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.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DZsASBIDsvN0 Through The Eyes of God by Barry Goldstein
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
It came to me a few days ago as I was sitting in services at Circle of Miracles that perhaps praying to God is not the same thing as praying with God, since for me, God is not an outside (male) entity sitting on a literal throne somewhere way over yonder. Instead, my take (and I don’t ever tell anyone what to believe spiritually, including my son, since it is a personal and inside job) is that which we call by many different names is an energy that permeates all things and all beings, a creating and sustaining Source. As a minister and therapist, I am often asked why God allows tragic things to happen. My response, after taking a deep breath comes in the form of a few questions: What if God doesn’t make destructive, painful, or otherwise traumatic events occur, but rather is the way we get through it? What if we could see the challenges as a exercise equipment that make us stronger, more flexible and resilient people? How would it be if we made room in our belief systems that we pray along with God for whatever it takes to be resilient thrivers and grand celebrants of whatever we have learned from our experiences? Not always easy to do, I know. I have cared for an ill spouse, was widowed at 40, lost a home in Hurricane Andrew, raised a child solo, had an ectopic pregnancy, became an ‘adult orphan’ in the past 5 years, have worked for 30 years with folks with sometimes severe physical and mental health conditions, addictions, homelessness, abuse and trauma histories. Each time I have been faced with challenges, I have engaged my prayer muscles and moved through the muck and mire and around the boulders that seem sometimes impassable/impossible. It is such a paradox at times, to know how much of my own personal strength to utilize and how much to surrender to an even more enduring power. I have heard that the word EGO is sometime seen as an acronym for Edging God Out. I would prefer to partner with the Divine. What if indeed, we are God’s eyes, hands and heart and God needs our energy, intention and action as much as we need God’s guidance and sustenance and further, what if these things happen so that we can join together as people tend to do in times of crisis? We see it over and over how we humans rise to the occasion during floods, hurricanes and school shootings. What if, rather than waiting and mustering our resources then, we feed the collective soup pot and nourish each other along with the God of our understanding on an daily basis. Perhaps then we won’t need be putting out proverbial fires and feeling lost and alone, bemoaning our fate. Instead, we will be Higher Powered.
This morning as I was prepping to go to work, it occurred to me that I get dressed in the same order every day. Underwear, bra, pants, blouse/shirt/sweater, socks, shoes, jewelry, makeup, coat and gloves (depending on the weather) and then head out the door. I do it unconsciously, repetitively, day after day…sometimes mix it up by wearing a dress or skirt. I grab my keys, check to be sure I have my cell phone and wallet in my purse, pick up my briefcase and sling it over my shoulder. I walk to the Jeep, put my belongings in and drive to the office where I offer counseling for folks in recovery from addiction. This morning, I facilitated a group and on the board wrote the words ROUTINE vs. RITUAL and asked the participants what each meant. We all have routines in which we engage at home, school, work and in social settings. Some serve us and others don’t, but repeat them we do, sometimes out of habit or without realizing we have a choice about changing our patterns. They spoke about the positive and negative aspsects of their routines and about creating new ones that serve them better. It brought to mind an episode of All In The Family in which Archie and Mike (a.k.a. Meathead) got into a to-do over what order to put on socks and shoes. Before I could explain it, one of the group members, in his best Archie Bunker accent, berated ‘Mike’ who put on sock, shoe, sock shoe when Archie thought it should be sock, sock, shoe, shoe. We all laughed and clapped and then he and I launched into the theme song…Those Were The Days and I did MY best Edith Bunker screech, hitting the high notes with playful precision.
We then spoke about ritual and all kinds of images came to mind; of religious upbringing, of the rituals that went into sustaining their addictions, of the use of prayer and meditation, of attending 12 step meetings, of making a daily gratitude list, of being in the flow when exercising, of being in nature, of gardening, of family traditions, some nourishing, some toxic. I shared with them my own daily ritual that includes setting intention each day, saying the Shema (the signature prayer in Judaism) before closing my eyes. It’s been part of my life since childhood and I can’t fall asleep without saying it and then my gratitude list.
Shema Yisrael, Adonai, Elohenu, Adonai Echad translates to “Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One”, but one that is closer to my heart is “That which we call God is Oneness Itself.”
What are the rituals and routines that sustain you and enrich your life?
http://youtu.be/ZFuniFSP2fo All In The Family (Sock/Shoe episdode)
http://youtu.be/0d8FTPv955I Those Were The Days