Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

The “Heart Work” of Resuscitation When Life Knocks The Breath out of You

September 19, 2016

I’m now recovering from a “Prozac” week–or two.
Even healers need to “resuscitate and breathe” to heal and re-heal for optimal health when it feels like the wind has been knocked out of you and like you’re suffocating.

Experiencing both human and non-human losses (relative and pet), while witnessing others maneuvering through their losses as well as fighting not to lose themselves and their own lives can at times be, and has been, overwhelming. Each loss we experience  accumulates on top of others.

Not only are there the loss of lives, but the the loss of connectedness with friends and family; loss of value, quality and security of life amongst our children and youth, our families, our communities, our leaders, etc.

Sometimes it’s necessary to just shut it down for a bit–which I’ve pretty much done over the past couple of weeks.

This morning I awakened to the sun shining and a warm breeze from the oscillating fan which remained on throughout the night.  Many don’t appreciate the higher temperatures, especially this time of year, and long for Winter to come, but this is like a warm embrace to me in what can sometimes be experienced a cold world–both literally and figuratively.

As I started my day today I discovered some previously unseen messages in my FB inbox.
In them were messages from total strangers commenting on the positive impact my online presence and audio messages had on them; and an invitation to speak to a parent organization–all breaths of fresh air.

Then I read an OWN article written by Glennon Doyle Melton, which contained so many nuggets, however the following paragraphs spoke directly to me about who and what has come and gone from my life:

“Who do I love? but also What do I love? What feeds my soul? What is beauty to me and when do I take the time to fill up with it? Who is the woman underneath all these roles? What does she need?  [This applies to men too]

I want every woman to answer those questions now, before the tide comes. Building sand castles is beautiful. We just can’t live inside of them, because the tide rises. That’s what the tide does.

When it rises for you, remember—you are not the sand castle. You are the builder. I am not, at the end of the day, a mother, a wife, a writer, an activist, a friend. I am a Child of God. That’s who I was when I came into this world and who I’ll be when I leave it. No one can take that from me. ”

And so I continue the heart work:  breathe in, breathe out…
Who is the person underneath YOUR roles?

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OCTOBER AWARENESS

October 14, 2013

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October being National DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS Month is extra special for me this year having recently published my fourth book “Entertaining Angels Aware: I AM My Sister’s Keeper”.   Entertaining Angels… is about growing up with and now caring for my only sibling who was born with Down Syndrome. I never get tired of celebrating her being in my life, and others who have touched our lives with a special love.  To learn more about my Angel and Me, visit our facebook page “Entertaining Angels Aware”

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Another cause which is celebrated during the month of October is that of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS   During my early years in practice as a licensed Marriage, Family & Child Therapist, the idea of a man putting his hands on, or mistreating a woman, was so foreign and distasteful to me, I had difficulty conjuring up enough compassion and patience to work with women who refused to leave their abusive spouses/partners.  However, my love for and work with children—especially those in the foster care system, and my tenure of watching more than one generation evolve, have caused me to become much more understanding and compassionate in working with both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.  I now know that, as with most any other expression of powerlessness, “hurt people hurt people”.

In addition to my ongoing clinical work with those who are broken (or doing the breaking) I see the signs and symptoms of violence, not only domestically but through the verbal, emotional and physical abuse depicted throughout societal “norms” in professional workplaces, educational settings, and morphing throughout all avenues of entertainment in comedic, dramatic and reality TV shows, films and music. How can it NOT be in our homes?!

Being “The Heart Lady” I am constantly appalled by the negative and hurtful things I see even in comments posted in response to articles which were intended to be heart-warming stories—revealing a widespread attitude of anger and violence.  Where is the LOVE?

I’ve learned that LOVE means different things to different people, which when it all boils down, really has nothing to do with love at.  LOVE doesn’t hurt.  That’s all I have to say about that for now.

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Last but not least, the biggest cause acknowledged during the month of October is National BREAST CANCER AWARENESS Month.  This is a cause I’ve been pretty “mum” about. For the past six years I’ve both consciously, and subconsciously chosen not to speak about it because it was 8 years ago that my “bestest” friend Val, began her battle with, as she referred to it “the pink ribbon thing”.

For two years we talked about and explored complementary treatment which included Western as well as Holistic medicine.  We even laughed about the day during testimonial service when she was going to hang her bra on the wall of the church like those who had been healed of other maladies had placed their canes and crutches!  🙂

Unfortunately, Val passed three days following my own mother’s funeral, which she’d argued with her doctor to be able to attend just prior to her final hospitalization, and two and  half weeks before my 50th birthday.

Since then I’ve not worn, posted, or displayed the pink ribbon symbol of breast cancer, because just seeing it has only triggered feelings of loss for me.  I also think of the children who have been “orphaned” by ‘the pink ribbon” This year, however, although I still miss my sister-friend sorely, I’m making the choice to acknowledge the friends and associates who have SURVIVED breast cancer and am working on consciously celebrating their lives.

Statistics at some point indicated that one in four women would be diagnosed with breast cancer; and I recall looking at attendees of my 40th birthday celebration and realizing that FOUR of my friends in attendance either had already, or have since been a survivor of breast cancer.  I’ve also learned of childhood friends whose lives have also been affected.

Today I post a pink ribbon in celebration of the lives of Bernadette, Antoinette, Signe, Thelma, Debra, Lauren, Michelle, Gloria, and others who have and WILL have survived!

P.S. – Ironically, while going through a container of old key chains yesterday, guess what I came across?– a pink ribbon key chain with hearts.  I guess it time to open my heart and new doors.

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SPEAK TO MY HEART: WHAT’S YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE?

February 25, 2013

Amazingly the new year has taken off without skipping a beat; and Valentine’s Day, my most cherished holiday being “The Heart Lady”, came and went without much more than a faint heartbeat.  As a matter of fact my heart tank has been on “E”—and that’s not for Evelyn this time.

 Not by coincidence, I’ve been recently re-introduced to “The Five Love Languages” written by Gary Chapman who identifies the 5 Love Languages as being:

            Words of Affirmation

            Physical Touch

            Receiving Gifts

            Acts of Service

            Quality Time

Re-taking the Profile Survey I realized that during the months leading up to and throughout the holidays (in addition of a physical condition which significantly altered my daily activities), my heart communication had been pretty much mute–there being little to no communication in either of my primary love languages.  

Contributing much of the effectiveness of my work in the healing profession to the genuine and authentic empathy gained from my own personal experiences and emotional pains, I often refer to myself as a “wounded healer”.  However, it’s one thing to draw upon and share one’s wounds from past experiences but quite another to share those being experienced in the present. 

Acknowledging and healing one’s emotional wounds can be very difficult because generally when others don’t see any physical evidence of pain, they either totally miss it; ignore or dismiss it, giving simplistic and superficial advice; or just back off and avoid it waiting for you to get through or “over it”.  This is even more difficult when you’re the “go to” person for others when they are in pain and/or need.

Through my prayers and introspection I have been reminded of one of my most recent inspirations to speak on the topic of “Healing Your Heart & Following It”.  I also recall a colleague’s question after reading the manuscript of my memoir “It’s Heart Work…”  “Have you healed yet?” Wow…

A firm believer of “walking one’s talk” I recognize and embrace this most recent experience as the bridge to effectively delivering that message I’ve chosen or been chosen to share. 

Oftentimes we feel unqualified to declare any sense of authority or expertise in the areas through which we may struggle, and we back away.  However, I believe in my heart that when we receive these challenges and trials as gifts and tools with which to work, they are actually the stepping stones to following our hearts and fulfilling our purpose. 

Are you ready to follow your heart? Are there areas in which you recognize a desire and need to heal in order to move forward?  Do you trust someone who knows and walks the talk?

I’d like to offer you an opportunity to be the first to take advantage of my “Speak To My Heart” coaching series and begin healing and filling the receptive and expressive love tanks of your heart.    

If you will send me an e-mail with “Speak To My Heart” in the Subject Box to ME@TalktoMsE.com I will send you information about the outline and registration options to take part in this 8-10 week series. 

I look forward to walking along side you in learning and practicing the steps to better speak to and from the heart and follow it. 

Hearts & Blessings,

Ms. E “The Heart Lady”

REFLECTIONS OF 2012: God Laughed

December 31, 2012

On this last day of 2012, as many probably are, I’m reflecting upon my life over the past year as I prepare for the the new year.

With the upheaval of tragedy and discord of the last couple of months it’s easy to become distracted and focused on the sadness, anger, and pain in the world, and possibly our own lives; and to quickly discard of the old year for the new.

I’ve taken the last few days to “Unplug” from the world of telephone and internet to just “be”.   I think sometimes we just need to do that to reconnect with ourselves and The One whom we believe to be the true source of our lives.

I’m a goal and action-oriented person (when “D” elements—depression and disconnectedness– aren’t wreaking havoc with my emotions).  I enjoy and am energized by setting goals, planning, and taking account of where I am in light of where I’ve been and where I desire to be.

Many of my goals and expectations weren’t met this year.  However, when I think about it,  in many ways, in lieu of some of my stated goals many of the events of 2012 exceeded my own expectations.  I can’t help but think of the scripture which says “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, and above what you can think or imagine”.   I use to say that God would have to be doing an awful lot because I have a pretty big imagination”.

My mentor and friend Michael Pritchard says “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”.  Well I must say, God “do be” doing a lot; and I think He really did laugh over my life in 2012.

A year ago today, little did I know that in less than 90 days I would be spending my birthday in the rainforest of Sao Paulo, Brazil as part of an International Symposium on reducing trauma to children, before, during, and after birth; and a few days later visiting an orphanage where I’d meet and fall in love with a precious little boy who shared my birthday.

Neither did I know that on Mothers’ Day, one of the most depressing holidays of the year for me, that I would be served breakfast, along with flowers and card, and spend the day with my youngest son who has spent most of the Mothers’ Days of his adulthood incarcerated, and most times my having no idea where.

Thinking about ending my bi-weekly internet radio program in October, I had no idea that the more than 3,000 listeners to my September program would be beyond any of the programs of the previous two years.

Nowhere in my conscious dreams did I see myself appearing in a “2013 Calendar of Alopecian Beauties” after watching a Sistah on PBS* who literally “flipped her wig” and released me to finally triumph in my challenge with Alopecia and “bare it all” myself, with the support of a network of sisters online who shared the challenge as well.
*God bless you Ms. Sonya Renee Taylor.

Then in November, National Adoption Month, I found myself sitting on the set of a San Francisco affiliate of  a major network, baring my heart (and feeling  no shame, my head) about the joys and pains of being a mentor and foster and adoptive parent to many youth who had/have been written off.

Just imagine…none of these were even a part of my goal plans for 2012!!! Well let me reframe that: My “objectives” may have been slightly different, but overall I believe my primary goal –to fulfill my life purpose—actually was met.

Looking at this overview of my year, one might think “Wow, what a wonderful year!”  Yes, it has been; but it has also included heartache and tears, loss, grief, feelings of disappointment, rejection,  aloneness, loneliness, fear, financial gaps and sinkholes, and sometimes even doubt.  However, even in these times, I believe the purpose of my life was/is being even more clearly fine tuned, and my goal being met.

You might wonder if I will even bother to set goals for the New Year? and if so, why??? The answer is a resounding “YES”!  Because, if for no other reason, I want to make God laugh –some more!  Because when He laughs I eventually laugh too!  😀

Looking forward to laughing with you and God in the New Year!


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