The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Who’s Got Your Day?

Today at my job as a drug and alcohol counselor, I was facilitating a group of clients who have varying amounts of sober time and have been actively engaged in treatment to maintain it.  I asked the folks there about their ability to handle particular life stressors. The concensus was “If it’s a good day, then we can. If it’s a bad day, it’s harder.” I nodded and then shared with them a response I had given to someone who had commented years ago that “Today just isn’t my day.”  I put a mock puzzled look on my face as I asked two powerful questions:  “Whose day is it and who the heck has YOUR day?”  She laughed and shook her head in bewilderment and I could almost see the reset button in her head being engaged.  My clients laughed at those questions and I reminded them that at any point we can reset our own switches by asking ourselves those same questions.


Many’s the time when I have face life circumstances that could have knocked me on my tush and kept me there. What assisted me in standing and remaining vertical was the certainty that the God of my understanding (to invoke a 12 step term) has my back. People often ask how God could allow ‘bad’ things to occur.  I answer with my own questions: “What if God doesn’t let things happen, but rather is there to get us through whatever shows up? What if life circumstances just ARE and our task is to find our way through the maze to the other side? What if every experience, those which we label good, bad or worst, is meant to show us something, to offer valuable lessons to help us recognize how blessed we are, what support there is for us, how those we love are really temporary gifts and every emotional state is fleeting?”  The phrase “This too shall pass.” is one of the grandest truths I know, since happiness and sadness are not sustainable forever. When we are ecstatic we mistakenly think we always will be and when we are despondent, we fear we will stay that way.


My friend Yvonne Kaye encourages people via her voicemail message to “Have any kind of day you’d like.”  The reality is YOU choose and I choose whatever we make of anything and regardless of how a day starts, we decide how it ends. And so it is. Beautiful Day U2


Stranger Than Fiction

From the pages of ‘stranger than fiction, good enough to be true, wowie zowie, hold on to your hats’… I was delighted that my friend Jewelee Landis was in from South Florida with her two beautiful little girls, Sabrina and Vanessa. I was looking for something for us to do that the kids would enjoy too. An inspiration came to me :  Concerts Under the Stars in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania where I had attended musical delights over the years. Great out door venue, room to play, and they sometimes have kid’s performers. What I found was even better than that!  Grammy Award winning Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience was the perfect fit since I happen to know that Jewelee loves all things NOLA and that she and her family go to Jazz Fest every year.
SO, I get there before they arrive, set up a big blanket right near the stage and then wait. Shortly before they show up, I turn around and a man behind me asks if my last name is Weinstein. I smile and then laugh when I realize who it is. His name is Chris and I had met him the previous weekend while at the XPoNential Music Festival, sitting with my cousin Jody Rosenblum and my friend Gary Schoenberg. He happened to be sitting behind me then too. I had noticed that he had a pin on his backpack that said FREE HUGS. Since I’m all about that, I gladly offered one and we had run into each other several times over that weekend. Last night, I invited him to sit with me and told him I was waiting for a friend. He said ” I know. It’s Jewelee Landis and our friend Virginia.” I asked how he knew her. It turns out that the 3 of them are flight attendants for USAir and he had seen on Jewelee’s Facebook page that she and I were planning to hang out together. When Jewelee, Virginia and the girls arrived, we all laughed at the cosmic joke. But wait, it gets even better(:  Chris asked where the shaker egg was that he had given me last weekend in exchange for bubbles I had given him. I pulled it out of my backpack and Jewelee smiled again, since she had given Chris that egg!  What are the chances that not only would Chris and I happen to be sitting in the same position at musical events two weekends in a row, that we would have this friend in common who was visting his home base who had passed on a gift that she had initially given him? Only 100% apparently!
A few more cosmically coincidental happenings in the past few days:
I am increasingly aware that the Universe is REALLY listening in to my conversations. On Saturday and then again today, I was speaking about a friend named Kalie Marino whose book Critical Addiction is in the editing stages. She has had a major life event/loss occur and transpired when it was near completion. This was part of the topic of the conversations with our mutual friends. Less than 30 minutes after speaking with my friend David DiPasquale about her, drum roll please….she called to discuss the book since I wrote the foreword and my editor is also now her editor.
Talk about immediate manna-festation…. I was looking at pictures on my fridge on Saturday of my friends Peter and Jackie Hurley- Moses and their magical 2 1/2 year old son Shane. I haven’t seen them in a few months. Then on Sunday at Circle of Miracles, which is one of my spiritual communities,  thoughts of them crossed my mind once again. Within moments after the service ended, they walked through the door. Amazed but never surprised.  They laughed about what a powerful creator I am. I wonder if they showed up because I thought of them or if I thought of them because they were planning on showing up?  Either way, it reminds me of the inicstricable link between soul friends. I had such fun playing with Shane who was running, jumping, hugging, looking at himself in the mirror and rolling around on the floor.
There was a time in my life when I would have heard the Twilight Zone theme playing in my head at the mere thought of such synchronicities and now I see them as quite normal and natural. The more I allow myself to be a vessel or a hollow reed for the Divine to communicate, with greater frequency these type of events will come through. Eager to see what’s next.  Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience for a mere glimpse, nibble, sampling of the music we had the joy of experiencing.


The Void



Yesterday in the midst of a workshop I was co-facilitating with my friend Elaine Silver called Follow Your Passion, Be Your Bliss, one of the participants commented that recently she found herself in ‘the void’. She described it as frustrating since the projects and ventures she attempted to create, seemed like they were going nowhere.  I could empathize, since there have been times in my life during which I perceived that I was spinning my wheels. For many, the void is a frightening place to be, if they believe they will never move past it. Fortunately, that has never been the case here, since my ‘inner Annie’ bursts forth in song with knowing “The sun’ll come out tomorrow….”  Several years ago, I had an experience of being in that shadowy place, scrambling to fill time with activity, afraid of ‘the nothing’ that I mistakenly believed would just swallow me up if given the chance to sink its sticky talons into me. I developed laryngitis and bronchitis, partly attributable to my unwillingness to speak my truth in an unpleasant situation. As a result, I was required to be silent to heal my voice. This in and of itself terrified me because I am a communicator by nature and profession. My vocal chords did eventually heal and I was able to ‘come clean’ with the person around whom this ‘truth telling’ was necessary in order to maintain a friendship.


I shared with the workshop participant that my ‘void’ sometimes felt like the song lyrics of the David Bowie song Space Oddity where I felt as if I wasn’t tethered to the Mother Ship and was going to disappear into the inky black vastness of the cosmos.

“This is major Tom to ground control, I’m stepping through the door

And I’m floating in a most peculiar way

And the stars look very different today

Here am I sitting in a tin can far above the world

Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do”

What I have since discovered is that ‘the void’ can be a fertile place in which the seeds I have been planting, have the necessary warmth, moistness and darkness in which they can take root and grow, just as plants do in the winter. Following some of my most internal moments, I have emerged with treasures I would not have found otherwise, since I would have been so busy doing that I had neglected to simply BE. Can we be absolutely certain of the outcome when we enter or leave the void?  I don’t think so. What I do know is that each time I have ventured inward, whether by conscious choice or happenstance, I have been grateful for the lessons that tagged along with me. Uncertainty Minutes by Kim Revival



Trip The Light

I love to dance. Ever since I could shuffle my feet, tap or wiggle my toes, music moved me. I grew up in a home in which my parents danced in the kitchen, which was one way that they showed playful affection. As I little girl, I would be Daddy’s dance partner by standing on his feet as we would sorta glide across the floor. Keep in mind that neither of us was smooth or adept at it, but what we lacked in talent, we made up for in enthusiasm. That is still the case, as every time I have attempted to learn formal dance steps, including Cajun and Zydeco, Contra and Ballroom, I have ended up stepping on unsuspecting toes. I am a much more comfortable and confident improv dancer.  A few belly dancing lessons helped too. When my cousin Jody and I lived together in our 20’s, we used to do what we called nightgown dances in the living room. This past weekend while at a Counting Crows concert, my friends Janet, Gary and I danced our hearts out with kids young enough to be our own and had a blast. I think that dancing keeps us (all in our 50’s) youthful.


A friend sent me this video featuring Matt (he of “Where the hell is Matt?) dancing with people from all over the world. What I was struck by as I watched with delight, was that no matter where on the planet folks hailed from, they danced with abandon. Some steps were more formal and structured, while others were free form. What if, instead of fighting, conflicted world leaders could meet on a dance floor and turn on multi-cultural music and just close their eyes and be ‘danced’?  It’s hard to be contemplating Weapons of Mass Destruction when you’re shakin’ your tush or wiggling your hips. I dare you to do it now…find some music that beckons you to immerse yourself in it. Close your eyes and imagine a huge dance floor with room to really move about it. Then, choose either to dance like no one is watching or like everyone is watching. Can you lose your self conscious awareness in favor of just being worked by the music?

If not yet, let this video inspire you too.

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