The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Puzzle Pieces

Today I was inspired by something I witnessed at my job as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. One of the patients, a highly educated, professional woman was putting together a multi piece jigsaw puzzle of a house on an expanse of grass with a blue sky behind it. As we were talking, she was nonchalantly multi-tasking and one by one fitting each piece in its appropriate place without hesitation.  “How do you do that?”, I asked her incredulously, since my ability to construct puzzles is halted when I get past the kindergarten image of Blues Clues.  She shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know, I just do it.”  For her, it was a no-brainer.

It occurred to me that puzzles are a perfect metaphor for life. For some people, their pieces fit nicely and neatly into pre-cut slots and there is no wiggle room. There is only one way to do things and one way to be in order to belong. For some, fitting the pieces in place, requires trial and error (that would be my way); and if one piece doesn’t match up, you know that another will. Still, for others, it calls for scattering all of the pieces on the table, looking at the image on the box for guidance, matching color and size and shape; a lengthy process. Whether or not you enjoy the experience is up to you. You can put it together as a solo endeavor or with a group. If you didn’t have the box as a ‘map’, you would need to discover what it will become. And, you may have to live in the ‘just don’t know’ until the puzzle is complete.  The other thing we found out today was that one piece was missing. And I told her that sometimes we just have to live with something feeling incomplete.  She nodded and smiled with tears in her eyes, knowing that she did have some missing pieces in her life at the moment, that with time and love and healing experience could fill as best she could.

 

And for your listening puzzle putting together pleasure..

Fleetwood Mac’s Jigsaw Puzzle Blues  

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ0MNze6pgY  

The Sway Machinery

I was listening to my local NPR station (WHYY in Philadelphia) this evening and heard a remarkable interview with Jeremiah Lockwood who fronts the band The Sway Machinery. Based in Brooklyn, New York, it takes traditional Jewish cantorial music (chanted in synagogue by a song leader known as a cantor) and sets it to rhythms that reach to the heavens. At turns, funky, soulful, mesmerizing; the music speaks in a universal language.  Lockwood comes by his musical chops naturally. His grandfather was Cantor Jacob Konigsberg.  He shared in the interview that his grandfather’s presence remains with him when he composes and performs.

Perhaps his grandfather had some influence in the band getting booked to play at the Festival of the Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. What makes it such a powerful event, was that it offered them an opportunity to bridge the world’s of Judaism and Islam, since Mali is a predominantly Muslim country.  When he found to be a commonality, was a reverence for family tradition and influence. While there, they collaborated with Malian artist Khaira Arby, the proclaimed “queen of desert music. Her deeply resonating voice can be heard on his new album, The House of Friendly Ghosts, Vol. I, so called because he indicated that there was so much music, that a Vol. 2 was in the offing.

www.clashtalk.com/celebrities/274450/The-Sway-Machinery:-Finding-Inspiration-In-The-Desert  click on this link and then click on npr.org for the interview and music samplings.

 

Spirit Singer

I’m not sure when New Thought singer-songwriter Lew Doty entered my life since it seems I have always known him.  His music inspires me to live in ‘God consciousness’. It accompanies me in the car and in my office; soothing my soul and tickling me in ways that a select few others do.  He and wife Susan are what I think of as a ‘spiritual power couple’ who live the message of love in their personal lives and offer it in the form of support in our community.  They are also infinitely huggable people who; although I don’t see them as often as I would like, offer warm welcome when I do.  They are part of Center For Conscious Living (CCL) in Moorestown, NJ and Joyful Gathering in Berlin, NJ

How do you live your bliss?

By breathing.  I live a charmed, blissful life.  I tell the Universe each day how beautiful it is, and it responds in kind.

 

What beckoned you to music?

The music beckons me.  I have no choice in the matter.  There is ALWAYS a song in my head, a lyric, a passage, a chord change.  It is the way I think.

 

Yours seems to be a blending of the worldly and spiritual . . . sometimes a bit edgy/funny.  How do you merge them so beautifully?

I am a spiritual being with a sense of humor.  I take NOTHING so seriously as not to be able to joke about it or find the humor in it.  During the worst of times in the course of human history, someone said something that someone else found hysterically funny.  Hitler and Stalin walk into a bar . . .  

One of my favorite movies ever is Joe vs. the Volcano (I know it’s one of your favorites as well).  Few people get how incredibly deep the movie is.  Everything is sacred/spiritual and incredibly stupid/funny at the same time.

 

What inspires your song writing?

Everything.  Just as the physicists and the mystics indicate (the mystics had the physicists beat by about 5000 years, however), it all comes from NOTHING, silence, absolute stillness.  But here is a short list:

·        Long conversations with the love of my life

·        Rehearsing with my Angels

·        Just sitting at my place at the lake in silence and listening to the lake itself and the trees, and the birds, and I get filled with the ONE

·        Reading a passage in a book (any book) and having it stir me

·        Long drives alone

·        Post-meditation epiphanies

The Universe is constantly bombarding all of us with inspiration.  We just have to be aware and accepting of it.

 

Can you describe your view on New Thought consciousness since it informs your musical offerings?

I love New Thought because it is based on Principal and Law.   No rules, just law.  The Universe, God, the One, does not favor any one individual.  The Universe is a reflection of what is inside you.  It’s that simple.  I love simple.

 

What is your perception of the One in All?

It took me a long time to really get it.  When you’re in the middle of a (seemingly) bad experience, it’s hard to pull up to 40,000 feet and see it from that perspective.  Now take that and multiply it by infinity.  There is only ONE thing going on here.  Universe.  Now.  Squirrels, trees, mountain, ocean, solar system, galaxy–all one thing.  You, me, Osama Bin Laden, and tube worms–all one thing.  I go way beyond most New Thought thinkers and see everything as one.  So many people see and experience a homo-centric world and universe.  It’s hard not to within this culture.  The Universe wants Life to live, not human life, but all life.  And the sad thing is that if we do not change our world view, we will be retired early as a life form in this universe.  Daniel Quinn said, “You are captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order for you to live.”

 

Sorry.  I will now step down from my soap box . . .

 

Do you have a favorite song?  Or is that like asking which child you love best?

Yes.  I have a favorite song.  The ‘new’ one.  =>)

 

How do we take thought and bring it into being?

Keep thinking the same thing over and over and it cannot not manifest.  That is Law.  It’s that simple.  I love simple.

 

What message(s) do you want your Being in the world to convey?

Live your life as YOU.  Lighten up.  Have fun.  Question everything.  See the utter beauty that the Universe brings to you each and every moment and you will live a blessed life.

 

www.lewdoty.com

www.newthoughtccl.org 

www.joyfulgathering.org

Undercover Angel

When my now 23 year old son was 14, he told me “Mom, I’m an undercover angel sent to teach you patience.”  I smiled/grimaced at that statement, since I knew it was true.  Nine years later, he’s still teaching and I’m still learning. 

The life lessons that often come fast and furious, courtesy of a universe that only has my highest good in mind, are sometimes delivered on the ‘wings’ of such angels. “Wouldn’t it be lovely if our experiences were only fun and joyous, colorful and easy?”, I ask myself.  “But then”, the inner dialog continues, “you wouldn’t have developed the emotional and spiritual muscles that keep you healthy and offer you fodder for your writing.”  How cool is that?  Is it worth the trade-off?  I suppose so. 

One of my hats is as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. Daily, I remind my patients, some who want to be in the hospital for the solace, support, safety and stability that the setting offers and others who are quite vocally opposed to being there,  “This is graduate school and you are the curriculum. Learn as much about yourself and who the man or woman in the mirror truly is, as possible. Be a life long learner. There are no grades, no pass-fail.” Some of them smile with understanding and acceptance of what I have said and others look at me as if I am speaking gibberish. Huh?

When I gaze backward at the life lessons that have come my way, I wonder what I have traded for such wisdom.  Mostly fear, self doubt and sometimes self loathing. Times when I am consciously aware of my choices, I learn a great deal about what is possible for me and those I serve as teacher, writer, healer. First, though, I need to follow the principle “Healer, heal thyself.”

What undercover angels hover about you?  What are you willing to learn from them?

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