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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

My To-Do List

Writing this the night before heading southward with my friends Barb and Glenn to Hilton Head, SC for a week of fun in the sun. It is the first long vacation I have had in more than a decade. They invited me to take the time to veg and just BE. That in and of itself is restorative and will help me return refreshed. There will be some writing that will emerge and I know I will be inspired to create by being around the ocean. Even as I am now 12 hours away from our final destination, I can smell the salt air and feel the breeze and melting sun across my skin. I can visualize digging my toes in the sand, swimming, practicing yoga on the beach and gazing up at the clear, cloud scattered sky by day and star sparkles at night.

In order to be ready to travel, I needed to complete tasks that included writing and submitting articles for the various venues that  publish my work. Laundry, packing, grocery shopping, plant watering, cleaning my house so that I can come home to some semblance of order, which has become important lately.

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Then it occurred to me that even more important is the to-do list that is more about inner order. Taking a deep breath and recalling what matters.

Enjoy every moment as it arises like the ocean waves in which I will be immersed by Sunday.

Sing with the seagulls that will likely serenade us.

Count my blessings, like the infinite grains of sand.

Immerse in love as deep as the fathomless sea.

Play joyfully with the light as it beams down from the heavens.

Celebrate the magnificence of this life as it unfolds.

 

 

 

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Filling the Well

My friend Cass Forkin is a devout Catholic who doesn’t merely pray. She walks the talk. Cass is the founder and director of The Twilight Wish Foundation that grants wishes for seniors. She is also, like me, a miracle manna-fester and consummate cosmic coincidence creator. Today gave us an opportunity to road test that.

As I was driving home from the gym, I was contemplating whether I wanted to stop somewhere for lunch or wait until I got home. I passed a food truck that announced that it was serving Greek cuisine. The last time I enjoyed food from that part of the world was about a month ago with my friends Dan and Mike on South Street in Philly. A moment later, a car turns in front of me, with signs and bumper stickers that told me that the driver was Cass. I pull up next to her on Route 611, roll down my window, honk the horn and wave excitedly. She joins me in the greeting and says she is on her way to a Greek restaurant in Doylestown, PA and invites me to join her and her friends Meredith and Lisa that she planned to meet there. Of course I had to say yes.

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She then tells me that my appearance was no mere accident. She had been focusing on her relationship with Mother Mary and had a dream/vision that she was to ‘clean out’ Mary’s Well, which is a sacred site in Nazareth. Literal or metaphorical cleansing? What she came to understand is that it is important to keep our own spiritual wells in good shape. How can we fill someone else’s if ours is crumbling or bone dry?  We can’t. Doesn’t stop us from trying, does it? She acknowledges that both she and I are focused on keeping others from going thirsty when we are sometimes feeling parched, thus her particular delight that we crossed paths today.

I replenish my well by means of prayer and meditation, listening to music, being with kindred spirits, dance, time in nature, breathing in the life sustaining air, doing right livelihood work that I love, being of service, digging in the dirt, sweating at the gym, walking barefoot in the grass or sun, splashing about in water, writing …of course, writing, reading, singing, drumming, curiously exploring the world, setting intention each day to magnetize miracles.

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Mary’s Well

My friend Cass Forkin is a devout Catholic who doesn’t merely pray. She walks the talk. Cass is the founder and director of The Twilight Wish Foundation that grants wishes for seniors. She is also, like me, a miracle manna-fester and consummate cosmic coincidence creator. Today gave us an opportunity to road test that.

As I was driving home from the gym, I was contemplating whether I wanted to stop somewhere for lunch or wait until I got home. I passed a food truck that announced that it was serving Greek cuisine. The last time I enjoyed food from that part of the world was about a month ago with my friends Dan and Mike on South Street in Philly. A moment later, a car turns in front of me, with signs and bumper stickers that told me that the driver was Cass. I pulled up next to her on Route 611, roll down my window, honk the horn and wave excitedly. She joins me in the greeting and says she is on her way to a Greek restaurant in Doylestown and invites me to join her and her friends Meredith and Lisa that she planned to meet there. Of course I had to say yes.

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She then tells me that my appearance was no mere accident. She had been focusing on her relationship with Mother Mary and had a dream/vision that she was to ‘clean out’ of Mary’s Well, which is a sacred site in Nazareth. Literal or metaphorical? What she came to understand is that it is important to keep our own spiritual wells in good shape. How can we fill someone else’s if ours is crumbling or bone dry?  We can’t. Doesn’t stop us from trying does it?

I replenish my well by means of prayer and meditation, listening to music, being with kindred spirits, dance, time in nature, breathing in the life sustaining air, doing right livelihood work that I love, being of service, digging in the dirt, sweating at the gym, walking barefoot in the grass or sun, splashing about in water, writing …of course, writing, reading, singing, drumming, curiously exploring the world, setting intention each day to magnetize miracles.

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Letting Go Again- Book Review

lettinggoagaincover

 

What is it like for a high school student in the 1970’s to discover she is pregnant as a result of unprotected sex with her sweetheart who then hides the truth from her family and friends until it is too late to deny it? Compound that reality with a series of untruths in an effort to quell shame and protect others, including the father, until many years later? Add to it, her success in reconnecting 18 years later, with the daughter she gave up for adoption, only to discover that there isn’t always a nice, neat,  fairy tale flower petal strewn path to reunion. Smythe opens the door to her heart and allows the reader to peek inside.

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That is the storyline encapsulated in Kimberly Smythe’s fledgling book entitled:  Letting Go Again- A Birth Mother’s Tale of Adoption, Reunion, Separation and Growth. Smythe introduces herself to the reader as the natural mother of a baby girl she refers to as ‘Kelcey’. She then shares that the more current PC title of ‘birth mother,’  by which she was later referred, felt like a demotion of sorts and way of distancing her from the intimacy of having carried this child for nine months, only to lose her while in a home for unwed mothers. As an adoptive mother and former foster parent, I appreciated hearing the perspective of a natural mother.

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As a result of having been raised as an ‘army brat,’ Smythe was accustomed to moving often and never quite felt like she fit in, which is common among ‘third culture kids’. Throughout the book, she is honest about the deep desire to feel loved and accepted, which led to decisions that brought with them, pain and challenge, as well as overcoming resistance and  finally revelation and reconciliation with her own lonely inner child.

One thing that became abundantly clear throughout the pages is that had Smythe felt more comfortable with speaking her truth, before Kelcey’s birth, after the adoption and following their meeting and on again-off again relationship,  rather than tiptoeing around it and making assumptions about others’ feelings and perceptions, much of the pain she experienced might have been avoided. Hers was not an unusual journey for its time, nor were her behaviors unexpected given her mindset. She seems to have felt that not only were her actions shameful, but indeed, she,  herself was as well.

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Smythe spends much of her time with Kelcey as an adult, attempting to overcompensate for that belief. Blessedly, she seeks and finds supports, sets appropriate boundaries, and with great courage, steps away from the destructive patterns that threatened to pull her under.

Having spent much of her life in Hawaii, Smythe speaks with reverence about the Hawaiian concept of Hanai which refers to the idea that it is a privilege to take the child of another into one’s home and heart. She views the adoption of Kelcey by her new parents to be such an opportunity and as such, offers proceeds from the book  to the Hanai Foundation 501c3 non-profit organization.

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The Hanai Foundation’s Mission statement is:

“To honor nurturers and their families by supporting people and organizations that focus on individual wellbeing.”

Smythe honors her relationships with her first child, the three who follow, her husband, siblings and parents, as well as all of the women who give birth and those who adopt these children, since they are all companions on her journey of love and loss.

 

 

Previous Posts

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posted 2:57:32pm May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

On My Way Back Home
Packed and ready to return home following a week in Hilton Head, SC with my friends Barb and Glenn. Feeling refreshed and revitalized. Like most vacations, it began ages ago and was over in the blink of an eye.  In a seven day span, I swam in ...

posted 9:17:08pm May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Lifeguard is Off Duty
On vacation for the week and while shopping in Hilton Head, I saw a t-shirt that read "Lifeguard off duty. Save yourself". I laughed as I purchased it for someone at home. I was tempted to get another one for myself, but I resisted. I was a ...

posted 9:45:16am May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Our Final Thoughts
Earlier this year, I wrote an article that focused on the multitude of thoughts that careen through our heads and the impact they have on the shape our lives take. Going deeper, I have been exploring the trajectory from there to here and the ...

posted 11:08:09am May. 19, 2015 | read full post »

My To-Do List
Writing this the night before heading southward with my friends Barb and Glenn to Hilton Head, SC for a week of fun in the sun. It is the first long vacation I have had in more than a decade. They invited me to take the time to veg and just BE. ...

posted 9:09:30pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

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