Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for May, 2012

Are You Truly Listening to Others?

When we think of learning, the usual picture that flashes in our minds is a classroom with a person in front helping us process new information. But actually, we are all teachers to each other in a larger sense. For instance, how many times has someone come into your life even for a moment (a sales clerk, a colleague or friend) who said something that gave you pause and made you consider something in a different light. Did it cause you to stop and evaluate your circumstance? If you have met someone that momentarily, rocked your world by their comment did you stop, listen and process that certain piece of information – the gift – that they shared with you? Did you look for the value in the exchange or were you quick to dismiss it? Remember, they did not have to take the time to communicate with you but they did. They may have even risked saying something you might not have wanted to hear. However, they cared enough to give you their time and opinion for a reason.

Many times we dismiss an important opportunity for learning out of fear. We sometimes resist and insulate ourselves from valuable input because we don’t want to hear something that might alter our perception of ourselves or others. However, when you allow yourself the gift of focused listening, these messages can help you in so many ways. I believe these types of messages come from the Universal Energy/God source. Hopefully, you were in the right mental place and point of receptivity to truly hear the particular message. This type of communication, the one that stops you in your tracks, are not simply an accident. When Einstein would ask people, “What has become clearer to you since we last met?” He served as a model for us to think deeper and process through events in our lives. To become more aware of the interconnectedness of all energy. We are constantly learning with our heads and our hearts in this marvelous and challenging journey called life.

In my book, Just Behind the Door, my son on the other side has told me, “Mom, it is all about love.” The Universal Energy/God, of which we are all a part is pure unconditional love. When we really work at modeling that in our own lives wonderful things happen. We truly learn to love ourselves (a prerequisite) and then to see the divinity in others. Accepting without judgment but simply with an understanding that we are all a work in progress is as essential to our souls as air is to our lungs. It causes us to lose the fear that can be a stranglehold for us and become more fully engaged in life. We see the future in more positive, optimistic terms. We relax in the knowing that, “All is as it should be.” People want to be around us because we give them energy, acceptance and love.

When you truly listen, the Universe has a way of delivering all the answers that you are seeking. The even greater news is that sometimes the learning is presented to us before we even realized we needed it! How exciting is that?

Have a great week!

We Die as We Live

In addition to being a retired educator and author of the book, Just Behind the Door, I volunteer for various charities. One of these charities includes being a Hospice volunteer. Some people say to me, “Oh, that must be hard, depressing. I could never do that.” I tell them that when you are with people that realize their time is close, the real meaning of life comes through as they let down their ego and just communicate from their heart. To me, working with a patient gives me joy. It is not something I think that I HAVE to do but rather something I really CHOOSE to do. I look forward to seeing them on my regular weekly visits. Toward the end, they tell you from their heart what they think about their lives, what has been important to them and even things that they see clearer now. What a gift these wonderful people are to me.

The remember the joy in their lives. They are grateful for even the smallest gesture. Interestingly, even those who originally did not espouse a particular religion or belief become more conscious of their closeness to the Divine Energy/God. You can see it in their faces. At first, they want to know about world events, about your life and other connections to the outside world. As the months tick off and they realize they are getting weaker they want to talk about what the end will be like for them. Although their relationship with others is very important to them, they want to reflect on their own lives. As a volunteer you become their life line to the outside world and, ultimately, to themselves. The few things that are left that can make them happy are simple; food, books, writing notes to their friends, and most importantly, listening to them as they remember – with gratitude their life and what they have learned on their journey. They dare to look at you and ask, “What will the end be like for me.”

We are trained to see watch for the gradual progression in these wonderful souls. During the training many things made an impact on me. One of these points, in particular, however, stands out. We are taught that people die as they live. When I first heard that I had to think about it for some time. Now, as I have worked with quite a few of these patients it has become clearer to me. We really do die as we live.

Think about that in reference to your own life. It can be a life changing moment when you take the time to consider it.

What is Your Gold Nugget?

Our thoughts, are the keys that open or close all doors in our lives. We know that positives attract positives and conversely, negatives attract negatives. Why would anyone allow themselves to be surrounded by or immersed in an ocean of negative thoughts from themselves or others? I believe it has to do with the concept of free will. Although we have chosen this life for the life lessons we wanted to learn, it is our RESPONSE to the lessons, using our free will, that is the key factor.

For instance,if you think of taking a cross country trip, you plan overnight stays in certain locations. You know ahead of time the distance you plan to drive in a given day, the time it should take. That seems logical, dependable and certain. However, due to our gift of free will, even though the major stops (or lessons) don’t change, we sometimes choose an alternate path. Maybe something sparks our interest and we take a short side trip on our route. Possibly, a detour on the road causes our plans to be changed momentarily. Road construction, even wild fires or floods can delay your progress. How do we respond to a change in our plans? Do we get upset and blame ourself or others? I have learned to look at those changes more simply. Everything happens for a reason and everything will work out just the way it is supposed to. The Universe/God doesn’t make mistakes. My son has told me this, repeatedly, in my book, Just Behind the Door. The important thing to remember is that your goal hasn’t changed, you will still reach your specific destination (the lessons you chose to learn).

Reflect back on some of the events in your life that just seemed destined to happen. A person you met or married, a specific job to agreed to or a house you moved into; didn’t it just feel right AT THE TIME? When your heart tells you ‘this is the place to go for now,’ I believe it is a sign of a predestined event where a life lesson has yet to be learned. These lessons are like precious gold nuggets that need to be unearthed in your mind. Be gentle with yourself as you do the mental work to unearth the lesson. Take the time to truly think about why, in retrospect, that particular situation happened? The WAY YOU PROCESS what your have experienced makes all the difference. The lessons you are learning in your life can be viewed as terribly unfair, eliciting anger, resentment and fear or you can allow yourself to feel that pain, recognize the hurt, but most importantly, SEARCH FOR WHAT YOU ARE LEARNING from it. You will know if it is a life lesson if it is one of the hardest things you have ever encountered. Treat yourself with love, do the work to unearth your gold nugget. You deserve it. You have a piece of Divine energy in you. Once you thoroughly process through the reason, eliminating the need to blame others, you will be able to move on with grace, dignity and, most importantly, a heightened sense of self worth. You did everything 100% right with the information you had at the time. After discovering your “gold nugget” on the issue and responding with a deeper belief in yourself and confidence in tomorrow you will be so much wiser and at peace.

The really great news is, once you unearth the nugget, that particular life lesson will not resurface again in your life. Trust me on this, I have had so many similar life lessons that I chose to move through quickly, while I just kept going at the hectic pace I had become used to in my life. What happened? The same lesson came back around to bite me again, again and again. Now I can finally say, “I get it!”

Positive Thinking is a Work in Progress

Everything in the Universe is energy. We are each an individual universe of energy. You know certain people who make you feel energized and others who seem to drain your energy. Well, emotions, experiences, even colors and words also have energy. When you are positive, upbeat, and happy you DRAW even more positive energy from people and events INTO your life. Sadly, the reverse is also true. When you are negative, whining or blaming others about your life circumstances, you will experience even more negative energy coming back to you. It’s like a boomerang – you get back what you throw out. Remember the phrase, ‘Like attracts like?” Well, it really does. Right now, you may be experiencing loss, grief, hurt, rejection, lack of funds or any one of a million other life challenges. You don’t have to like them but remember you signed up for this curriculum in this huge classroom called, ‘Life on Planet Earth.’ Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what lessons you are learning from the circumstance you are in? Once you learn the lessons – really learn them, the circumstances resolve themselves.

An important question to think about is, what are you saying to yourself and others about your situation? Remember, the more you repeat the thought or voice the negative emotion, the more negatives will be drawn into your environment. Recently, I heard someone say, negatives are like being unplugged from the Universal Energy source/God. Think of an electrical appliance in your home. If it is unplugged it simply won’t work. Well, when we allow ourselves to get unplugged through negative thinking we stop fully functioning and life looses its luster. Everything seems to be a greater chore than usual. The burdens keep adding up until you can’t see, much less think about, the possibilities of tomorrow.

The beauty of all this is that you can recharge – replug yourself into the energy source many different ways. A few examples are: meditation, prayer, listing all of the things for which you are grateful, exercise, doing something to help others (even a phone call or email) to brighten their day. Basically, any activity that gets you back into a positive energy flow will stop the negativity from magnifying itself and its’ effect on you.

The challenge to you is to recognize that YOU are responsible and in control of how you feel, act and respond. The second challenge is to realize that, as humans, we need to WORK at staying positive, it is a constant, perpetual ‘work in progress.’ No one can do it for you, but I promise you, it is worth the effort.

Let me know if this makes sense to you! I would love to hear your thoughts.

Synchronicity – God/Universal Energy is at Work!

Today is the 13th anniversary of my son, Ronnie’s death. So many friends and family remembered (including my grandboys) that caused me to feel both grateful and overwhelmed. If you have gotten the chance to read the book, Just Behind the Door, you won’t be surprised by the next few sentences. The publishing house emailed me and verified that my copies (40 softcover and 20 hardcovers) would be delivered soon for upcoming book talks. Synchronicity, as defined by Carl Jung means the simultaneous occurrence of events that are meaningfully related. In other words, things happening that seem rather coincidental but have a certain common theme or effect and time. Well, once again, the synchronicity in my life continues. The books were delivered to my door TODAY, on the anniversary of his death. Thank you to God/Universal Energy and Ronnie for reiterating to me the message that unconditional love is forever.

For those of you who remember the artist, Carly Simon, she produced a song in the ’70’s entitled, “Haven’t Got Time For the Pain.” Although we would all like to believe it to be true, the reality is that certain days trigger memories of unconditional love and unconditional loss. The pain, once again, comes flooding into our consciousness. It is important to honor and hold both the pain and love in our hearts during these times. Denial of the feelings involved in loss or grief forces the hurt to bury itself deeper into our psyche. It is both mentally and physically unhealthy to keep it buried. A loss, as painful as it is, can be an opportunity for us to connect to the real truth in our lives. Our loved ones are always around us and ready to help and offer encouragement from the other side. Just remember they have 20/20 hindsight and foresight. The lyrics of Carly’s song, “I haven’t got time… room.. or need for the pain” sounds rather cold. But if you listen further to the song, it is a confirmation of everything I write about in the book. “You showed me how.. to leave myself behind …and turn down the noise in my mind… Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive…’Til you showed me how, to fill my heart with love and to open up and drink in all that white love pouring down from heaven.” When you hear songs that resonate with you, there is a reason.

I again say thank you to all of you who have been emailing and calling me after reading the book. Some of you have even written while you were still in the middle of reading it! I am humbled and thankful that it is helping so many people think about the loss of a loved in a larger context. One of the quotes from Ronnie in the book is so fitting, “Everyone needs to know that nothing dies. The spirit, the soul lives on. Love and communication continues, forever, if people will open themselves up to it.”

Let that last sentence roll around in your mind for awhile. The truth will present itself to you.

Until next time, have a loving and joyful week.

A Mother’s Love

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! To some, this gift has been cut short and it makes this holiday, in particular, a difficult one to get through. If you know of someone who has lost a child regardless of their age, or how long ago it was, please take a moment to call, email or simply say a little prayer for them. Healing takes time – sometimes an entire lifetime.

In my blog last Wednesday I thanked President Obama for taking the stand he did on same sex marriage. I want to thank you for your PHENOMENAL response! Your emails and calls saying, “I agree with you” were appreciated. I would encourage you to make your own voice known on the topic to someone. It is both important and courageous to speak from your heart. It gives others ideas that may differ from their own. The world is changed for the better – often, one person at a time.

It is hard to understand a different perspective when you are surrounded with thinking that simply reflects your own opinion. When we seek diverse material, books, and people it gives us food for thought and expands our understanding of the world. Who have you listened to this week that gave you a different perspective to consider?

We will know we have become the great county we have the potential to be when we move from tolerance and acceptance to recognition, honor and love for all of our fellow human beings, regardless of their skin color, cultural background, sexual orientation or belief system.

My son, from the other side, has told me in my book, Just Behind the Door, “Life can be its own gift or its own undoing. It all revolves around developing one’s consciousness about ourselves and how unconditional love allows the communication from our loved ones to continue forever.” There is that thought again, unconditional love, it is what we are all here to learn.

The current events in our world can be mind-boggling . The lessons I have learned in my 40 plus years of study on spiritualism helps me peal away the layers of misunderstanding and judgment to reveal their significance and truth. We are all part of God/Universal Energy. We all deserve to be recognized as such.

It is said that there is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. Let’s try to tap into that love this week and practice acceptance of all people who are working to develop their own expanded consciousness in this classroom called life.

Love Conquers All

Today is an historic day. Hearing the announcement, by President Obama, of his support of same sex marriage, I felt the blog I had previously prepared needed to wait for another day.

Why would a president, who is obviously running for reelection, make this announcement? Especially at this time. Simply and profoundly because it is the right thing to do. He was speaking from his heart and doing so at a pivotal time in our history. There will be some who will say that they don’t agree with his position. They have the right to their own opinion. I do agree with his position for many reasons. The most important ones come from my spiritual learning and awakening. “Judge not least ye be judged.” As I recall that passage, it was not situational, it was absolute. In my book, I talk about not judging others because we have not a walked a mile in their shoes. The Universal Energy/God is a part of ALL of us. Our world will continue to evolve through love of self and love of ALL others. Hate, fear or rejection are not a part of my life. When you experience the loss of a child and other family members you realize the importance of love for all and in all.

I applaud the bravery President Obama exhibited. He chose to explain that his position evolved, partially, as he worked shoulder to shoulder with his staff members who are in same sex relationships. He saw the love and guidance they exhibited toward their children and saw that love conquers all. It eliminates the fear of any differences that may exist.

My book, Just Behind the Door, is about loss and spiritualism. However, it is more than that really. It is about how unconditional love is the Alpha and Omega of the Universe. That love is in all, for all and through all. I know this in my heart.

Thank you, Mr. President.