I was raised Methodist, under the loving spiritual guidance of my grandparents. However, my heart and soul followed the spiritual influence of author C.S. Lewis.
When I was eight-years-old I read the Chronicles of Narnia and was enraptured with the multi-dimensional worlds of mythical creatures. Lewis’ tales incorporated themes of Christianity, Greek and Roman mythology, British and Irish fairytales. He took readers on voyages that crisscrossed time, challenged the imagination and inspired heroism and honor amongst his characters and readers alike. This series became the roadmap to my religion.
At a young age I concluded that it did not make sense, nor seem fair, that there should be one god known by one name. Over the centuries hundreds of thousands of people have died because of their religious beliefs and I refused to believe that these deaths were in vain. So I surmised that there was a place for all religions to co-exist and that one’s spiritual identity was personal.
I strived to be open-minded and to respect ideological beliefs and opinions that are loving and non-discriminatory at their core. I also recognized that as human beings we filter words and lessons through our own life’s lens and in doing so may follow an interpretation of the words of the Bible, Quran, Torah, Hindu and Buddhist texts, and other faith based texts. True grace may be found in our interpretation.
With this foundation, I lived my life, made mistakes, had adventures, worked through personal challenges and followed dreams. I lived with openness and as a result had many unique experiences, such as seeing and communicating with spirits.
The summer before my senior year of college, I lived with my mother and sister in Newburyport, Massachusetts and met the ghosts that had been haunting our home. For months I had dismissed phenomenon such as levitating objects and the sound of footsteps when I was alone in the house. That ended when the manifestation was so physical I could no longer tell myself it was my imagination.
One night I arrived home in the early a.m. hours to an empty house. I dressed for bed and went to my room to sleep. Within moments I heard the front door open, and heard footsteps making their way up a flight of stairs, across our den and into my bedroom. I held my breath, kept my eyes closed and prayed I would not be noticed by the intruder. A feeling of safety rushed over me, moments before the room filled with a blue-white light, the sounds of wind and clanking metal. My bed violently shook as I held on to the edges of my mattress.
And then there was stillness. Whatever was with me had left and I was once again alone.
I immediately raced to the phone and called my friend, Chris Meredith. He calmed me and told me his family friend, Nora Lee, could help.
Nora Lee phoned me the next day and asked me what I had experienced. After I retold the evening’s details she asked me who I thought the spirit was. Suddenly I saw a face in my mind’s eye and shared my knowing. His name was Peter. He lived at the turn of the century. He had wavy brown hair, neatly slicked back. He had a mustache. He wore a white shirt and a brown jacket. Nora Lee confirmed what I told her and told me she’d be over in a few days to clear my home of the spirit.
This was Nora Lee’s self-proclaimed calling, and as such, she would not accept compensation for sharing her gift. Chris had told me some things that Nora Lee liked, so I bought her flowers, chocolates, and coffee beans as a thank-you gesture.
Moments before her arrival I went to retrieve her gifts but everything had gone missing. I rushed around looking in every logical and illogical place for her presents until the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a petite woman with long black hair, glasses and a voluptuous frame. Suddenly there was a loud clap of thunder and it began to rain. I laughed and nervously joked about the coincidence of the rain beginning at her arrival. Nora Lee nonchalantly explained that she had asked her Spirit Guides, who were Native American Indians, to seal the house. Essentially the rain would help contain the energy within my home.
As I led Nora Lee into the house she asked me why I had become upset a few minutes before she arrived. She laughed as I shared the events and explained that it was common for spirits to hide objects. That they would be found one day inside of a wall or another unexpected location.
I offered Nora Lee water and as I retrieve a glass from the cabinet, plates flew out and fell to the floor. Nora Lee told me that there was an old woman throwing the plates. She opted to get right to the task at hand and told me she’d start in the basement, clear all the rooms and bringing the spirits to my bedroom, where the majority of activity had been witnessed.
I waited anxiously for her, as she smudged the windows, doors and coroners of every room with white sage. I could hear her acknowledging the spirits she encountered and every once in awhile she would yell out something to me. “Sometimes…” whoosh, “… you may feel as though a cold energy in knocking the air out of your body.” I gasped for breath. “That’s what it feels like when a spirit runs through you.”
I caught my breath and followed Nora Lee to my room. She instructed me to squint my eyes and look into my bedroom. In doing so I saw the mirage-like, filmy grey outlines of ten or so people. We stepped into the room and Nora Lee ceremonially called forth a white light to lead the spirits to a dimension where there loved ones were waiting.
When the transition was complete, the room felt calm, still and safe. Nora Lee had explained that the spirits were stirred after my friend, Chris Meredith, had stayed with me briefly. Chris came home with me after he was released from the hospital, having suffered serious injuries from a car accident that took his father’s life and left his mother, girlfriend and himself seriously injured. The spirits in my home had felt his deep grief and became aware of our aura. Having "seen" us, the spirits actively worked to get my attention to find a way to help them.
And thus began my belief in Spirit.
The events of the day herald a brief and vivid period in my life in which I sensed, saw and physically felt the presence of spirits. It was a terrifying time for me, as I felt both crazy and constantly vulnerable. Nora Lee gave me some practical advice on how to drawn in my aura and she instructed me to tell them to leave me alone. Eventually they did.
Over the years I saw and helped crossover a few spirits that I fearfully encountered, but for the most part I was closed off from these experiences.
My spiritual evolution had another turning point after a period of unexplained illness. In 2011 I started complaining of exhaustion, body aches and an increase in frustration and anger. My doctor assumed it was stress and prescribed medication. My symptoms and complaints increased over the years until it got to the point that I could no longer function in my life. By the end of 2013 I was in tremendous pain. By February of 2014 I suffered such extreme neurological confusion and exhaustion that I was largely bed ridden.
I went from specialist to specialist, to speculation and quick diagnosis, but saw no relief from the litany of ailments. Desperation led me to follow my instincts and seek out alternative views on wellness.
This journey lead me to Damien Echols, Dr. Sharon Sass, the Swampscott Church of Spiritualism and Dr. Dan of Newburyport. Each meeting would reveal truths that would lead me to healing and spiritual development.
Damien Echols, author of Life After Death: Eighteen Years on Death Row and co-author of Yours for Eternity: A Love Story on Death Row, moved to Salem, Massachusetts, one street away from where my sister and her family lived. For over twenty years I had followed the West Memphis Three case, which falsely accused Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. of the brutal murder of three young boys in Arkansas. I was amongst the legions of people who believed in the innocence of the WM3 and who celebrated their release from prison in 2011. Hearing that Elchols was practicing Hermetic Reiki in Salem, I excitedly booked a session with him.
Damien is the embodiment of what faith, meditation and perseverance can manifest. Not only did his healing literally provide me with over two weeks of energy (after months of being bed ridden), he shared some casual advice that would have a dramatic impact on my life. The first was a suggestion to visit a holistic MD that had helped him. The second was written in pamphlet he gave me, which suggested that we all dream bigger.
He also generously invited me to attend a class on hermetic meditation techniques, which resulted in a certification as a first-degree practitioner in the hermetic Reiki tradition, with Damien as the presiding Reiki Master. The invitation extended to joining a healing circle that he and his wife, Lorri Davis, hosted at the short-lived Qi, The Inner Gym in Boston. At Qi, I discovered a past life practitioner that I would later consult.
Although my encounters with Damien have been brief, the essence of his influence is strong. To simply distill it, the Universe conspired to free Damien from a death sentence and to give him a life of abundance and love. Certainly my health problems could be overcome.
And thanks to Damien’s recommendation to see “Dr. Dan” of Newburyport, I have. Within minutes of a Kinesiology-based evaluation, I was told that the muscle tests were responding positive for Lyme disease. I immediately began to cry from relief, as I had suspected that my long suffering was from exposure to this tick-born bacteria. I then began a treatment plan that incorporated holistic supplements with nutrition for healing.
The road back to wellness has proven a long one and I have continued to seek out anything and everyone that may help my recovery. Amongst the helpers, I met Dr. Sharon Sass, with whom I had three brief sessions on the topic of past life regression. During these meetings she frankly confirmed that I was a medium. She gave me some practical advice on how to protect myself against unwanted energy (by imaging that I was standing in a 360° shield of mirrors, reflecting the outside world and energies out and away from me). She also shared that I would be meeting trustworthy people to help me develop my gifts.
Dr. Sass also walked me through one past life regression session. In it I was taken to a happy childhood memory, in which I was running down a hill in the backyard of one of my mom’s friends. The moment stuck with me because there was a man, leaning against a fence, who yelled over at me and told me that I looked just like “Laura Ingalls” from Little House on the Prairie, one of my favorite books at the time.
Next I was taken to a different memory, in which I was in the care of the same friend of my mother’s. She was visiting her mother, who was in a coma. I remember the elderly woman lying in bed, with bandages on her head and face. There was a brief moment when I was alone with the woman. The woman reached for my arm and spoke to me, calling me by her grand daughter’s name. I ran for her daughter, relaying what had happened and ultimately sharing the last known movement and words of the woman before her death.
The finally memory was a series of images and details. I saw the face of a man with brown hair, a curled mustache, and round glasses. I was given the letters “J” and “W” as well as the name “Joseph. I was shown a cello and the Titanic. I sensed that I was seeing the past life of my husband, not my own.
When I left Dr. Sass’ office I confirmed the accuracy of the memories with my mom. I also googled all the information that I received regarding the Titanic memory and was immediately fed the image of John Wesley Woodward, one of the eight musicians who famously continued to play as the Titanic sunk. Wesley bared an eery and uncanny resemblance to my husband.
Dr. Sass’ confirmation that I had a natural ability for mediumship, lead me to the Swampscott Church of Spirituality. My mother-in-law, Judy Jackson, had attended one Sunday and relayed a service that contained meditation, healing, a Spirit-based lecture and mediumship.
I began attending Sunday services regularly and soon realized that there was a religion that encompassed my spiritual beliefs and personal experiences. Spiritualism honors the legacy of the ascended masters and communicates through Spirit to bring forth messages of love and healing, helping to prove the continuity of life after death.
With my health on a path to wellness, and with a name to help define my beliefs, I have mindfully embarked on journey to fulfill my calling. I follow the signs and walk the path laid before me with trust. All roads are leading to spiritual development and serving Spirit.