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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Reading Is Bliss

                                                                                                         
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss. “~ the amazing Nora Ephron (1941-2012)  prolific and thoughtful filmmaker, novelist, journalist, playwright, essayist, and blogger
Last week, the world said a sad farewell to one of the most brilliant and funny women on the planet, whose clever mind conjured up the words that were uttered by memorable characters in such cinematic treasures as “This Is My Life”,  “Silkwood”,  “You’ve Got Mail” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally”. All of these films were pivitol in my own life, as they featured strong, resilient women who had big hearts and a sense of dedication, whether it was a cause, their children, a family business, or love and friendship.  My favorite line from the Billy Cystal/Meg Ryan romp (and maybe everyone’s for that matter) is “I’ll have what she’s having.” Nora Ephron ‘left the building’ at age 71, trailing behind her a huge body of work, as well as adoring family, friends  and fans that could fill hundreds, if not thousands of movie theaters.
Apparently, she came by her wit genetically and environmentally, since her mother and father were also writers.  Her parents, Henry and Phoebe Ephron, wrote screenplays for “Carousel,” “Desk Set” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” She was described in one article as being a “multi-hyphenate”; a journalist, essayist, screen and stage play writer.  I can easily relate to the fact that she wore many hats, since I don them as well.
Her aforemention quote about the power of the written word so resonates with me, since books feed my soul. I have more of them than any other object in my home. Some women (and one male friend) I know collect shoes, others are surrounded by knick knacks…I enwrap myself with pages upon pages of the insights and inspirations that roll around the minds of authors.  I like the idea of an inside view. Nora, I will miss the opportunity to watch even more of your movies. Who knows what other gems were stored inside that brilliant mind of yours? Thank you for your place in the world. You made it a possible for hopeful romantics and opti-mystics – in-spite-of circumstances to have a say.
http://youtu.be/J9F_XHb81N0 My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors by Moxy Fruvous

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Water of Life

 

Saw this quote this morning from Dov Baron and it spoke to an experience I had yesterday that carries over into today.

 

“Alchemy: You are an alchemist when you can take that which cursed you and make it into the blessing you give. When you can take the lead that has weighed you down so deeply that you have felt like you would drown in your own history, and you turn it into the golden wings on which you not only fly but allow others to rise up and see above their own history, then you are in truth an alchemist.”

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I experience alchemical mode every day. The blessing and curse for me is the almost unceasing mind that has me curiously exploring the random thoughts that move through. I have indulged in self examination and self torment. The default mode is usually ‘not enough, you need to do more, be more, shine more, succeed more.’ It isn’t about possessions or the ‘stuff’ of life. It is about the way I am seen by others that doesn’t always match how I view myself. I have two competing urges. One to be center stage, the other to refrain from being too visible, taking up too much time and space. I like to share the stage of life with others so that together we can shine. Some of the performers and speakers I most admire, seem to have mastered that art.

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I had posted this on Facebook last night, both as a way of expressing hard won awareness and vulnerability and accepting healing.

“Major revelation on Day 3 of Grail Lady Faire. I had been feeling a need to be quiet and solo some of the day since there was so much to process from the previous 2 days. Mid morning, I fell and twisted my ankle. I offered it reiki and it felt fine. A few hours later, I began limping with sore tendons on the other side of my foot. More reiki, ice, lavendar oil, elevating and staying off of it. In …conversation with a new friend named Dawna, who is a PR person with whom I may work to promote my book and speaking, she commented on yesterday’s presentation. I had donned faeire wings and used a magic wand as a prop. She said, “You don’t need those things. You’re beyond that.” I began to cry as I said to her that I had never felt like I was enough myself, and wanted to add something memorable.  I also realized that I am here, doing what I love and I go ahead and unconsciouly sabotage myself by hurting myself . Ok, foot…you can feel all better now. I got the message. Healing energy, please….whatever ya got. Thank you in advance for healing.”
It occurred to me this morning that another not so unconscious thought is that I won’t be able to support myself since I left a full time job to dive in headfirst into this work that I so love and that is what I was born to do. The moment that I fell, that’s what I was thinking. It was about lack and limitation, rather than abundance and that I ALWAYS have what I need, which is the spiritual and literal truth. Last night, around the fire, one of the women was sharing that very thing. If something is the truth, it is the truth all the time, despite appearances or what my monkey mind might think is real, I DO always have what I need for my highest learning and growth. My foot is feeling much better. I will still go slow and easy today.  Karen Drucker‘s powerful song, “I Will Be Gentle With Myself” might well be my theme song today with the line “I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go.”, ringing in my ears. ?
Yesterday afternoon, I went for a swim in the beautiful Chalice Lake. Initially, I had waded in only up to my knees, since the water felt a wee bit chilly. Hesitant, I told myself that I didn’t have to go any farther and meandered back to a comfy and beckoning lounge chair. Another new friend was there and we chatted for a bit and then she got up to go into the lake, diving off the dock. A few minutes later, seeing how much fun she and a few others were having, I limped over and dove in myself, “whoooo hoooing” as I my sun soaked body hit the cold water.  It took just a few minutes to get acclimated and I actually found a few warm pockets. Paddling about with them felt good and my leg enjoyed the bouyancy as well. That felt like a fitting metaphor too for the process (or as my Canadian friends say it  “pro-cess” (with a long ‘o’ sound:) of engaging in new experiences, sometimes dipping our big toes into the water of life, sometimes diving right in.
Day 4 awaits!
http://youtu.be/ihWYx-QJ95I  Gentle With Myself by Karen Drucker
www.grailsprings.com
www.karendrucker.com
www.dovbaron.com

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Your Future Self

 

I was contemplating this concept last night while sitting around a lakeside campfire at the exquisite Grail Springs Retreat Center in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada. I was invited to come up here  a few months ago as a presenter/vendor/participant and eagerly planted seeds to make it so.  It occurred to me that 6 months earlier, my then ‘current self’ had no idea that this place even existed and yet it did, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the daily lives of folks world wide, it held space as a  haven where they could go to renew, refresh and restore, taking the magic back out with them. One thing I am certain of is that my ‘future self’, that wise, all-knowing, tapped-into -spirit aspect already KNEW that I would be there. It had made a ‘date with destiny’, beckoning me into an opportunity to heal my weary heart, mind, body and soul, that I had been denying for far too long even was an issue.

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A mutual friend of the visionary director Madeleine  Marentette, named Shayne Traviss had introduced us and suggested that I speak at the Grail Lady Faire which is a 5 day retreat that brings into the mix, healing on all of those aforementioned levels. I was honored to be included in the line up that includes powerful women from the realms of wellbeing, spirituality, sustainability, music, art, yoga, dance, shamanism and humor.  As I explored the website and spoke with this tireless advocate for healing, peace and social justice, I could feel myself being inexorably pulled in by the tickle-me-with-delight cosmic coincidences. I had long been fascinated with the Grail Legends; having watched Camelot and in college, Monty Python was an irreverent romp into the exploits of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It was when I discovered the epic 1983 novel written by Marion Zimmer Bradley, called The Mists of Avalon, that I was beckoned in indefinitely, so powerfully could I relate to the allure of the Goddess theme, the sense of connection to the land, the heart magic that it exuded. Perhaps it was past life connection at play, since it felt so REAL. I must have read the book a dozen times in the interceding years.  Perhaps it too was preparing me for this present day adventure.

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Two of my favorite heart healing musicians are Deva Premal and Miten whose music found me while listening to Echoes on WXPN and embraced me with the Gayatri Mantra. One of the lovely touches I found on the bedside CD player at the retreat was their CD  called Dakshina. Perhaps that too was offering clues. It’s that ever so lovely Hansel and Gretel Breadcrumb trail that leads us one hop, step and leap into our new lives. When one lives in that way, how could we ever doubt that a benign Force (call it what you will) has our Highest Good in mind? In times of distress and ‘how come, it’s not fair, that sucks’ petulance, I open up the treasure chest that is my existence, spread out the jewels of these experiences and laugh with abandon, certain that the me that I was, the me that I am and the me that I will be are all in conspiracy to shower me with blessings. Who knows what the next incarnation of Edie will look back at from this week and smile with awe about as she recognizes the seeds that were planted?

 

http://youtu.be/USWBR7KZSuY Aud Guray by Deva Premal and Miten-The Grail Springs Morning Mantra

www.grailsprings.com

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Rushing Through Life

How much time do you spend on ‘go-mode’, rushing around as if the world would stop spinning otherwise?  For this Type A, recovering workaholic, the act of doing such is a not-so-distant memory. My friend Amy Storm used to say that I was running around with my hair on fire. I would offer that there were times when I would burn the candle at both ends so that often there was no wax more left and that I was running on adrenalin and fumes. That was until my healer friend Karen Fairman told me while I was lying on her table ready for an IET  (Integrated Energy Therapy) session feeling more than a bit wiped out, that my adrenals weren’t in the best condition.

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In the past few years, I have sporadically gone up and down with my energy levels. It wasn’t until after I experienced the death of my mother and found my way through the maze of the business of taking care of her finances, that I truly slowed my pace, of necessity and choice. I felt subdued and mildly shut down, in a wee bit of protective of my hurting heart mode. The professional social worker/minister/POA/executor of her estate gave way to the daughter who was now an adult orphan. Ever the social butterfly, I declined some invitations that I would have jumped at before. My schedule was always jam packed with work and play. I used to say the sleep was highly over-rated when there was fun to be had. The only challenge now that I have eased my pace a bit, is that my body clock still wakes me up at dark o’clock. Gotta regulate that.

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What I have noticed is that it frees me up to have more quiet, still, intimate moments with people in my life, when I’m not attempting to squeeze in time with them. I feel more present and mindful. Gratitude and grace have taken the place of the desire to impress or meet everyone’s needs.  I am learning to glide across the floor rather than break dance. Spontaneity has stepped in when once upon a time, things felt like they had to be planned and regimented.

How much more life would you like to have time for?  I choose all of it.

 

A blast from my past  http://youtu.be/TBQxG0Z72qM  59th Street Bridge Song/Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkel, accompanied by The Smothers Brothers

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