The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Spirits in the Material World




I woke up this morning to the Sting song with this title, so I assumed that it was my writing prompt for the Bliss Blog. I have long believed that we are not humans having a spiritual experience, but rather spirits having a human experience. Encased in bodies that are born, live for moments or years, they tote around the ineffable essence that connects us with the Divine.

In the midst of  relatively minor challenges, such as traffic jams and long supermarket lines, we can remember that and ask ourselves how the essence of the Divine would handle these things. Would it grumble and gripe or find a way to move through with ease and grace?  It might sing in the car or blow bubbles out the window. It could speak kindly to others in line and make new friends.

Even facing more traumatizing experiences such as illness or death, I have found it helpful to remember that I am inextricably bound with Creation and thus Creator and am never left without celestial support. Cosmic coincidence, in the form of the right people and circumstances have shown up to show me that all is indeed well and fall into place with remarkable accuracy, like puzzle pieces waiting to fit into their pre-arranged spaces. Sadness, grief and fear at losses, have flowed through, without remaining stuck in my personal pipeline.

I tap into the Buddhist perspective of impermanence and that nothing lasts forever in the form it is in. Having witnessed on a few occasions, the creation and disassembling, by Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery, of sand mandalas that are imbued with prayers for healing, love and compassion, I know that the beauty remains long after the multi-colored grains of sand are swept into a grey pile. So it is with life and the objects and people we cling to in an effort to keep ourselves anchored to our day to day existence.

So, even if just for these next 24 hours, I will endeavor to remember that everyday miracles occur, that I am here By Divine Design and we are all Humanly Divine and Divinely Human.

Spirits In the Material World

“There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world)

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
The subjugate the meek
But it’s the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world)

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world)

(Are spirits in the material world…)”





For the Highest Good

Every day, people turn their minds and hearts to prayer for themselves and others. Regardless of spiritual orientation or faith tradition, it becomes a lifeline to the God of their understanding. We humans are born, live, have experiences; some joyful, some painful and then, when our clock has stopped ticking, we pass on to whatever awaits. It is natural; if life feels flowing and full, to want to delay that eventuality and if someone is faced with a life challenging condition, to cling to this side with all our might and the collective energy of those who want us to stick around. The image that just came to me was that of the children’s game Tug of War. We pull and effort to have this loved one remain with us and the Creator beckons him or her Home. By the way, this is my perception and in no way do I intend to tell anyone what to believe spiritually.

When my husband was in the ICU back in 1998, on life support while awaiting a liver transplant, I had what I referred to as “God wrestling” sessions. I would say “He’s mine and you can’t have him,” to which the loving response was “No, he’s mine and he’s on loan to you, like everyone else in your life.” And so, I had two choices; one to resist and continue to pull and tug and one to sigh and accept. Ultimately, I chose the second and Michael took his final assisted breath on December 21, 1998.  Ten years later, I released my father and two and half years after that, my mother. Each time, the surrender felt strangely natural. Just like Michael, their bodies were ready to release their souls.

Over the years, I have been asked to and have been independently moved to pray for folks who are in need. Although my desire is that they live and be well, it may not be in the cards for them to do so. Who am I to decide that for them?  Seems to me that it is a negotiation between this person and their Divine Designer. When that happens, I offer intention that whatever is for their Highest Good come to be. Tough stuff when the one we are releasing is an important part of our lives. I wonder though, is it harder still to witness suffering?  know it was for me. As much as I miss family and friends who have transitioned, I am relieved for them that they are no longer in pain, no longer limited by earthly constraints.

And so, as I begin this day, I ask for the acceptance of whatever is for the Highest Good for us all, and surrender the outcome.

Roaring Red



As I awoke this morning, I was reminded that today is called Go Red for Women Day that focuses on the importance of heart health awareness. The symbol of the event is a red dress. Like the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness and the multi-color puzzle piece ribbon for autism awareness, it is a metaphorical image for a real and crucial issue.

According to the American Heart Association, “One in three women die of heart disease or stroke every year. Education and lifestyle changes, however, can prevent 80 percent of cardiac events.”

“This is an important opportunity to raise awareness that heart disease is not just a man’s disease, to stop and honor the many people struggling with heart disease, and to celebrate the advances we’ve seen over the years against heart disease and stroke,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.

What makes this personal is that I joined the ranks of ‘heart sisterhood’ when one of my arteries decided it needed some mechanical support back in June and a stent was inserted to prop it up. Two generations of my family …my mom and sister are sadly part of that lineage. My mother had bypass surgery a few decades ago and died of CHF- Congestive Heart Failure in 2010 and my sister has had three heart attacks in two years. Never in a million years did I think I would be among those ranks.

Since then, I have engaged in major life changes, that include nutritional revisions ….reducing sodium and cholesterol, attending cardiac rehab, walking regularly, improved sleeping at night and taking naps as needed, slowing my pace dramatically. This former Type A has become Type B+ which is a huge upgrade. I have also learned to say no when I truly don’t want to do something requested of me. I am realizing; and sometimes I am a slow learner, that self care is not synonymous with selfishness. I am more leisurely in nearly every aspect of my life, taking time to just BE.

When I was in the hospital, I had a wee hours of the morning visit from a nurse who came in to take vital signs. As we were speaking, she encouraged, that when I was recovered, I should do cardiac health education for women. That has become a new mission of sorts. I am not a nutritionist or fitness guru. What I AM is a career therapist/coach/writer/speaker on wellness topics. The personal has become the universal as I scatter what I have learned, out into the world.

Today, I shall wear red, roaring and raring to go~

Change is Strange

As I was sitting with a client today, we were speaking about the transformations she wanted to take place in her life. Since this was our initial session, she outlined many of them that would enhance her day to day experiences. Then we approached the action steps that could take place in order to see them through. Most of who desire to have happier, healthier lives, get all excited about the prospect, but sometimes halt at the doorway into this new world. Why?

Because it calls for change. And change is strange. New. Uncharted waters. Unexplored territory. No matter how you slice it, even if it feels exhilarating, it can still be frightening. I asked her to do something I will ask you to stop and do now. Fold your hands together. Which thumb is on top? My left thumb naturally rests on the right. Now switch it up. How does it feel?  For me, it feels weird and a bit anxiety provoking. I’m sure I could get used to it if I needed to and if I sat with it for a bit. I wonder if it is a neurological/wiring function. I will ask medical field friends and get back to you on it.

In the past year, I have made many changes of necessity. Since a string of health issues …shingles, heart attack, kidney stones and adrenal fatigue, they have become my M.O. Were they easy? Some. The dietary and exercise regimen were the simplest. Label reading, cooking, rather than throwing meals together to eat on the run, forgoing prepackaged veggie burgers and eating mostly organic, low sodium and low cholesterol everything have become my ‘new normal’. Going to cardiac rehab several times a week and taking brisk walks in between, doing yoga and dancing have become my regular fitness routine.

The biggest challenge has been the attitude adjustment that is required. Too often, I would exercise savior behavior, helium hand and wanting to feel essential. The first involves fixing, saving, healing, curing and kissing the book boos to make them all better. Not my job anymore. I can still love and nurture people, but it is by choice and not obligation. The second occurred when my hand would, seemingly of its own accord, loft up in the air like a helium balloon whenever someone would ask for a volunteer. The third felt like an insurance policy against rejection. Who wouldn’t love someone they needed and could rely on?  All of them were draining and not sustaining.

I have also been sleeping 7-8 hours a night and taking naps as needed during the day, without feeling like a slacker or couch spud. Everything about me is more leisurely and as a result, I am enjoying life more fully.

One thing that I am still working on, and I imagine it is not unusual, is refraining from identifying as a ‘cardiac patient,’ even while being mindful of the choices I make that contribute to a heart healthy life. It’s not simply about preventing another one from occurring, but rather, about continuing to offer myself bodacious self care. That looks like asking myself if I am living as I did BHA-Before Heart Attack, or AHA-After Heart Attack. The first was like a never ending spinning class and the second is a more leisurely bicycle ride through the countryside. I much prefer the view from the second seat.

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