The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

The Destiny Discovery

What does the word ‘destiny’ mean to you? According to the online Free Dictionary:  des·ti·ny

n. pl. des·ti·nies


1. The inevitable or necessary fate to which a particular person or thing is destined; one’s lot.
2. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control: “Marriage and hanging go by destiny” (Robert Burton).
3. The power or agency thought to predetermine events: Destiny brought them together.

[Middle English destine, from Old French destinee, from feminine past participle of destiner, to destine, from Latin dstinre, to determine; see st- in Indo-European roots.]
 A recently released book takes it even deeper. In the hands of renaissance woman Michelle Casto whose life work has included life and career coaching, university lecturing and healing whose abilities come to her naturally and who bridges the mainstream and metaphysical, destiny has come to indicate a path and not merely a destination. The Destiny Discovery offers graceful guidance into the various twists and turns we take from where we are to where we desire to be. She begins with asking the reader to take an inventory of their life as it is in the moment on a 1-4 scale. Questions include: I wake up Monday mornings energized and excited for the week.  Who I am and what I do is in alignment.  I know and honor my core values.
Practices permeate the chapters which include journaling, storyboarding, question and answer and personal inquiry. She addresses strong  states of fear, self doubt, ego flares and  unconsciousness. At each turn, Casto is an advocate for our soul’s essence, knowing that it can outlast and refrain from surrendering to our less savory inclinations. She encourages the reader to “write a new story” that reflects our choice of how we live. Guiding the reader to make a Personal and Professional Destiny Declaration and offers suggestions for words to describe those states. She invites those who choose to turn the pages to have an ongoing experience of awakening and personal growth in the presence of supportive community. The treasure chest that adorns the cover is appropriately symbolic as we are the gems that spill over into the world, dazzling and sparkling brightly.


Inhabiting My Days

Writing this entry at 4:35 a.m. on the morning of July 4th, 2012. It is Independence Day here in the U.S. In  ‘tired and wired’ mode and when sleep evades me, writing is a companion and soporific. My mind is slowly swirling with memories from childhood. Excited to spend time with family who would come to visit our suburban New Jersey home for Willingboro’s annual parade that would wind its way down Levitt Parkway. We would set up folding chairs on the curb and I would wait with eager anticipation for those first drum beats that I can still feel resonating in my chest all these years later. After the parade, we would walk the mile or so back to the house and splash off the early summer heat at the local pool with cousins who trekked from Philly to hang out for the day. I watched scenes of frolic in home movies a few weeks ago and smiled with delight. A cookout would follow as we shared food and laughter, hugs and kisses, fun and games. Running through the sprinkler as it watered the grass and us simultaneously. Careful to avoid knocking over the mini American flags that my parents, sister and I planted in the garden as we raced around the yard. The day would come to a close with marshmallows toasted over the remaining embers in the grill and then heading over to the field of the local park for fireworks. The universal language (oooohhhhh……ahhhhhh) in response to the carefully staged pyro-technic performance as we would lay back on blankets in the grass would reach a crescendo, as, pleasantly exhausted, we would wend our way back home and tumble into bed after a day well invested.


As an adult, Independence Day goes beyond the traditional celebration of honoring the birth of a nation, but rather a re-birth for myself. It reaches inside to a place in me that sometimes feels like it needs freeing from my self imposed tyranny. I have held myself prisoner of fear, have taxed myself beyond the max; a high price to be paid for taking birth, have impeded the flow of life force energy. And then something like Dawna’s potent reminder comes to inform me that I am immersed in the answer at all times….choice is always available. I may not always know what awaits around the next corner or in the next moment, but I do know this….each is a day to be treasured and not squandered by taking a dive into lack and limitation. At times when I feel broken, I realize that I am instead, broken open to more love than I ever imagined. When faced with sighing with frustration….”Ok, now what?” thoughts, I can take it as an invitation to expand my perspective and ask how I can turn it around to something expansive and not contracting. Always the answer/question shows up “What’s right with this picture?” and then I can discover new options.  Life truly does crack me open ever wider, if I allow for it. As a reflection of Dawna’s line about risking significance, I am reminded of something my friend Gina Foster said years ago, that she endeavors to  “live significantly”. In that way, I too can experience winged wonder as my heart takes flight~  On the 4th of July by James Taylor



Ridiculously Amazing

On Sunday, my 25 year old son Adam told me he had a surprise for me on the passenger seat of his car. When I looked in, I discovered a t-shirt with the words Make Today Ridiculously Amazing embellishing it .  I laughed since it was a sentiment that I would have been drawn to, had I seen the shirt myself.  He suggested framing it “So you can see it everyday.”  As much as that idea appealed to me, I would rather wear it and make it a billboard for the life I choose to live that I would love for others to embrace as well. The first place I wanted to take it was to Planet Fitness (a.k.a. “The Judgement Free Zone”)  for my ‘playout’. I asked the young woman behind the counter who has seen me pass through those doors countless times in the past two and half years, if she would take a picture for me. She laughingly agreed. That activity which makes this 53 year young woman feel stronger and more flexible and vital than I did when I was her age, was part of my ridiculously amazing day. It also included writing, promoting, listening to music and singing along, scheduling speaking opportunities, sending out proposals and query letters, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, speaking with my dear friend and editor Pam and planning a house concert for my friend Heidi Cooper.  Oh, and a pedicure which was exactly what my slightly sore legs and tootsies needed post gym time.


On the surface, nothing over the top grand or glorious, but bubbling underneath were undercurrents of delight. I love the idea of being led intuitively from one activity to the next and sometimes (much more lately) no activity, just periods of rest. Although there are ‘have to’s’ in my life, just like yours’, there are also ‘get to’s’, which are treats such as hanging out with kindred spirits, meeting way cool people, discovering new thoughts, stretching my concept of what life is really worth. There are days when I’m not sure where I am being led and I just hafta trust that it will bring light and love, and when at the crossroads, I will know which way to turn. Even if I am not 100% certain what specifically awaits me, I do know this for sure….it will bring awe and wonder and deep amazement.

So, what ridiculous amazement do you have in mind and heart for yourself today? Hold It Up To The Light by David Wilcox



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. My Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors by Moxy Fruvous
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