Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind


CM’s Final Posts: You Can Fill the Space

posted by acunningham

Eighteen years ago, I wrote an article for a magazine that got me called in for a taped interview with a Fox TV morning news anchor. Being an effective communicator and a skillful public speaker was a dream of mine at the time. And still is.
After some 30 minutes of prep with the station’s hair-and-makeup lady (which only made my anxiety mount), I clopped up to the dias and faced the camera in a carefully-pressed business suit and taupe high-heeled shoes. I was horribly nervous.
As the camera was queued to roll, and as the anchorman commenced his chirpy questioning, I found that, despite the prepared notes in my lap, I could not speak coherently. Words were coming out of my mouth that in no way connected to the chattering, critical thoughts in my head! Then I kept talking, hacking away at the spoken sentences, striving to perfect my thoughts. I couldn’t stop. After 15 minutes of this, the anchorman said something like, “O-kay, I think we’ve got it…”
I looked at the cameraman, who seemed much less ebullient and flirtatious now than when we’d started.
Clearly, I’d flubbed the interview. But then the anchorman leaned forward and gave me advice aimed at teaching me how to emote better on television. And what he said rained down on me as if he were Yoda, and I was young Jedi Luke Skywalker. His words had the strange ability to change a disaster into something better. He said: “You should never feel like you have to fill up all the space.” He paused before continuing.
“When you complete a thought, just stop and I’ll start talking. That’s my job. The responsibility to fill the space is not all yours.”
A-ha. This story came back to me so vividly yesterday as I was sitting on the subway, pondering what I would write you in my final post, now that I’m taking my blogging break.
Filling this space has been a total joy. Every writer’s ego’s dream is to spout off, have a column with a photo on top for all to see. My happiness with the project deepened as I realized that I was really uplifting you, or inspiring you, or that I made you laugh a time or two. Your letters earlier this week were read and re-read by me with such pleasure! Thank you!
But I don’t have to fill the space forever. It’s an appropriate time for you to talk more in other contexts about what you know and believe. For if you don’t, the louder-mouthed, we’ve-got-the-total-picture people will blab right over us, and fill our space with their pompous inanity. I wish I could say that blogging about spirituality has made me more sure that God exists or helped me decide which dogma is absolutely correct, but in truth, I’m comfortable admitting that there’s a hell of a lot of wonderful overlap–we are truly all one–no message is best.
Read on to connect with which websites and blogs I think you’ll like in my absence.



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Elizabeth

posted July 28, 2007 at 1:29 am


Dear Amy,
It is amazing but I do feel like I know you because I read your blog everyday and somehow bits and pieces of you, your personality, your history and family has molded in my mind to make an almost real image of you… of course, it could never come close to the real thing.
Anyways, I have always wanted to thank you and tell you how important your efforts have been so useful to me and I am sure, to many of your readers… Your blog is always my little dessert every day, you have helped me know so many things, get in contact with so many people, share so many stories, meet your friends and know somewhat about your heart thru them, the insights have inspired and stimulated my heart and brains, and so many more things I wish to say!
Thank you and your hubby for all you have done to so many people to stimulate the goodness and the awareness of the world and about the world. Please have a great vacation, feeling absolutely sure that you have done a great job, that your mission has been accomplished and that the seeds you have planted in sooo many of us are already shining and giving forth excellent fruits!
May God Bless you now and always! Keep up the good job! and Thank you for being!!!
Elizabeth Angulo



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Therese

posted July 28, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Amy,
Wonderful advice about not having to fill the space (which I will remember), but I hope you fill another space soon :)



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whiskeyrose7

posted July 29, 2007 at 8:04 am


Very nice advice! You indeed have a way with words! I wonder if you
have ever considered writing a book? If you do, then I will buy it!
God bless, Brenda



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Lisa Natoli

posted July 29, 2007 at 10:13 am


Hi Amy!
it’s hard to believe this, but I just barely found beliefnet TODAY. I don’t know what rock I’ve been hiding under. I love today’s post by you. I am going to go back and read more. You are an excellent communicator. I love this advice about not having to fill the space. I see you are leaving or taking a break for a while. Would you like me to “fill the space” for you? I have been writing a daily blog for over 2 years now. You can find me here and let me know what you think:
http://www.gorgeousforgod.com
http://www.lisanatoli.com
If you need to see more writing samples, please let me know and I will send them to you. I have compiled the best samples from over the years, and they will be published this fall in a book: Gorgeous for God.
I hope you find much joy on your blogging break and that you come back soon.
(it so figures, the day I find you, you leave)
I hope to hear from you.
Best Wishes,
Lisa



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Zakaria Mohamad

posted July 30, 2007 at 9:16 pm


Hi Amy,
I’m Zakaria Mohamad from Malaysia. I’m proud of you. I’m new here, but I learnt alot, and at the same time, I could share my idea with you. I would come here always. Thans Amy.
Zakaria Mohamad
Malaysia.



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Anonymous

posted July 31, 2007 at 9:09 am


Hi Amy,
I really enjoyed your personal touch, in writing To have more time for your children is always a good reason [for me], to take a break…Hope you will let us know when and where your blog will be next. enjoy the Summer with your Family.
Love, Light and Laughter
Sarah



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SuzanneWA

posted August 1, 2007 at 10:58 pm


So, this is good-bye, Amy! I usually visit Therese’s BeyondBlue, and leave my musings on her site. I have visited your site on occasion, and left pithy little messages to be read by the wind…I’m sure you WILL find an “empty space” to fill during your departure that will inspire you even more to keep up the good work. CHATTERING MIND is an extremely relevant title, especially for the women who contribute to your site. It allows all of us to express ourselves in a light-hearted, conversational way to the rest of us on the other end of the computer. That’s how I describe my FW friends – my “friend on the other end.” These friends send me FWs of a spiritual or funny nature-though I’ve never met them face-to-face. That’s how I feel about you and Therese – friends who are there when you NEED them. Somehow, blogging on these sites is a sort of confession, a way to unburden whatever problem or stress is built up until it has to come out in some way – usually in a, shall I say, coincidental view on the blog!
Have a WONDERFUL break, Amy; hope you DO write that book!
Love, not only always, but in all ways,
SuzanneWA



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Jenni Logan

posted August 5, 2007 at 11:32 am


Hi Amy!
I always loved your blog, it introduced me to a whole lot of new stuff that I would never of come across in my regular life here in the midwest.
I hope you write that book, and keep writing, just for yourself, it keeps
the mind clear and uncluttered. I learned of new things and places, and now get newsletters from people and places I never would of thought of on my own. The people around me aren’t into stuff like that, so you will be missed by me, who looked forward to reading what you had to say. Take care. Enjoy your free time. Jenni



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Gwenny

posted August 9, 2007 at 12:34 am


Wow! A FOX news commentator gave you insightful advice? Will wonders never cease!LOL!



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Pacific231

posted August 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Dear Amy,
I have not visited Bnet for some time as I find much of the content preoccupied with Christianity of one flavor or another. I am sorry and disappointed to read your blog will not continue.
If I understand that your blog was done in at least in part because of a “small” number of page views, then Bnet has made a short-sighted blunder. Your analogy to Luke Skywalker reminded me immediately of the cancelation of “Star Trek” – in hindsight, one of the worst programming decisions ever. Sure, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were no match for “My Three Sons,” but it was only later when TV execs discovered the reality of AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION — that is, Star Trek viewers were a unique and typically highly educated audience, one that could have been easily marketed to sponsors as such — and realized they had made a terrible mistake. (Today niche programs targeted to a specific demographic might have low Nielsen ratings but they are cash cows for advertisers eager to connect with that niche.)
Bnet has made a very similar mistake in letting you go (or giving you a gentle/not-so-gentle push).
If Bnet thinks CM readers are going to flock to this or that Christian-centric blog they are just as mistaken as the 1960’s TV wonks who figured the Trekkies would blithely flip the channel to Uncle Charley and Steve’s precocious three sons. I have no interest in wasting my time any more rebuking close-minded hardline Christians and such.
I am reminded every day we live in a Christian nation each time I open the newspaper about the horrors of Iraq and the latest act of sociopathy perpetrated by our government, which proudly alligns itself with Christianity to the point where the separation of church and state is blurrier than ever. I don’t need a website catering to Christianity in its various forms with the too-occassional sundry window dressing afforded to other spiritual practices (Buddhism for one…the percentage of new content pales in comparison).
I don’t believe there is anything sinister in Bnet’s decision to let you go…or perhaps encourage you to go. Maybe they are just following the eyeballs and the money. But the fact remains this site has little to offer me as a non-Christian.
Perhaps the Rx is for you to “go independent.” There are no shortage of publications, in print and online that would eagerly discuss this possibility with you. I urge you to get your resume out to the Buddhist sites…Tricycle magazine for one would be so lucky to have your insights!!
Best of luck, Amy. And thank you for serving as a Bnet beacon of spiritual food for thought, as opposed to the standard, nickel-a-dozen religious polemics.
P231



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Pacific231

posted August 9, 2007 at 6:34 pm


Dear Amy,
I have not visited Bnet for some time as I find much of the content preoccupied with Christianity of one flavor or another. I am sorry and disappointed to read your blog will not continue.
If I understand that your blog was done in at least in part because of a “small” number of page views, then Bnet has made a short-sighted blunder. Your analogy to Luke Skywalker reminded me immediately of the cancelation of “Star Trek” – in hindsight, one of the worst programming decisions ever. Sure, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were no match for “My Three Sons,” but it was only later when TV execs discovered the reality of AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION — that is, Star Trek viewers were a unique and typically highly educated audience, one that could have been easily marketed to sponsors as such — and realized they had made a terrible mistake. (Today niche programs targeted to a specific demographic might have low Nielsen ratings but they are cash cows for advertisers eager to connect with that niche.)
Bnet has made a very similar mistake in letting you go (or giving you a gentle/not-so-gentle push).
If Bnet thinks CM readers are going to flock to this or that Christian-centric blog they are just as mistaken as the 1960’s TV wonks who figured the Trekkies would blithely flip the channel to Uncle Charley and Steve’s precocious three sons. I have no interest in wasting my time any more rebuking close-minded hardline Christians and such.
I am reminded every day we live in a Christian nation each time I open the newspaper about the horrors of Iraq and the latest act of sociopathy perpetrated by our government, which proudly alligns itself with Christianity to the point where the separation of church and state is blurrier than ever. I don’t need a website catering to Christianity in its various forms with the too-occassional sundry window dressing afforded to other spiritual practices (Buddhism for one…the percentage of new content pales in comparison).
I don’t believe there is anything sinister in Bnet’s decision to let you go…or perhaps encourage you to go. Maybe they are just following the eyeballs and the money. But the fact remains this site has little to offer me as a non-Christian.
Perhaps the Rx is for you to “go independent.” There are no shortage of publications, in print and online that would eagerly discuss this possibility with you. I urge you to get your resume out to the Buddhist sites…Tricycle magazine for one would be so lucky to have your insights!!
Best of luck, Amy. And thank you for serving as a Bnet beacon of spiritual food for thought, as opposed to the standard, nickel-a-dozen religious polemics.
P231



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Joey

posted August 9, 2007 at 7:34 pm


I’m only an occasional reader of your blog (I’m probably one of the “louder-mouthed, we’ve-got-the-total-picture people” you’re referring to), but when I glanced over to the blog space and saw “CM’s final post” I went, “No!” Anyway, best of luck and God bless.



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Annie

posted August 11, 2007 at 3:51 pm


will miss your blog. much happiness to you in whatever you choose to do. :::::smile:::::



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Sierra

posted August 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm


My husband and I were discussing this blog recently and he said he enjoyed the entry about malas. He told me about one of the comments that was especially interesting and meaningful to him. “I wrote that!” I said. A fun moment.



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JoJo

posted August 23, 2007 at 2:41 pm


Oh Dear – you are one of my fav columns to read on Bnet. I welcomed you when you began and read you every chance I could. For a while it seemed your columns were a little hard to locate as the subscription I signed up for did not regularly reach me. At those times, I would read 3,4,5 of your columns to catch up. And today when I “found” you, I found this disappointing message. So much good info and sharing came thru you and I wish you all the best as I know your life will always be filled with info and joy and surprises. I hope somehow we can still read “you” and of you. Blessings, JoJo



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robert moore

posted August 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm


i loved your blog. it was wonderful to read filled with a lot of common sense and wonder at the same time. I hope this is not final and that someday you will come back!!



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Ro

posted September 4, 2007 at 11:54 am


You certainly filled the space!! I enjoyed reading your blog very much and have meant to write sooner, but for one reason or another, until today I was able to do it. I live in Torreon, Mexico, and you have reached me this far. Will miss you, well, I miss reading your blog already. Life is about moving forward continiously and I am happy you have found your rythm. Until next time!!!



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christina

posted September 13, 2007 at 11:22 pm


I want to tell you about my boy he being bad in school he geting
to trouble not be only been 3weeks of school and he is alresdy geting
in two trouble in school. i paddle his butt for getting to trouble
in school and today he trying to get to dropout of school by sign
my name on the paper and the teacher had call me so i went down to the
school i told them that he not dropout of school and i said to his teachers that he not going to live with his father in L.A half of the
the school so he can grandute down their he be going to here so he throw a fit and i said to him that he will not be throw a fit any more
i went to my car got the paddle then i came back give him a spanking’
on his butt told him not to do that any more



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christina

posted September 13, 2007 at 11:27 pm


i don’t know what to do with my boy his father want him to
come live with him but he already getting to trouble



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Suze

posted September 26, 2007 at 5:47 pm


What a strange time to stumble upon you for the first time (via Beliefnet). I will enjoy catching up on all your posts here, and hope that you thoroughly enjoy whatever you do next. Be Blessed :)



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Nene Norine

posted October 15, 2007 at 10:45 am


I would like to direct this comment to Christina as a mother of 4 grown children of which 3 are boys…
……..I don’t have all the answers, believe me I wish I did but when my eldest was 12 their father and I divorced. Under the circumstances I was left to raise my 4 children completely alone. I had no “support group” as my family were not in the picture. At times I worked 3 jobs to support them. This did not leave a lot of time to be a wonderful mother in much needed areas, as my eldest had an ocean of troubles. Basically the advice I would like to leave you with is this..never give up on your son,never..tell him constantly that you are not going anywhere and that you’re not giving up..keep an nonthreatening line of communication open with him- seek counseling and don’t just go to anyone, find one that you feel helps you and your son… not all do.
Do give up the idea that your sons father is going to save you or your son, but make sure he is a part of your sons life even if it an inconvenience as long as he is a good role model..not perfect but consistent. Boys need a positive male role model and try as we might and with all the love and good intentions we can’t really replace that.
By the way my son did not finish high school, the other 3 graduated, 1 with honors and some went to college. My eldest did get his GED eventually and is a plumber and has found a job which he sales and plumbs and because of his personality that I thought was so obnoxious at times, he does very well. He is safe, alive and happy with a sweet wife and a baby due any day…..So much for high risk, he beat the odds.



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debbie

posted October 25, 2007 at 5:44 am


I LOVED your blog on chattering minds. I have been dealing with this type of situation for years with my husbands family and had always felt so inadequate because I could never chatter like them. They always have something to say about everything and are Always right about everything too. I am more of a listener and can never get a word in or don’t speak loud enough to be heard. I like listening to people because you learn so much more about things. I hve been letting it ruin my life for a long long time. I’m 51 years old and have had Many life experiances that are either good or bad I have learned something from every one of them. I love my inlaws but but have been wrestling with the fact that I have been so miserable for so long and that I have been letting things happen to me and feeling sorry for myself until now.Thank you for posting and I will keep on reading beliefnet.



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Blondie Writes

posted November 26, 2007 at 11:09 pm


I enjoyed Chattering Minds very much.



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Trish

posted December 11, 2007 at 9:58 am


It’s the first time I’ve visited Chattering Mind. Sorry I missed a lot of great reflections. This one year I’ve shaken out old ideas and ways of thinking and asked God for his clear vision. What does he want most? Who is he really? He wants to teach us everything and be close to us every day. That was a news flash. He is fast, we are sooo slow. Decide to do something new!!! Ask God for clear vision every day for 10 days and he will give it to you. Guaranteed. Then you get to decide if you want to buy into God’s point of view or keep your broken one that is so disappointing. I was so wrong for so long and a faithful churchgoer. Blessings from North Carolina. All the best to Amy.



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trena

posted December 28, 2007 at 1:55 am


hello are you me i’m ok anyway my comment is that everything that i have ask GOD for he has given it to me i know what i have to do in return but why am i kinda affraid i understand the message his is giving me which is i’m giving you what you want everytime now give me what i want and still i seem to mess up God has tested me and some i have passed and others well you know the rest but i would not change anything because i learned from them all i am 32 and have so much to tell my sister say i am a ticking time bomb with nothing but words that need to come out well i guess this is a start thank you for your site. yours truly trena.



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Chris

posted December 28, 2007 at 7:39 am


To whom it may concern;
Hopefully, mainly since I am not able to determine how many spaces on a computer screen is correct for paragraphs and indented sentences exetera. Basically proper grammer and structure of sentences, personally I have felt for the last two decades at least that most individuals had not truely seemed to care how there grammer was spoken and or heard by other individuals within there distance that they may have taken for granted.
Here is a fine example; Not a sentence nor a statement.
What did I try too state. Actually, I have done exactly what I had intended to do.
Honestly I have just stated an opinion correctly, I realize it sounds strange although look it up. I have stated nothing and have also said too much. Anyone whom is interested in correct grammer should go to school it is never too late.
I am not pompus, (great word) although too many individuals use language entirely unipropriotly in more statements than I can personally count.
Personally, I have taken a lifetime to learn to read and write not to mention construct my thoughts before I grammatically verbilize them.
To most individuals, this means nothing.
I have been asked by some of the best just to state my opinion.
While risking my marriage and homelife in hope to inspire someone whom may have the same difficulty that I have.
To be honest, I never truely realized that I had a difficulty until my life partner husband had drawn it to my attention approximately five years ago as I was reading (SEABISCUIT). One of my favorite books by the way, my honeybunny purchases the book for me and I have driven him crazy ever since. Although you might admit this is a wonderful excuse, although for me if you need it as an excuse use it and my personal opinion I am so sorry; Love is precious, please enjoy it.
Remember you must ask for what you want and or need specifically, and be careful for what you ask for.
Honestly; I have personally been blessed more times than I have even imagine, no less even tried too count. Most individuals, do not even see the wonderful things just infront of there eyes.
Example; My Friend, Sandi; She still sees what is wonderful, and she fights everyday. You know what, do you hear her complain. Never have I ever heard her complain, 5 plus strokes, many other incidents and she just gets blamed for drinking too many crown and cokes. (Behind her back not to mention, although I love her dearly and she knows it as well as her spouse/husband Mark).



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Annie Turner

posted January 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm


I love to read Chattering Minds. You have some interesting articles. They make me think about things in my life & what’s going on in the World around me.



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Ann Marie

posted February 25, 2008 at 8:32 am


Amy:
Couldn’t sleep last night. So much has been going on that I couldn’t shut off my brain. I’m just “a chattering mind”, I thought to myself. The comparison led me back to your blog, which I had been missing of late, only to find YOU away . . .
So–I wish you a blessed time of renewal and rebirth.
Best,
AM



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paddysway

posted April 8, 2008 at 3:36 am


Have you ever in your chattering ways had a whole column typed out and pushed the wrong key and loose it all? I just did…Oh, I was trying to get my two cents in about having a value and worth in the world. I think that no matter how or what one has to say, it’s important to say it regardless of correctness in grammar or sync with another’s moment to speak or write. I myself have not done that for quite awhile as I have felt as though I’m not important enough to voice an opinion. I used to visit Beliefnet blogs, forums, etc. often but have not done so in a long while. I need to get “out” and into the world of writing, speaking and voicing my opinions and how I feel about anything. I have a chattering mind and no one to chatter to. I’m an insomniac and need to get involved with the forums here more often. I’ve enjoyed your posts and column for a long time. You’ve contributed so much to Beliefnet and had given me confidence overall in the past to not be afraid to speak out. Just wanted you to know that I intend to come around more often and give it a whirl again. It’s my forte which I believe can and should be exercised by me more often….I pale in comparison to some here but so what, right?



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SN

posted April 10, 2008 at 9:02 pm


Can I ask if any of you know Kitty Osborne of Lily Dale, NY?



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joye newman

posted April 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm


How do I get in touch with Amy?



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Beliefnet_Tiger

posted April 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm


Hi Joye!
Ms Cunningham has a journal in the community area of Beliefnet. If you haven’t joined yet, here’s the URL:
Community
Chattering Mind’s Journal:
Chattering Mind
Beliefnet_Tiger



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Roger Givens

posted July 16, 2008 at 9:09 pm


Try reading Soul Wisdom by Dr. Zhi Gang Sha. I loved the Soul Tapping! Soul tapping allows your hand to be guided by your Soul to tap right where you have a blockage. This tapping ability is unlimited as it will heal, prevent illness, rejuvenate, prolong life, and transform all aspects of your life. Soul Tapping worked great for pain relief and increasing my energy. (I enjoyed listening to the free CD)
Great Book!



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