It may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but in actuality it was the end of a very dark time. A period in my life of extreme disappointment that led to — what was at the time — a shocking series of big life lessons that can only be surmised as this: I was not in charge. I could not will things to happen. There was some force outside of myself, outside of any religion, that had a different plan. No amount of positive thinking was going to change the outcome. My sunny disposition and glass is half full mantra had failed me. I had reached a dead end for the first time in my life.
As a result (and unbeknownst to me) I succumbed to my first and only bout with depression like a woman who didn’t realize she was standing in quicksand until she tried to move and couldn’t. And so she just stopped trying.
I was at one of the lowest points I had ever experienced and was desperate in a way I had never known before. So on the day after my husband and I found out that our very last attempt at getting pregnant through medical intervention had failed, I made a decision that changed my life.
In one fell swoop I called a priest, a psychic and an acupuncturist; scheduling appointments with them all. The Priest, I hoped, would offer forgiveness. Because I thought my inability to conceive must be tied to divorcing my first husband. A sin that was being punished by a god and a church I no longer believed in; and yet this step was extremely, almost irrationally, important to me.
The acupuncturist, I hoped, would heal my body in ways that medical science and their drugs had failed. Of this I was truly convinced. Putting my faith in the ancient art of Chinese medicine made perfect sense to me. My doctors, who claimed to have the answers with their promising statistics and compelling nationwide rankings, no longer impressed me. I had laid my body before them for ten years and eleven surgeries; handing over thousands upon thousands of dollars in the process. I no longer believed in American medicine.
The psychic was a referral from a trusted friend. She’s the best, my friend said. She’s in Los Angeles and she works with everyone. I remember my first thought was how in the world can she “feel me” from that far away? My second thought was how I was going to justify the $190 to my husband. On one hand, I rationalized, I had nothing to lose. On the other, maybe, just maybe, she could help me understand why I was being denied the one thing in my life that I longed for so desperately.
The priest proved a godsend, literally. He was young and compassionate and said all the right things. After our private meeting I sat in the front pew of one of Nashville’s most beautiful cathedrals for hours upon hours and sobbed away my catholic guilt.
The acupuncturist gave me a monthly cycle the likes of which my womanly body had never before experienced. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say it was pain and symptom free.
But it’s the psychic I want to talk to you about.
Our session took place long before my own spiritual awakening, and although it would become an unforgettable catalyst for me, things had to start coming true before I believed any of it. Back then I had no small amount of skepticism. I was downright mistrusting of everyone, feeling more like the street-wise cynical Chicagoan I was in those years rather than the ever-feeling intuitive empath I’ve become.
At the time I understood very little about the science of energy, quantum physics and the nature of a spirit or soul. And my analytical brain needed to process as much data as possible before I would entertain new beliefs. A psychic to me back then was part witchcraft, part mystic and part parlor trick. But I wanted to talk to her none-the-less. Desperate people do desperate things.This is what I told myself. I prepared for my first consultation with this psychic from the West Coast by begging whoever was listening up there to please help me.
I still have the cassette our session was recorded on; although I can recall so much of it from memory. It is permanently etched in my mind. Once she explained to me how she worked, this famous psychic began talking about an emotional trauma that took place in my childhood around the time I was coming into womanhood. I was shocked. In a split second this woman uncovered one of my deepest and darkest secrets. I went numb. She continued:
It felt as if all the air was sucked out of the room. I held my breath and the tears started falling and my hand rose to cover my mouth, as if this would somehow contain the emotion that started pouring out of me.
My heart was beating out of my chest. What did that mean, I wondered?
I’ve been praying for you, my dear Isabella. Praying for you so…damn…hard. My attention snapped back to the present moment when I heard the psychic say, “Would you like me to tune into the child?” On the tape there is a pause and I remember thinking: You can do that? My whispered “yes” is barely audible.
I am hanging on her every word.
I’ve stopped sobbing although I am still blinking back tears. I picture my Isabella as I have a thousand times before: his curly hair, my brown eyes.
This makes me laugh. She will fit right in, I think to myself.
We went on to speak of many things: my husband, my work, how to express our respective creativity. She was one of the first people to identify me as a creative. Something I had to validate with her: Is writing a creative expression? When I reflect on it all I realize how little I knew of myself then.
I hung up the phone feeling lighter than before. As if the heavy burden of heartache and disappointment had been energetically lifted from my body.
It took me awhile, a long while, to finally realize what had shifted in me. In this single pivotal conversation, a psychic intuitive medium from Hollywood gave me something that had been stripped away from me. Something that I didn’t know I was longing for, but of course was at the core of my shattered instability: It was hope. She gave me hope.
With hope you can get through another day. With hope, you can resume your dreaming and plotting and planning. With hope, you don’t mind waking up again. All anyone needs in times of desperation is a little hope to hang onto.
This is what I held onto: The glimmer of a possibility that I might just become a mom someday after all. Even if I didn’t know how or when.
Isabella was an answered prayer who did come to us in the most unexpected of ways: through a single woman who had found herself pregnant again and, for reasons she could not even understand, this time she chose a different path for the baby growing in her belly: adoption. She chose us.
On a recent Oprah Super Soul Sunday with the late great Maya Angelou, Oprah said that she believed she carried within her the wisdom of all of her ancestors. “I am one, but there are ten thousand behind me.”
I’d have to agree. One of the single biggest parts of my spiritual awakening, aside from the death of my father, has been the wisdom brought to me through the channels and gifts of psychics, mediums, shamans, intuitives, akashic record readers, energy healers and astrologers. They enlightened me to my truth. You might call the source of this wisdom your god; I call it my higher self. You might see this guidance as your angels; I see it as my spirit guides. No matter your words, the universal truth is that there is something bigger than all of us.
I live every day now as if it is a miracle. Isabella was a miracle (An amazing story you have to read to believe). I see miracles all around me. And once you tune into the magic of the universe + the inner truth that lies within you? Everything changes.
Early on in my personal spiritual journey, I went through a phase of watching and reading stories of NDE’s or near death experiences. It was an integral part of shedding my ingrained catholic beliefs of heaven and hell and life ending at death.
This led me to the work of Dr. Michael Newton (Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives), which quite literally blew my mind and made me eager to experience my own past life regression; which I later did with the fabulous Nancy Hajek right here in Nashville.
In the forward to Frank Ostaskeski’s beautiful book, The Five Invitations* is this quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
Chances are until you have experienced that one great loss, this will read to you as more ominous than catalytic. Like grief itself, these types of statements can’t fully be absorbed and understood until you experience them yourself.