Do you long for a life that sings and soars? Do you have dreams and desires that light you up from the inside? What would it be like to be a human sparkler? The Bliss Mistress Guide to Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary invites you to take a step into the life you have always wanted; filled with love, abundance, adventure, success, healing, joy, healthy relationships, self-exploration, and fun. Come along on a journey with the Bliss Mistress and learn to become the mistress or master of your own bliss.
Savor Bliss Bites, such as:
Make Magic Happen Every Moment
You are truly an alchemist who can turn lead into gold. Find a magic word and make it your own. At the mention of this mantra, your world is transformed. Frowns turn upside down, broken hearts are mended and impossible dreams, become I'm-possible realities.
Tickle Your Fancy
Discover ways to make the edges of your mouth curl up. Could be by taking a walk in the woods or savoring a decadent treat. You know that fat, calories, and cholesterol don't count if you indulge with joy. There is no such thing as "guilty pleasure."
Color With Your Creative Juices
When you were born, you were given an entire box of brand new crayons and an unlimited imagination with which to paint a rainbow design on the landscape of your future. Remember to color outside the lines.
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Read an Excerpt
The Bliss Mistress Guide to Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
By Edie Weinstein
Balboa PressCopyright © 2011 Edie Weinstein
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLet's Start at the Very Beginning
To get to your destination, you first need to be aware of exactly where your feet are planted. Are they in lush green grass that tickles your toes? Hot, sticky tar? Suck-you-down-into-the-muck quicksand?
In order to make sure we are all on the same page (and as you are reading this, apparently we are), let's define a few key words:
BLISS: Walking on clouds, floating on air, all without benefit of invisible fishing wire or tightrope; a goosebumps experience that has you giggling with delight; a sense of ahhh and awe simultaneously
TRANSFORMING: Abracadabra; presto-change-o; alchemical process that turns lead into gold
ORDINARY: Black and white and shades of gray; customary; day-to-day
EXTRAORDINARY: Ta-da!; Highly exceptional and remarkable; amazing, fantastic, astonishing, marvelous, exceptional; technicolor dream come true
When the character of Maria in The Sound of Music was teaching the Von Trapp children to sing, her lovely voice wafted over the Alps, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read, you begin with A-B-C, when you sing, you begin with Do-ReMi." The same is true in the exploration of bliss. When you answer this invitation though, you begin with 'feel, hear, see' (not to exclude taste and touch, since they are important bliss enhancing senses ... they just don't fit the rhyme scheme).
Can you go into the experience of opening to bliss, senses fully ablaze? Let's take an inventory with our first Bliss Kisses:
On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilling is your life?
When you awaken every morning, what is your first thought?
Do you wake up smiling or grumbling?
Would you categorize your life as mundane or magical?
Sixties songbird Peggy Lee voiced the musical question, "Is that all there is?" Is that your theme song?
If a movie were made of your life, would it be a comedy, drama, action/ adventure flick, horror film, or romance?
Do you live with caution or courage?
When was the last time you took my version of the 'Nestea® Plunge', falling backward into the loving arms of the Universe, trusting that you will be safely held?
If never or not recently, are you willing to do so?
If you knew that in a year from now your life could do a 180 degree turnaround and you would be living your passion, how would you feel in this moment?
Did your answer surprise you?
When facing life change, I envision the trapeze artist performing all kinds of tricks and flights of fancy. Then the next trapeze comes swinging toward her. In that moment, she has a choice: she can remain clinging to the trapeze already in her hands, OR she can stretch her body out, take flight, and grab hold of the one headed her way. That moment in free-fall or free-flight can be terrifying or exhilarating. She knows that the act consists of moving from one trapeze to the next. It wouldn't make for an exciting show if she kept swinging back and forth on the same apparatus.
I know too that I can watch amazed as this highly trained person engages in her art and think, "I could never do that." Frankly, I wouldn't want to. My leaps of faith and yours may look a little different from hers, but they take courage nonetheless. The origin of the word is from French 'coeur' which translates to 'from the heart'. I like the idea that we are heart warriors, taking a stand for the kind of lives we deserve and desire; that's a crusade I can get behind.
Chapter TwoEndless Loop Tape
"Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way." —Florence Scovel Shinn
One clear intuitive experience arrived in an infinitely life changing form. In early 1986, I was invited to go to what was then the Soviet Union with a group of other teachers, writers, and healers on a citizens' diplomacy mission. My friend Alan Cohen was one of the leaders. The purpose of the trip was to join the hearts of Americans and Russians to melt the hardened attitudes of the Cold War mentality. I was excited as during the trip, which was scheduled October 12—25 of that year, I was to turn 26. What a way to celebrate! I paid my deposit and set about preparing for this awesome event. Shortly afterward, I heard what I describe as The Voice For God, a gender neutral communication that clearly stated, "You are not to go to Russia now. You are to be in Philadelphia."
"Huh?" I responded incredulously. "But it's the trip of a lifetime!"
And again, the Voice insisted.
"But I'll be spending my birthday in Russia—the home of some of my ancestors ..."
And the Voice patiently reiterated.
"But I don't live in Philadelphia."
The endless loop tape's message continued.
Finally, exasperated, I said, "Look at me, arguing with a disembodied voice. You're not going to give up until I do, right?" I could almost see a knowing nod from the I AM. So I canceled my reservation and put the episode on the back burner.
On October 24th, the day before I was to return from Russia, I traveled, with a group of friends, an hour south of where I lived to hear Ram Dass speak—in Philadelphia—on the subject of Seva (selfless service, in Sanskrit). During the intermission, my friend Ute Arnold approached me with a curly-haired, red-bearded man who held out his hand to shake mine. "This is Michael Moser," Ute introduced in her soft, German accented voice. "He's going to be coming to your Love Yourself Playshop in a few weeks."
I had scheduled to teach at a conference a few weeks hence. Had I gone to Russia, I still would have offered a class there, but it would have been about my trip. As such, it was unlikely that Michael would have been drawn to it. I smiled, greeted him warmly, said I looked forward to seeing him at the conference, and then trotted off to visit with other friends.
At the workshop, Michael sat across from me in the circle and—good student that he was—as I was talking about the importance of eye contact in communication, his vivid blue eyes lasered in. I found myself sliding down in my chair ... oh my!
Over the months, we developed a stronger connection. And in May of 1987, we were married with our friend Ute, who introduced us, playing the role of 'Best Person'. To this day, I think of Ram Dass as our yenta (matchmaker), and in the three times I have interviewed him over the years, I have told him so.
Michael and I shared adventures over the twelve years we were married. We published Visions Magazine from 1988—1998, which focused on wellness and transformation. We adopted our then nearly 5-year-old (now 24-year-old) son. We moved to Florida to start the second regional edition of our magazine. Then in 1992, which I lovingly call 'our year from hell', I had an ectopic pregnancy and nearly died, Michael was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and we lost our house in Homestead, Florida to Hurricane Andrew. During that period, a sense of knowing that all was well, even in the midst of the challenges, was what sustained me.
We moved back to the Philly area on January 1, 1998, and Michael's condition worsened. Over the next several months, he went in and out of the hospital, racking up 'frequent flier miles' each time we passed through the ER door. His final entry into the ICU while awaiting a liver transplant was on 11/11/98, and I lived there with him over the subsequent five and a half weeks, holding daily dialogues with the Divine. I sometimes called them God-wrestling sessions where I would say, "He's mine and you can't have him."
The response I would receive was, "He's mine and he's on loan to you like everyone else in your life." Again, I sighed and surrendered.
On December 21, 1998, as the life support was turned off, my messenger returned ... the same Voice that I heard in 1986 now told me to call the seminary and ask to finish what Michael had started. I knew exactly what that meant. Michael had enrolled in The New Seminary to become an interfaith minister—I had casually studied with him. Reading to him, typing his papers when he was too ill to do so, quizzing him and the like, I knew the subject matter well. A few days after his Christmas Eve funeral, I contacted the school and asked to enroll. Welcomed with open arms, I was told that in order to graduate with Michael's class, I needed to complete my two years of study simultaneously, or I could wait until the following year to be ordained. I completed both years' work in five months, with what I called Divine and husbandly intervention, while working full-time as a nursing home social worker. It was part of my healing process. In June of 1999, I walked down the aisle of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, carrying with me a photo of Michael, the man who entered my life as companion and guide.
Can you recall a time in your life when intuition whispered in your ear?
Did you heed the call?
If you didn't listen to the soft voice, did it then roar to get your attention?
What happened when you followed the guidance of intuition?
What happened when you didn't?
Chapter ThreeAs My Own Woman
"Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen." —Sarah Ban Breathnach
A few years ago, a friend described to me an aunt who lived what seemed to me to be the life of a Bliss Mistress. She was ahead of her time, wearing pants when it was considered unseemly for a woman to do so. She was outspoken, a bit brazen, and—according to my friend—"her own woman." Cosmically coincidentally, her name was Edie too! It got me to thinking about how I choose to live as my own woman. Keeping in mind that there are no absolutes, I remember the wise words of my friend Liora Hill, "I am a work in progress. I am where I am in my process. And where I am in my process is perfect."
I live full out, regardless of what anyone thinks.
I refuse to dim my light for anyone in order for them to feel comfortable.
I accept all the abundance that the Universe offers.
I forgive myself and others for perceived slights.
I live with compassion both inwardly and outwardly.
I see my own beauty, without the 'yes, but's', and 'if only's', simply ... as is.
I move with grace, dancing to whatever music I hear.
I sing out with enthusiasm.
I speak my truth.
I welcome Love in all forms.
I refuse to second-guess myself.
I tell the people in my life what they mean to me.
I keep my heart open.
I imagine beyond limitations.
I mirror back the beauty in others I encounter.
I walk barefoot literally and figuratively.
I refrain from 'guilty pleasures' and instead simply call them pleasures.
I ask for what I want, knowing that I may
not receive exactly as I have asked.
I accept what is for the Highest Good.
I embellish my body with colors, fabrics, and designs that make me feel good.
I move on when a situation warrants it.
I sit with my own feelings, not pushing them away out of fear.
I surrender to 'what is'.
I trust in Divine timing.
I unburden myself of excess baggage.
I live in integrity.
I am genuine and transparent; what you see is what you get.
I am learning to be subtle.
I say 'yes' and 'no' with equal ease.
I ask for what my work is worth without
stuttering, and I expect to receive it.
I emotional bungee-jump, enjoying the ride in free-fall.
I stand in my own Truth.
Be insatiable for the kind of life you deserve to live. Take your foot off the brake that keeps your audacious auto from taking you where you want to go. Roll back the stone that keeps you trapped in your cave of solitude. Throw away the jailer's key and push past the door you feel has kept you from being your highest self. I invite you, as my friend singer-songwriter Billy Jonas proclaims in his song "God Is In," to sing and dance with me way past full.
So, what is your personal manifesto?
If you were to live as your own woman or man, how would that be?
Chapter FourPissing on the Fire
"Yet how proud we are, in daring to look down upon ourselves!" —Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In conversation with my friend Chris the other day, she tells me that most of her women friends (myself included) are fiery and passionate, with an ability to put themselves out there in the world. I do see myself in that light ... and yet, far too often I find myself 'pissing on the fire', essentially dousing its warmth and radiance. It takes the form of brushing off compliments as if they are lint fuzzies on my shoulder.
A perfect example occurred just last week. As a freelance journalist, I have begun writing for the website more.com, which is a sister to the glossy magazine More. My friends were truly excited for me and offering congratulations. Graciously, I thanked them, and right on the heels of words of gratitude were the obnoxious gremlins, snarling at me. Yeh, right. If you were such a good writer, you would have Oprah knocking at your door, asking you to write for her magazine, and if you were so talented, you would be making more money for your time ... and on it goes until I feel like hurling the yummy Chinese food I had for dinner tonight. Sound familiar?
Just this past week, I was lounging on my orange towel on a Hollywood, Florida beach, enjoying the ocean mist wafting through the refreshing air. Next to me was a group of women who were young enough to be my daughters. I overheard a blond pony-tailed, tie-dye bikini clad 20-something say wistfully, "I'm in such a happy place in my life right now, I'm almost scared. It's so perfect." It was as if she was waiting for the other shoe to drop—for something to go wrong.
In September of 2009, Common Ground Fellowship, an interfaith community of which I have been a part for the past four years, hosted an evening with Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith and Rickie Byars Beckwith, whom I consider to be a spiritual power couple. He is a dynamically speaking and writing trans-denominational minister and founder of Agape International Spiritual Center in LA. She, besides being the director of the Agape International Choir, is a singer-songwriter with a voice that reaches deep down into the heart and soul of the listener and ain't about to let go. I took on the mantle of what I called 'PR Goddess', doing the public relations and marketing piece for the event. When I first engaged in this process, my initial thoughts were, "Oh goody! Piece of cake!" Little did I know that it wouldn't simply be a light and fluffy assignment. Well, I sorta suspected.
I called the group of us working on the project Team Transformation; I knew that we were all being 'worked' by the energy of it and that we would be alchemically transformed as a result. Wow, did that ever bear out! Of course, I can only speak for myself, but my sense is that the others might say something similar. It stretched me in ways that I had never considered. It sharpened my communication skills, since I had to find all manner of creative means to express a similar message. It allowed me the chance to be assertive in asking for what I wanted—to have the seats in the grand, high ceilinged, cathedral setting Tindley Temple venue filled—and they were. It presented me with a test of my visioning/intention setting skills. It gave me the gift of certainty that no matter what, all was/is in Divine Order. Not just faith, but an absolute KNOWING that all was well.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts was to be smack dab in the middle of an ego-storm. I allowed my buttons to feel pushed each time a media contact didn't jump on-board with enthusiasm to cover the story, each time someone said they wouldn't be there, and each time someone wanted me to do something counter to what I had in mind. What a little brat that ego can be at times! Even more insidious and less blatant was the sense that somehow it fell all on me to fill the seats, which couldn't have been farther from the truth. Within short order, I really understood that this was way bigger than me. It was also way bigger than the mind chatter that Michael Beckwith spoke of that night—the conversation that we are having with our minds when we are out taking a walk. He shared that when intention meets condition, all manner of miracles occur.
Excerpted from The Bliss Mistress Guide to Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary by Edie Weinstein Copyright © 2011 by Edie Weinstein. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction The Birth of a Bliss Mistress....................1
Chapter 1. Let's Start at the Very Beginning....................7
Chapter 2. Endless Loop Tape....................10
Chapter 3. As My Own Woman....................13
Chapter 4. Pissing on the Fire....................15
Chapter 5. Fifth Chakra Folly....................20
Chapter 6. A Love Letter to Yourself....................25
Chapter 7. The Servant of the Creation....................27
Chapter 8. Everything I Need To Know, I Learned at Cuddle Party....................29
Chapter 9. And the Year Has Just Begun....................34
Chapter 10. Lila....................37
Chapter 11. Once Wild....................40
Chapter 12. Plugged into Our Source....................44
Chapter 13. A Relationship with Chocolate....................47
Chapter 14. Thoughts That Do No Violence to My Soul....................50
Chapter 15. Standing at the Crossroads....................53
Chapter 16. Tattooed Angel....................55
Chapter 17. The Cosmic Yes!....................58
Chapter 18. Beloved Bozos....................61
Chapter 19. Validation....................66
Chapter 20. Living Orgasmically....................68
Chapter 21. Poetic License....................72
Chapter 22. Dance Like Everyone Is Watching....................75
Chapter 23. Mammogram Mambo....................78
Chapter 24. Mala....................81
Chapter 25. Godwinks....................85
Chapter 26. Zen Starbucks....................88
Chapter 27. Fantabulous 50!....................91
Chapter 28. Blowing Bubbles with Mom....................96
Chapter 29. S'Mores in Heaven....................100
Chapter 30. Bliss Bites....................105
Chapter 31 An Interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama....................124
Bliss Mistress Groups....................131
Transform the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary....................132