What is Important?

Welcome soon to the Fall Equinox! For those of you who are wondering, or are a bit in tune, yes, the infamous Mercury Retrograde is indeed upon us, and will last until late September.

I know for some that this is a difficult or frustrating time, but remember, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a blip on your radar screen.

They say that travel can be tricky during Mercury Retrograde. Well . . . I travel a lot during this time, and usually experience no problems more than the usual travel annoyances. Annoyances, as we know, are not tragedies but just . . . incidents of little stuff that can make us “crazy” for a short period of time. Not really all that important – unless you let it be.

And by the way, especially if you’re a writer, musician, or any kind of artist, Mercury Retrograde can actually work in your favor since it is a time when you may become more creative. Also, think of it as a way to keep summer going, because after all, that’s what the Retrograde is about, standing still. Also a good time to explore your inner dimensions.

Speaking of which, in the context of discussing a deep loss, I was recently asked, “What is important?” Well, really, the answer is within you: what is important to YOU? Generally speaking, what I have discovered after having the very distinct privilege of sharing so many journeys with so many wonderful people, is that those folks who experience deep losses and sorrows in their lives do somehow manage to go on and find a healing place. What is important is to process the grief and “come out of it,” in your own time, commonly within a year, though there is no set timetable.

Most, although not all, of those people who do “come out of it” tend to have a deep faith, and know that there is a greater presence in their lives. Call it “God,” call it “the Universe,” call it “Spirit,” call it whatever . . . It is all a way of knowing that energy does not die, and that we, as souls currently inhabiting human form, will continue to exist in the hereafter.

Another key question I’ve been asked is: “Why?” For example, a very special woman whom I’ve known for over twenty-five years, asked “Why?” after she had recently lost not only her second child, but also her husband. It is always for me one of the most difficult questions to answer, but the short answer is that only your soul knows for sure – and that you signed up for the experience, or at least the possibility that the experience would occur, in order to achieve soul growth, and/or help another progress spiritually.

In this instance, this beautiful young woman is someone to be reckoned with, someone with an unbelievable zest for life! She is what I usually call the “glue-keeper” in the family. Their losses are always among the most difficult for the family to deal with, because it is the glue-keepers who keep the family together through all its trials and tribulations, and want to have all the answers at the ready.

I’ve talked about this in my books – it is not all that uncommon for families to lose more than one child, or sibling. Sometimes, this pattern runs through extended families. For example, both my grandmothers lost sons. And as those who know me realize, I also lost a nephew, who was a “son” to me.

Now, guys . . . please . . . don’t go nuts on me here. I’m not saying that this will happen to you. It is just a phenomenon that I have experienced along my own path, and in doing my work. There are more families that have not had such a series of intense losses, but instead have had lots of kids and siblings go on forever, and parents who live well into their nineties!

So please remember: we each walk our own path, and we each have the capability to enjoy every moment along the way, because each day is just that, another day in the life!

On a lighter note, I, for one, am still living off tomatoes from my garden in upstate New York. I’ve been giving away as many as I can to any pantry or church that will have the tomatoes for themselves, or others in need. So, summer continues. And although we are soon to be in the Fall Equinox, September 22nd to be exact, we have a good chunk of beautiful summer weather ahead: sunrises, sunsets, walks in the parks, hikes everywhere, strolls along the shore, a day at the beach, etc., etc., etc. Enjoy and embrace those warm daily journeys for we know, at least here in the Northeast, what is just around the corner.

Please note that I’ll be doing another event in the Capital region as it’s called in NY, returning to Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, the Cape in Mass, the West Coast, Virginia Beach, and Roanoke just to name a few of my fall visits. And as always so looking forward to all I meet on my journey!

Siblings and Friends

Welcome to August! As astrology buffs know, the majority of August is ruled by Leo, and currently Jupiter is in Leo, giving us a double jolt of energy. This should be most welcomed by many because as I have been hearing from friends and acquaintances, it’s been a difficult period especially for Leo’s. So now is the time to enjoy! What is summer for but to have a little fun! All work and no play, and all that.

In my work, I have noticed that sibling relationships are so very important. They can go a long way toward creating a positive effect in times of trouble and stress, or go to the other extreme if there are conflicts, especially with regard to parents who are in need, or pass away.

As I was pondering the siblings dynamic and starting to write about it, I learned that August 1 was National Girlfriends Day. This really rang a bell because when I am doing readings, I feel that a sister has passed when it is in fact a best girlfriend who has crossed over.

As we all know, for many women, girlfriends can be like sisters. A group of girlfriends I read about come from miles around to meet once a month and share about their marriages, children, parenting, job changes, death of loved ones, illnesses, etc. Through the article, you could feel the love between these girlfriends, and see how their meetings and pot-luck dinners gave each of them a heartfelt experience so needed when going through life. There is no question that this kind of connection is so very important for many women.

So within days of reading the article and wanting to write about siblings, voila, I had a session with three sisters whose mother had passed away. As the mother came through loud and clear, it was obvious that these sisters had remained very connected even though they lived so far apart. And their love of each other continued after their mother’s passing. There was no bickering or fighting over money, property, or other things. Keeping the love bond and remaining respectful of each other like this, is a wonderful way to honor the memory of a parent who has passed, while remaining true to the parent’s wishes.

This month, while visiting my own mother, I learned that our 86 year old neighbor whom we have known for over 30 years had lost his wife of 35 years. All six of her children by a previous marriage were already fighting over every conceivable thing, and totally disregarding their step-dad. The siblings were deciding on their own how their mother should be buried where, who should pay, who would get all the stuffed animals amassed in the house, etc., etc. My heart truly went out to my neighbor. No surviving spouse should have to contend with this type of conflict, or left out of the decision making process.

I had another session with a couple that came to me. The wife had just loss her mom and her brother was deeply upset for not being there, even though he had the most legitimate of reasons: he had been caring for his dying wife 4,000 miles away. The sister wanted him to know that their mother wanted nothing more than for him to be where he needed to be. Thankfully another brother stepped up to help his sister with their mom. Kudos to these three siblings for being so supportive of each other while honoring their widowed mother who had been able to live in her own home and lead a quality life until it was time for her to make the transition. Too often, as I and am sure you have seen, the chore of caring for an aging parent often falls on one sibling, while the others abdicate their responsibility.

These sibling scenarios serve as testament to how things play out in the grand scheme of life. All part of the challenges that — if we handle them correctly — make us stronger. Of course, we often have to dig deep to succeed, but we grow spiritually in the process, and that is its own reward.

I hope to come back to this theme of siblings since I have just tapped the surface here. Interestingly enough, I very often have siblings who come together for a session. I am always fascinated by how siblings can be so different, even though they were brought up in the same household. It for me is always a touching experience when siblings want to share in the experience of connecting with a parent who has crossed over.

In closing, I want to send out loving thoughts to my dear friend Richie who made his transition this month. Truly a beautiful soul who touched many a life.

Enjoy the rest of summer, and if you have a brother or sister, take a moment to reminisce about childhood and go find a sandbox to play in!