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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Is Love Being Served?

“You have to learn to get up from the table if love is no longer being served.”– Nina Simone

If you are the only one cooking, serving, clearing the table, washing the dishes and putting the leftovers away, it’s time to invite better dinner companions. I have learned that over the years as I had often been the one in the role of  chief cook and bottle washer, as well as clean up crew. I had believed that in order to maintain connection with partners and friends, I needed to take that on, thus making myself indispensable. It became exhausting and then return on investment of my time and energy was not commensurate.

These days, I welcome those who are willing to assist in each of those tasks, bringing their best selves to the table. I am moved by the story that I think of as ‘feeding each other in heaven.’  A person dies and is met by St. Peter. She asks the guardian at the gate to show her the difference between heaven and hell. She is first ushered in to a room that had a long table filled with the most luscious foods imaginable. The aroma was intoxicating and she found herself salivating wildly. She noticed that the people were moaning in pain; starving in the midst of plenty. She asked how that could happen and St. Peter pointed out that each person had a spoon or fork attached to their arms that were too long to be able to scoop up the food and get it into their mouths. “This is hell,” said her guide. “Show me heaven,” she begged. They walked into the next room where she beheld the same kind of table, food and utensils. These folks were in a celebratory mood, laughing, smiling and well nourished.  “How could this be?,” she queried. He replied. “Don’t you notice that these people had learn to feed each other across the table?”

Who would you want at your table?  It could be someone from your past, that may have pushed their chair away and excused him or herself politely or it might be another whose absence is due to moving on to the heavenly dining hall. What would you speak about with these folks? At the end of the ‘meal,’ would you feel body, heart and soul satisfied?

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You Are What You Choose To Be

This morning, I heard this Jackson Browne classic called The Fuse that was the perfect prelude to an interview I had with Beth Long who is the editor of Doylestown Hospital’s news letter. She and I had last had a sit down conversation right before Thanksgiving. The topic back then was my feeling of gratitude that I had experienced a heart attack, since it turned my life around in as yet unimaginable ways. Today, as I approach the one year ‘cardio-versary’ on June 12th, she wanted to do a follow up to see how I was progressing.

What came to me so powerfully is that I make conscious choices each day about my heart health. It isn’t just about diet and fitness routines, although I do adhere to them. It is more connected with the emotional heart stuff that had me offering care for others when I wanted it myself. It is about deciding how and with whom I will invest my time and energy. Instead of doing things because I am expected to, I do them when they serve me as well. Ongoing self sacrifice can be depleting.

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One of my favorite lines from the song I referenced is “Forget what life used to be. You are what you choose to be.” It is another way of saying that your history is not your destiny. We are always presented with options to consider. I am no longer on auto pilot. I ask myself sometimes moment by moment, what it is I want to do and how it will be of benefit to myself and those I encounter.

Are you living from the past? Do you see yourself as being simply a product of your experiences, rather than your conscious choices of which way to turn on the path on which you are walking?

“It’s whatever it is you see that life will become.”

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Wars Not Make One Great

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. which commemorates those whose lives have been taken on the battlefield. It has become a harbinger of summer, although the season doesn’t officially begin until the solstice on June 21st at 12:38pm. Cookouts, parties and parades are part and parcel of the extension of the weekend. People sometimes use the greeting of Happy Memorial Day, which pushes buttons, since there really is nothing happy about war and the toll it extracts on many generations of families. My father was a veteran of the Korean War and WWII and loved watching military shows like Combat, McHales’ Navy, Hogan’s Hero’s and my favorite M*A*S*H. I joined him, as we sprawled out on the living room floor. Three out of the four injected humor into a deadly serious subject. The final episode of M*A*S*H on February 28, 1983 was the most watched and highest rated episode of a television show of all time with 125 million viewers. I was glad to be one of them. What I particularly enjoyed about the series was the ways in which it managed to bring heart and soul to a dismal environment that the characters found themselves in. With ironic laughter and a clear anti-war message, it got itself heard.

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I consider myself a peacemonger who knows that there are ways to break through the blocks that have people going head to head at each other, rather than heart to heart for/with each other. There are those who will be reading this who may believe that war will always exist and that it is justified. I know that my father would have been one of them. That was one of the few subjects about which we disagreed; tree hugging hippie that his daughter turned out to be. He didn’t glorify war, but thought that there were some things worth fighting for. He had been a Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy and had learned to be a tough guy while growing up in South Philadelphia. He did, however, have the heart of a marshmallow, who could cry easily and embraced family, friends and strangers alike. I guess I would call him a peaceful warrior. Perhaps I would call myself that too, since I have causes for which I take stands, but with my words and not weapons or fists.

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I think of the line from Star Wars that is uttered by Yoda when he and Luke Skywalker meet for the first time when Luke tells this little green sage that he is looking for a great warrior. Yoda responds “Wars not make one great.”

It is in that spirit, that I offer peace to the souls of those who are no longer in body and healing to the hearts of those whose loved ones have died as a result of war.

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On My Way Back Home

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Packed and ready to return home following a week in Hilton Head, SC with my friends Barb and Glenn. Feeling refreshed and revitalized. Like most vacations, it began ages ago and was over in the blink of an eye.  In a seven day span, I swam in the pool, walked on the beach, splashed in the ocean, made new friends, took pictures, read two books, did my radio show, wrote articles, slept late, spent nightly Jacuzzi bubble bath-time, had stranger than usual dreams, and basked in Vitamin D, with copious amounts of sunscreen. I ate relatively healthfully, considering the temptations that were all around. Did a lot of sighing as I gazed at the cloud formations scattered across the cerulean sky.

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One of the most treasured aspects of the trip was that I had some pretty deep conversations with both of my friends. Although Barb and I have known each other since we met on the bench at a swim meet on competing teams at 14, we have never spent this kind of concentrated time together. We reminisced about our youth and mused about our futures. Glenn and I bonded over music and spiritual concepts, although he wouldn’t call them that. He does like the idea of serendipity and synchronicity.

While away, I learned a great deal about myself. For example, I have come to understand that I can both work and play; feeling accomplished and rested. I need not work to know that I am purposeful. The happies I experienced this week, in the midst of  just being, allows me to be of greater service, since often I feel gived out. At the moment, I feel replenished.

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Some people feel as if they need a vacation from their daily lives. I endeavor to live a life from which I don’t need a vacation, since I spend time in nature, go to the gym, and get a monthly massage and pedicure. Travel has become a recent part of my life, visiting family and friends and intend to do more in the near future.

 

 

Previous Posts

Is Love Being Served?
"You have to learn to get up from the table if love is no longer being served."- Nina Simone If you are the only one cooking, serving, clearing the table, washing the dishes and putting the leftovers away, it's time to invite better dinner ...

posted 9:28:05pm May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

You Are What You Choose To Be
This morning, I heard this Jackson Browne classic called The Fuse that was the perfect prelude to an interview I had with Beth Long who is the editor of Doylestown Hospital's news letter. She and I had last had a sit down conversation right ...

posted 6:50:34pm May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Wars Not Make One Great
Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. which commemorates those whose lives have been taken on the battlefield. It has become a harbinger of summer, although the season doesn't officially begin until the solstice on June 21st at 12:38pm. Cookouts, ...

posted 2:57:32pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

On My Way Back Home
Packed and ready to return home following a week in Hilton Head, SC with my friends Barb and Glenn. Feeling refreshed and revitalized. Like most vacations, it began ages ago and was over in the blink of an eye.  In a seven day span, I swam in ...

posted 9:17:08pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Lifeguard is Off Duty
On vacation for the week and while shopping in Hilton Head, I saw a t-shirt that read "Lifeguard off duty. Save yourself". I laughed as I purchased it for someone at home. I was tempted to get another one for myself, but I resisted. I was a ...

posted 9:45:16am May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

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