Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

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Yesterday, I fetched my lawnmower from the local repair shop since the machine that most of the time efficiently crops the greenery around my suburban Bucks County, PA home stopped running a week earlier. It was less than 10 years old, so I know it hadn’t done its final round. It had started briefly and then sputtered to a halt. I loaded it into my car and hauled it a few miles to Meyers, a long-lived locally based family business. Two elderly dogs wander the property and have come to greet me for chin scritches and pats each time I have visited over the years.

When one of the owners brought the machine out, I learned something I hadn’t known from day one of ownership. First, I was told that the carburetor had to be rebuilt (ruh roh…I was expecting a much higher bill than I was handed) and that should do the trick. Before loading it back into my car, I tested it to be sure it would start. I pushed the primer button the requisite three times to get the gasoline flowing and then pulled the cord and pushed the handle. Nope. The man leaned over and showed me how to push the button three times….sloooowly, not rapid paced as I had been doing all this time. He then repeated the routine I had done and voila! the mower roared into action. He explained that by priming the pump slowly it allowed the gasoline to flow naturally and fully, while doing it as I had, only allowed it to go in spurts.

When I got home and replicated the routine, whaddya know? It worked again. My lawn is now happily trimmed.

It had me considering  (since I am a writer and think in metaphors,)  that life is much like that. When we push too hard, too fast or too much, we are likely to sputter out. Even if we do start, we may not be able to sustain momentum. When we go at a measured pace, we can mow down resistance. When we are properly fueled, whether it comes in the form of food or emotional support and love, we can get the job done with energy to spare. When we seek the guidance of someone more knowledgable than we are, we could actually learn something valuable.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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From the moment I saw the trailer a month or so ago, I knew I had to be in the theater when the movie Poms debuted. Perhaps it was because I am now in that demographic (although most of the characters had 10 years on me). Maybe it was that it was about underdogs becoming top dogs despite the odds and the machinations of a prissy pseudo-Southern Belle social director at a retirement community in Georgia. The lead character played by veteran actor Diane Keaton is Martha who packs up her New York City apartment where she has lived for more than half her life to spend her waning days in said community. Why she chose such a polar opposite setting was not spelled out and left me wondering how it was that she went there kit and kaboodle without having visited first. There she encounters Sheryl, played with wild woman pizazz by Jacki Weaver. They bond reluctantly at first but then become co-conspirators in creating a cheerleading squad. It was to help Martha to fulfill a teenage dream of performing as a cheerleader. She had made the varsity squad in high school, but then her mother got ill and died, so she quit and packed up her uniform. She gathers together other women whose own lives seem banal until they catch the enthusiasm Martha and Sheryl generate. No one takes them seriously and there is a point where they set themselves up for humiliation by a mean girl and her own cheerleading squad until they enlist her assistance as their choreographer.

The movie is simplistic for sure; none of the characters do a deep dive into a back story. Themes that run through the film include ageism,  empowerment of women, self-image issues, death and dying, and men controlling (or attempting) to control women; one a husband for whom karma comes to call and one a son who infantilizes his mother.

The rest of the cast includes longtime performers Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, Phyllis Somerville, Patricia French, Carol Sutton, Bruce McGill, and Ginny MacColl. The teen newbies are Charlie Tahan and Alisha Boe played with shy boy bewilderment and popular girl confidence. Of course, there is chemistry between them.

Another reason I was moved by this ‘feel good-feel sad-feel good again’ film is that I recently lost a dear sister-friend to cancer and I could absolutely see her in cheerleader mode, although, to the best of my knowledge she never was. She was, however a disco queen in the 1980s, shaking her booty to the music in the same way these seasoned badass babes did.

Some of my favorite lines: “You are dying today. You will be dying next week. In between, you should be dancing your ass off.”

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

 

Sky, Freedom, Happiness, Relieved, Prayer, Open Arms

 

Around 3 something this morning, I  woke up with a prayer running through my mind. I assured myself initially that I would remember it when I was more lucid and my eyes were open. Uh uh. “Get up, woman. You know that if you don’t get this in print now, it will slip through the gaps in memory.” So, up I rose and took dictation which I have been doing far more lately. This is what emerged.

Tonight before I go to sleep
I pray that I have earned my keep.
Have I been loving?
Have I been kind?
Have I shared what’s in my heart and on my mind?
With understanding I might see
that not everyone views the world like me.
Can I make it okay and if not, be on my way
and detach with love
as blessings are showered from above?
I ask to make this one confession
that I want to make a lasting impression.
When it is my time to go
I ask to let this all be so.

-Edie Weinstein 5/8/19

When I re-read it just now, it resonates with how I have lived for much of my life. My parents taught me that although we could count our blessings, we needed to create that state by offering time, energy and love. Although I was not silenced (I grew up in the era of ‘children should be seen and not heard….ridiculous, frankly, since how can anyone grow to be outspoken and articulate if they are not given the chance for self-expression?) there were times when I practiced over-filtering of my thoughts, since I wanted to be liked and accepted.

These days, I run my words through the Buddhist concept of the Three Gates: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? before I say what I am thinking.  As a recovering co-dependent, I have been able to set appropriate boundaries and refrain from accepting that someone else’s truth had to be mine as well in order to be in relationship with them. In this heated political climate, the landscape has become even more treacherous. There are times when I have needed to walk away from interactions when others express what I perceive as dangerous beliefs, after attempting to share my concerns. From their side of the mirror, I imagine they feel the same. I can beam love their way, from a distance.

The legacy I want to leave is one that will encourage folks who remain to carry on, to live from the heart.

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”
― Kahill Gibran, The Prophet

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

Alive, Energy, Divine, Body-Mind, Mind-Body, Faith

This morning, like many others, I had a God-versation. My eyes were still closed and my bare feet hadn’t yet touched the sand colored carpet. The Divine and I are intimately acquainted. Sometimes it feels like a monologue in which I am speaking with my Higher Self which is the wisest aspect of the Being incarnated in a human body. Sometimes it feels like a dialogue with the Source of all energy, all manifestation (or as I call it manna-festation, like manna from Heaven) and all blessings. It doesn’t take form, but is, rather, an illuminated essence.

I feel welcome to question, protest, kvetch and ponder. It never turns me away. On the flip side, when I talk to what I perceive as myself, I do feel judged. When someone compliments me on my service, talent, gifts, creativity, success, beauty, kindness….I toggle back and forth between acceptance of their feedback and deflection. Who me? Marianne Williamson’s classic quote is a wakeup call when I get Spiritual Amnesia.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

In the past few days, I have found myself (or rather, lost myself) in doubt about my finances. Not an unusual state for me since as a solopreneur, I am constantly seed planting to keep the garden growing. I am what I call ‘professionally polyamorous,’ as I have many overlapping sources of income. Writer, speaker, social worker, therapist, coach, editor, workshop facilitator and PR Goddess who markets my services and those of others are among a growing number of aspects of my income-generating work. I also do my FREE Hugs, which is a joyful part of my volunteer/service work/ministry.

If you want to eavesdrop on the conversation, here’s what it sounds like:

Me: “When is my life going to be exactly like I want it to be? Can’t we let it be easy?”

Spirit: “Have I ever dropped you? Has life ever not turned out even beautifully, magically, gloriously than even you with your vivid imagination could have conjured? Chill.”

Me: “Sigh.”

It has served me from the first time it began 20 years ago. 1998 was the year I became a widowed single parent of a then 11-year-old son. I kept us in the same house, paying bills by working full time and supplementing with part-time gigs. At this writing, I have only four years left to pay the mortgage! The money I have needed has always been available. A friend reminds me that I ‘live in surplus,’ rather than deficit.  I always have what I need. I do abundance affirmations and listen to Youtube prosperity videos. I surround myself with successful people. I visualize what I desire. I allow myself to have a multitude of feelings since there are times when anger and resentment arise. I tell myself that I ‘should’ be farther along in the process than I am and that the financial flow should be unabated and at a higher level given my education and experience. Then, I feel guilty since others have so much less than I do. Comparison is one of my most challenging issues. What if I was happy where I am and trusting that I will always be splendidly surprised at what opportunities show up, knowing that my needs will always be met magnificently By Divine Design.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay