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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Being Essential

Snuggled down under covers while white stuff wafts down and sleet taps on my roof. Wind gusts awakened me at 3:33 this morning and blessedly, I was able to go back to sleep and immerse in dreams. I rolled over again at 8:15, grateful that my home is also my office and that I need not go anywhere. Some in my life are not so lucky, as they needed to dig themselves out to drive to their jobs.

As I was perusing Facebook, I saw a post from a friend whose husband was in that position. His current employer is my former employer. I had worked at a hospital a dozen years in my role as a social worker. On one occasion, a blizzard was brewing and the supervisor sent home all ‘non essential’ staff. Social workers were in that group. For the first time in my life, I was glad to be dispensable, at least for the time being. I bundled up and headed for my car to trek home, with a smile on my face, as I looked forward to hunkering down in my own environs, instead of in the confines of the four walls with the locked doors.

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When I think of what it means to be essential, I realize that it can become a trap. Is there anyone who doesn’t like being needed and valued? When we hear from another that we have made a difference in there lives, it certainly feels good. The double edged sword of that role, is that they may come to rely on us to the exclusion of self reliance. Being on call 24/7 can be arduous, especially if you have stated an open door policy. People will take you up on your invitation. Setting boundaries is important as you decide what you can do for them what you can do with them and what you can encourage them to do for themselves Sometimes the greatest service is encouraging independence.

The other hazard of wanting to be essential, is that it can become an ego trap and a method of commerce. If someone becomes dependent on the time, love and attention that we deliver, we might feel as if they ought to return it to us in kind. The truth is, they may not want to, or have the ability to, even if  they had the willingness to do so. How to handle that dynamic?

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* Ask yourself if you are willing yourself to offer those people genuine service without expectation of return, knowing that they might be able to reciprocate to the best of their ability.

* Consider if the return of investment of your time and energy is indeed worth it.

* Immerse yourself in activities that nourish you.

* Be with people who give to you while you graciously receive.

* Consider why you are giving. Is it to feed the desire to be indispensable?

* What if the people in your life wanted you but didn’t always need you? (That one causes me to flinch) Could you trust that they would still want you around?

Give to yourself as you give to others. Love is an essential nutrient. Sprinkle it on everything in your life.

 

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Whose Life Is It Anyway?

I have long been fascinated with the concept of reincarnation since reading the book The Search For Bridey Murphy, written by Morey Bernstein. It tells the story of a woman in the 1950’s, who, under hypnosis is regressed back to a lifetime in Ireland in the 1800’s. Whether or not it is true, is immaterial. It drew me to explore further into the possibility that I had lived in other places at various times in history.

In the 1980’s, I was introduced to the pioneering work of Dr. Brian Weiss, a Columbia University and Yale Medical School educated psychiatrist who inadvertently found himself utilizing regression to assist patients with otherwise intractable symptomology. I had the pleasure of interviewing him initially for my own magazine called Visions in 1990 and then for Wisdom Magazine several years later.

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Fast forward to 2016  and I find myself in a room with a group of others who are also enthralled, or at least curious about the topic and want to venture into the waters themselves. The Past Life Regression workshop was facilitated by Jessica Brown Ramirez, Caryn Benevento-Munroe and Erin Muldoon Stetson. The three women with diverse backgrounds had met at a training that Brian Weiss offered at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. They felt certain that they too had traveled around the block a few times together prior to this encounter, so they joined forces to teach.

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The workshop included EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique, which is a modality that involves tapping on certain points on the body to release long held patterns and beliefs. It was described as being like acupuncture without the needles.

Another component was psychometry, in which we were invited to hold an object owned by another person in the class who we didn’t know (lest it muddy the waters) and tell that person our impressions that arose. The woman I worked with had a pearl ring she asked me to use. I was able to evoke messages and guidance that addressed issues she was facing and life changes she was making. When she held an earring of mine, she too came up with powerful phrases and images that spoke to my own transitions.

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The next portion of the day incorporated a few meditations for healing and regressions into three past lives and one future life. Following each one, we were asked to journal about the experience and note the lessons learned.

In the initial journey, I was a 10 year old girl playing on the beach under the watchful eye of her father. When asked what year it was, my first thought was 1973. My logical mind questioned how this could be, since I was born in 1958. I remembered hearing (and Brian Weiss subscribes to his paradigm) that time is fluid and that lives are lived in overlapping, simultaneous ways. Susan (as I was told her name was) had recently lost her mother following a long illness. There are numerous details in this lifetime, but the important one that links this lifetime to the others I experienced, is that when he mom passed, she helin her hand a silver heart shaped locket that had a photo of them in it. Susan wore it every day after that. Five years later, a new girl comes to her school and they notice that they are each wearing the same pendant. They become friends and Susan discovers that this other girl’s father had died and left her mother a widow. The two scheme to get their parents together. Eventually they marry.

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Lessons: Love never dies. People find each other when they need to. People can create new lives. There are indeed what I call ‘overlapping soul circles’. The Warren Zevon song, Keep Me In Your Heart, came through as well.

As we were led into the next lifetime, I feel a pain in my legs and I curl them up and a thought crosses my mind that I don’t have the use of them. I am a girl in 1922 who has polio and I am in a wheelchair. Sitting in the parlor of my parents’ NYC brownstone, wearing black woolen stockings and braces, I am beaming tutored by a bitter, angry woman who tells me that I had better learn what she is teaching me so I can be independent, since “No man will want you and your parents won’t be around forever.”  I am so upset by what she is saying that I tell my parents and they fire her. My next tutor is a supportive man who encourages my independence for different reasons; so that I can make a positive life for myself. I become a writer who travels the world, albeit in my wheelchair. I do eventually meet a man who is an artist and musician. We marry and have two children. On the last day of  that life, I am in bed with my family around me.

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Lessons: I can overcome any challenge. Mobility looks all kinds of ways. I can trust a man to take care of me. I can speak my truth and ask for what I want and situations change. I can love myself even with perceived limitations. I can use creativity to thrive.

In the third lifetime I discover that I am a young boy playing by a stream, hanging out with rabbits, squirrels and fox. My father is a hunter who kills for sport and not because food is needed. I rebel against that mindset and we are often at odds and he made fun of my Dr. Doolittle-like relationship with animals. Later in my life, I become a veterinarian and animal communicator. People bring their animals to me and I make house calls to them if they have farm animals. I don’t recall if I married in that lifetime or had children, but at the end, there was George Bailey- ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ type tribute.

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Lessons: Follow your path. Connect with nature. Speak your truth. Stand up to bullies. Love animals. I currently offer Reiki and massage for horses. Kindness counts.

In the future life progression, we were guided to a healing temple up steps into clouds. It reminded me of a Maxfield Parrish painting. I was led into a lifetime in which I lived in a pod of people who shared a home, responsibilities and interwoven relationships with each other. Each of us had a healing gift to offer. Mine was creativity and communication (as in this current lifetime).

Lessons:  No need to compete with anyone to feel valued. We are all special and have unique gifts to offer. Living in community and cooperation.

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At the end of the workshop, I left with a sense that all is well and everything in my life is unfolding as it should.

“All is love…All is love. With love comes understanding. With understanding comes patience. And then time stops. And everything is now.” -Brian Weiss

 

 

 

 

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Whose Life Is It Anyway?

I have long been fascinated with the concept of reincarnation since reading the book The Search For Bridey Murphy, written by Morey Bernstein. It tells the story of a woman in the 1950’s, who, under hypnosis is regressed back to a lifetime in Ireland in the 1800’s. Whether or not it is true, is immaterial. It drew me to explore further into the possibility that I had lived in other places at various times in history.

In the 1980’s, I was introduced to the pioneering work of Dr. Brian Weiss, a Columbia University and Yale Medical School educated psychiatrist who inadvertently found himself utilizing regression to assist patients with otherwise intractable symptomology. I had the pleasure of interviewing him initially for my own magazine called Visions in 1990 and then for Wisdom Magazine several years later.

Advertisement

Fast forward to 2016  and I find myself in a room with a group of others who are also enthralled, or at least curious about the topic and want to venture into the waters themselves. The Past Life Regression workshop was facilitated by Jessica Brown Ramirez, Caryn Benevento-Munroe and Erin Muldoon Stetson. The three women with diverse backgrounds had met at a training that Brian Weiss offered at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. They felt certain that they too had traveled around the block a few times together prior to this encounter, so they joined forces to teach.
 The workshop included EFT-Emotional Freedom Technique, which is a modality that involves tapping on certain points on the body to release long held patterns and beliefs. It was described as being like acupuncture without the needles.

Another component was psychometry, in which we were invited to hold an object owned by another person in the class who we didn’t know (lest it muddy the waters) and tell that person our impressions that arose. The woman I worked with had a pearl ring she asked me to use. I was able to evoke messages and guidance that addressed issues she was facing and life changes she was making. When she held an earring of mine, she too came up with powerful phrases and images that spoke to my own transitions.

Advertisement

The next portion of the day incorporated a few meditations for healing and regressions into three past lives and one future life. Following each one, we were asked to journal about the experience and note the lessons learned.

In the initial journey, I was a 10 year old girl playing on the beach under the watchful eye of her father. When asked what year it was, my first thought was 1973. My logical mind questioned how this could be, since I was born in 1958. I remembered hearing (and Brian Weiss subscribes to his paradigm) that time is fluid and that lives are lived in overlapping, simultaneous ways. Susan (as I was told her name was) had recently lost her mother following a long illness. There are numerous details in this lifetime, but the important one that links this lifetime to the others I experienced, is that when her mom passed, she held in her hand a silver heart shaped locket that had a photo of them in it. Susan wore it every day after that. Five years later, a new girl comes to her school and they notice that they are each wearing the same pendant. They become friends and Susan discovers that this other girl’s father had died and left her mother a widow. The two scheme to get their parents together. Eventually they marry. I am not certain if the Susan aspect of my soul is still alive. I will explore that further.

Advertisement

Lessons: Love never dies. People find each other when they need to. People can create new lives. There are indeed what I call ‘overlapping soul circles’. The Warren Zevon song, Keep Me In Your Heart, came through as well.

As we were led into the next lifetime, I feel a pain in my legs and I curl them up and a thought crosses my mind that I don’t have the use of them. I am a girl in 1922 who has polio and I am in a wheelchair. Sitting in the parlor of my parents’ NYC brownstone, wearing black woolen stockings and braces, I am being tutored by a bitter, angry woman who tells me that I had better learn what she is teaching me so I can be independent, since “No man will want you and your parents won’t be around forever.”  I am so upset by what she is saying that I tell my parents and they fire her. My next tutor is a supportive man who encourages my independence for different reasons; so that I can make a positive life for myself. I become a writer who travels the world, albeit in my wheelchair. I do eventually meet a man who is an artist and musician. We marry and have two children. On the last day of  that life, I am in bed with my family around me.

Advertisement

Lessons: I can overcome any challenge. Mobility looks all kinds of ways. I can trust a man to take care of me. I can speak my truth and ask for what I want and situations change. I can love myself even with perceived limitations. I can use creativity to thrive.

In the third lifetime I discover that I am a young boy playing by a stream, hanging out with rabbits, squirrels and fox. My father is a hunter who kills for sport and not because food is needed. I rebel against that mindset and we are often at odds and he makes fun of my Dr. Doolittle-like relationship with animals. Later in my life, I become a veterinarian and animal communicator. People bring their animals to me and I make house calls to them if they have farm animals. I don’t recall if I married in that lifetime or had children, but at the end, there was a George Bailey- ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ type tribute.

Advertisement

Lessons: Follow your path. Connect with nature. Speak your truth. Stand up to bullies. Love animals. I currently offer Reiki and massage for horses. Kindness counts.

In the future life progression, we were guided to a healing temple up steps into clouds. It reminded me of a Maxfield Parrish painting. I was led into a lifetime in which I lived in a pod of people who shared a home, responsibilities and interwoven relationships with each other. Each of us had a healing gift to offer. Mine was creativity and communication (as in this current lifetime).

Lessons:  No need to compete with anyone to feel valued. We are all special and have unique gifts to offer. Living in community and cooperation.

Advertisement

At the end of the workshop, I left with a sense that all is well and everything in my life is unfolding as it should.

“All is love…All is love. With love comes understanding. With understanding comes patience. And then time stops. And everything is now.” -Brian Weiss

 

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You Worry Too Much

“Oh soul, you worry too much. You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings. Of anything less, why do you worry? You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul.” -Rumi

I have long believed that worry is a waste of imagination, even though our minds can spin out of control with what could go wrong. All of the what if and if only thoughts come waving their metaphorical arms for attention, reminding us that ultimately we are not in control of the outcome of much. When my brain capacity is filled with fearsome ideas, there is no room for creativity.

I could say that I come by my worry tendencies genetically as my paternal grandmother could have received a bronze statue, a gold medal and a blue ribbon if ever there was a worriers’ competitive event. She and her parents fled Russia before the pogroms when Jews were ousted from the country. Even though they safely landed in their adopted country of America, I imagine that the pattern was already ingrained. I never knew my great grandparents, but I would bet they were worry champs too.

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So, what kind of things creep into my open mind when I least expect them to appear?

* Money issues

* Health issues

* Relationship issues

* My son’s well-being

* My friends’ and extended families’ states

* My car

*My home

* Career issues

Are those enough?

Ironically, I don’t fret over the state of the world, since I can’t single-handedly stop war and poverty, quell violence between people  and between humans and animals, keep folks from polluting the planet and be sure there is enough for everyone. I do, however, behave in ways that I perceive to be loving and kind, supportive and pro-active.

A friend asked me yesterday if I have faith. That’s a tough one to answer, since it implies a not knowing. What gets me through is remembering that I have survived everything that has ever happened in my life, so I will leap whatever hurdles might appear. The idea is to do it as gracefully as possible, without tripping over my feet. I am also able to silence (at least temporarily) the monkey mind by chatting with the Divine within and around me. I am still not settled on what I perceive God to be. There are times when I say that our conversations are dialogs and sometimes monologues. What I do know is that answers arrive; albeit not always in the ways I expect. There is no such thing in my mind as an unanswered prayer. I don’t always appreciate the answer at the time, but in retrospect, I can always see the purpose of the experience.

Learning to take the Nestea Plunge in trust that there is plenty of water in the pool to catch me….and I can swim.

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