The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Welcome Mat

It amazes me the way the Universe works. I have long believed that I needed to bust my butt for everything I have achieved. I thought I needed to persist and pursue, to constantly seed plant to assure a bountiful harvest. I worked myself into a frenzy and heart attack that way. I used to joke that I was ‘functionally manic’; moving a gazillion miles an hour and justified it because it brought results. When I look back at it, they weren’t always the ones I wanted. Now that I am in surrender mode, doing less, I am allowing in more. I would have been frantic about turning down opportunities….now I am trusting that if I say no for now, it will come around again when I do have the energy to sustain it. I am allowing what I desire to come to me. In the past month, I have postponed workshops and speaking gigs, radio shows and writing jobs. The old me would have felt irresponsible, as if I was letting people down and they would never trust me again. How silly is that?  What I have desired, prayed about and requested is coming to fruition.
What I have come to realize is that everything flows as it is meant to and that by letting go, I am able to gather. This desperate fear of not having enough, doing enough or being enough is going the way of all winds. Trust is a key element. I am astonished at the perfection of it all.
The welcome mat is out.


Would You Change?


“If you knew that you would die today. If you saw the face of God and love, would you change? 

How bad, how good does it need to get?”-Tracy Chapman

Every time I hear these lyrics, I am abundantly reminded that life is fleeting, people are precious and we never know what will occur on any given day. A few hours ago, we were anticipating a major wind and rain storm. I went outside and battened down the hatches, took in potential projectiles, charged up computer and phone just in case of power outage. In a really short period of time, it blew through, rained for maybe 10 minutes with a little huff and puff….no house blow down, thank goodness. Elsewhere in the region, people might not be feeling so lucky. Elsewhere in the world, people may be facing something even more painful and challenging. Loss, illness, devastation, war, famine, personal violence, death. All part of the life process.

Each one a poignant reminder that people are both fragile and resilient, strong and vulnerable and can ultimately triumph over anything. When life stuff happens, I see it as an opportunity to take a concentrated look at areas in which I feel stuck in the muck. I continue to read old journals from as far back as 1978, when I was a student at Glassboro State College and am astounded at the wisdom and naivete that young woman exhibited. How did she already know all this stuff?  How did she think anything would ever change unless she did?

She had so many paths she could have taken in her education, career, relationships, health. If I had walked down one way instead of another, would it still have led me to this moment, listening to the music, typing the words, conjuring ideas? Would I be widowed, the mother of a 27 year old, in a career changing moment? Would I be facing health challenges? Would I know the people I now adore? Is it all meant to be, destined, mapped out?  Is it random?

I may never know the answer, but am constantly curious. God/dess only knows what awaits at the end of the trail.

Change by Tracy Chapman

Photo credit: imageafter











Moving On





Death has generally been viewed as the enemy with frightening images of the Grim Reaper; scythe  in hand, scooping us up and taking us away from the people and things we love. What if it wasn’t like that at all?  What if it was a journey to another realm; one of light and love, of grace and ease, lessons learned and messages integrated?

It occurred to me recently that I had heard a story about various exit points that can occur in our live- portals, if you will, that allow us to ‘leave the building.’ Although I have never had the typical NDE (near death experience), I have had several ‘near misses’ in auto accidents, had an ectopic pregnancy in 1992, during which I hemorrhaged and required emergency surgery and then the recent heart attack. At none of those points did I fear death. It isn’t that I welcome it. It is that when my time comes, I will be ready to roll. I know that love awaits me, as it does you. I am certain that those who have already crossed over are waiting patiently for me to show up. What a party that will be!

I am becoming increasingly aware of the preciousness of life; so as not to waste time fretting over what I can’t control. Every moment I spend feeling angry because people smoke and then toss their cigarette butts on the ground as if the clean up faerie is going to magically disappear them, is one wasted. I know that I can’t make them stop. My grrrring about it inside my head is only taking up space that could better used in other ways. I know that in order for the world to become a more peaceful place, I need to contribute my peace.

When I have sat by the bedsides of those who have passed, such as those of my husband and father, or friends and patients in my professional life, I have felt honored to have witnessed the transition from this realm to the next. I liken it to being a midwife on the other end of the life spectrum. There has been a sense of serenity as they let go of that which is letting go of them. Listening for the next breath that could be their last is like going on a journey that will only take me so far. I then step back and watch them cross over a threshold over which I may not yet pass, but someday will.

I saw a wondrous video that beautifully highlights this idea.

 Leave A Little Light On by James

Photo Credit- Art of Dharma Ainslie Henderson






Late last night, I was perusing dog eared pages with rounded, scrawly letters inscribed in blue, black, iridescent pink and in some cases, penciled markings that reflected the mind of a 20 something young woman in college and grad school. The initial one was given to me by my first college boyfriend, Jamie. Across the front is the title The Nothing Book, with the subheading- Wanna Make Something of It?  He had inscribed a message “Take this empty book and fill it with the creations of your mind. Writing is beautiful, expressions, descriptions, impressions, fiction and the unreal bring the mind to think and wonder. You have a gentle flair for writing. Fill and enjoy.”

Thus the seeds were planted for what you are reading now. I had begun journaling somewhere around age 12 with more of a ‘Dear Diary’ flavor and then I would go on to describe my daily activities. It wasn’t until later teens/early 2o’s that I allowed myself to dive deep into emotional swamps, kicking at the seaweed and doing my best to avoid drowning.

Even in my far more svelte days (itsy bitsy size 5-7) with long flowing hair, I was still critical of my appearance. I wished for “certain areas of my body to be rounder and others to be flatter,” and for my nose to be shorter. I did like (and still do), my dimples inherited from my dad. I described my inner landscape in this way “I can be internally pretty when I help a friend through a problem, or make a person’s day by saying a kind word. My insides turn less beautiful, even ugly when my patience is frazzled like a nylon rope supporting more weight than it was meant to hold.” Hmmm…back then, I had a growing awareness of my co-dependent tendencies.

A few pages later, I described the death of my beloved Aunt Kate 12/28/78. I knew when it happened, as I was on my way home from college and a sense of her passing from this world, moved through me. When I got home, my mother confirmed it. She was a lively, lovely presence. Playful and childlike with us. My insights about her impact on my life carry through to this day. I described her funeral which was led by a rabbi who didn’t know her and it felt distinctly uncomfortable to hear him ramble on about her. Now, as an interfaith minister myself, I create far more personal services.

I wrote about cleaning my room, excavating treasure troves of beloved objects and memories attached to them- including the faded bouquet of flowers given to me by my HS boyfriend at his prom which heralded the ending of our romantic connection. I ponder the perilous and precious path of relationship I have traversed in the past 30 years. Truly a long and winding road, with serial monogamy, stretches of single-hood, polyamory, overlapping interactions with friends and lovers, committed partners. I treasure each and every soul who has entered my life, even as I wish for less of the pain and more of the pleasure. Lessons were wrapped in all of those packages.

At 55; widowed in 1998 following a tumultuous and paradoxical nearly 12 year marriage, I pick apart the threads of my relationship patterns, like one would untie a knotted piece of yarn and am amazed that in some areas, not much has changed. The desire for control of my feelings, to be loved best of all, my impatience with myself, my craving both independence and connection, sometimes second guessing my choices, my co-dependent need to be essential and indispensable and yet exhausted when people depend on me too much, carry through the last three decades.

I was shocked when I read some of the entries that revealed emotions that I had forgotten that I had experienced and choices that I almost made and am grateful that I hadn’t. Shadow thoughts that belied the sunny persona I wear. As I read ‘her’ words, I felt immense compassion for this younger version of myself who felt lost and adrift. I take her under my wing and reminded her how very far we have come. I had an aha- so-that’s-why-you did…… awareness. Standing emotionally naked, stripped bare of façade; the Empress has no clothes.

This forum allowed me to do something that I rarely do now which is writing just for me. These days, most of my words are meant for public consumption. Edited, polished, easily digestible little tidbits of information, enlightenment and entertainment are what I offer on line and on paper. The truth is, I need both venues; the first to nourish my own soul and the second to live my passion and purpose.

And so I continue to WRITE ON!



Previous Posts

Rocks Crumble
Had an insight today that had me laughing at the perfect absurdity while speaking with my friend Gail Lynne Goodwin from Inspire Me Today.  She had called to offer loving support with the roller coaster ride that has been my life of late,  and we were musing about being adult orphans since both se

posted 7:06:56am Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Living in the Questions
  Since I don't have a television, the only times I watch are at the gym, at other people's homes or (as I am doing right now), in the hospital. Propped up in bed with yet another health challenge. A little more than a month ago, it was a heart attack. Back in November, it was shingles and i

posted 2:27:43pm Jul. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Power to the Peaceful
      I was a child during the Viet Nam War. Images of destruction, napalm, death, protests, tears, verbal and sometimes heated physical altercations between those in favor of the conflict and those opposed to it, streamed across our television screen daily. War never

posted 8:52:13am Jul. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Heart Song
  Lately, I have been more acutely aware of the connection between the cardiac muscle that keeps blood pumping through my body and sustains this corporeal existence and the emotional center that has made my thus far, more than 55 years on the planet worthwhile. Going on month two of my new l

posted 6:07:50am Jul. 18, 2014 | read full post »

To Live Significantly
      Many years ago, one of my college friends named Gina Foster had relayed a bit of wisdom that I treasure. She said that she endeavored to "live significantly," and that she does.  I knew instantly what she meant and agreed that it was my mission too. It isn't about

posted 9:52:42pm Jul. 16, 2014 | read full post »

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