I’m Listening

Child #1: “You’re not supposed to do that!”

Child #2: “I’m not listening to you!”

Child #1: “Yes you do! I’m 5 years old!”

Child#2: “I don’t have to listen to you!” (Child #2 is 4 years old)

Child #1: “Actually…..I’m 5 ½ years old.”

Child #2: “I’m not listening to a 5 ½ year old! Bus driver, how old are you?”

Me: “I’m 52. Actually…I’m 52 ½ years old.”

Child #2: “I only listen to old people like the bus driver. Humph.”

The conversation reminded me of the times I yearned to be old enough for someone, below or above my age, to listen to me.

Now that time has passed and my childhood is far and away, I’ve learned to choose wisely which voices I allow to influence my decisions. What matters most are not the voices I listen to but the one voice I try to silence. That voice, which is so easily quieted, is the keeper of our deepest knowing about ourselves. Our intuition. Whenever we say, “I don’t know or I can’t,” we are communicating to our higher self in no uncertain terms, “I’m not listening to you!” There is nobody telling you  to listen except yourself. We’ve all felt our intuition’s silent shouts, “Yes you do!”  echoing in our gut at one time or another.

Experience (age) has a way of gaining this understanding. If we could all simply take a breath and feel what we are feeling before tying up our knowing in a “not”, there would be no stopping any of us from reaching the unlimited potential untangled in an I do know or I can! Listen to your gut and you hear your heart.

Do make it an imposition to listen to your intuition.

Beautiful Beat

This happens frequently when I’m driving on my morning school bus route. As I head East, I watch in awe as the sun slowly awakens. Brilliant hues of pink, purple and orange peek over the night’s black blanket with blinks of hope and promise for the day ahead. It’s difficult sometimes to draw my eyes away from its radiant beauty. My first thought is, “I need to take a picture of this!” I want to remember this beautiful sight and share it with everyone I know! But of course, I can’t because I’m driving—a school bus.

I found a better way to capture the moment. I open my heart’s lens and let it focus on the beauty before me. In long slow breaths, I inhale the sunrise’s hope and promise and drop it into my heart, the one place where the colors will never fade and at a moment’s thought, the beautiful feeling can be be retrieved. Making every heartbeat a Kodak moment I share with the world.

Passing Through

As suddenly as it began, the mesmerizing winter scene before my eyes ends. Without warning, a flurry of fluffy snowflakes descends from a lone grey cloud hanging in a motionless sky. Delicate snowflakes by the thousands gracefully float through the air like tiny parachutes. Their journey, guided by the forces of nature, has brought them to rest over everything in the landscape.

Having surrendered to the wind’s whim, some have come to rest on my outstretched hand. As I watched each disappear into my skin, I thought about their journey. How the close of one passage through this world opens up infinite passages to enter the next way through. The snowflake now, along with me, continues on in another form from seen to unseen. Awareness— being the sacred observer of life— gives us a way to join our external and internal journeys. In those passing moments we feel complete.

These poignant encounters with nature are moments our awareness can inspire us to plug into that source energy. Source energy is never not connecting with us. Allow your attention to be captured by the power of enchantment. Start now. We are only here in passing.

As suddenly as it ends, it begins again.

Cruel Cold

 

Old man winter has given us quite the roller coaster ride this year to say the least! Temperatures plummeted to below zero for over a week, reaching a low of -30 several times, and then rose to the high 40’s in two days bringing thick fog. It hung like a heavy wet curtain over the sun and the spirit of folks. Freezing rain and a dusting of snow followed. The mercury once again is hovering below zero. Our coat hanger is laden with coats, thick and thin. Each morning the family navigates through mounts of weather ready footwear  strewn near the door.

Old man winter is a slippery fellow. Can’t say that everyone is thrilled with the chill. We don’t have a choice except to weather the weather. We do have a choice as to the disposition in which we do it. The excerpt below from my book, Sweet Wisdoms, gives you my perspective on how I mentally shovel through the challenges of a Wisconsin winter.

Cruel Cold

We are experiencing below-zero temperatures with the wind chill here in Wisconsin. It’s freeze- your-nose-hairs-together and turn-your-nose whiskers-frosty kind of weather. As I make my morning round of chores, I’m constantly pulling my hat down and my long underwear up!  You can feel the landscape’s bones on these sharp cold days. I delight in the simplicity of winter—stay warm. Bitter cruel cold, you can’t make me a bitter cruel cold person.

 

Polished People

The other day I received a bulky package in the mail. As usual our mailman, Craig, placed it inside our entrance way instead of laying it outside against the door. I could see the struggle in my mind…him trying to hold the door open with the awkward and heavy package obstructing the way through for both of them, and the room that thing must have taken up in his car!

It was in that moment I “saw” my appreciation for my mailman. To express my gratitude I left a good helping of my homemade caramels with a Christmas card in the mailbox. I warned him not to eat them froze for fear of an emergency visit to the dentist. In return we received a very nice thank you and…he didn’t wait.

There is a nasty bug going around. I’ve had several “clean-ups” on my bus and don’t want to think about how many “clean-ups” the school janitors have had to deal with in recent weeks…at least there’s doesn’t freeze to the windows. If your child has gotten sick in school or the bus maybe the shine of appreciation would brighten a janitors/bus drivers’ day. I can think of so many others. There are those that you may believe don’t deserve any appreciation…well…they are the ones that need it the most.

Yes, they know it’s their job, but if nobody did their job, what would we do? We all need each other, it’s that simple. The media would have us believe we all hate each other. We don’t. Appreciation is like polishing people. You shine, they shine…and the whole world gets a little lighter and brighter. Make it from the heart not obligatory then you get the warm fuzzy feeling too from basking in their glow.

Appreciation polishes people. Polished people shine. Shiny people illuminate the world.

Tale of a Tattler

I’m a school bus driver. Our district has a “no eating “rule on the buses. Mostly, to protect those children with food allergies from a medical emergency while they are in transit. It also helps deters bees and wasps from coming onto the bus looking for sweet treats in the garbage.

On this particular day, a kindergartner tattled on a friend for eating candy on the bus. The candy was a large lollipop. I gently asked the little boy to either throw it away or put back in the wrapper for later. School buses now-a-days have high backed seats. You can’t see anything that is going on in the seats which makes enforcing the “no eating” policy extremely difficult. I’ve adapted a strategy of intentional listening (it sounds better than eavesdropping) on conversations that light up my misbehavior radar.

I can hear a quiet exchange of indiscernible words between the tattled on and the tattler. Within a few seconds, the tattler had another tale to tell, “He’s still eating his candy, Bus Driver!” I now resort to pleading. “Please, put the candy away. You know eating isn’t allowed on the bus”.

That’s when I hear the rule breaker speak up. In a loud, deliberate voice directed at the tattler he says, “For the last time, I’m not eating. I’m LICKING!”

I can’t help but bust into a big smile. Good one! I’m admiring his manipulation skills with a limited vocabulary while at the same time leaving the tattler tongue tied. Then the pure innocents of the situation revealed a profound truth.

We all know we should talk less and listen more. This experience taught me what we should be listening for—meaning. The meaning given to words is defined by the speaker. If we are not giving our complete attention to listening, talking is meaningless.

Conquer Can’t

Next year I resolve to project less fear out into the Universe. Doing that means focusing on positive energy, starting with my own experiences and encounter in daily life. The greatest positive energy force on the planet that I know of is genuine love from the heart. Fear burdens Spirits and tests faith. Love lifts and lightens. Love conquers can’t, one of fear’s strongest sources of power.

Energetically we feed the Universe. Every thought and feeling is on the menu. Fear is fast food. Feed the fear, starve the soul. I am consciously choosing to get fit on faith, not fat on fear. With mindfulness I will be able to slow down and feel what I’m feeling. Then I will decide how hungry I am and choose what I want to fill that hunger—love or fear. Love is the main ingredient— the “bread and butter”— in a healthy positive relationship with life. Without it our hunger is never satisfied. With it we feel the fullness in our lives.

2018 is the year I conquer can’t and put my fate in the can.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. ~ Napolean Hill

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new.”~ Ursula K. Le Gui