The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Ahh And Awe

                                      I LOVE YOU sign

 

 

When the world is too much with me and I want a reminder that it is all an illusion, I call up my friend Peter Moses. A teacher by profession and inclination, he seems to channel wisdom effortlessly.  Not sure if he was born with an understanding that there really is no duality; that all is One, or if he learned it in the process of life itself. All I know is that I am ever so grateful that on a Saturday night in the Spring of 2001, our paths crossed on the front porch of our mutual friend Linda Hutchings.  My life has not been the same since.  There seemed to be an instantaneous recognition; a kindred spirit connection. A kid at heart; he remains joyfilled as the father of 5, ranging in age from nearly  1  1/2 to 30. He is the founder of The Music Experience For Young Children which takes the lyrical and rhythmic into schools and day care centers.  He also performs in concert  and for an organization that we both love and for which I have volunteered as well, called Rubye’s Kids. A recording artist, he has written songs for chronological children as well as kids in grownup bodies. His adult recordings touch on the spiritual concepts that serve as gateways to divine delight.

 He is called “Mr. Pete” by his students and ‘groupies’; that I joke are usually under 4 feet tall and under 4 years old. His enthusiasm and passion for life is contagious. He refers to me as “Edie Sweetie” which melts me each time. Over the years, we have offered workshops together, but as we are both busy with life, it has been quite awhile. His busy-ness in the past year and some months has been raising his wondrous son Shane, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time this past Sunday. I pulled in front of the suburban home that he and his wife Jackie and son share. The two of them stood in the carport waving to greet me and I swear that I was looking at a mirror image of Peter as I gazed at Shane (a wee bit of a ‘mini me’ with the same tossled, curly dark hair, but with Jackie’s blue eyes taking in the world and this new person in his life, looking back at him adoringly).

He is one of the most bubbling -over -with -effervescence- children that I have ever met. He laughs easily and they are teaching him sign language; he has mastered a few thus far, including the sign for ‘more’ and ‘love’.  I was impressed by one that he created which Peter and Jackie refer to as ‘fists of joy’.  It involves clenching his tiny hands tightly and scrinching up his face and smiling brightly. Talk about contagious bliss!  I couldn’t help but do it along with him. I invite you take a moment to do it right now! Shane had just indulged in one of his favorite treats; a standard for most tots…portable, gummable for one with few teeth yet and easy to grasp…the one and only Cheerios! They were the appetizer that preceded his babyfood mixed veggies entree, that then led to nap time. When Jackie ferried him upstairs, he blew kisses.

As the afternoon wore on, I found myself engaged in conversation with his marvelous mom and dad about ‘life, the Universe and everything’; including friendship, serendipity, spirituality, baby yoga, music, family, and even death.  Peter was sharing about the moment between wakefulness and sleep when we are not quite sure which is the ‘dream’ and which is what we would call ‘waking reality’. What if it is all a dream?, he mused.  Another concept that he loves to talk about is the onamotopoetic word  ‘ahhhh’ which could easily be ‘awe’…the feeling we get when gazing upward at the night sky with its expanse of stars cascading throughout. 

When I left their home to move on to my next activity, I felt warmed from the inside by being in the presence of  ‘lightened up beings’, since I don’t think they would consider themselves ‘enlightened.’

So, I ask you: What are some of your awe moments?  What is your deepest dream and are you willing to embrace it as your reality?

http://youtu.be/Yam5uK6e-bQ  Dreams by The Cranberries~

www.petermoses.com

www.rubyeskids.org

Spiritual Flat Tire

          

                                                                                 Flat Fender Willys Jeep

Years ago, I recall Dr. Bernie Siegel referring to the concept of a ‘spiritual flat tire’ as those bumps in the road that may delay us but need not stop us completely.  The exact quote:  “Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.” Not only have I found dis-ease to fall into that category, but  life happenstance that could take the form of job challenges, relationship conflicts, financial issues, death of loved ones OR just like today, an actual puncture in the round, rubber object that keeps my Jeep in motion. A day ago, the warning light came on that told me that one of the tires had low pressure. Taking immediate action, I pulled into the parking lot of my friendly local mechanic named Donny.  He filled all 4 of them with air and reminded me that if the light went back on, it needed to be handled further. That night, I went to visit a friend in the hospital and on the way out, sure enough the tire was sagging again. After refilling the tire enough to get me back home, when I awoke this morning,  it had dimished one more time. I called AAA who sent out an angel named John, with a Nike t-shirt which had the swoosh logo and Just Do It imprinted on the back,  to take off the flat and replace it with the donut spare. Unfortunately, when he left, he misplaced the special wheel lock key for the tire, which I didn’t know about until after he had left my home.  

Taking the tire back to the repair shop, Donny informed me that it needed to be replaced since the sidewall had been damaged. After going to the dealership from which I had purchased the car and being told that they didn’t have the one I needed in stock, I found a Goodyear store and they were able to replace it. Unfortunately because  it was as a result of hitting something sharp on the road, I would have to pay for it. I did have the foresight this time to purchase insurance for the life of the tires in case the same thing should happen again.

At this moment, I am waiting for the AAA repair man to somehow locate a substitute for the wheel lock, while my shiny new tire is leaning against the car, sun bathing. While all this was happening today, I kept asking myself the purpose, the lesson, the message in all of this. I had planned to get together with my friends Peter and Jackie  and meet their year and a half year old son Shane. My son Adam had baked all kinds of goodies to bring there, since that is his passion. And here I sit, tapping and typing away.

A few lessons in all of this:

1. Freedom from frazzle. Patience is a virtue.  It does me no good to get myself worked up over something for  which I have no control.

2. Worrying is a waste of imagination. Lately I have been concerned about money, even though I have a full time job and many consulting jobs that support me in increasingly abundant ways and I have ALWAYS been taken care of by the Universe.  I have taken note that when worry-wart-itis kicks in, unexpected  expenses have a way of creeping up. Last week, I discovered that  a company whose service had been cancelled, was still debiting my account. Putting in a dispute with my bank, I await that remedy as well.  AND for those who have been following my escapades in the Bliss Blog, I spoke about roof problems over the winter that I thought had been remediated. In a torrential storm yesterday, after my son had replaced the drywall that had been damaged earlier, we found that it was no longer dry, since the roof was once again leaking. A roofer friend is coming out to take a look at it. My prayer is that it be before the next heavenly shower.

3. When in doubt, pray it out.  For me, prayer isn’t always about petitioning for something to be different, although I admit to doing that at times. It is more often a way of acknowledging what is already so. I knew on some level that this situation would work out. And it did. Although the missing tire lock key was  not found, the mechanic had a way of getting the lug nut off the tire and I purchased a new one for a nominal fee.

 

I am back on the road, physical flat tire replaced with a shiny new one that will help get me from point A to point B in perfect timing. As for the spiritual flat tire, I sense it was just Spirit’s way of getting me to see that even though my day went nothing like I had planned, there was still fun to be had. I got some writing done while waiting for the mechanic, I got to exercise both patience and my body. Found time to go to the gym that I would not have, had I been with my friends. While there, I watched the last hour of the Da Vinci Code and especially appreciated the line that Tom Hanks’ character named Robert Langdon uttered at the end of the film:  “Why is it divine or human?  Can’t human be divine?”  

Offering you a musical reminder, that at then end of the line…”It’s alright.”  http://youtu.be/cwqhdRs4jyA   It’s Alright by The Traveling Wilburys

Blowing Some Love

                                                                   

 

I received an invitation to connect with someone on facebook the other day that tickled me. This was a man who had a poetic way of expressing himself as he requested ‘friending’ me. At the end of it, he said he was “blowing me some love.” Immediately the image of a massive bubble wand dipped in a huge bottle of soap and waved across the sky crossed my mind. As the circular structure wafted through the air, it rode the current from Africa to America and landed right on my heart.

Such a powerful symbol for the energy that we are capable of sharing. It is so easy to do and sadly, so often missing in the lives of many. In one of my incarnations, I serve people with all manner of mental health concerns (I prefer that description to the term ‘mental illness’, since it sometimes pathologizes the person, rather than the symptoms). I am convinced that loneliness and isolation are every bit as insidious as the depression, anxiety or psychosis with which they present.  I ask them often about family and friend support and connection and in way too many cases, the response is that they have few people (and unhealthy folks at that) and sometimes no one they can count on to be at their side. Sometimes they have burned their bridges because of choices they have made and continue to make and often they fear the emotional and sometimes physical pain that has arisen when they dare to reach out. I remind them that their history is not their destiny and they can make new choices in each moment. Sometimes they look at me as if I am speaking a different language and perhaps I am. I express in the universal language of love. What if we all spoke with inclusive words, rather than those that separate? How would it be if we viewed the person before us as worthy of our time and attention? My friend Charley Thweatt wrote a song called You Will Die Someday.  My favorite line is “take your time when you’re being with people. What’s another minute to you?” As someone who has often zoomed through life, multi-tasking as I go, I need that reminder. AND I also need to remember that the woman in the mirror needs my own attention as well, since she is no less worthy.

Last night, I found myself sitting next to the hospital bed of a friend who is facing the diagnosis of cancer as well as cardiac conditions. Hands on her legs, offering Reiki, while another friend had his hands on her head, feeling energy coursing through all three of us, I smiled as she related that she was ‘at peace’ with whatever happened. This 50 something mother of 5 who works as a professional in the healing field, lay back amidst hand drawn cards from her youngest, flowers from friends and family, books, chocolate:), with soothing music and beach scenes on a special tv channel, her room a healing haven, soaking in the love. In the room with us were people I have known for many years; one since the mid-80′s and the other two only slightly less time. What we had in common on this day in particular, was love and admiration for this woman who has offered so much of herself to others and now was in a position to breathe it in, drink it in herself.  I was warmed by the exquisite joy juice in the room as we laughed rather than cried in the face of the cancer. Yes, the words on paper look devastating, but can also be viewed as wake up call to revisit our beliefs about what life is and who travels with us on our journey. Fragile and strong we are, resilient and shaky at times. Needing each other (challenging for this independent soul writing these words, since sometimes I don’t wanna depend on no one no how) for our wellbeing, since no woman or man is an island.

As I was writing this entry, the song by Alexi Murdoch called Orange Sky was playing. Sharing it with you…

http://youtu.be/bgNDWKq0alE

Blowing Love atcha~

 

Got To vs. Get To

                                                 

My friend Cindy is a dynamo who wears many hats…interfaith minister, massage therapist, artist, writer, teacher, photographer and all around accomplished Renaissance woman. She is known among her many friends as a loving, giving, you can-count-on-go-to-person. This past weekend, she spent time in the presence of 6 dogs and 4 birds…critter sitting, I would guess. She posted on fb that she “did nothing of value” throughout the day, except finish a 647 page novel, take a nap and enjoy take-out Chinese food, as if somehow she was becoming a slacker-couch spud who would grow moss under her feet if she wasn’t more active. 

Does that ever sound familiar?! I had discovered after years of buzzy-busy-ness for fear that if I stood still, I would never get through the lengthy list of my responsibilities, that I accomplish more if I do take time to refresh my energetic stores. My wise mother used to say “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” In childhood, it didn’t make sense; paradoxical as it was. Now in my 5th decade, it is one of the most logical statements imaginable. I notice that when I do things in a rushed, unconscious way, I often need to re-do whatever it is that I was zooming to get done in the first place. On any given weekday, my schedule looks like this:  awaken by 6:30 (sometimes as early as the birdies start chirping since menopause kicked in and I would love to kick it back…shocking for this pacifist ‘nice girl’ who can’t imagine kicking anything):  do some writing and fb posting (my son calls me an addict, but I remind him that while some is socializing, most is social media/networking), get ready for my full time job as a social worker in a psych hospital, drive the 30 some minutes to work, put in my day there, sometimes teaching classes afterward, coming home, having a light dinner, going to the gym for my ‘play-out’, back to the keyboard for more writing/PR work….and yes, there is time for hanging out with friends/loved ones. That doesn’t include ‘normal people’ stuff like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, yard work and paying bills. I saw a poster years ago with the names of famous people written across it. Inventors, performers, authors…and it said something like ‘these people had the same 24 hours a day as you do.’ Hmmm… no excuses there. It seems to be about using the time wisely. Now that doesn’t mean that goofing off is out of the question.

That brings me to the point of this entry…we are not human doings, we are human BE-ings; so why do so many of us spin our wheels, getting stuff done rather than resting when it is called for and then feeling guilty if we do?  I wish I had the ultimate answer to that question. My friend Brian asks me periodically if I am taking time to stop and smell the roses, echoing the reminder that my mother would give me as well when she heard about my outrageous schedule. Lately (since my Mom died, it seems) I have been immersing in ‘me time’ sans guilt. I make a list of ‘get to’s’ rather than ‘got to’s’.  This  4th of July weekend was mostly about the first category. I went to a kirtan on Friday night at a yoga studio with friends, went to a dance party/gathering at another friend’s wooded property on Saturday.   When I was at Nancy’s place, I contented myself several times by perching on an under-spreading-trees swing, lazily moving back and forth as I observed my friends talking, laughing, hugging, eating and dancing.  In the past I would have felt a compelling need to be in the midst of the action, for fear that I would miss something (kind of like a little kid who doesn’t want to take a nap) and now I glean pleasure from being the witness to it all, just soaking it in. I had some pampering time with gym, haircut and pedicure on Sunday; my bright red toes feel celebratory when I gaze down at them and want to dance. At the moment, they are resting after mowing the lawn, weeding, hauling and spreading mulch. Although you might think that activity would go on the ‘got to’ list, the satisfaction that comes from my beautified yard makes it a ‘get to’.

A year ago, I would have asked “Who is this pod person?” and now I embrace that mellower aspect of myself who reaps even more benefit by merging with music, as I am doing now as I type this…a cover of Seals and Croft’s Summer Breeze and feeling no urgency to do anything at the moment but as my friend Ram Dass says “Be here now.”

What are your ‘get to’s’?  How often do you gift yourself with time just doin’ nuthin’….?

What are your ‘got to’s’?  Do you procrastinate doing them?  If so, how might you benefit from viewing them as ‘get to’s’ too?

Here is Jason Mraz’ cover of Summer Breeze http://youtu.be/OJdXXT1ptTs

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