Thursday, June 28, 2012

How Can I Connect With My Loved One In Heaven?

I recently got an email from a woman who said that she thinks she feels her mom around her sometimes, but isn't sure.  I hear this from so many of my clients; they are hopeful it's their loved ones connecting with them, but there's a fear that they're wrong.  IF you think your loved one is with you, then they are.  Our loved ones connect with us frequently through thought. One of my favorite stories came to me from a client who lost her husband.  She was grieving and missing him terribly.  She said she often walked into her closet and would just sit and smell his old shirts. She said one night in exasperation, "I just wish I could feel you around me! I wish I knew you were here." Soon after that, she heard a crash in her bathroom.  "I keep all my perfumes on a shelf over the toilet," she explained. "Out of all those bottles, just one fell off -- my husband's cologne. It shattered as it crashed to the floor. Now," she smiled, "I smell him all the time and know he's around me."

How did that cologne -- the one bottle in the center of all her bottles of perfume -- come crashing to the floor?  Her husband was right there with her, knowing that she needed this validation.  And since she'd been smelling his shirts for comfort, he figured out the one way to make sure she'd smell him and have the confirmation and comfort that he was still with her.

My guides have always told me that our loved ones are allowed to communicate with us primarily in one of five ways:

1) Through dreams
2) Through nature
3) Using metal
4) Manipulating music
5) Manipulating electronics

So, let's look at what that means.  If you have a dream where you are with your loved one, you get to talk to him or her, you may even get to hug your loved one and when you wake up, every detail of the dream remains with you, this is called a dream visit and is indeed your loved one visiting you.  Typically these dreams take place between 3 and 6 am.  Click here for more  information on dream visits.

Our loved ones will often show us signs in nature to let us know they are still with us.  Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and rainbows are all common signs.  One of my clients buried her father's ashes in her backyard and planted rose bushes there.  She says the roses are in bloom nearly all year long.  Another client told me that she sees cardinals wherever she goes and one has even nested in her yard.  Even though she lives up North, and cardinals typically fly South for the winter, this cardinal has stayed in her yard through two winters.  Just yesterday, a client told me that her friend's mother told everyone before she died that she'd show them dragonflies to let them know she'd made it to heaven.  My client said since her passing, two dragonflies have flown inside her house.

One we die, we are pure energy, so it's harder to manifest a body than it is to manipulate nature, metal, music or electronics.  It takes a lot of energy and lower level, denser earth energy to manifest a body which is why people tend to report seeing ghosts more often than their loved ones in heaven.  Since ghosts are earthbound, they have more access to the denser energy to help themselves appear to us. Spirits who have crossed over to heaven are lighter in energy and happier too :)

Since metal is a conductor of energy, our loved ones can easily use any metal to connect with us.  That saying "Pennies are from heaven" is true. Those of you have read this blog for awhile are by now familiar with the amazing ways my mother-in-law has given me quarters to let me know she's still with our family.  Click here for one of those stories. Many of you have reported finding dimes everywhere you go.  I have one client who swears her father leaves her dimes everywhere that are either from 1937 (the year of his birth) or 1965 (the year of her birth).  Some people report that when they hold their grandmother's necklace or their grandfather's war medal, they can feel their energy more strongly.

Music is another way spirits can connect with us.  If you continually hear a song that reminds you of the person you're missing, you can bet it's them saying, "Hi!"  One of my clients was considering taking a job in New York, but it would mean moving his family and having his kids start a new school. He asked his dad in heaven for a sign.  "If this is the right move for my family, please let me know dad."  After that, he kept hearing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."  He heard it on the radio, he heard on the elevator speakers traveling up to his office, he caught a bio of Frank Sinatra on A and E just as they were playing his signature song.   When his friend was humming the song as they drove to lunch, he said, "I get it dad!" and planned his move to New York.

Electronics is another way they can connect with us.  My friend swears that her mom still calls her on the phone.  When she's really missing her mom, the phone will ring -- nothing will show up on caller ID -- and then no one will be on the phone when she answers.   Click here for a great story about a deceased daughter using the phone to help her mom.  I've had clients report that their deceased loved one's long expired cell phone will text message them on their birthdays.  I've heard of people who get emails from their loved one in heaven. My mother-in-law swore up and down that whenever she would talk about her deceased brother, the lamp in her bedroom would flicker.  After she passed, the lamp never flickered again.  Hmmm . . . My friend George who knew he was dying of cancer told his cousin (an agnostic), "If there really is a heaven, I'll make that light in the guest room hallway finally turn on." The cousin explained to me that even though several electricians had looked at the light fixture in that hallway, they couldn't get it to work.  It was an old house, so they just dealt with it.  Just a few months after George passed, his cousin was walking down that hallway when the light blinked on.  He told me that the light fixture still works today.

So, if you think you are feeling your loved one around you, know that they are there.  And if you need confirmation of that, you can ask them for a sign.  Ask your mother to show you a blue dragonfly.  Tell your grandmother who loved to garden to help make your hydrangeas grow as her sign of love.  Be specific and be open, and when you receive your sign, say, "Thank you.  I love you too."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Healing Your Inner Child

All of us are holding on to some pain in our childhood, and we continue to re-experience this pain in adulthood until we can learn to heal the inner child.  Studies show, for example, that if your father leaves your family and abandons you, you have a higher chance of either marrying someone who will abandon you or becoming the one who abandons your loved ones.  I remember when I was in college, one of my psychology professors said, "If you were abused as a child, you will either be abused as an adult or become the abuser.  Period.  That is, until you confront the hurt child within you."    When my father was in rehab recovering from alcohol addiction, the counselor told us children participating in the group therapy, "Unless you release your pain now, you will either grow up to become an alcoholic or will marry one."  I am very happy to report that I did release the pain and continue to if something from my childhood pops up, and I did not become an alcoholic nor did I marry one.  Frankly, I'd rather waste the calories on chocolate than wine :)

The things that happen to us as children remain magnified within us because as children, we are essentially powerless.  We are at the mercy of our parents.  If our parents are having a bad day, guess who else is going to have a bad day?  Children also don't have the capacity to see things beyond their own self, meaning they perceive everything as their fault.  If dad leaves, the five-year-old believes he did something wrong.  If mom gets drunk every afternoon, the nine-year-old continues to believe it's her fault.  Many adults who are raised in dysfunctional homes will either become over achievers or under achievers with some always trying hard to fix the problem and others feelings as though, "What's the use?"

I had a client who continually dated men who would royally mess up -- but all in different ways -- so it took her a frustratingly long time to see the pattern.  Her father never left the home, but he emotionally checked out after declaring bankruptcy and seeing his long held dream of owning his own business go down the drain.  My client was only six when that happened, and after that he just stopped being a participant in her life.  All her memories revolve around him coming home from work, eating in silence, and watching TV until he fell asleep on the recliner.  Her mother eventually acted out by having affairs.  So my client grew up and began dating men that could never emotionally connect with her (her dad) and who always created drama (her mom).  One boyfriend was a gambler, another was a serial cheater, one lied about everything (including his marriage and two kids), one became a stalker after she broke up with him and on and on.

We will always (and I mean always) re-create the sadness from our own childhood until we can face it, heal our inner child who is still in there waiting to be loved, and forgive ourselves.  (Remember that scene from Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams tells Matt Damon, "It's not your fault" over and over?  That's what I'm talking about.)

So, how can we do this?  The first thing you need to do is leave the land of denial.  I see so many clients who claim to have this perfect childhood and can't see what that has to do with all the chaos in their present life.  Yes, some of you may have had a good childhood and good and decent parents, but there is always some pain that needs to be released.  My best friend growing up had amazing parents.  I often envied her the love and adoration they bestowed on her, but when she changed schools (due to stupid redistricting laws) she was picked on horribly for being the new kid.  She was bullied and even had her arm broken on the school bus.  Obviously, this had a terribly effect on her that continued to domino.  Her self-esteem was crushed. She eventually learned to heal from this through therapy, writing and acting.

Look at the patterns in your life.  Where are your worries constantly focused?  Health? Money? Relationships? Career?

If you have a lot of health issues, it can mean you weren't properly nurtured and cared for as a child.  Money issues center on feelings of self-worth.  Who told you that you weren't worth much? That you were a loser, a failure?  If you have relationship issues, examine your mother's and father's relationships to each other and other people.  If you have career problems, ask yourself if anyone ever told you that you were special, that you could do anything, be anything you wanted.

Once you've identified your pattern of issue, work to heal it through guided imagery, therapy, writing and affirmations.

Every year on my birthday, I choose one thing to work on for the year.   When I turned 37, it was writing a novel, when I turned 38, it was starting a podcast, when I turned 39, it was walking five miles a day.  I've been able to do all those things. Now that I've just turned 40, I've chosen to work on really healing my inner child.  Having cancer brought up some old wounds for me, and the biggest realization I came to is that I had no idea how to nurture myself because I never experienced any nurturing as a child.  So, I've started by creating a collage.  I took some pictures of myself as a child and surrounded them with affirmations of love and healing.  I've hung it up in my bedroom and every morning and evening, I send love to my inner self.

Here are some other things you can do to heal your inner child:

1) Write a letter to your inner child explaining how much you are loved and protected and safe.  Write back in your non-dominant hand.

2) Play, color, imagine, skip, daydream

3) Sleep with a teddy bear of body pillow

4) Ask your parents about their childhood so you can begin to understand them as people rather than just your parents.

5) Spend some time imagining the childhood you wished you'd had.  For example, if you could have grown up in any sitcom family, which one would you choose?  The Cosby Family? Family Ties? Growing Pains? Happy Days? The Brady Bunch?

6) Imagine the home you wished you'd always had and put yourself as a small child in that home.  Imagine the mom and dad you wish you'd had telling that little child how loved and special you are.

For more information on this subject, check out these books:

You Can Heal Your Life and The Power Is Within You by Louise Hay

Self-Parenting by John Pollard III

Homecoming by John Bradshaw

Will I Every Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBride

Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina Brown

Good luck on this journey.  Love yourself and let the healing begin!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Your handwriting says a lot about who you are.  For example, people who write small, tiny letters tend to be tight with their money whereas people who write big are generous with their money.  People who embellish their handwriting with hearts and swirly curls care a lot what others think about them but are also kind hearted and well meaning.  People who make it so their handwriting is barely legible usually like to keep a part of themselves hidden.  It doesn't mean they have something to hide, it just means they don't like to show their hand and tend to keep up walls.

If your handwriting slants down across the page when you write can indicate some sadness or a tendency to pessimism.  If your handwriting slants upwards, it means you tend to be an optimist and always see the glass half full.  Sometimes, it can mean you prefer to see the world through rose colored glasses rather than as it really is.

If your handwriting leans left, you tend to be introspective and an independent thinker.  You like to work alone and form your own thoughts and opinion irrespective of those around you.  You've been marching to your own drumbeat for a long time.

Large and rounded handwriting means you're a team player.  People with round handwriting are warm hearted, generous and outgoing.

Small and angular handwriting indicates a person who is detail-oriented.  You enjoy tackling problems, you're a hard worker but can be sensitive to criticism.

People who consistently write in printed or block letters are adventurous go-getters.  You like things to be streamlined and will work hard to achieve your goals.  People with this type of handwriting make great entrepreneurs.  You detest clutter, tend to be impatient and are very ambitious.

Handwriting that leans to the right means you're a forward thinker.  You don't like to look back at the past.  You don't hold on to things.  No regrets for you.  You like setting trends and making your own style.  You're a natural leader.

Embellished handwriting with lots of loops and cursive writing means you're artistic, inventive and filled with creative ideas.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Entering the Heart

Mathew Fox said there are three ways to enter the heart.  Through:

1) Joy
2) Suffering
3) Silence

At some point, often many points in our lives, we are called to enter our hearts -- to discover our true selves.  When we're asked to meet the creator within us we can try to avoid it (which will result in suffering) or we can face it with joy or true silence and contemplation.  But one way or another, we will have to go within and discover who we really are. It's our soul purpose for being here.  Amidst the chaos of earth, the callings and yearnings of friends, family and colleagues, among the noise of your own insecurity, who are you?  Why are you here?

In St. Teresa of Avila's book The Interior Castle, she says the first inner dwelling on the journey to discovering God is discovering yourself.  Without this knowledge, our searching is fruitless.  We are like a baker without flour.  "Enter the room of self-knowledge first.  This is the path" (St. Teresa 46).  She says that in this First Dwelling, the things that will keep us from self-discovery are continued attachment to materialism, personal glory and ambitions.  People who seek perfection in themselves, in others and find fault in themselves and others are also far from self-discovery.

How, then, do we really get to know ourselves?  Well, let's look again to Mathew Fox's advice.

When you're truly happy, what is it that makes you so happy?  Is it being with your family and friends?  Is it creating from your place of joy -- whether through painting, writing, acting, singing, woodworking or knitting?  Is it through setting a difficult goal and achieving it?  Where do you find your joy?  Write down on a  piece of paper, "I am happiest when" . . . and fill in as many examples as you can come up with. What was your happiest moment today?  This past weekend?  This year?

When you're suffering, what is it that make you feel so sad?  Is it a feeling of disconnect from your family and friends?  Is it loneliness or not knowing how to connect with others?  Do you feel as though you're suffering the most when your health is compromised or your finances?  Think back over the last five years of your life and write down three memories in which you felt as though you were suffering. Most of us suffer when we feel we're losing something.  Remember, Christ said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

And lastly silence. When was the last time you were truly silent?  When have you allowed yourself to sit among a group of people and just listen?  When have you spent an hour, an evening, a day in silence with no phone, no TV, no friends to speak to, no music, no book to read?  This is a hard one for me and sometimes I will force myself to take long walks in silence. Often, I will buy a cup of tea at a coffee shop and just sit and observe the people around me.  And most importantly, I will walk the beach by myself in perfect silence letting the absence of noise wash over me.  I always try to fall asleep in silence and just let my thoughts drift where they will.  Meditation is a perfect exercise in silence.  I love to surround myself in a circle of crystals and just sit in silence for as long as I can endure it.  If you're uncomfortable with any of this, at the very least take a yoga class and enjoy the five minutes of near silent shavasana at the end of class.

True joy can only be found within through the seeker's journey.  "Those who pursue visible vanities end up in nothing but misfortune" (St. Teresa of Avila 59).

Along this journey, seek out a prayerful life. Find prayers that are meaningful to you and pray them often.  Ask for a teacher and await for one to appear.  He or she may materialize in the form of an actual teacher or as a book, a powerful song or even a really good friend.  Accept the inevitable distractions of chaos, worry and fear that will come at you and persevere on, for the journey inward is the only one rich with reward, sanity and meaning.  You will have distractions.  The mind will always be scattered even while the soul is centered.

But when you begin to discover who you are, you will embark on a love affair greater than any written about.  It's the journey, the seeking, that's almost as important as the discovery.  Don't give up.  "Living without knowing yourself is nothing but dying over and over again" (St. Teresa of Avila 68).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crystal of the Week: Phantom Quartz

Phantom quartz is the appearance of a shadowy substance inside a clear quartz stone.  It can also be found in smokey quartz, amethyst and rose quartz. The grayish phantom can be made of hematite, chlorite, milky quartz, smoky quartz and amethyst.  Often referred to as ghost quartz, spectre crystals or shadow quartz, Phantom Quartz can help us to recognize, face and deal with our shadow selves -- that part of our selves that we're often reluctant to own up to.  Phantom Quartz helps us to face our innermost fears, our dark side if you will, and use this realization to transform through and to a better part of ourselves.  They are excellent stones to work with to help with repressed memories and also work to help with recalling past lives. Phantom Quartz is a healing stone and can help bring rest, reflection and awareness as to the reason for the the illness.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Text Message From Heaven

Thank you everyone for your lovely emails filled with prayers and well wishes.  I survived surgery, have been given a clean bill of health and am at home happily recovering.  I'm vacillating between being strong and a big baby.  There's still a lot of pain.  I can't raise my arm or bend over and had slight nerve damage during the surgery to my right arm which means I can't fully straighten it, so I'll need physical therapy when I'm feeling better.  However, my plastic surgeon is very pleased with the results and has asked me to pose topless in a breast cancer awareness calendar.  Hmm . . . . there's are so many jokes waiting to be mined there, but I'm too tired to pull them out.

I wanted to share with you all a wonderful experience I had yesterday.  As I've said before, I've felt very surrounded by my guides, angels and loved ones throughout this experience -- except this week.  Now that it's finally happened and I've lost one of my breasts, I feel very sad and rather alone in this experience which is odd given that my sister went through this ten years ago and hasn't left my side; I've also had great support from family and friends.  Still, my emotions are what they are and I can't argue them away.  I'm just sad that this had to happen at all, and if I need to throw a little pity party, well then, so be it.  I haven't felt much in the way of intuitive connections at all this week which always makes me feel a bit off and disconnected too.

Then yesterday I left the house for the first time in a week to attend my youngest daughter's kindergarten graduation and an award's ceremony for my fourth grader.  As my family and I were leaving the parish hall, a friend grabbed my arm and said, "Samantha! I have to talk to to you!"  Now I have to give you some background before I continue.  Her name is Kathleen.  Her mother was my mother-in-law's best friend for years.  They moved from NY to NC together and everything -- super close, really great friends.  So, Kathleen says to me, "Please don't think I'm weird, but is everything okay with you? I keep dreaming about you."  I paused for a moment because I've been really open about my cancer diagnosis, but I still hate dropping the bomb on people who don't know.  So I just said, "Well, did you hear about my mastectomy?" Kathleen covered her mouth with her hand and said, "No! Oh I'm so sorry.  I had no idea.  But now my dreams make sense. I kept dreaming that your mother-in-law was texting me: Samantha is going to be ok.  Please pray for her.  Please pray for Samantha."

Kathleen explained that she had that dream at least three times and said to her husband, "Should I tell Samantha?  She'll think I'm crazy."  I assured her that I was the last person that would ever think that and thanked her profusely for the message.

How nice to be assured that my mother-in-law went to so many lengths to let me know she was with me, praying for me, getting everyone else to pray for me and trying to assure me that everything will be okay.  And as I sit here typing this with a melting ice pack under my arm, I really do believe she just might be right.