Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gotta Love My Job

Yikes, I've had a crazy week of readings.  Non-believers, total skeptics and then the best yet: a client who called me a sinner.  This is what she said, "Before we begin Samantha, I think you should know that I think what you do for a living is not of God, and I've already scheduled a confession with a priest from another parish.  I sure don't want my priest to know I've consorted with people like you."  Holy cow!  Do you know what's crazier than that?  This: I actually read for her.  Even after she told me she'd gotten a reading with Sylvia Browne and John Edward and was sure they were both hacks.  Even after she said to me, "You know Samantha, you need to listen to me.  If you ever tell a falsehood, that will lie on your eternal soul."

What is wrong with me?  If I had told her how she spent her last ten birthdays, or what she was doing and where she was sitting at the exact moment of our reading, if I could have pulled out the nicknames for all the pets and stuffed animals she'd ever known and loved, none of it would have been enough to convince her that what I do is real, that God really does exist and her loved ones really are safe and happy and heaven.

So, one of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 is to grow strong enough in my own abilities and what I do so that the next time I come across a client like that, I can say what I should have said, "I don't think you're ready for a reading, and I'm not going to read for you."

Here's hoping we all learn to have faith in ourselves this holiday season, so that we can be the best we can be.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Three Important Words

Based on the title of this post, you're probably thinking the three most important words are, "I love you."  Maybe.  But, to me, there are three different words that are much more important and, sometimes, much harder to say.  "I am sorry."

I write and speak so often about forgiveness -- how important it is to forgive others, to extend a generous heart, to be open to releasing past pains.  But it is even more important to be willing to ask for forgiveness.

I'm lucky to meet some amazing people through my work.  One of my clients is a lovely and beautiful woman who is 91 years young.  Married to a successful and wealthy man, she's lived an exciting life.  Yet now that he's gone, she comes to see me every six months with the same question, "When am I going to die?" She misses her husband, she's led a great life, she's ready to go.  I always try to tell her two things: 1) that's not for any intuitive reader to tell you, and if one does, she's lying.  Only God knows that.  We're not meant to know that information. 2) I always see her happily celebrating this Christmas season.  She leaves disappointed every time saying, "I thought last Christmas would be my LAST Christmas."

This last time that she came to see me, I really bugged my guides and her guides until I got an answer.  "Why, please tell me why she is here when she's so ready to go home?" The answer I received came through very clearly.  "She has unfinished business with her son.  She needs to ask for his forgiveness."

Oh dear.  This is when my job gets tricky. When I relayed the message, she was confused.  "But I gave him everything.  He had the best clothes, the best education, the best vacations, everything.  I gave him everything."

I told her that he's felt it very difficult all these years to fulfill the expectations of his family, that he felt as though he could never fill his father's mighty shoes, that he was never good enough for her or his father.

"Well, that's ridiculous," she said crossing her arms.

"I'm supposed to ask you about 37.  What happened to him when he was 37?"

She looked away for a moment.

"What happened when he was 37 is connected to what we're talking about now.  Do you remember anything about that time in his life?"

She turned back to me and said quickly, "That's when he attempted suicide, but I don't see what that has to do with me."

I just stared back at her.  I didn't know what else to say.

"Well, if it will help me move on out of here, I guess I'll give it a try."

I haven't hear from her, so I'm not sure if she gave it a try or if she's enjoying this Christmas season.  But I know those were difficult messages for her to hear.  As a mom, I know how hard parents try to give their children every opportunity.  We're never going to get it right.  I always joke that you should start two savings accounts for your kids -- a college one and a therapy one -- because you will make mistakes.  And most of them will be completely unintentional.  But those three words magically make all those mistakes somehow a little bit okay.  "I am sorry."

Another woman came to see me recently.  She wanted to know why her granddaughter was so mean to her.  When I asked her guides for the answer, I hesitated.  "I'm hearing that it's because of your daughter.  She hasn't spoken negatively about you to her daughter, but your granddaughter senses the distance anyway and acts accordingly.  What happened in your daughter's life when she was 12?"

The woman sighed.  "That's when I left her father.  I don't think she's ever forgiven me for that."

I sensed that this client needed to leave this man, but her daughter, at the age of 12, probably didn't understand all of that then and still held residual resentment all these years later.  "Maybe you could write your daughter a card and tell her that you're sorry for all that happened then, that you love her and you're proud of her."

She shook her head.  "I couldn't do that."

"Please understand, I'm not saying that you should apologize for leaving your husband.  I feel that is was imperative that you did what you did, but your daughter may not have seen it that way."

"Well, a lot was placed upon her then.  I relied on her to take over a lot of responsibilities."

"Maybe you could just apologize for that?"

"No, definitely not."

I don't know why forgiveness -- either offering it or receiving it -- is so hard for most people.  But I do know that it's one of the most important acts we can do for our soul growth.  When we block forgiveness, we block growth.  We say no to joy, release, and peace.  And we say yes to coming back to this Earth again and again to deal with these same people and these same issues until we can face the issue of forgiveness.

This holiday season, if there's someone you think is angry with you, offer the best gift of all -- an apology.  You'll feel lighter, stronger and more peaceful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Frazzle Dazzle

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, and I apologize dear bloggers.  The holiday frazzle dazzle has me surely in its grip.  I completed all my Christmas shopping the first week in November, so you think I'd be good to go, right?  No, of course not. There are Christmas parties, elf-on-the-shelf duties, cookie swaps, school programs, Christmas cards to get in the mail and all that decorating.  Why can't they make Christmas lights that actually work year to year?

I have, however, made a promise to myself and I hope you'll join me because it's made all the difference.  Every night, if I have nothing else going on, I stop everything at 9 pm.  No emails, no phone calls, no wrapping, no addressing envelopes, no elf tricks, nothing.  I just sit, make a cup of tea and either read a book or watch a good Christmas movie.  It's the only way I can de-stress and get ready for the next day of holiday "must dos."

To all you moms and dads out there, I read in Family Fun magazine a great idea to incorporate the true meaning of the holiday season.  I bought three glass jars, wrote one of my child's name on each and then cut out 24 pieces of paper.  On each, I wrote a good deed and tossed the 24 pieces of paper in the jar.  Now each morning after we open our advent calendar, the girls happily reach for the good deed jar.  Every day that they complete their good deed, they put the paper in a fancy box I bought.  Then on Christmas eve, we'll put it under the tree as our gift for Jesus.  Here are some examples of good deeds:

Choose a toy or book to donate to charity
Set and clear the table
Tell your sisters why you love them
Call an aunt or uncle and tell them you love them
Write a card for nana and pop pop
Hold the door for someone
Tell your teacher she's a great teacher
Do something nice for someone in the family
Pick up a piece of litter

I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season and all the blessings it can bring.  While this time does often remind us of painful memories -- loved ones lost and family members we haven't spoken to -- it does offer us an opportunity to enjoy the subtler gifts of life -- peace, love and charity.  Spend some time this week relaxing.  Don't let the holiday blues get you and steer clear of the holiday stress bug.  Take a drive after dinner, play Christmas music and admire the holiday lights around your neighborhood.  Bake cookies.  Watch a fun Christmas movie -- Hallmark and ABC Family are playing them nightly.  Choose an angel off the angel tree in your local mall or church and practice anonymous gift giving.

For those of you celebrating Hanukkah, as you embrace the light and love of these remaining days of this important time, I hope the light of the season stays with you all year and that we can all be mindful of the miracle that light can bring us with faith, hope and prayer.