New, Extraordinary Identity

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I’ve heard it said by many people that the words “I am” are powerful words.  Why not claim the best for yourself?  I am the light, a transformer of darkness.  I am lucky.  I am the embodiment of love, peace, and goodwill.  I am blessed, grateful, effulgent, healthy, free, and optimistic.  I am washed clean by every rain, and made stronger with each sunrise.

Claim whatever positive traits you desire, even if you are in truth working toward these states of being.  You’ll get there quicker by telling your subconscious what you want instead of what you don’t want.

Last week, I realized that someone, most likely movers from a moving company, stole my checks and other personal information.  I was out of town when I realized my bank account had been drained, and the violation was shocking.  I reached for equanimity in the middle of that storm, but I was shaken up and had to lean on others.  Luckily, I realized that I have many supportive people all around me.  Those who do not know how to be supportive have drifted out of my life, and I live in a calm, beautiful state of being.

Life simply couldn’t get any better.  Why?  Because I claimed it, focused on the good, and refused to let a demanding situation be anything other than it is—a place which connects me to others.   Every trying circumstance in my life has allowed me to help others, and this will not different.  I am a part of something greater than myself.  Like a symphony, a storm, a comet, an eclipse, a thunderous herd of elk under bright moonlight, a floor of dancers with good rhythm and smiles, I am part of the flow of life and fully present for every moment of this ride back to the stars.

It is possible to walk into any situation free and happy.  You can also walk out of any situation just as free and just as happy.    You can walk away from rooms of discord, and walk into ones of peace, harmony, festivity, bliss, and sweetness.

Someone stole my identity.  So what? They can have that old identity.  They snatched the last of my troubles.  They took the lingering remnants of my negativity.  They stole my wounds and left me free and happy with a new bank card, a membership with LifeLock, greater happiness, and a new way of looking at this amazing world.

Though I have learned to be more protective of myself and others, I have also learned to let go of pain that isn’t my own and doesn’t serve me.  Bad things sometimes happen to good people, but many extraordinary, uplifting, miraculous, fortuitous things happen to good people as well.

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The Other Side is On Your Side

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What if you didn’t worry about limits or restrictions? What if you could dance around doubts and jump over boundaries with grace? What if you gave your best effort and didn’t care about the results?

What if your cultural conditioning led you to all the wrong destinations and situations, and I told you that you could dive into the unknown, break through your current circumstances, and glide, possibly even jitterbug, around obstacles?

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What if you could easily stop doing things that stifle your potential and create your own way of living?  What if you could stop suffering by accepting everything as it is, but also by shifting into the energy of creation of what you want?

What if I told you that the person, place, or situation that you keep banging your head against will never change?  You and your actions are the only thing that can change.  What if I told you it is o.k. that you have made the same mistake countless times, but you don’t have to make the same one this time?

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The past is the past, but you can walk into the world now as if you are entering the greatest race of your life.  You can bet all of your money on yourself.  Whatever the outcome, you are going to run your heart out and get closer to your destination than if you stay stuck in fear.

On the other side of fear is freedom.  On the other side of the dark, cavernous, unknown places we must traverse to get where we want to go is a great, new beauty.

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Your soul has markers, breakers, and when you swim out beyond where you have gone before the sunlight is brighter and the landscape is different. You emerge with a glow, with an undeniable, intangible, distinctive quality.

Your ego is the right size, but your aura is huge.  Your smile gleams in the nighttime, and there is no doubt that the other side is on your side.

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Questions from Readers: What Can We Do? How Can We Help?

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People often ask me about how to find optimism or how to anchor love in a world full of tragedy and horrifying acts.  I am stunned sometimes myself by life because I am human and vulnerable like everyone else.  I only know with certainty that we do not take the pain with us.  We only take the love.  That tells me that when something unthinkable happens; for instance, when your friend’s daughter or son has been murdered, you must be the one to be willing to do anything to help your friend grieve and feel more loved.  You become the love that works to counter unthinkable tragedies.

You cry and grieve with your friend.  You stay there even when your friend pushes you away.  You remind him or her that grief is necessary and takes a long time to process.  You tell your friend to join a support group of other grieving parents.  You tell him or her to reach out and comfort others, so that you friend will be reminded how we are all connected. You tell your friend to keep doing loving things for himself or herself even though the grief is so intense that he or she can’t even taste the food or hear the music.  Eventually, a little joy will break through.  Going through the pain is the only way to slowly get out of it.

Connection and helping others is one of the most profound gifts we can give ourselves.  On days, when I could barely get up all the floor for all the grief I carried inside of me, I know my grief evaporated from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. when I was surrounded by the joy, confusion, pain, anger, silliness, happiness, and grief of my students. Solving one of their problems, or even just being a present, caring witness to their pain, made me feel that my life was of value and not random or meaningless.  Look to God for the strength that you feel that you don’t have at certain times.

People often ask me about why someone they know or barely know would threaten or terrorize them.  For that question, I want to use the wise words of a friend and energy worker who works for the greater good of this world.

He says that, “Each time someone threatens or terrorizes, they are working with the opposite of love, and no good will come from this state of being to the person making the threats. These people’s minds are horribly confused and fearful, and there is no respect for the existence and goodness in others.”

I think it is also important to realize that what terrorizers say is not the truth and only a reflection of their own darkness and pain.  As sensitive beings, we can internalize these attacks and wonder if there is any truth to their words, but there isn’t.  There is no truth in darkness, and there is no eternal quality to hate.

My friend goes on to say that, “….to be effective as a healer and actually work for the greater good, and have energy flow from ascended masters, angels, and the Divine Feminine, you need to come from a place of unconditional love. This means you need to ask for help in stepping away from the ego. You work for universal and unconditional love. Viewing the self through the lens of unconditional love empowers your work and elevates you tremendously, and your abilities increase exponentially.”

Sometimes, we simply learn how to help heal others who have been terrorized in the ways we have been terrorized.  We bring in that unconditional love for ourselves until we are free and we pass this love on to others.

People often ask me how they can help others and what they can do with their limited time and resources.    

Years ago, I read the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life and decided to secretly (though not now) give gifts in one certain way for each month of the summer break.  During the school year, I am busy helping students, but in the summer, I only teach online classes and have more time. This is a hot month in Texas, so my focus this month is on homeless people.  I give whatever I can or have on me when I see a homeless person—usually I give money, but sometimes a water bottle, an extra pair of sunglasses, a smile or wave if I have nothing, an apple, a meal, my leftovers from a restaurant, and once I simply gave a man my prayer beads.  I give a part of myself to every person I see on these hot streets; their faces are now etched into my mind.  I am connected to them, instead of being completely separated behind the glass of my car window. What I am doing is not much; however, I know connection and helping others is where stories begin.

Years ago, I also read the book Same Kind of Different As Me which will soon be turned into a movie.  The setting is Fort Worth, Texas, and the story is about a deeply religious woman dying of cancer and her wish that her husband mentor a homeless man. All three of their lives are transformed by this connection.

If you are stumped as to how to help others, you might simply begin by reading about all those who have helped others, and you might get some great ideas.  Also, you might simply wait and listen.  When someone says that they need something, try to provide it or guide them to the right resource.

Sometimes, simply listening and being fully present is a great gift, especially in a society where too many are glued to their phones, not grounded, and not present even for their loved ones.  There are many organizations that need volunteers.  You can find ways to help, and remember that the people who you connect with are where the stories begin.  Design an amazing story for your life.  The greater the love, the better the story.

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You Deserve Love and Positive Energy        

 silenceisn'tempty Too often, mental programs from our past tell us that we are not worthy of being loved fully.  We are not even aware of how much shame, anger, disappointment, and sadness we carry in relation to our choices, our pasts, our bodies, and the overall state of our lives.

The smallest exchange from many years ago can negatively shift how we think about ourselves.  We can hold on to a slight or wound which eventually settles into our bones in a permanent way.  However, the person involved who hurt or offended us may have meant very little by their words or actions and possibly may not have considered the effect on us at all.  These people might not be aware of their emotional abuse or they may have such deep insecurities of their own and not know how to behave rationally.

Most of our damaging mental programs began in childhood, but these settings can be adjusted with some attention and love. Our own wisdom and guidance can guide us to greater levels of awareness and awakening if we only give ourselves the gift of uninterrupted time and space.  It takes patience to look inside and pay attention to the intuition and wisdom working its way into our lives.

The more painful the situation, the more heroic the journey is when you go inward for healing instead of acting destructively outwardly.

Living in a culture that financially stretches most of us, a culture that pays little attention and offers so little hope of transformation to those who are traumatized and deeply suffering, is challenging and depressing.  Certainly, we need a loving connection to others through community, but beyond connection to others, we also need to know that that we each possess the ability to clear out the stress and pain in our own lives.  Negativity can accumulate quickly in our minds and systems, and deep love and care for your own well-being can be like a large waterfall of positive, clearing energy.

Have you ever observed someone close to you come home after a trying day at work?  Their tough day is over, yet this person simmers and stews in the energy and irritations of their day.  They do not realize that they are free and can drop that burden.  All the negativity of the day can be washed away without alcohol, overeating, binge watching television, etc.

Certainly, good habits like spending time in nature, exercising, and eating healthy foods can help reset your energy, but an intent to manifest a more positive state is crucial. Going within and opening yourself to a more positive state of being can reset everything.  Gravitating to messages of healing can also help you.

Perhaps, one of the keys to staying young is staying teachable and realizing that we all have much to learn through spiritual development and energetic changes.

Nothing screeches of old age more than the couch potato who knows it all and “it all is going to hell.”  Bullshit….everything is about to change miraculously.  Everything is about to become much more fun and entertaining—that is the mind of the child and the mind of someone who can manifest change and enjoyment from even simple moments in life.

Stress and pain can be washed away with the intent to become someone different.  We can choose what we desire from the world energetically and become that frequency.  If you want to feel love, send love to your heart, your mind, and every cell of your body. Don’t laugh this idea.  Try doing this in the middle of a moment of anxiety or pain, and see how you can transform yourself.  If you can’t love yourself in this way, how can anyone else offer you this love?

If you want to feel freedom, go stand in an open field and face down your fears like they are wild bulls running at you, and you have the power to stop them with one of your fingers.  You have the power to dance out of the way of the danger in your mind.  You can transform the tigers of your nightmares into sweet kittens.  If you want to let go of your anger, write a short story and kill your tormentors off or imagine them old with dementia. They’ll get there.  Imagine you are the one serving them dinner, and they don’t even know who you are.  Have compassion or simply be done with them.  Whatever the case, let go of the negativity!

Walk into the light of all that you want.  Stress can be washed away by realizing that a part of us is always renewable.  Of course, we have our genetic predispositions and our current circumstances, but we also have a powerhouse of unused potential.  We have a connection to guides and galaxies of possibility.

The simplest of moments can shift your life, and the energy you put into your efforts will eventually transform your life.  You are worthy of love, not disregard.  You are worthy of positive connections, not draining ones. You are worthy of your own love, so start there and look to the stars and heavens for blessings.

So few people look upward and wait for the answers.  Be one of the ones who is open and receptive.  Your dreams aren’t going to instantly materialize just from sitting in your backyard and looking at the moon, but that moment might reset your energy and allow you to start working toward what you want with a more positive version of yourself—a version that is open to vast amounts of goodness, love, and mercy every remaining day of your life.

Self-Love and Healing

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The journey of life is a beautiful and strange one, filled with joy and loss.  The trick might be to see these moments as simply part of the whole of our existence.   A focus on our spiritual purpose balances out these experiences.

Self-Love: I’ve recently started blogging for The Relationship Blogger.  In this post, I talk about how one of the lessons from my NDE was how to become more of my best friend through the journey of this life no matter what I survived.

Without self-love, there is manipulation and drama in relationships.   However, self-love grants us peace that no grasping at satisfaction will ever bring.  That feeling of being o.k. as you are is priceless.

Healing: The manuscript that I recently completed has a small portion which talks about learning to parent the wounded inner child inside of me.  Wounds can’t be wished away or pushed aside; they will continue to crop up and get triggered if you don’t actively work to release and heal them.  My strongest desire for young people is that they work on family of origin wounds and release these patterns early in life before these patterns get played out in various ways.

It would be amazing to see larger groups of college students open to the potential of energetic healing, as well as traditional forms of healing through churches, counseling, programs of recovery, mentorship programs, and success/inspirational workshops. Relationships are vital and important to everyone, and some college classes like sociology and psychology offer helpful information to students about healing and transformation.  However, healing sometimes comes from having a loving focus on oneself and an intent to heal.   Every human being is different and the modalities for healing are numerous–everything from nutritional therapy, functional medicine, sound healing, energetic healing, etc.

After my NDE, I am particularly sensitive to energy.  I’m a fan and connoisseur of energy work. Because of this, I’ve decided to share the names of those whose work I have tried and deeply benefited from. I recently had an amazing session with Tara Rose .  I’ve worked with shamans and had affirming, healing sessions.  However, something about this session with Tara blew me away.  I’m always looking for ways to bring more of the divine light into my life, and her session encouraged and greatly facilitated that experience.  The healing work focused on a major wound in my life, and I still feel certain energetic changes many days later.  If you try a session with her, I would love it if you let her know that I recommended you.

May each of you love and take great care of your inner child.  I know mine better now that I have ever known her.  Get to know yours, and be playful about the process.  One of the lessons from my NDE was to remind people to be like a little child.  Find a way to deeply enjoy life and be in the moment.

My inner child dances under the stars. She sends her wishes to the moon when it is full, and watches those wishes magically descend into her life. She has unexpected, divine messages and intellectual breakthroughs. She finds peace and healing in the embrace of nature. She is amused by creative, fun moments, and powerful, intuitive realizations. She feels the love and healing energy of angels and archangels all around her. The part of this inner child that is in touch with the light will never die.  

The part of you that is in touch with the light will also never die.  There is healing in remembering this truth.

As Tara Rose reminds us on her website,  a true healer shows us our own capacity to heal and transform our lives, and love is always the greatest transformer.  I wish everyone much healing and happiness no matter where your journey might be leading you.

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6 Tips For Successful Meditation

I am pleased to add another guest post.  Please check out Odette Cecilia’s lovely website.

Are you a fan of meditation, yoga, and spiritual studies? If you are one of those fitness freaks who takes your daily exercise ritual as something quite serious, then you should never ignore the importance of adding meditation techniques to your daily exercise regime. Ultimately, you will find a sense of well-being and happiness through this practice and experience more synchronicity and positive feelings.

Developing the right kind of meditation practice requires some effort. You must determine what your body wants and what it requires.

In other words, determine your personal mantra in order to receive the maximum benefits from your meditation ritual.  Once you start this practice, you will feel more comfortable and vibrant inside out.

Here are 6 smart ways to help you master the art of meditation.

  1. Find A Corner:

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The most important aspect of a successful meditation experience is to find a perfect spot in your home. This can be your room, a guest room, another place in your home, or even outside with least amount of disturbances.

If you are unable to sit on the floor, you can use a chair or even a sofa. Sit in an upright position and enjoy a solitary, confined aura of complete bliss.

  1. Take Deep Breaths:

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Once you have adjusted yourself in your favorite spot and you are ready to start with your meditation practice, make sure that you take few deep breaths to let your body come into a zone of peace or bliss.

Close your eyes, focus on something that makes you happy.  Take few deep breaths to let go of any negative thoughts holding you back.

  1. Free Your Mind:

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Don’t restrict your thoughts as you set off with your daily meditation routine. Let your thoughts go free, thus, setting your mind at peace with itself.

Since it is human nature to let the thoughts wander, freeing your mind from any kind of negative vibe is as important as exercise is to the whole body.

  1. Begin Slowly:

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Meditation is also considered to be a form of exercise. Therefore, while you begin adding meditation to your daily routine, make sure that you start off slowly and steadily. Give it a good 20-25 minutes on the first day to create peace within your mind and body.

In this way, you can easily give yourself ample time to become well-adjusted with the routine.  Also, you can take time out for other chores as well.

  1. Be An Early Bird:

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As per the experts, the best time to meditate is the early morning when there is peace and calmness all around.  Mother Nature is at her very best at this time.

Not only will practicing meditation the first thing in the morning keep you refreshed the whole day, it will also ensure a healthy mind and body in the long run, and your overall health will improve.

  1. Set Your Mantra:

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Meditation is much more than a regular exercise regime. It can help you to embark on a spiritual journey that will give you the ultimate experience of staying fit and close to God at the same time.

Moreover, setting up your mantra for life will give you a purposeful approach towards your daily activities and help you to perform better in life.

Author Bio:

 OdetteCecilia

Odette Cecilia, originally from Venezuela, learned intuitively to meditate through creative visualization. Her depth of spirit led to her interest in and love of the healing arts, and most specifically, the use of sound frequencies and music to enhance spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being in others.

 

The NDE As A Preview Of Awakening, Enlightenment, and God-Consciousness

 

Many people on a spiritual path long for an awakening or feel that they are awakened and struggling toward more frequent moments of enlightenment.  What is different about a near-death experience is that the experiencer may be far from interested in spiritual matters before his or her experience.  He or she may not be on any spiritual path of any kind, yet the experiencer comes back with a deep knowledge of a spiritual reality.

To be taken from 0 to infinity in a few seconds is a life-changing experience.   For those of us who have had profound NDEs, we scramble afterwards trying making sense of our life before and after the event.

In that first year after my experience, sometimes my connection to the other side was intense and all-consuming.  Other times, I looked forward to returning to the business of my life back at college; however, I knew I would never be exactly the same.

Though NDErs are often not capable of holding on to the blissful states they experience in the afterlife, these states are memorable.  In a recent video, I saw Howard Storm discuss the importance of loving others.  Though love appears to be a “simple” mission, it is actually a VERY tough mission.  To send love and light to people who seem intent on destroying us requires us to reach new heights of patience, understanding, and wisdom. Love is sometimes simply preventing someone from continuing to harm others.  Love might be anchoring a consciousness of healing for those who have been hurt in similar ways.  Love is action and energy.

In this video, I’m not asserting that NDErs are all enlightened souls, but I am putting forth the theory that many NDEs awaken the experiencer.  What we do with that awakening depends on each life situation.

Awakening: The minute I stepped out of form and saw “behind the veil” or rather saw that my spirit form continued after death, I was in a sense awakened.  I comprehended many things through telepathic communication and simply being in the very visible presence of angels/light beings whose presence I had never seriously considered.

No matter what happened in my life after my NDE, I could never brush away this knowledge.  I could not unlearn what I knew to be true; there is much more to reality than the material world.  In fact, from that vantage point, the earth experience appears to be a place where we choose to forget our connection to divinity and focus on our individuality.  In that darkness, some of us wake up and realize there is more to life than struggling.  A NDE shows us clearly that a growing connection to the light of God is what is most important.

What is true in the spiritual realm is goodness, mercy, and love.  I took none of the pain of my life with me, and pain and struggle didn’t seem to be the point or worth remembering.  Love and kindness to others seemed to be the main point of existence.

After a NDE, many experiencers feel less fear and more love.  They become less judgmental, have changes in sleep patterns, extra sensitivities to light, taste, touch, electronics, and energies.   As those on a spiritual path struggle to make sense of their awakenings, NDErs also struggle to integrate their profound experiences into their lives.

Enlightenment:  During my NDE, I moved from a place of observing what was happening to my physical body and the awareness of my spiritual form to a growing connection and awareness of many others and the consciousness of God.   As I left the hospital, my consciousness merged with the consciousness of others. I began to lose track of what was “my consciousness” and the consciousness of God (who seemed to be leading me through this experience) and other people. This non-dual state is the real deal (enlightenment) and what so many people long for while in form.  I felt a transcendental, awe-inspiring oneness with others, nature, and God in that state.

Most NDErs are disappointed to return to our personal perspectives, our corporeal forms, and lives because in that eternal space we were connected to many other people and had a much clearer, greater understanding.  We know that returning to form will be like being born again.  Life situations will surely force us back into our individuality, our wounds, and our experiences.  Many of us would rather stay in that place of great unconditional love and connection but choose to come back for the sake of loved ones, or in my case, a mission from God.

The beauty of that heavenly landscape in the afterlife seemed all the more beautiful because I longed for nothing else.  In form, our mind and emotions often trick us into dissatisfaction, but in that place I had no dissatisfaction.  I wanted for nothing.  I believe this part of my NDE gave me a glimpse of enlightenment.  I longed for nothing other than that moment.

Returning to form largely shakes us out of this place of oneness, but to be there even for a short while is amazing.  I’ve heard people talk about enlightenment as fleeting states and something we strive for as humans.  Maybe there are certain states of mind that are associated with higher levels of our potential, and as we calm our nervous systems down we can stay in these states for longer periods of time.  In a world of irritating, triggering news stories and other disturbances, it is hard to stay in these states for long periods of time.

So, how do we deal with a toxic world?

We detach from it at times, and we engage passionately and lovingly with it more often. We send love to every human being on the planet.  That’s hard, but we can start with the easy ones and the people in our vicinity.  We are striving to have minds that are no longer focused on thoughts of greed, hatred, and delusion while living in a world filled with these things.  This is difficult, but we don’t dislike ourselves if we fall into negative states; rather, we give ourselves love and attention and heal these parts of ourselves so we might be able to show others how to heal.  We are less attached to feelings of all kind, and they tend to blow through the nervous system quicker with this type of practice.

Gratitude is, of course, also important.  That was an easy thing to do right after my accident.  I was literally grateful for each breathe, each painful step, and each bite of food.  Clearly, I was alive, and this alone seemed a miracle.

I remember holding on to grudges for a long while before my NDE.  I’m not saying this isn’t a trait I still work on in myself, but I am surprised when I allow myself to feel something completely and then watch the feelings wash away.

States of enlightenment/equanimity doesn’t mean being walked on by others or not protecting the innocence of those around you.  Equanimity doesn’t mean acting sulky or aloof.  In fact, the more jubilant states of mind are a better indicator of equanimity.  Being compassionate, present, and fully engaged is a hallmark of equanimity.  A deep love for life and a desire to make the lives who are near you better in small in large ways is an indicator of equanimity.  Instead of judging everyone, you might pray for their healing, joy, and freedom.  Freedom is something we are, a space inside of us that makes us smile, not something we try to create.

Dysfunction and drama seems to be in the very DNA of the American culture from our movies to our families, so how do we become more peaceful and less reactive?  How do we let go more quickly?  I can’t answer this in a post because thousands of books are written on this subject.  I only know that a focus on what is lovely and true can begin to undo what is not lovely and true.

In the presence of God, there is no “I’m right/You’re wrong” dynamic.  There is only love, acceptance, oneness, and beauty.

God-Consciousness:  For NDErs who journey to the presence of God, we usually feel speechless about this experience.  My heart completely opened and was completly healed in the presence of God.  There were no cracks, no holes, no darkness, only pure bliss.  The deepest form of connection with the most loving force imaginable is hard to describe.  God told me to remind others of this instant connection to source, and I wanted to stay in that place because it felt amazing.  There was nothing better, so why would I want to return?  I knew I couldn’t hold on to the power of that connection and love.  Back in form, I’ve realized that remembering the oneness with God is my true, real journey in life.

How can we possibly embrace everything as part of the divine while living this life?  It is easier to accomplish when you focus on your spiritual purpose.  If that purpose is to bring joy and happiness to others, then that is what you do.  You live out your purpose relentlessly.  In my life, I am grateful to have a platform as an educator.  I feel goodwill toward every student who walks down the hall or sits in my classroom.  I want these students to have the best possible educational and emotional experiences.  I want them to learn all that they need to learn. I see education as a form of heaven on earth.

As our nation is highly divided right now, I’ve found it difficult to extend the same goodwill to some people on social media or in other areas of life.  At some point, I stopped and asked myself, “Are you a teacher in all walks of life or just at that campus?” I decided that I want to be a teacher in all areas of life.  Much like it took some time to become a seasoned professor, this goal might take time, but my intention is to center the energy necessary for bringing greater awareness, knowledge, love to everyone I encounter.

God is pure, divine light, and God-Consciousness is living in that state of absolute divinity.  In the presence of God, there is simply love and immediate healing of anything that needs healing.

NDErs might sometimes think that spiritual paths complicate ideas that instantly manifested for them in the afterlife.

However, one of the powerful lessons from NDEs is that these enlightened states of being are part of who we essentially are, and we can access these states with faith, practice, and intention.

 

 

Ego, Empathy, and a Healthy Identity

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Anita Moorjani has amazing things to say about ego and connectedness to others. She talks about how we need both–a sensitivity to other’s experiences and an ability to embrace our ego.  We need a healthy ego and healthy dose of empathy in order to function successfully.  When one is out of balance, we don’t relate to the world harmonically.

Ego: The seed for growing a healthy ego might have been planted when I survived death and existed for a few moments in the presence of God.  For the first time in my life, I felt better than o.k.  I felt blessed just to be me, exactly how I am.  I didn’t feel that I needed to change or improve anything.  I could breathe with ease in the presence of God.  I wish I could bottle that feeling and drink it daily myself and give everyone on the planet a big drink of “FINE EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.”

You don’t HAVE TO buy anything, improve anything, lose a certain number of pounds, take seven more classes.  You don’t HAVE TO do anything to be fine exactly as you are. You can simply claim it and breathe this feeling in, deep inside of you.  You can later buy, improve, lose, and take classes if all these activities give you more joy, health, and happiness, but you do not have to do anything to claim being loved.  You are loved.

Moorjani writes, “”….as long as we are alive, breathing, and expressing through a physical body, the best thing we can do for ourselves and for those around us is to engage in life fully, embrace who we are, and express ourselves authentically. To me, being spiritual, and being ourselves is one and the same thing!”

All I can say is a big, “Amen.”  Right after my NDE, nothing felt more holy and true than to be authentically me, rejoicing at being alive.  Every book I read had great significance because I was reading it.  Every single moment of my life was holy, simply because I was alive to experience it.

At my core, I know I am an expression of the divine, and so are you.  Though sometimes love and light has to wiggle its way around cavernous wounds, the light and the truth always seeks to these heal wounds.  It always seeks to make you freer.  With greater love and more empathy for ourselves, we do find ways to let more light flow through us.

Empathy:  I have always felt the feelings of others.  Empathy/being an empath is a gift but a heavy one at times, especially when I have absorbed the negative emotions of others and not understood how to disconnect and practice more awareness of my own feelings.

In worst case scenarios, I’ve let energy vampires take away my good time and peace of mind.  Luckily, there is so much information  about how to identify energy vampires and deal with them.

Ralph Smart’s video has great ideas such as blasting energy vampires with your light or simply limiting the time and attention you give them.

The idea of energetically protecting myself from negative energy never worked as much as being someone who could blast light (with words or with energy) into a negative situation and change that situation so that others might learn how to be more loving and awakened.

In some cases, I had to learn when it was time to fold and walk away/run away from situations/people.  A healthy ego allows you to draw boundaries with people and protect yourself from harm.  Empathy is sometimes what you have for yourself simply for having survived what you have survived; it also allows you to help others in similar situations.

Love:  We all have the capacity to be empaths.  There is so much joy in being wide open with love for oneself and for others, and it is the best way to live.  We all have the capacity to have a healthy sense of ego and walk through this world in a way that allows us to be incredibly kind and self-protective.

You deserve goodness, and you deserve to be the embodiment of love.  Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

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Just Remember Compassion

 

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Go ahead and work hard to manifest every single one of your dreams.  Build the company you wanted to build.  Start the non-profit.  Win the awards you dreamed of winning, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and marry the guy or girl many others wanted.  Travel to Cozumel, Tahiti, and Rome.  Get a new home every decade and move up in your company, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and train for your first race.  Win and keep training.  Take your efforts to their maximum and beyond. Smile for the cameras as everyone watches as you blast into fame in those blessed 500 meters of your life, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and write the novel that gets a big publishing contract.  Get the movie deal and the house in Encinitas, but don’t forget compassion.

Because…the business can fail, the non-profit can flounder, and awards can be a thing of the past.  Divorce, sickness, and disaster is the rain that falls into many lives, and athletes whose faces were known around the world in their twenties sometimes have trouble getting out of bed in their forties or fifties, their bodies wracked with pain.  The writer who was the envy of all his or her peers sometimes dies alone with a television or a cat, so extend compassion to everyone like it is breath.

When you judge another’s weaknesses, you judge yourself because we will all succumb to frailty.  The flower blooms, but even when we are green, we are also dying.  Even when we are dying though, we are sometimes simply learning what it means to live with compassion for all beings.

So, why not learn the lesson now?  Why not live as if you are already home?  Have compassion for everyone on God’s green earth and everyone who has come before you and everyone who will come after you.

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During my near-death experience, one of the aspects of the divine love of God was compassion.  There were many aspects to this megadose of love, but compassion was one of the feelings.  To simply feel God’s acceptance and love as I was without judgment seemed way out of the ordinary for me.  In my life before my NDE, I encountered people who were often judgmental, and I didn’t always extend compassion myself.

The longer I live, the more I realize that one of the most important things we can do is to extend compassion both to ourselves and others in all moments of life, even in small moments when we are frustrated in traffic or unable to sleep.  Try showing yourself a bit more compassion.  The very act of showing compassion for yourself seems to free up space and allows things to shift.

Holes In The Veil By: Chris Brethwaite

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I am pleased to feature another guest post.  Chris Brethwaite’s beautiful story about a loved one’s communication from the other side of the veil is remarkable for several reasons.   Please enjoy!  I would love to hear your comments about after-death communications with loved ones.  

There is a flip side to NDEs, ADC – After Death Communication. Rather than a percipient visiting the other side, someone on the other side makes their presence known to the percipient. This can occur in a number of ways – lucid dreams, symbolically (e.g. a rainbow arching over the cemetery on the day of their funeral), synchronicity (e.g. a meaningful coincidence at a meaningful time), sensing the deceased person’s presence, smelling an associated fragrance like perfume or aftershave, hearing their voice, being touched or held by an unseen presence, or seeing them in either a ghostly or solid form.

My first ADC experience took place during my senior year in high school. I had come home late one night from my job at a local pizza parlor, and had gotten a bowl of cereal. After I finished eating, I just sat at the table, unwinding from a long day of school and work. When all of a sudden, I saw and heard the cereal bowl move about four or five inches across the table. I was stunned. I had never witnessed anything like that.

I knew the bowl hadn’t slid across the table on a layer of condensation. We lived in Phoenix, and there was no condensation because of our extremely low humidity. Additionally, the table had a crinkle-like finish, and I actually heard the bowl scrape across the table surface. Not knowing what to make of the experience, I simply went to bed.

Several days later, I mentioned it to my dad. He had something quite interesting to add. A friend of his had recently dropped dead at work from a massive heart attack. One night, and quite possibly the same night I saw the moving cereal bowl, my dad saw his friend’s apparition standing in his bedroom doorway. I remember my dad telling me that the hallway light had been on, and that there was no mistaking who it was. Consequently, I believe it was this man’s soul who moved my cereal bowl. He wanted to make his presence known to me, and chose a simple, non-threatening way to do so.

About three years later my dad passed away from diabetes. About a month after his passing, my sister Maryanne awoke one morning at her apartment to find him standing at the foot of her bed, looking at her. He was only there for a moment, but long enough for her to be freaked out by it. It unsettled her enough that she slept with the lights on for the next couple of nights.

Fast forward to the fall of 2006. I was now living in Kansas City, and working as a humor writer for Hallmark Cards. One night I got a call from my mom telling me that she had gone to Urgent Care, and that they had diagnosed her with some kind of respiratory infection. Unfortunately, after a week or so, she wasn’t any better. So I flew to Phoenix to check on her situation in person.

Two days after I got there, I accompanied her to the pulmonologist’s office. He put her x-rays on the lightbox, and I was shocked to see all these white masses scattered throughout her lungs. The doctor said they could be benign and didn’t seem overly concerned. Her next step was to get a needle biopsy done at a hospital.

I forget all the details, but it wound up being a huge hassle getting the hospital to release the results of her biopsy to me. In any event, I’ll never forget sitting in the hospital parking lot and reading the lab report saying she had stage 4 lung cancer. This seemed unbelievable to me because my mom never smoked a day in her life.

I drove home, walked in her room, and sat on her bed. I then held her hand, and broke the heartbreaking news to her. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.

About a week later, my sister-in-law, Rena, and I took her to see an oncologist. The three of us waited in an exam room for what seemed to be an eternity while he looked over her medical records. Finally, he came in the room. He said he was sorry, but that my mom’s cancer was too wide spread to be surgically removed or treated with radiation. He added that even the most aggressive chemo would only extend her life a couple months. He said if she chose to do nothing, she’d have about three weeks to live. Rena and I both comforted her. It was not the news we were expecting to hear.

My sister immediately took leave from her job in Denver and flew home. A couple days after she arrived, I flew back to KC to take care of some personal business. While I was home, I picked out a song to play at her funeral. It was “O-h-h Child” by the Five Stairsteps. It had been a Top Ten hit in the summer of 1970. I picked that song because the lyrics made me thinks of NDEs, particularly the line, “Some day, yeah, we’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun. Some day, yeah, the world will be brighter.”

We had some odd things happen in the final weeks of my mom’s life. One night I was sitting with her watching her sleep, when I heard her closet door shut. I looked over my shoulder, and saw that it was open. I got up and checked inside, but nothing seemed amiss. Another time, I had just laid down on my bed when I heard the brass bell my mom would ring when she needed something. I was in her room no more than three seconds later, only to find her on the opposite side of the bed from the nightstand where the bell sat. It was obvious she hadn’t rung it. I don’t even think she was awake.

One night my sister was in the living room watching TV when she saw a pen on the coffee table roll 360 degrees for no apparent reason. She hadn’t jarred the table or anything. We pretty much shrugged off these events because we were physically and emotionally drained.

When my mom needed more care than us kids could provide, we admitted her to a hospice. One morning, about two days before she passed, while I was sitting with her, she seemed to see something or someone to my immediate right. There was nothing there but a blank wall. I asked her what she was looking at, but she was no longer able to speak. She had a look on her face of shock and surprise, as though she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. My personal opinion is she had a death bed vision. I’m assuming she saw my dad, or her parents, or an angel standing next to me.  I was happy for her, and found the experience interesting, if not a little bit spooky.

My mom passed away at 1:47 a.m. on the morning of December 6, 2006. She was surrounded by those who loved her the most – me, my sister Maryanne, my brother Terry, and his wife Rena. After the nurse declared her officially deceased. We quietly gathered her possessions and left.

The next afternoon Maryanne and I had to go to the funeral home to finalize the arrangements, and to give them the CD of “O-h-h Child”. When I started the car, “O-h-h Child” was playing on the radio. My sister and I couldn’t believe it. I realize this could be nothing more than a coincidence. However, future events would cast serious doubt on that as an explanation.  In any event, what would come in the months ahead would defy all rationality.

My mom had been a devout Catholic, and if you asked us kids, a very loving and saintly person. She had spent her whole life sacrificing for others. In the months leading up to her death, she had struck up a special friendship with Father Ben, a priest from her parish whose job was to minister to the sick and dying. My mom would frequently tell me that if Father Ben stopped by and she was sleeping, to wake her up. I assured her that I would. When she passed, it was Father Ben who celebrated her funeral mass.

Probably my mom’s one and only hobby was collecting small clocks. They were displayed proudly on a decorative shelf in her living room. I had one clock at my house that was similar to the kind she collected. In fact, I’m reasonably certain she gave it to me. On the one month anniversary of her passing, I noticed that it had stopped working. I figured it just needed a new battery. A couple days later I got around to replacing it. When I went to set the correct time, I realized that it had stopped at the time of her death, 1:47.

For Easter of ’07, my sister and I sent Father Ben a check to help with his ministry to the terminally ill. We knew this was something our mom would have wanted. Shortly afterwards, I received a Thank You card from him. The next day I went out to my garage to put a new license plate frame on her car, which I had driven back from Phoenix.  The moment I set foot in the garage, I smelled votive candles, like you’d smell in a Catholic church. There was nothing in my garage that would smell even remotely close to candles.

Days later I was sitting on my couch reading a book about NDEs and ADC when I suddenly smelled votive candles again. I called my sister to tell her about the experience, and learned that she, too, had smelled votive candles. On the day I received the Thank You card from Father Ben, she had come home from a business trip to Houston, and had smelled them the moment she walked in the door. The smell was strong enough that she asked her then significant other if he had been burning candles for any reason, he said no.

Around the end of June, I experienced the votive candle smell again. I had a potential buyer coming over to look at her car and was busy straightening up the living room, when I suddenly walked into a “solid wall” of candle smell. It was overwhelming. I stopped dead in my tracks and stood there for a good thirty seconds inhaling the scent. Interestingly, this wall of smell was directly in front of my entertainment center, on which sits, the one cherished item I have from my mom – A Kachina doll in a glass case that she received when she retired as a nurse from St. Luke’s Hospital.

Things remained quiet until the morning of November 8th, when my sister called me at work. She told me that while she was getting ready for work, she had opened a compartment on her dresser to take out a piece of jewelry our mom had given her, and had suddenly smelled mom’s perfume. At that precise moment, the TV in her bedroom went gray. She knew she hadn’t lost cable reception because she could still hear the downstairs TV.

She went on to say she had nothing of mom’s that would smell of perfume, and added that it wasn’t even a recent scent, but rather, something our mom would have worn back in the ‘80s or ‘90s. Also, neither one of us could think of any significance to the date. Not that there necessarily had to be one.

That night I called my brother Terry in Phoenix and told him about Maryanne smelling mom’s perfume. I mentioned that we couldn’t think of any significance to the date. He quickly interjected, “I can.” He went on to tell me that he and Rena had gone to court that day to gain legal guardianship of our brother Mark who has severe Down syndrome, and that the guardianship was granted. It was the last piece of unfinished business from our mom’s passing.

This may or may not have a connection to my mom. Everyone can decide for themselves. About a year and a half before she became ill, I bought her a nearly new 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. She was so appreciative that she started crying on the showroom floor. I remember saying to her, “Mom, please don’t cry at the Pontiac dealership.” On a beautiful Saturday morning in November of ’08, I was sitting at my computer, and just for fun, was perusing the used cars on my Ford dealership’s web site. To my amazement, they had a nearly new Mustang for sale at 40% off the sticker price! I couldn’t believe it!  It had only been driven for six months and had 6500 miles on it.

It was a beautiful candy apple red, and everything about the car was as if I had ordered it from the factory myself. I couldn’t get down to the dealership fast enough. I drove it around the block and bought it on the spot. My salesman told me I got the deal of the day. They even had to call a guy in Dallas who was getting ready to fly up to look at it, and tell him it was sold. I couldn’t help but think that my mom just paid me back for getting her the Alero.

On December 6th of 2016, the tenth anniversary of her passing, I had to run some errands. Plugged into the stereo of my Ford Escape is an iPod loaded with 647 songs. The first song that played? You guessed it. “O-h-h Child”.

Chris and Mom in Sedona (1)

Author’s Bio: Chris Brethwaite is a cum laude graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in liberal arts from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. He is a long time IANDS volunteer, and former chapter head. He is currently working on a book titled, “A Paranormal Life”.  He can be reached at  ChrisBre@aol.com.