Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Some thoughts about readings.

It's been an interesting summer here in Lily Dale.

For those who don't know, it's "the largest center in the world for the religion of Spiritualism." It's a tiny little hamlet with year-round residences and summer get-away homes for others. Every year from the end of June 'til Labor Day Sunday we host tens-of-thousands of folks who come to attend worksops, get readings from the 30+ mediums who are registered/approved to conduct sessions on the grounds or just walk around an experience the peace and calm.

This year it seems there are more newbies than in the past. That brings a boatload of challenges. The plethora of television programs which deal with talking-to-the-dead, psychic experiences, ghost hunting and mystical revelations creates interesting, if not unreasonable expectations.

I usually ask a new client "what do you expect will happen?" or "is there anything particular you want me to focus on today?" And finally, I ask "is there anyone in spirit who might drop in to say hello?" Many respond with a deer-in-the-headlights look and respond "no, whatever you bring is fine with me." For me, that's a sign there is an agenda, something they really want to know but for some reason they are wont to share. Perhaps it's the misguided belief that if they give the medium too much information the medium will cheat somehow.

Personally, I believe the guest brings their reading with them. They bring it along in a metaphoric steamer trunk. They roll it in with them, open it up and I read whatever is in it for them. Generally I find the folks who are lined up to speak/visit are on one side and the drawers contain information of work, family, relationships, health, questions, concerns. It's a neat way of organizing the information rather than trying to figure out what's what.

Unlike many mediums who give folks just minutes to ask questions after droning on for 25+ minutes, I ask throughout the session if they understand what's been said or if they have a question up to this point. The old-times tell me I'm nuts or inadept at my craft, but it's the way that works best for me.

I refer to a session as a "Healing Conversation" rather than a reading. It's what your soul, your spirit most needs to hear. It may not be what you expect but it's information the Divine, the God of your own understanding needs you to know. And boy can that be an experience, especially when my guest is an agnostic at best, or a flat-out athiest at worst.

One of my challenges this summer was an attorney, a DA who prosecutes sex offenders especially where chidren are concerned. She was sad, angry, lost and overwhelmed. At least that what's her Spirit was showing me. Rather than launching headlong into that part of her reading, I asked if she ever felt compassion for the person who made the choices that resulted in their prosecution. She immediately replied "No." I just want to see them punished." Interesting reply, but not unexpected.

Then I asked if she "let them go" when she was done with the case. Suprisingly she said "no." then added that she carried all the victims around with her, every day. In her mind they remained victims, not healed, healing; not getting through the experience, not anything. By continuing to see them as victims, it was clear, was keeping their living-spirits "stuck."

So my final question was "can you hand them all - victim or victimizer - over to God" and let that Divine spark take care of them? To which she replied, "there is no God, so I have to do it."

Whew. No wonder she was overwhelmed. She was carrying the load of all those souls in her spirit. Afraid to put them down because she feared they would get lost in the shuffle, forgotten.

So my question is, how many of you hang on to people, events, experiences because you want to make sure they're not forgotten? How many of you can view these people, events, experiences with compassion? How do you release yourself from the overwhelming burden of keeping these people, events, experiences alive and well in your spirit, your psyche?

Just some ramblings on this cold, gray, September morning.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday ramblings

The birds woke me about 6:30 this morning. It made me smile because it means spring is right around the corner. Of course, we need to get to the corner. I love spring. It's my favorite season. The days are getting longer, the sun is brighter, the air is softer. People smile more easily. The grayness is gone.

Now, if only the snow would go, too. In time. We had so much snow this year that despite many days of warmish rain, the drifts and piles still linger. However, I can see the ground and I've started to think about what I'll plant in my tiny garden. My neighbor has already raked his tiny lawn. I'm not sure he does it because it needs to be done or if it gets him out of the house and away from his wife for a few minutes.

Last night some of the folks here gathered for a St. Patrick's Day pot-luck(y) dinner. We get together for meals on a pretty regular basis. I think it's because most of us live alone and conversation while we eat is a real treat. It also gives us a chance to use some of the recipies we have in our arsenal that serve more than 1. So gather we did. The main table was laden with more potato dishes than I could imagine; another table groaned with desserts.

I baked a ham and donated most of it to our feast. I LOVE ham, but the idea of 8 lbs. of salty pork product hanging around in my refrigerator is more than even I can bear. So share it I did. I dropped it off early as I was dealing with one of those killer headaches that only dissipate with time. When I finally got to the Lyceum (ancient Greek for school) about an hour later, every single piece of ham was gone. Stunned, I asked how that could be. One of the ladies going back for seconds (or perhaps thirds) said "because it's such a treat to have real baked ham!"

And then there's the question of what to do with the ham bone. I know it makes great soup, and I love soup, but I don't know how to make just "a little" and it sours long before I can finish it. However, one of my neighbor/friends loves to make soup for her elderly mother. A quick phone call later - is there ever such a thing as a quick phone call - and the bone was on it's way. How cool is that. Forty people enjoyed, or will enjoy, that yummy ham. Does it get any better than that?

A couple of years ago an elderly woman - long passed - came to my client. She was identified by this young woman as a neighbor, a woman to whom her mom regularly sent dinner. My client wondered why she would come to visit. When asked, the elderly woman replied "because you were so kind to me." "No, I wasn't," she said, "I just delivered the food and left. She always wanted me to stay and eat with her, but I was too busy. Why did she ask me?" To which the lovely, gracious woman replied "Food is just food unless it's shared. Then it's a meal."

Food for thought.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I guess it's time ...

For the last few months folks have been urging me to write a blog, and I've resisted. I mean, whatever would I have to say that anyone would want to hear, to read? Well, I've finally given into their urgings. More importantly, I've finally listened to the urgings of "the Universe."

I can't say how often I'll post or what I'll say, but for those of you who have nothing better to do than read random ramblings from an aging renegade, here they are. Enjoy.