Spirit Birthdays and Butter Tarts

Thanks Giving Dinner

Yesterday, while searching through my email for correspondence with another client, an email from 2013 popped up in front of me.  I did a bit of a double-take, because I recognized the name, though it had been five years since our session.

I wouldn’t normally reach out to a past client like this when we haven’t had contact for years, but I kept thinking about reaching out, getting these little nudges – which are usually invitations to experience something neat, on a spiritual level.

So I sent her a quick hello, in as respectful a way as possible, and suggested that perhaps, this was her dog’s way of saying hi after a few years.  Sometimes they like to take advantages of little connections like this.

Turns out, the pup’s birthday is next week.  While this beautiful dog had left her body, she still wanted to reach out to her human mom, and remind her.

It was very sweet, and pretty cool!  One of those tiny little miracles I enjoy so much as a part of this work.  You can’t *make* them happen, but sometimes if you listen to the little nudges, and reach out carefully and respectfully, neat things like this can happen.

Today, is also my mother’s birthday!  I have a little reminder set up in my calendar, because I don’t want to ever let a December 12th slip by without remembering it’s my mother’s birthday.  I like to just say aloud, Happy Birthday, before I do anything else with my day.

I would say my mom is having a good time in spirit.  I often feel her around when Sweetie and I are travelling or having a good time – I hear her laugh, layered with the laughing of others.  I feel her in the company of my grandmother, her mother, and my great-aunt.  I think they like to travel together, or tag along with us and I’m sure the other family members when we’re enjoying ourselves.

It’s neat, how happy I always perceive her to be, and she wants us to know she’s just fine.

It’s so interesting that birthdays seem to be a good time to connect with our loved ones in spirit.  I think it’s because we are thinking of them, and often the memories are lighter and happier on birthdays, than on other anniversary dates.  A lifetime of celebration creates a lightness around their birthdays – a dynamic energy that’s often full of love and cheerful memories.

I also think it’s easier for *them* to connect with *us*, when we create space for lightness and happy memories.  It takes a little discipline sometimes, and I will admit, my friends, I can get into a habit of being a tad morose on grief-related dates.  But I have some positive advice:

A friend of mine visits her grandfather’s grave on his birthday and eats a butter tart, which he loved.  I thought that was a great idea, so I’ve *also* had butter tarts on the anniversary of my mother’s death, as a way of doing something positive and creating happy habits on these important days.

I also happen to really enjoy butter tarts myself.  I spent a winter once, working on a recipe until I perfected it.  Perhaps I’ll post that later on!

I found I really needed to *do* something, because it does not do me, nor my mother, any good at all to allow myself to get depressed every year around dates of sad events, or dates which REMIND me of sad events.  It’s a lot to carry, and I’ve been working on letting it go.

As I mentioned before, sometimes we *need* to carry our grief with us for a time.  We don’t want to let it go too soon, because in a way, the deepness and length of time we grieve is a way of honoring what that person or animal friend truly meant to us.

But grief is also something you develop a relationship with.  You don’t have to fight it, or get rid of it, or get over it.  I personally welcome grief, especially in the beginning, because I know it’s helping me to get out all the feelings that demand witness.  Grief helps with that.

I also know my sneaky little brain can get into habits of thinking about the same things every day, or at certain times of the year, and I have learned that it can be a positive thing to engage these thoughts and negotiate with them, or re-purpose them, so they’re not something that’s simply happening to you, making you helpless and miserable, but instead something you can interact with, and actively engage, even incorporate into your life.

My mother died in April 2015, and today she would have been 67.  This morning, that thought made me sad.  Relatively speaking, she died young, certainly before anyone expected her to pass.  Of course, her birthday made me a bit sad this morning; that’s okay.  But do you think my mother, laughing and travelling in spirit, would want me to feel sad *all day* on her *birthday!?*  Every year???  OF COURSE NOT.

So for her sake, and my own, I have been incorporating these new little rituals in my life, on these significant dates, so that I can tell my body and my brain that while we can still feel sad, we can also celebrate, connect, and care for ourselves and those we have lost to spirit.

(Whenever I’m talking to myself, I seem to always shift to the plural form, “we”, which usually means my spirit form, my brain consciousness, my body, my dynamic layers of life experience, and all the people I’m connected with – including you, my dear reader, because we are surely as connected to each other through this blog as two trees on opposite edges of a forest, connected through a mass of touching roots.

 

I just realized that I need a happy ritual for my mother’s birthday.  What should it be?

Today, December 12th, and although St. Nicholas Day is December 6th, I have pretty vivid memories of getting little presents in my polished dress shoes on the same day my mother received her birthday presents.  There were sometimes red and white carnations, or a poinsettia from my father, and often there would be chocolate chip bundt cake.

Maybe that’s what I’ll do.  I’ll make that bundt cake recipe.  I need to get a bundt pan.

And I should pick up some stocking stuffers for Sweetie and wrap them!

Tonight is especially lovely, because we have the “Sail Past” in Ucluelet.   It’s this charming community tradition where locals decorate their boats in Christmas lights and sail around the harbour, shooting off fireworks!  It’s quite delightful and part of the charm of living in this small little town.  We have lived here for NINE years now!

WOW!

Anyway.  I guess I’m writing this post to reach out to those of you who may be missing your loved ones in spirit, especially this time of year.  I know it’s hard.  It’s not easy for me to talk about how tough it has been at times.

I’m so grateful to my friends – so many of whom I made through this blog, who have literally shown me how to have positive, happy feelings on days when I might otherwise be inclined to be sad.

I’m so thankful, and I love you all!

Happy Birthday Mom, and Happy Holidays, my friends!

 

 

 

The shape shifter

 

queen e grief is the price we pay kate sitka

In the heartbreakingly funny auto-biogrophy of Cupcake Brown’s “A Piece of Cake”, she describes how alcohol talks to you.  Who do you think convinces the drunk man that he drives *better* drunk?  Or that the stranger in the bar is after his woman?  And it turns on you, after you did the stupid thing the drink tells you to do, it says, “Ooooooo, you done fucked up now!”

Well, I’ve noticed that grief talks to you too.  It’s like an electrical current, looking for any route to take to ground.  It’ll transform into any emotion it needs to be to get out of your body and into the world. 

It can shift into guilt.  I noticed this a lot after my cat Leo died.  I re-lived his final hours over and over, wondering what I could have done differently, even as my thinking brain *knows* I did all I could, and I’d made the right choices.  Even so, the grief talks, and says, “What if?  But maybe!”  The same voice turns into a teasing kid on the playground: “It’s too late now, isn’t it, sucker!”

Or, grief can morph into anger and outrage, it can invoke the dreaded DRAMA TRIANGLE!  (duh duh duhhhhh!)  You know, that negative feedback loop where one person is the victim, another is a persecutor and the third is the rescuer?  Then some unknown square-dance caller shouts a turn and everyone switches places – the victim becomes the persecutor, the rescuer is the new victim  and on the terrible merry dance goes.  I’ve seen friendships implode through this dynamic of grief, and it’s pretty terrible what this can do to families who are all grieving together. 

So if grief is making you or someone in your life act unreasonably, just remember, they’re suffering.  Their grief is telling them stories, and they can’t see what’s really happening. 

Grief can even pretend to be your friend, bubbling into the ground in giddy laughter, joy and relief.  Laughter that releases pain and hurts to laugh – or maybe is genuine happiness with just an aftertaste of guilt. 

The trickiest trickster trick of grief is that it can convince you that you are alone in the world, and can cause you to shut out those who wish to help you.  Don’t let it do that to you.

Grief is a selfish bitch.

My mother passed away at three am on Thursday. 

When I was a teenager tying up the family phone line, Mom would pick up the extension and imitate Queen Elizabeth – it was a teasing attempt to embarrass her kid, but all my friends were drama geeks and just ate her impression up.  One guy even called her “Queen E.”

With her exaggerated, royally-affected English accent, “Queen E” would inform me, “Hem, hem!  The royal schnauzer is due for her evening constitutional!”

This was Mom’s way of telling me to get the hell off the phone and into the fresh air and sunshine.

Now, as I experience and observe the shifting voices of grief inside of me, I also hear Queen E’s voice, quoting the real Queen Elizabeth’s consoling words, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

****

Thank you everyone for your kind words on facebook.  Alas, internet was NOT installed in my house on Friday as promised and has been bumped back to MAY 7th!  Can you believe that???  A local cable company should be able to get us basic connectivity before then, so please wish us luck.  Meanwhile, I do my best with emails, I apologize for the delay in my response.  I’m using cell phone minutes to access the internet, so I have to do it sparingly!

The Ecosystem of Pain (Inner Demons Pt. 2)

2014-11-21 evil kate sitka psychic

 

Okay, I’m finally ready to write the follow up to the Inner Demon’s post.

 

One of the reasons I enjoy working in a hospital so much: it’s incredibly grounding.  Grounding, maybe not always in a pleasant, zen way, but in a jarring, gritty, this-shit-is-real-life kind of way.

 

The positivity movement is a much-needed balance to the hyper-negative news culture we have in North America, and even though I’m as sunny a Mary Sunshine as you’ll ever meet, I’ve always railed against the idea that you can eliminate all pain and discomfort from life through positive attitude, by disallowing negativity to impact your life.

 

Let me start this piece by stating I firmly believe in the balance of light and dark in life.  I believe that joy, love and happiness are as much a part of life as their counter-parts: sorrow, grief and stress.

 

Yes, we can greatly affect our *experience* of negativity through our faith and attitudes, but we can’t surgically excise negativity from life.  I think negativity is something to be embraced, managed, challenges to rise to or difficulties to survive.

 

I feel it would be a personal moral failing for me to forget there is suffering in the world.

 

So I work at a hospital.  I donate to charity.  Every time I do a reading, I say a prayer hoping to make a positive difference to those who ask for my help.

 

The thing about working at a hospital (animal or human): you have your finger on the pulse of the best and worst in humanity.  Although I am not directly involved in patient care, I am *around*, and when there is acute suffering, of course I feel it too.

 

I feel the emotions the most, especially if I’ve experienced a similar distress in my own life.  This would be true for anyone empathetic, anyone who is strong enough still *feel* things in a setting like healthcare, rescue work (human or animal), social work, law enforcement or any other job where shit gets real.

 

A common practice is to disconnect from what’s happening.  During the health care crisis in Ontario in the late 90s, when I did my nursing training after 7 years of volunteer work as a candy-striper, I watched nurses whom I respected and admired burn out and quit.  The surviving health care workers were empathetically checked out.  They had to be.

 

This is why I am in awe of the mighty few who remain in nursing, who hold the hand of a patient in distress and cry tears of empathy – and show up for work the next day. 

 

After just one year of training, I was burnt out too.  Despite my excellent grades and the counseling from the teachers and nursing supervisors, I felt I couldn’t continue.   I did a search of the blog and it looks like I haven’t yet told you guys about the day I quit nursing.  Someone please remind me to tell that story down the line.

 

So why suffering?  And what the fuck are Demons anyway?

 

I received a really sweet email from a reader who suggested that rather than using the word “demon” that I use “entity” instead.  Let me explain the differences I perceive, based on my personal experience.

 

So far, my understanding of the Garden of Shadows has become a loose classification of the individual types of beings I’ve encountered.  Critters, Entities and Demons.

 

If you’d asked me last month, I would only have talked about Critters and Entities, the low-vibration life forms that recycle the energy imprint of negativity into neutrality.

 

Okay, wait, let me back up a bit more.

 

Picture a house.  Now, picture a married couple in that house.  The husband and wife fight, a lot.  Then one of their kids is killed in an accident.  The marriage collapses under the pressure, the couple moves out and the house goes on the real-estate market, but sits empty.

 

Nothing has been done to clear this house, energetically, so the thing sits on the market.  People walk into this house, but it just doesn’t feel right.  There’s something about it.  They don’t like it.

 

What the potential buyers perceive is the energetic imprint left by the emotion of the former occupants.

 

That energetic imprint has altered the energy eco-system in the house.

 

Our eco-system goes far beyond the physical environment we experience with our bodies.  The energy we put out into our environment is like adding an essential oil to a big bath tub, and it changes what energetic organisms thrive in this environment.

 

In a place where the atmosphere has been altered through pain, the critters who thrive off of that will be pulled in.  This is perfect.  Under normal circumstances they just transmute the energy to neutral through feeding on it, and they move on.  When I perceive critters, I usually see them as insect-like, doing their composting duties.

 

But if there is a location rich enough in pain that they want to stick around, you can end up with an infestation.

 

Let’s say this house is purchased by another happy couple.  The day they move in, they have a fight.  The stress inexplicably continues as they wait for things to even out.  One bad thing after another seems to happen, and finally one of them is injured.  The injured partner generates more stress and sadness for the critters to feed upon.  The critters multiply, and their increasing numbers enhances the subtle negative energy of the whole house.  It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.  The critters become parasite-ish.  Insects in small numbers are normal and healthy, but an imbalance of insects is a plague.  Think locusts, cockroaches, tapeworms.  Very unhealthy indeed.

 

The humans start to get depressed, which is expressed in irritation towards each other.  Within two years, this happy marriage is on the rocks.

 

When I was growing up, I lived across the street from a place we called “the divorce house.”  Every two years, this place would go on the market.  A happy family would move in, break apart and sell the house.

 

You’d think the real estate agents would be the biggest clients of psychics and priests offering house-clearing services… but then, if the house stayed off the market, the realtor would have less opportunity for commission.  (I have not extinguished my inner cynic!)

 

Once a place is swarming with critters, it starts to invite entities.  Entities can also hitch-hike in on resident humans.  Just like lice, scabies or the flu, humans can transmit sad parasites back and forth to each other.  Entities have more of a discerning consciousness than critters.  I perceive them as monkey-like, making conscious choices about what to do and where to be and who they latch on to.

 

Entities are more proactive about their environment, and they actively incite the sort of energy they feed off of.  They like to garden.

 

Entities love to hang out with depressed and ill people, especially if there’s a chronic illness that’s associated with a lot of shame or emotional trauma.

 

An entity hitch-hiked into our house, once.  We discovered it after our guest left, and it decided to hang out in the “sad room” of our Ucluelet house.  This room, we later found out, was where the property owner’s son accidentally / intentionally ended his own life.  I was kind of pissed the property manager hadn’t alerted us to this event, which had traumatized not just the family, but the whole town, and all of that sorrow had rained upon our living space for over a decade.

 

This little creature was hanging out in the top corner of the house, and I noticed him only as a movement in the corner of my eye.  I slipped into medium mode and THEN I was able to “see” him.
I do not deal with these sorts of things myself.  We called in the angels to take care of it, and they did.  Immediately.  We were then advised by the “cleaning crew” to cut open an apple and leave it on a plate, cut side up, overnight to absorb the remaining energy and then dispose of it the next day.

 

I don’t like to waste food, but this is a really neat trick.  It worked well.  In general, I burn candles, use salt, rocks, holy water, bells, cleaning, smudging, prayer – but never before a cut apple.  The ways to energetically clean your house are endless.

 

I have since believed that this creature, this monkey-like entity must be what they’re talking about when people say “demon”.

 

Now, I’m going to tell you *how* this new information came to me:

 

I had just finished my third and final reading of the day.  I was positively *high* on energy.  The usual two-inch thick stream of warm energy I usually feel down my spine during readings had expanded into this four-foot column of warm happy light that enveloped my entire body.  My very being was pulsating with energy and love.

 

This doesn’t happen every time I do readings, and this was the most powerful experience of the universal god force that I’ve had to date.  I was just so high on love.  I felt like I’d never come down, no matter what sadness I witnessed, no matter what happened, it was all love, baby, love envelopes us all.

 

And then, my mind flashed on a particularly difficult person in our life.  I’ve been perplexed by this challenge of a human for quite a while.  And then it hit me – and it all made sense.  And it was all still part of the perfect love story of existence.

 

This person was an incarnated demon.

 

My knowledge and certainty of this was instantaneous and complete – like Neo getting the kung-fu download in the Matrix.  It was also completely harmless, non-alarming knowledge.  I was filled with understanding, compassion and – get this – renewed RESPECT for this person.

 

Because – this is so wild – sometimes demons incarnate to shift their pattern – they are going from dark to light!

 

Isn’t that amazing?  They’re transmuting themselves.  This is one of the purposes of demon incarnation.

 

THAT’S NOT EVEN THE CRAZY PART YET! 

 

Some of them are FANTASTICALLY GOOD PEOPLE!

 

SERIOUSLY!!!  I was too zen / full of universal love to have my mind blown by this at the time, but it was blown about six hours later when I came back down to earth.

 

I was awash with images of religious leaders, teachers and doctors, social workers and nurses, police officers, fire fighters – people devoting their lives to and sacrificing themselves for other people in need of help.

 

The thing is, no transition is easy.  This “dark” nature expresses itself in a variety of ways, and sometimes these demon people are easily corrupted in positions of power.  Not just the big, obvious positions of power, but the subtle, day-to-day positions of power.

 

You know how many incarnated demons end up as priests and ministers?  A LOT.  They’re working *really hard* and they’re taking their cue from a long and powerful tradition.

 

An example from my ancient history – when I was working as a temp in Toronto, I had a boss who bullied me.  She would find a way to call me fat and stupid every single day of the week… but she had the power to fire me at a moment’s notice, so I couldn’t defend myself until after I was hired on permanently.  It took a year and a half of daily office torture before she was finally fired.

 

This concept suddenly shed light on why some people just can’t resist being assholes, power-mongers or just plain crazy-makers.

 

They may not even know it themselves, but they feed off of negative energy.  They almost can’t help tweaking a situation negatively to get that energetic feedback.  For someone working really, really hard at being a good person, a moment of relapse in making a hurtful comment may come as a great relief to them, like letting off steam.

 

The flip side is the utterly shocking impact this can have on those around the incarnated demon.  How could this amazing, wonderful person say / do such a  thing?  It’s very confusing.  It’s almost irreconcilable.  Often, it seems easier to just forget what happened or what was said, because it seems impossible to incorporate this information into who you thought this person to be.

 

Here’s another thing:  There are demon SOUL FAMILIES!

 

Sometimes, they incarnate in groups, over and over into the same family line.  And woe to the angelic kid who chooses to be born into a demon family – this happens.  This explanation flashed with three separate headlines I’ve read in the past ten years with tragic stories of kids who died at the hands of neglectful and abusive guardians.

 

Child abuse is such a common tragedy that it doesn’t make the papers unless it’s truly horrific.  These are the sorts of things I feel a personal responsibility to witness, to never forget or deny that the innocent suffer in this world.

 

For the first time, I really started to understand *why*.  I could never before reconcile my ideas of a soul incarnation in human form, choosing terrible behavior.

 

In this blissful, expansive consciousness state, I understood (more completely than I do now, trying to explain it in words) that demons incarnated in human bodies are expressing their nature.  They are a part of the ecosystem.

 

It is not an eternal war between good and evil, harmony and dissonance.  It is a dance.

I understood, too, that we really do make a choice.  There is the potential for harmony and dissonance within all of us, because we are all related when you come right down to it.  Even angels and demons are cousins, incarnated or ethereal.

 

So what do we do with this knowledge?

 

I think we use this idea to change our approach.  Ever see that episode of Friends with the incompetent naturopath treating Ross’ weird mole or “kundus”?

 

“You must LOVE the Kundus!  Let me hear you say it!”  “Uh, I love the Kundus…”

 

We change our approach to incarnated demons expressing themselves in a harmful manner.

 

Our whole corrections system is based upon revenge.  When someone hurts us, as human beings we want to strike back.

 

Now, I don’t know what a “loving” judicial system would look like exactly, but I’m sure it would involve less minimum sentences and much more reparative community service.

 

This humble post isn’t intended to be an answer to the entire world’s problems, it’s just a useful idea.  It came to me in a blinding moment of love and happiness, and I will hold it in my heart as truth for the rest of my life.

 

I’ll let you know how it settles.

 

Your questions are welcome!  I may expand this into a podcast episode.