The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

In the End Only Kindness Matters

Today is World Kindness Day. As it is celebrated, it allows people around the globe to connect heart to heart. There are times when people feel disconnected from each other and themselves. I am convinced that it is at the core of war. It is at the center of dis-ease, both mental and physical. Generosity of spirit is free as the wind. It costs nothing to smile at another human, to offer a word of praise, a shoulder to lean on, a heart to heart hug or time to listen.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation created this annual event and according to their website:

It was “established in 1995, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) is an internationally recognized nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO, dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. RAK provides free online resources to encourage acts of kindness across the globe, specifically in school communities.”


When children are taught kindness, bullying behaviors

dissipate.  They learn by example. As someone who has the ability to influence a child, whether or not you are in a parenting role, imagine the impact on the next generations.

What  are ways that you can plant seeds of kindness and watch them blossom?

Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Open a door and allow someone else to walk through.

Let someone go in front of you in a check out line.

Pay for someone’s coffee or meal anonymously.

Leave a care package on someone’s doorstep.

Visit someone in a nursing home.

Buy flowers and hand them out one by one.

Read to a child.



When you go grocery shopping, pick up a few extra items for someone else.

If someone has died, take a meal to the family.

Choose to become a RAKtavist. I did.



Earning Brownie Points

I have been a consummate caretaker, giver, goodie two shoes, apple polisher for as long as I can recall. Even as a little kid, I did things for others so I would be seen in a certain light. Wanting to be ‘loved best of all,’ I thought I could increase the odds that way. I was the first of two children. I don’t recall feeling jealous when my 2 1/2 year younger sister was born. My role, I was told, was to help with her care and teach her stuff. I never consciously felt I was being replaced or that my role in the family was being usurped.

When I turned four, my beloved grandmother died and shortly after, I was diagnosed with asthma. According to Louise Hay, issues around lungs have to do with repressed grief. I have no conscious recollection of mourning the death of the woman who felt like a third parent, who lavished me with love. One day, she was present and the next day she was gone. How does a child wrap her mind around that, even as I’m sure my parents did their best to both explain and comfort?


As a result, my little girl’s mind somehow figured out that if I kept everyone happy, then they might not leave. I don’t think I quite grasped the concept of death. This paradigm continued throughout my adulthood and has been fodder for recent conversation with friends. I have begun to shake off the fear of simply being as opposed to doing in order to earn brownie points with those in my life, so I could potentially cash in on them later. Feeling manipulative, wouldn’t it just be better to make my needs and desires known so that I wouldn’t feel as if I was ‘giving to get’?

The question arises:  Aren’t all relationships utilitarian since they serve a multitude of purposes that include love and companionship and the exchange that occurs between people? I grok that the more honest and straightforward we are about asking for what we want and offering whatever we do from a place of truly desiring to be of service, than the brownie points could turn into sweet treats.


Feeling Stronger Every Day



As the daughter of a gym rat, workouts are a genetic imperative. My dad used to lift weights, jump rope and jog throughout my life. Sometimes I would accompany him as he exercised. I instinctively knew that it was what kept him youthful and vibrant nearly until he passed in 2008 of Parkinson’s disease. He had six pack abs into his 70’s and proudly wore a Speedo at the pool of the condo where he and my mom lived in Ft. Lauderdale. His doctors told him that his fitness routine was what kept him going as long as he did. When he died, I cleaned out the kitchen cabinet that held his nutritional supplements and took them home with me. He also made fruit and veggie ‘concoctions’ as my mother referred to them. Beets and carrots were a frequent combo in the mix.


These days, I do my best to emulate my father. Smoothies, mostly veg diet, organic eating as much as possible. Daily workouts either at the gym, yoga mat or in nature. Noticing my 57 year old body feeling more vibrant than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. I notice a few creaks and groans, aches and pains that follow and require slowing down when needed.

Last year, my time in the gym had a medical purpose and was referred to as ‘cardiac rehab’. There I would dutifully go 3-5 times a week, connected to a heart monitor, blood pressure taken and my workouts guided by rehab therapists. After a few months, I was ‘off the tether,’ as I referred to it, but could still use that part of the gym. I felt safer there, being sorta supervised, or at least in calling distance if need be. The gym has three locations and I made the decision last week to start using the one closest to me that has different equipment and isn’t affiliated with cardiac rehab. The purpose was to stop feeling like a cardiac patient. Although the physical symptoms have dissipated, I am mindful of the emotional waves that have ensued. Tears have flowed nearly daily for the past month or so. Feeling as I have had open heart surgery even though I have no incisions to show for it. The healing has been taking place on the inside. More raw and real. Less reserved and reticent. Not tiptoeing around. Clear and discerning what I want and asking for it. That is part of my workout too.

What I notice beyond a flatter belly, firmer calves, more solid shoulders and biceps that would do Michelle Obama proud, I am feeling stronger every day.



Over the past few weeks, I have found myself (or actually lost myself) in a dark forest of despair, sadness, longing for something seemingly elusive, cracked open and grieving years of loss. Along with it came an unreasonable fear that I would never find my way out. Even as a professional in the mental health field, I felt awash in emotion that was confounding. I sought the counsel of wise friends and other professionals. I also incorporated practices that I had encouraged others to use.

*Prayer ( a bunch of conversations with the God of my understanding)




*Time in nature

*EFT (tapping)


*Equine therapy (offering Reiki to horses and reaping the benefit of their energy winging back to me)

*Working out at the gym



*Listening to music





*Chores (believe it or not, folding laundry and doing dishes can be quite therapeutic)

*Positive self talk that reminds me of my strengths.

*Bunches of hugs and cuddles

*Mini temper tantrums during which I would jump up and down, pound the mattress and rant about what was stewing and brewing.

*Crying ….lots and lots of crying.

Some not so startling revelations have arisen. The first is that I am human and am going to have uncomfortable feelings in my lifetime and no amount of attempting to sweep them under the rug will keep them from impacting me. I have the right to experience them in whatever manner they show up, with the caveat that I not use them to harm myself or anyone else. Covering over my vulnerability is like a little kid who hides under the blanket with the idea that if she can’t see you, then you won’t know she is under there. People haven’t gone away because I have shown them this aspect of me. Many have stepped up and offered a helping hand when I have felt like I was slipping over the edge. I also found myself swimming in love soup. I have come to realize even more powerfully how much love I have in my life and how it sustains me.

As I have been feeling like I am on this side of sanity, I am grateful.



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