The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

What Your Soul Sings

Woke up a few days ago to this song that I had never heard before. It echoed with the thoughts that I most needed to hear at the moment (of course, since I sense that the Universe always provides what serves for our growth), because there are times when in an effort to ‘find myself’, I lose myself in wheel spinning, co-dependence. As a child who was showered with love and approval for being a  precocious high achiever, people pleaser. I believed; perhaps on an unconscious level, that if I wanted to keep receiving that nourishing energy, I better oughta keep doing what I thought of as ‘The Shirley Temple tap dance.’ The adults around me never even knew that these thoughts were going on in my head and to this day, I still carry them, even as I do my best to off-load them since they keep me from being genuine.

I have long been in the ‘people business’, as a social worker/minister/journalist/motivational speaker and am called on to be aware of the dynamics between myself and others in order to keep these relationships honest. Transparency is important to me, as I am allowing for the full human experience. Keeping up appearances takes alot of energy. I was engaged in a ‘battle royale’ with my 24 year son recently over a difference in world view. Although he was raised by two sorta hippie parents (until age 11 when my husband/his dad died), with tree hugging, Law of Attraction values, there are times when you woulda thought he grew up with cynical, see the cup as half empty parents, since that is his perception at times. Then I realized that each of us, for whatever reason, has our own destiny to live out and perhaps his is to do whatever he is doing for as long as he chooses to do it and his soul song may be quite different from mine. The intention I hold is that at least they play in harmony and not cacophany.

 

What Your Soul Sings

by Massive Attack

Don’t be afraid

Open your mouth and say
Say what your soul sings to you

Your mind can never change
Unless you ask it to
Lovingly re-arrange
The thoughts that make you blue
The things that bring you down
Only do harm to you
And so make your choice joy
The joy belongs to you

And when you do
You’ll find the one you love is you
You’ll find you
Love you

Don’t be ashamed no
To open your heart and pray
Say what your soul sings to you

So no longer pretend
That you can’t feel it near
That tickle on your hand
That tingle in your ear
Oh ask it anything
Because it loves you dear
It’s your most precious king
If only you could hear

And when you do
You’ll find the one you need is you
You’ll find you
Love you


http://youtu.be/8jRzm3dJ-_c  What Your Soul Sings by Massive Attack

Time Enough

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I saw this on a poster many years ago and at that time, just laughed at the implications. These days, I find myself living it. I marvel at what I can accomplish when I put my body, mind, heart and soul into my activities. When once upon a time, I drifted, rather unconsciously through each 24 hour period, convinced that a ‘go with the flow’ attitude was somehow more spiritual than being in driven ‘get it done mode’, now I immerse myself in planting the seeds, doing what it takes and then surrendering outcome paradigm. Yes, balance is necessary in order to remain sane and vertical. As I write this entry at 6:55 a.m. on a chilly February morning, sipping acai berry tea, I am enjoying peeking out the window at the soft pink sky and hearing the serenade of a mourning dove.  Except for that sound and the gentle hum of the lap top and the tap tap tap of fingers on keyboard, I am enjoying relative quiet. No one else is up yet in the house and I am immersed in one of my favorite activities. In a short while, I will need to get ready for my day job, at which I serve people with mental health diagnoses. After that will come home, write more, plan classes I teach, do promo work for myself and other people whose work I support, and  if there is time, I will do my gym ‘playout’.  Then there are the routine housekeeping activities like laundry, paying bills, cleaning, getting the Jeep serviced and inspected, scheduling a dentist appointment, prepping my taxes to get to my accountant (and oh yeh) cooking and eating dinner. Well, maybe I won’t do them ALL tonight.

Most people in my life tell me that they feel exhausted just hearing me rattle off my schedule. I chuckle, and tell them that sleep is highly over-rated. I love check lists since they keep me focused and offer a sense of accomplishment when I cross off the items on them. At work, I use bright pink or yellow highlighters to emphasize the point.

Prioritizing is a key factor, although I always make sure I include ‘goofing off’ on my to-do list. As a former magazine publisher, I work well with deadlines and that helps me to stay on track. If things are too nebulous, they slide to the bottom of the list. I use the analogy of a customer service line. The attendant can really only take care of one customer at a time effectively, and yet, I joke with my patients, that as a social worker, I am expected to multi-task. There are times when I am in conversation with someone in my office and the phone will ring with a call from a person with whom I have been waiting to speak and I tell them I need to call them back and then return attention to the one in front of me and then someone will knock on my door to talk about an issue that needs my immediate attention, of course. I reassure them that I will take care of it once I complete with this person. Whew!  Now I feel wiped out just thinking about it.

The gym, car and shower are great places for me to dream and scheme how I intend to move through my day and night. There’s something about water, sweat and the call of the road that help get my creative juices flowing. Creativity is an essential component of time management…how can I get more done in less time…’work smart, not hard’ is a motto used by many and I would guess, for those whose names are mentioned in the initial quote.

So on this day, as I aspire to have lots of pink and yellow highlighted lines on my checklists,  I know that what is even more important is the grace and play, joy and fun I have while engaging in the next 24 hour gift offered to me by a Creator who is eager to see what I do with it.

 

http://youtu.be/fg73MRomwSA Turn, Turn, Turn  -The Byrds

Transmutation

If you are reading this, then chances are you have lived through numerous changes that got you to this point, since change; paradoxically, is the only constant in each lifetime. We may fight it mightily, but there it is. The adult that is writing this, once was a 5  pound 4 oz. infant with the umbilical cord wrapped around her ankles that (symbolically) for many years was an impediment that unconsciously kept her from moving forward. On the surface, it seemed that nothing could stop me as I raced my bicycle around my South Jersey suburb of Willingboro, playing with friends, jumping rope, playing hopskotch, roller skating, swimming, ice skating, sledding; once even coming in 3rd in a seemingly marathon (3-4 hour long) hoola hoop contest.  Despite 3 broken ankles in a 6 year period (6th grade, 8th grade and 10th grade) all while engaged in some activity, I kept on keeping on. Although I was born with healthy lungs, somewhere between my 4th and 5th birthday, I was diagnosed with asthma that was treated with steroids and allergy serum, as well as nights of sitting in the bathroom with the shower running as I inhaled the steam; one of my parents at my side as they breathed with me. Paradoxically, 40-50 some years later, as I sat by the bedsides of my parents in their last days, I did the same,  joining them in each precious inhalation and exhalation.  I have read that metaphorically  asthma is connected with anything from feeling smothered, to unresolved grief. As timing would have it, my beloved grandmother had died shortly after my 4th birthday, leaving a hole in my life, that many years later, I came tor recognize as feeling like the loss of a third parent. She was my mother’s mother Henrietta that we all referred to as “Giggie” since I couldn’t pronounce anything remotely sounding like grandma, and the name stuck, became everyone’s grandmother in the neighborhood and I was happy to share her. I have been told by many psychics who knew nothing about her otherwise, that she has been watching over me as a type of guardian angel, ever since.  I  now wear her ring on my pinkie, given to my mother, who shortly before she joined my grandmother, gifted it to me. It is as if am keeping mother-love ‘close at hand.’

Now, at 53, the asthma symptoms have mostly dissipated, partly as a result of change in diet, nearly daily cardio exercise, allowing for emotions to arise, whether they are born of grief or joy, recognizing that both are part of the continuum of life. I notice symptoms when rushed or in the midst of particularly stress-filled situations. The truth is, stress itself is not the enemy. It is our reaction to it that can make all the difference.

According to the website for The American Institute For Stress:  “The term “stress”, as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in 1936, who defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. People have taken that concept and applied it to any number of changes that occur. The thing is, that without some type of stressors in our lives, we would be like an ameobic blob, with no form or definition. We need at least some challenge in order to grow. There is also a dynamic called ‘eustress’ which could be termed ‘good stress'; something we may anticipate but makes us at least a wee bit nervous, such as graduating college, or getting married or birthing a child or in my case…a book.

Consider any number of life experiences that have turned you from a lump of coal into a glittering diamond and give thanks for the opportunity to shine your brightest.

http://youtu.be/5C13urVMYBw Diamond In The Rough by Shawn Colvin

www.stress.org

 

Hey Hey

For those of a certain age, this will put a smile on your face. When I told this story at work last week, some of my younger co-workers looked at me like I was from another planet. They had no clue who the member of an iconic musical group from the 1960’s was as his face graced the cover of a senior living publication that I saw on the freebie rack at Wawa.  The seasoned image of Davy Jones, the mop-top Monkee with the sweetly alluring British accent that had many girls my age swooning, once upon a time graced teen magazines on a planetary scale. He is now a happily married  grandpa whose love of music continues and he performs with his own Davy Jones Band and occasionally shows up with his former bandmates Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith. A published author of three books,  he also raises and races horses and lives with his family in Central Pennsylvania.

Watching The Monkees was a regular delight for this kid whose love of music was matched only by her love of books. Although the popular series ran less than 2 years, from September of 1966-March of 1968, it  has lived on in re-runs and the hearts of their fans ever since. For those who have not a clue what I am talking about, the show was about 4 young men who endeavored to become successful rock stars. It followed their antics and adventures and birthed songs such as Daydream Believer, Last Train To Clarksville, I’m A Believer and I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone.  A favorite episode of The Brady Bunch was centered around Marcia enticing Davy to be her prom date, since she was President of his fan club at her school.

As I am writing these words, I am taken back to a simpler time in my life, when I had no concept of being a seasoned woman myself and what that would mean, as I see people of my own generation, aging well, with passion and purpose, enthusiasm and longevity. Long may we all keep monkey-ing around!

 

http://youtu.be/uVFxMIxm-Rw bio info on Davy Jones

http://youtu.be/JEYNuU6Xtms Monkees Theme Song

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