49) The Power of Music

Lyrics – To Where you Are – sung by Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you’re still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory’s so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You’re still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are my
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn’t faith believing
All power can’t be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
‘Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while
To know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

I attended a weeks mediumship course at the Arthur Findlay College in Stansted several years ago with my friend Trudie.  As always it had been an emotional time with most of us receiving wonderful messages from our loved ones in spirit, and most of us also giving messages to other students.  Being a medium and giving such messages can be quite overwhelming at times when you know the impact that it may have on the recipient.

It had been a fantastic time where we had all moved forward leaps and bounds, both in our links with spirit and in our confidence in feeling at ease enough to stand and give demonstrations to an audience of other students, who are normally our harshest critics!

My tutor that particular week was the very wonderful Janet Parker.  She is an extremely spiritual woman and whenever I have been blessed with being in her class I have always felt that she gives each and every one of her students as much support as possible.  I don’t think many people appreciate the challenges that we mediums put ourselves through when we attend these courses.  It is not as if you can revise to ensure that you manage to maintain a link with spirit, or that you can practise on your own, or that you can read manuals.  It really is just a case of putting yourself forward to serve spirit in the best possible way you can.  It is a case of learning to allow your mind to become still  so that you can connect to spirit without all the day-to-day activities, planning, worries, and the general hum drum taking over your thoughts. You have to be totally trusting when you open your awareness to make contact with spirit.  Sometimes you may hear spirit, or feel them, or see visions in your mind’s eye, and you have to  give the information you are given without adding your own thoughts or ideas. It is quite a discipline to learn.  It is not until you try to do this for hours on end that you realise how difficult it can be to overcome all the nagging thoughts that suddenly rush into your head and scream to be heard!

Being in such a spiritual environment does seem to bring out the very best in my mediumship.  I am sure that spirits are drawn to the place like moths around a light bulb.  There is never a shortage of loved ones who are trying to get their messages conveyed through the students and it really does make the courses so worthwhile.  The tutors guide you gently towards achieving the very best mediumship you can manage and offer tips and ideas to ensure that you develop to your highest potential.

This particular week was very special as on the very first night I had received the most exact and  evidential messages from both my parents through one of the tutors and then also throughout the week from several of the students. I had been going through a very tough time in my personal life and really felt  the messages that I was fortunate enough to receive showed that I still had my parents around me, still loving me and supporting me and offering their advise.  Each reading I had received had contained different evidence that no-one there could have possibly known.  I felt incredibly blessed.

As the week came to a close I felt sad that I would be leaving.  Not only would I miss the teachings and the practising of my mediumship, but I knew it was unlikely that I would be in a position to receive any further communications from my parents for quite some while.  Janet, and Paul Jacobs, another tutor, had organised a closing ceremony in The Sanctuary, a beautiful church attached to the college where spiritual services are held on a regular basis. It has a fantastic uplifting atmosphere and I’ve always loved being there, you can almost feel arms wrapped around you as you walk in. They told us that we weren’t allowed to attend until 8pm as they had some preparations to complete.  Trudie and I hadn’t really given the evening too much thought as most final evenings are nice, but not anything out of the ordinary.

When we walked into the Sanctuary, just after 8pm, we were greeted by the most wonderful vision of beautiful materials and oriental rugs laid on the floor running down the centre of the church. Incense sticks were burning and candles flickered in the darkness. Hundreds of small unlit tealight candles had been placed on the materials and chairs were placed either side running the length of the Sanctuary.  There was a  hush of anticipation as we students all filed in quietly, taking our seats whilst gentle music was playing.

Trudie and I sat next to each other about midway down the room.  Janet and Paul both gave a talk about the week we had just experienced and thanked spirit for their participation in our teachings.  Janet then instructed the students sitting at the end of the rows to light a candle for each loved one they had in spirit, then the lighter was to be passed to the next student, then the next etc. By the time it came to Trudie and I most of the candles were already lit and the Sanctuary looked absolutely amazing.  I lit candles for my Mum, for my Dad, for my brother, for my friend Janet, and not wishing to look greedy, lit another jointly for all  my aunts. uncles and grandparents in spirit.  Trudie too lit candles for those she had loved and lost, including her cousin Robert whom she missed so much.

When all the candles were lit Janet asked us to close our eyes. She asked us to give thanks to our guides and loved ones for helping us through the week and for allowing us to experience the love from spirit  that we had all shared. Whilst our eyes were closed, and we were sitting in the candle light, Janet put on the music, To Where You Are, performed by Josh Groban.  I had never heard this before and was lost in the beautiful words that meant so much to me.  I couldn’t help but start crying, both because of the joy of knowing my loved ones were so close and also because of the pain and loss at realising that I can’t always reach out and touch them, speak to them, or hold them as I once did. I felt around in my pocket for a tissue and all I had was an old crumpled one.  I thought it would have to do, and then I realised Trudie was crying too, she whispered to me “Do you have a tissue?”, I only had the one, so I tore it in half, and there we were, the two of us, holding hands and using half a tissue each to mop our tears.

Whenever I listen to this beautiful song, as I often do, I am taken straight back to the Sanctuary, to the love and connection I felt with spirit, to the knowledge that I know how very fortunate I am to have my loved ones in spirit still so close to me …. and then, when the emotion becomes almost just too much to bear …. to the old crumpled tissue that my friend Trudie and I shared!

47) Mixed Blessings

Sword 01

There have been several instances in my life where being aware of more than just our physical lives has sometimes felt like a double-edged sword.

When I was in my early twenties  my ex and I lived in Twickenham and we would often drive along Richmond Road to Richmond.  One day we drove past a truck with a lift attached to the back.  I have no idea what they are called, but they have a small cage which normally has one or two men in it whilst they carry out maintenance to the street lamps.  As we drove towards the truck I could see a film in my head of the cage being hit by a double-decker bus.  I felt sick in my stomach and without realising it had let out a very loud “oh my God”.  He asked me what the problem was and I told him what I had just seen in my head.  He kind of tutted and said it would be fine.  It was quite a long road and before the road went to the left round a bend I looked out of the back window back towards the truck.  I could see a bus coming along and then to my horror it hit the cage.  I gasped and shouted “oh no, you have to stop” but my ex was in busy traffic. He said that as the road was busy there would be lots of people to help.  I think he expected me to just carry on as normal but I just couldn’t. 

In August 1990 I was working and living in Okehampton, Devon.  Working so close to home meant that I could go home for lunch and give myself a welcome break from the pressure of my work.  I remember one day so very well.  I had sat down to eat a sandwich, put the television on and saw that the lunchtime news was giving information about a missing little girl.  She was only eight years old and very strangely had been taken through an open window of a caravan whilst she and her family were on holiday in Bridport, Dorset.  As I watched I felt so worried for her and concerned for her family. I doubt that anyone can imagine how it must feel to know that your child has been taken and you have no idea where she is, or even whether she is dead or alive.

Oddly, as I watched the footage of a line of police officers scouring the local fields for any evidence, I had another movie playing in my head.  I could see the little girl in a derelict house with a young  man and she was frightened and crying.  Most importantly she was alive.  I felt the man was mentally unstable and that concerned me more than anything.  Then, just as suddenly as the ‘movie’ had started, it stopped and I was back to watching tv again. I was quite taken aback and really thought that it was just wishful thinking.

There was a part of me that thought I should do something about the pictures I had just seen, but the logical part of me disregarded the nagging voice in my head, and so I put it to one side and went back to work.  Throughout the afternoon though I kept seeing the same movie over and over again, and no matter how I tried to ignore it, it just wouldn’t go away. Finally, by the time I had finished work and went home I was beginning to think I was going mad.  I was sure that by now they would have found the girl and as soon as I got indoors I put the tv on to see the evening news.  Again, they showed the police looking for her, and yet again in my head I was shown the house she was in.

I had a lurching feeling in my stomach as if I had just been given some bad news. I realised then that I couldn’t sit and do nothing and so I decided to phone my local police station. I had half expected them to tell me not to waste their time, and was in fact already wondering what else I could do if that was the case. Much to my surprise the man who answered the phone listened patiently and told me they would send a detective to come and see me. Even more surprising was that he arrived only about ten minutes later.

As I opened the door a wave of embarrassment came over me, I told him that he most probably would think I was totally crazy  but I just knew I had to do something and didn’t know what else to do other than phone the police.  He was actually very nice and told me that having been in the police service for a number of years nothing surprised him anymore. He asked me to describe the house and the young man I had seen and also asked if I could draw the house for him.  I tried my best to explain everything in the greatest detail I could, I  managed to draw a rough sketch of the house and signed a formal police statement. As he left I literally prayed that someone somewhere would take notice of the information and that they would start to search houses for the little girl rather than looking in the countryside for a corpse.  I really felt that time was running out and that they had been looking in the wrong place.

I hardly slept that night, and again, first thing in the morning put on the tv to see the news.  The little girl had still not been found.  I felt I had no option but to drive the 65 miles to Bridport.  I was hoping against hope that I would somehow be able to spot the house, and if I did I had planned to then inform the police.  I drove around for hours, but didn’t see any houses like the one I had seen in my vision. I sadly and wearily drove back to Okehampton. A huge part of me felt I had let the little girl down and I was becoming concerned that the video I had seen in my head seemed to have gone away. I just prayed that nothing dreadful had happened to her.  I was glued to the tv all evening and  there was still no news.

Again I had a restless night.  I was puzzling why I could no longer see the pictures in my mind and also wondering if I had somehow imagined the whole thing.  At last the morning arrived and the first thing I did was put the television on.  Still no news.  I went to work, struggling to stay awake and to stay calm but with my tummy continually churning, which I have learnt over the years is a physical response I have when spirit is close.

Thankfully that day the little girl was found, safe and well.  I was absolutely amazed when they showed the house on the tv and zoomed in – it was exactly the derelict house I had described to the police. Also, as I had told them,  she was with a young man who was later found guilty of kidnap and imprisoned in a secure mental health unit. I now wonder if my visions had stopped because I had done all I could.  I doubt if I will ever really know.

As expected I never did hear anymore from the police on this, but I do hope that my statement made them realise, for the future at least, that it is worth listening to information from mediums.

After  this event I seemed to go through a couple of years where many times, especially when a child went missing, I would be shown the most sad and often harrowing scenes but I was not given any further information.   I would also watch tv interviews of families where children had gone missing and know instinctively who was responsible, but with no evidence to back it up I couldn’t contact anyone.  I just knew that there was nothing I could do. On each occasion my ‘knowing’ was proved right. Eventually I asked my guides not to let me have  information if there was no action I could take to help  and thankfully those kind of visions stopped. 

On the plus side, when I was learning to drive in deepest Devon, many of my lessons were on very narrow winding roads. Very often my driving instructor would comment on my sixth sense as I would often be happily whizzing along for miles, then I would just know to slow down and pull over, and sure enough a car would always come the other way. I had several lessons with my good friend Jeanette and she became really spooked by my unusual awareness. On so many occasions I would know exactly what other cars were going to do, even if their signals and road position indicated otherwise. One time we were behind queuing cars at traffic lights and I was supposed to get in the empty right hand lane to turn right, but I held back. Jeanette told me to move forward but I insisted that the car at the lights, indicating left and with his wheels already pointing in that direction, would be pulling across in front of me. Jeanette laughed and just thought I was being daft. Sure enough though, as the lights changed, the car in the left hand lane suddenly swung to the right and tore off at great speed.

Almost thirty years ago I had a wonderful spiritual reading, by telephone, with a medium I had never met. Straight away she asked me if I ever felt ‘cobwebs’ on my face as I was driving. I said yes. it was quite normal for me, and she went on to explain that it was a sign that my maternal Grandfather was with me. She told me he was a lorry driver in his life time and he was looking after me. She knew nothing about me, but she was right, he had been a lorry driver, and since that time whenever I feel ‘cobwebs’ on my face I say thank you to my Grandfather. This has happened so many times, and still does, I really feel I am so fortunate to have him watching over me.

Over the years I have learnt to trust spirit and the visions I have which have rarely been incorrect.  I have sometimes wondered if my life would have been easier had I not been so aware, but in reality I wouldn’t change a thing.  My connections with spirit have made such an enormous and positive difference to my life and hopefully, at times, have helped others along the way too.  If through my awareness, even  just a few people have been touched by the love of spirit and the knowledge that our lives, right now, are only part of our souls journey, then I feel truly blessed.

45) The Glass Man

My Dad was  a research scientific glassblower.  He had trained after he returned from serving in the war and after many years as an apprentice went to work for an oil company in their refinery. 

As a young girl I was mesmerised when I would spend hours with Dad in the garden shed as he made all different objects in glass.  He would normally be making atomisers by the dozen, something he did to help pay for the very old car he and Mum had managed to buy.  It was always going wrong and to pay all the garage bills Dad would take on extra work in the evenings and on weekends.

In his shed  he had shelves filled with glass of all different colours and would make small ornaments for us.  He’d ask us what we’d want and we’d excitedly shout out cat or dog or horse and within minutes the glass would be transformed into funny little characters.  Even with his large hands Dad would craft the most beautiful intricate glass furniture for our dolls house and tiny glass coat hangers for our dolls clothes.  It was always like magic to me, watching him heat the glass in the flame and then with various tools he would pull it into different shapes, sometimes blowing into it at the same time.  It was wonderful and I loved our time together in the shed and the strange smell that only a glass blowing room has.  For fun, Dad would blow very fine glass bubbles, they would waft up into the air and were so fragile that you could put your fingers through them and they would virtually disappear.  Dad made beautiful gifts for friends and relatives and everyone would be in awe that he had made them in the shed.  If he had not had the responsibility of a family and the need for a regular income I am sure he would have preferred to spend his time creatively rather than working with all the technical glass blowing at the refinery.

When I attended a spiritualist church in London many years later, there was a young man, Martin, giving his very first inspired talk. You could tell he was extremely nervous and I had even seen him pacing up and down in the hallway before he had to take his place on the platform.  He needn’t have worried at all as his talk was very good.  You could tell that the congregation was hanging on his every word and you could have heard a pin drop. 

I noticed his aura expanding whilst he spoke and could see a vague outline of what appeared to be someone standing to the right side of him. I turned around and looked behind me to see if it could be a shadow or a play of the light, but everyone was sitting down and there were no obvious light sources.  The medium on the platform was sitting to the left of Martin so I couldn’t see where this could be coming from. As he continued speaking I noticed an odd movement to the right hand side of him.  There was a white-painted handrail with railings beneath which ran along the length of the platform and Martin was standing behind them and occasionally leaning on them.  To my absolute amazement I could see the outline of someone leaning on the rail far to the right, and the more I looked the more form the shape took.  Eventually I could see it was a man, a little taller than Martin, and surprisingly, he looked as if he was made of the glass bubbles that my Dad used to make.  He was shiny and transparent! It seemed an age that he was there, leaning on the handrail looking at everyone.  I kept blinking to clear my vision because I just couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. When Martin sat down the man was no longer visible and the service went on as normal.  However, when Martin stood again to say the closing prayer I could clearly see the man again.  It was an experience that I know I will never forget.  I spoke to Martin afterwards and asked him if he was aware of anyone standing near him but he said he wasn’t.  I did very much feel that this may have been a spirit who was there to assist him.

As time went on, and as I saw various mediums working, I began to see more and more outlines on walls behind them which would gradually form into ‘glass’ people.  Often it would be quite vague but sometimes I could make out distinct features, even clothes that were being worn and very often the medium would then give that as a description of the spirit communicator.

When I had been away from my mediumship for several years it appeared that this ‘gift’ of seeing spirit on walls or ‘glass’ people had all but disappeared.  I was chatting to some friends last summer and saying what a great shame that was.  Then, much to my surprise, when I attended a local spiritual workshop I was sitting watching another medium demonstrate when I began to see the familiar outline slowly appearing on the wall behind her.  I was thrilled!  As we worked that day the visions became clearer until I could actually use the vision as the basis for one of my readings when I was called to stand up and demonstrate.  I saw a ‘glass’ man leaning on a very old country gate and could see the countryside around him. Strangely I was also shown the most massive womans breast, which took up most of the wall, and I knew that he was connected to someone who had breast cancer. I was fortunate enough to be told his name, which is something I always ask for but don’t always get. I described him and the connection to the breast cancer and gave his name and immediately a woman could accept him and my communication with him strengthened. I was so grateful that I was able to give the recipient a good message from her loved one.

I often think of the ‘glass’ people I have seen and having spoken to several other mediums it does seem quite rare and I do wonder if watching my Dad making his glass bubbles all those years ago somehow stirred that gift in me.  Thanks Dad!

44) Interconnectedness – The Synchronicity Continues!

I had just published my last post, 43) Interconnectedness, and  whilst waiting for my toast to cool down, I was reading an email that had just arrived in my inbox.  It was from Global One TV.  I clicked on the link to look at their site and was drawn to take a look at the information about a film which has been made by Tom Shadyac.  He directed many well-known entertaining films including The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty and Liar, Liar. 

The film he has made is a million miles away from his previous genre.  I AM is a film he began to make after he was badly injured in a cycling accident and had begun to question his life, and to face the prospect of his own mortality. He wanted to investigate what is wrong with our world and what we can do to change it.  He travelled extensively and, with a small film crew of only four, he interviewed several leading authorities on everything from science to psychology, from the environment to philosophy.  He spoke to many many people in his search for answers including  Bishop Desmond Tutu and Lynne McTaggart, the best-selling author whose work involves the linking of science and spirituality and the realism of quantum physics.

What he found was that there was a lot more right with the world than he ever thought before.  I watched the trailer for the movie and was blown away by the references to the connectedness of us all, of everything we know. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYtfnONazTU&feature=related

I’m hoping to get to see the whole film …. and my hope is that more and more people, globally, realise the huge impact that we, as individuals, are capable of making to enhance the world we live in,  through our interconnectedness!

41) Whooshy!

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo ...

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo taken in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a very young girl I was always aware of energies around me because, when they were about, I experienced head to toe goosebumps.  I would happily be walking down the stairs and then suddenly …. whoosh … there they were …  and I would be terrified!

From when I was 9 years old we lived in a typical 1930’s semi-detached three bedroom house in Twickenham, outer London.  When Mum and Dad first bought the house it was very dowdy and when we arrived I thought it was really spooky.  Full of dark colours and with drab curtains hanging at the windows, I wasn’t at all impressed.  I’d have given anything to go back to the modern houses we had lived in when we were living in Essex before Dad had been transferred from Shell Haven, near Southend, to the Shell laboratories in Egham, Surrey.  Mum though was thrilled to be living back near London and her relatives, and Dad was really happy as his transfer was also a step up the career ladder.

My twin sister, Tina, and I had to share the back bedroom which was decorated with wallpaper that was supposed to be ‘stone-wall effect’.  Why anyone would ever want that in a bedroom I had no idea.  It was horrid! Mum and Dad had the large double room overlooking the green at the front of the house, my brother Ray had a small single room and we all shared a pretty awful stark and very chilly bathroom.  Downstairs was a sitting room with a dark wood panelled dining room at one end and a fairly small kitchen with a walk-in larder.  There was no separate loo and no central heating.  In the kitchen was a very old coal-fired boiler which I gathered heated the hot water and the only other heating in the house was a coal fire in the sitting room that seemed to emit more smoke than warmth.  The back garden faced north-east so it was never bright and sunny. All in all I wondered, even at that young age, why on earth Mum and Dad had bought this awful dreary house.

Within a short time of moving in Mum, Tina and I were very busy decorating.  Yes, you did read that correctly! My Dad, bless, was no decorator, and unless you wanted your wallpaper hung upside down or with the pattern mis-matched, and drips of gloss running down the doors, you didn’t ask him to help. Ray was far more interested in being out and about with his friends, so it was up to us girls to get stuck in.  Mum  was a dab-hand at everything d.i.y. and from when Tina and I could just about walk she had taught us all she knew.  She had so much patience and would spend hours teaching us how to prepare surfaces for painting, how to hold a paintbrush and put just enough gloss paint on so that it covered but did not run.   There she was with her beautifully manicured nails and her exquisitely styled hair, full make up and happy as a sandboy, she’d be up and down ladders, painting, wallpapering and even stripping and painting furniture.  Mum was fantastic with colours and her interior design flair soon brightened every inch of the house. All the dark wallpapers had gone replaced by bright light modern colours.  It was a total transformation and the neighbours kept popping round to ask Mum’s advise.  She missed her calling there I think, she should have set up in business and she’d have done so well.

From the moment we moved in I felt that there was a lot going on spiritually speaking.  Both Tina and I were becoming more and more aware of energies in our bedroom at night.  I would get myself under the covers and not dare to peek out because I just knew ‘someone’ was in the room and would be covered in goosebumps, no matter the actual temperature.  Stupidly I had thought that now the house was brighter I would feel more at ease.  I suppose thinking about it now, why would the colour of the wallpaper or the curtains make one jot of difference to a spirit!

What didn’t help either was that Dad would often go upstairs and sit on his own in the bedroom he and Mum shared.  If you walked past the door you could hear him having a one-sided conversation (not that Tina and I would ever stand there and listen intentionally!).  It was all very odd and  if we asked who he was talking to he would make some excuse not to answer.  It was only many years later that he told us that he would be talking to his twin sister Mary, who had died when he was five, and he also had regular chats with his Father-in-law, Ray (Mum’s Dad), who had passed to spirit before Tina and I were even born.  Mum was  exploring her religious beliefs and spirituality and  among other religions that she dabbled with, was off to spiritual meetings and circles whilst we lived there, so no wonder the house was busy with spirit energies!

I remember one particular Saturday afternoon.  Dad was sitting watching sport on the tv and I was going to go upstairs to collect a book to read.  As I went to go up the stairs I was suddenly covered in goosebumps and I froze, I called to Dad and explained that I had gone all whooshy.  To try to put me at my ease he explained that if there was anything on the stairs, our dog, Belle (a beautiful Saluki) would know about it.  He went and brought her out from the sitting room.  She too froze at the bottom of the stairs and with her heckels up began to growl. Dad said she had picked up on my fear and put  her back in the sitting room and went and got Perky, our cat, who was curled up by the boiler, and put her on the bottom of the stairs too.  There was no way she was going to go upstairs either! She quickly ran back into the kitchen. Dad walked up the stairs with me and as we almost got to the turn near the top the hairs on every inch of my body were standing on end and I was what I now term ‘mega-whooshy’.  As soon as we reached the landing the feeling began to subside.

The bathroom was very busy, spiritually speaking, I often felt ‘someone’ was in there, even in the bath I would be going whooshy!  Looking back I suppose I should have asked who it was, but at such a young age I never thought to do that. All of the family saw someone walk into the bathroom on many occasions and we also used to see the towels lifted off the towel rail, which became quite a common occurrence!  I soon learnt that the best way to deal with all the odd feelings I had was to imagine a transparent bubble surrounding me that nothing could penetrate. No-one ever told me to do this, it was purely instinctive, and throughout my whole  life it is something I  have often done without even really thinking about it.  I always feel amazingly safe in my bubble of protection.

Over the years in Twickenham the whole family saw and felt spirit energies both in the house and just outside in the garden.  Sometimes just one of us would experience something but often it would two or more of us at the same time.  We would all be sitting eating our lunch in the dining room and often see someone walk past the french doors, which was impossible as it went nowhere.  To begin with Dad would go outside to see who it was, but after several sightings we all just took it as ‘normal’ and would acknowledge whoever it was and carry on with our meal. I always knew someone was about because I would experience my whooshy feeling even before anyone else said anything.  I didn’t mind too much when we were all together, but I didn’t like it at all when I was in the house on my own, which I would try to avoid as much as possible.

Since that time I have learnt that when I feel the whoosh it is my very own spiritual radar working.  It has never been wrong.  It works in many different ways now.  I suppose as I’ve grown older,  it has been fine-tuned.  If I am giving a demonstration of spirit and am not sure who the recipient is, it has come in very handy.  For example, say I have an elderly gentleman trying to connect with someone, as I start giving evidence I am never sure who it is for.  If someone tries to accept the message and I don’t experience the ‘whoosh’ I know the message is not for them, but the moment the right recipient acknowledges the spirit, from my feet up I feel the ‘whoosh’ rushing right up through my body, and I know it is right.  It’s also very useful when I have been sitting in church, or in a circle, and someone tries to place a spirit reading with me.  They may say ‘I have your Dad with me’ and if I feel nothing I know they haven’t, but if I feel the whoosh I know they have.

As most of my friends are mediums or healers, we do have some, shall I say, rather strange conversations at times.  We chat about our experiences with spirit and some of them are really quite incredible, and some are almost unbelievable.   Many people, I am sure, had they been eavesdropping, would think ‘what a load of rubbish’, and I must admit on occasions I have found some things hard to swallow.  Even as I am sometimes recounting some of the wonderful and weird occurrences that I have been witness to, or been involved with, I am sure others must just have at least the slightest inkling that I am exaggerating!   I have sat listening to the most amazing stories and have been covered in goosebumps and just know that what I am being told is true.  I feel I am so fortunate to have my own lie-detector on board and what is even better is that I can show people too!  It doesn’t matter, even if I’m sitting in warm sunshine, if I get the whoosh, I am covered in goosebumps.  It is a wonderful way of proving that I am receiving a ‘signal’. At other times friends will ask my advise, and if they give me alternative solutions to their problems I will feel the whoosh when they mention the correct course of action for them to take. The whoosh then becomes like spiritual shorthand.  As I said, it has been fine-tuned, and I can’t imagine my life without it now.

I was sitting chatting to two friends, Niki and Sharon, last week and we were discussing how, after we had passed into spirit ourselves, we would be able to give the kind of evidence  to a medium so that our friends and loved ones would absolutely know it was us. For Sharon we said that she could say she had an affinity with wolves, had a phoenix tattoo and enjoyed karaoke.  That would certainly be Sharon! For Niki, we all agreed on the description of big hair (Niki naturally has lots and lots of very curly hair) and her favourite saying which is ‘I don’t know’.  I think we would know that was Niki without too much of a problem. For me, I had to laugh, Sharon said there was just one word that would guarantee it was me.  The word? Whooshy!!

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.

37) A Promise from Spirit!

She loved him like he was
The last man on Earth
Gave him everything she ever had
He’d break her spirit down
Then come lovin’ up to her
Give a little, then take it back

She’d tell him about her dreams
He’d just shoot ’em down
Lord he loved to make her cry
“You’re crazy for believin’
You’ll ever leave the ground”
He said, “Only angels know how to fly”

And with a broken wing
She still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing
She carries her dreams
Man you ought to see her fly

One Sunday morning
She didn’t go to church
He wondered why she didn’t leave
He went up to the bedroom
Found a note by the window
With the curtains blowin’ in the breeze

And with a broken wing
She still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing
She carries her dreams
Man you ought to see her fly

With a broken wing
She carries her dreams
Man you ought to see her fly

I try so very hard not to look back on my previous ‘life’ with negative thoughts but must admit sometimes it’s tough not to!  I prefer to concentrate my thoughts on the now and with my wonderful husband Simon and the friends I am so very fortunate to have in my life.

Last night we were sitting listening to our favourite music tracks and Simon played one that has a particular place in my heart.  It was a song I used to listen to when I was in my previous marriage, when I felt there was no way out.  I would imagine myself flying away, having the freedom to spend time with my friends, to chat on the phone, to read books and to be able to have fun.  To be able to be excited and not have my dreams mocked,  not to be in trouble over everything I ever did or said. To be able to be me.

I used to lay in bed at night wondering how I could leave.  I would envisage a life so removed from that which I had, but which I always thought was unattainable.

My ex-husband and I had been to Calgary in Canada and were staying with one of his business associates  and his very lovely and spiritual wife, when, very strangely, whilst driving along in the back of the car, my wedding ring had literally and inexplicably broken into pieces.  His wife was stunned and as she was already aware that my marriage was not wonderful, but not to the extent it actually was, she said that it was definitely a sign that it was beyond repair.

She and her husband were coming over to England just a couple of weeks later and she and I had arranged to go and see Diana Garland who offered astrological and clairvoyant readings.  I had met Diana years before at a spiritual event and had been most impressed.  She went for her reading first and was really pleased when she came out, saying how accurate Diana had been.  I went in for my reading not expecting that I would hear anything particularly life changing, but I was in for a big surprise.  I had always kept my marital problems to myself but Diana certainly picked up on them, and in her gentle and guiding way she explained that my chart showed that a massive change was about to happen in my life.  She told me that if I didn’t make a decision very soon the chance would be gone and I would be stuck in my life for always.  The very next morning,  I actually came to the decision to risk everything and leave.

I drove over 50 miles across country, down narrow lanes, weaving my way across the countryside to my sister’s house. I drove my car but felt as if I was flying, knowing that no matter what happened I would never go back, knowing that at last I would not be spending my life living in fear.  I had never felt spirit so close to me as that morning, I felt a golden light surrounding my little car and me, a safety bubble that nothing could penetrate.  For the first time in over 25 years I felt totally safe.  It was the most incredible feeling.

I had not been able to be in contact with my twin sister very much as he had objected to our relationship (gulp – how can that possibly be?) so I had no idea that she and her husband and their six children were about to move. We decided that we would find somewhere where we could all move together and my sister and I went all over the country looking at properties before settling on a house in Hampshire.

When I spoke to my friend Susan Roberts, a wonderful psychic medium from Barnstaple who started the English Psychic Company, she told me that within a few months I would be meeting my soul mate, but wouldn’t actually see him – I wondered how on earth that could be!  She said that we would be made for each other and would be living together within six months of meeting.  I had known Susan for several years and knew that her predictions were generally spot on but couldn’t quite believe what she was saying.  It all sounded too good to be true.

Shortly after moving to Hampshire I attended a weeks residential course at the Arthur Findlay College in Stanstead. I booked a private mediumship reading with the tutor Simone Key whom I had never met before.  As soon as walked in the room, and before I had even sat down, she said ‘my goodness you’ve just left a relationship after over 25 years’.  Talk about accurate! She went on to tell me that I would shortly meet a fantastic young man who was my soul mate.  She said I would have a life full of fun and laughter with him and that he would support me in everything.  I was just a little amazed after an almost identical reading from Susan. I couldn’t wait!

Whenever people tell you that you have a fabulous future ahead of you it does take some getting used to.  I still didn’t quite understand how I could meet someone but not see them though.  That really confused me. Little did I know then that I would join an internet dating site and meet the most lovely man who didn’t put his photo on the site!

How incredibly organised spirit was.  I look back now and see that from the moment my wedding ring broke everything was in place to put me on my new pathway. I was given the confidence to make life changing decisions safe in the knowledge that spirit were with me, guiding me through the readings from the most genuine people. I felt that I had a promise of a new life … just waiting round the corner.

Tomorrow, Simon and I will be celebrating our FIFTH wedding anniversary!  We’ve known each other just over seven years now and my life with him is just as foretold.  I adore being his wife, his friend, his playmate, his love.

He has accepted me totally for who I am. I am just me …. and there are no words in the world to describe how unbelievable that is.  To be loved and love is heaven and I count my blessings every day.  Thank you!

P.S. (Can you have a PS on a blog?)

Funnily enough, whilst writing this post I had a break about ten minutes ago and found a lovely post in my inbox which confirmed everything I already knew!  How spirit likes to make certain we get the point!! Please take a look … her blogs are great! http://complexmuse.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/show-your-soul-to-attract-your-soul-mate/

http://www.dianagarland.com

http://www.englishpsychiccompany.com/

http://www.arthurfindlaycollege.org

http://www.simonekey.co.uk/

31) Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Eye Examination

Although I was used to being aware of spirits around me since I was extremely young, sometimes even catching a glimpse of  ‘someone’ or ‘something’, that was usually in my peripheral vision, it wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I had more of an understanding that there was far more to spiritual communication that just feeling them around me.  In a very short time I seemed to go through a massive awakening of what I would eventually call my spiritual vision.

It all happened around the same time that I had met one of my spiritual guides, Minyon, in my first ever spiritual meditation.  That in itself was a massive change in my thought patterns.  Suddenly I wasn’t thinking that I may be accompanied on my life’s journey by spirit, I absolutely knew that I was. At the same time as meeting Minyon, I also had the first experience of actually asking spirit to come forward and give me evidence from a loved one that I could pass on to a total stranger.  This too had happened, and so easily, that again, my beliefs had no alternative but to change.  I had gone from believing that spirits could communicate when they had passed from this life into a spirit form, to totally and utterly knowing that they could.  I was overwhelmed by the strength of the communication and the difference it had made to my perception of the physical, material world in which we live.

I felt as if I had been asking and asking for real proof of spirit for years. Not anything that be could be a possible coincidence or a lucky guess, but absolute unequivocable proof and I had received it, with the added bonus of meeting Minyon.

I could see him as plain as day in my meditation, and almost felt a bit silly explaining to the circle that he was a native American, I thought they might think I was some kind of nutter. The great thing for me at that time was that I had read very little of anything spiritual and had no pre-conceived ideas of what a spiritual guide may look like.  The only guide  I had ever really heard of was my Mum’s guide, Topsy, who Mum had told me was a gypsy, so I was more than surprised to see that Minyon was a native American!

We had two large greenhouses in our garden at the time.  I was working away pricking out seedlings and placing them in their interim homes, ready for growing on.  I had the radio playing, happily singing along, immersed in my thoughts of plans for the summer garden.  I was always at my happiest working with plants with my hands  in the soil.  My Dad had always grown as much as he could from seeds or cuttings and I have the most fantastic memories of sunny spring days with my sister Tina and I helping him on his allotment. We would spend hours deciding what was to be grown and then the day would arrive when it was time to sow.  I was so excited knowing that our work would result in the most delicious fruit and vegetables for the whole family, never mind most of the neighbours too! I  had always been in awe of the wonder of nature, how a tiny weeny seed could become a magnificent flower, or a towering tree or something as juicy as a melon.  I was always fascinated by the way they just decided to grow, to put out roots in the soil and with a little water and tender care, they would blossom.

On this particular day the sun was low in the sky and was shining directly into the greenhouse.  I was about the pull the roof blinds over a little when I noticed something very odd.  There was a row of tall trees about thirty feet away from where I was and  there appeared to be a wide border of golden light surrounding each of them.  To begin with I felt sure that it was a ripple in the glass of the greenhouse, but even if I moved around it was still there.  Then I thought it was the low sun which was causing some sort of light refraction, but when I walked out of the greenhouse I realised the sun wasn’t on the trees at all.  I stood for a while gazing up at them and the border became wider and wider until there was no separation between the trees.  It was like a see through bubble of a shiny beautiful golden light.  I had never seen anything like it before.  As I turned around back towards the main garden I realised that I could see this border around all the plants!  Some of them had a much brighter colour than others, some had what seemed to be a slight pinkyness around them too.  I was fascinated.  The more I looked the more I could see it.  I finished my work in the greenhouse and walked back to the house, all the while looking at all the plants, trees and shrubs along the way.  Now this does sound strange, but it was almost as if they were smiling at me.

The following day I woke up and was seriously quite shocked to see that the left half of my bedroom was bathed in a pink light.  I thought that I must have something wrong with my eyes.  I covered my right eye but could still see the half and half bedroom, then I covered my left eye, it was still the same.  I got out of bed and went and looked in the mirror in case my eyes were bloodshot.  They looked perfectly normal.  This half and half lasted for only a couple of minutes and then the room went back to normal.  I was beginning to really think that I must have something wrong with my sight.  The rest of the day everything looked perfectly standard and I thought it must just be one of those strange things that seemed to be happening to me.

The next morning was even stranger.  I woke up and saw that the bedroom ceiling was pink.  It was normally white, and so I looked around the room to see if anything could be causing a reflection.  Nothing seemed to be able to do that.  I kept looking at the ceiling.  I stood up and looked up at it, I laid on the bed and looked.  No matter what I did it was still pink. I was really getting concerned now and made an appointment to go and see an optician.  In all my life I had never experienced anything like it and I was worried that something was seriously wrong with either my brain or my eyes.

I had to wait a few days to go to the appointment and in that time I kept seeing odd glows of pink and also started seeing what I can only describe as small bubbles of blue lights moving across the room.  They would appear from nowhere and then just disappear as fast as they had arrived.  I wondered if they were ‘floaters’ which is a physical problem with your eyes.  I was nervous of being checked over, but also had a sense of relief thinking that they would definitely find something wrong and that it would be fixable.  I explained the problem to the optician and she looked rather bemused.  She said she had never heard of anything like it, but she would reserve judgement until she had carried out a full examination.  After going through all the different steps of the eye test she told me she could find absolutely nothing wrong with my eyes at all, she gave me a ‘crazy lady’ kind of look as I left.  I was perplexed to say the least.

Over the next couple of months I saw lights all over the place, sometimes just one or two, often several.  I was almost getting used to waking up to find the room was a different colour from when I had gone to bed. I had to assume that it was part of my spiritual development. Laughingly I imagined a team of spiritual decorators working through the night with magical paints that only lasted a few hours!

I went on a mediumship development course at the Arthur Findlay College in Stansted, and met a fellow student, Jay, who was a real character.  He had a warm and bubbly personality and was so easy to talk to. I wasn’t in the same class as him but had heard on the grapevine that he was a brilliant medium. We were walking around the garden chatting when he started to tell me about the odd vision problems he had been having.  They were exactly the same as mine! It was just wonderful finding someone who had been through the same.  He had also gone to the opticians and the doctors and they could find nothing wrong.  He also felt he was at the beginning of his more intensive development with spirit.  It really seemed far too much of a coincidence.

I hadn’t really spoken to anyone about these odd visual experiences.  I was already thought of as rather peculiar by my family and friends and certainly didn’t want to add fuel to the fire, but having spoken to Jay I felt I must find out more.  I had begun to meet some wonderful spiritually aware people through the home groups I had started attending and felt safe when talking to them about the many unusual occurrences at that time.  They explained that what I was seeing were auras and that all life forms have them.  They are an extension of our life force, and the colour of them can indicate how well, how happy, how concerned etc we are.  I was amazed that I was able to see them, and so easily too.  I was also told that the bubbles of light were most probably a physical manifestation of spiritual energy.

Now when I am aware that spirit is around I often see the small bubbles of blue floating past me.  I feel that it is confirmation for me that they are around.  I am used to seeing the beautiful golden lights around any kind of plant form and consider that it is a blessing to be able to see their life energy.  I am often shown colours when I am working spiritually and have seen colours radiate from healers hands.  Sadly though, the spiritual decorators haven’t been around for a while …. it seems that it’s down to me now if I want to re-decorate!

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.

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

20) Stairway to Heaven

My brother Ray

I would have thought that as a soul, when I believe I chose my earth family, I would have tried to incorporate even a little harmony into the mix. I often look at other families and to me they look ‘smooth’, it’s like they dovetail together and everyone fits in.  Through my life I have met many people who are fortunate enough to share an easy relationship with their siblings.  Of course, I’m not saying for one minute, that is always the case, but speaking generally it seems quite usual.  I don’t count the usual sibling bickering when growing up, as a major problem, because it  is quite normal  as people’s personalities are coming to the fore as major clashes.

If you watch a litter of young cats or dogs you will observe the same spats as they are growing up and trying to assert themselves within their ‘family’.  It seems to be the way of the world, not just with us humans but within the animal kingdom to a large extent too.

I am sure that I decided to choose one of my siblings who was so very different from me in many ways,  in order to challenge my views and to teach me a myriad of life’s lessons.  It is often said that you learn by example, but  in my case, I often had to  look at what my brother did, the decisions he made and basically do the opposite!  I refer to Ray as our older brother, because being a twin, I shared him with my sister, which maybe was a good thing, because I think it diluted him a little.

I often likened my brother to a diamond with its many facets because he had so many different aspects to his personality.  You were never sure what you were going to get and it was quite imperceptible to even understand from hour to hour which would be his dominant personality trait.  He could be the most gentle caring and generous person you could ever meet, but within a short space of time you could be faced with a very different man who appeared to be full of selfish needs and could be considerably rude and abusive.  He was certainly tough to understand, and I don’t think even now I could say I ever really managed that.

Our older brother, by five years, Ray, was  a massive personality.  On the plus side he was immensely talented as a writer (he won a national story competition when he was 11), a brilliant artist and a talented musician.  He was outgoing with the most engaging sense of fun and perfect timing for comedy.  He had what I would call a quiet interest in all things spiritual, and possessed an inner  knowing, a deep understanding of life and a wonderful appreciation of the natural world. Sadly very few people ever saw that side of Ray, it was like he wore a dark cloak of protection around him and only those incredibly close and trusted, one of whom I was so fortunate to be, would ever get to see the real gentle and spiritual side to him.

He was attractive to women, of whom he had many calling and falling for him from an early age.  All our friends thought it must be so fantastic to have such a talented and good-looking brother and would even ask if he would be home before they arranged to come and visit, just hoping for a glimpse or even just a hello from him.  He undoubtedly had a magic about him which endured throughout his lifetime.  He was a natural charmer, easily making  friends wherever he went.  He was a magnet that most people found almost impossible to resist.

On the negative side, he was outrageous with no respect for rules or authority. Always in trouble, from a very early age, he spent many of his teenage years in approved school, then in and out of  borstal, and as he matured, he advanced to prisons.  It never fazed him in the slightest.  The rest of the family would be falling apart but he took it in his stride. It was never for very long and Ray saw it more as an enforced break, often he would write wonderful songs or stories and use the time to learn new skills before he would rejoin the world.

Invariably his earlier custodial sentences were due to his involvement with illegal motor bikes and cars, and when he was older for driving dangerously and at crazy speeds.  He had a desperate need for excitement. When I would ask him why he would drive like a maniac, he just used to say that he enjoyed the high, the buzz, the thrill of it.  He said he enjoyed the chase, the adrenalin charging through his veins.  I never understood. We were complete opposites in this regard.  I have always preferred peace, quiet, calm and steady, and the safety of rules and regulations.

I watched as our parents tried everything they could to make their young son conform, but it was just a waste of time.  He truly was a free spirit, a young brave who would have been an asset to the tribe, had his father been a native American chief.  He would have ridden his powerful stallion across the open lands and bravely fought for his tribal rights.  He would have understood the nature spirits, the shamanic laws, the mother earth.  Adorned with headdresses of feathers and shells, with his wolf by his side, I am sure he would have felt complete.  Instead he felt confined in our western society and kicked like a young buck against the rules which he felt should play no part in his life.

With Ray as my older brother, the age gap appeared much wider when we were younger.  As a young girl of seven or eight, Ray being then twelve or thirteen, seemed so grown up. I always felt he was my defender, somehow I felt safe with him around, which in hindsight was quite the opposite of how I should have felt. He appeared worldly-wise and being so unafraid of anything, he would take us out on fantastic adventures.  He always made the most of every opportunity for experiencing anything and everything.  He would always give anything a try.

On our many excursions during school holidays we would often go much further than our parents would have allowed.  He would ask Mum if it was ok to take us to the village for a couple of hours, but then we would find that he had planned that we would catch a train.  I’m not talking the usual way of catching a train.  There was no way that Ray would line up and pay for a ticket, no, he knew where the holes were in the chain link fence near the station and we would crawl through the undergrowth, sneak along the tracks and wait in hiding behind the station buildings for a train to arrive.  Then we’d scurry on board, and with our hearts thumping with excitement we’d be off to wherever the train took us.  That was part of the magic, never knowing where we’d end up. I don’t know how we never got caught without a ticket, but we never did!

Buses were always more of a problem with their conductors on board.  Ray would buy us tickets for 2d (yes two old pennies!) and we’d know that we’d have to get off at a certain stop, but Ray would make certain that we’d travel on crowded buses where the conductor wouldn’t notice us straight away if we stayed on the bus a little longer.  His plan didn’t always work and many a time we were thrown off the bus because we had no more money to cover our extended journeys.  Then there would be the inevitable long walks, normally through forests and across muddy fields.  Even these arduous treks would be made magical by Ray’s wonderful stories about the nature surrounding us and the mysterious creatures that lived there.  He would concoct the most amazing tales to keep us enthralled as we wearily made our way home. We were far too loyal to him to ever tell our parents of our law breaking.

He had played a guitar since we were very young and my memories of falling asleep whilst he played to us are always close to my heart.  My favourite song through many of my earlier years was Yellow Bird, which he would sing so softly to us, ‘Yellow bird, high up in banana tree, yellow bird, you sit all alone like me.’ So very different to the heavy rock he would end up playing as lead guitarist and singer with his band.

Ray led his adult life as a rock’n’roller, rubbing shoulders with those who had ‘made it’, but never quite getting there himself.  He ran various businesses, many of which were very successful, but he would soon become bored.  He had his own commercial recording studio and was in his element involved in music.  He always felt the need to escape from the confines of our culture and sadly relied heavily on serious drug use and at times became embroiled in a life surrounded by drugs.  He tried many times to move away from drugs, but in a strange way, when he managed it, his senses appeared dulled and his lust for life diminished as he tried to conform. His was known locally simply as Animal – his friends said it was because he was a party animal – which he was through and through.

When I was in my mid-teens Ray and I would sometimes spend a couple of days together at his flat.  I  felt so blessed that the Ray I normally shared my time with was wonderfully funny, gentle, and considerate. I was sure he made a huge effort for me. He’d take me out to some wonderful bistro for dinner and treat me like a real princess.  We would have the most deep and meaningful talks about life, our family, our souls, our choices.  They are still magical memories which I will always treasure. When it was just Ray and I together I felt so proud that he was my brother, but when I, quite regularly, read local newspaper reports about his appalling behaviour,  I would wonder how he could behave so differently, and dreadfully, with his close bunch of friends. I never found an explanation and could never reconcile the two extremes.

Ray’s flat was painted completely in black, and had mysterious red lights shining out of dark corners, it smelt of odd substances,dust, wine and old ashtrays.    There were candles everywhere which had been replaced many many times, but the remains of the old candles were still evident. Heavy dark velvet curtains were hung at every window, and strangely were very rarely pulled back. It was like walking into an underground cave where you would expect bats to fly at you.

The furniture was odd and bulky with old dusty velvet cushions placed everywhere.  All the wood in the flat had been acid washed back to its natural finish, and somehow it always felt sticky.

He had built a large rustic wooden cabin over his bath, complete with psychedelic lighting and speakers, so that you could lay in the bath and listen to the heavy rock music that was always playing in his home.

Huge amplifiers and speakers were in the sitting room, and his collection of electric guitars were everywhere. Shelves upon shelves of albums of his favourite bands were jostling for space in the crowded room with an ever-expanding odd array of artwork, ornaments and writings adorning every wall or shelf.

Massive mugs of tea or coffee, barely washed from many uses before, were offered along with his unusual home-made cakes and biscuits which contained a selection of various herbs and spices and which had a reputation to make you feel quite odd!  I learnt to avoid them.

He’d always want to play me the latest album he had just acquired and on one particular visit he had just bought Led Zeppelin IV.  He wanted me to hear his favourite track, Stairway to Heaven.  As the music boomed out of the speakers, loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear, he opened his french doors and we stood, arms wrapped around each other,  looking up into the dark sky picking out each twinkling star we could find.  He was telling me how we are all  from the stars, from the universe, how massive the galaxy is.

I remember thinking just how perfect the evening was with my big brother, when a very strange feeling came over me.  The garden appeared to be moving and my head felt odd.  I started to feel sick.  I told Ray I wasn’t feeling well.  ‘Ah, darling’,  he said, with a wry smile, ‘might have been the tea’.  He had, he said, added ‘magical’ ingredients.  My legs were like jelly. It took what felt like hours to get from the french doors to my bed in the spare room, which was not easy as the bed was built only a foot or so from the ceiling and I had to climb a ladder to get up there. Ray was laughing and singing to me  ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold And she’s buying the stairway to heaven’.   It certainly didn’t feel like heaven to me!

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!

15) I was a Catherine Wheel!

Dizzy thorns

I had been chronically ill for a long time when I went along to my first ever healing evening at a spiritualist church.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect and only went  to accompany a  friend.  I thought that as it was at a church we would all sit in rows, someone would talk to us about healing and that we might sing a couple of hymns and say a few prayers. I had no knowledge of healing, spiritual or otherwise, and didn’t expect the evening to be particularly special or eventful.

So I was surprised, when instead of rows, the chairs were  just dotted around the room, and as we walked in I was asked where I would like to sit.  I just chose the closest chair and felt a bit odd just sitting there, with no idea what was about to happen.  After a few of us had taken our seats the person in charge then allotted a healer to each of us.  A very old lady with a gentle smile came and stood beside me and introduced herself as Jeanie.  She explained that she was a student healer but that everything she did would be overseen by the woman in charge.  I immediately felt at ease and relaxed and just thought to myself that her healing may do some good and certainly wouldn’t do any harm.

The lady in charge said the most beautiful prayer and soft spiritual music was played. The room then became quieter and everyone spoke in hushed tones.  Jeanie stood in front of me and asked if I minded her holding my hands, which I said I didn’t at all.  She looked straight at me and said “I shouldn’t really be telling you this but I am sure I have your Dad with me,”  she went on to give a detailed physical description which exactly fitted him.  She told me that when she was healing she shouldn’t really be connecting to a spirit, but felt that she had to tell me my Dad was there because she felt his love so strongly.    Then she said something that I will never forget.  She said “he is telling me to tell you that if his love could cure you, you would be well”.  I was stunned, and desperately trying not to cry as they were the exact words that my Dad had said to me the previous summer when we had sat in my garden.  He had held my hands and told me he loved me and said that if his love could cure me I would be well!

I had been pretty certain that Dad was there because of Jeanie’s description, but that message just blew me away.  No-one would have known that Dad had said those very words to me.  I knew how upset both he and Mum had been seeing me so ill and feeling so useless at not being able to take away my pain, all they felt they could do was show how much they loved and cared for me.

Jeanie walked behind me and asked if she could then place her hands on my shoulders, which I said was fine.  She said if I wanted I could close my eyes.  I remember feeling quite overwhelmed by her message and then felt total peace as I closed my eyes and just listened to the music in the background.  The next thing I knew was that I was not aware of my body at all, it was the oddest sensation, I felt so light and like I was floating. I tried to feel my feet on the floor, but it was like they didn’t exist.  All I could see was the colour green, a bright vibrant green, like a fresh leaf in springtime with the sun streaming through it.  I was surrounded by it, enveloped by it and strange as it may seem, it was as if I was it.  I felt like I was a disc at the centre of me and I was spinning round and round.  The spinning became faster and faster and faster, all I can really say it that I was, or became,  just pure and utter bliss.  I tried to work out what I was and all I could come up with was that I felt like a Catherine wheel!

I was unaware that I had slumped forward in the chair and the next thing I knew was that the lady in charge was asking me if I was alright.  I felt dazed, and to be honest, almost a little annoyed to be bought back from ‘Blissville’.  Jeanie later told me that it was the most profound healing session for her.  She said she had never felt so much love coming through her.  I felt elated knowing that my Dad was there for me.

It was only several months later when I first started to  learn about chakras that I was surprised to read that chakras are discs that spin, sometimes described as energy vortices throughout the spiritual body.  The heart chakra is normally green and is  often associated with love and healing.  Now, when I meditate I sometimes visualise my chakras, working my way from the base chakra upwards through my body, and I always smile when I get to my heart chakra, because to me it will always be my very own Catherine wheel!

14) We’re experimenting!

Test tubes and other recipients in chemistry lab

After the wonderful and unexpected experience of Simon running about at night ‘el-nude’ and my dear friend Annette popping over ‘el-astral-spirit’, (Blog no.4 Put a shirt on!) we have decided to try to be a little more serious about our grasp on astral travel.

As total novices we can only put ourselves forward and ask spirit to help and guide us,and most importantly we must learn to TRUST.  What a massive impact that word can have.  To know that your spirit, the most important ‘bit’ of you, is off somewhere without the physical ‘bit’ of you, is actually quite daunting.  We have to trust that our spirit is in safe hands and will return to our physical bodies in tact.  Although I try to make light of it (pardon the pun), it is quite mind-blowing and very hard to truly accept without real confirmation and masses and masses of evidence too.

Well, to get back to our experiments.  Since we decided that we would all make a pact to ask to travel every night,  we have had a few interesting adventures to date and I felt we should start to document them before we forget.

Firstly, Annette ‘travelled’ to Kay’s house in the middle of the night!  What was so wonderful about this was that in her earthly physical life Annette had never been to ‘Kay’s house, but she could describe not only Kay’s bedroom, but also her cat, who happened to be curled up on the bed at the time!! She could also see a large ‘see through’ egyptian type cat hovering over her. Quite a result.  BUT, it actually gets better.  On the very same night, at virtually the same time, Kay was aware of her (Kay)  being her spirit, hovering over her bed and looking down at herself asleep.    Now, with that, Kay’s physical body woke up and she jumped out of bed.  If you knew Kay as I do, you would appreciate just how unusual that would be as Kay doesn’t tend to jump around too quickly these days!.

So, we were chatting about this a few days later and we were talking about NDE’s (near death experiences), and how some consultants are so interested in trying to clarify the information from their patients that they have taken to putting messages or objects out of normal vision.  Amazingly, there have been instances of NDE’s being able to give vital evidence of these very messages and objects.  We realised we could try this too.

Annette and I agreed to place a word each above our beds and see if we could visit in the night and see them.  The next day we were chatting online and Annette was telling me how she felt she had met my guide, Minyon, the previous night. She told me  how he had visited her and she had known who he was.  I was surprised as I had no recollection of going anywhere and to be honest would have hoped that he would have taken me along with him. She then told me about her travelling to my home and could describe me asleep in my bed and which way I was facing, where my hands were etc, which was all totally correct.

Anyway, we carried on chatting, and Annette asked rather casually if I had any idea about the word over her bed.  As soon as she asked I was shown a piece of paper with the word Angel written on it.  I almost dismissed it as pure conjecture, but it was so clear and I was seeing it just as I ‘see’  information from spirit when I am communicating with them.  I half heartedly wrote the word Angel, not expecting much of a response.  I couldn’t believe it when Annette wrote back, ‘LOl LOL LOL Well done YOU!!!! I’ll have to change it now’   I wrote back, ‘ lol … yeah right’, wondering if Annette was pulling my leg, but she wrote back ‘Honest to God, that’s correct, cross my heart’.  We were both in total shock! I checked how many words there are in the English language and there are approximately 171,476 words in current use,  so I had quite a choice!

I should explain here that Annette has been involved with spiritualism since she was four years old and has the deepest respect for spirit.  She is a spiritual teacher and a wonderful natural-born medium and takes her dealings with them very seriously, so I KNOW totally that I can trust her.

Well, after the shock effect had worn off a little I wondered how I knew the word.  Did Minyon go a-visiting and then tell me the word himself, or, did I go astral travelling myself, but had no actual conscious memory of it?

Annette and I do know that spirit tend to eavesdrop on our conversations.  We have had so many instances of ‘coincidences’ after our chats that we have now accepted that they are listening in and they often give us evidence of this within a day or two.  It has been quite amazing the number of times this has happened, especially, strangely enough, when we have been discussing or questioning spiritual ideas on the phone.  Do spirits somehow use our telecommunication systems?

Or, do our guides chat amongst themselves and give us the information? As communication with spirit is literally just a thought, then are they automatically aware of our thoughts and so our guides can just convey these between themselves?  Goodness, my mind could go into warp mode trying to work this one out!

Hmmmm…. I think I might suggest that someone else, totally unrelated to us, places an object or a word up high somewhere, so that neither of us is consciously aware of it.  That could certainly throw a spanner into the works!

In the meantime we decided on adding another ingredient or two into our experiment.  We have asked Annette’s guides to visit me so that I can describe them to her (currently I have no idea what they look like), and I have given Minyon a distinct message to give to Annette.  We are waiting to see what happens.  As they say ….Watch this space!

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.

10) Watch your thumbs!

the dark alley

Having spent so much of my life aware of spirits, and also coming from a family where it seemed quite ‘normal’ for my parents to have regular conversations with relatives in spirit, you’d have thought that in my early forties I would have already accepted everything I believed to be true.

My problem was that although I had certainly had many many experiences that I thought were either directly with spirit, or spiritually based, I had not been given what I considered irrefutable evidence that it was all true.

I had often wondered how I might be able to actually ask for a message from spirit, and equally, how would I be able to ask not to see or feel them around me.  It wasn’t until a very dear friend of mine had passed into spirit that I actually decided to take the bull by the horns and try to educate myself.  I was always a little scared of spirit.  Well, no, to be really truthful, I was more than a little scared, at times I was terrified.  I would walk around my house at night just continually saying to whoever was there, please don’t let me see you, please don’t let me see you.

If I had had my first encounter with spirit when I was a little older I wonder if I might have been more prepared, but as it was, although I can’t remember the exact age I became aware, I do know I was under seven years old when I noticed a spirit lady in our house.  I was so frightened that I would not go into the house unless someone was with me.

It was normally in times of great stress or worry that I would start seeing pictures in my head, just like a video, or I would feel the presence of someone very close to me, and sometimes, but not often, actually hear them speaking to me.  Over the years I had tried to ask to hear from people I had loved and lost, but had never had even an inkling that anything was happening.  Then, when I would least expect it, for argument’s sake, walking into a friend’s house, I would immediately be aware of a spirit wishing to communicate.

On many occasions I would even have games with those I would call my invisible friends.  I remember as a young girl, I was always aware of someone, or sometimes even many, of these friends with me.  When I was maybe only about nine or ten,  I was walking to school and in my head I was questioning them.  I was asking if they were real and if they were how could they prove it.  I remember, something like a film playing behind my eyes and  being shown a bright yellow car.  Within seconds the exact car came over the bridge I was walking towards.  There was no way I could have seen over the bridge to see the car first. I stopped, and tested them again. I asked what colour the next car would be and was shown a blue Cortina.  Sure enough the next car along was the blue Cortina.  I was told the next car would be a red estate, and of course it was. I was so chuffed, and then, in my odd way, became quite concerned that they were real!  They couldn’t win!

My Mum used to go to spiritualist churches when I was growing up, but I never wanted to go with her.  In fact, I don’t think I liked the idea too much.  The more my parents spoke about spiritual matters, the more I tended to shut down.  It was just  that I preferred not to acknowledge what I knew to be real, and as if by ignoring it, somehow, it would all go away. Then when I left home and eventually married I was too busy to think about spirit too much.  I had the occasional knowing about something, or intuition, but these were generally just fleeting moments.  Even after so many years I still wondered whether I just had a vivid imagination or was it all wishful thinking.

During my thirties more and more spiritual experiences were happening to me, but being the busy woman I was, I didn’t have time to pay it too much attention.  However, when my friend had died, I suddenly felt a real pull towards everything spiritual. It was as if a switch had been turned on.

The first time I went to find my local spiritualist church was quite odd.  It was up a little alleyway off a busy shopping area.  I had been shopping there many times before but I had never walked up the alley.  The church looked dark and imposing and I wondered whether I could pluck up the courage to go in.  I had no idea what to expect.  I didn’t even know  what a spiritualist service would be like.  As I walked closer towards the church my legs were like jelly and I felt faint.  It was so strange because I had a deep knowing that my life was going to change, but typically, tried to brush those thoughts aside.  I read the notices and saw when the next service would be, which was that evening.  I knew where it was and at what time, but now had to try to tell my family where I would be going.  I was sure they would not be impressed.  How right I was.  My husband thought I had lost my mind and my daughter was horrified.  She was convinced it was a cult and that I would be unable to dis-entangle myself from their steely grip!

I stood my ground and went to my first service, which I have to say was a little of a disappointment.  I don’t know what I expected, but it was all rather conservative and the medium giving the messages looked very normal.  None of the messages were for me, and I did think at the time that it was all a bit general.  All in all though it was a nice evening and everyone was very welcoming.  I read the board inside the church and it listed an open circle for the following Friday.  I knew that my Mum used to attend a circle, and that was where she had met her guide Topsy.  I was still a little afraid, but even then, somehow knew that I should attend.

The following Friday I was trying to act very blase with my family about the open circle.  Inside though I was deeply worried about what I was getting into. The circle was held in a room in the basement of the church.  Immediately on opening the door the smell of damp was overwhelming.  Even though it was a warm summers evening the room was ice-cold and the chairs we had to sit on felt wet from the damp.  There was only a small window up high which let in a little light, but this was quickly covered by a blind and we had only a small candle on a low table in the middle of the circle.  I was quite apprehensive at this point!

The President of the church opened the circle with a prayer and told us to sit comfortably (which was very difficult on those chairs), to close our eyes, un-cross our arms and legs and to sit with our left thumb over our right thumb. It was explained that spirit would not talk to us if we did not sit as instructed!! It was all extremely odd to me.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when after a few moments quiet a deep voice boomed out ‘Good evening friends’.  I opened my eyes just a little and saw that it was the President who was talking.  How very strange I thought, this tiny little lady with this deep resonating voice!

We were instructed to meditate (I had no idea how) and to ask our spirit guides and helpers to come close.  I just sat with my eyes closed and was desperately trying not to think how cold and damp I felt, how uncomfortable the chair was to sit on, and how spooky I felt the whole event was.  Much to my surprise I suddenly felt a pressure on my right cheek, it started quite gently but soon became quite intense, and then it was almost unbearable.  At the same time I began to see what seemed to be a video in my mind, a beautiful native american man was riding towards me on a black stallion.  I absolutely knew he was my guide. Before I knew it I was being lifted onto the horse (surprising as I am scared stiff of horses!) and with my arms around the native american’s waist, we were off galloping through the most beautiful scenery until we came to the edge of a cliff, we looked around and then we flew over the sea.  I could feel the wind on my face and the warmth of the sun on me.  It was magical.  The booming voice broke through and we were told to ask spirit for a communicator.  I didn’t want to do that as I had just met my beautiful guide and wanted to stay with him, but I knew that I must, it was unsaid but understood, that I would ride with him many more times over the years and before he left he introduced himself to me as Minyon.

Everything in my mind went blank and I felt a wave of disappointment as I felt I had let Minyon go, to be left with a void.  Then I felt someone touch my arm, it was so real I opened my eyes, but no-one was beside me.  Pictures started coming into my mind, a man in an army uniform who told me he name was Edwin, but said that everyone called him Eddie.  He showed me vast kitchens that he worked in and told me to tell ‘her’ to remember dancing at Blackpool Tower.  I was stunned.  I had never expected anything like that.  I was looking at the pictures in my mind when the Presidents voice, very loudly, told us it was time to come back into the room.

I sat there as she went around the circle asking each in turn what they had seen, heard or felt in their meditations and whether anyone had received spiritual communication.  I listened intently but the most anyone saw was an ironing board, which they said was that someone had problems that needed ironing out, and a rainbow over someones head.  I didn’t know what to say when my turn came.  I told them about the wonderful ride on the horse and even then wondered whether to mention the man in the army uniform.  I was worried that I would look like an absolute fool.

Somehow though I was compelled to say exactly what I had seen, as if I had no choice!  I started to tell them and you could have heard a pin drop in the room.  When I said his name, and his nickname, a woman sitting along from me gasped and I honestly thought she was going to fall off her chair.  ‘Oh my God, Oh my God’ she kept saying, ‘that’s my husband, oh my God’.  By now my heart was pounding so hard in my chest I am sure the whole room must have heard it. She showed me a picture she had of him and he was exactly the man I had just seen.

To say I was amazed is the understatement of the year.  I felt like jumping up and down, I was so excited.  Suddenly, just like that, I had absolute proof that it was real. I hadn’t been imagining everything all my life.  I had always wondered if my intuition, which I had relied on so much over the years, had just been a series of lucky guesses.  It wasn’t wishful thinking. Everything changed that night.  I no longer believed in spirit.  I absolutely knew that spirit is alive. I wanted to jump up on rooftops and tell the world. There is life after death! I have proof!

What I didn’t take away from the evening though were the odd sitting rules.  I have been chatting quite happily to spirit since I was a child, and not once did they say “We’re not going to talk to you – your thumbs are in the wrong place!”

9) Pick’n’mix!

Pick'n'Mix

The more I’ve been coming to the realisation that I am a spirit living a human existence, the more I’ve been thinking about the life choices my soul made before I began this human life.

Pick 'n Mix

I have the feeling that when  it came to choosing my parents I was like an excited child in a sweet shop.  There were just so many choices, and metaphorically speaking, I filled my pink striped sweetie bag with the many personality traits and ensuing emotions that I wanted to experience during my upbringing.  A real mixture of sweet and sour, soft and crunchy, chewy and creamy, fruity and nutty! I am sure my guides must have been exasperated trying to find parents that would fulfill my criteria.  I think on the whole they did fairly well!

I was born the youngest of identical twins, with a brother five years older than us and we had to share parents who were definitely interesting and would certainly teach us many different and opposing lessons.

My Dad, known as Ken, was tall and slim with broad shoulders, sandy wavy hair,  and the most wonderful twinkling blue eyes.  He was a charmer, with a fantastic dry wit and I could see why my Mum had initially fallen him.

Dad and his twin sister Mary were born in 1926, into a large and very poor working class family in Hendon, North London.  His Mother Selina, was known as ‘the girl with second sight’ in the village where she was born in Scotland and  Dad said she always ‘knew’ things that were unexplainable.

My Mum, Sheila, was four years younger than Dad and although she lived less than three miles from him, in Golders Green, their upbringings were poles apart. There were many romanticized rumours of Irish blood, a  Hungarian Jewess and even a Marquis somewhere in her ancestry.  Mum was raised in a liberated, educated,  middle-class environment, as an only child, by her Father Ray, and an eclectic collection of  aunts.  She was told her Mother, whom her Father had not married, had abandoned her when she was a baby.

Mum was very attractive, tall, possessing a wonderful perfect 36:24:36 figure, with shapely long legs, silky mahogany hair and huge brown eyes framed by incredible, natural long eye lashes she always attracted the attention of men.

The saying ‘opposites attract’ could have been written with Mum and Dad in mind.

Mum would like to invite many friends round, put on loud music and dance around the sitting room singing and laughing.   Dad would prefer to sit quietly, reading a book or listening to classical music. Mum was liberal and carefree as a parent, Dad was strict and ensured that his long list of rules were adhered to.

Mum loved to go out and socialize, whereas Dad would prefer to be at home pottering around the garden. Mum was a free spirit and hated being tied down to routine, Dad insisted that Sunday lunch was on the table at exactly 1 o’clock and tea at 5 o’clock, not a minute later.

Dad was a saver and didn’t like to spend money if he could possibly help it, Mum loved nothing more than going shopping!

Their marriage was a match made in hell in so many ways.  Why they ever married I never really understood.  Was it my fault?  Was it my ‘parent order’,  made many years before in the universal sweet shop, that made them meet and marry?  Or, had there souls asked, maybe even  jointly, to experience a fifty year marriage to a partner with absolutely nothing in common? I hope to find out one day.

My parents were, separately, great people, but together, my goodness, sparks flying is the understatement of the year! Mum’s temper was instant and would flare within moments, my Dad would simmer and then explode like a violent volcano.   What a combination!  Did I really ask to experience these traits? I must have done, but with hindsight I feel just one parent with a temper would have been enough.

As we became older, their rows became more physical.  More and more of their possessions were smashed, damaged and broken as they hurled them at each other.  Luckily neither of them were good shots and they very rarely managed to hit their targets!

I can’t even begin to count how many times one or  the other left.  Normally in the middle of a heated row a few items would be hurriedly stuffed  into a few carrier bags and we children would be  wondering who was leaving this time.  If our Mother left we would normally leave with her, and in a strange way it was always an adventure full of excitement and wonderment.  We wouldn’t know where we were going or who we’d be staying with.  In fact it was through many of these surprise breaks from home that we got to know some of our more interesting far-flung relatives, who I am sure we would have never met under normal circumstances.  Then, sometimes within a few days, or at most a couple of months, there would be an emotional reunion, all would be forgiven (but I am sure not forgotten), the family would be back together again and the house would be full of love and laughter again.

As I said, separately, they were marvellous parents. I learnt so many different facets of life  from each of them.  Dad had a wonderful way of bringing nature to life.  We would spend many hours in the garden together where he would teach me the magic of growing the most beautiful plants.  We discussed the wonderment of mother earth and the natural beauty of the planet. He taught me that divine power was within everyone and everything.

I would sit holding his huge hands whilst we would be listening to the most haunting classical music, both of us with tears rolling down our cheeks, almost unable to cope with the emotions the music would arouse in us. I shared a very close spiritual connection with my Dad from my earliest memory and I am sure that it will transpire that we have been together in many lives before.

With  a wicked sense of humour Dad would have the whole house  full of laughter.  He had a wonderful collection of his own stories that we would beg him to re-tell again and again, many of them included mystical creatures with the most wonderful names, like Ika-mo-blob-a-spit, who I remember was a special dragon with magical powers.

Dad had been aware of spirit since he was five when his twin sister, Mary, had been killed in a road accident. He had seen her throughout his childhood and still spoke to her as I was growing up. He also used to spend time talking to my late Grandfather, who had died before I was even born.

Mum was always extremely well-groomed, with her perfectly applied make up, and  looking more like a model than a Mum, she was surprisingly cuddly and very caring.  She adored playing with us and had an enormous amount of patience helping us with our schoolwork.  She always said that her favourite time in her whole life was when we were all young. I think having missed out on a Mother’s love in her own childhood she never wanted us to feel the loss and pain she had felt.

She was a fantastic cook and we would spend hours preparing big family dinners together.  She’d always have popular music blaring out of the record player and depending on what was playing we would often stop cooking and be jiving and bopping around the kitchen.

She was a very good medium herself although she only used her gifts to help those who were close to her.  Interested in all things spiritual,  Mum often took herself off to what I thought at the time were mysterious meetings.  She would come home and tell me all about it, but I was too afraid to pay much attention, but I do remember that her guide was a gypsy girl called Topsy.  That terrified me, thinking that Topsy would appear at any moment as I was sure that she would be hiding in the house somewhere and would be watching me.

Mum instilled rules for life in me that I still try to live by.  Her overwhelming wish was that everyone would treat each other as they would like to be treated.  She would do anything for anyone and over the years I saw her befriend and help many people.  It was just a shame that she and my Father didn’t adhere to the same philosophy when it came to their own relationship!

Every house we lived in was full of spirits.  All of us were aware of them.   I often saw faces on walls, people at windows and shadows moving across the landing.  As I grew older more and more things would be happening to all of us, no matter which house we lived in.  My most worrying times were when the towels would be moved from the towel rail in the bathroom.  You could just be sitting on the loo and watch them, one by one, fall onto the floor.  I used to be too afraid to move and would yell for Mum to come and rescue me. She’d always walk in and just say “God Bless You, now please leave” and tell me everything would be fine, but it was never fine for very long.

I question now if there was so much energy in our house due to the heightened emotions of my parents.

Throughout their lives they both suffered with serious illnesses and it was during these times that their love for each other really shone out.  The only problem was that when both were well they would start arguing, all over again!

I asked for a mixed bag of sweets, and that’s certainly what I received.  I can’t imagine now having any other parents who would have given me such a broad spectrum of emotions and experiences throughout my childhood. Yes, I would have preferred them not have spent so much arguing, but then I am sure that within their difficult relationship were lessons for all of us within the family.

I do  think that we tend to concentrate on the lessons we are taught by our parents, but what we must not forget is that they too are developing spirits, and would have chosen souls with our attributes to be their children.  What a massive testament to the incredible organisational  skills of spirit to bring together the right people, in the right place and at the right time.  I can only imagine that from the millions of souls  they look for a ‘best fit’.  What a headache it must be!

My parents love was the greatest gift I ever received.   My childhood wasn’t calm, rarely plain sailing, it wasn’t often easy, but what it showed me is that love overcomes everything and is everything.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: