Singing and Healing

Day 17 Nudge: Show off without apologizing

When I was a little girl I loved to sing.  I was in the choir and sometimes got too enthusiastic.  One day my aunt told me that Mrs. G told her to tell me not to sing too loud because I couldn't carry a tune.  That was the end! No more singing for me.

Fast forward 60+ years we discovered karaoke.  I still loved music but there was no way in hell I was going to get up and sing.  My husband had no problems singing without even rehearsing.

Something inside of me wanted to get up and sing just like I loved to do as a child.  But I was too scared. And I mean SCARED.  I couldn't carry a tune, remember?

Two of the regulars invited me to sit between them and sing a song I knew and they would sing with me to make it easier.  They let me pick out a song.  It was the Girl From Ipanema.  I sang it with them and I think I shook for the rest of the evening.

"All you have to do is practice," people would say trying to be helpful. 
"Practice what?  How do I know if I am practicing the right notes?"  No one could really answer my question.

Someone told me a male that came to karaoke was a high school choir director and pointed him out to me.  "Maybe he could help you."

For a few weeks I was too nervous to ask him but finally I did.  I asked him how does one practice singing and know if they are practicing the right way?  He told me things about vocalizing and cupping my ear so I could hear my own voice when I sang.   I asked him if he would be willing to teach me and if so how much did he charge.  We made an appointment for me to meet him where he teaches and he would listen to me sing and see if I was teachable.

I don't know where I got the nerve but this voice in my head that was put there by my choir director through my aunt wanted healing. So at 70 1/2 I took singing lessons.  I was anxious before every lesson but once I got into it I had fun.  I learned I had a bigger singing range than I knew. But because of a hearing loss in one ear I couldn't always hear when I went sharp or flat.  But I kept on.

One thing he told me is that if I don't keep up with vocalizing my voice would go back to what it was before and even worse. He was right. When I sing I cough now.  I found some really fun vocalizing videos online and keep promising myself I will sing again.   Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but I did heal that voice from my childhood and I am pretty proud of myself whether I sing again or not.

Here I am singing one of my favorite songs at karaoke.

Fly Free or Schedule?

Day 18 - Share a life hack.

My schedule is pretty light so I use a Celestial Guide to list my appointments.   It shows where the planets are for that day and in what signs.  In the back of the Guide is a month by month list of what is going on with the planets, full moons, eclipses, when Mercury goes retrograde or direct. It is very handy for me.  I've used these for many years.

I will admit that I want to be more of a fly by the seat of my pants person.  I so dislike schedules.  Of course I have to have them but hey if you wanna go out to dinner just call me or I'll call you and see if we're free.

I get my haircut at a walk-in place and if they are too filled up I leave and go back another day.

Of course I can't do that with clients and doctor or dentist appointments but I leave a lot of room for myself.  

Just the other day after reading the blog I posted with a video with Alan Watts I realized, "Hey I'm 81, what goals am I trying to reach?"  Why hurry?  Why do I have to work so hard on myself?  Who am I trying to change for?  When am I going to realize "I'm pretty good right now, so just sit back, write, play your games, enjoy your husband and indulge in binging with Netflix or Hulu, blog if you want but be here and now, not in the past or future."

Here is a self-care blog I wrote in May.


Day 15 Today's nudge - What is something you know for sure?

We are Miracles!  All of us!  Life is a Miracle! Even though we can create life in test tubes we can't actually make the cells and put all the atoms together to create a human. We cannot put the veins and blood vessels together or make eyes or ears that work.  So if anyone doubts that Miracles don't exist just think of how we are so wonderfully made.

We don't know how to make a cloud that stays in the sky, we don't know how to make the sun rise and set.  We don't know how to create a tree from a seed or how to keep a bird flying.  

I Need Light, Lots of Light!

Day 14 Today's Nudge is to share something that isn't widely known about me.

I need light!  I need lots of light in my environment.

We recently moved into a 2 bedroom home so I had to get creative setting up my office/bedroom.  For a couple of months it felt gloomy in here and I didn't know what was wrong.  We had set my computer and chair up with my back to the windows.  I kept the blinds down.  I just didn't want to be in the room but I didn't know why.

Finally today I realized what I needed.  I needed not to have my back against the window.  I needed to raise my blinds and be able to see out.  

So we moved furniture around and now I can see out! I felt the difference immediately.  This is my office in progress. 

I have more space in front of me now and room to put a picture on the wall in front of me that will cheer me up even more. So I ordered this print in a larger size.  It will be here on Monday and I am excited to see it on my wall.

I don't need to be at the beach to enjoy it.  I remember so well what it felt like to lay on the beach and swim in the ocean.

So mentally I can imagine/remember how it feels and go there again in my mind.  This is a form of meditation and I can put on my headphones and listen to the sounds of the ocean or any relaxing music I want.

Let there be light and there is!

Dear Friend

Day 13 - Reminisce 

Did you ever have a friend who really listened to you?  Someone who would look you in the eye and actually hear what you had to say?

I had a friend like that.  His name was Ed and he was a photographer.  I met him at a party.  We got into a discussion about whether I thought gay men should be allowed to adopt children.  He and his then partner had thought about it.

After the party we would see each other downtown and one day Ed invited me to come up to his darkroom to see his pictures, so I did.  I loved looking at all his photographs and later we went out for lunch.

I found out his birthday was the day before mine.  No wonder we clicked.  Ed liked to fix delicious meals and I got to be the recipient.  We had long lunches with deep discussions.  Several times we celebrated our birthdays together.

We were both into Primal Scream Therapy to heal our inner wounds and many times I would put music on to help him get into his feelings. So while he laid on his pad and sobbed I'd do the dishes and change the music.  There was something about that time (early 70s) that was oddly fulfilling.

One day we went to the Mall with our Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and pretended they were doing all the talking.  It was funny how some people would say hi back to them while others scowled at us and told us to "grow up." 

I was writing Confession stories then and the magazine that my story was published in had come out on the newsstand.  Ed walked into the store that day and I showed him the magazine with my story in it.  He picked up the magazine, opened it to my story and carried it around showing people in the store that I had written it.  It was a bit embarrassing but fun too.

Ed's brother was a cafe singer in NYC and when he visited Ed he would play the piano for us and sing his songs.

Ed was in his late 40s and one day a mutual friend phoned me with the horrible news that Ed was dead.  His brother had come to visit but didn't know where he was.  Finally he found him dead in his studio.  I was heartbroken as were his other friends.  Ed was working on a photo exhibit and wanted me to write his press release which turned into his obituary.  There were rumors about how he died but only his brother knew for sure.   I still miss Ed and hope he is the first one I meet when I die.

RIP Dear Friend

Angel Card Readings

Today is give something away day -  Blog 11:

What would you like? I've been thinking about this all day.  Do I share a piece of writing?  I have a couple of videos I created but I'm not sure that is exactly a give away.

I decided to pull an angel card for you if you want one. 

You can comment on this post and tell me you want an angel card and I post it for you.  Or you can friend me on Facebook, private message me that you want me to pull an angel card for you. Whichever works for you.  I think 

I hope this sounds like fun.

My Life Purpose, What's Yours?

Day 10 Write about a Dream you Once had that you let go of and where did that lead you?

Gosh this feels heavy.  "What am I going to write about?" I wondered, as I pondered my life.  I could write that I wanted to be an Airline stewardess way back when but they wouldn't accept anyone with facial scars, thinking they were caused by an airline crash - plus I was too short. Then I thought about how I wanted to live and work in New York City. But mother told me if I left home before I was married she'd hire some strong men to come and bring me home.  At that time I didn't realize I had any power.  Oh yes I wanted to be a nurse until I was in a hospital elevator with my nurses club and smelled ether. I had a humongous panic attack from all the ether I had been given as a kid during my surgeries.  Another dream out.  So where did all this lead me?

I've mentioned in other blogs that I had PTSD from all my surgeries and not being allowed to express my feelings and a big school phobia that turned into agoraphobia. So I would say my search for healing led me to an interesting and fulfilling life.

 Okay so I started searching for ways to feel safer and less afraid.  I went every week for hypnosis which helped me relax a bit more. That was working good until they wanted to drug me.  I told them no and got dismissed.  I tried Biofeedback and it was one of the first times that I ever really felt totally relaxed.  Actually I had to relax to make biofeedback work.  I would love to have one of their machines to practice with now.  I went through 3 weeks of intense Primal Scream therapy and lost my fear of losing control and being locked up someday. That was promising but it was not practical to be primal screaming all the time, especially when we lived in my mother-in-law's guest house apartment to help her with the property.  So I had to close off some of my emotions again.  

I founded the Agoraphobics Anonymous in Palm Beach County back in 1978 with the help of a group from Miami and the local Mental Health Association.  I facilitated it for a year until I knew it was time to move on.
During this time a friend was studying Astrology. I really didn't know much about it and he offered to do my chart for me.  I got so interested in how there were so many different combinations of charts.  It was fascinating and showed me why some people are certain ways and other people see the world in other ways.  He also pointed out things in my chart that showed why I felt the way I did.  And he said a window of opportunity was coming for me to grow and get out more socially.  He said the window wouldn't close but if I used the energy it would make it much easier. So I did and started taking classes in Astrology.  My teacher also used Tarot cards and I got interested in how they worked and took many classes about reading the cards on many levels.  

I loved the idea of Angels and Guides helping us so I was playing around on AOL and typing in angel names.  I found Angels Love You which I grabbed and have kept ever since. I got it as my domain name and created a web page and a page on Facebook using it.

I have since discovered Emotional Freedom Technique where we tap on the acupuncture points expressing exactly how we feel instead of trying to push our feelings down and covering them up.  When people go through traumas their instincts are to Flee or Fight, but when they can't do either they Freeze.  There are many kinds of traumas and even little ones that go on and on can turn into Post Traumatic Stress.  Like someone who is afraid to go to school every day and no one believes she is afraid but thinks she is just being naughty.  When she isn't listened to then she can develop physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches.  I experienced this myself and have read where children were taken to the doctors for this and they don't find anything wrong so they force them to go to school. It would be better if the child was listened to and the parents or doctor tried to find out what they are afraid of so they can release the fears or learn to use tools during fear/anxiety episodes.

I am going to share with you a video that Karin Davidson teaches a child how to use EFT for anger. 

Here is another video by Brad Yates helping a child acknowledge her fear and releasing it.

I am so glad I've gone through all this so I can help people.  It is one of my greatest joy in life to help someone feel better about themselves, to be able to acknowledge how they feel instead of putting on a happy face when they are suffering inside.  I have heard to "Feel the fear and do it anyway." But that is the hard way.  Yes there are many ways to work through feelings.  I honor this and can only say what works for me

Of course affirmations can work after we acknowledge our feelings and meditation also works.  (You don't have to clear your head of all thoughts to meditate either). 

I also call in my angels for myself and even when I'm tapping I call in my angels to help me release the stuck emotions. After a session with a client we pull an angel card or two.  It is so cool that the card that appears always is the perfect card for what we have been working on.  

Look, it worked again! Look at the card that fell out as I was shuffling asking for the perfect card for this blog.

"A dream come true! Believe in yourself. The end of a difficult situation."  Isn't that what the blog for today is all about?  I just love these cards and how the angels help us.

Photography is one of my Passions

DAY 9  "Share something you've created that feels like it's part of your autobiography" is the topic for today.

I love creating videos and taking pictures.   

I didn't even know I had any talent for photography because my husband always had the fancy cameras and filters.  But I played with my cell phone camera and uncovered a passion.

I also love making soup so I created a video about how I make soup.

This is my chicken noodle soup with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and a lot of the same vegetables I use for the vegetable soup.

This next video is a fall ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway here in Western North Carolina.

One last picture for now is Saturday night in downtown Hendersonville, NC with people dancing to the music of Tom Brown, one man band.  These were always fun to go to.

I hope you all enjoyed one of my fun hobbies.  Thank you for reading and watching.

Joyfully Flinging Glitter

Day 8.  What brings me Joy!

Having a deep connection/conversation with someone who understands.

Sitting on my porch with my husband enjoying the fresh air or looking at the stars.

Talking to my son and daughter in love.

Thinking of all I have to be grateful for.

Helping someone find their joy.

Cooking delicious meals. 

Going out to eat.

Posting funny memes or sayings on my Fun page

Listening to music.

Meditating with some relaxing Guided Meditations and creating them. 

Playing online games.


Oh and I LOVE glitter and sparkly things.  

I'm sure there are lots more too.  I'm feeling joy writing this and posting it.

Purse Dump Day 7

I wrote a long blog earlier but decided to save it for another day.  Instead I am going to talk about worry.

I find myself worrying over South Florida and my family and friends who are down there. All these dire pictures and thoughts have been flowing through my mind.  This isn't good for me and it certainly doesn't help them.  Worry is only picturing and thinking the worst. That's bad energy to be sending out.

I worried about a friend so much a few years ago that my back locked up!  I tense up and it all settles either in my back or stomach.  I was sitting here earlier with these awful thoughts and pictures going through my mind and suddenly I got what to me was a message from my angels.  They told me that I wasn't doing my family any good by doing this, I was certainly not doing myself any good.  They asked me how I wanted to feel and I thought I want to be calm.  I want to visualize angels over the area helping. They might not be able to stop the storm but each of us has guardian angels with us, so yes they can help.  

When the storm hits will I watch it unfolding on TV? I hope not.  I am curious but this kind of curiosity could kill my ... calmness?  Peace of mind?  That's hard to have during a time like this but worry doesn't work either.

So that's my dump for today....

I am holding a light and visualizing angels over the storm area.  Maybe a miracle can happen.

Life before TV's to chatting live with a friend In Sweden.

Today is day 6 of Artfully Wild Blog Along.  Effy blogged about how the internet is her hometown.  I have been trying all day to figure out what to blog about until I read hers.

I was born before TV.  Yep, we used to listen to our stories on the radio. "The shadow knows..",  Sky King,  The Green Hornet.. We used our imaginations picturing what they were saying.  It was fun, like reading a book and picturing the characters.

When we wanted to make a phone call we'd pick up our phone and wait until the operator said, "Number please."  Sometimes we could hear a conversation because we shared party lines and had to wait until the other conversation was done to make our call.   We were trapped in our homes if we had to wait for a call.  Not anymore. We have our cell phones and can go anyplace and still get our important and unimportant calls.

In the late 1940s we got our first TV but there weren't many channels and they always signed off at midnight.  I remember watching the Milton Berle show on Tuesday nights.  Of course they were black and white. We didn't get a color TV until the 70s.

I've kept a diary since before I was married and during my high school years. But when I got married my stepfather and I burned them. Burned them? What was I thinking?  I guess I didn't want my husband to find out.  Ha ha, I sure was brainwashed.  I started keeping a journal in 1963 before JFK was shot.  I have 15 filled books and many are numbered, all are dated.  I would love to do something with them but so many of my entries were fights between my mother and myself.  Not sure the world needs to read these.

I was pretty agoraphobic during this time but in the 1970s Citizens Band Radio came along (CB) and I took to that like a duck out of water. My mother was an amatuer radio operator (Ham) and she wanted me to become one too.  I wasn't interested and didn't have the money for all the equipment anyhow.  But CB radio got me to be more social.  I remember telling my husband that I didn't want to meet any of them and wasn't going to any of the get togethers, which they called "breaks."  But I did and they were fun.  I remember he and I dancing to Country music and wondering what happened because before we didn't like that kind of music.   Hubby got involved in raising money for the Leukemia society and I was furious at him until I got involved too. I ended up staying up all night talking to the truckers kidding around and asking for donations.  We raised a lot of money. I called myself The Confessor because I wrote and sold Confession stories to True Confessions and True Romance magazines.

Next came computers.  I got the first color computer where we had to type in code to get a silly little program to run.  I loved to type so it was fun for me but I wanted more.  I had been writing stories on typewriters.  Hubby was a typewriter repairman so I got to try out different models. But boy when I made a mistake on a story I wanted to submit it was either use white out or type the whole darned page again.  Computers changed all that.   I graduated to a more sophisticated computer called the Commodore 64.  I had fun with it but it wasn't a writing machine.

I remember my brother had a program online called My Cozy Kitchen. These were bulletin boards where people could sign in and chat or play games. It was just before the internet became popular.  I was logged into my brother's computer and saw a link leading to something called the internet and got curious.  It took me to something that made no sense at all.  Brother came home, saw me messing around and asked me what I was doing. I said "I don't know, I'm lost."  LOL I am glad for my curiosity though, it keeps me from getting bored.

So my brother taught me how to create my own web page and I got my domain and started offering readings after taking a lot of courses.  Then I got hired to work on a chat line that was a lot of fun. I made a lot of money too.

A few years later I discovered blogtalk radio and had my own radio program for 3 years.  That was such fun.  Now I go live on Facebook sometimes. I want to do more, learn more and have more fun.

So, like Effy, my hometown is also the internet.  I have a dear online friend in Sweden and once a month she and I co create together an EFT/tapping call as Team Leaders on the Thriving Now site we belong to.  We help others release some of their stuck energy.  She was traveling in a car from where she lives in the southern part of Sweden to the northern part and I was chatting with her LIVE on Facebook! I was blown away by just thinking of what we were doing.  Who would have thought when I was a child listening to my stories on the radio that 70+ years later I would be chatting live with an online friend in Sweden?

What's next?  I don't know but I'm experimenting with creating an angel webinar or ...  That's another blog.

I'm Jean Maurie and I'm a recovering Agoraphobic

I belong to a blogging group-- Blog Along With Effy and we get a topic to write about every day. Today is day 5 and although I've been reading other people's blogs I haven't started to post until today.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it either but if I continue to procrastinate I'll never post so here goes:

TODAY'S NUDGE: What is something you struggle with? What battles are you fighting that most people know nothing about? What's something about you or your life that makes you feel weird, or different, or isolated?

I am a recovering agoraphobic.  I have written blogs about it and I created a video about it that I will post at the end of this.

So even though I can call myself a "recovering agoraphobic"  I haven't been driving regularly, although I know I need to and would love to feel confident again driving, it scares me.   I don't travel far away for various reasons and haven't seen my Great Grandsons or my Granddaughter's husband.  Yes I know, it is sad but it is what it is.

I didn't used to be able to eat out at restaurants but I can now.  Standing in line has gotten better but I still have trouble getting haircuts and going to the doctor or the dentist is hard.

Why do I have this problem?  

I had many surgeries as a child to repair a cleft lip and palate.  I was told to be a big brave girl and don't cry.  I held it all in and was terrified.  This is called a trauma and experiencing it over and over caused Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   I would be taken to the hospital the day before the surgeries and mother would go home.  I was left all night terrified of what was coming.  Early in the morning I would get an enema.  Why they gave us enemas before facial surgery mystifies me.  I guess they didn't want us pooping on the operating table.  But that was another trauma and to this day when I have a panic attack it makes me feel like I've gotten an enema and I better get to a bathroom soon.   

School was a nightmare.  I had a panic attack every morning for 12 years and couldn't eat breakfast.  Summers were better unless I was scheduled for surgery.  

I tried hypnotherapy, Primal Scream Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy,  and more.  I tried positive thinking, affirmations but during that time it was more like pushing down feelings rather than acknowledging them and learning what their messages were for me.
Finally about nine or ten years ago I found Emotional Freedom Technique  EFT.   It is tapping on the acupuncture points.  This is now my go to tool to help me when I get anxious.  Sometimes instead of tapping I just hold the points and breathe.  It helps.  I will tap or hold the points one by one and say something like this, "Even though I feel anxious I am ok right now.
"Even though my stomach is in a knot, I am acknowledging it and not trying to cover it over with affirmations.
"Even though I'm scared I am taking care of myself right now.
I breathe as I tap and talk.  This lessens the intensity until I can start thinking more rationally and realize that indeed I really am ok.   

Will I completely be free from this?  I don't know. At 81 I kind of doubt it.  But I have a full life even with panic and anxiety.  I try not to let it rule my life.  So far so good.  The rest remains to be lived.