The Bliss Blog


I am beginning to write this article about 30 minutes prior to being a guest on a Blog Talk Radio show called Live With Belle Salisbury. I am typing these words on a well worn black and white keyboard of a slim silver lap top computer and when the blog entry is complete, it will go out all over cyber space where anyone who has access can read it. They may, like me, be stretched out in bed, or at their dining room table, or in a coffee shop somewhere in the world and our connection; besides being that of the heart, will be technologically driven.  I consider, having grown up in the 1960’s and 70’s, that this would have been sci-fi, incredibly Star Trek; much like Tomorrowland that I witnessed, enraptured when my family and I went to the World’s Fair in NY in both 1964 and 1965.

Now we take this stuff for granted. Many of the advances we enjoy were not even conceived of when I was born in 1958, or they were thought so much ahead into the future as to be impossible in my lifetime. Shows like The Jetsons and Lost In Space made it seem even farther into the future.

Speaking with Belle tonight reminded me that we are all intricately connected, since she and I have never met face to face, but became Facebook friends and then I began to write for her magazine called Bellesprit. She is a kindred spirit/soul sister who through wires and circuitry has entered my world. Some of her listeners joined us in the chat room; a virtual coffee klatch, and others called in to speak voice to voice. More than five decades ago, when I was born, I would have had no frame of reference for such encounters. Ten years ago, many people would have believed that those who would talk to people they didn’t know, in chat rooms, were loners who had no in-person friends.  I am as far from fitting into that category as could be. Today, social media brings people together who would otherwise never have had the chance to know each other. What a blessing that is, since we now have the opportunity to support, encourage and inspire folks on the other side of the planet. It is where we get news about births and deaths, weddings and separations, graduations and dance recitals, travel plans and weather reports. We are called on to pray for and send good mojo to those who request it. It might not feel warm and fuzzy on the surface, but is a lifeline for many. Facebook friends, while they may not be part of our inner circle of face to face peeps, are no less valid if there is mutual concern for each others’ well being. It expands our definition of what community means and widens our circle of compassion and acceptance. Live With Belle Salisbury  Bellesprit Magazine

Cardiac update since my last posting called Stay in My Heart:  Following a surprising diagnosis a week or so ago of a condition called LAFB which  are alphabet soup letters for Left Anterior Fascicular Blockage, I went to my primary care doc’s office where I was given a referral to see a cardiologist. During the visit, my BP bounced from my normal 120/80 to something like 140/100. Can you imagine that I was a wee bit nervous which could have been a contributing factor? It isn’t dying that I am afraid of, it is incapacity. Hard to imagine sitting still by necessity rather than choice. Most of the time, I choose to move.  I had no worries, since when I met with the heart specialist yesterday, he replied “I’m not too impressed by the EKG.” When I asked him to translate, he basically indicated that it was inconclusive and not likely anything to kick up a fuss over, but he still wanted me to have an echo-cardiogram to take a look-see on the inside and structure of my ticker.

That’s when the words “my heart needs to be in the right place” came to me. I like to think that is always so, but if I am to be honest, sometimes it just plain isn’t. It goes where it doesn’t belong when it is poking around in other people’s business as if I know better than they do, what they oughta be up to. It reaches out to people who may not want to dance with it for the time being. It travels to dark places when I am in self judgment or doubt. It has me caretaking to the exclusion of being care receiving. Since the diagnosis, I have been having many more conversations with my heart; asking what it wants and really doing some deep listening, when before I would have dismissed its wisdom. It tells me that it wants to be accepted AS IS, without need to impress anyone. It whispers that it wants to be fully seen and known; not simply for the façade I have worn in the service of not making waves or upsetting the applecart. It beckons me to pay attention to myself and not just to other people and their needs. It cajoles me to play and rest more and work less. It delights in mutual benefit. It says that just like the ocean tides roll both in and out and just like the breath flows both ways, so too does the heart thrive on mutuality.

The idea of having a change of heart has long appealed to me.  The beliefs I had always held, the world view in which I immersed myself, what relationships ‘should’ look and feel like, my own ability to take in and then share life force energy all are in question and flux at this moment. I am learning to be flexible and tender with my heart.

Gentle With Myself

I will be gentle with myself.
I will be gentle with myself.
And I will hold myself like a newborn baby child.
– repeat…

I will be tender with my heart.
I will be tender with my heart.
And I will hold my heart like a newborn baby child.
– repeat

And I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.
I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.

I will be easy on myself.
I will be easy on myself.
And I’ll love myself like a newborn baby child.
– repeat

And I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.
– repeat

Now, I know…
I am gentle with myself.
I am gentle with myself.
And I hold myself like a newborn baby child.
– repeat…

And I rock myself like a newborn baby child.
I hold myself like a newborn baby child.
I love myself like a newborn baby child. Gentle With Myself by Karen Drucker  2006



Over the past few years, I have enjoyed watching videos by a collective of musicians that form Playing For Change which aims to bring about transformation  one note at a time.  A roving film crew travels the world over and records various musicians and performers waxing musical and lyrical and weaving their unique  style into an exquisite tapestry. Last night, I happened to catch this one, on MyPeace.TV, filled with talented young musicians. The title of the song “Love Is All”, written by Roger Glover (bassist of the groups Deep Purple and  Government Mule)  was reminiscent of  the Beatles’ classic, with the same foot tapping, high energy pop sound. It began with a young man tickling the keys of a zebra striped piano and ended with bubbling over enthusiasm of the ‘tweens’ and teens that seemed to be in the 10-13 year old range. They hailed from places around the world such as Uganda: a multi-person children’s choir whose  beatific smiles and choreographed swaying to the music beckoned doing the same. One earphone wearing girl sang on a boardwalk while passersby seemed not to notice the magic that was occurring before them. I know I would have stopped to soak it in.  Another from India played a stringed instrument that appeared to be bigger than she was. Four part harmony eminated from France, drums from L.A, another hand clapping choir from India.

What was evident was how much fun these kids were having. It’s so easy to feel despondent when what we hear in the news is gloom and doom and so easy to have hope for the future when witnessing the power of song, unity and contagious joy. It is especially reassuring that this part of the next generation has a handle on what is important; the One in the many and the many in the One. Soaking in the sonic sunshine and singing along reinforces the ultimate truth that love is indeed ALL.

Love Is All

Everybody’s got to live together
All the people got to understand
So, love your neighbour
Like you love your brother
Come on and join the band

Well, all you need is love and understanding
Ring the bell and let the people know
We’re so happy and we’re celebrating
Come on and let your feelings show

Love is all, well love is all
Love is all, can’t you hear the call
Oh, love is all you need
Love is all you need at the Butterfly Ball

Ain’t you happy that we’re all together
At the ball in nature’s countryside
And although we’re wearing different faces
Nobody wants to hide

Love is all and love is all and
It’s easy, yes it’s so easy
At the Butterfly Ball where love is all
And It’s so easy

All you need is love and understanding
Ring the bell and let the people know
We’re so happy and we’re celebrating
Let your feelings show

Love is all, yes love is all at the Butterfly Ball
Love is big, love is small
Love is free, love is all
At the Butterfly Ball

When your back’s to the wall
When you’re starting to fall
You got something to lean on
Love is everything

It can make you sing at the Butterfly Ball
Love is all, I say love is all, yes love is all
At the Butterfly Ball

Roger Glover, 1974  Love Is All  by Playing For Change

Photo: My wise friend Tiffany Reid speaking at Circle Of Miracles this morning  about the concept of I AM-Two Most Powerful Words In The World. She captivated the group with her insights and delighted us with her humorous take on life. It was SO wonderful to see her. <3


This past weekend, I sat back and listened as my friend Tiffany Rae Reid shared her well earned wisdom at Circle of Miracles, which is one of my spiritual communities and where I spend most of my Sunday mornings. I had been eagerly anticipating her presentation, since I knew that folks would be in for a treat. Tiffany and I met a few years ago, when we were each doing a book reading/signing at Big Blue Marble Books in Philadelphia. We had an instantaneous recognition that we were kindred spirits who had met ‘before’. Thus began a friendship in this lifetime. Tiffany is a dynamic speaker, author and coach who specializes in multi-cultural diversity. She knows whereof she speaks since her parents were a bi-racial couple. Her book is called Color Blind~ A Mixed Girl’s Perspective on Biracial Life. She was raised by her white Hungarian mother in a suburb of Cleveland, not sure where she fit in, saying that she wasn’t ‘white enough’ for her white friends, or ‘black enough’ for her black friends which is a common occurrence for mixed race kids. In the service of acting like color didn’t matter, her mother didn’t tell her that her biological father was African American and it wasn’t until, at age 26, when Tiffany nagged the heck out of her mother, that she told her the truth. Tiffany then had the opportunity to get to know the man who had actually lived nearby her entire life, for the years prior to his passing.

She has devoted her life since then to working with multi-cultural families and educators to assist in spreading the word about the importance of inclusivity, open minded communication and respect for diversity. That was some of what she spoke about at Circle, addressing an important question that we ask weekly: “Who am I?”  For so long, she didn’t truly know who she was, since her claimed identity wasn’t fully available to her and there were missing pieces of the puzzle.  Now she proclaims; as many do that those two words I AM are among the most powerful in the Universe and that everything following them sets the stage for what comes next in our lives. If we wake up in the morning and state “I am tired, sore, exhausted….” we are owning those states for ourselves. On the flip side, if we firmly declare “I am eager, enthusiastic, grateful….”, we are putting the wheels in motion for that kind of day. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer the second.

Tiffany spoke about turning confidence into God-fidence which I interpreted to mean that all that was within us, all that we are about is connected with that Divine Source and by knowing that, I can step into world with the assurance that all is well. How would your life be different if you lived with that certainty?