The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

God and Dog

                                                       

                                                                 Last weekend, after attending a workshop at Yogaphoria, which is one of my favorite yoga studios in one of my favorite towns on the planet..riverside, artsy, colorful New Hope, PA, I decided to meander through the streets, basking in the late Spring warmth.  I found myself engaged in people watching from the porch of Starbucks. While I was sipping my iced chai latte, I was entertaining myself with imagined stories about the passersby and what their lives were like. 

One family drew my attention as they were crossing the street.  They were a 30 something couple and their four legged companion who looked for all the world like a miniature pony. Black and white coloration marked the body of this Great Dane who calmly loped along next to his people. I smiled and wondered how much this critter ate.

As I headed back to my car, sitting on a bench were this couple who introduced themselves to me as Mark and Maxine from Hamilton. NJ and their furry child as Brando; who she described as a Harlequin for his unusual coloration.  She cautioned that he might try to sip from the straw extended from my cup.  The perfect gentleman, he didn’t even attempt to do so, but did offer me a slurpy kiss on the cheek. His head coming up to my waist; this 150 pound , one and a half year old canine who came to them at 12 weeks is blessedly almost fully grown. Gentle as can be, he greeted adults and children alike as they walked by, offering himself to be petted and acknowleged. He put his huge front paws on the railing of a small overpass bridge as he watched  a much smaller dog walk by below. Not a growl was emitted, but the other dog was attempting to take his or her place as the alpha, acting all ferocious from its safe place yards away.  Although he is not a therapy dog, according to Maxine, he likes to visit a nursing home where the residents are pleased to see their furry friend.

In honor of Brando, I share this song with you, since his loving presence is quite like that of my impression of The Divine.

God and Dog by Wendy Francisco http://youtu.be/H17edn_RZoY

South Jersey Roots

                                                                             

Just returned home from a joyous occasion; the 80th birthday party of Terri Lewis; a neighbor from the The ‘Boro; short for my hometown of Willingboro, NJ.  This octogenarian whose youthful energy and appearance belies her age, was being celebrated by her children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and neighbors. As I walked into the catering hall which held what looked to be 100 or so smiling and laughing people, I found myself in a twilight zone experience, a time travel journey. No way were these people from my past in our 40′s and 50′s and their parents in their 70′s and 80′s. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we answered the call of the Good Humor and Mr. Softee trucks and oohed and ahhed at the 4th of July fireworks and watched movies at The Fox Theater and hung out at The Willingboro Plaza, enjoying banana splits at the Woolworth counter (the price was based on popping one of the balloons that hung over the counter and seeing what number appeared on the slip of paper contained within it ) and pedaled bikes through Mill Creek Park, up and down streets within sections of the town (one of the original Levittowns…sister towns in NY and PA) with names beginning with various letters of the alphabet,  (I grew up in Pennypacker Park and all the street names began with the letter ‘P’, )and spent all summer long turning into virtual prunes from being in the pool from sun-up to sun down and went sledding on the hill at Levitt Junior High?  Sitting at the table with Kathy Bradley and her Dad and the Etters whose daughter Denice and I grew up together, we reminsced about ‘remember when’?  Kathy and I laughed when I commented that it was truly amazing that any of us had functional brain cells, since like many children of the 60′s, a summertime twilight activity was chasing after the bug spray truck and riding our bikes through the wafting mist… 

I shared with Kathy about my Mom’s butterfly stories since her passing and she cried in remembrance of her own beloved mother who had died in the 1990′s.

The catering hall was on the grounds of the former home of the Super 130 drive-in where my family would go for an evening of entertainment; my sister Jan and myself clad in our p.j.’s, playing on swings and sliding board pre-movie.

After a sweet time with these blast from the past folks who were pivotal in my childhood, I took  a trip down memory lane which I knew would be more bitter than sweet by driving on Pheasant Lane.   I fully anticipated being dismayed, since I had been there 5 years or so ago, but when I slowly drifted past 123 (my home address), I cried when I saw what had become of the house my parents had taken such good care of.  Unkempt grass and shrubs, broken down walls and windows in dis-repair….even if people are not financially able to make renovations, it felt sad to think that these folks didn’t care enough about themselves to keep up with the place.  My parents had beautiful roses, tulips and forsythia, holly bushes and pussy willows…fruit and veggie gardens, in which strawberries lay like a carpet in the earth and zucchini the size of baseball bats would flourish. My mom used to make the most wonderful chocolate chip zucchini bread. I can still smell the aroma wafting forth from the kitchen. As I drove by, I hoped that the tears would symbolically water the ground that cried out in neglect.

I am grateful for my Garden State roots and have learned the poignant truth..that you really CAN go home again, knowing that you carry it with you, just like transplanting a plant..you take some of the old soil into the new pot, so that it can grow full and lush and beautiful.

The Secret Language of Your Body

                                                                  The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness                                

Imagine if your body came with an owner and operator’s manual that gave you insights into the care and feeding of this marvelous work of creation and creativity. It could tell you what to do to prevent dis-ease or at least have skill in ameliorating the wear and tear.  Imagine no longer, since it is here in the form of the book The Secret Language of Your Body, written by the multi-culturally adept speaker, writer and healer Inna Segal. Born in Belarus, she now lives with her husband and two children in Australia.

The book is a literal tool kit of descriptions  and metaphorical/symbolic possible causal factors for physical and psychological conditions ranging from abdominal cramps to vertigo, from measles to itching, from depression to cancer. It delves into body systems as well, offering remedies in the form of a dialog with these parts. Lest you think the book in any way blames the person for having a particular condition, it offers an inquiry, not an inquistion.

As I paged through the book, I found it to be on target as I pinpointed some of my own health issues and the interventive response to them. Segal also incorporates the use of color as healing tools, indicating both the restorative properties and a cautionary note about using them in excess.

Her work/calling became clear to Segal when she developed a series of medical conditions that she incorporated these methods to treat. She taps into Divine Healing Intelligence every step of the way and has witnessed dramatic results in her own life, as well as those who have taken heed of the techniques in the book.

The writing style makes these concepts easy to grasp and use immediately. She laughingly says that her work is described as “Louise Hay on steroids.”, paying homage to the pioneer of mind-body-spirit teachings whose best selling book You Can Heal Your Life has a similar feel to it.

Segal is careful to note that the information found in the book is not a replacement for medical care and treatment.

 www.innasegal.com

Juicy Living

                                                                                                    
A facebook friend  Katrina Mayer  asked this question:

“Some people nibble around the edges and some take small bites.
But some squeeze every little drop out of life.
What is your style?”

I responded:  

“All of the above…since sometimes tiny little tastes of experiences are what I can handle in the moment and they are simply samples of what might be waiting just ’round the bend and at other times, I slurp the juice out of what is presented to me, not missing a drop.” 
There was a time in my life when I felt timid, wondering whether I had the right to experience all the magnificence life was offering me. I drank the ‘juice’ with an itsy bitsy straw. Not sure where the idea came from that I had to earn what was mine by birth…joy, connection, love and peace of mind, since my family of origin offered all of those things. Somehow I had internalized the belief that if I wanted to keep all that stuff flowing, I had better ‘be a good girl’ and follow the rules. I didn’t want to risk losing it. So I found myself, or perhaps, lost myself in living as if that erroneous vision was the truth.  I did things quickly, slept little, not wanting to lose out on any opportunity to absorb approval and validation. I was like the little kid who didn’t want to take a nap, so she didn’t miss the fun. I became a sensation junkie…going for the highest bliss; attending all kinds of energy workshops from Reiki and IET, to Tantra, Thai Massage and Reconnective Healing.  Not there’s anything wrong with that, but I rarely gave myself a chance to absorb and integrate the experiences before moving on to the next, so I noticed sensory overload and felt as if my circuits were fried. It took awhile to recover and for many years, my friend Amy would describe me as “running around with your hair on fire.”  I gulped the ‘juice’, not truly appreciating it, craving more, since I was insatiable. How can you enjoy something if you don’t really taste it fully?
In the past year, since my Mom was placed on hospice and passed in November, I have slowed my pace considerably. Despite being called on to get more details of my life and the remnants of hers accomplished, I have been able to do more in less time and be in veg mode more often.  Less the social butterfly and more in ‘monk mode’; solitary time, immersed in my writing.  That too is bliss. That too is infinitely juicy since it has allowed me to explore my emotional landscape that all that running about at such a speed had prevented me from doing. I now savor the juice, taking breaths in between slurps….ahhhh….
A few years ago, while attending a conference in Santa Fe, I met a woman named Rhea Goodman who has a radio show called Living Juicy  www.livingjuicy.org   She is the embodiment of a Bliss Mistress, since it is apparent that she experiences life full out.
One of my role models for juicy living is the inimitable SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) www.planetsark.com  who experiences technocolor days regardless of circumstances.
And then there is Loretta LaRoche who I think of as the Humor Queen who offers people an alternative to stressful living through seeing the absurd in otherwise challenging circumstances. Her video entitled Juicy Living, Juicy Aging will tickle your fancy…or whatever else you have in mind.
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