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Childhood is a Place of Wonder Worlds Open up Anew Trees and Wagons and Bugs to Explore New Doorways of Perception for Sure
Through the Eyes of a Child
When I was five years old a door opened to a profound awareness. As a child, I grew up near a lake. As kids we were always at the beach in the summertime. We would take swimming lessons in the morning and return to the shore to play after lunch in the afternoon. Our community even offered different activities for kids at the beach in the evenings. That strand of sand was the center of our community life. Yet there was a standing rule that all the kids of this budding neighborhood understood: after the season closed, no children were allowed near the water without an adult.
If there were no life guards on duty, the beach was off limits, and it was understood to be a serious breach if any of us went there unaccompanied by an adult.
New families were moving into the neighborhood all the time, and we all found it easy to become friends. We would all get together and play, and of course we included all the new neighborhood children in whatever we were doing. School had just begun in the autumn of that year and I was attending kindergarten. One day one of the new neighbors had come home from work to find two of her children gone. She had combed the neighborhood to no avail. So, on this day, there I stood looking up at the police officers who had come to our door asking if anyone had seen the two children. They asked my sister and me questions, yet neither of us had seen them that day.
Later the older child was found hiding and would not tell where the sibling was. After some time, she shared the story of how she and her sister had gone down to the beach and climbed into one of the boats on the shore. They were playing in it when they suddenly realized that the boat had drifted out into the water. In their panic, they both jumped from the boat. The older child was just able to make it to shore, and there she found herself alone, her sister nowhere in sight.
As soon as she told the police offers what had happened, they started their search in the water around the area she and her sister, Nancy had been playing. They found the child's body shortly after.
A few days later, I lay in bed knowing that my friend was gone. I would never see her again. I also knew that her family was not Catholic, and that this child had not been baptized.
My family had always included their children in their world, even when death was present. I had many great aunts and uncles. My family was always going to wakes and funerals ever since I can remember. Death was a normal process of life, and my parents and extended family would discuss any aspects of it openly. I remember being at funeral parlors with my cousins. We would pass the time exploring the rooms and visiting with relatives. Also, I was taught by the church that if one was not baptized, he or she would forever be in a place called limbo, never to see God. As I lay in bed taking all of this in, something opened up within me, something I can only describe as awareness. In that moment, I knew that this was not true; I knew that my friend was not in limbo. I knew that she was with God. I had a sense of God awareness. God was love, and love denies no one its presence. I knew this child, my friend, to be one of light, and therefore I knew she was with God. How this awareness came to me I am not sure. Yet it was strong and clear, and I knew it to be true beyond any doubt. And I knew that my friend was safe and happy with God and that I would miss her.
This experience had such a profound effect on me that it would forever shift the way I perceived what others told me. It was when I began to rely on my inner wisdom. And yet there would be times to come when I would doubt myself and what I knew from within. Perhaps this was the start of me sensing the splitting of the worlds. One of the worlds was that which others lived in, seeing only the physical, listening to the teachings of others and not thinking for themselves or feeling for themselves. Then there was this other world, the one that presented itself outside of time and space, in a place of pure love and knowing, beyond anything linear. This was the gift that my friend offered to me. The gift of a new awareness, one that would set me on a path that has gifted me many realizations that I now share with others. In doing so, I share the gift that my friend, Nancy offered me.
There will be times in our lives when we experience the opening of awareness. Most times, it follows a traumatic experience or rather is initiated by one, as mine was. The way I see it, this experience was destined to be there for me in this life, a kind of contract, if you will, that both souls had made prior to descending into this lifetime. My reawakening, as I recall in this life, was when I was an inquisitive five-year-old girl, this being one of them.
Nature's Offering of Awareness
As a young child I would feel the energy or essence of trees and bushes, seemingly beckoning me to share energy with them. Somewhere around the age of five, I remember crawling into a forsythia bush one day. It was like a tunnel, and I sat there cross-legged on the soft ground. Not long after I closed my eyes, I felt myself melting into the space around me as a stillness washed over and through me. This stillness was very much alive. I didn't know what it was at the time, but it was aliveness in the air, in me, and all around me. The boundary of my physical body had disappeared, and I was a flow of energy connected with the energy of the bush that surrounded me. This then extended out to everything beyond. Everything was me and I was everything. After a while, though I am not sure how long, I regained my physical awareness within my body and opened my eyes.
What a wonderful world I had been introduced to. I knew it was real. I felt the awesomeness of this total connection with everything in the physical form from that place underneath or within, where the real-life force dwelled. It activated something within my physical existence that lay deep within my core. All I knew at the time was that this felt wonderful. This experience awakened me to something more within this physical world.
I didn't question this experience, as I feel most children don't. Children are simply in the moment and then move on to the next. My experience in the forsythia bush just happened. Why? I did not know. Yet many times, I sought out that forsythia bush and would hang out with it, so to speak.
I felt supported by these experiences in that world of the unknown that I knew existed and that nobody talked about. This was my childhood, my awareness weaving in and out of two different realities, each just as real as the other. Of course, I did not know what this meant in that way. I just knew what I felt, and it was something more alive within the physical world than what I saw before me. I do not recall if I was always aware of this aspect in my everyday living. It just seemed to peek in every now and then.
The physical world and that of spirit are always weaving within each other, bringing us messages, sometimes in direct ways and other times in more indirect ways of just knowing. The messages are gifts from those who have touched us deeply in some way. These are the gifts that always stay with us. When they happen to us when we are young, they open us to awareness that leads us on a different pathway of knowing from within. At any age, these experiences open us to a new reality and perceptions, and we are forever changed because of them.
In looking back on these experiences, I realize that children possess the ability to really see the world from a perspective that is untainted by what is taught to them. They see and sense things that an adult may not be aware of. As an adult, a teacher, and a parent, I listen to children. There is a wisdom that lies within them that we all can learn from. I believe that as parents it would benefit us and the children to hear what they have to say. By listening to their experiences we validate them. My mother, for the most part, did this for me, and I am forever grateful for her support.
And so, I start my story here, or rather a thread of stories. These stories are in no way all that I have to offer, yet they do begin to touch the surface of what life is like when one walks with spirit awareness. It is a journey that is not always comfortable; still, it is one of vibrancy beyond measure, and I would not have had it any other way.
What are some of your early awakenings? What precipitated the opening of awareness for you?CHAPTER 2
Kids Will be Kids In Various Ways Connecting Hearts In Infinite Ways
Mary was nine and I was ten. We were always together at school and would often play ball with some of the neighborhood kids in the empty lot next to our home, on weekends. At school we would meet in the playground in the morning before being called into our class rooms. This one particular day, we were speaking on the playground about the magazine drive going on within the school. There would be prizes for those who sold the most subscriptions. Mary spoke excitedly about it and said she was going to go around after school to sell some. Suddenly I felt very strange and, violently retched up my breakfast right there on the ground. One of the teachers took me to the nurse who could find nothing wrong with me. I returned to my classroom as most of the kids were just coming inside from the playground. For the rest of the day I felt fine.
Later that evening my father received a phone call. He then called us into the living room and explained that Mary had been hit by a car that afternoon after school while she was out selling magazine subscriptions, and that she had died. I was in shock. My sister, who was fifteen months older than I, ran upstairs. I followed her and watched her melt into tears on her bed. There were no tears that day for me ... I was still trying to wrap my awareness around the reality of it all. It was later at the grave site after the funeral that I was unable to stop crying.
Yet I was to see my friend again. Sometime later I was out in the empty side yard playing ball with some of the kids. Mary and I had always been on the same team and this time it felt no different. I was up front, and I knew, felt, her behind me, there to catch the balls that I missed. We were talking to each other as the game proceeded through many rounds of tossing and catching the ball. Then I missed one and yelled out 'this one is yours'. My eyes followed the path of the ball as it went over my head and I was in utter surprise when I turned to find no one there. Who had I been communicating with? I knew she was there and that she was also communicating with me. It was so real that I could not doubt it. It was like when you are in a dark room and you since that someone is there with you, yet you are unable to see them. You just know that they are there.
This was the first time I remember being in touch with someone who had passed over to the other side. For me the gift was the reassurance that one never really dies, they just move into the spirit realm and that we can communicate with each other when they do. If we are close, they will come and visit and let us know that they are okay. We just have to open our awareness to receive the connection.
My mother was instrumental in providing me with support for this other kind of knowing that was unspoken of by others. She seemed to understand the spiritual curiosity of her young daughter. I was ten years old when my maternal grandmother passed. During my childhood she would live with us for six months out of the year and then with my aunt for the other six months. I remember snuggling up into her lap; it was such a peaceful place of unconditional love. At night I would watch her take down her hair, which she always wore in a bun on the top of her head. As she sat in the chair and started to brush her frosty grey hair, I would marvel at how long it was; so long that it would fall past the seat of the chair that she was sitting on. I loved being with my grandma and listening to her stories.
When we went to my grandmother's wake my mother took us up to view the body in the casket. I asked Mom if I could touch grandma. She lifted me a little higher, so I could reach my grandma better. I touched Grandma's hands that held the rosary that she said every night. Grandma's hands were cold, and I relayed this to my mother in surprise.
"Yes, because she is not really there anymore. Her soul has left her body as if she has taken off a coat and her spirit is someplace up there with God." She replied as she looked upward.
"Can I still talk to her?"
"Of course, you can. She's always there for you." I knew this to be true, it felt right.
For many years after I would be aware of the spirit of Grandma Nolan around me. It was a comforting feeling and I would always thank her for showing up. When I was out of college and on my own, living in an apartment, she would show up often, bringing me messages of love and support.
In being aware of Spirit's presence, I have learned through the years that fear and worry close off my ability to feel or sense them. When I become fearful or worried, my intuitive sense, my free flow of picking up messages, is stifled and diminished. This has taught me to turn my worry or fear into a positive action. What I do is feel and visualize love around myself bringing me to a higher frequency as I realign with Love. If I am unable to do this, I send Angels of Light and Love to surround me.
Have you ever had the feeling that someone you knew who had passed was in your presence? What did it feel like and how did you react? How has this experience benefited you?CHAPTER 3
Experiences of Our Past Brought into Awareness Cross our Paths Many Times Only to Enlighten from Beyond
The Black Dog
I could feel that familiar feeling of uneasiness rising within me, as I entered my apartment, yet I was not aware of the cause of this intensifying feeling. I lay down on my bed, closed my eyes, connected with the feeling and waited. Then I saw it in front of me, a little to my left. It was dark, black, its sharp white teeth strikingly revealed. There was no sound, just silence, as it advanced toward me. There was that familiar feeling inside me, a challenge to describe. One of being aware of my energy being extended to all around me instead of just within my physical body. I found myself drifting into a state of objective observance rather than fear, wondering, "What is this I feel? And where does this lead to?"
As the fearsome teeth bearing dog passed by my head on the left, I found myself drifting down a dark tunnel, void of all light. The feeling of being wrong washed over me as I continued to observe my passage through this seemingly never-ending dark void. Then in the distance I saw a light. It started as a pin point and continued to increase in size as I felt myself being drawn toward it. Suddenly, I felt as if I was being spilled out into a space of intense light, no forms, just light, a very bright light. As I observed the space around me a change occurred. In front of me forms appeared, skeletal at first then forming atop, their muscles and skin - and all of a sudden wearing white coats; two figures standing side by side. It took me a while to recognize them as human forms there before me, dressed in what looked like white scrubs. A doctor and a nurse, maybe? Then I realized beyond a doubt that I was witnessing my birth into this life time. Still laying on my bed, as I opened my eyes, the feelings of the experience remained. Question after question filled my awareness along with the recognition of that familiar uneasy feeling that I have had ever sense I could remember.
As I rose from my bed, where I had been laying down, eyes closed and fully awake, I was still in awe of the vision that I had experienced just a few moments before. Although I knew without a doubt that I had just re-experienced my birth and that many questions were answered, many more remained.
Where did this feeling of being wrong come from, this life time or perhaps a past life. My mother told me, when I was a teenager, that when she went into labor with me she had to be taken up an elevator to another floor. When she mentioned that she thought that she was starting to deliver, the nurse said, "just hold that baby in." My mother told me this did not feel right to her. She felt that it was wrong. My mother also had related to me that all through her pregnancy she thought that I was a boy. Upon my delivery, when the nurse said that she had a girl, my mother's response was," Oh, I thought it was a boy." Mom told me that the nurse said that if she didn't want the baby, she would take her. Of course, Mom said no, she just thought her second child was going to be a boy since she carried differently in this pregnancy. I do know that babies pick up feelings from their mothers all through the pregnancy and now I am sure that this was, in part, why I always had a feeling of being wrong growing up.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Navigating Life with Spirit"
Copyright © 2019 Cher-yl Gander-Spagnolo.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Childhood is a Place of Wonder, 1,
2 Kids will be Kids, 9,
3 Experiences of Our Past, 15,
4 Beings of Light, 21,
5 Answering Spirit's Call, 25,
6 Animals Communicate, 33,
7 A Mother's Last Calling, 47,
8 Sacred Awakenings, 57,
9 The Masters Visit Us, 67,
10 Dear Ones Passing, 79,
11 Gifts from Beyond, 91,
12 Guidance Received, 101,
13 Bringing Past Lives, 115,
14 Medicine Appears, 119,
15 Nature Speaking, 127,
16 Aliveness of Matter, 135,
17 Mountain Offerings, 143,
18 The Shaman Within, 151,
19 To Ancient Places, 163,
20 Energy Sessions, 173,
21 Physical Spaces, 181,
22 Sacred Space, 189,
23 Energy Residing, 201,
24 In Understanding, 213,
To What a Place, 217,
Some Recommended Authors, 219,