The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

What A Difference A Year Makes

 

                                                                                        

Today I was musing with my friend Cindy, that a year ago marks the last time I saw my mother prior to her passing on November 26, 2010.  Halloween weekend had me heading southward to sunny South Florida for what was to be a final period of laughter, sharing of  stories, hugs and cuddles and chocolate with the woman who 52 years and two weeks earlier, had birthed me into the world. Little did I know at the time, that we were in the final stages of birthing her into her new life.

I asked if she wanted to go trick or treating and she said that she would rather that the little ones come to her. I suggested that we dress in costume and she said she didn’t want to scare the kids.  So, instead, we sat together with a big bowl of mixed candy on her lap and with pumpkin colored bags on my lap, and scooped up handfuls and dropped them into their containers. Later that day, three of the neighbor children came into the living room in their costumes, wanting to spend time with this eternally youthful kid in an old person’s body who they saw as a surrogate grandmother. I was delighted to witness that they found her company to be as sweet as, and more compelling than the treats she offered them.

We reminisced about the Halloween party we had at my childhood home for which she sewed pumpkin costumes for my father and herself, my sister and me, including hats with stems that tied under our chins.  We stuffed the costumes with newspapers that rustled when we moved. Green leotards and orange facepaint adorned our bodies and cheeks. I thought it was the coolest thing to have a mother who was so creative.  Even my dad got into the spirit of it, since he too was a big kid.  I reminded her of the year that Jan and I both dressed as Mary Poppins, complete with little parasols that we twirled and pretended could help us fly.

As I look back on that particular weekend, I realize that, even not knowing at the time that I would not be holding her hand or hugging or kissing her again in this lifetime, I felt complete, holding nothing back, saying all that needed to be said. I am amazed when I consider how this year has unfolded, from her death, to her funeral, from handling her affairs to completing my book with her encouragement on this earth plane, to the ongoing support from wherever she is at the moment, to the opportunities to connect with so many kindred spirits, to the “Mom Miracles” and butterfly sightings that have occurred…I am simply blown away. Lest I forget…love lingers…and I am grateful~

 

For the sweet soul she will always be~

 

http://youtu.be/eKfbVAO6VGA All Souls Night-Loreena McKennitt

 

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

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