Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

 

Today as I was reading a book by SARK called Make Your Creative Dreams Real that was given to me as a gift by my friend Cynthia Perkel since she knows I’m a creative soul, I turned to a page that had the words Grudge Island splashed on it. Hmmm….I wonder what it would be like to be a castaway swept aside on its shores? Not a particularly welcoming coastline; probably rocky with rip currents that could dash you against them. Likely gale force winds batter it about and scorpions, snakes and carnivorous plants inhabit it. Why the heck would anyone want to go there for a brief visit,  let alone take up residence?

Tonight I facilitated my weekly women’s support group at a drug and alcohol outpatient program. Those who attend are in various stages of recovery and have most definitely spent time on Grudge Island. Before the group began, I drew a little island with a palm tree smack dab in the middle and tiny sailboat floating in the water next to it. I then asked them what would be on the island and they called out  words like resentments, anger, betrayal, you did this to me, it’s your fault, bitterness, victimhood…  I followed up with inquiring about the name that would be painted on the boat that could help them escape should they choose to do so. One woman got up and wrote the words The Good Ship Forgiveness (kind of like The Good Ship Lollipop).  All of them chose to leave the island.

Grudges can be overwhelmingly heavy and tempting to carry at the same time. We may think that we will never let go, but what we hold onto holds onto us. Ask yourself what it is that you might want to release, so as to be able to live more freely and fully. I shared about an unresolved issue that I had carried until a few years ago, when I came clean with someone I knew as a teenager, who had made a comment when we were 13 or 14 that I literally felt burdened by it since I had hauled it around for so long.

I know that there are times when I still intentionally swim ashore, self righteously proclaiming that someone else exiled me there. I look around the environs for a brief time and then decided that it would best serve me to set sail out of there, rather than dropping anchor and remaining.

 

Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie

 

 

One of my favorite movies  is Tootsie, that made a big splash when it was released in  1982,  as veteran actor Dustin Hoffman plays a dual role of a not-so-successful actor Michael Dorsey turned  sensational actress  Dorothy Michaels in order to land a big part in a popular soap opera. The object lesson of the film was about overcoming stereotypes, sexism and the way in which playing a woman made the main character a better man.

Just recently I watched a clip of an interview with Dustin Hoffman as he spoke about the creation of the character, the intention to play her, not as a parody of a woman, but the most attractive ‘real’ looking woman ‘she’ could be. His makeup artist did what was possible and yet he still felt that he wasn’t a gorgeous woman by society’s standards. It occurred to him that there were many average looking women that aren’t given the time of day by men in the culture who have a particular image in mind for classic beauty. He was chagrined to recognize that he too, contributed to that stigma. I gained a great deal of respect for him after viewing the interview, as he admitted to his own shortcomings with regard to the women he had missed out on getting to know by buying into the façade that may have masked their true beauty.

How do we measure beauty?  For some it is about body shape and size, for others a sense of symmetry of facial features, for still others, it is about appearing youthful. How both sexes miss out when it comes to limiting standards for appearance.

http://youtu.be/smTXkhM6v-Y Clip from Tootsie

 

 

www.themarysue.com/dustin-hoffman-tootsie/ Interview with Dustin Hoffman

“Know your yeses, your no’s and your maybes. It makes life a hell of a lot simpler. You can still be flexible. But get to know them. They are there for a reason.”~CAW

Simply powerful/powerfully simple words from my friend Courtney A. Walsh who I think of as a fusion of wise woman sitting atop a mountain, basking in the elements and sharing the ‘cosmic joke’ when seekers come to her, that they had it all along (the wisdom for which they turn to her) and a silly, saucy, playfully poetic, mud pie making, finger painting pigtailed little child.

courtneywalsh

There was a time in my life, when not only did I not exercise my yes, no, maybe so muscles; I didn’t think it was ok to even acknowledge them, since I wanted to maintain the status quo which felt good most days. I hadn’t yet learned that nothing lasts forever in the form it is in, no matter how much of a chameleon/caregiver/co-dependent/good girl I was. It wasn’t until I took the Cuddle Party facilitator training  in 2005 that I stretched big time around consent and expression; saying what wasn’t being said  which I had not been doing, in the service of keeping the peace. Now, I easily express preferences, ask for what I want, go for the win-win and assume cooperation.

It was in perfect alignment with something I heard yesterday from my dear friend Peter Moses who spoke at Circle of Miracles on

The Lasting Beauty of Inner  Space

In the drama of living in the world, we are conditioned to look outward to people, things and the objects of our senses.  What a  blessing it is to have Attention turn back around to the timeless  inner dimension. Here and Now, we can know ourselves  to BE that peace and joy that we seek but never find in the changing world  of time and circumstance.  With words, music, sharing and laughter… let’s  go Inside to play!
I drank it all in, mesmerized by what my anam cara (soul friend) had to share, kvelling (Yiddish for ‘bursting with pride’), like a parent whose kid did something most marvelous, tears and goose bumps and knowing nods of resonance. A singer song writer and kids’ edu-tainer, he regaled us with stories from his own life; some I have heard many times before, but never tire of them, and showered us with love, his own songs and covers of Paul Simon and Robert Palmer songs (turning Addicted to Love to Addicted to Thought, since our monkey minds can scoop us up and carry us away with thinking about thinking, or not thinking about thinking)
Peterlovehand
In the midst, he offered some guidance about honoring our preferences, but not taking them too seriously. Our minds are meaning making machines that tell us how we are ‘supposed’ to feel about anything that comes our way. Two people can have the exact same experience and come away with diametrically opposed thoughts and feelings. Yes, I prefer that I sleep 8 hours a night, but there are just some mornings that come way sooner than I would like. Yes, I would love it if traffic flowed smoothly and the cars in front of me would get out of the way, but then I remember that I am traffic too and that there are cars behind me, likely wishing I wasn’t in front of them…except then they wouldn’t be able to read my ‘hippie bumper stickers’. Yes, I desire to have all of my dreams come true RIGHT NOW and I know that things and people and experiences may show up on a different schedule than mine. When I am in alignment with that, there is a coherence and not a ‘disturbance in The Force’.
I got a chuckle out of a line that Peter kept repeating. In his 50’s with a full schedule of teaching, speaking, recording, being a husband and father of 5 (the youngest a 3 year old little dude who reminds him that love matters most), his thoughts (like mine) sometimes slip through the cracks and song lyrics that used to flow like honey, tend these days to play hide and seek. He shrugged his shoulders and laughed “What are ya gonna do?” I am now adopting that philosophy, since I could get myself all worked up over my own ‘middle aged moments’ or just embrace them.
What came to mind was this segment from America’s Got Talent, for your viewing pleasure.
http://youtu.be/QW4RUIjOp9k Whatcha Gonna Do?

Get a<a href="http://flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/2332583053/sizes/l/"> large  </a>view! </p><br />
<p><b>Zion National Park</b> is a United States National Park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale,...

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”-Lewis Carroll

I am writing this on July 5, 2013 for posterity. The woman who is typing these words has lived more than 54 years on this planet, this time around and since she believes in reincarnation, likely eons more in a different form. She has loved and lost, stretched and shrunk, leapt and lurched, cowered in fear and stood center stage courageously. She can be laser focused or easily distracted by a shiny thought.  She can be serious and silly. She can celebrate the successes of others and envy them. She can be patient and petulant. She can be judgmental and understanding. Such a dichotomy she faces each time she steps out on the road. There are times when   she has not a clue which direction to turn. Her inner compass sometimes spins wildly, sending her scurrying to make a course correction.

Like everyone reading this she is Divinely Human and Humanly Divine.

Sound familiar?

My intention is to consciously choose where to go, by  noticing where my feet are planted, where I want to end up and then take the first step to get myself there. The tricky thing for me has to do with time and deadlines. If I knew, really KNEW that it didn’t matter how long it took to reach a destination, but that I needed to keep taking the steps, resting when called on, moving ahead when able and willing, then I would likely feel a greater sense of peace about it all. It took 20 years to manna-fest the interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2008, from idea to actuality. When it finally happened, did  I complain that it took so long?  Nope, I reveled in the reality of it. I wonder sometimes if our ‘destiny’ is patiently waiting for us to show up where it is. Kind of like a stage set that wants us to step on to it so it can fulfill its purpose. That can be around a relationship, money, career, creative outlets, health, home….

This is what I am programming into my inner GPS today:

Professional dream into reality desires today- since I can ask for them (and so can you)…  have my book picked up by a major publisher ( it was self published originally), write for O magazine, interview Oprah and Ellen (not just be inter…viewed BY them), write for HuffPo, have my stories published in Chicken Soup For The Soul, do a TEDtalk, speak at world wide conferences on BYOB (Be Your Own Bliss) in whatever form that takes. Continue to be a positive change agent, showing folks that they can live ridiculously amazing lives and be a greater force for good in the world. Thank you in advance, Universe for these coming to be. And for guiding my feet along the path~

 

 

Any Road

 

Give me that plenty of that guitar.
But I’ve been traveling on a boat and a plane

In a car on a bike with a bus and a train

Traveling there, traveling here

Everywhere in every gear
But oh Lord we pay the price

With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice

Ah yeah you pay your fare

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there
And I’ve been traveling through the dirt and the grime

From the past to the future through the space and the time

Traveling deep beneath the waves

In watery grottoes and mountainous caves

But oh Lord we’ve got to fight

With the thoughts in the head with the dark and the light

No use to stop and stare

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there
You may not know where you came from

May not know who you are

May not have even wondered

How you got this far

I’ve been traveling on a wing and a prayer

By the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair

Traveling where the four winds blow

With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow
But oooeeee it’s a game

Sometimes you’re cool, sometimes you’re lame

Ah yeah it’s somewhere

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there
But oh Lord we pay the price

With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice

Ah yeah you pay your fare

And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there
I keep traveling around the bend

There was no beginning, there is no end

It wasn’t born and never dies

There are no edges, there is no sides
Oh yeah you just don’t win

It’s so far out, the way out is in

Bow to God and call him Sir

But if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there And if you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there

If you don’t know where you’re going

Any road will take you there
(Yeah hey! Ah ee ah! Ah he ah!)

 

http://youtu.be/mFblhcQjKeY  Any Road by George Harrison