The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Everyday Miracles


My friend Kayla Finlay is a walking, talking miracle. Having healed from cancer and lost children to miscarriage and watching another  of her five children face challenges with a condition called Gardner Syndrome, which is a form of cancer, it truly amazes me that she is able to remain ‘sane and vertical’. In addition, she has a healing practice in which she serves both two legged and four legged clients. Not only that, but she had written a book called Twelve Bowls: A Teaching In Consciousness which encourages readers to nourish their souls as well as their bodies. A more recent accomplishment is that two of her stories appears in Bernie Siegel’s newest release A Book of Miracles.  The way that unfolded is a miracle unto itself and Kayla shared it this past Sunday at a service at Circle of Miracles.

She offered the words of Walt Whitman as a prelude to her presentation.

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet
and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?


When Bernie’s first book called Love, Medicine and Miracles was relased in the 1980’s Kayla was drawn to it because of her own cancer diagnosis. She felt that Bernie was speaking directly to her with the words he had penned. She contacted him and they maintained a from a distance friendship over the years. When she was writing her book, she emailed Bernie to ask if he would write the cover endorsement. His initial response was that his schedule would likely not allow for him to meet her request. Persistence won out as Kayla assured him that it would likely only take two hours to read, he agreed. Two and a half hours later, she received the emailed quote from Bernie that graces the cover of her book. Then within short order, he contacts her and tells her he is completing a book with miracle stories submitted by others and he asks her to contribute.  She inquires about deadline and he responds that now is the time. Kayla rises to the occasion and that night sends in two stories that are now part of this wondrous book that takes readers on a miracle ride.  A miracle indeed.

Although this is not one of the stories in the book,  Kayla shared a true to life tale about an experience she had in which earth angels appeared at the perfect time.




the Angels among us

In late December my son, who has a rare disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis/Gardner Syndrome, needed to get to a local hospital for a blood transfusion due to internal bleeding caused by complicationsof his “quality of life altering” disease.

He has been blessed with numerous miracles within the contextof a very serious disease for which presently there is no cure.  We are no strangers to hospital settings since his diagnosis 13 years ago, but we have learned to make sure we have the most knowledgeable and experienced doctors in the field of Gastroenterology in our corner.

We usually go to Fox Chase Cancer Center, and now more recently Temple University Hospital where we have followed his doctor during his relocation. However, when it became apparent my son required an immediate transfusion, it made more sense to take him to a local hospital where he had received his last transfusion only months earlier.

Upon his arriving at the Emergency Room, the attending Gastroenterologist encouraged my son to agree to have some invasive scopes, something he would normally do with his specialist in endoscopic surgery in Philadelphia. When you have a rare disease, you are always a curiosity to local doctors, so it’s not unusual for them to solicit your case. As they persisted, my son’s logic won out and he felt it made sense to have the scopes tended to while he was already admitted.

One of the main reasons for my son’s medical stability in what is usually an unstable diagnosis, is the wisdom we have learned about making sure he gets his care at a Medical Center of Excellence and is tended to by doctors who are the best in their field and who have experience with this rare disease, which is a form of hereditary colon cancer.

However, my son is now an adult, and I respect his choices regarding his health care and surveillance, so I deferred to his inner voice, even though my own was telling me to discharge him from this local hospital and take him to Temple University Hospital to his specialist.

To share the cliff notes version, he informed the local hospital doctors that he has special needs when it comes to anesthesia.  He has the reverse reaction to many sedatives and through trial and error, has learned there is a specific combination of sedation that is the only one that works well enough to permit a safe, invasive scoping procedure.  However, on this particular morning in December, when he was down in the procedure room, the doctors joked and laughed about his “special” sedative needs, stating, they would use what they always do for other patients and that he would be fine.  No matter how my son insisted, they dismissed his concerns and information, and finally just did it their way.  True to form, the sedatives didn’t work, and they had to abort the procedure mid-stream, which was not beneficial to my son in any way.

When they finally brought him up to his room from recovery, he was “out of it” for hours.  It was during
this time that I decided to find the cafeteria in order to get some tea and some lunch.  Seeing my son in this state
due to a botched procedure was taking its toll, and I thought a walk and some nourishment would help to ground and balance me a bit.

Being unfamiliar with this particular hospital, I asked directions to the cafeteria, which turned out to be in the basement in rather an out of the way location.  I know I was feeling tired and stressed, mostly from feeling like I had failed my son by not convincing him or insisting that he leave this hospital and have his procedures done with his specialist in Philadelphia.

As I was in the elevator heading down to the cafeteria, I suddenly felt very much alone.  When the elevator door opened, at first glance it felt like I must have been on the wrong floor.  As I paused for a second
before walking off the elevator, I noticed a petite African woman who seemed to be dressed in housekeeping garb.  She
looked at me, stopped what she was doing and immediately walked over to me,asking me (with a foreign accent I couldn’t identify) if she could help me

I told her I was looking for the cafeteria, and she took me by the arm, and said, “I’ll walk you there myself.”  There was such kindness and love radiating from her that seemed out of place in this hospital after our negligent procedure of the morning.

As we turned down a long hallway, she called out to another woman who was dressed in professional business clothing and who was walking across the end of the hallway. She said, “Would you mind showing this lovely lady to the cafeteria for me?”  I thanked her and she told me to “have a blessed day.”

When I reached the intersecting hallway, I was greeted by a radiant African American woman who immediately reached out and hugged me! She exclaimed, “I know you!” I searched her face for some clue as to who she might
be, wondering why I wasn’t recognizing someone who very clearly thought she knew me.  I suggested perhaps we crossed paths the last time my son was admitted for a blood transfusion, but she insisted that she “knew” me in some other way.  Then she looked at me and said quietly in a very gentle voice, “I know you. You know God.”

In my increasing awareness that something very unusual was happening here, I agreed with her that I did indeed “know” God.  Then she turns to me as we are walking towards the cafeteria, and says, “I met a woman the other day here, and she gave me a coin which had a picture of a holy woman on it.  It is your face! That is how I know you!”

At this point, all I could do was mutter that we all have a likeness of ourselves somewhere in the world, and then I thanked her for walking me to the cafeteria.  She turned to me and hugged me again, and as she pulled away, looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I love you. I hope your son gets well soon.”

As I entered the cafeteria, I felt as if I was transported to some world other than the hospital I was in. I barely recall what I ordered, orhow long I remained there.

I recall wanting to get back up to my son’s room in the hopes he had come out of the fog of incorrect sedatives and we could talk about getting him out of this hospital.  The entire walk back to his room, all I could think about was the surreal greeting, care and love shown to me by these two women, at a time when I was feeling so alone.

In fact, I typed an email on my cell phone to my dearest friend telling her all about this very unusual experience.  By the time I had arrived back to my son’s room, he was beginning to awaken although being very groggy still.  It was then that he began to recall and tell me the story of his traumatic intersection with the doctors and the botched
procedure.  I told him that in the morning, we would get him out of there and I would take him to his specialist.

The next morning I arrived bright and early to begin the discharge process.  We had filed a complaint with the director of Pastoral Care, who when he heard the story, expressed his concern about how unconscionable it was for doctors not to listen to the patient.  The attending nurse was being rude, because she knew we had filed a complaint.  We knew we needed to gather up all of the pertinent medical records from the moment he was admitted to when we were leaving the hospital, and we were told the records would be waiting for us down in the medical records office.

When I offered to go to retrieve them, I was told that someone would bring them up to my son’s room.  By
this time, my friend had arrived to give us a ride home. He was standing at the foot of my son’s bed talking with him, while I was packing up my laptop.  Suddenly, I hear a woman’s voice say, “It’s YOU! And this must be your son?” I turn around and find myself face to face with the woman who walked me to the cafeteria and who declared that “she knew me.”

She sets the papers down and walks up to me, throwing her arms around me with a hug that rivaled most others, while telling me she loves me, and offering blessings of health for my son.  Anyone observing would have thought we were long, lost sisters who had just found each other!

In this huge hospital, with hundreds of employees, this “angel” found and touched me twice in two days. There are no words to describe the love, caring and compassion that flowed from both of these women who reached out to me.  Truthfully, I have never felt such radiant love from total strangers before.  Even as I type this, I am reminded that there are no such things as “strangers.”  Once you meet someone, they are no longer a stranger.

I never got these women’s names.  I asked the nurses at the desk who they were, and none of the nurses knew.  I was relieved to have my son and dear friend witness at least the second greeting, for there was a part of me that almost felt as if my experience down in the basement of the hospital while seeking the cafeteria, might have been a vision of sorts.

During what was a traumatic and negligent hospital stay, I was touched by angels and reminded of the healing power of a smile, an outreached hand, and a kind word. Ordinary Miracles by Barbra Streisand  Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan


Like A Handprint On My Heart


Although I have never seen the musical Wicked (it’s on my bucket list), one song in particular echoes so clearly with the ways that I feel about the people who have touched my life in the past half century. I remind folks that everyone they now know and love was once a stranger and that there are new people every day waiting to meet them and vice versa. I consider the thousands of folks with whom I cross paths each year, some in cyberspace and some face to face and my mind reels at the idea of overlapping soul circles. On facebook, it becomes an exponential process, since not only am I connected to 5000 people, but anytime I post something on someone else’s page, their friends see it and if they pass it on, their friends see it….. and it becomes like the Herbal Essences commercial…”She told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on.” I treasure these relationships and welcome kindred spirits.

I am also fascinated with the six degrees of separation concept, that each person on the planet can track their connection to someone else with no more than six people between them. In my case, it sometimes one degree of separation, since I often know someone, with no one between us. Such was the case tonight at a cozy gathering spot in Doylestown, PA called The Zen Den. There I met Marcia and as we spoke, she shared that she had been taking yoga classes with Maria Starr, a treasured friend whom I have known since the late 1980’s. I met Maria when my then husband Michael introduced me to her as he was friends with her then husband Bruce. As it turns out, Maria was also a wonderful vegetarian cook for someone with whom I was to become close friends later; Sandy Levenson. Sandy connected me with Kathy Tooley who in turn opened the door to her studio and heart where I met a group of women who now call themselves ‘Yoga chicks’. Glad to be flapping my wings as one of them.

Around the same time that I met Maria, I became friends with a delightful 14 year old who I met at the home of the woman who had introduced Michael and me. Our friend Ute Arnold hosted open house events and Ruth Anne Dilley (now Wood) was there accompanying her mother Catherine Werth.  “Ruth the Poet” (since she wrote such profound poetry) is what we called this precocious teenager who is now a mature 30 something year old coach, writer and interviewer. When Ruth and her husband Jason decided to marry, I officiated at their wedding.

In  September of 1979, I set foot in a single story building along a busy highway in the college town of Glassboro, NJ. Little did I know that nearly 33 years later, I would maintain friendships that have existed for more than half my life. Although we are all over the country, our hearts remain connected and although three of our circle of friends are now on the Other Side, we are still family of choice who revel in each others’ joys and support each other in times of challenge. Together, Inc. was the name of the  counseling center and it is a perfect reflection of  the impact we have had and continue to have on each others’ hearts and souls. As I am writing this, my friend Gina Foster is about to become a a grandma for the second time since her daughter Amy Foster Riggs is soon to give birth to her new little one. I remember when SHE was the new bambino.

As a result of writing my Bliss Book, I have connected with my wondrous editor Pam Maliniak and my soul sistah Joan Schaublin, who invited me to publish it with Balboa Press. Because I know them…..the book is dancing its way out into the world.

I could go on marveling at these overlapping soul circles, but it really could take all night to enumerate them all. Suffice it to say, that they have all left handprints on my heart and changed my life for good. For Good from Wicked-Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel

Kindness Boomerang


This morning I saw a beautiful video that called out to be shared as powerfully as the need to do what is portrayed here. Imagine a day in which you see opportunities to do a good turn and could step back and watch the ripple effect on the world around you. I’ve heard it called Random Acts of Kindness or  Pay It Forward, as was evidenced in the movie by that same name, but this can be done simply in a spontaneous way, at the speed of thought. Paying the toll for someone behind you, leaving an extra generous tip for your server in a restaurant, helping someone carry a package, open a door, find their car keys, offer a hug, a listening ear…all are fair game. See how many you can come up with.

A few years ago, I was driving in Philadelphia with a friend, on rain slicked cobblestone Germantown Avenue (Chestnut Hill), took a skid and ran the car up on a curb, narrowly missing a wall in front of a church. As I sent forth a reallllyyy fervent prayer, I felt unseen hands guide us to safety. Unfortunately, my right rear tire didn’t fare as well as my friend Pat (a.ka. Harmony) and I did and it required changing. As we took turns holding an umbrella, we struggled to get the tire and jack out of the truck, getting wetter by the minute. Again I sent out a call, this time for an angel to assist us with task of getting back on the road without becoming drowned rats. Within 5 minutes, a young man pulled up in a white car behind us. Smiling, he went to work, changed the tire as we held the umbrella over him. While he was doing his Mitzvah (Hebrew for ‘good deed’), he was telling us how his parents had taught about being of service. I smiled since mine had modeled that for me as well. When he was finished, I offered him money and he declined, asking me to pay it forward. We hugged him and went on our way. Harmony and I looked at each other and smiled knowingly that we had indeed been sent our angel. I don’t recall how I paid it forward that day, but I do it daily, knowing that there is more than enough of everything to go around.

In times of crisis, people tend to come together to take care of each other. Flood, famine, terrorist attacks…seem to draw folks together, having them reach into their pockets and their hearts. What if we just did it naturally, all the time, every day? There are so many people on the planet who feel lonely, un-needed, unwanted, hopeless. I’m convinced that some of the mental health challenges people face come from believing that they don’t matter. Everyone has something to offer. How about you?

In the video, you can see how the kindness shown comes winging back at the originator of the loving act, just as a boomerang tossed out, returns to the hand that lofted it outward. The music is by Hassidic Hip Hop Reggae Rapper Matisyahu which is a beautiful juxtaposition since the film was created by a Christian organization called God Vine(:

Angels In Our Midst


When you hear the word ‘angel’, what image comes to mind?  Likely that of a glowing, winged being, adrift on a cloud, playing a heavenly harp or singing in a celestial choir. Not quite ‘real’, nebulous, the stuff of fairy tales or hallucinations seen only in the minds of those who are struggling with mental illness.


A Reader’s Digest story reported the following: “Survey after survey shows public belief in angels is as strong
as ever in this country. A Harris Interactive poll in November 2005 found thatnearly 7 in 10 Americans believe. Gallup reported in 2004 that 78 percent believe, compared to 72 percent in 1994 and 54 percent in 1978″.

“It was in the early 1990s that angels truly seized the nation’s spiritual consciousness. Almost overnight, it seemed, these heavenly creatures were everywhere. There were angel festivals, angel craft conventions and angel books
by the hundreds. Hollywood got into the act with Touched by an Angel on TV and Angels in the Outfield at the multiplex”.

A TIME Magazine story in 2008

“More than half of all Americans believe they have been helped by a guardian angel in the course of their lives, according to a new poll by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion. In a poll of 1700 respondents, 55% answered affirmatively to the statement, “I was protected from harm by a guardian angel.” The responses defied standard class and denominational assumptions about religious belief; the majority held up regardless of denomination, religion or education”.


Three angel ‘experts’, each knowledgeable, grounded women, have remarkably similar experiences and ways of expressing their own angelic encounters.


Cecily Channer is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Connecting With Your Angels, which is far more than a compendium of angelic lore.  It serves as a primer on many of the subjects that might be considered on the fringes, but are really quite grounded and practical, setting the stage for tapping into angelic guidance.


Channer describes angels asmade of pure energy and are eternal spiritual beings sent directly from God. God made angels to serve as one of our greatest heavenly resources. As long as our desires are aligned with God’s will
and our individual soul purpose, the angels will work tirelessly to help us, guide us, and intervene on our behalf. The angels are in service to raise our consciousness, help us with our spiritual growth, keep us on track, and assist
us with every aspect of our daily life.”

With finely honed intuitive skills,  Channer is able to “connect to their energy and they work with me to heal, guide and
inspire others and myself. When I tune into someone else’s guardian angels to give that person guidance, communication happens in different ways. Sometimes the angels show me a quick vision or symbol in my mind’s eye, other times I hear words telepathically, or I just instantly know a bit of information to pass on to my student or client. Occasionally, angels will show themselves to me, but only if it is appropriate or necessary for a higher purpose.”

Her first exposure to angel communication was through her teacher Tina Michelle. “I was amazed by the information she gave me in a reading and decided to invite the angels into my life. Wonderful synchronicities started
showing up in my life. A couple months later I went to a workshop by Doreen Virtue, felt angelic energy around me, and within a month’s time I had a profound and life changing angel visitation. I then had confirmation that I was
to continue working with the angels and became a Certified Angel Therapy Practitioner through Doreen Virtue in Summer 2002.”


Based in South Jersey, Kathy Milano offers Angel Healing Sessions, Angelic Harmony eCourse, and meditation CDs. Trained by Doreen Virtue, as well, she is an Angel Therapy Practitioner®

She expressed; “Across spiritual traditions, angels are described as messengers of the Divine, emanations of love, and helpers for humanity. In my communications with angels, they consistently remind us that they are composed of Divine love, light, and intelligence and are here to freely share these Divine gifts with us. They often call themselves “cells in the Body of Love” and invite us to remember that we, too, are made of that same Love. Angels are representatives of Divine Love who wish to empower us to remember our own worth, see the light within each person,
and live in joyful harmony.

She speaks of a seeming serendipitous encounter that led her to her current relationship with the angels, which  “began when I received a mailing from Hay House for their “I Can Do It” conference. I noticed books about angels by Doreen Virtue and intuitive living by Sonia Choquette. My curiosity led me to purchase these books, travel to attend the Hay House conference, and ultimately wind my way through many books, workshops, personal explorations, and time spent studying with Doreen Virtue, Sonia Choquette, and others. I never planned to become an Angel Therapy Practitioner®, share messages from the angels, or teach others how to open intuitively to connect with angels. As I remembered my natural intuitive gifts, my life and work shifted to honor my soul purpose of helping others to remember that they are made of Love and fully capable of communing with the Divine. By the way, I never again received a mailing from Hay House after this initial “invitation.”


Milano explains the interest in angels in this way; “People long for connection with the Divine, however that is defined
for them. We long for communion with something greater than ourselves, just as we long for meaningful connection with other people. The angels have a tremendous appeal as they can be understood from various spiritual belief
systems and also as nondenominational beings of light. The angels honor all sacred traditions and spiritual belief systems as all paths have the potential to lead to the remembrance of our personal connection to the One Divine Source.”


Candy Danzis  refers to herself as The Mainstream Mystic and is the creator of several CD packages, including “Angel Alignment™ Meditations”, “Cord Cutting and Release” and the “One Minute Meditation™” (OMM).

She says that angels are “not fairy godmothers with fairy wands that bop us on the head and grant our wishes; rather they are present to help us create that which we truly desire to create in this lifetime and to remember that we are one with God and all beings. Many students have asked me what’s in it for the Angels.  The Angelic Realm is also growing and expanding as we are in our human existence.  So truly we are helping them by allowing them to help us. It’s a win/win for all of us.

Danzis delineates between the various categories in the Angelic Realm.  “The first connection is our very own
Guardian Angel (s) The next group or realm of Angels is the Archangels.  These Angels work as over-lighting or manager angels. They each have a special area of service such as healing, protection, strength or forgiveness.  They assist our very own Guardian Angels and all of humanity. Angels are not inhibited by time
space constraints they can be with many people at one time so we never need to worry that we are taking them away from some more important purpose.  It is not necessary to know the Archangels names or areas of service. Simply ask for their help and the right Archangel will come to assist you.”



How to engage with angels

Cecily Channer


Angels cannot intrude on our free will, so we must ask them to assist us. You may be as formal or informal as you like when you request their help. These heavenly helpers will answer to a prayer, a thought, or a verbal cry for help in an instant.


*Partner with Your Angels

The angels are willing to assist us, but they are not here to do all the work. Although these heavenly helpers delight in making us happy, if we expect them to be like Santa Claus or a genie in a bottle granting us all our wishes, we will be sorely disappointed.

It is not enough just to ask for things; we have to partner with the angels and do our part. The angels can put us on the path to success, but ultimately it is up to us to take the first step.



Trust that the angels are working on your behalf. In cultivating trust, we remember that God and the angels love us unconditionally and always want the best for us. No sincere request or prayer goes unanswered. There is always a grander plan than we can imagine or conceive of.



Surrendering is an essential part of the process. After we do what we can on our end, the angels want us to release our problems and wishes to them. It is then that we can take comfort in the fact that we do not need to know everything and that we have done all we can. The quicker we let go, the quicker we see results.


*Allow and Receive

It is a well-known fact that when we get in “the zone” we can do great things. The zone is really a position of allowing and receiving. An important ingredient in getting what we want is allowing ourselves to take in all the goodness the universe has to offer.

An angel’s job is to give us what we need, but we must believe it is our inherent right to accept all the wonderful things that they bring to us. Allowing calls for us to acknowledge that we are deserving and worthy of receiving our desires.


*Thank Your Angels

Remember to thank your angels when you receive their assistance. Only when we are grateful for each blessing we receive will we be in the flow to receive other blessings.


Candy Danzis:


The simple answer here is ASK! The asking can come from a prayer to God or asking the Angels directly, either way works. We are always honoring God by asking these beings for help as they were created to assist us. Not asking the Angels for help is like having a personal assistant but never giving them any work to do and trying to do the job all by yourself. We all have freewill, so the Angels do need our permission to assist us. Say it, think it, pray it, write it or sing it; any method works.

The next step after asking is to pay attention. The Angels will use any way possible to connect with us, so look for the signs. The Angels often use our “connection” gifts of seeing, hearing feeling or knowing to deliver messages to us.  Sometimes the signs or help come from books, media, a friend or a person that says just the right thing at the right time. The last step is to act on the signs or information the Angels give you.  If you miss the sign or feel confused, simply ask again and the Angels will do their best to make the response clearer for you. So the steps to engage the Angels are:

Ask, Listen and Watch for signs; then take guided action.


Kathy Milano:

Invite the angels into your life:

Create the space for a sacred relationship simply by opening your heart, centering in the love of the Divine, and inviting these Divine messengers to enter our lives. Do it your way whether that involves a simple prayer, a letter, or an elaborate ceremony.


Ask for what you desire:

Move into stillness as your Higher Self always helps you clarify what you desire for yourself, others, and the world. Express your request in whatever way feels most natural to you.


Trust, Allow, and Pay Attention:

The angels are expert communicators, so trust that they can respond. Simply move through your day in a state of relaxed attention and notice internal and external signs.


Take Inspired Action:

Once you discern the loving, empowering guidance of the angelic realm, act on it!

Express Gratitude:

Amplify this process with delightful anticipation, grateful receipt of assistance, and joyful application. Playfully
practice these steps and cultivate your own angelic partnerships.


Candy Danzis


Kathy Milano

One of my favorite angel songs comes from my friend Lew Doty called 10,000 Angels


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