Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

I woke up this morning to discover that a man who epitomized standing in confidence and standing up for what he believed in would stand no longer. Muhammad Ali passed into the land of his ancestors at the age of 74 on June 3 , 2016. Parkinson felled him when opponents couldn’t. A few years back, I had written an article about him for Beliefnet, entitled The Greatest. In it, I shared how boxing had come into my life with the experience of my father who was a Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy; something he was proud of. Being a pacifist, I never understood the allure of beating someone to a literal bloody pulp in the name of sport. At the risk of sounding like I am dissing his athletic accomplishments, know that I am not. I much prefer the idea of martial arts as a means of self defense, used with discipline and an element of spirituality. This is so of those in my life who practice the various forms.

It wasn’t Ali’s prowess in the ring that impressed me, rather it was the way he used his notoriety in the face of bigotry and his values to express a sense of integrity.

Even after retiring from boxing with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which also took my father’s life, so I am aware of how incapacitating it can be,  he devoted much of his time to philanthropy. He revealed the diagnosis in 1984, and helped to raise money for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He was an ardent supporter of  Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  As I did some research, I discovered that the doctor who diagnosed him, indicated that ‘pugilistic brain syndrome’; getting hit in the head one too many times, is what caused the debilitating condition.

I also valued his vocal expression of his own abilities…the line “I am the greatest, ” was no empty boast. He really was the best at what he did. I imagine that this mantra fueled his purpose and spurred him on.  He owned his greatness and used it in service to the world. I asked my social media circles to share what it is they are willing to offer the world with their inherent greatness and was delighted with their responses.

  • “To be the best version of me I can possibly be each day….hopefully better then the day before.
  • “My Golden Glove is to support clients and students around the world with my movies and mentoring.”
  • “Called out by the Bliss Mistress in public! Whoa! I have two Golden Gloves! Takes two to be in the ring right!? My first is I help people pinpoint and release core subconscious blocks so they can bring forth their best into the world and the second is with my music. I am a voice that stands for the people, the planet and for peace!”
  • “Me.”
  • “I shine my love light.”
  • “I forgive. I cheer. My love is forever. And the world can count on me to sing the truth of hearts.”
  • “Hope.”
  • “Trying to find the positives in situations.”
  • “My mother loved Cassius Clay (as she called him). As a child I listened as my mother sang his praises and watched him with just as much awe when he had a boxing match. No wonder I still love boxing today. This past week the universe extended to me something that I felt and saw as expanding my greatness – my gift to the world. “Oh goody” I was clapping my hands in delight – “I’ve arrived.” “Not so fast” the universe said. “We aren’t sure you are ready yet”. Of course in these situation one wonders, I wondered, why something would be placed before me and then taken away. And after I read this article, it hit me. Am I to dream bigger?  I don’t know what my gift is in one word. All I know is that I’m able – willing – ready to live it.”
  • “To share through an open book our shared story of humanity. Within these books, in someone else’s story, is our own path home.”
  • “To be the reflection of you – your greatest Joy, your greatest Love, your greatest Truth.”
  • “My compassion and kindness to those in need of healing and my love for my family.”
  • “Sharing the gifts I have been born with.””To look for the ‘pearl of wisdom’ in every situation.”
To their powerful intentions I add my own.  To offer the best of who I am. To be a force for good in the world. To be in integrity. To provide a shelter from the storm. To live and love full out, without holding back.
I remember this song from my childhood, about the man who could ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.’  You’ve earned your rest. May your memory be for a blessing.
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