Compassion in Fear

Midge’s Mumblings on Awakened Hearts

WARNING: This may present some anxiety to folks with phobias!

I learned a new word today, “Maskholes.” This term was posted “proudly” on facebook to shame and bully people who are not wearing masks out in public. I was shocked, and then I felt sad.

I want you to conjure up one of your biggest fears. You know, the kind of object or situation that gives you heart palpitations, shortness of breath, nightmares, and something you avoid looking at, touching, or doing.

Can’t think of one? Okay; let’s use spiders, or snakes, or swarms of anything! Perhaps that is actually a fear of yours and your heart is already in second gear even seeing the word! Okay, so you have your fear in your mind and now I tell you as I bring out a container holding this item, yep the heart rate just kicked up SEVERAL notches,

“I’ll just put it right here beside you.”

What did you just do? Move away, hold up your hand, trip over your own feet trying to get out of the door?

Now, what if you stayed on the chair and I take out the item and say, ,

“Now, just relax, I am just going to place this on your arm, leg, face.”

If you have more than just a dislike of said item and you truly have a phobia; you would lose your mind.

When I saw the word, “Maskholes” referring to people who are not wearing masks in public, I couldn’t believe it. With everything we’ve been through and are still going through; the ugliness continues. My first reaction was, “are we still in middle school?” Do adults really have to be so mean?

I don’t know all the reasons why individuals are not wearing masks;

I only know why I don’t wear one.

I am living with claustrophobia. I struggle with elevators, closed in areas, being pinned into aisles in stores, crowds, and anything on my face. I can’t stand wearing face paint or even looking at it.

This is not something I understand and not something I have resolved. All I know is, I can’t wear masks while I mow or do yard work, even though, I really struggle with pollen and have had serious illnesses in the past that resulted in the recommendation that I wear a mask.

I just can’t do it.

Yes, I have tried.

So, when I go out, which is VERY RARELY; I am very cautious. I adhere to social distancing, I do not speak to people who are close to me and I know exactly what I need, get it, and get out.

I do know why it is important. I do know the reasoning behind it. I do care about your well being and I do care about lowering the curve. That is why I am home 99% of the time.

So, to my friends who have made comments about posting pictures to shame people who are out without masks, and for other people who are referring to me as a, “Maskholes;” understand this:

Lead with Love……

Lead with Compassion…..

Lead with Empathy……

Lead with Kindness……

You really don’t know everyone’s story.

Hidden Parts of My Soul

Midge’s Mumblings on Awakened Hearts

I am a very open person. If you ask me a personal question I almost always will answer you. I’ll tell people things that most people would keep private; drives my wife crazy. I wear my heart on my sleeve and people feel as if they know me very well. I would agree that most people do know me very well; but they do not know all of me.

I don’t even know all of me.

For example, I have hidden parts of my soul that I don’t know at all. They surface from time to time and I am surprised at how powerful they are:

  • depression
  • anger
  • rage
  • insecurity
  • fears
  • suicidal thoughts

These parts of my soul emerge at moments when I least expect them. They can last a little bit of time or stay for days, weeks, months. Some of them are always running in the background.

What drives me to distraction and intensifies the feelings is; I am so happy, grateful, and am in awe of the life that I have in this moment. I feel guilty; we can add that to the list, that I have any of these feelings because I know people who would trade their life for mine in a second. Yet, they don’t really know the hidden parts of my soul; and I don’t know theirs.

In this moment I have been given the gift of time;

  • time to reflect,
  • time to spend quality moments with my kids (four legged,)
  • time to strengthen my walk with Christ,
  • time to come to terms with why I have felt separated from God’s love
  • time to nourish my relationship with my wife
  • time to create plans for how I want my life to emerge after the pandemic
  • time to embrace and learn from the hidden parts of my soul

Today, my rage emerged and like always it came on quickly and lasted too long. The feeling of total inadequacy was so overpowering that I didn’t know what to do. The coping skills I have taught so many and the words of compassion I have encouraged to use and my encouragement that they will be gentle with themselves and the reminders that they are worthy

… didn’t work on me.

I gave myself all the hurtful and punishing words I could muster through my tears. For years I have believed that I had to pretend that my truth had to be hidden because if anyone saw it; I would never be trusted to help them.

……. and then it happened. I prayed. My sweet Mona Belle came to sit in my lap on the floor with me…… and I prayed, and I cried, and I cried, and I prayed.

I prayed for forgiveness, I prayed that this rage would finally teach me something and that I would finally be able to hear the lesson that it has always been trying to teach me. I prayed that God would show me how to learn from it and then take it and remove it from my heart.

Anger is not the problem. It is what I use it for and the rage it turns into when I am disrespected, fearful, and feeling incompetent.

Anger turns into rage because I feel so small and vulnerable.

I have been here before; far too many times. Today I learned that my rage is not for power; it has been for distraction. It distracts me from seeing me. I have always said I want to know myself and see the worst parts of me so I can “fix” them. Today, I learned that I have lied to myself and I have kept the hidden parts of my soul hidden because I never wanted to see them.

Hidden Soul journeys are not easy. It is the hardest work I will ever do. It will take guts for me to look at the parts that scare me and sometimes scare others. I will have to own how I allow those parts to take over all the love, compassion, and grace that are also in me.

It is never too late as long as I am still breathing and above ground; my inner work can get done! This time, I see the work that needs to be done and I will go into the darkness and turn on the light.

Day Whatever

You would think that I am losing track of time because of the whole brain reaction to the quarantine, all the upheaval and changes, or because we are raising a very active and Corgitude puppy; but truth be known, I have never had a great awareness of time. I use phrases such as;

  • “Just the other day,” when it has been apparently months or years ago
  • “Yesterday,” when it was actually today
  • “A few years ago,” when it could have been yesterday, the other day or months ago!

Maybe I am hot wired to live by a mantra of “Day Whatever.” I know that it is important to be aware of time. I had to be very clear about time, dates, and specifics when testifying in court for a case. In retrospect, that only worked when I had the chart in front of me and I could refer to it. Thankfully, I was a bit anal about keeping my records. To get the date correct on a progress note, I had to check it every morning, put it at the top of the page and then use that same note (deleting and reusing it) throughout the day to avoid changing the date without realizing it. My former clients can tell you how many times I wrote the wrong date and/or time on the appointment card for our next session. They embraced my lack of connection to time, date, and numbers and was able to recognize that my “Date Whatever” issue didn’t detract from our sessions.

I am a people person. I have always struggled with numbers; adding them, remembering them, writing them down correctly (often transposing them,) and balancing my checkbook. Oh the stories my wife could tell you about that last one!

I sometimes wonder if I am crossing over between this realm and somewhere else? Oh, that would probably be another whole post!

Anyway, during this time of quarantine it has seemed less necessary to know what day or time it is. I eat when I’m hungry, go to the store when I am out of something essential, and have my phone reminders to get me on zoom for appointments. That is of course; if I’ve scheduled it right in the first place!

Good thing I am a people person with other gifts. We all have our unique place on this earth. I just know that my place is not in a bank, or as a math teacher!

What are your gifts? How do you show in the world? Are there things in your life that have been challenging for you?

Solitude Is Not Our Enemy

Midge’s Mumblings on Awakened Hearts

It is clear that things take time to get better. If you’ve ever experienced pain from a muscle pull, tear, and strain, you know that even as it heals a relapse can happen quickly. Physical and emotional pain can be similar in that way. We may feel as if things are healing and then one word, one comment, one video update can send us crashing down into pain on a visceral level.

As I am faced with the same questions, concerns, worries, and fears that the entire world is dealing with; my pain is also for those who do not have a strong faith to stand on in times of crisis. I grew up in the church, walked away from religion per se when I thought that mainstream religion would never be open to accepting that I can be Christian and Gay. Looking back, this did prepare me for handling the solitude that I am asked to embrace now. Learning meditation, yoga, and mantras are a perfect addition to the time I spend in communion with my community of family, friends, and now; my Parish family.

This virus is an opportunity to embrace solitude. It is an opportunity for me to to sit in silence and listen to my inner voice; calling me to something greater than I could ever imagine. I love my freedom and having the freedom to be quiet, having the freedom to read, and having the freedom to meditate on what I have read; is a gift.

I pray daily for the healing light to cover the world. I pray for those suffering and for those who are alone and can ‘t be with their family who are suffering; and dying. I pray that my mind will focus on gratitude and love. I pray for our country and those who are in offices of leadership. I pray that I will be able to serve those in need with the gifts that I have to offer.

Solitude is not our enemy. Agreeing with anyone who speaks and acts out of hate, inequality, anger, bigotry, and othering; is the enemy.

In this rare time in our history, may we all get silent, listen, and meditate and pray on how we each can raise our inner consciousness to match eternal and Agape (Divine) love for ourselves and for each other. Meditate how we can reach this love during a crisis and a time where the sounds of anger and othering and blame are loud cymbals crashing in on our solitude. When we collectively walk toward that place in our hearts and our intentions we will see ourselves and our planet heal.

Solitude is not the only answer. Remembering that I am not an island is important. As I mentioned above, I have family, friends, and a Parish family that are there to sustain me during low moments in my faith and in my fears. Solitude is there to help us internally connect with our Source and to fill ourselves up with love. Our connections are there to keep us….. connected to a life that we have built and to increase the amount of love around us.

If you are reading this and you’re thinking; “I don’t have anyone to talk to” or “I don’t want my friends to know how bad I’m doing,”

I invite you to access me for FREE conversations. I would love to see you and be in community with you. Schedule your visit with me here:

Waiting to Bloom

Midge’s Mumblings on Awakened Hearts

I find myself waiting to bloom. Yes! I can’t believe it either! I am 60 years old; almost 61. I read the other day that Seniors can shop during the early hours; 60 years and up! WHAT!? I am a Senior? I started a new business as a SENIOR?!

The circumstances that brought me to that decision, as I’ve stated before, was not totally expected. The closing of the private practice I worked at and finances that didn’t include retirement at that time forced me to think about what was next. Take any job to make ends meet or follow my gut again and prepare myself to awaken the hearts of people I serve in such a way that they can find their own authentic and empowering path. I felt qualified and inspired to do just that. So; Empowering Awakened Hearts, LLC was born.

The thing I didn’t expect was the time it would take to allow a company to bloom. As with all good things; it takes time. This; however, has also given me time to look deep into my own beliefs and assess where I think my value comes from and how I use it. My income brings valuable financial resources to our family. I believe that money has always been a marker for value. My dad used to worry about money and there were times in our lives that we barely had enough to get through until the next pay check. I watched as money and happiness were often combined and subconsciously I started to believe that if I wasn’t making money I was not valuable and I wouldn’t be happy.

My path right now; and also for many of you is to look at the value we bring to our families without attaching it to money. Men have always been tagged as the “bread winners.” The loss of a job or not being able to work often affected his belief in his worth and value because it was socially tied to his income. Men are not the only ones now that are dealing with this belief.

For many of us, redefining our value away from money is a gift. We can thank our current pandemic for this opportunity. If we always believed, even subconsciously, that our income is our value to our families; we have missed the mark.

Money is definitely on my mind while I am waiting for my business to bloom. If I believe my value is determined by money, then every day that I don’t have a client or I look at how little I brought in this week compared to when I was working in the private practice, I am allowing money to define my value. Depression sets in and hope diminishes.

My compassion, my joy, my kindness and my desire to serve is my value. That is what I offer to my current coaching clients while I am waiting for my business to bloom and I can fill my hours of my day in direct service. I am here for my fur kids and I am choosing to serve my family and my community in my highest and best way. I am not in charge of the timeline. So, while I do what I do and I wait for growth; I still want to be of service to those in need.

In this time of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty I offer who I am. A big hearted person with a desire to connect with others. If you are struggling, lonely, fearful, or just BORED during your time at home; I am offering conversations. I love talking to people and listening to your stories. If you are someone who is wilting under the social distancing restrictions; I am here for you; free of charge. We are all in this together and the health of our soul is vitally important. We have to be emotionally healthy when it is time to return to our lives outside of our homes. Staying connected is key!

Follow this link to schedule a virtual visit on zoom. Let’s have a conversation! Download zoom at for free and schedule a visit with me!

Bringing My Joy to My Journey/ Midge’s Mumblings

I cannot believe we are in a situation where people are hoarding toilet paper, being told to stay home, closing schools, and closing church doors. I have been most disturbed by how FB posts had been so mean spirited toward the closures by using the word “ignorant” to describe the decisions being made to keep us safe and level out the spread of the virus.

Recently I have seen FB posts offering help to others: childcare, delivering meals, etc. This is awesome and what I believe any crisis is intended to do; bring communities together in a more cooperative way.

For the record, I am not angry about closures and I do not believe in a government conspiracy. I am concerned that our current White House Administration did not think it was wise to disband the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. However, what is done is done and now I and everyone else has to find a way to stay safe and stay kind. Here are my thoughts on how to use this time to enhance our lives and the lives of our community and our world.

C  Compassion: Love my neighbor, do what is best for their health

O  Organizing:    Clutter clearing, creating donation boxes

R  Rest:              Gifting myself w/ a nap, restful ways to renew my spirit

O  Organizing:    Review my priorities, time and how to best use that time

N  Need:s           Evaluate my needs vs my wants, ways to serve other’s 

A  Authenticity:   Am I walking my talk in faith? Am I living, moving and     breathing in truth             

V  Victory :           Believing in the healing of minds, bodies, and Spirits 

I  Inner Work:    Embracing the time to get myself in order in all that I AM

R  Respect:         Honoring those who are making decisions for my safety

U  Unity:              Coming together for my planet, my global family

S  Sacrifice:        Giving up my freedom to come & go so that safety & health can be restored

“They will know we are Christians by our love.” Even if you aren’t Christian, our family, neighbors, and world will also know that we are decent humans by walking the talk of compassion. For me, I want my thoughts, feelings, words and actions to come from a place of compassion and kindness because that is my Sacred goal.

May we all in whatever form we believe, show some METTA; loving kindness right now.

Taking Power over Panic

Fear debilitates. Information is power. The divisiveness in this country today has created a different kind of world. Now, when we are facing a difficult time with the threat of yet another health risk; who do we trust? How do I protect myself and my family? I know, I know, wash my hands. I WANT MORE! I want to support my immune system from the inside out. That is where my essential oils have become my defense against all defenses.

I, for one, have been trusting a company that I have loved and used their products since 2005; dōTERRA Essential Oils. I know there are so many oils out there and even at major stores I can find a $5 bottle of 100% pure organic essential oil.

The problem is, a test of the ingredients would not hold up to that claim. Essential oils are not regulated by anyone; unless the company does it. dōTERRA does third party and onsite testing to make sure that their rating of CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) is something I can count on.

dōTERRA’s On Guard product supports a healthy immune system, and can envelope the contagions that we come into contact with throughout our day. When I know that I can use this product and all the different On Guard products to support my immune system; I feel empowered.

If you want the same for yourself and your family; schedule with me to have your own personal and confidential Wellness Consult. What is a Wellness Consult?

  • A private conversation for me to get to know you and offer you support
  • Time for you to review the oils that will be best for your health concerns
  • Getting your questions answered
  • Empowering you and your family to begin a wellness plan that meets your needs

Schedule your Wellness Consult today! Take Power over the Panic!

Midge’s Mumblings:Journey Through Lent

I was not raised Episcopalian.  I was not raised to contemplate and meditate on my returning to Ash. As a youth, I learned about the fruits of the Spirit and did my best to live them.  I did not always succeed.  I realized early on that as much as I strived for perfection and believed I had to be perfect; I never was.  Gratefully, it wasn’t supposed to happen.  I know that now.

I have not spent time contemplating attributes that may weaken my journey and/or strengthen my walk in Christ.  Observing Lent is my chance to do just that.

I have recently been introduced to this season of Lent and it is a welcome addition to my spiritual practice.   I already include meditation and Spiritual readings in my mourning routine and I choose a path of love, compassion and kindness.  The more I learn about Lent, the more I am excited about going deeper into my walk so I can focus on attributes such as faithfulness, and humility, etc. which will enhance my walk in Christ.

On this first Monday after Ash Wednesday; the topic is humility.  I question whether I really am humble.  It is a question that I haven’t really ever asked myself.  Growing up there is usually a pecking order; Father, Mother, first born, second born, third born.  Even with our fur babies, when a new addition comes along we make sure the pack is clearly defined for our baby by making sure that going out, coming in, and feeding time is done is order of longevity.  That is to encourage obedience to the young whipper snapper!

That isn’t the same thing as being humble and living with humility.  I realized as I took this contemplative journey this morning that I may not be as humble as I would guess; or hope.  I find myself speaking up quickly when an answer is posed.  Do I think I have the right answer, the best answer, or am I just uncomfortable with silence?   I sometimes look at how someone does something and rush to show them a “better” way.  Is my way better?  Do I really believe it is better or is it just the way that I feel comfortable doing it?  

I remember feeling looked over and dismissed as a youth.  Perhaps in my evolution to find my place I swung too far to the other side by demanding to be heard; without realizing it. 

It has occurred to me that I really don’t know if I am humble.  I do know I desire to be.  So, this is my lenten journey.  To catch acts of pridefulness, to challenge myself to be more mindful,  to change how and when I speak and to claim a new humble way of being h

If you observe Lent; may I humbly suggest a book that is inspiring me.  A Spring In The Desert by Frank and Victoria Logue.

Grief is Not a Ladder…. You Are Doing the Work

Midge’s Mumblings on Awakened Hearts

Today I attended a funeral of a person I did not know; but I knew her life was important to her family, my Parish Family, and I knew that her life benefited children and animals. I wanted to be there to show my support and to honor a life well lived. The service was thoughtful and loving. The memories her family and friends told about her were funny and bittersweet. The room was filled with love and compassion. I found myself tearing up as the family walked in. I could feel their loss. I teared up as stories were told. I could feel their loss. I teared up when my own losses came into my heart.

I was there to honor this dynamic and loving soul, and yet, my thoughts kept moving into my heart where losses in my life are still bittersweet. Once again, I thought of my dad, who I loved, who died, and how our relationship never was the ‘Fathers Knows Best’ version. I thought of my fur babies that left this earth. I thought about our dear friend in Kansas who died suddenly and left such a hole in the lives of all who loved her; just as this loving soul from our Parish has similarly left in the lives of all who knew and loved her.

I attended the reception with all intentions of giving my support to the family; but was surprised as I found another kindred spirit that was going through their own trip down grief lane. As I listened to her story of loss that often stops her from being able to attend the funerals of others without her dear partner who could not attend; I heard her frustration at not being over her past loss yet.

I reminded her that there isn’t an, I’m over it ladder to climb, and that we all have to go back and grieve again our losses when we are confronted with the loss we are experiencing now. I told her that she is doing the work. That she is doing it right. To feel the feelings as they are and express them in the moment; that is the work. The work of grieving is long, hard, and continuous. It is never done.

I feel less pain about my dad when I revisit my loss. I feel more pain at losses that have happened recently. I still tear up when I think of fur babies who are not with me in physical form. I still tear up when I sit in the middle of a full congregation of people who loved this wife, mother, friend, co-worker, and parish family member because I know this pain and I feel their pain and loss as well as my own.

….and….. that is okay. Be gentle with yourselves my friends who are grieving. You are doing the work.