Dead man walking

Dead man walking

My mother comes from a small village in Latvia. As I was growing up this is a story that she related occasionally to the family, which she says was true.

One day, a man who used to live in this village was returning to it, after many years absence. Walking up the pathway to the village he met a man that he recognized who was leaving the village going in the opposite direction. They greeted each other as old friends and chatted awhile.

They were interrupted by the sound of large crowd of people walking in a procession not far away. They were walking up a hill closely carrying something. They were making all kinds of noise, crying and carrying on.

“What’s that?” the man who had been away awhile asked his friend.

“Oh that? That’s just some manure they’re carrying away!”

Rather surprised by this answer, the visitor thanked his friend and continued on into the village. The second man continued to walk away.

When the visitor entered the village he asked again about the noisy procession. He was told it was a funeral – and not just any funeral. It was the funeral of the same man he’d talked to just a few minutes before. The same man he’d chatted with had actually just died and was being buried up on the hill. The man was left speechless.

So it would appear that life goes on and on and on and on… Onto the next chapter, onto another verse.


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God is not good

What do you feel the concept of God actually encompasses? Is God goodness? Many would say so. So if He’s the God of goodness, then He’s not the God of everything, only the good parts, right? So who’s in charge of all the rest? Another God? – well no! So if God is not Goodness, so what is He/She? Why don’t we just admit that our view of God / the Universal Life Force has just been too limited.

God is not just good. God IS. God is isness. God is everything that is, the good, the bad and the ugly. God is you. God is me. God is all of us together. That’s what the Hindus state when they meet and clasp their hands together and bow to each other, saying “Namaste!”: “the God in me bows to the God in you”.

Whenever we specify the God-Force as having certain qualities – we immediately restrict it’s applicability. The Lord God is mostly thought of as male – thereby immediately identifying it with the male side of the population, implying dominance, more power to rule, more intelligence, more rights.

Historically all our Divine images were female. This actually makes a lot more sense that a female energy would have birthed the Universe.

Interestingly enough the Pope some years ago, referred to God on the occasion of an important Camp David meeting of leaders, as a woman. He declared that God was even more Mother than Father – and made front page news all over the world. Not surprisingly he enjoyed one of the shortest reigns in Papal history.

Perfection is another trait Christians have attributed to God. “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”. Now there’s an assignment! How to make everyone feel like a failure right out of the gate – sinful, guilty, ashamed. Christian philosophy has been particularly useful in promoting fear, guilt, eternal punishment, powerless, unworthiness, smallness.

Our image of God has a lot to do with how we live our lives. So pick yours well.


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God is not Goodness

Many of us were raised hearing;” Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” On the one hand we could take it as the encouragement to be more than we are. But really? Perfect? That’s hardly a realistic expectation of anyone, short of sainthood. Hardly appropriate to be an actual measure of what we expect of our children, or anyone in our charge. That we in the West have been saying that for centuries is just more proof of how useful/ useless our Christian theology has been for us. Such a statement breeds fear. It breeds guilt. It breeds powerlessness. It breeds unworthiness. It breeds smallness.

How we picture our God has a lot to do with how we live our lives and how we feel we fit into the Universe. Imagining God, the Source of all reality as male, limits our reality right there. If we ourselves happen to be female, the image of God as male is already a limiting belief. Historically though, the earliest images of Divinity were all actually female. And it would actually make more sense that the Origin of all reality, the energy that birthed reality be female.

Interestingly not that long ago during an important Camp David summit, saying a prayer prior to the occasion, the Pope at the time declared that God was even more Mother than Father. He was one of the shortest reigning Popes of all time. Rumour has it that he was murdered shortly afterword. It seems that there are many parts of our society highly invested in things staying just the way they are, thank you!

So how do we define God? Whether we picture God as male or female is only one dimension of the whole reality. Why don’t we just admit that our picture of God has been way too limited. As we mature as spiritual beings so must our grasp of the ultimate reality change as well. So if God is not goodness, what then? God is not good. God is. God is isness. God is everything: the good, the bad and the ugly. God is everything that is. God is you, God is me. God is all of us together. That’s what the Indians are saying when they put their hands together and bow in the greeting “Namaste”: “the God in me, bows to the God in you.” Amen to that.


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Talk to the Animals

Let’s! Some people can, you know. There’s even those that give courses on it. One woman who was interviewed on Coast to Coast, reported an incident of falling off a horse into a small stream and hitting her head. When she got up she realized something had shifted and suddenly she could understand what the horse was thinking. He was upset because no one had ever fallen off him before, and now the owners might send him to a special camp for re-training. So it seems that direct communication is indeed possible.

I’ve had a few interesting experiences with birds that way – where I was given a lesson or a message by their behaviour.

At a time when I was in contact with my dream-interpretation teacher, I had occasion to watch a bird cleaning/grooming itself in my backyard. Not unusual, but the persistence of it was – he went on and on and on, till everyone in my family noticed and remarked on it. When I reported this to my teacher, she just said: “Well, dear, that’s for you”. IE. I myself needed cleaning up, and lots of. Ouch!

Another time we’d had difficulty with squirrels getting into the bird feeder and decided to just take down the feeder altogether. After a few weeks I return home one day through the back gate and see something remarkable. Sitting on the fence right beside where I had to walk, chest high, was a long line of birds sitting beside each other – all with their heads turned towards me, staring, expectant. I paused for a moment, a little taken aback, then I got it. “ok, ok, I get it !” There was no arguing what the congregation was about. The bird feeder went up the next day.

On yet another occasion I seemed to be encouraged to go on a longer car trip to Long Island, New York, to participate in a channelling at Pathways to Health. An usual bird sitting just outside my window was singing and singing. When I slowly approached him telling him my problem and asking him the question of should I go? He stopped, turned his head to look at me. Shook himself vigorously and took off. I went.

As Rex Harrison (Doctor Doolittle) would say:

If we could Talk to The Animals just imagine it,

Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee,

Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah,

What a neat achievement it would be.

If we could Talk to The Animals, learn their languages,

Maybe take an animal degree.

We’d study elephant and eagle, buffalo and beagle,

Alligator, guinea pig and flea.

We would converse in polar bear and python,

And we would curse in fluent kangaroo,

If people asked us “Can you speak rhinoceros?”

We’d say “Of scours-er-os! Can’t you?”…


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For what? Well, it could be you’re an actor pretending to be someone you’re not. Right? Or maybe your job entails your looking a certain way – say as a hostess at a grand hotel Or maybe you’re trying to look your very very best, maybe out in company or for a very special occasion.

So that’s all clear – everyone agrees on that. But looking at it closer: why is it only women put makeup on regularly, but not men? There’s probably a perfectly good historical reason that it’s developed that way, but really ladies, it’s 2021 and why exactly do we feed the million dollar cosmetic industry with such gusto?

Perhaps ever since the cult of character turned into the cult of appearances/ managing your image. Millions of dollars spent on covering up mistakes, selling your side of the story, when ‘appearing to be’ matters more than ‘being’.

Yes it’s nice to feel your very best, being admired, getting preferential treatment. But really, why do we feel we need to do that. The men who work along side you, don’t. Sometimes we’re lucky if they’ve even washed off yesterdays sweat, much less gone to the trouble of enhancing their eyebrows or darkening their lips.

So for what really? Are we pretending to be something we’re not? Are we not good enough as we are? But need to enhance every conceivable feature that we present to the world. The breasts need to be just so, the stomach flat, the eyebrows neat & tidy and thin. No wrinkles.

Adrienne Clarkson, recently our Governor General, in the early stages of her career was constantly bombarded by the press with negative comments on what she was wearing. Fed up with the barrage of comments on her appearance she finally turned up at one scheduled interview wearing her house coat. Point taken. After that the press started paying more attention to her accomplishments, rather than her accoutrements.


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Stand up Straight

For Pete’s sake as well as your own. Ever think about straightening up more? As the song goes “Straighten Up and Fly Right” (Nat King Cole?)

Most people walk and live seeing more of the ground than the horizon. It’s not something that garners much attention anymore. It used to. When I was in grade school in the 50’s it was a common admonition:“Stand up straight!” or “Sit up straight!” It was just one of the things that was expected of an upstanding, upright growing human being. Not no more. As a supply teacher I’ll often walk into a classroom full of kids now and see them all hunched over their laptops, all scrunched up/ pretzeled up/ contorted into new and exciting variations of posture,where ‘straight’ is not even a point of discussion. If I happen to do a meditation at some point in the school day and ask for “straight backs, feet on the ground” I get strange looks and all manner of uncomfortable shuffling.

That it’s your right to walk or sit however pleases you, isn’t the question. It’s that kids today aren’t taught the facts of life that go along with that choice. Any chiropractor will tell you, you’re potentially doing yourself a lot of harm by slouching. To continue to not stand as straight as you can harms you -physically, mentally & spiritually. Honest! What it comes down to is your attitude to life.

The more curled up you are in your body, the closer to fetal you are in your life attitude – when hiding/fearful/ in extreme pain/ ready to leave the planet. Just watch people walking down the street:the straighter they walk the more respect you tend to have for them, the more bent over, there’s more concern over age / disability…. Pride in self is a good thing, and not everyone has it. When you think well of yourself you tend to walk straighter. Taking pride in who you are and what you do, displaying ‘being in yourself/being here now.’

So try to walk with your nose just slightly above the horizon consistently, and you’ll find yourself with a happier attitude and a sunnier life. Really!

Now any posture, if you practice it long enough feels normal and efforts at changing it, a real strain, but if you understood the possible harm you’re doing by continuing to slouch, you might want to put out some effort into changing that.

I’ve recently taken up a new mantra, that helps encourage me in this direction:

“Walk slower, stand taller, breathe deeper, smile sweeter”.

So DO!


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Hatred Hurts

In the same way that it can be shown that prayer works – hate also works. Prayer works to help. Hatred works to hurt.

In Prayer – it’s less who you’re appealing to and more how you’re asking. You need to be sincere, and be well-intention ed, and bring your emotional body into it. Feel it (see The Feeling is the Secret on You Tube). Whether you pray to God or Jesus, or Buddha, or Padre Pio, or St. Anthony, or St. Germaine or Mother Mary or Kwan Yin or any of the ascended masters – as long as you’re reaching above yourself- your guardian angel, even your own higher self – you will still get a response.

On CBC radio a few years ago I heard the story of a journalist from Toronto travelling in Montreal and noticed a family pull up with their van and open up their doors to feed all the homeless in this area. He was impressed and found out their story. The mother was a prostitute, the father a petty thief and they had five children. They had recently been through a bad period where they were at the end of their rope. They’d decided to kill the children and themselves the next day, figuring they were out of options. Before she went to bed, the mother passed through the living room and looked up at the ceiling and sighed and said: “Look, if anyone’s up there we could use a hand.” The next morning comes a knock on the door: we have work for you, programs for the kids – we’ll help you any way we can. Everything changed and they got back up on their feet again. Feeding the hungry was their way of giving back – which they did regularly.

Help is always there if we need it but we need to ASK.

Another story comes from a Minister from the Eastern townships in Ontario. He’d been preaching against a local gang of bikers. They heard of this and were determined to take revenge. So one Sunday when everyone had left after the service and the minister was locking up, he noticed through the window that the bikers were parked out front waiting for him. He was alone, what to do? He began to pray. When he left the building and walked to his car – they didn’t budge, just watched. Months later he ran into the gang leader in some other setting on a social occasion. The minister asked him point blank – “what happened? I saw you waiting outside the church that day – thought you might want to talk to me?” “You kidding”, the other replied?” With that huge big black dude following behind you:– I wouldn’t have touched you with a 10 ft. Pole!”

Evidently an angel had been dispatched to cover him. (Ask and ye shall receive)

And for the hate story: Once upon a time, I was with a family and neighbour group having a Sunday afternoon brunch at a local hotel, and one of the women was telling a story of how she had this tile person do some work on her bathroom – and he’d made such a mess- I mean such a mess! That she’d had to clean up after him for hours and hours! The story went on and on and on and emotion level was through the roof – this had evidently played on her mind for hours on end. As a throw away line and at end of the story she mentioned that he’d died of a heart attack shortly after that.

I haven’t the slightest doubt that she killed him with her hatred and high level of emotion.

Thoughts are things – you can bless with your thinking or you can curse. Your call.


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My father’s after-life journey

My father’s after-life journey

So this was a man who was a very devout Catholic all his life. From a farming family, he attended school to become a draftsman, though what he really wanted was to be a priest. But for some reason that never worked out. AfterWW11 he left with the last contingent to leave Latvia with other German troops, along with my mother and other refugees and ended up in a German prisoner of War camp in Germany. He managed to get out of there on a happy coincidence to join my mother who was in a refugee camp close by. With the 3 of us together their choice was to emigrate to Canada eventually & work for a farmer for a year, as was the custom then.

His whole life was lived devoted to the church, and as virtuous as he was able. He was loved by everyone as a quiet, peace-loving person who did the best he could.

A few weeks before he died I dreamt that the farmer had walked off the field: I saw a large field surrounded by brush/ trees. In the middle was a man on a tractor. He got off his tractor, and left the field. I only understood that after his death, that this was a death dream: he was the farmer / came from farmer stock and he was done doing his job on earth. Time to leave.

Soon after he died I dreamt that he was watching me from a sort of long cupboard, set in the wall. propped up on one elbow, his eyes following me around the room. I guess that meant that he was in no position to be active but that he was nevertheless quite aware of what I was doing.

Then at monthly/ bi-monthly intervals came a series of dreams describing his progress. One dream described him being in a hospital setting on a very low-lying cot, from which he occasionally had to get up from in order to vomit in the bathroom next door. This seemed to indicate that, as for many people, there is a recovery period, which may involve things to get rid of from one’s belief system. As we all need to do during our lives: reassess old briefs & possibly adopt new ones.

Then a dream of meeting with him in an old friend’s kitchen. Sitting at their kitchen table we had evidently been talking. His head was down as if quite sad about something. I was urging him to talk to me: “what’s the matter pop, tell me!’ Through a nearby door I could see my daughter passing by but she didn’t see us there. This dream was quite a progress from the last dream. First of all it takes place at a higher level physically. Their main floor kitchen was a higher level than average, whereas the preceding dream seemed to be at a basement level. This is progress mentally/spiritually to a higher level. That my daughter didn’t see him was interesting. She actually was very close to my father & she fondly remembered him feeding the chipmunks at the cottage. After he passed, she was on a camping trip with several friends. There were chipmunks around & everyone was trying to entice them with goodies. No takers. But one came right up to her even though she had no food for him. She cried, because she felt strongly that was her grandfather.

Then a final dream came a good while after that, maybe 6 months or a year later I dream he came to see me quite jolly and happy, dressed exactly like a Scottish golfer – the short skirt, the knee length socks, the cap with the tassel, and complete with a set golf clubs. (He’d never golfed in his life.) He was evidently off golfing, and in a great mood, having the time of his life. After that I’ve never had any dreams about him at all. So all I can conclude is that he had a rough recovery but now his understanding is of a higher, happier level, and his life now proceeds joyfully forward.

It’s interesting that that year of struggle after he died was so difficult for him. He died a good Catholic, is all I can conclude – with all the cultural beliefs and expectations that such a background allows. Joy is not one of its chief characteristics. Struggle, sacrifice, hardship that yes. Stiff upper lip, endurance, bent shoulders, bear your burden, sin, guilt, shame – absolutely. Seems from this, one could conclude that in his life outlook – he erred. And it took him quite some time to recover, to finally come to JOY – as we all should.


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Self Love – continued

I don’t have enough of it and I’m finding there’s a heck of a lot of people out there who don’t either. I was raised without praise – with either no comment, or criticism. I remember my mother listening to the advice of an older woman telling her not to praise children. That would make them too full of pride. The sin of pride was of course one of the 7 deadly sins, at least it was in the Catholic Church.

Well you know, on reflection I don’t know that that’s really true. Having too big an ego is a problem for a few people that I know – but generally speaking there are a lot more people who think too little of themselves – too little self-esteem, too little self-love, who live with more guilt and shame than too much pride.

In the manifestation literature you will hear how important a piece is self-love – it’s one of the major starting points. It’s actually an important necessity for your progress in life – on all fronts.

In my memories of growing up I remember on leaving elementary school being voted the student most likely to succeed out of my grade 8 class. I did very well academically. Even though I never finished high school, I still managed to get 2 degrees and am now applying for a 3rd. Athletically I also excelled – leading every sport we played. But I never remember being praised for anything, only criticized.

In a recent magazine article they were reporting on a study where they examined the mental health of a large cross-section of children. What they found was those who underwent the most criticism ended up with worst problems with their mental health. Surprisingly this was true no matter how well loved the child was or how high the family income – a high amount of criticism always corresponded to dysfunctional people as a result.

So how to turn this around? Well it helps to put yourself in an environment where people love you and compliment you regularly. But realistically how many of us are? What seems to work is to work at deliberately raising your own self-esteem by yourself, and stop taking other people’s opinion of you too seriously. In a journal perhaps, start to reflect on who you are – your strengths your weaknesses, and start a process of self-discovery. Such that you know yourself well, and know where it is that you need to improve. They say the best CEO’s know themselves well-enough to know when to pass on a job they’re not good at to someone who is. You could ask the pendulum for starters – with a simple yes/no: do I love myself/ fully accept who I am?

Compliment yourself every day in your journal: today I did……well. I’m proud of myself for… In my life I’m grateful for… (Gratitude lists are very important for centring, building, affirming). And every day affirm: I do love myself and accept myself.

Tapping is another great way to move that energy to a more positive note. Tapping sites like Tapping Solution will give you some great scripts you can use for that. e.g. Tapping on the side of one hand you start: “Even though I’m feeling a little down / depressed/not well…..I still choose to affirm that I am completely well and healthy and strong and I completely and thoroughly love and accept myself.” Then repeat that phrase tapping on the other hand. Then both sides of your face, then top of your head, then on your eyebrows, then under your eyes, under your nose, on your chin, on your 2 collarbones, under your armpits, both wrists together, back of 1 hand, back of the other. This method works amazingly to move the energy for more positivity in your attitude. It’s best done when you give a 1 out of 10 number to your pain/ discomfort, as you move through the tapping points. You’ll find you start to feel better by the time you finish. If your ‘downer’ is really bad you could even repeat it 2 or 3 times in a row.

Happy self-loving!


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Good for the soul. To grow up believing it’s wrong to masturbate is to believe one is never to enjoy one’s own body. Certain religions believe sex can only be used to make babies and can only be indulged in within certain narrow parameters. Pleasuring yourself is certainly very wrong they believe– parents often push away the hands of their children that stray over their body, investigating certain sensations of delight.

The message is that pleasant sensations from your body are not to be encouraged. Don’t delight in a wonderful luxurious soapy bath, the great feeling of the water on your skin when you swim in the ocean, having a lovely foot bath and a massage. Don’t ever admire your body and enjoy the view.

What a sad kind of civilization we’ve ended up with. With so many constraints on our enjoying life that you begin to understand that a famous author once said: “Life is short and brutish, and then you die”. My mother believed that. She taught me that the body was evil, the source of sin and temptation. It’s taken me awhile but I now firmly believe we were not put here to suffer, to struggle, to sacrifice and deny ourselves.

My dream teacher used to remind me occasionally to notice the little things around me that were pleasant and joyful. It was one of her habits to go out for afternoon tea, when we could. When I’d pick her up and were leaving her apartment she would inevitably reach into her pocket for a candy/ peppermint for both of us. Always something that would make me smile. She believed in enjoying life – the new way for the New Era, the way of the Feminine.

In one of the Conversations with God books, it’s pointed out that we were put here on the planet and given a body to take care of, to love and enjoy. The God-voice in the channelled text encourages us to enjoy our own bodies, and sees nothing wrong with masturbation, to the shock of many I’m sure. To deliberately deny ourselves the joy the body can give us, is perverse. In Tantric sex we find a different view, mind you – there masturbation and enjoying sex are accepted and encouraged as opposed to the view of many of the Western traditions.

Matthew Fox in his book Original Blessing asserts that the world of Original Sin & Redemption is the cause of much of our fear and could be the source of many of the negative views we have of the body. “There is a necessary connection between trust learned regarding our own body and our own existence -original blessing and the blessing that earthiness is and trust of cosmos. Artist Robert Henri testifies to this when he says ‘ There is nothing in all the world more beautiful or significant of the laws of the universe than the nude human body.’

With differing views of the body and sex come different attitudes to life as well. When you travel to different countries it’s striking how unique they can be. The Mediterranean countries seem so much more relaxed than us. Month long vacations and enjoying the good things of life come naturally there. Our stingy little one week vacations don’t compare.

Enjoy who you are fully, love yourself, celebrate yourself. Among the sometimes grim reality around us, we all long for more joy and laughter and love – in all its forms.


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