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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Every Little Thing

Have you ever had ‘one of those days’ in which ‘you make plans and God laughs?’  Yup, I have too. Today felt like it could have been one of them. This morning, before I was vertical, my mind was awash with the tasks that needed to be completed. The ‘laundry list’ included:  Bank deposit, drop off mortgage payment, stop at Staples to pick up headset to use for a Skype webinar tonight, a printer cartridge so that I could print out a wedding ceremony for the service that I will be officiating in NYC tomorrow, writing an article for a magazine, putting together a proposal for a series of workshops I will be teaching next year, getting a pair of shoes since my dress shoes have gone the way of all winds and while I was in the shoe store, the phone rang and on the other end was my friend Kalie who reminded me that I was late for a lunch meeting that she and my editor and I were having…YIKES!  Good thing I was only 15 minutes away. From there, I needed to hustle home to prep for the webinar which went smoothly. Headed to the gym and the grocery shopping and now here with you. At every turn, I  ‘checked’ each item off the list, trusting that it would all flow together. And so it did~

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There have been days in which I haven’t felt quite so blessed. “Spiritual flat tires.” is what author and speaker Bernie Siegel calls them. He considers health challenges in that category: “Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.”  They also include delays that have us shaking our heads and wondering “What the heck happened here?” Meetings that didn’t go quite as planned, broken objects and broken promises, messes that needed to be cleaned up, detours enroute to appointments.  All are possibilities. When those things happen, I sometimes metaphorically kick and scream and more likely, smile and wonder what the lesson or message might be. What is there to be learned? Usually it is about patience, slowing down and taking time to consider the next step.

What if you knew for certain that the words to Bob Marley’s song called Three Little Birds were true?  Every little thing really is gonna be alright.

http://youtu.be/YrBdCghy76A

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Love Trumps Hackers

 

As I was coming home from running errands this morning, my friend Phil called me and told me that my Yahoo account had been hacked. I smiled and said, “Let me guess that you received an email saying that I was in some exotic place and got robbed and needed you to wire money to me.”  I had received similar emails over the past few years from friends’ email addresses and each time, contacted them to inform them as well. Phil answered, “Yeah, it says you were in Spain and the hotel you were staying in, had been consumed by flames and you lost everything.” When I arrived, I turned on my computer and discovered emails from several friends, a few  checking out the veracity of the message, but mostly to inform me that it had occurred. Several said they knew I hadn’t sent it since it wasn’t my writing style and it was poorly versed. Within a few hours, I had received texts, phone calls, emails sent to my other address and via facebook. With each message came the assurance that all was well. I felt quite loved. I posted a few times that it was a hoax, that although in someone’s vivid imagination, I was in Spain, I really was at home in Pennsylvania and there was no need to send money.

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I then contacted Yahoo and spoke with a lovely woman named Barbie who helped to rectify the problem and I set a new password. She also assisted with restoring my lengthy address book which was a huge blessing since it has taken me years to accumulate it.

A few things occurred to me as I experienced this short term inconvenience. One was how sad it was that people can be this dishonest as to attempt to scam people when their intelligence and computer aptitude could be better used for good rather than malice. Another was that they didn’t know how smart my friends are and that they wouldn’t fall for their deceit. I also knew that it would be resolved well and it is. Lastly, I am appreciative of my circles of friends worldwide who expressed concern. Some joked about having sent me funds.

What I know is that love trumps everything, including hackers.

http://youtu.be/148Rm-KcP2k Sesame Street- Cookies and Computers

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September 11th Remembered

 

As I am writing this entry, the calendar reads 9/11/12. Hard to imagine that 11 years has passed since another ‘day that will live in infamy’ occurred. Like the day JFK and John Lennon were killed, most people can tell you where they were when they heard the news that terrorists had done the unthinkable and that countless lives were lost. I was working as a social worker in a nursing home called Golden Slipper Uptown Home in Northeast Philadelphia. The Residents were just finishing their breakfast as I walked into the day room. The television was broadcasting what I initially thought was a movie in which a plane crashed into The World Trade Center. It didn’t take long before I realized that this was no movie, it was jarringly real. I had two immediate thoughts…the first was that I was grateful that some of these folks had dementia and had no clue about the events unfolding on the screen before them and the second was that I wasn’t going to give the terrorists my fear. I know that emotions such as fear and anger feed the common pot that I didn’t want to stir. I held strong in the face of tragedy and was of support to staff and those Residents who did have the mental capacity to comprehend. Some of them had survived WWII and the Holocaust, so this may have been re-traumatizing for them.

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I also had concerns for my sister in-law and then brother in-law who lived in NJ, but worked in the financial district. I couldn’t reach her for most of the day and when at last I did, I was relieved to know that both of them were safe and sound. I had another friend whose son was initially among the missing, and whose photo was plastered on a wall in case someone should happen upon him. As it turned out, a police officer recognized his face as someone he had seen in a hospital and he and his father; cosmically coincidentally, also a (retired) police officer, were reunited. I heard numerous miracle stories, including people over-sleeping, missing rides, calling out sick, and the like, so that they were elsewhere when the towers fell or the Pentagon was under siege or a field in PA was bombarded.

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We have two choices about the way we view this dark day…through the eyes of fear and anger, or love and coexistence. While I mourn the loss of life, I celebrate the drawing together of people from all around the globe in the cause of healing the fracture in our lives. Philadelphia area singer-songwriter, John Flynn wrote a song not long afterward that so perfectly echoes my sentiments of that day and those that still resound a decade plus one later. I was in the audience when John performed this song, at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

God Bless The Whole World….No Exceptions!

http://youtu.be/g0tSC8x3V9E  I Will Not Fear-John Flynn

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Religion For Atheists

As I was traversing a long road home from VA to PA this past Sunday morning, I was flipping through the radio dial and stopped on an NPR station that featured an interview with Alain De Botton who founded a center in London, England called The School of Life, where folks from all walks, could come and learn about life, the universe and everything. One thing to know is that De Botton considers himself someone who has no religious affiliation and yet, he has values and practices that for some, would be part and parcel of their own religious belief system. It sounded like a place I would want to visit and at which I would love to teach.

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He has written a book that has an oxymoron for a title: Religion For Atheists. Controversial in its concept, it is based on the idea that one need not have a religious orientation in order to have sound and solid moral values and actions. He espouses the idea that rather than argue against religion and those who hold such beliefs, one could use the best of what spirituality has to offer and:

build a sense of community

– make our relationships last

– overcome feelings of envy and inadequacy

– escape the twenty-four hour media

– go travelling

– get more out of art, architecture and music

– and create new businesses designed to address our emotional needs.

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At the core, all religions propose that certain rituals and practices are meant to help us live better lives. De Botton, the son of secular Jewish parents, expresses the beauty of the world without a belief in a  God of creation and sustenance. He seemed to be at ease with his status, even in the face of people who object to his contention that there is no higher power, He laughingly shared that this book was raising a ruckus in both camps, since those who view themselves as religious, saw it as  near sacrilege and  those fellow athiests felt he betrayed their camp but gleaning anything of value from spirituality.

My own take is that there is a life force energy that permeates everything. I don’t think that the God of my understanding gets huffy if people don’t believe. I have no right to tell anyone what to believe, since it is an inside job. I express often that love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. What are your thoughts?

www.alaindebotton.com

www.theschooloflife.com

http://youtu.be/B4CRkpBGQzU What If God Was One of Us? -Joan Osborne

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