Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

 

“Is love not meant to be expressed in every second that you are breathing the breath of Life itself?”-Judith Kusel

This line, penned by a South African author,  grabbed me by the heart and wasn’t about to let go when I read it this morning. When I consider that glorious sensation of being in love with life, I am filled with awe. You see, love has long been a mystery to me. I have never quite figured out if it is an emotion, a verb, an energy, or simply a state of being. Maybe it is all of those things and even more, beyond my human comprehension. What I do know is that it is indispensable, my life blood, the air through my lungs. It is what animates me. In this moment, I am listening to gentle piano music that carries on its notes, the signature of the musician through whose fingers love flows. When I awoke a short while ago, I noticed the sun streaming through the curtains and felt the crispness of nearly Autumnal air, confirmed by seeing that the temperature was 45 degrees (rare for this time of year here in the Philadelphia area, but welcome after heat waves this summer) and it felt as if Mother Nature was scattering love, beckoning me into this day. My fingers are caressing the keyboard, since for me, writing is an act of love. I am anticipating heading out later today to be with friends at  an event at Anahata Yoga (anahata is the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra) where there will be many expressions of love. Last night, I attended a concert during which my friends Deva Troy and Elaine Silver offered musical love, the resonance of which I’m certain is still hanging around the room at Pebble Hill Church in which fans gathered to sing and clap along. Hugs were plentiful and had me smiling as I drove home. When I stepped out of the car, I was engaged in flirtation with the stars that winked down from the ebony sky. Crawling under the comforter, I felt lulled to sleep and dreamed vividly.

Opening emails this morning, I read this beautiful story that came, as if special delivery, on the same topic. It was written by Jennifer Pastiloff who is a yoga teacher and writer in Santa Monica, California. She speaks of an encounter in a library with a man named David who was wearing a sign that bore two simple words:  BE LOVE. Smiling, she asked to take a photo of him and then he handed her the placard and asked her to wear it for two hours. She complied and wore it to her yoga class and noticed with delight, the responses she received.

Although we don’t all carry a sign around with us, we can all live and breathe the love that we were born to be. How do you embody love?  For me, it is as natural as smiling at ‘strangers’ who don’t remain that way for long, since we are all joined at the heart. It takes the form of sending reiki and prayers if someone is hurting physically or emotionally. It shows up in commenting on someone’s sharing on Facebook, reminding them that we are all such mirrors for each other. It (and this one has been challenging for me) is also about letting love in; not deflecting it when people want to do things for me. It is also connected with trusting that a benevolent Universe has my Highest Good in mind, despite appearances at times.

Head out into your day BE-ing Love incarnate~

As I was finishing this article, the song The Verb To Love by Todd Rundgren came on the radio…perfect timing. http://youtu.be/dyZ8y2YCFVM

www.judith-kusel.com

www.jenniferpastiloff.com

http://www.dailygood.org/story/531/be-love-jennifer-pastiloff/  Read Jennifer’s story here on Daily Good

www.anahatayogawellness.com

www.devatroy.com

www.elainesilver.com

www.pebblehillchurch.org

 

 

 

Tonight I interviewed David Bedrick for my show called It’s All About Relationships. He is a therapist who was trained in process oriented psychology and ‘meets clients where they are’, which is what I, as a social worker was taught to do as well. Where we are really IS the only place we can start the therapeutic journey. He is the author of the book called Talking Back To Dr. Phil which answers the idea of main stream psychology that seems to be more about action and the mind, rather than deeper insight that can lead to profound healing.

As we were speaking, it occurred to me that an effective therapist is someone who ‘walks with’  his or her client, accompanying them on their journey. I’m not dissing anyone’s therapeutic style or education/orientation, but I have discovered that when I sit with, walk with, BE with the one sitting before me, as they are baring their heart and mind, I can tap more deeply into what they are saying or not saying. I have noticed that when I am allowing for full presence with myself, I offer it to them as well.

A recent change has allowed me to get real with the woman in the mirror, peeling off layers, taking off the mask, daring to bare what lies beneath, being patient while I sometimes sit in the muck and mire. Intimidating, as I confront my scary monsters that lurk and hiss, showing fangs and threaten to topple my sometime precarious house of cards that makes up my life. Last week as I was in my office in a drug and alcohol counseling center, I was uncharacteristically silent much of the time, listening rather than giving instruction, being rather than doing. My clients seemed more forthcoming as a result and believe it or not, I felt more ‘productive’ than when I spoke more. The beauty of silence allowed them to really be heard.

Over the years, I have been amazed at the ultimate resilience of my clients, many of whom had survived horrendous abuse and debilitating trauma. I was at times, in a desperate scrambling search for whatever might ‘kiss the boo boos and make them all better,’ since it was sometimes excruciating to bear witness to their pain, even as honored as I was to be able to do that. I sometimes rushed them through their process and as a result, may have cheated them of true healing. These days, as I am more at ease with my own pain, I can be with theirs as well. I am willing to be a companion on their healing journey.

Thanks, David for that reminder.

www.talkingbacktodrphil.com

www.vividlife.me to hear our interview archived

I first encountered the remarkable Courtney A. Walsh (CAW) via Facebook and was beckoned into her wondrous wordsmith world immediately. With the same quirkily colorful imagination, she felt like a kindred spirit immediately. I met her this Spring when I drove up to Rhode Island for my nieces’ graduation from Johnson and Wales. From the minute I walked into her eclectically decorated apartment, I felt very much at home.  A piece of her writing called Dear Human has gone viral.
“Dear Human:
You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.”-Courtney A. Walsh
I have yet to meet her ‘partner in co-creative mischief’, Maria Gutierrez-Ferrar with whom she has designed a workshop called Happily Ever Now, but was fascinated with this moving, grooving force of nature. I welcome you to enjoy this interview with these two he(art)ists.
Edie: We are so accustomed to the idea of ‘happily ever after’. Why do you call your work Happily Ever Now?

 

Maria: For me, We truly only have “NOW” as we know, happiness is a choice not an outcome of our situation. I’ve worked with hundreds of women that tell me, I’ll be happy when…I lose the last 10 lbs, or I get that face lift or the love of my life shows up or whatever… Unless we are happy NOW none of those things will TRULY , completely & PERMANENTLY happen ! We’ll end up unhappy again and again!

 

Edie: Why is passion so vital to our lives?

 

Maria:  Passion is everything! The lifeforce behind any action! If we love what we are doing it resonates with everyone and everything. The Universe/Source responds in kind. Otherwise we are just meandering about trying to figure “it” out. Most people aren’t even sure what “it” is! They just “FEEL” unhappy! How did you each discover your own unique passion and purpose? Through years of PAIN, emotional , spiritual and ultimately physical ! I am not advising anyone to take this path! But for me it was necessary. I dishonored myself and my body for most of my youth. To mask the pain of physical, mental and sexual abuse I turned to drugs, alcohol, sex , food, you name it. My road of recovery led me back to myself and my first passion “DANCE” Music and The Arts! After having 20 years of recovery I was able to share the tools that helped me CREATE a life beyond my wildest dreams!

Courtney:  Passion to me is actually quite a peaceful experience now. It’s not all fireworks and show. It’s a feeling of: “Yes, this nourishes me. This is where my juice is. This has heartmojo.” And it has its own magnetism. Its own agenda. Purpose flows from there. It isn’t this hyped thing to me. It’s really subtle. Organic. Flowing. My purpose is really to write my heart out. To tell the deepest and highest truths people think, know and feel but are often afraid to say. To be willing to show up, get out of the way and let Spirit move through me. Pain? Yeah it’s a part of any progress. The flavor in any cosmic stew. But I really do feel more and more that the entire planet is moving from pain/struggle to ease/thriving. It’s so new and foreign we don’t even fully know what it looks or feels like yet. Learning through pleasure and fun is just as valuable and noble to me now.
I find passion and purpose most in presence. Presence is multidimensional. Meaning I can hold many realities and possible timelines and vibes at once…and choose the ones I want to activate and recognize the ones that no longer serve me. Soul weaving. Energy conducting

 

Edie: What tools do you encourage people to use to uncover their own?

Maria: STILLNESS/ MOVEMENT/ DANCE/TUNING IN/ PLAY because our bodies have an innate intelligence and reconnecting to that heals us. Only by healing the “FEELING” of disconnection to ourselves and others can we begin to see the magic in our lives. This next paragraph was written by Misty Tripoli who created “The World GROOVE Movement” (which i have been facilitating for over 5 years) for this exact purpose. “The mental, physical, and emotional benefits of utilizing your creativity are endless. If you start from the inside out and nurture your spirit first, you create a healthier more harmonious inner environment for the optimal function of your cells, organs, and systems that sustain your life. Yes, it matters what you eat. Yes, it matters how you move, but even more important than these is how you think, how you feel, and how authentic and creatively expressive you are in your life.” Through this movement we have helped thousands of people around the world connect to themselves in an Authentic Way! check out www.theworldgroovemovement.com

Courtney: So we’re going to write. We’re going to dance. And talk about anchoring and growing conscious, heart-centered business models and engaging a true individual/global prosperity mentality. We’re going to get in our bodies. And share our voices. And support and encourage and push and catch each other. Because as the Dalai Lama so eloquently said: “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” And I’d add: when she loves herself genuinely and gently with a wild abandon and total freedom? The world benefits enormously. It took me a long time to even begin to start aching for this kind of self love. To see it as grace and not selfishness. To see it as radiance and not ego. I still forget every day. And then something jars me from me soul amnesia or conditioning. And then I remember again. So that’s what we are here to do. Keep helping each other? Remember.

 

Edie: Can anyone become what I call a master manna-fester?

Maria: I say YES! but I’ll let Courtney answer this one! Why do folks settle for less than what they desire and play small? FEAR! we deal with this a lot in GROOVE. Fear restricted movement which will creep into your life eventually! and Visa Versa, Big, Bold, stepping out in a huge way with movement will ultimately free you in day to day life! I’ve seen it work miracles!

Edie: Courtney, you call yourself a conscious warrior and Maria, a Groove facilitator. What does those titles mean to you?

Maria: We call ourselves GROOVE facilitators not teachers or instructors because honestly we have no Idea how you should be moving your own body!!! NO ONE does! In order for us to TRULY connect to our authentic selves we MUST LISTEN to ourselves first and then move. NOT COPY SOMEONE ELSE!!!! We facilitate a safe and free space for that magic to happen! What are participants likely to experience in your playshop? The JOY of moving, dancing and playing that you enjoyed as a child. Reconnecting to your AUTHENTIC SELF! ALL OF IT! and the FREEDOM to be YOU!

Courtney:  Actually the term Consciousness Warrior wasn’t my term but I do like it. I’m more like a Love Ninja. I sneak up on you—full frontal attack and BAM…whack you with love nunchucks. Mostly by destroying all notions of what you thought love was (obligation/sacrifice/self denial/codependency) and replacing them with ideas that feel more real, whole and empowering. (Omg…love the word nunchucks…now I’m envisioning somebody “chucking nuns” which is a hilariously naughty visual. for this former Catholic schoolgirl!). I do like CAWnsciousness because it incorporates my initials. But anyway labels schmabels…sometimes we don them and shed them like clothing.

REGISTER at   http://www.movedbysoul.com/#!happy/c23ev

www.squeezingthestars.com

http://www.theworldgroovemovement.com

 

 

 

 

This Wednesday is Rosh Hashanah, also known as The Jewish New Year. For me as for many others,  it begins a time of reflection and renewal and allows me to look more deeply within to see where I am needing to re-align. The word that is used to describe one intention is ‘t’shuvah‘.  By definition, it means ‘returning’. I like to think of it as turning over a new leaf, partly to see what lies beneath it as well as to experience a do-over. As I consider my life in the past 5 1/2 decades, I am amazed at the adventures in which I have engaged and the stalwart companions who have joined me for the ride. I am also in awe of the beautiful re-awakening that comes when I tune in to the messages from Spirit. Many’s the time when I have felt discouraged, wondering why events took the turns that they did, only to discover a grander plan than I had in mind. It has me constantly questioning if some things are beshert; Hebrew for meant to be or if they are random, like the feather floating on the breeze in the movie Forrest Gump. The reality is that it doesn’t  matter, since life unfolds in our favor, regardless of appearance. I muse about the idea of soul contracts which means that before we set our little baby bottoms on the planet, we made an agreement to engage in certain experiences with various players. Sometimes we are puzzled about the rules of the game since they seem to change without notice. Nothing makes sense at those time, and I am reminded of something a friend told me “Don’t judge your life by how you feel in this moment.”

There are also times when I have (in 12 step parlance) made ” a searching and fearless moral inventory”, taking a look at choices I have made and actions I have either taken or failed to take. Those are often the most humbling as I wish I had made other decisions, but also am assured that had I taken a different route, I might not have met those who I hold dear now, or have engaged in learning experiences that have made me stronger or more resilient.

Turning and re-turning ~

http://youtu.be/sU4ZDqJrRgU Return Again by Neshama Carlebach