From Accusation to Empathy

I’m taking this amazing writing class and I wanted to share my work with you this week. It is twofold. The first part of my assignment is to think of something happening in the world that is upsetting to me and write an accusation letter to the perpetrator in a stream-of-consciousness style. The second part is to find empathy and realize that the thing you accuse others of is the very thing that you’re guilty of. Below is the first part.


You spend every waking breath speaking about your precious relationship with Jesus, praying at meals, telling people that you’ll pray for them, going to church, thanking Jesus for every little thing. You talk about how pious you are, you read your bible and go to bible studies, you have prayer meetings and conferences all focused on your love of Jesus and his love for you. You talk about how he died on the cross for all man’s sins, how we are all forgiven by grace and are his precious little children. Blah, blah, blah. These words are just echoes off the walls like someone yelling in a canyon and hearing their own voice trail off in the distance. There is no real meaning behind them. They fade off into space, void of truth and realness.

You claim to know this figure named Jesus, who is your best friend and beloved and savior all at once, yet the things he taught are twisted and slid in line with your own agenda. You are constantly pushing and forcing people out of the church, out of communion with God. Telling them that they are worthless and sinners and evil, going to hell. Ironically you sound just like the Pharisees who said the same things to Jesus and the people he communed with. You speak of love and forgiveness and Jesus’s saving grace, yet you yourself know NOTHING of that which you speak. It’s not unlike the words coming out of the mouth of the teacher in the Peanuts, “wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah.” It’s nonsense, and the exact thing that Jesus taught NOT to do. Stop doing this. Stop being a Pharisee. Lay down your gavel and your judge’s robe, relinquish your need to control and banish others in the name of your one true god and instead do what he asked you to do, “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Now that’s what this is really all about, isn’t it? You don’t love yourself! You don’t. You loathe yourself. You think you’re a worthless sinner, that you’ve fallen from grace and you aren’t worth saving. Your parents taught you that, and their parents before them. The church has recreated this cycle of oppression and shame for its entire existence. And you perpetuate it like those that came before you, those who chased and burned heretics in the Middle Ages, those who hung and drowned people perceived as witches. You’ll do anything to turn the focus away from your own shitty deeds, by shining the light on someone else, blaming them before someone else figures out your flaws. But that’s the opposite of what Jesus taught. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” We are not the Judge, Jury, and Executioner of others. We are that to ourselves! And that’s why you feel so shitty, that’s why you treat others like shit. Because you judge yourself, you convict yourself and then you execute all the pain and true HELL onto yourself. You don’t need someone else to do it for you. You do just fine with that yourself.

So, what can you do differently? For one, throw out the Old Testament. It’s not a mandate or true message of Christianity. It’s a historical fiction based on the plight of the Jewish people before Jesus came along. It doesn’t really apply to you, and you can’t just keep picking and choosing which verses you want to use to shame people, while cheering the exact thing another verse says NOT to do, (“and their carcasses you shall not touch, they are unclean to you” Leviticus 11:8) football on Sunday Mornings. So, stop. Close your mouth for a minute and listen. You aren’t the boss of me, or anyone else. You aren’t in charge of anyone but yourself. So, shut the hell up and get to work on fixing your own bullshit, because I can tell you this, your shit stinks just as badly as the people you hate. Next, find a way to forgive yourself. Find a way to LOVE yourself. Find a way to believe that you are worthy, you are special, you are loved, you are worth saving. Because that’s what Jesus wanted you to see. That you are worth love. You’re worth compassion. Next, find a way to actually be more like HIM, not less! Love your neighbors, feed the poor, care for the sick, welcome all, especially those that society often tosses aside. Those are his people. Remember how he said “what you do to the least of these you do unto me!” Jeez! Did you actually read his part of the book? I feel like you read some twisted version of Cliff’s Notes, and you missed some big shit. Find a way to do this. It’s imperative you do. We can’t go on like this any longer it’s a mess.


Part 2 “Confessions of Hypocrite”


Alex picked “Sosideshotul Seer” for his title because at the center of his work what he does is “see” people at their core, soul-self. His intention is to demonstrate that vision to the client and help them recognize their ability to manifest healing, and to access their own wisdom. Sessions with Alex can encompass a multitude of modalities depending on what each person’s needs are. Some sessions might be focused more on intuitive readings and channeling information directly from Spirit, (which may include work with crystals, color, and Tarot cards.) Other sessions may focus more on shamanic journeying. The journeys begin and end with drumming, which help him enter an altered state of consciousness to access other realms and facilitate the session. He then acts as an intermediary between the human world and the spirit worlds, where he will walk you through your own shamanic journey. Shamanic journeying is effective at healing traumas and restoring balance and wholeness with the desired result being a mended soul. Our work together is to connect with Spirit Guides to make changes in the ethereal realm that foster healing in this physical reality.

Resolve the disharmony of the soul. Find your way home.

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Shamanic Shifts Meetup Circle – Flagstaff

Hi All,

We are starting a shamanic journey Meetup.com group in Flagstaff starting Thursday, July 13th, 7:00pm. It’s called Shamanic Shifts. Please join us at Heart and Soul Sanctuary.


We invite you to join us to experience Shamanic Shifts first hand, to share in insights, in the mystifbook-shamaniccal, and to journey to other realms.

If you are new to shamanic journey work or you are an experienced practitioner, come explore new spiritual landscapes, connect with your own guides, discover a new sense of awakening, build community & learn spirit-filled rituals for everyday life.

Shamanism sees:
All things as connected and alive.
Everything has consciousness and spirit.
Everything is vibration.
Your inner spiritual work in these unseen realms transforming everyday reality.

Our group is a place to experience and learn about the effectiveness of shamanic work and rituals that can be used in everyday life. Sometimes we will do solo journeys (each person does their own individual journey while sitting in a group circle with Alex drumming,) other times we will do guided group journeys where Alex will lead you to a specific place or guide. Lastly, we will have special ceremonies and rituals at certain times throughout the year, full moons and holidays, like Summer and Winter Solstice and more. We would love for you to join us! This is a tremendous way to incorporate spiritual guidance and wisdom into your life and a wonderful place to build community and spiritual support.

We will meet several times a month for drum journeys, healing rituals, and other practices. Membership to this group is free, but we ask for a $10 love donation for rental space and supply coverage.

We hope you’ll join us on this adventure. Space is limited so make sure to RSVP. Feel free to bring drums, rattles, or any other small percussive hand instruments and any items you might want to place on the altar during the evening!

 

Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 3

To read part 2 of this series click here!
To read part 1 of in this series click here!


Loose Ends

“Time to see what Santa brought,” my dad’s voice said, cutting through the fog of sleep blanketing my brain. My father was always kid-like at Christmas, no matter who was getting the presents and no matter what else was going on. I remember smiling at the thought of the packages that had been multiplying under the Christmas tree over the past days. I had crept out of bed the previous night to peek into the living room while my parents did last minute wrapping and arranging. I had spotted a shiny red tricycle under the branches and even in my current half-asleep state, I was longing to take a spin around the house.

Dad scooped me up in his strong right arm, carrying me into the living room. My mother joined us in the hall as we paused to look at the big fir next to the fireplace, glowing with lights and dripping with icicles. “Where’s Ma’maw?” I asked, wiping sleep out of my eyes. I felt my father’s shoulder sag slightly. Beside me, my mother began to cry softly. That’s when I knew: Ma’maw was never coming home again. That red tricycle suddenly didn’t matter.

Cat and Ma'mawElizabeth Stallcup, whom I called “Ma’maw,” was my grandmother, my primary care giver, my roommate, and my best friend. Ma’maw had long silver hair she wore pinned up into a bun. She sported rimless glasses. She had a regal posture like only a person born at the end of the Victorian era could have. She was a kind woman with a loving word for everyone. Even now, more than half a century after her passing, the elders in my family speak of her in hushed tones as if she was a demigoddess.

But her kindness and grace could not save her from what I now realize were TIA’s (transient ischemic attacks), or mini-strokes. She had them for months before The Big One took her away from me on Christmas Eve of my 3rd year. Though I grieved for her deeply, she continued to visit me. Our interactions were sharp and clear for a long while after her passing and I spoke with her often during my childhood.

As I aged I saw her less and less. By the time I was in my teens I spoke with her only in my dreams. Our interactions did not return to their original waking sharpness and clarity until a rather traumatic experience in my late 30’s. She physically touched me during this experience, shaking me out of a deep hypothermic state, saving my life. I still remember opening my eyes to see Ma’maw shimmering in the moonlight, smiling down at me and saying, “You have to wake up now. It’s not time. They are going to be calling for you soon.” She was right. This shifted my awareness and reopened my eyes to the intersection of the physical and non-physical realities that our culture edits out of conscious waking awareness.

Some years later, after the break up of an 18-year relationship, I sought out a therapist to help me sort through my wreckage. To my surprise, we talked only a little about the breakup, but a lot about my grandmother, my early loss of her, and how that had affected my whole life. It may seem strange to say it, but until then I had never really thought about how this grief had shaped me and how I related to others.

One afternoon, my therapist asked me to invite my grandmother into the room with us. I was extremely hesitant to do this. Though I had long been a frequent flyer on the Dead People Express at this point, I didn’t really talk about it much because I wasn’t sure if I was 1) making it all up with my notably vivid imagination, or 2) hallucinating the entire set of experiences. Before I called my grandmother in, I remember thinking, “Well, this is probably the session where she recommends psyche meds.”

Despite my misgivings, I took the plunge anyway. I invited Ma’maw into the room, sending a kind of shout-out to her in my mind. She arrived next to the door into the office with a small “pop.” She crossed the room diagonally and sat down on the sofa across from me, crossing one leg gracefully over the other and sitting upright with her impeccable posture.

To my complete astonishment, my therapist described where she entered the room, the path she had taken, where and how she sat down, what she was wearing, how her hair was arranged…every detail down to the rimless glasses she wore. This was my first inkling that others might be able to see what I saw. I wasn’t losing my sanity. After the initial surprise, I felt elated and free. Over the following months I was able to accept and appreciate more about myself. I also talked to my grandmother more frequently and with no underlying fears that I was inventing or hallucinating our conversations.

On the 40th anniversary of my grandmother’s physical death, a rainy Christmas Eve, I was able to help both of us move forward. Alone on the holiday for the first time in years, I called to her and she came to visit. I started by telling her how much I missed her, how hard it was to be without her, and how much grief I had after she left. I found myself finally expressing my long-held anger at being abandoned, left with people who didn’t “get” me, who steeped me in self-hatred and shame. I told her how the loss of her and the fear of being abandoned again had fractured all of my relationships. I let all of the ugly things with which I had been poisoning myself out into the light.

She never flinched, never got defensive, just listened without judgment. When I stalled she simply nodded and urged me to continue. Finally, I ran out of both words and tears. After a pause, radiating incredible kindness, she said, “I wondered how long it would take you to tell me that. You’ve needed to admit this for a long time.” I agreed. I’d never allowed myself to even think these things.

We talked a little more. I thanked her for letting me say what I had needed to say, to feel what I needed to allow myself to feel. I felt clearer and lighter than I ever had in my life. At last she cocked her head to one side, paused, then said, “Are we finished?” I knew what she meant. We were. The loose dangly endings of our relationship were cleanly knitted together.

The moment was bittersweet. I knew I wouldn’t see her much for a long while. She had been waiting for me to grow to the place that I could embrace all of this. Our business was complete and she could move on.

*****

We all know the classic children’s storybook ending “and they lived happily ever after.” This is a neat little wrap up to a story and, while it may be true that Cinderella and the Prince were able to dwell in wedded bliss for the remainder of their days, it certainly glosses over the inevitable challenges of being in relationship. ‘Living happily ever after’ edits out inevitable realities of life such as disagreements over what color to paint the throne room, their children’s “terrible twos,” complaints from unhappy citizens, seven year itches, Prince Jr.’s teenage rebellious period, and Cinderella’s menopause.

This is similar to what happens with descriptions about what happens after death. Neat wrap-up descriptions such as dying and going to heaven (or even dying and going to hell) put a convenient veneer over the post-mortem realities of finishing up the loose ends left after one dies or of waiting on a spouse (or others to whom one feels intense loyalty). Our loved ones do move on after death, but they may not move on at the speed we are taught to expect.

And sometimes they don’t move on because they are caught in the confusion surrounding their death. Those souls need some help understanding what happened to them and what their options are. But that’s a topic for next week’s blog post!


Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.

Harmony Channeling

Harmony in the universe is an ever-sustaining force. The planets, the stars the suns, the moons, all the particles revolve in a harmony, a frequency that matches the other pitches. It’s not as if they are at the same tone but their frequencies match because of the harmony that is created. When we find harmony and those matching co-existing tones in our lives things fall into place in what humans see as coincidence, or kismet or luck even sometimes, fate, etc. but these are our intended spaces to live from within. The more we seek out spaces, places, people, life that harmonizes with our own frequency the more lucid we become in our knowledge of who we are and what we came here to do to. Many humans struggle with why they came here, what their purpose is. They seek those answers out in office buildings, classrooms, churches and temples and mosques, they ask their authority figures like doctors, and teachers and scientists and priests. But it often takes humans off on a tangential path of lack of harmony and frequencies that do not mesh and create the music of their soundtrack. Imagine in a movie if the soundtrack was all off, if during a scary part they were playing this love song, with uplifting sounds and joyfulness in each beat. Or if during a scene of joy and love they were playing a song that sounded like doom and gloom, it would confuse the whole process, it’s not that music isn’t still made it’s just it’s not necessarily the best music for the situation. And that’s what happens when humans lose that harmony, that in-sync-ness. That is your work going forward. Helping to show others how they might find their harmony. Sometimes that might even include going down to the very basic nature of finding your own rhythm and beat that is personal to you, finding your frequency, where your heart wave operates. Because only from that place can you move to the beat of your own heart wave and begin to find complementary sounds in the universe that can match yours in step. There is great beauty in this process, great understanding and clarity can come from stepping into this dance, and allowing the beat to flow through you, guide you and call you home to your soul self.


Alex picked “Sosideshotul Seer” for his title because at the center of his work what he does is “see” people at their core, soul-self. His intention is to demonstrate that vision to the client and help them recognize their ability to manifest healing, and to access their own wisdom. Sessions with Alex can encompass a multitude of modalities depending on what each person’s needs are. Some sessions might be focused more on intuitive readings and channeling information directly from Spirit, (which may include work with crystals, color, and Tarot cards.) Other sessions may focus more on shamanic journeying. The journeys begin and end with drumming, which help him enter an altered state of consciousness to access other realms and facilitate the session. He then acts as an intermediary between the human world and the spirit worlds, where he will walk you through your own shamanic journey. Shamanic journeying is effective at healing traumas and restoring balance and wholeness with the desired result being a mended soul. Our work together is to connect with Spirit Guides to make changes in the ethereal realm that foster healing in this physical reality.

Resolve the disharmony of the soul. Find your way home.

Alex Reegan
Clairvoyant, Shamanic Practitioner, Channeler, Soul Seer
www.alexreegan.com
Follow him on Facebook here.

Why Aren’t I Thinner? Why Aren’t I Richer? Comparing Minds Want to Know

You often hear from spiritual teachers of the Law of Attraction that when expressing a desire, one should phrase it as a “positive statement”, and not as a “negative statement” (e.g., “I want an abundance of money,” as opposed to, “I want to not be poor.”).  In order to create a new story for your life, the argument goes, you can’t focus on the old story.

This has been true for me.  When I focus on the things I want, they flow much more easily into my life.  And when I’m paying more attention to the things I don’t want, they keep showing up.  Some teachers explain this concept with phrases like “The Universe doesn’t understand the word ‘no’.”  So if you say, “I want there to be no fat on my body,” the Universe hears, “I want there to be fat on my body” and brings you more fat.

Personally, I start to get a bit OCD whenever I think of the Big Scary Universe with all these Very Tricky Rules – if you screw them up, then you’ll never get what you want, and your life will be miserable!  If I fail to say the magically correct combination of words, I’ll fall into eternal despair, like Indiana Jones trying to take the correct step, lest he fall into a deep chasm of doom.

For OCD-me, a better way to look at it all is to nix the Big Scary Universe and just think about me driving a car.  If I want to drive to the store, I have to spend most of my time looking forward – towards where I want to go.  If I tried to drive facing backwards, I would have a hard time getting where I wanted to go.  So if I want to have money and a feeling of security, but keep looking back on my historical poverty and fears, I’m going to run into an energy block (a tree?) that keeps me from getting what I want.  So I try to “look forward” and express my desires as a positive statement.

But another pitfall I’ve run into is the use of comparative statements when expressing what I want – e.g., “I want to be thinner,” “I want to be richer,” “I want to be kinder to others.”  On the surface, these are all “positive statements.”  And yet somehow they have the same kind of energy block that negative statements do.  Why?

To return to the driving analogy, if I spend the whole time looking sideways out the driver’s side window at the road where I am right now, I won’t be able to get where I want to go much better than if I was looking backwards.  If I phrase my desires with comparative statements, I have to focus on where I am now and the lack of what I want.  If I say, “I want to be more compassionate,” I’m picturing compassion, but I’m also picturing the lack of compassion that I have now.  “I want to eat healthier” begs the question, healthier than what?  It forces me to focus on all of the unhealthy food I’m currently shoving in my face.  “I want to lose weight” requires focusing repeatedly on my current undesired weight.

And with me, there’s usually a judgment.  If I say, “I want to be thinner,” I’m subtly thinking, “because I’m so fat right now.”  If I say, “I want to be more compassionate,” I’m thinking, “because now I’m often petty and shallow.”  If I say, “I want to have more money,” I’m thinking, “because I don’t have enough right now.”

But if I just say, “I want to be compassionate,” it’s easier for me to just focus on compassion – the thing that I want.  If I say, “I want to eat healthy,” I can let go of my judgments of what I’m eating now, and focus on what I want to eat.  In order for the car to start moving in the right direction, I need to release my judgments of where I am.

I don’t want OCD-me to start worrying about using Scary Comparative Words, like they’re another Indiana Jones death trap – it’s much easier if I just see how it feels to try out the different sentences.  “I want to be successful,” versus “I want to be more successful.”  The first one feels light and almost playful.  The second one feels heavier, with longing and judgment.  That heavy feeling is a sign that I’m focusing on what I don’t want.

Knowing how this feels helps me also detect the “hidden” comparative statements I might make. “I want to lose weight,” isn’t technically a comparative statement.  But I have to focus on my current weight in order to weigh less.  I feel much lighter when I think, “I want to have a healthy body,” or “I want to be beautiful.”

Try thinking about something you want more of in your life.  Phrase the desire with a comparative statement, and then try phrasing it without one.  Can you feel the difference?  Keep trying this throughout the day and see if you notice a difference.  The car will go wherever you desire, just keep looking forward. – Nate Borofsky

5 Quick Lessons on How to Just “Be.”

Channeling: Remember how to just be. Then remember that you are me.

Greetings loved ones, we welcome you to this place. We invite you to take it in and soak it up for a few moments. Much time has passed since you came to this specific place, many of you have not been to this place in so long. It is a place of deep inner-knowing, reserved for a stillness that many of you in this time and space and this plane of existence on Earth within that density have trouble accessing. You have so much going on in your daily lives, so much distraction, so much engagement. Sometimes you just have to be still, even from your place of discomfort, even from your place of overwhelment, and anxiety. The intensity and weight of this experience on Earth is very dense. Many of you humans grapple with that experience 24/7, there is hardly a breath that you take without it. We want to show you some ways that you can learn to take some breaths without it. The space of journeying, meditation, of yoga, of mindfulness–it’s called so many different things– there are so many different ways to access this space. Those spaces can become like a “pause” button for you to take a deeper breath, a longer breath, feeling it fill you inside all the way down to your Root Chakra. The deep exhale out. We encourage you to be mindful of the need for this place. The need for the moments of slowing down, of venturing inward into the silence, into the void, into the quiet of your heart. Much wisdom and knowledge exists there, it just can’t be heard through the drowning-out-noises of all the chaos that surrounds you on Earth unless you stop intentionally, focus intentionally, create this space intentionally.

Lesson #1: Setting out space even for 5 minutes a day to breathe quietly is better than none! 5 minutes of time can clear your energies and release blockages in your energy field that have been caught  between your Chakras. It can bring you focus and lower your blood pressure, slow your heartbeat, raise your oxygen levels as you take deeper breaths.

Lesson #2: There is no wrong or right way to do this. Each of you inside has a light house, it’s on always. It’s circling the waters in a 360-degree radius, looking to catch your eye, looking to direct you home. You just have to keep an eye out on the horizon for it.

Lesson #3: Much of what it seems like you don’t know in this world is known in “this” space. The answers to questions that are unfathomable to you as humans, the answers and truth of those spaces lie in this dimension, in this space, in the quiet.

Lesson #4: The unknown is not as scary as it seems it is. Because what is your unknown is not unknown by your higher source, by your higher self, by the Divine. There are much larger pieces at play. This is where faith comes in, where trusting that there is a wisdom, an understanding, a love that’s larger than we can imagine comes in.

Lesson #5: Be still. Be. Your instincts on this planet drive you into what you call “fight or flight,” drive you into action, going, doing, running, achieving, accomplishing, winning. Lost are the moments of just being. Being with yourself, being with your family, being still, being calm, being love, being one. When we are focused on doing there is an extraordinarily huge, monumental view of the “other.” We see everything as outside of us when we are competing, when we are accomplishing, when we are winning, when we are beating someone else. We are taking something else so someone else cannot take it from us. But when we are being, when we just are, there is oneness, there is no other. I am you and you are me.

Remember how to just be. Then remember that you are me.

Multitudes of people on that planet are seeking out this space, looking to remember who they are, where they came from, to know where they are going, to know that they are lifted up and supported and held, comforted by some understanding that they are not alone in this experience. We are calling those people. Bringing them forth.


Alex picked “Sosideshotul Seer” for his title because at the center of his work what he does is “see” people at their core, soul-self. His intention is to demonstrate that vision to the client and help them recognize their ability to manifest healing, and to access their own wisdom. Sessions with Alex can encompass a multitude of modalities depending on what each person’s needs are. Some sessions might be focused more on intuitive readings and channeling information directly from Spirit, (which may include work with crystals, color, and Tarot cards.) Other sessions may focus more on shamanic journeying. The journeys begin and end with drumming, which help him enter an altered state of consciousness to access other realms and facilitate the session. He then acts as an intermediary between the human world and the spirit worlds, where he will walk you through your own shamanic journey. Shamanic journeying is effective at healing traumas and restoring balance and wholeness with the desired result being a mended soul. Our work together is to connect with Spirit Guides to make changes in the ethereal realm that foster healing in this physical reality.

Resolve the disharmony of the soul. Find your way home.

Alex Reegan
Clairvoyant, Shamanic Practitioner, Channeler, Soul Seer
www.alexreegan.com
Follow him on Facebook here.

Guest Writer: Cat Calhoun on Death, Dying and Beyond, Part 2

To read the first article in this series click here!


The Waiting Game

My mother is a social butterfly, an extrovert’s extrovert. It takes her nearly an hour to leave any gathering because she’s got a warm hug, a story, a joke for everyone in her goodbyes. My father was an introvert’s introvert, a man with a stutter born to a perpetually unhappy, perfectionist mother. He learned at an early age that silence was more powerful than speech. While my mother completed her lengthy social goodbye rituals, he would step outside for smokes and wait (mostly) patiently for her to finish her verbal choreography.

You would think those smokes would have killed him, since he went through at least a pack a day for the better part of 50 years, but they didn’t. Death came looking for him, not in a hood and sickle, but in the form of an aggressive melanoma. Chemotherapy was the deathblow. After the third round, he slipped quietly into a coma then slipped just as quietly through the doorway between life and death.

Three months after his funeral, I went back to visit my mother. I’d been there several days when I felt his presence in his woodworking shop. I turned to look for him and saw him sitting in the dark on the stool in the corner, slumped and looking defeated. Despite my experience seeing dead folks, I was surprised he was there. For some reason I expected my father, a fundamentalist Christian who was serious about his faith, to have had the ‘through the tunnel to the light’ kind of experience. Instead, he was perched on a stool in his shop in the dark, looking dejected and confused.

I greeted him and explained that he didn’t need to stay there, that mom was going to be ok, that he had made us strong, and that there were others waiting for him on the other side. After a few beats and without looking at me, he finally nodded and then was gone.

Because I’ve had these types of experiences throughout my life, I’ve actively sought ways to understand them. Shamanism has proven to be the most effective for me. In shamanic practice, you travel to a non-physical reality to more easily interact with Spirit. You can get help and advice this way for both mundane and spiritual matters. The technique is to park your body in a comfortable position, then shift your brain into a Theta state, most often by listening to drumming at a certain resonance and number of beats per minute.

Years after my father’s death, I took a shamanic training on what happens after one dies and how to work with that. One of the exercises in this training was to find someone who had died in the previous decade or so, preferably someone with whom we’d had relationship of some kind. I decided to go check on my dad. Assistance for my search came to me in the form of a raven and a hawk. The three of us flew upward together, around an incredibly large tree that reached miles up into the sky. About ¾ of the way up I heard Raven call out, “Got him!” and we flew in.

I found myself in what looked like a transportation hub. Changing back to my bipedal

Shadow figure
Original Artwork by Cat Calhoun

locomotive self, I walked through it for just a few minutes when I saw my dad, sitting at the counter of what looked like a typical airport Starbucks. He was just sitting and waiting, wearing his trademark dad gear – “gimme” cap, plaid short-sleeved shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He didn’t seem depressed like he did at our last encounter, but he didn’t really seem happy either. I told him that he could move out of whatever level he was in anytime he wanted to and that all he had to do was call for help. He said he was fine where he was for now, then he ignored me and sipped his coffee. Once again, I was puzzled at his seeming reticence to “be with the Lord,” as he used to put it. Finally, I wished him well and said goodbye. He hardly seemed to notice me leaving.

Over the following weeks, this shamanic experience bubbled up in my consciousness many times. Why was dad so unwilling to move on? Answers in the shamanic world are not always instant. Sometimes it takes a bit for the pieces to fall into the right order at the right time. The pieces of this interaction didn’t fall into place until I began to write this article. Then I knew.  My father hasn’t moved on because he is still doing what he’s done most of his life: he’s waiting for mom, patiently and quietly occupying himself until she is done with her goodbyes.

A soul’s journey after leaving the physical form may include this waiting game. Understanding this can help us comprehend the deeper meanings of our experiences: why people don’t move on, why some us see dead people, and why there are so many stories of hauntings.


Cat Calhoun has been Clinic in whiteseeing dead people for more than 50 years, but that’s not her only claim to fame. She is also a licensed acupuncture practitioner, a Shamanic practitioner, and a certified Usui Reiki Master Therapist whose overwhelming passion is weaving this physical existence into the greater whole of Who We Are.