A Shift in Perception

There is old Zen story that a blogging friend once shared with me about a farmer whose only horse gets out of the barn and runs away. To most people this would be considered bad news and would be judged very negatively because the horse was a pivotal part of the farmers’ financial life. But, a few days later the horse returned with a wild horse. They had bonded and now the farmer had two horses. This was the good news and could be perceived and judged with optimism.

The farmer asked his only son to train this wild horse. In the process the boy was thrown off and broke his leg. Once again this was an unfortunate encounter that was judged negatively.

A few more days went by and the King’s brigade came to the man’s farm to recruit the young boy for a battle against an invading nation in which he probably would have been killed. Because the boy had broken his leg they did not take him. This was great news!

This story shows how we cannot predict the future. Often times, results in a changed judgment or a point of view can alter a moment from suffering into a moment of beneficial consequences. Life is made easier when we shift our perception from negative thoughts to positive ones!

I share this story because lately I find myself experiencing some negative setbacks, to then (in a miraculous turn of events) turning out to be the hand of Grace watching out for me in the future. I love a famous quote by Marilyn Monroe, “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Allow the Divine to guide you. Don’t get stagnated on a negative perception. Allow positive thoughts to carry you into a healthy perception. You might never know what is around the corner!

Mucho Love…M.A.P.

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Heartfelt Words

It is deeply touching to read the messages and emails from so many about my encounters with others. I thank you for sharing your thoughts and vulnerability with me. I had many in my email inbox that I hadn’t read in a little bit so forgive me for not getting back to you to acknowledge your story. You continue to inspire me to share stories. I wonder why we are touched by other encounters? Why are we moved to tears or laughter reading about strangers? Why do some stories touch the essence of our hearts? I feel it’s the connections. It is the comfort in knowing someone else is experiencing what we have endured or have witnessed with full heart and pain….Or in cases of joy…full love and laughter. We relate because we feel less alone. Someone else is experiencing what we’ve lived through. We feel the collective of consciousness and heart. We somehow, magically, feel the unity of it all.

Your own sense of comfort and vulnerability touches me to the core of my spirit. I get to read some intimate journeys, life lessons, experiences and dreams. I get to selfishly feel the presence of humanity through your words and collect them for myself. I marvel at the stories that reach from all levels and corners of the world.

I am a story tender. My love for words is endless. But what truly keeps me in constant observation for the next story is the fragility of humanity. We are laughter. We are loss, grief and shame. We are joy. We are strength and fear, courage and perseverance. We are faith, hope and belief. We are kindness and compassion. We are magical and amazing creatures. Ultimately, we are the most yummilicious compilation of love and connection.

I get to truly feel, touch, see, taste and hear through someone else’s sharing. So…Keep sharing. Keep inspiring me to collect and write what most of the world doesn’t take time to pay attention to. Because…because we have been programmed to look down instead of around us for love and truth.

I love you….Millie

A Coffee Shop and a Story

Sometimes in the middle of having my own space among others in the world I get to partake in their world. Unknowingly, I get to experience a bit of their stories: past and present. I was sitting in a coffee shop enjoying a delicious java and people watching when a middle-aged couple sat behind me. It was loud in the shop but eventually the conversation became so intimate that I felt I was part of their world:

She: “No matter where or with whom you will always be the one. You have always been my one and only…(she took a deep inhale while her voice shook)…for almost thirty years. You…you…you have been my constant lifeguard but now life has twisted and turned and timing has truly played a nasty joke on us both. I love you (she whispered these words with such intensity sounding out every syllable). You are home and will always be home no matter where I am…”

Silence embraced them for a bit and then….

He: “I have loved you forever…and, this is why I will always leave a light on so you can find your way back home to me.”

My eyes watered. I had to stop listening. I felt like I was witnessing a massive heartbreak and I understand first hand that this is not something that needs sharing…so I got up and left. I got up holding my own heart, cradling the vulnerability of those two souls in my own cup of coffee. I left feeling their love and their loss simultaneously.

As I was leaving I looked back and saw them sitting in silence while she had put on sunglasses. I am certain it was to hide the endless tears that flooded with his words. He was staring towards the street and, she, into her coffee cup.

What was the story behind the words? How long has he been a home away from her? We get this life and regrets pile up and sit with anger for decades if we allow them. I walked out with several questions and with the deep awareness of how tender love is…regardless of the person or distance. We consist of zillions of thoughts and emotions. Sometimes they become a part of someone else’s her/history. And, in those instances I recall my own versions, past, lessons and the missing parts that will forever make the sum of my own existence. We are all connected…leaving a light on for guidance and love! Sometimes we just need to witness others to appreciate what you have.

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Our Elders

I’ve spent some time this week with a sweet client who is transitioning. She’s 96. She’s out lived everyone. Her dementia is extremely advanced. She doesn’t know who I am but she always receives me with such kindness. To her I am her “favorite nurse” or someone from her church. Today she asked me to leave after a little bit. She explained that she was tired and needed to sleep. She needed privacy.

Lately, that’s all she does while hospice is making her comfortable. She let me kiss and love on her for a second. And then asked who I was again and before I could answer she remembered that I was her favorite nurse. I sat on her bed. I listened to her breathing. I silently gave her permission to go on while shining some light.

Elders are some of my favorite people. They force me to be in the moment with them. They are full of wisdom and advice that is endless. They aren’t looking for anything but the recognition of being seen. They don’t care about phones or technology. They want the intimacy of human touch and energy.

I left, closing her door, not knowing if that goodbye would be the last. Each soul teaches us something. Every one has a responsibility of showing up and changing the world. Today her goodbye reminded me of the frailties is living.

Life is Short

Life is too short to worry about the things that have little importance. At the end of your journey you will ask yourself, “Why didn’t I play more, why didn’t I love deeper, why did I work so damn hard to make a living when I could have been making a life?” You will ask yourself questions that bring a bit of sadness…because life is to be lived in such a way that there are no regrets. This is a magnificent visual. This is the AWEsomeness of it all. Let your heart take you to the places of joy. If it means jumping off a dock then do it. If it means coloring your hair blue…do it. If it means getting a tattoo at middle age, well you earned it. Life is the sum of your experiences so make them count for your highest form of love, joy and gratitude. For so many living within rules and regulations keeps them full of anger and resentment. Desires and dreams are kept with regrets. Nope! Don’t let them. Get out there and do those things that bring you joy. Have a blessed day and go do something that your spirit will thank you for with all its essence.

Touched By An Angel

This afternoon while visiting a facility and my favorite elderly man, an angel showed up.

I was walking to the nurse’s station when an elderly woman in a wheelchair said “hello.” I touched her hand and asked, “How are you, darling?” I had never seen her before.

She answered giggling, “Not bad for an old lady!”

Squeezing her soft hand I commented, “Not bad for being alive.”

She let go and I continued my rounds. As I was heading out the long hall to the entrance, she was waiting for me. She had wheeled herself around the facility following me.

“Hey, what’s your name, beautiful?” She asked.

I knelt to eye level. “I’m Millie.” She couldn’t get it after five tries.

“Do you have another name?” She asked.

“Sparkles.”

“Yes, cause your eyes sparkle. My name is Vera.”

I kissed her cheeks. Then something unexpected happened as I stared into Vera’s eyes: Clarity… surrounded through the presence of Divine guidance.

“Do you have regrets, Sparkles?”

“I don’t believe in them. I don’t!” I

shared this with a giant smile. I said it with pride.

Immediately she continued, “Now, Sparkles, just because you don’t believe in them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Life has a way of catching up with regrets in here. My husband placed me in this new home….” She shared a lot of intimate details. I listened for a bit. Her saga was important to hear. Her legacy needed acknowledgement. My heart needed these lessons. And just like that she stopped and stared into my eyes. She shared what happens to regrets when they fester throughout a lifetime. They catch up even if you don’t believe in them. At the end of your life there is plenty to tally. Regrets for love or lack of love; not clearing out discords; not traveling or doing things you love. She had a list.

“Are you married, young one?”

“I am.”

“Is he a good man? A loving man? Do you go to bed appreciating the simple things?” She asked other deep rooted questions that required some processing.

I answered with yeses and loving thoughts. I answered in all honesty and to the best of my ability. She was glad to hear that I was loved and appreciated.

This last week I encountered deep-seated emotions based on love and acceptance of the past. Every single question she asked was like a therapist investigating the core beliefs and old programming. Vera was an instant source of confirmation, consciously providing an inkling of guidance. It was perfect timing in the most unexpected of ways.

“Vera, thank you. Thank you for your presence in my life today!” I kissed and hugged her tightly.

“I’m watching you, dear child. I’m keeping a close eye on you….”

I walked to my car holding it professional together but once in my little Kia Soul I lost my emotions.

In ten minutes, or so, the angel dug deep with many questions. Questions I ponder about life and love. As if she truly had been watching me forever, she answered with simple Divine guidance.

I don’t know if Vera actually resides there. It will be interesting to visit with her again. If she is indeed a patient or an angel in disguise.

Be open and willing to entertain the messengers. They come in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. And when they show up be willing to open your heart completely and allow for the healing to take place.