I would like to share a true miracle story. It happened to me at the end of a five-day retreat in Oregon.
Barry and I have been writing an article a month on the amazing process of relationship, the inner relationship with ourselves and the outer relationship with others, for over 30 years. This is something we truly love doing and hope to continue for another 30 years. I believe we will never run out of material because the area of relationship is so vast. We love to study all relationships and have been so blessed to make this our life’s work.
As much as I love to hear about someone’s outer relationship, I am even more excited to hear about their inner relationship. I truly believe we are loved and cared for while we walk this planet, and that we are filled with a deepening sense of joy and peace when we more fully realize how loved we really are.
The Divine Hand of Blessing
One of my favorite things to do is to imagine a divine hand upon my head blessing me in my life and letting me know that I am cared for and loved. I do this especially when I feel insecure or stressed. Once while in the emergency room with a badly broken leg and ankle, I closed my eyes and blocked out the flurry of other patients and medical staff and just imagined this other-worldly hand upon my head reminding me that everything would work out alright.
Another time, right before I was to speak at my mother’s memorial service, I also imagined this hand upon my head helping to calm my emotions and nervousness. When I remember to do this, I find that it works every time to help bring peace to my sometimes troubled soul.
Since this practice has brought so much peace to my heart, we also try and give this experience to others. Usually toward the end of every one of our workshops Barry and I have people close their eyes in a silent prayer. We then use this opportunity to go around to each person and place our hands on their head to bless them and say a prayer for them. If it is a small group we go together. For a larger group we split up and each take half of the group. Blessing each person with our hands and saying a prayer for them is very important to both of us.
One summer we were leading our annual “Summer Renewal” retreat for singles, couples and families at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon. During the last morning’s meditation we asked everyone to sit with their eyes closed and offer a silent prayer. As is our custom we went around and placed our hands on each person’s head and said a prayer for them.
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This was a large group, so Barry and I split the room in half. Our friend Charley Thweatt was playing his guitar and singing one of his beautiful meditation songs. I finished before Barry and went to sit next to Charley while he continued to sing and play his guitar.
Being So Very Blessed
Across the room, Barry was still tenderly placing his hands on someone’s head and saying a prayer. I closed my eyes and as I did so I distinctly felt a physical hand upon my head and felt that I was being blessed in prayer. It was the most wonderful experience and lasted perhaps five seconds. When the hand lifted off my head, I opened my eyes wondering how Barry could have possibly come to me so quickly. To my amazement, he was still far away standing over the same person. It was clearly not Barry who touched me.
When Charley finished singing I asked him if he had touched me on the top of my head. He looked at me like I was asking the impossible. “How could I have put my hand on your head while I was playing my guitar?”
“Did you see anyone Charley?” He raised one eyebrow and answered, “No, there was no one there. What are you talking about?”
I sat for a moment in awe. I was physically touched on my head in the most loving way by an unseen presence. For perhaps 30 years I have been imagining a hand upon my head and for the first time I actually felt a physical presence touching me. My immediate thought was, “It is real!! We really truly are loved and watched over! This is not just something of our imagination.”
This has been such a deep reminder to me that we are so loved and cared for. We may not see this love or even be aware of its presence, but we are loved nevertheless.
The Touch of Tenderness and Unconditional Love
When you have an opportunity to sit quietly and undisturbed for a few minutes close your eyes and imagine a hand upon your head. Imagine that this hand is touching you with a tenderness and unconditional love, like the most loving mother or father you could ever imagine.
Then imagine that this presence of love is also whispering in your ears telling you how precious you are. This loving presence does not dwell on our weakness and mistakes, but sees the beauty that is within us.
This presence of love has been with us from the beginning and will be with us always. If we can even realize only a small fraction of this great love for us, then indeed our lives will be blessed as will all of our relationships.
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Book by Joyce & Barry Vissell:
The Heart's Wisdom: A Practical Guide to Growing Through Love
by Joyce Vissell and Barry Vissell.
About the Author(s)
Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors near Santa Cruz, CA. They are widely regarded as among the world's top experts on conscious relationship and personal growth. They are the authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk To Be Healed, The Heart’s Wisdom, Meant To Be, and A Mother’s Final Gift.
Here are a few opportunities to bring more love and growth into your life, at the following events led by Barry and Joyce Vissell: Jul 21-26, 2019 — Shared Heart Summer Retreat at Breitenbush Hot Springs, OR; Sep 24-30, 2019 — Assisi Retreat, Italy; and Jun 7-14, 2020 — Shared Heart Alaska Cruise For further information on counseling sessions by phone or in person, their books, recordings or their schedule of talks and workshops. Visit their web site at SharedHeart.org.
Two Recent Books (2018) by the Vissells:
To Really Love a Woman
by Barry and Joyce Vissell.
How does a woman really need to be loved? How can her partner help to bring out her deepest passion, her sensuality, her creativity, her dreams, her joy, and at the same time allow her to feel safe, accepted and appreciated? This book gives tools to the readers to more deeply honor their partners. Although these writings refer mostly to heterosexual women and men, there is a wealth of information for LGBTQ. Our focus, after all, is how to deeply love another person, whether it be a man or a woman.
To Really Love a Man
by Joyce and Barry Vissell.
How does a man really need to be loved? How can his partner help to bring out his sensitivity, his emotions, his strength, his fire, and at the same time allow him to feel respected, secure, and acknowledged? This book gives tools to the readers to more deeply honor their partners. Although these writings refer mostly to heterosexual women and men, there is a wealth of information for LGBTQ. Our focus, after all, is how to deeply love another person, whether it be a man or a woman.
Listen to a radio interview with Joyce and Barry Vissell on "Relationship as Conscious Path".