. Scott was actually on my flight, but I didn’t know it. Celebrating life these past few days with Loreen, Ron, Virginia, Chris, Karen, Vanessa and Sophia have enriched my time immeasurably. Dancing, singing, walking, eating, laughing, hugging, absorbing all of the juicy energy in this vibrant city are life changing experiences.

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Danced my tush off yesterday at Jazz Fest, as I basked in the sun; despite wearing sunscreen, got a little cooked around the edges, enjoyed vegetarian red beans and rice, and yes, indulged in a beignet. It reminded me of a puffed up version of a Pennsylvania decadent treat called Funnel Cake which is essentially fried dough doused with powdered sugar.

Second day of noticing sky writing as I gazed up into the vast blue expanse. It acted as a seal to my experience.

Loreen showed me a card she had gotten that had a photo with the words ‘Live A Great Story’ painted on it. What choice do we have but to do that? We express it in all we do. The flow of emotion, whether joy or sorrow, resentment or forgiveness, petty pouting, I’m not gettin’ my way frustration, love and acceptance, compassion and understanding, anger and aggression, or even passive aggression since we think we don’t know how to get our needs met any other way, are all part of this being human. It is when we consciously choose how our story gets played out, that we thrive. When we believe we are victims of someone else’s design, then we suffer. When we take pen in hand and write the poetry and prose from each sun-up to sun down, we have a story worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

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Seduced By A City

Landed in New Orleans yesterday, a.k.a. The Crescent City and The Big Easy. I had been planning the trip for the past month to spend time with my friend Jewelee and her husband Scott, their kiddos, and her family of choice, Virginia, Chris, Karen, Loreen and Ron; who know this place like the backs of their hands. They were my tour guides, pointing out all kinds of interesting factoids and drawing my attention to stuff I might have otherwise missed, since I felt like a kid in a candy store. Drinking it all in; the people dressed in outrageous garb, the Mardi Gras beads tossed over electrical wires and trees, the enticing aromas wafting from restaurant and café doors.

I  had never been to Jazz Fest, so that was a draw as well. Eager to hear concerts tomorrow and Friday. Today, I found myself strolling through streets strangely familiar, even though I have never set foot on the sidewalks lined with French and Spanish architecture, gas lights and music resonating from bars and on street corners. More tarot card readers per square inch in Jackson Square, as we meandered through. Sky writer designing imagery across the puffy cloud cerulean expanse. The letters spelled out the words-  love, pray, respect, coexist and honor. Was dancin’ in the streets at a block party, and found a colorful parasol sold by a woman who told us that it was formed from recycled bicycle spokes and rainbow hued fabric with mirrors embedded it. On a porch sat a man who was celebrating his 91st birthday. The daughters of my friends Jewelee and Scott and Virginia adeptly spun hula hoops around their waists, in ways that I can recall doing when I was young. I marveled at their energy and ability to keep them going. These days, I can manage a few spins around, before it falls to the ground. Way to go, Vanessa and Sophia! When I asked her about her favorite part of the day, 8 year Vanessa said that it was riding on the street car that would most remain with her since she had never done it before. Although I have been on one, somehow knowing that I was in a most magical place made it that much more fun. Feeling the breeze on my face as it buzzed past ancient trees and more modern buildings. Since it was not at the height of tourist season, nor at night, the streets were less crowded than I imagined, but could still imagine the revelry that goes on during Mardi Gras.

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One of my favorite books, called Jitterbug Perfume written by Tom Robbins was situated in Seattle, Paris and New Orleans, so I could visualize the places about which he wrote.

Even though I am on vacay, I managed to find healthy food options in the home of fried nearly everything. Kale salad yesterday for dinner, green smoothie for lunch today and avocado, shrimp and crab salad for dinner tonight. Walked 12,424 steps according to the pedometer in my phone. No wonder I am feeling a bit wiped at the moment.

To be in NOLA is to be seduced by the city itself.  It is a full sensory experience, with so much to taste, touch, smell, hear and feel on this warm mid spring day. The people seem friendly and welcoming. The music ranges from Blues and Jazz to Cajun, Creole and Zydeco. Irresistible to this country girl who can’t help but shake it to the tones emanating from all sorts of instruments and voices in a place that oozes charm and beckons with finger crooked in allurement.

Previous Posts

The Great American Grumpout
Yes, it really is a thing and it is today. Here in the United States, home to many  grumpy people, a created holiday is celebrated ....if you can use that word, to glorify what is defined as "a person who is angry, rude or often ...

posted 8:30:17pm May. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Prosperity Mantra
Last year, in the midst of experiencing emotional turmoil, physical challenges and financial woes, I had a conversation with Spirit. We are on such intimate terms that there are times when I wonder if it is a dialog or monologue, as in 'there is ...

posted 10:48:13pm May. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Live Your Great Story
  We are all repositories for experience. Nothing that happens in our lives ever goes away. While we may repress memories that could be too painful to recall, they remain in our cells. What if, instead, we decided to live our stories in ...

posted 10:37:42am May. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Seduced By A City
Landed in New Orleans yesterday, a.k.a. The Crescent City and The Big Easy. I had been planning the trip for the past month to spend time with my friend Jewelee and her husband Scott, their kiddos, and her family of choice, Virginia, Chris, ...

posted 11:38:31pm Apr. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Creative ADHD
While on the plane heading from Philadelphia to New Orleans for my first ever visit to attend Jazz Fest with friends, I was perusing the in flight mag called American Way- since my carrier is American Airlines. Being a writer, editor and former ...

posted 1:01:19pm Apr. 28, 2015 | read full post »

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