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The Bliss Blog

This morning, I opened my e-mail box and out tumbled this message:

“Just wanted to formally announce, Edie, that the world is indeed ready for ALL of you.

Go on.
Love,
The Universe”

Mike Dooley, who created TUT (Totally Unique Thoughts) is the man behind the wise words, channeled through him and delivered each day. I have been receiving his missives for many years and am delighted when he seems to be reading my mind. Now, I know that he writes them for a gazillion readers and I am not the only one who got this one, AND it spoke to what I have been feeling for most of my life.

A precocious child with entertaining skills, who loved being in the spotlight, I often felt like I needed to overcompensate for physical challenges that were part and parcel of asthma and podiatric problems. I didn’t want to appear weak or incapable of keeping up with the other kids. So I pushed harder, drove myself more intensely, attempted to increasingly charm and became a people-pleaser. I honed my diplomatic skills and learned to read people well. Being an empath has its up side, as well as its challenges, since I would sometimes take on the emotions and physical sensations of those around me. Sometimes I still do. I have needed to remind myself,  “If it’s not mine, I let it go.” Not easy when my intention is to offer healing.

When on occasion, others have expressed discomfort with my sometimes over the top, high energy self, I have found myself pulling back into a snail shell. Two come to mind; both in workplace settings. As a nursing home social worker, I brought my clown persona named Feather who is a faerie, in to entertain the residents. Colorfully garbed, sparkling and playful, it triggered a reaction from a supervisor who later acknowleged that I called more attention to myself that she desired. The second, a few years later, occurred when a supervisor in a psychiatric hospital who was an ‘old school nurse,’ and was rules oriented, had a hard time with the decor in my office. The walls were embellished with affirming images and words to inspire the patients and myself. She actually took something down. It had something to do with the art of surrender. She wrote on it, the word NEVER.  While I agree that giving up in the face of challenges is not optimal, surrender implies taking pause and re-evaluating. A letting go into what is and not just focusing on ‘what if and if only.’ Later on, we made peace and not long after, she was diagnosed with cancer and has since passed.

Although it is tempting to remain a chameleon, a designation I had embraced, since it helped me to fit in and be accepted by those whose approval I craved, I find it far more rewarding to be true to who I am. So, just who is that?

  • An over the top enthusiastic 4 year old in the body of a nearly 58 year old.
  • A colorfully creative journalist who paints word pictures.
  • A passionate woman who desires a loving partner to share the exquisite dance of life.
  • A purposeful world server.
  • An intuitive healer who is tapped into the Universe and calls in messages and life force energy.
  • A deeply spiritual person who knows she is a part of and not apart from God/Goddess/All That Is.
  • A trusting soul who knows that the Highest Good always prevails, despite appearance at times.
  • A lovingly kick-ass coach, therapist and speaker.
  • A comsummate networker who connects with new people every day.
  • A resilient thriver who has made it through several health crises and major losses.
  • A cosmic concierge who knows how to help people get what they want in their lives.
  • A spiritual gangsta who takes the message of love out into the ‘hood, which is really the whole world.
  • A Hug Mobster Armed With Love who is helping to bring folks together in love and cooperation via Hugs Across America.
  • A Bliss Mistress who encourages people to live rich, full, juicy lives.
  • An Opti-Mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility.

Like everyone reading this, I  am a cosmic creation and ever evolving work in progress, no longer afraid to be seen, putting my whole self in, as if I am doing the Hokey Pokey.  Care to join me in bringing the beauty, magic and wonder of who you truly are into all aspects of your life?

Look out, world!

 

 

My friend Jeff Brown is a spiritual journeyer and witty wordsmith. He created a film called Karmageddon in which he explored (among other things), the concept of the guru. This morning, I saw a Facebook posting he shared with these words:

“Having bashed gurus for so long, I pretty much gave up on the possibility of finding one. And then, when I least expected it, I stumbled upon this formidable little fellow at the Omega Institute. What I enjoy most about his approach to teaching is that he doesn’t bother with words- just sounds, grunts and the like- and he doesn’t pay much attention to detachment practices, preferring, as a rule, to jump right into life, biting any and all fingers that come his way, and eating as often as possible…. Meet my new guru, James.” Below the words was a photo of him all cuddly with an adorable little dude who looked a few months newly launched into the world.

My response was this: “Here and now, present moment awareness. Energy in…energy out. When hungy eat, when tired, sleep, when full, pee, poop, fart and burp. Pretty simple teachings. A sat guru, indeed.”

How much more fulfilling would our lives be if only we could emulate those tiny humans? I know that when I attempt to control outcomes in my life, I miss out on the infinite possibilities that await on the playground that is my life. I love watching babies interact with the world around them. Everything is a toy to explore. A Zen concept is that of Shoshin or Beginner’s mind.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” We adults play this game in which we claim to be experts at all kinds of things, from our jobs, to our education, from raising children to telling others how to run their lives. Kids just are. Mindfulness embodied, instead of mind-full-ness with all kinds of busy buzzy (ooooh, look, a squirrel) thoughts that have us off and running without warning. We pretend we know the answers to life’s questions, when a laughing baby really does get the cosmic joke.

Every time I have seen this video, I have laughed and cried, both with delight and wistfulness. I reclaim any sense of innocence I may have lost and commit to exploring the world with all senses fully engaged in this here and now precious moment. Let playful wisdom rain and reign.

This morning as I was driving to an appointment, I was musing about the direction my life has taken in the past year or so. Twelve months ago, I was employed full time as a web content writer, working from home and bringing in more income than I ever did as a social worker. I felt a sense of freedom financially that was unfamiliar to me. I was able to easily pay my bills and have plenty left over to save, donate and spend as I chose. I was responsible and not frivolous with spending. And then….. a year and three months after I was hired, the company was faced with budget cuts which meant laying off a large portion of our creative team. I found myself only in a mild state of panic, knowing that I would be able to rebound quickly. I did, with a new job in less than two weeks that looked like it would be long term, until…..a few months later, the non-profit was not able to get the funding it needed to keep me on. Since then, I have been doing all sorts of free lance writing, teaching, coaching, counseling and editing. Although I have been able to pay bills, there has remained an underlying sense of trepidation that I won’t be able to do so. I’ve needed to be more frugal than I was a year ago.

I question the pattern that I have been following. The consistent paycheck that I had received for a dozen years as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital came at a price; my peace of mind and health. The salary and benefits that came from this other job was short lived, but it does tell me something. The woman who became my supervisor had recruited me after reading my various on line blogs; this one included.  That meant (in my mind) that Spirit was working behind the scenes to orchestrate that job. Even so, there is something unconscious going on that has placed me on the career roller coaster ride I have been on for several decades. I have prayed about it and then asked who or what am I praying to?  Is it an interventive entity or an all pervading energy? Is it my own doing, or non-doing that brings in the bucks?  Is it trust and surrender to whatever is unfolding?

Back to the road trip. Just as I was in the depths of pondering my next steps, a truck rounded the hill in the opposite direction and I laughed as I always do when I see it, since it tells me that the Universe is sending me a powerful pay-attention-to-this-one message. The truck is from a company that sells bathroom and kitchen fixtures. It is called…wait for it…Weinstein Supply Company. In case you hadn’t noticed, that is my last name. Whenever it shows up, it is a reminder that my needs are always taken care of and there is an unlimited supply coming from my Source. Sighing, I continued driving and the song by The Flaming Lips called Do You Realize? came on the radio on WXPN.

Do You Realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize – we’re floating in space –
Do You Realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize – that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize – Oh – Oh – Oh
Do You Realize – that everyone you know
Someday will die –
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
Do You Realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize
Songwriters: Dave Fridmann / Michael Ivins / Steven Drozd / Wayne Coyne
Do You Realise? lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
The song reminds me that our time here on the planet is limited and it is in our best interest to live it fully and freely without overt and unecessary worry and fear.
On my way back from the appointment, another song snagged my attention, called The Life You Chose by Jason Isbell. A line jumped out at me: “Are you living the life you chose? Are you living the life that chose you?” Hmmm…..  There are times when I am on both ends of the spectrum. I make consious decisions each day that as it unfolds, it will bring with it all kinds of adventures and along with it, miracles. What I choose, in some ways, does choose me, since I have found that like attracts like far more than opposites attract. So what am I choosing?
* Trusting that my needs will always be met.
* Knowing that I have the skills and experience to bring in what my services are worth.
* Believing that all is well and that worrying about anything is a waste of my time and energy.
* Finding the same kind of freedom I felt when holding that well paying job.
* Sensing that something even better awaits my welcome.

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Yesterday (September 10, 2016), I was in my nearby Bucks County town of Doylestown, PA which is about an hour outside of Philadelphia. The event was our annual Arts Festival. I love strolling the streets and running into longtime and new friends, as well as perusing the wares and creations of juried artists. In the past few years, I have arrived, toting a sign indicating that I am offering FREE Hugs. I call myself a Hugmobster Armed With Love. My friends refer to me as the Hugging Queen, Hug Mob Boss, A Hugging Machine and Mutha Hugger. It is one of those things I was born to do. I have never had a problem hugging strangers and Beloveds alike. The 90-something temps made some people respond with a polite, “No thank you, I’m all sweaty,” or “I’m good,” to which I responded, “Well, hug somebody today.”  I playfully reached over and did an air hug. We smiled together.

In the two hours and some that I was there, I hugged more than 100 people and at least one dog. Some were familiar friends. Some folks approached me and said, arms open, “Bring it!”  One man kept coming back for more and then his girlfriend came over and joined us. The Director of a local organization who actually commissioned a mutual friend artist to design the sign I tote around was one of the first to jump start the hug-a-thon. The lovely daughter of friends saw me before I saw her and we had a cuddle moment. Hugs at the booth of our local food co-op. Hugs with women who were offering samples of ice tea and lemonade (which I really appreciated since hugging is thirsty work) and whose t-shirts bore images of the iconic Mr. T with butterfly wings. A very tall woman leaned down (which this 5’4″ woman appreciated) and offered a really strong sistah hug. Another woman who was wearing a beautiful crystal embedded necklace shaped like a curvy Goddess shared several hugs and told me that I made her day. She made mine too.  A man riding a Segueway hugged me from his rolling perch. A long time friend and I stood in the middle of the street as he wrapped his arms around me, for a full two minutes or so. I actually felt cooler afterward.  A rainbow striped haired young woman joined the fun. Little kids and big kids too, came up for some snuggles. I am always impressed when teens approach me. Clearly, I am cool enough, even if I old enough to be their mother.

When I hug folks, I mostly don’t know their political affiliation or religious beliefs. I just hug ’em. My own judgments were called to the fore as someone pointed out a man bearing campaign signs indicating that he supported a candidate who to me symbolizes hatred, which is the opposite of what this whole hug thing is about. He suggested, “How about if you hug that guy.” I took a deep breath and said, “Yup, he might really need a hug.” I approached and asked if I could hug him. He smiled and agreed and then asked if I wanted to take a picture with him. I politely declined, setting my own boundary.

It occurs to me, on this day, as I am writing this (September 11th), that the horrendous events we are recalling, came from a sense of hatred for those perceived as different. There are all kinds of theories about how it occurred (inside job, false flag, or an outside terrorist attack) and yet the truth remains that people died and other lives were devastated beyond repair. I wrote a Bliss Blog entry a few years ago, called September 11th Remembered. In it, I spoke of the idea that the saying God Bless America is far too limiting. I much prefer God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions. That includes those whose values are in opposition to mine. Chances are, the bearded older man who toted those signs, contends that he has valid reasons for believing as he does. It really was pretty brave of him to walk around the streets of a town where peace rallies and We Are Orlando rallies and environmental rallies occur, where there are a few all accepting non-denominational/ interfaith communities, where some gracefully aging hippies have music gatherings and this one strolls the streets, arms and heart open to embrace willing huggers, even if we don’t share the same beliefs.

I smile when I recall the wise words of a tiny human who came into my life a few years ago. He asked me this question: “Do you know how to turn a bad guy into a good guy?  You HUG ’em!”

 

 

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