The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

That I Would Be Good

 

                                                                           Oval Framed Mirror clipart

Even the most confident among us sometimes gaze into the mirror of our souls or the reflective glass and are harshly critical of the one who peers back at us. As much as I know I am perfectly imperfect or imperfectly perfect, (just like you:) the monkey mind sometimes grabs ahold of my heart and ain’t about to let go without a tussle.  She tells me things like I will never be, do, or have my heart’s desires, and attempts to convince me that things are moving way too slowly. And then I hear this song and am instantly reminded of what is so…that I am and we are beautiful creations of the One who has divine design in mind. It brought my attention to a time in my life when I had a conversation with a friend who encouraged me to take inventory of all that I had accomplished in the previous 10 years as if I was looking at someone else’s life.  In that way, I could, with relative objectivity, be amazed by it, rather than judgmental that is still wasn’t ‘enough’. Does this sound familiar to you as well?

I invite you to make that same list.  What experiences have you had that (despite what your inner critic would have you believe) tell you with undeniable clarity and certainty, that you are succesful?

What if you knew that good enough was good enough and that you were acceptable AS IS even as you endeavored to stretch and grow?

That I Would Be Good

by Alanis Morisette

That I would be good
Even if I did nothing
That I would be good
Even if I got a thumbs-down
That I would be good
If I got and stayed sick
That I would be good
Even if I gained ten pounds

That I would be fine
Even if I went bankrupt
That I would be good
If I lost my hair and my youth
That I would be great
If I was no longer queen
That I would be grand
If I was not all-knowing

That I would be loved
Even when I numb myself
That I would be good
Even when I’m overwhelmed
That I would be loved
Even when I was fuming
That I would be good
Even if I was clingy

That I would be good
Even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
With or without you

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=44TRkB9dxvE

 

 

 

The Heart of Courage

 

                                               

My friend Orrie gave me a copy of Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen’s inspirational book entitled The Aladdin Factor. The image of the magic lamp adorns the cover that contains the words of these two dynamic speakers and authors. Over the years I have had the pleasure of interviewing Mark once and Jack twice. Each time, their tried and true wisdom leapt out at me and I made sure not to get out the way when it did, but instead, embraced it. The story of how The Chicken Soup For The Soul line came to be is literary legend.  Something like 144 rejections came their way before a publisher with foresight grabbed hold for the ride and now over 115 million copies have sold round the world.  The Aladdin Factor focuses on the idea of asking for and being open to receving your heart’s desires.  Many things keep us from doing that; from fear of both success and failure to a sense of unworthiness, from the belief that it won’t occur, to a history of rejection that has us thinking it will always be that way.

I began perusing it this morning and opened at random to page 95 and came upon this paragraph headline:  “Realize that everyone else is afraid too.”  It goes on to say “It is very liberating when you realize that everyone else is walking around just about as afraid as you are.” Most people who know me would say that I come across as being self assured and relatively fearless. Guess what…it’s an act..uh oh…  now you know that the ‘Empress has no clothes. ‘  How freeing it feels to admit that. Now there is no more facade to keep up. See, the thing is, being fearless isn’t the ideal. It is being aware of where fear can be helpful since it keeps us from walking down a dark alley at midnight or entering a lion’s cage either literally or figuratively. Living in a perpetual state of fear, however is limiting and disabling.  What I have learned to do is recognize my fears, even list them and then face them head-on…well sometimes side-long, sometimes sneaking up on them before they can creep up on me. Most of the time I don’t allow fear to stop me as I echo the words of Susan Jeffers; “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” It doesn’t mean that I live recklessly, but rather lushly and courageously.

I love the word ‘courage’, since it comes from the French word couer which means ‘heart’, so that to live courageously is to come from the heart. What if, in any situation where fear lurks about could be faced with heart wide open, leading the way?  I have discovered that when I do that, fear evaporates like fog on a newly sunny day. Sometimes it takes courage to begin a relationship, sometimes to end one when it carries with it more ‘oy than joy’.  Raising a child calls for more courage than you could imagine, as does watching that newly minted adult sprout wings and fly independently. Writing a book, painting a picture, auditioning for a play, starting a business, financial problems, living with illness or other physical challenge, surviving abuse or trauma, losing a spouse/partner, sibling, child or parent to death; all of these beckon courage.  I am blessed to know many survivors/thrivers of such circumstances. I’m sure you do too…perhaps you fall into one or more of those categories. I certainly do.

Some ideas for identifying your ‘courage curve’

Make a list of what you most fear.

Ask yourself if any of these have actually come to be.

If they have, ask yourself what you believe and tell yourself about these situations.

How have you moved through fear into courage?

Know that your history is not your destiny.

How can you live courageously?

Let your heart take wing.

So let it be~

http://youtu.be/u6P4jI8t-0I  Strength, Courage & Wisdom  by India.Arie

A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted

 

                                         

As I am writing this entry, I find my eyelids flickering, my body settling down into comfy covers and a growing sense of needing sleep. Even as I am engaged in one of my favorite activities; putting my thoughts out there to share with you, I hear the call of dreamland. After my full time day job, writing an article, listening to  Steve Harrison’s webinar on The Secrets of Publicity Superstars…oh and sneaking in dinner, kitchen clean up, a wee bit of laundry, speaking with a friend on the phone and a conversation with my son, I can say that I am feeling seriously wiped!  And I didn’t get to the gym tonight. If I had, I would be typing this at midnight instead of 10pm.  I used to say “sleep is highly over-rated.”  For those of you either in the throes of menopause or  swimming in the energetic soup of the shifts that are taking place on the planet, you may notice wee hours of the morning awakening. I seem to be in both groups at the moment. For the past few months, regardless of what time I close my eyes, they spring open 6 or so hours later. 

As I was pondering the missive for the Bliss Blog, I came upon a poem that Joan Borysenko had on her facebook page that comes from one of my favorite writers. John O’Donohue was an Irish poet, Catholic priest, scholar and philosoper. He passed three years ago and left a beautiful legacy. One of his quotes that is dear to my heart: “May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”

This particular poem is a brilliant reminder to slooooowwww my pace, so as to rest my body and my mind and allow for the sacred to enter.  Sweet dreams~

A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

 John O’Donohue, from “Blessings”

 

 www.panhala.net/Archive/A_Blessing.html

www.johnodonohue.com

 

Riptide

                                           Riptide: Struggling with and Resurfacing from a Daughter\'s Eating Disorder

 

There are times when a book reaches out and grabs the reader by the heart, head and gut all in one fell swoop; stirring up a myriad of emotion, causing a sense of wanting to turn away and read on simultaneously, because it resonates to the core of who we are as fragile and maliable human beings. Riptide: Struggling With And Resurfacing From A Daughter’s Eating Disorder penned with naked vulnerability by therapist and mother Barbara Hale-Seubert is such a book. 

I was introduced to it by a dear friend who is part of the family. She knew that as a therapist myself who has worked with folks diagnosed with eating disorders, I would find Riptide to be an inside-the -disease view that I was not privy to from my side of the healing chasm. And it does feel like that at times, but Hale-Seubert is able to eloquently bridge that divide by taking the reader along on both a hopeful and horrifying journey. She emerges from it, more than a survivor, but rather a thriver, using the wisdom gained by reaching out and helping others. She is washed ashore, gasping for breath as the riptide of  her daughter Erin’s insideous eating disorder that spans the spectrum from restricting (Anorexia) to binging and purging (Bulemia), had pulled her under.

Word by word, she weaves a tale of the strength and resilience it takes for a family to embrace the loved one, while battling the condition with her. Erin’s decline from a happy toddler to teen with a secret that steadily becomes a full blown addiction is inexorable; like a runaway train that no amount of love can halt. It is heart-rending to witness. I found myself taking deep breaths with Hale-Seubert, and needing to put the book down and compose myself, wipe away the tears and continue on. What must it have taken for Erin’s family to move through this experience, I pondered?  She honors the love and support of her husband Andrew (also a therapist and author) who came into her life after her first marriage ended, and his son, as well as her daughters as companions along this arduous way.

What was most impressive was the courage evidenced for Hale-Seubert to peel off the layers of her own  perfectionism,  exposing her harshly self critical voice, even as Erin’s body de-evolved. Her own family history, the body image messages she adopted without question until this crisis hit, her first marriage, things that slipped past her radar come to bear as she desperately endeavored to rescue her daughter from the clutches of the steadily strenghening biopsychosocial disease.  She questioned, both as therapist and mother, how this could be happening with/to her daughter. Feeling a mix of shame and pride, delight and despair, riding the roller coaster of emotion, she invites the reader to be companions on the way.

How elastic is the human heart?  By reading this book, you will soon know.  It is a must read for any professional working with clients diagnosed with eating disorders and highly recommended for those bearing the diagnoses and their families; a cautionary tale and a light on a darkened and tangled path. With steel machete’, created of love and necessity, Hale-Seubert cuts through the seaweed that grabs at their ankles, pulling them under again and again, until there is no more fight left in any of them. Exhausted and paradoxically sweet relief accompanies the anguish of Erin’s inevitable passing. Those who have witnessed the suffering of loved ones, will certainly understand that juxtaposition.

Erin’s spirit lives on in the beautiful artwork that is displayed in the book; fanciful, whimsical and sometimes dark; echoing her deepest doubts and most passionate prayers for what her life could be. Some of the most poignant insights came from Erin; this young woman who left the planet far too early.  So much promise, accompanied by the even stronger pull of fear. In the end, love remains, solid, full bodied.

www.clearpathhealingarts.com

 

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