The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

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.

A Wish Come True

When you wish upon a star….. dreams come true. What happens when you bring together a svelte, youthful looking octogenarian whose desire was to take a long distance truck trip and a singer-songwriter, interfaith minister, handy-woman, retired truck driver?  The manifestation of a miracle, that’s what. Eighty two year old Margarette Kirsch from Merritt Island, Florida hopped up into the cab of the 18 wheeler driven by my friend Annabella Wood (I have written about her and her music before) to begin a journey that will take them to California and then back East to Florida where Margarette will return home to her husband (of 53 years) named Jack. The matchmaker for these two kindred spirits, born decades apart, is the unstoppable Cass Forkin, founder and director of Twilight Wish Foundation whose mission is to honor and enrich the lives of deserving seniors through wish granting celebrations that connect generations”  Their vision is to “make the world a nicer place to age, one wish at a time.” and that they do.

I have been in awe of witnessing the process of granting this woman’s wish for the past year or so, but the seeds were planted long before. Eight years ago, Cass was sitting in The Dublin Star Diner, having breakfast with her daughter. She noticed that two older people were counting out change to pay for their food. She approached the waitress and handed her a twenty dollar bill and asked to anonymously pay for their breakfast. The waitress wasn’t willing to keep silent, so she told the two who had treated them. They hugged Cass and thanked her for not forgetting them; meaning that a younger person honored older people. From that moment on, Cass became a force to be reckoned with in terms of her desire to keep the process going. Now Twilight Wish has made dreams come true for seniors all around the country, including a tv for a 71 year old woman in Idaho who rarely leaves her home except for dialysis, dental work for a 78 year old in Pittsburgh who would otherwise not be able to afford to care for her teeth, a handstitched quilt to replace one destroyed in a fire for a 94 year old woman in Alabama and a new stove for a 73 year old man in Missouri.

On Monday, June 6th, Cass returned with a much larger group to the same diner in which a spark of inspiration had been struck, to celebrate the commencement of Annabella and Margarette’s cross country truck-trek. Annabella’s friends had gathered nearly an hour prior to welcome her as the tractor trailer bearing The Twilight Wish logo, came rolling down Rte 313 in Dublin, PA (my home town:) We waved and cheered when she pulled up and clapped with delight when we saw Margarette, so amazed with her youthful exhuberance when she stepped out of Cass’ car, wearing skinny jeans and a fun and funky torquise cropped jacket. Her white hair was eloquently coiffed and she was carrying a heart topped magic wand. Annabella was more casually garbed in jeans and a t-shirt bearing the logo of our interfaith community called Circle of Miracles ; one of the sponsors of the trip. She was also wearing a characteristic warm ear to ear grin.

At breakfast, speeches were made, praising the faith in action that was evident in order for this day to arrive. Something between 4-6 years ago, Margarette had contacted the organization with two wishes in mind. The first was to be a Las Vegas showgirl for one night and the other was the truck trip. The first was not able to be fulfilled because dancers are in a union and she was told that the dances were already choreographed, so she wouldn’t just be able to jump right in. As they pass through Las Vegas, she may attempt again to make this trip a two-fer and ask about dancing anyway. There were many delays since she tossed the proverbial coin into the well, including having difficulty securing a truck. I was inspired by watching Annabella and Cass hold firm to their knowing that this trip would eventually take place and was gratified to be part of the group who bore witness to the fact that dreams do come true and miracles are everywhere, even in (and perhaps, especially in) the cab of chariot such as this that will carry Annabella, Margarette and Annabella’s dog Quark (she is seen holding him in the photo) into their daily adventures on the road.  You can follow along their route on the Twilight Wish website www.twilightwish.org  AARP will be filming their trip as well.

To hear Annabella’s music, including her song Truck Driving Mama, go to www.annabellawood.com

Margarette and Annabella…may the road rise up to meet you.

Living With Joy

                                                                      

Imagine if you had a key to a door that may have felt locked, bolted, with a fierce looking, fang- bearing dog at the threshold?  Graphic image and yet many people look at joy as something so beyond their ability to experience for a sustained period of time, that it may as well be that bizarre. Limiting beliefs wrapped around traumatic experiences, long ago decisions; many unconscious, were made that have folks thinking that joy is an elusive dream. Not so, according to best selling author Sanaya (pronounced Sah-nay-ah) Roman whose classic Living With Joy is celebrating its 25th anniversary and offers an entire jingling keyring to open that door. I read it when it initially was released and at that time, saw it as a novelty, as I was just embarking on my metaphysical journey. Reading it a quarter of a century later, it feels richer, deeper, fuller since I too, have ripened and lived a whole buncha life since my 20’s.

For decades, Roman has channeled a being she refers to as ‘a non-phsyical entity’ named Orin. This book shares Orin’s wisdom in an informal, familiar, as if sitting side by side on a sofa conversational style. Opening to any page, the reader can discover riches spilling forth from a treasure chest.  A random sampling includes:  Appreciation, Gratitude and The Law of Increase in which ‘they’ present evidence of the benefits of gratitude, not only on the wallet, but the body. “When you acknowledge your good health, for instance, you send a message to the cells in your body. They respond to it, for each of your cells has within it the hologram of the whole of you.”  (pg 112)  Another is called Recognizing Your Life Purpose: What Are You Here To Do?   and  suggests that “Life purpose is whatever path you decide on, for all is free will.” (pg. 221)  And still another chapter is entitled  The Art of Self Love which suggests that “It is not enough just to give and radiate love; loving yourself comes from accepting love also.” (pg. 45)

The book is filled to overflowing with Joy Affirmations such as:

My inner peace opens the door to higher energy.

Everything I do brings me closer to my goals.

I create joy and delight in my life.

I am the authority of what is good for me.

I act in ways that reflect my deepest truth.

What I think of as homeplay assignments come in the form of Daily Joy Practice worksheets  topics such as Freedom Is Your Birthright, Embracing The New and Taking a Quantum Leap, that end each chapter, anchoring in the messages contained therein.

By the end of the book, you may well find yourself irresistably smiling, giggling and perhaps even dancing with joy, wondering why you waited so long to allow for this kind of bubbling over joy. Living With Joy stands as a potent reminder of what has always been so, what is your birthright.

www.orindaben.com

Just Another Ordinary Miracle Today

                                                                        Vector - Rainbow in the Clouds 06 by DragonArt

On my way to work, pondering what the day would bring; since I work in a psychiatric hospital, I never know for sure, a song by one of my favorite singer-songwriters…Sarah Mclachlan was issuing forth from my car radio. I had heard it before, but today it had a different feel to it. Lately, I have noticed a heightened sense of awareness and appreciation for my life, the experiences and people I encounter and when there is musical accompaniment, so much the better. It is like a commentary on what I have either desired to feel or already am feeling.

What if all if took to change your perspective was a desire to do so, an awareness that it is possible, the willingness to take the step away from the familiar and sometimes limiting path and then taking it? How stuck do you feel in the routine that you have known and wonder if, to quote the song made famous by Peggy Lee “Is that all there is?”  I know for certain that the experiences I have had and the people I know and love are not the only ones I will continue to have or know and love. Each of us has an infinite capacity to stretch to incoporate the new. Sometimes we need to see things through miracle consciousness and release what is cluttering the space in our heads and hearts to make room for the shining stuff (no, not bling that you wear on the outside, but that which glows from inside you). THAT is  miracle, not necessarily bells and whistles and lightning flashes across the sky.

At the end of services at one of the interfaith communities which I attend, called Circle of Miracles the minister, Hannelore Goodwin wishes us ‘unrestricted miracles for the week to come.  What would that look like in your life? 

Wishing you a lifetime of  ‘ordinary miracles’ .

http://youtu.be/TwLxAFBLkCI

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