Communication in The Wild

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I kept this in mind when I moved to Hawaii and realized the natives were speaking a form of pigeon English. At first I was appalled, having been raised in a highly literate family of lawyers.  Then, I remembered being in California years earlier and being told my upbringing in the Midwestern US gave me a funny accent compared to most of the English speaking world. Many people have altered the sounds of English words to suit the phonetic sounds they mimicked from adults. All children do this no matter where they were raised. Some have learned their sounds and accompanying associations from living in the wild. These highly sensitive peoples are just like you and me with a particular distinction. They are connected to the earth.  They do not destroy forests, pollute waters or endanger animals. They live with the oneness they feel with their environment.

Just like everyone else, everyday, I have to survive and thrive. In Hawaii I communicated daily using the street-wise pigeon English and accompanying Hawaiian hand gestures. I even had long red finger naiIs and waist-length long hair. Over four years, I was instructed to get a fresh fish at dawn straight from the beach-landing fisherman as long as I had one dollar and a newspaper to wrap it. I was told where to get freshly baked bread for a few dollars and for $35/night, my family alone could stay at the Boy Scout Lodge in Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It was breathtaking!  Memorable.

I was on a short list for a free ride in a island touring helicopter because they needed a second person for weight distribution or they couldn’t fly. I found a sense of belonging in a highly trans-ethnic island culture by being considered Kamaaina, meaning “of the island.”  Stop, drop your phone, center yourself and feel it.  Lets learn to fly by imitating the sensitivity of indigenous people to become more grounded in the earth. She is our home.

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Oh, dear old summertime. Many of us are hard at work with the rest of us at leisure. Oh, and what a leisure it is! After the pile of effort it took to keep ourselves warm during Winter, . . . we have realized our dream of Summer.

With COVID, our focus is directed inward. We can be with family, care for our home like never before; be very, very careful, practice a skill, explore the internet and read. Its as wide as your imagination.

I am continuously reading something. This year, during our family’s 43rd annual camping trip, I was reading, The Spell of the Sensuous, Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, by David Abram.

I understood, quite some time ago, how we are one with the world and the Universe.

This book describes how to be far more connected to Nature and every living thing in it. In his words, our eyes and the texture of our skin takes-in the nuances of the shifting wind and the nourishment of a rambling brook.

He goes on to suggest that we got the word, “rambling” from the nature of the brook itself. That we got the word, “wow” and “bang” from lightning and thunder. And that we operate at this sensitivity level.

Calling ourselves emotional has been a stifling label. We can set ourselves free from it. We are naturally sensitive, just as are the birds and the butterflies are sensitive. We get our sense of flying from all of nature traveling by flight.

David Abram, a summa cum laude graduate at Wesleyan University, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Watson and Rockefeller Foundations and has a Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction.

He has traded sensory information with indigenous people in Indonesia, Nepal, and the Americas. As an ecologist and a philosopher, his writing has influenced the environmental movement in North America and abroad.

This is his first book. Its lyrical, poetic, and intellectually embracing. It startles our senses out of habitual ways of seeing and hearing for a wider, fuller engagement with Nature.

He traces the steps of Rene Descartes, from the 17th Century; followed by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th Century, followed by Merleau-Ponty in more recent times. They all developed the idea that our earth is animated with life that flows to us and from us.

We are communicating with it and it is communicating with us. It’s a rich exchange.

Amazon has The Spell of the Sensuous. It is published through Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House, New York.

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The Line

In this world, we have people, animals and plants, . . . insects, (oh, let’s skip by them).

Scientists have long been telling us that animals and plants are subordinate to us in self-awareness and the ability to feel satisfied. Not true. Some of you know where I may be going with this. But no, that is for another blog post.

Today, I am determined to write a special blog for fathers. Happy Father’s Day, to all you daddies. 

You know if you offend your dog, your cat, bird, or mistreat your plants they wither, they retreat.

So it is also with humans. We know nasty treatment comes in many forms. I know, you know you need to end it with your generation, now.

I say this fully intending to help. I pray I come across without judgement. If you feel judged, know I do my best not to judge.

On this Father’s Day dear dads, please be aware of The Line. The Line is not be be crossed. Every living thing has a line to stay within. When you cross it, you trigger that withering response, that retreat. 

Dad’s, you have everything a person can have in life. You have a family. That’s huge. It requires you trade your old life for a new life. A life of being good to your partner and children. Having a family is unlike anything else on Earth. You get what you give.

The plants do it right. Just look out over a field, . . . my empty lot next door.  Animals do it right. Watch the Animal Channel or read Nature, the magazine, The Sierra Club Magazine or Nature Conservatory. For more inside information read Peter Wohlleben’s books.

Get into it. Not only for your own sake, but also, for the reputation of Men. It seems someone, somewhere, worldwide, gave men the permission to slack-off. Not you, of course, but far too many men are sitting in easy chairs while their full-time working/at-home working partner does everything for them. Who died and made you KING. Gee whiz. Your partner does not want to have to ask you to participate in the life you created together. You need to get up and volunteer to help create and maintain it.

So much can be said, communicated in a kind and loving way. When an attitude changes and a positive, loving spin is applied to everything you say, it grows like the lawn you trim throughout the Summer. Ask for appreciation after you have given it. Then, watch how easily you get the appreciation returned to you. The respect and appreciation you deserve after your performance. Like your event, or your position on the field, you have a grand play as Dad.


Every living thing has

a line you do not cross.

Your sensitivity is your strength.

Kindness is your tool.

The ball is in your hands.

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What You Truly Want

There is a flow to your day. You may be proactive, in which case you have plans for your day; or, you may be reactive. Going with the flow, with whatever happens and reacting to it when it arrives. Both are viable. Either way, there is a flow to your day.

Those of you who tend to be proactive must often patiently wait for their idea to find the right time to live and breathe. So we, (I am proactive) must have a wider awareness of those people around us, what they are able to do and when. We need to work with them, work with time. Often time is needed for them to make it their own idea. With your ego in your pocket, you won’t care who takes the credit.

These people, those we need to work around often live in our house with us. They may be at our job, working with us. They are in town. They mean no harm. They are just not thinking the same way and so often impede our progress by default. This is one of those situations where applying love is best to do.

Stress comes to us when we don’t do something about it. So letting it go is counter-productive. The best thing to do is to take the thought of what you immediately think you’d like to do and change it by applying love to that thought. Doing this will have a softening affect and a more focused affect relative to the person you are trying to motivate.

Do you remember what Grandma used to say, “You get more with honey than you do with vinegar?” And, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater?” Sure you do.

Take love, compassion, kindness and the softest way you know how to be, straight from your heart and apply it to the situation. Your heart has an infinite abundance of love.

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What’s in Your Secret Sauce?

The greatest compliment you can receive isn’t “great work!” or “that’s perfect!” It’s this: “How in the world did you do that?”

You are memorable when you use your creativity. Your imagination will get your creativity moving . . . love your imagination; be patient, give it rewards. Allow your imagination to feel real good so it will move, travel, flow and even soar beyond what you have ever imagined before now.

Grab ahold of your courage. You know you have it. Take that incredible imagined thing of yours and put it into action. Write, sing, move, build, figure out, or put together your idea. Show how it relates to the past. You will need to explain its use as a useful thing. Our world, full of people, is waiting for your offering.

Wow them with just your ideas. Be willing to execute by following their suggestions. Take it all the way to its end. Dont’s stop. Don’t talk yourself out of it. You already have everything it takes. It will lead you to places others can’t imagine. Why? Because they are NOT you. You have something that no one else has? Find out what it is.

Professors, professionals, bosses, peers want your secret sauce. You may not know what it is yet, but, I happen to know they want it and you have it. Our world needs it. It is possible you will feel validated by expressing it.

Over time, I wish for you the same grand compliment I received when I announced I was closing my 38 year long creative professional sewing business. “You can’t close, no one does what you do!” I was humbled by it, grateful to have had that effect on people.

Michigan’s Mom Sewing Services is closed but its focused energy moved into a vintage clothing shop on Etsy.

I could not stop it from moving further forward. At you will see I am still doing Make-Overs with wardrobe consulting in custom packages.

And now, its blossomed into

I am humbled this and amazed at how far it has gone.

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Why Are We Here?

Is this the million dollar question or is it super obvious?

Some of us are constantly asking this of themselves.

Why am I here? Good question.

The answer is waiting for you, anxiously waiting for you. To find it takes little effort. Almost the opposite of effort.

Relax and have any tense areas of your body melt into the ground. Imagine a copy of your heart separating from your real heart and moving out of you, turning to face you. Feel the warmth, the all-encompassing love from it.

Before you send it out on its mission, attach a cable of communication from it to you. It belongs to you. Your cable to it is strong.

Now, wish it to fly away with the wind, out the window, and see where it goes. See your heart where it floats.

As it slows, as it starts to vibrate in space, notice what is all around it. As if you are watching a movie.

Feel the temperature and the surface textures. Hear the sounds and measure the light.

Now, who and/or what is there with you and your heart? What are you doing in that space? Does it feel even more expansive? Your cable becomes a beam of love.

Try this, it could calm you beyond anything you have known.

This is why we are here, to experience love.

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Focusing Thoughts

I had a casual conversation with one of my brothers today that ended up with the idea of focusing thoughts. Yesterday, I had a long-time absent friend talk with me for an hour and the subject cumminated with focusing thoughts. Here are our thoughts.

Thoughts have started the creation of everything. Everything you see and hear started with a thought. Creating in the world, being the master creators that we are meant to be, requires a step two. Step Two: Action.

Creating that which you have thought of requires action. I can accept the theory of thoughts creating reality only if it has a feet-on-the-ground definition for how it works here and now in my daily life; a practical application.

We live here on Earth, although I can’t say we respect it enough. It’s all good to relax, get-in-touch with ourselves, meditate, reach a higher level of awareness, pray, and be holy.

I want a manual. I want the way for me to have my mind with its thoughts flow through my arms and hands and off the tips of my fingers and create my life into that blissful feeling of arrival. Seeing before me the reality of my focused thoughts.

I want to feel fully alive.

When I want to bring something into my life, into my reality, I focus my thoughts. The more often I think of it, the sooner it arrives and the longer it lasts.

When it appears in reality, I embrace it, bring it all-the-way in, full of gratitude for how this process works, full of wonder and awe.

Focused thought + action = my reality. How’s your reality?

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Listen to Your Heart

Oh no; not again, pulled again where I don’t want to go. What did my coach tell me. She’s said it everytime, each time in a different way, I’ve got to get control. I can’t keep getting pulled off track like this. Now, breathe.

I know what I want. This doesn’t feel right. I want to be peaceful. I want to create the life my heart says is good, and pure and clear, and oh so right for me. Listen to your heart, listen to my heart.

I CAN SAY THIS! I will say it nicely . . . keep myself together. No one else lives in this body so I just need to be clear with myself and be kind.

See it clearly in your mind.

Wow, that was easier than I thought it would be. He seemed to appreciate what I said. I did put it out there without blame, shame or forcing anything. What a surprise when he kissed me on the cheek. Guess he really appreciated what I said. Guess I’ll be seeing him again. Wow.

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Not Why? What!

Upset! Who’s upset. Yes, we get upset from time-to-time. Let’s look at a particular frequent scenario.

Scenario:   You are peaceful, relatively peaceful and your friend/significant-other flies off-the-handle in a improvisational tirade. 

My suggestion: Listen to the tone of your own voice.

Any group of helpful or consoling words will (chameleon-like), change meaning with the tone of your voice. We’ve all heard the same sentence have four different meanings with tone-of-voice and phrasing (grouping words).

Try these steps:

1.  Listen to the person’s full problem without interrupting them. If they will not let you get a word in edgewise, ask “Can/May I speak for a bit?” All the while keeping peaceful yourself.

They may go on being upset, without taking a full breath. That’s OK. Let them finish or just wait for that little window to ask again, if you can say something. 

2.  Now, here is my point, at this point use a soft and calm tone-of-voice.

The kind of voice you would use in church or in the bedroom.

You can imagine what I mean.

3.  Almost instantly his/her direction will change from fretting about Why this is happening to working on What to do about it.

You will be the one setting it up to have the outcome you desire. It’s not magic, it’s being more aware of your own power to create your own reality.

The worst problem between me and my husband is the mutual, newly-wedded person’s desire to make sure we are “making each other happy.”

So I was happy to see, as soon as I lived through the above scenario with him, he found a way for my plans for the day to happen with enjoyment.  The song goes, “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”  . . .  yet, seemingly elusive. 

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Social Distancing

We have a new thing! Social Distancing, isn’t it grand. Sorry to be sarcastic. It’s the pits.

Anthropologist Edward T. Hall , explained about social distance back when being in-person, within breathing space, was not such a big deal. He developed this chart for where to stand to”be in-someone’s space.”

He describes, Public Space as someone being beyond 4ft from you. Social Space being as close as 1.5 feet away up to 4 feet out. Closer than 1.5 feet is being in your Personal Space and closer that that as your Intimate Space.

It makes sense. especially now when your distance away from another person in stores, the post office, the bank is so critical. Dr. Hall developed this chart after making world-wide studies of social behavior.

Yes, you guessed right. Even Dr. Hall admits his research has been extended by technological advances such as the telephone, walkie talkie, and television, among others. Hall’s analysis of social distance came before the development of the internet, which has expanded social distance exponentially. I believe we have gone full circle, no pun intended.

The Coronavirus has brought our attention back to how we act in public. We were so used to shuffling along, squeezing in-between one another to get to the front. Loving the crowd at concerts, political events, our kids school performances. I think I’m gonna cry.

When I went to the grocery store early this morning, when it opened , since that is when the store is the most clean; I saw so many sad or stressed-out faces. We hear and gotta get it through our heads that we are in this together. We must put-on our thinking caps to create what we want for a new social structure. Fear just doesn’t work for me. How about you?

I love people. I’m one of those people who needs people. I’m praying this virus gets under control as soon as possible, saving lives and giving me permission to stand closer and even hug.

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