Tywana took my car key to work. So, I can’t go pick up the envelopes I need to pack orders today.

Oh wait. I have a spare key in the drawer. I get the spare out. Great. I can make it to pick up the envelopes. Wait. This key is four and a half years old. It’s never been used. The battery is probably dead. It is. I can’t start the car. I use the backup manual key to open the door and try to start the car. Nope. I’ll just have to go after she gets home.

I sit down to meditate. Wait. Use the Google. There’s got to be a way to start the car with a dead key. Yep. Second video. There it is. I go back out to the car. The technique works. The car starts. I can go to Kroger, pick up the AAA batteries I need to fix the garage door opener and the CR2025 I need for my dead car key.

I get to Kroger and, due to construction, it’s impossible to get into the lot via Fields-Ertel Road. So, I take the long way in. This puts me right next to the Walgreen’s lot. Sorry Kroger. Walgreen’s is easier today. I’m going to Walgreen’s. I hate Kroger anyway.

I pull into Walgreen’s. They have AAA batteries on clearance at 65% off. Score! My lucky day. I pick up an eight pack. I find the CR2025 batteries. I pick up a two pack. I head to the cash register. They take Apple Pay. Easy. I don’t even have to get my wallet out of my pocket. I pay and I’m out the door. Both sets of batteries have cost me a little more than the eight pack alone.

I get into the car and use the screwdriver I have brought with me to do surgery on my dead key and resurrect it to life. Life is good. I put the key into my pocket and realize my wallet is not there!  Did I leave it in the store? Oh no. I head back into the store. The clerk says she hasn’t seen it. I had a lot of cash in there from a job I just got paid for. Did I leave it at home? Mild panic sets in. Is this the end of my lucky streak, so soon? Well, at least I was able to pay without my wallet. If I had gone to Kroger (who doesn’t do Apple Pay), I would have had to leave the batteries behind.

I start the drive home. I practice my meditation techniques. Stay in the moment. The wallet is either at home or it’s not. It’s probably there. What if the clerk was lying and she has my wallet? Racing to get there home won’t change what is. So, don’t speed. Just see what you see when you get home. I pull into the driveway, enter the code for the door, and walk into the kitchen where my wallet sits on the counter right where I left it. All is well.

Pretty cool night last night. I not only got to meet Thomas John in person, I was his personal assistant, for a night anyway.

Thomas, in case you don’t know is one of the best mediums on the planet. And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve had readings with famous mediums who are astounding and people you’ve never heard of who are just as astounding. Thomas is one of the most accurate mediums I’ve ever met. In over two hours last night with hundreds of pieces of evidence brought through, I think there were less than half a dozen people couldn’t take right away. He’s great with comin up with namesm which is a fairly rare and impressive skill. And not just names like John and Mary. Last night he got Grant, Wilma, and others that aren’t super common. He brings through big stuff (cause of death, etc.), but what’s impressive is the little things, hings no one could possibly look up. He’ll bring through things you did maybe just yesterday and told no one.  Thomas is also very generous with his time. He’s volunteered to spend time with Helping Parents Heal parents on Zoom on several occasions. He does impromptu Faceook Live broadcasts. With his television projects and celebrity client list, he doesn’t need to do this for exposure and he doesn’t get paid for it.

I’ve “met” Thomas a few times via Zoom, including the test reading he did with our friend Fran.  When I proposed he do this, I fully expected him to tell me to go jump in a lake. He’s a celebrity medium. He’s extremely busy. Why would he subject himself to this? But, he did which shows me his humility. And, he blew Fran and me away which shows me his level of talent.

I got to the venue nearly two hours early to make sure everything was set up properly. It’s a good thing I did because as soon as we had everything in place, people started pouring in. There was so much excitement about seeing him work live that people arrived over an hour early.

By the time Thomas arrived, we had everything in place. I was responsible for checking people in, selling admission for anyone who wanted to buy a ticket at the door, doing the sound check with the sound engineer, selling his books, and introducing Thomas to the room.

There were a few hitches, fully expected, but Thomas’ assistant and my little sister in spirit, Tracy, and I worked through them. Thomas said he would read for an hour, take a break, then read for another hour. Uh, Thomas, you forgot the break, my man. Thomas went for well over two hours without a break. It was cool watching him work. As much as I’ve seen this and as much as I believe, I’m still a skeptic. In an event like this, most people pay by credit card and they provide an email address. Things can be looked up. But, there were people who paid at the door. There were people Thomas had generously allowed us to invite and they weren’t on any list. One of them got a reading. As Thomas got her son’s unusual cause of death- sudden, but not sudden, an infection, but in his heart, I nodded because I knew her son’s story. He had an infection that went to his heart. It was totally unexpected as he thought he just had the flu. So, it was sudden, but it took over a month.

Ty’s father brought Shayna through for the penultimate reading of the night. Just like Shayna to be polite and let everyone else get what they needed first. As expected, and as he does on Seatbelt Psychic, Thomas didn’t just impress with his level of accuracy, he brought through healing messages of forgiveness and continued love and involvement in the lives of us remaining here. Tears were shed, humor came through at just the right times to lift the energy in the room. Finally, after about 2 hours and 15 minutes, Thomas brought the formal session to a close, then did a book signing and Q&As with the VIPs who had paid for the privilege.

I figured after such a grueling performance, Thomas would want to just Uber back to his hotel, but he accepted a ride from Tywana and me. I tried not to be too much of a stalker. Thomas, one-on-one is quite a shy guy. I kept the chatter to a minumum, just enough to break the awkward silences.

Oh, and keeping with the theme of the door opening a crack as things seem to be improving for me, I was able to pick up some extra cash in addition to being able to meet a celebrity. Pretty cool night.

OK. Let me take a breath here. Whew! It’s been two weeks since I made a post on the blog. I’m pretty sure that’s a record. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, I haven’t had the time to say it. Life keeps getting in the way of my plans. (in fact, I wrote this post almost two weeks before it’s actually being posted)  Treasured Locks is finally starting to show signs of life again (yippee!). It’s not as much as I would like. But, it’s something, like a tiny seedling poking its head through the spring soil. I had to let someone go this week because I can’t afford to keep paying her for work I can do myself. It was nice while it lasted. Having someone to take some of the creative aspects off of my plate was a nice respite. Maybe it’ll happen again one day. Kat Baillie’s prediction of paying work has come to pass as I started my new, very temporary, very part-time, job within the last several days. Volunteer “opportunities” abound so much that I’m having to start turning them down. But, they have led to a little paying work and have opened my eyes to some possibilities. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something. I’m still stuck in the hallway, but some doors may be unlocking.

Last night was the first session of me facilitating a session taught by Rev. Terri Daniel.  I was running a Zoom for Helping Parents Heal a few weeks ago and she asked me if I could do the same thing for her for an upcoming seminar she is teaching, and it pays! Why not? It’s a six-week course, doing the same thing I do for free. The course is called Spirituality and Bereavement. It’s mostly professional clergy and grief counselors learning more on how to deal with helping people deal with their grief from a spiritual perspective. I work for the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The first meeting went great. I suspect and hope that more opportunities may spring forth from this one. Tonight, I start a 12 week series of meetings with a new author who is looking for his feedback on his book about the lessons of Near Death Experiences. That’s not paid, but it’s every Thursday.

I’ve been talking with a life coach who is trying to convince me that what I’m passionate about I can make a living doing. Rather, I should say I’m trying to convince myself. I feel like I’ve had a “ministry” for many years now between all the volunteer work for the church, blogging, activity on social media, facilitating for Helping Parents Heal, SoulPhone, Greater Reality Living, etc. About a month ago a parent from HPH asked me how I make a living doing what I do for HPH. I had to laugh. I don’t.  Maybe I’m storing up treasure in Heaven, but meanwhile, the coffers on Earth aren’t being filled at all. I’ve had a couple of sessions with Bridgett. I reached out to her with the hopes she could help me “fix” my I wasn’t prepared for her suggesting maybe I don’t fix the business but do something else.  I listen to her podcast, which she has just rebooted as Chapter 2. On Friday each week, she talks about building a “quiet empire”, making money doing what you’re passionate about. While we were on the call, she asked me what I would do if money were no object. With no hesitation, I lit up and gave her a five-minute rant on what I’d prefer to be doing, but sadly it doesn’t pay.

I have published my first “book”. I don’t mean to minimize my accomplishment, but it’s more of a booklet than a book. It’s a compilation of articles I’ve written about hair care over the years. We’ve been selling it in PDF form on the website (mostly giving it away).  The reason for publishing it as a Kindle book was to learn the process.  My buddy Jake has been all over me about getting my writing career off of the ground. That kick in the butt is much appreciated. Now that I understand the process a little better, the task of turning these 1,000 blogs into book(s) is a little less daunting.

Tomorrow I have a discovery call with another life coach where I’ll talk about next steps in getting something published.

How to feel about all of this? When I spoke with Bridgett a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for the call, I wrote down all of the balls I am juggling. I have just two hands and about ten balls in the air. Helping Parents Heal, SoulPhone, Greater Reality Living, this blog, a possible book, the technical assistant role, Treasured Locks, ghostwriting, email copywriting. I’ve bought two websites for blogs and one in case I decide to put out my shingle as a copywriter/ghostwriter. All of these are percolating and I’m waiting to see which actually rise to the top. I’ve had to learn to say “no” which I hate doing. I’m pulling back a bit on Greater Reality Living and SoulPhone. If I have to let go of the person who was helping me with Treasured Locks, I can’t afford to volunteer any more time on things that don’t pay.

I’m proud of myself. I was sitting in an IANDS meeting on Sunday and they asked for volunteers to manage the Facebook page, manage the website, and handle their email lists. I just set up two MailChimp accounts for the 12-week course I’m doing with the author and the 6-week course I’m assisting with for the seminary. I thought “It’d be really easy to set up a MailChimp account for the IANDS group. I could do that. It would only take a few minutes a month once it’s set up.”  But, those minutes add up. 15 minutes here, a half hour there and the next thing I know the week is gone. A new guy had shown up at the meeting. Part of his life story was that he has been volunteering for many years working with animals and he’s turning that into a paid career now.  I realized how much volunteer work I do when a few weeks ago a parent in Helping Parents Heal asked how I make a living doing what I do for HPH. She thought I was a full time paid employee. I chuckled as I told her I don’t get paid anything (monetarily) for what I do for HPH. Back to the IANDS situation, I kept my hand down. The woman next to me volunteered to take over the email for the group. I leaned over to and asked if she was familiar with MailChimp. She was not. I told her I’d walk her through how it could work for the group. She asked me a few questions about managing people on multiple lists. I was puzzled because there would only need to be one list. She handed me her card and I promised to contact her. When I contacted her, she bombarded me with questions. I soon realized that she has her own business and was interested in how to use MailChimp to manage her emails as well. I asked her a few questions and realized what she is currently doing is pretty much unmanageable. I’m sure in a couple of hours I could get her migrated over to MailChimp, but I don’t have a couple of hours to spare for non-paying gigs. I let that go.

I still wake up every day disappointed to be back here again. My first thought is “I’m tired. Why am I still here?”  But, I am still here, so my next thought is “What am I going to do about it now?” I get up, get dressed, walk my 7 miles, make the coffee and get to work on the next project.

This week is the Afterlife Research and Education Institute symposium in Scottsdale, AZ. Last year at this time, Ty and I were there having the time of our lives at a conference about “death”. I could not justify the expenditure to go this year. I passed up an opportunity to sit in a seance with one of the very few physical mediums on the planet, and an opportunity to be on a panel at the conference. I’m thinking of my friend there, trying not to be jealous. I’m here, still planting seeds, watering, and waiting to see what comes up.  There’s always next year.  Maybe I’ll be presenting. Could happen.

The message keeps coming. From my friends, from my medium friends, from the coaches I’ve been speaking with, the word keeps coming.

Friday, I was listening to a podcast by my friend Bridgett Tulloh.  During her podcast, she referenced a video by Steve Harvey. She outlined the video. I was on my walk. So, I didn’t take the time to watch the video. I put it out of my mind. I had gotten the gist of it from her summary. Sunday night, as I was reading the manuscript of an upcoming book, I saw a reference to this very same video- not just Steve Harvey, Steve Harvey’s “Jump”. I hadn’t heard of the video before.  And here, within two days two sources told me to watch it. OK, Universe.  Message received. Watch it I did (in my best Yoda voice).

It’s short, only six minutes. Maybe this message is for you.

 

Person to person and man to man, I’m back in touch with my long lost friend.
Listen to reason and understand and think of me from way back when.
He said, me and Melissa, well we fell out of love. We ran out of luck seems like lightning struck.
I’ve been thinking of leaving, but I can’t raise a buck,
James, I’m wondering could I borrow your truck?

I said that’s why I’m here. Got no other reason,
that’s why I’m standing before you, that’s why I’m here.- James Taylor- That’s Why I’m Here

 

I’m pretty sure I’ve quoted this song before because of all of James Taylor’s favorite songs of mine, this may be my most favorite. Today I get my first message through the contact form on my blog. I haven’t been given permission to share it. So, I’m going to change some of the identifying details. I want to share it not to pat myself on the back. I do what I do only because I believe that’s why I’m here. Fish swim because they were born to swim. They don’t expect any thanks or praise. This is what I was born to do.

I love getting this though. Is it ego? Is it validation that what I’m doing is indeed reaching someone, helping in some way? Maybe it’s just because I’m human.

 

Hi Brian!
I have to tell you that I came upon your blog through Helping Parents Heal, and I want you to know how very important your work is to me, a bereaved parent of 9 years! I thank you so much for your service to HPH, and for hosting most of the programs! I don’t often make the live presentations, but I do watch some of the replays, and I find such inspiration and upliftment there!

Your daughter Shayna is so beautiful…..I was totally struck by those amazing big eyes in the picture of her on your blog! I am so sorry for the pain that her passing has brought to your heart and Tywana’s. The suddenness of her passing must have been a jolt that left you breathless! I also have two girls, and my younger daughter Sophia died at 36 years old of leukemia, but I am sure I felt that same jolt when she was diagnosed. She only lived for several more months, but it gave us time to say all the things that needed to be said, and to love each other so profoundly that it still amazes me! There are gifts in every experience in life, including the passing of our beloved children!

I was especially taken with your recent blog post about your experiences with church! They mirror my own experiences in many ways! I am an MDiv. seminary graduate, and was ordained in the Methodist church. My background was Presbyterian, and fairly liberal, as opposed to your more fundamentalist upbringing, but my journey through the years has been similar…..including stops in the UCC church, Science of Mind and Unity! Now I just don’t attend church anymore at all….especially since Sophia passed. It just doesn’t hold any meaning for me anymore! Spirituality is hard to find in church, and that is what I search for in all that I do! My focus is on growing my soul while I am in a body, and being able to evolve so that my next adventure on Planet Earth (if I choose to come back here) or wherever my spiritual journey takes me after this earthly life is done, will be more advanced and fruitful!

Many thanks to you and Tywana and Helping Parents Heal for bringing such Light into the world of bereaved parenthood! I know the journey for you is still difficult, as it will always be for all of us until we are reunited on the other side with our beloved ones, but your honesty, the expression of your ideas and perspectives, and your commitment to expanding the views of the afterlife for more and more bereaved parents is beyond commendable and most appreciated! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Many Blessings to you and your family!

I’ve read this email over and over. I’ve been struggling more than usual in the last week or so.  I have no idea what direction to turn in. The email came at just the right time. Thank you so much!

p.s.- this morning on my walk I was listening to a podcast. The woman being interviewed lost a grandchild suddenly and a daughter to murder. She was in a meeting sharing her story with other parents. After the meeting one of the other parents came up to her. That mother had shared how her daughter died of AIDS, a long, slow decline. The interview subject was grateful that her daughter’s death was quick with no suffering and no prolonged grief before the passing and was thinking she couldn’t imagine enduring that. The other mother took her by the hand and said: “I can’t imagine the pain of the sudden passing of your child being murdered.” I guess we all try to make the best of the sucky circumstances we’ve been handed.

Someone created an image that depicts what I’ve felt since Shayna passed.  I found this image on Facebook where the poster linked it to how we are all waiting in line to go back Home. We know this intellectually, but we forget it. We get caught up in the day-to-day of life, and we set aside the knowledge we all have an expiration date. More importantly, we think that if we are young and healthy and maybe wealthy, we have more time than someone else. Old, sick people die.  I’m young and healthy. I have a long time. In spite of this delusion, there is no guarantee of a long life for any of us. We’re all in this line. It is invisible to the human eye so we can’t see the order or the length of the queue. Some live for a few hours. Some live for 100 years or more. Young healthy people, like Shayna, go suddenly. Sickly people, like Anita Moorjani, make miraculous recoveries.

It’s cliche, but cliches are cliches for a reason. Live each day as if you don’t know how many more you have left.  I’m not recommending living each day as if it’s your last. We have obligations. We have to plan just in case we’re around tomorrow and the day after that. We can’t all fly off to an island. However, don’t take it for granted that an endless number of days stretch out ahead of you. Tell those around you that you love them- today. Show them appreciation- today. Be kind to yourself- today. Do something that will make you proud in your life review- today.

If life is hard and you’re looking forward to going Home, know that your turn at the front of the line is coming, no matter how far away it might seem now. One day you’ll get there. Every day you move up further in the queue.

p.s.- when I was looking for the creator of this image to give credit, I found it had been used mostly to depict alien abductions. I don’t know what the artist’s intention was. It’s fascinating how we can look at a piece of art and see completely different things. Credit where credit is due; I’m pretty sure the creator is: Logan Zillmer.

There is a line in the song Amazing Grace that goes

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;

As I’m thinking about my relationship with church this line presents itself to me. It was church that taught my heart to fear. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with church since the time I can remember. I see four reasons for going to church- obligation/worship, education, service, and community.

Obligation: As the grandson of a preacher and the son of Pentecostal parents, church was never optional for me. From the time I was born until the time I left to go to college, unless I was dying (and often when I felt like I was), church was where I was going to every Sunday morning. Like any good sales presentation, church first convinced me I had a problem.  That’s sales 101, create a need. I was born evil. I was a sinner, rebellious from God by virtue of the fact I had landed on this planet. The good news was all I had to do was to be sorry for being this way, and God would spare me the eternal torment I deserved. When I was the age of 7, my grandfather died suddenly in church I wondered how much church and God really were going to protect me.   And I had a fundamental problem with this god who hated me so much just for being who he made me to be. I went along with the program, as much as I could I got baptized at the age of 13 to appease him. I studied my Bible. I went along to get along. Church was a place I went out of fear, not because of love. I needed church because that was the only place I could be “saved”. Once I was saved, God needed me to worship him. The idea that God needs worship comes from the days of antiquity where earthly monarchs had to have their egos stroked by having their subjects bow and scrape before them. This need was transferred to the image of a god on the throne. Gratitude flows naturally once one begins to comprehend the true nature of the divine and the nature of our relationship with the divine. God doesn’t want our forced praise. And, we don’t have to be in a particular building to express our gratitude. We can quietly sit and reflect in any moment anywhere and anytime and let it come naturally.

As soon as I got out of my parents’ house, I was done with church. The obligation was over. I didn’t go much for years.  When I got married, Tywana had an image of a family that goes to church together. So, I started going to church with her, for her.  This was church out of a sense of obligation- to Tywana.

Education: Another reason to go to church is to learn. For centuries the priestly class has convinced us they have exclusive access to the saving knowledge we need. The only place to learn was at church, through them. Some churches went so far as to tell their congregants, “Don’t read the Bible, leave that to the professionals. You just sit there and we’ll tell you what to think. I’m grateful for the education I got in church. The Bible still has a huge influence on our society and, frankly, in my life as well. A working knowledge of the Bible is helpful. However, in the information age, we live in opportunities to learn abound. We can pick and subject and read analysis from many different voices about what the Bible says. We can learn church history, so we know not only what the church is teaching today but where these beliefs came from and how they’ve evolved over time. Many in the clergy fear an educated congregation because the more you know about the history of the church and the Bible, the less likely you are to believe the fundamentalist teachings they are giving from the pulpit. I probably listen to an average of four spiritual podcasts a week from various traditions, and from no tradition. I can choose to listen to a pastor in Springfield, MO from a small non-denominational church or I can listen to a pastor from Phoenix, AZ in a Unity church, all without leaving my home or, better yet, while I’m out walking in nature. Church is no longer the only place where I can go to learn about spiritual things.

Service: That first church that Tywana and I attended after we got married was way too fundamentalist for me. I went for her. Over time, Our Sunday school teacher chose me to be the substitute teacher when he was out. This is when I realized that maybe I shouldn’t go to church so much for what it did for me, but what I could do there for others. I enjoyed educating (and I could sneak in some of my subversive thoughts when I was up front).  When we moved to Cincinnati, I found a church I could get into because of their heart for service. They called it servant evangelism. We would go out and give away things like a Coke or even a car wash, not for “donations,” but to demonstrate unconditional love.

Community: Church should be a place of community. Back in the day you were born in and probably died in the same church. The other members were extended family. You watched each others’ kids grow up. You got together for dinner with your friends in the church. In the days of the megachurch, much of that has been lost. The last megachurch we attended, and I mean that in both senses of the word it’s the last one I will go to, was so into the production value, they didn’t turn the lights on for the entire service. It was like being in a movie theater. You’d come in in the dark, sing a few songs, watch the recorded video sermon, sing another song, and file out in the dark. If you wanted actually to meet people, you had to do something outside of the Sunday morning service. This was true at our former megachurch as well. There, Tywana and I did a lot of volunteer work, serving on the premarital team together, me working on the video production team, and me teaching their introductory course to their theology in the evenings. As we moved away from that church to the next church and the next church and as I got involved with blogging more, with Facebook, etc. church as a place of community lessened and lessened in importance.

My history with church: For about nine years, that service-oriented church we found when we moved to Cincinnati was OK for me, as long as I turned a blind eye to their conservative teachings that lurked underneath the veneer of their “seeker sensitive” front. A couple of times a year something would come up that would rub me the wrong way. It was after they taught Kayla, at the age of around 8 years old that she was totally depraved (to use a Calvinistic term), I was done. I would not allow her to be brought up with the self-hatred I was taught in church. The joy I had from leading and teaching at that church was gone. I wouldn’t continue to go and I certainly wouldn’t take the risk they would teach the girls self-hatred. A little yeast leavens the whole loaf, as Jesus said. It was time to go.

Right around this time, I heard of the United Church of Christ.  This was the church I had always sought.  No dogma.  No original sin. No penal substitutionary atonement theory. They respected and even studied other spiritual paths and traditions. The church was tiny. It started with no more than twenty people. The founding pastor left because of the financial struggles. The pastor we brought in to replace him did his best. I was on the board of the church. I was deeply involved. I was serving. But, the stress of trying to keep a progressive church alive in conservative Cincinnati proved to be more of a challenge than I was willing to keep going with. After five years, I left there.  The stress was too great. I wasn’t even on paid staff, and I felt responsible for trying to keep the lights on in the place. Tywana guided us to several more churches, none of which fit. We ended up back at another mega church.  A big, glitzy, seeker sensitive place with lots of shiny happy people, but that same fundamentalist mindset lurking underneath.  I tolerated that place until after Shayna passed at which time both Tywana and I realized we needed to stop going through the motions and either find a place that spoke to our souls or give up church altogether.  She wasn’t ready to give up. So, we started going to Unity.

Ahh… here we were at Unity.  If possible, Unity was an even better fit than the United Church of Christ. The church we were attending was well established, a couple of decades old. So, I didn’t have to deal with the financial pressures, and I wasn’t forced into a leadership role.  I could sit back and be a congregant.  I volunteer some, but nothing like I was doing before. After attending the megachurches, I thought that in a smaller church we’d be more plugged in, more of a part of a community. If we didn’t attend for a while, someone would notice. This was the church I had always dreamed of; like-minded people, small enough to get to know everyone, big enough to be financially stable.

Fast forward three years.  We haven’t been attending regularly for several months now. While the church is small enough to get to know people we haven’t connected. My friend who attended the church for years before I did doesn’t come anymore. In three years I’ve made one friend there. One person contacted me about our lack of attendance. Demographics probably play a role. The church is mostly people our age or older (much older). It’s just about all white. It’s got to be 60-70% (or more) female.  To be fair, we haven’t made much of an effort to connect. Tywana has way more than enough social interaction between her work, friends, neighbors, wine club, book club, and more. I have Facebook and Helping Parents Heal. I connect with spiritually similar people regularly through the week. Going to hear an “expert” give their opinion for 25 minutes on a Sunday morning doesn’t appeal to me. It’s not something I need in my life.

Church, for me, isn’t able to check off any of the four boxes anymore. Fear and obligation don’t have any hold on me as I know God doesn’t need my worship and isn’t keeping an attendance record. Educationally, I have podcasts (I’m listening to one as I type this). I have books. I get to hear some of the best speakers in the world through Helping Parents Heal. I interact with literally thousands of people to bounce ideas off of. I can download a book in a few seconds. For community, I have amazing friends and neighbors. During the scotch tasting at my friend’s house a couple of nights ago we got into a deeper spiritual discussion than I typically can have in church. Tywana and I have a group of neighbors we get together with most Friday or Saturday nights, sometimes both.

Tywana and I have been going to Unity of Garden Park for three years. I volunteer at the church. However, for me, for now, church doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. I had coffee with the pastor a couple of weeks ago and laid this out for her. I continue to volunteer for them. My life is so full right now I don’t have time for the Sunday morning routine.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;

The fear that church put into me served a purpose at one time. That fear was the driving force that pushed me to find the Truth.  People will run away from pain or towards pleasure or both. I was running from the pain.  The fear stirred me to figure out just who I am and why I’m here. I learned a lot about the Bible which is still a significant book in my life and in our society. It gave me a basis from which to study real spiritual truths. In a sense, the fear it taught me, it also relieved by forcing me to seek the Truth that would set me free.

We had the privilege of meeting Suzanne Giesemann at one of her workshops in February 2017.  Since, then, Shayna has continued to drop in on Suzanne providing undeniable evidence that Shayna is still right here with us, and determined to communicate with us. Suzanne shares Shayna’s stories in her presentations. Here, at an IANDS meeting, she talks about a few of the drop-ins she has from Shayna. I know there’s been at least one other.

Shayna’s part starts at around the 34-minute mark.

I’m out cutting the grass on September 16th thinking that the mowing days are coming to a close soon. As usual, I’m trying to kill as few things as possible while I mow. I slow down to let the moths, grasshoppers, praying mantises, etc. get out of the way. I mow around spider webs if I can. Why destroy their work? A random thought pops into my head. I think about the bunnies that are born in our yard in the spring. For many years, almost every year, if not every year, we have a rabbit’s nest in our yard. It started under the girls’ swing set. But, even after I took the swing set down, a mother would often have babies and nest them in that same spot.  I try to remember if we had a litter of bunnies this year. I can’t recall.

A few minutes later, out of the corner of my eye, I see something moving across the yard. It’s no more than 4 or 5 inches long. It’s a tiny bunny.  What?  I thought rabbits were born in the spring. It’s the middle of September and this guy can’t be more than a few weeks old. I wonder what he’s doing out by himself. I go for my phone to get a picture, but he’s gone by the time I get it out of my pocket.  I continue to mow, astounded to see this bunny just minutes after I have the random thought of bunnies, not full grown rabbits; specifically new-born bunnies. Then, as I pass the spot where the nest has always been, I see three bunnies make a run. Two of them head straight for the woods. The third, moves a few feet into the high grass that hasn’t been mown yet and freezes. Ty happens to be out in the yard and sees me taking a picture. She picks him up and moves him to near where the others ran.

Just yesterday I was thinking about working on my intuition more and some of the exercises that I have not been doing as much as I should be. Thinking of bunnies right before running across a nest of them, at a completely unexpected time of the year (for me) I’m going to count as an intuitive hit.