In 2017, when and how does a farm become the center of your home, your village? On Monday, June 19th Breaking Free Show, pioneers Amy Halberstadt, Joe Cole and Chris Eshleman will join host Marilyn Shannon to talk about eco-villages…places where people choose to live in harmony, farm the land together and delight in the seasons of the land as well as the seasons of their physical, spiritual, social and emotional lives. Join us for a fascinating, enlightening and bold discussion about this exciting way of breaking free! Tune in at: nissancommunications.com. Let’s keep the conversation going!
By Marilyn Shannon
I had the most extraordinary realization that I had to share. It’s about my mother. Some of you already know her and how beautiful she is. I have loved my mother for years, right, she is 89 and I am 61 so you know that when you have a warm, loving, close relationship of course you are living love.
I was exploring the idea of infinity with my Google Hangout panel and the notion surrounding endless everything. While we were exploring how listening opens up the unknown realm more and more, a feeling of calm came over me. A smile quickly followed. And I knew.
What is the connection you might ask?
Here is the story, abbreviated. I just got back from a whirlwind visit with my mother in Florida and I had the best time ever and so did she. I am going to do my best to describe why I would like this to matter to you. It’s profound, so bear with me.
I have always said love is love. As I mentioned in the beginning, I love my mother dearly and in the way I understood love to be.
What does love really feel like I ask you, I am asking me too?
I never really questioned it. I just accepted that it was love, yet I have felt that there was something more or missing, something I was holding back. There was an uncomfortable feeling that I accepted. I figured, Why even question it? I am sure it is normal and what can be missing anyway that really matters? It’s all good, right? I know that I love my mother and she loves me and through our actions we show it to each other. I feel a joyful feeling with her and had always loved being with her, etc. etc….
Some of you might laugh at this, but during our visit we ate, drank, talked, visited and really spent time together. Something I thought I did before. And I am sure I did, but this time was different and the result was different. We both connected at the same time. When you think about it, a true connection between people can only really really occur when both are ready, willing to put love first and be in the present moment There is a space where love meets love. .
I had experienced infinite love with my mother this trip and listen, it was very different than what I had experienced with her before. It felt complete. I could not believe it. It really is something else. And the smile I told you about was this stream of feelings that came to me that I was not controlling or aware of till I felt it.
I hope you are getting the magnitude of this. Infinite love for my mother. What a shocker.
What’s my point?
I have been evolving consciously, experiencing and living love. I have felt it when my children were born, when I got married, when I was blessed with my grandchildren but something was different now. This new experience with love was enhancing all the other loves in my life, spilling over into my life and juicing it all up. I was radiating love quite different – being more in action with it than not.
I feel happier than ever, more connected to life and everyone in it. My mother and I experienced simpler things in life this time and what came of it was infinite love. Believe it or not, this blog has taken days to write and today is week 3 of being home. The feeling is still alive in me. It has become a checkpoint. The realization is still there. I can tell you it’s’ something to strive for and look for and when you are in a loving relationship something to expand the relationship to. This expanse happened with me, and it is a gauge for what is possible. I am sharing this from my heart, as you can tell. And am very curious about your reactions, so please share.
Have you ever wondered about the life of a Hindu monk? What do they believe and what do they know that can help us take more freedom steps? On Monday, 3/9/2015 Marilyn and guest, Jamie McConochie, a former Hindu monk, talked about love, connection, listening, life at a monastery and what it was like to return from that life. Watch the show in its entirety:
Show link: https://plus.google.com/+MarilynShannon/posts/LAseFVCJ46R
Marilyn (M): Introduction of Gail Harris, author of the book “Finding Zoe.” It is a remarkable story of destiny, love, relationships, adoption, and human nature. I couldn’t put it down. Tell us more about you and how the book came to be.
Gail (G) – I am the author of “Your Heart Knows the Answer: Your Heart Knows the Answer: How to Trust Yourself and Make the Choices That Are Right for You: Ceremonies, Prayers, and Affirmations.” In my book, I encourage people to trust the voice of your heart and talk about how to distinguish your heart from your head.
The way I met Brandi is interesting! About five years ago Brandi, a former Deaf Ms. America, put an ad on an online writing/editing website saying that she wanted someone to help her write her story about adoption. I applied and talked my way to being chosen. As I began interviewing the cast of characters in the story, we found out that the book is more than an incredible adoption story.
M – This communication between you and Brandi. This really captured so much emotion from so many people. Talk some about that process.
G – There is so much to talk about! When I responded to the ad, it was via email. She didn’t tell me she was deaf initially. Eventually she told me she was deaf. We used VRS – Video Relay Services. She used a video phone. She would see the interpreter voicing to me what she was saying. Then the sign language would voice for Brandi. It sounds complex, but it happens seamlessly. We’ve been working on this book for more than 5 years.
Brandi’s deafness didn’t matter at all. She lost her hearing at age 6. We came from different worlds. But the bottom line is when we got down to work, in a certain way, I felt like I had found my long-lost sister. I had adopted by son, so Brandi and I had this in common. It felt like I was the person to write this book.
M – What is the one thing that gets you the most about this story?
G – It was the fact of meeting a deaf person. Part of my research was to research deaf history. I had known nothing about it. What I found out, was an absolute revelation to me. I could cry right now. I do have a small hearing loss, which is a coincidental thing.
Brandi was Ms. Deaf America. She had played a critical role in deaf history in her own right.
I felt like I was on a mission to get the story out.
And then there’s the adoption story itself. There are five people involved!
M – Brandi is so secure in herself that she is fine to include all of these loved ones. The pictures that you chose to put in the book! Oh my!
M – How did you become the co-author when it’s written in Brandi’s voice?
G – This is Brandi’s memoir. She’s telling her story. The way that we both felt would be told most powerfully is that it was written in the first person. We were so in sync. I’d write a chapter and she’d say, “yep, yep, yep.” It was a true collaboration.
As co-author I was intimately involved in the story and its telling. I encouraged her to expand the story. Brandi wanted to focus on the adoption. Once I began interviewing her, I realized that the story was so much bigger.
I wanted to tell it from the lens of perfection.
We worked closely to realize the highest expression of what this story is.
G – This Lens of Perfection. It means that things, people and circumstances in our lives are divinely orchestrated. If we open our eyes to see it. Just as Zoe went through five different homes and people went through such agony. They rejected her. So much judgment went through it. The Lens of Perfection suggests Synchronicity with our vibes. We’re all connected. It’s a guiding force in my life.
M – The most beautiful thing is to allow that to be. When you find multiple instances from happening.
G – Yes, the Lens of Perfection. It means that there is an order to this crazy life. Things happen for a reason, things are meant to be. I would also say that we get what we need. It may not be what we want. Even when something really painful happens.
M – What’s the hardest part of finding a publisher for the book?
G – We thought that we’d have an easy time and find offers from the big publishers. People are afraid to take changes. Publishing is going through huge changes right now with the advent of self-publishing, etc. Publishers don’t even know what they’re doing. Publishers are forming self-publishing arms. We did get an offer from one publisher, but ended up having to get out.
M – Advice for young writers?
G – Seek out constructive criticism. Always write about what you’re passionate about. Always keep the line open. It helps your love for writing.
About the book, “Finding Zoe” – Source: Amazon.com
At just a few months old, Zoe was gradually losing her hearing. Her adoptive parents loved her—yet agonized—feeling they couldn’t handle raising a Deaf child. Would Zoe go back into the welfare system and spend her childhood hoping to find parents willing to adopt her? Or, would she be the long-sought answer to a mother’s prayers?
Brandi was just 6 when spinal meningitis took away her hearing. Because she spoke well and easily adjusted to lip reading, she was mainstreamed in school and socialized primarily in the hearing community. Brandi was a popular, happy teen, but being fully part of every conversation was an ongoing struggle. She felt caught between two worlds—the Deaf and the hearing.
In college, Brandi embraced Deaf Culture along with the joys of complete and effortless communication with her peers. Brandi went on to become Miss Deaf America in 1988 and served as a spokesperson for her community. It was during her tenure as Miss Deaf America that Brandi met Tim, a leader of the Gallaudet Uprising in support of selecting the university’s first Deaf president. The two went on to marry and had three hearing boys—the first non-deaf children born in Tim’s family in 125 years.
Brandi was incredibly grateful to have her three wonderful sons, but couldn’t shake the feeling something was missing. She didn’t know that Zoe, a six-month-old Deaf baby girl caught in the foster care system, was desperately in need of a family unafraid of her different needs. Brandi found the answer to her prayers when fate brought her new adopted daughter into her life.
Set against the backdrop of Deaf America, Finding Zoe is an uplifting story of hope, adoption, and everyday miracles.
Gail Harris is an author who specializes in writing books for others. A storyteller at heart, Gail began telling stories for her clients as an award-winning advertising copywriter. After leaving Madison Ave. she wrote her first book, entitled, Your Heart Knows the Answer, which teaches us how to trust the true voice of our hearts by learning how to distinguish it from all our thoughts and that inner chatter we have inside our heads. Her second book, co-authored with Brandi Rarus, a former Miss Deaf America is entitled Finding Zoe. Forward written by Academy-Award Winner Marlee Matlin. The book is Brandi’s memoir, and tells of her not to be believed journey to self-acceptance, and to finding her daughter who she adopted who is also deaf. Whatever writing project she takes on, Gail’s believes in getting the heart of the story. She lives with her husband and son in Framingham MA.