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Reading and Movie List 2011

As the end of the year 2011 draws near, I thought I’d post my annual Reading and Movie List. Here are the works I have taken in over the last 12 months:


Mary, Mrs. A. Lincoln, Janis Cooke Newman, January, ***1/2

The Miracle Worker (play), William Gibson, January-March, ****

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen, April, ***1/2

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe, April, ***

Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult, April-May, ***

Fool, Christopher Moore, May, **1/2

The Help, Kathryn Stockett, May, ****

Two Truths and a Lie, Katrina Kittle, May, ***

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, May-June, ***

The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson, June, ***1/2

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson, June. ***

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper, June, **1/2

Handling the Undead, John Ajvide Lindqvist, July, **1/2

The Crucible (play), Arthur Miller, July, ****

A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, July-August, ****

A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin, August, ****

A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin, September, ***

A Feast for Crows, George R. R. Martin, September-October, **1/2

How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff, October, ***1/2

The Raven’s Bride, Lenore Hart, October, **1/2

Blood Red Road, Moira Young, October, ****

Green Angel, Alice Hoffman, October, ***1/2

Summers at Blue Lake, Jill Althouse-Wood, October-November, **1/2

Double Dexter, Jeff Lindsay, December, ***

A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness, December, ***

Promises to Keep, Char Chaffin, December, ***


My Spiritual Journey, The 14th Dalai Lama, March-April, ***

Cincinnati Haunted Handbook, Jeff Morris and Michael Morris, June, **1/2

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons For Making it Work, Tim Gunn, June, **1/2

Say Her Name, Francisco Goldman, July, ***

The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, Louis Martinie and Sallie Ann Glassman, July, **


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, January, ****

Precious, January, ****

Rocky, January, ***

Whip It, January, ***
The Messenger, January, ***

Hot Tub Time Machine, February, **

Quantum of Solace, February, **

Winter’s Bone, February, ****

True Grit, February, ****

Citizen Kane (re-watch), February, ***

(500) Days of Summer, February, ***1/2

Tropic Thunder, March, ***

Sixteen Candles (re-watch), March, ***

Limitless, March, **1/2

Source Code, April, ***

Thor, May, ***

The Social Network, May, ***1/2

Super 8, June, ****

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish), June, **1/2

The A-Team, June, **1/2

Bridesmaids, July, ***

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Swedish), July, **1/2

The King’s Speech, July, ***

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, July, ****

Captain America: The First Avenger, July, **1/2

Cowboys and Aliens, July, ***

The Kids Are Alright, August, ***

Dexter Season 6, August, **1/2

The Green Hornet, October, **1/2

Tangled, November, **

Zombieland, November, ****

Into the Woods, December, ***

Hugo, December, ***1/2

You can see my favorites by the number of stars given. On the whole, it’s been an enjoyable year of reading and film-watching.

Next year, I intend to also list plays I go to see, since I am making an effort to attend more live productions.

What are your favorite books and movies that you read or saw in 2011? Feel free to share in the comments section! I’m always looking for recommendations.

Rainy Days and Mondays…

…don’t always get me down, but…

Actually, I love Mondays. Ever since I left Corporate America and began my career as a self-employed person, I have taken Mondays off. This is mostly because I tend to work on the weekends, and everyone deserves a break. I look forward to the quiet pace of my Mondays, when I can take things as they come while doing chores around the house, writing, and generally playing catch-up from the week before.

Today’s Monday is pretty dreary. It’s rained steadily since last night, and I now have a moat to cross when I go in and out of my front door. There’s a new lake in my backyard, and the poor dog dreads going outside for fear of soaking his dainty little feet. I’ve spent the day responding to correspondence with business associates, putting out minor fires connected with my business, and writing materials for my publisher. Soon I will leave the house, drive through the rain to drop something off at my cousin’s, and then brave the terrible highway traffic and the crazy-weather drivers to pick up my boys from school. More than anything, I find myself wishing I could simply teleport them home with one of those “I Dream of Jeannie” nods. DOINK! They’re here!

Alas, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Still, the gentle drumming of the rain on the roof has lulled me into a state of quiet and reflection. It’s like an invitation from the Universe to take a few moments to just sit and be. Like many folks, I find it challenging to do nothing. Yet I understand that it is in this stillness, this silent peace, that Spirit speaks the most distinctly to us.

I urge you to try it. Sit still for a few moments and just breathe. In. Out. In. Out. When thoughts intrude, just bring your focus back to your breath. In. Out. In. Out. Allow yourself to be replenished by the silence and the stillness.

I give thanks on this rainy Monday for reminding me of this valuable lesson.








Resurrecting the Blog


Yes, I am back. Well, really, I never went anywhere. I was just experiencing an extreme case of lack of motivation coupled with a whirlwind life, which relegated the blog writing to the extreme low point on the priority scale.

But I would like to get back to connecting with you all…so I promise to try to do better with posting here.

This year has been a very difficult one. I won’t go into all of the details here because many of them are very personal, but I have been slogging through as best I can. One of my best friends always says, “Keep swimming,” and that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do!


I do have exciting news to share: my first novel will be published soon! My novel, entitled MERLYN’S RAVEN, has been accepted by Soul Mate Publishing. I don’t have any details about the release yet, but when I do, I will be sure to share–and to shamelessly self-promote! I am also in the process of working with a friend on re-doing my website so that I can feature things more easily and have all of my services, events, workshops, books, etc. available to everyone.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I hope life has been treating you all well. And please don’t give up on me! I will be here more often in the future. I hope you will be, too.

Bright blessings to you all! xox

Monday Message From Merlin 2-7-11

Greetings and blessings to you all! I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of the one called Rose who writes this on my behalf. As always, it is a great pleasure to work directly with her and to speak to you all in this way. I enjoy very much the time I am able to spend with you. It is a great honor for me and a cherished opportunity for me to continue in my own spiritual development.

I come today to speak to you about success and failure. Last night, Rose and her husband watched the big American football game called The Super Bowl, which pits two teams against each other in fierce physical competition. As in many of these sports, there is only one victor. And yet I say to you, all competitors are victors in these matches, even the ones who do not score the most points by the end of the game.

Failure is a part of the human experience. It is not an especially enjoyable part, but it is necessary nonetheless.  It is one way we understand how some of our actions are mistakes, which allows us to recognize misguided judgements so that we do not make the same error again. When we experience failure, we grieve and face strong, undesirable emotions like frustration, anger, and sadness. Our self-confidence is often affected, causing us to feel even more depressed. With all of this, what positive outcome could possibly stem from failure?

The important lessons learned through failure give the experience great value. We learn how to negotiate negative emotions by remaining peaceful, calm, and compassionate with ourselves. We realize that our self-worth is not tied to the outcome but instead directly connected to the Divine Source, which is present in every person, no matter their success rate. We see that by failing at one endeavor, it opens up space for something entirely different, and something that is far better than we could have imagined. We recognize our personal shortcomings and are afforded the opportunity to mend them so we do not repeat the same mistakes in the future. We become more spiritually focused, concentrating on the meaning behind the failure and what we can do for ourselves to by more productive as we move forward. We allow ourselves to experience life lessons that we cannot experience in any other way.

Failure is never easy. Many will ask questions like, “Why did my business fail? I asked my spirit guides to help me, and it still went under. I was a fool to believe that they are working with me!” Beloved friends, your spirit guides always want what’s best for you. Remember, too, that your guides cannot interfere in any capacity of your life. As I have reminded you before, you must ask them for aid when it is appropriate. But never doubt that your guides are helping you when you’ve asked, even if the scenario turns out differently than you anticipated. Your guides are familiar with your life plan, and they may know something about why your failure is a necessary part of your spiritual evolution. You may not be able to see the bigger picture, but trust that Creator knows exactly what you need at every moment of every day. Putting your faith in Spirit is not easy, but it is never misguided! Search for the lesson that is to be learned, and you will understand it.

You are all such beloved creations! You are all so magnificent in so many ways! I wish you could truly understand the incredible love and energy that infuses this whole Universe and allows us all to be tied together to one another. Know that you are never alone in your life, through all of its good times and challenging ones. Spirit is ever-present, and the more you work with your guides, teachers, and angels, the more aware you become of their presences and of their help. It may not make failures easier, but this knowledge will help to bring you peace so that you can examine and integrate the lessons you need to learn during these times.

You are loved beyond measure. You are special. You are a unique creation of the Divine. You ARE Divine! Repeat these mantras to yourself, especially when you’ve encountered a failure in your life. No matter how daunting it might be, if you ask for help from Spirit in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, you will receive it! And whatever is coming from that point on may be bigger and better than what you first attempted!

I hope today’s message gives you some peace of mind, heart, and spirit. I take your leave now with my blessings and great love. Be well, and I will be with you again soon.


New Crystal Grids

Yesterday, I was able to attend a wonderful workshop given by my friend and healing colleague Gene Jackson. I have taken a class with Gene before, and this time, he was joined by Becky McCleery, another wonderful crystal expert. Together, they presented information about the new energies affecting our Universe and consciousness at this time and explained how we can use our beautiful crystal and stone friends for healing and other kinds of positive work.

I enjoyed every aspect of this class, but I really connected with the idea of creating crystal grids with specific intentions. As a healer, I have built crystal grids under my healing table at work. These collections of stones, placed with intention and purpose, help each client to experience the very best energy possible during their healing and massage therapy sessions with me. It never occurred to me, however, to build a crystal grid for some other reason, one that might be personal or important to me on an individual level. In many ways, creating a crystal grid is a lot like magickal work. You choose stones intuitively to reflect the intention you would like the crystal energies to work towards, and then you create a pattern with the stones that keeps the energy flowing in a positive way. Along with creating our own crystal grids in the class (the one I created, large enough to sit inside, was for balance), Becky also showed us a grid you could build at home to draw in abundance, and another you could use to welcome love into your life.

Although all of the grids that we built were amazing and powerful, I really connected with the love grid that Becky created for us in the class. I’ve been struggling with an issue in my extended family for a couple of years now, and unfortunately, the situation isn’t getting any better. I decided to modify the love grid that Becky showed to us to create a grid to promote family harmony. I was able to build this grid this morning; below is a photo of it:


I used a tray and lined it with a black beaded placemat to contain and build the grid. In the very center, you can see a large piece of unpolished rose quartz, a stone associated with unconditional love. Directly above that piece, there is a stone angel also made of rose quartz, and two more polished rose quartz stones sit to the left and right of the center stone. Next to the angel on the left, there is a piece of pink kunzite, which promotes loving thoughts and loving communications. On the angel’s right is a piece of morganite, which is connected to the heart chakra and love energy. It also promotes fellowship along with listening and working together. Directly below the center rose quartz is a heart-shaped piece of amethyst, a stone of serenity, peace, and great harmony. Below the amethyst is snowy quartz, which helps people to think before speaking and enhances tact and cooperation. To the left of the snowy quartz is a piece of green aventurine. Aventurine helps to diffuse negative situations and promotes compassion and empathy. On the right of the snowy quartz is amblygonite, a calming and soothing stone. Directly below the snowy quartz is another piece of rose quartz. Eight quartz points encircle these stones at the four directions and at the cross quarter points, alternating with their terminated ends in and out. This arrangement helps to bring energy in and to release energy out, balancing the influx and output of the harmonious love. The rest of the quartz points move the energy around the circle in a clockwise motion, meant to mirror the building and gathering of energy.

After building the grid, I sealed it energetically with my intention. I am hopeful that this grid will help bring about more peace and harmony in my extended family, something we haven’t had for quite some time.

As I was sorting through my stones, my Master guide, Merlin, started talking to me, inspiring me to build a grid to strengthen our connection and to open up new ways for us to communicate. For a long time, Merlin has encouraged me to sleep with amethyst pieces on my night table, and we often mediate together in a crystal cave made of amethyst. I know that, along with the properties listed above, this stone also increases psychic experiences and visions. It is connected to the third eye, the seat of clairvoyance, and is sometimes called the psychic’s stone. I already kept several pieces of amethyst next to the bed so that I could rest in this energy at night, but I added a few more pieces and arranged them intuitively (see below):


As you can see, the grid starts with the large piece of amethyst on the left, with an amethyst point to its right and two more pieces of amethyst above and below the point for balance. To the right of the amethyst point is a piece of epidot in prehnite. Epidot enhances perception and personal power, while prehnite promotes dreaming, contact with all kinds of spirit entities, channeling, and prophecy. In a grid, prehnite helps to provide calmness and protection. Finally, to the right of the epidot in prehnite sits a piece of merlinite. I was obviously attracted to this stone simply by its name with its association with Merlin, but I wasn’t surprised to learn it brings magick to the life of those who use it, along with facilitating shamanistic experiences. As you can also see in the picture, all of the stones are pointing in a particular direction: right at me while I’m sleeping. Thus all of the energy built in this grid with these stones will help me connect even more fully with Merlin and will point the energy right at me!

I have had so much fun in the past few years learning more about crystals, stones, and earth energies. I really enjoy getting to know the stones and working with them. Their energies have truly enhanced my life, and I’m hoping to build even more grids for particular purposes as I go forward on my journey.

So it you’re interested, stop by your favorite metaphysical shop and check out the stones and crystals that are there. I guarantee you’ll find a present from Mother Earth that will touch your heart and enhance some aspect of your life with its energy. Enjoy!!

Hello, 2011.

I have never been much of a resolution-maker at the beginning of a New Year. I believe we need to set goals for ourselves, yes, but I believe we need to make just a few realistic ones and continue checking our progress on a regular basis until the goal is complete. I don’t like the idea of resolutions–it’s too confining and restrictive to me. This doesn’t mean I don’t believe in measuring success, because I do. But I think we set ourselves up for failure by trying to stick too hard to a New Year’s resolution that is loaded with societal pressure from the get-go. Why do this to yourself?

Whether I want to believe it or not, though, 2011 is upon us. It doesn’t seem possible to me, and yet, here we are. Numerologically, I am in a 6 year in 2011, which means love in all its forms will be a highlight (and possibly a low-light) this year for me. From a positive standpoint, relationships will be key, and I know this means I will develop better and deeper relationships with the people I love, and I will most likely welcome some new folks into my circle of friends and clients. But 6 is also the number of the giver, and this means I may be asked to give-give-give until it hurts this year. This is always a challenge to me, so I must watch my tendency to do this–and my tendency to do it with resentment. Yes, I am a giver, but sometimes I carry a put-upon attitude with me that is less than becoming and quite negative in many ways. I need to approach more of life this year with compassion and love in my heart, for love will be abundant–and it will be tested.

In reflecting on this, and on the yearly forecasting Tarot reading I performed for myself earlier today, I have decided my mantra for the year 2011 will be this: “I am peace.” My Tarot reading gave me triple messages today about seeking and achieving balance in the year 2011, especially balance between the mundane and the spiritual aspects of life. Although this is always a challenge for me, it seems especially prevalent in 2011. And so with this message from Spirit reverberating in my mind and heart, I say, “I am peace.” In taking this as a personal mantra for the year, I hope to change my hyper and anxious persona and energy to something more stable and loving.

In my work with Archangel Metatron, one of the great angels of balance and equilibrium, he constantly tells me of the need for individualized and self-realized peace. It is only when this happens for each of us on a personal level that we can ever hope for peace to be attained on any kind of group or larger level. I feel Metatron’s presence as I re-affirm for myself tonight, “I am peace,” and as I remind myself of the sacred work of approaching life with a peaceful and balanced outlook and energy.

So…this is what I hope to achieve this year. I realize that I am human, and it may be quite a struggle in the moment-to-moment unfolding of my life. I was already confronted today with yet another problem in a personal relationship in my life. And yet, isn’t this really what life is all about, anyway, the lessons we learn in those moments of challenge? So I will take a moment, stop, breathe, and say, “I am peace.” I hope it will bring me back to the moment and to the understanding that I can change my energy. I don’t have to be angry, upset, anxious, or any other negative, uncomfortable emotion. I can choose something different.

And so, my friends, I wish you all peace as well. Peace of mind, peace of heart, peace deep within your soul. Happy 2011!


Monday Message from Merlin 12-20-10


Geetings, my beloved ones! I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of my life companion, Rose, and it is my great pleasure to be here today to serve you. I always enjoy the time I am given to be with you, and I wish you ultimate happiness as we celebrate the joyous and sacred season of Yule. When I walked the Earth, we were quite cognizant of the seasons of the year, and these cycles of energy were terribly important to us for many reasons. Of course, our lives depended on our relationship to the natural elements that surrounded us, and so this great reverence developed into a sacred trust we established and upheld with Mother Earth. Sadly, humanity has moved further and further away from this reverence over these many years, and few still hold Mother Earth in the high regard She deserves. But I did not come here to preach! I came to help you understand that these cycles of energy are still sacred and relevant today, and I came to encourage you to take time to celebrate, even in a small way, the incredible energy of the Winter Solstice.

The year 2010 brings an even more powerful energy with the Solstice, for a lunar eclipse also happens to fall at the same time. What a double blessing of energies for humanity to experience! There seem, however, to be many who are confused as to what to do during this unusual occasion. I say to you, use the Solstice as a reason to go within, to connect with your own personal spirit guides, and to discover for yourself what you can accomplish or banish during this duel energy. You do not need others to tell you what to do! All you need is your own breath to take you deeper into a relaxed state, along with an intention to connect with your spirit people and to learn whatever it is you need to know to fully benefit from these Solstice and lunar energies. Your own spirit guides will not steer you wrong! This is what establishing a relationship with Spirit is all about! Trust what you are shown, what you hear, what you feel, and act on these impressions. You will see amazing changes if only you will trust this process!

Beloved ones, all of these energies are all around you, and they are gifts from Creator! Your guides; these lunar and Solstice energies; the astrological knowledge that can be learned; the stone and crystal powers that surround you; the elemental energies to harness; the beautiful, strong, and loving angels–so many gifts from Creator at your disposal! And yet many ignore these precious connections to God and stumble around like children lost in the dark! Use what has been given to you. If you lack the knowledge, learn more! Read books! Go to classes! Sit in meditation and contemplation with your own spirit people and allow them to guide you. And if you do not have the books or the classes or the people to help you learn, pray to Creator, and S/He will bring the resources to you! Do not allow your path to enlightenment to stay blocked! Use your strong human will and move right over those obstacles. Your spirit teachers, your angels, and the Ascended Masters will cheer you all the way!

Friends of my heart–enjoy this sacred time. Spend it with your loved ones. Commune with the angels and the spirits that surround you. Connect with the Divine Source of it all. Be well, prosperous, and joyous!

I bid you abiding, everlasting peace as I take my leave tonight.


Stones for the Collection

Recently, I went to an open house at Gene Jackson’s place, a.k.a “The Crystal Guy.” Gene and his wife, Barb, have a beautiful home that doubles as a showroom for all of the wonderful stones and crystals they have acquired and that they sell to the general public. I always look forward to going to their home as the energy there is astounding–and, of course, I thoroughly enjoy looking at all the extraordinary crystal gifts that Mother Earth has to offer us! As usual, I couldn’t leave without purchasing a few stones to use in my healing practice as well as for my own personal use.

The first stone I selected  is called fluorite. I actually bought two small pieces of this to give to my sons. It’s an excellent learning aid and increases concentration. It also helps a person to absorb new information. Along with this study aid, I also bought each of them a piece of honey calcite, which is also supposed to help increase good study habits. With these two stones sitting on their desks, I’m hoping lots of good schoolwork will commence!

For my healing practice, I purchased a lovely piece of lapis lazuli:


Lapis is a wonderful stone for opening the third eye, the center of psychic sight. It also helps to alleviate headaches, migraines, depression, and aids the thyroid and throat. It actually has many uses, and I’m sure I’ll utilize it quite often on my healing table.

As I wandered through Gene’s house, I found myself powerfully attracted to a stone I’d never seen before. It’s called vanadinite. I kept going back to it, and when I finally looked up its healing uses, I found out that it’s an excellent meditation aid as well as a great teacher concerning how to conserve physical energy and ground in the physical body. On another note, it can help curb overspending. What a great stone to have at the holidays!

I love working with all of these stone energies. If you’re attracted to stones or crystals, find out what they’re called and discover all of their interesting uses by researching them in books or on the Internet. You’ll be amazed at what helpful friends these allies from the mineral kingdom can be!

(If you’re wondering why I linked to some stone images/descriptions instead of posting pictures of them: I am trying very hard to be conscious of not using images on this blog that don’t belong to me. The picture of lapis was taken from a free site called Morguefile, which I try to utilize as much as possible. The images there are allowed to be used by anyone. If I couldn’t find a picture of a stone on a free site, I tried to link to it instead so that people who are photographing these stones are not infringed upon in any way. Good karma, right?)



I was having one of those days.

I have been filled with anxiety recently. Maybe it’s because work has not been booming and I’m concerned about finances. Maybe it’s because I finally took the plunge by making my business into an LLC and I’m worried I made a bad decision. Maybe it’s all the extra work that seems to be never-ending yet doesn’t seem to help me get any nearer to my goals. Maybe it’s the church responsibilities, worries over my aging father, concerns about my husband and his job, problems around our house, extra bills, and the fact that my teenaged sons seem to be becoming more distant every day. All of these thoughts swirl through my brain at any given moment, and I sometimes feel like I’m in a tornado of chaos.

Yesterday, I got a nice helping of icing on the cake.

My boys both currently have braces on their teeth. I like our orthodontics office, the doctors, assistants, and staff. It’s in a fairly convenient location, but one thing I don’t appreciate is that sometimes, they insist that they boys come in for appointments in the middle of the day. One son currently needs x-rays, which the office only does until 2:30 in the afternoon. I couldn’t book an after-school appointment for him, something I find extremely irritating. I don’t like to pull my boys out of school for any reason short of a death in the family or a major illness. In my opinion, school is the most important thing children do, and their education should not be disrupted if it’s at all avoidable. I was irritated anyway about having to make this appointment for both of my boys in the middle of the day, and it didn’t help that they would have to miss lunch at school and eat in the car on the way to and from the doctor’s office. I had to make sure I packed lunches for them both and brought their toothbrushes with me so they could be presentable for the orthodontist when they finished eating. More stress, but nothing a mom can’t handle. Or at least, a normal mom.

Unfortunately, we were running a few minutes late for our appointment. My one son is terribly self-conscious at times and gets embarrassed easily when he doesn’t understand the procedure for something. He is still getting used to his new high school and wasn’t on the ball yesterday about how to go about dismissal from class. I had to have the front office find him when it was time for him to leave, which added extra time to what I had carefully allotted for the commute to the doctor. Since I hate to be late, this made me even more anxious, and I had to drive like a maniac to get to the appointment. So after all this, we rushed into the office only to be told by the receptionist that we didn’t have appointments scheduled. They’re NEXT Tuesday.

I thought my head was going to explode.

So. I made a mistake. I tend to be very meticulous about scheduling things and it rarely happens, but apparently I wrote the appointments down on the wrong Tuesday in November. I can’t say how it happened, but it did. And I was absolutely furious with myself. Not only did I get the appointment wrong, but I pulled my boys out of school on the wrong day. Now I’d have to go through the whole insane rigamaroll AGAIN next week–the writing notes to school about it, the extra driving to and from work on my day off, the lunch-and-did-they-eat? stress, the timing of it all–just the thought of having to do it all again and making them miss more school nearly drove me to tears.

In fact, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I didn’t want to act like a complete idiot in front of my children, but I was doing a slow boil all the way back to school. I teetered back and forth between wanting to hit something hard enough to break my fingers and needing to collapse in a wailing heap. I dropped the boys back off at school, dreading the fact that I would be going home to sit around in misery for an hour and then get back in the car to pick them up again. It seemed all I ever did was drive to and from school, and the thought of doing it one more time made me absolutely morose. But I dropped the boys back off and headed the car toward home. Maybe I’d just go into my bedroom, lie down on the bed, and cry. That sounded like a good option.

But something stopped me from doing that.

As I got off the highway at my regular exit and slowed the car for the stop light at the end of the ramp, I noticed two people at the side of the road. One was a young man, standing and shielding his eyes against the glare of the Indian-summer sun. The other was a young woman seated in the dust at his feet, holding a hand-written sign that read, “Homeless and Hungry.” She rubbed her rounded belly as she held the sign. She was pregnant.

The first thought that went through my mind wasn’t very loving. It was, “Oh my God! She’s homeless, and she got pregnant? What was she thinking?” But then I realized that this thought was extremely judgmental and not very fair. I didn’t know anything about this woman’s life. Maybe just a few weeks ago, she’d had a job and a place to live, thinking that her life was stable and that she’d have an easy time raising her baby. Maybe she didn’t have any loved ones to help her or to take care of her. Maybe her family kicked her out when they discovered she was pregnant.

As I drove toward home, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. What must that be like for her, to be pregnant with nowhere to go and no money to speak of? How terribly worried she must be about her baby. Was she getting enough to eat to nourish her body and the baby’s? What if she had to give birth on the side of the road because no hospital would help her without insurance? What if she had problems nursing and couldn’t feed the baby? How would she diaper it? Where would they sleep at night? I realized as I turned familiar corner after familiar corner that my worries and anxieties were really nothing when compared to hers. I had a pleasant home, a source of income, two healthy children, a loving husband. I had a crock-pot full of lasagna cooking in my kitchen, and I could afford to send my boys to private school and to put braces on their teeth. I had a really wonderful life, even on days when I made stupid scheduling mistakes and cried angry tears over my frustrations. What did she have?

When I got home, I ran into the house and grabbed a shopping back from my cupboard. I stood in the panty, trying to decide what I could take to her. I wished I could give her something cold, but I didn’t know how she’d be able to keep it that way. I wanted to make her sandwiches, but I didn’t know if she liked pepperoni and salami, the only two lunch meats I had. I settled on packing a 2-liter bottle of 7-Up, two plastic cups, a box of cherry bars, several individual servings of applesauce with spoons, napkins, several packages of peanut butter crackers, and the two ripe pears I had in the refrigerator. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

I drove back to the highway exit, anxious that maybe the cops had stopped by and made them move along. They were still there. I parked at a nearby restaurant and walked across two lanes of traffic to get to them. As I approached, the young man, still standing, smiled tentatively at me. I smiled, too, and said hello. I walked over to the girl in the dust.

She looked up at me. Her face was pale and tired. Her skin was milky-white, so pale I was afraid it would burn in the bright November sunshine. I wished I’d thought to bring her some sunscreen. She was young, maybe 18 or 19, maybe not even an adult yet. Her nose and lip were pierced with thin silver rings, and I thought about my nieces, girls around the same age. My eyes filled with tears. I don’t think she could see them, though, because of my dark sunglasses.

I crouched down next to her with the shopping bag. “Hi,” I said. “I saw you before when I was driving by, and I wanted to bring some things for you. It’s not much, just a few small things to eat, some fresh fruit for you and the baby.” I stopped, not wanting to babble, not trusting myself to say anything more. She put her hand on the handle of the bag. It was shaking.

She looked me in the eye. “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you very much.”

I briefly touched her bare shoulder. I am a touchy person–it comes with being a service provider, a massage therapist, my belief in the healing power of touch. “Take care of yourself now,” I said. “Take care of yourself, and the baby.”

I walked away. I went back to my car with tears streaming down my cheeks. I drove to the bank to run an errand, and my heart felt lighter. My anxiety was gone.

That girl doesn’t realize it, but she was a gift to me. She may not see much in her life to be happy about right now, but she brought some much-needed perspective to mine. She touched me in a way that was deep and profound. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

I feel anxious again today, but I’m going to try not to let it get the best of me. I keep seeing her in my mind, sitting in the dirt, the sun glaring down, her hand on her belly. If she can be calm in the midst of all that, then I certainly can try to find some peace, too. We are two different women in two different sets of circumstances, but we are still connected. Our life journeys are distinctive, but we had a brief moment in time when we were linked. We each gave the other something that was needed. I know I am grateful to her, even though I didn’t say “thanks.”

I’m saying it now.

Monday Message from Merlin 11-8-10


Greetings to you all today! It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to once again touch in with all of you from my place in the planes of the spirit world. I am Merlin, the Master Teacher of this beautiful being called Rose with whom I walk during her life journey. We have been together in many lifetimes, Rose and I, and it is always a blessing to be able to connect with her to share her joys, her challenges, her sorrows, and her triumphs. Like any dear friend, I cheer for her, worry for her, rejoice in her, and love her beyond measure. I tell you all: you, too, have dear ones like this is the spirit world, spirit guides and teachers who wish to get to know you on an intimate level and who want more than anything to help you in your life journey. Welcome them! Talk to them, aloud and in your mind. In both of these methods, they can hear and understand what you say and what you need, and they will work with the best energies possible to bring this to you. You have to ask, however, something that many forget! Do not forget your spirit friends, and understand that the relationship you have with them is like any other: it is worthy of hard work and constant nurturing.

The Wheel of the Year has turned once again, and we are now in autumn, having just celebrated Samhain (your Halloween), the last harvest festival of the year. It is a wonderful time to contemplate what you have reaped from this past cycle of energy. What has come to fruition in your life? Are there unexpected results from energies that you created? Why might this be? What lessons have you learned over this past year, and how have you changed to reflect these lessons? Where do you see your life going in the New Year (the Samhain festival is the end of the Celtic year, and a new year begins once it is celebrated)? What do you hope to accomplish? These are the kinds of questions to consider at this time, and sitting in quiet thought and meditation is extremely important during this phase of the year. It is during this quiet time when we become re-focused on the inner self, the spiritual journey, the struggle and growth of the soul. It is right that this happens, for this is our greatest challenge as human beings, and it is for this reason that you came into a physical body in this lifetime. No one can answer these questions for you, but the answers are all within you–you just have to go within and pull them out! It may not seem easy, and sometimes, it is not. But this is your quest, your mission, and no one can do it for you. Not even your spirit guides, who love you beyond your understanding, can tell you exactly what you need at this time in your soul’s growth. Your guides will support you as you undergo this process, however, so call on them when you need assistance. Help shall be yours! But do not be afraid of the dark, inner recesses of your self, your shadow soul. Some are afraid to strip away the layers of protection that they put around themselves in the everyday world. It is only in doing this, however, that you discover the true essence of who you are and who you are meant to be. Give yourself time and space to do this work. Meditate, pray, contemplate–these are the quiet moments that are ideal for discovery and soul work. You must make the time to do this if you ever hope to achieve any spiritual understanding in your world. But know that if you do this work, if you are diligent and strong, you WILL find the answers you need, and you WILL achieve a greater sense of peace and understanding of the awesome Force, our beloved and wise Creator, all around you!

My dear friends, be at peace with this process. It is one that takes a long time and much concerted effort. You will be doing this for the rest of this lifetime and even into the lifetimes beyond this one, for it is the nature of humanity to keep learning and growing. When total consciousness is achieved, there will be nothing else to work for–you will be One with Creator. Enjoy the time you have now to truly explore and learn about yourself and all of the marvelous energies surrounding you. Follow what your heart says; find joy and allow your soul to sing in this joy as much as you possibly can. These actions elevate your spirit and your energy vibration, bringing you to a state of great spiritual bliss. How lovely is that?

Beloved ones, I thank you for your attention and for reading these words today. I send you peace, love, and blessings from the world of spirit, and I know I will be with you once again soon. Until then, be well and know how very loved you are!

In Light always,


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