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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Birthing A New Book

 

 

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My first book called The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary came into the world in 2011, not quite like Venus fully formed from sea foam, but rather resembling a human baby, that took many months to gestate. In the interceding four years, I have watched myself develop and mature, as a result of the creative process. My platform has expanded as I have been blessed to reach readers here on Beliefnet, as well as other venues. Bliss Mistress became a persona, as she ( I ) gallivanted around on a literal and virtual book tour. Her role was to assist people in becoming the mistress or master of their own bliss. Still, there was another aspect of myself waiting for her time to shine.

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She came into being when I realized that an optimistic attitude wasn’t enough. I needed to be an opti-mystic as well and expand my vision for how the world could be and ways in which I could claim my role in it. I have always seen the glass as half full, until I realized that it really was ALL full. Even if only half was filled with liquid, the other half was air. I was rarely at a loss for perceiving it that way, having been raised by opti-mystics too. My father would say “You never know what tomorrow brings,” so he encouraged me to enjoy each day. My mother had her ‘Que Sera, Sera’ attitude, as she would offer the wisdom of “What will be will be.”

While lounging on the beach in Jamaica this past week, I was visited by The Muse who told me that I was ready to write the next book. Not sure of the complete title and am playing with a few, but it will have the Opti-Mystic theme to it. It will incorporate my own ideas, as well as those of others who would claim that persona for themselves, as one who sees the world through the eyes of possibility.

Saying it out loud, putting the commitment in writing, makes it real. No longer just floating about in my cranium, it has grabbed hold and will be guiding me for the next few months.

Looking forward to reading and sharing what comes forth.

 

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Luscious Lessons Learned on a Jamaican Sojourn

As I am writing this, the hours until departure from my Jamaican vacay are ticking away. I am not woeful or wistful, wishing it could be longer. It was perfectly timed to begin and perfectly timed to end. 24 hours from now, my plane will be close to landing and this sojourn will be stored in my memory banks under the category of good medicine for the body, mind and spirit. I’ve showered away the day’s sand and sun, having splashed and floated about in the ocean much of the time. Listening to the sound of the ceiling fan whirring above me, and anticipating the chorus of frogs that will serenade me in less than an hour. The prelude are bird chirps.

Throughout the trip, I have felt as if I was being carried along on a sea of grace, not being the do-er of much. It is a spiritual practice that I have been hard pressed to grasp. I may be getting a taste of it now. Not much of a schedule to keep, drifting from one thing to the next, not needing to answer to anyone but myself. Connected with kindred spirits; enjoying the art of deep listening. When I sit in silence with someone, taking them in, not jumping in with a response that has anything to do with anything but them, I too am enriched. We all have our life experiences, unique unto ourselves and simultaneously in common with each other. Today, I discovered that all the more profoundly.

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I had an amazing conversation with a 24 year old wise man who is a poet, dancer and drummer. He uses the written word to express what he is not always able to out loud, although he seemed pretty darn articulate to me. He said that he likes to write things into being. Then we began talking about relationships. He said “It’s one thing to say “I do.” It’s another thing to say “Let’s do it.” What he meant was the commitment it takes to create and sustain a partnership. I learned a lot at the fruit bar on the edge of the ocean. Green smoothie followed.

Packed my suitcase tonight and know that I will be carrying a few invisible and precious items that I need not claim at customs.

1- I really can spend an entire week not working and the world won’t stop spinning.

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2- Relaxing and napping don’t equal being non-productive.

3- Being single doesn’t mean being alone; it means treating myself as I would a beloved other.

4- Being single in the midst of mostly couples doesn’t mean being the odd woman out.

5- Relationships look all kinds of ways. I observed contented, connected and conflicted couples.

6- I can kindly accept flirtatiousness from men on the beach without accepting their offers.

7-I am a really powerful manna-fester who calls into my life, amazing people and opportunities.

Appreciating at least A Thousand Beautiful Things

 

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Beach Yoga

After being in Jamaica for a few glorious days so far, I am learning that I am able to ‘tolerate’ a great deal of pleasure. I use that particular word, because for such a long time, I have been in ‘go-mode,’ not even recognizing the speed at which I think and act. Just the thought of easing back and ramping down as I have been doing for the past few days, would have had me clenching my stomach and wondering how I would ever be able to get through my daily list of things that I was certain needed to be accomplished. Even though I have slowed my pace dramatically in the past year or so, my friends still tell me that they get vicariously tired hearing the litany of my tasks. I assure them that if I could maintain the galloping pace back then, I can certainly manage the cantering speed of my current routine.

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My Jamaica routine has looked like sleeping as late as I want, taking luxuriating afternoon naps, enjoying the bounty of the fresh and sometimes organic fruits, veggies and grains, walking the lush grounds, breathing in the steamy air and swimming in the ocean and pool. They have included intense and universally exploratory conversations with my friend Ambika and more casual, but no less entertaining chats with new friends  (both staff and guests) I have met here. My senses have been stimulated listening to the  bird song in the day and frog song at dusk. My body has been stretched working out in the open air gym, practicing yoga, walking on the beach, dancing and singing along to reggae rhythms. I have been journaling and otherwise writing very little. I wondered how that would feel, since my schedule at home sometimes involved write three or four articles a day and doing research for others. Easier than I thought.

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Yesterday brought beach yoga, using the soft sand for support as we let our bodies melt into it as they wanted to, rather than a regimented practice. The ocean waves beckoned after a bit and embraced us as we did some of the standard asanas of cat/cow, downward dog, child’s pose and handstand. So much easier doing an inversion with the water for support. Foot massage, lacing our fingers between our toes; the better to stretch them and using nature’s exfoliant (the sand) on our skin. I swear it feels smoother now.

My favorite was sivasana which is the pose used to close the practice. I used to rebel against it when I began learning yoga in 2004, since I still couldn’t slow down enough to allow for surrender. This time, I was able to lie back and let the water gently carry me. Two thoughts flowed through my deeply relaxed mind “I allow the Universe to support me totally,” and “I welcome a partner in my life who I allow to be of support as well.” My pattern had been to be the support person for them, as I held at bay, much in the way of mutuality. Call it control or fear. Either way, it didn’t serve the relationship. The more I practice internal surrender, the more gracefully I will allow for external trust that will bring into my life that type of sustenance.

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Happy Tappy Yoga

I have been a yoga student since 2004, enjoying my time both on and off the mat. I have referred to it as my magic carpet that takes me on all sorts of adventures. Here in Jamaica, I left my own purple mat at home and used one from the yoga room in the resort where was I am staying. I was gifted this trip by my friend Ambika Devi who is teaching yoga here. A longtime instructor and yogic scholar, she offers her own version of the ancient practice, meant to bring peace to body, mind and spirit.

I had made a special request to have her focus on hip opening asanas ( the postures and poses that most are familiar with when you say the word yoga) since mine were feeling like they would benefit from more than a few drops of the contents of the Tin Man’s oil can.

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Ambika’s  style was playful and lighthearted, not intense or regimented, and always with an eye t0ward comfort. She blended yoga and meditation theory into the class, as if she was mixing up a luscious velvety cake batter.  At one point she asked us to tap on various parts of our bodies and smile as we did so. I felt like a human percussion instrument, rhythmically relating  as she told us a story about a tantric priest named Krishna who taught at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas. He had his students engage in that practice. When a too sophisticated for her stretchy pants student snidely asked why he was having them do that, his delightful response was “To make happy.” This said with an impish smile.

As Ambika said those words, my first thought was “Oh, happy tappy yoga.” My second thought was “Happy tapioca.” Sweet comfort food, deeply nourishing and soul satisfying. So it is for this blissful yogini.

Ambika closed the session with the sacred Hindu Chant Mahamrutyunjay Mantra

By the end of the class, both my hips and heart were wide open.

 

 

 

 

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