Heartfelt Moments-A Duck Tale

A few weeks ago I wrote my new mantra in my journal:

Let me be a Blessing to Someone Today.

Little did I know the impact these words would have.

After going to a consultation, I went to Earthfare to get myself an Yerba Matte latte- and as I was headed back to my car, I noticed a small crowd in the corner of the building. They were watching a mother duck and her 7 very small babies.

I found out that a lady named Julie had found them in the parking lot headed toward the major highway–and that the male duck had died from a car hitting it. Why mama duck gave birth here with so much concrete and not in a place with grass and water was a mystery, but it was obvious that they had little chance of getting to a safe place without our help.

Have you ever tried to capture a scared bird?

Julie called the office that took care of the local lake  in South Asheville and they called their “duck lady” Mary-who was on her way to the lake. When she arrived where we were, she had a cat kennel with her, but unfortunately not a net. So the 6 of us that couldn’t leave until we knew the ducks were safe, decided to gather around the “family” as they crouched together in the corner. As we shuffled as one unit, we bent over each other forming  layers of arms and bodies.

All of a sudden moma bird tried to fly away- through the arms of the gal below me and right up at me–it happened so fast…but I caught her!

WHEW!

As Mary held unto her, the rest of us scrambled to collect the 7 ducklings who were now running in all directions. They were so small and so soft we had to be careful not to hurt them.

With moma and her kids now safely in the cat carrier, we all took our cars -in convoy style- to the lake to welcome them to their new home.

It was so beautiful to see mom take off for the water with all 7 of them close at her rump- like the train of a wedding dress…and I was able to see first hand that ducks are born knowing how to swim.

Julie had her mother and daughter with her through this and Mary and I stood and spoke with them for a while. Mary shared stories of the ducks she needed to help on the lake and Julie shared memories of growing up in the country with her mom helping so many different animals – and being such a role model to her that Julie is now able to do the same for her daughter.

A few days later I returned to the lake  to see if I could find my family of ducks. I sat on the bench and within a few minutes they swam toward me- moma and all 7 . Moma came out of the water up to me looking straight into my eyes. After a few seconds, she quaked twice as if to say “Thank you” and led her kids  back out in the lake.

As I watched them slowly swin happliy away, I thought about the beautiful ladies I had met through this.  Mary, Julie and her mom all live  through their hearts on a daily basis, putting aside their own schedules when they see a call for help.

Since I’ve been asking for my heart to open up completely,  I’ve been meeting more people who’s heart are.

And now when I asked to be a blessing to someone— in the end I was the one who received the biggest blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Can a TV show help change the world?

Even as a young girl, I used to question things in life that seemed unfair.

For example, why do men who get to play ball for a living make millions of dollars, when people who work in filthy, unsafe places like steel factories and coal mines (which are important to keep our nation going) barely make enough to feed their families?

And why don’t wealthy people show more compassion and do more for those who struggle?

SO when I heard about the reality TV show “Secret Millionaire,” I just had to see it.

Each episode features a millionaire who disquises him /herself as someone who is filming a documentary on volunteering- goes into a poor area of the country, stays in a low income house with only the amount of welfare money (app $40-$60) to live on for  6 days . His/her mission is to find and volunteer at 2 or 3 places that work toward making the life of those living in that area , a better place.

www.park-volunteerpublishing.net

Many of these givers seem to be catered to keeping kids from getting into trouble, some toward feeding the homeless, or cleaning huge amounts of trash off the streets.

At the end of the week, the millionaire then donates thousands of  dollars to each of these “charities” , according to how he/she was affected by them.

Yet this is not just another feel good show. There are several reasons why I love it so much:

1 – “Secret Millionaire” allows me to FEEL  how life is for so many people who have been finacially hurt by the economy or other means. This helps me not only appreciate my own life more, but opens my heart in a bigger way  to those less fortunate.

2-The show inspires me to volunteer and find ways to give back even more  in my own community..

2-The show allows the charities and  do-gooders to have much needed exposure that may bring them funding . Many of the founders have dedicated their lives to helping others even if they have little income themselves.

3-Most of all, each episode shows me how the millionaire becomes affected by their time helping others in this “up close and personal” way. They start to break their own emotional barriers and open  their hearts more.

www.toysperiod.com

The experience brings them emotionally closer to their own families and friends, and gives them a new perspective in what’s really important . A few even said that they now realize that they were never happier then during this week when they were helping others in this way- so much that they are downsizing their “toys” and spending time mentoring some of the people they bonded with while volunteering.

I’d like to think that the “Secret Millioniare” is helping to change the unbalance of the world .

And it’s about time.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

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My Angel Story

photo by Alin Petrus

When I was a child, I had an invisible friend who cheered me up when I was sad, taught me things I didn’t know, and hugged me when I felt lonely. It didn’t matter that no one else could see her or thought that I made her up -she was always real to me.

As an adult, my “imaginary” friend is still with me, but is more subtle in the way she communicates.  And I am pleased to find more and more people are starting to accept what they refer to as “angels” watching over them.

Many years ago, I was at my friend Suzanne’s house, and she was telling me about her angel “Penny”.

” How do you know to call her Penny?” I asked.

“Everytime I need a hug, or find something I thought I’d never see again, a penny appears,” she explained.  ”For example, one day, I was staring at the rug, very upset over something and I called out to Penny. When I looked at the rug again, a penny was there. ”

I realized that I never had a name for my invisible friend! As a child, it seemed natural to just feel her and not have to identify her. But now, I really wanted to have a word association.   But how do I find out what it would be?

“Ask her” Suzanne replied.

As I was driving home from Suzanne’s house, I said out loud, “OK–what do I call you?” and in that moment 5 things happened at once:    1- The radio flipped to the Jeremiah was a Bullfroog song- Joy to the world…2-a car cut in front of me with the tag 444Joy…3- I passed a billboard that said “Joy to the World”….4- I had a flashback from Jr High- I was watching a christmas contata and 2 guys and a girl were singing “Joy, Joy, Joy”- then the girl sitting next to me leaned over and said “Today is the girl’s birthday and her name is Joy”…and 5- I felt an incredible wave of Joy fill my heart.

A few months later, as I was headed home from a long work day, I was passing an antique barn I had never been in before and had the urge to stop in. “Not now, I thought, I’m too tired.” But the urging got stronger and so I stopped. As I went through the door the shopkeeper told me she was closing in 5 minutes. “That’s all I need.” I told her as I walked quickly- feeling led -to the back booths. On the table, I saw a small white porcelain angel with it’s hand up and in it–was a penny. I immediately thought of Suzanne, then realized that it was her birthday! I thanked  ”joy” as I picked it up to purchase.

But wait-behind the angel , on the table, was a frame that had 3 artfully illuminated letters matted together  in the perfect colors for my living room.

Was this a gift to me for paying attention and following the nudge to find Suzanne’s gift?

I wake up to it every day  and am reminded to be mindful and  trust the nudges when they come–and to know that my life is about being in Joy.

Do you have an angel story ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lessons from a Garden

 

shrubs by my workshop door

As I was pruning some bushes by my workshop door, amazed at how tall and full they had grown in such a short amount of time, I had a flashback to my first adult experience of gardening.

Years ago, When I was a flight attendant, I met a man on one of my fllights who became one of my spiritual teachers. Even though he was retired from a fortune 500 company, Phillips had spent many years working with nature spirits and earth religions. I soon spent many quiet, peacefiul weekends at his private nature reserve on Van Couver Island.

A few mornings after arriving on one of my visits, Phillips asked me if I would enjoy spending time that night in his outside hot tub, underneath the winter stars. Thinking about how cold it would be getting out of it after, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. So I didn’t give him an answer.

Later that day, Phillips called me out to a small fenced in garden that I hadn’t seen before.

photo by edboyden.org

He wanted me to help him weed this pitifully, overgrown -no sign of even one vegetable- plot of land.  As  we went about pulling out the weeds, he asked me very quietly and calmly why I was so rude to him earlier.

I could feel my feathers start to ruffle- “Me rude! I am NEVER rude”- I roared out! How dare he say that! As we continued to weed- me getting angrier by the minute, he gently asked me why I didn’t answer his question about using the hot tub.  This stopped me for a second and then I blurted out “well I didn’t know if I wanted to or not-does that make me rude?” I asked.

“Why didn’t you just tell me that?”  Phillips asked calmly.   “By not answering,  it was like you were ignoring me- like I don’t matter. Can you understand how that feels?”

And then I realized that in a very loving way, without judgement, Phillips was helping me to really see myself.  He was “weeding” me.

And he was so right- as innocent as my blunder might have been, I was dishonoring him–the way I felt I was dishonored as a child. Like I wasn’t important.

I apologized and grieved -looking inside at my  weeds as I continued to helped clean out  this garden.

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One week later, I flew back to his sanctuary and Phillips called me to see the garden. I couldn’t believe my eyes- never had I seen such gigantic, healthy vegetables. Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lettuce- as full and tall as the shrubs I was pruning today.

photo by funpiz.blogspot.com

It was magical- and it showed me that if we take time to weed out the bad stuff in our lives, we can grow more vibrant and healthier then we’ve ever dreamed…

And I feel that I am well on my way…are you?

 

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Are we only as healthy as the love interest we attract?

They say that you are only as healthy as the love interest you attract into your life. Looking back at my relationships- and where I was emotionally during each of them- I can see how this can be true. It seems that the more issues I had , the more of a mess “he” was.

My life has been about working on my “isms” and each  boyfriend has tended to be healthier than the last. I’ve reached a point where I feel really strong in who I am, and my mantra these last few years has been “to open my heart completely that I might be more compassionate .”

Well- my sweet poet and I are coming up to our 1 year mark, and he amazes me more and more every day. Last week he called to tell me about a little bird. Seems that the past few mornings as Michael tended the yard, this Robin Red Breast got closer and closer to him . Was it just curious? Trying to make a friend?

Yesterday  morning when I was at Michael’s, he came into the house to tell me that he had found the robin at their meeting spot- but the bird was laying on the ground not moving. As he gently reached down to it; Michael felt warmth, but no life in his little friend.

I followed Michael outside to the bench where he had placed the bird’s body to take pictures to remember him by. Then he went to his garden, shoveled out dirt to make a grave between the white lily plants and gently lay the dead bird in it. Then my sweet man said a few words of what the bird meant to him and wished his spirit well. After shoveling the dirt back to bury it, Michael got a flat rock as a tombstone, placed  some blue gems around it and an azalea bloom to make the grave complete.

As I watched Michael’s loving ritual, while he took time to honor the life of his little friend,  I suddenly realized that this  man that I have in my life is open-hearted and compassionate!

Is it really true that we are as healthy as the love partner we attract?

If so, I have come a very long way.

I do know that I can feel my heart opening more and more each day…..

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