By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
This piece has not been an easy one for me to write or think about. There is much that I would like to forget and get past.
Also, I searched my motivation for this piece and concluded: it is based primarily upon the belief- life is the great classroom and we learn much from personal, every day experience.
About 2 months ago I was in hospital with a heart attack; now after the shock waves have subsided a bit, I have had time to reflect on all of this. Also, I am still occupied with the after effects. I am in cardiac rehab, changing certain life habits and still don’t have all my strength or heart capacity back; in multiple ways, this experience has clearly affected members of my family.
Some learning happens right away and other lessons take longer; both the doctors and EMT’s said I was lucky to be alive. There was a 100% blockage in my major heart artery and 60% in another; they have a nick- name for this particular attack: ‘the widow maker.’
Fortunately, I was at a family Thanksgiving dinner when this occurred and people acted quickly.
Sometimes, I still wonder why I am here. Perhaps there is more that I have to do, accomplish and enjoy.
Anyway, while I try to work this out, so far here are 11 things I learned and seem to have relearned again. In some way, I hope sharing this helps.
- Life is fragile and may be over in an instant.
- Flesh is weak and can be broken; yet spirit fights and lives on.
- In order to heal, you need a support system and love of others.
- After an event like this, fears, pains and sorrows are shared by those who love you.
- When pain enters- it is a game changer- often bringing you to your knees.
- Enjoy this moment- it is all you have. If there is something you want to do- do it now.
- Why one lives and another dies, is beyond our understanding.
- Be kind and generous to others. That is what the Universe wants. Suffering shows you this.
- We carry within the seeds of our own destruction and end.
- Death is part of life; they are tied to one another.
- Healing can be difficult and take a long time.
Now after reading this list, if you would like to share what you learned through personal adversity, I encourage input.
God/Light willing, may you continue to be healthy, growing closer to your lasting self.
About the author:
Check out my new book on Amazon: The Appleseed Journal.
Buy on Amazon: www.bit.ly/amazonappleseed
Moving through Loss and Grief – The very best gift you can ever give yourself is time for self-care
If you ask people who have lost a loved one what they want the most, the answer is usually for the pain to go away. Grief is a process and the amount of time it takes to get through it varies from person to person and the tools they employ.
Georgena Eggleston knows a lot more about grief than many of us, after having buried her brother, father-in-law, mother, father, and teenaged son in just three and a half years.
It was this very series of events that put her on a path to becoming a trauma specialist and grief guide who now supports others through this challenging process. She shares what she has learned about healing grief in her new book, “A New Mourning: Discovering the Gifts in Grief”.
“People usually know that they are in grief immediately after losing someone” she says. “But they rarely realize that grief can cause a host of longer lasting physical, social, and mental problems including anxiety, nausea, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and even depression. Other symptoms of repressed grief include:
- Awakening each night at 2 a.m.
- A constant fatigue
- Sense of being unfocused and distracted
- Being uncomfortable when alone
- Discounting happy moments thinking it is not the right thing to do.
- Having a hard time forming new relationships
- Staying overly busy because they’re afraid to be in their grief.
“What people in grief universally wish for is relief,” Ms. Eggleston says. “They want the pain to simply go away. They want to wake up and feel refreshed again. They want the clouds to brighten and the burden to be lifted.”
“There are gifts to be discovered in the grieving process,” she says. “The challenge is that you have to make a conscious choice to grieve. If you suppress your grief, you actually delay moving through it and this often creates additional problems. The best short cut is to go through it.
“The best and quickest remedy,” she says, is to go just do it. When you are ready, grieve. Let it happen.” Here are her recommendations on how to lean into your grief.
Listen to your body and its messages
When you are ready to move into and through your grief, here are some of the many ways she recommends to make grieving easier:
- Take the first 90 days off.
- Put everything on hold for a year. This is not the time to move, take a new job, get married, get divorced, get into a new relationship. Just wait.
- Let others take care of you. When people express their sympathy, often they will offer to do something for you. Take them up on it. Delegate the work that needs doing.
- When people ask how they can help, tell them “restaurant gift cards, please.”
- Carefully select others to talk to about your experience and what you’re going through.
- Allow the fatigue and the overwhelming roller coaster of feelings. Don’t resist. If you get tired, rest.
- Simply do the basics. Don’t complicate your life.
- Just say No.
- Focus on What You Want
Ask yourself the following: “What is the most kind and loving thing I can be, do, or have for myself in this moment?” Here are some possibilities:
- A cup of tea. A glass of water with a pinch of sea salt and lemon.
- A walk outside to feel your bare feet on the grass, the dirt, the sand.
- One minute of peace and quiet as you turn away from the computer and stretch.
- Being grateful for what you are doing or for where you are right now.
- Gratitude for someone or something beautiful right in front of you.
- Noticing your breathing. Exhaling like a lion and then allowing a breath to come.
- Going to the bathroom when you first feel the urge.
- Take a drive. Feel your hips in the car seat, your back supporting you, and take note and pride as you place your hands on an imaginary clock at four and eight on the steering wheel. Get in the groove. Drive for a while.
- Being kind to your body by asking someone to help carry or move something.
- Reading a book.
- Playing with a child.
- Taking a walk or walking the dog
- Telling your story of loss to a trusted colleague or family member.
- Watching the clouds, trees, flowers, people outside the window.
- Grieve freely.
Experiencing the grieving process allows you to move past the feelings and move on to a new life. Only after grieving can you create a new relationship at a deeper level with the person that is gone. You can move from longing and missing him or her, to a new powerful and energetic heartfelt connection. This is the shift that needs to happen.
Relationships do not end when someone dies. It’s important to shift them to a new level of health by emphasizing self-care. Take time to grieve every day whether it’s in the car or in the shower.
For more information visit www.beyondyourgrief.com
by Amara Rose
For me, the Great Remembering began in illness. On a descent to the depths of my being, I found myself throwing my arms around trees and sobbing, feeling their loving embrace. I began talking to crows, paying tribute to their visceral wisdom in a poem that concluded, “A coded conversation/In guttural cries/Opens my eyes/And lifts me higher.” Stunned from exhaustion, I’d never lived in such clarity. With my brain on an extended vacation, I was forced to access a more primitive part of my being, to participate in the instinctual world, not merely watch.
Rapt with recognition, I devoured books such as The Feminine Face of God by Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins, and The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler. I became Inanna, the ancient Sumerian Goddess who symbolizes death and rebirth, with wisdom gained.
I attended a pivotal event, Returning to the Mother of Us All, birthed by singer/songwriter Jennifer Berezan. A multilayered, sensory-rich immersion, Returning featured musicians, dancers, poets, actors and activists from all over the world. I participated from an altered state of pure consciousness approaching ecstasy, and at the conclusion, as a 12-foot tall Black Madonna danced in the center of the main stage and the audience cavorted around her, I made my way through the throng to clasp Jennifer’s hands and affirm with heartfelt conviction, “You’ve changed my life”.
Synchronicity and spiritual service
These are just a few examples of the myriad ways the Divine Feminine began showing up in my life, as she is now showing up for women (and many men) everywhere. Shannon Andersen, author of The Magdalene Awakening, is a powerful voice in service to this remembering, sharing the essence of the journey she’s lived, decoding the sacred symbols and synchronicities that herald the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine on Earth, as reflected in the archetype of Mary Magdalene.
Trained in past life regression by Brian Weiss, M.D. (author of Many Lives, Many Masters) with an extensive background in religion, psychology, metaphysics and mental health, Shannon embarked on a global quest to discover the meaning of recurring synchronicities surrounding numbers such as 444, 222, and 153, and symbols such as the lily. She eventually found the link between Mary Magdalene, the Cathars, the Knights Templar, and gematria (numerically encoded messages embedded in both the Old and New Testaments). And true to the synchronous manner in which such awakenings unfold, her first past-life regression client remembered a lifetime as Mary Magdalene!
As I listened to Shannon singing my soul’s song during a gathering, I was enfolded in the Returning experience anew, at a deeper level of understanding. A sister in the Magdalene lineage, her words echoed in my cells. The beauty and sanctity of Mary Magdalene is that she is Everywoman. “So many people are having Magdalene experiences now because it is a call to come back to the heart,” says Shannon. “Mary Magdalene represents the strong spiritual aspects within ourselves.
“She is the voice of the Divine Feminine more easily heard by those brought up in a Christian/Jewish culture, as well as those who grew up in this time of awakening feminine power. In myth and legend she is known as the Apostle to the Apostles. She opened up southern France and Europe to Christianity; churches throughout the region are dedicated in her name. Mary Magdalene correlates cross-culturally with Isis, Mother Mary, Quan Yin, White Buffalo Woman and other archetypes of the Divine Feminine found around the world.”
I know from my own journey that synchronicity — a word coined by psychologist Carl Jung that means “meaningful coincidence” — is a key way Spirit commands our attention in the West, where we inhabit ninety-mile-an-hour lives and seldom take time to listen to our inner voice. Shannon had begun seeing the numbers 444 on digital clocks, waking every night at that exact time. She discovered a correspondence with Archangel Michael, and started using this synchronicity for guidance in making important decisions. When she pulled into the parking lot of a building where she was considering employment and the odometer rolled over to 444, she knew the job was hers.
She later learned that on a higher level of meaning, in the gematria of the Greek New Testament, the phrase, “In the beginning there was the word…” adds up to 444. After her book was published, she discovered, as with Magdalene dreams and visions, that people all over the world had begun seeing these master numbers as powerful messengers from their own subconscious mind. And she understood she was being called into service.
(Similarly, when my relationship with crows began in 1993, as legions of Lightbearers were being summoned worldwide, I did not yet recognize Crow as a powerful archetype of the Divine Feminine. I only knew that when they cawed to me, I felt kinship.)
When you step onto the path of awakening, synchronicity will find you. It is the manifestation of spiritual alchemy.
The Magdalene frequency
This is the time when the Feminine frequency is returning to Earth, to heal and balance the masculine energies that have held sway on the planet for the past 5000 years. It’s the close of a Great Cycle, the Shift of the Ages, and spiritual leaders in all traditions are calling for this sacred reunion. Native American elder, Chief Sonne Reyna says, “It is time for the women to lead.” The Dalai Lama reportedly said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” This is why Magdalene has returned now: to help bring us home to our hearts. The gematria of Magdalene in the Greek New Testament is 153.
Shannon recounts: “At my first book signing, I was curious to see men showing up. I asked one why he was there, and he told me he was a member of the Knights Templar, dedicated to Mary Magdalene. As similar experiences continued I became convinced it is the mission of strong spiritual women to initiate the men into their hearts.”
A secret order that arose during the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar are peace warriors who carry the sword of peace, like Archangel Michael. The historical Knights were thought to worship the Divine Feminine — and some say these Knights held the secret of the marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The sexual initiations of the sacred marriage represented the very alchemy of the creation of life.
The Cathars, a group of monks from the Middle Ages who also held the heretical belief that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were intimate, exalted them as a couple. The Cathars resonate to the number 222. When the Church launched a Crusade against the Cathars, 222 priests were slaughtered. A troubadour poet prophesied that the Cathars would return in 700 years to finish their work.
Similarly: the Knights Templar were massacred on Friday, October 13, 1309 — which is why Friday the 13th is still considered unlucky! Of course, the Knights Templar vibrate to the number 13. It is the number that denotes transformation, enabling us to make a subtle yet quantum shift, from scared to sacred.
Yet the Knights, known as the “snail men” because they left a trail for us to follow, knew that death was but a doorway into the next dimension. And today, those of us who are reawakening are both Cathars and Knights: rainbow warriors leading the way into a new dawn. It is 700 years since the 1309 execution, The Age of Aquarius.
“The Magdalene lineage is about service — being a strong, spiritual, heart-driven warrior-monk,” affirms Shannon.
One way to open the doorway to the Divine is to walk a labyrinth. A form of sacred geometry, the labyrinth serves as a connecting link between Heaven and Earth — just as the heart chakra joins the three lower, physical chakras with the three upper, spiritual ones.
When I was moving deeply into my own healing journey, I began visiting the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, which is patterned on the one at Chartes Cathedral in France. Each walk was a release and a blessing, as I remembered and reclaimed a lost aspect of myself.
Shannon shared that the six innermost petals of a labyrinth represent the initiation of the Lord’s Prayer. The rose image (Rose itself being one of the ancient secret names for Magdalene) models the Holy Spirit. The ceremony for walking the center petal, which can be found in The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan, is:
1st petal = Faith
2nd petal = Surrender
3rd petal = Service
4th petal = Abundance
5th petal = Forgiveness
6th petal = Strength
You can find a labyrinth to walk via the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator.
Coming home, again
Shannon concluded our initiatory afternoon with a group past-life regression, asking us to watch for the lesson in that lifetime. I found myself as an 18th century Dutch child named Magda, who turned away from the man I loved at age 17 and spent the rest of my life in regret. At my death I cried, “Oh, Ezekiel!”
Initially, I thought the lesson was to accept/allow love when and where I may find it. I felt Mary Magdalene’s presence; certainly I was named for her then, as now — and knew the message was to realize I AM love, and must receive it in order for my own wells to be full, to have something to pour back out to the collective (I’m an Aquarian, the zodiacal Water Bearer).
However, reading The Magdalene Awakening I discovered that 444 is also the number of the Biblical Ezekiel, denoting the angelic realm: “From the spinning orb of light there appeared four beings, with four wings and four faces.” (Ezekiel 1:4). And now I sense that I was looking into my own face, my Divine Masculine, who was asking me to claim my lineage as Magdalene and become one with him in sacred reunion. All true love must begin first within our own beings.
I was unable or unwilling to do so then. But I am here now, with a clear mission to connect the collective towards our eventual expression of unity. I am honored and humbled to be part of the Magdalene lineage, and to be in service at this magnificent moment on Earth.
If you are reading this, you are ready to reclaim your sacred power. Be not afraid. There are too many of us this time — and the Light will prevail.
© Copyright 2009-2015 Amara Rose. All rights reserved.
About the author:
Amara Rose is a spiritual artisan, author, and “midwife” for our global rebirth. She offers soul guidance, e-courses, business alchemy and talks to accelerate your evolutionary journey. Learn more at LiveYourLight.com, where you can subscribe to her e-newsletter, What Shines. Her eBook trilogy, What You Need to Know Now: Practical Wisdom for Unleashing Your Inner Brilliance, is available from RadiancePublishing.com
by Candace L. Talmadge and Jana Simons
The intense interest in the afterlife focuses on what happens once the physical body dies and whether it is possible to communicate with the dead. Mental health professionals are beginning to realize that after-death communication helps alleviate grief to a far greater extent than just counseling and/or bereavement support groups.
If we believe we can contact the dead, then it begs some questions. First: What exactly are we communicating with when we speak to the dead? We contend that what remains after the demise of the physical body is known variously as the soul or consciousness, and it comprises a unique form of energy that we define as the ability to love. English biologist and author Rupert Sheldrake writes about morphic fields that exist before the appearance of anything physical (including human beings). That makes a great deal of sense to us.
Soul-energy-consciousness is eternal precisely because it is an energy that not only survives the material physical body, but exists quite apart from any material reality, including earth. This raises yet another question. If soul-energy-consciousness survives the physical body’s death, can it not also exist before the physical body’s birth? Greek philosopher Plato argued for the existence of the soul before birth as well as its survival after the physical body’s demise.
We believe that our society’s entire definition and understanding of life is much too limited. We live not only after the physical body’s demise, but before it is born, too. And since we communicate with the deceased, we can also talk to the not yet born. Think of the potential of such pre-birth communication to transform the entire field of parenting and child psychology.
The many concerns of parents-to-be
From the moment a woman knows she is pregnant, even if she and her spouse or partner very much want to be parents, one or both may worry or feel some anxiety, especially if this is a first child.
They have all manner of questions about their parenting abilities and their pending offspring. Will I be a good parent? Who is this person to be? How will I know what to do or say?
One of the best ways to find answers is to ask the source, meaning the soul of the child to be born. Children do not come into this world with minds that are clean slates. This notion of the mind as tabula rasa was first articulated by 17th century English philosopher John Locke, one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. While modern biology’s focus on genetics has layered on the concept of inherited traits, the belief that kids’ minds are empty and just waiting to be molded still influences most education systems and parenting theories worldwide.
It’s also utterly mistaken. Every soul comes to a physical lifetime with its own levels of wisdom, knowledge, and issues. Before they are born into physical bodies, wiser souls reflect on why they want to spend a physical lifetime on earth (and no doubt other physical realities, too). They choose a purpose for the life that is general, such as expressing love, teaching, or healing, etc. The soul also chooses some lessons to focus on, and a group of souls that remain on the other side as helpers, known as spirit guides or angels.
Granted, not all souls make the effort to go through this preparation, and just take the first physical body available. That often leads to a life that, in the words of another Enlightenment thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, turns out to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. It’s beyond the scope of this article to discuss why souls make such poor pre-birth choices, although they can ultimately lead to greater self-awareness.
No instruction manual
Let’s assume the souls have chosen a life purpose, lessons, and spirit guides. They still arrive on earth without an instruction manual or user guide, leaving their parents struggling to bring up a total stranger. They have no clue about their child’s life purpose or lessons, and they never consciously contact the youngster’s spirit guides (or their own) for help and perspective. Yes, today’s parents benefit from an ever-expanding plethora of books and blogs about raising a child (or more). Even so, this advice stems from research and theory that may or may not apply to their offspring, or from the experience of other parents with, once again, different children.
Small wonder parenting is much harder and scarier than it has to be. We are not taking advantage of our best resources. At the soul level, even children not born are perfectly capable of telling their parents about their life’s purpose and lesson(s), and even why they chose a particular set of parents. Knowing this critical information does several important things for both sides. It helps a child be more comfortable with her or his parents to be.
Many souls wonder if they made the best choice, and many later regret their selection of parents and life situation or insist that they never asked to be born.
For the parents, pre-birth communication removes a lot of the guesswork out of raising a particular child. It also reminds them that although their child’s physical body may be younger than theirs, the child is spiritually their equal. Rather than owning their child or children, mothers and fathers come to the freeing and loving recognition that they are simply stewards of their youngsters’ upbringing. It also helps them understand that they are not solely responsible for problems their children face in mastering life lessons.
There are no studies yet of the differences that communicating with children before birth can make in the lives of both parents and the next generation. We hope soon that such research will be undertaken because we have witnessed the profoundly positive influence of such communication and want to encourage widespread adoption of the practice. Talmadge and Simons may be reached through their website, www.thehealingcirclebook.com.
© Candace L. Talmadge and Jana Simons are the authors of The Afterlife Healing Circle: How Anyone Can Contact the Other Side, published by New Page Books, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-601633736. US $14.99, (Can. $17.95)