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The Bliss Blog

 

Imagine an entire day set aside for the purpose of……doing nuthin’. You wake up and smile, noticing the sun beaming in through your window, with a blank agenda, an empty schedule, nowhere to go; an invitation, instead to be ‘now here’. Is that possible? For me, it would be a delight and a dilemma, since I have become so accustomed to busy-buzzy doing, rather than simply being. Perhaps it is that way for you too.  My days generally consist of writing, counseling, cleaning, laundry, teaching, speaking, gym time and interludes with friends and family. I am able to snag brief moments of sitting, staring into space, daydreaming. Even while driving, my mind is plotting out my next adventure or activity, be it work or play related.
Enter National Relaxation Day, August 15th that was created in England and made its way across the pond to the USA. Today, you are invited to consider what it is that makes you sigh, what turns stiff muscles into mush, what gives you a reprieve from toil and what replenishes the stores. We are all aware of the ramifications of stress on the body, mind and spirit in the form of dis-ease and in some cases, death.  In Japan, there is actually a word for it: Karoshi   which is translated as ‘death by overwork’. Young, otherwise healthy workers, suddenly have been known to have heart attacks or strokes. It has become more than a trauma for the families, but impacts on the nation as a whole.

The benefits of relaxation include:

Lowered blood pressure and heart rate

Improved mood

Enhanced relationships

Safer driving practices

Longevity

Decrease in depression and anxiety rates

Raised self esteem

 

So, what are some of your favorite ahhhh-activities?

Mine include:

Lying on a blanket in a park.

Meditation

Massage

Listening to music

Writing

Reading

Hot tub soaking

Walking in nature

Going to the gym

Spending time with kindred spirits

Being with children

Blowing bubbles

Dancing

Drumming

Aromatherapy (lavender is my favorite scent)

Even if just for today, write yourself a permission slip to play, breathe, take even a few minutes to simply BE~

http://youtu.be/3Lw5m1YbISo  The Heart Codes 1 by Barry Goldstein

 

 

I love this word:  beshert  which is Yiddish for ‘meant to be’. It refers to the heart and soul connection between partners whose reunion is predestined. There is a similar concept in the Gaelic language, called anam cara (soul friend). I read an article that my friend Naila Francis had written as her regular column in our regional newspaper, called The Intelligencer.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/entertainment/local_entertainment/yes-we-are-meant-to-be-no-matter-what-happens/article_e5ba795b-95b1-5378-b185-a4510363d9e2.html

In it, her long time partner Zane asks her if they were ‘meant to be’. She answers that she believes they are, even in the midst and perhaps as a result of being in the midst of challenges brought on by depression that he faces and that they are facing together. I cried as I read the words that offered revealing of her heart, perhaps since I know for certain that every relationship I have ever been or ever will be in, has that flavor to it. Even those that I wouldn’t wish to repeat, were called to me for a valuable purpose which is to learn something I might not have, had our paths not crossed. Some taught me about what I didn’t want and some what I desire with every fiber of my being.  It is said that relationships are there for a reason, season or lifetime and are no less valid even if they are brief encounters.

I count myself blessed to have many of what I consider those types of relationships that ripen by duration. There are some folks who I don’t see face to face often, but we pick up where we left off and others who I am with regularly. Depth and frequency of contact are not one in the same. I allow some people in more deeply than others, by choice, inclination and  a sense of safety with them. Some of them have been lovers and our relationships have shifted. Others are platonic and no less treasured, just different energies.

How do I know that a relationship falls into the beshert box?

At our initial meeting there is a feeling of “Oh there you are again, how long has it been?”

A goofy shared sense of humor, laughing at the cosmic joke.

A heart racing feeling of  I’m so excited to be in your presence whether it is physical or just emotional.

A synching up of energies; thinking of that person and then they get in contact with me.

A shared passion for life.

Being able to talk freely about ‘life, the Universe and everything’, never running out of things to say.

Comfortable silence.

A knowing that there was a ‘sacred soul contract’ that we agreed to eons ago that we are living out now.

Being a greater force for good in the world together.

What does it mean to you?

http://youtu.be/hcf9LwtHTOo  Beshert  by Ari Gold

 

I am an open book, a page turner, a work in progress; not sure I have ever been a hard cover edition, more likely a paperback novel, with dog-eared pages that have notes in the margins and bent over pages to evoke memory. I was born that way, it seems and addicted to books, I have been ever since. They were my constant companions that I toted around, like other kids may drag teddy bears behind them; although I had plenty of stuffed animals to keep me company too.

I always welcome The Muse in whatever form she chooses to appear. Yesterday, on a car trip back from the Jersey shore, I was looking back onto my timeline and  regaling my friend Ondreah  with stories from my childhood. I asked her if she had memories about events from her youth. “Yes, but not like you do.” I can rattle off experiences as if they happened yesterday (even though there are times when I can’t recall why I entered a room and need to go back to the place where the original thought occurred.) and sometimes do it with lightning speed that have my friends shaking their heads in amusement at my ADHD sensibilities during which I go off on tangents. Glad I can provide comic relief for them.

The Muse appears in the same way; sometimes not even knocking, but rather, barging on in and posing in front of me, hands on hips, asking impudently “Well, are you just going to leave me standing here, or do I need to muscle my way through until you pay attention? ” and all I can do is take dictation. Never  in a million years would I turn her down. What she has to offer is too precious to deny her. She has never steered me wrong and in fact, has offered inspiration that was directly channeled from the Beyond.

I have come to accept that there are times when I need to jot ideas down like so many dreams images that may dissolve, if I want to be able to write about them later on. Notebook and purple pen at the ready! Gone are the days when I can wave them away, saying “Nah, I’ll remember them,” since often I don’t. I had heard a story about gravely voiced singer-songwriter Tom Waits who had been driving on the L.A. Freeway when The Muse came ‘a calling and he emphatically stated that he didn’t have pen and paper to write down the inspired ideas,  so she needed either to go away and come back when he did have writing utensils or visit someone else. Not sure which song he wrote as a result. Maybe it was this one…since it is one of my favorites.

http://youtu.be/ZSe2k3P8wRE I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You-Tom Waits

 

 

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Did you know that today is National S’mores Day?  It came as a delightful surprise to me as I was perusing August holidays on line. A childhood treat that brings back memories of campfires and sing a longs and more recently calls to mind my beloved mother who passed 11/26/10. In the 6 months that she was on hospice, we would have fun and poignant conversations. This was one of them that is excerpted from my book The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary.

 

Often we would take imaginary trips together—sometimes going ice skating on a pond, bundled in warm clothing, sipping hot chocolate afterward. Other times we would go to a park and play on the swings, our feet feeling like they were touching the sky, or ride on beautifully painted white alabaster horses on a carousel. Her favorite place to ‘visit’ was Hawaii, since although she and my father traveled extensively in their later years, they had never visited the 50th state.

“So Mom,” I inquired, “Where are we going today?” With little girl excitement, she responded, “Oh, we’re going to Hawaii, to a luau. But no roast pig.”  “Ok. A kosher luau, then. And what will we do there?” “We’ll dance the hula and get lei-d.” I grinned, knowing that she meant having leis draped over our heads. “So, two wild women out on the town, getting lei-d. I like that idea.” She joined me in raucous laughter. And then I asked what we would be eating at the festive occasion.

“S’mores.”

For the uninitiated, s’mores are a yummy and decadent combo of graham crackers, melted marshmallows, and chocolate bars. My mother and I share a love of most things sweet—chocolate being a lifelong drug of choice. “Mom, I don’t think they serve s’mores at luaus. I would bet that they serve s’mores in Heaven.” “I hope so,” was her delighted answer.

I will have to wait until she tells me if that is the case.

So far, I haven’t received confirmation, so I guess I will just have to create my own sticky sweet heaven on earth~

http://youtu.be/XAhv0XGv8Pc Better Than Ice Cream -Sarah McLachlan (not exactly about s’mores, but does mention chocolate:)