Saturday, June 25, 2011

Letting Go of Control

I meet a lot of clients who are upset about a situation in their life that is beyond their control.  Their spouse cheated.  Their child is dating someone they don't approve of.  Their mother refuses to move into assisted living.  The husband won't look for a new job.  The wife can't stand his family.  The boss gives praise to everyone but my client.

But here's where many people get stuck because they want to change the situation.  They want to go back in time and make the spouse remain faithful.  They want to pick who their child dates and marries.  They want to have full say over where mom lives.  They want to make their husband get a better job and insist that the wife learn to love the in-laws.  They want to shake the boss and make him sing their praises to one and all.

Yeah right.

Life doesn't work that way.  And it's not supposed to.  Life's challenges aren't presented to us so we'll learn how to fix them.  We face difficult situations so WE will learn to change.  Your spouse has cheated?  Now you have a great opportunity to learn courage, independence and forgiveness.  You don't like who your kid is dating?  Now you have a great opportunity to learn how to set healthy boundaries.

If you find yourself stuck in what I call a perpetual temper tantrum -- I don't want my life to be this way! -- give yourself a time-out and then learn not to change the situation or the people involved but to change yourself.  Your soul will grow, your relationships will flourish and you'll be very, very happy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Loved Woman

I did a reading recently for a woman who has many close loved ones on the other side.  Her mother transitioned a year ago, and she came through first to thank her daughter for caretaking her at the end of her life.  She showed me the daughter in the hallway outside her hospital room talking to doctors and signing something.  Then she said, "Tell her thank you."  My client had to make the difficult decision to end treatment, and her mother was grateful she'd done so.

But then something funny happened.  I "saw" two men, one older than the other, fighting over who would come through next.  "You go first," the older said.  "No, you."  Back and forth.  I waited patiently and finally said, "One of you needs to step forward."  I was saddened to learn that the two men were my client's husband and father.  She was a lovely young woman who had lost too many people in her life.  The father was so excellent at giving me symbols.  I love it when the energy jives like that!  It was one of my easiest readings.  I just had to "read" the symbols.  He showed me five fingers.  He had five children and my client had five children.  He showed me a football jersey and a cowboy.  His favorite football team was the Cowboys.  He showed me a tattoo and the number 2.  My client said that two of her brothers had a tattoo in honor of their dad.  I saw a phoenix rising and she said one brother also had a tattoo like that. The reading continued like this with the father just easily flowing from one validation to another.

Then the husband stepped through, and I understood why he needed to go last.  He was still emotional over his passing and had a lot of love to pass on to his wife.  Sometimes they "press" their love on to me and I get to feel the amount of love the person in heaven has for the person sitting next to me.  It's lovely when this happens, but it's hard to remain objective.  I have to remove myself and my emotions from the reading or else I'll mess up all the signals.

He showed me his wife riding a horse and I said, "Did you just go horseback riding for the first time, ever, I think?" and she said, "Yes! Just last weekend." I thought that was a great and unique validation to come through with.  He showed me her wedding ring and bent it into a new shape.  My client said she'd recently had her engagement ring changed to a circle and placed in a new setting surrounded by their children's birthstones. He passed on many other personal and practical words of validation and advice.

When I experience readings like that, I'm almost on a high all day.  It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the client and his/her people on the other side.  I think the strength of a good reading has to do with personality.  Have you ever met someone and tried and tried to talk to them, but walked away feeling depleted of energy as though you were pulling teeth?  Some readings can be like that.  Or you might go to a party and have a nice time talking to a new friend.  Most readings are like that.  But sometimes you meet someone who's personality is so amazing, it lights up the whole room and makes everyone laugh and feel better.  Great readings are like that, and I feel grateful whenever I can experience that.  The stronger the love, the stronger the connection.  The stronger the personality, the stronger the reading.

Today I feel very grateful for the gift of love -- it's truly eternal and limitless.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Random Act of Kindness -- 2

Excerpted from Random Acts of Kindness -- An Illustrated Celebration

"Two years ago, a sixty-eight-year-old woman was the victim of a burglary.  She lived simply on a fixed income, and the only item of value -- her television set -- was stolen.  After saving for nearly a year, she bought a new one.  Then, returning home one afternoon after visiting her sister, she found a police officer waiting for her.  Her home had been burglarized again, and her new TV set, that had taken her almost a year to save up for, was gone.  This left her scared and shaken.

This time, though, the story turned out differently.  The police officer negotiated a deal with a local electronics store that resulted in a brand-new television arriving in time for her 69th birthday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Because They're Family, Do I Have to Love Them?

Family relationships can be our biggest source of happiness or pain.  We choose our parents, our families, all of it because we have karma to work out with them.  We don't choose our family because we'll be so happy with them.  Often, that is far from the case.  Our families of origin help us to work through lots of past life karma and set the tone for how we deal with all of our future relationships.

Many of my clients have difficult relationships with their mom, dad, brother or sister.  I've met many people  who haven't spoken with their family in years, and I've met many others who stay in touch with their negative family members out of a sense of obligation and duty.  In my opinion, neither option is ideal.

I remember once a priest at our church explained the commandment that reads: Honor Thy Mother and Father.  Here's a summary of what he said:  Honor your mother and father means that you'll take them to the doctor if they're sick and feed them if they're hungry.  It does not mean you should willingly stay in a bad situation with dishonorable parents.

That put a lot of things in perspective for me.  Just because someone in your family is mean or rude or untrustworthy does not mean you have to run away from them or put up with them.  What it does mean is that you have to learn how to set boundaries and limits with them while learning how to love them and forgive them FROM A DISTANCE.  If someone is always negative toward you and creates animosity within the family, you are not under any obligation to put up with that.

Here's what I recommend:

1) Don't take their actions and reactions personally
2) Don't let them push your buttons.  Switch the subject, smile and walk away.
3) Be honest.  Don't engage in passive aggressive behavior or avoidance techniques.   Tell them how you feel honestly.  "I don't call you because I find your words hurtful.  But I love you and I'll be here for you when you need me."
4) Erase your expectations.  If this hurtful relationship is with a close family relative like one of your parents or siblings, try to drop any expectations of a close and loving connection.
5) Prepare to mourn this relationship at many different times throughout your life -- births, graduations, marriages, holidays and birthdays.  But recognize during these difficult times that you're learning important lessons from this person and protecting yourself in the meantime.
6) Send them love and prayers. Give your relationship with this person to God and ask your higher power to heal this relationship for the good of both of you.  I always recommend daily or weekly bathing the person in pink light.  Just imagine the family member in your mind's eye and picture wrapping them in pink light.  This infuses their aura with love and forgiveness while softening interior anger.
7) Be open to forgiveness.

If you're having problems with a family member, don't judge yourself or them.  Just recognize it for what it is: a wonderful opportunity to learn very hard lessons.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Random Act of Kindness -- 1

I bought an inspiring book this week called Random Acts of Kindness -- An Illustrated Celebration.  It's very uplifting, and so I thought I'd share some of my favorite stories.  Here's one:

"A few years I had managed to screw up my life so badly that I found myself without a home and without hope.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but even then I was so absorbed by my own self-pity that all I could think of was begging enough money to buy the cheapest drink I could find.  One day I was sitting in front of a store panhandling when a woman walked by with a small boy in tow.  She ignored my pitch and hurried away.  As I watched them go down the sidewalk, the small boy broke free and came running back.  He stood in front of me, fumbling in his coat pocket; he pulled out a five-dollar bill -- what was almost certainly more money than he had ever held before -- and handed it to me.  I was completely dumbstruck and just sat there staring at him with the money in my hand.  By then his mother had returned, and with tears in her eyes gently led the boy away.  He turned back once to wave, and then they were gone.  I don't know how long I sat there, but I have not had another drink since."

Wow -- isn't it amazing how one simple act of kindness can have such an enormous impact on a life?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why We Die When We Die

I've heard in so many of my readings that the timing of our death is not coincidence.  We die when we've fulfilled our purpose on this earth for this lifetime.  It's that simple.  For some people this takes four years, for others it takes forty-four years and for some it can take up to 100 years.  But if you're still here, it simply means you haven't completed your life's mission yet.

Most people like to die alone.  When loved ones stand vigil at the bedside, they can unwittingly keep the dying person here longer than they need to or should.  So, often they'll wait until you leave the room -- even for just a lunch break -- to pass on to the other side.

I also hear in readings something along these lines: "I know the timing of my death wasn't great, but when you get over here, you'll understand why I had to go then."

A few months ago a father came through and told his daughter that his death prompted her to make some significant life choices -- including starting a family and changing a job.  Last week a mother came through to her son and said she had to go when she did to help him fulfill something he had not done in a past life.  Her death provided the inspiration he needed.  Children often come through and say that their passing helped their parents to teach others about faith, grief and surviving tragedy.

I've also noticed that our pets seem to pass at specific times.  They tend to move on when we're going through or are about to go through significant life changes.  It's as though they helped us get so far and that's all they were supposed to do.  Our dog passed away two days before my mother-in-law died.  Our dog, a gentle doberman,  had come into my life to help me with mothering and she passed away just before my second maternal role model left this world.  It was as though they were both saying, "You're prepared to do this on your own now."  My friend lost her dog of almost 15 years right after she decided to leave her husband.  I knew the dog had helped get her through the difficult final stages of her marriage and had then chosen to move on.

It's never easy losing a loved one.  It doesn't matter if they're 99 and lived a great life.  Death is hard.  But we can facilitate our grief process by finding comfort in a few facts:

1) No one dies alone.  No one.  We always have our guides, loved ones and angels with us during that time.  I remember doing a reading once for a woman who lost her husband to a drowning.  He showed me his angel and his grandfather were with him under the water and escorting him all the way to heaven.  It doesn't matter how quick or unexpected our passing is, we don't make that transition alone.

2) There's always a reason for why we die and when we die.  No one dies in vain.  I'm always assured that all will be made clear when it's our turn to be on the other side.  But, in general, people pass because they've fulfilled their mission on earth.  It doesn't matter how short that life was -- every life has a purpose and a reason.  I've done hundreds of readings where aborted souls come through explaining that they came to their mother at that time to serve as a wakeup call.  Most, if not all, aborted souls know they'll be terminated prior to coming to earth.  Their mission is to help the mom, not themselves.

3) We can help our loved ones die an easier death if we tell them it's okay to go.  Don't hold on to your dying loved one.  It's unfair to them and can hinder the ease with which they transition.  And, please, please, please don't fight with family members after a loved one has passed.  They see this and it always pains them.  If you want to honor them and their life, don't fight.

4) They will contact you through signs and dreams.  The speed at which they can make this contact depends on the level of your faith and grief.  If you don't have faith in an afterlife, it's almost impossible for them to penetrate your aura to come into your dreams.  If you're burdened with grief, they also can't penetrate your aura.  Skepticism, sadness, and depression puts up a grayish cement wall of thick energy around the person making it nearly impossible for them to feel anything from their guides, angels and loved ones. If they died tragically or after a prolonged illness, it might take them some time to learn how to come into your dreams.  Just be patient.

And finally, rest assured that:

5) You will see them again.  You will.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Letting Go of Worry

There are many emotions that I consider dangerous -- fear, anger, worry, guilt, shame and hate.  Some of these are necessary emotions at times of our life.  We need to feel fear when walking down a dark alley so we'll stay alert.  As I mentioned in a previous post, anger can be a source of motivation. Guilt has its place too; without it we would be near sociopaths.  But like everything in life, everything must be in moderation.

Worry, however, has no positive function whatsoever.  Within worry is held all the negative emotions -- anger, fear, guilt, shame and sometimes even hate.  It's the mother ship of all negativity.  I challenge you to tell me one good thing that has ever come from you spending your time worrying.

Some people truly believe that if they worry enough about a situation that it won't happen.  This is the most ridiculous thing that I've heard, and I can say that because I used to be one of those people.  If I had a test coming up, I'd worry about passing it and felt that if I didn't worry, I might not pass it.  I know it makes no sense, but worry in and of itself makes no sense.

Others believe they can make a situation better by worrying about it; it's a way for them to feel better about their poor choices.  I have a friend who gossips a lot and almost always gets caught.  She'll then call all her friends and worry over her decision to spread the gossip.  "I didn't mean to tell Susan that Christy lost her job.  It just slipped out.  I mean, that happens, right?  I'm not a bad friend; I was just worried about her.  Right?  You would have done the same thing.  I just wanted Susan to pray for her.  I am right, aren't I? What do you think? Oh God, this situation is killing me.  I feel so bad."

Here was my advice to my friend: "You gossiped.  It was wrong.  Now you feel bad about it.  Instead of gossiping about worrying over gossiping, just fix it.  Apologize to Christy and learn a lesson."  Aren't I a fun friend to have?

Some people learn to worry from their families.  It's like an inherited gene that spreads like a virus.  I know whole families who worry over everything -- money, health, relationships.  And you know when a worry wart's biggest worry appears?  When everything is going well.  How many times have you heard someone say, "Everything's going so great now; I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop."  Or they'll lament about Murphy's Law.  Who the hell is this Murphy character anyway?  We should rename him Debbie Downer.

Anyway, what I hate (and yes, I'm using that negative word intentionally because I really hate worry and what it does to people) about worrying is that within its realm lies deep insecurity, a total lack of faith, belief and trust in ourselves, those around us and our higher power.  If you truly believe in God (however you term that), then you would not waste your time worrying.  Because when you have true faith, you have total knowledge that there is a rhyme and a reason to everything that occurs and doesn't occur in our life. In my readings, I'm shown this over and over.  People come through and tell my clients why they had to die or why the client is going through a divorce or a job loss.  Every day, my experiences teach me that life is in perfect harmony.  All we must do is tune our instrument and play along.

Now, I understand that worry will never permanently leave us.  When my husband was fighting for his life in the hospital nearly six years ago, I worried that he would die -- but only for about a day.   Then I surrendered completely to God's will.  I prayed that he would live.  But I also prayed that God would give me the strength to handle any outcome.  I kept my prayer positive -- I never said, "Don't let him die." My mantra was "Let him live."  And I kept my interior dialogue hopeful as well all the while surrendering my fear and worry to God.

When I was doing a reading for a good friend years ago who was worrying over a long and arduous adoption process, I saw a picture of Mother Mary in my mind's eye.  She showed me worries landing at her feet that she then gathered in her arms and turned into birds.  She said that prayers were turned into roses that gathered around her and filled heaven with beauty, but that worries surrendered to her in her name were turned into birds.

I've always cherished that message and have used that image many times myself when worry threatens to dampen my spirit.  I simply give it to Mary.  Usually, I'll see a white bird that day as confirmation that my worries have been taken away.

If you find yourself bested by worry, practice praying more to increase your sense of trust and faith.  Write down your worries to get them out of your body.  Ask, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" Because when we face the worst thing in our mind's eye, the very worst, it's extremely freeing to know that even that terrible scenario could be handled with the grace of our faith.  Begin to look around at the world through new eyes and see the rhythm of nature, the harmony of our life.  Dive in to your life -- not with fear or worry -- but with trust and zest -- and go with the flow.