Would you ever hug a total stranger… and mean it!?

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I mean a real hug where you are open and vulnerable and sharing your energy with someone in need.   One day I did.  This is my story and my contribution to 1000 voices for compassion.

We have become so disconnected in today’s society.  Touch (healing and soothing and sharing of energy) is something many of us have come to fear, especially from strangers.  We are compassionate to a point, and for many that point is compassion from a distance.  A safe distance.   Where do you draw those lines?  They are drawn in different places for each of us based on a myriad of reasons not the least of which, is the fear of being vulnerable ourselves.  I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and follow it and my gut with ardent fervor.  Sometimes this gets me into all sorts of mayhem, but most times it’s just the right thing to do. 🙂

One day my wife and I were returning from some errands in town and as we exited our vehicle in the driveway… we saw a young woman (I would say between 17-20) running down our sidewalk sobbing uncontrollably.  Without thinking I ran down the driveway to see where she was going.  My wife was right behind me with the same thoughts in her mind.  The young woman was almost to the corner already and even that far away we could still hear her sobs.  With a voice of authority that I didn’t know I had… I yelled to her “Hey…Come Here!”  To my surprise she turned and ran straight toward me.  Again without thinking I opened my arms and in seconds her broken, scared, wounded energy collided into mine.  I held her… and I whispered as she sobbed that it was going to be okay… she was going to be okay.  She sobbed and sobbed, but I could feel the transfer of hope as the sobbing began to fade.  We took her in the house, gave her some water and we let her make a phone call.  We don’t know who she called.  We didn’t ask what exactly was wrong.  We just offered her a safe place for a moment and a lifeline to whomever she needed to connect with.  She did, and she was grateful.  We offered her a ride, but now feeling better she chose to walk to her nearby destination… and poof she was gone.  We have not seen her before or since that strange encounter.  Some might say we were foolish to intervene on her behalf.  I know in my heart that she was somebody’s baby and I couldn’t leave her broken and vulnerable to whatever predator she might encounter before she could pull herself together.  I hope if I am ever that broken and vulnerable that someone would have that same kind of compassion for me.  I am not saying we should hug total strangers on a regular basis, and you definitely need to be careful who you invite into your home.  What I am saying is use your best judgment.  Sometimes a hug and a phone call can change someone’s life, and for us that day it was worth getting involved. There are so many little things we can do that can make huge differences in our little sections of the lily pond, and those ripples will have a much farther reach than we can imagine.  Make the world a better place..hug someone today..anyone…and mean it! 🙂

More from 1000 Voices speak for Compassion

1000 Voices for Compassion: A Stranger held me in the street

1000 Voices for Compassion: Wearing glasses tinted with judgment

To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate, may not be the only question?

Firstly, let me say that I am not necessarily anti-vaccination. Vaccines are a good and sometimes necessary thing to keep diseases at bay that might otherwise wipe out populations.  What I am is pro transparency and accountability. If you are going to force a child to be vaccinated than you should have to be accountable and responsible for the adverse reactions of your product.  There should be factual information about percentages and the severity of reactions so that a parent can make an informed choice.  I am against vaccinations being mandatory and I’ll tell you why.  Let’s forget about the CDC and FDA‘s involvement in scandals that would indicate to anyone paying attention that they are not always on our side, and instead focus on the fact that Big pharmaceutical’s end game is and always has been our dollars.  What a win win for them if vaccines were mandated by the government.  A forced captive consumer base to purchase their vaccines/medicines/poisons.  For a corporation it doesn’t get any better than guaranteed profit.   It is already mandatory for children to receive certain vaccines in order to attend public school with a frowned upon and discouraged exception for religious beliefs.  Unlike doctors, big pharma does not swear an oath to first do no harm, neither does the CDC or the FDA. In fact there are people working for the CDC and FDA that have strong ties with companies who have and are harming us right now.

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There is no proof that the flu vaccines circulated each year are effective. In fact from what I have been able to discern they are target specific and then only effective for a brief limited time if at all, yet many medical facilities have forced those vaccinations on their employees as a condition of employment.   Not to mention that while your immuno armies are building up immunity to by fighting the deadened virus you’ve been injected with,  you are open season for whatever else may come along in the interim.  So while the CDC’s claim that you cannot get the flu you are being vaccinated for is true, you certainly can get other flu s or viruses while your immunity is compromised as a result of the vaccination.  The waiver that you must sign when receiving your vaccinations indicates that the possible side effects can be worse than the flu you are getting vaccinated for.

As a child I had no choice and did receive my vaccinations, and as a young mother I chose to vaccinate my child thinking I was doing the right thing. The medical professionals I trusted coerced me,  and assured me that I was doing the right thing.  Looking back now I am not so sure. Yes my son was spared the common childhood illnesses, but perhaps he received something irreparably worse instead. When I had my son vaccinated with the first round of DPT as an infant he had an adverse reaction that scared the hell out us.  I remember well reading the waiver and being reluctant to sign it.  The nurse said it was perfectly safe and I shouldn’t worry.  Right after the vaccination my infant son’s brain swelled to the point of his soft spot protruding outward and making a bubble on the top of his head;  this was accompanied by a high fever.  The doctors simply said sometimes this happens and if the swelling didn’t subside they would take further action, and of course he would not have to have this particular vaccine in the future.  Something like 1% supposedly have this reaction according to the waiver I signed.   I wasn’t educated enough then..to know the ramifications of brain swelling, we didn’t have google.   The swelling did subside eventually, (days later) but what damage occurred in his swollen brain during that time in the very beginning of his life we will never know.  My son did have developmental disabilities.  He was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD early on as a child.   The long term effects of brain swelling can include related issues, thinking and attention skills, communication skills, depression, headaches. Now I have google.  Now I have read about how the DPT vaccine can cause permanent brain damage.  Unfortunately that knowledge comes 25 years too late for my son.  Of course there is no way to prove my suspicions now and that’s my objection. We need to know with certainty that vaccines are safe, and quite frankly we don’t.  There is no accountability to the general public and the waivers you are forced to sign ensure that you have no recourse if your child does have an adverse reaction. Vaccines may be mostly safe for the majority, but what about those like my son?  Is he suffering the lifelong effects of his infant brain swelling beyond his skulls capacity to hold it?  Knowing what I know now…I would venture to say yes… that his brain was permanently damaged as a result of an adverse reaction to a vaccine.  Even 1% of children harmed is too high a cost, and I think the percentage of children effected is actually much higher then we are being led to believe.  Until we can be guaranteed that this type of thing will not happen it needs to remain a choice whether or not to vaccinate, and those who choose not to, should not be maligned or be made to feel like idiots.  As long as parents have a choice the drug companies will have the incentive to make vaccines better and safer for all.

Smooth Sipping and Slipping on in to 2015

My morning Iced Coffee with my new glass straw
My morning Iced Coffee with my new glass straw

I did not do the whole year in review post… I thought about it if that counts? Some great things happened for me in 2014 and I will share some highlights here now, but then we will blissfully move on…  Or maybe this post will just be all encompassing. 🙂

I published my 3rd book of poetry in December 2014 just in time for the holidays. Scarlett Saturated Gold was six years in the making and provided quite the feeling of accomplishment upon its completion.  I had to learn new book making software in order to make the finished product a little more affordable and marketable for those who choose to buy my books. A win win, but no easy task.

I commissioned my first piece of art from an artist abroad and I love it! I will be doing more. If you love my Cheshire as much as I do you can get more info about TJ Lubrano here.  She really is an amazing talent.

Cheshire Cat by TJ Lubrano
 Cheshire Cat by TJ Lubrano

I got to use my passport for the first time while traveling to Mexico. We stayed at an all inclusive resort in the Rivera Maya Mexican rain forest. I highly recommend the Occidental Grand Xcaret.  We got some amazing photos… if you would like to take a gander there is a photo book here. It’s not every day you’re hanging out in the pool and some random guy comes cruising by with a Toucan. 🙂

Me with the most awesome Iguana Chester

I launched my new greeting card website Heart Elevations, the art of greetings elevated.  Very exciting. We just finished some medieval wedding invitations that were so much fun to create.

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We took it easy during the holidays…and sort of eased in to 2015 without much ado. We did watch the ball drop and toast and then sunk into sweet slumber.  I am not much for New Years resolutions.  I feel that promising yourself and the world that you are going to make some dramatic change sets you up for failure.  I have learned to take baby steps. Small ripples (quite doable) that in the end create big change.  This year I have a couple small ripples already in place.  The first of which is I/we have given up plastic straws. It may seem like a little thing…but the impact as I have discovered is quite large when you start doing the math.  I drink iced coffee with a straw every day. Even if I only ever used just one straw per day..that’s 365 straws going into the landfill because plastic does not biodegrade and currently you cannot really recycle straws. The truth is/was that I probably was using and throwing away closer to 400 straws a year. 😦 Not any more. I ordered and received my first ever glass straw and I love it! Yes you have to wash it out in order to reuse it, but it comes with its own little cleaning brush and it’s really no big deal to clean it. Let the smooth sipping begin.  I will carry one of my glass straws in my car for those times (rare) that I get a drink out.   If you are interested to know about glass straws and the impact of throwing away plastic ones you can check out this website Hummingbird Glass Straws. They are handcrafted and so beautiful and they are sold on Amazon.  I will be purchasing biodegradable poop bags for fishing the littler box.  We have already given up plastic bags at the market, and really the reusable bags are so much stronger anyway.  On those occasions when I forget my bags (more often than I care to admit)  …I just don’t have my groceries bagged and then bag them myself when I get back to the car.  We are going to do our level best when eating out to bring our own reusable go containers for leftovers. I am also going to try for the first time making my own laundry soap. We are continuing to look into ways to remove chemicals from our direct environment. Two years ago we began using doterra pure therapeutic grade essential oils for all natural remedies and cleaning. Huge difference in our lives.   Little steps..and there will be more to come.  Another continuing goal is to maintain healthy eating habits.. that ones always difficult.  That’s about it…so do you have goals for 2015? Dare I say resolutions?