Saturday, April 30, 2011

Your Ticket to Heaven

A good friend of mine has a funny expression.  If he ever catches you doing something wrong, say telling a little white lie or going back on a promise, he'll wag his finger and joke, "Watch out or you won't get your ticket to heaven."

I think many people, jokingly or not, believe in a version of this which is why we may have ghosts; they're afraid they won't get their ticket to heaven because of some action they've taken.

I had a funny experience in a reading last week that still is making me laugh when I think about it.  I was connecting a woman to her father-in-law who'd passed away a few years ago.  I really liked his energy -- big, loving and, pardon the pun, very down to earth.  He showed me that he was with his family and made a point of motioning to his brother.

I said to my client, "Does your father-in-law have a brother on the other side?"


"Did his actions lead to his crossing over?"

"In a manner, yes.  He died of a drug overdose."

And then the father-in-law showed me a scene.  This doesn't always happen.  Sometimes they show my symbols, sometimes I hear them, sometimes they'll show me my memories and then I interpret those.  But sometimes, happily, their energy is strong enough and mine is too that we make a perfect connection.  This was one of those beautiful occasions for me when he was able to show me almost a movie scene of his crossing over.  I saw him not walking through a tunnel but over a bridge.  He was happy to see his family members who had predeceased him when his gaze fell on his brother.  He grinned.  The brother grinned and reached out his arms.  The father-in-law walked over to his brother and gave him a playful shove.  "Get the f*** out of here! You made it too?"  Then the hug.  It was a joyful, loving and hilarious scene that I felt privileged to watch.  The father-in-law joked to me that if he knew someone like his brother would "get a ticket to heaven" then he (the father-in-law) would have had a bit more fun here on Earth!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dealing with Suicidal Depression

So many of my clients are dealing with a profound depression -- the kind that makes you feel alone in a crowd, the kind that inspires a fear so deep you feel you'll never find your way out, a depression that robs you of hope, trust and faith.  If you've been feeling like this, know that you're not alone.  But know these things too:

2) You will survive this
3) Suicide truly never is the answer

When we commit suicide, we forfeit, we lose.  But we also rob those around of us of completing and fulfilling their life lessons related to us.  What does that all mean? It means that if you choose to end your life, you WILL have to come back here and repeat your experiences all over again with the same people.  Different time, different fads, different generation.  But I promise you it will be the same experience and the same people.

I don't know exactly why we have to go through painful experiences.  Even more, I don't know why they have to last so long.  But here are some reasons that have been explained to me by my guides and through my readings as to why we have to experience pain and suffering:

1) Painful experiences allow us to balance karma.  We humans are stubborn people and if often takes us many lifetimes to learn our lessons.  One of my clients was dating a married man when she came to see me.  "I know it's wrong," she said, "but I can't stop seeing him.  I love him so much."  Well, you all know how I feel about the "but I love him" phrase.  I suggested a past life regression to see if perhaps there was a connection between the two.  During the regression, we both saw the same thing.  In Montana in the mid 1800's, my client had been a prostitute in a brothel.  She fell in love with one of her clients (the married man in this life) who often came to town to see her.  For over fifteen years he promised her he would leave his wife and the two would be together.  He never did, and my client died in that brothel alone and bitter.  She came back into this life to repeat that experience so she could find the courage to leave him.

2) Suffering allows us to experience profound empathic feelings that lead to great lessons in forgiveness and compassion.  I've met clients who've had to suffer so they could learn to release judgement and experience compassion.  One of my clients, for example, was always judging her married friends who chose to divorce their spouse.  She peered out at the world from her Martha Stewart pedestal and looked down on most everyone.  That is until her husband announced her was in love with someone else and wanted a divorce.  Those same friends she had judged now surrounded her with love and support, and through that difficult year and a half she released her need to judge and learned the power of compassion and acceptance.

3) Very advanced souls often volunteer to experience pain as a way to better serve other souls.  I had a client who was asked to work with addicts.  Up in heaven, her advanced, kind soul happily agreed on one condition: she wanted to become an addict herself so she could then better help her future clients.  The drug didn't matter; the addiction did.  She chose heroin and spent six painful years fluctuating between addiction and recovery.  I'm happy to report that she's now on her way to becoming an amazing addiction counselor after she graduates in May.  What came through in her reading is that she didn't have to become a heroin addict.  Her guides just knew she had the wisdom and compassion needed to help addicted souls.  But she asked for this experience so she could truly understand the people she was to help.  That's an advanced soul.

C. S. Lewis believed we had to experience suffering so we would appreciate joy.  He viewed suffering as a gift to be treasured.  I guess he was an advanced soul too.  I don't think I'm an advanced soul because I hate suffering, despise pain and am constantly whining to God that I'm not as strong as he must think I am.  Still, I take my cup despite my complaints trusting that there's a reason for every sadness while remembering to enjoy every moment of joy and beauty.

For those of you dealing with one of those painful times now, I hope this post comforts you.  Be easy on yourself during this time.  Find a moment of joy in every day -- whether it's coming home to a good book, watching a funny movie, meeting a friend for lunch, playing a great game of golf, walking your dog in the park or buying a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  Fill yourself with light as much as possible and remember: THIS TOO SHALL PASS. .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thank You From the Other Side

After I do a reading, I'll often hear a voice in the room say, "Thank you."  I always smile because this only happens after an emotional reading, and I know it's the loved one on the other side taking time out to say, "Thanks."  As I've said before that's no easy task.  Our deceased loved ones have to go through a lot of energetic hoops to get my attention.  I'm amazed by how blasĂ© some people are about their loved ones coming through.  "It's nice that grandpa is here, but can we get back to discussing my ex?"  You'd be amazed at how often that happens.

The amount of energy they have to expend to stay in my energetic field is amazing.  Some can only pop through for about twenty minutes; others can stay longer.  Why the difference?  I think it's the love connection.  No, not the 80's Chuck Lowery dating show type of love connection.  I mean I think the ability for spirits to come through is directly related to the strong love connection between them and the person I'm reading for.  I think this is one of the reasons why great grandmothers and great uncles rarely come through.  Unless there was a strong earthly relationship, it's hard for them to link in with my energy.

I was impressed with the love of a daughter recently who popped into my house while I was doing laundry one Sunday afternoon.  She said excitedly, "You get to meet my dad tomorrow!" And then she was gone.  The next day, even after her father had left, I still felt her energy lingering just so she could tell me thank you.  That's a lot of love.

But just the other day, something pretty amazing happened where I was on the receiving end of a validation.  A lovely young woman came to see me, and almost immediately her grandmother starting coming through with a lot of love.  At the end of the reading, the young woman told me how nice it had been to hear from her grandmother.  Her grandmother had been Italian and spoke little English, my client explained, and she would always hold her granddaughter's face in her hands and tell her how beautiful she was.  Over and over she would say, "You are so beautiful" in Italian.  Then the young woman told me that her grandmother had just passed a few months ago.  Now it was my turn to be impressed.  After we die, it can take us some time to get used to our new "bodies" and our new home.  We have to learn to work with energy in a whole new way.  So how amazing this grandmother's love must be for her to come through as strongly as she did.

The only thing the young woman couldn't validate was the Lincoln Town Car her grandmother kept showing me.  She had absolutely no connection to that type of car.  Personally, I get a bit annoyed when they keep showing me something that the client can't validate.  I worry that it's me, that I'm just not getting something right.  Finally, I let it go and told her to write it down.

A few hours later, as I was heading home from my day, I was going over the readings I'd done in my head when a white Lincoln Town Car pulled out in front of me.  I almost had to slam on my breaks and that's when I saw the license plate.  BELLA MIA.

I got that tingling, spidery feeling I get when I know this is important some how.  So I pulled over, got out my phone and googled BELLA MIA.  It's Italian and means "BEAUTIFUL ONE." And that's when I heard a slight, barely audible, "Thank you."

I love it!  What an amazing woman and what an incredible love she has for her family.  I hope all of you have someone in your life who loves you like that because, trust me, with someone like that on the other side rooting for you, well, life can be a bit easier.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How To Surrender

Those of you who've met me or heard me on the radio know that I believe the key to peace and happiness is surrender.  It is only when we can surrender our will to our higher power that we can achieve grace.  Today in church, we read about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.  This Holy Week always makes me so emotional.  I can't imagine knowing that I was going to be beaten, tortured, humiliated and nailed to a cross.  Years later, even Peter ran away from his fate for a time before seeing a vision of Christ and finally returning to face his fate.  Jesus, on the other hand, faced his impending death with strength and surrender.

When Jesus knelt in the garden, alone, to pray, this was his prayer:

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

Luke 22:42

This is how we should all pray.  Ask for our desire but then surrender it in perfect trust and faith to our God because only God knows what's best.  What if God had spared Christ?  What if he had followed his son's will and made the crowd release not Barabbas but Jesus?  We wouldn't have had Christianity.  Despite its historical and human errors, Christianity has sustained 2,000 years of changes, wars, famines, inventions and innovations.  Christianity has inspired people to be good, to do good.  Christian faith is behind our most amazing pieces of artwork, music compositions and literature.  Without my faith, I'd have no purpose, no raison d'ĂȘtre.  Because of my faith, I believe in miracles, in goodness, in hope and immortality.  I'm grateful every day for the faith Jesus' life, death and resurrection made possible.

This teaches me that God can't always answers our prayers as we wish.  I trust that God knows better than I what's good for me.  I trust in this so much that I don't pray for "things" anymore.  I pray for strong faith, for continued trust and peace in people's hearts.  When I pray for others, I will always say, "Dear God, please help Jane Doe to recover from her illness if that's your will.  If it's not, please give her the faith, strength and courage needed to walk her path."

I know Christianity is a sore subject for some of you.  But if you take out the immense human errors, what's revealed is a wonderful treasure map complete with compass.  I believe Jesus' words are the treasure map and the Holy Spirit that resides in us all is our compass.  Together, they will lead us home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

But I Love Him . . .

"But I love him . . " oh if I had a dime for the many times I've heard that from one of my clients, I'd be a millionaire.  Time and again when I tell someone that their lover, husband, boyfriend isn't good for them, I hear that refrain -- "but I love him."  Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, love just isn't enough.  Love doesn't pay the bills, it doesn't raise the children, it doesn't support you in times of crisis.  Love is simply an emotion and often a fleeting one.  Love, despite what Disney, Hallmark and Lifetime have thrown at us, does not make the world go around.  I'm not talking about true love here -- love among friends and family, love for country, faith and ideals.  I'm talking about the lusty love that often comes disguised as the true, enduring kind.

I was in love once before I married my husband.  I dated another man for five years and was sure I'd marry him.  We met in college at a party and spent the entire night talking.  I can still remember laughing as we watched the sun come up.  He and I had everything in common -- the same religion, the same hometown, the same interests.  His fraternity was next door to my sorority.  He lavaliered and pinned me in very romantic ceremonies.  I loved his family, especially his little sister, and he liked mine.  He dealt with my frantic, stressed out self during graduate school, and when his job transferred him to Phoenix, AZ, I followed him there.  I would have followed him anywhere.  I brought my 18 year-old-cat with me, but the move proved too much for him and three months later, he had a stroke.  My strong, brave cat simply woke up one day paralyzed.  The vet said I could have one last night with him, and then I'd have to put him down.  That night, I hunkered down with my little cat who had seen me through elementary, middle and high school.  Had moved with me three times and now this would be his last move.  My boyfriend, the one I loved so much, chose to go out with his friends that night.  It was just a cat, after all. As I sat there that evening, alone with my dying cat, I realized that love wasn't enough.  If he abandoned me when my little cat lay dying, where would he be when the big stuff hit?  Would he have followed me across the country?  Would he hold my hand if I got sick?  Where would he be when my parents got ill and needed my attention? All these thoughts and more poured through my head.

The next day, after I went to the vet alone to put my cat to sleep, I hashed this all out with him.  Finally, I said, "And when do you exactly plan to propose to me?" He nearly blanched -- his Irish cheeks turning redder by the moment.  "Marriage? We're only 23! I don't expect to marry for at least 10 years."

That was it.  For me, at least.  I knew he was ambivalent about children, but marriage too?  I called my dad, he had my car shipped home and I got on the first plane out of dodge.  I miss that relationship, that easy camaraderie, but I chose to marry someone who wanted marriage, kids, who knew how to stick by someone in good times and bad.  When my old boyfriend and I reconnected on Facebook, I learned that he waited not ten years to marry but almost fifteen and that he and his wife have no children.

Life can be hard, and often love won't see us through those hard times.  Commitment, responsibility, and faith will.

If you find yourself in a difficult relationship, don't profess your love.  Instead, ask the big questions.  Where will this love take me?  Is his/her love enough?

I see too many clients staying in bad relationships for the wrong reasons.  Stay for the right reasons and leave for the right reasons.  Be authentic with yourself, your choices and your decisions.  Trust me, you'll be happy you remained true to yourself.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Crystal Grid for Forgiveness

I spoke on the radio show tonight with Deb about the importance of forgiving ourselves.  Too often I see clients in pain over their past actions which caused others sadness, discomfort or worse.  Holding on to guilt and shame are powerful negative emotions that will wreak havoc on our immune systems, ability to love ourselves and, ultimately, our karmic consequences.

Some excellent crystals to use when trying to reach into your heart and discover the forgiveness that awaits you are: rose quartz, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, malachite, chrysoprase, pink tourmaline, kunzite and sugalite.

Here's a good crystal lay out using any of the stones above:

Place a loving stone on your heart chakra, throat chakra and solar plexus.  Lay with these stones for at least twenty minutes while repeating to yourself, "I feel love, I speak love, I am love. I love myself." While doing this, imagine a ray of pink light shooting down from heaven through your crown chakra, going down into your body and filling in every crevice and space of your body with feelings of love, forgiveness and joy.  If you have time after your meditation, run yourself a bath and toss in the stones you meditated with and continue bathing in the loving vibrations of these stones.  Imagine the stones and the water erasing any negative, hateful or guilty emotions still remaining in you.  At the end of your bath, pull the drain and say, "All my negative feelings about myself are now washed away and in there place is only love, forgiveness and approval."

Have a happy Monday!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Many Mansions

I remember as a child sitting in church hearing about how Jesus told his disciples, "In my father's house are many mansions.  If it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:2.

I used to imagine heaven almost like the movie set from Desperate Housewives but with bigger houses and gold streets.  Really, I'm not kidding.  I imagined these gold roads leading to a huge castle where the angels and God lived -- complete with white beard and cane. Oh, and yes, I even imagined this entire movie set encased in a fence with pearly gates.

That was when I was about five or six.  As I got older, heaven just became this idea for me, this illusive, lovely place that I hoped to one day get to see.

Lately, when I do readings, some of the people in heaven tell me what it looks like over there.  Usually this occurs when their loved one sitting in front of me asks, "Is he okay over there?"

They show me that they have jobs, responsibilities but also lots of fun times.  They visit people who've recently passed over and spend time reconnecting with old friends and loved ones.  They travel A LOT. And I don't know if they show me earth because it's all I know or if heaven looks like Earth, but when I ask them where they go on vacations, they show me all sorts of places I recognize here, on Earth.  One time, a mother asked me, "Well, what does my son do all day up there?" When I asked him, he showed me the mountains in Italy and a rock climber.  I said, "He's showing me that he's climbing mountains in Italy."  She smiled and said, "He was an avid mountain climber and had set a goal of climbing a mountain in every country. Before he died he'd been to five countries, but not Italy."

When my mother-in-law died, I felt her around us for a month or so and then not as much.  When I meditated and asked her where she'd been, I heard her smile and say, "Ireland.  My brother and I are spending most of our time visiting our heritage.  It's lovely."

So when I asked my guides about this, they said that heaven is like Earth but without any negativity, pain, sadness, suffering or evil.  The landscape is the same, but the heaviness is lifted.  Like I said, I don't know if this is true; it's just what they show me.  Maybe heaven is some new dimension that I can't fathom, so they show me Earth.  But it's nice to think that it might be just like here, only better.

The other thing people in heaven love to show me so I can tell their loved one is the house they've built for themselves.  From my experience and what I've seen, most people live alone or with their spouse in heaven.  They build a lovely house for themselves that's never extravagant or large.  It always looks just right and very beautiful.  I've seen log homes, cape cods, colonials and farm houses.  Once I saw a glass house surrounded by woods and a lake.

I do know that it takes time and energy to "build" your house.  I spoke with a woman last week who died in January.  She showed me that she was living with her parents in their home until she could work through some things and learn how to create her house.  I also know that if someone doesn't feel worthy, they won't be able to build a home.  I spoke with a man who committed suicide a year ago and he said he doesn't feel worthy of a home.  He needs to burn off more karma.  So for now, he'd living with family and doing good deeds for people here on Earth to build up really good energy.

What would your house look like in heaven?

I believe, again I don't know, that our energy creates the house.  If we have lots of great energy, if we lived a good, clean life and helped others on Earth, then we've built up enough energy to build a lovely home.  But if we've lived a shallow life and didn't do a whole lot, then we don't have the energy needed to create a nice place in the afterlife.

I also believe that when Jesus spoke of many mansions, he could have been alluding to the many levels of the afterlife.  One thing I'm told over and over by people who've made it to the other side is that there is really no heaven or hell but levels.  Trust me, you don't want to go to the lower levels.  They feel so awful to me, that "hell" doesn't do it justice.  I don't know how many levels there are, but let's pretend there are 7.  Levels one and two would be what we think of hell.  I've seen many versions of this idea of hell -- from total isolation to being surrounded by hundreds of evil people.  Levels 3, 4 and 5 are where most people go.  You know the ones -- the average people who do some good deeds but  mostly spend their life existing.  They work a 9 - 5 job, pay their taxes, watch TV and throw a little money to charity.  Level 6 is where the really lovely and spiritual people go -- the ones who really get that Earth is a school and that love and forgiveness, believing and faith are all that really matter.  And then there's level 7 where the Ghandi's and Mother Teresa's go.  I believe there are many levels beyond this too, that there's always something more for us to aspire to until we merge with the light, but that's for another podcast.

If you get some time this week, ponder your life.  Do your life review now -- not when it's too late.  What energy are you preparing for yourself over there?  If "heaven" is a bank, how many deposits have you made?

Friday, April 1, 2011

What Are Your Six Words?

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story using just six words.  No one thought he could do it.  Here's what he wrote:

For sale
Baby shoes
Never worn.

Wow, is that guy amazing or what?  So, Smith Magazine has taken that story and turned it into a really cool challenge for us all.  Can you summarize your life in six words? Here are some examples that made it into their Six Word Memoir Book:

I still make coffee for two.

Fork in road. Took left turn.

Not quite what I was planning.

It all changed in an instant.

Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.

Seventy years. Few tears. Hairy ears.

Born in the desert. Still thirsty.

Almost a victim of my family.

So, here's your challenge -- can you write your own memoir in six words? If so, share it here.