Resolute Courage EP-2: ‘Slow Still Gets You There"


[podcast real-time, unedited]


What if, what if time could be perceived from different perspectives within us in such a way that we could learn how to synchronize the time within us to a single focal point and call it the present.

And where that's coming from? For me is I've been struggling with this concept of time. And this is Melanie, I'm Melanie Jean Burke, and this is the second episode in my Resolute Courage podcast and if there's… I'll always start with saying if anyone's just listening to the podcast and you're not familiar with me, I am newly Deaf 100% deaf in both ears. I cannot hear a thing and so if there's noise in the background I honestly don't know and I have decided that I'm just going to begin this podcast and I'm not going to worry about you know things that are going on. I believe it's quiet in here so I've done my best.

But that brings me to this concept of time, because since… since Sudden Deafness has become part of my daily life, I you know, I can't hear anything. I don't hear alarms, I don't. I don't know.  It's the hardest thing in the world, is getting up in the morning, because I don't have any concept of time. I sleep when I'm tired and when I close my eyes, so I have this… like this perception… this new conscious awareness of time. 

And it all goes back to when I was a kid. I was always fascinated with Aesop's Fables and particularly this one called “the Tortoise and the Hare”. It's a very familiar fable so most of you have probably heard it, but you know it's about this hair, or this rabbit, that you know… they're racing and this tortoise, and of course, the tortoise is slower. And the rabbit you know zing and eating going along and you know, in the end, if you haven't read it, and I don't mean to spoil it, but you know, there's but the tortoise ends up winning the race. And I was…I was always fascinated by that as a kid because I truly believe that my soul was born a tortoise!  I just sort of trudge along, you know… it's like my soul knows the way! It knows my pace, it knows… it just knows that and just keeps going.  And my brain on the other hand, is like the rabbit! It's all over the place!

I have this belief, or have this belief until recently, which that was completely disrupted.  But I had this belief that faster was better, and you know… be on the top you know. I always everything that I did I mastered, and I was always in a hurry you know, what's next?  What's next?? And I pushed and I pushed myself and you know, there's some goodness to that but it was like, there was no connection between my brain and my soul when it came to time. And I was constantly getting burned out so I would say, I would get close to the end of a lot of things. I didn't finish or I finish but you know, I never got to celebrate the wins because I was always… as I was finishing one thing I had already started another so there was always an overlap that I was finishing and beginning at the same time, there was no break.

And I remember I was walking down the street in New Smyrna Beach and I saw this… was a nice beautiful beach day, and I saw this shop window and it had a poster in there and it’s just got this sea tortoise and it says “slow, still gets you there”. And it hit me just like it did when I was a little girl, you know that I hear I was, I was on my soul’s time. I was just peacefully walking down the street, not thinking about anything, just enjoying a quiet sunny day. And I went in and I bought it, and it's been hanging on my wall for the last, gosh, I don't know, 20 years. And so what what I've learned in all of my deafness is, I think… not, but I think, I have discovered for myself that my soul's timing is like, my soul's time. It's, not in a hurry because my soul is eternal. So it has forever. It just is going along the path that you know… that I was born to walk. I'm 61 years old. And I finally discovered that when you take the hearing out of it, and you can't hear anything, and all you have is what's going on inside.

There's is this rain, just feeling it's this feeling of I have tinnitus. So it's like this constant 24 seven ringing in my head, it's just a really, really high pitch 24 seven, and it just doesn't go away. And then there's like, three sounds. There's that. And then there's this like, I want to say it's like, almost like it used to sound like Niagara Falls, you know, where that water coming down, beating against the bottom, it's just so stifling loud. And it's all like a whoosh sound, you know, it's water on water on water, and you can't hear anything except for water. And it's the same as like when you're the ocean on. And you're standing on the beach near rocks and you hear the wall, the waves pounding on the rocks. So that's the other sound that I hear 24 seven. So I've got this really high pitch like a electronic noise in my head with this whooshing noise of water on rocks… and in the middle of all that it's absolutely silent. When you listen, that's all you can hear. It's like it's really, it was really, really hard when I could not only could I not hear any sounds outside of me, I can't even hear my own voice. I can't hear my own thoughts. I can't hear my brain thinking anymore. I can't hear it. And I feel myself saying things so what what's been happening to me as I'm realizing that time all came together for me because there's no outside distractions anymore. And you know, the noise the noise that we hear every day and the things that go on, you know, it's like I don't hear the phone ring. I don't hear notices go off. I don't hear. I don't hear anything. So if I don't check my email, or if I don't make the effort to actually look for it, I don't know what happened.

And I been in this incredible place and I mean I've had this blasting headache forever and you know I don't take anything. I'm doing some you know pain management um through breathing and things like that because you know this is this is gonna be long term for me and I don't want to be dependent on medication so um and it has gotten easier or maybe I just got used to it or maybe it's gotten quieter or maybe I'm maybe part of his acceptance, but it's like the tortoise and the hare are walking together finally side by side and we're figuring out together.  We're all figuring out how to do this together and it's been really profound. In a lot of ways because you know, it's like I I've, have to learn how to think completely differently all over again. I've been, it's not, I don't think like I used to think I can't I don't have any of the cues so I feel like my brains pay you know how when you're driving somewhere and your phone's looking for a Wi Fi signal and it just stuck in that loop you know, it's like spinning that bar spinning or whatever… well my brain has been like on this constant search for sound like cues, give me some clues, give me something to go reference, and there's nothing there and it's saying oh, okay, well how else am I going to figure this out?

And so my soul? My heart? My body? My brain, My mind?  You know… all of it has had to almost come to a screeching halt to deal with this newness of being deaf. And you know… I don't even know honestly, I don't even know what I'm saying. I know what I'm I know what I am I know what I feel and and when only when I'm in this place, which is why it is. I'm not a victim. I'm not, you know… I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I'm actually looking at it like, I'm so curious about this concept of time because it's the first time I've really life is going so slowly. Because everything I do is brand new. That, you know and my brain is going… wait a minute. It's like only got half the equation and as it's got lots of variables, and it's trying to solve problems that it doesn't have enough information for, and I get tired I get really tired learning to think differently. And in that quiet space of all the noise that's just, you know… the I guess the symptoms from Sudden Deafness but you know, I just I close my eyes and I can sleep for four hours because I have no destroy. I mean nothing wakes me up. And it's just been so strange.

So I've been thinking about “slow still get you there”. It's like… why was I in such a hurry all these years? You know, and every time, every time... somewhere along the way, I've had life course corrections where the rest of me has had to slow down to the pace of my natural soul’s rhythm. And my soul knows exactly where it's going and it's just going along and you know, it's learning to trust that and know “slow will still get me there. And I know the way there without my hearing.

I like to share a little bit about what I'm doing. I'm recording these on my zoom so that I can pull the audio out for a podcast, but I'm also recording it for those who are hearing impaired or deaf or hard of hearing. I know there's a lot of different descriptions for it, but so that I can you know… if you read lips and you can actually see me I'm transcribing it on a blog so they can read it and I'm working on adding closed caption you're looking at me right now or if you're not looking at me. I just finished an assignment. I'm taken American Sign Language and I'm not very good at it I can tell you because even when I had my hearing, and I you know… I'm left handed and I'm dyslexic. Well I can assure you that being left handed dyslexic I have the same problems with American Sign Language finger spelling.. so I get my fingers all mixed up, and you know everything looks backwards today because it's left handed.

It’s been another struggle and I'm going slow but I'm taking a profile you know, I'm taking a real class at the local junior college and online, and you have to wear your hair up, and have a white background with a solid shirt. So if you're looking at me through my app, and I normally don't wear my hair, I'll wear my hair…I got something in my eye sorry… so it's like clipped to the back me so I'm I just got off doing my video so this is my background setting (which is my topic for my next podcast, which is noise you know how much noise that we tolerate in the world that just it's not pleasant)

I miss music and laughter and nature but I don't miss a lot of things… so, but back that time you know. What if being truly present means you know all of me, and I was talking to my coach about it… and she helped me to frame it in such a way that I can understand, has so it's like my internal team huddle, you know… like in a game where everybody comes around so you got my mind you've got my body got my heart got my cell we all do this like team model. And you know in that moment we're all in the same time we're all on the same focus you know, we have what's next what's the next right thing that we need to do to move this forward and you know, what a beautiful thing that is.

So. I'm just having this really strange… I feel like I'm both, I can relate to both the tortoise and the hare and Aesop's fable. There's so many versions and so many variations of the meaning of behind that it's fascinating to study. But so if but if you can just think you know, I'm challenging, I'm encouraging you to be curious, and see what does being present in the in the moment time from a time perspective mean to you? You know, for me, it's just you know, I just being at peace with a pace that I'm going, knowing that I'm getting there and it's slower than my mind wants to, but then I don't think it has a lot to say right now. So, I you know, that's, that's always fascinated me because I've always felt like I was out of sync with myself, like, part of me it was in a rush and part of me was slow and part and I was judging myself, you know, either my body was fit and, I didn't have the time because I was working on a project, it was like, there was always something off. And now I can say, you know what, I am going to make time for this. Because, you know, this is important to me, this is my new life, this is something that came into my life and, and, you know, I, I'm just going to walk through this with grace and dignity, like I, like I do when, when I apply when I, after adopting the resolute courage, philosophy for my own life, that I am just going to find the courage to walk through my fears, and my problems with grace and dignity, no matter what.

You know, and, of course, cry and struggle, and I get frustrated, and I mean, I'm human, so I have all of this spectrum of emotions that everyone else does, it's just I'm learning to trust that I'm going at the exact pace I need to, and I think my brain was too far ahead of myself. And my heart is back is too far behind. And you know, so and physically I've been struggling just because a lot of the effects of some of the medication that I was on for treating the Sudden Deafness and but I'm getting there.

So, you know, what does time mean to you? How much how, how different would being in the present moment be to if you add it to the consciousness of time, awareness, to the different to the different speeds within your own life? You know, we all it's like, I felt like I was having a drag race with myself, you know, there's a car that's way out front and another one that's like, you know, it's like Indianapolis 500 out there. I don't know. But anyway, so… “slow still gets you there”. And time is on your side if we choose to, to welcome the challenges that come with thinking ourselves with that, with that within our time constraints. So I hope that made some sense too. And guess that would be episode number two of my podcast, Resolute Courage and just reminding is “slow still gets you there”. So just start, this now trudge along. Anyway, until I see what episode three! Have a beautiful day and thanks for listening

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"Every positive action counts, and when compounded over time... amazing things WILL happen!"  Melanie Jean Burke


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