The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Happen To Life


My ever inspirational friend Molly Nece (a.k.a. Molly Sunshine) offered this quote:

Get out and happen to life. Don’t let life happen to you! “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci, was a great Italian genius & polymath.  (de Vinci’s Annunciation no. 1)

It reminded me of standing on a starting block at numerous pools in Willingboro, NJ and beyond in which I had made my mark as a successful competitive swimmer in  my teens. My toes were gripped around the edge of the block, my body bent in anticipation of the whistle blowing that would signal time to leap forward, casting my speedo-suit clad athletic body into the air, to propel a split second later into the receptive water.  One with the liquid environs, arms and legs moving in alternate patterns if I was swimming freestyle or in wave like motion in butterfly (my two best strokes). All these years later, I can feel my heart racing as I am remembering. I can even smell the chlorine(:


That was such a pivotal time in my life, during which I learned to work/play as a member of a team, sharing strengths, cheering on others (even those from competing teams; being a good sport).  I met my BFF Barb Chimel Cohen on the bench before a meet when we; as we joke “swam on different teams together.” It was also when I began to meditate, since long hours swimming seemingly endless laps could have been tedious. I found myself in the zone, the flow, the ever present NOW. I go back to that memory at times that I feel like I am churning instead.

Since then, my ‘happening to life’  looks more like being in the flow with my writing and speaking. I stand on the starting block, not always knowing what I am about to express, because the Muse sometimes feeds the words one by one or in a rush that I need to scoop up and organize in some way that makes sense to anyone but me. Even then, I can look back in amazement that they are coherent compositions.


There was a period when I would be laissez faire and let life happen to me, not wanting to manipulate or control but it often led to encounters that were ineffective and unsuccesful. A delicate balance of surrender and stretching, of holding on and letting go. It doesn’t mean being lazy, neither does it indicate go go go mode either.

How will you happen to life today? What will you bring into it as a result? Swimming by Louden Wainwright III



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