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New Year Thoughts

As people come into my studio as clients and leave as friends…..As friendship turns into kindred spirits, as bonds grow deeper and stronger….I know this for sure, our capacity to love is endless. Sometimes we try so hard to “categorize” what love is….we love our spouses, significant others, children, parents, etc because it’s “expected”….but….love is in shared conversations, it’s in underlined words in a novel, loves in an

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unexpected gift, a lasting embrace, it’s in the invitation and the acceptance, in giving and receiving, it’s being known and knowing….and love won’t be smushed down into a square peg.
Come on,I triple dog dare you to love more this New Year.  And to actually say those three little big words.
“I love you!”

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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Maybe

Maybe she could do more
And do with less
Maybe she could be satisfied
With what she had
After all, it would be enough
For almost anyone
Maybe she could tame
The urge inside her
To go and see
Hunt and explore
Maybe
Instead of looking
Outside the windows
And wondering
What the rest of the world
Looked like
She could just imagine
What it would be like
Maybe she could patch
The worn out soles
Mend the holes
Patch up the places
That had worn thin
And maybe,just maybe
She could find a way
To do everything
Just the way
She needed.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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Read Between The Lines

She drew an imaginary line
Dividing who she was
And who she’s becoming
She used to be satisfied
Crumbs instead of feasts
A peck on the cheek
Pat on the back
A few kind words
Once in awhile
A little bit of loving
Was just enough

Then bit by bit
And day by day
She began to see
It wasn’t  too much
It was just more
Than she had ever expected before
Though it seemed like
It was perfectly clear
Maybe you should have
Read between the lines
Listened to her heart

She wants something
To hold on to
When you’re not there
A hand written letter
Handcrafted card
A token from
Where ever you were
To show she came to mind

A glass of wine on the patio
A cup of coffee
For no reason at all
A slow dance
A little romance
She wants to be known

She wants to pull on
Memories
Layer on love
Wrap herself in the warmth
Of a lasting relationship

She wants to look
And see
That there is love
Engraved
In more than
Just her heart
She wants more

She wants pieces of you
To have and to hold

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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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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Bogey Bears and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, I believed in fairy tales and bogey bears. .
I was a rambunctious.free spirited child and.at the end of the day, I would climb into bed and talk about everything I could possibly come up with so I wouldn’t have to go to sleep.
My Mema had to come up with something to settle me down and so she would lay beside me, sneak her hand beneath the pillow and tap my headboard.
Tap, tap,tap.
“You better be quiet and still,Jeanna’,…you better go to sleep..the bogey bear is  coming….hush,hush,hush”

I would giggle and squirm because I knew it was her,but there was a part of me that believed if I was very,very quiet and still,the bogey bear would never find me.

“Quiet and still” was almost impossible for me back then,and,to this day.it’s hard for me to sit still and be quiet when I want to get up and dance,or walk away,to speak my mind or write my words.

But, I’ve grown up-just enough-to realize that being “quiet and still” is sometimes the very best thing we can do.

You see, the bogey bear is real.  He comes sneaking in to steal our joy,to fill us with doubts and fear, and he plays on our insecurities,making us feel inferior. He wears many different disguises,and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s a bogey bear until we feel the tight grip crushing our spirit.

The bogey bear uses words like powerful weapons; “You’re too much!”
“You’re not enough!”
“You can’t do this!”
“You don’t matter!”
“You don’t belong!”

Those words are uttered by classmates, by so-called friends,by family members and co-workers …..but the real sting is when we say those words to ourselves,becoming our own worst enemy,our personal bogey bear.

That’s when we need to become quiet and still, to take the time to reflect on who we really are and what matters to us.

I discovered Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” during a critical time in my life when my heart was breaking and my body didn’t feel like it belonged to me anymore. 
His well written words were a balm for my spirit,giving me courage and strength to begin banishing the bogey bears in my life.
I began making changes-cutting off my long hair,hiring a personal trainer and taking care of my body.
Then,as I read and reflected,I realized that I needed to use my hearing loss to my best advantage, becoming very selective about who I listened to and who I shared my words with. 
I had to step away from some relationships and cultivate others that really “got me”.

The last year that I stayed in the place that wasn’t meant for me, I would guard my heart closely, staying only when needed, staring out the windows while working,knowing that I wouldn’t feel free until I was on my own.
I shared my dream with just a few people and those people became my fairy tale heroes.

“You can do this!”
“You have what it takes!”
“You are the best!”
“I believe in you!”

Those words begin to sink in,to fill me up and to give me back my power,my faith,and my resolve to be exactly the woman that I’ve always knew God intended me to be.

I’m not meant to fit in, or be like anyone else. I am blessed with a hearing impairment which means I can only understand those that come close enough so that I can read their lips.
That means they are also close enough for me to reach out and touch,which is what I’ve always been called to do.
I’m the “touchy feely” person-I hug too tight, plant kisses on cheeks,and curl up next to people and,you know what?
I’ve finally realized that’s okay, and if anyone isn’t comfortable with my touch,they can always step away.
I’m “too much”. I really am…I love too much,forgive too much,wear too much red lipstick, and too high heels.
I say exactly what I feel and I dance whenever the mood strikes my fancy and sometimes that’s “too much” for others, but that’s okay,too.

I’m “not enough”,too .  I’m not weak enough to be pushed aside and I don’t get scared enough,I don’t over analyze enough,or figure out every single detail before I make decisions. I don’t always have enough money to cushion my falls, but I always have “just enough”to get through.
I don’t care enough about social media,or peer pressure,or what others think about me anymore.

I know that some people will disagree but I think God gives us exactly who and what we need when we need it.  That’s why I’ve learned that sometimes what we think is a bogey bear can turn out to be a blessing,what we might first see as a trap,may actually be a springboard, and the words that may have been meant to destroy you,actually restored you instead.

I guess,truth be told, I still believe in bogey bears and fairy tales because I’m living proof that both exist right now- filled with “too much”and “not enough” and “just right” -it’s absolutely imperfectly perfect and it’s just the way I love things to be- unexpected,blissful-messy,chaotic,colorful,beautiful,fulfilling….maybe for someone else,it’s not enough,but for me-

Too much is just right!

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’