Friday, September 14, 2007

Q & A From the Heart

Chani of Thailand Gal has given me five questions. This meme has been making the rounds, and I finally found the courage to ask her to interview me.

Here are Chani's questions:

1) I just got off the plane from Thailand and have no idea where to go. I understand and speak fluent English. I am over 50. What do you think it is most important for me to know about San Francisco, something that will make me rave about it when I get home?

I don't know enough about Thai culture to guess what would appeal to Thai tourists, so I will have to fall back on several of San Francisco's attractions that I most enjoy: The Asian Art Museum, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, and a cable car ride.

I would show them the different areas that make this city great and diverse: North Beach, Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, Marina, Pacific Heights, Japantown, Castro and Cow Hollow, and describe the outstanding characteristics of each. I would take them to wonderful restaurants with wondrous views, and to performances of the ballet and symphony. We would visit art museums, of which there are several, and stroll in beautiful parks with gorgeous plantings, lakes, and wildlife. We would walk across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands, and then relax in a charming cafe. And I would photograph them in front of all the famous tourist sites so they would be able to peruse their memories in full color forever.

2) What is the number one principle that governs your life?

Compassion. I am an empath and when I witness suffering, whether human or animal, I feel it to some degree as well. Since I believe that we are all connected energetically, I do not kill creatures of any kind nor purposely hurt other people, for in doing so, I would only be hurting myself.

It is not about selflessness, however. I realized one day that I could not reasonably care less for myself than for others while endorsing such a concept, and I began to treat myself better. It has made life much easier for me, and possibly for others because they know that if I do something for them, it is because I really want to and not because I think I have to.

I consider compassion to be a basic human quality, even though it seems to be displaced increasingly by anger and aggression, which are destructive. If we could practice more compassion as a society, we would all be happier and healthier. When people help each other, they are able to accomplish things that individuals cannot which benefit all. Societies are collapsing around the world because there is not enough compassion among their citizens, many of whom fear that kindness and concern for others are signs of weakness.

Compassion is our birthright. It is time to claim it if we are to continue as a people, and a species.

3) You have mentioned an affinity for Native American culture. What do you think about the concept of soul retrieval?

I don't know much about Native American practice of soul retrieval, but have read some of Sandra Ingerman's and Michael Harner's books on the subject, and it makes sense. I believe that we all have lost or given away parts of ourselves, and that shamanism might be more successful than psychotherapy in their retrieval.

The training courses these people offer are very expensive, though, which makes them unavailable to most of us.

I believe that there are pivotal points in every life, specific events that change the course of our lives and that can be identified with skilled help or our own recollections. Sometimes the latter is not possible, however, because when traumatic events occur, we tend to develop amnesia so that we can physically survive them.

It stands to reason that a pivotal point might involve the loss of parts of our souls, our self-esteem, our joy, our trust, our ability to learn.

Perhaps the common feeling that something is missing relates to parts of ourselves that we have lost. Often, we try to find in others what we sense missing in ourselves, but this is never successful because no one else can provide our own missing parts. Furthermore, the responsibility they are expected to assume can put too much strain on a relationship and cause it to fail.

4) Presuming there is a God with individual consciousness (not addressing whether or not that exists), what would be the question you would most like to ask?

Why am I here? What lessons did I come to learn, and how can I best learn them? What is my purpose, my place in the grand scheme of things? Was I born simply to be a link in the chain of humanity that produced my children, or is there something more that I am meant to do with my time on earth?

5) What do you think would be the answer?

"You are here, like everyone, to perfect yourself, to become your very best self, to utilize your particular gifts of spirit, of genetics, of experience, to make a difference to others as only you are able to do. You and everyone else on this planet are uniquely talented in certain areas. Your mission in life is to discover what they are and to use them to the best of your abilities.

One of your greatest gifts is to relate to many different kinds of people, to find a common ground and to engage their hearts. You are a force for unity. You have sought unity among people your whole life, and have tried to become a bridge that connects people. Writing is one of the ways in which you express that part of yourself, and when you are better at this, you will be able to channel my intentions for all you meet: That they behave as one people regardless of small differences like color, religion, nationality, status, intelligence, economic level, all the things that presently divide people but which do not matter to me. You are meant to be a force for good.

I have been very patient with you because I love you and all your fellow humans. I have not given up on your species yet. Do not disappoint me.

I do not need or desire to see people holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" to show me how sincere they are. I am not convinced by such performances, no matter how prettily they sing and dance. What I want to see is genuine respect, understanding and kindness among mankind. I want to see all the artificial boundaries that have been erected to create feelings of superiority eliminated. I want the people I made to begin to really see one another, and to recognize the great beauty of my handiwork.

I want an end to war, both wars among nations and wars among individuals. I want the riches of this planet divided more evenly. I want to see love and kindness in all human interactions and less aggressive driving in San Francisco.

Remember that I created you, and I can destroy you whenever I choose. Armageddon is nothing to me. Don't make me get ugly."

Interview rules:

1. If you would like to participate, leave me a comment saying "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. Update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.

4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you ask them five questions.

If you request questions from me, please give me a few days so that I can personalize them.


Jocelyn said...

Terrific questions--and answers, naturally.

You make me want to revisit San Francisco as a tourist, just to have you take me around!

And I like that you can come up with an answer to some of life' most-difficult questions.

thailandchani said...

Awesome! I loved those answers! Really... especially those last two. Those were hard ones, I know. :)



heartinsanfrancisco said...


Come any time. You don't even have to be Thai.

I knew that questions from Chani would be interesting, and she also made them challenging.


Thank you! I had the most trouble with the first one. You will have to instruct me in what Thai tourists would most enjoy here.

The CEO said...

I'm also ready to go visit San Francisco. I would appeal to you to please ask for a reduction in aggressive driving wherever I am, it seems to be in the MD/DC/VA area constantly lately.

You answer those question better than I could. I'm very impressed.

seventh sister said...

I have experienced a soul retrieval and it continues to affect me in a positive way even though it was about a year ago. I highly recommend it. You are right that the training can be expensive. I can recommend a book by Llyn Roberts called 'The Good Remembering'. It is not a guide to soul retrieval but it will have a positive effect ono you if your are open to that kind of energy.

Very interesting questions and answers.

Voyager said...

I love your answer to number five. Perfect.

Lex said...

This was awesome. Please interview me, Heart.

I love your "God voice" complete with a sense of humor.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thy will be done. Better driving in every city.


I would like to hear more about your experience as I have always wanted to undergo a soul retrieval.

I have made a note of the book you suggest and will get it. Thank you, J.


It's fun speaking for God. Maybe I could be the next Oracle of Delphi.


You think the driving in this city is funny? I do not, and what is more, God does not.

I would love to ask you five questions, and already look forward to your answers.

Sienna said...

This is amazing, great questions and I love the answers, sincerely deeply and heartfelt...

I would have so struggled with this, the feeling of actually expressing what's in your heart and mind can be so turbulent and as big as the sea. Sometimes you think you've caught the wave and gunna ride it and you get slam dunked by the next big mother and lose all perspective.

I just love you Hearts. How is it San Francisco has such beautiful people?

I so agree on compassion, when *it just is* all the rest can be organised...this guy (Albert Einstein) says it far better than me....and you have just reminded me with your words;

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. (Albert Einstein)

I knew it, I knew it, God is a woman.



Sienna said...

I only meant one Pam know that I hope.

Sometimes I get a little too excited and click without checking. :)


Ian Lidster said...

I can't think of anybody I'd rather have interview me, so please do! Found your respopnses intriguing and am now going to reread them.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pam,aka PamPam - (two of you would be too much to hope for when one is so amazing,)

Thank you for always expressing such beautiful thoughts, and for the Albert Einstein quote. He is one of my greatest heroes, even more for his humanity and sense of humor than for his phenomenal intelligence.

Of course God is a woman. Was there ever any doubt?


I would be honored and delighted to interview you. This will take some thought, however. Coming soon to a computer near you...

Molly said...

Great reading. Loved your answers, esp your God voice!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


God is well aware of the driving situation in this city because every time I go out, I say "Omigod,did you see that?" about a hundred times, and sometimes I invoke the names of Her relatives.

The Laughorist said...

Good answers, esp. on compassion --and as an SF Giants fan since they moved to SF, we really need compassion on ourselves :).

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I think you mean pity, not compassion.

Anonymous said...

Great questions and answers. I miss SF. Your compassion comes out in your writing and the topics you choose to write about.

EsLocura said...

it is always absolutely lovely to read your posts. Those were difficult questions and the answers were scrumptious. You are beautiful. If you have the time I'll answer some questions because I love a challenge.

Franki said...


I vote for you for blogger I would most like to meet.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Chani produced amazing questions. They really made me think, after I finished groaning.


It will be my pleasure to offer five questions to you, and to read your answers.


Oh, my. Thank you!

I'd love to come to your holiday dinner, but one of the ingredients in your mac & cheese recipe is a real turnoff.

the walking man said...

I liked some of your answers hearts, others I just said ok because you forgot to mention Berkley...but if you're of a mind I will rise to challenge and ask you to interview me. I want to answer more than just the usual what did you have for lunch today (nothing) questions and I do believe that you could possibly pull them out of your hat.



heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm sure I can come up with questions for you and will try to keep your requirements in mind, although I would very much like to know what you ate for lunch.

I didn't mention Berkeley because it is not part of San Francisco, although both are in the Bay Area. The Napa Valley was "slighted" for the same reason.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I can't find your email address on your blog to send your five questions to. Please write to me at mine and I will respond with the questions.


furiousBall said...

What kind of an accent does God have? I think it would be really weird if it was a warbly high pitched Boston accent. I would have so much trouble concentrating on his message, because I'd be chuckling at the way he or she spoke.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


In this instance, God sounds quite a lot like me. I am accentless, despite having grown up on Long Island.

Melanie said...

ah the wisdoms of the bloggers i read.

thanks for doing that you two! great questions and answers.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am with the group here, as I so often am. Your answers were perfect, the way you responded just ideal.

Your intellect, your wit, your incredibly good sense, your compassion and just heart. I am convinced that I would like a god like you -- or perhaps I already have a god like that.

Beautiful, good Heart.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You set this in motion by giving questions to Chani, so thank you for that.


For starters, I brought back vowels. My name just looks better with them.

I'm having a lot of trouble with the salt pillars, but the smiting is actually easier than you would think.

MsLittlePea said...

I'm not surprised Chani had some good questions-she never fails to get me thinking. My favorite was the 5th one. It really turn the 4th question on it's head and I loved your answer.

I lived in San Jose for a few months in 1997-98 so we got to know San Francisco a little. I LOVE San Fransisco. It's definitely a big city this small town girl would be happy in.

Feel free to count me in...I can't promise my answers will be as good :O)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sweet Pea,

Done. Your answers will be wonderful because you are!

It's funny about San Francisco being called a big city. The longer I live here, the smaller it gets. Nothing within the city is more than a few miles away, seven miles, tops.

And I would love to be near your beautiful beaches, especially the fairly private one with shark's teeth.

riseoutofme said...

Great questions and answers!

Particularly no.5 ...

I do like your God voice.

Kevin Charnas said...

You frickin' rock, honestly. You're my sister from another mister.

I'm not surprised by your answers though. I had a feeling...
And with each answer, I was like, "Yes, Yes, Yes! Yes!! YES!!!"

And now I need a cig.

Hey, I haven't forgotten about that meme, I've just been lazy, I'm sorry. I'll pick up the pace though. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


There seems to be a wee problem now -- I want to be God.


I would be absolutely delighted to be your sister.

And I forgot about the meme. It's not a sacred obligation. Do it if you feel moved to and have the time, or don't. Pressure defeats the reason we blog, which is mainly FUN.


WNG said...

(Deep breath in...) Interview Me (whoosh of air out...)

Open Grove Claudia said...

How fun! I've been to a soul retrieval. They are really interesting experiences AND you can always intern/apprentice with a person who studies shamanism. So if you interested, check around.

I like being interviewed!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'd love to! (Breathe.) I promise not to bite you.


I wish you would write a post about that experience as I'd love to read it. I have many books on shamanism, but some things have to be taught in person.

Is that a general statement, or would you like me to send you questions?

the walking man said...

Thank You Ma'am for your questions they allowed me to articulate a few things i had never been able to put words to before. It was great and I thank you again.

I have a volunteer BE now whom I have to figure out some questions for but it will be hard because we have been sharing cyberspace for a few years now and she is in Sweden. But it is half the challenge isn't it probing but not to hard.



la cubana gringa said...

If I were to stand before god to ask a question, I'd probably instinctively ask why the hell he made my butt so big. So...bravo on coming up with a more meaningful question to ask him. :)

urban-urchin said...

Wow- those are some pretty heavy duty questions! And very honest answers, nicely done!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers to my questions. Thank you for being such a good sport!

La Cubana,

What could possibly be more meaningful than the size of ones butt?


Chani hits it out of the park every time.

Thank you.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I'll think about posting on shamanism and soul retrieval - I have a lot to say about it.

Otherwise, I'd love a list of questions - can you send it to:

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I hope you will post something about this topic, which interests me greatly.

I look forward to reading your answers to my questions.

katrice said...

You are one the best people I have ever "met".

Sorry I've been away so long. I've missed you!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That is a huge compliment, coming from you.

I'm so glad you're back because I've missed you, too.

Odat said...

Wow..what great answers to some difficult questions...thanks for sharing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I really enjoyed answering these questions.