Seeing stars. Walking on water.

Twinkle

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Starfish Mission is beginning to twinkle…

The past few months have been a marathon of deep diving. I been resurfacing time after time, each dive reaping more treasure. This morning, my words to my husband were something like, “I think I know how to stay on the surface now. And when I go under, I know that I’ll be able to resurface and breathe again.”

In that moment, I caught a glimpse of what Jesus was probably trying to say: “Take my hand. I’ll show you how to walk on this calm, refreshing surface so you can show others how to do it. This is my amazing Kingdom where all are equally valuable and equally commissioned. This is the leveling place where you can meet and decide your next direction. Here on the surface of my life-giving waters, I want you to be able to experience my power, my love, and the power you have with each other–drawing in–breathing in—all of the fullness of my Kingdom. Here, we continue the evolution of our Universe.”

I have been borrowing quite a few photos from Google’s free-to-use collection, but this photo is all mine. These are my waters for dancing today.

My own plunging, floundering, breathless, and black-hole story is now tucked into a sub-menu on my About MiraLianna page.

An amazing community of people and ideas has been coming together like headwaters–helping to create  Starfish Mission. On the Starfish Mission page (top of this page on a PC or bottom if you are on a mobile device), you can find ENTRY POINTS. A little like the children’s book series, Choose Your Own Adventure, can can choose your entry point depending where you are in the journey of life. Included is the life-raft of the Black Hole point, when nothing is working and you are gasping for air.

  • Entry point: Pre-Marriage
  • Entry Point: Wanting a Family
  • Engry Point: New Parents
  • Entry Point: Raising a Family
  • Entry Point: Black Hole (This is a designed as a first stop if, for any reason, you are feeling rudderless, uncertain, without purpose, neglected, abused, fearful, or unhappy.)

Today feels like yet another one of my myriad pivot points. (Apparently, I’m all about pointing today.)

Happy Birthday. Proud of you. Still..where is the love?

Yesterday, I wrote about my mother appearing in a dream on my birthday, two weeks after she died. That really happened.

This past week, I had a moment when I was consumed with a great shudder and a flood of tears. This defies all forms of logic and everything but the intention of my original journey. If you knew me personally, you would be shaking your head in amazement. You would know how intent I have been on a path of Show Me. This…whatever, whomever, is trying to get through to me is pure and unadulterated experience.

She loves me, after all

My shudder, my flood of tears: my mother seemed to be saying to me, “Yeah, we had a lot of crap to work through. It sucked, didn’t it? We had a mission, you and I, and now–look at you. 1500 hits, 530 views, 50 posts–all in one month. You have been featured on *Dr. Jonice Webb’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  You are doing your mission, you have found your purpose. You have always been a great daughter. I am still proud of you. And now, I’m not just signing ‘Love, Mom’–now I’m telling you…I have loved you–will love you–forever and forever.”

❤ ❤ ❤

Mira

*Dr. Webb’s book, Running on Empty, provided MY entry point. Through her work, I found a key to unlock my door and knock down my wall. I found what was missing, how many of us got into this mess, and what can help. I’m now linking arms with anyone who will. We have generations of hope ahead.

Journalist’s Creed

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Photo: The School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia

Public Trust: Caked in mud or washed in truth?

Who knows why ideas come together? The University of Missouri in Columbia has been coming up in topics of my conversations with various people the past few days—just random things, but connected to that University. Then, the year 1914–the year my father was born. 1914 was the beginning of WWI, for which we have a world-renown museum near my home.

Continue reading “Journalist’s Creed”

Assertiveness: Mirror + 1

Mirror

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The source for breaking through my wall:

Running on Empty by Jonice Webb

This post is going to be a departure from my usual blurb about emotional health. Since this is a journey-in-progress, you have gotten glimpses of the process of climbing out. Today is a turning point: I am moving into the topic of what to do once you have a sense of escaping the hole–to see what is above ground. My next series of posts might be of particular value for those interested in the world of bullying, power, and control: how bullies develop as well as how victims become vulnerable. We are going to be exploring what it means to be assertive, as well as how to avoid becoming aggressive. Continue reading “Assertiveness: Mirror + 1”

Hey Science, I’d like you to meet Spirit…

Shiver

Despite the fact that I enjoy fast cars (probably has something to do with the horse of my growing-up years having been a barrel racer), I consider myself a fairly responsible driver. That said, a recurring thought likes to dance through my consciousness: what would it feel like if I miscalculated the speed of the oncoming car and…? Would my life keep going –only not being seen? Continue reading “Hey Science, I’d like you to meet Spirit…”

Listing. Yikes.

Hmmm. Is this leaning or listing?

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I have always had issues with lists. One time a counselor suggested that I not use them at all, since they seemed to be causing me so much anxiety. (Not the best advice I’ve ever gotten!) There was also an annoying (for my husband) problem of me running into him when we were walking side-by-side.  I finally figured it out when I realized that I was constantly losing my balance on our treadmill. (A touch of scoliosis makes one of my legs seem shorter, so I list to the right.) We know better now; he always walks on my left side!

Lists are calling out to me again, so I might be wise to listen this time. Years ago, I had some success staying organized with the help of a book called Sidetracked Home Executives. Now, there is even a website! (Looks pretty good, if you ask me.) More recently, I had been ogling a friend’s cute little water bottle. When had I asked her where she’d found it, she told me about FlyLady. FlyLady, you ask? Do you have fifteen minutes? FlyLady’s mantra is that you can do anything for fifteen minutes. As it turns out, FlyLady and the Sidetracked Executive are now in cahoots.  (No worries, you can buy the fifteen-minute timer on her website.)

Tomorrow, I am going to get myself organized again. Professional List-Makers, beware! No judging allowed!!!

Love,

Mira

 

Learning: Certainty or Doubt?

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Certainty is not quite what you thought. Don’t stop thinking.

An elementary classroom is full of strategies. Some better than others–but all quite effective with an experienced teacher possessing the mental flexibility of a gymnast.

Take for example this vocabulary strategy: students brainstorm synonyms and antonyms of a given word. Done independently, there is limited value. As a class discussion, you can predict that there will be controversy (productive controversy!), especially with antonyms. Doubt in a classroom is good. Doubt leaves the door open for learning. Certainty means the door is closed. End of discussion. Continue reading “Learning: Certainty or Doubt?”

When Bad Luck is Good Luck

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My original thought for this title was more like Blessed to Be Cursed, but that heaviness has already filtered down to a lower water table–quite a ways down there, in fact. Honestly, I didn’t want to go the trouble of installing a new pump to haul it all up again.

In my world of education, rote learning is an accursed term. (I guess cursed may not be all that far down–it just kind of bubbled up–sorry!) We know rote as drill-and-kill: the learning of math facts, memorization without deep conceptual understanding, last minute cramming, and just surface-level regurgitation. In my journey of trying to understand why I have felt so different from others–why I was sad and empty when others around me always seemed perfectly fine–I am beginning to feel that I have received a gift.  Continue reading “When Bad Luck is Good Luck”

Mistake

Mistake

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I had gone to bed at a reasonable time last night, wanting to make sure I could get up and not be late. Once a month, a few of us meet in the parking lot at 6:15 am to drive downtown to serve  breakfast. But it was only 2 am. My eyes popped open. Ugh. Going to bed early was a mistake. Highly unusual. I never wake up in the middle of the night unless a storm is raging. Going to bed early? Big mistake. Now, I was hungry. I stumbled downstairs and made my emergency comfort: chicken broth, a bit of frozen corn, sliced cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes–topped with a handful of mini-saltines. Now what? Eyes still popped.

I knew that one of our sons had been giving himself a crash-course in Italian for an upcoming trip. He was stressing out, worrying that he wouldn’t be able to reach a point of engaging with locals. So, I did a quick random search about languages (always the curious one). I don’t even remember what site I was on, but I’d taken note that Thomas Jefferson had been fluent in six languages: English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. John Adams knew five: besides English–there were French, Greek, Hebrew and Latin. The part that caught my eye was “The Jefferson Bible”. Jefferson had carefully constructed what he considered to be the essence of practical wisdom, cutting out words, phrases, paragraphs–gluing and making his own. It wasn’t intended for anyone but himself; he used it late at night or sometimes in the morning. I smiled to myself thinking, …”maybe at 2:00 am when his eyes popped open.” He especially liked Matthew. Oh well, sleep again, finally.

Workers filled the steam-heated serving pans. Lines formed. Thin Styrofoam plates. Paper towels for napkins. The organizer gathered a few of us and asked if anyone would be willing to read a few verses and lead the group in the Lord’s Prayer. “Um…I can do that.” I flipped through Matthew and thought about what Jefferson might have chosen. I decided to read the first few verses of Chapter 18.

The organizer gave directions as the hungry ones jockeyed for positions–then, my turn. What to say? What would be meaningful? My teacher voice took over and explained a few things about what I’ve been sharing here: the origin of evil means “uppity”, that we are all the equally important and deserving of validation–meant to see and meet each other on common ground. I talked about Einstein’s words, “The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” I shared about Jefferson’s Bible and the words from Matthew…”unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom…”– (the importance of listening intently to every word spoken to us–leaving preconceptions at the doorstep). I was feeling all eyes-but more. There was synchronicity. Everyone has their own story. Every story counts. 

As they came through the line we caught each other’s eyes. Some commented with affirmations. In that moment I knew–2 am had not been a mistake.

 

The Wormhole

Paradoxes

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By being blind to faults, we see.

By becoming the servant, we lead.

By becoming vulnerable, we learn to trust.

By emptying ourselves of the world’s expectations, we find courage.

By listening, we learn to speak.

By writing out, we think within.

By becoming part of the many, we become

one.

-Mira

You are just wrong! (Uh…you’re not?)

Evil means UPPITY.

I was raised to believe there was an absolute distinction between right and wrong-good and evil: I was told, unequivocally, to choose, and choose correctly. I’ve thought for a long time that there was a little glitch in that line of thinking-it seemed like everyone had a different version of what was right and what was wrong.

Shocker alert: the original meaning of EVIL is–get this–uppity! Uh oh. So whenever I make a decision of what is right over what is wrong, that means that I’m making a judgement for right, and everyone else is wrong??? Doesn’t that mean that when I am thinking that I am better, for having chosen correctly, I am actually being uppity? Uh oh. I am the evil one???

My head is in whiplash mode! duel

Reprogramming My Judgmental World View

My spaghetti-brain started stirring itself into quite a knot. Here I am in all of my knotty-ness. Uhhhh….naughty-ness?

  • The old Adam and Eve story was simply people deciding they were better than someone?
  • So…when I start thinking other people might be bad–that’s why I suddenly feel like hiding–because I might be bad? (Hello SHAME. I need some clothes.)
  • Now I’m ashamed and I can’t look people straight in the eye. I don’t trust them. They probably don’t trust me. (Hello prejudice and bigotry. And loneliness.)
  • SAD. MAD. LOST. ALONE. Ugh.

Entertaining the Possibility of a World Without Judgment

Continue reading “You are just wrong! (Uh…you’re not?)”