Peace Portfolio Opening Reception

Please stay tuned for more posts on peace and a continuation of the “Lead with Empathy” series this summer. I am learning how to balance the energy in my life to include time for writing. And the intention of this writing is to sincerely demonstrate  consideration and empathy, which take a commitment to keeping your heart healed and strong. Fortunately healing continues to happen and I am eager now to take all of the ideas and notes that have been piling up and give them honor by following through with composing them into pieces I can share.  Since the Fall I have been focused on putting energy into building our local Compassionate Communication Community, re-starting my massage business, homeschooling and being a contributing member of my hometown, much more than writing. I miss it and I can’t wait to start again. What I am so excited about now is sharing my work in person. I have not reached near the amount of people I had hoped with this blog because it is not the avenue I feel most comfortable or competent walking when it comes to sharing myself and my peace work. So If you’d like to see me deliver my passion for peace while in the same physical space, I highly encourage you consider coming to my opening.

Here’s the info..

Peace Portfolio Opening Reception

St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church

320 Resor Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-1698

Friday June 5, 2015 7p.m.

Contact Maria


You are welcome to attend whatever piece of the program is possible for you.

7:00-8:00 View art, mingle, eat, drink, children’s search and find activities

8:00 Maria will share about her video while children can join in or hangout out with quite activities/crafts in the Sanctuary or Haenle Hall. They can also go the playground outside if with their own guardian or an approved caregiver)

8:30 Video for “Peacefully”

8:40 Movement/Music for AmUSemenT with live Drumming and dancing!! Feel free to bring drums and dancing toys.

Join me in sharing my passion for promoting peace for all the precious priceless people on the planet!

Listen to my song” Peacefully” at the below link

Be amused with my affliction for aiding my articulation with alliteration, while new insights and ideas marinate in your mind.


All of my collages will be on display at St. John’s throughout the month of June. Feel free to contact me if you would like  to meet me while you view the exhibit. I am looking for more venues to display this collection that resonate with my approach to peacemaking. I will not be selling these particular pieces of collage art because they are comprised of others art from ads and copyrighted designs.  You can however pay for a printed copy for approximately $1-$2


You can come back to the blog after June 8th for details on the trainings I can teach for a range of diverse audiences. I will also offer empathetic connection sessions and mediation services for conflict resolution and improved relationships.   Interested in learning more? You can start by booking a FREE personal 1 hour Intro to Compassionate Communication for yourself or small group!  513-462-7276



Leading With Empathy Towards Grammar “Nerds”

Please note I chose to use other “n” word  used by those who may have been on the receiving end of one your proofreading pokes possibly aimed at their grasp of grammar. And I am not a fan of perpetuating the repeated past story about what we call “nerds,” because I find being interesting, intelligent, curious, and creative to be really cool. Although at the same time I may be a bit apprehensive about hanging out with you because however cool you are to me, I think you are probably judging me on my use of the English language, even in casual social situations. I am not trying to assume. I have made plenty of observations of the “wicket wit” that gets whipped out on the world wide web. Well wicked wit is a not so much an observation, it’s an evaluation I’ve made after reading something like, “Before you pretend like you have a worthwhile perspective, repeat the third grade. ”

“Words are sawn off shotguns,” says  Radiohead in the song “Jigsaw Falling into Place” I agree!

If we could attack other countries with demeaning and inconsiderate attacks on what is perceived as ignorance, you could be on the front line with your linguistic intellect and red pen. You got some bad ass bravado is what I am trying to convey. It’s all that creativity and curiosity fueled by your frustrations with any incorrect usage of our tool for communication, would be my guess. That much rage has got to be backed up with a lot of passion, as is usually the case. Is your passion fueled by a desire to honor human language by holding yourself and others up to an ideal level of competency? Do you feel really scared and worried when you witness misspellings and disagreeable verbs? If so I’d bet it’s because you really value uniformity in language and its ability to help us understand one another, share feelings, ideas, and have a shared sense of reality around communication? Having more mutuality in our written expression could increase connection and decrease confusion, don’t you think? Thinking of it that way I have more patience for your pokes and empathy for your feelings and values. I am wondering however, are their times when you do understand the intention of my expression and yet choose to not respect me, or give my opinion much weight because I have not demonstrated English perfection?

Do you feel a sense of specialness because of how well your brain seems to remember English’s rules and regulations? When you correct someone’s comment on facebook, do you feel like you are providing an important service as a post school grammar guide, or is it something else? I don’t want to assume, so I’ll take a stab at a possibility based on what I was told about why people make fun of others when I was in elementary school, you want to feel like a smarty pants and them to feel like dumb a$$es?

This is what I believe, in some way we are all smarty pants and dumb asses, or rather we all have gifts and challenges. The sciency support I have for this theory is from the work of Dr. Howard Gardner and his idea of multiple intelligences. He believes we have at least 8 different intelligences: mathematical/logical, linguistic, spatial/visual, kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.


(click on collage for a  closer view)

Continue reading “Leading With Empathy Towards Grammar “Nerds””

Leading with Empathy Towards Models

Enemy images we create about those we don’t agree with, or possible don’t even know because we’ve been pitted against them since birth  are a large part of why so many conflicts remain un-resolved. Here I am honestly and vulnerably willing to admit I have made a$$hole assumptions and told myself silly stories in my creation of a Cruella de Vil inspired character that represents how I think models are like and I have never even meet one. (If you watched Buffy the vampire slayer, think Cordelia) And at the same time I wonder why some of the 1000 year old feuds that are costing the lives of millions in our world every year cannot be resolved? Thinking I have been part of the problem, and now I want to actively be part of a peaceful resolving solution. So to do this I’m going to lead with some heartfelt empathy about what I can only imagine your challenges and pain could be and then share my concerns and confusions regarding your profession and its impact on society. I hope you’ll hear my intention and maybe someday you’ll be up for a conversation??

The average height for an American woman is 5 feet 4 inches; if you are a model you likely have several more inches than most women. Ironically what is believed by many (not all) that being taller is better, may not have been the case while growing up. Imitating the adults in their lives many elementary children pick on anyone who appears different, for whatever reason, to reassure themselves that they fit in, they’re good, they belong. Was this your experience, being on the receiving end of immature insults aimed at an uncontrollable expression of your DNA? Being a sentient being I could guess it was hurtful, embarrassing, and may have damaged your self-esteem? Maybe you felt awkward and uncomfortable being maybe a head taller than all your friends, maybe you even thought there was something wrong about you?

As you entered your high school years maybe you noticed that most of the women you saw in advertisements were similar to you, maybe you felt hope that your difference could be appreciated? You could have been drawn to how admired they were, how attracted men were towards these women and that prompted you to try and use your height as an advantage and enter the modeling profession? You possibly even started at a young age, maybe your parents even encouraged it? You’d definitely be making a helluva lot more than most teenagers working in restaurants or retail! Although how often are you looked at with discriminating, discerning eyes that are judging every inch of your body, looking for flaws, cellulite, and to scrutinize how symmetrical your face.?I read once that those in the modeling industry talk about models as if they were cars, with parts. I highly doubt that how you are feeling is given much consideration, and unfortunately I don’t even think your health is all that important to them.

So this makes me wonder what are common motivations for being a model, is it something that you think will fill your need to be desired, a way to validate your value, or maybe feel loved? If so, what I see doesn’t even look like basic human respect. How often are you told to lose weight and maintain a figure that is deprived of proper nourishment to maintain a percentage of body fat that could be considered dangerous? Do you ever feel deprived, hungry or weak? Do you ever feel like you are being used like a thing to sell someone else’s stuff and not a human being with emotions and ideas of your own?

Sisters United

(click on collage for a closer view)

Continue reading “Leading with Empathy Towards Models”

Leading with Empathy towards the Fashion Industry

A Monet painting goes for millions  and will proudly grace the walls of a family through many generations as a work of art that will continue to be appreciated through the ages. Unfortunately those in the artistic world of fashion know that their field is quite the opposite. While I am aware that we do have museums enshrining past fashions, I mean it is a part of our history, a Victorian gown is not typical wall decor for most. Nope your art, comprised of many hours of tedious stitching and alterations, has become transient and new creations are expected each season. Your canvases are not flat, predictable or re-sizable, they are comprised of the countless contours of our bodies, with the challenge of making a design that is versatile enough to be conformed to fit them all! Wow, seriously wow, that is a daunting task to undertake, my clothed-self thanks you!

When you were a child full of wonder and unbiased creativity, I am going to guess that maybe you “borrowed” clothes from your parents or siblings closets, turned t-shirts into dresses with scarfs for belts and clunked around in over sized heels. And you likely freely accessorized with anything that appealed to your sense of style, maybe embellished a tank top with a glittery sticker? Do you still allow yourself to feel that sense of adventure and fun when you create? Were you the one that was consulted with when your friends were trying out new clothing combinations? Did you feeling like you were following a calling to contribute to your world by helping others express themselves with their wardrobes?

Developing our own style I think is a way to live out love for ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness and authenticity, and you help give us the nuts and bolts to play with and come up with something original. How amazing does it feel to see a glowing smile from a client wearing your design and know they feel confident and beautiful? I hope you have realized that feeling is priceless and cannot be measured on a profit spreadsheet.

I hope to re awaken the imagination and inspiration that led you down a path of clothing creation, while also being aware that you are trying to keep up with consumer demand by having enough physical resources and human power to produce the clothes. You also need to be able to reach enough potential customers through marketing and to swing all that by making enough to pay all the hands and hearts involved in the entire process, while hopefully making some kind of a profit and receiving positive reviews. I am not arguing how formidable a feat the 21 century fashion industry can be.

My intent in writing this is simple, I desire peace. I doubt I need to inform you that your industry has many critics with lots complaints creating conflict not contributing to peace. This is likely because they were shared with bravado- boosted blaming (I’m recovering from this habit) which does not inspire caring or consideration. So this is me initiating something new… a compassionate conversation! So instead of starting a cat fight with judgments, condemnation, and insults, what if we decided to center our attention on what we have in common, Shared Human Values like Freedom and Expression? And if we both sincerely give a sh!t about both of our Shared Human Values and are willing to give consideration for one another’s perspectives, concerns, and challenges…I know we could collaborate and re-create peaceful and poshy ways for people to be fabulous with fashion.

Celebrating creativity Continue reading “Leading with Empathy towards the Fashion Industry”

Updates and Changes

At the end of 2013 I was asked to give a talk at a spiritual service (My Unitarian Universalist church community) centered around change. Since I had so many changes in my life I was asked if I wanted to share my story. So I gave the talk and I had it video-recorded to be able to share later. Unfortunately the sound is not so great, which I just realized because I didn’t want to watch myself (I am now okay with hearing my recorded voice…and working on seeing my recorded self). Anyway I am working hard doing the heart muscle healing exercises that are helping me to do this challenging empathy work. Some dedicated healing time was needed for the new post I am working on now. This is also leaving space for mind mapping and brainstorming for the 30+ topic ideas which will become “Lead with Empathy” posts. I just wanted those who read regularly to know that there is more to come! The beginning of summer is creating lots of new opportunities and filled with fun events, live music and soon I’ll have carved out hours to be my sacred writing time. I don’t want my empathy work/service writing to be so challenging, because I want it to come from a heart centered place where I am connected to my innate human compassion. However I still have triggers, or reactions to seeing certain kinds of human behavior that alarms and concerns me, and my reactions can be fear based and angry. I recently released a lot of that through dance, physical exertion, self-empathy and meditation and am now really feeling a loving flow of energy in my life… its awesome! This creates a more conducive heart/mental space to recognize and consider more perspectives and sense the common shared values and feelings between humans more naturally, even easily! So while I heal and brainstorm and write, I thought I would share the words I wrote to deliver in a speech on change. So anyone reading his will get to know me a little better. 🙂 And you can check out video if you want and even visit my you tube channel, if you want to see me dance, even with just my face…seriously I can face dance;) I have an eclectic resume of gifted blessings to share!

muse me Continue reading “Updates and Changes”

Leading with Empathy towards those who keep the Paparazzi in business

How can we peel our eyes away? The shock, the glamor, the horror, the mortifyingly embarrassing scenario they were caught in…we must know everything about these idolized humans!

I mean they entertain us on stages, screens, courts and fields, in their “realities”, on the news, hosting interviews, soooo naturally this must mean their entire lives are meant to be open for viewing (criticizing/judging) right? I addressed this post to those who purchase magazines that feature celebrities that claim to have the real scoop on their lives and to those who surf virtual-land to get almost instantaneous information about what their favorite celebrity to love/hate is up to. My intention is to offer you empathy for why you are engaging in this curious behavior.

Do you feel a certain thrill of excitement when your favorite actress is supposedly “showing off” at the beach, or a rush of triumph when a celebrity you love to hate has recently gained weight? Does following their lives add non-stop juicy drama to escape into? I am not knocking escape, isn’t that sort of one of the points of entertainment, an enjoyable break from our daily lives? Do you find it challenging to not be curious with people of fame, when every time you walk into a grocery store you see rows and rows of glossy photos of them, designed to lure your eyes and maintain your gaze? Are you just joining in with the crowd in this celebrity curiosity because lets face it, its very likely more people are talking about the lifestyles of the rich and famous more than any social justice issue. So if you aren’t up on the gossip, you may feel out of the loop. I’d guess you’d like to feel like you “fit in” in our culture and are in the know about popular plots? Experiencing the comfort and camaraderie of belonging and acceptance are motivators for many human behaviors.

I think we all enjoy being entertained with interesting characters that capture our attention, tell us a story, sing us a song, or play a game for us and we’ll cheer them on! Participating as an audience for art and athletics to be appreciated is a beautiful experience that adds so much excitement, human connection, interest, and even healing into all our lives. Although I think we can become so enamored with their performances; we can’t seem to peel our eyes away to refocus on our own lives with rapturous attention. It’s even more challenging to avert your stare when they have this otherworldly appeal with how flawless many of them appear to us and their lives are sooo fascinating being sooo unrealistic compared to our own; we can get struck with shock with the glamor and glitz. And sadly we also compare ourselves to these people, many who we see through the illusion of digital distortion, which really takes away their “realness,” and I think makes it even harder to actually relate to them as fellow flawed humans. When they seem so perfect and then you also consider the work they do is so disproportionally reciprocated with money, it adds even more challenge to offer them compassion. Taking all that into consideration, I could see how you may respond with, “Well why don’t they hire someone to give them empathy?” This separation and segregation that fame creates is also why we pounce on them when they make a mistake or put on pounds, its like HAHA, here is proof that you are human and messed up too!!

Look into my eyes see love Continue reading “Leading with Empathy towards those who keep the Paparazzi in business”

Leading with Empathy towards the Paparazzi

Seriously does anyone give you empathy? And by empathy I mean consider that you are capable of emotions and to actually care about which ones you are having. I am going to attempt to do that. I have never met anyone in your profession so this is all based on guesses and observations.

Do you feel hurt and irritated that you are often blamed for the entire phenomenon of celebrity obsession and worship? It is obvious that you play your role in providing the public with pictures and stories about celebrities; however the public who purchase your publications and peruse your posts also play a part perpetuating this prying into other people’s lives. There is a demand and you fulfill that demand. There is an obvious driving desire to know as much as humanly possible about these people we place on pedestals, sometimes to bow down to, other times to knock ‘em down. It is hard for me to hide the fact that I don’t think this behavior is really benefiting anyone, however I work hard at living out my intention to not condemn people for their actions, and like many others this one we inherited from our shared history. This silly situation has been going on for millennia! A few thousand years ago you may have been hiding in an olive tree peering into a lush courtyard to find out who went to the vomitorium at the latest roman general’s bash and who had the most slaves attending them. (supposedly binging and puking at parties was accepted and they accommodated back them) I think we have had this fascination with how the other “half” live for a long time and unfortunately we keep repeating it each new generation. I mean if we can’t actually enjoy all the luxuries and leverages they have in life, why not at least escape our own discontentment with a story about one of their fantastical lives. Or if we are feeling frustrated with our own level of achievement and don’t want to deal with it, why not find similar faults in a famous person to dissect and judge. I admit to doing both, I am not out to point fingers, I am out to spotlight what isn’t helping anyone actually achieve happiness. Which is like what this whole life on earth, the only proven planet that supports life for millions and millions of miles is all about, agree?
Lead with empathy 004

(click on collage for a closer view)

Continue reading “Leading with Empathy towards the Paparazzi”