I’m on my walk this morning. It’s a beautiful, crisp fall morning. I put on some Frankie Beverly and Maze and as “Happy Feelings” is playing I do an impromptu 15 minute metta meditation sending love and happy feelings to the world.

As I’m going through my second round of the song, I pass the house of my neighbor with the little white rat terrier dog. The dog is chained in the front yard as it is on most mornings and it’s baring its teeth and barking like it wants to rip the flesh off my bones.  He does it all the time.  It never bothered me much.  In fact, many times I’ve thought of going up to him and trying to make friends.  Until…

A few weeks ago I see the guy who lives in the house come out as I’m walking by. Normally, I’d wave to a neighbor I’m passing, but I see this guy wearing a Trump t-shirt.  Whoa!  I know many of my neighbors voted for Trump. That I can excuse. But, to wear a Trump t-shirt seven months in to this presidency. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. Immediately, I assume the guy must be a racist. And since then, his little white dog must be racist, too.  I glare at the dog as I pass.

OK… deep breaths. This is why we practice metta. It’s easy to love some people. It’s maybe easy to love most. Can I love even the Trump supporters in this time?  Sometimes when practicing metta we run up against resistance and we have to back off a bit.  Maybe we don’t start with the most difficult person we can think of. In this case, I send love to his little dog and go about my day.  Hey, one step at a time.

Tonight is Senior Day for the girls’ volleyball team. This would be Shayna’s Senior Day.  The coach of the varsity team has been amazing since Shayna’s passing. She has not only stayed in touch. She has come by the house numerous times.  She creates mementos for us and the team.  She invites us to the team’s special occasions. Tywana goes. i can’t bring myself to go there.  I’ve only been back in the high school once since Shayna passed.  It was for the honors awards presentations the first year after we passed when we gave out her scholarship.  I won’t go back. The memories of her being in that gym and being announced number 16 in a class of over 600 are still too fresh. She was good friends with number 15 and told her she had her sights set on her.  Walking through the door takes me right back to that night.  Just two months later, she wouldn’t be with us anymore.  We had no idea.

Shayna only played one year of volleyball, as a freshman. She had just started playing that summer.  She not only made the team, she started. The varsity coach apparently had her eye on her because even though Shayna never played for Coach Kornau, she still remembers Shayna three years later.  I’m glad this senior year is coming to an end. I appreciate the school remembering Shayna, but it just reminds me of what we are missing. Soon, her friends will graduate and be going off to college and that chapter will close.

Tywana goes to the volleyball Senior Day then out for wine club, I mean book club.  Wine club was last night.  One of Shayna’s teammates from her AAU team is on the team Lakota West is playing against.   These days I’m home alone a lot. I eat dinner alone and watch some TV, anything to pass the time until it’s finally time to go to bed and drift into the bliss of sleep. I miss making dinners for the Tywana and the girls. I miss watching TV with them. I knew the empty nest thing was coming up. I just didn’t expect it this soon and I do not like it.  Two years later, coming up on three and it’s no easier.

It’s late September and the air is getting cool.  The kids are back in school.  The leaves are changing and beginning to tumble to the ground.  It used to be that, autumn depressed me. I hated to see the summer go. I don’t like the cold of winter.  That’s different now. Fall, winter, spring, next summer, the days cannot pass fast enough.

After just over a year of holding Helping Parents Heal meetings at Unity of Garden Park in Cincinnati, Tywana and I have come to the difficult conclusion that that is not the path for us right now. We discovered Helping Parents Heal not too long after Shayna passed. We drove to Columbu (two hours) s for our first meeting. There were four of us there; the two leaders, Tywana and me. A month later, they announced the Columbus group would no longer be meeting. We were willing to drive the two hours to meet with like minded parents going through the same thing, but apparently not a lot of people were.

Around this same time, we had a vacation in Phoenix, AZ where Elizabeth Boisson, the co-founder of HPH lives. We were interested in being part of the organization and since there were no longer any affiliates in Ohio or Kentucky, we saw this as an opportunity for us to serve by becoming affiliate leaders. We decided to take a few months to publicize our group before holding our first meeting. We printed up flyers that we distributed to hospitals, churches, the funeral home that handled Shayna’s services, and anyone else we could think of. We submitted a release to local newspapers. We secured an interview on a local radio show.

In the months that have passed since then, Tywana and I have sat in the room alone as often as we’ve had people actually in attendance.  It’s not about the numbers, but the most we had in a meeting was probably about five or six parents.  We were willing to be there for one.  But, being there, holding a space for no one doesn’t make  lot of sense.

A couple of weeks ago I emailed the list of people who had attended. I asked if they would prefer another day, another time, another location, or if they were just not interested in meeting face-to-face. Two of the people who have attended are very active in our on-line group.  Only one person wrote me back. She said she’d be more likely to attend if the meetings were closer.  I don’t know exactly where she lives, but the meetings are about 25 minutes from our house. I think they’re probably 35-40 minutes for her.  Oh well…

So, I reluctantly contacted the church that has given us the space and told them after this coming Sunday we would no longer need the space. I termed it “suspending” the meetings rather than cancelling them because I am hopeful with almost 10,000 people in the national organization and over 1,800 in our on-line group, we will someday have demand for the local meetings.

It feels like a failure. But, we do what we can do. We held the space.   I know we helped some people. Even if we helped only one, it was worth it.  No regrets. But, it’s time to shut it down.

Tywana and I have already taken on a new role. A couple of months ago, we became co-leaders for the on-line group.  We’ve already had more than half a dozen very successful on-line meetings, the last one topping out at over 125 people.  I’m experimenting with offering an on-line class. I expected maybe a dozen people would sign up.  So far dozens have expressed interest.

One door closes, another opens.  Isn’t that just the way it is?

Last week, we had a family reunion in Phoenix, AZ. This wasn’t the blood type of family.  This is family bound by covenant. These are people in our Soul Group who were not born into our human family tree. Shortly after Shayna passed, Tywana and I connected with Helping Parents Heal which connected us to Mark Pitstick and Suzanne Giesemann, which connected us to…. and on and on…  Bonds for life have been formed.

By the time we heard about the Afterlife Research and Education Institute Symposium, we knew of or had connected with just about all of the presenters and many of the attendees.  Roberta Grimes is a member of the board. She’s like an old friend to me, even though I had never laid eyes on her in person until last week. We met two bereaved mothers in Florida in February that I’ve been working with at both Helping Parents Heal and the SoulPhone foundation.  They were going to be in attendance. All in all, I think there were about a dozen people we knew from Helping Parents Heal who were at the conference.

The conference itself did not disappoint.  The first annual event for this organization sold out with over 500 attendees from all over the world.  Some of the top researchers and educators in the field of the “afterlife” presented, most of whom I had heard speak several times before due to the magic of YouTube and podcasts, but to meet them face-to-face was really cool.  I co-moderate a group for Cyrus Kirtkpatrick, a young pioneer in out of body experiences and the author of Understanding Life After Death.  Cyrus and I have communicated over Facebook a bunch, but I had never even heard his voice until last week.  He was one of the presenters as well.  Susanne Wilson, in a reading I had with her a year and a half ago told me that one day I’d be working with Victor Zammit. She said she didn’t know if that was a literal or a symbolic thing, but there was Victor Zammit with his wife Wendy, all the way from Australia.  They were so busy during the conference, I didn’t impose to introduce myself, but I did get a Facebook friend request from Victor a couple of days ago. Victor and Wendy are tireless teachers and researchers in the field of the afterlife.

Topics at the conference covered everything from the nature of consciousness, to mediumship (physical and mental), to end of life planning, to out of body experiences, to the nature of orbs, to race relations (thanks to Roberta).

On the final day of the conference, Roberta Grimes gave a presentation on the “new spirituality”.  Many of at the conference were Christians or former Christians. So, the talk of a new spirituality may have triggered that fear that was planted in us about being “deceived”.  Was this conference the forming of some new type of cult? Are we being led astray?  These are serious considerations. So, I reflected on the messages of the conference. After all, Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. Right?

All weekend long if there were two words that summed up all of the presentations they are “love” and “service”.  I could not attend every session, because many overlapped. But, every presenter I remember hearing spoke about how we are all here to serve each other and that, in the end, it’s all about love. The energy at a conference, ostensibly about death, was amazingly high. There was a film crew there shooting a documentary and I heard they commented on the energy and the love that was flowing among the attendees.  I was part of the Helping Parents Heal group that hung out during the convention and I heard that people kept asking “Who is that happy group over there in the corner of the lobby?” Some even asked how they could join. Well, you don’t want to know.   To join, you have to have had a child make her transition before you. We have suffered the ultimate loss. But, that loss has bonded us together.  As we joined at this conference to reinforce the knowing that there is no death, we celebrated that knowledge and we encouraged each other to go forth from there with the absolute assurance that our kids are still with us, even if not in physical form, and that we will see them again one day, soon enough.

Roberta told us the new spirituality is about knowing that we are eternal beings who never began and never will end and that we are infinitely loved. Then, she told us the best way to be the best humans we can be is to follow…. wait for it…. Jesus. Don’t get it twisted. This doesn’t mean going back to Christianity with its judgment and original sin and Jesus being murdered for our sins. It’s to follow the actual teachings of Jesus.

We ended the conference with a ritual that Dr. Mark Pitstick introduced me to in April- The Angel Wash.  How to describe the angel wash? If you’ve never experienced it, words just will not do.  What you experience is unconditional love like most of us have never felt, from a room full of “strangers”. The energy is almost overwhelming. Grown men openly weep. People release years of baggage in just a few minutes.  At this particular angel wash, I got to be on the sending end of the ritual starting people down the line.  It was an amazing experience to whisper unconditional love into a perfect stranger’s ear and have them receive it.  If you ever get the chance to do an Angel Wash, make sure you do.

Sunday rolled around way too soon and the conference was over.  We ended with a farewell dinner at the house of two of the parents from Helping Parents Heal.  Roberta asked me if I am going to be at the conference next year.  Normally, I’d hedge my bets. I might not be alive next year. Money’s tight. We did just do this one and we’re already planning a trip to Arizona for April.  But, without hesitation, I said yes.  Can’t miss it.

Last night, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across a memory from three years ago.  It was Shayna and Kayla at the first family weekend Kayla had at UT.  In fact, it would be the only one Shayna would attend, in the flesh.  I look at pictures of Shayna all day every day from my screensaver on my computer, to my lock screen on my phone, to her pictures in the foyer. But, some pictures impact me more than others. I hadn’t seen this one in a while. She is staring straight into the camera with those eyes that could pierce my soul, and it brought me immediately to tears.  Man, do I miss her. Most of the time it’s tolerable at this point. But, there are those moments…

As I always do, I said good night to her as I stepped out onto the deck to let the dogs out for the night.  I usually say good night to her as I close the bedroom door, as I did when she was going to sleep down the hall.  But, I seemed to hear her say to me “Why do you tell me good night?”.

A couple of days ago I was in a video meeting with James Van Praagh.  He said that every night as we sleep our spirits slip out of our bodies. I’ve heard this before. This is the time when we visit with our loved ones, and our guides. This is the time when we “dream”. We don’t remember most of this. Sleep is a funny thing.  We think of it as a time for the body to rest. But, why would the body need to rest? And when we’re asleep, it’s not like the body is off.  Lots of stuff is going on in the body. Most processes continue right through our sleep. In some ways, in some states of sleep, our brains are actually more active than when we are awake. One theory I have heard of why we sleep is being in this body is hard for our spirits. Sleep isn’t a time for our body to rejuvenate, it’s time for our spirits to rejuvenate. We take little trips Home every night to recharge, plan, visit, and recuperate. We just don’t remember them. When I woke this morning, I had the distinct impression I was with Shayna during my sleep, but I have no memory of it.

I’ll probably continue to say good night to Shayna every night.  It’s a habit at this point. But, instead of saying goodbye, I should probably be saying hello.

I’m gonna get in trouble with this one. So be it. The notion of the law of attraction, that our thoughts create our reality, positive thinking, name it and claim it, all of it; I’ve never really gotten it.  I attend a church that is pretty big on this concept. I was in a small group a week or so and we discussed it. A couple of people there talked about how they had manifested things in their lives.  And I openly had to tell them I not only don’t understand how this works, I don’t think it does. I’m past having to understand how something works to believe it works.  I believe our consciousness survives physical death and goes into another realm.  But, I don’t think the law of attraction works the way many claim it does. Not only that, it’s not supposed to.  So, now is when you say “Well, if you don’t believe it, it’s not going to work.”

I think people have taken a spiritual law which applies outside of this realm and applied it to this realm. In the life to come, I do believe thoughts have greater power and what we think and do does come into fruition. We can literally manifest our surroundings and other things.  Maybe I Dream of Jeanie or Bewitched (two of my favorite TV programs as a kid were glimpses into that next level.  The bobbing of the head or the twitching of a nose can make things appear.   But, on this level it don’t work that way.  I think teachings about this are misinterpreted to apply to the Earth level. When taken to their logical conclusion just thinking “properly” should guarantee we will never get sick, always have plenty of money, and live a peaceful long, eternal life in the body. Anyone who dies clearly was not thinking properly.  No? You see a big problem with this philosophy is that if you are sick, if you are poor, if you aren’t exactly where you want to be in life, you are lacking in mental/spiritual discipline. If you just thought properly, you’d be OK.  Did these people read the book of Job? His buddies kept saying “Job, you’ve got some secret sin dude.  You sinned against God. Repent.”  Job kept coming back “No. I haven’t sinned. This isn’t on me.”

I look at Jesus, the Master.  Jesus healed the sick, made the blind see, made the lame walk. But, two things.  1.) Jesus didn’t cure everyone.  Why not? Why was He selective?  Surely, it wasn’t because He wasn’t capable.  2.) Everyone Jesus cured died; everyone, including Lazarus.  Was Jesus’ mojo not powerful enough?

This world is designed to have pain, to have lack, to have suffering.  And, our bodies are designed to get sick and to die. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.  If we could magically transform the world with our thoughts, it’d be like remodeling an obstacle course used in training. We’ll take the 12′ wall and make it 3′. We’ll replace the cargo net with a ladder. We’ll set the barbed wire crawl at 6′ so instead of crawling we can just walk under it.  What kind of training would that be? What would be the point?

This magical ability would bump up against soul planning and/or divine providence.  We have a path set before us that we’re supposed to take and hardship is built in (for whatever reason).  If we could train our minds to just opt out of it, wouldn’t we?  If we could get to the point where everything we wished for (prayed for) came true, wouldn’t we all take the easy road?  And if God provided everything we wished for (or our Higher Self did), wouldn’t that defeat the soul plan?  Wouldn’t it mean that we, in our human form with our limited knowledge and short term perspective, we know better than God what is good for us? God would go from being sovereign providing the best for his children to being no more than a genie in a bottle, our servant.

I’m a pretty big believer in divine providence (and/or soul planning). That is everything is the way it supposed to be and will be the way it’s supposed to be.  Looking around the world, that certainly isn’t evident. There is war, poverty, sickness, racism, homophobia, sexism, and more.  So, is this the way it’s supposed to be?  Yes, including the fact that we’re supposed to know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be and work on changing it.  The work is part of it.

I do believe the law of attraction applies in this universe, to some extent. It’s limited. Prayer and right thought can make room for “good” things to happen.  Positive thoughts are better than negative thoughts.  Negative thoughts are harmful. We can attract better people into our lives.  We should strive to be positive and grateful.  But, in this universe, it’s a weak force. It’s easily overridden. If you are having trouble, it’s not because you didn’t think positively enough. Many people prayed for Hurricane Irma to just vanish or steer harmlessly out to see. It didn’t happen.  Right before a major catastrophic event, random number generators will show movement to be less than random.  No one can explain why this happens or why it happens before the event. Clearly, our collective consciousness is having some sort of influence on the physical world. But, the movement is slight and the event happens anyway.  We can’t pray someone into growing an arm back. We can’t think such good thoughts that no one ever takes advantage of us. And, that’s the way it’s supposed to be here.  Think those good thoughts and you’ll create opportunities that you’ll then recognize.  Just don’t expect to manifest the winning Lotto ticket.

I listen to 70s music, a lot.  The 70s station on Sirius gets more play from me than any other station.  Amazon has a 70s station also. When I’m cooking I’ll just ask Alexa to play music from the 70s.

Last night, as we were driving home from dinner, the Sirius XM 70s station played The Eagles’ Hotel California, the song that a lot of music snobs love to hate.  I thought about that as I turned it up because I love that song and I love the Eagles.  Next up was Queen’s Somebody To Love.  I told Tywana how I used to crank Somebody to Love up and listen to it on repeat.  One of my all time favorites. OK. Here is the start of the pattern. Sirius XM- Hotel California followed by Somebody to Love.

Today, I’m in the kitchen making a salad and I say “Alexa, play music from the 70s”.  I can’t recall the first song up, but the second song was Hotel California.  Hmmm… not a big deal I think. The song was huge in the 70s. The odds of getting that on a 70s station are really high.  But, I note I heard it just last night.  Next up is Great Gig In the Sky.  Weird I think. I’m thinking about the afterlife. But, I’m always thinking about the afterlife. Still, how often did this song ever get air play? It’s 4:36 and there are almost no lyrics, just a woman vocalizing in non-English.   Just about the only lyric in the song is:

“And I am not frightened of dying
Any time will do, I don’t mind
Why should I be frightened of dying?
There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime”- at 0:38

I never said I was frightened of dying- at 3:33

This is a little odd.  Now, the question is.  Can you guess the third song in the rotation?  Hint: there is a pattern.

Yep.  You got it. The third song up was “Somebody to Love” by Queen.

The odds of getting Hotel California or Somebody to Love are pretty unremarkable. Both are monster hits. The odds of getting them both, in the same order, back to back on different stations is not so high.  Add in the fact that Sirius is broadcast, so it’s also a matter of timing with Sirius. I had to be listening at the precise time the songs were played yesterday.  The odds of getting Great Gig In The Sky are pretty low. I’m pretty sure that song didn’t even chart in 1973.  Someone do the math on getting Hotel California, followed by Great Gig in the Sky, followed by Somebody To Love with the first and the last being repeated on two different sources, two days in a  row.

I was at a conference for the last three days.  We tacked on a day at the beginning. So, that’s four days of airplanes rides, sleeping in hotels, being in crowds of people, and having to stand and talk to people.  Each of these things on their own can cause me to have panic attacks and I’m going for the trifecta plus for multiple days.  I have some Ativan left over from when Shayna passed two years ago. I have taken them with me on trips before, just in case I needed them to help me sleep or to deal with the stressors, but I haven’t actually taken one while away. I looked to see if taking expired Ativan would hurt me, but I decided to leave them at home.

It’s day two of the conference, my third day there, and I’m doing really well.  I’m not getting a lot of sleep (we were up for 21 hours straight the day we arrived) and I’m still adjusting to Pacific time, but I’m not feeling any ill effects.  I have breakfast by myself.  Yummy.  I had a made to order omelet, fried potatoes, bacon, danishes, yogurt with granola, and decaf coffee.

As I’m sitting in the session that morning, I notice my fingertips are cold and my hands are sweaty.  This was the normal for me in crowds in the past and still  happens sometimes.  But, usually lately my hands are pretty warm, even in crowds. It didn’t happen yesterday in the session.  And, it hasn’t happened for a while.  No big deal. But, I noticed it.  As I leave the session, I’m stopped on the way to the elevator by a friend I’ve known for several months now.  As we’re talking, suddenly my heart starts to race, my head gets very light and my hands are sweating like crazy. I’m feeling dizzy.  I’m in the middle of a full blown panic attack. I’ve never passed out; so, I can’t say know what that feels like, but it feels like I’m going to to lose consciousness or leave my body or just die right here. I still have mild panic attacks every once in a while. This is a really bad one.  I start eyeing the elevator, my escape, which is only a few feet away. “How to smoothly end this conversation and get over there and up to my room?”

The women I’ve been with this weekend are going shopping. We’re in the lobby of the hotel and some of them are gathered there. i just need to say goodbye and make it a few feet to the elevator and no one will ever know.  I’ve never told anyone that I am having a panic attack while I’m having the panic attack. The attention would just make it all the worse.

As all of this is going through my head I hear myself say to my friend “I’m sorry. I’ve got to sit down. I’m having a panic attack.”  My internal voice goes “What did you just say? Why did you tell her?”  But, there is it is. I said it.  Time to go sit down.  I make my way over to a chair in the lobby and sit down. She goes over and tells Tywana who brings me a cup of water.  We continue our conversation. There are a couple of strangers sitting there talking with us.  I have the water.  Slowly, as I engage in the conversation, my heart rate returns to normal, my breathing deepens, and I feel better.  They go off on their shopping trip. I head up to my room, still feeling some lingering effects but feeling much better. I step out on the patio and feel the heat of the Phoenix air which helps bring me back into my body (the hotel air conditioning is cranked way too high for my liking).  I meditate for twenty minutes and I’m back.

Then, i think about this. What caused me to have the panic attack?  I haven’t had one in a while, at least nothing like that. And, why now? I’m feeling really comfortable with the people I’m with, many of whom are like old friends. The energy in the conference is amazing loving and welcoming.  I was talking to someone I’ve only known for a few months, but it seems like it’s been years.  Then, it dawns on me.  I drink decaffeinated coffee because I’m practically allergic to caffeine. I’m very careful about how much caffeine I ingest and I usually avoid it all together. A fear I have is i’m going to order decaf and someone is going to give me regular.  And I know how careless people can be when making decaf and regular at the same time. “Who cares if the caffeine people get decaf or vice versa?”  I’m pretty sure that coffee I had this morning was not decaf. That would explain the sweaty palms in the session.  As long as I was sitting down, I could handle it. But, the combination of standing and talking and the air conditioning in the hotel with the rich amount of caffeine I’m pretty sure is what started the cycle.  Once a panic attack is in motion, it has a mind of its own.

Then, the deeper reason hit me.  The person I was talking with reads my blog.   A lot of people read my blog and think I’m so strong, I’m doing so well (I’m not sure how that happens, but it does. They tell me).  I think maybe the panic attack happened at that moment so she would know I’m just as vulnerable as she is.  I could have escaped. I’m really good at hiding when these things happen and finding a way of slipping away.  I’ve been dealing with them 40 years on and off and I’ve never told anyone before while I was having one.  Why did I do it then?  This is the conclusion I have come to.  It was for her benefit and for mine. For me, it was a step forward in being more real and vulnerable. I haven’t told anyone before because it would make me look weak and that’s not the image I want to portray.  So, to make matters worse, now Spirit tells me I’m suppose to write about the panic attack.  Not only does one other person know, two counting Ty, I’m supposed to tell the entire world (well the subset that reads my blog).  C’mon.

So, yeah. There’s that. Panic attack.  Weird.

This weekend I’ve been at the Afterlife Research and Education Conference. The conference itself has been outstanding with the top experts in afterlife research making appearances.

As our questions about the afterlife are answered, one question remains and keeps coming up over and over again.  If the afterlife is so idyllic, why the hell do we come here to do this?  Not only do we do it once.  We do it over and over again. Not only do we keep repeating it, we plan in the pain. We even plan for things as masochistic as the death of a child.

There is not on answer to this question of why. The best theories are that we do this for personal development or growth. Roberta Grimes likes to say this is just a bad afternoon in the gym.  Another prominent theory is we do it for excitement or adventure. It’s boring being in perfection all the time.  We want to experience separation. We want to experience lack. We want to experience pain.  These answers are ultimately focused on the self.  We want to grow so we can be better than others  or at least better than we are now.  We want to advance to the higher levels.  Or, this is just a play for our amusement or a trip to a sometimes scary Disney World.   I think it’s a little of both of those things.  But, what I’m coming around to is the main reason is we come here to serve and to love. Personal development is great because it increases our capacity to serve in greater and greater ways. The strong we become, the more we can empathize, the more we can serve.

This weekend, the conference within the conference has been me hanging out with a group of warrior women from Helping Parents Heal.  Colorado Beth, Hawaii Beth, Colleen, Heidi, Irene, Lynn Maryann, Sara,Sue, Terri,Tracy and Tywana are all with Helping Parents Heal. Each of us has had the experience of the “loss” of a child. Don’t ask me why there are no men here. It is what it is.  Some of these women I have known for a few months, even though the bond is so strong it seems like several years.  Some I have known via social media.  Some I only met a few days ago.

Last night, after the agenda for the day was over, we went over to Whole Foods, grabbed some prepared foods and came back to the hotel where we sat on the patio and shared food and a glass or six of wine.  As I looked around the circle, I was reminded of the mini series  Band of Brothers. This is a band of sisters, and Brian. We are on a mission.  Maryann told us that she is descended from the Spartans, appropriate for the mission she is on.  As we were discussing what we are doing here, I reminded Colonel Beth (not a metaphor, she is an actual Colonel in the US military) that we signed up for this mission. We have to see it through. These are the bravest of the brave. They did not comes here to have fun. Nor did they come here simply for their own personal growth. Sara tells us she and Scott, her son who passed away at the age of 19, have done this numerous times. You don’t do that for fun. And I really don’t believe Sara is a slow learner that needed to repeat the same lesson again and again to get it. She does it to heal the world, as we all do. As much as we hate to say it, and more so hate to hear it, we have probably done it before and we will probably do it again.

As we sat in the circle last night we took a break from our mission of saving the world, but we didn’t stop serving.  We served each other. We have all been battered and bloodied on the mission. We took a night to dress our wounds. We shared our stories. And what stories they are. The tales are so fantastic that anyone who hasn’t had these experiences wouldn’t believe them. Colleen shared stories that would be cut from a Hollywood script because the audience would never believe 26 feathers would fall from the sky to show a skeptic Austin is still here.  The stories are also too numerous to tell here.  These are not one offs.  They are not rarities. We are being assisted and guided on this mission.  As we shared the stories, the magic that the universe tries to hide, making us believe life is all random and chance, was exposed.  I was spontaneously filled with gratitude for this revelation. People keep telling me to “practice” gratitude. “Being grateful will raise your vibrational level and draw good things to you.”  Well, gratitude comes hard to a parent who has “lost” a child.  I’ve seen parents faking it, posting sweet affirmations on Facebook trying to convince themselves and the wold they are feeling something they are not. For me, gratitude comes  naturally when I step back a bit. When I remember I am not just the human who will live here, I am the Observer who planned this whole thing and am, slowly, day by day fulfilling my mission, when I trust in that, in spite of the appearances, that is when the gratitude comes naturally.

We comforted each other as well as sharing our stories. We reminded each other of the bigger picture that is so easy to forget in the day to day skirmishes.  As we sat there talking I got the feeling the plan was coming together. I love words.  The word coalesce came into my head.  We had just seen Suzanne Giesemann channel a group of advanced beings she calls Sanayyah. I wonder if perhaps we are a Sanayyah in the making.  I’ve been told that on, the levels above the astral planes, people instead of identifying as individuals identify as a collective.

Sanayyyah reminded us that, while our children’s “deaths” are tragic from our human perspective, they are no tragic from the perspective of the soul.  They are opportunities for growth.  More importantly, they are opportunities for service.  And, each and every one of these brave women is serving with honor.

As I sat in the circle, lyrics from a Don Henley song played on a loop in my head.

You think this is love
Your education starts today
So you think this is love?
So tell me
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you want it?
Not bad enough
So you put a hold on happiness
… a day, a week, a year
You got to bring somethin’ to this party, boy
If you party here.

Yeah, to be a part of this party, you got to bring something all right. We have all paid a dear price to be in this circle.  We have put a hold on our personal happiness.  It’s a temporary hold. We will have this party again in the Summerland one day and we will have some stories to tell then!  I wonder if they have boxed wine in the Summerlands.

As I got my download this morning, the title for this post came to me.  A couple of options presented themselves.   “To Serve Man” is the title of an episode of the Twilight Zone. In the episode, humans find a book left behind by an alien.  They translate the title to find out it says To Serve Man.  The twist is the book is not a book about serving, but it’s a cookbook.  But, that’s not important to my tale today.  I liked the title. As I sat alone at breakfast on the patio, I overheard a conversation between two women at the table next to me. They were marveling about the advancements of technology. One said to the other “Isn’t it amazing. I can download any episode I want of Twilight Zone to my phone and play it whenever I want.”  What?  Did she just mention Twilight Zone?   I’m not even amazed by the synchronicities anymore.  I am grateful for them. I note them and I cherish them.  But, I know they will just keep coming as the plan unfolds itself and we serve until the mission is complete.

p.s.- I like to get two events before I call something a synchronicity. Otherwise, it could be random chance. Either two validations of the triggering thing or two triggers each with a validation. Tonight, after the farewell party, we were being driven back to our hotel. Suzanne was talking about “the heart” and just then Don Henley’s The Heart of the Matter came on the radio. The radio volume was pretty low and I don’t think I would have noticed had she not pointed out the coincidence. What I didn’t tell anyone is that I had made a Don Henley reference in this post this morning and was actually considering another Don Henley song as the title. Synchronicity number two. Validation noted.

Einstein told us reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one. Physicists tell us time is an illusion, a side effect of the Big Bang. Afterlife researchers tell us there is no time on the Other Side.

Time is one of life’s great mysteries, for me. It’s been over two years since Shayna passed 814 days to be exact. In some ways it seems like it’s no time. I can still recall moments of that day as if they happened five minutes ago. Yet, when it comes to the longing for the time to pass quickly so I can go Home, time drags on.

The other day I got up and was trying to get out of the house to get my walk in before the rain. But, I got on Facebook and started responding to comments. I wanted to be out by a certain time. But, I wanted to get my thoughts out while they were in my head. As I sat there, typing, absorbed in the world of the conversations I was engaged in, I wanted to freeze time. It felt as if no time was passing at all. Yet, when I looked up at the clock in spite of my perception, in spite of my wishes, 20 minutes had come and gone.

Yesterday, we traveled to Phoenix. Our flight was at 6:30 AM, which meant we had to be up by 4:00. We left Cincinnati at 6:30 and through the magic of man made time zones, arrived in Phoenix at 7:05, compressing three and a half hours of time into just half an hour. We were at the hotel by 8:00 and having breakfast in Phoenix by 9:00 local time. All day long we looked at our watches marvelling at how it felt like it wa at least five or six hours later than it really was. Between rising three hours early and “gaining” three hours traveling across time zones, the day seemed like it wwould never end. Finally, 10 PM rolled around and we called it a day, 21 hours after we had gotten up.

While time can seem to flash by in the blink of and eye, or the clock hands can seem to be stuck, depending on what you are doing and whether you can’t wait for it to be over or wish it would go on forever, one thing is certain. When you are on this Earth time passes, in spite of how we perceive it. Day becomes night. The young become the old. And, we march forward whether we move our feet or not. Time is like a river that carries us along with it. We might as well try to enjoy the ride as we are carried to our destinations.