51) Miracles do Happen!

My twin sister, Tina 2012

My twin sister, Tina 2012

Thursday April 23rd 2009 is a date I will never forget.  On the Wednesday evening Simon and I were supposed to be going away to Dorset  for a mini-break, but as Simon had a headache we decided to go down on Thursday morning instead.

We were up bright and early, just putting the last bits and pieces in the car when the phone rang.  It was my daughter Kristie, who lived with my twin sister Tina and her husband, Woody, and their family.  She told me that Tina was in hospital about to have an emergency operation.  She had suffered a brain haemorrhage late on Wednesday night and was due in theatre any minute to have life saving brain surgery.  I felt my legs go to jelly and I could hardly speak.  I had been speaking to Tina only the evening before and she had been totally fine.

I went straight to Tina’s house as her children all needed to be cared for and I wanted to be with Kristie too.  Tina and Woody had been unable to have children and had adopted seven learning disabled children over the course of several years.  They ranged in age from three to seventeen at the time.  It was an unreal morning, trying to hold myself together for the sake of the children, but desperately waiting for the phone call from Woody, who was at the hospital, to find if she had made it through the surgery.  Finally just after lunch Woody rang to say she was in intensive care but that the surgery had been successful.  I was over the moon.  I had been praying so hard and felt that my prayers had been answered.

Within a couple of days Tina was moved to the High Dependency Unit and was doing well.  She complained of the most dreadful headache but the staff told us that was quite normal due to her brain surgery.  After just a few more days Tina was moved to a general neurological ward and appeared to be making excellent progress.  She was able to walk and talk quite normally and  have a shower and walk around the ward. The expectation was that she would be home within the week!

Kristie and I were visiting her daily and on the Thursday, just a week after her operation,  we had all been sitting chatting about the programmes she would be watching that evening when the nurse brought her tea, which included a small bowl of ice cream.  Within minutes Tina’s speech was becoming confused and then I noticed that she was having problems eating her ice cream.  Her hand was making odd movements and she was unable to hold the spoon.  I alerted the staff on the ward and they explained that she might have some fluid on the brain and would carry out a lumbar puncture to release any fluid.  When I left the hospital that evening I was obviously concerned, but the staff had been very reassuring and it seemed that this was quite normal and that the lumbar puncture was routine.

The following morning I rang the hospital and they asked me to visit urgently.  They explained that Tina was once again in intensive care.  I was not at all prepared for what faced me that day.  The consultant explained that Tina had suffered a massive stroke due to having a vasospasm, a rare side effect of the brain surgery.  In layman’s terms, the blood vessels within her brain had gone into spasm and no blood had been able to reach the frontal lobes.  I was warned that they fully expected her to die.  I don’t know how I managed to physically stand by her bed, I was shaking and crying so much.  She was lying there covered with wires and tubes, buzzers kept going off and she was fitting, which was terrifying to watch.  The machines that were keeping her alive required almost constant attention by the special nurses who were with her.  I couldn’t believe that she had been doing so well and now they really thought she would die.  I prayed so much that day, I asked God why this happened and kept telling Tina over and over again how much I loved her and that she would come through this ok.   When I eventually left the hospital that evening I emailed every healer I could find on the internet asking if they could please send Tina healing.

I really didn’t think I’d be able to sleep that night, but nervous exhaustion thankfully sent me straight to sleep. I awoke in the morning dreading the news from the hospital.  I phoned and they said she was ‘stable’, but added that there had been no improvement.  I went to the hospital as soon as I could and was met by the ward sister who told me to expect the worse.  She explained that only the machines were keeping her alive, and even if she did survive the prognosis was that she would be severely disabled and unable to enjoy any quality of life as her brain was so badly damaged.  Yet again I sat with her, talking to her, stroking her hand gently.  I prayed that she would not leave me.  I had lost my Mum, my Dad and my brother all within the space of three and half months just a few years before, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing my twin sister too. I talked to her about our childhood, about the fun we used to have, about family memories, even about the battles we’d had.  I just felt that I could not give up.

I was sure one day that she had lightly squeezed my hand as I was about to leave, but the nurses assured me that she wouldn’t be able to do that.  They said that her brain was unable to distinguish my voice and that she most probably did not have the ability to understand anything I said to her.  I ignored their advise and just carried on chatting to her right up until the moment I had to leave in the evenings.  Days went by and there was no progress and it became more and more likely that she would just fade away.  I was totally heartbroken.  I had never lived through such a time.  Being an identical twin is impossible to really understand unless you are a twin yourself.  We had been together since before we were born.  We had shared virtually every part of our lives, most of our childhood and teenage experiences, and even though we had fought dreadfully at times, we were always there for each other and loved one another more than can be explained.  Now, days in to her stroke, I was trying to come to terms with the real possibility that this was the end.  That I would not have my twin sister anymore.

They decided to carry out a further operation to install a shunt, a drain in her brain, which would release the fluid from her brain into her stomach.  The operation was in itself risky, but without it she didn’t stand a chance, the fluid in her brain was building all the time.  Again there was the dreadful time of waiting to see if she had pulled through and thankfully she did.  We waited for a couple more days to see if there was any improvement, but still Tina just lay there motionless, on full life support, with every vein in her body seemingly linked to some needle to give her life saving fluids and drugs.  They even had to start using the veins in her feet as they were running out of veins in her arms, her hands and her shoulders.

I continually asked God why this was happening and what more could I do to help her and her family through this, but I was too upset to hear any answers.  Finally, in desperation, I called a medium that I found on the internet. I didn’t want to phone anyone who knew me, I really wanted someone who had no previous knowledge of who I was.   Immediately she began speaking to me, she described our Dad in the most wonderful detail,  and told me that he was talking about someone very close to me who had suffered a bleed on the brain.  She said this person was in a critical condition and was literally between worlds.  She then went on to describe our Mum, both  physically and her character, and said that she was with both of us.   Amazingly she also described our brother and said that he was looking over us and that he was giving me the strength to cope with it all.  She told me that Tina was aware of them with her.  I asked her why this was happening and she said that Tina had chosen to go through this before she was born.  She explained that it was an experience Tina’s soul had wanted and importantly it would show who would support her and who wouldn’t, who would be able to understand, and who would turn away due to the severity of the situation.  I did ask if Tina would survive and the medium told me that she couldn’t answer that, but said that Tina had a very strong spirit and that whatever happened was supposed to happen. I was stunned by such an accurate reading, but still had wished that I could have been told what would be the outcome.

The next day I went into the hospital again and as I walked in I said my usual ‘Hi Sis’ and took her hand.  I was sure her eyelids moved and then thought I felt her gently squeeze my hand again.  I didn’t mention it to the nurses, who I felt sure thought I was imagining it, but inside I felt a warm glow and a real sense of joy.  Something in me realised that she had turned the corner, that she would be ok.

For the first time in weeks I felt an inner calm, an inner strength,  I knew I could cope, as if I had been shown there was light at the end of the tunnel. I was full of optimism for her future.  Tina’s small movements became  almost like a secret code between her and I.  Many times that day her eyelids moved as I said something funny and her fingers softly brushed mine.  I gave her a kiss goodbye before I left and said I’d see her the next day.

The following day I was over the moon to see that Tina had her tracheostomy tube removed.  She could breathe on her own!  That was a  huge hurdle.  As usual I said ‘Hi Sis’ when I arrived and I  almost fell over when a few moments later she uttered, in a very hoarse voice,’ Hi’ – she was back!!! The nurses were laughing and clapping and the whole atmosphere in the unit was lifted.  She didn’t say anything again for a few days, but she still kept moving her eyelids and through her squeezing my hand I could feel her strength grow day by day.

After several more weeks Tina slowly made progress to the point where she was transferred to a neurological rehabilitation unit within the hospital.  She was paralysed on her right side, still doubly incontinent, unable to even turn herself, unable to swallow food, and only able to say a few words, but she could laugh, and we would share afternoons laughing at the times we had been through together.  I would sit with her and we would watch comedy shows and it would lift her spirits.  It really did seem that through joy and laughter she became better and better. Through everything that had happened to her she had managed somehow to  keep her sense of humour.

Over the two years Tina spent in two specialist rehabilitation hospitals, she showed incredible inner strength and courage, overcoming the most enormous obstacles. Learning to do even the most basic things from scratch which most of us take for granted.  She suffered dreadful setbacks, crippling pain in her paralysed arm and leg, frustration of a damaged brain that would not function as she wished, and the agony of a broken hip from falling over when trying to use a walking stick.  She had to be admitted to a normal hospital for a hip replacement operation and this caused even more problems as people didn’t understand her speech and her understanding of language, having had such a serious brain injury. Everytime they asked her if she required painkillers she said yes, even if she didn’t, and by the time she was returned to the rehab unit she was totally bombed by the amount of morphine in her body.  It took weeks for her to get back to some sense of normality. She suffered incredible loneliness and depression whilst trying to come to terms with the fact that most importantly,  she had lost her independence.

There were so many experiences that had me in tears over the time she was in hospital, but one of the most memorable occasions for me was when she was first able to stand, albeit with support, and we could have a hug. It was the best hug I’d ever had.  We were both in tears as for the first time in many months I held her in my arms and she could hug me back too.  Another wonderful memory was just before her first Christmas in hospital.   The nurses organised a Carol Service  and arranged for a local choir to come along and we all sat singing the carols.  Many of the patients sang too, including Tina, who still has a beautiful singing voice.  They gave her a microphone and she sang Once in Royal David’s City.  With tears streaming down my face it took me straight back to when we were both five and were angels in our school nativity play and we had sung that very song together back then.

I was amazed by the most wonderful work the teams at the rehabilitation units undertook to get Tina as far along the recovery route as possible.  Their patience and understanding was incredible.  I was overwhelmed by the gentleness and kindness of other relatives visiting their loved ones who were also going through the most traumatic times and yet there was a camaraderie between us all, all supporting one another and all living for the time when those dear to us would regain even a little of their lives.  The love within the rehab units was so strong. They were  places of both immense sadness and unbelievable joy, much laughter and sometimes, sadly, unbearable heartache.

I was stunned by the kindness from the wonderful worldwide community of healers, many of whom stayed in contact with me throughout her two years  in hospital.  The strangers, literally scattered across the globe who showed an interest and continued to send their healing thoughts to Tina. I will never be able to thank them enough.  I was so saddened by the lack of support from the friends and relatives that Tina had.  I would never have thought that those whom she had loved and considered close backed away and found themselves too busy to even phone to find out how she was.  I was appalled by the total lack of support from social services who I had assumed would be able to offer some kind of help to Woody and the children, but who in reality basically told me that as the children had been adopted and not fostered there was nothing they could do.   Just as the medium had said, it was an experience which  showed people’s true colours.

It was an eye-opener where friends and relatives were concerned, but it has made us both realise who really matters and who had only been there for the good times. The marriage vow, ‘for better, for worse’, often comes to my mind when I think of the people in Tina’s life who moved away from her and her family during this time, when they needed the love and support the most, and sadly received it the least. Some people even voiced that they felt it would have been better that she had just died. It is something I have tried to understand, but just can’t grasp.  Maybe the lessons are for all of them, maybe they too one day may require those they hold dear to have the patience and understanding to deal with such a trauma, who knows.  Some things are beyond my comprehension and maybe I will find the answers when I am once again back with my family in the spirit world.

Tina amazed all the consultants and specialists involved in her care. They said many times that her recovery was a miracle, that it should have been impossible for her to make the progress that she has. Although paralysed on her right side she is still improving.  She has learnt to walk again, to eat again, has regained her speech, kept most of her memories and importantly has made new friends through her involvement in stroke clubs that she regularly attends. She has become an avid reader, has learnt to master her i-phone and laptop, how to use Spotify to listen to her favourite music, and can play a mean game of scrabble! I feel blessed that I still have my sister  and that I have been able to share in such an enlightening experience.

I thank Mum, Dad and our brother Ray, for the continued love and support they have given us, without which I am sure I would have crumbled. I thank God for Tina’s ongoing recovery and for the strength I was given to cope with this.  Most of all I thank Tina for being my twin, she is an inspiration.

48) A Walk on the Wylde Side!

Over the years I have been to see many mediums giving demonstrations.  Some have been ok, some have been so dreadful it was an embarrassment for everyone, and some have been very good.

A few weeks ago I was told that Mandy Wylde would be giving a demonstration of her mediumship at Woolston Spiritual Centre, a newly opened non-denominational centre near Southampton.  I had met Mandy only a couple of times at another spiritualist church I attended a couple of years ago.  I was introduced to her by another friend, Jane, and she had told me that  Mandy was a very good spiritual healer and a medium, but I had never known anyone she had carried out a reading for.

A couple of a my friends were going along so I decided it might be a nice way to spend a summer’s evening.  My friend Annette and her husband Colin had opened the centre a few months before but as I had been unwell I hadn’t managed to go along and see everyone, so it would also be wonderful to catch up with some old friends and see the new centre.

All the way there my tummy was churning, which is something that happens whenever spirit are close to me.  It is a familiar feeling if I am sitting for spirit or in any kind of development group, but not normally when I am going to see someone else give a demonstration.  I told my friend Niki that my tummy felt very odd and she said that it might mean I was going to be given a message.  I have been to many demonstrations over the last few years, but so rarely received a message from any of my loved ones in spirit that I didn’t really consider that this particular night would be any different.

As soon as Mandy stood up I really thought I was going to be sick, my stomach went totally ballistic and I thought I might have to leave the hall because I felt so dreadful.  Then, seriously, every single hair on my body went on end, I had the biggest whooshy feeling I had ever experienced.  Mandy started talking and said she had a woman in spirit with her and was talking about a house fire.  I knew we had a house fire when I was very young so I kept listening to the evidence she was giving.  Then she went on to say that this woman had arthritis, which again Mum had suffered with.  I was still wary of putting up my hand because I would absolutely hate to steal someone elses message, but then  Mandy said she could hear a song being played that she knew was important to both the woman she felt was with her, and the recipient.  The song was Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’ sung by Crystal Gayle.  My goodness, I was struggling to hold back the tears.  When I was younger I had quite a good singing voice and Mum had specifically asked me to record myself singing this song.  She carried the tape around with her for years and always made her friends listen to it whilst they were travelling in the car. Immediately I put up my hand.

Mandy went on to give me the most wonderful evidence that she had my Mum with her, evidence that none of my friends even knew.  It was the most beautiful heart warming message and Mandy conveyed exactly the personality of my Mum.  She even talked about a discussion I had been having earlier that day, which there was no way in the world she could have possibly known about it.  It was amazing.

She then went on to give other messages to several other people in the hall.  Each of them was delivered with respect, kindness and a real sense of who they were.  She managed to lighten the atmosphere when required with funny anecdotal evidence but was also able to give the most touching messages.  It was a real pleasure to spend the evening watching her demonstrate and I could have happily sat there for much longer. The hall’s atmosphere was fabulous, everyone was laughing and smiling, some were crying with joy and gasping at her incredible accuracy. She gave names, relationships, addresses and really unusual information. I have to say it was the very best demonstration of mediumship I had ever seen.

A couple of weeks passed and another medium was due to hold the Sunday service at the centre, but had cancelled for some reason and so Annette asked Mandy if she could step in.  I hadn’t planned on going along at all, but as the weekend went by I really felt that I must go.  I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go.

It was another lovely summers evening and the atmosphere of the hall was warm and inviting.  There are large windows along one wall and the sun was shining in as we all sat there waiting for the evening to begin.  I couldn’t believe it when yet again my tummy started churning and I kept praying that it would stop.  To begin with Mandy gave a wonderful reading and address about a man who had been struck by lightning and had medically died but who managed to survive and could remember being dead!  It was fascinating, especially the enormous changes it made to his whole life.  So often I have sat through the most long-winded boring addresses and just been waiting for them to finish, but this was really interesting.

We sang a couple of songs and then Mandy stood to give her demonstration of mediumship.  She gave several excellent messages to different people and after a while I could see from the clock that it was almost time for her to finish.  I wondered why my tummy had been churning so much, having secretly hoped that maybe I would receive another message, but I didn’t really dare hope that would happen.  I had already enjoyed the evening so much so was thinking that we would be going home in a minute or two.

Then Mandy started physically describing a man who sounded very much like my brother, and again I was covered in goosebumps, but didn’t put my hand up until I had heard more.  Mandy then talked about his personality, which was quite unique and she said he was telling her the name Ray – which was my brother’s name.  I just knew it was him, so excitedly put my hand up.  Yet again Mandy gave me astonishing evidence and even more wonderful was that my aunt had come with him, and Mandy gave the most wonderful unequivocal information about her too.

I realised then why I had been so keen to go along.  I felt so blessed that in a matter of just a few weeks I had received messages from both Mum and Ray. I am sure that a bright future lays ahead for Mandy.  She is such a good medium that as word spreads she will certainly be in great demand!

Comment emailed to me by Mandy Wylde:

 Dearest Tisha,  

I am moved to tears after reading your journal, I am so thrilled you felt so much peace and love on the two occasions you came to Woolston Spiritual Centre.   Some months ago I asked spirit,  “put me where you want me to be”,  I guess they did.  I love giving evidence from the spirit world to bring love and comfort, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings,  much love xx

39) The Afterlife Monologues

Simon and I went down to North Devon a couple of weekends ago.  I used to live there and sometimes feel a real longing to drive along familiar country roads and walk along a typical sandy Devon beach and feel the fresh sea air on my face.  I have a friend who lives just outside Barnstaple, Susan Roberts, I have mentioned her in my blogs before.  She set up and runs the English Psychic Company, and she was my first real teacher of mediumship.  She ran a tight ship and accepted nothing but the best.  My evenings in her classes were a mixture of trepidation and relief.  She set such high standards and expected nothing less of us, her pupils.  She wouldn’t even accept you on a course until you had passed a test to prove that you had some potential, and that was nerve-wracking in itself.

I first met Susan after my Mum had died and I had heard her (Mum, not Susan!) talking to me in the loo, always late at night.  The first time it happened I thought it was my imagination, but immediately as I thought that Mum told me it wasn’t.  I came out of the loo and didn’t tell anyone what had just happened as I was sure they would think I was crazy.  The following night, just before bed, again in the loo, Mum talked to me again, I told her that I was sure she was a wishful thought and again she told me she wasn’t.  Well if you are real, I said, make the lights go on and off.  To my utter amazement, the lights flickered!  You have never seen anyone move so fast out of the loo! This happened for several nights.  Nothing at all in the daytime, but come my last visit to the loo, there would be Mum.  I didn’t see her, but I could feel her presence, her warmth and love, and I could hear her voice, definitely hers, not mine, but inside my head.

During the day I was so sad, missing my Mum so much, but feeling quite mixed up knowing that in the evening there would be this very odd form of contact.  I tried to reason with myself that the whole thing was just too bizarre and to be honest I often felt that I was losing the plot.  It was a secret I kept to myself.  Part of me dreaded going to the loo because I was quite afraid, but another part would be looking forward to the comfort that I felt every night knowing that Mum was ok and was still around.

After a week or so I decided I really should do something about all of this.  Ever since I was a very young child I had been aware of spirits, of energies around me, of knowledge that from my earthly life I shouldn’t’  or couldn’t have known, but this was very different,  I had never had an ongoing communication with someone who I had known and loved  before.

I had met a spiritual healer, Liz Gilmour, at a local spiritual fayre a couple of years before and had kept her business card in my purse.  I felt sure that she would know of someone locally I could go and see to try to find out what was going on.  I rang Liz and without telling her any information at all I asked if she knew of anyone who could communicate with spirits. Without hesitation she recommended Susan Roberts.  She told me that Susan had an excellent reputation and was very down to earth.  I rang Susan straight away  and made an appointment which was for a  week later.  She asked me to bring along a photo of the person I would ideally like to get in contact with, but she said she couldn’t always guarantee that that person may communicate.  Apart from that she didn’t ask me anything else at all. Part of me was so excited to be seeing a professional medium and the other part was absolutely terrified.  I had no idea what to expect and kept feeling the biggest butterflies in my tummy every time I thought about it.

Eventually the day of the reading arrived and with an enormous amount of trepidation I went along to see Susan.  It was such a relief to be welcomed by a ‘normal’ woman who immediately put me at my ease.  She showed me into her sitting room which spookily overlooked a graveyard, I remember thinking how funny that was.  I showed her the photo I had taken along and straight away Susan told me it was a photo of my Mum who had died three weeks before,  She told me about Mum’s illness and how she had died.  Then, much to my amazement, and laughing as she told me, she said that Mum had been talking me in the loo! Everything Susan told me was absolutely accurate.  I skipped out of her house and driving home felt so uplifted and positive totally knowing that my Mum had been chatting to me.

I had no idea at the time that I would again be in contact with Susan within a few weeks.   My brother Ray died totally unexpectedly just six weeks after my Mum.  He was only fifty and was found in his bed at home.  At the time we had no idea how he had died or what was the cause of his death.  I spoke to Susan just days after Ray died, as again I was sure I could feel him close to me.  She gently started to explain that it was most probably too early for him to be able to make contact, but as she spoke I could sense her hesitating.  She asked if a red tricycle meant anything to me.  It certainly did.  As I said yes she started receiving more evidence from Ray.  She told me exactly how he had died and most importantly for me, that he had felt no pain.  She told me that his heart had literally just stopped.  That he was here one minute and gone the next.  Just like that.  No pain at all.  I was so relieved as I had been concerned that he would have been distressed.  Sure enough when we received the results of his autopsy it confirmed that his heart had just stopped and that his passing to spirit would have been instant.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have met several wonderful mediums who have given me the most fantastic evidence and messages from those I have lost.  I do think that if I hadn’t met Susan at such a difficult time in my life I would have been very doubtful, but she was so accurate with everything she said that she gave me confidence to explore the amazing world of spirit both as a medium myself, being able to give comfort to those missing their loved ones, and as someone myself so pleased to hear from those I love who are in spirit.

I have absolute confidence in Susan and when she told me that over the years she had been contacted by several spirits who wanted their experiences of death  heard by a wider audience, I could appreciate why they had chosen her to tell their stories.  She had written their stories exactly as she heard them, and over a long period had built up quite a selection.  Spirits contacted her from all walks of life with very different stories to tell.  She decided to bring the stories to the stage and called the production The Afterlife Monologues.  Several of her students took the roles of the spirits and spoke in the first person, recounting their memories.  I was intrigued and was so sad when I was unable to attend the first time it was on at a theatre in Devon.  It was by pure chance just a couple of months ago that I asked Susan is she was thinking of putting on another production.  She said that one was planned for the end of March.  That was wonderful news!  I could go and walk along the beach, see some old friends, and go and see the Afterlife Monologues all within a long weekend.  I booked the hotel straight away and Simon booked the time off work.  We were so lucky with the weather.  Our journey from our home in Hampshire was just beautiful.  We stopped by a field of new-born lambs, watching them running and playing, then found a country pub where we enjoyed a fantastic lunch on a sunny roof terrace. It couldn’t have been better.

We met Susan at her premises and sat near the back so that we could see everything.  The stories from the spirits were just incredible,  The readers were amazing and bought the stories to life.  You really felt they were telling their own experiences.  When we spoke to some of the readers in the break they said that they could feel the emotions of the spirits whose stories they were reading, which was certainly conveyed to us in the audience.  Simon, who I had thought may find it all a little boring, actually really enjoyed the evening.  Afterwards when we were sitting having a drink in the bar in the hotel he was asking so many questions about spirit.  Far more than he ever has in the years we have been together.  I believe that the moving and realistic way in which the experiences were bought to life really made his mind open up to the reality of our ongoing lives in our spiritual form. I do hope that one day Susan will make a dvd of these stories so that an even wider audience can experience these for themselves.

I do think that one thing that so many of us find so hard to talk about is physical death.  It is a subject that many people avoid as they say it is depressing and also of course many find the whole thing terribly frightening too, which is understandable.  It is though,  the one thing that we all know for sure will happen to us at some time, yet most of us are totally unprepared for it.  We are also unprepared for the death of a loved one.  It is almost taboo to talk about such things unless you are talking to an insurance salesman or a solicitor who is drawing up wills.

I know that when my parents and my brother all died within less than four months I wouldn’t have been able to cope without the certainty that their spirits, their souls, still existed.  It was largely thanks to Susan and her spiritual communications that I could manage to get through those dark days.  I was talking to her after my Dad had died, telling her how very sad I was and how much I missed him.  She told me something I will never forget.  She said that whilst we are all so upset here for losing someone we love, at the same time there are massive celebrations in the spirit world as that person is being reunited with loved ones who have passed before.  She said to imagine that my Dad was on a ship, leaving the shore, waving to me as he went, but when the ship completed its journey, he would reach another shore where his Mum and Dad and his brothers and sisters would be waiting to greet him.  I thought of that many times over the years, knowing how pleased Dad would have been to see his family and in particular his twin sister Mary again, knowing how much he missed her throughout his life.

We had a wonderful time back in North Devon.  I did manage to walk along my old local beach and enjoyed feeling the warm sand between my toes, breathing in the crisp clear air.  We drove down many winding country lanes, shared lovely times with old friends and Simon took some great photographs.  What a great mini-break we had, and how delighted I was to have been able to see the Afterlife Monologues.  I know the stories and experiences of those spirits will stay with me always.

Candle Lighter Award!!!

I was really chuffed to be the recipient of this award given to me by the very delightful blogger Summer Grant (isn’t that just the most wonderful name!) who writes the blog anyonething  which I thoroughly enjoy reading.  I love the enthusiasm and honesty of her posts which share her journey of studying to be a journalist/writer and her avid joy for the written word.  She has a great sense of wit and has an opinion on almost everything.  A really refreshing blog which I would advise you to take a look at!

The Candle Lighter Award is an award for a post or blog that is positive and brings light into the world.  

The Candle Lighter Award belongs to those who believe, who always survive the day and who never stop dreaming, who do not quit but keep trying.

There are no rules.

If you wish to, simply accept it and you are done!

You are also free to decline or ignore it. 

Recipients can pass it on to as many nominees as they wish and as often as they wish.

I am really pleased that Summer finds my posts so positive.  In spiritual circles, those of us who work for spirit, whether as mediums, healers, counsellors, writers, or in many other ways,  are called lightworkers, so it’s rather apt that my spiritually based blog should receive this.

With that in mind I would like to nominate another spiritually based blog, the tovarysh connection. I tend to read these gentle posts again and again and always find further nuggets of wisdom to consider throughout my day.  I do hope that you will take the time to look at her inspirational words and insights into life.

Sunshine Award!! Yay!

I got sunshine on a cloudy day ….!  Well, almost!

Yesterday morning I woke up with the intention of spending the day in the lovely warm spring sunshine that we had enjoyed on Saturday.  I was sure I would be pruning the roses and setting the garden up for spring.  Instead much to my amazement, as I opened the curtains I was shocked to see dark heavy clouds and torrential rain!  So I decided to have a lazy cosey morning, made a large mug of coffee, some hot buttered toast and settled myself on the sofa snuggled up in my soft fleecy dressing gown.

As usual I checked my mailbox as soon as I started up my laptop and was delighted to see a message from yogaleigh who writes the wonderful blog bluegrassnotes.  I was really chuffed because she had nominated me for a Sunshine Award. Thank you so much – you certainly brightened my morning!

This prize is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. How wonderful!

As an award winner, there are a few rules to follow:

Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.

Pass on the award to 10 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know you awarded them.

The thank you is at the beginning of the post.

Answer the following questions:

Favorite Color – Eau de nil – so relaxing

Favorite Animal – Cat

Favorite Number – 4

Favorite Drink – Tia maria with Pepsi and masses of ice

Facebook or Twitter – Def Facebook – I struggle with 140 characters on twitter

Your Passion – Spiritual awareness

Giving or getting presents – Giving, but have yet to find how to wrap a hug!

Favorite Day – Today, always

Favorite Flowers – Roses, the more fragrant the better

I am so pleased to forward this award on to these wonderful bloggers, who for so many different reasons,  I thoroughly enjoy their posts, their humour, their compassion and their honesty.

Source of inspiration

Have a Dream

Not Quite Old

Happiness for All

Life As I Know It

The Tovarysh Connection

Spiritual Journey

Guidelights

Wispers of the Heart

Paulo Coelho’s Blog

I hope you all find sunshine today!

32) Legal Beagles

English: Public court room in Independence Hall

We all think we are right!  It’s so true. We all think we are right because we see everything from our perspective.  It is how we are.  We often find great difficulty in looking at a situation from someone elses point of view.  It is very challenging to try to put yourself in someone elses shoes, to look at the world the way they see it. I feel it is impossible, even no matter how hard we try, to truly appreciate what someone is going through, to actually feel their joy, their pain, their concerns. And yet, even though we can never completely understand what it is  like to be someone else, we somehow feel we have the right to judge them.

Many of us make judgements about people’s physical appearance.  We make comments about their  choice of clothes, hairstyle, weight etc.   Even if we don’t verbalise what we are thinking, most of us do still think it.  How many times have you seen someone and within a millisecond a thought rushes through your head about how that person looks?  It is a habit that is so easy to get into. Even worse we think we know how to dress them better than themselves!  How can we always be so sure?  I might never ever in a million years wear a pink leather mini-skirt with high heels and wear bright red lipstick – but who says that I am right?  My choice in clothes most probably looks as dull as dishwater to someone else.

Have you met a friend’s partner and immediately made a snap judgement about them?  Just a look, just one word, or the way they dress can be enough for your brain to warp into judgement mode.  Even the way someone speaks, their accent,  can lead us to make sweeping judgements that could be totally wrong!

Our magazines and newspapers are full of judgements about people in the public eye.  Reporters judge everything about people: their lives, their love lives,  finances, children,  homes, even their political views.  Unfortunately it is rarely objective, and usually biased to entice more readers to read all the latest gossip, no matter if the ‘victim’ is a pop singer, a politician or a member of the royal family.  All appear to be fair game.  Even countries are attacked in the press, their cultures, their traditions, their politics.  It is felt that we are able to judge anyone/any country  who/that does not do as we think they should, who does not comply with what we consider is normal or correct.

I enjoy listening to lively debates on the radio and it surprises me how often I change my mind as I carry on listening to different views.  To begin with I am sure that Mr ‘A’ is making perfect sense, then Mr ‘B’ will chip in with his remarks and I start thinking, well, actually that really does make sense, then listening to Mr ‘A’ respond, I am once again seeing and appreciating his point of view.  From listening to so many over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is very difficult to tell the right viewpoint from the wrong one.  Even to the point where I wonder at times if there always is a right or a wrong one! It all depends from which angle you are looking at it.  As an onlooker it can be almost impossible to make a decision of who is right, but if you are personally involved then it becomes even more difficult to be objective.

My husband had to complete jury service recently.  Although he couldn’t discuss the case with me, I knew he was finding it very difficult to make a judgement about the ‘accused’.  Some days he would come home and feel he had totally understood what had happened and would appear relaxed. On other days he would come home obviously agitated after further evidence had been submitted into court which threw a spanner in the works, and suddenly the case didn’t appear as black and white as it had a couple of days before.  In the final days of the trial it was evident that Simon was really struggling.  He is a fair-minded man and was so concerned that he would come to the wrong conclusion, that because of his judgement an innocent man may spend time in prison.  Then he would be worried that if he judged the man innocent, and he was actually guilty, that he would be walking free in society, and what could be the possible consequences of that.    After much debate the jury found the accused guilty and Simon said he was so pleased when his previous convictions were read out and he had carried out similar crimes several times before.  He felt that they had come to the right decision.  His relief when it was all over was amazing.  The experience had really brought home the massive responsibility that there is in making judgements. Goodness knows how I’d ever cope if I had to sit on a jury!!

I do wonder what makes someone decide to commit a crime.  I have no idea of the mindset or thought process that you would go through to plan to take part in something criminal.  I avoid arguments and conflict as much as possible but it has crossed my mind whether someone decides to be abusive to someone else, either physically or verbally, or if it just happens, almost beyond their  control.  I do however know that I am extremely fortunate that I am not them, but somehow I used to think I had the right to judge them, not that I would normally tell others what I was thinking, but in my head I would be making judgements.  What right did I possibly have to do that?

I was sitting quietly one day, thinking about what is right and what is wrong, when I received the following words from one of my writing guides.

Look kindly on your fellow-man

Do not judge too harshly

For where he walks you too may tread

And understand his pathway

Just a few lines, but I feel it is a such powerful  message.  I have  had these words run through my mind so many many times over the years.  When I catch myself making a judgement about someone, suddenly I’ll hear the words “Look kindly on your fellow-man, do not judge too harshly ….” I immediately try to consider where that person is in their life and always ask myself “Who am I to judge?”  I cannot possibly imagine what made them make their choices about their lifestyle, their behaviour.  I have not shared in their life and come to their conclusions. I try to accept others as they are, accept they have their own opinions and have their own roads to follow.

Of course I’m not talking about our formal legal systems, these have to be in place, and we accept that our society chooses people to make legal judgements.  That is totally different to the judgements we all make that I am talking about here.

It  also made me think about the soul choices we make we enter this incarnation.  We can’t all choose to be kind and thoughtful or we would not be able to learn what is right and what is wrong, how to behave with care and generosity towards others.  How tough it must be to live your life as one of those people who are always on the wrong side of our man-made laws. How tough to wake up in the morning and know in your heart that you have been cruel or mean.  We can’t all be the same, we are all unique in almost every way and I say thank goodness for that.  In our diversity we have literally hundreds of thousands of choices throughout our lives, and who should ever judge us for them?  Only ourselves.  My guides know that we are not saints, that we have our human foibles, that we will most likely always make judgements, I feel it is a rare person who never does.  But, if you do find yourself judging, please just think of the words I received, and try not to be too harsh!

29) Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!

Smiley Face

How easy it is to be a moaning Minnie.   I’m sure we all know someone (or ….. gulp, even ourselves sometimes) who get into moaning mode all too easily.

When I look back, which is far easier than looking forward, I know there have been times in my life when someone has asked ” How are you?” and it’s been all too easy to forget all the positives in my life and have a good old moan.  I honestly believe that there’s nothing wrong with that occasionally, we all go through difficult, challenging, heartbreaking times when I think we should not chastise ourselves for moaning, especially to our closest friends who are trying to help us, but it’s the habit of moaning that I’m writing about today.

I used to have a Father-in-law who could have moaned for England.  Seriously if there was a gold medal in moaning he would have been on the podium each and every day.  No matter what you did or what you said, he’d find something to moan about.  When we were first married we went to visit him in our old car, he complained that we were obviously not working hard enough and should be ashamed at driving an old banger.  A couple of years later we drove up to see him and we had a new car.  I couldn’t believe it when he started moaning that it was obviously alright for us, swanning around like we were above everyone else because we had a new car!  We just couldn’t win.

His wife, my ex-Mother-in-law, was also a pretty good moaner. She was staying with us for a while (too long!) and I remember asking her if she had any preference for lunch, whether she would like a hot cooked meal, or a light cold lunch.  She said she didn’t mind.  I even asked her if she was sure and she said yes, anything would be fine.  I was immensely busy at work so prepared a salad with some homemade bread.  She scowled as I put the meal on the table.  “I would have preferred a hot meal”  she moaned.  I can honestly say that in the twenty-six years I knew her, it was a very rare event that she made a happy, upbeat or positive comment about anything. They were obviously well matched.  In fact, thinking about, I can’t think of one instance where she was genuinely pleased with her lot.  How very sad.

I believe that this personality trait actually ages you.  When I first met my ex in-laws, when I was in my early twenties, I assumed that they had been old parents when my ex-husband was born.  Their whole house felt grey and dowdy.  Wrongly, I presumed that they were ancient, which to me at the time was anyone past sixty (how our perspective changes as we head toward the higher ‘tens’ ourselves).  In reality they were exactly the same age as my parents, and had in fact been extremely young parents.  You just would never have believed it had you met them.  The difference between them and my parents was that mine had the wonderful knack of finding the humour in everything, including themselves, they never took life too seriously.  Their houses were always colourful and full of life – they were not what I would call ‘grey’ people!

Dad had nicknames for everyone, my sister was Prunella Pimple Face and I was Fish Face Charlie – we never knew why – we just were!  He had a wonderful sense of timing where humour was concerned, saying just the right word at the right time.  Very dry and extremely observant, he did catch a few people off guard at times, which made it all the funnier! He went through some incredibly traumatic times in his life, both during his childhood, during his time in the war and in latter years, due to his health.  Amazingly though, through everything, my Dad always found something positive to say about every event in his life.

He had to undergo life threatening surgery when I was in my early teens.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to undergo surgery to remove one of his lungs.  This was in the late 1960’s and the medical treatments at that time weren’t as advanced as they are now, so it was very dangerous surgery at the time.  Dad had undergone a routine medical for the organisation he worked for and much to his horror a large shadow on his lung showed up on his chest X-ray.  He was taken into Harefield hospital and underwent an exploratory operation and they confirmed to Mum that he had lung cancer.  They gave her the choice whether to operate and possibly prolong his life by a matter of months, or to just leave it and let nature take it’s course.  Mum, after much consideration and heart searching, chose the operation.  Thank God she did, as when they operated they found that Dad didn’t have lung cancer after all.  He had an unusual form of tuberculosis in a cyst in his lung.  He was in hospital for quite a long time on a large ward. Everyone commented on how he was such a lively spirit and how he lifted the atmosphere.  Within a couple of days of the surgery he was cracking jokes, mainly about himself, and had everyone in stitches (pardon the pun).  I remember the sister on the ward saying that she would miss him so much when he went home because he had made their lives so much more enjoyable and how his warmth and humour had affected everyone so positively.  I was so proud of my Dad.

Mum too had difficult times but without fail she always managed to find something positive to say.  She used to quote Thumper from the film Bambi – “if you can’t say something nice don’t say nothin’ at all” , which is dreadfully difficult to adhere to at times (see above!), but she really did try to live by this, apart from when she and Dad were arguing, and then all their rules went out the window!

When Mum was busy working, more than full-time at times, she and Dad agreed to employ “a lady who does”, in other words, a cleaner.  I think it was Dad’s way of avoiding helping with the housework!  They employed a woman who left notes for Mum every time she left the house.  She complained that the vacuum cleaner wasn’t working properly, or that the polish Mum used wasn’t the right one, or that the broom wasn’t good enough, the house was too hot, the house was too cold etc.  The list was endless.  Dad called her “Mrs Moan-a-lot”, not to her face of course, but within the family.  The awful problem was that the name stuck and we could never remember her real name, which was embarrassing at times!

Mum and Dad had real highs and lows financially throughout their marriage.  Usually the highs where when they were both working for large companies and the lows were sometimes when Dad would start a new business and things didn’t always go so well.  They both took every opportunity they were ever given, even emigrating to Chicago in their mid-forties.  They sold their house and gave away everything they owned and off they went with huge smiles to start their new life.  Try as they could, they both hated living there!  They came back a year later and in that short time the property market had gone wild in England.  Neither of them had employment and their money, having been exchanged into dollars and back again, was nowhere near enough to buy a house again.  They moved into a bed sit and looked upon it as an adventure, both of them optimistic that something would ‘turn up’.

Much to everyone’s amazement, but no surprise to them, a large flat came up for rent in the town they both loved, Twickenham.  They had enough to put down the deposit and moved in to the two top floors of a large Victorian house.  Within a short time they both managed to find work they enjoyed within a short distance of their new home.  Two years later the landlord offered to rent them the ground floor flat as well and they jumped at it.  He was fine about them restoring the two flats back into one very beautiful large house.  Another year on and the landlord suddenly needed to liquidate his assets and offered Mum and Dad the whole house at a crazily low knock down price.  Of course they couldn’t refuse.  They bought the house, did a little work on it, and sold it six months later for a massive profit, putting them in a stronger position than when they had gone to America.  Mum took great delight in telling everyone that she had known everything would be alright.  Through all the ups and downs I never once heard them complain.  Dad used to say it was better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.  Mum being more of a romantic would quote, “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  Looking back I realise how amazingly lucky I was to have such a pair of positive optimistic parents, which at the time I suppose I assumed everyone had.

Strangely I feel like my journey through life has always shown me two sides of everything.  I do believe that my parents were a couple of old souls, who made light of their problems and put a positive spin on their difficulties and challenges.  I wonder if my ex-in laws were younger souls.  In reality, they had very little to complain about it, but moaned about inconsequential things most of the time. My ex-in laws were pessimists about everything and saw life as a dull routine to be gotten through, whereas my parents were invariably optimistic and saw life as exciting  and enlightening.  How fortunate I was to have chosen them. I can appreciate why I feel that life is full of lessons because that is exactly what Mum and Dad taught me, and importantly, they taught me to ignore the dull routine and always look on the bright side of life!

28) Great Expectations

English: New Year fireworks at the London Eye

Will your world change after midnight?

Every New Year’s Eve there is a global feeling of anticipation that changes are afoot.  No matter where you are, who you are with or what you are doing, it is almost impossible to miss the  dawning of the new year.  All around the world there are massive celebrations, huge displays of fireworks, parties arranged and a feeling of camaraderie that only exists for maybe even just a few minutes either side of midnight.  If you are in a large city or even at a local event, complete strangers may well hug and kiss and you and wish you a happy new year.

And then, the morning arrives, and all is back to normal.  What happened to the optimism of the night before? Where has the camaraderie gone?  Is there any perceivable change in your life from yesterday?

No other species on our planet celebrates New Year.  I’ve never seen sheep dancing in a field at midnight! So why do we feel the need to make such a big deal out of a change of year in our calendars? Is it that we have an intrinsic need to focus on the possibility of change for good?  Is it that we are dissatisfied with our lives and want a better future?  Why is there such a negative spin in our news through most of the year, and maybe just a glimmer of positivity on New Year’s Eve?  Why do we look forward to the New Year rather than spend time celebrating the year we have just had?    How many people will look back at the year that is coming to a close and be thankful for the experiences they have enjoyed, the spiritual advances they have made, the new friendships formed, the new lives that have begun, the understanding and compassion that has been shown to them, or they have  shown to others? It always feels to me that it’s all about looking forward to the new and getting rid of the past.  What a shame.

I just read a wonderful blog written by a woman who has been making huge changes to her life.  About accepting that she didn’t have to be superwoman after all, that she can feel free to follow her dreams. I felt that this arrived in my inbox at just the right time to be included in this end of year posting.  She importantly mentioned the notion of ‘having it all’ and as I commented on her post, I thought long and hard about that well used phrase. Why can’t we have it all, I wondered?  But, most importantly, we first have to qualify what having it all truly means to each of us individually. It will be different for each and every one of us.  None of us have to adhere to the classic examples portrayed in the media, to the general consensus, to society’s view of what this phrase means.  No, we can take it and shape it to suit us.

My interpretation of  having it all had to change drastically when I became chronically ill, when my life had no option but to become smaller.  Suddenly, having it all had to alter to fit in with my physical capabilities.  My expectations had to change. It took a long time to adjust, but now I can say I truly feel fulfilled,  feel loved, respected and accepted.  I am true to my beliefs,  to my spiritual goals,  to my souls desires.  That to me is having it all.  I don’t try to be something I’m not and hope that I don’t expect that of others. My days of trying to be superwoman are long gone!

Instead of only focussing on what the New Year may bring to our lives,  just on New Year’s Eve, why not think of every new day as the dawning of a new year.  Feel the optimism and the camaraderie with others throughout the year. Consider what we, those we love and those who are in need, really require, and try to work towards that.  When we go to sleep at night remember to thank spirit for the positives we can take from the day and ask what our expectations and intentions should be for tomorrow.  Look at our lives and learn from our experiences. Feel if we have managed, in our own way,  to have it all, even just for that one day. Sense if we have inspired others and if we have been at all instrumental in them finding fulfilment in their lives.

Many people spend much time in thought and then make long lists of resolutions for the new year.  Maybe they find that the list will motivate them to bring about change in their lives.  Maybe their resolution list is in fact more of a wish list. How many of us have written this list and targeted massive changes that are due to take place from 1st January only to give up within a matter of days or even a couple of weeks?  The resolutions soon become forgotten.

So, for this change of year, as the clock passes midnight, and 2011 becomes 2012, I am not going to make a resolution.  I am instead going to make a promise to spirit.  I will promise to treat each day as a new dawn knowing it has the spiritual potential for the greatest of expectations.

Blogger Awards!!!

I was amazed and delighted to receive the Kreativ Blogger award from ‘Among Ghosts’ AND the Versatile Blogger award from ‘Life as I know it …”!!!  They feel like a belated Christmas pressies – how wonderful!

I gather that I now have to nominate other bloggers to receive these prestigious awards – so not only am I the grateful receiver, I am a judge too – lol!

So, here is my list and I do hope you will take the time to take a look at these blogs.  I enjoy them all for many different reasons.  Not all of them follow my own beliefs to the letter, but then that is what makes life interesting!

Six blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award: 15 blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award:

http://www.crabbyoldfart.wordpress.com/

http://www.happinessforall.wordpress.com/

http://www.askamedium.wordpress.com/

http://www.anyonething.wordpress.com/

http://www.oldereyes.wordpress.com/

http://www.whisperingwordsofwisdom.wordpress.com/

http://www.siannaphey.wordpress.com/

http://www.jamesdez.wordpress.com/

http://www.showard76.wordpress.com/

http://www.lifewithhiccups.wordpress.com/

http://www.growingupweirdmedium.wordpress.com/

http://www.dark2light.wordpress.com/

http://www.delajus2.wordpress.com/

http://www.complexmuse.wordpress.com/

http://www.prairiewisdom.wordpress.com/

Also, part of receiving these awards, is that I have to share 7 things about myself for the Versatile Blogger Award and 10 things that not everyone would know about me for the Kreativ Blogger Award….. hmmm … tricky or what?

Ok, here goes:

1) I’m a ‘cougar’ – lol – I don’t feel like one but I gather I am as my husband is 13 years younger than me!

2) Strangely, my Mother-in-law is the same age as my ex-husband … isn’t life odd?

3) My body is one age (too old for my liking), my heart is years younger – see above!

4) I adore animals and if I won the lottery I would love to set up an animal sanctuary.

5) My favourite flower is a rose – I have masses of them in my garden, all repeat flowering with lots of delicious scents and many beautiful colours

6) My favourite smell in the whole wide world is freshly cut lawn

7)I love music and always have music playing – I dance too (but that’s not for the faint hearted)

Readers for the Versatile Blogger Award should stop reading now, for the Kreativ Blogger Award you are ‘allowed’ to read on!

8) I have a very deep singing voice – I sound like Rod Stewart or Alison Moyet

9) I don’t like my legs so I always wear trousers or very long skirts

10) I have a wicked sense of humour

Now all I have to do is work out how to send this information to all the above mentioned bloggers!  It took me over an hour to sort the award pictures, and I haven’t yet read up how to pop them on my blog yet …. but I can do that later!

Thanks once again to ‘Life as I know it…’ and ‘Among Ghosts’, I love both your blogs and look forward everyday to see what fresh insights will drop into my inbox.

27) Making New Memories

Mince Pie

Mum always made certain that even though she had three children she would make  time for each of us individually.  These times weren’t necessarily important dates or special occasions, just time we all had alone with Mum whilst we did everyday things.

Mum and I always used to make the mince pies for Christmas whilst the rest of the family would be in the lounge watching television.  In those days we would always wear a pinny when we were cooking.  I don’t know why really, because these days not many people ever do.  When we put our pinnys on it was almost a sign that we meant business, we were undertaking important and valuable work and we were set apart from the rest of the family in their civvies.

It was during these Christmas baking times that we would often chat about Mum’s life as a young woman, where she lived, what she did, who she shared her life with.  She had the most wonderful knack of talking about how life affected her when she was the same age as us.  It bought to life, in our minds, her history.  When I was growing up I always seemed to think of Mum and Dad’s childhood in black and white, like an old movie.  I always thought that their clothes would have been scratchy for some reason.  Strange what goes through children’s minds.

Mum had a difficult childhood, bought up by her Dad and a variety of Aunts, until her Dad married when she was nine years old.  She adored her Dad more than anyone in the world and would often become tearful when she talked about the wonderful Christmas’s she shared with him.  He had died before I was born, and she never really managed to overcome her grief.  I found that very hard to understand as a child, especially as I had never met him, so he didn’t seem real to me, even though Mum told me so much about him.  It was as if she was describing an old film she’d seen.

Something though that Mum said, that has always stuck in my mind, was that she always felt it was important to make new memories.  Not to erase the old ones, but to add to our itinerary of memories, to make our own histories. That seemed strange when I was a young girl, but as I’ve grown older I do understand what she meant by that.

We all have times in our lives that our thoughts go back to, especially at Christmas.  Times we wish with all our hearts that could be repeated right now. People that have passed through our lives who we miss and wish that we could be with once again. In Mum’s case it was definitely time that she spent with her Dad.  She would have given the world to spend even just a few moments with him once more.

I cherish the memory of my Dad singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve the last Christmas he was alive. We were at a very grand party and the local choir were singing traditional carols.  We were in a huge elegant room with a grand piano and we were sat on the type of furniture you normally only see in stately homes.  The type where the ropes are around them to stop the public touching it!  It really wouldn’t have mattered where we were, my memory is of my Dad’s twinkling blue eyes, his warm smile and his deep rich voice.  I was so very proud of him. I would give anything to be back at that party with my Dad.

I cherish the memory of Mum and I cooking Christmas dinner, drinking too much sherry, and laughing and giggling like a couple of teenagers whilst we jived around the kitchen to ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’.

I cherish the memory of my daughter rushing into my bedroom first thing in the morning, so excited to tell me that Father Christmas had been, with her arms full of presents that she wanted to open on my bed.

I cherish the memory of Ray, my brother, playing his guitar, making up his own silly verses to Christmas Carols, whilst drinking his favourite brandy and coke.  ‘Merry Crimbo’ he used to say.

I cherish the memory of my twin sister, Tina and I, waking up to find chocolate santas lined up around our beds and beautiful party dresses, one made for each of us, hanging on our wardrobe door.

So many memories of wonderful Christmas’s, but now, as they say, those days are gone.  It’s tough.  I know it always will be. If I could just snap my fingers and be back there just once more …………..

Now, I have new memories to make.  Memories where in the future I’ll look back and long for these days.  Where I’ll wish with all my heart to be able to share these times once more. That’s the Christmas I’m going to have with the people who are in my life right now, the people I share these special times with, the people I hold dear and love and cherish.  This Christmas will be part of my history.

26) A Nudge from a Kindred Spirit

English: Instow from Appledore quay.

Occasionally through your life-time you may be fortunate enough to meet a person with whom you immediately feel an enormous connection.  I don’t necessarily mean a romantic love type of connection, but something maybe even deeper, more spiritual or soulful.  There is an instant bond between you that belies the actual length of time you have known them in this physical existence.  It is difficult to explain the overwhelming affection, fondness and sense of pure freedom you feel when you are with them.  The freedom when you know, totally, that you are accepted and loved for who you are, not how they perceive you to be, or how you may usually portray yourself, but just exactly as you.  It is a strange feeling of being stripped bare.  You know that this person knows you to an extent that very few ever will.

I felt so blessed to have met my very dear friend Janet.  We met at a creative writing class in Bideford, North Devon.  From the moment I saw her I recognised her, but not in the way she looked, more in the way she just ‘was’.  There was a familiarity that I had never really felt with anyone apart from my own family.  It was wonderful and odd all at the same time.  After the first class she asked me if I would like to join her for a coffee.  I didn’t hesitate, it was as if I needed to know more about her.  Not just a passing inquisitiveness, it was almost a pull from the depth of me, I felt I had found someone who I knew would play a uniquely special role in my life.

We couldn’t stop talking and before we knew it several hours has passed.  We both expressed how from the very first moment we met we  felt we had known each other forever.  Janet said that she felt I was her daughter or her sister in a previous lifetime and I could completely understand what she was saying.  The thought that she was my Mother resonated more with me, although at the time I still had my own wonderful Mum alive and well and living with me!  My heart felt the same emotion of attachment that I felt for my Mum, but in an even deeper sense, which on the face of it was crazy as I had only known Janet since that morning.

Our friendship grew and we enjoyed our times together so much.  We never ran out of anything to say.  We would have times full of laughter and sunshine and times of intense conversations about anything and everything.  The honesty between us was extraordinary.  The trust was implicit.  I had never known a relationship like it.

Very strangely, when we compared notes, we had lived within a few miles of each other several times during this life time.  This would have been odd if we had always lived in the same town, but both of us had lived in several counties over the years.  When we met we were both living in North Devon, she was in Bideford and I was living in a small village a few miles away. Amazingly though, years earlier, when I had lived in one property in Exeter, the view from my kitchen window was actually Janet’s house! We both felt that it was far too much of a coincidence and that we were destined to meet.

We would often go for a coffee at a quaint pub, The Boathouse,  overlooking the sandy beach at Instow in North Devon.  It is a small village off the tourist route with the most glorious sand dunes and views across the estuary to Appledore, a  picturesque Devon village with pastel coloured cottages dotted along the waterfront.  We would sit in the window of the pub and watch the sun cast its shadows over the green hills behind Appledore and watch the sail boats wafting by.  We would sit and discuss our spiritual experiences, our thoughts and our understanding of the greater picture of life.   She was totally convinced that we had shared many lifetimes before and that was why the bond between us was so strong, and the more I got to know her, the more I tended to agree.  Our experiences and our perceptions on life were far too similar.

After our coffee we’d normally go for a walk out to the water’s edge, and then wander along the seafront back to the car park.    Janet never once complained about my limited ability as I was not able to walk too far, but with rests on benches along the way I still managed to enjoy our walks.  She was very slim and what I would call ‘super fit’.  A keen surfer and swimmer, she had joined the local gym when she had moved to Bideford, and thought nothing of going surfing for a few hours then back to the gym to do even more exercise for a couple more hours.   Her idea of heaven was to go on a hiking holiday around the islands of Greece or in the highlands of Scotland.

One cold day in mid February, we had enjoyed a warming cuppa at The Boathouse, and having wrapped ourselves up in scarves, hats and thick gloves, we started walking out towards the sea. In a very short time Janet became unusually tired, she suddenly looked extremely pale.  She told me she thought she might be coming down with a virus and so we turned around and headed back to the car.  I drove her home and was concerned because she really didn’t look at all well.  I asked her to go to the doctor and she reluctantly agreed.  I went home and felt uneasy all afternoon.  Just before dinner Janet rang me, and I was so relieved to hear her voice, but I was shocked by what she told me.  She was in hospital.  The doctor had checked her heart and it was so slow he had called an ambulance immediately.  Janet explained that the consultant she had seen had told her that she would be having a pacemaker fitted the next day.  I was stunned by the news, but so pleased she was in the right place.

The following evening I went to visit her in the hospital and she was sitting on her bed looking happy and healthy.  Her colour was back to normal and she said she felt great.  She was laughing and telling me she had new rules to follow now that she had an electronic addition.  She said she couldn’t go through a security scanner in an airport, couldn’t stand next to a microwave and also that she would have to have the pacemaker removed if she wanted to be cremated when she died. Within a couple of days she was home and you would have never known she’s had anything wrong with her.

We resumed our walks on the beach and Janet carried on with her swimming and her gym workouts.  The only deference to her surgery was to give up the surfing until it was warmer.  The hospital was delighted with her  progress and she didn’t appear in the slightest bit concerned about having a pacemaker.  She was excited as she had just booked a hiking holiday with her brother.  They were going to Greece in later summer and were going to walk several miles along the coastline over the course of a few weeks.  She had thoroughly investigated the whole walk they were to undertake and was especially thrilled that it would culminate with a world-class opera performance in an open air amphitheatre.

I was at home in early March when I received a very distraught phone call from Janet.  She was at the hospital for a routine post-procedure check up to ensure that the wires of the pacemaker were in the correct place.  Part of the appointment was a chest X-ray.  She was told to sit and wait whilst the consultant checked her results and had been quite happy waiting as she was an avid reader and had taken a good book along with her.  She was obviously distressed when she rang and asked if I could go straight to her home to meet her when she returned from the hospital.  She said she didn’t want to talk about it from the hospital phone.

As soon as I saw her I just knew she was dreadfully worried.  She told me that the consultant had called her across to his desk and told her quite bluntly that he was seriously concerned with her X-ray and had made a further appointment with a chest specialist for the following morning as he felt something was majorly wrong.  With that unexpected news she was just given an appointment card and had been left on her own, absolutely bewildered.  She asked me if I would go with her the next day and of course I said I would.

We arrived at the chest department and were told to wait in a huge and very full waiting room.  Janet, who was normally such a confident and positive person, looked so nervous.  I prayed that the wait wouldn’t be too long.  She had already spent the whole night worrying about what may be wrong and said she had hardly slept, which wasn’t at all surprising.

Within just a few minutes we were called into the consultants office.  He had Janet’s chest X-Rays on a large illuminated board on the wall.  He was much kinder than the doctor she had seen the day before and very gently explained to her that both her lungs showed metastasis. He explained that she must have a primary tumour somewhere in her body and that the cancer had already spread to her lungs.    He told her that even if they found the primary site the secondary cancer had already spread too much for them to cure her.  It was a massive bombshell.  Janet  sat quietly, hardly uttering a word, visibly shaking,  with a look of fear I had never seen before.  He also said that even though he could offer chemotherapy it may only give her a few extra weeks and that the quality of her life would be reduced because of the treatment.  She immediately said that she wouldn’t take that option. He went on to explain that if she was fortunate she may have three months left to live, but he couldn’t guarantee that.  I felt utterly useless, there was nothing I could say or do to help her other than just being there.

With the words of the consultant still fresh in her mind it was evident that Janet was a crushed soul, I had to support her physically as we walked back to the car. I drove to a little pub overlooking the sea and we sat outside in the fresh air away from everyone.  For the first time since I’d known her she sat drinking brandy after brandy.  She was shaking so much she could hardly hold her glass,  all I could do was hold her hand and tell her that  I would be there for her.  We were both in a huge state of shock. It felt unreal. It was such a dreadful sad day.  I sat looking at my darling friend, such a beautiful person.  I was desperately trying to keep my own emotions in check, but failing miserably.  We hung on to each other, just sobbing and sobbing.  I couldn’t bear the thought of the pain and heartache that she faced and I couldn’t believe that my wonderful Janet was going to be leaving me. We had only known each just over two years and yet we truly were kindred spirits.

Over the next couple of months we spent an enormous amount of time together.  Janet’s appetite began to fade and the weight was falling off her already slender frame.  Braeburn apples became her favourite food and every time I visited she would ask that I bought her some.  I had never heard of them before, but it was so nice to see her enjoy eating, even if it was just fruit.  Her eyes gradually became sunken and her breathing laboured. We were fortunate to enjoy an unseasonably warm spring that year and spent much of the time sitting in her garden overlooking the countryside, watching the young lambs playing in the fields.  In her last weeks we discussed the afterlife and who would be meeting her, where she would be in the future and when we might meet again.  Just days before she passed to spirit she unexpectedly gave me a present, a book, The Alchemist, written by Paul Coelho.   She told me it was important that I read it.  I took it home, put it on the bookshelf and promised myself I would read it in the near future.

Janet’s brother and her two sons were visiting her over the weekend and I phoned her on Saturday, but could get no reply so had left her a message.  I had a prior engagement that evening and it wasn’t until the following morning that I checked my answer phone.  There was a beautiful message from Janet, spoken in short phrases between her gasps for breath.  She told me that she was sorry she’d missed my call but that she’d had a good day and that we would talk soon.  She also told me that she loved me. I rang her straight away and her brother answered the phone.  He was obviously upset and told me that Janet had died only a short while before I rang.  He said she had suffered a heart attack and that it was almost instant, and most importantly that she had not been in dreadful pain.  I put the phone down and just cried for hours, my heart-felt it had been ripped apart.  Even though I knew she was terminally ill, and I honestly thought I was prepared for her death, when it came to it I was not at all.  I had somehow convinced myself that she would still be around.  How could someone as vibrant and intelligent and funny and loving as Janet suddenly just not exist anymore?  How cruel. Life made no sense to me at that time. I felt lost without her.

Many years later I had a friend, Trudie, staying with me. Trudie  was a very good medium and worked as a communicator for spirit both privately and within the spiritualist church, often demonstrating her mediumship at services.  She walked into my bedroom one morning and just said “A woman is telling me braeburn apples and her name is Janet, does that mean anything to you?”  I was absolutely delighted because I hadn’t heard from Janet since she had passed to the spirit world.  “Yes”, I said, “it makes perfect sense.”  “Well”, said Trudie, “she is telling me that just before she died, the two of you were sitting in her garden in the sunshine”, “Yes” I replied, “and she is telling me that she gave you a present, a book”.  I was astounded at the accuracy of Trudie’s reading and confirmed what she was saying. “She is telling me that she told you it was important that you read the book, is that right?” she asked, “yes” I said, “I remember that well”, “She is telling me that you still haven’t read it and that it is even more important that you read it now”.  Wow, I thought, this was incredible. I spoke my thoughts aloud, knowing that Janet could hear me.  “I promise I will read it” I said.  She told Trudie to give me her love and then just went.  It was the shortness of the message that also spoke volumes to me because that is exactly how Janet would have said something she considered important when she was alive.

The next day, after Trudie left, I found the book and started reading.  I couldn’t put it down. I could see why Janet had been so insistent that I read it.  The book was wonderful and inspired me to look at where I was on my spiritual pathway, which spiritual teachers had been placed in my life, and most importantly, to recognise my destiny and  follow my dreams.

I was aware of Janet as I continued to read it, I could sense her approval, and see her twinkling eyes and her wonderful smile.  Due to personal circumstances in my life I had been ‘away’ from anything spiritual for a long while.   Her contact had come along at just the right time. I was sure the message was a huge nudge to get back on my rightful path,  as if she was saying “about time too, come on, get on with it!”.  I know Janet ‘s spirit is with me and that she is supporting me towards living my dream and pursuing my pathway.  Most importantly our friendship and our love lives on, we will always be kindred spirits.

http://www.paulocoelho.com

23) Learning to say yes!

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

All too often we hear the phrase “it’s just so tough learning to say no”.  Granted, it is one of the hardest lessons to learn, but what we often overlook is the other, and in my mind, equally difficult lesson, which is learning to say yes.  Not a tentative maybe, or not now, or possibly, but a positive, resounding, unequivocal, confident, yes!

How many times in our lives do we really want to try a new experience, but something in us makes us hold back?  Often it might be fear of failure, or, and this can be true also – it might actually be fear of succeeding.  We can all stay in the same place, in the same town, with the same friends or in the same job.  Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong in any of that, but it is a dreadful shame if you choose not to move or change your employment or the people in your life, because you are afraid of success!  Afraid of change. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  But look around you and see how many people you know who prefer to live a ‘safe’ life doing what they have always done, going where they have always been, eating what they have always eaten.  Then, they say that their life is dull or that they feel they missed opportunities. There are lots of them about.

I was on a wonderful week-long spiritual course run by Accolade Academy of psychic and mediumstic studies, in Margam, Wales.  Two of our course tutors, Debbie and Paul Rees, welcomed us all to the week with an uplifting and inspiring talk.  The students were split into two groups and I was with Debbie.  She asked us what we all hoped to achieve in the week and most of the responses were fairly standard for this type of course:  to strengthen our links with spirit, to learn to distinguish between our thoughts and those of spirit, and the answer that came up again and again,  to feel confident in our demonstration of spiritual communication.  She told us that the week was ours, it was only us who could push ourselves to the limit, it was only us who could choose how much to move ourselves forward.  It was only through practise, practise and more practise that we would feel confident. She rightly said that she couldn’t do the work for us, she could only facilitate our choices. She said it would be so sad if we went home wishing we had tried harder, wishing we had taken risks.  She said it was the perfect environment to test your skills, without fear of failure.

When she had finished talking she asked who of us, right there and then, would like to stand up and actually give a demonstration of our mediumship. I put my hand up. I was so surprised, because when I looked around I was the only one!  Hadn’t anyone else taken on board what she said? Someone always has to go first, but why was it me?  Was everyone else afraid of saying yes?

When you work with spirit you have to be able to say yes to them.  It would be all too easy to ignore them and just carry on with your earthly life.  But, the moment you say yes, they are very definitely there with you.  They know that you have acknowledged them and that you are willing to work with them. The very first time you tell someone that you have a spirit with you who wants to communicate, you have said yes, you will assist them.

The first time you do anything in your life you have in effect said yes.  Even at the very beginning of your life you are actually saying, yes, you will try eating solid foods. Imagine if you had said no, you would still only be drinking milk! When we are young and learning all about the world we say yes without even thinking about it. We say yes when new people come into our lives in the playground and want to be our friend. Yes, I will learn to skip, yes, I will learn to paint, yes, I will try peanut butter in my sandwich.  It’s all so easy when you are young.  Then as a teenager you say yes, you will listen to a new band, yes, you will try five-inch heels (if you’re a girl), yes, you will try a new hairstyle.  You get the gist of what I’m trying to say here.  But, there seems to come a time, when you have run out of yeses, maybe when you have become comfortable and settled and suddenly the yeses have become no’s.

I do wonder if children are more aware of spirit because of their open minds, because of their ease in saying yes to a new experience.  As we become older our awareness tends to shut down, but then so too does our ability to say yes. We seem to lose the zest for trying new things and I wonder why.  I did read a few years ago that people say that as they get older time appears to speed up and when they look back at when they were a child the days always seemed longer, time seemed slower. There is a thought that the reason for this is that everything takes on more importance when it feels new or when you are learning. If you look back over even the past month of your life can you say it went slowly or quickly? If you just carried on with your normal daily routines the chances are the month whizzed by, but had you started a new project or learnt a new skill, or went somewhere new, you might find that looking back, each day actually mattered, even the hours that you were involved with a new experience would seem far longer in your memory.

When I moved to Hampshire just over seven years ago, I didn’t know a soul apart from my sister and her husband.  Not being well made it difficult for me to get out and about and meet new people.  After several weeks of sitting watching tv with my sister and her family in the evenings, a friend suggested that I try internet dating.  My first instinct was to say no, but after much thought I decided why not and  joined a reputable site.  After several dates with the wrong men and two definitely wrong marriage proposals later, I was at the point of cancelling my membership.  However, one auspicious evening I decided to be quite forward and take at look at the men on the site instead of waiting for them to contact me.  One profile stood out from all the rest.  It wasn’t the usual ‘I love red wine and romantic moonlit walks by the beach’ type that I had read at least a hundred times.  This one had no photo and the profile was cheeky and funny and it was obvious the man didn’t take himself too seriously. I decided to send him a wink!  The next day he emailed me and introduced himself as Simon. What was amazing was that I had no idea where he lived when I had sent him the wink, but he lived only a five-minute drive away!  We got on really well and talked online for a while before I gave him my phone number.  After chatting on the phone he asked me out and I said yes.  When I met him he was absolutely great.  Simon and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary in March and he is still great!

Not all decisions have to be so life changing or mind-blowing. When I met Simon he offered me a chilli crisp.  Now I had never eaten a chilli in my life and must admit my first thought was a resounding no. I had tried a prawn curry years ago and absolutely hated it and thought all ‘hot’ food would taste the same,  but then I thought, why not, I only have to try one.  Much to my surprise I loved it.  Since we have been together I have learnt several new recipes that include chillies and can’t imagine not having them now. In fact my beef chilli has become a firm family favourite and has been requested, again, for the family get together on boxing day!

When someone asks you to try something, anything, that is new or different, why not just say, without a moment’s hesitation, yes.  How many wonderful experiences pass us by because we hesitate, and then, in an instant, the moment is gone, sometimes never to be repeated? Yes?

16) I’m going to post a blog a day!

Inspirational Barnstar

WordPress have this wonderful idea – Post a Blog a Day!  They even give you a nice little intro that you can copy and post to your blog – but of course, when I tried, it refused to paste, so here is my version:

Having weaved my way around the WordPress site, trying to glean tips for the a new blogger, I somehow came across what is termed The Daily Post.  Its is full of inspiring ideas to help us bloggers blog a little more.  To begin with we have to add widgets and tags and things, some of which I find more than a little formidable.  I have read, re-read and read again the easy to use instructions, and as the intelligent woman I still try to consider I am, I find I am still none the wiser.

I have, as instructed,  pointed my mouse at the widget picture and clicked and then gone backwards and forwards to my blog ‘dashboard’ (that’s the technical word for the technical background bit of my blog, a bit like an engine for a car) and clicked here and there and have still found I haven’t got the widget I need.  It’s so much like my car, I know where the pedals are and the steering wheel, but put me under the bonnet and I have no idea what is what! I have learnt more about tags in the last couple of weeks, but I’m not quite sure of the difference between a tag and a category, so I always end up with a mixture of the two.  My ever helpful husband, advised me to keep a list of tags and categories on my desktop so that it would be easy for me to find for future use.  Hmmm, I’m sure it would be if I knew where on earth my computer had saved them.  I’ve made several lists of tags and categories now and can never find them again.  There must be a mass of lists somewhere in my laptop that I’m sure one day will come to light, but for the moment at least they are very much hidden.

So, to get back to this wonderful innovative idea of ‘post a blog a day’.  The challenge is to find inspiration from ideas that the Daily Post will give us bloggers, and then be able to write about it.  To me it sounds very much like a class I took with the Accolade Academy in Margam, Wales, with the most wonderful spiritual tutor, Tony Stockwell.

He had the bright idea that each of us would choose a random word and then someone in the class would have to talk about it for at least five minutes.  You couldn’t prepare this talk, or do any kind of background research, it had to be totally off the cuff and ideally inspired by spirit.  We all had to have a go, and I must say it was good fun once you get over the ‘I’m sounding like a total idiot’ phase.   The problem was, that unknown to us students, Tony was walking around the class listening in and was deciding who he would choose to demonstrate inspired speaking to the whole course on the final night.  He walked up to me with a big smile on his face and told me I was going to be one of his chosen students!  It was more than a little daunting, he told us that we could talk about absolutely any word at all, for at least five minutes.

The other classes on the course also had students that had been chosen by their tutors and the evening before the ‘performance’ I could see everyone busily writing notes and discussing their ideas.  I thought I must have the wrong idea, because I had not prepared anything at all.  I guessed that if it was supposed to be inspired then you should leave it to spirit and trust them to inspire you. I went to bed that night concerned that maybe I should have spent the evening in preparation instead of chatting socially with friends.  I spoke to Tony the next morning and asked him if I had got it wrong. He laughed and said, no, it was supposed to be inspired and no preparation was necessary.

In a way that sounded too easy and too terrifying all at the same time.  The whole day my tummy was full of butterflies, not gently fluttering away, no, these butterflies had boots on and were stampeding around, and I was dreading the moment I would be called to talk.  As we all took our seats I thought that I would feel better once I had seen a few others give their talks, but little did I know that I was to be called up first!  Looking back though it is a bit like having a dentists appointment first thing in the morning.  You get it over and done with and can then get on with enjoying your day.

I had been visibly shaking at the thought of standing up in front of all these people, my stomach was churning, my mouth was dry and my palms were sweaty. Amazingly as soon as my name was called and I walked to the front, a feeling of calm came over me.  I still had no idea what I was going to talk about.  There was a stand by the side of me with a description of all that Accolade Academy offers its students.  “Understanding your Awareness”, was one of the phrases that caught my eye.  Suddenly I was off, chatting about awareness.  I don’t know how long I spoke for, and to be honest I can barely remember what I said, but I did feel it flowed and was certainly inspired.  Phew, was I pleased when I could sit down.

So, I am going to try to approach this ‘blog a day’ challenge in exactly the same way.   All I have to do is trust that spirit will inspire me …. they have never let me down yet!

13) Everlasting Love

Love

I have been asked many times about the love we share with our partners, whether we are formally married or sharing our life with someone we love. The question that invariably comes up is this:  how,  if you love someone so very much,  can you manage to love someone else after they die?

This is something I often thought about,  having known several people who had obviously loved their husbands or wives, but had then successfully managed to find love with someone else.  Maybe they enjoyed such a wonderful relationship with their first partner that they hope to experience the same again.  There are of course also those who sadly never love anyone again.  This could be for many reasons.  Maybe they feel that they would be unable to risk losing someone they love all over again, and aren’t prepared to put themselves in the position of going through that pain once more.  Or, do they feel that their love was so strong it is irreplaceable?  Or might it be that they feel they would be being unfaithful to their past love?  This final thought is most probably the question I have been asked the most.  Would their partner in spirit feel they were being betrayed if they went on to love another?

When I was up in Scotland quite a few years ago, I was communicating with the husband, in spirit, of a woman who was distraught because she missed him so much.  She felt that it was wrong that she could ever be happy again without him.  She was concerned that he would feel that she hadn’t really loved him if she ever found love again.  I could feel the warmth of her husband coming through as he spoke to me.  He loved his wife very much and it pained him considerably to see her so lonely and unhappy.  He wanted her to be able to feel love once more.  I tried to convey this to her, but I really wasn’t sure that she believed me.

When I was back home, as I was washing up after dinner,  I heard his distinctive Scottish accent.  He asked me to send a poem he had written to his wife.  I was most surprised as I had never had such a request before.  This is exactly as he said:

Two hearts searching and look what we found, a love that is forever, that nothing can impound

You know I always loved you, you were the only girl for me, we shared our life on earth and shall be together, eternally

I hear your thoughts, I see your tears, I am concerned at your pain, but please know my darling, we will be together again

I shall look over you and gradually see your hurt subside, as the months turn into years, please know I’ll still be at your side

You still have a life to lead, and this I understand, you have to make your own choices and make your own plans

I love you so very much but I want you to feel free, and I know that you’ll never forget me as I live on in your memory

You will not stop loving me, I know that in my heart, but you may find someone to comfort you whilst we are apart

My dearest wish is your happiness whilst you live out your life, you may even marry again and become another’s wife

I give you my blessings for a life full of love, whilst I watch over you with joy from above

Knowing that you love me keeps my spirit alive, knowing that you are loved should help you to thrive.

I sent it to his wife who replied to me.  She said it was exactly as he would have put it and she felt for the first time since he’d  died that she could be free of guilt and able to move on and find happiness in her life.

To me, the poem from this man to his wife showed the deepest form of pure unselfish love.  Surely we all hope that our loved ones are happy and fulfilled.

The poem remained in my files for a long time until recently, one morning,  I suddenly felt that I should read it once more.

That very evening I was out with my husband and happened to be in close proximity to a couple of women who were talking.  I couldn’t help but overhear that one of them had recently been widowed, she spoke about going to see a stage medium but not receiving a message,  and it was obvious she was very unhappy.  I knew her husband’s spirit was with her right there at that very moment. Without even thinking about it I found myself explaining to her that I was a medium and telling her that her husband was beside her.  I could sense that he wanted me to give her a copy of the poem as it exactly conveyed his sentiments.  I asked for her phone number and I said I would call her.

I was, funnily enough, washing up the next evening and saw a vision of a man driving a lorry. I knew instinctively it was the lady’s husband.  He was urging me to phone her. Try as I might I couldn’t glean any more information from him and I was sure that he hadn’t communicated with a medium before.  As I went to ring her I faintly heard the name Natalie. I rang the lady and asked if her husband had been a lorry driver and she confirmed that he had.  I asked if she had an email address so that I could email the poem to her.  She said she didn’t, but she passed me to her daughter in law who gave me her email address, Natalie ………@yahoo.co.uk!  To me her name was further confirmation of  just  how important it was that I send the words.  I do hope that they helped her come to terms with the possibility of moving forward in her life and allowing herself to find love and happiness once again.

Isn’t it just amazing how spirit work?   How wonderful that I was inspired to read that poem that particular morning and then that I met that lady that same night?  It is often said that spiritual communications are based on pure love and the more I have experienced, the more I know that love continues and is everlasting.

If you feel that these words may help someone who feels the same about betraying a loved one in spirit, please feel free to copy it and send it with my blessing.

.

12) Inspirational Meditation

Ocean

On one of my courses at the Arthur Findlay College, Stansted, many years ago, I was fortunate enough to be in the class of Nora Moray-Stringer.  She is truly one of the most delightful women I have ever met. She has a calm surrounding her, a dignity, an aura of kindness, lightness and spirituality that is all-encompassing.  Her voice is like a crystal, so clear and pure.  I could listen to her all day.

As a tutor she would not stand for any nonsense, but she was as fair as she was strict.  She taught that to work with spirit you must respect them and yourself.  She would always push you for the highest standards of evidence within your mediumship.

I remember once describing a room that I was seeing.  I thought I was doing quite well as I described the furniture.  I mentioned a tall glass cupboard which the recipient could accept, but that wasn’t good enough for Nora!  She intervened and asked me to look within the cupboard and describe the items that I saw.  I looked and could see cups an saucers.  That was still not good enough!  She asked me to give a detailed account of the colours and patterns on them.  To my amazement I managed to do this and the woman I was communicating for could confirm that the information was totally correct.  As I said, Nora was not a pushover in any way, but my goodness, she moved my mediumship abilities far higher than I ever thought possible.  Even now, so many years later, I always try to work to her exacting standards and often hear her in my mind asking for better evidence.

In one of her classes she told us we would be sitting in a meditation and asking for inspirational words.  I had never done that before and didn’t hold out much hope of receiving very much at all.  I had been sitting with my eyes closed, listening to her voice as she led us on a journey, when I was aware of being touched lightly on the back of my head.  I now know that it is my writing guides special sign that they are about to give me words to write down, but at the time I wondered what on earth it was.  Had I not been in a meditation at the time I would have felt my head, but as it was I couldn’t do that and just had to sit with this odd feeling.  Sure enough I began to hear words, beautiful words that I knew weren’t from me. Nora was explaining that we should remember them and write them down when the meditation was over.  I was desperately trying to remember, but felt sure that I would lose them by the time we were finished.  When she bought us back into the room we all hurriedly wrote down what we had heard. I knew I had forgotten some of the verses, but managed to write down the first four lines.

She explained that we would each read out loud that which we had just received. Then she added a twist – she always did!  We  would then have to go to the huge table in the window and from maybe thirty or forty books scattered across it, just choose one that we were immediately drawn to.  We  had to stand at the front of the class, open the book we had chosen at a random page and read what we first saw.  The correlation between the passages that were read and the writings other pupils  had received was amazing.  I nervously picked up a large heavy book in a brown cover and was astonished when I opened it and read a passage that was something about breathing into the light, breathing to enhance our auras. I can’t recollect the exact words, but I was dumbfounded considering what I had just read out to the class:

Breathe gently into the sea of light, The blue cascades, shimmering and bright

Breathe softly through the lilac mist, The touch of love, the gentle kiss

Breathe calmly over the mist of time, Hold yourself strong and feel sublime

The breath you hold within your heart, Fills your life and keeps you part

Of the universe in which you stay, The brightest star by night and day

I knew there were more verses, but at the time I couldn’t retrieve them from my mind.  It was a couple of weeks later as I was sitting quietly that I heard the beginning of the words again.  I went and got a pen and paper and wrote down the rest of it, just as I had been told in my meditation.  The next time I went to Stansted I took the words with me and read them to Nora.

As silent as a feather flight, As gentle as the touch of silk

Hold close your truths, your ivory hand, The pen of thoughts, the spirits command

Breathe in the oceans, breathe in the lands, Breathe in the earth, the stones and the sand

Fill yourself with the sky above, The sun and moon, and above all, love

Feed yourself from plates of gold, Fill cups of silver in which you hold

The essence of life’s mysteries, The completed pages of histories.

Hold lightly the hand that touches your soul.

Whenever I have read these words they have taken my mind straight back into that classroom with Nora, and her overriding message, to work with a sincere and high regard for spirit  and to work to your highest possible standard of mediumship.  I promise Nora, I will never forget!

To me these words are almost meditative and I always feel a wonderful sense of calm and a deep connection to the earth, the universe and to spirit when I read them.

I hope that all who read them now will enjoy them and be aware of whatever emotions they invoke.

11) Did Spirit Foresee this Blog????

Computer-globe

Approximately ten years ago I attended one of my first week-long residential courses at the wonderful Arthur Findlay College in Stansted, Essex.  It is a world-renowned centre of excellence for the education and training of spiritual and psychic unfolding and all kindred disciplines.  Tutors at the College are first class and leaders in their fields.

The tutors offered private one to one readings which could either be a spiritual reading, where the tutors guides link with your guides and offer advise concerning your spiritual development, or you could have a mediumship reading where they link with spirits of loved ones or friends you knew who have passed over.

I had been chronically ill for a number of years and it had taken me weeks of rest to enable me to attend.  I had become increasingly frustrated knowing that I could communicate with spirit, but had no idea how I could possibly be used by them because of my ongoing health problems.  I knew it was impossible for me to organise one to one readings as there was no guarantee I would be well enough to keep the appointments. I also knew that any kind of platform work, demonstrating to the public, was also just not possible for the same reason. On this particular occasion I really felt that a spiritual reading would be more beneficial to me.  I hoped so much to learn how my guides felt my future with spirit may lie.

I carefully considered which tutor to choose to carry out the reading.  I had never met Paul Jacobs before and knew that he had absolutely no prior knowledge about me, my health problems or my level of spiritual development.  Having only just read his name on a list I too had no pre-conceived ideas of the type of person he would be either.

Immediately I met Paul I was aware of a strong sense of discipline within him and he exuded a level of experience which gave me confidence in his reading. Within a few minutes he was conveying messages from spirit and telling me about the exact senses that I was fortunate enough to be able to use to contact spirit.

He then started to talk to me concerning the inspirational writing which I had recently been receiving from spirit.  I felt that he was initially trying to advise me that often people think they are receiving inspirational words from spirit but they are in fact utilising their own inner wisdom from their higher selves. As he said this to me I must admit I felt rather deflated as I had been so delighted to be a receiver of some inspiring and thought-provoking messages.  I had been told by my writing guide that the messages would be modern and straight forward.  It was impressed on me that in these modern times there would be no need for thee and thous, no need for fancy prose, which made sense to me.  Paul had stopped talking for what seemed like forever, as I was hanging on his every word, impatient for more information.

It was obvious to me that he was listening intently to his guide/s and he wanted to ensure that he communicated the correct message.  He eventually began talking to me again and I was thrilled when he advised me that he had been told that I was indeed receiving inspirational writings direct from spirit.  He went on to tell me that I would receive important and educational information that was not just for me but for everyone. He said that I would be writing in the years ahead and that these words would literally be read around the world! At the time I could not see any way at all in which this could happen.

Near the end of the course the tutors held a wonderful evening service in The Sanctuary complete with candles and very lovely music playing in the background.  The atmosphere was amazing. Paul was standing at the front with the other tutors and held a basket in his hands.  We were told that the basket contained cards with one important word written on each of them. Another tutor asked all of us students to line up and put our hand in the basket and, without looking, pick a card.  We were told that this particular word would mean something spiritually. I lined up and picked my word, which was Knowledge.  Paul saw the card and smiled at me, and told me in his very distinctive voice, that it was absolutely the right card for me.

Unfortunately my health problems increased and other serious family issues kept me away from anything spiritual for a very long time.  Every time I felt that I could go forward another problem would present itself and I would be thwarted again.  Now, so many years later, I am in a very different place in my life.  I am married to an extremely patient and gentle man who insists that I use what little energy I have to enjoy my life, which for me is becoming involved, even in a very small way, with anything spiritual.  At the time of my reading with Paul, the internet for personal use was still quite new and very many people I knew at the time didn’t have their own computers at home.  Now nearly everyone has a computer, blogs have become commonplace and are an excellent platform for the budding writer.  It only just dawned on me a few weeks or so ago that I could use a blog to write about my spiritual experiences and in time I know I will be able to write about the wonderful messages I receive from spirit.

I have been amazed at the correspondence that I have already received since publishing my first blog.  I had no idea that it would be read in such far-flung places as China, Russia, America, Canada etc.  As I have sat reading the emails, Paul’s words have been echoing in my head “these words would literally be read around the world”.  Goodness, how right that was.

4) Put a shirt on!

Pleiades Star Cluster

Image via Wikipedia

I have often wondered about the ‘dreams’ or what I prefer to call ‘visits’ that I’ve had for over 40 years now.  In my sleep state I have often spent time with relatives and friends who have passed to spirit.  Sometimes we just sit and chat and at other times we sing and dance, or my favourite, we fly, plane free, over the most beautiful countryside, over the sea or even up into the darkness of the universe, the wind rushing past us as we effortlessly fly past shining stars.  There are two  main differences I have noticed between these experiences and ‘dreams’ .  Firstly I remember that I am aware that they have passed from this physical life, in fact we often discuss it at the time, and secondly,  I have vivid recollections of these’ visits’ and years and years later I can still remember every moment of them.

A couple of weeks ago my good friend Kay loaned me a wonderful thought-provoking book. It was the kind of book I just couldn’t put down, it just made me think so much.  One of the chapters was about astral travel, something I admit I have never really been interested in, but the book was so good I thought I might as well read it.  I was stunned to find similar  examples of my own ‘dream/visit’ experiences and was really excited to read that you could actually ask spirit to travel to you before you fell asleep at night.  So all tucked up, next to my unsuspecting, sceptical husband Simon, I said my usual prayers and then remembered to ask my spirit family to travel to visit me.  I didn’t even think to mention it to Simon.

At three in the morning I was awoken by Simon literally leaping out of bed, racing round the bed to the bedroom door and putting the main light on.  I was shocked!  I asked what he was doing.  He told me that I had been in the doorway and I couldn’t see because it was dark so he had to put the light on.  I laughed and told him I’d been asleep and told him to come back to bed. I didn’t even think about the request I’d put in with spirit a few hours earlier.

The next evening I went to my regular development circle run by my friend Annette.  She was standing outside with other members of the circle as I arrived.  She was obviously excited and couldn’t wait to talk to me.  She told me that she had been aware of being in my house in the middle of the night! Then she went on to tell me  that she had seen Simon (with no clothes on!) and had told him to put a shirt on.  She said that there had been quite a gathering and she had wondered why she was there.  I was stunned and couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing.  I was covered in goose bumps, which I call truth bumps, which for me are always a sign of a spiritual truth. Her face was an absolute picture as I then told her what had happened in the night and especially when I told that I had specifically asked for my spirit family to visit that night.  She was struggling to come to terms with what had appeared to have happened.  We were both just so amazed.

I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Simon.   In his typical sceptical way he said it must have been a coincidence.  I asked him how many times in his lifetime he had jumped out of bed and put the main light on.  He admitted he never had before.

A few days later Annette was discussing the events of that night with a good spiritual friend of hers and said she had been wondering why on earth she would have been in my house that night. She told her friend that I had asked for my spiritual family to visit and her friend told her that it make perfect sense as she is most probably a member of my soul group.  When Annette told me I was again covered in my truth bumps, the explanation made so much sense to me.

Annette decided it would be a great idea to set up an astral travel experiment and Kay agreed.  Now every night before we go to sleep, all three of us ask if we can astral travel together.  Kay really fancies popping off to Hawaii, a place she visited and loved on holiday.  Every morning we contact each other and compare notes.  So far, not one of us has any recollections of travelling anywhere, but there is still that wonderful anticipation  every night that we could all end up in our hula skirts on a sun-kissed beach!

3) Puzzling?

Over the years I have attended countless awareness groups, workshops, lectures and circles in my quest to perfect my link with spirit.

My ideal  link would be in the manner of a telephone call … “Hello, may I ask whose calling?”  would be my opening line and I would hope for a response that would be along the lines of “Hello,  I am Bobs sister, my name is Hayley Brown, I was 23 years old when I passed to spirit on 18th October 1996, I had been in a car accident whilst on holiday in Majorca, I was 5′ 6″, very slim, very short blonde hair, green eyes, I loved to snorkel and played a guitar, my Mother was Ivy and she is here with me now.”

Wouldn’t that be wonderful, to receive such clarity, such overwhelming evidence from spirit, just like that?  Within a few moments you could pretty much guarantee that the information would be accepted.  But, for me at least, it’s not like that, I have to use so many different senses to extract as much information as possible.

I never know if  my first impression will be hearing, seeing, knowing, sensing or even smelling or a mixture of any of these. I am rarely told or shown who the recipient is either. The information I receive doesn’t seem to follow any set pattern, so for one link I may be shown a map and then it will zoom in to an area or even a town, another time the first thing I may notice is a wonderful smell of coffee or a favourite perfume.

On one particular occasion whilst demonstrating to a small group I had nothing except the song Forever and Ever being played over and over in my head, and not knowing who had sung it, or even the title of the song, I had no option but to impress my audience with a very poor rendition of Demiss Roussos.   They say that laughter lifts the energy and there was certainly a lot of laughter after that!  Thankfully the song meant an enormous amount to a lady and along with other evidence that I could give her she was very happy that her Mum was with us in spirit that evening.

Worse still was when all I felt was the way someone danced.  Imagine the embarrassment of having to stand up in front of people and start dancing in a very peculiar manner, hoping that someone would (very quickly) recognise who was coming through.  Thankfully someone accepted this straight away.

No matter what I try to do, it is as if I have to give out that first piece of information before I am ‘fed’ the next piece of the puzzle. If I try to ignore the first impression I just get stuck and can rarely go any further with the reading, so I have to say or show what I am impressed with before the next piece arrives which will invariably be something totally different, using various senses and so on.

Teachers have advised me to always ask for certain pieces of information, the relationship to the recipient for example, but even when I ask I am then impressed with something totally different, which could be a picture of an old blue car, a smell of burning rubber or all I will feel is that this spirit loved to cycle everywhere!

So, why does this happen? Why is there not a set of rules that spirit is aware of, that they could all adhere to? Why make life so tricky for us who are trying to work with spirit? It seems to me that everyone I meet works in a different way with their guides, helpers or loved ones, in fact whoever is helping them, spirit-side, with their ongoing development of their relationship with spirit.

A standard spiritual curriculum would be jolly handy.  As in our academic schools, whichever school a child attends, the parents know that the teaching method will be pretty much the same, the syllabus will be followed.  If we are taught to bake a cake we all know that there is a customary set of ingredients and a well-tried and tested recipe for what you do to achieve the best results.

So for me, for the time being, I just try to gather all the pieces of the puzzle, by whichever method is available to me at the time, and with my fingers firmly crossed, hope that someone (anyone!) can take the information and will understand.

%d bloggers like this: