Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

 

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In an earlier article, I introduced you to the mother-son team of Jannirose and Charlie Fenimore. Although we have not yet met in person, I felt a kindred spirit link from the time I was introduced to them through our mutual friend Cindy Greb. As an adoptive parent myself, I told her that my stretch marks were on my heart and not my hips. Jannirose and her husband George had adopted Charlie in infancy and it was as if it was pre-ordained. Even as all children are special, Charlie (who was born with Down syndrome) has a unique gift of expressing his soul via prayer-poems. These come through, sometimes spontaneously and somtimes invited. They share their ideas via  Lessons From An Earth Angel and their Facebook page. Reading his words, I feel a sense of hope welling up inside, a reassurance that sometimes, despite appearances, all is well.

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I had sent Jannirose questions for her to address and for Charlie to answer with her assistance. His are first and hers follow.

Do you think you and I were meant to be together as mother and son?

Yes. I did know when I was a baby.

 What are you here for?

I’m here for Love. I came from the Light to help people remember their brightness.

Can you tell me a little more?

I’m a master from God and I came for healing hearts.

How are you doing this?

From my relationship with lightful holy living, I show people they are loved and help them feel the brightness of light inside themselves.

My life shows people about faith and helps them remember the goodness from their own lives.

Tell me a little more:

I love myself and everybody from the hope of joyful happiness with God.

What are your most important lessons for the world?

For people to feel the blessing of light for freedom in their souls.

And to keep their joy for living and stay in their hearts.

What is the meaning of life?

It’s about living the love that makes us shine our hearts like the sun.

Do you feel different from other people?

I am the same as everybody.

What makes you happy or smiling?

The heart of joyness from the kingdom of light in me.

What is love?

Oh, yes! Yes. It’s light from God for the life of our beautiful human heartness.

Do hugs make people feel better?

Hugs can bring shining love to our human hearts.

Sometimes people don’t like hugs because they need light inside for healing.

What do you want to tell everybody who reads this article?

To make some understandings of themselves about living in the light of love.

How was it being on stage with James Twyman at Celebrate Your Life :

It was fun because I felt the light of joyness in myself and all the people.

Do you ever have difficult times?

No.

Why?

Because my world is bright with happiness from my angels. I live in my heart and feel from sadness to joy for the freedom spirit.

How does Spirit speak though you?

Oooh, yes! My spirit is the nation of Godness from the kingdom of heaven inside me.

I hear them in my inner self and feel them in my heart and mind.

What are your favorite things to do in life?

I love to feel the light everyday. It is freedom for my spiritness. My real life is from heaven with my angels around me.

How do your angels look to you?

They are lightful and shining bright from all the colors of love.

How do you see with your heart?

I feel with my brightest self of light for seeing.

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Jannirose, do you think you were meant to be together in this life?

I had a glimpse when I was a young teenager that I would have a baby born with Down syndrome. This seemed like a bright blessing to me, but when I tried to share this news with those closest to me, I was met with many strong opinions that such a child would be a burden—so, I chose to bury this precious knowing so deep inside me that it was far from my awareness for more than 20 years.

When we adopted him as an infant, I was shown that he and I would share a special calling in the world. As my spiritual path deepened, it became clear how this would unfold. As the years went by, I watched the way he lived so completely from his heart—he had an emotional intelligence that was breathtaking for a person of any age and a deep concern for the welfare of others.

 How did you prepare to be his mom?

 I guess what I would say is simply that I began to open my heart to a purity of love that I’d never known. And to this day, 23 years later, I’m still doing it.

How do you balance the practical aspects of being the mother of a young man who is viewed as “differently abled” by much of the world and the awareness of his extraordinary gifts?

First off, I’ll say that because my way of seeing seems so different from the mainstream, there’s really not much to it for me. Since we’ve always accepted our son as a whole person who’s not missing anything, we just see him as perfectly Charlie.

It’s not so easy for me to separate these different parts of life. I tend to see the whole works of it in one view…no compartments. More like a broad sweeping picture. I have a feeling that my unusual perspective is just what I’ve needed as Charlie’s mother. I’ve always thought, in many ways, my way of seeing life is more like his than the average population. This helps us work very well together with a shared, deep understanding.

 From the first days after adopting Charlie, I started to notice a sort of curious attention from people whenever we’d take him out. In my experience, I hadn’t ever seen many babies born with Down syndrome in public. I think folks were kind of intrigued when they saw us out together, especially since I was so over-the-moon happy. It’s still this way all these years later. So that’s really the only time I remember there’s something different about him, at least in other people’s eyes. At home, he’s just plain Charlie.

 I have an important role in his life to create a full and satisfying world for him. And since he has such a huge, loving heart, I feel a responsibility to allow him to interact with as many people as possible throughout his days. He really lives for any opportunity to love and he does it with abandon.

His “day job” is as a volunteer in the athletic department at a community college in northern California. He’s been given the honorary title of “Motivational Manager” and he takes his duties seriously. This means he spends his weekday afternoons sitting and watching his teams practice for hours at a time. While it might appear to the casual onlooker that he’s not adding anything of value to his beloved athletes, what he’s really doing is “shining”. I know this because I asked him once. He said he’s ”shining light from heaven’s heart for love and joyness.”

It’s humbling and heartening to hear Charlie’s coaches tell me what a blessing he is to the entire team. And this is pretty much how it is throughout our days. In our small town, he’s loved by people everywhere we go and they aren’t shy about letting us know. Long ago, I realized that life with my special guy is mostly about sharing love. And I think to myself, “What a beautiful way to live.

 What gets you through challenging times?

I’d say my connection to Spirit is what carries me through life’s challenges. It’s a tremendous comfort to know I’m not alone and never have been. It also helps that I’ve learned to see the gifts for transformation and healing that often hide beneath what appears on the surface in any given situation. I’ve come to see Life as a school for the soul in which everything that happens brings an opportunity to learn and grow on many levels. And it helps that I have a built-in ability to keep hope alive even in the darkest of days. I’m also naturally equipped with an inordinate amount of joy that’s always waiting in the wings no matter what’s happening in my life.

I believe these qualities are directly related to my willingness to invite a child such as Charlie into my life. They help me to recognize him as the unique and beautiful person he is instead of seeing him as handicapped in any way. 

What James Twyman had to share about his friend Charlie:  “Messengers come in many forms, but what they share is always the same–Hope and Love. Charlie Fenimore’s voice is quieter than many, but the wisdom that moves so effortlessly through him reminds us of what is most important in this world. He guides us to return to our childhood innocence and inspires us with his loving kindness. Most of all, Charlie reminds us of who we are, or who we could be if we but choose to return to the innocence that is so natural to him.”
James Twyman, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Moses Code

 

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When someone enters our lives, we are not always clear about the purpose or the path we will take as we share it with them. Parenting is one such journey that is undertaken with the desire to guide and teach a child as they grow into adulthood. What happens when the parent accepts that the young one is also a teacher and guide whose open heart and innocence expands her own view of how life can be?  In the case of mother and son Jannirose and Charlie Fenimore, they are shining examples of how that intention can blossom beautifully.

This two person force for good in the world came together when Jannirose and her husband George adopted Charlie who was born with Down Syndrome. His perspective is viewed through the lens of love. When he expresses his prayer-poems, people are astounded by the simple wisdom his words impart. Jannirose  is a healer, who, along with Charlie,  is part of James Twyman’s Beloved Community.

I had the opportunity to connect with them in the past month, via a mutual friend named Cindy Greb who moved from PA to CA this year. I had been following some of Jannirose’s posts on Facebook and was astounded by the extraordinarily wise words that emerged through Charlie, so I felt moved to reach out. I believe in Divine timing, as does Jannirose, which I discovered in a Thanksgiving Eve telephone conversation, so  the cosmically coincidental intersection was no surprise to either of us.

Jannirose refers to her wise son as an ‘earth angel’ who came with a special purpose. The two of them share his messages via Facebook on his page called Lessons from an earth angel and via his website.

They have co-authored two books, Happy In Soul ~A Very Special Prayer for Peace and Loving Outside the Lines~ Lessons from an Earth Angel. The first is a collection of Charlie’s prayer-poems and the second is Jannirose’s perspective on her son and his profound expression of the good medicine that this ailing world needs in order to heal.

I will be writing a series of articles about this mother-son team whose mission is in alignment with what many spiritual teachers have shared over the eons. One, which is still in the works, is an interview with the two of them. She has shared with me that whenever she asks Charlie some of the questions related to concepts I was interested in getting his unique take on, he offers something different than I would have anticipated. One reason is that Charlie doesn’t have the frame of reference that those with a different chromosomal makeup than he, might experience. The other might just be that the questions open the door to answers that people need to hear at this pivotal time in history.

Here is something Charlie shared last week. May it inspire you as it does me.

Together

We can feel the hope for our living all together with one peaceful life.

We can feel our hearts in the light of shining love to let the darkness go.

We can feel of our feelings and our strength and hope to be healed with light.

We can feel our spirits being from the place of divine graceful.

We can feel our hearts to be lightful for the holiness of love.

We can feel forgiveness for every person to remember our happiness inside.

We can feel connected to Earth and heaven and life for the deepest freedom.

We can heal with Spirit to change our world with the light of courage.

We can heal our hearts and clear the tiredness of all minds with the Godness.

We can heal the people from the sun of loving joy.

We can heal our spirits to the shining home of wonderness.

We can heal ourselves with our God of the brightest lightful way.

We can heal for communicating with heartness to shine forgiving spirits.

We can heal with light to help free our souls from the human nature.

This is our time to be healed with sharing love.

This is our world from the healing place in the divine body of God’s people.

This is our planet of hope to be true of our grateful life.

This is our faith with our good selves in our beautiful human family.

This is our hope for all the people who are hurting.

This is our truth to healing the spirits with love to this kingdom of light.

This is our freedom of graceful brightness around our connection with hope.

Charlie Fenimore, 11/17/16

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So much fear permeates the consciousness of the world at the moment. For an empath like me, it is palpable. I can sometimes hear the voices of those who are living in peril for their lives and safety and feel the gut twisting terror and need to shake it off in order to function. I feel it and then attempt to offer love to heal it. It is an ancient and lingering energy, as old as humankind itself. Would that the prevailing mindset be ‘human kind’ instead.

I sometimes contemplate what it is that has people believing that it is in any way acceptable to intentionally cause harm to another. So much damage has been done by those who think with their reptilian brain, which is described as having a tendency “to be somewhat rigid and compulsive.” In the case of violent behavior, it is likely to act first and then think later. As a therapist, I have heard  the adage that “Hurt people hurt people.”  I know that they need not and that multi-generational patterns can be broken, since I have abuse survivors in my personal and professional life who have made a conscious choice not to injure another.  I wonder what horrific damage was done to those who succumb to violent impulses. What shaped them? Is healing possible?  I think so, but first there needs to be a willingness and an understanding that the ‘other’ at whom they hurl their own deflected pain has the same dreams and desires that they do and wants to feel loved, as well, rather than see in them the enemy who they wish to obliterate before they can attack.

I read this story yesterday and it explains so much about the ways in which people use fear to divide and conquer. Sometimes those forces don’t succeed.  NOW would be the perfect time for that.

A group of Jewish Americans went to visit Israel in the sixties. There they met a well-known Rabbi who in spite of being debilitated by Parkinson’s, was a great beacon of light to those around him. He addressed the group and demanded, “what was the lesson of the Holocaust?” Mostly silence ensued, followed by some awkward murmuring of “never forget” and “always fight.” More silence.

“No!” the Rabbi said, slamming his fist down on the table. “When the Jews were in Auschwitz, the Nazis gave them one blanket per three people.”

“Why did they do this? So that they would fight among themselves. So that their humanity would be stripped away.”
“The lesson of the Holocaust, was simple,”Share the blanket.”

It occurred to me that it was likely that some who lived in such dehumanizing conditions would huddle together for warmth, rather than fighting for a scrap of fabric. I have heard stories about people in various concentration or detainment camps all over the world, throughout  time, sneaking food to others and answering with names of those who were too weak to show up for morning call and were still in their bunk, so they would not be shot. Humanity in the midst of inhumanity.

Viktor Frankl spoke of this in his classic, Man’s Search for Meaning.  “We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

In the midst of trying times, I offer the invitation to share the blanket. We will all be warmer.

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The heavenly choir gained another member when Leonard Cohen left the stage last week, at 82. According to his manager, he fell in the middle of the night and died in his sleep on November 7th. Best known for such heart melting hits as Suzanne, Hallelujah, Bird on A Wire and Anthem, he had recorded his final album shortly before his passing. Called “You Want It Darker,” it most definitely was a portent of his passing. On some level, he seemed he had made peace with his life and was ready to move on to whatever awaited him beyond this realm.

 

The lyrics to the title song:

If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame
Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord
There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame
They’re lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want
The Hebrew word, ‘hineni’ translates to “Here I am.”
According to the site Jewcology.org, the origin is The Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) “Hineni is often used by people when they respond to a direct call from God. For example, in Genesis 22, Abraham is first called by God in verse 1 and he responds Hineni and then God gives him the command to sacrifice Isaac. Later in the chapter when Abraham is about to slay Isaac, the angel calls from heaven and Abraham answers Hineni. Jacob responds to a divine call twice with Hineni(Genesis 31:11 & Genesis 46:2). Moses responds to the voice from the Burning Bush with Hineni (Exodus 3:4) and Samuel also begins his prophetic mission with such a response to God’s call (1 Samuel 3:1-10). And the prophet Isaiah responds with Hineni when he experiences his inaugural vision of God and the seraphim in the Temple (Isaiah 6:8).”
My first recollection of hearing the word was in synagogue during High Holiday services. To my child’s mind, it was like standing up and waving to God, saying, “Yo!  I’m right here. Can you see me, ’cause I can’t see you? I was told that you are real and that we need to have conversations and that you’re keeping an eye on things.”  Now nearing the end of my fifth decade, I am certain that we are both visisble to each other, even though S/he is a shapeshifter who appears in the form of nature, people and animals. Sometimes Spirit blows through as a fierce wind that knocks down trees and at others is a light leaf rustling breeze. Sometimes S/he shows up in the eyes of a Beloved and at others in the face of a tyrant. I am called on to love them both. The first is easier than the second, although I know that person is part of creation too and is challenging me open my heart more, even as I speak up in opposition of tyranny and terror.
I was listening to an interview on NPR in the past month or so that Terry Gross conducted with author Jonathan Safran Foer about his book called Here I Am. The title comes from the words Abraham was said to have uttered in response when God called out to him, “Hineni”. As the author shared a passage about an interaction between the main character and his son, they were beneath a darkened sky and the son asked the father why people whisper when they are in that place. Ineffible. Awe and wonder.

Like Leonard, when my time comes to ‘leave the building,’ I want to be able to say, “Here I am, ready to roll.”

 

 

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