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Jason C. VennerApr 13, 2021 7:45pm

THE PERFECT DISASTERS OF LIFE


This past Sunday I was out back, cutting up a partially downed pine. It, and another tree that I really loved had come down in a recent storm. It is an old forest and trees are falling all the time, and my goal usually is to cut and remove some of the trunks so that the saplings have a bit of a chance.

The thing is, I neglected to bless myself in the usual way with sage before I’d gone out. Bad move.


I wasn’t rushing, as I usually don’t when it comes to lumberjacking, and I was wearing my safety gear as I always do. I’m kind of psycho about that actually. But, as I was between cuts with the chain break engaged on the saw, I looked up at the remaining part of the tree hanging there like a cat, and that was when whatever it was decided it was the time to hit my eye.


I felt searing pain. Instantly. I dropped my saw, ripped off my helmet and safety glasses and did what every ophthalmologist tells you NOT TO DO. I rubbed my eye in a panic and made the situation far worse. I don’t know how, but I stumbled through the woods and made it to the house, where Shannon and I flushed my eye with water from the sink. Another bad move. We soften our well water, and the salt felt like the proverbial knife I was feeling, but now it was twisting in a circle.


So, what’s weird about this is that it calmed down after a time, and I actually went back out and finished the job for the day. I’m a bit of a hardass about that kind of thing. It wasn’t until after that, as I was driving my ATV down the driveway, and the wind caught my eye when things really began to ramp up.


Cut to me waiting in the passenger seat of our minivan screaming and writhing in pain while Shannon convinced the boys that their grandparents were on their way, but that we had to leave before them. As we raced to the ER, it was all I could to do not scream. I mean, I’d like to think I’m a tough guy. I was always in sports, especially long-distance sports, where I could outlast almost everyone. I’d thrown heavy band equipment around for years and had taken many hits while living out in the country. I’d grown up in manufacturing and have a pretty high threshold for pain.


But this? This was something I’d never felt before. Thank God it was late afternoon on a Sunday and not St. Patrick’s Day or something like that with a bunch of drunks doing stupid stuff. We got right back into a room, and this is where things just sort of fell off the rails and continued until about the time of me sitting down to write this.


Numbing drops didn’t do anything other than burn. The little optima-meter-eye-checker-thingy didn’t detect any scratches, and irrigation didn’t relieve anything. Shannon’s picture of that is nothing short of Frankenstein-ish. Some doctor came in to look at my eyes but seemed more intent on fiddling with the aforementioned doohickey and then left. I could hear him talking about buffalo wings outside the room and how he gets annoyed when they don’t have much meat on them. Thanks man. You’re a great doctor. Really.


Then they gave me a tetanus shot, before which, both Shannon and I asked numerous times if that would interfere with my 2nd pending COVID vaccine that I was to get in two days. “Nope, you’re fine.” More on that later.


Then they gave me this antibacterial goop which sent me INTO THE STRATOSPHERE. I was bending over in my chair, and I remember the attending doctor saying, “there’s just nothing there, are you sure you don’t want some Vicodin to calm him down? We’ll make an appointment with an ophthalmologist anyway, okay, time to go…”


Sleep didn’t come easy. In fact, it was torturous. Every time I blinked, with my eyes closed…and I think I had a nightmare as well, it was instant, stabbing pain. When the morning came, I could hear my wife talking on the phone, and then the next thing I knew she busted into the bedroom and said, “they fit you in, in the next 20 minutes. We have to go. Now!”


Another race down our gravel driveway. You can imagine the sound of the gravel tinking against the car. Shannon was worried about speed. Yet in my pain, I was worried about the paint job. We got there in time, and she helped me stumble to the back and into an observation room.


The doctor came in shortly and asked me to look into the very same optima-meter-eye-checker-thingy from the night before, and then said…in about 5 seconds… “oh yeah, you’ve got a massive corneal abrasion. It’s encircling your iris. You’re lucky man.”


He gave me some dye and checked both eyes to be sure, then prescribed some antibiotic drops. He asked me if they gave me a tetanus shot? “Yes…will that affect me getting my COVID vaccine?” “Nope,” he said. “You should be fine. I’ll put this protective contact on your eye, and I’ll see you in two days.”


Usher in even more massive discomfort, so it was a game of who wants to feel more pain? My eye was swollen shut from all the prodding, and I looked a mess. A real treat. I mean, if I had been reckless, that would have been one thing, but I was being super careful, and we got more help in 5 minutes than we did in 3 hours at the ER. We were both drained, but relieved there wasn’t permanent damage.


Having now been limited to my left eye, at least for a time, I started looking at things more gingerly, and I actually laid on my home office floor that night and listened to a podcast on Ian McGilchrest, something I suggest anyone do if they are interested in the way humans have come to treat each other and see the world. Somehow, not having to put all my trust in seeing was nice. I listened to my kids’ voices that evening – so small and bursting with kid-ness. I went outside before dinner and listened to the birds calling. It was, in a way, a revelation of the beauty of sound, that of which we hardly ever really stop to appreciate.


Come today, with my visit to the vaccination location. Shannon drove, and I stumbled up to the registration table on my own, showed the nice old lady my card and answered all of the questions. My eye chose, at that very moment, to begin massively seeping, and anyone who knows me will say that I can’t lie. I just can’t. So, when the questions came, “what’s wrong with your eye?” “Have you had any vaccinations in the past 14 days,” I answered yes, and that it was because I had an eye emergency and had no choice in getting the shot…yes? Help? Please? Yes?


Now, I’ve been rejected many times in my life. From girls or colleges, whatever. But this particularly felt like a stick to the other eye. I explained that the ER swore up and down that I would be alright, even the ophthalmologist. Nope. No dice. Come back in two weeks. I told them I’d even sign a waiver and that I had an EpiPen. Nope. Get lost.


Now I know, in my rational mind, two weeks flies by quickly in the life of a middle-aged parent. But in the age of COVID, another two weeks felt like an eternity to me in that moment. As my wife and I drove back to get the boys from their grandparents, yes because they helped us out again and are totally awesome, we were in silent shock.


I mean, we haven’t done EVERYTHING perfectly, but…we’ve been staying at home tons and only venturing out for takeout, making the hard choices to turn down loved ones for holiday dinners and getting annoyed as we see pictures of people we know having a grand ole time on summer vacations and spring break-beach getaways, taking pictures with 3-4 families with no masking and just general dumbness. As an HR professional, I won’t even go into the long and politically charged history of what I’ve had to go through at work trying to both educate and keep people calm…about both the virus, AND the vaccine. To go back to work and tell people that even I had been turned away would be nothing short of embarrassing to say the least.


“No, you can’t get the vaccine today. I’m sorry sir. And when you pick up your children, be prepared for the MASSIVE meltdown your younger child will be throwing, of which you’ll walk into.”


No the lady didn’t say that, at least the last part, and yes, that happened as well. Both of my boys have autism, but to different degrees, and when the younger one is particularly in the middle of it, be prepared to be insulted beyond the normal vocabulary of a 7-year-old. “You’re stupid…you’ll die in hell…I’ll kill anyone you love…” Yeah, not kidding.


So, with a seeping eye and my body reeking from nearly three days of not washing, I held my child on the back porch of my in-law’s house while he insulted me with just about anything he could think of as he writhed and kicked, and yes, hit me in the face a couple of times. Such are the times we find ourselves I like to remind myself.


He did calm down. Eventually. And on the drive home, of which was done by me because Shannon was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted at that point, I noticed, through my good eye, how rich the evening sun looked upon the trees. How the sky was so blue. How defeated I felt, and how absolutely nothing could be done at that point.


My boys carried on during the ride, joking in the back, as if nothing had ever happened, asking if they could finish the rest of their Bunny Big-Ears from Easter. Nothing of what I just went through even mattered. Such as children shift from one thing to another. They were going home in that moment. To their place of location. Of comfort.


And so, I went along home with them, picked dandelion greens for our salads and made dinner for my exhausted wife. Yes, of which both the boys found complaint with. The dinner, I mean.


As I write this, my eye is aching, and Shannon just fell in the dark and skinned her knees over lego blocks that should have been picked up 2 weeks ago. Not kidding.


I had better stop while I'm ahead. Ah, the perfectness of each disaster.

Jason C. VennerFeb 6, 2021 8:16am

YES, THERE IS JOY!

If you've read some of my blog posts you might be wondering if I'm more than often locked up in serious thoughts. You might be thinking, "man, this dude's a drag!" This may be true for a portion of my waking time during the day. But, one of the reasons I've always been drawn to the forest, and further in helping people get unstuck in whichever way I can help, is that I simply enjoy it! It brings me that sense of fullness, much like when you lend someone $5 and they truly, and sincerely, thank you for it. Your day has shifted. It just makes you feel good, and you don't need to explain that feeling to anyone. It just is.


It's no secret or joke that we are living in dark times, so yes, much of what I ponder is dark by nature. Even so, I feel as if we really need to begin shifting our focus towards what is good. Let's begin there for a change folks! Seriously. There comes from being out in the woods, or in the park, or even sitting in a chair on your back patio, this sense of awe that begins to wash over you. Think of the first time you ever walked over the dunes and witnessed the ocean for what it was...this immense body of water, having waited for you to come and see it. This sense of wonderment comes naturally and without effort - you don't have to be a swami or this wiz-kid to "conjur" it. (Emerson and Thoreau have covered this at length, and I suggest you read them, along with Whitman - truly trailblazers of their time. Mary Oliver is also wonderful if you're looking for good nature writers. Their sense of refusing this "tamed" world in favor of what has been given to all of humanity to experience and share was very much radical thinking at the time of their writing.)


Most poeple have this fear of what slowing down might mean for them. A sense of wasting time, which therefore brings a sense of shame? We all know what sort of behavior comes from shaming or being shamed. I wrestle with that all the time. Just ask my wife. But, I've found more often than not, that when "knowing" is allowed naturally and without force, people first feel this sense of awe and wonder, and then what happens next is pretty amazing...they begin to notice a sense of gratitude, connectedness...and then, love, which is real and whole.


Just think of what happens when you allow yourself time to sit and gaze at the stars, or to journal, or to even work on that old motorcycle in the garage without putting the pressure on yourself of having to "do it right," or feeling the need to post something later for instant reassurance of your online community? Creativity abounds! The artist sees things she hasn't seen before; the weekend mechanic's mind is open to solutions he hasn't considered before. Notions and ideas come naturally when they're not forced. Your "mind machine," so to speak, "turns" over, it springs to life and rumbles down the road, taking you places you haven't been before! Your mind and your intuition, working together, and not separately, is a powerful thing!


When true "open-ness" is experienced, I know it has a profound affect on my capcity to be kind, mostly to myself. And if I partake in the journey of being kind to myself, what impact might that have on my relationships with my fellow humans, and then furhter, with respect to the natural world? What possibilities might there be, for all of us?

Jason C. VennerJan 1, 2021 6:29pm

PROGRESSION

I'm now at the stage where I'll begin guiding others in my forestry work. I know I started this side gig with the notion of helping people tap in and write from their center. But...eeek! I feel sort of odd telling people about it thus far, and I've been calling it my "forestry work" because I haven't had the words to really describe it to my peers in business. Perhaps because I'm a bit afraid to really say what it is. Much of this is heart-centered work. The stuff I'm really into anyway. After all, what do I have to take with me when I pass anyway? So, as I get closer to this edge, I realize that this is sort of "coming-out" for me.


People have often desribed me as a bit of a mystery, and I've often used this to my advantage in getting any kind of work done, especially when I have my business "hat" on. But this type of training has put me squarely back in the spot where I was when I was in graduate school. Writing my thoughts and visions down. You know, the things that might get you locked up in the ward. It's nothing crazy really, if I've always experienced it I guess, but to others, getting in touch with your feelings and intuition can seem quite radical, and threatening.


We are trained from such an early age to fit into a tamed model of the world, and I've always been saddened by the loss of what potential we're all probably missing. So, as a person who has a repsectable position in the real world, and someone who's expected to carry the mantle of a family business forward, yeah, you could say this is a little scary for me...this process of guiding people in the forest...this work of helping people to write it out, to think it out. To say what they actually want to say.


I do want to offer my work to both the individual and corporate world. Because I don't see any progression of humanity on this rock unless we learn how to deeply connect with nature. No, to remember nature. After all, it is nature who is the target of our current business model, is it not? Infinite production in a finite world? Conquest? Consolidation? Don't laugh, how many times have you checked your social media today? How many times have you asked yourself if you had enough money to live "comfortably" but you're afraid to acknowledge that all you have, is right now? Nothing more. But we're all super scared to first, acknowledge it, and then second, to do anything about it. So we find ways to distract ourselves. Everyone does it. I do it. Bring on the binge-watching and overeating.


Because there is no model forward, and what has been presented up until this point through art and science has been appreciated yes, but then simply squashed as nutsoid and heresy...becasue in the hauting words of Thomas the Tank Engine...how effective are we at becomming useful? Useful to what? I feel now is a good as any to divorce my usefulness from my desire, which is not a bad thing folks, to simply just be and perhaps even productively "waste" my time.

Jason C. VennerJun 30, 2020 6:03pm

The Middle of All Things

I've done something sort of crazy, but sort of right up my alley. I've registered to become a Forest Bathing Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. I simply can't hide it from people any longer. I talk to trees and animals, and I want to further understand this phenomena and deepen my relationship with nature. I start my coursework October 9th.


I'm doing this because I feel it can help me with Whisper Shifter in walking and helping people dig into their work. But I'm also doing it becasue you and I are in constant motion, like the planets and the stars of which we somehow feel are "fixed" within the sky. One thing is for certain, having moved out to the county: there is constant change. There are epic beginnings and inevitable endings. The sky is so beautiful without the hindrance of a city's lights, but in a way it reminds me that I'm small, and nothing really. My body is sort of like this tube walking around, housing an animus that is restless and searching for its route back home, and this learning has to be done, or else I feel I'll end up in ruin. Yup.


Also because there is death here where I live and I need to come to grips with this. I've seen so much of it in four short years, along with the ever-overwhelmingly insistent life that oozes from everything. I've dealt enough mercy death to suffering deer, turtles, mice, beavers, snakes and racoons that I could tend to my own pet cemetary at this point. For real. Just the other day, I happened to catch a mouse in a glue trap. It was intended for the snakes in the basement, but he was unfortunate to have stumbled across it. Luckily he'd died by the time I found him, and I didn't have to end its suffering, at least directly by my hands. I took the trap outside and set it down so that I could open the trash can. Without any notice, a sparrow flew smack into the trap, like a moth to the flame, and it was stuck right next to the mouse. It was frantic having been stuck, and it ripped its wing bones out of its skin as it tried to escape. I had to be quick and asked for forgiveness as I grabbed my hatchet.


I don't enjoy this part of living in the country. If you think I do, you'd be a maniac. I don't hunt, but my neighbors are constantly practicing with their guns. Shooting, almost every night. The riots this summer saw an uptick of activity from my surrounding neighbors - just the sense of fear eeking through the woods was enough to make me feel phsycially ill as gunfire rattled from all sides. Some idiot has a semi-automatic rifle; I mean, is that really necessary in rounding up all those cows? Jeez. And so, my woods is full of deer right now, seemingly thanking me when they pass by the bedroom window in the early morning hours for not hunting them.


But back to the forest bathing coursework...I'm doing this, all of this side business, is because there has been no culutre on this earth that hasn't succeeded by the detriment of the environment, or of each other. Perhaps temporarily, but all things rise and fall. As I type on this computer, precious metals were mined from the earth by underpaid and abused workers in order to construct it. The electricity that powers it comes from a sytemmic failure to protect the natural resources of this earth. And here I am, using it tp type up this blog. It's more than ironic. We have seriously messed with our only home, and my heart is heavy with this knowledge that we may not have enough time to heal it. I've come to read over the years that this deep well of sadness is often referred to by mental health professionals and spiritual leaders as "the river of grief," a collective, unconscious well of knowledge that all humans share. One that all humans feel, but few act upon.


Call me crazy, that's fine. Tell me I need a doctor and meds. That's fine too, because I already do that. But regardless, I start my training in October, and I'm hoping to dive deeper into this well, knowing that it will be tough, but rewarding work, and that I'll be able to bring some of that back for whomever might be seeking its bits and pieces.

Jason C. VennerApr 6, 2020 7:35pm

BEGINNINGS IN ENDINGS

We will all die. It’s a simple truth. I’ve been wrestling with it quite a bit the last few weeks since the Ohio lockdown. It seems as if our health professionals are pushing their timelines back in an ever-increasing hedge against what they probably would like to say, which is “we don’t know when this will end, and by the way, everyone will get this.” It’s not disingenuous at all. I just don’t think they have the ability or the permission to say, “make your plans, now.”


And so, I find it sort of fitting that I finally have put the finishing touches on a short poetry thread that has taken me a few years to write. I’m usually quite prolific in my writing, but this one took quite a while to formulate – more or less, to get out. Work, parenting, and a massive 14-acre property project has taken up a lot of my free time these past 4 years, but this is the natural way of things. I was meant to be a father, and I’ve allowed myself the grace to know that I am, indeed, a good one!


So, I promised that I would share my work with this blog, and to that I hold (Lord of The Rings reference, sorry). It’s just that I came to realize over the course of refining these works, and then sequencing them, that I had clearly undertaken the task of mourning the death of our second child, who was lost in the womb. I knew it was a girl. I just did. My marrow moved with knowing.


The concept of the Dandelion Man first came to me when we moved out to our property, and our first full Spring there revealed a sea of dandelions across the mowed sections of our yard. Then at night, with the curtains pulled back in our bedroom, fireflies lit up the night like I’d never seen before, as if I was looking at dendelions of our yard, just at nighttime.


Being around nature has forced me to deal with death ia different sort of way. We often feel that we can live without it, but I’d beg to differ that it is our friendly companion who walks about our days along side of us. We must, and especially now, during this pandemic, turn and look it in the face. Welcome it even into our hearts so that we can put negative energies aside and become our true, heroic selves.


Wow. I know all that sounds like a motivational speaker who’s really had one too many energy drinks. I realize that. But, this world is changing, and the world needs kind warriors, especially now. Talk to your loved ones, soon if not now, about what life might be like without you. Have the discussion, so that you can move beyond fear and get to the good, if even in making someone smile for a second during these crazy times. Divine love is something fear could never handle.


But in getting back to the work. People often read my stuff, and they’re left with a feeling much like I’ve tricked them somehow. Then they are embarrassed and ask a lot of questions. But that’s never been the aim of my art. As I begin writing, most often as I do, it’s about trying to put words to visceral images or dreams, or perhaps rhythms that I’m feeling in my body that I just can’t shake. Crazy stuff. Yup. That’s how this stuff comes to me. It’s not like I sit down and say to myself, “Jason, now it’s time to write…begin!” There are no white plumes of inspiration. Just my heart leading me down a path with words much like the feeling of holding a baby mouse in your hands.


So, as I have told my friends or family members who have been taught to figure poetry out, as if it were simply a math problem, I say, just read and contemplate the images that come to you. Nothing more. And of all the things you could be reading right now, I thank you for looking into my mind, if even for a second.


Perhaps we could interact with others in such a way? What might that be like?


Whisper Shifter LLCApr 2, 2020 6:20pm

GIVING WAY


You know that whole hourglass thing? The race against time, where you feel like every second matters. You begin utilizing time differently. Seconds are spliced into bits and pieces and then your mind does these weird things, like tricking you into thinking you’ll spontaneously combust if you don’t have the answer, or the task completed. This is how I’ve felt over the past month, waking up each morning to find the outbreak hitting the West coast first, then the East, then Cuyahoga county, then Ohio. In my profession, I’ve gone from thinking I’ve seen just about everything to simply and brutally asking, “have I done enough before this thing hits?”


Some may argue, vehemently, that I’ve failed them. Yet some thank me in the hallways for keeping the doors of my family’s business open. Opposites of a struggle where everyone feels as if any measure is too late. People rally around a common enemy when it is seen. But this? This is like a black snake in the water at night. You only become afraid after its brushed past your leg, and you realize you’re too many strokes from shore to stave your fear. We’re learning about this virus as we go, without much guidance other than to stay 6 feet away from each other and to kill any-and-all germs. Healthy people are needed to perpetuate our culture, which is, let’s face it, about making money and not actual culture.


I’ve found myself finding any excuse to sneak away, alone, so that I can read the bad news on my phone. As if the device itself would suddenly give me the one line I crave: “it’s all just a hoax.” Except it’s only more of the same, every time. More infected, more dead, no supplies. Stay at home, but you’re free to order carryout and go to work under 8-million exemptions. I’ve come home from work over the past month and sat at the dinner table, mindlessly eating my food, hoping that by doing the same thing over and over again, I’m squeezing something, anything, out of nothing.


I was out my woods the other day. Winds were 50-60 miles per hour, and this massive black cherry came down just yards ahead of me. It was a glorious way to go out for a tree, just the way it gave itself to the wind. The virus is even taking my trees, I felt. The trunk had lodged into the joint of another tree, and then squirrels soon began to run back and forth, transferring their hoards from one hiding place to the next. That fast, the tree had given itself to the forest. To life. Even in death there is a purpose. But I still didn’t want to die, and I still don’t now.


Americans like having a purpose. Having shit to do. They like their luxurious cars, and Netflix. The superiority of our preferences is sacro-sanct. Our routines and beliefs, which, though polarized, offer comfort against what lies deeply within us, and that which we keep ignoring. COVID-19 is forcing us to reckon with the dark and crawling shadows within us. I see my colleagues at work as they grapple with it. They go through the stages of grief each day. I go through the stages with them.


This can’t be real. Can it be? Is it? It is... We bargain for reassurances from one another. Then the conference room falls silent yet again until one of us says, "but seriously, this just isn't true..."


Perhaps we won’t have as much money when we come out on the other side of this thing, but then again, we may not even have our way of life. Nothing is assured. Nor are our lives. I have made friends, both religious and of other schools of thought, and they all agree to some extent, that what we are faced with presently, is a battle of unseen measure, which will force us inward before we can outwardly transcend the present. Heavy.


None of this changes the fact that this thing is coming, for us all. And so, even though I don’t like to think about it, I’ve been forced to picture that tree, and the way it shook the ground beneath me as I watched it fall. It was a beautiful sensory experience, almost as if the wind muted itself and I was able to feel it give way. All for me...a private moment with God. But it still didn't change the fact that I was scared then. And sacred now. But, whatever came of great people or things hadn’t they been scared out of their gourds?

Whisper Shifter LLCMar 18, 2020 7:07pm

Peeking Beyond the Curtain

American Life Changed the moment we saw epidemiologists telling us this was going to be real, and fast. In times such as these, we all recoil back to lizard brain as I like to call it. Looking inward and to ourselves. This is hard-wired into us, yes. And we must take care of ourselves and ours. Absolutely. But we're also wired, no, woven throughout the collective unconscience.


Now, is not the time to sit upon piles of gathered resources, haughtily looking down on others for their lack of cleverness. Darkness wins, you see, when we allow it speak too loudly, as it oozes and groans from unkempt spaces within our hearts. COVID-19 has already devasted our confidence in our economic system, let alone our belief that we as humans, who think we can live outside of nature, and who have created all of the problems of this world, can't think out way out of this. We can. Most certainly. By trusting one another and sharing in a time when we have driven wedges into even our own families based on political affilation to the point where people pass away without ever having spoken again.


I cannot change the world on my own. Any living creature instinctively knows this to be but a fool's errand. Simple acts of kindess rather, perhaps even of the simplest gratitude, are the tiny packets of energy that slow the brooding and visceral dark matter that seems set to destroy our minds. Our god given right to freely think...which in my experience, can only establish a direct connection with the Divine is under attack. Only now, when we are faced with not having our creature comforts and xenophobia becomes more palpable, do we need to fight, literally, for our future as a human race.


With that said, I've been turned off by the fact that I can't publish my work - more specificically my unconscoius knowing - without having it be "approved." I simply don't care about being artistically "acceptable" any longer. So, in the spirit of this post and in you getting to know me more, I've decided to publish a series of my latest work on this blog. For free. Even if you spend two minutes making fun of my work for what it's lacking, I'll still have made my mission a success, by giving you something to think about, if even just a momentary image.


Imagination "1,"

Bad Guys "0"

Whisper Shifter LLCFeb 16, 2020 2:45pm

Impetus

Goals can be daunting. Debilitating even. Like a curse that nags at you over time the longer they marinate in the back of your head. Self-inflicted hangovers, following you, everywhere you go. A few summers ago, I was walking along a residential ridge of the Smokey Mountains on a family vacation. It was a balmy evening and I was simply enjoying the horizon, running its ragged cut along the sky, and I thought to myself how great it would be if I could just simply think for a living, and helping others think as well. It was a simple notion really, almost embrassing when I uttered it out loud to myself! But it kept gnawing at me for the rest of that summer and beyond, until one day, I happened to stumble upon a book about Albert Einstein. In it he mentioend - in more or less words - that thinking, for thinking's sake, is what can be the impetus for change in the world. I was sold! My heart knew it, and my mind shifted into what was possible instead of what was impossible at that moment.


I had been a pretty dedicated hiker during my graduate school days, but that had been set aside as the realities of family life set in and I dove into a career in Human Resource Management. But I thought that if I could at least get started, scratching away at that darkness here and there on hikes or in my den at night while my boys slept, if even for a small amount each day while I helped others, I could change my life. Break free from a life of self-imposed rules and obligations. And if I changed my life first, it would be easier to shift others into a more positive, and therfore generative, frame of mind.


And so that is where you now find me, as Whisper Shifter, which oddly enough, was the name of my thesis in graduate school. I guess I knew back then. Funny how that works, isn't it? As this is the first installment of my blog, I want you to know that I aim for nothing more than helping others see something new while I continue the journey of my own self-discovery and understanding. It's what we're here for, no? To gain enough of the "stuff" so we can beam back up, there, or wherever it is we're aiming.  There is magic in this world. I know because I've witnessed it on so man levels and with so many different people, not to mention the gardens of paradise we often overlook outside our bedroom windows, or within our own minds.


I'm willing to help you find it.

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Whisper Shifter assists individuals, professionals and businesses foster creative power through thinking, writing and walking.