Monday, August 22, 2016

What Do You Do When You’re “Dead”?


When I was a kid, Sunday school teachers told us that when people die they go to heaven where they spend eternity floating around on clouds, wearing haloes and playing harps. Unless they were bad, in which case they burned in hell forever. As I now see it, neither of these scenarios is true. Rather, we have jobs to perform in the Afterlife, just as we do here on earth.

What’s Your Job in the Afterlife?

In my earlier post “What’s Your Life Purpose?” I wrote about soul groups. I identified several classifications or types of souls––leaders, protectors, teachers, healers, warriors, artists, inventors, explorers, and caretakers––who incarnate again and again as people who perform these roles. When we leave earth and return to the spirit realm, we continue performing our roles there. What we do when we’re “dead” often bears similarities to what we did during our earthly lives.



My friend, Jocelyn Edelston, who left her physical body in 2002, was a talented artist and loved flowers. On the Other Side, this artist soul creates new species of flowers and other plants. My life partner, Ron Conroy, worked as an air traffic controller in his most recent incarnation. Since leaving his physical body, he’s continued guiding travelers and keeping the skies safe by communicating through flesh-and-blood air traffic controllers. Protector souls take care of us here on earth––they’re our “guardian angels, so to speak; green souls protect plants and animals (see my earlier post “What Color Is Your Soul?”)

Getting Information from the Other Side

Ever wonder where epiphanies and brainstorms come from? Those bright ideas that pop into your head or come to you in dreams? Often a spirit passes the information along to you. Writers admit they don’t know where some of their ideas originate––they feel as if someone is feeding them material, and when they read back over what they’ve written the words may not even sound like their own.



Healer souls convey information to medical practitioners on this side. Edgar Cayce, known as the Sleeping Prophet, had little formal education yet he could tap into the vast wisdom of the world beyond to find cures for thousands of ailing people. Scientists, inventors, and researchers also receive insights that discarnate entities have passed to them. You’ve probably had the experience yourself of “knowing” something you couldn’t have known––did a spirit slip that info to you?

Lately I’ve been reading about crop circles. Researchers have studied extensively these mysterious and beautiful patterns that appear in fields around the world, and determined the real ones are caused by something other than humans. I wonder if nonphysical beings are creating these designs to send messages to us earthlings. The patterns almost always contain circles––circles symbolize unity, harmony, and wholeness. Many also feature complex mathematical details––do these hold information for us too?



Creation Is Our Real Work

From what I’ve read in books by many Afterlife and past-life researchers, and from what Ron has told me, our real work is to create––both on earth and in other realms of existence. When we’re not limited by the constraints of the material world, creation is instantaneous. All we have to do is imagine something and voila, there is it. According to the Law of Attraction, we do the same thing in our earthly lives––consciously and unconsciously––it just takes longer.



As the Buddha said, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” We’re constantly creating our realities. By listening to entities who seek to communicate with us, by paying attention to dreams, “coincidences,” and ah-ha moments, we can gain valuable insights that will help us navigate the often choppy waters of earthly existence.


Monday, August 15, 2016

You Don’t Need What You Don’t Have


At first this sentence seems nonsensical, even ludicrous. What if you’re starving and you don’t have any food? What if you’re sick and can’t get the medicine that would heal you? Most of us would probably agree we don’t need a mansion, a yacht, or a sports car––even a TV or cell phone. We may want those things, but can get along without them. But we do need housing, right? Transportation? Money? Friends?



If we consider this idea from the perspective of the physical body, living in a material world, we do need food and water and rudimentary shelter to survive. We may need medicine to cure an illness. But when we consider the idea from the soul’s perspective, another possibility arises. What we think we lack may be exactly what our souls have chosen to do without in order to achieve a purpose. What the body needs for physical well-being may be secondary to what the soul needs for growth. That purpose may be to gain compassion, to help others, to develop skills, to increase our awareness, etc. And, we may not know why we’ve chosen to deprive ourselves of something until we leave our physical bodies.

Choosing Your Lifetimes––and Your Challenges

Many people believe we choose to be born on earth for certain purposes. Earth is often likened to a school where we learn lessons to enhance our souls’ growth. If you’ve undergone past-life regression, had a near-death experience, consulted a psychic, or examined this subject in other ways, you may have some idea why you came here and what you hope to accomplish during this lifetime.

If you accept that you’ve chosen this particular path this time around, then you realize you’ve elected to take on some challenges in order to achieve your objectives. For example, Helen Keller, who lacked sight and hearing, became an inspiration for millions. A man I know who lost his leg has gone on to assist other amputees. One of my soul’s goals, I believe, is to help people who’ve “lost” loved ones to understand their loved ones aren’t dead––they’re alive and well in the spirit world. To learn this, however, I had to suffer the devastating “loss” of the person I loved most so I could empathize with other bereaved people.



Your objective may be more personal. In one of his wonderful books (I can’t remember which one), Dr. Michael Newton writes about someone he regressed who described past lifetimes of indulgence and decadence. This person chose to incarnate as a destitute, homeless woman in order to regain an appreciation for the little things in life, such as having food for a day. People who’ve lived many cloistered lifetimes may choose to be reborn into a secular environment where they must make their own way in a dog-eat-dog world. Those who’ve always been surrounded by family, friends, and community may decide to try out solitary lives. What you perceive as deprivation may be exactly what you need.



Rethinking “Lack”

People often report that what seemed to be the worst thing that could happen to them turned out to be the best thing––and their souls probably planned it that way before they came to earth. Those who’ve undergone near-death experiences frequently say their NDEs transformed their thinking. Even people who’ve suffered physical damage as a result sometimes emerge with unexpected “gifts,” as happened to bestselling author Dannion Brinkley whose NDE revealed psychic powers he never knew he had before.

If you feel you are experiencing some sort of lack in your life––you don’t have something you believe you need––you may want to look at this “absence” in a different way. What have you learned (or could you learn) from being without that thing, whether it’s money, a romantic partner, good health, freedom, appreciation, or something else? If you’ve lost something you cared about, did you gain something as well? Even if you can’t ascertain any obvious benefits, you may be surprised when you transition to the Other Side and discover you really didn’t need what you didn’t have––and in fact, having “it” might actually have prevented you from accomplishing what you set out to do in this incarnation.




Monday, August 8, 2016

Animals in the Afterlife


Some religions deny the possibility of animals having souls––or even consciousness––and claim that humans have dominion over other species. Other religions believe that souls incarnate in a variety of forms, not only as humans but as animals and even insects. If you accept the theory that humans evolved from animals (and you believe humans have souls), when did said souls enter into the picture?




Early Egyptian myths include a number of human-animal hybrid deities, such as the jackal-headed Anubis, god of the afterlife. In India, the elephant-headed god Ganesh helps humans overcome obstacles. Native American teachings speak of spirit animals who guide, protect, and instruct human beings (see my book The Secret Power of Spirit Animals for more).

Will You See Your Beloved Pet Again?

For many of us, losing a pet can be as devastating as losing a human family member or friend. If you’ve lived with and loved an animal who’s passed over, you may wonder if you’ll meet your beloved companion again on the other side. If you believe animals have souls and consciousness that continue after their physical bodies die, you may wonder if they go to the same place formerly human souls go. My guess is yes, they continue to live alongside us in spirit form––for if everything is interconnected energetically, as many researchers profess, how could it be otherwise?



During one of Dr. Brian Weiss’s past-life seminars at the Omega Institute in New York, a number of participants received messages from one member’s deceased white dog. Other people’s accounts in his book Miracles Happen describe seeing animals in the world beyond. Dr. Piero Calvi-Parisetti’s course Love Knows No Death also includes accounts of people witnessing animals in the afterlife. Bill D. Schul, in his book Animal Immortality, discusses animal ghosts. My long-time partner, Ron Conroy, who left his physical body in 2013, told me that the world where he now lives is populated with all sorts of animal spirits––not only animals we’re familiar with, but also those who’ve long been extinct on earth, as well as many that have never lived on our planet.    

The Goodness of Animals

If you’ve spent any amount of time living with animal companions or observed wildlife, you can’t help admiring their wondrous qualities and beauty. We hear accounts of animals risking their lives to save other animals or humans; stories of animals traveling vast distances to find their families; stories of animals adopting and aiding animals of other species. We’re awed by the compassion of service dogs, the healing abilities of horses, and the intelligence of dolphins.



Again and again, animals display amazing intelligence, compassion, devotion, kindness, patience, courage, insight, unconditional love, and generosity of spirit. These are the qualities religions and spiritual traditions teach humans to develop. I think we’ve been blessed with animals as teachers, and often wonder if our furry and feathered friends may be bodhisattvas who give so much of themselves and ask so little in return. Can we but wonder if, indeed, they are the higher species and we the lesser? 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Life Review: Examining Your Life from the Spirit World


Soon after we arrive in the “world beyond” and have recuperated from our time on earth, we begin processing what we experienced the last time around as humans. From what I’ve read and been told by my life-partner, Ron Conroy, who left his earth-body in 2013, this “debriefing” period is known as Life Review. 

Meeting with Guides and Teachers

As I understand it, the soul meets with its guides and teachers to examine its most-recent incarnation, in great depth. These teachers and guides (which some sources call the “Council”) don’t judge, condemn, or punish––they serve as supportive and patient councilors, but they don’t let you avoid things you’d rather not deal with. Some books describe these meetings as taking place in a somewhat formal setting, with “elders” seated at a type of table and the newly arrived soul before them (sort of like a courtroom).



However, that’s not what I saw when Ron showed me his own Life Review group. In trance, I observed several guides seated in a circle with Ron. To me, these masters appeared as purple spirits (see my post “What Color Is Your Soul?” for more information) and they seemed to levitate––probably because without physical substance or gravity, entities sort of float in the spirit realm. In the center of the circle, Ron’s teachers/guides presented scenes from his past life, in a manner similar to a hologram.

Revisiting Your Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

During your Life Review sessions, you revisit what you did, thought, felt, said, etc. in the course of your previous lifetime on earth. Not only to you review what happened from your own vantage point, you also experience your life from the perspectives of all the other people involved. You get to see how your actions affected them. If you harmed someone in your last lifetime, you feel that person’s pain. If you gave someone joy or comfort or love, you sense what he or she felt. “It’s hard, and it takes a long time,” Ron told me, “but it’s interesting.”



Perhaps you’ve heard that when you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, instantly. This is often expressed by people who’ve had near-death experiences. Dr. Piero Calvi-Parisetti’s course Love Knows No Death contains a powerful video module in which a number of people who’ve had NDEs discuss this. However, these people were revived and didn’t stay on the Other Side. What they describe is not the same thing as a life review.

As Ron explained it to me, you review your previous incarnation at your own pace––and it takes as long as it takes. “You can start at the end of your life and work back or start at the beginning and move forward, so long as you cover everything. Life Review is mandatory, but doesn’t have any deadlines.” 

Restoring Balance

One of the hardest parts of Life Review is facing up to the suffering you caused others. However, now that the soul is free of ego, it can examine situations objectively, without emotion. By going through this period of discovery, you learn how you can handle things better in the future, how you can be kinder and more loving. You also find ways to make restitution to those you’ve injured. Depending on the “offense,” you may only need to acknowledge what you did or perhaps apologize. In other instances, you might choose to offer greater recompense.



This is not punishment or payback, an eye-for-an-eye and all that. The purpose, as I understand it, is to restore balance and to give love where you caused pain before. It may also be necessary––for your soul’s growth––to experience both sides of a situation. For example, in one of my previous incarnations the entity I knew as Ron in this life was responsible for my death. In this lifetime together, he gave me the power to end his life by taking him off life-support after he suffered a massive stroke.

What you learn in Life Review will influence future lifetimes. Understanding the big picture enables you to choose lives that will further your soul’s purpose, and gives you the wisdom to do a better job next time around.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Choosing Your Death


In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Matthew 24 warns that no one knows the day or hour of his death. However, some spiritual teachers and researchers who study reincarnation tell us that we choose our lifetimes on earth as well as the conditions of our physical existences. We also choose when and how we depart from earth, to return to our true home in the spirit world.


Going Home

Although many of us fear and dread physical death, everything I’ve witnessed and read indicates that we have nothing to worry about. Brian L. Weiss, MD, in his book Many Lives, Many Masters, writes, “To be in physical state is abnormal. When you are in spiritual state, that is natural to you.” People who’ve had near-death experiences generally say life outside the human body is a whole lot better than it is here on earth. Dr. Piero Calvi-Parisetti’s course Love Knows No Death includes a video module of many people who’ve had NDEs; all described similar and wondrous experiences.

If you’re someone who can communicate with spirits in the nonphysical realm, you’ve likely heard them say they’re happy where they are now. In his book Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, PhD, reports that clients he has regressed through their prior deaths usually say something like: “Oh, wonderful, I’m home in this beautiful place again” or “I’m relieved to be away from Earth.” My long-time partner, Ron Conroy, who left his body in 2013, tells me often how much happier and more peaceful he is now. “What we call the ‘other world’ is the real one,” he explains, “earth is an illusion.”



Leaving Our Lives

Some might interpret this as a reason for suicide, even though some religions insist that suicide is a sin. As I understand it, however, our teachers, guides, and spirits don’t judge or punish us––they welcome everyone, including suicides, back home. But people who decide to end their physical lives early will still have to complete the lessons they skipped out on, during another earthly incarnation.

After his physical death, Ron told me that even if we go quickly (as he did, from a stroke) we’ve actually made the decision much earlier. “We leave in stages, gradually detaching from the physical world,” he explained. Nine months before he passed, he told a mutual friend of ours that he wanted to die of a stroke before his seventieth birthday––which is exactly what happened. He picked the moment and method for his departure, not through suicide, but through intention.

Why, then, would anyone choose a painful or gruesome death? When I asked Ron this question, he replied that some souls accept terminal illnesses, such as cancer, to give doctors a chance to study the disease and learn ways to help other people. In some instances, souls decide that their host bodies will die in traumatic ways in order to raise awareness of a situation or to inspire interest in a particular cause. This may be true of warrior souls who die in battle. Undoubtedly, numerous other reasons exist, perhaps as many as the individuals involved.

If it’s any comfort, Dr. Newton writes in Destiny of Souls that “souls often leave their bodies seconds before a violent death.” And if we really do reincarnate on earth many, many times, then we’ve all gone through numerous deaths––and survived.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Spirit Guides and Angels


In my book Angels Among Us, I mention a poll done by the Washington Post in 2008, in which 36,000 people of various faiths (or none) were asked if they believed angels actively participate in our lives. The majority answered yes. That same year, in a poll by Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion of 1,700 Americans, 55 percent reported that their angels had protected them from harm.



What Are Angels?

Many people think that when we die we become angels. But according to Billy Graham’s website that’s incorrect––we become something greater. The Compelling Truth’s website says, “Humans are physical beings with a spiritual soul” whereas “Angels are spiritual beings . . . who can only become physical if God ordains that their work requires it.” Others say angels don't have free will, as humans do, and therefore humans face greater challenges during their journey on earth and in the spirit realm. Much has been written about angels throughout history, and these ethereal beings show up in the literature of many religions. Yet we’re still not certain what they are, how they came to be, or exactly what our relationship with them is.

The Christian mystic Dionysius the Areopagite, 1500 years ago, and later the Dominican priest and philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas proposed that nine types of angels exist. These ranged from the lowest level––our personal guardian angels––to the highest––the Seraphim, who occupy the top rung of the celestial ladder, closest to God, where their singing aids the process of creation.


 Our Progress as Spiritual Beings

As I understand it, we may evolve into spirit guides at some time after leaving physical earth. During my visits to the spirit realm, I observed souls as colored orbs of brilliant light. Their colors indicated their level of wisdom and experience (see my post “What Color Is Your Soul?” for more). Blue and purple souls were the masters, who guided beings on earth. These masters once existed as humans, but have now reached an advanced level and no longer need incarnate––though they may, if they choose. Other souls––especially those from our own soul groups––may also assist us throughout our earthly lives. (See my post “Soul Groups” for more.) I suspect that these entities are the ones who watch out for us, though I don’t know if they’re actually angels.

After my long-time companion, Ron Conroy, left his physical form in 2013, I asked him about this conundrum. He replied, “When people ‘die’ they don’t become gods or angels, they’re still themselves, they’re just not physical.” He also explained that our core natures remain the same after we leave our bodies––we’re still playful, quiet, serious, adventurous, artistic, etc. Our fundamental purposes and interests stay with us too. (See my post “What’s Your Life Purpose?” for more.) Our egos fall away, however, leaving us “kinder and gentler” than we were as humans.



Meeting Angels and Other Spirits

Psychic and medium Francine Clausen, “The Angel Lady” of Gloucester, Massachusetts, told me each of us has at least seven angels around us all the time––and we can call upon more for assistance when we need them. I think it’s possible that both spirit guides and guardian angels offer us protection and aid. Furthermore, I think it’s likely that we knew some of these spirits on earth––as I knew Ron for many years––but we may never have encountered some of them in physical life. (Nature spirits, fairies, and other ethereal entities also exist among us, but that’s a topic for another post. You can also read more in my book Fairies: The Myths, Legends, and Lore.)

In his book Journey of Souls, Michael Newton, PhD writes, “Most of my subjects report the first person they see in the spirit world is their personal guide.” Even if other entities that the newly deceased person knew on earth are present, the individual’s main spirit guide stands nearby, ready to escort the soul into the spirit realm. This guide, it seems, remains with us throughout all our earthly incarnations as well as during our time out of the body––teaching, protecting, and steering us through life with great love and compassion.



Children often speak of seeing their spirit guides, although adults usually discount these claims, labeling the spirits “imaginary friends” or “alter egos.” You may meet your spirit guides through meditation, trance states, dreams, hypnosis, moments of illness or trauma––they may even appear to you during your everyday, waking life. People sometimes describe them as light forms in the shape of a human being, as angels with wings, or as faint ghostly images. Others see them as glowing orbs, as I did in my journeys to the spirit realm. 

Even if you don’t actually see them, you may sense their presence, perhaps as warmth or coolness, a slight breeze or movement, a tingling sensation on your skin, or something else entirely. Once, while I was giving Reiki to a woman, I felt her guide standing behind me, laying its hands over mine to provide healing energy through me to the woman.

Trust your experiences, whether you see, hear, sense, smell, or otherwise become aware of your spirit’s presence. If you keep an open your mind, you have a good chance of making contact with your spirit guide and benefiting from what it has to share with you.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Why Did You Choose This Life?


Past-life researchers and people who believe in reincarnation propose that we choose our lifetimes on earth for specific purposes. We select our parents and families, the physical bodies we’ll inhabit, the cultures in which we will live, the timeframe during which we’ll exist, and the challenges we’ll face. Astrologers say that we also look at celestial configurations to determine what combination of energies will offer us the best potential for achieving our goals. I’ve read that although the individual soul gets to make the final decision, our guides and teachers offer suggestions and assist us in making these important choices.



Why Pick a Hard Life?

If that’s so, you may ask, why would anyone choose a lifetime of hardship, pain, illness, poverty, or suffering? The usual answer is: to learn, and some things must be learned the hard way. Another theory states that we take on onerous conditions in a particular incarnation in order to atone for past misdeeds. In his book Miracles Happen, Brian Weiss, MD writes that a soul may enter a body that has more than the usual limitations in order to learn to receive from others, to be cared for––especially if that soul has served as a caregiver in many lifetimes. 

It seems to me that as evolving souls who will eventually become spirit guides ourselves, overseeing the human race, we may need to experience everything that morals undergo, so we can understand and assist them in their earthly journey. If you’ve never suffered the loss of a loved one, for instance, you might not know how to ease another’s grief.

Reasons for Incarnating

In my earlier posts, I’ve suggested that we incarnate for other reasons too: to be with members of our soul group who’ve already entered human forms; to work on relationships that we began in previous lifetimes; to create in the manifest world; to inspire or implement changes on Planet Earth. Most importantly, we come here to bring love from our divine “home” into the physical realm.

As I wrote in my previous post “What’s Your Life Purpose?” your lifetimes are based on certain themes. Soul roles fall into various categories, such as teacher, healer, warrior, leader, etc. Therefore, you’ll integrate your soul’s primary purpose into each incarnation, even though the details will differ. If you’re a warrior soul, for example, you might have been a gladiator in Ancient Rome, a soldier during the French Revolution, and a football player today.

My post “What Color Is Your Soul” discusses soul colors as indicators of spiritual knowledge and development. During visits to the spirit world, I saw multitudes of white souls (beginners), but very few purple ones (masters). This idea is reiterated in the books of Michael Newton, PhD, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. As my partner, Ron Conroy, who left the physical world in 2013, explained it to me, the younger white souls often enter lifetimes where they can learn basic survival skills and practice adapting to the requirements of earthly embodiment. These souls may not have spent much time on this planet and must develop their “earth legs” before they can help others. People who live relatively primitive or very simple existences, in which they have few responsibilities other than sustaining themselves, may fall into this group.



Souls who’ve graduated to higher levels (yellow, gold, green), perhaps through many lifetimes on earth, face a different set of challenges and opportunities. They may choose incarnations in which they must consider and/or take care of others as well as themselves. Perhaps they’ll share what they’ve learned with other beings. Or, they may assume responsibility for other humans, animals, plants, etc., protecting or guiding these entities in their own growth. More developed souls may bring knowledge to earth’s inhabitants, provide support or employment to others, create products that make physical existence easier, defend communities in times of crisis, etc.



Eventually, we accomplish our earth “lessons” and reach a high enough level of spiritual development where we no longer need to incarnate. As blue or purple souls, we may choose to operate from a nonphysical realm instead of taking on human bodies. I suspect levels far beyond this exist, but I can’t speak to that––yet.