Wisdom Can Be Found in Nature

It’s August! For many, myself included, a favorite month!

“Summertime, and the living is easy,” as the song goes. A good time to unwind and enjoy life a bit more, feel young again while perhaps participating in those summer activities we did as children, maybe along with our loved ones who have made their transition. They are around, and want to see you enjoy yourself! Indeed, our DP’s often have had a hand in showing us the beauty of Nature.

Maybe you came from a family of fisher-people. If so, perhaps you shared meals over a campfire under the sky that your mom just caught with lures your grandfather made. Or perhaps your uncle was an avid bird watcher, and could whistle their sounds, or do a crow caw. Remember the joy, and enjoy Nature again.

I might also remind those of you who say that your are city people, that Teddy Roosevelt was raised in NYC, and was very sickly. So his father took him to the Adirondack Mountains every summer, which is where he learned his love of Nature. The result? Well, check out all Teddy did regarding the National Park System, which earned him the title, “The Conservation President.”

I would encourage anyone with children to get them to put down their I-gadgets (iPhone, iPad, etc. ) and let the kids experience an incredible day or week in Nature. Take a walk through the woods, or go for a quiet canoe or sailboat ride, or just sit down and view the sunrise, sunset, and stars. And of course, if you can, visit the oceans, lakes and ponds. To me, Nature is God’s church and temple.

I know that with many of you, I’m just preaching to the choir. But keep in mind that it is Mother Earth that feeds us, something we should never take for granted. Rather, love, cherish, and honor the hand that feeds you!

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of working with a quite amazing family. There were three children, a boy and two girls, and two adults, a man and a woman. I had assumed that the two adults present were the children’s parents, but, as they say, never assume. During the session, the brother of the man I thought was the father came through from the Other Side and it turned out that he was the biological father of these beautiful children. It was the brother and his wife who were raising them..

From the Other Side, the father communicated that he felt so honored by how well-behaved his children were, and he gave an unbelievable heartfelt hug to this brother and sister-in-law for taking on such a huge responsibility.

As I have often said, biology is only one part of being a parent. In this case, it was the brother and his wife who had worked so tirelessly and unselfishly while taking on the responsibility of caring for someone else’s children.

It was also wonderful that all three children had been visited by their dad and knew the particular way he had visited each of them. They knew that their biological dad was with them in Spirit, doing what he could to take care of them. A great session! (During the session, for whatever reason, the identity of the children’s mother, or her whereabouts, never came up.)

Let me note that I’m doing a fundraiser on September 7th in Connecticut for a cause near and dear to me: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you can make it, hope to see you there!

Enjoy the rest of August.

Welcome Spring!

Welcome Spring! Birds singing, rivers running from snow melts, greens surfacing, animals and humans shedding their heavy coats. Yes, it’s Spring – home to the Easter and Passover holidays!

I know that for many Christian families, Easter is a very important holiday, if for no other reason than enjoying the sight of children smiling. Children always have fun at Easter time, with all the Easter eggs, and Easter hunts, fancy dinners, and competition over who gets to sit next to grandma. And of course, there’s all that candy ostensibly brought by the Easter Bunny.

According to Time, the origins of the Easter bunny are clouded in mystery. One theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically the festival of Eostre – a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny. Rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have traditionally symbolized fertility.

However, according to another version broadcast by the History Channel, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” The children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

Most importantly, Easter and Passover are times to connect or reconnect, enjoy, be still, and bask in the experience of being with loved ones. On these (and other) holidays, folks that don’t have any family or places to go are often invited to a friend’s or neighbor’s Seder (the Jewish ritual service and ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover) or Easter Dinner.

Like so many of us do during the emerging Spring, I stare in awe of Nature’s changes and all the emerging beauty that occurs during this time. It’s not always perfect, given some of those noisy birds, especially the woodpeckers. But it’s still fun to see squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around, the trees waiting to bud, and the grass starting to grow.

Recently, while doing a bit of Spring cleaning, I came across Rachel Carson’s Book, Silent Spring. Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Clearly she was a woman who was way ahead of her time.

One matter of concern is that we need to do whatever is necessary to make sure our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, etc. get to share in the beauties of Nature. It’s an understatement, but one that needs to be observed: it’s crucial to protect the environment. There is a Native American philosophy that we need to save the Earth for seven generations. (Now an environmental company has adopted this philosophy, see https://www.7genergy.com/stakeholders/environment.) This is not something any of us can leave for others, including the government, to do. It is something we need to do in any way we can-become an activist, donate to true and effective environmental causes, recycle, etc. – because we want the next generations to inherit clean air and water, and all of the beauty that Mother Earth provides which sustains us. Just as we protect those we love, we need to protect Mother Earth.

In my travels, I often have conversations with people who are not only concerned about the environment, but who just love to talk about the Spring which of course includes discussing Nature, gardening, taking hikes and enjoying the sun. Honestly, those conversations warm my heart.

On another note, let me offer a great BIG thanks to all of those great people who attended my recent events in Louisiana and Canada. Met some wonderful mediums as well.

Of course, I look forward to seeing so many of you during my upcoming Spring events. Some new and of course repeats: Connecticut, St. Louis, Michigan, Minneapolis, and Chicago to name a few.

So, yes, it is now Spring. Open your hearts and savor the moments.

And as always wishing you the best of holidays!

Healing Through Nature

We are officially in Summer! The solstice was just a couple of weeks ago, on June 20th, the longest day of the year. The day when the northern pole of Earth points as close to the sun as it gets. Usually, this is the warmest time of the season, given the connection to the sun. A wonderful reason to celebrate!

And celebrate we will, with the weekend leading into the 4th of July being imminent!

All things that go with Summer – friends and families getting together, and of course remembering those loved ones with whom we have celebrated in the past but who are no longer here in the physical, but will be here in spirit – are upon us.

I’ve learned over the years that many families plan on using this time of the year to get together when other times of the year are not possible. For one thing, you can travel by car without worry of “bad” weather . . . well at least not snow!

For example, the family of a friend of mine is having a family reunion in upstate New York, where the centerpiece will be the casting of a deceased loved one’s ashes on a spot in Nature that he loved so much. While it is true that, as Jim Morrison once sang, that “Nobody here gets out alive,” it is also true that every spirit/soul does get out alive – for spirits we are, having a human experience.

Yes, it is that time of year when the weather just invites us to be outside. Speaking of which – I just came across an article about “forest bathing,” which generally speaking involves a walk in the woods to shed worldly woes, and combat stress. It’s a custom in Korea and Japan. Suffice it to say that the benefits are huge. In fact, if you can believe it, the benefits are so well established that forest bathing is covered under medical insurance in many countries (outside the U.S., where citizen health is not considered a human right).

Many of us know from experience that spending time in a forest or other forms of Nature, can not only lower stress, but also reduce pulse rate and blood pressure, which naturally improves the functioning of the nervous system, and the body overall.

One Stanford University study had participants do a memory test before and after either a Nature walk or a walk in an urban area. Those who walked in Nature improved their performance on the second memory test, while the urban walkers showed no improvement.

The same test also tended to demonstrate improved vitality after a walk in Nature. It was not the exercise so much as the actual communing with Nature.

A walk in the woods can also reduce negative thoughts. After all, how can one stroll through the woods, look at all those beautiful green trees and flowing streams, listen to birds and see the butterflies, without feeling anything but uplifted.

If you can’t make it to the country sometime soon, note this: those same studies showed that people who live in urban areas where there are parks and greenery (e.g., Central Park in Manhattan) had less mental stress and illness.

No surprise then that whenever I do conferences, the best events – in terms of actual results – are those that include a walk in Nature, and/or activities away from the city. Yes, it’s good to get away from the maddening crowd, and let the signs in Nature help us connect with loved ones on the Other Side.

Interacting with Nature also helps us connect with our DPs (dead persons) via dreams, walks, and the opening of our minds and hearts.

Simply stated, the connection with Nature is more easily facilitated during the Summer. For Summer is that time to think like kids again, put a skip in your step, and, hopefully see, feel, or sense your loved ones in spirit walking by your side.

If a departed loved one enjoyed fishing, and there is a river, lake, or pond nearby, go there! You will be reminded of those times with your DP, which will facilitate your connection to him or her in Spirit. If your DP gardened, find a garden and walk by basking in the sun, while looking at all those colors and opening your heart. There are gardens everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Yes, even in the cities where city folks have rooftop gardens, or plots in the outer boroughs (like Brooklyn or Queens).

If you live near the ocean, and don’t usually go there, a gentle shame on you! Get into it! You are missing a lot, especially at sunrise or sunset.

I promise all of you who are feeling below par that getting into Nature will make whatever is hurting deep inside or making you feel lost, get better. Simply just breathing in all that is beautiful will be of benefit. This is what is truly important, and free!

Yes free! Nature is everywhere, and everywhere is where our departed loved ones exist. If there is a cost to get to a Nature spot that beckons you, spend the bucks. It will be worth it.

Speaking of traveling (which I so often do), I’ll be in Colorado in August. I intend to take a hike in the Rocky Mountains. A Colorado mountain high! Those mountains surely beckon me.

Also looking forward to seeing all you Massachusetts folks on 13th of July, with my event with Thomas John.

In sum, don’t let the Summer pass you by. Come out of the doldrums (if that’s where you are) and just have fun. You’ll enjoy, I promise.

Love, Faith, and Lessons of the Soul

Happy Month of Love!

If you live in parts of the country where the weather is cold, you will welcome all the warmth of love coming your way in February! For, we know it’s all about Love, Love, Love, as recited so poetically by Lin-Manuel Miranda who was the winner of eleven Tony Awards for “Hamilton” (I still can’t get a ticket), and of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize. He also has two Oscar nominations for Best Animated Picture and Best Song for “How Far I’ll Go.” To be honest, for me it couldn’t be better said. He is a very “in-tune” man who has expressed the message of “Love, Love, Love,” over and over again, throughout all his work.

For most of my adult life, I have repeatedly heard from loved ones in spirit, as well as from those still here in the physical, how much Love means. The deep intense feeling we experience when we suffer the loss of someone close to us, and how their passing impacts our lives, has to do with the fact that we loved that person.

I realize that we all have to sometimes work hard to keep the faith through Love, and make it replace fear. Not always easy, but necessary for one’s soul growth.

Many of you have written to me about the current state of affairs on a spiritual basis. Firstly, I’m with Lin-Manuel, Love, Love, Love. It couldn’t be more important in these moments of tension and fear to keep Love as a focus. Again, I know how difficult that may be, but I am and will always be a firm believer that Love will always win out in the long run. We may not always see the results we desire, but please believe me, Love is what God, spirit, and soul learning is all about.

Most of you know by know now that I honor and have the greatest respect for Mother Earth. She who feeds us, shelters us, and offers escape via trails to follow; oceans, rivers, and lakes in which to swim; mountains to climb, etc., etc. In sum, it is Mother Earth who allows us to exist. She has a whole world to take care of, and she does it, tirelessly tending for us. Mother Earth is the ultimate nurturer and the example for women to follow as caretakers.

Men too! I have as well in my work experienced many wonderful men who take care of their loved ones – children, wives, mothers, sisters, etc. That is what nurturers do – lend a helping hand, especially during those overwhelming moments.

For Mother Earth, taking care of the land and the waters that support us, is a full-time job. I have for a long time known that trees communicate with each other and like us, have families and communities. Indeed, a well-known scientist studied trees in Nature for a twenty-five year period and learned that the trees actually communicate with each other underground. For example, if a certain type of tree needs a particular nutrient or more sun, the other trees will adjust to make it happen.

So, in response to those emails about fear of what may be coming, whatever it is, let me remind you of my book Everything Happens for a Reason. Love, free will, and lessons of the soul are paramount.

Through our love as nurturers, remember, Mother Earth needs us to do everything we can to help share her burden. Recycling is just but one small example. Each of us needs to do our part to make the world inhabitable for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. who will inherit the Earth when we transition to the Other Side.

With regard to free will, remember, God helps those who help themselves. We have the free will to do the little things that are the big things that make a difference. This can be as simple and taking cloth bags to the market and not using plastic bags. In some cities, plastic bags come with a price (a hotly debated issue in NYC right now), which is a disincentive to using them. When I worked in Denmark, there were NO bags in the stores, period! The oceans will be very happy if less plastic ends up there.

Lessons of the soul. We don’t die, we continue. More precisely, although nobody here gets out alive, every soul does. And the love in our souls continues after we leave the body.

Still, our bodies are important in our souls’ purpose and for learning. And Earth – a tough but wonderful school – is the stage upon which are bodies perform.

Take care of Mother Earth, and she will better take care of you, now and perhaps in a future lifetime.

As we start the New Year. I look forward to connecting in Love on the journey in which we really are all connected. I’m doing many new events this year in places I haven’t done for awhile, to name a few: Somerset, New Jersey, Baltimore, Rochester, Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, and Portland, while returning to many others I love. Visit my calendar for a complete schedule.

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!

What is Important?

Welcome soon to the Fall Equinox! For those of you who are wondering, or are a bit in tune, yes, the infamous Mercury Retrograde is indeed upon us, and will last until late September.

I know for some that this is a difficult or frustrating time, but remember, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a blip on your radar screen.

They say that travel can be tricky during Mercury Retrograde. Well . . . I travel a lot during this time, and usually experience no problems more than the usual travel annoyances. Annoyances, as we know, are not tragedies but just . . . incidents of little stuff that can make us “crazy” for a short period of time. Not really all that important – unless you let it be.

And by the way, especially if you’re a writer, musician, or any kind of artist, Mercury Retrograde can actually work in your favor since it is a time when you may become more creative. Also, think of it as a way to keep summer going, because after all, that’s what the Retrograde is about, standing still. Also a good time to explore your inner dimensions.

Speaking of which, in the context of discussing a deep loss, I was recently asked, “What is important?” Well, really, the answer is within you: what is important to YOU? Generally speaking, what I have discovered after having the very distinct privilege of sharing so many journeys with so many wonderful people, is that those folks who experience deep losses and sorrows in their lives do somehow manage to go on and find a healing place. What is important is to process the grief and “come out of it,” in your own time, commonly within a year, though there is no set timetable.

Most, although not all, of those people who do “come out of it” tend to have a deep faith, and know that there is a greater presence in their lives. Call it “God,” call it “the Universe,” call it “Spirit,” call it whatever . . . It is all a way of knowing that energy does not die, and that we, as souls currently inhabiting human form, will continue to exist in the hereafter.

Another key question I’ve been asked is: “Why?” For example, a very special woman whom I’ve known for over twenty-five years, asked “Why?” after she had recently lost not only her second child, but also her husband. It is always for me one of the most difficult questions to answer, but the short answer is that only your soul knows for sure – and that you signed up for the experience, or at least the possibility that the experience would occur, in order to achieve soul growth, and/or help another progress spiritually.

In this instance, this beautiful young woman is someone to be reckoned with, someone with an unbelievable zest for life! She is what I usually call the “glue-keeper” in the family. Their losses are always among the most difficult for the family to deal with, because it is the glue-keepers who keep the family together through all its trials and tribulations, and want to have all the answers at the ready.

I’ve talked about this in my books – it is not all that uncommon for families to lose more than one child, or sibling. Sometimes, this pattern runs through extended families. For example, both my grandmothers lost sons. And as those who know me realize, I also lost a nephew, who was a “son” to me.

Now, guys . . . please . . . don’t go nuts on me here. I’m not saying that this will happen to you. It is just a phenomenon that I have experienced along my own path, and in doing my work. There are more families that have not had such a series of intense losses, but instead have had lots of kids and siblings go on forever, and parents who live well into their nineties!

So please remember: we each walk our own path, and we each have the capability to enjoy every moment along the way, because each day is just that, another day in the life!

On a lighter note, I, for one, am still living off tomatoes from my garden in upstate New York. I’ve been giving away as many as I can to any pantry or church that will have the tomatoes for themselves, or others in need. So, summer continues. And although we are soon to be in the Fall Equinox, September 22nd to be exact, we have a good chunk of beautiful summer weather ahead: sunrises, sunsets, walks in the parks, hikes everywhere, strolls along the shore, a day at the beach, etc., etc., etc. Enjoy and embrace those warm daily journeys for we know, at least here in the Northeast, what is just around the corner.

Please note that I’ll be doing another event in the Capital region as it’s called in NY, returning to Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, the Cape in Mass, the West Coast, Virginia Beach, and Roanoke just to name a few of my fall visits. And as always so looking forward to all I meet on my journey!

Summer Fun and Doing Good Deeds

Don’t panic! It’s still summer. August is a long month so keep the summer fun going.

I recently asked a friend of mine if he were enjoying summer. His reply: “Honestly it isn’t different than any other season since I work just as much.” He did add though that he would be taking a short trip up north at the end of August.

I was left thinking that although I too work in the summer, it’s a time when I can’t help but play a little hooky. Okay, maybe more than a little, but after all . . . it is summer! Of course if you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I would bet that you are sometimes actually guilted into playing hooky to be with them. It’s just the way our energy flows in August – a time to play hooky.

There is no time like summer when we feel that we have license to relax with Nature. Being outdoors and in awe of all the wonderful beauty the earth has to offer is simply marvelous. After all, in summer, Mother Nature is presenting herself in all her glory, giving us the opportunity to breathe in every enchanting moment. Do it!

And make the most of it; for, as we know, life can change in a heartbeat. That’s one more reason why it is so important not to miss an opportunity to experience the joy of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I recently received an email from a father who attended an event of mine with his son. He was thanking me for saying really cool things about kids of his son’s generation. I’m not sure but apparently he had heard me mention that there are many young people who are involved in wonderful causes – from dealing with climate change to volunteering to walking abused horses, planting trees and working gardens, following what impassions them. Of special mention are those youngsters who want to help other children who have some sort of disability and can’t play the way others do.

I was touched that this young man expressed to his father that he had been wanting to help an older woman who lived down the street from them. He talked about how sometimes he sees her struggling with her groceries, or walking her dog. He remembers how kind she was to him when his mother was dying. The father had no idea that his son had felt this way, but I was honored that the father had reached out to me to let me know that what I had said at the event was true, and resonated with his son. As I often say, there is nothing more precious than helping others for no reason except to be kind. “Altruism,” we call it. Or as the Boy Scouts say, “Doing a good deed.”

As one more example, let me also share a precious “little thing” I experienced recently. Here, I was blessed to be on the receiving end of the kindness in humans that I so much admire and appreciate.

I had to go to my hometown to see my mom this past weekend. Most of you know that I was raised in a small rural town in upstate NY. The trip is about four hours from my apartment in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful drive with not a lot of cars on the road. Now, let me tell you that I’m really concerned about having enough gasoline, a trait that I picked up from my mother who is always intense about making sure you don’t leave her car without enough gas. In any event, my 2003 Jeep, “Glinda,” has over 200,000 miles on her but the gas gauge is broken. So I have to calculate my gas mileage. Well, somehow I had miscalculated and didn’t get gas before I left to see my mom.

So there I am on Route 88, a road that you can drive on for miles and not see any other cars. All of a sudden Glinda starts to sputter and I said out loud, “&%$#@$%^%$!” or something like that. Having been trained in car mechanics by my dad, I immediately realized that I was out of gas. I get out of Glinda, put on her flashers, and start to head up the hill looking for someone to take me to the nearest gas station.

Suddenly I see a guy pull up to the exit corner. I approached and asked him if he knew the area and if he could take me to nearest gas station. He said yes and drove me there. I run in, buy a gas can, and fill it up. I walk back across the street, hail down another car with a very sweet young girl driving, and ask her if she could take me back to my car. She agreed. We get there and as I jump out of her car, she says “God Bless!” before she leaves. Hmmmm.

Then a mother/daughter duo pull up and stop to see if I was okay. I’m glad they did, because I couldn’t figure out what the spring to the gas can sprout was all about. The daughter knew and gave me directions. Gotta love rural folks, they know these little but important survival deals! They waited patiently as I put the gas in the tank and started up Glinda. I thanked them again, and was on my way. More evidence that there are many many fine folks in the world just wanting to help out others in need.

After I got to my mother’s house, I read an article about how Harrison Ford was driving through my mom’s town and got a flat tire. Three cars stopped by to see if he needed help. So, it’s clearly in the water!

Love these little adventures, they always keep us in-check about all the good people in the world. I, for one, refuse to believe any different.

Okay then, kids . . . get back in the pool, on onto the trail, or along the sandy shore. Whatever. It’s August. Enjoy!

Cherishing the Little Things

I know it’s officially summer when I can sit on my porch and watch the lightning bugs (a.k.a. fireflies) do their magic trick. Each and every year I am still drawn to observing these magical beings as they light up the night, and bless us with their presence. It’s a little thing, I know, but in life, I am forever reminded that it’s the little things that are the most significant.

Additionally, we should cherish the positive aspects of our lives, for at any moment life can change. Appreciating a sunrise, a sunset, a walk on the beach, or a mountain hike, or simply sharing a moment of enriched conversation with someone we care about, and who cares about us, perhaps over good food and wine, is what it’s all about. These moments should (dare I say “must?”) be treasured. This is what each day should hold for every one of us.

Each season has its own beauty and meaning to experience. As we enter the month of July, we so-called adults can’t help but want to play hooky, skip a day of work, and maybe hang out with the kids and/or be kids once again ourselves.

July is the month to simply sit outside and listen to crickets, and be amazed by the stars. Even in NYC, it’s much calmer than usual, and there are so many things to do – from visiting the Botanical Gardens, attending concerts in Central Park, dancing tango in Central Park and on the piers, or simply conversing with friends on the rooftops where there may also be city gardens!

And I think I speak for most of us when I say that after wearing coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots all winter, it’s so very delightful to trade in all that winter gear for flip-flops and sandals. And then to do all those things one can’t do in the winter: play softball, garden, fly a kite, take a walk along the shore or around a lake, etc. Just about anything outdoors will do. No need to be bundled up. Let your hair be free and fly with the wind. For sure, it’s time to get over the winter time blues! So kids, get out there and smell the roses!

At the Afterlife Conference this year, I met two independent film-makers who happened to live in NY. They are doing a series of documentaries on {{{drum-roll}}} the important things in our lives. The pilot film is entitled “Mortal” and they are releasing a second film called “Hope” on July 6th. If you are interested in films that are truly, truly beautiful, and that very much touch the heart, I highly recommend that you take a look at this series. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. There is a wonderful and important message for all of us to witness and absorb in each film. Those who know me are aware that I DO NOT recommend something unless I feel very strongly about it. And here I am, recommending! Why? Well, I believe that we need to support films and other forms of art that do something wonderful and positive, especially if the art can filter down and keep us in touch with the Universe, via connections to our DPs, or otherwise. It’s akin to being touched by the sun, the stars, and yes . . . back down to the lightning bugs. When we support such important work, I believe that we can truly connect with others, and thereby understand ourselves.

When you do get a chance to watch these films, I believe that you will see what I mean about “the living,” because this is what we, at this point in time, all share together. I’d love to hear how you feel about this film series. Let me know!

Enjoy your July, and cherish and love that which is important to you.

Signs from the Animal Kingdom

“Who says silence is golden?” I ask, somewhat rhetorically, while sitting in “the quiet of Nature.” As I write, the birds are in rare form shouting, “Spring! Spring! Spring!” For me, this is much more pleasant than experiencing silence. I also love to hear the calm wind blowing through blooming branches, and the sounds of the squirrels and chipmunks scurrying. All those wonderful sounds of life signaling the renewal of Spring. The cycle begins again.

As we all know, humans can make wonderful sounds too, with their voices and/or musical instruments. To name just a few of my favorite compositions: Rite of Spring, The Lark Ascending, Flight of the Bumble Bee, The Four Seasons . . . They’re all wonderful works well worth listening to, again and again. Of course, there are so many pop songs that pay tribute to Spring, and connect Spring to Life and Love, that I dare not start listing them lest I never finish this newsletter!

As we are all so well aware, Life (but not Love) ends in death. Remember though that death is merely a transition to renewed life in another form. This is a positive aspect.

Another positive aspect of death, say of a loved one, is that the experience can lift us to a new level of understanding. I am always quite amazed how death and grief often force us to look within ourselves, which opens a door to discovering what is truly important.

There is and will always be one constant in our earthly lives, and in our lives after death, and that is Love. Love does not die. Love continues on both sides when our loved ones make their transition into the Spirit World.

As I’ve said many times before, it is our DPs’ (dead persons’) responsibility to let us know that they are OK on the Other Side. Likewise, it is our responsibility here on this plane to listen and open our hearts to allow our DPs’ messages to come through.

There are so many ways through which we are able to connect to our DPs – dreams, smells, feeling a presence, electric or electronic happenings, special letters and/or numbers on license plates that grab the eye and heart, billboard messages that resonate, etc.

In many indigenous cultures, animal spirits are key to making a connection to the Other Side. Dr. Steven Farmer, whom I had as a guest on my radio show, is an expert on animal spirits and indigenous traditions. During the show, he focused on the native Hawaiian culture; an excerpt follows.

As I mentioned, every culture has a slightly different take on this idea of animal spirit guides. From ancient Hawaiian spirituality, still alive today, comes the concept of aumakua – spirit guides clothed in the language, customs, and mythos of this culture.

Aumakua (ow-ma-koo-ah) are very simply the spirits of deceased ancestors. They can be called on for protection, guidance, and spiritual support. The very first aumakua were the children of humans who had mated with the Akua, or primary gods, the main ones being Ku (Koo), Kane (Kah-nay), Lono, and Kanaloa (Kah-nah-low-ah). When someone died, they went through a period of time where they stayed with these Akua and thereby acquired a degree of mana, or power. Eventually they could make themselves known to their descendants. One of the most prevalent ways they could make their appearance – although not limited to this – was through animals and animal spirits. They could also show up in the wind, rain, or lightning, or in your dreams. . .

Very soon after her father’s death, Ellen took a walk on the beach. She noticed a dolphin jumping along the water, much closer to shore than usual. She realized that this was her father’s spirit expressing through and in cooperation with the spirit of Dolphin, embodied in the one that was tracking her as she walked along the shore. Ellen was reassured that her father was just fine in the spirit world. His spirit had elicited Dolphin’s help in getting this message to his daughter. This was her aumakua.

(Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/aumakua-familiars-and-spirit-animals-oh-my.html)

These wonderful animal spirit traditions exist to this day, but all we need to do is hang out with our doggie, kitty, bird, or whichever animal being(s) we are connected to, and listen! They will teach us much.

I will never forget the story about when the Tsunami hit Phuket, Thailand, all the elephants went to the high lands, and were saved. You can read about it here. The article discusses how we can learn much from the Nature and Animal kingdoms.

Let me close by reminding you of The Afterlife Conference I do each year, this time in May. The conference always ends with a water ceremony of one kind or another, which provides a wonderful closing to a very special weekend. Hope to see some of you there. I’ll also be appearing in Cromwell, Connecticut; at my special New York City “Mothers’ Day Event”; in Kansas City to which I’ll be returning after a few years; Chicago, and more!

Now . . . Time to get outside and play! It’s Spring! Enjoy!

Rocking Into Fall!

Wow! Have we come rocking into Fall! A Blood Moon, eclipses, and to top it off, a visit from the Pope!

You know how I love synchronicities . . . and these early Fall events scream out that something special is going on. Synchronistic connections are wonderful energies that add just a bit to one’s life.

I know I’m not the only one who watched that incredible Blood Moon at the end of September, an event that happens only every 20 or 30+ years! You know that it had to be a huge event because not only was it all over the media, but also shown at football games (and you know how football fans don’t like to be distracted!). The TV people couldn’t help mention it because the Blood Moon hovered over the games . . . way way cool! And this was all going on around the time when Pope Francis was visiting New York City and Philadelphia. My favorite moment was when Pope Francis indicated that “You don’t have to believe in God to go to Heaven.” Gotta love that one!

I know many folks who were very affected by the Pope’s visit to the States. His arrival, presence, and words were so welcome, as was his stance to care and protect children. Of course, we may not agree with all of his words; after all, he is head of the Catholic Church which has its own rules and values. But aside from that, I must say that as I am a true Nature lover, I was so glad to hear the Pope honor Mother Earth with his comments about climate change. Someone in the media couldn’t resist commenting, “What does the Pope know about climate change? He should leave that up to the scientists.” But as it turned out that was a foot-in-the-mouth statement because the critic obviously didn’t know that the Pope has a degree in Science, Chemistry to be exact. Touché! And the Pope’s critic also failed to realize that we can all make our own decisions about how we should treat Mother Nature after reading what all the various scientists and pundits are saying lately? Indeed, “The times they are [once again] a-changin’.”

Naturally, change happens as we transition from one season to the next, but this is especially true in Autumn. Things will be different now from the way they were in Summer. For most, no more visits to the beach and lakes, no Summer vacations, and of course it’s back-to-school-time for the kids. For stay-at-home parents, it might just be the right time for you to take that cooking or painting class. So get out there and do it!

Also gotta love the Fall for the leaves turning colors, which reflects our need to transition mentally, emotionally, and of course physically to adapt to the changing weather and energies.

Recently I went hiking on a path and saw many families out there in Nature together, with parents carrying their precious little ones in backpacks! Some children of course were capable of walking along the trails, and it was great to see them without their iPads and iPhones, and simply experiencing Nature!

Nature! What a wonderful experience it can be to explore for you and your significant other, children, relatives, friends, or even just by yourself. The Nature experience tends to deepen from within. I will tell you that with children, unless they are too young, they will remember their family Nature outings quite fondly. “Daddy, remember when we climbed that big mountain?” And so forth. Great memories!

If you have a loved one with whom you have experienced Nature, but who has now crossed over, you know that the memories continue. No one can ever take that away from you. Such a treasure!

I’m feeling prompted to remind everyone that it’s important but difficult to remember the way a loved one was before they crossed over, or became terminally ill, or was involved in an accident leading to their passing. Know that our loved ones on the Other Side want us to remember them the way they were before things changed at the end. They want you to remember the good moments, the matters of the heart, which keep the Love between you and them alive, despite all the changes in the world.

As we welcome the beautiful Fall with all it’s radiant colors and changes, our lives also will change, for we are ALL affected by energetic happenings.

Speaking of happenings, since this is October, I’d be remiss to not mention that at the end of the month comes Halloween! Also, known as All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints Eve, or Day of the Dead. And it’s not just about pumpkins and apples, and trick-or-treats! In Mexico, and other countries, “Día de Muertos” (Day of the Dead) is the holiest day of year!

Coming up this Fall for me are lot of exciting events. I’ll be heading back to California for two appearances! Firstly, I will be with A.J. Barrera in Irvine on October 10. It’s important to note that we are offering a 20% discount off two tickets, and the first 20 people who register before Thursday, October 8 at 2:00 pm PST will be entered into a raffle for a special gift and meet-and-greet with me and A.J.! In addition, I have a special event, “Discover Gold,” in Cameron Park on October 17. This event also has a special discount of $30 off two tickets, so be sure to take advantage of that! I’ll also be doing an event sponsored by radio WQRC on Cape Cod in Massachusetts on October 27. And I will be be returning to my yearly visit to “Hope for the Holidays” by K92 in Roanoke, VA in November. And of course, returning to Cromwell, CT.

I want extend a special thank you to the folks in Nashville for their warm welcome on September 19! It felt so good being down South, and so, here I come Atlanta on November 14!

A jam-packed October for yours truly. Looking forward to seeing you!

The Importance of Forgiveness

August clearly has to be for many, a favorite month. “Summertime, and the Living is Easy,” as the song goes. A good time to unwind and enjoy life a bit more, feel young again while enjoying all those summer activities we did as children, back then perhaps with our loved ones who have since made their transition.

I know our DPs have a hand in showing us the beauty of Nature. Maybe you came from a family of fisher-people, sharing meals over a campfire under the sky, eating the fish that your mom just caught with lures your grandfather had made. Or perhaps your uncle was an avid bird watcher, and could whistle their sounds, and caw like a crow.

I might also remind some of you who say you’re city people, Teddy Roosevelt was raised in NYC. When he became sick, his father took him to the Adirondacks which is where he learned his love of Nature. The result is well . . . without saying, you should check out the amount of land he protected which led to the creation of the National Park, amazing for a so-called New York City boy! I would encourage anyone with “i-Generation” children (Hey! Did I just coin that term?) to encourage them to put down their i-everything’s (iPhone, iPad, etc.), and let them experience an incredible day or week in Nature – a wonderful way to experience or recapture the magic of youth.

I would also suggest that you never forget your childhood and mature dreams and visions. You have them for a reason, and part of the mystery is to figure out that reason.

One way I have found to connect to those dreams and visions is to take a walk through the woods, or ride in a quiet canoe or sailboat, or just gaze at the stars or a beautiful sunset. Of course, all oceans, lakes, and ponds are also part of Nature, and all so beautiful – unless of course the polluters have ruined things. But thank heavens for the environmental movement of which Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. We should all seek to preserve Mother Nature’s majesty and beauty. I have always believed, as many others do, that Nature is God’s true church and temple. Connect with Nature and you will be empowered, for Nature’s essence is empowering. I know with so many of you that I may be preaching to the choir, but it is worth remembering and reflecting on the fact that the Earth feeds and houses us, and provides much joy in our lives-we should never take that for granted. Rather . . . love, cherish and honor the Mother who provides so much for all of us.

On another subject, I wanted to personally share something that I recently experienced, involving the passing of one of my friends whom I’d known for forty years. Sometimes, during a session of mine, someone who has lost a loved one will quite literally yell at them for not taking care of themselves, and therefor allowing himself or herself to die before their time. Yes, people sometimes do get angry when a loved one passes. With my friend, I couldn’t believe how some folks sat in judgment of her decisions and actions that may indeed have contributed to her passing, but honestly who knows?

My friend’s soul of course knows her path but who else should be there to judge, or more accurately, condemn? As they say, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Or, to put it another way, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Or, as Jesus himself said, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone,” and “Judge not, lest you be judged!”

In any case, I must say it really threw me to witness all the anger and resentment because my friend was to me an amazing woman. One of the most independent and talented people you’d ever want to meet. Always up . . . maybe a bit too much for some folks, and yes, a Peter Pan aspect as well. But all in all, a good soul. She gave of herself to many, me included, sometimes with others to her detriment financially. However, the generosity she showed was rewarded at the end when so many people gave back to her when she got sick. When her time came, she didn’t burden anyone with her illness, said she was going to heaven, went to sleep, and passed peacefully.

It is so easy to sit in judgment of someone else’s life, decisions, or actions. We all do it now and again, whether we realize it or not, every time we say something like, “What in the world was he thinking?” But negative things happen in life, and like the old fashioned photographs, we develop from the negative.

Trust me, no deed or action or even thought goes unnoticed by Spirit. Of course it’s not easy for us to not be judgmental, myself included, but it’s important to try and minimize that tendency and especially to avoid condemnation of the person. Easier said than done but we should all try to be conscious of all walks of life, and to be caring even if it’s just with a smile.

And never forget that energy or Love does radiate and does make a difference. So, be as loving as you can.

On that note . . . think summer! Fun! And being free of whatever holds you back from having fun. Enjoy life in this glorious month of August. Remember God loves you when you work, but really loves you when you know how to play!