BarbetteSpitler.com

Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

ED’S RETURN TO PEARL HARBOR pt 1

imageRETURN TO PEARL HARBOR Pt 1
I stared at the text… “Do you want to do an Honor Flight to take a Pearl Harbor Survivor back to Pearl Harbor”? I was somewhat confused. Yes, I am an Honor Flight nurse, but we take veterans to Washington D.C. to see their memorials. It’s a VERY long day starting at 3am and ending near midnight and we keep going all day! Pearl Harbor can’t be a day trip. So that would mean an overnight, right?  Hawaii?  Pearl Harbor?  A survivor?  After a few texts for clarification I was all in! The trip was scheduled and we were off to Hawaii. We landed to a surprise celebration in the Honolulu Airport welcoming Ed, a 96 year old survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We traveled to Hickem Air Force Base to rest up for the Pearl Harbor tour the next day.

I thought we were ready… Honor Flight Dayton was good prep… The veterans are always treated like celebrities in Washington. But those Honor Flight trips are a huge group of veterans. We were bringing just one! Ed and his Guardian and me, the nurse. We didn’t really know what to expect. We just knew it would be a very emotionally charged and potentially healing experience for him. We also knew, as empathic as we both were, it would be very emotional for us to witness.

Ed had been assigned to the original USS Preble.  It was in dry dock that day.  It wasn’t with the other US ships that were bombed.  Ed remembers it was a Sunday morning.  They were supposed to be able to sleep in that day.  And that’s what he was doing.  He was awakened by the explosions.  He remembers running outside the barracks to see what was happening and then realized the whole of Pearl Harbor was under attack.  He remembers the planes coming in so low you could see the faces of of the pilots.  And he remembers running for cover…. and finding none!  He says, “I’m not sure how any of us survived.  But here I am.”

When we arrived at the parking lot we were greeted by security and given the special parking space. I touched Ed on the arm and pointed up to where the sign was. When Ed saw the sign he said, “OOOH BOY!… (long pause) I don’t know if I can do this… Maybe I should just go back home!” He struggled to maintain his composure so we just sat there for a few moments. When he was ready, we left the vehicle and began a life altering journey.

His Guardian, Terri, had planned the tour for today. But we couldn’t have known to plan for the response of the visitors at the museum today! As soon as we came up the sidewalk toward the entrance, Ed was an instant celebrity. People saw his hat and gasped! They would turn to their family or friends and point to Ed. You could see their emotions in their expressions. Some were honored to shake Ed’s hand and express their gratitude for his history at Pearl Harbor. Others broke into tears and though they tried to express their feelings were often unable to utter a single word. Still others shared their stories of a family member who served during World War II or who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As visitors approached, I would step back. This was Ed’s moment… it was about him and his history and it was for him and his healing. This was his experience and it was his opportunity to allow hundreds of others to share their respect and honor for something none of us can ever understand and can only imagine.

Ed was incredibly gracious. He always accepted the hand offered and answered questions as asked. And he was confounded by the attention he received saying “I didn’t do anything”. Yet, he nodded in understanding when I explained, “You represent an entire generation. You represent this (pointing to Pearl Harbor) and only a few can do that now. You allow us to honor the people we didn’t get to meet. You allow us to help people heal!”

When visitors heard that there was an actual Pearl Harbor Survivor on the grounds, they sought him out. People of all ages, nationalities, and their families stepped forward to meet him and have their picture taken with him. At times, and without encouragement, children would come up to him and shake his hand! How did they know? What will they remember of this day? Ed was touched by those moments. At times, while he was engaged in conversation, others would ask me questions about him or tell me their story and their connection to Pearl Harbor. One gentleman had a grandfather who went down with the USS Arizona. A man who served post WWII had never been to the museum but had it on his bucket list. This was his lucky day and he was so thrilled to chat with Ed. Two couples from France were on the grounds. They heard a Survivor was there and they looked for him. When the women found him they were overcome with tears. They were trying to express their gratitude for what our soldiers did for them… they were children but they remember vividly!  The women went to find their husbands and the four of them couldn’t get close enough and struggled to express their true feelings. They kept telling other bystanders “You have no idea…!” Though only one of the four spoke some basic English, there was no mistaking her emotions and her desire to share their gratitude.  I was amazed at their level of awe.

Ed received so much attention it was quite overwhelming for him. But it was also incredibly profound for us to witness. Ed was intensely engaged! He was given priority status at every turn. He received applause and sincere gratitude from so many! If ever you wonder if there is still good in this world… yes, there is!    (The rest of the story is in pt 2)

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ARE YOU FULL?

hqdefaultMany people are surprised to learn the human stomach is supposed to be the size of a human fist. Not just any fist, though. That particular human’s fist. Regardless of age, height, or bone structure, the human stomach is designed to be only as large as the size of a gently closed fist.

Ever wonder why a newborn is only able to take in 2 ounces at a time? Gently close up their hand and notice… that is the size of their stomach. They simply cannot hold much volume. Thus, they take in a few ounces at a time and when the body has properly digested and used or stored the calories taken in, the body will signal it’s need for more when its ready. That signal is… hunger. When an infant has taken in more volume than the stomach can hold, the body will expel the excess. It’s simple and it’s logical (and messy).

Are you full?” is a question many parents ask their children before they allow them to leave the dinner table. “Finish your food”, is a statement that teaches them to finish a volume of food regardless if they are satiated or not. The parents are unwittingly teaching the children to eat because it is there and they are expected to clean their plate. But what if they are no longer hungry? Why would we encourage them to eat more than they need or want? Why?? From this moment forward, let them leave food on their plate! Next time, give them smaller portions. And if they want another serving later, make it a half serving! And you serve it up for them  Don’t rely on their ability to judge proper portions.

Let’s talk about… portion size.  A dinner plate for a child should be much smaller than that of an adult. So use a smaller plate for children! Control the portions of the food going on that plate and do not be distracted by their cries for more or their wails of  how unfair you are to them. If they are still hungry, then can have more later. But when we know the size of their stomach, we also know they are not physically hungry after they have eaten – they are deceived by the visual effects of the portions or the sight and scent of the food. It is much easier to give the children a few extra bites later, than it is to take away food once they have been condition to larger portion sizes. When I see parents giving their children plates of food the same size as their adult dinner plate, I am horrified. We are setting these children up for a lifetime of overeating.

I understand some parents become weary of their children have 6-8 mini-meals throughout the day. However, that is exactly how the human body was designed to eat. Only when hungry and only enough to satiate the hunger. Many people do not even know what true hunger signals are anymore because they eat for emotional reasons or because the food is readily available and they are enticed by the sights or smells of the food.  If adults ate frequent small meals like little children, there would be happier, healthier people in our culture.

I also understand there are also children who have learned the pattern of saying, “I’m finished” at the dinner table (because that food doesn’t excite them) only to cry “I’m hungry” an hour later in order to have a favored snack. That pattern is more about parental manipulation by a bright child and less about their physical hunger and need to eat for fuel. I do not encourage big meals and snacking. I do however encourage small meals and snacking, if the snack standard in the household is limited to fruits and vegetables.

When we eat more volume than our stomach can hold, the stomach has to stretch to accommodate the volume. An occasional overeating episode will stretch the stomach and we are temporarily uncomfortable (Thanksgiving Dinner perhaps). However, as the food is digested and moved out of the stomach, the stomach will return to its proper size. This process can be slowed significantly when there is a combination of foods that digest at different rates and in different ways. The slower the process of digesting the food, the longer we are uncomfortable, have heartburn or feel bloated.

Chronic overeating (over-stretching) causes the stomach to remain stretched out – similar to over stretched elastic bands. It takes more volume of food to fill a stretched out stomach. More volume means more calories are taken in than the person can utilize thus the body stores the fuel as fat for the famine that never comes. This is the process of gaining weight and it happens fast! For many in our culture, this process leads to obesity, diabetes, and a whole host of illnesses and dis-ease.

It’s simple. Eat too much volume for several meals, the body will adapt by stretching the stomach to accommodate the additional volume. Eat too much volume over a period of time and that stretch will not easily bounce back. That adaptability by the stomach can actually become a problem for us humans. It would be much easier if our adult body would expel the excess like an infant instead of stretching to adapt.

During an episode of “My 600lb Life”, the gastric surgery showed the size of the person’s stomach. It was larger than a football. Imagine trying to keep up with the volume needed for her to feel “full”. She simply couldn’t eat enough! She ate as much volume in one day that a normal sized stomach would have in a week. After speaking with others who have been morbidly obese and lost weight without bypass surgery, they tell me it takes weeks for the stomach to return to it’s normal size. Weeks of portion control – meaning they returned to eating the volume of their gently closed fist rather than trying to get to “full”. When their body realized they were not starving (no famine here), the body began properly adapting again to their new normal. They lost the excess weight and the discomfort and the chronic health conditions!

What about you?  Do you eat to the point of being “full”. Do you encourage family to “fill up”. Can you leave food on your plate? Have you ever tried having smaller meals more frequently? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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THE TASTE OF THE TONGUE

images-9The human body is designed to digest the foods of the planet and use that energy for fuel. The foods of the planet are easily digested, absorbed, and converted to energy. It is not designed to use the body’s energy to digest processed foods. It’s just that simple! Yet, it is processed foods that tickle the taste buds. It is the sweet. It’s the sweet and salty combined. It’s the hidden sugars that tantalize the tongue and leave us wanting more and more. Whether it’s healthy or not doesn’t seem to matter. What matters is the taste on the tongue!

The human body is designed to use food as fuel. Imagine eating as the input valve for the body’s energy source. (Like the gas tank for a car.) We take in food, covert it to energy for immediate use or store it up for later use. The tongue helps us to move the food in our mouth for more efficient chewing and it aides in the process of swallowing. It also has taste buds that help us to discern the basic nature of the food including salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet. In our culture, the sweet has won us over.

The human body is designed to eat only when hungry and only enough to stop the hunger. We were not designed to eat until we are “full”. We have done ourselves a terrible disservice by teaching ourselves and our children to eat until we are full. Maybe that was a condition of centuries ago when famines were feared. But that is no longer a threat for our culture. The illusion that we must eat until we are full has caused an entire population of people to over eat. Over eating stretches the size of the stomach and we have to intake more food quantity to reach “full”. The cycle continues until we have a morbidly obese human with a stomach organ the size of a football instead of the size it was designed to be – the size of our fist. Regardless of your age, height, or bone structure, the size of your stomach is supposed to remain the approximate size of your closed fist.

The human body is designed to eat the foods of the planet. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds all have enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are far more complex than we can fully understand. They work in synchronicity with each other in such a way we cannot duplicate with scientific measures. The foods of the planet were created/designed to fuel the body with energy for activities and to sustain life. Although scientists try to fractionate the elements out of the whole foods to design specialty vitamins or try to genetically alter natures bounty in order to make it “better” – there is nothing better than the whole foods… as nature intended for us.

The human body is designed to digest minimal amounts of meat. Fresh meat that was caught or killed and shared with others… fresh off the bones. If cooked, it was added to vegetables for a stew like meal or eaten by itself in small amounts. The human body was designed to eat more foods from plants and less food from animals. Meat as the main event in our meals does more harm to our bodies than good. We were not designed to handle the processing of meats (or any foods) like we eat today. And it’s literally killing us. Our culture has more dis-ease and chronic illness than any other. The dietary intake of our culture is the primary culprit.

When I think of how our body is designed to eat healthy foods of the planet, I am continually amazed at how often we choose to eat based on taste and taste alone. We live by the taste on the tongue! We will eat with no hunger noted but anticipating the taste of the food in front of us. We have become so addicted to sweet and the need for sugar on our tongue that we are as addicted as any cocaine, heroin, or meth user! The research has shown sugar to be that addictive! And, we allow it to be the front runner in our dietary choices. From coffee based sugary beverages and so-called sports drinks to breakfast cereals and other highly processed products we call “food”… sugar is added! I believe if sugar were discovered today it would be FDA regulated. We know it is a primary factor in deteriorating health conditions like diabetes and all inflammatory diseases. Sugar feeds bacteria, viruses, fungus and cancer cells. Yet, we still choose high sugar foods admitting, “it tastes soooooo good!” It is literally the taste on the tongue… a muscle in the body less than 2x4in.

Take a look at your own food choices. Does the taste of the tongue guide your food choices? Do you follow the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)? Do you seek healthier food choices? Do you recognize food is fuel not just a tantalizing treat for the tongue? Or are you way too fond of the sugary, sweet desserts and snacks? Do you think you might be addicted to sugar? Ponder your food choices this week and then revisit this blog and comment below!

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Parenting Experts & Animal Experts Unite!

haramWhen I learned of the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo, I was deeply saddened. For everyone involved! For the child who, in his innocence, wanted to play with or swim with the gorilla and ended up in fear of him. For the mother who endured the terror that her child might be gravely injured from the fall and/or killed by the gorilla. For the bystanders who felt powerless to help the child. For the zookeepers who, though trained, were forced into action they hoped to never take. For the other gorillas who witnessed the tragedy of their friend/mate being killed. And for every parent who felt “that could have been my child”.

As I watched the video I was mesmerized. The child was in awe of the huge gorilla. The gorilla was intrigued by the boy. Neither knew what to do with the other. Bystanders didn’t know what to do. There was too much at risk to hesitate too long and too much at stake to act too quickly. The gorilla made the ultimate decision easier when he became excited (agitated as the zoo explains his animal behavior.) In his excitement, he chose not to follow the commands of the zookeepers. He chose to remain with his new discovery and he didn’t seem interested in sharing! What some saw as “protecting” the boy, I saw as keeping the new discovery to himself. There is a huge difference in intention and energy.

As I listened to the video, I was listening for voices in prayer. And I heard it! At least one bystander recognizing we are NEVER powerless, responded in the best possible way -with prayer! She was asking God to protect the child. It was perfect! I was pleased to hear the mother, in her desperation, remaining somewhat calm and trying to let her son know she was there!

Animal experts determined that the gorilla was not going to release the boy with ease and grace. His desire to hold onto his special new discovery was strong enough to create an unsafe situation for the child and the keepers. Harambe, the gorilla, had no idea this was a human boy who needed to be handled gently to keep him safe from injury. His animal instincts naturally kicked in and he responded by backing away from his keepers and making sure his discovery remained in his possession.

The decision to save the child was absolutely the right and best decision. And given this circumstance, there seemed only one way to save him. We simply cannot fault the zookeepers for saving the child in what appears to all animal experts as the only viable option Harambe gave them. Harambe was not being maternal and comforting the child. He was being possessive. We can only guess at what would have happened if the situation had continued longer.

Over the next few days, I was more deeply saddened. Not by the situation itself as I had already changed my focus to the positives that came from this event and I was so happy the child was not seriously injured. The child does not need to be “scarred for life” because of this incident. It can be handled well and he can heal gracefully from it. What saddened me was the outrage from thousands of others who were NOT there but who decided they could and should judge and condemn the parents and the zookeepers. Suddenly, everyone is a parenting expert and a wild animal expert. Suddenly, there is blame to assign and all those NOT witness to it are assigning the blame. I read posts inciting radical racism as well as posts calling for the mutilation of the parents. I read blogs and posts about how the parents are to blame and should be harshly punished. I’ve read blogs and posts about how zoo’s in general are to blame. I see comments about how the parents should have to pay for everything from the enclosure redesign to paying for the death of Harambe.

I’m not going to debate whether we should have zoo’s. I’m not going to debate whether the parents are good enough, watchful enough, smart enough, or … enough! I’m not going to debate whether the enclosure (safe for 30 years) was good enough!  I didn’t witness the incident so I cannot judge this incident in any way. However, I can be ever so grateful the child is alive and well. I can be ever so grateful no adults went into the enclosure which certainly would have created a very different outcome! And… I am ever so mindful that for the Grace of God – that was not my child or grandchild. Because we cannot see their every move nor know their every thought nor anticipate their every action. Accidents happen. Emergency rooms are filled with the results of accidents and incidents. Thousands of parents can speak to the angst of having their child MIA while in a mall, shopping center, public gathering, etc. I read another story from someone who had a very similar incident happen with her son falling into a zoo enclosure. The difference for her? Everyone was helpful. Everyone wanted to make certain that she, her son, and the guy who saved him, were safe and “alright”! Everyone cared about them!  Everyone cared enough to make sure they were okay after the incident.  People cared… Everyone CARED enough!

When did we stop caring enough?

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#harambe  #Cincinnatizoo  #parenting #careenoughtomakeitbetter #lovewins

 

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Your Personal Crucifixion / Resurrection

easter from Lori
As I reflected on Easter and its meaning I realized something I found very interesting and I just need to share it with you.
The Easter season is an observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  On Easter Sunday, Christians around the world celebrate with sunrise church services, uplifting songs, and family gatherings.  It is a joyous and happy celebration with varying traditions of festivity.
I remember Easter Sunday being a time of new things.  New Easter dresses and hats for the girls and new suits for the boys. I remember new white shoes, too!  Easter baskets were filled with new gifts and the hard boiled eggs we colored and decorated the day before.  A true celebration!  And there was always an amazing Easter dinner with family and loved ones.   I also remember being profoundly effected by the days leading up to Easter Sunday. The crucifixion! You know the story.  It’s incredible, no matter how you hear it.
On Good Friday I always take extra time to reflect on the journey of Jesus.  His birth, his life, his teachings, his death…  And as I thought about it, I began to realize that, at some level, we all go through a “crucifixion and resurrection” of some kind.  No, I’m not talking about being nailed to a cross.  Nor am I attempting to diminish the journey of Jesus nor overstate ours.  I am simply making the parallel to common times.
Today, Jesus would not be nailed to a cross, yet his crucifixion would still be profoundly significant.  His life journey, though very different today, would still be a lesson for all humanity.  His teachings would still  positively affect many and still negatively affect others.  The manner of his crucifixion and resurrection would be very different in the world today.
Similarly, every single one of us has had a time where we had to undergo a crucifixion of our own.  Let me explain…  We have, at some point, been treated unjustly or even persecuted by another.  We have all had an extremely painful test of our faith. Whether it was the loss of a job, a terrible accident, the loss of a loved one or a relationship, financial ruin, homelessness, hopelessness, drug addiction or a difficult medical diagnosis… each of these becomes an extremely painful crucifixion/test of faith where all you hold important or valued is drastically changed or stripped away. It is a “death” of a part of you or a part of a belief system you held dear to you.  Think back…  I’m sure you can find at least one page of your life journey that fits in this narrative.  It is those times when it seems so dark and lonely you cannot see the light. Child abuse, sexual assault, violent crime, public slander, difficult divorce, wrongful accusations, … the list goes on and on,  Each of these experiences results in some level of suffering, torture or torment.    Although no two people have the same journey.  We do have similar experiences and we often have similar feelings/emotions about those life experiences.
The death of what we knew to be truth… being crucified with judgment or torment…  being left in the utter darkness of loneliness, devoid of human support or affection … this is the kind of current crucifixion we may experience in our journey of life. Yet, after the crucifixion comes resurrection!  We walk (or crawl) through the experience seeking the light of Spirit.  We learn quickly there is no value in taking that walk alone.  No human contact is required – just our conscious choice to connect to the heavens and allow our Spirit to ascend out of the pain and negative emotion.    We are truly never alone!  We may lose our connection with Spirit but Spirit never loses the connection to us!  It is often at our depth of despair that we finally realize we disconnected ourselves and it is we who need to reconnect.  The resurrection IS our re-connection to Spirit. It is our renewed sense of awakening to this awareness and connecting that brings us out of the depths of darkness and restores us to the light of love.
Take a moment to reflect about your own journey through those tests of faith.  Ponder how you walked through the darkness and found the light again.  What do you do now to keep a daily connection to Spirit.  What have you changed? And how would you handle another crucifixion event in the future.  Please share your thoughts / experiences below.
Blessings of love to you!
Barbette
(photo credit:  Lori Trunck  saw this image on her way to work today!)
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Ancient Wisdom – Always Relevant

ho'oponopono heart
There is much wisdom in ancient teachings.
     As I spend more and more time and energy reaching out to those in need or helping others reach for the stars, I am also presented with opportunities to learn from the teachings of the ancient elders.
     Mother Teresa is one of those who carried forward the teachings of the ancients into current time.  She taught us the true meaning of love and service.  She inspires me.  Gandhi taught us to “Be the change we wish to see.”   Wayne Dyer taught us to take responsibility for our own thoughts, actions and reactions.  I could go on and on.  Each of these wise teachers are reminding us of the wisdom of the elders.  It’s not new news.  It’s all ancient teachings.  But who brings them forward?
     Another great ancient teaching is the Hawaiian Healing Prayer,  Ho’Oponopono. It means – to make right.   It’s so simple it’s difficult for our ego mind to believe it could possible work to help heal anything.  Yet, it does. From injuries to relationships!  It’s like a miracle worker.  Why?  Because it combines the power of love and forgiveness.  There are only four steps.  They are laid out in four simple statements which connect to deeply held beliefs or emotions.
     Step One:  Acknowledge and Repentance.  I AM SORRY.  We are completely and totally responsible for our actions and reactions!  We choose them.  You may be sorry for being angry or for hurting someone’s feelings. You may be sorry you gained weight or were careless and hurt yourself.  The list goes on and on.  Even if you are not quite sure if you are “sorry” for something, say it anyway and see what happens.
     Step Two: Ask forgiveness.  PLEASE FORGIVE ME.  You are not necessarily asking this of another human.  Ask it from Spirit.  Ask for forgiveness from yourself… for yourself.  Try it!  See what it feels like to be in this very vulnerable state.  It’s amazing! (And it gets easier with practice.)
     Step Three:  Gratitude.  THANK YOU.  Again, this is not about going to another human and expressing the gratitude.  Express gratitude to yourself for yourself.  Just say it!  Thank Spirit.  It doesn’t matter to whom… just express the gratitude! Say Thank You!
     Step Four:  Love.  I LOVE YOU.   Share the love. Love for yourself.  Love for others.  Love for Spirit.  Love for humanity.  Just share LOVE!
 I'm sorry
     These four simple statements become four incredibly profound expressions of love and service to self and to others.  Easy and effective.  No one ever need to know you are using the Ho’Oponopono to help heal yourself or a relationship.  Dr.  Ihaleakala Hew Len used this method to heal criminally insane patients he had never met.  He read their patient files and performed this healing ritual for each of them.  The results were incredible!
     It is my understanding this healing works regardless of the order of the statements said.  It is more important that we acknowledge each step and use the verbiage to clear the energy connected to it.  The order of the statements matters less than the awareness of  them.
     So, put on your thinking caps and start a list.  Do you have physical issues your need to heal?  How about:  Relationships with others; your finances; your health; your feelings about yourself; your feelings about others;  your prejudices; your anger/hurt/hatred…   Get started now making miracles  happen in your life and allow the ripple effect of your Ho’Oponopono to happen!
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Passion for Peace?

Peace wayne dyerAs each election year approaches, I am fascinated to witness the changes in personality of so many people.  Often, people who seem kind and thoughtful and even generous are… until someone with different political views joins the discussion.  I am amazed and disheartened by those who will  go out of their way to make fun of or put down the other side.  Not the “the other side” but the actual people who represent that other side!  Half of the country has hateful names for Republicans and half of the country has hateful names for Democrats.  And often, those same people, when not talking politics, say they want peace, harmony and all good things.  But if you truly want peace and harmony, how do you get there by bashing another for their political preferences?  How is it okay to demean, dehumanize and demoralize another human being in one breath and then talk about how peace and harmony should reign in another breath?  There is no commonality between the two.

We can’t get to “good” when we keep focusing on the negative.  Whatever the politicians do or don’t do…   We forget that WE – the people – are the ones who can make the difference.  Not by pointing fingers but by coming together with a positive focus and then… we the people, make it happen.

We have become a nation that tolerates it’s ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and it’s inertia! We spend our time pointing fingers at who is responsible for what.  We have lost our focus and what is best for us as a nation.  We’ve let the politicians decide what is in our best interests as fed by the many lobbyists who wine and dine them.  Is that okay with you???  Are you really satisfied with your government choosing your life and lifestyle for you?

     We have the opportunity to join forces as the people of our nation have in the past.  We can turn off the reality shows,  celebrity news and the 24 hr news channels, and turn on our passion for what’s right for our great nation.  We can join together and focus our energy to improve our food supply; improve the health of our people; and restore our faith in our country.  But we will never get there wasting our time, energy and efforts, bashing the other political party, pointing fingers and placing blame.  I believe, we can best move forward by stepping past the political differences and stop focusing on how we got here!  We simply must look beyond the how and why and look forward to what can we do about it?
     When we are looking for positive solutions, the energy toward positive solutions raises.  Raising the energy also raises the awareness and thus raises the passion for it!  Imagine – a passion for PEACE!    Can you just imagine how it will be to live in a country with a passion for peace?! It would bring our nation together to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.  Let’s do it! Let’s clear out the negativity, hatred,  racism and tolerance.  Let’s bring in peace, harmony, understanding and acceptance.
     What great things about our country and it’s people are you passionate about? What are you willing to speak up for?  What are you willing to do to improve our great nation?  And let’s get to it!

worrld peace

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Mess or Memories? Develop their Creativity or Stinkin’ Thinkin’ !

    child painting mess A young child is happily painting.  Creating a beautiful, majestic work of art.  Every color is exquisite.  Every stroke is perfectly placed.  There is no greater joy in childhood than seeing their work of art when this creativity is unleashed, uninhibited, and fully executed.  It is beautiful…. and it is good.
     Until Mom discovers this work of art has been created with her make up, tooth paste and powder… AND… the canvas is the bathroom wall.  “What were you thinking?” Mom screams at the child.  “You ruined my make up.  You messed up the entire bathroom!!  Oh My Gosh!  I can’t believe you would do this to me!  It’s an awful mess I have to clean up!  Get out of here and never do this again!”
     Horrified, terrified, and sobbing, the child runs away to their room.  The child learned, very quickly, his/her creativity is messy and ruins things. Because the mother was so upset, the child believes they should never express their creativity again because it is so upsetting.  They made an immediate agreement within to silence their creativity.
     Sound familiar?  It should.  For most of us, we were either the receiver of such a message as a child OR we sent the message to a child.  Yes, I know…   cleaning up the after affects of such creativity is work and certainly not fun.  Yet, cleaning up the walls and replacing cosmetics are a distant second to restoring the wounded spirit of the child.  Yet, which one do you suppose gets the most attention?  The mess you can see or the spirit you cannot?
     Because of an incident like the one described, the child grows up suppressing their creativity.  Maybe another child was singing at the top of their lungs while Dad was driving the car.  When Dad has had enough he shouts at the child to “shut up already… you don’t even know the right words!”.  Something that simple can cause the child to suppress their singing.  More importantly, they may also begin to wonder what other parts of their personality are not acceptable to others.  If it’s not accepted by their own parents then….  WOW… now what?
     THAT’s how Stinkin’ Thinkin’ starts.  In childhood!  Parents don’t purposely stifle their children’s creativity nor do they realize how their words can be so harmful or cause long term damage.  Most often, they are just expressing their own frustration or anger or any other emotion.
     One day, when my twin boys were young toddlers, they became way too quiet in the bedroom.  I sneaked up the stairs and listened.  They were busy doing something and then giggling.  Ever so quietly I sneaked and when I saw them I nearly cried!  They had opened the door to the attic and found the stacks of 500 and 1000 piece puzzles.  Twelve  puzzle boxes were strewn all over the floor but the puzzle pieces were in a HUGE pile in the center of their room.  They dumped each box of puzzle pieces in the pile and tossed the box aside.  They played in the pile of pieces like it was a pile of leaves on the lawn. They were so happy!
     I was tired!  With four boys, (2 toddlers, 1 teen and 1 tween)  I was not at all interested in cleaning up 12 boxes of puzzle pieces!  I just sat there, and in my misery, I started to cry.  Soon, though, their giggles brought me back to reality.  They were so happy.  I slowly rounded the corner from the stairs and laid in the doorway.  When they saw me they were even happier!  “Look Mommy,” as Britt grabbed up two handfuls of pieces and threw them up and then danced underneath the falling pieces.  Puzzle pieces were EVERYWHERE!  I asked them… “So…. what are we doing here?”  Britt exclaimed, “It’s a fire!”  He grabbed more handfuls of pieces and up into the air they went. Cody ran back into the attic to get the last box and before I could say a word, another 500 pieces landed in the puzzle-piece-fire.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to do.  So… I said, “Interesting…”  I then decided to distract them and totally avoid the clean up until later.  No yelling.  No punishment.  I really didn’t know what to do.
     When Daddy came home, I suggested the twins show Daddy what they had created today.  They couldn’t have been happier to show him!  They bounded up those stairs and started the tossing frenzy again.  Daddy looked at me with a questioning look… as if to say… you let them do this?  I signed and shook my head.  For the record, did have the boys help us separate the pieces into several piles based on the color of the back of the pieces.  Then, the parents took on the task of getting every single puzzle piece back into the proper box.  Yep.  We rebuilt every puzzle to make sure each box was correct.  Every box was then sealed with tape and ALL the boxes were sold in the next garage sale!
     Imagine if we had handled the situation differently.  What if I had yelled at them for the mess and belittled them because of the work they created for me and their Daddy?  What if…??  What stinkin’ thinkin’ could have resulted.  We will never know. But I know for sure… children will respond to the messages we send them.  They will close up for self protection.  OR they will blossom when supported.
     Do you remember a situation where you wish your parents had supported you?  Do you remember an event that initiated your stinkin’ thinkin’ about yourself?  Have a story about something your children did and how you handled it?  Please share here.
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A Daughter’s Grace

    spiritual-transforamtion Yesterday I received a text from a young girl whose father was in hospice care.  She asked for help understanding the death process of both the physical body and his spirit.  Hospice had provided her with a book on physical changes she would notice and how to respond as the body prepares for death.  She said she was wholly unprepared for how to handle the spiritual aspect.
     Her questions were deep and profound.  She wanted to support his spiritual needs as much as his physical needs.  Yet, there wasn’t adequate information on what those spiritual needs might be.  She said, “They didn’t give me a book about this!”  She wondered if there is a proper way to say goodbye.  She asked if he would know whether she was there beside his physical body or if she was praying for him from home.  She asked if the atmosphere in the house would affect him (the loud TV and all the noise and activity was a lot for her to handle too.) So many questions….
     I’ve been a nurse for over 25 years.  I’ve spent a lot of time with dying people both in the hospital and in their homes.  I found great joy in working with hospice patients and their families.  It’s the most difficult time for a family, sending a loved one off to the spirit world.  One thing I know for sure, each death transition is different in the circumstances leading up to it, the people involved, and their reaction to it. There is no one right way to do this.  There are a lot of things to do that are well received.  And there are plenty of things that are not well received.  So many variables!
     Once I determined what her expectations were for herself during this process it was easier to guide her.  She wrote notes from our conversation and implemented the to-do list that evening.  She had a beautiful, loving (though one-sided) conversation with her father.  The house was calm and peaceful and she knew he was resting easier.  When she left him this morning, she was at peace, too.
     This evening she received a call from the hospice nurse indicating his transition could be in the next 24-36 hours.  She was confused about what to do.  She felt badly because she was trying to figure out whether to go to his bedside again (hours away) or go to sleep and potentially go to work in the morning.  She said, “I need someone to walk me through this because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  How am I supposed to know what’s the right thing to do?”
     Tonight’s conversation was quite different.  During our conversation we discussed how to talk to his non-physical presence, his soul.  She asked for a visual.  “How does that look?”  I asked for her angels to help me with what visual would be best for her. As I described the beautiful visual of colors her angels showed me, she was able to finish the description as she was seeing it herself!  Beautiful!  Amazing!  Perfect!  I had chills!  I was in awe!
     She asked one final question.  “What else do I need to do to help him?”  After our conversation yesterday, I had asked her angels that very question.  I wanted to be prepared in case she asked.  She did!  I gave her the information about forgiveness that her angels had shared with me.  I knew she would understand the message even though I didn’t.  It was not my message…I was just the messenger!  She asked a few clarifying questions and then said, “Oh, I get it….I know what they mean.   So, I just need to let him know that’s been taken care of.  I will do that now!”  And she did.  She was able to receive the guidance she needed.  She was able to process the forgiveness herself immediately!  And with a visual that was clear and beautiful, and easy to recall.
     Our entire phone conversation was just under 12 minutes.  Exactly 2 minutes after our call ended, my phone rang again.  I was surprised to see it was her calling again. She said that as soon as we hung up, her phone rang.  The hospice nurse had called to say her father had died…transition complete.  We both knew immediately… the vision we had both seen was of her forgiven father making his transition to spirit.  We both were in awe and wonder!  What a gift for both of us!  This young girl had an amazing spiritual experience tonight that will remain with her forever.  She said it was BEAUTIFUL! She was so pleased!  I was so honored to be with her at that time.  Though we were physically 1,000 miles apart, we were together on that phone and our spirits were in alignment with her father.  What an incredible blessing!
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When People Show You Who They Are…..

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Many years ago, I was in the front row to hear Maya Angelou!  Her words of wisdom were profound and her presentation was delightful, thought provoking and…. for me… quite moving.  She said some things that the audience found humorous and other statements that were met with the silence of significant thought.   Other bits of wisdom were met with quiet conversations and remarks spoken in whispers.

One of her famous quotes came after she told a story.  The story ended with her looking out into the audience and stating, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”   I remember thinking to myself…”Well, that’s not fair!  People can change.”  I am one of those people!  I was an unhappy teenager.  I was angry about a multitude of things and was quite sure my entire future was doomed to be filled with continued trauma and drama.  But, I changed.  I changed my attitude, my perspective and my outlook and everything improved!  Because it happened for me, I believe everyone wants to be happy and everyone will look for a pathway to make it so.  Right??  Doesn’t everyone desire to be happy?  Isn’t everyone willing to make changes to achieve a greater level of happiness??

Over the years after the event, I looked over my notes often.  I agreed with her on every level and every point, except that one statement.  I always believed people can and want to improve their life and their outlook.  I had a fundamental belief that no one truly wants to hurt or harm another.  I believed it is our responsibility to and for others, to believe they can change and to support them as they do.  It’s part of the reason I became a Health & Wellness Life Coach…. to assist those who are ready and willing and to provide the tools to make it easier and more efficient to find and keep a positive perspective.

Recently, I’ve revisited this pearl of wisdom from Maya.  I’ve had to make a few changes to my belief system.  I recognize that everyone can improve and have a metamorphosis which leads them to create a life of wonder and happiness and joy.  I also recognize, for many people, it’s easier to blame others, complain and stay right where they are!  And finally, I’ve had to realize that there are those who will give lip service to all the “right” things and their actions tell quite the different story.  Actions speak LOUDER than words ever will.  When the actions are not in alignment with the verbiage – listen to the actions/behavior.  What people do and how they do it is more expressive of their intention than their words.

When people show you who they are, do you believe them the first time? Do you allow for the possibility they may change and become  more focused on love and service to others rather than self-service.  Or do you take your first impression of them and assign it to them permanently?  Do you believe people can change and improve?

I think we have to be mindful of what people show us and allow for it to improve.  But don’t assume it will  …. and don’t be disappointed when they show you who they really are!  We all have free will and get to choose our attitude and behaviors.  We can’t be disappointed if we have no expectation of another person’s way of being.  Thus we cannot be disappointed when someone shows us who they really are….

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