Brianwestchest A Bald African American Male In His Mid 40s With F8b6add6 F3b4 4aa0 93bf 02f2abb697bc

Day 2989-Is This Real Or A Dream?

I drove from Myrtle Beach, SC, to Washington, DC, yesterday. This is the most extended road trip of my life, eleven days. We’ve gone from West Chester, OH, to Myrtle Beach for five days, then another six days in Washington, DC, where I am a featured speaker at the IANDS conference, teaching a workshop, and hosting a luncheon.

Kayla flew from Ohio to DC to join us for the next several days. I met her in the hotel lobby and brought her to the room. I’m fortunate that my 26-year-old daughter likes to hang out with us and see what I do. She joined us for the Helping Parents Heal conference in Phoenix last year.

It’s all very surreal. As we checked into the hotel yesterday, I ran into Angela Harris, Director of IANDS Groups and Events. We’ve spoken many times, been on camera together, and emailed dozens of times. But I’ve never met her in person. Then, I met Chris Kito, a young man I interviewed for my program. A gentleman in the elevator told me he had signed up for my workshop. Yippee! That’s at least one. Peter Panagore and I greeted each other like old friends, though this was the first time we’d been in a room together. Peter gave me a tip about Whole Foods, a block away, for dinner. I found Kimberly Clark Sharpe at Whole Foods, where we were each grabbing dinner. She’s a fantastic speaker who’s been on the show twice. A few other people I’ve never met stopped me and introduced themselves.

I woke around 12:30 AM with the oddest feeling this is not real. I wondered if I was in a dream. This is not possible. I fell back asleep and had one of those lucid dreams where I was testing the reality of it. Yes, the ground felt solid to my hands and feet. The sun felt warm. The colors were bright. It seemed real. Yet, it was all only happening in my head. When I awoke, I reminded myself that everything that happens “only” happens in our heads. We have sensory input- optical nerves, auditory nerves, sense of touch; you know the rest- that run from our sense organs to our brains where the physical “reality out there” is translated into electrical signals that are then translated into experiences, colors, sounds, etc. in our brains. But we never directly experience a reality outside of ourselves. In a sense, the whole experience of life only happens “in our heads.”

Me, speaking at IANDS, a featured speaker? Eight years after Shayna’s passing and four years after starting Grief 2 Growth, I’m in a place I could never have imagined. That little shy boy who was deathly afraid of death and scared to open his mouth in front of other people is five-plus decades later addressing an international conference and sharing what he’s learned throughout his time here. That’s crazier than any dream I could have.

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  1. I’m a recent subscriber to HPH, and have been perusing the various offerings when I noticed there are parent blogs and yours popped out like a shot of lightning because of your daughter’s name, Shayna Elayne, so similar to my own daughter who passed in Oct. 2020 — Shani Alena. Then, intrigued, I dipped into some of your blog posts and discovered you have another daughter named Kayla. My surviving daughter’s name is Kalila. Reading further I see that you have discovered the Seth material. I have been reading Seth since the mid-70’s. Seth speaks of counterpart relationships, similar to parallel selves, and I couldn’t help but smile at the “coincidences.” If you haven’t yet read The Unknown Reality by Seth, I encourage you! Seth has been a critical guide, literally a savior of my sanity through many traumatic events over the decades and the best teacher of life, living, the afterlife, and the truth of our reality here and there. I imagined your Shayna and my Shani comparing notes together and leading me to your blog today. I was feeling a bit down and unmotivated and it really uplifted me. Thanks!

    1. Wow. That’s just crazy. It must be that we were meant to cross paths.

      I’ve read three Seth books. I don’t think I’ve read that one. I’ll have to look itup.

  2. Brian, I am glad you tooted your own horn. You have developed such an amazing graceful style with your podcast and blog. You are so sincere, authentic and truly caring. I hope you and Tywana are walking on air for a long time to come and are uplifted higher with all the love and support you receive. Kayla and Shayna must be so happy to be apart of what you both present to the world.

  3. So very well done and deserved. IANDS guest speaker. I bet Shayna is shining brightly with joy! Will you be posting your talk?

    1. My talk will be streamed to those who bought the virtual conference. It’ll be available as a recording after that.