Do You Believe in Angels?

Angel Wings by yuropa (Aaron Kelley)
Angel Wings by yuropa (Aaron Kelley)

Do you believe in Angels?

According to a recent poll by the Associated Press nearly 77 percent of adults in North America believe that Angels exist.  While angels are non denominational they appear in most of the world’s religions. And stories of Angels existed long before religions such as Judaism and Christianity were formed. Angels, or celestial beings with slightly different labelling show up in Buddhism and Hinduism, Celtic and Norse mythology and in many Shamanistic legends.

Personally, I have met a few Angels of my own.  They have shown up when I needed them the most, sometimes in physical form and sometimes as a whisper in my ears.  The more I have been open to their presence, the more they seem to make their presence known.  It seems that by reaching out to them, they are able to reach back.   And they really want to help us, but only can if we ask them to.  And really, who are we kidding?  Can’t we all use a little help these days? The Angels always seem to bring me just the right words, messages, signs and synchronicities when I need them the most.  And for that I am truly grateful.

If you want a little help connecting with your own angels pop over here to my Services page and see if anything resonates.  I would be honored to help bring you their messages.

And whether you believe in Angels or not, it doesn’t really matter.  Because they believe in you.

Hello Out There?

phone

I was driving home from work one day, stop and go, hurry up and wait and I had found that blissful space between leaving the mad, fast pace of work and before landing in the mad, fast pace of home.  I was just floating along, enjoying some CBC 2 and letting the thoughts and worries of the day evaporate.  I don’t admit this to many people, but I really enjoy a good traffic jam.  Being locked in place makes it impossible to do anything but relax and get into that in-between space of meditation, visualization, daydreaming.

I like travel days for the very same reason.

 And doing dishes.

And folding laundry.    Just me?  Really?

So anyways,  I was sitting there, happily zoning when someone whispered in my ear.  Tingles shot up my spine and all along my scalp.  My breath caught and I half laughed, half gasped.  “Wha..!?”

Again the whisper, words as clear as if spoken aloud:  “I sent you a present.  You will receive it tonight.”  I recognized the voice, a voice I hadn’t heard for several years.  A voice I missed terribly.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am fairly used to hearing from my dead friends and relatives.  Quite often they send me things like feathers, and song lyrics.  Sometimes they make the street lights go on right when I am looking at them.  Sometimes they make hummingbirds fly right up to me and look me in the eye.  I’ve even had them whisper messages to me, but never before had it been so loud and clear.

“Hey there, friend.  I’ve missed you”  I whispered back, then got that weird smiling through tears thing.   For the rest of the crawl home, I wondered what this present might be.

I didn’t have to wait long.  I stopped to pick up the mail and there was indeed a big, exciting package in there, addressed to me.  What could it be?  I didn’t recognize the return address and had not ordered anything.  I got home quickly, dumped my stuff on the floor and grabbed some scissors to open the package.

I slipped my hand inside.  It was a book!  I pulled it out, froze for just a moment, then started laughing nearly hysterically.

It was The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom.

WTF?!  The book wasn’t even released yet.  I knew that because I had been eagerly anticipating the publishing date.  And yet here I was holding a copy in my hot little hand.  The jacket was not complete, and had things like “insert Author bio here” and stuff like that, but the pages were full and I could hardly wait to start reading it.

How the heck did my beautiful, deceased friend pull this off?  This was a mind boggling mystery.  A real life, honest to goodness, knock your socks off miracle!   And to this day I have no idea why this book was sent to me, or what forces came together to bring me that precious gift.

What it did was solidify my belief that our deceased friends and loved ones are always with us.  The more we trust their signs and gifts, the more they will work to bring us their messages.  Trusting what we see and hear is the first step to opening those lines of communication.  Once we remove the voice of doubt that tells us this is just coincidence or that our imagination is getting carried away, once we open to the possibilities that this is really something, then we will begin to truly open to the communications.  Our loved ones have been knocking on the door, trying to get our attention.  If we start to pay attention we will be amazed at what we notice.

So when you smell your Grandma’s lavender hand cream, or see that the photograph on the mantel of your deceased relative has moved, or find feathers in the strangest places, or dimes and pennies keep showing up, or even when you get a book about Heaven randomly sent to you for no reason,  smile and say hello.  They are.

Set Me Free

pink-bird-cage

“You wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck.”   Rumi

My niece, Tree Bunny (not her real name. My brother is not a hippy) has recently begun the minimalist 21 day experiment.   In the challenge a person packs up everything they own and sticks it in a room.  Then items are removed from that room only as needed.  Day one you may want to go get your toothbrush, and some clean underwear.  Perhaps a dish, some cutlery and a pot the next morning when you want to have oatmeal for breakfast.  And slowly you replace only the things you truly need and use into your daily life.

I have to admit that this paring life down to stark nothingness strangely appeals to me.

Tree Bunny is mostly through the challenge.  She has exactly one plate, one bowl, one fork, spoon and knife, one mug, one week’s worth of clothes, 2 books (omg that gives me palpitations… 2 books??) and just a few incidental items, like toiletries and towels.  Her groceries are purchased with absolutely no waste allowed.  If she knows she will eat 2 bananas and 1 apple, that is what she buys.  In her words, this experiment has blown her mind.  It is “so surprisingly freeing and feels soooo good.” She has kept two pictures for her walls because she loves them and they are pretty, but basically “everything else had to go”.  She can pack her entire life into one trunk and she is blissfully happy about that.

I would wager big bucks that this bunny was a monk in a past life.  But I digress.

The important things in life aren’t things.  I know this.  I try to live this, engendering a more “need” than “want” mentality when I shop.  Stuff can accumulate so easily.  This fact was never more apparent than in early April when we moved from Kelowna to Cranbrook.  My American Husband and I had made strides to simplify our lifestyle, or so we thought, but still we ended up with more boxes full of stuff than would fit in the biggest truck the moving company had to offer.  Where did it all come from?  Is that what happens when you leave two boxes alone in a dark room?

So I have decided to take a page from Tree Bunny’s book (one of the two she kept).  I don’t necessarily feel the need to pare down so drastically, but pare down I must.  No more “This might come back in style” or “What if we need it one day?”  And really, will I fix that broken thing that has been collecting dust for 3 years?  It’s time to get busy.  It’s time to release everything that  I no longer need.  If I don’t use it, or love it, then I am getting rid of it.

Except my books.  Naturally.

The more stuff we accumulate the greater our obligation to store it, house it, clean it, pay for it, and protect it.  These things we desire become the pretty bars in the cage they create for us, shiny and gilded perhaps, but locking us in nonetheless.  Every morning we wake up too early, rush out of our big house, careful to lock the door to keep all of our stuff safe, then head off in the car we are still making payments on to sit in an office doing a job (that let’s be honest, we probably dislike) so that we can make the money to pay for the car and the house and the stuff that sit empty all day.

What kind of madness have we created for ourselves?

When did the accumulation of things begin to outweigh the importance of free time, leisure, relaxation and family?  Did the money we spent to impress the neighbours bring us the satisfaction we presumed it would? Of course the neighbours we are trying to impress are so busy trying to impress us they barely notice.  In literature we call that “irony”.

Hand me the keys to this prison, I want out!  I have closets to clean and boxes to empty.  I have a whole wardrobe of outfits that hang there waiting patiently while day in and day out I wear about 10% of the clothes I own.  I have boxes in my basement that have made it through three moves without ever being unpacked.  Thank goodness the Matrix has a huge trunk space because things are about to get real.

And my battle cry?

If I don’t love it, or use it…. hasta la vista baby.

With a Little Help From My Friend

SewingAngel~LM2[1]

“Good-byes are only for those who love with their eyes.  Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.” Rumi

Before my friend Janice passed away I had very little knowledge or experience with after-death communication.  Looking back now I realize that those times in my youth where I would suddenly smell that distinct aroma of my grandmother’s home… baking pie, cinnamon, pipe tobacco and just a hint of talcum powder, that it had to be Grandma popping in to say hello.  Or those incredibly vivid dreams when I would awaken from sitting at the table and drinking tea with my Grandpa, and know that he had come for a nice nighttime visit.  Back then I attributed things like that to coincidence, or imagination, or just too strange to be true.

But then Janice crossed over in such a dramatic fashion and I was simply jarred awake to a new level of perception.  In the months that followed I would experience communications and signs that would leave no doubt in my mind that Janice was reaching across the veil and carrying on the conversation we’d started here on this earthly plain.

Way back when my daughter was 7 years old she became involved in a production of Les Miserables put on by our local high school theatre company.  I would pick her up and drop her off at rehearsals and was always very impressed by the dedicated teachers and volunteers who worked tirelessly with this big group of kids.   I had been a theatre major in University and it was years since I had taken part in anything theatrical.  I asked my girl to let me know if she heard of anyone needing help because I would be happy to volunteer.  I was suddenly very excited to get involved in the theatre again after so many years.  Just as long as it wasn’t costumes.   I hated doing costuming.

“Mama, this lady needs help”, my daughter pulled me by the hand and introduced me to Janice.  Bazinga!  Instant recognition.  We were laughing and joking within the first five minutes, and I knew that I was going to have a great time working with her.

And of course, she was the Costume Designer.  Sigh.  Ahhhh well, it was time to dust off the sewing machine, load up the glue gun and fire up the bedazzler, because apparently I was going to make some costumes.

We worked closely together for the next few years.  Janice was the brilliant visionary, pulled by the creative muse that had her flitting from project to project haphazardly.  I was the organizer.  I kept her on task (some of the time), looking after the details so that she could concentrate on the BIG PICTURE.  We were the perfect pair.  I was the Laurel to her Hardy, the Captain to her Tenille, the Tweedle Dum to her Tweedle Dee.  Through production after production we worked diligently, getting hundreds of costumes built, compiled, organized, fitted, ironed, hung up, cleaned and stored away.  The tasks were daunting but we had a group of willing and able volunteers to work with us and show after show we managed to get it all done and looking pretty damn good, too.

But then…. Janice left this world suddenly, during intermission at Beauty and the Beast.  One moment we were laughing together and the next she was gone.  Aortic aneurism, they told us.  It was instant and painless, and she was doing what she most loved in the world.  Her last moments of this lifetime were spent in pure joy.  We would have chosen to keep her here with us many more years, but as far as exits go, she picked a great one.

After the immediacy of the departure, we were faced with getting through the production, helping the kids handle their shock and grief, helping to plan the celebration of her life, and the myriad details that all of those things entailed.  The next few weeks were a blur.  Catching our breath, the three remaining members of the production team began to consider the future.  Who would be the new costume designer?     Would we even be able to continue on as we had been, mounting productions with 100 + kids?  Janice had been a vital part of the team and how could we go on without her expertise?

And that is how I became a Costume Designer.  I volunteered.  And they gratefully accepted.  What the heck had I gotten myself into?

The spring production was Anything Goes.  The size of the cast was just under 100.  The number of costumes needed would be over 400 and of that number about 200 would have to be created from scratch.  I would need to learn how to design a sailor uniform that could be mass produced, design a full, matching wardrobe for Reno Sweeney and her Angels, source 40 pair of tap shoes and keep it all under budget.  Oh yes.  And work full time at my day job while doing it all.

What me, worry?

Funny things happen when you have an Angel on your side.  I began noticing little things.  I would think to myself, “I sure would like to get some matching fur coats for Reno’s gals” then *poof* I would walk into the thrift store and find 4 matching vintage minks for $20 each.  I would need a pin striped gangster suit with matching hat and *shazam* there would be one in the perfect size hanging up with the randomly donated graduation dresses.  Capes, bonnets, bows, velvet, sequins, knowledge, volunteers, sailor hats, and everything I needed or wanted began to show up in the craziest ways.

There is one thing that still makes me shake my head in wonder.  I needed a long length of fake white fur, about 3 inches wide, to trim out one of Reno’s travel outfits.  I had just designed the outfit and not surprisingly the perfect polka dot fabric had shown up in the clearance bin at the fabric shop, the exact right hat had fallen off the top shelf of the costume storage locker and the coolest brass sailor buttons had shown up in my sewing basket (I still don’t know where they came from).  I was rummaging through bags of notions that Janice had stored in her basement.  I pulled out a big bag and inside was, you guessed it, white fake fur.  But the really amazing thing?  It was a long strip of 3 inch wide fabric that was the exact perfect length to finish Reno’s outfit.  I kid you not.

Thanks Janice.

For many more productions, projects and creations I have enjoyed Janice’s help.  She always seems to bring me what I need, helps me figure out how to create what is needed and never stops making me laugh at her shenanigans.

And sometimes I still hear her giggling in my ear, “Suck it up buttercup, it’s time to get things done”.

Janice

“I always say to people when they lose someone, ‘Now you have an angel you can call by name,'” Oprah Winfrey

Miracles Happen

Brother Sun by David von Braun
Brother Sun by David von Braun

“Run from what’s comfortable.  Forget safety.  Live where you fear to live.  Destroy your reputation.  Be notorious.  I have tried prudent planning long enough.  From now on I will be mad.”  Rumi

Fourteenth row.  I can’t believe how close we are to the stage.  Was I even this excited when I saw Billy Joel perform live in Calgary back in 88?  Checking the time I see that it is only a few moments to show time.  I look up and there he is!   Walking down the stairs, just as casual as can be in his shorts and T-shirt, he shakes a few hands, gives a hug then signs something.  He chats a bit then moves closer to the stage.  As the announcer walks to the microphone I see him smile and wave at a few people.  ” Ladies and Gentlemen, blah-d-blah blah……… Dr. Wayne Dyer!”  The crowd roars.  I am personally doing the bouncy clap, trying desperately not to hoot, whistle or throw any undergarments at the stage, which to my mind would probably not be deemed appropriate behavior at a lecture on Spirituality.

Dr. Dyer saved my life.  I can’t honestly say that I would be who or where I am today if it hadn’t been for his books, his teachings, or the mesmerizing quality of his lectures.  I had recently been through some very traumatic stuff and through it all Dr. Wayne was the life line for me. He followed me through my days, his voice repeating words over and over from the tinny speakers of my MacBook.  His teachings on Inspiration, Intention and fulfilling our personal Dharma had been the bricks in the path that led me away from despair and showed me that I had everything within me that I needed to heal, survive and thrive.

I had really wanted to go on his tour of Holy sites in Europe, but the cost had been prohibitive.  Regardless, I knew that the Universe had ways and means beyond my small human thinking that could make this miracle happen for me.  So I just did what Dr. Wayne says to do.  I set the intention.  “I intend to experience the miraculous with Dr. Wayne.” And then I left it up to the great Divine Mind to figure out the hows, wheres and whens.

As with most miracles, this one knocked my socks off.  I had planned to drive to Kelowna, a city about 7 hours away by car, to take my daughter for a music festival.  I was talking to my Mom, asking her if we would be able to stay with them while we were there.  Dad mumbles something in the background. Mom says “Dad wants to know if you want to go see Dr. Wayne Dyer in Vernon while you are here.”

Well slap my ass and call me Judy!  Did he just say THE DR. WAYNE will be mere moments away from me while I am in Kelowna?? Needless to say I booked our tickets that very night, and didn’t sleep a wink between that day and THE day of the event.  (I told you a million times not to exaggerate).

You see, when somebody reaches across the page and touches a soul, that person can tend to gain a little bit of rock star status.  At least he did for me.  That would account for my nearly rapturous state at the lecture that evening.

The events that occurred that evening count as some of the most bizarre, magical moments of my life.  On reflection I believe that what allowed it all to unfold the way it did was my state of pure openness.  I was of a mind and a heart that was open to everything and attached to nothing.  It was that magical state that allowed the veil to slip open for me, giving me a glimpse of eternity I never in my wildest dreams would imagine seeing.

Dr. Wayne began to speak, his deep soothing voice moving from topic to topic, easily inserting interesting and pertinent quotes and funny stories.  He is engaging to watch, a true master of public speaking.

My senses seemed to narrow and all of the people around me, the auditorium, everything faded so that it was just me watching him.

And then something weird happened.

A large white light seemed to extend from his form and surround him.  It was a huge aura of energy, moving with him so that he seemed to be dancing in the light.  I was mesmerized.  At first I wondered if I might be getting a migraine headache.  I’ve had those in the past and they sometimes created the light effects similar to what I was seeing.  I looked around me to see if the aura was anywhere else, but it wasn’t.  That is when I knew I was seeing something very special indeed.  I was seeing the spirit and not just the man.

My eyes were swimmy with tears but I couldn’t stop grinning.  This was the most awesome light show ever!  Better than any rock show.  My love dial was turned up to eleven. Dr. Wayne started to talk about St. Francis of Assisi.  He had written about St. Francis in his book There’s a Spiritual Solution To Every Problem.    Although I hadn’t yet read that book I had always felt a great affinity for St. Francis and the prayer based on his teachings, Lord let me be an instrument of thy peace.  Such beautiful teachings, pure in the spirit of Divine Love and service.  I watched as Dr. Wayne became immersed in the passion of the teachings, his excitement evident in his voice and actions.

Then something really weird happened.

The man, Dr. Wayne Dyer, phased out of my sight and in his place stood Francis of Assisi.  He was very thin, dressed in tattered monks robes with a fringe of hair around his otherwise bald head.  His face was unlike any I had seen depicted in the frescoes and paintings of St. Francis.  He did not wear the anguish of a martyr in his demeanor and expression.  To the contrary.  His face glowed with rapturous joy.  It was the most sacred thing I have ever witnessed and even now, years later as I remember it brings me to tears. It lasted for only a few seconds but the impression it left has changed my life.

Soon it was time for an intermission.  Dad, my date for the evening, went off to stretch his legs.  I sat quietly amid the sounds of hundreds of people milling about.  Closing my eyes I took a deep breath and tried to assimilate what had just happened.  Was that real?  Did I just see what I thought I did?  Or has the cheese slipped off my cracker?

A soft touch on my hand startled me and my eyes flew open.  Sitting next to me was a very lovely older woman.  She grasped my hand and stared deeply into my eyes.  I smiled back, a bit startled, but was fascinated by her eyes.  They were so young looking in such an aged face.  Sparkling green, they seemed somehow familiar.  Did I know her?

“I couldn’t stop watching you.  You were shining.  It was as if a light was glowing from you.” She smiled at me and I felt like I was seeing somebody I knew really well but had forgotten for some reason.  The connection between us was intense, like instant love, just add water. We began to talk, our words melding, completing each others’ thoughts, talking about important things like God, and love and how we are all connected, about angels and friendships and family.  We talked for the whole intermission and when Dr. Wayne climbed back on stage, she left my side to sit further in the row.

Our conversation was not finished, I decided.  As soon as this was over I would get her contact info so that we could resume our connection.

The second half of the evening was even better than the first.  Everyone in the building could feel the energy and Dr. Wayne was as good as I have ever seen him.  The aura was back, bigger than ever and I felt myself once again drawn by his words to moments of pure, inspired Truth.

He began talking about his year of living the Tao. For one year he gave up almost all of his worldly possessions  and studied the Tao Te Ching, an 81 verse teaching that was purportedly written in the 6th Century BC by the Chinese Master, Lao Tzu.  In the book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life,  Dr. Dyer wrote 81 essays, one for each verse of the Tao.

As Dr. Wayne was discussing these teachings he was once again caught up in the passionate message he was delivering.  The words flowed seamlessly, carrying the messages of Lao Tzu.

Then something really, really weird happened.

Dr. Wayne’s physical form seemed to fade into the white aura that surrounded him and he became the form of Lao Tzu.  He had long white hair, braided down his back and wore a simple blue tunic.  He had facial hair, long and sparse, and the Asian features of the great master.  He emanated true wisdom and peace.

I could barely breathe. Again the image only lasted a few moments, but they were some of the most powerful moments I’ve ever experienced. What was happening?  And was I the only one who saw this??

I turned to look at my Dad but he didn’t seem overly weirded out.  I looked down the row and everyone was in passive listening mode, all eyes turned toward the stage.  With the noted exception of my new friend that is.  Her twinkly green eyes peered down the row at me and we smiled at each other.

Dr. Dyer talked for another hour or so, powerful messages, good laughs and everything a person could hope for from an evening with the man.  We stood up and applauded at the end and as soon as he had left the stage I turned toward my new friend, anxious to get her email address or phone number.

And then something really, really, really weird happened.

She was gone. I searched the row, looking for her diminutive figure.  The seat she had occupied was empty and there was no way she could have left other than by crossing in front of me.  Where did she go?  And more importantly, was I losing my mind? Ah what the heck.  Was a mind such a terrible thing to lose?

Dad and I left the venue and as we were pulling out of the parking space I happened to catch my own reflection up close in the rear view mirror and paused as I saw my own green eyes.  They were exactly the same as the  lady’s eyes.  No wonder they looked so familiar to me!

Mind = blown.  But in the best possible way, of course.

The following few weeks were spent trying to make sense of what happened.  I shared the experience with my American Husband, my daughter and my best friend.  They each had differing theories on what the visions meant.  As far as the Dr. Wayne transformations there were a few schools of thought.  One was that Dr. Wayne had been both St. Francis and Lao Tzu in previous lifetimes.   Another was that he was so enraptured by the messages of these men that time kind of folded in on itself and they became One for a moment.   The third option lived silently in my mind and whispered that I was delusional and had better not talk about this because I would be judged as bat-shit crazy.

As far as my friend, the woman with my eyes… who could she be?  Was she an angel?  Was she me from the future (another fold in time)? Or was she me from a Parallel lifetime?  Jury is still out on this one, but I do know that she visits me in my dreams sometimes and it is always such a beautiful reunion.  I only spoke with her for a few minutes, but I have missed her ever since.

So here’s the thing.  When strange things happen to me I tend to keep them to myself, only sharing with a select few people.  I would like to say that I am independent of the good opinion of others, but truth be told, I fear the judgment.  (I’m working on it)

These events began to grow in my consciousness.  It seemed that every moment of the days following I would think about them, and a persistent voice was nagging me, like Patrick Swayze singing ”I’m Henry the Eighth I am” to Whoopie Goldberg, over and over and over.  This persistent, nagging voice kept telling me I must write a letter and tell Dr. Dyer what happened. I ignored that voice of course. (WRITE THE LETTER). No way was I going to be THAT person!  (WRITE THE LETTER).  He would think I was wacko!  (WRITE THE LETTER).  Crazy as a spoon!  (WRITE THE LETTER).  Off my proverbial rocker! (WRITE THE LETTER).

I sat down at my computer and wrote the damn letter.  Without allowing myself to give it any further thought I found the address to Hay House Publishing in the back of Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling and stuffed the damn letter into the damn envelope, sealed it and dropped it in the damn mail box.

Whew.  Done.  I could breathe again.  Certain that my letter would never find the man, I went on with daily life, relieved that the nagging voice was stilled. Little did I know what the Universe had in store for me.

You have one new message.  “Hello Brenda Babinski, this is Dr. Wayne Dyer……”

A Little Help From My Friend

“I always say to people when they lose someone, ‘Now you have an angel you can call by name,'” Oprah Winfrey

Before my friend Janice passed away I had very little knowledge or experience with after-death communication.  Looking back now I realize that those times in my youth where I would suddenly smell that distinct aroma of my grandmother’s home… baking pie, cinnamon, pipe tobacco and just a hint of talcum powder, that it had to be Grandma popping in to say hello.  Or those incredibly vivid dreams when I would awaken from sitting at the table and drinking tea with my Grandpa, and know that he had come for a nice nighttime visit.  Back then I attributed things like that to coincidence, or imagination, or just too strange to be true.

But then Janice crossed over in such a dramatic fashion and I was simply jarred awake to a new level of perception.  In the months that followed I would experience communications and signs that would leave no doubt in my mind that Janice was reaching across the veil and carrying on the conversation we’d started here on this earthly plain. 

Way back when my daughter was 7 years old she became involved in a production of Les Miserables put on by our local high school theatre company.  I would pick her up and drop her off at rehearsals and was always very impressed by the dedicated teachers and volunteers who worked tirelessly with this big group of kids.   I had been a theatre major in University and it was years since I had taken part in anything theatrical.  I asked my girl to let me know if she heard of anyone needing help because I would be happy to volunteer.  I was suddenly very excited to get involved in the theatre again after so many years.  Just as long as it wasn’t costumes.   I hated doing costuming.

“Mama, this lady needs help”, my daughter pulled me by the hand and introduced me to Janice.  Bazinga!  Instant recognition.  We were laughing and joking within the first five minutes, and I knew that I was going to have a great time working with her.

And of course, she was the Costume Designer.  Sigh.  Ahhhh well, it was time to dust off the sewing machine, load up the glue gun and fire up the bedazzler, because apparently I was going to make some costumes.

We worked closely together for the next few years.  Janice was the brilliant visionary, pulled by the creative muse that had her flitting from project to project haphazardly.  I was the organizer.  I kept her on task (some of the time), looking after the details so that she could concentrate on the BIG PICTURE.  We were the perfect pair.  I was the Laurel to her Hardy, the Captain to her Tenille, the Tweedle Dum to her Tweedle Dee.  Through production after production we worked diligently, getting hundreds of costumes built, compiled, organized, fitted, ironed, hung up, cleaned and stored away.  The tasks were daunting but we had a group of willing and able volunteers to work with us and show after show we managed to get it all done and looking pretty damn good, too. 

But then…. Janice left this world suddenly, during intermission at Beauty and the Beast.  One moment we were laughing together and the next she was gone.  Aortic aneurism, they told us.  It was instant and painless, and she was doing what she most loved in the world.  Her last moments of this lifetime were spent in pure joy.  We would have chosen to keep her here with us many more years, but as far as exits go, she picked a great one.

After the immediacy of the departure, we were faced with getting through the production, helping the kids handle their shock and grief, helping to plan the celebration of her life, and the myriad details that all of those things entailed.  The next few weeks were a blur.  Catching our breath, the three remaining members of the production team began to consider the future.  Who would be the new costume designer?     Would we even be able to continue on as we had been, mounting productions with 100 + kids?  Janice had been a vital part of the team and how could we go on without her expertise?

And that is how I became a Costume Designer.  I volunteered.  And they gratefully accepted.  What the heck had I gotten myself into?

The spring production was Anything Goes.  The size of the cast was just under 100.  The number of costumes needed would be over 400 and of that number about 200 would have to be created from scratch.  I would need to learn how to design a sailor uniform that could be mass produced, design a full, matching wardrobe for Reno Sweeney and her Angels, source 40 pair of tap shoes and keep it all under budget.  Oh yes.  And work full time at my day job while doing it all.

What me, worry?

Funny things happen when you have an Angel on your side.  I began noticing little things.  I would think to myself, “I sure would like to get some matching fur coats for Reno’s gals” then *poof* I would walk into the thrift store and find 4 matching vintage minks for $20 each.  I would need a pin striped gangster suit with matching hat and *shazam* there would be one in the perfect size hanging up with the randomly donated graduation dresses.  Capes, bonnets, bows, velvet, sequins, knowledge, volunteers, sailor hats, and everything I needed or wanted began to show up in the craziest ways. 

There is one thing that still makes me shake my head in wonder.  I needed a long length of fake white fur, about 3 inches wide, to trim out one of Reno’s travel outfits.  I had just designed the outfit and not surprisingly the perfect polka dot fabric had shown up in the clearance bin at the fabric shop, the exact right hat had fallen off the top shelf of the costume storage locker and the coolest brass sailor buttons had shown up in my sewing basket (I still don’t know where they came from).  I was rummaging through bags of notions that Janice had stored in her basement.  I pulled out a big bag and inside was, you guessed it, white fake fur.  But the really amazing thing?  It was a long strip of 3 inch wide fabric that was the exact perfect length to finish Reno’s outfit.  I kid you not.

Thanks Janice.

For many more productions, projects and creations I have enjoyed Janice’s help.  She always seems to bring me what I need, helps me figure out how to create what is needed and never stops making me laugh at her shenanigans. 

And sometimes I still hear her giggling in my ear, “Suck it up buttercup, it’s time to get things done”. 

SewingAngel~LM2[1]

A Feather on the Breath of God

“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*>

Secret #1:

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.

Secret #2:

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”.

Secret #3

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.