Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be part of a Bliss Brigade

Many, many years ago I remember telling my dad to "Just throw your thoughts to the Universe and you'll get an answer!" For a long time he thought my notions of letting go were silly, ok, Crazy! Today, I tell my husband the same thing. No doubt sometimes, like my father did, he thinks I'm a little out there. I am...and it's ok....I'm very happy!

A few weeks ago I mentioned to a group of friends that I would like to start a monthly giving collection, choosing a new group or person each month that had specific needs we could work to fill. I was thinking that it would be great to be able to donate "extra stuff" or create a fundraiser for an organization or person that may have a strong need. Today, everybody needs something - some may need it more than others. Last week, the Universe answered in a big way. A small group of women, from all over the globe, have come together to create what I'm calling a Bliss Brigade, with many Brigadiers.

My favorite definitions of Brigade are:

1. a formation of fighting units, together with support arms (and shoulders to cry on) and services, smaller than a division and usually commanded by a brigadier
2. a group of people organized for a certain task: a rescue brigade
3. a line of persons formed to extinguish a fire by passing on buckets of water quickly from a distant source: a bucket brigade
4. any group of persons who cooperate to help cope with an emergency.

Ten years ago my family experienced a devastating house fire. Without the help of my "sisters", friends and family, my own personal rescue bridgade, I would not have gotten through it as easily as I did. They offered ears to listen, shoulders to cry on, help digging through the wreckage, food, clothing, a place to stay and much more. During the first 48 hours many people stepped up to assist, some of them strangers. It was more than I could have ever imagined possible. You know the saying, "words cannot express...".

Words cannot express the deep sense of gratitude I feel towards those people (and the Universe) for being there when we needed help most. I'm quite sure my father, who had passed on many years before, was one of those that answered my call to the Universe. No doubt, he somehow managed to wake me up in the middle of the night to rescue my family!

Today, one of our "sisters" child needs constant medical care and a very costly treatment. In less than 72 hours a group of incredible people has come together to help a family in need. Although many of us have never met this family in person, we have stepped up to help pay for that treatment, send love and prayers, and give support to this family in any way we can. How? We are doing this through financial donations and monetary gifts, clothing, food deliveries, cleaning services, and more. We are creating our own brigade, filling our sisters' bucket and putting out her fires by stepping up and lending a hand to her and her family, in whatever way we can.

This week I am offering you a chance to help without even leaving your home! To help this sister and her family I am donating 35% of The Sisstory Journal EBOOK to this Bliss Brigade, that's $1.75 for each EBOOK sold. The Sisstory Journal contains over 365 entertaining, engaging and sometimes enlightening questions about your sister relationships and YOU! Each copy comes with complimentary gifts from some pretty amazing sisters!

Click here now to immediately become part of this powerful mission and help in the smallest of ways. For less than $5.00 your Sisstory Journal EBook will be delivered to your in box, an incredible book of discovery, and you support a "sister" who's bucket is less than half full...That's what Sisstory is all about!

For more information about this project, feel free to email me at

Come on - be a part of our Bliss Brigade!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Hug A Day!

It's that time of year again - time to celebrate one of my favorite forms of therapy - hugging. Yes, folks, this Friday, January 21 is National Hugging Day. As I say with most holidays, National Hugging Day needs to be celebrated every day for us to thrive. Virginia Satir, a Wisconsin Marriage and Family Therapist agrees, "For human beings, you need two hugs a day to survive, four hugs for maintenance, six hugs to grow."

The hug is one of the most common human signs
of love and affection.

My Dad was the first person I knew to celebrate hugging! He was truly an inspiration to me and many others. Talk about a giver! He wore a button on his suit coat that said, “Everyday is a hug day” and treated his employees with compassion, honesty and integrity. His team knew they could count on him for support, no matter what, and they knew they’d get a big hug when needed!

According to an article I found in his effects after he died, “Hugging is painless, unless you are hugged by Hulk Hogan." The article ran June 11, 1986 in The Way We Live section of The Detroit Free Press and was titled, “Get Ready for the Big Squeeze” celebrating the 3rd Huggers Holiday. What better way to get your mojo on than a friendly hug.

There are some pretty basic hug styles. Below is a list of the most common types:

The A-Frame: Shoulders are barely touching. Mostly done by members of the opposite sex
One Sided: Moving only slightly closer, the huggers have close contact at one shoulder
Two-Sided: There is close contact with both shoulders, but both stand with lower torsos apart. Sometimes the huggers may even step back and kiss each cheek.
The Full On: From shoulders to the tips of your toes and every place in between!
The Group Hug: You get it! Someone in the group yells, “Group Hug” and everyone joins in a big hug!
The Run-and-Jump: Ever watch reunions at the airport? Those are my favorite – when two people run and jump into each others arms, with huge smiles on their faces – sometimes even tears!

One of my very favorite hug styles is in the form of a "Deep Hugging Meditation". Last year my friend Sean, Director at the Detroit Lotus Sangha, and I shared this practice with our group. It is one of the most powerfully moving styles of hugging I've experienced. It truly connects you with the person you are hugging in a way that shows a deep honor and regard for that soul, affirming that you are really there for them. In this book, Teachings on Love, Thich Nhat Hanh writes, "To be really there, you only need to breathe mindfully, and suddenly both of you become real. It may be one of the best moments in your life."

You might want to let people know ahead of time that you are celebrating National Hugging Day. Click here now to watch a few great National Hugging Day videos!! Remember, it’s all about giving – giving of you to brighten someone’s life, even if for only a moment! Start your hug campaign with a smile, after all a smile is the best way to welcome anyone. How many hugs are you going to give?

Bliss ON!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Building your business – from the heart

The other day I received a call from a friend of mine who was having difficulty with a client. The client presented a list of items and services needed, as well as a budget. She gave him a price. The first thing he did was begin to barter, in a “not so friendly way” wanting to cut the estimate in half, even though she stayed within his budget, as well as threw in many extras. She is the type of contractor that continuously provides her clients with more than just what is on the bottom line.

What I began to think of was heart centered businesses, integrity, loyalty, value and devotion. Because I come from a place of trust, providing value to my clients, when I am presented with an estimate or bid, I generally think that the service provider is giving me what he perceives to be the best value. I know if I am hiring someone for a service, it’s probably for something I am a) not qualified to handle or b) simply don’t want to handle for any number of reasons. I know that I have aligned myself with people that practice coming from a place of being a heart centered business and that I can trust the process.

What does that mean? A heart centered business? It means that the business owner and service provider:

- Realizes that we live in a monetary society, that we need to have that exchange in order to survive and thrive
- Understands the concept of integrity by adhering to certain moral and ethical principals – like I told my children, “Don’t lie, cheat or steal”
- Recognizes the mutual benefit of providing value to each client and perceives their own value to others
- Is loyal to his/her clients and faithful to his commitments and obligations, “Do what you say, and more”
- Is devoted to and passionate about helping people feel better and change their lives
- Comes from a place of gratitude and abundance.

Sarah Ban Breathnach said, “Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend.”

I believe that when we provide a heart centered business and practice living our lives from a place of abundance and love, our garden grows beyond our wildest dreams.

Here’s to planting your garden with seeds from the heart. Bliss On!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A decade of growth, change and love

This year I did something completely out of sync for me - I spent the better part of the month of December "playing". It was an amazing ending to the decade of growth and change I've experienced. It was also the beginning of a wonderful new decade, one that will bring even greater joy.

Oh, I worked a little, if that's what you call interviewing amazing people who shared the best of themselves with all of us. If you haven't tuned in yet, visit and listen to the interviews. Each guest shares incredible insight on the road to bliss. More work - if that's what you call writing my next book, cooking, baking, and shopping for my family. Mostly I took time to hang out with my family, my friends, my pets and my husband.

At the beginning of 2010 one of the intentions I posted on my Bliss Board was that I wanted to strengthen the bonds of the relationships that brought me the greatest joy. Over the course of the year, I focused on creating more opportunities to love, to be compassionate, to share kindness and to celebrate with awareness. Those 4 words have made an incredible difference in my life, especially in this last decade, and I am so grateful for every moment.

As I wrote the story of my year, thanks to the great advice of Lori Lipten, I realized that the story really began 10 years ago. January 1, 2011 was the 10 year anniversary of a devastating house fire my family and I experienced. Many of you have heard my story or read my blogs. My family and I were fortunate to have literally escaped death on New Year's Day. The Fire Marshal said, "Lady, someone up there is watching out for you. 99% of all people that experience the type of fire you did, don't make it out alive." I believed him then. I believe him now. Of course, I write this with tears of bliss streaming down my face. So grateful to be alive; even more grateful that my family is all here with me.

Shortly after that fire, I ended my 2nd marriage. I remember sitting on the bathroom floor one morning, before the fire, praying for a miracle, praying for the strength to move on. That fire was my miracle and changed the course of my life. Never again would I settle for anything less than love, kindness, and compassion. From that day on I choose to live by practicing being mindful and aware, living in the moment, honoring the past and looking forward to the future.

For almost 8 years now, I have been married to my best friend and partner. When we first married, I said, "As long as you are addicted to me, we'll do just fine!" You may laugh at that statement, but it has proven to be the foundation of our relationship. Most of you know how damaging living with someone that is addicted to anything can be for everyone involved. We turned it around and honor each other and our space, holding our relationship and our family, as something sacred, something worth cherishing.As I began this new decade, I set the intention to again create more opportunities for love, compassion, kindness and awareness, shining a bright light on my blissful path. Anyone wishing to do the same can download an official "Bliss Certificate" on my website at or this link

Your "Bliss Certificate" is a gentle reminder that you choose bliss! Yes the road can be bumpy. Yes, sometimes I'm the Pissed Lady instead of The Bliss Lady. It's OK - it's just an excuse for more bliss breaks!

Here's to living your bliss and celebrating your life. Bliss on!