The Bliss Blog

Years ago, I discovered that I had become an emotional contortionist, essentially bending over backward to please people. If not, I reasoned, they wouldn’t approve of me or love me and then where would I be? I would tie myself up like a pretzel, in business, primarily since our livelihood was based on happy advertisers and readers. Guess what?  It didn’t work and I ended up with an emotionally twisted spine, numerous arguments at home and unsatisfactory business dealings. All of this because I wasn’t being true to myself and living in a sense of integrity within myself. In the interceding time, I have been able to take a different perspective. What I thought was necessary for my survival was a less than skillful way of discovering that I have no responsibility for what others think and how they perceive me. It ties in with don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements concepts. I am learning (and it is a process) to put into practice the most challenging (for me) two:  Don’t take anything personally and Don’t make assumptions. What others are going through in their lives is not about me. In relationship, (in whatever form they take), I am learning to step back and allow for process to occur. So often, I have moved to heal or fix someone else’s pain because it has been uncomfortable for me to watch them struggle. I also recognized that as a healer, there is a temptation to make myself indispensable to people in my life. I reasoned that if I was able to help them with their challenges, then they couldn’t possibly abandon me. The truth is, no one ever abandons us. We may do that to ourselves at times. The truth also remains, that God never abandons us.

Several years ago, I experienced what many would call a ‘dark night of the soul’ during which I had almost no appetite, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t concentrate. I basically sleep-walked through my days and tossed and turned at night. I called on loving friends and family who guided me through it and recognized that I was revisiting two themes from the past. A little background first on the events of that time:   I interviewed two women for a magazine for which I was writing: twin sisters who are psychically gifted. At the end of the interview, Allsyon said:  “I asked you a question twice. Did you hear me?”  I replied that I hadn’t. She said, “Who’s Michael?” Goosebumps rising on my arms, I told her that Michael had been my husband who had died 5 ½ years earlier. She went on to say that he was there with them and that he was showing them a doorway or threshold that I was walking through and also moving vans. They felt that I would be moving within 3 years.  (I didn’t move myself, but in 2011 which was 6 years later, after my mom died, I did move her belongings from her condo).

Later that day, I received the shocking news that a young woman whose wedding ceremony I had performed a year and half  prior, had been killed a few days earlier in a car accident and her  husband was standing on my doorstep asking me to offer the eulogy at her funeral a few days later. I could do nothing but hold him and cry with him. Words escaped me, except to say that I would be honored to speak at Katie’s funeral. The next night I came to Pebble Hill which is one of my spiritual communities, to hear Robin Velez speak. She is a gifted channel and healer. During her presentation, she invited me to the front of the room. I explained to the audience that this wasn’t a set-up and Robin hadn’t even known I was going to be there. Her stern admonishment?  “Stop explaining, stop justifying. It’s killing you. You need to decide here and now, do you want to live or die?” Through tear-filled eyes, I responded that I wanted to live. She then told me that I needed to completely let go of Michael and as I told her that I had, she shook her head. She then asked me what I wanted. I told her that I wanted to trust in love again.  She informed me that it was about trusting myself. A while later as I left, I remembered one last detail regarding Michael that I hadn’t attended to. I still had his ashes in my bedroom. What kind of message was that sending the Universe about readiness to move on to a new relationship? A few days later, my dear friend Susan Duval helped me to bury the urn in Pebble Hill’s memorial garden. I also made a decision to find a new home for my cat Amira, since my allergies had become full blown and more than a little uncomfortable.  During the week, it became abundantly clear that I was re-living old grief. I was releasing, letting go, turning over every aspect of my life as I had more than five years before. My body had been reacting as it had then too when I was in the throes of bereavement. I had convinced myself that I had successfully moved through the loss gracefully and in some ways I had. All of these events triggered the reactions I was going through. No accident that this all occurred around Memorial Day. An interesting phenomenon occurred that was a side benefit of my clearing.  Two weeks earlier the garbage disposal stopped working. I hadn’t gotten around to getting it fixed. On Memorial Day, Pat Harmon (a.k.a. Harmony)  was over for breakfast. I was washing the dishes and had just put a juice glass on the rack to dry. I made some comment about how quickly things happen and at that point, the glass jumped or slid off the rack and crashed into the sink. I cleaned up the shards and carefully put my hand in the garbage disposal to take out anything that remained within it. I thought, “What the heck?” and flipped the switch for the garbage disposal and was rewarded with the sounds of it roaring to life. As I had cleaned out my own garbage, it too was no longer on overload and could process as well.

That summer I had begun practicing yoga. Having been surrounded by both practitioners and teachers for many years, my interest had been sparked, but what set it aflame was attending a tantric yoga workshop in March of 2004. There I met people for whom it is a way of life. I saw first hand the emotional, spiritual and physical benefits of this ancient art and so the practice began. First at home on my own, then with a friend and diving into classes, I am enjoying a physical flexibility that I have never known.  Even as I practice the asanas, I feel that I am called on to stretch further emotionally than I ever have before as old paradigms fall away. I am reaching beyond my preconceived limitations to what I know is true, rather than what I fear is so. I am recalling the phrases from A Course in Miracles: “What is real cannot be threatened. What is unreal doesn’t exist. Therein lies the peace of God.”




Like many who are reading this article, I have been participating in Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, which is all about the love that exists within and around us at all times. Sometimes it begins my day and sometimes it ends it. Either way, I find myself drifting on the tones of his soothing voice. This morning, our focus was Miraculous Independence.

Today’s Centering Thought:

All I seek is within.
Our Sanskrit mantra:

Om Bhavam Namah
I am absolute existence. I am a field of all possibilities.
We have been taught that what we desire in terms of success, love, worthiness and value are external when in truth, all that we could ever want is already a seed within us, waiting to burst forth in beauty and magnificence. Deepak quotes a line from the movie Jerry Maguire that some find romantic, but makes me want to gag and that is “You complete me.” We are not incomplete beings, but rather whole unto ourselves and when we live in that state, it makes it that much easier to connect with other whole beings without an obligation to fix, save, heal or cure anyone. As a recovering co-dependent who lately has been coming to terms with what I have perceived to be my own sense of fragmentation, this meditation could not have been more fortuitously timed.
Perhaps some feel that makes us self absorbed or ego-centric. Quite the contrary, since when I know that I am able to glean treasures from within, I have that much more to share with you and the rest of the world. Call it God-Spark or Divine Love; it is what we are. From that well of Infinite Possibility, we can bring up the sweetest water imaginable. From a practical day to day perspective, it means that I am less likely to be ‘gived out’, since the Source never runs dry. As a Reiki Master, I have learned that the life force energy comes through me and not from me. In that way, it is always available and I need only to call upon it to be offered to myself or anyone else who might request it.
Such is it with love.

"Don't wait for the light to appear at the end of the tunnel. Stride down there... and light the bloody thing yourself." ~ Sara Henderson <3

This meme reminded me of an experience I had several years ago. I was lying on the massage table of my friend Ute Arnold who practices a modality she created called Unergi which is body psychotherapy that speaks to all aspects of our being, as it speaks back to us and to her as the practitioner. There is a treasure trove of information in the temple that totes around our soul.  I had gone to see her to take a look at some long standing core beliefs about what I thought I needed to do or be in order to be accepted and loved. It was planting the seeds for what I digging deep to excavate now.

She asked a question about a particular situation in my life with which she was familiar and I replied that I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. She smiled and asked an even more important question to the effect of “What if you didn’t need to wait for it and could bring the light in with you?”  I laughed in response and said that I would be able to see more clearly what was around me, instead of fumbling around in the dark. How often I have done that, guessing and then second guessing what I was ‘supposed to do’, rather than stating with certainty because I had the information I needed that came from that which I could only receive by observing?  Way too often. Laziness?  Maybe. Not wanting to look at the drippy and echoing walls of a damp, cold cavern? Probably. Ducking for cover should a colony of bats come flapping on through?  You betcha!  My bats have taken the form of fears of failure and success, choices made out of expedience that have come back to bite me in the tush, saying yes when I meant no, saying no when I would love to have said yes, but felt unworthy of the gifts that were offered, unrealized dreams, unfulfilled expectations I created for myself. Rather than hiding from their sonar that beams in on me, I can allow them to eat the bugs on the cave walls, that bug me. The Cave-Mumford and Sons


Today as I was having a ‘business meeting’ around  and in the pool of my friend Robin, I had a visit from a tiny, red being decorated with black spots. A ladybug, or as my Irish friend Jacinta informed me, they call ‘ladybirds’ in her country, had come to share a message with me. It perched on my arm and made its way down to my hand and rested there as we continued to talk about ideas for workshops we are designing. Of course I knew that there was a symbolic meaning as there is for every being that comes my way, so I looked up ladybug and here’s what I found:


Ladybug *Ted Andrews/Animal-Wise   Keynote: Wish fulfilled …
The ladybug is a small beetle that fascinates most people. A great deal of folklore exists about it. sometimes referred to as the ladybird beetle, it is always considered lucky to have one light upon us, and the killing of them was considered unlucky. Some traditions make wishes upon them, resting them upon the open palm. When they flew off, the wish was released to be fulfilled. Many believed that the ladybug would fly to one’s true love. The appearance of the ladybug heralds a time of luck and protection in which our wishes begin to be fulfilled.
Ladybugs aid in pollination. They also control aphids, which attack plants and crops. A single ladybug can eat 50 to 100 aphids a day. Their presence signals a time of shielding and protection from many of our own aggravations and pests.
The adult lives from nine months to a year and a half, and this always indicates a time of luck within our lives of about equal length. The adults congregate in the fall to hibernate. In the spring, they emerge and lay eggs, and a female can lay as many as 800 eggs, reflecting the abundance of luck and beneficial flow being activated within our life, with the fall and spring being the most abundant times for such.
Ladybug’s appearance signals new happiness, often with material gains. A renewed sense of well being occurs, and higher goals and new heights can be more easily attained over the following months. Worries will begin to dissipate.
Often the female ladybug has seven spots, but regardless of whether it is a male or female, the number of spots should be counted if possible since the spots often indicate the number of gifts and wishes that will be fulfilled in the future. Whether a wish for love, job, or the fulfillment of a dream, the ladybug signals a time in which there will be opportunity to pursue and capture or dreams in our lives.
  A significant aspect of the ladybug is the red and black coloring, although there are other color variations, including yellow and black. This coloring serves as a warning to predators. If attacked, it squirts a chemical from its knees, which is distasteful to those that would try and eat them. This characteristic might indicate that someone or something is preventing the fulfillment of a wish at this time. We may need to give a strong, clear warning.
  There are different kinds of ladybugs, and one kind beats its wings faster than a hummingbird. The ladybug can indicate that we are trying to push too hard and too fast in fulfilling our wishes and dreams. We still have to work for them, but we also must allow our efforts to unfold and manifest in the time that is best for us. The ladybug can warn us not to push too hard, that the wish will not be fulfilled at this particular time.
  Are we not protecting our endeavors, our dreams?   Are we allowing others to dissuade us from our pursuits and loves?   Are we trying to do more than we are capable of at this time?   Are we limiting our wishes and dreams?   Are we trying to force our dreams into manifestation rather than allowing them to unfold in the manner best for us?

This was especially timely since recently, I have been casting my desires out there, as if throwing a fishing line out into the ocean. In the past, I had nearly kept an anchor attached to it, so it couldn’t drift far. The anchor was in a vain effort to prevent disappointment, but instead, it kept me from being free to attract what I want. Now I am trusting that I will catch what I am seeking and that if the ladybug chooses to fly away home, it won’t be because her house is on fire or her children are gone.