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This is a Continuation!
Please see the previous Blog:
Discovering and Living Your Bliss, Part 2, for the first part . . .
May these words help you and your children embody and radiate love, like rays
of life-sustaining sunshine, as you navigate the unchartered waters of
daily living with clarity, confidence and ease.
Can you imagine a world where we were all following our bliss, doing what we love?
What would it be like if everyone suddenly stopped what they were doing out of having to do it and started doing what they love to do?
What would it be like if money disappeared and we all had access to the things we truly needed? If we all just did the things we truly enjoyed?
There may be a few bumps in how things run for a while, but oh, what a wonderful world it would be. There’s certainly enough love and resources in this world for everyone to live comfortably and help one another live blissfully.
Imagine a world where we all did the activities we enjoy as a contribution to the world—where being a plumber, trash collector, neurosurgeon, gifted athlete, inspiring teacher, or an actress, actor or any other chosen path of following ones bliss were considered equally important.
John W. Gardner said, “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
Here’s something to ponder from the movie “Girl In The Café”: I don't know how much the rest of you ladies know about what's going on ... but My Friend here tells me that, while we are eating, a 100 million children are nearly starving. There's just millions of kids who'd kill for the amount of food fat old me left on the side of my plate—children so weak that they'll die if a mosquito bites them.
And so they do die. One every three seconds ... snap ... there they go. . . Snap. And another one. Anyone who has kids must know that parents in Africa must love their kids as much as they. And to watch your kids die. To watch them die and then die yourself in trying to protect them. It's not right. And tomorrow, 8 of the men sitting round this table actually have the ability to stop this by making a few great decisions.
And if they don't, some day, someone else will. And they'll look back on us and say ‘People were actually dying in the millions unnecessarily in front of you, on your TV screens. What were ye thinking? You knew what to do to stop it happening. And you didn't do those things. Shame on you.' So that's what you have to do tomorrow. Be great instead of being ashamed. It can’t be impossible. It must be possible.”
It is possible when we live our bliss and help others live their bliss, leaving no one on any continent behind. We are all human beings regardless of abilities, race, sex, age or economic status.
I invite you to, if you are not already doing it, start living your bliss or make plans to live your bliss. Find ways to help others live their bliss, starting with your children and families.
Another ingredient in your unique bliss recipe may be the tools, materials, and objects you love to work with and be around. The things you love to handle, which inspire and delight you—help create the things you love.
What things do you love? What things put a smile on your face and turn your day into a lot of fun?
Sanaya Roman says, “What you love is a sign from your higher self of what you are to do.”
A funny thing happens when you love the things you use every day—activities become more fun and enjoyable.
Have you ever thought about truly loving and appreciating all things you use in your life everyday that makes life easier and more enjoyable—things that weren’t around 15, 25, 50, a hundred years ago.
So what things do you love to use? What things would you love to use . . .
- the newest kitchen equipment that lets you create healthy, delicious, nutritious and beautiful looking meals for your family
- potter's clay and turning wheels
- a rack of exotic spices and a 8 burner professional stove
- photographs and light tables
- saddles and newly mown hay
- crayons, watercolors and oils that allow you to express your creativity on paper
- first edition books and the smell of old leather journals
- the smell of grease and the hum of a finely tuned engine
- a leather briefcase and a fine fountain pen
- perhaps chocolate
Geneen Roth said, “Chocolate is no ordinary food. It is not something you can take or leave, something you like only, moderately. You don't like chocolate. You don't even love chocolate. Chocolate is something you have an affair with.”
Greg Phillips says, “We create our own world with the ingredients we put into it, so take care with your recipe.”
The Poet Saint Rumi encourages us to, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
Writing in The Art Gallery in Transition, Hilde S. Hein, said, “ . . . what you define as ‘ordinary’ can be full of bliss, elevating the rhythm of your life so that what used to be extraordinary is now a normal part of your day.”
And Veronique Vienne said, “The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things.”
Remember these lines from The Sound of Music?
Green meadows … skies full of stars,
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel,
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles,
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
Silver white winters that melt into springs,
These are a few of my favorite things.”
What are your favorite things? Contemplate this and make them part of your bliss recipe.
What are the ideas and knowledge you love to think about and talk about—what food does your brain thrive on?
Do you like to think about . . .
- ways to make life more comfortable for your family
- gourmet recipes you can surprise your family with each week
- the mysteries of the universe
- how to protect an endangered species
- new ways for people to heal themselves
- family rituals you can do every day to create a more harmonious life together and start everyone’s day filled with inspiration and love
- ways you can use what you know as a conscious parent to help other parents
- ways you can have more energy
Knowing, honoring and acting on your ideas and knowledge are key ingredients in your personal bliss recipe.
And perhaps the most important ingredient in your personal bliss recipe is understanding and trying to meet the needs of your children, your beloved and your self.
As a conscious parent, it helps to see needs as more than the necessities you can’t live without--food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. You can view needs as all your wants, desires and preferences—the things you want for a happier and/or more meaningful experience for your children, your beloved, and your self.
For instance, once you have the basic necessities, perhaps you want to focus on making those basic necessities more conducive to happier and healthier lives.
You can purchase foods that are free of GMO’s, glyphosates (like Round Up which is currently contaminating the vast majority of non organic products), antibiotics and other poisons that are harmful to your children’s and everyone’s bodies. Just because you don’t get immediately sick on ingesting foods full of these toxins, you will suffer the consequences down the road.
It’s almost impossible to be blissful when your body is breaking down and full of pain. Start choosing pesticide free and organic produce from local farmers to nourish your family and your self.
I also encourage you to eat a more plant-based, fresh food diet. All food whether organic or not, unless grown indoors under the most carefully controlled environments, contains radiation and other toxins. As animals eat much more of these contaminated foods than we do, far more toxins accumulate in their flesh and milks. So every time we eat or drink animal products, we are subjecting our bodies to far more toxins than if we were eating a plant based diet.
I know it’s not easy to give up things we are used to, but it’s a lot less painful than cancer and other diseases we give ourselves from our food choices.
You can also make your homes safer, greener and environmentally friendly by purchasing and using organic, nontoxic cleaning products and furnishings. You can purchase natural clothing made from cotton, hemp, linen, and silk.
Did you know polyester and other man made fabrics disrupt your hormones and other bodily processes?
You can learn and treat yourself to alternative forms of care to meet your health needs, other than those emergencies modern medicine is wonderfully designed to handle. You can find ways to educate your children about things not taught in traditional school programs.
In addition to the basic traditional needs, your children and all people need CONNECTION through Acceptance (... with welcoming gestures, actions that make them feel like they belong, and experiences of being a valued member of a family or group).
Children need CONNECTION through Appreciation (... again with thoughtful gestures, celebrations of accomplishments, acts of kindness, expressions of appreciations). The appreciation you show your children and others will be reflected in the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control they gracefully move through life with.
Children and others feel CONNECTION through Belonging, Cooperation, Compassion, Consideration, Consistency, Empathy, Inclusion, and Love in all ways (including acts and words of affection; hugs; gifts of love; loving, approving looks and expressions; and things that champion them reaching their individual goals).
They need CONNECTION through Nurturing (in all ways, on all levels—mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually). They need to be Soothed ... with gentle touch, places to relax and feel safe and secure.
They need to be Respected (... with actions that honor who they are, experiences that highlight their character, and activities which demonstrate their contributions to others).
Other ways our children gain a sense of being CONNECTED are Stability, Support, and Self Respect (developed with experiences that increase their abilities, show their innate worth, and increase their self esteem).
Samuel Smiles said, “Self respect is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself—the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired.”
Your children and others need To know and be known, To see and be seen, To understand and be understood, and Trust.
Remember, young children do not have a rational mind or framework to handle things when trust is broken in whatever ways (physically, mentally or emotionally). The shattering of trust sends energetic ripples through all levels of a child’s being, through the passages of time as they grow, that will eventually have to be resolved.
I learned not to trust at a very early age when my father promised me a $1 for every A on my report card. When he found out there were 6 report cards in a year and over 24 items for which we could receive a grade, and I received all A’s on the first report card, that promise was taken back.
In this moment I invite you to pause and contemplate ways you can further nurture your children’s bliss by enhancing their sense of CONNECTION.
Now, let’s continue exploring some of the needs we have to have met in order to thrive as conscious, healthy beings.
Your children and everyone need to be treated with HONESTY in every moment, every interaction, which includes Authenticity, Integrity, and Presence.
For a blissful, meaningful, experience we need PLAY in our lives—something many adults have forgotten and can learn from our children. Play encompasses Humor, Fun, Joy and Adventure. With less and less playtime available in the school system, it’s crucial to incorporate more and more playtime at home.
Your children and others need PEACE in their lives. You can help them cultivate peace through Beauty (... with ways that reveal their beauty inside, tools to express their own unique style, and activities that let their humor, intelligence and inner light shine).
They need PEACE through Communion with God, nature, family and friends; through Equality, Harmony, and Inspiration. They need to be Inspired ... with stories of courage, ideas of future possibilities, and examples of beauty. Children need Order. It’s hard to experience peace without order, without boundaries, without a safe framework in which they can explore the wonders of life.
Besides the basic necessities of air, food, shelter, clothing and water, there are other things we need for our PHYSICAL WELL-BEING: movement and exercise, rest and sleep, safety, touch, and warmth.
Everyone needs to find MEANING for their life through cultivating their Awareness, Consciousness and Celebrating Life. We find meaning through challenges, gaining clarity, and our competence (children may need help identifying what they excel at, training to develop their skills, and feedback from others to help them understand what they are great at).
Uta Hagen said, “Talent is an amalgam of high sensitivity; easy vulnerability; high sensory equipment (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting—intensely); a vivid imagination, as well as a grip on reality; the desire to communicate one's own experience and sensations, to make one's self heard and seen.”
We all find MEANING through our contributions and expressions of our creativity—nurtured through fairy tales, art classes, dance, music, inventive games and the like.
Through our discoveries, effectiveness, growth, and understanding we find meaning. Children need to be exposed to ideas, things, and explanations that help them understand their world, tools that help them make uplifting win/win decisions, and experiences that increase their wisdom.
We find Meaning by knowing we matter, through our freedom of self-expression, having a purpose (being excited about our potentials), participating and mourning when necessary.
We find meaning through learning. Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
Aristotle said, “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”
He also said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
When we don’t feel our bliss, when we’re not living our bliss, when your children are not feeling their bliss, when they’re not living their bliss, when we are depressed or upset, there’s a need not being met. Getting in touch with the need that is not being met, instead of medicating, ignoring, or punishing the symptom and thus the person, is the heart of conscious parenting, conscious living.
To live consciously we need AUTONOMY. Tennessee Williams said, “Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for.”
Even as children we need the freedom to make choices (that are not potentially harmful) and to experience the results of those choices.
I remember a dream with God one night where I was invited to ask God a question. As I waited in line behind others who were also being given this opportunity, I thought of all the things I could ask, not one of which actually came out of my mouth. What I found myself asking was, please tell me how to raise my daughter. The reply was, “Give her Choices".
As AUTONOMOUS Beings we need Freedom, Independence, Space and Spontaneity.
All these things are basic, universal, things that are not required for survival but are required for thriving.
While our basic needs and wants have not changed for thousands of years, each generation seeks better ways to fulfill them. Perhaps through learning how to meet the needs of your family, you’ll have an idea, solution, or new twist on meeting people’s needs or wants that would benefit others.
If you want to further explore the relationship of your needs and feelings to your bliss and effectiveness in life, I invite you to visit compassioncourse.org. Every year, beginning in June, Thom Bond, offers a 52 week course on needs that will help you treat yourself and others with ever increasing levels of understanding, compassion and bliss.
The financial exchange is on a donation only basis and free to anyone who cannot afford even the minimum suggested donation.
During this coming week, I invite you to listen to or read this program again and keep mixing the ingredients of the people you love, the places you love, and the experiences you love into your own personal bliss recipe.
Practice feeling and living the bliss you are—the bliss in which you can live, breathe, eat, play, work, rest and sleep.
With a modern life full of distractions I know that trying to follow the bliss recipe you create can feel like you are trying to catch a falling star or walk up an escalator moving down toward you.
Regardless of where you are in life, please know that it’s never too late to figure out what you love to do and to create a life around living your dreams, living your bliss. I’ve been on this Earth over 64 years and once again, I’m recreating life around my bliss.
Buddha said, “There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting.”
Millions of people all over the world get up and go to work each day and eventually retire with only a vague idea of what they really want to do with their life. Yet, each of them had childhood dreams of greatness, and most still think about what they would do if they no longer had to earn a paycheck.
Regardless of your age or circumstances, right now is the time to start improving your life.
Sarah Ban Breathnach says, “Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.”
Alan Cohen says, “Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”
And Mike Dooley says, “The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.”
And Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
If you want to find your bliss, you are going to have to discover it yourself.
The answer to who you are and what you love is not contained in any book or sold in any store. Instead, the answers, to what fires your imagination and makes your heart beat faster, are found inside of you.
Bruce Cryer, in Re-Engineering the Human System, said, “Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
No one else can know what makes your heart leap, keeps you up reading late into the night, or draws you to it like a magnet. It’s up to you to slide in to the driver's seat and take control of your bliss search. Keep at it until you find what you are looking for.
Don’t give up!
Paramahnsa Yogananda said, “Try again, no matter how many times you have failed. Always try once more. Fight when you think that you can fight no more, or when you think that you have fought your best. Begin from today to try to do—one at a time— the things you thought impossible for you to do.
You will never win unless you make the effort. God has given you mental dynamite sufficient to destroy all your difficulties. Remember that. It is the most effective force you can use to be victorious in life.
Are you going to remain a walking dead person, ready to be buried in the grave beneath the debris of your errors? No! Do something in this world - do something wonderful! Whatever you do will be recognized by God. And even if the world fails to recognize you, if you have done everything you can, that infused mental power will remain with your soul. Wherever you go - in this life or beyond - you will have with you that invincible spirit.”
With divine blessings of love, light, gratitude, bliss and health in every moment of your precious and beautiful life, streaming from my soul to your soul, from my heart to your heart, within the ONE INFINITE LOVE we are, enjoy each moment in and as the bliss you are.
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