“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!” Steve Maraboli Life, the Truth and Being Free
What are you holding onto that’s holding on to you? In my case, ghosts from the past; decisions for which I wish I could have do-overs, relationship dynamics that I would like to change, job choices, health choices, conversations…. All of these experiences call out for a re-wind button, and yet, as sure as tomorrow is Tuesday, there is not thing one that I can do to alter what happened. Heck, even if I could, I wouldn’t want to mess with the space-time continuum. Who knows what havoc that could wreak?
I have often considered that if the me that I was had made different choices, the me that I am, might not exist. Had I selected another educational/career path, I might have lived in another part of the country, not met my husband, not adopted our son, not created Visions Magazine, not been with Michael as as he passed, not become a free lance journalist and speaker, not become an interfaith minister. I might not be writing this column, might not have the people in my life now that I so treasure. I say ‘might’, because there is some aspect of the soul contract idea that appeals to me, that tells me that certain relationships are ‘beshert’, which is Hebrew for ‘meant to be’. Perhaps the events are in some form, mapped out too, as they seemed to be in one of my favorite movies: Forrest Gump. He always appeared to be at the right place and the right time. I use that affirmation as well, declaring that I am always at the right place at the right time for whatever I most need to learn and grow.
I have discovered that whatever I hold with a closed hand (like sand or water), will run through my fingers and whatever I hold with an open hand and heart, I can, paradoxically, keep with me longer or allow to blow away into the wind. That includes my past and the people in it with whom I would preferred to have danced differently or perhaps not at all. Sometimes it is better to leave them back there, rather than carrying them with me into a future in which they have no place. Maybe they needed to let go of me as I released them into their new lives.
Here’s to open hands!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
Thank you, Arielle Ford…this picture connected to one of your posts was the perfect writing prompt for this entry.
“Having made the decision to love, had I chosen life instead of death?” -Richard Bach
Those who have been reading the Bliss Blog for awhile, may know that one of my favorite authors is Richard Bach; he of the vivid imagination and relationships with characters that are, in essence, at times, writing the stories and he sits back and watches where they are going to lead him. He is wide open to adventure and taking his devoted readers along for the ride. I jumped on board the wings of Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the early 1980’s when my friend Albert Borris gave me a copy of the book about daring to live outside the box (or the flock) and about the importance of honoring our connections with each other. He had highlighted this quote which proved to be true, since although we don’t see each other more than once or twice every year or so, we remain friends.
“If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?” I’ll bet you have people in your life who fit into that category. I’m blessed to have many.
In my role as a journalist, I had the joy of interviewing this prolific wordsmith who penned Illusions, The Bridge Across Forever, One, Running From Safety and many others that beckon the reader to suspend judgment and open to the possibility that life is infinitely fascinating and that things are not always as they appear to be. I was delighted to discover that his writing and speaking styles are similar. Back then I was in the process of writing a book with slice of life stories that eventually evolved into the Bliss Mistress book. He had asked me this profound question: “Do you love this book?” It sent tingles through me and I responded with an emphatic “Oh yes!” and he told me that I needed to get it out there in the world. At the time, I wasn’t ready to publish it, but a decade or so later, I was. Some things take awhile to cook thoroughly.
I have recommended his books to anyone wanting to become a spiritual explorer. Illusions inspired me to give out feathers at my workshops and Running From Safety brought into my life an exercise in which my current day self has a conversation with my 22 year old self with the title “What I Wish I Knew When I Was You”. I discovered that he has an interactive blog on his website and a facebook page on which I jumped eagerly, like a trampoline with kindred spirits who hold hands and leap and tumble. A few days ago, Richard posted a world wide invitation for folks to gather on an undecided date, to commune about the ideas we hold dear. A family ‘reunion’ of sorts. I eagerly gave the idea a thumbs up and knew I needed to be there. I waited for an indication of when that would be.
Yesterday, a totally unexpected message came through, as my friend Jacob Nordby sent an email with a blog about Richard (an avid and experienced pilot) and his plane that he dubbed Puff that had made a crash landing and that he had sustained injuries and was in a hospital. My immediate thoughts ran to “He knows this is perfect.” “What a great story he’ll have to tell folks.” “All is well.” Those were the sentiments echoed on his pages and in a phone call today that was organized by someone close to Richard; coach, writer and speaker Dixie Gillaspie. It was the cross continental version of what he had proposed, with soul friends who are family of choice sharing their prayers and intention for his wellbeing. I was moved by how many who called in, affirmed the influence Richard had on their lives. I gladly joined the orchestra, singing out my thoughts that he was a big reason I became a professional writer.
In this moment, I hold him in light, love and complete and total healing and ask that you do as well.
It’s just how the Universe works.
http://youtu.be/mgkk0Hdwmo8 Be by Neil Diamond
What are you passionate about? What lights you up from the inside and turns you into a human sparkler? Is there something that you simply can’t wait to do when you get up (after taking care of necessary bodily functions, of course)? For me, it is writing. I found my calling pretty early in life as I toted around books as often as I did dolls and toys. My parents and grandmother would read to me daily and I practically lived at the library down the street, sitting at tiny tables as the ‘library lady’ (although I first heard the title as ‘li-berry’ when 3 or 4) presented story hour. Dr. Seuss, Little Golden Books, Highlights Magazine, Grimms Fairy Tales were all staples in our home. My father would refer to the bathroom as ‘the library’ at times; a relatively quiet place where he could read for a bit. My parents were avid readers as well; my mother’s interests leaning more toward mystery and romance and my father immersed himself in health, fitness, WWII novels and spirituality. They both read until a few weeks prior to their deaths over the past 4 years. My father was buried with his bible and a book of Jewish prayers and concepts. I read to him from that one while he was making his transition. Mine has been eclectic: sci fi, adventure, poetry, romance, spirituality, sexuality, bio’s and personal growth/self help. Much of my own writing combines those genres.
I can’t imagine a life without the wonder of words. They feed my soul, heal my heart and give voice to thoughts that fill my head, threatening to spill out of my ears if I wasn’t willing to put them on paper or screen. I never get writer’s block…sometimes just the opposite occurs and it parallels that commercial “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”….”I’m talking (writing) and I can’t shut up.” Can anyone here relate to that? My mind is almost constantly whirring/whirling/swirling with ideas that often awaken me in the wee hours, daring me to jot them down, lest they disappear back into the mish -mosh pit, getting swept into the rowdy crowd. I am blessed that I have outlets (this one included:) that allow me the opportunity to be heard and the joy of knowing that some of them spur people on to discovering their own purpose and passion.
A grateful nod to the wordsmiths who have inspired me over the years, including Richard Bach, Dan Millman, Mary Oliver, Thea Alexander, Rumi, Hafiz, Robert Heinlein, Elizabeth Lesser, SARK, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barry and Joyce Vissell, Ram Dass…and way too many more to mention. Just listing their names could be a blog entry. I am delighted to be among them as I know I will always be passionately, decidedly, affirmatively, deliriously interested in crafting word pictures.
http://youtu.be/x_f56CZ99JY What A Feeling-Flash Dance by Irene Cara
“Great things are only possible with outrageous requests.”-Thea Alexander
This morning I woke up considering what it is I would be sharing in the Bliss Blog today and a thought crossed my mind, that had been lingering for the past few days. What is it that I settle for, rather than asking for what I really want? Do I usually only request what I am fairly certain I can receive, rather than risking hearing ‘no’? Yup, there are many times that I play it safe and go for what seems attainable. What if I could truly dive into the Universal Pool and splash about in the uncertainty and simply be brave in asking for what I desire? And as things go, the Source responded with the message I most needed to hear. Although I had never read this quote, attributed to one of my favorite writers, it was the perfect answer to my query. Thea Alexander is the author of a pivotal book in my metaphysical journey. 2150 A.D. is the allegorical Hero’s Journey of Jon Lake; Ph.D student in the 1960’s whose service in Viet Nam cost him his leg. He shares an apartment with his best friend Karl Johnson who acts as a guardian angel of sorts and the skeptical mind that challenges Jon’s new perceptions that are awakened while, paradoxically, Jon is asleep. In his dream state, Jon travels to the year 2150 in which the people he initially encounters seem unattainably super human, endowed with exquisite beauty that reflect their inner divinity, possessing abilities that go far beyond his beliefs of what he is capable of achieving. He is brought there in order to become a greater force for good and to heal his own wounded places. What he discovers is that within him and within all of us, lie the seeds of magnificence. The community is referred to as The Macro Society that evolves following the Earth Changes that we have been hearing about for so many years. It is a natural outgrowth of the acknowledgment of what we were meant to be. Jon has discovered that he can remain in that time period so long as he develops some of those same abilities as his ‘classmates’, with the added bonus that he will be re-united with his soul mate. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that it has many twists and turns and is a reflection of how I endeavor to live. The characters share this belief as expressed below and it seems to me to be a good guide for living, regardless of the era.
The Macro Creed
I Believe in the Macrocosmic oneness of all, and in myself as a perfectly functioning aspect of that Macrocosm. I Believe that I and only I have the honor and the power to determine, to design and to alter whatever my daily life contains, for it is the result of my own thoughts. I Believe that there are as many paths as there are people to walk them, and that each person is the best judge of which path they will walk at any given time. I seek the adventure of interaction with others knowing it is the classroom of my evolution. I joyously receive this and everyday knowing it is the canvas upon which I am painting my life.
Back to the outrageous request concept; keep in mind that outrageous doesn’t mean ridiculous or impossible, just heart and mind stretch-y….what would you ask for if you knew that it would stretch your comfort zones, whether or not you received it?
My outrageous request list includes:
Meeting and growing a relationship with a Life Partner this calendar year
Travelling to Hawaii and Ireland on vacation
Workshops and classes that I teach, filled to capacity every time
Speaking at conferences
Writing for whatever publications I choose
Interviewing Oprah and Ellen
Publishing another book
Chapters included in Chicken Soup For The Soul books
Having my current Bliss Mistress book picked up by a major publisher
Reaching people worldwide with the message that they deserve to live their bliss FULL OUT!
http://youtu.be/q098txAt-MA 2150 A..D