50) Is Love Truly Enough?

I have recently been questioning one of my deepest held beliefs.  Not that I would ever doubt spirits existence, or that we are eternal souls,  no, I have no problems with that.  What I have been doubting is the almost universal belief that somehow,  love  conquers all. It seems to me that everywhere I look, either on Facebook or within spiritual internet sites, the over-riding message is that love is all you need, love will overcome anything, love is the key to happiness. I have been struggling with this the past few years.  Yes, I believe that if we all based our decisions on love, our actions on love and our thoughts on love, the world would be a better place, but unfortunately not everyone does!

Maybe it is true in the universal sense, and maybe it is also true in a soul sense, when you take many lives and average it all out, but I’m talking about this one particular physical life we are living right now.  In my experience, and that of some of my closest friends, no matter how much you love someone, they can still use you, betray you and abuse you. Recently a very dear friend of mine had been blatantly used and deeply hurt by someone she considered a life-long friend, a woman she had always tried to help and support in any way she could.  She can find no rhyme or reason for her friend’s behaviour and is extremely upset.  I feel powerless as all I can do is listen but I can’t take away her pain.  Finally, after many weeks of emotional hurt she came to the decision to end their friendship.  Whilst that may well help her to avoid any further mistreatment by her friend, she is left still reeling from recent events.  I wonder what lessons are being taught when someone who so obviously cares about another is mistreated by them.

My own personal experiences have been difficult to contend with at times.  I used to firmly believe that if you showed someone love and compassion that they would treat you well, but often through my life I have found the absolute opposite to be true.  I have puzzled over this many times and had thought that it must be a certain kind of lesson that needed learning.  I have even tried to feel grateful for the role that someone must have agreed to play to assist me in walking my spiritual path. 

Logically it makes sense to me that kindness should help people to overcome their difficulties. This is something I have pondered for such a long time and have asked my spiritual guides for some guidance on this but so far have not received any answers.

When you make the decision to help someone, in whichever way you feel they may benefit, whether it is just a gentle hug, a time to listen to them, or assistance in a more physical sense, why do they then turn around and be rude or malicious towards you?

It has happened in my life so many times that I can see a pattern of events.  What I am hoping is that one day I will have a ‘light-bulb’ moment and suddenly the reason behind this will fall into place.  My husband, Simon, tells me that he thinks I am too gentle, too soft and too forgiving.  I have so often wished I could toughen up as I think my life may be so much easier,  but the problem with that is that I wouldn’t be me anymore.

My brother  always used to laugh at my tolerance and lack of temper.  Considering the parents I had, who honestly  could have won the olympics if there had been an arguing event, you’d have thought I would have a quick temper, but this isn’t true at all. 

I still remember my Mum’s look of amazement when she saw me lose my temper for the very first time when I was fourteen.  We had been to visit Dad in hospital where he had just undergone life saving surgery and he was on full life support, so to say we were concerned and stressed was an understatement.  Mum was driving our large estate car, and I have to say she wasn’t the most confident of drivers at the best of times, but with the worry of Dad obviously on her mind, she had become distracted and taken a wrong turn.  We ended up in a very narrow dead-end street with cars parked each side.  At the very end there was little space to turn around.  It was only just after 9pm, so not what you would call very late.  Mum had to try to turn the car around which meant going backwards and forwards many many times.  She was, I admit, revving the engine a little whilst trying to navigate safely and gently between the cars, but the noise wasn’t that bad.  Well this chap came out of his house and started really shouting abuse at Mum.  Without a thought I jumped out of the car and walked right up to him and gave him such a ticking off.  I was livid that he had upset my Mum and certainly let him know it.  I told him where we’d been and what was happening to my Dad.  Much to my surprise the man became very apologetic and offered to help Mum with the reversing.  What a turn-around! 

I have always found it easier to fight other people’s battles rather than my own.  My brother used to say that I was like the worm that turned, and by that he meant you could push me so far and then that was that.  How right he was.  I have to admit that I can take an awful lot but finally there is the straw that breaks the camels back, and funnily enough it is often a very little straw!

I have had to break ties with people I have truly loved because they have behaved so badly towards me, and it comes to a point when you realise that all the love in the world cannot change their behaviour, and so very sadly and reluctantly, there really is no choice but to walk away.  Sometimes the hurt of staying in a relationship becomes so deep that your physical body cannot cope with the pain, and sometimes, and possibly even more importantly,  you have to learn to value and respect yourself, which I have found the toughest lesson to learn. 

I saw this too with my own Mum.  She tried so very hard to have a good relationship with her  Step-Mother and did everything she could to try to make it work.  When we were a young family we would all travel up to London to see my Nan. We would make this journey at least once a month. Mum and Dad would have to save hard to pay for the petrol and would always be  praying that the car wouldn’t break down because it was pretty old and extremely unreliable. At the time there were no such things as baby seats in cars and Mum would have to spend two hours sitting in the back of the car with my twin, Tina,  and I in her arms.  She laughed when she told us by the time they got there her arms couldn’t move!    As  Tina and I became older we both suffered from dreadful car sickness.  How Mum and Dad coped with this I just don’t know, it must have been a nightmare for them. I know that Mum would always keep a couple of spare outfits for us and on many occasions as soon as we arrived at Nan’s house we would have to nip upstairs and change into fresh clothes.  Thankfully our older brother Ray was not car sick, that would have been unbearable!

When  Tina and I were eleven we went to stay with Nan for the week before we started at senior school.  Mum and Dad took us up there and we spent a wonderful time with her.  We went to see shows in London and enjoyed meeting all of her friends and generally having fun.  When the week was up Mum and Dad came and collected us and strangely the mood in the car on the way home was decidedly frosty.  Sadly for us, that was the last time we ever saw our Nan.  A week or so after our holiday Mum made the decision to break all ties with her.  I was devastated.  I had adored Nan and couldn’t understand how Mum could be so cruel. 

As a young child, what I hadn’t known was that my Nan could actually drive and had a very nice car.  She would tell Mum of all the trips she took to see her various relatives all over the country and yet she had only ever made the journey to visit us once in the eighteen years since Mum had married. Nan was very comfortably off and would help all her  relatives, and yet she never once offered any help to Mum at all.  Mum told me years later that she had spent so much time broken-hearted at the way Nan treated her  that finally she couldn’t take the hurt anymore.  I know now it was not an easy decision for Mum to make and I know that she remained extremely upset about it for the rest of her life.  She had lost her Dad when she was in her early twenties, and having been told that her natural Mother had abandoned her as a baby, she had  desperately wanted to have a loving relationship with Nan.

It took me a very long time to realise that what I and others had perceived as weakness, was in fact an enormous act of strength on my Mum’s part. I can’t imagine the courage she must have mustered to be able to walk away under those circumstances, but she did, and I am sure that in the following years she certainly didn’t miss the heartache that she had endured for so much of her life. One day, when I am once again in spirit and I have my life review, I feel certain that all will become clear …… but in the meantime I must admit I really find this all so very hard to understand.

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.

43) Interconnectedness

Wednesday morning

On Tuesday nights I watch ‘Touch’, a fictional supernatural programme starring Keifer Sutherland who plays Martin, a widower, and who is the single father of a young boy, Jake, who is emotionally challenged. 

Martin is unable to make any kind of connection with Jake who has never spoken a word and will not allow anyone to touch him. Jake lives in his own world but he is obsessed with numbers and can see both the past, present and future through the connections that the numbers make. I have always felt that we are all connected, that we are all from the creator, or as some would say, from source, or from God.  I find the series fascinating with its insight into synchronicity and the realisation for the father, Martin, that there are no such things as coincidences. 

On Monday I had received an email from a woman in America who has been reading my blogs. She asked me if I could help her in advising how she could receive spiritual healing.  She had, she felt, been the victim of a con man who had charged her quite a large amount for supposedly healing her.  She needed someone she could trust and had asked spirit for guidance and they had told her to contact me! I wasn’t feeling too well on Tuesday,  so I didn’t reply to her straight away, but sent an email telling her I would email her again on Wednesday.

Tuesday night I settled down to watch Touch. This weeks episode wasn’t so much about numbers, but more about a pattern within a cats cradle that Jake kept making with wool.  Martin, his father, had to try to place the pattern and work towards connecting people who were associated with it.  All sounds rather odd if you haven’t been watching Touch, but in the programme it all made perfect sense.  The important part of the pattern was two triangles which kept appearing in different guises and always made a connection with people, even across continents.

On Wednesday morning I was lying in bed, thinking of the email I had received and how I could possibly  help someone who lived so far away – over 4,000 miles –  when I happened to look out of my bedroom window.  I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a perfect cross in the sky.  It was exactly the pattern that Jake had been showing his father which connected everyone!  I knew there and then that the distance between us meant nothing spiritually.

That in itself, was, synchronistically speaking, quite amazing.  Later on Wednesday I was chatting to a wonderful friend of mine, Jane, who is both a gifted medium and healer.  She was telling me about a workshop she had recently attended which was teaching a new way of healing, it was about a system called The Healing Code.  I looked it up on the internet and saw that there was a book available and downloaded it to my kindle.  Having read a few chapters I thought it would make sense for the lady in America to read it too.  I emailed her and sent her a link to the book.  At the same time I agreed to send her spiritual healing myself, and as I was typing her email I was covered in goosebumps which to me shows that I am certainly make the right decision.

The following day I received another email from her.  On Wednesday she had gone and bought a book, The Power, the follow-up book to The Secret.  It wasn’t the one I had been reading, but it included reference to the same man who had written the book I had advised her to buy!  He was the only MD featured in the popular DVD of The Secret.  Neither of us could believe it!! There we are, me living here in England and her in America, and of all the books in the world, she buys a book that includes a reference to the very same man.  What are the chances of that? More synchronicity.

I feel that spirit has shown me this week, in more than one way, that we are all truly connected. We arranged that today I would send the  lady spiritual healing.  As I sat at a pre-arranged time I was again covered in my familiar goose-bumps and as I asked my healing guides to draw close and send healing to the lady I felt the most wonderful connection.

Truth really is stranger than fiction!

42) An Apology

The pier at Burnham-on-Sea

The pier at Burnham-on-Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I owe God an apology.  Well in fact it’s an apology both to God and Jesus.  It’s an apology from myself and also on behalf of my twin sister Tina, as we were in cahoots at the time, so I hope they will accept this from both of us.

When we were about eleven years old, Mum was, spiritually speaking, trying to finding her way.  From my earliest memories I remember Mum trying various religions.  Some she would really get involved in and others she would dismiss very quickly. She was a natural medium, but even with the knowledge that spirit is energy and so, ever-lasting, she was still searching for the meaning of life and felt that ‘somewhere’, ‘ out there’ she would find it.

She was working as a secretary for an airline in Hounslow, Middlesex,  close to Heathrow Airport, and it was there that she met another secretary, Jean.  Jean was a staunch member of the Plymouth Brethren Church.  Unfortunately for us, Mum thought that this religion might be the one that we should all take on board.  All, meaning Mum and Tina and myself, as Dad would never step foot inside a church and by that time our older brother,Ray, was more into becoming a hippy and playing his guitar than wanting to find himself embroiled in some religious activities.

Jean belonged to a small Plymouth Brethren church that Tina and I attended with Mum on a few occasions.  The whole place was very understated and to me felt totally flat.  There was no atmosphere at all, no feeling of joyous celebrations of life, just really boring sermons, uncomfortable chairs and self-righteous middle-aged ladies, faces scrubbed clean and dressed in drab neat boring clothes.   They had such strict rules which basically meant that if you were to become one of them you wouldn’t be able to have much fun at all. I couldn’t help but wonder why Mum was at all interested in this very odd religion, but I think that the stranger it appeared, the more Mum thought there must be something to it.  I am also sure that Jean felt that she could somehow change Mum, give her ‘real’ values and that she would throw away her makeup bag, her fashionable clothes, and become just like Jean – a mouse of a woman who spent her life adhering to the strictest of religious rules.  Jean must have been very persuasive to get Mum to even consider joining.

Jean asked Mum if  Tina and I would like to go on a Plymouth Brethren holiday and she had said yes.  Mum told us that it would be really good fun and that she felt we hadn’t given the church much of a chance.  Reluctantly we agreed to go, after all, we thought, it might be ok because it meant that we would be away on holiday just the two of us for the very first time.  We really thought that it couldn’t possibly be that bad!

We had never been camping before and this was a holiday in big tents, so we really were quite excited as we packed our tee shirts and shorts and swimming costumes.  I remember feeling so grown up as I carried my own suitcase onto the coach.  The holiday was at a campsite at Brean Sands in Somerset, right beside the sea.  To me as a child, a seaside holiday meant making sand castles, sunbathing, sticks of rock, chips and fizzy drinks, , swimming in the sea, playing in penny arcades and donkey rides. I imagined us all sitting round a camp fire at night singing jolly songs.

When we arrived we were all shown to our tents with our allotted sleeping bags already laid out on the ground.  It didn’t look at all comfortable! There was a large wooden cabin were we all had to meet up for meals and for ‘meetings’.  The lady in charge was called ‘Captain’, I would think she was in her mid fifties and wore a rigid black suit with a high neck buttoned white blouse, not your usual holiday clothes at all.  She looked like a sergeant major to me and I had an uneasy feeling about her from the off.  It was obvious she already knew lots of the other children and her tight-lipped stern expression only softened into a smile when she was addressing those she knew.  The rest of us were greeted with a scowl and a look of disdain.  Not the best welcome to a week-long holiday.

After sorting out our clothes we had to go the cabin for our tea.  Captain sat at the top table and before we’d even eaten a sandwich she was standing up calling from a register and issuing your orders for the week.  When she came to Tina and I she told us that we were on latrine duty.  I had no idea what a latrine was but soon found out. Basically we were going to be toilet attendants for the week.  Somehow that did not thrill us.

After tea we were told that the Bible verse for the week was John 10, verse 10. ‘The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly’.  Captain explained that what that meant was that we were all sinners and unless we behaved ourselves and repented that we would not go to heaven.  I was really worried, because I knew that I wasn’t always good and had sometimes been naughty.  I was convinced that there was no way I was ever going to be able to get into heaven.  That first night when I went to sleep, in my sleeping bag on the lumpy ground, I was trying so hard not to cry because I really thought I was going to be in such trouble with God.

The following morning after breakfast (and prayers …. lots of prayers) Tina and I had to carry out our latrine duties for the first time.  The loos were dreadful.  Everything smelt of jeyes fluid and the brushes for cleaning the toilet bowls had seen better days. It was not a pleasant task.  I can’t begin to explain the state of some of the seats …. I still don’t know how they ever got like that.    We had though been told that we would off on a bus to go to the beach for the rest of the day, so that was something we could really look forward to.

We all went and waited at the bus stop with our swimming costumes and towels full of happy thoughts for the day ahead.  The bus arrived, complete with some local passengers and on we all got.  Much to our absolute horror,  Captain got everyone singing hymns. “S-A-V-I-O-U-R- we want you all to know, you’re the one, the only one who saves from sin (saves from sin), if in him, you will believe, his pardon you’ll receive”, etc etc.  I felt a total fool with everyone staring at us.  I had no option but to get used to it, because it happened everyday for the whole week.  I just kept thinking that no-one would know Tina and I and at least we weren’t singing hymns on a bus where we lived.

Even on the beach the theme of the week continued.  We were dispatched to sandcastle making teams.  It was all very formal and efficient.  Each team was given a passage from the bible that you had to make into a sand sculpture.  My team had the verse ‘For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few be they that find it.’  Captain explained that in order to get into heaven we had to walk along the narrow path , but that most of us walked a wider path.  There was that threat again.  Behave … or else!  There was no swimming, no boat rides, no ice creams. No fun at all.

To me, even at that young age, I felt that their whole philosophy was one of fear. So it went on through the whole week.  I really wasn’t sleeping very well and both Tina and I cried ourselves to sleep every night because our worries were growing by the day.  I made the massive mistake of asking Captain if we would be able to go to the pier and the fun fair.  My goodness, she was not happy with me at all.  I was told that I was sinful to want to go against the teachings of the bible. Then to top it off Tina and I were severely reprimanded by Captain, in front of everyone, because we were found walking across a field towards a donkey derby, which we were told, was strictly against God. That’s it, I thought, I’ve totally had it now.  I was convinced that I was going to hell.

It was becoming an increasingly miserable time apart from every night, after the sermon, when other children were standing up telling how they had found Jesus or God.  Everyone would be clapping and they would then become an accepted member of the group. It was obvious to us that there were very few left who hadn’t found Jesus, and we were definitely among those few!  It also appeared that those people who had just found God or Jesus were  given the better jobs within the camp.  People who had been on rubbish patrol would be moved to cutlery placing, those on washing up were put on bread and butter service.  It seemed that was the only way to get ahead.  Tina and I reckoned that as we were already in so much trouble and we were going to go to hell anyway, we would hatch a plan  to get out of latrine duties!

The following evening, after we had cleaned the loos before supper, we had our course of action in place.  After we had eaten and said more prayers, and Captain had given us all yet another lengthy sermon on behaving, we stood up in unison.  We told her we had found Jesus behind the cabin. She did look a little stunned, but managed a very small smile and everyone started clapping wildly.  “The twins have found Jesus”, “the twins have found Jesus” they exclaimed excitedly! People gathered round us and hugged us.  Suddenly we were no longer the outsiders, we were part of the group.

The next morning after breakfast we were given new instructions for the rest of the week .  No longer did we have to clean the loos, we were told we would be in charge of handing out breakfast cereals and porridge.  We had certainly been promoted.  Our plan had worked!  Then, the dreaded guilt set in.  The realisation of the lies we had told and the total certainty of an everlasting life in hell really took its toll on both of us.  We couldn’t wait to get home to talk to Mum and Dad.  We were praying they could somehow fix everything with Jesus and God.

Thankfully the time to go home eventually arrived.  Even now, forty-five years later, I remember how long that week felt. Mum and Dad met us at the coach station and had expected to be meeting two very happy sun tanned girls.  Instead we got off the coach and just fell into their arms crying.  Through sobs we told them that we were going to hell.  We really were distraught.  They asked us to explain what had happened and after we had, they told us there was no way in the world we would be going to hell. Dad really was quite cross that anyone could put such fear into children but was laughing uncontrollably when we told him about us finding Jesus behind the cabin. Mum explained that God is love and that there is no way in the world that God would want anyone to be frightened of him. Quite seriously it took months for Tina and I to get over the fears that had been instilled in us that week.  Mum, thankfully,  decided not to go to the church with Jean ever again and was very pleased when Jean moved offices!

Now, as an older woman, with many years of life’s experiences under my belt, I feel that the higher spirit, the creator of our universe, is as Mum said, pure love. Of that I have absolutely no doubt.  I tend to follow my own spiritual pathway and rarely become involved in anything termed as ‘religion’, although I pray every night, and happily pray with friends.

I believe with all my heart that we all share a creator, no matter the title that anyone or any group may give to this divine spirit, and that this creator would never want to threaten or frighten, but instead would wish to instill love and compassion and empathy in all those who live.

I do still wonder whether the other children on that holiday were as frightened as we were. A whole week of being indoctrinated is pretty hard for an adult, never mind a young child.  Thank goodness Tina and I had each other and parents who showed us, through example and guidance, what a wonder our creator truly is.  I do though still wish to apologise for telling the lie about finding Jesus behind the cabin.  Quite possibly (hopefully) God and Jesus had a good laugh about it.  I am hoping they have a good sense of humour!

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!!

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/

35) Busy, busy, busy!

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I seem to go through phases in my life when everything, spiritually speaking, goes very quiet.   At other times I feel that whichever way I turn they are almost shouting out at me, “Wake up – we are here!”.

The problem is that sometimes I have too many activities going on. Before you think, wow, this woman lives life in the fast lane, I’m talking more about catching up on the washing and ironing, sorting out the freezer, balancing the bank account etc, not terrifically exciting.

I feel that recently I have been busy with people, which is wonderful, and I never complain about that, but the weeks just suddenly whizz by and I realise I haven’t been spending the time I feel I need to be moving forward spiritually.

My weekends with Simon are precious and so I tend to keep Saturday and Sunday free for ‘us time’.  I spend a day a week with my twin Tina, then I see friends a couple of afternoons a week.  Since writing this blog I now follow other blogs and can easily lose a couple of hours a day reading them, replying to them, and researching what they have been discussing.

On top of that I have just started to become acquainted with Squidoo, which is another way of publishing information on-line.  Simon’s hobby is photography and he was told about Squidoo a couple of weeks ago, and of course, once he had looked at it he told me I should, so suddenly another few days went A.W.O.L. as I became engrossed in learning all about it.

There are also friends who live dotted around the world who I try to keep in touch with on a fairly regular basis either with emails or phone calls, relatives who live closer who come over for dinner, pets that need attending to, holidays that need researching etc …. the list is endless!

I also have several books on the go.  A friend told me about a book I ‘must’ read which is an alternative way of treating thyroid problems, which I have been battling for years, so that book has joined the other three beside the bed that I am part-way through reading.  Then I have my beloved kindle which I have become hopelessly addicted to.  I see books that I feel I should read, and now, instead of spending a fortune, I can, for a fraction of the price, download them literally within seconds, and ‘bingo’ yet another book to read!

On top of all of this, due to my health problems, I have to take lots of breaks, and if I don’t my body soon decides to enforce longer rest periods, which is unbelievably frustrating when there is so much to do, that in my head at least,  I feel somehow I should be able to fit in.

Well recently I have felt slightly disconnected from spirit.  I haven’t attended any workshops or circles for months and haven’t been along to any demonstrations of mediumship for almost a month (my wonderful weekend away!).  Everytime I have tried to meditate recently I have found myself falling asleep in the chair and waking up with a stiff neck, so that hasn’t had what I would term the desired effect of feeling closer to spirit at all. Spirit though have a way of letting me know they are around, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes not quite as subtle as I would like.

If you read one of my earlier posts, 6) Man in the Mirror, you will know that whilst having a shower one day, I happened to see my spiritual guide in the mirror.  Since that time I must admit that at times when I’m going to have a shower I do get just ever so slightly spooked.  Often I am not, and happily go and have a shower without a thought, but at other times I just suddenly feel that I would be much happier if Simon was sitting close by.

On Sunday I went upstairs to have a shower and Simon was sitting downstairs watching t.v.  I felt absolutely fine, not spooked in the slightest, I had put the hot water on, organised my shampoo, conditioner, hair remover etc, and I was just about to get in the shower when I felt aware of  ‘something’.  I can’t say I was really that worried, but thought that some music might be nice to take my mind off any weird feelings.  I bought my portable radio into the bathroom, turned it on and just couldn’t believe my ears when the tune ‘Man in the Mirror’ boomed out!  I think that was quite a coincidence – if there are such things as coincidences – which I gather from a spiritual point of view there are not!  I decided that I would be brave and continued to have my shower, on my own, and really felt that I had overcome one of my fears. Fortunately nothing odd appeared in the mirror that time! Phew!

Last week I went to see my friend Kay.  She has been very unwell with vertigo for several months and has been rarely able to leave her home due to her unrelenting dizziness.  I love to go and visit her as she is very good company, full of interesting stories, and we also share a lot of common experiences from our childhoods.     She has had an awful lot to contend with health wise over the last few years and she always amazes me with her positive approach to life.  She is one of life’s fighters and I have never once heard her complain or make ‘poor me’ comments, she just takes everything in her stride, looks for the best in every situation and most importantly, looks at how she can help others in the same boat as her.  She is one very strong lady!

Well that very morning Kay had been to the doctors for some test results and was told that she was diabetic and that she would need to take medication and change her diet.  As we were sitting talking, I suddenly felt compelled to give her healing.  I should explain that I am not what I would call a healer at all.  There have been a few instances in my life where I have had the same feeling, and always gone along with it, knowing that spirit obviously see a need.  I sat there whilst Kay and I were discussing her new diagnosis, becoming increasingly aware of what I can only describe as an instruction, that I should give her healing.  I ignored the feeling for a few minutes until it became overwhelming and I really had no choice in the matter.  Now, Kay has been ill since last summer, and I hadn’t once felt I should give her healing, so this was quite a new experience for me.  I asked her if she would mind and she said it would be fine.

She was sitting down and I stood behind her and placed my hands on her shoulders.  Within moments my hands felt as if they were fizzing, and they also felt extremely hot.  My whole body became hotter and hotter, even my toes were hot, and I normally have cold feet.  Even though my eyes were closed I could see a bright light, almost like a beam, coming towards me.  I felt that we were both immersed in this wonderful healing ray.  Kay said she could feel the heat across her chest and she too was aware of a light, which she felt was going to her heart.  It was a truly beautiful serene time.  I kept hearing the word opalite, which meant nothing to me.  I tend to ignore anything I hear until I am told it several times, just in case it is my imagination, but I just kept hearing that word.  I have never had much interest in crystals and know nothing about them at all, but did feel that this was something to do with a crystal.

I gradually felt my hands return to normal and the heat left me.  As I sat down I told Kay that I had kept hearing the word opalite.  She didn’t know what it meant either, so we looked it up in a reference book she has about crystals.  I was stunned when I read that it is used to regulate insulin!!! My goodness, I just couldn’t believe it.  I just love it when spirit gives me pertinent information that I would have never known about before, and when I research it, it proves to be totally correct.

I had always considered crystals a little ‘new age’ and never really thought of them as a serious way to heal or balance the body before.  I shall certainly view them with more reverence in future.  Hmmmm …. I feel another book or two that will need reading!

Where will I ever find the time?

34) It’s Only a Number!

A picture of a birthday cake

I’ve just had a birthday.  Hooray!

The problem is that I can’t get used to being so ‘old’.  Although my body doesn’t exactly feel ‘young’, my head, my mind and my heart does.  I’m like a ‘cut and shut’ where bits of me just don’t fit together quite right.  My body hasn’t felt very young for a number of years now. Due to a chronic illness I always have pain somewhere and the lack of energy is annoying, but I’ve got used to that over time, it’s been with me for nineteen years, so I should have by now!

No, now the problem is that my body is actually ageing.  I’ve noticed the wrinkles deepening and my eyelids kind of folding over, its difficult to describe, but all of my eyelids used to be visible, but now there is extra skin that hangs over them – I’m sure there is a technical name for it – but it’s happened all of a sudden.  My legs have never been my strong point, being knock-kneed how I rejoiced when maxi dresses came back into fashion, but now they too are beginning to look like old lady legs.  As I’ve aged I’m seeing more and more the family genes take over.  Auntie Violet legs – thanks Auntie!

My twin used to be very good at pointing out my short comings, but since her stroke she hasn’t so much and I have been thankful for that.  Last Friday when she came over she was looking intently at my hands.  Now, she doesn’t often say a lot these days so I normally relish a conversation with her, but on Friday she was not having a good day and was more ‘there’ (wherever that is), than ‘here’, so when she started to talk I was really pleased. “You’ve got”, she looked as if she was frustrated trying to talk, “You’ve got” she tried again, “What am I trying to say?”, “I don’t know sis” I replied, as I often do, because she often asks that.  There was another long pause and I always imagine her brain is trying to get into gear, “You’ve got  age spots on your hands” she piped up with a big smile, “Oh” I said, a little shocked, “and your hands” she went on, “your hands”, I waited patiently as she gathered her thoughts once again, “your hands aren’t looking so pretty these days, they look wrinkly”.  Gee, thanks sis!  Well that was certainly worth waiting for!

I hadn’t really looked at her hands before, they are lily white as she has been indoors for almost three years now and she only had one very tiny insignificant age spot.  One of her habits since her stroke is applying hand lotion many many times a day, so I must admit her hands do look very soft.  Maybe it should become one of my habits too. She isn’t capable of doing any housework or washing up either and I’m sure that plays a big role in my wrinkly, aged spots hand syndrome! Bless her!

I think the reason this birthday has hit me harder than all the rest is that it really is the heading towards sixty birthday, I can’t say I’m in my early fifties anymore, I’ve tilted over the edge of fifty five and fifty six does sound so very grown up! I think, for all of us who have gained some weight, we can look in the mirror and think about when we are slim again, there is a hope that one day we may shed the weight and be back to our ‘real’ slim selves.  For me too, there is always the hope that one day I am going to wake up well, that my illness will have scuttled off into the night, never to darken my door again, and I will once again return to the ‘real’ healthy, full of vitality, capable of anything, me.  But, looking in the mirror now, seeing my droopy eyelids and, thanks to Tina, being aware of my aged hands, there is no hope that one day the droops will disappear and the wrinkles will all smooth out.  I’m not even going to consider discussing the other, more covered up, bits of me, that are patently struggling with age.  A girl (or maybe I should at this age say woman) does have to keep some dignity! No, this is it.  It really is the beginning of me looking old.

I was chatting to my sister-in-law Wendy just before my birthday.  Wendy is sixteen years younger than me (eek, I’m ‘just’ old enough to be her mother!), she is extremely pretty, very petite and super fit.  She goes to the gym most days and also leads a very busy life as a hairdresser, a Mum to my two beautiful neices and has a very active social life.  She is also, absolutely lovely and great fun to be with.  As the years have gone by and we have got to know each other better we enjoy an easy relationship and chat away and discuss anything and everything.  I’m so lucky to have her as my sis-in-law.  She was asking me how old I was going to be and when I told her she said it is just a number. I laughed, yes, I agreed, but said it was a bloomin’ big number!

This week there was the shocking news of the death of Whitney Houston and it really got me thinking.  She had died when she was only forty eight years old.  I met Simon when I was that age, and how I would have hated to have missed the wonderful time we have shared together.  I have met so many wonderful new people since moving to Hampshire when I was forty eight.  For me it was an age when my life turned around, when I had the courage to stand up and be me, to leave an old life and start afresh.   I didn’t have Whitneys fame, her talent, her money or her looks, but I did have my own identity, which I sadly feel she was lacking.  How sad that her life ended when my new life had just begun.  I was thinking that Whitney won’t ever be old enough to be complaining about droopy eyelids and how very fortunate I am to have made it to have a big number birthday.

How sad that so many amazingly talented people just can’t cope with their lives and end up relying so heavily on drugs and alcohol to get through.  I wonder how many of them feel lonely, how many question who really likes them for who they are, not what they have or what they can do for them? It must be tough to cope with public adulation when in your heart you are not prepared, when deep down you must know that you are not coping with the success.

I find it strange how many young people say they want to be famous, and yet fame has so many drawbacks, I just don’t understand why anyone would want to be in a position where they can’t even pop out to their local shops without someone taking a snap of them. Where everyone feels they have the right to comment on and often criticise what you wear, who you spend your time with, what you do. What a dreadful way to live your life!

Hopefully Whitney is now beginning a new life in spirit where she will be able to realise how amazingly fortunate she was in so many ways, where she will be able to find some of the joy she had in her life here.  I do hope that her soul will heal and with help she will be able to move forward along her pathway. Maybe in her next incarnation she will again have the voice of an angel, but our society may have moved on and she will not be put on such a pedestal, where from such a great height so many have fallen.  Maybe next time she’ll happily get to the big number birthdays.  Let’s hope so.

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.

23) Learning to say yes!

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21) What are you thankful for?

In answer to the "Is the glass half empty...

What a fabulous topic!  Whoop!  Whoop!

The problem with this question is where to start?  It would be too easy to list everything I am thankful for, although I don’t think there would be enough space on my blog.   My list is endless.

Instead, I would like to take a little more thought about this, and consider what makes some people so thankful and others so lacking in thankfulness.  It could be the old glass half full or glass half empty scenario, or  the classic, are you an optimist or are you a pessimist question.  Do these personality traits play their roles in thankful appreciation?

We are all so individual, and why someone may find an experience a reason for celebration, another may find the exact opposite!  For arguments sake, if we just look at birthdays.  We all have them, and the more the merrier I say, but there are those who are delighted to be alive on, let’s say,  their fortieth birthday, whilst someone else may be devastated to be turning forty because they think it will make them feel so old.  It is all a matter of perspective.

When I was thirty-five I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (I can’t  believe it, twenty years ago)   During my surgery and my various treatments, I was fortunate enough to meet the most amazing people.  My first contact was with a wonderful surgeon, Mr Knox.  At first he appeared quite brusque, but over time I felt a massive fondness for him.  He had an instinctive awareness of my fears and concerns and had a very reassuring presence.  He told me he was going to give me some important and life changing advise and I assumed it would be something to do with diet or exercise, but I was so wrong.  He told me  never to buy a newspaper again!  I was surprised and asked him why.  He said that  bad news sells newspapers, and that my life should be full of positivity and I must not allow negativity into my daily routine. He said that the world revolves around negativity and fear and he felt strongly that fear played a massive role in people’s recovery from serious illness. I have hardly ever bought a newspaper since!

I then met the wonderful and caring  Dr Hong.  She was in charge of my radiotherapy treatment.  She told me that she felt she was so honoured to work with cancer patients as they had taught her so much.  I asked her why and she told me that when people recover from cancer they never look at the world in the same way as they did before.  She felt that for those who recovered, having cancer was a real blessing!  At the time I must admit I found that hard to swallow, but she assured me that in the years to come, and she insisted there would be many of them, that I would look back and realise how lucky I was to have had cancer.

I do believe now that she was so right.  My whole outlook on life changed and I also became increasingly thankful for every blessing in my life.  I know that a huge shift took place within me and I desperately wanted others to feel the same.  The difficulty is that until you truly have a life threatening experience, you do somehow feel quite immortal and tend to take so much for granted.  When you have recovered from a life changing event even a previously insignificant and minor occurrence can fill you with appreciation and wonder.  Everything tends to take on a greater meaning.

I know that for me, my ambitions changed dramatically.  Suddenly so much I had worked so hard for, had strived towards, became inconsequential.  It caused many problems too, because at the time I was not surrounded by those who would share my new enthusiasm for a different way of life, away from the materialistic and career dominated existence of my past, towards a more meaningful, altruistic and spiritual pathway.

There are those of course who are almost born being thankful.  These, in my experience, tend to be happy bods, who bounce along in a happiness bubble and see and sense and feel so much to be thankful for.  Thankfully, pardon the pun, I have been the fortunate partner of one such soul for the past seven years.  He has never experienced anything majorly bad in his life but nevertheless, he is a thankful person.  He is always saying how wonderful everything is, how blessed he feels and how lucky we are.

However,  I also have a friend who has, in material terms, lived one of the luckiest lives I have known.  Is she thankful?  No, quite the opposite!  She is and always has been, stunningly attractive, very clever, very talented.  How sad, that whatever she does is not fulfilling, what she has is never enough, whatever she experiences is never good enough.  She takes several idyllic holidays a year and yet within weeks of her return is complaining that she needs another holiday!  She drives a brand new car and yet complains she cannot afford it – so why buy it???   Sorry, is that being unfairly critical? She has three wonderful children, she is so blessed, yet cannot see it and has such a negative outlook on life. I often wonder why.  To me it makes no sense.  Is there an answer?  Will she ever feel truly thankful for the many wonderful gifts in her life? I often feel  I would like to give her a bottle of spiritual tonic to open her awareness and for her to be able to see the wondrous world in which we live, to feel fulfilled by the simple things in life, to be content. To be totally honest sometimes I just feel like screaming at her … be thankful for goodness sake, but that’s not particularly spiritual of me, is it?

Is this taking me back to my soul choice questions all over again?  So much in my life seems to point me back to that, again and again.  Did I choose to have cancer to be able to experience life both before and after the massive shift I felt?  Did my husband choose a happy thankful personality for this lifetime, and did my friend choose a personality with such a pessimistic and ungrateful outlook?  Did they swap from their choices from their last lives? Do their choices enable others to grow and learn from them.  Funnily enough, whenever I have spent time with my unappreciative friend her negativity has the reverse effect on me and I always come home feeling so incredibly lucky and thankful for how much I have in my life.

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!

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.

.

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.

8) Life’s Lessons

Graduation

Several years ago I had been through the most difficult year of my life.  My Mum, my brother and my Dad were all taken to spirit within weeks of each other and I felt my heart was breaking.  At the same time, as well as dealing with my own personal losses, there was so much negativity everywhere.

With the rest of the world I watched in horror as the events unfolded on 9/11  and I felt so useless, as if there was absolutely nothing I could do to help, even in a small way, to make the world a better place. I felt desolate.

Every time I put the television or radio on there was more depressing news.  I have never understood how people could be so cruel to one another, or use their own greed to take from the needy.  There seemed to be an avalanche of distressing events on a global scale.

I sat in the quiet and asked my guides how this could happen.  How could so many people be in such distress?  Why were children dying of starvation? Why were so many countries at war?  I was questioning my faith in God or the Higher Powers.  I felt so sad in my heart and was desperate for answers. I wanted someone to shout that it was all a mistake, that everything would be put right.

I felt my writing guide come in close.  I have learnt that a light stroke of my hair on the back of my head is the unmistakable nudge to find a piece of paper and a pen and just to listen and write what I hear, nothing more.

This is what I received.

Life’s Lessons.

If life were as kind as we thought it should be,

there’d be no worries or woes, everything would be trouble-free.

There would always be sunshine and only rain at night,

there’d be no storms to wreak havoc, we’d never witness nature’s might.

Every child would be born perfectly healthy and strong,

There’d be no need to teach right from wrong.

There would be no famines and certainly no wars,

Every country in harmony with its neighbour next door.

No violence, no terror, there would be no need,

no-one would be selfish or suffer from greed.

But in reality, this just isn’t so,

we all need life’s lessons to help us to grow.

To overcome difficulties, to rise above pain,

we need challenges and dreams, it’s from those that we gain.

Whenever I find myself questioning the unfairness of situations that the innocent find themselves in, the terrible traumatic events that so many have to go through, the heartbreak and tragic losses people experience, I read this and try to understand.  It is not easy.  It takes a lot for me to look at the bigger picture and try to accept that our souls have to move forward through these dreadful lessons of life.  I hope that one day we will find an easier way.

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