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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Cosmic Coincidence

                                                                         

 I live my life in a state of awareness of synchronicity. 

According to Wikipedia:“Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung in the 1920s.”

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Each day, I receive phone calls and emails from people I had been thinking about, but had seen neither hide nor hair of them for quite awhile. I find myself humming a song, only to turn on the radio and hear the lyrics streaming through the speakers. I think of a particular author or book and in conversation, sometimes only moments later, someone brings it up. There was a time when I would have heard the Twilight Zone theme in my head. Now I just smile and say “Bring ‘em on, Universe!”  I am amazed but never surprised. Today at work, one of my patients was standing near the nurses’ station waiting to receive information about her discharge from the hospital. The phone rings and I answer it….and ta-da!  It is about that exactly.  She looked astounded and asked incredulously:  “How did that happen?”  I grinned and responded:  “How could it not?”  I reminded her that this is simply how the Universe works. When I remember this, even the most challenging experiences flow with greater grace and ease. It reminds me of the line from the song “Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins.  “and any task you undertake, becomes a piece of cake. A lark. A spree. It’s very clear to see…”

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Another such example of working in synch with Spirit is right here in the Bliss Blog. Last week, I was sent a sample of the new header for the Blog and asked how I liked it. I was astounded when I looked at it, for two major reasons. The first was that the little girl on the right hand side of the banner, looked like me when I was around the age of  5 or 6. The second was that the art work contains butterflies, which have become a potent symbol for me, since it is the way my mother said she would show up after her death in November. Since that time, they have appeared in real and metaphorical forms. The Beliefnet artist had not heard that story, nor had he seen a childhood image of me.

I refer to that as cosmic coincidence since it seems that the Creator of The Cosmos has a Divine sense of humor with which (S)he wants to tickle us. It is the way Spirit calls us to the phone, with a celestial ringtone.  Are you willing to answer?

What are the cosmically coincidental events you encounter in your life?

In case you need a sweet treat…

http://youtu.be/i5IW9wK_HNg

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Laughter Yoga

 

                                                                                            

Sunday May 1st was World Laughter Day and I found myself in the presence of jolly souls engaged in what is one of my favorite activities.  Laughter is portable, spontaneous, calorie free (actually burns calories:), fat free, cholesterol free and can be done by anyone at any age and with any physical ability.

According to the official Laughter Yoga  website , Laughter Yoga is:

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“The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.

Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.”

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A few years ago, I had read about the concept and as a clown and yoga student, I was fascinated. Since some of my work over the years has also been as a therapist/social worker, I have witnessed first hand, the benefits of the two modalities (yoga and laughter) combined to help heal depression.

Through social networking, I encountered a man who lives and laughs on the other side of the country from where I am. His name is Jeffrey Briar and his labor of laughter and love includes daily Laughter Club gatherings in Laguna Beach, California. We had corresponded for awhile and then one day, my friend Peggy Tileston asked if I wanted to attend a Laughter Yoga weekend training in Philadelphia. I was only available for the Friday night intro. I asked who the teacher would be and her response spread an ear to ear grin on my face.  “Some guy from California.”  “Is it Jeffrey Briar?”  She confirmed that it was indeed my pen pal who would be leading us through all manner of fun and inventive exercises designed to send delightful giggles and guffaws through the room.

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Today, it was my friend Peggy who taught the class within the hard wood floor and  pastel painted walls of the Mt. Airy Yoga Studio, in Philadelphia owned by Mary Flinn. We were greeted at the door by the waggly tailed Lola who proceeded to stretch a few minutes later in (no kidding), a canine version of downward facing dog:)  What followed was the sheer joy of giggles, chuckles and guffaws, dancing, jumping around, stretching,  doing exercises such as conducting a laughter symphony orchestra, engaging in laughter argument, telling a laughter secret,  opening a laughter tinged Visa bill, and all in gibberish. Even canned laughter is a catalyst into the experience. Our bodies can’t tell the difference between laughter AT something and simulated snickers that open the door to full blown belly laughs.

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The feeling of freedom that comes from letting go into laughter is priceless. It is estimated that adults laugh 15-17 times a day, while children laugh 300-400 times a day. Imagine what your life would be liked if you emulated children in that regard. Imagine what the world would be like if we learned to laugh together in one universal language.

So today, I invite you to laugh yourself silly.

www.laughteryoga.org

www.mountairyyoga.com

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G.O.D

 

                           A few years ago, while in the midst of intense internal spiritual expoloration, I was walking on the vividly green grounds of the hospital where I work. I was engaged in Divine Dialog and at one point, had questioned whether the life changes I sought would ever come to be.  At that moment, a truck rumbled by. The words on it?  Guaranteed Overnight Delivery (G.O.D.) Laughter erupted and I was showered with an awareness that all was well.  Last week, as I was driving, I found myself in that pondering place once again. What should I scan in a parking lot nearby?  The G.O.D. truck. Why do I doubt?

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Throughout my life, I have serendipitous experiences that have me shaking my head with a sense of awe and wonder and I appreciate when other people share theirs. One such came today in the form of this missive from a new friend, a singer-songwriter named Ron Chelsvig. I met Ron a few weeks ago at the Brother Sun concert about which I had written in a recent Bliss Blog post.

His facebook posting was prompted by one I had shared in which this profound quote: was offered.

“We are made for goodness. We are made for love…We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family, God’s family.” ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Ron  shared: “Once at a restaurant a waiter walked by and a $100 bill fell out of his pocket. I picked it up and followed the waiter and told him the money had fallen out of his pocket. He anxiously thanked me and revealed if he had lost that money, he… would have been fired. As I was returning to my seat I saw an older man at the table behind me nod and smile at me approvingly. He looked familiar.

My friend at the table said, “I think Desmond Tutu is sitting behind you.” I realized, “That’s who it is!”

Desmond and his companion finished their meal and stood to leave. I stood as well and walked up to him. I held his hand and thanked him for all of the courageous work he had done in his life. I told him, “I thank God you are in the world.”

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Desmond smiled and covered my hand with both of his and said, “I thank God you are in the world.” Then he wrapped his arms around me and we embraced. It was so moving.

Desmond is a special soul.”

And so Ron, are you.  It is all good. It is all God.
What special delivery will you offer today?  What are you willing to receive?
 

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Come Out To Play

                                                                  

I was perusing Facebook this afternoon and a friend had downloaded a video by Canadian singer songwriter Justin Hines. Having never heard this young man’s lyric-driven Country sound, I was taken on a musical and visual ride as images of people who have overcome challenges were featured. I noticed a few shots of the performer himself, singing from his wheelchair. Hines was born with a genetic condition called Larsen Syndrome. From what I have read about him, it’s just another life thing happening, not a tragedy as some would see it. Perhaps it gives him a different perspective than it might otherwise, but it seems not be a central focus. He exudes courage for other reasons, as his premier performance was in front of 17,000 people at a Toronto Raptors game. How did he get that gig? When he was 14, he won a radio contest and the prize was singing the Canadian National Anthem.

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Although Justin is from a much more recent generation, he was inspired by the same balladeers that I grew up listening to, including James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin.

This prolific poet has two CD’s to his credit: Sides and Chasing Silver

Watch the video and allow inspiration to flow. Do you have the courage to come out and play?

youtu.be/PwoUM8ETFfk Courage: Come Out To Play

www.justinhines.com

www.justinhines.org

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