Marla Hughes has worked with children her entire life in a number of different capacities. At the transplant unit of UCSF Hospital in San Francisco she taught children about exercise, nutrition and relaxation. She worked with Dr. Gerald Jampolsky at the Center for Attitudinal Healing, using art and music therapy to help young children who had life threatening diseases or who had a parent or loved one who was severely ill. Her podcast, Interviews with Innocence (interviewswithinnocence.com), features experts in the fields of science and metaphysics who focus on children and spirituality. Marla is the founder of the Ethiopian Family Fund (ethiopianfamilyfund.org), a nonprofit dedicated to developing sustainable education and healthcare for Ethiopian children and their families.
According to Marla, “My greatest teachers have been my children. I have never experienced a love that deep or profound.” She recently finished her first children's book, Love Magic which is what we will be talking about today.
I'm excited to announce a new resource I'm very proud of. This guide outlines the four daily practices I discovered on my grief journey. These techniques have helped dozens of my clients. Get it free today.
GEMS- 4 Steps To Go From Grief To Joy
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Now that you're here at Grief 2 Growth, I'd like to ask you to do three things. The first thing is to make sure that you like click Notifications, and subscribe to make sure you get updates for my YouTube channel. Also, if you'd like to support me financially, you can support me through my tip jar at grief to growth, calm, it's grief, the number two growth.com/tip jar or look for tip jar at the very top of the page, or buy me a coffee at the very bottom of the page and you can make a small financial contribution. The third thing I'd like to ask is to make sure you share this with a friend through all your social media, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. Thanks for being here. Close your eyes and imagineMarla Hughes:
I've always been very childlike, myself. And it just kind of was just the way I am and children and, and dogs. That's my that's my passion. So anyway, as you mentioned, in my bio, you know, I worked with kids quite a bit in my career, and I just so love their innocence, their wonder things. They're finding awe every day, just living in the present. And a big part of my the reason for also starting this podcast am writing this book. It's not just for children. Well, it is, but it's for all of us. It's also for our inner child to try to live, you know, more present. And just remember so anyway, I'll just start started the very beginning. So I have three children and husband into two Labradoodles. And we just had this beautiful and we still do beautiful family. The kids were my twins and the dean was one year older. So it was kind of like we had a little preschool at the preschool to house. And we just traveled a lot. And we just had such amazing experiences. I mean, sometimes I just think to myself how you know, I'm just so blessed. I just can't believe how just beautiful this is. And I know you feel you feel the same way about your family. And a little over four years ago, tragically, my 19 year old son Dean transitioned and it just broke. broke our worlds open, because we were just so close and even if you aren't Closer, make sure you know bridge your world open ampia sure also, always soulfully close, but as you I just really didn't know what to do. So I went really down the path of trying to find out what, you know, where did he go, what happens after, you know, someone transitions and I had never I always kind of thought I was spiritual, you know, I was a yogi and but now I know that I really wasn't in the sense of really exploring all the different avenues of spirituality. And a couple of things happened as I was beginning my journey. And one of those was that my girlfriend who's very clairvoyant wrote me one night, she called me later to tell me about this, but one night, Diem came to her. And she had went into a play room and written down channeled what he had said, and even in that letter, he talked about, you know, his his life when this learning his learning on this earthly realm was complete, and that it was time for him to move on. And, and I have a lot of letters transcribed from, from her and from other some other mediums, but he also, well, I'll just read just a real little, little bit of what he said, If you don't mind. You and dad are cherished and divine gift to me. My soul, however, has a bigger job to do. I was on earth at that time to experience the distorting of the love that I lived and the love that I saw in the world. And I am here now to bridge these worlds, to bring forth the words the songs, the quotes, the mantras, the little reminders that lead us back to the childlike state of truth and love. Simply put, I am here in your world and mind to put back into people's minds and hearts, so as to allow authentic, loving experiences, through playful joyful ways to drop back into authentic, pure honest, simply put, love. So as we move forward, Mama, please, let me tell you hear me, I am grateful for you and your loving mothering. And I am here where I'm supposed to be to do my life's plan and purpose. And that is to be a reminder of the pure and simple love. Without it, meaning has, life has no meaning. So let's begin our new adventure here. My word here my songs, hear my voice, bring it through to all those who need it. Be a mother to the world. Only your heart can possibly hold this message and share this love. Do it for me, Mom, please. I love you in only the way you and I would understand. I know you know what that means? I have your heart as you always have mind. I love you. You're Tino. So brings tears to my eyes. And so this was just a couple of weeks after everything happened. And I was talking to my girlfriend and I was telling you about how I had a dream about D. And she said, Well, I have something to share with you that I wanted to make sure it was the right time. And so I'll never forget I was walking the dogs, I just sat down on the curb and said please read it to me and just broke into tears. But it was kind of as confusing. As for my list of Put Your listeners who have a final Lot had to have, you know, have loved ones transition because all this stuff is so new to you. And you want it to be true so badly. But you just don't know what to do with it. So you just hold on, you just hold on tight. And Dean was this just fun loving? It's, I used to say to people, it's just so weird. He's just so happy all the time. And even with his anyway, he was just, you know, one, one of those kids. And so moving forward, I decided to explore a little bit in just a few of my experiences my first experience with they don't call themselves mediums, but I have a good girlfriend here in Colorado. And she said I have friends or a couple that help people talk to those who have transitioned and I'm wondering, I was wondering if you might be interested. She said I'm not sure if dean will come through. She knows new dean very well, because we traveled as you mentioned, I work in Ethiopia. And she had been there with us and we've done a lot of traveling together. And so in I was like yes, absolutely. So it ends up this guy and I can't I'm not allowed to use his name but he is this very well. Known scientist who's worked with Francis Crick and Edward Lewis, who were both founder, co founders of DNA. And, and he and his wife had had, I think it was a granddaughter who had transitioned and they went to someone who's who helped them, who did a medium ship reading for them. And they were just so taken aback by like, how does this work? How do they do this? And so they decided to start trying. And even though I know some people don't like the idea of using a board, they don't call the wiki board, but that's their vessel to get the message through. And I was just so impressed. Because being, you know, from sort of sort of a science, scientific background, you know, in western civilization, that's what you want, you want to prove, right, right. And knowing that he was this renowned scientist, and was, you know, dipping is not only dipping his toes, they help people, but just family and friends or prints of family, yeah, family and friends, and do it out of the kindness of their hearts. And they just brought through these amazing messages. And that's when I said, I've got to like, really start exploring this. So as I did, I really dove into near death experiences I went to, went to the UK for mediumship workshops, and physical seances and just just all Iowa, you know, plant medicine, just all kinds of different things. And I must say that in all my journeys over the fourth year, four years, I now know that from my heart for my heart, I there is a knowing that you know that this life is eternal life, I do consider that such a gift to know that. So I kept getting all these signs for Dean, and I'll just I'll tell you a couple of those, because it's so important just to be aware, and just, you know, and this is part of getting being quiet and present. And he had, we had gone to Ethiopia, and he was kind of a long story. I'm not going to get into it. But he or children did this. They they weren't really theater kids. But this is like a bike cultural program that kind of traveled. It was based out of Colorado. And so when you would go to different countries and work with the school there, and they would put on show, and it was usually folklore about the country. And this was fire on the mountain and Dean was only 11 years old. And they dressed him up, like, um, he was Bob Marley. And he sang Three Little Birds, which is, you know, everything's gonna be all right. And so a few years, not a few years, I'm sorry, about probably three or four weeks after after Dean transition. My girlfriend called me and she didn't know we had gone to Ethiopia, because we had kind of gone our separate ways as we were raising kids and, and she said, it was so weird in Kenya last night, oh, I do love to the monkeys and Ethiopia. He was always feeding them and your monkeys everywhere. It was a little village called one dopa net. And she said he was like swinging from tree to tree like, it was almost like a monkey. And he was saying something like, it's going to be alright, it's going to be alright. And so that was such a that, you know, that was such a huge sign knowing that she didn't know anything about about us going to Ethiopia. Another beautiful sign I received was from a medium when she told me that there was something about Gene and I said, GE and I really don't know, you know anything about that? or know someone named that? And she said no, no, it's not it's like jeans G and E and chromosomes and and that he's thanking you for for bringing him into this life and so that he could fulfill this purpose. And no one knew this not even my in laws, or my parents that we had an irregular amnio with, with Dean and we had to make the decision on whether we met with a geneticist and it wasn't a hard decision for us but we you know, had to meet with a geneticist and make a decision whether we were going to bring him into this world or not. So just millions of them you've gotten millions of them tonight. I know a lot of your a lot of your guests have talked about signs and and In an interview that we did before, I think I told even more of those as somebody wants to listen to that. But the whole, just the children, part of it came, just came back kept coming back to me in little simple ways. And one day I said to my daughter, I asked her if you do think they grew up, I'm Christian, well, I'm spiritual. But my husband's Jewish, so they had a bar and Bar Mitzvah, but there was never any, you know, they didn't know anything about they never talked about the afterlife or death or anything like that, which I think many legends don't. And I said, Do you think it just would have been a little bit easier, of course, you still have degree but if you would have just been raised, you know, knowing that life is eternal and having you know, a caregiver, encourage you to talk about your memories as a young child or because we hear so many young children talking about past lives and about choosing parents. And you look at em Stevenson's when University of Virginia, they're, they're just doing all sorts of things, examine these stories from children. And she said, You know, I really think it would have, and I'll never forget that and that just kind of, you know, finally lit me totally on the fire. So I decided I was going to write a book. And I was going to gather stories like Wayne Dyer, I was going to continue his work because he wrote a beautiful book called Memories of heaven. And I suggest that that people run out and get that. And it's a compilation of stories from parents all over the world, telling about what their 234 year olds have said. And it's all across the board from like I said, choosing parents to reincarnation, meeting loved ones in heaven before they come here that they would have never known and, and this and that. But I didn't have any body to my world. And still a big I don't know about you, Brian. But still, my world doesn't encompass people that talk about this. I mean, thank goodness, we have each other and our podcast and all the beautiful people we meet, but I so I really didn't have a circle to even start gathering stories. And so I thought, Well, I'll start a podcast I called Sandra Champlain. And she was kind enough to email me back, I emailed her and I just started and I decided I really wanted to focus on celebrating the wisdom that children bring into our lives and also our, you know, our inner childlike self, and to open up the door for caretakers and parents to really recognize that we and we do know this, but we're the leaders in this actually my book, which I'll hold up right here it is called Love, magic. And this is on my daughter on the front. Currently, she has crazy wild hair, or she did when she was little, and Cosmo, that's our puppy. He's laying on the bed right behind me. It also is about pop pop, my father in law that we're all very close to that, that pass. It's all about signs and synchronicities and rituals and being present. And so anyway, to get back to my briefly before I wrote the book, back to my podcast, I just decided that I would begin it. And I was very fortunate to meet Raymond Moody, in the very beginning of my podcast, and we became very good friends. And so I've been so honored to interview you know, a lot of people and it's interesting because everyone I talked to, there's always something about the importance of children, understanding that life is eternal, and that there's something bigger, something bigger in this world. And I truly believe I have a little list of what ifs. And I truly believe that if parents understood and knew with all their hearts, that our souls are eternal that we live before this earthly existence, and we will continue to live forever after after we leave this earthly world. And we are on this earth to learn lessons and be the best we can be. I think if a child losing a pet would have child sad as they may be trusted that their pet was going to another world another dimension just unhealthy, beautiful. place where there would only be loved peace and acceptance. And they would absolutely be reunited with their pet when the time came. And if heaven was redefined for children, knowing that it was very much like the earthly realm, but you know, once again with love and, and that the world would change forever, not just because they would know that their loved ones are not gone. I mean, that it could just be because about us, that's plenty. But also, our children are going through so much in everyone. You know, most people do. There's a lot of you know, I don't want to talk about trauma, but what goes on in childhood. And I really believe that teaching our children this through ritual ceremonies, once again, learning about signs and synchronicities that they develop an inner strength that helps them navigate this world, and they know how to be quiet, they know how to be present, if we, I interviewed one gentleman, who had worked a lot in bad barley, and he talked about a I think they call it a move get, even though that's what he usually call the tip like structure in a plant medicine. Retreat. But this is for the children, and it was just a place for them. And they knew it was the place where you just go in and you're just quiet. And they're basically, you know, meditating, but they're just being present, and what is one of the most favorite places for the children to go. So that they would learn just like we have everything we've learned, since our children have transition? What a beautiful thing if they learn all of that, not because necessarily, they've had a loved one transition, because it is interweaved into the fabric of their lives. And I just believed this so strongly, and I, as you you know, pure panagora. I always go back to he said, he said on his interview in many others that the only question he was asked, when he had his profound in D, the only question he was asked when he was on the other side was how did you? How did you treat others? So that golden rule of how do you treat others and also within this inner weaving of this fabric, which many talk about, as Bruce Grayson talks about that golden rule that it is not just something nice, we meet up. It really is interweaved into the fabric of the universe. Actually, I think that was, I don't mean to be throwing around names here. But I've just researched a lot. That was Dr. Eben Alexander. And I know you've had all these guys on your podcast so people know who I'm talking about. And I just didn't vision just throughout the day, a child getting up and reminding them or just quietly being present and asking, Who did you help today? The Did you love today? How do you think things, but also within that? That we all struggle, and we all have sad times and we all have grief and we all get angry. But how? I was just talking to a friend about this today how different my life would have been, if that would have been woven into my childhood in all of our childhoods. And within that we as parents, caregivers, people who who really want to take this on, it brings us back to our inner child, it helps us be come more present more reminds us to Who did we love today? Who do we take care of today? How were we present today? And once again, I don't want it to say on Pollyanna, because it's not because this this alive. But I just know it will just change the world. And so with that, I decided I was going to going to write my book. And in the book, it's a little girl named Charlie and she believed the scissor Pop Pop was going to happen. I use that word. You can use whatever word you like. But I use that word simply because that's what I grew up with. I actually really liked the word and grandma helps her to remember when they were dancing in the rain and the smell of waffles and with whipped cream piled on top of strawberries as they sit and close their eyes and, and remembering, you know, fresh baked this and that and all the different things that, that Charlie and pop up love to do together. And the mantra of the book is that pop up always told Charlie, that when I take my big trip, all you need to do is think of me and I won't be there. The most important things in life are not seeing with your eyes that are filled with your heart. And that's what the book is all about. So not to spoil it. But anyway. But then grandma tells Charlie, something really exciting. And that's how those on the other sites send us signs and pop up. I know having birds is it's a sign for seems a lot of people but Pop Pop did love hummingbirds. And so she sent her a walk one day with Cosmo and she runs into this, you know, Cosmo run gets, starts running after a rabbit and she loses control and all of a sudden she falls in her knees and the happy tear drops down and there's a there's a hummingbird there. And she tells Cosmo all about what the hummingbird means. And earlier in the book, grandma asked her if she believed and Charlie says, I think so. But Grandma, how does it work. And so as the story goes, and she sees the hummingbird, you know, at the end, she she knows it's pop up, and she knows it's a beautiful sign that will always be with her and can hear His whistling as she you know, as she runs home with cosmos. So that's, that's what the books about. And I really want to get it out to, you know, family and friends of course, but like helping parents heal and other and but not once again, not just that it's for everybody, because we all get signs and synchronicities from from the universe all the time, you know that very, very well. And so just to open up, you know, the people's hearts, and take a little time each day to really think about your inner child and what you can do to help a child in your life remember? And, and, you know, to those sorts of things.Brian Smith:
Yeah. Yeah, that sounds like a wonderful, wonderful, much needed book. You know, there's several things you touched on there that I'd like to explore a little bit more. You know, you talked about, you know, you were raised Christian, I was raised Christian. But in the church, we kind of talked about the afterlife, we talked about having, but it's usually very general terms we don't talk about, as you said, how does it work? And so we don't really we and it's, so I, my experience has been a lot of people. They say they believe in that, but they don't really Right, right. And then when the rubber hits the road, when we lose a loved one, then we run around asking what happened? Where did they go? And then we really want to know. So, but I think about your book, and I'm thinking I have a niece that was just born a few weeks ago, I'm thinking this would be a great book to give to her mother. But I could see people hesitating, saying, Well, I don't want to teach my child to think about death. Because in our society, it's a bad thing. We don't want to think about it, you know? So that's, I love your idea of like, let's make this a part of life. Let's understand that whole thing.Marla Hughes:
Yeah, I actually had another interview to speak. No, I haven't interviewed her yet. We just had a pre conversation, Julie Ryan, I know she's been on the show yet. But she was talking about how with a child, just asking them, What do you think that flower? What songs to the, to the flowers saying? Or you know, just questions like that, just for them to start using your imagination and to know once again, that there's just something bigger, and something that we can go to when we're feeling sad and but that you know, you need to have the the caregiver and the adult be be present to be with them to teach them because that's, you know, that's where they learn from.Brian Smith:
Yeah, it's interesting, because a few weeks ago, we had it you and I had an email exchange. You talked about the store from the Babylonian times. Yes, I have right here. I had heard from some of my Jewish friends. And so the story for people that don't know there's the angel Leila, who lays her finger across the lips of a child that's coming into the world. And they they forget who they are, where they came from. And as I think about that, I'm like, is that really the way it is? Because I believe that babies, they still remember where they come from you look at babies. So looking around the room, we're like, what are they looking at? And children will tell us things, you know, they view the world as a magical place. They come in like, this place is magical. Anything can happen and then we adults tell them, Well, no, that's just your imagination. That's not the way it works. How do you think that works today? Did they come in and they forgotten? Or what do you think happened?Announcer:
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Oh no. Do you mind if I read that story? Just because it's kind of the bad Babylone? Yeah, just just as more childlike sort of okay. So and then I'll answer your question. Beautiful teaching that in the Babylonian Talmud. According to this medieval Jewish text, the angel Weidler lives in the womb and watches over the embryo until it is time to be born. The angel teaches the unborn child everything there is to know about the mysteries of life and their soul. Lila also places a lighted candle at the head of the unborn infant. So they can see from one end of the universe to the other. Then when the time comes for the child to be born, the angel Lila puts her finger in front of her mouth as if to say and then press is the child's upper lip. So all memories are forgotten. According to the story, the light touch on the child's that leaves a slight indentation above the lip called the philtrum, which we all have, I think, perhaps the angel Lila did not press quite hard enough on some children's books. And this is why some come into this current life was so old memories, how blessed we are to have these children share their wisdom with us. So I just love I just love the story the way it was written there. No, I totally agree with you. I believe that children come in. And they remember everything. They have most of their selves there, and a teeny bit here trying to learn. And you know, the research shows until four or five years old, that these children they see spirit they talk to angels they have many have playmates and visible playmates. And that's another part of all of this that I didn't really address in my book, but I'm reading another book. And what read read Wayne Dyer's book memories have been well, I go wow. And that they do. But we once again as caretakers we need to validate and we need to be curious. And we need to ask questions. And his whole book started with his assistant who had a two year old and she was just you know, gazing at him, you know just how miraculous and adorable this little guy was. And she was just asking herself yourself like, did he come from where did and he looked at? She looked at this little boy and said, you know, Sammy, where did you come from? And he looked up at two years old open his arms and he said, light. And then she asked him what God something about I'm so sorry, I don't know exactly. But then he said something else profound. And she ran in and told Wayne Dyer. He was like, we're gonna ask the world what these little kids are saying. So I definitely believe that and to help them not only remember longer, but celebrate what they do remember, so we can then as they get older, bring that into their learning as they become more earthly if you will. So they still have one foot in and one foot out, you know, without being you know, with being able to live fine here, but you know what I'm saying? So I totally agree with you. They're so close to the source. And that's why my podcast is I say to celebrate the wisdom of the very young girls they have. So I mean, they're much more wiser than we are so much to teach us, but we just need to be quiet and listen.Brian Smith:
Yeah, I completely agree. And I think about my girls, I remember, I think they were about four and seven, cuz they're about three years apart. We were sitting at the kitchen table one day, maybe a little younger. And they were talking about being in habit and choosing us as parents, and everything you say that, and I never heard I know, they did not get that from us. They we had never my wife tried that thought it never even crossed our minds. And I remember talking to my sister in law after Shayna passed, and I know that the Mormons believe in pre existence, why as as a person raised in the church I was raised in I never heard anything about, you know, pre existence, which is something that we're starting to understand, understand now. And I think you and I are similar paths. It's like science and near death experiences and mediums. And all this stuff was kind of telling us that we don't just start existing when we're born, that we actually praise us and our girls are like, oh, yeah, yeah, we remember being in heaven, and choosing you guys. And my daughter Shana. I always said, I'm not afraid of death. She she was just never afraid. And I'm glad we didn't really drum that out of them. Because I think a lot of parents will ignore that. Or we just kind of like we were curious. It's like, so what do you mean? They're like, Oh, yeah, we chose you.Marla Hughes:
Yes, so beautiful. I was in a, I was having a conversation today with a very good friend who's really going down the spiritual, spiritual path kind of reawakening. But she was telling me without telling you what religion it is. But she remembers when she was in second grade. And she had to go into this place and talk about all the stuff she had done wrong. And it broke my heart. Because I mean, I wasn't my, you know, thinking about how I was raised, it was very open, and God was very cool, loving, and all of that sounds like you were the same. But that she just grew up, feeling like she was bad. And she had, she had done bad things. And even if she didn't have something to tell whomever she was supposed to tell, she made things up, because that's the way that the wife was, that's the way the world was. I thought about that for two or three days, I just couldn't do it. Second grade, it broke my heart. And that's, you know, and so it's kind of change. I mean, we're transforming once again, I always go back to, you know, I had to wait till you know, however old to, to know all of this and learn all of this and, and use it for my strength and for my soul. And gosh, if if children know that from the very beginning or validating everything we've talked about, and I do think kids, the millennial, you know, you talk to PMH, I do you think children are coming into this world much more in touch. And curious. I know my twins, especially my, my, Carly, she's, it's, I think they're really coming in wanting to do it better.Brian Smith:
Yeah, no, it's, there's, it's interesting, because a lot of people say that there. And I think it is kind of, it's because we need that the world is so it's the world is so messed up, that the people that are kind of volunteering to come in now are really, soldiers really, you know, volunteering to try to help turn things around, you know, indigo children have her different terms for them, that these children are coming in, you know, kind of remembering and kind of pushing to change things. But as you mentioned earlier, Western society, we're all about scientific. And I use air quotes for that, because science can only measure certain things, and scientists close to so many things. But we wanted about scientific proof. And we think that people that are that are religious or spiritual, they're silly, or they're delusional. You mentioned earlier, you know, this, this idea? Well, maybe this is too good to be true. Because we're a little kids, right? We think everything's possible. And when we have all these great fairy tales, you know, and everything always works out all right, in the end, and then we're told no, that's not the way it is. It's don't don't even think about it. And then we come around to where are you and I are now we realize it is magical. And everything is possible and everything is going to be okay in the end. And then we start to question and that little voice comes in our mind it says, Can I but is that really true?Marla Hughes:
Right, right. Yeah, so so true. Yeah, I've also another path I've taken which they all intermingle so closely, but is is shamanism. And I want to in the future, I want to offer this to caretakers and parents with actual activities that they can do. with their young children, and if you don't mind me just sharing just a little bit about what I'm thinking about you guys, I don't know what you think. But I'm in shamanism, which is the study of indigenous a shaman is, you know, a medicine man from what we would learn, but the wise man, the, and the person who's really in touch with the Spiritual World, as well as the, you know, as the earthly world. And there's something in the medicine wheel, which is kind of the wheel of life. And we can all totally relate to it as you get into it. But there's one part of it, it's called, it's called The Little Red Road, and, or the good red road and roads from north to south. So it's kind of like being physical in this world. So anyway, but it starts with the voice in the heart, and I think of a child and raising them with this kind of always on your mind. So the voice, it's interesting, my teacher puts the voice first I put the heart first people kind of decide which one they want to put first, but I put the heart first. So to me, that means celebrate your feelings, celebrate your child's feelings, the nudges, the imagination, that we really need to listen to that and just kind of blow it off, you know, because, because that's where feelings is really where the voice should come from, from the heart. Because when you are working with the voice, you are speaking your truth. So what is your truth, and then it goes up into creating a sacred space, and what I love about the sacred space, and that we should all once again, think about, and talk to our little ones about because they know how to do it is what is sacred? What is what's sacred to you. And if something is truly sacred, then that's where you should be spending a large amount of your time. And what you honor. So let us all look at that. Let's all look in our hearts about that. We say something sacred, you know, but do we really put our energy there? And we need to think about spending more of our time in those sacred, and nothing's more sacred than our kids, right? I mean, I don't think anyone would disagree with that, or children. Especially if you have children. How much time do we spend with them? How much time do we do these rituals, ceremonies, those. So another thing to think about feeling from your heart, trusting those feelings, then being able to, to voice that from the heart. So this sounds a little bit funny. But like everything that comes from your voice, let it like be an orchestra or a nice piece of music. I mean, obviously, that's not going to always happen. But it coming from the heart and creating that really looking at what is sacred. And and what do you honor in your life? Once again? Where are you putting your you're putting your time putting your energy because with that comes your truth. So what is our truth, and when we really look at these are things that we all really need. Because you really sit down, because we're so caught up in the day to day and so much going on. But what is our truth, because being our truth is about being authentic. And in shamanism, they talk a lot about wearing all these different masks. So you know, you wear the mask, when you're the wife, you you wear a mask, when you're at work, you wear that, you know, you get the whole and taking some at least some of those masks off and being your authentic self. And once again, the children watching every step of the way of how we're doing that, and talking about that. And usually you use stones when you're teaching children, at least I do in terms of just learning a concept and the talking about it for a few days and holding it and and then it's it goes on up to wisdom. And wisdom is in the north and the North is the beginning. You know, and that's where the children begin. So that's where they are, that's where they're the source when they come into this world and then they you know, built around the medicine wheel, but it's to really think about those sorts of things. I know that was just a really quick like recap it bring a ceremony or ritual or something really, you know, not time really time consuming. into a child's life, spend time with them and talk about all those different things on a regular basis. How beautiful is that? For you, as a person doing it for yourself and for them in for them to have? I mean, that's what I call love. Yeah, sort of thing.Brian Smith:
Yeah. And it's, it's, you know, you were talking earlier about your friend with going in to tell everything. And that type of religion that is more the way that I was raised. And as you were talking about, you know, talking to a child about what's sacred, and what's divine, to tell the child themselves, that you are sacred, you're divine, and you come back with them. You know, and, and not to bash on any particular religion. But you know, there are religions that tell us that we are evil, that we that we are that we are bad. And there is an example. And I've told this before, but people who are having hurt, my daughter was in Sunday school, the church we were going to, and they had to do an exercise and that white on one side of the paper, and that black on the other side of the paper. And they said the white represents God, because God is good and pure, and everything in the black represent you because you're, you're a sinner. And that is kind of the that's the message that some children not all, get in our society, you know, not too long after that we took our daughter out of that church, right. But you know, the thing is that this thing you're talking about, it is beautiful. And that's what the indigenous people around the world have known for years. And we in the West are kind of rediscovering and going, Wow, is this really cool? It's like, yeah, we're just kind of coming back around to where we're supposed to be in the first place.Marla Hughes:
And she learning so much from them, and so much wisdom there. Yeah, so important.Brian Smith:
There. It's really interesting. Last night, I was speaking with, with a young woman who has gone through a tough time her mother passed away. And she was like, and we were talking about the like two sides of the same corner, she was raised as a strict atheist. So there is nothing after this, this is all there is blah, blah. And then when her mother passed, it's like, okay, there's got to be something more, and her eyes are being opened up. But then Then, on the other one hand religions telling us not to trust ourselves. But on the other hand, our materialist society is telling us don't trust yourself. Exactly. There's nothing else out there. It's all wishful thinking, to just listen to us accept the reality, that you're an accident, that you're only going to be there for a short time you turn on like a light bulb, and you turn off like a light bulb. And I just as I was speaking with this person, I was like, I just see the damage being done from both sides. And but it was so beautiful, watching her eyes start open up, and she's discovering things and research and listening to nd stories. And like, she was just lighting up as we were talking to have some of theseMarla Hughes:
stories. Yeah, they are just, you listen to so many of them. And they're, they're just irrefutable. And I love listening to the researchers who have interviewed hundreds, if not 1000s of these people. And I don't know about you, but most of them have ended up very teary reliving some of those, even though they themselves have not had near death experience. They're just and and the, and the near death experiences of children and the pictures that they draw, they talk about, wow, I just, I just love this. And I know what I wanted to say something quickly. So I I've asked a few people this on my podcast, but I've said so. This news is so exciting. This is one of the guys who started I'm sure he's not watching my interview. But he he really thought that this knowing that we have now he thought it was going to be come bigger than any religion that's ever been once again, not saying any names. But um, so I was saying, you know, why? Why isn't everybody so excited about this? And one of the answers was, I think people just lost hope. You know, they're just so tired of being hopeful. And then it not being true in our leaders, in our whatever it may be, you know, it just broke my heart that many just aren't hopeful. They just don't want to be hurt again. Now, on the other hand, I think that was at someone's in either spiritually lazy or academically ignorant. It was Mary Neal. Now ignorant is not a bad word. It's just not doing not doing the research and not being interested. Yeah.Brian Smith:
Well, the thing is, you know, I think about this to human nature is because we're, we're biological animals, right? We are, we are evolved to certain thing. Human nature is just like in the animal kingdom, we do what works until it doesn't work anymore. And that's, that's actually efficient, right? Why would we change doing something that because requires effort to change? So why don't we change to something until it doesn't work anymore? So that's what I think. And as I talk to people, there's usually some catalysts that comes along in your life, that kind of snaps you out of this. Until then you're you're Neo in the Matrix, you're going along, you're living a life day to day you're doing the drudgery, but and you don't question them because you don't think there's anything better out there? And you don't question until something comes along and says, okay, there must be something better. And, and I blame, I blame our society. For a lot of it. As you said, there is that disappointment in the leaders. There's disappointment in religion, people grew up in a church. And they're told these things, and they're told to believe these things, literally. And they get to be adults. And there's so they're told Santa Claus isn't real. And they say, Well, if Santa Claus is not real than this, not bit must not be real, either. So I'm just done with the whole thing. Exactly. And so, you know, I've talked to people who are hardcore atheists, who they come to atheists, I will call them materialists. Whether it's like, there's nothing other than what I can see in front of my eyes. And then, like, as you were saying earlier, once we get caught on to this, they come in, and they're so excited, like, there's so much out there, this is going to change the world. And I'm like, I wish and I hope, and that's my mission. And that's why I do what I do. But this has been out there for a lot, you know, for us, we're just happened to come across it now. And through the power of the internet, you know, which allows us to share these stories and being community and people like you and I can talk to people who are like us, because otherwise we wouldn't we feel isolated. So now we feel more emboldened to go out and tell people, our experiences, you know, if you've had a near death experience, you've had a sign like I've had, like the ones that you've had that have been pretty much miraculous, and undeniable. So some people say we're turning the corner, I hope it's true. I really do. And I'm doing everything I can to make sure that we doMarla Hughes:
you're doing such an amazing job. I just love listening to your, all your different interview interviews, you know, I really think that there is a transformation happening. I think that things have gotten so it's just something's got to change. And you're right. It's kind of like this is sort of new to me. And well, it's very new, to be quite honest. I mean, we're almost five years. And it's been around for a long time. But I've just interviewed some people who've, as you have been down this road for a long, long, long, long time. And they really think it's different than I tell you, I think it's different. Because science is believing it. I mean, not the materialists, of course. But so many. That's why I love listening to these doctors and PhDs and these hardcore materialist who had these experiences, and it has transformed their lives. And now with all of the brain scans, and all of the oh my gosh, all the different things that they're doing. I do think that it's, it's changing, I hope and it will never be, we will always have duality are always going to have that. That's why we're here to learn those lessons. But I'm like you I have, I have hope. And I just I just want to plant a seed, you know, be a little bit of a messenger and help all those millennials really get it out there.Brian Smith:
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I, I've tried to be realistic and skeptical and but remain optimistic at the same time. So when I hear about the shift, and then some people say, what's going to happen overnight, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna move into the fifth dimension. It's gonna happen on December 21. And I heard about the rapture when I was growing up, too. And so I'm not I'm not, I don't think there's gonna be a rapid shift like that. But on the other hand, I look at evolution, you know, and so evolution, we think it's what's this natural, slow, steady state from this state to this state. But that's not how evolution works. It's actually what the called punctuated equilibrium. So things go along the same for a while, and then something happens and there's a major shift, right? And I think I was so where I'm agreeing with what you're saying is, when things get so bad that we get this way is not working anymore. That's when we change So when we look around the world, and we look what's going on with politics, and we look at what's going on with the economy, and we look at what's going on right now with health care with COVID, and stuff, climate, and climate, you know, so that's when people shift. It's like when we, when we feel like we have to win this way isn't working anymore. And, you know, the saying it's always darkest before the dawn is absolutely true. We, that's how humans are built. And I've heard people say, Why did I have to go through this painful thing to make this shift? Why did my child have to transition? Why did my mother have to transition? Why did I have to, you know, be in an accident or get cancer. And I'm like, that's, that's human nature. That's, that's not a bad thing. That's how we are, that's how we're built. And then we need these things to kind of to wake us up,Marla Hughes:
I believe, or I haven't knowing that. Yet, we do plan this life before we come here, and we plan the lessons that we want, want to learn. And as difficult as that is for people to accept, it's really in my opinion. There can't be the whole universe is so symmetrical, in terms of I'm not talking about humans, but in terms of nature, and just all of its so there's an order, there's an order, how can the human life be random? It can't, there is no room for rent. And if it is random, what's the point? What's the what's the point? You know, there are a couple of really good interviews out about that, but that we do plan our lessons and that we do have a time when we there are two things that are set for sure is when we come into this earth, I'm only served and there may be a few different exit points, or scenarios for when we do leave this earth but I I believe that with all my heart, and I just don't believe that there's rammed in randomness. And as many as to have said, after the had a profound near death experience that, as hard as this is to hear, but beauty comes from everything.Brian Smith:
Interesting thing about the universe being random, you know, if you look at, look at nature, look at the diversity of nature, you look at the human body, which I'm just fascinated that we function at all, because the body is so complex. So on the one hand, it appears to be random. But on the other hand, there are these self organizing principles that allow this life to come together. And there's a guy I read many years ago, because he said I was I was a fundamentalist Christian at one time. So I start reading a book by Christians to try to get myself out of that. And the guy's name was I think it's Hugo Ross. And he was a cosmic, what do you call the guys to doMarla Hughes:
cosmology? Because monologist, I think, yeah, so he was writingBrian Smith:
about the chances of life existing on Earth, and are fine or in the universal, and how fine tuned it had to be. And if this one constant was off by this amount, that life wouldn't exist. And you add up all these constants together that are precisely tuned. And there's a theory that says that, you know, universe was tuned for life, you know, it's like, there's no thing. How can that be a watch, if there wasn't a watchmaker? If you're walking along the beach, and you find a watch, you assume someone made that watch, you don't assume that random forces brought it together? So there is something fascinating about the way the universe does self organized. And then when we started getting into quantum physics and quantum mechanics, you know, that blew scientists mind because they're like, well, we don't know what consciousness is, there's probably no such thing. It's probably just an illusion. And then I said, Well, wait a minute. For us this experiment, if we observe it, it acts this way. If we don't observe it, it acts that way. So not only does it prove there's consciousness, but consciousness has an impact on the material, and then no one understands how that works. SoMarla Hughes:
I think I think another really important area of study is psychedelics. I've been I've been researching a lot about psychedelics, because I think they're going to change the world. And I didn't know if I think it's cool that I talked about this, but there's a documentary called fabulous fungi. And it's, I mean, it's just plants. It's just plants. But the research that's going on at Johns Hopkins and University of Penn, I'm not talking about psychedelics that you people used to. I never did that. But I did other. You know, this is not a rock and roll thing. But the way helping veterans with PTSD, the anxiety, the stress, the pharmaceuticals, the drugs, that something that can help a person really transform. And in any way the research is just that's coming out right now is just so promising. And I think there's a reason, you know, once again, I just trust that there's a reason all these indie stories are just other than just the internet and all these I hate to say credible people, because I think everyone who has everyone is is credible in their own right. But that you know, the decisions this and that, and all of this research are not only psychedelics, but on meditative practice and Holotropic breathing on how we can get back to that source. I guess that's my point, back to that inner child back to that spiritual, that invisible that our materialistic, you know, minds just can't go to, but there seems to be this universal force is bringing all of these things. And that's just kind of nudging us, you know, nudging us along, so I have a lot of and the meditate in everyone meditating so much down all of that. So I have a lot of hope there too.Brian Smith:
Yeah, I do. And I and it's interesting to see for me, as a as a scientist, chemical engineers, my background, right? So I was I wanted to know, like, what's the answer? How does this work? Right? So that I was a child, I used to take things apart. And it's great because I did I have studied religion, I've studied philosophy, and now science to kind of come into some of the same conclusions for and it's like, you're coming from two different directions to the same conclusion. And I hopefully, and I stopped starting to see this a little bit where they're not fighting each other, where they say religion is a separate field of study. For our consciousness, I would like to say your spirituality is a separate field of study from the physical. These are two branches of the same thing. These are two sides of the same coin. And a thing I say to people, I hate the word supernatural. I don't believe in the supernatural. I believe everything is natural. There's some things that we don't understand. And we call a supernatural. So you know, radio waves a few years ago would have been supernatural. Bluetooth technology on my phone would have been considered supernatural. Someone said, you could have a wireless network, between your phone and your in your headphones, you would say that's crazy. There's no such thing. The first guy that discovered germs, and he said, Let's wash our hands before we do surgery, I think he ended up in a mental institution, because they're like, this is not possible. They're no little invisible things called germs guy. So a spiritual people, right now they're looking as saying, because science says, we don't know how that works. We don't know what consciousness is, we don't know where it is, we can't cut you open and find it in the body. So therefore, it must not exist. Or if it is there, that it must be have risen out of the body. So when the body dies, it stops. It's stopped. So that's their mindset. So they say, You're crazy, if you believe anything else. But all this evidence is coming out now proving they're wrong. Because isn't itMarla Hughes:
interesting that I remember a very well known scientist, that is not a materialist anymore. He said that not understanding something. That is why we have science. That's to take the things that we don't understand, and figure it out and do all this research and do all of this. And but that's, that's not what that's not what is happening in the materialist world. But I think, you know, what I I don't someone said that there was a study done and 50% plus of physicians now really do believe that there is a continuity of consciousness that well, maybe not continuity, but it is separate from the brain. So and it was a reputable source. So it's even though numbers I'm always a little bit hesitant about that. SoBrian Smith:
I will say yeah, I think they're getting there and as more get there, it gives permission people other people permission to get there and and there is some study some scientific study now consciousness. And to be fair to the scientist, you know, it's easier to study how electrons work than now consciousness work, because you can't set up an experiment in the lab. And that's one thing about consciousness, especially like with near death experiences, for example, you can't experiment with that, you know, you can study the data, but you can't bring somebody in and kill them and see what happens to them. So we're finding now our as our instruments get better, and as we our experiments get better. And everybody refers to the double slit experiment, but now that we have that technology, and we could do that, because there was a debate for many, many years is light a particle or is by the wave. And because obviously it can't be both, but it actually He is, and it changes depending on on how you look at it. And that's a very, it's a mind blowing thing. But that's been proven time and time again, through, you know, various experiments and also showing that consciousness can work backwards in time, which really freaks people out, right?Marla Hughes:
Oh, I find it interesting too. Is it William William Schaffner that just who just went to the moon,Brian Smith:
now we're warming up in space? Yeah,Marla Hughes:
yeah. Yeah. And listening to him. And I can't remember which astronaut you probably know, that went into space, and then came back and started the Institute of Noetic. Sciences. Yes. That they they do these things, which are also going to becoming much more prominent before we know it. And they just cry when they talk about it, because they just know that there's so much more so much, you know, and that's pretty exciting, too.Brian Smith:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, while we're, we're getting to the end of our time, I can talk to you all day. Looking at the clock, it's like we should probably wrap up. I really appreciate having you here. Really enjoy the conversation. Tell people where they can reach you how they find out more about you.Marla Hughes:
Yes, going on my website interviews with innocence.com. And you can email me through the website, or at Marla Hughes 116 at gmail.com. And, yeah, my book is called love magic. And it's on Amazon. And you probably need to put by Morley Hughes because it just went out. So he GHGs. And it's pretty easy. It's pretty easy to find. SoBrian Smith:
yeah, the book looks beautiful. I think it'd be a great gift to give to someone with children and to start to introduce, introduce these concepts that they already know. But to keep them from losing these concepts as they get older to say, Hey, it's okay to think this way. I love it.Marla Hughes:
Well, thank you. I'm pretty excited about it. Yeah, Marla, it'sBrian Smith:
been great having you here.Marla Hughes:
Thank you so much, Brian. It's been an honor and happy late Thanksgiving. Get a good one. Okay, you too. Bye.Brian Smith:
Don't forget to like, hit that big red subscribe button and click the notify Bell. Thanks for being here.
Shining Light Parent | Podcast Host
Marla Hughes has worked with children my entire life. She has a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. She has worked in the pediatric transplant unit at UCSF Hospital in San Francisco, teaching children about exercise, good nutrition, and relaxation. She also worked at the Center for Attitudinal Healing with its founder, Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, using art and music therapy to help young children who had life-threatening diseases or who had a parent or loved one who was severely ill. She says her greatest teachers, however, have been her children. Marla is the host of the Interviews With Innocence podcast.