Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

 

On the day you were born, an entire life buffet was spread out before you, with sumptuous experiences waiting in the wings. Somewhere in the recesses of your newborn brain and ageless soul, you knew this, since you were once upon a time immersed in love soup. And then, my take on it is that by the time you were old enough to express yourself in words that the adults around you could understand, you had developed a sense of spiritual amnesia and forgot about your Divine origins.

Perhaps the rest of our earthly incarnation is an effort to experience our ‘lost’ heaven. Unhealthy relationships, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (and other addictions), excessive acquistion, high risk behaviors may all be fleeting  and fruitless attempts at regaining the bliss we once upon a time knew.  I have witnessed first hand in almsot 35 years of serving folks in recovery from mental health challenges and addictions, the impact that such a desire to fill perceived ‘holes in our souls’. Sometimes it has felt to them, that nothing will quench their thirst or truly feed their hunger.

What has nourished me throughout my life has been a deep and abiding connection with the ‘God of my understanding’ which is a term used in the 12 step recovery community. Raised in a Jewish family, attending synagogue and Hebrew School throughout my childhood and adolescence, I felt safe and protected even in the midst of loss and change. At age 4, my world changed dramatically when my beloved maternal grandmother died. It was the same year I was diagnosed with asthma and yet, somehow I knew that everything would be ok, since my parents told me so and I believed them. I knew it when my dad got layed off from jobs and then was diagnosed with a cardiac condition and my paternal grandmother passed and my aunt joined them; all by the time I was 18. And yet, our faith got us through. My parents knew instinctively that love trumped everything and they reinforced that in all they did. Never did they allow me to use asthma as an excuse to hold back and refrain from living full out.  As a result, I joined a swim team at age 11 and earned a whole bunch of ribbons for butterfly, freestyle and relay events until I was 18 and then coached for three summers after that. This was one of those “thank God I….” experiences since it was unlikely that I would have taken that first long distance plunge in the pool otherwise.

In the 54 years I have been on the planet this time around, there have been many of those, including breakups and budding relationships, deep and abiding friendships, formal education and school of life lessons, fostering one child and adopting another, new careers that add to my 2 page and growing resume, ectopic pregnancy, death of friends, my husband was I was 40 and he was 48, ordination as an interfaith minister, becoming a reiki master, interviewing the Dalai Lama, writing a book, becoming an adult orphan, losing my dad in 2008 and my mom in 2010, watching my son grow into an honorable man, spreading my wings, traveling world wide, sometimes in body, sometimes with my word-wings.

At the buffet table of life, I gratefully hold out my plate and ask for a little bit of everything.

http://youtu.be/36bItoBXpxk A Little Bit Of Everything by Dawes

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I was inspired by two influences today; one visual and the other auditory.

I woke up this morning to the sonic serenade of Irish rockers U2 offering forth with their 2000 hit   A Beautiful Day. My window view is of a cloud overhanging grey morning with drip drop rain and leaf dancing wind. Some people would see that as something less than beautiful. To the almost, not quite Spring flowers that are eagerly awaiting peeking out from dark Winter slumber, the rain is most welcome. It’s all about our perspective. I can tell you that I was grateful to be awakened from a dream that had me facing my own inner dark night. It focused on a new venture in which I am engaged that a person who has since passed more than a deacade ago (and in my dreams, often forgets that and requires my reminders) attempted to bully me out of my joy around it and take it over, expressing that I wasn’t capable or competent to succeed. No way was I about to allow him to do so, and in my dream, I engaged a female friend who is a a dynamic ally, to assist me in taking my own power back. I felt confused at first, thinking that events were occuring a decade or more ago and then remembered who I was, where and when I was  and what I was capable of achieving. I recognized that sometimes in life, he gave voice to my own active inner critic and even in death, sometimes makes an unwelcome appearance with those same messages. To be fair, there were times throughout our relationship that he was an ardent cheerleader and likely now is on the celestial squad, whistling and clapping at my recent accomplishments. In the dream, I stood up to him/me, since I have heard over and over that each part of a dream is an aspect of the dreamer. As I stood my ground, I felt taller somehow, more in possession of my own place in the world, refusing to give up, as I would have in the face of disagreement in the past.

The dream left me wondering how deeply buried and insidious our self doubts can be. Do we surrender to them and let them wash over us, sweeping us away with the tide?  Do we keep on swimming for shore, trusting that we can rest in between the waves and perhaps even ride them (kowabunga!) until the sands welcome us as we take respite? What visions do you have for yourself that your own inner bully attempts to confiscate?  How can you awaken to the light of a beautiful new day?

The  heart is a bloom

Shoots up through the stony ground

There’s  no room

No space to rent in this town

You’re  out of luck

And the reason that you  had to care

The traffic is  stuck

And you’re not movin’  anywhere

You thought you’d found  a friend

To take you out of this  place

Someone you could lend a  hand

In return for grace

It’s a beautiful day

 

Sky falls, you feel like

It’s  a beautiful day

Don’t let it get  away

You’re on the road

But you’ve got no destination

You’re in the mud

In the maze of her imagination

You love this town

Even  if that doesn’t ring true

You’ve  been all over

And it’s been all  over you

It’s a beautiful  day

Don’t let it get away

It’s a beautiful day

 

 Touch me

Take  me to that other place

Teach me  now

I know I’m not a hopeless  case

See the world in green and  blue

See China right in front of  you

See the canyons broken by  cloud

See the tuna fleets clearing  the sea out

See the Bedouin  fires at night

See the oil fields  at first light

And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth

After the flood all the colors came out(Day!)

 

 It was a beautiful day

Don’t  let it get away

Beautiful  day

Touch me

Take me to that other place

Reach  me

I know I’m not a hopeless  case

 What you don’t have

 you  don’t need it now

What you don’t  know

you can feel it somehow

What  you don’t have

you don’t need it now

Don’t  need it now

It was a beautiful  day

www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dco6WMzDOh1o A Beautiful Day by U2

The second, once my eyes could focus, was this pertinent poem by a woman who seems to be a kindred spirit, named Doe Zantamata. She is an author, poet, artist and photographer  and clearly an inspirista and sister Opti-Mystic who sees the world (like I do) through the eyes of possibility. I knew it needed to be included in this Bliss Blog entry. Bless you, Doe. <3

www.doezantamata.com

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I had written in a previous Bliss Blog entry called Praying With God that my sense of the Divine is that we are of God and God is of us. Call it a God-spark if you will, or essence or source energy. My take is that we are here to be a living breathing Presence of Spirit. I had expounded on the idea that we are praying with God not merely to God.

On Saturday and Sunday, I had experiences which reinforced that belief. On Saturday afternoon, I attended a gathering of men and women who are involved with the ManKind Project (New Warrior Training for men and The Woman Within for women). Some had taken the training and others like me, were anticipating doing so. My weekend is coming up in April and as is the case, once I have commited to something, the work has already begun.  I imagine you have had that experience as well. We were each given an opportunity to work on a particular issue in our lives and be witnessed and supported by those in the circle. As we went around the room, we stated our intention and then whether or not we were willing to bring it out into the group for processing. As I listened, I was determined not to face my issues, since I reasoned that “everyone else’s concerns were more pressing, there wasn’t enough time for everyone who wanted to,  to have their say and I didn’t want to take up time unecessarily, since I was capable of dealing with this on my own.” I stated that and one of my friends, bless his heart, said “If there were 5 people here instead of 15, would you be willing to share?”  I responded in the affirmative. He and others reinforced that my concerns were just as important and just as deserving of time and attention as any one else’s in the room.  Where have I heard that before? It is something I say to any client who raises the same objection.  So share I did. Before the first word was out of my mouth, tears began to flow. This ongoing challenge was about the near obsession with doing, going, moving and zooming, rather than simply being. A need to prove my worthiness, earn my place in people’s lives and hearts, be the go-to person, rather than the get-to person who gets to be taken care of once in awhile. It isn’t that the offer isn’t often extended; rather it is a sense of unwillingness to receive. Even though I am uncertain of the motivating factors behind it and frankly, it doesn’t much matter, the question is “what am I going to do about it?”

The answer came immediately in the form of one of the women in the circle, who is going to be part of facilitating my training. Patty asked if I was willing to curl up in her lap and let her cradle me. I nodded and the tears turned into sobs, for many reasons. One was that I missed being held by my own mother who passed in 2011. This Mama-Goddess was a loving stand in.  Another was that I couldn’t remember allowing myself to feel so vulnerable, receiving, rather than giving care. One thought arose was that I have little problem with allowing women to support me, but difficulty surrendering to the care of men.  I wanted to ask one of the men to cradle me and I have no doubt that most would have said yes, but what got in the way was the thought that Patty would feel that her care wasn’t enough. There I went again, putting someone else before me. Chances are, she too would have been just fine with my request. As I settled back and the sobs subsided, I did indeed feel as I was being held and rocked by God.

The next day, I spoke at United Christian Church in Levittown, PA as a guest minister, invited by my friend Bill Bloom who is the Music Director, on the subject of Being An Opti-Mystic. Standing at the podium, I asked for just the right words to come through me and land in their hearts. In that moment, it seemed as if unseen hands were on my back, and the message was downloaded. Frankly, at the moment, I can’t recall most of what came through. Nodding and smiling people sat in the chairs and afterward, many came up to hug me and thank me for saying what they needed to hear. In their presence, I again felt embraced, literally and symbolically. As I do often, I brough with me the Love-Spice For Living can and encouraged them to sprinkle invisible, yet palpable love on each other.

www.ucclevittown.org

www.mankindproject.org

www.womanwithin.org

www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DZsASBIDsvN0 Through The Eyes of God by Barry Goldstein

 

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I proudly claim to be an Opti-Mystic; one who sees the world through the eyes of possibility. I may have come by it genetically, since my parents generally looked on the bright side of things and reinforced that all would work out somehow, even in the face of losing their fathers relatively early in life, losing their mothers while raising my sister and me, my early on health challenges that have since resolved,  illness for both of them throughout their lives, job layoffs for my dad, and then widowhood for my mother. From them, I learned the life enhancing skill of resilience and it is what I teach my son, clients and students.

One thing I am increasingly delighted to know is that I am not alone. A growing number of people world wide are jumping on board the band wagon and in fact, many are leading the band. I laugh when I think about the idea that one can be ‘too positive’ or ‘too happy’. How does it serve anyone or anything to wallow in negativity, fear and doubt?  You have heard that misery loves company. I’m here to tell you that like attracts like (in case you haven’t heard) and that which you put out into the world, comes winging back at you. Imagine a boomerang on which you have written your core beliefs about life. You cast it out in front of you with those messages and of course, as it’s heading back in your direction, it hasn’t lost any of those concepts. What do you want to return to you? Negativity or positivity?  Another analogy is the Grand Canyon. If you were to stand over it and call out your name, whose name will come echoing back?  Not your mother’s, father’s, sibling’s or teacher’s who you may feel had ‘done you wrong’. Yes, our past experiences may be catalysts for our current and future conditions, AND they are fueled by our prevailing thoughts and perspectives. It is within your power, to shift those beliefs, thus causing a ripple effect that will change the outcome.

Recently, I was asked to take part in a series called The Positivity Project which launches on March 4th and runs through April 22nd,  for which I will be in the company of some of the most amazing speakers on this lovely planet of ours that is deeply in need of healing and nurturing. I can guarantee you that these folks are not gonna sugar coat anything and pretend that they have it all together. My guess is that they, like me, have ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’ when it comes to working their way through life experiences that have honed and polished them.

You will be familiar with some of them and will get to know others.

Dee Wallace, an internationally known actress, best known as the mother in ET, and roles in Stepford Wives and The Howling among many others, is also a best-selling author, healer and teacher.  She has developed the I~M System of Healing to help discern and balance internal fears and limiting beliefs, and has appeared on major news and talk shows, including Oprah, the O’Reilly Factor, and E! Hollywood Stories.

Marci Shimoff, is the New York Times bestselling author of  “Happy for No Reason”, “Love for No Reason”, and several titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, making her one of the best-selling non-fiction writers of all time!  She is also host of the National PBS show “Happy for no Reason”, was a featured teacher in “The Secret” book and movie, is the president and co-founder of The Esteem Group, and has appeared on more than 500 national and regional TV and radio shows.

Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist and Amazon best selling author of “Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom”., and “Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.”

Howard Martin is the co-founder of HeartMath Institute, and a key member of the Global Coherence Initiative; a science-based project designed to help create global balance, cooperation, and peace.  He is also the co-author of “The HeartMath Solution” and has appeared on CNN Headline News and Discovery channel.

Margie Warell is an executive life coach, regular contributor to Forbes Magazine, bestselling author of “Find Your Courage” (Her next book Stop Playing Safe will be published by Wiley Press in March 2013.) and a regular  guest on national television, with appearances on The TODAY Show, FOX News, CNBC, and is the “Resident Coach” on Washington D.C.’s daily talk show Let’s Talk Live.

Hueina Su is a  coach, trainer, former nurse,  Amazon best-selling author of Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul, and co-star with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Marci Shimoff (Happy for No Reason) and John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) in the award-winning film The Keeper of the Keys.

This series of webinars was created by two dynamic powerhouse opti-mystics themselves who ‘opt into’ life full on:

Kathy Poehnert, has over 25 years of experience working in the educational, business, and human potential fields, as a coach, trainer, and consultant, and was an external coach for Deloitte, a senior lead trainer for iPEC coaching, a member of the state-wide Rutgers University/NJ division of Youth & Famiy Services case practice model training team, and a training development and presentation specialist for a NY City non-profit.  She is an ICF credentialed coach, a Presentation Skills facilitator, and dedicated to helping women (and men!) maximize the power of their feminine energy for a softer, more collaborative and peaceful world.

Alan Cohen, author of “Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros”, is a former public relations and marketing executive serving prominent clients in broadcasting, publishing and Broadway theater, and was the Director of publicity at Scholastic, where he led the promotion of the acclaimed Harry Potter book series.  He was Communications Director for The Broadway League where he lead the crisis communications team during the Broadway stagehands strike, and currently works with organizations and individual leaders  as a coach and trainer in the areas of  effective communication, conflict management and leadership.

The impact of positivity on  neuroscience, resilience, loss and grief, recovery, workplace functioning, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and physiology will be explored. Some would use the throwaway phrase “Easier said than done.” I would interject that saying and doing go hand in hand. The more we have deep and meaningful conversations about this topic, the more we will be moved to action, “putting legs under our beliefs” as I like to encourage myself and others to do. There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t experienced loss, change, pain, struggle and challenge. It may feel familiar to stay stuck in the muck, but does it truly serve us?  Imagine a world in which all of our energies, efforts and intention went into finding solutions, seeking common threads, witnessing beauty, celebrating connection, linking hearts, living as the magnificent beings that we are. What couldn’t we accomplish?

http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1517924 This is the link to sign up for this FREE teleseminar

http://youtu.be/aJn3QJYYBr0 Beautiful- Carole King

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