Listen Attentively

I lost hearing in my right ear the summer of 2015. It happened like a giant boom in my head. I woke up with static and then it felt like an explosion. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t sting. It just felt like nothing was coming in. A doctor checked it out and suggested drops. There was no permanent damage. I feel I just stopped listening to things that were happening around me. I started to tune out and it became permanent.

Throughout the last few years I’ve had moments when I felt sensations. I’ve had energy work done to it and sound has started to move through in those moments. I don’t really pay attention to it until someone is mumbling, or they speak really low, or they aren’t in front of me so I can read their lips. That’s when I realize that the sound is being muffled.

My hearing came back this past April while climbing Machu Picchu in Peru. But I am still well aware and grateful for all that my lack of hearing taught me.

I have learned to listen attentively. I’ve always listened to silence so this is not unusual. Because, I feel, more than I hear, the listening part doesn’t affect me. However, sometimes I really really really want to get lost in a conversation and if there are too many voices going on at once I zone out because one ear cannot hold onto everything at once. In order to really listen I must be present.

This is with everything in our lives. It isn’t just about listening or hearing. It’s also about seeing, smelling, and tasting. I live in a world of words, and when I cannot decipher what is being said, I get frustrated. When I ask someone to repeat themselves sometimes the message gets tangled because that person is now frustrated for having to say it again. My left ear had to compensate for really hearing all sounds but it also started to lose some of its power. It now takes all of me to be present when someone is speaking to me and I want to hear every syllable…because what is being said is important.

This was a huge gift in my life. Now, being able to hear with both ears I am aware of how precious the lessons were for me.

Being attentive is an art I learned through the small challenge. I had to partake completely rather than multitask. I had to be in complete focus to hear the things said and those that escape the ears. Losing my hearing was such a gift. It has allowed me to stop everything else around me in order to see, feel, and digest what is being said. It has also magnified other senses around me to make up for loss. This has been magnificent.

I urge you to be present when another is speaking. And if I, or anyone else, asks that you repeat yourself please be patient. The moment someone who can’t hear feels another person’s frustration everything shuts down. I get embarrassed often when someone shows me their frustration for repetition, so I’ve learned to nod and smile rather than continue asking. Somethings get lost in that translation.

Listen with your heart…and the ears never need to find sound. These days I am listening with my emotions rather than anything else. Even in your silence I can decipher what you are feeling…so if I hold your hand for no reason it is because my heart feels you and hears your aches. It’s in those intimate moments when you are near me that I can truly see your words in the language of love. I love you. ~m.a.p.

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Compassionate Tribe

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I read somewhere long ago that there is a tribe in Africa who shows tremendous compassion and support for one another. When someone commits a mistake or a wrongdoing they don’t judge or bring them down. They don’t punish their tribe member for what they did. They stop everything that one day and they gather around that person. And, one by one they lift that soul who has been broken with loving words. They tell that person, sharing with kindness while reminding them of their attributions and beautiful things. They enhance their greatness.

I don’t know if this story is true or not. It doesn’t matter. I feel that this is the way our society needs to be. We need to lift one another when we have fallen. We all live based on our past mistakes. We come down on ourselves and beat our self esteem to such low levels. To get support from your village, oh my! It’s hard enough to deal with our own judgment and self-criticism. It’s even more appalling when others are constantly seeing the flaws instead of our beauty. I want to live like this tribe. I want to raise another when they fall and they hurt. I want them to know that it’s okay to have hard life lessons. It’s not okay to stay there and live as a victim.

This is compassion at its fullest. This is community and true empathy. This is the world that I want to leave for my children and grandchildren. This is what we came here to do. No one cares about the political climate or religious beliefs. This is not about any of that. It’s about finding hope and kindness when we really need it. Remember that it’s wonderful to spend time with others when all is well. The hardest part of being with one another is when we are hurt and feel raw. We feel neglected and rejected. We wallow in the anger and negativity of how others see us. We need to be there for one another in vulnerability and in joy. Yes, yes, yes! This is how I want to be of service to another.

Imagine! Can you truly envision a world without judgment and criticism? A world that has joined together to lift one another?

I want to know that as I walk throughout this journey I can squeeze out laughter and love from as many people I can.

Join me in this venture!!!

Stories Connect Us

Our stories make us. As soon as we share them, each heartache or piece of joy, we begin to release and heal. We start to feel whole again because someone has acknowledged us, recognizing our history, and loving us for it. There is power in acceptance and awareness when it comes through our vulnerability.

Let’s have open ears for others. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the magic in another. Let’s feel each other through the silence. Let’s keep our hearts wide open as well without judgment, bigotry, or intolerance. We must see, hear, feel and taste love throughout our lives by truly being present with each other. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.

Our greatest teachers are the ones who challenge emotions, patience and understanding. We grow from their reflections.
Love transcends through every word, touch, and presence with another. It’s through those moments that we learn more about ourselves. It’s also then when we realize that we are not alone. Everyone goes through similar experiences.

You and I are connected here, out there and everywhere. It might not always be pretty but it is part of our human evolution.

Reach out to others today. Lend a smile, give a hug and share a sweet word. You might be the angel and lifeline that person needs at that very moment.

Make Playtime A Must

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Last weekend I led a workshop on releasing the inner child near Atlanta, Georgia. It’s taken me a week to process all the yumminess and deliciousness from the fantastic souls who came out to play. I have found that within these 7 days, things from my own childhood crept up and visited. I have enjoyed the reminders and memories and tended to some of the desires that have come up. That’s the beauty of joining with others, exchanging stories, sharing ideas, and memories. It takes some time to process your own answers. Because, let’s face it, the little child in us is always needing attention. We have a habit of shutting it down and repressing the playtime because we are adults with responsibilities. Who has time to run off and get toys to play? The answer is…there is always time. You MUST make the time!

I gave a sheet with some simple questions asking about childhood. One question was, “What toy did you always want and never got?” Even though I came up with the list of questions, I didn’t answer them ahead of time. I sat with these sweet ladies to answer them for the first time as well. And, to hear all the magical answers as we went around the room, was delightful. I never got my Barbie Dream House. But, here’s the thing, I’ve spent a lifetime buying houses and decorating them as my dream house. There was something incredible about the answers to the questions and who these souls have become. Others talked about the Easy-Bake Oven and how cooking, now, is a form of joy. I had forgotten some of the most wonderful toys way back then. We traveled back in time with those answers.  It was sweet and tender!

You don’t just let go of your inner child as you grow. That little girl or boy stays there accompanying the adult in you. If you don’t take time to play, laugh, and embrace the wondrous joys of childhood you will get lost in a maze of anger, resentment, and regrets. We have such a mystical source of magic available at all times: imagination. Our imagination creates, manifests, and transcends. We think only children have access to it. But, as adults we can create the most magnificent things with this form of consciousness. It’s only a thought away!  Albert Einstein said,

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

In a workshop, class setting, or session, there is one thing that clients need: to be heard. We all want to know that we matter. That starts from the moment we are born. Each time you are given the chance to participate in a group setting, you have the magic wand to show and re-create love, acceptance and awareness. These ladies answered questions that they had forgotten from childhood. They revisited a place of joy and sometimes not so loving. They recognized things that went lost, some great disappointments and the ability to see their journey and how they got to where they are now. They’ve survived. They endured. They loved. They cried. They returned to a place of simple times. And, they are able to recognize that the little girl in them is still desiring things: places to travel to, adventures, toys, joy and so much more.

We have the ability to return to the past with one thought. We do not have to stay there. We also have the ability to move forward and enjoy this very moment. Thoughts transport us anywhere we want. Memories are time machines. We visit them through old songs, places, smells, taste, and words.

You don’t have to attend a workshop to entertain your inner child and play. You can do this every day, or every week, by allowing the little child in you to go on play dates. Make a point to take her or him to a park, a movie, a hike, pick rocks from a creek, walk barefoot in dirt, make mud-pies, go to a toy store, etc. Wear your cowboy hat, the tutus, the crowns and join the fairies and other imaginary friends. If you didn’t get your toy back then, perhaps it’s time you go find it now. Buy it, build it, make it happen and you will see a happy soul taking flight. Do not, for one minute, think that you are too old to play. Age has no limit.

I am the happiest when I am dirty in a creek collecting heart-shaped rocks. This simple act of play is a form of grounding and collecting joy. I don’t know what works for you. For me it’s being in nature. My mother didn’t allow me to get dirty. If she saw me in dirt I was immediately pulled out and sent to bathe. At nearly a half a century young, you better believe that I take advantage of dirt as much as possible. Now you…go do the things that make your heart skip a beat. Be in the moment. Embrace the child in you and love it the way you would your own child. Be gentle and caring and available to listen to the whispers and the secrets.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

**Note: To all the beautiful ladies who came out to play, I thank you for allowing me to enter your past and present. I love you!

Angel Whispers

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Every second stories are created by us, for us, with us, and around us. This is life as we inhabit a small piece of real estate in the expanse universe. We are small in comparison to all that is out there. We live among other humans and borrow space from other realms, often times bleeding in and out of their communications. This morning was a perfect example.

I got up, nothing different from any other day. As I was putting on my make-up my husband entered the bathroom asking if he was to take our two-year old to the sitter or was I going to do it? I told him I would. He stared for a second, as I was applying my mascara. I stopped, turned to look at him and said, “Happy anniversary!” To which he asked, “How many do we have?”

I returned the answer, “As many as possible.” Today is actually three years from the day we met. He knows I celebrate anything I can qualify as an stepping stone and a mark in our lives: the first kiss, the first real date, etc. But, today is actually the day we met.

“Are you okay?” He asked with a concern look, his blue eyes holding on to something deeper than what he was seeing.

I stopped. The question halted me into acknowledging what I was feeling in my gut. Something was off and I was thinking before he entered to say goodbye that perhaps I should let work know I wasn’t coming in. For over an hour I had this inkling that didn’t feel right. I have felt this before but today I was willing to ignore it. “I am fine. Have a good day. See you later.”

“You sure?” He persisted with his own intuitive nature.

“Yep!” He kissed us girls and left.

I took just a tad longer to get on the road. I was getting ready to get on the expressway when the car in front of me stopped on a screeching halt, me almost hitting it and the car behind me missing me by a hair. We were all going about 45 MPH. A semi flipped in front of that first car (two cars in front of me) causing a giant accident, blocking the highway. And at that very moment I thought, “Okay, I will listen. I will go home after this is cleared up. I now understand. Thank you!”

Our guides will provide a small nudge when they want us to be safe. If we don’t listen, they will provide a whisper. We can continue choosing to ignore it. Eventually their nudging turns into a scream. It did today. I was too busy having a life to pay attention to that gut feeling that warns me. I know better than this. I can decipher that feeling. The thought came into my mind, “Do not go to work today. Work from home.” I ignored it. And…yet…I was two seconds late for what could have been me under that semi because I chose to drop our little girl off at the sitters. No one was hurt. To me it was a warning flash, and a real crash to stop whatever thought I had about being away from home today. I don’t need to know why I needed to be home. I trust in the highest form of guidance without having to question this.

Stories…. Stories create our psyche, our perceptions, and our lives. I am molded by yours, hers, his, theirs, and mine. The irony of all this is that as I was taking that turn to get on the highway I had one thought, “How much has my life changed in just three years. I don’t know what will happen in three more….” Stop! That incident stopped the chatter. It stopped the thoughts from everything. I don’t need to know anything.  I just need to trust.  I need to continue walking on faith.  I need to allow my intuition to lead. Gratitude took over. My body received the sweet goosebumps and chills that come from my guides when I am being touched.

I share this not because of what could have happened or didn’t happen. That’s all irrelevant. I share because we need to remember that in this world there are things that cannot be explained. Listen to that small voice within you that whispers truth. Pay attention to signs and synchronicity. Acknowledge the changes in your body and how you react to sudden temperatures. Are the lights or electronics going nutty?  (The radio this morning turned off twice in my car.  No reason whatsoever…and yet I dismissed that too). When you hear that high pitch sound in your ear, that’s something above and beyond this consciousness. You are never ever alone. Even the most in-tune person can discard the messages because we are human trying to survive life. Please! Let those whispers from the Divine and guidance lead the way. You got this. Listen closely! You are always loved and cared for…and you are never alone.  Sparkle on….love and light always!