David is a near-death experience (NDE)-inspired artist, composer, and author. He wants to use his NDE to make a positive difference in people’s lives. In 2006, he was dragged under a speeding train in a freak accident. As the surgeons fought to save him, he had a profound NDE. When he woke up in the hospital, he had acquired astonishing new abilities. David found he could paint dramatic paintings of what he had seen in the Afterlife, far beyond any artistic ability he had before. He then discovered he could compose classical music, having never received any training.

To this day, he cannot read or write a single note of musical notation, and yet his debut NDE-inspired symphony, The Divine Light, was premiered at a sell-out orchestral concert to a standing ovation. I enjoyed a pre-release copy of David’s book SHINE ON: The Remarkable Story of How I Fell Under a Moving Train, Journeyed to the Afterlife, and the Astonishing Proof I Brought Back with Me is one of the most fascinating near-death experience books I have read and I’ve read several. Written in the style of a compelling novel, the book chronicles David’s life before and after the NDE. The effects of David’s NDE are undeniable.

The book is scheduled for release in July 2020. If you’re watching this before then, here’s a preview of what you can expect.

You can visit David’s website to see his artwork and listen to some of his music.


Kimberly Clark-Sharp is the founder of Seattle IANDS, the author of “After the Light: The Spiritual Path to Purpose, and an eyewitness to one of the most talked-about NDEs ever. She sets the record on this NDE that has become an urban legend- finding a shoe on a hospital ledge. In this interview, Kim tells me about her experience in the light and the absolutely amazing path that opened up before her, including taking Toto and moving from Kansas to the Emerald City. (no joke). Since her experience with the light, Kim has had extensive work in the medical field with the dying and with speaking with others who have had NDEs. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a wicked sense of humor to this engaging conversation.




Hi there. Welcome to grief to growth podcast. Your host is Brian Smith, spiritual seeker, best selling author, grief survivor and life coach. Ryan believes that the worst tragedies of life provide the greatest opportunity for growth. Brian says he was planted, not buried, and he is here to help you grow where you’ve been planted by the difficulties in life. In each episode, Brian and his guests will share what has helped them to survive and thrive. It is his sincere hope this episode helps you today.

Brian Smith
All right, everybody. This is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me, Kimberly Clark sharp. And we’re going to talk Kimberly has had a fascinating life and does some really amazing things now, but she’s had a near death experience we’re going to talk about but first of all, give a little bit more about her background. She’s the author of the book after the light, the spiritual path, the purpose. We’re going to talk about the book. She’s the founder of the Seattle International Association of Daredevil Or, as most of us most of us call ions, which is the world’s oldest and largest support group for near death experiences. Kim was named one of the 40 most influential people under the age of 40. In the Pacific Northwest in 1987. For the for her work in the field of death and dying. She’s a founder of the Department of Social Work at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. Our research center answers today. She’s a pioneer in the field of critical care, social work, international conference and workshop speakers. She’s been published in many journals, textbooks and magazines. She’s a consultant in news and entertainment industry. She was a co teacher of terminal illness seminar at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, and she has a Master’s of social work from the University of Washington. So Kim, that’s quite a resume, but Welcome to grief to grow.

Kim Clark Sharp
And all that I’m actually a happy wife and mother. Yeah, I you know, life Good.

Brian Smith
Yeah. So you’re, you’re obviously I would say somewhat of an expert in the field of death and dying. Did that start with your near death experience? No. Oh, really? Okay, so tell me

Kim Clark Sharp
my level of awareness. Yeah, I know. Um, but after my near death experience, I was pushed into it I would say, okay, by I say God, but I don’t mean that in any religious or gender thing. I mean, I use a pronoun, him or his that’s just my cultural brought up, you know, I mean, I’m a Lutheran, pretty mainstream Americana. So when I pray, I pray to God and when I give thanks, I give thanks to God. And God made me do it. That’s bottom line. That’s This is all I you know, it was all God’s plan. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other and going forward and getting my occasional added girls and

Brian Smith
yeah, so what got you started in being interested in death and dying that if it wasn’t the near death experience?

Kim Clark Sharp
Well, I’m just for the sake of reference, maybe we should start with my near death experience which we can like, launch from that.


Brian Smith
No start wherever you feel comfortable.

Kim Clark Sharp
Okay. So I was a college student.

May 25 1970. I was home for the weekend from college. I was with my dad in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. I’m from Eastern Kansas. And we were at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was about time for me to you know, get a car, get a license, yada yada. I was in perfect health as the young person and yet I’m gonna actually Brian tell you my dad’s perspective, because it’s different for mine. So according to my father, and I’m so glad I had a witness to this event, I mean, that’s handy in addition to my medical records, but yeah, um, I was feeling fine, but I don’t remember anything beyond turning to my dad while I was waiting for my number to come up, which I realized is kind of a cosmic joke. Well, yeah, a lot. A lot of jokes like that in my life. Now. Anyway, that is a deal. I was waiting for my number to come up. And I told my dad that I wanted to sit down because I felt funny and he said, there weren’t any chairs. That’s it for my memory on what I call top side, which is like the reality of consensual reality, if you will. So what he said is that I managed to sign all the papers appropriately and we were leaving the building as they were exiting, my complexion was white on white. And most of them pretty pale because I’m Northern European descent. This is pretty white, so even lighter, and then I collapsed into it through his arms, dead weight is heavier than living weight so he could not hold me out. We were on the sidewalk, and there happened to be a uniformed nurse passing by, who ran over and determined I wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. So the volunteer fire department from Shawnee Mission Kansas was called as well as an ambulance from St. Luke’s Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, which was the closest trauma center and that’s what they were interested in providing for me an actual trauma center. So medics arrived First, again, according to my father, that brand new ventilator portable ventilator, called the Andersen ventilator for those who are old enough to remember that we’re in healthcare at that time, anyway, opened up the packaging and applied the seal to my nose and mouth. There were two functions on this new ventilator one was to, of course, push air in, which is what you want. The other though, was to extract objects that might be blocking the airway. But we tell our kids don’t run with, you know, candy in your mouth, or it’s actually this happens at a restaurant, it’s actually called a cafe coronary, if the airway is blocked by food. So that was the vacuum mode. And as it turns out, because it was new, and they hadn’t practiced it, the default was in vacuum. So they flicked the switch to ventilate instead, literally suck the life out of me. Wow. Yeah. So it was immediately apparent when it happened. That flicked the switch again, pump the area, but enough of my lungs had come in contact with themselves or lungs are sticky suckers. And if it’s like a lung collapse under the circumstances, it takes ICU ventilation and time and steady pressure to safely open them up. Well, that part of my lungs which had already come in contact, because of that vacuum, it just, again just sucked everything out of my lungs. The high pressure of air going into my body could not separate my lung tissues from themselves entirely. So what I do guess, but not entirely, so the air had to go somewhere. Fortunately, a lot hit my brain because what I’m about to tell you was an hour and a half, according to my father, between collapse when we were leaving the DMV, and when we entered the emergency room at St. Luke’s It was a long resuscitation. They were basically Working on a kid, you know, they I look younger than I do now anyway. And

the air, though went to found its way to my skin. And I literally Brian, I blew up like a flesh balloon. It’s called EPA sealeo emphysema. And it’s very hard to recover from that. So that was a hot mess. So the medics, and bless their hearts, you know, no one was mad at them. It was just a thing. But they turned to my father and said, I’m so sorry. And then, man that my dad has always called the Good Samaritan came from behind. Now a pretty large crowd because I don’t know about where you live. But in eastern Kansas, if there’s somebody dead on the sidewalk, you know, it’s news, even without the internet at that time, it’s like no, get on down to the DMV. There’s a girl dead on sidewalk. So that was me. And there were a lot of people But this man came from behind this crowd, swearing like a mule skinner and did what we now call citizen CPR. And then he gave up and turned to my dad and said, I’m not getting a blankety blank like blankety blank, like blankety blank blank like thing. And so I was pronounced twice, basically. And then my father’s memory your grieving parent. My dad went into shock. He has no memory of anything after that for a while. Somebody brought up a chair. He doesn’t know where that came from. He remembers a lot of hoses on the ground. But then the ambulance had arrived. My body was in the back of the ambulance and I was breathing on my own, although I was still unconscious. Hmm. But my dad jumped in the back of the vehicle off we went to St. Luke’s things went sour again in the emergency room. But again, I hate to give away the ending to a good book and I wrote a good book, but I’m I lived Yeah, I hope that’s clear in this interview I am alive. Yes very

Brian Smith

Kim Clark Sharp
So that’s what my dad remembers.

By the way, I did pull my medical records because I thought when I when I wrote after the light this book I didn’t want some journalists getting access to records that I hadn’t viewed myself. So it’s a good thing because you can’t chart like this anymore. One of the first lines in the ER was cause of collapse unknown at this time question mark coronary. But what what did mean basically was they called it the snafu with a ventilator. I thought, what a snafu. Yeah, yeah, that was snafu. So anyway, what I remember is pretty much none of that. I first, remember a woman’s voice to my left. I’m not getting a pulse, I’m not getting a pulse. And with the same measure of patience that I am demonstrating right now, I turned to her and said, Of course you’re getting a pulse. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be talking. You know, it’s kind of a snotty college kid. It’s like, hey, wait, wake up. Yeah. She ignored me. And she got more and more agitated. So suddenly awkward position. Not really comforting her but trying like, Okay, I’m okay. I’m right here. So then, I don’t know, Brian did I get into a near death net? I thought oh, Cam I’m out of here. I found myself immediately in a different environment. I knew I wasn’t alone. It was warm kind of bomb even. It was pleasant. But I couldn’t see who I was with or where it was because of surrounded by great material, like fog. And if I may interrupt myself here and just say I’ve had a lot of I’m trying to examine my near death experience. As it turns out, during and after a little bit after World War Two, there were more movies made globally about the afterlife than any other time in cinema history. And the world was in kind of like pandemic mode, but it was war. Exactly. Yeah. So there were movies made about the afterlife in our allied countries of Europe and such but also Japan, Italy, and Germany, and of course, America. Of all the movies I’ve collected, and I’ve been a collector. They all have this foggy material in it every last one. So I wonder if that isn’t a place we all might go to or pass through. Or it’s just a collective human consciousness. I don’t know. But I thought it was interesting. Yeah. Anyway, I knew I was waiting for something. It was like I was at the airport. I had my boarding pass. I’m just waiting for My road would be called. I mean, it was such confidence that I was in the right place. And then what I seem to be waiting for showed up big time. underneath me was a oh my gosh, if I had been on Earth, it would have just boomed the whole earth. So much energy. It was a light though. There was a light brighter than a million suns. If that’s possible. I haven’t even looked into our own Sun. But I could look at this light as if I had eyeballs I was seeing, but my eyeballs would have been back in mind physical body. So what the heck was I’d be holding, but I was beholding what I call God. But it doesn’t again matter what you call it. I’m really happy with my Creator. I like that. This light came up, it’s blasted all the fog of material way and it just

I had a hard time describe your life. I mean, all these years later I get touched because of the love. It was, it was so much love. And it was directed at me personally. And I but yes and no, it was just for everybody in everything. We are creating love by God and it moves me obviously to this day it humbles me to I did nothing in my life, I thought deserve this, but there was an IT, it spread out in all directions. And it was if I could simultaneously see in all directions, and it was linear. It went on and on or on. And I had the presence of mind to go oh my gosh, I’m be holding eternity. It was eternity. But at the same time in a way I can’t describe Sorry, I get awkward clump, but I understand and I’m sincere anyway. But, um, it was also endlessly Larry about itself and I I’m just kind of downloaded information. I don’t know, download is a good word. But it wasn’t available to me at that time. Right? It was like I was also not only beholding time eternally, but dimensions. And it too, was an atlas which opens up all kinds of questions about everything like, you know, we live in a three dimensional world, right? Besides theoretical science, string theory and stuff has gone up to maybe seven. I saw a lot more than that.

And then I got to ask questions.

That seemed profound.

And it was it was really odd because, well, I asked questions that any anyone would ask like, you know, well, why are we born? Hmm. I had never thought of it my age at that time. And I was told that we wanted to use No, we wanted to be born we wanted this earthly life and all that it would bring it was a decision made with our Creator. And I asked about pain and suffering. And it was, you know, basically how we find our spiritual center again. If everything were cushy, Why be born? This is life on earth is not the place for cushy experiences. They could be included, but it’s not exclusive. It’s you know, back to no atheists in foxholes kind of thing. But yeah, we’re, you know, put into the grinder. But the answers I got back, I wasn’t learning a thing I was remembering. And if I had had a head I would have flunked it. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I don’t like that. And then I was told what no one in that position in the presence of God and love would want to hear about that. I had to go back. So I said, No, I can anyone would. And it was yes, no, yes No, this valets, I’m here to tell you can argue with God. But in God’s realm, God will win. Here we have free will. Elsewhere not so much. So I was sent back and then by golly, I had not passed my driver’s test, because I couldn’t pay a low part within three feet of the curb bootcamp in this I want one of those self parking parallel. Anyway, don’t have so couldn’t get within three feet of the curb. I’ve just had the most profound experience possible in my opinion, setback and I miss my body by three feet. my physical body and I turned and I made a joke. It was like, I can’t even Park myself.

Brian Smith
So I’m sorry at this point. Are you still in sidewalker You’re in the hospital at this point,

Kim Clark Sharp
no stone sidewalk. Okay, okay. Yeah, thank you. Good question. And please help me focus because I get lost in my experience. It’s, I can get back in and be there in a heartbeat. And I’m there. So thank you for that. Yeah. Still on the sidewalk. didn’t look like the person I remember. But I identified the body as my body but not as myself, which is key to this very moment time. But if the Kim that is Kim was not in that body, what I self identified was not about body. And again, I had eyeballs so what the heck was I watching with? Makes no sense on a physical plane. There it was. And then I thought well know what it was. It wasn’t scary or anything. It’s just like, no way. And then I saw a man that I didn’t recognize, bend over and touch my mouth with his mouth. That was the Good Samaritan. Didn’t hear the swearing. But as soon as his mouth touched mine, I went over to above my body and then dropped through that man’s body into my own body. Well, as I went through with him, I knew everything he was feeling, and realized that what he was primarily feeling was compassion and compassion as a very strong form of love. Here I just been with the greatest love of all, so it’s like a lighthouse. It was my weekend. It was I was following that or following the money. I was following the love and that I was back in my body and it stuck. It was horrible. I was conscious but not conscious. I was conscious of being in my body. I felt like I was running around this cold dark prison. Brian, it’s really horrible. It was it was extremely unpleasant. By the way, back to you. My admitting medical records my body temperature when I got to the emergency room was 86. Oh, wow. So that’s a pleasant

cool temperature in the summer

Brian Smith
but yeah, that’s not for being alive.

Kim Clark Sharp
You know, I was I was No wonder I was cold and running around in the dark. So I called out for God again. I’m such a whiner. So I was whining for God please take me please please I hate your peace. So God showed up again how kind and said all right already, you know and then open a portal or a window like thing to my right. And there was my heaven. And it was so beautiful. It was like a meadow. It was endless VISTA of grass that was you know, blowing and kind of a breeze again, the bomb Enos. Often the distance was kind of a low fence and then some low trees. Frankly, it looked like Kentucky. You wouldn’t know what Kentucky looks like because I’ve lived there for 10 years. You know? Yeah, it Chucky is my heaven. Skeptics say Oh, near death experiences get what they expect. I have yet to visit the great state of Kentucky. Oh, and I’ve never been there. You gotta go. I’ve been there before that. You would think that you know, Cincinnati airport is closest I’ve ever been. Yeah. So you know, Washington, the Kentucky Derby on TV. But I’ve seen of course many images of Kentucky and I go, that’s my heaven Kentucky’s my heaven. So the thing about this grass stuff, though, is that I was aware of the consciousness, if you will, of every single blade of grass. Every blade of grass was alive, electrically alive. And the colors were not earthly. The grass was a shade of green I like green look around me when I wear greens like my color. And the green was just it was so intense and the blue sky was way more intense sapphire blue kind of brighter and more vibrant than anything and I loved it. So I was told okay if you cross that border though that’s it for you. You’re not coming back. So really okay.

Brian Smith
Offer with almost no hesitation. No.

Kim Clark Sharp
I wanted to go to Kentucky. So um i and then got interrupted and said my wait before you make that decision, I will show you something. And then off to my left was this flash of light back in my day. Cameras came with a little when I was a kid with little bulbs that You know, you flash me this bright, blinding light then you gotta lick your fingers and take the hot bulb out to do another picture that kind of a blinding light but again, didn’t hurt the eyes that I didn’t have in my head but yet was seeing with and I was told that if I chose to live that would be where I live and it was where mountains met water and I knew it was in Kansas, but there was no other information. And I went Okay, thanks and off I’m off to my habit. And before also all the way through again interrupted, like yeah, now what God and I was shown a picture gallery. And they were maybe a dozen of them and they were people that I would be significantly interacting with. Should I choose to live? No, they were strangers. What do I care? Yeah, but the head labels I could meet him like an English best friend next door, neighbor. Kali mentor, I mean, it went on like that. Wow. Yeah. Very, very rare in the near death experience to have a life preview, or our life reviews. But this was a preview. And I didn’t care. I’m off. I haven’t again, and then again, it’s like back. And there was a third big flashlight and I saw myself being of service, something I really hadn’t been. And I said, cool. I remember that. So well. Cool. Well, who knew God was a hippie? Cool. It was like an affirmative action item. I guess. It was like, Okay, you’ve made your decision. I was like, wow. And as I was exiting, so again, on God’s terms, God believes I volunteered to come back. I’m gonna go No, you’re true. tricked me. God. You got that

On the way out, I heard

a woman’s voice calling my name I have no idea what that was about. And then the words that I would forget except as it would be manifest. And I’m glad for that word because it up. And manifest means obvious. So the things were topsy turvy, and I did recover. I’ve had no cardiac events since then, if that was the case, it was a one time thing. But I didn’t know my life anymore. I didn’t know who I was I when I knew but I didn’t know. I felt like I’ve been stuffed like into a sausage. It was I felt well. I felt like in the movie, Aladdin. You’ve had a child. You know, kids, watch movies they like over and over and over and over again. Little girl when she was little loved Aladdin, and in the movie Aladdin, the Disney movie Robin Williams. He’s asked what is it like to be a genie? And the genie says, all the powers of the universe. Anybody living space? Yeah, that’s what it’s like to be for me to be back to come back. Yeah, itty bitty living space, but I feel like our spirits are ginormous. washed into the body. So off I went, and I didn’t know where went was. I had a hamster named toto Oh, here comes my favorite metaphor at hamster named toto but total in a birdcage in the front seat of a Volkswagen square back that I bought an offer when I left Kansas. I got To i 70, which at the time was the Tollway, East West Coast. I thought well the mountains of mountains meet water must be to the left and and I began to get scared and I cried. And Oprah Winfrey has what she calls the the ugly cry straighter canines shut. Yeah, it just there’s mucus, your mouse and odd shapes, and it’s a whaling. And I began to whale and I said, I don’t want change. I hate change. I don’t want to change went on and on. And then as I approached the toll area, there’s a big sign that said, change needed. Oh, wow. Okay, so that’s the ride we’re going to be on? Yeah, it was and then because of all the mucus The other thing is that I don’t, I guess my mom put a box of tissues in the car, but I needed to blow my nose and I looked down and there was a white tissue box that said Kimberly Clark, which was my Name, Kimberly Clark Paper Company, although I’m Kimberly Clark, so it’s like, oh, good one. So I’ve had that relationship with God ever since we will play. So fast forwarding through lots of amazing spiritual experiences that got me finally to Seattle, including actually living on Haight Street in San Francisco at the time of hippies. And I it was startling to me that I actually was living on a street name hate when I had so much love. Yeah,

Brian Smith
so much. Well, I have to ask you, so you said you were in college at the time you had the cardiac arrest if that’s what it was. Did you just quit school and just get your van and start driving?

Kim Clark Sharp
No, no, I finished school and bought a car and and then headed out. Yeah, okay. JOHN passed.

But the hippie culture was perfect for me because it was all about Peace and Love at that time in 1970. So that was great. But then no matter where I stopped, and there was, you know, chapter three of the book I wrote, but there were always these events that happen again these amazing spiritual experiences, but I was pushed to go into Seattle. And once I cross that city line is like everything like so in Seattle, where I still live, but the big metaphor is that I left Kansas with toto vashi had a tornado in Hays, Kansas, I had to take shelter, and I wound up living in Seattle, which then is the Emerald City. Yeah. Great. That’s why I love the gods job. I just love all the synchronicity and the metaphors and the in jokes. Yeah. My life is observing them and living them. Anyway. So to answer your original question about how do I get into this, you Yeah, it wasn’t my near death experience that I’m aware of. But it certainly played a part. again back to her never applied for a job. I went to graduate school, never paid a dime of tuition. Everything was laid out. My own metaphor is that I live on the automatic door opener of the grocery store is open for me and I enter there’s a lot of work within those doors, especially in the field of death and dying. Yeah, hard work. Yeah, but I carried a secret weapon. And that was I have no fear of death. And I know that the that we live on, maybe not in human form, but we live on as ourselves after what we call death. But that meant that I was very comforting, as I again was. synchronicity put me into the field of death and dying and into a place called Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, which is again, then as now, trauma center for one fourth of the landmass of the United States. There’s a whole lot of death and dying going on. And I work as a social worker on the intensive care unit and coronary care unit in nice places for someone like me to be a comfort. In April of 1977, when I was ambitious, I was in the University of Washington system because harbor view was part of that academic system. I wanted to get promoted, you know, climb the academic ladder, didn’t have any idea about the research I want to do. I just everything bored me. One day, she says taking a deep breath though everything changed. And there was a woman in metod named Maria. She came in the night before I was to go on duty again. I work Monday through Friday, but during the day She was unconscious when she was admitted. She was a direct admit to the coronary care unit. The next day when I got there, she was alert. But I needed a translator. I took some Spanish three years of Spanish in high school not enough to do a good workup. And so we needed a translator. We needed some money we needed to find her family. She was actually a migrant worker from the Yakima Valley area about 100 miles east of Seattle, bigger cultural area. And anyway, so you know, as a translator, I worked her up and went on my merry way. And I am so sorry about the phone ringing in the background.

We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach? If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know people work with. Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at www grief to growth com www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th comm or text growth gr o wt h 231996. If you’d like to support this podcast visit www.patreon.com slash grief to growth www.paeon.com slash g ri e f number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Brian Smith
Sorry, happens.

Kim Clark Sharp
I really apologize. The thing is I took the phone and I turned it off. But what’s happening is that the bass is ringing

Brian Smith
that happens to me too. I have one in my office I have to unplug the bass from it.

Kim Clark Sharp
I’ve even turned off myself. I can’t believe and it’s gonna be a telemarketer because it rang four times and telemarketers hang up. Yeah, exactly. I’m sorry listeners for the.

Brian Smith
It’s alright, go ahead. Okay. So you’re with Maria.

Kim Clark Sharp
Yeah. So three days after she was admitted I was doing some charting in coronary care unit and a one of the monitors indicated flatlines situation happens all the time in our brigade. I was used to it The staff was used to it. Everybody Thunder down, it was Maria. And she needed to be resuscitated. I stood in the doorway watched a very easy resuscitation. She was stabilized. She was so unconscious, but I went about my day, just before quitting time. I got paged by her nurse saying that Maria was awake and alert but very agitated. They couldn’t find the translator Could I come up, they didn’t want to slipping back into cardiac arrest. So I did, I couldn’t find a translator. So what I’m about to tell you is a goofier interview than was actually accomplished. But first she told me, and now we’re talking like pitch and traveler language that she was out of her body. She showed me the quarter that she was in and looked down, and she could see everyone there and the machinery they were using. And one little clue was that she described all the paper on the floor, and indeed, my skeptical response because I was skeptical, because I didn’t know what it happened to me. Everything was so mixed up and jumbled. So I had decided now that I was a social worker, and a licensed clinician, that I was crazy. This is like a highly functioning form of schizophrenia. And that was my little dirty secret. In fact, once I went through the emergency room at Harbor view, I had to do that to get My job. And there’s a woman that looked a lot like me that was sitting on a gurney and two point restraints, which is the wrist look miserable. And I just said she was so young. And I said, What’s the deal with her to one of the residents and he said, oh, we’re taking her up to lock inside. she feels like she’s been going in and out of her body. That’s what? Oh, yeah. So Zipit cam. So from that point on, I didn’t even try to speak about it. So now I’m hearing a woman that I’ve already certified as saying, telling me she was out of her body and, and this paper on the floor stuff was not part of our education. Actually, back then. Cardiac information came out of big wide, wide mouth machines spilled out got kicked into the bed, and then upon recovery or death torn off studied by the cardiology team. Hmm, wouldn’t have known that. That she said like that snap of the fingers. she found herself outside Have the entrance to the emergency room. And again, I thought, Man, you know her room is about the entrance to the emergency room and I knew she hadn’t gotten out of bed but maybe someone pushed your bed over by the window. ignoring the fact there’s a roof over every emergency room entrance because of weather, right? She didn’t see the entrance so she couldn’t be describing the one way driveway, automatic doors, you know, but again, I’m going then because now you know it was it was getting a little old for me. Then she said she spotted a tennis shoe while she was out and about outside on a ledge. Nowhere she thought she was three or four storeys above the ground and knowing what direction herb reveals a mammoth building. And so she wanted someone to find the shoe and that’s why she was agitated. She She knew that She was out there. It wasn’t like it was a bad thing. She just wanted someone to bring her the shoe. So I set out to look for it. I failed miserably going around the building. And so I went in the building started out, you know, the luck of the Kim alongside the building. So what I’m describing took some time, but the west side of the building went into a patient’s room because the window was blocked by a cart. And so in those situations, actually, they had to go into someone’s hospital room by I’m sorry, I’m sorry. They’re all my own patients though. And got to this one window and looked down. She had described a dark blue large shoe with a little toe scuffed out and a white lace under the heel.

In case I should get it confused with

like, why


and one might want to know what the heck was one shoe doing on a ledge anyway. I don’t know. Yeah, I looked down I saw the shoe. It was dark blue is definitely a man’s shoe. I didn’t see the little scruffy part because it was outside of my vision. But I could see a white lace coming under. And I almost passed out, I lost the ability to bear my own weight, went forward and bang my head on the glass glass and out loud. I said, this happened to me. I remember seeing my breath momentarily on the glass and it was my watershed moment. So I took the shoe went back to Maria. I mean, I hid it behind my back and said can you tell me about the inside of the shoe and I never saw back. Then I produced it. It was like Viva Zapata. That shoe and back then it’s gonna be hard for listeners to understand I really am telling the truth about this but back then, patients actually stayed in the hospital. Until they were well enough to go home.

Yeah, can you

please now but back then, it was in the hospital for three weeks and that shoe sat there like the Shroud of Turin. It received massive amounts of visitors. She seems so authentic. I seem so authentic and there was the shoe. Discharge she gave me the shoe is somewhere in our garage. It’s not like she left my life. I followed her as an outpatient for three years. Hmm. So and then I went on leave of absence for a few months, came back never saw her again. And don’t know what happened to her. I have no yeah, so that’s the shoe. Heard round the world down. It’s officially an urban legend. It’s described as being black as blue as red. A doctor, a male nurse, a female nurse.

Brian Smith
Yeah, I’ve heard it as a red shoe.

Kim Clark Sharp
Yeah dark blue shoe. He who found it yeah Harborview Medical Center on alleged number of Yeah. So Kenneth ring did hear from I think was an RN and kinetic consult red shoe on a roof. But that person was never found that she was never found okay to get confused with my own story but it’s live here’s the horse’s mouth It was. It was a shoe I found. Yeah. And still have wow oh yeah so big Wow. And many skeptics have tried to pierce that story none have been successful there’s you know and but it’s helped me collect skeptical responses yeah Pierce those balloons Easy, easy squeezy but it did give me my research launch and so I began to interview or whatnot interview I already interviewed everybody He was admitted. But I began to add for those people admitted in cardiac arrest the questions. What do you remember when you were dead? Well, basically, it was that one question, but it was couched in three questions. And I got nothing for two months. And then in June of that year, a 16 year old was admitted to the intensive care unit. And that’s unusual. Usually the kids went to children’s hospital, but anyway, and I asked her, you know, because she had been resuscitated, you know, What do you remember about being dead by then? Nothing. She bounced right back. And like Maria, who stumbled for hours trying to find words of course, Spanish words. Yeah. This this gal said, Oh, I was with my Oprah. And I was like, What? And they didn’t know what an oopah was. What turns out was what she called her grandfather before he died. And she just couldn’t say Grandpa, she was so young. And he held her and rocker and covered her and then set her back. Wow, this was a suicide attempt. She had taken an overdose of prescription medications barbiturates to be exact. And so he scolded her. But it wasn’t like a hellbound thing. He just said that you’re you had to get back in the game, kiddo. Yeah. And so she survived. She’s also someone I followed for a long time she had mental health issues. She was inpatient for a while outpatient for a while, we still kept in touch. And when she was fully recovered, the two of us would go to high school assemblies in our county, King County and Seattle. And she would talk to kids as a kid about Don’t you even think about trying to hurt yourself? Do it. And she was such a reliable source of information. It was fantastic. She’s finally aged out of it. Yeah, there you go. And then In 1982, I started the Seattle International Association for near death studies, which was the first group of its kind support group. But the International Association of near death studies or ions for patient.org is just the best. It’s still the only organization exclusively addressing near death experiences. And I love the organization, I helped to represent the organization. And because of that, I have met now countless people. So between and then I went into, you know, cancer care. And then I did a year study at Children’s Hospital, exclusively interviewing kids who survived cardiac arrest, and those are through drawings and on and on and on. Yeah, there you go data.

Brian Smith
Yeah. So before we started, you told me that you were you have experienced with a teenager that had a heart attack. The near death experience.

Kim Clark Sharp
Yes. So, in Seattle items one day came at the time he was 19. His experience happened at 14 or 15. Um, took him that long to find us. He was a cardiac cripple. He had never run, skip jumped or played ever in his life. He was spent most of his life in bed with you know, breathing problems because of just you know, low cardiac input and was very, very, very, very sick kid used to going in and out of our children’s hospital

and was,

had brothers and sisters but everything was centered around him because of his health care needs. So one night, I mean, he knew the drill people one night he had crushing chest pain. And he reached out for help. He couldn’t draw a big enough breath. And he knocked over his bedside lamp crash to the floor hoping it would attract attention. It didn’t. So he got up out of bed and walked to his sister’s bedroom which was the closest bedroom I went into awakened her and reach down to shake her awake but his hand went through her and through the mattress. That’s like he was out of body. His case whereas Maria felt like she which is pure mind, wherever she wanted to go, it was again like that. I want to go over there and she’s immediately they’re all like mental if you will. This guy felt completely physical, but was with invisible Yeah, well, and he couldn’t be heard. But he just was screaming anyway to his sister, and somehow that she roused and he somehow was able to reach her. telepathically, if you will. And so she got up and went into his room and he wasn’t responsive, called his parents, Muay Thai and they come running. He’s still walking around. He is completely with his family. Hmm. fully present. Again. The him That was him wasn’t in that body, right. And he was trying to comfort his family. They’re waiting for medic, one to come. And he said, I’m here. I’m great. I’m doing a fine. This, this is all good. So um, and then he was out of body in the ambulance, which, so off we go. I have two stories about that. appeal people I’ve interviewed who have ambulance memories out of body. One of the guys wrote on top they

your life, but

anyway he was so he was there, you know with the medics working on him and going, you know, well this is interesting. And in the hospital, he loses track of his memory but he was told by a loving presence that he also called God, that he was going to be okay. And he was going to be cured of heart disease. Medically, that doesn’t make sense. Not the only kid who I’ve interviewed has had this experience that deadly disease and upon recovery, and a near death experience are completely healed. He was so healed that he got up in front of our group has started doing jumping jacks and showed us his arms which is his veins forearms are still affected by low oxygen. So his veins were different looking than most kids, old year and bluer. And he because he was with God, he decided to turn his life over to God, he became a Christian. His family rejected him entirely because they were not having any of that. He couldn’t shut up about Jesus and about God about love and he wanted everybody to know how we’re all loved. And, you know, the Bible is the truth and all that efficient. Yeah, so

he is, he is, we were in touch for a long time. We’re out of touch now, but

he got older. He doesn’t sited to move to Anchorage and open admission for people to preach the word of Jesus. And he had a brother that said, No, I’m with you. I believe you were going together. They both went. The brother actually wound up taking over the successful mission. This is the street ministry. While our hero then applied for the anchorage Fire Department, you don’t get into any fire department with cardiac disease. He was that physically fit by then had a career the fire department then decided to go to nursing school and did and became a nurse. Oh, wow. And overtime we just lost track. But that was his story. And yeah, I want to share that because it’s interesting.

Brian Smith
It is it’s really interesting. I my daughter passed from cardiac disease and we found her Knock morning. And I wonder you know sometimes what she had the room, you know, when when we found her and I think she probably was

Kim Clark Sharp
I put some money on it if I had some money. Yeah, honest I based on that not only a story I told you, but countless, you know, people say, you know, I’ve interviewed thousands of people I, someone did do a head count in 1994. And it was like a lot then but even more now. So I have lots and lots of stories that would give you pause, and reflection. And I’m going to say, Yeah, she was right with you. I mean, I wasn’t there. But again, based on again, so many near death experience stories that I’ve heard, by the way, I don’t hear near death experience stories. I am with that person. I only count them. If I can touch them. If I can hold their hand if I can. Have them sometimes it’s been over the phone. Sometimes it’s been no, it’s never been over the internet. It’s either been on the phone, but overwhelmingly in person record look them in the eye. Yeah. And that’s a special relationship. So when I say a lot of people, I mean not anyone else’s cases not any Oh, I hear tell. Yeah. First and accounts first and accounts. So I would like for you, if you would care to to believe that she was with you out of love. Now Love is the strongest tie that there is in the whole universe. And so she would be very attached

and would love you to this day. Yeah, well, I like that. No way.

Brian Smith
Yeah, I do believe that and I think I was saying earlier I hear from her all the time, usually is through through someone else but I hear for and she says Signs and I mean, just just amazing, overwhelming, crazy signs.

Kim Clark Sharp
I get that I get those from deceased loved ones too. Yeah. So how

Brian Smith
does how does the near death experience how does that affect the process of grief if we’re going through grief?

Kim Clark Sharp
Well, good question. So I’m going to answer two problem. One is that it doesn’t in one sense, because if we love somebody and we lose them to death, we’re gonna miss them. Elisabeth Kubler Ross Actually, I’m name dropping. Do you know who she is? I do. Yes. Yeah. She was a friend. We work together. She loved me and bless me tremendously with her work. And she came out with these five stages of loss. Wish it wished by the way she hadn’t done because it wasn’t a recipe. You know? Yeah, like stages. And then also, there was a stage that she would have added. And that would be the last stage, which was the stage of yearning. Mm hmm. And that never goes away. As long as we love someone we yearn to hear from them. We are to see them again. Yeah, we miss them. The near death experience does not diminish that yearning. Right. And that the agony of loss, but you know, here’s the deal, Brian. This is where the hugs are. This is this is one of the things our bodies do well, we hug. Yeah, we do some other things as well, like eat and run and play and laugh and all that. But the hugs are here. That ends when we shed this physical body. Yeah. So on that level, near death experiences don’t matter. But on a spiritual level, it’s all good. Because we don’t, we can’t see our loved ones. But that doesn’t mean they’re not with us. And it doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be greeting us. Yeah, that headcount I told you about a few minutes ago. Yeah. That was actually a physician in Miami, Florida. She studied my own caseload and determined that 3% of my caseload at that time again 1994 people have gone through a tunnel so actually not very common 10% of seen a light again, not all that common. 13% had scary experiences. That’s a very high level of reportage. But I was my sub areas of expertise under the banner of near death experiences, our children’s experiences suicide attempts and scary experiences. So I talked to a disproportionate number of people who fall into those categories. But the reunion with deceased loved ones Was it 75% statistically, it might as well be 100. That’s a huge, huge number. And the people that were being greeted as they were having a near death experience, were greeted by just love. Sometimes it was deceased loved ones, sometimes by a religious figure, sometimes by what I call God, but they were greeted and welcomed and loved. But where the near death experience really bangs home the the grief topic is that our loved ones are always with us if they choose to be and they are there with their own heavenly arms out Waiting for us. And

that brings me comfort.

Brian Smith
Yeah, you know it, we were saying that I was thinking I work with people that have gone through grief. So that’s part of my part of the work that I do. And sometimes people will ask, Well, when will the grief and you know mumble will be over what can I go back to normal? I’m like, well, it never ends. And I don’t want my grief to ever end because it’s the yearning thing that you talked about. I still, it’ll be five years in June since Shayna passed. And I still yearn for her. And I always want to have that I don’t want to lose that. There’s there’s two sides of as you said, there’s there’s the human side of it, where we miss them, and we long for them and that’s fine. That’s okay. But there’s there is a great comfort in knowing that I will see her again. And not only that, but she’s still with me. So we could carry both of these things at the same time. And you know, sometimes we’re going to miss them. We’re going to have those, those grief moments. There’s those maybe even better days where we feel like you know, I just can’t do this anymore, whatever. But for me, there’s always that light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always that that I’m looking forward so I don’t I look at my life now is moving towards her, you know, for a while it was like when she’s only 15 when she passed, so I’m like, I’m not going to see her for the rest of my life. And I felt like I was moving away from her and losing those memories and stuff. And now I don’t I look at it more like I’m looking forward to seeing her again. So that’s the way that I find it works for me.

Kim Clark Sharp
And I cross my heart. I promise you, you will. It’s uh, you know, it’s cool. Um, you will probably be very old when you die, kind of myself. But when we’re greeted by loved ones. They all appear like at their peak. If someone is very old, they appear to be in Their 20s if someone is very young, they still are kind of like in their 20s like in their peak physical existence. Now maybe that’s not what they really are on the other side, I haven’t ever been dead dead. And I’ve never interviewed a corpse and I don’t want to. Yeah, so I only know about the threshold experiences the the U turns. But we are known though by like our energy. I mean, we can you know, it’s more than just a visual, although when people are greeted by loved ones. It is a physical recognition. Even though in the case of like grandparents, they didn’t look like that. Yeah, then they died, but yet they’re still known. And by the way, it’s not just humans. It’s also pets. Yeah, cats and dogs and fishes and donkeys and horses. I got a lot I do a whole lecture on animals in the afterlife because a lot of people don’t have loved ones especially kids, but they have maybe a deceased pet. And, and even adults. I’m not kidding with a goldfish. But yeah, that we are greeted by loved ones. Some of them might have four legs for or feathers or fins. Yeah, and loved ones nonetheless.

Brian Smith
Well on some of those loved ones, you know, the pets are I mean they they are as close to us as humans are and people that don’t have pets, you know, can understand that. But you know, for some of us, you know, as pets are closer than any human Bible, right because it’s it’s unconditional love.

Kim Clark Sharp
Exactly. And again, Brian, it’s all about love. Mm hmm. It just all boils down to that we were made with love. why some people stuff for on this earth again. I have to just turn it over to God. I Don’t get it even though it’s told Why, why some people are cruel. You know, social workers that don’t get me started on bat I have very strong opinions. And I’m a martyr and I’m protester you know I do what I can to right the wrongs I don’t understand hatred. I don’t understand dictatorships and the Holocaust in a way the whole, you know,

cruelty that we can do to each other. I just don’t get it.

But I can do what I can as a loving person and do my one little human being bit to rectify damage, and there’s endless opportunities for that. Yeah. Oh, that’s part of my being of service. I was sent back to serve. So there you go. I it feeds my soul. And, and I know it pleases God because I’m blessed.

Brian Smith
Yeah, I think we all wrestle with that, that theodicy question? You know, if there’s a loving God, then why there? Why is there evil in the world? And we can, you know, there there are some answers, you know, it gives us something to you couldn’t serve if there weren’t a need for example.

Kim Clark Sharp
So, exactly there’s a point

Brian Smith
yeah. Yeah, there’s there’s no opportunity if there’s no need. So, there has to be there has to be some lack something and, and so then it just becomes a matter of degrees, right. So because if we if we allow for the fact there has to be something here for us to push back against, for us to overcome, to grow stronger than people so the why, why is it this bad and what I what I say to people as well, bad is relative because as we all know, and as you know, better than anybody, this is temporary, you know, this is this is just something that we’re passing through. It seems really, really bad while we’re in it, and it seems like it’s gonna last forever. But nothing lasts forever. And we’re we’re back on the other side, I think we looked at this and guy, it wasn’t that bad. We kind of forget how bad it was. And we were here.

Kim Clark Sharp
It’s like childbirth. You know, the pain of that, but any woman has given birth knows what pain is. But then we we forget about it enough to go. I think I’ll do it again. Yeah. And you know, I’m not a Buddhist, but I can see that where we want to jump back into life and, and have another go at it. I don’t know. I you know, I’m so grateful. I’m not God. I don’t have to even think about it.

Brian Smith
Well, you know, it’s funny. I think it my daughter, Shana, and we love video games. And the thing is, if you’re if you’re a game designer, you have to design a game that’s hard enough that it presents a challenge, but it’s got to be easy enough that people get some success. So there’s always this balance when you’re designing a game to make it interesting, but to be interesting, it’s got to be challenging and I think that’s kind of the way this life was designed. We, I think we come in and we we build these challenges for ourselves to say, Yeah, okay, let me see if I could do that and see if I can, if I can overcome that, and maybe sometimes it bite off more than we can chew or. But I think, I think once it’s over, we kind of said, you know, that was tough, but I got through it. And if you think about the things in life that you get the most out of, they’re the things that presented the biggest challenges to you. Those are the things that the most satisfying. Yeah.

Kim Clark Sharp
And now a lot of metaphors on this subject, too. And I’m grateful, even though I don’t like the challenges I’ve had, and I’ve, you know, in the balance of things, again, you haven’t read the book era, but I’ve had some astonishing losses and, and challenges. I have two metaphors, I guess. One is that it helps me increase my spiritual musculature stronger for it. There’s no question. And it’s it My, my, actually, the metaphor I use the most is a bouncing ball, I’m slammed down, but like a good bouncy ball and you bounce up higher. And so I keep bouncing higher and higher and higher. But what I’m really grateful for is that, again, back to being in service, I can turn to people in pain or grief, and say, I know how you feel. Yeah. And the person I’m speaking with knows that I know how you feel. You can’t fake that. I really can bring it right because I’ve been through it. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. So now when awful things happen to me, what helps me pull out of it is like, okay, there’s a population of people now, that I can also serve Right. Yeah, I haven’t spoken with him yet, but got my first COVID near death experience or this will date your broadcasts were in a pandemic. And I got a call last week from a healthcare provider from one of our coven hospitals, and we’ve had a near death, beautiful near death experience. So we’ll be hearing more of those and more opportunities to be of comfort and to guide those people into comforting others because it’s all a ripple effect. Right, right. Yeah, it’s got to be right.

Brian Smith
And that’s what we have to look at this things there are opportunities through opportunities for us to grow and you said to build compassion and but other people go through that there’s an opportunity for us to serve so I guess maybe for now, we have to take it on faith that it serves a higher purpose but I’ve heard enough there to that’s experiences to believe that it does. And remember I was talking with a woman Heidi Craig, the head on and she said she learned three things. One is everything. We’ll be okay. everything is as it should be. And we are loved beyond anything that we can imagine. And so I remember her saying those three things I’m like, if we can keep those three things in mind, we can endure anything. And and she’s been through some crazy stuff, you know. So for someone, it’s like she’s a lot of charm life beads, if someone like charm likes to say, Oh, yeah, everything’s the way it’s supposed to be. But, you know, she’s been through a lot of abuse that was very serious. And she still says, Yeah, I believe this was all meant to be.

Kim Clark Sharp
So I would as a near death experience, or completely agree. And also no one’s asking for my advice, but here it comes. Just be nice to everybody. Just be nice. Nothing else. There’s the life review waiting. I planned to have a doozy you know, maybe that erases everything because I’m doing it so I’ll have a good life review. I don’t know. But um, We are held accountable eventually. And I want when I do die, God to go

well done.

Brian Smith
Yeah, but it’s a life review. Is God judging you in life reviewers? Are you judging yourself? Oh, okay, well

Kim Clark Sharp
now here we go for another hour.

In my experience, I’m only talking about my experience. So if there are listeners to go I’ve heard that before or I heard so so say something different. That’s fine. This is just me. The life review comes in two different flavors if you will. One is

where we are shown the

our crops so to speak, and Bible says by my fruits they shall be known. were shown our fruits Some of them are awful. Some of them are wonderful. But we’re shown our choices. And one fellow I talked to, I’ve got so many stories, my head’s gonna explode. One fellow, though, was sitting in a big share with a bundle of like cables bound on his lap. But the cables went out in all directions. And at the end were words that he could read. And they were like, military, marriage, children, college choices, you know, more choices, and he could make in a lifetime. And he was shown the choices that he didn’t make consciously or unconsciously, and the repercussions and how it was like connecting the dots. So because you chose to do this, that led to this, which led to that. Remember, when you broke your leg? Well, you married your nurse, you know, that just all that kind of connectedness. So that’s not a judgment. It’s like a life observation. If you will, okay. Another life review is the old judgment but it doesn’t come from God, or even exactly from oneself. It’s when people are put in the experience from the perspective of the person whose life they’ve touched, again, for the positive or the not so positive. So I’m going to use the name Tom Sawyer, easy to remember now to Cece but Tom Sawyer was quite the guy and a good friend, and he had a near death experience that was very prolonged, very interesting, amazing, in fact, but he was hot tempered guy who expressed that temper, physically and emotionally to his family, his sons and his life. He was brutal. I would say God crushed working on his car in the driveway jack broke crushes. During him. Lots of things happen. So this mean abuser, he would not mind if I said that about him that left him. But he in his life review was in the position of his wife of his children as they were being abused down to itty bitty little details that he really doesn’t even remember. He found himself in an idling car. And he looked in the sideview mirror and saw Tom Sawyer approaching the car very angry looking well in in his life. Tom had he was a rage driver to what you know, road rage we call it now in like the driving of the car in front of them when they came to a light. Tom got out of his car. He marched over there and grabbed the guy. Like this question a roundhouse assaulted him. Wow. Okay. Tom is having a life review. And he sees himself coming towards now the perspective of the man. And he felt the blow, the fear, the confusion, the pain of it all. So that isn’t judgment from God. That’s that from the perspective of lives we have touched, that also goes in the other direction whether we know it or not. One woman, oh my gosh, she had a she had a life review where she had no idea doesn’t even happen. She was driving it was a dark and stormy night, and she has no memory of this but she found herself in the perspective of a woman driving behind her car. She recognized her own car. This one was lost. It was using the taillights of its near death experiencer to not get no road up to northbound interstate five Which is where she wanted to go near death experience or had no knowledge of this, but she got the she got the credit for it. She got to feel this woman’s relief and and happiness at being found if you will after being lost and in dark and nasty weather. Oh, that’s one of me. I mean, I have so many live review stories. It’s ridiculous it gets back to be nice to everybody. Yeah, that you get to, to know whether whether you remember the exchange or not how good someone felt because you existed?

Brian Smith
Yeah. Well, I you know, you mentioned earlier, I look at it as like planting seeds, you know, like, like he’s, so it’s like you plant the seed here. You may or may not see it grow while you’re here, but have faith that you’re planting seeds. And Jesus said store up treasures you know, in heaven. That’s what your heart is, right? So that’s the way we can send things ahead to ourselves. We could we could send these gifts ahead to ourselves while we’re here. So that’s, that’s a that’s another way of looking at it, but it comes down to be nice to everybody. You know, you can’t go wrong with that.

Kim Clark Sharp
Yeah, pretty simple. Yeah. Um

Yeah, that’s, I can’t add anything to that be nice.

Brian Smith
So Kim, tell me more about your book.

Kim Clark Sharp
I’m lousy at self promotion. So thank you.

Again, like everything. I didn’t want to write a book. In fact, I hate writing. I get the book. Actually, it’s in the Library of Congress and won a writing award. It was the alternate book of the month for the literary Guild of the United States in Canada. So I you know, I got a big check for writing Well, yeah, it’s in its fourth edition. It’s called after the light figure. The first chapter is the story of the shoe on the ledge. Okay, chapter is my near death. Experience third chapter is getting to Seattle, which is like crazy. And then we haven’t even touched on that. But the fourth chapter is when, you know, I began visions of not only what we call angels, and I’m big on angels, that’s another interview, by the way, we’ll

Brian Smith
have to do that. But I’m interested in that. Yeah,

Kim Clark Sharp
also scary stuff. So chapter four is a scary stuff. But I began to see some scary stuff and lots of angels around my patients around people, concerts and libraries of school houses, Oh, my gosh, they’re all over the place. So I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was pregnant, and I had eight to 10 months to live. As long as I remain pregnant and I chose to remain pregnant. This is how I understand the grief of a parent that the book Dedicated to David Eugene sharp net with David, try to imagine on delivery he did not survive. Oh, but I could do something with that loss too. Yeah. And put it in this book. So all of that is in there too. Can I hear more from parents than any other population? Because so that’s in the book. So because I had, you know, not that long to live. I thought I better get all this stuff down. Yeah, I got it all down. And I did survive and through no means in my own. I never was ambitious about writing a book. But it was just thrust upon me. You got to do this and lots of synchronicities. And it became a book it went to auction in New York City, which unknown authors. That doesn’t happen to a god. well paid and it it. It allows me to not be present but to still serve And bring comfort to people. So and I’ve never chased the money, which drives my husband nuts because he’d like for me to do a little money chasing, but it’s a good provider loves me. Yeah, I, you know, I annoy him frequently because I’m just not in it for the money. So that’s part of my false modesty. I guess I’m proud of the book. I want people to read the book, but I’m not selling it. You know, I mean, has been purchased, because you got it on Amazon or to Barnes and Noble to get it but yeah, well, it’s nice and I know it.

Brian Smith
Yeah. It sounds like a fascinating book. So let’s make sure everybody knows what it is. It’s after the light the spiritual path, the purpose by Kimberly Clark sharp and you said it’s available. Amazon Barnes and Noble, I guess, anywhere fine. books are sold. It sounds nicer. Yeah, you’ll have to come back. We’ll have to talk about angels. I don’t. We’ll talk about scary stuff too. I guess I don’t I don’t know how like to stick more to the white stuff, but we’ll talk about what the scary stuff.

Kim Clark Sharp
scary stuff leads to the light stuff. Yeah, percent of the time. It’s back to the white knuckle writer being alive.

Brian Smith
Yeah. And I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

Kim Clark Sharp
Yeah, I look at it fearlessly.

Brian Smith
Yeah. Okay. It’s been fascinating talking to you. I really appreciate you doing the interview.

Kim Clark Sharp
And Bless you. I mean that with my whole heart, bless you bless the work that you’re doing, Brian.

God is pleased with you, as well as me. Yeah, you’re at your intention.

Brian Smith
Well, thanks. I appreciate that very much. I love bringing these stories to to the to the listeners to hopefully inspire you know, you mentioned Kenneth ring. And I know he did a lot of work that people who studied near death experiences can get some of the same benefits that near death experiencers have without going through the trauma. So that’s why I love having people want to have near death experiences. As a

Kim Clark Sharp
kid rain was In that gallery that I saw, oh, real head. Wow. Yeah. Well, we were bound to be friends.

Brian Smith
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we’ll definitely do this again. I’d love it. All right. Well, you have a great afternoon.

Kim Clark Sharp
So you as well, Brian, thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m honored.

Brian Smith
All right. Thank you. Goodbye. Well, I hope you enjoyed the episode, I want to make it really easy for you to reach me. So just send me a text 231996 and simply text the word growth. gr o w th. In fact you can right now just say hey Siri, send a message. 231996. And when Siri asked you what you want to send, just say growth. You can do the same thing with Ok, Google. Thanks a lot. Have a wonderful day.

Thanks for listening to grief to growth. Brian hopes that you find this episode helpful, and we’ll come back for future episodes. Brian’s best selling book grief to growth planted not buried is a great resource for it. Anyone who was coping with grief or know someone who is, if you enjoy the podcast and would like to support it, there are three things you can do to help. The first is to share the podcast with someone that you think it will help. The second is to go to iTunes rate and review the episode. The third way you can support the podcast is by becoming a patron. Head over to www patreon.com slash grief to growth. That’s pa t ar e o n.com. Slash grief, the number to growth and sign up to make a small monthly donation. patrons get access to exclusive bonus content and knowledge that you are helping to spread the message of grief to grow. For more about Brian and grief to growth, visit www grief to growth.com

Robin Aisha Landsong is a Transformational Speaker, Visual Artist, Medicine Singer and Medical/ Health Intuitive. She had two Near Death Experiences during the Rhodesian War in 1977 when she was eight years old. When she was called back to life by the Medicine Song of a rural Zimbabwean woman, it opened her own Medicine Songs, and she has given Singing Medicine to over 14,000 people. Robin now tells the story of her two NDEs and uses the wisdom gained from those and other life experiences in her healing work. Her specialties as a Shamanic Craniosacral Therapist are trauma resolution, the neurobiology of connection, and restoring the natural rhythms in the body. She sees each person’s gifts, strengths, and underlying cause of their physical, emotional, or spiritual distress. Robin helps people regain their creativity, intuition, and embodiment.
ℹ️her website is https://www.robinlandsong.com
💵 to become a Patron and get exclusive content, find me on Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/grief2growth
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Jonathon Aslay is one of America’s leading mid-life dating coaches. His view of life changed and expanded in 2018 with the passing of his 18-year-old son, Connor.

Jonathon’s grief led him on a soul-searching inner journey which opened him to the most common emotional health issue faced by people- a lack of self-love, self-regard, and self-worth. Jonathon takes this new understanding with him into his work with people who are dating in mid-life.

In this interview, Jonathon and I discuss how his relationship with Connor has continued and how Jonathon has grown through the difficulties in his life. It’s rare that I get to talk to a father who is in this position.

You can find Jonathon at www.jonathonaslay.com




Announcer 0:00
Hi there. Welcome to grief to growth podcast. Your host is Brian Smith, spiritual seeker, best selling author, grief survivor and life coach. Ryan believes that the worst tragedies of life provide the greatest opportunity for growth. Brian says he was planted, not buried, and he is here to help you grow where you’ve been planted by the difficulties in life. In each episode, Brian and his guests will share what has helped them to survive and thrive. It is his sincere hope this episode helps you today.

Brian Smith 0:32
Hey, everybody, this is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me Jonathan as les Jonathan’s written a book about dating in midlife. And Jonathan also has a son that’s in spirit and we call those shining light parents people have have children’s spirits. So I’m going to introduce Jonathan we’re going to talk about relationships when we talk about grief and and those types of things. So Jonathan is one of America’s leading midlife. Dating coaches and expanding a deeper sense of philosophy of what it truly means to love. After Jonathan lost his 19 year old son, Connor and 2018 as grief led him on a soul searching journey where he became aware of an often overlooked dimension of the dating conversation. And he realized the process of dating reveals the most common emotional health issue faced by many singles that are seeking a partner and that is a distressing lack of self love, self worth, self regard and self love. So today, he’s on a mission encouraging both women and men to fully love themselves and his book that’s entitled What the heck is self love anyway, which is packed with fun engaging spiritual and personal growth practices is dynamic. midlife mastery mentorship program inspires hundreds of people daily around the world, and Jonathan’s podcast, what would love to do? And his website is Jonathan Adler calm and I’ll put that in the show notes but it’s Jonathan Jo ma th o n. Ashley a s la y comm So with that, I want to welcome Jonathan Aslay to Grief 2 Growth.

Jonathan Aslay 1:59
I’m excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Brian Smith 2:03
Yeah, john, it is really good to have you all. We were just talking right before we got started. We have something in common our children in spirit, and we found out they’re almost exactly the same age your son Connor passed in 2018 at the age of 19. My daughter Shayna passed in 2015 at the age of 15. Yeah. So when Connor passed, how does it impact you?

Jonathan Aslay 2:31
Wow, I can’t believe I just get.

So obviously my reaction is just a snippet of how it impacted me. I think as a parent, and I know this is true for most parents, but I can only speak for myself. I think the moment my first son and my second son Connor were born. I lived in constant fear. On some level. I mean, while there’s this is this joyous thing to have this bundle Have you know this energy and baby and whatnot? I lived in fear of things like, you know, would they drown in the swimming pool? Would they get kidnapped? I mean, boy, anytime I saw something on a kidnapping, I go, Ah, he’s my mind. Or worse, you know, they’d end up in jail or something like that. So I had all these constant fears. And so the moment I heard he passed away, it was not just it was like all those fears realized in that second. And I want to say, I didn’t ever think this couldn’t happen to me, but on some level, like this couldn’t happen to me kind of thing. And when I say me, experiencing this, isn’t it but yet, the fear? You know, I’m a little it’s interesting. I’m very tongue tied, which is very rare. So this, that question hit me because I recognized that That on some level I was prepared for it not because you know any expectation from him but I’ve been doing a ton of personal development and spiritual work prior and a lot of that work prepared me for it from an emotional perspective so I got tons I was my mind was all in fear and that anxiety but ultimately when it happened I was relatively calm now I want to differentiate between the shock kind of calm that happens or denial that can happen but on some level I was calm and I want to share that a little bit deeper later on in the podcast, but I’m so when it happened I was I had these mixed feelings from all that anxiety that I’ve always had, versus also the reaction that I was relatively calm. And I know that sounds counterintuitive, but

Brian Smith 4:58
no, I can I totally relate to that. For myself, I had a massive fear of death of my own death. So I did a lot of personal development studying to to try to alleviate my own fears. So and I think as a parent we’re always worried about our kids we’re always think you know, what if the worst things happens because it can be that there are lives so I would say I could totally relate to saying cuz I was in a sense prepared because of all this study night die. Yeah, but never really expected that to happen to me. Yeah. And that’s how it is. It feels like when your kid dies, it happens to you right? It’s a personal thing.

Jonathan Aslay 5:34
Oh boy, is that such a like, all of a sudden, everything you’ve ever watched before seeing someone else’s kid pass away or something happened? Bam. Now it’s, I don’t want to see your return but your experience and I will say one thing that did happen right off the bat, there was a rush of love from people I mean, the the empathy and sympathy and arms that you know, we’re wrapping me up On a virtual level was just, it was humongous. And I really appreciate all the love and support. And I mean to this day I still do. But in those early days that made a huge difference in navigating us. Yeah, well, it’s it’s me, it’s still relatively soon for you. You said it was it was 28 2018. Yeah. Two years in July. So,

Brian Smith 6:27
yeah. So those first two years are just like, I mean, first of all, it’s shock. And then it’s, you know, it’s disbelief and all those things that we go through. So you It seems like you must have been prepared in some way for you to have turned as quickly as you did to, you know, writing the book that you wrote and those things yeah,

Jonathan Aslay 6:48
I write right before he passed. It was interesting. I study A Course in Miracles and okay. And I just began a study group where we We meet every morning on the phone with a group of people. And we talk about each lesson and there’s 365 lessons in the book. And coincidentally, we were talking about death literally weeks ago, like four weeks beforehand. I mean, a lot of the the topics were coming up around death and the spiritual significance of death and how the wild of physical body might die. The spirit never dies. And so I was able to lean into that energy in the beginning, because I’d already kind of prepared myself from the, the mental state of going, Okay, yes, for body mate transition, but our spirit never does.

Brian Smith 7:44
Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. But of course of miracles. I’ve just started I just kind of kind of came across that actually, since my daughter passed, and I just interviewed a guy that’s kind of the world’s leading expert in that a couple weeks ago. So that’ll be coming on the podcast. People can find out more about that, but yeah, those things they do seem to kind of prepare. So we still go through that, but shocked that and it doesn’t. It doesn’t. It makes it easier but doesn’t alleviate the grief. Right? It doesn’t make it go away. So what was your grief process? Like when when when kind of did pass?

Jonathan Aslay 8:19
You Have you ever seen that meme where there’s like, it’s like a roller coaster? You know, this is grief. You know? It’s like, Oh, yeah, yeah, certainly I experienced, you know, the, the, you know, denial, anger, depression.

What’s up when you want them back, there’s a term and I can’t remember all the terminologies.

And I experienced everything in you know, in a what felt like a short period of time. But when I, I really leaned into I remember Okay, so I was at his funeral and I was giving the eulogy and I And sharing stories about him or not. And I stopped in the middle. And I said, I’m going to make a conscious choice to grieve with love. I’m gonna make a conscious choice to grieve with love, because I recognized on some level that I could grieve with suffering. And if you knew my son, and you know, and I and I know, everyone can say this to some degree, but at least I feel this directly with my son. There is not one ounce of him that would ever want anyone who cared for him to ever suffer. If you just knew his personality and, and how much he cared about his friends and his family and how much he gave love. In that sense, that would be like the furthest thing he’d ever want. So I’m giving his eulogy and I stopped in the middle. I say, I’m going to grieve with love, and I decided to really lean into what does it mean to love because I can I can love him and I can just Choose to love him in a different way, not his mortal body, but certainly the spiritual aspect of him. So that really inspired me to want to look at love in a different way. And then two months into, or two months after he passed away, I began writing my second book, as you mentioned, here’s a picture of it. What the heck is self love anyway? Yeah. And it inspired me and I actually published it nine months to the day after he passed.

Brian Smith 10:30
Wow. Wow. So that’s, that’s so what led you so obviously, you were on some sort of a self discovery journey. And before he passed, is that correct? Okay, so what started you on that self discovery journey before you pass?

Jonathan Aslay 10:43
Oh, well see. Now what’s interesting because, um, let’s see. It was about 12 years before he passed. I went through a divorce, lost my quarter million dollar a year job and got wiped out in the market crash of 2000. Uh, I mean, I’m in I’m talking about a seven figure Wipeout. So at one point I was worth, you know, well over a million dollars and then in three months that was gone. Wow. And I hit rock bottom. I mean, I was at the point where I went to bed wishing I didn’t wake up. And, and I, I began, I remember the movie, The Secret came out right about that time. And I’m like watching this and I’m like, this resonates with me. And then I grabbed I watched another movie called What the Bleep. And then I started to read books about personal development. Tony Robbins, you know, was popular, I mean, it still is but very popular at that time. And so I had Tony Robbins CDs and that sort of thing. So I started to immerse myself in personal development. At the same time, I’m curled up on my couch, close the drapes and didn’t want to live so I mean, there was this interest interesting dynamic. And in fact, I mean to add to that I was addicted to online dating. I was like, addicted because I was like so wanted the feminine energy, I wanted to connect with women, which eventually became my profession. This addiction so I had three things going on my depression, my addiction, and then my curiosity for personal development. And I say that all of that work prepared me for the emotional chaos. It was like a vaccination to emotional chaos. So by the time he had passed, which I thought would have brought me over to the edge and never returned, I had done so much work on myself and hence why I’m wearing a T shirt that says self love. Is that was a little bit prepared. I mean, it doesn’t take away from the pain but it was a little bit easier than had I not been prepared or at least that’s my perception. Anyway.

Brian Smith 13:00
Yeah, you know, it’s really interesting, you know, talking to Jonathan and going through your life and looking backwards. There’s a quote that I was talking about was, you know, life can only be understood looking backwards, but we have to live it forward. Yeah. And as we look back, you know, going through your life, it’s kind of like, Okay, well, this prepared me for this. And this prepared me for this. And it’s, you know, it’s just reality. A lot of times the worst things in our lives are the things that really make us stronger. That are, I would say, reveal our strength reveals a strength that we didn’t know we have. Yeah, but but we go through that, but you know, that, like you said, curled up on the couch, you wake up in the morning, you don’t want to be there and anybody who just lost a kid can relate to that feeling. I think, I think we’ve all had that. We’ve had those days, and you still have those days sometimes where it’s like, you know, why am I still here and he’s not. But you know, it’s interesting how you, you’ve taken that and use that to to motivate yourself to move forward.

Jonathan Aslay 13:55
Yeah, it’s literally as if I’m drawing on his inner strength. I mean, By continually tap into what he had because he had an unusual my son was unusual. fact, one of the chap Can I curse. Now, one of the chapters in the book is don’t let anyone fuck with your cheat. And what was interesting about my son is he had this unique capacity not to let other people’s opinion of him bother him. Like, he was Teflon. Like, it’s like if that’s who you are fine. And so I recognized that there was an element of he loved himself so much that other people’s opinions of him wouldn’t bother him. Whereas his dad was the opposite. If someone had an opinion of me, that wasn’t good. I mean, I was like, I’m curl often and, and shrink emotionally. So I started to tap into that inner strength with him since the day he passed,

Brian Smith 14:59
you know, it’s you know, Another thing I find interesting when I talk to people whose children past early this is A. ‘s anecdotal, but you know, it’s been my observation. These kids seem to usually have something really special about them that that draws people to them. And that we learned from our children. My daughter was just like, she was kind of similar. She was like, she had so much self confidence, and she loved herself. And she, she did what she wanted to do. You know, she was kind of our own person. She was 15, but she was a feminist. Remember, she wore this T shirt this sweatshirt to school one day and you know, feminists across it whenever teachers like, I want one of those t shirts. Yeah, by she had my, my wife make it for ya. So yeah, there’s something about our kids that, you know, even after they pass, we’re still drawing strength and inspiration from them. So I’m just curious, do you believe in soul planning? Do you think that you and your son Pat, plan this or

Jonathan Aslay 15:50
Oh, well, so you’re gonna find this interesting. There’s two facets to what I’m about to share. So my son struggled in school. He struggled with reading and writing. And you know whether he had a learning disability or not, I mean, I believe he did. He graduated high school. And he said, Look, I don’t want to go to college even though his young his older brother was straight A student, magna cum laude, Lada double major, you know, like Stepford kid from a from an educational standpoint. Condor struggle, man. And then of course, then his mom said, Well, we want you to get a job. And he said to me, right after graduation, he said, Dad, can you give them cut me some slack? Can you give me one year to figure out my life? In other words, can you give me time just to because I don’t want to go to college. I don’t want to get a job yet. I want to figure out things on my own. He passed one year in three days from the day he said that and there’s no doubt in my mind that his soul knew he was here for a short jurnee like his soul knew it. Like in that moment, his soul was telling me I’m only here for a year. And in that one year, he lived balls to the wall. I mean, he was very, he had a very much a rebel personality in him. And he tried experimented in all different areas of his life. So he got to have a lot of fun as last year, especially with this core group of friends.

Brian Smith 17:26
Yeah, yeah, that’s really, really interesting to me. Because my daughter make little comments here or there that made us think, you know, looking back on it, because she knew she wasn’t gonna be here for you know, for a very long time. And that seems to be, you know, fairly common. And she was saying much just love life. You just want to experience everything, you know, and try different things. And so, you know, I see some commonalities here. So, I think it’s great when we can look back as parents and realize that and maybe realize, you know, that was the plan and not, you know, agony. I mean, we still wish they were here, but that agonized, so much about the fact that that was their journey, and they completed their journey. And now we got to go do our own thing.

Jonathan Aslay 18:06
Yeah, that’s what I got out of it, you know, got out of the Course in Miracles and it’s great that you’re, you know, you know, investigating it for yourself. Mmm hmm. One of the things I recognized that we’re all here on our own journey. So when I was able to say, Okay, this was his journey, in other words, you know, some people have, you know, I look at it like a movie. And his was a short film, okay. Some people have movies that are a long drawn out drama. Some are action adventure, summer romantic comedies, you know, that the length of the movie kind of is an impetus for how your life is so in his case, it was a short documentary, especially the last year balls to the wall kind of energy. And I was okay with that. That was because that’s his journey. And I was wanting to share with you the second part of the story was the day after he passed, I’m walking into my complex and there’s kind of this where I live. There’s a, like a little waterfall and vegetation and little pond and that sort of thing right through the entrance. It’s very beautiful. And I see a yellow butterfly just kind of passing by me, like, Oh, that’s kind of interesting. And I didn’t give it much thought at first. Until when I was leaving the next morning. And this yellow butterfly starts following me. I’m like, Okay, this is kind of interesting, because I never seen a yellow butterfly before where I left. I always saw brown butterflies. And then the next day, so that’s the third day after he passed and I’m at my I live on a third story of a three story complex. And right out my balcony is a yellow butterfly. And there is no doubt in my mind. That was him. saying, hey, I want to let you know I’m okay. And now I see flux all the time. I mean, not, you know, not every single day, but it’s literally now that’s my signal to know that’s him telling me. Hey, I’m just letting you know I’m around and I’m okay.

Brian Smith 20:15
Yeah, I think that’s great. And you know, it’s interesting, you bring it up because I know I talked to a lot of parents and a lot of parents who say, Well, I haven’t heard from my son. I’ve never ever heard from my kid. Why haven’t I heard from them? And that’s one of the ways to communicate with it’s not typically going to be a phone call if I know people that have gotten phone call, but it’s usually like little things. It’s it’s synchronicity. It’s it’s finding coins, it’s finding feathers. And then once they find something that connects with you, they’ll start to repeat that. Yeah. You know, for like, for my daughter and I, it’s it’s dimes. And yes, it’s really wild. Because this happened to me just two days ago. I was looking for something in the house that my my dog lost. She lost her toy. I asked my daughter, can you give me an idea of what her toy is? Yeah. And I just saw I was like, okay, check it out. When the cushions on the couch, I ran my hand between the put cushions on the couch. It wasn’t her toy, but I found a dog. And it was like, Okay, well, that was that was interesting. Yeah. So we look for little things like that, you know, our kids are they’re still connected with this, there’s still no they still want to be involved in our lives. And I think it’s it’s really great to hear someone like yourself saying, Yeah, I recognize these things. I recognize that and the idea that another thing that with parents is we think we we tend to think we own our kids, right? Yeah. So what happens to them happens to us and their life was cut short why this happened to me. And that’s a really common thing that people say, and it’s like, it didn’t happen to us what happened to them Zack, and that was their journey.

Jonathan Aslay 21:39
Yes, exactly. It took it took that particular bit of awareness to help me accept, hey, this is his journey. It didn’t happen to me. He didn’t do anything to me. You know, he didn’t. This wasn’t intentional on his part or anything and right, and it wasn’t at the hand of someone else per se. So And that awareness really helps me be more in acceptance. Because ultimately, I think what helped me navigate the grief was leaning into love and leaning into acceptance. However, it’s just and don’t get me wrong I, you know, it’s almost two years and I you know, I was crying the other day and I mean I, I literally was melancholy for an entire afternoon. Not that I was incessantly thinking about them but there’s a there’s a, there’s a sadness, there’s a hole inside of me I can only speak for myself and I’m almost certain you and everyone else feels the same way there’s a hole inside of us. I just do my best to fill that hole with as much love as I can possibly can for myself, for him for everyone on the planet.

Brian Smith 22:49
Yeah, I had a grief counselor that came by the house. Right after Shana passed. She said that was really profound. I think Gigi, like had this model of the heart and she said, so when you’re when Shana passed left a hole in your heart. And now the edges are ragged and the rough and the raw. Yeah, that hole will always be there. But the edges will smooth over. Yeah. And there will always be a place in my heart for her, there will always be a longing for her, I will always miss her. Yeah. And I don’t, I don’t intend for that to change. I don’t want that to change. I want to you know, have that fear because that’s my love for her. But it doesn’t have to be fra every day and it’s not as bad every day. And when it is bad, you know, we deal with it. And we realize it’s going to pass so we lean into those feelings. We have those feelings, and then we let them go and we move on. Yeah.

Jonathan Aslay 23:36
Um, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to share with your audience. But I’ve done some spiritual journeys using plant based medicine. Now Yeah. And actually, each time I’ve done it in the last year, and I’ve done it three times. I’ve connected with him. I mean, I connect with him on a deep level and you One of the messages he sent me, which I thought was very profound was I was kind of playing with my eyes open and my, my eyes closed because when you’re on the medicine, everything is kind of euphoric, and kind of a dreamlike state. And there was a bright, shining light. And he says, Hey, Dad, you don’t have to close your eyes. Because the light of love is just engulfing you right now. And just always remember the light of love is on. So you don’t have to. And what I think he meant when he said that was closing your eyes is like being afraid, being a fear not of him, but just in life in general. He’s like, keep your eyes open, open your eyes to love and that will get you through anything. And it was like, that message came in so loud and clear. As well, as he said one other thing. He said gratitude, be grateful, because I’m already in the light of love. Like networks lean in together. gratitude. I’m already in love. I’m in that space of love. And that’s be grateful for that. You’ll get there. What’s he saying? You know, but I’m already there.

Brian Smith 25:09
Yeah, I think that is so awesome. And I’m curious was Iosco that you did?

Jonathan Aslay 25:15
No, I did still assignment. Okay.

Brian Smith 25:17
Yeah. Well, you know, it’s it’s, they’re, they’re doing experiments with psilocybin and there’s some real medical benefits. Yeah, I’m not I’m not promoting it. But yeah, there’s people for depression and anxiety and they’re using it in medical settings. And we’re starting to understand plant based medicines and I have friends that have that have taken Raska and I’ve been interested in it because as a medicine, you know, not as a recreation. Yeah,

Jonathan Aslay 25:41
exactly. I do it as a spiritual journey. And

Brian Smith 25:44
yeah, it can it can open up our eyes to a greater reality that our brain filters out. Yeah, we’ve got we’ve got these senses that are that kind of block everything else out. So I think that’s really cool. And I think it’s a universal message that we can all you know, take to heart and again, as parents, you know, when our children Leave before us. We missed it. A lot of people grieve for our children like they miss this. They miss that. And it’s really important message messages say they didn’t miss anything there. As you said, He’s in the light of love. Yeah, you know, he’s in bless that that we’ll get to soon enough. Yeah.

Jonathan Aslay 26:16
My ex wife struggles a bit because she has that. I want to say the word fantasy and please forgive because there’s probably a better word but you know, like, he getting married having children, she being a grandma to, you know, his children. So she has this missing of that, which I don’t have that same strength and desire and like, I don’t have that same desire as she did, per se. I just, I miss them because I liked myself. Like, I actually both of my boys I mean, what’s interesting is a lot of parents may love their children, but they don’t necessarily like them. Chuck,

Brian Smith 27:01
right, right.

Jonathan Aslay 27:02
And both my boys were polar opposites. I mean, they were as far as it can be. So two different people, but I really liked them. And what I miss most is I just liked hanging out with him. I don’t know how

Brian Smith 27:16
else to describe it. No, I think it’s a great way to scribe because I like both my girls and Shana was is younger. She’s three years younger than my daughter Kayla and I. I miss her being here for her sister. Yeah, you know, I missed that. I you know, I didn’t have the fantasies of grandchildren and stuff like that. That’s just some people do. Yeah, I don’t. So I don’t I don’t really miss that. But there are times you know, she would be a sophomore in college now and she was going to go to my alma mater. So there are times when I do I miss those things, but it’s for me, right. She was she was a few weeks away from getting her attempts to start driving and she was really excited about you know, dry. Yeah, it’s funny because I one of the readings that I was meeting She said Shana is handing me car keys, why she handed me car keys. And she’s like, and I told her she was 15 and a half. And she said, I think she’s telling me she’s driving the other sides. And she’s like, I don’t know if it’s literal. I don’t know if they really have cars there. But you know, she’s just telling me she’s giving me this message. She’s not missing that right? Yeah, yeah, we’re missing those things, but they’re not.

Announcer 28:21
We’ll get back to grief to growth in just a few seconds. Did you know that Brian is an author and a life coach. If you’re grieving or know someone who is grieving his book, grief to growth is a best selling easy to read book that might help you or someone you know, people work with Brian as a life coach to break through barriers and live their best lives. You can find out more about Brian and what he offers at www grief to growth com www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th comm or text growth gr o w th 231996. If you’d like to support this podcast visit www.patreon.com. Slash grief to growth www.trn.com slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Jonathan Aslay 29:22
Yeah. Oh my god, thanks for sharing that. That’s so cool.

Brian Smith 29:27
Yeah, but you know our kids and I feel this from you. I mean, my kids are my life. I mean, my I didn’t understand you talked about self love. I didn’t understand unconditional love until my children. Yeah, I mean it. That’s that’s when you look at that kid and you go wow, I would do anything for you. And there’s nothing that you could do that would make me you know, not love you and, and you love them. You know, whatever they do, whatever their thing is. My girls are very different in some ways, but you love both of them, you know, and you love them differently, but equally.

Jonathan Aslay 29:58
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. You met unconditional love and I think as a parent and on some level I hate I’m about to use the word hate but it’s if there’s another word I just that’s the only when it comes down on some level I hated being a parent because unconditional love can feel incredibly overwhelming because I want to protect them. I don’t want them to ever get hurt I you know, I mean everything about wanting them to be incredibly safe was also a huge pressure for me. Yeah, I mean, and so I don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. But parenting unconditional love was felt like a burden at times. It makes you vulnerable.

Brian Smith 30:45
Yeah, I had a dad I’ve never before before we had kids that have a friend that had a child and she said, having a child is like taking your heart out of your chest and letting it walk around in the world. You know, and it’s totally exposed because you realize how vulnerable You are you know if something happens to your to your child and with Shana and our girls, we’re both healthy for you know, most of our lives within Shana was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which was pretty serious when she was about 10 I think. And then like a year or so later, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. So we went from her being like, you know, really healthy to, you know, me having to be concerned about it with the medications I was giving her and the things we were going through. And that’s You’re right, it’s, it’s extremely, it makes you vulnerable. Yeah. But it’s worth it. You know, it’s it’s worth I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but you know, they’re becoming your lives.

Jonathan Aslay 31:38
I, I want to say that the one thing that happens, the moment he passed, was that 800 pound gorilla that I was caring about unconditional love, on some level disappear. In other words, and it disappeared, not because he wasn’t here. It’s because in that moment, I recognized how valuable life really becomes how important every single day matters. And so my, my last memory of my son was we got together we got together for lunch twice a week. I mean, we get together for lunch, we, you know, go to different places, we always go to one of us, either we go to his favorite places always order the same food, but we had three restaurants one, two, and two days before he passed was the last time I saw him and we always said goodbye the same way. I love you, you know, and with a hug, and I’ll see you later. And I’m grateful that on some level, that’s my last memory of him, as you know, because sadly his mother doesn’t have that his mother. He woke up on a Tuesday morning went to downstairs and have a cup of coffee, and go back upstairs and his mother saw him and then he passed some time between 9am and noon. And so for her, it’s like this. Oh, I just expect to see him later in the day. Ya know, and I at least have a little different memory because that feel of I know I’m making a big deal about this, or at least it’s a big deal for me. I’m so grateful. I don’t have that experience, because that would feel painful to me.

Brian Smith 33:31
Yeah, you know, and I had to I worked with the guy to do some trauma work because for me, my daughter the night before, because she was still living here. She was 15. So we were sitting on the couch and we went to bed and she goes up to the bathroom and she was in the bathroom. The door was closed. So I just said, you know, goodnight through the door. I didn’t hug her that night. Every night I would hug her and give her a kiss. But that night I didn’t. And then the next morning she didn’t wake up. So my last memory was finding her you know in bed the next day. But the thing our kids tell us when they come through through mediums or through after death communications is I don’t want you to remember the last moment. You have a memory like you. That’s great.

Jonathan Aslay 34:09
Yeah, it’s kind of for me, I lean into that memory.

Brian Smith 34:12
Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s great that you have that, but I’m like, you know, I could I could agonize over the fact that I didn’t kiss her that night. You know, I could say that was my last moment. And why didn’t I kiss her? But I don’t know. I kissed her every other night before that. Yeah. And she knows I love her. And in fact, she would even say to me sometimes you don’t have to tell me you love me all the time. You know, I know. But I’m like no, I’m gonna tell you anyway

Jonathan Aslay 34:34
by the way Now let me ask you something. So you have another child right so with my my other son I’m like look, we’re gonna hug and kiss every single time PCT Yeah, every communication between us always to be I love you at the end. I put a little pressure on him a little bit because of this and I say look, cut me some slack and he’s he’s actually understanding

Brian Smith 34:59
Yeah. I think that’s natural. How old is your other son? I

Jonathan Aslay 35:01
was there three years apart. So he was 22. Okay, it’s 24 now.

Brian Smith 35:08
Okay, so yeah, same as my girls. My daughter will be 24. Kayla will be 24 this fall and

Jonathan Aslay 35:14
Okay. Wow. So now we have exactly.

Brian Smith 35:17
Yeah. So we always, you know, and the thing is this goes back to my past but I always had my girls and kiss them because I was like, I’m gonna overcompensate for my childhood. So I do that anyway. But I was telling Kevin the other day, she called me on the phone. And she goes, what was that side when you answered the phone? I said, because you only call me when something is wrong. And one thing she texts me I mean, don’t get me wrong, she texts me she but I said you only call when something’s wrong. So So the other thing is you have to say I’m still going through PTSD, right? Yeah. And I’m going to be for the rest of my life. So when you call when the phone rings or the shoe, you know, tell us first of all, I’m gonna do the first thing out of your mouth. I’m okay and she’s learned she is that’s that’s her brain. Bear for the rest of your life,

Jonathan Aslay 36:01
you know, identical with my son. I literally if you’re calling me just start with everything’s okay. Yeah.

Brian Smith 36:10
Yeah, they got to kind of some slack on that I think that’s perfectly i think that’s that’s fine I think we deserve that. So um so after Connor passed you write this book about self love So why is self love so important?

Jonathan Aslay 36:23
So what was interesting thank you for asking because right before he passed as a dating and relationship coach, I uncovered what I started to uncover how much dating triggers the number one emotional health issue. You said that in my bio and what what I meant was that I’ve observed that most humans, at least here in the United States, and I’m sure this is around the world as well is that we suffer from I don’t, I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel lovable. I’m not likable. Our self worth is somewhat fragile. level and while we love the idea of confidence, you know that underneath that maybe facade of confidence many people are experiencing this lack of self worth self esteem, self confidence. And dating triggers this you know, whether it’s ghosting or breakups or narcissist or cheating are all these different things that can happen in the dating realm? It triggers that experience of not I’m not good enough. So I started a blog about self love as the antidote to that really is the is the precursor to building up your self worth, self esteem, self confidence. And then by the time he passed, I, as I said earlier, I was leaning into love, like how do I incorporate both my book isn’t about dating. It’s more about the individual, your individual sovereignty, if you will. And as a kind of wrap up in the book, I say it’s a vaccination. To emotional chaos because whether it’s the passing of a loved one or a breakup or ghosting or whatever happens in one’s life, it could be health issues and whatnot. When we have a solid core of loving ourselves, we’re better prepared for the roller coaster of life. Yeah, that’s my belief and that’s what I talked about.

Brian Smith 38:25
I think that’s fantastic. And I loved what you put that because I think and I’m starting for yourself self love is the is the core of everything. It’s the it’s the foundation is the bedrock right? So you know, Jesus said love your neighbors you love yourself and a lot of us learned that in Sunday school. And we were taught that means that you know, you should love your neighbor, but the first thing is you have to love yourself. Yes. And and that’s the thing that a lot of us don’t really know understand. And I was talking with the guy last night has written a book about the 10 life lessons learned from your death experiences, and the first light the first lesson, the universal lessons. For people near death experiences, the lessons, you know, they might pick up here or there. It’s all about unconditional love. It’s all about unconditional love. And again, the first the first love is the love for yourself. Yeah. But in our society we’ve been taught the self love is equal to selfish. And we shouldn’t do that we should be humble, which should be you know, we should be humble, which we should just not think too much of our of ourselves. And it, it’s, we don’t have that foundation, right? So when these things come along, dating breakups, things like that, you know, grief, it knocks us right off our feet.

Jonathan Aslay 39:36
So what’s interesting in the Course of Miracles, we talk about the it’s not stayed in this way. So I’m going to give you my interpretation of it. There’s the unhealthy ego, because when we talk about self we’re talking about an ego and there’s there is an element of unhealthy ego that either tacks ourselves, there’s a you know, self crucifixion that can happen or we judge others compare ourselves to others and that sort of thing that’s really coming from unhealthy ego. Healthy ego says, I’m going to love on myself like with that little kid, you know, like a little kid inside of you, I’m just going to love on you not from a selfish place, but from an empowered place from a place of strength from within. And I started off the beginning chapter or the opening of my book talking about when you’re on the airplane. And everyone knows that when you get on an airplane, the flight attendant says, in the case of cabin pressure change, oxygen masks will drop. And if you’re traveling with small children, put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Because you can’t be of service to someone else if you can’t be of service to yourself. So the oxygen that’s coming on that plane is love. That’s what I’m, that’s what I’m leaning into is when we give ourselves an oxygen of love. We can then be of service to others. And yet we’ve been so conditioned that it’s the other way around. Yes, and judged is if if you don’t do it that way, you know, if you if it’s all about giving, and there’s little room for you, how can you be a value to anyone else anyway? So that’s what I lean into.

Brian Smith 41:14
I you know, as I’m doing a lot more studying and i a lot of these new age, you know, teachings, I guess I’ll say there’s been a huge attack on the ego. The ego is bad, we need to kill the ego and eagles and I was just reading a book about enlightenment, this guy’s just like, the ego is the enemy. And I think that’s overdone. Yeah, my personal opinion. And I was talking with the guy I was telling you earlier, Bob Perry, who’s like an expert on a course in miracles, we he was talking about the ego in the Course of Miracles. And I said, you know, my impression I think, you know, Freud talked about the EDD the ego and the super Yeah, I think we’re attacking the EDD or the ego when we should be attacking the EDD because it’s the ID that’s all about me. But the ego is healthy. We have to have an ego we have to have boundaries. We have to have an idea And of ourselves and to take care of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think we, I think we’ve gotten out of balance. That’s

Jonathan Aslay 42:06
why I differentiate it. For me, this is my interpretation, because the book doesn’t say it that way. But it’s healthy ego versus unhealthy ego, that’s just yeah, II way of phrasing it. But it’s the recognition that whenever I’m attacking myself, because I could judge myself or rific Lee, or I can judge others or I compare myself to others, or I mean guilt, or I’m in resentment. All of those experiences are born out of fear and ego, the unhealthy aspects of life because it’s really born out of fear. So, the healthy part of ego the way I interpret it is how can we lean more into love? And, you know, it’s interesting, though, a lot of people throw around the word love, oh, I’m very loving. I’m very giving. I’m always this, but oftentimes, it’s still coming from a selfish place. You know, I need you to be this way. For me to feel good. Instead of, Hey, I’m just gonna give no matter what happens.

Brian Smith 43:06
Right? Right. It’s giving with the proper motivation. Yeah. And it’s, it’s understanding that we’re all equal. And we’re all really the same. And if you’re if you were really all one, yeah. And if you really understand that, then you will love other people, but you’ll also love yourself. And I think, as I said, I really like what I hear you saying about, you know, self love being the foundation for this, whether it’s dating or whether it’s going through grief or going through anything is primarily looking at, you know, who you really are, what value you have, you know, in and of yourself. And if you have that in your in a dating situation, and someone dumps you, you’re not going to dump on yourself and say, well, they they, they dumped me because I don’t deserve to be loved, which you know, can happen, right?

Jonathan Aslay 43:47
Well, I’m in a world well, I coach women,

and they oftentimes take it well. I mean, it’s human nature to take it personally. In other words, as if it’s a sign of your worth, and I’m here to To say, hey, when someone, for example, ends a relationship, and they’re basically saying we’re misaligned, that’s all it’s saying is we are not aligned with one another for whatever. The reason is irrelevant because if they’re choosing to move on, that’s their choice that going back to the journey. The unhealthy ego says, there’s something wrong with me. And I think I’m going to tell you why I think this happens. I think that the unhealthy ego enters in our lives every day in some way, shape, or form, as the trigger to love yourself. In other words, it’s, it’s because here’s the thing. As children, we’ve been so conditioned to experience love from others. We were never really trained as children to learn how to love ourselves. It’s we get love from others. So I think the ego is constantly putting, you know, these little tests in your way, so you can return them To love fact another great book to read as returned to love by Marianne Williamson. Fact at the end of my book, I actually take you on a chronicle of the 20 years of personal development I’ve been through, and I recommend what I believe are some of the best books on the planet to really shore up one’s self love. least these are the ones that I most, you know resonated with.

Brian Smith 45:27
Yeah, but it’s interesting that you say that because I think a lot of times we do tend to, we try everything until we find something that works, right. So trying to find love from other people and relying on that, you know, relying on them for our own self worth. We eventually figure out this is not working. And we get to the rock bottom that you referred to earlier, and we all reach at different points or different ways at different times. And I heard someone the other day and I wish I could remember it was like it give them credit, but they were saying in a rock bottom is really a blessing, because it’s what motivates you to start moving up And after we hit rock bottom, there’s only one way to go. So once we get to that point where we’ve said, okay, I’ve tried this, I’ve tried this, I’ve tried this, and it’s not working. Let me let me try something different. Let me try turning within, as, you know, as Kelvin Chen, a guy I’ve interviewed also said, No, it’s turning within Yeah, we start to say, let me look at my own my own self worth. Let me look at my Let Me Love on myself. Let me get that, that. That motivation, that feedback from myself. And if I do that first, then I can love other people. And then I’ll get the love that I need in return. And if someone says, I don’t want to be with you, I can say, like you said, we’re misaligned. Not you’re worthless. Yeah, we hear that. Yeah.

Jonathan Aslay 46:47
It’s hard to do it when you’re in depression. There’s Yeah, there’s no doubt and and I even talked about in this book, I’m not you know, I’m a huge proponent to seeking medical Help, you know, if you’re, if you feel so far down the rabbit hole, is please go out and see, you know, professional help. Not that I’m a big proponent on medicine as a way to curb it. Because ultimately, hope is the only way to I believe having people when you are in depression, you’ve lost hope. I feel like that’s like the core element. So yeah, personal development is really is shoring up that level of hope. That’s my invitation. But if you need medical treatment and need to see people that are professionals at this, don’t go to, you know, some life coach that you saw online and no disrespect to life coaches, but because I’m a life coach, but I start with professionals because there’s a lot of people out there giving Kwazii advice, you know, to help and that may take you further down the rabbit hole. Yeah, you know, and it’s

a good life coach knows that and we’ll send you

Brian Smith 47:59
you know, Exactly. So that’s what I was going to say I’m a life coach myself. And my daughter is a mental health professional. She’s in, she’s in counseling. She’s our she’s a mental health counselor and she’s working on her master’s degree. And I’m doing this life coaching course right now to teach other life coaches. Now, one of the things they said I really liked is, you know, there’s a place for people, there’s a place where life coaches because life coaches are typically looking forward. Yeah, we help people to to understand where you are to understand what your motivations are, what you want and to make plans. Yes. If you need a professional counselor to help you look back and figure out why you are where you are and the issues you’re having. That’s not a life coach. Yeah. And that’s that’s something that we need to understand is life coaches. That’s not we do so we refer people that that need counseling the counselors, but if here’s a situation where you you feel like I’m stuck. I know what I want to do by just can’t get there. That’s where life

Jonathan Aslay 48:50
Yes, exactly, well said. Well said.

Brian Smith 48:54
So yeah, I think you know what we’re talking about though, I think it really is. It’s interesting how it applies, like I said to everybody, I like the way we talk. You know, we talked about your books about extensively on the surfaces about dating and your relationship coach. But it really applies to everybody because we all could learn how to love ourselves better.

Jonathan Aslay 49:13
Well, actually, I don’t talk too much about dating in the book. It’s a good Leaning, leaning into love in and of itself. I mean, there’s a little bit of dating in there. But when I when I started to write it, I wanted it to be I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself in the dating realm. Um, so I spent more about how to shore up your own self worth, self esteem, self confidence, that sort of thing. So there are very simple lessons like, you know, Chapter One is called speak your truth, do it with kindness. You know, oftentimes people are afraid to speak up. So the encouragement is to start using your voice. Yeah, kind way in a non confrontational way. So and each lesson builds upon itself so by the time you get to the end of the book, you go, Okay, this is a tiny wake up call. Now I’m this is where I take you, as I say, look, now there’s these other great resources that you should start checking into like Course in Miracles or maybe some workshops or Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks. I mean, I list all the people that I love. Yeah. And if and so that’s really it’s just a tiny wake up call to begin and I’m a big proponent of a daily personal development practice, personal development, self help spiritual practice, daily. And, oh, one other thing a lot of people confuse self love with self care. And like getting manicures and massages and bubble baths and all those kind of things and I’m here to say is self care is for the body. self love is for the, for the heart, for the emotional side of who you are. That’s what self love is about. Yeah, it’s more and the body is an important part of this too. But self care is just the body piece that the emotional piece is going to require personal development, self help and spiritual work, at least in my perspective.

Brian Smith 51:14
Yeah, I agree with you. And that’s the conclusion I’ve come to, to it requires a practice and people might might shy away from that word, practice. But I was interviewing someone a little while ago and she was talking about practice. And she said, it’s three minutes a day, because this is what she starts people she’s like, and she said, I really don’t want you to do any more than that. You know, she in her in her approach is like, because if you do, it’s gonna become overwhelming. She said, so do three minutes a day, and it’s just these little things that they don’t have to be big. I mean, for me, I have a gratitude practice before I get out of bed every morning. I think of three things I’m grateful for. And you know, and and things like, you know, people shy away from the word meditation, but call it mindfulness. And even if it’s just putting on some music and sitting down for five minutes, and closing your eyes and listening to a song and inspires, yeah, do little things like that on a regular basis to kind of, you know, to build yourself up to kind of daily exercise

Jonathan Aslay 52:06
I am full agreement, I mean, I encourage, I encourage everyone to go 15 minutes and you start with three and go to five and 10 and 15. But at a minimum, get to a level, this is my request for everyone get to a level of a minimum 15 minutes a day at some point, you know, start small get to that point. And meditation is a great technique and like he said, it’s not about on and just, you know, emptying your mind, per se although that is one technique. It could be listening to music and doing other things. I I, Tony Robbins talks about something called the Hour of Power. And, you know, he’s a believer that you put invest an hour. I kind of want to encourage people to get to that level at some point because here’s the thing. How many episodes of the Kardashian Do people need to watch? How many times do you have to flip through Facebook Likes and Instagram likes? Why not redirect at least somewhere between those five minutes, you talked about 15 minutes or maybe even get to a point of an hour in really nurturing your own soul. Because those other things are merely distractions. And, and God universe is Spirit is saying, I want you to invest in you. Like, that’s what Spirit says every day. I want you to invest in you.

Brian Smith 53:33
By Yeah, look, yeah, look at it as an investment. I would agree with that. But you know, it’s interesting. I’ve been meditating for how many years now? And I’ve been meditating daily for the last three years, okay. And I remember talking to friends about meditation several years ago, they’re like, I can’t sit for five minutes. There’s no way I could sit for 20 minutes. So we encourage people start wherever you are, right. And for me, I do several things. I my gratitude practice, as I mentioned earlier, I take it out. An hour and a half walk every day I walk seven miles. I do a formal study down meditation. So I do multiple things throughout the day. That’s where I,

Jonathan Aslay 54:08
cumulatively, you’re doing a fair amount. That’s great.

Brian Smith 54:11
Yeah. cumulatively, I’m doing quite a bit. Yeah, but that’s just what I do.

Jonathan Aslay 54:15
Yeah, I was gonna say, by the way, let me clarify. I don’t mean all in one sitting. Now. Yeah, but certainly get to that place. Um, are you familiar with the Hawaiian forgiveness? prayer? I’m not. Okay. So I’d like to share with your audience something that really helped me. So the wine forgiveness prayer is called upon upon upon upon upon Oh, and I’m butchering it a little bit because it’s might not be exact. It’s a very simple prayer. And it said, it’s nine words. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I’m going to repeat that. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. And it’s actually something that you can say to your And what’s interesting about this prayer is that it’s it’s kind of like a it’s like an NLP pattern interrupt. So if you’re ever feeling fear, anxiety, anger, melancholy and I’m not talking about deep, you know, deep melancholy or deep depression, anything like that just those beginning moments where you ever feel anxiety, say this prayer and sometimes they say it 10 times a day, or 10 times in a moment, but it actually reshift your brain patterning because forgiveness actually means for giving love. And this is a great exercise to give yourself love. So forgive us for giving love. And I do this throughout the day whenever I’m feeling a little anxious or whatnot. And so they’re like what you said there’s all these little things like gratitude, forgiveness prayer, maybe watching a video Maybe listening to a podcast, all these things are nurturing our soul. I think on a healthier level, then, like I said, the distractions of life because we can get so hypnotized by this little device. Yes, I think it’s really, yeah, I completely agree with you.

Brian Smith 56:18
And I try to do with people is offer them as many tools as possible and say, you know, like, here’s your tool box here and use what resonates with you, and what works for you. And as you said, you know, make it make it something you do throughout your day. It shouldn’t be it hopefully won’t be a burden. It shouldn’t be a burden. It should be something you look forward to you should look forward to your to your meditation time. And if you’re, if you’re not looking forward to it, then maybe you’re using the wrong technique. Yeah, should find something that works better for you.

Jonathan Aslay 56:45
Yeah, there’s all different that’s the beauty of this. There’s all different cars for every human being kind of thing and it’s the same that personal development, find what resonates with you and I’m also a big proponent, if you like one teacher You know, listen to you know, follow them for a while, then follow someone new, mix it up, change it up. Don’t get pigeonholed sometimes although, you know, I’m not suggesting abandon, but change things up because variety is also part of the spice of life. And that’s the beauty of those who take this journey, personal development, self help and spiritual work because I believe the end result is a much calmer way of being with inner peace and most people are out for the pursuit of happiness. I’m in the pursuit of inner peace. Like, for me, that’s my declaration of independence is the pursuit of inner peace because that feels a lot better than shooting for happiness because the the end of the Yang will happen. You shoot for happiness all day long, you’re gonna get the corresponding other side.

Brian Smith 57:54
Yeah. Well, I think that’s really and the thing that’s really important is that we need to understand that you know, happy Venus is is fleeting happiness is based on circumstances whereas inner peace we if we can get that inner peace, we know the circumstances come and go. Yeah. So even when we are in those in those turbulent times that are that are raging around us, we still have that, that that foundation. We talked about that core, where we say I know everything is going to be okay. Yeah, no, I know everything actually is okay. It doesn’t appear to be okay. It seems to be chaotic and it sucks right now. And it’s okay to say it sucks right now. But it but I know, at my core, I know where my spirit is that everything is okay.

Jonathan Aslay 58:35
You know, it’s interesting. My, my mother, who that’s in the picture there. My mom and dad, my mother passed away six months before my son. So I had two big losses. In fact, my father who was never married 66 years before she passed. She we she kind of recounted her life. We had a little bit of fair warning. I mean, she was diagnosed with cancer. Answering was gone Three weeks later. But we had a chance to connect with her and as she looked back on her life and she shared with me She goes, I have so much to be grateful for I like I had so many great experiences and and she shared it. But what she said was, when I let go of you, when I come out when I leaned into everything is going to be okay. Like life just got better. Because she because she just reached a point. It’s almost like the chapter when you know, delay when fuck with your cheat when you get to the point of saying, you know what everything is going to be okay. Even if I’m in bottom. Everything is going to be okay. Because when you can, what did Steve Jobs say when you connect the dots backward? And I think you said that earlier in the podcast is to recognize that no matter what challenges most the time we get out of it. The ones who don’t is the ones who let melancholy take them down. And, you know, my invitation for them is at least Try to do some practice on a daily basis.

Brian Smith 1:00:04
Yeah, I agree. And you know, it’s ironic for me is, you know, it took my daughter’s passing for me to understand everything’s gonna be okay. Yeah, somebody told me this, you know, six years ago she passed, it’ll be five years ago in June, I would have said, No, no, I don’t believe that. But even though, you know, I said I would do anything to get her back or do anything to have her back. But I know everything will be okay. And I know she’s still with me, and we still have a relationship. And that, you know, I will, I will see her again. And since I’ve been through this, everything else is nothing after that.

Jonathan Aslay 1:00:35
Hey, I don’t know if we have enough time, but can I share something with your audience? Sure. So it’s interesting because I shot a video called what to say and how to date a grieving parent. I’d love your feedback on this. So because I’m single and dating, or I’m single, and I’m out there, and I recognize that you when it comes to talking about my son, it can be a little bit of a you know, especially sensitive subject. Yeah. In fact, one of the things when someone asked me Oh, tell me about your kids, and they don’t know yet I always say, Well, my oldest lives with my his mom, and my youngest lives in heaven. So that’s my way of saying, I don’t have morale. So, but one of the things that happened, and early on, whereas when people kept saying, Oh, I’m sorry for your loss, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry for your loss. And I don’t know why. But that triggered me. Because there’s nothing for you to feel sorry about. And what I need to say is you didn’t do anything wrong. And I know, the term I’m sorry, can have multiple meanings. It bothered me. So it wasn’t until one of my dear friends said to me, it was like, three weeks after he passed, and I saw him He goes, Jonathan, there are no words. There are no words and you’re in my prayers. And can I give you a hug and what I liked about that, was when you say there’s no words. It didn’t require me to respond to him. When he says you’re in my prayers, it’s like, wow, that feels like love and he goes, can I give you a hug that’s loving. So, you know, when when someone says, I’m sorry, it requires kind of a response back, but when someone said there are no words, it’s exactly true. Like, there are no words, there’s nothing you can say to me, that’s going to feel good. So if you just say, there are no words, I get it, you’re acknowledging it without because you know, there’s nothing you can say to change this. And so when it comes to dating a grieving parent, I certainly would encourage that’s my invitation. I don’t know how you feel about it, but that’s just no I think,

Brian Smith 1:02:44
you know, it’s interesting because I wrote a book on grief and and one of the things I talked about the things to say and things not Yeah, no grieving person. And the thing is, there are no words and I said, I think I said almost exact same thing. I don’t know what to say. There are no words that’s the perfect thing is yes. says there are no words. And there’s really nothing you can say. And me even being five years into this and dealing with the thousands of parents I’ve dealt with, I still sometimes say I’m sorry for your loss. Yes, that’s what,

Jonathan Aslay 1:03:10
we’re so conditioned for it.

Brian Smith 1:03:12
So that that does come out. But what I’ll say is like, I know, this is hard. You know, I’ll say that to people sometimes. I don’t know how you feel, you know, but I know this is hard, you know, just acknowledging their their pain, and that required them to come back with anything. So there’s no you know, things like that. We just acknowledge the person Yeah. feelings. without, you know, but it’s, it’s difficult. It’s difficult for the other person to, it’s hard for us as the griever. But for the other person, they don’t know. Yeah, well,

Jonathan Aslay 1:03:43
there are no words, you know, yeah. It’s actually the one thing

Brian Smith 1:03:46
I do I like that a lot. Yeah, but I was at a dinner with someone and what I usually do, it depends on the relationship. I was at a dinner with a woman I was never going to see you again. It was a it was a business dinner thing. And we just happen to be sitting at the table with them and she asked about my kids. I’ll usually just say I have, you know, two daughters and blah, blah. Then they’ll say like, well, where did they go to school because you happen to live close to where I live. And so I’m like, and then finally, when they ask the third question, and I’m like, Okay, well, Shana, you know, strangers in spirit, you know, because I don’t, because people get awkward when you tell them that your kids, you know, on the other side, so I don’t I don’t lead with that. Yeah. If it’s someone I’m not going to have an ongoing relationship with. Now if it’s someone I’m going to have a relationship with, then I’ll just tell them up front, you know,

Jonathan Aslay 1:04:26
from a data perspective, it’s kind of one of those questions. Oh, how old are your kids? Blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, yeah, I feel and sometimes I actually give them the heads up before like, sometimes I’ll shoot even a text message. I’ll just, you know, before I meet someone, I want you to know this ahead of time. And the reason why I even send it in an email or text because it gives them a second to process it. Yeah, because when you’re face to face with someone and they tell you this, it is I I can only am I’m not at the why I’m at the receiving Because I experienced it with you, but I, this is an experience. I know. I can imagine how hard it is to hear that information. And again, they don’t know what to do. It’s almost like deer in the headlights. So, right prepare them, at least from a dating perspective, a little heads up, because I know that’s a big that’s a big responsibility to navigate, you know, emotionally

Brian Smith 1:05:23
I, I agree. And that’s, that’s the only way because a lot of parents will ask me so how do I respond when someone asked me how many kids do I have? And I’m like, that’s totally personal. That’s up to you. And I suggest you rehearse it and think about it because it’s going to happen. Yeah. And so I have I have thought about that. And the reason I hold back with some people is not because I am so uncomfortable talking about Shannon because I don’t feel uncomfortable at all. It’s because I know it’s gonna make them but I’m like a what, what level of pain do I want to put them through? If we’re just having a conversation standing in line at the movies? Yeah, exam like,

I’m not gonna go there with them. So that’s that’s the way I had to One.

Jonathan Aslay 1:06:01
Now this is always and that’s the thing, you know, a lot of people and I can already tell with you. They feel like, like, it’s gonna be uncomfortable for me to talk about. It’s quite the opposite. I want to talk about him. Ask me questions, you know, like, you can say anything. In fact, I may feel a little sad for a moment because I’m missing them. But that’s the other thing is I on some level, I’m like, I want you to ask me about him. Asked me tons, at least for me anyway. No,

Brian Smith 1:06:32
I for me, that’s a that’s a great point that we need to tell the people that don’t know what to say to a grieving person. We don’t feel uncomfortable talking about our kids. And we’re always thinking about that. So don’t think that you like, Oh, I brought up something and I made you sad. No, they’re always on our mind. And you didn’t make me sad. Now. You said I might. I might have I might shed a tear. Because I’m thinking about her or I’m thinking about her more on the surface, but she’s always with me. I mean, she’s literally always with me. I got a walk in the room. If there’s a medium there, like, who’s a little girl following you around? Because so I know she’s with me all the time.

Jonathan Aslay 1:07:08
Well, that’s I, I, what I want to end her, I want to say that for those of us who are going through, you know, this loss and I can, again, only speak for myself, I want my friends to ask me about him, I want them to, you know, bring them up. Because that lets me know that, you know, he’s still around to, you know, so yeah, those that feel afraid I, I’m just going to encourage you to, you know, ask questions. Tell me a story about when he was five years old, or, you know, tell me a story about her when she was six in sixth grade or whatever, you know, yeah. Invite that conversation because we’re dying to talk about our kids, or at least I know I am. Absolutely every choice of words to say I’m dying to talk.

Brian Smith 1:07:55
Now, every, every parent I’ve talked to, I’ve talked to thousands says that I want to I want to talk about my kid I like to talk about my kid. I don’t I think I shouldn’t say every parent. Sometimes in the early stages I have had, I have known parents that have said, you know, actually, I did talk to a client that said, we don’t bring them up, you know, her husband and her other son, they don’t they don’t bring them up. And I’m like, this is something we need to work on. Because you know, they’re all walking around thinking about him, but they don’t talk about it. with Jonathan, we’ve been going for about an hour now I really appreciate your time. It’s been great getting to know you. I want to give your information again. And then last up I think you want to close with but your website is Jonathan acid calm. It’s JONA th o n, a s la y calm. I’ll put that in the show notes. The book is what the hell is what the heck is self love anyway? Sounds like a great book. So I encourage people to check it out.

Jonathan Aslay 1:08:52
Yeah, thank you so much. I’m so honored. I really, it’s, it’s I’ve done a number of conversations around grief it’s it’s rare that I get to talk to someone who’s in the same I we have so much similarity here with our cars, kids age and everything and, and the timing and whatnot. So I’m really grateful that I had a chance to speak with you because this actually helped me feel better, as well. So I just want you to know that I’m very grateful.

Brian Smith 1:09:20
Well, awesome. You enjoy the rest of your day.

Jonathan Aslay 1:09:22
Thank you. Likewise. Have a great day, everyone.

Brian Smith 1:09:24
Well, I hope you enjoyed the episode, I want to make it really easy for you to reach me. So just send me a text 231996 and simply text the word growth, gr o w th. In fact you can right now just say hey Siri, send the message. 231996. And when Siri asked you what you want to send, just say growth. You can do the same thing with Ok, Google. Thanks a lot. Have a wonderful day.

Announcer 1:09:51
Thanks for listening to grief to growth. Brian hopes that you find this episode helpful, and we’ll come back for future episodes. Brian best selling book grief to growth planted not buried is a great resource for anyone who is coping with grief or know someone who is. If you enjoy the podcast and would like to support it, there are three things you can do to help. The first is to share the podcast with someone that you think it will help. The second is to go to iTunes rate and review the episode. The third way you can support the podcast is by becoming a patron. Head over to www patreon.com slash grief to growth. That’s pa t ar e o n.com. Slash grief, the number to growth and sign up to make a small monthly donation. patrons get access to exclusive bonus content and knowledge that you are helping to spread the message of grief to grow. For more about Brian and grief to growth, visit www grief to growth calm

Robert Perry is one of the most respected teachers of the modern spiritual path A Course in Miracles.

A Course in Miracles is a course that is intended to be a spiritual path. The material is claimed to be channeled from Jesus in the late 60s and early 70s. In this conversation, Robert and I discuss the teachings of the course and how closely they align with the lessons from Near-Death Experiences. Robert and I discuss what “the Course” says about God, reincarnation, judgment, the purpose of life, etc.

Robert is the editor of the Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles. He is the founder of the Circle of Atonement (www.circleofa.org) and has authored or co-authored over 20 books and booklets on the Course, as well as hundreds of articles, and has lectured throughout the U.S. and internationally. Perry’s goal has been to draw out of the Course a comprehensive understanding of the path that it lays down and to support students in walking that path. For more visit: https://www.circleofa.org or to start studying the course, https://www.coursecompanions.org



Episode Transcript:


Announcer 0:00
Hi there. Welcome to grief to growth podcast. Your host is Brian Smith, spiritual seeker, best selling author, grief survivor and life coach. Brian believes that the worst tragedies of life provide the greatest opportunity for growth. Brian says he was planted, not buried, and he is here to help you grow where you’ve been planted by the difficulties in life. In each episode, Brian and his guests will share what has helped them to survive and thrive. It is his sincere hope this episode helps you today.

Brian Smith 0:35
Hi, everybody. This is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth and I’ve got a guest with me today. His name is Robert Perry, and I’m going to introduce Robert and they will have a conversation about a really fascinating topic that brilliant I’m excited about introducing you guys to Robert is one of the most respected teachers of the modern spiritual path which is called A Course in Miracles. Robert is the editor of the complete and annotated edition of A Course in Miracles. He’s the founder of the circle of atonement, which is a www circle of a.org. And I’ll put that in the show notes. And I’ll and Robert is also authored or co authored over 20 books and booklets on the course, as well as hundreds of articles. And he’s lectured throughout the US and internationally. Roberts goal has been to drop the course, draw out of the course a comprehensive understanding of the path that lays down and support students and walking that path. I’m really excited about introducing you guys to A Course in Miracles because I’ve always wanted to introduce you to different ways, different tools of understanding spirituality, and this is a pretty intense way of understanding it that’s, I think a lot of people be interested in. So with that, I want to welcome to the show, Robert Perry.

Robert Perry 1:45
Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Brian Smith 1:48
Robert. I’m really excited about talking today and I appreciate you doing this. The court A Course of Miracles. I first started probably five or six years ago, I was attended at Unity Church. They were talking about this thing called a Course of Miracles. So explain to me what is the Course in Miracles?

Robert Perry 2:07
Well, of course, the miracles is in form. It’s just a book, the three volume book with a text, a workbook and manual for teachers, but it’s really a spiritual path. The book is designed to lead you through a process of development, in which you first learn and internalize and experience and demonstrate a set of teachings.

Brian Smith 2:36
So what is what is the source Where did that Where did the Course of Miracles come from?

Robert Perry 2:40
Yeah, that’s, that’s part of its identity is is is is rooted in a very unusual and interesting story. A woman named Helen schucman what who was a psychology psychologist and at Columbia University in New York City. She and her colleague bill Thetford, Who was the head of the psychology department? Not at Columbia University, but at sort of a place associated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. They worked together for several years starting in 1958. So it goes back quite a ways. And they experienced a great deal of conflict in their own relationship, his colleagues, and also conflict in their department, and with other departments and medical centers, and just just everywhere in their professional lives, there was conflict. And finally, it got to be too much. And Bill Thetford sort of gave a speech to Helen schucman, in which he said essentially, there there must be a better way, there must be a way in which people can essentially get along with each other and cooperate rather than compete. And so she said, Okay, I’ll join you in that it was a rare moment of harmony between them and That seemingly, you know, ordinary non spiritual event. They knew it was life changing, but it didn’t have any spiritual content to it. They weren’t believers in anything. Helen professed to be a militant atheist. That was a trigger. She began. This was in 1965, she began having a series of interesting inner visions and heightened dreams, and also paranormal experiences. And then several months later, October 65, she heard an inner voice say this is A Course in Miracles please take notes. Wow, she began to take down yeah, very out of character for her take down a series of teachings by inner voice that she heard. And this process went on for about seven years. And she would take these these teachings down as she heard them word for word. In her shorthand notebooks, so she’d do it in handwriting and shorthand symbols. And then she would dictate what she’d taken down to her colleague, Bill Thetford, and he would type it up. Wow. And that was it was they called it their guilty secret. They didn’t they were they were afraid of losing their reputations professionally. It shared it with very few people. But eventually, it kind of they shared it with certain key people and it escaped into the wild. People began reproducing material on Xerox machines and a pressure group to publish it. It was finally published in 1976.

Brian Smith 5:34
Interesting, yeah, I did not know that the full history of that. So this is a person who as you said was a professed militant atheist and started having these these channelings I guess rights download essentially. Right,

Robert Perry 5:46
right. And the the source of the material. This is something that is controversial and uncomfortable for many students of it, but the source of material clearly speaks as if this is Jesus talking.

Brian Smith 5:58
Yeah. Well, you know, it It’s really interesting that, you know, a lot of us have faith in the Bible. And we and we say that’s the word of God. And that’s not even necessary professed to be channeled. So there’s no reason why I was it said, I was attending a Unity Church when I came across the Course of Miracles. And one of the tenets actually was a church before that it was at United Church of Christ. And one of the things he used to say was, God is still speaking. So if God could could inspire people 2000 years ago, then certainly God could inspire people today. So

Robert Perry 6:31
well, Christians believe that, of course, at least in theory, and you know, people people do have experiences of Jesus all over the world and not just Christians. So it’s not something that in theory is considered at least by a lot of people to be impossible.

Brian Smith 6:47
Yeah, well, I on my program, and in my life, I talked to a lot of people who’ve had near death experiences and seeing Jesus is not uncommon when you have a near death experience. So I know I know it feels a little bit uncomfortable. Maybe to say this course this material is channeled by Jesus. But for me and for my audience, I think it’s not not that big of a reach. But I think, as the Bible says, I kind of the proof is in the pudding. It’s like, what what type of what type of fruit is this tree bearing? And when you talk about A Course in Miracles and being a spiritual path, that thing is doesn’t lead to development, does it lead people to be better people?

Robert Perry 7:22
Well, I think very often, it has absolutely, you know, life changing positive effect on people’s lives. I think that we’re still trying to get a handle on what this book is and what we do with it and what it says and I think for a lot of people it gets gets misused. But I know so many people count the course as absolutely key to turn their lives around and making them more loving and forgiving, and generous people. Yeah,

Brian Smith 7:54
and that’s been my experience. I haven’t gone through the course as I was telling you before we get started recording I’ve kind of dabbled this A little bit, when I was going to the Unity Church, they had a weekly teaching on it. I went to that a couple times. And I downloaded the app, which gave me some little bits of it here and there. But my experience of people that have been through the course as you said, they, they like just rave about how it’s changed their life and change your perspective. And one of the things that I think is key to getting through this life and being and doing it well, is understanding who we are. And I think a lot of us have forgotten who we are. And that’s one thing that I got out of when I did study, the course is that we’ve forgotten who we are as human beings and why we’re here and I think the course does a pretty good job of explaining that.

Robert Perry 8:40
Yeah, that’s a core teaching of the course. And in talking about that, I often reference your death experiences, because one of the things I’ve I’ve been into them for, I mean, since life after afterlife came out in 75. But but in the last 10 years or so, I’ve really gotten into MDS because there is an enormous amount of crossover between the truth that people learn in their MD. And the teachings and of course, the miracles. In fact, a colleague of mine and I have about five six years ago now wrote a very lengthy article, comparing the teachings of A Course in Miracles with the philosophical perspectives people take away from MDS that got published in the Journal of near death studies, which is the you know, the peer reviewed journal that you know, for MD studies. And it was very long article because there is an enormous amount of crossover there. So, what the course teaches about what we are who we are, is that we may appear to be humans, but in fact we are divine beings. In our true nature, we are pure spirit, there’s no bodily component. We are limitless, we are perfect, we are holy, we are made of pure love. We are the kind of being that if we knew we were that being we would have unlimited self esteem. And what I find one of the things I find out of many things so interesting about nd ease is that people often have this experience where they say I was still myself. But I was not. You know that the human I knew I was not a body. And sometimes people experienced themselves exactly as of course, miracles teaches us that they were just pure spirit. There was no form. They were eternal. They were without limit. And it’s fascinating to see those reports when that’s exactly what I read in the course.

Brian Smith 10:48
Yeah, well, I my personal belief is truth is truth, no matter where it comes from, right and and there is a CS Lewis called the Dow, the Dow, that there’s just a ternal truth that predates even existed. And it comes to us through many, many channels. And it comes to us for various religions. It comes through us. Some of it’s in the Bible, some of its in Christianity. And I think some of its come through the course. And you’re right. It’s really interesting the overlap between the near death experience and what the course teaches. And that, to me is what resonates with me that that rings true from the course is that is this this thing of who we are. And I think that’s one of the biggest problems we have on our Earth right now is, as mankind, we’ve forgotten who we are. And that leads us to all kinds of mistakes and problems and I think returning to those roots and understanding could, you know, provide a miracle good, could actually be miraculous.

Robert Perry 11:41
Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, if we had if we really believed not only that we are divine beings. But if we believe that about other people, that regardless of what they’ve done, they’re not sinners. They still have limitless value. They are equal. No matter what appearances may say, if we had that picture of others, I mean, we’d be living in a completely different world.

Brian Smith 12:08
Yeah, and I guess, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it is a course kind of a systematic way of getting from here to there.

Robert Perry 12:15
That’s what it’s about. Yeah, it’s, it’s not just a set of teachings, it’s a course. So it’s informed, modeled after like an educational course where you’ve got a text, you’ve got a workbook with practical exercises, you have a manual for teachers, for those who in some sense, will, having studied and practice the principles go on to teach them that it’s trying to take you through a whole process. So for instance, the text is like a series of lectures. It’s not it’s in it’s in written form. But each section in the text and there is about 250 of them will introduce a new subject, rolling in old material, referencing old material and building on that but then adding something new. So it’s like you’re in a Very long lecture series.

Brian Smith 13:03
So, what are some of the teachings? We talked about the fact that we are divine beings? And we’re all equal? What are some of the other teachings from the course?

Robert Perry 13:12
Well, I mean, it’s hard to know where to start, I guess I’ll pick a starting place. But the course is I often say it’s like an ocean, there are hundreds and probably thousands of concepts. And they all interweave with all the other ones. Mm hmm. So there’s an enormous amount of depth and variety of wisdom in there. But from my standpoint, it really starts with the courses view of God. Hmm. And in my experience, in sort of outside of traditional spirituality, when you’re in alternative circles, you know, new thought, new age, Eastern spirituality. I think we tend to shy away from the whole God topic, because a lot of us feel a bit scarred by God in traditional religions. Yes. So what the course does As it presents a very different vision of God than the traditional one, but also very different than what you tend to encounter in alternative spirituality. Traditionally, you know, God is, is loving and wrathful. Right, right. And we’re all very familiar with that. And we tend to, you know, for those of us who grew up in church, like I did, we tend to, you know, carry some of that, you know, fear of God. Mm hmm. And I think that tends to fuel how we are once we perhaps leave traditional religion, we gravitate towards a God who above all is safe. And I think therefore, we tend to gravitate towards a somewhat impersonal God.

Brian Smith 14:43
Yeah, I think that’s fair to say. Yeah.

Robert Perry 14:46
You know, where God is more like a presence or an energy or a suchness. Then Yeah,

Brian Smith 14:51
I I have to confess to that, you know, I grew up in a church with this guy who was judgmental, and and I was I just had this conversation with someone yesterday because We’re studying near death experiences, we’re reading a book about it. And in the book, the author kept using the word God and one of the chapters and this person pushed back and said, I almost put the book down. You know, it really turned me off because you kept talking about God so much. So there, there is in that new age, New Thought near death community, there’s almost as pushback against the personal God. So how does the course address that? Well,

Robert Perry 15:24
the course is picture of God which I think is practically identical to what near death experience there’s so often experience which I can get to in a bit, but but the course is picture of God is not an impersonal God. It’s almost as if if you took the traditional God who has this loving side, he cares about us, he wants the best for us. He wants to spend eternity with us. And he has this raffle side where for some reason he because he’s just he has to punish us for our sins and He has to throw people in hell forever and, you know, the sins have to be paid for and The vision of the traditional nutritional view the crucifixion, where someone had to pay. If you take that picture, and you just completely remove the wrathful side, so that so that the God of the course, is literally incapable of even the tiniest hint of anger. There’s, he’s just the course uses the language of he but doesn’t understand that there’s no gender to God. Right. But still, this God has a kind of personhood. He has no form no body, he has no limits. He’s pure spirit. He doesn’t change. He He’s absolutely infinite. But he still has thoughts. He still has feelings. He still has will and intention. He has a plan for our salvation. But in all of that, it’s He is just love personified. If you could take love and make love conscious, so that love was a person. Mm hmm. That’s what this God would be like. So he is absolutely pure, overwhelmingly intense love for each for all of us as a whole. And for each of us individually. And what I find so interesting about MDS? Well, again, one of the things is that people frequently have and one of my favorite MD books is by Jeffrey long, God and the afterlife. I don’t know if you’ve read

Brian Smith 17:39
I’m not familiar with that one now.

Robert Perry 17:40
Yeah, it’s really good one. He details all these experiences where people have encountered with God and they are remarkably consistent. Mm hmm. And they are so striking because the god they encounter has personhood. You can tell from their story. Yeah. But what they encounter is unbelievably on earthly love. So one of my favorite were my favorite quotes about this, as this guy was saying that he said he was in front of the great light. He said it had to be God. And he said, it was like, how do you put he said, it was like, you’re standing six feet from the sun. He said, only instead of heat. You experience love. Wow, infinite love. And that’s what that’s what you hear people describe again and again from their nd ease. A love that makes the best love on earth seemed like an absolute drop in the bucket. Like 1,000,000th of the real thing, something that we can’t understand or describe. It has to be experienced to know what they’re talking about.

Brian Smith 18:55
Yeah, you know, it’s funny because as you were saying that I was thinking about Some of the people I’ve interviewed my friend Penny with Brad who had several near death experiences, and tried to describe the love of God. And you were saying you’d seen my interview with Tony Woody. Yeah, I you know, as I was watching his face, he was just like, I wish I could describe and he goes on for like five minutes describe it and says, I can’t describe it or so it’s very common with people at the end the ease so that’s again, that’s what i what i hear the course say that. I hear people within the east side, that’s what rings true to me that that must be true.

Robert Perry 19:28
And if it’s something that feels true, even though it’s not part of our conceptual, you know, framework right now, like what religion has has taught us that

Brian Smith 19:41
Yeah, that’s a good point. Because when I think about it, you know, there there does seem like the Eastern religions tend to depersonalize this force, you know, for lack of a better word or source and, and then the western religions that personalizes God made him into just a big man, with all with all the problems that we have, right and with the dual side of humans, you know, we can be good and we can we can be bad.

Robert Perry 20:04
Yeah, what I like about Tony’s description, I mean, he’s get so I’ve seen a video of his and then I also listen to your podcast. And he gets so passionate and what he talks about is the best way I’ve come to be able to describe it. So he had the experience like nearly 40 years ago. Yeah. And he’s been ever since trying to think of the best way to describe what he experienced that says something by itself.

Brian Smith 20:30
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So that’s, that’s that’s one plus for the course. I think that this this, and I’m really glad you brought that up, because something I didn’t really understand about it. But I think it’s very important because for myself to speak personally, I was scarred by the idea I had of God and it scarred me for a very, very long time. And then I think as I said, I didn’t really think about this to put it this way. I think I overcorrected. And I took ID personalized guide and and then I hear near death experiences say Well, God is love. It’s like well But love is got to be at least somewhat personal. I mean, it’s it can’t get ever totally depersonalized love. Oh, yeah. And if you look at their, their reports that they are spoken to God, you know, they’re often sent back against their will. So there’s true. They feel tremendous power and intelligence. So yeah, I mean, even when they they don’t say it was a being, it’s clear that there are personal qualities to the god they experienced. Yeah. So. So what about why we’re here? That’s I think that’s another big question people have, you know, what is the purpose of this life? And so what is the course talk about? How does it How does it address that?

Robert Perry 21:45
Yeah, well, the course like I say it starting point is God. And to get to why we’re here I probably should say a bit about its overall worldview, which is really different than our conventional worldview or anywhere else. With that we’ve encountered in normal society. But the great thing about that worldview is it makes love and forgiveness makes sense. Very often, we want to love we want to forgive, but it seems like it’s not rational. Right? It’s like given what they did, given who they are, how can I love them? How can I forgive them? It’s not rational. What the course does is it gives a whole worldview in which in light of that worldview, suddenly it does make sense. It is the rational response to love someone regardless to forgive them regardless. So so to kind of give a short version of that worldview, we start with this God who is pure love and pure spirit. And he creates But like any creator, he creates, after himself, like himself, you know, an artist creates out of what’s within him. And so this God creates all of us. He doesn’t create a physical world. Or universe, he creates us as spirit. Okay, and we are just like him. We’re we are pure spirit, we’re perfect. We’re absolutely loving. We’re so loving, that we’re holy. There’s no imperfection or sin or error in us at all. And we’re eternal, we’re forever. But in the course never quite says exactly how it happened. A lot of us fall asleep to that state. We decide to separate from God. We can’t actually separate because we’re part of God, we’re in God. So we just fall asleep to where we are, and to who we are. And in this state of sleep, where you know, in sleep, you kind of don’t know what’s going on. You You’re not really rational. You don’t really know where you are you think you’re in in dream environments. When you’re really in bed. You can’t even dream you’re somebody else. Not the person you are. In this sleep, we begin to experience a collective dream. And that dream, according to the course is the origin of the physical universe, from the courses standpoint, and it’s it has a lot of teachings you can find in places or at least similar teachings you can find. But it also has very bold departures. And one of his points of departure is it says, Look at this world, everything dies. Things are in competition. There’s, you know, things are characterized by separation. We’re all locked in these bodies where we can’t really join with others. We’re always in our little cubicle. Yeah. We’re vulnerable with God with a loving God. Create a world like that. So one of the things the chorus says is, God is he is not mad God is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this Hmm. So from Of course, the standpoint This world is our dream of being separate from God, we’re not really separate from God, we’re, you know, just like a dreamers in bed, we are in God. But we’re having a very lengthy, very stable, very long term dream that we’re dreaming together, in which we dream, that we’re the separate humans that are just full of flaws and foibles, and that when we’re in competition with each other, and so on. And so from the courses standpoint, our our purpose here is to go through a developmental process of healing the mind that streaming so that it can ultimately wake up but it’s not about like, just getting out of here. It’s about we wake up through a developmental process in which we become more loving and forgiving people. More More giving people and through that we thought to learn that hey, maybe we’re not so flawed as we thought, maybe we’re divine. There’s that old poem that says To err is human to forgive divine? Well, if all you do is forgive, wouldn’t you become convinced you’re divine?

Brian Smith 26:16
Yeah. Well, it’s really fascinating because I think one of the things that every religion or philosophy tries to figure out is why why are we here? What’s the purpose? And so when you say this is a dream, that’s a little bit different why for it, but it does come back around to there is some purpose behind it because I, what I’ve been I’ve kind of come to is this is like a, like a classroom or like a school or like a gym or like a boot camp. All these different analogies that we can use, where we come here, we feel the separation, we forget who we are for a little while, so that we can build our strengths, build our character, and that the lack that we experienced here, the forgiveness these are all ways that we can build ourselves and make ourselves No stronger beings

Robert Perry 27:02
yeah and I would absolutely agree with all that and what the course would do is just kind of give a little caveat saying we don’t actually strengthen ourselves our real selves are already perfect. Yeah but but in terms of these minds that are caught in an illusion and in a dream they become more and more in touch with that underlying perfection and and yeah, it the way it looks is one develops character character that becomes ultimately godlike.

Brian Smith 27:32
Yeah. So the forgiveness how does that come into it? So if we have this understanding, why does it make forgiveness Make sense?

Robert Perry 27:39
Well, because if, if this, you know, generally when we’re trying to forgive somebody, we feel mistreated by them. Right? And it can it can get very deep and serious. What’s going on? Is that we think, Okay, well, that was all real. They are that selfish person. hurtful, cruel person. And they objectively did hurtful things to me. Those things may not have injured my body, maybe they did, but they definitely injured my mind and heart, my, my, my soul, perhaps in my belief, and therefore, because I really got hurt, I really lost. They really did it. Maybe in some sense they gained from that they at least gained a sense of having the upper hand. Yeah. Based on all of that, why does it really make sense to forgive them? Right? I mean, is it even is even logical is it just does it so so there’s something else that says I’d love to be free. I’d like to free them to I’d like to forgive but it just doesn’t seem to make sense in the courses view as a whole worldview in which it does because in this view, who I am can’t really be hurt. Not really, right who’s They are can’t really become sinful and bad. And who and because of who they are, when they attack me, they don’t gain anything real. They just end up losing, they feel worse about themselves somewhere inside, they feel guilty somewhere inside. Because being a holy and divine being, when they behave like that, they just feel bad. Even if on an ego level, they feel Yeah, I’m superior because I put so and so in their place. Yeah. And so they’re still holy and divine. I’m still holding divine, they haven’t become sinful, I haven’t been injured. And therefore it makes sense to let it go in light of how precious they are. And in light of the fact that underneath it all, we we are still united, and you’re still in harmony.

Brian Smith 29:54
I like I liked when you said let it go. Because as you’re going through that, it’s not even I think we get to the point where it’s If there’s nothing to forgive, it’s not a matter of forgiving, it’s a matter of letting it go. Because as you said, and it’s interesting, we’re having this conversation because I’m reading a book by a guy who says he’s enlightened and he’s given like the idea of being enlightened how to become enlightened. And one of the things he says is kind of what you just said, there is no real injury. And this is really kind of an illusion and a dream and even though it still feels very real, or and, and the other thing you were you were talking I was thinking about is, not only do we think the other person’s sent, we ascribe, we ascribe motives of that person. They hurt me on purpose, you know, that hope they stepped my foot, but they did it on purpose, like Like, there’s something like they’re going to gain something out of it. So if we can raise our perspective and really understand that people don’t hurt people on purpose. It’s It’s It’s an error. It’s usually it’s a mistake. And even the word sin in the Bible is to fall short. It’s not It’s not an evil thing.

Robert Perry 30:55
Yeah, well, I I actually do believe in the core stuff. Teach that we hurt each other on purpose. Mm hmm. Okay. But, and you know, I’ve heard people on purpose. hate to say, but but the core says we do that in the thought that we will gain from that right only only an evil person would gain from intentionally hurting somebody else. And the course says, The attacker always loses. And therefore it says that attack because it, it causes loss in the attacker. It’s really a call for help. That person has lost from the experience and their loss calls out and says, Can you help me and the help that we can give them is forgiveness.

Brian Smith 31:39
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think that’s that is a better way of putting it and I completely agree with that. So if someone’s interested in the Course of Miracles, how do you get started because I was saying to you earlier, it’s pretty daunting. It’s a it’s a big thick book.

Robert Perry 31:55
It is pretty daunting and is a big thick book, my experience and this is why I’ve got a job, people need help with it usually, I think it’s helpful to know that, you know, the course may be your path, but it may just be something you benefit from, you know, in a minimal way or something in between. So there’s even though it is a course and it is a spiritual path, different people are meant to have different relationships with it. So I, I recommend, while I do recommend the addition of the course that my organization put out, it goes back to the original words that that Helen schucman took down. So it’s less edited. It’s, it’s purple, and it’s called the complete annotated edition. Okay. People tend to find it easier to get into. Okay, um, our website has a ton of helpful articles articles on it, hundreds actually. We also have a program an online program called course companions. And what that will do is you can sign up to go through the text, or the workbook or the manual for teachers are all in the sequence. And you’ll get an email each day that tells you what your reading is. And that will also give you about 1000 words of commentary on that section or lesson and then helps you apply it.

Brian Smith 33:23
Oh, wow. So so I could go to the circle of a.org is that right? And I could find this course companions there.

Robert Perry 33:31
Yeah, you could there’ll be a link to course companions is its course companions.org. That’s the current address of the program. And then their, their weekly live classes. And twice monthly, live Sunday gatherings and there’s a lot going on, and if they have Facebook discussion group and saw us a lot going on there. But that basically takes you by the hand and walks you through the whole book. Now people take a while deciding they Want to be walked through the book? Yeah. So all I would say is just, you know, look into it. Read some of the course, I would recommend our articles on ciclova.org. There is a lot of teaching out there on the course, and very, very different things are said. Yeah, sure. So you’ll have to decide, you know, what approach you gravitate to my approach. And my organization’s approach is very much. Let’s draw out what the book says regardless of our preconceptions. Mm hmm. You know, we all soak up a lot from spirituality. It’s a very eclectic marketplace out there. And we tend to bring those, you know, concepts that we’ve learned into a Course of Miracles. And for me, the beauty of the book is it’s constantly saying things I never expected to read. Mm hmm. And they’re things that I find, you know, thought provoking and wise and practice. So I’m always trying to draw out what the book says, regardless of what we expect it to say. And regardless of what anyone out there is saying about the book.

Brian Smith 35:09
Yeah, well, I just said, I’ve dabbled a little bit. And one of the things that I found really, really helpful. And I think I said this early in the interview, I think we’ve forgotten who we are. And we all kind of need to wake up. And then of course, talks about even it actually in that language. Yeah, and anything that could get me outside of my day to day thinking of I am this body, this is all there is. And when I was actually on the list that was sending me a little bits at a time, and they would say, to look at something intensely Look at that, and realize that that’s not what you’re seeing. And it really helps you kind of lift to change that perspective. And these little practices that we can do on a daily basis, can cause us to start to wake up, you know, to absolutely truly are.

Robert Perry 35:53
Well, the workbook, which is the second volume of the course. It’s it’s basically all about the spirit. Practice, the course is teaching us and it believes that we’re not going to get there. Unless we are practicing during our day. Yeah, applying these teachings. The course also teaches the workbook teaches meditation techniques. It has a heavy focus on prayer towards the latter half of it. It’s different kinds of prayer, but it’s still prayer. Yeah. So the course wants us to be doing various mental practices that it thinks if we do them, they will wake us up.

Brian Smith 36:30
Yeah, that’s the thing that I’m starting to realize that everything that I’ve been studying over the last however many years, it’s all about practice, whatever, whatever path path you’re on, it’s about practice. It’s not a matter of you can go to church once a week and just become enlightened or you can read one thing. It’s it’s about what are you doing day to day, you know, what are you and what can you incorporate into your into your daily life that really kind of elevates your thinking?

Robert Perry 36:56
Yeah, it’s really tempting with spirituality. Isn’t it? With a Course of Miracles, in particular to think if I just can talk about it long enough and cleverly enough and knowledgeably enough, I’m there. Yeah. And it just doesn’t work that way. Yeah.

Brian Smith 37:13
So well, that’s really, that’s really helpful. And I appreciate you giving me a deeper understanding of what it is and giving my audience and understanding what it is and how people can maybe start to get into it by going to your to your website, circle of a.org. And, and starting there and reading some of the articles about it and see if it’s, if it’s a path that appeals to you, is it for me, kind of having something that’s structured is appealing, and something that says, Okay, these are the steps that you need to take. So, really appreciate everything you’re doing with this?

Robert Perry 37:46
Oh, well, I’m glad to be here. It’s great to talk about it. And it’s interesting to hear your experience because you’re exploring all kinds of things and you’re taking away some of the same messages about the importance of practice. About how There is nothing to forgive the course says that exact line I think a couple of times. That’s this whole approach to forgiveness when you realize there’s nothing to forgive. Forgiveness becomes automatic. Yeah. So so many of the things that you’re saying, you know about we forgotten who we are, you’re picking up from elsewhere. But they’re also found in the course. And it’s interesting to see that

Brian Smith 38:20
it really and like I said, I, you know, I started as a fundamentalist Christian. I remember reading CS Lewis years ago. Sure. And he, and he talks about this concept of the towel, which at the time was shocking to me, because he was saying the truth is not just in Christianity, it’s it’s everywhere. It’s eternal. It’s ubiquitous, it’s all over. And it can’t help but come out. And what I’ve found in my studies is, it’s all over the place. It’s no, it’s not just in Buddhism, it’s not just in Taoism, it’s not just in Christianity. It’s not even just in the course these are just different ways sure of looking at it, and then you pile on top of that the near death experience and what scientists come to understand Consciousness now. And, you know, a lot of scientists are finally saying that consciousness precedes the material, which is what the Bible tells us. Right? That first there was God, you know. So that’s consciousness. So all these things seem to be kind of, you know, coming together. And it’s wonderful that we can choose which path that we want to take, that all leads to the same place.

Robert Perry 39:22
Yeah, I personally believe I’m a big believer that God has a plan, not just for the world, but for each one of us. And I think part of that is there is a certain path that’s that’s kind of assigned to us. Yeah. And if it’s a Course of Miracles, then there’s nothing you can do about it. If it’s not a course in miracles, there’s nothing you can do about it’s not your path. Yeah, no, I think that God would be very ineffective. If, if he talked through one thing in this world. I mean, what kind of a God would would that be? I think that that that God and the Spirit are shining through everybody. open window all over the world. Hmm.

Brian Smith 40:02
Speaking of paths, what is the course say about that about? Because that’s a question that we talk about a lot in the groups that I’m in, because frankly, a lot of us has been been through tragedy, right, we’ve been through I’ve lost a child, you know, things like that. So what is the course say about a plan for the world or a plan for us as individuals?

Robert Perry 40:20
Well, what, just to back up slightly, the course says that God, as God is almost so transcendent of this world that to deal with us in this world. He works through an intermediary that the course like Christianity calls the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is his voice through which he’s speaking to us, and we can still communicate with him, even though he’s totally beyond form. We’re like completely formed bound. So the idea is the Holy Spirit has this plan, which is also God’s plan. And there’s kind of two dimensions of it. One is that there’s a plan Like a general plan for salvation, the general plan is that everyone learns to forgive to the point where they’re like perfect at it. And then we all kind of wake up. And and the reason that’s forgiveness is that what we’re trying to do is to get back to love, but you can’t love really, while you’re holding unforgiveness. unforgiveness says, I’ve got a reason to withdraw love. Right? So so to get to pure love, we have to go through process of letting go all the stuff that gets in the way of love. So the general plan from the courses standpoint, is that everyone learns to perfectly forgive even if you don’t use the language of forgiveness, you can still learn, you know, the inner gesture of forgiveness. But then more specifically, the course says that the Holy Spirit has a plan for for each one of us in each situation throughout each day and so What we need to be doing and the course provides training and this too is constantly asking, you know, what do I do here? What do I say here? How do I see this situation? What’s my role here? And so if we do that, the course says we will make very different decisions. We’ll move through life in concert with God’s plan for our lives. Okay. And ultimately, we’ll get to what the course calls our special function, which is that we each have a specific role in the salvation of the world. We have unique strengths, that maybe we we develop them for the sake of our ego, but we can they can be repurposed, and they can be strengths the Holy Spirit uses so that we can actively carry out a role. That’s our small contribution to the salvation of the whole.

Brian Smith 42:51
Wow, that’s really cool. One other question want to ask you? Does the court say anything about reincarnation?

Robert Perry 42:58
It does. And doesn’t okay. Ah, the the author, the voice that Helen schucman heard. He did have little references to it. But when it’s addressed directly in the course, what he says is that it’s not really important. Now that basically there’s a trap in thinking that you’re kind of at the effect of your past. I mean, the whole idea of forgiveness is the past really doesn’t matter. And so what happens with reincarnation, it very easily can tie us to thinking well, I did all these terrible things in the past, or terrible things were done to me, or I was really a special person in the past. So from the courses standpoint, reincarnation, there is a potential trap there. There are potential benefits in the idea that maybe I’ve been in all these different bodies, but there was still a stable, unchanging me That has been there all along. So whatever I am, it’s not of this body tied to this body, that’s a potential benefit. So this main message is, you know, what we need to do is get free of what the course calls the ego. And that’s something we do now. Okay, so that’s, that’s the focus. Therefore, the issue of reincarnation is kind of beside the point. I don’t personally think it happens. But it’s not part of the thought system of the course just because, you know, it’s not as it says, essential to salvation.

Brian Smith 44:38
Well, you know, it’s interesting, because I could, I could, I felt so completely agreeing with that too, because I so many people get so caught up on reincarnation, and it frankly, I would say that same thing, it’s not really that important. I have to live this life right here right now. And so I’m not really concerned about past lives and not really concerned about future lives. I don’t see how that benefits me to get too caught up in that. So that’s, that’s my kind of thing. I think it probably happens, but I don’t think it’s the way we think it is, I think I don’t think that Brian will ever exist again, I think there might be like a larger oversold that I’m part of that we’ll come back and have different experiences but I don’t really get caught up in it. But you did touch on another thing I want to talk about because they use the word ego. And that is a real trigger. I guess for me anyway in a lot of new age teaching because we were constantly It was a battle our ego egos a terrible thing. What is the course say about ego?

Robert Perry 45:35
Well, of course has an interesting and perhaps somewhat different approach to the ego. What it says is the ego is a belief in being a separate being who’s basically separate and on your own. Mm hmm. It does characterize that belief in very negative terms that he is it’s not just sort of, you know, I’m afraid it’s, it’s I want to gain from attack, I want to put others beneath me, I want to be at the top of the heap. And the ego is view the ego, to me explains the terrible things that happen in this world that we do each other when we do unbelievable things to each other. But from the courses standpoint, the key is it’s just a belief. It’s a false identity. And so no matter how attacking the ego may be, and how self centered how egocentric how egotistical, it may be, it’s not who we are. We’re still as in the courses language, we’re still the Son of God. And so we’re still holy, we’re absolutely pristine. We’re untainted by anything the ego has had us do now. So we have to have this interesting balance in the course, where we realize that’s not me. But we also don’t underestimate how much we tend to identify with the ego.

Brian Smith 47:06
Yeah, you know, as you’re saying that I, because the thing is I think about in terms of what for us is an ego and super ego, right? So I think what people call the ego, I tend to think of the ID, the right. And so I think the idea of being a separate self as a false belief, not as an entity as something to be attacked, but as a belief to be let go of, then I can get with the ego is a bad thing, because I’m not a separate person. But on the other hand, as a human being, and I’m in this body and a Hammond separate person. So there’s, we have this kind of dual identity. We have our real self, which is this magnificent divine being but I am trapped in this body. But but the false belief that I need to get what I need to get at the expense of you and I’m on my own. That’s something that we really need to overcome.

Robert Perry 47:56
Yeah, well, that’s everything you said. I think The course would agree with that. And it’s view of the ego has a lot of ID in it, a lot of forming in it. So what it wants us to do is learn how the ego works. Understand that so much of our thinking is the voice of our ego. Yeah, exactly. And then be able to stand apart from it and feel like there is an AI. That is not the ego. Yeah. And then I can that helps me Let it go.

Brian Smith 48:31
Yeah, that that is the key. That’s what I’m starting to find. That is really the key is being able to separate and take that higher view and look at myself and say, that’s not really who I am. Yeah, because as

Robert Perry 48:43
identifying with the ego that makes us feel guilty that makes us feel sense of low self worth. It makes us feel afraid. To the extent that we can say, That’s not me, then we can be free.

Brian Smith 48:55
Yeah, absolutely. Robert, I know you have another appointment to get to Really appreciate you taking the time to do this today. I’m hoping that this resonates with some people because like I said, I’m trying to give people different paths, the path so you can find the path that you need to be on, as you said, a course is not for everybody, but I think it’s maybe for a lot of people. So this has been a really great time, Lord understand all this.

Robert Perry 49:20
Oh, it’s been a wonderful conversation. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Brian Smith 49:22
Yeah. Well, I want to give your name against Robert Perry The website is circleofa.org. And also, of www.coursecompanions.org.

Robert Perry 49:33
Is that correct? Or is companions.org

Brian Smith 49:35
companions. org. Robert, thanks a lot. Have a great weekend.

Robert Perry 49:40
Thank you for having me. Thank you. All right.

Brian Smith 49:46
Well, I hope you enjoyed the episode. I want to make it really easy for you to reach me. So just send me a text 231996 and simply text the word growth. gr o w th fact you can right now just say hey Siri, send the message. 231996. And when Siri asked you what you want to send, just say growth. You can do the same thing with Ok, Google. Thanks a lot. Have a wonderful day.

Announcer 50:13
Thanks for listening to grief to growth. Brian hopes that you find this episode helpful, and we’ll come back for future episodes. Brian’s best selling book, grief to growth planted not buried is a great resource for anyone who was coping with grief or know someone who is if you enjoy the podcast and would like to support it, there are three things you can do to help. The first is to share the podcast with someone that you think it will help. The second is to go to iTunes rate and review the episode. The third way you can support the podcast is by becoming a patron. Head over to www patreon.com. Slash grief to growth. That’s pa t ar e o n.com slash grief. Number two, growth and sign up to make a small monthly donation. patrons get access to exclusive bonus content and knowledge that you are helping to spread the message of grief to grow. For more about Brian and grief to growth, visit www grief to growth.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Donna Seebo is an internationally recognized award-winning author/ publisher, keynote speaker, renowned mental practitioner, counselor, teacher, broadcasting personality and host of international talk shows, her schedule is a busy one. A woman of many talents, little did she realize that psychic mind skills would take her on a journey of discovery, travel, and interacting with thousands of people from around the world.

Donna and I discuss how a series of spiritual events in her twenties launched her into a fascinating and varied career and set of experiences. We discuss how the experiences along the way made her the woman she is today.

You can find Donna at: https://www.delphiinternational.com

Rebecca and I discussed how the pain in our youth creates wounds in our “inner child” and we must heal through Self-love. Painful experiences are opportunities for us to grow, if we do the healing work.

Rebecca Valla MD is a Psychiatrist in private practice in Winston-Salem, NC. She has been a lifelong spiritual seeker, which led to her interest in Near Death Experiences, Reincarnation, and Expanded Consciousness. She
is focused in her work with patients on inner child healing, and on Self-love. Much of her work is informed by her own childhood pain, and her learning through psychotherapy, and personal growth.

Spirituality is the core of the self-growth work that she journeys on with her patients. You can hear her own story, and see how she
approaches her work, through her YouTube at the IANDS Conference 2016, Videos, Rebecca Valla, MD. The title is: ” Self-Love is not Selfish”. https://youtu.be/mcFbC7d6DHA


Judi Hancox joins me for a second time. This time we discuss specific healing tips that you can use to create your own practice to stay healthy and balanced, in a crisis, or at any time. The best time to start these practices is a year ago. The second best time is today.

In a follow on video, Judi shares her Energy Centering Meditation that you can do on a regular basis.

Judi has been a yoga and meditation teacher since 1980, clinical social worker and trauma recovery specialist since 1990. Judi trademarked “Shiome Therapy,” using holistic methods that synergistically combine ancient wisdom with current science to help accelerate the healing process with spiritual awareness.

She created an Energy Centering Meditation with therapeutic-grade essential oils to quickly connect to spirit and balance our energy body.

for more from Judi, visit: ℹ️https://www.shiome.com



Nancy Van Alphen tells us about her amazing Spiritually Transformative Experiences. The stories are riveting.

To get the details behind the stories, purchase her book. In “Caught Between Heaven & Earth, My Profound Encounters with God and the Remarkable Truth of Our Existence”, Nancy takes us on her unexpected spiritual journey that changed her from agnostic to believer. She also gives a humorous peek into her childhood, during which she had but a mere smattering of religion, paints the picture of an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. As a teen, she concluded God was unprovable and never looked back—until God decided he wasn’t content being a mere possibility. Nancy’s journey had her traversing a surreal chasm between doubt and belief as she struggled to understand messages she was given about suffering, reincarnation—including her own—and humanity’s true identity.





Sue Pighini is an award-winning author on the subjects of near-death and the wisdom that comes from such experiences. Sue has had 3 near-death events, one as recently as November 2019.

Her passion is helping others discover more about themselves after an extraordinary experience – combat, death of a loved one, the coronavirus pandemic, loss of a job or career, financial hardship, etc.

Life is all about CHANGE. All about “reconstructing” our lives. In this interview recorded in early April 2020, we talk about the elephant in the room that is causing disruptive changes in all of our lives, the coronavirus pandemic.

Sue is also a seminar leader, Transformational Life Coach and motivational speaker. Her deepest desire is to help others understand their unique, extraordinary spiritual selves. Her wisdom from the angelic realm has propelled her into seeing more of the “big picture” for humanity which she loves to share with others.

Each person has “signed on” for experiences and challenges in this lifetime. What are the gifts and talents that we were born with to assist us in meeting those tasks head-on?

You can reach Sue at: https://www.suepighini.com

Sue’s most recent book is: “Expect the Extraordinary”