Posts tagged: teaching

Cool Stuff Coming Up

Hello blog world! Just thought I’d quickly update here. I’m busybusybusy getting ready for the Victory of Light Expo this Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18. This is the largest expo in the Cincinnati area, and it’s chock-full of exciting lectures, shopping, healers, and readers. Come out and experience the wonderful energy, do some holiday shopping, get some guidance from Spirit, and learn something new! I will be doing private readings for $35 (per 15 minutes) in my booth as well as selling and signing all of my metaphysical books. I will also lecture on Saturday at 12 noon on “Life on the Other Side” (including Spirit messages for the audience), and on Sunday, I will participate in a Gala Mediumship Demonstration with several other mediums starting at 1 pm.

I am also very excited that this weekend, my wonderful partner, Joanne Franchina of Inner Compass, and I will unveil our new year-long Mediumship Mastery Program. This is a serious instruction program geared for anyone who is committed to becoming a psychic medium. I will have more details next week after we present it all at the Expo this weekend, so stay tuned.

With that, I send you all peace, love, and blessings!!

Summer So Far

Ye gods! I just realized that the last time I posted on my blog was MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND!

I am a blog loser.

Well, I won’t beat myself up too much. It’s been a busy summer. I hit the ground running in June when my boys wrapped up their school year, and I traveled to Pennsylvania to teach a Tarot workshop for my good friend Gloria at her beautiful Spirit Education Center and Sanctuary. When I came home, I was ready to party with my theatre friends to celebrate the end of another successful community theatre season here in Cincinnati. By that time, it was July, and I celebrated my birthday with good friends in Columbus, Ohio. Here’s a glimpse of the festivities:

Yummy cake batter-flavored martinis created by my friend Jonathan. And  my husband baked a yellow cake with homemade caramel icing. I know, you’re jealous!

Once my birthday was over, it was time to pack and head to beautiful Lily Dale, New York to teach some workshops. I never tire of walking the lovely grounds there, working for Spirit at the outdoor message services, and meeting new people to share ideas and experiences. If you are at all interested in metaphysics, you should definitely plan a trip to Lily Dale for a future summer holiday. Here are some photos that might capture your interest:

The welcoming gate sign at the entrance to Lily Dale.

The Lily Dale Auditorium, where many famous speakers and mediums have addressed crowds.

The lovely Healing Temple, a space filled with amazing peaceful healing vibrations.

A gorgeous view of the lake from the Lily Dale grounds.

One of the gorgeous Victorian homes on the grounds. Need a new place to live?

While in Lily Dale, I also got to meet up with one of my best buddies, my dear friend, fellow author Char Chaffin. Without Char, my novel Merlyn’s Raven would not have seen the light of day. Here we are together for breakfast:

Photo taken by Char’s wonderful husband, Don, who was good enough to share his wife with me that morning. 

My workshops were well-received, and I truly enjoyed my time at Lily Dale. Coming home just last week, I celebrated my 22nd wedding anniversary with my husband. And now I realize it’s time to get back in the swing of things here at home. Only a few more weeks of summer remain until my boys go back to school. Time moves so fast, and we are left with our jaws hanging open, saying, “When did that happen?”

I have quite a few more things on my plate this summer. I am offering a one-day Tarot class on Saturday, August 4 at my office. I am starting a 6-week Mediumship Development class for beginners on Wednesday, August 8. On Saturday, August 18, I will go to Camp Chesterfield in Indiana to teach a 3-hour workshop on Protection. Lexington, Kentucky is my last destination of the summer, when I travel to Patti Starr’s Mystical Paranormal Fair on Saturday, August 25 for a book signing and gallery-style message event. Details for all of these events are available at the websites tagged above or on my website’s events calendar. If you are in the neighborhood and so inclined, I hope you’ll join me for some summer fun.

So now, I’ve got to wrap up this blog. My boys are learning to drive this summer, and it’s time to leave for our dental check-ups. The Universe continues to bless me with plenty to keep me busy. I hope you find the blessings in your everyday life, too.

See you soon!

 

The Powerful I AM

 

I am currently preparing for the publication of my first novel, Merlyn’s Raven, and I am doing a lot of online interviews that will go up around the time of that publication on April 17. Inevitably, in every interview, I start by answering the following prompt: “Tell us a little about yourself.” Often, my response starts with, “I am a wife, a mother…” etc., and I go on defining myself through these “I am” statements. This brought to my mind the topic for this post, which I also spoke about at my church, the USCL, yesterday.

I AM is a very bold statement. It is a statement of identity. When we proclaim I AM, it clearly defines us in a very specific way. When we use an I AM statement, we are declaring a truth about ourselves. “I am a wife.” “I am a mother.” “I am an accountant/truck driver/lawyer/counselor/soccer player” etc., whatever the case may be. We are confidently declaring to the world how we see ourselves and how we expect to be seen by others.

Interestingly, these I AM statements come directly from Creator. In Exodus 3:13, we read the following:

But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them? God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you.”

(The Harper Collins Study Bible)

In this passage, God goes on to tell Moses to call him THE LORD, which translates to the Hebrew letters YHWH, which we say as YAHWEH. This is connected to the Hebrew verb “hayah,” which means “to be.” What is God saying here? Many scholars believe He is commenting on His infinite nature, the fact that God is and always will be. He is commenting on the fact that everything is connected to God and has within it the essence of God, for in order for anything “to be,” it must have the essence of being, which is ultimately God. Whew. That’s very deep, isn’t it? Let’s come back to that concept in a moment.

When I was writing my book about Metatron, I included a section of channeled writings directly from the Archangel. When I did this through automatic writing, I went into an altered state and simply typed whatever Metatron channeled through me. I noticed something very interesting after I read these passages in my “normal” state: any time Metatron made an I am statement, he capitalized both words: I AM. He did this every time. I have no memory of this, but it was obviously important. When I asked Metatron about this, he said that he was affirming in a visual way his connection to Creator, the ultimate I AM, and that we should all recognize our inherent connection to Creator this way. By saying I AM, we are affirming our Divinity and opening a channel for God’s grace, wisdom, healing, and power to flow through us. In other words, we ourselves are God.

Wow!

That’s a very powerful and very profound thought, isn’t it? We ourselves are God. We ourselves are infinite and powerful. We ourselves are capable of anything and everything, just as God is capable of anything and everything.

I was thinking about this and how Jesus used this statement, too. In John 14: 4-10, we read the following:

“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I AM in the Father and the Father is in me?’

Unlike some people, I don’t believe in this passage that Jesus is telling his disciples that he is the only way for people to connect with God. I believe he is using himself as an example of the fulfillment of the I AM energy, the great reflection of the God potential in us all. Jesus says boldly, I AM THE WAY. He is affirming that the way to God, to Infinite Intelligence, is within him, and he is reminding us that it is within all of us. Jesus holds himself up as an example and asks us to follow this example. He asks us to affirm to ourselves our I AM presence, our I AM divinity. He asks us to go within and nurture this divine essence, to honor it, and to allow it to lead us to higher spiritual truths and understandings. He reminds us that God is within us all by showing us how he and God are connected. As the great Master Teacher that he is, Jesus instructs us in how to deeply appreciate the connection within that God has gifted to every one of us.

So we come back to the concept of “being.” What are we being? When we use an I AM statement, we are affirming a reality. Can we not then use an I AM statement to create a new and better reality? I believe we can. I believe this is what affirmation statements are all about. I can’t say enough about the power of changing our thoughts into positive statements of intention. I believe this makes such a difference because we are directly tapping into divine energy every time we say I AM in an affirmation. And how can we not bring positive power to our intention if we are accessing the ultimate divine energy?

So today, I urge you to make a commitment to yourself. Promise yourself that you will access this divine energy every day in using personal affirmation, I AM statements. They can be whatever you want or need them to be, but make a point to state them out loud. This is prayer energy mixed with intention energy. This is direct access to our powerful God-source energy within. And this is what Creator tells us is possible for us. What are we waiting for? Let’s use this immensely powerful gift from God!

So try this for yourself. I have listed here some powerful I AM statements. If one doesn’t resonate for you, your Higher Self will know it, and it will not affirm that. That’s OK—use and affirm the statements that are right for you at this time. Or make up some of your own. But use the powerful I AM energy to create a new and better life for yourself.

I AM powerful.

I AM beautiful.

I AM Divine.

I AM strong.

I AM healthy.

I AM smart.

I AM peaceful.

I AM prosperous.

I AM creative.

I AM abundant.

I AM successful.

I AM happy.

I AM joyful.

I AM stress-free.

I AM loving.

I AM loved.

My place is the no-place

My image is without face


Neither of body nor the soul


I am of the Divine Whole.

                  –Rumi 116

 

Standing Up For Love and Compassion

These past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of reading online about the tragic suicides of children who have been bullied. This has been particularly prevalent in the gay community, and it breaks my heart to hear about the suffering that some children endure because they do not fit the mold that society has created. What is even more tragic to me is that many children just don’t see how wrong bullying is, and although they may not be bullies themselves, they perpetuate the negative cycle of energy by standing by in silence while a peer bullies someone else.

I can relate to this. I think I did this myself as a child. I didn’t do it out of malice. I did it out of ignorance and fear. I didn’t want anyone to make fun of me, and I thought if I was friendly to the kids who were singled out, then I would be picked on, too. No child wants to endure taunts and laughter at the time in their lives that they most want to fit in. This doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it does help us to understand why kids remain silent when someone around them is being bullied.

There were children at my grade school who were the targets of bullying behavior. I don’t remember one child well at all. Being a girl, I didn’t pay much attention to the boys in my class until well into sixth grade, and by that time, he was gone. I realize now it was probably because he was bullied so much that his parents placed him in another school. I do remember my 5th grade teacher having a very serious talk with our entire class about this boy and the terrible teasing that some people were inflicting upon him. Mr. R. was a teacher who usually used humor in the classroom, and I usually enjoyed his classes. That day, however, he was livid, and he really let us have it for making this boy’s life a living hell. And even though I didn’t really understand how I had contributed to this since I rarely engaged with any boy in my class, I realize now, as an adult, that cluelessness is really no excuse when someone is in pain. But kids are very self-absorbed, and I certainly was no exception.

I do remember another girl, however, mostly in 7th and 8th grade. She was quiet and nice, and she had a sense of humor, but she was constantly teased because of her weight. She was very heavy, and no one let her forget it. I don’t remember ever calling her names or making fun of her size, but I certainly remember others taunting her and saying mean things. And I am now ashamed to say I did nothing to stop it. I’m sure I probably even laughed about it. I’m not proud to say that now, but it’s true. And I realize now just how miserable this girl must’ve been. I am so, so sorry that I wasn’t a better person then–more mature, more confident, more compassionate.

This is a real dilemma. We are adults now, and hopefully, we ourselves have outgrown this awful, immature behavior. But now we have kids of our own, and it’s our responsibility to make the world not just safe for them, but for all the children around us. How do we help kids to be more compassionate? How do we break this terrible cycle of abuse so that no more children die thinking there is no other way out of it?

I have tried very hard with my own boys to help them understand the importance of love and compassion. Both of my boys have wicked senses of humor; like their father and me, they use sarcasm to get laughs, and it works quite well. But I hope we’ve also been able to instill in them an understanding of when humor is appropriate and when it isn’t. I do doubt myself sometimes, though. I suppose we have to keep the lines of communication open so that we can continue to have these important conversations with our kids. I hope that our boys at least understand that seeing each individual as a divine being only cultivates a more loving environment for everyone.

But as adults, we need to school not just our own children, but those that are around us. A few years ago, I taught a drama class at my boys’ old grade school. The class was for 7th and 8th graders, which everyone knows can be a challenging age. I had several boys in my class, and one day, as we were walking outside to go and do an acting exercise, I heard several of the boys saying things like, “Oh, he’s such a fag.” My heart stopped beating for a second, and then it jumped so far in my throat I could barely breathe. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. I grew up in a time when we said, “That’s so gay” in a way that meant it was stupid. It was a completely derogatory thing to say. At the time, I didn’t even know what it meant to be gay, and when I finally understood what homosexuality was, and had met and befriended several gay people, I was ashamed to realize I had used this idiotic phrase as a younger person. But I had never, ever used the term “fag,” and I was absolutely appalled to hear my students say this.

I immediately stopped walking and called all the kids around me. I said, in the most calm voice I could muster, “I just heard a word that I can’t believe I heard. I just heard someone say the word ‘fag’ in a derogatory manner. I don’t care who said it or for what reason, but I’m going to tell you all something right now, and I want you to remember it from now on. I don’t ever, ever want to hear that word in this class again. Calling someone a fag is not funny. It’s a hurtful, awful word, and it’s insulting to a whole group of people who deserve love and respect just as much as anyone else does. Have I made myself clear?”

The whole group was looking at me with huge, surprised eyes. No one answered me. I asked again, “Do you understand?” They all nodded silently, solemnly.

I made an impression that day. Thank God I did it. Maybe I helped someone in the class. Maybe I helped a gay kid feel better; maybe I helped a bully have a moment of compassion. But I know that by standing up and not accepting that as a normal, OK thing, I made a difference.

I hope that you will consider doing this, too. Talk to the kids around you about bullying behaviors. Help them to understand that silence and acceptance of bullying behavior is no better than being an outright bully. If they are being bullied, help them to find resources so that the environment changes. Be clear with them about the importance of love and compassion for all.

Because this is how Creator sees us. We’re all unique, and yet we’re all Children of the Light. We are all Divine. We need to start treating each other that way. Each and every one of us.

Blessings to you all.

purple

On Being a Teacher and Role Model

I’m teaching this weekend at Camp Chesterfield, where I received my mediumship certification in 2000. These papers declare me tried, tested, and true at talking to dead people. There’s a special thrill that comes with being invited and allowed to teach at the place where you worked so hard to prove yourself worthy of a special designation, a special identity, especially one as enigmatic as “Medium Missionary.” It is a great honor to move from the place at the feet of the teacher to the spot on the stump where the instructor sits.

Merlin spoke the other day on this blog about how we’re all teachers, and I’ve been thinking about those words as I prepare for my weekend. It is a great responsibility to be a formal teacher for someone. Students listen and take to heart everything that you tell them. They base decisions that they make in their lives on information and material that you present to them. In many ways, the responsibilities of being a psychic reader or medium are the same; what you present to people must be given in the spirit of divine service and the highest intentions possible. In the end, it is the student’s responsibility to use that information in the best way possible, but you, the teacher, must still be a role model. And it’s an avocation I take very seriously.

I wasn’t always like that. In college, where I studied theatre education and student taught at various high schools, I didn’t want to be a role model. I wanted to be a friend. I wanted to be the “cool” teacher. I wanted the kids to like me more than I wanted to work hard and, in turn, to challenge them. Maybe this is why I never taught once I graduated. I couldn’t find a teaching job, perhaps because Creator saw that I wasn’t ready for the big responsibility, the challenge of being a role model instead of a pal. I can look back on it now, almost 20 years later, and see myself clearly, especially after over 10 years of working in adult and metaphysical education. I have finally reached a point in my life where integrity and responsibility are integral to my character, and any responsibility I take on has to fit with that.

I love to teach. I love to share information with others and to experience the excited spark that alights in a student’s eyes when she finally understands something. I love to coach a student as he tries something new, as he pushes his own boundaries and achieves something he never thought possible. It’s the most rewarding feeling in the world. It’s humbling and inspiring and oh so wonderful.

Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to be a role model. It’s hard to always live up to the expectations that others have of you. And when you’re a spiritual teacher, it can be even more challenging. Sometimes people expect you to be perfect. They expect you to have the time and energy to listen to every word of the 2-hour monologue of their life story. They expect you to read 800 pages of their manuscript on spiritual purpose when you can’t even get past the first paragraph because of all the grammatical mistakes (did I mention my degree is in theatre, speech, and English Education?) They expect you to patiently explain to them the Laws of the Universe when you don’t even completely understand them yourself. At times like these, and in many other moments, being a teacher, or any kind of role model, is exhausting and downright onerous.

I have lost patience with some of my teachers, too. I’ve seen people I’ve admired in the past be sullen, rude, or downright nasty to enthusiastic students. I’ve watched clairvoyants I’ve lauded cheat on the platform during public mediumship demonstrations, pretending to do good work and trying to dupe their audiences. Witnessing this has thrown me into self-righteous tirades and made me question not only the character and  sincerity of those people but also my own dedication and faith. How can I support a belief in after-death communication when I see people I thought were true believers resorting to magician’s tricks to get a message? How can I teach these metaphysical concepts and ideas to others when I’m not sure I can even trust what was taught to me?

I’ve come to one conclusion as these questions swirl through my mind: I can only present to others my own experience. I can only pass along information that fits into my understanding. Maybe it will fit theirs; maybe it won’t. That’s not for me to decide. What I can decide, though, is what kind of person, what kind of medium, and what kind of teacher I will be. If I can stay connected to my own inner divinity and honor God within myself, I will stay in integrity and not slip into shoddy practices or methods. If I can hold fast to my principles as a Spiritualist medium and minister, I will be a good role model for those who see my message work, read my books, or hear me speak. If I can be comfortable saying, “I don’t know” to my students, we can discover together the important lessons and mysteries we are trying to understand. These are the things I need to remember, and this is the energy I need to live. I’ll make mistakes sometimes. I may be short-tempered with a student, or I may allow my ego to rule momentarily as I try to be “the best.” But I trust that my higher nature, the part of me that is a divine and perpetual soul, will recognize these slips and pull me back into the better and more productive energy. 

It’s a good goal to have. 

Peace, love, and blessings to all. xo

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