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The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

In the Flow

jenaandbrendantable

 

 

Sitting in the San Francisco airport awaiting the plane that will wing me from here to my East Coast home. The Philly airport is the destination that I will re-visit long about 10:00 tonight. Invested in a soft pink memory foam neck pillow to ease my journey and prevent a crick in the neck that has become a familiar travel companion over the years when I have awoken from much needed naps en route. Since a great deal of travel is in my future, it is a worthwhile purchase.

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Got up early this morning after a night of joyfully celebrating my beautiful niece Jena’s wedding to her handsome hubby Brendan. I had the blessing of being the Officiant. Twenty eight years ago, at my own wedding, Jena was my two year old flower girl. During the ceremony, I mentioned that I believed that I married her Uncle Michael back then, in part, so I could marry her now. There wasn’t a dry eye there, as family and friends who are family of choice to her, her siblings, and aunt gathered to witness the union. It was held at the organic farm of Brendan’s parents. It could not have been a more perfect day. The weather cooperated, although I dreamed two nights before that there were torrential rains. That, in and of itself would have been a miracle, since there are drought conditions in Calistoga, where it was held. I sense that it was an analogy for the floods of love that enveloped them.  The ceremony itself was a blend of humor and profound emotion.

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At dinner which was served at long tables with white lights strung across the trees, tiny votive candles and small potted plants along the burlap runners, glasses were raised over and over in toast to the couple and their grand lives together. Since the Napa Valley is home to some of the world’s most exquisite vineyards, the wine was flowing, along with happy tears. I had the feeling that we were in a Fellini movie. We danced the night away to music provided by a jazz-pop group and I found myself carried away by the music; transported to a timeless state where I felt little fatigue and delayed soreness.

One of the many ideas I spend a great deal of time musing about is that kindred spirits and soul friends are everywhere, even if they are not on our radar at the time. Brendan’s family- his mother Nanette, his father Barney and sister Genevieve would easily fit into that category. I had such poignant and in some cases,  mystical conversations with each of them. Barney I had a few such interludes in which he offered what he calls ‘hyperbole, haiku and bullshit’ as this philosopher-farmer spoke about the importance of making time for people; feeling our connection to the Divine in all we encounter. Found myself wishing that I had more time to spend with him.

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At each turn, throughout my trip, I encountered miracles. I had the chance to spend a few days staying with my in-laws at the gorgeous house they were renting as I got to see a different side of them. Some of us soaked in the hot tub under the California Stars well after midnight East Coast time and I found myself, as I often do, in awe of how my life gets to be lived. I never take it for granted and breathed a prayer of gratitude.

I am also coming home with a new briefcase, courtesy of the owners of the B & B where some of the other guests were staying. The zippers on my old one broke and I had asked if there was a store nearby where I could purchase one. The shook their heads and said they had one I could adopt. I asked how much it was. The smiled and said $10. I was astounded, since one that quality would easily have cost more than $50. I love how these things show up too.

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While strolling through town over the last few days, I made friends, soaked up some sun, clocked many miles, enjoyed the restorative scenery and  blessed the flow~

Brendan and Jena, may your lives be a series of serendipitous and synchronous experiences and may you live in awe and wonder of it all.

 

 

 

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The Great American Grumpout

Yes, it really is a thing and it is today. Here in the United States, home to many  grumpy people, a created holiday is celebrated ….if you can use that word, to glorify what is defined as “a person who is angry, rude or often complains.”

According to the website known as the Home of the Great American Grumpout, created by self proclaimed Grumpoligist, Janice A. Hathy: “Grumpology is the in-depth study of the Grump’s environment, interactions and collective behavior as it relates to family, friends and co-workers. Grumping requires a significant skill to effectively deliver unpleasant, unwanted and unwarranted behaviors.”

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I have rarely been grumpy; too busy being grateful as was taught to me by my parents. My father would often meet my vague complaints with “If that’s the worst thing that ever happens to you, you will be okay.”  I would smile and work my way through whatever was going on at the time; sometimes with the help of my folks, or others and sometimes on my own. As a therapist and natural empath, there have been plenty of times when; like tofu, I have absorbed other people’s snarky, whiney emotions. I have quickly chosen to shake them off, since miserable moods are contagious and grumps don’t like to go it alone. In attempt to hornswoggle others to join in the grouch-fest, they will often assume that people will commiserate with them. I happen not to be one of those who jumps on the bitching and moaning bandwagon. There are times when I run an inner dialog about the behaviors that range from mildly annoying- such as people who use improper grammar and spelling; to abhorrent- such as violence in word or deed.  I do what I can to productively express displeasure and offer alternatives to the choices made. Complaining for its own sake may have some small benefit, such as permission to vent and when used as problem solving, as long as it isn’t sustained as a way of life.

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Humor helps as well. When something isn’t to your liking, can you find a way to laugh about it and see the ridiculous side of the issue?  Kind of like chuckling when the person who was honking their horn while riding your bumper and then zooms past you, gets stuck at the next traffic light. If we could do that, then I imagine the incidents of road rage would drop considerably. Some things just ain’t worth sweating.

I encourage you to take a grump fast by noticing when you may be tempted to complain. Then decide if it is worth getting your panties in a twist about. Can you do anything to change the situation?  If so, do it. If not, let it go. My stretchy edge is letting go of being angry and annoyed with folks who smoke since their habit impacts on everyone else. Beyond educating, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. Harping  in my head about it is only going to surround me with toxicity which is what I want to avoid in the first place.

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Smile when you can with a big toothy grin.  Laugh when you need to. Laughter Yoga is one means to overcome the grumps. One of the exercises teachers of this ha-ha healing modality is speaking in gibberish. When you have something that is asking to be vented, say it in nonsense words, with exaggerated movement; temper tantrum style if need be.

If that doesn’t work, then sing along with Oscar.

 

 

 

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Prosperity Mantra

Last year, in the midst of experiencing emotional turmoil, physical challenges and financial woes, I had a conversation with Spirit. We are on such intimate terms that there are times when I wonder if it is a dialog or monologue, as in ‘there is only one of us here.’  I asked for guidance and support to get through it all. As has been the case for years, the loud and clear message showed up in the form of a question that goes something like this:  “Have I ever dropped you?  Have things not worked out better than you can imagine, even in the face of challenges?”  Ah, nope. Ah, yep.  And then a spark of insight came through. No matter who signs my paychecks, I am aligned with the Divine and am on the celestial payroll.

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The mantra then came roaring through. “I work for God and the salary and benefits are out of this world.” I smiled broadly as I realized the absolute truth of those words. It occurred to me that the more I said them, the more they would latch on and the more they would be my manna-fested reality. Shortly after invoking their magic, an opportunity arose to do what I love and be well compensated for it. I am finally living a writer’s life. Since my work is portable, I can do it from anywhere. I wrote a few articles while on my maiden voyage to New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I will be heading to California this week to officiate at my niece’s wedding and will have my trusty computer with me to translate new ideas to readable form.

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The rewards are not all monetary, although that certainly is lovely. Some of it is knowing that what comes through me touches others. It is a gift for me immediately and then a blessing to be able to offer it out into the world.

I encourage you to see yourself as infinitely abundant.  What would your life be like if you were in receptivity mode? What would the world be like if populated with folks who knew that there was enough for everyone? No withholding. No taking from anyone. No fighting over scare resources. Generosity flowing like honey. Paying it forward. Praying it forward. So it is.

 

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Live Your Great Story

Skyheart

 

We are all repositories for experience. Nothing that happens in our lives ever goes away. While we may repress memories that could be too painful to recall, they remain in our cells. What if, instead, we decided to live our stories in healthy, productive and celebratory ways?

Leaving New Orleans tonight after a few days here with friends. I had been excitedly planning this trip for more than a month, but really, for years, since I had decided that I wanted to go to Jazz Fest. Circumstances had stood in the way before, but more recently, the stars aligned to make it possible and I’m so glad it did. As I have long believed, the trip began the moment I committed to going; not when I packed, got in my car, drove to the airport, hopped on two different planes or even arrived here. Those were just the paragraphs in the chapters that I co-wrote with the characters I encountered. Along the way, I met friendly people- from the folks in TSA who checked me through, to the people at the ticket counter, to the flight attendants and pilots, to the woman who was traveling with her therapy cat, to the retired mother and her adult son with whom I had a lengthy conversation about family, health and spirituality, to my friends Jewelee and Scott who greeted me when I arrived. Scott was actually on my flight, but I didn’t know it. Celebrating life these past few days with Loreen, Ron, Virginia, Chris, Karen, Vanessa and Sophia have enriched my time immeasurably. Dancing, singing, walking, eating, laughing, hugging, absorbing all of the juicy energy in this vibrant city are life changing experiences.

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Danced my tush off yesterday at Jazz Fest, as I basked in the sun; despite wearing sunscreen, got a little cooked around the edges, enjoyed vegetarian red beans and rice, and yes, indulged in a beignet. It reminded me of a puffed up version of a Pennsylvania decadent treat called Funnel Cake which is essentially fried dough doused with powdered sugar.

Second day of noticing sky writing as I gazed up into the vast blue expanse. It acted as a seal to my experience.

Loreen showed me a card she had gotten that had a photo with the words ‘Live A Great Story’ painted on it. What choice do we have but to do that? We express it in all we do. The flow of emotion, whether joy or sorrow, resentment or forgiveness, petty pouting, I’m not gettin’ my way frustration, love and acceptance, compassion and understanding, anger and aggression, or even passive aggression since we think we don’t know how to get our needs met any other way, are all part of this being human. It is when we consciously choose how our story gets played out, that we thrive. When we believe we are victims of someone else’s design, then we suffer. When we take pen in hand and write the poetry and prose from each sun-up to sun down, we have a story worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

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