Alba Monn is a mother who had a fascinating experience with the birth of one of her children, Orelia. Alba had a near death experience that changed her life. It was, in actuality, a shared death experience, as you will learn when you hear her story.

I’ve broken this very special episode into three parts. In parts 1 and 2, I get out of the way and let Alba tell her story as she recalls it. It might be a bit confusing in parts because the story doesn’t begin on the night her daughter was delivered in an emergency situation, it begins years earlier. In part 3, I ask Alba to go into more detail and we discuss the lessons from her absolutely amazing experience.

In her experience, Alba learned:

  • Souls have no age
  • Forgiveness is absolutely essential for our soul’s well-being
  • Souls have no age
  • Humans are all flawed equally and differently,
  • A life can have profound meaning no matter how short the time here on Earth
  • Something prepares us for the tough lessons we’re about to encounter if we pay attention
  • Tragedy is less of a punishment and more of an opportunity

Get Alba’s book here:

Proof Of Eternity





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Everybody, I want to set up this interview with you. I’m going to break this into three parts. So this is part one. And it’s what the woman named ABA, mon ABA was telling me a story about her daughter being born, and includes elements of a near death experience with incredible rich educational experience while she was on the other side, with pre cognitive dreams to go back two years before her daughter was born, there’s a lesson of forgiveness in here, there’s just so much in here, there’s a lot of richness. So it took us about an hour and a half to get to the first part. And we went back and recorded a second part that actually fills in some of the blanks when Allah was telling me her story. So I do encourage you to listen to all three parts, there is so much in here that I think it’ll be really beneficial to you to go ahead and listen to all of it. So ABA did not want to be recorded on camera. So there’s no video of ABA on this one. But it’s definitely worth getting through. Thanks a lot and have a great one. Hey, everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me a woman who has gone through a journey of the loss of a child is a journey that we both share. Uh, her name is Alba mon, and her daughter really passed. And Alba had a really interesting experience with the raelia when she passed I was going to tell us about today. So with that brief introduction, I just want to introduce ABA to brief degrowth and say welcome, and thanks for being here today album.

Alba Monn 2:13
Thank you so much for having me. Yeah,

Brian Smith 2:16
it’s really good to, to get to know you and to hear your story and have you share your story with with my audience. I know that your daughter passed away, and I noticed you had a particularly spiritual experience when your daughter passed. So tell me about what what happened.

Alba Monn 2:31
Yeah, I had an lifethreatening accident together with orelia. And the thing was that she was actually clinically dead, she had to be resuscitated. And she was brought to another clinic about an hour away from my clinic where I was to stay because I had to have an emergency operation. And unfortunately, it took it should have taken them about half an hour. But the procedure showed that there was something else going on, they couldn’t stop the bleeding. So it took about two hours instead of half an hour. And while I was in the operating room, earlier, was resuscitated, and she had a heartbeat. She had been without a heartbeat for more than half an hour because they had done some other procedures instead of the ones that she actually needed. And after having had this emergency operation, I was left in the ICU. And I was not with my daughter because she was taken away. And so I was thinking about the whole circumstances and trying to guess if she could have a normal life still, after all that what was going on after the accident. and in this situation, I had a near death experience together with my daughter. And to be honest, it was something that I would have never expected. And I was just laying in my ICU bed and thinking about the state that she was in and and trying to figure out how many minutes she had been at a loss of oxygen. And suddenly I felt that somebody was standing behind my bed. And I just felt a presence. And that’s how it all started essentially.

Brian Smith 4:37
Wow. So I just for some little bit of context. It was a really at the time of the accident.

Unknown Speaker 4:44
Actually, she was a newborn. And so the emergency operation that I had was actually an emergency emergency cesarean section and I was and I wasn’t Physically aware of everything that was going on because I was still in full anesthesia. And she was taken out, they tried to resuscitate her with the help of specialists from another clinic, they were on the phone with the specialists, and they told them what to do and how to try to resuscitate her because she was clinically dead when she was born.

Brian Smith 5:20
Okay, so you felt a presence behind your bed. And then what happened?

Unknown Speaker 5:25
Well, I, I was fully aware, I hadn’t been asleep at all during that night, because it was that was all around midnight when I had emergency operation. So I was in my bed after one o’clock or so in the evening. And I just felt that a presence was right behind me. And I remembered that I was asking myself Who is that? Who could that be. And at the same moment, I realized that my daughter, it’s my child. And I actually was really puzzled because I felt that this person was a grown up person. So it didn’t seem to make any sense. And before I could grasp what this was all about, she was actually already trying to communicate with me. And we had a fairly political discussion. And it was all around the circumstances of the of the accident, because my husband actually left right after the accident in his car, I had told him, we must go to the hospital at once, because the baby’s not moving, and I need an ultrasound. And he had just woken up, he went to bed a lot earlier than me. And so he didn’t understand what was going on. And we had another child that was not even two years old. And I told him to get our older daughter dressed so that we could go to the hospital. And t got mad at me because he didn’t understand what was going on. And he just left in his car, because I told him to get my other daughter dressed. And he just, he was too sleepy to realize what was what was really going on. He didn’t understand anything. And so I was in this situation where I knew that I was blaming him for everything that had happened, because I had to get my little daughter dressed, I had to go down downstairs with her, our house has three stories. So I had to go outside look for him, his car was gone. He wasn’t anywhere to be seen. So I was in shock at that time, because I knew I had to go to the hospital at once. And he wasn’t anywhere to be found. So I had to go back upstairs with my older child with my toddler on my hips. And I had to go to stories up to find my phone and finally call him. And then I had to convince him to come back because he said he went, he was going to go to his parents house because he didn’t understand what I wanted for him to do in the middle of the night to get our toddler dressed. So he obviously didn’t understand anything. And I had to decide if I wanted to call them for emergency medical emergency. And I decided not to do that, because I needed for him to look after our toddler daughter. So I knew that I had to stay in the hospital, or car seat wasn’t his car I had I didn’t see any. I don’t know, I didn’t see any solution to this problem. So I told him, he must come back at once and, and get me to the hospital. And that’s what he did. But we I think it was between 20 and 30 minutes until we actually arrived in the hospital. So it was a big delay. And I wasn’t ready to tell anyone in the hospital what was going on because I didn’t want to put my husband in the back place. And anyway, I just realized I’m talking to them about the circumstances wouldn’t make any any sense because all I wanted for them is to rescue my daughter essentially. So I was really upset with my husband, I had this huge anger inside I that I couldn’t articulate because I wasn’t with him. I couldn’t even talk to him or communicate with him. I didn’t want for anybody else to know. So I wouldn’t try to talk to anybody else in the hospital. And I was in this inner turmoil of anger and hate to be honest, because I was blaming him for all the medical problems that are taught Who would ever have in the future now and in the future. And I was also blaming God, to be honest, I was in an inner rage. I was thinking how could this ever happen to me? How did I deserve something like this to happen in my life? I didn’t. I didn’t find any reason for me to go through something like that. and in this situation, my daughter was standing behind my head looking down at me she was grown up and she didn’t hesitates, she just started to talk to me. And her first words were forgive him. And I, I was so upset, I just answered, No way, I’m never going to get forgive him, because what he has done is unforgivable. And so she talked back to me, and she’s

Unknown Speaker 10:21
dead now, forgive him. And she repeated it between seven and 10 times. And during these moments, I started to try to analyze what was going on. And I was thinking, What’s this? What’s this conversation? Who is? Why is she standing behind my bed? Why does she want for me to forgive him, it just didn’t make any sense to me. And I also felt like she was putting pressure on me extra pressure in this situation, because as I was trying to understand what was going on, I felt like she should have understood my point of view. And my point of view was that I was going to separate from him as soon as possible, as soon as I was out of the hospital again, and, and able to take steps, legal steps to get away from him, actually. And so she repeated, forgive him. And I was not ready to even talk about it. And so we had this telepathic discussion, and I always brought forward some more arguments, why I wouldn’t forgive him. And she was trying to explain to me why I should, for instance, she told me if you don’t forgive him, it’s going to be over your marriage is going to be over. And I said, Well, no problem. I am planning on doing this anyway. So this is nothing that will be in my way, I’m not going to hesitate to separate from a guy that doesn’t protect his family that doesn’t protect his baby, actually. And so she told me, for instance, on maybe he didn’t do it on purpose. And we had been talking for a while before that. And that was actually the point when I started to think it all over. And I realized that she was right. So he definitely didn’t do it on purpose. And this calmed me down. And we had some more parts of the conversation where she finally convinced me that forgiving him was something desirable. So I, I understood from a philosophical point of view, like, totally theoretically, I understood that it was fine. Could be something good for me to do to forgive him. But I told her that I’m not willing to do it, because the circumstances had caused too much pain and anguish for me. And I didn’t want to just look past that. And she tried to make me see why I should forgive him for some more other reasons. But I just, I just didn’t think that I would want to make that effort. It was an emotional effort that seemed to be so huge that I couldn’t do it. Yeah. So I finally told her that I knew what she meant, I knew that she meant well, and that I was just not willing, and not capable of forgiving him at that point in time. And to be honest, I also told her that I think it’s unforgivable. So no matter what, I would never forgive him, like for the whole future. As long as I live, I would never be able or willing to forgive him. And then she was quiet. And

Unknown Speaker 13:53
after that, it was over. So this telepathic discussion was over. And I was thinking so finally, she understood that there is no way that we could ever agree on something because I was not willing to do what she wanted for me to do. And so I was kind of relieved that this pressure on me was gone. And I was fine with how the discussion had ended. But suddenly she was sitting on the visitor’s chair right next to my bed about maybe, I don’t know how much it is in inches, but maybe between four and five feet away from me. Hmm. So there was a visitor’s chair and everybody who comes to visit is allowed to sit in that chair and the chair was in front of the door. So behind the chair, you could see the door to my room. And so she was sitting down and she was holding her hands like she was praying and she was looking at me with this very pleading. look in her eyes, and I knew that she was trying to make me see that it was serious. So I was in a serious situation. And I would, I should at all. I don’t know, under all circumstances, no matter what the circumstances had been, I should forgive him. But I was irritated because of what she looked like. And I didn’t want to start this discussion, and he get anymore and I was just looking at her and I was not ready to get into a telepathic discussion anymore. So from my point of view, this was settled. Wow. Yeah, it was actually very irritating because I was laying in this bed, thinking to myself, What is going on here? I could see the the medical personnel behind the class window, looking at different kinds of medical. How do you call it,

Brian Smith 16:04

Unknown Speaker 16:08
machines that they were checking my oxygen in my blood and all that, and I was looking at this person at the same time, and I was thinking What is going on? I knew that it was my daughter on the chair. But it didn’t seem to make any sense. First of all, she was grown up. Secondly, she looked very strange, like her hairdo was reminded me of the roaring 20s. So she had these waves in her hair. Her hair cut was very short. And also what she was wearing, like her clothes, they looked like something people people would be wearing in the roaring 20s. So I was, I was puzzled, to be honest. And I, I felt that I’d like to reject what I was seeing, because I was starting to think that’s weird. I mean, that’s even weirder than the discussion that we just had, because the discussion felt kind of normal. Or at least, it made some kind of sense. But in this situation, I was I was ready to shut her off in a way. So I was thinking about her hair to what kind of other hairdo would look a lot better on her. And I was thinking about her clothes, thinking that they looked old fashioned Jesus Christ, why was she wearing something like that. And for instance, it was way too tight on on her upper body for what seemed appropriate to, to me. And it was the shirt was too tight. And her skirt was a strange kind of length. So it all looked awkward. And, and also her shoes, I was just thinking about what I would tell her to wear and how I would make maybe to influence her to have another hairdo or stuff like that. So just rationalizing how I would change her so that she would fit in everyday life. Interesting. Wow. Yeah, I was actually I was at that point, I was really shocked. Because I realized that after a couple of minutes, when I was looking at her, she looked absolutely normal, like solid. But when I was concentrating, maybe on an on an element on her shirt or something, I saw the door behind her shimmering slightly through her upper body. And that totally freaked me out. I was thinking, What is going on? How could I see part of the door, not behind her, that, you know, just behind her. And I was I decided I’m not going to go go through with this. And I’m not going to try to listen to her anymore. And it just, it just seemed too weird. And I remember I turned my face away to the other side because I didn’t want to look at her anymore. And the important thing is that I had no idea that I was actually in the process of dying. I was splitting it internally. And they had just decided to sew me up after two hours trying to get the bleeding stop, which they couldn’t and they decided they would just, you know finish the operation and what they were actually not allowed to do. But they told my husband that either I would bleed to death on the operating table, which they didn’t want to happen where they would just finished the operation and and just charge it up because they didn’t put it in any records. So they didn’t write it down. That operation didn’t go well. And I’d had no idea that I was about to die. And my husband actually knew it but he was sent home so he wasn’t allowed to talk to me anymore. And and the thing is that I explained the whole setting to me as my daughter trying to reach me because she knew that I was in the process of dying. And if she wouldn’t reach me and change my attitude and change the emotional turmoil that I was in, I would die in this state of anger and all negative emotions that you can imagine. And I had no idea what he wanted, because I didn’t realize that I was in any danger. And I was thinking, I’m on the way to getting Well, again, I just had my operation. And now I’m going to be home in about a week or so. So that was my belief system at the time. And when I turned my head away from her, because I was just, it was too much for me, to be honest, I was

Unknown Speaker 20:49
I was feeling that I had no strength to be put under any pressure from her anymore. So I turned away. And I actually heard her say, a sentence, she whispered a sentence that was audible. And when she said that sentence, a kind of flash went through my whole body, I can describe it, just I can just say it was like fire or lightning flash going through the inner part of my bones. So I felt a flash of energy, just rushing through me. And at the same time I was in another room. It was just an instant. And I think it was just her sentence that just took me out of the whole situation. And what she was whispering was that, but he’s actually my daddy still. And I heard that sentence and I remembered that it was this energy bolt of lightning going through me in a split second. And then I was in another room, and I was standing upright, I was full of energy, I didn’t feel weak anymore. And I was in, in a room that had no edges. And no ends. I don’t know how to describe it, but that was how I felt it was it was without ends and without edges. It was kind of a round, lengthy round room. And it seems like a huge Hall maybe like inside of a church, but just without the edges and without anything that would disturb the, the the shape of the room. And in this room, I I felt all emotions that I felt were like, intensified by, by 10. Like by tenfold. And I had a huge heat in my chest area. I felt it felt like fire burning like fire and I saw myself and my husband standing about seven meters seven. I don’t know what this is, and

Brian Smith 23:13
it’s about 20 feet, but

Unknown Speaker 23:15
Okay, okay, yeah, about 20 feet away from me. And I was standing on the left side, my husband was standing on the right side. And the way we were standing is that we were holding our hands up in an 45 degree angles towards each other so that just our fingertips would be about to meet above us, and it looks like a doorway like an ancient doorway.

Announcer 23:41
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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w If you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th today make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth. And

Unknown Speaker 24:41
as I was watching what I was presented with, I realized that this is the door of life. So my husband and I had been the door of life for our daughter. And I first I was irritated. I had no idea where I was but I realize that this meant that I was presented with the door of life, which means that we had a both equal on input into, into her and into her life and into our future. And I saw that my, for my heart there was coming a light out of it. And this light was on, how should I say it? It was enlightening the whole room. So there was no other sources of light, but the light that was coming out of my heart. And I was wondering how this was be possible. And I looked down at myself. And when I looked down, I saw that there were two different pipe pipe pipelines of light, went out of my chest area out of my heart, one was going towards me, and one was going towards my husband. And I was overwhelmed by all these emotions, there, I could analyze four emotions. One was love. And one was remorse. And one was sadness or grief. And the fourth one was a very strong desire for being forgiven for everything that I had done wrong. In in my whole life. I don’t know why. But it was a very, very strong emotion. And I was puzzled by everything I did, I was presented with in this in this room. And I was starting to understand that I had to ask myself some questions. And I asked myself, What is this that is coming out of me like light or fire, because it had little fibers in it that were like, little strings of fire, so it was just little fibers, and then about five feet away from me, it would separate so this pipeline would kind of crack crack open, and some of these strings would look out. And then it was just like, very strong flashlights from every one of the two pipelines was just white light, pure white, light, netboot, enlightened the whole room. And the answer that I was given was that love, what is what is shining in this area. So that’s love that comes out of me. And I was, in this moment, I was so overwhelmed that I realized that I was seeing the situation, from my daughter’s point of view, I realized that this is not my only point of view, because I, as I was analyzing it, it was, I was seeing the whole situation from her point of view. And I don’t think that I’m such a good person to be able to enlighten the whole room by myself. But I, as I was watching it, I realized that it may, and that her love to me and her love to her dad, were exactly the same. And in the situation, when I was so angry with my husband, it seemed unbelievable that she would love him just the same as she would love me. And so that got me thinking. And while I was thinking about this equality of the love, I realized that it’s the same with the door of life. Also with us, we are both 50% of the door of life, like genetically and in every other way. And at the same time, her left to us, was also either 100% for both of us, or you could say 50% for me, and 50% for her dad.

Unknown Speaker 28:50
Yeah, while I was looking at this, what was presented to me, I, I reached a point where I got it that she wanted for me to see that I shouldn’t think that I was any better than my husband. Because in our discussion, in our telepathic discussion, she told me that one sentence was, no one is better than the other one. So this was one of those sentences, and it looked as if she would show me in this spiritual round, that this was the truth that none of us is more important to her, and that she has the same for both of us, and that it was not fair of me to think that I was any better than my husband, because he just didn’t understand what was going on in this situation. Do you want for me to go on? Yes, yes, please. I had reached a point where i, where i thought that I had understood what the store of life was about. And I had reached a point where I realized that she loved my husband. The same that she loved me And I was shattered, I was so overwhelmed by the thought that you had so much understanding for him and so much love for him that I was, I had the feeling that my whole concept of life was, was tumbling down. And as soon as I had the idea that I understood what this was all about, I saw in the distance, about 20 feet further away from my husband and knees standing towards each other, I saw huge pharmacy scales, they were at least three times bigger than we were. So I am automatically met the mathematician, but it must have been huge from the perspective that I was in because it was a lot further away. And the scales were in balance. And there was a little bit on one side, and then there was a huge bed on the other side. And I, I was actually I was shocked when I saw it. Because as soon as I saw those scales, I had the feeling that this was really serious. And that was something that looked like authority, so that I couldn’t, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t have a say in what was presented to me now. That’s how I felt to me. And the one side was a little bit spiky, like little black spikes, and the other one was like jelly fish. So it was kind of gooey and soft. And, and I realized, when I saw that those little piles, or bunches, I realized that it was what came out of our lives. Like the that was the thing that didn’t fit in with what we should have lived our life like. And it felt like it was like, if our life was something like Earth, we would be put through a grid. And those big things wouldn’t fit through the grid. So everything else was fine, it fell through. But these things were the things that couldn’t get through. So they stood out. And I, I was trying to analyze later on what what did those punches mean. And I think it’s the things that that we have to carry, like the psychological things that are kind of a burden for each of us, there’s something that that we carry with us through life. And I realized that this little spiky things, they were something like inner harsh criticism, maybe even if you don’t say it out loud, but inside you, you criticize others, and you have judgment about others, and it’s hurtful in a way, like it’s hurtful as if you would step on something like a little spiky thing that is in your foot and it hurts really, really bad. And the other thing behind my husband was this jellyfish kind of thing. And I intuitively realized that it meant that the things that he had to work with or or try to

Unknown Speaker 33:27
try to change was that he was too soft like this jellyfish, it has no backbone, you know what I mean? It is it’s it’s very adaptive to to some surface, but it doesn’t have any strength in it. Hmm, okay, yeah. And so it meant that this kind of sense that I had done and my husband had done, it felt like bunches of sense that were sipped out of our lives, and analyzed. And what I hadn’t explained before is that when I saw my husband and me standing before me, there, there was a point when I could see inside of us, it was like, a psychological analyzation of all our strengths and weaknesses. So there it was, as if it was percentages, for instance, empathy, for instance, 60%, and other things like hope 70% were patients 80%. And each one of us was, was analyzed at the same time. So simultaneously, I could look inside of us and realize what the strengths of my husband were, and what my inner character looked like it, it seemed as if I would just be able to look through us so that the body didn’t matter. But I would look through all everything on the surface and just the character would stand out. And at the same time, when I saw the scales, I realized that the scales were Even meant that there was no way that in. In reality, this could be even because the jellyfish was a huge pile and the little spiky things were just very small. And I knew that they didn’t have a lot of weight. So it, it seemed strange that this case would be even. And then I realized that that’s how I explained it to me in the situation, I realized that it must be a process that first sees the potential in both of us. So it’s like a mathematical potential of our character traits. That is accurate. And then behind us is it’s like plus and minus. It’s like an equation. So in the front, that was plus, like all our potential. And in the back on the scales, there was the outcome, like the life result of both of us. And the life result. was even so there was no one of us better than the other one. But of course, it meant that we were both not very good. And when I saw it, I was devastated. Because I realized that with what I have had seen in both of us, there was so much more potential, and what was the outcome in that situation. So it was really embarrassing, it was shocking, and, and I was, yeah, I was devastated. I was ashamed of what I saw in front of me. And I think it was all those negative emotions that I had been in. That resulted in this equation, and it was horrible. I, I had constant thoughts about how, how I wish to change it, I had this urge to make everything better, and prove that I could do better. But I had this feeling that there was nothing I could do any more like it was final. It’s like if you have a test that you have, if you are in your final year in high school, and you have to do the final exams, then if you hand in the test, it’s done. If you want to rush up to your teacher and say, Oh, my God, I just got this idea how I could do this one part better and and change this one because it’s wrong. And the teacher says, Well, I’m sorry, everybody has said it in their, their stuff, and you can’t change anything anymore. And that’s how it felt. So I had this feeling that my life result was done. And no matter how much I understood how I could have done it better, I I couldn’t change a thing about it anymore. And this was the most horrible thing that I felt the finality of it. And that being able to understand everything in this room was too late, it felt too late. And I reached a point when I was thinking I understand everything. And in this moment, I was in a totally different area I was on on my favorite mountain, about 2000 meters high, just below the the peak. And there was a little fence a wooden fence in front of me. And it was actually the real whether that was

Unknown Speaker 38:17
real at that time of day. So it was in the very early hours of the morning. And I was walking the path and I had been on that mountain first couple of times. So I had been there with my family and friends, but always on the very good weather conditions. So always in sunshine and always nice weather and with a future view and and as I was looking around me I realized where I was because I knew the setting. But the weather was just horrible. Like it was very windy and foggy and I could hardly see where it was going. And then I saw a huge boulder in front of me. And it was way taller than I was it was about eight feet tall and eight feet in diameter. And it was very spiky with sharp edges. And it freaked me out. I was just going on this little path, this narrow path. And then there was this huge boulder in front of me and I tried to find a way to go around it or, you know, pass by it. But there was no way because this path was so narrow. There was a stone wall next to me on the left side. And on the right side there was a very steep hill, hillside down. So there was grass and everything but it was way too steep to try to go there because you would fall and as I was standing there I realized for the first time that I’m in danger, that’s the first time when I realized it’s about me it this whole thing is about me and I’m standing with a huge A huge thing in my way I can never get around it, I cannot escape it. If I go back down, it will roll down the hill on the path and crush me. I cannot go to the left, I can’t go to the right. And there’s no way to escape in any direction. And that’s when I realized that it was I was in life danger. That’s that’s the point when I realized there’s no way out. There is absolutely no way I can get out of this situation. And I had been in this other in this round where I was enlightening the whole round with the fire in my heart. But when I was standing on this path, I realized that everything that I hadn’t understood was true. Everything was final, I couldn’t change anything about my life anymore. I couldn’t change my feelings that I had been in, I realized that this My life was over, I realized that my path is gone. I cannot take any step further. And I was so frightened that I wasn’t able to have one more thought. And I just stared at this huge folder. And I was thinking this is it. There’s no way out. And I’m, I’m not able to change anything anymore. And this is it. And then I had no thoughts in my in my mind anymore. And suddenly, I heard like a little echo the things that my daughter was telling me before I was catapulted in this room, and I remembered her voice saying, forgive him, forgive him. And so this was just like an acoustic echo that I heard, like therapy telepathically. And in this moment, I realized what she meant was that there was just one way out of the situation. And that was to forgive him. And all the sudden, it seemed so easy. I don’t know it. As I felt that I was in life danger, I didn’t mind to forgive him. It seemed like the most natural thing to do. And I realized that this was my only chance of escaping this horrible situation where I was stuck in. And so I said, I forgive him. And I meant it. And I was breathing in and out. I remember that very clearly. And all of a sudden, this huge rock was starting to roll downhill to my left to my right. And I was so startled that I watched it I turned over and I watched it as it was gaining momentum going down the hill. And it even pulled out little pieces of dirt and, and grass, or throwing them in the air as it went down. So it was totally realistic. And I was so astonished. I didn’t dare making another step. And I was I was thinking, oh my goodness, what just happened and just saying that I forgive him took this huge powder away and out of my way. And so I realized my path is clear again. And I wanted to go over between the fence because there was a little

Unknown Speaker 43:17
doorway so that you could go through the fence. And I wanted to reach that little wooden fence and go up to the mountain to the very top. But as I went ahead for maybe two or three more steps, I was catapulted back in my ICU bed, and tears were running down my cheeks because for some reason, I felt the strangest things, I felt uplifted. I felt forgiven, I was totally happy. I was totally okay with everything in my situation. And I was, um, I felt that I had been blessed and that I had been forgiven everything actually. And that I remembered part of the scripture that says that you should be forgiven. As you forgive, I don’t know, but there’s a connection. And I realized that because I had forgiven my husband. For some reason I felt like I was going through a spiritual washing machine. It felt like I came in dirty, and I came out totally clean. And it felt. I don’t know, I felt so relieved. I can’t put it in words. And I didn’t want to wait for any other moment. I sent my husband a short message. And I wrote to him that I’m sorry that I was thinking that it was his fault. What had happened and that I’m sorry that I had accused him of silently and that I was okay with everything and that I didn’t have any accusations for him anymore. And I told him that I was sure that our daughter was I’m disabled, because she told me in our telepathic discussion, she told me when I told her, this is going on for the last two years, I, I can’t forgive him so much, you know, this amount of time that there was disappointments and broken promises and everything I said to her, I can’t forgive any of it. Because I told her if even if I could forgive what happened today, it would still amount to, I couldn’t forgive everything that he had done for the last two years, so it’s too much. And that’s when she told me, I can also forgive. And for me, it’s not only about two years, it’s about my whole life. And at that moment, I realized that she must be talking about some mental or physical disability. That’s how I interpreted it. And I was sure at that moment that she was very badly harmed by this accident, and that I was 100% sure that she was handicapped, severely handicapped, but I didn’t mind at that stage, I just, I was just happy that she would survive, actually, to be honest. And, and after that, I told my husband in the short message, that I’m sure that our daughter will be severely handicapped. But that I think that if we have understanding for each other, and if we stick together, we can overcome everything that is, in our way, any anything. So no matter what it is, we could, so more or less, we could overcome everything. So there is no obstacle in our way anymore. And this huge boulder seemed like the symbol for all these obstacles that were in my way, all these negative emotions, and that I had against my husband. So I had written this short message, and I was feeling totally happy and in, in total place, and everything was alright, and I and I had the feeling that now everything was fine, forever, to be honest. So it, nothing could ever change that. And I was thinking now I should go to sleep because I was awake for the whole night. And as I wanted to fall asleep, I realized that my heart rate was was increasing. And as I felt my heart beating, ever and ever faster, I realized that this meant that the heart of my daughter, one hour away from me in the other clinic was beating like that, and that I felt what she was going through. And so I pressed the button for,

Unknown Speaker 47:40
for the people to come in for the medical personnel to check on me. And I told them that I have this notion that I think that my daughter is in stress, and could they please call the other clinic to make sure that she was okay. And the lady told me that only the doctor can make these phone calls, she’s not allowed to. And the doctor is busy with another operation. So I would have to wait. And after maybe another five or 10 minutes, I was in such a state that I was about to cry. So it was so horrible. But I felt it felt like my daughter is going through so much pain and distress. And so I asked again for them to call the other clinic. And when they declined again, I asked him for a Bible because I was thinking maybe I could find a clue in the psalm of the, of the date of the birthday of my daughter, like, in a way like a message from her to me. If I read the psalm of her birthday, then maybe I could realize what’s going on at what, what she would like to tell me that was my intuitive idea at this very strange because I hadn’t looked in the Bible for years, to be honest. But in during that night, my mom had been on the phone with me, asking me to Yeah, to pray with her. And I said, I’m not going to pray anything because that’s, that was before my near death experience. And I was so in anger and turmoil. I was not ready to pray anything. And I said to her, no prayer is going to be okay with this situation. So there’s nothing that I could ever pray even if I wanted to. And she said, Oh, there’s one prayer. God’s will, should be done. And I said, I’m not going to pray that I said, Nobody asked me if I was okay with it. And it’s going to happen anyway. So there’s no purpose for me to join in this prayer at that time. And in this moment, when I felt all the distress that my daughter was going through in the other clinic, I felt that I needed some message from her that would reassure me Actually, I was hoping that there was something in Psalm saying, I’m in distress, but everything will be fine. Because that’s what I was hoping for. And so someone gave me the Bible from another section in this hospital. And I looked up her Psalm, as quick as I could. And, and it started with, I’m calling to you, God are listen to us, when we call to you in distress. And so I was going down to some as fast as I could, and the end was God, down here, as when we are calling for you and yours in the hour that we are calling for you. And in the Catholic tradition, there’s a prayer that you say, for Mary, and there’s one line in it saying, our God have mercy on us in the hour of art death, actually in the last hour before we die. And this little line reminded me of this other prayer. And I realized that this was the hour when she was dying. So that’s, that’s true, in a way what I felt. So this was it. And of course, I asked them to call again, but they just came in an hour more than an hour later. And they told me that my daughter died about an hour ago. And I knew the time when I had looked at it. At the time when I had read the prayer, and this Psalm and I realized that it was the same time when my daughter was actually dying, when I was reading this line that said, Listen to us when we call out for you. So this was, in a way was very touching. But in another way, it was very hard to be an hour away and to feel that your daughter is dying in another clinic and you can change anything about it.

Brian Smith 52:02
Alright, that’s the end of part one. Stay tuned for part two. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

Transcribed by



Adam has dedicated himself to a lifetime of service, prompted by the early passing of his toddler sister when Adam himself was a young boy.

Today, Adam Rabinovitch is Executive Director of COPE – a nonprofit grief and healing organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child. I have worked with COPE to provide support to grieving families. They are a valuable resource.

Adam was previously Executive Director of Giving Open Access to Learning, Inc. (GOAL) – a nonprofit educational program that provides children from under-served communities with the resources to help them get the most out of their education.

Prior to that, he was Deputy Director of Neighbors Link a nonprofit committed to strengthening the healthy integration of immigrants in local communities.

Adam is also proud to be a volunteer board member and to serve as Board Chair of Brick By Brick, a NGO and social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in East Africa.




Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth and today I’ve got with me Adam Rabinovich. And Adam is the executive director, Executive Director of an organization called cope, which is a nonprofit Grief and Healing organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child. And cope is an acronym for connecting our paths internally. Adam was previously the executive director, Executive Director of giving open access to learning our goal, which is a nonprofit educational program that provides children from underserved communities with the resources to help them get the most out of their education. So you can tell Adams been doing this type of work for a while. Prior to that he was a deputy director of neighbors link, a nonprofit committed to strengthening the healthy integration of immigrants and local communities. Adam is also proud to be a volunteer board member, and to serve as board choir board chair I’m sorry, a brick by brick an NGO and social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of children’s and families in East Africa. So Adam is a busy man. With that I want to welcome Adam to grief to growth.

Adam Rabinovitch 1:46
Thank you so much, Brian, for that warm introduction and for inviting me to join you today on behalf of all the families that were supporting, and really thank you for pronouncing Rabinovich correctly when you and I met. months ago, I said, I wish it was like Smith, but it ain’t so thank you for for all of that. And really glad to be here today.

Brian Smith 2:07
Yeah, it’s it’s really good to sit down and get to have this conversation with you virtually you and I met a few months ago through a mutual friend. That’s where I learned about cope. I love the work that you guys are doing. I wanted to introduce cope to to more people and let them know what resources are available. Because as parents that have had children past we can always use, you know, whatever’s out there. So how did you get involved in doing this type of work? You’ve been you’ve been doing this type of outreach for quite a while.

Adam Rabinovitch 2:36
Yeah, so I’ve been committed to social impact work through nonprofit leadership for the last decade of my career as a volunteer and as a staff leader. And I came to join the cope community just about three years ago. So this is being recorded in in the early fall of 2021. I joined in August 2018. And flashing forward 3040 years before that, I was born healthy and have lived 48 years and counting. In 1973. And a couple of years after I was born. My baby sister Martinique came along and she was born a very ill, and she died before the age of two. I have some vague, somehow vague and vivid memories of playing peekaboo with Marnie, and playing the big brother role for her for the couple of years that she was with us. My brother and sister came along after Marni died, and they never got to meet her. So my parents, my family have been living with the loss of a child with my loss of my sister for 40 plus years, and we’ve been living with that loss. And in many ways, not talking about the loss, not talking about Martin Nate, certainly not as a family unit. So by being able to connect with cope three years ago, and you and so many people in the Grief and Healing space, including parents and siblings and families, living with the loss of a child, this club that no one wants to belong to, it’s really given me some personal and professional meaning and purpose in the work that I’m doing as part of this larger community in a way that I never had. And I’d like to say and think that it’s given my family, some new tools and common language as well living with the loss of a child. So that’s a little bit of what got me involved in the work and has kept me very engaged and passionate about supporting other families like mine, like yours. We know there’s so many out there that need support, need each other need connection, and cope is one of the ways that people can connect and get that support.

Brian Smith 4:50
I think that’s that’s so important that you talk about that how your sister passed when you were a young child and how that’s impacted you even 40 plus years later. A lot of times, especially as parents, we think about how the loss of a child impacts us. We don’t think about how it impacts siblings, and the whole family, the whole family unit going forward. And it’s been my experience, a lot of families don’t talk about it. You know, I’ve talked to clients, like they don’t even mention that the name of the child has passed. And they don’t realize that does have an impact on everybody.

Adam Rabinovitch 5:23
Yeah, well said. And again, I don’t want to overstate the the the newness of it, but it’s really just in the last few years that I’ve been able and my family has been able to use some of those tools techniques and go out of our comfort zone, I guess in some cases, and talk a bit about Marnie, even though she was only with us for less than two years.

Brian Smith 5:45
Yeah, children make they make an impact, no matter how long they’re here, you know, how long or how short they’re here. I was just interviewing someone earlier today who had a daughter who didn’t live it all outside outside the womb, but made it made an impact on their family. So I know your your sister is still making ripples today. And I think that’s so cool. I just I just light up when I hear I think about something like that.

Adam Rabinovitch 6:08
That’s really, really well said and sweet. Yet someone that

Brian Smith 6:11
came in for what seems like a short time, but you know, still still living to this day through three years. So kudos to you.

Adam Rabinovitch 6:19
Thanks for that. Yes.

Brian Smith 6:21
So tell me about cope. How did how to get started

Adam Rabinovitch 6:25
cope King together as a Ghana group of members of this club that no one wants to belong to our founders met each other shortly after the losses of their then adult children. This is going back to the early mid 1990s. They leaned on each other, they still lean on each other. These years later, as friends as colleagues and as board members and committed supporters of cope. They started a network and informal network, bringing together other parents and some siblings, in different families across Long Island, New York, all who had this common thread of the living with the loss of a child, their children, built enough of a network and saw enough of a need and an opportunity for a unique solution in our area geographically and hopefully a model for other communities across the country and beyond. And in 1999 started a nonprofit corporation. Here we are 22 years later, sustaining growing in many ways the last year plus I don’t need to tell you or your audience that the need and demand for Grief and Healing and bereavement support is only increased with drivers like COVID-19 not being the only one certainly, we’re seeing a lot of spikes around in the communities that we’re supporting downstate New York and beyond around death by suicide, and homicide and gun violence, and also certainly trends, which hopefully are starting to turn around locally and nationally around addiction and opioid overdose. So as families and communities continue for the foreseeable future, meaning for the rest of time, need Grief and Healing support. cope wants to be one of the tools that people can lean on, and again, connect with each other and get the support that they deserve.

Brian Smith 8:23
Yeah, absolutely. So So how did you guys fare during during the last year or so? 2020? With the pandemic? Yeah. 21 with the things that we’re going through now, we’re still not really out of it. So how did that impact the work that copes doing? Great question.

Adam Rabinovitch 8:38
And I’ve gotten to know you, I’ll share two words which I know are close to your heart in your work. I’d say bravery and technology. So first, as the pandemic was rearing its ugly head, we step back, but really just for a minute and asked ourselves as a as an organization in the community that we support the families. Can we continue to to provide support? Not really, should we but can we and how, so we pivoted or moved very quickly. This is march into April of 2020. To telehealth so instead of podcast we’ve created safe spaces, secure spaces for parents, for siblings, for teens, for other bereaved and grieving individuals and families to come together. Not quite replicating the experience of being side by side, shoulders, shoulder at a table in a room together, but we’ve come a long way. And we’ve also continued to ask for and receive tremendous support. As a nonprofit corporation. We rely extraordinarily on the generosity and contributions of donors and foundations and partners across the board and everyone has really stepped up so between leaning into technology and learning with Technology, and not being shy about asking people to support the work that we do. So we can keep being there for the families that count on us. We’ve managed to come out of whatever this most recent chapter of the pandemic is, and have some learned lessons for plowing ahead for the future as unknown, as some of the unknown may be.

Brian Smith 10:19
Yeah. So what are some of the services that you offer to people?

Adam Rabinovitch 10:23
Yeah, thank you for asking the core of what we provide our peer to peer support groups for in some cases, parents living with the loss of a child in other groups, siblings living with the loss of a brother or sister. And we also offer groups for teens living with the loss of a loved family member. So each of those support groups historically in person currently through tele mental health, the future, probably some hybrid model of the two. Each of those groups has a licensed clinician, a social worker, in the room, whether it’s again, virtual or in person, and they’re they’re not as a therapist, but as a facilitator. So it’s really the the peer to peer model with the facilitation of a professional that we hear again and again from family members, helps them as they move through their grief journey. That’s one area and one way that we support bereaved families and individuals, we also offer and this has been a real increase in in the way we’ve connected with families during the pandemic, a series of healing workshops, and you’ve been part of some of those as a presenter and a share. So we continue to design and partner with people, including you and so many professionals and grieving and brief family members across the country and across the world, to provide healing workshops, open to all and any currently online, and that includes everything from Tai Chi, which we’ll be having another Tai Chi movement, workshop coming up, we’ve had yoga, mindfulness and meditation. We’ve offered drama therapy, music therapy, trying to provide as many tools as we can, for as many people to meet them in their unique grief journeys and trying to do it at a scale. And technology, again, has helped to play a role in that to meet more people with limited resources.

Brian Smith 12:24
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s really fascinating. And sounds like a great breadth of services you’re offering to people. But it brings up the question I have, because you and I met, I live in Ohio, you live in New York. And as you said, I’ve spoken at one of your workshops, and I know that you guys geographically are centered in New York, and that’s been your traditional base, have you found that you’re growing outside of that, due to this, the challenges you’re going through?

Adam Rabinovitch 12:48
Yes, in a few ways, and a lot of it’s through network and coalition building. So one of the things that I’ve seen, and thanks again, for sharing in my bio, that I’ve been focused on the nonprofit sectors, too often in different fields and missions. There can be silos and some fragmentation between groups between community organizations doing great work in their communities, but not always having the capacity or the bandwidth to connect with people and organizations across the county or across the state lines or whatever it is, you and I are now connected, many states away and maybe even a timezone or two. So one of the ways that we’ve been both scaling our impact geographically, but also working with other like minded organizations is we are in our 10th year of being part of a terrific national now international organization, the US and Canada called the aluna. network. And aluna supports families and primarily kids in a variety of ways, including the camp Aaron network, and this is free bereavement grief camps for kids aged seven to 17, living with the loss of a loved one. So we just had our 10th camp error in New York City, which is for the New York City metro area. And we also hold a concurrent parent and caregiver retreat. So perhaps you and your audience can envision that in a balanced camp experience. So there’s bereavement and grief support along with fun slash waterslide. And Capture the Flag and all the things that kids and sometimes their adult parents and caregivers want to engage in, come together for, for a shared experience and also again, bringing together some common tools and common languages. So we hear from families who go through the camp error and experience that after that their own family unit has has some shared new techniques that they can use around their loss of their shared loved ones. In addition to that, I’ll mention that we work closely with the National Alliance for children’s grief and increasingly part of New York State and us initiative under the evermore banner, which is helping to fix bereavement care for all Americans. And that includes systems change policy change legislation, legislative change across the country and hopefully additional resources for people like you and grief to growth organizations like cope so that we can do more as we continue to see increased demand for all of our services. So those are a couple of the ways that we’ve been connecting, learning from sharing with beyond the the origins of Long Island and New York City metro area.

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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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th calm if you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution and now back to grief to growth

Brian Smith 16:33
Yeah, it’s really interesting you know as we you know, as we go through challenges and it’s sometimes they seem like they’re setbacks but you know, as we grieve to grow, it’s all about right it’s it’s sometimes they can be opportunities. So I know like you and I met during the pandemic and you know I’ve spoken to your group because of the use of technology it’s funny I all my clients are remote I don’t have any clients in Cincinnati I was talking with someone the other day but you know, some grief work and they’re like, so many clients you see face to face and I don’t see any so it’s it’s, it’s a great it’s a brave new world that we live in. So it’s really exciting. And I can see cope because of your your caring and your expertise, really starting to grow outside of that the area that you guys are in locally.

Adam Rabinovitch 17:19
Yeah, that’s so well said. And I do value the face to face time with you and so many others, even if it is pixelated or virtual. And your case, of course, it’s as clear as as it could be. But yeah, no, well said,

Brian Smith 17:30
Yeah, yeah, well, if there’s nothing that will replace face to face, as I said, it’s it’s, I look at it as an opportunity to really get to get beyond you know, I was just talking with someone, right before again, I was interviewing with a young woman in Germany. And so it’s like I would, I would have never met her if it had been if it hadn’t been for the technology. And it’s so cool that we could just get on and do this. And I’ve spoken with your group, and I’m happy to be part of, you know, helping people as much as I can, you know, anywhere they happen to be,

Adam Rabinovitch 17:59
well, we value that. And I give so much credit to the families, our staff, our volunteers, our partners, including you who have either embraced the new technology, even if it’s not comfortable in one way or another and really stepped up. And it’s helped to keep some of those connections and ties among families. And in our case, back to the cope organization intact and hopefully enhanced in some ways, even though we’re not there to pat each other on the shoulder give the hugs and dry the tears together in person.

Brian Smith 18:32
Yeah. Well, I know you guys are doing great work there. So for people that are remote, though, that might be interested in getting connected with code that might want to reach out to you for some sort of help. Where would you suggest they start?

Adam Rabinovitch 18:43
Yeah, great place to start is on our website, Koch foundation dot o RG. And I know you’ll make sure that the listening audience has access to that they can also follow us on our social media feeds, which they’ll get to right through the website. And we have not only direct links to get involved in our support programs and our healing workshops, which we’ll continue to unroll and unfurl in the in the coming months and years. But there’s a whole bunch of resources that people can access anytime of day. We’ll be not competing with you, but hopefully adding some value in the podcast market in the near future. But we have suggested reading and blogs and articles and also a volunteer led warm line, not quite a hotline. It’s not a crisis line. But these are trained volunteers, bereaved parents and siblings who are there to pick up the phone, lend an empathetic ear and make that connection for anyone who wants to reach out regardless of the timezone or the time of day.

Brian Smith 19:47
Yeah, well, I think that peer to peer model is really important. After after my daughter passed, I did go to grief counseling briefly. went to see a guy and actually he was a grief counselor. He was at a hospice here locally and then Was it was somewhat helpful, I was pretty far along in my spiritual journey, if you want to call it that anyway, so I only went to him a few times, but I find is really helpful to talk to other parents to talk to, and to find out what they’re going through and not feel alone. So I really, I really valued that peer to peer connection that you guys offer. So people can say, Hey, this is what I’m feeling. This is what I’m feeling Oh, I’m not crazy, you know, I’m not insane. Because we feel like when we lose a child, we feel like we’re losing their minds. You know, we’ve really literally like we can’t go on and function anymore.

Adam Rabinovitch 20:37
Yeah, that message of you, I we are not alone is so powerful. And it just needs to continue to be said and demonstrated and showing that no one in this club is alone in it is a club, no one wants to belong to it, as I said, as you may not along to, but certainly I encourage anyone who’s listening and looking for a lifeline, reach out, reach out to cope, reach out to Brian, reach out to your local support mechanisms. And please, please stay connected. You’re not alone.

Brian Smith 21:11
Yeah, well, and the thing is, you know, again, I go back to your the opening you talking about your sister, and you know, I just look at it, no life is lost, you know, people sometimes will look and will judge. And again, as parents, you know, my child only lived for X amount of time, you know, my daughter was 15 or someone you know, and and we we put we placed judgments on it. But we don’t know what effect that that’s going to have, we don’t really know what it’s going to do in the future and how much purpose that person’s life could possibly serve long beyond the time that they’re, they’re here in this physical plane. And I see this just as you just as a shining example of that.

Adam Rabinovitch 21:51
And likewise, and I’m so glad that we’re connected and we get to, to support other families together along the way.

Brian Smith 21:59
Yeah, well, Adam, what else should our audience know about supporting grieving parents families, I know you’ve shared a lot, what coke can offer, just in general, what is what’s the philosophy of coke, but what is what is your What is your vision.

Adam Rabinovitch 22:16
So our vision is that no one should grieve alone. And that means no one. So as you and I’ve been talking about today, there’s lots of resources for people to connect to, maybe not enough. And hopefully, as we move together to increase awareness of the need for bereavement care, at the national and state levels, they’ll only be more supports going forward, whether it’s paid bereavement leave for families who need those extra days, just to make sure that they can take care of themselves take care of their families in those those early days, whether it’s after a traumatic loss or any kind of loss. So so there’s opportunities also to get involved in let one’s voice be heard. So share your experiences with local community members, you can share your experiences with elected officials and, and ask for support not only for yourselves, but for the next grieving mom, the next grieving dad or brother or sister. So amplifying the message that everyone deserves a support and no one should grieve alone is critical. And we’re also helping and hoping, hoping that the the conversation around grief and bereavement and healing changes in our country in our society. So that dynamics, like I mentioned, in my family, maybe there’s less stigma going forward about death and loss and grief and healing. And I know there’s great groups who focus on that, including the reimagine community, if your audience isn’t already aware of them, they can learn more, let’s reimagine and really just trying to shift the conversation so that everyone feels supported and that those who care about their we’ve grieving and bereaved loved ones have the tools and the language and and know what to say and what not to say.

Brian Smith 24:08
Yeah, I think it’s Yeah, it’s really important. And I like that you know, about shifting. He said, shifting the conversation, I began to go beyond that and saying, even having the conversation again, I talked to so many people that say I don’t I don’t want to share my great because I don’t want to feel like I’m making someone else sad. And people will even say to us sometimes well, aren’t you over that by now you know, you should, you know, and so they’ll kind of make us feel shut down. Like we shouldn’t talk about it. And I’ve really love your philosophy of no one should grieve alone. And I think I completely agree with that. I think we are met as human beings. We’re social creatures, and we need to share our experiences, especially the experience of grief. And when we go through it alone, and whatnot, forget I was driving one day and I was listening to podcast, I was like it was right after my daughter passed away. And I was listening to his great podcast. I think it was Sandra Champlain and she had a woman on her name is Donovan Becky and her daughter had passed away. And Donna, she tells a story about she was standing on the curb and there was a bus driving by and she was thought about stepping out in front of the bus. And it really caught my attention. Because I was like, This is the feeling that I’ve had several times. And I was so glad to hear someone else say that out loud, even though it’s something we wouldn’t necessarily share. Because people think we’re crazy, or we’re suicidal. But it’s really important that people be in a space where they feel comfortable sharing those types of things. And then they know, you know, people, they know that they’re not alone. So I love what you guys are doing.

Adam Rabinovitch 25:38
Also, as you were talking, I was just remembering if you happen to hear typing in the background, excuse me, I just want to make sure that if your audience is interested, they know where to go, there’s a platform called speaking And I know you have access to so many resources. If you want my help and sharing any of the ones that we’re talking about today, I’ll Of course, make sure that you have those to share out with the listening audience for the viewing audience. And speaking grief is not only a documentary about some of the themes that we’re talking about today, but it also has some some some great tools are not only for grieving individuals and family members, but again, for those who care about them. And so I encourage folks to check out their resources as well.

Brian Smith 26:21
Yeah, that was a great documentary, as you said that it reminded me I had a young lady on who was in that film as one of my as one of my guests. So the thing is, there’s a there are a lot more resources available now and and as you said earlier, I’m a technology guy. So I just I’m excited about the possibilities of these things that we can get out there now the documentaries and that we can we can share with people literally around the world. And and I’ve even seen a lot of it now in media, where I think they’re becoming more aware of I don’t know how coke feels about the afterlife. But I think the afterlife is, to me one of the most important things so I’m just seeing more openness to people willing to talk about how our, our children are not lost, that they that they they go on.

Adam Rabinovitch 27:06
Well, I’ll just mention a couple of things on two related unrelated topics that you just highlighted. One is as part of copes origin, and people can learn more on our website about our history. Koch foundation dot o RG, our founder, Lilly Julian had a vision a dream that her daughter, who she lost, Michelle visited her and said, effectively, essentially, Hey, Mom, I’m okay. Take care of yourself and and each other. And that was part of the catalyst that that started cope. And we continue to offer a series of programs including under the banner of signs and synchronicities, where professionals and lay people and family members get to come together and share some of their stories and the signs and synchronicities that keep them connected to our loved ones. And so I appreciate you bringing that to the forefront of our conversation today. And I also just wanted to to highlight and I know we’ll be wrapping up shortly. So just to not only again, thank you for the opportunity to share. But going back to our introduction in today’s conversation that one one of the clear realities that I’ve learned doing this work now for the last few years and talking to my family for the first time in many ways was that there was nothing like them for cope or for us, like cope or group growth, or so many organizations 3040 maybe even 20 years ago. So to your point, the fact that we are seeing some of these shifts, and technology being one of the pieces to to helping unlock that is really critical. And again, none of us can do it alone. So it’s it’s wonderful that you and I and some our fellow and shared the shared collaborators are in this together to support each other and support families.

Brian Smith 29:01
Awesome, awesome. Well, I we’re running tight, close to time to wrap I do want to let everybody know that the website is Koch And there’ll be a link, of course, in the show notes. Adam and I were talking beforehand. There’s a lot of events that Koch does that are coming up. So I’m sure there’s a calendar of events there. So for whatever time you’re listening this you can find out what’s going on currently, and if you’re not in the New York area could still be a great resource for you. So I just want to put that out there for people that happen to be maybe somewhere else but do want to get connected.

Adam Rabinovitch 29:33
Exactly. Thanks. We’re here for anyone and everyone. So please reach out. And again, you’re not alone.

Brian Smith 29:40
Alright, Adam, it was great seeing you today. And have a great rest of your day.

Adam Rabinovitch 29:44
Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having us and all the good work you’re doing.

Brian Smith 29:48
So that

does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click On all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by

Sandra Champlain is the host of We Don’t Die, a popular podcast; the author of We Don’t Die, a bestselling book; and the single biggest reason I started podcasting.

Sandra was a lifelong skeptic about the afterlife. But, she also feared death. Her investigative and skeptical mind led her to delve deeply into afterlife studies to know for herself what is true and what is not. Sandra not only studies the afterlife, but she’s also hands-on trying things like Electronic Voice Phenomenon, channel, mental mediumship, attending physical mediumship demonstrations, and even traveling to Arthur Findlay College, the “Hogwarts of Mediumship”.

Sandra is a much sought-after speaker and a friend for several years. I was finally able to find enough time in her busy schedule to get her on Grief to Growth for an hour.

You can find more about Sandra on her website, including information on her new show Shades of the Afterlife on Coast to Coast radio.



Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth in a day I’ve got with me, Sandra Champlain. And Sandra and I go way back I’m really, really excited about having her on, on grief to growth, and she’s actually I’m gonna give her credit for being the reason why I’m doing this. So I’ll talk to you about that in a little bit as we get started, but I want to read Sandra’s bio and then we’ll just have a conversation like we always do. The fear of dying let’s say to Champlain in a long road to find evidence of the afterlife, the death of her father calls to investigate the painful worlds of grief. Now 25 years into this journey She is the author of the number one international best selling book We Don’t Die A Skeptics Discovery of Life After Death. She’s also the host of We Don’t Die Radio and shades of the afterlife, a new podcast and I Heart Radio shows online afterlife courses, demonstrations and events, including a free global Sunday gathering. Sandra’s committed to empowering all of us to live our best lives possible. So with that, I want to welcome my friend Sandra Champlain.

Sandra Champlain 1:47
Oh, Brian, thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.

Brian Smith 1:50
Yeah, I think we’re both really excited about this. As I said, we go back. Oh, wow. Let me think about this five years. I guess. I think I met you. I think it was the first AI conference. I

Sandra Champlain 2:00
think so. I think so. Yes. Yeah.

Brian Smith 2:03
Yeah, it was really wild. I got to tell the story. I hope it doesn’t embarrass you. But we were at the conference. And you walked up to me said, I know you. And I’m like, well, that’s crazy. I can’t believe Sandra knows who I am. And I was and you said I like to have you in my program. And, and I’ve been following you for a long time. Listen to all your podcasts. But you actually thought I was somebody else. And so it was funny. I’m so my wife Sandra wants to have me on her program. But we ended up becoming friends we met and I have been on your program a couple times. So it’s all worked out. Great.

Sandra Champlain 2:35
It’s so funny, because I think things are meant to be. But I’ve embarrassed myself all the time, actually. Okay, we’re together.

Brian Smith 2:44
Yeah, I was okay. said I was I was thrilled. I was like this is this is fantastic. So I would I don’t want to let you tell your story about tell people how you how I started how I discovered you too. But how did you get into like, starting with, we don’t die. And I’m not gonna ask you questions. I already know the answers to but I want the audience to hear it. So how did you get into writing the book and starting the podcast?

Sandra Champlain 3:05
Well, way back when? Oh, gosh, it was 2000 2005. I started taking afterlife courses and things. But it was in the mid 90s that I actually started on this journey looking for evidence of the afterlife, and I had a fear of dying. I don’t know where it came from. My mom speculates I had worked in a nursing home when I was a teenager volunteering and I saw a lot of depth. And maybe in my subconscious, it’s just all built up. And then this fear came. So very secretly, I started this investigation on the world of the afterlife just for myself just to rest my own fears. And there came a point Brian, where I thought, someday I should tell people about this, because it’s pretty big. But like many of us were afraid to share this because we’re afraid of what people think. because growing up I thought anybody that talked about this woowoo spiritual afterlife, angels, all that stuff, that they were crazy. Really I did, I thought, they’re crazy. So the last thing I wanted to do was risk my reputation and come out to the public about what I had found. I mean, the fear that we humans share, I think is awful. And it’s crippling. So even though I would meet people that had lost a loved one, and I kept thinking, Oh, if I can only tell them what i what i found out what I knew that would really help people, but the fear was so strong. And in the early 2000s, I really started looking for things I could tell people besides my story of taking a mediumship class and all these great things that came out of my own mind. You know, my fear was there that people would say, well, who do you see around me, and anyone who’s taken a course in mediumship fear and connecting to the divine can’t be in the same space. So when you’re fearful, all that shuts down So I was looking for more reasons to be able to share with people, good, credible evidence, it didn’t have to come out of my own head. And along those lines, I started thinking, you know, someday I’m gonna write a book, and I’m gonna title it, we don’t die, you know, so that seed had been planted. And it wasn’t until 2010, when my father passed now, long times passed between mid 90s, and 2010. But when my dad passed, it was one of the worst experiences of my life, if not the worst experience, you know, talking about from grief to growth, my family split up, split apart, my siblings, and I started fighting. My dad and I became very, very, very close in those last six months, I was his primary caregiver. And that relationship ended and I got into trying to figure out why grief has to hurt so bad. That was the first thing because I think many of your followers know I mean, grief is the most painful thing we, we go through. So I was really looking for a little self help for me. But in that process, I opened up this world of grief that man I had no idea about, and I don’t think many people know that it’s an autopilot thing that our chemistry goes through, to try to regroup and be accustomed to the new reality. And there are so many things that happen to our grieving mind, that we think we should be able to turn off, you know, thoughts of guilt and replaying situations over and over and those really horrendous feelings of pain and crying. And so I found some things that not only helped me make a smoother transition through grief, yes, it was painful, I’m not ever going to say it was easy. But when I decided to let people know what I found out about grief, I put out a free audio called How to Survive grief, still not talking about the afterlife. And then what happened was, it didn’t quite go viral. But 1000s of people heard it within a few weeks. And people started writing me that not only did it give them understanding, not only grief, from death of a loved one, but say a divorce or being diagnosed with a terminal illness, many things trigger grief. But people started telling me that they chose not to end their life, because of my words. And those that’s pretty profound. I thought to myself, this information needs to be out there as far as it can. But between you and I and your followers here, not many people know they’re grieving, not many people are looking for a grief book. And then I had that aha moment that I thought if I could be courageous enough, and come out with my reasons for believing in the afterlife, title, the book, that title that I like so much, we don’t die, which is totally in your face, because people like Yes, we do. And strategically slide in that information about grief that it could really help mankind. So that was the genesis of it. And the book came out, I believe, in 2013. And my biggest fear really, truly was what people in my life, were going to think about me believing in this stuff. And the opposite happened from what I thought people embraced it very few people gave me a funny look, you know, very, very few. And people embraced it and were interested in then I got the courage to just continue on and start the podcast. And, you know, then that grew. And unfortunately, COVID unfortunately, and fortunately, COVID put everyone in lockdown. Because it was an opportunity for me to be able to get to more people and share what I was really passionate about. And so in the past year and a half, we just have a Gosh, I don’t even know how many hundreds of people that come weekly to our Sunday gathering and take courses that live in the soul and so

is it a synchronicity? Is it a miracle? Is it my grief to growth? I say yes to all of the above. And that’s what brings you and I here together today.

Brian Smith 9:24
Yeah, well, I have to say, you know, the book is excellent. I I think yours was the first podcast I ever listened to like, ever, not just grief podcast, but the afterlife podcast, but I don’t know even how I found it because I wasn’t listening to podcasts and I was walking on a daily basis. And I was like, I’ve got to find something that’s going to help me and I found your podcast, I remember your audio and I’m encouraging people get the audio, get the book, the audio is free. And I remember lying in my bed listening to audio and listen to it a couple times and my wife and I listening to it and it was so helpful when I was going through that first because my daughter passed away in June of 2015, I just listened to every one of your podcasts I went back to through the back catalogue and lists all up. And it really transformed me. You know, and it’s interesting how we have similar journeys. And I, you talked about the fear of death, and the everybody has a fear of death, I think it’s natural. But most of us put it aside, we don’t think about death, people like you, you’re your real deep thinker. And you can’t put it aside.

Sandra Champlain 10:31
Absolutely true. I think people have three major fears. It’s not public speaking, it is fear of dying, fear of being alone and fear of failure. And we can try to put them aside. But you know, everybody knows what you resist persists. And then when you get to a certain age, I think it’s only natural to start asking those big questions. When we’re a kid, we don’t have any fear not so much do we think about death, and who we are and what the big picture is. But I am thrilled because what I’ve uncovered, and many other people have as well, this is not just me. But when we do really believe in the afterlife, when we believe our loved ones, they have a purpose, you know, their souls still growing, they’re still living life on the other side. But they’re only a breath of thought away. And they’re our biggest cheerleaders, when we can embrace that, first of all, our fear of death can go away. But not only that, is our fear of being alone, to know that we have these invisible cheerleaders, often with us within our toughest moments. And not only that, is, if we don’t die, there must be a purpose to our life. And I really do believe it’s an education for the soul, I, I personally believe that heaven or the Hereafter is fantastic. But the thing is, is we all know, if you have something fantastic 24. Seven, it doesn’t become special anymore. So here on Earth, we can really experience and it is through our toughest times that we do have the most soul growth. But when we can embrace this big picture, those things that we’re afraid of as failures, there’s a new context for them, you’re not failing, you know, at all, there’s always learning to be done. So yeah, that’s what I have to say about that.

Brian Smith 12:24
Yeah, you know, it’s it’s interesting how parallel our journeys are that fear of death. And then, you know, again, some people turn away from it, you and I both turned into it’s I did a lot of studying about the afterlife before my daughter passed when you did before your father passed away. But it’s when the rubber hits the road is when we have that grief of that. And that’s what that’s when you have to take what you’ve what you’ve learned and put it into practice. And for you or transform you into launching this this podcast and the book and the audio that have now reached, I don’t know how many 1000s of people and and with your Sunday program, which I want to talk more about the people understand what what that’s about, you’re just you blossomed into something that you wouldn’t have been with that that event of your father having passed?

Sandra Champlain 13:08
Yeah, that’s absolutely true. And unfortunately, I’m one of those people that thinks I can do everything, right. So I figured there must be something within me that I can change so much of what’s happening in my occurring world. And what’s tough to say is I still have estranged relationships with my siblings. And I thought, you know, once I figured all this out, that they’d understand the world of grief, they don’t understand why our communication broke down. Because a grieving mind can’t store information properly, our perspective of what’s coming in. It may not be the truth. So it really can break down relationships. So I thought everything would be great. Well, it’s not that way. And on one hand, it saddens me. On the other hand, I know Brian, we can choose to be responsible for our life, or we can choose to be a victim. So our Sunday gathering that we did on August 29, was accentuate the positive, we played music from the 40s. And there’s a song accentuate the positive, but it was really looking at the positive side of life. And if I’m to choose that, everything that’s happened, dad’s passing, even the breakdown with my siblings, if I’m to choose that that’s positive. What it’s been doing is it’s keeping me fueled to get the message out to more people because my family is not alone in family breakdowns during a death. What if my siblings and I, and even my dad, way in the beginning before coming to earth, we took a look at what’s happening with humanity, and we thought, Hey, guys, we can make a difference here. And dad said, You know what? I’m gonna go this way, you kids will fight. This will happen. Sandra will go on this, this journey, you guys support her from a distance. And like a circle, you know, things that come apart, they come back together at the top. So it’s not every moment that I think this, Brian because I’m human right I have bad days, I do fall into that victimhood sometimes. But there is a conscious choice to see things from the positive. And so I try that as much as possible, I try to speak about my message as much as possible, I try to share as much as possible, because I can’t live in that victimhood. And it’s not very attractive. But when I share about what I know to be truth, that’s when I’m back in the driver’s seat in life.

Brian Smith 15:51
Yeah, and I appreciate and it’s really one of the things that attracted me to you is your your transparency and your honesty about your feelings and about your family and with the book, you know, and audio about grief, because people when they’re going through grief, they think they’re going crazy. There’s something wrong with me, I can’t concentrate, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, you know, etc. We don’t understand that these things are common. And I learned that by listening to your audio, and even the thing with your family, that’s a very common thing. I’ve seen it over hundreds of people I’ve talked to saying, Yeah, you know, I don’t talk to my sister anymore. My brothers Don’t call me You know, I’ve had a falling out with my mother in law, etc.

Sandra Champlain 16:32
Absolutely. And it’s hard. It’s very, very painful. Because not only my dad’s death happened, but it was like death of relationships, and not being able to see the children, my nieces and nephews. And so I would have to say it was a good four years, even the things that I was doing, but for years that I had this cloud of grief over me. And then one day, and it really was like, there was a cloud over me and dark, rainy skies, but one day, it’s like the sun peak through and I felt like I’m back, you know, you know, there’s some moments that I fall in, because, gosh, all we need to do is see a movie, television, commercial for a Hallmark card, and we can trigger it all over again, right? But the clouds started to lift. And I’m sure you talking about this, like I do. But some like there’s a pine tree that needs to be subjected to extreme forest fires for new growth to begin, and I love grief to growth, because I think I, I really buy into that the toughest times are the things that have the possibility of giving us our soul growth, and getting us on each on that individual journey, because so many people tell us what to believe in. But we ourselves need to find our meaning. And once we start going on that journey, not only is it enriching to ourselves and gives us purpose, but people start automatically falling into our lives that need to hear what we have to say. So while not everybody’s going to have a podcast or a book, don’t ever discount anyone who’s had a tough time, that you’re not the person to really make a difference for another and so many people live, and you see a nice smile. But inside, they could be one step away from ending it all. And that interaction with you might be a compliment might be just a few nice words can really shift the needle for people. Yeah,

Brian Smith 18:45
absolutely. I don’t want to assume everybody knows what we don’t die as your podcast. So take a few minutes and explain to people what it is you do on your podcasts.

Sandra Champlain 18:54
Yeah, I can talk about both actually. back after I wrote the book, I had real employment that I was working as a chef for racecar teams traveling with my mom in a big business, which unfortunately, unfortunately got taken away because of COVID. Because again, now I’m doing this. But in that time, I still yearned for looking for reasons to believe in the afterlife. But I didn’t have time to invest in books. So very sneakily, I thought if I could have conversations with people that have written books, or have had near death experiences, that I could learn a lot without having to invest a lot of time. So I just invented We Don’t Die Radio, just why not? And I would record these conversations and just put them out in the world. And before you and I met I got invited to be a speaker at that afterlife symposium where we met and I asked Craig Hogan, who was the president sense of the afterlife Research and Education Institute if I could share on the podcast about this upcoming symposium, Oh, absolutely. He said, so each and every time. At the end, I would say, oh, and you can meet me and other great people, these dates and this go to this website. Once we got to that symposium, there was something like 750 people there. And Craig Hogan said to me, when he put in the registration, how did you find out about this 550 put Sandra Champlain’s We Don’t Die Radio. So this still gives me goosebumps

Brian Smith 20:38
to this. So I found out about it.

Sandra Champlain 20:40
Because here I am, most of the time recording these conversations sitting in my jammies, you know, and never having known the impact, and then to meet people face to face, who have suffered incredible loss many times have children, loved ones, made many things, many people and how they found hope and faith in my words and understanding. And again, boy, I don’t take this lightly when somebody doesn’t take their own life because of the information. I mean, that’s, that fuels me to keep going. So with that, I just kept it up. And so now there’s 361 hours of episodes of We Don’t Die Radio, and about a year ago, actually was about a year and a half ago, because it was just before COVID hit. I got a call from the producer of Coast to Coast AM, which you may or may not know, but they’re this overnight radio show on mainstream radio, dealing with the paranormal. And I had been a guest on their show a couple of times, they really liked my words. And they said, We are working with I Heart Radio, and we want to create our own Podcast Network. We want to have one on the afterlife. Would you be interested in being our host? Yes. So I actually had a conversation with the president of I Heart Radio. Wow. And then COVID hit and I heard nothing else about it. I thought well, that’s alright. It’s in God’s hands, so to speak. But then I got the call. We’re ready, we’re settled, we want to start. And so how shades of the afterlife is different than We Don’t Die Radio is that if I only had one hour to have with someone on shades of the afterlife, I want to pump in as much information as I can. That so there’s different topics within each episode of shades of the afterlife where as We Don’t Die Radio, I talk to one person. So there’s different topics, there’s more of my thoughts, instead of just hearing the thoughts of a guest. And also there’s a lot more of the new and cutting edge information in that. Now there are commercial breaks, which on We Don’t Die Radio, there’s no commercials, because I don’t like commercials. But the thing I had to realize is to be backed by iheart radio Coast to Coast AM they’re committed to getting to the most people. Well, commercials are necessary to do that to get sponsorship to get it out there. So anyways, there’s some pretty great sponsors to it. And now there’s between the two shows there’s a well over 400 hours of episodes.

Brian Smith 23:34
Wow, crazy credible. Yeah, that’s amazing. So um, so you you met you because you and I had we were I said let’s not talk too much before we get started. So I know that you when I met you you’re a full time chef catering on the race racing circuit. I know that kind of fell apart last year. So are you not doing that at all now,

Sandra Champlain 23:55
not at all the teams we cooked for we would have a big hospitality tent with a buffet down the center, lots of tables and chairs. And it was for the emsa series of racing, which is owned by NASCAR cars go 200 miles an hour, and it’s a business I shared with my mom for over 33 years. And with COVID hitting, there could be no more buffets. So the racist stopped for a while and when they started again, the racetracks were supplying the meals in individual to go containers. And we didn’t have the staff or the equipment once it started opening back up again, to be able to offer that plus, mom’s close to 80 on 55. We hadn’t had any vaccines yet. The last thing we wanted to do was to be around a lot of people. So there’s another fellow who also had a catering company. So we supported him from a distance to be Successful so that he could have a livelihood and be able to put these meals on for these teams. So a lot of teams don’t get the the catering they will go out and have sandwiches for their teams. So it’s still up in the air of the future, how that’s going. But for myself, it’s like, how do I pay the bills? Yeah, what do I do. And for a long time, I’ve had this hope and wish and dream, that somehow I would transition out of doing the catering and be full time sharing what’s in my heart. And that’s the after the reality of the afterlife, helping people through grief and helping people have a better life. And nothing can force you into that more than when you no longer have an income. So in a way, I mean, I have to have integrity, because that’s who I am. But I partnered up with some of my favorite medium friends, Scott Milligan, Carrie McLeod, Philip dikes, who also couldn’t travel and also couldn’t support their families. And I said, Guys, what if we start doing things online,

100% Money Back Guarantee low cost, people get recordings of everything. Because like I said, integrity is so important to me. And over the past year and a half, building this community that people can take courses, to tap into their soul to tap into their psychic nature, to get into these breakout rooms and be able to do readings with people that could be 3000 miles away, for people to learn mediumship, to and so much more. We’ve really developed this community. And then one of the things we had done also, and this is the Sunday gathering, is there are places called spiritualist churches that are around the world. And I’ve been a couple of times, and they’re great services. But at the end, what makes them different is the minister is also a medium, and he or she will work the congregation and prove that life after death is real, not as entertainment, but as empowering people that your loved ones are still around. So I had thought someday when we do a live event, because before COVID, we did a few We Don’t Die live events, and had many people attend. But I thought we could bring that Sunday service to our community and between my friends and I, we thought what if we tried to figure this out online, people are in lockdown. People can’t leave their homes, people are scared, there’s a lot of death going on. Let’s just try it. So happy that we have now over 75 weeks of these which you can watch the replays. They’re all very empowering, very empowering. Each one has a theme, whether it’s gratitude, or accentuate the positive, living in the positive, or whatever it may be. But we bring in a few really great elements. One is the power of prayer. We don’t push spirituality on anyone, so people of any religion or not, can attend. There’s a moment that we do healing to we we play a beautiful piece of music, and we have people send healing visualize people in their lives and themselves. Healthy well and whole, we do a reading. And the readings are not like a reading from a gospel. They are people living on the court on whatever subject matter we talk about. So they’re live like there’s an address where someone will speak from their heart, it’s usually one of us, sometimes a guest, you’ve been on our Sunday gathering to really share what’s in your heart. And then what makes us really different is that we have a medium demonstration within every one of our gatherings. We may have two to 300 people joining us live. And only a handful of people will be reunited with their loved one who’s in the afterlife. But the way it’s brought through, there are so many specifics that our mediums can’t make up. And we ask the people attending if you are working with one of the mediums to just say yes no or I don’t know, don’t give them any information. And everybody can feel the love coming through the shared memories, the evidence. And so it leaves people realizing that in this unseen space around us are our biggest cheerleaders that are still very much alive and doing their very best to plant images and thoughts and memories in our imagination. But sometimes our minds are so very busy, we don’t feel it. But that’s how they work. And so there’s music, they’re very light hearted, but it really gives a shot in the arm of spirituality and knowing that there’s a much bigger picture and that our lives here on Earth are important.

Brian Smith 30:18
Awesome. So tell people how they can get to the Sunday gatherings. I know I go through Facebook is it available on YouTube also,

Sandra Champlain 30:24
it is available on YouTube. Also, if you go to my our our home base, which is we don’t you can click on the store button or the calendar and see everything that’s coming up. But there’s also a tab on the top that says Sunday gathering. And so there’s the Facebook, links of all the past replays. And then there’s also the registration link for the upcoming one. So you can register and you can be part of our Zoom Room, if you’d like to. And if they’re all they’re all free, so And while you’re at, we don’t die calm, there is a box that you can join my email list. And if you do, I don’t spam you by any means. But you get a free copy of my book, We Don’t Die A Skeptics Discovery of Life After Death in PDF form. And you also get that audio of how to survive grief. Plus, if you scroll to the radio show tab at the top, you can listen to all those episodes I was telling you about.

Announcer 31:24
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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th calm. If you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth TRE oh slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Brian Smith 32:21
I wanted to say to anybody because I said I listened to the audio This was several years ago. And you know, read the book and listen to every episode up into that point at least. This is an excellent, excellent free resource on getting through your grief, especially that early part where you’re like you think you’re going crazy. And a lot of times people when they’re angry, they can’t read, they just can’t focus enough to read. So having an audio format is a great way to get that information you know out there and the Sunday gatherings. I go to them on occasion I can’t get to them every week but I go to they’re fantastic. They’re like the most uplifting service you’ve ever had there two o’clock Eastern Time. On Sundays, of course, you can always get the recordings. But it’s a great way to really fill your fill your soul.

Sandra Champlain 33:08
Yeah, people need something to keep themselves plugged in to the bigger picture. I’ve had a tough couple of months, my mom is healthy and well but she went through a little spell that she wasn’t and I’m relocated to live with her I still have my house in Massachusetts, but like here with mom is where I know I need to be. And not every day has been a great day. I just got tremendously sick myself a couple of weeks ago. And it’s hard for us human beings to understand the bigger picture 24 seven so we all fall into this inner chatter made up our mind is not a pleasant place. You know, it starts off when we look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning, whether it’s the wrinkles of the gray hair, too much weight or whatever. We’re you know, right there, it’s saying something negative or we’re stewing about the past or we’re worried about the future. It’s it can be ugly to be in our own minds. And I think that might be the design of the human being because when we can have so many experiences in life. This is how we grow this is how our soul grows. But it’s important to remember the big picture so we like to do the Sunday gatherings I really enjoy people that listen to the podcasts and I listened to my own things and listen to books as well or read books because left to our own devices we are living in a negative mind we are just how it is. But keeping connected through podcasts and books in the Sunday gathering or an online course. It can help in the bigger picture. So for me, every Sunday, even when I wasn’t feeling good, you know, I had to put a smile on my face. And guess what happens? I feel good. I feel good. And here’s a little trick for any one of your followers. And I think you already know this, but a lot of people around us can be negative. And there’s a way to shift them that also shifts us. And you get people engaged in some of their favorite memories. And for instance, I was working with a guy at the racetrack catering, and he couldn’t have been any grumpier. And just mean, you know, and that’s something that normally worked with us. And I thought, Sandra, let’s try this strategy. And I just asked him, I said, Hey, Dan, you have kids? Yes. That’s how many do you have I for you know, he is so grumpy. And I said, Do you remember when your first child was born? No, I’m single, I haven’t had that experience. Well, it took him a second. And all of a sudden, he just had a smile on his face, remembering when he held his baby in his hands for the first time. And he paused. And then I said, Oh, what what do your kids like? Well, the more he started sharing about that, Brian, oh, he became happy. What do you like to travel? You know, what are your favorite vacation spots? What are your favorite? Oh, tell me about your kids. So it’s strategy, yes. But when we are with people, and they can start feeling better and start sharing, they’ll naturally ask you the same questions. And it’s just, it lifts us up and people need people. So that’s just a little tool.

Brian Smith 36:38
Yeah. You said something there, I think is really important. And I’ve wondered this myself, because you said people tend to be negatives are in our minds a bad place to be in certain extent. But I believe that’s where the human was designed. That’s, that’s biology. Because it goes back to you know, we’re biological beings, we have to look out for danger. So we’re always looking for what’s wrong, you know, that’s where so we’ll look at a situation and 99.9% of the can be right, but we’re looking for what’s wrong. And that’s, that’s not a bad thing. That’s just the way we’re designed. But we can make a choice. And this is, you know, when I first heard about this positive thinking are essentially the positive and I’m, I’m a real rationalist kind of person. I’m an engineer. I’m like, that’s a bunch of hogwash, I’m not going to try to fool myself into believing things are great. And I’m reading Norman Vincent Peale, the power of positive thinking, I literally threw them in the trash can. I’m like, this is just garbage. But I have realized over the course of especially the last six years, and Shane has passed, that everything is a choice. How we look at everything is a choice and the things that you’ve gone through the passing of your father, the breaking up of your family, we can choose to look at that as the negative part of it are, what, what growth came out of it? And what purpose does it serve. And that’s why your show, you know, both of your shows, the Sunday gathering the book, those are all making a choice to look at things from a different

Sandra Champlain 38:03
perspective. Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s not easy. You know, I’ve had some real dark times I never contemplated and in my own life, but I got it, life was so dark that I completely understood how people would choose that option. And it is a choice. And there’s a lot out there about the power of gratitude. And while I do buy into the power of being human, there’s so much more that we’re capable of, on this unseen level that we we don’t know, I do, but buy into a lot of that, but also to live on the court. And if I start going down that negative tunnel, it takes something to catch it and go, Oh my gosh, I’m on this kind of loop, repetitive loop here. And the more we think thoughts, the more those thoughts will come. So the more guilt we feel over say, oh my my dad went just before he passed his best friend called me on my cell phone and said, I’d like to just let my best friend Hear my words before he goes. So I held my cell phone to my dad’s ear. Brian, and for about 10 minutes this guy said whatever messages he said to my dad, they were friends forever, his friends forever. And it wasn’t till after he hung up that I realized that I held the phone to my dad’s deaf ear. I lived with that guilt for so long. Just feeling awful. Now many moons later I realize that the big picture dad hurt it. But I learned to catch myself in the act. Every time my mind wanted to start thinking about that, I would start thinking about something positive, something I’m grateful for. And while I couldn’t come up with these big, grandiose, great things I’m grateful for, I would say, I’m grateful I can breathe, I’m grateful I can walk, there’s some people that can’t walk, I’m grateful that I have a bed to sleep in. And I would force myself to write down 50 things that I’m grateful for. And to give my mind attention to that, to side rail, those thoughts of guilt. And once you start writing, things you’re grateful for a really sneaky and wonderful things have happens is you start really feeling the gratitude. And there’s a whole different way of living, thinking about the positive feeling grateful for something. And it does make you feel better. And here’s a bonus that helps lift those natural neurotransmitters that help us move through grief. Yeah, so it does a lot for our chemistry as well.

Brian Smith 41:07
You know, and, again, when I first heard this before I started practicing. I’m like, Yeah, I don’t believe this. But I have to say I’ve been doing it for several years now. And it works. And also we talked about how the brain is naturally drawn to the negative, it retrains your brain to see the positive. So you will start noticing more positive things in your life. And there, we call them little things, big things. But I do this every practice every morning for I get it but at least three things I’m grateful for. And it can’t be like, I get to go for a walk today. I couldn’t go for a walk today, because it’s raining. So if I get a chance to go for a walk tomorrow, I’ll be grateful for the fact I do get a chance to do that. So we definitely can choose that. And that’s what you know, that’s the message that you give them a and I love, like I said, Your transparency, because people. The other thing we tend to do is we idealize other people’s lives. So we say their life is great. Look how great I have, I’ve actually had someone say this to me, a friend, actually, we fell out as friends. You say, I can’t be around you, your life is too perfect. And I’ve like, Okay, let me let me tell you what my life is really like, but we do that with other people. My life is horrible, your life is great. So it’s really important for us to understand, we all have challenges, you know, and I want to go back to something you said earlier, because people again, look at people like I like yourself. Sanders got a successful radio show, you know, she’s gonna have 1000s of listeners, she’s probably making all kinds of money from the show. And when we do podcasting, there’s very little to no money, no end podcasting. And then so I want to broaden this a little bit, because I know you talk to a lot of mediums. I’ve heard people say, well, mediums shouldn’t charge money. People that are doing podcasts, I just had an situation very recently, where somebody was monetizing YouTube channel, and someone else criticized that person for monetizing the YouTube channel for putting ads on it. And you know, it takes time for us to do what we’re doing. So I just want you to explain to people what it’s really like being on the other side of this, you have you had a full time job for most of the time you were doing this.

Sandra Champlain 43:12
Yeah, I had a full time job that paid my bills. So this could be a hobby. And that disappeared. So while I had a little bit of money and savings, certainly not enough to go forward to pay all my bills. It’s tough. And just because someone writes books, so I’ve written a book here, I can show it off. It’s my book. Yeah, that’s it. I think I get less than $2, a copy that sold in the world. And now there’s not millions of copies sold. So there’s 1000s, but not millions, right. And the podcasts are all labors of love. I mean, certainly they brought people to some of our online courses and things like that. But there needs first of all, to be an exchange of energy. It is proven that people that are given a book 97% of them, don’t read it, right. It’s only those people that actually purchase it. And then once they purchase it, most people only read the first chapter. So if you’re going to write a book, put your best stuff in the first chapter. But people don’t take seriously things very often that they don’t pay for. I’m a big proponent of this money back guarantee. And while most people don’t ask for their money back, it breaks down the barrier that okay, this is somebody I can trust. If she’s really willing to put that out there, you know, I’ll take a chance. So even some of the mediums that I recommend doing a wonderful practice of saying within the first 10 minutes if you’re not feeling that connection, or I’m not supplying you good information, let’s just call this out. And no money exchanged hands, because there’s people out there charging a lot of money for things. doctors can’t give away their services. But you know, we just can’t it takes money to make the world go around. So if you look for people that have that transparency, have that integrity, it speaks volumes, it really does. I’ve had people very kindly donate to me knowing the situation, but because everything’s made a difference, and because I’ve been the person I am. So people, I say, need to shine who you really are. anyone listening or viewing right now you are one of a kind, you are special. The world needs you just the way you are not trying to be somebody else. But try to be you when we are authentic. And we can show our embarrassment, or our warts or whatever they say warts and all. Yeah, that’s some people can fall in love with you, is be you you’re one of a kind. People need to hear things just the way you have them. And with that you can never lose, really. And when you put your sights on making a difference for another person, I think life can work out. If I was forced Brian to do an afterlife show or shows or do the Sunday gathering. Because I needed to make money, it wouldn’t work. But if I’m able to share what I love, generously, genuinely from my soul, be able to exercise my creativity and I’m a fun person, I like to have fun. So to engage in good conversations with people I trust in the big picture that it will work out.

Brian Smith 46:52
Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s Yeah, it’s interesting because I have gone through similar transition that that you’re going through, and I do have a full time thing which is not going so well right now. So figure out what that’s going to do. I love doing this work. But sometimes people don’t realize how much effort it takes for you know, for us to do this, you know, you have 400 episodes, that’s, that’s at least 400 hours just recording, not to mention the editing and the prepping and inviting guests and all the other things that go into it. So just I guess I want people to understand that you know, we love doing this, but it does, it does take a certain amount of effort. I want to talk to you about your experiences because you’ve had some incredible experiences. Like I know you traveled the Arthur Findlay College, you’re you’re a medium, I don’t I don’t think you’re practicing medium. Now in terms of professional. You’ve been to physical, you know, seances and stuff. So tell people about some of the stuff you’ve been able to experience as you’ve been going through this journey.

Sandra Champlain 47:53
Oh, I’d love to. First of all, the subtitle of my book is A Skeptics Discovery of Life After Death. So it’s important to know that I didn’t believe in any of this at all, at all, so I was very secret going through it. And one of the very first things that I had done was take a course in mediumship. And the instructor had said, if you get drawn to this class is because you’re a natural, medium, and etc, and so forth. So I thought, when things seemed too good to be true, yeah, most of the time they are. But I went and she gave us just the basics of how mediumship works, and how the afterlife, this unseen world is a vibrating energy around us that we are actually part of it, instead of it being out there somewhere. And that when we can quiet our mind and trust, the feelings and the images that we’re getting. And we have love in our heart for the person that we’re with that all you need to do is tell a story of what’s coming to your mind. And so the very first exercise she gave us, she says, We’re not going to do a medium reading, because you’re not you’re not there yet, so to speak. But she says I want you to each pretend you’re a medium. I just want you to evoke your imagination, and create that somebody is behind your partner, she had a pair up and twos and somebody is behind them. And she says I want you to sit there, hold hands with your partner, close your eyes and just invent that there’s somebody standing behind them. And all there is to do is just tell the story. Now again, we’re not really doing it. We’re just this is what we will do eventually. So she took away that fear that I needed to try to be a medium. I didn’t know that at the time. But I’m certainly creative, I think, and I invented with my eyes closed that there was a man standing behind my partner. I didn’t know this woman at all. But I heard the name Yon come in my mind I heard Denmark. I saw a blond haired blue eyed, blond haired blue eyed Man with a big gap between his teeth puffing on a cigarette. And then I saw a fishing boat. So I said, Well, okay, I believe that I’ve got your grandfather here with me that his name was Yon. He was a fisherman from Denmark. This is what he looked like the gap between his teeth. And he died of lung cancer. And then I got this message kind of coming through that. He never said I love you to his daughter, which was would been her mother. And anyway, so I just delivered my message with my eyes closed. I opened my eyes just to tell the lady Okay, it’s your turn to go. And there’s just streams of tears coming down her face. her grandfather’s name was young. He was a fisherman in Denmark, died of lung cancer fit the description. And her mother was somebody who was really hugging and really I love you because her own father never said I love you.

Brian Smith 50:58
Wow, wow.

Sandra Champlain 51:00
That started it, Brian lab started it. And while I’m not a practicing medium, I do keep a foot in the door of a medium class we do on Thursdays. Just to kind of keep that up. I I think my mission is, I don’t want to say bigger than being a medium because being a medium is pretty mighty to be able to reconnect people with their loved ones. But I want to reconnect people in different ways. And I want people to know their life is for a purpose. So I’m not a practicing medium. I’ve never got to the point where I can really trust that stuff that’s coming out of my mouth is from the afterlife. It’s not my imagination, because sometimes it is my imagination. So that’s one of the things that had happened. But once I learned that, again, I didn’t tell people because first thing that asked me is Who do you see around me, and oh, my gosh, the fear is crippling, but I took a course in something called Electronic Voice Phenomena, which is ebp. And I wanted to see if there was any credibility to this, there was a husband and wife that I had seen at a spiritualist church and they played a recording that they said they left their tape recorder in their room with just a fan blowing. And they left the house for 20 minutes. And they said when they came back, this is what we heard on our recording. And both the couples, the both the people in the couple had been divorced. And they had had children who had passed in prior marriages. So the little voice said, Mommy, and Daddy, don’t be scared, we’re still here with you.

And there was giggles and things. And oh my gosh, Brian, again, goosebumps filled me to think if that’s possible, and people can actually hear this, then I’d have a little bit more of a backbone to share the evidence, the afterlife. So I went on to a retreat center, the Omega Center in New York, and took a weekend retreat on this Electronic Voice phenomenon. And it was just a small group, there was I think eight of us in the class. And the couple were very scientifically minded. And they were also spiritualist ministers. And they would say that our loved ones don’t have all the answers in the universe just because they pass but they can practice this as well. There’s different things they can practice on their side to be in communication. So we always say just a little loving prayer, I just feel that builds the energy in the in the connection. And there’s always something going on in the background. So whether it’s a fan blowing, people call it white noise. And of course that was a name of a scary movie. But there’s no scariness that comes through that’s that’s Hollywood. But there’s messages of love and sometimes humor that comes through because we get our to keep our own personalities when we pass, which is great. But every night, we would practice this, and I went to my room on the last night of class before the last day of class. And I wanted this to be so real. I really did. And unfortunately, I had not heard anything in my own recordings. So I was getting a little discouraged. But I went back to my cabin and it was just pouring rain outside. I was all alone. I put my tape recorder out there holding it. And I imagined my grandmother, grandfather and aunt and uncle in the room. And I said guys, if this is real and I’m supposed to help people believe in the afterlife, I said, Please try to talk louder, you know. And so I just left the tape recorder recording the raindrops for about a minute. And when I played it back, again, the goosebumps I had to replay it over and over and over. And it said Good night Sandra. And then hear two little whispers Good night. Good night. And then Good night. And, oh, you’re talking about a holy cow moment. Yeah, it was comforting. But it was also a little fearful. I thought, you know, people always around me all the time. The answer’s no, they don’t watch you in the shower in intimate moments. No, they have lives to live, but that they are around. And so using that recorder, I started sharing my story, and I’d meet people, and we would do recordings together just to see if somebody would come through. And I know, Hurricane Ida is hitting New Orleans as we record this. And 16 years ago was Hurricane Katrina. And I had met a woman at a conference and told her my story, and she said her mom had died in Hurricane Katrina. And she says, could we try to do one of these recordings, and literally, we were sitting at the San Francisco Airport, I had no idea if this would work. The lady introduced herself to me as de. And that’s how I knew her. And so we recorded the white noise, the background noise was just airport noise, people talking and all of that. And just before she boarded her airplane, we did this recording. And I heard and she heard a very loud, I love you, Elizabeth. That didn’t make sense to me. But she looked at me and she said, My real name is Elizabeth. Only my mom called me, Elizabeth. Wow, though, shifted her life, she boarded her airplane. And you know, there’s other stories to tell about that. So that’s amazing. There’s also people that are mediums that are spirit artists, and they can talk to you and tell you evidence, but meanwhile, their hands drawing their picture. And, like my dad came through how he looked in his 20s when he was healthy and well in the airforce. Also, there’s a beautiful woman in Brazil named Sonia Rinaldi, who I think is the leading edge of afterlife proof because of some of these images that she shows. I know there’s also folks with the soul phone that are really doing some amazing things as well. But Sonia can take video. And she works with the audio to these voice messages. But she’s can create different with like white noise, but visually social, use some different projectors and put like the, whatever you want to call it.

static images kind of all in the center here, and she’ll film it. And there’s, she’ll film it. And then she’ll go through frame by frame. And in each section of the video, there could be 32, or 64 frames. So she’ll literally go through each one. And at one point, she was sending me pictures of these unknown people that would come through, and one of them kind of looked like my dad. And I just kind of very silently said, Dad, if you’re trying to come through to Sonia, I said, it looks kind of like you but I’m not 100% convinced? Well, one day she sent me a picture, Brian, that was almost identical to my dad, how he looked when he was in the Air Force, I’ve got an image of my dad looking straight at the camera with the smile. The image that she got through this trans communication was he was looking off to the side, but it was like the same picture. And then she sent me the video of all the static, and then you can see it transform into his face, and then it disappears. So currently, right now we have We Don’t Die and my friend Robert Lyon is just coming home from Brazil now. And we have a documentary that’s being made. So if anybody wants to look at We Don’t Die you can see the preview and you can see a whole bunch of the work she’s done. But those are just a handful of the things there’s so much more and I know time goes by fast. So again, get a free copy of my book and there’s a ton of stuff like we don’t die calm, so I won’t go through all

Brian Smith 59:07
of it. Yeah, and that’s one of the things I really appreciate about you. You’re you’re not only a skeptic, but you’re also an experiencer you’re like okay, if this is real, if this mediumship is real, let me take a mediation Of course let me go to an MVP course you’ve I know you’ve gotten to Arthur Finley, you’ve been to and we want to, we have a little bit of time left. But I know you’ve you’ve been to physical sciences, which a lot of people might not understand what physical mediumship is. So maybe take a cup cuz I know you’re friends with Scott Milligan is an incredible human being. And he does this thing that tell people what to say and says

Sandra Champlain 59:40
it’s wild. Now first of all, through all of our skeptical minds, that word seance can really activate something in us to thank you, okay, I’ve really enjoyed this interview on grief to growth, but now they’ve gone too far right? So our mind can tell us that. And there’s also a word that I was always afraid to say too which is ectoplasm because we think of Read stuff from Ghostbusters. Well, when I started digging, Dan Ackroyd, who wrote the movie, his grandfather, great grandfather as well, too, would participate in these seances. So that’s how he learned the word ectoplasm. And, again, I totally get it. If this seems a little far out there, it’s one of those things you have to experience to believe. And same thing. There’s very few things, few physical mediums out there. And due to COVID, people aren’t meeting but eventually we will again, but it’s being in a small group of people, the one person who Scott Milligan, a physical medium, he sits in what’s called a cabinet, it’s just a frame, which has got four black curtains on it, basically. And that’s to build up this energy, we sing songs, we laugh, and this builds up, this energy that exudes from him. So it’s like a vapor or a mist that comes out and again, sounds wild. But what I have experienced is people who are deceased, actually can step into this and become real again, you can hear their voice, you can touch them. There’s been animals that have come through with little cat stepping on your lap, I have. It’s dark, it’s, this is done in the dark. But there’s often a red light on or a little glow in the dark something. And I’ve actually seen the hands of a little spot, a spirit child, I could see them, she touched me. As she moved around. I’ve heard people reunited with their loved ones, again, really specific information that only that person knows.

It’s incredible. It’s really wild. And again, to the skeptical mind, it seems like it could be make believe. So again, when we when the world starts cleaning up a little and we start doing more live, we don’t die events. We’ll have Scott Milligan there, you can experience it for yourself. Another thing that he does is what’s called trance mediumship, which for the past 25 years, he has learned how to quiet his mind and let a spirit person you know, we all have guides and friends and the unseen world, be able to use his mouth and speak through him. Now he’s not possessed, he’s not being taken over by any means. All that’s present is love. And every Friday, you can come for free, you can leave a donation, we do one of these demonstrations of trance mediumship. And we get to speak to his friend in the unseen world and ask any question about life, death, the afterlife. Now the person that comes through, has a different voice, a different tone to their speaking, he passed at the end of the 1800s. So it’s very prim and proper. Being around this gentleman, Eric, for the past five years, it is completely different than Scott, its personality or who Scott is. And again, this could be something you experience to realize that hey, this guy’s not making this up. If you want to watch one again, we don’t if you click on the store, scroll down, there’s got to be 50 replays, there be my guests Use coupon code free, and you can listen to one. And also at the Arthur Findlay College, I took a two courses on trance mediumship, to try to quiet my mind. And we were all given the opportunity if we wanted to, to present to the entire class. And so I knew in my soul, that I have a real incredible problem with fear. Most of the time, fear stops me and I was committed to not let it stop me. So I raised my hand, I closed my eyes for about 10 minutes, I just concentrate on my breathing. Now I’m still aware. But you know, you say a little prayer that whoever my guide is, or my friend is in that unseen world can use me to speak. And what the instructor would say is it could be 1%, the spirit world and 99% Sandra, because our souls are very intelligent. But Brian, I just went for it. And so with my eyes closed, just focusing on my breath. We always say the Spirit wants to tell you, you know, just to get the ball rolling, but didn’t my mouth and my words continue to come out of my mouth. Now, when we talk, we’re very present that it’s us talking. And when I’m concentrating on my breath, and words still keep coming out. You know, the first thing I did was try to pay attention to what those words were, and it stopped. So then I went back to paying attention to my breath. And the words continued. I also had the feeling that I was turning And I was talking to everybody in the circle, there’s probably 30 people. And finally, the word stopped. It took a few minutes for me to just kind of get myself together and I opened my eyes. People were crying, I thought, Oh, they said, I told some kind of a story about a ship on a journey and the waves and the darkness and, but relating it to our paths as being human beings, and how all these different things are going to come in and try to rock us but to you know, but down at the deep depths of the ocean where everything is quiet. So where we can tap in something like that, they were telling me and I said to them, I said it was so weird, because I moved, I moved looking at everybody, it felt like they said, Sandra, you remained perfectly still. So we must have this aesthetic body. And so while I’m not practicing that, because I don’t have any, but like, my mom would freak out if she knew the story. Nobody sent her this video, but to know that that’s possible, and to know how important it is to sit with the quiet of our own mind. And just, I love it. I love it. And I love being part of it. I don’t have any idea how it’s going to unfold. I’ve got some roses outside that are these really tight buds. And no matter how much I can’t wait to see them bloom and smell their fragrance, we can’t force it. So I know what we can do is I can water and give good fertilizer to my roses. But same with us if we can kind of surrender believe that there’s a bigger picture take some time to quiet our mind and just trust focus on our breath know that that we’re loved we’re giving ourselves that water and sunlight and fertilizer for ourselves to unfold.

Brian Smith 1:06:56
Yeah, absolutely. And I love hearing you tell this and this is I wanted to give people a little preview of what you’re going to get if you listen to the We Don’t Die podcast and also I guess on shades of the afterlife there’s so much and so you might say okay, I can’t go as far as physical mediumship I don’t believe people can do that. Okay, that’s fine. But you know ebps and the and the people that you’ve interviewed and and all the other there’s just so much and I’ve talked to quote skeptics. One person I was comes to mind she said there’s no evidence of any of this stuff. And so she was total skeptic said, Send me the best medium You know, I’m going to go I’m going to prove this was wrong. So I sent her the best medium I knew. And she came back she goes it’s absolutely true. Then she started doing her own research and she came back and she goes Why isn’t anybody told me that all this is out there you know and if you find a podcast like we don’t die and start listening to it, you’ll be amazed by how much evidence is really out there and and the things that we all experience and Scott’s you know, incredible what he does. I’ve heard other people channeling, I’ve seen some women with very high pitched voices, channel men with very deep voices. I’m like, I know they’re not that good in person in your voice.

Sandra Champlain 1:08:08
And you have to really look for the intelligence, because I hate to say it, there are people out there that are frauds there are. But when you get the goosebumps when you start having this pull at your soul, your gut thinking, this is the real deal. Pay attention to that. We all have that inner bs detector, I’ll say that we do. Pay attention to our feelings, you know, you we all have the gut instincts. But if there’s a little bit of you that’s interested in exploring the evidence is there. You know, there’s a company a group called ions. I am d And I know, you know that well. There are millions of people who have had near death experiences. And for me as the skeptic, I would say, oh, there’s no proof of, you know, a near death experience. It’s just a natural thing that our minds go through when we die. Well, idiot, Sandra, it Meanwhile, there’s this organization that’s been out for ever that’s got the military involved with countless stories of these people, and what happens and what they’ve witnessed and what they’ve come back and how they’ve lived life and blind people that have never had vision, can see during a near death experience, and if accurately told people what they were doing, what clothes they were wearing, there’s so much more but you know, we want to, it’s not that we choose to be skeptical, like you said, it’s part of our Human Design, but doesn’t serve us all the time. So if you want to have the most powerful life ever, really buy into the positivity in that there is a much bigger picture. don’t take our word for it. Go on the journey, and you’re gonna find some miraculous things.

Brian Smith 1:09:56
Totally agree. I think that’s a great way to wrap up. It’s actually 1111 Here too. So Sandra, I want to thank you so much for doing this. It’s been an honor. You know, having you on my podcast, I would have never thought six years ago that I’d be doing a podcast. And certainly I think I’d be interviewing us so we don’t know where things are going to go. So as you wrap up, remind people where they can find you what it is you’re doing.

Announcer 1:10:19

Sandra Champlain 1:10:20
I would say you started we don’t home base for everything. Excuse me, you can see our Sunday gathering or online courses, past things, future things coming up. And listen to a ton of episodes. If you click on that radio show link. There’s no need for you to believe that you’re alone in this world and that your life doesn’t matter. I tell you, you who’s ever listening or watching this right now you are special, you are one of a kind. And none of us want to take that final breath in this life having any regrets. So your dreams are important. It’s never too late to start. But know when you do take that last breath, that the journey continues on whatever we don’t do here, we can do over there. And we will open our eyes and like crossing a finish line. With people doing the wave and standing ovation will be greeted by our loved ones and even our pets. Wow. Thank you Brian.

Brian Smith 1:11:22
That’s a great picture. Good seeing you have a great rest of your day. Thank you. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by

In this scintillating conversation, Dr. Kovacs and I discuss the nature of consciousness and who we are as human beings. Dr. Kovacs has been exploring the nature of consciousness her whole life. This was greatly accelerated when, within a three-year period, her mother, her son, and then her husband were killed in three separate automobile accidents. While she had studied shamanism before her son’s accident, she and her husband actually experienced their son’s consciousness after his death for an extended period of time. These experiences completely changed their lives.

Betty J. Kovacs, Ph.D. earned her doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, in Comparative Literature and Theory of Symbolic/Mythic Language. She taught Literature, Writing, and Symbolic/Mythic Language for twenty-five years. She served many years as Chair and Program Chair on the Board of Directors of the Jung Society of Claremont in California and sits on the Academic Advisory Board of Forever Family Foundation. Dr. Kovacs is the author of Merchants of Light: The Consciousness That Is Changing the World, winner of the Nautilus Silver Book Award and the Scientific & Medical Network 2019 Book Prize. She has also written The Miracle of Death: There Is Nothing But Life. Her first book, The Miracle of Death, is about these altered states of consciousness. After her retirement, she began an intensified period of research into our ancestors’ experience of a vaster consciousness, Cosmic/Christ Consciousness, which she relates in her new book, Merchants of Light.



ℹ️ Website:

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Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be.

Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth and today I’ve got me with me. My guest is Dr. Betty kovatch. Dr. cobots earned her doctorate in comparative literature and theory and theory of symbolic mythic language from the University of California Irvine. She taught literature writing and symbolic mythic language for 25 years. She served many years as chairman and program chair on the board of directors of the human society of Claremont in California. And she sits on the academic advisory board and forever family of forever Family Foundation, I should say. Dr. COVID is the author of merchants of light the consciousness that is changing the world, winner of the Nautilus silver Book Award and the scientific and medical network network, I’m sorry, scientific and medical network 2019 Book Prize. She’s also written the book The Miracle death, there’s nothing but life.

And if you’d like to reach Dr. cobots, our website is WWE That’s KML ak, and that’ll be in the show notes. What I want to introduce you Well, I was just introducing and we’re talking a little bit about her background. Within a three year period, Dr. Kovach experienced the death of her mother, her son and her husband and separate automobile accidents. While she had studied shamanism before son’s accident, she and her husband actually experienced a son consciousness after his death for an extended period of time, these experiences completely changed our lives. And our first book, The miracle of death is about these altered states of consciousness. After her retirement, she began to intensify a period of research into our ancestors experience of a vaster consciousness, cosmic Christ consciousness, which she relates to her new book, which is merchants of light. So with that, I want to welcome to grifter brought Dr. Betty kovatch.

Betty Kovacs 2:31
Thank you so much.

Brian Smith 2:33

it’s really an honor to have you here today and to learn more about what you’ve experienced in your life and how you put that into your work. So

I do want to start, you know, you said, within a three year period, you experienced the death of your mother and your son and your husband and three separate automobile accidents. How did that? How did that occur?

Betty Kovacs 2:55
Well, it it was strange. In 1990, my mother was crossing the street, and was hit by a car and killed instantly. And then the next year, our son, here in California, my mother was in the south,

was in a car accident on the 210 freeway from between Pasadena and Claremont, where we live. And he was actually he probably was brain dead and on the impact. But the interesting thing is the paramedics were coming right behind him synchronistically. And they got him out of the car, took him to the intensive care Ward at Huntington hospital, which was just maybe 10 minutes away, again, an interesting thing. And he was in the hospital for 13 days. But he never did regain consciousness. But that did give us time to come to

awareness of what was really going on and how to deal with it. And then, two years later, my husband went to his home country, a hungry, he had some of his equipment for his work made there plus his mother was still alive, his brother’s big family there. And he went there to visit them. And when he was there, he was killed in in a third automobile accident. So

Unknown Speaker 4:17
it would have been completely devastating for me, I think, if my husband and I had not had these experiences with our son pitch day after he died, but the interesting thing is that we also had experiences before he died. When push he was not quite 12 years old. He had a dream, he told me his dreams, and he would write them down, because we always valued the dream and would talk about them. And one afternoon, I was vacuuming the house and he said, Oh Mum, I just remembered. I had a dream last night. So we sat down and he said would you write it down and I did. I found out later that he had written it down too and I also drawn some of the images from it. But the dream was he said, I was in a hospital. And I was up above the emergency room. And I was looking down at my dead body. And then he said there was a period of darkness. And then I was on the other side. And he said, I was with other boys. And it was in a horseshoe shape. I was at the top of the horseshoe. And there were four boys on my left and four boys on my right. And there was an eternal fire in the middle. And across from me beyond the fire, I could see another, the aura of another boy. And he said, we were all waiting for him. And we knew that when he arrived, I would be complete, because 10 is a number of completeness. I thought that was a change gene for not quite a 12 year old. Wow. Yeah. And he said, What do you think it means? Oh, well, I deal with this. It did concern me, of course. But then I thought, okay, I looked at it symbolically. And we talked about, he’s 12, you’ll be becoming a man. And that’s the death of the child. And we looked at it that way. But it it did disturb me. But then in the last year of his life, he had another dream in which he was in a violent crash. And he was in the hospital, and someone was working on him. And then a voice said, you know, he’s, he’s dead. He’s gone. And but he said, during that time, he was going out into the cosmos, and traveling so fast. He said, I travel so fast that planets and suns popped as I went by them. And then he came back, and then he would go again. And finally he came back. And he said, then I knew I was not that person. And it was in the morning, I was getting ready to go to the school where I taught, he was getting ready to go to his school. He was in college, but that time he was 20. And I remember taking hold of his arm is saying, Oh, thank God, it wasn’t too well, of course, it was him. But at that point, I, it just I didn’t take it all in and I said PhD, we have to talk about this later. I totally forgot it. And he also never mentioned it. But after he died, we were in his room with his girlfriend, Jenny, girl, he loves so much. And we were she was looking at some of his poetry and things like that. And suddenly, she said, Oh, Betty, look at this. And I realized it was the dream he had written down. And, of course, how revealing it was at that point, because he had just died in Huntington, he had been in the operation room, and then in the critical care Ward, and then died, just as the dream had said, so. So we did have that preparation, you might say, or he did. But I also had a preparation as did my husband. For two years. When I look back at my dream journal, I had been dreaming of his death. And yet I looked at it symbolically, again and again. And in some cases, it would be that tissue had been killed. And then I thought, Oh, no, it wasn’t fishy, it was someone else. And yet, in those dreams, I grieved so deeply. And I really believe that I did a lot of grieving before he died, you know, on some other level. But of course, I consciously, I looked at it in a different way. And we lived life, you know, joyfully as though we didn’t know anything. And I think we did know on an unconscious level, but not consciously. And in that last during that PhD had, it was really very moving in a way because I was in the dream at the beginning. And he’s there were just hundreds of lights and candles lit. And he’s, and there was a chanting, and he said, when he came in, he said to me, can you hear the chanting? Can you hear? And I said, Yes, everyone can hear the chanting. And it was so we were hearing it in our sleep. And it’s interesting, because the first vision after his death was a spiral of souls who were chanting. And I’ll talk about that later, but, and then my husband who was not interested in this kind of thing, but he honored my interest and PhDs and Chris, and I had been twice to Peru to work with shamans. And the first time when they came back, I had had a vision and I wanted to tell him, I did not pick a good time to tell him I realized that he was trying to read the sports section of the LA Times, and I don’t know why I did that. But at any rate, I was telling him and I realized his eyes, kept darting back.

Unknown Speaker 9:52
And I said, you know, fish, his name is also this is fun. I’ll call him that they had the same name, but I’ll use the other name for him. It’s fun. I said, You’re really not interested in this? Are you? and caught? Yeah, does say, Oh, you know, he said, I know you, I know that what you’re telling me is true that you’ve experienced it. But I have never had any experience like that. And I can’t, I just can’t relate to it. I said, Well, that’s honest. Yes. So, but at any rate, then one week before PhD staff is fine was in his office here at home. And suddenly, he saw PhDs car on the side of the freeway. And he saw his body superimposed on the top of it. And he knew that he was dead, because it was super imposed two different realities. And he heard himself say, Oh, that’s right pitch day, it’s almost time for you to do this.

Betty Kovacs 10:52
Wow. That shocked him. And PhD said, Yes, dad. It’s almost time. So this was a waking vision. It was a waking vision, yeah, in his office. And he said, the man who couldn’t understand visions, and he said, a PhD said, That’s right, Dad, I will be out of the house for a little while. And then he became completely unconscious of that dream of that vision. And so I knew nothing about it. And he didn’t tell me until he died. But we happened to be home that afternoon, when the telephone call came that he had been in an accident. And so we went to the hospital together. And of course, the dream came back immediately. But he still had this feeling. Even if we had encouragement that he might live. He’s he had that deep feeling that he wouldn’t, because he had seen his death already. And then afterwards, when he did die, he told me, so we all three had this, these warnings. But thank heavens, we looked at them symbolically, or it became unconscious with ish Diwan. So that when it happened, then we went through that usual kind of experience that parents do when that happens. I’m curious, because you mentioned dream journals. You mentioned PhD, keep a dream journal when he was like, 12. How long has your family Are you a PhD? How long did you keep trading journals? You know, my family certainly didn’t talk about those things much. Although my mother’s side was a little bit more inclined to be interested in, and, and that sort of thing. But when I was in college, and always I was trying to figure out

Unknown Speaker 12:38
what is this all about? It’s just got to be more than this around me. And of course, when I was young, no one talked about these inner experiences so much. The church was there. And my parents didn’t belong. But Bill and I, every time we moved to a different place, my brother Bill, we would always pick a church and find out where they had a lot of kids good program going on. And we went, and I know, my life was deeply influenced by the image of Jesus, I can still remember the felt boards where they had images that would stick with and they talked about the man, Jesus and the people around him. And that had to influence me a lot, because it was the honesty, the integrity, the beauty of His love and His life. But I couldn’t believe something. I even went to a Christian college. And in those days, it wasn’t yet quite the way they are today. But excellent, absolutely superb professors. And they were open after the first year, I never went to church. And nobody questioned me. And they the whole atmosphere was each of us has to question and find what is true. And even by the end of the time I was there, and it was a wonderful time in my life. It was completely right for me to go there. I knew I couldn’t believe. And so my whole journey was, how do I know? How do I experience it? And know with no question so that no matter what anyone says, I know. And so that was the journey. And I thought I was having dreams. But I met a young man who had just graduated from what is it as Andover Newton seminar seminary, and I think that’s now connected to Gail. I don’t know whether it was then or not. Well, he had a new church, and this was in Michigan. So he had a party invited his friends who had also just graduated from Andover Newton, and their girlfriends. Well, there we were that night. And they were talking I didn’t say a word because I didn’t know anything. I just sat there quietly Listen, and they were talking about Carl young, and dreams and visions. And they were talking about quantum physics and mathematics. And so I thought best for me to just Listen. And then afterwards I asked him, I said, well, who is this person, Carl young. And so he took me into his library, and I found modern man in search of a soul. And I had, okay, that’s my journey. And I borrowed that book and others. And I began to read Carl Jung and he had a profound influence in my life. And I began to dream with him of him. One dream, I was in the forest dark, and I was trying to find my way. And suddenly I saw a house, and there was a light in it. And I went to that house, and Carl Jung opened the door. And he, he was in this deep ruby red gown, and silver hair. And I just knew that’s where I wanted to be. And I looked in and there were all of these old ancient texts covered with leather. And he welcomed me in. And I went in, but I tripped at the door, and plunged on my belly, in his in the middle of the room. And I thought, well, that brain was indicative, I did want to know more of what he knew. I didn’t want to study what our ancestors had known. And perhaps we had forgotten and what he had discovered, because that was his journey, too. And I was obviously, I knew nothing. And I was certainly a novice, for sure. Landing on my belly and a very awkward way. But that’s okay, I showed up. I was there. And I wanted to learn. And in the next scene of the dream, we are sitting together, talking, and we’re on cement to pave a patio that made out of cement. But next to us was this ancient, primeval forest. And of course, that was Young’s goal, to try to bring the depth of who we are this ancient rootedness in the beginnings of life, into consciousness, because we had repressed and suppressed so much of life and who we are in what we’re deeply rooted in. Wow. And so I was on my journey. Wow, he did influence me for sure.

Brian Smith 17:13
Absolutely. I could I can tell that just the short time we spent together. So I’m curious, what got you into shamanism. That’s not something a lot of people in the West, you know, do. And I apparently this was a while ago that you got into it?

Unknown Speaker 17:26
Yes. Well, I was teaching in college at that time. And I taught mythology. And I, as I think Robert graves, this mythology is always somebody else’s religion. It’s the symbolic system of a spiritual tradition, that maybe we don’t practice, but someone did. So that was just a wonderful time. For me. I taught also with a colleague for we came out until he became chair of that department, then I taught it alone. This was in the 60s, and 70s. And that’s the students of course, we’re, we’re very interested in all kinds of things, it was a real eye opening at that time. And so we gather discovered so much through the Semitic systems. And then I looked at the artifacts, and I would have so many of the artifacts on slides. And it was just an incredible experience for all of us. So I always thank those students that together, I wasn’t much older than they were. And together, we were discovering things about the psyche, the self, and how our ancestors understood and related to nature, and to each other, and how they had experiences, which the kids were talking about. At that time. I didn’t call them kids, then, only if this advanced age, I look back on that. But excuse me, they were actually some of them were using LSD and, and mushrooms, and they were having these experiences. And many of them didn’t know what to do with them. But when we looked at them within these symbolic systems, it was very clear that there are altered states of consciousness that we all have access to. And our ancestors had many techniques of achieving those altered states. And you know, it says they say that we have a valve that actually limits this great Cosmic Mind that we are living in this universal intelligence that we all are. But we have a valve that lets just a little bit of extreme in so that we can get by in daily life. But our ancestors knew we have that we are that. And they knew how to get into a place where that Valve would open. And we would experience who we are. And so we began to realize that mythology, look, these experiences are who we are, and it helped the students also to put it within a structure and understanding but many of them totally changed by those experiences because even willy nilly they experience something vast that we are. So you were

Brian Smith 20:09
into studying mythology, how did you take the step to to crossover or to take that next step to become to start having demonic adventures? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 20:18
thank you. That was very well, I was going to go and forgot. Yes. Then I realized, well, our ancestors did this all the time, they had these techniques. So I went to Peru, with a person who had been trained in shamanism from another country. And I was kind of disappointed at first. But what I did learn is that we, as a group, we went to various places that were considered power points in the ancient world, and meditated and did various things. And I felt not much happened. And I felt I was too much in the rational mind, which is what I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to know the other, but I, I was kind of captured and that, and of course, the university, they teach us that, you know, this is the only mind that there is, and it’s superior to all else in the brain, which is totally, totally wrong. And I mean, the heart really is the center of the brain, I mean of consciousness. But we forgotten that our ancestors knew that so well. Absolutely. I had such a hard time getting beyond that. And yet, on the last night, we were there, full moon we were at in Bolivia, on Lake Titicaca. And we’d spent the whole day there meditating alone and together and contemplating our own lives. And then that night, we were at then an old stone circle. And the shaman did give us an Pedro, which is the sacred plant of South America in the Andes. They use that. And so I said to this gentleman, when he came, give me double, because nothing happens. Well, he he gave me one and a half times more than I should have, I guess, then he got scared. But at any rate, find I there was a mountain we were down below and there was a mountain that surrounded Lake Titicaca. And nobody was there all day, nobody was there. And suddenly, I looked at the mountain. And I saw so many people up there. And they had like tall headdresses and staffs, I even saw a dog. And I thought, What is that, in fact, I saw a dog running down and down the mountain on the other side. And then in my terrible academic disease, I thought that chairman’s probably hired them from punto bring out here to make, I mean, that’s so sick, so bad, but at any rate, and just as I said that they began to move in a very, sort of almost a liquid flow. And I thought, well, they’re not real people. And then I looked to my left, and I saw being step off the mountain and walk in the air, and it looked like he had wings, or it looked like wings, brought them up. And I watched him for a while. And then can you believe it? I turned away. And I think I just wasn’t ready to see that being, because later I talked to the shaman and told him what he said, Yes, he appears there every time we’re there. And he said, He’s a great light being. And he joins us when we’re in that meditation. And so anyway, that at least was the start, I knew I had seen something that my rational Western brain could not explain. And so that was a big opening for me.

Brian Smith 23:49
There’s, there’s so much I want to ask you, I can’t keep it all straight. But I’m just sets up that really triggered something for me, because I was going to ask you about plant medicine when you talked about, you know, being a shaman. And I know, that’s one of the way our ancestors reaches altered states, but I think we assume we call them hallucinations. So we assume that they’re all subjective, and they’re all just coming out of our mind. But what you just said there, I heard objectively, the same being as a parent of different people in the same location. So that’s, that’s an objective. So I’m wondering, just curious, do you think these altered states allow us to see objectively what’s already happening around this?

Unknown Speaker 24:27
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. It’s what it does. In fact, let me just tell a little bit of a story. I had a really close friend from Ecuador, and she’s lived in California, but we went there together. And so I didn’t say a word to her, except I just kind of, I wouldn’t even look at her. I wanted to keep my eyes on them. And I sort of pulled her jacket, and I said, Are you seeing what I’m saying? But I didn’t say what I was saying. And she said yes, yes. And so when we got back that night to the hotel, she told me what she saw, and it was exactly what I had seen. Then the next The day I found out that others had seen in some saw nothing. And then that was the showman that we went with, he said, he always appears. And interestingly, he was there when my son was in the accident. And he saw that being again with my son, moving away from the mountain into another indo cosmos, so to speak. So very interesting a being really, but, but the sacred plant is sacred, because it allows us to release that vow, and that vast Cosmos can come in. Now the shamans always say, you’re not going to get more than you can deal with, that it will come in a way that you can assimilate. So sometimes people have, like, I had that experience, and later in my life, with plant medicine, and without, but with plant medicine, I also had the experiences of the cosmos and, and the the deep love and, and creativity of the universe, of which we are. So no, they are not subjective, you will see your own life within that. But what is wonderful about them is that it opens that Valve so that we see something so vast that that we had so forgotten exists. So it’s it’s not subjective. And scientists have been really slow and coming around to that. But I think that they are doing a lot of research now in many different kinds. And, you know, the early Christians, this was wiped out by the church. But there’s a book called the psychedelic gospels, and their paintings and various churches that show the use of mushroom and sacred medicine during these early times. And certainly, Jesus was a showman. And he taught a hidden tradition. Yeah. And that was how there, he taught the round dance, there’s also text talking about that. And so the round dad’s is a way of also going into the sacred space of who we are. So I think he taught probably many methods. But he certainly talked about crossing the veil into the Holy of Holies. Which in Judaism, is that experience of the Cosmic Mind?

Brian Smith 27:28
Yeah, well, again, there’s so there’s so much I do want to ask you about that. But just for people that are because there’s so much coming, I want to just catch people up, you know, because we talk about the brain in the West as the center of consciousness, and the brain generates consciousness, and we forget about the heart, we forget about the stomach. And we think the brain again, generates consciousness. And I love the way you keep using this term valve. Because I’ve come to think of the brain is more of a receiver, but also a reducing valve. That there’s there’s so much going on around us that we can’t really handle. While we’re trying to live our day to day lives, our brain filters that out. And in the West, I think we’ve gotten so caught up with that, that we just become totally blind.

The other thing I want to ask you because I again, just as current major talking, is all these great religious texts, and all these myths, we call them myths. With such deep truth behind Do you think that people were actually reaching into these altered states and bringing back truth that we just can’t even see at this point?

Betty Kovacs 28:28
I do. And that’s what gave me such a deep interest in mythology. And also, I realized that in these ancient traditions, the sacred plants were used. So I know, I can’t be this typical Western professor, who’s going to say, Well, you know, there’s nothing to this or it’s just hallucinations, as not all, but many did, I have to experience that I can’t teach something I haven’t experienced, even in, like eleusis in Greece, and in the Minoan civilization on Crete, they clearly use these medicines. And if you had a vision with the medicines that was celebrated, if you had a vision without that was celebrated, is that the Western world has tried to make them something negative. And it’s not at all but I agree completely with you. What it is, is that it does release that valve and allows us to remember and experience what we were born out of. And but I think we’ve just forgotten all of that and negated it. I heard people who are working in shamanism, and they would say, oh, but I will never use medicine. I mean, I’m going to do it on my own. Well, you know, that’s, I feel the kind of misunderstanding because why wouldn’t I want to relate to a plant and have a relationship and allow that relationship to open something in me that I hadn’t experienced before? It’s not. I don’t have to be the great one who does it alone. We don’t do anything alone. It’s because of other creativity that we

Unknown Speaker 30:00
can experience at all?

Brian Smith 30:01
Yeah, I think it’s really interesting thing you just said, because I’ve heard a lot of people say that I want to reach a state quote on my own. And you know why? Because I think our brains are evolved again to to keep us alive. And they’re evolved to see what’s right in front of us evolve and see the danger that’s around us. And the more I studied the brain and more the the illusion, our brain does not present the world to us as it really is, our brain is tricking us all the time, for our own benefit is to keep us safe. But it doesn’t present the world as it is. So there’s a medicine that can help our brain to allow us to see what’s really around us. I think that’s a fantastic thing.

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Unknown Speaker 31:37
Oh yes, as someone said every president ought to have to take a journey before before he goes into office. And you’d see things in such a different way. Well, that’s kind of a funny way to put it. But I think that this is a great gift. And isn’t it interesting that nature, herself has all of these ways for us to experience nature and ourselves. I think that’s such a beautiful gift. But you know, I talked about in the merchants of light, many of these earlier the ancestral groups that did know how to do this, and who did experience cosmic consciousness and it and that lasted for several 1000 years. For instance, the cave cultures, but also the San Bushmen in Africa. They were in the Kalahari Desert, and now they will Graham Hancock calls them a murdered culture, like so many places that the white people have colonized and destroyed those teachings because they were connected to the earth in a way that that the West isn’t and wasn’t. And but the San Bushmen where they were there for 1000s of years, they say, we’ve been here 65,000 years, doing these rituals experiencing this consciousness. Archeologists say about 33,000 as they can mark from all of the artwork, they have all over the place the etchings of their journeys into the other world. But, and they may actually have influenced the cave cultures. But archaeologists say the cave cultures came first. But they’re there, they both had contact with that consciousness. But the sand did not use sacred plants there in the desert. But they developed techniques through dancing and repetitive movements, chanting and little bells on the ankles. And that’s it. And majority of the women and majority of the men are shamans. And they say they go in, they can dance and dance and dance until they say that energy boils up in them and comes out the crown chakra. And they’re there. And they’re the etchings on the rock are their journeys. And we know this thing, God because in the 19th century, there were still some of the shamans left, who would talk to there was a German, and there who recorded what they what they told him about these experiences. So that’s good. We don’t have that with the cape cultures. But at any rate, they would have this energy would be so powerful. They did not do it alone, sitting cross legged in a meditation, that’s another culture. In fact, when a person Bradford, Kenyan, I’ll talk about him in a minute, when he went there and told them that there are cultures on the planet who also achieve that. And he talked about the east and being alone and meditating. They said, Oh, how sad. Yeah, they would do it alone. Because they’re together, they touched the hole, they dance together. And then when this energy is very, very powerful, they are able to make little arrows out of that energy and then throw it to someone who could receive it. And and you know, in India, they talk about shock to put the master will hit you in the head with an ostrich feather or touch you at the third eye. And Andrew Harvey when I told him about that ability of the San Bushmen, he said, that’s the ultimate shock. Because you can not help but feel it. And you know, you see, even in the cave culture, you’ll see people, you know, kind of floating with arrows in their body, or needles. And I think they knew that too, because people didn’t know what to make of those images. But I think this is so powerful with the sand, and they have the love and the joy of life, and they will help someone else to achieve it, who hasn’t gotten into that place of consciousness. And they are such a joyful culture, in spite of all that’s how they’ve been condemned. In fact, I think it was till the 30s 1930s, that in South Africa, you could buy a license to go hunt them. I can’t imagine that. And, but they’ve survived. But Lawrence Fender post talks about them, and I have a lot of what he says about them in the book, too, in addition to Bradford Genie, but he just, you know, they, they had such a love for life and a joy. And they love to imitate everything. And they had such a sense of humor, not to make fun, but just for the joy of it, they, you know, life itself. And they, they continue this, they say for 65,000 years, not only a few left, however,

Brian Smith 36:19
right, I think you know, it’s really interesting, having grown up, you know, in the West, and in our modern culture, how we look at these other cultures, and we call them primitive, when usually they’re much more developed in the ways that matter than we are. And we’re living very happy lives. And we say, well, because they don’t have material things. And I wonder if we are so caught up with the material things, because we forgotten who we are. My, my theory is that the biggest problem that mankind has on this planet is we don’t know who we are, we have literally forgotten what kind of beings we are, what our history is, how we got here, how we’re connected to each other. And we need to recapture that wisdom that we had. It’s not like, it’s not discovering it. It’s just it’s re remembering it.

Unknown Speaker 37:06
Yeah, I agree with you completely. The first vision I had after PhD stuff was that chanting spiral, as I told you about spiraling down, and these were beings, it seemed to me from all over the universe, who had come to help us wake up. And they were chanting, and I knew what they were saying. They were saying, our brothers and sisters on the planet on the earth, are dreaming a terrible dream. I love that, yeah, are dreaming a terrible dream. And they wanted that we asked them, they wouldn’t come without our asking, we realized our need, that we’d forgotten all of this, that we didn’t know who we are. Yet with the sand, they have no possessions, they love and trust nature know it, they can communicate with each other at vast distances, they will have like just a little pushing on the heart when they know something’s coming through. I mean, we have so many abilities we know nothing about. And they still have some of those abilities. But we, the West has been cruel in its negation and the university and just dismissing it. And no, that’s nothing. And I think this is our time to remember who we are I so we can,

Brian Smith 38:24
I sure hope so. You know, we just had some there because there’s to me, there’s so much wisdom, you said we’re dreaming a terrible dream. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the work, of course, in miracles. And the theory behind that whole thing. This is a communication that was from Jesus that was trans transferred, I think in like the 1970s. And the theory is that we’re all we’re all dreaming that we are this this whole thing. It’s just a big cosmic dream. And it’s frankly, turned into a nightmare.

Unknown Speaker 38:52
It has. And I think that you know, we’re here to create, I mean, I still agree that you know, the divine is whole and one and eternal. But we can do nothing but create I had a vision of that at Machu Picchu that early when I was really trying to remember myself. And I was on a gurney. And these spirits were quickly taking me to, to point a Picchu, which is called the sacred mountain of the old woman, but there and I thought, Oh, great, I’m going to go into the mountain, I’m going to the great masters that they are and I’m they’re going to tell me, you know things. And then when they got to the mountain, it stopped. And then suddenly that vision just it just opened. I am the masters. I am the mountain. We all are this. There were no masters there to teach me. We’re the Masters wake up and know who you are. That was just the most profound thing. And then the next thing I found myself in a forest sitting saying what a Western mind would say, but I can’t create ate a world. And then the Spirit said to me, You just did create a world in which you cannot create. We can know nothing but created that just was so astounding to me. And the voice that we can do nothing but create. And that’s what the divine does. It creates constantly, all of them. billions and trillions and infinite ways we can meet each other, and time and space in the stream, love each other and create together. I mean, it’s just, but we forgotten that. And that’s the terrible dream. And we can dream dreams in which we kill each other. Or even now you think we don’t know who we are. So we’re talking about transhumanism and making the human being with the machine and making it better when we don’t even know this divine, infinite creative being that we are, yes, absolutely dangerous, dangerous dream.

Brian Smith 40:52
It is. And I want to ask you, because I asked you for a list of questions. And one of the questions I want to ask you is, and what what did the Roman Church determine development of materialistic science? Because, you know, we’ve been told, and I are not we I’ve observed that science elites can seem to lead the materialism we say, scientists, materialism, so anything we can’t measure, we can’t we can’t see. It’s not real. So and what why did the Roman Church contribute to that?

Unknown Speaker 41:19
Okay, and this is really true. I agree with you the science that we have had, since the 1600s. Well, really the 1700s that science has been very limited. And quantum physics now has gone way beyond that. And it does see multiple universes for sure multiple dimensions of reality. But if we can go back to these cultures, of our ancestors that did exist, like the cave cultures, to sand culture, and the Egyptian culture was just incredible in these initiates, who knew and could experience that, and that’s on the pyramid walls, the Pyramid Texts, thanks to Jeremy Nadler, we know that. And then there the paintings have been revealed in the and the text. Now, these people were incredible how they knew about this consciousness and knew how to step into it. But then there was the Hebrew culture. And now we know that the early Hebrew culture was a shaman mystic culture. And it wasn’t until 621 when the deuteronomistic changed everything. So here was a group a power structure, and for various reasons, I assume they threw out the shamanic wisdom texts. Now many Jews took them to Egypt and saved them that was no longer part of Judaism, this the feminine, which was a symbol of the soul of nature of love, and relatedness out no more, no more, is only a male god yabe. But the text before showed yabe and wisdom, his feminine counterpart, they created the universe together. And then afterwards, he made it all by himself, and his memory seems to lapse. And also he becomes a tyrant and violent without this soul. But at any rate, it was 621 when the Deuteronomy has changed that now, Jews went in various places and kept us alive. And I think it emerged again in Kabbalah, later in Europe. But then there was the Jesus tradition, which is actually a rebirth of that shaman mystic tradition. Jesus was the Jewish attempt to bring back that shaman mystic experiential tradition of gnosis and there were Jews who would have nothing to do with the Second Temple. This was the first temple tradition. And But later, when the Jesus tradition began, there were Jews who were scenes they were at the dead round the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Those were Jews who felt they were holding the true covenant of the Jews, the true covenant of God, which was mystical experience. And then there were essays all over the place at that time, and there were the therapeutic in Egypt, and they were Jews. Even some of the early church fathers thought that Jesus probably had had been born out of that mystical tradition. And there were other mystical traditions. But the Jesus tradition when the church came along well, even earlier, they started inverting the Jesus tradition into believing in Him following him not becoming him. But the hidden tradition that Jesus taught was that you do not follow me you become who I am. Yeah, you drink.

Brian Smith 44:47
I started to wrap not even that well hidden. It’s it’s there in the text, but they’ve totally distorted it. I mean, Jesus says it all the time that you’re going to come become me, you’re gonna do greater things that I actually know Eat up my body. I mean, he says it all the time. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 45:03
And there communion yes to take that too. And then when the Roman Church wanted to gain power over all of its territories, he thought this tradition would be something that would help him do that. But only the tradition is they changed it. And so they inverted the Jesus tradition into his the God, and you must obey and follow Him and will tell you, by the way, what to do. So they inverted that. And so then every tradition that tried to nurture experience the experience of that tradition, and there were the Kesari, the Cathars, and there were various people all over course, they call them the heretics. There were groups of people all over the ancient world, who knew and held on to this tradition, but they were murdered and destroyed in every way they possibly could. They went underground at the Egyptian tradition out chemical. And then there were the later the pre socratics thanks to Kingsley’s Peter Kingsley’s work. We know they were shamans and mystics, too. We just thought they were philosophers, you know, but they influenced Plato, but Plato kind of turned it around. And so we had all of these traditions, but the church was constantly denying their reality, destroying them, and I have to say, vast programs of murdering them. So how did they influence the materialistic science? shamans have always been scientist to the degree that they can. And in the sixth, all of these underground traditions reemerged in the high Middle Ages at this in Europe, and it reemerged some degree continued in the Italian Renaissance. And then that reemerged in 1600, in the old bohemian world of Prague, and there was a Catholic, Rudolph, who was in charge, but he was interested in all these traditions. So he allowed them all to be there. And they were really scientists, engineers, mystics. And so they were really working on figuring this all out through the mystical, and the scientific method of scientific process. Sure, and the church, wiped them out, destroyed their text, it was not even known that that Renaissance occurred until the 20th century. And, and then the texts were, were found, and by Francis Yates, and she couldn’t believe the world that was actually something like an onion, I’ve taken, you know, layer of layer after layer, and realizing this mystical, scientific world. And she realized that they were the ones who gave mathematics and the scientific approach to the west, right? Well, so. But when they were destroyed by the Catholic, the Roman Church, then, of course, people went underground, these scientists went back to their own places, and could not speak of ever having been a part of that. But then there was the 30 Years War between the Protestants and Catholics. After that, then in 1660, the Royal Society for the study of science developed in England,

Betty Kovacs 48:09
it was really clear, after all of that chilling, and repression and suppression, that you could not possibly study the mystical consciousness, because the church would not allow it, you’d be dead. And so science began with severe suppression from the Roman Church, there was no way they could do that and survive. And so and there were some scientists there who’d been a part of that earlier movement, and they knew, but and then gradually, gradually, scientist, felt there was nothing else, but matter, because they had no tools to study the other. It was there, but they didn’t have the tools. And it wasn’t until that made a full circle turn into quantum physics, that oh, my God, you know, they can’t even take a step forward in science in this, they go inward and recognize that world,

Brian Smith 48:59
you know, that’s fascinating. And that’s, that’s a little bit of history. I didn’t know about the church and how it influenced the materialism because you know, that idea, we were not even allowed to study consciousness. And I feel like we’ve been asleep pretty much for the last couple 100 years. And I just thought it was good, because we just thought we know everything. It’s like when the patent office declared like the 1800s, like, everything that can’t be invented, has been invented. And people thought, Well, we’ve got all these instruments that we can measure everything. But I think it’s interesting, if you go back, you look at some of the scientists like Einstein,

and Max, Max Planck, and Bohr and all those guys, they understood the importance of consciousness. And the the very early scientists believed in God and believe that man was made in the image of God. And they that’s why they studied the universe because they thought it was orderly the way God created it, and then we just got totally lost. So it’s really good knowing that that little bit of history and this is why people need to understand things that people might find boring. Maybe church history and stuff like that it’s important to know that these traditions were killed the Gnostics, you know, and we, we find some of these gnostic texts and we’re taught, oh, they’re heretics that those are, those are bad people don’t listen to them.

Unknown Speaker 50:13
I know, it’s, it’s the great tragedy of the West, that our experiencing our own consciousness of who we are. The deep truth spiritual experience has been suppressed again and again. And, and not gently. I mean, there were vast periods of murder and, and repression and destruction. And that story is sickbay. True. I mean, the Cathars in the 1200s were destroyed. They they were killed, destroyed, burned, and they didn’t know when any harm. In fact, they were very influential because they held on to this ancient tradition. But any tradition that did was destroyed, and someone you know, it’s not about blame. It’s just about looking at what happened in history.

Brian Smith 51:05
It’s not about blame, but it is about power. The thing is, if people are turning within, and if you tell people that you are basically gods that you are divine, then why would they listen to the government? Why would they listen to the church? And that’s exactly, and I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but this is the biggest conspiracy there’s ever been, is telling people that you have no power, you have no authority, you need to, as you said, Follow Jesus, but listen to us.

Unknown Speaker 51:34
Yes. And you know, you have said exactly, this is what, from the dude agronomist to the Roman Church, to the Habsburg Empire, the state, politically, it’s always been to keep that secret from us, that we are divine, we are immortal. And we are creative. It’s all within us. And they have tried to keep that secret. When LSD was being used in the 60s, the government was open to it when they thought they could use it in some devious way. Then they closed it down when they saw what was happening. So this is the conspiracy. And, you know, of course, that whole idea of conspiracy theory is that it’s always if anyone says anything against their plans. That’s what it is, you know, exactly. But and this is, I think you just said it beautifully is that this is the problem with the West, that we have been suppressed, and forced, in many ways into believing that we are nothing, therefore you follow us? We know, the church knows, the deuteronomistic know, the government knows they help agencies know, we have a responsibility to find out for ourselves. What is real? And everything today hinges on that discovery?

Brian Smith 52:47
Yes, yes. Our very survival, I think hinges on that, you know, as we’re speaking, I was thinking about, even to this day, you know, the drug laws, okay. So alcohol is legal. We drink all the alcohol you want, you can smoke cigarettes, you know, whatever. But you can’t take plant medicine. And I’ve been interested in doing my wife has asked me last night, she said, Would you ever do that we’re watching something where someone’s taking plants. I said, I would do it. Not recreationally. But I would do it under supervision. I think it’s it’s you know, I’ve been very interested in this for a while a guy sent me a book many years ago, he had gone to South America to take an Iosco trip. First I’d ever heard about that. But I think today, there are a couple places in the US you could do it, but still largely illegal. Mushrooms are illegal.

Unknown Speaker 53:30
Of course, anything that is going to release that secret to us is illegal, and you shouldn’t do it bad. And you should do it. Whatever you do, do it on your own. Well, it’s uh, you know, I was interviewed by a person not long ago who had been an addict for many, many years. He was in prison. And he, he told me, he said, I’ve been clean now I don’t know for a very long time. And when I met him, he said, the way that happened for me is that I took plant medicine, and I experienced that cosmic consciousness. He said after that I never wanted I never wants desired to do drugs again. So I think they’re also discovering that many of these plant medicines can heal this horrible addiction we have much of which is grown out of this. This despair and horror of the limited world that we live in. And if we don’t experience ecstasy, we can’t really live the ecstasy is our birthright.

Brian Smith 54:31
Yeah and there there is some research is slowly leaking out now where they’ve done micro doses of some plant medicines under the right conditions and people being cured of all kinds of stuff drug addiction depression anxiety with you know with maybe even one one trip you know with it with a shaman that the guides them that that says, hey, if the world’s not as bad as you think it is, you’re you’re being fooled into thinking that it’s a terrible, terrible place.

Unknown Speaker 54:59
And I think Any, any time that we are presented with a situation that is horrible, and everybody gets afraid, is filled with fear, this is the perfect setup for control, and, and the government to step in. And so we can handle that we can solve that. But you’ll have to do exactly as we say. And this is a very dangerous thing. And it’s happened again and again, but ours, and you know, this whole thing with thinking that this whole egotism that has developed in the west of thinking they’re better than any culture they went into, I mean, they never knew this, and they couldn’t possibly, or the native people here, or the native people in other places, they couldn’t see because they had no idea they were in we are ignorant, often and blinded, to the depth of heart consciousness, we doesn’t even exist hearts, just an organ. And we could not see these people, they couldn’t tell us anything, they couldn’t reveal anything, because we were so egotistical, we would let nothing else and we are superior in any time. This is I think, the danger that we face, often and today is that a group of people will be able to gain enough power, that they begin to get sick, very, very sick, sicker than the usual Western mind, into this feeling of superiority, and that they can then figure out what they’re going to do with the whole planet now, how they’re going to do it, and who is worthy of living and not I mean, it’s a, it’s a demand. It’s a craziness and an insanity. That is the result of us not maintaining that ancient tradition of discovering who we are. So it gets the ego gets flipped wrong side out. And we think that we’re superior, and we can control others. And that’s the solution to it. And it’s a great illness that we suffer today. It is

Brian Smith 56:54
exact right, where it’s a real illness. So let’s talk about what what is the what is cosmic consciousness? Or what is Christ consciousness, we hear people talk about what does that actually mean for us as individuals?

Unknown Speaker 57:07
That’s what they think that’s what we’ve been talking about, you know, when we open up to it, just like, Oh, my God, I just so astounding, it’s like, you know, how we’ve been so blind, it’s opening up to a reality in which you know, it’s real, there’s not a question, as some of them say, it’s realer than real. Because when you experience this vast universal consciousness, that is prior to anything material, quantum physicists notice that its primary consciousness creates matter. And when we get to the source of who we are, it is that sense of absolute ecstasy and love, and, and delight and joy. And in within that, we can see that, yes, we do come in and we play games in the material world, as one of physicists said, What does it matter is what spirit looks like in the physical world. And we realize we’re spirit, we are creating this. And we can create better games, and we hit better games. So it’s that just that experience, but I think most of all, you know, people who have near death experiences often experience that consciousness. And they realize that the love is so intense, that they couldn’t even have imagined love in that way. But, you know, I think, for instance, when his parents, we lose a child to death in the physical world, the grief that we can experience shows the tremendous ability we have to love. You know, it’s it’s such a beautiful, deep connectedness. And I think we, we can experience that in that cosmic consciousness. And I think that in the, in the years, that decade that I lost, everyone in my family, I grew more in that decade, although I’d always been looking for these things. It was that decade that transformed me changed me. And, and I’m grateful for it.

Brian Smith 59:13
You mentioned earlier, and there’s so much to talk about, like we’re getting close to everything I’d like to discuss with you. But you mentioned earlier you had this experience with PhD before he passed. And but you also alluded to maybe a few experiences after he passed. So tell me about that.

Unknown Speaker 59:27
Yes. And the book, The miracle of death, as I recall, I give those experiences many my husband and I had many after PhD stuff. He was first of all, well, it was the next day after his memorial that we began and I remember ambitious ish, fun said, that’s what PhD man I’ll be out of the house for a little while. He came back and his fun experienced him and I did too. And he was always so joyful with his fun with his dad. And each one had experiences in which He realized that he and PhD were one soul. And I had had a vision of that much earlier. That ish one and PhD were one. And they had the same name. But, you know, in hungry, it’s your, we didn’t put the second or third, that kind of thing. But they had the same name. And in the vision, I was told, You thought you agreed to go with that name that you wanted that name, but he couldn’t have been named anything else. They are one soul. Well, then, the first vision that is fun head after pitchy step, is it First of all, he wanted us to know, it’s fine. He’s well, and he also wanted us to remember that we knew this, that we had, that we knew that we were going to do this. And then he, he led us, his father then experienced this fun experience, that he was one soul with PhD, and they went a city just travel through this spiral. And then he was in many different worlds. And he saw in one vision where he saw people of all groups, all ethnic groups that he’d ever heard of that. And he is he saw how he and he had been born into, you know, they were those. And then in some lives, they were one. And he said in the lives when they were one, he said, she didn’t have to tell me anything I knew. And then he said, when we were in two different bodies, and that world, as in this life, then pitch to explain things to him. And it was so interesting, because when he had that journey, and then he told me that I said, I had that experience that you two were one soul. Well, it was no question to him after that, because he experienced it, he knew it. And, and so we had to, we each of us, experienced him many, many times, very, very clearly, sometimes with plant medicine. And I must say that opened up such a vast reality. But also, we experienced him without plant medicine, especially in the beginning ish mindset on the way to work. He said, like I’ve been closed off, he said, I realized, I could not get into this, because PhD was going to do that. I could not do that until he died, though. He stepped out. And he said, going, it was like, tape recorder going off on the way to work reminding him of everything. And he’d come into my study and say, which book should I read next?

Brian Smith 1:02:24
for 50 years? Wow, that’s awesome.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:27
And he just was, he was there constantly. And I also, I was in a bookshop, and I heard some music, it was called miracles, I found out, I got the music came on, it’s just so deeply affected me, put it in VCs room had become like a meditation room before he died. And I put it to play and his room, jumped into my sweats. And when I heard the music, I had to go into that room. And when I did, I lay down on the bed, and he was there. And I couldn’t see him, but I knew his presence was in the upper right hand, space. And then we went, he says, Mom, let’s go through all of the phases of my life together. This was right after he died. And we went through many things that were so you know, joyful and some sad. And we were surfing on the ocean of life. And he said to me, you know, just go with the flow, you know, don’t get caught. Just allow yourself to flow with what is. And so there would be times when I would think, Oh, I can’t let that go. That would be so deep in me that I just that I couldn’t release that. And I’d start to sink or go down in the ocean. He would say no, let it go live each moment fully, then let it go. And then at the last when he was in the trauma center, and I remember thinking, I can’t do this, I can’t let him go. And then I thought, Well, wait a minute, he’s already dead, so to speak, and we’re together. And then PhD said to me, I had taught Gurkhas Faust. I don’t think he knew. It just didn’t he when he was here, but he knew on the other side, and he said, Mom, remember, remember the problem with Faust, that when he said, linger, linger this moment that are so beautiful, that Mephistopheles had him he was caught. Feel it completely, then let it go. And I’ve tried to that was without plant medicine, he was so fully present, but a lot of them experiences very profound with all of which I have in the miracle of death. And I we recorded them. As soon as we had those experiences, we recorded them, and then we transcribed transcribe them. And I must say, with the help of Kim Kim also helped me transcribe them. And then when I wrote the book, I went right to those experiences because I did not, I didn’t want want anything that wasn’t actually real that had happened, right. And so that book is filled with those experiences. And there was So many of them, and then when each one died, I thought that was something, but I did then have his consciousness and I, I feel their presence. But I didn’t really have a lot of visions after that I will feel their presence. But I don’t. Those were just extreme initiations, I might say.

Brian Smith 1:05:21
Right, right. Well, there’s there’s so much as you touched on there, I think it’s so important for all of us, you know, you kind of touched on soul planning. So I’m not going to ask you about what you believe in soul planning or not, because clearly, you thought you guys agreed to all this. It sounds Yes. Yeah. And the other thing is that I heard you say, you know, you said they’re the same soul. I think, this idea that we are separate souls, I’m getting more and more away from I don’t know how it all works. But we’re like, when people say we’re all one, we’re literally all one in some sense. And there’s some people, I’ve heard people say, Well, you can come in as a soul. And you can be in two different bodies in the same current incarnation. And it sounds like that’s what PhD and Israel were experiencing. They were kind of they were the same person in two different two different bodies.

Unknown Speaker 1:06:06
Yes. And he said, they’re parallel worlds parallel universes. inish funds thought that we were, we were playing the same game for a purpose in parallel worlds. And that sometimes it’s like deviation, he said, in some worlds, I die first in 50 states. But in this one, he went first and I stayed. And I swore, why would. And I knew, though, that, that we would, many people are trying to wake up from this fear of death, if we know that we’re eternal. And this is what our ancestors, this was the heritage they wanted us to have, that we are immortal and creative and divine. But we lost that. So I could see playing a game a deep, serious game in which of death, it’s very clear that death is not what we thought it was, and that so many things were not but that we are immortal. And it seems I don’t know exactly all of the reasons. But it would seem that I know my feeling was in writing that first book that if, if I could help anyone get through the loss of a child or anyone they love, then it was worth it.

Brian Smith 1:07:18
Yeah, and what you just said, I think that perspective, we’ve got everything. So flipped upside down, in our, in our culture, if we have the perspective that this is the game, this is the dream, this is the simulation, that we are eternal beings. Because when when a parent loses a child, the first thing is why, why would this happen? Why would God allow this to happen? And I hear I’ve heard so many parents say, Well, I would never ever plan this well known that as a human being you would not because you think they’re gone. But if you think of yourself as an eternal being, that’s still connected with them, that’s going to see them again, some day. And you see the growth, I look at you and you’re just so full of joy in life and wisdom, you know, partially as a result of the tragedies we’ve experienced. Absolutely. And we and so as as eternal wise beings would say, yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll take that on. I’ll agree to go first. I’ll agree to be the one, you know, this time that stays because it’s going to it’s going to spark this growth in me, like you said, What is fun? You know, he opened up he like, blew open.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:26
And it did. Yeah, yes, it’s, but you know, I think that’s part of not knowing who we are, is that we don’t realize our creativity. And it’s sometimes I think, well, I don’t want to come back to this world. It’s your it’s really crazy thinking. And I think No, I’ll get on the other side. And I will see clearly that if I can do any, anything, I would come back. But I think we don’t know that that that we have enormous effect. We forget that. And we will just I’m just an ordinary person. Yeah, that’s great. We all are that. And but we have powerful potential to change the world around us. And to it, we just don’t know the power each person has not a person without it.

Brian Smith 1:09:13
Right? Well, yeah, I know. As we’re talking, I was thinking, I know you’re part of the forever family foundation. I’m part of an organization called helping parents heal. So we had a conference a few years ago, we’re sitting there all of us parents who have had children that have passed. And we’re all to the person saying, I will never do this again. This is my last time. Now we’re going to be when we get over the other side we’ll be sitting around will be telling stories about this. I’m never doing this again. And I said that I said it many times. I don’t say it anymore. You know, I’m because I’m like, I’m starting to understand once we get back to the other side, and we see the bigger picture. We’re the people that got Yeah, I’ll do it again.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:50
Oh, yes. Can we get one little stone thrown into the water and you see all of those ripples and I think when we see that we think oh yeah That’s what I want to do. Because we know that we can play incredible games and learn incredible things and experience so many things. But we can also create a world in which there’s so much suffering, and so much death, and so much loss of consciousness that it isn’t worth playing. It’s too painful, it kills us, because the soul that we don’t want that kind of game to be played anywhere. And if we can get a glimpse into how to change, it will come back again. And again.

Brian Smith 1:10:28
Let me ask you one last question. Like I literally could talk to you all day long. So we, I would I want to ask you, because I’ve heard a lot of people say that we are we as human kind of waking up, now that we’re going through a period of transformation. So what are your thoughts on that? Do you think we are what do you think? What do you think humanity is in terms of our evolution of consciousness?

Unknown Speaker 1:10:47
Well, in merchants of light, I really addressed that. And I was so amazed when I started doing that research, that in the 20th century, we discovered so much about this past, that we didn’t know our scientific work, our mysticism, the cultures that were able to create, and the wisdom that was there. I didn’t know. And we didn’t know until the 20th century, that there were just so many scholars in the 20th century, who discovered these cultures and wrote about them. So we’re discovering Oh, who these ancestors were, that’s who we are. That’s what we can be. And I, you know, we launched the book in England, at the scientific and medical network in 2019. In November, that was a wonderful time, because there were people from Russia and from Scandinavia, all of Europe, and more in the West, there were young people that were middle aged, and very old people. And this scientific network, they’ve had, I think, six Nobel Prize winners in science over the time, they’ve been active. But they had many young people too. And it was such an exciting game. It’s like teaching in the 60s, you know, because they were so excited. And, and they feel that a renaissance is here. In fact, in the book, I say there five times, this underground traditions have come up. And I mentioned all of them through the 16th. That’s called the rosicrucian, then the German Romantic period. And today, today, it’s been a renaissance of this knowledge of who we are and what we’ve done in our potential. And so I think, yes, it is. But I think that we are up against the greatest darkness, because we’ve had all of these centuries of suppression, repression. And now there’s this horrible disease, of trying to make up for not developing within. And it’s the totalitarianism, the, the control, the end, they have technology, now, they have so many other things to control, and make us even natyam. Because they don’t understand they don’t know who we are, potentially, although, and that’s very dangerous. So I would say we’re up against a great darkness. But if we know who we are, and what we’re up against, I think we we can play a very good game. But and I was also delighted a friend of mine in the UK, just wrote in incidentally mentioned, and I don’t remember his name yet. I mean now, but I didn’t know what she told me. But there’s a man who had an experience from Italy. He’s part of into this technology. He had an experience of cosmic consciousness. I mean, vast, and I think she said he developed the iPhone, I’m not sure what what reason I’m telling this. And what makes me so happy is that there’s among these people, there is this person and perhaps more, who knows who we are. And we need that knowledge. He’s playing a very good game if he’s in that group. And he knows that. And I just saw that there’s a book that’s coming out, I think, was 100 something dollars on Amazon. So I didn’t buy it. But I hope to get it one day. But they’re all of these people talking about that who are in this kind of technology. And he’s a part of it. And so I think things like that are going to help us heal this horrible illness of the Western mind. Now almost a planetary mind that has been suppressed and distorted and lied to that it’s nothing. And you know, it’s well, by golly, oh, create something, you know, when they’re superior, they can do it. And so that’s an illness. I think that’s the darkness we’re up against. We need to see it clearly. But we have to also know who we are to do it.

Brian Smith 1:14:30
Absolutely. Dr. Kovacs. It’s been fascinating. Speaking with you, and I want to tell people again, the books are the miracle of death, which is about your son, PhD and the thing that you went through in your grief journey, and also the merchants of light about this greater consciousness and I want to encourage all the listeners that are listening, to understand who you are, and to turn within and to take back your own power and develop your own consciousness. And and there’s so much out there, just keep exploring. Yeah. Any any last words you want to offer? No, I

Unknown Speaker 1:15:02
just think if we do that we can play at a divine game together and he’ll truly heal the planet.

Brian Smith 1:15:10
Absolutely. Well, thanks a lot for being here and you have a great day.

Betty Kovacs 1:15:14
Oh, thank you. I enjoyed meeting you so much.

Brian Smith 1:15:18
So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by

I am happy and hopeful to share this special episode with you. All of my episodes are special. But, in this one, I discuss a particular type of pain that some of us suffered at the hands of toxic theology. I hope it helps someone who listens. If you know someone it could help, please share. In this episode, Dr. Purcell and I discuss how similar our childhoods were due to the teaching that God made us imperfect and we were deserving of eternal torment for that reason. We both struggled for decades trying to reconcile this teaching with our hearts. Traditional Christianity is literally insanity. In this episode, we discuss the evil god of Calvinism not loving enough to save everyone; who in fact, creates most people just to throw them into eternal torment. We discuss the weak god of Arminianism who wishes he could save everyone, but it’s beyond his capability to do so. And, we talk about who/what we believe to be the true God who not only loves everyone but actually knows what He’s doing.

Dr. Boyd C. Purcell holds an undergraduate college degree in Comprehensive Social Studies from B.G.S.U. He also has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Bowling Green State University. His Master of Divinity Degree is in Biblical Studies from Ashland University Theological Seminary. Dr. Boyd’s doctorate is in the integration of psychology and theology. He is a retired hospice chaplain, having provided comforting spiritual care to hundreds of dying patients. Dr. Boyd has experience as a psychotherapist on the Christian Therapy Unit of a psychiatric hospital. He has taught counseling courses to students earning their Master of Arts Degree in Counseling at Marshall University Graduate College. He pastored an Evangelical Church for 15 years until condemned by the denominational officials for coming to believe in too much of God’s all-inclusive, unconditional, everlasting love, amazing grace, infinite mercy, and perfect justice for all people everywhere in the whole world!

He has written several books including:

  • “Spiritual Terrorism: Spiritual Abuse from the Womb to the Tomb”
  • “Christianity Without Insanity: For Mental/Emotional/Physical Health.”
  • “Symbolic Fire in the Holy Bible A Thru A,” the subtitle, “God is Fire/Baptism of Fire/Salted with Fire.”

His website is:



Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth and today I am really excited to have me Dr. Boyd C. Purcell. Dr. Purcell has an undergraduate degree in comprehensive social studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has a Master’s of Arts degree in counseling from Bowling Green State University. He has a master of divinity degree in biblical studies from Ashland University Theological Seminary. And his doctorate is an integration of psychology and theology. He’s a retired hospice chaplain having provided comforting spiritual care to hundreds of dying patients. Has his website is Christianity with that insanity calm. And I’ve read his book Christianity without insanity. That’s what we’re gonna primarily be focusing on today. But we’ll talk about his other books, and his other work as well. But I’m really excited to welcome to Greek to grow. Dr. Purcell.

Boyd Purcell 1:36
Thank you. So good to be here.

Brian Smith 1:39
Yeah, I said, I’m really looking forward to having this interview. I wish I read found your books like 3040 years earlier. So tell me how did you come to write these books and become passionate about this field?

Unknown Speaker 1:54
Well, I would say that I really was spiritually terrorized as a child.

Boyd Purcell 1:58
I had zero fear of God up to my eighteenth birthday.

Talking about our shared experience with Kentucky, I was born in Kentucky, you said you lived there for a while. But my parents at age eight for me moved to Ohio for better economic opportunities. And then they start going to church before that.

Unknown Speaker 2:22
So I’m really curious as to what got you passionate about this field, what was your background that led you to this? Well, I had zero fear of God, prior to my 8th birthday. And we lived in Kentucky in a rural area. And the church was not close. And we didn’t have an automobile. My dad worked out of state in order to support the family. And it works in Ohio. And we’re not moving to Ohio.

Unknown Speaker 2:49
And my dad had more economic opportunities there. And then we start going to church every week. And I start hearing about Hellfire damnation. And it just seemed absolutely horrific that God I heard was love. With torture people, they don’t use Word torture, that’s a torment. But I use the word torture by writings because if getting people burning in a literal Fire of Hell, especially forever, is not torture, then we need to delete the word torture from our vocabulary, and get rid of it from our English dictionaries. Certainly as torture, so terrorized by that, and it talks about getting saved and they sing the song Amazing Grace, given all her call to come forward to get saved before it’s too late. But then they preach about how you have to live a perfect life. They quoted Matthew 548, many times, Jesus said, Be therefore perfect. Father, heaven is perfect. On the one hand, he said, no one is perfect and can’t be perfect. And yet, to get into heaven, you have to accept Christ and then live a perfect life, or you’ll get burned in hell forever. That just seemed absolutely absurd to me, then I was really terrorized by that.

Brian Smith 3:57
So this was when you said about eight years old at this, this happened with you.

Unknown Speaker 4:02
So I went on through for my 12th year, but going up to getting 10 years old. So here’s 2012 is the period coming pretty fast. And it’s like you have a grace period before 12. And if you die, you will have an automatic way because you’re not accountable for your sins. Right? If I heard the term accountability, that’s not a theological. It’s not in the butt. Right? Something that Christians are made up to try to excuse God and make us all better. You only torture 12 year olds and older, not 11 year olds under, right. Yeah, what’s his 12 year old girl for that matter? But anyway, as my 12 year old approached, I started hoping I would die. Yeah, I wanted to die. And I asked my mother who believed in prayer, you should pray for a man that God would take my life before my 12th birthday. I knew she loved me. And that would really hurt her for me to ask that so I didn’t do it. But then I thought about asking my dad He was a hunter and he took me hunting with him. If he’d do me a really big favor and shooting kill me before my birthday, I’ll go to heaven, hell forever. And I know he wouldn’t do that, Hey there, he’s a very good safety cutter. So he wouldn’t do it. That’d be just totally out of character for him. So I didn’t ask him. But as my 11th year came, I got to my 11th, month 11th year, only one month ago, and for my 12th year, I thought about taking my own life. But then I heard that suicide is self murder. So that would be something covered by this period of grace update as well. So I’d be setting myself the hell by the one hand, so I didn’t do it, obviously. But that’s what I went through. That’s all the terrorism that’s not being hyperbolic and terror and labeling or titling my book, spiritual terrorism. But the subtitle is spiritual abuse of the womb to the tomb is not quite the womb for me, but is started very early in life with just a J. But some people believe that God will be Catholics or explains that a baby, not baptize, God will either at least bar forever and beholding his face. Or God will actually burn the baby in hell forever, even though they’re totally opposed to abortion, because it’s taking an innocent human life. Is that not oxymoronic? And then the Calvinists are even worse, because they believe that God chose his sovereign choice, who would be saying, Who be damned to hell forever, not just before born, but even before the crease of the world. That’s absolute sir. That’s certainly the oxymoron that gospel probably oxymoronic gospel.

Brian Smith 6:37
Yeah. And and as you as you were telling your story, I’m just sitting here nodding, going, I understand. And my path is exactly parallel. And I know some people are going to be thinking, well, that’s, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. That’s insane. And it is. But this is what we were taught for me. I was I remember being my grandfather was the pastor of our church. We were Pentecostals. And I was taught that Well, yeah, absolutely. I love my grandfather’s. I admire him. And, and he meant well, but we were taught the same thing. And there’s some people and it sounds like you are like I am, that are sensitive to this. And we really take it to heart for most people seems to kind of go over their head. And I think it’s because it’s so insane, that they don’t really grasp it. But I did as a five year old, and I was about eight when I started being able to not able sleep at night. And I would pray to God, why did you create me? Why would you put me in a situation where I am at risk of being tortured eternally, and I would rather not have been born. I thought that many times. Yeah. And you find yourself in this dilemma where it’s like, I didn’t choose this. And I can’t love this guy, because he’s a monster. So I can totally relate to everything that you said.

Unknown Speaker 7:50
So don’t send that’s why I call that Christianity. With insanity.

Brian Smith 7:54
Yes, absolutely. So at what point did you escape from this? How did that come about?

Unknown Speaker 8:02
Well, I kept taking a step at a time, which is very painful. And I went off to college and the same miserable condition. And I was told many times in church, that there are people out there who will tickle your ears with things you want to hear. But be really careful about that. Because the end of there is the way of death and not just ceasing to live, but getting eternally tortured in hell. So I was really cautious about seeking out anything else at college where there were opportunities to do that. So I started going to the same kind of it was a Pentecostal Church at Bowling Green, I grew up in only did that for about a semester. And it was just so bad. Like, just like everything else I’d heard. Because there’s no point in going through the study more, or sending church from the dam to hell forever. Anyway, so what I had to go hear about it every Sunday. Well, then I started going to another church that was somewhat similar to what I grew up in, but not it was better, and the pastor there to preach all this stuff about Hellfire and damnation. And I wondered why. And I asked him, you know, why are you emphasizing all this cellphone damnation because it was a very fundamental church. And he’s the way he grew up Roman Catholic. So you hear a lot of this is another legalisms. But he was not there very long until he left. And then they got into a new pastor. And he’s as bad as a pastor I ever heard. Yeah, my next the last Sunday there. He preys on the hill. And it was sinful to dance, because dancing, smoking, drinking, going to movies all that will send you straight to hell. So he said, because he shook his finger in their face and he said to the parents, if you let your children listen those Elvis Presley records, they’re going to hell and you are to know I didn’t care about Elvis Presley myself, but my sisters love Belle’s Seven Sisters and know that his records and so on which I didn’t I wouldn’t walk across the street here, Elvis but I thought you gotta go Again go to hell for listen to Elvis Presley’s records. So I thought that’s it I’ve had it was church. I’m out of here, which I was. So next Sunday I stayed home from church. And in my college dorm room, I thought I’m feeling really guilty about not being a church and God made me to hell forever for that because they also quoted Hebrew is about foresight not there’s so many songs together, and so much more as you see the day approaching the day, the Lord Jesus Christ, Second Coming. So I thought, what, what can I do to be religious about going to placate God, so I don’t get to hell for staying home. So I turned on the radio, and I heard a religious program by Dr. Umar de Haan. And he was preaching, teaching on the definitely law and grace. First time I really heard that. Yeah, wow, that’s really good news. We’re saved by grace, not by all these works. And so I sat down and wrote him a letter and sent out a small donation. And a couple weeks later, I got back a big box of books because I asked him to send me everything he had written on that I didn’t realize somebody’s written. A lot of booklets in there. So I started sorting through and finding the things that laundress the most pertinent. And I read those, it just sounded wonderful. And I thought, well, you know, I remember those years, there’s a way seems right into a man, but then there are others the way of death. So I thought I’d take a buck or two back to this Elvis Presley creature, and see what he was saying he took one look, and he said, Ah, he says that dad will Baptist doctrine easy believe ism, salvation by grace. Here’s a really classic thing. He said, even if I believe that, Chuck, I wouldn’t preach it. Because it’s damaged men souls to Hell is the easy way that grace was just too easy. It’s a hard way. It’s a pressing way. You got to live a life and all that. And I thought, well, thanks. No head of the church, I never went back there again. I went to the Baptist Church and started here, some of that salvation by grace on the screen, the believer, and that’s really the really beginning of getting out of that. I just continued to grow about that. But let me say one thing, there was an elder who came to visit me in my dorm room, after I stopped going to that church, church. And he said, You know, I really need to come back. And he said, If I don’t, if I end up in hell, and he said, you’re just never gonna be happy outside the Pentecostal church. I said, Well, that may be true. You know, I’m not happy now. So I won’t make a difference. in or out of get any worse.

Brian Smith 12:20
So what is it you think? And I and I, again, I relate to what you’re saying that? Okay, they tell us be baptize. I’m assuming you probably spoke in tongues. I don’t know. But if you’re a Pentecostal, we talk about that. Yeah. So we would like be baptized, you know, and Jesus name speak in tongues received the Holy Spirit, but then you still never really felt safe. You still never really felt secure?

Unknown Speaker 12:46
Well, that’s one thing because you’re never really sure you’re safe. Unless you spoken dogs. Because that what I was taught was, if you’re saying, you know, what, besides being saved, you have needs to be filled the Holy Ghost, right? You haven’t. So speaking in tongues, right? All right, then to know your say, you have to get the feeling you’re that feeling? Like if I wasn’t feeling feel like no one ever told me it would just you’ll know this feeling. So it’s not just a feeling. It’s the feeling right? And then you’ll know your sight. Well, I went the order dozens of times, praying and played in the eye. Oh, God, please give me the feeling safe and giving the feeling I’ll never do that based on the left brain person. I think the right brain people are more emotional. And you know, speaking in tongues, in tongues, even at the moment, there probably be tape recordings, I wish to have hundreds in my head. Not that I’d actually be going in the Holy Spirit will be speaking through me. So I don’t know just speak in English, rather than some unknown tongue, right? Like this. But even if you get the evidence of the getting the feeling and speaking in tongues, you still have to live the perfect life to stay safe. But that won’t get you to say that doesn’t keep you safe. Right? So much insecurity. It’s just absolutely awful.

Brian Smith 13:58
I remember what again, we were in little kids, and they would say things like, I’m five years old, eight years old. But don’t go to the movies. Because if Jesus comes back and you’re in the movie theater, Jesus is not coming in there. You know, and don’t go don’t go to a bar because I’m five, I’m not going to a bar. But you know, but Jesus is not going to come in there. So you were always It was like, at any moment, if you had any unconfessed sin and Jesus came back or you happen to die, then you were just out a lot.

Unknown Speaker 14:26
Even one unconfessed sin person that was a good person going straight to hell, forever. My God is love.

Brian Smith 14:34

Unknown Speaker 14:34
I don’t want people to thank you here this, this all about Pentecostal church? And I kept out on my books didn’t say it, because another thing Well, what else do you expect from those that Pentecostals but they’re non Pentecostal or just as legalistic. He’s just as much fear. This is legalistic. That’s what medical schools are.

Brian Smith 14:52
Yeah, a lot of times they don’t really emphasize it, you know, and, and I’ve been to some secret sensitive charges recently and they just keep it underneath the surface. So they bring everybody and it’s very happy, you know, they get great production values, great music. And then once every six months or so they’ll actually talk about this thing that, you know, by the way, if you’re not saved, you’re going to go to, you know, you’re going to go to hell. So it’s not just the Pentecostals. And I mean, you talked about the age of accountability. I again, I smiled when you said that because it’s not difficult. But what it is, is people said, Well, God can’t be this horrible. So let’s put this this artificial thing in that you’re you’re okay until you’re like 12 or 13. And it’s not in the Bible. And I was a little kid and here I am, like, eight and I’m telling begging my parents let me get baptized on a go to hell. And they’re like, well, you’re not old enough yet. So yeah, I had to wait till I was like 13. And I was baptized when I was 13. But the Catholics at least were more honest and said, you know, babies are born in sin. So if you don’t have your baby,

Unknown Speaker 15:55
yeah, if you don’t have your baby baptized, then God’s like, I want them in heaven. That’s, that’s at least more honest. Right? Then even as Catholic, you lose your salvation, if you could get more, you know, they classify sense as mortal and do anyone’s misdemeanors. But the mortal sins are the capitals. So just minor things you might think, wouldn’t be a capital crime, mortal sin, such as children masturbating, which almost all children do. They’re normal. But that’s a severely disordered action. That’s the latest version of the Catholic catechism when it was a grave sin, a mortal sin to masturbate.

Brian Smith 16:34
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So you talked about you discovered the Baptist Church, and that was a little bit more fraying. What what actually kind of led you to read the ledger to read the Bible and understand Christianity in a different way?

Unknown Speaker 16:52
Well, actually just reading it for one thing for myself, rather than what people told me it said, but still reading it. With the background I had. It was like a shield. I’m not sure what the word I’m looking for here. But he’s reading it with a mindset because you to misunderstand and to sit and legalistic way, exactly. Right, in a loving, graceful way. But the more I read, the more understood, seemed to contradict what I’ve been taught. Then I one thing I came to believe fairly early on, was that the fire of the Bible is metaphorical, not literal. And I never heard anybody say that, right. But the things in the Bible that can be seen really horrific, like the turtle, how far the lake of fire and all that revelation, people get thrown into torment. They’re not forever and ever. But there are other things like when it says God is a consuming fire. Logic says always got in a state of combustion, right? Absolutely not. So what does that symbolize? Well, God who is Love is in the process of consuming sin. Safari love of God can sin sin was purified centers and perfect love. Yeah, that that soon, but at least I understood the fire some places metaphorical, right. And I was asked, and when I was a kid, around 12, I asked the pastor of the church, his personal Hellfire and damnation. What about fire in the Bible? Could it maybe not literal, I didn’t know the word metaphor. Right? was trying to get at that and something symbolic. And that’s a snap and said, No, the Bible says fire and I believe it means fire. So fire isn’t literal, then you don’t believe you’d go to hell for not believing in the Bible? Because the Bible says the father’s literal, which it is. Right,

Brian Smith 18:39
exactly. And I love what you said there because we do come to when we read any, any text with a certain mindset. So the people that are reading it, the people that are taking it literally are coming at it with a literalistic mindset and this God who’s judgmental, and harsh, and that’s what they read. When we come to the Bible with a metaphorical mindset, and we look for a loving God. That’s what we find. Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 19:05
Let me give you a really good example here. This just blows the fundamentalists away if they’ll even listen. Most of them won’t even listen to a logical explanation of from my first subjective of love, Grace, mercy and eternal salvation from Universal salvation. But in blue people wait I asked you realize if you believe the Bible is true, that God is actually in hell. You ever heard that? The gods in hell? Oh, that can’t be possible guys. How was it that you believe the King James version that’s the Bible is probably terrorize more people than that version? Yes. I was having I was given a King James Version. When I was like 12 years old. And again, when I was graduating college, this was this is the basically this is the Bible, not just a translation Bible. And always have every only the King James because in the last days, they will change the Bible. Well, what about Psalm 139? verses seven through 12. Now the King James translators Hebrew word shield is hell. Now the psalmist said, Oh Lord, if I ascend up to heaven, behold, you’re there. we’d expect that. Okay? But if I sat down the shield now the hell King James says, We hold you there. So God is in hell. Yeah. So there’s no place to go from your precedence because you’re omnipresent throughout the whole world, the whole universe.

Brian Smith 20:30
Absolutely, absolutely. And it’s, you know, I, for myself, I was I was about 40, I think I started going through real crisis because this thing with God was just freaking me out. So I started seeing a counselor. And I went to see a Christian counselor, I want to talk to you about that. I’ll come back to that. But I went to see a counselor. And I discovered this thing called Christian universalism. I got on the internet, and I started doing some searching like, what other people believe is there any way that I can I can still be a Christian and still, you know, understand and love God. And I found I don’t know if you’re familiar Gary Sigler and tentmaker website. I found that and if not some other guys. Yeah, yeah. Well, there’s Yeah, so I found I found these guys. It was a couple different guys and a group of people. And I’m like, there’s a total different way to read this. A total, total different way to read this, the Bible and in white, and I start reading about, okay, what’s the history of the Bible, and the King James and the, and the word show, which never appears and in our in our old testament, we see the word hell and that’s not the proper translation. But translation.

Unknown Speaker 21:39
No, it’s not. But it was simply a place for be parted spirits, right? To have any connotation of any punishment. But by the time of Christ, there had developed two schools of theology, Hebrew tradition, that was a Rabbi Hillel Rabbi Shama. You heard of them? I have Yes, I’m sure that are you want to hear what that But anyway, Rabbi Hillel, believe that the fire of gahanna that was a Greek word for translate the King James SL, was literally a garbage dump for the city of Jerusalem. fires burning continuously there and the place where they threw out the not only their trash, but the bodies of criminals and prostitutes and hair techs and others likely to be trash. And so the bodies weren’t feeling any pain, but became a symbol of disgrace and his honor, and so on, because good people, burials with honor. So Rabbi Hillel believed that if I began on supplies, disgrace, dishonor, and not the torture, per se, but no one would be tortured forever. Because after 12 months, then God would annihilate those who couldn’t be in court, or at least be one be tortured forever. So it was a lot more humane view. But Rabbi Samurai said, No, he just really he agreed that the fire was metaphorical. And it was for the purpose of purifying people. For those who could be an corrigible, God wouldn’t annihilate them. They just continue in that state of torment. And but the important thing was that there was no time limit on salvation. So why pick that up? And so well, there is, God’s gracious offer eternal life comes with no expiration date. A customer thinks we buy food and so on, have an expiration date. Right? salvation has no expiration date. So God was going to win this cosmic struggle between good and evil. As I said, it makes no difference. Whether that is, thanks a million, or a billion, a trillion, or a zillion aeons, or a years, for God to win this cosmic battle, God’s gonna win. And it will make no difference how long it lasted, it’ll be no more than a second with a snap of the finger and eternally, because God is eternal. God has always been God always obey. God is not so impatient, that God gives people one brief lifetime on earth, and so far more brief than others, and then down to hell forever, including those who have never even heard of Christ in this lifetime.

Brian Smith 24:14
Yeah, yeah. And that is the logical conclusion of the way a lot of Christianity is taught. And again, it’s one of those things and I saw something the other day, it’s like, well, you’ve got these two years to get it right. And, again, as you said, get it right, by believing in Jesus and living his perfect life until you happen to die. And if you don’t, then you’re going to you’re going to live forever and be tormented. The two things just don’t seem to add up. You could be the worst gun bomb on Earth.

Unknown Speaker 24:43
If you haven’t have 30 seconds. You’re going to die. And your deathbed prayer, oh god, I’m sorry, except Christ my Savior. Then you’re saying you’re going to heaven. And what some people who lived a wonderful life, maybe like Mother Teresa, and she had one bath or left a good deed on done because since the old mission kotlik sends up commission, you get down to hell forever because you have that last moment to repent.

Brian Smith 25:08

Unknown Speaker 25:08
But back to Rabbi Shabbat and Hillel. Jesus cleared up that misunderstanding the controversy between those two schools of thought when he said regard to the purpose of gahanna was to assault everyone in it with fire. Have you heard anything salted with fire? A half? Yes. So for me if you hear from someone else before me,

Brian Smith 25:30
now I’ve heard it before. Yeah. Okay. Well, I’ve been studying for for a while. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 25:34
Okay. Why never heard it in church? No, no, no, no. And I’ve asked that of hundreds of people in the last 30 years after coming to understand that myself, and including the clergy. And, personally, I was one of the few that have or believe in Christian Universalist. But I asked one professor, I knew well, who was Hebrew, and Greek professor in some other languages, brilliant man, teaching Old Testament. And I talked to him after I had written my first book, spiritual terrorism. And he’s Calvinists, by the way. And he said that he believed in Calvinism, because it made more sense, and I’m Indian ism. But he said he would like to believe in Universal salvation, and he would give anyone $1,000 if he could show him that the Bible actually teaches universal salvation. Oh, wow. Well, Doctor, have you ever heard of being salted with fire? But like you said,

Brian Smith 26:30
I don’t probably no, no, these are no,

Unknown Speaker 26:33
right. It’s brilliant man. Right THD doctor theology degree, it was tough to get That’s hard. a PhD. Was all the language requirements. He immediately got out his Greek New Testament, I read. Pause, Gar, cry Hello slice of time. This, everyone’s totally salted with fire. He’s blown away. He had never heard that in all his education. But then he immediately tried to explain it away by saying, well, that’s probably bad salt. reverser is not bad. So it’s not even a good salt. Right? salt, a fire, right? metaphor for purification. But he what but so we’ve exchanged communication a bit last 10 years, but he’s still not believing I still haven’t gotten my $1,000. Well,

Brian Smith 27:19
yeah. Because once people have that mindset, you cannot you cannot reason them out of it. And let’s talk about what Calvinism and arminianism is for people that don’t know.

Unknown Speaker 27:30
Well, Calvinism believes that God has suffered a lot in Calvinism. And so God decided before time and for the grace of the world, that these somebody will be saved, called the elect. Everyone else was the unelect, elector told is very small. And so pelvis. How many percentage is that like 50% as 2510 or whatever? They say it’s most of all said small. So once said, Well, I think probably 10% probably kind of stretching is probably less than 10%. That’s simply the general thinking. Now there are something Calvin’s now there’s one in his name at the moment, who called himself a biblical universals, who was Calvin’s, he believed that almost everybody select almost everyone, but not everyone is interested. Everyone who select will be saved, but those not elect hit won’t be saved because they can’t be safe.

Brian Smith 28:26
Be safe. Yeah. So it’s important to emphasize for people to understand, if you’re not elect, you cannot be saved. God has made you for destruction.

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Unknown Speaker 29:32
Right. So the other hand if you are elect, you cannot be lost. God’s already decided he’s gonna draw you to himself with blocks. Your resistible grace right can resist grace. Now that doesn’t mean that grace can’t be resisted at all, Sandy because it can be resisted for a lifetime. But 30 seconds before you die. You capitulate to saving grace or a prayer of confession and you say, right, that’s the Calvinistic. Do not Many of you says no God would do that. You know God’s impartial, we’re told the Bible God is impartial. So we no favoritism to anyone. So therefore God couldn’t just do something we say, we’d have to hell forever, theoretically, and everyone has a chance to be saved. Now Kelvin is going to go back a moment. Maybe the Jesus only died for the elect, he didn’t even die for the unknown, right. But Armenians believe that Jesus died for everyone. But in order to be saved, you have to hear about the gospel. First of all, listen, Bassman right, the world has never heard they lived and died, not ever hearing the name of Jesus, I still do the same, but they’re going to hell anyway. But at least you have theoretically a chance to be saved with arminianism. But the bottom line is no more going to be saved. But in Calvinism, it’s going to be very few, probably less than 10%. Because Jesus said, straight is the way they are the game, at least alive. If you it’ll be fine. But why does the road is the road? And why does the get the lead to destruction? In many areas, they’re out according to the King James, but that has nothing to do with heaven or hell, that’s talking about the life on Earth, the abundant life versus black living here. They read hell into that passage scripture.

Brian Smith 31:13
Yes, and I want to point out to people that most Christian churches, even though they may not call themselves Calvinist, or many nests, or one of the other, they they have that that set of beliefs and I learned this when I was reading and we talked about earlier, William Talbots book, The inescapable love of God that I love the way it lays this out, because either God is sovereign, and just doesn’t care about most people that he’s made for destruction, or God wants everyone to be saved. He just can’t do it. It’s just that it’s just that powerful enough to pull

Unknown Speaker 31:44
out the crux of the matter. What the dictionary says, The crux is something difficult to explain. So the crux of Calvinism is that God is able to save everyone, but unwilling, right? I mean, it isn’t God is willing but unable, because of humans abuse of free will. But God.

Brian Smith 32:04
Well, this comes about from reading into the Bible, and assuming that not everyone can be saved. In fact, most people can’t. So they’re coming into with that mindset and trying to explain it in one way or the other. And it makes God either either weak or evil.

Unknown Speaker 32:19
Exactly. Or both. As I said, that kind of God, I smell that was a small g is the supreme sadistic, more monster in the whole universe

Brian Smith 32:31
guy that I do want to talk, I want to move shift a little bit because I was co teaching a class on toxic theology of the last few weeks. So I was in there with some people who were from a toxic theology background, a lot of chaplains. So people that weren’t from, you know, the Christian or the Pentecostal background, and they’re basically saying, Well, here’s the thing. Just give up on all that just forget all that stuff. Christianity, that that’s just crazy anyway. And if you need to go see a mental health counselor, go see someone who’s not a Christian, because that’s the only person that can help you. Because you can’t be saved, you can’t be helped from that mindset. And I alluded to it a little bit earlier, when I wanted to go see a counselor, I had to see a Christian, because I knew I had to solve this from the way it was created. So I did and I sought out, I call that throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And so Tommy, when you were doing counseling with people that were going through, they had been tortured by this insanity. How did you help lead them out of that?

Unknown Speaker 33:29
Basically, by asking them what they believe, if it makes sense, what they’ve been taught, and most people that didn’t, I didn’t tell people what to believe. And I didn’t right up front share with people, Christian universalism. And with hundreds of the hospice patient, dying patient ever hospice patients dying patient. So I would just listen to him and share with me about your background and so on. And some would say chaplain, I’ve been trying to be a Christian. What’s their thing trying to be and being a Christian, they didn’t say I am a Christian, but I’ve been trying to be, and they’ve been trying for 40 5060 years, and sometimes only patience. and still they weren’t sure they’re good enough to make it into heaven. Right. Few of them said, chaplain, I used to be a Christian, I used to be a Christian, but I didn’t really realize I couldn’t live a life and I just gave up all that legalism. So even some of the patients though, who said, more like Roman Catholics was right, I am a Christian. You have to express the same fear of going to hell because of not being good enough to get into heaven. So an awful lot of phony baloney out there and things are just messing up people’s mind. So I basically just listened to people and show them and then I’m asking questions like, you believe the fire of the Bible especially relates to God and judgment isn’t literal fire. Oh my god, I thought about that. I really hope it was not but not heard. And I share examples one from my God, mega consuming fire up he doesn’t say to combustion. Well know that God couldn’t be in a state of emotion. They asked him about Do you believe in salvation by grace? Well, I’ve heard about that we sing about Amazing Grace, right? Because grace doesn’t seem very amazing at all. So what am I What? What is Grace? So I’m there to favor. There’s a book, I’d recommend about God’s grace, addiction and grace. that talks about voice being the most powerful force in the universe because it’s divine love and action. And as we get further along the road, I’m asked him about being salted with Have you ever been salted with fire? No, never that. Well. Tell me about that. Yeah. What is that? So I shared that with them. That’s what Jesus said, those are Jesus words. Well, could that be literally true and you could salt something with salt you burn someone fire? But can you literally solve anything or anyone to fire? You can do that. Well, that must be a metaphor. But what would that symbolize? So getting people think for themselves and come to the truth and understanding that I say, Well, if hell is eternal, as we’re told it is, then Jesus must be then confused. He must have misunderstood he must have misspoken. He must not have been what he said. was some people say his case, when he said, john 1232, if I’d be looked up from the earth, on the cross, I’ll do what, I’ll draw people to myself. I’ve always heard that. We even sing songs about it. Right? What song I’ve heard some repetitively a dozen times or more, with all our call to come forward, hit save points eternally too late. But lift him higher, lift him up, lift him up for the world to see. Jesus said, that’d be lifted up from the earth, elder all man on Tuesday, you have to give an older call to get saved for it’s eternally too late. Because he really isn’t good at all people. When they say, Well, he’s going to draw people to himself to offer themselves nation. But if they refuse it, then they’ll get down to hell forever. Right? Well, that offers already been made the offer of salvation. So if drawing them to himself does not mean salvation, then that is a meaningless statement. Right. And I think it’d be very insulting to Jesus to say that he made meaningless statements. I think Jesus said exactly what he meant. He meant exactly what he said, if you looked up on the earth, across the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, he through irresistible grace will draw people to himself. Therefore, hell cannot be eternal. He cannot leave one person eternal torment and draw people to himself. Right? That’s right, logically, is fraying.

Brian Smith 37:26
Yeah, and it’s, you know, it’s interesting, as we do go through this logically, and use your left brain person, and I think I am too, you know, as I was, as I read these arguments, and as I start to read the, the real words of Jesus and how take it metaphorically, and as we compare Calvinism arminianism. Now, if we combine those two things, and say that God does want to save everybody, and God is sovereign, and that God’s grace is irresistible, then we come to the conclusion that everyone must be saved, because of God wills it and God is omnipotent, omnipotent, and it must happen. And that’s the conclusion of Christian universalism.

Unknown Speaker 38:04
That is true. So, if God is omniscient and omnipotent, and God has foreknowledge, and as you said, it’s not God’s will that any pairs for all come to repentance? Why cannot the sovereign God get what God wants? Right? We’re told in job 42. In the United a translation, that’s the James, that then also Revised Standard Version, that no purpose of God can be forwarded. Well, that would include God’s plan of salvation and whatnot,

Brian Smith 38:33
that would be the most important thing.

Unknown Speaker 38:36
Yeah, can’t be thwarted because God is sovereign. God has decided he is going to all people himself. He’s the longshore process and destroying sin, consuming sand purifying centers and perfect love. So eventually, all will come to the Lord Jesus Christ him through the Lord Jesus Christ. They’ll bother me as Philippians two says, Every So Bob knows that heaven knows on earth and those under the earth. That’s a three story first century cosmology. We’ve got Earth here, heaven up there, and hell down there. We know today, the universe is infinite fraction, but that’s how we understood them. So those under the earth, that’s Satan’s domain. So Satan and the demons are also going to be buying their own capacity Jesus Christ for the glory of God the Father to devil can you say, the devil can I will be saved? In Matthew 2541. Jesus said department to the centers into the alien fire prepared for devil is angels. So people can be saved the demons and that will be saved as well. It’s the same fire. There’s 46 legal entity own Empire, prepare for the devil and his angels were told, but there’s a case of a really serious mistranslation. We talked about the righteous going into eternal life, the androids going to eternal punishment. What translate is punishment is the word colossal Greek word colossal space pruning. And it means to prune plants to cause them to grow better. And that’s what molten Milligan say, and their massive volume, testing the two great experts that you own and means that it was the reasons not to do whether it’s at an infinite distance, or no longer than the span of a Caesars live, it’s gonna be very long and very short, depending on the context. So the translate that as eternal punishment, the eternal proving that you might get annihilation on that, because after all, would be nothing left to prove, right. But logically, proving indicates something that’s good, you prove dead limbs is going to cause the plants the tree to grow better produce more fruits, right.

Brian Smith 40:36
So and this is, this is interesting, because and this is taking some of these verses that we thought proved eternal torment, and really understanding them and understanding the original language and putting them in the context and understanding that we’ve been taught the exact opposite of what these things, you know, mean. And I was I was talking with my with my daughter last night. And we raised her in the church, but she’s now says, she doesn’t believe in that. And I’m like, that’s fine. We raised you to be a free thinker. But I was explaining her the way that I believe and all the studies that I’ve done, and she’s like, Oh, well, that that makes more sense. And some stuff that I was taught, we tried to take her to get churches, I think we did, but most churches do not, do not preach this and, and for most Christians, you know, like when they hear Christian Universalist, it’s like, oh, that’s a new thing. That’s some new thing that just people may not. So you might want to explain to people what the real history of Christian universalism is, as well, you got to do what’s

Unknown Speaker 41:29
covered in the book, as you know, not anything by any means. That’s what Jesus taught, about the apostles praise in the early church lay for at least the first 500 years of church history, has already explained some of the things that Jesus said, Paul wrote, everything evolving over time to the person, and john and the revelation. And this great the often in this nation of God, so ever created being in heaven, on Earth, on Earth, honestly, and all things in them. That’s the point of redundancy. Be sure we don’t miss the point. Not one creative being in the whole universe fail to participate in this great hymn of adoration and praise, where they were singing to the one who sits on the throne, the Lord God Almighty, and to the Lamb. He glory, blessing dominion and power forever and ever. So that’s a wonderful message of Christian universalism. So what happened with this, the church got off track by Roman emperors, being the head of the church, and Emperor is all about control. They’re control freaks. And so the best way to control people is have the greatest fear, I’ll kill you, if you rebel against me. And then if we get the, the pope or whatever legislator we have, he has the power to damage your soul to hell forever. That’s the ultimate weapon control, is it not? So there’s we got off track. And here’s the interesting thing, historical facts which I love about the history major studies, Major, European American history. And I know the origin was the church’s first systematic theologian, was born at 185. He died to 254 69 in full communion, that has good standing with the Christian church, to which he devoted his godly life. But when we think of him as a heretic, for believing in Christian universalism, and the idea,

Brian Smith 43:19
I’m gonna get some time to 505 5553.

Unknown Speaker 43:21
Okay, what’s the 299 years after his death, what we’re good at cadenza one 300 years after they’re dead.

Brian Smith 43:32
Right. Right. Exactly. And that’s, and that’s the history that I learned when I started studying these things. You know, because we’re taught that these things have been this is what it’s always been that the church has always believed this night. And what I want to do with this with this interview is encourage people to study and to learn, and to approach the Bible with a new approach because it said I was I was on this group the other day with these people that were just basically just throw I call it throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And I’ve seen this happen so many times, people, they go from being a believing Christian with hope of heaven to I hate the word atheist, to a materialist, they’re like, the whole thing just doesn’t make any sense. So I’m just throwing the whole thing out. And I don’t have anything to any more thing more to do with this because it is literally I love the fact that you don’t mince words. It’s insanity. It’s it’s, it’s torture, you know what I call it what it is, it’s this idea of eternal, you know, damnation, and it makes God as I said, weak and ineffective or both rightful?

Unknown Speaker 44:35
It does it just destroys the character of God. It’s nothing to be done that’s more immoral and more insulting, more demeaning to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ is nonsense, not eternal punishment. And there’s a thing called the doctrine of reserve. If you haven’t heard that one, but if you haven’t, that means that even this was sent to me by the likes of a nice committee buddy domination that voted condemned me as a heretic for belief. Think that Jesus won’t save the whole world. And finally else’s, even if you’re right, even if Jesus is going to say better, would it be better to preach the document eternal punishment in the fire of hell? And then in the end, if everyone is saying, What harm will have been done, oh, God said, What? Gross spiritual immaturity. Wow, see, the harm has been done to me as a kid, as a 12 year old in my teen years and wasted that much of my life, worrying about that, and then worrying about salvation of other people, getting them saved. But once you’re totally too late, and you say what harm to be done?

Brian Smith 45:37
Yeah, and you know, that’s just I’m sorry, when someone when you’re hurt, it’s just shocking the system because as, as a child, and again, my grandfather loved them, I still respect them. My parents, they were trying to do the best thing for me. But it’s it’s torment to teach a child that a sensitive person that really understands what you’re saying to them to understand first. Yeah, and then say that I am just this awful, terrible being that guy can only say because he killed his own son and sprinkled his blood on me. It’s just horrible. And it’s not just children I fortunately escaped from but you talk in your book about the insanity that’s causing people to even kill their own children?

Unknown Speaker 46:18
Yes, I’ll kill 500 children all five, and save them from eternal damnation send them on the hill before it was totally too late before? Well, by the age of accountability,

Brian Smith 46:29
and I was talking to my daughter about this last night. My daughter is a mental health professional, she’s a licensed professional counselor just got her license. And I said, you know, people will look at that and say, Oh, that’s that crazy religious person. She was insane. I’m like, What she did was insane. But what she did was rational. If you love your children, and you see them approaching the age of accountability, and it doesn’t look like they are going to make the right decision, then logically to kill them

Unknown Speaker 46:56
would be the most loving thing you could do. What the churches don’t teach that. But logically, that would be and here’s another thing, that if people who love children really are children, then the best thing you do is not to Henschel. So we won’t have any chance getting burned.

Brian Smith 47:11
When I was a kid, before I understood that my parents decided to have me I blame God. But if I, if I had known what I know, now, I would have blamed that why would you bring me into this situation? This is, this is it’s not worth the risk. It’s not worth living your 60 or 70 years to be tormented eternally.

Unknown Speaker 47:27
As a 10 year old, I wanted to ask my parents that question, did you believe in total motion before you hit me? Suddenly, it’d be hurtful to them that I didn’t ask them because it loved me. But what if you believe in eternal punishment? Why don’t you have children, any children, and I made up my mind that I thought I would never have children even admit losing the girl the love of my life at that time, which I did. It wasn’t because of that, as I was 27, before getting married at 30 years old, before my third year of seminary, because widely understood the Bible well enough to risk bringing a child into this world that really wants to save everyone. So that having almost everyone to health room. Hill was not literal. It was corrected image.

Brian Smith 48:08
Yeah. And that is that is the harm. And I was talking with a friend of mine who was taught the same stuff. And he was taught about what he was actually taught, Jesus was coming back at any moment. And it’s like, if Jesus is coming back at any moment, then there’s no point and you go into college, there’s no point you saving for retirement cuz you’re, you’re not going to be here. So he literally did not go to college or save any money. So we do real damage in the world when we teach these these crazy things, and so don’t so people can’t, you know, to say, well, let’s just teach this anyway, you know, just just in case now,

Unknown Speaker 48:44
no, not at all. Absolutely. Right. It’s absolutely awful that people would do that and teach that thinking they’re doing a good thing, when they’re terribly perverting the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brian Smith 48:55

Unknown Speaker 48:56
And it what people say but love, he always argued, in fact, more flies with honey than with vinegar. Let me say that.

Brian Smith 49:03
Yes. And but it’s, it’s such a childish view of of God, it’s a child’s view of people, you know, because I, you know, I hear people in the church, well, if you teach that to people, they’re going to do whatever they want. Why would they? Why would they? Yeah, why would anybody be good? Why would anybody bother to come to church? You know, it’s

Unknown Speaker 49:23
like the outside, you know, do good for goodness sake. It’s a concept that doesn’t seem to occur to these people, that maybe I’ll do good out of out of gratitude. You know, the person being altruistic doing the right thing for the right reason not out of any fear of punishment or any reward just altruistically. Like I had an evangelical pastor Tell me, boy, if I believe what you believe, but everyone thinks I’d go have a good time. Wow. Yeah, pastor of a church. And I said, Well, what sense Do you want to commit? You want to lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery? What is it and then he realized that was such a foolish thing. Something he said he looked down at the floor, hung his head and would not answer the question.

Brian Smith 50:05
Yeah. And that’s that shows that just a very low. there’s a there’s a story. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s a great story. Jose Balu, the the Universalist circuit preacher was out riding with another pastor and the guy said, If I believe that she believed I would, you know, knock you over the head and steal your horse. And the guy said Jose Balu said, No, if you believe what I would believe you would never think about doing that. So this idea that it’s a license to sin, you know, and I love that that answer you don’t like someone said, you know, if I was an atheist atheist, someone said that he’s an atheist. Well, I would rape his murder as much as I wanted to, because I rape and murder as much as I want to, but I don’t want to rape and murder.

Unknown Speaker 50:47
Well, then you have my book, he said, as far as the Christianity about and soon and in there. I just like to share this. I guess we’re probably getting near the end. Yeah, please. But the first chapter is, as you know, it’s the title of Christianity within Sandy. Well, the book is without insanity. But the top 10 oxymorons, by the way that word oxymoron. As you probably know, it comes to two Greek words oxus being sharp walking in more automating dull or foolish. Oh, wow. So it’s inherently awesome. What has inherent contradiction, okay, so we need to eliminate oxymorons from Christianity to make it attractive to people and get people safe through love rather than through fear. And so these are the top 10 oxymorons accordion my listing here, the top 10 lists in reverse order. 10 is that’s perfectly proportional justice and eternal hell. Nine, does this have an unpaired almost all parents 870 overruled by human free will, is the Calvinist of anything. I mean, they’re seven God’s omniscience and inability to change freewill, six God’s omnipotence and evidence to save all persons. That’s on my presence and eternal separation from God. You hear that a lot of eternal separation. It’s impossible. God’s out of my presence. You can’t be separate, right? That’s why God’s even in hell. She’ll, number four, God’s amazing grace and eternal punishment in hell. Three, God’s unconditional love and eternal torment on how to God’s everlasting love and eternal damnation in hell. And here’s number one, my favorite, God’s infinite mercy and eternal torture.

Brian Smith 52:26
Right? Right. These things cannot connect coexist,

Unknown Speaker 52:30
right? Here’s my third book, I just finished running this one. Okay, well, I find the Bible e through Z. And the God is far, the baptism of fire and salted with fire. And then you have the salt shaker are coming out of the holes in in reverse layout is purified by fire Martin 949. So looking forward to people eating that some people already told me that they really helped them a lot. One woman told me it’s fun and amazing, so informative, and was helping to change your life.

Brian Smith 53:02
Absolutely. And I do want to recommend, and I’ll put in the show notes, the titles of all your books. So I recommend that people do do get them and do and do study. And you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And it’s interesting to situations I man where I’ve where I’m helping people understand the afterlife, which is what I do a lot of the time and, again, talk with people about toxic religion. And there is you know, there is still beauty in the Bible, there’s still there’s definitely beauty in Jesus words and what Jesus taught, and even what Paul taught, if we learn how to read it properly and understand how it’s been corrupted. I mean, the Bible has been corrupted by by the church

Unknown Speaker 53:44
has translations and more than interpretation translations like that. Let me say this, too, as far as the revelation, many hospice patients and other people are so fearful of getting thrown into like a fire and brimstone that many times, yes, I say, what is the word brimstone? Yes, let’s talk about that. So the only person been able to tell me that out of 100 people is a retired chemist. And he told me that means sulfur. And sulfur was a wonder drug an ancient we’re looking at some of this. So when I shared this with my mother, which is 75 years old, she said, Oh, boy, that makes sense to me about the lake of burning sulfur, and so on. Why would that make sense to you? And she said, Well, because she remembered helping her dad, my grandfather sulfur apples when she was a young girl, huh? So I never heard of that. I said, How do you sell for apples? And what do you sell for apples? And I said, does that leave it off? I aftertaste because I’ve never had that chemistry in high school chemistry class that burning sulfur smell. And she said, No, it doesn’t leave an aftertaste and the apples taste delicious that way but he said you do it to go plant light and any disease and to preserve the animals so you can preserve them on winter that way. She said you slice them up, put them in a big pots scale by the placement centers. Send in silverpop send on fire and they get on building because it will fumigation. No. But that’s why people understood long before canning and freezing to preserve the produce. Also, sulfur place mature body store, it would also someone died in infects in a home of infectious disease, they burn software to disinfect the house. And software can be taken internally and externally for various melodies. So every software is used out of a national connotation, until the Chinese centuries later, forgot to wait to use software to make gunpowder. Right.

Brian Smith 55:35
And I think that’s really important. And I want to emphasize that, you know, because the thing is, the Bible is a metaphorical book. And it was written a long time ago, and a lot of the metaphors don’t make sense directly in English. So when we think of software, we think of something stinky. And we think this is going to be this place. And the ancient people that heard Jesus would have heard purification, they would have heard healing, demand, and what we’ve been taught to heal to read it exactly the opposite. So we really, really need to understand the language of the day. And the metaphors of the day so we can understand what Jesus was was really saying, right? That’s exactly right. Yeah. And I really appreciate you know, the fact that you do that in your book, and I love the I love that you. You know, the people, you know, what the religion, you’ve got to check your brain at the door, and just go in and believe whatever they tell you. And even if it’s even if it’s offensive to your senses, and you alluded earlier to all the little things, again, was talking about yesterday. And there’s a guy and I hate to say this, but I’m going to say it. A lot of churches are basically cults, you say they, they ruled by fear and intimidation. And when I when you’re when you’re a little kid to give these verses and say, Look, someone’s going to come along and try to tell you something different. Don’t listen. They’re tickling your ears to leading you to destruction. You can’t so believe whatever we’re telling you right now. And don’t believe anything that anybody else ever tells you.

Unknown Speaker 57:03
What you believe what makes sense to you doesn’t make sense. So you don’t waver? Right?

Brian Smith 57:08
Right. And that’s what that’s exactly what the opposite of what you’ll be taught as a child and a lot of these, you know, Sunday schools and stuff so I’m, you know, and the thing is, there’s so much out there, you know, I’ve read like Marcus Borg, john Spang, and your book now and Thomas Talbot, you know, brilliant people that have studied these things. I can teach you the truth like use, I was shocked when I was discovering Christian universalism. They said the first 500 years of the church, the doctrine was universalism, the doctrine was Jesus and saved everybody. I was like, 50 before I heard that,

Unknown Speaker 57:41
right, exactly. I was talking to her as a teenager. Well, before I heard that as an eight year old that totally changed my life. Yes, absolutely. Well,

Brian Smith 57:50
I’m Dr. Purcell it’s been a it’s been wonderful getting to know you and having this conversation with you. Thank you for for your books. I thank you for your time doing this today. Any last words you want to say before we wrap up today?

Unknown Speaker 58:04
Well, thank you for having me on and great interview and you have a wonderful voice. I guess you’re in the right profession with a voice you have very melodious and very pleasing voice. But I mentioned I’m one helping questions known as the wounded healer. So I just want to make people’s I can to find peace with God, trying to call the mind healing for damaged emotions, enjoy of living. In Christian universalism does that it’ll bring people together, a world now so torn by religious violence, all kinds, especially religious strife. But someday we’ll become tolerant, peaceful. And Jesus, the Old Testament prophet said, Isaiah, that someday that the rice so rushed down like a binary string, now’s the Lord to fill the hole or they’ll be nothing armor, I thought the whole world. And so I guess I’m like, tore down and that’s not just the 1000 year millennial reign of Christ. That’s a never ending reign of God Almighty. And Christ has gone all people to himself, when all evil has been abolished, and there’s only good and right and righteousness throughout the whole world and the whole universe. Well, everybody, will everyone else just as God has instructed us to do through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brian Smith 59:18
Yeah, looking forward to that day. Thank you very much, have a great rest of your day. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

Transcribed by

Barby Ingle is a best-selling author, reality personality, and lives with multiple rare and chronic diseases; reflex sympathetic dystrophy(RSD), migralepsy, PALB2-var, endometriosis, and other pain disorders. Barby is a chronic pain educator, patient advocate, and president of the International Pain Foundation. She is also a motivational speaker and best-selling author on pain topics.

Barby knows grief from the loss of loved ones in her life as well, both her parents, and her grandparents have passed on.

Barby was living her dream. She trained and performed cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics starting at age 4 through college. Straight out of college. Barby started a cheer/dance training company. A year later she was hired by Washington State University as the head spirit program coach.

Barby has been battling chronic pain since 1997. First with Endometriosis which resulted in a full hysterectomy and left oophorectomy. Then in 2002, she developed Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a progressive neuro-autoimmune condition that affects multiple systems in the body and needs to be treated early so that disability does not take over and TMJ. Barby lost her physical abilities was bedbound for years.  Barby used a wheelchair to get out of bed. It took 3 years to get a proper diagnosis and another 4 years to get the proper treatment.

As she searches for a cure, she has become her own best advocate and work sharing the information so that others do not have the same life struggles that I have. Even after seeing over 100 healthcare professionals, having major surgeries she didn’t need, complications such as internal bleeding, medication interactions, kidney stones, tumors, severe constipation and so much more – Barby did not give up or give in!

In this interview, Barby teaches how we can also become our own best advocates.

Her blog, reality shows, and media appearances are used as a platform to help her become an e-Patient advocate, and she presents at healthcare conferences, speaking publicly, sharing her story, educating and advocating for patients across the globe.





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be.

We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted

and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree.

Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth and today I’ve got with me Barbie angle. I’m going to read Barbie’s bio and then we’re going to have a conversation like we always do. Barbie, she’s a best selling author, a reality personality. She lives with multiple rare and chronic diseases. And I’m going to try to get these right. reflex sympathetic dystrophy microlab see powerbar tuvar endometriosis and other pain disorders. Barbie is a chronic pain educator. She’s a patient advocate, and she’s president of the International pain foundation. She’s also a motivational speaker and she’s a best selling author on pain topics. Barbie was living a dream she trained to perform cheerleading, dance and gymnastics starting at age four through college. straight out of college she started her own cheer dance training company. And a year later she was hired by Washington State University as the head spirit program coach. She has been battling chronic pain since 1977. First with endometriosis, which resulted in a sympathetic dystrophy in a progressive neuron autoimmune condition that affects multiple systems in her body and needs to be treated early. So the disability is not take over. She lost her physical abilities, it was bed bound for years, using a wheelchair to get out of bed. It took her three years to get a proper diagnosis, and another four years to get the proper treatment. So Barbie knows firsthand how hard it is to continue looking for relief for perfect dancers and then coming up against healthcare professionals who blow you off or don’t believe what you’re saying. Could be actually what you’re experiencing. So as she searched for our cure, as she’s searching for a cure, she’s become her own best advocate. And she works sharing information so that others do not have the same life struggles that she has. Even after seeing over 100 healthcare professionals having major surgery she didn’t need having complications such as internal bleeding, medication interactions, kidney stones, tumors, severe constipation and more. Barbie never gave up or gave in. She was tested to her limits. And she realized that they’re past the boundaries that she had placed in herself. Barbie puts it I had to become the chief of staff of my own medical team. And she says if I can do it anyone can we just need support and hope so Barbie, I thank you for being here today with greater growth.

Barby Ingle 3:04
Thank you so much. I’m glad to be here and great job on on trying to pronounce those diseases. rare diseases are 7000. So you did a really good job trying to pronounce the ones that I have. I’m doing dystrophy. He said dystrophy which I kind of like this trophy better. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then, um, the the, you said, pal there calvaire or something like that. And that’s da o. B is like spelled out. Okay, pe lB eristic. Short for variant and that’s breast cancer. Okay. Okay. So specific genetic breast cancer. Okay, now, these things came on you after you were a professional chair? cheater, right? Yes. Okay. And was it all at once or tell me how this how this progress. So enemy trusses came first. And that is something that women deal with. It’s when your uterus grows inside of your body and starts attaching to other organs into the abdomen wall. And that was an experience for me. But I got through it and past it and had undergo multiple surgeries, treatments, medications, and felt like I conquered the world. But in that time, I still was able to fight my way through and it didn’t affect work as much as you know, it could have and

and then I was like, Yes, I conquered the world. And God said No, you didn’t. You’re still not on the right path and starts dropping Bigger Bolder. So next was reflex sympathetic dystrophy. And that’s the one that was the worst if I had had injuries as an athlete throughout my life, and it was always easy to overcome. RSD was definitely not easy to overcome and it actually took me from writing around

In limousines and private jets, and on top of the world, living my dreams, taking life for granted to having nothing, I lost my first marriage, my house, my health finances, that I went from on top of the world food stamps and had to start over. And that was definitely something that hit me the hardest. And then secondary to that all these other things started developing like the micro lepsy, which is seizures connected to migraines, the migraines are connected to the reflex sympathetic dystrophy. And so that kind of just spiraled, the other things came after RSD really triggered my body to attack itself. So everything I was facing,

in my genes and in lifestyle and environment, started attacking.

Brian Smith 5:53
Yeah, so I can, I can’t even imagine what that must have been like to have one really bad thing and feel like you’ve gotten over that and have these other things, you know, start coming on you. So what was it like when you started dealing with the medical community?

Barby Ingle 6:10
When I was going through endometriosis, I never really stopped to pay attention. When I developed RSD, I knew I wouldn’t give up the life that I had. And so I was fighting to get that back. And you know, going from doctor to doctor provider to provider, I was doing what they told me to do, I was not taking responsibility, I was putting it all on them, fix me, fix me fix me, I would go in crying, and just saying it hurts fix me. And they didn’t have really anything to go on. Because I wasn’t able to speak to them correctly. I wish that was taught to us in even elementary school, start teaching the vocabulary and things that we’ll need if we do develop a chronic illness, or a loved one develops a chronic illness, because it’s one in three people that are going to face something that’s this dramatic and tragic like this, and we’re not ready. And so I had to become my own best advocate, I had to start learning to speak the same language, I had to learn that the medical system is working as designed, which is poorly, and that our doctors are really smart. They’re very educated, but most of them choose a specialty. So they don’t know what 7000 rare diseases, they don’t know all the diseases, so they could be a neurologist, but they might specialize in multiple sclerosis. And even though RSD you need a neurologist on your team, you have to find one that specialized in your condition, not just a neurologist, so you can get started by going to a correct doctor. But if they didn’t study that specialty, that rare disease, they’re still not going to be able to help you. And I didn’t understand that. And so it took me 43 doctors to get to the right doctor

Brian Smith 8:02
43 Yeah, yeah. 100 Yeah, I have, I have friends that have some some rare conditions. And I know they talk about the frustration of trying to get the doctor to understand, to believe them, to really get to know them as a person as just seeing them as this particular disease.

Barby Ingle 8:24
Yes, one of the things that was helpful for me, right from the beginning, this was so different in this was the burning fire pain of RSD feels like some lighter fluid on you or in your veins and caught you on fire. And you just you’re consumed with putting out the fire. And it’s hard to concentrate. But one of the things I started doing was taking notes every day, slept for 20 hours. I, you know, these are the things I’m experiencing. And after a few months, you start seeing patterns. The thing I didn’t do was I didn’t share for the first three years what I was keeping in my journal, so it wasn’t helping the providers. It wasn’t helping me. So not, don’t just keep notes. But once you start seeing what helps what hurts, serve, giving that information, use those adjectives that you’re putting in your journal with your medical providers. Because if I had said burning fire pain from the beginning, instead of just pain, it would have launched me in a different direction. And I think I would have gotten treatment sooner. And I think I would have gotten more correct access to care. I got over treated under treated and mistreated because I didn’t have the right vocabulary.

Brian Smith 9:35
Yeah, that’s that’s an awesome, excellent point. And you talked about you know, being our own advocate and because a lot of times, we’re taught the doctors know everything we’re taught to to just to defer to them. Just go in as you said, say fix me and we’re not taught to to try to learn ourselves and be our own advocates

Barby Ingle 9:57
separately, and we Because of that, that is that is exactly what we’re taught as children, if you don’t feel good, your mom takes you to the doctor, or dad takes you to the doctor, and they give you some medicine and you go home and you start feeling better within hours, two days. And, you know, they told me after my accident that triggered the RSD, to start attacking my body. They told me I’d be better in three or four days when I went to the hospital. And here we are, later. So if they were wrong, and it took, you know, three years to get a proper diagnosis, it took another four years after that to get the right treatment for myself. And it just was a strike of fight a struggle and a challenge the whole way through. And I had, I grieved, I wanted my old life back so bad, it was a full on grieving process to realize all the things I had lost. And people like I married now and I have a husband who he didn’t know me before, he didn’t know what I lost. He just saw me for who I was now in front of him, and fell in love with me for what he saw, of who I was in, in my worst moments of my life. So in my head, I’m going through all this grief and in his head. He’s like, why are you sad? Why are you depressed? You’re you have this amazing life, you are an awesome person. Why can’t you see that?

Brian Smith 11:29
Yeah, yeah, you know, grief is and grief can come from a lot of things. We think of grief, a lot of times associated with with death, and now you’ve had some loss in your life to also have people. But sometimes people don’t understand that losing a lifestyle can be just as grievous of an event it can cause just the same types of feelings. And I really, it’s interesting what you said about your current husband, because he doesn’t know the loss. He doesn’t know what you had before. He doesn’t see that loss, right. He sees you as what you are now.

Barby Ingle 12:02
Yeah, it’s, it’s incredible. If you’re not going through the grief, how you can see the positives in life. And that’s something that takes practice when you are in the midst of the grief. Like even I like you said, I lost a lot of people. I’m the I’m the third oldest living member of our family, there’s only 14 of us left. All my grandparents and parents and everybody had passed away step parents have passed away. And that like, as as they passed away, it was sad. And I had I had that grief in that that moment. But it was something I was able to move on and move through. I’ve lost boyfriend’s one was in high school, drinking and driving, he knew he was too drunk to drive. So he asked somebody else that only had two beers to drive him home. And that two beers was too much. And he had on collision with another car and killed my boyfriend. So I’ve had grief with losing people in my life as well. Losing my dad in 2016 was a totally different kind of grief. He was our Cornerstone in our family. He was the one who taught us that life lessons and, and made sure that that we were Okay, he’s the one who got me through mentally, and, and, and helped me through the grief of losing the life that I had built for myself. And then he was gone. And that took, I mean, even just tell the lockdown until the pandemics I was still, you know, grieving, you know, for years that every time you said anything about my dad or something happened in and it was about my dad, or it reminded me of something my dad taught me I would start crying. I just burst into tears. And it’s like, this is not normal to go through so much grief or is it? You know, with the other people that had passed when when my mom passed the year before a woman told me, it’s okay to cry, Jesus catches your tears. And I’m like, but I’m okay. My mom’s in a better place. I had that comfort. With my dad, it was just a grief in myself.

Brian Smith 14:11
Yeah. And that’s, you know, grief is different for every person. And it’s different for every person that we lose, because you have a different relationship with them. And I think a lot of times we expect it to be the same. But you know, it’s you said even with parents with one parent, it might be one way to another parent. It might be another way. I’m wondering with all the grief you’re going through with the medical things, how did that impact your grief when when people would pass away that? How did that work?

Barby Ingle 14:40
It definitely caused me to flare, that’s what we call it when the symptoms exacerbate right now, since 2009, I’ve been in and out of remission. So I do have to use my wheelchair some times but it’s not every day. It’s not i’m not stuck in bed every single day anymore but I I do have a treatment that’s helpful and got me living life again. When I go through the grief, it kind of puts chemicals, not kind of it does, it puts chemicals into my body physically, that causes everything to be heightened, including my emotions. So when you’re going through grief when you’re going through depression, which who wouldn’t be depressed if you feel like you’ve lost everything, or you’ve lost the anchor in your life or the tether, so it definitely, you go through that that chemical reaction which exacerbates the symptoms of the diseases that I live with. And so even though it wasn’t something that happened to me, it was, you know, my father passing away, or my mother, my grandmother passing away, it happened to them, but I feel it physically. But I also if my husband cuts his hand, I, if I see that cut, or I see it happen, I have that physical pain, I take on his physical pain. He’s like, it doesn’t hurt that bad. I’m like, it’s excruciating. Like, what do you mean, it doesn’t hurt that bad, right. And for me, it’s excruciating. And that’s how my brain is processing processing the situation, even though it’s not happening to me. And so it happens when when I lose somebody, it happens when I see somebody get hurt or injured. My body physically takes that on.

Brian Smith 16:25
Well, that’s just another example of how I believe we’re all one. And some people don’t really realize that some people realize that on a much deeper level. And it sounds like you’re one of those people that I’m the same way, if I see someone get cut, I don’t feel pain. But if there’s a weird feeling, I get like in my stomach, you know, it’s just like, I can connect with that. And so when you said when someone passes away, it doesn’t happen to me. Well, yeah, everything that happens happens to us. Right? It’s, it’s all from our perspective, so I can understand why you would feel that intense grief when when people you know, leave.

Barby Ingle 16:59
Yeah. And, and I do and I think I tried to say it’s not happening to me, because I’m trying to use my mental tools, skills to try to try to move through the grief right to the other side. So I try to reframe the, that happened to them. So I still have, I’m still here on Earth, I’m in this room, I still have to do the things that I need to do to live this life to the fullest until it is my time to go on to heaven. So I tried to separate it. Yeah, a little bit to help protect myself. No, I keep moving forward.

Brian Smith 17:40
Yeah, I understand. We do have to have a certain amount of separation. And, you know, it’s, it’s reminds me of, you know, having children, like with my daughter, you know, anything that happens to her, I feel like I feel it worse than she does, but I can’t control her life. So there’s this, this this thing we have to do with ourselves, I have to say, Okay, well, that’s her life. You know, I can’t control that. But still it hurts.

Barby Ingle 18:02
Yes. Yeah, it’s okay. That it hurts. Right? Right. It’s something that that it’s part of being human. And I believe we are connected in one of my experiences, I had a near death experience, my lung collapse, and it was laying on my heart is causing cardiac arrest that emergency surgery. In that process, my life flashed before me as if I was on my way to heaven. And I woke up in a hospital room thinking heavens not as pretty as I thought it was going to be. Really, yes. And, and but I was actually still here on Earth. But I my life flashed before me. And what I learned was let go of the stress, like golf, the small stuff, that the thing that matters most here on earth is human connection. And the person that like you didn’t even think for two seconds about, you might have changed their life by smiling at them, or holding a door for them or asking if they’re okay. Like that two second interaction that you hear on earth in this room, we feel like it doesn’t matter. That human connection, that networking that we’re building matters the most that is what matters. And even if it’s for two seconds, or or your whole lifetime, somebody in your life it all matters. Yes. And, and all the stuff that I stressed about Dad, how am I going to eat? I don’t even I don’t even have any money anymore. Barbie, God will provide you You just have to trust and believe and, and, you know, it’s

he was right. I never went a day starving. There was always a resource or something when I need it. That comes into my life. And it’s because of the networking connections in the focus on human connection versus on things and people I rather have the life experience now. Then an item or something that

value, I would rather have time with a person.

Brian Smith 20:03
Yeah. So, um, earlier, we talked about engine, endometriosis, and you felt like you kind of got through that. And then you got hit with this other thing you mentioned, like God threw something into your life. So what is what are your feelings about why these things have happened to you?

Barby Ingle 20:21
Well, I think that we have a life plan and things happen to us to help us fulfill our purpose. So we can’t always see it at the time. But when you look back, you can say, if that didn’t happen, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I’ve I’ve literally helped save lives, like having patients trying to commit suicide run into the street, and we’re physically right there, to stop them, help them and continue to get them help. That I wouldn’t have been there in that moment, that person would, would have still had the pain that they have in the grief that they have and what they were going through. But I wouldn’t have been there to help them and I was supposed to be. So what I’ve been through is to help me help other people. And that is my purpose here on earth. And and I was taking life for granted. When I got sick with rst. I literally wasn’t thinking about life, I was thinking about me, and where am I going to shine and what am I going to do? And now I live more abundantly, not thinking about Oh, what can I get out of this? But Where am I supposed to be let me stop and think let me stop and process. But God was giving me signals and he was like he gave me an Dimitrios is and not to be mean or harsh or, or put a wrath on me. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. I don’t think it has anything to do with that. And I wasn’t doing bad things like I wasn’t killing or murdering or, or hurting people. I just wasn’t living my life for my purpose. And so he was saying, here’s the sun, here’s the sign, here’s the sign. And I was ignoring him. And then he said, here’s a boulder. Yeah, and, and it got me to stop and focus on the things that I was here on earth to focus on. So I stopped wasting time. And time went from being a 24 hour day to living life to your fullest and each moment. And taking away the the stress and the guilt that people can put on you or that you can accept. Now when I start to feel like somebody is putting guilt on me, I will like do a physical action where I take that guilt, and I just drop it out in front of me and say that’s not for me. That’s not my guilt to bear. I it’s it’s, um, it’s my way, again, of coping through, you know, I want to come to your birthday party. But I might only be able to, say five minutes. And that five minutes, I’m going to give you the best meat that I can give you because I wanted to be here and I wanted to be in your life. But physically, I might not be able to handle an hour long or five hour long birthday party that has all this noise and streamers and fun and dancing, I will give you what I can give you because I want to have that human connection with you. And and knowing that this is moments, instead of just a 24 hour period, what all Can you throw into it?

Brian Smith 23:22
Yeah, I am only mindful of I love what you just said there reminds me of a client that I’m working with and who’s in a really deep grieving process for someone that they just lost, you know, like a month or so ago. And people are putting all these expectations on them. And I was I was working with them and said, Well, I have to go to this thing this afternoon. You know, people expected me to be there. And I was like, you need to take care of yourself. And I really liked that physical action that you that you said, I’m just going to take this, and I’m going to drop it. So like, I like that a lot. Because people will they will put things on you. And when we’re in having a physical condition like you are or Warren, we’re in deep grief, self care is the most important thing. And sometimes we have to set boundaries. You know, we talked about all being connected, which is one truth. But there’s another truth that says we have to take care of ourselves. So we need to know where and how to set those boundaries, to say to people, I’m just going to give you what I can give you but I may not be able to give you that right now.

Barby Ingle 24:20
Absolutely. And we forget, like you need to have a good balance of physical, mental and spiritual health. And if one of those things is out of balance, it will not the other parts out of balance. So you know, it really does take a toll on you in and wherever you need that self care. That’s where you need to put put yourself into balance and make sure that that’s okay. And you’re using those tools. And for me having something actionable that I can do just I’m going to drop that right there for for you, me, whoever whoever needs to see that I’m just going to drop that you don’t even have to tell the person you’re doing it. You can mentally help yourself by grabbing that that grief, guilt, whatever it is, that’s negative and dropping it away from you. And, and know that you don’t have to go to a party, you don’t have to go to any anywhere or anything. If you get to go, that’s what living on this earth is. And you get to go. And if you get to give it five minutes, or you get to give it four hours, it’s okay. Everybody’s going to be okay. You have to take care of yourself first, just like on an airplane, you put your oxygen on First, make sure your children are okay, your immediate family, and then you help other people if you can. That’s exactly how God wants us to live is, is help yourself, help your family, help your friends help the bigger network. And and you know, it’s part of giving others doesn’t mean taking away from what you need to do for yourself first, because you can’t fully give you if you’re not full.

Brian Smith 25:59
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, as you say that I was thinking about when I was a kid in Sunday school, they taught us this acronym joy, Jesus, others and you. So you’re supposed to put Jesus first and then others and then yourself, which is what the Bible says, right? It’s backwards. But they were they were teaching this. And unfortunately, I see a lot of people still and especially with women, because I think women are taught even more. It’s all about everybody else. And we need to take care of ourselves first. Absolutely, yes. It’s Jesus, you owe others. Yeah, yeah,

Barby Ingle 26:35
you know, I’m so in. That’s really, to me, that’s what the Bible teaches us. You can’t be living for Jesus, if you’re not taking care of yourself. And, and so that has to come first. And then you can help other people and you will be able to do that more abundantly. Once you are in line with yourself, and and it doesn’t mean that, oh, I am not feeling like I’m a 10 out of 10 for for this area of my life. So I can’t help you know, you can still help other people, but you need to have a focus on your life in yourself and making sure your balance is okay. That is your number one job. And then you have that you’ll have abundance, and you can help other people. And it is it is a responsibility to help other people, but not over yourself.

Brian Smith 27:30
Yeah, and I can I completely agree with you. And I look to Jesus as an example. And you know, I think of all the times that Jesus was like, disappear, right? Where is he, you know, he’s off praying, he’s off to and he was taking care of himself, because he was giving so much that he had the he had that sometimes takes time themselves to fill up. And so we look at the example that’s that’s example. And we can, we can only give if we have something to give. And if we burn ourselves out, we can’t. And I, you know, you’re a perfect example, because your body is so sensitive, that but it applies to all of us. If we don’t take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally, it’s going to eventually reflect in our body, and it’s going to it’s going to cause us stress, which leads to other things.

Barby Ingle 28:14
Absolutely. And a lot of times doctors will say like, what else is going on in your life? What else is happening? You know, it can’t just be this physical thing. And you’re like, Oh, well, I stressed from this, or I took on the stress from that, or, you know, it’s interesting, my father in law, he always will say things like, Oh, I gotta go help Jeff or gotta help Susie do these things. And, and I’m like, you don’t got to do it, you’re choosing to do it. So reframe it and put it in a positive frame, you get to go help these people and, and, hey, you hurt your shoulder, you can’t, you can’t be helping them. Hopefully, they can now turn around, you’ve helped them they can help you, because you help them through their tough time. And, but if they can’t, somebody else can and but we’re caregivers for him, yet he’s out caregiving for other people, and we’re like, you actually need to care for yourself first, which will help us not have to care for you as much not that we don’t love you. We just have to have time to spend on ourselves and caregiving for ourselves as well. So there has to be a balance or you see the trickle effect in the people you’re trying to help because you want to be able to help somebody so that they can help somebody it may not come back to that person’s belt may not come back to you but it can go on to help somebody else. And that’s the that’s the network that we’re all in that different people can help different people but we have to help ourselves first.

Brian Smith 29:42
Yeah. So I want to ask you so what do you think is made you so resilient? Because I you know, as I hear your stories, other people hear story. People are going, I would have given up at that point. I would be done. So what do you what gets you through this?

Announcer 29:59
Well 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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f, the number two gr o w th calm. If you’d like to support this podcast visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Barby Ingle 30:56
I hear that a lot. And I have reflected on this a lot. And I think part of it is I was born this way. I think also part of it is lifestyle and environment. I I practiced practice they my coaches used to tell me in cheerleading, they would say practice makes perfect. And practice doesn’t make perfect practice makes better. And you know when your team you’re cheering on a team and and the football players are down and they’re giving their all but they’re losing 50 to zero. And you’re still down there on the on the sidelines smiling and trying to get you know noise on a third down and get the crowd pumped up. You have to keep smiling through the diversity, adversity, everything you’re facing in that moment. That that feels like it’s negative. Well, really, in a football game, it doesn’t matter. But for me life is is my game life is where I score my points and my life experiences are points on my board. So if I’m alive, I’m still playing this game. And it might feel at the time that I’m losing 50 to zero, but my game is not over until I move on to heaven. So I can keep going. And I can turn the game around in this quarter or two minute time period, it might be a losing time. But it’s only a moment. And I have the rest of my life with with this game of life. And that I saw I think that practice made me better. But I also believe that I was born with it. But I don’t think all people are born with resilience. I think it’s something that you have to cultivate and grow in. And it and so I’ve done both. And because I practiced my talents given by God, I’ve done better, but I still have my moments I still break down and in in crying grief and, and cry and pain. I just learned to then give myself time to do that and get through that and then pick myself up and use the tools that I practiced and built to move on to the next thing. And sometimes you have to smile through the grief, even though it’s hard. Yeah. God say life was gonna be easy. He said he was going to give us life.

Brian Smith 33:27
Yeah, you just said something there that and I reflect on a lot. And I don’t have an answer yet. You know, if it’s resilience, is it something that’s that’s inborn in us? Or is it something that we can develop? Or I think it’s probably a little bit of both. But I hear so many people say well, and my daughter passed away six years ago when she was 15 years old. And people say oh, I could never live through that. And or people might look at you and say I could never do that. And I say I think that these things reveal what’s already in us. I think we don’t we don’t get a chance to exercise. And I tell people you’re stronger than you realize. Because we all a lot of us have said that we made that comment. I could never live to that. But never. But humans, we have an amazing spirit. And we’ll do what we need to do. And we’ll figure we’ll figure out a way. But you know, but there is an option. I guess people do some people do give up so it could be a little bit of both, I guess.

Barby Ingle 34:21
Absolutely. And I’ve lost a lot of friends to suicide due to pain. And it’s hard and when when I first started losing them to suicide, it’s like hard enough to lose someone to an illness or an accident. It’s out of their control when they choose like I no longer can take this pain. Who am I to say I mean, I can I can pray that they’re there right with God. And maybe that’s their path to teach us the lesson here on earth it our medical systems broken we need to fix it. We need to come up with a cure. And we need to come up with options and treatments that are more helpful. And this could be the catalyst to do that losing that person. But it ultimately, it ultimately was their choice. And I have have chose to make a different choice. And I think part of it is, this is my purpose. Maybe they fulfilled their purpose on earth. And so they feel that and that that was how they’re supposed to go, it’s I won’t know until I get to heaven, and all will be revealed. So I try to trust and believe that, even though they choose that, to give up, it’s not a choice I would make. And it’s not a choice I would put on somebody else or make for someone else. If someone said, I want to die, I would talk I would start a conference. That’s a conversation starter to me. And, okay, let’s talk about Do you know your purpose? Do you know what you’re doing here on earth? When it’s your time to go? You You will go, but you still have a purpose to fulfill? Do you feel like you fulfilled your purpose? Or do you feel like you’re stuck in so now you want to give up because you’re stuck or you don’t like your situation? And that that’s the way you’re choosing to get out of it? There’s other ways to get out of it. Have you thought of those? You know, have you thought through it yet. So I would try to talk somebody out of it, is because I’m so passionate about life and living life to the fullest here on Earth. But I also have lost so many friends that I can’t judge them for that being their choice. It’s sad, it’s hard, it gives me grief. And, and, and, you know, I also have to respect and hope and pray that they were doing what was best for them and not just giving up but really knew that that was was where they wanted to go.

Brian Smith 36:54
Yeah, well, I think that’s a very enlightened point of view, because suicide carries such stigma in our society, and people, you know, sometimes say that this person has given up or they were weak, because they just chose to take their lives and, and it carries stigma for the people left behind. And I personally believe that we should try as best we can not to judge another person person’s path. We don’t know what their path is. We don’t know how that that taking of their life might impact somebody else, even in a positive way. So it’s not first I don’t think it’s for us to say,

Barby Ingle 37:28
right, and that’s exactly how I feel. And but it’s it I didn’t start there. I started with here, right grief that these people are committing suicide was my best friend, she sent me a box. About a month before she passed away with a I mean, it was like a care package. And each, each item in the package had a sticky note on it with a little message. And I still have some of the items from that box that that have her little messages on them. But she literally she I thought she was doing okay, she got married. And the next day jumped out of the 10 storey window.

Brian Smith 38:06
The day after she got married day after

Barby Ingle 38:08
she got married is like you don’t understand, right? You just don’t understand and and she had me to talk to she, she we had talked she had before getting married. She was in a women’s shelter for being battered. You know, she lived through that. What? What what happened in that in that moment that she decided to, to this is it I’m done. This is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m married and I fulfill the goal.

Brian Smith 38:41
Well, that’s, that’s a no, I think that’s another lesson for us. Because I also hear people sometimes when someone around them chooses to take their life will start judging ourselves, I should have known. And there’s a perfect example of we don’t know, we never know what’s going on in someone else’s head. And we hear you know, someone’s taking their life and oh, but they were so happy. You know? Well, we’ll hear that. And it just just goes to show that we can’t, we can’t know what’s going on in someone else’s head.

Barby Ingle 39:08
Right. And that’s between really like we say health, medical is between you and your providers. It kind of what what’s going on in your head is between you and God.

Brian Smith 39:19

Barby Ingle 39:19
I mean, they’re you if you have if you have a mental challenge to get through you, you have people tools here on Earth, including people to help you through it. But ultimately, if you choose that is this is I’m going to choose my time to go I’m going to be in charge at this moment. You know, we really don’t know if there’s anything that we could have done to change that person’s choice except for offer tools, a listening ear, hope and faith. But, but we won’t know why and i and i I’ve come to I’ve grown to understand that I won’t understand all the whys until I go to heaven. And then it will all make sense and it will be answered. And so I thought of it, the growth, I think that most I learned was Patience, patience and knowing that you can’t control every situation, you can’t control anybody else, you are only responsible for yourself. And unless you’re a parent, and then you have to be responsible for your child till they’re 18. But in most parents are parents far longer, like, you know, responsibility wise, far longer than 18. But legally, that’s where you have to live to. And and, you know, then you have to say, all right, it’s up to God. And I don’t understand I don’t see the picture, but I have faith that it’s the right thing.

Brian Smith 40:52
You know, that’s one of the things that I’ve come to my my journey. You know, we were we were children were taught the Bible said, you know, that God works together all things for the good of those who love Him. I expand out even out to because it’s everybody that God loves. And that’s everybody. So I think I think everything even even if you don’t know God, God knows you. Right? And I think I’ve come to the conclusion this is this is not based just on the Bible, this is based upon what near death experiencers tell us. This is based upon a lot of other things that everything is working out the way it’s supposed to be no matter how it appears. So I agree with you. It’s patience. And I love this quote by john lennon, he said everything will be okay in the end. And if everything’s not okay, it’s not the end. And that is that is the patient’s you’re talking about. It’s like, well, this sucks. But it sucks right now. And no, it’s not gonna suck forever. And I don’t know what’s going to come out of this. And that includes everything. As I said, even with someone who chooses to take their life. We don’t know, we don’t know how that fits into the big picture.

Barby Ingle 41:57
Absolutely, yeah. It’s hard like with with my dad, we didn’t know like, four days before he passed away was his birthday, he turned 71. And my eyes, I was like, I just have this feeling like, I should push through my pain physically, to get on a plane and go. And my siblings all were like, dad’s doing the best he’s done in years. Don’t worry, you have time. And four days later, he was gone. And I was like, I knew it. Like I knew. I knew I had the message. Go Go now. And I didn’t get it. I listened to people who didn’t know who. Yeah, who who said, He’s fine. He’s the best he’s been. And it was that a gift from God for them. To be with him. Feeling like this is the best he’s been in years. And they got to experience that. I fall on the gift of, he told me everything he knew before that he was supposed to teach me before he passed. What I was supposed to have out of our relationship was complete in, he was able to go without me coming.

Brian Smith 43:14
Right? Right. And then that’s that I love that it’s such a map, everything in life is a matter of perspective. So we can choose how we look at things, we can choose the story that we tell ourselves, you know, and there’s the fact you’re right, there’s a fact that you weren’t there when your father passed. That’s, that’s not changing either way. So you can look at it either, as I missed out on that opportunity, or you looking at it, that’s the way it was supposed to be because he taught me everything that and both are equally true. And both are equally valid. And you can choose how you feel about that situation.

Barby Ingle 43:47
Exactly. Finding finding the positive, and I am a cheerleader, like I find the positive if I’m losing. Yeah, it’s that is something that is that is a talent and something that I practice, like consciously practice it so that when an unconscious thing happens, a challenge arises in my life. It’s easier to get through because I’ve practiced. even getting through the easy times I practice getting through the hard times, I’m able to get through the hard times easier. Because I put that practice in consciously when I don’t even know I need it. That skill is there.

Brian Smith 44:23
Yeah, and you use that word practice a lot. And I do too. And I love And the thing is, for me, I am I am by nature, a glass half empty person. I am I am a pessimist. I’m like, worst case scenario always pops in my head first. So I was talking with a client the other day and I was given her some advices you know, some things to do. And she said, Does this work? And I said, Yeah, it works. But it’s practice. It’s something that you have to work at. So it’s not people could look at you and say, Oh, that’s just you Barbie is I could never be that way I could I could never do that. And I’m here to tell you you can’t. But it’s a matter of putting in the effort. It’s a daily thing.

Barby Ingle 45:01
Yes. Well, I used to think I was a glass half full person. And through all of the experiences and challenges that I’ve faced and gone through, I realized that I’m a glass always full person. And the part you can’t see is hope. Hmm. But my glass is always full. And sometimes I need more hope that I have tools and skills and resources of which is the part everybody else can see. And sometimes I don’t need as much help, because I have so many resources, tools and positivity that’s filling out my glass, but my glass is always full. It’s just not always visible to all the people.

Brian Smith 45:46
Yes, yes. That’s fantastic. Yeah.

Barby Ingle 45:48
And I don’t I’ve not really, I once I say that people go, Yeah, but yeah, glass half full, half empty. I’m always full, whatever empty.

Brian Smith 46:00
And the thing is, it’s all relative. And this is human nature. You know, it’s, it’s actually evolutionary, we focus on the problems, because that’s how that’s how our brains are built. So no matter how good things are, we can always find something that’s wrong. You know, it’s, it’s a little bit too hot in here, you know, until you know, it’s 115 degrees. And then we realized it was great when it was 90. So the thing is, when you have injuries and illnesses and things, then when you’re having a good day, it feels like fantastic.

Barby Ingle 46:34
I so connect with that. I so connect with it. In the beginning, I was like this is the worst pain ever. 10 out of 10. And then I thought it couldn’t get worse. And then things would happen, and it would get worse. And I was like, I wish I could have that old 10 back because that 10 wasn’t really a 10 that I was perceiving it as a 10. But this is this is now my new normal. This is now my new 10. And that is now a two and I would definitely take that that old 10 back. It definitely puts things into perspective, as you face challenges. And as you go through challenges, and really not even it doesn’t have to be a challenge. It could just be living life. It could be the best moment of your life. But then you have your this is the best moment of my life. And and then something else happens in your life. This is the best moment of my life. Yes. worse. Yeah, my niece asked me a cut my some family members have COVID. And, and two of them are struggling really bad. They’re all in different states. They’re all isolated. They just happened to get it. And I’m in my knee. I only have one of these. But my niece said I was talking to her on the phone trying to do mental health with her while she’s seeing her her parents go through this. And she said and Barbie, what’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you? And she knows she I mean, she’s she’s seven. But she knows some of the things I’ve been through. She’s seen some of the things I’ve been through. And, and but my answer was, I haven’t faced it yet. Hmm. The worst thing that’s going to happen to me on this earth is when I go to heaven, which will really be the best thing that ever happens to me. But the worst thing that could happen to me, hasn’t happened yet. Hmm. It was like whoa, Yo, I don’t know if a seven year old can comprehend that. But that’s that when she asked that was like, What came to me? That’s my answer. I’ve been through a lot of bad things. But the worst thing hasn’t happened to me. Because to me that would be not living here. But then I’ll be with Jesus. And I would be like, everything is amazing. And I don’t have worries and I don’t have health challenges, and I don’t have financial issues and and the things that we stress about in this room. I will I will be full and whole. And so it will be the best thing for for my soul. For my physical body, it will be the worst thing because because I won’t be in it. Yeah, no. Well, that’s happened.

Brian Smith 49:12
That to me says this, I’m going to try to put words in your mouth, I don’t, I’m getting a practice where I try not to see myself as my body. So my body is something that I have as opposed to who I am. So for me, death will definitely not be the worst thing because I get to see my daughter again. And so that’s just that’s just a transition into another phase of life. So I don’t know that we know what the worst thing and this is the thing that that again, my practice is like I’m trying not to judge things as good or bad because everything is good and bad. It depends on how you look at it. And as we as you’ve gone through all the things that you’ve gone through and as we read through your list, we’re like, That’s horrible. That’s that sounds awful. But now you’re an international pain advocate. You’re a motivational speaker, you’ve been on a reality, you know, television show, you’re doing all these things because of the, quote, worst things that have happened to you. So I wouldn’t say at this point, my daughter’s passing was a great thing. But I wouldn’t be doing this if it hadn’t been for that. So and that sense, it’s a gift because I believe this is my, this is my purpose. And, and it’s all temporary, I’ll see her again, you know, so yeah, and

Barby Ingle 50:27
for her, it will be the blink of an eye, rather than the blink of an eye for you, if this is our realm of time that we’re currently experiencing. So it definitely is harder to stay here on Earth. If I wasn’t saying that, my body physically that would be the worst thing is right, being this body, but my soul, my my I am, is with God and heaven, and I won’t have any stress or worry or anything else. So it’s like the, it literally is the greatest thing, right? And I get to be with all of the people that have already passed into heaven. And one day, we’ll all you know, all the people that I love and and one around me, we’ll all be together and heaven. Yeah, we have to fulfill our purpose first. And that is the greatness that of living life that God gave us.

Brian Smith 51:16
Yeah, it’s it’s a very, very human thing. And it’s always interesting to me, because I was raised as a Christian, I was raised in a church, the Bible and everything. And when I was about 14, or 15, I was like, Well, if heaven is so great, why does anybody want to go there? And I think it’s because we don’t really, we don’t really believe that it’s real. We don’t you know, we don’t we we kind of do, but you know, we don’t really know, I guess. And once for me, I when Shayna passed away, I started studying the afterlife, and all this other stuff. And I’ve learned so well that I’m like, I don’t fear that anymore. In fact, I’m looking forward to it in a way, I have a purpose to fulfill. Well, I’m here, I will fulfill that purpose while I’m here, but nothing really bad can happen to me.

Barby Ingle 51:59
Right? Oh, and I remember as a kid, they would be like, you’re supposed to fear God. And I was like, No, like, God loves me. But why should you fear somebody who who loves you? Fear if you are doing harm to yourself or others, that’s when you should hear him. But if you’re living in God’s light, there’s no need for fear. There’s you you know, we’re here for a purpose and God gave us free will he gave us choice he gave us the ability to fulfill our purpose. All we have to do is take action and and back to your body as a vessel. I really wouldn’t like all this UFO stuff in the last few years is coming into play. I started thinking about like, well really Earth is a UFO really my body is a UFO I like it’s a tool to get me around the sun. And and I’m on Earth, which is a vehicle to get me around the sun that like where I get to live my life. But that’s what a UFO is like. It’s a it’s a object that takes something or somebody around wherever the universe to get my body is my vessel while I’m here on Earth, but I will be with with the Almighty. Oh, I am it he is. And I and so this is just my vehicle that I’m taking right now. I will move on to my my whatever the next one looks like I don’t know, I imagined it to be a bright light. And and maybe twinkling stars. I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. But it will be having when I get there.

Brian Smith 53:46
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So um, what getting back to the medical aspects. So what would you tell people that are either in chronic pain or have rare disorders are having difficulty getting diagnosed? What are some things that they can do? What’s some advice you could give?

Barby Ingle 54:02
practical advice would be learn about the condition you have, if you’re not yet diagnosed, it means what your idiopathic is what they call it, they don’t understand it yet. That doesn’t mean it’s not real or that you’re not going through it. It just means that the doctors haven’t figured it out yet. Keep moving forward. Learn as much as you can make a journal, create an oasis around you. And whether that be your bed bound, create that Oasis around you in bed, what tools and things can you have around you in that space. If you’re able to get up and be ambulatory and live, you know, more fully in a physical capacity. Take advantage of those tools. Don’t feel the guilt of someone saying oh you don’t need to be in a wheelchair because they feel awkward of you riding in a wheelchair so then you stop living and subduing. Get in the wheelchair and show them that you can be more and you can do more with that tool or whatever tool is a cane or medication or surgery, whatever it is that they can help you live more life and fulfill your purpose. Take control of that, and know that there’s great reason for hope. There is help. And all you have to do is reach out and seek out. It’s there.

Brian Smith 55:15
That’s awesome. One of the questions I had asked you for some questions before we started this, and one of the questions was, how can people save 1000s in their medical bills? So that’s something that’s of interest to all of us, because we all deal with this crazy medical system that you said, is working as designed. I’d like to elaborate on that also. So two questions per second was saving our medical bills and why why is our system so screwed up?

Barby Ingle 55:38
So this is one of my favorite topics, medical bills, I have had over a million dollars in medical bills, and I am not in debt, I found the way to navigate the system. So this is something that you can do to help with your medical bills. First thing is if you don’t have insurance, everything’s negotiable. Find out what you can do, Can Can you make payments over time? Can they give you a cash price or a charity price? Can the resources in your life help you out? Everything’s negotiable, if you have insurance insurance companies are designed to negotiate for you. So sometimes they work in your favor. Sometimes they don’t they they do practices such as prior authorization, where they delay your care so that they save money, which I really don’t and it saves one department money, but it doesn’t save the other department money because you can worsen your symptoms in that moment, or time, because they’re delaying your care. So it’s an odd thing that they do. It’s a tool they use, but it saves one department money so that departments gets a pat on the back while the other departments going how do we help this person? Yeah, but every doctor send you a bill, your insurance company will send you what they call an explanation of benefits EOB, because that’s hard to say. EEO B’s comm doctors will send you the bill before you they get the information back from your insurance for what your insurance negotiate for you. If you do not pay that do not feel the pressure to pay that bill immediately. Wait for your explanation of benefits. If your name is spelled incorrectly, if your date of birth is incorrect, if the codes that they’re putting down for the treatments that they’re giving you, or office visits they’re giving you is incorrect. Any of those things, even one letter in your name, can charge can can affect what they charge you and what they negotiate for you. So check, make sure your address your information, all your data is correct on every single bill, and then pay what the insurance company says to pay. Now, if that’s still too high, know that it’s negotiable. You can work it out, you can pay $10 or $5 a month on that bill over time and get it paid off. Usually, if they see in good faith that you’re trying to pay it down, they will negotiate or just let the rest of the bill go. And that has happened. Prior to knowing that you can do this, I would just try to pay every bill until I ran out of money. And then I didn’t have money to pay my rent or, you know, do do the things I needed to do. Because I was trying to pay off these medical bills. And once you pay them, you’re not going to get the money back. So make sure that you wait very ob, if he says patient responsibilities, zero on your EOB. circle it take a photocopy send it in with the bill and show the doctor that you owe zero. They stopped billing you. They just need to update their system. And they need to know that you know how to read a bill. And just because they’re saying that this is the bill. That’s not the bill. That’s that’s what they are reporting before it’s negotiated on your behalf. Every single bill has to go through a negotiation process.

Brian Smith 58:58
Yeah, that’s a lot of really good advice. And I could just little anecdote, my wife had knee surgery knee replacements last year. And we got we got our portion of a back and we thought it was gonna be the entire deductible. But when she called to talk to them about it, they’re like, well, if you pay it all right now we’ll give it was like a 40% discount for paying cash. And we’re like, so we thought, Okay, this is our deductible. This is what we’re responsible for. You’re like, no, if you just pay it out right now we’ll give you so it’s a huge discount. So here’s a big bill always, always at least talk to them about it. You know, I think that’s great advice. And

Barby Ingle 59:35
understandably, yeah. I had a bill I had my rib taken out twice the same rib. But, um, the second bill was $18,000. And that was like my largest bill at that moment. Like they trickled in but this $18,000 and I, I was, I couldn’t I was like, I I’m out of money. I can’t pay this. Like I bought sold everything I have, I don’t, I don’t have the ability to do this. And I saw on TV is when Katrina happened the hurricane back in 2005, and 2004. And I said, all these churches are donating all these money to all these families. They’re not even asking if they’re, if they belong to a church, or they’re Christian or anything, was like, I should ask my church to see if they can help me. And even after my insurance, I still owed 18,000. And my church stepped in and showed me how to negotiate. Wow, wow. And so they, I, my $18,000, real got down to zero. Wow. Awesome. So even if if they can help you with funds, great if they can help you with negotiations, even after you think it’s negotiated? The word no, is just the beginning of a negotiation?

Brian Smith 1:00:55

Barby Ingle 1:00:56
there’s always a way. Just keep searching and you’ll find it.

Brian Smith 1:01:00
Yeah, I think that’s really important. So you again, you’d mentioned earlier that the medical system is working as designed. What did you mean by that?

Barby Ingle 1:01:07
It’s working exactly as designed. It’s designed to make the insurance companies and the doctors and providers lots of money. And it’s designed for acute care, which means short term, you break your arm, you need stitches, you put your hand on on making dinner, it’s designed to take care of those acute situations that are now they need attention. It is not designed for long term care, which is the most expensive care. So now, not only are we faced with these large build challenges and life devastation with with all the aspects of our life, but the system is not designed to take care of chronically ill people. And because of that, it’s it’s for instance, a veterinarian is able to take care of lots of species, and all different types of traumas. If the animal has cancer, they know how to treat it. If the animal has a punctured lung, they know how to treat it. If the animal has diabetes, they know how to treat it. But when it comes to humans, every single health professional has their specialty. So if they don’t know about it, they they’ll say things like, Oh, this is all that I have nothing that can help you or there’s nothing that can help you. Which is really heavy.

Brian Smith 1:02:33
Yes, absolutely.

Barby Ingle 1:02:35
Just because the doctor says I have nothing to help you, I have nothing else to offer you. It just means that tool or resources is not for you. But there’s other providers out there that are willing to learn with you or already have the skills and knowledge to help you even though you have a chronic long term disease or condition, our system just isn’t set up to communicate that or teach us how to find it. But know that there is hope and his help. And that’s one of the things that I do with international pain foundation is help patients find the providers that they need for whatever condition that they’re going through. It’s chronic, because they those specialists exist, it says how do you find the one specialist for you, that’s able to help you they are out there, sometimes it takes five phone calls, sometimes it takes 100 phone calls, you just have to keep going and most people stop as we discussed before. This is something that if a boulder is placed in front of you, there’s there’s a million ways to get around it, you just have to start to take action. And the people who take action, get the help and the help that they need the people who just let it stop them and paralyze them don’t. And even the smallest step forward, around up over through under whatever way it takes to get around that obstacle or challenge. That’s a step moving forward to be on the right path and get the help that you need. But our system is not designed for that it’s not designed to teach it. The most time you get with a provider on average is is 10 to 15 minutes, right? And you don’t even know how to talk to them during that 10 to 15 minutes. So they’re going to lead the conversation, learn how to lead the conversation, go in with a one pager that talks that has your questions ahead of time. So you don’t forget to ask your questions. Because the doctor took you want a different path because they are in a hurry to get to the next patient. So it’s just it’s working as designed. It’s making a lot of people rich, but it’s not helping give people life back in most instances.

Brian Smith 1:04:44
Yes. And as you were saying that I was thinking it sounds like the international pain foundation is a great resource is it only for people in pain or people with other chronic conditions can they take advantage of it?

Barby Ingle 1:04:55
We we focus on people with chronic conditions that involve Pain, okay. But our find a provider resource, we have two different resources and you can actually not have chronic pain and still find a great provider, you just you put in whatever your condition is, or if you have an ICD code, which is medical language that takes time to learn, but you can find it on your, your Yogi’s find, find those ICD codes, if you put those in, we have an app on our site that can help you you put in your private information. And it tells you the providers in your area. And you can say I’m willing to travel, if you’re able to travel. It also can tell you the about about price range of every provider that treats that type of condition that you’re looking at.

Brian Smith 1:05:47
That sounds like a great resource. So it’s international pain foundation. Do you know their website offhand?

Barby Ingle 1:05:52
Yeah, international is the website and it’s under Resources, find a provider. And we have the AMA on there. But then we also have another one that’s powered by amino amino health took they ama is only medical providers that are part of the AMA,

Brian Smith 1:06:11

Barby Ingle 1:06:12
So it’s kind of like buying your way onto a list. type of situation, the amino app, you cannot buy your way into this app, they take actual data, they data mined it, and taking the patient’s names off, they went through the ICD codes, the charges, the cost, what insurance companies are paying, and they put it all into this massive AI system, artificial intelligence system, the data minds it for you, and you cannot buy your way to the top of the list. It literally tells you this is what it is in these are the providers that can help you with this specific thing that you need. Medically.

Brian Smith 1:06:53
That sounds fantastic. I like that a lot. Yeah, I just think in particular for right now this got some sort of dystrophy i don’t i don’t know the particular one because there’s so many of them in it. Yeah. And you know, just struggling with different doctors, because she has different conditions. And you know, just really feeling beaten up and lost and like there’s nobody there that really understands or no one there to really help her. And it’s and it’s just one thing after another. So I want people to know about this resource that hopefully we can get people hurt because you said you have to keep moving forward that unfortunately, this help doesn’t come to us. A lot of times the doctors are not going to advocate for us. We’re just a number on a chart, would they there see us for 10 or 15 minutes. And you know, they they don’t really, really get to know us most of the time.

Barby Ingle 1:07:43
Most medical providers have over 2000 patients that they’re caring for. Wow. Yeah. Like, how do they know your name? they don’t they don’t even remember you from your like I told you this last time I was here. Right? Right. You know, it’s that’s and they’re seeing, you know, one to 2000 patients in a month. Especially er doctors, hospitalists, internist. You know, they see even more than that, yes, even your primary care doctor asked your primary care doctor, how many patients they have,

Brian Smith 1:08:12
now. Yeah, and a lot of primary care doctors are getting out of it. Because it’s so overwhelming. I was talking to the doctor I went to for several years. And she was telling me you know how tough it is to be a primary care doctor now. So I’m not here. And I don’t think you are the best doctors. They’re good people trying to do what they can do. But they’re, they’re limited. They’re, they’re human. And we’ve been taught to put them on a pedestal and think they know everything. And they can’t

Barby Ingle 1:08:36
they’re not they’re not they shouldn’t be on a pedestal, they should be used as a resource and a tool, right. And if that is the right tool for you, that’s amazing. My primary care doctor, he went to what they call concierge medicine, and he dropped down to 600 patients and he doesn’t take any extra patient like he stopped at 600. He’s like, this is what I need to maintain the life that I need to to pay all my bills and take care of my family and my children. I’m going to stick with 600 patients so I can give them better care.

Brian Smith 1:09:06
It still sounds like a lot. But yeah, that’s that’s a step in the right direction.

Barby Ingle 1:09:10
Right? It’s a step in the right direction. But you got to think like a third of us need a lot of attention. Right? Most of us hardly ever go to the doctor. And then the rest are are in between. But it gives better care for the third of us that need more care.

Brian Smith 1:09:25
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Well, I have to ask you, we’re kind of running out of time, I could talk to you all day. But I want to ask you about your reality show what that was like.

Barby Ingle 1:09:34
It was very interesting. It taught me that reality is not real. You see the shows here? Like how could they do that? Like is this fight real? There’s a seed of truth in all of it. But then there’s a producer and a writer even on reality shows that by the fifth or sixth take you’re not even saying it in your own words. You’re You’re acting at that point. So um, so know that there is a seat of truth. In it, but then they build a story around it to make it interesting and entertaining for the viewers. But like my biggest show, I guess, audience wise was on TLC. And after the producers, they came and took over our house and put up all the cameras head, you know, someone following me telling me what to say off camera. And I’m, and by the time they left, impact up, I went through a morning of like, Can I trust my own words? Am I strong enough? Am I smart enough to get through this because the producer makes you sound so good, that writer makes you sound so good. Or whatever it is that they want you to say. And you’re saying stuff that you don’t even know how they’re gonna edit it and make it into a storyline. Right there. It’s a job and they’re paying you so so know that when you’re watching reality shows, watching for the entertainment value. It’s even even shows like reality competitions, where they’re following you around for months, sometimes know that, even that they they like will sit you in a room or you’ll see them sitting in a chair with with just a bright light giving like a testimonial, right about a situation that isn’t always filmed immediately. They will film that like days, weeks, months later, and work it into a storyline. So even that testimonial, that’s especially where it’s given to you. Yeah, to match whatever they got on film, it doesn’t necessarily match the words that they need. So they have you talking in this testimonial showing something else, and it makes a whole different image of what’s going on.

Brian Smith 1:11:46
Yeah, little little peek behind the scenes. Thanks. I appreciate that.

Barby Ingle 1:11:51
I like doing reality because although it’s not real, it gets people to connect to me that wouldn’t have heard of me, right? No, my journey your story and I’m able to plant my own seeds afterwards is no contact me and say, Oh, I feel so bad for your husband. And I’m like he’s taking care of Don’t worry. Yeah. But you know what, how Why are we connecting? What do you need help with? What do I need help with it? We connected because obviously reached out for a reason. So tell

Brian Smith 1:12:20
me, give me the name of of your show or your shows?

Barby Ingle 1:12:24
Oh, well, I’m on TLC, it was called stream time cheaters, which when we signed on, it was extreme time savers. They changed the name to be more sexy. But brainstormers was another and I did on the weather channel. The kitten Barbie show which was digital reality. We did nine seasons of that. And I was a producer on that side a little more say on that one. Oh, wow. Wow, cool. But like we’re like, oh, I’m gonna go at this angle, you’re gonna go with that angle and so that it makes it more interesting for the viewer. So it’s not always what exactly what you believe or think. But it gets a conversation going. Yeah. Oh, but those are some of the big ones but and then I did um, our pain which was on CBS out of Las Vegas. So it was like more regional, regionally shown. But it was all about chronic pain and what chronic pain patients are facing and that was like a 10 episode series and I was on three of the episodes, things like that. So I try to work in my advocacy and my purpose in life right and being a cheerleader of hope into the reality so there’s a seed of truth but I’m hoping that they will make a connection that I can make into a fruit tree later on when it’s needed of knowledge. awesome awesome.

Brian Smith 1:13:47
Barbie. We are running out of time I like to keep these two around an hour but it’s been really really great getting to know you How can people find out more about you Where can people find you?

Barby Ingle 1:13:58
You can find me personally at Barby Ingle calm which is my name Barbie with a Y angle with an eye and and and then with the foundation you and I’m on all the social medias except for Tick Tock I don’t do Tick Tock but just using my name you’ll find me and then and then the international pain foundation is also on social media as well as international if you are facing a chronic illness of any kind or rare disease and you need some hope and help that’s a great resource to reach out to to get you going and getting you to be able to take action in your life so you can live a better fuller life.

Brian Smith 1:14:35
Yeah, that sounds like great resource. I really appreciate you being on break to grow today. Have a great rest of your day.

Barby Ingle 1:14:41
Thank you so much. Take care Brian and if all your if all your viewers really quick if they’re getting something out of this like I am on your podcast, which is this. Please leave a review. Let Brian know how he’s doing how much you enjoy the podcast what you’re getting out of it and give him five stars because he deserves

Brian Smith 1:15:00
Thanks, buddy. Appreciate that ever going. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by

Leslie Lindsey Davis is the author of the book “You Can’t Eat Love” where she shares the lessons she learned on a journey to learn to love herself. Part of the work was finally dealing with the ungrieved loss of her mother decades before.

Leslie learned how to name and honor the emotions that she had kept shoving down. It was not until she began to confront the emotions, especially the grief that she was able to set aside her ‘drug of choice’ – food.

Her least favorite phrase as it relates to grief is “you’ll get over it” followed quickly by “aren’t you over that yet?” As part of her journey, Leslie lost over 100 pounds when she learned the art of self-love and how to process her grief properly. Her book helps others learn these same lessons. How do you heal in a world that wants to keep moving forward and doesn’t want to hear about your pain?





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed we’ve been planted, and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith. Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me Leslie, Lindsey Davis and Leslie is the author of the book you can’t eat love, where she shares the lessons she learned her journey to learn to love herself. Part of the work was finally dealing dealing with the angry loss of her mother decades before Leslie learned how to name and honor the emotions that she had kept shoving down. It wasn’t until she began to confront the emotions, especially the grief that she was able to set aside her drug of choice, which was food. Her least favorite phase as relates to grief is you’ll get over it followed quickly by Aren’t you over that yet, which is we’ve all heard of us. Those of us have been in grief. So with that, I want to welcome to grifter growth. Leslie Davis. Well, thank you so much, Brian, I’m, I’m really excited to be able to talk to you today. Yeah, I’m looking forward to having this conversation. I know your book is called You can’t eat love. And you started on this journey of self discovery. So tell me what started the journey of self discovery that you’re going through?

Leslie Davis 1:46
Well, actually, it started with a moment of grief, if you want to know the Absolute Truth. About six years ago, my oldest son decided he didn’t want to have a relationship with me anymore. And my father had died just a couple of months before that. And then my oldest son and his wife had their first baby, which, ironically, was the coincide with same time that I lost my mother, the birth of him was two weeks after the loss of my mother. So I went, you know, down into this deep spiral. And because I really had not learned how to grieve, I didn’t know what to do. And so it was like, you know, falling off of the edge of a cliff and you’re free falling without a parachute or trampoline or anything else. And that was when I realized I could go one of two directions. And I decided, because I didn’t want my children to be in the same situation I had been. I decided I was going to have to learn how to grieve, but not only how to grieve how to deal with all the other emotions that I did not know how to deal with.

Brian Smith 2:56
Yeah, that sounds like a lot happening at one time with your son and the birth of your grandchild and your mother, you know, passing away. So do you feel like you mentioned in your bio, that you had to engrave loss of your mother? Why do you feel like you weren’t able to do that grief work at the time?

Leslie Davis 3:14
Well, she died. And then two weeks later, my oldest child was born. And my you know, my entire family. I mean, I was 26, my youngest sibling was 18. So you don’t have a lot of life experience at that point in time. But at the same time, everyone that was around me was either struggling with their own grief, or my husband’s side of the family, they were ecstatic that they had a new grandchild nephew, whatever, you know, my husband had a new son, all of these things. So everybody forgot about me. And when you’re forgotten about you think well, you just have to soldier on. Right. And so you, I did you know the best that I could which reflecting back I was not taking care of myself. I didn’t know how to do that. But I don’t know about you. But I realized as time went forward, anytime an important person in my life would would pass away with die. That grief would come back. It’s kind of like, if you vacuum your house, but you don’t move all the furniture and you vacuum it well, the stuff comes out from under the furniture, but you still don’t get it all out from under the furniture until you actually move the furniture and you know, clean out from underneath it. So to me not dealing with grief in the moment or at the time and working our way. Not so much through it but to the point that we are better than we were. It comes back out.

Brian Smith 4:56
Yeah, I think there’s a lot of really important things that you said in there. I mean One of the things that I tell people all the time is when it comes to grief, it’s really about self care. And a lot of times we’re not taught how to take care of ourselves. And we don’t understand that we need to do that. And the other thing that you that you touched on there is grief. I like your analogy is kind of like the dust under the furniture, because it’ll just hide out there. And it’ll hide out there until something else triggers it. And then we realized we never actually dealt with it. So how long was it between the time that your mother passed, and you felt like you were able to start dealing with your grief?

Leslie Davis 5:31
31 years? Yeah, the one that I felt that I could start dealing with it was that I started dealing with, right, I didn’t have an option. I realized if I was going to survive, I was going to have to confront it. And that that was difficult. But what I realized also is I didn’t have to do the work by myself. And I’m grateful for podcasts like yours, because you are so authentic, and honest. And you don’t try and sugarcoat it, you don’t try and say, you know, we have to get over this, you know, the cliche comments that people make about loss are so unhelpful. Hmm.

Brian Smith 6:22
So, yeah, so yeah, what you said, you know, people might say, Wow, 31 years, and I’ve heard of this, I’ve heard of people, it’ll be decades sometimes before people can deal with the grief. And, and we don’t even know that we need to because no one’s taught us that we have to go through this process and do this work. And we don’t realize that grief is manifesting in different ways. And I know you mentioned that that food was your drug of choice, did you? Do you think that the grief is what led to that eating issue that you had?

Leslie Davis 6:52
Well, grief was just a part of it, because I didn’t know how to deal with any other emotions. You know, grief is just one of those major, major emotions. And as I was preparing to talk to you today, one of the thoughts that came to my mind is even as young children, we’re not taught how to grieve the small losses. And can we experience loss in small ways, from the time that we’re young, you know, it can be that we either lost a toy or a toy broke, and it was a toy that we enjoyed playing with, or we moved or friend moved. It can be that, you know, we’re changing schools, they’re all these little teeny tiny losses that happened in our life, that we’re not taught how to acknowledge how to address and how to mourn those tiny losses. And so we really never had the opportunity to learn how to how to experience how to enjoy joy, for example, we don’t really know how to experience happiness. There’s this wide range of emotions that we really are not taught how to experience. Grief just happens to be to me, like the giant elephant in the room, right? Because it’s the one that nobody wants to touch. But I was thinking, you know, part of what you’re doing, I believe is so beneficial people and I don’t want to put words in your mouth. But this is just, you know, the thoughts that I’ve had is I’ve listened to you. What you what you were doing is you’re taking this elephant and you’re putting it in the middle of the room and you’re saying everybody, let’s look at this thing. And we can circle back around and if we can get to small children, or even children for the hit the teenage years, and start teaching them how to mourn things and acknowledge that they are mourning them. Well then when something of great magnitude such as the loss of your daughter, the loss of my mother, you know, the loss of a very close loved one, one of those huge losses happens. We are not hamstrung. Yeah, we already have some of the tools, we already have some of the ability to be able to do what we need to do in order to cope with that.

Brian Smith 9:13
Yeah, yeah. Again, some excellent points you made in there. We don’t. We don’t teach our children emotional intelligence. We don’t teach people how to deal with uncomfortable emotions. So we tend to stuff things down, we tend to ignore things we tend to self medicate. Now all these different various things that we do to deal with them. And it kind of seems to work for a while until this major thing comes along that just then we have no clue. We have no tools on how to deal with it and and it blows us away and then you know, and as you said, People say to you, well, aren’t you over that yet or Don’t worry, you’ll get over time heals all wounds we’ve heard, we’ve all heard that. And I what I say to people as time allows you to heal all wounds, but time on its own not heal on ones. It just doesn’t happen magically grief is grief is work, you know. And I tell people that it’s a process we have to go through.

Leslie Davis 10:09
Well, very much so. And I can remember my now ex husband, this is just among the many recent season x, five years after my mother had died. It was Mother’s Day. And I was feeling very, very, very sad. And his comment was, aren’t you over that yet? And I, I felt ashamed. I really did. I felt ashamed that I was not over that yet. And truthfully, it wasn’t until probably 15, maybe 20 years ago, when I read the book, motherless daughters, that I understood that what I was feeling was normal. That I wasn’t crazy. That what I was feeling was normal. We don’t get over these things. Oh, my gosh, that just makes me crazy. You’ll get over this. No, you don’t get over it, you may get through it. Right, but you’re not over it. You know, one day maybe better than the next day. I tell people that grief is like being in the middle of an ocean. And you’ve got a lifejacket on. And some days The ocean is you know, relatively calm, and you’re just kind of bobbing along and you’re very comfortable. Other days, the waves get a little bit bigger. And then they’re those days, when a tsunami hits you out of nowhere. Out of absolutely nowhere new, we’re slammed to the bottom of the ocean floor and you are struggling with everything that you have to get back to the surface. And I realized that not having the tools not having the vocabulary, also not having the self love to be able to say you know what, this is how I’m feeling right now, I need to just take a moment, I need to discover what caused me to feel this. Because as you mentioned, different things will trigger us and they can come absolutely out of the blue. It can be a commercial. Yeah, it can be a billboard that you drive past. It can be a word that somebody says in such a way that it reminds you. And I discovered that if I wasn’t going to take the time to learn how to take care of myself. In those moments, I was going to continue being slammed to the bottom of the ocean floor with no ability to get myself back up to the top. So it’s not that we don’t go to the floor. It’s not that we don’t have the tsunamis. It’s it’s a matter of what do we do after that happens? How do we take care of ourselves? After that happens? How do we talk to ourselves? How do we allow other people to speak to us? When those people say, well, aren’t you over that yet? Well, no, of course I’m not over it. This person was extremely important in my life. So why would you think that I would be over it? And then we walk away? Hmm.

Brian Smith 13:07
Yeah. Yeah, I think what you said is, there’s very profound and you know, it’s and what I try to do with people’s, I try to be very transparent about things. Because sometimes people will look at me and say, Oh, you thought you’ve healed this, you’ve worked, you’re all you’re all done, and you’re over, I’m like, No, I still have bad days. And so I have bad moments. The thing is, we don’t, we can’t always stay on balance, what we learn how to return to balance more quickly. So you’re right. And I love that analogy. I’ve used to you know myself about the waves. And I tell people, the first part of the grief, the waves are just, they’re unpredictable. And they’re just slamming you all the time, they get farther and farther out, they become more predictable. But there’s still times when they just you know, things will hit you out of the blue. There’s still times when, you know, like you said a word or phrase or commercial or whatever it is that can trigger a memory that can take us right back to that moment. And it’s important that people understand that doesn’t mean you’re going crazy, doesn’t mean you haven’t done the work properly. Because these people are important to us. So I’m going to miss my daughter for the rest of my life as I’m sure you’ll miss your mother. And that’s and that’s okay.

Leslie Davis 14:16
And it is okay. And I think that that’s one of the things that I’m so grateful that you’re being very honest about grief, you know, you’re being very transparent that, you know, it doesn’t go away. I mean, you’re not going to make your daughter disappear off the face of the earth simply because she is no longer walking on this physical earth. And I have I have gotten so frustrated with people who lose a loved one, regardless of the circumstance of how they lose them, where they try and pretend that they never existed.

Brian Smith 14:49
Yeah, yeah.

Leslie Davis 14:50
And I find that to be so sad because that person was important. And they made a difference who were impacted your life. And I know in my family, because none of us had the skills, I’m the oldest of six, six kids, and then my dad, and none of us had the skills that we needed to be able to cope with this. And so we would tiptoe around whether or not our mother was alive or dead. And she wouldn’t, it was almost, you know, as if that name which cannot be spoken. And it wasn’t until you know, I started doing the work. And then my, I have three sisters until each one of them started doing a little bit of the work, that each of us in our own way was able to no longer pretend that our mother did not exist. But I think that that’s one of the saddest things is that people don’t have the skills, they don’t have the safe place to go to honor the grief. And that that’s what I think that we need to do. And that’s why I’m saying we need to teach small children how to mourn a loss, so that they’re mourning it in a safe place, a small loss, being mourned properly in a safe place so that when they get to the big losses, they’re not just absolutely devastated beyond repair. I’m not saying you’re not going to be devastated, but not devastated beyond repair.

Brian Smith 16:26
Yes, yes. And that that coping mechanism of pretending the perfect person didn’t exist is just your everybody’s walking around sad, pretending to be happy, but you don’t stop thinking about that person, you can’t. You just don’t want to, you don’t want to, quote trigger the other person. And sometimes people will bring up my daughter, and they’ll say, you know, I hope I didn’t make you sad, or they won’t want to bring her up because they think it’s gonna make me sad, and like, you can’t make me sad. And you believe me, I think about my daughter every day. So you not bringing her up is not serving either one of us. But I’ve actually worked with clients that have that have had children pass, and one partner will say, well, we’re going to pretend they didn’t exist. I mean, they don’t say that, literally. But they’ll put the pictures away, they won’t talk about them. And then the other person’s left just suffering tremendously, because all they’re thinking about is that is that child is that’s not that’s quote, not there anymore. And I think it’s very important that we keep that person alive, whatever your beliefs are, some people believe that they still exist, I do happen, but my daughter is still here. But in any event, keep the memory alive, talk about them, celebrate them, you know, celebrate what an important part of your life that they were, if that’s that’s your belief, or in my case that that my daughter still is. So you know, this, it’s one of those very, very common coping mechanisms is just doesn’t work is pretending the person that never existed?

Leslie Davis 17:56
Well, it doesn’t, who is it serving, it’s not serving a single solitary person, because the person who is running around pretending that they didn’t exist, I can only imagine how much of their brain space is being occupied trying to keep that demon down, locked up down in the cellar. And then as you mentioned, you know, the other person wants to talk about them, they want to have a conversation about them, they want to discuss with them, but they don’t have a safe place to to have that discussion. So you, to me, you’ve almost got two sides of the same coin. You’ve got two people stuffing down these feelings in two different sellers, but they’re the exact same thing. And if only the you know the person who wants to speak about it can speak with the person that they trust the most. Who is trying to keep you know the person from not being mentioned. If only they could have an honest conversation. I just imagine how much healing could take place. Now, I will say this. One of the things that I learned is we heal from these losses we do heal, the scars remain. And if it’s a deep enough wound, the pain when you bump it is still there.

Brian Smith 19:15

Leslie Davis 19:16
And the the scars, to me are what tell another person. You know what, I may not have gone through what you went through, but I can only imagine how you were feeling. And we just leave it right there. For example, my our youngest son is getting married in less than a month. And my husband’s father died 15 years ago, and my husband was saying the other day that he was feeling very sad because his father wasn’t going to be there to see his his grandson get married. He couldn’t fish with them and all this and I said to him, I can imagine how you’re feeling. I said I would be sad too. I said actually I know exactly how you are feeling. And I said, while it may not be exactly how you’re feeling, I have a very good idea of how you are feeling because that’s how I have felt myself. I said, you know, do you want to talk about that some more, and he was okay. But, you know, we often people often are uncomfortable when somebody else is grieving. And I believe it’s their own fear and lack of skill that makes them uncomfortable. And one of the things that I learned is, if I can say to somebody, I can only imagine how you are feeling. I don’t need to say to them, I know how you’re feeling. Because really, truly, I don’t, I don’t know how you are feeling. So I’m not inside of you. But I can imagine how you’re feeling. And I can imagine how you were feeling based on how I feel.

Brian Smith 20:58
Right? Right.

Leslie Davis 20:59
But just think how much better that sounds and saying, Oh, I’m so sorry. I know how you feel. But no, you really don’t. Yeah,

Brian Smith 21:09
yeah, exactly. So what I’m after all those years, what started you on your journey to, to healing your grief into into self discovery?

Leslie Davis 21:21
Well, I decided that I wanted to live my very best life that if I was really going to honor my mother, who died at the age of 49. And this year, let’s see at the time, I was 59. I decided if I was going to live my very best life, and I was going to live to be 153 years old. And one day someone celebrate all 153 years at 1201 on the 150/3. And one day, I’ll go so that’s all right. The only way I would be able to do that is if I was helping mentally, physically and emotionally. And I realized that to honor her. Her life was cut short, she died of cancer. Her life was cut short. So to honor her, I needed to live my very best life. But at the same time, I wanted to live my very best life. And so I decided I need to get healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. And I realized the biggest piece of that was to get healthy emotionally. Because I had spent so many years stuffing down emotions, everything from sadness to anger. And a lot of times anger was a consequence of sadness. And it was when I started doing that journey of self discovery, and honoring what I felt and being able to verbalize to somebody else. Right now, this is how I’m feeling. I’m not asking you to do anything about it. I’m simply informing you that right now, this is how I’m feeling. And then you were talking about nobody can make you sad. That was like a ginormous aha moment for me when I realized no one can make me anything except reservations for dinner.

Yes, absolutely. I wanted to keep my power, I could make a choice to be sad, I can make a choice to be happy, I can make a choice to be angry, but no one is going to make me anything anymore. And if I was going to honor myself and live my best life, I needed to, you know, hold on to my power. So really being able to acknowledge that yes, I’m very sad because you know, my mother’s not here to celebrate these moments. Yo, she’s missed every every single event in all of her grandchildren’s lives. She’s missed major events and all of her children’s lives. And I didn’t want to continue living a life in my rearview mirror. Right for

I want I wanted to live, you know, the best life that I could. So to do that I needed to, you know, honor that.

Brian Smith 24:02
So where do you think that wisdom came from that to learn how to do that, to understand that you are in control of your emotions and to start speaking again about your mother? Did that come from inside? Or did did you read some books? Or Where’d that come from?

Leslie Davis 24:17
Well, it actually came from a verse in the Bible. I stumbled upon I want to say it’s psalms 149 147. God heals. Let’s see what is it? God heals all wounds and Jesus button or God heals all something in Jesus binds all wounds something to that effect. And that was like, Okay, I don’t have to deny that I had these wounds. I don’t have to deny that I had these scars anymore. So let’s start from there. Okay, okay. And that was It’s really the aha moment. And since since that time for the past six years, part of my morning routine is I read verse out of a chapter out of Psalms every morning, I read a chapter out of Proverbs every day. And then I read another chapter in the Bible. But I also read some other inspirational readings. And I write three pages in a small notebook. I’m not, you know, in the big eight and a half by 11. Note, but then I write three pages in a small notebook conversations with myself. Because I discovered that the ones that I have in my head were not productive. Yeah, the ones that I have on paper a little bit more productive. And I don’t reread the conversations, I simply write them and, you know, close the book, and I’m done for the day.

Brian Smith 25:49
Yeah. So you, you have developed a practice that works for you that that to allow you to deal with your grief. And I understand when you started on this journey, you didn’t tell anybody about it. Why is that?

Leslie Davis 26:04
I didn’t want I mean, I don’t know about you. But when we start on journeys, you end up with the what I call the watching police, and they start watching you and they start questioning you and they start telling you, you should you be doing that. And then the shoulds in the woods come out. And I’m just you know, and I felt as if I had enough shame to deal with within myself, I had enough shoulds and Woods within myself, I didn’t need the outside world contributing to the shame in the woods and those things. Because I was battling my own stuff, I didn’t need to battle the exterior stuff. Because I don’t know about you. But when you know, when the outside world starts questioning you, then you start questioning yourself. Even if what you are doing is incredibly logical, it works, it’s going to work for you. You have already determined what your reasons are, you’ve determined your objective, and you’ve got a clearly thought out plan to the best of your ability. When those people show up, don’t start questioning yourself.

Brian Smith 27:16
Well, you know, the thing is, and this is an interesting dynamic, I think in families. It’s not a it’s not a intentionally negative thing, but they always want to keep us the same. They don’t want to see us transform. You know, it’s like whether it’s losing weight or quitting drinking or quitting smoke. I’m not saying they wish negative things on us. But they, they tend to, like always put us back to where we were. But they’re like, this is the person that I know, for good or for bad. So when you say I’m going to make a transformation, that’s your right, that’s when they start coming out with the Are you sure you could do this? And I you know, and so I understand exactly why you would keep it, you know, keep it to yourself, at least for a while?

Leslie Davis 27:58
Oh, well, it is, as I started making the changes as I started, you know, getting healthier and dealing, you know, with some of the emotions and things like that. My husband started questioning things, you know, what are you doing? Why are you changing what’s going on, and I really couldn’t verbalize what was going on. But he also doesn’t have a very high EQ. So it would be very difficult really, and truly for me to explain it so that he could understand it. He’s incredibly intelligent, but his EQ is incredibly low. In so many people that we are surrounded by have very low EQ. So whenever people start doing this high level, emotional work, if we’re not talking to another person who is you know, it moderate to high level emotional vocabulary, even it’s difficult to explain, because, let’s face it, our emotions come from that part of the brain that don’t have any language. Yeah, it’s pictures. And so when we start trying to explain these things to people who are logical and literal, they don’t get it.

Brian Smith 29:09
Yeah, that’s, that’s a really good point for people. I just want to fill in the for people that don’t know what EQ is, that’s emotional quotient as opposed to intelligence quotient. So a lot of times, you’re right, we can people can be very, very intelligent, and have no ability to understand emotion and just saw a quote, I mean, with Helen Mirren the other day talking about, you know, when you’re trying to explain something, some are trying to argue something somebody first begin with, do they have the ability to understand it? And some people in our life are not going to have the ability to understand what we’re doing when we say, I’m going to stop doing this and I’m going to start doing this. They will just look at you like, why why would you do that?

Announcer 29:50
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, go reef 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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f, the number two, gr o w t If you’d like to support this podcast, visit slash grief to growth slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Leslie Davis 30:47
Exactly because they don’t understand it. It’s you know, it’s out of their realm of logic. And that was the other thing that I discovered on the journey is that, you know, families we talked about dysfunctional families and families who were loaded with dysfunction, generational dysfunction, because I started looking back at my own family, we we did not have the coping mechanisms for grief. We really didn’t have the coping mechanisms for many emotions at all. Going back generationally, for example, my grandfather’s father died when he was pretty young. And he was, you know, in an environment where you have to be a man, you know, you got to man up, and men are not allowed or expected, or even encouraged to feel emotions. In my grandmother’s family, on my mother’s side, her parent, her father ran away with his secretary when she was young. And you know, you just have to get through these things. So she didn’t have the coping mechanisms to deal with that kind of grief. And then on my father’s side of the family, his mother was supposedly orphaned. And I later discovered she was not orphaned. She was sent off with her older sister and the father lived not all that far away, but never saw her again. And so what do you do with that? So generationally, we’ve been taught to not deal with emotions. So when when we’re hit with something big, we don’t know how to how to handle it. And so the work that you were doing is so very, very important. Because the less connected we become, which is what I believe is happening, even though we’ve got the you know, zoom and telephones and all that we actually are becoming less connected. The work that you are doing actually is going to benefit people in so many ways, because you’re giving people skills, that generationally they don’t have, and then you stop and you pause and you think, well, if I’m looking back at the generations that went before me, of course, I don’t have these skills, right. And if we look at the skills, you know, are the people that are around us, of course, they don’t have those skills. So when we start doing something different, we’re pushing the boundaries. We’re changing the rules. Yeah. And not only that, but we’re changing the game totally and completely. And that causes a lot of tension and discomfort. Yes. Because circling back to what you said earlier, people want us to stay where we were, where they knew us, because that’s where they’re comfortable. Because when we change, they have to do something.

Brian Smith 33:36
Yeah, yeah, people, human beings do not like change. And you know, I really appreciate what you said about the generational things. My grandmother lived with us when I was growing up. And she’s to say, because my grandmother was very stoic person didn’t express much emotion. But she had enough emotional intelligence to understand that she didn’t know how to express emotion. I remember saying to my mother, you know, I had a main step mother, but you have books, you have TV, you have things you can learn tools from, so you can do differently than I did I. And I still remember my grandmother saying that, and I was probably 10 or 12 years old. And it’s affected me even to this day, because I realized, this is something that I’m going to have to learn. When I was when I was in my 30s or so I was going through, you know, it’s like a, like a midlife crisis or whatever. And I found a book from a guy that I was so excited about was a guy named john Eldridge. And the book was called Wild at Heart. And it was about how men bonding with their fathers and emotions and all that kind of stuff. So I remember giving the book to my father. And you know, he just could not understand it just just didn’t get it. No, no blame, no judgment, because that’s, that’s where they’re coming from. That’s where the generations coming from. So I realized and my generation, at least for me, I’ve got to, I’ve got to do something different. It has to be intentional. So I have two girls, and I’m like, I’m going to be different with my girls. I’m going to I’m going to make decision to be different. So I’m saying this and I know that you’re, you’re saying the same thing to people, you’ve got to make that decision.

Leslie Davis 35:07
Right, you have to make that decision, you have to make that choice. And one of the things that I realized, even when my, my three boys were younger, I didn’t want them to had the same outcome that I had. So like you, I made a decision early on, that I wanted to raise boys who were kind who were caring and who were compassionate, awesome. Because I, what I was projecting for them was who they were going to end up marrying. And I wanted them to marry someone who was also kind, compassionate and caring. Well, if they are not kind, compassionate or caring, they’re not going to be seeking out or or attracted to, or the person that is attracted to them is not going to be kind, compassionate, caring, but they also needed to have enough maturity and self love to be able to weed their way through the the narcissist and all those other kinds of people. And I have to say, I, despite the fact that I haven’t spoken to my oldest child, now in almost seven years, you know, he, he made a good choice and a wife, not so great. And you know, the rest of the decisions, but you know, that’s okay. That’s his choice. It’s not mine. But my other two boys are in very, very good relationships. I’m extremely proud of, you know, the people that they’ve grown up to be, even though my youngest one will tell you that he was not raised by his parents, he was raised by wolves. But I feel like you know, it’s up to us as we are raising children and your children are still in your daughter is still in her formative years. We’ve got to establish boundaries, and also teach them to look for people who are going to support them emotionally. Because let’s face it, we go through life, life is not a flatline, life has its mountains, and it’s got his valleys, sometimes it’s Mount Everest, sometimes it’s the bottom of the Marianas Trench. And if we don’t have a life partner, that can help us during those times. Well, then we end up repeating that cycle. And we need to have a life partner that can help us and support us in the joyous moments, in addition to the lowest moments.

Brian Smith 37:32
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m, I’m curious, when you when you began your journey, what did you expect the outcome to be? And did it turn out to be what you expected it to be?

Leslie Davis 37:44
Well, what I expected was that I was just going to feel better. I didn’t expect it to be hard. I will tell you that I thought it was gonna be you know, okay, I’m going to do these few things. And in a couple of months, it’s all going to be over with and it’s going to be great. Well, I don’t know about you. But when when I started doing the the hard work of the hard work, which is being honest with myself about my emotions, my feelings, you know, learning how to take care of myself learning how to verbalize those things. It’s almost like you can use one of two analogies, peeling an onion, you know, you peel back one layer, you find another layer, or you go into an old house that has never been really redone. And you start taking off one layer of wallpaper and you discover 50 more layers of wallpaper. So it became like that, just as I thought, oh, okay, I got this is like something would happen. I’d get smacked. And I thought you had it. No, you know, you have to keep doing the work. But it’s just like mowing your grass. You don’t mow your grass one time. And that’s it. You know, the grass grows and you have to keep mowing it. Well, the same thing that I discovered is this is not a one and done deal. Just because today I’m okay doesn’t mean that tomorrow, something won’t happen. And I don’t have to figure out how to deal with that. And I’m not talking about just the grief, I’m talking about the joy as well. So everything. So here we are six years later since I began the journey, and I’m still doing the work. And how do I do that? I read books, I listen to podcasts, I read magazines I write. I do you know, things to help me become a better version of myself so that each day I’m working to become a better version of myself with the understanding this is not a one and done.

Brian Smith 39:37
Right, right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s a really good answer. And I think that’s, that’s really that’s what life that’s just being humans about, you know, it’s about always improving and always being better. And, you know, and I think, you know, when people say I’m the same as I was 20 years ago, I’m like, well, that’s a real shame, cuz I hope I’m not the same in 20 years. Hopefully I’ll look back, you know, 20 years and say Didn’t know, there’s so much more I’ve learned and I learned, I learned new things every day. And I like, you know, and it’s it’s work, but it’s not a grind. I mean, it’s it can become, you know, a pleasurable thing and the things that you’re doing sound like, similar to the things that I do, I do them on a daily basis, but I do them because I’m starting to see the benefits from and you don’t you might not see him, but the very beginning, but after a while, you can look back yourself a five or six years ago and say, oh, okay, I can see that. I’ve grown some since then.

Leslie Davis 40:34
Well, and also just like, you know, riding a bike or doing anything else, the more we practice, because truthfully, this is a lot of practice, and we practice the things that we’re doing. It’s not a one and done. But the more we practice, the easier it becomes for us. And then we can move to that next level. So, for example, I was at a party the other Saturday, and two of the people there had just lost a loved one one, it was her husband, the other was the father. And so I greeted them and said, I’m so sorry about your husband. I can just imagine how you’re feeling. She said, Oh, it’s it’s okay. And I said, I paused and I looked her in the eye, and I put my hand on her elbow, and I said, No, it’s not okay. I said, I can just imagine, you know, how you’re feeling? And she said, Oh, you’re right. No, it’s not okay. But right now, today, I’m doing okay. I said, you know that, I’m glad to hear that. But she was really startled that I didn’t, except her canned answer, which is what we do so many times. And this that, for me, has come through practicing, not just with other people. But one of the things that I talk about is finding those situations, finding those people that you know, are going to do or say certain things. So for example, Thanksgiving is coming up in a few months, right? You know, that Aunt Sally is going to be there. And Aunt Sally is going to say whatever Aunt Sally is going to say. And you know, how it makes you feel, or you know, how you feel when Aunt Sally does whatever, we need to start practicing for those events. So that we’re prepared for a response or a reaction, we can make choices ahead of time. So you know, in the with with regard to your daughter with regard to my mother with regard to somebody else who has recently lost a loved one, a holiday comes up, it’s not that they have never existed on the face of the earth, that holiday is there, we miss them, we wish that they were enjoying that holiday with us. And if someone says something, if you’ve practice saying, you know what, my mother would have really enjoyed this moment. And I’m feel very sad that right now she’s not here. If we’ve practiced that, then we can say it. It sounds natural. And we are not concerned about the reaction of the other people.

Brian Smith 43:05
Yeah, yeah, I think that’s we’re stating our truth. That’s so important. You know, because we do, you know, I’ve noticed that, like, we’ll greet someone, and we’re just the standard greeting, how you doing? Right? And then the other person, most of the time, we don’t even answer the question, sometimes just we answered with how are you doing? Or, you know, or, or if we do answer, I’m fine. I’m good. You know, and we just move on, because we know no one really cares. I mean, no, one, it’s not a genuine question. So it is fun to kind of practice at some time and say, you know, how are you really doing, I really want to know, and then you watch people’s faces, you can watch their expression change, you’re like, Oh, you really do care how I’m doing and then they’ll, then they’ll tell you, you know that they’re struggling. And that’s and it’s okay, but we have this thing about, like, no one wants to make anybody else uncomfortable. You know, I don’t want to make you sad by by sharing my sadness with you. But if it’s a true friend, they really want to know how you’re doing.

Leslie Davis 44:03
Well, in talking about, you know, how are you doing? My second son and his wife lived in the UK for two years. And he made the comment that he observed that most of the people over there say, you’re doing okay, they don’t ask, you know, how are you doing? They ask you doing okay. And so I had switched to say you’re doing okay. And I’ve been really surprised by the responses that I’ve gotten. Hmm. Because it First of all, it catches people off guard, because they’re expecting the hell are you doing and then they just respond back to you. And if you listen to your own self, when somebody asks you, how are you doing? I’m fine, and you probably are not fine at the moment. If they’re asking but you know that they really don’t care, right? Or they’re not concerned. They’re just trying to get on with the pleasantries. But I even had the experience where I was getting my drink at Sonic one day and I asked the person who was handing me my drink. I said, you’re doing okay. And she paused, and she just started sobbing because she had just broken up with her boyfriend or her boyfriend had just broken up with her. But I caught her off guard. Because I broke the pattern.

Brian Smith 45:24
Right? Right. Right. And you had an opportunity to have a genuine moment that that she’ll probably remember for the rest of her life. And sometimes people that those small things can really make someone else’s day you know that someone someone cares. Someone, you know, cares enough to ask me a genuine question. So So let’s see. I’m Leslie, I’m curious, what made you decide to write a book

Leslie Davis 45:51
I got tired of, well, first of all, Mother’s Day, two years ago, I sat down. My youngest sister always made pies to honor our mother for Mother’s Day. And I never did because I hated Mother’s Day. My first Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day as a mother was my first Mother’s Day Without my mother. So one of those tried to avoid it. So anyway, I intentionally decided because I’d done all this emotional work, decided that I would honor my mother by making pie. And so I, the day after Mother’s Day, I sat down with a piece of the pie. And these thoughts started falling out of my head, and I grabbed a pen and paper and wrote down what I was remembering, which basically, I was triggered back into a place in time. And it occurred to me that what I had been trying to do with food, I mean, I’d already lost about 100 pounds at this point in time. But it occurred to me what I had been trying to do with food was to eat love. And I realized that that is the moment when I said you can’t eat love. You know, love is in the memories. Love is in the doing love it. You know, love is in everything but not in food. So I wrote this little bit down and then the words kept haunting me. And also people kept asking me, Well, what did you do to lose the weight. And so I sat down and just started writing, and the book fell out. It’s not so much a book about you know, losing weight or anything like that. It’s really more about learning to love yourself so that you can change your relationship with your drug of choice. Because I sent the book my youngest sister ended up getting a degree in counseling, and she works in the area of grief, specifically and an addiction also. And she said, Really, the book could be called you can’t drink love, you can’t drug love. You can’t you know, whatever your drug of choice is love. Because you know, so many times it’s we’re trying to do we’re trying to fill what I call that myself sized hole in my heart. So anyway, long story short. Yeah, that’s how the book happened.

Brian Smith 48:04
Yeah, that’s, that’s great. You know, what you just said about the hole in your heart that reminded me when you mentioned this earlier about the wound that we have something one of my first grief counselor said to me, that was so profound, she said, you know, she modeled like, here’s, here’s your heart, and it’s got a hole in it now, and the edges are raw. And so everything’s gonna gonna hurt those edges and everything. But eventually, those edges will, will smoothed over and they won’t hurt so bad in terms of being triggered. But you’ll always have that hole. You always had that, that hole, what you know, that memory of your daughter or whatever. And so we do try to fill those holes sometimes with other things, because it’s like, we know there’s something missing. So you know, it might be alcohol might be food, it might be some people poured themselves into work, you know, lots of different things, anything to avoid actually doing the word. I mean, we seem to be really good about that. And we can do it for you know, if we could do it for decades, sometimes before we realize, Oh, this is what’s causing that and thinking about grief. You know, as you were mentioned earlier, being an emotion. Grief is actually I think it’s a container for all different types of emotions, a lot of different things that could come in and out. And grief is that one kind of catch up thing that we put everything under. But we don’t realize what’s causing it. You know, a lot of times we don’t understand what’s You know, this is reason why I’m so sad. It’s because I haven’t dealt with this.

Leslie Davis 49:29
Well, you mentioned here that grief is it’s like I even say in my book, you know, if you didn’t think you needed algebra, remember all those times you said why when am I ever going to need algebra, right? But you need algebra to understand not only grief, but also anger. Because usually those two emotions are summations of things. And you know the the A plus B and sometimes plus D, E, F, G, whatever equals you know, grief or anger and That was part of the work that I had to do, you know, teasing it apart. And I’m grateful that you mentioned that because yes, it is a summation. And it’s really not until we sit down and start teasing it apart, that we are able to look at the different elements to understand. Okay, so this is why I’m feeling like this, right. And I think that one of the hardest things to do is to pause long enough to do that work of teasing it apart. And looking at each piece of it. It’s almost like a Lego thing, you know, you pick up this completed Lego object. And it looks like there’s not a lot to it, but you start taking it apart and you realize, okay, well, so they used a two cube to make this look like this. They used a four cube, they used a six cube. So we need to be able to pause long enough to take those things apart, and then honor each one of those pieces and say, Oh, now I understand. Okay, well, what can I do right now? to take care of that?

Brian Smith 51:08
Yeah, yeah, I completely agree with you. And you know, the thing is, against that, it’s that learning that emotional intelligence, learning that emotional language, going within examining your own emotions, teasing them apart. And unfortunately, a lot of us were never taught that. And, you know, it’s, it’s really interesting. And the work that I do, I interviewed a guy a couple of weeks ago, he’s, he’s into grief stuff. And he goes, it’s really great to talk to another guy, because we never see men in this field. I go to I go to conferences, I go to things, and it’s 80 90% women, and the guys that are there, a lot of times we’re brought along by their wives. So we don’t we don’t teach and I love what you said about your boys, because we don’t teach that to our boys. And it’s not a biological thing. It’s not like this is how men are men are men are biologically, it’s the way that we’ve been programmed. And we’re all programmed. And so we all have to understand our programming and decide, I’m going to make a conscious decision to do something different if we’re going to do something different.

Leslie Davis 52:14
Well, in we, we become good at what we practice. And so if we are not allowed to practice grieving, being male or female, doesn’t make any difference. If we’re not allowed to practice breathing, we don’t know what to do, right? But now, you know, the female of the spicy, the spicy species is usually encouraged to be a little bit more compassionate. You know, guys, especially of my generation, possibly your generation, it was frowned upon, you know, what are you doing crying, things like that. So an emotional male is viewed as being very weak. And I always was uncomfortable with that definition. Just as I was uncomfortable with, you know, a weepy female, being, you know, a very kind and caring person. But you know, either extreme is not good. But I like that, you know, you are going to conferences, and you are an example to people to say, you know, look at me, I am a healthy, male, healthy mentally, emotionally and physically. And I am not afraid to do this work. And I think that that is so important, because you’re modeling for generations, that it is okay to express your feelings. Yeah. It is okay to, you know, to be sad, it’s okay to be kind, it’s okay to be loving. Because I feel like the media especially does a great disservice to the world. That, you know, it’s not encouraged. It’s just not encouraged. So I’m grateful to hear that you do attend conferences, and I do wish that more people were there. But I can just imagine the guys that are being dragged along by their wives. Do you ever get an opportunity to have an actual private conversation with them? Because I’d be very, very curious to hear what it is they have to say that they are getting out of the conference.

Brian Smith 54:12
Yeah. And then there are obviously exceptions, all the things we’re talking about. There are men that are very in touch with their feelings. But it’s interesting to have his observation. And while we’re talking about that, on the flip side, while women tend to be more emotionally intelligent, women are not taught self care. So a lot of times, women are like, they’ll take care of everybody else other than themselves. And I’ve worked with a lot of women. I’m like, No, this is time for you to take care of you. And I was talking with someone just the other day, who had a loss of a teenager in their life that was killed and they’re like, well, I’m falling apart. I’m not getting anything done. I’m not doing all the things I should be doing. I’m not back at work yet. I’m like, it’s been 30 days. You know, give yourself a break. But this is how women tend to react. It’s like I’m not doing all the things I need to be doing, you know, taking care of the house and Taking care of this person taking care of that person. And people are we’re encouraging this person to go out and get involved and like causes and stuff. And I said, No, do not let someone put that on you 30 days out, don’t let someone do that to you.

Leslie Davis 55:15
And well, in the reason that I’m laughing is when my mother died two weeks later, my oldest child was born. Right. Okay, I was, my mother in law happened to be there because she was supposed to be there for baby Sharon, she ended up staying for a week and they left on my birthday. My birthday is a week after my child was born. I was feeling guilty because I didn’t want to clean the house. I felt guilty because I would end up sitting, you know, for six hours not moving literally not moving. I felt guilty because I didn’t want to fix dinner, I felt guilty because I didn’t want to do the laundry. I didn’t want to go the Gretna delete the list of things I didn’t want to do was an incredibly long show. And I felt guilty because I didn’t want to do those things. And you know, knowing what I know. Now, of course, I didn’t feel like doing any of those things. But I didn’t have anybody saying to me, of course you don’t feel like doing any of those things. No, you’re sad. What can I do? You know, can I listen? Just tell me something, just sit here. And I will you can cry all you want. Now listen to you. I didn’t have the ability to do anything with that. So you know, that’s one of the reasons why my grief went so far underground, right? I couldn’t, I wasn’t around people who had that coping mechanism. But you know, you talk about women in the lack of self care. Something that I talked about is put your own oxygen mask on first. When we fly, they tell you put your own oxygen mask on first and help somebody else. And I always went, yeah, right. Anyway, you have about 30 seconds when that plane loses oxygen or pressure in those mass drop down, you’ve got about 30 seconds to get that mask on. And if you’re busy helping everybody else, and I tell people this, if you’re busy helping everybody else, you’re gonna be laid out in the aisle, the planes gonna land, they’re gonna step over you and sit there sit nice person who helped me they’re going to go on their way and where are you going to be? Right?

Brian Smith 57:21
Right. The other thing is, if you if you don’t take care of yourself, that you’re not going to be there to help anyone, anyone else. So that’s what I’ll tell the people you know, sometimes it’s like, you’ve got to take care of yourself first. And it’s okay. self love is not selfish, you know, it’s actually a part of something that you have to do to be healthy. So. So tell people, where can we get your book and tell us a little bit more about what we can expect if we get your book?

Leslie Davis 57:48
Well, you can get my book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble. It’s also available on nook and some of the other e readers. And what you can expect when you get the book is me having a conversation with you pretty much like we’re having a conversation right now. Because I wrote the book, the way that I taught. And the lessons that you learn in there are you know how to put your own oxygen mask on first, but also finding your why why are you doing something major in your life? Why are you deciding to make a huge change? But I talked about, you know, learning to love yourself is the main theme and the skills and the habits and things that you want to have so that when you’re driving your car down the road of life and you hit a traffic jam, you don’t park your car, get out and walk home. You know, we keep moving forward. And I talk about celebrating the little things because even even if we are especially when we are having you know one of these days where we don’t know if we can get out of bed, celebrate the fact that you did get out of bed look at you You got out of bed. This is how you felt I’m so proud of you. You got out of bed. That is amazing.

Brian Smith 59:03
Yes, yes.

Leslie Davis 59:04
And you stop right there. You don’t shut us You don’t want us you don’t put us you stop right there celebrate the little things. And if they wouldn’t reach out to me You can find me at You can’t eat love calm or reach out to me by email Leslie. And I would really love to hear from you. I am available, you know, anytime so just reach out.

Brian Smith 59:27
All right. Well, Leslie, it’s been really great getting to know you and to learn more about your story. And I appreciate you sharing it with with people. Because I think it’s really, really important that we model this for people and we give people permission to talk about the grief and explore the grief. And so thank you so much for being here today.

Leslie Davis 59:46
Well, thank you so much. And if I could just leave your listeners with just one parting statement. Sure. And that is no matter what is going on. No matter what anybody is saying to you just know this You are enough, just as you are. Awesome. Thank you, Brian. I really appreciate it.

Brian Smith 1:00:06
All right, have a great rest of your day. You too. Thanks. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe, so click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

Transcribed by

Reid Peterson is the Creator of Grief Refuge, a mobile app that is a daily companion to people in grief. Reid has years of experience working with grief and creating online learning. He has combined the two into a unique app for your smartphone.

Reid’s biological father died in 2006 and his stepfather died in 2016. After losing both father figures in his life, he sought support through community grief counseling and support groups. After realizing comfort and solace could be provided to grievers more consistently, he made the Grief Refuge app to provide support on a daily basis.

Women, this is a great episode to share with the men in your life. There are too few of us men in this spiritual/grief field.

Reid lives with his wife, Jessica, in Santa Barbara, California. Together, they spend time at the beach playing volleyball, hiking in the foothills, and living heart-centered lives.





Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be. We feel like we’ve been buried, but what if, like a seed we’ve been planted and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree. Now, open your eyes. Open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.


Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me a gentleman by the name of Reed Peterson. I’m going to read the brief introduction to read and then we’re going to have a conversation as we always do. Reid is the creator of grief refuge. It’s a mobile app. There’s a daily companion to people in grief. Reid’s biological father died in 2006 and his stepfather passed in 2016. After losing both five father figures in his life, he sought support through community grief counseling, and support groups. After realizing conferences could be provided to Grievers more consistently, he made the grief refuge app to provide support on a daily basis. Reid lives with his wife, Jessica, in Santa Barbara, California. And together they spend time at the beach playing volleyball hiking in the foothills and living heart centered lives, lives. So that I want to welcome Reed Peterson to grief to growth. Hey, Brian,

Reid Peterson 1:35
it’s it’s a pleasure to be here. And I really look forward to our conversation as to gentlemen who value grief. And I’m just honored. Thank you.

Brian Smith 1:45
Yeah, it’s really great to have you. You reached out to me a few days ago and told me you had this app. And first of all, it was great. We were kind of both talking about an email. We’re two guys having this conversation. That’s very rare. Men don’t generally talk about grief. When you go to grief support groups, you don’t find men there, you know, for the most part. So it’s good to be having this conversation with you as well. Yeah, for sure. So what I you know, I kind of talked about it in the intro, but but I find that people that are in this field, and the Greenfield, typically something kind of triggers them and drives them into it. So and it’s typically a loss event. So tell me what, what got you into being interested in and working with grief?

Reid Peterson 2:26
Sure, I’ll try to sum it up in a couple minutes. You know, as you mentioned, my dad died in 2006. And at that time, I was in graduate school for psychology, and I was learning how to be a transpersonal psychologist, really, the way I define transpersonal psychology is like, almost the accelerated path to higher consciousness. And in my studies, we were studying the effects of meditation, we were studying the effects of drug induced experiences, you know, like LSD, psilocybin, etc. And so, when my dad died, I kind of felt like at the time, it was authentic, but I felt a lot of relief. And the reason being was because my dad was an alcoholic, my dad did struggle with post traumatic stress, he was in the Vietnam War. And he had a lot of, I think the term used in our culture is a lot of inner demons. And he really struggled with that. And so when he died, I had this i, this concept of, is, he’s no longer suffering. And so, you know, when living on my life accordingly, and, you know, process grief, some of losing my dad, but just kind of, you know, focused on my career path, so to speak. But then when my stepfather, he got sick with cancer in 2008. And his journey was long and grueling, and he was also a veteran, but very different story for him for his life experience. But I the reason why I’m mentioning is the veterans because he was a true soldier, and never giving up and never surrendering to the illness that didn’t take his life in 2016. So when war in my stepfather passed, I reflected on our relationship and realized man, I had, I had a very solid parental father figure in my life and kind of took advantage of it or not advantage I took, I took it for granted. I was always available to talk but the way our dynamic played out was I kind of had to approach him. And so I reflected on that and thought I kind of just felt a lot of sorrow because I was like, there’s a lot of missed opportunity. Unity’s for Ross to have very solid father son relationship even though he’s my stepfather. And in reflecting upon that, I started realize, wow, there’s a, there’s a lot of unresolved grief with my my father. So I went on a journey, grieving both my stepdad and my father 10 years later. And that led me to working with support groups in my local community, as well as some personal counseling. And then I started to realize, Oh, you know, I, I’m starting to feel some kind of calling to provide help to others, who perhaps, you know, embark on their own grief journey, and started paying attention to how could I do that. And it led me to some pretty amazing training, actually, with the Center for loss in life transition out of Fort Collins, Colorado, and learn how to what Ellen Woolfolk calls it companion, and found this model and have started supporting people just by staying soft, keeping my soft, my ears open, my heart open, and my mouth closed, is really showing up to listen. And then was like, hey, why not embrace technology? What I mentioned career path, I learned how to utilize technology to help people learn certain aspects. Okay, and then tie that in with developing an app to just be very, very candidly convenient for people to use. Yeah.

Brian Smith 6:45
Yeah, there’s a lot you said in there that I want to, I want to kind of go over, you know, I noticed that you were saying your father passed in 2006. And your stepfather passed 10 years later. And a lot of times, we feel like we’re processing the grief or we don’t need to process the grief or whatever. And then it might hit us three 510 20 years later. And you know, we carry that around and don’t even realize it, then there’s some event, like I guess, in this case, your stepfather’s passing that brought that out?

Reid Peterson 7:15
Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. And at the time of our recording right now, it’s 15 years since my dad died, and I’m recognizing, wow, there’s still a lot there. It’s actually kind of fresh right now, because I kind of came to an epiphany that I’ve never publicly said this before. But my dad actually took his life. The circumstances of it were kind of unique, because on his death certificate, he died by accident. But I was like, Wow, he actually was the one who did it. He was in his house all alone. What had happened was, he, he was it was alcohol induced. And he was he was drunk at the time. And my dad struggled with flashbacks from the Vietnam War. And my assumption is that he was experiencing a flashback. And he ended up bold charging a wall in his house. So he hit the top of his head on the wall, and it ended up severing his cervical spine. So ended up dying from a subdural hematoma. But, you know, on his, like I said, on his death certificate, it says, that’s the cause of death. But when I look at it, I’m like, that’s pretty much suicide. And so that, to me, is fresh. I’ve really been thinking about that lately. And truthfully, it brings up a lot of motion for me, even though it’s 15 years later.

Brian Smith 8:53
Sure, sure. It’s so complex I was on. I had one of my podcasts whose mother was a drug addict, an alcoholic, and she had passed and then, so then you have, like you said, that feeling of relief, which can then bring about feelings of guilt, because now you’re guilty, that you’re relieved. And, you know, suicide always brings, you know, a complex set of emotions. And if we don’t process all those things, they just hang around, and they can be freshmen years later. So I certainly can, can understand what you’re saying. And that’s the thing about grief, it just kind of kind of hangs there until you pay attention to it. And I think especially as men, I think that’s why you and I don’t see each other men in these grief groups. We just carrying it around, we just stuffed it down and we say, I don’t even have those feelings. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Reid Peterson 9:41
Yeah, and I will say as a man to definitely agree with you. And so I’ve done a lot of processing through some of my own movement, like hiking, etc. I’ve gone through, gone for very long beach walks. But there are times where it’s trying to think of the right Word, it’s almost like intimidating because if I go to a support group, and it’s, you know, 90% or more women in the group, what I find as a man is that they’re very gifted in articulating their emotions with words. And I can’t identify with that. So it takes me longer. And, you know, I may stutter, I may pause and then get slightly self conscious, because I’m not like, I’m not able to hang with, with the women in the group who are so easily articulating what they’re feeling.

Brian Smith 10:34
Yeah. Yeah, that’s an excellent point. And I’ve noticed that, you know, a lot of times women as we’re trying to figure out what our feelings are, we’re processing them in our head and trying to get them out. You know, they’re, they’re just where their past and they’re just gone. So yeah, for a man going into scripts, it can be intimidating. For sure.

Reid Peterson 10:53
Yeah. So it’s definitely an assumption of why. Maybe that’s why a lot of men don’t end up going. But, I mean, there’s so many other reasons, too. But

Brian Smith 11:05
yeah, and it’s, you know, I’ve one I thought about, you know, biology versus versus socialization. And I think it’s a matter of socialization. I think it’s when men are taught to be it’s not, I don’t think it’s something men will say, well, that’s just the way we are, I don’t, I don’t believe that, I think it’s the way we’re taught to be, you know, we’re not taught to express our feelings. You know, my relationship with my father is really, you know, interesting, because my parents were kind of like, if we feed you and we clothe you, then that’s all you need, right. And I ended up in counseling when I was in my early 30s, late or late 30s, early 40s. My counsels like, No, you need to be loved and be held and stuff like that, like now, that’s, I don’t need that. And then I realized, when I was like, 40, I kind of do need that.

Reid Peterson 11:50
Yeah, I’ve gone through a similar experience, I was grateful, you know, when I was in, when I was in school, for psychology, my whole vision was to be a professor. And that didn’t pan out, I had to choose different career paths. But I’m so grateful that I was in that program. This was in my later 20s. Because it did open me up to better understanding. I missed out a lot on a lot of emotional and physical nurturing in my upbringing. Definitely with my father, but also with my mother at times, because she was a nurse who worked worked overnights, but she just wasn’t physically available. She was, you know, putting food on the table. And so I was just like, man, there’s, there’s a lot here. There’s a lot of healing.

Brian Smith 12:39
Yeah, there is. And you know, the thing is, I remember, I was probably a little bit after that things, I was probably in my early 40s. And there’s a book came out called Wild at Heart by a guy named john Eldridge, and is a Christian based book, but it talks about the father wound the wound, that all of us sons get from our fathers and the things we look for. And again, a lot of times as men, we’re not even told you’re allowed to want these things are they things are available to you. So we just assumed that they’re not we don’t even know what we need. So when you say there’s a lot there is, and most of us don’t start processing that till we’re 30 4060 years old. Man. So, so you said you took this this grief training, and you’ve been working with people? What did you decide to turn to technology to help people and why did you make that that that decision?

Reid Peterson 13:31
It Truthfully, I mean, it’s a simple answer. It’s all pandemic related. A, what I started doing my trainings, I was learning a companion model. And so naturally, one can show up to provide one to one support, having learned those type of skill sets. And so I started making myself available to provide that ones that one to one support, and still have a small practice, and doing so maybe see, you know, three to five clients a week. But I had this vision, Brian, to have a grief Retreat Center, a physical location, I’m thinking somewhere up in the pacific northwest of the United States, where there’s a lot of wood, and there’s a lot of water. And a lot of people can just come and have their own personal break from, you know, normal everyday stresses. They can just take refuge in their grief. And then the pandemic came in, I was like, You know what, this, this idea or this dream, it may have to be more of a longer term vision. And so I said, What can I do now? And I looked in, you know, I just kind of looked at the skill sets. I had this. I’ve been making, like online learning programs for 10 years. And so I was like, why don’t I just meet people where they’re at and that was on their phones, because phones are so convenient now. And so I said, Alright, let’s, let’s play with the technology. Let’s see what can be created to help people on a more consistent basis through through mobile technology.

Brian Smith 15:17
So yeah, that’s really interesting. So it was paid up. So were you seeing clients? Or are you seeing clients face to face? Are you seeing clients remotely? Or how do you how do you normally see people? Yeah, video conferencing? Okay, virtually, virtually? Yeah, I was gonna ask you if it had anything to do with the fact that you wanted to reach more men, because I think a lot of times, again, we talked about times, men are intimidated by group settings, and maybe even expressing their emotions in front of someone else. So I was wondering if you might think there might be a better market for that for men that they could do this in the privacy of their own home?

Reid Peterson 15:50
Maybe, truthfully, I haven’t really consciously thought about it. I, I, you know, I put out that intention, you know, it’s kind of a metaphysical concept of just like, you know, setting intention and the right people will show up, right? I don’t mean like, right, in the sense of right or wrong, but just more of like, who’s a good fit for you? Right? And, you know, they’ll find you. And so, I didn’t necessarily think like, perhaps it would be a specific gender focus, I just said, Oh, the people who need this type of environment or this type of holding space.

Brian Smith 16:32
It might be, it might be just a consequence, or unintended consequences or side effect. I guess. I’m just curious about that. Because, as I’ve talked to the few men I’ve talked to in this field, you know, and even I really look at the afterlife a lot. And I’ll ask you about your thoughts about that later. But it’s almost a women I go to a conference is 85 90% women and usually the men that are there have been dragged by their wives. Now they’re the they’re the Draggy, as we call it, you know, they just, they’re the circus. Yeah, I guess I have to go support her in this crazy stuff. And, you know, I’ve thought myself, you know, how do I reach more men, I have very few male clients. And the ones that I have their wives have been the ones that have signed them up. I just met one this weekend. And his wife’s like, yeah, I want him to meet with you. So yeah, it’d be interesting to see if that does pan out that way. And then I know myself, I love technology. So when I saw your app, I was like, really, you know, excited about it? This is kind of a segue, I just want to ask you, I’m just curious, what’s your What are your thoughts about spirituality or the app? Is there any afterlife thoughts in your mind or all the time? Yeah,

Reid Peterson 17:40
I’ll start with a short story of when I got the news that my dad died. I was in the backyard of the house where I was living out of grad school. And my dad and I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and most of my family lived in the area at the time. And I was out in California in graduate school. So there’s a big physical distance, and I got a voicemail for my brother, he left me the message that dad had died. And initially, there was just like, these volts of shock. And I’m like pacing back and forth in the backyard, looking up at the sky, as just couldn’t believe that you died. Quickly, I kind of I didn’t know what to do. And so ironically, I was in a class that weekend, because I got the phone call on Sunday morning. And I was in this weekend elective course. And it was. It’s called the psychology of men. I think the psychology of men’s spirituality might have been. And so I was like, Wow, what an irony that my dad died as well in this course. But I lived close enough to school where I would walk. And so I had about a 40 minute walk to school and I thinking along the way, I said, Dad, I know your transition has been really quick, but just let me know you’re okay. If you can show up in the, in the form of a crow sometimes. So this may sound silly, but for quite a few years, when he died, when I would be outside and there’d be crows on the branches wherever they were upon the telephone wire. And they just be making their presence known sometimes crows can be so loud. Yeah, I look up and just be like, Hey, Dad, and I, you know, I’d be connecting in whatever way I could. So that’s the story that kind of gets me into the afterlife concept, but I don’t necessarily I haven’t done a lot of study Brian as far as like other dimensions. Haven’t really taken my knowledge that far. But I am the belief that we have many different lives. I personally believe that I don’t, you know, if I come back in human form in the future, I probably won’t remember past lives. And in the life I’m currently living living now, I don’t have any past life, memories that can resolve, but they do hold the belief that we’re probably given many opportunities, our souls are given many opportunities to have learning experiences. Candidate Nick can’t necessarily explain why, but I just believe it’s just kind of his gut feeling. And perhaps, you know, if, if, since I believe in that, I also believe everyone has an opportunity, I kind of believe in that old soul new soul concept. Hope that answers your question.

Brian Smith 21:06
Yeah. And that was just, that was just a personal thing. I was just curious, because that’s, that’s a big part of what got me or gets me through my grief is, is the belief that there is a reason why we’re here that we do go on my dog, you can see your pictures as behind me. She passed away six years ago, but I feel like she’s still with me, you know, every day, and she’s the inspiration for what I do. So that’s, that’s a personal thing. I, you know, it’s interesting for, for me, if that were taken away from me, I don’t know how I would deal with the grief, I just, I just a big part of what I go through. But the reason I was so excited about seeing your app is because this is what I tell all my clients and I say all the time that grief is a practice. It’s like we have to be disciplined and how we go about it, it has to be faced, you know, when you gave the example of how you didn’t, you know, deal with your father’s grief, you know, very much for 10 years, I’ve interviewed I talked to someone, her son passed away, it was 18 years before the grief, you know, actually came back and hit her. But it will it will wait for you. And it will it’ll be there lurking in fact you so I believe in I believe in facing it head on, I believe in the practice. So when I saw your app, like I said, I was really excited about that. So tell me how your app could help. How does it contribute to that?

Reid Peterson 22:25
One, I think it’s consistency. The app does prove provide something on a daily basis. And it’s in the form of audio. So I like to call them reflections. It’s something that a user the app can listen to, and now integrate into their own life, I try to be very careful about what is spoken about, try to think something a little bit more pondering or philosophical, in its sense, to help somebody help hold that space. For their grief experience. I think that it’s common these days, Brian, that people can make themselves very, very busy, to either numb out a lot of pain, that their emotional pain that they’re feeling in their grief, or just try to tell themselves through, okay, I know that in those moments and moments, those types of things, or that type of thinking, can be actually be helpful. Because, you know, if someone is as devastated as they possibly can be, you know, it’s really hard to function in life. So some of these breaks or distractions can happen, but, but the app is there to help hold space for it. It’s like, in a way like it. It’s a process of honoring your grief, as well as letting yourself emote and now have a mourning experience to it. So there’s also there was a prompt for me for a couple years by some colleagues of mine who said read, you’ve got a really soothing voice. And you should probably do something with that gift. And that’s part of the app to Brian, there’s a lot of audio on there. And so I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from users where they say, if anything, your app helps me a lot with like, slowing down my nervous system. A lot of people in grief can really struggle with anxiety. That wasn’t necessarily, you know, a priority. When I made the app of like, let’s help people in grief, be less anxious. But what I found is as I get more feedback is like that. That’s one of the better ads that people are getting from using the app.

Brian Smith 25:04
Yeah, that sounds great. I use an app I’ve been using it for, off and on. Well been using it consistently now for about six years a little bit. It’s got insight timer for meditation. And I find that’s been because I like that it because I have I have a streak going, how many days in a row? Can I meditate, and it shows me how many minutes I’ve meditated. And so I like something like that I use, I have a thing. I called me, this muse. It’s like a biofeedback thing. And I love that kind of stuff. And so when I, when I saw your app, I thought, what a great way to make sure I honor my grief, you know, on a daily on a daily basis. So let’s talk about the different components that are in the app, because I did download it and I have looked at a little bit. So what are the what are the different components that are there? Sure.

Reid Peterson 25:48
The first and most important one is what I call the daily refuge. And that’s the audio musings, those come out every day. They’re actually relatively short, you know, they’re around five minutes long, intentionally. Because I don’t really want to, I don’t really want to put somebody through a wallowing in their experience. I want to help them, like you said, honor it, have another component component of the app, that is a journaling feature. And that’s, there’s there’s some categories on the app, so that those are the prompts themselves, but I know that in a lot of journaling experiences, there’s questions asked as prompts, they don’t really have those questions asked very intentionally. The another component is called reflections, their stories, their stories to help be a little bit more inspirational. You know, careful and using that word. I don’t really want to inspire Grievers. But they’re the reflection stories are set up in a way where, who the story is about, it’s from a perspective of like, having been able to experience a lot of healing their grief process to, so they’re not necessarily feeling the wrongness of the emotional pain. Another component is called my grief journey. And that is a little bit of what it sounded like you’re referring to like a little bit of a keeping a score. As far as that it’s a it’s a questionnaire that a user can answer each day. And it provides a little scorecard for them to help track progress if progress is what they want to track. And then I just added a new feature called Ask the author. And so I’m finding authors of grief related books and trying to get into their story a little bit more as to what motivated them to help write the book that they wrote, wrote and understand a little bit about a little bit more about their process of writing the book, too. I find it really neat, actually. Because, you know, when we pick up a book, we often hear a lot of read a lot of the marketing language to help sell the book, right? Well, you know, let’s, let’s get in the head and in the hearts a little bit about the author and better understand their intention to so. And then finally, another component is called intentions and intentions are just like, small exercises that users can lean on and utilize when they may feel like they needed. Such as I think there’s one about kindness, seeking kindness and asking for kindness to be treated with more sensitivity, because a lot of people can say a lot of things that end up hurting a lot of people. That might be all the components. I might have missed one there. I know. I know. I integrated the grief refuge podcast on there. But yeah, that’s just kind of more like because it was super simple to integrate.

Announcer 29:19
Yeah, 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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f the number two gr o w th. com. If you’d like to support this podcast, visit slash grief to Growth slash g ri e f, the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Brian Smith 30:16
So how did you, you said you’ve done you’ve been doing online learning or learning how to teach people online and I can tell you I download the app like a couple days ago, I haven’t really had a chance to dig into it. But um, it’s really well done. It’s it’s really, it’s beautiful, as laid out really well. And it’s got the components, I would think I would need, you know, something. The day after Shayna passed away something told me to start a blog. So I started an online journal. So I was like, it’s still out there. It’s still public, if people want to read it. And I would just write whatever I felt like writing that day, and I would categorize it by you know, inspirational or a milestone or just what happened to me that day, or maybe dreams I had. So I like the way you’ve got this set up. Now I can go in with it. And I can journal I get to choose the category, how am I feeling today, I’m feeling sad. So let me put this in the sad category, I’m feeling angry or frustrated, whatever the emotion is, I’m feeling. And I sat down with my phone got a notification this morning that that some new content was available. I love that, that that prompts, because I think we kind of need that, you know, five minute audio, I think is perfect, because people are not going to dedicate a lot more time to it than that. So I, when I’ve seen what you’ve described, I think it can be very helpful and someone know, even as a supplement to counseling, you know, you’re in counseling, you’re seeing someone once a week or once a month or whatever, you can do this. No in between. and for those people that aren’t ready to go to a group, and you know, spill their guts, we have to get that we have to get that through us. And sometimes writing can be very helpful.

Reid Peterson 31:57
Yeah, that’s that’s very true. I think writing is extremely helpful. And I also think, back to the topic of men, a lot of men don’t want to write. I don’t know why. Yeah, I mean, it’s not just men, period, a lot of people don’t want to write to a lot of I’ve gotten a lot of response from I did do market research, Brian, before putting the app together. And one of the things that stood out for me was like a lot of people who I surveyed, they did say they would rather listen to something than to write it. And I think it might have to do with energy levels, perhaps it’s just, you know, it can be really exhausting to grieve. And it can be really exhausting to write your grief. And so I think a lot of people can feel some soothing, and some comfort and listening to something shared to them.

Brian Smith 32:57
Yeah, and the thing I like about the app is it gives you a chance to do both, you know, and maybe you listen for five minutes, and then you say how am I feeling right now? And then you just write a little bit. Something about I don’t know, maybe it was I read CS Lewis book many years ago. Was it surprised by grief, I think it was the title of the book, went after his wife had passed away any kind of journalist thing. And that just, to me, observed a grief observed. Yes, that’s what it was surprised by joy grief observed. But yeah, I’ve read that. And after my daughter passed on, like, I just felt like I had to write this down, I had to see and that way, I could look back, you know, in a few years, and see, you know, where I was, you know, and, and that’s, I found that the benefit very beneficial for me, and also the writing process and stuff, even though people don’t like to do it, it’s it can be beneficial. So this gives you a chance to do just a short bite sized chunk, you know, just set aside 10 minutes a day, you know, five minutes to listen, maybe in five minutes to write, to to honor your grief. And it’s you mentioned you’d like to take you know, walks and stuff that I do too. I walk I walk six miles every day. So first thing I’d do in the morning and people have that’s a lot that’s a lot of walking you must be in great shape. It’s like it’s more for this it’s more for my head than it is for my heart or my Yeah, it’s more for my heart. My my spiritual heart that is my physical heart.

Reid Peterson 34:24
Yeah, that’s well said. It’s interesting you say that because I started thinking about like, as I’ve aged a bit you know, my physical body hasn’t been able to maintain the the abuse I used to put it through, you know, as an athlete and younger 20s or something. And now I realized how important it is for connecting with like my emotional heart and you know, helping helping my mind come to come to peace with certain things. Through through my own movement. Yeah, I

Brian Smith 35:03
think I think movement is is important. And as I said this, this idea of doing something on a daily basis as opposed to willy nilly or whatever I feel it, and having something to me to instill that instill that discipline. So like, like I said, with the insight, insight timer app, I was using an offline for a while I was cool. Can I look at the graphs and stuff? And I took a challenge in 2017, I guess it was to meditate every day for 365 days. And so you get on the app, and it would say, What day are you on? And we were I was in a group. And I got to the end of that time, and said, Well, why don’t I just see how long keep the streak going. So, you know, I’m still doing it. So if I, you know, it’s, it’s, I found that it’s really helpful for me to have that app. And that reminder, and that little, the prompts and stuff to get me to do that. So I know, you know, technology’s not for everybody, but I think it’s a great, it could be a great supplement for a lot of people.

Reid Peterson 35:59
I like your word supplement, too, because that was the intention. I don’t want to take anyone away from group support, more counseling. Because when, when you are when your story is witnessed, it’s very helpful. Yeah, I just can’t think of a better word, it just really helps to have people to be able to witness you sharing your story. And also you also to hear other people’s stories, and to have that connection. Even though that’s more common now, virtually, there’s still so much value in it. But when I was when I was having my experience in getting support, through my grief, I had this kind of like, I always have this question like, you know, let’s say Monday, our group would meet. And Tuesday, you know, I wake up feeling a certain way. I would, you know, have a little win through my grief. And I would sit there and I think, what now, because it’s going to be another six days until my group meets again. Right? And, and so I’m like, okay, and that’s really what I sat down and I pondered over with the app, I was like, Okay, this, this is that sample that this is something that can really just be that go to, in the in between when, when the human to human connection is so vital, and so important. And yeah, this can help in that regard. Yeah,

Brian Smith 37:43
I’m glad to hear you say that. And that’s why I figured you intended the app as a supplement. Because I think grief, it’s very important to not isolate ourselves and feel alone. And I find that people when they’re going through it, especially if it’s a sudden loss, the loss of a child, especially the loss of a spouse, maybe we feel like I’m the only one that that’s been through this. We know we’re not intellectually, but we feel like we’re no one else could understand this. And it’s really important to sit down with somebody that can say to you, yes, I felt similar way or Yes, what you’re feeling is very common, you know, the anger, the frustration, the all the different things that we go through. So I think that that part’s important, but I love this as a, as an in between thing, you know, because I might be with the client, you know, maybe once a month, you know, so what can they do in the meantime, and I always try to give people these are some daily things you can do, you know, and this gives you a great way to do that daily thing and to make sure you’re doing it on a daily basis, because you get the little notification. I’ve just got an apple watch a little while ago. So it’s sitting there but notification kept on my Apple Watch and said, and refresh. Refuse has a new as new content. I’m like, cool. Let’s go do that. Thanks, man. Yeah. So um, have you found the app has been adopted? How long has it been out, by the way?

Reid Peterson 39:08
Well, at the time of our recording, it’s only been available three months. Okay. Okay. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a newbie. Yeah,

Brian Smith 39:16
yeah. So there Yeah. And I know there’s there’s a lot you know, in the app store, you know, an Apple App Store. I’m on Apple. So what are your plans for for getting it out in front of people? Well,

Reid Peterson 39:33
I think in the mental health space, connecting with a lot of professionals who provide constantly, just make helping them be aware that here’s another tool that can help be a supplement. I’m really I’m going to gravitate towards your word. So thank you. Thank you for using it because I’m like, I’m gonna have to borrow that going forward. Brian, absolutely. It’s so definitely has that that direction. My wife is a psychologist, a mental health professional. And we’ve talked a lot about how just valuable of a tool this can be for, for other mental health professionals to recommend to their patients and clients. thought a lot about like, like peer to peer support organizations that already exist. And it’s really interesting, Brian, because I’m like, I wonder if you know if there’s a fit for that, because I’ve had many of conversations with a lot of professionals in our field, where they say, like, grief support, providers can feel like they’re so siloed. So like, you know, you have your thing going, I have my thing going, where can we collaborate? Yeah, there’s kind of like that, that unknown. And so I’m like, I’m still exploring that option or that opportunity.

Brian Smith 41:09
It’s interesting, you say that, cuz I’ve noticed a little bit of that, too. It’s almost like there’s competition between some of the peer to peer groups. And then like, we’re all we’re all here trying to help people. So I don’t frankly, understand that I, I work with an organization called helping parents heal. And I’ve been working with them for about five years, I guess, now I’m actually on the board of helping parents heal. And we’re 17,000 members, I think now internationally. So we you know, and I’ll definitely be talking to people in our group about it. And I’ll talk to, I’ll recommend it to my clients, because I don’t, first of all, it shouldn’t be competition. Secondly, any tool that can be out there that can help people, you know, and, and everybody’s gonna have to pick what’s what, what’s right for them. You know, for some people, they’re gonna, I hate technology, I never, I don’t want that kind of stuff. And other people are going to say, yeah, this is this is great. I want that daily reminder, I want you know, I want a notification when, when there’s new content. I want to set aside a time and now I’ve got something to do, you know, I’ve got a thing to do. And I remember talking to someone in my program, and she was kind of life chick life coach person, she was giving people ways to change. And she was giving them exercise. And she literally said, I don’t want you to do this for more than three minutes a day and people. So what I want to do more, she said, No, I don’t want you to do it for more than three minutes a day, because you’re going to quit. So, you know, I want you to start with something that you can stick with. And I guess I like this, this is in in bite sized, doable chunks that everybody can can do.

Reid Peterson 42:36
Yeah, I just finished reading a book called honoring grief. And it’s written by Alexandra Kennedy. And I think it’s a few years old now. But what I found really interesting about that book is there’s a part in the book about like, creating a sanctuary. But what really stood out for me in that is that she recommended, similar to exactly what you said, the bite size pieces, where if you have a physical sanctuary that you show up to, and if you’re going to commit to going to it every day, to to be in your grief space. set a time limit, set a time limit for a short amount of time, because what really helps with the healing and the transformation of a grief process is the intensity and the durability of the experience that and not and not the duration itself. Yeah. And I really thought about that for a long time, Brian, and I thought, you know, I think I agree with that. And, and intuitively that’s, you know, that was, you know, an undertone for the development of the grief refuge out.

Brian Smith 43:54
Yeah, I know, we’re here to talk about the grief refuge app, but I want to talk about the other things that you do. So talking about the other things that you’re doing.

Reid Peterson 44:03
Well, like I said, I have a small companion in practice. And for me, that’s really important because that helps me keep close to people’s really authentic and raw experiences. It helps me feel human because when that when I go behind the scenes and do app development, I can feel very distant from another human. Even though it may be I may have the capacity to reach more humans. So I’m like grief. Grief and grief support itself is it’s too important. To get distance from people you have to stay close. And so I intentionally have a practice and find a lot of value I have now truthfully, because in in the companion role, I hold a belief that there’s really no cure, or there’s no fix. There’s really just support and empathy and compassion. And so I find myself I’m not the type of crier where tears will flow down, you know, really easily. I just my eyes kind of more well up. But man, I love having those sold soul talks with the clients that I serve. And feeling the emotion, whether it’s it’s theirs, or it’s my own, and just empathizing, that, that is just the beautiful experience, although it’s hard, I can think of one client in particular who’s probably going to find this podcast. And he’s gonna know this is him where he is like, rebar. Do you do the work you do? You know, he, he dances around his grief. And then, you know, we get into those moments where he connects with his emotional experience. And then he’ll try to distract himself again and be like, read, why do you? Why do you do the work? You do? How do you do this? And I just say, you know, I really feel like it’s a purpose of mine. I really feel like it’s something I understand ties in with my personal values about kindness, compassion, and care. And, and so that companion in practice, for me is very important. What else do I do? Brian? What else? I don’t know, honestly, I spent a lot of time thinking about grief, just trying to think about, like, these days, I’m pondering over like, Where’s that fine line between feeling pain in my grief? And now feeling like, I have this healing aspect? So like, you know, is there a catalyst in this journey? Or in this process? Right? It is probably, you know, as we know, it’s unique for everyone. But I’m like, I don’t I don’t really see or hear it talked about in the literature written about grief. But it I kind of understand why. Because when I make content for the app, I can’t really I can ponder it, but I can’t really talk about it as like, here’s the path because the path is personal. The path is experiential, for everyone. You know, you’re asking me at the time where the Olympics are on CIF, really, Brian, I’m taking a lot of breaks and watching a lot of Olympic competition. I’m just super appreciating that the Olympics are happening. And I know that COVID cases are going up and in Tokyo, and that’s scary. So I know that a lot of athletes from a lot of countries are putting themselves at risk to compete. But also like, there’s a part of me that feels joy, because they are pursuing their dreams. Yeah. And if you know, like, for the athletes who did test positive and had to withdraw from the competition, like, that’s a death of a dream. That’s a lot of grief there.

Brian Smith 48:20
Yeah, yeah, there are lots lots of forms of grief. And yeah, we’re recording this on July 28 2021. So we’re right in the middle of the Olympics. And I’m the same way as you I love the Olympics. I’ve loved him since I was a kid. And I appreciate them so much more. This year, as much as I love in many ways than ever, and I’m taking breaks and watching the Olympics also. And, you know, it’s something that even while we’re going through a grief journey, you know, we’ve got to take these these these other things. You touched upon something earlier about, like, I don’t have a cure for grief, and I work with someone. And it was really interesting, because she’s a grief expert. I’m a grief expert, because I’ve been through it. She’s a grief expert. He studied and has a PhD and all that stuff. And the thing is, grief is not an illness, you know, it’s not something because people will ask me, will I ever get over it? Will I ever recover? This is not an illness. This is a it’s a journey. And it can actually be an opportunity, as weird as that sounds to people that haven’t gone through it. But it’s a real opportunity for growth and for transformation. So unlike words, like you were saying earlier, like honoring our grief, you know, we’ve got to it’s like it’s not it’s something that we’ve got to honor that we should we should sit down with and try to understand, what is the point of this because people like why did this person have to die? Why am I going through this? And that you said those are answers. We can’t give the answer to our questions. We can’t give the answers because they’re individual. But pondering those questions even if you don’t get answers. There’s there’s a lot of opportunity in that there’s a lot of growth in that. Why am I here? What’s the purpose of my life? You know, and that’s the sets, this resets, as we start thinking about that might, when my daughter passed, I would not be doing this with my daughter and passed away. And you know, when people ask me, How do you feel, you know, talking to grieving people? Doesn’t that bring you down? It energizes me, I feel, I feel great when I talk to somebody, and they come in and their eyes are down and crying, and I can barely say, their child’s name. I work with a lot of parents. And then, you know, I start talking to them, and I ask them about their kid, and they start talking about the kid and I just start lighting up, about how proud they are their child and stuff like that. And then we talked about the purpose. And by the end of the session, a lot of times, you’re like, I feel so much better. And I’m like, so do I.

Reid Peterson 50:45
I love I love what you do. And I actually love your grief to growth like, like business concept. Because when I first started paying attention to my trainings in grief, I didn’t have a fit for transformation. I thought, wow, you know, transformation is not an excuse, but a bypass.

Brian Smith 51:12
Right, right. Exactly. Yeah, I understand that.

Reid Peterson 51:15
And and then, you know, I came to learn like, oh, okay, now I’m redefining transformation for myself. Yeah.

Brian Smith 51:24
Yeah. What would you say is really important, we have to be very careful with people that we don’t just bypassing that we don’t say, Oh, this is just a great thing you should accept and move on. You know, it’s like, I tell people, there are phases you’re gonna go through, they’re not, they’re not linear. They’re not same for everybody. But there’s usually like, what I call a shock phase. There’s kind of like the white knuckling phase. And then there’s, you know, maybe, you know, you start to accept a little bit, and then you can start thinking about, you know, transformation or growth. It’s not, you can’t just jump from one place to the other. But in my experience, as I’ve worked with people I’ve seen, you know, people make amazing transformations, you know, after going through grief experience, and it is it is definitely doable, and something that we can do, we can take this this thing and transform it into something else. Oh, sounds like you’re doing amazing work, right? I Well, it’s, I feel like, this is what I’m supposed to do. You know, and, you know, I asked you about your spirituality earlier. And for me, this is my personal belief. I believe everything that happens, happens, because it’s supposed to. And I’ve debated this with people. And I’m like, Well, here’s what I know, what happened did happen. And that’s not debatable. So how I react to it is our choice. I choose to believe it happened for a reason. But even if it didn’t, what what can I do with this? What can I do with what’s happened? Because, you know, the reality is the reality. And, but that’s for me, just makes it so much, you know, so much easier. And I have bad days. And you know, I didn’t have a great day yesterday. But I always know that, you know, it can get it will get better. And I tell people, you know, it’ll get better. You know, and when this first happens to people, you think like, this is the end. So I kind of rambling. But I think what you and I do and that’s what I really respect to you reached out to me, it was just a couple days ago, and I saw your app, and I got so excited. I said, Yeah, I want to bring this guy on right now. Because I think this is a great resource that, you know, that I can provide to my listeners and to my clients. That’ll just help them along that journey to reach that, that transformation, maybe a little bit faster.

Reid Peterson 53:34
a break. If you don’t mind me asking, in some of what you shared some of your personal experience, I feel like you’ve developed a lot of the buzzword that we use these days called resilience, but like but authentically. And I’m curious of your professional opinion. Do you think you mentioned some of the you know, the shock phase, the white knuckle phase and then coming to transformation? I heard I heard them as phases. Do you think there’s like a phase for the development of resilience too?

Brian Smith 54:10
Yeah, I think so. I really I always hesitate. When I said that I like stop because, you know, everybody takes Elisabeth Kubler Ross five phases of death, the stages of death and dying and change and uses it on crave which is just not you can’t translate those two. And grief is not a linear journey. It’s like but up and down and back and forth. So even for me even though I might say I’m in the resilience, race, I still have the pain. You know, I still go through the slab shock sometimes, you know, it’s like, no, why isn’t Shayna here? But yeah, generally speaking, but I think and I’ve seen what I’ve what I’ve observed is as I remember when I first started going to grief support groups, and I’ll never forget the one of the first ones I went to, and I won’t name the organization but it was one that doesn’t talk about afterlife or anything. And the people just came there the same week. It was the same thing. tell you a story. Oh, Over and over again. And this woman had been there for like 10 years, her daughter passed away like 10 years ago, she was still as angry, shocked, depressed everything as she was the day her daughter passed. And she was just holding on to that. And this was at the time where I didn’t even think it was possible for me to transform. But I was like, I do not want to be like that in 10 years, I knew what I didn’t want to do. And then I discovered helping parents heal, which is all based on transfer transformation, which is you tell from the title, helping parents heal. And our thing is, I don’t remember the exact model I should. But we help people go from bereaved parents, which we hate that term, too. We call shining light parents, which means that our children are shining lights, because they have passed in the spirit, but we’re also trying to become shining lights. And so what I try to do for people is try to model that. And then you know, and a lot of people that come to me, actually, they want to jump into helping other phase right away, I’m like, let’s just slow down on that. Let’s feel yourself first. But then you can start helping other people. And that, to me is like the final final phase is when we start. Once we’ve learned something, we pass it on to somebody else. Thanks, I appreciate that. Yeah, so yeah, like I said, read I, what you’re doing, I think is is fantastic. The app, it’s beautiful. I’m in the visual stuff. So the app is beautiful. And I think it’s really, really well thought out. So I would encourage people to check it out. If you no matter else, what else you’re doing, it can be a great supplement in for what you’re doing. If you’re the kind of person that likes that type of thing, if you’re using insight timer, or headspace, or is other types of things, this one for specifically for grief. So tell people how they can get the app, what the what the pricing model is, and all that kind of stuff.

Reid Peterson 56:48
Okay? Well, the app is actually really easy to find. So wherever you get your apps on your phone, just search grief refuge, it’s two words. That’s the easiest thing. And it is a free download. And some some of the features about half of the features anybody can use for free for the rest of the time they use the app. And then there are some features that require a monthly subscription. And that’s 1199 per month. It is it is a for profit organization. So the bills do have to be paid. Right. And, you know, I wish it could be free. But I’m, you know, I’m the I’m a small business.

Brian Smith 57:31
So I perfectly understand and it was funny, I was telling my wife to download the app. And I’m like, we’ve gotten so used to things are we we kind of on the internet, we want things to be free. But on the other hand, I know a little bit about technology have looked into developing apps, I know it costs a lot of money to develop an app, most people don’t realize how much money Apple takes from you if it’s in the App Store. So you might look at that that’s a lot of money. It’s like apples taken a third of that. So you do your your your business, you’ve got to you’ve got to be able to produce it. And I know it takes a lot to produce that the daily content. You know, that takes a while we were talking earlier about the things that we both do producing content is is work. It’s a lot of work. or read. It’s been really great.

Reid Peterson 58:17
Let me just say it’s also meaningful.

Brian Smith 58:20
Yeah, it is. It is and things can be both. You know, it’s it’s, I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the word about the podcast earlier. I know you produce a podcast so you have an eye, you know what that’s like? And, you know, again, people who don’t do that, you know, try it. You’ll figure out it takes it takes a little bit so people can reach you at what was the best place to put ratio is a grief refuge.

Reid Peterson 58:43
Yeah, the website’s grief, refuge calm, and my information is on there. Okay.

Brian Smith 58:50
Well, again, read Peterson. The website is grief, refuge calm. I’ll put links in the show notes. Read thanks for for being here today. Thanks for doing what you do. And I wish you success with everything you’re doing and with the app. Hey, Brian, I

Reid Peterson 59:04
just want to thank you. I’ve learned a lot from you today. Thanks for this opportunity.

Brian Smith 59:09
I appreciate that. All right. Have a great day. You too. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe. So click on the subscribe button here and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

Transcribed by


Frances Key is the scribe of a four-book series called The Team: A Mother’s Wisdom from the Other Side. She began writing the books 19 days after her mother died when she sensed her mother communicating important spiritual insights to her. Frankie considers the true authors of the books to be her mother, Teddy Key, and the spiritual team she rejoined after she died.

If you’ve listened to me for any length of time, you are aware I am obsessed with these books. I first interviewed Frankie in May of 2020. I have participated in a book study she led. And, I’ve read The Team books no less than three times, maybe almost as many times as she has read them.

I find myself referring to concepts in the books continually. The first book was received from Teddy, while Books 2, 3, and 4 carry the energy of both Teddy and other teammates who came through to share their perspectives on life and death.

In this interview, I discuss with her some of the concepts in Book 4.

You can find out more at: ℹ️



Brian Smith 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

Hey everybody, this is Brian back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me Francis key or Frankie key. Just for everybody who doesn’t know about my obsession with the team books that we’re going to talk about a series of books called the team and we’ll get into what that is. If you want to find out more detail about about Frankie or about the team books go back to Episode 102, which was in December of 2020. December of last year, you can listen to that. I’m going to read a quick bio, then I will introduce Frankie and we’ll get started. Francis key it’s a scribe of a four book series called the team. A mother’s wisdom from the other side, she began writing the books 19 days after her mother died. When she says her mother communicating important spiritual insights to her. She considers the true authors of the books to be her mother, Teddy key and the spiritual team that her mother were joined when she died. The first first book was received from Teddy, while books two, three and four, carry the energy of boteti and other teammates who came through to share the perspectives on life after death. Today we’re discussing her some of her concepts and book four and a couple other things. With that, I want to welcome to Grisha growth Francis key. Hello, I’m so happy to be with you. Yeah, it is really great to have you back again. As I mentioned in that quick intro, I’m obsessed with the team books, I’ve read a few books that I feel like I’ve changed my life. I’ve read, you know,

I think of some before some books by a guy named Marcus Borg and CS Lewis. And there’s a guy named Bernardo kastrup wrote why materialism is baloney, there’s been a few books that have really impacted me. And the team books are definitely among the the books that have really changed my life. So you and I have known each other I guess for a couple of years now reached out to you after reading the books. And I wanted to have you back to discuss the concepts in book four. But before we get into that, just for people that don’t know, let’s review, like how did these books come to you because you don’t consider yourself to be the author of the books?

Frances Key 2:49
Correct? Correct.

As you said, 19 days after my mother died, I had an experience of communication with her. Should I move this down? Okay, yeah, that’s fine. All right. Good. All right. So a little back, a little background on on my mother and myself. We were both we were extremely close. We she was on a spiritual journey. And she took me with her. In essence, she would go to different churches. She had left the Catholic Church, which she found to be not answering her questions. So as a child, I was taken to different places with her, she talked to me a lot about her, her inner search and my experiences with

if you want to call it psychic phenomena, or mediumship, or spiritual awareness began as a very young child, I think directly because of her. And so I had no doubt that I would have some kind of connection with my mother, I’d had connection, and dreams and visitations and things of that nature with other people who had passed. But I never dreamed that it would take the form that it did. So it before she died at the age of 86. I used to tell her mother, why don’t you write the story of your spiritual search and each chapter would be a different concept. And she said she would say, Oh, no, I’m too old for that. I can’t, I just couldn’t do it. So got our tape recorder. I kept encouraging her actually to do something like that, but she never did. And she would say to me, Well, why don’t you try to sit and do that? inspirational. I’ll call it automatic writing. But it wasn’t complete automatic writing where you have no awareness of who you are, what you’re doing it, but it was this very flowing inspiration writing. So she would say why don’t you try that anymore? And I’d always say oh, I don’t know. I don’t feel called to do that. So lo and Behold, the to what she told me to do what I suggested that she do, came to pass in 15 books. I never dreamed it would happen that way. I believed and trusted that I would communicate with her after she passed. But 19 days after she passed, I was on an airplane, going to New York City to see my two daughters who live there. I have four but to live there. And I spoke to her in my heart, looking out the window with the beautiful clouds, which are always so inspiring, I’m sure to everyone. And I said, Mother, is there any distance for you? And I heard her answer me. I heard her answer in my mind, but I, I hesitate to say I heard her audibly, but it felt audible as well. So it it, she began to speak to me about where she was about her perspective. I was asking questions, and I started writing them down, because I always had pen and paper with me, I’m just a writer. So I do that. And asking her and, and writing down what she was telling me. And at first, I was talking to her about my personal grief and my, my regrets in my life, and apologies to her about certain things, things of that nature. But then it just started to blossom. And within the two hour flight, it was all about so much more. So I thought this would be a one time encounter on the airplane. But it turned out to be something that went on day and night, really, for over a year, over a year. The first book was written in three weeks. And by the way, because I released it so quickly, I’m in the process of tourism, editing and correcting of it. But it has some typos. But I felt it was important to get it out there first I gave it to family and friends. And then people started asking for them. And I was printing them up putting them in a folder, giving giving them away. And then I went ahead and did it through a company where people could order them on demand. So but the writings continued, and I would handwrite everything in this big scroll. And then I would sit and type it up. So it took a bit of time. The books came out every couple of years. And book four, it actually took about four years, three and a half years to get that final one out, because I had gone back to work. And so I didn’t have this block of time to do and it was kind of in bits and pieces, it took me longer to pull it all together. But book for which you wanted to speak about today.

shades describes it as taking the lid off everything else and telling us not to cling to any of these teachings thinking Oh, now I’ve got all the answers. But to use them to to move further. Because you can take any concept in these books, and most of them are in seed form. I call them in book one. They’re in seed form. And then there’s so many layers of more information about every single one of those ideas and concepts. And I think that’s what book four does. It’s like, book four is essentially it’s called Beyond the team. Right? Right, for that reason?

Brian Smith 8:46
Well, I think it’s interesting. Every time I talk to you, I learned a little bit more about about your story about your relationship with your mother. For people that don’t know you did you start doing automatic writing when you were a child? I mean, you wrote some things that were just so profound, that we wouldn’t expect to come from a child. And then I hear you say to your mother, okay, well, you should write this stuff down. And she’s like, well, I’m too old. You know, it’s, like I hear I hear other people say, Oh, it’s too late. I can’t do this. Right. And so it’s never too late. Cuz, you know, she’s still writing through you now. And,

Frances Key 9:17
yeah, she’s gonna

Brian Smith 9:19
go ahead, because she’s encouraging you to use your gifts, and you’re trying to get her wisdom out.

Frances Key 9:24
And this is exactly what happens, attacks. And I came to realize that you know, this team, this spiritual team, her main, her main teaching was, you are not alone. You’re not even functioning as one person. Nobody is because you are a member of a team. And that spiritual team is close to you as breathing and that we are like a representative, you know, of our team. It doesn’t mean we’re the only one here and that all of our team is on the other side. You know, there are many members of our team right here. On Earth, they were all working and connecting, and have a particular role and each other, some of us very, you know, intensely and some of us will never physically meet, you know, across the, across the world from each other, but we’re affecting each other. But, you know, we still are a representative of our team, which to me is just such a powerful concept. And, but what I came to realize was that the team saw this opportunity, first of all, the opportunity came because of the asking, of humanity for this, it would not be presented if there wasn’t a collective spiritual asking for the material. In fact, it’s true of any anything that comes out. And then, you know, supply and demand, if you want to call it that, you know, if, if nobody wants to, to buy the drugs, the drugs are not going to be sold, or they’re supplied. So it works on, on with negative difficult things, and it works for spiritual matters, too, it’s supply and demand, then, the team was able to see that there was a calling in the world for this book, and that they had a person who had this very fresh connection to someone who had passed, who was able to teach it. And someone who was able to, was prime to receive it, because I was, you know, in an in a state of grief and missing my mother. And because I was very suspicious, to be honest, of not suspicious, but cautious. I never wanted I heard, you know, some stories of people tapping into things that weren’t, were mischievous or, or things of that nature, and I wanted to protect my self, and I wanted, I didn’t want to be channeling or or a part of anything that might come through that wasn’t pure. So I trusted my mother, and I trusted her voice. And that’s why book one was 100%, my mother, then I became aware as the as we went along, particularly a book to some of it felt and sounded like my mother and then other teammates came in. There’s chapters that speak of all through the books, there’s chapters that speak of scientific things, or medical things, or quantum ideas that I’m simply not educated in. So these were, these were part of teammates that had that wisdom. But my mother was the main, I knew she was at the helm.

Brian Smith 12:51
Right, right. Yeah. You know, one thing about the books for me, and like I said, it really changed my life, and just how I even look at my life, I mean, just totally fundamentally, because I’d heard the concept of angels and guides and stuff like that, but it’s still kind of like, you’re the star of your own story, right? We are the person that’s here, and they’re there to help us, you know, the angels and guides are there just to kind of help us. They’re almost like their servants in a way. And this, this book, or these books, maybe feel like, no, we’re all part of a team, we’re all equal members of the team. I just happened to be the one at this moment, that’s in the trenches, but I’m not the star of the show.

Frances Key 13:32
Right. And the beautiful thing about that is everything that you go through and learn, your team absorbs, everybody doesn’t have to go through everything and do everything to get the to get the wisdom, and everything they’ve ever gone through. You will absorb everything, every bit of wisdom we attain becomes part of the team. And then teams, teams are connected to other teams to other teams. And that’s how all of it is spread out into the, into the one. So but for our human mind, the concept of a team and our belongingness is exactly what our human mind needs. And and can use the best if you if you think too far beyond Oh, well, that team’s connected to that team. So you know, it can boggle the mind. But yes, we’re not the star. We are a piece of the puzzle. And we are a representative. Yeah, so it’s exciting. It’s an exciting concept. I agree.

Brian Smith 14:40
It really is an answers to me so many questions because I you know, I’ve worked with people work with a client who was like, elderly and was alone and everybody everybody else was on the other side. And they’re like, why am I still here? Why am I going through this and what I explained there is that this is not just for you, you know, we We go through is not just for us. And for me, it just makes it just opens up so much more possibility as to, why am I going through this. And when I think about it, it’s not just for me, it’s for the other people, so maybe they don’t have to go through it.

Frances Key 15:14
Absolutely. You know, we, it, there’s a reference somewhere, I think it’s in book one to how, you know, they these simple analogies are given, but a stronger person may carry a heavy suitcase, you know, for someone at the airport. You know, as we’re walking along, we may lift up a child who can’t keep keep up the pace, we take on things for one another, just like we do in our daily lives, I mean, we do with our families, our loved ones, our friends, you know, we, we just take it on, or we think I’m just gonna do that for them, they’re overwhelmed. And in the same way, we spiritually accept certain experiences, so that we can provide in again, the wisdom and provide it to others, or to take it off another. And we take turns doing that you you said, right now you’re in the trenches, you know, we take turns being in the lookout tower, is how she put it, or in the trenches. So as she always says, neither position is superior or inferior to the other, we were simply looking at things from a different way. And so yeah, if you’re up in the lookout tower, you’re able to see a lot farther and yell down to the ones below, you know, what you can see. So it really is a matter of being open to signs and guidance and understanding that somebody on our team, and beyond the team, certainly can see the trajectory of things more than us. And she did say, this book, one of the reasons she said in Book One, and one of the reasons I am able to do this at this time, is because it’s an all hands on deck time for humanity. So the need is there. And we had this fresh, she was fresh from the conference, so to speak. Yeah. And reporting back, and I was available and have a writing ability. So they just use that. That combination.

Brian Smith 17:35
Yeah, I love the you know, it’s funny, because as you’re saying this, I’ve read the books like three or four times. So I know the analogies and other people might be kind of a little bit lost. But there are some great analogies in there that I, again, I just incorporated in my life, like this idea of like a representative, you know, from an organization going to a conference and representing the organization. That’s kind of like what it’s like when we come here. And so we prepared while we’re back at home. And we come here and we represent and we’re having some communications while we’re there, but it’s not, it’s not a direct thing, necessarily. And then we go, we eventually go back. So it just changes our life, my life and looking at, I’m here for a while, and then I’m back there for a while that I might be here for a while. And this idea of even our, our guardians or angels or whatever you want to call those people we have a lot of times I think we look up, it’s kind of like that’s a hierarchy. They’re higher than we are. They just have as your mother says, they just happen to be in a different position now. And we’ll be in that position, you know, at another time, and they’ll be in the trenches. Of course, yeah.

Frances Key 18:36
And when you go into the trenches, I mean, we’re talking about a military analogy here, if you’re in the trenches, you a little bit below ground, your vision is not as clear and you’re weighed down by all the gear and the uniform and the headset and then whatever’s going on the boots, the boots, yeah. So and yet, if you don’t have all that weighing you down, it isn’t a superiority, but there is a superior ability to to perceive my when, when we’re free of that of the oops. So and and i think angels are something different. You know, we’re talking about our souls, and the experiences of the soul throughout the universe. And one of those experiences is a human experience. But I believe angels are a different kind of entity. Hmm, yeah, we don’t just become angels, right. Right. Now there are different there are different kinds of being. And one thing she pointed out, I always love this concept. I always talk about it because you talk about something that meant so much to you. It meant so much to me to learn that our soul has many aspects, just like our brain has these different areas. For language for math, or spatial relationships, whatever, so the soul has all these aspects. And there’s only, I won’t say how many one or five or 10 aspects, even connected to this human body, the other aspects of me and you and everyone are doing other things. Yeah. And because that so we are not stuck in a body, the body is inside the soul. You know, the soul is this vast and vast creation. And it’s like a person sitting on the side of the lake and sticks their toe in the water, their foot in the water, part of us is in the water, part of us is on the shore. And because that’s true, these other aspects that are continued to be with our loved ones,

Brian Smith 20:51
you know, yeah, and I want to, I want to want to kind of reiterate what you said, so people can keep up with that, because there is this upside down view, I think that we have of, you know, we are a body with a soul. And our soul is like inside of our body, we think if we if we think of it at all. And again, a concept I’ve got from you. And I’ve also gotten from other places, because it’s this truth comes up all over the place, is that our bodies are actually inside of our consciousness or inside of our souls. And it’s just a small part of it’s, it’s here. And you gave that analogy about sitting on the shore with your toe in the water, the toe in the water is us in the body. Meanwhile, the rest of our soul is off doing other things. And it’s so ironic are so synchronous, I guess, just this morning, I saw on medium it posted something. And he was explaining to people the way reality really is. And he said The thing is, you know, people that are on the other side are telling me, they’re living multiple parallel lives, and they can get on a couple of lifetimes while you’re still here. So you know, you’re there, you’re thinking they’re just having just relaxing or hanging and hanging out. They’re still with you, you’re still with them. And this is mind blowing stuff. But it’s really, it’ll really change your perspective on what your life is all about.

Frances Key 22:02
Yes, there’s so much more going on. I mean, right, this moment, all around me are all kinds of light rays that my human eyes can’t see, I can’t see ultraviolet rays and microwaves and radio waves, I can’t see them. Right here. And and in the same way, there’s all these colors around us, you know, that we can’t see, we think it’s blue, yellow, green, it isn’t. There’s so much more colors, we don’t even that the human eyes are not capable of saying the ears are not capable of hearing all the vibrations and sounds around us. So, you know, when we use this physical body, we only perceive what the body is able to perceive. And we automatically think, Oh, this is it. This life? Is it this deficit, this body is it that even if we think I’m a soul, we don’t think beyond our bodies. But other aspects of our soul have much greater vision, they have different kinds of bodies. and can even we can, another aspect of our own self can be here on the earth in another location associated, I don’t like to say in another body, but associated with another body. And it points out in the books that scientists and inventors across the world will suddenly discover a piece of something and relate it to a scientist, you know, on this side of the world, and they put their information together and voila, they’ve got it, you know, that’s probably another aspect of their own identity. So we are, it’s so vast and, and I think a lot of speaking of grief. Since that is a focus of your program. I think a lot of our grief comes because we we forget the vastness and we focus so much on the body that is used for that aspect of the soul. But, but if that body no longer exists, the aspect certainly exists. And other aspects of ourselves are with our loved one in other places. So those that we grieve for and miss. I just remind myself, my body misses her body, my body misses his body, my soul is still united. And we’re doing all kinds of fun and amazing things and having experiences and unity and closeness and a dimension I cannot see and I am still on assignment.

Brian Smith 24:37
Yeah. And that would you said reminds me of another concept and I share your concepts, all other concepts of your brother all the time because this idea that, you know if I got it correctly, it’s like when we are together like you and I sitting here together, I use the word avatar. This is kinda like my avatar. So that means our souls are actually connected on the other side and for us to know in order to be doing this, so we’re So when when my daughter Shayna, for example was here, we were both in our avatars we were connected here. But now we’re still connected there. It’s just my avatar is still here. And my consciousness is tied to this avatar, but I’m not missing her in a sense, because there’s, there’s a greater aspect of me that’s we’ve never left each other.

Frances Key 25:18
Yes, we’ve never left. We’ve never left each other. And you have the chapter where relationships abide. That’s really describes that in great detail. I think it’s Book Three, I need to memorize so many chapters and so many books, but I’d hate to have memorize better where they are. But I think that’s where it is.

Brian Smith 25:39
Yeah. And you know, thing is, there’s another teaching that I’m a little bit familiar with, called A Course in Miracles. Yes, yeah. So as I, as I read these books, and I hear this concept, because it calls us basically like a dream. It’s like, we mistakenly think we’re here, but we’re really back at home. And that’s the that comes through the team books, you know, so, so clearly. Yeah. But I forget, before we get started, I was asking you, and I don’t want to get personal, but I was asking you like, how are you doing? Then you said, you’re having some health challenges, and we kind of started on that. But then then you just kind of morphed into you start, you know, you’re reading I guess book four, we’re referring to book four this morning, and tell me how that affects how you feel about the challenges you’re going through? Yeah,

Frances Key 26:23
yeah, sure. I mean, I’m having some physical challenges as the body ages. But today, I started reading through book four to prepare for interview because, like you, I’m a student of the books, and I don’t always read them and study them. I mean, they’re, I’m immersed in the mindset of it. And but just like everybody else, you know, I get caught up in life and forget some of these amazing concepts. So I started reading the first chapter called your sacred life. And book four in particular says, Please read the first seven chapters of this book before you go into the rest because it lays a new kind of foundation. And it’s it you know, I was told, then after that, you can jump around to different chapters, like people like to, but please focus on those first seven. So, but on your sacred life, when as I read it, I was just moved to tears Truly, I was wiping the tears off before I got on with you. It and I’ve got a little bit, I’m going to read just a small portion of it here to you. Because book four is more confrontational is how I would like to put it. It’s a bit of more of a wake up call and a shaking up of our thinking. So your sacred life starts out this way. The sacredness of your life cannot be overemphasized. Not just my life, by the way, your life, everyone’s life. Be not cavalier about the phenomenal experience of human existence, and the gifts you have been given the gift of education. So you may read this book, the gift of speech, so you may share your light, the gift of friends, family, teachers, shelter, clothing, food, water, sunlight, the gift of mobility, the use of your hands and eyes, since senses of smell and touch, precious tools. So you might have all things available to you to evolve and assist others in their evolution. These are not random ordinary things tossed into the mix of life for no purpose. Each one of them is a miracle in themselves. So, and of course, again, this is about all of us, because we all if we are not mobile, we have some other ability. And she points that out. She says, the whole world has served you from the moment you were born from infancy, where you were sustained until you could sustain yourself. This is not accomplished by one person, but by many, most of whom You will never know. It took many to protect, guide and educate you through childhood. You can’t thank them because you weren’t even aware of their care and protection. You were snatched from dangerous situations many times even to the point of saving your life but you cannot remember this. I mean, I think of any toddler how many times this is done for them. Right. Okay, so I’m skipping ahead a little it’s it’s so intense, but how often do you stop to think that you have the ability to love because you were first loved? What are you doing with this love? What do you choose to view with your eyes and speak with your lips to create with your imagination? How do you treat The people who are available to you for love and care, how do you interact with others? Whatever you say and do to another you are doing to yourself quite literally. All you put forth blends with the principles of earthiness and returns to you in unique conditions and solid form. So you may have the honor of proceeding. what is and isn’t? Yes, seeing a returning ugliness is as great an honor as seeing a returning beauty, learn to value all have it. So, I mean, this continues in this way. And one of her biggest things she points out is that everyone we meet who irritates a noise and angers us people that we see that we don’t approve of their philosophy of life or their behavior. These are our former selves. In essence,

there is no person no one of us who at some time in our spiritual evolution was not just as ignorant, just as lost, just as angry. And someone saw the light in us and someone inspired and nudged. And many actually, along the way to bring us if we have more peace, if we have more wisdom, never gloat in it. Never have any arrogance. Because anyone, anyone you see, that doesn’t have that kind of awareness. It’s another is a, an a mirror. It’s a sample of of who we once have been.

Announcer 31:45
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 dot grief to www dot g ri e f, the number two gr o w t If you’d like to support this podcast, visit Slash grief to growth slash g ri e f the number two gr o w th to make a financial contribution. And now back to grief to growth.

Frances Key 32:41
Yeah, so a lot of it’s about about, you know, humility.

Brian Smith 32:49
Yeah. And I think that’s, that is so beautiful. And as we were having a discussion again, before we started recording, you know, I was asking you like how you’re doing it. When we start, we both we do this, we start with our challenges. And I’m going through this I’m going through that we all we all do, because that’s what our that’s human, that’s our brains are programmed. But you read something like that from from that chapter. And it really, and this is why it’s so important. In my life. I’ve incorporated since reading the books of gratitude practice. So I try to wake up and focus on what are the good things that are going on? What What do I have as right as opposed to what I don’t have. And it’s a it’s a conscious effort. But as you and I were talking, you know, we are your perspective is risen so much because you started with, you know, I’m going to just challenge it, but then you’re like, but look at all the things that I have and look at the abilities that I do still have. And that’s priceless.

Frances Key 33:41
Well, as you’re saying a little further, in this chapter, it’s about gratitude. And she says, Do not be like so many who choose to complain about what they were not endowed with and shrug off what blessings I do have, you have before you at all times the option of cultivating a spirit of contentment, or a spirit of bitterness, depending on how you regard and utilize your personal set of gifts. Remain remember it is pride that fuels dissatisfaction and humble gratitude that fuels contentment. Yeah, I don’t know, Chapter Chapter One of book four, so much more to it really is a powerful thing to shake up, wake up type thing.

Brian Smith 34:35
And you know, the thing is that people I think may think, Oh, well, I’m supposed to have gratitude. Who am I supposed to be grateful for? Why Why should I do this? You know, and the thing is, it’s just like, it’s just like forgiveness because we tell people you should forgive and so why should I do that? You know, I’m not trying to be a saint or whatever. The thing is, the gratitude is for us. It will change the way you view your life. It’s not a it’s not a matter of it being like a moral superiority thing or you No some sort of a virtue and other than it’s a virtue that serves us. It’s just, it’s so incredible, when you can start to think of things that way. And it’s something that I’m working on, I’m not going to say that I’m there at all. But it’s something that I actively practice. And I found that it’s changed my life.

Frances Key 35:17
It says here, your life is as sacred when you’re pulling the weeds as when you’re meditating. When you’re weeping as when you’re laughing. When you’re falling down, it’s when you’re getting back up. Because what makes it sacred is its transformative. Nature, the way it is part of the creation of reality, the way it is contributing to evolution. So we are contributing something at all times when we are creative beings, we cannot stop creating, if you sit perfectly still, and don’t even say a word you’re going to create with your thoughts that most of the time we’re doing, we are creating, speaking, interacting we’re creating. And, of course, then then some people create music and art and all kinds of things and buildings. And I mean, we are constantly creating, and that means we’re constantly contributing to something. So we are contributing to these vibrational spheres, we’ve talked about these big balls of energy or contributing love to the love sphere, and we’re contributing anger to the anger sphere. And then we draw from them. So when you go into a state of bliss, meditating, or whatever you are contributing, but drawing from the bliss of all meditators. And then when you some people go into a terrible rage and do something they can’t believe they did or said, it’s because they’ve tuned in beyond their own anger into a vibrational sphere that contains all anger. So we can tap into tremendous balls of energy. Because we’re always contributing. Yeah. And we’re always pulling in.

Brian Smith 37:10
Yeah, and that’s another concept that was new to me. That’s the spheres, I call them spheres of ins, I think he’s got it in the book called spheres of influence. That’s, that’s what I remember. Anyway, there’s, there’s these and then they’re not literal things. But I think they’re concepts that, you know, we can contribute to these things. And we can draw from and we can see this sometimes, like, when we get angry, it’s like it goes beyond us, it starts to spiral out of our control. And it’s like we’re being sucked in. And that’s what this book is saying it’s happening. we’ve tapped into something bigger than ourselves, it’s actually drawing us in.

Frances Key 37:40
Yes. And people say I was a tidal wave, it was a tidal wave of rage. And I can’t believe I did this horrible thing, some violent act or, or behavior. And just like somebody lifts a car off of a person in an accident, they have superhuman strength. I mean, it isn’t just their strength, they’re tapping into the strengths and the rescue impulse of humanity, that all have contributed to that particular ball of energy. And we can I talked to somebody recently, and he said, he loves that idea. And that every morning he taught when he wakes up, he deliberately visualizes this ball hanging over his bed, and starts contributing to and pulling from it, you know, the love or patience or whatever he feels drawn to for that particular day. And she says, these things are all around us, we just can’t see them with our human eyes. They’re very real. They’re not like, made up abstract ideas. They’re, they’re truly they’re,

Brian Smith 38:47
well, they’re entered, I guess I would say they’re energetic. They’re energetic things that and I love this. I love the idea of again, I for me, I’ve been trying to do gratitude. I think that’s so important. So I have a practice where I wake up in the morning, I’m like, what, you know, I my thing is at least three things and usually goes on for a while. I’m like, I have to stop now. Because you could learn to be you can learn to be grateful for things and then it’s not natural. Because we take things for granted. I tell people, you know, until you’re sick, you don’t appreciate being well my wife was was sick for a week a little while ago, she she got an infection and she was on antibiotics, their bodies react well to so for weeks, she was sick. And the day she felt better. She’s like, I feel so great. You know, and so why not feel grateful when we just when we’re able to do things like take a walk like I did this morning, or be able to speak to you, you know, that’s that’s not a given.

Frances Key 39:44
Yeah, truly, truly. And the funny thing about human nature is, you know, we people set goals, and they reach them and then they’re not content with that. Then they set the next goal. This can be harnessed in a good way. It can be, you know, we can say, Okay, now I have the, the house I want. And rather than, you know immediately well, but I don’t like this and I have to change that and we end Yes, we may remodel or do whatever but. But always there’s a chapter in there that talks about when Jesus turned the fish to five, and enough to feed 5000. In a boy gave him I think five fish. And it says Jesus blessed the fish, and then he was turning them in, that the key there is that he bless the fish, he didn’t say, this isn’t enough for this, what can I do with this? To bless what is and to bless simple means to recognize the inherent value without comparing without comparing the analogy is given of $1. If you start comparing $1, it’s worthless. But if you just recognize $1 is $1. And in and of itself, that is perfect. And then the other analogy that’s absolutely perfect, is when you have a newborn baby, this baby can’t clean themselves, they can’t walk, they can’t do a thing for themselves, they make a lot of noise. And yet, they’re perfect. We don’t immediately start comparing Well, you know, when are they going to walk or when we just look at this newborn, and we just cherish, you know, she or he is enough. Yeah, and get the mindset of enough enough, not immediately a goal of I need more added to that. But when you bless and recognize the inherent value of whatever it is, that’s actually when you can turn it into 5000 fish. Because if you just throw them down and say that’s not enough, you undo, you know, you undo the value, the inherent value of what’s there anyway. Yeah, the tangent But

Brian Smith 42:18
no, it’s I think that’s, that’s beautiful. I think it’s perfect, because I was I was speaking with someone the other day about, you know, the idea of just everything that happened supposed to happen, you know, are we supposed to be and I said, whether it is or not, we are where we are. So we should learn to try to accept where we are. And and when I say except I don’t mean just tolerate or just like, Okay, this is where this is where everything in my life has led me to be and have faith that this is where we’re supposed to be and then then we can work on the future. You know, yes, we can work to make things better things in the world are not perfect. We’d like for things to be better. But first, I love that bless what is, you know, look at the progress we’ve made, even as we’re judging ourselves, because we’re so hard on ourselves. I’m not where I need to be, I’m not who I need to be, but look how far you’ve come.

Frances Key 43:06
Yes. And you know what, even if you haven’t come far, even if you really are at the bottom, and you are fed up with yourself and you feel like you let all your opportunities go and you’ve ruined your life. You know, I mean, even if you really are at that point, remember, the most saintly being that you can imagine once was there. The when you see Michelangelo’s beautiful works of art, you don’t see all the times that he’s slashed the canvas because he was so frustrated with his work or threw it out or said I’m never gonna paint again and went and got drunk, you know, you don’t see it. And you you meet people who are successful whether you’re talking about something spiritual, spiritual tranquility, they seem to have attained spiritual tranquility or you meet people who have financial success or any of the things that you’re looking at that you wish you could have. They were not always that way. The when you go here a symphony that those people were once little children playing twinkle star on that piano, so don’t where you are is valuable. I don’t care where you are. Even if you’re groveling in the mud. It is a valuable time, a valuable experience that will lead you if it’s pride. All our self loathing and our beating ourselves up is really a form of pride. Some people think it’s a form of humility, but it isn’t because we’re saying I’m too I’m too good and I’m too important to make those mistakes. It’s okay for you. Joe and Susie over there to make those mistakes. But I’m not supposed to do it right now.

Brian Smith 45:06
Yeah, I think that’s a really important concept. And I again, I want to reiterate what you just said, because that gets in for people, I think we missed that we think that beating ourselves up is a form of humility, where I’m pointing out my own faults, and I’m saying, you know, I’m a terrible person, because like this, this or that, and it’s exactly the opposite. It’s a form of pride, because we’re saying, I’m too good for this, I should not make someone else can make those kind of mistakes, but not me, because I’m too good for that. So we need to let that go. We need to just say I’m where I’m supposed to be. And that there are, there are people if you want to compare, there are people that are infinitely ahead of you, and they’re people that are infinitely behind you. So there is no comparison when we when we really grasp that concept, that we’re never going to be a quote, advanced being because there’s always gonna be somebody more advanced than us. But we’re also not at the very bottom, there’s always going to be someone that’s this this worse, worse than we are also, and except where it is that we are and go forward from there. I think it’s so important.

Frances Key 46:09
And some of the difficulties and burdens that we carry, we may actually have agreed to carry for our team. Some people have very, very painful lives that have a series of heartaches and others seem to have lives that even though I would say even the best of lives, you know, has heartache. It, you know, you see people you don’t know what’s going on throughout their life. So there are reasons. And yes, if we can be humble and say, I’m like everybody else, I can be, you know, obstinate and angry, and I can be addictive, and I can be a failure, just like anybody else. And that marvelous saintly, accomplished person over there. Once was in this state, we’re all one, we’re all doing it together. And try to strive for that humility that can bring you peace, and you can move up and you can move on what keeps us down more than anything. Is that self criticism?

Brian Smith 47:23
Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s Wow, that’s that’s, that’s really profound. So we’ve talked about some of the concepts and the books, are there any other concepts of book for particular that you wanted to bring out?

Frances Key 47:37
Yes, there’s a chapter called holy creative power. And again, it’s talking about that we are these creative beings. And it asks the question,

Unknown Speaker 47:52

Frances Key 47:54
Do you have any doubt whatsoever that you have the power to create chaos, negativity or pain in your immediate environment, right this moment? The question is not asking, do you want to do that? But do you see that you have the option to do so with your voice? You can speak unkind words, right? This moment, we could choose to do that. We could choose to pick something up and smash it and break it. We could run out in the garden and pull up all the flowers, we have that ability. And then it says the truth as unnatural. As all this may sound The truth is there’s never a time that the option to act destructively is not available to you sit with this for a moment, and absorb the impact of what we’re saying. The only thing stopping you from behaving in this manner is you and you alone, you are in charge of the choice, you are choosing not to, to speak or act in that, that fashion. Now why is it? Why is it so difficult for people? If if we can all agree on that we have no doubt that we have the power to destroy and to be to cause harm? Why do we then why are we so resistant to the idea that we can also create marvelous, wonderful things. The same voicebox that can harm someone with cruel words is the same voice box I’m using right now to try to speak about light and love. So I’m trying to find that one. Do you? Do you sense a hesitation in yourself when you consider this? In comparison, consider the fact that you can create beautiful things in comparison to the absolute certainty you feel when you looked at your power to behave violently. Why is it easier to ignore? To your ability to create chaos and pain than it is to acknowledge your ability to create peace, joy, and harmony. So I just think I talked to people sometime about who are depressed are having these kinds of issues. And I try to point this out because the life they’re living that they find so miserable is one they have created or agreed with others to participate in, in some way, shape or form. And yet, they, they just say, I can’t I can’t do any different. I don’t know how to change. I don’t know how to build a new life. I don’t. And yet, if you make somebody think, well, do you have the hands to go smash everything? Yes. Do you have the voice to do this? Yes. Use the same hands in a different way. Use the voice in a different way. Because we always have both options before us,

Brian Smith 51:02
bro. Well, I would even go beyond that. I think a lot of us are doing a lot more good than when gives us give ourselves credit for I find a lot of times people who are depressing. I’m of no value. I’ll point out to the Are you a parent? Well, yeah, I have kids. are you raising your children? Are you taking care of them? Are you Are you loving? Well? Yes, I am. Well, that’s that’s a lot. I saw a comic if there was it was so simple, but was so profound. It’s just two panels. And the first panel was a guy just pouring lots of water into a bowl who’s standing on a rooftop. And he was saying, I’m just a worthless person. I don’t I don’t really serve anything. Anybody. I’m just not I’m no good. The next panel is two pigeons. And they’re sitting there at the water. One pinch, it goes, thank God that someone put this water out. And the other one goes, Yeah, I was so thirsty. I wonder who did this. And a lot of times, we just don’t give ourselves, you know, the credit for the things we do in the world that we consider the little things that might be life changing to someone else.

Frances Key 51:58
This is so so, so true. Again, the vastness of the picture. We don’t know why we’re carrying a burden. We don’t know that the big the big, the trickle down effect exactly, like he did, of our simple efforts. I mean, we don’t have to go, we don’t have to do enormous marvelous things in this world, to be to contribute light. And I think that’s where people forget, they don’t realize that if they sit on the porch and just radiate love to the neighbors, as they walk by, they are contributing, and contributing something very, very valuable. They don’t have to feel that they that, that it’s required to to enter the mainstream of life and do some phenomenal thing or read about people who do these amazing things. That’s not the path for everyone. Right?

Brian Smith 52:56
Well, and that goes back to the spheres of influence, right? If I’m, if I sit on the porch, and I’m radiating love, and I have the intention of contributing to that spirit sphere of influence, then that is an act of creativity, as you said, that’s an act of raising the vibration of all of us.

Frances Key 53:12
It is and when you think about it, I mean some of the very devout meditators, monks, nuns, of different Buddhists of all religions, cloistered people who live very introverted lives. And some, some people choose to simply pray all the time, they stay, they stay to themselves, they meditate, they pray, they don’t go out into the world. And I’m not saying that’s needed. I’m just saying that as a path that is chosen that is has incredible value. And then you have leaders who, people whose destiny is to stand up and be a world leader, and to work from that platform. So there’s just infinite the number of ways there there are to live on this earth. Right? Right all have value, we can make them valuable. That’s exactly

Brian Smith 54:08
what I was gonna say. And we and we’ll set as humans will rank them and say, Well, this is more valuable than the other. But it’s Yes, it’s not true from the spiritual perspective. It’s just simply not true. We’re running out of time. I want to get to a couple of things I want to ask you about. It’s been it’s been about 10 years, I think, since you wrote the team books. So what’s it like for you now in terms of are you still hearing from your mother? Or is that channel still open?

Frances Key 54:39
You know, it isn’t open in the same way. It isn’t open in this constant bombardment ment of information because they really took advantage of that first year and a half. Yeah, which is the team did to get this written. And then I released the books over the coming year. So it isn’t necessary for that to go on. When I read the information or speak about it, I’m fully aware of her presence. And I’m fully aware of the team. There are events and moments throughout my life where I do feel guidance and communication directly from her now, and then I’ve heard a direction or her voice, but it isn’t necessary. And so it doesn’t occur in the same manner. If it ever is needed. I’m sure it could happen again.

Brian Smith 55:35
Yeah, I think that’s an excellent answer, I think, to broaden out to everybody else, because I know sometimes when our loved ones pass, people feel like I feel them close, you know, now and then now they’re gone. They decide the same, do they not care about me as much anymore? And I love what you just said, cuz that’s what I tell people. I’m like, I think we get what we need that I was go back to that Rolling Stone song, you can’t always get what you want. But I think we get what we need. And it’s not necessarily more so people might say album, Frankie, don’t you Don’t you miss that. But it’s, you know, that’s, that’s just that what’s meant to be right now.

Frances Key 56:10
You know, I have to tell you, at one time, when I could feel it kind of fading away. And I went through, I went through a feeling of some loss and grief. And like, I really did. And I sat with that kind of thing. And I finally came to a place where I was able to say, if this never happens again, this wasn’t about me. It was to get these books here. And I accept that. And I’m grateful for what happened. And I release all my clinging to the need for that. And it was it was tough Kyler to do that. But I really did. And then not long after that test a few months, I was asked to sing a song I wrote called instrument of peace about St. Francis of cc’s prayer. And I had to go out of town to do it. And I sang it. And I spoke about it at this place. And I went to a little meditation room afterwards that they had there. And I had the most profound spiritual experience out of almost all of what I’ve described, not communicating with my mother. But the top of my head opened up and it was like the top of the room opened up and I went straight out into the, into the galaxy that was a complete out of body into the entire glorious galaxy. I didn’t ask for it. I was shocked by it. But I was propelled out there. And I knew it was because I had released my cleaning. desperate need, you know, just to hear or see any of that again. Wow. It couldn’t have happened. I knew it when I came back to Earth. I knew that’s why it had happened. Wow. So I think if we can just know. Even if even if we just let things go. Because there’s no time. But there’s going to be an earthly time where we might feel a lack of communication or something. But it will, it will. Nothing’s ever gone. Not really. So it will return in its own way in its own time. And not cling not cling to that.

Brian Smith 58:53
Yeah. Wow. That’s Wow, I like to end on that by doing ask you one more question. I know you’re working on a novel. And I want to I want to hear about your novel. And because there’s some team concepts in the novel. So tell me about that.

Frances Key 59:07
Yes, two things that are going on, I and two other women are narrating the books and working we’re working on book one. So that’ll be coming out. It’ll probably be a good three or four months before that’s ready. And then we hope to do the other books narrate the other books too. But the novel was written actually over the course of about a year and it’s been finished for about a year and I keep editing it, but it deals with the strands of possibility chapter and the present past chapter in book four, which talks about time, we see time this way, when time is actually this way, and that everything really is happening at one time but when when we’re on in a connected to our body. We see it This way, it says these simultaneous events occur in this book. And the the awareness that the concept that used is that our evolving awareness and spiritual growth takes us to, to a new level, and we shoot out, we drop a ripple into time, so to speak. And but when you drop a ripple, it goes in all directions, it doesn’t go just forward, we think, oh, I’ve done something, it’s affecting my future. It’s the idea that I’ve done something and it’s affecting the past. It goes out in all directions. So the events in this story of two women, one in world war two and one a modern woman, they are in separate timelines, but they’re really not when they’re their decisions. alter the past, and the future for each of them. Wow. It’s hard to describe. So I’m trying to get it published with a publisher. And if it doesn’t happen, I’ll Self Publish publish it, probably later this year.

Brian Smith 1:01:11
That sounds that sounds fantastic sounds these concepts are. They’re simple, but they’re profound. And they’re mind boggling. You know, and, and it’s something that’s why I’ve read the books, I don’t know, three or four times now. And I’ll probably read them again really shortly. Because every time you read them, you kind of go like another layer deeper. And you can start to kind of apply the things to your life in terms of like, the idea of impacting our past, we all think time is linear and time goes one direction. But again, this is not this is not a unique concept. To the team books, physicists tell us this. They’re like, you know, there’s no such thing as time Einstein said, time is an illusion. It’s a persistent illusion. But it’s it’s an illusion. It’s something that that our brains kind of generate. And once we can start to understand that it just changes everything about our lives.

Frances Key 1:02:00
Yes, I’m gonna read one little short paragraph to end with, okay, yeah, be great out of that chapter. To be very clear, what you call the past, is continuously being rewritten by the present, not once. But instant by instant. There’s actually no past and existence as you remember it to be. Because the wisdom you have gained today has reached back through the portals of time and literally transformed past events, rendering them equal in quality to your present state of understanding. In other words, the vibration of a past event is raised, causing the original event to transmute into an event equivalent to your new perspective. And it’s definitely mind boggling and take some time. And that’s why I wrote the novel, which is called the train to half house in a German town. I made up the train to half house and it’s the name of it, and I wrote it to to help people see how that might work in real life.

Brian Smith 1:03:09
Yeah, well, I can’t wait for the come out when it does. Let me know. And I have to have you back on to talk about that. Because sometimes, analogies and fiction, this is why you know, when I watch movies, like I think about the movie, the matrix, I mean, that is just so mind blowing. And these guys wrote it. And I’ll say to people, there’s certain things I think were channeled. I mean, I don’t know if those guys even had that in him. I think that that was channeled from somewhere else. And there’s, there’s music that comes through and we’ll listen to a song that will give us a very deep concept and like four minutes, you know, just that reaches in or touches our heart. So I’m looking forward to that novel. Yeah. Frankie, again, it’s been really an honor to have you on thank you for doing this. I want to let people know where can they reach you to find out more about the books or about you or anything else.

Frances Key 1:03:56
Everything is on the website, the team books with the s the team And I also have a personal website that links to that and to other projects I’ve done, which is my name, Francis key dotnet. And it’s fr A and C II s not is francisci dotnet. So those two websites, and you’re welcome to write to me, I write people back I I’m just right here if anybody wants to connect.

Brian Smith 1:04:27
Yeah, thanks so much for doing this again. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you, you too. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe. So click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching, and have a great day.

Transcribed by

This is Dr. Valla’s second appearance on Grief 2 Growth. In May 2020, Dr. Valla and I spoke about healing our inner child within. In this episode, we focus on difficult life situations. The topic of this episode was inspired by the origin of Dr. Valla’s work, which is working with disabled children. Why would a person choose to have a disabled child? Why would someone choose to come to this planet disabled? Would we?

Rebecca is a Psychiatrist, has been a lifelong spiritual seeker, and has also been involved for nearly 10 years with IANDS, an organization devoted to Near-Death and related Experiences. She has worked extensively with developmentally disabled children and adults, both before and after her training as a Psychiatrist. There is a grief experience that is very common when a child is born with a disability. Sometimes, that child’s developmental problem isn’t known at birth but becomes known at a later time. The grief appears whenever loved ones realize that their child will have a growth path that is not as expected for most of their peers. Sometimes, their survival is not assured or is thought to be shortened for the long term. Sometimes they require a great deal of care both medically and to meet their basic survival needs at home, which requires intense adjustment on the part of family and others. Some situations require a decision at some point along the way, as to whether the child can best be cared for in the home. There may be talk of a need for “institutionalized” care. The poignancy of the pain of these families may obscure the opportunities for growth, love and connection, and joy. There is a process of healing and learning that demands work, and brings with it the experience of self-discovery and personal expansion.






Announcer 0:00
Close your eyes and imagine

what are the things in life that causes the greatest pain, the things that bring us grief, or challenges, challenges designed to help us grow to ultimately become what we were always meant to be.

We feel like we’ve been buried. But what if, like a seed we’ve been planted,

and having been planted, to grow to become a mighty tree.

Now, open your eyes, open your eyes to this way of viewing life. Come with me as we explore your true, infinite, eternal nature. This is grief to growth. And I am your host, Brian Smith.

Brian Smith 0:47
Everybody This is Brian Smith back with another episode of grief to growth. And today I’ve got with me again, Dr. Rebecca Vala, making a return visit. She and I’ve talked several times, and we have a lot to talk about. So today we’re going to be we’re going to be covering another topic we didn’t talk about so much the last time. But first let me read her her short bio, she is a she’s a medical doctor. She’s a psychiatrist. She has been a lifelong spiritual seeker. And she has also been involved for nearly 10 years with ions, which is the organization devoted to near death for life experiences. She’s worked extensively with develop developmental developmentally disabled children, adults, both before and after training as a psychiatrist. She’s been a best guest on grief to growth, as I said in the past, where she spoke about her recent focus on inner child healing and self love. Today, I think we’re going to talk mainly about development disabled children and her work with that. So with that, I want to welcome Dr. Rebecca Viola.

Rebecca Valla 1:42
Thank you. Thanks.

Brian Smith 1:43
Yeah, it’s good to have you back. We had a great conversation last time. We’ve talked a couple times since then, I’d bet our mutual interest in things like what the near death experiences tells us about different things. And as you and I were talking, because we’re both presenting to ions coming up this fall, and we’ll talk about ions a little bit more with that is the International Association for near death studies. We’re talking about that. And you brought this topic of pre birth planning, which I’m really interested in, and especially as it relates to hardships like people who are developmentally disabled. So how did you come to being interested in that topic?

Rebecca Valla 2:18
Well, I was interested in developmentally disabled since I was in high school, I mean, volunteering with children

in the town that I grew up in, in New Jersey summers, and during my senior, I guess you’re a high school. And then ultimately, I worked the year after high school, I worked in a residential school for multi handicapped children, and most of them were cerebral palsy involve children, which, you know, is a very many people don’t really understand cerebral palsy, it’s a brain damage generally acquired at the time of birth. And in it, it can, it can lead children to have little or no speech, um, not be able to walk, not to have use of their limbs. But it doesn’t always impair cognition. So you can have very bright, very, you know, functional in terms of their intelligence, young people, as it was I was in a school who are so involved in terms of their motor impairment that they can’t feed themselves. And so I worked in that school for the better part of a year as a childcare worker, right out of high school. And so what I was doing was bracing, bathing, toileting, dressing, and feeding children in that school. And then later, then I went on to college, and I got a I double majored in special ed and in social work, and I went back to that residential school as a teacher. Wow, that was my first professional. Well, it wasn’t my very first but it was my main longest you know, post college, you know, job, right. Which was very, very intensive. It was a school that was, you know, residential. So, you know, they were always there and they always needed for teachers to be there. And teaching was it was a very stretching experience. A very, it was an opportunity for a lot of growth on my part was very difficult. I delivered the school when I was a childcare worker. Wow. But in any way that kind of got me started, and then I worked in a public classroom for children who had mostly autism. At a young age, they were four or five, six year olds. And so and then I then I went on to work in a vocational high school in Newark, New Jersey just before I went to medical school.

Brian Smith 5:11
Wow. Okay,

Rebecca Valla 5:12
so I have pretty varied experience with that population. And then of course, as a physician, I actually worked with adults who had developmental disabilities and psychiatric issues, and I helped them as a psychiatrist.

So you this, that sounds like a really challenging set of circumstances. And then you said, you went to medical school, you became a psychiatrist. And, and you were also still working, I guess, with development disabled people? And then how did how did you tie spirituality and with with this, this situation?

Well, I mean, I don’t know that I necessarily did early on. Other than, of course, you know, what we know is that we’re all one, we’re all, we’re all interconnected to one another. And so no matter how disabled a person is, no matter how different they may see, in terms of not being able to, to converse with them readily, or if they seem to have very limited cognitive ability to even kind of know what they understand, we can still make a connection with them on a human level, on a heart level, and I can’t tell you how much fun it can be. And, you know, that’s hard, you know, that’s hard for most people to know, to understand how much fun it can be to be around disabled children. They, you know, they tend to be very, very free in terms of their own emotions, and they can be very funny. They can be very socially sophisticated and engaging. And they’re so full of life and love, and it’s very heartwarming.

Yeah, I’ve heard people that have had development, disabled children, you know, talk about what a what a blessing it is. And I think for a lot of us, we just look real quickly on the outside, and we say, that would just be so hard, and it would be heartbreaking. And we’d look at all the other negative aspects of it. But I’ve heard, I’ve heard many people say, it’s like, the best place I’ve ever had. There’s so

much to be learned and so much to be gained. Um, you know, I mean, I just, I have countless, countless stories, I so it wasn’t until, you know, my own spiritual development moved along, far enough to understand about pre birth planning, and to have an understanding of why there could have been a choice on the part of an adult to have a child with a disability on the part of the child to come into the world with a disability. And, and this is, this is the kind of thing, you know, it takes some real spiritual depth and understanding to wrap kind of wrap yourself around that.

Yeah, it’s, it’s one of those really, you know, it’s one of those really tough questions that we ask ourselves, when we look around the world, we say, why would a child be born like this? And it actually reminds me of a story in the Bible, where there’s a man that was born blind, and they came to Jesus, and they asked him the question, you know, who sent why would Why was he born like this? He was born blind. And, you know, we we still most of us don’t have a good answer for this. Is it random luck, to God? Is his punishment? Is it karma? Is it you know, it is a matter of sin? You know, we said, we, we go through all these different emotions, but with pre birth planning, you’re saying there might be a reason why someone would actually choose this. And that’s, that’s going to be a mind blowing concept to a lot of people.

Right. And, and, I mean, it’s not something to hit somebody over the head with when they when they just have a newborn baby. Right, who has, you know, been born with, you know, some serious congenital abnormality, you know, or defect of some kind related to their birth? You know, it’s not something to force on anyone. Right? Oh, it’s, it’s it’s kind of a truth that will be helpful. If and when it is the right time for them to embrace it.

Yeah, exactly. It’s one of those. I love the way he said, it’s one of those hard truths that we don’t want to hit someone with being and we don’t want to ever make anyone feel like well, this is my fault. You’re saying this is my fault. You know, I just think it’s something that we can offer to people As an alternative, if it helps you,

yeah, if they can come to it, and they probably will need time to come to it. Yeah, a lot in the beginning. You know, unfortunately, this is an example of one of those things that the medical profession has not done very well with at all. And they tend to want to, you know, they want to, they want to bring babies into the world that are whole and healthy. And when that doesn’t happen, they want to distance themselves from the whole, you know, the whole truth of it, the whole actuality of it. And, you know, at least a lot of the parents that I knew when I was working with young disabled children, and of course, this was in the 70s. So it was quite a while though, many of the parents had been told not to even bond with the children, to institutionalize them was the term. You know, they’ll never, you know, they’ll never grow into like a functioning adult, and, you know, making all kinds of very frightening, negative kind of predictions, right. And that’s really not helpful. And that’s not where the emphasis needs to be when someone is just beginning to understand file has disabilities, and they’re going to need to have special care. And, you know, they’re not going to just sort of go along the normal course.

Right, right. And, as you said, I was just thinking normals, overrated, right, we have this idea of the way things should be. But these these children can grow into adults, and they can have very rich, fulfilling lives, even though they’re not what we consider to be a, quote, normal life. And some of their life’s lifetimes might be shorter, but they could be full of rich experiences. I’m thinking right now about a friend of mine, his son was born with lissencephaly. And he was only predicted to live I think, to like two, and handed live until like, he was about 11. And it was a it was an eye. She’s told me it was a great experience for her family. And it was challenging. She had two other children that that was a real challenge. But just so much joy and love, I could see that she got out of this child, even though the doctors are like, don’t bother bonding with them. He’s never going to be able to speak he’s only going to live for a very short time. And I don’t know if she’s advised to institutionalize them or not. But you know, she kept him at home and had a great, great wife.

Yes, yes. You know, I mean, any of us, who’ve been parents, I think, can understand the idea that our children are our teachers. We may not know that from day one, but they are and as we learn and grow, you know, with them, and we see them for who they are on, they teach us so much. And that’s one of the you know, benefits and gifts of being a parent, whether it’s by biologically normal ways or whether it’s adoption or something. And disabled children, you know, what they call now Exceptional Children. That’s even more true. That’s even more true what they have HS it’s it’s it’s it’s a gift in its own way, but you don’t want to trivialize the huge adjustment and the burden that that is true, it is there. With with these children, it helps if you have other children who are not disabled. That helps everyone that helps the children learn. The disabled child learned in bond and everyone learns that, you know, we’re not all the same. And yeah, we love one another. And we’re a family,

Brian Smith 14:03
right? Yes, there’s

Rebecca Valla 14:04
a tremendous amount to be gained for a family having a child that’s exceptional. Well, soccer.

Let’s talk about that from both perspectives. So let’s first take the perspective of the disabled child, why would someone choose to come into this world and not be an able bodied person?

Well, I think that it’s pretty clear that they are bringing so much to whatever family they come into whatever caregivers they come to, I mean, they bring everywhere they go, they’re they’re bringing tremendous gifts of of learning and of greater, greater understanding of what it is to be a human being. As these are, these are little human beings who love life, as limited as it is for them. For them. They laugh They love, they think they think life is so great. They’re not they’re not. I mean, they may go through a time in their adolescence, depending on their cognitive awareness, where they wish that they were not disabled. But when they’re young, they don’t, they don’t have an awareness of how different they are. And they’re just who they are. And they’re so free to be who they are, and to bring their enthusiasm for life and their desire to be here. Even if they have to go through, you know, like, kids that I worked with in a, in a residential program, I had to wear braces on their legs, they had to go through operations, many of them, many of them have had multiple surgeries. And they were born with multiple medical issues. So they needed, you know, brain, you know, surgeries, if they had hydrocephalus, and they needed cardiac surgery, if they had some kind of major malformation, they may have had multiple, multiple surgeries, and then even as they grow, in terms of their motor, if they can’t move their legs, they’re at risk of contractures their arms and their legs. And so then they need surgeries, as they age, for those reasons, and they tended to be so unfazed. Really, why whatever life was throwing at them, it was they were just so glad to be here. So I think that, you know, when we cross over, and this is something that we learned from near death, experiencers we see clearly what was happening in this lifetime. You know, we’re, we’re on the other side of the veil, and we’re shown, um, and so I think before a child chooses to come into the world, they are well aware of that, it will be very hard and very challenging, but that it will be a very important gift that they give, to show other people what it is to be a human, you know, to be connected to each other to have compassion for one another, you know, to say there, but for Fortune, go I.

Yeah, yeah. And so footbed to the other side, why would someone agree to have a disabled child coming into this world?

Well, because there’s so much to be gained, you know, I mean, that I it’s very common for parents in the very beginning, to feel like they can’t do it, they’re very often they’re very overwhelmed and afraid, yeah. And they say, I can’t do it, you know, I, I don’t know anything about, you know, managing a child with this kind of disabilities, you know, I’m not a nurse. And I’ve, you know, I’ve not had experience with children who have so many different needs. And so that’s very common. And it’s very important for them to begin, just as you know, just take it easy, all you have to do when beginning is love your child, that’s all you have to do. And then it will unfold from there, there’s nothing more important than that. So the the parent is in a position to learn so much about themselves, and about their own capacity. And they had no idea that they had an in them to be able, you know, to parent, this disabled child and to be able to, you know, to learn so much, sometimes there’s so much to learn if their medical problems are complicated. Yeah. And they also know, very often if the disability is significant enough, that the child will probably not live a normal lifespan. And so they know, early on that they will probably lose that child before they might expect to lose a child that’s, you know, not not disabled. And so that’s another thing waiting for them, you know, that’s like, oh, my goodness, how long do I have the child? And you know, and I need to make use of my time because it’s, it’s possibly going to be shortened. Right? This trial, right? And over time, they, you know, they started to tell you, the adult parent starts to say, I can’t tell you how much this child has taught me how much I’ve learned how much bigger of a person I am now, you know, and they learn and they see things about what it is to be human that they would not have known and not have learned and bond and they learn they need other parents. And there’s a lot of richness in that. And then a lot of the people who are in the field working with disabled children, whether they be in the education part of Things or doing something more specialized speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, you know, they, they learn, oh my goodness, look at these people who are so dedicated to working with these children. And and they be there they get initiated right into a whole different world than they would have ever known if they hadn’t had a disabled child.

Yeah, yeah, it is a whole different world now, as you’re talking and thinking about my friend that that had something lissencephaly and, you know, we look I have a look at her and I just incredible strength and the things that she you know, the wheelchair traveling with, and he had, you know, a GI tube for feeding, and then the pain medications and the seizures and the knowledge that she gained and the things that she that she felt like she could do and what a strong person that made her and since she’s passed as his pass, she’s now a city council person, she’s advocating for the disabled. I mean, it’s just yeah, I think about her. And I just like, Wow, what an incredible person that she is, you know, and partly because of this, this little kid that came in that really pushed the whole family.

Yeah, I know. I know. It’s, it’s, you have to admire the people who are living with all of that. Because it’s a lot. Yeah, it’s a lot. But they’re also, most of them, they’re not asking to be, you know, praised or, you know, lauded or given anything, any kind of special recognition, because what they’re doing is from the heart, you’re following your heart. And this is about love, love in action, you know, I say, you know, it’s one thing to feel like you’re a loving person, it’s another thing to put your love in action. Yeah. And, and they’re doing it, you know, they’ve been doing it every day of that child’s life. So it’s, it’s very admirable. And there’s a lot to learn just from just from knowing these people who are parents of disabled children,

there is and to me, it’s kind of a microcosm of, you know, that they’ll question is, why is there evil in the world? Why is their lack and you know, one of the things I say to people is, we would never have an opportunity to practice compassion, if no one ever liked anything. So I think that gives us the opportunity to, as you said, put, put our love in action. And I’m gonna say, I’ll just interject this, you know, this is not completely academic. For me, my daughter was not disabled, but she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was like, 10. And it was pretty serious case. And I remember that feeling of like, okay, now we have to, I have to learn all this, right. And then I had to give her injections, and I had to give her you know, medications and going to see the rheumatologist and occupational therapist and those types of things. So, just a little bit of tiny glimpse of that. But, you know, I was happy to do that for my daughter, you know, it’s like you said, no one’s no one’s looking for any medals or anything. This is like, this is what we do for our kids.

Yes. Yes. Right. And, you know, and there are, there are mysteries waiting for us. And, and that’s true in life anyway, right? We don’t know what will happen, right? You know, we think we know and we try to plan, but you know, life is filled with unknowns. And really being here as a gift. And I think that’s one of the things that these disabled children teach us so much is that it’s a gift to be alive. And I want to stay, you know, they and they fight to stay. Yeah.

Yeah, that’s also really important point, it takes a lot of times, you know, we tend to focus on what we don’t have, you know, I figured for myself, I tend to focus on what I don’t have, and you might not, might not appreciate the fact that life is such a gift. And then you see a, you know, a kid that can’t speak or can’t walk or whatever, getting such joy out of, you know, just being in a swimming pool, you know, and seeing the joy in their face and just appreciating the what we call the small things in life.

That’s right. That’s right. And, and don’t think that just because a child is, you know, considered, you know, profoundly disabled, that they cannot love their family, because they can, yeah, they can.

Yeah, cuz you mentioned work with autistic children. I don’t remember details. But there was a, there was a girl who was artistic and somehow she learned to compete to communicate through a computer. And when she was able to do that, they realized she had these profound thoughts. You know, she was like, it was like, she just opened up and they, you know, sometimes we’ll look at people that are artistic and say, well, they’re just living in their own world. They don’t have any idea what’s going on. And when she was able to make that connection, it was it was just really amazing to find out what was going on inside of her.

Right. Well, you know, when I was working With the teenagers, which when I was a teacher and I went back to this special school, I worked with teenagers at that point. And so they were needing to learn to communicate with computers and, and it was just beginning, it was, like around 1979 or so. And it was all really the technology was just beginning. I think it’s advanced a lot since then. But so has the whole understanding of autism. When I was working with autistic children, which would have been like in 7273, maybe something like that, very little was known about how to help them how to teach them that, you know, even diagnosis was very slow, in calming. And now we understand this whole idea of what it is to be neuro, neuro atypical versus neuro typical, and the Asperger syndrome, and how unique and individual each of these children is. And yes, some, some are our savant. I mean, they have unbelievable abilities that we can’t explain. And, and there’s a lot that is being done with communication of various various kinds sign kinds of sign language kinds of things. And, you know, as you mentioned, computers, and it’s a whole burgeoning world now, the whole world of of these, you know, autistic, Asperger’s, children and adults, and there’s people writing books about it, you know, of their own experience being neuro atypical. And, you know, it’s, it’s very promising in ways that it, you know, we couldn’t even envision when I was working with those little ones. Yeah. You know, yeah, I

tell you, sometimes I wonder, not wonder, it seems to me like they’re bored, a lot more advanced than we are, and they just kind of Discworld just kind of, like, you know, too much for them. Because it’s this, you know, you have to be a little bit crazy to get along in the world that we live in. It does. It does show, right, some, you know, some ways of being in the world that just because we don’t understand them, doesn’t mean there’s not some real important meaning behind the behavior. Yeah. And you know, how complex we are as human beings? Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I like what you said also about, you know, everybody being unique and having a different, you know, different aspects. So, we tend to want to diagnose people with a lump people and say, Okay, well, they’re like this, and they’re going to be so therefore, they’re going to be like that. And then we find out, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s incredible. The range of human ability, you know, and different abilities. People have some people that, you know, can’t do one thing, but do another thing, just like, out of this world.

I know, artistic ability. It’s quite something. creative ability. Yeah. Uh huh. But, you know, even children who are, you know, profoundly, you know, disabled, and, you know, they can’t even sit up. Next thing. We may not be able to see, you know, some kind of creative abilities on their part, right? Like, the, the, the free and loving spirit comes through that little person spirit comes through, you know, animals usually combined very readily with them. Yeah. And with animals. You know, it’s, there’s, there’s so much, there’s so much to just learn to just see it, as you know, I’m going to take this in, and I’m going to learn everything I can, from what my life has dealt me.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I want to ask you as a medical professional, because you mentioned earlier medicines, not really great at dealing with situations like this. And so people, like I said, they want answers, they go to the doctors, why did this happen? So they’re going to give them some sort of a biological, mechanical, you know, reason why this happened. And then people are going to, you know, blame genetics or blame the fact that they smoked, or we know, whatever. How easy or difficult is it for a medical professional to bring this type of approach when you’re dealing with a parent that’s going through this?

Well, I just think, you know, it’s the luck of the draw, right? You know, people don’t know when they’re choosing an obstetrician, you know, when they’re going to have a baby. They don’t know what’s gonna happen and they don’t know how this doctor is going to manage that situation. Right. Um, there are of course, there are some doctors who just instinctively are, you know, able to match when they are really Going in an abnormal kind of a direction. But though they’re probably in the minority, so what parents need to do is they need to get from a very early point, they need to be asking, you know, who can I talk to? Who has an experience with, you know, children who are born, like my child, you know, my kind of my child’s kind of challenges, you know, and and they need to get to somebody pretty quickly who has experience? Yeah. And they need to use their intuition from day one, because so much of the parenting of these children is about navigating through all the the medical resources and and the world of rehab and, and therapy, specialized therapies, navigate what an advocate for their child, right. And you know, and a lot of that is an intuitive thing, you know, I don’t get a good feeling from this particular doctor or therapist, I don’t like the way they interact with my child. Hmm, you know, they don’t seem to have a real compassionate heart, in the way that they interact with my child, I don’t feel comfortable, I’m going to try to find somebody who has the skill that my child needs, and also has the ability to receive my child in a way that is, you know, showing compassion. And, you know, really regarding respecting my child as an individual. And see parents had to do that from the day one, they learned they have to be advocates. Yeah, in order to navigate all the complexities that their child is is going to need. So that’s one of the benefits is getting in touch with your own intuition. Yeah, now you know what’s good and right, and what just doesn’t, doesn’t seem right, the way that it’s going.

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Rebecca Valla 32:53
Yeah, and that’s I guess that’s one of the challenges because especially in the medical profession, we’re really quick to give up our power. We’re really quick to say okay, well, this guy is the expert, this woman is the expert. So whatever they say goes, and we were looking for that. And I totally agree with you. Because I’ve again, I’ve seen so many people go against medical advice, and say no, I’m, I’m going to bring my child home, for example, or I’m going to do this or do do that. And it turns out to be for the best. And so we have to understand the doctors are only human. And they don’t know, they don’t know, they might know a lot about the body, but they don’t necessarily the best person make decisions for our families.

Right. Right, we believe and that’s something we have to learn in this in the world now, as things are in our world. Now. One of the important things that I think everyone is being challenged with is what is true for them. Each one of us has to decide, you know, what do I live for? What do what do I say yesterday?

Brian Smith 33:54

Rebecca Valla 33:55
And what do I say? No, I’m not, I’m not part of that. I’m not going to be, I’m going to I’m going to take my power, and I’m going to I’m going to use it for a you know, another purpose that I’m conscious and aware of, I’m not going to let somebody else, you know, take over or you know, influenced me in a way that doesn’t feel right. And each one of us has to, you know, we have to do that. That’s what that’s what this world requires.

Brian Smith 34:20
Yeah. I want to ask you as a medical professional, you know, in your training, are you encouraged discouraged? Or is it neutral in terms of bringing spirituality into your practice? Are you are you able to talk about spirituality? Are you able to introduce a concept like pre birth planning or something like that?

Rebecca Valla 34:39
Well, I do now, because because I’ve been at this for 30 plus years, but certainly no, it’s not pointed. I mean, along the way, it wasn’t part of my training originally. And I you know, and I’m a I’m a, you know, straight, trained psychiatrist. Right. Right. Thank you. You know, American Medical School in a well regarded residency in psychiatry. But back then, you know, I finished my medical training in 1990, my second psychiatric training in 1990. There was just just heard of whether spirituality was even relevant to psychological health. Yeah,

Brian Smith 35:25

Rebecca Valla 35:26
Yeah. Um, but then, you know, along the way, I worked as a medical director at a pastoral Counseling Center. And I was supervising these pastoral counselors, and of course, we were, you know, all, you know, advocating the importance of spirituality, no matter what a person’s spiritual, you know, Foundation was right, it didn’t need to be Christianity, or Judaism, or, you know, Buddhism or whatever. But that spirituality was very helpful and relevant, when someone is going through some type of a psychiatric crisis, or just, you know, life stresses and difficulties. And so I had more freedom there, to just talk about the subject of spirituality and its importance that on my own, you know, because of my own growth and leanings and, and my own my own sense of what’s true, and relevant. I just bring in spirituality. Now, not everybody is on board, right? And they don’t all want to hear about near death experiences or pre birth planning, or they’re just not on the same page. Sure. I so obviously, I have to respect that. And you know, I can’t go there with everybody. But whatever, wherever they are in their spirituality, we can we can work with that. Right? There. Someone who prays then yes, they can be praying, for guidance and for and for health and comfort with whatever it is that you know, they’re struggling. Mm hmm.

Yeah, you know, it’s as you’re saying this, and I have to tell you, because I love that you do have spirituality in your practice. And every time I talk to someone who says I need it, it’s like, I just, I’m gonna say, Go see Rebecca, because you’re the only one I know, that’s like that book. I went through a crisis myself when I was about 14 years old, about 20 years ago. Panic attacks, no, terrible, it’s out of control. And I realized, fortunately, that it was connected to my faith. So when I went to see someone, I, I specifically saw a Christian counselor. And I’m glad that I did because if I hadn’t, I’d probably still be in counseling. But we were able to get right to the root of what it was. And I was, I was with her about six months. And and that was okay. But that’s, uh, you know, I it’s fascinate me that that’s like higher chakras. Cuz I think we’re spiritual beings. And psychiatry, which is studying the mind kind of blocks that out. And it’s, it’s, I think it’d be a lot more effective if more people were like, you

know, well, thanks. But you know, I wouldn’t be practicing the way I do, if I hadn’t had a lot of psychotherapy help along the way, you know, and even now, I work with an energy healer, who, you know, she helps me in terms of, you know, the continuing inner child healing self love work, you know, expanded consciousness and wholeness then, you know, I’m, I’m all about So, but mostly what I have to offer my patients comes from what I’ve learned myself, in my own life, right,

right. Yeah, it just I just say I’m just kind of wishful thinking here that that we can become more holistic in our approach, because I was talking with a client just yesterday, who probably needs professional counseling, mental health counseling, but they’d like talking to someone like me, because I’m talking about their whole self and the higher perspective and soul stuff. And she’s like, I wish I could get somebody that could do you know, both of these things at the same time. So that’s, that’s where I think we kind of fall down as a society.

Right? Well, luckily, there’s a lot being done with spirituality. Now. I’m not necessarily with MDS and psychiatrists, I would say that the field of psychiatry seems to be moving seems because things can be happening kind of out of the mainstream that are going to make a big difference in what will happen down the road. But what seems to be happening right now is the brain is you know, we’re getting we know that psychiatrists are dealing more and more with drugs, and with the brain and with you know, with the material, the idea of material science, materialist science, right. And that just takes us away from the fullness of what it is to be a human being?

Yeah, I think I mentioned this to you last time that we spoke, there’s a book by a guy named Johann Hari. It’s called Lost connections. And it’s about why we are so depressed as a society. And he looks at like antidepressants and how well or not how well they work. And they’re not nearly as effective as some people think they’re very effective for some people, for periods of time. But I believe the mind, spirit connection is kind of a feedback loop. And I think the brain chemistry can affect our spirit and our spirit can affect our brain chemistry. And we only look at it this mechanistic point of view is like, oh, you’re depressed? Take this pill, you’ll feel better, as opposed to looking looking at why are so many people depressed, and that his book is called Lost connections? And basically, the theory is the hypothesis that we’re not connected to each other anymore. And that’s why so many people are depressed. Hmm, yeah, well, I’m just think about it from the doctor’s perspective. You know, if they’re just giving somebody a prescription, they don’t have to get to know that person, they don’t really have to spend a lot of time connecting to that person, and having great compassion for whatever that person has endured in their life. And, you know, and it’s easier for most doctors, because they’re not going at their work. And that has to do with training, as well as, you know, expectations, and, and, and, you know, cultural influences and all of that. We’re just not, we’re not really seeing each of the people who comes into our office as fully as possible, you know, right. in their minds, because I think this is true. No, hopefully, you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but this guy was talking about, I guess, in the DSM at one time, you know, there’s a, there’s a definition of depression. And they actually carved out an exception for grief because they realize, if you someone dies, then you’re going to be sad. And so that’s not clinical depression, I guess. But I guess that happened for a while. And then they came back and said, Well, no, because now we’re betting that depression is caused by outside circumstances. And I think they took that exception out. So you could still be diagnosed as depressed. If you’re just in grief. And I bring this up, because I was seeing a doctor, this was a year and a half, two years after saying it passed. He said, How are you feeling? so stressed, I’m depressed, and he goes, What’s going on? I said, My daughter passed away two years ago. And he goes, Well, that’s normal. And he said, you know, do you feel like you need anything? I said, No, I’m fine. And so he said, Okay, great, because I’m like, this is what I’m going to feel when someone passes away. Now, I saw another young lady, she was a very young doctor, she’s Apparently, she looked like she was just having medical school. And I told her the same thing a little bit while later she says, We need to get you on medication. And I’m old enough now to say no, I don’t want or need medication for what I’m going through this is a normal part of being human. So I think the, the medical profession nice, I think, kind of backdrop said before few people as whole people and say, Why do you feel depressed? Is this a normal thing? You know, are you functioning okay? And, you know, are you that kind of stuff?

Right? Well, but that means doctors have to be whole people. Right? Like, yeah, like, just creates all kinds of issues. Because we, you know, we selectively choose people for medical school, who are very left brained, and they’re very focused on memorizing, and on, you know, whatever they can say, from a knowledge viewpoint. And we don’t, we don’t go a lot into I mean, people don’t have to have psychotherapy before they go to medical school, people don’t have to have some kind of psychological work on their own past, you know, what a become doctors. I mean, it’s, that’s just bypassed. Yeah. And as I say, what happened with me was that I started I went, I went to psychotherapy for five years before I ever went to medical school. And so sort of a no brainer that I would go into psychiatry. Yeah. And, you know, and then I, you know, I, I gravitated toward a certain kind of work, that was part of what I knew, and when I was, I felt most confident about and of course, it led me to do more and more, you know, spiritual work with people. And of course, not everybody who comes to me has really any interest in spiritual growth. Sure. So I have a wide wide range of, of people. But you know, I mean, we, we can finger point at doctors, but you know, we just have a problem with our culture, if we have a problem in you know, wider context. Right, right. You know, I mean, we live in a capitalist society and people are treated as commodities. Yeah,

yeah. And I don’t mean to finger point at doctors, because you’re right, it is a societal thing. And it’s, and you made a good point I hadn’t thought about before, because I was thinking it’s training, but it’s also selection, we select people who are like that, that they can memorize a whole lot of facts and regurgitate them. And not necessarily people who are compassionate or spiritual or even understand what psychotherapy is, or, frankly, even care what psychotherapy is. Yeah. Because they view us as biological robots. And, and even even the brain. It’s like, okay, you’re depressed, take this pill, you’re anxious, take this pill, and it’ll just switch that little thing off, and you’ll be fine.

I want to tell you all about another doctor you may not know about her name is Karen Wyatt. wy, att, yes. And Karen is an example of somebody who went to medical school, thinking that she was going to be able to put love in action. That’s how she was thinking about it, you know, I’m going to be a doctor, and I’m going to put love in action. And I’m going to be basically, you know, with my heart, I’m going to be coming towards each patient, and I’m going to be able to embrace and help them with whatever their needs are, whatever their pain is. And she found out very quickly, in medical school, nobody wanted to talk about love. And certainly they want to want to talk about loving your patients. Yeah. And they basically didn’t allow it. I mean, it was just, she understood that, you know, I mean, this is like, a revolutionary idea here. And she, um, she had to be careful, although she did find in her training that some doctors who were more advanced and, you know, supervising her work, would ask her to go speak to certain patients who were afraid, or were being resistant because of their fear and, and, like, talk to them and see if you can, you know, help them understand why we have to do this surgery or whatever. And so they did recognize that the way she approached patients was beneficial, but they didn’t allow it in terms of, they didn’t want to have to change, and they didn’t want to have to become loving doctors, oh, that’s not going to be comfortable. So she ended up over time, going into palliative care. And now that’s what she does, she works with dying people. And what she found is that when people are dying, everybody’s happy with me being all about love, you know, and we can all be about love as a team. And we can be about loving this person out of this world. And helping their family emphasize love, as they say goodbye. And that’s what’s most important, you know, to remember the love to repair where there’s been brokenness, in, in connection with family and others. And so that’s what she does, and she fits in very well. And now she’s writing a number of books on this subject of death and dying, and, you know, and helping people, you know, to the other side, so she’s, you know, I’m not the only one there are, there are wonderful doctors, you know, who are and, you know, Bernie Siegel, of course, people know, his medicine and miracles. And, you know, there were, you know, we’re learning about ways of being healers as doctors that don’t involve the body particularly, they involve consciousness prayer. intention.

Unknown Speaker 48:24

Rebecca Valla 48:26
Yeah, ration of the body,

right. Yeah, there are those people out there. And I’ve interviewed Karen, I’ve actually talked to a couple of times, she’s a fantastic person. And so the those people are out there, they’re kind of bucking against the system. Yeah. It’d be nice to maybe one day see us, again, kind of treat people as whole beings. Yeah. Have more of us doing that. And it was interesting, I was talking about that the two doctors experiences I had no pretty close together. One was very young, I said, pretty much just out of medical school. Yeah, there was an old guy, he’s probably about my age. And I guess he’d been around for a while and realized, you know, people are, you know, they’re more than just their bodies. And, yeah, you know, he really took the time to talk to me to find out what I was feeling and how I was doing. And I told him, I was okay. And I was fine with what I was. And he said, okay, but the young woman was just like, you know, in and out, like, and, you know, if I keep hearing this from you, then I’m going to put you on medication. I’m like, well, you’re never going to see me again. So that won’t be a problem. So because I did not go back to her.

Right. Well, you listen to yourself, right? your instincts. I wish people would do that more often, you know, and and buck the system, if you will. And, you know, I’m not feeling it to be here with this person. Is this not this that does not speak to what I need?

Yeah, yeah, exactly. So um, I want to talk to you because I know your speak you’re really involved in ions, and I’m really fascinated with your topic for the upcoming ions conference in September. on what the ego is and and How, how we should interact with our egos. So tell me a little bit about that.

Well, I’m going to be talking with David McKinley, who is a fascinating guy. He’s a chaplain. And he works up in Nova Scotia. And he works at a cancer hospital. And he himself has had cancer numerous times, I think four times, he’s had this cancer recurrence. And he’s also had a near death experience during one of those time. So he’s fascinating. And he’s written a great book called Beyond survival, which is really great if you know, if, if you’re talking to people who have a family member with cancer, or who themselves have something that they think might be terminal, and, you know, they want to, they want to face the, you know, the scary proposition that they might not live much longer. It’s a wonderful book. So we’re going to be talking, when he had a near death experience, he came back from that, and he uses this phrase called, The ego is my homework. So you know, near death, experiencers tend to talk about home being on the other side, and where they went, and they felt they were in a home in home, this was their home. And many times, most times, they don’t want to come back, because of how wonderful it feels, and how loved they feel. And often they don’t have a choice, they’re told that their time isn’t yet and they need to go back, sometimes they have a choice. So when they come back, they don’t call this place home. They know that home is the other side. Right? But they are good, they understand that they have come back because they have work to do. And the work is is growth work, you know, so it’s very interesting, what you call your podcast, right grief to growth, that they have growth work, spiritual growth work, if you want to really focus on that, and yet, it’s gonna take work because they have to integrate it into their life here on earth. And for a lot of the near death experiences that feels impossible, they just like living in my body, and living, you know, as a spirit, on the other side, you know, there’s no way I can, I can’t do that, I can’t do it in the body on Earth, I don’t know how to do that. And so of course, they don’t know how, because it’s going to take work, it’s not going to happen immediately, it’s not going to just happen, they have to find a way. And they have to process what they’ve learned. And they have to put it in the context of being a human being, you know, we’re spiritual beings and a human being a body on earth. And that’s a certain context. And so it’s going to take some translation, and some time, and some real effort. And part of that effort is, is the ego, right? Because our ego is our sort of our persona, right? You know, it fits into the world that we know, here on earth to kind of live out of your ego, and, and our ego is not our best self. Our ego is a, you know, sort of a mature version of, of our best self. And our ego is not the most spiritually informed part of us, our ego is not the most committed to the highest of human values. And we see that, you know, all around us, you know, people tend to be very self interested. They want what they want, they will hurt others to get what they want, or ignore others, or displays others to get what they want, or what they think they need, and make a lot of excuses for why

our best selves, our most compassionate selves, our most empathic selves are not the way we lead our heart based self. And we instead leading from ego is not is not our best self, right? It’s self interest. And I give I’ve given a talk for ions about self love, versus selfishness, because people are confused about the different way. Right. And, and ego is, you know, largely kind of caught up in selfishness. And it’s, you know, it’s a part of us, it’s not that we can somehow, you know, just completely remove ourselves from our egos. our egos are part of ourselves, but we need we need to make a commitment and make a choice, that our higher self is going to be the one that’s in charge, not our ego, self. It takes a while to be able to, you know, to get there, right? work with our ego. And there are other ways of thinking of it, you can think of your ego as your child self, you know, or your image your self, you know, you know, or automatic self that, you know, things that you might want to do or think about doing. And then you say, wait a minute, that would be very kind, that wouldn’t be who I really want to be in the world. And, you know, sort of take charge of yourself. But you know, so there’s realities about the ego, and there’s, you know, your allergies and what it is to be in human form here on Earth. Yeah. And but there’s homework to do. Right. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about.

Yeah, I think it’s awesome. You know, the thing is that, I believe that this world is, is a place we come to learn to grow to challenge ourselves, whether that’s for whatever reason that is. And so the ego, because it’s really, I think, it’s, it’s kind of complicated for me anyway, because we need our egos just so we can take care of ourselves also. Because if we literally had no ego, we would never, we wouldn’t take care of ourselves. But the ego can’t be in charge. So being human is difficult, it’s tough, you know, we’re this, this spiritual being, but we’re living in a very limited world, apparently limited anyway, it appears to be this from our perspective. And so it’s a challenge. And I like what you said, but the end of the year is talking about us being here to grow. And that relates back to our first, you know, when we first leapt off with his, why would I have these challenges and these challenges we can look at, hopefully, we get to a point, we can look at them as opportunities for growth, where we can, instead of saying why did this terrible, terrible thing happened to me, God must hate me, or I have the worst luck, we’re gonna start looking at and saying, What can I learn from this? How can I how can this make me a better person? How can I take this? What do you what do you believe spiritually, or not just what’s the opportunity for this exactly.

And if you are a spiritual person, then you can turn to your spirituality right away, immediately, as soon as you have this daunting, you know, prospect of Oh, I have a child with a disability, go to your spirituality and ask right away, asked to be helped asked to be guided as to be comforted as to you know, find the strength, and in and you will be asked, and it is given, you know, seek and ye shall find, that is really an experience of what it is to be a spiritual being in a human body.

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think that’s a fantastic point, too, because we do often feel alone. And, and so so again, something like that, what you’re talking about here, that understanding, I was talking to someone the other day, and they called the small self versus the big self, or we could call the ego versus the the higher self, or whatever you want to call that other aspect of ourselves. That is a little bit beyond. It’s beyond what our ego is. And so many of us, were so caught up in our heads and our thoughts, that we totally identify with the ego. And we think that’s it, this is me. And it’s not you.

Yes, that’s right. And we’re you know, we have different parts of ourselves. And there’s different ways to talk about it. Different parts of myself. And there’s a book that’s coming out by a psychologist named Richard Schwartz who he founded something called internal family systems. And it’s a, it’s an understanding of how to work with people in psychotherapy. And his new book is called no bad parts. To try to help us to understand how we have different parts of ourselves. Yeah. And we have to find ways to you know, really, I mean, self awareness is a huge huge part of what it is to be alive it takes years. Yeah. And it’s not it’s not easy. Really to you know, become self aware.

Yeah, I like to I like that no bad parts because I don’t view any part of myself even my ego as as my as an enemy. It’s, it’s there to serve me and I need to live from my higher self and let the ego you know, serve that. But it’s not like I’m in a I’m not in a war with my ego. I that’s just the way that I choose to look at it. And you’re right, the self awareness thing. I mean, I’ve been working on for a while and I feel like I was talking with someone just the other day and he’s, I think he’s a little older than I am. I just turned 60 and he goes, I don’t really have we were talking about the Bible and questions and stuff like that. And I’m like, I’m so fascinated by it, is I’m over all that. You know, I don’t have those questions anymore. I said, I hope I never get to that point. There. There is So much to discover about myself and about the world around me. And I feel like I’m just getting to know myself even at this point.

Yeah, I mean, that’s part of self love, right? To really appreciate how much there is in being a human being. And, and how, you know, we change, we grow, we learn, we expand. And, you know, if we really are engaged with our lives, you know, it, it keeps calling it, you know, it pays its pays our, our way forward. Yeah. So that we don’t stop growing until we stop reading.

Yeah, absolutely. And even then, you know, it’s because there’s this, and I was gonna say, I mentioned this earlier, when we talk about the medical profession, you know, we’re, we’re taught, they’re taught, and we’re taught to view death as the enemy. Death is the ultimate failure. And as a doctor, you have a patient that dies, you failed, but the fact is, 100% of us die 100%. So, to view that, as a failure, just set you up for everything’s gonna end in failure. I view it as, as I know, you do as a transition into the next thing. So I want to get done, what I can get done while I’m here. But once I leave here, it continues things go on.

Right, and my understanding is, on the other side, we have opportunity to continue to learn and grow. It’s not just here. And so that goes on there, too. I guess we have some advantages to being here. That’s my understanding that we have some advantages to, to do the growing here on Earth, that, you know, it’s maybe I don’t know, it’s, it’s more, there’s some kind of evolutionary thrust that happens with being human beings.

So yeah, I’ve heard it put us there’s so much resistance here, that we can grow faster. It’s kind of like, it’s like when you lift weights, you know, if you’re, if you lift heavier weights, you’re going to grow faster. And I had a friend who was really this stuff. And he was saying that, you know, and if you’re Pleiadian, for example, you can learn as much in 10 minutes on Earth as you can 10,000 years being a Pleiadian. Hmm, because of because of the resistance that we have here. So that’s, that’s the reason why we choose to come here and have this. But there is continued growth. On the other side, I was talking with someone about the other day to ask, Is there a final destination that we all go to, like we were taught, you know, in Sunday school, it’s like Earth, and then heaven or hell, and we got to heaven. And that’s it. It’s perfect. We never go anywhere else, my understanding from studying and the ease and everything as we go from here to the next level, to the next level to the next level. And I heard someone describe it as like, If this is a dream, it’s like you wake up from this dream. And you wake up in another dream. That’s, that’s a little bit higher level than this. But then, you know, it’s, it’s a while before we go back to that ultimate thing if we ever do.

Yeah, I mean, I, I’ve got enough on my plate to figure out what to do with my time here. Exactly. No, I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about what’s going to happen when I’m beyond this earth.

Yeah, I know, people get really caught up in how many levels are there and like, I’m the same way as you. I’m like, let’s just figure this one out for now. And I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna accept the next one’s gonna be better. And I’m gonna leave it at that.

Well, it will be better in the sense that we’ll be united with our loved ones right now ones that we miss and that we longed for. So we know that’s waiting for us.

Yeah, absolutely. Doctor, well, it’s been really fascinating. Again, speaking with you, I really appreciate what you do. I appreciate your work with ions. I love your your holistic, well rounded view of human beings. I wish every medical professional could be like you and and hopefully we’ll get there one day. But any last thoughts? Before we wrap up today?

Um, well, I just want to encourage people that no matter where you are, no matter where you are, you are where you need to be. You just you just get started from wherever you are. And it doesn’t mean you know, if you feel like, you know, oh, I’ve blown it. I’ve made some bad choices. I have a bad attitude. I can’t, you know, I can’t like put my life together in some positive way. Yes, you can. It’s not going to happen overnight. But you can start from wherever you are. Doesn’t mean you can do it by yourself, either. You might have to reach out with some help.

Yeah, yeah. I think that’s really, really important, really profound because people have so many regrets about the past, but every day is a new beginning. Every day, you can start over to start over in this moment, and just just dedicate yourself to proving yourself going forward. Where can people reach you if they want to find out more about you?

Well, my website is

I don’t you know, people ask, you know, do you do like virtual sessions and things so that, you know, they can reach me if they live out of my area. I really am not set up for that I have a full time practice of my in my office. But I will try to talk to people, if they want some guidance or, you know, they, if they want, I will try to point them in the right direction. And, you know, that sort of thing. Yeah, a lot of different books. There are books on my website that they can look at.

Okay, so resources are your website, and everybody can find you at lions this this fall.

That’s right, please come to our virtual conference this fall. It’s over Labor Day weekend.

Brian Smith 1:05:42
Yeah, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. It’s not again, it’s really great seeing you again, enjoy the rest of your day. Thanks so much, Brian. Thank you. Bye. So that does it for another episode of grief to growth. I sure hope you enjoyed it. If you like this content, make sure you subscribe. So click on the subscribe button here, and then click on the bell to receive notifications and click on all that way you’ll be notified whenever I release new content. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

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