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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Blessed Are The Weird

My friend and fellow wordsmith Jacob Nordby (author of The Divine Arsonist) has created a sensation with these simple phrases that have been showing up all over the internet.  There is a method to his madness as he and sister weirdo Barb Black are designing a product line meant to highlight the importance of honoring diversity and uniqueness, rather than seeing anyone different as odd or outcast.  Enter the world of Blessed Are The Weird. When I first saw this, I laughed knowingly. I have always felt a little strange, telling my parents that I was an alien baby left on their doorstep. I imagine that many who are reading this might let their freak flag fly too and claim their wonderful weirdness.

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How would you define the word ‘weird’?

“Weird” to me just means: a different way of seeing the world. It means that gift of an anomalous perspective which opens a peephole of genius perception.

Where did the idea come from for Blessed Are The Weird?

I wrote the words “Blessed Are The Weird People – the poets, misfits, writers, mystics, heretics, painters and troubadours – for they teach us to see the world through different eyes” during a time in my life when I was finally learning to embrace my own gifts. I was stunned at the response! People shared it over 60,000 times via Facebook and many other places. They wrote me letters and expressed how grateful they were to finally feel okay with owning who they really are.
This led me to know that there is a deep yearning in many people for belonging and expression of their most precious gifts.
I’m far too busy to start another project, but this one wouldn’t leave me alone.
As much as anything else, the idea sprang from my own journey from feeling alone and “weird” in this world into full acceptance of myself. I want everyone to know just how brilliant they are.
How can we turn what would be considered a pejorative term into something glowingly positive and desirable?

My purpose in this is to re-frame the meaning of the word itself. I want the “normal” world to better see the genius which lies within so many who might not fit a certain societal model of looks or be able to navigate socially with ease. I want people to understand that Einstein and Edison and Anais Nin and you, Edie, are brilliantly weird. We value the big names and allow them freedom to be eccentric, but it is my deep conviction that everyone harbors genius within. Those who live on the fringes of society are often in better touch with their genius, but they don’t know how to express it in ways the rest of the world can understand. I want them to have more space to do just that in our culture.

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Who will this project benefit?

Blessed Are The Weird will benefit many by virtue of displaying their work on our site. But we have committed to give a portion of the proceeds from all sales of “Weird Gear” to organizations which work with Bullied Kids in schools.

What do you think is at the root of bullying?

Fear. Any bully is afraid of him or herself. They see in a weaker, weirder person an aspect of themselves that they are terrified will come out.

What can people do to support those who feel like they don’t fit in…the square peg as it were?

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The greatest possible gift any of us square pegs can get is love and encouragement. You have given me this gift time after time. I’m very grateful for that. If people like you and several other very dear friends hadn’t come along with critical encouragement, I wouldn’t have had the courage to share my best stuff with the world.

What risks do you take each day in the service of weirdness, while still maintaining a foothold in the so-called normal world of being a family and professional man?

That’s a great question, Edie. Almost every day I am confronted with the choice whether to try to appear “professional” (or successful or smart, or whatever) or share what is begging to be born. I’ve been blessed with friends from around the world who are the wind beneath my wings and keep encouraging me. There are some awkward, vulnerable moments, but I’m learning better every day that I belong here and have something valuable to share–as we all do.

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When you wrote the ‘weird’ beatitude, did you ever imagine it would go viral?

I am completely flummoxed by all of this. I know that these words and the feelings they evoke are not mine. They came through me and I’m just grateful to be of service.

 

Jewel’s song “Life Uncommon” is absolutely my theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUEnxhtzMeo
If people want to get involved with the launch of the site, we have just 11 days left on the Indiegogo campaign:
http://www.indiegogo.com/blessedaretheweird

 

www.yourawakenedself.com

 

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Solution Finder

 

“We Can’t Solve Problems By Using The Same Kind Of Thinking We Used When We  Created Them” Albert Einstein

Simple logic, huh? Consider how much time is spent doing just that. As a therapist who is trained to help people untangle dilemmas and figure out what makes them and everyone else in their lives tick, I used to think of myself as a ‘go-to problem solver’. These days, I much prefer calling myself a ‘solution finder’, since if I use the former description, the focus is still on the word ‘problem’.

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The free online dictionary defines it in this way:

1. A question to be considered, solved, or answered: math problems; the problem of how to arrange transportation.

2. A situation, matter, or person that presents perplexity or difficulty: was having problems breathing; considered the main problem to be his boss.
3. A misgiving, objection, or complaint: I have a problem with his cynicism.
adj.

1. Difficult to deal with or control: a problem child.
2. Dealing with a moral or social problem: a problem play.

Idiom:

no problem

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Used to express confirmation of or compliance with a request.
Middle English probleme, from Old French, from Latin problma, problmat-, from Greek, from proballein, to throw before, put forward : pro-, before; see pro-2 + ballein, bl-, to throw; see gwel- in Indo-European roots.]
What fascinates me about the description is the origin, immediately above….to throw before or put forward. What if problems were simply whatever is right in front of us that we need to address rather than the monster we make them out to be? Further, what if they were just the exercise equipment on which we work out that make us stronger, more flexible, resilient or vital?
Think back to issues that you have faced in your life that you wondered how you would ever resolve. It could be as simple as how you would get to work on time in the midst of a blizzard or as potentially devastating as the death of a loved one. In this moment, the truth is, you found a way to get through it all, because you are here reading this article. You and I and every breathing person on the planet has survived everything that has ever occurred. I know from personal experience that in the midst of the crisis, I am at a choice point, a cross roads, if you will. I can turn left or right, stay where I am, move forward or take a step back…only those five options. If I am in worry mode, I am less capable of making beneficial choices than if I approach that decision with discernment and as much of a sense of calm as I can gather together. Having been raised by parents who, although not formally educated, had street smarts and the certainty that all would work out well, even in the throes of and especially in the midst of challenges, I have learned that skill. My father would say “If that’s the worst thing that ever happens to you, you’ll be ok.” and then work with me to look at possible options. Later in life, my mother adopted what I call her  que sera sera attitude as she would offer “What will be, will be,” when I asked her how she felt about her end of life journey. I have also become adept at ‘seat of the pants’, resolution. Yesterday in the office where I counsel clients facing addictions, I did alot of reframing of the life stuff they bring in with them, sometimes at the speed of thought. Sometimes it feels like walking through an apple orchard and picking ripe fruit from the trees that hang overhead and tossing them to the client, hoping he or she will catch it, take a big juicy bite and digest the concepts. Other times, it seems like digging into fertile soil, intending to plant seeds that may take awhile to grow into a gorgeous blossom. Both take leaps of faith.
There are times when the simple soul-ution; the answer that arises from my soul and not just my logically thinking mind, comes when I’m not even focusing on the issue at hand and like our friend Albert, I simply take the time to kick back and chillax.

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Ask With Love

Creativity is my life blood, although the  expression is generally in the form of words on a page, drumming, singing and movement to music. I usually dress colorfully and today, I donned a lavender hoodie that reads  Create Your Bliss that I acquired on Saturday  while at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia. The purveyor was Ron Dinehart, he too a creative kindred spirit from The Universe Knows, which makes items with three word affirmations inscribed on them. Beneath it were plum hued soft cotton plush pants, followed by raspberry sparkly socks and the pièce de résistance….rainbow splashed heart, star and moon shoes that  I originally got 15 years or more ago when I began clowning around. I had wanted clown shoes in which I could dance around, rather than the big, floppy variety. I decided to dress that way today to brighten my own mood. See, most people see the image that I choose to project…the light, the dazzle, the effervescence…when that isn’t always the case. In the past few years, most notably since my beloved mother made her transition, I have noticed a flattening of my moods; not depression, as my well trained, psychiatric social worker’s mind is quick to chime in. More introspective and less the social gadabout that I have been most of my life. It feels like taking pause; a resting pose, as in yoga.

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I decided to join a few friends at a wonderland for artists of all kinds called Alchemy Open Arts Studio in Doylestown, PA shephered by my friend Renee Bures who is a talented art therapist. Imagine if you will, a warehouse filled with art supplies that include paint, clay, a kiln in which to bake it, fabric, markers, beads, glue, jewelry pieces, carboard, construction paper,  letters, googley eyes for dolls, shards of glass, metal, ceramic, boxes, magazines….and the best part is, you can meander freely from medium to medium, mixing them, changing your mind, letting the Muse guide you. A musical mix creates the soundscape and the laugher and oohhs and ahhs from the folks gathered there as they appreciated each others’ handiwork, filled the air. All different kinds of tea bolstered us as well. One of the most playful aspects of the space is a swing that is connected to the piping above. Of course I couldn’t resist. Before collecting the items I wanted, I covered my clothes with a man’s large shirt/already paint splotched smock. The sleeves drooped down over my hands and the shirt-tails came down mid thigh. It did its job well and kept my clothes pigment free. My hands, however, didn’t fare as well, with overlapping colors coating them.

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I started out playing with clay, thinking at first that I wanted to create a pin. After rolling it around for about 10 minutes, the 5 year old 54 year old was drawn in by the sparkly fabric paints that I splotched on a black cloth napkin in an attempt to write messages on its surface….and then the inner critic clamored her way on through….”You really should be more focused and productive you know. You had an idea that you wanted to work on here and this isn’t getting you any closer to that.”  Holy moley, Batman!  Way to spoil the fun for the 5 year old. I could see her little face scrunching up, ready to cry as she felt squelched. Then the nurturing mama stepped in, took her hand and brought her over to carboard and more paints and said, “Just play and watch what happens.” To that, she added glue and letters, fragments of broken pottery and laid them all before her. At first, the paint mixed and blended, red, blue purple, swirly and  scratchy and then silver bubbling up hues asked to climb on board, creating a heart shape in the center. It was then that it occurred to me that this is the way I live my life. What people see is the silver, glowing heart, but not the mish mosh, blended colors beneath it. Broken pieces are a necessary component that I attempt to hide so that people don’t see them.

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Messages came through…as is in the upper left hand corner.  I am all to the right. To me that means I am one with all that is AND I am all those things (the radiant heart and what lies under it) To the left of the heart are the words ask with. It has been my experience that when I ask with love, all of the answers come tumbling on through.

The answers may not always make sense, like jumbled up dream fragments that require sorting out and untangling. I am allowing for the creative juices to flow, knowing that I can no more control them, than I could halt the storms that sometimes sling their rain and wind or the traffic that line the highways and byways. It helps to know that I myself am a force of nature and that while driving my car, I’m traffic too. One last thing I added to the picture, was green along the border, since this stuff really is my growing edge.

www.theuniverseknows.com

www.aostudio.org

 

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Fortune Cookie

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Whenever I wanted to experience the reflection of abundance from the Universe, I would have lunch at a Chinese restaurant around the corner from where I worked in Ambler, PA. It’s called Golden Great Wall and it differs not a bit from most suburban places and the menu in and of itself isn’t unusual .  What makes it special is the owner, aptly named Grace who always greets me at the door with her bright smile and the same words “Long time, no see. You work hard?”  She then ushers me to a table and pours water and tea and then recites the order that I generally place that shows me I am a regular.  “Egg drop soup, no scallions, brown rice, chopsticks.”  And then whatever the entrée is, which varies from time to time between two or three. By the time the soup is halfway gone, she has come out with the main course. Before I have taken a few bites, she asks:  “You like?”  A few more minutes pass and she has already refilled my water glass, topping it off a couple of times. One time when I was there,  it occurred to me that this was definitely symbolic of the way I had been perceiving my life. At that restaurant, my glass is never half empty or half full, it is always full, almost to overflowing.

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A short while later, I knocked over the glass and actually ‘saw’ myself doing it in advance, (kind of like when you lock your keys in the car) but couldn’t catch it before it splattered water and ice cubes on the table and floor. I got up to get a towel to clean it up and then carried the rapidly melting cubes to the bathroom sink. On the way, I passed a table on which there were plates of freshly made veggie sushi. I commented on them and asked Grace if they were going to be new menu items. She shook her head and then said, “You have some.”  I thanked her and asked for one. She wasn’t about to just give me one. “No, you take more.”, as she put two on a plate. A moment later, she came bearing a third. Clearly there was a message I wasn’t getting. I willing accepted her generosity.

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When it came time for the fortune cookie, I opened it with eager anticipation, since this was a restaurant at which (a year or so apart) I twice received the same fortune that reads:  “God will give you everything you want.” I keep it in my wallet as reminder of how openhanded Spirit is.  Today’s was just as powerful, but not particularly unique:  “Your happiness is wrapped up in your view of life.”

I haven’t worked at the hospital since June and haven’t visited with Grace since then, so I guess it’s time to stop by. Even so, I know I am fortunate, regardless of whether a slip of paper tucked into a sweet treat tells me that I am.

So often, I (and probably many of you), am reluctant to accept what is offered to me by a beneficent Cosmos; because of feelings of unworthiness or the perception of being greedy if I have more than what I believe I should have. What I am learning many times over, is that if I welcome the profusion of gifts, I have more to offer back to those whom I encounter. A spiritual truth is that we can’t give what we ‘ain’t got and that we can’t fill someone else’s cup if ours is empty. So, I thank Grace for standing in for the Divine giving force and keeping my cup full. May yours always be full as well.  Drink deep.

http://youtu.be/5IvlMHAbZfc Money Comes To Me  Cassendre Xavier a.k.a. Amethyste Rah.

www.cassendrexavier.com

 

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