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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

One Soul, One Love, One Heart

Both gentle and direct, this latest book by John Welshons beckons the reader to explore the nature of all of their relationships, from those with children and friends, to romantic partners and God, to the woman or man in the mirror.  He casts a wise eye on those in particular that we might label difficult or challenging and instead of wishing those people away, Welshons invites us to view them as teacher or guru. Easier said than done at times, when that person is the father who raised you with both love and fear, as was the case with the relationship between the author and his brilliant, devoted alchoholic father. It was at the end of his father’s life, that he was able to take that leap, with the guidance of his friend, spiritual teacher and author, Ram Dass. Although he resisted it mightily at first, the idea of being grateful that his father’s actions and attitudes, could be, in fact, what would eventually polish away his own rough hewn edges, Welshons came to surrender to it and it brought him peace. He cautions throughout that there is no need to remain in physically or emotionally abusive relationships in order to get the lessons, however.

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I was moved by the experience he describes of the transition that took place when he as the adult child, he  became the caregiver for his father who could no longer provide for his own personal needs, since over the past few years, until they passed, I was called on to offer that to my own elderly parents. It was an honor, as Welshons describes to “return the favor.”

He tells one of my favorite stories of the samurai who calls on a monk to teach him the difference between heaven and hell (pg. 215) and it reminds me that at all times, I am responsible for the choice in which state I choose to dwell.

Woven throughout the book are multi-faceted teachings, many coming from the author’s own yogic and meditative practice. At the end is a guide to various forms of meditation in which he encourages the reader to engage. Quotes from Yogananda, Harville Hendrix, The Dalai Lama, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Mother Teresa add spiritual spice to the mix.

In the end, the idea that we are indeed All-One, reminds me that we are never truly alone.

www.onesoulonelove.com

http://youtu.be/4xjPODksI08  One Love by Playing For Change

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Happen To Life

 

My ever inspirational friend Molly Nece (a.k.a. Molly Sunshine) offered this quote:

Get out and happen to life. Don’t let life happen to you! “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci, was a great Italian genius & polymath.  (de Vinci’s Annunciation no. 1)

It reminded me of standing on a starting block at numerous pools in Willingboro, NJ and beyond in which I had made my mark as a successful competitive swimmer in  my teens. My toes were gripped around the edge of the block, my body bent in anticipation of the whistle blowing that would signal time to leap forward, casting my speedo-suit clad athletic body into the air, to propel a split second later into the receptive water.  One with the liquid environs, arms and legs moving in alternate patterns if I was swimming freestyle or in wave like motion in butterfly (my two best strokes). All these years later, I can feel my heart racing as I am remembering. I can even smell the chlorine(:

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That was such a pivotal time in my life, during which I learned to work/play as a member of a team, sharing strengths, cheering on others (even those from competing teams; being a good sport).  I met my BFF Barb Chimel Cohen on the bench before a meet when we; as we joke “swam on different teams together.” It was also when I began to meditate, since long hours swimming seemingly endless laps could have been tedious. I found myself in the zone, the flow, the ever present NOW. I go back to that memory at times that I feel like I am churning instead.

Since then, my ‘happening to life’  looks more like being in the flow with my writing and speaking. I stand on the starting block, not always knowing what I am about to express, because the Muse sometimes feeds the words one by one or in a rush that I need to scoop up and organize in some way that makes sense to anyone but me. Even then, I can look back in amazement that they are coherent compositions.

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There was a period when I would be laissez faire and let life happen to me, not wanting to manipulate or control but it often led to encounters that were ineffective and unsuccesful. A delicate balance of surrender and stretching, of holding on and letting go. It doesn’t mean being lazy, neither does it indicate go go go mode either.

How will you happen to life today? What will you bring into it as a result?

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdfXHWUKm-8 Swimming by Louden Wainwright III

 

 

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Crossing The Threshold

 

“Everybody wants to rush through transition like it’s a bad root canal. But transition is a threshold. It’s a sacred life appointment—the crossing from one world to another. You are compelled to let go of fear and uncover uncanny power. Transition, if you choose, is a way of being trained in magic.”-Tama Kieves

I have long been fascinated with borders and boundaries; the edges between one plane of existence and another. When I was a tween in in the late 60’s (before that term was even conceived), my family went on vacation to a locale that was on the border between NY and PA. I was amazed that if I stood on one side of the street, I was in the Keystone State and on the other The Empire State. I kept jumping back and forth between them, delighted with the experience.

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As a recovering co-dependent, I have learned that appropriate boundaries are necessary for healthy relationships and yet there are times when I am called on to re-configure my sense of what that means, since I also love the spiritual concept of One-ness.  In my interactions with people in my life, there are times when I have a foot in both ‘states’ and that definitely stretches my boundaries…good thing I have been practicing yoga for the past 8 years.

I have also discovered in the past 53 years that transition is part and parcel of a well lived life; yoga off the mat. I can deny it, resist it, fight it, stomp my feet literally and figuratively, but it’s gonna happen no matter what. In an effort to push past it, I have often been lacking in compassion for myself, as if I was on a piece of exercise equipment, saying “Come on, you can do it. Five more minutes….give it some effort!” rather than coasting for a change, knowing that I am going to get through it. What if instead, I was to view it from Tama’s perspective and see it, not as a chore, but a charm?  An invitation from the Universe to dance with it as I had from state to state 40 some years ago. What if I saw myself as a magician, trained in the unseen, but deeply felt wisdom of creation? What couldn’t I do? As I release fear of the unknown (and isn’t it ALL unknown, until it isn’t?), I can leap into love, cast myself into the waiting metaphorical arms of God/dess and cross the open threshold from where I am to where I desire to be. I am eager to see what awaits on the other side of it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl3vxEudif8 Changes by David Bowie

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Questions For The Angels

 

On my way home from the gym tonight, I was listening to David Dye on Live At The World Cafe interviewing Paul Simon about his most recent release called So Beautiful Or So What?  Paul’s interesting take was that the CD was unintentionally spiritual (but in my perception, not at all preachy) and exploratory of some of the most profound inquiries we human beings can pose. One of the songs is called Questions For The Angels.

A pilgrim on a pilgrimage

Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge

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 His sneakers torn

In the hour when the homeless move their cardboard blankets

And the new day is born
Folded in his backpack pocket

The questions that he copied from his heart

Who Am I in this lonely world?

Where will I make my bed tonight?

When twilight turns to dark
Questions for the angels… Who believes in angels?

 Fools do… Fools and pilgrims all over the world
If you shop for Love in a bargain store

And you don’t get what you are bargain for… Can you get your money back?

If an empty train in a railway station Calls you to its destination Can you choose another track?
Will I wake up from these violent dreams? With my hair as white as the morning moon?
Questions for the angels… Who believes in angels?

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I do… Fools and pilgrims all over the world

Downtown Brooklyn

The pilgrim is passing a bill-board And catches his eyes

It’s Jay-Z He’s got a kid on each knee

He is wearing clothes that he wants us to try
If every human on the planet

And all the buildings in it

Should disappear

Would a zebra grazing in the african savana

Care enough to share one zebra tear?

Questions for the angels…

I have long been fascinated by angels. I accept that they are every bit as ‘real’ as flesh and blood human beings. Messengers from the Divine, I have felt them around me since childhood.  I am attracted to books that describe their intervention by invitation, and have enjoyed movies and tv shows that portray them as willing guides for us. Favorites have included It’s A Wonderful Life with the memorable line “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”, Touched By An Angel which teamed up a tone deaf angel  named Monica with a belting out songstress supervising angel named Tess, and Angels in the Outfield with the reminder “It could happen.” I have immersed myself in books by Doreen Virtue and have taken workshops with Candy Danzis on angelic energies.  I have had what I can only describe as angelic encounters with folks who show up at the right place and right time, to deliver a missive and then literally disappear when I have turned my back or in one case, stuck around and then when I returned to the restaurant where this one had worked, pushing a broom to clean the floor and inquired about him, no one knew who I was referring to.

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Even though I have a GPS, I often use what I call the AGS (Angelic Guidance System) to get me to my destination. There are times when I have no clue where I am going and then I ask them for information. Which route would be the best?  While on a long distance trip, I query where to stop to eat. Should I keep driving a few more miles on turn into that particular rest stop?  I ask them to ride along with me. Not sure if I can count on them to fasten their seatbelts. They are definitely back seat drivers who set my wheels in motion. Lately my inner GPS has been taking me on voyages of the imagination, whimsical and practical, being my Bliss, writing and speaking, being what I call “God’s Typist”.

Tonight while on the elliptical at Planet Fitness, I was watching So You Think You Can Dance?  (fitness oriented shows motivate me to stay longer and sweat more) and was amazed by this brother and sister who performed. What was so miraculous went beyond their obvious talent, but that 6 weeks earlier, the pair had been in a serious car accident in which she was uninjured and he was considered DOA, and lay in a coma for 3 days with all kinds of broken bones and lacerations. He emerged, not only walking, but with the ability to dance with such grace and beauty that it brought goosebumps.  So, my questions for the angels are “What intervention took place that allowed this miracle to occur?  Were y’all there with protective ‘wings’ spread?” I would like to think that in the moment of impact and in the days that followed, they were indeed there because a call for love invited them.

If you could ask questions of the angels, what would they be?

http://youtu.be/SrMioT5MUqY Questions For The Angels by Paul Simon

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