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DECEMBER 9 - DECEMBER 23,
Healing The Hollow Void Of Their
Iíve been receiving an exceptional amount of emails lately from
people wondering about their deceased loved ones. Iím sure
itís due to the holiday season, a time when many people think
about loved ones lost and feel the hollow void of their absence.
My emailersí questions are usually quite similar. Do they still
exist? Are they okay? Do they see me or hear me? Is there really
an afterlife? My answer is always a resounding Yes.
If there is one
gift I can give the world, it is the assurance from my own
research and experience that our departed loved ones are still
with us during the holidays - even during the entire year. Their
physical presence is gone, but their spiritual presence - the true
essence of who they are - never left. While we cannot hug them,
breathe in their individual aromas or resonate with the unique
vibration of their voices, we can feel their presence, hold them
in our memories and live with them in our dreams. And, even
better, we can talk to them, communicate with them, because they
have never actually left us.
first evidence I ever had of spiritual communication was the day my father
passed of lung cancer at the age of sixty-three. My mother, my sister,
Melissa and I were surrounding my father's hospital bed when it was time
to remove his breathing tube. We had all slept in Dadís hospital room
overnight, expecting he might pass on his own. He didnít. When morning
came, the doctor came into the room and asked me if we were ready. I
nodded. The doctor shut off the machine and removed part of the tube.
might go in ten minutes or he might hang on for a week. Itís up to him
now,Ē said the doctor as he exited the room.
all huddled around my father who had been in a coma since the prior
afternoon. For ten minutes, but more like an eternity, we watched as he
took his last few breaths. Then we listened as the monitors signaled his
vital signs with an emotionless beeping that slowed in rhythm as his soul
escaped the confines of his cancerous flesh. As the beeping slowed to a
mere dribble, my mother burst into a panicked wailing of tears at the
realization that her life-long best friend was leaving her forever, at
which point the beeping escalated again as if my father was saying,
ďIím sorry honey. I will try to stay for you a little longer.Ē Upon
realizing that her crying was making it more difficult for Dad, my mother
gained control of herself and the beeping descended once again.
happened two more times and, each time, my father made an obvious effort
to hang on for Mom a little longer. When my mother calmed down for the
last time and gave her husband permission to go, his face quickly lost all
color and then turned a grayish blue. His chest, previously the only
evidence of life and movement, became motionless. And when that source of
energy - that which we call life - had obviously left his worn-out body,
Mom hugged Dad one last time like she was never going to let him go.
We mourned my fatherís
death for two years before fate took its course and I discovered my first
legitimate psychic medium. Since then, my father has shown up in nearly
every reading Iíve ever had, and Iíve tested hundreds of mediums. With
my work in this field, Iíve had the good fortune to learn that Dad never
went away. He has told me that he was trying to send a message that day in
the hospital, the message that he wasnít leaving us; he was only leaving
his body. And this is true for every person who has ever passed.
If you have lost a loved
one and are grieving their absence this holiday season, just try to feel
their presence in the room. There may be signs, a light flickering, a
radio going haywire or your favorite bird peaking in your window to say
hello. But some people in spirit donít scatter signs around like a
magician at a party. They prefer you simply acknowledge the connection you
intuitively feel. I encourage that you donít be afraid of this
presence. What you feel is your loved one in spirit. And they want you to know that they are with you, during
the holiday season and during the entire year. Welcome them. Talk to them.
Heck, serve a plate for them, if you want. But donít ignore them,
because they are there and they are celebrating the holidays right along
Happy Holidays, Bob Olson
NOVEMBER 25 - DECEMBER 9, 2006
The Olsonís, 1960ís - Present
sensitive for Christmas. I just wasnít cut out for it. The
traditional songs get me misty-eyed. The gatherings get me
sentimental. The end of the year gets me reflecting. But more than
anything, the presentsÖ well, the presents get me too damn
excited. This I blame on my parents.
You see, my
parents loved Christmas, but the season had some kind of
spellbinding effect on them. They couldnít help themselves but
to go out and buy Bonnie (my sister) and I all the gifts they
My father was a truck
driver. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. And some of my most prominent
childhood memories are taking cold showers in the winter, because my
parents couldnít afford the heating fuel, and of my mother taking items
out of her grocery pile at the checkout counter, because her grocery cart
was bigger than her budget. Such was life at the Olson residence, yet you
wouldnít know it at Christmastime. When Bonnie and I woke up Christmas
mornings, our last name was Rockefeller. I wouldnít say we were spoiled,
but I did think that truck drivers made a lot of money.
Mom and Dad struggled all
year long only to rack up their credit cards in December. It took them all
night just to wrap the gifts. Then, for one day a year, we spent from five
oíclock in the morning to two oíclock in the afternoon opening gifts.
Bonnie and I sat on the floor in a pumpkin patch of presents. And my
family of four opened them one at a time, drinking hot chocolate, eating
donuts and listening to Bing Crosby on the eight-track player.
Bonnie would open a doll.
And she wouldnít just cast it to the side after tearing off the paper;
she would take the doll out of itís box, hug it, brush itís hair, and
show it to my parents like theyíd never seen it before. Next, Iíd open
a shirt--a western shirt, just like John Wayne wore. Iíd try it on,
making sure it fit, and then Iíd model it for my family who made me feel
like the toughest-looking cowboy in New England. Then weíd move on to
the next gift, as my mother carefully guided us on which one to open next.
Mom was careful to alternate the socks and gloves with the toys and games
the way the slow songs and fast songs on a music CD are arranged. It was
Momís Christmas choreography of gift giving. And she had a knack for
keeping our hearts pumping and our eyes wide open.
Thatís still how we
open presents today. However, we now do it on Christmas Eve, amidst the
gaping absence of my father whoís last Christmas was almost a decade
ago. And there are a lot less presents today, but we now have piles of
memories that we open up and pass around, sharing with one another like
weíve never seen them before.
So I blame my parents for
my increased blood pressure during December. And after spending
twenty-seven Christmases with me, Melissa now understands why I have to go
shopping every Christmas Eve just to get ďa few extra things,Ē in
spite of the fact that weíve already bought more gifts than necessary.
Sheís also used to my near-depressive disappointment at the end of each
Christmas day, because I wish I had bought just a few more gifts. And this
is why Iím too sensitive for this season. Iím telling you itís a
sickness, and I inherited the disease from my folks. But I wouldnít heal
it if I knew how. Itís the one time of year that I donít think about
money, about my future, or about anything other than that one nagging
thought, ďDo you think we bought enough gifts? Maybe we should get just
one or two more.Ē
NOVEMBER 11 - NOVEMBER
This week, my
three-year-old dog, Libby, had some x-rays on her hind leg. It
turns out she has a partially torn ligament in her right knee due
to a bone malformation. The veterinarian wants to perform a rather
new surgery that removes the top of her knee bone, shaves the
existing bone down to make it level, and then replaces the top
piece using pins to keep it in place. He says it requires a
four-month recovery, which I canít even imagine. If Libby misses
her walk for a single day, sheís chasing dust bunnies and
barking when my eyes blink.
My parents grew
up in a generation when you didnít question your doctor. How
simple was that? There is no dilemma when taking the advice of
your doctor without questioning it.
ďWe need to remove your
head, turn it around backwards and replace it.Ē
ďGreat Doc, whatever
you say. Itíll allow me to watch the kids while I wash dishes.Ē
We once had a
veterinarian we named Doctor Kevorkian because he was so quick to
recommend euthanasia. ďEar mites? Put Ďem down. Itís the humane
thing to do.Ē I can guess what heís going to be in his next life. And
I have a few pets from my childhood who are undoubtedly signing up to be
veterinarians in theirs.
We no longer have the
luxury of the 1950ís ďdoctor knows bestĒ mentality. We now have to
choose the diagnosis we think is correct. And, quite frankly, it often
feels like our odds are better in Vegas. How often do people go to three
doctors and get three different opinions? Now we have to predict which
doctor is making a diagnosis in our best interest and which is trying to
meet his quota for the pharmaceutical cruise (damn those 60 Minutes
consumer awareness exposťs).
On the other hand,
thereís a bright side. Weíve become less like robots and have learned
to make informed decisions based on the advice of however many doctors
weíve consulted. So Melissa and I simply have to ask ourselves how much
we trust Libbyís vet. And if we have any doubt, we seek a second opinion
and possibly get more confused. In the end, however, it is us who makes
the decision that will affect the life of this sweet selfless soul who has
brought so much light into our lives. No pressure there.
OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 11, 2006
Do You Know A Control Freak?
In order to finish a project, I needed to learn the story of a book titled A Razorís Edge, but I didnít have time to read the book. I learned that there were two movies made of the book, a 1946 version, with Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, and a 1984 version, with Bill Murray and Theresa Russell. I decided to watch the newer version. Newer is better, right?
So Melissa calls all the video stores in our area (which means she made two phone calls since we live in Maine), but neither store has it. So we drive all the way to Borderís Books & Music in Portland (a 40-minute drive each way), absolutely sure that theyíll have it. They donít. They usually do, but not on this day.
I then check Amazon.com and notice that the 1946 version is selling much better than the 1984 version. Hmmm, youíd think this might mean something to me, but no; Iím thicker than your average guy. In fact, I donít even buy the Bill Murray version from Amazon.com because Iím too impatient to wait for it. ďIíll find another way, a faster way,Ē I say to myself.
That same week, our Tivo DVR recorder takes it upon itself to record A Razorís Edge, the 1946 version. One of the cool features of Tivo is that it records programs that it thinks you might like based on past TV shows and movies youíve recorded on your own. Donít brush by this quickly. This is the equivalent of your neighbor handing you a book youíve been wanting to read even though you never mentioned your desire to anyone. This is an unbelievable, major coincidence. Did I get it? No way. I saw it as a really cool reminder that I wanted to buy the 1984, Bill Murray version.
With the movie still recorded on my Tivo, I call Borderís again and, voila!, they now have the Bill Murray movie in stock. Iím feeling smug about my power of persistence. Melissa and I make the 40-minute drive to Portland, buy the movie for $20, and turn around for the 40-minute drive back home.
That night, even though Iím watching the movie for my project, Melissa and I are excited about watching it because of its spiritual message. The book is about a manís spiritual journey in search for meaning, set within a story about human struggle. So we sit in our special places on the sofa. Our older cat cuddles up in Melissaís lap. Our dog curls up by my feet. We start the movie and prepare for a spiritual lesson. Itís all good, right? Wrong. The Bill Murray version of A Razorís Edge did what Hollywood has done all too often: it missed the point. The movie was virtually wiped clean of any spiritual message, leaving mostly the story about human struggle to stand alone.
A few days later, Melissa and I decide to watch the 1946 version of the movie that Tivo so gracefully provided us. It was exactly what we wanted. The spiritual message of the story was loud and clear.
The story you have just read is about controlóme trying to control the flow of life, yet totally getting in its way. The movie that I needed to watch metaphorically fell into my lap. A machine ďcoincidentallyĒ recorded it for me. It was instant. It was free. It was effortless. Yet I took it upon myself to choose struggle over flow. I chose to control and drove 160 miles, spent $20 on a
DVD, $7 on gas and $2.40 on tolls, entirely without need. And Iíll do it again, Iím sure of it. After all, as I said before, Iím thicker than your average guy.
OCTOBER 14 - OCTOBER 28, 2006
Law Of Detachment or Law Of Attraction? You Decide
Here is a mind twister for you, a real-life metaphysical conundrum. There is a woman who learned about an Eastern-religion Master who was so detached from this world that he thought of his abundance, his relationships and everything he held precious as a temporary gift from God. In practice of his detachment, he did not allow himself to expect these gifts for another day, and so with each new day that he awoke with these gifts in his life, he felt immense gratitude.
So this woman, an American practicing the Eastern philosophies, made an effort to practice this concept of detachment. Accordingly, as a nightly ritual, she thanked God for all that she held precious and imagined that this was the last day she would have these gifts in her life. Then, each day that she awoke and saw these gifts still in her life, she was grateful. She continued this practice for a few years.
One day, the woman's house burned down, taking with it all her material possessions. A short time later, the woman's husband of many years left her. Then, not long after that, the woman's business went bankrupt. The woman was devastated but also glad she had practiced this nightly ritual of detachment. She believed it helped her to cope with all the loss. Years later, she wrote a book, teaching the concept of detachment.
I have to wonder if this woman did not misinterpret the Master's daily ritual of detachment. To me, his focus seemed more on gratitude and less on loss. To me, he did not allow himself to imagine that he would still have all his gifts the next morning, yet he also did not imagine their loss.
There are other spiritual teachings that seem to be relevant here, such as 1) that which we focus upon expands, and 2) the concept that our thoughts manifest our reality (the law of attraction). Visualization is known to be the most potent power of intention, which is why teachers of this concept recommend thinking about what you want in your life versus thinking about what you don't want or don't have.
The conundrum at hand is if the woman did, in fact, fortunately prepare herself for her streak of loss, as she sees it, or if she actually attracted it into her life after years of imagining it. It's a great topic of discussion, which is why I've presented it here. Yet if you solve the case, I strongly suggest you begin working on the great mystery of which came first, the chicken or the egg.
SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 14, 2006
Three Stories To Die For
Story #1: Although Iíve been writing books for other people as a
ghostwriter, I havenít written any of the books Iíve wanted to
write for myself for years. Even though I have been gathering
information and working on outlines for three books that I want to
write, I havenít chosen which book I want to complete first.
Yesterday I realized that in the same amount of time Iíve been
thinking about these books, one of my closest friends has had four
books published. The thought sent a wave of dismay over my body.
Story #2: I watched a TV show the other night
called Studio 60. Itís a behind-the-scenes drama about a Saturday
Night Live type of show and the issues the creative team endures.
Well, in this one episode, the show has hired a new head writer. When he
moves into the office of the old head writer, he notices a clock-like
apparatus on the wall that counts down the days, hours, minutes and
seconds left before the next Friday-night show begins. When this new
writer sees the countdown clock, he immediately dislikes the pressure it
makes him feel. Nevertheless, throughout the week prior to the show, he
continues to look at it. Despite the clockís reminder that his time to
create a new show is short, he develops a love-hate obsession with the
clock. There is something about the clock that encourages him to make the
most of his time.
The Studio 60 episode got me thinking what it would be like if we
each had a countdown clock that counted down the days, hours, minutes and
seconds that we had left in our life. Imagine waking up every morning to
see that you only had 14,623 days left to live. Even though that would
indicate that you still have over 40 years left to live, watching the
clock quickly descend in seconds, minutes and hours might change the way
you do things. The daily reminder that life is finite and passing might
influence you a little more to make the most of each and every day.
When we are born, we seem to be programmed with a deep, underlying and
unspoken belief that we will live to a ripe, old age. This is probably why
we stop to contemplate life whenever we have a brush with death, go to a
funeral or celebrate a birthday that marks another decade of our life (age
30, 40, 50 or 60). Hence, the mid-life crisis. When these events occur,
they remind us that death is undeniably imminent--apparently much closer
at age 50 than it was at 49. But then we get used to being in our 50s and,
once again, live in denial of our death until we hit 60.
I expect that if I had a countdown clock in my home, Iíd make decisions
faster and prioritize my time according to what brings me more joy. Iíd
call old friends from my childhood rather than just think about calling
them. Iíd do fewer things out of a sense of obligation in order to make
more time for things I love to do. And I might even take more vacations,
whether I feel I can afford to take them or not. But, sadly, I donít
have a countdown clock. I donít know when Iím going to die. So my
internal program moves me to believe I will live to an old age. And even
if I donít live to be elderly, Iím convinced that Iíll at least live
another day. Consequently, I'm inclined to live by the philosophy of a
comic-strip cat named Garfield, "Why do today what I can put off
Story #3: When my father was in his 50s, he had half a lung removed due to
lung cancer and a quadruple bypass due to clogged arteries. His doctors
told him that, due to his surgeries, his expected lifespan was only
8-to-12 years. So when he was 58, my father and mother bought an RV and
traveled the country. They really couldnít afford the RV or the
traveling, but they found a way to make it work; and for two years they
did something that they had dreamed of doing for years. The doctorsí
predictions of my fatherís remaining lifespan became his countdown
clock, and the thought that he might not live to be an old man motivated
him to live his dreams rather than postpone them. My father passed at the
age of 63.
PS, For your own amusement, you might want to check out a prediction of
how long you will live: www.deathclock.com
SEPTEMBER 16 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2006
Six Insights On Life After Death
To Ease Your Grief
A friend of mine recently lost a relative in a plane accident. She
emailed asking if I had anything I could share with her that might
ease her burden. Here is the gist of that email.
After studying life after death for the last seven years, there
are a few things that I "know." Please note that my
spiritual explorations in this area helped me to grow through
three stages: skepticism, believing and knowing. As a skeptic, I
was unsure of the afterlife but curious. As a believer, I took the
word of others that an afterlife exists. And as a knower, I am now
without doubt that there is life after death; I have accumulated
enough evidence through spiritual experience to know that everyone
continues to exist in the spiritual plane once our existence here
on the physical plane expires.
After having over 300 readings with psychic
mediums and watching hundreds of other people have readings, as well, I
have learned a few simple truths about life after death, which will answer
some of your questions about your recent loss. Here are six of the most
One, your loved one likely did not suffer prior to his death. In most
tragic cases involving automobile and plane accidents, as well as other
related sudden tragedies, the spirit leaves the body before the crash ever
occurs. Even if this is not the case, spirits on the other side have
reported no memory of any horrible pain or suffering; they normally only
recall a bump on the head or pinch on the neck or the smell of smoke, et
cetera. Once the tragic accident is over, the person discovers they are in
the spirit world, or find themselves on their way there (read the stories
of Near Death Experiences to learn more, read Life After Life by Dr.
Two, your loved one is currently without pain and is actually filled with
the most intense sense of peace and love (the love and light of the
Divine), which is apparently so incredible that it is indescribable in
Three, your loved one is aware of all his loved ones here on the earth
plane. He is watching over all of you. He is able to be in several places
at one time, so he is able to be with all his loved ones without having to
choose. Consequently, he was at his wake and funeral watching over all of
you. And since he is not suffering in any way, but is actually filled with
the joy of being back home (heaven), his greatest pain was witnessing the
grief you all felt for his loss. He was likely trying to do what he could
to ease your grief, which included trying to send you all little messages
to prove to you that he still exists--that he did not die. We call these
ADCs, or After-Death Communications.
ADCs include dream visitations, blowing out candles, flickering lights,
TVs or radios, calling your name, having the telephone ring once (but
nobody actually called), placing feathers in your path, or placing other
reminders of him in your path (pennies, buttons, whatever might remind you
of him), even arranging certain songs to be played on the radio while you
are listening. Butterflies and birds are excellent totems of which he may
have the ability to place in your path to gain your attention (or he might
gain the assistance of other spiritual beings to assist him in this). A
great book on ADCs is titled, Hello From Heaven by Judy Guggenheim.
Four, your loved one was immediately greeted by loved ones who passed on
before him. In fact, there was likely a homecoming celebration for him at
some point after his return to spirit. Relatives, friends, even pets who
returned to the spirit world prior to him where all there to greet him.
Five, since your loved one's return to spirit was sudden and unexpected,
as opposed to a long-lasting illness, it may take him some time to fully
regain his full spiritual memories and power. Therefore, special spirit
guides and angels have taken on the job of helping such people make their
transition smoothly and peacefully back to the spirit world. As a result,
your loved one might spend some time in this healing level of the spirit
world where he is resting and remembering his spiritual self. Even though
he is able to watch over his loved ones from this place, these special
guides and angels often assist in the process until the newly returned
have regained all their strength and memory.
Six, death--more appropriately called "crossing over"--is not an
oversight by God. The questions of "How could God allow him/her to
die so young?" or "Why did God take him/her with so much more
life to live?" are questions based on a lack of insight about life
and death. Too many people believe that death is bad and life is good, or
that a longer life is a better life. However, once one has accomplished
what they set out to do in their lifetime, it is time to leave. In
essence, they graduate and get to go home. In this way, death is a reward,
not a punishment or bad luck. Since we can not know what each soul came
here to do, we can never know when it is time to graduate and go home. For
some, it is at the moment of birth. For others, it is at age two or five
or ten. For others, it is at age thirty or sixty or eighty. All we can do
is trust that God knows what He is doing and remember that going home to
heaven is a wonderful end to a life, no matter how long or short that life
may have been.
I hope that by sharing these insights with you in this blog, it will ease
some of your pain the next time you experience a loss. It is one of the
most difficult experiences we can endure in our lifetime. For more
information, please visit my website appropriately titled Grief And Belief
at www.griefandbelief.com. On
this site, I have listed some of the best resources for bereavement,
including books, movies and links to other websites.
SEPTEMBER 2 - SEPTEMBER 16, 2006
How One Brief Comment Can Affect Us
When I was a teenager, my parents made me go to Catechism classes
once a week after school. It wasn't all that horrible, since half
the kids in my high school went, too, and it became a bit of a
party more than anything else. However, for almost 30 years now,
there is one lesson that I learned in these after-school classes
that I still remember; and I just had a revelation about this
lesson, which I want to share with you.
My teacher didn't show up one day, so my class had to cram into
another class like toothpicks in a box. For some odd reason, I
still remember the teacher's name; it was Mr. O'Neil. Well, I have
no idea what else Mr. O'Neil taught that day, but I do remember
this one side comment that he made: "If you are going to do a
good deed, do it in silence." He went on to explain that if
we tell other people about our good deeds, then our announcing it
"cancels" the good deed out because we are now getting
the reward in the form of praise and applause.
Well Mr. O'Neil's rule stuck with me for
years. And whenever I witnessed someone else making a public announcement
of their own charitable giving, and then watched them get the acclaim they
expected by announcing it, my knee-jerk reaction was to judge them
according Mr. O"Neil's principle. Recently, however, something
shifted within me and I began to question this ideology.
I have a friend who recently came into some money. So he has taken his
millions and has occasionally helped out a charitable case: a woman who
was injured in a car accident, a 3-year-old boy who was shot in Iraq, and
some relatives who needed a financial hand. It was nice to see his money
going to good use, but he violated Mr. O'Neil's principle of
"doing good deeds in silence." Instead, my friend literally made
a public display of his charitable giving. He sent out a mass-email blast
to tell everyone about helping the Iraqi boy. He told everyone he talked
to about giving financial assistance to his relatives. And he even called
the media and made an event out of his gift giving to the girl in the car
accident - the event was announced on TV and in the newspaper.
My first reaction, of course, was to judge my friend. (Hey, beliefs
learned in religious settings are hard to break.) Then, my second reaction
was, "So what if he makes a public display of his gift giving? At
least he's being charitable with his abundance. What really matters is
that he's helping people. Moreover, maybe if he's public with his giving,
he might encourage someone else to do the same."
After nearly 30 years of accepting Mr. O'Neil's belief system as my own, I
have finally broken free of a judgment that I didn't even recognize was
there. Now it's so obvious that the true lesson here is that we need to
pay attention to our feelings, even if they are subconscious, knee-jerk
reactions. These below-the-surface criticisms and judgments of others are
our red flags that indicate room for improvement. Now this is not a
principle to begin judging people who judge people. For me, it's just a
reminder that we can still be a product of the beliefs taught to us in our
youth. Regardless of how much work we have done and growth we have
accomplished, we still carry around fragments of the beliefs, perspectives
and dogma of our parents, teachers, mentors and spiritual leaders. And
with this awareness, we open ourselves up for a deeper level of inner
peace than we previously thought possible.
AUGUST 26 - SEPTEMBER 2,
Childhood Rebellion Results In
In 1979, a 12-year-old girl by the name of Missie saw a note on
the refrigerator door that her parents wrote. It read,
"Tonight's curfew is midnight." Well, Missie had 3 older
siblings who were 2, 3 and 5 years older than her and the note was
meant for them, not her; but she conveniently assumed that it was
meant for her, too. So Missie went out with her friend, Debbie,
and they left the safety of Missie's neighborhood to visit another
neighborhood about 8 miles away.
Debbie's older sister, Linda, had friends
in this other neighborhood, so she was heading there when Missie and
Debbie tagged along. The problem was that all the kids in this other
neighborhood were much older, and these 12-year-old girls really had no
place being there. So when the teenage boys in that neighborhood asked the
girls how old they were, they said they were 16 in order to fit in.
One of the boys in this neighborhood was a 15-year-old who everyone called
Gandha. His friends had heard the name Gandhi in a Bob Dylan song when
they gave him the nickname, but they mispronounced it and began calling
him Gandha. So when Gandha heard Missie say she was 16 years old, he took
an interest. In fact, he thought she was the most beautiful girl he'd ever
seen. Consequently, after some flirting between the two, Gandha got
Missie's phone number and he called her the next night.
Gandha and Missie began talking for 3 hours a night, several nights a
week. Once Gandha finally found out that Missie was 12 and not
16, it was too late--he'd already fallen for her, hard. The phone calls
lasted for about a year before they began "going steady" and
Missie began wearing Gandha's high school ring around her neck on a piece
of rawhide--very cool. This all just happened to occur around the time
that Gandha got his driver's license.
It wasn't an easy relationship since Missie was in middle school (8th
grade) and Gandha was in high school (11th grade) when they first began
dating. But they survived and, soon enough, they got to spend the next
year going to the same school. However, after that joyful year, their love
was tested again when Gandha went off to college. Lucky for him, his
college was only 90 minutes away, because he drove home on Wednesdays and
weekends to spend as much time with his childhood sweetheart as possible.
Gandha and Missie fell more deeply in love with each passing year and they
finally got married in 1986--7 years after they first began dating. Missie
was only 19 years old. Today, it's now been 27 years since Missie began
wearing Gandha's ring, and they'll be celebrating their 20th wedding
anniversary this August 30th. Of course, today they go by the names Bob
and Melissa, but little else has changed. They are still just as crazy in
love as the day they began going steady--even more.
Thank God my sweet Melissa pretended the curfew was meant for her, left
the safety of her neighborhood and lied about her age. Who says a little
rebellion, risk and lying can't result in something positive?
AUGUST 19 - AUGUST 26,
Let's Have More Fun!
I have a friend who used to get laughing in such a fit that he
giggled uncontrollably like a teenage girl. Once he got started,
he couldn't stop. Then he'd giggle and laugh for 20 minutes
straight, making everyone around him giggle and laugh, too. It was
contagious. It was joyous. It was great.
At some point, around the age when my friend began working after
college, I saw less and less of his lighthearted side and more and
more of his serious side. He became so no-nonsense that I began to
wonder if he didn't like being around me anymore, until I
overheard someone else ask, "Does he not like me?" in
reference to him.
I recently recognized that I miss,
even grieve, that fun and giggly guy. Yet the lesson wasn't lost
because it got me thinking that I, too, take life too serious more
often than I should. I get business focused and forget to play.
And because I work so much, it's sometimes difficult to make the
transition from serious to fun-loving.
This got me thinking about another
I used to have a buddy who liked to say, "We're here for a
good time, not a long time." Simple, yes. Deep, yes again, if
you allow it. Of course, he also liked to say, "You're either
with us or your a Guinness" (the beer), so I guess we have to
pick and choose what we learn from people.
All the same, my friend with the whimsical wisdom was light,
carefree and filled with joy. Everyone liked him and he liked
everybody. Life to him was fun, not serious. And this was while we
were in law school to boot! Moreover, from what I know, he never
changed even after he became a lawyer. Now that was a test.
Recently, I've been hooked on these awesome Dove dark chocolates
with fortune-cookie messages on the wrappers. I keep getting the
same message that says, "Don't think about it so much."
Therefore, since I've made my point, I'd better not think about it
further. Take from it what you will. After all, as a wise man once
said, "You're either with us or you're a Guinness,"
whatever that means.
How Open Minded Are You?
AUGUST 12 - AUGUST 19,
One day, I told a famous psychic
medium that another medium claimed she was being visited by
extraterrestrials in her dreams, and I asked what he thought about
that. His answer? "Oh, please. That's ridiculous," he
said. "She'd better not reveal that to anyone else. People
will think she's a nut."
My response? "But you tell
people that you talk to spirits! You don't think that some people
think you're a nut?" He didn't see the parallel or my point.
This is the day I recognized that we all have limits to what we
believe. And I wondered just how deeply that affects us.
Some people don't believe there are really
people who can talk with the dead. And now here is a medium who knows he
can talk to spirits, but he doesn't believe in beings from another planet.
Yet human beings have already traveled into outer space. So how far of a
stretch is it to think that beings from another planet might exist that
already have the technology or conscious capacity to travel here? I
certainly don't know. But I'm open minded to it.
And I think that's the key to new
discoveries and new growth: to keep an open mind. Because what possible
breakthroughs might be made, both personally and collectively, by allowing
ourselves to be open to new possibilities?
We have varying degrees of beliefs, even if
we don't realize it. Some people think they are open minded, but what
ceiling do they wear on their beliefs? I expected this famous medium to be
very open minded considering he talks to spirits for a living. But he
draws the line at beings from outer space. What lines have you drawn?
It's something to think about. I was once a
cynical skeptic about spirit communication until I had my
first reading with a "legitimate" medium. I didn't believe I
could travel into past lives until I had my first
past-life regression. So what's next for me? Talking to ET? Having an
out-of-body experience? How about enjoying Swiss chard in my salad? Oh,
please. Now I'm just getting ridiculous. If I ever told people that,
they'd think I'm a nut.
AUGUST 5 - AUGUST 12,
We're Worried You're Getting Too
We, as people, are a curious bunch.
Aren't we? Here's something curious I recently noticed.
For ten straight years, I had a coffee permanently affixed to my
lips. I liked hot coffee, iced coffee, even chocolate covered
coffee beans. I was addicted without question. I couldn't write
without a coffee. I couldn't socialize without a coffee. Heck, I
used to take my dog for a walk with a coffee. Did anyone say
anything? Nope. Aside from Melissa, most people thought it was
funny that I was scoffing down coffee at ten o'clock at night. All
they usually said was, "Wow, I can't do that. I'd be up all
My other vices were chili nachos, chocolate and hot fudge sundaes
with mint chocolate chip ice cream and lots of whip cream. Nobody
ever said anything negative about my eating any one of them
either. So why, I ask, do people suddenly chime up when they
notice me and Melissa eating lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and
seeds? It's a mystery, a true conundrum wrapped in a riddle.
In the three weeks that Melissa and I have
tried to stick to a raw food diet, we've got all sorts of comments from
concerned people. "I'm worried about you getting too skinny,"
someone tells my wife. "Where are you going to get your
protein?" another person asks. One person even said, "I went on
a 30 day soup diet and did some serious damage to my body." Well,
yes, I thought, I would imagine you would. But we're not on a one-month
soup diet. We're eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, sort of like
gorillas, one of the largest and strongest primates on the planet.
Hey, I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to this curious behavior. But
my point here is not so much that we shouldn't be concerned about our
friends and loved ones when they do something that appears radical, even
for healthy reasons. My point is that perhaps we should be just as
concerned, and vocal, when we see our friends and loved ones abusing food,
cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. But too often we don't. Don't they deserve
the same expression of love? Of course they do.
It's just something I noticed that got me thinking. So I thought that
maybe someone else would think it's curious, too. And I guess that's what
a blog is all about.
JULY 29 - AUGUST 5,
Wake Up The Divinity Inside You!
When I was younger, I suffered with
a brain disorder that caused me to have experiences that would
affect the rest of my life. For occasional brief moments, I was
given the gift of witnessing true human potential. My brain was
altered so that I knew no fear and no limitation. My creativity
peaked and my ability to attract what I wanted into my life
reached unprecedented heights, my parents called me lucky. And on
occasion, for fleeting moments, I felt at one with the universe. I
felt immense love for people, even strangers, and I felt as though
I was able to read people's minds, adults believed I had a good
I share this story with you because what I experienced is as much
about you as it is me. What I witnessed in those temporary moments
of awareness is the true potential of every human being, that is,
beyond the confines of the intellect. You see, it is our thinking
mind that is filled with the fears and limitations of the
generations before us. And like the many teachers in our life, by
both word and example, we unconsciously play these fears and
limitations out in our actions and choices, causing us to be
lesser than our potential.
You don't need to have a brain disorder to
recognize your true potential. Nor do you need a fancy gizmo, a gifted
psychic or a spiritual guru. You already are the embodiment of unlimited
potential. If you could grasp a fraction of the power you have as a
spiritual being having a human experience, it would blow your mind.
Perhaps this is the reason we don't recognize it. For most of us, it might
be too scary. As Marianne Williamson stated in the speech she wrote for
Nelson Mandela, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our
deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
I encourage you to overcome this fear and contemplate the evidence of your
power. Think of the times that you attracted things, people or
circumstances into your life. Consider the twists of grace that impacted
your life, especially those that are simply too amazing to chalk up to
coincidence. Remember the number of times you thought of someone and they
appeared in person or by telephone. And reflect on the many miracles you
have witnessed in your life or another's.
None of this is happenstance. It is all evidence of your God-given power
to create your world through thought and action. Isn't it time that you
recognized this power within you to fulfill your greatest potential? If
something inside you is screaming, 'Yes! Yes!," then it is time to
wake up the divinity inside you. I've seen it. It is beautiful, wonderful
and wise. Now it's just waiting for you to acknowledge it.
JULY 22 - JULY 29,
The Sofa Story, Part II
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog
about a little incident with our sofa. Let's just say that it
needed cleaning, which it got. However, Melissa and I decided to
change the foam inside the 2 cushions just to be sure. It sounded
simple enough. The foam store was just 45 minutes away.
So we take our foam cushions to the store to get new ones.
"Sorry," they say. "We only keep 5-inch wide foam
in the store and yours is 5 1/2 inches. You're going to have to
make a special order. It'll take a week." Since we'd waited 2
weeks already for some guy to spray the covers down with a
cleaner, we figured, "What's another week?" We ordered
the foam which was due the following Friday.
Come Friday, we call ahead and they say,
"Sorry, everyone else's foam arrived but, for some unknown reason,
yours didn't. It might arrive tomorrow.? A week later, I call and still no
foam marked Olson. "Is it possible our foam got lost?" I ask.
"Oh, that's a good question. I'll look into it," they say. Half
a week later they call, "Your foam is on its way today."
Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the music. We are sooo ready to have a
couch again. Wrong!
A few hours later the phone rings, "Ahhh, sorry, someone shot at our
truck with a bb gun and the truck's no longer coming. The police are doing
an investigation." My response, "Someone shot at your truck?
That's awful. I fully understand." Then I get off the phone thinking,
A bb gun? How would you even know? I have rocks and acorns hit my wimpy
little car all the time and I just keep on driving. Oh well.
Another half week goes by, "Hey, your foam cushions are in. Come get
'em." I drive 45 minutes to pick them up, and drive them home with
anticipation of watching a movie or taking a nap on our sofa. Melissa
takes one look at them as I walk in the door and says, "Those are the
wrong width. They're only 5 inches wide. You have to bring them
back." I decide to wait until the next day.
I've now waited 2 weeks for the cleaning guy and 3 weeks for new foam and
I still have no sofa to sit on. Is the Universe telling me to watch less
TV? Get a new sofa? Start napping on the floor? Who knows? All I do
know--and this is my lesson for the week--is that you can actually live
without a sofa for 5 weeks. If we can do that, what else is possible? No
television? No computer? No telephone? No coffee maker? Okay, let's not
get carried away.
Sure, it's a weak lesson. But don't blame me. I've been without a sofa for
5 weeks. Have a little compassion for crying out loud. Next week's blog is
on the new Support Group for the Sofa Deprived.
JULY 15 - JULY 22,
Do Pets Go To Heaven?
A friend of mine, who just happens
to be a psychic medium, recently told me this true story. I'd
thought I'd share it with you. I changed her name to respect her
My friend, Cindy, lost her dog, named Kirby, three months from
last Sunday. The day before, Cindy was looking at Kirby's picture
and asked him to give her "a real strong sign" that he
was around, something to validate without a doubt that he was with
her in spirit. (Yes, even mediums need a sign that their loved
ones in spirit are with them.)
After making this request, Cindy
took a shower and was blow drying her hair when the phone rang.
The caller ID indicated that the call was from New Hampshire,
which just happened to be where Cindy was going to give a medium
demonstration that afternoon. Although she usually lets her voice
mail take the message on weekends, she answered it in case it was
connected to the event she had later that day.
The call turned out to be from a man who just wanted to set up a
reading with Cindy. However, this was not just any new client; the
man's name was Kirby.
If we ask for a sign, we often get it. But we have to be aware of
the possible signs. For more info, read Hello From Heaven by Judy
JULY 8 - JULY 15,
From Skeptic To Inner Peace
Seven years ago, I ached with a
deep spiritual hunger that I did not know how to feed. Inner peace
was a state of mind that seemed unattainable, the equivalent of
walking on water or reading minds. I read multitudes of self-help
books, but my spiritual hunger was left unsatisfied.
At the age of 27, I fell into a 5-year chronic depression. It was
a hand-me-down from my father's genetics. For the first time in my
life, I began to wonder about spirituality. Where did I come from?
Why was I here? What's the purpose to life? Is there a God?
Although I never had the term for it, I was having a spiritual
crisis, a deep longing to know and connect with a power greater
A few years later, when my father died in
his 64th year, my questions took a new turn. Is there life after death?
What happens after we die? Why does God allow innocent people to suffer,
children to die, and bad things to happen to good people? With each new
question, I found myself more confused. And with my added confusion, I
ached for spiritual insight more than ever.
By the time I was 35 years old, I was feeling lost in a world filled with
people claiming to be either a spiritual guru or spiritually gifted. I
believed in neither. I was a skeptic, although I had no context from which
to wear such a label. I saw myself as a realist. Yet there lied my
conflict, since I wondered if the gurus or the gifted could help me find
the answers I sought.
In time, my protective wall of skepticism cracked from curiosity, and in
that hairline crack was born an open-minded skeptic, protected, yet
admittedly without all the answers. Thus began my spiritual exploration.
The starting gun fired the day I met my first legitimate psychic medium, a
person who communicates with the deceased in spirit. A 3-hour reading
provided me with so much evidence that my wall of skepticism now crumbled,
one undeniable message at a time. I knew my life was never going to be the
same. I was correct. This one reading sent me on a journey of spiritual
investigation for the next several years.
Following that reading, my life became one big spiritual adventure. I set
out to research a variety of spiritual, mystical and otherworldly
experiences that provided me with the answers for which I once hungered.
Of course, I don't have all the answers, as I continue to learn new ones
all the time, but I have enough to no longer feel lost and confused. And
at some point along the way, I gained the gift I once believed to be
unattainable: the gift of inner peace.
JULY 1 - JULY 8,
The Sofa Story, Part I
A couple weeks ago, while Melissa
and I were gone for a few days, our six year old cat, Max,
urinated on our two year old couch. Ouch! We didn't see that
coming. He'd never done it before.
I was upset but really glad I purchased the extra warranty that
the salesman touted as covering everything from drink stains to
claw marks to holes. Heck, the salesman himself had accidentally
poked his leather chair with a screwdriver and it was covered by
the warranty. Good story. I was sold.
Now it was time to test the warranty
myself. The company sent some upholstery service from an hour away. I made
sure to stay home so they could bring in the shampoo machine, steam
cleaner or furnace. Nope. A guy named Jeff showed up with a spray bottle
and a rag. Huh? I grabbed a magic marker to draw a giant L on my forehead
for being a "loser" and falling for the sales pitch.
Jeff turned and said, "You'll probably think I'm a nut, but we got
slammed with calls for urine-sprayed sofas two weeks ago after the full
moon." Melissa and I smiled at one another. If he only knew we owned
OfSpirit.com. Then he asked, "When did your cat have his
accident?" We told him, "Two weeks ago."
10 minutes later, Jeff had sprayed down our cushions and was walking out
the door. And less than a half hour after he left, I couldn't smell the
urine anymore. I gambled my life by taking a real close whiff, but still
no smell. Jeff's super solution worked.
Melissa said to me, "There's something to be said for
simplicity," and her words hit me like they just came from Gandhi,
Buddha or The Dalai Lama. I went without my sofa for two weeks waiting for
a guy with a rag and a spray bottle to fix it for me.
5-year warranty, $125. Life lesson, priceless.
JUNE 24 - JULY 1, 2006
What a week! Monday I lost a pair
of expensive sunglasses, presumably while leaning over to pick up
a case of bottled water at the store. I was so mad at my mishap
that I punished myself by feeling bad about it for the rest of the
day, and I told myself that I didn't deserve such an expensive
Wednesday, the lack energy I sent out into the Universe on Monday
got the response it requested. A thunder and lightning storm
rocked our house with one single boom. It was like a Divine voice
said, "Here Bob! What you focus upon really does expand.
Here's more of what you focused upon Monday night."
One flash of lightning, which left
no evidence of hitting ground anywhere in the neighborhood,
destroyed a pair of new speakers, our TIVO DVR unit, our VCR/DVD
player, our Internet modem & our wireless router. The lesson
wasn't lost on me that all these possessions held a similar price
tag as my sunglasses, and they were all life enhancing luxuries,
not important life necessities.
The lesson? Whatever we focus upon expands. So, now, instead of
sulking about Wednesday's losses, I feel only gratitude for my
good fortune: I feel lucky that everything that's really important
in our life remained safe during the storm, and I feel fortunate
that we are blessed with the financial abundance to replace the
sunglasses and all the damaged equipment without significant
Thanks to my new conscious focus on gratitude, I'm expecting that
a strong wind will gently drop a rather nice sailboat in my
driveway any day now.
JUNE 17 - JUNE 24, 2006
My Brush With Coaching
Coaching schmoaching. What's all the
baloney about this coaching craze? There are life coaches, writing
coaches, voice coaches and toenail clipping coaches. Okay, I made
that last one up. But, seriously, there seems to be a coach for
everything. Are they really that helpful?
Low and behold, they are. I
recently had the opportunity to work with a life coach and after
only 3 sessions, I'm blown away at the progress we've made. I'm
now working toward fulfilling a life goal I've had for years, yet
couldn't seem to find the time for it.
I've now made my goal a priority in my
life, and I can't believe how much I've accomplished in only 3 weeks. By
working with a coach, I now have someone to hold me accountable. Not by
threatening to ground me or take away my iPod privileges, but by setting
up an appointment at 3:00 every Thursday. Now I know that I'd better
accomplish what I planned or I'm going to waste her time, my time and all
the efforts we're making to fulfill my dream. And that would be downright
rude and wasteful. Of course, my coach is also incredibly skilled at asking
me the perfect questions that zoom right in on what will truly bring me
fulfillment, and she knows what "homework" to give me to keep me
moving forward toward my goal. So a competent coach is vitally important.
Be sure to get a referral from someone you trust.
So if you've been hearing a lot of talk
about coaching and would like to see how it works in your life, I highly
recommend it. My coach isn't taking clients right now, but I've heard
great things about a personal coach named Kerri Richardson. You can check
her out by clicking
JUNE 10 - JUNE 17, 2006
A Lesson In Communication
Blogs are supposed to be personal,
so I try to let you in on what's happening in my life, especially
when I learn an important lesson. This week, I learned an
important lesson in communication. I thought I was a pretty good
listener, but I've recently learned that listening is only half
the battle. The skill of good communication is also about paying
attention to our surroundings.
My wife, Melissa, and I recently purchased a new slipcover for our
loveseat. While picking out the new slipcover, Melissa asked me
what style I preferred. I told her I like the kind that isn't
fitted to the cushions because I'm tired of tucking the slipcover
around each cushion every time I walk by the loveseat. Melissa
looked at me kind of cross-eyed.
"What are you talking about, Bob?" she responded.
"The slipcover we have now isn't fitted. For three years I've
been un-tucking the slipcover every time I walk by the loveseat!
Of course, the whole thing was my
fault since the slipcover wasn't supposed to be tucked in in the first
place. But at least I learned this valuable lesson in communication. Now
I'm wondering if the shower curtain is supposed to be on the inside or the
outside of the tub. Is it possible that we've both been watering the
plants? That might explain why they're dying. And how about the door to
the guest room? Maybe it isn't closing by itself after all. Could
it be she doesn't want the cats in there?
JUNE 3 - JUNE 10, 2006
What Can We Learn From Unconscionable
If you haven't heard the story,
I'll tell it briefly here. Two female friends, one 18 years old
and the other 22, were involved in a major car accident. Five
people were killed. One of the friends survived but was in a coma.
The other friend did not survive. When the survivor came out of
the coma, she had brain damage and was so badly injured that she
was still unrecognizable. One month after the accident, and after
the burial service, a therapist asked the girl who lived to write
her name. She wrote the name of the girl who'd been buried; that
is, who they thought they buried. The two girl's identities had
been mixed up.
Newspaper articles across the country
explain how this happened, at least the practical reasons. But there are
so many intricate details that had to take place for such a mix up to
occur. The living girl's face was unrecognizable and she was either in a
coma or had such traumatic injuries to the brain that no one recognized
her voice, personality or mannerisms. On the other hand, no one identified
the girl who was buried, even though her face was recognizable. Family
members were advised not to look at her to avoid the shock.
It's all so unconscionable, unbelievable and improbable that it leads me
to believe that there must be a higher power coordinating it all. Yet what
could be the lessons? One family buries their daughter while another sits
by their daughter's side in the hospital through a coma, brain damage and
numerous injuries. One month later, they switch. Can one family celebrate
that the daughter they buried is now alive, knowing first-hand what the
other family is going through? And how does the other family deal with
such a blow? It's all so sad and disturbing. But it's thought-provoking,
I certainly don't have any answers. This week's blog is just to get you
thinking. However, I do trust in the perfection of the Divine order of
things. Of course, I know this is so easy for me to say since I'm not in
the thick of this tragedy. Nonetheless, my faith is not rooted in a false
arrogance of spiritual insight so much as an empathy for those affected
and a hope for us all that it's true. Otherwise, this horrendously
coincidental incident is just a horrible tragedy without meaning. And for
those families' sake, as well as every other human being's sake, I prefer
to believe there is purpose in suffering. We may not recognize it in this
lifetime, although sometimes we do, but the benefits will hopefully be
gained in the afterlife or the next life.
MAY 27- JUNE 3, 2006
Selected Then Rejected
Melissa and I were asked to be the
godparents of one of God's newest angels, our three-month- old
nephew, Liam. We were so thrilled and honored by the invitation,
we did a little dance in celebration.
Then we were told that we needed to bring a "sponsor"
certificate from our Catholic church in Maine in order to be
allowed to stand up as godparents during the ceremony at the
Catholic church in Connecticut. Oops! The cheery music that played
in our heads suddenly turned into that scratching sound you hear
when the record player needle is pushed across the record. The
problem? We no longer belong to a Catholic church.
I was raised Catholic, went to CCD
classes and almost began to teach Catechism at one time. We both
went through all the holy rituals: baptism, holy communion and
confirmation. We were even married in a Catholic church almost 20
years ago. But as time has passed, we grew to see ourselves as
spiritual, not religious. And, speaking for myself, I eventually
came to a place where I preferred to think for myself in terms of
spirituality rather than be dictated on what to believe. After
all, I have friends who are gay, friends who have had abortions
and friends who are divorced. How can I love and honor them fully
if my religion insists that their genetics, choices or unfortunate
circumstances are to be judged? I can't.
Unfortunately, Melissa and I are not able to be part of the
baptismal service without a sponsor certificate, but we will be in
attendance that day. Nevertheless, Liam's parents say we're still
the godparents even if we can't be part of the ceremony.
I wonder how Liam will feel about all this when he's old enough to
think about spirituality for himself. If he hears this story, he
might be confused by its underlying message of separation. My wish
for him is that he doesn't hear this story at all, and instead
experiences nothing other than a sense of connectedness and
community throughout his lifetime.
MAY 20 - MAY 27, 2006
Missing The Slower Days Of Our Childhood
You know what I miss? I miss when
Melissa and I were young teenagers with nothing to do but hang
around asking each other, "What do you want to do?" Yet
neither one of us had an answer because, in actuality, we were
doing exactly what we wanted to do: we were "being"
together. And that's all that mattered.
Today, on a daily basis, Melissa and I work together, walk our dog
together, eat together, watch TV together and sleep together. Only
now, we are too often miles apart because our minds are on other
things--the details of life. Sometimes we just look at one another
before retiring at night and say, "I miss you." And
whenever one of us says it, we both know what the other one means.
Oh how I miss those early days in our relationship when life was
such that "being" together came so naturally.
I'm not suggesting there's a problem with our relationship. You'd
likely be sickened by how much Melissa and I are still in love,
and how much we enjoy being together, even after 27 years (since
she was 12 and I was 15). But if I lost her today, I know I'd
regret working 12 hours a day and then too often thinking or
talking about work during our walks, during dinner, or while
watching TV. I'd rather just "be" with her in silence--I
mean really BE with her, enjoying her presence and knowing she's
I guess recognizing this is a step forward. But it's a difficult
balance when you feel passionate about your work, when you feel
compelled to accomplish what you came here to do. After all, we're
not kids anymore. We can't erase the responsibilities, the
passions and the stresses to the blank slate we had as children. I
guess it can never really be the same. But a little awareness can
certainly remind us to find greater balance. After all, it sure
feels good thinking about those days. Who said we can't relive our
past? I'm doing it in my mind right now.
APRIL 29 - MAY 13,
Connecting With Your Soul Group
Last week, Melissa and I had such a
great time at the I Can Do It seminar in Las Vegas, a seminar
sponsored by Hay House publishing. We attended some enlightening
workshops, met some famous authors, and connected with two people
whom we believe will become long-time friends. It was the latter
that we enjoyed the most.
When all is said and done, we'll forget 90 percent of what we
learned in those workshops, the authors we met have probably
already forgotten our names, but making new friends is like
reconnecting with a part of yourself that was once lost. You feel
it on a cellular level, not an intellectual level.
Surely you have felt this before.
Somehow, somewhere, you met someone new, and instantly you felt a
sense of trust and comfort with that person that is unusual, if
not rare. How do we account for such connections?
I believe that we come to the physical plane from the spirit
plane, where we existed among soul groups, like a family. The
other souls in our group are so much more than friends; they are
more like pieces of us, pieces of the whole. And as we reconnect
with these souls here on earth, we know instantly that this
person, this soul, is part of our group. We may not know it
consciously, but we know it unconsciously. It is like an
I don't believe that just because we meet a member of our soul
group that we have to be best buddies. We are all here for
different purposes. Just because we cross paths doesn't mean that
we need to hang out together all the time. But it's sure nice to
feel that connection every once in awhile--in person, by phone or
by email--because it reminds us of home, our true home in the
spirit world. What a gift it is to reconnect with these soul
family members, especially at those times when we start to feel a
APRIL 22 - APRIL 29,
The World Won't Stop
For the past 3 days, I've been
sick: fever, achy muscles, headache, the gamut. It stopped me in
my tracks. I got little to no work done. I'd been rolling like a
locomotive for months. Then, BAM! I'm broken down on the side of
It reminded me of when my father
passed. The first thing I noticed when I walked outside of the
hospital, only minutes after Dad's final breath, was that the
world didn't miss a beat. The sun shined brightly. The birds sang
joyfully. And people laughed across the parking lot. That is when
I realized, at that surreal moment in time, that as important as
we all are, the world will go on without us.
Maybe that's what sickness is, a brief
reminder that we need to slow down and enjoy the journey, and not feel so
darn self-important. Because if the world doesn't stop when our bodies do,
it won't stop if we take a vacation, spend more time with our family, take
up bicycle riding, or write that book we've been wanting to write.
The Brevity Of A Dog's Life
APRIL 15 - APRIL 22,
My 2 year old dog, Libby, has had a
substantial effect on my life. Being a workaholic, I tend to work from 5
in the morning until 8 at night unless a UFO lands on my house. So I got a
dog to break that cycle, and it's worked. Every day, Melissa and I
exercise Libby by taking her for walks, taking her to swim at
the beach, or taking her to Melissa's folk's house with their football-field
front yard to play Frisbee or soccer. And while I do it out of love for
her, caring for Libby has helped to balance my life with play, exercise
and valuable time with Melissa.
Recently, having Libby got me thinking
about how short a dog's life really is. A little research surprised me.
The average medium-size dog can only realistically expect to live about 12
years, provided they can avoid cars and deadly illnesses. Compared to
humans who now live an average of 85 years, a dog's life is only 1/7th the
length of our lives. This means that in comparison to our lives, the
equivalent of 1 year passes every 52 days for a dog, and the equivalent of
1 month passes every 4 to 5 days, and the equivalent of 1 week passes in
only about a day. Hot diggity dog, that's a brief lifetime.
Recognizing this has made me realize that
on those rare days when Libby doesn't get any play time, it's like she's
not getting any exercise or play for an entire week. How sad is that?
My point? This week's blog is merely a
reminder to all of us dog lovers out there that a dog's life is short, too
short to be stuck in the house for a day, a week or a month. So let's do
them a favor while also doing ourselves a favor and get outside for some
play time. I know that more often than not taking that walk with Libby and
Melissa is the best part of my day. And now that I realize just how
important each and every day is to Libby, it makes it even more important
APRIL 8 - APRIL 15,
Happiness: Paved With Contradiction
I'm currently in the brainstorm
phase of writing my next book. The subject is going to be
Happiness. And I've realized that the road to happiness is paved
On one hand, we need to learn how
to be happy with our current circumstances. On the other hand, we
need to never become complacent with our current circumstances,
always striving for positive improvement. Hence, the
In the first case, it's too easy
for us to focus on what we are NOT happy with about our job, a
certain relationship, or our body. But there are always aspects of
these areas that we do appreciate. And by changing our focus onto
what we like about our life, it allows us to experience happiness
in the present moment, while still looking forward to positive
Otherwise, we say, "I'll be happy when
I get another job, a new boyfriend, or when I drop 20 pounds." This
delays our happiness until a future event occurs. Yet since we are always
seeking to improve our lives, we run the risk of never being happy because
we will always want something better (the happiness contradiction).
In the opposite case, we should never
become complacent in our lives. Complacency leads to boredom and lack of
passion. Imagine a golfer who never tried to improve his/her score. Isn't
that the thrill of the game, constant improvement? Well, life is the same.
If we are constantly seeking greater fulfillment and joy, then it helps us
to look forward to the future while still being happy in the present
APRIL 1 - APRIL 8, 2006
Spiritual Work Begins At Home
When I was growing up, there was a single
mother with four children who was very devoted to her church. After work
each day, she would go to her church to volunteer for whatever needed to
be done. She was a lovely woman with loving intentions.
I knew this woman's four children. They
lived in our neighborhood. Each child had the same middle name: Chaos. In
the few years that I knew them, they were the talk of the neighborhood.
Hearing the stories was like watching the daily news, frightful and sad.
To provide a glimpse: the teenage boy, a
few years older than myself, found joy in killing cats. He once put a hit
of acid in his 5-year-old sister's gumdrop, which she ate. And he
eventually landed in jail for raping a girl. That was just one child.
One day, the priest pulled this lovely
mother aside. He explained to her that he appreciated her help, but that
if she truly wanted to serve God, she needed to stop coming to the church,
go home to her family, and start spending more time with her children.
This story has always stayed with me. It
helped me to realize, even as a teenager, that we don't need to go far to
do spiritual work. Sometimes the best use of our time is spent right under
our own roof.
MARCH 25 - APRIL 1, 2006
Beating The Blues
While Melissa and I walked our dog today on a
beach near our home, I was feeling a bit blue. No reason for it, in
particular, just one of those cloudy days.
Then I had a mental flashback of the past.
I recalled joyful, childhood memories of watching television in my pajamas
while eating grilled cheese and tomato soup in the living room. I watched
shows like Mannix, Cannon and Barnaby Jones. A few years later, my
favorites were Remington Steele, Magnum P.I. and Matt Houston.
I guess it's no surprise that I grew up to
become a private investigator after college. (And some say TV doesn't
affect young minds.)
Melissa and I spent the next hour
reminiscing about our favorite childhood memories, many of which we shared
together. By the time our walk was over, we felt all warm and fuzzy
inside--it was an exercise that made us appreciate our past.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, in a
culture that seems bent on drudging up the horrors of our past and finding
new reasons to blame our parents for our issues, I thought that we should
also take time for the opposite. By taking moments to appreciate the good
old days, it can really turn your day around. I felt so much better by the
end of our walk. And that feeling lasted right through to the end of the
So the next time your feeling down, or
don't have anything new to tell your therapist, start spouting off about
that time your Dad took you fishing, or when you helped your Mom make
chocolate chip cookies, or the moments you just hung out doing nothing but
passing the time and laughing with your friends. It might not cure major
depression, but it sure helped to push me through the blues.
Warmly, Bob Olson
MARCH 18 - MARCH 25, 2006
Life Can Change In A Second
Thursday morning, I brought Melissa her warm
rice milk (yuk) in bed (she's recently given up her morning coffee).
She didn't hang out in bed for long before
she made her way downstairs; but not before she grabbed the bathroom
wastebasket (to empty) while still holding her coffee cup of rice milk. On
her way down, her "chicks rule" pink slippers caught on the top
stair, and Melissa toppled down like a bowling ball.
She never caught herself since her hands
were both full. As if in slow motion, I watched her slam down from stair
to stair, landing at the bottom like a Raggedy Anne doll--twisted and
I screamed like a scared little girl, as I
raced to help her, dodging the bathroom trash and rice milk on my way down
Melissa's fine, so she says, although she
moans with every movement she makes. But I've had an awakening.
Life can change without warning. One second
it's life as usual; the next second everything is different. Savor every
moment of health and happiness. Take nothing for granted.
Warmly, Bob Olson
MARCH 11 - MARCH 18, 2006
Two weeks ago, I learned that Van
Morrison was playing a concert in Boston. I tried to get tickets without
On Monday, out of the blue, some friends,
who had no idea I had searched for tickets and didn't even know we like
Van Morrison, emailed to ask if we'd be interested in going to the Van
Morrison concert because they had two free tickets they weren't using. We
Not only was the concert wonderful, we had those private box seats that
protrude from the wall. If I purchased them from a ticket agency, they'd
have cost more than $1000 for the pair.
I questioned if I had manifested these
tickets or if it was mere coincidence. Then, during the week, OfSpirit.com
received over 20 articles from writers all over the world on the subject
of manifesting. We often get one or two, but not 20 in a week.
So I guess I got my answer. If you want to learn how to manifest what you
want in life, read the article on manifesting in this week's magazine.
MARCH 4 - MARCH 11, 2006
Cool Stuff On The Web
This week, I'm going to tell you about some
cool stuff I found on the Internet.
The first is an ebook titled "How To Be Happy" that I
discovered quite accidentally. It's written by a guy named Michael
Anthony, and the best news is that he charges absolutely nothing for it.
This is one of the best ebooks I've read, including those of which I've
purchased for $30 to $80. I encourage you to check
out his website and download the ebook. You'll be "happy"
My second Internet find this week is a website by a company called Sounds
True. What a great website! They offer audio programs from some
of my favorite authors and teachers including, Eckhart Tolle, Carolyn Myss,
Norman Shealy, Fred Alan Wolf, Ken Wilber, Andrew Weil, Pema Chodron,
Thich Nhat Hanh, Candace Pert, Christiane Northrup and Gay Hendricks, to
name just a few.
This company doesn't just provide audiobooks of best- sellers; you can
find entire audio courses by these same authors.
~ Bob Olson
FEBRUARY 25 - MARCH 4, 2006
Responsibility Is Empowering
This week I want to talk about fear. You know,
there was a fantastic book that hit the bestseller list a couple years
ago titled, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. It explained how our
thoughts and feelings affect what we attract into our lives. This was a
hopeful, empowering book that I recommended to my closest friends.
A year later, the same author came out with
a second book titled, Dear God! What's Happening To Us?, which
taught readers that evil forces lurk in the Universe--leaving us powerless
victims to their negative influence.
In my opinion, the late author's unexpected
physical struggles were now in direct conflict with her first book,
leaving her to write this second book to save face. And, also in my
opinion, her resulting message in the second book borders on negligent to
people who will take her words literally. It was so out of context to her
first book that I was surprised the same publisher agreed to publish it.
Recently, I had a friend tell me about a
website that claims the planet is being controlled by some negative force.
They use war and hurricanes and tsunamis to back up their claims. Not
surprisingly, my friend is also going through a difficult time in her
If I've learned anything from the thousands
of articles we publish and the hundreds of authors and teachers I've
learned from along the way, it is that we, as humans, have control over
the lives we create. And when things begin to go sour, we need to take
responsibility for our struggles because that mindset frees us to overcome
Believing in evil forces that control our
fate is entirely disempowering and destructive because it places
responsibility for our lives in the hands of others, thereby taking that
power away from us.
~ Bob Olson
FEBRUARY 18 - FEBRUARY 25, 2006
Simple Secret To Life
As an author and ghostwriter, a lot of
people tell me that they're writing a book. In fact, many authors I know
hear this from people all the time. Yet, sadly, few people ever finish the
book they're writing.
I'm equally guilty. I, personally, have no
problem writing books for other people, probably because they pay me to do
it. But I don't do as well writing my own books.
Similarly, as OfSpirit.om editor, I live in
a world of authors, teachers and gurus, all teaching their own techniques
for personal and spiritual growth. Yet, all too often, the people who
learn their techniques never actually apply what they've learned into
their lives--again, me included.
If a child were to ask me today my
definition of the secret to life, I think I'd tell them to make a
commitment, take action, and follow through to the end with persistence.
Then, once that is done, make a new commitment, take action, and follow
through with persistence.
I don't think that people have difficulty
making commitments. That's the easy part. I think that many of us stumble
when it comes to taking action and following through with persistence. If
we could just master those last two steps, I believe that more of us would
look back on our life before our passing with greater fulfillment and less
~ Bob Olson
FEBRUARY 11 - FEBRUARY 18, 2006
Two Blessings That Made Me Grateful
On Saturday, February 4th, Liam Joseph
Murphy was born, Melissa's and my new nephew. So Melissa headed down to
Connecticut from Maine on Monday to help her sister and enjoy the new
Having been together since our early teens (Melissa was actually only 12),
our relationship has grown to where we are joined at the hip, as they say.
We work together, play together and sleep together, often being separated
only when one of us runs out to do errands or I have a business trip for a
week, at most. My point being that when she left for this past week, I
felt the void of her presence.
At one point, I was at my computer and looked up to see a photograph I'd
taken of her during vacation. My heart moaned. Funny thing is that I look
at this same photograph every day, yet no heart-moan. Then I realized that
I got this same feeling whenever something else in the house reminded me
of her absence.
My point isn't that I missed Melissa while she was gone (that's a given);
my point is that her absence forced me to stop and think about her. Where
I'd normally just walk downstairs and tell "her" I love her, I
now could only sit and think to "myself" about how much she
fills my heart and life. The difference is amazing.
So I thank the first blessing, my new nephew, for being the catalyst for
my second blessing, this simple yet wonderful lesson: Take time to stop,
think and appreciate those you love, often. It's like falling in love all
over again. Happy Valentine's Day!
~ Bob Olson