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The Bliss Mistress: Treasure Chest

by Edie Weinstein


Last week, while sitting with a group of teens who are in recovery from addiction, I offered them an opportunity to do an exercise in which they would explore what mattered to them. I broke out a well-worn box of Crayola crayons and gave them clip boards with 8 ½ x 11 sheets of white paper. The assignment was to use as many different crayons as they wanted to create a treasure chest. Around it and in it, they were to draw images and/or write words that emphasized what they valued. For about 10 minutes, silence reigned in a room that is usually abuzz with teen chatter. When they were finished, we played Show and Tell as they proudly displayed their creations.

What I noticed, was that all of them had only used one color crayon each, all of the treasure chests were small, rather than taking up a large portion of the sheet, closed and with locks on them, most had written words, rather than images and nearly all of them said they valued family and friends as well as their own morals and control of their lives. Ironically, what they say matters most is what is put at huge risk by using drugs and alcohol. I then asked him what it would take to guard their treasure. One young woman drew a cartoony looking dragon with spikes. I encouraged all of them to protect their treasures with their sobriety.

In my own life, I have a huge box from which gifts and treasures come spilling out. It would have taken up the entire page and I would have used a handful of crayons and then gone back for more. I visualize Ali Baba’s cave with sparkling jewels, gold coins and rarities of all sorts that represent the people, experiences and memories that fill my heart and mind. They take the form of family and friends who have been by my side for decades or days. With very few exceptions, they have been positive influences and have showered me with loving support. Even those whose words have stung and whose perceived rejection have stuck around for too long, have been valued teachers of what I no longer accept in my world.

If I were to sit in the cave and pore through the items, what would appear would be images that represent creativity, music, writing, dancing, love, communication, nature, healthy touch, spirituality, home, ancestors, meditation, yoga, intuition, psychic abilities, beauty, as well as kinship with all living beings.

What I wish for these kiddos and for all of us, is that we expand our definition of what we allow ourselves to receive, that we are generous with our gifts, that we find within the unlatched box, another essential item…a mirror, so that we can view within it, the face of the Divine; the ultimate treasure.

Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a colorfully creative journalist, dynamic motivational speaker, interfaith minister, licensed social worker, PR Goddess, Cosmic Concierge, radio host (It’s All About Relationships www.vividlife.me), BLISS Coach and the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary. www.liveinjoy.org


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