Absent Prayers

I miss my mother’s prayers. I began to feel it shortly after her death. It was a tangible loss. But how could that be that I feel such a absence of virtue towards myself? Did she not still have supplication to the creator on her children’s behalf?

I believe my mother’s soul lives on and that she dwells in paradise with God. I believe she is doing angel work which would include prayers. So why was this feeling that her power of prayer was no longer directed towards God on my behalf.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mahatma Gandhi
My mother spent most of her days and nights in prayer with her whole heart. Is this absence I feel because her heart is still? What about her soul heart? Does it not pulse within the cosmos?

She prayed in gratitude. She even thanked God for her pains and sorrows–which sometimes included her children. My mother prayed so much into each of us and all those around her that I could not imagine that kind of power being gone. I imagined her prayers continuing forever.

“Silence is as deep as eternity, speech as shallow as time.” Thomas Carlyle

Perhaps, I think, and I may err in thinking it but I think it the same…perhaps my mother is no longer confined to mortal concerns and her energies are more universal. Her power of prayer focused now towards universal needs which spread across space and time. Therefore, her concentrated prayers for us while she was mortal were so keenly felt and now they are more quantum or macro. Perhaps what sense my brain struggles to make is irrelevant because I know her love and care is eternal.

I miss my mother’s prayers for me. This absence leaves pain and despair. Or…is it space to take up my own power and turn my focus more keenly towards asking in gratitude for the peace and healing of all those I love, all those I know, all those who share this planet with me?

Lord, may thy grace be upon all those who are sick and afflicted today. Thank thee oh father for thy blessings of peace and comfort and healing upon those in despair and who struggle with hope and faith. Thank thee Creator for sending angels to comfort, guide, and strengthen all those I know. Thank thee for sending thy light and blessings to those I love. I trust thee. I put my trust in thee. In the name of thy gracious son, Jesus Christ, Amen.


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Semi-Hibernation Awesomeness 2018 #5: Primal Listening

Our hearing evolved to help us survive and thrive. To listen is a skill that requires nurturing. Surrounded by multitude of sound our brain had to discern what would hurt or help and and ignore much else. Our brain processes a lot of information. How can it pick out the bits that matter to you? That is why we need to practice our focus and mindfulness around what we are listening to. The following are helpful in seeing the Science behind listening and understanding how we can thrive when we practice listening.

  1. “Hearing, in short, is easy. You and every other vertebrate that hasn’t suffered some genetic, developmental or environmental accident have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. It’s your life line, your alarm system, your way to escape danger and pass on your genes. But listening, really listening, is hard when potential distractions are leaping into your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second — and pathways in your brain are just waiting to interrupt your focus to warn you of any potential dangers.”

2.Test takers were asked to sit through a ten-minute oral presentation and, later, to describe its content. Half of adults can’t do it even moments after the talk, and forty-eight hours later, fully 75 percent of listeners can’t recall the subject matter.

3.Cognitive hearing science is not just about auditory aspects of speech but also relates to lip reading and to visual language, such as sign language. It also includes cross-cultural comparisons of tests and tools that address the mechanisms involved in auditory perception.

4. Our culture affects how we listen.

May you thrive as you allow your primal hearing to tune your brain to the moment and person in front of you. Happy Valentines Day!

(Please refer to links for references and more great info on listening science.)

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Semi-Hibernation Awesomeness 2018 #4: Give Consideration Receive Connection

To listen requires attention which isn’t easy in today’s constant distraction world. It is a skill that practice must be applied to. As a young girl who was observant and wanting to please others I was often complimented on being a good listener. But was I? Did I really pay attention? Did I take heed to every word or observe their body language? Did I hear and understand what others said? Did I regard the speaker with value? Or did I know how to look like I was listening while my mind wandered the expanse and back?

How do you practice Listening? Try the following exercises or skills and set a daily practice goal.

  1. Meditation: Simply paying attention to your breath for 3-10 minutes is listening and observing yourself and what is around you. More in-depth meditation can be practiced through apps such as Headspace.
  2. Spend an hour, day or more in silence. You may want to warn people of your experiment so they don’t think you are ignoring them.
  3. Go for a walk and listen to your steps,nature, the wind, traffic… when your mind wanders take your focus gently back to the sounds around you. You can also focus on your other senses: smell, sensation, taste, and sight for a few minutes before returning to sounds. This focus practice comes in handy when you are listening to another person.

Next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week. How many people do you listen to each day? Can you listen with more intention and focus?

May you thrive as you establish your own Listening Practice.

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Semi Hibernation Awesomeness #3: Listen List

When winter grays move you towards slowing down and introspection a practice in Listening is growth promoting.

  1. “Listen with curiosity… the greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
    ― Roy T. BennettThe Light in the Heart
  2. “There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”
    ― G.K. Chesterton
  3. “We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.”
    ― Susan CainQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
  4. “Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.”
    ― Madeleine L’EngleSwiftly Tilting Planet
  5. “The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.”
    ― Alfred Brendel
  6. I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.    -Larry King
  7. If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk.   -Robert Baden-Powell
  8. Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.  -Doug Larson
  9. When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.  -Buddha
  10. Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the thing you can’t hear, and not bothering.  -A. A. Milne

May you practice nothing, listening to all you can’t hear, and not be bothered.

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Semihibernation Awesomeness 2018 #2: Repeat

What worked well for you in the past year? Are the things that you didn’t get done really important for you to do? Did you make commitments or promises to others that you haven’t fulfilled? Is it really in the greater good to fulfill the commitment and promise?

Not making new year resolutions has become a practice for me many years. This year I focused on what things went well in the last year that I want to continue. I evaluated the practices I had that improved well-being and growth and this is my short list.

Growth Practices

  1. Meditation: taking time to follow breath or focusing on sounds, sensations, or phrases for three to ten minutes changes how I deal with chaos and tension, demands and disorder as well as gratitude, expressions of creativity, passion, and affection. I use the app Headspace which is really helpful. When you pay for a program you are more motivated to do that each day.
  2. Have Fun: participate in activities that bring joy every day-coloring, writing, walking outside, hiking, skiing, playing my flute, reading, listening to podcasts, speeches or scriptures, listening to music, dance, yoga, doing something for others.
  3. Social Interaction: I need a handful of personal relationships to boost my health and well-being. Too many social interactions can drain me so this is a delicate balance. Interactions with fun activities, book club, and service/volunteer opportunities are positive engagement towards team work and a support group.
  4. Sleep: this is a practice in progress, following Dr. Kelly Brogan’s recommendation of going to bed by 9 and be asleep by 10 or 11, getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night. I’ve experienced insomnia since childhood and overcoming the brain program to wake frequently will take time. An investment to practice healthy sleep patterns brings growth in thinking and physical function. Getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time are the key to this change.
  5. Strength awareness: knowing my strengths and working on my top strengths helps me to improve in meaning and achievement of daily activities. VIA strengths list can help me communicate with others by increasing empathy and enhancing gratitude.

May you be encouraged in your growth practices as you repeat what went well last year and add to it.

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semihibernation awesomeness 2018 #1: Begin with Faith

Dr. Christian Northrup describes how to replace fear that can manifest as health and life challenges that zap us with faith that enhances and heals us. Find it here.

May you be blessed with faith to heal and love.


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Giving during the holiday season whether in labor, time, or goods is the central focus of an effort towards goodness. For some giving is the central focus of a compassionate life; for others giving is a part of public relations that helps them meet financial or relationship goals. Our giving culture equates taking as opposition, bad, or evil. Even accepting gifts or help from others are viewed as taking and therefore wrong. We feel guilt or shame that we are unworthy.

“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” Thomas Merton

As I have gained wisdom through experience and observation receiving has become a vital part of my compassionate and peaceful pursuits. Accepting gifts in gratitude regardless the givers intention raises our happiness level.

Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.1

“Humility is throwing oneself away in complete concentration on something or someone else.”
― Madeleine L’Engle 2

“Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.”

–Brene Brown 3

Humble vulnerability in accepting others help or goods is grace and strength in goodness. It is accepting that we are worthy because we exist. It is casting out fear and trusting the flow of life. Receiving is a doctorate level life lesson in abundance, joy, and ease that eradicates the need for life lessons in lack, pain, and struggle.

When we receive we grow, we bless, we rejoice, we make peace, we let go of unworthiness, we love deeply.

May you Receive this holiday season. Prayers and blessings of gratitude to all.

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/humility?page=2
  3. https://cathytaughinbaugh.com/guilt-shame-and-vulnerability-25-quotes-from-dr-brene-brown/
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