Carl Jung explored and developed the concept of synchronicity or "meaningful coincidences" as far back as the 1920’s. His ideas were published early in 1950’s. Arthur Koestler’s book, The Roots of Coincidence furthered the exploration of meaning through the lens of parapsychology. Today, there is much interest in psychics, near death experiences and other forms of divination. Even so, we humans still carry a lot of doubt as to what meaning can be ascribed to coincidence.
Coincidences seem to abound when someone dies. For some reason, soon after the death of a loved one there are those experiences, what my family calls ‘sightings’ of energy pertaining to our loved one. I have been recording them since the death of my son Richard in September of 2014.
Recently I went to a daylong mentorship training by a well known psychic here in Southern Ca by the name of Fleur. During one of the exercises, I met a woman who lost her mother years ago and her husband and best friend, 5 years ago. After the workshop, we communicated through emails. I shared some of the insights about the mysteries of life, death and the spirit that I am gaining through regular dialogue with my son.
MT, the woman I met has allowed me to use an excerpt from her mail as a launch of a Q & A Blog about the mysteries of life, death and spirit. It will be housed on my website: OneLife.Coach I am open to questions and observations from the community of people who have lost loved ones and experienced coincidences and want the support of a community to share their journey.
I am only using my new friend's initials here. If/when she chooses, I invite her to sign in and comment on her own. After sharing an experience I had perceiving the energy of my son, MT wrote: ”I so want that connection with my husband, and was hoping that this class would help me with that. I'm not sure I learned much. Perhaps I left too soon, but my emotions were too distracting for me. Oddly enough, about 5 minutes after I left, my 93-year-old father called to tell me that his wife (my stepmother of 40 years) had passed away. She'd been in hospice for about a year, so I wasn't really expecting it. Maybe it was meant that I leave the class in order to receive that call. I'd had the phone on "silent" during the class."
What my son has told me is that grasping…the wanting our loved one to make an appearance is constricting energy. Constricting energy closes the channel to spirit. Openness and welcoming love opens the channel for spirit energy. My advice to MT was to invite her husband’s energy to appear to her in a recognizable way…there are many recognizable ways. Music, a phone call, a thought that just pops into your head that stirs a memory, etc could be an outreach from the other side. I am sure all of us have had some coincidence related to the death of a loved one that somehow sticks through all the doubt that followed and threatens to shut down the channel.
In hindsight, MT found another coincidence that could have meaning, regarding being guided to leave the mentorship, in order to receive the call about her fathers wife. What if the mentorship with Fleur actually did open her up to the spirit realm? The emotions that she felt were reminders of pain but they could have also been reminders of love. My son was in the room that day. I felt him so clearly. In one of our dialogues, Richard says that we choose our perspective. That was a tough one to get my heart and mind around!!! Obviously, MT had free will…to act on the feeling she had or not.
The spirit is one of four parts of the intelligent system of happy. Happy comes from the balance of body, emotions, mind and spirit. OK, what is spirit? Spirit is ‘that’ which is not of the body. It is not physical. Spirit is energy. Spirit is possibility. Spirit is the essence of us…the non-body part of us. Some say spirit is the part that of us that lives on forever.
How can spirit be perceived? Meditation is a good place to start. Quieting the mind and connecting with the deeper self of no mind on a regular basis can help. Some forms of creative expression can also take us there, to the place of spirit or ‘forever’. The realm of spirit is timeless and formless. It is where we can deeply perceive our unique selves and the spirit of others in the collective field of energy.
How do we experience energy in our daily lives? Have you ever been in the presence of someone who is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside? You see their external beauty while you perceive their inner beauty. We do this all the time. Have you ever entered a room, and felt a vibe? Well each of us gives off energy and each one of us perceives energy. So much so that we forget that we’re even doing it.
Forgetting that we perceive energy and give off energy causes us problems because energy or spirit along with the body, emotions and mind helps us to determine our direction in life. Our energy flows when we experience love and openness. Energy constricts when we are in a state of fear, anger, complaint, or doubt. When energy is constricted we won’t receive clear feedback on what is happening around us. If you continue to associate with toxic people or stay in toxic environments you risk shutting down your system of feedback.
Openness allows us to give and receive input from those around us and from the collective spirit. If you are looking for your purpose in life, one that will make you happy, you won’t find it through thinking alone. You have to be open to experiencing your own spirit energy to know which direction to turn. Most likely there are already rumblings of which direction to take but fear of the outcome might be an obstacle. Challenge your fear and live your OneLife HAPPY.
Next Blog: What happens to Spirit when the body dies?
The mind is one of four parts of the intelligent system of well-being. Well-being comes from the balance of body, emotions, mind and spirit. The mind is a very complex and amazing system of functions and processes: including thought, thinking, memory, imagining and awareness. For the purposes of this blog, I am referring to the mind and not the brain and it’s domain over the entire, intricately interdependent system. It is easier to separate body, emotions, mind and spirit to see which areas are open and clear and which areas are closed or constricted, in order to gain insight, make necessary changes and achieve balance and flow, which can lead to happiness.
Thought is a mental act of the mind where we can address our needs, attachments, goals, commitments, plans, and desires. It is here that we can understand what makes us happy. Thinking is a cognitive function, which enables us to understand, recognize, comprehend and respond to the environment and to each other. Thinking about what makes us happy leads us back in our lives through memory. Memory or experience of what has made us happy in the past can bring visceral good feelings into the present but memory doesn’t generate a present, renewable source of happiness.
Imagining a future of happiness is a mind activity that generates unique situations, images, ideas or activities, that could or are likely to bring happiness. Imagination, is a projection usually of data from past experiences, into the future of what is likely to bring happiness. While thoughts of what could bring happiness can change feelings in the present, they are generally not a full bodied experience of happy and require action to make them so. For example, a person may imagine their perfect partner, perfect job, perfect home or perfect vacation. The happy image is likely a compilation of past experience and fantasy. Of course, to bring that image of happy to life requires a number of steps or changes to align one’s intention with action to create that projection or some form of it into reality. If we are thinking about happiness and projecting it into the future, we might not actually ‘be’ happy in the moment. Sometimes a belief that if only the current conditions or obstacles were removed, such as problems, pain, or suffering then happiness would follow. That belief could have debilitating results because the absence of an obstacle doesn’t automatically create the presence of desired happiness.
Awareness is an aspect of the mind that perceives, observes and reflects on the relationship between oneself and one's environment. Awareness is that part of the mind that learns over time to recognize patterns of behavior and change. Awareness is that part of the mind that can stand outside of itself and witness itself in the present moment. Bring awareness into your life on a regular basis is like an Awareness Selfie, where you observe yourself in the present moment. Taking an Awareness Selfie a few times a day can be very useful in understanding what types of experiences you usually find yourself in throughout the day. Are you usually complaining or criticizing someone or something? Are you usually resistant or down? Or do you feeling in charge of your experience? An Awareness Selfie is the first step in recognizing where your mind usually is. This information can help you to identify what you would like to change in your experience and bringing that change into you life, in the present moment.
Pain, suffering, and complaint are constricting energies. Happiness and love are open energies. You get to choose where your want your focus to be, anytime throughout the day.
Next Blog Topic: Key #4 Spirit
The emotions are one of four parts of the intelligent system of wholeness. Wholeness comes from the balance of body, emotions, mind and spirit. The emotions are an amazing part of the system of wholeness all by themselves. They provide feedback regarding how we are doing, which path is the right one to take, which people are good for us to be around and which goals are worthwhile. When the whole system is in balance, emotions are felt, expressed, shared and received freely.
Love is the best example of this. If we are able to feel unconditional love within ourselves for another, we are able to give ourselves one of the greatest gifts of well being. Sometimes, when we feel love within ourselves when in the presence of someone else, we mistakenly think that our love belongs to that other person. Actually, the love that we feel is triggered by the other person but it belongs to us, the person feeling it. When love is mutual, it gives back more than double the well-being for both people.
Sometimes, when we experience difficult emotions we can feel an inner conflict. This happens when we feel that our emotions are outside of our control, like when they are triggered by someone we care about or our emotions catch us unprepared or feeling unprotected. Those kinds of experiences can cause us to shut down the emotions or repress feelings. The problem with shutting down emotions is that we can’t select which emotions are going to be numbed so consequently, all of them get muted, until something unexpected happens and numbing lid comes off, like in a fit of anger or rage. It is important to work toward understanding your emotions and why they are so strong regarding certain people or experiences. One question to ask yourself is…have I ever felt this way before? And then write what comes up in a stream of consciousness way. The results will bring you one step closer to understanding yourself and clearing your emotional field.
Our emotions are an important part of living life to the fullest. Emotions are the expression of joy and happiness. They help in sensing what is good or bad for you, making choices, knowing yourself, having compassion and relating to others.
The body is one of four parts of the intelligent system of wholeness. Wholeness comes from the balance of body, emotions, mind and spirit. The human body is an amazing part of the system of wholeness all by itself. It provides feedback regarding how the rest of the system is doing. The body provides us with mobility, sensuality, confidence, healing, feedback, and expression of internal states.
Healthy food intake and regular exercise are the mantras of popular culture. So many of us have developed good habits of treating our bodies well. We care for the body internally with organic foods and herbal remedies at the first sign of illness or imbalance. We take care of the external body by tending to it’s surface needs with creams, massages, oils, and various other treatments. We care for the body by going to the doctor for regular checkups, knowing that early screenings can provide useful information and strategies for maintaining optimal health.
Why do we do all of this? For some, the answer is to live a healthy lifestyle. For some it is to live healthier into old age. For some it is to manage stress. For some it is because of external pressures, like doctor’s orders or family pressure. These are all motivators, some more positive than others.
Louise Hay, back in 1976 in her book “Heal Your Body” drew a connection between the health of mind and health of the body. For example, she identified someone experiencing a migraine headaches as someone who might also be engaged in self-criticism or fear. There have been many studies revealing a link between the body and emotions, particularly in the area of trauma. Feelings and emotions can be suppressed by the mind but the body can express emotions or as Bessel van der Kolk has written “The Body Keeps the Score”. Negative emotions have been linked to illness and disease, including eating disorders, addiction and pain.
With an optimally functioning body we have the freedom to bring balance to the other three parts of our whole system of intelligence. Emotions, Mind and Spirit in conjunction with a well functioning body can help us to make decisions that are based on subtle and not so subtle information from the whole system. Have you ever gotten into a discussion with someone and you start to feel anxious or threatened? Have you ever felt your energy drain by a conversation or topic that someone else brings up? In either example your anxiety is valuable sign that something is not right for you regarding the situation at hand. That feedback could be something that you look at more closely later or it might be giving you information to act upon more quickly. Maybe the anxiety is informing you that you need to give yourself a break from the discussion, or to let the other person know that the conversation is not one you choose to engage in at that moment. The anxiety might also be telling you to excuse yourself and leave.
Using the body to cope with anxiety by stretching stretching and deep breathing can also provide relief.
Next time: Key #2 Emotions
Ever notice how your energy and mood can change during the day? Maybe you start out with good intentions for a happy day but somehow, seemingly insignificant things begin to challenge your good intentions. By the end of the day, you’re feeling drained, exhausted and snarky. How did you loose sight of your good intention…a happy day?
Throughout the day your intelligent system of body, emotions, mind and spirit, got compromised and began to shut down and close to negativity. Problem is, when you are defensive, positivity is blocked as well negativity. Your authentic self goes into hiding and you function under the mask of getting by. Your amazing system: body, emotions, mind and spirit, are just functioning instead of intending, like they were in the beginning of the day.
#1 Eating well and exercising your body is important. It is one key to maintaining a well balanced, open, happy system. Non healthy choices take energy away from the whole. Health, nutrition, exercise, and sleep are but a few of the restorative processes for the body.
#2 The second key to living a happy life is in keeping your emotional system cleared. This takes a regular practice of understanding what you are feeling and knowing why. You can’t have emotional clutter and expect to have clear emotions. Emotional clutter makes it difficult to sort out just what you are feeling because your personal history maybe complicating your ability to utilize your emotions to move you to or keep you in a happy state. Therapy can help eliminate emotional clutter by processing emotional experiences. Then, a regular habit of feeling emotions and identifying why they are triggered, helps you to put words to your experience, instead of rage, or numbing or ignoring them.
#3 Thirdly, managing negative thoughts is key #3 in maintaining a happy life. In any given moment you get to choose whether to fuel a negative thought or to shift your thought to one that is more productive. The more you practice stopping negative thoughts, the more free your energy will be for what you really intend, like being happy. You can ask yourself…is what I am focused on helping me to create my happy life? If the answer is ‘no’…work on shifting your thought to one that is more in alignment with your intended…happy life.
#4 Finally, maintaining an open spirit is key #4 in maintaining a happy life. A clogged spirit/soul happens when we allow ourselves to be distracted by outside influences, instead of what our being actually wants for our higher good. Outside influences are not necessarily wrong or bad but they quiet your healthy inner voice that knows what the next step is on your journey of self fulfillment and happiness. It is always your choice as to how much or how often you allow yourself to be distracted from you.
When these channels shift from being clogged to being open and clear, your happy life will follow.
Next Blog Topic: Key #1 The Body
Have you ever had an incident, a situation, an event or a shock that has left you feeling like, everything has just changed in a flash moment? A event that left you with a feeling like my life will never be the same. You might have received a Wake up Call. A Wake Up Call stops you in the tracks. You don’t know how to continue but you know that you cannot continue in the direction that you were going.
There are many different experiences that can cause a Wake Up Call. For example, your life partner announces that he/she has changed their mind and want out of the relationship. Or the start-up that you started is failing. Or your boss informs you that the company is downsizing and you don’t need to come in for work on Monday. A Wake Up Call could come from the sudden death of a loved one, or a terminal illness diagnosis from a doctor. A Wake Up Call is usually not something that you want to embrace because it inevitably involves change that was unwanted and generated by you.
What to do when a Wake Up Call comes?
When a Wake Up Call comes it can bring with it grief, trauma, sadness, shame, and/or psychological and possibly physical pain. Our human desire to control change can cause feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated. The concept of letting go seems ridiculous because what you want is to hold onto the way things have been.
5 Things to do when a Wake Up Call comes:
1) Breathe. This sounds simplistic but calming yourself down will go a long way in reducing stress.
2) Space. Give yourself some space to process what is happening with people in your inner circle who you trust and who you know care about you.
3) Journal. Write everything that you are feeling in a journal, in a stream of consciousness sort of way. Don’t filter and don’t judge your feeling. Don’t share your journal with anyone, unless you are in therapy.
4) Reflect. Explore the meaning that emerges from the event that have taken place. What do you feel now? Take ownership of authentic feelings, knowing that they will evolve and change over time.
5) Additional change. Don’t make any additional changes until your life has calmed down, unless additional change is necessary for safety. If you must make additional changes, keep them to a minimum.
These 5 steps will help get cope with the initial stages of a A Wake Up Call.
NEXT: What is the purpose of a A Wake Up Call?
Prior to my son’s sudden death, he was fascinated by the Long Island Medium. He and his wife watched the show often. My son was a creative guy, meaning, he approached life with an openness to possibility. He had never gone to a medium but he was curious and open to energy from the other side.
Soon after his sudden death, my daughter-in-law and I went to see a psychic medium who channeled my son’s energy. She shared details of a spirit who was making his energy present to her. I knew that if it was possible, my son would make himself known with both my daughter-in-law and myself in the audience. The information was specific to his death. The strength of his communication, through her, helped us to recognize him and spoke of his larger than life personality.
The sudden death of my loved one cracked me open and caused me to questioning everything, including life itself, why things happen, and how to move on through pain and suffering my worst nightmare.
My take-away from that reading was that the medium perceived energy and trusted enough in what she perceived to share it with a room full of people who were hoping to make connection with their loved one on the other side. Not everyone left with a connection that evening. But those who did, we got some relief where there had only been pain. I left with hope where there had been silence.
Prior to the reading, I had been journal writing and meditating daily. As an Art Therapy Consultant and Life Coach who has been in the helping profession for 20 years, I knew that I needed a place to work through strong feelings and emotions that I was experiencing several times a day. Journaling gave me a place to express everything, the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the longing, and the love…the love that I feared I was loosing because he was gone. I have since felt encouraged to dialogue with my son directly.
That dialogue and connection has been life sustaining.
The tragic, sudden death of a loved one is so hard to bear. It can feel like you are cracked open, left with your heart hanging outside of yourself. Sorry, for the graphic nature of the description but that’s what it can feel like to lose someone you love very much.
When my son died this past September, I was besides myself. I felt and feel sometimes like my worst nightmare has actually happened. The questions that usually follow in my mind, are, What now? What’s next? How will I ever recover from this and move on in my life? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?
Other questions that surface are in the realm of: What is this life all about? If there is a God I don’t feel like speaking with him/her/it right now and maybe never. Did my son experience pain and suffering? How can I live with those types of thoughts? Where is my son now? Where is his spirit now?
Life is a journey. Working with what life gives you creates a path. Resisting what life gives you feels like depression and anxiety. It takes an enormous amount of energy to resist life. To somehow try to control it. I am not suggesting that working with what life gives you is easy or that it creates a smooth path. It doesn’t. But opening to possibility feels better than pain and suffering.
Months after my son died, I realized that right next to the crack in my heart where the pain resides is enormous love that I have for him. When things get tough, I ask myself what am I focused on…the pain or the love?