April Showers Bring May Flowers

“Sweet April showers do bring May flowers,” as the rhyme and metaphor by Thomsa Tusser goes. For the sake of my garden, I couldn’t be happier with that truism. As my family, friends, and followers know, I am a serious gardener. But beyond its literal meaning, this simple phrase could be a metaphor for life. When we focus intently on something we want to either nourish or manifest in our lives, we “shower” attention on our selected aspect, and those precious thoughts can indeed begin to flower into reality.

“Thoughts are things,” as Edgar Cayce used to say, but we can never forget to sow those seeds in the physical, to allow those April showers to do their part and help turn seeds into flowers, plants, veggies, etc.!

It is always wonderful for me to recognize when expressions coined such a long time ago emerge as meaningful now. Often featured among many of the cultures that have handed down their words of wisdom, generation after generation, is the “Grandmother Storyteller.”

The story telling ritual has existed for centuries in native communities as sacred oral history. The image of the Grandmother Storyteller is a symbol of the times when grandmothers gathered the native children in a circle to teach and share with the youngsters, through the tribe’s own stories. The circle was a place within which to impart myths, legends, traditions, ancestral tales, and ultimately the wisdom of the people. How wonderful!

I’m sure many of you remember the stories passed down from your own grandmothers to you directly, or perhaps through your mom. A wonderful way to bestow hidden knowledge about the family history, ancestry, and environments.

Speaking of passing down family traditions and history, in Japan an ancient belief is that people are held responsible for their ancestors’ deeds and actions. In short, although Karma is significant in many other cultures, the belief here is that Karma is passed down to succeeding generations of family members. Given that we often reincarnate with the same groups of people, and at times within the same family tree, this Japanese philosophy has a ring of truth.

On pearl of wisdom I like to pass along from my own teachers is that we, while in spirit, chose our parents. Which sometimes may beg the question, “Why would I choose them?” One short answer of course is to grow spiritually. For a more detailed explanation, please see my book, Everything Happens for a Reason. There I have tried my best to pass along many of the important messages that have come to me in my work, and thus in my own way honor the tradition of Grandmother Storyteller. For you never know when your own words of wisdom will make a difference in someone’s life. It’s very tough to predict, but it’s not uncommon.

Here’s one prediction I can make will full confidence. April showers are going to bring May flowers for all the mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and everyone this coming Mothers Day.

But that’s next month. Right now, let’s live in the moment and enjoy April! Spring is finally here!

The Month of Love

Happy Month of the “Heart!”

Oh how Love inspires us to do things we might not otherwise attempt. And I do mean Love, not Love that is confined to being “in love,” but the Love that all of us would express to and for those to whom we are so emotionally attached: our significant others, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. And let us not forget our friends, including our best friends of the two- and four-legged variety. All those with whom we share the intimate aspects of our lives, and connect through the heart, are Love connections.

Love not only inspires romantic novels, movies, music, and poems, but also our behavior. Did you know that a mother walrus will risk her own life to defend her cub against a hungry bear who is starving and wants to kill and eat her cub? Among poverty stricken humans, it is quite common for parents to go without so their children can be clothed and fed. Love, my friends, is a powerful force – the most powerful force in the world, in my view – and the one that drives all of us in one way or another.

I recently came upon selected writing I had in my files about the power of Love. I’d like to share this passage written by William Law, 1948.

“When Love is the spirit of your life, it will have the freedom and universality of a spirit; it will always live and work in Love, not because of this or that, here or there, but because the spirit of Love can only Love, where ever it is or goes, or whatever is done to it. As the spark knows no motion but that of flying upwards, whether it be in the darkness of night, or in the light of day, so the spirit of Love is always on the same course; it knows no difference of time, place or person; but whether it gives or forgives, bears or forebears, it is equally doing its own delightful work, equally blessed from itself.”

What I find so purely wonderful and inspiring in this writing is the recognition of Love as Spirit, invoking its own powerful energy. It is quite accurate to say that Love has a life of its own, and as we tap into Love and breathe it in, Love’s own light can guide and direct our lives with passion. (You can read more of the writings of William Law, here.)

When I look into the eyes of someone who has lost a loved one, I see that a part of them is missing, that part being the Love that was felt when the loved one was here in the physical. To get through the grieving process – and yes, it is a process – we must dig very deep within our souls, and bring that light of Love back into our hearts. Not a easy task, but a necessary one. As I often say, “Love never dies,” it just changes form. We must learn how to connect with our loved ones in Spirit in a different way. That is where my work comes in. And I am honored to be able to assist. But we all can help ourselves by recognizing that death does not destroy the Love connection. We need to open up and listen to our hearts. Yes this can be a mighty big leap for some, but I have never met anyone who regretted reconnecting with a loved one in Spirit. You need faith in the beginning, and trust. Then once you experience the reconnection of Love, well, there is nothing like it! Immortality is validated.

I would be remiss here if I did not mention that we celebrate “Valentine’s Day” this month, so for all you lovers out there, enjoy! Remember also not to get too caught up in the commercialization and materialism that besets all of our holidays. Keep in prominence not only the Love for your significant other, family, and friends, but also of Nature, even if it’s only a moment taken to appreciate the sun or a snowflake.

It is my hope that you will experience that spark, as you open your heart to receive the spirit of Love!

During the approach to Spring – yes guys, despite the frigid temperatures here in the Northeast and elsewhere, time-wise, March 21st is right around the corner – I hope to see many of you in my travels to: Florida, St. Louis, Louisiana, Connecticut, Tucson, L.A., Denver, Portland, Seattle, etc. Check my calendar for details.

Have a wonderful month of Love and while you’re at it, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Suggestions for Brightening the Holidays, Even Through Grief

We come again to the end of another year, and another Christmas Holiday awaits us. For many, this is a very wonderful time, while for others the holiday brings up sad memories of our loved ones who are no longer with us in the physical, especially if they have made their transition recently. I know how difficult this can be because missing our loved ones totally changes how we feel and what we do – during the Christmas season especially. Sometimes it seems like we have a hole in our heart. But do the best you can and remember that our beloved DPs are watching over us and want nothing more than for us to be happy. Often being happy is much easier said than done, most certainly if you are still working your way thru the grieving process. However, throughout the years I’ve discussed with others how they manage to celebrate the Christmas holiday when someone they love so much is no longer here in the physical. I’ve gotten a lot of good suggestions. Here’s a list of my favorites:

  1. Hug those you love and those who need love. Thank them for being in your life.
  2. Make a list of whom to shop for, and/or those you want to reach out and touch, during this season of love.
  3. Send out cards, with candle lighting announcements to those you want to reach. For example, “I’ll be lighting a candle for our cousin . . . on Christmas Eve at 8pm Eastern time. Please join me in your thoughts.”

  4. Purchase enough candles to burn throughout the month of December to remind yourself and those around you that Love is immortal, and that it is important to celebrate the lives of those now on the Other Side, even if we can’t see them.
  5. Prepare and mail out cards to those who may be grieving, and express your own positive thoughts as best you can.
  6. Consider decorating your home in the Christmas spirit. If those you love who have crossed over enjoyed decorating, you can do it in their honor.
  7. Plan and carry out huge random acts of kindness, the kind that your departed loved ones would enjoy seeing you perform – remember they are watching!
  8. Smile, and bring nature into your home, perhaps with a new potted plant.
  9. Call, text, write, Skype or visit those with whom you feel a special connection.
  10. Know always in your heart that your loved ones on the other side of the curtain hear you, and laugh with you in joy, as you think of them during the holiday season.

I can tell you that one of the messages that I receive over and over from our DPs is that they DO want us to enjoy this wonderful time of the year, even tho they are not here in the physical. Remember that they are and will always be near us, in our heart, mind and spirit . . . especially when we can take a moment to close our eyes and open ourselves up to listen.

Here’s a short poem for our loved ones . . .

CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a time of year
to go and spread the Christmas cheer
it’s not about presents
but about sharing the love that everyone needs
Christmas brings wishes you hope will come true
especially for the someone so precious to you
a mother, a father, son, or grandmother, uncle, or daughter’s love cannot be replaced
or the smiling you think about that shows on your face
when you think about them . . .
it is always
that place in our heart that we will always love the most

Reminder: Sunday December 8th at 7pm is the worldwide candle lighting ceremony. Join in and feel the spirit! Details are available here.

Have a wonderful holiday season. Love to all those you love, here and in your heart and soul.

Springtime Reflections and Connections

It’s May! Time to smell the flowers!

Of course, joy will be more tempered for us here in the Northeast this season, in light of recent events, including the wonderful people of Boston being victimized at their beloved Marathon, and the lockdown that followed. Tragically, it was a reminder of how life can change in a moment, or “on a dime,” as the old expression has it.

I had been asked last year if I would do a fund raiser in the Boston area for Liam Nation, a organization that helps children with Down syndrome and autism. Hey, I love Boston and do a couple of events a year there, and since this is a great cause, I agreed.

As fate would have it, my appearance there turned out to be right after the bombing. It was touch and go for a while whether I’d be able to get into the Boston area, but one thing I knew for sure: Boston needed all the healing it could receive during this time. So I persevered and fortunately was able to get thru.

I couldn’t help but feel a special connection to the people of Boston as the tragedy came with such an intensity, bringing me back to the unspeakable 9/11 horrors in New York City over a decade ago. Back then, and in Boston recently, so many people did manage to bond together to help heal their cities.

Once again, it is the loved ones left here in the physical realm who must deal with the loss and pain, and to make sense of it all. And once again, I get emails about my book, Everything Happens for a Reason. People ask, what was the reason for this tragedy?

My response is always the same. I can’t give you the specific reasons for everything that happens, but what this is about is our own souls’ processes and journeys.

And of course it could have been worse. I heard one officer say that although it was so painful for those who were directly victimized, and their families and friends, many more might have been injured or killed. Indeed, I got to speak to a number of families and connected to those who had lost limbs. Courageously, they said that they were happy to be alive.

As you know, my work is about the living – those who are still here, processing their pain and grief. It is important to remember that our loved ones who have crossed over are fine and well on the Other Side. We who are left here actually have the tougher job.

It helps to know deep in our souls that we don’t die, and that our loved ones want us to open our hearts to them, and to watch and listen for the signs they will send. We just have to work at being open. We have to figure out the way or the ways DP (dead person) contact works for us, and let it happen. Trust me, they are many ways, as I discuss in my books.

Remember, the more you are open to communication to the Other Side, the better the chances of maximizing your DP connections. Love is the vehicle. Heed the words of John Lennon: “All you need is Love.”

In closing, please let me note that I’m doing my Mothers Day event once again this year for WXLO, outside Boston. I hope to see many of you there. I also look forward to returning to Chicago and Denver.

Thank you all who attended my Connecticut event, which is always so special.

Valentine’s Day, Love, and Reflections on Sandy Hook

It’s February, a month for many that is so very cold. Yet, it is also the month associated with warm hearts. Partly due, no doubt, to the influence of the famous St. Valentine whose devotion to Love sustained him even while he was in prison.

I must confess that the importance of Love is something that preoccupies my daily thoughts. I am at times very taken aback when I perceive that Love is absent, for I have seen the reality of people dying of a broken heart.

Of course I know, and often say, that Love never dies, even when there is a physical detachment. In my work, Love is what facilitates the connections I make between loved ones-every woman, man, and child – be they here or on the Other Side.

For close to forty years, I have stared into the eyes of hundreds if not thousands of mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who have lost a child who was so very close to them. The look on the faces of those left behind is always the same, reflecting in that moment how their lives have changed so dramatically. So many of them are simply never the same.

Since Christmas, I have been inundated with questions about the innocent children killed at Sandy Hook, an event of nightmarish proportions which appears to have no rhyme or reason. Like everyone, I don’t have THE answer, but I know this: everything happens for a reason. We may not always be able to perceive what the reason is, but it does exist.

With regard to events like Sandy Hook, perhaps one “reason why” we can all agree on is the importance of realizing how precious is the life of every child. Whether we are talking about a kid of well-to-do parents on the upper West Side of Manhattan, or a child on the verge of starving to death in the war-torn Middle East, we must do what we can to cherish and care for every child in the world. Millions of them are so in need of shelter, water, food, clothes, and LOVE.

Can we all imagine, in the words of John Lennon, what the world would be, if Love replaced war as the dominant theme here on Earth? Try to focus on that, and do what you can for a child near you, or half way across the world. All children should be allowed to feel safe, free, and loved. Please do what you can to help make that happen.

One very simple way, if I may so suggest, is this. During this month of February, the month of warm hearts and Love, give a child, or even someone who is a child at heart, a great big hug. Just to let them know that you care.

In my work, I have had the distinct honor and privilege of being able to reach out to many of your beautiful children in Spirit, and reconnect them to you. Realize, however, that you can do this yourself, at will. If your child is in Spirit – as is my nephew who was born on February 13th and will always be my “funny Valentine” – reach out to him or her with Love. They will receive your message. They will feel your Love. And you will feel the better for it. Guaranteed!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in next few months on West Coast, Canada, Arizona, Denver, Chicago, and of course my own Northeast.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Special memoirs and tips for Holidays

We’re coming up to the end of another year, and boy what a year it has been! It is always my hope that in the middle of all the hoopla that surrounds us in the world today, we remember what is truly important — connecting with the people we love and remaining positive. Of course I am not implying that this is easy, especially lately with all the financial turmoil here and abroad. But what I’m saying is that through all the fears, it is important to see all the positives — the people and things that remain important in our lives.

Like being with family and friends. This is especially important with children nowadays since they are so distracted by video, audio, and electronic gadgetry, to the point where nothing seems to hold their interest outside of their high-tech toys. I just recently read an article in one of those Nature magazines that focus on endangered species. It was written by a photographer who travels all over to the greatest natural parks and wildlife preserves. He shared in the article that while flying on a plane recently, he sat next to a young obese boy who was about ten years old. On the plane, the boy immediately took to playing with his electronic toy. What struck the photographer was that even while they were flying over the Grand Canyon — one of the most spectacular sights in the world — not once did the boy want to lift his head from his game to look out the window to see this awe-inspiring natural site. The photographer went on to share that for him, the greatest memories were those when he was with his father camping, fishing, and taking walks up the mountainside — enjoying Nature to its fullest. These memories more than anything else remained the strongest in his mind. Unfortunately, boys like that are now themselves an endangered species.

Remember the scenes of our families gathering during the holidays? I bet most of us can remember those connections even more than the presents we received. For matters of the heart are always with us. They truly never leave. Those special moments of connection stay with us we pass through life, forever sealed in our memories.

An elderly woman working in Utah told a story of when she was a child during the Great Depression. She said it was one of the most fun times of her life! Friends gathered to play games constantly. They shared meals, laughed, took walks on the beach (she was from California), had sunset parties, and generally cherished every moment. That’s how these folks survived the Depression. To be sure, they took to heart that message from FDR: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” And they could always remember how special those times of sharing were while they chose to have fun despite their situational environment.

With all this as backdrop, there are some simple but meaningful things I’d like you to consider assigning yourself to do during the holidays — to give back and say thanks:

  1. Hug those you love and those who need love. Thank them for being in your life.
  2. Stop DOING and just BE at least once every day. Create and then touch the magic.
  3. Purchase candles to burn throughout the month to celebrate your loved ones in spirit.
  4. Plan and carry out random act of kindness, perhaps one that was dear to a loved one in spirit.
  5. Visit friends. Invite those who could use a meal over for dinner. Connect with as many as possible!
  6. Decorate your house in a way that reflects your beliefs. Remember, angels don’t have to just go on the top of the tree — they can go on a mantle or table with flowers or photos.

Take a moment . . . cherish it . . . respect it . . . and keep it close to your heart. The special moments will remain in your heart, and in the hearts of those you love, forever.


 

Happy Thanksgiving

I just got back from over a week of events in Southern California, and I wanted to personally thank everyone for making me feel so welcome. Folks showed up that haven’t seen me in ten years!

It was equally special to meet so many of you at my Cromwell Ct. event as well. It’s been a wonderful fall, getting to meet many of you for first time and reconnect with those I haven’t seen in years. I want to thank Danny and Zack from K92 bringing me back to Roanoke for another Hope for the Holidays. It was always my honor to bring laughter, hope and love to those who attended.  EVeryone went out of their way to give me that southern hospitality.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I – like many of you, I’m sure – can’t believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Here is another chance to give to those that simply need a place to feel loved, and to feed the soul as well as the body. After all, that really is what “thanks-giving” is: reaching out for those that want to share and spend time with loved ones, or those that don’t have loved ones or even a place to go. I remember years ago on Thanksgiving, a friend of mine put together as many meals as her car would hold, and went to all the places in the city where people were homeless, to give them one unbelievable meal.

I couldn’t help feeling the sense of family while I was in Southern California. Firstly, it is November – not only the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, but also the month that both of my uncles passed over, as well as my beloved grandmother. For my mother, this is always a difficult month. The other reason why this sense was so strong for me is that my grandmother lived in San Diego, a city that continues to have a strong place in my heart, even after many years.

The first time I went to San Diego was when I was five years old. My grandmother had four children (which was very common in that generation) and raised them on the farm, and her wish was to have one in the hospital! To say she was/is strong would be quite an understatement. After leaving my grandfather – also quite difficult in those days – she saw an ad in the local newspaper from a woman who was looking for a companion to go across the country with her to California. My grandmother read the ad, and as they say, the rest is history! She lived the rest of her life in San Diego, a place she absolutely loved. Not long after, my uncles followed, leaving only my mother back east, essentially in the same small town she was raised in.

Spending two weeks in Southern California and feeling my grandmother’s presence, with wonderful memories, was very heartwarming to me. She not only was someone I truly admired, but in some ways, I hope that some of her qualities – being a strong, independent, good woman – were passed down to me.

Now, I know that holidays can bring up wonderful thoughts, and some not so wonderful ones . . . however, it is a great time to make connections with those here and on the Other Side. So, enjoy the people with whom you want to share this special time, and be thankful for the many blessings we all have. It’s not so out of our realm to set a place at the table for your DP’s – they don’t take up much room and, well, with them there’s lots of leftovers! For me, and for most of us, I would say without question when you use some family recipes or dishes that are meaningful to your DPs, or just include your them in your thoughts during this thankful holiday, they will be there in spirit with you. All this just adds to the time spent together with family and friends. Again, it really is a time to give thanks for all your blessings, and send out prayers for those who could use a loving touch.

Warmly,

Suzane

 

Don’t Judge The Book By Its Cover

I recently had a session with family and friends of nine people.   I have always loved the family dynamic, quite literally something I have always been conscious of as an honored privilege to be a part of. The precious moments of “connections” that only viewing a family, some living and many who are now in the spirit, can appreciate.

I say this because after a very “intense” session, of whom the guest of honor was this young man who had died at age 27 connected the entire family.  Needless to say he showed up in full bloom sharing his love and some wisdom with his beloved family and extended friends.

As I look around this group of people; grandmother, mother, father, sisters, brothers and friends; I was so aware; as I always am; that looking at all of them, no one would have ever known what pain they were all feeling for the lost of Steven.

At the end of the most beautiful connection of all in regards to this bittersweet loss everyone was feeling, one of Steven’s Aunt’s came up to me.  She shared with me that if you were to look at her sister Judith, Stevens mother, your thoughts would be something like she has this most perfect life.  A beautiful house, a wonderful family that travels the world together and yet, her only son is dead at 27 years of age. Her sister proceeded to say that they all look at her sister and just see all the “things” she has with her husband and children but don’t know that she lost her only son to a drunk driver.

I just recently went to my class reunion, quite honestly something that I would never ordinarily do.  I had had really no connection to any class members over the years except for a couple that keep in touch with my mother.

So I went, and in conversation with someone that I did have an affinity with, because we both share a love of music. She said to me: “ How has the journey been for you.  I look around and see it looks like everyone is having a good time but, how much tragedy has been in their lives.  I couldn’t help but think of my nine member family.  The sister said the same thing to me, who would ever know by looking at her sister, she had lost her only son.

In this awareness of we “do” all the time judge the cover without, knowing what’s inside. We assume someone who “looks” like they have the perfect life, inside there’s a deep hole from a loss that no words could possibly console or comprehend.

It’s so easy for all of us to judge a moment, putting together a scenio of the “perfect” whatever.  However, there is no perfect whatever, just life with all its joys and sorrows. Managing our best to deal with and heal from adversities.

It was a class reunion that I am quite happy that I attended. For me there was much reflecting. How life had changed for the few classmates that I did remember.  I looked at many of them and knew that I couldn’t know their paths nor would they know mine because ultimately each of us has our own book and journey.  It is however always a privilege for me in that moment, to be a part of it.

 

Friends…

I recently received an email from Pam, a friend I have known for many years.   Pam said that she keeps some of the stories I’ve shared with her over the years in a journal.  She talked about when she or someone close to her is going through a personal crisis she’d go through the stories to see if there were some words of love and wisdom to support her in her own situation.

Pam shares in the email how she remembers the story I impart about my friend going through pancreatic cancer. How the town became her family. She remembered this story and was now going through this same experience with a dear friend of hers.

So, I felt I would share a little bit of this very moving and true story:

My friend Betty for all intensive purpose has no family.  She is a only child from the mid-west, has no children and was divorced about ten years ago, It was a very painful divorce for her since, this person was the love of her life or so she thought. Happily, though Betty has many friends, ranging from childhood to adulthood who care deeply for her. Betty is a very dear soul that people naturally gravitate to.

Betty and her Husband had a place in the country and in the city. Betty opted for the country home during the divorce. During this same time her work went down hill and she fell into the credit trap;  incurring huge debt.  She owned her home but with very little money coming in, just paying her every day expenses was overwhelming. She then found out she had pancreatic cancer.  Three months later while driving she went over the cliff on black ice and was pulled out by the jaws of life.

After the car accident, it seems an Angel stepped in, she was able to receive money from the insurance company helping her to pay many of the medical costs. The accident although it delayed the whole cancer process; it let the whole town know of her circumstances. It was the county guy who had just plowed the road that noticed her car over the edge of the road.

The town then stepped in.  The retired Mayor was an accountant who contacted all her debtors, the woman down the road took care of her cat.  The gentleman who found her the day of her accident later gave her a old car and riding mower.  Everyone took turns taking her to the hospital for Chemotherapy and the broken bones from the accident.

It has now been fours years. I continue to say she is a miracle child. Surviving and thriving through pancreatic cancer. Although she has her days she quite a amazing person.

When someone we love dearly is going through an intense illness, we often feel helpless not knowing what to do.  Only Betty could walk her own path, we can’t walk another’s path but we never have to feel helpless because: we can clean the house, walk the dog, make someone a meal, drive them to the doctor, drive the kids to school or just stop by or call with thoughts of love, letting them know you are thinking of them.

I wrote back to Pam and told her, she couldn’t walk the path of her friend who is now dealing with breast cancer but you can bring in the town of Friends to help her with all those things in life that Friends are priceless for.