My dog Pepper is a medium of sorts. He
sees spirits, angels, and other beings I can't see. This came in handy
One of my dogs, Bits, died a few days
after my birthday this year. She had a heart condition and began to show
signs of worsening one day. The vet decided to try her on a medication
and see if she would rally. Two days later, it was clear she was getting
worse and her behavior indicated that the end might be near. One thing
she was doing was staring at the wall, near the ceiling. Having worked
with hospice for a number of years, I knew that this could indicate that
"they" had come to help her cross over.
I looked over at my younger dachshund and
asked him if he could see the spirits. He was unable to see Bits, or
where she was looking. However, he immediately looked up to the same
place where her eyes were fastened, and his eyes went back and forth
watching the "show."
The strange thing for me in this was not
that there were spirits in the house, or that Pepper knew exactly what I
had asked, but that he could see them. Now, intellectually, I knew that
animals and young children can see spirits more easily than adults, but
I had never seen this talent in him before.
I took Bits to the emergency vet that
night as her breathing worsened. She died in my arms there, early the
next morning. I brought her body back to the house for all to say their
last goodbyes. We were a very sad household that evening.
When we went to bed, Pepper began to
watch another spirit "show" on the wall, above the headboard
of the bed. It seemed to encompass the length of the wall, and go onto
the adjacent wall as well. I knew the spirits were with us and they were
there to help us with our grief. Every night that week, they were there.
And then one night, he didn't see them, and intuitively, I didn't feel
They have come back from time to time
over the last few weeks, and I believe they come when we need them the
most, when our grief is heaviest. Knowing that there are loved ones
around me, even though I can't see them, helping me get through the
roughest stretch of the grief journey, is quite a comfort.
You may not share my beliefs about
spirits and such. However, I'm sure you'd agree with the following
statement: As humans, we all face the normal and sometimes the
extraordinary life challenges. This could be the death of a loved one,
our own serious illness or a loved one's, a relationship breakup, a loss
of job or income, an accident, an assault or other crime against us, or
the devastation of a flood and loss of our home.
Now consider this. What if it were true
that every time you are faced with a major life challenge:
l) That you are surrounded by your own
band of angels, spirit guides and departed loved ones who become part of
your 'team' to deal with this challenge, and to help you transform to
the next 'level'.
2) That these spiritual helpers are
'feeding' you thoughts, ideas and perceptions that will assist you to
heal and transform, especially if you have given them the 'ok.'
3) That there is incredible ENERGY that
accompanies each of these life events that is available to you to PROPEL
you forward into becoming more fully who you were meant to be.
4) That by consciously choosing to use
your spiritual help and this amazing energy and creative Life Force that
comes with loss and challenges, YOU join the ranks of a growing
collective of inspired and inspiring souls who are healing themselves
and the planet.
5) That you will never suffer again in
the same way as you face one of these challenges because YOU will no
longer be a victim to this energy, but rather a co-creator and harnesser
of this powerful team of transformers.
6) That you actually EMBRACE CHANGE and
move into changes with confidence and with tools to stay focused on
positive transformation; you then pass on your knowledge to friends and
family to improve their lives too.
IT IS TRUE! Let me say this again. All of
these things are true. Working in this field for 20 years, I have seen
and heard many stories of peoples' life-changing events. As you can
imagine, I see those who face this lying down with the covers pulled up
over their heads, others who bravely, but with lots of tension and fear,
go into this challenge quaking, and others who bulldoze their way to
finding a sense of 'normalcy' again. Then there are others who open
their arms and hearts to the winds of change, with a trusting attitude
and gratitude for the transformation process. I started to look at the
latter and take notes. What's going on in their spirit, mind, bodies and
hearts that they are coming through this with such grace and beauty? I
also was able to witness my personal coping strategies, having had my
own share of transforming events: the death of my mother, my sister and
my father, a sexual assault, a car accident and a divorce. With the
latest trio (my challenges tend to come in 3's) of changes, I decided to
choose conscious transformation.
We can all transform 'unconsciously'.
It's a little like sleepwalking. We just let ourselves be at the mercy
of the energy and hope for the best. And though I truly believe that
each person is going through their life challenges exactly the way
they're supposed to, I also believe we are given messages of hope for
something more meaningful, something that can align us with a life of
more ease, vitality, and joy. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE MESSAGES. If you want
a different, more grace-filled experience, all you must do is give it a
try! Say YES to transformation. Be grateful for your spirit helpers.
Speak to them, and, above all else, LISTEN for guidance
and take action.
There are various ways to choose this
road to positive transformation. Here are a few simple reminders:
1) As soon as the challenge arrives at
your door, greet it. You don't have to be happy this visitor is there,
yet you do need to acknowledge its usefulness. A statement to yourself
could be something like, "It looks like the winds of change have
arrived at my door as my husband just died. I feel like I won't survive
this, yet I know that things happen for a reason and that what feels
like destruction inside of me is the beginning of a transformation. I
choose to use this transformation, even with its pain and all the
emotions I will have, to become more fully who I was meant to be, to
become a more loving and compassionate person with a purpose for my
life. I don't know how this will happen, and I'm trusting that I will be
ok and be given guidance along the way." This would be in your own
words, but would show the Universe clearly that your intention is to
empower and transform yourself. This doesn't mean that you won't have
days when you can't pick yourself up out of bed. You hopefully will be
viewing your experience differently and know that these days will pass
and that you are having a normal, human experience.
2) Self-talk is one of your most valuable
allies. Notice what you are saying to yourself and others. If you are in
the habit of saying things like, "I will never get over this, or
"This is just too much to bear," or "What's the use of
going on?" often, then you will be setting up the conditions that
will make these feelings and thoughts persist. Instead, acknowledge
them, and follow them with an empowered statement. For example,
"Even though I feel like I can't handle this and that life doesn't
even seem worth living at times, I know that I will get through this
awful period. This is a temporary place and I am choosing to go on and
to learn from this experience, to use it to become a better me. It's
hard and yet I know that I have the support to do so." Call on your
angels and spiritual helpers to assist you in this intention to balance
negative, draining thoughts with those that are stronger and that feed
your life force.
3) Go out into nature as often as you
can. It is there that you will have the ability to connect more easily
with God, with your angels and guides, and where you can move the energy
in your body as you are moving the energy of change through your whole
4) State the obvious: "God, grand me
the serenity to accept this change in my life and the gift of
transformation it brings, the courage to make the choices that will
nourish this transformation and that will help me to re-build my life,
and to let go of the things that are not for my highest good, and the
wisdom to know the difference."
5) Take time to sit quietly. No
distractions, just you, a closed door and a pad of paper and pen.
Breathe in and out deeply several times. Imagine a bench on a path with
all the beauty of nature around you. You sit on the bench, awaiting one
of your spiritual helpers. One comes, sits next to you. What do they say
or do? What do you say or ask? Take your time with this and be sure and
write down your experience afterward, including details of color,
smells, other sensory experiences, and of course, any conversation.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. And, trust your imagination. Whatever
you get from an exercise like this is REAL. It's a link to a higher
state of consciousness one way or another.
6) Be gentle with yourself as you
transform. It doesn't usually happen overnight. But it could! After all,
anything is possible. BELIEVE.
Your experience of change is uniquely
yours. It is ultimately ok whatever experience you have. Own it and
allow it to give you its gifts. You deserve it!
About the Author
Marcia Breitenbach is a licensed
psychotherapist, speaker, musician, wonderful work-in-progress, and
author of "The Winds of Change: A Guided Journey with Healing Music
through Grief, Loss & Transformation" and its accompanying CD
of original healing songs. Come to: www.griefandlosshelpsongletter.com
to get your free song and information to assist you to have positive,
transforming life journeys.