The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

A Little Bit of Everything

                                                                       Beth Rotondo
 
 
What is it about your life that has you sometimes scratching your head in bewilderment, with a ‘thought bubble’ over it, that has the word “Huh?” encased within,  and at others, literally jumping for joy like a little kid on a brand new pogo stick?  Does it feel like there is no rhyme or reason or are you noticing a pattern?
 
One of my favorite a-musing activities is questioning whether life is planned (‘Beshert’ in Hebrew translates as ‘meant to be’) or happens at random, like a wafting feather called aloft by a gentle breeze. There are spiritual teachers who espouse the belief that we create soul contracts with those who cross our paths, for better or worse. Wanna learn forgiveness?  Enter into a soul contract with someone who hurts you.  Need to know about compassion?  Perhaps in a past life, you were one who harmed others and in this life you have taken on the mantle of a healer.   
 
Gifts come wrapped in unexpected packages.  In my case, they have come as a result of the deaths of my husband, father and mother over a 13 year period. Their passing and those of beloved friends have offered the gift of cherishing those who are in my life, for whatever duration. People plant seeds in our hearts and it is up to us to water and nourish them as they take root. I am blessed to have rows and rows of kindred souls who make up the ever expanding field of magnificent wildflowers.
 
I just found out today that one of those blooms; a friend I have known for several years, named Beth Rotondo Hadrava, passed this morning after a valiant bout with cancer. She leaves a huge legacy in her wake; including her husband, children and a colossal assortment of friends who will miss her deeply. She was most certainly a bright light, whose star will continue to illumine the planet. My first reaction when I saw the email, was something my father would say when he learned of a death “Ah no….” followed by tears and sadness and then a sigh of relief that I got that Beth really was at peace. I last saw her a few weeks ago in the hospital where she was ‘holding court’, surrounded by friends, flowers, cards, books, chocolate, organic yogurt and music.  She was smiling and optimistic about recovery and healing. I perceive that she had her healing and is now in her ‘light body’.
 
Her personal and professional lives overlapped. As a 4th generation Homeopath, she had a client following who would call on her expertise. As a friend, she beamed wellness and wonder on those she loved. I thought of her as a magical soul dancing through life. Something she told me several years ago following an experience that could have left her totally deflated, makes me smile as I hear her voice. She learned “You can’t keep a good woman down.” and “By letting go of what didn’t work, I  bring into my life something even better, right around the corner.”  And she did.
 
I had the joy of officiating at her marriage to her husband Jiri a few years ago. I was on my way to attend as a guest and received a call from our mutual friend Linda Hutchings who told me that the celebrant had to cancel at the last minute.  I did my first ‘wing-it’ wedding that I still laugh about. Perfectly appropriate, since Beth exemplified angelic qualities and she loved fiercely.
 
When I hear this song, it reminds me of the preciousness of life and ALL that it contains.
God Speed, Beth~ 
 
A Little Bit of Everything-Dawes
 
With his back against the San Francisco traffic,
On the bridges side that faces towards the jail,
Setting out to join a demographic,
He hoists his first leg up over the rail.
And a phone call is made,
Police cars show up quickly.
The sergeant slams his passenger door.
He says, “Hey son why don?t you talk through this with me,
Just tell me what you’re doing it for?”Oh, it’s a little bit of everything,
It’s the mountains,
It’s the fog,
It’s the news at six o’clock,
It’s the death of my first dog,
It’s the angels up above me,
It’s the song that they don’t sing,
It’s a little bit of everything.An older man stands in a buffet line,
He is smiling and holding out his plate,
And the further he looks back into his timeline,
That hard road always had led him to today,
And making up for when his bright future had left him,
Making up for the fact that his only son is gone,
And letting everything out once, His server asks him,
Have you figured out yet, what it is you want?I want a little bit of everything,
The biscuits and the beans,
Whatever helps me to forget about
The things that brought me to my knees,
So pile on those mashed potatoes,
And an extra chicken wing,
I?m having a little bit of everything.Somewhere a pretty girl is writing invitations,
To a wedding she has scheduled for the fall,
Her man says, Baby, can I make an observation?
You don’t seem to be having any fun at all.
She said, You just worry about your groomsmen and your shirt-size,
And rest assured that this is making me feel good,
I think that love is so much easier than you realize,
If you can give yourself to someone,
Then you should.

Cause it’s a little bit of everything,
The way you joke, the way you ache,
It is waking up before you,
So I can watch you as you wake.
So in the day in late September,
It’s not some stupid little ring,
I’m giving a little bit of everything.

Oh, it’s a little bit of everything,
It’s the matador and the bull,
It’s the suggested daily dosage,
It is the red moon when it’s full.
All these psychics and these doctors,
They’re all right and they’re all wrong,
It’s like trying to make out every word,
When they should simply hum along,
It’s not some message written in the dark,
Or some truth that no one’s seen,
It’s a little bit of everything.

 
 
http://youtu.be/pcaJsUNA_ww

The Shift

                                                                    

 

 

Watched a movie last night, called The Shift, made by Hay House Films, that had been on my get-to list since it came out a few years back.  As the rain poured down and thunder rumbled through, heralding a change in the weather, a shift was occurring for my friends Ondreah, Deb and myself. We sat for two hours, mesmerized by a story woven through the lives of a group of people who come together at the lovely, wind and wave swept Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, seemingly for many different reasons, but for a single purpose: transformation.

A film crew arrives there to interview Wayne Dyer who had chosen to use the center as a writing retreat, while he penned his next book. The project director; a cynical, but somewhat open to learning ambitious young man is facing his greatest challenge…how to maintain purpose and focus, without being caught up in ambition. He and his colleagues are intrigued by what Wayne has to share, particularly since these are new concepts for them. It was fascinating for me to observe, having been a student of metaphysics and transformation for more than 30 years, to consider what it would be like to encounter these concepts for the first time in my life, now.

Another dynamic occurs between a monetarily wealthy, but emotionally and spiritually impoverished couple who show up at Asilomar for a conference sponsored by a non-profit organization that serves homeless people. The husband is a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps developer who is only attending to make himself look like a good guy since he is facing challenges with his image as someone who puts profits before people and the environment. The wife is bored and entertains herself with shopping.

The third grouping is a family with wife, husband and two beautiful and active little boys who keep Mom and Dad hopping. Dad is kinda laid back and Mom is hovering and ‘interfering’; micromanaging nearly everything they do. In the midst of being a devoted mother and nurturing her children, she has given up one of her self nourishing activities.

Two other cool elements in the film:  Louise Hay has a cameo; one quick scene, and the other is someone I thought of as a ‘behind the scenes angel’  who turned out to be a surprising entity at Asilomar.

The concepts that Wayne explains throughout the movie, serve as fodder for amazing changes in consciousness and action for these people. Some of the most poignant:

1. The illusion is that our value as human beings is based on what we have, what we do and how other people view us.  Take a look at your own life and ask yourself if you have found that to be so. If you believe that your possessions, achievements and the ways in which you are perceived by others define you, then it seems to me that you will be at the whim of externals. The truth is that happiness, success and a full, rich life are inside jobs.

2. Wayne asks a question of one of the film crew…about how he knows that a slice of apple pie is indeed apple pie. His profound answer is that it came from the pie. In that same way, Wayne explains that we are like that from which we came. We come from our Source….Divinity, so we must be Divine as well and as such, will be supported by that same loving energy.

3. He muses about the idea that for the first 9 months from conception to birth, all of our needs are provided for and we have no thought or worry about it. Why, he wonders, do we then angst about it once we are born? Because we ‘interfere’.  What if we knew for sure, that despite appearances at times, that continues to be true?  I have found myself (or rather, lost myself) tumbling into what I call ‘spiritual amnesia’ when I forget that God/Goddess/All That Is has my back (front, sides, top and bottom too:)  Once I am reminded of that, my life flows with more grace than I had ever imagined.

4. Wayne refers to shifts as quantum moments that have these qualities in common, regardless of the form they take:

The are vivid. They are surprising. They feel good. They are enduring. 

As I fondly gaze at the quantum moments in my own life when I have surpassed the limiting beliefs and fear thoughts, I feel a sense of pure delight, a wowie-zowie sense of wonder. They often come in unexpected wrapping; not always pretty.  Sometimes they show up as disappointments or disapproval. I have the responsibility and choice to unwrap them and see what is really underneath. Recently, I discovered a precious gift hidden beneath the illusion of ‘uh-oh, now what?’.  As I contemplated this particular situation, I was able to shift from feeling like a bad little girl  who had done something wrong, to a mature woman who wasn’t going to allow this situation to cause self doubt. I was once again reminded that people operate by their own values and what feels right for them. I bless this person and situation for being a teacher for me.What a high quality quantum moment that was!

 5. You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are. Sure, making a list of the experiences, items, people, relationships, qualities you desire is one step toward calling them into your life. A piece that people often miss is that in order to bring them to manna-festation, it is important to embody those in your own life. I don’t subscribe to the idea that opposites attract. I KNOW that like attracts like and birds of a feather flock together. If I want to bring more love into my life, I need to be a love shower (show-er and shower, both:) and sprinkle it out into the world.

What if you knew, as Wayne shares at the end of the film that you are only a thought away from changing your life?  The shift can occur in an instant. Is this the one?

 

www.waynedyer.com

http://youtu.be/wEM0SF04Rw4 

 

Wisdom Man

                                                                          

Australia is one of the go-to places on my ‘bucket list’ as I have long been fascinated with its culture and the concept of ‘dreamtime’.  Along came a book that placed me smack dab, at least vicariously in the landscape as woven in the true life tale of Aboriginal Elder Banjo Clarke whose 2000 funeral was a testament to the love that this man embodied while he walked the Earth.

In Banjo’s  dialect, the story was told to Camilla Chance; who encountered him in a (no pun intended:) chance meeting in 1975. She is an author, book reviewer, lyric writer and speaker whose love of Aboriginal culture is evident in this meandering back and forth walk-about journey. As his children spoke of in the foreword, Aboriginal culture values oral tradition and this is story telling at its finest. It took 27 years for this shared labor of love to be birthed and the result is well worth waiting for. A collaborative effort, Banjo seemed to take delight in taking the reader along for the trip. To understand how precious this book is, know that written references to Aboriginal spiritual practice are rare. Clearly, there was mutual trust between the two.

He was uncertain of his date of birth which is appropriate to this story, since Banjo believed in simultaneous occurences. “There is no past, everything is still happening.” He was born into the Kirrae Whurrong tribe of the Gunditjmara nation on the Framingham Mission in the 1920′s. Not educated in the mainstream world; he left the classroom as a youngster when he saw a teacher hit another child. From then on, life became his teacher. He respected his traditions, all the while, carrying them with him into modern life. Always feeling a connection with his ancestors, and the land on which he lived, regardless of how much he traveled about, the last telling line in his dialog with Chance, offered a small hint of his devotion: “You always come back to your homeland. You always come back.”

Much like the racism that African American people have faced in the U.S., so too have Aborignal people encountered in their native land. What is admirable about Banjo throughout the story is that he held fast to his beliefs that people are inherently good and those who act in violent, negative ways, are simply unhappy. Not that he excuses it, but explains it.  He encountered people, including Chance, who are of the Baha’i faith that painted much of his world view as a result. Seeing kindness and acceptance, it fed his already open-hearted manner.

Photographs of Banjo and is family of origin, the next generations and family of choice that he attracted throughout his life give the reader a sense of his impact on those around him. A family tree in the front of the book highlights the generations the precede him; he descended from Aboriginal chiefs, but his sense of royalty emerged from his heart. He expresses pride in the next generations of Clarkes who will, no doubt carry on Banjo’s loving legacy.

www.wisdommanbook.com

It Takes Every Kind of People

                                                              

An old Rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun.”Could it be,” asked one of the students, “when you can see an animal in the distance and tell whether it’s a sheep or a dog?””No,” answered the rabbi.

Another asked, “Is it when you can look at a tree in the distance and tell whether it’s a fig tree or a peach tree?””No,” answered the rabbi.”Then when is it?” the pupils demanded.”It is when you can look on the face of any man or woman and see that it is your sister or brother. Because if you cannot see this, it is still night.”–Hasidic tale, quoted in “Peacemaking Day by Day”Each day we encounter people from all walks of life; some who feel like kindred spirits and some who seem like strangers.  It seems easy to accept those we view as being ‘one of us’ and feel a separation and even fear of  those whose lifestyle choices are seemingly at odds with our own.  Often we identify with our family, our gender/relationship orientation, our country of origin or religion and assume that every person who fits into those categories will agree with our point of view. Ain’t necessarily so. 

Today I sat in the presence of a young Gay man and wept on the inside as he described how it felt to be in a disenfranchised minority. Imagine what it would be like (if you are in the  heterosexual majority) if the media portrayed mostly same sex couples enjoying their relationships and those who were accepted walking down the street showing affection were of the same gender and only Gays and Lesbians were legally permitted to marry, adopt children or be covered under each others’ insurance policies. And then further imagine, that you as a heterosexual person were at risk physically by those with bigoted mentality who would seek to do you harm, because you were straight. Something to ponder. My take on it is that love is love is love and healthy relationships come in all forms.  

I look at my Jeep and note that is a mobile billboard for my socio-political beliefs. I have one bumper sticker than reads COEXIST made up of various religious symbols, another that says Manifesting Miracles and yet another that reads Just Love (created by my artist friend Rod Schichtel) and then a fourth that proclaims Be At Peace. In between is the logo for the car…the word PATRIOT. It is totally possible for me to be both a patriotic American and a planetary citizen. My former car wore a bumper sticker that said God Bless The Whole World…No Exceptions.

Consider your values and what they mean to you. How do you live them in your life?  Are they about inclusivity or exclusivity?  Are they designed to create a more healed and holy planet; one on which all feel loved and accepted?

 

http://youtu.be/Ne1lkEEmRCI   Every Kinda People by Robert Palmer

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