A few days ago, I was watching a video of a gentleman trying to explain what consciousness is. One of the questions he addressed was, “If consciousness is universal and if we can continue to exist without a brain, how do you explain the loss of consciousness when we’re doing something as simple as sleeping or when we are under anesthesia?”  The question that popped into my mind was “Can you lose consciousness?” I wasn’t happy with his answer. So, I came up with my own.

The premise is in the brain state of sleep, or being under anesthesia, we have no consciousness because we can’t recall anything happening. After all, we have no memory of these periods. It assumes there are times when we lose consciousness.

I don’t think we can say for sure that we have no consciousness in dreamless sleep, or even under anesthesia. What we can say is the body doesn’t react to external stimuli (for the most part). Our ears still hear. We know this because if we speak loudly enough, we will awake a sleeping person. We continue to feel when we are asleep. Something is going, some sort of awareness.

I think the premise mistakenly equates memory with experience. I think the only thing we can say with certainty is we have no memory. No memory of something does not equate to not having had the experience.

We sleep every night. We dream every night. Most of us don’t remember most of our dreams. Yet, we did have dreams. We know this. Some of our dreams we recall. Sometimes, the memory of a dream will come to us later, after we thought we had a dreamless night. We did have conscious experiences, even when we don’t recall them.

When we are asleep, or even under anesthesia, our brains are still functioning. We can’t say what experiences we did not have while we were “out,” only that this is a time that we can’t recall.

I think it’s the same explanation for NDEs. Why do some flatline and seem to have no experience while others have rich experiences while “dead”? Maybe it’s like the dream you remember versus the dream you don’t recall. When we wake up in the morning and say we didn’t dream, that’s not true. For someone who dies and comes back, without an NDE what we can say is they have no memory of an experience while they were in the death state. We cannot say with surety that they did not have an experience.

So, the question is, “Do we ever really lose consciousness, or do we just lose the ability to remember what our consciousness was doing for periods?” I’m going with the latter.

I am a type A personality. By default, I look at what is wrong, what needs to be fixed, rather than what is right. I look at remains to be done, rather than what I have accomplished. If something breaks, I can’t rest until I fix it.

Living like this is a recipe for misery. There is always something “wrong.” There will forever be something else to do. If we choose to focus on those things, our minds will always have something to ruminate on, and we will see the world as broken and incomplete. I have to find a way to avoid overwhelm, that feeling that you get when there are more things to do than hours in a day, or a month, to get done.

Currently, I am contracting for a part-time job, running my legacy company of the last 17 years, and I’m starting two new businesses. I just filed for an LLC for one of the new companies. I have just built a website. There is always something more to be done. I have a partner who is full of ideas. Our to-do list grows faster than we can check things off of it.

I have found myself feeling tired and frustrated at the end of the day because I don’t feel like I am accomplishing enough. Sometimes, it feels like I’m not accomplishing anything at all. I’m going to be in this transition period for the foreseeable future. I don’t want to feel this way. So, I’ve come up with some practices to help.

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Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate the woman who brought you into the world. Or, if you are fortunate enough to be a mother, a day to celebrate you.

But, for millions of mothers, Mother’s Day is more bitter than bittersweet. For mothers whose children have preceded them in death, Mother’s Day can be a cruel reminder of what you are missing. If you’re a mother whose only child has passed into eternity, you might feel like you’re not even a mother anymore.

I’d like to give you a different way to look at this Mother’s Day. In fact, this is a different way to look at every holiday and even every day of the year. Yes, I know I’m not a mother. But, bear with me.

I look at life as a long hike. The people in my life are on this hike with me. We are all walking each other Home. Each day is another step along the road to our common destination. I walk 11,000 steps every morning. As I walk, I think of each step as another day in my life. I know that if I continue to put one foot in front of the other, I will get to my goal.

For those of us whose children are no longer in the physical world, our children have run ahead of us. It’s just like Shayna to do that. So, it’s not a stretch for me to picture it that way. Shayna has finished the race and is waiting for me at the finish line.

As you’re on a long hike, you’ll pass milestones, occasionally. If you’re running a marathon, you’ll pass mile markers that indicate how far you’ve come. When you see those mile markers you rejoice. You’ve put another mile behind you. You have one less to the finish line.

Now, I want you to try an exercise. Close your eyes and imagine you and your family, including your child who isn’t with you this year. You’re holding hands and walking along a road. She drops your hand and runs off ahead of you. You know she’s OK. She’s just going to meet you at the finish line. You continue your walk, enjoying the scenery. Every so often you pass a mile marker. The mile markers in this analogy are birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries and Mother’s Days.

Tomorrow, celebrate your child, as they are celebrating you. Celebrate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back. You child is proud of you for making it another year. They want you to be happy and continue to enjoy the walk. And, as you continue to put one foot in front of the other, covering the miles (years) between now and the time you reach the finish, you grow closer to hearing the cheers as you cross the finish line. Enjoy the hike and take everything in as you cover the miles.

Happy Mother’s Day!

There are so many things that I don’t understand
There’s a world within in me that I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore but the doors look the same
I am lost I can’t even remember my name
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am
There are so many things that I don’t understand
There’s a world within me that I cannot explain
Many rooms to explore but the doors look the same
(Where are the locks to the key)
I am lost I can’t even remember my name
(And I wondered why)
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am
I’ve been for sometime, looking for someone
I need to know now, please tell me who I am- Daft Punk –

I have no idea how this happened. I came back to my desk and this photo was showing in Apple Photos. The last time I was in Apple Photos, I was putting pictures into Kayla’s College Graduation album. I had rebooted my computer and Apple Photos opened up.

The program was stuck on this photo. It was full screen and rotated 90º. The program was unresponsive. I could not open up the album or change anything. This is a screenshot because I could not minimize it. I right clicked and checked the Info screen. Most of the info screen was blank and said “Kayla’s College Graduation” at the top- the last album I was in. But, there was no way this picture should have been in that album. In fact, it’s not in that album.

I don’t know who the girls are. (update- Ty tells me they were on Shayna’s national volleyball team)  It’s a selfie from Shayna’s phone. It had to be taken right before she passed because her hair is short.

Then, right after this happened, I got this message from a medium friend that I was a test subject for in a reading. We have since become friends.

I was just thinking about you last night. Every evening, it’s my me time of the day so I reflect on the day and send healing etc, anyway I looked up and there’s your daughter with another young male I had seen with her, maybe Beth’s son, not sure. She’s smiling and happy and she says, Daddy. So that brought you to mind and I remember just how scared and intimidated I was to talk with you when I texted! I was so nervous you have no idea and that was my worst reading in the history of me, so sure I blew it! Anyway we just shared a small laugh about that and she said no he isn’t intimidating to me and held up her fingers like she had you wrapped around her little finger, it makes me smile now. Anyway just wanted to share!

Just the day before I found a feather on my walk, the first one in months. Three messages from Shayna in just a couple of days. She’s been on my mind more than usual, if that’s possible, because we all missed her so much at Kayla’s graduation. But, I knew she’d find a way to show up!

Where is heaven? What is heaven? When I was in Sunday school, I thought heaven was a place way up in the clouds. Heaven was a matter of distance. If you traveled far enough, you’d get there. Later in life, I heard heaven is simply a mental state. When we die, we enter this misty, semi-reality that is a dream state. There’s no objective reality there; it’s just what we make it. I heard no two people even shared experiences.

In many things where there are contradicting views, there is a great deal of truth in both viewpoints. The people who think that we continue in physicality are right. We don’t become thought forms, “beings of light”. We will have bodies. Many of the things we enjoy doing now, we will continue to enjoy doing in bodies that are beyond what we can imagine now. We will have bodies that don’t require sleep, don’t grow old, can run without tiring, don’t require food, and never feel an ache or pain. The people who think that heaven is a realm of thought and intention are also right. We can create using our minds. We can travel with our minds.

Travel, space, and time exist in heaven. But, not in the ways we are used to on Earth. We are always as near as a thought away from someone, even though we can choose to walk. Time passes, but there are no clocks, no day, no night, no seasons, no decay.

We hear of spheres or levels of heaven which causes us to think of some above and some below. We think we travel up from the Earth to get to the next level. But, it’s not far away in distance as we know it. Those who say heaven is right here, all around us, are right. I know a medium who says heaven is three feet off the floor, an exciting image.

I think that the various levels are analogous to radio broadcasts. Radio broadcasts are invisible and undetectable to us unless we have a radio. That radio tunes into multiple stations. When the dial is at 94.9, all we hear is music from 94.9. 98.1 is broadcasting, and those listening to 98.1 hear that music. It’s non-existent to us as long as we are not tuned into it. I think our loved ones are right here beside us, operating at a different frequency. Sometimes we can get close enough in frequency to catch bits and pieces of their existence.

Yes, heaven is a state of mind, in a sense It is all around us, undetectable while we are tuned into this reality. We will travel to get there when we drop these bodies; not in distance but in a shift in perception. We will dial into a different frequency and be back Home.

If you need a little pick me up, I dare you to feel down after watching this video.