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A Present

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love Massage with Soul writers with soul Writing

Only A Few

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA Cast Your Stone Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love Massage with Soul writers with soul Writing

All She Had

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Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA C.A.R.E Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits writers with soul Writing

Let It Go

A little girl
So much like me
Grabs my hands
Pulls me away
An invitation
Shining in her eyes
“Play with me!”
She says
“Let’s sing and dance”
And nothing else matters
Even one bit
I put the music on
The video,too
We stand and sign
“Let it go,Let it go!”
We twirl around
Run up and down
Our eyes twinkle
With shared delight
And all I can think
Is that the song is true
“The past is the past!”
Leave it there
Start anew
Take the chances
You’ve been waiting your whole life for
“Let it go,Let it go!”
Don’t let anyone else define
Who you are
Dim your sparkle
Crush your hopes
Imprison your spirit
Doubt your beauty
“Let it go,Let it go!”
Open your own door
Give yourself permission
Issue that invitation
Grab on tight
Hold hands
Sing and dance
Wear whatever you want
“It doesn’t matter what anyone else says!”
The little girl
That’s so much like me
Is watching
every move I make
“Let it go,Let it go!”
One might think
I’m teaching her
But,truth be told,
She’s the one
Teaching me the most
“Let it go,Let it go!”
And so I’ll follow the lead
Of the little girl
That’s so much like me.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA C.A.R.E Cast Your Stone Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love Massage with Soul writers with soul

Maybe

Maybe it will take a funeral
A visitation
A wake
We will make time
From our busy  lives
Packed with work
Laundry , groceries
And excuses
We will hug each other
With teary eyes
And say things like
“It’s good to see you”
“I’m so sorry it’s under these circumstances”
“Let’s get together real soon”
But we won’t
It’s just words
Hot air
Good intentions
We will walk away
Get in our cars
Drive back
To our busy lives
And forget who we were
How we were raised
What matters the most
How much we love
Until there’s another
Funeral

Jeanna’ Mead
November 14 2016

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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AVA C.A.R.E Cast Your Stone Choose to be love Create A Ripple Effect deaf girl Deaf Massage Therapist Heart to heart kindred spirits Make Love massage Massage with Soul writers with soul Writing

A Real Miracle

It’s no secret-not any more-that I’m hearing impaired.
People usually figure it out pretty quickly on their own but I’ve changed my approach to my deafness,and instead of hiding it and hoping no-one discovers,
I’ve finally begin to just tell people before they assume the worst; that I’m either ignoring them,being rude,or just plain dumb.

Over the years I’ve gotten
used to the questions, like “Where are you from? I’m trying to place your accent ” and “How can you love music and dancing so much?”  and “Can you hear ANYTHING??”
I’m used to it and I don’t mind explaining to others and enlightening them about my deafness now.
If someone asks me, I’m always willing to answer questions,but there’s a few things that just rub me wrong.

Please don’t look at me with pity and exclaim, “I’m so sorry ” when I tell you that I can’t hear and,please, for goodness sakes, don’t begin to define me by my hearing loss.

My hearing loss isn’t something to be pitied,it’s actually one of my greatest gifts.

You see,my hearing loss brings out the truth in people rather quickly.
There’s so much that one can learn about others and about yourself when you can’t hear as well as most people can.

I notice everything,even subtle mannerisms,and shifts in energy  because I rely on using total communication-using the limited hearing I do have,reading lips and body
language, while looking deeply into the eyes of whoever I’m engaged in conversation with. I get to sit close to people, I get to hold eye contact and I really focus on who I’m with.

I’m not just “hearing impaired”, I’m a woman that wants to understand and be understood; it’s that pure and simple,and that complicated and overwhelming.

I’m much more than what I’m not, and when people say “I’m so sorry” upon hearing that I’m deaf, I gently tell them “don’t be sorry for me,be sorry for those that hear but don’t listen.”

A few weeks ago,a new client came in for a massage and read my AVA article that was on the table. After talking a few minutes,he asked me if he could pray for my hearing to be restored.
I took his hands in both of mine and said,”You can pray for me,but please listen to this story first,then pray as you see fit.”

My Aunt Dorothy was a feisty woman who had been blind since she was a toddler.
One night she went to a tent revival and the preacher man,upon realizing there was a blind woman in the crowd,came down and begin to pray loudly over her,laying his hands on her eyes, and asking God to restore her vision.
She let him pray and then,she said something that has stayed in my mind all these years.
“You pray for my eyes to see,when what I need prayer for is my heart. I can be bitter and mean,hurtful and unforgiving, and that’s what really needs prayer. I don’t need to see things,I need to be a better woman,I need to be kind,to be patient,to be more loving.  When I die,the first thing I’ll see is the face of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I don’t need to see this world, I need to LOVE these people in this world.”
Then with a loud laugh,she added “But if you can make these glass eyes see,that would REALLY be a miracle!”

“Really be a miracle.”

Please, pause and ponder this for a moment. What would really be a miracle?

Sometimes we see a disability and that’s all we see, we don’t look deep enough to realize what else is there. We see a wheelchair,
instead of a person; we notice the crutches,and don’t look at the beautiful blue eyes; we see the elderly man take cautious steps, without realizing that long ago,he fought for our freedom.  We see the child with Downs Syndrome, and overlook the child’s pure joy of life. We see deaf people signing,and only think about what they don’t hear instead of marveling at the beautiful language and culture they share. We see the white cane, and act as if the person is invisible.

Like the preacher man,the strangers at Taco Cabana-who approached me and best friend years ago to ask if they could pray for my hearing- and my client, so many people pray for what they perceive needs a miracle. It’s human nature to want to “fix things” and to change things to what we think is “normal” or “better”.

We look,but we don’t see and we hear,but we don’t listen. We assume too much,and know far too little. 

The real miracle, I believe, would be for us to really look beyond the surface,behind the disabilities,the disfigurement,
the differences and see the abilities,the beauty,the uniqueness of each person.

We need to pray that our hearts will overflow with compassion, that we can see the goodness in the world,and hear the sound of love.

We need a real miracle and it’s within each of us to make it happen.

My client,after hearing the story of Aunt Dorothy, prayed for a “real miracle” for us both to have the heart to forgive and to love. He understood right away that my deafness wasn’t what a problem to be fixed,but a unique part of who I am.

So, I give this story over to you and urge you to listen with your eyes,to hear with your heart,to touch with kindness,to see with clarity and to create a ripple effect of miracles right now.

It would really,after all,be a REAL miracle.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Cast Your Stone

There’s a story in scripture that even those that don’t believe in Jesus know.
The book of John tells that a crowd gathered around a woman who had been accused of adultery and demanded that she be stoned,according to a set of rules and regulations.
Jesus, however,said these powerful,profound words-“Whichever one of you is without sin,cast your stone.”

Of course,no one did because no one is without sin but I can just imagine the people walking away, thinking to themselves,perhaps huddling in small groups and whispering,”Sure, I sin, but my sins aren’t as bad as hers .” or justifying it by “well, it’s different in my case; I’m nothing like that woman!”

I know,because I’ve been there on both sides.
I’ve had well meaning “Christian” people accuse me of having an inappropriate relationship with another man and I’ve been quick to pass the same exact judgment on another woman.

I’ve felt the sting of being on the receiving end of verbal stones that were etched with words of shame, anger, bitterness,hatred, judgment,condemnation,and jealously.
Those stones lead me to build up a big wall,shielding my heart from others. It was my way of protecting myself but it also, unintentionally,created a barrier that isolated me and kept me from forming close,intimate relationships.
I hid behind my stone wall, barely even letting  those closest to me inside. I even pushed God out of my life because,after all,wasn’t it all His people, the Christian- God believing,church going people that had placed me in the situation?

For years, I worn this invisible “scarlet letter,” and I also pulled on a mask,pretending not to care, ignoring the loneliness,and trying hard to convince myself that it really didn’t matter.

It did,though,and I was only fooling myself. I wasn’t fooling God and He saw right through me and He gently began to soften my heart and to teach me  something else.

“Cast your stone,” He said, but rather than the hurling stones at someone like they did in the past, with strict rules and regulations, engraved with condemnation and judgement, I want you to cast stones as if upon water and create a ripple effect.
I heard His voice,whispering softly yet persuasively, filling me with words of life to mark on the stones.

Love. Joy. Tenderness. Kindness. Encouragement. Peace.Mercy.Honor.Clarity.Abundance.Compassion. Hope. Grace. Strength.Patience. Understanding.Courage. Acceptance.Generosity. Forgiveness.Faith.Beloved.
Desired. Cherished.

All these beautiful, affirming words that could be used as stepping stones….laid out one by one by one to create a pathway-a mosaics of inspirational truths- showing others what God’s love is really all about.

So yesterday,my husband and I bought a huge bag of black polished river stones and a few white Sharpie markers and began to write the words we had been given along with the name of our new website, http://www.castyourstone.com.

Instead of hurling stones with force,we will place the stones gently into the hands of people and let the ripple effect take place. We may leave stones where they can be found,and we might place a stone in unexpected places,but I know this much for certain.

It may seem random to us and it may not make sense at the time,but God has a plan and purpose for each and every thing that happens in our lives.

I know that everything I have experienced has taught me to be slow to judge,and quick to forgive. I can see how some relationships that others would think the worst of have actually been pivotal, life-changing ones.
I know that I’m the woman I am now because of all the relationships-the good and the not so good-that have shaped and taught me.

Sometimes the very things that break us,also brings us to where we are supposed to be.

Love works that way-God works that way-and it’s absolutely amazing to recognize how things fall into place. I don’t regret a single thing because I’ve learned so much about my capacity to love and God’s incredible attention to detail.using all things to work together for good.

I have received the beautiful stones of mercy and grace,of love and clarity  and,in turn, I’ve chosen to give back the same stones. I’ve offered forgiveness and found my own freedom, I’ve let go of anger and received peace, Instead of holding grudges,I hold hands and I feel the love of God  overflowing from every part of my life.

It really is true that we should never judge anyone because they sin differently than we do.
Rather than.pointing fingers.we should offer a hand….we should cast a stone.
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This creates a ripple effect. A simple stone,a single word,an assuring touch can be the very beginning and it can go on and on,expanding and overflowing, making a tremendous impact and changing the world.

Whosoever is with sin -that’s each and every one of us- mcast your stone and create a ripple effect of love. <a href="http://castyourstone.com&quot;
Feel with both hands, Jeanna'

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Choose To Be Love

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When I saw this beautiful quote on a Facebook page that  I often look at, I had to capture it and save it,knowing full well that I had not always chosen to be love.

Too many times, I’ve seen families torn apart and friendships ruined because of choices that were anything but love.  People have chosen to build  walls,to hold life-long grudges, to constantly hold on to the past as if it were a treasured heirloom.

I’ve done it,too,although I’ve tried to sweep it under the rug and to make it seem like it was something different,the hard truth is that I’ve let friendships fall apart and I’ve built up walls that held out people that wanted to love me.

 Maybe the intention was to protect ourselves from further hurt,but the truth is those choices actually cause more pain.
The anguish of loneliness,
the bitterness of unforgiveness,the stench of regrets wreck havoc on the soul and breaks down the body.

“Choose to be love.”

I let those words soak into me. I sat outside on my patio,pondering those words over and over, and I wrote poetry.
My own words started to mock me,to call me out,to push me from my comfort zone of keeping my words to myself and just a few close friends.
I knew the power of words-I claimed words of courage,of inspiration,of hope,and love. I printed and framed quotes and sent cards with favorite quotes tucked in but I was also cautious-selecting those that I shared my poetry with,giving only glimpses to others,relying heavily on a few kindred spirits that I felt “got me”.

So,I started to do some real soul searching-digging deep into what it means to “choose to be love.”

It hit me clearly,upside the head,the other day, that to chose  love means taking action with my words.
It means that I can’t just write beautiful words,I must also LIVE those words. It’s not enough to speak them,to read and frame them, to write them and keep them tucked away in my journals.
If I really consider my words to be a God-given gift then I absolutely must do more
with my words and my life.

“Choose to be love.”

For me, I choose to make  a decision  to step forward and to forgive,to let go of the past and to start over,to open my arms wide,even while tears ran  down my face,and my heart was broken.
I choose to look for the glimpses of light in the darkness,to see the  significance in a lightening bug on rainy night, to wait out the storm until the dawn broke through with clarity,and to take chances.

“Choose to be love.”

As I write this,tucked in my covers,leaning against the pillows on my bed, my heart speaks quietly,reassuring me that the timing is good and that it’s time to begin living the words that I claim to be beautiful, to be true,to be inspirational,and to be love.

I will make the choice each day,each moment to respond with love. I will take my words and create things with them, and I will be first-to forgive,to embrace,to nurture,to come around, to give gifts, to open the door,and to tear down the walls.

I will choose to be love and maybe, just maybe,my choices will come back to me a hundred fold, and others will live the words that they receive and they,too,will choose to be love.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Holding Ava

Several months ago, I found out about something that would change my life. It was something I had only imagined.and suddenly, it wasn’t only a hope,wishful thinking,or a fantasy -it was becoming a reality!
I waited for months,just as if I was expecting a baby, filled with anticipation, dreaming and planning, for the day that I would finally hold Ava.

The day came, just an ordinary day.when an email arrived “Are you ready for Ava?”

My eyes filled with tears.my hands shook and I whispered, “Finally” before bursting into a dance of pure joy and exclaiming, “YES! YES! YES!”

AVA is an acronym meaning “audio – visual accessibility” and it’s an incredible new app that allows for deaf and hearing impaired like me to finally participate and understand group conversations, by linking smart phones in a network that enables spoken words to become readable text.

So, unless you’re deaf or hearing impaired,or know someone who is,then you may not even know about Ava or understand my excitement.

Well, why don’t you just step into my cowboy boots and walk a mile or two in them

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