Is this your first visit? Here’s the story so far: Continue reading
This quickie episode was inspired by a question on my facebook page. It’s a great question, and the answer includes helping us to communicate time to our pets, as in, “Other Mom is coming home after three dark nights!”
This is a practical one, and a quickie! If you’re curious why it’s so quick, please see the previous blog post. ;)
Love to you all!
October has felt like a slap in the face. Oy, what a month! I may actually celebrate Halloween this year just to say goodbye to the most challenging month we’ve seen all year!
Here’s the run down:
Sweetie and I returned to Tofino on September 30th. We were both struck at how uncomfortable we felt to be back. The beautiful and isolated west coast of Vancouver Island has been our sanctuary from the world for over five years — why, suddenly, were we less than thrilled to be back? Why did we feel like we should be closer to the *other* side of the island, where airports and utilities like *internet* are more readily accessible?
I felt uneasy that first week. My mother had her second brain surgery and remained hospitalized for much of the first week in October. Knock on wood, count our blessings, she’s recovered incredibly well – miracle #2 since her diagnosis in January. I was back working at the hospital and planning a working trip out to the even more isolated Bamfield Outpost, and I was also frantically trying to sign up for continuing education courses.
And then I threw my back out.
I haven’t done that in years. In fact, I have a daily yoga routine to keep my back strong and healthy. Since I started biking 15 km a day, a ropy column of muscle has formed on either side of my spine. I honestly feel like I’m in the best shape of my life (even if I really should lose some weight.)
So when I felt the fiery pain shoot up to my ear and down through my foot, I thought “No, I haven’t hurt it that bad, I’ll just sit down.”
I’d never had to go to the ER for back pain before. If I strained it, I’d rest it and take Robaxecet. It’s been years since I even bought that stuff.
I was really grateful that I hadn’t booked any sessions for the weekend after my Bamfield trip, so I didn’t inconvenience any of my clients. The real crumble on the cupcake was that because I was scheduled to be at the outpost, the hospital had already scheduled staff to cover for me.
Literally the only person I hurt was myself.
I lost 48 hours straight due to the medication, and clawed my way back to functionality over the next 7 days. I’m feeling much better now, but I’ll be seeing our town chiropractor shortly.
Then Sweetie gets a phone call – her Dad is not doing so well. They’re keeping him sedated for 48 hours at a time, and when he regains consciousness he’s “very agitated”. It’s so upsetting for family to see this, imagining their loved one’s consciousness is stuck in this body that is suffering.
That night, Sweetie had a dream. She was hanging out with her Dad, but he was 8 years old. He was in the backyard of his childhood home, examining insects, trying to figure out how they fly. His mother was with him, watching over him.
Sweetie’s father died two days later. She was doing a great job of keeping calm and carrying on, until she got the date of his service and realized she had to leave *right now* if she was going to make it.
It was 10 am on Friday and she had to be on a 1:30 pm flight out of Tofino, to catch the red-eye from Vancouver to North Bay. This might seem straight-forward, but it’s not. Tofino is so small you can’t just “book a flight” on a whim. The tiny 8-seater airplanes book up weeks in advance.
Providence intervened, as it does, and a single seat was available to Sweetie when she called them – just one seat for the next three days. She got it.
Then there’s the matter of getting to the airport. I’m not even sure how she pulled that one off. The airport doesn’t have a shuttle service and the *single* taxi cab in Tofino isn’t always available. She made it to Vancouver. Once you’re off the Island, travel gets easier.
Fortunately, she has a special friend we’ll call “Awesome Josh” who is giving her extra hugs and support, and who kept her company during the viewing. There are no friends quite like old friends.
Meanwhile, there’s me. I’m by myself in Tofino, I hadn’t even known when I said my goodbyes Friday morning that I wouldn’t be seeing Sweetie for a week! I came home to an empty house on Friday and really, REALLY saw just how filthy it actually was.
Now, I’m going to share the details here, try not to laugh.
The floors were swimming with sand and dust bunnies. It was so dirty, you kind of didn’t want to take off your shoes when you came inside.
The couch had two vague circular stains on a cushion, possibly from cat puke that may have happened while we were in Ontario and the pet-sitters were looking after our creatures.
There were circles on the book case – little impressions in the thick layer of dust left by objects I’d moved and not put back in exactly the right place.
You know your place is filthy when you try and replace objects in their proper dust crop-circle so you can ignore your own squalor for just one more day.
The bathroom had dead moths stuck to the walls. The poor creatures had flown in during a shower and gotten plastered to the walls by the steam.
And finally, a green mold was blooming over all of the windows in the house. Not just in the corners, across the ENTIRE PLANE of glass. They looked like snowflakes.
The bathtub had a pink circle of… something… around the drain. My back ached after my first week back at work and I desperately wanted to take an Epsom salt bath… but I couldn’t clean the freaking bath tub!
I just couldn’t stand the thought of living in an appalling flop-house, ALONE, being too injured to clean it and unable to care for my injury.
So I hired a cleaner. I hired a cleaner!
This lovely domestic goddess, this cleaning ANGEL floated into my home and freaking fixed everything. She washed the floors. She vacuumed the couch. She squeegeed the mold off the windows (and bedroom dresser, boot rack, cutting board). She tactfully suggested we get a dehumidifier. She wiped the dead insects off of our bathroom wall. She sanitized the whole bathroom!
It was like a miracle. This overwhelming, oppressive atmosphere of our home was cleaned up and sparkling, and I didn’t have to lift a finger. I spent most of last night just reveling in the fact that there was not a single domestic chore screaming my name.
What’s more, when I observed the small ways in which I re-dirty my own house, I realized I was not getting stressed out about “keeping” the house clean. Usually, when the house was this clean, it’s because I’d busted my butt to get it there. Afterwards, I’m on edge trying to KEEP it that way! But not this time; you know why? The Cleaning Angel is coming again NEXT WEEK! It doesn’t matter if I drop a hair on the floor in the bathroom, SOMEONE ELSE WILL PICK IT UP! I can just LEAVE IT THERE!
I am blown away by the joy and release I feel at being liberated from my own daily drudgery. It is such a weight off my shoulders. I won’t have to bug Sweetie to do things around the house either. What a relief to say goodbye to that dynamic in our relationship.
Guess what? My back feels better today.
Sunshine asked me tonight “Did Mom run away?”
I guess Leo, my first tabby, had told her about breakups. The humans get very upset and then one leaves and doesn’t come back.
Although Sunshine is telepathically in touch with both of us, all she knows is we’re both upset and Sweetie left in a rush, and has been sad since she left.
We weren’t sure when Sweetie was coming back so it was all just dangling.
This is why it’s so important to explain to your pets what is going on.
She knows Sweetie is coming back after 5 dark nights.
What’s awesome is I’m getting invited on to other people’s podcasts! Yay!
The thing is, whenever I do something outside the context of this blog, I need to provide a short biography to describe who I am and what I do.
What do you guys think of this? I’m totally open to your opinions and suggestions.
Here it is:
Kate Sitka is a professional Animal Communicator and Spirit Medium; you can call her “psychic”. After a weird and wonderful childhood full of secret conversations with animals, Kate spent 10 years working privately with friends and word-of-mouth referrals. She found her home and strength on the Wild West Coast of British Columbia, where she officially launched her free blog, podcast and her public practice.
Kate’s testimonials speak for themselves, and her growing online community loves the oodles of free learning materials she produces on an almost-daily basis.
My mission in life is to help expand our understanding of each other, other species and the afterlife through writing, humour, teaching and demonstration!
It’s difficult for me to hit the “hey, I want to check this out!” vibe without sounding gross. The bold things will be linked to the actual blog, podcast, testimonials etc.
How do you guys feel about being my “growing online community”? :)
I LOVED this post by fellow blog reader, Mermaidcamp.
I feel such an urge to lighten my load and bring more enjoyment into my life.
Sweetie and I adore fine dining. We would rather save for months on one five-star dining experience than get pizza once a week. When we go, we stay for hours!
While we visited Vancouver, we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery and inadvertently recreated out first date by seeing Emily Carr’s same work in a different city!
Culture, luxury, beauty.
Originally posted on mermaidcamp:
I am a hedonist. This archetype is a prominent part of my persona. I don’t mind being considered to be a Sybarite. I think I might inspire some people to experiment with allowing a little bit more pleasure into life when they see it does not seem to do me any harm. Art, taste, harmony of elements are all of great importance to me. Often it is much better for me to go to a museum alone because I normally want to stay at least twice as long as most others. I also adore very long, lingering dining experiences that are memorable because of the good company and good cheer. My good friend and fellow hedonist Eric Ellenberg and I once went to the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center for lunch (long before 9-11). The food and the view were grand. We stayed for hours…
View original 244 more words
Beautiful Crystal Mandala, created by Candis
And look, I’m on Stitcher! Now it’s easy for android users to subscribe to the feed!
We pick up where we left off with Episode #22, talking about crystals, entities and clarifying the resources I mentioned last week.
Here’s the video of our conversation with the Vancouver Aquarium Sea Turtle
The Vancouver Aquarium has been under heavy public scrutiny and criticism for their beluga breeding program. I decided I wanted to go and see them for myself before solidifying my own opinion.
As you can see in the video below, the focus of the demonstration was not on entertaining the people, but education. We learned why these “tricks” were trained and how it was important to the whales’ daily care.
Certainly, these belugas are not being used and abused in the way the orcas and dolphins at Sea World and Marine Land are being exploited. Comparatively, these whales are lucky.
For a half hour before this demonstration, Sweetie and I sat topside beside the aquarium and I talked to the leader. There were two belugas, one was hanging out in the shallow “treatment pond”, and the leader was pacing the enclosure. I didn’t know anything about the relationship between the two whales or their gender, so I started out addressing the pacing “leader”.
She immediately made it clear she was the Mother, the other whale was “My Baby”. She didn’t want people to look at her baby just now, so she had sent the baby into the treatment pond while she paced her enclosure restlessly.
Her behaviour pattern reminded me of the porcupine at Science North. He was also restlessly pacing his enclosure in anticipation of the demonstration, a time they’re conditioned to look forward to because that’s when they get treats.
But the energy of this pacing behaviour isn’t excited, it’s itchy and restless.
I asked the Mother about her time in the aquarium.
She told me she’d arrived when she was very young, and had been happy with two other companions before they were moved. She wondered what happened to them. She had been artificially inseminated and become pregnant, and had her Baby. The way the Mother was talking about this, I would have thought the Baby was only three years old.
The Mother told me how everything had changed for her after she had her baby. Her body had become restless. She had all these instincts about how to raise her Baby, all these things she should be teaching her Baby, all this migrating and feeding they should be doing. She couldn’t do any of it, and she never stopped thinking about it. In her mind she showed me an image of hundreds of belugas all together in a large channel.
Days later, Sweetie showed me this photo:
Animals (and people) are born with bodies that are programmed for survival. The Mother’s body wants to be migrating, foraging and associating with hundreds of others of her species. She wants to be looking after her Baby in the company of other Mothers, and protectively teaching her Baby all she needs to know to survive.
These instincts unlocked in her body after she became pregnant. She’s felt restless ever since.
A friend of mine said to me, “If the Belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium had a consciousness, and you could explain to them that they’re hunted in the wild, I think they’d opt to stay where they are.”
I really like and respect this guy, so I changed the subject instead of saying “That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve heard in a while.”
Maybe there are belugas out there who would make that choice. But humans have no business projecting their own sense of entitlement on to other species.
After hanging out with the Belugas for a half hour, the demonstration began: (It’s okay, safe to watch.)
It’s apparent that the Aquarium is doing damage control for all the critics of the captive beluga breeding program. Fortunately, these animals are not exploited to the extent their relatives are in entertainment parks, but you know what? I wouldn’t call this a good life.
Their enclosures are alarmingly small. For animals that are designed to migrate hundreds of thousands of miles, they’re confined to a pool that looks to be about the size of the YMCA facility where I learned how to swim.
The research program justifies the breeding and captivity of their belugas as a “control group” to compare the condition of the captive belugas to those in the wild.
To me, this is poor justification. The life these belugas have at the Vancouver Aquarium isn’t even close to the life their bodies were designed to live. If a human child was confined to a space that size for his or her lifetime, our culture would call it abusive. Thanks to the stories coming from survivors of long term solitary confinement, humans are now starting to consider long-term solitary confinement a form or torture.
Political prisoners kept in solitary for a year or longer have described the experience as deadening to the soul. They would go days without human contact, weeks talking to no one but their cell mate, or another prisoner down the hall. They describe how their minds would slow down, how they’d learn to sit in complete blankness for hours.
In the video, the announcer talks about the “incredible relationship” the whales have with their trainers. Under these conditions, mammals will bond with whoever cares for them, even people develop bonds with their captors.
The Vancouver Aquarium does do some amazing work. I really enjoyed my visit, and I do encourage you to go visit too. But I also encourage you to tell them you hope they stop the captive breeding program.
It is a tricky ethical line that they walk. The Vancouver Aquarium is one of the only facilities that will rescue marine wildlife in distress. They have a blind sea otter, and two pacific white-sided dolphins who were in great spirits while we visited. They also had a female stellar sea lion who was howling at people in a territorial manner, and didn’t seem particularly relaxed in her environment. They also have a strange and tiny exhibit of penguins.
Animals like the dolphins, the sea lion, the otters and the sea turtle would not be alive if not for the Vancouver Aquarium. They do a LOT of rescue – rehab – release work, which is FANTASTIC. Just that work alone makes me want to run a fundraiser for them. But the rescued animals who can’t be released seem to be confined to alarmingly small enclosures. I’d like to see all of the pools opened up and joined into one large enclosure for only the dolphins (rescued as babies and not releasable.)
It’s a tough call. I really loved the indoor aquariums. The sea turtle is in good shape, but would like a friend.
What would you like to see the Vancouver Aquarium do? What do you think is realistic, humane and ethical?
Thanks to Andrea for the lovely bug pics! This dragonfly feels like he’s ramping up to a reproductive cycle and is tasting the air. He’s super attracted to some smell.
Andrea made friends with some bugs after listening to Episode 22. More Messages from Birdies
She also spared me the photo of a tarantula. Thanks for holding that one back!
If it happened to me, I’d make different choices.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother and her treatment options since her diagnosis of a stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme. You know, the big, bad, nasty brain tumour.
I can’t help but put myself into her shoes.
This last visit could not have been timed more perfectly. I think I caught my mother right in a sweet spot, right after the last nausea-inducing monthly round of chemo and the “Oh yeah, that thing’s definitely growing, let’s get it out” surgery. I think I caught her on her best week since her radiation began, and I’m so grateful for that.
I’m also grateful that I got to go to one of my mother’s appointments and see for myself how she and my father are relating to the care team. She’s not just along for the ride, she wants all they can do for her, she wants to put off that day for as long as possible – the one where the tumour comes back and there’s nothing they can do.
I also deeply honour her decision to live, the determination she tapped into shortly after her diagnosis when she knew in her body she could make the tumour disappear. “Just watch me do it!” her soul whispered.
I honour my mother’s choices and her experience, I am not doubting her choices and I’m proud of her for asserting herself in the face of this terrible disease.
I just can’t help but think about what I’d do differently. My choices would not be better – in fact they could be arguably worse – but I think about them all the time, and I’m compelled to talk about them. Thank goodness Sweetie doesn’t seem to mind.
*** People, please know that Sweetie’s Dad is in the hospital too, and could use all the healing and prayers you care to give him. This last trip was overshadowed for both of us, wondering how many “last times” we were experiencing with our parents.
I talk about what I would do differently as a way of warding it off, like bringing an umbrella prevents rain.
I would not opt for life-prolonging treatment, not at the expense of however many “bad days”. I would not cash in a good week on a gamble that I might have more good weeks down the line. I’m a bird in the hand kind of gal.
I would rather have one good week than a few crappy months.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why I would make such a profoundly different choice. Erik & I have previously talked about The Miracle of Life; the paradox and danger of understanding that our consciousness goes on after the body dies. If you value the consciousness more than the body, then you start to devalue your own life and the lives of others.
I’ve been thinking about why I’d go for a short good life than gamble it for a longer, maybe just as great lifespan.
The root of my thinking is not based in my work as a medium, but in my experience as an animal communicator working as a veterinary assistant for five years.
My death education began with my animals as a kid, and my first exposure to the worst parts of suffering and humanity were in that veterinary clinic. I remember the first dog I held as he was put to sleep. He looked a lot my childhood German Shepherd. He was young and healthy, and it seemed like such a crime to put him down.
I remember the ancient black Labrador, emaciated from neglect and disease, but who always gave us a loving wag of his tail whenever we approached him. This fellow was an SPCA seizure, and had spent most of his life in a backyard. He was not suffering, and so the vet brought him to the clinic and spread orders for everyone in the office to give him as much love and attention as they could for the next week. One of the vet techs even slept over in this dog’s kennel to keep him company. I was the one who held him as he slipped from his body after the best week of his life.
I assisted with dozens of euthanasias during my five years at that clinic. The vast majority of deaths at the clinic were gentle, and only when no more could be done. I soon recognized the change, the look in an animal’s eye, or in the tension of their body that said, “I am done.”
Most people don’t have the choice of medically assisted death, so their bodies go through a slower transition and that can look like terrible suffering, which leaves the surviving loved ones in a lot of pain, remembering those last hours or days.
We like to think of our consciousness as one static thing, but our consciousness changes when we’re incarnated, and is changed again each time we leave a body.
Our body has it’s own consciousness too. Our bodies *want* to live. They want to experience pleasure, eat, sleep, have sex, be excited, be outraged, be passionate – feel alive! We were born with an autonomic nervous system and our bodies want to use it! It’s like the “passing gear” on a really sweet car. What’s the point of a porche if you don’t floor it once in a while?
The body does all sorts of disturbing-looking things while it’s shutting down, and observing this process can pile anger and guilt on top of grief, especially if there is a sense the death is “wrong”.
We the living really want to “should” death.
Death, you should be painless. You should be perfectly-timed. You should come softly as a friend, as a sigh of relief, of forgiveness, or love.
This idea has formed in my mind as I’ve translated the death experience of hundreds of people and animals for their loved ones in session.
Only the body fights death. The soul does not.
While we are incarnated, our “You” consciousness is fused with the consciousness of our body animal. Start by thinking of the purple circle as your soul, and the green circle as your body. When you’re incarnated in a body, the two levels of consciousness overlap.
When your body is hungry, aroused, in pain – that experience is processed by your body, and it impacts the “higher” part of your consciousness.
There is so much overlap between the body and the soul, that the overlap is really a new facet of consciousness that didn’t exist before you incarnated. Your unique “You” plus your body has created something that did not exist before your incarnation in this life. Your soul and your body had a baby, and it’s the new YOU.
When I’m communicating with someone who died, it’s the purple circle that’s exchanging energy with MY purple / green overlap. Sometimes my physical body interprets the communication in physical sensation, sometimes my consciousness “gets it” and my body’s brain has to translate the concept into English.
After someone dies, that green circle falls away, but the green / purple overlap remains, and becomes a part of that purple circle. Here’s the brain bending part: that purple circle is overlapping however many other past lives. They’re layered on top of each other. You can address a past consciousness by flipping the pages of that purple circle.
When I communicate with a spirit, I’m always looking for that top most purple circle, because that’s where the personality is, that’s how the client knows this being.
The YOU, the purple circle is just one facet of our individuality and the sum of our experiences. I use the term “Individuality” rather than “Higher Self” because I want to show that our Individuality is the passive sum of all of our individual incarnations and experiences.
Higher Self has more of an “intention” behind it. The “Higher Self” is the force behind the shaping of the pink Individuality. The pink circle is where your soul is, right now. If you were to visualize the pink circle of any loved one on the other side, it would be a ball of light, and would look and feel the same as any other spirit being. The higher self is that thin ring around the pink circle, applying intention and pressure to shape what is created within itself.
Finally, we can never forget where we come from. We are all one, we are all love, we are all God. That’s the yellow sun, our connection to all that is, was and shall be. Connection with this yellow sun is a joyous, transcendental experience. People can spend lifetimes meditating to get a glimpse of this while incarnated, while others experience it completely in the throes of a wild physical orgasm, at a rock concert, or during a potentially fatal accident or event.
That, in a nutshell, is how I relate to life and death.
So given that this life is an overlap of my purple self-awareness and my green physical body, when my body starts crapping out I have every intention of dropping that circle like a piece of over-ripe fruit. Let it go to ground and start again, so long and thanks for all the fish.
I say that now, knowing that my green circle wants to perpetuate itself. Maybe I’ll feel differently when that day comes. Maybe I’ll want to hang on.
My point, and my motivation for writing this post, is to talk about the process of the green circle separating from our individuality.
We are born knowing how to die.
The more the body shuts down, the thinner that overlap becomes, the less the experience of the body affects the purple consciousness. Think of that green circle as just fading away.
So often while talking with animals or people who appeared to suffer in death, they talk about how they didn’t suffer, even as their bodies fought to breath. Some of the things they have said:
I was sitting in the chair next to my bed, watching.
I was standing at the foot of the bed, telling the doctor to let me go.
I jumped out of my body and ran around the room! Did you see me?
I was holding you, trying to let you feel that I’m already out of that body.
I have pictures from the day my dog Mocha passed away. It was a very peaceful death, thank God. We were five hours away from the nearest vet (being a holiday) and it was clear Mocha was not in pain, so I just sat with her for the eight-hour death process.
I look back on that day with profound gratitude. Had I still lived in Toronto, I would have taken her to the vet to have her death process hastened. I never would have experienced how calm and peaceful it was to sit with an animal I loved as they gently peeled away from their body. I did a lot of praying and I know the process would have been easier on me if it had been faster.
Mocha’s soul hung around in the room with us for minutes after her body stopped breathing, and we were gently, lovingly, BEGGING her to jump into the light. When she finally did, her body truly ceased to live. Mocha was gone, and this body left behind had become a completely inanimate, decaying object.
Something else which has surprised me every time I see a death: how immediate the affect of death is, how the body looks intangibly different.
From the other side, death is not often described as a painful traumatic event. You know who suffers? The ones left behind.
Sometimes people or animals fight for life not to put off their own death, but to put off the pain and grief of those who love them.
They are the brave, the generous and the strong.