The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Solstice Release and Redemption

Yesterday, in this part of the world, we honored the Winter Solstice which heralds the shortest day/longest night of the year. My annual experience brings me back around to the home of my friends Deva and Stan Troy where we gather with kindred spirits to celebrate the warmth of friendship in the midst of the cold of the season. One ritual includes passing the Yule log into which we symbolically place what it is that we wish to release. As the wood moves from hand to hand, we either verbalize aloud or in the silence of our minds. The out loud declaration allows me to have accountability partners. I stated that I was letting go of anger, resentment, judgment and fear. All of them have placed impediments in the way of moving forward in my life. Deva, who leads the evening’s experience, remarks that the log actually feels heavier by the time it gets to the last person who places it in the fire to take our thoughts up the chimney in sweet smoke. We then write what we want to call into our next 365 days. I welcome complete and total wellness and  love and abundance in all forms. I believe in the power of intention, merged with inspired action, so I am doing all I can to see it come to fruition.

One of my favorite parts of the evening is reading a poem that ‘wrote me’ 10 years ago. As I say the words aloud, they never cease to amaze me … not because I penned them, but because I was invited to be the hollow reed through which they were played.

The Birth of the Divine Child

As winter’s darkness descends, our hearts tremble. But is it of fear or celebration? Dread of the shadow or anticipation of the Light? Ask of the voice within that knows all things for what they are. And wait in silence for the answer to arise. Still your mind of the busy chatter that fills it to capacity with all that does not serve. Within the comfort of the shadow realms, take a moment to look about. Put aside your trepidation, for in truth, there is no cause to hide. We are of that soft shadow just we are of the Light that will soon replace it. In order for new life to spring forth, the seeds of that anticipated growth require the blanket of rich, moist soil to embrace them. The intelligence within those seeds knows that they must lie dormant for a bit. Think that they worry? Not likely, for they are one with nature. They know no separation. So why must we?

On December 21st, we welcome the birth of the New Solar year and the onset of winter. God and Goddess dance as one in the forms of the Great Mother and Sun Child. Swirling and soaring, melting the chill from our bones and souls. Enticing us to join in the ballet of Being. Crimson like the blood that flows through our veins, moss green that carpets the earth, feather white that gently blankets the reaching branches, stretching to the heavens, asking for a blessing from All That Is. The message from the One is of trust that all is well, despite appearances. It is of shifting our focus from darkness to light, from terror to safety, from condemnation to affirmation.

As the Light ascends, so too do we. Rising from the depths of self-doubt into certainty. Expanding from our limited view of what we can do into All that we Are. Surrendering with arms cast wide in the knowing that we will be safely carried into the next moment. Recognizing the sacred in each act of love, each word of support, each thought of kindness. Seeing the Highest in each soul. Embracing what is so. Cultivating wisdom. Creating from our hearts’ desires. Emboldening our passions. Singing a celestial song with words of Divine origin. Stretching our comfort zones.

And as we do this, we witness the Birth of the Divine Child within us. Blessed Be.

Edie Weinstein
copyright 2004

It also marked the 16th anniversary of the death of my husband, Michael. He took his leave and crossed the threshold between this reality and the next on the Winter Solstice in 1998. In the interceding years, I have both grieved his death and celebrated his life. I have felt every emotion known to humankind, since we had what I referred to as a ‘paradoxical marriage’ that had elements of the best and worst aspects of relationship.  For far too long, I had carried anger and resentment, judgment and fear as a way of coming to terms with the push-pull of the loss. I had imagined that I could protect myself from the darker aspects happening in another relationship, if I was aware of how they manifested in that one. Awareness, yes. Remaining  a prisoner of those perceptions, no. At the Sunday service of one of my interfaith communities, called Circle of Miracles, I had a breakthrough and was willing to be willing to let them go. And then I was willing. And then I could literally feel myself relinquishing them through torrents of tears. I pray that I keep them in that soil in which they are now planted, watered by those tears, so that come the turning of the seasons again, they blossom into something beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Pass It Onword

passitonwordkindness

Back in November, as I was meandering the aisles at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in King of Prussia, PA, I came to a booth at which two women were beaming beatifically. In front of them was a table of simple wares. Stones engraved with a word-  gratitude, strength, inspire, forgive, and kindness, were artfully displayed, beckoning me to check them out. If you take a moment to say those words aloud, how do you feel? I am washed over with a sense of ahhhh~

That was the intent of  Wendy Marcelli and Lia Koyner whose daughters were the matchmakers who brought these two enthusiastic conscious entrepreneurs together to launch nothing short of a miracle movement. Birthed on November 1st, 2014, it comes from their desire to make a difference. That they do.

According to Marcelli, “ PassItOnword  ® was created from a real life experience that changed me. While visiting a dentist’s office,  I watched an older woman lovingly caring for her impaired sister who was in a wheelchair. I could tell the dental procedure she endured had taken a toll on both of them.”  When she witnessed the interaction, Marcelli was prompted to give the woman an angel stone that she had carried with her. At that moment, lives were forever changed and a business idea was sparked.

They considered what could happen if they took polished stones and imbued them with the loving energy of the aforementioned verbiage and a placed code on the back of each one. When someone purchased the stone, they would then go to the website www.passitonword.com to register the talisman. The next step is to share what it was that attracted them to that particular one and what the word means to them. From that point on, they carry it with them until they feel moved to pass it on to someone else with the instruction to do the same thing. The next person returns to the website and continues the tale of the traveling stone. Thus far, 65  stones have been passed along by siblings, employers, spouses and friends. One stone has traveled from the United States to Saudi Arabia. Another is inspiration for someone who is training for a race. Yet another is in gratitude for a loving marriage.

We live in a world that sometimes seems distant and disconnected,  with folks feeling like they are out there all by themselves. Marcelli shares: “What makes PassItOnword so unique is as soon as you purchase or are given a stone, you are immediately thinking about others.” That takes us out of our sense of loneliness. Even if you are not in the presence of someone, they are with you in your heart.

The pair refer to PassItOnword as a social network of goodwill.  As such, they donate a portion of the proceeds that the stones generate to  Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which fights childhood cancer  and  charity: water which is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

Imagine a world in which we all pass the inspiration, gratitude, forgiveness, kindness and strength onward and see it come full circle. Just say the word.

Passitonwordwendyandlia

How We Grieve

candlelit

 

“When my Guru died in 1973, I assumed that because of the important part he played in my life, and the love I felt for him, I would be inundated with grief. Surprisingly, I was not. In time, I came to realize why. He and I were so well established in Soul love that, in the years since he left his body, his palpable presence in my life has continued unabated.”-Ram Dass

I was reading an article called Learning To Grieve,  written by Ram Dass who is one of my favorite spiritual teachers, a pivotal influence for much of my adult life and who I had the pleasure of interviewing three times- once before his stroke and twice since. That paragraph jumped out at me and may explain why I grieved less intensely than I expected when my parents died.  My dad made his transition in 2008 and my mom joined him in 2010. We had a close relationship and they were key teachers of that Soul deep kind of love. One of the things I cherish about them is that they taught me how to live without them. They knew, as did I, that love survives death. Although my mother grieved her mother’s death, she was a part of our lives even beyond the time that she left her body when I was four years old. She was most definitely a Presence throughout my life.

The ring I wear was given to me by my mother before she passed and she inherited it when my grandmother died. The three stones in it have come to represent the three generations we embody. I often hear my parents’ guidance in dream and waking states. When I look in the mirror, I sometimes see glimpses of my mother. When I speak, it is as if they each come through at times. I am better able to let go of the need to have them here in body, when I know clearly that their human containers had worn out. My spiritual beliefs assure me that they are together and that they are well and at peace. As a result, I don’t fear death. It’s not that I am eager to experience it, since I have more work to do on the planet, but that when the time comes, I will be ready to embark on the next phase of this fascinating journey.

Grief looks all kinds of ways. When we let go of something or someone, there is a sense of loss, because we are attached to physical form. We think that this thing, person or animal defines us or is a part of us and without it, we feel less than whole; a fragment of ourselves. I have learned over the years that some day, everyone we love will die or leave us or we will die or leave them. Simple fact, that no amount of denial will alter. It helps me to appreciate them all the more. When the death of a person or relationship occurs, we cry, we feel bereft, or we may feel nothing. Numbness, as a form of protection, until we are ready to face the absence, can happen. Grief response can come in waves. There were some days when I felt despondent in the midst of missing my parents and my husband who died in 1998, and others when I experienced relief that they weren’t suffering, so then neither was I watching them experience it. The most surprising emotion was a sense of exultation, which I call my ‘transfusion from Heaven.’ When Michael died, I had that wave of what was no less than transcendent bliss. I then heard his voice say, in measured tones “This    is    what   Heaven   feels   like  all    the   time.   You   don’t    have   to   die    to   experience   it.”

Holidays can be an even more challenging time to lose a loved one or to remember the loss. My mom died the day after Thanksgiving four years ago and Michael died on the Winter Solstice, now going on 16 years. I needed to create a new sense of normal with regard to holiday rituals. Labels that identify our states are sometimes strange. I was widowed at 40 and became an adult orphan at 52.

I have heard that grief is a measure of the depth of love shared between you and the one you are remembering and compassion toward yourself as you heal, is what sustains you through it.

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”- Rumi

 

 

 

Recovering Human Doing

Lounging in bed, surrounded by lots of pillows and snuggled under quilts as I am typing these words. It is a drowsy, dozy Sunday morning. The radio is playing easing into my day tunes.  My standard weekend fare begins with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN which is a Philly based member supported Public Radio station out of the University of Pennsylvania.  Although I have a full, fun day ahead of me, with celebration at one of the interfaith communities of which I am a part and a holiday party at another in the afternoon, for the moment, I am in veg mode. That has become standard operating procedure for this recovering workaholic who would zoom at such a speed as to leave the Roadrunner in the dust. These days, I sit staring at the ceiling and gazing inward at my soul. My emotions are like a flowing stream remaining within its banks, rather than flooding in torrents, as they had been. I had been surfing the big waves, enjoying the ride at times, and  simultaneously fearing having them crash down on me. I put so much pressure on myself to stay ahead of the curve in all areas, holding myself to impossibly high standards for accomplishing all that was on my ever growing to-do list.

I still have responsibilities and deadlines, but they are far more manageable and I am not left feeling exhausted afterward. Hard to have imagined a year ago that I could have felt this way and have enjoyed doing nothing as much as I had enjoyed doing everything. On December 12th, I celebrated my six month heart-aversary. On that day in June, I experienced a re-birth and chance for a do-over, for which I am immensely grateful. I am amazed that I have been able to acclimate to my pared down schedule without going stir crazy or thinking myself a slacker as I had in the beginning of the process.

I have claimed my new identity as a human BE-ing, rather than a human DO-ing. It suits me well.

Previous Posts

Solstice Release and Redemption
Yesterday, in this part of the world, we honored the Winter Solstice which heralds the shortest day/longest night of the year. My annual experience brings me back around to the home of my friends Deva and Stan Troy where we gather with kindred spirits to celebrate the warmth of friendship in the mid

posted 9:35:03am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Pass It Onword
Back in November, as I was meandering the aisles at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in King of Prussia, PA, I came to a booth at which two women were beaming beatifically. In front of them was a table of simple wares. Stones engraved with a word-  gratitude, strength, inspire, forgive, and kindness, we

posted 6:55:55pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

How We Grieve
  "When my Guru died in 1973, I assumed that because of the important part he played in my life, and the love I felt for him, I would be inundated with grief. Surprisingly, I was not. In time, I came to realize why. He and I were so well established in Soul love that, in the years since he l

posted 1:24:56pm Dec. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Recovering Human Doing
Lounging in bed, surrounded by lots of pillows and snuggled under quilts as I am typing these words. It is a drowsy, dozy Sunday morning. The radio is playing easing into my day tunes.  My standard weekend fare begins with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN which is a Philly based member supported Public Radio

posted 8:56:41am Dec. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Profoundly Honest
"We must learn to be profoundly honest."-Panache Desai Wise words from one of the most engaging speakers I have had the pleasure of hearing. Back in 2011, I attended the Celebrate Your Life Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I had not, at that point, known of the British born teacher who exudes a s

posted 8:51:37am Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »


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