The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Ragewar and Blisspeace

A wise Facebook friend posted this on Sunday and it struck such a resonant chord in me that I needed to expand and expound on it here. Warning…it may get messy (:
“The most enlightened, awakened, present, alive, effective, ascended beings are those who can both laugh AND weep. Who’ve known ragewar AND blisspeace. Who advocate and embody our higher natures but do not condemn our learning curve. They are equally comfortable with their humanity and their divinity. They are of service to others from a place of love…not fear or obligation. They are passionate AND compassionate. Polished AND raw. They are? Not exalted or fallen. They are? You and me. WE are not only the ones we’ve been waiting for or the change we want to see. We are the ones who learn, laugh, live, die, shine, kill, heal, pray, prove, give, take and LOVE along the way and within everynow. Don’t seek perfection. Or absolute truth. Seek only everything. And nothing. Because we? Have already been found.~Courtney A. Walsh
My comment to Courtney?   “Oh yes! I am learning that within me are both ‘ragewar and blisspeace’ and as long as I am aware of the first and keep a close eye on it, it won’t run roughshod over me or anyone else. When I have denied its existence (who me, angry?) , it has knocked me on my butt, laughing at me): When I ONLY acknowlege the latter, I am not authentic. It is both/and, not either/or.”
I fancy myself a peacemaker, (as a bumper sticker I have smiled at in recognition over the years, proudly proclaims), a dedicated ‘treehugging dirtworshipper’ who couldn’t possibly  harbor a mean thought toward anyone… And yet, there are times when a random judgmental thought slips through my carefully constructed filters and shocks the heck out of me! I don’t usually give voice to it, but I see it lurking about. Lately my full-blown ‘ragewar’ thoughts  are about people whose addictive habit of smoking pollute the environment, expose me and others to second and third hand smoke, waste money that could be used to pay their bills, (think of how much could be saved or invested or used for vacation!  I saw a news piece that said a pack of cigs in New York was $11, including tax!)   Un-Holy smokes, indeed! If a pack a day smoker set aside that amount of money, in a year’s time, they could save $4,015!) feed their children, and allow them to afford medications that could help them remain emotionally or physically stable. I think of smoking as slow suicide. I view smoking around children as child abuse, since it exposes them to toxins and hooks them into the same habit. I watch people toss their cigarette butts onto the street as if it is their ashtray.  I witnessed ambulance personnel, having just dropped a patient off at a hospital, lighting up. As I walked past them, I commented “Really, guys? You see over and over the impact of smoking on people’s health AND here you are, transporting people with cardiac and respiratory problems and they will be coming into your rig with you having smoke on your clothes.”  They just shrugged their shoulders.  I also heard that the resale prices for cars of smokers are far below those of non-smokers.
Years ago, when my mom had a quintuple bypass, her surgeon had asked her how long she had been smoking, she replied that she had never smoked, but my uncle and grandfather had smoked around her. She eventually died of heart disease despite an otherwise healthy lifestyle. My mother in-law and father in-law both died of smoking related conditions. I am grateful that my son will never smoke since he witnessed the impact in our family.
I have seen restaurant servers on a break, smoking. Do I really want someone waiting on me with smoke on their clothes?  I have attended outdoor music and green/healthy living festivals and amazingly, people are lighting up and then tossing the aftermath on the ground, despite ‘no smoking’ signs clearly posted. Although there aren’t many, I do have some people in my life who smoke. I choose to keep my distance while they are engaging in what I know is an addictive habit. I have friends who have been able to kick the habit and am extremely proud of them.
I did some research on the benefits of being  a quitter and was delighted to read that within the first twenty minutes of stopping, healing actually begins. BP decreases, circulation improves, pulse rate drops. Between 2 weeks and 3 months, it is easier to walk, pulmonary function improves. Withdrawal symptoms diminsh. After being smoke free for 5 years, the likelihood of stroke has also decreased and within 15 years, incident of cardiac disease has shrunk as well.
As I am typing these words, I can feel myself  clenching physically and emotionally, shutting off the flow of love. Those same thoughts are polluting my airspace and spreading out from there. Perhaps as you are reading this, if you are a smoker, you may be feeling some of that…who is she to judge?  Having mentioned earlier, this is my learning curve. The angrier I feel about it, the more I notice people around me smoking. Since there isn’t a whole lot I can do to prevent people from exercising what is a right, all I CAN do is prevent myself from having toxic thoughts about them and their choices, thus refraining from poisoning myself and the planet, since our thoughts are powerful. I can breathe in the healing air of love and compassion, sending it out into the world, fresh and clean and clear….blisspeace indeed <3
I Will Never Smoke by The Uncle Brothers, Tommy Gardner & Danny Quinn


Spiritual Balance Sheet




Ever think you know someone fairly well, only to discover a wealth of information about them that blows you out of the water?  Such was the case of my friend Cass Forkin, who spoke last weekend at Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA.  Her topic was “My Spiritual Balance Sheet For Inner Peace and Joy”.  With an MBA in Healthcare Administration and an undergrad degree in Accounting, she knows her way around facts and figures that add up; with assets and liabilities nice and neat in their linear columns. On this day, she extrapolated to the process of life itself. Not always as exacting, but perhaps even more valuable.


It’s appropriate that I am writing about Cass for today’s Bliss Blog entry, since August 19th is also World Humanitarian Day. As the founder and director of Twilight Wish Foundation, she can most certainly wear that disinction with a sense of pride and honor. Although Twilight Wish does not send volunteers into the trenches or war zones or places where natural disasters occur, they reach out to people over 68 whose requests for life enhancing items get met, such as grab bars in the shower, a lift chair,  eye glasses, washer and dryer, a golf cart for a convent, so that the nuns could get around the grounds more readily, and of course, my favorite… a cross country truck trip offered by my friend Annabella Wood. 


As she stood before us, looking and sounding for all the world, like Susan Sarandon, Cass shared with us about a dream she had in childhood in which she was riding in the clouds with God, seeing magical colors arising from the Earth. God told her that it was the love moving upward from the people on the planet. The message was to love God and love your neighbor, regardless of who they are and what they have done. She had a Near Death Experience at age 8, grew up in poverty in a household with many siblings, lost her mother at age 16 and married at age 19. As she described, there were many times when they would have literally no food to eat, which gave her a determination to succeed. I had a sense of the Scarlett O’Hara line about never going hungry again. Cass became a consummate overachiever which she found didn’t bring the soul satisfaction she desired.


In 2003, after witnessing three older women in the Dublin Star Diner (in my home town of Dublin, PA) cobbling together dollar bills and change to pay for their breakfast, she approached the waitress and paid for their meal and asked that she remain anonymous. That didn’t work, as the server pointed her out to the women and they came over to thank her for her kindness. One of them said “We didn’t think there were people in the world like you.” and added the sentiment about being glad they weren’t being forgotten, I believe the legend goes. The organization began with $711.00 and now is a successful non-profit  that has granted 1600 wishes since its inauguration.

Her values and beliefs guide her as she guides the helm.  She lives by the idea that life is short, so DO IT NOW!  It is important to ask for guidance and wisdom, knowing that answers come from all sources. We come into the world naked and with nothing and we leave with nothing, so we need to make a difference in the here and now. Cass knows that anything is possible. When all is said and done her spiritual balance sheet has far more assets than liabilities. Can you say the same about yours?  World Humanitarian Day 2011


How’s Your Love Life?



I received this quote special delivery via email this past week:

“Whenever you see love coming, welcome it with open arms and let it enter into you. People will ask, ‘Are you in love?’ You will say, ‘No, love is in me.” ~ unknown

What do those words mean to you?  My take is that love is not a commodity to be traded for companionship, money, time, affection, your heart or your soul. It is an energy that has always and will always exist. Love is not something we need to earn or be worthy of. It is not showered only on a few ‘deserving’ folks. It is our birthright. It is simply WHAT WE ARE.  How does that land for you?  If you were taught or somehow absorbed the idea that you are unlovable because of abuse, neglect or trauma, I encourage you to consider that it could all be a big fat lie! When people feel unloved, they are more likely to lash out and do harm to themselves or others. When they KNOW that they are love incarnate, they become a greater force for good in the world.


So, what if love is what you are?  As you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, you may want to ask yourself WWLD?  (kind of like the WWJD? bracelets)  What would love do?  How would love ease pain, squelch conflict, boost spirits, mend the rift between you and another person, heal a broken heart, create peace?  Take a moment to visualize a person from whom you are estranged; could be someone living or who has passed.  See their face, their expression, their body posture.  Be aware of how you are feeling as you imagine them. How are you holding your body?  What sensations are you noticing?  Now, take a deep breath and let out a sound that expresses how you are feeling…..   

On your next inhale, breathe in the energy of love, whatever that would feel like for you. Give it a color, as you take it in and allow it to infuse your being. Then ahhhh…magine how relaxed you feel as you melt into it.  On your next exhale, ahhh…magine it flowing over the person with whom you may have had conflict. Visualize them as an innocent child, full of promise and possibility. See what happens as you do so. Chances are, you will notice that person melt as well. Although I can’t promise, I would guess that by shifting your perception of them, their demeanor, attitude and interaction with you will change. If they are no longer in body, then you are likely to receive a message of some kind that reassures you that all is well. If nothing else, YOU will experience a sense of wellbeing.


Years ago, my Mom asked “How’s your love life?” and I told her, “Great! I love life.”  When people inquire, they ususally refer to romantic love.  I notice that as I embrace life, it embraces me. As I welcome new people into my ‘overlapping soul circles’, all are enriched. That may include intimate partners, but it need not exclude platonic friends, co-workers and people I meet throughout my day. Are you willing to draw a circle that includes new people every day and create what I call family of choice?  If that is the case, then you can truly love your life and live your love.  Everybody  Ingrid Michaelson  Shower the People  James Taylor


The Soul Solution

                                                   The Soul Solution: Enlightening Meditations for Resolving Life's Problems by Jonathan Parker: Book Cover


Is your soul yearning for expression?  Are you willing to enter into deep exploration of what it means to live from that exalted place?  Jonathan Parker’s invitation to meditation is in the form of this user friendly guide book, called The Soul Solution:  Enlightening Meditations For Resolving Life’s Problems. He opens with these profoundly simple questions: “Who are you? ”  “Where did you come from?” “Why are you here, and where are you going?”  Most people believe that we are our bodies, our roles, our achievements, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Parker tells the story of his own spiritual en-lightening up  when on Mt. Shasta, he had a vision that included angelic beings and what he calls “an opening to the divine source” and “the light of the soul.”


He encourages readers to fully engage in the meditations which I found not only quite relaxing, but heart opening as well. Some of my favorites are The Soul Healing Process (pg 42),  Moving Beyond Fear  (pg 86) and The Inner Child’s Journey Home (pg 183)

Parker’s view is that it is all an inside job and that where we are at any given point in our lives is as a result of the ways we have sent energy to what we think, feel and do. This 30 year veteran of teaching spiritual principles and founder of Quantum Quests International, Inc., offers insights on subjects such as: fear, facing ego challenges, and  love. He uses the acronym





to describe the areas of our lives that call for healing. His contention is that enlightenment is our natural state of being and that opening to Grace is our birthright. Stepping into what Parker calls The Soul Center, brings us face to face with our true essence, that opens the portal to the heart and full immersion in wonder.

Long may you glow.

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