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

Following Your Dreams

I was on my way to work last night when I heard, “Don’t only aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.” I have heard this before. However, it was not until yesterday that it had a different meaning. I realized that I was about to make a huge mistake by going back to work in the restaurant business, just to earn money, and that I would be giving up my dreams.

We have been brought up with the false belief that we know the formula of how to live a successful life. We go to school, study hard, and get good grades. We are supposed to graduate with honors, get a good paying job, so we can get married and have kids. Buy a house, a good car, and go on vacations, so we can retire with a good savings account. This formula is not the formula for happiness, and it certainly is not the formula for how to live a fulfilled life. We have to learn how to follow our soul’s desire — our dreams. Like Wayne Dyer used to say, “Don’t die with your music still on.”

I am a firm believer that we all have the answers we need inside of ourselves. Therefore, I meditated on my decision. I asked for guidance, and I kept getting the same response over and over. It was impossible to ignore. Yes, it may take some time to accomplish what we truly want. It will take time, money, effort, discipline and many NO’S. But you know what? In the end, we will regret not following our dreams most of all. Statistics say that 70% of Americans hate their jobs. They go around complaining about their boss, the system, the people and much more. However, they stay right where they are because of insecurity and fear.

The truth is that if we follow our hearts and our dreams, success will follow, The Universe, Life itself will guide us as long as we are open to TAKE ACTION and DO WHAT IT TAKES. The Universe does not know “time,” it knows only “intention.” Earl Nightingale, an inspirational speaker, once said, “You will become what you think about.” I know this to be true. I have seen it work in my life over and over. The question is, do you have a strong enough belief within you to believe that whatever you want to create it is possible? Believing in ourselves, in our capacity to do what it takes and our own worthiness is where it all starts.

Don’t settle for less, for less happiness, for less joy, for less money, and less love. We deserve the best. However, we have to first believe that we are worthy of all these amazing things that life has to offer. So how do we follow our dreams? We have to pay attention to what our ‘still small voice’ tells us. We can’t go through life ignoring the whispers in our hearts over and over until we shut our own voice down. Speak to that beautiful inner being that knows exactly what we are here to do and to experience. Start to journal your thoughts without judgment. We all know what we want to experience. We just failed to listen because it is easier to shut the voice down. So I encourage you to go within, meditate and speak to your heart. Our beautiful hearts always know the answer. Trust in your heart.

Martha Bass


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

More Love

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love, no not just for some but for everyone.” –Burt Bacharach and Hal David, songwriters

The above qoute was a song popularized by Jackie Deshannon in 1965.

Let this be the year of more love. I am setting my intentions for greater love this year. I don’t mean the personal kind of love, I mean what the ancient Greeks called agape love. That love is universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God. It is a love that is unconditional regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, status or nationality.

Martin Luther King defined agape love as ‘‘purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative. It is the love of God operating in the human heart.’’ I want to feel the power of love in my life and my heart. I want to welcome each new day with open arms and love. I want to know that the world is beautiful and filled with love and grace.

I want to practice and cultivate more loving speech until it becomes habitual. I will focusing on the positive, loving comments that I say to other people. I want to complain less and monitor my words so that less negativity will cross my lips. I will not say what I think is wrong about life. I will focus only on the good, beauty love that I see around me.

I want to be a more loving presence. I want love and happiness to show on my face. I will express my delight more. I will smile at strangers more often.  When I smile at people, they smile back and life feels better. I want to be more loving in my heart. I want to only take in loving thoughts and good news.

I want to have more compassion. I want to listen more and be less judgemental. I want more peace and stillness in my life. I will make it a point go out to a beautiful  place in nature where my heart can feel restored by all the natural beauty that God created.

I want to act more loving in my life. That means focusing on ways that I can help other people more. It could mean volunteering more. It could mean stopping to help someone with wo has dropped a bag of groceries. I want to celebrated the positive things that happen to other people.  I want to focus on the qualities of love. It might been wathcing a young child who is still filled with wonder or a grandmother, or a role model like the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh and practicing his habits for a while until it becomes my own. Whatever it takes, I will do it because I want to be more loving in my life this year.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Training

“The first training is to protect life, to decrease violence in oneself, in the family and in society. The second training is to practice social justice, generosity, not stealing and not exploiting other living beings. The third is the practice of responsible sexual behavior in order to protect individuals, couples, families and children. The fourth is the practice of deep listening and loving speech to restore communication and reconcile. The fifth is about mindful consumption, to help us not bring toxins and poisons into our body or mind.” Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices

Carol Bliss

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

The Gift of Discipline

I heard someone say, “Discipline is your best friend.” Unfortunately, I don’t remember from whom, but it changed the way I see discipline. I used to see it more as punishment and something painful to accomplish. When in reality it is our best friend. It is like money, the more we have it, the more we can enjoy life and have what we want and accomplish our dreams.

When I was growing up (in Mexico) I remember my grandma telling my brother and me when we were misbehaving or just being kids; that she was going to “discipline us.” Like is was something bad. I remember this very clearly. Therefore, if we are brought up with this word discipline as being a punishment, it can be very confusing and somewhat hard to grasp in the way that it is intended to be. Discipline is, in fact, our best friend. It is here to serve us in such a way that is fundamental to our personal growth and wellbeing.

It has taken me some time to understand the beauty and power of discipline. I believe it was Katharine Hepburn who said: “Without discipline, there is no life at all.” I couldn’t agree more. If we go through life without discipline, we just go through life simply existing, without really living our life to the fullest and creating a life of success. Living a life without understanding the importance of discipline is like living a life without love. In the end, it will bring anxiety, sorrow, struggles, and emptiness. How can we go through life without love? It is impossible; it will cause us to become bitter without even realizing that we are empty.

The question is how do we become more disciplined? The answer is simple, it is a choice, and we have to set the intention. It becomes easier once that we understand that is a must if we want to create a different lifestyle. We can start by doing small changes. Discipline is like a muscle we have to build it, and there is no magic pill we have to do the work. Will it be easy? No, but it will make a huge difference in your life. Small changes make it easier for us and it will last longer and create a habit of change, which is in fact what we need to become more disciplined.

I am going to share with you what has worked for me. I learned this from a great friend of mine (my mentor). I have a small pocketbook, and I write down on a daily basis what I have to do that day. Even if it is something that I know, I won’t forget, I write it down anyway. The simple act of writing it down sets the intention, and it starts to imprint in my subconscious mind. (It works wonders) and it also helps us to stay focused and less distracted.

The next step has transformed my life. I learned this twelve years ago. It is fascinating how this works and creates change. It is to raise our standards. It is crucial for our growth to pay close attention to our circle of friends. It makes a huge difference what kind of people we surround ourselves with. If we surround ourselves with “B’s” we are going to stay a “B.” We need to choose our friends carefully and surround ourselves with “A’s” to become an “A.”

These are two powerful tools that will help us to take action that involve our growth. Try them and see your life transform.

Martha Bass


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for Value in My Life

I have decided to return to work. The good news is that I have healed enough from my stroke to be working once more. I want to be valued once again. I know that before I can be valued on the outside, I have to consciously value myself on the inside.

When I woke up this morning, I thought of my life’s value. I began to list all of the things that I was valuing already, like the quiet of the early morning hours. I’m grateful that it is a brand new year where anything is possible. I am grateful that my body continues to heal. I can feel so much more in my body that I did before. Yesterday, I was overjoyed to finally feel the bottom of my foot hitting the ground again, after 23 months of numbness.

As I lie in bed, I’m so grateful that the window washer had the time to expertly wash my windows so that I could see clearly and would not have to look past all of the rain and dust spots that had accumulated in the past year. I consider that a metaphor for letting go of the past and having a clear view of the future.

I counted the creative talents in my life, knowing that my heart will always find a way to work creatively. Talents, like the ability to care about others. A heart that is wide open to new challenges. Talents, like my ability to create an environment is just right for me now.

I trust that I will be able to create an environment that is just right in my working environment. It helps to remember that I always have before. I remember that I don’t have to know the specifics yet, like the how’s, the who’s, and when’s, about my new work yet. I simply have to believe in my own value first.

I stay far away from the negative, “What if I am too old. What if my mind and my body have not quite healed enough.” Instead I focus on possibility, on what I love. I used to love teaching college. Perhaps now there is something far more for valuable for me to do to help other people learn and grow.

I am expecting a big change when I return to work. It will be challenging, but I am up for a challenge. I will have to give up some of my time. I may not get to lie in bed in the early morning hours and think about life. I realize that my time is precious and I’m going to use that time wisely. I have faith that the new person that I am working with will recognize that my time is precious and valuable too.

If you find yourself looking for new work, look around at your life right now and really value it, just the way that it is now. When we value ourselves first, it becomes apparent to others on the outside. Life is like a mirror. We attract to ourselves what we really believe and feel on the inside. We must love ourselves first. All change begins with us. Isn’t that a powerful thought?

Carol Bliss


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