The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Entering Eldering

 

                           

Over the weekend, I found myself sitting in a circle of friends; many that I have known for years and one I was just meeting for the first time. What we had in common was a love of life, a keen interest in learning and expanding our horizons and abiding connection with spirituality. Another thread was that we were all over 50 and therefore were part of what they call an Elder’s Circle.  Since I turned 53 a week ago, it was no big deal to recognize that I am now a seasoned woman; a term I love, by the way. Aging looks and feels nothing like I anticipated and yet, I had not considered that I am now an elder with wisdom to share as a result of having clocked more than half a century on the planet.  I am noticing a few changes in my ability to retain information and find just the right word; which can be frustrating at times as a born communicator. My steel trap memory seems to be wearing a bit thin around the edges and I accomodate by injecting humor. I used to strictly say I was having a ‘middle aged moment’, but that seems to reinforce the belief that I have to have memory lapses. Instead, I now say that I am having a ‘wise woman moment’, since the older we get, the wiser we grow. I also tell folks that the mental hard drive is getting full.  The truth is, I have so much to remember that the un-neccesary things get pushed to the background. Often times when I am presenting, people have asked me to repeat what I just said and sometimes, I just can’t, since the info often comes through me and not from me in a channeled/downloaded from Source kinda way.

I do know, that in my 50′s I have far more get up and go than I had in previous decades. I seem to require less sleep, which is a good thing, since it has been at a premium lately.  I have enlivened passion for life, zest for taking it all in AND the discernment to know what is good for me and what quite simply, does not serve. I am grateful for the energetic resources to live fully.I have earned every laugh line and grey hair, which I have decided to let go natural…Jamie Lee Curtis and Emmy Lou Harris wear it well, so I suppose I can too.   I have gleaned insight into what makes me tick and what makes the world go ’round. I have an ever-expanding circle of  loved ones. I am more comfortable in my own skin and take better care of myself every which way around than I did in my 30′s and 40′s. I take ‘emotional bungee jumping’  risks…not the least bit interested in the real thing, thank you very much. I say yes to what I want and no to what I don’t want. I have connected my wish bone with my back bone and stand up for what I believe in. I ask for what I desire without stuttering most of the time. I can gaze backward at accomplishments with a sense of appreciation that I have a solid track record. I can envision forward into the next decade and know that it will be magnificent.

I have wonderful role models for successful aging, including my friend and mentor, Yvonne Kaye, who I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry. My parents who lived to their middle 80′s, were shining examples of activity and volunteerism into the 8th decade of their lives. My mom taught a senior stretch class called Stretching with Selma and my dad worked in a gym until a few years before he died. He too volunteered at their town center, once playing Santa Claus…likely the only one in their history named Moish who had to stuff the Santa suit with a pillow, because he was so trim.  My Aunt Edith lived to be 103 and was independent into her 90′s until she fell, broke her hip and spent the remainder of her years cared for in a nursing home. In her 60′s, she took up painting and I have a few of her pieces here in my home as a reminder that creativity knows no age limit.

My friend Jim Donovan wrote a book called Don’t Let An Old Person Move Into Your Body

www.jimdonovan.com

There is a wonderful article in Yoga International Magazine about the subject of graceful aging in the face of physical challenge by Deborah Willoughby

www.himalayaninstitute.org/yoga-international-magazine/inspiration-articles/aging-gracefully/

Rabbi Zalman Schacter Shalomi wrote a book entitled From Aging to Saging

www.rzlp.org

One of my favorite songs about aging You’re Aging Well by Dar Williams and Joan Baez  http://youtu.be/1uIAVpM-D_A

And one more for the road….The Traveling Wilburys http://youtu.be/cwqhdRs4jyA

 

May we all age well~

Your Passion Chooses You

 

Last night while I was on the elliptical at the gym,  my attention was drawn to one of the ‘multi-plex’ tv screens splashed out before me. The words “your passion chooses you’”  issued forth. An enthusiastic YES!  rolled through me, since that is one of my ultimate truths. Turns out, it was an ad for Kohl’s featuring a new fashion collection for which Marc Anthony is the spokesperson.  It wasn’t the clothes or even the dimpled smile of  the talented entertainer that had me dazzled. It was the feeling behind the affirmation. I have long known that I was born to be a communicator of thoughts and emotions. My mother used to say; with a twinkling, mischievous smile, that I started talking at age 6 months and hadn’t stopped since. These days, I am a bit more mindful of what I say and the impact it has on myself as the speaker and others as listeners, as the words move through me first.   I was weaned on words;  Little Golden Books, Highlights Magazine, Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins series, dictionaries, encyclopedias, weekly trips to the library up the street from which we would bring stacks of books that felt like precious treasures filled our home. My parents would read to us and when we were old enough, my sister Jan and I would read to them. So, clearly I was not able to escape the delicious fate of becoming a writer. I showed aptitude early as my grades in English far surpassed those earned in Math class. Words were and still are, my passion. At my job as a social worker in an acute care pyschiatric hospital, my co-worker Peggy calls me ‘the queen of metaphor’ as I attempt to communicate concepts to those I serve in a creative manner so as to assist them in viewing their circumstances in more life affirming ways.

As life lives me, I am drawn to ways of  sharing my observations. How blessed I am to have outlets like this one to express what moves through me. I had this thought a few years ago that I was tapped as one of ‘God’s Typists’; certainly one of many (I’m not THAT grandiose:) and that I needed to do that role justice. I open myself to observation and no source is out of bounds for inspiration; including tv commercials, songs, animal messengers, relationships and other seemingly serendipitous occurrences. 

How many people settle for bland, passion-less existences? Some of the saddest experiences I have had at the aforementioned job are hearing patients tell me that the people who are or who have been in their lives (and may have died or left them) are the only ones that they will ever know and that the limited lives they are experiencing, is all that they can ever hope to have. I remind them that there is a whole world out there, waiting for them to step up and a whole bunch more people with whom to share love.  Remember that everyone we now know and love was once a stranger. I smile with delight when I think about the time when those I treasure weren’t even on my radar screen…until they showed up AND I giggle when I consider how many more are out there, awaiting each of our entry on our mutual ‘stage’.

As I embrace my passions, people who share that energy do show up each day. I am blown-away-amazed at the consistency of it. It is never any other way…it’s that simple AND that profound.  Last night on my way home from work, I stopped at the home of my dear friend and mentor Yvonne Kaye and her delightful partner of 23  years; John, affectionally referred to as “Himself”. I love looking around their space, since it is filled with eye drawing images of  family, photos of their world travels; Ireland being among their favorite destinations, books (lots of  ‘em) and spiritual icons. With the excitement of a little kid, Yvonne showed me a Siamese cat meditating Buddha they had recently ordered via National Geographic  that sat in perfect stillness on their dining room table.  In conversation, as I was autographing my Bliss Book for them, I asked what it was that was their highest bliss; without batting an eyelash, it turns out that they each said it was the relationship that had sustained them all these years. These sweethearts in what most would consider their latter years, remain youthful in their minds. I happen to know too that Yvonne (a radio broadcaster for many years and amazing writer herself) shares my passion for the spoken and written word; expressed much of the time with poignancy and humor.

What would your life be like if you lived it FULL OUT , with passion and purpose?  What is your passion?  What sets your skin tingling and your soul singing?  Are you willing to dance into it?  I double dog dare you!

 

http://youtu.be/p5y0p-CjkVc  As my friend Jana Stanfield sings “That’s Your True Calling, Calling You” !

Global Oneness Day

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Imagine a world in which unity overcomes separation, in which diversity is celebrated instead of feared, in which the concept of spirituality serves to heal and not harm. And then join with others world wide to take a stand for all of these things, which are not simply a pie-in-the-sky-pipe dream, but rather a ‘dream into reality’ IS-ness.  Dubbed ‘a civil rights movement for the soul’, Humanity’s Team, which is guided by Neale Donald Walsch, Steve Farrell and Claudia Christine Pieper, offers a panopoly of services, including websites, video presentations, community outreach. Notables such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sharon Stone, Kenny Loggins, Don Miguel Ruiz, Ambassador Chowdhury from the United Nations, Lynne McTaggart, Bruce Lipton, Charles Gibbs with the United Religions Initiative, Stephen Simon and Emmanuel Itier – movie producers, Humanity’s Team global leaders, Panelists with expertise in Ubuntu including Dr. Mathole Motshekga, Dr. Dumisani Magdalena, Dr. Johann Broodyrk, and Barbara Nussbaum,  and James Twyman – musical artists, Ganjhi and numerous others have stepped up and declared their support and identity as bringers of peace. Will you?  I have.

 

Humanity’s Team has created a “Seven C’s” process to guide the movement’s culture, principles and norms. Depicted in a flowerlike symbol, Humanity’s Team employs the Seven C’s — Consciousness, Courage, Communication, Collaboration, Consensus, Commitment and Call to Action — throughout the movement’s creation process.” 

As I read these words, I feel a rush of energy, since they are so empowering.  They open a door to dialogue that heretofore may have been closed, padlocked and fenced in by fear and separation.

October 24th is the 2nd Global Oneness Day, during which consciousness is raised about the essential nature of unity and peacemaking. Events are taking place all over the planet and participants are asked to be mindful and heart-full about this subject. There will be a free event; a telesummit that you are encouraged to sign up for and join among the planetary community that is speaking out to make a difference.

On the Global Oneness Day’s website, there is an opportunity to take a pledge revolving around the idea that we are all the same within and that with energies merged,  we  can make or break this world.  Let’s keep the conversation going.  Celebrate grandly.

www.global-oneness-day.org

www.globalonenesssummit.com

Some of my favorite unity songs for your listening and singing-along pleasure(:

http://youtu.be/gIvMs7nnEHE  Conviction of the Heart by Kenny Loggins

http://youtu.be/lWdG8NoFXY0  One by U2

http://youtu.be/460INShy3BU  United We Stand by Brotherhood of Man

http://youtu.be/taqLEjCVTdo  I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing  The New Seekers

http://youtu.be/6RVDQgVxprE  What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?

www.thetimehascomeforpeace.com  The Time Has Come by Deb Chamberlin, Robert Wynn and a group of talented Philly local performers

Mirror of Life: Kayla Finlay

 

 

 

I have known of Kayla Finlay for many years and our paths intersected, weaving in and out of those ‘overlapping soul circles’ that I so love to celebrate.  She is a dynamo with a gentle spirit and her radiant energy is a catalyst for healing.  She celebrates life fully and freely. Kayla is celebrating something new these days as she is a contributing author to Bernie Siegel’s new book, entitled “A Book of Miracles”.

 

How do you live your bliss?

 In its simplest form, I would say “I do what I love, and love what I do.” I celebrate life with my five adult children and my four beautiful grandchildren, as well as with my most beloved friends.

 When you look in the ‘mirror of life’, what do you see reflected back to you?

 What a thoughtful question… If I think of the reflection of the “mirror of life” in general terms, I see an out of balance world that is filled with evolving conscious beings who are seeking to create and maintain balance for the highest good for all concerned.

 If the question is directed to the “mirror of my life”, I would have to actually respond with the same answer.  I believe the key to a healthy, sound, peaceful joyful life for humans and for our planet is to constantly seek balance in a conscious manner.

 Change is constant, so it would benefit us to be mindful and flexible in the ways we invite balance into our ever changing lives.

  How did you grow into the person that you are? Any pivotal events or defining moments come to mind?

 I was literally born in St. Michael’s Orphanage, Hopewell NJ and then placed for adoption after my young 17 year old birth mother gave birth to me in 1953.  My sense is when you come into the world under such emotionally stressful circumstances, a higher power watches over you a bit more closely, perhaps offering you some protection and guidance in a manner similar to a loving family unit.

 I always had a sense I was being watched over, guided and protected, and still feel so in this very moment,.

 I do believe my defining or pivotal moment was an awakening to consciousness during the birth and subsequent death of my first daughter, Lynn Anne in May of 1972.  I had a near death experience during her birth as my heart stopped beating while I was hemorrhaging. Fifty one weeks later, after the birth and subsequent death of my firstborn son Joseph John, in May of 1973, I would have to say my awakening to consciousness deepened.  By the time I was diagnosed with cancerous ovarian tumors at age 20, I found myself looking at life much differently than I had for my first 19 years of life. I was guided to read Bernie Siegel, MD “Love, Medicine and Miracles” which I believe was the opening of a new path of understanding and consciousness for me.

What is the difference in your mind, between healing and curing?

 I appreciate you asking this question because it is an integral point in my understanding.

When I think of the definition of “curing” in my mind I see the complete removal of a physical ailment, disability, symptom or illness. 

 When I ponder the definition of “healing” I see focus and intention in a holistic manner which addresses our Mind-Body-Soul. Last summer a beautiful young woman and mother who was thirty years young, came to me in the final stages of pancreatic cancer. She held out hope for a miracle.  She had already had her pancreas, gallbladder and appendix removed, all of which left her in a weakened state, yet her spirit was anything but weak.  Her will to live for her three year old daughter and husband was inspiring.  Her sense of humor and heartfelt optimism, that she, “would beat this disease”, was contagious.

 She and I spoke of the difference between curing and healing.  I prayed for a miracle on her behalf as I offered her my energy healing services.  When she would come to me to find relief from the pain, she would smile and say “I’m going to beat this and prove all the doctors wrong!”

 In September of 2010, she called me to Abington Hospital for an energy session for pain relief.  As always, I was humbled and honored to have the time with her.  The day after I saw her, I was called by my dear friend Margo to come up to Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN .  She asked me to be with her during her last week of life after a long battle with metastasized breast cancer.  While I was there by her side, I received a call from my young client back in Pennsylvania , asking to see me.  I told her where I was but I would come to see her the following week upon my return.

 When I returned the following week, I learned of her death.  I was deeply saddened by the loss of such a vibrant young woman.  I kept asking myself, with all of the miracles I personally witness, often on a daily basis, why couldn’t she have received a “cure?”

 I arrived home the night before her funeral, and after the service, I introduced myself to her mother.  As we hugged with the similar yet unspoken bond of mothers who had lost their daughters, I apologized for not being able to help her daughter to remain with us.  Her mother whispered in my ear, “Kayla, do you have any idea of how “healed” she was during her visits with you? She always returned with a sense of hope and peace.”  She then immediately took me to meet her daughter’s husband.  During his warm embrace, he said the same thing to me. 

 There is no “cure” for death.  It is inevitable for all human forms.  However, healing involves arriving at a place or point in one’s life where you are at peace with yourself and the world around you.  It is not unusual when love, peace and joy are accessed, the body heals itself.  It happens all the time. Sometimes it is too late for a cure after one’s body has been sliced, diced, radiated and chemo-therapied.  It is difficult for our bodies to heal if integral parts are missing or damaged.  However it is never too late to experience Healing in all of its forms.  Music and Art can be healing.  Laughter and Love are healing.  Reaching out to someone with understanding and unconditional support is healing.  Simply smiling as you encounter another person can be a healing moment in their life and in yours.

 

 How do you define ‘energy’?

I define energy as a “life force”.  Every living thing has its own energy within which radiates into the environment around it.  Though many times energy isn’t visible to the naked eye, it can most certainly be palpably felt. We can’t see the air around us, but we can feel its temperature and movement. 

 How can we enhance it in order to live more vibrantly?

 The awareness and use of energy in all of its forms is an ever evolving process and science.  I believe the best way to enhance it is to begin to recognize and acknowledge its existence and importance in all of life here on earth.

 Just as we utilize and access only a small percentage of our brains, I believe we have barely tapped into our personal abilities to access, guide and utilize our individual energy skills and gifts.  We are all made up of electrical impulses. We use cell phones which guide invisible data streams to places near and far. Though we may not understand invisible energy, we certainly accept and use it in our technology.  So why not seek to learn how to access and use it personally?  I believe each of us has the ability and gift to use their personal energy for healing themselves and others.  

 

 What examples can you note about shifts in energy creating tangible changes?

 I have witnessed so many examples it is challenging to single out a few.  A basic example would be when people decide, perhaps after years of inactivity, to actively exercise.  It is proven that by simply walking 20 minutes a day, your energy level will increase and you will begin to lose weight and tone up your muscles.  This is a common shift in energy creating a tangible change.

 Looking at a less visible yet common shift in energy, I would mention this type of scenario:  You wake up one day feeling a bit low or sad.  No particular reason, but nonetheless, you just don’t feel yourself.  You decide to take a TLC day and settle into your low key day.  Then your phone rings and it is your best friend who is very upbeat and excited to tell you about a new project that is near and dear to them.  Within a few minutes, you feel yourself perking up and end up agreeing to meet them for lunch at your favorite spot.  In retrospect, the only thing that changed your day was the “energy” of your upbeat friend.  In reverse, if you were to enter a room in an upbeat mood, and the room was filled with sad and depressed people, you would be hard pressed to maintain your cheerful attitude for very long.  Energy impacts those around you.

 When I have a session with a client, I am in a state of what I refer to as “Holding Sacred Space.”  I effortlessly enter an energy state of connectedness to the Source of all Life and from within share this energy with my client.  With that exchange of energy, a client is often recharged or reconnected with their inner source of energy. Their life as well as their Mind, Body and Spirit shift visibly and tangibly as my clients verify.

 Please speak about the concepts in your book Twelve Bowls: A Teaching in Consciousness.

 

My first book appeared as channeled wisdom accessed while I was in a state of “Holding Sacred Space” for a dear friend, who asked me a question of what she should do to bring health and well being into her daily life.

 What presented was a guide or practice that would initiate or trigger the vibration of Desire.  It is my understanding that desire is not an emotion, but rather a vibration that resonates to the very core of our being.  When we learn to access desire, you can immediately feel the physical vibration in your body.  It is different than simply stating what you want, or need to have in your life. From this vibration, all things are possible!

 Due to our culture or upbringing, many of us have not learned how to access our feelings, emotions, hearts and spirits.  We have forgotten how to listen to our “gut instinct”, our intuition.  In Twelve Bowls: A Teaching in Consciousness, there is a simple, yet effective guide to accessing and activating our desire and intuition.

 You have contributed to an anthology by Bernie Siegel called A Book of Miracles. What is your story about?

 

 A Book of Miracles by Bernie Siegel:  Miracle Quotes to Inspire Positive Change

 Bernie Siegel, MD has been a defining presence in my life since I was 19 years old.  His compassionate, wise and inspirational books have appeared in my life as I most needed to read them.  When I asked him to write a cover blurb on my first book, he graciously accepted and then asked me if I would submit a story or two for his book which was heading for the publisher the next day.  I jumped at the opportunity and then had to decide which of the many miracles that have appeared in my life I should submit.

The editor accepted the two stories I submitted, for which I am most appreciative.

 “Miracles in the Moments of Life” is about my miracle of finding and meeting a “soul sister” Laura Szabo-Cohen, during what was the most devastating time in our lives after our respective twenty-one year old sons were diagnosed with a rare and incurable, life threatening disease called Gardner Syndrome/Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. It is a modified version of an inspirational story about Life, Love, Family and the Power of Prayer. 

  “Asking the Ancestors to Appear” is the story of my deceased father’s spirit emerging from the window of the room where he spent his last six months of his life, while we cared for him in Spirit Creek (my home and healing arts center) before his death. A photo of this mystical event, along with a photo of the spirit of our deceased friend encircling his widow only two weeks after his sudden passing from a motorcycle accident, were captured during my wedding ceremony.  Each of these photos was captured on film from two different cameras.  It is a story about the mystical moments that unfold when Love, Prayer, Joy and Celebration of Life intersect.

 

www.kaylafinlay.com

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