The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Ride Of A Lifetime

 

                                                                                                                                                                                           Carousel or Calliope clipart

 

What if life was like an amusement park, with rides that are fast paced and thrilling and others that are easy going and flowing?  And imagine that you have unlimited passes to go on any of the rides for as long as you wish….no line, no waiting. Would you run from one to other, trying out each one or would you only stick to those that are familiar?  Are you a chill kind of person who prefers the merry go round, watching the world from the perspective of a pastel decorated alabaster steed?  How about enjoying the view from the tippy top of the ferris wheel and then the middle and then the bottom; a consistent change of perspective?  And the log flume that you know ends in getting soaked?  And then there is the loop-de-loop roller coaster that has you screaming in the betwixt and between terror/excitement, face flushed, heart racing, hands in the air as you seem to be flying over the hill, screaming at the top of your lungs.  

I know that when I view my day to day this way, it is that much more full and adventurous.  I state emphatically that I am never bored, and I’ll let you in on a little secret…it’s all about being endlessly fascinated with life and viewing it  as an amusement park.  The types of rides you prefer is  a great barometer for the ways you choose to  live your life. 

Can you truly allow yourself to stretch into a different kind of ride of a lifetime? Yeeeeehaaaaa!

A scene from one of my favorite movies: Parenthood beautifully and brilliantly offers an illustration about  roller coaster people vs. the merry go round people.

 

 http://youtu.be/VW2ebN3PWT0

Atty-tood Elevation

                                                              

 

I have read this message numerous times over the years and it never fails to light a fire under me  and provide a wake up call when I am tempted to get grumpy about life circumstances. Way too often, I find myself (or actually, lose myself) in those pity parties where the walls echo with my complaints, since I am usually the only guest there, so I wise up fairly quickly and leave.  It can take the form of kvetching about an interaction at my full time job, where my perception is that I am expected to do what seems impossible (miracle worker…social worker…same thing)  with people who have such sincere and severe needs and at times, unreasonable demands. It may look like not getting ‘my way’ in an interpersonal interaction. It may present like feeling unappreciated when someone asks “What have you done for me lately?”  And it may seem like things aren’t moving fast enough in my creative endeavors. 

Even though I have slowed down considerably since last year when my beloved Mom passed the day after Thanksgiving, I still have been keeping a schedule that might make most people’s heads spin. In the past week, I have worked at my full time job, went to a book signing for Mike Dooley’s Leveraging the Universe, which I wrote about yesterday, spending 3 hours or so prior to work and 3 hours or so afterward writing articles, doing marketing for my book, which just came out, setting up my own book signings, prepping for a class I am teaching with my friend Peggy this coming week, went to the gym several times, activities with friends, attending a concert/kirtan with Deva Premal, Miten and Manose ,  planning a trip to Arizona…added to that ‘normal people stuff’ such as household responsibilities, as well as eating, sleeping, bathing and, oh yes…breathing.  And still, at times, I feel like I am standing still…what’s up with THAT?  Have I forgotton the adage “Delays are not denials”?  Apparently so.

The part of me that demands superhuman effort wants to see the results of my actions blossom more quickly and then the  spiritual amnesia that has had me in its grip, abates as I look at my accomplishments and where I was a year ago. The High Holidays have just passed and I have long viewed them as an opportunity to ‘take stock’ of where I was and where I am now. Twelve months ago, I was traveling back and forth from PA to FLA to be with my Mom on her hospice journey, wondering when it would be the last trip. I was questioning if I would ever complete my book, dragging my feet in fear, but calling it “I’m-too-busy-how-could-I-possibly-complete-it-in-the-midst-of-all-this-other-stuff?”  I dreaded handling her estate afterward, and yet, with the support and guidance of a financial advisor friend, am nearly complete with the major tasks. I question my grief process which has me feeling far less entrenched than I imagined I would be and yet, I know it’s perfect, since I am aware of  her presence so strongly at times. Tears flow when they do and then they cease and I move forward into the next moment.

I know ultimately that I am the only one in charge of my atty-tood and the only one that can shift from where I am to where I choose to be. I can cut myself some slack and as I did in the wee hours this morning before writing this, allow my monkey mind to have its say; screeching and complaining about what didn’t feel fair…’How come…why not….what’s wrong with this picture?”, rather than supressing as I sometimes do and then covering it over with shiny paper. One thing I have learned is that if you wrap dog poop in pretty paper and tie a ribbon around it, it is still dog poop. Instead, I have used the metaphorical mess as fertilizer for my dreams and visions. Once I did that, I was able to ask “What’s right with this picture?” and the answer arrived that it is again the exercise equipment that strengthens and stretches me.  And the rest is still unwritten…

 

http://youtu.be/TtGY4G7II6s  Unwritten  by Natasha Bedingfield

Leveraging the Universe

Leveraging the Universe book

Words have always fascinated me and I have been tickled by the ways in which they can either enliven or disempower. Our minds are like those velcro dart boards that attract and let stick all of the daily input that swirls around us. On any given day, I am told, we think 60,000 some thoughts and the majority are yukky-sucky, self or other deprecating and tripping up, roadblocking and keep us stuck where don’t wanna be. What if we could, instead, engage in life affirmation in practical, effective ways?  A silly question, as I ask it, because it is not what if, but what is!

Enter Mike Dooley, a tax accountant by training and many years experience working for Price Waterhouse, whose spread sheet now has fun and frolic dancing across it and not just facts and figures. He stepped onto the international stage as one of the transformational movers and shakers in the now iconic film The Secret with three key words “Thoughts Become Things.”  These days, he travels the world, offering the not-so-secret concepts that we are loved by a benevolent Universe that has our best interests at heart and has messages to offer if we have the ears to hear them. He willingly has become a pen for such missives that he calls “Messages From the Universe” that can come daily to your email inbox.

Here’s one for your reading pleasure:

The absolute, most sure-fire way
of physically moving in the direction of your dreams,
on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the “cursed hows,”
is living them, now, to any degree that you can.

And you can.

The Universe

Isn’t today going to rock?”

 I heard about this book via an email announcing that Mike would be doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. In preparation for attending, I set my intention for a smooth and effortless commute during rush hour in one of the busiest areas in the city. I called on our family parking angel, my mother’s brother Jim who always found the perfect spot no matter where he went and ta-da an “Uncle Jimmy spot” showed up directly across the street from the store. I arrived as he was getting started and the audience of raptly listening attendees numbered at least 50, in the chairs and spilling out onto the aisles. Mike spoke loud and clear about the ability each of us posesses to create the life of our deepest dreams and passionate desires. He read excerpts from the book that were like a fire lit under anyone willing to be positively incendiary.

Broken down into easy to digest ideas in the form of chapters, Leveraging the Universe is really a primer with some fancy embellishments, which means it would appeal to readers who are new to the concepts, as well as those, like me who swim in this stuff, drinking it in, absorbing it through every pore and then recycling it back out into the world.

 

1. Understand Your Power introduces the reader to the concept of ‘the cursed hows’ and the erroneous belief that we need to know how something will manifest in order to put the idea out into the universe. I laughed at that, since I long ago learned that my ‘how’s’ and those of the I AM are sometimes a good distant apart.

2. Chart Your Course allows the reader to set intention by asking what it is that is really desired. Whatya want?  Mike shared a story in his presentation about going into a store and wondering what brand he should buy, before asking himself “What brand do I want to buy?” and if hungry, questioning “What should I eat?” before realizing to consider what he wanted to eat.

3. Take Action and Delegate invites the reader to discerning what physical steps to take and what aspects of a desire to surrender to the Universe.  He offers ideas for momentum rather than passivity when it comes to casting our wishes out to the cosmos. I call it ‘putting legs under’ my visions.

4. Leverage The Universe creates the impression that it is essential to be aware of  patterns of thought that may be sabotaguing intended outcome. Mike encourages using the power of our imagination to visualize what it is we want; as a full sensory experience. Each person may have a different learning style, but by merging the best of all of them, there is a far better chance of bringing it to fruition.

5. Align Your Beliefs brings to the fore, the question of beliefs vs. thoughts. Both are essential to be aware of when plotting with the Universe for the highest good.So often we think we need to understand the origin of our beliefs before we change them if they are not serving us. What if we just changed them?  Mike asks the reader to align their thoughts with the intended outcome.  One of the most enjoyable exercises is asking yourself what beliefs you think someone would have in order to acheive their particular level of success.

6. Engage The Magic starts out with the laughable example of a mama duck needing to call on the baby ducks to line up and follow her across a stream . Naturally, she doesn’t wait for them to line up behind her; she just waddles ahead and they are close behind since she has set the example. The same is true for each of us. If we waited until conditions were ‘right’ or comfortable, we might never take the next step. Persistance is a key to continuing to cross the stream, even if the waters rise.

7. Adjust Your Sails encourages honesty about what it is we truly want, rather than what we are expected or think we should  want. In this chapter, Mike fields readers’ questions and the answers are gently humorous and encouraging.  One of his closing questions is “Is life fair?”  What do you think?

Taking a pause here while you consider that.

 

Mike’s take (and mine as well) is that life isn’t fair and that it, indeed is weighed in your favor, on your side, for your best interest, regardless of form or appearance.  What if you really, truly, ab-soul-utely knew this to be so, as much as you know you are wearing your own skin, feeling your own heart beating, looking out through your eyes and hearing through your own ears?  Not belief, not faith, but a KNOWING.  That, to me, is the essence of this book.

 

www.tut.com

 

Door to the Divine

“This moment is the door to the divine.”- Osho

 

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Writing this blog entry at a time when I would normally be asleep, but at the moment, am resonating with accoustically induced ‘ananda’ . (Sanskrit for bliss…obviously one of my favorite states of being) I just returned from a kirtan/concert featuring the blended talents of Deva Premal, Miten and Manose at the beautiful Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA.  Sonic sweetness emerged from this trio who have played and chanted together world wide for years. They are ‘on the road’   in support of their new CD called Password.  The reason for this title comes through loud and clear when they lead the audience through the healing use of mantra.  Deva expressed that “Mantras are passwords that transform the mundane into the sacred.”   An exquisite chant  called Narasimha is a prayer for protection and opened the concert.   At one point in the evening, Deva encouraged us to consider that the spiritual and physical planes are not separate. We are invited to experience a spiritual practice all throughout the day, whether in our work, time with family and friends, or even doing the dishes. Mantra, they feel, is a link to that sense of the sublime even in the midst of the seemingly mundane.  One mantra called Aham Prema is a call for divine love that wafted through the theater as powerfully as the scent of Nag Champa incense (my favorite to use at home). The enrapturing flute playing offered by Nepalese flautist Manose is nothing short of pure nectar.

One of the most moving parts of the concert/kirtan (I hesitate to refer to it as a performance, since it is call and response, audience participation) was the blending of two songs; one called Second Chance and the other Fly High. As he often does,  Miten asked for the men to sing solo and then the women to follow. The men were a bit shy, so Miten asked them to take a stretch and stand and sing to the women. I found the tears flowing with deep appreciation for their sweet serenade. Then we stood with them and sang another part of the song and then were asked to make eye contact and sing to those around us. The feeling of Oneness was palpable. For that period, we were not separate entities with names and jobs and stressors. We were indeed merged with the waves of sound that enveloped us. Miten had prefaced the song by saying that he wrote Second Chance after a friend commented that religion is for people who fear hell and spirituality is for people who have been there.

I took note of a decorative element on the stage; an elegantly draped white piece of fabric that was hanging behind them against a black backdrop. As various hued lighting hit it,  it appeared, at turns as porcelin, the inside of a seashell and a feather. That sense of grace carried through the music.

The evening closed with my favorite chant; likely since it was the first one I heard Deva perform years ago on Echoes, (WPXN 88.5 fm www.xpn.org ) called the Gayatri Mantra. It is one that Deva grew up hearing and singing and even before she was born, her father would sing it to her in utero.  I was blessed to have crossed the threshold to the Divine and plan to remain in its dwelling place.

www.devapremalmiten.com

 

http://youtu.be/PISZq47AmkM  Narasimha

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