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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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Parenting: My truth

Parenting: My truth

** Special note: I write this with the intent and experience of my parenting journey. In no way is it meant to be hurtful to those families who have had severe and devastating struggles. Those of my friends that have endured this, my heart goes out to you all. Each and everyone. I know the names of all of your babies. I say them every day. I know how your heart hurts and that life will never be the same. This essay is genuinely written from only my perspective. It is just a simplified version of what I am going through with no intent to demean or diminish other people’s experiences.**

People mean well when they tell their harrowing labor stories, or crazy parenting moments, or offer their warnings about parenting teenagers, or offer advice and layout the total cost of raising a child. I remember all the breastfeeding, diaper changing, labor giving, toddler disciplining, Happiest Baby on the Block sharing, and all it did was exhaust me. Mostly made me feel pretty inadequate as a parent. So I stopped paying attention to what other people were doing, followed my gut instincts and did the best I could. That is what I am still doing. Now, people keep telling me parenting teens is the hardest. They mean well, I get it. But, just like the advice in the earlier years, I don’t think I am going to buy into it.

Before I had children, everyone would tell me you don’t know what you are getting into; your life is going to be so different. You are never ready for what is going to happen. When I held my son in my arms for the first time, my whole body shifted into mom mode. I had waited my entire life for that moment. Everything before was just practicing for that moment. Was I scared? Of course. I mean, duh. Brian and I got home looked at each other and looked at the helpless little human in my arms and knew we were going to have to wing it. We knew it was going to be harder than anything we had ever done before and we knew there wasn’t a rule book or guide that was tailored to us.

Regardless of whatever outside advice or stories I heard from other novice or experienced mothers, from day one with my babies, somewhere in me, I knew I could do it, and I knew I would know best, no matter what. Of course, it was scary, and I worry through every single step.

I remember being terrified they would stop breathing when I wasn’t looking or that they were going to have some severe food allergy, or illness, or God forbid, based on every book known to man, they would be less than in every way because they were formula fed. I worried about their psyche since I rocked them to sleep every single night and did not believe in letting them cry it out. Come on; there is enough crying in life already. But most of all, I loved being a mom to my babies. They way they smelled after a bath, the rocking to sleep, watching milestones be reached, hearing them laugh for the first time. Not sleeping was rough, but it was also so sacred and special to have those moments in the silence with them.

When they survived infancy, walking became the next terrifying event. There are stairs everywhere people. Everything seemed to have sharp corners, and my goodness floor tile is so freaking hard. Each place became an obstacle course of sharp edges, hard surfaces, and steep falls. But it was also miraculous to watch them take those first steps; to see the wonder on their faces as they were able to start exploring the world at their own pace.

After we survived walking – and running; I won’t even go there – with just a few bumps and bruises it was play-dates at the park. I know, I know those sound fun, but when the kids were little toddlers, my heart was in constant panic mode. Some moron believed it was a good idea that at the tippy, tippy top of the play structure next to the very best tube slide there needed to be an opening with a 20-foot drop. I mean who in HOLY HELL designs these things?! Regardless of the pitfalls and obstacle courses of doom; parenting a toddler was way more than amazing. The talking, the stories, the imaginative play, the silly and hilarious things that would come out of their mouths. Watching each one develop their personality, sense of style and interpret the world around them.

Then it’s preschool and the agony of leaving your child and then watching like a stalker behind two-way glass wondering why the hell they have to go to preschool anyway. I mean really. And it was hard to send them off to preschool because I enjoyed being around them; I hated missing anything about their life.

After that is kindergarten. There are no two-way windows there. You are left to leave and wonder what the heck is going on in there. Thank goodness you can volunteer. But still, you are left wondering: Is the playground safe? How good are the background checks? What kind of kids are in there? So many emotions. How can we possibly survive all the feelings – friendships happening or not, learning and the rate at which it is happening; learning disabilities, differences, and how are we going to survive 6 hours without our baby? Because I loved being with them. Teaching them numbers, the alphabet, counting, reading books and exploring the world with them.

But while you are worrying about all of that they somehow make their entire way through infancy, toddler-hood, pre-school, and elementary school.  Then middle school happens. You have to watch as your child walks off into that new territory all by themselves because “No one else’s mom is walking them on campus!” And at this place, there are kids holding hands, kissing, youtube-ing, social media-ing, conducting unsupervised google searches – and if you are monitoring all of this as best you can as a parent and limiting it you also are now so uncool and the worst parent that ever lived! Or at least your kid thinks so. Plus, when you monitor the damn text messages you always find something you wish you hadn’t. It is not a win-win, ever.

I am sure this continues through high school and adulthood. We will never stop worrying. Believe me; we just went to the first high school rally preparing for next year, and the fears keep growing. Tumbling into my mind before I can stop them. Plus my dear husband thinks it’s reassuring for me to know that we won’t always like how our kids behave. It never makes me feel better hearing that.

From the beginning, I think we are learning to let go. Learning how to navigate a world where we want our children to grow and thrive, but still be shielded just enough to have a happy childhood.

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So far parenting a teen has been just as rewarding and wonderous as parenting an infant or a toddler. Sure, I don’t get cuddles and conversations may veer into topics including sex, drugs, and violence in our world, but watching my children grow into courteous, educated, friendly, intelligent, curious youth with great ideas about how to contribute to their communities is beyond anything I ever imagined. We discuss novels, politics, rules, family dynamics, and I get a front row seat to watch them fly. Giving them room to grow is hard; I may have had some helicopter tendencies with my first one, but I think we all do. Having three more kids easily cured that. Each step they took away from me, to explore the world was preparing me to help give them that room to grow and thrive. It is terrifying at times, but our relationships are healthy and meaningful. I trust them. They have given me every reason to.

I know parenting is really about growing children into amazing adults – at least that is our goal. We are truly learning to let go from day one. But just because we are teaching them to fly doesn’t mean that one stage is harder than the next or that they grow entirely away from us; it is just the way things are. Being a mom is still my most treasured gift regardless of the stage. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.

 

It is time to talk Mr. President

It is time to talk Mr. President

This blog is not a place where I have been political. I try to keep that clear of this space; because everyone has a right to their beliefs and truly I am not a fan of starting internet conversations about politics. It gets nasty quick. I steer clear of that behavior as well. But I can no longer hold my tongue on this issue. And it is time to have civil conversations outside of our political boundaries. We as a nation, have a compound problem when it comes to mass shootings, but we need to rise together to make a stand and start stripping away at each of the issues at hand and make a difference, and we need help from the top. We do need to be there for one another and help each other heal, but it is way past time to only hope and pray. It is time to truly make this a pressing, front of the line issue in every home. I know some of you already have and I thank you for leading the way. I am here with you now, out loud, in the open. We need to make this stop.

After listening to the president speak about the horrific event in Florida yesterday, I wanted to write him a letter. (To view his speech click here). Something inside me felt this was the best place to start with my response to what happened yesterday and how I think we need to move forward in handling it.

And my letter to the President would say…

Dear Mr. President,

Today I write this letter with a heavy heart. I know you are also coping with the tragedy of yesterday’s events in Parkland, Florida.

Sir, I am a patriot, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother of four, who cares deeply about her local community and country. At fourteen, I followed politics religiously and Meet the Press was my favorite weekly program. I would meet anyone head on to talk about almost every issue regarding American Politics. I couldn’t wait to vote. I knew that my one vote mattered and could change the world. Sadly, though I am no longer the idealist I once was. Soon after graduating college and becoming a third-grade teacher the world and how it worked left me a bit jaded and disillusioned. When my oldest son was two and could understand the news; I turned it off permanently.

But, today, sir, I am writing you with my idealist’s heart. Respectfully, sir, we have a problem. It is a compound problem with no easy solution, and I know that many of us have begun to be a part of that solution, but we need your help. We have had enough mass shootings. These need to stop. I know you may not be able to stop them altogether; I am not naive. But sir, if you are the man of action that you say you are, then I know you can make a plea and lead legislators and policymakers to take swift action.

I am a patriot, who is for responsible gun ownership, but our gun legislation is too lenient when a few people can cause such earth-shattering devastation. We need to feel safe in a movie theater, university, church, at work and our children need to feel safe at school. I heard you tell our children, “you were never alone, and you never will be.” Sir, I know you mean those words, so I implore you to stand beside them and start to pull together our legislators and create a campaign that truly starts to address how we are going to handle mental health and gun control in our country. Sir, you asked the children to “answer cruelty with kindness.” Can you please lead the way?

I think there are some issues we can table for a moment; like immigration, and pull some of those resources front and center for our nation’s children. We have no future if we don’t protect our children. We need to put children ahead of special interest groups and the dollars they contribute. We need to put political party lines aside and stand united against the issue of mass shootings and find ways to help prevent them.

Mr. President, I am for you. See I believe even if we disagree and even if I feel disappointed by your politics and behavior that the best way for our country to move forward is to believe in you and think that you can indeed make a difference. We need you, sir. We need you to call for reform. We need you to make this a high priority. We need you to address mental health. We need you to look carefully at gun control. We need you to lead the way in answering cruelty with kindness. Simply put, we need you.

We have had over 1,000 people killed in mass shootings in America and the occurrences of these horrific events are increasing. The majority of the weapons were obtained legally, and most of the perpetrators had multiple weapons. One had 24 weapons. Who needs 24 weapons? The Second Amendment was not written to protect that; there is no reason for that kind of arsenal. I am not saying we need to take away guns, but when airport security is more rigid and uncomfortable than purchasing a weapon, we have a problem.

It is also essential that we address mental health. I know that highly educated people have been studying these shootings for years. We have to have some knowledge that can better help us prevent these. The knowledge our country can assemble and distribute with your actions behind it is sure to make a difference.

When my children thank our first responders and soldiers for their service, I know America is exceptional. After these events, the way Americans come together to heal, I know America is great. I am not worried about making America great again; it already is. I am concerned about making America safer. I am concerned about our children. I am a mother first, and I do not believe there is such a thing as other people’s children. I think we’re in this together and we must find a solution to the issues that need to be addressed so that we can help all the children and continue America’s greatness.

You were right when you said, “We must take a stand that makes a difference.” I am taking that stand every day here on the front lines. I am teaching my children to listen. I am teaching my children how to be safe. I am raising them the best that I can and using all available resources at my disposal. I am helping the children in our community and regularly try to make a huge effort to help those at promise youth in my community. Unfortunately, I feel that I am not appropriately equipped for what I am up against. I need your help. We need your help. Please make this a priority. Put the best people on it. Use our best resources. Let’s make a stand that makes a difference. I have a dear friend that always says, “Don’t just be sorry, be active.” She is very wise, and also right. We lost beautiful lives yesterday. We have lost so many beautiful lives. So many families are forever changed. It is time not only to be sorry and but to be active.

Sincerely,

Michelle

Please check out this article from the Washington Post written in November of last year. It is powerful.

CNN outlines some of the most deadly events in U.S. History in this article here. This list is way too long.

Want a way to help make a difference – check out Moms Demand Action here or Everytown here.

I love Brene Brown’s post about this – you can read it here.

Hallelujah anyway

Hallelujah anyway

Y’all I saw Jen Hatmaker last week on the Moxie Matters Tour, and I just have to say Hallelujah and Amen. She is such a down to earth, genuine human. She showed up sick and tired and persevered through the evening. She is just one of my favorite humans.

The theme of the evening centered around being a good neighbor and what that meant. She used the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, to illustrate what Jesus taught us about being a good neighbor.

See, Jesus tells the story of a man that is robbed, beaten, stripped and left for dead and how a priest and a holy man not only pass him by when they see him; they move to the other side of the street. The person who stops to help the robbed and beaten man is a Samaritan. Now in biblical times; a Samaritan was someone who was cast off and despised. Yet, this is the person who Jesus uses as the helper and caregiver. (If you want to read the verses yourself check them out here.)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I know, I have a blessed and beautiful life. I get that. But Y’all, we every single one of us, have experienced pain. We have all had some form of beaten down-ness even if it is in the metaphorical sense. Jen shared this, and I wholeheartedly agree. Pain is common ground.

For me it has been this journey to be my whole self out loud; to finally follow my calling to mediumship. Even though I know what I am doing is right, it still seems to strike shame, hurt and fear in me.

See I have been talked down to, told I was the devil, said I speak to demons, that I capitalize on other people’s pain. People who love me have said that the only reason they believe me is because it is me. While that is nice; it still means that what I have been asked to do; called to do, is something vile and wrong in their book; that there is this notion that it is all hooey. That what I do cannot be real.

Even I have doubts; I am human after all, but those doubts don’t come from my soul at all. The shame, fear and hurt all come from human interaction and logic. When I let my soul do the talking, there are no doubts; there is no fear, there is no shame. But when I have to interact with other humans, the lump in my throat stretches, and I can’t seem to get out the words to explain what I do without feeling some shame.

The trick is, I was born this way. Being able to see spirit is as much a part of me as my hazel eyes, bad temper, and the blood that runs through my body. This is me. This is my normal. This isn’t something I created out of thin air. It isn’t even something I can escape. Believe me I have tried. Baptism made it stronger. Hiding didn’t stop what I was seeing it just kept me safe from other humans knowing and their reactions.

I spent most of my life in hiding. Straddling two worlds. Living in them and between them. Being someone different on the inside than on the outside. I know many of you understand this. You get that it sucks big time.

I didn’t want that for my kids. I don’t want that for anyone at all. We should have our inside match our outside. We should be free to be ourselves. We should all love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And for Pete’s sake we should love ourselves.

But it was ironic listening to Jen speak. Listening to her talk about what she felt and how she had dealt with ridicule last year, and I thought; I wonder if you knew who I was, if we were sitting down talking to me, would you accept me? All of me? I didn’t feel like I would be allowed in. OUTCAST. That is how I will forever be branded.

Seeing Jen felt like going to church on a school night. I am not saying it like that is a bad thing. It made me miss a connection to God like that. Now God and I are good. Jesus and I are cool. I think I am okay there, but to have a church and a community that loves God also accept me; those things are mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that there is a church that would welcome all of me with open arms. It stings a little because I feel like that is something missing in my life. Not God or the four walls, but the community of like-minded souls in worship.

I sat in this event thinking I want to be a part of something like this and left feeling like that will never happen. Yes, I know having God love me is enough, but we are all human, and man it would be nice to feel whole and unashamed in a room like that.

It made me think of my event and how the people who have known me all my life, saw proof of things I could not conjure up, research or find out on my own, saw evidence that spirit can speak through me and still somehow wanted more clarification that God was okay with what I do. I can’t give anyone that. It isn’t my place.

I think a part of me felt that if I spoke my truth out loud it would wash away the hurt and the shame and I could be me without feeling wrong somehow. Nope. I will have to defend myself to my dying day.

Dentists, doctors, teachers, stay at home moms, marketers, gardeners, chefs, cashiers they don’t have to hide in shame when they tell people what they do for a living.

Just posting my live event brought out people who thought they could heal me with Bible Speak and damnation. I do not need to be healed. I am already whole. I am a decent person who loves her children, puts time and energy into the community she lives in, has a stable, healthy marriage, is kind to others, and hasn’t ever committed a crime in her life. Okay, okay, I once checked my email on my phone at a stop light; I have a ticket for that, but that is it. And still, I feel like some abomination. It just makes me tired.

I know sometimes it feels like it is only doom and gloom here on the blog, but this is where I can work out my shit. It is in my blog where I can feel all the feels and then get to the other side. I know, some people say you shouldn’t share your story until you are all the way through, but I get stuck in the middle a lot. I get stuck and need to vent to find the light at the end of the tunnel or to see the damn switch on the wall that has been there all along.

Some people told me after seeing me live that they didn’t know I was that funny or they didn’t realize I was that engaging. Well, duh I can’t be myself most places. But there in that room, people bought a ticket to see the real me, and I showed up.

My instinct to hide has been a part of me since I was two years old. I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. I was something different. That is all I have been all my life, something different. I count myself lucky, besides being female, I was able to hide who I was, to escape judgment because my difference is something that couldn’t be seen. And yes, I also know that I chose to speak up, I decided to let this loose. I get it. You can’t have it all.

But I guess because I was straddling both worlds and keeping it secret for so long; I miss my secret hiding place sometimes. I miss a place where I could pretend to feel whole and not have to feel what people think of me.

hallelujah anyway. I choose to stumble forward with as much grace as I can muster and hope for the best.

The good news, I guess, is that I am who I am. I know that my relationship with God is intact. If HE was pissed at me, I am pretty sure I would know it. And if I keep doing what I think is the next right thing that is all I can do. That is all we can ask of anyone. To do the best they can with what they have. So even if I can’t fit in places I would like to, and I might be seen as an evildoer in some circles; I just have to be the best me I can be. That is all I have to offer and at the end of the day that is good enough. So I say, hallelujah anyway. I choose to stumble forward with as much grace as I can muster and hope for the best. I will be a good neighbor and a good human. That is enough and it is okay if I stumble through it. I think moving forward with as much grace as I can muster is A-okay.

Miracles

Miracles

Gratitude is still lingering in our minds as it was Thanksgiving for some of us just a few months ago. I saw the Facebook posts blowing up with the 30 days of thanks. I saw the pictures about being thankful and blessed. Then, December brought us Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Advent, and many more holidays around the world. In our neck of the woods the Holiday Cards come zipping in (mine will be a New Year’s card this year, or around then) and the pictures of families fill them. Smiling kids, dogs, and little notes about what is going on in everyone’s worlds. I love them, cherish them to pieces, but my heart breaks a little when I think of who might be missing from those photos or my friends that will never have a complete family photo ever again. How crushing this time of year can be for some. And with it being January that doesn’t just lift away like a fog; even in our happiest moments; pain becomes a lifeline on our hands, the words on the tips of our tongues we do not speak, and the ache in our heart that never quite goes away.

Some of you have heard me share this story, but I want to share it here again. A preacher shared this at a sermon.

A property owner needed to drill a well. Out came the man with the tools to drill the well. As they began drilling they ran into difficulty because it was winter and the ground was frozen. Frustrated, the land owner was ready to give up, “I guess we will just have to wait until spring,” he said.

“Oh no,” replied the man drilling. “You need to keep drilling. If you find water in the winter you will have water all year-long.”

It reminds me of all of those that are grateful; that have had moments of great loss as well. And that sometimes our hearts are frozen over with the cold grief. While it may seem impossible; we can drill down, even in the winter, even in the bleakest of circumstances; which I know we are hearing about on the news and some of us are living through. We must keep drilling to reach the water; to reach faith and gratitude so that it becomes something we have 365 days a year. So it becomes our habit and pattern of behavior; not just for the end of the year, but all year long. It can be the thing that sits beside us when we have fallen and it can be the voice that whispers us awake again and again. It can be the cheerleader that helps us forge ahead with each step that we take.

When I was very little I knew I was different because I could see and hear things others could not. I learned to keep this part of myself hidden. And when I hid that part of myself it became easy to hide. I have spent the last several years unveiling my hidden pieces. Breaking open and becoming vulnerable. It has been one of the most difficult things to do. And yet it is yielding powerful results in my life; this drilling down. It has led me to things and moments I never dreamed of having.

We burn with divine light

I get to witness miracles. God gave me an amazing gift and I am fortunate enough to help others with it. Even with the joy that comes with what I witness, the weight and sadness of the lives I interact with weigh heavy on my heart. I would much rather my clients loved ones were still physically with them then me have the job that I do. It’s a tough one and most days it makes me feel less than, instead of unique because no matter what I do it will never be enough. That is just the nature of it.

The point is that I suck at this life thing on the regular. I am pretty sure most days I make more mistakes than not, but in the end, I win more than I lose. Breaking myself open to being completely vulnerable has made me unable to sit at many tables; it quickly separates me from people, and definitely makes me an outcast. I am readily seen as different. But aren’t we all seen that way in some realm of our lives?

When I look at my family, my friends and see those family cards flowing in; I can see between the lines. I see the triumphs and the fears; the dark and the light in their lives. We are all just surviving the best way we know how.

It would be a beautiful thing if we stopped using our differences as weapons and instead used them to be the light in one another’s lives. We have one thing in common; each of us is human. Each of us has a beating heart with emotions and a body with basic needs. If we started where we are, THE SAME, and cherished where those similarities ended and made room for everyone at the table that would be a miraculous world. And not just because we would all find a way to coexist; but because when we start to allow miracles into our lives; they start to show up over and over again.

Because I take a blind leap of faith every day – yes, it is blind; there is no way for me to know what I believe is truth – I witness miracles in my work and life every single day; multiple times a day, but I know that is because I believe in something greater than myself; I believe miracles happen every second of every day and I watch for them and give thanks for them. That is what allows their frequency in my life; that I expect them to be there. I know this is not easy for all; believing in something you can’t see is so very hard.

Welcome

Clients of mine often express their struggle to comprehend a session and truly believe what happened was real. Even when we are presented with a direct, divine answer from the universe that there is something greater, that we are not in control, it is hard to believe. I get it. Nothing anyone can do, or anything you witness can force you to believe in anything; you have to choose to believe. But, that is the thing, what I do isn’t about proof; it isn’t about the idea that frequency will make it real and solid; you have to believe on your own.

As always, with what I do and how to explain it; I think of God. I think of Jesus.

Jesus was given to us as a most precious gift and he gave his life for us. He wasn’t invited to every table in life and he isn’t invited to every table in death, as there are people who do not believe in him. People make a choice to believe or not to believe. Regardless of how others viewed him, he lived his best life, vulnerable, open, and believing in something greater than himself.

When we believe, when we chose to be open, we find the miracles in life; we witness greatness that has no other explanation. I think being vulnerable, open and choosing to believe is enough. It is what I chose each day. Right or wrong it leads me toward faith, miracles and blessings. I wouldn’t choose any other way.

Peace be with you,
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