Relaxing Into the Change of Seasons

Happy Labor Day weekend (belatedly, hope it was grand), Fall Equinox, and most importantly, the changing of the seasons.

I have always felt deeply grateful for the simple moments and experiences in life. When giving messages, I emphasize that it’s the little things, personal words, and subtle feelings that are the BIG validations when connecting with our loved ones. And just maybe the change of seasons will help create one of those special moments for you.

Labor Day, although not about love, can inspire us to open up to what we can do, something that might become a labor of love. If so, we may be able to celebrate, or at the very least bask in the glow of a special moment of pure elation. We may get to say to ourselves, “I can’t believe that I’m having this breath-taking experience right now, at this moment.”

This past Labor Day weekend confirmed for me as always the importance of my work – my own labor of love, connecting with loved ones in spirit, our beloved DP’s – and went out on a very high note! Most North Easterners are somewhat familiar with Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. Located in an idyllic setting, Tanglewood has been around for 75 years. The world’s best musicians go there to play and it’s the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Home town boy James Taylor still lives in Tanglewood and gives sold-out performances every 4th of July.

In Tanglewood, the aura of a dream surrounds you in the middle of Nature, as you share space with music fans under a open sky filled with sunlight or stars. The audience basically camps out on the huge lawn and brings all sorts of food and drink as they “get away from it all” and enjoy this beautiful place. This year, I saw Josh Groban under the stars. As I sat there listening to Josh, I thought, “Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

Josh is very charming and funny on stage. During his banter with the audience, Josh mentioned one of his big breaks on TV. Do you remember what that was, kids? Hint: He was on a show playing a young and upcoming singer who had lost his sense of wanting to sing after his mother had passed away! The show was Ally McBeal, and the song he sang was – {{{{{drum roll}}}}} – “You’re Still You.” Anybody who watched that show and heard Josh sing knew he was going to light up the world with that voice.

In the show, it was the loss of his mom that made Josh’s character realize that he was supposed to continue singing. Anyone who listened with an open heart could feel their own losses while realizing that their loved ones are watching over them. I couldn’t help but smile as Josh talked about all this during his performance at Tanglewood, as I reflected on how privileged I am to be able to do the work I do, as a labor of love.

I’m sure that many of the attendees at Tanglewood that night felt the connecting power of music while listening to “You’re Still You.” So yeah, I got to hear Josh singing it LIVE, at a truly very special place on Earth. Again, life doesn’t get any better than that! Music truly is the universal language of Love.

As we head into this new season and the Fall Equinox, I am promising myself that I will try to fit in a few more of those precious little moments, while watching the trees do their dance of the colors. As we know, the natural sense of changing of the seasons does affect our moods. Autumn has a very different energy than summer, but beautiful in its own right.

I’m thrilled that I will be doing two events in California this month, and returning to Connecticut and Roanoke. It is always special to return to these places each year and see so many of you. Later I will travel to Denver, St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston and Philly to name a few. I also am equally excited to be doing an event in my hometown of New York City, with John Holland in December. Check out my calendar for all the details.

For all of you in listen to me on Blog Talk Radio this week will be a full hour of readings with my friend and colleague, Austyn Wells. A wonderful way to bring in the new Fall season of change.

Perspectives from Nature

Welcome to Fall! From my perspective, during the autumn equinox, there was a full moon rising quite brilliantly in the nighttime sky. I was in the desert at the time and this experience was especially thrilling. If you have not seen a full moon from the desert sands, put that experience on your list of things to do. Of course the sun is magnificent, but the beauty of the moon with its softer light, but equal beauty and boldness in its own right, always energizes me. And this last full moon was something special . . .

I was in the Sonoran desert because I had chosen to hold a workshop at Canyon Ranch Spa. I find that my workshops are always intensified when held in Nature.

At my events held in Nature, I find that it’s important to make those attending aware of the immediate surroundings, and as they stroll around the grounds, observe the animals that may appear. In a way, connecting to the animals – who are so sensitive – is reflective of the way our loved ones on the Other Side let us know of their presence.

My own walks in Nature at the desert retreat generated a number of interesting experiences which I shared with the group. Of special note, one interaction involved my encounter with a family of javelinas (also known as skunk pigs, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peccary). While in their presence, I walked calmly, breathed deeply, and for sure didn’t even think of running. As it turned out, this particularly family was quite present for many of the workshop participants who were taking their evening strolls. There was a special personal meaning attached to this experience for me and another woman in the group.

At the workshop, the discussion of javelinas really got the ball rolling. One woman talked about the thrill of seeing a bobcat (which are actually very shy animals). Another woman related her observation of a praying mantis, a species known to battle anything 10 times their own size if they are attacked of feel threatened. This discussion brought out the childhood history of a woman who shared how her brother – who had passed several years ago – had defended her more than once when she had been called names. See how the dots connect?

When I thought we had gotten thru discussing the zodiac of animals, one guy said, “Did you see all the vultures in the tree?” And I said, “Yes, they were huge.” I mentioned to him that vultures are really ugly, but they serve a very important function – they clean up all the garbage! He responded, “We need to send them to Washington!” Everyone agreed. Very funny indeed!

So yes, a wonderful workshop it was, and many connections were made. A lovely way to enter Fall.

While enjoying the colorful beauty of Fall, you can really use this time to think about how you can harvest some of the seeds sown back in the Spring. As you take in the foliage colors, and all of Nature is seemingly dancing, pay attention to whatever thoughts or feelings emerge about your own about life, the paths you’ve taken, the decisions you’ve made, and the journey you are on.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard to get ourselves moving, but never underestimate the power of resolving to “Just do it!” Move that energy, and it will move you. You’ll feel better, especially if you can do something that benefits someone else.

I was recently talking to a friend, and we were discussing people who had lost their jobs and/or their way of life. One of the things we hit on was that even if you’re looking and searching for that job or next direction, giving of your own energy to others – for example by visiting someone in the hospital or an elderly person nearby – is a wonderful way to shake up the energy fields and have that visit benefit you as well. Not only do generosity and altruism have their own rewards, you also never know when that redirected energy will spark an encounter and guide you on your path. Tap into that, and you may find yourself becoming empowered.

I know that for many of you, October is a time where there are lots of charity walks in honor of those who are losing or have lost loved ones to cancer. Members of many organizations donate their time and energy to this effort. I have always had tremendous respect for those who tirelessly follow their passions and donate their time for what they feel in their hearts is important. And there is no doubt that this kind of benevolent energy does in fact make a difference not only in the hearts of those here, but also to our loved ones on the Other Side. For those of you on this path, keep up the good work!

Enjoy this wonderful Fall! I look forward to connecting with my many of you in my autumn travels.

Lessons We Can Learn From Loss

As I sit here about to write this newsletter, I am looking out at the trees gently moving their limbs on what is probably close to the most perfect day that the end of summer has ever seen. Feeling, of course, that Labor Day is around the corner. I ponder life, knowing how blessed I am to be able to soak in this day in the country while viewing my garden, my labor of love.

I recently got an email from a friend who wrote: “You deal with death every day, while nurturing the cycle of life. And you wear an awesome farmer’s hat to boot!!!” Yes for me, gardening and mediumship go hand-in-hand. I learn a lot about life from being a gardener, and of course doing my work as a medium. In my neck of the woods, the life cycle is reflected in the seasons: birth is spring, summer is growth, fall is harvest, and winter represents death but with the promise of new life in the future.

As I reflect on all this, I get a phone call from a friend who has lost his job. The phone call reminds me that there are many kinds of losses, and they all require a grieving period. And while any loss can cause problems, some losses may inspire us to go after something we’ve wanted to do our whole life, reflecting the beauty of change, and the change of seasons. That is an upside!

In contrast, some of the changes that a loss brings are so intense that they can trigger a spiraling down to a mindset of “I’m losing everything.” Which is not so farfetched an idea. People do lose their jobs, then lose their homes, and end up getting divorced. But from my friend I could hear that he was doing the best he could and keeping as positive as best possible – focusing on the love of his children.

I’ve had many of deep talks with my friend since he knows my work so well. During our conversations, he is reminded that nothing could be more devastating than losing a child. Not having suffered through that experience, he recognizes the need to count his blessings and pick himself up. He recognized his losses as material, which was a step in the right direction.

As with any loss, it’s important to let go, and eventually move on, and my friend has begun that part of the process. I feel such respect for the man who recognized that all of what he could lose was material, and could be replaced.

We all have a path to walk. For those of us with friends who find themselves on a difficult road, we can offer a listener’s ear when needed. Do let those we care about know that they’re not alone. Ask if there is anything we can we do to help them in some way or another.

Over the years, I’ve had the very distinct privilege of sharing thousands of these kinds of journeys with so many of you. I never cease to be amazed how people with deep losses and sorrows can rebound, move on, and find a healing place. As I see it, most of those who can right themselves tend to have a deep faith, and know in their hearts that there is a bigger picture than what it is they are perceiving here in the dimension of earth time.

Life is a force unto itself. Let it be a dance, with a few skips along the way!

Now, as this gardener and medium prepares for fall, I hope you too will recognize that another cycle of life is about to begin. As great as summer was, it’s important to be able to let the cycle of summer go, and transition to the autumn.

This Labor Day, as the Northeast colors prepare to emerge, I’ll continue to enjoy my labor of love with lots of harvesting still to come. And I will welcome my reconnecting with so many of you. I’ll be heading back to Tucson, Southern California, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis to name a few. Hope to see many of you all along the way.

Thoughts of Fall

I was listening to the weather guy last night saying he knows that many of us are upset that summer is gone, but then reminded listeners that fall that is quite spectacular. I have to agree with him. Of course, it depends where you live. In the Northeast, we get to see all those incredible fall paintings by Nature-which are so spectacular that people from all over the country come to visit. If you’re thinking about coming, don’t wait too long or you may find that all of the B&Bs and hotels are booked. Do it now, and eliminate all the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s,” which come up so often in my line of work. For instance…

Recently, while visiting my hometown where my mother is in the hospital, I got to talking to a childhood friend Sherri, whom my mother always called “my fourth daughter.” As all of us sat around, I mentioned that two years ago, Bonnie, the best friend of my sister Sherri (same name as “the fourth daughter”) from the age 2, had passed over at the age of 52. Sherri, “the fourth daughter,” broke down in tears sharing how sorry she was that she never went to California with Bonnie to visit my other sister Cindy. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Yes, I often hear this, almost on a daily basis: “I am so sorry that I didn’t [fill in the blank] while she [or he] was still alive.” So if you’re thinking maybe you should visit someone, give it real consideration. And if it feels right, don’t wait, do it now. If there is one key thing that I’ve had the honor and privilege of learning from my work with the DPs, it’s important to connect or re-connect with your loved ones while they are still here in the physical. So give it some thought. If you follow my advice, my take is that someday you will be thanking me. You might still be haunted by the idea that you didn’t do enough, but don’t beat yourself up over that one. Just “do it now” and you will recognize in the future that you did what you could when the time was at hand.

On a related note, a friend of mine who just lost his dear wife said quite insightfully that “You are never prepared even when you know it’s coming.” But he, like so many others who made the best use of time together, has in his heart all the words, times, and things they shared-moments that were and remain so precious. Memories of lifetime that you wish you could have back, and will have them back because you never lose what your heart feels.

Hold all those dear to you in your heart, and never forget that they will be there forever.

Before I sign off, let me not be remiss and instead mention that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. This can be a wonderful memory for children, as they dress up as their favorite characters, heroes, and heroines. For those of you lucky enough to be in an area where the fall brings all those spectacular colored leaves, consider suggesting to your kids that they collect a few of those fantastic fall leaves and preserve them in between sheets of wax paper or ziplock bag. Just another way to keep a fond memory intact.

Welcome to Fall!

Happy Labor Day and Fall Equinox to all! I know for many this is a time of OMG! Summer is gone…back to the grid/grind. But many of those who have young children are thrilled to see them return to school and continue growing up. Others who have decided to commit to their own education begin the process anew each fall, while newbies are determined to finally make it happen.

I am personally reminding myself about the wonders of fall since it’s the end of those luscious tomatoes in my Northeast garden!

A friend of mine whom I’ve known for most of my life sent me the email below. I felt strongly to share it with all of you. It arrived at a perfect time for me since my mother has just had open heart surgery, and the message couldn’t have been more welcome. My friends who have “been there,” and I’m happy to say that this includes some wonderful men, know what this is about. Everyone else will be able to relate, I’m sure. What is so cool is that the lecture being described was given by a professor at Stanford University.

Lecture by a Professor at Stanford University

In an evening class at Stanford, the last lecture was on the
mind-body connection-the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man can do for his health is to be married to a woman; whereas for a woman, one of the best things she can do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps create more serotonin-a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well-being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We women share from our souls with our sisters/mothers/girlfriends, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health.

The professor said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There’s a tendency to think that when we are exercising, we are doing something good for our bodies, and that is true. But it is also sometimes said that when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged-NOT true. In fact, the professor advised that the failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our
physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health!

On that note, I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of what I love to do and have had the privilege of doing for over 30 years now. So many of you have offered wonderful kind words on how I’ve changed your lives. You are most welcome.! Please know that you have changed my life as well, providing me healing, love, and a livelihood.

Looking forward to seeing so many of you this fall in New Hampshire, Chicago, Denver, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Toronto and…California, here I come! Please visit my website for details.

Changing of the Seasons

Fall is here, and it’s time to let summer go…with it’s own rhythm and flow—an approach we all can and should learn from.  That’s right, go with the ebb and flow, in this case the changing of the seasons, and prepare for a new beginning following our wonderful summer.
I have noticed that there is something about the transition from summer to fall that triggers our minds to prepare emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for what we need to focus on. For the kids and their parents, of course, the focus is on “Back to school.”  But beyond that obvious example, there is something in us that naturally makes us think about change.  Since that program is already part of our existence, i would suggest that you use the program to your advantage and see if there’s something new you’ve wanted to do, and go for it!  For instance, begin another phase of your spiritual quest, remembering first and foremost, that we are spiritual beings inhabiting physical bodies for this current time on earth.
When we begin something new, there is no guarantee of course that everything will go perfectly.  For example, one of the issues that came up during my recent Omega workshop was from people who had started meditating and were getting headaches. While this does not happen to the majority of people, it is not all that uncommon.  Usually the headaches are more intense in the beginning and soon go away, but then every once in a while the headaches return.  I believe this phenomena has to do with the fact that your brain—or “muscle” (if you will)—is being used in a different way.  Everyone knows this kind of thing happens when you haven’t exercised in a while—your muscles let you know about it.  The same thing happens during meditation because you are not used to working your brain in that fashion.  But hey, like with everything else, the more you practice meditation, the easier it becomes.  Just don’t overdo it!  Pay attention to what your mind may be saying.  If you get a headache, then just take it easy for a while.  The early discomfort will usually be outweighed by the benefits.  As many gurus and self-help people will tell you, meditating is a practice that can be so very rewarding.  Whereas prayer can be thought of as talking to God, meditating is like listening to God, and/or your higher consciousness within, which is “God” to some.  And every time we perform either of these spiritual practices—prayer or meditation—the activity brings us closer to connecting with and listening to our loved ones in Spirit, our beloved DPs.
One new thing I had to connect with this fall was cabling my huge pine tree.  I had learned that while the tree was very healthy and happy, if lightning or some other act of God intervened, my huge friend could fall and seriously damage my house.  I knew that I needed to do something new, and cabling arose as the answer. The basic idea is that one tree, in this case my sugar maple, and another tree, my big pine, would be “cabled” together.  If the pine gets hurt, the sugar maple could be of great help, and vice versa. For the trees themselves, it’s kind of like making a new friend you can depend on, and having him or her there to help you, as you coexist in the same connected community!  Think about it, and see if there is some new friendship that needs to soon begin in your immediate future this fall.
October for me is always a very busy month, and this year is no exception.  I will be traveling to Utah, California, and Toronto.  At the very end the month comes on one of my favorite holidays—Halloween—when I’ll be doing my fall seminar in Cromwell,  Connecticut.  As always, I look forward to reconnecting with many of you around the country, and the new folks who will join us for the first time, as part of their own new beginning.

Wonders of Autumn

Fall officially began on September 22nd. I’m sure many of you don’t want to rush it, particularly if you live in cooler climates, but here we are now in Autumn,  the time of Harvest.

We are nonetheless, wherever we live, affected mentally by where we are physically.  Everything contributes to our state of mind and helps determine how we are able to “go with flow.”

All part of the rhyme and reason. Everyone knows this, a time and a season, but those who are daily stewards, our caretakers of the earth, they know all too well the first hand effects created by the change of seasons. We are now ready for our Harvest, yes, it tis the season to think about reaping what you sow.

I just recently saw the 1979 Peter Sellers movie “Being There,” which somehow got into my Netflix batch.  Being an avid gardener, it was so easy for me to relate to the movie’s theme.  Ah yes, the importance of gardens, and the rhythm of the seasons.

In the movie, “Chance the [simple] Gardner ” is mistakenly believed to be “Chauncy [the aristocratic] Gardiner.”   Although he had never been out in the world, living his life as a gardener, Chance is forced into society after his employer crosses over.  How Chance impacts those who come into contact (including Shirley MacLaine as “Eve”) is quite intriguing, as Chance’s views of life as a gardener convey so much to the sophisticated people he meets. More than an interesting movie, it really tells us how we live our life through seasons, whether we are a gardener or not.

While watching the movie, I reflected on how the weather and seasons play into things.  As I write, I’m harvesting my tomatoes, a little late because of too much rain in Northeast.  I know that once I’ve laid the foundation, which is crucial, there is only so much I can do.  Nature assumes control.  Of course, I do weed the garden and try to keep the critters out. And I naturally contribute lots of love and nurturing.  But I can’t make the sun shine or the rain fall.  That is up to Nature.  Still…I’m helping and the connection to Nature creates in me a marvelous state of mind/body and soul. Gardening truly teaches one to be in the moment here on Earth, and to love life to its fullest—which is a beneficial way to be because we never know what’s around the corner.

Living my life as a medium where I know that daily at any moment life can change for any of us who loses someone.

I know this so significantly with my work to be true, and then there are those moments that I experience it personally. While visiting my mother this summer, I got to share some special moments with a dear friend—Bonnie, my sister’s best friend in fact—while in her garden.  There was a lot of talk of purple basil.  She’s Italian and I knew her grandfather who came from Italy and never spoke much English.  He passed along to Bonnie his love of gardening and green thumb.

When we were together, I didn’t know it would be my last time seeing Bonnie “in the body”—in her garden, so appropriate, when she passed just one month after our time walking thru her greenhouse.  She gave me some purple basil, plus loads of mints and other plants I’d never even heard of.

As Bonnie was the last matriarch of her family, her passing was a major blow.  I’ve known the family my whole life and although they don’t share my blood, they are family in every other way. Her passing for me was very personal, and a reminder of how important it is for each and every one of us to live every moment to its fullest, as best we can, and let everyone whom we love know how we feel about them.  That’s a state of mind we should all strive for and it is truly one of the most important ways to be—Be here in the now and love each moment.

As I sit writing this letter to you, I am pausing to snack on some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever tasted, right from out of my own garden.  And, as a special touch, I added some of Bonnie’s wonderful purple basil.  Along with a sip of wine thinking, “I raise my glass to you, Bonnie, because in this moment, we’re enjoying garden delights together, a truly beautiful welcoming to Autumn.