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!

Honoring Mothers

Happy Month of May!

And of course Happy Mother’s Day to all those important forever and always caregivers, be they actual moms or the gals who fill that role — from grandmothers, to sisters, to aunts, etc. Time to celebrate the mothers in our lives.

Yes, this Hallmark holiday can and does bring up every emotion possible — including love, anger, and of course sadness especially if your mother has recently passed over.

Because of what is revealed given the nature of my work, I hear many stories involving relationships with mothers, some that are not very pleasant. For example, a friend of mine got a call around Mother’s Day and began yelling at the caller that her mother was dead and to leave her alone!

One common theme that emerges during my work is unresolved mother issues, especially for those who have chosen to not have their mothers in their lives, or to not allow their mothers to see their own grandchildren, sometimes with good reason. Thankfully there are many more wonderful giving mothers than those who are not.

As I have said so many times, before we incarnate, we actually chose our mothers, as part of our soul growth process. Consciously, one might say, “I would never have chosen this situation,” especially during trying times of a mother’s illness. But, the soul knows better. Like old fashioned photography, we develop from the negative.

The movie “Still Alice” focuses on what happens in a family where the matriarch of the family has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, and how things change when the center of the family falls ill. Of course, this type of situation deeply affects all of the family members, and things can really become unglued.

But sometimes the opposite happens, as with a friend of mine whose 94 year old mother came down with debilitating spinal stenosis over the harsh and icy New York City winter. The three brothers pulled together as a team to care for their mom, and took turns being there at every juncture, including surgery which thankfully went as well as could be expected. Hopefully now, physical therapy will help get her back up on her feet and walking again.

Interestingly, there are two main times of the year where my office phone rings non-stop: Christmas and Mother’s Day. The latter is because mothers are a major force in all our lives, and the mother-child relationship is one of the most significant relationships we have — if not THE most. Through mom is how we learn to love and share.

In my experience with clients and attendees at my events, I have seen that losing one’s mother can still be painful twenty years after her passing. This is why I devoted a whole chapter to losing a parent in my book Everything Happens for a Reason, addressing issues like losing a mother at a young age, taking care of mom in her old age, and for so many never getting over a mother’s passing.

Interesting that Mother’s Day occurs during the Spring when the flowers, trees and grass start to grow. There are tulips galore, forsythias, and all those little green uprisings that I promised would be coming up through the ground where all that snow used to be.

Ah, Wonderful spring! The season where poets sing songs of love, people have a skip in their step, and joy abounds. This year, I got my hint of Spring while in the desert, watching the cactus and desert plants blooming. Seeing flowers emerge from a cactus is breathtaking, one of the many wonders of Nature. Once again I am looking forward to The Afterlife Conference in June, and a return to New Hampshire where it’s been a few years. There will also be new events in Denver in July and Lily Dale in August.

Okay then, time to put some flowers on the table after picking them with my hands and letting them do what they do best — look beautiful and smell glorious.

Happy May Everyone!

Healing Through Relationships

Welcome all to the month when Spring begins. The Spring Equinox is Friday March 20th
, three days after St. Patrick’s Day! Now I know some of you are saying, “Yeah, right! Spring,” given the huge mounds of snow and ice still prevalent. Even where it’s supposed to be warm, it’s cold. I heard even the birds this winter were a bit freaking out! But I assure you, those tiny buds are on the verge of pushing up through the ground! Spring is around the corner.

In life, things move in their own time, for their own rhyme and reason. Most of us humans, of course, want everything now, or yesterday. We forget the most important part of why things often don’t happen so fast, that being . . . we may miss the most important part of the journey, or the reason why this or that is happening. Everything happens for a reason, tho the reason is not always apparent.

While some folks seem to sail through life, often I’ll encounter people who have had many losses over a short period of time. They ask, “Why did this happen to me?” Or, “Why don’t I have good luck?” To be honest, I don’t have all the answers for the why’s of anyone’s life. But I do know that there is a reason for everything. Whatever that reason may be, you know deep inside. That is, your soul has the answer. So often, yes, discovering the reason does require looking deep.

I’ve often said that most of our soul learning happens in relationships. If for some reason you don’t learn with the Earth family you were born into, you will likely learn your lessons with a partner, and perhaps your partner’s family. Or perhaps, you will create a “family” through your friends or mutual interests or causes.

Look around you and notice the people in your life. Do they have strong family connections (which by the way is a concept that extends to cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.). Or are they very involved in their partner’s family, parents, or in-laws? If you were raised with strong ties to a cousin, he or she can often act a sibling. If they have children of their own, the connection continues with them as your nieces and nephews.

Nowadays, with families living in so many different places, it requires much more work to stay physically connected. But I have to tell you that I meet many folks who make sure they personally connect with family and extended family every year or every other year to keep that relationship going. Also, iPhone and computer photos and videos can help bridge the gap. Folks know the importance of family, and they want that priority to be there for their children as well. This can be especially important with the “only child,” with cousins often becoming sibling substitutes.

Through direct and indirect family relationships, we can know or at least begin to understand what our soul program is all about. It’s so easy to look at another’s seemingly happy life and say, “Why not me?” But, you need only look a bit deeper to see that what is on the outside may not correlate to what is on the inside, and what your program might be. It’s not really about fancy houses or cars or diamonds, or the chenille dresses. I know of someone who had all that and she lost not one but two sons . . . one to suicide!

One of my favorite interviews is when Barbara Walters was questioning Gloria Vanderbilt. Barbara asked Gloria, and I quote, “Why you? Why did you lose a son to suicide?” Gloria’s answer, “Why not? Money never has nor will it ever exempt one from loss.”

In short, not everything is at it appears to be. Just as when we look at all the snow still piled up, we may not see the green coming up from below, but I assure you, it happens every Spring, which is just a couple of weeks away (officially). It’s just like magic! How can one not be amazed at Nature in her presence and beauty? What was once barren gives birth to flowers, leaves, bees a buzzing, and the animals (like us) adding a skip to their step.

So be patient. In life and in season, the change will come. Maybe not how you dreamed it or exactly how you wanted it to happen, but changes will arrive. Meanwhile, count your blessings – that favorite dish on the table, or just sitting down beside the one you love. Sometimes the simplest things are the greatest gifts that can be given, or received.

So come on Spring Equinox. Bring it on!

This Spring – besides being occupied by my seedlings – I am delighted to return to some of my favorite places: Lafayette, LA, Tucson, AZ and my hard core Northeast Connecticut homes.

Looking forward to it all.

Summer: Time to Play!

Okay kids, time to play! Dive in the pool, stroll along the shore, or take a trip to the country. Maybe enjoy a hike in the woods, or a visit to your local park. Feel the breeze! Whatever works to get back to Nature and listen to the songs of the birds. It’s time to be a kid again. July makes it easy.

As they say, all work and no play makes for a very dull person indeed! Spirit – being God, angels, spirit guides, or whomever you connect with – really loves you when you work, but really, really loves you when you play! So, I am giving you all a little nudge. Have some fun! Because summer is officially here, and it’s very important to take time to totally enjoy the sun after a long and cold winter. (But don’t forget the sunscreen, as you live it up!)

I learned a very long time ago that my work is about the living, not our beloved DPs (dead persons). We who are still here in the physical are the ones who have to figure out how to get joy out of life, despite all the challenges – and there are many, including the loss of a loved one. But believe it or not, having fun is the most wonderful way to honor our DPs. Sure, they know we miss them, but they want us to process the grief, and return to living a happy life. Remember that our DPs went through their own share of losses during their time on Earth, but from those on the Other Side, I can tell you without a doubt that they want you to know that playing is one of the most important things you can do on your journey.

My journey to the Afterlife Conference in June was as wonderful as it was last year, and I was thrilled to meet new friends and reconnect with those I’ve met before. One very special thing that happened was when people came up to me and said how they loved that I talked about my garden and the seasons in my newsletters! I totally LOVED hearing that! And it answered a question of my own: Why is it important to focus on the seasons and Nature? Answer: because the seasons and Nature are reflective of our own state of mind and being.

No doubt about it – each season has a rhyme and reason, and there is beauty in every aspect. By so observing, you learn to appreciate that the seasons have a direct relationship to how we live our lives. Trying to play even when life is difficult is what moves us emotionally from one place to another. And that, my friends, is based on our ability to love, and on opening our hearts to be loved.

Joy is the key to how we can dig deep in the well of life, and I know that July can add a touch of being a kid again. Children know how to make just about anything a game of play. Even in this day and age, take away the high technology toys and gizmos, and you’ll be surprised how kids can quickly figure out how to play in other ways. Getting the kids out in Nature is a great way to teach them, and a great way to teach yourselves. Yeah, there are many ways and places to play, my favorite of course being the garden.

Okay, kids, enough preaching! Go out and play! And Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! July is waiting.

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.

Connecting with Nature

Okay so we’re in August and yes sorry that summer will soon be over. But wait! There is a whole month left before summer unofficially ends on Labor Day September 2nd, and three weeks more until the official end of summer on the autumn equinox. So it’s not like it’s the last minute. There is still plenty of time to do all those summer things that we want or need to do! Here in the Northeast, we are still waiting for tomatoes to come up so we can prepare our very own Caprese salads, soups, and sauces. Oh the endless joys of gardening!

Speaking of joyous things to do, for all of you who have ever wanted to visit a spiritual community geared to adults, I would strongly suggest Omega in Rhinebeck, New York. I just did a weekend intensive program there with Dr. Eben Alexander and Dr. Raymond Moody, my fourth time with those remarkable man. And quite a weekend it was!

While Omega is primarily a camp for adults, they do have a “teen week” and things to do for younger children. The grounds are so very beautiful and peaceful. One of the best features is that you can free yourself of electronic gadgetry (but choose to engage if you’re in the lovely café). If the cabins are a bit too rustic for you, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfasts in the area which is famous for its great gardens and sustainable farms, something New York State is becoming noted for. Truly amazing and very inspiring is Omega’s day of “Healing the Earth” with participants doing their part, even if it’s just a little bit, to correct the carbon footprints we all leave. If your dance card is filled this summer, really think about visiting Omega next year. You will make your mark and leave very happy!

Someone who has made her mark worldwide is the truly inspiring Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous primatologist. I just read an article about her which noted that fifty years ago, Jane became the first person to prove that nonhuman animals make tools. More recently, Jane has been focusing on a life form less intelligent than the chimpanzees she studied in Tanzania. In fact, a species that has no brain at all: plants.

Jane’s newest book, Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants, co-written with Gayle Hudson, chronicles Jane’s lifelong love of all things leafy. In the book, Jane writes that “There would be no chimpanzees without plants – nor human beings either,” and confesses that she might never have started studying apes had she not, as a child, been obsessed with Africa’s forests. Now 79 years young, Jane runs the Jane Goodall Institute to protect chimpanzees’ habitat, and Roots and Shoots to encourage children to become conservationists. Jane has inspired me my whole life. She is a big part of why I became an avid gardener and lover of Nature which is the closest tangible thing to “God.”

I would suggest that if you are of mind to present yourself with just one gift during this rest of summer, make that gift being active in Nature. And while you are there, listen. You never know when a loved one is going to “call your name” from the Other Side.

The “Little Things” are the Most Significant

Happy July! We are now officially in summer, the summer solstice having occurred on June 20, with a full moon to boot!

Somebody I know who is from the Northeast but now living in Florida was visiting up north and one evening came across some fireflies, also called lightning bugs where I grew up. She had totally forgotten about those magical little beings from her childhood and became reawakened to this wonder of Nature. I told her I get to see them every June and July from my porch, and each year still feel blessed by their presence.

The fireflies remind me that it’s the little things in life that often are most significant, and that we should cherish in our lives those precious moments, for life can change in an instant. Yes all the electronic gadgetry we have nowadays is great, but please do remember to take some time to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, a walk along the shore, a mountain hike, etc. All the better if you can share the experience with someone you care about, and discuss the magnificence that is Nature over good food and wine.

Of course, each season has its own beauty to experience, but being in the moment now means to recognize that it is July – a good time to play hooky from work, with the kids perhaps. Or just go outside and become a kid yourself.

This is also the month to sit outside, gaze upon the stars, and listen to the crickets. So relaxing! This is what a July day can hold for us.

Even New York City is much calmer than usual this time of year, although there are plenty of activities like concerts in Central Park, dancing on the piers along the Hudson, baseball and softball games galore, people flying kites, riding bikes, skating, or what have you. When the sun is shining in July, doing just about anything outdoors is great fun.

Before signing off, I wanted to give a personal “Thanks” for Terri Daniel once again out-doing herself for my third year at the Afterlife Awareness Conference. To be sure not my last. Terri asked me to return again next year! I met so many wonderful people at the conference I thank them all for letting me into their hearts! It was great meeting Eben Alexander and seeing Raymond Moody who will both be in Montreal for the 38th annual IIIHS (International Institute of Integral Human Sciences) conference. I will then be in Toronto, and will again be with Eben and Raymond at Omega. Gotta wonder: who is following whom? A fun-filled July for sure. I’m looking forward to meeting so many of you on my journey and your beloved ones in spirit!

By now we should all be over the winter time blues! So kids, get out there and smell the roses!

Honoring Fathers and Lessons from Machu Picchu

Welcome June! The month when there is so much going on. From weddings, to graduations, to vacations, days on the beach, weekends in the country, to name a few. And let’s not forget those special dads and father figures who touched our hearts and made a difference in our lives. For June 16th is Fathers Day!

In my work, I am forever reminded of how many sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, love their dads so deeply regardless of whether their dad is the “blood father” or not. So many wonderful men pick up the for those who did not or could not step up to the plate. Kudos to all those second dads who remain present! I have said it before and will say it forever, the blood connection doesn’t make a man that special dad or granddad in a child’s life. It’s his love and how he shows his love that counts.

On CNN this week, I heard a commentator observe that no one ever says when they are about to die, “I’m sorry I didn’t work more.” That reminded me about all the men in the work place who want more time with their families but just can’t arrange it because keeping a job is so crucial.

For those who have dads on the Other Side, this Fathers Day, and always, I suggest that you send them your thoughts of love. They will hear you. And if you are tuned in, you will feel the connection.

As some of you know, I just got back from Peru, and had my first experience with the Incas. It was such a thrill to visit one of the new seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.

The Incas built Machu Picchu around 1450, but were driven out a century later when the Spanish arrived. The existence of Machu Picchu was not revealed to the world until much later, by an American, Hiram Bingham III, of Yale University and National Geographic.

As we know, the ancient indigenous cultures strongly believed in the Afterlife, and shamans were held in high regard. The Incas were no exception.

What was most amazing to me was learning about the Incas’ advanced form of agriculture. Of course being an avid gardener and of farmer stock, I know the hard work farming requires, which is why I have such great respect for farmers. The Inca farmers were geniuses with their agricultural systems which included an amazing way of balancing all foods for every climate, knowing exactly what should be planted where and when. Needless to say, there were no GMO (genetically modified organisms) in their foods. No Monsanto to worry about! And the kicker, they had over three thousands types of potatoes!

The Incas may not have lived in the best houses but everyone ate! There were no food shortages.

If you are up for an adventure, Machu Picchu is a must. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

Or if you are in a mood to stay closer to home this summer, join me at one my special events. I’ll again be at the Third Afterlife Awareness Conference in St. Louis, a wonderful, wonderful gathering. I’ll be returning as well to Montreal and Toronto, and Omega in upstate New York for a special weekend at the end of July. Check the calendar on my website for details.

As always, I look forward to reconnecting with many of you, and hope to meet some new folks along the way.

Spring and Nature’s Lessons on Overcoming Grief

Once again, I’ve been wanting something to happen sooner rather than later. This time it’s Spring! However, Mother Nature says Spring will arrive when she’s ready, not when I want it to. I understand that, of course, but after all, we’re now past Easter, having devoured the chocolate rabbits, the colored eggs, and those special dinners. Before that it was the passing of Groundhog Day and the March 21st equinox, neither of which brought much warmth. Come on Spring, get here!

Okay, that’s my mini-rant. Now I’m calming down because this morning the birds – thank God for the birds – and especially robins were everywhere. As has been in the news, so many birds had to change their flight paths to adapt to climate change, some not so easily. But that life, isn’t it? Things change.

As many have experienced, sometimes when we lose someone, our lives change dramatically and it feels like we will never be the same. There is truth in that, of course. So we need to take time to grieve, and then sort things out. Sooner or later, we begin to figure out how to move on as best we can, despite that initial devastating blow.

Just like with the delay of Spring this year, when we lose someone close, there are no magic wands or remotes to fast forward us to the next chapter. As humans, we need to go through the grieving process. Those of us that don’t take the time to grieve, and instead do everything we can to avoid facing the reality of our emotions, are merely postponing the inevitable. At some point, now or 10 years from now, the loss will impact us emotionally. It’s a good idea to deal with the loss sooner rather than later, and let the healing process begin.

Here’s another thing I’ve learned in all my years doing this work. However long it takes you to get beyond the passing of a loved one, and into a mode of normalcy, honor that. If someone tells you to “Get over it” or “Move on already,” tell them, “Walk a mile in my shoes, and then we’ll talk about it!”

Just like getting beyond Winter is taking longer than usual this Spring, overcoming grief can take longer than we hoped and planned. If you find yourself in that kind of situation, just let Nature take its course. Don’t rush it.

Even though Spring is only here on the calendar, it’s very exciting to know that – unless there is another upcoming event that I am unaware of – I will be seeing many of you in the coming months. My special return to Cromwell always warms my heart, and I’ll be doing a fund raiser for Liam Nation this month. I’m then off to Roanoke, Chicago, Denver, Baltimore and Philly. Check out my events page for details.