Advertisement

The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

World Gratitude Day

 

Thank you, danke schoen, gracias, gratzie, merci, tak, toda rabah, pan parius,  Go raibh mile maith agaibh ….I discovered a list of ways to express gratitude that if layed out end to end would likely surround the room I am sitting in as I write this blog entry. Although I express gratitude throughout my day, 365 days a year, September 21st was named World Gratitude Day. Its origin came through spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy who has since passed. In 1965, he was sitting at a Thanksgiving dinner table in Hawaii and invited those assembled to acknowledge their blessings. They agreed to do so each year on this day. Twelve years later, the United Nations Mediation Group designated the day as well.

Advertisement

They declare it as a “holiday for all peoples, a day of meditation for all religions, a day of celebration for all humanity, united by knowledge of simultaneously shared emotion, a day when triumph of the spirit can make a world community.”  I like the idea that we are united by a common desire for peace, to feel a sense of belonging and that ultimately we matter and can make a difference. Although we may think we are separate, at our core, we really are one. That is the basis for all religion.

Some ideas to celebrate the day could include:

1. Making a gratitude list, naming all of your blessings.

2. Taking note of all of the people you are grateful to have in your life by writing their names and then saying them out loud.

Advertisement

3  Contact as many of them as you can either in person, by writing to them or calling them.

4  Send thank you notes.

5. Say thank you to the person in the mirror.

6. Pay it forward by doing a good turn for someone else.

My own gratitude list includes love in all forms, dear family and friends, vibrant good health, financial abundance, limitless opportunity, communication skills, all of the blessings showered on me, a beautiful home, the tools to do my work, including this laptop on which I am typing at the moment, freedom of choice, my Jeep that gets me where I need to go, always being at the right place at the right time.  An atty-tood of gratitude feeds the blessings.

Gratitude Quotes:

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,  and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. Gilbert K. Chesterton

Advertisement

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark  from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those  who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert  Schweitzer

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have  into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,  confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a  stranger into a friend. Melody  Beattie

http://youtu.be/ZRe339H4Iwg  You Inspire Me, A Song of Gratitude by Skye Dyer

Advertisement

This

As joyful as the image on the cover, “This” is the newest creation by Mantra-Pop Artist Robin Renee. With four previous CD’s to her credit, her style is alt-rock-pop-celtic-folk-kirtan. Her voice is both deep and soaring, stretching the sound spectrum. An Eastern and Western multi-instrumentalist, Robin plays harmonium, guitar and keyboard.  My first listen was in the car which carried me along winding roads with the delightfully sing-along-able pieces.

Advertisement

And so it begins… with the light and airy Keshava which is an homage to one of her devotional deities; Krishna. It has a James Taylor-esque feel with the opening chords which is no surprise since she acknowledges J.T. as a long time musical influence. It felt like being wrapped in sunshine as I chanted along, helpless to resist its appeal.

Funky Bhagavate ushers the listener in with chimes and percussive rhythms that beckon hip shaking, eyes closed to take in the lyrics: OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya ; one translation is: ” OM and salutations to the Indwelling One, substance of the Divine“.

Kali Ma Potluck Singalong has a fuller choral sound with guitar strums and playful drums that honors the Goddess Kali, whose appearance is fierce, but her power to destroy can also be used to rebuild.

Advertisement

“Hail to the supreme Lord, the auspicious one who brings happiness and joy, who dwells in the hearts of all!” is the English translation for Jaya Jaya Shiva Shambho that has a tribal dancing around a fire sense about it.

A benediction that blends Robin’s Pagan and Hindu spiritual practice comes in the verses of Blessed Be, Namaste. “May intentions for tomorrow, hold you gently in today.”

Leaving Space is the only piece on the CD without lyrics as it incorporates chimes, ting-sha bells,  rain stick, drums, sandwiched in between silence. Defintely a close your eyes, feel your heart beat and immerse yourself in it number.

Advertisement

Om Mane Padme Hum sounds as if it was recorded in a Tibetan monestary; with the sacred chanting of the words that mean “praise to the jewel in the lotus.” The final chanting of the word om brings this  ideal accompaniment for yoga, meditation, dancing and simply being to a peaceful close.

Background vocals are offered by Isitri Om Kati Brennan and Angela Cavallaro whose call and response sweet soundings enhance the CD. Producer Jack Walker and Karttikeya provide percussion, keyboard and bass accompaniment.

www.robinrenee.com

 

 

Advertisement

Claw Marks

 

Debbie Ford posed this question on Facebook and I felt called to respond: “Why is it that so many of us hold on to experiences from our past, refusing to let them go? Is it because we don’t know how to let go and move on?”

I answered: “Perhaps fear that what awaits won’t be as fullfilling as the best parts of our past or or even more challenging than the worst parts.” By the time one has reached my age (53, about to turn 54 in a few weeks), they have accumulated, not just baggage, but a steamer trunk of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, some that serve us and others that sabotague us. Lately I have been sorting through mine, for so many reasons. With the multitude of changes that have occurred over the past four years, with the passing of my parents, the sale of their home, the publication of my book, leaving a full time job that I had for 11 years, launching my writing and speaking biz, I have come face to face with my fears and have been letting go of my limiting beliefs. I wonder if I have been holding on to them or they have been holding onto me and I haven’t had the courage or willingness to dislodge them. I remember seeing a poster of a kitty cat hanging from a tree branch with the quote “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” that was attributed to the brilliant and emotionally disturbed writer  David Foster Wallace who committed suicide in 2008 after years of treatment. Clearly a man who was holding onto a great deal of pain.

Advertisement

Back in the 1980’s when I saw the poster, I was taking a training at a drug and alcohol recovery center. I was initially amused by the image, but then the impact hit home that for so long, I too had been carrying self deprecating thoughts, hard judgements about myself and my abilities, fears that I wouldn’t meet the sometimes overwhelming expectations I had for myself. Fast forward all these years later and I am still clinging to that tree branch at times. This past week, I tumbled into a swirling whirlpool of not-enough-ness, the strong current of which threatened to sweep me away. Loving and even stronger friends reached out their hands, for which I grabbed and they pulled me out, wringing wet but more resilient for the experience.

Advertisement

So this letting go thing….when I gaze over my shoulder at the wonderful experiences to which I want to hold on, I smile and the memories warm me. I know that they are absorbed into the all-that-I-am. When I look back at the painful goings on, and I have, of necessity, been facing them lately, see that they too had their purpose, since, if not for them, I wouldn’t have had the aforementioned strength and resilience to swim ashore.

What is your tree branch?

http://youtu.be/0jsw_r0hILQ I Can See Clearly -Jimmy Cliff

Advertisement

Whirlwind Workaholic

There are many days when I feel like this meteorological phenomenon, swirling a million miles an hour, knocking about everything in my path, at a dizzying pace. Whew!  Although I have eased back considerably, there are indeed times during which I rev up the engine. When that happens, paradoxically I feel like I’m not going to do enough, be enough, have enough. I was on the phone tonight with my cousin Jody in order to pick her brain about the origin of this obnoxious thought. What she came up with, which  was really no surprise, was reminding me about my workaholic father who held a full time job, did volunteer work, raised two children, kept up with the house, and sequentially took care of elderly mother and mother in-law. It wasn’t something I hadn’t considered, believe me.

Advertisement

I shared with her that in the past 72 hours, I had officiated at a wedding, co-facilitated a workshop, did a radio interview with  Derek O’Neill, based in Ireland, found that two articles I had written, came out today, got a book in the mail to which I had contributed a chapter, will be co-leading a service on Sunday at a Fall Festival, planning other presentations for the next few months, was asked to collaborate on another book project. Any sane person would say that I am fairly accomplished and yet….there is that relentless voice that says “not enough, not enough, not enough.” I want to muzzle it. I teach this stuff because I need to learn it, naturally.

Later calls to my friends Ondreah and Peggy offered solace as they suggested compassion for the slave driver aspects of myself who keeps the hamster wheel in motion or tornado spinning. She’s there for a purpose, although what it is, I can’t totally fathom. I can easily see that some of it is a joy-filled experience, what with all the creative juices that get flowing when I do this work, so it feeds the adrenalin rush of it all.

I ask for guidance and grace to allow me to move through this time of second guessing and into a sense that I AM enough. Grateful for friends who remind me.

 

 

 

Previous Posts

Pleasurable and Effortless
For much of my life, I have resisted struggling. I know that sounds weird, since on some level, resistance IS struggle. Efforting. Pushing against what is, rather than accepting it. I have often denied that some things are just plain difficult, ...

posted 9:37:02pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life-A Ten Week Journey- Week Seven
I entered into the seventh week of treatment with Debra/Deva Troy  in the modality called Facial Reflex Therapy designed by Lone Sorensen . She has found that when applied, it has assisted with balancing the various biological systems and ...

posted 10:39:19pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

To Those We Treasure
Awake, truly awake and well rested after a weekend that was filled with laughter and joy, music, friends, dancing, singing, healthy eating and a power nap at the end of a long, sun streaming down day. On Friday night, so began one of my ...

posted 5:16:22pm Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Facing Life-A Ten Week Journey- Week Six
Lately I've been letting emotions flow, and along with them, have come insights that had lay dormant for years.  This session was overseen by Debra/Deva Troy 's teacher Lynn Diehl  for the sixth of ten Facial Reflex Therapy visits. This ...

posted 8:57:21pm Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Planting Seeds
There comes a time in our lives when we are called to face certain truths -- that life unfolds at its own pace and not only as we would wish it to. For 56 years, I have danced the line between believing that hard work and diligence would bring ...

posted 10:42:57am Jul. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.