Making Music and Spirit Shine

HOME  ABOUT  MUSIC  STUDIO  YOGA  STORE  BLOG  FREE STUFF  CONTACT

Studio:

BOOK A LESSONWORKSHOPSVOICEPEFORMANCEPIANOCAREER COACHING

Yoga:

“I Must Be a Mermaid, I Have No Fear of Depths & a Great Fear of Shallow Living” 
                                                                                                                                     ~ Anais Nin
Design by NixaDesign  ~  MeredithBlis.com ™ © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Making Music and Spirit Shine

Healing The Blues, Depression & BiPolar...

by Meredith Blis on 08/14/14

The good news is that over the past 10 years or so, our understanding and treatment options have increased -  The bad news is that this medical condition still harbors shame, isolation, and tragic consequences. 
 
Since we are having an open discussion here, I want to start by saying that I speak about the ride of depression and bipolar disorder from personal experience.  I was blessed to have found proper treatment during a suicidal episode in my 20’s.  Years later, I discovered both yoga & meditation which have considerably eased the moods & symptoms.   But one of the most empowering things I’ve found along the way is learning to understand myself and educate the people around me.
 
Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  Sometimes, it can be triggered by situations but depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  Yes, I said it twice because it’s important to understand.  Oftentimes, it is NOT a pull your socks up and keep trudging it will pass kind of situation.  During one of my crisis, I was resisting medication and a friend said to me, “If you had diabetes, would you take Insulin?”
 
Because depression is psychological disorder, we view it differently & we believe that we ought to be able to talk ourselves out of it.  In reality it is no different than taking insulin for diabetes.   Being a chemical imbalance, it often requires medication to stabilize. That being said, proper treatment also includes ‘therapy’ just like proper treatment for diabetes includes dietary awareness and restrictions.  Medications can help prevent a situation from becoming fatal as well as help people to cope with life more effectively.  And yes, either circumstance can also be handled without meds. 

There are so many treatment options – the key is realizing that in order to heal you must take the first step and seek help.  Realize this condition is not your fault. You aren’t meant to live unhappy.   Offer yourself the same kindness and compassion that you would to a friend.
 
Bi-polar disorder is vastly misunderstood. It is Not a synonym for crazy! Just because your neighbor or your ex is ‘nutsy’ that does make them ‘bipolar’  People throw this term around a lot without knowing what it actually means.  FYI - Some notable bipolar people include: Abraham Lincoln,  Florence Nightingale, Charley Pride, Frank Sinatra, Catherine Zeta-Jones…
 
I like this simple explanation - Bipolar is a condition where person’s mood regulator is broken.  This imbalance creates extreme highs and extreme lows in a persons behavior.  It can also manifest as ‘mood cycling’ -  emotions that shift rapidly without any pretense. Happy, Sad, Angry, Elated, Crying, Laughing, - the whole spectrum in short periods of time. 
 
When you’re in it and it hasn’t been diagnosed, it can be very confusing and even when you know what’s going in, if you’re in it, you can see it happening, but don’t always have the ability to control the ‘shifts’.

Bipolar 1 disorder, also called Manic Depression, is characterized by episodes of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depressive) lasting for extended periods.  Bipolar 2 refers to the more rapid mood cycling, less intense mania and extended periods of depression.
 
Similar to depression, Bipolar can be triggered by circumstance (usually emotional trauma), and/or by an innate chemical imbalance.  Oftentimes, both depression and bipolar are heredity conditions. Once again pointing to the genetic and chemical component ;)
 
Gosh, this article has gotten long…..! 
The point that I want to make is if you identify with these conditions, you are not alone!  Often the hardest part is the accompanying self blame, solitude and anxiety.  Welcome to the club – we’re not very elite ;)  It’s just your DNA.  And help is available.   Seek out resources and offer yourself kindness and compassion.
 
If there is someone close to you who is exhibiting these symptoms, my true hope that this article will offer you some insight, understanding and resources.   Depression and Bipolar also have a rippling affect on the people around us.  So if you are dealing with someone who has either condition the same goes, seek resources, take care of yourself and be kind and compassionate, it can be a rough road.  But understanding that it’s the disease, not the person is helpful place to start. 
 
Here’s some other info for you
The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive by Stephen Fry  - This movie is amazing
 Part 1 (link below)   - Part 2 is also avail free on Youtube
CLICK HERE
 
Book List - CLICK HERE
 
More About Robin Williams and his struggle with Depression - CLICK HERE
 
May the light of those blessed spirits whom we’ve lost keep shining on at us from above :) May we move forward with understanding &
healing for ourselves and those around us
 
Love & Light
Meredith

Take A 3 Minute Vacation

by Meredith Blis on 07/30/14

 
 

Most of us have seen this inspirational poem at some point in our lives.  I always loved it, but had only read it on the run. When I took a moment to absorb it slowly and really let it sink in,  it gave me a sense of grounding, hope, peace and a brightened perspective.  Kinda like a mini-vacation.   

And I've added some waves for your enjoyment.  (the mp3 will open in a new screen but you can click back here and listen while they are playing)  
So go for it – Give yourself a 3 minute vacation!
Click HERE and Enjoy


 
Desiderata
(Desiderata translates as  Desired Things or Things that are hoped for)
 

Go Placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons
 
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story
 
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself.
 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.  Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
 
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals and everywhere life is full of heroism.
 
Be yourself.  Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
 
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
 
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the  universe, no less that the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
 
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors & aspirations, the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
 
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy


Hope you had a great trip :)
Love & Light to you
Meredith

--
 

PS
The Brainiac in me couldn’t just send the poem without also offering the origins…
This poem was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.   It was first publicly distributed in 1956 by a Reverend Kates in Baltimore as part of the church’s devotional materials.  It gained popularity when it was found at the bedside of Adlai Stevenson (US presidential candidate) at the time of his death in 1965.  And continued to spread through our culture through various sound recordings, most notably Leonard Nimoy aka Spock (1968 & 1995) & Les Crane (1971). Now we can buy it on posters at Wal-Mart, kind of an interesting cultural trajectory!

Create A Deeper Sense of Peace and Grace

by Meredith Blis on 07/21/14

Now, I don't claim to have the answer, but I am really excited to share with you, some insights that I gleaned from last weekends workshop

What Is Oneness?

The Oneness Movement/Concept began in India. It’s not a religion, it’s not a cult – it’s just a way of living with more truth, consciousness, and joy.  Sounds good right?

The reality is that a shift in consciousness occurs when we realize we all share the state of being human and we’re all in this together.  We are One being.

Our human minds have created an illusion of separateness because of both 
conditioning and as a survival mechanism of the ego. When we live with a deep sense of separateness from each other, this state of mind creates confusion, loneliness & emotional pain.  



One of the lessons here is that oftentimes, what goes on within us is a mirror of what is going outside of us.    

We fight under the pretext of They are different 
from me... Often this thought mirrors the judgment, intolerance, hatred that humans have cultivated on the inside for other humans.  The large scale result is war & extreme violence between humans.
  
On a small scale, our individual anxieties and thoughts create the world around us.  We feel stressed and out of control our actions will often create stressed and out of control situations in the immediate world around us as well as stressed and out of control reactions from the people around us.  Just noticing these patterns (we all have em ;))  can create huge changes!
 
I love this Rumi Quote….
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.  Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself”
 
It all begins with the shift of each individual mind.   It’s an exciting time of transition in our planetary consciousness!  And I believe that as each individual takes a step forward in their path of grace, it helps to create a higher vibration in the collective consciousness. 
 
How does Oneness give us tools to do that? 
It’s pretty simple actually – yay!
It’s called Deeksha which translates as blessing.  
The Deeksha blessing is a transfer of energy (somewhat similar to Reiki, but a different modality) where the practitioner places their hands on someone’s head for approximately a minute.  The result actually creates changes in neuro-brain chemistry, helps create a greater sense of peace, and also helps to release past negative thought patterns.  Sounds crazy right?
Well, remember, I am originally from New York so sarcasm & skepticism are in my DNA……  But I can tell you it’s been an amazing ride with some very happy shifts in my world as well as for the people with whom I've shared this blessing.
Happy to share it all with you too! 
Drop a line back and I can send it your way remotely or find me around town :)
 
Til’ Next Time
May you be blessed with Peace, Joy and Grace 
XO Meredith

What Is Love?

by Meredith Blis on 07/06/14

What is Love? 
To attempt to define it seems like a tall order and perhaps even a presumptuous undertaking…..  Therefore I am also bringing in 3 of my favorite sages…. Brene Brown, Dali Lama and Winnie the Pooh…. 
I’m not sure definition is possible, but I believe that any discussion brings clarity. And a little chat about the positive light of love, can only help it’s beauty grow…..
 
I realized it is a feeling of wholeness, of balance, of peace.  Sometimes it’s fireworks, but not the kind that leave an aftermath of ashes or weave a path of destruction.  It’s being able to exhale and feel safe. It is the core of connection between all things – so sacred that it can’t be defined - it is just felt in recognizing the beauty and light within all things.  It’s the daring to acknowledge that such pure energy exists within us, all of us, everyone. It’s not something we can hold onto or easily let go of -  it’s an energy that lives in the air we share and the air we breathe.
 
“We cultivate Love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.  Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”  (Brene Brown – ‘Daring Greatly’)
 
It also appears to me that Love can perhaps be defined as ‘compassion,’ a simple expression of kindness, an exhale into understanding.  Love is nurtured by Love.   It is both a reflection and a mirror.  The more we can cultivate compassion & kindness, within & towards ourselves – the more chance we have of sharing that sense of love towards others.  It grows proportionately and it can be cultivated through practice.
 
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”  The Dali Lama
 
And when in doubt?
I think this  beautiful insight from one of my favorite sages sums it up nicely….

 
What are some of your thoughts?  Please drop a line back and share, would 'love' to hear them :)
May you experience Love and Light in all that you do!
Blessings,
Meredith

The Story Of The Farmer's Luck

by Meredith Blis on 06/19/14

Ya never know what life is gonna throw at you…. ! It’s human to label things as good or bad, but something I’m starting to see is that oftentimes it’s only our perception that makes it so.

Labels help to organize our brains, so we tend to create boxes to interpret our experiences – good, bad, happy, sad, etc…
 
In my experience, it’s the assumptions and interpretations that make my head spin and my thoughts swirl. It’s the judgment of the experiences that tends to create crazymaking emotions…

 Imagine if we were able to suspend judgment for a moment and just look at things as they are.

 The magic of thinking this way is that it enables us to just be, in the moment with what Is.  Which makes life more about what happens and less about our perception of it.  
 

It’s hard to ever know for sure the long term result of any circumstance. Imagine if we trust that everything (good & bad) has a purpose and is meant to guide us on our perfect path. In times of stress that helps me to exhale!
 
That is the real secret. To accept what happens as perfect synchronicity in our lives regardless of how good or bad we perceive experiences to be. Imagine if we believed that our life has always been in perfect alignment for our highest good and it always will be…
 
When we are living in peace, there is more peace around us.  When the mind waxes into chaos it tends to create more chaos around us.  A peaceful mind enables us to float through life with much more ease.
 
So Here, I share one of my new favorites stories cause I think it perfectly illustrates a pretty hip, albeit waaaay Zen, mindset of peace.
 
-------------
The Farmers Luck…
 It’s the tale of a farmer in China, long ago. One day the farmer’s only horse runs away. 
All of the farmer’s neighbors say “Oh, what bad fortune!”
The farmer merely replies “Perhaps. We’ll see.”

Then, the next day, the farmer’s horse returns to the farm with a wild stallion. Now the farmer has two horses.
“Oh, what great fortune!” the neighbors say.
“Perhaps. We’ll see,” replies the farmer.
 
Then, the farmer’s only son needs to tame the wild stallion. In the process, the son is thrown off the horse, and the young man breaks his leg.
“Oh, what bad fortune!” all the neighbors say.
“Perhaps. We’ll see,” replies the farmer once again.
 
A couple of weeks later, the army comes into town, to round up men to fight in the war. The farmer’s son cannot join the army, because of his broken leg.
“Ah, what wonderful fortune that your son cannot go to fight in the war, because he broke his leg, because he was taming the wild stallion, because your first horse ran away in the first place!”
“Perhaps…” said the farmer again.
----------
 
And the story could go and on… but you get the point. Maybe the events that occur in our lives aren't Good or Bad and It’s our perception, that makes it so...
 
Oftentimes we can’t control life anyway.  So the best we can do is strive to do our best.  The bumps in the road that happen along the way?  Are they actually good or bad?  We Don’t Know – in that moment what feels terrible may turn out to be a blessing or visa versa.
The only thing we know for sure is that events are fleeting  - within time we are on to the next thing.  When we pass judgment, this just gives us more baggage to carry on the journey!
And as my mom would say, “This too shall pass” and yeah, that’s also true for the good stuff.
But is anything actually good or bad?  PERHAPS?...... WE’LL SEE”

Til next time,
Sending you Love, Light and Peace
M

​For Complete Blog Click Here!
*I promise never to share your email with anyone else - ever! (cause that would be waaaay uncool)*