Some Early Reflections on Death

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
~ Helen Keller

 

Hello, friends. Welcome to my Wednesday series on Death and Dying.

This week, I’ll kick off the series by discussing some of my own first experiences of death. I’m choosing to start here because I see life and death quite differently to many people – and I always have. Perhaps this is because I am a psychic, and was born this way. Some of my knowing though, has happened by witnessing events that have thrown traditional views of life and death out the window – because these events have not supported the traditional views, and yet they happened. These events support  my belief that life and the place that is beyond this current life we are living is something  complex and beautiful. I believe that we continue to exist beyond this life. And I know that love goes on forever.

We’re all going to die. Some of us soon. Some of us not for years. But none of us are getting out of this world alive. Death’s something we will all know, for our loved ones and for ourselves. I hope you find these experiences I share comforting.

 

When I was a very small child I found life very confusing.

I thought that we were all dead, actually. Or asleep. Trapped in a dream. Living in a fish bowl. Life didn’t seem quite real. I kept trying to make sense of it. Each night I went to bed and expected that I would wake up back in my proper place. My real life.

Instead, each morning I would wake up and here I was. Still ‘alive’. But not the life that I remembered. The only comforting thing for me was that I also remembered other snippets of dreams (or being dead?) where I was living in a different time, and a different place, with mostly different people. I had several fragments of other dreams I had lived. They were as clear to me as movies, and the details never changed. In one of them I lived in a grand two-storey house made of stone, near an old castle. There was a big circular driveway for the carriages, and stables down behind the household gardens where all the horses lived. I had loved that place so much. I’d been very happy there.

There was another place, or may it was the same place, where upside-down coracles were used as buildings. I remember walking to see them in the fields, and the wind being cold and sharp. I knew the word ‘coracle’ and I knew that it was a boat. Some funny people put their boats upside down and turned them into houses. I told my mum this and drew her a picture, but she told me I was being silly. Then she told me only fairies would live in a house like that, because it was imaginary. Fairies were imaginary too, my mum said. She’d only believed in them when she was little. Eventually I stopped sharing my ‘silly stories’.

I knew, deep in my bones, that adults talking about death and being dead were wrong. Especially the ones who were frightened of death, or who believed that when you died there was nothing. That you just ceased to exist. No, I thought. That’s when you wake up again. That’s when you are home.

These are strange thoughts for a child who has not yet gone to school, or watched television, or read books about bigger concepts of the world. Or gone to church.

coracle house

Image from www.contours.co.uk PS – Mum, see, people DO live in them and they are real!!!

 

As an adult I have met other ‘strange children’ who have strong memories of previous lives or other times and places. You can click on the links to read the full story of each one.

There was the baby who kept staring at me in a cafe. He and his parents were strangers, and I’d never spoken to them. This baby communicated psychically with me, and I was overwhelmed with a series of images of two very young boys – twins – on a farm. There was an accident with a gun and one boy died. That boy had now ‘come back’ as a baby to be with his brother. I shared the information with the father, who -after initially being very angry with me – confirmed all of my information. It was emotional and traumatic, but when the information was shared both the baby and the father became deeply peaceful.

Then there was the little girl, Beth, who insisted that her mother bring her to see me. I had ‘seen’ this little girl before she was born, as a bright bubble of light in her mum’s aura. Beth’s mum had major fertility issues  and had not expected to become pregnant, but then she did and Beth was born. I’d never met Beth, but she knew me straight away. And she had news. Her brother William was coming to be born too. Her brother who was always being her brother. Of course, some time later he did come.

Kevin was a normal little boy until somewhere around the age of five, when he began screaming every time the family car drove under a long overpass or entered a tunnel. The first time this happened his hysteria was so severe that he actually passed out and needed to be taken to hospital. His mum brought him to see me after drugs and psychotherapy had failed to take away this little boy’s terror of tunnels. This wasn’t the only strange thing though. Kevin remembered very clearly being called ‘John’ and having another family with a different mummy. He also remembered how he had died in a previous life. A tunnel had collapsed during the London bombings when he was a little boy. His family had taken shelter there during an air raid. Kevin’s mum researched the things that Kevin told us during their session with me, and they checked out. Kevin had to be telling the truth. He was only five. How could he have made all of that up?

 

I have too many other stories to list here, but I’ll include one more. An adult this time, who contacted me after his sudden death, in order to save his daughter’s life. If death were a final ending, how could this happen? How could he contact me? How could what he told me save his child? The story is too long to recount here, but you can read all the details at this link: The Power of a Father’s Love

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Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll be talking about how to care for and be with people who are at the end stage of their life. If you have any questions you’d like me to cover in this series, please contact me here on the blog or at cauldronsandcupcakes@gmail.com

Holding you in my thoughts, prayers and meditations, Nicole ❤ xx

What Divine Intervention Looks Like

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can’t change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”
~ Charles de Lint

*All names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

Yesterday, in the middle of the night, I received a facebook message. How did I know that? My phone dinged. I’d forgotten to turn off the ringer,and I’d forgotten to take it downstairs to put on the charger as I usually do each night. So as I turned it to silent I glanced at the message.

It was a reader of my blog. Alan – a 36-year-old man in Canada. A man in trouble. He has schizophrenia, induced from illness after travel vaccines many years ago. His illness has become uncontrollable. He has miserable side-effects from his medication. Alan was thinking about committing suicide. In fact, he was ready to take an overdose, and just wanted to reach out to me first.

As I texted with him on my phone I opened my iPad and brought up messenger. Another blog reader I know lives in Canada. I’ve never met her, but we’ve exchanged many messages. Susan is a mental health nurse. I thought maybe she could help.

I asked Alan for his address. Susan coincidentally lives in the same city. As I kept chatting to Alan via text and then Skype my friend made a call. She has two male colleagues, also mental health nurses, who live literally a block away from the man who had reached out to me. As I kept skyping, they went over to Alan’s apartment.

They knocked on his door and I told Alan that some friends were there to help him.

My involvement then ended.

I’ve heard this morning that they were able to get Alan to come to their workplace, where he was assessed by a new doctor. His previous doctor had not reviewed Alan’s meds in over ten years. The new doctor believes that the medication was unsuitable and was compounding Alan’s problems.

Alan is now in care, being assessed and getting help to come back to a place of balance. Thank goodness for my friend, Susan and her caring colleagues! Alan sent me a message this morning to thank me, and to tell me that he feels hopeful for the first time in many years. He has been offered a place in a support program.

What are the odds that a virtual stranger could contact someone on the opposite side of the world, and receive help from around the corner?

I’d call that an everyday miracle, wouldn’t you?

 

Those Misleading Rainbow Flags

Image from raiweb.net

Image from raiweb.net

“We can either emphasize those aspects of our traditions, religious or secular, that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings. The choice is yours.”
~ Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

“When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life; it gave me the hope that one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married. Most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value. And that no matter what everyone tells you, God does love you, and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”
~ Dustin Lance Black

 

I have been staying in a stately old area of Brisbane this past few weeks. These suburbs have grand old trees, some beautiful old houses, and many churches. It’s an established area. A conservative area.

Recently, a church that I frequently pass decked itself out in rainbow-striped flags and bunting. It coincided with the day of the Sydney Mardi Gras.

Oh, I thought to myself, that’s wonderful. How welcoming! You see, I expected that those rainbow flags meant something.

After all, the Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the world’s most iconic, inclusive and joyful celebrations of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Queer, Transgender and Intersex community.

And to be truthful I was also grateful for those flags after a friend’s young teenager had attempted suicide in that same week as a result of being bullied at school for being gay.

Image from mardigras.org

Image from mardigras.org

Image by Hamid Mousa

Image by Hamid Mousa

A few days later, walking past the rainbow-bunting festooned church, I said hello to an older lady there.

We spoke of the weather, she admired my dog, and she asked where I lived. Had I been to the church before? Would I like to come along and join them?

I thanked her for her kindness and then told her of my surprise and pleasure that the committee had decked out the church with all those rainbow flags.

‘Why?’ she said. ‘Do you like rainbows?’

‘Of course,’ I answered, ‘who doesn’t?’

She smiled at me.

‘You did realise that those flags are also a symbol used by the LGBT community?’ I said.

She looked at me, her face suddenly furrowed into a look of confusion.

‘The lesbian gay, bi and transgender community,’ I added for clarification.

‘Oh,’ she said sharply.

The look on her face said it all. No, she hadn’t known.

She stared at me for a minute, and then she said angrily,’They are rainbows. We thought the children would like them.’

‘So the flags aren’t welcoming the LGBT community?’ I asked.

She didn’t say no. ‘They’re rainbows,’ she said. ‘Anybody’s free to use them.’

‘I see,’ I answered. ‘Well, thanks for talking with me.’ I turned to walk away.

A second or two later I heard her hiss ‘Hippy do-gooder’ under her breath, but loud enough for me to hear. To a friend who had just joined her she muttered, ‘One of those people…’

If only she knew.

I’m not actually LGBTI. I’m psychic. Different closet, but often similar reactions and discrimination on coming out. I’ve had Christians denounce me for being an abomination in the eyes of God, and an instrument of the Devil. I’ve had Jehovah’s Witnesses stand on the footpath outside my home every Tuesday for three solid years praying for my soul.

As insults go the ones from the church woman weren’t so nasty. But it certainly didn’t make me feel like I wanted to rush and join her congregation. If they don’t happily accept the LGBTI community, I’m sure they won’t be all that welcoming towards a practicing psychic with strong leanings towards buddhism, druidism and aboriginal mysticism. A psychic whose friends and family include those people, as well as a rainbow tribe of faiths, beliefs, traditions and viewpoints.

Image from buzzle.com

Image from buzzle.com

The rainbow flags and bunting are pulled down now. Like all of the churches around here their congregation numbers are dwindling as our lives and lifestyles change. These churches are doing what they can to draw people back to the fold, and that bunting did look pretty!  I hope they found the kind of people that they want to attract to their own branch of the community.

I don’t think that dwindling church numbers means we are less godless as a society. So many of us have found our own ways to connect with an energy and space of divinity within us and around us that better reflects our values and beliefs.

I’ve drunk from the well of many faiths, and found something at each place that has nourished me. But I’ve often wondered if my welcome would have been as warm had they known who I was or what I did. You can’t tell what’s inside a person by the way they look. I look quite average and respectable from the outside. My mother raised me to have nice manners. I know how to fit in.

I respect the right for anyone to have at your table those people with whom you feel comfortable. But if you invite me to make your table my own, I would like to think that all of my friends and loved ones are welcome; those of different faiths and beliefs, those of different cultural heritages, those of differing sexual orientations, those who believe in God, and those who don’t. So many of my friends don’t believe in the God that was taught to them at school. They see themselves as atheists or agnostics. Ant yet some of these people demonstrate the most Christian values and character I know. Just because you do not believe in God does not mean you are godless or lacking goodness. Isn’t the Divine an energy that dwells in us all?

I’m not sure there is a faith or religion encompassing enough for myself and all of those I love and hold dear. Right now, I think the best chance of creating the inclusion I desire is if I go place a table under a tree, festoon it with lights, lay out some food and invite you all to come join me as friends – in the spirit of kindness and compassion. In the spirit simply of love.

I hold out hope that love and kindness towards all people is possible. I pray for a quiet revolution of inclusive hippy do-gooders across the world, creating tables where all are welcome to sit, share and be nourished and supported.

That’s the kind of world I want to live in. How about you?

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

It’s Finished – Our Mala of Love

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“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters.”
~ Amit Ray

 

Well, my lovelies, it is meditation time and I am about to begin prayers and affirmations on my new mala. Many of you are represented personally here in the beads that will move between my fingers this morning. All of you are represented on the last bead, which you’ll see above is the teardrop-shaped clear quartz before the crackle quartz Keeper Stone. There are crystal beads chosen for their energies, and wood, glass and ceramic beads chosen for their colour or symbolism. Every bead has been chosen with love and careful intent.

I’ll be praying this mala twice a day for the next thirty days. Already I have prayed and blessed each bead as I named it and strung it. Already I can say, yes, this pearl is Liz, this banded agate is PJ, this celestite is Jacob, this owl is Joanne.

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My intention for the next thirty days is to use my meditation and prayers to aid in our emotional healing, and that will be my theme in my twice-daily meditations. This is a mala for forgiveness and self-love, for ending guilt, regret, fear and shame and embracing love and flow and abundance.

Each day I’ll hold every bead, one at a time, between my fingers and pray my mantras and then a specific prayer for each bead – each person. I’ll wear this mala every day, all day, so that I carry you with me.

Today, know that I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers. That I am carrying you in my arms. That you are very much loved.

Nicole xx

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Mala Update

Image from tumblr

Image from tumblr

“The inner voice is something which cannot be described in words. But sometimes we have a positive feeling that something in us prompts us to do a certain thing. The time when I learnt to recognise this voice was, I may say, the time when I started praying regularly.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

I’ve been moved to tears by the many messages you’ve sent me about inclusion on my Mala of Love.

Truly, I was not expecting such an outpouring. So many of you asking not for yourselves but for those you love to be included on a bead. So many of you brave enough to finally put your hand up and say, yes, I’d like some support.

I have many more requests than I do beads.

So, what I propose to do is this:

I shall contact all of you. Be patient. That might take some time. I’ve had over five hundred messages. 106 of you shall be included on my first mala, and then one bead for my friend Liz and one bead to represent ALL OF YOU.

Thank you to everyone who asked that I include a bead for myself. I promise I will.

I will use the Keeper Bead for myself. The Keeper Bead is the bead at the beginning and end of the prayer or mantra cycle where your thumb and finger come to rest. It is both bead 0 and bead 109.

When I have finished this present mala cycle of one month, I shall make ANOTHER mala. I will allocate 107 places keeping bead 108 to represent all of you, until everyone who has contacted me has had the chance to be included in a month of  my prayers and meditations.

Once again, please be patient. It will take a good few months to pray for all of you individually.

But I shall. That’s my sacred promise to you.

Big love and hugs, Nicole xx

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Musings on Early Morning Magic

2014-12-02 05.28.08

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
~ W.B. Yeats

 

I am sitting on the veranda of my retreat bedroom, looking out over the quiet, still bay. It’s cool this morning, and cloudy. A ribbon of pink light is beginning to colour the sky, slowly growing brighter and widening its arc.

It feels quite primal. There is the energy of the trees and giant tree ferns, the riot of noise that is the pre-dawn chorus, with  birds of every description adding their voices to the morning song, a mob of black cockatoos circling, on their early morning patrol.

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And there is also an unseen magic in this morning air. I know this, for I can feel it, and I have recently been a part of it.

This morning, like every morning, I meditated. I meditated for myself. I meditated for healing for family and friends. I meditated for the earth, for her skies and her lands and her oceans, for all of the creatures who live upon her, and to send peace, love and oneness out into the world.

Now as I sit here, watching the bright blaze of light streaking across the horizon I can feel the energy of other early-morning meditators. I can feel the prayers being offered up by ordinary people everywhere.

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I think of the spiritual energies of the world, the fairies and the angels, the guides and energetic realms, our ancestors and loved ones passed over.

I watch the black cockatoos circling the bay. Many years ago my Aboriginal Aunties promised me they would send these birds to watch over me, and to remind me of my connection to them, to country and to my psychic work.

 

There is so much unseen support and love for us here, some of it from people we don’t know, and will never meet.

Please. Don’t ever feel that you are alone.

You’re in my thoughts, my meditations, my prayers. And the thoughts, meditations and prayers of many others.

Bless. Nicole xx

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A Moment of Perfect Peace

Crescent_Moon_(2558144570)

“Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.”
― Meister Eckhart

Very late yesterday afternoon I had a sudden urge to go and water my vegetable garden.

It had been a difficult day, after a series of difficult days. I’ve been in tremendous pain from my current lyme medications, and doing my best to just simply sit with that pain. I’m not fighting my pain. I’m merely breathing and being aware of the pain within my body. The pain is so intense that normal functioning is a challenge. Instead I have given in to what is. I am riding each wave until I am thrown up onto the shore once more.

It’s been an enlightening journey, and when I have the words I’ll share some of that journey with you.

But for now I am tired, after so many days of so little sleep. So let me instead tell you about watering the garden.

It was late afternoon. You know, that soft afternoon light, just before dusk comes creeping over the horizon. I uncoiled the garden hose, turned on the tap and walked down the hill to my raised vegetable beds. My feet were on the bare earth, and the grass beneath them was soft and cool. The air was filled with the song of frogs and cicadas, and the last of the birds. Mr Grunty, our resident male koala, was grunting and barking and being noisy from his spot high in the gum tree just outside the home paddock fence.

A bat flipped past, so low that I could hear the flap of its leathery wings.

All this time I am wracked with pain. My face is contorted and I can’t see out of one eye. My ears pound, and my bones are on fire. Every so often my nerves jangle as though I have been tasered.

I am standing in the garden in agony, tears streaming down my face, trying to hold the hose steady on my young plants. I wonder for a moment why I have bothered to drag myself out here at all.

The air becomes scented with mint and nasturtium. I can smell the fragrant sun-warmed tomato foliage as the water hits it, scattering cool drops onto the mulch beneath.

Image from Goodness Is

Image from Goodness Is

Above me, a crescent moon has risen. Almost directly above the old hoop pine that shelters our little farmhouse.

In that moment, hose in my hands, feet in the grass, sounds of the close of day, moon above my head, body on fire, ragged breath, head full of pain, a great peace descends upon me.

A peace so profound, a connection so complete, that more tears spill. The pain is still there. Nothing about my physicality has changed at all. But beyond that, encompassing all of that – all of me, is a wonder and awe at the beauty and grace of this universe, and of my place within it.

My pain doesn’t matter. My illness becomes irrelevant. They are merely what’s happening to me at this moment. My soul, connected to everything and everyone, is always at peace. Even in great pain. Even when it feels like my world is undone.

The knowledge fills me up. The truth seeps into my very cells.

I carry that peace back into the house, and it quietens my mind. The pain is still there. But now there is also this other presence. This great comfort.

I feel like I have touched the face of God.

Or perhaps, God touched my face.

Or it was all the same thing…

And that presence is still here with me.

All of it, every breath, every moment, is love.

The Golden Light  by bnilesh

The Golden Light by bnilesh