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.

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!

Truly Listen to Another

listen

For the major part of my adult life I have rarely heard when someone has told me who they are.  If you really listen to a stranger, a new person in your life, the beginning of a romantic relationship, you will find that they DO tell you who they are…for the most part (some folks are mentally ill and cannot decipher personality traits from their disorder).  Sometimes it isn’t verbal but through events and actions that leave you flabbergasted with questioning, “WTF?”  The fixer in me was always trying to take them by the hand and shake all those negative ideas of themselves.  I wanted to show them what I was seeing.  I wanted them to live to their highest potential of what I THOUGHT was correct.  This is complete and utter b.s. and arrogance.

A few years ago I dated a wonderful man, very briefly, for a few weeks.  On our first hike he kept stopping as we were trekking up this steep mountain terrain and laying down everything that was him.  He basically gave me a rundown of the things that were acceptable, who he was, what he would put up with, and so many other small fragments of his personality.  When we reached the summit I was truly exhausted but so relieved.  He showed me that hour the person he was and I truly listened.  I am so glad I did, because a few days later, in my need to bring out the best in another to my convenience, he stopped me again and reminded me how he laid it all on the line.  He was right.  He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in a relationship.  And, although our time together was brief, it was a powerful lesson in listening to another when they tell you who they are.  They know themselves better than anyone.

This relationship taught me about the art of setting boundaries and not getting lost in another person.   It allowed me to step back and watch the past pattern of behavior in wanting to bring another human being into my life to fit perfectly.  In my oblivious state of mind, which is a trait I cannot change, I saw the beauty and perfection of him.  But, relationships take time to evolve, and he fought me from the beginning.  He wasn’t going to change in his early fifties.  He was and is the best version of himself.  Together we would have been the ultimate disaster.  And…knowing this from early on saved us both a lot of grief.

I am aware that people have a diverse multitude of personalities.  They will show different sides to their convenience.  Some people cannot reach the emotional state early on, or ever. I understand that it takes time to learn the truth in another.  Hopefully they know their truth because some folks are just clueless!  This beautiful person showed me to look at myself and be honest with another from the very beginning.  I have taken it upon myself to do just that.  What you see is what you get.  There’s no hidden agenda.  I learned to be upfront in future relationships.  I learned to share my abilities, faults, flaws, and the things I will not tolerate.

Listening with my head rather than my heart, for a little while, allowed me to detach the desire to have a man in my life and see who he really was from the beginning.  I loved that about him.  And, throughout the years in our friendship we have always been to the point with one another.  It’s beautiful to be among a person who knows his truth.

Do yourself a favor and never ignore the words and actions from another when beginning any kind of relationship or friendship.  When someone tells you who they are listen with your mind and an open heart.  Divine guidance is there in those moments that speak truth.  And…always be honest with your feelings.  If it doesn’t feel right…drop it quickly.  You come first and foremost.  Have a blessed day.

The Sound of Silence

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Silence is the language God speaks, and everything else is a bad translation.” – Father Thomas Keating

As I write this I sit on my sofa listening to the birds chirping outside. The silence of my house echoes through and through me. The gift of time for myself. Spring and summer are hectic times here. Family and friends gather, and guests are everywhere. I love this time. But, I also love solitude and quietness. Our Great Dane is on his bed near me, every so often picking up his head and letting me know that at some point we must venture outside. His deep sighs remind me to take my own deep breaths. It rained last night and the smell of the earth’s nectar has been intoxicated. There is life pumping outside and inside of me. I can hear the sound of life everywhere.

I spent a large portion of my life being awaken each morning to chaos. If it wasn’t the yelling of fear in my own head then it was the external noises of someone who had no peace and had to wake the house up whenever he was up. It was a time of complete mayhem with kids running around and schedules that needed to be met. Time didn’t seem to be relevant to anyone. I have spent the last few years of my life waking up to peace in these mountains. I open my eyes, say my prayers, light candles and sit in silence for a little bit. I go with the rhythm of the morning. I need this space, solitude, and grounding. I need to hear God in those initial moments of returning to this world from the dream state. Anything else, just like the above quote, is a horrible translation for me. And, I know this is ironic: I am a chatterbox during the day. I will make conversation with anyone or anything. I have been known to talk to the trees, the fish, and the rocks. But, my mornings are sacred. I need to go to the windows and look outside and see how the day will receive me. I need to breathe in the entrance of daylight. I require serenity in those first moments of entering a new day with gratitude for still being able to walk the journey. I need to breathe in deeply and let my spirit know that I am grateful for everything.

As I continue to write this I can hear the rattling of leaves with the wind. The frogs are active around the pond, the fist are circling waiting to be fed, and the sun is ready to burst light in this entire valley.  It is a beautiful mountain morning. I am blessed for so many things, but especially the silence of my spirit as I hear God loud and clear. I can’t understand how so many folks avoid this with music and television and the constant distraction of chit-chat inside of their heads. I cannot comprehend how anyone moves into a new day without listening to the voice of quietude before the rest of the loved ones wake. How can you recharge? How can you allow for the Divine to speak? I can’t imagine day in and day out avoiding this peace for the mind, body and spirit. Once you’ve tasted peace it is very difficult to avoid it.

May you allow inner guidance to bring you to a place of silence each day so you can touch the Divine. May you take notice that you are here on borrowed time and make that time count. Open your heart and let love guide you through this spiritual journey into the unknown. It is there that you will find truth, grace and faith. Make it a practice to allow your soul and physical body some sacred moments of peace. You will marvel at the changes in your life. Have a great one!

Out of Order

exhausted-woman

I’ve hit a new over-achieving goal. I have never been this exhausted before that even my sleep time is tired of not sleeping. My eyes are filled with heaviness and it takes all of me to keep them open. I was once described as the “energizer bunny.” I now know what a battery feels like when it is drained of power except my emotions are accountable while the battery just dies. I don’t know where the energy in me sipping out of and onto. Life keeps moving every second I am forced to move along the escalator ~ going up and down whenever. I hope this is not permanent. I don’t remember this feeling of pure nothingness along with an achy body. It feels as if every cell has given up on me, not even generating new ones. And, I hear myself and the negative thoughts I hate with a passion. This is not me! I hate complaining and I despise this feeling of giving up to everything. Even my passions and desires are in an over extended fatigue. They require a higher vibration that I can’t seem to acquire at this time. But, I am up and writing and watching a baby eat cereal while throwing half of them to the floor for the dog. I am up and willing to give it another day, another night and another chance. I just don’t know when I will be me again. When will I feel the energy and zest I have had for so long? I am too young for this and too old to know better. I have rough edges now that I didn’t before this year. It’s as if the softness in me has been torn apart leaving me raw forcing me to examine intricate parts of me that my psyche had been covering.

I want to examine this “exhaustion” as the ending of an old me. I want to believe it’s like chemo burning all the toxic and rebuilding. Endings are crucial, mystical and abstract in so many levels. I want to believe that by being depleted there’s a purpose because I will be substituted with grace, strength and wisdom. This exhaustion is part of the process of eliminating everything from the past and rebuilding with new materials a healthy future. I want this eternal tiredness to be a part of painful growth that’s almost ending. I have to believe from the core of my new rawness and pain that this is a temporary ailment of spiritual evolution. My spirit is showing me that I am more than I can ever credit myself for being.

Last night I went to pick my best friend up at the airport as she’s been gone for over two weeks working. For an hour an a half on the way home we spoke about my disappearing from social media and the disconnection from friends. I expressed my “concerns” with some of my children who have mental issues and feeling as if I was being under a microscope with regards to my grand-daughter. She expressed with great wisdom, “No matter what you do these people will continue to think and say what they feel like saying. You need to live as authentic as you always have. This is nonsense! You have been in hiding. No wonder you’ve been sick and exhausted. I am exhausted knowing what’s coming and seeing you move through every day with the lack of energy that’s not you at all. You are an amazing mother and a wise woman. Do what you need to do to live your truth. They will say and do whatever they feel like because they are not well.” She said a few other things that made me come home and truly inhale. I went into a deep sleep but sometime in the middle of the morning it hit me and I exhaled out loud, “I’ve been in hiding and it’s not worth it. No wonder I am exhausted. I will never be perfect for anyone. I need to live for me.” You can’t fix crazy. I know this. I have a PhD on this subject. And, just like that I realized I couldn’t continue to feel the claws of depression and uncertainty around my neck strangulating every sell from oxygen.

I found a letter from an old friend in a forgotten pocket of my wallet the other day. It was a message that I needed to read after all this time. And, today, just like that I got it:

My wish for you is to fall in love. Fall in love with yourself, darling, in a way that allows that illuminating light of love to shine onto others. Fall madly in love with yourself in the way you fall in love with nature. Let the world be your lover. Be in love with the universe. Radiate the presence of forgiveness, understanding, and compassion that’s always inside of you. I wish you to fall so profoundly that nothing will hurt you ever again when it pertains to a relationship: any type of love, not just a lover but a child, a parent, and a friend. You have learned that pain and disappointments are just experiences to teach you about the different facets of your soul. I wasn’t your greatest love. I was the catalyst for you to experience it. You ARE your greatest love. Look in the mirror and watch the lover in you reflecting….”

Exhaustion is a reminder that I am human and cannot take on anymore than what my spirit can handle. The body has gone on shut-down mode for a reason. I have to honor this moment. I am fortunate to have a mate who steps up to the plate and a friend who follows the flow of my needs. It’s all part of the growth. And, for now I am reminded of a saying in a store that my friend showed me today. “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.” I am listening!!!!