Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for July, 2012

Passing On Gratitude and Positive Energy

How often do we take the time to truly tell someone when they have made a positive impact in our lives? We may, occasionally, think to ourselves, how special someone has been and then we usually move on to the million of other thoughts that are running around in our minds or attending to the never ending list of things that are yet to be accomplished. When someone takes their time to stop and actually tell us how we have impacted their lives, it gives us pause, brings a smile to our face and ignites the love in our hearts. It causes us to feel special, loved and appreciated. I have received calls and emails from family and friends recently about how the blogs and book have changed their lives. I am humbled and excited. Today, I received a call from another friend who told me how helpful the time was that we spent together during my recent visit. It caused me, once again, to remember that the time you give to others, helping them process the challenges and lessons in their lives, or simply listening to them with full, undivided attention is so important; it shows them how much you care. It made me think of the impact we could all have on others.

Is there someone in your life who reflects the lyrics from Celine Dion’s song, ‘Because you Loved Me.’ “For all those times you stood by me. For all the truth that you made me see. For all the joy you brought into my life. For all the wrong that you made right.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of us would take the time to send this thought of gratitude on to one, two or even three people who have had a positive impact in our life, explaining how much we appreciate them and then ask them to pass it on to others as well.

I can visualize circles of gratitude that keep expanding around each of us, generating more and more positive energy into all of our lives. Most importantly, I can visualize the lights in the hearts of so many of our family and friends when they realize how important they are to us.

Each of us would, in fact, change the world – email by email – with gratitude from our hearts. Who knows, we may even get a few returned to us!

Have a great few days!

Positive Change in Your Life

Changes are inevitable in our lives. Loss of any kind can stop you in your tracks and cause you to become fearful of tomorrow. The challenge is to give yourself the time necessary to grieve and then to force yourself to move on with an expectation that tomorrow will be better. Creating positive change is possible with belief and effort. Most people will dream of what they would like but immediately follow with a negative thought, ” It can’t happen to me.” For instance, “I would like a new ….. but …” Well, I can tell you that you can have what you most desire in life if you CHANGE YOUR THINKING. Eliminating the negative self talk that we engage in on a continual basis is the first step in creating a more fulfilled life. The Universal Energy/God intends for us to have a whole, perfect and complete life. It is our birthright. Even through my life losses, I have experienced the importance of redirecting my thoughts. It has taken effort. It has not come easily. But it has worked. The challenge is to BELIEVE that it is possible.

What changes do you really want in your life? Can you visualize in detail, WITH EMOTION, how you will feel when you have achieved this change? Will you feel happier, more fulfilled, more at peace? It is critical to engage both your head and your heart into the positive intention you most desire. The saying, “If you believe it you can achieve it’ is real. The logic behind how it works is quite fascinating. Everything around us is energy. We are energy. Our thoughts are energy. When we practice thinking positive thoughts, visualizing a wonderful change in our lives it’s, as if, we become a magnet that attracts positive energy to us. It works, simply because you draw the positive energy from the Universe to make your dreams, your desires a reality.

Let these thoughts roll around in your brain for a while. Your truth will become evident to you.

Have a wonderful day!


It has been said that those of us who have chosen to live in this time on earth are doing so to finish up our own unresolved issues. This is a time of spiritual awakening. Many of us have experienced good and sometimes even great things during our lives and have also experienced times of intense, life changing events. Loss through death, separation, and divorce are examples of experiences that can evoke such deep seated feelings that you wonder if the pain will ever end. Having lived through all of these I can tell you that you will survive, you will make it but it will take time. You will never be the same as you were but you will, over time, become wiser – more at peace with yourself – and with life. Deep reflection of what you could have done differently seem to creep into your awareness from time to time and you hear yourself saying, “If only …” I believe it is healthy to mentally examine what you experienced, looking for any patterns to determine what was the most challenging or what were the issues that you, at first, denied or needed to change. Self reflection is the key that opens up a new reality for us. It can allows us to face the challenges in our life with deeper honesty. . Hindsight, sometimes called 20/20 vision can enables us to improve ourselves and the world.

The importance in taking the time to reexamine your life changing events cannot be overstated. We eventually come to the point of accepting that, as my son has said to me from the other side, “Mom, everything is as it should be.” When we fully embrace this thought it truly will help to eliminate the fears in our lives. These fears involving the ‘what if’s’ can take over your life and render you afraid of what MIGHT happen next. Our brains process thoughts so fast that we can think about the regrets of our yesterdays, worries about today and simultaneously be fearful of what might happen tomorrow.

When we relax into the knowing that all will work out exactly as it has been planned and we will get through it, a peace settles into our thinking and we can breath more deeply, smile more often with the many true joys in life and be grateful for the opportunity to live in this time of greater spiritual awareness.

Enjoy and appreciate yourself today!


When horrific tragedies happen such as the one in Colorado on Friday, it reminds us all of how tenuous life can be. We keep searching for the reasons but sadly the answers do not come. It can be emotionally exhausting hearing the blow by blow descriptions on the news channels in what seems like 24/7 coverage. For those who have recently experienced their own personal loss, the continual reviews of the tragedy can be paralyzing. Fear and uncertainty surface, once again, into their lives.
We know that there is no guarantee for tomorrow. We can only be sure of this moment in time. Perseverating of what happened in our lives yesterday or worrying about what might happen tomorrow clearly robs us of the wonders of living fully today. We are the lucky ones, we have survived to see a new day.
Loss of this magnitude causes all of us to take stock in our lives, be grateful for what we have and to think about those we love so dearly both here and on the other side.
Tonight before going to sleep let’s all say a little prayer to God/Universal Energy for healing for the hundreds of people who have been touched by the sad, mind numbing event in Colorado and send them strength to help them get them through the next day, week, month and year. The energy we offer to them though our thoughts may be the only thing we can do at this time but it is at least something.

Experiencing Your Own Peace

The door to our homes can be opened or closed. Inviting contact and communication in from the outside world, or closed, shutting ourselves off to life, people, and possibilities. We can also think of this symbolism in reference to our minds. Are the doors of our minds open in a present tense or closed in the past tense? When I talk with people who have experienced loss or other challenges in their lives, I purposely listen to hear if they are stuck in what used to be – the past tense so to speak of their lives, or are reliving the past but with hopes and dreams for tomorrow. As I explained in my book, Just Behind the Door, our loved ones want us to remember the good times, the wonderful memories but NOT live in the past, stuck in our grief and perseverating on what used to be.
Being able to receive messages from the other side is possible for anyone who truly wants to make the connection. However, the critical first step is to move past the pain, the grief even the anger of what has happened in your life and realize nothing happens by accident. Every event – good or bad – happens for a reason. If we take the time to think about the issue, the lesson will surface. As my son has told me so many times, “Mom, everything is as it should be.” I don’t have to like it but I do need to realize that life goes on and my job is to make it the best life possible.
My path in life includes empathically listening to people to help them find their own peace. When we realize that life is planned, purposeful and designed for us to learn the true meaning of unconditional love it lessens the stress in our lives. We begin to feel a more calm, serene knowing and a greater trust in the future. Learning that love is the Alpha and Omega of the Universe – the beginning and end as we know it, an important part of achieving peace in our lives. If we genuinely trust ourselves enough to open the door of our minds to the belief of after death communication, the results can be incredibly healing and affirming. If other people do not accept or believe as you do, that is perfectly OK. You do not need to try to verbally convince them. You may find that as you begin to feel more trust, and demonstrate more peace about your own journey in life through your example, others may begin to open up the doors of their mind and seek a deeper understanding. They are on their own path, PLEASE allow them the opportunity to learn their own lessons. The more you try to fix, tell, lecture, organize and otherwise control other people’s lives or thinking the weaker and more dependent you make them. Please give others the trust and benefit of allowing them to proceed in life in their own time and own way. They will discover their own truth.

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Happy Sunday! A few days ago I had the opportunity to give a book talk in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Kazoo Books. After an incredible article about my book came out in the Kalamazoo Gazette, 37 individuals showed up for the reading! I was so grateful for the people who came to hear about my memoir and beliefs in the power and energy of the Universe. The 3 major themes in the book are: energy can neither be created nor destroyed only changed in form; the importance of unconditional love in opening communication with our loved ones both here and on the other side; and that everything that happens in our lives involves a lesson to be learned. Everyone shared such heart warming stories about losing a loved one and their challenge in coping with the stages of loss that the whole room seemed to be elevated to a higher level of gentleness and peace. I was amazed to see the number of people who have not only experienced loss but are interested and willing to share their life journeys. People are eager to discuss and learn more about the concept of after death communication. In spiritualism there are two statements that are especially applicable here; ‘like attracts like’ and ‘when the student is ready the teacher comes along.’

As the events of their lives unfolded, I thought, once again, how important it is not to judge the lives or experiences of others. The greatest gift we can give to another human being is the gift of being present and listening with both our hearts and minds. Each of us has chosen our own unique journey on this earth. We have chosen to work on lessons that, at times, may seem so difficult to overcome. Sometimes we just need, a little help from our friends along the way.

We have not walked a mile in another person’s shoes and we really don’t understand, fully, what they went through. However, we can give them the precious gift of our time and unconditional acceptance as they take the next step in the healing process. How important it is to remember that each one of us does everything possible, with the knowledge we have AT THE TIME to work through our challenges in life. I don’t believe that we really make mistakes or grievous errors but rather do the very best we can, with the knowledge we have at the moment, to survive and eventually thrive. Given that thought, how could we ever judge another? Not likely!

Take Time to Fully Process Through You Grief

I read recently that forgiveness (of yourself and others) happens naturally when we embrace every part of ourselves that has been hurt from a loss. I thought about that for some time. It seems we hear about the necessity of getting on with our lives more frequently that anything else. I understand that the average person expects you to ‘get your life back together and move on’ about 2-4 weeks after a loss. Really? That type of thinking tells me they probably haven’t lived through a life-changing loss yet. ‘Yet’ is the operative word here because none of us escapes loss. It is just a matter of time. Loss of any kind (death, divorce, separation) creates feelings and emotions that cannot simply be brushed away quickly. When you try to move on or ‘keep a stiff upper lip’ the loss becomes buried in your entire being and will take a toll on you. It takes time to process through all of the ‘yucky stuff’ that surfaces in your mind and to make peace with it eventually. I am convinced if you don’t fully process through the hurt to discover the lesson, it will return over and over in your life until you ‘get it.’

Given the pace that we live at today, reflecting and processing the grief of our loss takes time that may think we cannot afford. However, as I have said in my book, Just Behind the Door, each loss seems to be like a rock in the back pack you are invisibly carrying around. As you hurry through the hurt, thinking that you just have to put one foot in front of the other, the back pack gets heavier and heavier. I visualize a person that is hunched over from the weight of the pack they are carrying. Those rocks (or boulders depending on the depth of the loss) do not eventually disappear on their own. Time does not, necessarily, heal a broken heart. It takes work to surface those boulders your are carrying around. By recognizing the hurt you still have down deep, and searching for the lesson(s) you have learned from the experience you will eventually feel whole. This is difficult work that may take a person trained in the field of loss to help you let go of the heavy load you are carrying. Please value yourself enough to seek help if you can’t seem to process the loss fully.

Everyone has their own special mission – lessons to learn – on this earth. No one seems to escape unscathed. Your friends can be a wonderful support system for you. They will listen to you no matter how many times you need to repeat the experience of your loss. Good friends care enough to be there for you no matter how long it takes.

I look forward to the day that we will all become so evolved that the learning through the suffering paradigm will be replaced by learning through love and joy. It may take us time but I believe we will get there.

Have a great few days!

Signs From Our Loved Ones

We know that when we ask our loved ones for a sign that they are with us, the signs come in various forms. It may be a phone call and their name shows up on caller ID, lights that flicker, something out of the ordinary happens in your life that only you and the person who has passed on would relate to – the signals are too varied to list all of them. When I just wanted reassurance that my son was close, I would ask him to send me a sign and I even specified the sign that I wanted, “Just show me a penny so that I know you are near,” I would think to myself. Within hours the pennies would start showing up. In my kitchen drawers (which I do clean out regularly) on my floor or carpet that I had just cleaned, in front of a chair that no one ever sits in, in my car and on and on. One day, I was at the car wash and was getting out of my car when the attendant asked me to move my car to another bay. No problem, I thought. As I opened the door to get out of my car once it was in the open bay, there is was – a penny. I naturally looked over to the first bay I had pulled into and there was no penny to be found. If a day is unusually challenging, sometimes I have found 4 or 5 pennies. It puts a smile on my face and I just say, “Thanks, Ronnie, I needed that!”

My daughter-in-law knows of this thing with pennies and recently sent me a poem about them. I googled the poem to be sure I gave the author proper credit. It turns out there was no known author. But imagine my surprise when I read a story from a man that said after his 18 year old son had died he was walking out of a store and started seeing pennies. Not just some – but many. In fact, he said by the time he picked them all up, filling both of his pockets, he had $6.00 worth of them. There were many other stories about the topic of signs on this website as well. Makes me realize how hard our loved ones are trying to get our attention and open the lines of communication with us. My son has proven to me that he always around. I am humbled and grateful for his unconditional love and ongoing communication.

The Angel and the Penny

I found another penny today
Just laying on the ground
But it’s not just a penny
This little coin I’ve found
That’s what my Grandma told me
She said angels toss them down
Oh, how I loved that story
She said when an angel misses you
They toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
To create a smile from a frown
So don’t pass by that penny
When you are feeling blue,
It may be a penny from heaven
That your loved one tossed to you!

Have a great few days and watch for signs from you loved one!

I have 2 book talks coming up for anyone that can attend: Kazoo Books, 2413 Parkview, Kalamazoo – 6:30 PM and Michigan News, 308 Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo – 5:00 PM

Independence Day!

The 4th of July is all about our freedom in the U.S. There are so many countries in this world where it is not possible to recognize individual freedom. We are, indeed, fortunate. So many people who came before us made tremendous life sacrifices just to be sure that we would be a country that values individual freedom. I am humbled by their vision, dedication to the cause and effort to make it a reality. They made sure that we would have the opportunity to live in a land that celebrates the uniqueness of each person.
I had the rare opportunity to celebrate this year with my extended family in Michigan. All 47+ of us enjoyed a day sharing, laughing and playing together at one of the local lakes. As the hours wore on, it was evident that each of us really didn’t want the day to end. It was just one of those perfect days. As I watched each of them, I thought about how grateful I was to God/Universal Energy for their presence in my life. As a group they reflect a slice of the American dream. Each are so unique and yet are all working to improve their lives one day at a time. Wow! It doesn’t get much better than that!
The freedom we experience in our county allows us to learn, develop and live our lives to the fullest. We have the opportunity to make our life and the life of others a little better everyday just by taking the time to connect and show that we care. Caring about yourself was not something my generation was taught to do. Being selfless was rather the norm. So,I have had to learn all about taking care of self first. What a challenging lesson it has been! Yet, we learn as we become older that in order to help others and change the world we must take care of ourselves first. Some of us need ‘permission’ to put ourselves first. Well, here you have it – during this Independence Week – please take care of yourself – do something special just for you. Why? Because, YOU deserve it. As Dr. Seuss in his famous story said, You are a unique being, the number 1 genuine article. There really will never be another you. So celebrate our freedom and celebrate the freedom to be you. You will feel more energized and tomorrow will seem even brighter. Tonight, before going to bed, think about something you can do just for you and remember why it is possible – because our forefathers worked to make the world a little better place.

Have a great few days!

There is No Final Goodbye only ‘See you Later’

In my book, I talk about the day when my sister realized her time to exit was getting close. She said she wanted to talk to me about writing her eulogy. Really? My best friend – my sister – expected me to rise to the occasion and speak her thoughts. It was not something I wanted to do but without question would do because the connection and love we shared was so deep. I loved her with every ounce of my being. When I had to tell her that the dialysis was no longer working, my heart sank as she looked at me with frightened eyes and said, “If I don’t go to dialysis, I will die.” Looking into her eyes, I know I saw her soul that day.

As I jotted down notes about what she wanted me to say, she ended by saying, “Tell them that I am not saying ‘Goodbye’ but just ‘See you later,’ because I will.” At the time I was so immersed in the thought of her passing that I simply wrote the phrase down exactly as she said it.

Now, years later, that statement remains so powerful to me. There really is no such thing as goodbye. Our loved ones are with us, just waiting for us to open up to the possibility that they are watching over us, hopeful, that we will recognize their presence, and invite them in.

My son, the powerful spirit that he was (and is) did not wait for me to open up and invite him in after his tragic accident in May, 1999. He had about as much patience as I have had in the past. That would be zero to none! Three months after his passing he started getting messages to me and continues to this day. As he has said in the book, “Life can be its own gift or its own undoing. It all revolves around developing one’s consciousness about ourselves and about how unconditional love allows the communication from our loved ones to continue forever.”

Thanks son, I needed to hear that then and share it with others now. It offers both help to those who are grieving and hope so they will feel strong enough to continue on the rest of their life journey.

You will find a decade of direct quotes from my son, mother and sister in my book, Just Behind the Door.

Have great few days!