Last week, we had a family reunion in Phoenix, AZ. This wasn’t the blood type of family.  This is family bound by covenant. These are people in our Soul Group who were not born into our human family tree. Shortly after Shayna passed, Tywana and I connected with Helping Parents Heal which connected us to Mark Pitstick and Suzanne Giesemann, which connected us to…. and on and on…  Bonds for life have been formed.

By the time we heard about the Afterlife Research and Education Institute Symposium, we knew of or had connected with just about all of the presenters and many of the attendees.  Roberta Grimes is a member of the board. She’s like an old friend to me, even though I had never laid eyes on her in person until last week. We met two bereaved mothers in Florida in February that I’ve been working with at both Helping Parents Heal and the SoulPhone foundation.  They were going to be in attendance. All in all, I think there were about a dozen people we knew from Helping Parents Heal who were at the conference.

The conference itself did not disappoint.  The first annual event for this organization sold out with over 500 attendees from all over the world.  Some of the top researchers and educators in the field of the “afterlife” presented, most of whom I had heard speak several times before due to the magic of YouTube and podcasts, but to meet them face-to-face was really cool.  I co-moderate a group for Cyrus Kirtkpatrick, a young pioneer in out of body experiences and the author of Understanding Life After Death.  Cyrus and I have communicated over Facebook a bunch, but I had never even heard his voice until last week.  He was one of the presenters as well.  Susanne Wilson, in a reading I had with her a year and a half ago told me that one day I’d be working with Victor Zammit. She said she didn’t know if that was a literal or a symbolic thing, but there was Victor Zammit with his wife Wendy, all the way from Australia.  They were so busy during the conference, I didn’t impose to introduce myself, but I did get a Facebook friend request from Victor a couple of days ago. Victor and Wendy are tireless teachers and researchers in the field of the afterlife.

Topics at the conference covered everything from the nature of consciousness, to mediumship (physical and mental), to end of life planning, to out of body experiences, to the nature of orbs, to race relations (thanks to Roberta).

On the final day of the conference, Roberta Grimes gave a presentation on the “new spirituality”.  Many of at the conference were Christians or former Christians. So, the talk of a new spirituality may have triggered that fear that was planted in us about being “deceived”.  Was this conference the forming of some new type of cult? Are we being led astray?  These are serious considerations. So, I reflected on the messages of the conference. After all, Satan comes disguised as an angel of light. Right?

All weekend long if there were two words that summed up all of the presentations they are “love” and “service”.  I could not attend every session, because many overlapped. But, every presenter I remember hearing spoke about how we are all here to serve each other and that, in the end, it’s all about love. The energy at a conference, ostensibly about death, was amazingly high. There was a film crew there shooting a documentary and I heard they commented on the energy and the love that was flowing among the attendees.  I was part of the Helping Parents Heal group that hung out during the convention and I heard that people kept asking “Who is that happy group over there in the corner of the lobby?” Some even asked how they could join. Well, you don’t want to know.   To join, you have to have had a child make her transition before you. We have suffered the ultimate loss. But, that loss has bonded us together.  As we joined at this conference to reinforce the knowing that there is no death, we celebrated that knowledge and we encouraged each other to go forth from there with the absolute assurance that our kids are still with us, even if not in physical form, and that we will see them again one day, soon enough.

Roberta told us the new spirituality is about knowing that we are eternal beings who never began and never will end and that we are infinitely loved. Then, she told us the best way to be the best humans we can be is to follow…. wait for it…. Jesus. Don’t get it twisted. This doesn’t mean going back to Christianity with its judgment and original sin and Jesus being murdered for our sins. It’s to follow the actual teachings of Jesus.

We ended the conference with a ritual that Dr. Mark Pitstick introduced me to in April- The Angel Wash.  How to describe the angel wash? If you’ve never experienced it, words just will not do.  What you experience is unconditional love like most of us have never felt, from a room full of “strangers”. The energy is almost overwhelming. Grown men openly weep. People release years of baggage in just a few minutes.  At this particular angel wash, I got to be on the sending end of the ritual starting people down the line.  It was an amazing experience to whisper unconditional love into a perfect stranger’s ear and have them receive it.  If you ever get the chance to do an Angel Wash, make sure you do.

Sunday rolled around way too soon and the conference was over.  We ended with a farewell dinner at the house of two of the parents from Helping Parents Heal.  Roberta asked me if I am going to be at the conference next year.  Normally, I’d hedge my bets. I might not be alive next year. Money’s tight. We did just do this one and we’re already planning a trip to Arizona for April.  But, without hesitation, I said yes.  Can’t miss it.

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