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.

Energy Connoisseur & Energy Giver

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Good energy workers are valuable and can facilitate tremendous emotional and physical healing in people; however, there is not a ranking system for analyzing their abilities, expertise, and beauty.   Though I am broaching this subject with lightness, I do think the world could benefit from energy connoisseurs.  Much like sommeliers who have an extensive knowledge and understanding of wine and make recommendations based on budgets and personal tastes, energy connoisseurs could offer suggestions to consumers.

I would sign up for that job.  I would love to travel around the world to visit energy workers and review the experiences with an interested audience.  I can imagine suggesting good pairings and coining new, descriptive terms.  Many years ago, I giggled when I heard wine described as “leathery” because terminology like that fascinates me.  I could imagine saying, “Her energy work is luxurious, munificent, and salubrious,” His work pulls in the multi-layered knowledge and love of the universe in colorful waves,” or “Her work is effulgent and effervescent with a slight twinge of giddiness.”

To paraphrase a friend of mine, the most effective healers know that they have a team of angelic entities working with them and have access to all knowledge for what is needed in certain situations.  Being an effective healer means reaching for humbleness and becoming one with the energy instead of claiming it as their own and taking credit for healings.  In other words, being a clear channel of healing energy/love/knowledge from God is the most important factor in any healing session.

Energy Connoisseur:  I was born sensitive to energy, but my near-death experience has made me extremely aware of the subtleties and nuances of energy work and energy blessings.  I have been amazed by certain people’s skills and highly disappointed, even disgusted in a couple of instances.  Though my experience might differ from another’s experience, the intent to categorize the skill levels of energy workers would mainly be done to help people.  Wines have a ranking system, so why not rank energy?

50-59 (Flawed) There are energy healers who have reached a level of fame who have lost their gifts along the way.  Although some energy workers are like a good wine and improve with age, not all of them do.  I am not going to call anyone out in this post, but I can say with certainty that I have worked with someone who may have been a miraculous healer and one point in his life but has little to no energy behind his expensive work now; he did not even have a kind demeanor.  There are also those with much intellectual knowledge about spiritual practices but have negative or manipulative identities.

60-79 (Flawed but Might be Used on Occasion) There are those working as healers who work with an open heart and basic common sense, but they are not utilizing much actual spiritual energy.  Additionally, some energy workers who do work with spiritual energy might be compromised because they are not skilled at setting aside their egos and operating from a pure divine flow of universal light and God-consciousness for clients.

80-84 (Above Average to Good) There are healers with only a few years into their various practices of Matrix Energetics, Pranaic Healing, EFT, Reiki, TheataHealing, Tong Ren Therapy, Emotion Code, or Qi Gong who enter the practice with passion and commitment.  They might do very good work, but they may not receive any recognition beyond their community and could benefit from a bit of publicity.

85-90 (Good to Very Good) There are healers who are life-long learners and connoisseurs themselves.  These healers combine passion, knowledge, skill, and expertise.  They are focused on their client’s needs and highly intuitive as well as in touch with healing, spiritual energy.  These skilled energy workers would also benefit from greater publicity.

90-94 (Superior to Excellent) You might not be able to schedule an appointment easily with superior to excellent energy workers because word of mouth can spread quickly.  That said, I would love to offer a perspective on those who have skills, which might benefit certain clients.  A high price does not always mean a highly-gifted energy worker, just as a high-priced wine does not always equate with the best wine for a particular dinner. However, in some cases, it might be worth waiting for someone with the skills that match specific needs.

95-100 (Benchmark and Classics) Some energy workers and blessing givers have reached a level of fame that draws large crowds.  The Medical Medium gives light blasts to his crowds, and Braco heals with gazes.  I haven’t seen Braco in person, but I have watched Ann Albers, who has been called to continue Braco’s healing through her gazes online.  In one session, I felt beautiful healing from an emotional wound that occurred many years ago.  Life confirmed this healing in real time by facilitating a conversation I hadn’t had with someone in over twenty years.  Although everyone might report a different experience through healings like these, a connoisseur might be able to dissect the type of energy transferred.  Through Ann, I felt an essence of pure love radiated into my life, and this pure love is something we all need more of in our lives.  Love is always healing.

Amma, sometimes called the hugging saint, transmits love to people and individualizes her energy to match what is needed from the person she hugs.  Additionally, she gives an energy which facilitates enlightenment.  I’m not saying that one hug from Amma grants complete enlightenment; rather, the energy that she transfers allows for the receiver to disconnect with his or her individual self to feel the bliss of unconditional love and connection to others.   This might be for a split second, the length of the hug, or for hours/days afterwards.

For several minutes after receiving a hug from Amma, I felt my soul connect briefly to millions of other people across the globe, possibly the other people who have received a hug from Amma.   I didn’t feel any type of healing energy, but I did feel an energy of connection to others in a profound way.  Disconnecting from the self through meditation is healing, and receiving this gift from Amma is in itself healing.

I don’t want to get into controversies or the background of any energy worker.  I’m not the type of person who is in danger of becoming a “devotee” of anyone.  I simply like to experience various energy experiences, and I’m open-minded.  I’ve been blessed to meet and experience many others besides Amma, and I hope to write more about these experiences in future posts.

Personally, I’m also a huge a fan of energy work backed by science.  People like Joseph Pierce Farrell have created a bridge between science and spirituality and helped many people see the potential of energy work in the lives of people in great need. His book Manifesting Michelangelo shows how we all have the ability to manifest on the level of the miraculous.

A modality like Nucca Chiropractics is highly healing and is also backed by scientific principles.  Some practitioners seem to work on an energetic level as well.  Psych K and Emotion Code make great sense to me based on psychological principles.  For those who are skeptical of energy work without a specific modality connected to this work, you might want to research all the many different types of modalities categorized under integrative medicine.

Lighthearted, Energy Givers: You don’t have to be a professional energy giver to give beautiful energy to this world. I love positive, uplifting people, and I enjoy being one of those types of people whenever possible.  Happy energy givers live our days with an intention to make others feel more peaceful and lighthearted.  Energy never lies and can’t be faked though.  To quote my friend again, “…it carries a specific code and resonance which is decipherable through awareness.”

You can fulfill a mission to be an energy giver with serious intentions or just through being you.  You can give others honest compliments, silly jokes, and the occasional singing or dancing at appropriate and inappropriate times.  Some silly, dancing energy givers like Matt from “Where the Hell is Matt” have made quite a big splash on YouTube.  Happy people make us happier.  In many ways, finding your bliss allows others to find theirs too.

Whatever the case, I wish you all much bliss and happiness.  Be your wild and funny selves, and don’t fear the energy.  Just drink it up and pass the good stuff on with honest, kind reviews of your experiences.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2017: Wanting For Nothing Else Other Than This Moment

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God’s Love:  Ask a near-death experiencer about love, and we are liable to talk about the best love of our lives which is God–the divine all-encompassing light, the filler of all empty spaces and sadness.  God is the true love who finally made me want for nothing else, the one who gave me undivided attention, care, concern, and compassion.

The presence of God during my near-death experience washed away all feelings of insecurity and of not being good enough.  There were no flaws or negative thoughts in the presence of God.  There was only I AM LIGHT & LOVE.

I was a part of God and God was a part of me.  God was also inside everyone else, so I felt a part of everyone too.  This divine intelligence was a love much better than the best romance.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good love story, especially ones like Wings of Desire, Bridges of Madison County, Before Sunrise, Amélie, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Silver Linings Playbook, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Annie Hall, and even The Notebook, but these stories always contain struggle and yearning.  In the presence of God, all yearning is filled with love.  There is no wish for anything because everything is complete and every desire sated.

Earthy Love:  Perhaps as spirits we choose form in order to celebrate the moment when our own spark of God is ignited again and we remember that connection.  Sometimes, we see a spark of God in another, but the real challenge might be to learn to see the spark of God in ourselves and in every moment of our lives.

Maybe we have to ask ourselves if we can we hang on to the beloved even when the spark isn’t visible and wait for it to ignite again?  Can we love someone through their own darkness until they find the light?  When do we need to love ourselves more than the desire for a relationship and separate from someone?  Abuse is a sure sign that a relationship is over.  Let that sink into everyone’s head and stay there permanently.

Chronic cheaters are also not a great gamble, but there are the random stories of reformed wild men and women.  And, oddly, some people I’ve met feel comfortable in open relationships; there are many ways to love and be with someone.  If abuse is not in the picture, consider what you both can do differently to have the love that you both desire.  Even small changes can make life more enjoyable.

If you have no pressing questions about your romantic life, don’t stress and enjoy the now. We are not promised forever.  Love your loved ones deeply.

Divine Purpose:  If you are at a true crossroads in a relationship, ask yourself what your divine purpose is.  Then ask yourself if the person in your life helps you fulfill your divine purpose.  Do they support your goals?  Do you learn how to love more because this person is in your life?  Do you learn how to communicate differently and understand how someone else thinks?  Do you give each other peace?  Are you becoming a better person because this person is in your life?

Most of all, no matter your romantic status,  love yourself immensely.  Imagine the love of God  is with you at all times because it is.  When you love yourself this way, space opens inside you to love others better and with a more open, joyous heart.

Occasionally, I get questions on my YouTube channel from people who feel despondent about the lack of love in their lives.  I don’t have many answers for these viewers, but I can say that the more peace and love I feel within myself, the better my relationships have become.  

As Langston Hughes said in the ending of the poem, “Life is Fine”, it is important to remember that life is indeed fine, grand, and wonderful in all of its seasons and expressions. Romantic love is only one part of the expression of love and definitely not something to make you want to die when you were so clearly born to live.

....I could’ve died for love—
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry—
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

     Life is fine!      Fine as wine!      Life is fine!

Your primary and most important relationship is with yourself.    Think kind thoughts about yourself and others, and love will be who you are not something you are searching for in another.   

What I think is the best part of being back in form is the attempt to love others in small and large ways as God loves us.  We fail, but when we try there is nothing better that we can do for this world.

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I Stand for Love, Compassion, Unity, and Community

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I can no longer abide venom or anger on either side politically.  I will not let fear and outrage enter my body when I read the news or social media posts.  I will no longer label anyone as racist, sexist, xenophobic, nationalistic, ignorant, or ill-informed. I will not shame or alienate anyone on social media.  I will look at every human being on the face of the earth as my brother and sister, and I will do what I have done my entire career.  I will embody light and truth.  I will educate and speak my truth from a place of love and light no matter what kind of darkness I encounter in this world.

As Martin Luther King stated, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

No Fear:  I will be a teacher with a microphone and megaphone in our world so that I can reach beyond the walls of my classrooms.  Though I might take you to church in a few lectures, you will know that I respect you and want the best for you.  I don’t want you to live in fear of others, so I will not live in fear of you.

What do I stand for?  I stand for love, deep compassion, empathy, unity, community, wellness, equality, child-like joy, authenticity, freedom, passion, intellectual curiosity, truth, beauty, safety, and healing.

I stand for reverence and deep honor of Mother Earth so that we all might have clean air, water, unpolluted food, and organic, affordable produce.  The Native Americans have much to teach us, and I stand with Standing Rock.

I stand for taking care of all life from the plants we eat to the darling kids in Head Start programs to the college students graduating and entering the work force to the retirees.  I honor the accomplishments and beauty of disabled children as much as the star athletes. I love the kids from the country as much as I love the immigrants who just arrived on our shores and at our airports. I love them all, and I want you to see the light and divinity in everyone.  Though I am more of a Democrat than a Republican, I am mostly an independent lightworker.

I will speak loudly for all the young women who come through my classrooms to show them that sexism, misogyny, and narcissism will not crush them or their dreams.  I speak to show certain males that certain behaviors of our president will not be normalized.  For example, this man at a Pensacola Women’s March needs reeducation.  Don’t turn away from him.  Don’t criticize women for marching.  Ask the women why they marched, and keep this man’s image in your mind because he exists and needs a transformation whether he is a prankster, a rapist, or a future shooter.

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I will write letters, march, and do whatever is necessary for all the students I have known who have faced staggering health issues and deserve health care no matter their economic background, sex, or mental illness.

After all, I might not have died on that operating table had I gone into surgery earlier, and I would have gone into surgery earlier if I had health insurance. I overheard a nurse confirm this.  I suffered so that others might have an easier path.  My gay and lesbian friends fought for equality because they know and I know that no loving couple should ever fear their loved ones will be torn from their grasp.

I love all my students, and I speak in praise of all of my students including Christian gay, white males; brilliant, teenage Muslim girls who want to be doctors; kind, respectful, smart children of undocumented workers; Jewish poets; single mothers of all races and nationalities, veterans who are conservative and veterans who are liberal.  I allow every voice to speak and write their truths.  My classroom is a classroom of tolerance and free-speech.  I hang a flag on my wall because my father was a veteran.  I don’t burn flags, but I burn fake news to the ground in this post-truth reality; I know he’d be proud.

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Pro-Life and Pro-Innocence:  I will shout into my microphone all the love I have in my heart for the many young men and women I’ve met in my lifetime. I want to protect all of the elementary, junior high, high school, and college students.  I want to protect the six-year-old girl who is molested and doesn’t have the voice to tell her family what happened as much as I want to protect the fourteen-year-old teenager who wore a miniskirt to her first party and was raped by three boys.  Though I care about the boys who raped her, I want them to face appropriate consequences for their actions.  I want to live in a world where men and boys see that violence and destruction of innocence will not be tolerated.

More than that, I want men and boys to honor women and to protect the innocence of life around them.  We have to first acknowledge that there is a problem with misogyny and racism because these attitudes lead to violence.   Men who are protectors are worth their weight in gold.
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I pray for the fifteen-year-old girl who was raped by her father while her mother only asked him to pay for their daughter’s counseling. I wish that man had served time for such a grave offense and was not allowed around other teenagers without supervision.  I wish that this young woman knew her true value and brilliance.  I wish that she didn’t feel that she had to drown her trauma in drugs and alcohol, only to be revictimzed by many men.

My personal suffering has become a thread tying me to countless other survivors so that I might show them how to heal a little quicker than I healed. If you have one-fourth the compassion that I have, you too would hold this young woman in your heart whether she chose to get an abortion or to have a child or made both choices at different times.  She is one of the many lives that I serve and honor.

I will shout into my megaphone because I care for the women in their twenties who were raped by exes, beat up by boyfriends, or assaulted by friends of the family.  I want better community services for students I have known who were assaulted by family members and then ended up on the streets.  They deserve a chance at success, and I do my best to make sure they get that chance.  I want better services for all the veterans who have come through my classrooms.  I care about all the young men who were raped by another man when they were only five, seven, or eight.  These are similar stories to the stories of countless students of mine, and I pray for them every day.

I stand at my microphone for the lives of all the many children waiting to be adopted in this country and other countries.  I cry for my fellow human beings as much as I cry for animals in shelters.  I pray for the children enslaved in human trafficking and the children starving to death or injured from the destruction of war and violence.  If we can work together to create a world free from abuse, rape, human trafficking, war, hunger, and violence, we can also start creating amazing communities where single women can go and receive free health care and education during their pregnancies.  When all children are safe and loved, we will be living in a pro-life world.

I will continue to broadcast my message about how important it is to end human trafficking, war, hunger, and all abuse of innocence because we have real work cut out for us.  And in the face of this light and love, if you are still focused on birth and fetuses, I ask you to please adopt children who are here right now, dying for your love.  Sign up to foster children who need you.  Make that financial sacrifice.

If enough of you do this in mass, abortion rates will decrease.  Please realize that most men, even highly conservative ones, will chuckle and admit that if they could get pregnant after a one night stand or night when they drank too much, they would want the abortion pill available over the counter.  Their tone changes when they consider abortion and women’s rights.  This issue is obviously about control over women, and I will shout repeatedly that men would not tolerate this kind of control over their bodies and lives. I will say this on loop this until it begins to sink in to your consciousness.

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I will get out my microphone and remind you to put pressure on all work environments to provide free health care and day care, so that abortion rates will go down.  This will be a much better, loving way to address the abortion issue.  I am for the success of women as much as for the success of men.  One does not cancel out the other.  It never has.  As long as women are abused, assaulted, raped, and stalked at alarming rates, we need to focus on their protection.

I live to protect the innocent and to heal the wounded.  That is the meaning of my life.  Stand in my way of working to heal this world, and I will gather a crowd of loving human beings together, and we will counter all hate and darkness with a brilliant light that cannot be denied. God bless the marches!   God bless our right to protest with love.  God bless us all in every country and every place in this world.  I’m here to make the world great in a way that it never has been and that starts with changing the minds of many of my fellow Americans.

I realize this article probably hasn’t reached who it needs to reach, but I am just now getting warmed up.  Give me a chance, and give love a chance.

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  •  Special thanks to spiritual teachers like Marianne Williamson and Matt Kahn for reminding me to focus on love and what I stand for and not give in to fear.

Additional Lessons From My NDE:  Disconnection, Doing Your Best, and Adding Goodness to the World

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Free yourself from the psychological structure of society, which is to free yourself from the essence of conflict.  –Jiddu Krishnamurti

Disconnection: There’s no disconnection like real disconnection.  Leaving the body behind during my near-death experience gave me a perspective that I never imagined possible as an agnostic.  I carried none of my wounds to other side.  I was free as a bird, curious as a child, and smart as a dolphin outside of my body.

My consciousness survived, but I no longer had a deep, emotional, psychological connection to this human form.  That alone healed my wounds.  All the chattering of the mind, the repeating of offenses of others, and the storyline we all cling to evaporated instantly.

A Different Perspective:  I try to remember that perspective as I journey through life.  Whenever I am caught up in the drama of “she said this, he did this, and then they all did this,” I take a break and wonder what those situations will look like or if they will matter at all on my death bed.

I wonder if those situations will materialize during my life review.  If I was the one who was wronged, these situations probably won’t be in my life review.  The beauty and compassion of God is stunning and deeply loving.  God doesn’t replay the things that harmed us.  We do that to ourselves countless times while in form, but part of freedom is loving yourself enough to begin untangling and disconnecting from your wounds.

Goodness: I know that on the other side, I will look at my life to see if I eventually used the situations of my life to be better to others.  Did I continue to increase my ability to do good in this world no matter how people treated me?   Did I find more ways to be joyful, more ways to be whole, more ways to be lighthearted and uplift others? Did I make my interactions about healing and helping others?  Did I add goodness to the world?

Did I deeply enjoy my time on this earth?  Did I play like a child?  How often did I stand in wonder and awe at the beauty of nature?  Did I love as often as I could, even if that love was love for myself and a bird flying by me?  Did I use my intuition, my wisdom, my bravery, and my connection to the other side?  Did I love more than I thought I could when I first began this journey?

Did I retain some of my innocence?  Did I try to fashion myself as the hero of a situation with words, false and true, or did I simply do what is right and true?  Did I leave when I should leave?  Stay when I should stay? Did I climb to the top of a mountain, breathe deeply, and pull in a great stream of light from the heavens and send that light to every human being on the planet?

Did I do my best?  Did you do your best?

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation. — Jiddu Krishnamurti

The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed. Jiddu Krishnamurti

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Remind Them to Go to Nature–A Command From the Heavens

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At the end of my life-review, I ended up in a vividly green, lush, heavenly landscape. Much like my spirit body felt eternal, the grass, trees, and the natural landscape of heaven appeared deeply and completely alive without a hint of desecration.  I wondered if this is how beautiful nature could be if we lived in greater balance.

There is healing potential in nature.  I have known this at various times even before my near-death experience, but to hear the command, Remind them to go to nature as a direct message from the heavens has stayed with me.

Great thinkers like Einstein have recommended nature as a way to deepen our peace and awareness saying, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” And, great poets like Whitman have extolled the power of nature as well saying, “After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains.”

I remind my college students to eat as many whole foods, especially raw fruits and vegetables, as possible.  I remind them to take breaks and breathe deeply by the river.  I take each of my classes outside to meditate at least once a semester, but there is more to the importance of this statement. We all need reminders to live closer to the natural rhythms and wisdom of nature.

Most of us need more time with our feet in the earth.  My student’s faces look more relaxed and happy even after a short meditation outdoors.  Though some of them might think meditation outdoors is a waste of time or a way to get out of lecture, I know that meditation in nature is a focus on health and a focus on decreasing their stress levels.  This combination always makes for a more successful life, and their success is my success.

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Most of my students light up when I ask them questions like, “Should I buy a Mac or a PC?” or “Do you prefer Instagram or Snapchat?”  They tell me their opinions hurriedly and with excitement in their voices.  When I ask them about hiking or camping, many of them don’t have experience with it or they have one or two pleasant memories about camping. Students who grew up in other areas of the country like Oregon or California often have a greater appreciation for nature.

I don’t hate technology; in fact, I love it and spend a lot of time on it.  However, I have more fun when I’m in nature and keep my phone usage to a minimal, and I want students to know this form of therapy is there for them throughout their lives.  I feel reset after time in nature.   I feel cleansed, renewed, and rejuvenated.  I look at my life from a different perspective, and answers to problems that eluded me often occur easily and spontaneously.  I give my worries to the natural world and in return I’m given joy.

Many people have this insight and understand the importance of spending time in nature.  Time magazine published an article this summer titled, The Healing Power of Nature, and a researcher in 2005 coined the term “nature deficit disorder” for many children alienated from time in nature.  There are movements to address anxiety, depression, and stress through what is called “eco-therapy” by researchers.

God said it simply to me with the words, Remind them to go to nature.

I don’t know how many times I need to remind them/you/me/us, but here is our reminder for the week–GO TO NATURE!  Play, have fun, relax, take a break, breathe, let your worries go, and soak up all the love that is available to you.

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More About the Angels From My NDE

 

I will never stop being astonished by the size and intelligence of the angels that I met during my near-death experience.  These two angels were wise, caring, and full of insight. Most of all, they had the ability to heal both emotional and physical issues.  I would love to meet a sketch artist who might be able to bring these beautiful light beings into focus.

Connecting with Your Angels:  If you are interested in connecting with your angels to assist you with a certain situation or to help you be of greater service to others, you might simply say a prayer that the angels might be with you and guide you.  Call on specific angels by name or even unknown beneficial angels.  I like this list which starts with prayer and meditation as a way to connect with angels, but it also includes writing or spending time in nature.  The angels brought me peace during my near death experience and afterwards in several situations; I know they can do this for you.

Peace:  Angels are not only messengers and healers, but they are also there to comfort us and anchor peace in our world.  There are many remarkable accounts of experiences with angels.  This woman from the IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) website received messages from her angels when her doctors could not figure out the cause of life threatening infection.  For four days she spent time with the angels and describes them in detail.

“I saw an outline of form filled with golden white Light that radiated past the faint lines. As if I was a star shining brightly in the Heavens. The Light was fluid, iridescent and connected with ease to the Angels near or beside me. I connected with the stars and the vastness of the Universe. I was a part of everything in existence all at the same time.”

When she asked the angels about our purpose here on earth, she received a few amazing messages.

“Our purpose here is to discover unconditional love within ourselves and then offer it to others. We are all on the path. What differs between us is the road we take, the experience we choose, and how much we have learned about love. No one road is better or more important than another. It is all a matter of what speaks to your heart and feels like home within.”

To read more about her story, you can click here.

Consider calling on angels for anything type of healing in your life.  May you be blessed!

Bringing the Invisible into the Visible World:  Healing the Divine Feminine and Becoming a Womb Keeper

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Earlier this week, I began the journey to become a Womb Keeper after participating in a Munay-Ki Shamanic Rite.  This powerful rite for women allows for generations of misaligned energy stored in the womb to be released and cleared, benefiting her personally and the collective of women.  If you are a woman interested in healing the divine feminine energies, you can most likely find a practitioner in your area at this link.

Ceremony and Rituals: Personally, I love ceremony and rituals.  Though I was raised in evangelical churches, I enjoyed attending mass with my grandmother.  I loved kneeling, chanting, and playing with her rosaries.  I loved reading about all the different saints, and I especially loved Mother Mary.  I was born a feminist and hungered for a deity or saint who resembled me as a female.  I longed for holiness and sacredness to be seen in women, not simply because women could be wives and of service to their husbands and sacrifice themselves for their children.  I longed to see women’s power, strength, and intuitive abilities celebrated openly.

Feminism: I hoped to see women’s ideas and creativity openly greeted and supported by men in loving, affirming ways.  I didn’t want to experience a relationship as a basic exchange of “I work long hours to pay for this house so you can stay home with the kids.”  That idea bored the crap out of me the first time I heard it, and I felt lucky to be born in the 70’s and to come of age during the third wave of feminism.  I was born to work, and equal pay for equal work made complete sense to me.  I didn’t want a traditional life, and when I was teenager I thought the world outside of my small town would soon be my oyster.

I entered college as an agnostic, mainly because I was disgusted by the political and judgmental views of churches.  My life as an agnostic only lasted a few years because a near-death experience my senior year of college profoundly changed my spiritual set-point. Soon after my NDE, I incorporated prayer rituals, meditation rituals, shamanic rituals, lucid dreaming rituals, and drumming rituals into my life.  Though I went to some church events and gatherings, largely I was buoyed by my own private sense of worship which incorporated various traditions.

By the time I turned thirty, I had several battle scars from being a woman in my culture.  I encountered sexist professors, sexist customers, sexist bosses, sexist police officers, sexist therapists, sexist social workers, and sexist co-workers.  I dealt with a stalker, a harasser,   a rapist, and an abusive ex-husband.  With experiences like this, I fit in perfectly in the world of third wave feminism.  I am by no means male bashing.  I am telling the truth of my life.  These are men I encountered in society.  I also experienced a range of guy friends from cool work buddies to very dear friends who were deep thinkers, sensitive, supportive, and dependable.  I had bosses who treated me with respect, and one boss from California who was incredibly fair and treated me with the same respect he treated male employees.  However, by the end of my twenties, I viewed feminism differently than I viewed it as a teenager, and I felt exhausted by what I’d encountered in the world.

Teaching:  I’m grateful for experiences I’ve had as a teacher and as a professor.  As soon as the classroom door closes, I am in control of the flow of information and the focus of our time together.  Though teachers and professors might complain about the lack of respect students have for authority figures, there is still a great deal of respect that students give teachers and professors.  For the most part, students listen politely and ask questions.  Most students want good grades, and many are more than willing to open their minds and hearts to new ideas simply for the joy of learning.  Some students may disagree with a professor’s views, but even these students must learn how to find valid sources and learn the etiquette of creating rational appeals and grounded arguments free of logical fallacies and hateful rhetoric.

A few older, non-traditional male college students let me know at the end of certain semesters that I turned them into feminists.  I wanted to chuckle because these students were far from becoming feminists.  However, I congratulated them for opening their minds to new perspectives and becoming better at potentially leading a diverse work-force made up of a lot of women.  For a while, I’ve lived in a bubble of academia, and I didn’t realize until this election how much hatred for women still flows through society.  This hatred is found in both men and women, and the election showed us how much work we must do as a society to heal the divide between masculine and feminine power and how each energy should be viewed as equal and important.  Certainly, the toxic elements of masculinity need to be reeducated in society and taught tolerance, connection to others, and equanimity.   Otherwise, jails will continue to grow, and I would rather see college campuses expand.

However, traditional academia is losing some of its luster for me.  I am longing for more ritual and more of a connection to nature.  Some tie to the ancient past always seemed to flow through me and nature solidifies this bond.  I would love to teach classes in open fields without technology.  Any time I bring students to nature, their faces light up and the learning experience becomes more of a memorable experience.  I have always needed the beauty, wisdom, strength, and common sense of nature as a teacher.  I still need nature as my teacher, and many others do as well.  Even if they do not know this about themselves, they might be over-medicated, bored, angry, sad, and deeply unaware that time in nature is a better prescription than many actual prescriptions.

The Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine:  It is now more important than ever that women and men no longer look at each other as less than or more than the other.  The energies of the divine masculine and divine feminine are within each of us, and we must learn how to balance these energies within ourselves with love, respect, and honor. The Munay-Ki Shamanic Rite is not the only way for women to honor their creativity and power and come together in solidarity, but it a beautiful, healing way to release negativity and reside in a beautiful world of your creation.

I hope that all women might heal and find healing in ways that make sense to them personally.  I hope that all men might heal in ways that make sense to them.  May we all, male and female, create more grounded ways for the divine masculine and divine feminine energies to balance within us and in the world.  May our expressions be ones of balance, love, and honor.

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Three Simple Steps for Bringing Your Gifts into the World

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Step One:  Rest

I often tell my Creative Writing students that they should be well-rested in order to be their most creative.  Certainly, we can all preform under pressure when we are highly caffeinated, sleep deprived, and tense.  Stressed out states of being, however, do not allow for the miracles of divinely inspired communication to flow through us effortlessly.  Meditation and connecting with the love that is available for each of us is a much better way to open to great ideas.  In peaceful states of being, we might receive messages from higher states of consciousness and our creativity might be more inspired.  If you have ever noticed how some of your greatest ideas show up just before you fall asleep, you can understand that when the worried mind lets go of its grip on us, the great, inspired thoughts begin to flow through us.  Problems naturally work themselves out.

Keep a journal and pen on your nightstand and return to these ideas later in the day.  The ideas in your dreams or just before you fall asleep might become poems, stories, novels or a simple answer to a question.   Be receptive and open to great ideas, and more of these ideas will be sent your way.

Step Two:  Play

Go where your joy resides.  Adults do not enjoy life as much as children because we often forget how to play.  Play can mean many different things to different people.  Most of the time, exercise and time in nature can put us in a positive state of mind.  However, if you have a problem to work out, try addressing this problem from many different directions.  Don’t censor wild ideas, and try following unexpected thoughts to see where they lead you.

During graduate school, I worked full time teaching seniors in high school.  The long hours at work didn’t leave me much time to be creative on one of my twenty-page essays.  Mid-way through a particular essay, I decided that I needed to have more fun with the research and wrote something that entertained me.  I stopped thinking about writing for my professor and followed my own joy.  This turned out to be one of my better essays.  Even if playing around doesn’t lead to a great product, it is important to notice what ideas and activities bring more joy into our lives.

Step Three:  Plan

If you are an organized, detail oriented person, this should not be a difficult step for you.  Write out a one-year, three-year, and five-year plan for a certain goal.  Simply writing down a plan increases the odds of accomplishing this goal.  If you have a book idea, write an outline.  Even if you amend the outline and completely change the book later, a plan can still be an important step and a great step during the revision stages.

If you are not a detail oriented person, take a deep breath and do what you can each day toward your goal.  Imagine the repressed side of yourself taking control and dealing with the details.  Make the details more interesting or fun in some way.  Offer yourself a reward for accomplishing things you usually put off for later.  Ask your angels for help and call on God to help you.  There is no need to stress over the details.  Jump in and enjoy the journey.  The sooner you jump in and work on the things you are putting off, the quicker you will realize that the process isn’t as difficult as you imagined it to be.

Good luck!  May your best dreams make it into the world soon.

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Archetypes and Manifestations of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine

Determining Your Archetype:  If you would like to read about many different archetypes, I suggest you check out the websites and books of Caroline Myss.  She covers various archetypes from the addict, advocate, alchemist, angel, artist, and athlete to the trickster, vampire, victim, virgin, visionary, and warrior. Even archetypes with negative associations have something to teach us about humanity and ourselves and are worth exploring. Archetypes are a creative way to classify characters and analyze literature, film, the world around us, and ourselves.  If you want to take a quick quiz to determine some of your inner motivations and possible archetypes, Myss provides a short quiz.

Certainly, I didn’t have to take this quiz to know that I am driven to create (artist) and driven by a desire to learn more (intellectual).  However, taking the quiz a few times might allow you to see how parts of yourself might be in competition.  For instance, I have a deep longing for adventure (explorer), and a deep longing to help others (caregiver).  Certainly, on some days, I don’t know whether climbing Mt. Everest or helping others seems more appealing.  If I could combine a day of great adventure and helping others, then that would probably be my ideal day.  Understanding yourself in a deeper way allows you to make better life decisions, and archetypes are just one tool of many available tools.

Joseph Campbell:  Another writer who discusses archetypes in great detail is Joseph Campbell.  In The Hero of a Thousand Faces, Campbell shows us that the most popular stories and films, even throughout history and various cultures, share the same specific formula of the hero’s journey and are full of characters/archetypes we immediately recognize like the hero, mentor, ally, shapeshifter , shadow, etc.  Any fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings will certainly recognize the archetypes Campbell discusses. Campbell’s work is influenced by Jung, and his writings are memorable and beautiful.  I highly recommend him for more in-depth analysis of archetypes.

Creative writers, both poets and fiction writers, can benefit from considering certain myths and interesting archetypes.  If a character needs more development, you might give these character more traits of a particular archetype or have this character evolve out of certain stereotypes.  As a poet, I have been inspired by descriptions of goddesses, and incorporate many of these descriptions into my poems.

Manifestations of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine:  Many spiritual teachers talk about the need for healing the planet through healing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies.  Certainly, there has been much suppression and subjugation of female power in spirituality and in other roles.  Additionally, some roles for men have been overused and abused, and men’s spirituality is sometimes considered more of a weakness in society than the strength that it truly is.

According to Jung, everyone has masculine and feminine energies though one might be more dominant than the other. Society and individuals function better when these energies are balanced.  For instance, to be creative, receptive, and intuitive (more feminine traits) is wonderful, but without some level of action, power, and abstract thinking (more masculine traits) not as much will get accomplished.  If either energy (masculine or feminine) is out of balance in a person or in society, life will become less fulfilling and destructive in many cases.

Manifestations:  I made a video about six different archetypes and how these archetypes might be viewed through the lens of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine.  These archetypes include the Goddess/God, Queen/King, Priestess/Priest, Lover, Warioress/Warrior, and Wise Woman/Sage. If you watch my video, realize that we change from moment to moment and throughout our lives.  You might have certain motivations that see you through your life in its entirety, but everything is subject to change.  Gravitate toward the archetypes that bring you joy and the ones you want to enhance or heal in some way.  Have fun with the journey, and as Joseph Campbell says, “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

Don’t be afraid to learn more about yourself and your motivations.  Without a struggle to learn and change, you won’t have progress.  If you make the learning process joyful, your life will always be open to amazing, magical possibilities.

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