Building Castles

“If you have built castles in the sky, Let not your dreams go to waste; Just build the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau 

I sometimes get really tired of being a grown up.  I have always had a vivid imagination but as a grown up I have learned to logic and doubt my way out of almost all of my wildest fantasies.  And I really miss those fantasies, dammit.

So I have decided to stop being such a kill joy to my own imagination.  To that end I have given myself a project this year.  I love to journal and normally I write about things I am grateful for, or about esoteric spiritual ideals and guidance.  But for now I have decided that I am going to free myself from any and all limitations.  I will begin each day by writing about the day I could be living if there were no limitations.

If I had all of the money, time, freedom and permission to live the life of my wildest dreams, where would I be today, and what would I do?  No limits is the only rule.  I write a page or two first thing in the morning.  I don’t have to share it with anyone, unless I really want to.  And you know what?  It is so much fun!  Yesterday I got a book contract and a movie deal!  The day before that I went swimming with the dolphins in Maalaea Bay, Maui.  Tomorrow I am planning a moonlight hike up the ruins at Machu Picchu, and I am pretty sure I will see a few UFOs circling in the sky above.

This little exercise is turning out to be the very best 15 minutes of my day.

Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about the power of imagination to create the life you want in his book Wishes Fulfilled.  He says “keep in mind this basic axiom – if all that now exists was once imagined, then what you want to exist for you in the future must now be imagined.”  So this is my intention:  I will untether my dreams and let them be as wild and fantastic as they can be.  I will allow myself the freedom to imagine a life for myself beyond the ordinary.  I will allow my imagination, in all of its beauty, to guide me to a most extraordinary life.

As a (reluctant) grown up I do understand that not every dream will come true.  But as a dreamer, I plan to at least give the universe a plethora of imaginings to choose from.  I may be creating a whole new reality for myself or I may simply be building castles in the sky.  Either way you look at it, castles in the sky are sure to improve the view, don’t you think?

And a final thought from another favorite Dr. of mine:

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.  Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.”  Dr. Seuss

Imagination

Image by: Joel Robison
Image by: Joel Robison

“The greatest gift that you were ever given was the gift of your imagination.”  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting

The featured image is by an incredible young man from my home town.  His name is Joel Robison and I encourage you all to check out his work at http://joelrobison.com/

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. 

Then Something Weird Happened

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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.  (That was my vote)  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 Glimpse

Everybody has a story, that sequence of life events that they use to design how they present themselves to the world.  My story began November 15, 2008.  It goes something like this….

Brenda is Broken Open

“God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.”
— Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Kahn

The universe whispers lessons and sometimes you hear and that is awesome, But sometimes you don’t hear. Sometimes you get so busy with life and with the mundane, mediocrity of physical existence that you forget to take the moments to sit in silence and to really listen.  So then the whispers get louder.  And if you still don’t hear them, they turn into shouts so loud that you have no choice but to hear.

My shouts stopped me in my tracks.  My shouts had me cowering with arms over my head wondering what horrible thing would come next. It all began with Janice.

My sweet soul friend and I had worked together for several years, creating costumes for the local high school plays.  So many hours we spent together, planning, shopping, sewing, gluing, organizing and laughing.  Janice laughed a lot.  She had an infectious joy and even in the most stressful of times, she would share the humor of the situation and before we knew it we would all be laughing with her.  A tiny dynamo with energy to spare and happiness in abundance, she spent her life and her last breath in laughter.

It was her night to sit in the audience and watch.  I laughed and teased her that she would cry during “Be Our Guest”, like I had the previous evening.  Seeing all of our kids up there giving it their all, the music swelling, the dancing spoons and forks and candelabras, the cute little salt and pepper shakers, the raucous napkins dancing the can-can, she would be moved as I had been.  And of course she would laugh at herself for crying, as I had.  And sure enough, intermission came and Janice showed up in the green room, laughing about crying, bustling around looking for some velcro to fix the Beast’s boot, talking a mile a minute.  Stooping over and searching through a bag of fabric, her voice ringing with laughter, she gushed about the first half of the show, her pride in the kids and in our accomplishment apparent.  She stood up suddenly, turning to me, and her laughter faded.  She looked into my eyes.  A question.

Hand fluttered to her chest.

“Janice.  Are you alright?”

Eyes simply closed.  I caught her as she fell and laid her gently on the ground.  Her breath shuddered.  She was still.

Pandemonium.

“Call 9-1-1”

“Get these kids out of here”

“Is a doctor in the house?”

“Where’s Larry?  Go find Larry.”

“Does anyone know CPR?”

A few shuddering breaths, her body shutting down.  I knelt beside her, held her hand and watched the final reflexes of her dying body.    The world shifted beneath my feet.

And then things got really weird.

As Janice left this world she took me on the first part of the journey.  I was crouched on the ground, holding her hand, shouting to Kristen to call 911 and watching Dave and Evan hustle the kids out of the room, then my focus narrowed to the place where my hand was holding her hand and I had the singular thought,  ‘She is gone’.  That is when I left my body and was at the ceiling, staring down at myself holding Janice’s hand. I could see it so clearly and at that moment I experienced an instant of “no fear”. It wasn’t a feeling of peace or of bliss or anything like that so much as it was a feeling devoid of fear, something I had never experienced before. It made me weightless.   But the really crazy thing that happened as I floated there with Janice, is that I could see that I had wings.

Yeah.   Wings.  WTF?

Seeing the wings totally freaked me out and I was instantly back in my body. It made me think that I was the one who had died and my tiny human brain latched onto the FEAR that had up until that point kept me shackled to this reality.  Fear was my brutal grounding comfort.

The next few weeks I thought perhaps I was going a bit crazy. I was in the clutches of grief, but also I was suffering from some pretty intense PTSD symptoms, not getting much sleep, panicking and crying and trying desperately to hide my struggles from everyone. Finally I told my American Husband what I had experienced. I sobbed as the story came out and I am pretty sure he thought I had gone off the deep end.   But being the amazing, understanding guy he is, he told me very simply that he believed me.   He had no explanation for what happened and neither did I … but he accepted that it must have been real.

He believed me.

Does anyone wonder why I love that man?  In the months and years to come I would have many more opportunities to rely on his quiet, sure strength and to be grateful for the solid foundation he affords me.

You see, the Universe wasn’t done with me yet.  Oh no, there were many more surprises in store.  Just about done with the PTSD you say?  Well then, kerBLAM! your other soul friend, Rod, has terminal cancer.  And while you watch by helplessly as his life is slowly tortured away, POW! let’s just take your job of 16 and a half years away.  Not enough stress yet?  Okay, then, SLAMMO! here’s a lawsuit to chew on.  That ought to keep you busy for 2 or 3 years.  And in the meantime, OOF! time to say good bye to Rod.  Now how about a nice ONE/TWO PUNCH! first beloved Sadie and then devoted Wyatt, best dogs in the world, both gone within 3 months of each other.

Did I mention the part about cowering with my arms over my head wondering what in the name of all things holy would be next?

What followed was 2 years of such severe post traumatic stress that I would often have panic attacks that would leave me thinking I would rather just die than to face the daily rigors of FEAR of what would befall me next.  When Janice died, so suddenly in my arms it woke me up to the fact that our time is truly limited. Of course I knew on a logical level that we all die one day and that each of us has our own unique expiry date, but to see it happen, like somebody turned out the light, one moment laughing and full of joy and the next… just gone… well that was the wake up.

This awakening has taken me to some dark places, and eventually to some incredibly light places.  Along the way I have experienced a whole lot of strange and wonderful things.  It began with the wings, but moved on to some even more bizarre happenings.  The roads have led me here, on this path of self discovery, where I have come to the realization that the lessons I learn in this life are even more valuable when I can add to them the lessons I have learned in other lifetimes.  Keeping a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing is the essential key that fits the locks and opens the doors to so many incredible experiences.  Anything is possible.  And yes, miracles happen.

As for the wings, I’ve done a lot of research, asked a lot of questions, read a lot of books and come to the conclusion that there are about as many theories as there are people.  Some resonated and some did not, but the one that brings me the most comfort is simply that an Angel stepped in and took over in those few moments I was unable to cope.  And as I traveled through the wreckage of my life those next few years I often imagined that if I ever needed her again, that Angel would be there for me in an instant.

Our stories happen to us and it is very easy to become identified solely with them.  For the rest of this life I could walk around and be that victim of circumstances and loss and only that.  Instead I choose to take the wreckage of that time  and climb on top of the rubble and use it as a ladder to something more.  In hindsight I  see that all of the chaos and calamity was really a gift from the divine.  It gave me a glimpse of eternity and opened my awareness to a realm I never knew existed.  I was plain old sepia toned Dorothy opening that farmhouse door to the land of Oz and discovering that the whole world is in vivid, glorious technicolor.

Since it all happened I see things and hear things and know things that defy logic or explanation.  The greatest part of it all is that I no longer have any fear of death because I know it is an illusion.  Only our bodies die, and we cast them off like an old, tight shoe and soar to realms and dimensions we only get hints of now.  We really are spiritual beings having a human experience.  But boy that human part of our experience can sometimes really kick our ass, can’t it?

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If you really want to see how high my freak flag can fly, take a look here:   Page 8 (Great book by the way, I highly recommend it.)

For more information on that whole shared death experience, please read Glimpses of Eternity by Dr. Raymond Moody.  Turns out this type of experience is not uncommon.  (A huge shout-out to my friend Joanne for pointing me toward this book and helping me to understand that I am not <completely> crazy.)