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!!

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39) The Afterlife Monologues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candle Lighter Award!!!

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

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

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

There are no rules.

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

You are also free to decline or ignore it. 

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

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

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

33) Hi-di-Hi Campers!!

Simon and I always try to do something different for our birthdays.   Over the years amongst other things, I’ve been whisked away for a romantic break to a luxury hotel, we’ve been on the London Eye and Simon has been a racing driver, etc.  You get the gist.  The whole idea is that our birthdays are memorable events, a special day to mark the beginning of our next year.  So, when friends of mine mentioned a  Psychic & Spiritual Festival that started on my birthday I thought it would be a unique way to enjoy a get-away and experience the work of mediums that I hadn’t seen before.

As the event was being held right by the coast  “Sceptic Simon” agreed to come along, not to attend any workshops or lectures, but to go out and about with his beloved camera taking some landscape shots with his new filters.  So, we were two very happy bunnies, full of excitement looking forward to the weekend.

I rang the venue to ask if there was a program as my friends and I wondered if we had to book any of the workshops, but I was told that no-one knows the events until the day they arrive.  Goodness, I thought, they must be mega organised!  We where aiming to arrive at about 3:30pm and our timing was spot on. We were given the keys to our ‘chalet’ and directions,  but as we walked through the car park my heart began to sink  when I saw the rows and rows of ‘chalets’ – Hi di Hi couldn’t help but come to mind.  Our room was a double …. just …  it was so small, and the bathroom was something out of the ark,  it was what I would call VERY basic!   It was not what I had expected, but then it’s not what you expect that makes life richer!

I was keen to look at the programme and we couldn’t help but laugh when the saw the evening entertainment billed as Scott Paige and his High Octaine Show-Team.  Seriously, I felt like we were in a time warp and we had unknowingly been time travelling back to the mid 60’s!

After the disappointment with our chalet we really didn’t expect much of the food,  but have to say that it exceeded expectations.  The service was great and the food, although plain, was well cooked and we certainly weren’t going to be starving. We were given a table number and had to sit at the same table for the whole time.  We were sat opposite two women, Julie and her aunt Sylvia.  Julie was a florist by trade, with a very dry sense of humour and a houseful of assorted rescued pets with rather strange names.  Sylvia had a very fast mind, was great company and relayed some very amusing spiritually based stories. They were both real characters with great personalities and we felt we were so lucky to sit opposite them.

The first evening there was a medley of mediums demonstrating until 10pm.  I hadn’t heard of them before, but I gather they are quite well-known.  I must say that the evidence that was brought through by Philip Solomon was amazing.  He was giving people not just names and memorable dates but addresses as well.  I can’t say I agreed with everything he said about his beliefs on spiritual matters, but he did say that we all have our own views and that we must respect that.  I was really pleased because even Sceptic Simon was marginally impressed, and that is quite something!

Simon toddled off on the first morning to go and take some pics and I stayed with my friend Annette as we were working out which lectures or workshops to attend.  The problem seemed to be that there were never enough chairs in the rooms and they kept moving who was working where, which is quite confusing when there are about five hundred people all trying to find their way about.  I wasn’t too worried about missing any of the workshops as I hadn’t heard of the tutors before, but one person I particularly wanted to see was Jay Love.

I had met Jay several years before, when as students at the Arthur Findlay College in Stanstead we had discussed our spiritual development.  So many of our experiences had been shared it was quite uncanny.  He struck me then as a real down to earth kind of chap.  He was a gentle soul with kind eyes and had a wicked sense of humour.  He didn’t take himself too seriously, although it was obvious how much he respected spirit.  I had never forgotten him and a few months ago had found him on the internet and we had been in contact via Facebook, where I had learnt that his development had led him to physical mediumship and he was now able to bring through spirit using transfiguration.

For those who don’t know about this form of mediumship, it is when the medium goes into trance and spirits communicate and also temporarily materialise, usually over the mediums face, by utilising a form of energy that it is believed the medium manufactures within themselves.  It is rare to be able to see this first hand.

I had desperately wanted to see Jay demonstrate his physical mediumship, but as we arrived at the designated room we were told we would need to bring our own chairs and bluntly told by the lady on the door that she would be locking the door in one minute.  This didn’t give us enough time to go and get the chairs so we ended up in another room seeing a lecture about ghost pictures!

Most of  Saturday I saw various people do various things, nothing that I found totally astounding,  it was ok, but I was deeply disappointed not to have seen Jay.  Having said all that though there was certainly a good mixture of differing disciplines for you to take a look at, everything from pure spiritual communication to paranormal investigation to tarot, to sand box readings.  The choice was quite amazing.

In the late afternoon Annette and I found ourselves at a bit of a loose end and, almost by accident, found ourselves in a lecture about animal communication, which we weren’t planning to attend.  As we walked in there were two pictures on a board.  One was a very nice looking cat and the other looked  like my old dog Sam.  I even said to Annette “goodness, that looks just like Sam”.  We sat down and began listening and much to my surprise the lady, who was actually a medium, explained that she had only just drawn the pictures and these two animals wanted to communicate with their owners.  It wasn’t at all what I had expected.  Several people tried to accept information about the cat, who was a tabby called Tigger, but eventually the information given narrowed it down to one particular lady in the audience and she was given the picture.

Then the medium, Raye Edwina Brown, started to talk about the dog.  She said that his name was Sam!  My hand shot up immediately.  She explained that in his old age his back legs had given way and he had to be put to sleep, but that this happened at home.  That was exactly what had happened to Sam.  She said it was literally only a few days before he died that this had started, which was true, as Sam’s back legs gave out on a Friday and I called the vet on Monday as he couldn’t stand up.  She even gave the date of the year he was born.  I was so chuffed.  He sent me his love and told me that he was pleased that I had so much freedom in my life now.  I was called to the front to collect my picture.  I waited until everyone had left and went over to thank Raye and she took a photo of me with the picture of Sam and said she is going to put it in her magazine!

This had made my weekend, I didn’t really expect very much more.  I had loved Sam so much and felt so lucky that he had come through.  I had given communication from animals to people in readings in the past and had seen their delight, and now I knew exactly how they felt.

The evening was not so good.  To me, the mediums were more interested in being entertainers than mediums and I did feel on a few occasions that they were not respectful to either the spirits or the audience.  I watched three of them and decided I would rather go back to the cold chalet than sit and watch anymore.  I was so annoyed that it was typical that Simon was there, and this did nothing to improve his belief in anything spiritual!

On Sunday I had already decided that I wanted to go home.  I was cold, uncomfortable, fed up with all the last-minute changes and to be honest the mediumship the night before had really made me question so much that I felt quite unsettled.  I did though want to have the opportunity to see Jay give a demonstration and on the program it stated that he would be in the Lounge giving a mental mediumship and spirit guides talk at 11:30am, so I thought we’d go home after that.  Annette and I were heading for the lounge when I saw Jay walking away from there, I stopped him and asked where his lecture was going to be.  He told me it was going to be in the Games Room and that there should be enough chairs.  So, we headed off there, found Jay, but again no chairs! Annette went out and found some patio chairs to sit on and we sat expecting a mental mediumship talk.  We were so lucky as Jay was planning to give another demonstration of his transfiguration gifts.  The whole experience was nothing short of phenomenal.  Jay gave a really good talk beforehand, quite thought-provoking, and then his trance guide arrived and introduced himself.  He was nothing at all like Jay, although he did share a sense of humour.  The transfiguration was just mind-blowing.  Grown men and women were obviously emotional at  communicating with their loved ones in spirit and being able to see their faces materialise over Jay’s face.  What an amazing gift he has!

We left just after lunch and were home in the light, turned the heating up and enjoyed sitting on a comfy sofa!

Annette told me that the last night had been the best evening and it had been a shame I had missed it.  Jay had demonstrated his mediumship abilities and she said his evidence was brilliant.  An Irish medium, Sharon Neill, had given evidence that a member of the audience had waited over fifty years to hear and Annette said everyone in the audience had felt extremely emotional. She told me that Sharon had then finished by singing The Power of Love which she said was sung beautifully. It did seem like I missed out, but then I was needed by a friend first thing this morning, so I was pleased I was at home and able to help her.

It was an interesting weekend with mega highs and too many lows. Am I pleased I went?  Yes. Sam coming through and Jay’s demonstration were the highlights of my weekend.  Two fantastic experiences that I know I will never forget.  Just such a shame that it hadn’t been a little more comfortable and a little more organised!

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31) Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Eye Examination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30) You’ve Got a Friend

You've Got a Friend

How many times in your life have you felt utterly alone? Felt there was no-one who was there was for you? Felt that no-one could understand what you were going through?

Sometimes the very fact that you put a brave face on it, no matter the tough times you are going through, can actually back-fire because everyone thinks that everything in your life is fine.  Or, maybe people think that you are one of those lucky few who can cope admirably with anything that is thrown at them.  Could it be that maybe your pride is getting in the way of being honest and you prefer people to think that you are ‘strong’ ?

How difficult it can be to be able to reach out when you desperately need a friend.

After I left Devon and moved to Hampshire with my twin sister, Tina, and her family, I was in a very odd ‘friend free’ zone for the first time in my life.   After 26 years I had finally plucked up the courage to end my marriage and within a matter of weeks  many of my friends were doing exactly the same! It was as if a cosmic switch had come on somewhere and we all decided that enough was enough.  My friends are scattered throughout England, and very strangely, all were going through their own very similar difficult and often traumatic times.  After they had separated from their husbands they had all stayed in the same towns, so at least they had their local friends around them for support, but due to my ex’s threatening behaviour I decided it was better (and I felt safer) moving far away.

Friends that I had been in regular contact with for years were busy dealing with their own problems and I felt that I couldn’t bother them with my own worries at that time. Tina and her husband, Woody, had adopted six learning disabled children, whose ages ranged from two to fifteen, so they too were pretty busy,  sorting out the often complicated special educational and medical needs that the children required in a new area.  It was extremely rare for me to get more than a minute or so alone with Tina for a chat, there was always someone who needed her.

Tina and Woody had rented a very large old house so that the children could each have their own bedrooms and fortuitously  it had a two bedroom annexe that was perfect for me.  Although it was not as grand as the main house, it too had large rooms, all decorated in a very gaudy colours by the previous tenant.  The carpets alone were enough to give you a headache.  The main lounge was fluorescent yellow, the second bedroom, vibrant lime green and my bedroom was bubble gum pink!

Although I had not one jot of regret for the decision I had made, and knew I was fortunate to have a roof over my head, I suddenly found myself in an alien environment.  My ex-home was hundreds of miles away, I had none of my treasured possessions around me, none of the comforts of my previous life.    I didn’t have one stick of furniture so went to the local D.I.Y. store and bought the last two fold up garden chairs they had as it was the end of the summer season.  They were vibrant yellow and green so almost ‘matched’ the carpet in the lounge and as a bonus they came with cushions, which looked far more comfortable than they really were as I soon found out when I sat on one when I got home.  I had never sat on such lumpy cushions.  I also bought a table lamp and a small table, so that I could have somewhere to put my coffee, and a small radio so that I could at least have some music to keep me company. I had virtually no money, no income and most of my clothes were still at my old house, so not much at all.  My sister had loaned me a single bed and bedding which looked lost in the massive bedroom.

I remember one evening sitting on one of my lumpy cushioned chairs looking out over the garden which was a tangled mess of laurels and holly trees at the time.  I remember feeling so terribly lost.  I knew that all the legalities involved in both the divorce and the selling and splitting of assets from my marriage were obviously not going to happen overnight.  I felt I was in limbo and  as if I didn’t belong anywhere, like I had no roots.  I don’t think I’d realised how much I had relied on the roots of my life, the roots that come with familiarity of where you live, the friends you see, who you are with, what you are doing everyday.

It is often at times like these when we have to learn to become super resilient, super self-reliant, it is almost as if the universe conspires to put us in a place where we have no option but to dig deep, to delve into our soul’s reserves and find the strength from within ourselves to overcome our fears and concerns.

The realisation of my uncertain future really hit me that night.  I concluded that I could look at my life in two opposing ways.  I could think how dreadful it was, sitting alone in this cold quiet emptiness that was devoid of anything that meant anything at all to me, or try to look at my new circumstances as a blank canvas, ready for the new adventures of my life to be captured in bright cheerful warm colours.

I was so fortunate in that I felt that I could call on spirit, my guides, my helpers, my loved ones who had passed, and asked them  if they could come close. I had a need to know that I did at least, still have my spiritual roots to build on.

As I was sitting there, deep in thought, thinking of  my spirit friends, the sun was setting and the most beautiful deep pink and golden rays of the sunset came streaming through my window.  I felt my spirits lift, and my immediate thought was that old saying, ‘red sky at night, shepherds delight’ and felt a smile from within.

I shook myself out of my melancholy moment and put on the radio. Of all the songs that could have been playing  I heard James Taylor singing one of my favourites.  I had no doubt that spirit had played a part in my putting the radio on at that exact time, the choice of the music, and the station I was tuned to.   I felt my heart fill with love and comfort as I knew I had received a spiritual hug. Whenever I feel alone now, when I start to miss those that I loved so dearly, I think of that magic moment and the enormous effort that I am sure my family and friends spirit-side put into getting that message to me so clearly.  I know that all I have to do is close my eyes, think of them, and they will be here, right beside me.

Written and performed by Carole King, but actually made famous by James Taylor, “You’ve got a friend”.

You’ve Got a Friend

When you’re down and troubled
and you need a helping hand
and nothing, ooh, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
and soon I will be there
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall,
all you have to do is call
and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah
You’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you
should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
and soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name,
and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall,
all you go to do is call
and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name,
and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don’t you know that,
Winter, spring, summer or fall,
Hey now, all you’ve got to do is call.
Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend

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!

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