Monday, December 29, 2014

The Gift of a Handwritten Card

When it comes to sending out Christmas cards, I'm old school - mine are handwritten and mailed. I still have some friends and relatives who do this as well, and it is always nice to receive their updates, along with good wishes, in the mail. Today, a card arrived from Canuck Place. In and of itself, this isn't that remarkable. My husband and I receive cards from other organizations this time of year. But this one was different - over the past few hours, I have reread it five or six times. Why? In addition to wishing my husband and I the best of the season, the handwritten message thanked us "for the contribution you have made over the years in memory of your son ... Mike!" Previous contact with the person who wrote it only consisted of a few emails earlier this year, with regards to the golf tournament. A cynic may say, "Well that's just good business." However, I say, "Thank you so much for taking the time to write this thoughtful card - it means the world to my husband and me, particularly when you refer to our son by name and add the energy of an exclamation mark." Personalized, handwritten messages - they can't be beat.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Candles Lighting the Way

This morning, I pulled out the mini Christmas tree and ornaments in preparation for tomorrow's family visit to Boal. It wasn't until I was out walking in the canyon, a short time later, that the emotions started swirling. I am thankful for this tradition we originally created to honour my mother at the cemetery, then moved to Boal after Michael and Kelly died. I know there will be some tears, that's a given, but there will also be a few laughs. And of course, there will be candles. Tiny, white ones clipped to the branches. Anyone who knows me well, knows this - I love candles. Surrounding myself with them is one of my favourite aspects of this season. There is something so pure and uplifting about candlelight. Earlier this week, while wandering through a spectacular garden light display, my husband and I paused to light two candles for Michael and Kelly, infuse them with good wishes, and place them side by side on a ledge in the rock grotto.  This Sunday evening, we'll be observing Winter Solstice with candles during the Lantern Festival in our city's classical Chinese Garden.  And over these next few days, when I recognize the need for additional grounding, a simple candle meditation will be in order.  Sitting cross-legged before a candle and with soft gaze, focussing on the flame. Visualizing the light making its way into my third eye and seeing the beam flow directly into my heart. Appreciating all the candles lighting the way, inside and out.
Photo credit: Two Wings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Encouraging Messages

Working with the invisible continues to impress. After a long absence, I have stepped back into offering professional tarot card readings. By choice, I had not ventured into this arena since the accident, but I recently decided that it would be great to get out there again, so after making some enquiries, I committed to doing readings in a friend's store one day a week.  As it had been over three and a half years, I was a little anxious about how it would go, so I meditated on two themes of great importance when seeking connection with the invisible for the benefit of others - faith and trust. Also, in the early morning of my first day back, while walking in the forest, I humbly requested assistance from those in spirit to please draw near and bring their support to the readings.     
Well, it was a stellar day. Interestingly, none of the clients were from the area, none had ever stepped into the store, and to my knowledge, none had ever experienced tarot readings. However, all of them expressed feelings of being drawn in without having a clear idea of why they were there. During the sessions, numerous amazing connections were made, but the one that resonated most deeply with me involved the heart theme. When my last client of the day sat down across from me to begin our session, she complemented me on the tunic I was wearing and asked if I had, by any chance, purchased it from a shop located a short distance away. She referred to it as Get Blessed. I answered that I had, and with a smile, gave her the correct name, Get Dressed. We both chuckled at this Freudian slip. She said that on her way here, she had stopped in that shop and had considered purchasing the same tunic for herself, but in the end, decided not to. We then proceeded with the reading which turned out to have a strong love component. When we were done, she returned to the retail area and purchased a large decorative heart for herself. Before leaving the store, however, she walked towards me and presented me with a richly enamelled, metal heart, which she had purchased as a gift for me. Bright red, it fit perfectly into the palm of my hand, with just the right amount of weight. Hollow, this exquisite heart contained a tiny bell which rang sweetly when shaken. Across the centre, in white lettering, was the ♥ symbol along with the word YOU. What this woman could not have known was less than an hour before she arrived, I had picked up this exact piece and had felt a very strong connection. I shared this with her and added that I had considered buying it for myself but after some thought, had returned it to the basket instead.
I send a huge bouquet of love and gratitude to the invisible for the incredible messages of encouragement.  Clearly, I am on the right path.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Modifying Traditions

The early snowfall last weekend prompted me to begin decorating for Christmas much earlier than usual. My enthusiasm was also spurred on by my husband and I stumbling upon a mom and pop shop carrying an eclectic mix of items, including a stunning, vintage aluminum tree. It was born in the 50s, as was our home, and the two of us. This shiny tree now adorns our living room, perfectly. If I were a betting person, I would have lost big time - I never, ever imagined I'd have an artificial tree, never mind one made of aluminum!  Growing up, my family would purchase our tree the day before Christmas, then decorate it with real candles during the afternoon, for our German Christmas Eve celebration that night. Later on, with my own children, our tree would be trimmed with white lights a week before Christmas. This year, our new-to-us tree has no lights at all, and was fully decorated on the first of December. Modifying our traditions: details of how we experience this holiday season change over time, but celebrating the overall joy of it remains.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Art Inspired Yoga

The curator of our community's newest art gallery, located in a modern building, collaborated with two local yoga teachers, resulting in their co-hosting of a unique yoga class in this inspirational space.  The intention was to encourage participants to contemplate the works present in the exhibition, thereby broadening their approach to each posture.  The first event, which took place earlier this fall, was so well attended that a second one was offered this week. Well, the creative energy in this big, open room certainly enhanced my practice, giving me the opportunity to experience another 'first'.  During Tree Pose, a balancing posture aided by the use of a drishti point (focussing one's gaze on a particular spot), my gaze fell upon a large picture hanging directly across from me, on the far side of the room. It was a muted image of a wood framed window, with a white blind drawn down over it. While holding the pose, I soon sensed the smells of a musty, old classroom, which reminded me of my brief substitute teaching stint that took place in Lonsdale Elementary School in September 1978, my one and only foray into subbing.  As I made my way out of Tree Pose, I made the connection - this gallery sits on the property where that same school, built in 1910, sat until it was torn down a few years ago.  After class, while chatting to the curator, I was told that some of the original school beams had been incorporated into this new building, which houses school board offices, as well as the art gallery. When I took a closer look at the picture, there was no reference to a school but it sure was a wonderful, unexpected new experience to smell the past and be propelled back into this memory of my twenty-one-year-old self.  Later, while writing this post, I discovered that another meaning for drishti is "vision" - how lucky to have embodied both meanings that night.
Photo credit: Gordon Smith Gallery

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Weather Gods Come Out to Play


Today, we awoke to a beautiful fall morning - cool and sunny, with a few clouds thrown in for added interest.  My husband had planned on spending the bulk of this day prepping for a dinner party we are hosting this evening, but when I returned from my run in the canyon, he was up the ladder installing the outdoor Christmas lights.  I joked that this was a first - he normally waits til it's cold and sleeting to do this job.  He replied that he had decided to take advantage of the great weather and asked if I could help.  While holding the strands of lights for him, I looked up to the sky and saw two magnificent eagles flying overhead - they were out enjoying this perfect fall day as well.  A minute later, I felt a light drizzle, even though there was blue sky above us. That drizzle soon turned to hail, along with a noticeable drop in temperature. I burst out laughing - there was no mention of hail in today's weather forecast.  It seemed that the weather gods were playing a joke on us.  Within five minutes, the silliness had stopped and the sun was out, once again. Unexpected moments of joy - they're the best.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Feeling the Love in Hawaii

These past two weeks have been incredibly nourishing, relaxing, and overflowing with love  - two of the best weeks of my life.  Months ago, when one of my daughters suggested we all go on a family vacation to Hawaii this year, it was an easy sell.  The last time our family had spent extended holiday time together was when the kids were in their teens. So on November 1st, off we flew.  En route, it did come up that this would be a bittersweet experience since the circumstances would also bring a heightened sense of our loss.  However, we knew that the joyful energy of the two little ones would be a wonderful asset.  And I reminded my family that there would be obvious signs from Michael denoting his presence, and indeed, there were many.  

Our first morning on the Big Island happened to coincide with my birthday. When I awoke, I lay alone in bed for a few minutes, gazing out at the palm trees before joining everyone downstairs.  The waves of sadness were eased with the overwhelming gratitude I felt to be starting my new year in such an extraordinary way.  Later that afternoon, while our grandchildren were napping, my husband and I explored a nearby ocean side trail which wound its way over black lava rock, with chunks of dead, white coral scattered on either side.  Minutes into our walk, I was overjoyed to see the first sign: a heart-shaped piece of coral lying in the middle of the path

A little further along, we discovered numerous heart outlines, perhaps fifty, or more, created with white coral pieces, most containing words or initials inside.  I could hardly believe my eyes - I had never seen anything like it.  The white hearts looked gorgeous against the backdrop of the black lava and I wondered if I would see K & M, but did not. We were approaching the end of the trail which opened up onto a small, sandy beach and were about to ascend the stairs leading away from the shore when I saw it - a huge, black lava heart outline lying in the sand, about 2 metres high, containing the letters MJG!  Michael James Gibson.  A poignant birthday present.  Since I was without a camera, I planned on returning the following day to take a photo.  After walking a ways along the resort path, we turned around in order to follow the trail back to our townhouse.  When we were back at the top of the stairway, we looked down and saw a couple who were rearranging the initials in the heart beside "ours"  to make it their own.  They had a phone and when asked, happily agreed to email me a photo of the heart containing MJG.  They joked that it was a good thing we came along when we did, otherwise "ours" might have been changed as well.  It had not occurred to me that these hearts were in constant flux and indeed, the following day, MJG was gone. 

Midway through the trip, it was the large, cheeky turtle marked with the number 13 (a resident of the Honu family inhabiting the popular bay we were snorkeling in)  playfully hip-checking a unsuspecting male snorkeler, that made me smile.  Michael had had an affinity for turtles, and his favourite number was 13.  

And on the final evening, while standing on the shore, watching the most magnificent sunset of our trip, all of us laughing as my granddaughter splashed fully clothed in the waves, we took up the offer of a fellow tourist to have our family photo taken.  While posing for the shot, I was filled to the brim with love, and missed my son deeply.  Just as the picture was being taken, my heart melted as I realized that the song being played by the musicians behind us, at the beach restaurant we had just left, was Somewhere Over the Rainbow, one of the three songs played during Michael's service.

This family vacation has been two full weeks of feeling blessed beyond belief.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Numinous

Numinous, a word I now know to mean, "having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of divinity".  A recent addition to my vocabulary, I was introduced to this word via a book I read this summer, Opening Heaven's Door.  Considering how much I have explored the topics of spirituality and divinity, how had I never come across this beautiful (both in meaning and sound) word before?  At one point, while reading the book, I had stopped to check the exact meaning of this word in the dictionary. Soon after I resumed reading, the author made reference to a neuropsychiatrist named Michael Kelly. Really?!  Five minutes later, the house phone rang.  Not recognizing the number on call display, I was tempted to ignore it but then decided to pick up.  A male voice asked, "Is Michael there?" I asked what it was regarding and he explained that he was calling regarding the ad for garage space rental.  When I pressed, he told me he was calling the number shown in the publication he had.  We double checked, and sure enough, it was our telephone number in the ad.  I explained that there had been a Michael at this number but that he had died over three years ago.  After some investigation, I discovered that there had been a typo in the telephone number listed, off by one digit from the correct one.  No garage rental, and no shortage of numinous experiences. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reaching for the Stars

Exactly one year ago today, my paper child was launched into the world.  At that time, I made a commitment to myself that I would do what I could to get this book out to as great an audience as possible. With the ongoing support from family, friends and community, slowly but surely, it is happening. During the first year of its life, Diary of an Intuitive acquired a distributor, was placed into retail locations, listed on Amazon, mentioned in articles, entered in prominent competitions, sent to acclaimed authors, sold at markets, purchased by public libraries, and donated to various organizations. Like the figure on The Star tarot card, I will continue to reach for the stars.  After all, I also have some great support from up there.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Being Nurtured by Nurturing

                                                   

The need to be nurtured is not something I ever imagined I would be yearning for at this age.  It never occurred to me that a fifty-seven-year-old grandmother could still crave this kind of support.  And yet, I do.  It began the day Michael died, and has not subsided.  At times, I wistfully consider how nice it would be if my mother were still alive, to provide the comfort that only one's mother can.  A few days ago, this subject appeared in a meditation - I saw a huge, bright sphere of orange energy.  I was told that when I nurture others, I am contributing to this collective source of nurturing energy which flows in all directions, and is available for me to draw on for myself as needed. A give and take situation.  Not the same as having my mother physically present, but it will have to do.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Dog's Unconditional Love Never Dies

Being open to connecting with spirit makes for very meaningful experiences, and when sharing the messages with others, it can be the messages that appear almost insignificant to me, that make the biggest difference in someone else's life. Last night, sitting in open circle, in a venue I had not previously attended, eleven of us (ranging from beginners to highly skilled psychics and mediums) spent the latter part of the session exchanging messages for each other.  When it came time to wrap it up, the facilitator asked us if anyone had any last minute messages.  I had already shared a couple, directed at specific individuals, but almost as an afterthought, I decided to share what I felt was quite a vague one. For a good portion of our session, I had noticed a mid-sized, short-haired, black dog standing between two women seated across from me.  Looking in my direction, this dog, with it's slight build, was part of our circle - smiling, eyes sparkling, tail wagging so furiously that the entire rear end was wiggling side to side. This animal was so happy, just to be here. I had been asking the dog to please move to the person it was connected to and help me understand the message it was here to convey, but the dog remained where it was, without any additional information.  As I was explaining this scene to the group, the woman seated beside me piped up, "That's my dog Molly." It turned out that her black lab of slight build had passed away a couple of years ago, at the ripe old age of seventeen, and that they had been the best of friends. Now, this woman was experiencing a difficult split with her boyfriend and had told the universe that her next relationship would have to be with someone who loved her unconditionally, like her dog Molly had.  The woman then showed me her ring and explained that it contained her dog's ashes. That is when I was absolutely certain this was her dog. She left feeling overjoyed and supported, and I left with another reminder that my job is not to judge the value of a potential message, my job is to merely pass it on.

(Photo credit: Tanya Palazzo)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Courageous Choice

The concept of courage has presented itself numerous times over these past few days - shown to me in a meditation, discussed while walking with a friend, and presented as a online forum topic.  For those who make the conscious choice to continue embracing life, despite having challenging experiences thrown in our path, courage is what we draw on in order to keep angling our souls towards the light, rather than retreating into darkness.  In the face of ongoing pain or grief, making the daily choice to find joy and gratitude is an act of courage, requiring an enormous output of energy.  The return on that investment is the gift of a life worth living.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Showered With Riches

It has been a week of incredible abundance, with riches continually pouring in.
The gift of celebration: meeting up with classmates at our 40th high school reunion, most of whom I had not seen for ten years, or longer, engaging in heartwarming conversations.
The gift of shared meals: lunch with one side of our family, followed by Sunday dinner with my daughters and their families.
The gift of a sunny morning in Stanley Park, my granddaughter and I: experiencing the playground, beach, and Laughing Statues through the eyes of a two-year-old.  
The gift of guided meditation at ISA: gleaning powerful spiritual insights and enjoying the exchange of psychic abilities.
The gift of winning not one, but two contests I had entered: feeling lucky beyond belief.
The gift of culture: visiting several art exhibits, free of charge, all showcasing some fantastic works.
Being showered with such riches, in addition to those I am already so fortunate to experience daily, has made for a most amazing week. Sending a heartfelt thank-you to all involved!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Crystal Clear

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an uplifting crystal bowl group mediation.  It took place, after hours, inside a shop carrying gifts, accessories, clothing and more, items designed to add joy and serenity to people's lives.  I had stopped in once when it first opened late last spring, but had not been there since.  After we dozen or so participants settled ourselves in a circle, the facilitator opened the session with a prayer from George Harrison, then explained that the vibrations we would hear while he played the bowl would address the throat chakra, associated with communication and the colour blue.  With eyes closed, we relaxed into ourselves as he continually moved his mallet around the rim.  He played the huge, crystal bowl for thirty to forty minutes, then let the sound fade away.  After opening my eyes and allowing myself to fully return to my body, I looked across the room, and that is when I saw it.  My book displayed upright with full cover view, on a shelf behind the facilitator. I was unaware that this particular shop carried Diary of an Intuitive.  More to the point, I had not noticed the book while passing back and forth in front of it numerous times while arranging chairs for the group, nor had I noticed it during the circle introduction.  While I was processing the magic of this moment, the facilitator invited us to share any experiences we had had with regards to the meditation and he answered individual's questions.  He told a joke involving Sitting Bull, reminding us of the importance of humour, spoke about love being the ongoing connection between life and death, and referred to signs by which people often identify the presence of a loved one who has passed.  After a few minutes of reflection, I began telling the group about what had just occurred to me.  Most of them were unable to see the book from where they were sitting, so I described it to them: a heart containing the words love and gratitude positioned on the blue cover of a book communicating experiences about life and death, and some of the in between.  Almost as an afterthought, I began explaining the story behind the two feathers positioned beside the heart.  No sooner had I  spoken the words "two feathers", when the facilitator's wife, who had been writing notes, lifted her head, and with a nod towards her husband, told me, "That's his name".  Seeing the confusion on my face, her husband, who had introduced himself to us using his French name, explained that he had some native ancestry consisting of two warring tribes, thus the name Two Feathers. Oh my. So many overlapping themes: blue, communication, love, death, feathers. Never a dull moment on this spiritual journey. It's not a stretch to imagine that Michael's spirit guide Geronimo was infused into this magical evening, as well. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Accidental Connection

Woke up to another magnificent sunny day on Sunday.  Leisurely start with morning paper and coffee, followed by checking email, then Facebook.  Scrolling down, I noticed a post from a prominent biologist whom I follow, and as I read the copy accompanying a photo taken at a recent film screening, I was quickly transported from serenity to a heightened state, complete with increased heart rate.  The caption named a Grand Chief and his wife who were both seated beside her.  My intuition kicked in and I had a strong sense that this was the woman who had had the misfortune of driving northbound through Princeton on the early morning of March 7, 2011, approaching a corner to find a car skidding across the ice, directly into her path, then colliding.  To date, the minimal information I had regarding that driver's identity was due to a bizarre coincidence one of my neighbours had shared with me a few months after the accident.  While awaiting dinner service at a conference up in the Okanagan, he had taken his assigned seat, when a fellow attendee, using a cane, approached the table and sat down beside him in her designated seat.  During their conversation, it was revealed that the woman had been in a car accident, thus the cane, and after further discussion, these two realized that the accident was one and the same. When my neighbour returned home, he had told me about the crazy connection but did not mention her by name, only that her husband was an Okanagan band chief and the number of children they had.  Back to the photo.  It took a mere few minutes of online research to realize that indeed this was the right person and to get her contact information.  After some thought, I felt compelled to send her an email, explaining who I was, wishing her well, and assuring her that after Michael and Kelly's deaths, it had never crossed my mind to ask,"Why him, why her, why me?"  This morning, I received a lovely reply resulting in two mother's hearts soothed after this accidental connection.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grandparents' Day

While checking the calendar last week, I noticed that today, the second Sunday in September, is national Grandparents' Day.  I had no idea that we had an official day designated in their honour.  As someone who loves celebrations, I wonder how I missed this since it's been around for almost twenty years.  I also noticed that this year, the holiday would fall on the 7th of the month, coinciding with my monthly Boal Memorial visit.  Connecting the two threads, my thoughts turned from celebrating, to perhaps marking the occasion slightly differently - it would be a fitting day to take my mother-in-law along to visit the setting of Michael's remains, as she had once expressed an interest, but never been.  That thought led me to once again consider the trials of a grieving grandparent.  In addition to having to process the pain of losing a grandchild, there is the added difficulty of bearing witness to their child's pain of grieving the death of their child.  For the most part, the grandparent's experience is endured with very little support.  So for me, this Grandparents' Day will embrace honouring the challenges as well as experiencing the joys of being a grandparent, because "coincidentally", it turns out that I will be spending time with my two little blessings this evening. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Worth It

In March of this year, exactly three years after my son died, a letter addressed to Michael from Consumer Protection BC, arrived at my home.  They were advising him that he had been charged illegal fees on some of his Instaloan transactions and could apply for a refund. Well, obviously that was not possible.  The amount of the claim was a modest $35.98, but on principle, I applied on his behalf.  After filling out and mailing in the paperwork, then following up with a couple of phone calls, and numerous emails, I finally received the cheque today, a few days shy of the three-and-a-half year anniversary of his passing. These out-of-the-blue reminders of his death are always emotionally challenging.  And ironically, given his nature, it is doubtful that Michael would have pursued the matter, were he still alive.  However, now I imagine him smiling supportively, those big blue eyes looking down at me, head angled and eyebrows raised, as he sees Canuck Place benefit from this process.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer's Final Stretch

As summer starts to slide into the final stretch, the entertaining nature show, here at the cabin, continues to impress.  Down on the beach, two spotted fawns tentatively explore their surroundings, all on their own. A feisty chipmunk squats on the neighbour's deck railing, swatting at the Canadian flag mounted there.  Another hangs upside-down, while sharpening its teeth on the antlers adorning our shed.  The early evening lineup has included a couple of large, painted turtles feasting on a fish carcass beside the dock, as well as a solitary muskrat swimming along the shore.  However, signs of an approaching fall are evident.  In contrast to the abundance of hummingbirds earlier this season, only one has been spotted this week.  Out on the dock, it flew in low and hovered under the willow for quite some time, in close proximity to where we were sitting, before moving on, as if to say goodbye before heading south to warmer climes.  On the back roads, the endearing marmots are noticeably absent, likely already in their burrows, preparing for hibernation.  As summer slowly, but surely, begins to transition into fall, the antics of the remaining animals are even more appreciated.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Between Life and Death

I have just finished an excellent read, the newly released Opening Heaven's Door, written by award-winning journalist and novelist Patricia Pearson, wherein she explores extraordinary experiences people have had as they approached the boundary between life and death. Those near death, palliative care staff, scientists, and theologists, all weigh in.  The author successfully blends first-hand experiences with thorough scientific research, which can only help move the public conversation on this topic into a healthier and more positive dimension. Perhaps, in the near future, someone like my friend Nancy*, who received a tremendously comforting message from her father shortly after he died, can freely share that experience with her family and other friends, rather than feel the need to keep quiet lest they sully it with any one, of many, dismissive "explanations".  She confided to me that she was unwilling to risk having the gift of her deceased father's precious words ripped away from her. When addressing this issue, the author includes this quote from a medical school professor emeritus: "Perceiving a spiritual being, whether loving or cruel, has become an illegal experience." I am hopeful that sooner, rather than later, our collective voices will rise to shatter this sad commentary on our culture.

* name changed to protect privacy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Musical Link

Kelly has been on my mind more than usual this past week, thoughts of her permeating the bulk of my days.  Without any corresponding significant date or occasion, I wondered what was going on.  After some consideration, I realized it was possibly due to all the references I had recently come across, regarding a local musician.  I was not familiar with his music but recall comments on Kelly's Facebook page about attending Adam Woodall concerts and how much she enjoyed them.  This week, I came across a magazine article which mentioned a family's summer tradition of inviting that band up for an annual outdoor concert at their cottage.  This family had also known Kelly well, since their daughter had been a very good friend of hers. The day after reading that story, my husband and I were out for coffee and happened upon Adam playing solo at an outdoor plaza.  We listened to his music for close to an hour, with Kelly's smile and effervescent energy infusing the scene.  The following day, I reached out to share my experiences with another one of Kelly's close friends and she mentioned that, in addition to having just spoken to that mutual friend the previous evening, she had also been meaning to contact that band all week, with the idea of hiring them to play at her wedding.  Mystery solved.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ouija Connection and Consequences

While walking the seawall with one of my daughters recently, she recounted the lingering, uncomfortable consequences a friend of a friend was living with after using a Ouija board.  She described the unsettled energy this person was still experiencing weeks after "playing" with the board.  Since my daughter knew I had had a similar experience (I was in my early thirties, the same age as the person in question), she mentioned it with the hopes that I might be able to offer some support. Partway through this unusual conversation, we ran into an acquaintance of mine, a woman I see, maybe twice a year.  Our children had attended the same preschool over twenty-five years ago, but they had then gone on to attend separate schools.  After reintroducing this woman to my daughter and chitchatting for a couple minutes, we said our goodbyes. As my daughter and I resumed our walk, it suddenly occurred to me that this particular acquaintance was the one who had brought her Ouija board to our women's weekend away, which led to my profound experience with this questionable tool. Talk about uncanny timing!  All those years ago, we had thought it was just a game, but later realized it was nothing of the kind.  It had taken a couple of months of investigation and various remedies for me to finally feel like myself again.  Thankfully, today I was able to put the young woman in touch with a highly regarded healer who will help restore her to a positive state.  Fun and games, the Ouija board is not.      

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In Sync with the Weather

Up at the cabin, my moods seem to be in sync with the weather today. Contentment while painting the exterior siding under cloudy skies. Uplifted by the sight of a tiny, white feather resting on the ground beside me, just as the sun broke through for a brief visit. Gratitude for getting in a long lake swim before the winds picked up. Then, in concert with the summer storm rolling in, shedding a few tears when one of the songs from Mike's service spontaneously broke the silence, as the temperamental stereo decided to spring to life. Now, while listening to the remainder of that soundtrack and observing the ongoing interplay between clouds, sun and rain, I breathe in all the expressions of life that surround me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mizpah

I learned a new word today: mizpah.  I came across it while reading an online article posted on Death Cafe.  The word originated in the Bible and now connotes an emotional bond between two people who are separated (either physically or by death).  Up until now, I was unaware that a term used to describe this situation even existed.  Various scenarios involving mizpah come to mind. Parents sending a child overseas with hopes for a better future.  A best friend moving far away.  The death of a loved one.  It turns out that jewellery depicting this concept also exists, typically consisting of a coin-shaped pendant cut in two with a zigzag line.  A perfect image to hold onto for any being connected to another through mizpah.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Staggering Synchronicity

What are the chances?  After our MGMG cheque presentation at Canuck Place Children's Hospice, their representative gifted my husband and me a copy of their recently created notebook.  As soon as I saw it, I could scarcely believe my eyes - the design and size of it is so similar to that of my book, anyone would think they are related!  Solid blue cover with die-cut heart of same size and placement, four word title, coil bound spine, wrapped in cello packaging.  Seconds after receiving it, I hastily excused myself, ran out to my car and grabbed a copy to show the woman.  None of us could believe the staggering synchronicity. Never having seen anything even close to this design before, I wondered if there could have been a link between my designer and theirs.  After looking into it, turns out, there is not.  Another magical thread connecting all involved even deeper.  Love it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air. Last weekend, Kelly's oldest brother announced his engagement, the first of her siblings to do so. Five days later, Kelly's best friend and her fiancĂ© won a dream wedding package, due in part to the overwhelming vote of support from community. Kelly had met both prospective partners before she passed and is surely beyond thrilled that these two couples are now making plans to marry. Undoubtedly, her loving energy will make its unmistakable presence known at these upcoming weddings. Such is the power of spirit.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Celebration on Many Levels

I was looking forward to celebrating the summer solstice by having dinner with a friend at an ocean side restaurant.  Just before leaving home, I thought I'd quickly check Facebook. While scrolling down, I suddenly came upon what looked to be my son's high school graduation photo posted alongside another young man's. I froze. I couldn't process what I was seeing. The thought flashed through my mind that maybe this wasn't really my son, just someone who looked a lot like him. Then, as I read the corresponding paragraph, I learned that these two had graduated together in 2004 and were now both deceased.  Their class was celebrating their 10th High School Reunion tonight and the reunion committee had posted these two grad pictures to show that the boys were not forgotten by their classmates.  How sweet.  How very thoughtful.  After composing myself, I drove off to meet my friend. We had a great time catching up over a delicious meal with weather that was summer perfect. A few hours later, I returned home to the sound of live jazz coming from a nearby house party.  A beautiful night of celebration, on many levels.       

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Celebrating Love and Life

That was the best MGMG tournament yet.  Taking place on a warm, sunny day miraculously sandwiched in-between one and half days of steady rain with cool temperatures on either side.  Surpassing our fundraising goal by donating $4611 to Canuck Place Children's Hospice.  Inviting new people into the fold.  Delighting in the sweet energy of an increasing number of little ones present.  Experiencing an abundance of hugs, laughs, and stories, along with some tears, as well. Friends and family not missing Mike and Kelly any less, but honouring them both by celebrating love and life, fully.  Go us!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mind Versus Mind's Eye

Well, that was fun.  A local clothing store posted an online contest asking their customers to guess the concept of the upcoming window display. The staff had just removed their cruiser bike scene and were preparing to install something new. The winner's reward would be a modest gift card. As soon as I read the question, an image of an outdoor bistro table with chairs, complete with two glasses of wine, popped into my mind's eye. I was about to write that down, but then hesitated. It is not a large shop and I had difficulty picturing enough window space for this scene, in addition to placing the mannequins required. So, for a few minutes, I considered what else it could be. Nothing resonated. Therefore, I decided to submit the idea, despite my mind's inclination to override it. The following day, the store posted an online picture of the new display, and it was just as I had seen: a bistro table, chairs, and two glasses of wine, with room enough for them to include a few mannequins - I had won. Alone at my desk, I laughed out loud. Despite previous, similar experiences, this one was no less impressive or amusing. I continue to shake my head and marvel at how it all works.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Smorgasbord of Smiles

An entertaining nature show welcomed me home, yesterday evening. It began with a black squirrel scampering over the grass to the patio, then promptly stopping, dropping down onto its back, to soak in the last of the sun's rays. A short time later, I noticed another squirrel help itself to some small, green strawberries, unwilling to wait a week for them to ripen. Then, just before dusk settled in, a young skunk sniffed its way along the path beside the huge glass doors, before sauntering off across the yard. This late spring evening, verging on summer, offering up a smorgasbord of opportunities to smile.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Inspired Gifts

Receiving a card from a world-renowned jewelry designer, informing me that my book has inspired her to create a new necklace, with proceeds going directly to Canuck Place!  Receiving a letter with an enclosed MGMG donation, from someone I last saw at our high school graduation, exactly forty years ago!  Receiving an email from an unsolicited business owner offering a generous gift for our fundraiser! I am filled with the deepest sense of gratitude, at times overwhelmed, to the point of tears. To witness the incredible gifts realized when we inspire each other, is truly magical.

Monday, May 12, 2014

MGMG 2014

Plans are well underway for next month's 4th Annual Mike Gibson Memorial Golf (MGMG) tournament and it's shaping up to be another great weekend of festivities up at the cabin. Attracting new attendees, including a few rookie beginners ready to try their hand at golf. Receiving offers of donations for the fundraising aspect. Support for this event is strong as ever from friends, family, and acquaintances. Young and old committed to having fun, raising money for Canuck Place Children's Hospice, and most importantly, staying connected by spending this time with each other. We are so fortunate. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

You're Lucky You Don't Have a Son

I love family celebrations and fortunately there have been many, of late. Three birthday parties (including a milestone one for my 90-year-old father-in-law), as well as meals shared over Easter weekend. And coming up, a get-together for Mother's Day. After any family event, I always experience the inevitable emotional letdown of missing my son more acutely, but thankfully, the intensity of this feeling usually dissipates by morning.

Today, however, there are still lingering effects from a celebration that took place over a week ago, due to a comment an extended family member directed at my husband that evening. The words continue to reverberate in my mind, triggering this ache in my heart: "You're lucky you don't have a son." This, from someone who had known Michael. Obviously, it was an off-the-cuff comment; this person certainly did not intend to cause any pain. Still, it is difficult to understand how he could forget that we had had a son. Maybe it occurred to him later, maybe not. Upon reflection, there is the off chance that he hadn't forgotten, but neglected to consider the consequences his words might have. The impact this comment had on my husband and me was twofold: one, the shock upon hearing the words themselves, then the resulting pain, and two, recognizing the stark contrast between these two realities. My husband and I live with this profound loss every single day and yet, for this person, it appears that our son has slipped completely off the radar. And so, it goes. The learning continues.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lavished with Abundance

The flood gates have opened - it's clearly a time of abundance in my life. Within the last few days, so many gifts have arrived from people near and far. Receiving word that I have been nominated for a Women of Worth award. Then, a phone call with an unexpected offer of ad space to market my book. The next day, an email informing me that I had won a book, then a friend's last minute invitation to attend a play as her guest. All of this in addition to my husband booking us an impromptu three day getaway for later week. There are times when abundance can be challenging to recognize, but when lavished upon me en masse this way, it certainly makes an impression.  Lucky me.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Much Appreciated Distraction

Went for a long walk in the forest this morning.  Made a gratitude list one hundred items long this afternoon.  Efforts to improve my emotional state.  On this fourth Easter without him, it is still gut-wrenchingly difficult.  Speaking with other mothers living with loss, I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  Thank heaven for the dinner invitation we received for later today, where both daughters and their families will be present as well.  A much appreciated distraction.    

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Angels Weaving Magic

Last Monday morning, I stopped in at a local shop with my granddaughter.  A beautiful space, filled to the brim with seasonal decor, I pop in a few times a year to say hello and see what's new.  However, this time it ended up being much more than a casual visit, and one that almost didn't happen.
I had thought I was scheduled to babysit for a few hours that day, but had my dates mixed up so wasn't really needed. When my daughter asked if I wanted to take my granddaughter out regardless, I decided to do just that. Since it was the 7th of the month, I would be going to Boal Memorial, and I knew that taking her with me would make the stop much lighter and sweeter.
So now here we were, in this quaint shop, looking for an Easter ornament for her to adorn the space dedicated to Uncle Mike and Kelly. The two of us were admiring all the tiny figurines and making our way to the back room, when the shopkeeper appeared from around the corner.  She stopped, placed her hand on my arm and whispered, "What an amazing coincidence, I can't believe you're here. Of all people."  She went on to tell me that the young woman at the till (the only other customer in the store) had recently lost a son and was here purchasing items for the child's memorial service.  When I asked if I could speak to her, we were introduced, and this young mother, her five-year-old son at her side, explained that her three-year-old with leukemia had died at Canuck Place Children's Hospice.  After a big hug, we spoke a little about her situation, touched on the glass hearts she was buying and our family's affiliation with that hospice. Then, as I turned to leave, she mentioned that she doesn't even live in this area and had no idea why she had chosen this place.  The shopkeeper and I exchanged meaningful glances - we both knew this is was no accident.
There have been countless occasions of just such "coincidences" in this shop, including the circumstances around the tiny bird figurine that was gifted to our family a few days after Michael's death. Clearly, angels work here, weaving their magic, offering love and support in the most magnificent ways.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Guidance

Thirteen of us, that magical number, showed up for the most recent Open Circle at ISA.  We began with a guided meditation during which I was drawn to a brilliant amber-coloured energy.  While immersed in this vibrant hue for a prolonged time, I eventually recognized it was a sign encouraging me to explore gemstones of this colour.  The previous week, I had met a woman at a local metaphysical store and we had engaged in a short conversation about my book.  Then, just as she was leaving, she turned to say there was a crystal I should be wearing, but she had no idea which one.  Now, armed with the knowledge from this mediation, amber seems an obvious choice.  I have been steered in this direction before, but not worn any for quite some time.  I look forward to pulling out the few pieces I have, and refreshing my knowledge about its energetic properties.  As with most of my guided meditations, I received insight into an aspect of my life, along with recommended action I could take.  Guidance that is always appreciated.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Extra Measure of Care

Is there something in the stars, or just poor judgement? Within the past few days, I have witnessed several, serious incidents of driver inattention, all occurring within a short radius of my home. Somewhat unnerving, to say the least. Thankfully, none resulted in fatalities.  
Last Saturday, while walking on the sidewalk near a busy intersection, I watched a car blow right through a red light. Luckily, no one was hit. Moments later, at the very same light, a vehicle pulled out to make a right turn on a red, without any regard for the traffic proceeding through on the green. Numerous drivers were forced to slam on their brakes in order to avoid an accident. Fortunately, the pedestrians had already crossed.  
On Tuesday, while driving along an on-ramp to the highway, heading to the library with my granddaughter, I saw a car spinning out two lanes over, then hitting the median, before it eventually stopped. When I glanced ahead, I realized that the driver was reacting to the pickup truck that had just come to a halt, a short distance ahead in that same lane, facing the wrong way.  (Coincidentally, a couple of weeks earlier, within spitting distance of this spot, I came upon a three-car accident that had just occurred, due to a drunk driver travelling the wrong way.) 
Then today, my older daughter, with baby in tow, was driving down a main thoroughfare when a car pulled out from an alley, hitting my daughter's vehicle. No one was hurt, thank heaven.  
Please let us all take an extra measure of care when driving.  We all want our loved ones to arrive home safely.  Believe me, no one wants to experience the alternative.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ready to Live Life

Early Saturday morning, almost a week before his due date and a mere half hour after mom's arrival at the hospital, a healthy baby boy was born. Apparently, our little Pisces grandson can hardly wait to get on with living his life!  Celebrating his birth with champagne and sushi, we welcomed this precious being into our family. Let the adventures begin.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Three Years In

Hi Michael,
   Mom here. Three years in, and it's still so hard living with this experience of a mother losing a child. No doubt there have been difficult circumstances in previous lives as well, but still, this is a tough one. I miss you so much.
   How are you doing? Are you considering coming back soon or do you need more time? I have no idea what the space between lives looks like. Maybe you'll still be there when I return.
   Thank you for continuing to stay close and helping me see the signs. The need to know you are near is still strong. I know you were watching earlier this week while I played some of your favourite music, loudly. A playlist compiled by your friends, largely made up of songs I had not heard before your death. I felt deeply connected to you while listening to the lyrics, which had spoken to you, and were now speaking to me. And once my tears had given way to dancing, I could see you smiling, and dancing too.
Love Mom ♥ 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Preparing for Birth

The newest member of our family is due to arrive later this month - a second grandchild for me.  A he or she?  My gut says a boy.  Either way, all will soon be revealed.  While his tiny human form dons its finishing touches in preparation for birth, there are likely some intense, last-minute conversations occurring amongst the spirits.  His soul family all helping him fine tune his wish list of experiences and opportunities for this upcoming lifetime.  As he readies himself to move from the realm he currently calls home, his earth family patiently waits to embrace him here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soul Connection

Today, I consider an elderly relative, one I have been close to most of my life.  Sadly, she does not believe that love exists.  When she first made a point of telling me so, many years ago, I was unable to understand her perspective. It was quite some time before I realized that her difficult, formative years were likely instrumental in creating this mindset.  The concept of love was subsequently at the core of an enormous disagreement between us, occurring just days before my son's death. Then a few months ago, she abruptly cut off all communication with me, without explanation.  I do not understand.  What I do know is that regardless of how our earthly relationship plays out this time around, we have a deep soul connection, and eventually, all will be revealed. In the meantime, one aha moment of mine was making this association: if one's mind is closed to the possibility of love's existence, it would be nearly impossible to recognize its presence. I continue to send her loving energy. Undoubtedly, her soul recognizes and embraces it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lucky in Love

The web of interconnection between the visible and invisible continues to amaze me.  Those magical links between thought, spirit, and manifestation.  Thankfully, I do not need to understand the mysterious ways of the universe in order to appreciate them.  Between storms yesterday, my husband and I headed over to the Stanley Park seawall. The winds had died down and the rains were taking a short break, so we embarked on that 9 km walk.  Around the midway mark, the memory of the precious image we had seen exactly two years ago, while walking another seawall in the city, flashed through my mind. On that particular winter's day, we had noticed large stones displaying K ♡ M on the beach.  Now, I imagined how magnificent it would be to see another powerful sign such as that.  Well, I did not have to wait long at all.  Within ten minutes of having that thought, I looked down onto the sand below to see a hefty ship's rope spelling out the word love in cursive script.  The letters measured a metre high.  I stopped in my tracks, nudged my husband to take a look, then filled him in on what had crossed my mind minutes earlier.  On its own, that image would have been heartwarming enough.  Making the connection to the thought I had had ramped it up to the extraordinary.  I must be one of the luckiest people alive.     

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gift from the Heart

While walking along a local trail, I noticed a huge, heart-shaped scar midway up a tree trunk, near the forest's edge.  This heart likely marking the spot where, years ago, a large branch had broken off.  It made me smile. Hearts can be found in the most unlikely places.  It got me thinking about Valentine's Day, which led me to consider how we might celebrate this upcoming ♥ day together, regardless of whether or not we exchange gifts of flowers, chocolate, jewellery, or cards. Perhaps each one of us could take a few minutes to celebrate our innate ♥ energy.  Close our eyes.  Focus on our heart.  Breathe slowly and deeply into our heart chakra.  Feel the space expand.  Visualize the pink energy emanating in all directions, sending waves upon waves of it towards everyone and everything.  This is a Valentine's Day gift which will uplift us all.   We can begin practising now.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spontaneous Support

While running errands in the Village yesterday, I stopped in at the local wine merchant.  The staff were offering wine tastings, which is always a treat.  After enjoying samples and purchasing a bottle, I was making my way to the door when a woman suddenly left the tasting area to come over and speak with me.  She told me how much she had enjoyed reading my book and the insights shared therein.  She mentioned that her daughter and my son had been high school friends, then went on to ask how I was doing.  After chatting for a few more minutes, I thanked this stranger for taking the time to have this conversation, and how deeply I appreciated hearing that she valued the book.  It was a brief, yet meaningful, encounter.  Spontaneous moments of support such as this mean so much.  Receiving evidence that Diary of an Intuitive is making an impact, is divine.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mountain Angel

The wide open Powerline trail along the base of Grouse Mountain is a favourite of mine.  While walking in the sunshine with my husband there this morning, I made a startling connection.  Last Sunday morning, he and I had walked along this same popular trail.  That day, we had ventured a little further than usual, and then, my husband suggested we return to the car via a narrow, less travelled route through the forest, one we had never taken.  Since we were without any safety provisions, I replied I wasn't interested in taking the chance of getting lost without any gear.  I then announced, "That's all we need is for Tim Jones to have to come and find us." Tim Jones, North Shore Search and Rescue leader, as well as high school classmate of ours.  Well, we turned around and headed back along the main trail.  Later, we found out that Tim had died that evening while walking down the trail of a neighbouring mountain.  Within hours of me pronouncing those words, ones I had never before spoken, Tim, a hero in the truest sense of the word, was gone.  Uncanny.  RIP Tim, our mountain angel.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gift from Spirit

I have just finished reading Proof of Heaven, a neurosurgeon's personal account of his near-death experience (NDE) and journey into the afterlife.  As he himself states, this man of science was the perfect individual to experience becoming deathly ill, falling into a week-long coma, then miraculously recovering to tell his story.  He gives scientific credibility to what many of us already know to be true - that after shedding our bodies, we continue to exist in pure spirit form.
As I reflect on his story, an idea comes to mind.  Since most of us have not had a NDE to draw on, let us consider this scenario instead. Imagine your spirit as a separate being existing completely outside of your body, conducting itself in the invisible realm, just as it will when you die.  Filled with love, it looks over at you living this life here on earth.  What one piece of advise would your spirit gift to you today?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Another Grave to Tend

This week, I was informed via snail mail from Germany, that an uncle of mine had passed two days before Christmas.  Sadly, he had smoked himself to death.  He and I were not very close.  Outside my handful of visits there, we had little contact.  Through my aunt's annual Christmas cards, I received updates on their lives.  And even though they were well off, it is likely that she would have considered it an unnecessary extravagance to give me the news of his passing via a long distance call.  And computers are not part of her world.  This aunt, now in her mid-seventies, is no stranger to grief.  She was a four-year-old child when her father died. As a young mother, she had buried her baby boy within days of his birth.  Some years later, her mother passed.  Then, nearly twelve years ago, she experienced the loss of her only sibling, my mother.  Now, with her only child living a fair distance away, and without any friends to speak of, she will understandably feel very alone. I hope she finds comfort in her religious beliefs, as well as support from her church.  And, as she continues taking her daily stroll to the cemetery across the street, to tend yet another grave, I hope she feels the presence of her God walking with her.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Loving Message Received

While lying on a mat, stretching out after boot camp this morning, I considered my next stop - visiting Boal Memorial, to place flowers and a balloon in honour of Michael's birthday.  Gazing at the ceiling, I was drawn to one of the pot lights mounted up there.  As I continued staring at it, I felt my connection with the bright light building.  I sensed the strong beam that existed between the light fixture and I.  Soon, the energy filled my entire being.  Underlying that sensation was the awareness that my son was using this moment to show me that our energetic connection remains unbroken.  Such a loving message received on a sweat-stained gym floor.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Uncanny Connection

New Year's Day ... what a wonderful start to the year.  My husband and I made the leisurely hour's drive to Squamish to view the multitude of eagles wintering there.  To be in the presence of these majestic beings is always awe-inspiring.  During our riverside walk, we witnessed dozens of eagles soaring, preening, squawking, and feasting.  Upon our return to the car, I took a chance and made an impromptu call to an old friend. It had been over a decade since we had last spoken, having lost touch after his divorce and subsequent move to another province. I had heard that he was remarried and now living here.  Well, he generously invited us over and ten minutes later, we were in his home.  Our relationship quickly picked up where it had left off all those years ago.  His wife was very welcoming and easy to talk to.  After a short time, I realized that she and I have many shared interests, including some of the same obscure book titles on our shelves. During the course of the afternoon, our friend revealed that his wife had also lost a son due to accidental death.  He too, twenty-five years old.  Uncanny that this woman and I also share the experience of dealing with this particular life-changing event.  So glad I made the call.  So glad they were home.  So glad to have renewed one friendship and opened the door to the beginning of another.