When I was about 8, a little girlfriend of mine started taking violin lessons. We were creating new wardrobes for our Barbie dolls at her house one day when I saw her violin sitting on a chair in the family room. I felt drawn to it, so I walked over, picked it up and started playing. I mean PLAYING -- not just making noise. Her dad, a school psychologist who was also in the room, immediately leaped to his feet.
"How long have you been taking lessons??" he demanded.
I froze in mid-bow and stared back at him.
"HOW LONG??" he barked again. My friend was also staring at me, gape-mouthed. I was terrified at their reactions, and remember putting the little instrument down, never to pick up a violin again. I was so freaked by their shock that I have never even learned to read music.
I think that self-imposed mental block is tumbling down, though. My late Grandfather Raymond, a musician and teacher, recently broke into a mediumship demonstration to say that I'd better get with the program, and start playing instruments. He shared both his name and his love of music with me, sooo, I'm seriously practicing the native flute. And it's the darndest thing. It's kind of like I already sort of know how to play it...
In college I really began experimenting with my growing abilities. I levitated those heavy wooden spool tables at frat parties; made pendulums out of rings and thread to accurately answer questions for students I'd never met and held séances in the dorm, while mobiles hanging from the ceiling jerked back and forth, and caps exploded off of soda bottles. I would also transfigure into an Indian, which completely freaked out all my dorm mates. Go figure!
One day a girl on my dorm floor got up the courage to approach me. "If you're so good at weird stuff," she challenged, "can you find my ring that I lost yesterday?"
"OK," I said, "Come with me." I led her outside, and told her to just start walking -- I would walk beside her. It was a huge campus, with intersecting webs of sidewalks, large grassy expanses and dozens of buildings. As word spread about what was happening, more and more people started trailing after us, giggling, whispering and nudging each other.
After about 15 minutes of walking next to Nancy in silence, I stopped. She, and the throng behind us, also halted. I reached down into the grass, picked up her silver ring and handed it to her. Nancy stared at the ring, dumbfounded. Then, with the rest of the crowd, she turned and dashed back to the dorm, screaming. I never DID get a "Gee, thanks for finding my ring!"
Right out of college I worked as a reporter, then national editor, at the local newspaper. At this point I was doing regular readings for friends, and it became a pretty normal routine for all of us. One particular evening a girlfriend called in a panic. The guy she was going out with hadn't shown up for their dinner date, and she was concerned. I immediately "went to level," and received a vivid, appalling image. When I dissolved it, it sprang back into my consciousness with crystal clear detail.
"Sandi," I told her slowly, "I'm so sorry! I see the body of your friend in the cab of a green truck. He's been shot, and he's dead. The truck is at a construction site, somewhere they're building a bridge."
She and I were in tears, and frantically tried to figure out if we should call the police. Since we were both reporters
we hesitated to do that, and decided to wait.
The next day the guy showed up -- he'd been out drinking with buddies, and completely spaced his date with Sandy. I was glad he was alive, but I was horrified I had received such an incorrect image, and such a gristly one at that.
Three years later both Sandy and I were in different jobs, in different states, and I was pleasantly surprised
to get a call from her out of the blue.
"I just thought you should know," she said. "They've found the body of my friend, in the cab of a green truck. He'd been shot dead at a construction site, where they were building a bridge."
Right after I was told in a deep meditation to end my two-year spiritual quest and get back into the real world, teaching my beliefs by living them, I started working at a TV station in the mountains of North Carolina. I soon became the 11 p.m. newscast producer, and my roommate was a reporter at the station. We got along quite well even though we were very different. While she had cute plush bunnies hugging each other in her room, I had a spaceship suspended from the ceiling light in mine.
At Christmas, she spent a fun evening at her parents' place and came back to our house all excited.
"Guess what my folks got me!" she said.
I looked at her for a minute, then responded, "An electric fondue pot."
She stopped dead in her tracks, staring at me with dinner-plate sized eyes. I kept looking at her. "Yellow," I added. At that point, she screamed and ran out of the room.
Well, heck! If you don't want an answer, don't ask a psychic!
For our 5th anniversary, my husband Paul and I planned a week-long bed and breakfast tour of Sonoma, gradually working our way over to Yosemite for the final two nights. The park had a special meaning for Paul -- he'd found great peace there before he and I had met when he was healing his heart after his father died in 1989.
Our week was perfect, packed with wine tasting, hikes through the forest, spectacular sunsets and lots of togetherness. We stayed at a hotel right outside of the park, and the chances of us getting in to the popular Ahwahnee Lodge for dinner on our actual anniversary night were slim to none. "I think we need a backup plan," Paul said as we surveyed the throng of people with reservations waiting to be seated.
"Nope. I know it's OK!" I said confidently. I "thought" at the hostess, and in moments we were being whisked away to a prime location in front of a huge window. Paul was thrilled, and said, "There's only one thing missing -- we haven't seen any deer yet."
Within 30 seconds, THREE deer slowly ambled into frame, coming up to the shrub right in front of the window to nibble leaves.
Paul just laughed.
Our waiter was a clean-cut young man with blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, and gold wire rimmed glasses. Although I was focusing on Paul and the great time we were enjoying together, I kept getting an urgent message for our waiter. Normally I do NOT read strangers, but the information was refusing to leave my brain, and demanded that I share it. When the waiter returned to our table with rolls and butter, I took a deep breath and said, "You know, if you'd go back to school, you'd become an incredibly successful architect."
Without skipping a beat, the waiter looked up and said, "But I dropped out because the math was too hard!"
Paul just kept buttering his roll.
"You could get on TOP of the math," I answered. "You just have such a bright future in design and architecture if you pursue it."
"Hey, thanks!" the guy said enthusiastically. I strongly feel he DID go back to school. If anyone knows a successful blond architect who waited tables in Yosemite the fall of 1997, I'd love to hear from you!
While my beloved husband Paul navigated the two years of his terminal illness with grace and dignity, I considered it an honor, and a sacred responsibility, to share this journey with him. Since I had faced death up-close-and-personal during my brain aneurysm over a decade earlier, I felt Paul and I had a special karmic tie. He taught me how to live with joy and love, and I would teach him how to die with the same trusting, tender devotion.
Despite the fact that on a spiritual level I knew this sacred dance was part of a greater plan, on emotional and mental levels, the sorrow I felt was devastating. I constantly prayed to understand the reason for Paul's suffering and impending death. I prayed to overcome my own ego, which sometimes couldn't cope with the thought of losing him. I prayed to make every moment we shared special -- honoring the time we still shared together. These prayers, I prayed constantly.
In addition to my own spiritual healing work, I leaned heavily on my brilliant, compassionate acupuncturist, Erin Raskin, MS,L.Ac., of San Diego. During one particular session she carefully placed the needles, put the lavender pillow over my eyes and gently shut the treatment room door behind her as she left me to "cook" on the table. Immediately after the door closed, I heard a voice from the ceiling urgently announce, "Kali!"
I was suddenly aware of the presence of a VERY strong female energy standing by my right side. I could feel her working in my energy field, yanking things out, healing blockages and sealing me back up. It definitely wasn't a gentle "Ohhh, you poor thing! Let me make you feel better" kind of energy. It was more of a "We WILL heal this RIGHT NOW and you will get BACK in the FIGHT!" I was honored, overwhelmed and completely baffled.
When Erin came back in a while later I still had tears streaming from my lavender-pillow covered eyes.
"What's wrong?" she asked, concerned, quickly moving to my side and lifting the pillow.
"Who's...Kali?" I asked her. It was then that I learned I had been ministered to by a Hindu Deity of whom I had never even HEARD. Kali is revered as the Divine Mother, the ultimate power of creation and destruction. She represents mastery over death, ego and time, the three things I had prayed to better understand and accept. That's all the proof I needed to confirm a theory I'd always had -- when your intent is sincere, it will be honored. The Divine Energy of The Creator has no restrictions, borders or judgments.
Those are all things we humans have created.
Now, exactly, why would we feel the need to hold on to that??
I've always connected with cats -- just ask my poor parents. Our house was usually filled with the pitter-patter of little paws, and the requisite sandpaper tongue prints in the butter.
Circumstantial evidence, I'd always argue.
Fast-forward to 2002. My dear husband Paul had crossed into the spirit realm after a valiant two-year battle with metastasized melanoma. I stopped to get gas one evening when the "hunch" said, "Go to that Petco at the end of the strip mall."
I argued, saying, "I don't NEED anything from Petco! I have plenty of cat food for Dharma (my exquisite tortie)."
"GO TO THE PETCO!"
I've learned not to argue with the "hunches." The minute I walked into the store, my eyes were pulled to a cage against the wall. Three rescued coal-black kittens huddled together on a blanket. Suddenly the long haired one stood up, locked eyes with me, and started to crawl up the metal wire of the cage to get to me. That's how I found Minerva McGonagall, who I named after the Gryffindor Headmistress from the Harry Potter books. She was the wonderful character who turned into a cat to spy on her students!
While Dharma was not pleased -- she insisted we did not NEED a pet -- Minnie settled into the household routine quickly. Normally before I go to sleep, I do a quick affirmation and put myself, the room and the entire house in white light. Unfortunately I apparently forgot this little ritual one night right after I adopted Minerva, because I was attacked by two demonic beings in my "dream." It was that bewildering state where you're asleep, but not really asleep, and I was frantically trying to summon up the strength to banish the evil things and rededicate the room to God.
Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, and a surge of strength poured into me. I had the power to get rid of the demons, and immediately after they vanished, I forced myself to literally wake up. I was shocked, AND relieved, to find Minerva on my pillow, gazing directly into my eyes, with her paw on my shoulder. She's really not fooling ANYONE with that cat suit she's wearing!!