The Unthinkable: Dealing with the Loss of a Child

What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

Helen Keller

One of the worst pains that anyone can endure is undoubtedly the loss of a child.  Each year statistics show that about 53,000 parents face the loss of a child in the U.S.  As the mother of two, the thought is just inconceivable to me.

LND.jpegIt doesn’t matter if the child is young or an adult, parents are supposed to go before their children.  My father’s sister (my aunt Mary) lost two daughters.  One daughter, my cousin Debbie, died when she was a young teenager from brain cancer.  It was so hard for me and my family to witness the excruciating pain that my cousin endured until she finally crossed over.  But as hard as it was for us, nothing compares to the pain my aunt and uncle had to suffer.

Years later, Debbie’s oldest sister Lina was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Although Lina was much older than her sister when she was diagnosed, the pain was the same.  My Aunt Mary had suffered through the loss of her daughter and then her husband.  Losing her oldest daughter was more than she could handle.

We’ve had many heartfelt conversations about my two deceased cousins.  My aunt always cries and says, “I lost two daughters, Jo.  I lost two.”  My assurances that she will see Debbie and Lina again do bring her comfort yet the pain of losing a child remains.  Life has in many ways stopped for my aunt as she now feels guilty about moving on and enjoying her life.

I bring up my aunt because July is Bereaved Parents Awareness Month.  As an author and afterlife researcher, I’ve had many people ask me, “Josie, knowing what you know now (that there is life after death), does it make it easier for you when you lose a loved one?  My answer is always the same.  Yes, it’s easier but it’s not easy.  Losing a loved one hurts.  It really hurts.

Sure, I know I will see them again.  Because of my experiences, I do not fear death.  Love never dies.  It’s always there but it is that same love that we shared with the deceased that causes us pain.  It is that love that causes us grief.  Think about it.   You cannot have one without the other.

If I had a choice and could deny myself love so as to not experience grief, I would refuse it.  I will always choose love.

On Grief and Grieving, a book by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, describes the five stages of grief.  They are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  It’s important to note, however, that not everyone goes through all of them, nor do they necessarily occur in this order.  A parent who is dealing with the unexpected murder of their child, for example, may be stuck in the anger stage.  Grief is a deeply personal and singular experience.

In other words, it’s your own.  No one can tell you how you should feel, how to get over it or how long it should take.  The only person who can understand and deal with the emotions you are going through is you.

True grief is, of course, normal.  However, burying our children seems unnatural.  Although we are never prepared to bury a loved one, we are certainly more prepared when it comes to an aging parent, etc.  We don’t expect to have to bury our children.

If you know someone who has lost a child, just let them know you are there for them.  Very often, people don’t know what to say and it sometimes comes out all wrong.  If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything at all.  Listen more than you talk.

If you are a bereaved parent, don’t ignore your feelings.  Allow yourself to grieve anyway that you choose and take as much time as you need.  Don’t hesitate to lean on your friends and family and keep the lines of communication open.

Of course, many of my readers are dealing with the heartache of losing loved ones.  Often they reach out to me seeking comfort.  Time after time, my heart always breaks for each and every one of them.  I wish there was something that I could do to quickly take away the pain but there are no quick fixes when it comes to grief.

The best thing I can do is help them understand that although the body dies, the spirit lives and also try to help others understand that love never dies.  To demonstrate this, I want to share a brief excerpt from my book, Visits from Heaven.  The story entitled “Tanya’s Heavenly Bracelet” appears on page 203.  It is an amazing story of one bereaved mom’s struggle with the loss of her daughter, Tanya.  Through her grief, Carol discovers that her daughter never really left her.

Tanya’s Heavenly Bracelet (An excerpt from Visits from Heaven/4th Dimension Press)

After her death we began to receive many comforting signs, but Tanya’s appearance and hug was the most precious gift of them all.  At this point in my life, I did not want to go on living; I missed my daughter so much.  She always had a way of giving the best hugs.  She’d squeeze real tight and hang on for the longest time.  I would go to her grave site every morning before work and every evening after work.  Each time I would tell her how much I loved and missed her.  Each time I would say, “I’d give anything for one last hug.”

VFHbookOne night just before her sixteenth birthday, I walked into my room and sat at the edge of my bed.  When I looked up, Tanya was there! She didn’t say anything but her eyes expressed so much love and she had the most beautiful smile.

Tanya wrapped her arms around me.  I put my right hand on her left arm.  She was cool yet not cold, solid but not quite hard.  My hand did not go through her, but I was just so different; it felt kind of like touching “Jell-O.”

The texture of her skin startled me.  There are no words to describe what her arm felt like.  I drew a quick breath, and then Tanya gave me the most beautiful loving smile.  She just backed away and was gone.  I can’t even begin to convey how much her “visit” meant to me.

I hope Carol’s story brings some comfort to those of you who are grieving.  Focus on the love within.  As I always say, love is the one thing that transcends death.  No one, absolutely no one, can ever take that love away from you.

Was Nikola Tesla a Mystic?

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. To understand the true nature of the universe, one must think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Nikola Tesla

teslaphotoI can remember learning about Thomas Edison when I was in grade school.  At that time, he was heralded as the greatest inventor that ever lived. Now as an adult, I can’t say I still believe that. Croatian-born Nikola Tesla’s accomplishments dwarf even those of Edison.

In 1943, the Supreme Court granted full rights to Tesla for the invention of the radio.  Sadly, it was too late for he died earlier that same year and never received the recognition he so deserved.  He also built the first working alternating current generator.  As a result of his genius, we are today able to take advantage of all the modern conveniences of A.C. (alternating current) electric power, and many others.

Tesla also invented how light can be distributed.  What many don’t realize is that it was Tesla who first used fluorescent bulbs in his lab.  Other inventions include:

*Robotics

*X-rays

*Remote Control

*First Hydroelectric Power Plant

*The Electric Motor

*Wireless Communications

*Laser Technology

*Wireless Free Energy

Yes, that’s right….FREE energy.  At the 1893 World fair in Chicago, Tesla showed how it is possible to wirelessly transmit electricity over long distances.  He claimed that he had discovered a limitless source of energy that could be transmitted without the use of wires.  He built the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, Long Island, as a wireless telecommunications facility and planned to broadcast electrical power.  J.P. Morgan, his financier pulled his funding, however, when he learned he was working on transmitting free energy.  Major businesses stood to lose a lot of money and therefore did not support the idea of providing free power to people.

The US Patent Office has hundreds of patents registered to Nikola Tesla and it is also said that he is responsible for creating many, many more inventions which were never patented.   How is it possible that one man can create so much in just one lifetime (1856-1943)?

Unlike most inventors, Tesla was able to conceive of the entire invention in his mind without any need for experimentation or trial and error testing.  The ideas just came to him as flashes of insight.  When he was young, he worried that he was going crazy.  He went to see several doctors but no one could explain what was happening to him.

Only later did he come to realize that he had a gift that was the basis of all of his inventions.  Below he explains this in an article titled “Making Your Imagination Work for You”:

“During my boyhood I had suffered from a peculiar affliction due to the appearance of images, which were often accompanied by strong flashes of light…. Then I began to take mental excursions beyond the small world of my actual knowledge. Day and night, in imagination, I went on journeys—saw new places, cities, countries, and all the time I tried hard to make these imaginary things very sharp and clear in my mind.

“This I did constantly until I was 17, when my thoughts turned seriously to invention. Then, to my delight, I found I could visualize with the greatest facility. I needed no models, drawings, or experiments. I could picture them all in my head.”

These visions were so real that he sometimes had difficulty distinguishing between what was factual or imaginary. He claimed that he was able to see these visions in holographic detail to the point where he could rotate them and take them apart piece by piece.

These visions were far ahead of his time.  In 1909, for example, Tesla envisioned the modern-day smart phone.  In 2007, researchers were able to transmit power wirelessly seven feet across the room.  Tesla was able to do the same for several miles decades earlier.  To this day, several rumors abound as to how he was able to receive such clear flashes of creativity and intuition.  Some said that he was receiving information from extraterrestrial sources while others believed he was psychic.

Did Tesla receive information from extraterrestrial beings?  Truthfully, no one knows for sure.  We do know, however, that he was one of the first to experiment with electronic voice phenomena (EVP).  In fact, Thomas Edison believed that Tesla had managed to find the correct frequency to allow communication with the spirit world.

Was Tesla psychic or intuitive?  I believe he was.  We are all born with innate intuitive abilities.  Some are able to use this gift better than others.

Tesla was also said to be fascinated with numerology and was especially interested in the number three.  This is considered the number of the divine and elicits wisdom and understanding.  It is considered sacred in various religions.

Perhaps his interest in mysticism stemmed from his near-death experience.  As a young boy, he was swimming in a river and wanted to impress his friends.  His plan was to swim under water and emerge some distance away where his friends could no longer see him.  He swam until he thought he was clear of the dock but hit his head on a beam as he came up to the surface.

As a result, he swam further down but ended up hitting his head once more.  Tired and breathless, he then had an out-of-body experience in which he could see gaps between the boards and realized he could find pockets of air that way.  Luckily, he survived.

Sometime later, he contracted cholera and was bedridden and very weak for nine months.  He later wrote that this was the second time he found himself at death’s door.  Speaking of this experience, he wrote, “What I experienced during the period of that illness surpasses all belief. My sight and hearing were always extraordinary. I could clearly discern objects in the distance when others saw no trace of them. Several times in my boyhood I saved the houses of our neighbors from fire by hearing the faint crackling sounds which did not disturb their sleep, and calling for help.”  (http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/tesla/esp_tesla_16a.htm)

Tesla was a visionary far ahead of his time and as a result many of his ideas were not accepted.  He refused to be bitter and commented instead, “The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planter—for the future. His duty is to lay foundation of those who are to come and point the way.”

Shortly after his death in 1943, much of his intellectual papers were seized by the U.S. government.  This led to conspiracy theories which still continue to this day.  Some believe his papers contained information about extraterrestrial contact while others say they contained information on advanced weaponry.  Still others believe they contained valuable revelations about Eastern mysticism.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain.  He did not deserve to die broke and alone.  His inventions advanced not only the United States but the entire world into the present day technological era.  We would not be where we are today had it not been for his genius.

Do What Speaks to Your Heart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched but are felt with the heart.”

Helen Keller

heartclearnersOn Saturday, I made my weekly trip to the dry cleaners.  Usually when I walk in I find the owner smiling and seemingly happy to assist me.  This time, however, she looked very tired and withdrawn as she retrieved my husband’s dress shirts.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.  She seemed surprised by my question.  “You look very tired,” I continued.  We have had many conversations in the past but this one I could tell was going to be different.

“I am tired,” she responded as she quickly glanced around the shop.  “Sometimes I look back at my life and think what am I doing?  I’m always working.”  Sensing how she was feeling, I responded, “I know how you feel.  So many of us reach a point in our lives when we look back and wonder what we have truly done.  You have to do what makes you happy.  You have to do what gives you a sense of purpose.  In other words, do what speaks to your heart.”

She looked at me intently, “But I don’t know what speaks to my heart.  How do I know what speaks to my heart?”

“How can you know what speaks to your heart if you don’t take the time to listen?”  I asked.  “When we are so busy going from one mundane activity to another, we can’t hear our heart speak to us.”

A smile now warmed the owner’s face.

So how do we know what speaks to our heart?  Before I explain this, let me just say that there are two ways we can listen.  We can either listen with our mind or we can listen with our heart.  When we listen with our mind, we are operating out of fear, opinion and reason.  However, when we listen to our heart, we are operating from our emotions and feelings.  Think of it this way:  the mind speaks from past experiences and the heart speaks in the present moment.  The heart is your intuitive or true self.

What many don’t realize is that the heart plays a much bigger role than just pumping blood through the human body.  The heart has been found to have a mind of its own:

“Our research and that of others indicate that the heart is far more than a simple pump. The heart is, in fact, a highly complex, self-organized information processing center with its own functional ‘brain’ that communicates with and influences the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways. These influences profoundly affect brain function and most of the body’s major organs, and ultimately determine the quality of life.” (https://www.heartmath.org/resources/downloads/science-of-the-heart/?submenuheader=3).

 The heart, therefore, is a sophisticated information processing center that is constantly communicating with the brain.  Among others, the heart tells the brain how we are feeling and indicates our various emotions. 

“Basic research at the Institute of HeartMath shows that information pertaining to a person’s emotional state is also communicated throughout the body via the heart’s electromagnetic field.  The rhythmic beating patterns of the heart change significantly as we experience different emotions.  Negative emotions such as anger or frustration, are associated with erratic, disordered, incoherent pattern in the heart’s rhythms.  In contrast, positive emotions such as love or appreciation, are associated with a smooth, ordered, coherent pattern in the heart’s rhythmic activity.  In turn these changes in the heart’s beating patterns create corresponding changes in the structure of the electromagnetic field radiated by the heart, measurable by a technique called spectral analysis.” (http://in5d.com/the-heart-has-its-own-brain-and-consciousness/).

 I can remember when I was in school, we were taught that the brain was the mastermind.  The brain was the one that told the body what to do but now we know that is simply not the case. The heart and the brain work in unison.

Getting back to my friend at the dry cleaners, you can’t hear what the heart is saying if you don’t take the time to listen.  Likewise, you can’t listen to your heart if you don’t quiet the mind.

As I mentioned earlier, most of us are so busy going from one routine to the other that we don’t take any time to ourselves.  To be honest, I am no exception.  Every day I am so busy trying to keep up with the demands of being the mother of two active teenagers, a wife and an author.  But I deal with this by willfully telling my mind to slow down.

Before I go to bed at night I do a simple meditation technique where I relax my body and pay attention to my breathing.  With each breath, I find that I quiet the outside and draw myself within.  Doing so makes me aware of what I’m truly thinking and feeling.  Doing so gives me access to my intuitive voice or my heart’s center.

When I’m in this relaxed state, I am better able to come up with solutions to problems, release stress and develop new ideas.  Being in this relaxed state helps me to connect with my true self. What I find is that when I listen to my heart, my life seems to flow effortlessly.  However, when I ignore it, things appear to be erratic and tense.  Nothing seems to be going right no matter how hard I try.

There is no sense in letting your heart talk if you are not willing to listen.  As I asked my friend at the dry cleaners, how can you do what speaks to your heart if you don’t take the time to listen?

There is no stronger power in the human body than that of the heart.  Take the time and listen to what it’s telling you and you’ll be surprised by its wisdom; you’ll be amazed where it can lead you.

You Are How You Think: The Brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) and Why It’s So Important

“Thoughts Become Things… Choose The Good Ones!”

     Mike DooleyRAS

 Last month my friend asked me to help him purchase a new GMC Terrain.  I agreed to help and set out to negotiate a deal on a white Terrain (his color of choice).  I spent a few days and several hours calling and contacting dealerships and negotiating the best deal.  Suddenly, every time I would drive somewhere I kept noticing white Terrains all over the road yet I hardly ever noticed them before.  Suddenly, these vehicles seemed to be everywhere.

Why is that?  Did the GMC Terrain suddenly become more popular in white?  Was it just a coincidence?  NO and NO. The vehicles were always there; I just never noticed them before.  I was noticing them then because of something in the brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). It is a tiny portion of the brain but the role it plays in our lives is nothing short of HUGE. Despite its importance, most people have never even heard of it.

The RAS is a cluster of nerve cells at the base of your brain which basically acts as a mental filter.  In other words, it controls what you focus on.  Each day we are constantly bombarded with sounds, information and all sorts of stimuli from our environment such as sights, sounds, and feelings.  We can’t possibly pay attention to every single thing that comes at us.  Without this filter, we would experience an overload of senses and it would be impossible to function in this world.

This powerful portion of our brain brings to our attention the things we think about consistently while filtering out the things that are unimportant to us.  The RAS brings to our conscious mind only the things that are important to us.  As an example, I suffer from bilateral hearing loss.  When I was pregnant with my daughter Erica, I was always worried about not being able to hear my baby.  But when she was born, I was amazed at how well I could hear her.

I was always so focused on hearing the baby that it was almost like her slightest whimpers were amplified. Looking back, I now know that this was because of the RAS in my brain.  My conscious mind passed instructions to my subconscious (my need to hear my baby) and filtered out other sounds around me.  It allowed me to focus on what was important to me while ignoring what was unimportant.

However, one of the many interesting things about the RAS is that it cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.  As far as it is concerned, both are one and the same.  It only knows what you tell it.

So here’s the kicker.  If you are afraid of something whether you have reason to be or not, you will create reasons to be afraid in your subconscious mind.  Your subconscious mind will continue to create situations in your life in which you feel anxious or fearful.

It works both ways.  If you constantly focus on the positives and take note of all the things you have to be grateful for, you will continue to notice the good around you and filter out the bad.  What you focus on, you become.  What you pay attention to, grows.

By now I hope you can all see the full potential of the RAS.  It can work for or against you; it’s your choice.  One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford is “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”  This is true because of the RAS.  Think of it as an on/off switch in your head.  The good news is you have total control of which way you want to flip the switch.  If you think the world is a terrible place, it is.  If you think the world is beautiful and extraordinary, it is.  It’s as simple as that.

It is your beliefs and your thoughts—both positive and negative—that will sway your subconscious mind one way or the other.  It is the RAS that makes positive thinking more than mumbo jumbo.  It is the RAS that makes saying daily affirmations and writing in a gratitude journal far more than just a fun exercise.  It has been proven to work time and time again.

The RAS is the reason why you could have an amazing opportunity right in front of you and not even see it.  It’s the reason you’ve missed out on so many life-changing experiences and never took all those incredible chances.  It’s the difference between achieving your goals and just looking at that tattered bucket list pinned on your wall.

As I mentioned earlier, the RAS cannot differentiate between your imagination or reality.  You are the one who makes it real based on what you focus on.  You are the one who makes it real based on your beliefs.  It’s there 24/7 waiting to help you create whatever you desire.  Knowing what you now know about the RAS, why wouldn’t you use it to your advantage?  Why wouldn’t you feed it anything but positive thoughts?

Remember, what you think, you create.  Envision the world as a blank page.  The words that appear on that page are created by your thoughts.  Make it worth the read.

 

Video

Appreciate the Music in Life

pharrell

Pharrell Williams

 

“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth…”

This past summer, I started experiencing constant ringing in my right ear. As a hearing-impaired individual, I have suffered from this all of my life.  However, this time was different.  It didn’t stop.

Feeling frustrated, I went to see my primary care physician who told me that my ear was inflamed and prescribed some antibiotic drops for 10 days. He insisted I would be fine and the ringing would subside; it didn’t.

Two months later, I went to see an ENT who checked my ears and told me that I had wax build up in my right ear. I was told to continue to use the drops that the other doctor had prescribed for another ten days.  He was certain the ringing would go away; it didn’t.

In November of last year, I went back to my primary care physician, still frustrated. He checked my ear again and told me that there was nothing wrong.  However, he prescribed stronger antibiotic drops just to see if it would make a difference.  I was told to use the drops for another 10 days.  Eventually, he said, the ringing will go away; it didn’t.

A friend of mine recently referred me to another specialist and this week (Tuesday) was my appointment. After an extensive examination by the doctor, I was given a hearing test.  Although there is a myriad of reasons why someone would experience ringing in the ears (tinnitus), the most common cause is hearing loss.  Although I was hopeful and honestly didn’t think my hearing had worsened, I was wrong; it did.

This was certainly not the news that I was hoping for. Not only has my hearing declined, I will likely suffer from the constant ringing for the rest of my life.  Those of you out there who have ever experienced this, know how nerve-racking this can be.

What’s more, despite all the technological improvements over the years, the audiologist admitted she’s not sure how much hearing aids would help in my case but still recommended I try them. I suffer from nerve deafness in both ears as a result of being born with cerebral palsy.

The doctor met me in the examination room after the hearing test and when he walked in, I said, “Yes, I know I failed.” He looked at me sombrely and agreed that it was bad explaining that my loss was considered severe.

We went on to discuss my options but he explained that there is nothing that can be done about the ringing. “You have to think positive,” he noted.  “When you do, it will help you to not notice the ringing.”

I smiled back at him, “Funny you should say that. I’m teaching a course on positive thinking that starts next week.”

The doctor looked at me surprised, “Really? Well, then you won’t have any problem.”  We then shared a laugh. He was trying to make me feel better and I appreciated that very much. But to tell you the truth, when I left my appointment and got back to my car, I cried.  Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself.  I couldn’t help but wonder if my hearing would continue to decline and if I would someday lose my hearing all together.

We all have those moments and we are entitled to them. As I have explained countless times, being happy doesn’t mean being happy 100 percent of the time.  It’s just not possible.  We get angry.  We all feel sad.  We get upset.  Things happen.

The trick, however, is to still choose the positive despite the bad. Yesterday morning I came down to my office and started listening to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  As I listened to the song, I was crying, smiling, clapping and dancing to the beat all at the same time.  They were not sad, but happy tears.

Although I’ve listened to Pharrell’s song countless times before. It suddenly had profound meaning to me.  For it was at that very moment that I realized how truly blessed I am to be able to hear the music.  The music never sounded so beautiful!

Maybe my hearing has gotten worse but the fact is I can still hear. It may not be perfect.  There are many sounds that I’m not even aware of, however, I can still hear.  However imperfect my hearing may be, I can still hear my husband say I love you.  I can still hear my daughters call me, “Mom.”  I can still hear the contagious sound of laughter.  I am truly blessed.

How truly lucky I am to be able to appreciate Pharrell’s beautiful words:

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say

Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break

I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space

With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Because I’m happy Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I’m happy Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,

Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,

Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,

No offense to you, don’t waste your time

Here’s why

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you

Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

 

As I listened to the song, it was like Pharrell was singing directly to my very soul. Thank you, Pharrell.  Yes, happiness is the truth.  How truly amazing the seemingly simple things in life can be when we take the time to appreciate them.

Pharrell - The Voice

Pharrell – The Voice

BEING HAPPY IS YOUR CHOICE

happinesschoice.

“Happy is a perception that, honestly, if you really want it, you can control it.”

Pharrell Williams

What does happiness mean to you? Answering this question may be as intangible as actually achieving happiness.  If you ask 100 people; you’ll likely get 100 different answers.  And you might say there is no right or wrong answer.

As a motivational speaker, I have asked many people this question and I have received various responses like:

*“Happiness is having a roof over my head and food on the table.”

*“Spending time with my grandchildren.”

*“Achieving my goals in life.”

*“My family and friends.”

*”Making a lot of money.”

On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with these answers. However, when you set goals in order to achieve happiness, you will never get there.  Once you achieve your goal and find that you are no happier, you will just set another goal and continue what I call the “I’ll be happy when” scenario.  If you truly want happiness, you have to be happy while you are working to achieve those goals.  In other words, you have to be happy in the moment.

To me, happiness is being mindful and thankful of the present moment. If we are constantly pursuing happiness, we will miss opportunities to just appreciate the here and now. If you really think about it, all we really ever have is the present moment.  None of us have any idea what’s going to happen from one minute to the next.  The only thing we know for sure is that we have right now.  It’s the only thing in life that’s guaranteed.

The key, therefore, is not to wait until the next “thing” to be happy. If you wait for it, your wait will get longer and longer and you will ultimately end up frustrated and no happier than you were before.

Next week, I am excited to be teaching an online course for Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. entitled, “Rediscovering Happiness: Train Your Mind to Think Positive.”  (For more information or to register for the course, please visit:  http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/egroups.aspx?id=1441. Add “Happy$99” in the comments section of the registration form to receive a special $99 rate for the entire four-week course).

The four-week class (March 25 to April 21) will be divided into four topics:

  1. Week One: Acceptance
  2. Week Two: Appreciation
  3. Week Three: Forgiveness
  4. Week Four: Action

Acceptance is the most crucial step in positive thinking. Unless we truly accept what is, we will never be able to appreciate it.  And unless we appreciate what is, we will never truly experience the moment.

A recent study found that people spend almost half their time (46.7%) thinking about something other than what they are really doing. They concluded that people were less happy when they were not focused on the moment.MakeUpYourMind (6)

Most of us go from one day to next without ever noticing the beauty around us. The reason is simple:  we can’t appreciate something without giving it our attention.  We are so focused on what happened in the past or what we think is going to happen in the future that we lose the now.

The Dalai Lama tells us that happiness is our life’s purpose. Why then do so many spend a lifetime missing the mark? Part of the reason is we rely on other things and people to make us happy.  We place the responsibility for our happiness in someone else’s hands or we play the blame game when things go wrong.  But the truth is the only person who can make you happy is you.

I know I’ve said this probably 100 times in my previous blogs but happiness is not determined by outside circumstances or things. You might think that a nice shiny, new car will make you happy but things don’t make you happy; they bring you pleasure.  There’s a difference.

Happiness comes from within and can only be experienced when you truly appreciate and understand the value of the present moment. Only then will you understand that you already have everything that you need to be happy.  Happiness is your choice; no matter what the circumstances.  It’s a state of being.

I can hear many of you out there now saying, “But I don’t have a job. My child is sick.  My husband cheated on me.  My best friend hurt me, etc.”  Yes, these things are tough.  But they don’t bring us unhappiness; we do by choosing our reaction.

My mother once told me about a friend of hers whose daughter was dying of cancer. (We’ll call her Kathy).  Kathy was a young mother of three.  Despite her condition, she insisted on getting on a plane to visit her parents in Florida and while there took a turn for the worse.

As a result, her trip to her parent’s house was to be her last and family and friends came to say their goodbyes. As my mother told me about this young mother, I was moved to tears.  Knowing that her time here on this earth was coming to an end, Kathy refused to waste one moment.  Instead she spent her last days with a smile on her face and was grateful for every second she spent with her family and friends.  She took the time to appreciate and value each moment.

“She always had a smile on her face,” my mother told me. “She always seemed happy up until the end.  And that’s how I will always remember seeing her…with a smile on her face.” Unfortunately, too many of us don’t appreciate the value of the moment until we don’t have it anymore.  We don’t understand what we had until it’s too late.

There is no fancy secret to happiness. Again, no matter what the circumstances, happiness is a state of mind always within reach.  You need only live it.

Mysterious Voice Was a Visit From Heaven

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Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck and her daughter, Lily.

Yesterday, people across the globe were talking about a young Utah woman who died in a car accident sometime Friday night.  Nothing unusual; unfortunately fatal collisions happen all the time.  However, this one was different.

The mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, was found dead in her car nearly 14 hours later upside down in frigid water. Her 18-month daughter Lily was found unconscious but alive strapped in her car seat.  The fact that the baby was found alive is nothing short of miraculous but the story doesn’t end there.

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, they say they heard a distinct voice coming from the car. They all heard it and say it did not sound like a child’s voice.  In fact, they said they heard a distinct woman’s voice calling for help.  They even responded back telling the “woman” to hang in there and that they were coming.

However, when they finally managed to turn the car around and get to the woman, they were shocked to find that she was dead. How is this possible?  The media is calling this voice a mystery and unexplainable.  But is it really unexplainable?

This incident is what I refer to as a visit from heaven. These are metaphysical experiences that occur when someone is either contacted directly or indirectly through a third party by someone who is deceased.  I coined the term when writing my book, “Visits from Heaven,” which contains experiences from around the world.  All of the experiences in the book are backed up by some sort of proof.

To give you some background, I wrote the book after my husband’s former boss, Rich, who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, came to me in a vivid dream. I had never met Rich or his family, yet I knew it was him.  Rich came to me with a message for his wife which was later validated.

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Josie Varga, Author of Visits from Heaven & Divine Visits

The entire story is told in my book but to explain it briefly, Rich wanted me to tell his wife that “Boston is OK.” I had no idea what this meant but I was convinced that what I had experienced was real and that I needed to get this message to her.  When I did, I found out that his wife had a brother in Boston and was considering moving there.  But because her home was purchased with her husband before his untimely death, she felt guilty about selling the house and moving.

The message, “Boston is OK,” now made perfect sense. His message was meant to let his wife know that she need not feel guilty about moving as it was alright with him.  I did not realize it at the time but this experience would ultimately lead me on a spiritual quest which would later result in my book, Visits from Heaven, and others.

Having explained this, many people have been asking about my opinion regarding the recent incident in Utah. My opinion is that what happened is not as mysterious or explainable as some might think.  As I have explained many times, our loved ones can and do help us from the Other Side.

My experience with Rich was life-changing and proved to me that communication with the Other Side is beyond a doubt very real. Yes, there is physical death as we don’t have our bodies anymore when we cross over.  However, we are alive in spirit, which is our true essence.  As the great mystic Edgar Cayce once said, “”Death in the physical is the birth in the spiritual. Birth in the physical is death in the spiritual.”  In other words, when we die, we go back to the spiritual.

Our deceased loved ones communicate in several ways. For example:

 1. Through vivid dreams. This is the most common form of contact as it is easier for our loved ones to communicate when we are in a relaxed state.

2. Telepathic communication. This means mind to mind communication. We may have a thought suddenly pop into our mind or we may hear a voice. This voice can be heard with our inner ear or outer ear.

As in the case with Groesbeck, the officers and fire fighters heard a voice seemingly coming from the vehicle (outer ear). However, often the voice appears to come from within (inner ear).

3. Physical: These signs occur in a variety of ways. We may witness lights or televisions flickering on and off. We may find pennies and see actual apparitions. Other physical signs include butterflies and dragonflies.

4. Touch and Sensation: We may sense a presence in the room or actually feel a touch.

5. Music: A song may come on a radio. For example, you are thinking of your deceased husband and ask for a sign. Suddenly, your wedding song comes on the radio.

6. Photographic: Often the spirit of our loved ones appear as orbs in photographs. (These orbs are also sometime seen with the naked eye).

7. Synchronicity: These are what many call “Godincidences.” You are thinking of a loved one and all of a sudden you notice that the car in front of you has a license plate with his name on it. Many times what seems like a coincidence is actually a visit from heaven.

8. Third Party Signs: These are signs from a third party, for example, a psychic medium, etc. My experience with Rich, for instance, was a third party sign.

9. Smell: You may smell the cologne that your deceased husband used or if your friend was a smoker, you may suddenly smell cigarettes.

10. Interventions: As in the case with Jennifer Groesbeck, our loved ones often intervene to help us here on Earth.

According to a report by ABC News Reporter Susanna Kim, Spanish Fork Police officer Lt. Matt Johnson said the police don’t believe the voice came from Groesbeck. The report also noted that Johnson told ABC News, “Due to the trauma she sustained, we suspect she was deceased upon impact. I don’t believe she survived the impact of the car crash. There was massive trauma.”

In other words, they don’t believe the voice could have come from Lily’s mother because she was deceased and that is “not” possible. Only it is possible. Our loved ones do and can communicate with us from beyond. My book, Visits from Heaven, and many other books contain validated accounts proving just that. I also have a popular group on Facebook (Visits from Heaven) in which thousands have shared their experiences.

Again, this event is not as unexplainable as some may think. This was a visit from heaven or afterlife communication in which a deceased mother was able to help her daughter.  When we die, we merely change form and are very much alive.  As Edgar Cayce once said, “Death is only passing through God’s other door.”

My heart-felt condolences go out to the family and friends of Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck. May they find comfort in the knowledge that love never dies.  In fact, nothing is stronger than love, not even death.

For more information about Josie Varga or to contact the author, please visit www.josievarga.com.

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