Indulge me, OK? This blog’s not a straight animal communication blog – it’s on listening. Now that I’m in the last third of my life, I thought I’d share one of the hints I received along the way about moving to intuitive work. It’s not my purpose to get you to become an animal communicator, but if it does, yippee, go for it! I’m sharing my story in the hopes you might start listening differently and noticing hints to make some changes in your life.

Life on Your Terms Interview

I gratefully blame Dr. Gwen Schiada for this blog, which came from our interview for her podcast, Life on Your Terms: Powered by Your Inner Compass. (Here’s the link to the podcast called, ironically, “Maribeth Decker takes listening to a whole new level.” For those who prefer to read, here’s a transcript if you’d like to delve into specific topics: Maribeth Takes Listening Transcript

Listening is the first step

Dr. Gwen talks about “listening” as the first step to creating a life on your terms. You’d think these would be whispers, small things.

But I’m a hard head so, for me, some of the “whispers” were clearly ironic situations that in retrospect, make me smile. Quitting drinking, for instance. Being a recovered alcoholic doesn’t play directly into communicating with animals, but it did teach me that God has a sense of humor when he sends a message– at least the God who shows up when I’m around.

How I got sober

I got sober while in the Navy. I’m not embarrassed about that fact anymore; it’s better than being a sloppy drunk. Don’t blame my parents, they did a good job. Don’t blame the Navy, it didn’t start there. Alcohol got in the way of me taking responsibility for my life. I used it to overcome my introversion. But I  needed to start listening to what would be for my highest good.

The journey starts in Memphis

So God/Universe – through the Navy – sent me to the US Navy Human Resources Management School at the Naval Air Station Memphis, Tenn. We were taught about responsible drinking, alcoholism, and recovery; we were immersed in diversity training and intercultural relations training (there were “race riots” aboard Navy ships in the early 1970s and the Navy was working to clean up its act). All of these experiences were eye openers for me. As part of my training, I visited Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and met sober AA members. You might say it was a bit of a nudge in the right direction.

And the big reveal shows up in Japan

Me, Debbie Kanarek and Daibutsu, Kamakura

Me, Debbie Kanarek and Daibutsu, Kamakura

But the clincher came when I got to my duty station at the Human Resources Management Detachment in Yokosuka, Japan. I was expected to teach sailors about responsible drinking. You’ve heard the term, “Drink like a sailor”? Yup, makes me grin. In addition to bumping heads against a cultural norm, I finally noticed that I was instructing sailors about drinking responsibly while drinking irresponsibly after hours. I swear some ethereal being had a smart-a** but loving grin as they said, “Are you having fun, Maribeth? Are you getting it?”

I eventually got it. It took teaching sailors to drink responsibly for me to STOP drinking. Ah, the irony! And that altered my life in so many good ways. Great ways. I listened first to God/Universe. And then I was available to listen to other whispers. With my introversion, I doubt I’d have otherwise felt the nudge to pursue animal communication.

And that, my friends, would have been a waste.

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