The Power of Feeling Heard

Have you ever felt frustrated because you were trying to express yourself and no one would listen? Maybe it was something close to your heart and you just didn’t feel safe to share it. Have you experienced trying to share something and the other person just wants to tell you what you should do and give you advice that makes you feel invalidated. It can be so frustrating when you do not feel heard. There is truly a power, in those times, when someone really listens and you can fully let your soul express itself.

When I read tarot cards publicly, I have often found that the most powerful part of the whole process is not anything to do with the cards. It has to do with the person on the other side of the table feeling heard. I have had people break into tears because they were able to tell me something they had never shared with another person. I have seen the stress melt away from the person’s face and their shoulders relax as I truly listened to what they had to say. As I heard them, and did not judge them, they felt safe and validated. It is truly a gift you can give to another person.

I was with an amazing group of dynamic woman the other day. They were all sharing how, in their various ways, they shared healing with the world. It did not matter what their careers were. Over and over again I witnessed them expressing they same thing. They listened to people. They let them be who they were and kindly heard what that other was trying to express. Just think, you have that power too! You can bear witness to what your friend, client, family member, or stranger at the grocery store is telling you. When you are open to truly hearing people, you will be amazed what they will share. I have had people working the drive-through window open up and spill their guts to me.

Another friend shared a video on FB. It was about grief. It expressed that, people who are going through a loss, do not want your advise or for you to tell them everything is going to be okay. They need you to witness their pain and be there for them. Let them cry and express themselves and know that, not only do you not have to fix it for them, you can’t fix it for them. Just hear them, accept them, be there with a shoulder to cry on and a ear to listen to them.

So how often in life do you really truly feel heard? It is a magical thing when it happens. We are often so distracted and busy multitasking that we do not give people the time and attention they deserve. If you are not feeling like you are getting what you need, there are a couple things you can do.

  1. Find  a group – it could be a group of friends, a support group, or a spiritual group. ‘Meet Up’ is full of groups for various types of activities and interests.
  2. That really close friend – if you have a friend you can really talk to (not everyone does) tell them what you need. That you just really need them to listen to you and not fix it for you. That you just want to be heard.
  3. Seek out a professional – maybe this is a counselor or a therapist, but it could be a great hair stylist, massage therapist, life couch, psychic, or medical professional. You know the professionals you work with and you know what area you need to be heard in. These people are use to listening and you are paying them for their time. They may be just who you need to talk to. Perhaps it is time to pay one of these people a visit.

Whether you are the person who needs to be heard or the one who needs to do the hearing, there is a wonderful gift to be had in such a simple act. We all sit on both sides of this table from time to time. Be aware of those you interact with. It may be you who are able to share this powerful gift with them. Perhaps, by you modeling how to truly hold the space for someone to share their inner most thoughts, you will also be teaching them to do that for others in the future.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you always feel heard, as if by magic.

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Quality of Life; How To Find It and What It Means for You

As a hospice nurse, quality of life verse quantity of life, was something that often came up in discussion with patients and families. How do you want to live your life? What is an important focus for the time you have left here? You may not think this questions is relevant to you at this time, after all you are not dying, but this question is relevant to all of us. None of us know how much time we have left here. Even more importantly, sometimes quality of life and quantity of life are not the same thing.

According to Deepak Chopra, research shows that people who age well have 7 things in common.

They are:

  1. Meditation
  2. Wide social support systems
  3. Close relationships with family and friends
  4. Daily Multivitamin and mineral
  5. Good sleep and daily activity
  6. Life long curiosity
  7. Take on new challenges

Deepak goes on to say that most of these things are about quality of life. Therefore having a good quality of life equates to having more quantity of life too. I have seen this first hand in hospice. Patients on hospice, on average, live about 30 days longer than similar patients with the same diagnoses. Shifting the focus from curative to quality of life, actually extends life.

So what makes quality of life so important? It makes life worth living. What is the point in having a long life if you are miserable? Do I think that this means you should eat everything you want, party, and abuse your body? No, absolutely not. Although those things may give you pleasure in the moment, the abuse to your body is likely not going to contribute to healthy quality of life over the long haul. These types of abuses to the body take a toll on it, which could potentially cause disease and frustration.

A better quality of life can be found by:

  1. Working through you baggage
  2. Forgiving others and more importantly yourself
  3. Learning to truly love yourself
  4. Making healthy choices for your body
  5. Finding hope
  6. Having balance
  7. Surrounding yourself with people who respect you and make you feel heard
  8. Trusting the flow of the Universe to support you
  9. Awareness of yourself as an eternal being
  10. Remaining positive whenever possible but also acknowledging your emotions

How do you feel your quality life is? What steps do you need to take to attain and maintain a healthy, happy, quality of life? Remember that happiness is an inside job! No one can “make” us feel happy. It is a choice we make in every moment and with each interaction. Live your best life now. Don’t wait for tomorrow.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have an amazing quality of life, as if by magic.

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Give It Some Time – The Richness of Life Will Reward You

Last night I ate green curry for supper. It was very good but I couldn’t eat it all. This morning, I decided, why not eat the left overs for breakfast. I know, not your traditional breakfast food, but I am not a traditional girl. I came to some big realizations by eating this non-traditional breakfast. The first was that it tasted so much better today! Think about all the things in life we hurry along, but if we only had allowed them to simmer and get ready in their own time, perhaps they would be much better. We value youth but age (experience) has so much to teach us. We live in a world of instant gratification but, if we let things come around in their own time, they could be so much better. 

Let’s look at senior citizens. These amazing folks have lived through things that we have never experienced. We are unlikely to experience all the things they have. Look at the changes they have seen to civil rights, technology, travel, and the economy. The world today, is a very different place than the one they grew up in. They have lived through World Wars and the Great Depression; these are certainly things I hope to never experience but just imagine all they learned going through that. Look at the changes to Women’s Rights. In her day, my mother was fired from her job because (as a married woman) she got pregnant. That was completely normal and acceptable, not so very long ago. Growing up fast could not give us the knowledge and experience or form us into the people we are meant to be. Only time can work her magic in these situations. 

Let’s look at relationships. In the past I have rushed quickly into relationships. I did not give myself the time or freedom to date many people. I would meet someone and then make them my everything and eventual marry them. I did this twice. When I eventually decided I would like to try a romantic relationship again; I allowed myself to date many people. I did not rush anything. I allowed things to come about in their own time. I held enough respect for myself to walk away when it wasn’t right. This allowed me to find the man who would be my third and final husband. We are a nice match. We fit well together. If I had tried to rush one of the earlier relationships into being something it was not meant to be, I would never have gotten to this place, where I have a beautiful partnership with a man who is perfect to me. 

Another good example of taking time over instant gratification is books. Are you a reader? Do you like to read novels? Have you ever read a novel and then gone to see the movie they made of it? Were you disappointed? I have found that when I see a movie after I have read the book, that I am often disappointed, because so much of the meat of the story has to be left out. Sure it is a quicker way to experience the story. A couple hours verses a couple days or more to get through the book. Depending on how much time you have to read each day. I just feel frustrated by the changes they have to make in the story, for it fit into the movie’s allowed time. 

Don’t get me wrong. I still really enjoy movies, just as I really enjoyed the green curry last night. I love the life I have lived and do not wish it to be anything but what was. I am grateful for those brief and quick relationships and what they had to teach me. But sometimes, just sometimes, we need to realize the gift that giving something some more time, can be. No, time does not heal all things, but time can allow changes within ourselves to be able to face what we could not face before. Just like my mother’s lasagna, which was always better on the second day, time makes life more flavorful. 

 

I love you. Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be full of the ‘flavor’ that time allows to permeate all things, as if by magic!

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Our Connections With Others

People are wonderful. They really are. I have met so many amazing people in my life time. Each interaction, changes me a little. I learn from them, I grow, and ultimately have a bigger (and better) understanding of the world around me. 

There is a group I facilitate once a month. We explore a number of topics and have rich discussions. We all learn from one another. Last night there were 13 of us in attendance. We have had bigger groups and we have had smaller groups. It is a very fluid collection of attendees. New members come and old members drop in from time to time. Some people come once and never return, while others join and become regulars. It is a group that welcomes everyone. The richness of the group is directly related to all the wonderful attendants. As I looked around at the people who were there last night, it made me think about the spider web of life. It made me reflect on how these various members had come to be present at our gatherings. There were those who were friends of mine, those who came because the were connected to the church where we hold the gathering, and still others who were friends of friends and had made their way to our little circle. It is a great representation of the wonderful diverse web of life. 

Because I have been gifted with a life of travel, I have friends in many different places. Some near and others very far away. I have learned from all of these people. As with my monthly gathering, these friends have come into my life from so many different sources. Connections from relatives, classes, and jobs. This is one of the reasons I feel social media is a blessing. It allows me to keep a connection with many of these people. Some I consider deep and intimate friends that I care very much for, but it would not be possible for me to keep up relationships with all of them, if not for social media. There are those that I get to have a meal with once or twice a year. Others, who are a random text message now and then. This doesn’t diminish the thoughts I have for them and the gratitude for their parts in my life, nor the blessings I wish for them. 

Someone told me once that people come into our life when we need them. When they have served their role in our life, the energies will change and they will slip away to a new part of their life. I like this concept. It makes me feel better to understand that those very dear friends, who are no longer active in my life, have moved on as is intended by Divine order. New people are coming into our lives all the time. Are you open to the messages and lessons they bring with them? 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of dear friends, as if by magic. 

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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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