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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Look for the Invisibles 


This morning we took Kali bug to the splash park in downtown. After about an hour an older gentleman came into the water area, put a small bag next to me and just sat down on top of one of the waterholes. He still had a hospital id bracelet on his right wrist from Mission Hospital. I could see the shakes from Parkinson’s disease jolting him. The mental instability of psychosis holding on to his outer exterior. 
Our little girl, being my friendly counterpart, was ready for curious conversation. She stood there watching him. I sat there admiring the determination. He was hot. Needed cooling down. Plop himself right there and then. Cause, why the hell not!

Eventually he got up and we started to share the exchange of words, thoughts and humility. Just like my little girl, I needed his story. 

His name is Carl. He began the tale of staying in a cheap motel nearby and his van and all belongings were stolen. He went on about not ever being married or having children. To which I expressed it wasn’t a good idea to be in that park without kids. In my misunderstanding of what he was saying I shared this. He looked over and said, “I didn’t even think about that. I was just hot!” I sympathized with him. 

He wanted nothing. He needed an ear to listen to his words and he needed acknowledgment. He continued his story. I said, “Carl, dude, what an opportunity to start fresh and new. Nothing holding you back!” He smiled and agreed, “I never thought of it that way. Yeah. I guess you are right! Nothing holding me back! It’s good to be positive, right?”

I listened to the saga. I heard and saw his shattered soul through silence: abuse, addiction, mental illness, and the depth of what isn’t available to be expressed. 

My husband is used to these exchanges. He sat there looking at him, at our little girl and waved to him as he left. 

Sometimes we just need reminders. From strangers. From anyone that we still walk among the living. We are still participating in some grand experiment called Life. These connections enter for reasons. I observed the exchanging of laughter and conversations there. Not one person glanced over at him. He was invisible. And he is used to that. He’s lived a life being invisible. 

My heart skipped a beat…deep sigh…as he walked away. “Goodbye, Carl. Please take good care of yourself!”

Smiles. Gratitude. Heart pat for all that is and isn’t.

Java Journal


A few weeks ago I was in Starbucks writing in my journal. Two gentlemen came and sat right across from me. They began chit-chatting, opened up their bibles and began to share scripture. I kept on writing but their voices began to echo through me. It was a busy morning in there but somehow I could feel and hear all they were discussing even when I tried to block it out. 

I stopped writing. I closed my eyes and with full abandonment entered their world. 

One said to the other, “The Lord will forgive you. He will have mercy upon us. Christ won’t hold this against you or me because we are walking the righteous path….” More scripture was recited. I began to stare away from them out the window, pen in hand, waiting for my heart to stop beating so tightly against my chest. 

They shared a lot of intimate moments and experiences for a while. One man cried, the other got up, walked around the table and hugged him. There, in the middle of a busy shop. No one noticed. The man wiped the tears away and sat down. The other sat in silence for a moment gathering his will to continue the conversation.

The story was not unlike another. I get to witness many of these, whether I am being told the stories or I am partaking from a distance. But, what I found interesting was the way they had used religion to mask their love affair. They spoke of their wives and children. I wanted to reach over to them, hold both their hands and tell them that they hold the key to changing their struggle and heartache. I wanted to hug them, look at them, see them, listen attentively, and let them know they weren’t alone and Christ doesn’t punish for loving anyone. And, if they needed to finally be happy freedom and truth needed to be addressed. 

But, this wasn’t my story. 

But, this is a story of hurt and confusion. It’s a story of living under erroneous pretenses. It’s a story of pretending and not pretending; loss and gain; faith and guilt. I had to take a few deep breaths while trying to hold my tears. I was paralyzed in that chair, feeling these two souls whose lives were better because of each other but also tragic because of their circumstances. I ached deeply for these strangers while feeling their love and admiration for one another. 

And…there…right there…in that coffee shop everything evolves and resolves. I left them still reading to each other, fighting their desires, attempting to tackle their faiths while denying what was real. 

We all fight something, right? We all have little secrets at times that eat us and shame us? Nothing is perfect. So if you love, please love harder. If you are miserable, please adjust your motives and find a plan. Challenges and obstacles rise to show us our strengths. Life is too short to feel shame, guilt, resentment and become bitter because you can’t change things right at this moment. Love openly and fully. Say your ‘I Love You’s’ as much as possible. Nothing lasts forever…

The Return

 

photo (3)

Something woke

again

after a long sleep of doubts,

anger, hurt and questions

that buried me

inside an open tomb,

leaving the exposure to heal

with the openness of One.

I had forgotten my power,

the thoughts that co-create

with the universal aid of intentions;

those same delicious frequencies

that magically take me here and there.

I had forgotten

waking up with such joy

that I skip out of my room

while bones crack and stretch

reminding me to slow down.

I don’t care.

This is the meaning of living.

This is the ebb of sorrow and joy

taking it all and pasting it back together

without giving up.

It’s easier to give in,

give out, give up, and forget.

No more!

I have been sleeping in such darkness

for too long and allowing no one

to turn on the light.

I needed to feel the switch,

pass my hands through its coldness,

in the rawness of despair,

so I could turn it on…so I could do it alone.

Clarity arrives with rest and prayer.

Awareness returns with faith.

I hear the ringing of truth in one ear.

I see the element of surprise ahead.

I taste the juices of excitement.

I smell the sweetness of success…

for all that I have put out into the openness.

I’ve returned.

I am home in me again.

It’s been a long time…too long.

The heart echos softly, “Welcome back!”

Listening with your heart

listening

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 year and a half I’ve had moments when I feel 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.

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. I have noticed that my left ear has lost some of its power to fully listen. 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.

Being attentive is an art I am learning with this small challenge. I must partake completely rather than multitask. I must be in complete focus to hear the things said and those that escape the ears. Losing my hearing has also been a gift in the most loving and powerful ways. 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. Have a blessed week, dear friends!

Collection of Moments

intimacy

As I sat, listening

to your words,

following gestures –

lines connecting,

detaching, intersecting,

circling all around you

passionately expressing

details of where you’ve been

in such joyous promptitude

I wondered how it felt

to be you.

 

How do the stories,

words, and thoughts

file inside the memory

of such a gentle soul?

How amazing to carry

those moments,

retracting them

at a push of a thought.

 

Each of us remain connected

by an action,

a lapse in time,

a twinkling pace

causing a scene for

later viewing

alone in personal time

full of tears or giggles.

 

Your smile paused

the very thought of me

noticing the attentiveness.

In such erratic tone,

the seconds lasted an eternity

when you leaned in,

closed your eyes,

kissed me for the first time

and my moment

was quickly filed under “Love.”

Listen to Your Soul

soul

On Friday morning I got to work super early. We had a giant mess to put back together because of moving. At around 6:30AM I loaded up three drawers of a huge file cabinet, when I sat to fill the bottom drawer, the file cabinet collapsed on my back, pinning me to the floor on my stomach. I began to laugh. It was a nervous laugh that happens when I know I am stuck in a bind. I knew no one would be in for several hours. I laid there thinking, “Okay, this is not a fun way to go…someone will find me along with messy bodily fluids.” I could imagine the jokes that would come from how Millie passed on! I began to laugh harder, at which time, I couldn’t get my strength because I just felt so silly. Then, of course, a little bit of panic started to creep into my thoughts. “Like, oh my God, this is no way to go. How long before I stop breathing? And, shit, I shouldn’t have had all that coffee cause I have to pee.”

Suddenly, I heard a clear voice, that voice that comes from the cosmos with no accent and complete assurance, “Listen! Get a new soul.” Then I thought, “Oh well, here we go again. I am about to die and get another soul. Nope, I won’t come back! I am done! I ain’t having it. I am not coming back to this earthly thingy called life. Hell, no…this is it.” I am actually whispering this back out loud. Again, the voice, said, “Listen! You will have a new soul.”

After some heavy breathing, jiggling, and strength that came from I don’t know where, I was able to get out from under the cabinet and actually stand it up. I recognized then that the floor was really uneven, and had I actually paid attention, nothing would have happened to me. But, then I wouldn’t have been guided by the magical voices…because it takes all of me to be pinned and shut down in order to really listen to guidance. I have to be put into a difficult health situation in order to listen to the Universe.

Miraculously, other than a scratch on my arm, I had no bruising or broke anything. I say that because it was a miracle. I worked the rest of the day, still thinking about the voice. But, I got busy and forgot about it until 2AM Saturday morning. It was then that I recognized that maybe I did need a new soul. Maybe it was time to go see what a new soul would cost me. The maybe became quite a certainty!

I haven’t had my own car in years. My husband and I have been sharing one. I got up Saturday morning, dressed our little girl, and drove to the Kia dealership. It was 9AM and 11 men (I counted them cause it’s very intimidating to see who will attack first) were standing waiting in a sea of sharks. I made eye contact with the oldest one I could find. I knew he would listen to me. We introduced ourselves. I told him what I wanted: “I want a Kia Soul not older than 2 years old, with the least mileage and will pay X amount!”

He proceeded to try and sell me another car. I once again, looked into his eyes, and said, “Let’s start all over again. My name is Millie, I am here to buy a Soul….I am not interested in anything else.” He listened. He explained that with what I wanted it would be difficult to find something in that lot. I laughed. I told him I would be leaving with a Soul, whether it was in his dealership or another, and that I believed that if he checked in his computer there was one car that fit all my needs. “It will be a miracle,” he said to me.

I answered, “Well, I hope you believe in them, cause I am driving a new soul out of here today.”

Now, you can imagine the rest of the story. This is not my first rodeo. I have bought many cars. It’s a game of pull and push for me which I truly enjoy with zest. It’s a game I actually play very well. I might not be good at many things, but buying a house or a car are on top of my talents. The manager came to talk to me, trying to intimidate me, to which I kindly answered, “Darling, you aren’t doing me a favor by selling me a car. I am doing YOU a favor by buying one here. You have a lot of 2015 sitting out there. You need to move them. Here is a list of all the other dealerships with the car I need.” That made him go back and forth a few times. They, miraculously, met all my needs and beyond. The little old man was shocked and shared that he had never seen anything like what he experienced. He began to share about losing faith. He told me a very personal story, eyes watering, and told me that I had made a believer out of him. He just couldn’t understand why he had lost his way. His story is one of many we hear everyday about financial struggles, losing everything, addiction, and so much more. I am always surprised at the things total strangers share with me. Almost like a confessional before they die. It’s astonishing. But, a miracle did appear that day. He saw it because to all effects, there was no way in hell anyone should have sold me a car without money, and a not so great credit, and with the amount that I told them. I told him that the logistics didn’t matter to me because I knew I would have a soul to drive home in.

When the Divine speaks at times it is humorous. You can either take it literally or figurative. I have learned to stand back and allow Spirit to guide me. Whether it’s a new soul or not…it’s pretty amazing the way that things unravel if you just take time to listen and follow the magic because your Higher Self is always watching out for you!