What is Love?

What is love? Is there truly a definition of what love is? It can be perceived as different sensations. We love in many different ways. We can allow love to flourish and unfold by itself and delight ourselves with such an extraordinary experience. Love is also this exquisite feeling that brings a smile, a sense of joy to our lives. Most of us believe that love is the best feeling of them all. The Bible says what love is in Corinthians 13; the great poets talk about love, the great singers at one point of their lives sing about love. Amazing and extravagant writers try to explain what love is, and the feelings and sensations that it brings. I like to say and believe that love is the answer. With total faith, I believe that love heals.

Love changes the way we perceive situations. It generates excitement. It gives us that extra kick in the but that we need to go forward. There is also a fine line between love and disappointment. That line is so fine that sometimes it can be misinterpreted as heart brokenness. When in reality, it is just the disappointment of not having our expectations met. What if no one ever broke our heart? Instead, I like to remind myself they just didn’t comply with our expectations, leaving us with the sensation of being heartbroken.

Have you ever experienced so much sadness or found yourself in a horrible situation? When my father was murdered, I experienced so much pain, and so much sadness; I was almost unable to breathe. When we find ourselves in those horrible situations, we think that there is no way out. Eventually, we may meet someone who brings us back to love. He or she represents “love” in such a unique way that it is impossible to ignore. That representation of love allows us to keep going. We start to feed off the love that they are giving. We open our hearts again. He or she makes it possible to elevate our emotions so we can slowly start the healing process.

It has been scientifically proven that cuddling with a loved one also releases Oxytocin, “the cuddling or love hormone.” It also influences the digestive system as much as it influences the brain. It has been proven by numerous studies that oxytocin relieves headaches. Love does heal.

I like to emphasize the importance of not only loving others and allowing ourselves and experiencing that extraordinary feeling that falling that love brings. But, the importance of having that love for our own persona; to start looking in the mirror and say “I love you” That self-love allows us to respect ourselves so others can have that same respect toward our beautiful persona. Respect is an act of self-love.

How do we generate more love in our lives? Very simple “BE LOVE.” Let’s remember whatever we give out comes back to us. Love is an act of kindness and compassion. Being “love” also requires practice. Love comes from within. To be able to give and be love, we must feel it inside. Therefore, it will radiate in a way that when we walk into a room people will see and feel the love that we are. I encourage you to start engaging in this beautiful act of “being love.” Tell the people you love often, that selfyou love them. Tell yourself I love you. It may sound corny, but it does make a difference.

Martha Bass

Advertisements
Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything We Need

“I have everything I need and more than enough.” Philippians 4:18-20

Everything we dream of is already within reach right now. God gave us amazing minds and miraculous bodies, which are capable of healing themselves and moving in any direction that we choose. We have everything we need to live a good life. We are surrounded by infinite intelligence and wisdom. We are surrounded by infinite love. Everything we could ever want or desire is around us already. The world has more food than we could possibly eat in our lifetimes. Our beautiful earth continues to grow even more.

There is more money in the world then we could ever spend. There is more love than we could ever know. There is more happiness than we could ever imagine. All we have to do is look around us. This world has everything we need to live a happy, healthy and prosperous life.

Our mind has an infinite capacity to think and to imagine. We can choose to use our minds to focus on all the positive things there are in this life, like happiness, beauty, and joy. We can use our minds to imagine the dreams that are calling to us. We can choose to stay far away from the negative, like negative subjects on the news or negative people. When we do come across negative people we can choose to turn the conversation around to focus on the positive, or simply walk away and bless them.

We can say, “Yes” to all the good life has to offer us. We can say, “Yes” to opportunity and adventure. We can say, “Yes” to living a life of abundace and prosperity. We can choose to live a healthy, happy lifestyle. When we say “Yes”, we are affirming to the larger Life around us that we are open and ready to receive all of the good that is already out there for us.

I am so grateful to God that we have the qualities to think for ourselves. To imagine, to dream of how we are going to live. And then to be guided by our hearts to take the action steps we need to make those dreams real.

Carol Bliss

Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Stroke Survivors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great Careers/Unlimited Potential

I have had such a great time in my life, particularly in my various careers. Fortunately, my parents always told me that I could do anything. I learned so much from each of my jobs. In fact, I learned that we can do anything that we set our minds to do. If we just look around, we can see that the world is filled with unlimited opportunities. And we are filled with unlimited potential.

            My Great Careers:                                                 What I Learned:

Head Shop cashier                                              It was better to be the owner than the worker

Circus Merry-Go-Round Ticket Seller            I learned that I did not like to be locked up
Circus Coin throw worker                                      I learned that it was far better to be free
Junior accountant at the HD Lee Company      I learned that I did not like to sit in an office
Comptroller operator                                     How unsuitable punching machines was for me
Mattress factory worker                             How many mattress workers are hard of hearing
Soap factory worker                                                        What to do if I am bored
Slitter operator at can plant                      How to be very careful around machines that cut
Quality control inspector can plant                             I learned how to spot flaws
Apprentice mechanic at a drawn iron can plant      To copy people who knew more that I
Realtor                                                                                I learned that image counts
Brake shoe changer at the railroad                              I learned to be fast
Apprentice mechanic at the Union Pacific Railroad              To be careful around men
Apprentice welder and blacksmith at Union Pacific Railroad   To be careful around fire

Carman                                                                       To work long hours if I wanted to succeed

Car Foreman                                                              I had been promoted because of a quota
Faculty president’s assistant at Cal State Northridge      I leaned to work with my mind
College Student                           I learned how important it is to make myself more visible
Technical writer                                                       How to observe tiny steps in the process
Billboard Chart Trainer                                          How much fun a job can be
Record promoter                                                      How important contacts are

Temporary Worker                                 How differently some bosses treat their employees

Extra in Films                           What a beautiful and tedious process making a film really is
Owner of record promoting business                  How to create relationships on the phone
Copywriter                                                                 How to write in an exciting manner
Hannah-Barbera Copywriter                                  What geniuses animators are
Owner of Copywriting for Entertainment business                  How to hype
Recruiter for Carpenters Union                              How to reach blue collar audiences
Seminary Student                                                       How to act compassionate

Assistant Minister                                                      How to really be compassionate

Women’s Recruiter for Carpenters Union             Differences between men and woman
Teacher and Trainer of Apprentice Women for Carpenters Union   How to talk to women
Marketing Director at Claremont Graduate University     How to talk to the over-educated
Graduate Student                                                      How to think, do research, and act smug,
Professor at Claremont Graduate University     How to be creative in my teaching
Professor at Cal State Polytechnic University     How to have fun with my students

Author                                                                         How to write about life

I thought I had better capture these various careers before I forgot about all of them. They taught me so much. They made me who I am. I used to be slightly embarrassed that I had has so many careers. But now I see they taught me so much about life. They taught me so much about different cultures. Thinking back, I am so grateful for all of them. I was capable, and I was confident and I thought I could do anything that I set my mind to do.

That is what gives me so much belief in other people. We can all do so much more than we think we can. Be unlimited in your thinking. The world is filled with limitless learning and there are opportunities everywhere.

Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power and Self-Confidence

I was invited to a friend’s home to look at pictures of his late wife, Yolanthe.  Allen and Yolanthe had both been in my writers group for seven years so I knew them well. When I arrived, Allen had laid out 25 memory books and photo books, each one in chronological order. He invited me to look at the pictures and memories while he served strawberries and mini graham crackers.

My late friend, Yolanthe was born in Holland so all of the memory books and pictures were written in a beautiful white handwriting in Dutch. Neither Allen or I could read  Dutch, we just had to focus instead on the pictures. We could always spot Yolanthe throughout the years because of her self-confidence and empowering posture.

She grew more beautiful as she got older. We didn’t need the words; we could read her life story through her empowering posture. As time progressed, she opened up to let Love and the greater Life energy lead her on to amazing adventures. She became more confident, more open and these qualities showed up in her body posture. In every picture of her, she posed with her arms wide open. Her fingers were extended outward, like she was reaching and stretching toward a future of unlimited possibilities.

My friend always wore a big smile on her face, her head was tilted back as if she were expecting endless good from life itself. And that is the way she lived, in an expectation of so much good in her life from other people and the world around her. She communicated her openness to everyone through her body posture. Her poses had confidence and power.

Looking at the pictures, I saw her transform from an ordinary young girl into a striking, attractive woman. I taught communication and public speaking in college for 12 years so I am really attuned to body language and what it is communicating to others. I watched as my college students learned how to transform their body posture into the leaders that they would ultimately become.

If we consciously change our body posture, as my friend did, throughout the years, the world will react to us in a much more positive manner. When we discover that life is filled with endless possibilities, we can communicate with our body that we are open to recieve all the good life has to offer. We will find that the outside world agrees with us and reacts to us differently.

Let’s affirm in our minds that we are good enough for anything that comes our way. We are capable. We all have enough time to do whatever is on our plate today. If we meet life with open arms, we can see endless possibilities. We are capable of remarkable, incredible things.

Let’s use these affirmations today and let’s practice in front of the mirror moving our bodies in poses that say, “I am confident and capable today and every day. I have unlimited abilities.”

Carol Bliss

Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Stroke Survivors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Same Old Sh*t?

 Why do we do the same things over and over again? Why do we keep attracting the same kind of partners or the same conflicting situations? Do you ever find yourself wondering why the same kind of sh*t just in a different bowl? The answer to all these questions is because of our brain. The way our brain is wired is the cause of many of our experiences.

I love to use the analogy “the brain is like a forest, full of pathways.” The pathways being the trails, the trails are our habits, our habitual thinking, our patterns and most of all the pathways are the way we usually react to situations or things. When we go for a hike, we usually take the route that is already there. The pathway that is safe and it is easy to walk on. Very seldom do we go through the bushes, creating a new pathway or ripping plants out so we can build a new route. Knowing that, how can we truly create transformation? How does transformation occur? We need to create new pathways, new trails, even if it seems unsafe at some point. That means creating a new way of thinking, of reacting.

Transformation is also a process. It is like baking a cake for the first time. We have to follow the recipe to be able to savor the exquisiteness of the cake.

The first step of the recipe is to step back. We have to see the situation from outside the box. Remember we are reacting a certain way because of our past experiences (using the same trails) we have to be willing to see who we are being in any given situation. I have learned to ask myself questions like. Why am I reacting this way? Why am I feeling like this? Why am I feeling guilty or jealous or sad or rejected? Why did I get so upset? When we ask ourselves these questions we get to decide what is true about us; we become aware of the situation, therefore, we give ourselves permission to build a new pathway ( a new way of being). This will allow us to let go of old beliefs and create a space to build new ones. (It is important to journal this process).

The next step is to say ‘YES’. Saying ‘YES’ to create new beliefs, saying ‘yes’ to TAKE ACTION; we get to choose what trails to take. We get to choose what is true about us. It is up to us to create this new identity, this new way of thinking. However, it is important to understand that this, too, is a process and it is a constant reminder that WE HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. We are saying, ‘YES’ to our new beliefs. We don’t build a new pathway in one day. It does not only take time to build it, but it takes constant doing it.

One of the main ingredients of the recipe is to have people who support us during this process. We have to start setting ourselves up for success. Surround yourself with people that believe this already. Read about the brain; take action, so you don’t create the same sh*t just in a different bowl. Meet people that are going to stretch you. It is important, though to remember to be gentle with yourself during this process. Love the journey, and most of all love this beautiful self that you already are.

Martha Bass

 

 

 

Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four-Legged Love

“You can tell by the kindness of a dog how a human should be.” — Captain Beefheart

I want to be more like a dog. I see evidence of unconditional love every day from dogs,  from my view of the park. I sit in my wicker chair drinking tea in the late afternoon, looking out at how happy dogs make people. I see how their faces light up while they are walking their dogs. I see them throw balls to their dogs who dance and prance with joy.

Dogs make people smile. Their faces turn into the faces of little kids, regardless of their age. I see the look of delight in their eyes. I see the look of pride when other people admire their dog. It makes me happy to know how little time it takes to transform people who have worked hard all day and driven on the L.A. freeways, sometimes for hours, change because of the unconditional love that a dog brings.

I recently read a book called, The Divinity of Dogs. The book is learning to love more, from a dog. Dogs are intuitive healers, teachers, protectors, and examples of pure love. The book contains 80 stories of how unconditional love from a canine companion helped people through the worst of circumstances. Dogs know how to heal many things, like loneliness and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) among veterans. The book contains true tales of how dogs can detect cancer before their owners knew they had something wrong. Throw-away dogs that nobody wanted were trained by volunteers to help people lead more successful lives.

 

I thought briefly about getting a dog to help me with my noise issues following my stroke. I was suffering from excruciating noises because my brain was unable to tell my ears how to filter out the loud noises. I dreamed and thought about it for a while. What would it be like to have a dog with hypersensitive ears who knew when loud noises were coming so that I could protect my ears? I also thought about how amazing it would be to have the company of a dog loving me who was especially trained to guard, protect, and watch over me.

 

Most of all, I thought how great it would be if I was able to learn more about unconditional love. Dogs seem to know much better than humans how to love unconditionally. Perhaps it is in their DNA. Perhaps it is a dog’s gift from God. I am filled with wonder at the amazing heart of a dog as I watch unconditional love play out down below my window. Dogs are capable of bringing people so much joy and delight.

 

Carol Bliss

 

 

Posted in artists, brain injury, brain injury suviviors, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Stroke Survivors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let This be the Year of Love

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.”  —Nicholas Sparks

You already have Love right inside of you. We can tune into Love at any time, anyplace, anywhere, and when we do, it feels so good. Love is an invisible energy. Every living creature has a never ending supply of that energy. It feels so powerful for us to love and know that we are capable of even more love. When we do, we see that we are loved by Life in return.

When I imagine love, I can feel my heart warming. Everyone that was ever born has a heart full of love, a heart that just grows bigger over time. All we have to do it allow it to flow. Love is the greatest power on earth. It is stronger than the light of the sun. We are surrounded by Love’s Energy. There is enough Love in our hearts for all the world.

I invite you to join me in this practice. All you have to do to tune into a greater Love is to close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart and think of someone who you love. Now transfer that feeling in your heart from the other person to yourself. Forgive yourself for any past mistakes you have ever made. The past is over. Feel that love washing over your whole body, from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.

We can draw anyone and everyone into that powerful circle of love, our friends, our friends, our coworkers, our ancestors, even those who have hurt us at some point in time. We are truly at the center of love. That circle of love truly is a magic circle. We can widen the circle of love to include those souls who are just being born, those who we have not even met yet. We can imagine the with love. We can visualize everyone living in harmony, dignity, peace and love.

Love is the greatest power on earth. It heals the sick. It comforts the lonely. You can start every day with this practice of love. You are the key. Wherever you are, you can tune into this all powerful loving, life force. Love is like a hose with the most powerful nozzle. It is capable of transmitting an endless supply of love. That great love goes out from our hearts to bless and enrich the world. Love protects. Love will keep you safe. You are worth loving. That means that you live in this world knowing that you deserve dignity, power, and grace and you won’t settle for less. You are the key to all this Love.

Won’t you join me in a prayer of love for all the world? We envision a world in which everyone is loved. We envision a world where everyone is treated with dignity and honor.  We see a world where everyone is safe, with enough clean water to drink and enough food to eat. We see a world where earth’s resources are shared, where all creative gifts are shared. We envision a world growing in the knowledge that Love is the greatest power of earth.

Carol Bliss

 

Posted in artists, healing, Inspiration, mindfulness, self-help, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment