"The Self-Full Life."This the beginning of our story.
"The Self-Full Life," begins with the night of my death and chronicles the events that followed. At that moment of transition, I was desperately fighting to live when I realized that my life was over. And I was helplessly aware that I couldn't stop it from happening.
Once I crossed over from Self-survival to acceptance, my mind began to clear and I found it interesting that I was strangely calm. Enveloped in this deep, resounding silence, I seemed to have accepted this fate as a matter of fact. Just moments earlier, I was screaming in my head to hold on, to fight, and not give in. And now at this point, I felt myself smile. My smile was actually my last physical awareness before I felt a warm, loving sensation throughout my Soul.
I could no longer feel my body and I began thinking of it as a separate thing, something other than "me." And then, an audible, physical and breathtakingly visual vibration began to permeate my calmness. The roaring noise was escalating and within a moment, I began to be aware of an intense bright light off in the distance. Its prism of energy began to spiral and grow.
I turned all my senses towards this cool bright light and began to feel the most utterly peaceful, loving sensation. I was drawn to move towards this light and the love it emanated. I began lifting my "Self" up off the bed while at the same time, I made a conscience decision not to look back "down there." I was keenly aware that I was no longer a part of my physical body and that I was leaving it behind.
Then, in a fleeting moment, I hesitated. I thought maybe the body needed me. But also in that instant, I was struck with the terror of the pain that it was suffering. I wasn't going back. No way. I wasn't going back.
Continuing to focus on this wondrous light, I found my Self drifting over treetops that resembled what we would call a "negative" photograph. I was intrigued, as the light was getting brighter and more intense. I continued on down this tunnel through the negative trees and I began to see shapes of people. They, too, were in negative form and although I couldn't see them in dimension, I was aware of who they were. I recognized them as friends, family and other unknown entities. They seemed to be everywhere among the negative treetops and they were welcoming me with waves of passion.
I began going faster and faster and in an instant, the light surrounded me. It made me think of being born as all my senses exploded with wonder and raw newness. I loved and needed this familiar place. I recognized it as a deep yearning within my heart and now I was back. I was home.
As I swirled on in the light, I immediately began to feel and see everything that had happened in my life, every detail in living color. All my experiences, all my choices and all the Souls I had connected with. I watched with amusement as I re-experienced everything. It felt good to see my life and loved ones, yet I was completely disconnected from it. It felt like watching a movie for the second time as I had the strange sense of deja vu.
As my life experiences passed me by, I quickly caught sight of my husband Pete and I being married. The swirling light began to slow down as I yearned for him. It was at that moment, I heard a gentle voice say, "Not now, my daughter." Instantly, it was as if I had hit a brick wall as I became confused, wondering who had said that. God?? I began to feel a terrible conflict, as I certainly didn't want to go back, not to the pain, not to my body that was the root of so much shame. Yet, I continued to think of Pete and that he still needed me. I tried to understand what was going on inside my heart. It became clear that Pete and I weren't finished. And in that instant, I knew I had to go back.
The moment I agreed with my heart that I was to return, I began to spiral "backwards" in the light as I passed the other Souls and flew through the negative treetops. I opened my mouth to scream. Faster and faster I went, unable to look backwards towards my destination. Instantly, I was hurled back into physical reality and with a gasp for air, I cried out as the pain seared once again through my body. I was conscience of others in the room, and when I opened my eyes, I was immediately aware that I saw a "glowing" or "fuzzy colors" around the heads and shoulders of everyone around me. But my glimpse of this awareness was short lived as my body fell into an exhaustive sleep.
When I awakened in the hospital room, I found that the "colors" and "glows" surrounding the bodies around me were vibrant and moving. And for the next few days, the colors became more and more frightening as my physicians had no explanation for this phenomenon and had no idea what was happening to me. After several more days, the colors came into brilliant focus and I would watch in amazement as they moved around the body when a person talked, expressed emotion or experienced illness. But as incredible and unexplainable as this was, it in no way compared to what had happened to me “over there” at the moment of my death. I knew that something incredible had happened to me and that I felt blessed and chosen for something, but I didn't understand any of it.
Growing up in a very strong Catholic belief system, I possessed limited Spiritual Knowledge with ideas outside of that doctrine. My family encouraged following the faith, but we weren't over zealous when it came to expressing these beliefs. Yet from a very young age, I was the one in the family that had passionately latched onto the ideology with zealous conviction. But later on, as my adolescent years began, my life became turbulent and lonely and I often turned to church teachings in times of need. I possessed a very strong sense of right and wrong and I was unyielding in my beliefs, unwilling to go along with the crowd.
Because of this, I was teased and taunted daily. My Catholic faith literally saved my life as thoughts of suicide were dismissed because of church doctrines against it. So instead, I invented an imaginary life and disciplined my mind by inventing different scenarios to get through the day. I became so good at focusing my thoughts that often when the school bell rang, I would jerk "awake" and wonder for a moment where I was. Yet I felt in charge and safe because I was the one creating the scenario and making it happen whenever I needed it. I now know that this was an important training period for me. Later, I would use this "focused" mind to open my heart and Soul and unquestioningly allow the Guides to come into my life.
Our story continues more than a year later as I tried to put the colors (around the bodies of others) and the near-death experience into perspective. I knew deep in my heart that something of Spirit had happened to me in that moment and that somehow, my ability to see the colors was related. So finding no comforting answers, I made the decision to talk with a Catholic priest.
Looking back, I knew, deep down that my experience was a blessing and for the greater good but I still held fears of the unknown origins of the event. So after plodding up the steps of the church rectory, I asked to speak to the priest. When the he entered the room, the priest didn't even have a chance to sit down as it took me all of three minutes to blurt out the entire story. The conflicted Catholic girl in me who originally was screaming for a pat answer was, in truth, asking for permission to seek the answers herself. And this priest was wise enough to understand that. He blasted my Catholic comfort zone by telling me that I had been given a great gift.
First, he explained the colors as the "Aura" and he told me that I should learn more about it and understand its meaning. And in the most tender of ways, he told me that we could no longer deny the near death experiences of people. He said it was well documented and incredulously, he reached up on his shelf and handed me a book about it. He encouraged me to "seek" the answers, learn everything I could and no, I wasn't possessed by the devil or going to hell either. The Catholic girl with solid convictions in her heart needed to hear that and she did get her permission. And after this encounter, I knew I would never see that priest again. And I was right.
Throughout the coming months and years, I find myself reading everything I can get my hands on, studying different religions, alternate healing methods and documenting the different color patterns and shapes of the Aura. I began seeking out and talking with other people who had similar near death experiences. It was wonderful and comforting to know that I wasn't the "only one" even though my personal experience seemed to be very different from anyone else I talked to. However, I had always had my Catholic faith to turn to in times of need and now, it made me anxious that I found little comfort there. I hadn't completely given up on my beliefs, but I needed to connect with my Spirituality on a different level. I also yearned to experience more of the feelings I had the night of my death. Yet, I continued to be very anxious and ultimately began experiencing panic attacks.
In an effort to quiet my nervous thoughts and energy, I was led to a massage therapist who introduced me to guided imagery for relaxation. And in this one powerful session, "Celeste" guided me into a deep relaxed state of mind. And as her soft, melodic voice encouraged me to go to a "special place," I suddenly "popped" into another realm of existence and could no longer hear her guidance. At first, it felt a little bit like my adolescent years where I created an escape, but I quickly became aware that this was entirely different. I had no control over what was unfolding before me. Animals, fish and nature lived in and about a beautiful lakeside at the edge of a deep green forest. I just stood there and watched in awe as the lake rippled and clouds rolled by in this incredible place of peace.
It was as real as my own backyard. I was just a visitor, yet it felt vaguely familiar and I reveled in its simple beauty. Quietly, I sat down and took in this tender slice of life. After what I thought was just a few minutes, (I was astonished to see that it was more than two hours later) I reluctantly came back into a conscience state and I felt completely centered and calm. I knew something powerful and unexpected had just happened and I also knew that it was more than simple guided imagery as there was nothing "guided" or made up about this place. I knew that I was given a glimpse into another world and I couldn't wait to go there again. And every day, I did, and those times changed the course of my life and the ultimate direction of this story.
I began to meditate on a daily basis and immediately when my mind quieted down, I would again "pop" into this place, always finding myself at the edge of the lake. I was captivated by the beautiful serenity and peace as I swam with the fish, fed the deer and lay on the sand. It was two years later that something unexpected happened.
I had made my usual trip to the lake and was swimming with the fish when, upon coming out of the water, I looked up to see a glow of light deep within the beautiful forest that surrounded the lake. It's brilliance was so intense that it's powerful glow reached the tree tops and beyond. I had an immediate desire to see what this was and with no hesitation or fear, I began to make my way through the forest, towards this glowing light.
As I came to a clearing in the trees, I was utterly astonished to see a beautiful garden. Beyond this garden was a simple stone bench that stood at the base of a huge, glorious temple of stone. It was a massive structure with a stone staircase cut into the side, leading to the top. And halfway up the staircase stood a man dressed in the clothing of a guard from ancient times. And for the first time since I had been coming to this place, I felt frightened. Even though I had encountered living animals and plants, I had never seen a person before. And here he was, reaching out his hand to me and beckoning me up the staircase.
With my heart pounding, I slowly began to ascend the stairs. When I reached the Guard, he gestured for me to sit on a small stone bench carved into a niche in the side of the temple. I did as told, expecting something to happen. But he simply turned away, ignoring me as he continued his watch. After what seemed a long time, I decided to make my way back down the temple stairs as I didn't know what else to do.
This went on for several months, as each time in meditation, I made my trek from the lake and halfway up the side of the temple. However, on a particular day, the Guard did not turn away, and as he stood peering into my eyes, he began to gently communicate with me through his heart. And I understood him perfectly, even though I never heard him with my physical ears. He told me why this was happening, where I was and who was there waiting for me. He communicated to me a beautiful story about my pre-birth decision to come into this life for this purpose.
And as he communicated, I suddenly knew that what I had experienced in my life was leading to this ultimate end. Everything I had lived through was bringing me to this moment. And as if he understood my newfound enlightenment, he turned me gently around and Guided me to climb the rest of the stairs to the top of the temple. I made my way up knowing full well that this was the beginning of my heart's journey.
When I made it to the top, I entered the opening with expectant joy. Just inside the temple walls was a darkened staircase that led down and beyond that, was a fire pit that softly glowed. I made my way around the darkened staircase and the pit to a table with eight chairs around it.
And when I looked up just beyond the table, there on a low platform were the Guides. An older Spirit (whom I now call, The Wise One) came towards me with both arms outstretched. He welcomed me and the moment he touched my shaking hands, I felt a surge of loving energy flowing through my heart. I recognized this feeling as the same sensation I had experienced in the tunnel.
He quietly said, "Welcome daughter" and I realized his "voice" was the same voice I had heard as I was caressed by the light at the moment of my death. He spoke of how we had all made a pact before I was born into this life experience. That they were here to Guide me in the various aspects of my life and as I would find out later, help me write this book and share their simple, loving messages of God and Spirit.
We were a team, with each of our Souls fulfilling the prophecy of our predestined existence. With his arm around me, he took me to stand in front of each of the other five Guides who were lovingly waiting for me. His introduction was followed by each Guide's own sweet message of why they were there for me, as each Soul has a purpose and reason for being in this life experience.
The Wise One spoke of how they are on a level vibrating just above my own current existence. That they are not superior or special, that they are Guides of the Soul, sent to give insight, love, hope and individual messaging to help myself and others towards the greater good.
"We see a future of hope, of reason and of acceptance for all people. A time when expression of ideas, hopes and experiences are encouraged freely and welcomed with unabandoned joy. We yearn for that Universal power of all things and we seek others of like-minds. We look for those struggling to understand and we reach out to them with an unconditional hand. Our Purpose, our reason for being in this life experience is limited only by our minds and the boundaries within. Lives change and seasons turn, yet we are all bound together by a golden strand, spun from the wings of angels. The choices we make and the dreams we share, define our existence upon the earth and vulnerability is the realization that we all matter. Every one of our lives is simply a confirmation of our own intuition…Delicate, sweet moments in time. And tenderly, we sing and rejoice in all that is."
After these incredulous introductions, I sat quietly in the temple, receiving all the love that emanated from their hearts.
And so, the Guides had entered my life. And now I share this miracle with you. Maybe to help you better understand your own life, your own way in the world, perhaps. It is up to you to believe or not. It is up to you to accept or not. Whatever you may choose, it is my hope that you will come away with a gentle spark of "The Knowing" deep within your Soul.