Helping Spirits Get Home

Sunny's favorite place

I’ve always been in contact with ‘the other side.’  To varying degrees, true, but the ability to perceive it has always been there.  I had never heard the term ‘psychopomp’ until just a few years ago, while taking my Reiki II class.  It was then that I also found out that I am a psychopomp, although I can’t say I was surprised.  Every place I’ve lived, and most of my workplaces have had resident spirits, and during my time there, that resident spirit has moved on.

Ghosts like me; several have told me they’re ‘drawn to’ me.  My friend and teacher explained it like this:  being a psychopomp means there’s something in my energy signature, or aura, that is a big bright shiny beacon to spirits.  I’m easy for them to ‘see’ both earthbound spirits, and those on ‘the other side.’  I work very closely with my Guides, who have taught me how to use this shininess to help those who are stuck here.

I’d never been to my friend’s apartment, and as soon as I walked in my skin started to crawl.  It’s a tactile sensation that brushes across my shoulders and arms, even my face; depending on the spirit’s energy this can be pleasant, painful, ticklish…it varies.  This time, it felt prickly, warm and angry.  My shoulders tensed and I felt a tingling line trace up and down my neck.  This place did not have a happy feel.

“How long have you lived here?”  I’m sure my tone came out sarcastic and critical, because I was thinking she’d been there too long already, an emotion that was coming through from the spirits I was sensing.  We’d already talked about paranormal subjects, and I knew she was open to them so I didn’t hesitate.

“You know there’s at least one spirit here, right now?  Have you been having any problems?”  She was taken aback by my directness,  “Well, yes!”  She sounded both relieved and exasperated.  I asked if I could walk around and get a feel for the place.  The bedroom was a windowless corner in the basement apartment, and the fulminating presence made the room even darker.  Passing my hand in front of the doorway was like touching a wind made of deep anger.  Oh, she is pissed, I thought.  Out loud though, I told my friend,  “It’s in here, she’s in here.”  Still standing in the living room my friend only nodded and then told me, “I can’t sleep in that room, I can’t hardly stand to be in it, it just gives me the creeps!”

“Really?”  But I knew she was telling the truth, the bed was piled with clothes and boxes.  “So, you sleep, where?”  I asked.  “The couch.”  She waved her arms at the large, comfy looking black leather loungers.   “Look, we’ve gotta go, or we’re going to be late.”  The spirits were amping up their energy in response to my psychic poking around, and neither one was happy.  It spilled over onto my friend and she was anxious for us to get out.  It was a few weeks later that she asked me to come over and see if I could do anything.

There were two spirits sharing the apartment with my friend, and they were not getting along at all.  One was attached to my friend, something she addressed in the ensuing weeks, but the other was attached to the residence.  This resident spirit was a woman in her 40’s who showed me images of the sun, and beaches, when she finally calmed down.

But right now, these two were like feuding roommates, and my friend was caught in the middle.  She was practically vibrating in response to the tension being generated between the two spirits.  The spirit attached to my friend was primarily concerned that I would try to separate him from my friend; he was very protective.  I reassured him and asked him to move back and away, then I turned to the other one; at that time all I could determine was that the spirit was female.

She was in the doorway of the bedroom, wailing and complaining.  “This is my place!  He can’t push me around like that!  He is all over, telling me what to do, and this is my place!  My room!  I can’t even keep him out of my room!”  I let her go on for a few minutes, tried to get her to calm down and couldn’t.  She did not want to listen, just wanted to make everyone else around her pay for her misery.  So I separated them.

I made it clear that either could chose to move on at any time, I showed them the veil and invited them to cross.  But when both quite rudely refused, I told the woman,  “You cannot continue to fight, here, and upset my friend.  So for now, go to your room and stay there.”  My friend had some sea salt, so I sprinkled a line across the doorway to the bedroom and told the woman.  “Stay in there, or cross the veil.  It’s your choice, but stop fighting with the other guy.”  I was equally firm with the male spirit, he could move on, or remain near my friend, but he could no longer antagonize the female spirit.  The sea salt would keep him away from her as much as it would keep her in.

I knew though, it was only a temporary fix, and that the salt wouldn’t hold them forever.  I didn’t intend for it to.  I told my friend I’d come back soon and we’d all have a longer chat.  Sure enough, she reported a few quiet nights.  When things started back up, they weren’t quite as angry, but both were definitely still present and generating intense emotions.

I went back, and walked into my friend’s unused bedroom.

“You were really rude!”  The woman, who called herself Sunny, complained as soon as I sat down on the bed.  I’m not sure if Sunny was really her name, or just her favorite thing, because a big, warm sun always accompanied images of her.  “You threw salt at me!  Rude!”  She was right.  I don’t like pushing spirits around, but I’d been short on time; they’re still people and deserve to be treated with respect.  I focused on slowing down and giving Sunny my full attention.  “You weren’t exactly listening to me, or helping the situation, but you’re right, it was rude and I am sorry.  I really am here to help.”  I told her, while I looked around my friend’s bedroom, it was dark, and the air felt tight and hard to breathe.  Sunny’s presence swirled around me, and my skin and face tingled.  She was angry still, but at least now she was willing to talk.

“Help, how?  Why?  I was happy, lying on the beach…” Sunny filled my head with warm golden days, and I saw her as she last remembered herself.  She had curling gold hair shot with grey, and the slightly leathery, perma-tanned skin of a woman who has spent a lot of time in the sun.  She saw herself lying on a towel, gazing out across the water; an older, but still trim bikini-clad body lay with toes pointing toward the shore.  I heard the music she was listening to; a crackly radio played the Beach Boys, Led Zepplin and Boston, and I felt the heat of the sun as it hung low in the sky, sinking into the west.  Sunny spoke again.  “Then she moved in, and he’s here, and everything’s gone to shit!  Why’d he have to harsh my high?  I just want to lay here in the sun.”  She drifted a little, losing herself in her memories of life.

I reminded Sunny that she was dead, and she snapped back.  “Yeah, I know!  This is it, I’m stuck here in this apartment.”  She was bound to this place for some reason, and so spent her time lost in her happier memories, until jarred out of them.  She was constantly disturbed by my friend’s male spirit, and so made her displeasure well known, because it kept her from her dreams of life and the beach.

“You do not have to stay here, Sunny.  You can move on, go home.”  Sunny just scoffed.  “What, go to heaven?”  She rolled her eyes.  “Right!  Just leave me alone, let me go back to the beach.”  She drifted around the room, retreated into the back of the closet and sulked.

Sometimes, they need to be shown; they don’t know there is a home to go to.  I asked my Guides to bring the veil in closer.  But where is home?  What is the veil?  I don’t know, really I don’t.  They are convenient terms and labels I use to describe places and states that are difficult to put into words.  As I have experienced it, ‘home’ is the place where we reconnect with Spirit, capital ‘S’ Spirit, the Big One.  Heaven, Valhalla, ‘the other side’, ‘into the light’ take your pick, I use ‘going home.’  The veil is what separates ‘home’ from ‘here.’  I see it as a large, shimmery wall that feels soft, like fur or cashmere and kind of tingles when I touch it.  When I ask my Guides to bring the veil in closer it makes the veil more apparent.  I don’t know what the physics of it might be, but it makes the veil and what’s beyond it more discernible, to me and to the spirit I’m talking with.

When the veil appeared, Sunny focused her attention on it.  “What is that?”  Her emotions were a blend of fear and awe.  It was beautiful, but she didn’t know what to expect from it.  I did my best to show her, that she could cross the veil, go home, and she would no longer be stuck here.  “You can lay on the beach forever if you want, and never be disturbed again.”  I told her.  She only scoffed, and retreated further into the closet, more fearful now than interested in the veil.  She turned her attention away from me, sinking back into her summer dreams.  I asked my Guides to see if they could find any of Sunny’s loved ones who were in spirit, or her Guides, and reconnect them with Sunny.  At that time, they could not, she’d been disconnected and lost in her memories for so long my Guides could not immediately locate Sunny’s Guides.

“Here’s the deal Sunny, you can do whatever you want.  Go home, or stay in this closet, it’s your choice.  Take your time to think about it, and I’ll have a chat with the male spirit, and ask him to leave you alone.  You’ve been here so long, you don’t know if you want to move along, that’s okay.  If you change your mind about crossing the veil, I’d like to offer you something to make it easier for you to find.”

In Reiki II, I learned an energy medicine technique called the Bridge of Light.  This is an energetic bridge between the earth plane and home, made using Reiki.  I then ask my Guides to bring any of the spirit’s loved ones or Guides to the Bridge, to help when the spirit decides to cross.  I offered the Bridge of Light to Sunny; she looked at it with suspicious curiosity.  “You can cross at any time, or never.  But, please, for my friend’s sake, tone down the heavy, scary vibes.  I’ll ask the male spirit to leave you alone, tell him you don’t mean any harm.”  I stood, and brushed at my arms and legs, sweeping away clinging energies.  “Are we good, Sunny?”  She turned her back on me, but nodded in assent.  Her emotions were quieter now; less angry, more speculative.  She sank again into her own thoughts, fading from my view, and the mood in the room lifted.  Even though I’d left the lights off, it suddenly seemed brighter in there.

I checked in with my friend, and Sunny a few days later.  My friend was happier because her invisible roommates were no longer fighting, and Sunny was more curious about the Bridge, but still wary.  I was pleasantly surprised then when a week later Sunny came and visited me.  She’d decided to cross the veil and had come to say thank you, and goodbye, disappearing into a dark gold sunset.

I waited a few weeks, and then asked my friend how things were going at her apartment.  “Quiet, it’s been amazingly quiet.  I’ve been very happy!”  There was no more emotional turmoil from her spirit roommates, and she could no longer feel Sunny’s presence.  The last thing she said was the best news I could have heard.  “I’ve been sleeping in my bed for the last two weeks!”  She declared happily.

 

All images are taken by and under copyright to ME!  Please ask permission before use.  Thank you!

Do You Want to Train Your Dog?

But aren't I perfect already?

What does a trained dog look like?

Do visions of Lassie and Benji prance through your head?  Does your dog embarrass you, or make you proud?  Is she ‘not perfect’ but you’re happy with how she behaves?  Is your dog a vision of trained perfection?  What do you think is ‘good’ dog behavior?  What is ‘bad’ or unacceptable?  We all have an idea of what a ‘trained’ dog should do, but are we all in agreement about what that looks like?

I had to give up teaching dog training.

Not really, I still do teach, but I did give it up for a while.  I got tired of taking people’s money and having them be pissed off because their dog wasn’t perfect all on her own, a syndrome I like to call ‘the Lassie complex’.  Training your dog really does take daily effort, daily training sessions, something the bulk of my early clients were unwilling to do.  I trained a porcupine to wear a harness and walk on a leash, and a hawk to drop out of the sky, trust me; a dog can be trained to do almost anything if you’re willing to invest the time.  What my clients had trouble with was that they have to do the work; there is no instant solution in dog training.  The good news is, unless you want Lassie behaviors, your training sessions can easily be worked into your daily routine.

Is your dog ‘sort of’ trained?  This is OK!

A pet peeve (sorry, I love puns!):  I hate it when my dogs jump up on me.  My dogs would never dream of leaping up and laying paws on you.  Conversely, I have good friends with a pair of smaller dogs who leave bruises every time I go to visit because they prance on their hind legs, dig at my knees and caroom wildly around the room in the ecstatic dance of ‘Welcoming a Stranger into the Home.’  The owners apologize and make futile hand gestures, which have zero effect in controlling the dogs’ frenetic gyrations.  I just smile, and give a firm ‘NO’ and a shove if they bounce against me too crazily and wait it out.  But, they’ve never asked for training help, so I don’t offer any hints, or tips, and I don’t try to stop the whirling dervishes.  Why?  Because they’re not my dogs, and owners get to decide what they want their dog’s behavior to look like.  My friends really are content with how their little furry demolition derby cars act.  They have trained their dogs to the level they are comfortable with.

My exception to this is:  your dog had better be safe.  You do not get to think that an aggressive, biting dog is okay, from Chihuahuas to Great Danes.  Those are very serious behaviors that put people’s lives at risk.  If you have these issues, find a very good, local dog trainer to help you.  Fast.

Lassie?  Or Marley?  How about somewhere in between?

When I ask my clients what they think a trained dog acts like, the usual response is some variation of “I want my dog to listen to me.”  News flash, your dog is not your therapist.  Okay, it can seem like it; many are the times I’ve poured my troubles into my Belgian’s perky black ears.  But that’s not the kind of listening we’re talking about.

Every dog should know some basic commands

So, what do you want?  Do you want a dog that will just cuddle you all night, and play all day?  Do you want a dog that follows the basic commands of sit, stay and come?  Do you want him to do tricks?  Do you want to compete in obedience trials?  Do you care if she sleeps on the couch, or in your bed?  It doesn’t matter what you pick, but you have to have a very definite picture of what you want your dog’s behavior to be.  A sample list of behaviors that I consider important just for good canine behavior includes:

Sit

Down

Stay

Come

What you decide to add is limited only by your imagination.

What does your dog do that you would stop if you could?  What is she perfect at?  When is he just too adorable?  What would you like to train your dog to do?  Tell me about it!

 

Well-trained dogs are a joy for everyone!

Holidays, Traditions and Family

I don’t have a lot of traditions that I follow around this time of year.  Well, baking, but I bake all year long, so I guess that doesn’t really count.  I do put up a tree, because I think the lights are pretty, but it’s a pre-lit tree and I don’t pull out my vast collection of beautiful glass ornaments because I have unpredictable cats and big dogs with big tails.

I’m not a Christian, and don’t practice any of those rituals.  I was Wiccan for a time, and find a great deal of comfort and joy in observing solstices and equinoxes, but in my own quiet way.  Up until three years ago, I worked at jobs where working on holidays, any holiday, was an expected thing; zoos and hospitals are up and running 365 days a year, so celebrating on the day before, or after, or the following week has been the norm for me.

I grew up nominally Christian, we observed the forms, trees, Santa Claus, Christmas services at church with the grandparents.  In fact, the only time we went to church, as a family, was when my grandparents were visiting (although I was born again for a while, too).  The one tradition we had when I was a child was being together; grandparents came into town and stayed for a few weeks, school was out and it was playtime.  Yippee!  But kids grow up, move out and grandparents pass away.  Somewhere in my early twenties, my siblings moved to distant states, while I was the one close to my parents.  My siblings were unable to come for holidays for the most part, for multiple reasons, so our family gatherings dwindled.

Years pass, people move about, careers change, or come and go, and sometimes, family members fight and become estranged.  I haven’t spent a lot of time with my siblings lately, largely because of their prejudices against my husband.  Parts of it have become better over time, and I’m trying very hard to let go my anger, and come to some level of forgiveness.  I’ve managed to find that in my heart, but what I find I can’t do is be around them at the holidays.  I’d rather be with my husband’s family, and feel love and acceptance.

The biggest rift is between my sister and I, and boy, it’s a doozy.  Along the lines of, ‘you’re not my sister anymore’ and ‘you can’t be part of my life’.  This year, for my birthday, she sent me ‘Happy Birthday’ by text, where there had been no communication for some time.  Hmmm, knowing her, she could just be acting snarky, neither one of us has been above it in the past.  But, in the hope that it’s a gesture, some sort of reaching out, I did one of my own.  I baked for my family, something I’ve never done before.

I baked them holiday treats, but extra long hours at my work and hubs meant that they never made it into the mail, before Christmas.  So tomorrow, the 26th, I’ll head my post office and mail off their orange-cranberry loaves that I made while thinking loving thoughts, and blessed with Reiki to heal our family.  I’ll send them off with more Reiki prayers and wait to see if anything comes of it.

Have you managed to overcome rifts in your own family?  Do you have time honored traditions you follow every year?  My husband and I are minimalists, we neither like to decorate or go crazy with the spending spree, and I’m not a fan of the malls right now.  Do you love to shop, and take in all the sights and smells of the season?  How do you make this season of peace and love special for you and yours?

 

All pictures are taken by and under copyright to ME!  Please ask permission for use.  Thank you!

Reiki, Reiki, No More Achy!

Image

I need to say a little bit now about Reiki, because it really has transformed my life.  Reiki is amazing, Reiki is healing, and Reiki is simple.  About 4 or 5 years ago I took a class in Reiki, and received my level 1 attunement.  It was truly a life-changer, but I didn’t know that at the time.  Last year I completed my Master/Teacher training; Reiki is something I’m still discovering.

What is Reiki?  You can find it defined all over the web as ‘universal life energy’ or ‘life force energy’.  It is a form of spiritual energy healing, or you can think of it as a very intensely focused prayer.  Reiki energy is said to flow through the practitioner and into the recipient.  Reiki can promote healing on 4 levels:  emotional, spiritual, physical and mental.  Practitioners and clients both claim to have experienced various physical sensations during a treatment, including; heat, light, cold, pain relief, nausea relief, muscle relaxation as well as energetic flows, emotional releases, a sense of deep peace and stress release.

Reiki is generally thought to be energy, universally accessible to all, channeled through a practitioner to a recipient.  There is some question as to whether a formal Reiki attunement is necessary to be able to channel Reiki.  The practitioner does not generate Reiki from within; rather she acts as a channel for the energy to move through her to the recipient.  Reiki is offered, not given or otherwise imposed onto another; acceptance of Reiki and its potential to heal is strictly at the choice of the recipient.

Image

I’ve used Reiki personally to control chronic pain, offered it to friends who were suffering the same, to spirits to help them cross to the other side, and to animals that were distressed or in pain.  I’ve felt its effects personally, heard them echoed by the people who’ve received it, and watched animals visibly relax, even fall asleep, under its influence.

More than the immediate pain relief or relaxation, Reiki provides me with deep, personal satisfaction, and an abiding sense of peace.  I use Reiki every day, and over the years I’ve found my attitudes changing on certain issues.  I find that things that used to irritate me before:  too long a line at the grocery store, whining, crying kids, or petty, mean spirited people, now I find it much easier to step back, and see people and situations with greater compassion.  I stress less about the little things, and the bigger things too.  I used to be a hardcore conservative and now I’m a complete lefty liberal.  Go figure.

Image

Reiki encourages it practitioners:

At least for today:

Do not be angry,

Do not worry,

Be grateful,

Work with diligence,

Be kind to people.

I am very far from perfect when it comes to accomplishing all of these every day, but I try, every day.  I am constantly astonished at how very good it feels.

Have you ever had a Reiki session?  Are you a Reiki practitioner?  Let me know what your experiences with energetic healing have been!

Image

All pictures in this post are taken by and under copyright to ME!  Please ask permission.

Rise of the Geeks

I am a geek, and I’m proud of the label.  I own it, I flaunt it, and my husband calls it ‘flying my geek flag.’  I love science fiction and fantasy, and still read more of those genres than any other.  When I was growing up, I think I spent more time mentally on Barsoom, or Pern, or travelling the stars with Lazarus Long, than I ever did in school.  I played Dungeons and Dragons well through my twenties, and I am tickled to say, my character is still technically ‘alive’ and run as an NPC (that’s Non-Player Character for you non-gamer types) by my even geekier friends who still play on occasion.  I spent a lot of time painting miniatures for Warhammer 40K, although I enjoyed the painting more than the gaming.  I always got my ass kicked; guess I’m a better artist than strategist.  Anyone want to buy a couple Tyranid armies?  They’re classics, out of print…anyone?

I’ve always known I was a geek, and valued my individuality, but it wasn’t always easy.  Growing up, I was happier with my nose in a book, and my circle of friends was small.  I didn’t do much to try and fit in and I was an easy target for bullies.  As for my dating life, let’s just say it was really pathetic.  However, all the teasing and missing my prom solidified my determination to be, just me.  Boy, has it paid off!

The older I got, the less I cared what people thought of my eccentricities.  I look back on the bullying and teasing I went through and think, yeah it sucked then, but it was worth it.  Because it helped shape me; the me that I love being, the me that is comfortable in my own skin.

Now, geek is the new cool.  Case in point; Big Bang Theory.  I love, love, love how they will throw in the most obscure D&D, LOTR, Star Trek or Star Wars trivia.  Many times I’ve been doubled over, howling with laughter, while my husband pauses and rewinds the DVR, then waits for me to calm down enough to explain what’s so funny.  What do you mean you’ve never watched?  You are missing out!  Be sure to check out the art decorating Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment.  I’m sure the show’s creator and I read many of the same books, and saw the same movies.  So, I guess the geek have inherited the earth, or at least come to dominate the entertainment and technology field.  Anyone else work somewhere that the IT guys have named their computer Gandalf or Bilbo?

Are you a geek?  Did you suffer through teasing or bullying during your childhood because you were ‘weird’ or a ‘bookworm’?  Were you practically ignored by the opposite sex?  How has your life been shaped by your geekdom?

Take A Break Tuesday

You’ve had a long, difficult work week. Yesterday was Monday for cryin’ out loud!  Now it’s Tuesday evening and you still need to make it through Hump Day tomorrow and then you’re still staring down the barrel of Thursday and Friday before the weekend comes around once more.

Take a deep breath, it’ll get here.  It always does.  For now though, you should sit back and enjoy these funny animal videos.  All will make you giggle, or say awwwww, and who doesn’t need an extra dose of that right about now?

I love a good bath too, Casper.

Lots of warm fuzzies from a bunch of warm fuzzies.

My dogs can relate.  My Lab is always underfoot when I’m in the kitchen, giving me this look that  says, ‘I’m starving, can’t you see?  Dinner was 20 minutes ago!  Would it kill you to let some of that hit my mouth?’

Feel better now?  Brain synapses are all happy again after that interlude?

What do your animals do that makes you laugh or break into a sappy smile?

 

 

 

Who Am I Following?

In honor of Twitter’s #Follow Friday, I would like to introduce you to some of the bloggers I follow.  These  writers  are worth more than a cursory glance at just their homepage; they will draw you in and you will want to read more.  I’ll bet you’ll want to follow some too!

I invite you dive in and enjoy!

Kristen Lamb – This is the woman who helped me get started in the whole social media, blogging, author branding and platform thingy.  Before I read her book, We Are Not Alone, I had no idea what to do about my fear of social media, or how to make it work for me.  I knew it was possible, I was just clueless.  Then I took her class, Blog To Build Your Brand.  In the few short months since I’ve been following Kristen’s advice, my posts have been getting more comments and my overall visits went from less than 250 to 979!

Piper Bayard – Funny, topical, and always worth your time.  Piper often turns the posting over Holmes, who provides commentary on current events.  A diverse blog that will keep you coming back.

Jenny Hansen – How can you not love a blog that plays off of Will Farrell’s famous Cowbell skit from SNL?

Marcy Kennedy & Lisa Hall-Wilson – These ladies write pieces to make you think,  give great writing advice, and will show you real mermaids and unicorns! Bring on the glitter!

Rachel Funk Heller – She writes about her life; it’s real, it’s honest.   She tells you about making the decision to move her mother into a nursing home, why we all need to think about death, about human connections.  You’ll find you understand her, and yourself, just a little better.

August McLaughlin – She writes about books, she talks about writing, she gives great interview.  An excellent resource for the writer.

Karen Crumley – A sister psychic, she describes for you the indescribable so that you can see it and feel it as she does.

Janelle Madigan – On writing and creativity with some killer guest posts too!  And she writes about the paranormal, all things I love!

Myndi Shafer –  Oh so funny, she hosts great guests, and you definitely want to read about how she loves to mildly irritate her husband.  You’ll come back to her Leave A Caption posts again and again.

Kait Nolan – At this, her Pots and Plots blog she provides awesome recipes, and features gluten-free on Friday.  She is also writes paranormal romance, so be sure to check out her author website.

No list of mine would be complete without mentioning three very special ladies.  You know how it is, when you walk into a room of strangers?  A whole lot of them?  You might not get to meet everyone; so you circulate and mingle, you get to know some, but you really click with a few?  Maybe it’s because we all have seen, and talked to dead people.  You’ll get that and then some when you read these ladies’ postings.

Diana Murdock

Debra Kristi

Deborah J. Hughes

Have a great weekend and a full #Follow Friday!