Connection of the Soul

Written By: lorie - Sep• 10•13

Please follow the link to Angel Thinking for my latest post,

Connection of the Soul

I am now offering private Soul Healing consultations two mornings a week through Maple Shores Medical Centre in Saugeen Shores.

Skype and telephone consultations also available. If you feel that you are missing a piece of who you really are, please email yvonne@angelthinking.com, or call 519-386-0216.

Working together, you and I can heal your soul.

A Little Kindness

Written By: lorie - Jun• 12•13

It doesn’t take much to show a little kindness.

If you have ever hosted a dinner party you know how personal your reception can be. No matter how strong your confidence level, having five people show up for a twenty person feast can be a little deflating.  The same is true in business.

Over these past few weeks I have had the pleasure of attending Meet the Author events in various communities. Some have been my own functions, and others have been events of fellow authors. At each of these gatherings, I have noticed three distinct groups of visitors: those who  avoid eye contact all together,  those who briefly make eye contact and then quickly move away, and those who make eye contact with a smile.

I admit, I too have fallen into each of these categories, but with the changes that have been taking hold of my life these past few years I am finding myself in the later group more often. In fact, it was just a week or so ago, when visiting the Indigo Spirit outlet located in Mt. Sinai Hospital that I found myself in the precarious position of happening upon an author signing a few of her books. Standing outside of the store, I watched for a while as hospital staff and visitors walked past her table. She’d smile at them in a friendly manner, and a collective few would smile back.

I noticed the connection which was made each time a passer-by shot her a smile. These smiles I observed had not culminated in the sales of either of her books, and yet, each time this author received a friendly nod, her own smile grew. These little acts of kindness actually did more for her book sales than any of the givers may have know for as her smile grew, so too did her confidence. Before I knew it, a woman had stopped to linger at her table. A quiet conversation ensued and the woman eventually moved on. It was at this point that I approached.

I introduced myself and began leafing through her displayed works. We chatted for ten, maybe fifteen minutes and in that time, I discovered that this woman was a gifted teacher and speaker. Using experiential research gathered over years of instructing and counseling, this woman wrote about what she knew. She was educated, articulate, and very, very interesting. As co-authors we agreed to keep in touch in an effort to promote one another’s work, and maintain a professional friendship. During our conversation a hand full of others stopped to speak with her. Safety in numbers. We exchanged cards and I moved on so as not to keep her from doing what she was there to do.

In a society bombarded by advertising, we become numb to sales people. Everywhere we look someone is attempting to sell us something. Even the innocent dinner party has become an outlet for fundraising and sales pitches. With all the choices thrown at us, many of us forget that we are all connected in spirit. If these past few years have taught me anything, it is that a little kindness shown to strangers as well as friends have the ability to brighten someone’s day. That someone could even be you.

Whether you are interested in purchasing Angel Thinking, or you’d just like to talk about your own angel experiences, the gracious staff at Chapters New Fairview Mall, St. Catharine’s will be playing host to my next Meet The Author book signing. If you are around, please stop in and see me. If only just to smile.

 

 

Relax And Allow

Written By: lorie - May• 15•13

People might call me a fighter. I’ve even heard myself referred to as a survivor. A courageous woman. While it’s true that I live my life fearlessly, the truth is, I am neither courageous, nor am I a fighter.

Growing up with a beautiful, headstrong sister, I learned early in life to sit back and allow her to take the reins. I thought she was capable of anything, as such I did not wish to get in her way! Being the kid who hid beneath the art table in kindergarten, I imagine most people saw me as a timid little thing.  It simply was not in my nature to make waves. I was the peace-keeping butterflies and kitty cat loving, spider cowering girlie-girl.  It hurt my feelings to be teased, and a raised voice was simply more than I could handle. Each day, I’d hide my face and find a reason to cry.

As I grew, I began to experience circumstances in my life where the tears and the hiding only made things worse. Painful hospital procedures took longer to heal when I allowed my agitation to show. Withdrawing from classmates who could not understand my quiet side only made me lonelier.

By the time I had reached puberty, I realized the changes I  had to make in order to live what considered to be a ‘normal life.’ If there was going to be a change, it had to come from me. Breaking  from my shell, I allowed myself the freedom to experiment with interesting new friends. Fancying boys outside of my circle, I ended up in one painful relationship after another. The harder I pushed to be the girl I thought I should be, the further I moved away from the girl I really was. Though I was never completely able to tuck my girlish  tears away, I did stop hiding under tables. When in my early twenties, the real trouble began, my attitude about fighting changed as well. Trapped in a volatile lifestyle, I fought back with words and actions.

My fighting spirit protected me, while the soft, gentle, peaceful person within laid quietly in wait. Over the next twenty years, I’d fight for my career and eventually leave it. I fought for a man who would become my very best friend. I clawed my way to a successful business, during which time I lost two children to miscarriage, and adopted two babies, who in my heart, I knew were my little angels. After years of fighting, it just seemed natural that I would fight for them as well. Mike and I adopted Riley and Katie ten years ago, and while my fight for their well-being continues to rage on, I am coming around to the realization that a fighter is not who I am.

That quiet spirit has been gently stirred and I am reminded that there is no need to fight, no need to be courageous, and no need to survive. That gentle spirit has always taken care of me, though at times, it was so quiet I hardly remembered it was there.

From quiet I came. To quiet I return.

All the talents that I brought into this world with me reflect who I am. Despite my fight, the cosmic forces led me to become the strong woman that I am. The universe literally pushed me into a truly remarkable teaching career, and when it was over, soared me across the universe, to be exactly where I needed to be. Despite my instincts to survive, I found myself opening my door to a stranger who would open up my world to the joy I had been forever  pushing away. Despite the courageous woman I had become, that loving little girl I once knew returned the minute my children reached for my hand.

That little girl living inside of me never really grew up. Those horrible surgeries and painful social encounters perhaps pushed her away for a while, but she is awake again. Now it’s her time to relax and allow the universe to do what it needs to do.

 

 

 

 

Like Learning to Ride A Bike

Written By: lorie - May• 06•13

As my 50th birthday approaches, I am learning to ride a bike for the first time.

Some of you may think this odd. For those who do, I could say, as my 2nd birthday approaches, I am learning to ride a bike for the first time. Sounds much more impressive, doesn’t it? In fact, both statements are true.

This August, I celebrate my 50th birthday. The following March, my body and heart celebrate 2 years of revival. For those of you who do not yet know my story, a whole new life began for me on March 10, 2012 when I received the gift of a new heart. Today, Little Heart beats happily in a body that has never before had the strength to ride a bike. So who says you can’t teach an old(er) dog new tricks?

Riding a bike is not the only first of my life. This new heart of mine has taught me other things as well. My sense of balance is improving daily, and for the first time in my life, I can walk as fast, if not faster than some of my friends. I even attended my first Congenital Heart Conference a few weeks ago, and learned what life can be like for non-congenital parents of congenital heart defect (CHD) children.

My husband and I are parents of two congenital children, and yet, I was quite surprised to learn that my worries as a mother are far different from those of a parent who has not yet learned to live with the diagnosis. When my children were very little, my worries ran along the lines of what if my son never gets potty trained? What if my daughter won’t stop biting? My son turns 11 today, and yes, he is potty trained. Has been for some time now. And yet, when he was going on four, and still wearing his pull ups, I was beginning to … well, for lack of better words, panic! When my daughter was biting every friend she met in pre-school, plus her own brother every chance she got, I have to confess, panic was setting in again.

I sat in the CHD conference and listened to the tearful worries of mothers who asked, “how do I leave him with a sitter when he could stop breathing at any time?” and “how can I trust a teacher to look after my fragile little girl, when I’m the only one who really knows what symptoms to look for if she is in distress?” I glanced over to my own mother, who was also in attendance. She shrugged. Perhaps she was simply too young of a mother to truly realize the dangers of sudden cardiac failure – the number one symptom of CHD patients. Perhaps I’ve lived such a graced life with my condition that I too do not see the danger my own children could face.

And yet, I ask myself, do I wish my children to live a life of joy, or a life of fear? As a CHD, and a mother of CHDs, I have learned to approach every day, the same way I am now learning to ride my bike. I look at the bike, I straddle it. I find my balance. I push off.

It has taken my body nearly 50 years to come to the point where I can achieve balance. Like most every other person, I have juggled my own health issues, a career, marriage, and children. The fact that my children are slightly different from other children is simply not a big issue.  If there is anything I can share with parents of children with CHD, it is this – all children, all people, come with their own unique gifts. In 1963, I was born with a rare and deadly form of CHD. I not only survived, thanks to parents who allowed me to be exactly who I needed to be, I thrived. My children have CHD. They run. They play. They fall down, a lot! And lately, in learning to ride a bike, so have I!

Raising children with health issues of any kind requires more than love. It takes acceptance and balance.  As I sat at the conference, I looked at all of those beautiful CHD families, and made a promise to myself to connect with as many as I could. I looked for their balance when speaking to them about CHD, and hoped, that as my own family had, other CHD families would push off from the conference with a renewed understanding of the gift they had been given.

The Simple Things

Written By: lorie - Apr• 09•13

small white feather.It’s not much. Just a little thing actually.

Each time one of my children finds a feather in the house, they give it to me. “Look Mom!”  Riley or Kate will exclaim, “the angels are saying hi.” It may be a little feather come from a down filled coat, off of a pj pillow fight, or from a craft kit, but this little thing means so much.

 

It tells my children that God and his angels cherish them enough to send them a personal reminder of just how much they are loved. It tells me that my ten year olds are actually listening!

Take a look at the simple little things around your house. How often do you see the little things.

Lovebirds

Written By: lorie - Mar• 27•13

My morning walk is for me a moving meditation.  No matter the weather, snow, wind, or sunshine, something always captures my attention, and reminds me that we are all one in the universe. This morning was no exception. Though it was chilly, Mike and I could feel a touch of spring warmth as well. Our walk was extra quiet as Harry had spent the night with his favorite aunt and uncle and was still there, no doubt sleeping in!

Arriving at the shop, I kissed Mike goodbye and turned to walk home when I noticed two birds sitting side by side in a tall leafless tree. No longer cuddled up for warmth or fighting over a bit of something edible as they were typically spotted throughout the cold winter months, these two appeared to sit together for the sheer pleasure of it. Twisting their heads to gaze at one another, they were in complete harmony. The way that they looked at one another, the obvious commitment they had to one another, and their simple calmness lead my mind to thoughts of my own relationship with my mate.

During the organized chaos of most mornings and the stillness of the nighttime, like the birds in the tree, Mike and I find solace in the presence of one another. Similarly as well, from time to time, Mike and I can also be found squabbling over one thing or another. And yet, again like the birds, when all is calm, when one of us is in need, or when the night simply presents itself, more often than not, we return to our loving state.

Everyday I a reminded of how the world around me is a reflection of the world within my own private space. I give thanks to God and the angels for paving my way to Auckland’s North Shore. And for the shove they gave to send Michael my way. Experts say that birds find one another through a innate ‘radar.’ I believe it’s all part of the divine plan. How else could Michael and I found one another from opposite ends of the world? Nearly seventeen years later, while our everyday lives may not always be perfect, our life together, and love for one another remains in perfect balance.

Do you know your lovebird? If you do, give thanks everyday for that beautiful person. If you don’t yet, give thanks for the beautiful person yet to grace your life.

The angels see no time. They know no place. They only know what is in your heart. Thank them for your heart’s desire, and in time… in perfect time, they too will lead you to your lovebird.

Finding the Gift

Written By: lorie - Mar• 19•13

photo-2For me, biting into a big yummy cookie is magical. It brings me back to those childhood days when a sweet treat was the highlight of the day.

If you look closely at the picture to the right, you will see a white container with little box lids flipped open. The background of the room tells me that I was in my apartment in Toronto, and my hair tied back is a really good indication of my comfort level. I needed to keep my hair away from my face.

The container with the lids is my pill keeper. Mike and my dad bought it for me the day I was released from the hospital. I needed a way to keep track of the overwhelming number of pills prescribed. Being in Toronto, with my hair pulled back, not only tells me that I was in recovery mode, but I was not likely feeling all that well.

Despite the evidence of illness, I was in fact, filled with joy. On that special day, my gift was not the cookie – though I obviously enjoyed it. No, on that day, my gift was the strength I had found within myself to embrace the surgery, let go of a heart that worked so hard to keep me alive, and embrace the new one beating inside of me.

People ask if I have changed since receiving someone else’s heart. I have. I am stronger, both physically and spiritually. I have a happy heart inside of me, and spirit of two. For the rest of my life, I will carry the spirit of my donor inside of me and along side of me. Together, we get to eat cookies, laugh, play, and see the joy in every day.

This post will link to my new website and blog. Today I invite you my readers to have a first look at http://angelthinking.com.

A Year Later

Written By: lorie - Mar• 10•13

It’s been a year since my transplant surgery. What a difference a year makes!

Last year –

My husband, Mike woke from a restless sleep. His brain was still fogging from the turmoil of packing bags, piling into the car, and driving for hours through blinding snow. In a private ICU waiting room, his aching muscles protested the nerve pitching contours offered up by the uncomfortable hospital sofa. It had been a long night, with a longer year yet to come.

At 3:00 am, having awoken from a restless sleep, my mother, Yvonne, and soul sister, Antje, were already in the main waiting room. Leaving the tiny family packed Toronto apartment, they ventured out into the cool chill of the morning air. Walking four city blocks they waited for hours in the quiet hospital ICU.

Antje would later recall the brightly shining stars and the clear full moon in quiet whispers that only she and I would remember. “Haniel is watching over you,” I heard from within a drug induced sleep. In that moment, I saw the archangel named Haniel looking down at me through a window behind my head, telling me all was well.

My children, Riley and Kate demonstrated the behaviour of children much younger. Falling asleep hours after leaving the hospital, they showed the terror of losing their mother in unexpected stages of hyperactivity, lack of consideration, and finally tears. Tears at least from Kate. Riley, my big tough boy simply withdrew. By morning his pale skin had turned ashen, his temperature rose, and fear presented itself in the form of a stomach flu.  To this day, neither chose to recall that night.

My sister-in-law Paula, then six months pregnant, had settled her head on an air mattress which had been firmly squeezed between the stove and the dishwasher in the short narrow kitchen of the tiny Toronto apartment. This was the start of a long journey for her as well. A nurse by profession, Paula would spend many of her free hours over the weeks tending to me. Whether she was assisting me with daily tasks or simply holding my hand, Paula was a genuine source of love and laughter. She saw the beauty in it all.

New Heart Eve: an hour before surgery.From left to right:Kate, Mike, Riley and I, my mother Yvonne, my father Ron.

New Heart Eve: an hour before surgery.
From left to right: Kate, Mike, Riley and I, my mother Yvonne, my father Ron.

So many others came to squeeze themselves into that tiny apartment that night. My father and step-parents Marie and Brian cared for my babies, and watched me during my long sleep.  My sister-in-law, Janna stood over me and held my hand. She never knew (until now) that I saw the love in her eyes, and heard the gentle whisper of her voice.

Last year at this time,

A family spent a sleepless night. They wept for their loss. They remembered the happy times, and despaired for the sad ones. They said goodbye to their child, their loved one, and in doing so, reached out to save another.

Last year at this time,

 A brilliant team of surgeons came together from the transplant unit at The Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General to stand over two people they didn’t know. They used their combined skills to protect the heart of one in an effort to save the life of the other. With precision hands and loving hearts, they worked fourteen hours, until the transfer was complete. Two days later, I opened my eyes, squeezed my mother’s hands, felt my husband’s lips on my forehead, hugged my children, and smiled at my doctors.

Today I celebrate my 1st heart birthday. Friends and family gather to honor me with a ‘pink party.’ I hold my new niece. I hug my friends. I kiss my family. I honor the heart that beats inside of me. Today, I hold a quiet vigil by celebrating the life that allowed me to do it all.

In memory of my beautiful donor who gave me life and remains with me always. 

 

Full Moon Morning

Written By: lorie - Mar• 05•13

 

It was a brisk -6 degree morning.

moon

Contrary to the early morning weather report that the temperature would feel like it was -9 with the wind shield, it actually felt warm as I strolled home from walking Mike and Harry to the shop.

Though you can’t quite see the amazingly round sun eclipsing the clouds, you can see the raw beauty of the morning sky. It was as though I was looking at a perfect full moon framed by grey white clouds, and I felt as though the eyes of something truly divine was watching me as I moved down the quiet road.

Reminding myself that benevolent souls guide us and protect us at all times in our lives, I smiled at the notion that from time to time, on blissful mornings like today, we are also blessed the gift of their beauty.

Loving What Is

Written By: lorie - Feb• 28•13

It’s been nearly one full year since my transplant, and so much has transpired. The pharmaceutical induced shakes have nearly ended. Sleeping is easier. And the headaches are becoming fewer and fewer.

Some days are so busy that I even forget the long painful days and nights of recent past. It’s truly miraculous how the spirit enables the mind to let go, and in letting go, the body forgets to feel pain. I was reminded of this the other night when a sudden slip on the ice took my husband Mike’s ability to move freely. For so long, he has been my hands, my legs, my dirty job doer. That all changed on Monday night when he took Harry our dog out before bed. Mike took the slippery front step gingerly, but was taken off guard by an invisible patch of black ice at the bottom. I was upstairs when all at once a horrible feeling lurched in my stomach. As has happened so many times before in my life, the angels were telling me to be alert.

Where is Mike? My mind frantically questioned as the front door slid open.   He made it inside on his own, but needed my help after that. The next day, my step dad Brian, who himself is still recovering from recent surgery, drove Mike to the hospital where the injury was x-rayed and a heavy dose of pain-killers and muscle relaxants doled out.

Those who have taken muscle relaxing medication will relate to the scenario of the mind letting go and the body forgetting to feel pain. Unfortunately, a pharmaceutical fix does not take the injury away, it only dulls the pain, and our ability to think with it. On Tuesday night, Mike, having fought the pain all day, broke down and took one of the prescribed muscle relaxants. That night, as he slept a drug induced sleep, I noted how his body easily shifted from side to side.

“I’m never taking those again!” Mike stated firmly the next morning. “Id rather experience the pain, than have that feeling again!” Boy, could I relate.

Accidents, injuries, and illness happen so suddenly that often in the midst of them we forget that we are divine beings having a human experience. We are earth angels. Our job is to experience all that this life has to offer, and love what is.

Mike is back at work. He is sore, but with the help of a wonderful osteo-therapist, he is working through it with only the aid of the occasional painkiller. While his muscles are still rather shell-shocked, Mike is bright and alert.

This past year my entire family has experienced some sort of set back. Mom fell, Brian had cancer surgery, Katie has been suffering from stomach aches and cankers all winter. Riley recently broke his finger, and needs our help to perform such menial tasks as zipping up his coat. And now Mike.

I could cry to the universe, “What next?”

This morning as I knelt to do up Mike’s shoe lace, I gave thanks instead. I have been eternally blessed. Everyone has rallied around me for so long, now its my turn to be the caregiver. I see this as my opportunity to express gratitude, and my love for what is.

Angel Thinking