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Pep Talk Part 2

Pep Talk Part 2

So a few weeks ago I gave myself a pep talk, (you can read it here). It’s one of those posts that caused a lot of hullabaloo.

See when I write about my personal life, and it causes chaos I want to run and hide and scream and then never, ever write again. Ever. Never. Ever. Ever. Never. Like, breaking up Taylor Swift style.

But Holy Christmas Cookies, keeping my words in my head isn’t a place where they can live peacefully. I finally have to surface when I am done processing and get the words out again. They erupt like a fire hose.

What am I talking about?

The Pep Talk Post and the Pass the Praise Post caused drama in my life. Some people thought what I wrote had everything to do with them. But these posts were all ME, by ME, for ME, about ME. And even though I put them out in cyberspace to read; they weren’t about ANYONE else. Not even a little. And they meant no harm. They still mean no harm. Just like this post. It’s about me processing what happened to me.

I put them here to read for the pure and reasonable purpose of possibly reaching someone who feels like me. That’s all.

So there you have it, my thoughts can’t stay quiet. It is just not how I function. Period. Okay, maybe how I operate, EXCLAMATION POINT.

I need a place to let my thoughts wander free. I know I could do it quietly, but then I am not living out loud. And that is a promise I made to myself that I must keep. I NEED to live out loud. Yes, as always the capitals help. Immensely. They make everything feel better.

So, as I begin again in a post about me, I brace for controversy, I know I need to write out loud. Why? Because there is more growth happening here and this is where I put it.

And there you have it. Processed, dissected and now I cannot contain my voice any longer. And here is another post all about me. And yes, this makes me feel selfish and self-centered, but I don’t think I am alone in processing life events through writing. And at the end of the day; I do not believe I am selfish. Again, queue controversy because I am sure some people would disagree, but we can’t make everyone happy I learned that the hard way.

So onward I write…

I have been continuing to workout and semi meal plan since late August. It has not been easy. From my perspective, I am one of the biggest girls in the group with a lot of weight to lose. I know I got myself into this mess. Yes, I just wrote about choices and perspective and mythical unicorns; I know, I know, but this has been difficult. Not always challenging, maybe more tedious, but it wasn’t like whew-hoo so easy, I can do it without any effort!

Yes, there is a step by step meal and workout plan to follow. I do love that. It takes out any guesswork.

Yes, everything is laid out perfectly, and there is a group for accountability; all positive check marks.

Yes, the program is sound and coaches and trainer are on point. There could not be better people involved.

Yes, I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really enjoy it. But it still isn’t always easy. Even with a supportive coach; I still slip a little here and there in the food department and have missed a handful of workouts, but I have kept at 30 minutes of exercise 4+ times a week.

I feel like here I can be honest in this safe place, it is like home for me here on this blog, and if I don’t keep it real, it won’t ever be. And despite my slips, I have kept at it. And that means it works and it is good. It can be good and hard at the same time. Kind of like life, right?

My adhering to the food plan and keeping up with the workouts can be the problematic part some days. And I would rather be honest about how tough that part is than sugar coat it. We often know the right thing to do and even have incredible help, but taking the steps and making the right choices seem difficult.

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And that is why I wanted to share with you. I wanted to share what keeps me going despite my struggles and my weight slowly coming off or even seeming to stabilize. Just in case you were in a similar spot yourself.

One, I want to have more energy. So working out is a must to achieve that.

Two, I want to be healthy. Again, diet and exercise are the answers here.

And lastly, I want to keep a promise to myself to put myself on the list. I need to take care of me, too. This is an excellent way to do that.

And in an effort to adhere to doing those 3 things I had to take a good look at diet and exercise in my life.

put yourself on the list

Choosing to do this was wearisome at first. I didn’t really want to jump up and work out. But I said I would, so I did. Each day did not get easier at first. But over the weeks it did; I got stronger, and it became a part of my routine. I expected it and missed it when it was a rest day. And then it started to get a bit tedious again, so I took a chance and said yes to an opportunity my coach put out to the group. So, I say spice it up if you start to get a bit bored. This program that I am currently on, has a similar meal plan (let’s not go there yet) but I lift weights in addition to cardio. I know?! Who knew I would ever lift weights?

The video trainer is fantastic. There are several videos about form, and it is always stressed in each session, so you really feel like you are comfortable with all the moves. I love learning how to do this. Sometimes I feel like a wuss, but again over time, I have been able to up my weight and stamina during the cardio sessions. There are still things that I have to modify, but I keep moving and keep trying, and I know now that I will get better at it at some point. And sometimes I have to modify what is being modified, but I keep moving and keep getting better. You have to count each small success; one more sit up; finishing something in a new way, stepping up something that was modified before even if for a few seconds. All the little things count.

Another tip I want to share is not to watch the scale. Now weighing yourself is essential, but your body might be changing even when your weight isn’t. I can see minor changes in my shape and the way my clothes fit even though the scale isn’t seeming to budge too much right now. Overall, I am only 8 pounds down, but I know that I will get stronger and better at the meal plan and that will change, too. Remember sometimes if you have a lot of weight to lose, it took a long time to get that way, so the weight loss isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take time. Be patient.

You need to offer yourself grace and ask yourself these questions when you start to put yourself down:

A) Can you do more than you did yesterday?

B) How do you feel?

I think the – how do you feel – question is super important.

When I answer this question, it is transformative. How do I feel? I actually feel better in my body when I work out, and I think I look better. It must have to do with endorphins and all that jazz, but it does make a difference.

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And most importantly, I made a promise to myself to take better care of me. If you have known me since 2012 you know, I got into the best shape of my life since high school when I started running. I could run 9 miles without stopping. A dear friend, who I will love forever, even said I began to have a thigh gap. God love her! In 2014, regardless of how much I was running, I started to gain weight again. I went to doctors for over a year, and nothing could be determined to be the cause. And nothing seemed to help. So I gave up completely. I was exhausted, too and so I just stopped taking of me. I dove into life and running a side business and my kids, and before I knew it I was really getting sick and feeling awful, and I was way over-weight. In 2016 I tried acupuncture to start things up again. It helped at first, but by early 2017 I had completely fallen apart physically. And that is when I made a promise to get healthy again.

I went back to doctors, and after multiple visits to different doctors, we determined that I did have some things that could be causing my exhaustion. I had surgery and started medication, and my energy started to come back. Hallelujah! Queue the choir of angels.

When I felt better, I decided to take a plunge and start this work out program that was all online, with a virtual coach and accountability group.

It started in August, and now in November, I have been lifting weights for 6 weeks. I still get discouraged. I am still frustrated with my weight from time to time. Food is always my downfall, but with logic, the meal plan and my knowledge, i.e., I think before I eat something and decide if it is worth it. Yes, I fall off track occasionally, but I am better than I was yesterday. And I wouldn’t give that up, not now and I hope not ever.

So my point, if you are wanting to start again, do it. You will be glad you did. If you are like me and feel like a rookie all over again – we will get there. Keep going, and if like me you get behind a bit, offer yourself grace and don’t stop – jump back in there. And if you are already a pro, then I am happy to hear how you got to where you are.

And just as importantly you can use your voice to express how you see the world. And even if you think you are doing so kindly; it will make people feel things. It might even piss them off. That is okay. You can’t control that. You can only control how you react. Try to stay calm and kind. But don’t stop speaking up.

Stay in the game, offer grace, and keep it up. You got this!

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On hostile unicorns and absolution

On hostile unicorns and absolution

A few weeks ago, my oldest son was explaining how he beat the hard mode in Terraria. For me, listening to how these games are played, even though I have watched them, is complicated, to say the least. Basically, Terraria is a game where you can dig, build, and fight. You work through different biomes and beat different bosses (the game’s language, not mine) to conquer the game. But don’t use my definition as a guide; I am just a mom and not a gamer after all. But for the purpose of this post, that is going to have to be good enough.

Anyway, he was telling me about defeating the hard mode and how it unlocks or spawns The Hallow. In this new biome, he can do more things and collect more goods. But the one part of his description that really struck me is when he told me to watch out for the unicorns. In The Hallow the unicorns are hostile.

That I can relate to.

I know, unicorns don’t exist. But it made me think of perfection, also a myth. It made me think of what we might all be continually searching for and seem never to find. And it seemed just a tad bit ironic that The Hallow (a sacred place) is where unicorns exist.

And I kept thinking about unicorns (perfection, every single day happiness, a place where everyone gets along, nirvana) and they are unattainable because they are not realistic.

Like how we can always be looking for just the right moment to try something new when we should just do that new thing right now. Or we think the grass is greener on the other side of the hill only to find out that there are the same weed patches and trouble keeping things green when we get there. Or wanting to make a new friend, but staying quiet and away from others. Wanting to be seen, but not having the courage to stand out.

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I probably scroll through social media channels more than I should. I probably watch the news a lot less than I should. I see happy people in the midst of life and wonder if I am where I should be. I read things that get me thinking about life and if I am doing as much as I should. Living in a way that I should.

Worthiness just might be my unicorn. It seems so elusive to me and right when I think I finally have found a cozy little place where I feel like; I am finally comfortable with myself there is some little reminder that I am still hanging onto my unworthiness.

Like how reading posts from a favorite blogger that says if we aren’t doing something to stop prejudice, gun violence, homelessness, sex trafficking, abuse, literacy, refugees, etc. and fixing it then we are complacent. We are part of the problem. And it makes me feel less than because I am not a warrior; I am not ready to strap on armor and fight or debate others. I definitely am trying to help defeat these things, but is it enough?

I try to help with Holiday Cheer. I try to help by raising my babies to be the helpers. I run toward car accidents to hold the hands of strangers until help comes. I volunteer. I donate. I vote. I treat others how I want to be treated, and yet when I see the things happening in the world, I feel so much not enough-ness I can’t even speak. I feel so wrapped in privilege that the guilt washes over me in tidal waves and I can’t breathe or even move for a few minutes. The weight of the wrong in the world sometimes feels so much bigger than the good. And it probably doesn’t help that I was built with the ability to feel things so deeply and to be able to feel what others feel so completely. It is sometimes so hard to live that way.

One of my social media friends posted a blog that made my heart drop. She wrote about how she isn’t sure she believes in unconditional love anymore. What the hell? This person is the epitome of unconditional love. She is the actual living, breathing embodiment of unconditional love. I guess when you are that, it is hard to find it, and even harder to see it, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I think we forget to look in the mirror sometimes. I think we forget ourselves in the equation of things.

And I can be a bit churchy and preachy even though I don’t go to church. I read Tim Tebow and follow Christian Instagram accounts and listen to Christian music. By the way, how freaking ah-mazing is Lauren Daigle?! I have her album on shuffle and repeat. I get goosebumps on just about every song. Her lyrics stop me in my tracks.

However, the irony is not lost on me when it comes to the relationship between religion and the problems that it causes in the world sometimes. The problem it can cause in myself sometimes. But, I remind myself, it is the interpretation of humans that causes the problem; believing in Jesus and God isn’t harming anyone. Anyway…

The whole unicorns being hostile; I get it. The beauty and magic of this world, of the moments with each other, can be plagued by the ugliest parts of humanity. Or how nature can destroy a city on a whim – through a tornado, hurricane, or a volcano or disease or freak accidents can take away a person we love in an instant. And everything seems lost and cruel. Or how a moment of hate can seemingly steal away every kindness that has touched your heart. And unfortunately, sometimes in beauty lies ugliness; unicorns can be hostile. Perfection is a plague. Feeling more right than someone else and that need to be right is cancer. And your world can turn on a dime.

Acceptance, understanding, and the constant choice to see the best is the way to peace in our own hearts. When we do our best to help others and try to reach them despite our differences that is how we can find our own absolution. When we learn to look in the mirror and see ourselves as a friend would see us or how our children see us; then we can start to feel that worthiness. We just aren’t looking at things with the best perspective sometimes, or we forget to look in the right places to see the things that matter most of all.

Staying centered in this life is definitely a practice. I do not wake up and feel like I am whole, worthy and ready to conquer the world. Those feelings have to be cultivated, curated and rebuilt. I am not the kind of person that was born with confidence to spare. And in an environment that moves faster and faster on to the next best thing – what is bigger, brighter, better – I am constantly reeling to stay in my lane. The good news is that when you have faith, and you continually check in with the universe and God; He can remind you that you are divine. It is the simple things that you do every day that make the most significant difference. Be rooted in who you are. Treat others and yourself with respect and compassion. It is that simple. Let the unicorns be a myth, and then the attachment to it can no longer hold you hostage – you can be pleasantly content in your imperfectness. Let go of your need to be right and open up to understanding and empathy. Once we let go, become open, and offer grace, we find our own absolution, we love ourselves and each other, which is what we were really after all along.

Until next time,

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Snippets from Heaven – Part 5

Snippets from Heaven – Part 5

Sometimes the people we love most in the world leave it too soon in ways that leave us wondering if it could have been different. Whether it is an accident because of poor decisions, just an accident or an intentional act; loved ones here ponder alternative possibilities. Often, spirits with these types of circumstances surrounding their deaths will step forward and claim some responsibility for how they left this Earth when speaking to their loved ones through me.

To be the spokesperson for these souls is often gut-wrenching because these souls have some guilt for causing pain and their loved ones are also plagued with guilt and what ifs. Always these encounters are healing.

We have to remember God has unconditional, undying love for each of us – no matter what we do here. Now, don’t get ready to rob a bank or anything, we are most definitely judged by the choices we make here and have to remedy those in heaven, but God loves you. He loves us all. And God gladly welcomes all souls into heaven when we welcome him into our lives; even in the afterlife.

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I want to share a session with you today that includes a young spirit who stepped forward during that session and took responsibility for his death, even though it was an accident. This piece is a little different from the ones before it in the series because as I was writing it, the spirit who is the subject of this piece visited me and wanted some things added. So this piece is written by myself with a little help from a ghostwriter (pun intended).

It was a Sunday in late October when I met Robin and Steve. One of my long-time clients gifted them a session with me.

I had a drive on my hands to get to their home, so in addition to my nerves being jittery because I had to drive CA 152 a windy narrow road over the hills to Santa Cruz; I was nervous about the session. I always am. I am just as surprised as my clients are by how a session goes. But I get even more nervous when it is a gift; because I represent the person who gave the present as well.

In any event, I arrive at a quaint, artsy home, and am greeted by a delightful, cherry Robin and a reserved and somewhat skeptical Steve. But both are gracious, none the less, and warmly welcome me into their home.

As the session starts (and remember my memory is always a bit fuzzy on these) a young man steps forward. He is handsome and strong, and right away I like him. He seems familiar like I know him somehow. (In fact, I had met him at a prior session, but I don’t realize this until the end of the session when Robin helps put all the pieces of our visit together). His charm captivates his listeners, as well as, his fun-loving sense of humor. He quickly takes over the entire session and what he wants to say seems to fly out of my mouth with rapid speed.

He does speak about his death. It is something that weighs on his heart. He continues to explain that he didn’t always make good choices in life, but he knows he was a good person. And I can feel that about him. He apologizes to Robin and Steve for his passing. It wasn’t intentional, he says, but he stills feels like it is his fault. And he continues to thank Robin and Steve for caring for his dog and for loving him so deeply.

 

At this, they bring the dog inside the house, and this German Shepherd warms to me pretty quickly. I can sense that the dog is aware of Andrew’s presence. We become friends.

This young man starts back up again and tells Robin and Steve he is thrilled for the arrival of his new nephew and how excited he is for his brother. There is so much he has missed in person, but he wants them to know he has seen it all from his side of life. Then, he mentions he likes to send monarchs to visit and tell his family hello. His humor is felt throughout the session, and we laugh as much as we cry. At one point, I say that I wish I had a big brother like him and he responds by slapping me on the back and says, “You want a brother, sure I will be your brother.”

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The session goes over our scheduled time as they usually do when I have such a dynamic, electric spirit with tons of energy and loads to say. I learn through the session that the entertaining soul I am speaking with is Andrew, Robin and Steve’s son. It is never lost on me the depth of pain that bereaved parents experience. Nor is it lost on me that my journey into this profession started with a little boy who wanted me to speak to his parents and continues with so many children who visit me and ask me to speak to theirs. Andrew was no exception. He had shown up at an earlier session I had with the client who gifted Robin and Steve the reading with me. Andrew had messages for his mom then, and he found a way to get me to his parents directly that Sunday in October. Children who leave Earth too soon for our standards always find a way to reconnect with their grieving parents.

The takeaways from this session that Andrew wants to share with you are these:

  • We all make mistakes, and we are all forgiven. God loves us so much. Andrew wants each of you to know that.
  • Our loved ones in heaven consistently send messages. What I didn’t even know during this session was that Robin had already planted specific plants to attract butterflies to her yard. She didn’t even know if it would work. But here Andrew was telling her during this session that indeed he was sending her butterflies. She has been caring for caterpillars and watching them turn into butterflies this month; almost a year after our initial session. And of course, they are monarchs.
  • Spirit knows what is going on in your lives. They are alive and a part of our lives here, too. Death stops our bodies, but not our souls. So the nephew Andrew spoke about was just a tiny nugget and the sex of the infant wasn’t discovered until one month after my visit when Robin sent me the ultrasound photo with the message, “IT’S A BOY!” Something Andrew happened to already know during the session a month earlier. And again Andrew, proved this to his mom when several months later he spoke up at an event I had and thanked his mom for letting his dog roam around the house more often. She was shocked! Andrew knew all about the big and little things going on in their lives from his view in heaven.
  • Most importantly, Andrew says, love never dies. It grows and changes even after we have left our bodies. But it never dies.

Copy of Copy of Snippets from Heaven Part 5 figure 3Andrew is so special to me because he helps to heal his parents’ grief from heaven. He always lets Robin know he is near and still has his charismatic and playful attitude. And he may have adopted me for real because monarchs show up around me often. In Hawaii, we had several monarchs following us daily. One day five monarchs flew and circled us. I shared a bit about Andrew with my kids and said he was the one sending the butterflies to say hello. So any time we saw the butterflies in Hawaii this summer my kids would yell, “There’s Andrew, mom!” Here is a quick clip of three of seven butterflies that came and circled above us during our lunch one day.

Our loved ones may feel lost to us, but we are never lost to them. They use all of their energy to try to help us understand that. Thank you for allowing me to share Andrew with all of you. He hopes that what he has shared here will help others feel their heavenly loved ones and be able to connect to them more deeply. And a very special thank you to Robin for giving me permission to share my version of this story and her Andrew with all of you.

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God bless you all,

Michelle and Andrew

Pep Talk Please

Pep Talk Please

Maybe this diet is driving me crazy, or perhaps it’s the news that another precious baby is now in heaven because cancer took over her nine-year-old body, which by the way is beyond awful…beyond devastating…or maybe it’s because it’s a Friday and I feel like there are so many damn problems in the world I just can’t fix. Like I keep pouring into a well that just gets deeper.

Usually, a chai latte would do the trick, and that is whack because seriously what a privileged treat to have to calm my nerves when scared humans all over the world are fighting just to live, to have clean water and a safe place to lay their head. But I am whacked and the latte does the trick. However, this diet says no bueno to the latte. SO HERE WE ARE. GRUMPY CAPS AND ALL.

So here’s the deal, we can feel helpless even though we are helping. I know you are like me and doing your part here and there and everywhere you go. We are all just surviving on this ball circling the sun. We are all only human when it comes down to it; doing what we can, when we can, where we can. We are good. Some of us are wounded, and the good is harder to see, but it’s there underneath the scars and the shields we use to cover it up. So, since I felt like I needed a pep talk; I thought I would have it online in front of a bunch of people, and maybe you would read along and feel pepped, too. Yes, pepped. It’s a word. It isn’t turning red with my spellcheck and Grammarly thinks it’s acceptable, so you know what? I do, too.

you are awesome

If you are breathing, and moving one foot in front of the other, and doing the very best that you can, regardless of mood – YOU ARE AWESOME! KEEP IT UP! YOU GOT THIS! YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!

YOU ARE ENOUGH

If you are breathing, and moving one foot in front of the other, and doing the very best that you can, regardless of how you feel about yourself – YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH! YOU ARE PRICELESS! YOU ARE THE SHIT! GO GET IT!

YOU ROCK AS A PARENT

Parenting standards these days are really high. I mean have you seen how many Pinterest posts there are for crafty crap, bento fancy shmancy lunches, and 99 million ways to keep your kids entertained while building their self-esteem and making them all around amazing. Like too many damn pins, people. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pinterest, but I can’t handle the standards of what a parent is supposed to accomplish. So if you are sending your kid to school with food or money for food and they are dressed, and mostly clean, and mostly well-behaved – KUDOS! YOU ARE ROCKING THIS PARENT GIG. YOU NAILED IT! I mean high-five yourself right this minute. If you discipline your child, if your child fights with their siblings, if you have yelled at your child because they have driven you crazy – YOU ARE ROCKING IT AS A PARENT! YOU GOT THIS! If your child has said you are mean, strict, rude, they don’t like you, they want a new mom or dad. You know what? KIDS DON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. KIDS DON’T GET TO TELL US WHAT TO DO. OR WHAT IS TRUTH. WE ARE THE ADULTS. YOU ARE ROCKING IT AS A PARENT. ENOUGH SAID.

YOU LOOK GREAT TODAY

If your diet says you can’t have chai lattes, and you have been following it for days and days, and you have only lost 1 or 2 pounds. And you are working out like you have never worked out in your life. And if you happen to yell, “You can suck it!” to the TV Fitness instructor because really, why are there so many push-ups? YOU LOOK GREAT JUST AS YOU ARE TODAY! KEEP IT UP! YOU CAN DO THE PUSH-UPS! YOU CAN MODIFY, AND YOU ARE STILL A FITNESS WARRIOR!

If you are wearing yoga pants and your hair is up in a messy bun. YOU ARE HOT! YOU ARE KILLING IT IN THE FASHION DEPARTMENT! ROCK THAT LOOK SISTER! OWN IT!

If you are one of the ones that made it and successfully dressed in your best outfit and have your hair and makeup just so. YOU LOOK GREAT TODAY! YOU ARE A GODDESS! * SIDE NOTE: REMEMBER TO TELL THE YOGA PANT MOM SHE IS A GODDESS, TOO!

If you got dressed today; YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF FASHION! YOU ARE NAILING LIFE!

WHATEVER YOU LOOK LIKE; HOWEVER YOU SHOW UP – YOU LOOK GREAT TODAY!

If you are feeling alone, invisible and left out…maybe your best friend hasn’t called you, or you don’t fit in with the other moms at pick up. I want you to remember; YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON, AND GOSH DARN IT, PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

That’s my pep talk people. I hope you feel pepped. I know I feel a little better. We got this. We are freaking, amazeballs at this life. It’s supposed to be hard, and we are supposed to mess up. That means we are doing it right. Congrats for showing up, for living, for putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best you can. YOU ROCK!

Go get it,

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Snippets from Heaven: Part 4

Snippets from Heaven: Part 4

On the first day of March in 2015, I met with Peter* (Names have been changed to protect the identity of my client). I know Peter’s sister, and she arranged the session for him. I knew some things about him beforehand, but none of that prepared me for what was to come in that session.

I had only been seeing clients for just under a year, and I was still shaky. I met Peter at his home, and as we started the session, I just kept trying to keep my nerves in check. Men tend to be more skeptical, and for some reason, I feel like I am under a magnifying glass of introspection in a session with someone skeptical. I am better now. In the beginning, it was beyond hard to deliver the messages with my unsteady voice and worried mind.

The session began, relatively flawless. Peter and I spoke with a soul from heaven who Peter knew through the war. Peter is a soldier. He had spent several years in the Middle East in combat. His translator, who had passed, came through to speak to Peter and offer him comfort. His translator’s objective was to try to ease any guilt, Peter might have had about his passing.

What happened next, shook me in a way I will never find the right words to explain. I froze. The soul that had entered the room resembled the statue that hung from a cross at St. Olaf’s where I went to church with my grandmother. I was terrified and awed all at the same time. How could this be, kept running through my mind as I tried to hold my composure.

Some sort of sacrilege must be occurring; was all I could think. How could I say I was seeing someone who looked and sounded like Jesus? How was that possible? Only priests have a direct connection to God, right? How was Jesus standing there? How could I tell Peter this is who wanted to speak to him? Starting with, “I know this sounds crazy, but…” seemed like a massive understatement. I still don’t remember how I initiated that introduction. I think I said, “I think this is Jesus that wants to speak to you. I know I already sound crazy because I say I can talk to ghosts and I am probably hallucinating, but I can’t explain who else this could be. He looks just like him.”

What surprised me the most is that Peter was open and willing to believe that Jesus was in the room with us. He told me to, “Go for it” and just tell him what this spirit had to say. I was seeing it and still in utter awe and disbelief.

The soul who looked like Jesus started to tell me what to say and out of sheer obedience to my faith I just spoke his words. He told Peter that Peter could go back to the front lines of the war if he really wanted, he would not be stopped. The spirit continued to say with such force I was afraid myself, that Peter’s life belonged to Him and that if Peter went back to the front lines that Peter was coming home and not in a box, but he would live and he would not be happy about his condition. This soul told Peter how vital his life here on Earth was, and that he had good work left to do. This spirit that resembled Jesus commiserated that life was hard and that trials are challenging, but that Peter was to stay here and do the work required of him. Jesus and God were the only ones who could determine when Peter joined them in heaven, no matter what Peter thought. I am sure I am summarizing this, but this is what I remember most.

It took me a second to regroup. Peter noticed and patiently waited.

“Did all that make sense?” I asked him. Still stuck in a surreal sense of denial.

“Yes,” Peter said, “I want to go back to fight, and I want to be on the front lines because I don’t think I can live like this any longer. It is so hard to be here.”

I was dumbfounded. What do you say at that moment? I am not even sure what I said or if the soul resembling Jesus spoke again. I know that Peter and I spoke a great deal and our session was more prolonged than per usual. I know I left hoping that, that soul and the messages shared had helped heal Peter’s heart somehow.

Believe me, I know this story is a leap. Who knows what will happen to me once this is in cyberspace. What I do know is this, the theme of this session and the story is supposed to be shared. Could I just make Jesus show up – no, that isn’t how this works. Do I claim to have a direct connection, no. I pray just like anyone else and hope my words move from my lips to God’s ears. I am not someone special, I just witnessed something miraculous. And that miracle is this; God is in us. God is with us. We belong to Him. No matter our trials or our defeats; whatever life hands us; He is there. Bearing witness; holding us and our pain and celebrating when we are victorious. We are never alone. We are never forsaken. And the story of our hearts and our prayers are always heard. And they are answered or unanswered for His divine purpose; which is for our best good, no matter what we believe.

And if I am keeping it real and sharing what else I think matters from this session, it is this:

Why wouldn’t Jesus show up? He died for our sins. He gave his life so that we could have eternal life. He loved children, the elderly, sick, destitute, and everyone in between. He wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone, even if society deemed them unfit somehow. In fact, I believe from what I have read in the Bible, and what I know of Jesus that those who were lost, wayward, cast out, forgotten, they were his favorite. The more human you were, the more he loved you and loved on you. Why wouldn’t he show up for each and every one of us? Why is it so hard for some of us to believe that he is right here with us? Peter didn’t have a single problem accepting Jesus was in that room. Not for a minute. And after years of thinking back on this moment; I can’t see why he wouldn’t have shown up for Peter. I don’t believe that Jesus would ever turn his back on anyone. He loved even the one person who betrayed him.

So I think what we need to remember is how much we are loved. How much God and Jesus or whatever deity you pray to is watching over each of us. Loving us and guiding us. We are all connected to one another and to the greater good. So whether you believe this or not; isn’t the purpose. What I hope you walk away from when you read this is that you are worthy. Jesus would show up for you in a heartbeat, without a second thought. He doesn’t need you to believe he would. He just shows up.

I am afraid to put this story out there, have been hesitant to tell it for years. And you know what? Jesus was frightened when he was here, but he did what was right anyway. He did what he was asked anyway. It isn’t up to me to keep this to myself and not share it with the world where it might do someone else some good. I can handle scorn, disbelief, sideways glances, and even those that pray for my soul thinking that my sharing this puts me in harm’s way. God loves me. Jesus thinks I am pretty awesome. And in the end, that is what matters to me above all else.

I hope you know how much you are loved by this universe. How precious and perfect you are. How everything came together over millions of years to create precisely you. That you and just being you is your sole purpose on this planet. There is no one else like you. That is all you have to be. And it is more than enough.

Until next time,

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Snippets from Heaven: Part 3

Snippets from Heaven: Part 3

“Maybe we can disarm the fear, stress, and anxiety of what dying represents.”

 -Juan Castaño

When I was twelve, I woke up in the middle of the night to find a Native American Man perched on the floor of my room. His deep brown eyes peered straight to my soul. His wrinkled face was stoic and still. The two gray, silver braids on each side of his head stretched all the way to the floor. He held a deerskin drum between his feet and began to speak in a language I didn’t recognize.

I looked past him to my mirrored closet doors, and instead of a human reflection, all I saw was a ball of light shining there. It looked like a star. Light shone out of this ball in four different directions giving it a diamond-shaped appearance.

Even though this wasn’t the first time I had seen a spirit in my room in the middle of the night; I closed my eyes counted to three and repeated, “I am not crazy” three times.

When I opened my eyes, he was still there. I wish I could say I dared to listen, but like any other twelve-year-old girl, I just wanted to fit in and be “normal.” No one else I knew experienced things this way. He kept speaking, and I continued to refuse to listen. I squeezed my eyes shut again and begged God for sleep. “Please God, please take this man away and let me sleep.” I knew without opening my eyes that the man was receding back into heaven because his voice was slipping away into the stillness of the night.

Because this was common, I fell back asleep shortly after. However, my praying that night didn’t stop the messages the chief would keep trying to send.

One afternoon, not too many weeks later, my mom ran a quick errand with my sisters, and I stayed back to finish homework. As I sat on the couch working on my assignment, I began to hear a commotion in the street. Hollers of men and horses hooves moved closer and closer to my house with a fury of speed. I peeked out the blinds to see a fight going on around me. Arrows whizzed past my window. I sunk back into my couch. “None of this is real,” I said aloud to myself. And in response, the spirit world flexed its muscles to show just how real it is. The walls of my house seemed to fade away, and there I was sitting on my couch in the middle of a valley – no longer did buildings and homes dot its landscape. Instead they had been replaced with open spaces and an occasional mighty oak tree.

Native American men (most likely members of the Amah Mutsun tribe) were trying to push back some rancheros. The Amah Mutsun men were fiercely protecting one man in particular. I had seen this man before. His deep brown eyes pierced my soul, his gray silver braids hung long at his sides, and his wrinkled, stoic face showed defiance and deep sorrow as if he could already see the future that would befall his people.

I buried my head in my hands and closed my eyes and asked again to be free of these images. I wasn’t scared. I was rarely frightened when these things happened. I was ashamed. I did not want to be different. Why did I keep seeing these things I could tell no one about? What difference could I make knowing these things? This cheif…his final resting place not far from my home…how did knowing that make a difference? And who would believe me if I tried to share this knowledge?

“I am sorry,” I said aloud to the chief, “I don’t know what to do.”

The chief continued to visit me on and off, but if he ever spoke again, I never heard it.

I often wondered what would have happened if I had been brave enough to listen, brave enough to be different and open. The next time I vowed to listen more carefully. I promised to share the spirit’s story.

I didn’t have to wait long, as was usually the case. A few months later right before my thirteenth birthday, a young girl came to visit and told me all about what it felt like to die young and how she died. I typed down every word I heard and then sent it off to a local college publication; passing it off as a fictional story I wrote. Be kind, I was a kid and still couldn’t figure out how to tell people what really happened, but this was progress. I was sharing her story with others.

Unfortunately, it was rejected. And again I wondered why? Why was this all happening?What good is seeing and knowing when no one will listen?

These types of events happened again and again throughout my life. It was only recently that I began to finally understand the purpose; to finally understand what spirit had wanted me to know all along.

About a year ago, I was in a session, and I thought, “Oh no, here we go again.” I was worried to relay what I was seeing to the two women who had come to visit me that day. Yes, dear reader, even I understand how far-fetched this all sounds, despite the fact I live it.

What was appearing to me slowly were two old shoes. Ancient shoes. As I started to get a clearer image of this man, who introduced himself as Edward, I noticed he was wearing short baggy pants with knee-high socks and a stiff white shirt that had a sort of frill around the wrist. He told me he was from 1620. And the word, “Mayflower” kept crossing my mind and I saw a ship. I literally thought to myself, there is no way I can tell these two women what I am seeing. But as I always say now, I am obligated to share the things spirit relays to me in a session. So, I prefaced my telling them, with “This may sound crazy, but…”

To my surprise, the two women had just finished a branch of their family tree and had been researching their ancestry for months. What they had recently found, was in fact, Edward. A distant relative who was in fact on the manifest of the Mayflower itself. We were all elated. I could not believe I was speaking with a soul who was hundreds of years old. We were all a bit giddy and teary-eyed. They were so excited that the work that they had done had led Edward to our session. He thanked them for connecting him to their family tree. He was happy to be found and spoke about how his values and his pride in his family still carried many of those values today.

It was after that session that I started to put together another piece of the spirit puzzle, See our loved ones in spirit, our ancestors, we are all tied together, and they want to be remembered. Giving our loved ones a place in the present gives them strength.

I don’t know if you have seen the movie Coco, but it details how we need to remember spirit to help them to continue to exist and be able to visit us here on Earth. It showcases this through the tradition known as El Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.” (To learn a little more about this tradition click here.)

What spirit has been teaching me all this time is how important it is that we remember them. They gain strength and can feel our positive remembering energy even in Heaven. When we make a place for our loved ones in spirit, here in the present, we are helping them to thrive in Heaven. We offer them an invitation into our lives and enrich their Heavenly experience. We all need one another, they need us here, and we need them there. The connection between us does not die. Our history, our ancestors are alive within our souls. We are connected to them and breathe new life into their souls when we remember.

Maybe if we start to remove spirit and death from the shadows and corners of our life here on Earth, perhaps it can begin to enrich our experience here, too. Maybe we can remove the fear. Maybe we can see death as the transition it truly is for our soul; a way onto another life. A life without a body, time or space, just a life connected to all other life. Our loved ones in spirit regardless of how old, are not lost to us; they live within us and around us.

Love and light, until next time,

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Snippets from Heaven: Part 2

Snippets from Heaven: Part 2

On a Monday evening in July, I was making my second call of the day for a phone appointment. I never know what to expect in any session. As per usual, I only knew Michele’s name and nothing more. She had contacted me via email and given me just the details that she would like an hour session and phone was fine with her.

She had patiently waited a month to speak with me. During the session, we were able to connect with her father.

If you don’t know already, dear reader, I remember little about each appointment.

I know I enjoyed speaking with her dad and was in awe of his ability to connect so clearly with her as he had only been in heaven a short time. His messages were filled with love for his daughter, and he expressed a great deal of joy. I recall liking him and connecting with him in a way I would a new friend. I loved the comfort and peace that rested so firmly in his soul. But even more, I enjoyed his humor and that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give me a hard time.

As the session ended, Michele’s dad said,  “Thank you for calling me.” I relayed this message and I then thanked Michele, as well. And Michele said, “I think he is talking to both of us.” I was a bit confused and didn’t have to wait long for Michele to clarify.

She said that she and her dad shared a love of all things spiritual and had always wanted to go see a medium together. They didn’t know who they wanted to see and about a month before Michele’s dad passed away, he called her. During the call, he said he had just spoken to a friend and had found their medium. He told her to write down the contact information. Michele was excited and wanted to know when they were going to make an appointment to see this medium together. He told her that she should go see the medium first, by herself. She was confused about why they couldn’t go together. She shrugged it off. But when her dad passed a month later, it all became clear. She felt that he had found the medium that he, himself wanted to communicate through.

Then Michele said words that blew my mind, “The medium he found was you.” And I heard her wave a paper in her hand. Then as I expressed disbelief, she messaged me the below picture.

By the way, I may have asked for proof – I know I am totally the skeptic, and it is entirely ironic please remember my post on offering compassion before passing judgment; I am a human after all. 

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Shared with consent from Michele

But there it was. Michele shared with me that her father and chosen me to speak through. I am still in total awe.

Not only is it remarkable to me that he picked me himself before he passed, but it also came at such a perfect time. As messages from spirit tend to do.

As you all know, I struggle with faith and how I fit into that picture often. (If you are new, dear reader, now you know and if you are an old friend, dear reader, you, of course, understood that already.) I love God, I knew God before I understood how to explain Him. And yet, I am some sort of abomination to those whose faith has them cling to literal interpretations. I have made my peace with God because it is only His opinion that matters. Only He knows my heart inside and out. Only He knows my soul with complete clarity. And He is my creator; so He knows I was made just this way with purpose and intent. Anyway, it still stings when I get messages about how people are praying for my soul and that they hope I don’t go to hell for what I do. And it still stings to be made fun of and reprimanded that I do this for personal gain. But I don’t think I would be human if it didn’t hurt.

Regardless, I had once again been thinking about my sessions and was wondering with a heavy heart if I was on the right path; if I was making a difference. And this reading happened. Literally not an hour after I had pondered those thoughts with a heavy heart. Here was spirit saying not only did they want to communicate with me; but I was being selected by them explicitly. My heart still bursts with honor and love. I can’t even imagine; out of all the souls that they could choose; they will pick me. And this beautiful reminder; helped me to remember just to keep going forward, helping one person at a time; doing the best I can right where I am and that, no matter what anyone else says; that alone is enough.

What else struck me about this was, Michele continued to connect the dots between spirit and how they chose to communicate. She sent me the following message (*names have been changed to protect their identity):

“Not sure if you remember Monica* – she came in a few weeks back, with her mom on the phone. She’s my girlfriend who’s father passed 10 days after mine,… My dad brought them into your life as well. When you said your 2 friends told 2 friends, I thought about how my dad’s friend told him, he told me & I told Monica*,… It’s amazing to step back and think about how life works and how we are all connected to each other.”

I think we forget how connected we are to each other. I think we forget that underneath our skin and bones is a soul, and that soul is intertwined with the other souls here on Earth deeply and profoundly. I think when we remember this; we remember to treat others with grace, and compassion, I believe when we remember this hate evaporates and only love can remain. We know each other at a soul level in a way our brains can only just begin to comprehend. And our souls are speaking to one another. And all the while our loved ones in Heaven are guiding us and working with one another to make sure we are loved and protected from Heaven, too.

I will close this with the same words I used when I messaged Michele back:

“We can tear up together. You are not alone. I am thanking him; over and over. He thinks it is appropriate, too. He absolutely thinks he deserves all the credit. The grin on his face is priceless!”

Hopefully, you will remember joy, love, and light are ever-present around you. Your loved ones are not lost; they are alive and well, thriving in Heaven finding ways to continue to be a part of your daily lives; holding you close and dear as ever. You are not alone.

Love and light, until next time,

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Snippets from Heaven (Part 1)

Snippets from Heaven (Part 1)

I wanted to share with you some snippets from heaven. Since I have changed my line of work, I have noticed an increase in the number of miracles that I witness. One of these miracles is the resilience of the human spirit.

If you have watched the news at all last week, you have seen the story of the orca whale that has carried her dead calf for days. (If you haven’t read the story you can click here to read it). This story hit my heart like a target.

My journey with mediumship began because a little boy in spirit named Matthew; wanted me to help him connect to his family. So the first people I ever met were bereaved parents. I still cannot imagine what that kind of grief feels like, but this mama orca carrying her 400 pound baby day after day, a baby she grew in her womb for 17 months and was only able to see alive for half an hour; I think this captures visually the kind of grief a bereaved parent experiences.

Over the past five years, a good majority of my clients have been bereaved parents. To watch these parents live with the loss of their children is devastating and yet at the same time inspirational. These parents carry such intense grief, that grows and changes, that consumes and envelopes, and yet they grow and change around the pain they carry with them. They turn it into power and create change or bring about more goodness in the lives of others. Never will I be able to capture into words what this looks like. The statue below (shared at totallybuffalo.com) says what that this grief feels like better than my words ever could.

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Click here to be taken to the original source

Which is why I want to share some stories with you. This piece will be the first of several to follow. I can’t promise they will be in order – I may be moved to post other blogs in between, but there will be more of these.

These stories have allowed me to have a greater understanding of the communication from heaven. I want you to have that experience, too. I think we can all understand that there is a soul inside each of us that lives beyond our bodies; and that maybe, just maybe it is our soul that allows us to grow around our grief. It is our soul and its connection to the souls in heaven that help us here to cope with our loss and find a new way to survive.

Delia and David

I met Delia on a Tuesday in June. She came to my office for a session and like most people I meet; I didn’t know her last name, where she was from, who referred her or why she was there. And in like fashion, I rarely remember details of a session, but Delia and I spoke for a while, person to person, after the meeting, and she shared with me how some of the things her son, David had relayed through me, made sense to her.

These moments with clients are such a gift to me. I love to hear how the messages that I help translate are connected to real life events here on Earth. Plus I enjoy hearing about the lives that each of the spirits that speak to me, lived.

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David Surfing – shared with consent from Delia

Delia shared stories with me about David. His love of surfing, his son, and just how he was an all around great person. One of the things David conveyed to her through me, was that he left her signs with wings. He sent her these wings so she would always know when he was near and how much he loved her. I didn’t understand how he could make angel wings appear from up above, but he insisted that was what he was doing from heaven.

After the session, Delia explained to me that she saw angel wings in the sky all the time. Delia told me that “in [her] living room a Tiffany lamp over 30 years shines Angel wings on the ceiling [only] when turned on 6 months after [David] passed.” She feels these wings let her know that David continues to love her from heaven.

Below are pictures she shared with me so that you could also see the angel wings David sends his mom from heaven (the below photos were sent to me from Delia and shared with her consent):


I loved hearing these stories and knowing that what David shared through me on that Tuesday in June had brought Delia some comfort.

I want to share a little bit about Delia, too. She is a mom and grandmother. She has two children in addition to David. She is active in her grandchildren’s lives, and she is the most joyful person you could meet. You would never know her story by looking at her. She is patient, a great friend, and always ready and willing to help others in need; no matter how much her own heart is hurting. She helps to let David’s son continue to know his dad. She wants to insure that his son always knows and feels his father’s love for him.

Over the next few weeks, I thought about Delia and her son David a great deal because his death was so tragic and the connection between mother and son was so powerful; I was in awe of Delia’s strength and David’s ability to connect with his mom.

Then, through July, I started to see my own images of angel wings in the sky. Unfortunately, mostly when I was driving so, I couldn’t capture them. But I finally was able to take a picture of one such experience (shown below). I hadn’t seen Delia’s photos yet, but I remembered the wings and wanted to share with her that I was hearing from David, too. Spirit loves to be included in the present day world; not just remembered in the past. It always feels so important to me to let these parents know that their children in heaven still have an active impact on the world today and change my life in such significant ways.

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The day this photo was taken, I had a client come to visit who happened to be a friend of Delia’s. Which of course, is also how spirit works, connecting all the dots and making sure their message is hitting  home.

I shared with Delia’s friend that I had been seeing the angel wings for several weeks and that I would call up to heaven, “Hi, David” each time. Delia’s friend shared with me how the session that I had with Delia had helped her to heal in new ways and that there had been a noticeable difference in her. David’s connection and the things he shared with her had given her peace. He found a way to mend Delia’s heart just a bit so that she could grow around her grief a little more.

As I thought about that, I realized that this was David reaching out to me to say thank you for being a small part of that. And in full circle, I reached out to Delia later that day to share my photo; to which she shared her photos with me and now she is letting me share David with you.

I am sharing this with you because I want you to know like I do, that spirit can do anything, and God wants us to feel their love. I always say, how could Heaven really be an exceptional place if we were cut off from our loved ones here.

Of course, there are ways spirit can communicate and reach us. Of course, God wants that for us. He sent his only son to Earth out of his love for us. God can understand the kind of grief that bereaved parents feel. He holds that grief close to His own heart. He will always find ways for spirit to reach and heal us here on Earth. David and Delia are an example of this kind of love in motion. That our transition to the other side cannot severe love – that love is something that can cross through the veil between heaven and earth.

Love and light, until next time,

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Pass the praise

Pass the praise

This weekend I had the opportunity for an all-girls overnight. A couple of moms and I took our daughters to the Niall Horan concert. It was refreshing. My daughter was in heaven with all the make-up and hair curling. She was excited to be around all that feminine energy. I was, too.

We had a marvelous time. It was enchanting to witness moms dancing and singing with their daughters. The smiling, the laughing. Empowering to feel the connection with others. And to top it all off, it was a magnificent night. Dazzling.

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What complicated things for me was the amount of judgment that I took in. I heard and saw women (both young and old) one-upping, dissing anything from clothes to dance moves, and condemning the behavior of others.

This is so normal. And it is so wretched.

In my heart, I believe one of the biggest things keeping women down is each other. We are truly capable of amazing, brilliant accomplishments. Yet, we stomp on each other until our fire goes out; until the spark that makes us unique is covered up and hidden so that it can’t be chastised by others.

In a group of women, I am quiet. I am so reserved and hidden. There are a few groups where I feel like I can entirely be me. And often even then I wonder what is said about me between them when I am not present. And this has everything to do with past experience. Ugh.

More than twenty years ago, I decided that I wanted to change the behavior I witnessed between women; the critical judgment of appearance as we look one another up and down when we first set eyes on one another. Not necessary. The ease of passing a snarky comment about how another girl is dressed or behaving. Instead of prepping for disdain when I looked at or spoke to a woman, I always wanted to have a compliment ready. I wanted to build my sisters up because I felt so beaten down. I was exhausted, and I wasn’t even 20 yet.

I still have a friend that teases me about how we met. I saw her leaving class; we had History 17A&B together in college. She was magnetic even then. People were drawn to her. She was always in a group in and out of class. But even the best of us have bad days. We were leaving class one afternoon, and she looked so sad. She was alone, and her movements seemed heavy and deliberate. Every fiber of my being wanted to cheer her up. The compliment I had ready spilled from my mouth. “I really love your hair!” I said as I jogged to catch her. I don’t even remember her exact words, but I remember the smile. I remember the change in her step after I said it. She always tells people I was hitting on her; that’s her story of how we met.

But, why can’t we offer praise instead of judgment? Why does judgment so easily trickle off our tongues? Why does criticism slide so effortlessly from our lips?

Compassion

When I was little my mom used to play this game with us. We would be sitting on the beach and be bored or eating in a restaurant and get restless, and she would pick people out and ask us to tell her their story. What made them happy? What made them sad? What were they doing there? Why? How did they get there? What was their family like? Where did they live? She would ask us how we got to a specific conclusion and would even offer alternatives if we had missed something or not taken some other reason into consideration.

There are so many times in my interaction with people I try to figure out their story. This game my mom had us play became something that helped me to work and always find a way to better understand what people might be feeling or needing from experience.

When I see a mom with a child who is misbehaving; I don’t pass judgment on her parenting – I offer her praise for how well she is coping at that moment; because – and this is IMPORTANT (yes, I am using preachy capital letters at you) what happened around that moment – I don’t know; and you don’t either. But I can imagine. I am a mom of four and have carried screaming children out of stores, I was also a kid, and there are several stories of my epic fits. I empathize with that poor mom the way I would with my own mother. The way I would want someone to sympathize with me. We don’t know the backdrop of what caused a particular moment to become a reality; we only have that one snippet. One small piece of someone else’s life and it isn’t ours to judge.

Granted, I am not saying that we give everyone a pass. What I am saying is trying to understand before you pass judgment on another human should be a more common practice. Or maybe just merely understand. And then perhaps just as simple, offer compassion instead.

And more importantly; we can’t help someone we are rooting against. If we are rooting against them, we want them to fail. If we are rooting against them, then we are placing that negative energy on another and giving more negative energy life. We can only help; when we are rooting for; when we are the cheerleaders of others. So we have to offer compassion in the place of our judgment to help others heal and find another way. And maybe we should put the “us and them” language aside, too. Perhaps if we are rooting for one another, we are rooting for everyone all at once. And maybe that makes this world more livable, too.

Believe me, I am not void of passing judgment. And boy oh boy can I hold a grudge. But I remind myself that I need to release myself from the guilt of passing judgment and that I can do better next time. So, I get ready to have a compliment on hand and give that instead of judgment. I work hard not to partake in the negative talk that happens around me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t caught myself doing it, but I work to remove myself from these situations.

How you may ask? I work tirelessly to lift up others instead.

Seriously, you will find me in the grocery store, at Target, at an event, giving compliments to complete strangers. And I mean every word. It is essential to speak the truth in your compliments, too. You have to believe it. People see through bullshit compliments pretty easily. Just saying.

It is essential to speak the truth in your compliments, too. You have to believe it. People see through bullshit compliments pretty easily.

It is so worth the work! To see a smile and a difference in the step of another human because you helped to remind them of their strengths, is beyond powerful. It is like witnessing love in motion. It is spell-binding. Try it. I know it will make you both feel better. And then if you have a daughter or son, teach them this little trick, too. What a world we could live in if we all exchanged praise instead of judgment. We are going to slip up, we are human, we are built to make mistakes, but if we speak with compassion more often than judgment we are better off all the way around.

Peace and love,

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Spirit and Symbols: What You Should Know

Spirit and Symbols: What You Should Know

For many of us, it can be hard to believe that someone who has passed can communicate with us here on Earth. We shrug things off as a coincidence or find some other reasonable explanation. But what if?

What if your loved one is trying to reach you? What if that feeling you get every time you see a dragonfly, you just have this knowing feeling your mom is near? And to top that off, what if you see two together; one green, one blue each and every time? Is that just a random coincidence?

If we let go of the what if and just believe, then when we see these things we can give gratitude to our loved ones. We can embrace the comfort it brings into our lives. We can let go of the what if and stop feeling lost and alone. Heaven wouldn’t be heaven if our loved ones lost the ability to interact with us on some level. They love us. They miss us. They want to be a part of our lives. Heaven isn’t a disconnect; it is just a veil that they are allowed to bridge from time to time to help guide us through our pain and grief.

Sometimes signs don’t always make sense, but we see the same thing repeated again and again. It is worth taking notice and examining these signs as something more. Don’t get me wrong; my husband used to tell me I was over thinking it. But, he doesn’t say that anymore. When we start to embrace these signs, they happen more frequently and with more clarity than ever before.

For example, I recently started seeing a single crow everywhere. I figured someone was trying to tell me something. Now, I thought crows were a sign of death and was a bit spooked. Okay, a bit more than spooked; I may have thought I was dying for an entire day. Then I might have gone into denial. But that is beside the point. I decided to see what I could find. Sure enough, seeing a crow can mean many things, but the things that resonated the most with me were that observing a crow implies someone who has departed is nearby and also that if you can communicate with spirit you should do so.

When you look into the spiritual meanings of the things you are seeing, you are going to find there is a correlation between what you are seeing and someone who has passed and that the meaning can be attributed to you and your life.

Spirit uses any and every way that they can to communicate. For example, today I saw a feather on the ground that was sticking up in the grass, and the top was bent toward me. It looked like this feather was waving at me. I felt like my loved ones were saying hi. So I said hi; thanked them for being with me and went on my way.

And sometimes you will get the answers you were seeking. For instance, I was walking one day and I just was really praying that Jesus was always with me; guiding me to what is right and just in my life. And guess what? This was on the next street post I passed. It is not a picture of Jesus but there is a strong resemblance…

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Bottom line; spirit sometimes provides answers with the signs they give us.

What do you need to do to let go of the what if and embrace these signs? It isn’t too hard.

Be observant – first and foremost pay attention. Guides, Guardian Angels, and our Spirit Loved Ones are trying to communicate with us all the time. It could be as simple as hearing the dog collar jingle even though your pet has crossed over. Or as loud and clear as hearing someone say your name or tap you on the back. Or anything like the above mentioned examples. Signs can be anything and everything. Just make sure you are open to what is offered out to you each day.
Acknowledge the sign – second and just as important, make sure if you see a sign you acknowledge it. You don’t have to say anything out loud. Spirit can hear your thoughts to them. They can feel them. So just say your thank you or your hello, and that is enough. Spirit can use our positive affirmations (energy) to send us more signs. They can use this energy instead of their own, and that can increase the frequency of the signs they are sending.
Check for meaning – next, if you aren’t sure about a sign, but you feel something is a sign, Google is your friend. You can look up spiritual meanings of signs for just about anything. I don’t have a secret sauce to the best method, but I just use Google and input my search and then use my gut or intuition to guide me to the link to click on that will give me my best match in meaning. It usually works. Sometimes I have to click on more than one link, but not very often. The more you do this, the better you get at it.
Keep a symbol or sign journal – last but not least; you can keep a journal of all the things you have noticed or the signs you have received and their meanings. Sometimes you will notice a pattern or even develop your system of assigning meaning. Signs don’t always mean the same thing for everyone, and you might need a more personalized definition. A journal is an excellent way to keep track of the messages you receive and their meanings. It will help you become more skilled at understanding everyday spirit communication in your own life.
When you open yourself up to the universe and what it has to offer, you won’t be disappointed. Your what ifs start to lessen and your faith begins to deepen in a way you didn’t expect.

I know that my relationship with God has deepened and expanded in ways I never thought possible. In my day-to-day life, I experience so much reassurance in the form of signs, messages and just in my steadfast faith in something greater than me that I cannot even put into words the difference it makes.

Signs are everywhere; every day. Keep your heart and eyes open, and hopefully, you will see the messages meant just for you.

Many blessings,

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13 Misconceptions About Ghosts

13 Misconceptions About Ghosts

One of my favorite books as a kid was Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Maybe that was odd as a kid, but it makes a great deal of sense now. Being a medium and all. Likewise, my daughter has been fascinated with Halloween and Monster High since she first experienced them. And scary movies rate high at the box office. I think it just goes to show some people like to be spooked, and then there are those that are just fascinated with the afterlife in general.

However, ghosts tend to get a bad wrap. Words like ghost and haunted seem scary and full of malice. The words just have a negative connotation all their own.

Luckily, I get the privilege of working with ghosts day in and day out. Even I use the word spirit instead of ghost because there just seems to be something off about the word ghost. Technically according to Webster’s Dictionary a ghost is, “an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.” See even the word nebulous is used in the definition and that doesn’t sound positive. Does it?

In fact, I don’t even like the word dead. So let’s take a look at the 13 most common misconceptions about ghosts and see if we can’t debunk those ideas.

Ghosts are dead

First things first, ghosts do NOT like to be referred to as dead. I have first-hand experience with this so you will just have to take my word for it, but they do not like it when I or anyone else says they are dead. They understand of course but would prefer to be referred to as transitioned or in another life. They are alive and well. They have things to do in Heaven and are thriving there. They feel fantastic, and if they have lived a good life here; meaning they have treated other people well, spirits have the perks of being able to look however they would like. Ghosts are not dead; they are just without a physical body.

Ghosts are earthbound

Some people feel that if you see or sense a spirit, you are supposed to tell them to go into the light. Not true. It is said that if a ghost is here, they are earthbound or stuck. However, ghosts have to cross over or go to the light. There isn’t much choice about that. They all describe being pulled into the light. They all go home, to Heaven. The one option they do have is if they want to make amends with the wrongs they may have committed here. If they do they can grow and develop more in Heaven, and they are able to have more and more perks if you will. But they all cross over right from the start.

Ghosts are serious

Not even close. While a ghost tends to keep the same personality traits they had here in a body; there isn’t much weighing us down on the other side to keep us somber. In other words, they don’t take themselves or events too seriously. Almost every session I have there is laughter and joking. Some sessions I am in awe because I can’t believe how much all of our cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. God has a sense of humor, and so do ghosts.

Ghosts are scary

Almost all ghosts are anything but scary. In fact, it is just like here. Most people are good. There are some undeveloped spirits, but only positive energy can cross over from Heaven to Earth. So, most of the time ghosts are trying not to scare you. They prefer not to be spooky. We just get freaked out because it is an unexpected and unexplainable phenomenon.

Ghosts can do whatever they want

Spirits do have some abilities in communication and for the most part can do many, many things. However, they are bound by rules. They can only communicate the way they are allowed, and they can’t do anything to over the top. Or so I have been told. So no winning lottery numbers can be shared via a medium. Apparently that is a deal breaker. Often you won’t be able to capture their communication in a photo or on a device. They prefer to leave no proof behind. We are supposed to believe in them and have faith they are real without evidence. That is part of the deal.

Ghosts have control of the situation

This is an essential piece of the equation, we have the power to make spirits go away. They may come back and we may have to ask them to leave over and over, but we hold power in our space to say who is welcome and who is not.

Midnight is the witching hour

Midnight has been thought to be when the veil drops, and it is easier to communicate with those on the other side. But the activity is highest between 3 and 4 AM. I don’t have a solid explanation for why this happens; I just know from experience that this is when the most activity occurs.

Talking to ghosts opens up a window for negative energy to travel through

So many people think that if you decide to speak to spirit, you are inviting all kinds of negative energy into your life. I have news for you; you only invite negative energy into your life if you think negative thoughts or if you worry too much, get angry, get stressed, or if you do mean things. Ghosts aren’t harmful in nature. The majority of the ones around you are deceased family and friends. The ghosts that love you and that you miss are the ones that visit most. And acknowledging communication from them just keeps them around and helps them continue to share signs with you.

Ghosts are not real

Just not true. Almost everyone I have ever met has some unexplained feeling or event that they can tie to a loved one that has crossed over. That isn’t just our wishful thinking. Ghosts are real.

We only see ghosts when they have unfinished business
Many spirits who cross over that come to visit the living are really satisfied with their lives and their transitions. They don’t have any unfinished business; they just want to be near the people that they love and miss. So they are here visiting.

Ghosts are in torment

I have also heard that some believe if you are in a ghost state that you are being punished for something you did here on Earth. Much like, Jacob Marly in A Christmas Carol who comes to visit Ebenezer Scrooge so that he can change his ways. Ghosts are in Heaven. They are happy. They are at peace. They feel amazing. No torment. No pain. All is good.

Ghost phenomenon is rare

So, I don’t know if you really want to hear this part, but I have news for you. Ghosts are everywhere. There is not a single place on the planet that I have ever seen that is free of ghosts. They are at Target, the grocery store, the bank, the parks, your houses, your cars, every single place. Cemeteries tend to be least inhabited by paranormal beings, but other than that they are everywhere.

You have to have special abilities to see a ghost

Not one ounce of talent or unique ability is needed to see a ghost. Anyone anywhere can see one. If ghosts want you to see them, then you will. It takes a great deal of energy for spirits to materialize, but they can and will if they feel the need to do so. Often ghosts are able to materialize in places where their physical energy would be connected. For example, the house they lived or died in. Or for instance, a place they were married or gave birth. All in all, any place where they spent a great deal of time can still have their physical energy connected to it, and this can help ghosts to materialize in a way we can clearly see them, but it also isn’t necessary.

So, I know you have to take my word on a few of these things, and I get it if it is hard to believe. I have had a great deal of practice and personal experience, and some days I have a hard time believing what happens to and around me as well. But, this is what I have come to learn from ghosts themselves; take it or leave it. These are their truths.

Until next time,

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Life out loud

Life out loud

“You need to forget what society has told you about life and expectations, and don’t let anybody make you pretend. You are enough, just the way you are…”

                                                                                                        – Maddie Dawson

I think the majority of us probably spend too much time in our heads; wrapped up in our own lives. The magic starts to happen outside of ourselves. It’s hard to believe sometimes because pain is out there, too. But it’s true. Truer than true.

You have to be brave to show up as you are without a mask and to open your whole self up to the world and be damned what comes flinging back at you. That is not an easy feat, nor for the faint of heart. But it is required to live life out loud. It is just the way it is.

Michelle Murnin Paulson (3)

Even though it can be scary and the armor feels necessary it is best if we keep going out without it. It is best if we keep showing up as ourselves; brave and open. You will find your people, and you will find the people who aren’t yours. Keep and love your people and let the others ones go. It is okay. If they are meant to be, they will come back.

We can get easily discouraged, too. Get wounded and retreat. Lick our wounds and decide the world is just much too much to be out in it without any armor to shield our soft and easily pierce-able hearts. Some people stay in that place of retreat for the rest of their lives; they get so wounded. They start to believe they are damaged. That isn’t true. No one is so injured they can’t find some healing. Anything is possible. That is true, too. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen a mama bury her baby and then rise again. I have seen that happen more often than I ever wanted. I have seen heartbreak up close. Heartbreak so big that it starts to swallow you up with it and then somehow on a day down the road the same heartbreak finds laughter. Laughter that burns so bright it catches everyone within earshot and lifts them up with it.

Healing is hard. Healing is forever work, and sometimes we need rest from healing, and we get so cozy and comfortable we forget we need to go back to that healing work. When we forget that we should keep up that healing work; the universe gets involved.

It really can stick its ugly head into things and make a great big mess, and it is almost impossible sometimes to go clean it up after you have been so cozy and relaxed in the pleasant little rut you had carved out for yourself. So sometimes, people don’t clean anything up. They just leave that mess and live there because they already have had just about enough; thank you very much. So they sit right there and stay in that mess. They learn to cope and survive in that clutter and debris until they just can’t see it anymore.

And sometimes no matter where you might be or what mess you might have left lying around just a little too long; you wake up and decide today is the day, and you get right back to the work of healing. It feels so good to stretch your legs finally and climb out of that rut that you are so enamored with the way the world looks you don’t mind the healing work at first. It is okay that it is hard. Then one day, BAM! It is like the cycle is right back where you started and you remember how hard this thing called life can be. It makes you want to give up right then and there. And maybe you do, just for a little bit. It is okay to take a rest after all. But after a few days or weeks you pick yourself right back up and dust yourself off and start out again. Sometimes rest clears our vision just a bit and we can keep at it a little bit longer.

Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

You know, one thing that I have figured out so far is that life is going to happen however and whenever it wants no matter what we do. The best thing is to try again; even if we fall, even if we get comfortable, even if we are knocked down by the big old universe because we weren’t paying attention. The best thing to do is to keep at the healing work and keep unlearning and learning and re-learning what works best for us at the moment.

Copy of Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

Some things are seasonal and temporary, and others are built to last through thick and thin; through ugly crying and even some yelling; those things may even take a break, but they never really leave us because they were built to last after all.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Michelle Murnin Paulson

And most importantly, don’t forget to love yourself along the way. A great deal of us forget that part. We love our people fierce and well, but then we stop one day and realize we forgot our own hearts somewhere along the way. Remember that taking care of yourself helps you take care of those you love, too. Hearts are resilient creatures; once they are remembered they seem to find a way to start to refresh themselves even if we fight it.

Live out loud. It is worth every second. Even when you are lonely and lost. Even when you don’t think you can for one more second. Even if you have stopped for a while; go back again and be loud, be you. In the end, it leaves your life fuller and more well-rounded. It strips away the fear and unnecessary and what is left overfills every second of every space across all of your time here and you will look around on the good days and know that you are and have always been right where you need to be. And you will look around on the bad days, and you will know you have always been right where you needed to be.

Today is the day. Set your armor down and try again or keep plugging away or lift your head a bit to see if you can look out of the rut you might have curled and cozied into. Today is the day to be you out loud for the world to see. Let love lead your heart and guide your feet, and you will always know the way.

Until next time,

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How do you know if spirit is with you?

How do you know if spirit is with you?

Today, I took a little me time. Well, mostly.

I had to run to Target to get some things for the kids and their teachers to end out the year, but I wandered a bit since I had the morning to myself. Inherently I wanted to rush because there is a laundry list of things to do and appointments to get to, but something kept whispering to me to take my time and amble through. As I was leaving the grocery section, something told me to turn right. So, I did.

Sure enough, as I was walking down the aisle, a dear friend was walking right toward me. Within minutes we were in deep conversation about life, depression, motherhood, and friendship. It buoyed me up in a way nothing had in days.

On my way home, I was pondering this encounter and feeling grateful when another push came into my mind. Something urged me to change the radio station. And as I did, I hear Brett Eldridge live on the Highway. I leave it for a second. He is just talking, and not singing. As I go to change the channel, I hear this gentle, “wait” from deep in my soul, so I do.

Brett starts talking about Frank Sinatra. He alerts the listeners that he has decided to end his live concert (via radio) with a song by Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. He says he wants to end on this song for all those fans that feel lonely and are up nights and can’t quite sleep or are thinking about why are they here, etc. And he sings only this part of the song,

In the wee small hours of the morning
While the whole wide world is fast asleep
You lie awake and think about the girl
And never even think of counting sheep

When your lonely heart has learned its lesson
You’d be hers if only she would call
In the wee small hours of the morning
That’s the time you miss her most of all

Well, let me pause for a minute here and tell you my grandma was a huge fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes. His records were regularly playing in their house, and she would always tell you he was the best singer of all time.

To top that off, I have been feeling desperately lonely lately. No good reason to feel lonely, but just a feeling wedged in the pit of my stomach.

To hear this today, I know my grandma was reaching down from heaven to remind me that I am not alone. And it is no secret that the line “that’s the time you miss her most of all” is the last line sung. My grandma would want to be missed. It was so her to send Frank on Country radio to me today to remind me I am loved, and she is nearby. Plus running into such a dear friend so unexpectedly; it was spirit working to let me know I am not alone.

I know some people may say that is stretch and that the song doesn’t have anything to do with a grandma being missed, but I assure you I was her girl and she was mine. It makes perfect sense to me and when it comes to signs that is all that matters. Signs only need to make perfect sense to you.

So how do you know that spirit is all around you? Well, nothing I can tell you will make you believe; but that is the way to know – you just have to believe they are there.

Heaven is not some far off distant place; we are a part of it. I mean really, could you imagine a heaven where you had no access to more than half of the people you loved most in the world?

Typically, souls in heaven have family here on Earth that they love and miss. So of course, we are a part of their heaven. They can visit and interact with us, and they do. They are sending messages in any way that they can; using whatever tools that they can find. Wouldn’t you if you could?

Spirit delivers messages to their loved ones in a myriad of ways.

For one, spirit/soul doesn’t need words to communicate, and that means that our spirit loved ones can communicate with any living thing to get our attention. Animals, insects, plants, trees, the wind, water, rocks. Whatever has energy running through it, spirits can access. So you may see a particular bird, insect, or flower all the time. You may find a specific rock or wind chimes may sound when there is no apparent wind. All of these are signs and spirit’s way of saying hello to you.

And that is not all. Since energy can run through electronics, too, these can be used to deliver a message that spirit is close. You may have lights dim and get bright in your house; printers not work; poor Internet connection with no explanation; interrupted and dropped calls, these are all signs from spirit. Now, don’t get me wrong – sometimes things go on the fritz, or the power goes out, but typically with a sign, we feel or sense that something is behind it. Remember when I said soul/spirit doesn’t need words to communicate, well there it is. There is usually a sense of knowing that comes with a sign. You often will think of the person you miss or feel them near right after or before the sign. And again, sometimes you aren’t thinking of them, but they tie in a song that is connected to them or their name in a way to get your attention and let you know it is them; like my grandma did today.

Spirit can do many things. One of their favorite ways to communicate is called ghosting. I know, I know, spirit has a great sense of humor. Ghosting happens when you are out and about and out of the corner of your eye you see someone. Instantly you think; “Gosh, that looks like grandpa“.

When you look again, carefully, that person doesn’t look anything like your grandpa. You could have sworn that they did the first time you saw them. Well, a spirit will stand in front of a living person in a body, and for a moment you can “see” them there. This act is called ghosting and one way they try to say hi to you.

Spirit has a way of moving energy in a space as well. So I am sure this dates me, but for those of you know it; the penny scene from Ghost is an example. See below…

While spirit can’t entirely communicate with us in as blatant a way as Sam does; they can communicate in pretty powerful ways by moving objects. Why can’t they do what Sam does? Well, there are rules. I have asked and I feel based on the explanations that I have received, the answer is that we aren’t supposed to have proof. We have to take their existence on faith. It is part of the deal.

Regardless, they do move things. Whether it is a photo, or your keys or opening a door – which I have seen with my own eyes. They move things to get our attention. Sometimes, they can “move” things without moving them at all. For example, you might hear a knock on a door in the house, or a cupboard shut, or a door open or close, but there was no movement. You might hear footsteps and feel someone in the room. They do all of these things not to scare you, unless you have someone in your family with that kind of sense of humor, but to reassure you that they are with you.

And above all of that, sometimes, spirit uses a channel – whether it is a person like me or an unsuspecting friend or relative to get their actual emotions and words right to you. You may bump into someone, and they will tell you something that you know came from your departed cousin or sister. You know those words feel and sound like someone on the other side.

Another way spirit can communicate is with numbers. This one seems out there I know, but because I can feel energy whether it is a spirit or person or animal or plant or rock I sense the power that runs through things. If you are like me, you get this and if you are not like me, yet understand matter and atoms –  you understand there is energy in everything. So with that being said, numbers have energy. They vibrate with a frequency that is tangible. Spirit can access these frequencies – each number has a different vibration – and they can use numbers as a way to communicate. This can be through a clock and time; or it can be numbers on license plates, numbers found on receipts or deli ticket numbers. They will use a number to announce their presence in your life.

Truly spirit wants you to know they are with you. They are not dead, but living and thriving in heaven. They get to visit you every single day. You are a part of their heaven. Spirit is interacting with us all the time.

I had a friend ask, “What if I don’t feel like I have ever gotten a sign?

To that I say; first, you may be discounting things and explaining them away. For spirit, this is discouraging. It takes a great deal of energy for a soul to leave you a sign and communicate with us here. They have to slow way down and put a lot of focus into getting a message across. If they aren’t rewarded, with acknowledgment from us here there is no energetic feedback and signs can’t be repeated or delivered as often. And that can make it seem like they aren’t happening for you. BUT, there are no coincidences. (If you don’t believe me, I suggest you read this post here.) You know what you feel. If something strikes you as being a message or sign; acknowledge it.

If you still don’t feel like you have had any symbols or messages from the other side, ask for something in particular. I think you will be surprised. They will find a way to answer that call. It may not be exactly how you asked for it, but an answer will be delivered.

It is crucial for us here to remember that spirit has their own agenda and from what they tell me a particular set of rules they have to abide by when communicating. We can’t have expectations. We need to be open and willing to accept what is offered.

For example, I once was at a group reading where a woman who had listened to me relay messages from her dad for ten minutes discount every word. She ignored it because he didn’t bring up the ring she had brought with her in her pocket even though other people in the room heard the validity of his messages.

We have a choice in this life; we can believe that anything is possible and that somehow our loved ones can reach us or we can choose to need facts and exact information.

Did you know that Harry Houdini would often discredit spiritualists in the town he visited if they didn’t mention the one word he told his mother to say to him when she died? So, spiritualists would perform or approach him in town, and if they didn’t deliver that specific message from his mother, then he would ruin them. This made me so sad. What if? What if the spiritualist missed the message – sometimes it is hard to hear everything from spirit – what if his mom was in a hurry and said something without mentioning the word? Spirit can forget things, too. What if he missed something just because he was only looking for one certain word and hurt people in the process?

I don’t want to be Houdini when it comes to what is on the other side and what is possible. But the choice is up to you. I choose to believe.

 

 

What is a spiritual medium?

What is a spiritual medium?

There are quite a few people who still ask exactly what I do. Since I get this question quite a bit I thought it would be good to try and define it here on the blog.

Being a spiritual medium is entirely different than just saying you speak to the dead.

In purest form being a medium means that you have the ability for soul to soul communication. We all have that ability; each and every one of us. It took me a while to figure out my own personal definition for mediumship, but after over 400+ readings and roughly 3 decades of experience with spirit; I believe that is what mediumship is. It is the ability to understand and communicate soul to soul.

Souls do not need words to communicate. We can pick up a great deal about one another without even speaking. And I am not just talking about what we see and hear; I am talking about what we feel. This is also different than telepathy or mind reading. Our souls can communicate their needs, wants, fears, hopes, dreams, and memories to one another directly. A soul can communicate and understand without the aid of a physical body, and this is possible if the soul resides in a living body or outside of that in the afterlife.

Spiritual mediums can receive messages from spirit in a variety of ways, and no two mediums are precisely alike just like no two people are exactly alike; unless you want to get technical with identical twins, but even then I would say there are two distinctly different people involved.

Mediums can be clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient, or claircognizant.

Clairvoyant (clear sight) means that one is able to “see” things beyond perceptual sight. So information is perceived or felt through the heart or mind’s eye.

Clairaudient, is you guessed it, the ability to hear messages from spirit. These messages can be impressions in the mind or heard audibly through our human senses.

Clairsentient means that messages can be relayed through feeling both physical and emotional. This type of medium can feel physical sensations that a spirit would have felt in life or even feel these sensations of souls currently in physical bodies.

Finally, mediums that have claircognizance just know things. Messages come through with complete clarity. These individuals know with certainty that someone is lying, they also get ideas readily and easily. Like a lightbulb going off in their heads.

A spiritual medium can have one or all of the abilities in receiving spiritual communication. These gifts can vary or change over time as well. It is also possible to develop and enhance the ability to use these gifts with practice and dedication.

Shit just got real – lessons from afourytale

Shit just got real – lessons from afourytale

“Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words mank and ind. What do these words mean? It’s a mystery and that’s why so is mankind.”
– Jack Handey

I am no Jack Handey, but sometimes I sure feel like I am. When your world is topsy turvy with no end in sight sometimes you just have to say random things and laugh.

At our house shit is for real right now. I started my own business (who would have ever guessed), Brian is looking for a job while managing a shitload (just a fair warning there is going to be a lot of ‘shit-talking’ in this blog post) of family stuff, and the kids and I have had some minor health hiccups. The good news about some of that is that my health mystery has been solved and can be resolved with surgery, but seriously don’t even ask because I still can’t even talk about it yet.

Don’t get me wrong our lives are fabulous, and everything will be okay (mostly first world problems) but, some days I wish I was still a carefree kid who could just wake up and watch cartoons on Saturday morning. And in case you are wondering what all this crapola is teaching me, I have put together a few lessons to sum up the events of the past few months.

1. Buy the Swimsuit
I know weird way to start, however, buy the swimsuit. Buy it, even if you don’t like your body in it. Play with your kids; jump in the water. Try not to care what anyone else thinks. Don’t ask me how; I am nowhere near an expert. I have just bought the swimsuit. Two in fact that are still waiting to be tried on. I will get back to you on how that progresses. What I do know is this life is what we make it and we can either sit on the sidelines or jump in. Jumping in is way more fun and leaves you with more memories and stories to tell. Ed Sheeran’s right, “Just re-remember life is more than fittin’ in your jeans.”

2.  Take the leap
I am not saying it will be easy or that shit won’t go wrong – it can and will go wrong – inevitable consequence of life, but leap anyway. Living outside your comfort zone and trying something you have always wanted to do is so much easier to live with, than regret. Trust me; I have been on both sides of the coin.

3. Reach out
Choose connection over discomfort and loneliness. I have had this friend for just about twenty years, and we have had our ups and downs, yet every single time I pick up the phone and reach out to her it changes my life. She is always there. She always knows the right thing to say. We find our way to common ground and I thank GOD for her EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. When we are together, I feel like I have the winning lifeline on Who Wants to be a Millionaire (the Regis Philbin version because I liked an aged to perfection version of things in this middle season of my life). So pick up the phone, say the words you have meant to say, just do it. You’re welcome.

4. You are a good parent
If you are doing the best you can to provide a safe environment and raise your children to be good citizens you are likely a good parent. If you are trying your best and all the while wondering if you are doing it right, then you are likely a good parent.

But knowing if you are a good parent can be tricky. Like when you have to wade neck-deep into your teen’s phone and read their text messages so you know what they are up to and you find things that cut straight to your soul; you might forget that you are a good parent. When you reprimand your children and take devices away, and they become little, smart-alecky tyrants and say things like, “You are the worst mom ever!” or “I want a new mom.” You might forget you are a great parent, but hang in there, you are! Or sometimes when your child makes less than stellar decisions, you have to remember it is just them finding their way and learning about life. I mean we all made mistakes at one point. Yes, you did. Seriously, get over it; you totally did.

Even though with parenting that is when shit got real and still gets real, it is worth it. We get some glimpses along the way of how it might turn out, but as half of my kids are in teenage-dom I am figuring I will see the fruits of my labor somewhere in 2030. I think I can wait, but just in case you see me on a day after I may have had to monitor my kids’ social media accounts and text messages and I seem near desperate can you remind me that I am a good parent?

I know, I know as Gloria Gaynor said, “I will survive.” I may end up with a new eye twitch, but I will survive. And don’t you moms out there even get me started on the driving or the moving out because I CAN’T EVEN RIGHT NOW. One thing at a time, people, one thing at a time.

5. Show up
When your loved ones are struggling, and there is nothing that you can really do to help, even though it might be tough, you just need to show up. Text, call, write, bring dinner, sit quietly, just show up. It is hard, and you may feel lame, but they need you. Even if they tell you to go away after you get there, it is okay, leave, but go in the first place. I promise in the long run, showing up however you are, saying whatever you can, will make a difference.

6. You are what you love
Kay, I am going to end on a serious note, but are you really that shocked?

This lesson is sticking with me a lot lately; you are what you love. You can reshape your life with this lesson.

  • how you spend your time
  • how you treat other people
  • how you treat yourself
  • who you spend your time with
  • the risks you open yourself up to

What do you love?

I am trying to be more of what I love –

  • humorous
  • open
  • warm
  • carefree
  • peaceful
  • authentic
  • nonjudgemental
  • But guys can I just say trying not to love tacos is hard. I mean really, really hard. Especially, when you are raising children and the only thing that can make you feel better after they have driven you bat-shit crazy is a taco. Remember this blog doesn’t need others to pass judgment – see line above on you are what you love.
  • Also, Chai Lattes will not let me break up with them. So I think I am going to have to love running again and that is also really, really hard because my couch loves me so much, unconditionally even.

So, shit gets real for everyone, but I know we got this because if I can get through this life; I know you can, too. So get in the water, take the leap, phone a friend, remember you are a good parent, show up for others and be what you love or have a taco whatever works.

Until next time,
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