This Week on WomanTalk Live: “Listen… The Messages Are There for You” – A Conscious Conversations Café Show with Mare Cromwell, Alyscia Cunningham and Natalie ForestThursday, May 23, 2013
The cardinal that shows up on your patio every morning
A shooting star
The person who calls you just as you are thinking of them
The hand you feel on your shoulder when no one is there
A smell or fragrance from out of nowhere
The energy you feel from a certain place
The meeting someone for the first time and feeling you’ve known them for years
Hearing just what you need to hear at the perfect time
The song on the radio that answers your question
Yet, we often say…”I NEED A SIGN!”
Hello? You’ve got ‘em. They are there all the time. But in the rush to get everything done and being blindsided by our “to do” lists, we often ignore the messages or are so busy we can’t even tap into them.
This week in the Conscious Conversations Café, three women are joining me who know how important the messages, the signs and the hunches are. They pay attention to them and know their lives are richer for it:
Mare Cromwell - an author, plant intuitive, sacred gardener, and worm herder. Her two award-winning books are “If I gave you God’s phone number….” and “Messages from Mother…. Earth Mother.” She has studied for sixteen years with Native American medicine people and calls Western Maryland her home.
Alyscia Cunningham – a professional lifestyles photographer based in Washington D.C. who comes from a family full of multi-talented artists. As an author and accomplished photographer, Alyscia has contributed to National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, America Online, and the Smithsonian Institution. She is the author of Feminine Transitions: A Photographic Celebration of Natural Beauty.
Natalie Forest – lovingly referred to as a “change agent”, Natalie is a visionary leader in transforming coaching, better known as the personal Self Love Catalyst and the Queen of I.D.E.A.L. She is in the final stages of creating a Center for Excellence that focuses in mentoring those who have a message and are stepping out to share it.
Need a sign? This is it–> Tune in this week to find out how messages show up your life, the value of these messages and how they can be a guiding star for you.
Saturday, May 25th, from 6:07-7:00 pm ET on Talkradio 680 WCBM Baltimore or “Listen Live” online
Be sure to check out last week’s show – Building Families That Transcend Barriers – when I talked with Sarah Hemminger, the Co-Founder of the Incentive Mentoring Program, an amazing organization that creates mentoring relationships (intentional families) between university-based volunteers and underperforming high school students.
If you missed the show or you want to share it with a friend, it’s in the podcast archive now – It’s the May 18th show!
Another tragedy in the news this week – in Moore, Oklahoma, where people lost everything within a matter of minutes. So many things that couldn’t be replaced. So many people who will never be forgotten. Utter chaos and destruction.
Whether it’s a housefire, a tornado, a hurricane… anything that takes away everything whether it’s possessions or lives, makes us all stop and think. Life is so precious. We wonder, how do people make it through? How do they keep going?
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado, someone posted a photo on Facebook sharing that people she knew had gone down to help in the cleanup. While surveying the destruction, they uncovered this sign:
“the most important things in life aren’t things.”
On some level – deep where our fingernails grow – we all know this. Our loved ones, our pets, their health and safety – and ours, is of paramount importance. In the grand scheme of things, nothing else matters.
But, what if, just what if when destruction like this comes along, you had those things of great sentimental value to you all pulled together, and assuming that your loved ones, friends and pets were safe… what would be the five things you would take?
I’ve been looking around trying to figure that out. So many things that I love could be easily replaced. But, what about the things that couldn’t? What would leave a little hole in my heart if I never saw them again? This is what I came up with:
- Photos – boxes and boxes of them from the beginning of time. Just looking at them whether they were from my parents’ collection or my own, telling stories of time, they are precious.
- All of the love letters and cards from Bob since Day 1.
- A scrap book my Mom put together to chronicle my Dad’s service during World War II – photos, postcards, cards, love letters, newspaper articles, etc. – truly a story that happened before I was even born but rich with history.
- My wedding ring. I remember meeting the designer artist who made it almost nineteen years ago – loving it then and still loving it.
- My cowboy boots from Back at the Ranch in Santa Fe. Made to fit. Feel perfect. And, I’ll still be wearing them when I’m an old lady.
Yep, the most important things in life aren’t things. They never will be. And yet, it can still be a good exercise to look at all of your “STUFF” and decide what holds the most important space in your heart. And, what you might be able to retire.
And, in the meantime… none of us are immune to tragedy. Does that mean we go around expecting it to happen right around the corner and live our life in fear? No, it means we savor every minute of every day, let the people we love know how much we love them, include laughter and play in each day, do what you can to make a difference in the world, and reach out to others.
And, while you’re at it…. send some much needed $$$ to Red Cross for their relief efforts: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
My guest this past week had a vision sitting at a stoplight in Baltimore City. On one side of her was Dunbar High School. On the other side was Section 8 housing. Further down the road was Johns Hopkins University where she studied and ultimately earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.
That vision had to do with providing young people who, from the outside, appeared to have no chance at success in the world. They would, most likely, become another statistic. When she went to talk with the principal at Dunbar, she asked for ten of the most underperforming students in school – the ones who probably wouldn’t make it to graduation. She got fifteen of them and in 2004, Sarah Hemminger and her husband, Ryan, kicked off the Incentive Mentoring Program (IMP). Since then, IMP has grown to over 500 volunteers working with 127 ACCE and Dunbar students.
IMP’s mission is to create intentional families for each student in the program providing total support in all areas of life. And, in that, the program has been more than successful.
In June 2013, these non-traditional families that transcend barriers will celebrate two major achievements. The very first Dunbar cohort will transition from IMP students to IMP alumni. 100% of these students remained in the program for nine years, graduated from high school, and matriculated to college. These incredible young adults have not only succeeded academically, receiving degrees from Purdue University, Bowdoin College, and Trinity Washington University, but also contributed to the lives of others through service to their communities. Their example and leadership set the stage for 100% for the second Dunbar cohort to graduate from high school (or equivalent) in 2010. And, this year, IMP is thrilled to have history repeat itself as the third Dunbar cohort graduates from high school in June.
This is one of those stories that is about real people making a real difference in the lives of young people, in the lives of the mentors, and in the community. Futures have been changed dramatically because of IMP. It’s demonstrating that success doesn’t necessarily come from lots of money being thrown at something…but comes when real people care enough to make a real difference to and for a young person.
The 2013 IMP Commencement is on Monday, June 17th at 6:30 pm in the Turner Auditorium at the Johns Hopkins University, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205.
Come join the celebration. Please rsvp by May 31st.
And, if you missed the show or you want to share it with a friend, it will be posted in the podcast archive later on this week. It’s the May 18th show.
In the spring of 2004, Sarah Hemminger, a JHU biomedical engineering graduate student, and her husband, Ryan Hemminger, founded Incentive Mentoring Program (IMP) to create mentoring relationships between university-based volunteers and underperforming high school students who were at risk of failing to graduate.
Starting in the East Baltimore neighborhood in which Sarah attended graduate school, the program began by building relationships between Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Dunbar) students, and volunteers from the JHU East Baltimore Campus. The principal of Dunbar, Roger Shaw, helped identify 15 students who were at severe risk of failing to complete high school.
Through their willingness to customize their approach to the unique needs of each student, volunteers developed close relationships with the students over the next three years.
In the spring of 2007, 100% of this first group of students not only graduated high school, but were also accepted and matriculated to college. As word of IMP’s success spread, what started out as an intimate student group of a few dozen friends, quickly turned into an organization of several hundred volunteers.
The Incentive Mentoring Program is successful because it builds families that transcend barriers by recognizing that everyone brings something of value to the table. Everyone is a mentor. Everyone is a mentee. And, everyone wins.
Tune in this week when I talk with Sarah Hemminger to find out more about this “making a real difference” organization and the people who are making it happen.
Saturday, May 18th, from 6:07-7:00 pm ET on Talkradio 680 WCBM Baltimore or “Listen Live” online
Be sure to check out last week’s show – What YOU Can Do to Tackle Our Nation’s Leading Killer of Women – when I talked with Shannon Winakur, M.D., Medical Director of the Women’s Heart Center at Saint Agnes Hospital, and Debbie Phelps, Director of The Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools, about women and heart disease. Regardless of your age, it’s time to get “HEART SMART.”
If you missed the show or you want to share it with a friend, it’s in the podcast archive now – It’s the May 11th show!
“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” – Unknown
I saw that quote on my Pinterest wall and thought how it matched what I was feeling as I experienced my first Mother’s Day without my mom.
I woke up that morning and remembered right away what day it was. So, I got busy. Busy so I wouldn’t have to think about it. I read the New York Times page by page. I worked in my garden. I went biking for a long time. I did two loads of laundry. I did some work. I read. I cat snuggled. I husband snuggled. I watched TV. All of this to keep from thinking about it being Mother’s Day.
What was I afraid of? Why did facing this day seem overwhelming to me?
I started thinking about some of the things people had shared with me over the past month about how they felt about losing their mother:
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her… and, it’s been 12 years. In fact, I think she’s closer to me now than she was when she was living.”
“Whatever went on between you and your mother can get resolved right now. She’s listening to you. That’s what I realized after my mom died. Sometimes you can have the first real conversation you’ve ever had. And, if you pay attention and are open to it, you’ll hear her response.”
“At the very end, I let my mom know it was ok for her to leave. I could almost see this wave of relief pass through her body. She was so tired and she was ready to leave. Perhaps, she was ready to go to the party on the other side. I know you did that for your mom, too, and that was a gift to her from you and your sister.”
“One of the strangest parts for me was realizing that I am now the matriarch of the family. Holy cow. Not a role that I ever thought I would fit into.”
I looked through some photos and decided that keeping a special memory jar would be fitting going forward so I wouldn’t let precious memoires be lost. And, I would talk with her. Perhaps even more than I had over the past several years. It would be easier now. It can happen at any time.
So, I know the tender spot of losing a mom will not be lost… probably ever. There will always be a tug at my heart just like it’s been since our dad left us 18 years ago.
But, the memory jar will be full.