Dancing in Heaven

Yesterday I called my deceased client’s son to inform him of his mother’s passing. He wanted nothing to do with her. She had not been a good mother. He had been very apprehensive and verbal about his feelings of wanting nothing to do with her.

We spoke about her passing, her last weeks, the care Hospice provided for her. I told him how much his mother changed my life. He couldn’t grasp it. I explained, through tears, that his mom made me believe in the shift of humanity. He stayed quiet. He never saw his mother as humane. I told him that I believe we all have the conscious choice to change even in a dying bed.

I asked him to keep an open mind and hear my story, the journey from beginning to end with her. He heard me, carefully taking in the small details of forgiveness and letting go. He heard my story of the hospital visits, the sitting with her and asking to let go of the past. He asked if she mentioned him. I told him that she did many times. He cried. I wish I had been in front of him to hold him, allow him to truly feel the feels of it all.

At the end of our conversation we both sobbed on the phone. He thanked me for loving his mother. In spite of her being a challenge she was a tremendous teacher of accepting and forgiveness. She allowed me to love her without rejecting the harshest of energies.

Today he called me back. He said that through my stories he felt he met another woman who could have been his mother. He told me he shared with his father who is in his mid nineties. His father couldn’t believe the stories. And this happens when we’ve experienced a completely different life. It’s well expected! We live through the lens of our perception. There is no point of reference for them to experience her change.

But…she now touched not just me, but her only son and ex-husband. She touched the folks in the facility. She touched the nurses in hospice and several volunteers. She had evolved into something miraculous in transformation.

She asked me on several occasions about death and what happens when you take your last breath. I answered her to the best of my experience, but is my experience and not hers. I am sure that she released all she needed to let go. By the time she reached that other realm she had evolved into a divine soul. I can imagine her dancing in heaven.

I’ve been so blessed. I keep being gifted the opportunities to be with these souls right around the time they need to transition. To hear their stories, have their hearts connect with mine, and feel love without ego…I cannot imagine anything more intimate.

Do not give up on love. The toughest to love are usually the ones who need it the most. You do not have to do anything but send them loving energy. We don’t have to enable them. We don’t have to accept abuse. We don’t have to allow hurt. We can set healthy boundaries. But, you have a responsibility to love and forgive in order to evolve into your greatness. Love them from here. Love them from there. Just love. Forgive. Let go. That’s all you need to do. Your life will be changed forever. ~m.a.p.

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Struggles…

Many years ago…12 to be exact…I was experiencing a struggle with my eldest daughter. She arrived into my life at the age of 11-1/2 from Romania. And with her came a lot of secrets and demons. She suffered from multiple personalities and deep wounds. There was no way to reach her regardless of all the love and security I provided. At the age of 18, finishing high school, she plotted to hurt me and some other family members. The heartache those days was immense. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced up to that moment in my life.

My son’s friend’s mother came over to get him one day. I shared my struggle through tears and heartbreak. She took me aside (a woman who truly didn’t know me that well even though our boys were super close) and she shared a personal story about her eldest son. She told me, while holding me, that sometimes we had to let go in order to continue helping our other children. Up to that moment I didn’t know anyone who had undergone things that broke the mama heart that profoundly. Whether it was addiction, mental illness, or whatever…I had not known someone personally who was navigating through similar experiences.

I listened to her. She had been at this for years. I felt her own release in that conversation. I listened so much that, now 12 years later, I can still remember her words of wisdom. This woman just lost her son a few days ago. That said son who was struggling with his own demons. And as I write this I swear my heart breaks even deeper. A parent should never, ever, have to do what she’s had to do this week. I know he’s finally at peace. She does too but there is always the uncertainty of how much we did or didn’t do to fix and save our loved ones. The doubts creep up and we are consumed by the unknown of it all. It’s hard to decipher what is real and what is not. Guilt and shame are familiar emotions that push the grief up. It’s all part of healing and letting go.

I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when someone has these struggles the only thing you can do for them is hold space. The loss is inexplicable. It’s unreal and I cannot imagine how my friend is holding herself up this week. So I pray and send loving light to her and her family since she’s not near me (although I wish I was with her at the moment). I keep meditating and hold her heart in mine. No one knows what another endures…not what she had to do for her son, not what I’ve had to for my own children. We have little windows we show to the world, but behind closed doors and blinds the truth of it is quite different. I am blessed to have had her 12 years ago to help me navigate my own grief, shame and guilt because I was completely lost. I had to let my daughter go. I had to love her from afar and continue to do so daily because she refuses the love. In the end I had to put my energy into those in my house who were willing to receive the love and security. And it continues…

That’s all we are asked to do: love and serve those who receive it (who are willing to accept it). We can’t fix or help those who don’t want it. It’s like hitting yourself against a giant boulder while the ocean smashes against you over and over. It’s pure insanity.

I love you, my dear friend. You know who you are…you will always be the words of wisdom when I struggle through my own little demons of guilt for not doing more…. I am here!!!!!

Energy We Carry

Four years ago I had a near-death experience. My soul left my body for a short time in the hospital. It went to a place of complete bliss and love. It went to Source. The days and weeks that followed my return were filled with magic. Time stopped in a way that the logical mind couldn’t explain…24 hours seemed like weeks. I was here but I wasn’t. Every morning, for months, I wrestled with my soul to not go off elsewhere. I had to pull my essence to stay in my physical body. I would wake trying to find grounding. It was intense and lovely. It allowed me to witnessed the world in a deeper conscious level. I doubt I will ever be able to describe the thoughts or experiences fully. There are no adjective or words that can do justice.

I couldn’t be around too many people. I couldn’t deal with all the energy that surrounds us. I was constantly trying to honor the softness of me. I was fragile. Oh my gosh…I was fragile and strong and so many things all at once. I felt the earth beating and expanding. I could hear colors without seeing them. Because of this ultra openness and sensitivity, I asked folks who visited me to please be responsible for how they showed up. I began to see the human struggle of ego and spirit in everyone. It was daunting and heartbreaking. So I opted to stay in solitude for as long as I could.

My husband (then fiancé) was afraid I would take my life. I had changed. I returned into my body that day with a vulnerability that had never been in me. It passed with every month. I needed to become human again. But those first few months after that winter day were the most mystical moments of my spiritual life. I saw the world through clear lenses removing all ego. And it was exquisite. It was also frightening to be in this world feeling the hate and brokenness. I was overwhelmed with every single extra noise and energy that visited.

I brought back gifts from there. THERE…a place that has so many labels and names. A place that is beyond this galaxy. I share this because we walk around not acknowledging our energy in the presence of others. It’s imperative you always take responsibility of how you show up, especially when in the presence of someone who is ill, or dying. They feel you before you are even there. They are opened to so much as they have one foot here and the other in that other world. Be kind. Be gentle with your soul and respect other people’s spaces.

It takes full awareness to recognize energy. Let’s work on raising it together so we can make massive changes in our world. ~m.a.p.

Playing Musical Chairs

Yesterday my wonderful co-worker shared a story about one of her clients who recently departed our world. We were talking about doing volunteer hospice work if we had money to spare. I told her I was fascinated by the end of life and folks transitioning, especially those who are ready. And those who struggled allowed me to just sit in sacred space and hold their hands.

She said one day she went to visit her client and she asked her how she was handling her ending?

Her sweet elderly woman, who had been a missionary for many years, a woman of huge amount of faith, said…“I’m moving from one chair to another. Is that not okay?”

I stared at my co-worker. My eyes began to water. That was such an insightful and beautiful analogy of end-of-life transition. I got chills. From that statement I knew she was a woman who had lived on grace.

I feel life is like that: moving from chair to chair trying to find the most comfortable one.

It takes pure divine “knowing” to accept what all of this is about. It’s in the simple awareness that we are just moving from one form of matter into another.

The joy of life is to continue moving from chair to chair while finding the magic of what it holds for the spirit. The trick is finding the greatest chair while playing your music and enjoying it as long as possible in complete love and joy. ~m.a.p.

Memorial Day

One of the places I looked forward to seeing in Washington DC was the Vietnam Memorial Wall. I walked it crying. My husband took this picture and I realize I was in a moment of grief trying to walk through the crowd. It was too much. Thousands of names that fought for our country. It was especially touching on this Memorial Day Weekend. I am not a person really bothered by death as I feel it’s a transition we will all reach. But, to feel the energy there was overwhelming to me. It was suffocating. Even now as I write this my heart aches. I couldn’t go see the other memorials. I know from the beginning till the end of time there will be wars. And I will never truly understand it. The beautiful statue was one that pulled my heart strings.

I pray that one day in the future our world can find peace and we will never have to bury thousands of men and women in the name of war.

Thank you to all the men and women who have courageously served this great nation. You are all heroes who triumph over the worst of circumstances. You truly show us what bravery, dignity and integrity stand for. ~m.a.p.

Be Kind

What does it mean to be present with someone’s pain? It means to see them. To feel them. And in that moment of acknowledgement you find a connection. Even through the smallest of acts.

Kali and I are visiting clients today. She asked to go to Starbucks to get her favorite bagel. I placed my order and ran with her to the potty. Upon returning to the counter I see her bag with my name on it and before I can grab it an elderly man with an oxygen apparatus grabs it and goes to a corner to eat it. I stood there in awed. I actually laughed in disbelief.

So I return to the line and asked for another. The young man asked if I got it and I tell him the little guy took it. He’s shocked. I asked him to please not make a big deal. So he gifts me another bagel. I ask to please pay for it. He tells me, “No way! You are too kind and generous. The man should be paying for it!”

I stand there, folks in line behind me, and I motion him with my index finger to come closer over the counter. “He is dying. You and I are not. Well, maybe but not at this moment. Let’s gift him this moment of consideration.”

His eyes water. I move away from the line. The elderly man is struggling with Kali’s bagel. I wink at him even though he avoids my eyes. I see him. He lowers his eyes in shame. I see the cream cheese leak out of his mouth. I grab a napkin and hand it to him.

“God bless you. Would you like some coffee?” I asked.

Tears start to swell in his eyes. “No, thank you.” He whispers it as if each syllable cuts his throat.

Kali and I grabbed our new package and leave. She said, “Mama, that man is going to heaven too!”

I sit with her in the car feeling the sorrow. And I pray for a smooth journey. We are all on this path trying to find ourselves.

Be kind, darlings! You never know the battles others are enduring. Every minute we get an opportunity to learn a lesson. Stay open to that magic. ~m.a.p.

New Beginnings

new beginnings

I take the month of April as a time to celebrate. All 30 days honor as my birthday. On April 1st, I lost one of my sweet elderly clients. I loved him dearly. Although he was in hospice care, I didn’t expect his departure. On April 3rd, I lost a family member who died way too young, leaving three young girls. Yesterday I visited a brand new baby at the hospital who will be adopted by a beautiful couple. She was born from a crack addict who abandoned her as soon as she could leave. Holding her in my arms completed the circle of life. As two souls left this world, this little one came in fighting for her existence. Life is fluid and magical. I left the hospital celebrating it all…the losses and the gains. All three cases are heartbreaking and require emotional acknowledgment.  All three souls touched me in deep ways. I keep hearing the pain out there but I also keep rejoicing the healing and love.

A week ago my husband and I made another difficult decision. We will be taking on another child who needs a loving home. We will love him with the same ferocity and acknowledgment that we’ve given to others. I will be 50 years old in two weeks. It’s not an easy decision but it is the right one. He sat across from me and shared that “Batman never questioned or ignored his bat signals. He armored up and went to the call….” In this case he is Batman…and I am his side kick (yours truly). We will answer the call and provide the superpower of love.
I suspect this is going to be one of the most intensely surprising April’s. We leave in two weeks to Machu Picchu on a spiritual journey of sorts. It’s been calling for me for some time. And, we need this before re-entering another phase of parenting. I sat across from him and said, “Darling, this is not my first rodeo. This will be number 8. I know how this works.  This is number 2 for you. I know you will continue to be magnificent in your role….” So, Peru will be healing and full of mystical surprises.  My spiritual guides have been preparing me for some incredible experiences there.
I feel it’s time to recharge and return to the origins of me. It’s hard to define that. It involves faith, grace, and acceptance. I suspect that something is emerging and it’s lovely on so many levels.  I am open to the expedition of self. It is spring after all…regrowth and newness.
I urge you to make decisions without worrying about how others will react. I ask that you live fully and love openly. Life is fragile and beautiful. You get to decide how you choose to live it. You never know what’s around the corner even when you think you have it all figured out. I look forward to my journeys…the trip and another round of motherhood. For months I was living with panic attacks and anxiety during the night. I couldn’t figure out why. My soul knew of the changes. I resisted unknowingly in my human form. Once it showed up I was able to return to peace. And here we are…today is beyond lovely. Our little boy will be arriving to a home full of joy and love.
I want that for you as well….joy and love. Over and over again. I love you.