Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Follow Your Bliss

I never knew where the phrase - Follow Your Bliss - came from until one Sunday morning I stumbled on the Oprah network. The show was called Super Soul Sunday and the topics are all of a spiritual nature.  Our spiritual nature as human beings is something that always fascinates me.  I believe that every human being has this gift but I observe many fellow humans that don't appear to know it.

I am not referring to religion, especially organized religion. Although I've spent my life in church I completely get why churches are repellant to many people. Full of rules and shame, misinterpretations and hypocritical thinking in the name of God.

But spirit is something that lives inside of us. A part of us that is not in this world. A knowledge, perhaps, of something greater than ourselves. It's something that is easily ignored in this world of distractions and noise.

On Oprah's show I heard three young people in their 30's talking about a spiritual revelation of sorts. They are encouraging young people through their writings and appearances to acknowledge spirituality in order to enjoy a more fulfilling life. A life of gratitude, love and charity to other human beings.

On this show Joseph Campbell was discussed. He coined the term "Follow Your Bliss"decades ago. Who was this guy? Why had I never read his writings?  At a certain time in my life when everything imploded and I was a lost soul I read as many philosophical and self-help books as I could. I absorbed it all (my favorite being "The Road Less Traveled" by Scott Peck).

What does follow your bliss mean?  You must ask yourself :
When am I happiest?
When does time fly?
What feeds my spirit?
What do I have to offer?
What are my strongest talents and gifts?
What talents can offer something to the world?
How can I love others better?

I was shocked to discover at my age I still needed to purposefully ask myself these questions and ponder the answers to get  back on track in my life. To begin to feel true joy again. To feel that I am offering something to the world. I think we need to ask ourselves these questions throughout our lives because we do change and grow and have more to offer the older we get.

I realized that I feel closest to God when I am singing. It makes me happiest. And I have not been singing so I joined a new chorale.  This blog was also one of my ways to offer something, however small, to the world. Ask yourself those questions and you may be surprised to discover that the answers may not be what they once were.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Now That I've Got Your Attention....

So I put a pathetic cry for help on Facebook the other day for people to read my blog. And guess what? About 30 people said they would. I find that amazing. For as annoying as Facebook can sometimes be, I find it's benefits much greater.  I have learned of friends losing loved ones that I would have never known otherwise - and I could offer support.  I have been in touch with friends who share a common history with me, but we had lost touch for many years. I have shared my own heartache and felt loved.

Does Facebook just provide the illusion of friends and support?  I think not most of the time. I believe that when Facebook friends say they are praying for you they mean it. I know I do. But, say on your birthday, maybe yes.  Admit it, don't you feel really popular on your birthday now?  (I resent the fact that I have always remembered people's birthdays for years but now I do not get credit for it because Facebook reminds me - but I digress.)

I truly feel blessed by those who said they'd read. It's not that I think that I have so many more profound and incredibly intelligent things to say than the next person. Here is the reason:

I started a blog when I needed something in my life.  It met those needs. It inspired me because I was always looking for inspiration and interesting things to report. It opened my eyes to more of the world in my search for unique blogposts.  It has made me think more deeply about life and the world around me. And I believe that if God has given you a gift - even a small one - it's meant to be shared. You  never know when you may touch someone's life or write something they need to hear.

If you want to read my every little thought and opinion about the world, politics and morality just scroll down a little ways to August and September of 2012. Otherwise I will try to keep it light:)

I may even force you to read and appreciate a little poetry....

This year has been one of the toughest of my life. I suddenly and unexpectedly became a caregiver for my two wonderful parents. It has been a privilege and a joy - but it is also extremely stressful to have to make life decisions for others, to be responsible in ways you never have been before, to get used to not having the time to do any of the things that used to calm you and make you happy. Things are somewhat stable now and this is why I return to something like my blog.

THANK YOU if you are reading this. I love you, truly I do.  I'll try to make then short and sweet and if you want to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts. But it means the most just to know you're out there.

If you scroll down a little ways there is a device that says you can subscribe. I think you will get an email if there is a new post. Try it and let me know if it works!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On Having It All

Delia Ephron has a new book called "Sister Mother Husband Dog" and this is an excerpt from it about "having it all".

It might be a fleeting moment - drinking a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning when the light is especially bright. It might also be a few undisturbed hours with a novel I'm in love with, a three-hour lunch with my best friend, reading "Goodnight Moon" to a child, watching a Nadal-Federer match. Having it all definitely involves an ability to seize the moment, especially when it comes to sports. It can be eating in bed when you're living on your own for the first time or the first weeks of a new job when everything is new, uncertain and a bit scary. It's when your senses are engaged. It's when you feel at peace with someone you love. And that isn't often.  Loving someone and being at peace with him (or her) are two different things.  Having it all are moments in life when you suspend judgment. It's when I attain that elusive thing called peace of mind. 

Not particularly American, unquantifiable, unidentifiable, different for everyone, but you know it when you have it.

...I have it all. And not only that, I can have more.