Summer Fun and Doing Good Deeds

Don’t panic! It’s still summer. August is a long month so keep the summer fun going.

I recently asked a friend of mine if he were enjoying summer. His reply: “Honestly it isn’t different than any other season since I work just as much.” He did add though that he would be taking a short trip up north at the end of August.

I was left thinking that although I too work in the summer, it’s a time when I can’t help but play a little hooky. Okay, maybe more than a little, but after all . . . it is summer! Of course if you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I would bet that you are sometimes actually guilted into playing hooky to be with them. It’s just the way our energy flows in August – a time to play hooky.

There is no time like summer when we feel that we have license to relax with Nature. Being outdoors and in awe of all the wonderful beauty the earth has to offer is simply marvelous. After all, in summer, Mother Nature is presenting herself in all her glory, giving us the opportunity to breathe in every enchanting moment. Do it!

And make the most of it; for, as we know, life can change in a heartbeat. That’s one more reason why it is so important not to miss an opportunity to experience the joy of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

I recently received an email from a father who attended an event of mine with his son. He was thanking me for saying really cool things about kids of his son’s generation. I’m not sure but apparently he had heard me mention that there are many young people who are involved in wonderful causes – from dealing with climate change to volunteering to walking abused horses, planting trees and working gardens, following what impassions them. Of special mention are those youngsters who want to help other children who have some sort of disability and can’t play the way others do.

I was touched that this young man expressed to his father that he had been wanting to help an older woman who lived down the street from them. He talked about how sometimes he sees her struggling with her groceries, or walking her dog. He remembers how kind she was to him when his mother was dying. The father had no idea that his son had felt this way, but I was honored that the father had reached out to me to let me know that what I had said at the event was true, and resonated with his son. As I often say, there is nothing more precious than helping others for no reason except to be kind. “Altruism,” we call it. Or as the Boy Scouts say, “Doing a good deed.”

As one more example, let me also share a precious “little thing” I experienced recently. Here, I was blessed to be on the receiving end of the kindness in humans that I so much admire and appreciate.

I had to go to my hometown to see my mom this past weekend. Most of you know that I was raised in a small rural town in upstate NY. The trip is about four hours from my apartment in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful drive with not a lot of cars on the road. Now, let me tell you that I’m really concerned about having enough gasoline, a trait that I picked up from my mother who is always intense about making sure you don’t leave her car without enough gas. In any event, my 2003 Jeep, “Glinda,” has over 200,000 miles on her but the gas gauge is broken. So I have to calculate my gas mileage. Well, somehow I had miscalculated and didn’t get gas before I left to see my mom.

So there I am on Route 88, a road that you can drive on for miles and not see any other cars. All of a sudden Glinda starts to sputter and I said out loud, “&%$#@$%^%$!” or something like that. Having been trained in car mechanics by my dad, I immediately realized that I was out of gas. I get out of Glinda, put on her flashers, and start to head up the hill looking for someone to take me to the nearest gas station.

Suddenly I see a guy pull up to the exit corner. I approached and asked him if he knew the area and if he could take me to nearest gas station. He said yes and drove me there. I run in, buy a gas can, and fill it up. I walk back across the street, hail down another car with a very sweet young girl driving, and ask her if she could take me back to my car. She agreed. We get there and as I jump out of her car, she says “God Bless!” before she leaves. Hmmmm.

Then a mother/daughter duo pull up and stop to see if I was okay. I’m glad they did, because I couldn’t figure out what the spring to the gas can sprout was all about. The daughter knew and gave me directions. Gotta love rural folks, they know these little but important survival deals! They waited patiently as I put the gas in the tank and started up Glinda. I thanked them again, and was on my way. More evidence that there are many many fine folks in the world just wanting to help out others in need.

After I got to my mother’s house, I read an article about how Harrison Ford was driving through my mom’s town and got a flat tire. Three cars stopped by to see if he needed help. So, it’s clearly in the water!

Love these little adventures, they always keep us in-check about all the good people in the world. I, for one, refuse to believe any different.

Okay then, kids . . . get back in the pool, on onto the trail, or along the sandy shore. Whatever. It’s August. Enjoy!

Cherishing the Little Things

I know it’s officially summer when I can sit on my porch and watch the lightning bugs (a.k.a. fireflies) do their magic trick. Each and every year I am still drawn to observing these magical beings as they light up the night, and bless us with their presence. It’s a little thing, I know, but in life, I am forever reminded that it’s the little things that are the most significant.

Additionally, we should cherish the positive aspects of our lives, for at any moment life can change. Appreciating a sunrise, a sunset, a walk on the beach, or a mountain hike, or simply sharing a moment of enriched conversation with someone we care about, and who cares about us, perhaps over good food and wine, is what it’s all about. These moments should (dare I say “must?”) be treasured. This is what each day should hold for every one of us.

Each season has its own beauty and meaning to experience. As we enter the month of July, we so-called adults can’t help but want to play hooky, skip a day of work, and maybe hang out with the kids and/or be kids once again ourselves.

July is the month to simply sit outside and listen to crickets, and be amazed by the stars. Even in NYC, it’s much calmer than usual, and there are so many things to do – from visiting the Botanical Gardens, attending concerts in Central Park, dancing tango in Central Park and on the piers, or simply conversing with friends on the rooftops where there may also be city gardens!

And I think I speak for most of us when I say that after wearing coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots all winter, it’s so very delightful to trade in all that winter gear for flip-flops and sandals. And then to do all those things one can’t do in the winter: play softball, garden, fly a kite, take a walk along the shore or around a lake, etc. Just about anything outdoors will do. No need to be bundled up. Let your hair be free and fly with the wind. For sure, it’s time to get over the winter time blues! So kids, get out there and smell the roses!

At the Afterlife Conference this year, I met two independent film-makers who happened to live in NY. They are doing a series of documentaries on {{{drum-roll}}} the important things in our lives. The pilot film is entitled “Mortal” and they are releasing a second film called “Hope” on July 6th. If you are interested in films that are truly, truly beautiful, and that very much touch the heart, I highly recommend that you take a look at this series. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. There is a wonderful and important message for all of us to witness and absorb in each film. Those who know me are aware that I DO NOT recommend something unless I feel very strongly about it. And here I am, recommending! Why? Well, I believe that we need to support films and other forms of art that do something wonderful and positive, especially if the art can filter down and keep us in touch with the Universe, via connections to our DPs, or otherwise. It’s akin to being touched by the sun, the stars, and yes . . . back down to the lightning bugs. When we support such important work, I believe that we can truly connect with others, and thereby understand ourselves.

When you do get a chance to watch these films, I believe that you will see what I mean about “the living,” because this is what we, at this point in time, all share together. I’d love to hear how you feel about this film series. Let me know!

Enjoy your July, and cherish and love that which is important to you.

The Special Bond of Fathers and Children

Welcome to June, and of course, the upcoming Vernal Equinox which arrives June 20th.

During the Vernal Equinox, day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before). The sun crosses the celestial equator going northward, rises exactly due east, and sets exactly due west.

For all you season lovers, and especially those who are longing for summer – well . . . it’s coming up and you’re going to hit the jackpot. A wonderful time for graduations, weddings, and for me always, a very personal Father’s Day.

As I always say, one of the most special privileges I have in doing the work I do is connecting with people’s departed loved ones. Recently, I was doing a session where a young mother had just lost her father. Her having a newborn daughter actually added to the woman’s missing her dad, for she was feeling that he wouldn’t be around to see his granddaughter. Of course, we know that “Grandpa” will be around – although not in the physical way that his daughter would want him to be. I remember her words in describing her father and they stuck with me. I found them in one way to be very profound in the energy they carried, and in another way the perfect description of what a father means to so many of us. She said, in a very special way, “He was the salt of the earth!” When she spoke these words, I “breathed” them in and felt how wonderful this young woman’s childhood had been with her dad, and how that magnificent experience will be in her heart and soul throughout her life, and after. Although she is sad that her dad has passed over to the Other Side, it is so beautiful that she experienced the love of such a man, and grew up being “Daddy’s Girl.”

I will tell you that in my many travels, connecting with people all over the world, and beyond, there are some pretty wonderful dads out there who have been just as special. Another example: I was just recently doing my Mother’s Day show, and there was a woman there who made a comment: “Why don’t you do a ‘Father’s Day’ show?” Not a bad idea! But . . . there were many chuckles in the room, even among the DJs – I guess because the work I do is not as appreciated among the males of the species as it is among the females. But honestly, truth be told, there are many dads, brothers, sons, and boyfriends – guys – who get it! And even if they don’t get it, they have worked tirelessly and endlessly to make sure that their moms, sisters, girlfriends and daughters, are provided with evidence of Love. That is, these guys have been “taking care” of their gals in the best ways that they can. And so, at the event, I gave everyone an opportunity to “shout out” how much every dad was appreciated.

Fathers and mothers – where would we be without them?

And of course there is Mother Earth, whom I always honor, even on Father’s Day. For it is she who feeds, clothes, and houses us . . . together with Father Sun beaming down upon us, making this Planet Earth of ours . . . inhabitable.

I would like to personally pay tribute to all those organizations and everyday citizens who are devoted to taking care of Mother Earth. I speak for the many who were so hopeful after the G12 conference in Paris, with people from all over the world coming together and making a pact to do the right thing in lowering greenhouse gases, and whatever else needs to be done in those places facing drought or other scarcities.

In this vein, let me share that I was recently watching a documentary about Kansas farmers whose farm had been in the family for five generations. The current owners, young sons and daughters, know that unless there is a change in the water situation, they will no longer be able to provide for their families. The crisis goes on in so many areas. I could relate. During a recent visit to KC, I had a few in-depth conversations with the folks there about water. I know what that Kansas family is facing.

Water isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for all living things. I know water is a “cause” for many, and especially for folks who live in arid parts of the world. For they are facing extreme challenges.

From wherever you are, do all you can do personally, and in your morning and/or evening prayers, don’t forget Mother Earth, especially on Father’s Day.

Please allow me to conclude this month’s newsletter with a GREAT BIG “THANK YOU” to Terri Daniel for yet another wonderful Afterlife Conference. I can’t begin to share all of the inspiring words that I heard throughout the event, many of which were spoken to me personally. The conference was so very important for so many. It was my honor to have participated. If you are wondering whether you should attend next year, don’t worry. Just go! You won’t be sorry.

Oh . . . at the conference, a woman from Canada came up to me and said that she would not have known about the conference if I hadn’t mentioned it in my newsletter. So glad to hear that! She had a great time. Maybe next time, that will be you! Next year the event will be in Portland. I will remind you.

As I write this newsletter, it’s that kind of day here in the Northeast where if you’re near the ocean, lake, pond or pool . . . jump in!

Have a happy June! Enjoy your fun in the sun and Father’s Day celebrations – even if your dad is on the Other Side. He will be watching over you. Guaranteed!

Please check my calendar for my upcoming summer events. I’ll keep you all posted! Meanwhile, for those of you in Baltimore, since I didn’t make it to you this past December, I’ll be doing a Saturday afternoon event June 18th. Again, please check my calendar for details.

Growing Older, Changing Seasons

Yes, September is here, but there’s still time to dive into a lake, pool, or ocean, and do whatever fun things you like to do in the Summer, as there are three more weeks to go before Autumn officially arrives.

As I write, in New York City the forecast is for sunny skies this upcoming week, with temperatures in the 80’s and 90. So I’m sure many of you, like me, are going to hold on to this Summer for as long as you possibly can. No problem with that, but do remember that Fall for many can be the most breathtaking season of them all. So don’t get too sad that Summer is ending – it happens every year! All part of the seasons of life here on Planet Earth.

Why it is that everyone in the Northeast thinks Summer is the shortest season, and Winter the longest? I guess that’s just how it is. Or maybe it’s because. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and there is more fun to be had in the Summer. In any event, once again we have the changing of the seasons to remind us of own life changes.

I was recently engaged in a conversation regarding how many baby boomers are still not only dealing with their children and their children’s problems, but with elderly parents as well. The aging-parent syndrome reminds us how life, like each season, runs in cycles, especially if you end up taking care of a parent who raised you.

When caretaking for a parent who was difficult to begin with, the job can be even more challenging. And then of course there are the aging-parent families with siblings – so often it seems that only one brother or sister will take on the major caretaking load, while the others virtually disappear. Not really fair. Ideally, the caretaking chore should be shared among siblings. Of course, if you are an only child with an elderly parent in need of homecare, well, things are made all the more difficult.

I would most respectfully suggest that anyone in a parental homecare role focus for a second on those who have parents on the Other Side. Often the surviving children writhe in guilt, feeling and wondering year after year, “Did I do enough?” when their parents were still alive. I see so much of this in my line of work. If I may suggest, better to do what your conscience dictates now, than to stew in guilt afterward.

As Betty Davis once said, “Getting old is not for sissies,” and likewise, I would say that caring for an aging parent is also not for sissies. If you’ve spent a good part of your life raising children, and then have to help care for a spouse who becomes ill, and later have to care for an elderly parent, well, your season of helping will seem like a career. But most likely, that’s what you signed up for before being born, to present you with an opportunity for even more soul growth during this incarnation. See if you can measure up to the challenge, and good luck to you!

I was once asked why most mediums don’t talk about elderly folks who have lost a spouse. I was like, “What?” For this question has a false premise. In my work experience, nothing could be further from the truth. I have encountered many widows and widowers who have lost a spouse of 30, 40, or 50 or more years. Their Love (like all existing Love) goes on after death, as I have said many times. It’s all part of the seasons of our lives.

Although death is often associated with Winter (when the trees lose their leaves and the essence of plant life disappears into the Earth), it actually doesn’t matter in what season a death occurs. Symbolically, it is Winter for those going through the process of grieving over the passing of a loved one. But, as is with Winter, let us not forget that there is beauty in death, as that the soul survives and returns to its natural state in a place many call “Heaven.”

For those of us still alive on this beautiful Planet Earth, let us recognize that it is not Winter yet here in September, 2015. Heck, it’s not even Autumn. There are weeks of Summer to go! For now my friends, enjoy the rest of what has been a beautiful Summer (at least in the Northeast), and as we transition into Autumn, open your mind to let those falling leaves and magnificent colors inspire you to carry on, during the remainder of this, and your next, season of life.

The Importance of Forgiveness

August clearly has to be for many, a favorite month. “Summertime, and the Living is Easy,” as the song goes. A good time to unwind and enjoy life a bit more, feel young again while enjoying all those summer activities we did as children, back then perhaps with our loved ones who have since made their transition.

I know our DPs have a hand in showing us the beauty of Nature. Maybe you came from a family of fisher-people, sharing meals over a campfire under the sky, eating the fish that your mom just caught with lures your grandfather had made. Or perhaps your uncle was an avid bird watcher, and could whistle their sounds, and caw like a crow.

I might also remind some of you who say you’re city people, Teddy Roosevelt was raised in NYC. When he became sick, his father took him to the Adirondacks which is where he learned his love of Nature. The result is well . . . without saying, you should check out the amount of land he protected which led to the creation of the National Park, amazing for a so-called New York City boy! I would encourage anyone with “i-Generation” children (Hey! Did I just coin that term?) to encourage them to put down their i-everything’s (iPhone, iPad, etc.), and let them experience an incredible day or week in Nature – a wonderful way to experience or recapture the magic of youth.

I would also suggest that you never forget your childhood and mature dreams and visions. You have them for a reason, and part of the mystery is to figure out that reason.

One way I have found to connect to those dreams and visions is to take a walk through the woods, or ride in a quiet canoe or sailboat, or just gaze at the stars or a beautiful sunset. Of course, all oceans, lakes, and ponds are also part of Nature, and all so beautiful – unless of course the polluters have ruined things. But thank heavens for the environmental movement of which Teddy Roosevelt would be proud. We should all seek to preserve Mother Nature’s majesty and beauty. I have always believed, as many others do, that Nature is God’s true church and temple. Connect with Nature and you will be empowered, for Nature’s essence is empowering. I know with so many of you that I may be preaching to the choir, but it is worth remembering and reflecting on the fact that the Earth feeds and houses us, and provides much joy in our lives-we should never take that for granted. Rather . . . love, cherish and honor the Mother who provides so much for all of us.

On another subject, I wanted to personally share something that I recently experienced, involving the passing of one of my friends whom I’d known for forty years. Sometimes, during a session of mine, someone who has lost a loved one will quite literally yell at them for not taking care of themselves, and therefor allowing himself or herself to die before their time. Yes, people sometimes do get angry when a loved one passes. With my friend, I couldn’t believe how some folks sat in judgment of her decisions and actions that may indeed have contributed to her passing, but honestly who knows?

My friend’s soul of course knows her path but who else should be there to judge, or more accurately, condemn? As they say, “Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Or, to put it another way, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Or, as Jesus himself said, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone,” and “Judge not, lest you be judged!”

In any case, I must say it really threw me to witness all the anger and resentment because my friend was to me an amazing woman. One of the most independent and talented people you’d ever want to meet. Always up . . . maybe a bit too much for some folks, and yes, a Peter Pan aspect as well. But all in all, a good soul. She gave of herself to many, me included, sometimes with others to her detriment financially. However, the generosity she showed was rewarded at the end when so many people gave back to her when she got sick. When her time came, she didn’t burden anyone with her illness, said she was going to heaven, went to sleep, and passed peacefully.

It is so easy to sit in judgment of someone else’s life, decisions, or actions. We all do it now and again, whether we realize it or not, every time we say something like, “What in the world was he thinking?” But negative things happen in life, and like the old fashioned photographs, we develop from the negative.

Trust me, no deed or action or even thought goes unnoticed by Spirit. Of course it’s not easy for us to not be judgmental, myself included, but it’s important to try and minimize that tendency and especially to avoid condemnation of the person. Easier said than done but we should all try to be conscious of all walks of life, and to be caring even if it’s just with a smile.

And never forget that energy or Love does radiate and does make a difference. So, be as loving as you can.

On that note . . . think summer! Fun! And being free of whatever holds you back from having fun. Enjoy life in this glorious month of August. Remember God loves you when you work, but really loves you when you know how to play!

All in the Name of Love

July is here in all her glory! Of course July always starts out with bang, quite literally, with all the fireworks going on around most cities and towns in celebration of Independence Day. Hope your Fourth of July was great fun.

New York City, my home town, is known for its fantastic fireworks display over the East River, and the folks in charge really do a bang-up job (sorry, couldn’t resist).

As we know, fireworks are not just for the little ones. Adults also get to smile, laugh, ooooo and ahhhhh, while perhaps remembering memories of past Independence Days, and what those days now mean to them in retrospect.

And then of course for some, there is the specter of a person missing from this year’s festivities, a person who is now in Spirit, and perhaps missing for the first time. A little note about that my dear friends, it’s their bodies that are missing, for in Spirit they are still standing next to you.

Now let’s say that the “missing person” is your dad, uncle, or sibling who was in the military. The 4th could hold many different meanings, depending on that person’s experience, and your own related memories and reactions. Of course, if someone has been lost in war, the feelings of his or her surviving family members may vary, depending on their political perspectives and other factors.

I know that for many, “War is not the answer.” However, it is not my place to say what is right for any one person who is making life choices. What I do know is that, for all, there is a bigger picture and how that picture plays out helps define our paths. None of us can say what is or is not right for another. Whatever a person chooses as his or her path, then as far as I am concerned, so be it. There are issues we must all decide individually. In walking our paths, there will always be learning, sharing, and assessing what is right for each of us.

I have worked with past life regression expert Dr. Brian Weiss on many occasions, and military experiences come up very often during his subjects’ regressions. There is no doubt that a military experience — whatever the outcome — has had a very profound effect on many many lifetimes.

This season, I’ve been reading how so many veterans who suffer from wartime post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTS) don’t do well on July 4th with all the firework flares and explosions reminiscent of a war zone. One more thing to be mindful of as we celebrate the 4th, going forward. Love thy neighbor!

Speaking of Love — the one word that recurs the most in songs and poems, evoking an array of emotions resulting from separation, desire, wants, needs, etc. — have you ever noticed that you don’t hear many songs about hate? Love triumphs magnificently in that regard. The poets and songwriters all yearn to share their thoughts on Love. Not many speak of hate. Why? Because Love is the most important element of our existence.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Supreme Court of the United States (lately called SCOTUS) recently decided that couples of the same gender have a constitutional right to marry. So now, that is the law in all 50 states. Whatever your sexual preference, you can now share your love and marry openly. On this most recent Fourth of July, I was proud to celebrate that the country I live in has honored that Love includes the idea that two people of the same gender have the right to marry openly.

I recently saw a show on Broadway — It Shoulda Been You — starring Tyne Daly. She spoke at the end of the performance on the day that SCOTUS decided on the right of gay people to marry. Ms. Daly gave a deeply emotional speech noting that 49 years ago she had married Georg Stafford Brown, a black man. Their marriage was then a violation of law, and it wasn’t until years afterwards that their marriage was acknowledge to be legal. She noted that when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationally, it was for her ‘an acknowledgement of love.’

She couldn’t have said it better.

I have never professed to be a biblical scholar, but from what I do know about the Bible, the greatest message that cuts through is that the Christ consciousness is about Love.

Fortunately, I have spent my entire adult life working and living what I have come to know without question — that Love continues even after death. All love matters, and we will not be judged and condemned according to whom we have shared our love while incarnated on the Earth plane.

John Lennon once lamented retrospectively that his “All You Need Is Love” was not wholly accurate, but for me, the message still rings true.

As always, it is my honor to do what I do in the name of Love.

Happy July!

Relaxing Into the Change of Seasons

Happy Labor Day weekend (belatedly, hope it was grand), Fall Equinox, and most importantly, the changing of the seasons.

I have always felt deeply grateful for the simple moments and experiences in life. When giving messages, I emphasize that it’s the little things, personal words, and subtle feelings that are the BIG validations when connecting with our loved ones. And just maybe the change of seasons will help create one of those special moments for you.

Labor Day, although not about love, can inspire us to open up to what we can do, something that might become a labor of love. If so, we may be able to celebrate, or at the very least bask in the glow of a special moment of pure elation. We may get to say to ourselves, “I can’t believe that I’m having this breath-taking experience right now, at this moment.”

This past Labor Day weekend confirmed for me as always the importance of my work – my own labor of love, connecting with loved ones in spirit, our beloved DP’s – and went out on a very high note! Most North Easterners are somewhat familiar with Tanglewood in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. Located in an idyllic setting, Tanglewood has been around for 75 years. The world’s best musicians go there to play and it’s the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Home town boy James Taylor still lives in Tanglewood and gives sold-out performances every 4th of July.

In Tanglewood, the aura of a dream surrounds you in the middle of Nature, as you share space with music fans under a open sky filled with sunlight or stars. The audience basically camps out on the huge lawn and brings all sorts of food and drink as they “get away from it all” and enjoy this beautiful place. This year, I saw Josh Groban under the stars. As I sat there listening to Josh, I thought, “Life doesn’t get any better than this.”

Josh is very charming and funny on stage. During his banter with the audience, Josh mentioned one of his big breaks on TV. Do you remember what that was, kids? Hint: He was on a show playing a young and upcoming singer who had lost his sense of wanting to sing after his mother had passed away! The show was Ally McBeal, and the song he sang was – {{{{{drum roll}}}}} – “You’re Still You.” Anybody who watched that show and heard Josh sing knew he was going to light up the world with that voice.

In the show, it was the loss of his mom that made Josh’s character realize that he was supposed to continue singing. Anyone who listened with an open heart could feel their own losses while realizing that their loved ones are watching over them. I couldn’t help but smile as Josh talked about all this during his performance at Tanglewood, as I reflected on how privileged I am to be able to do the work I do, as a labor of love.

I’m sure that many of the attendees at Tanglewood that night felt the connecting power of music while listening to “You’re Still You.” So yeah, I got to hear Josh singing it LIVE, at a truly very special place on Earth. Again, life doesn’t get any better than that! Music truly is the universal language of Love.

As we head into this new season and the Fall Equinox, I am promising myself that I will try to fit in a few more of those precious little moments, while watching the trees do their dance of the colors. As we know, the natural sense of changing of the seasons does affect our moods. Autumn has a very different energy than summer, but beautiful in its own right.

I’m thrilled that I will be doing two events in California this month, and returning to Connecticut and Roanoke. It is always special to return to these places each year and see so many of you. Later I will travel to Denver, St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston and Philly to name a few. I also am equally excited to be doing an event in my hometown of New York City, with John Holland in December. Check out my calendar for all the details.

For all of you in listen to me on Blog Talk Radio this week will be a full hour of readings with my friend and colleague, Austyn Wells. A wonderful way to bring in the new Fall season of change.

Summer: Time to Play!

Okay kids, time to play! Dive in the pool, stroll along the shore, or take a trip to the country. Maybe enjoy a hike in the woods, or a visit to your local park. Feel the breeze! Whatever works to get back to Nature and listen to the songs of the birds. It’s time to be a kid again. July makes it easy.

As they say, all work and no play makes for a very dull person indeed! Spirit – being God, angels, spirit guides, or whomever you connect with – really loves you when you work, but really, really loves you when you play! So, I am giving you all a little nudge. Have some fun! Because summer is officially here, and it’s very important to take time to totally enjoy the sun after a long and cold winter. (But don’t forget the sunscreen, as you live it up!)

I learned a very long time ago that my work is about the living, not our beloved DPs (dead persons). We who are still here in the physical are the ones who have to figure out how to get joy out of life, despite all the challenges – and there are many, including the loss of a loved one. But believe it or not, having fun is the most wonderful way to honor our DPs. Sure, they know we miss them, but they want us to process the grief, and return to living a happy life. Remember that our DPs went through their own share of losses during their time on Earth, but from those on the Other Side, I can tell you without a doubt that they want you to know that playing is one of the most important things you can do on your journey.

My journey to the Afterlife Conference in June was as wonderful as it was last year, and I was thrilled to meet new friends and reconnect with those I’ve met before. One very special thing that happened was when people came up to me and said how they loved that I talked about my garden and the seasons in my newsletters! I totally LOVED hearing that! And it answered a question of my own: Why is it important to focus on the seasons and Nature? Answer: because the seasons and Nature are reflective of our own state of mind and being.

No doubt about it – each season has a rhyme and reason, and there is beauty in every aspect. By so observing, you learn to appreciate that the seasons have a direct relationship to how we live our lives. Trying to play even when life is difficult is what moves us emotionally from one place to another. And that, my friends, is based on our ability to love, and on opening our hearts to be loved.

Joy is the key to how we can dig deep in the well of life, and I know that July can add a touch of being a kid again. Children know how to make just about anything a game of play. Even in this day and age, take away the high technology toys and gizmos, and you’ll be surprised how kids can quickly figure out how to play in other ways. Getting the kids out in Nature is a great way to teach them, and a great way to teach yourselves. Yeah, there are many ways and places to play, my favorite of course being the garden.

Okay, kids, enough preaching! Go out and play! And Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! July is waiting.

Honoring Fathers and the Gifts of Nature

Happy June! Time of the Summer Solstice, weddings, graduations, and of course, Fathers Day!

If you haven’t noticed, the nurseries are packed with people buying all their garden needs to plant vegetables and flowers! You don’t have to be an avid gardener to appreciate this aspect of Mother Nature. A simple walk-through a garden to see, smell, and breathe in all the gifts that Mother Earth gives to us, will suffice.

Even in the cities, there are areas dedicated to gardens. The New York Botanical Garden, for example, is a designated national landmark located in the Bronx, spanning some 250 acres. The Garden offers classes for kids, and even features a famous Italian chef, Mario Batali, who has an organic vegetable garden and teaches cooking classes.

With Fathers Day coming up, maybe consider giving your father or father figure something different, like a free cooking class, or guide to organic cooking. Just a thought!

I’ve found that one of the best ways to honor someone we love who is in Spirit, is by doing something that they loved to do, while keeping them in our thoughts and heart. If your dad or other father figure is on the Other Side, consider honoring him this Fathers Day according to the role he played in life. If he was a fisherman, maybe do some family fishing as you send out your thoughts of love. If he was a baseball fan, think about going to a professional or local baseball game, or just having a catch with someone, in his honor.

If your dad is in Spirit, I’m sure he’d also love to see you bring in a vase of flowers and place them strategically near his picture, or on your window sill, or in your back yard, as you send him thoughts of love. He will hear you. This holds true even if your dad, or grandfather, or uncle, or other father figure was not so enamored with flowers during life. It’s the thought and love that count. Of course, if your father figure was a farmer, a planter of tomatoes, roses, or whatever, the connection to Nature will be even more obvious.

I had a client whose father, during life, had over a hundred tomato plants. He shared them with everyone. With those he didn’t give away, he made tomato sauce and soups! He also was very upset that the canned bottles of sauce never made it back to him! I remember him because he let me know he planted even more tomatoes than I did! His daughter and I had a huge laugh over that. I saw her many years later after our session and she remarked, “Remember me? I’m the one whose father had more tomatoes than you.”

I have no doubt that all of you who were locked up this long winter, are beginning to do all the things you love to do in this beautiful Spring that will lead us into the summertime. Take a break, you, you earned it! I’m betting that some of you will have the urge to play hooky from work or daily routines, just like when you were a kid.

I for one will be following my own advice, and taking a break, as my garden beckons with a call.

Lessons We Can Learn From Loss

As I sit here about to write this newsletter, I am looking out at the trees gently moving their limbs on what is probably close to the most perfect day that the end of summer has ever seen. Feeling, of course, that Labor Day is around the corner. I ponder life, knowing how blessed I am to be able to soak in this day in the country while viewing my garden, my labor of love.

I recently got an email from a friend who wrote: “You deal with death every day, while nurturing the cycle of life. And you wear an awesome farmer’s hat to boot!!!” Yes for me, gardening and mediumship go hand-in-hand. I learn a lot about life from being a gardener, and of course doing my work as a medium. In my neck of the woods, the life cycle is reflected in the seasons: birth is spring, summer is growth, fall is harvest, and winter represents death but with the promise of new life in the future.

As I reflect on all this, I get a phone call from a friend who has lost his job. The phone call reminds me that there are many kinds of losses, and they all require a grieving period. And while any loss can cause problems, some losses may inspire us to go after something we’ve wanted to do our whole life, reflecting the beauty of change, and the change of seasons. That is an upside!

In contrast, some of the changes that a loss brings are so intense that they can trigger a spiraling down to a mindset of “I’m losing everything.” Which is not so farfetched an idea. People do lose their jobs, then lose their homes, and end up getting divorced. But from my friend I could hear that he was doing the best he could and keeping as positive as best possible – focusing on the love of his children.

I’ve had many of deep talks with my friend since he knows my work so well. During our conversations, he is reminded that nothing could be more devastating than losing a child. Not having suffered through that experience, he recognizes the need to count his blessings and pick himself up. He recognized his losses as material, which was a step in the right direction.

As with any loss, it’s important to let go, and eventually move on, and my friend has begun that part of the process. I feel such respect for the man who recognized that all of what he could lose was material, and could be replaced.

We all have a path to walk. For those of us with friends who find themselves on a difficult road, we can offer a listener’s ear when needed. Do let those we care about know that they’re not alone. Ask if there is anything we can we do to help them in some way or another.

Over the years, I’ve had the very distinct privilege of sharing thousands of these kinds of journeys with so many of you. I never cease to be amazed how people with deep losses and sorrows can rebound, move on, and find a healing place. As I see it, most of those who can right themselves tend to have a deep faith, and know in their hearts that there is a bigger picture than what it is they are perceiving here in the dimension of earth time.

Life is a force unto itself. Let it be a dance, with a few skips along the way!

Now, as this gardener and medium prepares for fall, I hope you too will recognize that another cycle of life is about to begin. As great as summer was, it’s important to be able to let the cycle of summer go, and transition to the autumn.

This Labor Day, as the Northeast colors prepare to emerge, I’ll continue to enjoy my labor of love with lots of harvesting still to come. And I will welcome my reconnecting with so many of you. I’ll be heading back to Tucson, Southern California, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis to name a few. Hope to see many of you all along the way.