The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Seeds We Sow

Yesterday I received a call from a dear friend who has been in my life likely since the late 80′s-early 90′s. He is an insightful, intuitive man with a deep spiritual connection into which he taps daily. The call’s purpose was multi-fold: catching up on our sometimes crazy-busy lives, (he lives in a state many hours away and we often play phone tag), telling me that he had just finished reading my book The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary and enjoyed it…..AND…..uh oh….I took a deep breath as I waited for the rest of the sentence. He said that he was waiting for “more of you and your wisdom (0r words to that effect) and not so much about all of the other people on whom you focused and acknowledged.” Whew!  That wasn’t so bad. His take was that I need not rely on these people and their reputations; including some of the transformational teachers I have interviewed to vouch for my own validity as a writer and teacher myself. He seemed to be implying that perhaps I wasn’t as certain of my own abilities, so I was using this as a “See I am worthy.” ticket. Further, he went on to share that I am enough on my own. He added “You know I am saying this because I love you.” Yes, I do know that and I am grateful that he felt secure enough in our friendship to offer that gift.  WOWZERS!  His observations were a reflection of what I have been feeling but have not been able to give voice. Here’s a ‘come clean’:   My M.O. has been to shower praise upon those I like, love, support, value, partly because I see their beauty, worth, talent and want the world to see it too and partly because I desire that for myself. I have received it in spades throughout my life from my family, friends, colleagues and strangers. I thrive on it and on some level, figure that it will come flowing back to me. And it does, but not always from the recipient of my support. That’s a tough one at times.

I am often called on by folks who want to tap into my well-connected, social work rolodex brain for resources to resolve someone’s issues from finding a good therapist, to finding a place to live or a job. Or my PR Goddess mind that helps promote events and people, that is described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point explains, I am a connector. From Wikipedia :

  • Connectors are the people who “link us up with the world … people with a special gift for bringing the world together.”[5] They are “a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack [... for] making friends and acquaintances”.[6] He characterizes these individuals as having social networks of over one hundred people. To illustrate, Gladwell cites the following examples: the midnight ride of Paul Revere, Milgram’s experiments in the small world problem, the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” trivia game, Dallas businessman Roger Horchow, and Chicagoan Lois Weisberg, a person who understands the concept of the weak tie. Gladwell attributes the social success of Connectors to “their ability to span many different worlds is a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.”[7]

 

Immediately I riffle through the files in my head and  I come up with a series of ideas to offer. A few nights ago, my son called me en route from a friend’s house late at night, having missed a detour sign and his GPS was broken, so I became the MPS (Mom Positioning System) as my sleepy brain cells had to go on alert to guide him through unfamiliar streets. It was then that I called on the AGS (Angelic Guidance System) and surrender my own growing frustration. I asked for them to get him home safely. That they did a short while later. I have to admit that I have a paradoxical relationship with that dynamic; both liking to be the ‘go to’ person who helps because I CAN and have the skills, tools and ability to do so and then feeling helpless or unable to find answers as if it  is somehow up to me alone to fix, save, heal or rescue. My old ‘friend’ co-dependency, comes to call at that point and exhibits what I refer to as ‘savior behavior’.  I have had dialogs with it and asked of its origins and purpose. Having grown up in a loving, nurturing, addiction free family with parents who modeled a committed relationship for nearly 52 years when my dad died, I was puzzled. It has become clear that even in their desire to share values of service to the world, there were mixed messages. They both worked full time jobs and volunteered throughout their lives and yet my father would say “Charity begins at home.” They were proud of our accomplishments and said so often, to us and other people and yet would (in attempt to instill a sense of humility, I imagine, lest our budding egos gallop off into the sunset with us) add “Don’t toot your own horn.”  Thus the dichotomy and challenge for me as the new ‘mother’ of a book that I desire to share with the world. Whenever someone praises it, as much as I want to embrace and accept it, I deflect, volleying back a comment about how it wasn’t a solo job and that many people are represented in the book. My friend commented that there are many talented writers with huge egos and many non-talented writers with huge egos and that I don’t fall into either category.  On some level, my fear is that ‘she’ (my out of control look-at-me ego is lurking in the shadows to take over in a weak moment.)  We then spoke about my next book and he agreed that the subject matter was ideal for me…not revealing yet:)

Another friend  named Molly Nece, who I consider one of my cheerleaders sent me this email as if in direct answer to my thought process that I suppose she was picking up from the cosmic telegraph: “Keep reaping the rewards you deserve… Each and every one of them is a result of the seeds you had sown!” It was a potent reminder that although I didn’t plant the garden myself, I did clear the ground, dig the furrows, scatter the seeds, fertilize, water, weed and feed the plot and now I am enjoying the bountiful harvest.

Inch By Inch sung by John Denver

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3FkaN0HQgs

Whatya Know?

 

There’s knowing, and then there’s knowing. To find your way in the
wild new world you have to, you know, know.
—Martha Beck, Finding Your Way In A Wild New World

 

I received this clever email message this morning and the think link thread led me to question what it is that I know-know, not just believe, not just wanna consider might be so, but what I have not a shred of doubt about.

So, here is a list for your contemplation. I don’t have the right to tell anyone what to believe or even know, and I encourage you to create your own list.

1. I am alive, as an embodiment of Divine Creative Life Force Energy.

2. As such, I am tapped into the wisdom of my Source and choose to use it for doing good in the world.

3. I am a miracle manna-fester and have witnessed people and events and things coming into my life, sometimes at the speed of thought.

4. Love is all there is and all we are and so I ask myself in most cases, ‘WWLD’…What Would Love Do? and then do my best to follow the guidance that comes from that question.

5. Prayer is portable and need not be confined to an edifice such as a church, synagogue, temple, mosque or shrine.

6. Loving energy; whether you call it prayer or reiki, makes a difference.

7. We all matter and we all have an important purpose. It is our responsibility to discover what that is and then act on it.

8. The Universe has your best interest at heart and is out to do you good.

9. We all make a difference in the lives of people we encounter; with one benevolent thought cast in their direction, we can change or even save a life.

1o. I am and you are, worthy of the abundance (in all forms) showering upon us by that benevolent Creator that set us on our journey.

11. The sun’ll come out tomorrow…bet your bottom dollar, there’ll be sun.

Travel well~

 

http://youtu.be/5PzL8aL6jtI  Tomorrow from Annie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Beauty

When you open your eyes each morning, what is the first thing you see? If you wake up next to another person, do you behold them with eyes of love or derision? If an animal companion is nestled beside you, do you feel a sense of gratitude for their warm fuzziness? If you are sleeping solo, can you hold out your hand and be thankful that you can see it, feel it, move it ?  If not, find at least one other thing for which you can express appreciation.  I use an analogy when explaining how our perception shapes our reality. I wear glasses and if they are smudgy or finger-printy when I put them on, that’s how the world will look to me. If, instead, I clean them before donning them, then the world will be more likely to shine through with clarity. Simple as that.

It’s a practice, I know. Are you used to a habitual way of seeing the world, the people and the events that come along with it?

I appreciate beauty in all forms. At the moment, I am appreciating the beauty of listening to my favorite Sunday morning radio show called Sleepy Hollow on Philly based radio station WXPN (Saturday and Sunday morning) It also streams on www.xpn.org . I soak up  the beauty of the sunshine pouring in through my window. I am immersed in the beauty of ‘taking spiritual dictation’ as I type these words.  I anticipate the beauty that I know I will experience at celebration this morning at Circle of Miracles (an interfaith community of which I am a part) and that which I will know as I ‘sweat my prayers’ at the gym later today and fold laundry (yes, even laundry can be a sacred practice) and connect with friends. I will drink in beauty on this late autumn day in bucolic Bucks County, PA, as I drive on rolling hills, watching the last of the leaves take leave of their tree homes and come spiraling ground-ward.

What is beautiful to you? Are you willing to view life through the eyes of an ‘opti-mystic’?

http://youtu.be/QeK5tq0n2Ok Norah Jones

http://youtu.be/WI3oXC1401s Young Rascals

Orange Juice

This morning, as I was cooking breakfast…oatmeal pancakes with bananas, I had a thought that after a day spent in flannel pj’s under the covers, napping and nursing a cold, I felt like I was on the other side of it. Pouring a glass of orange juice that my son insisted I drink to assist in moving the yukkiness on its way, a memory from more than 30 years ago, flashed across the mental movie screen. Outward Bound; January 1981, via Dartmouth College. Ten days spent in the wilds of Maine and New Hampshire; camping, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, freezing my tush and other assorted body parts off.  I had the time of my life and brought home valuable life lessons that serve me to this day. One is that I never want to do THAT again. Another is something an instructor told us that I can hear as if he is saying it now. I have written about it before, but it absolutely bears repeating,  Not sure if he called it this, but I do….MAKE A POSITIVE CHANGE.  All along the journey, he would tell us: ” If your socks are wet, change them. If you are hot, take off a layer of clothes. If you are cold, add a layer. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep.” Simple as that. No kvetching and complaining, expecting that circumstances will meet our desires all the time. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t.  What I have discovered is that a simple shift in perception (which is a definition of a miracle, according to A Course In Miracles) might bring about a much needed change in what is going on around me. When I change how I look at things, the things I look at, change.  Yesterday, that meant re-framing the need to stay in bed, when I had (in my recovering TYPE A brain) ‘so much to do…errands to run…cleaning….laundry…deadlines to meet’. Instead, I read, wrote, napped. How sad that I needed to remind myself that I had ‘earned’ a rest, having been keeping a hectic schedule with full time job, book promo events, writing assignments, housekeeping responsibilities, the gym…and oh yeah…a social life.  If I wanted to be able to continue to do that, I needed to ease back…and so I did.

Back to the orange juice reference… there really IS, what my friend Peter Moses calls a ‘think link’ here. On one of the last days of the Outward Bound Course, we ran up a hill. At the top, our reward, besides a much needed collapse and recover time, was a huge pot of freshly made, ice cold orange juice. Served with a ladle into my cup, I gazed at it as if was manna from Heaven. Feeling the sweat pouring down my body, heart racing from the exertion, wanting to collapse on the snowy ground, I gratefully gulped the liquid gold. Orange juice had never, and not since, tasted so good!  It was a potent reminder that nourishment comes in all forms and often at the pinnacle of performance, as a reward for a job well done. Not that I rested on my laurels 30 years ago, nor am I doing it now, but I am still learning; work in progress that I am, that if I am to continue, as sings Kate Bush ‘keep running up that hill’, I need not to wait until it becomes necessary to rest, as it did yesterday. Better, it seems to slow down and pace myself to get up the incline, little by little. I raise my glass in toast to a new day!

http://youtu.be/wp43OdtAAkM Running Up That Hill  Kate Bush

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