Melissa Hevenor
Saturday November 25 , 2017
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Archive for June, 2014

The Magic of MJ Lives on

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Today marks the five year anniversary of Michael Jackson leaving this planet to return home as an angel in heaven. I was blessed recently to attend the magical Cirque de Soleil honoring the King of Pop, and I will certainly never forget that night. However, the magic that is Michael Jackson impacted my life long before attending that show. I remember being a little girl, sitting in front of the television, watching Michael Jackson dance, with children in a Pepsi commercial, and thinking, “I wanna be just like him when I grow up.” Not even realizing at the time, that I had a difficulty walking, much less dancing as though I was weightless and floating across the floor. But, it wasn’t just his ability to dance or sing. It was the effervescent light, or energy, that permeated the room, even through the screen of a television. That same energy that has caused hundreds of girls, women and even men alike, to pass out in his presence. That same energy that catapulted him to fame like none other. I even begged for a silvery-white glove to wear, and I remember being told by other boys, in my elementary school class, “you can’t wear that. You’re a girl!” Of course, I responded, “Who says? My aunt said, ‘if the glove fits, wear it.’” Even at the young age of 12, when the epic song, Man in the Mirror, came out, my fascination and admiration for Michael Jackson, became even stronger because 12 was the age that I really began to feel a calling within myself to serve the world and make it a better place. Of course, at 12, idealism runs rampant in the mind. and I thought, with love and compassion, all the world’s problems could be solved, and this song Man in the Mirror, became an anthem that I played relentlessly, until I, literally, wore out the cassette tape.

Fast forward to 1998, I was  a young 22 year-old, planning to make the big move across country to Los Angles, the west coast. If any of my dreams to serve and make the world better could happen, I was sure they could happen there. The first time I went to Los Angeles, I was completely blown away by the number of young adults and teenagers that were homeless on the streets of Santa Monica beach. Of course, being from Washington, D.C., I had seen my share of homeless people, but never homeless children. So, with my beloved anthem, Man in the Mirror, blaring out of the speakers of my rented van, while on one of my first of many trips to prepare and set out for the move, I went into McDonald’s and bought $150 of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, with the song Man in the mirror, blaring ,i handed out as many hamburgers and cheeseburgers as $150 was able to purchase. For the most part, the kids were very grateful, and very obviously longed for someone to talk to. I had heard stories of survival, rebellion, tragedy and inspiration, that i sill carry close to my heart. Eventually, when I did move to Los Angeles, there was a young man named Nathan, who I kept up with. He wasn’t like the other kids. He was filled with ambition, and truly wanted “off the streets.” Bur, he escaped a home where he had been severely beaten and abandoned, after he was caught kissing another boy behind the bleachers at his high school.  very often, I would bring him food, a blanket, or clothing that I thougtht would look nice on him. He told me one of the last times I saw him, that whenever he heard the song Man in the Mirror, he would think about the little angel in a wheelchair who passed out hundreds of hamburgers though he adniiteed the first time that happened, he was frightened, be ause the van that I had rented looked like “a gang member’s van with tinted window.’ with music blaring. He said he’d never been so shocked, to see Little Old Me, come ut in my wheelchair, with as many hamburgers as I could hold. I also had o teach myself, once I moved hftere, never to have cash on me, because I would inevitably be handing it out to kids in the street. I often wonder what happened to Nathan. I don’t know his last mane, or even if he’s still in California but I’m sure he’s found his way to success, with his optimism that was unfailing even in the worst of circumstances . And, I am proud, that I was able to play the smallest role in this journey, giving him a piece of Michael’s magic along the way. I still use that song to raise myself up, as an anthem, to continue serving,even if I’m met with criticism or unappreciated. i don’t mind because my efforts are pure, and as long as G-d and Michael can witness  my continued effort to pick myself up and be of service, I am content and peaceful.

The song is so full of truth and reflection. If we find ourselves in this modern world where taking selfies is often a daily activity, then we certainly have the opportunity to look at ourselves and ask, “what have we offered the world today?” Not just an image but from the heart. As many of you know, over the last couple of days, I have flooded social media with messages supporting and educating on childhood cancer, as yesterday was a day of great importance when advocates for this cause went to Capitol Hill to voice the need for more funding and research. One of the parents lovingly know as Tattoo Tom, started a non-profit organization called StillBrave, after his daughter, Shayla, passed away from cancer. His slogan is, “I asked, why isn’t somebody doing something, and then I realized I am somebody.” I mention Tom and that organization because that slogan truly captures the essence of that song, “Man in the Mirror.” Michael continues to be an advocate through his music, for humanity and children, with numerous songs, like “Black and White,” “Human Nature,” the Earth song, and, most recently, from the latest album , Xcape, “Do You Know where your Children are?” All of these songs and so many more, speak to equality, love, respect, and preserving human life and the planet. His passion and love for humanity, and changing the world for the better, will inevitably endear him to my heart. As is often the case, when an earth angel, uses their light to cast out darkness in the world, that darkness rises up in an effort to rob that light, and this happened to MJ, as he was countlessly falsely accused of terrible deeds ike harming children, being crazy, even putting his own children in harm’s way. I know with every fiber of my being, that he did no such thing, as these acts undeniably, go against everything he stood for. I do think he fell victim to substance abuse, in an effort to escape the demands of his iconic name, and the pain inflicted on him by the same people  in humanity he was working to save. Unfortunately, greed from those that worked for him led to his untimely death, as he was not properly protected or cared for, but rather used for his financial status and where he was able to buy compliance, giving him access to the deadly substances that ultimately lead to his death. But, whether he passed, because of carelessness and/or addiction, I believe his light-filled soul could only withstand the lower vibration of the earthly plane for so long, and his spirit had to return to the higher plane, where his heart and essence was free and will always be timeless.

My wish for the world is that more people will rise up, supporting causes that Michael supported, and embrace his music as a collective anthology of music to serve as their anthem, when they are in need of some Michael Jackson magic to lift them up so they can carry on to be of service.

How to Make Real Life a Livable Fairy Tale-Let’s Go to the Movies and Beyond

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I love writing! Writing allows for expression and creating, while connecting with the minds and hearts of others all over the world. Many say that this technological whirlwind we live in is separating people, because devices are building a wall, killing face-to-face contact. although I agree, all too often, we find ourselves sitting in front of a device rather than sitting in front of each other. There is a part of me that loves social media and the ability to connect with someone worldwide. Indeed, we can’t stare into each other’s eyes, but we can support each other and relate to the triumphs and struggles that we have on this journey we call life.

The movie industry is a beautiful example of how thè element of entertainment can, at first glance, separate us, when obviously, at a movie, we are not talking to each other, but these different forums of expression allow for a different kind of connection. As an audience member, we can go to see a motion picture with a friend, and both become immersed in the storyline, not needing to communicate at that moment, other than holding each other’s hand for support, passing each other a tissue, or laughing at the same comic moment, as the story unfolds. I have always loved going to the movies, because it creates a world of escape and fantasy, the chance to abandon our own journey for two hours, watching others triumph over obstacles and yet, we can come away with the knowledge or the armor that they used to do so.

I recently saw the movie, Maleficent, The background story of the notorious villain, Maleficent, in Sleeping Beauty. What brought her to the callous moment of placing a curse on a beautiful, innocent princess. Not only do we get the chance to understand that 99per cent of the time, even Negative, or villainous, people in real life, are not born that way. They are a collection of events, energy and the individual wrapped up in the unfolding of an unfortunate story that brings them to the present moment in life, where their villainous,or negative, tendencies are expressed. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Maleficent acknowledges that she is both the villain and the hero of her story. Of course, Maleficent is completely fantasy, and a fairy tale. But, the message of triumph and self-deflection transcends into our real life story, because, let’s face it, aren’t all of us, at some point, a villain and a hero?

speaking from personal experience, even the most loving, triumphant efforts, when taken out of context, or perceived from outsiders, can be twisted and manipulated to present itself as a villainous act. In The famous words of Madonna, “some of the best intentions pavethe road to hell.” Maleficent also served as a role model that revenge never gets you anywhere, because, as they say, darkness never casts out darkness, but leaves more people blind. If yu have not seen this movie, please take the time to do so. If you find yourself, like me, a lover of fairies, pixies, and enchantment, you will find yourself immersed in the fantastical world that can eerily echo real life. Lets face it, how could a villain be so easily disliked, if their story, or motivation, didn’t somehow stem from someone’s real life misfortune of encountering the person they are created after? Thesame thing holds true for Prince Charming, how could we fall head over heels for the ultimate e hero, if there was not true heroism in real life?

The other motion picture that I was blessed to see recently was The Fault in our Stars. And yes, indeed, there was a hero, a Prince Charming.  unfortunately, the villain was a villain that thrives and takes lives relentlessly and viciously, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, or religious belief. It can inflict its torture and misfortune on all walks of life, even our beloved fur babies, or pets. This  villain is known as cancer.  Yes, cancer is the ultimate villain. But, this move is not about cancer. It is about the heroes and heroines that fight against this villain with bravery, humility, tenacity and heart. Fault  in our Stars was also a fantasy that stemmed from a real girl’s battle with cancer and, indeed, the villain robbed her of a chance to fall in love or or even ever have a boyfriend, and yet, it was one of her greatest dreams to experience a prince. So, over a series of interviews, she discussed what she thought being in love could have been like. The story details her idea of what falling in love would have been like,  and this dream became a reality, as it graces the screen in the “Fault in our Stars” motion picture. From both movies, with little self-reflection, an audience member can walk away with understanding the importance of continuing to fight with bravery, and above everything else, pursue love, because after all, love can conquer all. Conquering does not mean that it cures the cancer, or that it defeats whatever other villain you’re facing, but love conquers because it allows the spirit to transcend circumstances and it provides strength for the soldiers that follow in its footsteps. If we all take the time to acknowledge our villain-like moments, and truly desire to have more moments of being the “good guy” or “good girl,” then we will be given endless opportunities to make our real lives more of a fairy tale. This does not mean that our life will be free of villains, like cancer, but our life will have meaning, and inspire others to continue fighting their battles,  in the hopes of preventing a war or more casualties. It is important to honor our own story, while keeping in mind, that our story itself is not what’s most important. What’s most important is using our own story as a Springboard to inspire and help others with their journey. The plot may not be the same, but the gems of wisdom learned along the way, can be beneficial across all stories. And, the more we embrace each other’s story, the more it becomes a unified version, which, indeed, brings life into the idea that we are all the villain and the hero, trying to find our happy ending in the story of Life.

Heaven On Earth

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

To take the beautiful words from the legendary John Lennon, “you may say that I’m a dreamer. But, I’m not the only one.” There are so many positivity life coaches out there, self-help books, support groups, studies being done on happiness, that sometimes it feels as though the idea of happiness has become a phenomenon. what some people miss is that happiness is not a phenomenon, but it is something that originates intrinsically within ourselves. Often, people find themselves looking for happiness by gaining acceptance from other people, materialistic things, status boosters, or other perks to be found if a certain number of dollars are spent. If there is a magical phenomenon about happiness, it is that true happiness is free. It originates from a chemical reaction in our brains. Of course, there are those who have chemical differences, stemming from a physiological condition that alters the neurological process that triggers happiness. And, for those individuals, sometimes medication is necessary, and that’s okay, although all too often, we are enslaved in a society that is reliant upon pharmaceuticals to induce a reaction to facilitate happiness. The problem is that often, physicians and other health care professionals are so quick to prescribe, that they don’t encourage finding happiness from within, or they treat the symptoms of unhappiness such as the eating addiction, shopping addiction, whatever has manifested as a behavioral issue, for the individual in search of happiness, which truly can only be found within in the first place.

So, what is it that makes some individuals more positive than others? Research shows that there is a genetic component that contributes to, or takes away from, personal happiness. But, that it is only part of the equation. The other part of the equation is in large part, in my opinion, a choice. For example, as most, or all of you, know I have cerebral palsy, which leaves me reliant on a wheelchair for much of my mobility. And, of course, with this condition, there are daily struggles, such as: taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning can take me anywhere from an hour & a half to two hours, and if done within that time frame, it is considered a good day. Of course, there are times when I wish I could wake up fifteen minutes before I’m supposed to be somewhere and do things quickly like a majority of individuals. But, that thought or desire, only emerges when I am overtired and wish I could have extra sleep that morning. Most often, I am extremely grateful that I am able to shower or dress myself at all, and it fills my heart with gratitude, that although my childhood was not an easy one, it prepared me to be self-sufficient, for the most part.

I made the choice a long time ago, to choose happiness and see the glass as half full, rather than half empty. If you see the glass as half full, you’re halfway to having it filled, and therefore, the lack is conquerable and attainable. If an obstacle, or problem, is conquerable, then we have motivation, or strength, to overcome it. If we focus on the lack in our lives, the lack becomes unrealistically overwhelming and demolishes any hope of alleviating it. It is important to realize that whatever challenges, losses, or difficulties you face, your spirit is stronger, resilient and capable of handling those problems as long as you stay connected to G-d, the higher power, what you believe is the creator of your spirit. The part of happiness that many people don’t understand, is to truly have it, you have to, realistically, examine who you are, and accept your flaws, changing those that you can and accepting those that you can’t. Because there are some things about ourselves, we can’t change, in this lifetime. But, more often than not, those things are much less significant than our positive qualities, and it is us who spend more time focusing on those things than the things that set us apart or make us uniquely different and special in our own way. Even if I could take a pill tomorrow and walk, I don’t know that I would take it, if it was a permanent fix to my disability, because it is my disability that’s made me the person that I am. It is my disability that my spirit chose in this lifetime, that brings me closer to the Creator, my guides and angels. It is my disability that makes my life’s journey unique. Although I can not get up and run down a hill, or walk on the beach, even walk up stairs or in places that are not wheelchair-friendly, with my heart I can do everything. With my heart, I have the strength to climb every mountain. With the use of language, I can describe the feeling of walking or running, by connecting to my guide or channeling a spirit that is able to do so. I am phenomenal at astrotravel, which is, in essence, allowing your spirit to travel to different places, all distances, attached to, but free from the physical body. This is something we all do in dreams, or when our heart is with someone in need, when we physically can’t be there. But, the more we practice living from the heart, the more we can do. Realizing that reality is only a perception, a perception we must embrace and function, in but also overcome when we live a truly spiritual life. And, living from the heart, where we focus on the positive, even when it feels like there is nothing to be grateful for, there is gratitude in the magic of our breath, the functioning of gravity, and the ability to communicate with other individuals all over the world, via technology, indeed making the world a smaller place and more conquerable, regardless of limitations. Happiness comes form within and if we live from this understanding and teach this to the current, and coming, generations, there is the opportunity to shift in living in a world where more of heaven can be experienced on earth.