Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where would you be if you could be anywhere else? How about right where you are...

Monday, I had the unexpected opportunity of driving up to Alpena with my brother and my son. After my transmission blew on the way, my brother, Thom, graciously dropped his plans for the day and scooped us up for a long drive.
(The picture to the right is actually a picture of Thom as "The Jimmer" in "Escanaba in Da Moonlight". Quite a fitting picture, I thought.)

I've traveled quite extensively throughout the U.S, never out of the country. Many times I've had trips abroad planned and paid for, only to have to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Most of the time I take it as the Universe's way of telling me to stay put.

Where would you be if you could be anywhere? For me, the answer to that question is pretty simple. Right here, right now. Where would I want to be other than the present moment? I am so grateful every minute to be exactly where I am, Blissville. Every day we are simply passengers on the road of life, with a choice to enjoy the view. For me, Monday was no different.

As I sat in the back seat of my brothers car I really had the opportunity to pay attention, to be mindful of the moment. What else was I going to do? Read, write, sleep or watch the view of Michigan and our beautiful Lake Huron. I chose to stay awake and enjoy the view.

I've been practicing mindfulness and awareness for quite some time. This practice constantly reminds me to be present with where I am and who I am with. I was in a vehicle traveling up the shores of Lake Huron from Detroit to Alpena. It's wonderful to see the change from summer to fall, with winter close behind. The further we traveled along the colors changed from crimson red to golden yellow; in some areas the trees were already bare. The waves were about 2' high and continuously crashed along the shoreline creating a picturesque scene. Every now and then we spotted a deer or flock of birds as they migrated south. It was truly breathtaking.

What was even more incredible was listening to my son and my brother chat, laugh and sing. Every now and then I piped up with a few comments of my own. Mainly, I simply enjoyed the sounds of the two of them loving life, laughing out loud and living in the moment. It could have been a great commercial for American Express - You know, peanut butter and jelly $4.00, ticket $40, transmission work $400 - hanging with the boys, priceless...Even listening to both of them sing Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze over and over wasn't so bad.

Today, I encourage you to take a look around, take a walk, or take a drive with a friend, and be present to where you are and who you're with; find a little bliss. Even in the midst of a big city, there's joy - sometimes you simply need to be open...

A Bliss Challenge...when you're roaming around, pay attention to the times you see the word "bliss" on a billboard, banner, storefront, maybe even a bumper sticker. Take a picture of it and send it in to one here is from my friend Alexx) We know it's out there...We want to know if you've "Got Bliss?" We will host a random drawing the first week of every month. One lucky winner will receive our custom "Got Bliss?" stickers. Thank you in advance And Many BLISSINGS to you all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just Connect - Share your bliss

Yesterday I had lunch with a new friend, Brent Carey. Brent has created a wonderful, inspiring Internet Radio Station called Empower Radio. Each of the hosts and guests provide something to enhance, uplift and inspire your life. As we ate fabulous Thai dishes, prepared by my friend, Nokki, owner of Sukhothai Restaurant in Oak Park, our conversation naturally led to 3 things: happiness (bliss, of course), love and connecting.

The Dalai Lama says happiness can be found in 2 words - Just Connect. That's exactly what we were doing. In fact, we met by connecting on Facebook. Facebook alone has empowered millions of people to connect more than any platform ever has. Many people have escaped loneliness simply by "friending" someone on Facebook or joining any one of the thousands and thousands of groups and pages.

Each of us yearns for happiness and love. We begin our journey in life knowing nothing less. Through time, society plugs in, bombarding us with untruths and negativity from every direction. One can't help but get caught up in that flow. We can, however, choose a "different" station, a "different" path, by connecting with others who radiate within them joy, peace and love - thus bringing us closer to living and sharing our own bliss.

The Dalia Lama Says "Life dominated by misknowledge will always be unsatisfactory, but that is not a final destination; it means that we can develop wisdom to eliminate misknowledge and then live free in bliss and share that bliss with others."

If you're feeling anything less than "empowered" in life, stop what you are doing right now, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, "I choose a different path, I choose bliss" and get connecting. Not sure where to start? Connect with me on Facebook, Linked In or Twitter! I'd be happy to share a little bliss!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Perspective - from a hawks view

Photo's by Jeffrey Williams

This weekend I was one of a handful of people invited to speak in Ohio at the celebration and launch of Patrick Abec's new book, "Small Business Review - Top Stories of 2010". Most of the speakers are featured in the book, including me. Why? We are entrepreneurs who have experienced challenges, tragedies and more and are finding our way to success.

Sounds like a lot of you, right? It definitely fits for most of my colleagues, friends and clients. We have all experienced suffering at one point in our lives. Mine is no greater or less than yours - it simply is.

On the way to the festivities, my husband and I witnessed the incredible migration of hawks as they traveled south. There were literally hundreds of them. Hawks have an amazing ability to adapt and survive in almost any condition. Each culture has their own definition of the messages available when witnessing a hawk. Some include: seeing the big picture, empowerment for finding the positive, being awake and aware that you can achieve great things by persistence and strength of will. Patrick’s book has over 85 messages of hope, perseverance and joy.

During the event I shared an experience that was deeply powerful and changed my life. 10 years ago my family was in a crisis. One afternoon I literally locked myself in the bathroom and prayed for a miracle. Days later, we experienced a house fire. I didn't know then the power that event would have in my life. However, sometime later I filed for divorce, from my second marriage. Both of my previous husbands were addicts; one to alcohol, the other to pain medication. 2 years later I married a fire fighter, my best friend and partner.

Our mission: sharing simple ways
to incorporate more joy into your life, easily and effortlessly,
both personally and professionally.

Today, The Bliss Network supports the business community with practical easy solutions in website development, social networking, promotions and publishing. Additionally, I host and teach workshops in self love, masterminding, intention setting and much more. I take what works for me, what keeps me smiling and share it with my clients to enhance their life.

"From the top of the mountain we witness life from a new perspective." The Daily Om, Saturday, October 10, 2010.

Doesn't that sound a little like a hawk soaring above? I say we can capture that perspective every morning when we wake up - regaining our strength and composure from whatever happened the day before and begin anew, creating ways in which to live a happier life.

Simply put...
we can choose bliss!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Everday - Breast Cancer Awareness

Fifteen years ago, at age 65, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was one of the most significant days of my life, one that changed the way I live forever. She is one of the lucky ones, if you can call any part of her experience lucky. After a mastectomy, she survived - without having to undergo chemo or radiation treatments.

6 years later came another shocking diagnosis, lung cancer. Her doctor basically told us to take her to Vegas for a long, loving vacation. He did not think she would make it beyond 6 months. After having a lobectomy (right lung) she is cancer free. Again, no chemo or radiation. She's as sassy and spunky as ever, and in her words, "lucky, lucky, lucky!" (Me, too!)

We all know that the odds of developing breast cancer are much higher when a parent is diagnosed, so I take pretty good care of myself in the hopes that I will remain healthy and cancer free for the rest of my life. I'm thankful though to know that there is help out there for me and anyone else that needs it through organizations like Susan G. Koman, Karmanos Cancer Institute and more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 Through Friday, October 8, 2010, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Bliss Network and Girlavanting will be donating 20% of the proceeds from "Girlavanting, The Girls Guide to Balance, Bliss and Fun!" to the cause. Girlavanting, endorsed by Marianne Williamson, is a delightful book created to inspire, motivate and honor women of all ages, everywhere.

Celebrate the bonds of sisterhood by giving a copy of Girlavanting to all of the ladies in your life: sisters, friends, moms, daughters, and more!

In my life, breast cancer awareness is every minute of every day. Learn what you can do to prevent or heal from this devastating disease.

Bliss ON!

P.S. Visit for additional tips on what you can do to help yourself in the prevention of Breast Cancer