The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Saying Kaddish

 

In two days, (11/26/11)  I will honor the first anniversary of my mom’s passing. Thanksgiving 2010 marked the last time I heard my mother’s voice, but not the last time I told her I loved her and would into forever. She was in the care of hospice since May of last year and the roller coaster ride we took had us both buckling our seat-belts in anticipation. Believe it or not, there were times when we could have had our hands raised in the year, laughing with abandon, shrieking at the top of our lungs….wheeeee! The last 6 months of her earthly incarnation, was a journey of juxtaposition:  joy and sorrow, profound spiritual exploration for both of us, facing our fears…hers of dying, mine of being without (in body) the woman who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet. She had modeled that experience when her own mother died when she was 38,  I was 4 and my sister was 2. I am grateful that I had my mother into my 50′s. What I recall was that even though she deeply grieved, she kept on keepin’ on. I never saw her ‘fall apart’ in the midst of her loss. Since I am the proverbial apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree. I too have maintained the ‘broad shoulders’ that my mother always claimed to have and took care of business in the year following her death, which included officiating at her funeral, handling her estate, selling her condo and car, paying her final bills, moving her furniture, donating some of her belongings; sorting through and figuring out what to keep and what to release. These tasks on top of my day job and my other consulting positions and publishing my book….whew, I feel tired just thinking about it. So much of my time goes into thinking that I can’t ever do enough…always lacking in some way. When I consider what I have accomplished, I suppose I can let myself off the hook.

I was looking at photos the other day, smiling and crying; again the polarities. Reminiscing over them, bringing to mind and heart the experiences I shared with my parents and marveled at how blessed I am to have chosen them to raise me. On some level, I do believe in soul contracts and I clearly had one with them. I learned so much about being myself fully. I acknowledge the gift of the love they showered on me. I still have not cried as much as I  had anticipated. Perhaps it is because I feel them so present in my day to day, or that the messages I receive are loud and clear; sometimes coming directly to me and other times, via a reliable person who is able to channel the information for  me. In each one, the feeling of total, unconditional love comes through. A few months after her death, I received an eagerly anticipated gift; a purple and white gingham and floral design bear that I dubbed ‘Mama-Cakes’, since it was a nickname I countered with when she called me ‘Baby-Cakes’. It was lovingly sewn by hospice volunteers from pieces of her nightgowns. It is sitting here in my room, almost winking at me, or so says my oh so vivid imagination; reminding me that I made it through, intact in the first ride round the sun. Not sure what it would take for me to have a good cry over her death. I laugh and cry when either emotional state arises, just holding space for myself or asking friends to be present with me as I am going through the experience.

And so tomorrow night, I will light a white, glass enclosed candle,  and leave it lit until it extinguishes itself, offer up a prayer known as Kaddish,  which in Hebrew means ‘sanctification’ and makes no mention of the word death, but instead acknowledges that events are in Divine Order and Spirit is running the show.  I will remember with infinite love and gratitude a woman who raised me to be able to live without her.

 

“Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us

and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.”

 

Mourner’s Kaddish in Phonetic Hebrew:

 

Yit-ga-dal v’yit-ka-dash sh’mei ra-ba,
b’al-ma di-v’ra chi-ru-tei, v’yam-lich mal-chu-tei
b’chai-yei-chon uv’yo-mei-chon
uv’chai-yei d’chol-beit Yis-ra-eil,
ba-a-ga-la u-viz-man ka-riv,
v’im’ru: A-mein.


Y’hei sh’mei ra-ba m’va-rach
l’a-lam ul’al-mei al-ma-ya.

Yit-ba-rach v’yish-ta-bach,
v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-ro-mam v’yit-na-sei,
v’yit-ha-dar v’yit-a-leh v’yit-ha-lal, sh’mei d’ku-d’sha, b’rich hu,
l’ei-la min kol bir-cha-ta v’shi-ra-ta,
tush-b’cha-ta v’ne-che-ma-ta, da-a-mi-ran b’al-ma,
v’im’ru: A-mein.

Y’hei sh’la-ma ra-ba min sh’ma-ya,
v’cha-yim, a-lei-nu v’al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
v’im’ru: A-mein.

O-seh sha-lom bim-ro-mav,
hu ya-a-seh sha-lom a-lei-nu v’al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
v’im’ru: A-mein.


 

As we were planning her funeral, I asked her if there was any particular music she wanted played. “Yes, I want that song.”  “What song do you mean, Mom?”  “You know, the one you played for Uncle Jimmy (her brother) and Daddy.”  This is the song she was referring to.

Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile by Warren Zevon

Shadows are falling and I’m running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

There’s a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sometimes when you’re doing simple things
around the house
Maybe you’ll think of me and smile

You know I’m tied to you like the buttons on
your blouse
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

Engine driver’s headed north to Pleasant Stream
Keep me in your heart for awhile

These wheels keep turning but they’re running out
of steam
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Keep me in your heart for awhile

Gratitude Overflow

 

One of my favorite activities is something that brings so much joy and juiciness that I do it all throughout the day. It enlivens and energizes me when I feel like I am running a quart low. It puts a big ‘ol smile on my face when I feel my cheeks sagging a bit.  It lightens my step and my load. It costs nothing and is, in fact, priceless. It is simply this:  counting my blessings.  It is so easy at times, to get caught up in what seems not to be ‘going my way’..translated to how I, in my ‘infinite wisdom and desires’ think things oughta be.  As I mentioned in the Sweet Surrender entry, there is always a choice…to resist what is or embrace and learn from it. More often, I am choosing the latter.

I consider my blessings as an endlessly flowing stream of good in which I get to swim and a waterfall under which I get to stand and bask. Good thing I like water, having been a water baby-competitive swimmer-lifeguard-coach.  It never runs dry and is easily replenished, each time I offer thanks. Some of my streams include treasured family and friends, creative work that I love and that serves the healing of the planet, deep and abiding Spiritual practice, enjoyment of music and dance, drumming and yoga, healthy strong, fit  body that I take better care of than ever before, my newly birthed Bliss Book, stretching my comfort zones in new adventures, a first time trip to Arizona recently, attending the Celebrate Your Life Conference, and visiting friends in Sedona, abundance in all areas of my life, a sense of humor that gets me through challenges, learned resilience, an ongoing connection with my parents who have passed over. When I consider all of this, I sigh in delight.

For me, every day is Thanksgiving Day. No matter where you are and who you are with, please take even a few moments in the stillness of your mind and fullness of your heart to express appreciation for all that you have and all that you are.  It will be sweeter than pumpkin pie with a dollop of whip cream, I promise.

Waterfall by Cris Williamson
Sometimes it takes a rainy day
Just to let you know
Everything’s gonna be – all right
All right

I’ve been dreaming in the sun
won’t you wake me up someone
I need a little piece of mind

Wake me from this dream
That I have dreamed so many times
I need a little piece of mind
Oh, I need a little piece of mind

When you open up your life to the living
All things come spilling in on you
And you’re flowing like a river
the Changer and the Changed
You’ve got to spill some over
Spill some over
Spill some over
Over all

Filling up and spilling over
It’s an endless waterfall
Filling up and spilling over
Over all

Filling up and spilling over
It’s an endless waterfall
Filling up and spilling over
Over all

Like the rain, falling on the ground
Like the rain, falling all around….

Sometimes it takes a rainy day
Just to let you know
Everything’s gonna be – All right
I know, I know, I know all right

Filling up and spilling over
An endless waterfall
Filling up and spilling over
Over all

Filling up and spilling over
It’s an endless waterfall
Filling up and spilling over
Over all

ah ba bah, ba ba ba dum ba ba da bum ba ba ba ba ba ba ba

ah ba bah, ba ba ba dum ba ba da bam ba ba ba ba ba ba ba
(4x)
(filling up and spilling over)

Honoring JFK

 

Last night I had a powerful and unexpected dream, involving the 35th President of the United States; JFK. In all my 53 years on the planet, I don’t recall ever having had this man enter my sleeping dream-scape. He was sitting in a wheel chair, looking mighty well preserved for a 94 year old who died 48 years ago in Dallas, Texas. Like most people, I remember where I was at the time. Having just turned 5 a month earlier, I was at home and saw the news reports, not quite understanding why the grownups, including a venerable newsman, (Walter Cronkite) were crying. My parents explained what happened and my youthful mind couldn’t make sense of it any more than my adult mind can today.

In the dream, he invited me to join him and 3 other people in Washington, DC to speak before a crowd of 60,000 people about the importance of living our passion and purpose for the greater good. Was I thrilled?  You bet. Did I believe it? Absolutely.  Was I ready to slide into the limo that waited at the curb to ferry us there? I may never know, since I woke up as that was about to happen.

As someone who enjoys delving into dreams, this was a treasure for me. The first thing that occurred to me was a ‘holy cosmic coincidence, Batman!’since the dream occurred literally on the anniversary of his death.  The second was that he represented for me, youthful exuberance, commitment to a purpose, idealism, a stick to it attitude, despite his physical pain and challenges. He was beckoning me to live my dreams by sharing my enthusiasm with a crowd on, as a friend said to me “the big stage of life.”  And so I shall~

Sweet Surrender

There are times when it seems that the Universe is testing us to see if we are willing to practice what we preach. The past 24 hours seems to be a reflection of that concept. I began writing this blog last night following a lesson filled Sunday afternoon and several times, the words were inadvertently deleted, thus this late in the day entry.
Recently birthed my new ‘baby’ that took 53 years to create:  The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary and had done a book signing at The Doylestown Bookstore in bucolic Bucks County, PA.  Arriving an hour early, I was delighted to see the table set with a scarlet cloth, near the front door. I scattered copies of the book, like so many butterfly wings, along with  purple feathers and red paper wrapped, dark chocolate treats for passersby to enjoy. Then I waited and was greeting by my familiar companion, the chattering monkey mind. “What if no one shows up and you sit here looking pathetic?”  At that moment, a song wafted through the airwaves from one of my favorite singer songwriters serenading from beyond the veil..
Sweet Surrender by John Denver
Lost and alone on some forgotten highway, traveled by many, remembered by few.
Looking for something that I can believe in,
looking for something that I’d like to do with my life.
There’s nothing behind me and nothing that ties me to
something that might have been true yesterday.
Tomorrow is open and right now it seems to be more than enough
To just be here today, and I don’t know what the future is holding in store,
I don’t know where I’m going, I’m not sure where I’ve been.
There’s a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me,
my life is worth the living, I don’t need to see the end.

Sweet, sweet surrender, live, live without care,
like a fish in the water, like a bird in the air.
Sweet, sweet surrender, live, live without care,
like a fish in the water, like a bird in the air.

Lost and alone on some forgotten highway, traveled by many, remembered by few.
Looking for something that I can believe in,
looking for something that I’d like to do with my life.
There’s nothing behind me and nothing that ties me to
something that might have been true yesterday.
Tomorrow is open and right now it seems to be more than enough
To just be here today, and I don’t know what the future is holding in store,
I don’t know where I’m going, I’m not sure where I’ve been.
There’s a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me,
my life is worth the living, I don’t need to see the end.

Sweet, sweet surrender, live, live without care,
like a fish in the water, like a bird in the air.
Sweet, sweet surrender, live, live without care,
like a fish in the water, like a bird in the air.
Sweet, sweet surrender, live, live without care,
like a fish in the water, like a bird in the air.

I smiled at the message and took a breath and within moments, people came to the table to chat, nibble chocolate and buy books. Strangers who wandered by, a friend I have known since she was a precocious 14 year old, another friend I met in the mid 1980′s, a co-worker and her mom, another former co-worker and her infant son, my wonderful ‘web-angel’ and her hubby, snapping photos for web content.
And so, now, as I sit with this experience, I grin in recognition that it is all in perfect flow and Divine order, trusting that God has my back….as well as front, top, side and bottom.  Waving the white flag of surrender.
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