The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Messages From Beyond

 

Messages front cover final
 
I’ve known author, speaker and what I think of as a ‘luminescent visionary’, Michele Livingston for a number of years. Although she is most definitely tapped into Spirit, I have found that she is also one of the most grounded psychics I have met. Her original career is art, but her calling is ‘artfully’ communicating spiritual concepts in ways that even folks for whom these ideas are new or imagine that they might have a Twilight Zone feel to them, would grasp.

Her latest offering is entitled: Messages From Beyond: A Spiritual Guidebook and it has the flavor of a primer or “Spirituality 101″. The subject matter ranges from bringing in abundance and a life partner to smoking cessation, from helping loved ones cross over to communicating with them afterward. She speaks of past life incarnations and soul agreements that offer possibilities of why we may have certain relationships with people in our lives and why some of our loved ways may die ‘tragically’ or ‘prematurely’ by our standards.

Michele’s insightful and instructive manner allow her to touch on aspects that seem more ‘grounded’ in our day to day activities such as dealing with people who exude unpleasant or negative energy. She uses easy to learn techniques to shield ourselves from the effects of such.

She expertly explores controversial concepts such as abortion, suicide, homosexuality and transgender issues in ways that are compassionate around the soul’s choice.

Everything you may have wanted to know about phenomenon such as : chakras, angels, crystals, inner and outer dimensions, astral projection, automatic writing, elements of nature gather together in this collection of cosmic classroom on paper.

www.MicheleLivingston.com

One Of The Cool Kids

                                                      

                                                          

                                                     

 

What amazes me is how my perception of myself can be so dramatically different from those of others throughout my life. I was a quirky kid. I joke now that I was ‘an alien baby left on my parent’s doorstep.’, since I always felt like I was a bit left of center. I viewed the world through magical lenses. I had an over the top imagination which has served me well as a writer. When I went to junior and senior high school, like most teens, I wanted to fit in. Dressing, speaking, acting like everyone else. There is a social strata….remembering that I was an adolescent in the 1970′s and as a poetic flower child, hippie wanna-be, I never was an athlete, a cheerleader, a student government leader, but neither was I a ‘stoner’. And yet, I had friends in all of those cliques. As such, I felt like a chameleon who was able to adapt to the expectations of each group, learning the lingo and behaviors. I can now track that as a component of my budding co-dependent relationships. I so wanted to be seen as one of the ‘cool kids’.

 Fast forward to college and as a psychology student, I was drawn to work for a crisis intervention center where I immersed myself in friendships with other free spirits who seemed like they had it together. It was there that I honed my therapeutic skills, developed much of my creativity, and stretched comfort zones in relationships. We worked together, went to school together, played together and in various and sundry combinations over the years, had overlapping relationships.  I longed to feel as sophisticated as I viewed my friends and colleagues there.

 A few years ago, I had connected with another group of friends out of state who I see every few months and with whom I communicate on a few yahoo groups. Again, I had the impression that these people were a bit more adventurous in their lives than I was.

As I have reunited with high school and college friends in the interceding years, it became apparent that I had a skewed view of myself and of them. I have heard feedback from several folks that they had always viewed me as having it together and being self assured…if only they knew.

One of my newer friends, upon hearing my plaintive thought that I wanted to be like them…replied “We like hanging out with you, because you ARE one of the cool kids on the block.” I can tell you that it did my 50 year old heart good. Two of the bits of wisdom that my parents offered me that only now has been anchored in, were “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do.” and “Walk in like you own the joint.” Those ‘momisms and dadisms’ are what have allowed me to interview celebrities, with complete confidence, in my career as a writer and to walk up to complete strangers and strike up conversations.

Would that I had really gotten that way back when. It would have saved a great deal of adolescent angst. When you look in the mirror, I encourage you to see just how cool, you really are. You be chillin’

 Shake it with Sister Sledge!    I honor my family of choice wherever they are:)

http://youtu.be/TNAQ8LLptUo

Receiving Revolutionary

Amanda Owen has learned the art of receiving and wants everyone in the world to exercise their receiving muscles. She knows that there can be no free flow of energy unless those on the receiving  and offering end of an exchange are open to playing their roles. To me it feels like a graceful dance with one partner leading at times and following at others.

How do you live your Bliss?

 

I have a motto: ‘Receive everything—decide later.’ When I remember to take in (receive) what someone says or does without feeling that I need to do something or say something right away, it gives me time to sit with (receive) my feelings and thoughts. And it helps me to be present since I am not trying to figure everything out or trying to fix anything. For me, this is bliss!

 

What led you to the life you are living now?

 

When I began investigating the dynamics of receiving twenty years ago, little did I know that doing so would ultimately change the way I looked at life, myself and my relationships, and even how it would affect my decisions.

 

In the early days (the 1990’s), I was solely focused on how to help people gain more reciprocity in their relationships. Many people give and give and give without receiving much back. This leads to exhaustion and resentment. I came to phrase it this way: “The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive is someone who doesn’t know how to give.”

 

Later, I discovered that receptivity is also a key to manifestation and created my ‘Receive and Manifest’ course in 2004 to teach people how to achieve their goals. My hypothesis was this: If I could get people (and myself!) to lower the barriers to receiving, then life’s abundance would rush in as if a flood-gate had been lowered. Each time I taught the course, I participated in all of the exercises. As I became a skilled receiver, I not only made healthier decisions, I also began to welcome the help and support that previously I had refused. That, in turn, strengthened my relationships.

 

Life is easier now. I don’t feel that I have to do everything by myself. I am more receptive to my environment and to people. And, because I replenish my energy by receiving, I have much more to give.

 

 

Were there times when you wondered (as I often do) ‘who thought this one up?’

Yes! I am very grateful that this concept about the importance and benefits of receiving was given to me. And I am glad that I listened to the message, became curious about it, and stayed with it for all of these years.

I have become passionate about showing people how to balance their giving with receiving. We have not grown up in a culture that teaches us this valuable skill. We don’t even have a vocabulary for receiving. Has anybody ever heard someone say, “Wow! Look at that person—what a great receiver!” Yet when giving and receiving are balanced, we not only are healthier in mind, body and spirit and our giving made stronger, we also have a better chance of achieving our goals.

 

In your book The Power of Receiving, you speak about the life we ‘want and deserve’…how do we acknowledge that we deserve what we want when so many of us feel so unworthy of our heart’s desires?

 

I have come to see the act of receiving as having nothing to do with our opinions of ourselves, just as a flower doesn’t have to have good self-esteem to attract a butterfly. The relationship and flow between activity and receptivity is natural. It is our cultural that has taught us that “it is better to give than receive.”

When you think about it, since every giver has a recipient of that giving, why would we always want to be the giver and never the receiver? Both giving and receiving are not only natural states, they are intimately connected.

Step One of my Three Steps to Receiving is ‘Accept All Compliments.’ Many people turn away something as simple as a compliment. They don’t see the line between the refusal to accept a compliment and all of things they want to receive in life.

Even if you have low self-esteem you can still say “thank you” when someone says something nice to you! Saying “thank you” is simply expressing gratitude.

 

Can you speak about the Big Circle/Little Circle concept you describe in your book?

 

I created the concept of the Big Circle and the Little Circle to give my clients and students an easy way to achieve their goals. So often if we have something concrete that we can see, it helps us make successful changes.

 

I call the Big Circle the Circle of Manifestation. The Little Circle is the repository for all of the feelings and ideas we have cast out. The psychologist Carl Jung calls this the shadow. To manifest a goal, these Little Circle inhabitants need to enter the Big Circle. Otherwise they sabotage your goals. Here is an example:

 

You know you don’t want to eat the ice cream in the freezer because you are trying to lose weight. The entire time you are thinking this, you walk to the kitchen, open the freezer door, take out the ice cream, get a spoon and eat what’s left of the ice cream.

 

What is it that makes you go for the ice cream even though you know you want to avoid it? The Little Circle is the voice that says: What’s the use in stopping yourself? You know you’ll just eat it eventually anyway.”  It’s the voice that says:Eat it now and then it won’t be there tomorrow when you really start your diet.”

 

This is a big topic. I go into detail in my book about how to utilize this exercise so that it leads to goal-achievement.

 

 

Loved the Monster Celebration idea. Can you elaborate?

 

The Monster Celebration is a guided visualization exercise that is as profound as it is enjoyable. In this exercise, we create a party to welcome the very thing that is interfering with the successful attainment of our goals. Again, this is such a big subject and I can’t really do it justice here! I have many fun exercises in my book from ‘Send Cinderella to Rehab’ to the ‘No Suffering Allowed, No Suffering Aloud’ Complaint Fast. They are all designed to strengthen your receive-muscles, which in turn draws your goals to you like a magnet.

 

To find out more about Amanda Owen and her book ‘The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve’ (Tarcher/Penguin), go to www.ThePowerofReceiving.com

Amanda Owen
www.ThePowerofReceiving.com
My blog: www.sandpaintingmylife.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ReceiveTweets
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ThePowerofReceiving
The Power of Receiving Retreats: http://www.amandaowenandthepowerofreceiving.com/

Let The Beauty We Love

                                                   

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground

-Rumi

One of my favorite ecstatic poets whose writing touches my soul, reached out to me a while back at a kirtan with Suzanne Sterling and friends. This was a portion of what turned out to be a beyond belief (literally) weekend in which over and over, I was called on to surrender what no longer served or impeded growth and love and to call in what I most desire in all areas of life.

It began when, along with 12 or so other WWWW (Wise Wild Wonderful Woman), I sat in circle, offering music, drumming, words, fire and intention at our monthly full moon Goddess gathering. I have known many of the participants for several years and some are new to my life. All are powerful in their own right . In their presence, I feel creatively inspired. When we parted company until the next month, having also indulged in decadent delights, including sushi and chocolate (two of my favorite food groups:) I allowed the car to take me home on auto pilot.

The next day, I attended a workshop offered by Dr. Darren Weissman, who is based in the Chicago area, who spoke on one of my favorite subjects….Infinite Love and Gratitude. He came upon the realization of the healing property of those words, along with the sign language symbol for “I Love You” and uses them as mantra and mudra combined.

Darren describes how those three concepts coalesce:

Infinite means “the universe” or “the collective conscious,” which has no beginning or end.

  • Love is the universal power that propels life, fueling your will and enabling you to face and overcome challenges.
  • Gratitude empowers you to go through life without judgment. You see the value of any experience (even situations you may have once perceived as “bad”) as an opportunity, rather than being a victim of circumstance

Part of the admission price for the workshop included a copy of his book, entitled The Power of Infinite Love & Gratitude. By the time I got there, the copies had been allocated and I was told that I would receive mine in the mail, unless someone didn’t show up who had ordered a copy. At that moment, I had set intention for leaving there with a book and then I set aside the thought and enjoyed the workshop, allowing for doing some compassionate healing work for myself through the use of what Darren calls The Lifeline Technique™ into which he incorporates the I, L & G concept. The idea is offer that energy to yourself, another, the planet…. and also to the parts of ourselves that we may have disenfranchised, such as reciting “infinite love and gratitude to the part of me that fears loving and losing again.”

At the close of the workshop, a drawing was held to win a DVD series that introduces the work, a $500 value. “Pretty cool, I thought…I would love to have that to further my exploration into these ideas that I had begun to use with my patients and myself.” Like the other people in the room, I put my slip into the basket and then walked out into the lobby to talk to someone. A moment, later, Darren asked, “Is Edie still here?” Guess who won?

Another cosmic coincidence…while there, I was talking about my friend Lisa Balter whom I hadn’t seen in months. She lives not far from where I was. A short while later, I stopped at Whole Foods and who should be behind me in the checkout line?

So, back to the kirtan…. what drew me there to enjoy the rockingly angelic voice of yoga teacher, kirtan artist, Suzanne Sterling was my friend Brittany who, along with Seane Corn and Hala Khouri and other devoted volunteers traveled to Cambodia to do Seva (service work) with the organization called Off The Mat Into The World. I had gone to Brittany’s home recently and she mentioned that this spiritual song-bird would be coming to the area. I felt inexorably drawn to hear her, and with 25 or so others, to sing and dance along with her. Talk about ecstasy! She opened with encouraging us on this evening of the full moon to release whatever it was from which we chose to unburden ourselves and welcome in our heart’s desires….sensing a theme here? The Goddesses Kali and Durga are about wiping clean all that no longer serves as well as fierce love and compassion and the first chant honored them. Once the room was sufficiently swept clean of those energies, we invoked the names of Sita and Ram, emanations of the Divine feminine and Divine masculine as means of allowing love in.

The evening ebbed and flowed with soft sweetness and intensely powerful movement. I found myself enraptured, getting lost in the sound and feeling reverberation that seemed to burrow into my chest. Swaying, reaching skyward, undulating, stretching, curling inward, I was danced by the music, such was the call to surrender. At the end, I found myself feeling as if I was, as I have heard it said, “drenched in the nectar of the Divine.’” and then Suzanne sang the words to the poem that began this story. I felt the tears come, without conscious invitation, but arriving even so.

On this weekend of a full moon; “auspicious” is what Suzanne called it, the Gods and Goddesses were properly honored, whether it was in the living room of a friend, a holistic center or yoga studio or under a starry sky as the gusting wind blew me to my car and carried my heart into the heavens.

Namaste ~

www.infiniteloveandgratitude.com

www.suzannesterling.com

www.offthematintotheworld.org

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