By Andrew Bloomfield, author of Call of the Cats
Woody Allen once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” That certainly was my experience. Thinking I was destined for greatness in Hollywood I found my life purpose instead in caring for a colony of wild cats.
My life as a down-on-my-luck aspiring screenwriter in Hollywood seemed uncomfortably close to that of Joe Gillis, the failed screenwriter in the classic film Sunset Boulevard. I ended up homeless as did he, but instead of escaping into the arms of faded movie star Norma Desmond, I was welcomed by an old love and her sister who lived ten miles from downtown Los Angeles. In the security of their small bungalow I could finally catch my breath, and spent my precious time (unsure of when I might get kicked out!) pecking away on my laptop, trying to manufacture the visions and dreams and high-concept twenty-word pitches I prayed would interest mercurial studio executives, mercenary independent producers, and beautiful, narcissistic rising stars.
Though the setting stimulating creativity, I became distracted by the horrific sounds of predators decimating kittens from a large colony of feral cats that made their home out back. Our backyard was a mini-jungle, burgeoned from what perhaps began as a lush backyard into a micro Amazon forest, replete with nonindigenous fronds, old-growth trees and thick veils of ivy oozing white sap. Normal neighborhood sounds dissolved here, replaced with chirps, caws, screeches, and the constant rustling of critters that called it home, including the feral colony. Had monkeys one day appeared and begun swinging from branch to branch, or the occasional rhino passed by, I would have taken it in stride.
These cats were not strays—abandoned domesticated cats; these were wild animals—untamed and, for the most part, untamable. They displayed a myriad of colors, shapes, and sizes. They were stealthy and skittish, shadows at night, ghostlike flashes in the trees, peering under the high wooden fence that separated our yards. Occasionally I would spot a startled eye, a black nose, a wispy tail through the broken slats in the fence. The felines were as wary of human contact as any wild animal. Though most looked like domesticated house cats, they were unequivocally feral.
I came to learn that their predators, coyotes and raccoons, lived in the latticework of dried arroyos that ran down out of the San Gabriel Mountains. And they knew where to come for fresh meat. Newborn litters and young kittens were particularly vulnerable. Their numbers would grow and then diminish. We reasoned — albeit uneasily — that this was nature at work and none of our business. The cats had been there before the sisters moved in and would probably outlast them.
However, one day the colony sat in semi-circle around a dead kitten, holding my gaze, seemingly asking for my help. Feral cats do not approach humans, and they do not make eye contact. So I knew this was an important moment. It had all the familiar earmarks of the universe stepping in to supplant my personal plans. And I do believe in intervention when called.
So began the tumultuous saga of my relationship with this group of skittish, wild, and sometimes fierce felines. I began to name, nurse, feed, house, rescue, and neuter them. Sleep was a rare commodity; I rose from my bed countless times to fend off their attackers. I maxed out credit cards on vet bills, and emergency-room visits for myself when mauled by the very cats I was trying to help.
I made mistakes along the way certainly, and I’m sure feral cat caregivers will cringe when they read about certain choices and decisions I made in trying to keep the colony safe. But sometimes that’s how one learns. But trusting one’s intuition, jumping in and doing.
I had found my purpose. And it looked strangely different from how I imagined it might when I was younger —or for that matter even a week before moving into the house! While obviously not many will be called to care for feral cats, I do believe one key in discerning one’s true purpose is by simply doing the thing right in front of one’s face. The thing closest at hand.
Our civilization is skewed toward unease. An unease born of not looking like, having, or accomplishing whatever an advertiser deems indispensable at the time—or what the idol-of-the-day embodies. Thus many strive to look like, or be like, or have the things we’re told will bring us satisfaction. But what is lost in that search is authenticity. Authenticity is being true to oneself—being comfortable in our bodies and content with our skill sets. I’ve met parking garage attendants who take great pride in their work and are more fulfilled in their lives as a result, than some Fortune 50 CEOs.
By committing oneself to the task at hand one finds freedom. Even is that task may seem mundane or trivial. This is exemplified by a group of spiritual aspirants from ancient India called the 84 Mahasiddhas who lived over a thousand years ago. They became accomplished masters in a single lifetime, and attained high levels of mastery through their vocational pursuits. That was the medium through which they became perfected. And surprisingly many of them worked at very mundane jobs. Some were beggars, gamblers, prostitutes, rice thrashers, washer men, cow herders and even thieves. The deeper meaning of their life stories still has relevance today: that one’s job or calling in life contains the potentiality for perfect contentment and satisfaction. No matter what the outer appearance.
About the author:
Andrew Bloomfield is the author of Call of the Cats: What I Learned about Life and Love from a Feral Colony. After running his own bookstore in Seattle, Washington, where he hosted spiritual teachers from all over the world, he caught the film bug and moved to Hollywood. It was there he found his true calling — caring for a colony of feral cats. He lives in Southern California.
Based on the book Call of the Cats. Copyright © 2016 by Andrew Bloomfield. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.NewWorldLibrary.com
Expand your understanding of the human adventure with the new book The Past Life Perspective: Discovering Your True Nature Across Multiple Lifetimes
Written by certified regression therapist Ann C. Barham, this captivating book invites readers to discover a rapid and effective approach to unlocking their full potential and expanding their awareness of their spiritual journey across the ages.
With the June 7th launch of The Past Life Perspective, Ann C. Barham shares intimate details of her sessions with clients to demonstrate the dramatic impact this therapeutic approach can have on the current life.
“Often in a single session, past life therapy can and continues to help people of all ages, races, classes, and creeds heal enduring challenges, release unhealthy patterns and beliefs, and find their way to more happiness and success,” said Barham.
Barham is a licensed marriage and family therapist and internationally certified regression therapist who has trained with the world’s foremost experts in the field, including Dr. Brien Weiss and Dr. Roger Woolger.
By opening the files of her most fascinating and insightful client sessions, Barham demystifies past life work with a practical, down-to-earth approach. With arresting tales from actual clients, the reader sees how traumatic and pivotal experiences from past lives seldom stay in the past but continue to affect our actions, emotions, health, and relationships now.
What’s more, Barham demonstrates how recalling, processing and integrating the experiences from our own prior lifetimes can propel each of us forward to realize our full potential and recognize the bond of humanity we all share, regardless of gender, race, creed, or political leanings.
With the mission of bringing past life awareness into the mainstream, Barham offers tools that anyone can use to expand their own perspective. Not just a book for psychologists or the New Age crowd, The Past Life Perspective is a captivating read for a mainstream audience.
“Even for skeptics, these stories can be viewed as powerful, healing metaphors that hold universal life lessons and spiritual truth,” said Barham.
A wonderful book that helps the reader understand the eternal nature of our existence, as evidenced in fascinating past life stories from actual clients. The spiritual advice that comes through clients’ higher guidance rings true! It is a must read if you are interested in matters of the spirit and how we embody our souls in human form.
– Susan Scolastico, Transpersonal Consultation Group
The Past Life Perspective is available through all major book outlets including Barnesandnoble.com, Amazon.com, iBooks and various local book stores nationwide.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Atria/Enliven Books (June 7, 2016)
About the author:
Ann C. Barham is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a certified regression therapist with training in transpersonal psychology, hypnosis, therapeutic imagery, and trauma release modalities. Throughout her nearly twenty year career, she has evolved her practice to merge her interest in spirituality with her counseling work, now focusing almost exclusively on past life regression therapy, which she believes has the greatest healing impact for her clients in the shortest amount of time. She lives in California.
Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a paranormal investigator in a well-known haunted location? It takes a special kind of person to take the plunge and venture into the unknown. Imagine a small group of investigators who find themselves alone in a long dark hallway of an abandoned hospital.
They set up equipment to begin their investigation. They’re laughing and joking around with each other, when out of nowhere the atmosphere changes. They feel eyes peering at them from the shadows within patient rooms and detect the presence of someone, or something, closing in on them. A fear so deep that it’s unrecognizable begins to settle in and tighten their chests. Without speaking they take a deep breath and prepare to leave. As they calmly turn to walk down the hall, they feel as if a being is breathing down the back of their necks. Even the staunchest skeptic couldn’t deny the feeling. What do they do? Are their feelings valid or are they letting their imagination get away from them? Are they about to encounter an actual ghost? They sit on the cold floor mid-hall, and turn their flashlights off to start asking questions. Will they get answers on their digital recorders or readings on the EMF detectors…or any of their equipment? As their eyes get accustomed to the darkness, they can see details of the walls and door frames breaking up the long flat surface. At the end of the hall they watch the darkness become darker and a figure begins to manifest right before their eyes. Instinctively they slowly reach for their cameras fearful that the movement or flash will make the figure disappear but at the same time fearful that it will make a full manifestation.
Before they have time to raise their cameras, the dark mass morphs into a human figure. It’s obvious to them by the broad shoulders that taper down to a narrow but muscular waste that it’s an adult male. Then he appears to take a step toward them. They all press down on the camera button and flashes start to light up the hall. Being seasoned investigators they know that its best to take pictures in three’s and have their camera settings adjusted to take three photos in rapid succession.
The flashes created a strobe effect and to their surprise the figure that was just a shadow began to show details, the man was actually wearing scrubs and he didn’t seem happy about them being there. In a blink of an eye the man in scrubs was there then vanished before their eyes, not only did the figure vanish, but the feeling of impending doom and near paralyzing fear was gone. It was as if a tornado ripped through the hall and was suddenly gone and had never happened. The team composes themselves then begins to search for the man and try to make contact but with no luck. They decide to review their equipment to see if they caught any evidence of what had just occurred. To their disappointment they only caught themselves on the recorders and the frantic flashing of their cameras only caught the hallway.
When you go into a haunted location, be prepared to get a fright, meet a spirit, have no questions answered, and possibly go home empty handed with only the story of an unbelievable spirit encounter. But then again, you may walk away with plenty of evidence that you mingled with the dead.
- Evaluate if your feelings are valid or if your imagination is running away from you
- Take pictures in rapid succession of three’s
- What you see isn’t evidence if your equipment doesn’t catch it, it’s a personal experience
About the Authors
A paramedic and volunteer firefighter by day and a paranormal investigator by night, Richard Estep has spent the past two decades investigating claims of the paranormal on both sides of the Atlantic, and has spent time in some of the most haunted places on earth. He is the Director of the Boulder County Paranormal Research Society (BCPRS).
A frequent speaker at British and American paranormal-related conventions, the author has appeared in video segments for About.com and in the documentary film, “The Ghosts of Elitch Theatre.”
Cami Andersen is co-owner of the Old Tooele Valley Hospital, which houses Asylum 49. She has been investigating claims of paranormal activity in homes and businesses across Utah and the surrounding states for more than a decade, while continuing research into the spirits at Asylum 49.
Richard Estep and Cami Andersen are the authors of “The Haunting of Asylum 49: Chilling Tales of Aggressive Spirits, Phantom Doctors, and the Secret of Room 666” published by New Page and due out August 22, 2016
List price: U.S. $15.99 Canada $20.95
The Buddha was a Spiritual Warrior, as was the Christ, Moses Muhammad, Krisna, Lao Tzu and all the great spiritual reformers––they all belonged to the Spiritual Warrior School.
One of the world’s best known teachers and bestselling authors, Imre Vallyon writes for a vast audience of readers and students around the globe.
His newest book, Way Of The Spiritual Warrior: The Timeless Path To Enlightenment, focuses on multidimensional development of personality, Soul, and spirit/divinity through self-assessment, understanding of the warrior path and techniques, and study of sacred language and planetary transformation.
Universal Spiritual Teachings and Right Knowledge are the hallmarks of Vallyon’s life’s work. Typical of his many detailed, instructive books, The Way of the Spiritual Warrior is a deep resource to be dipped into over weeks, months and even a lifetime, with captivating chapters such as:
- The Warrior and Health
- The Warrior Controls Negative Emotions
- From Separated Consciousness to Unity Consciousness
- The Threefold Training of the Spiritual Warrior
- The Spiritual Warrior Sees God Inside Himself
- The Warrior and the Feminine Power
- The Way of the Warrior is Action
- The Warrior Transmits the Energy of the Spiritual Kingdom
As the embodiment of and the communicator of wisdom science, in The Way of the Spiritual Warrior, Vallyon leads his students and readers to the tremendous gift of the universal energy field of life force, a phenomenal resource that transforms their lives with total intelligence, consciousness, bliss and personal power.
He said, “Once you understand that this tremendous power is inside and all around you––everywhere in Universal Space, between the stars and between the atoms––then you will understand what is actually available to you in terms of your own evolution, your own growth, and you own power of becoming more.”
About the Author
Imre Vallyon teaches wisdom science through his books, recorded teachings, and his popular workshops and retreats. He is the founder of the Foundation for Higher Learning, an international spiritual school based in Europe, North America and Australasia. Born in Budapest, Hungary, the author lives in New Zealand and has for decades traveled throughout the world as a teacher and lecturer.
Vallyon is t he author of these and other titles:
- The 4-volume series, Heavens and Hells of the Mind, winner of the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Award for “books that encompass a wide range of beliefs, demonstrate higher consciousness, expanded awareness and enli ghtenment as primary objectives.”
- Also the winner of the gold medal in the 2009 Living Now Awards.
- The Journey Within, a compilation of the author’s popular ebook Spiritual Path series.
- The New Heaven and the New Earth
- The New Planetary Reality: The Coming Avatara and The Nine Paths To Enlightenment
- Planetary Transformation: A Personal Guide To Embracing Planetary Change
- The Warrior Code: 365 Aphorisms of the Spiritual Warrior