When You Love and Hate Someone at the Same Time

I recently saw a meme on Facebook that said; “I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry and accept an apology I never received.” I shared it to the BWCAdventureSisters Facebook Page. What a powerful statement! I imagine we all have had experiences like this that have caused us pain. Where we did not get the apology we hoped for from the person who hurt us. I imagine, that there have also been times in our own lives, that we have been the cause of pain for others and never apologized; for whatever reason. I know I can think of several times in my own life. These were times when I was not brave enough to say “I was wrong”.  Other times when I never had the chance to express what was in my heart before the other person was gone. I wrote about one such time in my blog When the Last Interaction Is Not Positive.

I like and shared this quote, because it shows that we do not have to stay stuck in anger, just because we didn’t receive what we thought we needed to move on. My first divorce was incredibly painful! I didn’t know how to love and hate someone at the same time. It was confusing. More so than confusing, it was also so lonely. No one could really help me through it. I was suddenly and utterly alone in this deep grief. I had friends and I had family. All who were supportive and willing to be there for me; but it felt like none of them could possibly understand what I was going through.

How do we reconcile love and hate while still respecting our need to protect ourselves from further abuse? How do we move on past anger and into acceptance and forgiveness? How do we allow the love that is there to take that pain and safely transform it? It is not easy nor does it happen overnight. They say time heals all things but I do not believe that time alone is enough to transform these very difficult situations. It takes work, processing, acknowledging, and ultimately forgiving; to move beyond these confusing times when we feel we were wronged.

I have forgiven my first husband for that long ago pain. Yet I have never apologized for keeping his children from him though. I was doing what I thought was right, but in the end, I understand that I hurt him and I hurt them through this action. Relationships are tricky things. We can have an impact on others, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize. I hope those I have hurt can find it in their hearts to forgive me, so that they can be freed from the burden of ‘that’ pain. Because really; forgiveness frees ‘us’ more than the person we are forgiving.

I love you! Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find peace and forgiveness, as if by magic!

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Protect Me, Open My Heart

“Protect me, open my heart and I will be free.” This is the refrain from a pretty Kundalini Yoga song called “Aad Guray”: by Nirinjan Kaur. I absolutely love this phrase! It says so much to me. This song pops up as the first song in my iTunes account and I sing loudly and poorly with the refrain every time.

The idea of opening our hearts to others can be so scary. So starting this by first asking for protection, to open the heart, is brilliant. Protect me, keep me safe, while I open my heart and share my love with everyone. Such a vulnerable thing to do. I feel like the idea of opening my heart while being protected really is the definition of freedom. I can love everyone then. I can love that person who hurt me. I can love the person who may not be a safe bet to love. I can love the difficult person. I can love strangers.

Understand I do not think all this free sharing of love, means we put up with abuse. It is okay to love someone from afar. It is okay to send love to someone without getting mixed up in the drama of their life. I find that to truly protect myself, this is sometimes necessary. I also have learned that sending love to someone who has hurt me or someone I love, is often the best way to change the situation. It seems like; once I open up my heart and send love (from afar) the situation seems to defuse. When I hold fear, anger or even hate in my heart; my negative feelings are rewarded with negative events.

When we know we are protected, we free safe. When we feel safe, we are more likely to to be able to send love to those who bump up against our lives. Is asking for protection enough? I personally like to enhance the, asking for protection, with some “setting the intention of protection” and visualizing a white light around my heart. The white light is the Divine Energy of Pure Love. It is all around. Pull that energy around your heart and use it to create a force field to allow the love out but no hurt in.

I challenge you to open your heart, surrounded by protection and set yourself free. Let us know what experiences you have had with this in the past and as you step into the future and try it anew.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you feel free to love safely, as if by magic.

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My Daughter’s Mother… Dotties Story (An Adoption Story continued)

My daughter’s mother passed away this weekend. She stepped out of her cancer riddled body and moved beyond the veil. She moved from the life of pain, she was living, into the peace of the world beyond this one. Her life seemed so short; she was much too young, but none of us get to decide the hour or time of our passing. Does it seem weird to you that I say my daughter’s mother? I suppose it might. If you read my earlier blog, A Story of Adoption… My Story, it is easier to understand why I say this.

Let me tell you a little about my daughter’s mother. She had a smile that was infectious.  It was so infectious it made you wanted to smile and laugh right along with her when she did. She was fun too! Never taking life too seriously. When I was young, long before any of my daughters where around, her husband (at that time) raced cars and I was part of the pit crew. One time, the car got banged up that it needed some metal repaired on the fender.  Dottie and I riveted a new piece of metal to car. Then we painted it to look like a bandaid, all the while laughing and joking about our little addition.

There were countless summer bonfires out at her house. It was a time in my life when I was carefree and my responsibilities were few. My biggest “to do” was to make it home in time for my curfew. She was “that” adult who listened to me and took me serious, when so many others dismissed me or told me how I was feeling, was wrong. She helped me see myself as important.

Today, I sometime speak to high school children about adoption as an option for unplanned pregnancies. As part of these talks my daughter provided a recording of what the experience was like for her. Her mother, Dottie, wrote a letter. I would like to share some of her words with you.

When she described the time, right after this beautiful little soul was born, she said; “They called me in and the mother was holding the baby. I was just dying to see what she looked like and she (the Mother) put her arms out to me with the baby; to give her to me. The baby was crying and crying and I said isn’t that beautiful? The sounds of a baby crying. They (the Mother) shake their head no. I’m holding the baby and the baby stops crying and I started crying. I did ask the Mom if this is what she really wanted to do, and she said yes. This baby girl was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. She had so much hair and beautiful coloring and every finger and toe was there; she was just perfect to me. This Mom had produced the most beautiful angel I had ever seen; there was so much love between this baby and I. I could feel it.”

Dottie always let me and my family be part of her angle’s life. Her reasoning was simple, beautiful, and loving. “I cannot describe the love that I have for the Mom and Dad that gave up their rights to give me that child.  That Mom gave me the greatest gift you could give to anyone that cannot have a child. She (Mom) did not give this beautiful child because she did not love her; she gave her to me because she did love her and wanted her to have a good life with a loving Mother and Dad. Time went on, (the baby’s) Mom would come out and see the baby; I never stop her from doing that. That was okay with me because that baby was a part of her life too. I never stopped the baby from having any contact the Mom’s side of the family. Great Grandma and Great Grandpa just adored her. At the time, I was thinking that one day the baby would know she was adopted. So this would make it easier for her, because she would already know that side of the family”.

There was so much love in Dottie. She was so unselfish in allowing my family and I access to know and love this child. She sent pictures often. Dottie and I would have long conversations where she kept me up to date as to what was going on with this daughter, we shared, as she grew. As she grew into adulthood, these conversations decreased and then finally stopped. I will miss those conversations. Dottie always welcomed me, my visits, and my involvement. I see Leeah as daughter to both of us but I see Dottie as her mother. She is the person who did the work of being a mother. Staying up when Leeah was sick, going to her games, concerts, award ceremonies, disciplining her, and celebrating with this girl as she grew. I was only watching from the wings, happy that there could be so much love for her.

No mother/daughter relationship is perfect and Dottie and Leeah have had their differences through the years. It is those we love the most, who can make us the most angry. Fortunately,  love can heal all wounds in time. Dottie always shared love with me. As I kissed her cheek that last time and said farewell; I felt that her stepping out of this world would leave a hole, an emptiness, a void. May you be surrounded by peace and filled with love in the place behind the veil, Dottie. Thank you for raising the daughter I was not able too. I love you. I miss you.

I would like to conclude this blog with Dottie’s own words about having adopted the daughter we shared, “I have had nothing but joy, love, and happiness. What I have seen since she’s been growing up; she is so much like her mother and looks like her mother and has the same beautiful qualities as her mother: compassionate, giving, logical, and sympathetic to people’s needs. …So thank you too Leeah’s Mom for this gift from God to me.  I know you loved her then, you loved her as she was grown up, and love her now. That makes us all good Moms.”

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find peace in all of your relationships and your decisions, as if by magic.

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Common Ground, Can We Find It?

As I was scanning through Facebook this morning, I saw several people who felt the need to voice their opinion, on other people’s posts. Have you ever felt so angry or strongly disagreed with something a friend posted on FB, that you just had to reply? I bet we all have. But have you ever replied with a snarky comment in response to someone else’s post? This is what I witnessed this morning and have many times before. Someone feels so strongly, that they not only need to respond, but respond with a fairly negative comment. I have been told these people are called trolls.

I do not believe this is a healthy practice. First of all, many people rallied to support the person this “troll” was attacking. They were not kind to the “troll” thus becoming trolls themselves. (I do not like name calling and I think calling these people trolls probably hurts real troll’s feelings. They don’t want that kind of reputation- even if they did try to eat the 3 Billy Goats Gruff… it’s the circle of life after all!) I think expressing our opinions can be a positive thing, when it is done in the spirit of working to understand one another and find a middle ground. Then it is a beautiful and mature way to deal with our differences in opinions.

I really believe we need to allow others to have their own opinions. In this human experience, we are all having, we are all in the place we are perfectly meant to be. No one is better than someone else. From a spiritual stance there are probably some flaws in all of our opinions. Instead of trying to berate or change the opinions of others, what would happen if we just accepted others “as is”? Imagine if we all looked for our similarities, worked together, and just agreed to disagree on certain issues. I believe there is a way. Through loving our fellow voyagers in this human journey, we can work together. We do it all the time in our ordinary lives. I have co-workers who have a whole array of various opinions and beliefs. Some align with mine and some do not. Yet we still all manage to work together and are a wonderful team that, not only supports each other, but is very productive as well. My parents each have beliefs and opinions that are different than mine but I still love them like crazy and respect for them as they are.

I believe it is important that we allow others to have their own opinions and beliefs as a practice in love and acceptance. I also believe that doing so will bring us more peace. We can’t change others and when we are constantly trying to, it messes with our sense of peace and security. I am not suggesting we tolerate comments that are hurtful to ourselves or others. I only want to suggest we deal with them in such a way that we do not also become hurtful to others as well. Accept that this person is in a different place on their journey than you are. Kindly provide them with education if you can. Perhaps right now, some issues are so big, we can’t get to a middle ground. On the smaller issues, keep trying. On the bigger ones; try by looking for the good, the Divine, the Human behind the opinion.

Yes, I understand this is my usual happy Pollyanna attitude about life, but if we don’t start changing our approach to others, we’ll never get beyond the superficial. I feel we are so much more than our beliefs and opinions. I encourage you to let others have their opinions and look for the common ground. It is there! Sometimes it just takes more digging to find it in others. When you do I bet you find we have more in common than what makes us different.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you have a life of feeling loved and accepted, as if by magic! I love you!

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A Story of Adoption… My Story

When I was young I got pregnant. This was during the time in my life that I lovingly refer to as my ‘evil rebellious years’. I would fight with my mother for  just the sake of fighting and, of course, thought I knew everything about life. I was no longer living in my parents home for precisely these reasons. When I first realized I was pregnant, I was very happy and excited. I went shopping with a friend and bought a teddy bear that was wearing shorts with neon green smiley faces for this little spirit that was growing inside of me. I also ran into an ex-boyfriend’s Aunt shared with her my excitement. She one of the very first people who knew I was pregnant.

It didn’t take long, however, for me to come to the realization that my life was not conducive to raising a child and providing her with a life, I felt, she deserved. I had no job at the time. I was living on a friend’s couch. The future did not look bright. I had to make a very hard decision and I decided to place my baby for adoption. 

That same ex-boyfriend’s Aunt and Uncle had not been able to have children together. I called her and asked if she would raise my baby. I really think I shocked her. It is not the kind of call you expect to get. My mother was worried about having someone I knew adopt my baby and asked me to talk to an adoption agency. I did as she asked but it was not a good experience. They actually made threats that if I gave my child to someone of my choosing they would have me charged with child abandonment. What a terrible thing to threaten a 18 year old girl with. I was just trying to do the right thing for this little life that had been created by my actions. 

Lawyers got involved and the Aunt and Uncle started the long process of home studies to prove they would provide a safe and loving home for this little soul. I can not speak to everything they went though, in order to adopt this baby, as I was quite a bit removed from the process but it was a lot.  

From the time I was 3 months pregnant, I thought of this child growing inside me as their child. I am not sure I could have gone through with letting her go if I had not. When she was born, her mother was at the hospital. They were kind to me at the hospital, putting me in a private room just outside of the maternity ward. During my stay, her mother would come and spend time in my room with her. I remember one morning a well meaning nurse brought the little one into my room for me to give her a bottle. My only guess as to why she did this was because she thought I might want to keep her if I fed her. What this nurse could not have possibly known is that I did want to keep her. I would have loved to have taken her home with me, but I knew I could not offer her the life she deserved. 

When I was released from the hospital, her mother drove me home, dropped me off and left with her. It was the first time in 9 months I had been without her. It felt so strange. I will be forever grateful to her mother for doing what I could not do. She loves her, made sacrifices for her, and raised her to be a remarkable woman. I am so proud of the amazing person she has grown to be. 

Her mother kept me informed about her life, invited me to events, and allowed her to spend time with my grandparents. I was so amazed in her love and unselfishness. I love her for this. 

When I share this story with others they open up with their own stories of placing children for adoption, being adopted, or other adoption stories within their own family. Adoption touches far more people than we realize. I am not embarrassed by my choice to place my baby with a different Mom and Dad. They gave her a better life. It was a decision I made out of love. Just as their choice to welcome this little soul into their life was also made out of love. 

And the story continues -> My Daughter’s Mother… Dotties Story (An Adoption Story continued)

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your past choices made from love give you peace, as if by magic. 

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My experience with a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship.

Emy and I are The Adventure Sisters but we are not biological sisters, we weren’t even raised together. We met at a class several years ago and were friends before we knew we were friends. Our friendship goes so much deeper than a typical friendship. We are soul sisters. There is a familiarity between us that hints at past lives of being princesses together. A soul connection that calls to past history of dancing through lives together. I am completely myself with Emy. Her presence brings out a deeper part of me. I feel safe in her love; safe in the knowledge that I can be me and she will not judge or walk away from me.

Emy and I have had an annual trip to the BWCA for awhile now. It has been something we both look forward to; at least until a couple years ago. For some reason, I have become more resistant to this trip. I know how much Emy loves it and how it feeds her soul; so I keep trying to push through to make it happen for her. This year, only about 3 weeks prior to the trip that has been planned for 6 months, I started to feel anxious about going. I am not an anxious person; typically I can push through whatever hang ups I may have to do what needs to be done. I spent a week, trying to work through it, seeking guidance and even talking to Emy about making modifications to the trip. In the end, just over 2 weeks prior to the date of the trip, I told Emy I wasn’t going this year. I still needed to feed my spirit but I needed to do it in a different way. I needed alone time to go deep within myself. I needed time to recharge my own batteries. I advise people all the time to take care of themselves first but relized I had not been following that same advise.

I knew Emy would be upset, disappointed, and angry with me. I imagined she would feel abandoned and maybe even disrespected. I reflected on how I would feel if the places were switched around. I also trusted that Emy loves me just like I love her. No two blood relatives could have a stronger connection than we do. I knew she would understand why I needed to back out and would support that decision, even if it wasn’t what she wanted. Emy did not disappoint me. She showed me what a strong, nurturing, and amazing woman she is. She modeled how I would hope to respond in a similar situation. She expressed how she felt, honestly, to me. She had reflected on what the lessons might be for her in this situation. She shared love and support with me. She is a beautiful soul! She encompasses so many powerful, nurturing qualities. I am proud and so very blessed to have her as my adventure sister!

This year we will still have an adventure but different than it has ever been before. She will voyage in one direction and I in another. I am setting off into a forest to spend time in nature searching for parts of myself that seem to have gotten lost in caring for others. She is taking her personal trip to discover her own lessons.

I love helping others; I feel it is a part of my mission. But, as they say on the airplane, I have to put the oxygen mask on myself first. I appreciate it so much that Emy understands and support me in this. I appreciate those wise friends who helped me dig deep for guidance. They supported and encouraged me through making a challenging decision, a decision that could have jeopardized a relationship that I hold close and so very dear.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish all of you will find your soul siblings, as if by magic. I love you and I am proud of you!

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My Experience with “36 Questions to Fall in Love”

Have you heard of the 36 questions to fall in love study? Here is the way I remember it. A psychologist, Arthur Aron, proposed that he could cause 2 people to fall in love by asking progressively intimate questions of each other and then have them stare silently into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. The study was published in the late 90s but became popular during the time when I was online dating. The TV show, The Big Bang Theory, even did an episode about the questions. As the story was told to me, the two people who were used in the initial study actually did fall in love. Since I was looking for true love and intimacy in the online world, I thought I might as well give it a try.

I remember sitting across the table at a restaurant from the man I was currently dating. “Want to play a game?” I asked him. His eyebrow went up and he asked what kind of game? I explained to him about the 36 questions. He was skeptical but agreed to play along. We began taking turns asking each other the questions. We pushed my phone back and forth across the table asking each other questions. Alternating who asked the question first. I have to admit it was a fun way to get to know each other and to deepen the relationship. In the end, he and I dated for about 6 months but did not fall in love. I did do the questions with a couple other of the men I dated.

One of the men I did the questions with became my husband. We did the questions while driving to go on our first camping trip together. Again the questions were a great way to get to know each other. I think the key was that the conversation was going on during the long drive and initiated many side conversations. This time the questions revealed a whole new experience. This time the questions deepened a closeness that was already forming. The questions took us a couple of days to get through because we didn’t rush them and we allowed them to take us down bunny trails and into other conversations. I am sure this was not the intention during the study but we’re not scientists, just two people getting to know each other on a deeper level. When it came time for the 4 minutes of gazing into each others eyes, it was magical. It was almost like a meditative experience.

In the end, did the 36 Questions cause my husband and I to fall in love? No, we already were in love (although we had not expressed this to each other yet) when we asked each other the questions. I believe true love is really about a soul connection. The questions did help us to know each other better. Our relationship was brought to the next level and the questions prompted deep and meaningful conversations over the course of the weekend. It was on that same weekend that we did profess our love to each other. Did the intimacy, spun out of asking the questions, allow for our comfort in saying the words? Maybe.  We just celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of deep and meaningful intimacy.

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Everyone Is Fighting Some Type of Battle

Today, as I was on the rental car bus to the airport, 2 woman almost got into a fight. How does this happen? How do we get so worked up over little things that we treat our fellow person with anger and disrespect. I love the quote “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”, by JM Barry. Why pick a fight or try to impose your rules on a stranger, when you have no idea what is going on in their life? 

What happened:

As the rental car shuttle came to it’s stop, everyone stood up, anxious to get on their way to wherever they were going. At that moment one lady decided to become the self-appointed ediquitte monitor. As people were trying to get off the bus she pushed herself in front of a woman in the isle, physically forcing her back, and told her angrily; “Edequette is for the front people to get off first.” She then proceeded to blocked the other woman from getting her suitcase. The other woman pushed around her and huffed off the bus, glaring at the etiquette police. This self appointed shuttle departing authority then looked at me grumbling about how rude it was for this other lady to try and get off first. 

Let’s consider: 

Maybe the other lady was in a hurry because of some sort of delay and was in jeopardy of missing her flight. Maybe she had just received word that her grandmother had died and was traveling to get to the funeral. Perhaps she was rushing to get to her son’s hospital bed after he had been in a terrible accident. It could have been she had just been laid off at work and was taking her final trip home from the company headquarters. Maybe she was ill and traveling to receive treatment. I wonder if any of these things were true, if the angry lady would have made such a scene and attacked her in the way she did. Of course another of these things could have also been the story of the woman trying to enforce the unwritten rule of getting off the shuttle. 

A wider view:

We can take this consideration and apply it to any part of our life. People in shopping centers and restaurants. Those we share our roadways with. Acquaintances, friends, and family.  Even those we know well, may not share everything that is going on under the surface. Maybe they are having a crisis of self-esteem because of changes in their life. Maybe there is a secret that is stressing them and they feel they will be unloveable if they share it. 

I ask you, as you go about your day and feel frustrated by the actions of others. Please try and be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting some sort of battle.  We all have stuff going on in life. We all have emotions that we share and do not share with others. Be kind to yourself and be kind to your fellow travelers in this journey we call life. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a blessed life where you receive limitedness kindness from everyone you meet. I love you. 

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7 Reasons to Smile is

1 It makes others feel good when you smile at them. Have you ever had a stranger smile at you. It’s just a nice feeling.

2 It makes you feel good to smile too. It helps your body release those feel good hormones.

3 Fake it, till you make it – when you smile (even when you do not feel like it) it helps to elevate your mood.

4 One smile can lead to many more – when you smile at someone, then they smile and the next person and so on. So that one smile can become blossom into many smiles very quickly!

5 It connects us. Walking down the street and you catch someone’s eyes and smile and for the briefest of moments, the two of you are connected, even if you never see them again.

6 It raises your vibration! The higher your vibration, the better you feel but not just you, those around you will feel the difference too.

7 You look nice when you smile. Think about someone making a grumpy face vs. a happy face… who do you feel more drawn to? The smile of course!

Keep smiling friends! Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a lifetime of reason to smile.

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Speak from the Heart

Have you heard of the Chakras? How you can use these ancient energy centers to help your message, be not only heard but also felt? This simple technique can help you send the purest intentions to those you are communicating with.

The Chakras are energy centers within the body. There are 7 of them.  They start at the base of the spine and move to the top of the head. Some traditions even teach of an 8th center above the head. They are all represented by different colors. The colors of a couple of them vary, a little, depending on the tradition in which you learned of them. I first learned about the Chakras when I was trained in Reiki Energy Healing. So, starting at the base of the spine, I will list the Chakras for you. At the bottom of the spine is the Base Chakra. It is represented by the color red and is related to safety and security. In the lower abdomen is the Sacral Chakra, which is represented by the color orange. It affects passion, creativity, and sexuality. Next we have the Solar Plexus Chakra. Yellow is its color and it has to do with self-esteem and personal power. As we move up to mid-chest we have the Heart Chakra. It is green and rules the emotions. In the neck is the Throat Chakra. It has to do with your voice and making yourself heard. It is blue. Between the eyebrows is the third eye or Brow Chakra. It is purple. (in my Reiki tradition but Indigo in other traditions) It has to do with interpreting information and intuition. At the top of the head is the Crown. It can be represented by clear or by the color purple. It has to do with your spiritual connection.

Now that you know a little about the Chakras; I feel I should be encouraging you to speak from the Throat? It is true that our Throat Chakra helps us be heard and it is an important part of the equation. If you speak from the Heart your words will be stronger, more meaningful, and spoken with the purest of intent. It is easy to see how this might make sense in a speech about an emotional topic, like children, or healthcare. But there may be a topic that just doesn’t seem like it has room for emotions. Let’s say you are giving a speech on accounting. This may seem to be a very cut and dry type of speech, about numbers and procedures. There doesn’t seem to be room for emotions in this speech. If you speak from the Heart, however, your truest intentions will come through. Those hearing your speech will also feel your intention to help them or call them into action.

So how do you speak from the Heart? I feel visualization is a powerful tool to use. Picture the words coming down through your Throat and projecting out of your Chest, right through the green revolving energy center there. See your words entering the audience in the same place. A Heart to Heart connection. Feel the warmth of your words spreading throughout their being with the best intentions to help them. Practice it and watch the difference in how people respond to you when they not only hear your words but also feel your words.

Speaking from the Heart can be a powerful tool to help you make you message known and get your intentions communicated. Using this simple visualization, you could find that you are more easily able to affect not only those around you but also the world.

May your life be full of communication, that is not only heard, but also (having those good intentions) felt. Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you!

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