Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

Most who know me are aware that writing is my passion, bliss, life blood, heart beat and sanity. It is the primary way that I communicate with world. It is also my means of retaining memory of what has happened in my life; anchoring in my experiences, lest they slip away. A few hours ago, I left the company of soul friends, new and longtime. I had attended the  MKP -USA Gathering of Elders in my backyard of New Hope, PA. The acronym was USAGE which to me, has a few meanings. One is U-SAGE (claiming that role full out as wisdom keepers and sharers), another is Use-age (we are still useful as we age). At nearly 55, I am proud to bear the title of elder and call myself a seasoned woman. Men and women traveled from all over the country, two whom I met, from Canada and another from the U.K. We each brought our unique sense of life that came from at least 5 decades of experience. This event was born of the ManKind Project and those who attended were part of the New Warrior and Woman Within communities. I attended the Woman Within training in April of this year and describe the experience as “heart being blown wide open and I still find some pieces of shrapnel lingering.” All these months later, new insights come popping up daily and I sometimes don’t recognize myself.  Some of the weekend, the women were doing our healing work while the men were likewise engaged and then at times, we would work together.

I was asked to speak there a few months ago, but had made other plans by that point. I was ‘supposed’ to be out of the country,  leading a retreat, but clearly Spirit had other ideas for me. Rather than teach, I attended as a participant and felt no need to be ‘on.’  The keynote speaker for the weekend was Grandma Aggie (Agnes Baker Pilgrim)  part of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers who travels world wide speaking on healing the planet  and all life on it. I was asked to take on a role that I feel blessed to have filled, that of chauffer and tour guide for her and her daughter Nadine who travels with her. Cleaning out the back of the Jeep so as to accommodate suitcases and a wheelchair, I was excited at the opportunity to be in their presence. At 89 years old, she now has 5 generations of her family that are living and thriving. Her way of speaking is straightforward and compassionate, determined and loving. She challenged us to be aware of our purpose , have faith, believing in ‘something higher than our heads,’ ask for assistance from ancestors who have crossed over, leaving with our cups full, passing power to each other, as well as walking in truth and balance. I found her to be funny and approachable. On the day I met her, she was wearing fringed buckskin which I can imagine would be hot and uncomfortable after awhile, so she asked if I could take her somewhere so that she could buy a blouse that would be cooler. Naturally, I brought them to my favorite store in New Hope, called Shop of India. The owner named Nilam is from India and has the sensibilities of an old fashioned shop keeper who knows what her customers like and picks out pieces to try on. Back in 2008, she chose the outfit I wore when I interviewed His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In conversation in the car, Grandma Aggie, Nadine and I bonded over our shared experiences of being in his presence and what delightful and precious times those were.

grandmaaggieandme

She  enjoyed perusing the wares and picked out a beautiful black embroidered tunic and seemed designed just for her. I was concerned about having had them out longer than anticipated and made a comment about folks wondering if I had kidnapped them. Nadine laughed and said, “Oh no, honey…….we kidnapped you!” and commented over and over that our excursion was one of the highlights of their weekend.

Photo: Grandma Aggie, Phyllis Newman, Nadine and me outside the  the USAGE Elders' Gathering.

(Grandma Aggie, Phyllis Redman who was one of the event coordinators and Nadine)

The rest of the weekend was filled with many workshops, a talent show,  dancing, drumming, meditation, prayer, good food, opportunity to bond with kindred spirits, laughter and tears that lend themselves to upcoming entries.

This is a blessing common among the Tzutujil Indians of Guatemala: “Be blessed with long life, honey in the heart, no evil, and thirteen thank-you’s.” –

At the closing of the retreat, we were wished that and it is what I offer you as well.

See more at: http://www.elizabethharperneeld.com/2009/06/blessings-honey-in-the-heart-and-thirteen-thank-yous/#sthash.RH9YTbsG.dpuf

 

http://youtu.be/wRLSH5WuVqg You’re Aging Well- by Dar Williams

www.mankindproject.com

www.womanwithin.org

 

lightasafeather

This morning, I was listening to a replay of an interview between host Cindy Kubica and her guest,  psychic Tori Hartman. They were speaking about multi-generational agreements; some spoken and some left unsaid but powerfully present nonetheless.  They may take the form of  illness, addictions, financial as well as relationship patterns. Tori was suggesting that we exhibit them despite the pain they might bring forth, because we have made these contracts that can be renegotiated. She also speaks of the story we tell ourselves; our own personal interpretation that shapes our experience on an ongoing basis. Not only that, but Tori asserted that it is not merely our interactions with our parents that comes into play, but our grandparents. I had a holy smokes moment at that point.

One of my ongoing patterns in relationship has been connected with two historical events that I have been aware of for a long time, but in this moment, knocked me over. My maternal grandmother was widowed when my mom was 18 and never remarried. Not even sure she dated after losing my grandfather, likely in her 50’s. She lived into her 70’s, I believe. My paternal grandmother was widowed likely in her 50’s, since my grandfather’s passing took place between my parents’ wedding and my birth. She never remarried and lived to be 84. Both of them turned their attention to taking care of the children and then the grandchild, seemingly content with that lifestyle. Both were engaging, charming women that seemed to be universally loved by family, friends and their communities.

I was widowed at 40; which was nearly 15 years ago. I have dated. I have had short term relationships, but have not yet met someone  I could see as a long term partner. I have done much of the ‘prep work’ to heal my heart, open to attract divine love in human form. I sometimes feel as if something has been standing in the way and this dynamic might be part of it. Seems like it is time to renegotiate that contract. I have long been the caretaker for people in my life, to my own detriment at times; putting up unconscious blocks despite conscious intention to be in  a healthy, long term relationship. Because my parents have also both passed, there is no one to ask about the nature of my grandparents relationships and the ways my grandmothers interacted in the world following their husband’s deaths.

Seems as if it is time, perhaps beyond time, to re-write the agreement. Grabbing the pen and signing on the dotted line.

www.cindykubica.com

www.torihartman.com

When you least expect it, something great will come along. Something better than you ever planned for. Be patient. Be smart. Stay focused. @[109759299095785:274:Lessons Learned In Life]

 

One of my favorite things to do is set intention. It is  my initial thought each morning even before my feet touch the carpeting to ‘have extraordinary experiences and connect with amazing people.’ Every day I do. Like many of us here,  I am a ‘master manna-fester’ who is able to create from faerie dust and whispers of ideas and shape them into tangible reality. My friend Jenny G. Perry calls it something like being a ‘rock star manifester’ which adds a little leather clad, bodice wearing, pointy toed, spike heeled kick to the process. Equally juicy is seeing my wishes, dreams, visions and desires come to fruition. I have witnessed it in the form of people, opportunities, money, jobs, getting to attend workshops and gifts showing up at the speed of thought.

Even with all of this proof, there are moments when I doubt big time that what I want will actually present itself. I have an extremely vivid imagination and can plan out sometimes step by step, a scenario and have been amazed but not surprised when things turn out exactly as I had visualized, down to the words people say and the way they appear when saying them. It leaves me pondering whether I foresaw what had actually transpired or I conjured it up.

Many teachers who offer tools for calling in our hearts’ desires say to act as if it is already present; feeling it, sensing it, experiencing it, knowing it. My challenge at times is that, for example, wanting a relationship partner; I use all of those skills and still, when I glance over at the passenger’s seat, there is not another person sitting there.  How then, do we focus on appreciating what we have without paying attention to the lack of it at the moment? For me it is a matter of redirecting my thoughts to the feelings I want to have rather than the form or how they show up. I can call into my awareness how it would be to immerse myself in feeling it all.

Two essential components are gratitude for that which has already come to be as well as thanking in advance for what I am wishing and adding on the words “this or something better for the highest good of all concerned.” And then I release it to the Universe. That is the hardest part since I want what I want when I want it. Can you relate?

Better, it seems to pay heed to the message in the meme so that we can keep our minds and hearts open to all the possibilities that await, if only we give it  chance.

withanopenhand

 

This morning, I read an article written by a friend who I have not met face to face, although through another soul connection, we have been introduced. Her name is Janet Auty-Carlisle and like me, is a writer and speaker. The first time I saw her name, I thought of her as ‘Aunty Jane’ even though we are likely around the same age. Her words struck a deep and resonant chord in me, as she wrote about the impermanence of all things and that in any given 86,400 seconds (that which comprises 24 hours), all manner of events can occur. People are born and others ‘leave the building’. Relationships shift and transmute. Illness and wellness exist side by side. Finances ebb and flow. Doors close and others swing wide open. As my wise father used to say, “You never know what tomorrow will bring.” Heeding his guidance, I do all I can to treasure each day. When I woke up before the sun today, with the chirping of the birds (who are still singing a few hours later), I felt a sense of sadness and longing for connection. I can feel major shifts occurring, the seeds of which began germinating literally in the Spring and now in late September are coming forth as my harvest. Growing pains ensued in between that leave behind a bit of an emotional ache. I am beyond blessed to have many divine souls in my life; friends and family who are my treasures and even in the midst of that, have felt an existential loneliness. Reading other people’s social media postings and articles, I see that I am not alone in that experience. Even those who, like me are not isolative, have those feelings. Paradoxically, that makes me feel not so alone.

During my 24 hours, I engage in contact with many people; in my job as a therapist, as a mother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, I am either on the phone, speaking via email or Skype, or my favorite way…face to face, heart to heart and hug to hug. I absorb and share the love-energy and it remains with me and hopefully with them, but then I get spiritual amnesia and forget that they are not the source, but also, like me; the vessel through which it flows and God/dess is the Source that I can tap into 24/7 and it never runs dry. There are times when I feel utterly insatiable for love, attention, touch, the physical presence of loved ones and this ‘not enough’ wave washes over me. Not much fun, but necessary to admit in order for me to be real; which has been an essential intention these days. I vow not to allow this precious time and the people with whom I share my life, slip through my fingers like so many grains of sand.

How will you spend your 86,400?

I’m gonna spend it loving with all I’ve got!

 

tobeyourbest.net/2013/09/23/864… – 24 Sep 86,400 by Janet Auty-Carlisle

http://youtu.be/hj7LRuusFqo  Seasons of Love from Rent