When I died I got to see my life, first through my own point of view, then through the effects my thoughts, deeds, actions, words and every other thing had on others. I felt the pain I caused. I felt the joy too. I felt the worry, the anger, the jealousy, the love, the longing… I felt it all. In death there was no judgment but this. This was enough.
Harper Lee is doing this right now. She is feeling the effects that her life and her words have had on generations of people. Tucked in there, among the throngs of others, are mine. I wonder how she feels to experience how she made us all feel.
The first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird I was 12 years old. I cried tears of rage and frustration over racism, hitting home for me for the first time. My life changed the day I opened that book. I began an innocent, not much older than Scout. The words wove their spell and as the story unfolded I found my core of righteousness, an understanding that I would forever be like Jeb, standing between Atticus and the mob.
I read it again at 22. The soft, gentle southern charms of Atticus stuck with me that time. I aimed to find my own version of such a man as he. I did find him… eventually. Kindness, gentleness, never boasting, my American Husband is my Atticus, continuing the legacy of quiet strength.
At 34 I read it while I was pregnant with my daughter. It taught me about being a little girl again. And it taught me about being a parent. The beauty of the words mingled with my hormones, making me weep ragged tears.
My well worn paperback helped me through some dark days, in my mid 40’s. The soothing cadence, the sweet song of the children’s voices, and the discovery of Boo again reminded me that there is always someone hiding just out of sight, helping and protecting me through this life.
Harper Lee created a tapestry of words, a delicate arch connecting me with myself, through 5 decades. I picked it up again today, just as Spring is promised with the song of the birds outside my window. My heart is filled with gratitude for this woman. Her words defined my evolution. As she feels the effects of each ripple she has had on humanity, I know my thanks will be added to the millions.
“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…”
And so it begins again, for the first time.
There was a time, not long ago, when most of my life was a lie. I cloaked myself in corporate clothes, all buttoned up and acceptable. I spoke only of tangible, earth bound matters and if anything came up that was slightly “out there”, I would comment with just the appropriate amount of disdain in my voice.
I had perfected my persona. I was “Normal”.
Little did the people in my world know that I had a big secret. I was nowhere near “Normal”. In fact, I was crazy as a spoon, living in a closet of my own making, afraid to share my true self for fear of judgment.
Beneath my mild mannered exterior raged an awakening being. Weird stuff was happening on a regular basis and while I found it all to be intriguing and life changing, I was afraid to tell anyone else about it. What would they think if I just blurted stuff out?
“Hi, I’m Brenda. I see dead people.” Or “Hello, nice to meet you. Did you know you have 3 Angels hovering around you and one is trying to unfold your wings?” Or how about: “You were a Egyptian slave in a past life and are still working on releasing yourself from those blocks.” No biggie. I’ll just share my visions then pack a bag for my trip to the loony bin.
For a few years I kept most of the weird stuff to myself, quietly learning and growing with just a few people in the loop. My American Husband, my best friend and my daughter to be specific. I trusted them to love me, no matter what. And of course, they did.
I took classes, learned to develop my skills. I flew to New York to spend a week learning about Past Life Regression with Dr. Brian Weiss and told everyone I was going on a Yoga Retreat. Liar Liar Pants On Fire. That was me.
I finally began to share because I felt compelled to be myself. But, true confessions: the first few times sneaking out of the closet, I published and shared under another name. Funny thing is that I got such a warm, heartfelt response, I actually got jealous of fake me and decided to let real me take over.
I published my first blog a few years back. It was an account of my first past life experience. I remember hitting the Publish button, then having a panic attack. My American Husband talked me down, convincing me not to delete the whole thing, and from that moment on I began to inch my way out of the Spiritual Closet.
Now that I am out, I take huge delight in helping others to own their own brand of “crazy”. With classes, workshops, blogs and facebook, we are finding each other, and as the community grows, we are becoming braver, sharing our visions and gifts. Now it is rare to come upon anyone who doesn’t share something magical… some experience or belief… within the first few minutes of talking. It’s as if by being authentic and letting it all hang out, others are given permission to do the same.
Crazy is the new normal.
Who would have guessed it? And life is so much more fun since leaving the confines of the closet. I highly recommend it. Freeing myself to be who I am, authentically, and trusting that sharing my truth will open more doors than it closes, has changed my life on every level. New friends, new experiences, a vaster understanding of the magic of life, plus never having to wear uncomfortable shoes… it’s all magnificent.
So bare your soles, and your souls. Kick off the cloak of who you think you should be and become who you are. We are all just waiting to welcome you to the fold.
When I was a young lass, my family moved from sunny southern California to the wilds of northern British Columbia, Canada. The first few months were a bit of a culture shock, as it was the dead of winter when we arrived. Each morning my mom would come and wake me up while it was still dark outside. I would get out of bed, run across the cold floor in bare feet and stand over the heat vent.
My nightgown would billow out like a filled balloon as the forced warm air flowed. I would stand there each day, listening to my Mom off in the kitchen humming “Do you Know the Way to San Jose” plaintively. And my thoughts would just kind of fade away. Staring into the zone, I would experience stillness and peace for those few moments. Looking back I realize that those were my first meditations.
Nowadays I try to meditate twice a day. I have a very busy life and most days I don’t have too many chances to just relax, so those first 20 minutes of stillness, and those last 20 minutes of stillness… they mean the world to me. They are the bookends to my crazy days.
Wrapped in the luxury of my soft robe, I let go of the tensions and anxieties and allow myself to just be. My thoughts don’t always stop completely, but even if I get a few good solid breaths where I am just in the moment, I feel like I have had a great sit.
If you haven’t tried meditating, or think it is hard, please pop over here and read this. I promise you that it is easier than you think. And I promise you that when you commit to taking those moments for yourself, you will reap benefits beyond your imagination.
It is dark midwinter, and yesterday the groundhog promised 6 more weeks of the same. I took the news calmly. I have become accustomed to the four seasons we enjoy in Canada. And it only took me 45 years.
And now if you will excuse me, I have a heat vent I need to go stand over.
Do you know the way to San Jose?
I learn a lot of stuff from my dogs. I have two. Big dog and Little dog. They are wise little guru’s who constantly amaze and amuse me. Their lessons are sometimes subtle and sometimes not.
For instance, they have taught me to take a break when I get too busy with my writing. Usually they do that by nudging my hand off the key board or jumping onto my laptop to remind me they need my undivided love and attention. Subtle.
If that doesn’t work, they’ll knock something over or puke on the rug. Not so subtle.
They have taught me about unconditional love. I can scold them and send them to a time out over some infraction and mere seconds later they will greet me as if I am the Sun itself, come to bring light and warmth into their day.
And just the other night they taught me all about the power of instant manifestation.
I have been a student of the law of attraction for many years and understand the importance of getting clear and staying focused on the end result in order to bring about whatever it is you are hoping to manifest. What you think about your bring about, right? All the books say so.
So I was cuddled on the couch watching the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy (all pleasure, no guilt) . I’d made a big bowl of popcorn and had been sharing a few pieces with Big and Little. After some time (which may or may not have involved the binge watching of 3 consecutive episodes) I heard something strange coming from the kitchen. Pausing the TV I listened. Sure enough, there is was again. A soft and persistent growling sound. Big dog was sleeping at my feet so I knew it must be the Little one.
I found him in the kitchen. He was laying on the floor, chin on the ground, staring unblinkingly at his water dish. It was bone dry. He growled as he stared, never moving his gaze away from the offending dish. And like the master manifestor that he is, that dish was filled nearly instantly (or as quickly as I could get it done).
Brilliant, I thought! What a great metaphor for my own manifesting efforts. Little dog knew what he wanted. He focused completely on what he hoped the outcome to be. Never blinking, and growling softly, he was able to get that bowl filled as if by magic. Good puppy. Smart puppy.
I watched as he drank his fill, then, chin dribbling, made his way back to the living room. Big dog was sitting there waiting. He was looking mighty guilty about something.
Then I saw the empty popcorn bowl.
Turns out Big Dog is a pretty great manifestor himself. As I stared at the dog drool on the bowl, he skirted around me and a moment later I heard his big, loud drinky sounds. All of that popcorn had apparently made him pretty thirsty.
Another lesson learned. Teamwork makes everything easier.
“There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing.” Hildegard of Bingen
I’ve got a secret.
I have been coming out of the spiritual closet incrementally for a few years now. Sure, it all began with a pretty big splash. Dr. Wayne Dyer received my letter and was moved by it enough that he asked to publish it in his book Wishes Fulfilled. Millions of people have now read about my experience, and happily most of those people are strangers. Because of this letter I had to show my immediate family just how high my freak flag can fly. Luckily, it turns out that most of my relatives have had similar experiences and once I opened the dialogue to the weird and wonderful, their stories have come out as well. I can’t begin to tell you how happy that has made me.
But since that big splash it has been baby steps, just showing a little bit of my crazy at a time. It is a bit like walking into a cold lake, slowly easing into the depths so that I can get used to the temperature a little bit at a time. Ankle deep, feet didn’t freeze off? Excellent, now let’s see about these knees. Lately I’ve been thinking, why not go all in? What have I got to lose, really? So….
<takes a deep breath and……………. *SPLASH*>
I see dead people.
Okay I don’t typically see them, though that has happened on a few memorable occasions (for instance once I was at a friend’s house enjoying some live entertainment by a bunch of theatre alumni. I looked up and saw her deceased husband watching the kids singing. He had such a huge smile on his face! Amazing.)
But mostly I just hear them, only not with my ears, if you get what I’m saying. I hear them in my mind, their voices very distinctly their own. Usually they are there to say “hey, things are great here, don’t worry about me” and sometimes they bring very specific messages. I have sometimes shared the message with the person it is meant for, but a lot of times I haven’t. I regret that. I regret that I let my own fears of being judged stop me from relaying messages that might have brought some comfort to the recipient.
So from this moment forward I vow to you and to myself that I will relay whatever messages come my way. No more regrets.
I see Angels.
I don’t understand why it is that this confession makes me feel the most vulnerable but this is one I’ve kept close to myself with a very few exceptions. Perhaps it is the linear thinking cynic that still lurks in my brain. Perhaps it is because I wasn’t raised with any sort of religious structure so to believe in such things must be ludicrous, right?
Whatever the reason, I will share with you now that I see Angels, sometime as visual specters and sometimes I see them with my mind’s eye. I know that Archangel Michael stands behind my daughter and has done her whole life. I see Archangel Gabriel sitting with me when I write. I have seen four angels surrounding a very dear friend of mine, holding her arms and legs, not so much to hold her up as to keep her from flying away. Sometimes I sense they are near and see sparkles of different colored lights.
A few years ago after they became quite vivid in my experience, I decided to ask for a definite, without-a-doubt sign that they were actually real and not just the workings of my over arching imagination.
My family and I were heading to the beach that day. I was in a playful mood and just before leaving I said out loud, “Angels, bring me a $5 bill today. Have somebody place it in my hand before the end of the day.” This may not seem like much of a test to some of you, but for me it was a pretty challenging task for my Angel buddies. You see, I never carry cash and always use debit for any purchase. For me to be handed $5 would literally have to be “pennies from Heaven”. Plus, we were going to the beach. What were the chances?
I truly believed they could pull this off. I suppose that was the key.
My American Husband and I had been out for a swim and were walking back toward the shore. I kept looking to the sky because there was this one amazing cloud that looked just like a giant Angel wing. I was laughing to myself, thinking ‘You sneaky Angels. Nice sign, now show me the money’. I looked down and saw something strange in the water. My American Husband had seen it too and reached down to grab it.
It was a $10 bill.
I laughed out loud and reached for it, but he pulled it out of my reach. I explained to him that this was my $10 bill because I had asked the Angels for $5 and they were obviously being generous.
“No this is my $10 bill. If you wanted $10 you should have asked for $10”.
We kidded and joked for the afternoon, enjoying the sunshine. I kept checking the sky to see if the angel cloud had blown off, but it stayed right where it was the whole time. I could almost hear those mischievous cherubs laughing.
After a few more hours we packed up and went home. As we were leaving I took a photograph of the cloud. I never wanted to forget this day, or this sign. When we got home, my American Husband came up to me as I was unpacking the cooler. He held out his hand to me and in it was a crisp $5 bill. Placing it in my hand, he said, “There. The Angels said to give you half”.
Boom. Well done, Angels!
I still have the $5. I never wanted to spend such an amazing, miraculous gift.
I talk to the Angels now, everyday. I ask them for help with just about everything. I look for and find their signs and guidance in all sorts of places. It has changed the way I walk through life. I never feel alone, and I know that I am always supported. And if I listen very closely, sometimes I can hear them singing….
“Lean on me, when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on”.
I have had visitations from Ascended Masters.
The first time it happened I was meditating. I was fairly new to the process and was getting quite adept at emptying out all of the noise. On this particular night I was sitting and really digging the stillness. Then something weird started happening. I could “see”, floating right in front of me, a woman. She looked like some sort of Buddhist or Hindu statue, like a goddess, and she was just hovering there in front of me. I tried to make her go away, following my breath and silently chanting Om Mani Padme Hum, the mantra I had read about online. But instead of going away, she came closer, reaching out her hand and touching it to my heart. I felt instantly flooded with love, so much so that tears began to run down my face. Alright, I decided. Let’s just go with it.
“Who are you?”
Immediately, loudly, this line from a song played in my brain: “Flowers in her hair. Flowers everywhere.”
Well that doesn’t help me at all. So I turned to the greatest spiritual tool I had at that time, Google, and started searching. I knew what she looked like and that there was something about flowers in her hair so I began by searching images. It took me very little time to find her, God love Google. She was Quan Yin. I had never heard of her and figured that if she was going to show up for me in a meditation I’d better study up to see if she was bringing me some sort of message.
Turns out she is a Bodhisattva (literally a Being of Enlightenment) who, according to legend decided to forgo the bliss of Nirvana and hang around humanity to help us fulfill our own divine plans. She is an Ascended Master associated with the lotus flower and unbeknownst to me at the time, Om Mani Padme Hum roughly translates to “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus” and is used by devotees to call Quan Yin for assistance.
I’m not gonna lie to you. It was a pretty awesome experience.
She was the first Ascended Master and since then I have had a few more. Buddha showed up once during my Reiki attunement. And not long ago a fellow who called himself Yeshua began dropping by during my morning meditations.
Then there is the White Dolphin. He has come to me in lucid dreams in the past few weeks. I am not sure who or what he is, but I know that every visit feels like a visit from heaven. Pure, divine love.
Maybe I am not meant to understand everything. Maybe magic and mysticism are the keys that open the door to better understanding. All I know is that these moments have been sacred, playful, comforting and enlightening. I’ve gone beyond disbelief and cynicism and embraced the gifts that these visions have brought to my life. With each new experience I am broadened, deepened, filled in and awakened.
Speaking of Ascended Masters, my friend Joan sent me a quote yesterday by St. Francis of Assisi. “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching”. I hadn’t heard that one before and it resounded loudly. I have known for some time that I needed to share everything, or at least to stop hiding it. I don’t expect to change anyone’s belief system or to convert anyone to mine. I only want to speak my truth and walk my path fearlessly.
One last Secret:
I have complete faith that this information will be found and embraced by the people who are open to receive it. That is the greatest part of “letting go and letting God”. Simply trusting.