The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Birthday Blissings

My 53rd birthday is now almost ‘one for the books’ and I am reeling in amazement at how many people have shared my day with me, even if we had never met face to face. It began at around 3 a.m. when I awoke from a dream that was fortuitous,  about a problem I had with my computer that I resolved BECAUSE I was  alerted in the dream state. Once up for a bit, I found myself paging through multiple sweet Facebook friend messages. The number of friend per Facebook page is  5000 and I have maxed out; so imagine how many people had taken time to send me their wishes. One was from my parents who had awakened my sister Jan with a message  from the other side, to pass on to me at that same wee small hour of the morning. I responded one by one to each, making a heart connection via cyberspace. After going back to sleep for a few hours, I was sung to consciousness by my cousin Jody, after which I returned to my inbox that contained even more celebratory missives. Then there were beautiful cards and gifts that reflected the most important gift…the love that inspired them.

I felt like Lucille Ball in  the candy assembly line of the I Love Lucy episode as I attempted to keep up with the flow. Each time I would thank one person, another greeting would pop up. Kinda like the way Universe responds to our expression of gratitude in general.   Throughout the day, I received voice mail messages; from Greg,  Barb, Ondreah and Matthew and some acapella serenades, including my professional singer friend Ben, as well as Gary, Phil and Janet, Naila and my sister who offered our ‘traditional hippo-birdies-two-ewes’ birthday benediction. Then there were more emails and a fun and colorful video from my friends Pam and Phil, decked out in purple finery.  A beautiful compliment came today in the form of a message from Pam’s 90 year old grandmother, a.k.a  Rose Winsko Maliniak who had this to say about my newly birthed Bliss Mistress book:

 “I’m reading the book and I must say this Edie Weinstein is a very gifted writer. I feel like she’s in the room with me. I visualize the events. Love, MomMom”

Thank you, Rose, for your sweet words..quite a compliment. Your interest in the book has stretched my demographic beyond what I anticipated. Glad you are enjoying it. Goes to show you that Bliss Mistresses are ageless.

On my way home from work, I stopped at a nail salon where I had not been before, in order to have a pedicure. A few minutes after settiling my tired and in need of pampering feet into bubbling warm water, I notice a woman sitting two chairs down. We struck up a conversation and I found out that her name is Carol and she is re-creating her life following many transitions including the death of her father in 2008 and her mother this past March. Her dad, like mine, was athletic. Her mom; she felt  had died of a broken heart…diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure, just like my mom. I suspect that in missing my father to whom she had been married for nearly 52 years, her heart was broken and longing for him as well. Tomorrow is their anniversary and I am so grateful that they are together. I was telling her about the book and the connections it has with my mom and she could relate. As it was with my mom, she was able to connect on a much deeper level. She purchased a copy on the spot and a further cosmic coincidence, as she pulled out her checkbook to pay for the book, I saw that she had lived in my neighborhood. My red painted tootsies danced in delight out of there. 

My culinarily talented  son Adam cooked me dinner and baked me a cake. After indulging in the delicious meal, I headed to the gym where I ran into a friend named Sherrie who I had met there a month or so ago and had written about in the Bliss Blog entry called The Whole Package. We caught up on our lives and then I indulged in a cleansing workout/playout.  More messages keep flying in from all parts of the planet. As I prepare for much needed sleep tonight, I acknowlege that I am pretty darn blessed and that I am immersed in love, so sweet that I wish never to emerge from it. You are all a gift in my life

 

http://youtu.be/bOqyygAQSX0  a blast from my past Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold

 

Paid To Play

                                                                                                                                        

 

Just returned a little while ago from doing one of my favorite things…teaching about creativity.  My friend Peggy Tileston and I offered a class for social workers and therapists for an organization called Social Work prn, which provided a set of skills to assist them in incorporating creative ideas into their practice with clients and patients. From start to finish, it was pure joy. We and they danced, drummed, sang, chanted, drew, and shared wisdom born of  likely a  hundred or more years of combined experience in our collective fields.  The 6 hours flew by and when we were finished, I felt as if I was ready to fly/float out of the room. I had arrived bright and early this morning,  having spent nearly 90 minutes on the road in the rain, at the beginning of rush hour. As I unloaded my car and hauled in drums and boxes and bags of stuff to use in the class, I was feeling buzzy and not particularly grounded. It didn’t take long for me to sink my roots into the Earth, my branches stretched to the sky as I  breathed my way into bliss. Throughout the day, it was heartening to observe the impact on the folks in the class who had gathered from their various corners of the world and diverse settings in which they work and the different populations they serve. They laughed, smiled, nodded absorbing of the concepts; offering their own take on the subject matter. We left all the richer for it.

I was especially glad to have two of my special drums; a frame drum with a celtic knot/Star of David design and a ceramic dumbek with a spiral design on  the head with one of my favorite Rumi quotes “Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” They were lovingly painted by my friend Shari Kestanbaum Ubechel many years ago and carry her energetic imprint.

 

                                                                                            

 

The cool thing for me, is that although it takes prep time and it is the accumulation of years of education and experience, this feels not at all like work.  It is where I live, it is what athletes call ‘the zone’. I remember back in the early 1980s, I worked for the South Jersey Council on Alcoholism, offering trainings for teachers who, in turn would do drug and alcohol education for their students. I was young (in my early 20′s) and newly graduated with a degree in Psychology. I was partnered with someone who had been in the recovery field for many years and had an encyclopedic knowlege of the subject matter and an engaging presentation style. I watched in awe as he had the audience eating out the palm of his hand. I, on the other hand, had brought notes with me and used them liberally in my part of the presentation. I felt awkward and decidedly unprofessional. I asked him afterward how he did it.  His one word answer?  “Stories.”  He went on to explain that when I had anecdotes to share, my presentations would flow more readily as well. All of these years later, I wish I could see him and tell him….”I finally got it. I have stories.” 

I am so grateful that I get paid to play, which is really what my writing and speaking feels like.  So, in what areas of your life do you get paid to play?  And if  you don’t what would you need to do to shift into that mindset?

 

                                                                                        

The Sanskrit word for ‘play’ is ‘lila’, which is pronounded ‘lee-la’ and it is one of my favorites, since it beckons stretching our comfort zone so we can think, move, dance and dream outside the box in which we may have incarcerated our creativity. 

I wish you enlightened lila.

 

http://youtu.be/TC4mH6nACm8  Micky Hart….Global Drum Project

 www.earthandspirit.net

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

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