I went to see a client at a facility today and bumped into this yummy little lady. She was in the next room. She was all packed up to leave. I asked her if she was okay. She said she was sad that she was leaving the rehab center. I kissed her hand and then left to see my client. On the way out she was still sitting by the hall so I got on my knees, to eye level, and asked her if she needed anything? She said she was not sure. We spoke a bit. She told me she is 79 years young. I noticed her gorgeous green eyes and told her they were beautiful. She is absolutely lovely. I kissed her cheeks and I left to a meeting at the facility. The entire time I was in the meeting I kept thinking of Judith. I could not get her out of my mind. So when I got out I went back to her room.
“What happened to you that landed you here?” I asked.
“I had a heart attack. I’ve had several. I’ve had other medical issues.” She answered softly and with complete clarity.
“What broke your heart?” She looked at me and gasped. I could see her breathing. I could see the sadness in all of her. “Judith, you do not owe me an explanation. I just want you to be aware that your heart attack is due to a major broken heart. I want you to know that I see you. I feel you. We might not cross paths again but I see you, darling.”
She began to shed tears. I held her in my arms as she softly let the sighs. I felt her heart break again and again a hundred times and the scars resurface. Then I whispered in her ear that she was loved…that all her heart break has allowed for divine light to come in and fill it with hope and faith.
I’ve been hugged a lot in this lifetime…today Judith embraced me in a way that I felt my heart open up and swallow her whole. I felt the oneness of all the frailties in the world in that hug. I felt the deepest despair and the largest connection of gratitude.
Today, this green-eye beauty allowed me to witness vulnerability on a different level: the marriage of love and surrender. My heart feels it immensely. ~m.a.p.
We Are the Core of Humanity
I was coming out of Trader Joe’s this morning and putting the cart back in the parking lot area when an elderly lady was struggling to take one out. She could barely keep herself up. I took mine to her and said, “Here, ma’am, you can have mine.” I helped her get her empty bags and belongings in it. She looked up at me with such a shocking expression.
“Thank you,” she kindly said. To which I said, “No problem.”
“These days, at 85, I am invisible.” Tears formed in her eyes. And, I thought to myself, “It’s only a cart, not a million dollars…!” I told her that she wasn’t invisible. She stood there with such gratitude that I got a bit weepy. I was taken aback. Are we, as a society, that self-absorbed that we don’t see the joy in giving a simple supermarket cart to an elderly person? Well, of course, that moment opened up conversation for sweet Margaret and I. We stood there sharing what kindness is in this world and how it’s truly missing from so many. We hugged. She rolled herself into the store and I got into my car. Then it hit me like a giant freight train. Her word, “invisible” was exactly what I needed in order to release my own truth. I was transported back to a memory that I had forgotten.
Fifteen years ago I had a traumatic brain injury that to this day is still present. I was 33 years old. I woke alone in a park around midnight, with blood draining from my forehead, hands, and knees. I had a huge blot clot on the back of my head. I woke up thinking I was 19 years old. When I was finally taken by police and ambulance to the nearest hospital I was in and out of consciousness. As the next day developed I didn’t recognize any of my six children or my ex-mate at the time. I didn’t recognize anything from 2001. I was stuck in 1989. After 24 hours of scans, questions, spinal tap and other intrusive testings I was placed in room to heal and wait for the results of all the exams. They truly didn’t know the cause of my accident or what to do with me. I was stuck and felt invisible.
That night, I woke to go to the bathroom. Until that moment I hadn’t looked in the mirror. I still believed that I was 19 and I was being lied to…some conspiracy theory. It was like an episode from The Twilight Zone. No one believed me…not one person could understand how I ended up with such severe head trauma without memory. I saw my reflection and lost it in that bathroom. It’s bad enough that the lighting is atrocious but to see the aging from a teenage girl to a woman was devastating. To see scars and scratches and everything that was not there before was overwhelming.
I returned to bed and sobbed. I kept pulling on my IV as if that was the only lifeline available. I wanted someone to just point me into the right direction. I feared everything that night. I wanted to understand what had happened and how I was going to handle this new life…
…because, I knew I would be sent with total strangers to a home that wasn’t mine. Because I was not able to understand why I was at a park alone in the middle of the night. Because I had a new mate who was way older than me and not the husband that I had at 19. Because, because, because this was total shit and I was angry that I could not make heads or tails of this life that others insisted I was part of. Because, let’s face it you don’t know how strong you are until you have to use your strength to survive.
Shortly thereafter, a bodacious gorgeous black nurse entered my room. She checked my vitals. She held my hand while I sobbed. Then she grabbed a chair and sat next to me. She had a Jamaican accent. She was lovely. Her name tag said, “Cinthya” which I found endearing because of the spelling.
Cinthya sat with me for a long while. She asked questions. She let me cry and be completely raw. She told me things. These things have stayed with me over 15 years. She said that things happen every single day to push us to grow. I asked her what this particular event in my life was suppose to teach me? Cinthya stared into my eyes with her huge black gorgeousness and clearly said to me, “You will find the reason for it one day. You are not invisible so stop acting like you are. You have an opportunity to touch the world with compassion. And, even though you have not been shown compassion during the last 35 hours of this incident, I promise you that you will take this experience and pay it forward. You will have no choice but to live from your truth.” She showed me such compassion. And, eventually I fell asleep and Cinthya left.
In the morning I asked the other nurse to please ask Cinthya to come say goodbye before her shift was over. She assured me that there was no one with that name on that floor. She and two other nurses were the only ones working my room that night. I insisted that this woman had visited me. I even pointed to the chair drawn closer to the bed. The nurse, again, suggested that perhaps I had dreamed it because there was, “No one here during night, plus visiting hours stopped earlier in the evening.”
Now, folks, I might have dreamed that an angel came to console me. I might have been delusional with all the meds pumped for the pain in the body and my spinal tap. I don’t know. I don’t care because I lived that moment from a place of truth and compassion. But, what I do know is that someone took that chair and moved it closer to me. Some magnificent woman shared divine wisdom about grace, forgiveness, and how we are all here to love and change the world. She was pure love and I promised myself that I would always be open to every single experience that came my way, especially if I never got my memory back. To this day, I have lost a tremendous chunk of memories from when my children were young. But I also know that those experiences are somewhere in my cellular memories.
Today, Margaret reminded me of how we are failing in our compassion and kindness departments. We love to look out into the world and pretend that we can make a difference by wanting to do things “out there” when we need things in our own backyards. We forget that every single freaking day we get an opportunity to touch another. I am so grateful that on a daily basis I can experience it…one way or another.
When an elderly woman breaks over handing a shopping cart, there has to be something that we can learn from her. We are here to serve society with kindness and gratitude. I had just dropped off a huge car load of clothes and bedding to an abuse/battered women shelter before going to the supermarket. I was in full speed raw vulnerability and open to such gratitude for all that I have. I lead a charmed life. Margaret reminded me of such powerful acceptance and awareness. We are in this together.
Get your butts out there and help the elderly, the homeless, the children, and the neighbors in your area. They won’t ask for help. Your only job in this lifetime is to be kind and love. Pay it forward…you never know when your life can be altered in a second. Happy holidays and remember what this season is really about: LOVE!
I love you!!! You are NOT invisible. I see you. I feel you. I am connected to you.
I get home from work and begin making dinner when my 20-year-old daughter informs me that there is a leak in the living room. I go into the living room and she explains that while waiting for her laundry to be done that she was sitting watching television when two drops of water fell from the ceiling. I ask her if maybe it was our Great Dane drooling on her arm. She laughs and says, “No, Mom! The dog was on the floor asleep. You seriously think I wouldn’t notice it was the dog?”
“Okay, turn on the lights and show me where you were sitting.” I stand in the middle of the room searching for water stains. I see nothing on the ceiling. It’s been raining non-stop and I don’t see any sign of leaking anywhere, thank God.
“Mom, I swear! It was two drops right here on my arm.” She extends her arm as if hours later the water marks were still tattooed on her skin.
I walk away, stop and turn. “Baby, you know angels are known to shed tears that fall from the heavens.” I say this completely in truth without sarcasm. I mean…I said it without an ounce of logical thought processing. To me it was a rational explanation.
She looks at me…wearing a look of confusion and sarcasm and says, “Mom! You do know I am not six anymore?”
I turn around and go back to making dinner. As I said the comment I didn’t realize how truly juvenile and exaggerated it sounded. I was in my moment! I gave an answer without filtering it…without truly thinking about how ridiculous it sounded because, to be honest, I believe in the magic of angels. I could have said it was the unicorn urinating as it was flying above her. I would not have been surprised if that came out of my mouth as well. I live in a constant state of awesomeness while things happen that have no logical explanation. And, in that world I don’t think before I speak!
We become what we believe. We believe in the power of endless possibilities and therefore anything is possible in the world. Why not angel tears? Why not a unicorn kiss? Why not fairy dust sliding down her arm? Why not? In a world governed by rationale and preconceived notions why not believe in the unbelievable? Why are children the only ones who believe? Perhaps because they haven’t been taught to believe otherwise. You don’t need proof…you just need to believe. Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. Things do manifest from the most unusual of places just to get our attention. It’s magical, mystical and pure enchantment!
I hear heartbeats pounding on the bed,
against the floor,
through a thousand pillows separating
the cold from body warmth.
I hear you dreaming,
completing yet another concrete brick
somewhere in that analytical brain full of puzzles.
I hear the wind shifting,
swirling erratically through leaves, chimes, and
the water hitting the shore against the land.
I hear my brain shifting through consciousness
trying to make sense of things
that at 3 AM I cannot fix.
I hear my cells duplicating, expanding,
moving though the ocean of water inside.
I hear love entering from afar,
snoring in another dimension,
wishing I was there to witness the entrance
to life without judgment before and after birth.
I hear the whispering of the walls,
ancestors from here and there,
the universe, and my guides
while I can’t make sense of the voices
I sit quietly anticipating an answer
to all those things that in waking hours
do not ask questions.
But, through the witching hours
the noises of the galaxies all join forces
in our room…
while all I can do is reach out to you
to find support, grounding, and love.
Simplicity in All
Sometimes you find that one soul who shows you a piece of yourself you did not know was even there. This person can come in for a moment but the impact can last a lifetime. At times their entrance into your life needs no words, just a glance, a gesture, or a slight touch. Just having them come into your existence is enough to make you realize what happiness really is inside. Life is all about the simplicities and the grace of our unions.
I can recall moments of people who have appeared as angels into my space when I wasn’t having a good day. This has been in a check-out line, at a red light, on an isle in a store, passing by in a park, trekking up a mountain hike, or just entering our place to look at the pond. The energy in their eyes or in their silence has spoken volumes. These lapses in time make me aware of our interconnection with each other. We are all small threads weaving in and out of a giant quilt. We are all different colors, textures, and composition. Each interweaving in the fabric allows a degree of separation, but we are all connected by the giant cloth of Divinity.
I was at a store in Downtown Asheville this morning. I needed to get down from the mountain, be with civilization, get my Starbucks chai latte, and buy some candles (which is one of my favorite vices). While in the isle an older woman walked by, saw the array of colors and smells in the cart, looked up at me and gave me the biggest smile, while raising her eyebrows. I had ten different sizes and colors lined up by smells. In that moment we laughed when she exchanged a look like, “Girl, are you expecting a power outage?” In our silence, with huge smiles, we had a connection. She went on to another isle. I continued my smelling routine of checking every autumn candle on sale. As I was paying I saw she went back to the candles and picked some of the same ones that I got. It took one moment, a few seconds, to see how happy those fragrant candles made me. I am always giddy when I get anything with comforting smells for the house. Happiness is contagious. Her presence filled me with joy, and I hope that in my excitement she also filled with the indulgence of delight.
We tend to constantly hold our breaths when we are running around doing errands. Unfortunately, we are so involved in our own minds that we forget to notice the existence of another in our realm. With technology at our fingertips we tend to interact with the gadgets easier than with a live person. It is impossible to know when that one angel or person will enter our space. I bet that if you think back you can truly remember many times when a child smiled at you from a shopping cart at a store. Their laughter was so contagious that you found yourself laughing back. And, those seconds are precious. They are magical. Whether it is from a handsome man, an elderly woman, or a child, the energy exchanged is God-like at its simplest form. Never take these moments of sheer joy for granted. They remind us that life is sweet, kind, and beautiful. Just like my candles, let the simplicity light up your day.
Much love and light to all!
The other day we took my recent-high-school-graduate daughter to lunch to celebrate her wonderful milestone. As we were sitting waiting on our waiter I mentioned to Matt that after all these years I think I would be a good waitress. I would talk to everyone. Here’s the conversation:
Matt: You would be amazing. You would make more money than anyone else, except no one would get what they ordered.
Me: What are you talking about? I wouldn’t screw up an order.
Matt: Nope. They would order a burger and you would come out with a healthy salad saying something like, “Your dead grandmother is standing here telling me that you have high cholesterol and will die just like her if you don’t start eating right. So, here is your salad.”
Me laughing and shaking my head: I would not do that.
Matt: Yes, you would. It would be like eating at Karma Café. You don’t get what you order. You get what you deserve.
Me still laughing: Nope.
Matt: And, then when they order dessert you would proceed to give them the other insightful messages that their dead person had for them.
I am always fascinated by the way people perceive me, even my loved ones. Well, especially my loved ones! I try desperately not to intrude or give messages to those who are not ready for them. I am often bombarded with messages and if the person is not ready to hear I will not proceed. I have learned my lesson (and continue to do so) with folks who can’t handle the communication from beyond. Add differences in belief, stigma, and judgment and I go on lock down. There’s also the small issue of translation. Entities sometimes don’t speak. They show up with some symbol, item or gesture. I have no clue what that could mean. But, the funny thing is that if, for example, I see Kleenexes around them there is a reason for that. When I relate the message it makes complete sense to the receiver. I stopped trying to make sense of the things I feel, hear or see because it can leave me feeling mentally challenged.
Perhaps, I might not make a good waitress after all. I’m ultra sensitive and the energy around that many people would wig me out. I would definitely not change their orders as Matt pointed out to me. I am not in charge of Karma Café. You have your own destiny to make. And, that’s something every person must go through on their own!
Impatience is Ego’s Sidekick
Standing at the checkout counter in the supermarket I noticed the older gentleman behind me had less items than me. I asked him to move ahead of the line. He said it wasn’t that much of a difference. He had to wait regardless since the gentleman before me had a lot. And this began our conversation:
Man: I have to learn to acquire patience. This is a good opportunity.
Me, emptying out my cart: Yeah, me too! I have very little.
Man: I want things done yesterday. I guess it’s a lifetime of learning.
Me nodding in agreement: Boy, do I know it!
Man: I once asked my Pastor how I could learn to be more patient and he said to continue asking God. The more I ask God the more tribulations He would place in my path to learn to acquire patience.
Me: Heck, I’m gonna stop asking for patience. I don’t need any more tribulations!
We both laughed. I checked out and said my goodbye.
I walked to the car remembering a similar movie line from Evan Almighty when God (played by Morgan Freeman) says to Evan’s wife, “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”
I needed the reminder. I needed to accept that the more I ask for patience the bigger the opportunity to be patient. I have decided to let the chips fall in place. I don’t require things yesterday. I won’t require them right now. I must remember that everything happens in perfect timing. Impatience is the ego’s sidekick. It will twist and turn to get you in trouble like a spoiled child. We place timing and expectations in matters that are out of our control. I am famous for these moments of expectations. I can honestly admit that patience is not a virtue in my personality. It is also the one of things I dislike in others. We project the characteristics that are disliked in other people as we cannot accept them in ourselves.
As I was loading the car with the groceries the gentleman passed by and thanked me. I turned and smiled thanking him. He had been the catalyst to appreciate the lesson for the day. Letting go and surrendering to the Divine is a lot easier when synchronicity is present. The moment he waved I realized I had met a little angel to answer the day’s concerns. Don’t you love when that happens?