The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

FAITH

 

I saw a question recently that asked what faith meant. For those of us raised in homes in which religion played a prominent role, as it did in my Jewish household, it called for an acceptance of what might not be seen, but rather, felt fervently. Most of the time it was about an abiding connection with the Divine Source of all life. God was not just a guest in our home at 123 Pheasant Lane in the suburban South Jersey town of Willingboro, but a permanent household member. God-essence permeated every nook and cranny, rode with us on our bikes, swam beside us in the pool during practice, read over our shoulders in class, sat next to us in Hebrew school, wasn’t just a presence in synagogue. I am grateful to my parents for instilling in me a relationship with God that was inclusive and expansive, not fear based and constricted. Each night before bed, we recited the shema; a signature prayer, which I say to this day prior to closing my eyes.

I came up with an acronym for FAITH

F irst

A ssume

I

A m

T otally

H oly

 

So, what if I fully accepted that as truth?  If I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was holy, of the One, in harmony with all life; is there anything that could ever make me less than holy and whole? Taken a step further, is there truly anything I couldn’t do if aligned with that energy?  Tonight I had a conversation with my editor and dear friend Pamela Maliniak in which she reminded me to put down the self flagellating whip that has seemingly been attached to my hand for eons. I have held that belief that I ‘should’ be above petty emotions and persistent petulant thoughts. Feeling quite the hypocrite at times, since I profess this to those who read my work or hear me speak. We do indeed teach what we need to learn.

 

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Leap and the net will appear.”-John Burroughs

Another friend, Karen Drucker has a song called The Call of Something More  that speaks so vividly of what I am feeling at the moment. The line attributed to Rev. Michael Beckwith “pain pushes til the vision pulls” could have been written for a decision I am in the process of making. The vision is pulling me to a new stage in my life, while old patterns and messages about what is expected of me; or rather, what I am expecting of myself, seem to fiercely be battling for my attention, disturbing my own peace.

There’s been a storm brewing inside of me, clouds moving around my heart.

Something’s changing that I can’t see.

I’m stuck in what I know is safe but not yet where I’m supposed to be.

Chorus: I feel the call of something more.

I feel the call of something that I’ve never felt before.

(Done before. Been before)

I feel the call of something more.

I feel the call, asking, what am I here for?

What am I here for? What am I here for?

They say that pain pushes till the vision pulls.

It feels like my safety nets have fallen down.

I wish I had a map of where to go.

I’ve got this feeling deep inside that when I get there I will know.

Chorus

I want to make a move right now though I don’t know when or how.

When I trust and know the truth, my heart will point the way.

There is more of me to share, so today I do declare,

that I will take that step in faith and let my light shine.

Chorus

©TayToones Music BMI 2011

To hear this song, click on this link and then pull up The Call

www.karendrucker.com

 

As sure as the sun rises and sets, I AM FAITH and so are you.

 

 

Zen Hands

 

I wrote this entry on my facebook page recently and it must have resonated with folks, since many responded with support and encouragement.

 

“Confession time(:  Realizing more fully how much energy it takes to be ON so much of the time; in high performance Tigger mode at my day job in a psychiatric hospital, my writing and speaking, promotion, regular workouts, being an emotional cheerleader by inclination. Feeling wiped at the moment, needing something restorative this weekend. Giving myself permission to feel whatever, instead of smiling all the time, when I don’t feel like it. I tell myself that pissing and moaning over what doesn’t feel so good, is a waste of time and energy and not a whole lotta fun. And yet…if I am fully human, then comes with the package…what we resist persists ?”

As a veteran caregiver, zoomer, type A, Wonder Woman, helium handed helper whose ‘savior behavior’ gets way out of control at times, I need some off duty ‘me time.’ With an unusually nothing scheduled weekend, I find myself sitting at my favorite gathering spot in suburban Philly, beautiful Bucks County, Doylestown, PA, called The Zen Den. Comfortably ensconced on a cushy sofy, backed up by pillows, facing a dormant fireplace, topped by a trickling water over stone fountain, I am in zen zone emotionally as well. One of my favorite delights; soy chai latte settled on the rough hewn wood bench/coffee table in front of me, I was just serenaded by Elton John ….Bennie and The Jets and before that, David Gates and Bread… Baby I’m A Want You; both harkening back to my teen years.

For the moment at least, my mind is not spinning out of control contemplating my growing list of things to get accomplished….passport details for a trip to Canada this summer, scheduling and promo for ongoing book tour events, a radio show to plan and host, weddings to officiate, cleaning to do, gardening to engage in….. I can just allow them to roll on past me, like leaves atop a flowing creek.

As I am typing these words,  the song I Can See Clearly is now permeating the airwaves. These zen hands that have gotten accustomed to taking care of so much, are, for the moment, taking care of me.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIqLsGT2wbQ I Can See Clearly  Jimmy Cliff

http://youtu.be/e0m0_0bkdxY David Gates and Bread… Baby I’m A Want You

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjUk3Bp16zs Bennie and The Jets by Elton John

 

www.zendencoffee.com

 

 

Sacred Artists

What does it mean to be an artist?  For some, the image of paint splattered hands and canvas comes to mind, hours spent holding a brush whose job it is to take ideas from the mind of the one in whose fingers it is grasped and translate it to visual input. For others, it echoes with the sound of resplendent and transcendent sound waves that waft over air currents. And yet, for others, it is about tappings and typings, scratchings and scrawls on paper.

I have long surrounded myself with creative types, since I find that they experience richer, juicier lives; sometimes in their heads, sometimes out in the world. A rich inner life can translate magically to a gorgeous outer life. The energy is palpable and contagious. These folks are not ‘starving artists’, but are, as my friend Ruthanne Wood claims for herself and those she attracts; ‘thriving artists’.  They (and I see myself as one of them) observe the world with a child’s imagination and through the eyes of awe and wonder. “How can I translate this into a message for the viewer/listener/reader?” is often the motivation. It certainly is for this wordsmith who paints word pictures. I had not ever seen myself as a graphic artist, although my talented son is. He is able to pull ideas out of his vivid imagination and draw Japanese anime characters, flowers, animals and last year sketched a fashion design for an outfit he thought I oughta be wearing. A creative cook with an eye toward culinary school, his pastries are a work of art as well.

In March, I spent a few relaxing days with friends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. One of our Goddess Sistahs is artist and art teacher Liz Wright, who led us in creating mandala drawings. She provided us with small pieces of colored cardboard, a drawing compass, a ruler and colored pencils and markers. We were then left to allow our imaginations to run wild….and that they did. I am used to coloring outside the lines in most areas of my life, but in this case, the initial structure was linear and then circular and then free form; an apt way to view our existence. All are important components. I was pleased with the results which was coincidentally matched the colors I was wearing that day.

These folks have their own ideas of what art is:

A painting that is well composed is half finished. Pierre Bonnard
A picture is a poem without words. Horace
A picture is worth a thousand words. Napoleon Bonaparte
A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things, a poet in words, a musician by sounds. Henry Moore
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Oscar Wilde
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso
What makes art a sacred endeavor? I see it as a way of translating God-inspired ideas, as the Divine whispers in our waiting ears. It is our choice whether we choose to listen and respond.  A few years ago, either in dream or meditation…I don’t recall which, I heard a voice say the words ‘by divine design’.  “What does that mean?”, I queried.  The answer I received was “You’ll know.” I came to understand that it was to be the name of my business, since I fully accept that we live our lives as co-creations of the Divine.
What sacred art will you bring forth today? Are you willing to be a paintbrush held in the ‘hand’ of the Divine?
http://youtu.be/dipFMJckZOM  Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) by Don McLean

Waiting On The Pizza

 

A few years ago, I was having lunch with my friend Harmony. We were musing over a long time pattern in my life that goes something like this:  I set an intention, do a whole bunch of work, scramble around, and then get tired and frustrated and sometimes resentful that the outcome just isn’t coming around quickly enough to suit me.

Her smiling response was something to the tune of, “If you call in to order a pizza, you’re not going to phone them back  in 5 minutes to ask why your pizza isn’t ready yet.” Regardless of how much I want the pizza to show up even before I ask for it, it’s just not gonna. I need to set the intention, by knowing I want it, take the time to pick up the phone and request it (spinach and broccoli, please) and then ever so patiently wait until I walk up to the counter, pay the person, and voila!  I am in pizza heaven~ No difference in the brick oven world of manna-festing my heart’s desires. To the Universe, the equivalent of the 20 minute turn around time for hot, bubbly ooey gooey cheese, sauce and veggies could be years in the making. It took 20 years to cosmically arrange the interview with the Dalai Lama. It is about doing the dough rolling, tossing, stretching, spooning, sprinkling and scattering the other assorted ingredients before placing the unfinished product in the oven to bake. Maybe that is part of the challenge as well. While I am doing the action pieces, I feel a sense of accomplishment, like I’m engaged in something meaningful. It is when I step back and let the baking-heat do its work and the pizza is out of sight, I feel that sense of powerlessness and my ‘creation’ is in the metaphorical hands of another force. No difference between that experience and letting go of attachment to when something comes to fruition in my life. Seems also to be about several pizzas in the works at once, so that while one is baking, the others  are in production stage.

While we are on a food kick, there another metaphor I used recently in a counseling session. The person sitting in front of me was having major issues with knowing what he wanted in life. I asked him about his favorite dessert and his response was “chocolate cheesecake.” I felt a sense of yum moving through me since chocolate happens to be my drug of choice.. I inquired if he knew the ingredients in the decadent delight. He did and then rattled them off. I then added that he wouldn’t likely put spaghetti sauce on the cheesecake, no matter how much he might like it on other foods. He laughed and said “Guess not.” Just as he clearly knew what he wanted and did not want in terms of  therapeutic treatment, so too would he benefit from setting a clear deliniation between which attitudes, beliefs and behaviors serve him and which didn’t. Whenever he would lapse into worn out mind mechanics, we used those two words as a reminder to slow down and breathe and know that he will have the patience to wait for his own metaphorical cheescake, sans sauce.

There are times when I blend ingredients in my own symbolic culinary creations that are not compatible and give the Head Chef mixed messages. I may say I want one thing, but brewing beneath the surface is a belief that I’m not worthy of receiving what it is I say I want or that it will never happen or that someone else who is experiencing whatever it might be, has some secret in with the maitre’ d that I don’t have. If I put an order in with the server who is patiently waiting, pen in hand and don’t ask for what I want, fully expecting that I will receive it, he or she can’t possibly deliver it.

So, for today, I will peruse the expansive menu, choose from column A and B, place my order with the kitchen from which all manner of delights emit wondrously wafting aromas and ease back, enjoying the ambience and the company that sits around the table with me as I wait for the glorious creations to arrive.

 

Mangia!

http://youtu.be/O2Zwvyhms8c  I Am A Pizza by Charlotte Diamond

Previous Posts

Uncovering My Heart
  I attended a workshop this afternoon that was facilitated by an old friend that I had not actually met hug to hug until today. Her name is Ambika Devi, author of the cosmic journey called Lilith which combines historical teachings, powerful legends, in this case the s/hero's journey, as

posted 9:29:08pm Oct. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Life Smoothie
In conversation with my flight attendant friend Jewelee Landis, about whom I have written many times over the years, we were musing about life being like a smoothie. She, like most of us, wears many hats.  Hers- wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter,  friend, doggy and kitty mom and now grandmom to n

posted 7:07:24pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

What Does Your Facebook Page Say About You?
What did we ever do before the Phenom of Facebook?  It is where people turn for companionship and to relieve boredom. To learn what is happening in the world, without watching the news. It serves the purpose of entertainment and to gain a different perspective,  as well as to rally the troops for

posted 11:50:22pm Oct. 16, 2014 | read full post »

For Me
I had a revelationary thought today as I recognized that for much of my adult life, I have done things for the benefit of others first and foremost, or to please someone so as to gain or not lose love and/or approval. Now, since the heart opening experience in June, I do more things for my own satis

posted 7:48:13pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Face Your Fears Day
The calendar has all kinds of quirky holidays and the block that is set aside for the second Tuesday in October is National Face Your Fears Day. This year, it occurs on October 14th.  Oh, that's today!  What if we really could do just that? What if we could look at what is an imposter, cleverly

posted 11:06:54pm Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.