I recently interviewed grief survivor Zee Wolters for Grief 2 Growth. Zee is part of the Speaking Grief project, an effort to normalize grief and to enable us to speak about it. The project and documentary validate the fact that grief is normal. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or to hide from.

 

The Speaking Grief documentary is an hour-long file that outlines what I cover in my book Grief 2 Growth. Grief is a container for many emotions. Each person’s grief journey is unique. We must each find our individual way of coping with the grief. It’s normal to feel numb at the beginning. And, no emotion is “wrong” when it comes to grief.

 

For the last 20 years, Sarah Brassard has been guiding women from a place of struggle in life to one of grace, peace, and ease. She does this through her signature process of self-care. I was thrilled to learn that Sarah’s process of self-care isn’t “one more thing to do.”

It’s intentionally an easy process that you can incorporate into your life in just three to six minutes a day. Sarah helps people turn their focus from trying to control what is around you to what you can control, what is within you. Sarah takes us from “getting a grip” to letting go.

Sarah’s process is steeped in her experience as a Kundalini yoga instructor, an Interfaith Minister, and a certified practitioner of bodywork in several modalities. Her work is based on nurturing the soul, spirit, heart, body, and mind back to love and back to life. Sarah’s book is: “Inside: A Guide to the Resources Within to Stay Vibrant and Alive Through All Life’s Challenges“.

 

ℹ️ you can find Sarah at: https://www.sarahbrassard.com

? to become a Patron and get exclusive content, find me on Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/grief2growth

for more information see me at: ? https://www.grief2growth.com

*** NOTICE***

Lynn and I take a pretty deep dive in this episode. It’s not your Reality 101 course. Take what resonates with you and leave what doesn’t.

Lynn Russell set out to do some work for Dr. Jeffrey Long, the creator of the NDERF.org database, the world’s largest collection of near-death experiences. Lynn was analyzing the data for Dr. Long and became inspired to write a book that went beyond the raw data into the lessons of the Near-Death Experience. During the interview, I found out Lynn has a secret. She has had an NDE herself. I got her to tell me about it.

Lynn has led a rich life. Lynn has been an armchair student of science for about forty-five years. Lynn was a family counselor for around thirty years. She has twenty-five years of giving workshops and talks. She has spent a lifetime researching and learning about the various religions and spiritual philosophies around the world. Lynn was assessed as mentally slow as a child and didn’t find out until she was 31 that she was above average in intelligence. Since then it has been upward and onward.

Her book “The Wonder of You: What the Near Death Experience Tells You About Yourself” is available on Amazon. The second edition will release at about the time this interview is published.

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

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

Children we have it right here
It’s the light in my eyes
It’s perfection and grace
It’s the smile on my face
Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water may change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold
Time out of mind (Time out of mind) Steely Dan “Time Out of Mind”

“It takes the edge off stupid, all-day reality,”Nic Sheff “Beautiful Boy”

Last night I watched the film “Beautiful Boy” a heart-rending tale that is sadly so common, it’s almost cliche. Nic Sheff is the beautiful son who gets caught up in the world of drugs and breaks his father’s heart time and time again. Nic is the prodigal son of prodigal sons. The son in Jesus’ parable left once and came back. Nic leaves repeatedly, putting his father in an impossible situation. Does he turn his back on Nic to save his relationship with his wife and the mother of Nic’s step-siblings or does he continue to support Nic? At what point does support turn into enabling? These are questions no human being should ever have to answer. As I watched, I deeply identified with David Sheff, the father. I don’t know what it would take for me to say the words “No, you can’t come home. I hope you get your life in order.” I agonized just hearing him say it. I think any parent can identify with David, even those of us who haven’t had a child go through this hell and put us through it. I have a close friend who is an even worse situation with her son. She was on my mind the entire time I watched.

But, many of us say we can’t identify with Nic. What is wrong with him? We think he should just quit. Why did he do the drugs in the first place? We wonder why someone would even start. No one has ever met a thriving, healthy crystal meth addict.  Nic said it beautifully, in just a few words. “It takes the edge off of stupid all day reality.” As I reflected on the movie, Steely Dan’s song Time Out of Mind popped into my head. I’ve never done heroin. I’ve never seriously considered it. But, I can understand why people do. This song resonated with me nearly forty years ago.  Who wouldn’t want a time out from this reality, to escape to a world where water turns to cherry wine? Chasing the dragon is slang for smoking a mixture of heroin and other drugs.

We tend to look at drug addicts with judgment. But, they are doing what we all do. They are seeking transcendence. The explanations of how heroin, meth, etc. make you feel remind me of the feelings Near Death Experiencers talk about- an ecstatic, euphoric experience. We all seek this. The desire for Oneness is universal. This “stupid all-day reality” makes it difficult if not impossible for many of us to find. We have created a reality that is killing many of us because they can’t handle how incredibly stupid we have made it.

I think the actor who plays Nic did a fantastic job with his facial expressions as he’d shoot up. I could see the ecstasy on his face as the drugs coursed through his veins and lit up the pleasure centers of his brain. There are, of course, other ways to find the transcendence we all seek, to escape this “stupid all day reality.” Some of us look for it in success and money. Others become sex addicts. Alcohol is a socially acceptable way of escaping. And, there are healthier ways like meditation. For me, it’s family. And, there is serving others (which Nic discovers in the film). Let’s all do our parts to make this stupid all day reality less stupid so we don’t need to escape it.

This is a profoundly moving song with multiple levels of meaning. I discovered it today and have listened to is several times.

Hush now don’t cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You’re lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over
Or has it just begun?

There’s a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run to in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn’t realize it and you were scared
It’s a place where you will learn
To face your fears, retrace the years
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world
Suddenly, you hear and see
This magic new dimension

I will be watching over you
I am gonna help you see it through
I will protect you in the night
I am smiling next to you, in silent lucidity

Visualize your dream
Record it in the present tense
Put it into a permanent form
If you persist in your efforts
You can achieve dream control
Dream control
How’s that then, better?
Dream control
Dream control (hug me)
Dream control
Hug me

If you open your mind for me
You won’t rely on open eyes to see
The walls you built within
Come tumbling down, and a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You’re safe from pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of illusion, can you realize
Your dream’s alive, you can be the guide but
I will be watching over you
I am gonna help you see it through
I will protect you in the night
I am smiling next to you

 

I was listening to Home by Stephanie Mills, from The Wiz. It’s one of my favorite songs.  One of my favorite movies, for as long as I can remember is the Wizard Of Oz.  The older I get, the more I get from that movie.

As the tears were rolling down my face from the song, I remembered the scene near the end of the Wizard of Oz.  The Good Witch comes in and tells Dorothy she always had the power to go back to Kansas (Home) at any time.  Oh, if only it were that easy.  Is it that easy?

When I think of home
I think of a resting place
A place where there’s peace, quiet, and serenity
And that’s where some of my friends have gone
Friends who have traveled with me through my wonderful experience in Oz
A journey I’ll never forget

When I think of home, I think of a place
Where’s there’s love overflowing
I wish I was home, I wish I was back there
With the things I’ve been knowing

Wind that makes the tall grass bend into leaning
Suddenly the raindrops that fall they have a meaning
Sprinklin the scene
Makes it all clean

(When I think of home)
Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back
Now that I have some direction
(Maybe there’s a chance Ill get home)
It sure would be nice to be back at home
Where there’s love and affection

And just maybe I can convince time to slow up
Givin me enough time, ooh, in my life to grow up
Time be my friend
And let me start again

Suddenly my world’s gone and change its fate
And I still know where I’m going
I have had my mind spun round in space
And watched it growing

And oh, if you’re listening, God, please don’t make it hard
To know if we should believe the things that we see
Tell us should we try and stay or should we run away (Should we run away)
Or will it be better just to let things, let them be, oh

Livin here in this brand new world
Might be a fantasy
But its taught me to love, oh, yeah
And its real, its so real, its real to me

And I’ve learned that we must look
Inside our hearts to find
A world full of love
Like yours, like mine

Like home
Like, like home
(When I think of home)
My friends smilin down on me
Givin me their energy, oh
(When I think of home)
I think of a peaceful world and joy
All around me, yeah
(When I think of home)
And love that we share can never
Never, ever be taken away from me, yeah, yeah, yeah
(When I think of home)
I just sit down and think
And gets on down in my bone, bone, yeah
(When I think of home)
I can hear my friends tellin me
Stephanie, please sing my song
I want to sing, I want to shout
I want to tell you what its all about

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you probably know that I am obsessed with a series of books by Frances Key. The name of the series is The Team- A Mother’s Wisdom from the Other Side. Frances (Frankie), would say the books were written by her mother “Teddy” because the books were channeled through Frankie by Teddy and others.  The key concept in the books comes early in Book One:

You are not alone. You’re not really even functioning as one person.  Nobody is.  For you are a member of a Team, a spiritual Team, as close to you as breathing… and I am a part of your Team.   I speak to your soul as your Team member, to your heart as your Mother, and to your mind as your teacher and friend. We are so fortunate to have so many layers of connection to each other, making this work so natural and simple for us. I want to tell you of where I am- it is a place that you will recognize from my description, for you have spent more time here than on Earth; it is the familiar tree house upon the mountaintop that you’ve seen in your mind, and a candle burns in the window there, waiting for you.    The Universe is comprised of everlasting bands of Light, which are filled with countless points of consciousness within each band. Indeed, there is no end to the stretch of Light in evolution, and all these components combine as the Absolute, which is also called by the warm and familiar word, God.

I’ve read so many books on these types of concepts, I sometimes feel there is nothing new to learn and while some of the concepts in The Team are fairly familiar, they are explained in ways that resonate in new ways with me.  For example, I’ve been hearing a lot about guides and Soul Groups and Soul Planning in recent years. But, the impression is always that our guides are higher beings, maybe slightly aloof, reaching down, to help us poor humans muddle through. In The Team, what I got is our guides are simply members of our Team and while we are the ones in the trenches now, it’s because it’s our turn to play this role. The things we experience are for the mutual benefit of everyone on the team as we all benefit from any gains any of us makes.  A couple of analogies used in the books are we are a business person at a conference. We plan our presentation with the team before we go off to the conference, where we give our pitch, and when we’re done, we go back and assess.  Another one that stuck with me is we are the foot soldiers in the field while our teammates are spotters in the hills, supporting us on the mission.  We do our missions and the next time we play a different role. Teammates are both incarnated and discarnate during our particular mission here in the body.  Interestingly enough, listening to Nanci Danison yesterday, she used this exact same phrasing. We are on a mission.  She also talked about the shared experiences. While I knew I was living for others, especially Tywana, Kayla, and Shayna. I did not know just how literal that is.  That makes my mission much more important.

Another new concept for me in The Team is the idea of vibrational spheres. Apparently, there are repositories, literal things of emotions like love, fear, compassion, anger, etc. that we all tap into and draw from.  When we manifest love or compassion, we contribute this this repository for everyone in humanity to benefit from.  People can draw from this to enhance their own capacity.  Conversely, when we are angry or frightened, we also contribute to that vibrational sphere. And when people are angry or frightened, tapping into this sphere can magnify the experience beyond what we would otherwise have.

I found myself highlighting almost the entire book of every book. I’ve heard of channeled materials “vibrating” at a certain level and heard authors claim the words themselves can reach in and change your “spiritual DNA”.  I’ve never bought into that. I read Conversations with God, a channeled series, and while I found some of the concepts fascinating, didn’t make that connection.  I don’t know if it’s the timing (when the student is ready the teacher will appear) or what, but I’ve found The Team seems to resonate with whatever frequency I am on.  A few days ago I went to Amazon to write my review and was shocked, to see that only five people have reviewed the first book.  Frances is leading a book study for the book and limited the group to fifteen people. The minute I found out, I wrote to her to see if I could get in. Surely, this would fill up immediately.  I got in.  Only five people were on the call. She told the tale of how she made Xerox copies of the book at first and handed it out for free. Then, she self published.  She had a publisher interested, but they wanted to dumb the books down to appeal to the mass market.  Fortunately, she realized that would be a mistake. And, as she put it, she doesn’t have permission to change them because she didn’t write them.

As I write this, I am just beginning Book 4, the last book of the series.  And, I wonder.  Is the timing just not right for these books?  Are people not interested because they haven’t been publicized enough? Would the message that we are not individuals rub too many people the wrong way? It goes against everything we’ve ever been taught even by most religions.

Personally, the timing of this along with Nanci Danison’s presentation at IANDS, and a person I am working with who is getting information about “mass consciousness”, is converging at the same time in my life.  And, I keep hearing that humanity is ready for a shift in consciousness.  My hope in this is tempered by the fact that I was taught Jesus was coming back “any day” for several decades.  Yet, my hope remains that enough of us will figure out this Team thing to live the way we were meant to live.