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DECEMBER 2011

Are You Giving Or Taking Joy This Holiday Season?  

A friend of mine bought a new home and was brimming with excitement to have people see it. So she invited a group of friends for a housewarming party. Melissa and I arrived around the same time as another couple, so we got a tour of the house together. As our happy host took us from room to room, one man who was with us took it upon himself to point out every little thing he would change about the house.  

“You see how your refrigerator takes up all this space in the kitchen? What you should do is remove this closet and insert the refrigerator there.” He looked at everyone’s faces for support.  

A moment later, we reached the living room.  

“Wow, it’s dark in here. If I were you, I’d bust open this wall and install some French doors. Wouldn’t that be nice? That’s what this room needs is more light.”  

And so it went as we walked through the first floor of this woman’s new home. He recommended new windows throughout the house, a new floor in the kitchen, new paint in the hallway, and he suggested knocking down a wall in the dining room.  



Bob Olson, Editor

I watched as our host’s mood changed from excitement to defeat. All the compliments Melissa and I offered were unable to counterbalance the joy-sucking recommendations from this man. When we got to the stairway to go see the upstairs, she paused at the bottom, then said, “Let’s continue this later just in case someone else arrives.” She later snuck Melissa and me upstairs when the man was busy talking to other guests.  

What’s interesting about this story is that I don’t believe the man was trying to be intentionally critical. I think he just sees himself as an interior decorator. When his spouse pointed out the errors of his fault-finding opinions, the man supported his actions by claiming he was merely being helpful. He was completely unaware of the cruel bite of his “suggestions.”  

It’s ironic, too, because the new homeowner is one of the most positively supportive people I know. Whenever I tell her about something exciting that’s going on in my life, she responds with such enthusiasm that I get even more excited about it. I’ve only known her about six years, yet she’s always been this way. She has this ability to make a rainy day romantic and a sunny day even more delightful.  

When I told this friend about my newest venture, Afterlife TV, within minutes she told me how my whole career had prepared me to be a great interviewer, how much these video interviews are going to benefit people, and how I’ve always been at the cutting edge of Internet trends. Her positive reaction had me feeling more pumped than ever about my new site.  

This woman’s initial impulse toward positive encouragement is kind of rare, partly because it’s so authentic. She genuinely gets enlivened about other people’s accomplishments. In contrast, too many people seem wired to automatically give constructive criticism, helpful advice, or a word of warning about what might go wrong, even when advice isn’t being sought. People generally share news of their life merely out of excitement—they really aren’t seeking guidance. They want others to share in their exhilaration, not tread on it.  

The fact is that even mild criticism diminishes our joy around creative endeavors, new purchases and plans for change. Rather than fill us with light, critique more commonly casts a shadow. Too often we use the word “constructive” in front of our criticism to justify it spilling out of our mouths. But is unsolicited critique ever justified? Coaches, therapists and consultants are hired for their analysis. But friends and family often share their negative opinions without invitation.  

I happened to catch an episode of Modern Family recently. It was the Thanksgiving episode that just happened to touch upon this subject. Within the extended family portrayed in this TV show, one man realized that his creativity had been trampled by his wife’s criticism of his “silly” inventions. Another man criticized his partner’s telling of a true story about his youth because the partner said it sounded too exaggerated to be factual. And a third man believed that it was his responsibility to criticize his young son’s artistic expression if it was ugly because he didn’t want to encourage his son to waste time pursuing something where he had no talent.  

Personally, I believe that most criticism doesn’t really come from a desire to help other people, even when we claim it does. I believe there’s a deeper motivation behind our words. Perhaps a mother doesn’t want her young son to dress up as a giant red heart for Halloween because it embarrasses HER. Perhaps the man who criticized my friend’s house just wanted to be recognized for his design talent. And perhaps a woman criticizes her husband’s inventions because it reflects something inside her that she’d like to pursue, but she feels too fearful to risk doing.  

It’s never too late to ask ourselves how we typically respond in this situation. Are you the type of person who routinely GIVES joy to other people with praise and enthusiasm or the type who TAKES joy from other people with unsolicited criticism? And, for those who TAKE joy from others, do you find that you justify your criticism by claiming that you’re being helpful to those people? Have you ever said, “Well I get to say those things to her because I’m her friend. If I don’t tell her she sings like a Basset Hound, who IS going to tell her?”  

I think many of us have been guilty of this in our lives. I certainly know that I have. But I want to be sure that I’m the type of person whose initial, knee-jerk reaction is to offer positive feedback and encouragement rather than negative feedback and evaluation. And I believe the first step is simply being aware of the difference in order to make the conscious choice to be one way or the other. With simple awareness, we can catch ourselves if we’re about to be critical and quickly turn that around to spreading joy and light. Before we know it, we can be more like my friend with the new house who habitually comes from a place of love and joy. And just imagine what the world would be like if more people did that? That, to me, is a worthy goal to pursue.  

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves before offering constructive criticism:  

1.   1. Is the person just sharing with me or asking me for feedback?

2.   2. Is my critical feedback more about me (and my life) and less about them?

3.   3. Is my feedback actually going to be helpful?

4.   4. Might it be better to simply be encouraging and let this person learn from their own experience knowing that their experience could be different than mine?

5.   5. How might we both feel if my feedback was only encouraging and positive?  

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Warmly,
Bob Olson


NOVEMBER 2011

Creating Flow In Your Life Through Simplicity

Three years ago, I wanted to teach about life after death using video on the Internet. I started the process a few times, but it never came to fruition. In 2010, I even paid hosting for a year for a website specifically for this purpose. But one obstacle led to another and the site never got created.

I eventually realized that what was holding me up was that I wanted to do too many things with the website. I wanted videos, of course, but I also planned to add articles, event calendars, live streaming webcasts and more. One day while driving on the highway, I was reminded of the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) by a bumper sticker on a Volkswagen bug. So I decided to create a website that was solely about video.

Once I streamlined my goals, the site quickly fell into place. I stripped down the website template that I’d originally chosen so that the site was essentially a vlog (video blog). It doesn’t get any simpler than that. And I used the domain name AfterlifeTV.com, which I had bought years prior.

In keeping things simple, I also changed my plan to do 3-camera, in-studio filming of interviews and, instead, record interviews via Skype. That alone opened me up to interviewing people around the world, not just people who could travel to my studio in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Once I tweaked and tested all my equipment and was finally ready to go, I was anxious to conduct an actual interview. So I invited my friend Danielle MacKinnon for my first interview. I knew she was tech savvy and was likely set up with a good Skype camera and Internet connection. I also knew she was good with spontaneity, so I asked her if she could do it the following day. Sure enough, Danielle was available and willing to do it.

Danielle is what I call a soul contract intuitive, which means she uses her intuitive abilities to tap into what our pre-birth contracts are with friends and relatives in our life. Essentially she helps us discover how and why even our challenging relationships are beneficial to us. Nonetheless, for some reason I was drawn to interview Danielle about the question Do Pets Go To The Afterlife? In my gut, I felt that this was an important interview to do. And since Danielle is also extraordinarily gifted as an animal communicator, I knew she could answer that question with profound insight.

The interview went brilliantly, although I realized in the middle of it that there was no way this interview could end after 30 minutes, which was my original intention. So I kept the interview going for an hour and I’m glad I did. I turned the interview into two 30-minute videos, and many people say that the second 30-minute video is their favorite.

I have a lot of experience editing video. I even have the same video editing software used by professionals because I spent a few years of my life creating a documentary. But once I began editing Danielle’s interview, I realized that I didn’t want to edit it. I knew that I wanted you—the viewer—to see and hear everything exactly as it happened—totally organic and fully authentic. So if a guest’s dog runs in front of the camera or somebody sneezes, I want that to be on screen. I want viewers to know that there’s nothing tricky going on here. People are skeptical about the afterlife as it is, so the whole point of this vlog is to make it real. Consequently, I reverted to my simplicity theme once again to offer video interviews that are unedited.

In addition to Video Interviews, you’ll also find what I call Video Reports on the site. Video Reports are videos of me teaching you what I’ve learned about spirits, spirit communication and the spirit world. I’ve recently added a few videos revealing what I’ve learned in my research of psychics and mediums. Some reports on there currently include, 8 Tips For Improving Your Reading With A Psychic Medium, The Most Compelling Evidence Of Life After Death, and Is My Parent In Spirit Aware Of My Newborn Baby?

I also added some interviews I had previously done with medium Carole Lynne about the afterlife. Instead of offering the entire interview, I separated these videos by question, so each one is only a few minutes long. Some of the questions include, What Happens When We Die? and Can Our Loved Ones In Spirit Hear Us When We Talk To Them?

A couple weeks later, I got a call from James Van Praagh asking if I would interview him on Afterlife TV. I was like, “Say what? A New York Times bestselling author, Co-Executive Producer of Ghost Whisperer, and star of Beyond With James Van Praagh wants to be interviewed on Afterlife TV? Yeah, I’ll do that.”

I think it says a lot about James that he called me. Most people in his position would wait to see what other celebrities were going to be interviewed on this new website before stepping up. Instead, James saw what I was doing and called me to be a part of it. I love that about him.

I’ve got to tell you, James Van Praagh overflows with enthusiasm for this subject. He loves teaching about life after death, and he immediately committed to four interviews. The first, which was just added to Afterlife TV, is about his background writing books and producing TV shows. If you watch it, you’ll recognize a theme in his story about the divine coincidences in our lives. It’s a wonderful and important message.

The second interview will be about James’ process for communicating with spirit, and he answers many common questions people have about spirit communication. The third interview will be titled, Are Your Loved Ones In Spirit Trying To Tell You Something? This interview will be about after-death communication and how our loved ones in spirit send us signs that they are around us. And the fourth James Van Praagh interview will be about What Happens When Children Go To The Afterlife. In this interview, we’ll be talking about the subject of his latest book, Growing Up In Heaven.

If you want to be notified when I add these upcoming videos to Afterlife TV, be sure to sign up for our newsletter (on the site), which is used solely for notifying people about new videos. I’ve also scheduled upcoming interviews with other authors, experts and practitioners to talk about near-death experience, past-life regression, after-death communication, suicide and the afterlife, and more. If you have questions about life after death, you won’t want to miss these interviews.

So I set out to create a new video blog website and I learned a lesson about simplicity. It’s not an original message by any means. In fact, I know I’ve written about the subject before. But keeping life simple has proven to keep me in the flow of life. And, personally, I feel a lot more inner peace during times of flow than times of struggle and chaos.

As evidence of that flow, my wife, Melissa, and I lost our 11-year-old cat, Max, three days after I added the Do Pets Go To The Afterlife? interview on Afterlife TV.  Max’s loss was sudden and unexpected, and it was difficult for us both, but especially for Melissa. Her grief hit hard and she needed something to give her some comfort. I recommended she watch my interview with Danielle.

The day after Max’s passing, Melissa took her laptop outside on our deck to watch the interview. She walked outside in deep despair and came back in the house after watching it looking more at ease. The perspective presented by Danielle was both healing and comforting to Melissa’s grief. And the timing of that interview just prior to Max’s unexpected loss was a true blessing. Already, the very first interview of this new website was beneficial to someone very near and dear. When that happens, I know that what I’ve created will be benefit many others, as well.

To check out Afterlife TV, visit http://www.afterlifetv.com

Warmly,
Bob Olson

SEPTEMBER 2011

Let The Universe Create Miracles To Support You

I was talking with a friend the other day who recently lost his job due to the new economy layoffs. This all came rather unexpected since he had been in his industry for nearly 30 years and always considered his employment secure. He now toyed with the idea of doing something completely different for work, but lacked the confidence necessary to take this risky leap of faith into the unknown. Knowing that I have been self-employed since I was a teenager, he called me to talk about where my confidence for risk-taking is found. He needed to chat in hopes that he, too, might tap into such a mindset.

Without having any pep talk planned, I met my friend at a local Starbucks and began talking about my various entrepreneurial careers throughout my life. I hoped that the answers he sought might show up in my stories. They did. One story after another, it became clearly evident that I have been supported by some unknown force in every venture I’ve taken. Miracles occurred to help lead me toward my goal, usually in the form of coincidence. The more memories I recalled, the more evidence I acquired that I’ve been guided and supported.

For the sake of time and space, I’ll give only three examples. The first is how I became a private investigator. When I got out of college with a degree in Criminology, a professor had encouraged me to become a private investigator. So I became licensed and hit the streets as a private eye, not really knowing how to drum up business or even the proper way to investigate. After a few months of struggle, a high school buddy of mine told his step-father about what I was doing. The step-father was a lawyer who used a private investigator now and then, so he offered to introduce me to him. I instantly hit it off with the veteran P.I. and he let me hang with him for a few days to see what he did for work. Coincidentally, he was at a place in his life where he had become more interested in his side business of repossessing cars for banks and his investigations had piled up due to his lack of interest in them. Long story short, I began working with him to help him with his case load and later took over his business and clients.

In a second example, after I had written and self-published my first book in 1994, my wife, Melissa, took it upon herself to bring my book to local, independent bookstores to see if they would sell the book on consignment. After stopping in at Tatnuck Bookseller in Worcester, Massachusetts, the bookstore manager agreed to put some books on their shelves. After taking about a dozen books, he told Melissa that the owner of the store had recently established a publishing company and asked if he could give a copy of my book to the editor in chief. Melissa agreed and the editor called me two hours later offering me a book contract. That's how I became a published author and the book is still selling today.

I wrote about my third example in a blog a few years ago. I had dreamed about making a documentary for years, but never felt like I had the proper skills or knowledge for it. Then one day during a conversation with a ghostwriting client (I was writing his biography), we got talking about how his story would make a great documentary. I casually mentioned my desire to create a documentary one day and he offered to pay me to make one about his story. After confessing that I was a mere amateur videographer, he insisted that I give him a proposal, which I did and he accepted. Three years later, I had created my first documentary, which turned out to be quite successful.

After discussing several stories like this with my friend who had recently lost his job, I recognized a pattern. Once I decided what I wanted in life, I always took action very quickly. In metaphysical terms, I set an intention and then followed that intention with action. My action told the Universe what I wanted and often helped to put me in touch with people who could help me. Sometimes, where I landed was not exactly where I had originally taken action to go--it was even better. And what I realized was that if not for my action, I might have never got to where I landed, because it was my action that put me in the right place with the right people and at the right time for the miracles to occur.

I encourage you to take some time to think about and write down all the lucky breaks, divine coincidences and miracles that have occurred in your life that have allowed you to achieve your goals, meet the right people and attract whatever you’ve needed to have, be and do in order to meet your desires. These are not just random coincidences and lucky breaks. These are examples of the Universe supporting you.

If you actually take the time to write down all the evidence of this in your life, you will feel immensely empowered. Knowing that the Universe/Spirit/Source/God has got your back will help you to have the courage to take the necessary risks, get through the tough times and feel the inner peace amongst the chaos. Imagine knowing that you are not alone. How would your life change if you felt supported in this way? It’s certainly an exercise worth trying.

Here are some steps you can take if you need some support from the Universe in your life right now:

1. Write down some examples of how the Universe has supported you in the past.

2. Write down what you'd like to be, do or have in your life right now--these are intentions.

3. Write down some action steps that you can take immediately in order to help the Universe help you.

4. Take action on your action steps and watch the miracles occur.

5. Stay aware in order to recognize the signs that the Universe is supporting you.

Warmly,
Bob Olson
OfSpirit.com Magazine editor

AUGUST 2011

Manifesting a Giant at a Josh Groban Concert

In September 2008, my wife, Melissa, was diagnosed with breast cancer, which she successfully treated alternatively using a strict raw food cleanse, supplements, colonics, therapy, chiropractic, massage and as much fun and laughter as was possible. But that’s another story altogether, because I’m delighted to say that she’s perfectly healthy today.

What’s relevant about 2008 in today’s story is that this experience was quite a scare—as many can relate all too well—and, consequently, it got Melissa thinking about all the things she wanted to do in life, which for some reason or another, she had never allowed herself. So she created what many know today as a bucket list. And on her bucket list was the desire to experience three concerts with her favorite musicians: Michael Bublé, Dave Matthews and Josh Groban.

We saw Michael Bublé and Dave Matthews over the first couple years, and last week we finally saw Josh Groban at the TD Garden in Boston, what used to be known as the Boston Garden.

We purchased tickets on the floor in the 14th row, which we normally don’t do because concerts can potentially be kind of crazy down there. But Josh Groban fans are a fairly tame bunch, so it seemed safe to get seats on the floor.

It felt like a real special occasion going to the concert, especially considering it was the last concert on Melissa’s bucket list, but even more because she wore a long summer dress that made her look absolutely stunning. It had been awhile since we’d gotten dressed up for anything other than a wedding or funeral, so this was a special night for us. And I just love seeing her glow so brightly.

After hitting heavy traffic on Interstate 93, we arrived at the concert at 7:20 PM with only ten minutes to spare before the show began. So we quickly found our seats and were really pleased with how close they were to the stage. Within minutes, a piano player named ELEW opened the show, and boy can this guy play.

ELEW (for Eric Lewis) is an interesting looking guy with big expressive eyes, sideburns down to his jaw and a six-inch afro. He wears silver wrist cuffs around both forearms—over the fabric of his sport coat—that makes him look like a piano-playing superhero. And he doesn’t sit on a bench, but rather stands in a half squat like he’s ready to wrestle.

But it’s not his look so much as his music that really sets him apart. He plays what he calls “Rockjazz,” which is a combination of ragtime, rock, pop and jazz, that he plays using the piano keys, plucking and scratching the strings inside it, and even drumming on the piano itself to create his unique and edgy sound.

ELEW was a fantastic opening act.

After getting all jazzed up thanks to ELEW, we then had a half-hour wait until Josh made his entrance. As we waited while looking at all the people, Melissa said something about the great view we had of the stage, and I pointed out that the two seats in front of us were still empty.

“Just watch, some giant will probably sit there and totally block our view,” I joked.

“Oh that’s a great affirmation,” Melissa responded, sarcastically.

It wasn’t two minutes later that the ticket holders for those seats arrived. And, yes, you guessed it, it was a guy and his wife and he was a very large man—both tall and wide. Suddenly, our view wasn’t as good as it had been.

That’s when an unseen announcer broadcasted over the loudspeakers that people could send questions to Josh Groban via a particular text number. I leaned over and whispered to Melissa, “You should text the question, ‘Can you find another seat for the giant guy in front of me?’”

Melissa laughed out loud and texted it to Josh.

About 8:30 PM, we noticed a lot of people were looking behind us at a platform in the middle of the arena, which was even closer to us than the stage. Melissa assumed these people must know something we didn’t, and sure enough the lights went down and the spotlights shined on the middle-arena platform where Josh began to sing.

Melissa is really the Josh Groban fan of our family, but I must say that hearing him sing live felt like a spiritual experience. After all, he’s got that tenor tone that vibrates through your entire body. I don’t know that “tenor” is even accurate anymore; I’ve read that his vocal range is now so expansive that it’s beyond description. Regardless of how you describe him, his voice, music and lyrics resonate with multiple generations, and hearing him in person certainly raised my level of appreciation for his talent.

He seems like a sweetheart of a guy, too. The way he interacted with the audience was evidence of that. For example, he had at least a few staircases along the front of the main stage so he could mingle with the audience. Some times he walked into the audience. Other times he brought audience members onto the stage.

After singing his first few songs at the middle stage, Josh jogged up the isle toward the front stage, high-fiveing people as he went. That’s when a woman in her fifties seated behind me reached out and grabbed Josh’s hand, holding on tight and yanking him to a jolting stop. His body jerked as he looked behind him with a startled facial expression.

The woman immediately began yelling, “My son bought you for me for Mother’s Day! My son bought you for me for Mother’s Day!”

Josh quickly composed his shock and said into the microphone for everyone to hear, “What? Your son bought me for you for Mother’s Day?”

The audience burst out in laughter, though I couldn’t help feel some compassion for Josh for the physical abuse he had just endured. Josh shook the son’s hand (who was standing beside his mother) and then quickly made his way up to the front stage.

“Hello Boston!” he yelled.

The audience screamed back at him.

“You’re an excited bunch,” he said. Then after a brief pause, he added with a smile, “You’re a grabby bunch, too.”

The audience laughed. I looked behind me at the woman. She seemed really proud of herself.

Josh sang several more songs while Melissa and I bobbed our heads back and forth to see around the giant in front of us. I kept thinking about the poor people behind us who were probably doing the same thing to see around our heads. Then I wondered how far back this chain of reactions went. I imagined two people per row, 50-rows deep, moving their heads side-to-side in unison because of the one giant guy sitting in front of us.

Josh then paused to answer a few questions texted from the audience, and we weren’t surprised that Melissa’s wasn’t one of them. One of the questions came from a young lady in her 20s who asked if Josh would sing with her sister. Josh asked if the sister really had any talent and the girl assured him she did. So he walked with his microphone up to the sister—also in her late 20s—and she sang one of Josh’s songs titled The Prayer with him. The girl had an angelic voice and it was a highlight of the night. You can watch a clip of this on YouTube, which I’ll link below this blog post.

About halfway through the concert, Josh made his way back to the center stage in the middle of the arena. Then, after singing a few more songs there, he ran back to the front stage, again high-fiveing audience members along the way. This time, the woman sitting between me and the isle—a woman, mind you, who wouldn’t look at me or express any emotion during the whole concert—suddenly jumped into the air screaming. My heart jumped into my neck, as the woman turned to me in a panic.

“He touched me! He touched me! I just touched Josh Groban!”

The woman had no idea what to do with the kinetic energy from her brush with celebrity. She looked around for a face with whom to share her enthusiasm. I was too busy swallowing my heart to get it back where it belonged. She quickly scanned the surrounding faces until she found what she was looking for in a woman sitting in front of her. Together they jumped up and down in excitement, which helped her expel the mania.

Josh then asked audience members to stand up if they had been married for a long time. Melissa jumped up because our 25th anniversary is August 30th. Before I even had a chance to stand up, the giant and his wife stood up in front of Melissa, totally blocking Josh’s view of her. In seconds flat, Josh, who was walking down the isle to pick someone, selected the giant and his wife to go sit on stage for some celebration wine and a few songs.

I felt really bad that I hadn’t stood up fast enough to be seen, as I felt it would have really made the night special for Melissa. And it would have been a nice way to celebrate our 25 years together. But she wasn’t fazed by it at all. She was more excited that our affirmation had manifested.

“Do you realize what just happened?” Melissa asked me.

“Yeah, the giant and his wife totally stole that experience from us, just like they stole our view of the concert,” I joked.

“No, silly,” she said. “You said a giant would sit in front of us and one did. And then we asked for Josh to find the giant another seat, and now that happened, too—he’s sitting on the stage. We just saw the power of intention in action.”

Melissa always sees the positive in every experience. And the giant and his wife seemed to really enjoy their experience. Plus we now had a great view of the stage again, at least for a few songs.

It wasn’t long before the concert ended and we found ourselves back in the car for a two-hour ride home. We chatted about what a lovely time we had and both realized that we need to write new bucket lists, since I had never done one and Melissa’s was nearly empty. Life really is too short to not make lists of everything you want to experience and then find ways to make those experiences happen. And given the evidence we got that night about the power of affirmations, writing a bucket list alone is a powerful step toward having those experiences.

Warmly,

Bob Olson

PS, If you’re interested in watching that girl from the audience sing with Josh at this concert, you’ll see what I mean about her having an angelic voice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbluX9Th7OA

PPS, If you want to learn more about ELEW or just see some video of him, you can visit his website here: http://elewrockjazz.com/
If you want to learn more about Josh Groban or just see some video of him, you can visit his website here: http://joshgroban.com

PPPS, Having manifested in both the negative (watch a giant sit in front of us) and in the positive (ask Josh to find the giant another seat) during this concert, reminded Melissa and I about a new book we just read on this subject. It’s titled, You Can Create An Exceptional Life by Louise Hay & Cheryl Richardson, and we both highly recommend it. Click on the link below to read about it on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1401935389/ofspiritcom/

PPPPS, If you’re interested in alternative treatments for any health issue, Melissa recommends covering all your bases in body, mind and spirit. However, in terms of the body, Melissa is grateful for the guidance and services of Kristen and Anna at Revitalive in Newburyport, Massachusetts. You can read more about them here. Tell them Bob & Melissa Olson sent you.

http://www.revitalive.com/

JULY 2011

Seeing God In Everyone You Meet

A couple years ago, during summer vacation, Melissa and I visited one of our favorite restaurants in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The place is named 93 Townsend for its address on Townsend Avenue, and we went there for our anniversary dinner.

We stumbled upon the restaurant the prior year when we instantly fell in love with its food and atmosphere. It has an old-fashioned, handcrafted bar that seats up to 20 people and about 15 tables sprawled around an L-shaped interior. This particular year we were pleased to snag up one of the two tables beside the front window, just as we had the year before. What never crossed our minds, however, was that these tables sit right next to the bar.

In a classy joint like 93 Townsend, you wouldn’t expect a patron should need to consider seating strategies away from the bar. It still didn’t occur to us when we first sat down and a man seated alone at the end of the bar started talking to us.

The hostess had just seated us and mentioned something about turning down the lights. I hadn’t noticed, but I guess they were a tad on the bright side. Ten seconds later, the lights dimmed and the atmosphere grew warmer.

“Wow, you two have some pull around here,” said the man seated at the bar. He was only three feet away from me. “You walk in and the lights go down. You must be important people.”

“We’re not important,” I responded. “We’re just distant relatives of Moses. He could part the Red Sea; we can dim lights. It’s our favorite trick.”

The man laughed. “What other abilities do you have?”

“Oh that’s it. Moses got all the good stuff. We can only dim lights.”

That was it, so I expected, just a little friendly banter between patrons. The man began to talk to the bartender as we looked at our menus. After ordering our meals, Melissa picked up a box of Trivial Pursuit cards on the table and began asking me trivia questions. I got lucky on the first three questions, which never happens; but I was stumped on the fourth. That’s when the man at the bar blurted out the answer. I looked to my right and he seemed a little embarrassed.

“I’m sorry. That was rude. I just couldn’t help myself,” he said.

“Hey, that’s fine. I was never going to get the answer,” I told him.

But the man’s disruption did have me wondering how long he’d been listening to our conversation. Let’s just say it was a red flag that had me questioning if our request for this table was a bad idea.

The man’s trivia answer was in response to an Entertainment question about a movie from the 1950s. This got the man chattering about old movies, which then got him reminiscing about the days of radio when his family would gather and listen to radio broadcasts in the living room.

His favorite show was Gunsmoke. Melissa and I admitted that we never knew it was a radio show prior to being a popular TV hit. He then gave a rather lengthy discourse on how John Wayne turned the part down. At this point, I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the radio show or the TV show. This then got him talking about William Shatner who played a role in Gunsmoke, the TV show, which somehow led him into doing impersonations of what I guess were present-day Shatner comedy routines. This is where it got a little weird.

I began noticing that the man’s storyline had a tendency to drift. I remained friendly but guarded, waiting to figure him out. I’d been in this situation before and knew that once you let the cat in, it’s sometimes near impossible to get him back out the door.

The man then steered us into a rather intellectual conversation about the psychology of storytelling, comparing imagination-stirring radio with imagination-negating TV. He told an interesting story about New York University offering a course on psychology and cinematography. And this was when I recognized that certain words in this man’s vernacular were in stark contrast with his appearance. He was an intellectual in sheep’s clothing.

Observing the man as he spoke, I estimated he was in his sixties. He wore tattered jeans and an old tee shirt, which were out of place for the stylish restaurant. Then I noticed he was drinking a glass of wine, which seemed out of place for his appearance. I think it was the dainty wine glass that appeared too sophisticated for his old-boxer physique. His hair was gray and shaved close to his head. His hands were callused. His arms were muscular. And his voice was gruff like Rocky Balboa’s manager, Mickey.

As he chatted about one subject and then the next, Melissa and I learned his life story. His name is David. He’s originally from Vermont but left there 18 years ago when the company he worked for closed. He then hopped into his pickup truck and drove to Boothbay, Maine, looking for work, where he found a job as a carpenter’s assistant. That position led him to work as a handyman-slash-caretaker for a local homeowner while taking carpentry jobs on the side. But when his primary employer objected to his taking side jobs, he asked for a raise because he wasn’t earning enough to repair his broken-down pickup truck. His employer refused the raise so he left that job and started working for a construction company that paid better, where he continues to work today.

At least that’s the story I deciphered. Besides needing a dictionary to look up some of David’s words, I also needed an iron to flatten out his line of thought. Not everything was entirely coherent. I now questioned how many glasses of wine he’d enjoyed before we got there. Either that or he had a brilliant mind that was moving much faster than his mouth could manage.

David kept apologizing for talking so much, yet he kept on talking. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. On the one hand, I enjoyed his company. On the other hand, it wasn’t the romantic anniversary dinner I had intended. I half expected he’d give us our privacy when our meals arrived, so I remained patient. But for ten minutes after my lobster macaroni & cheese and Melissa’s lobster risotto sat on the table, David was still on a roll. His oration traveled from politics to sociology to religion.

It seemed that Melissa and I were not the only people to notice David’s rambling. People around the restaurant kept staring. I even saw the bartender secretly pointing our way while talking to another couple seated halfway down the bar. She had given me the googly-eye three times already as she walked by with drinks in her hand, as if to ask, Do you want me to ask him to move? But I ignored her stares as if I didn’t notice because I didn’t want her to embarrass the man. And I know Melissa well enough to be certain she didn’t want to shame him, either. Besides, our meals were still piping hot, so I waited to see what would happen once we began eating.

As odd as the experience was, the more David talked, the more Melissa and I liked him. He was smart, funny and gentle. He had his opinions but he wasn’t judgmental or pushy. In fact, his words revealed a compassionate character inside a man who simply loved people. I sensed he might be lonely, which is probably why he was sitting at the bar in the first place. And by this time I knew he wasn’t intoxicated. His social cortex was merely lubricated by the wine.

I finally surrendered to the possibility that David might talk through the entire meal. Once I got to know him better, I actually no longer minded. And when Melissa’s eyes twinkled at me briefly—as if to say, “I think he’s sweet”—I knew she didn’t mind, either. That’s when my meal had cooled enough to eat it without searing my tongue, so I took a few bites. And in a twist of circumstance, I looked up at David to see his back to me. He was facing the other way to let us eat in private.

I was tempted to speak to David out of kindness, since I was sure he was aware of the bartender’s googly-eyes and the other patrons’ stares. He seemed too sharp to not have noticed. But I took the moment to focus on Melissa. I knew we could talk to David more after the meal. The food was absolutely lovely. They couldn’t have crammed more lobster meat into those dishes. And later, once we finished our main course, I brought David back into the conversation.

As dessert arrived, the bartender whispered an apology to Melissa for our disrupted meal while David and I conversed. Melissa told her not to worry, that we were content. And when the conversation turned to current movies, David and Melissa had a blast sharing their favorite titles with one another. That’s when I saw the bartender ringing up our bill, so I walked down the bar and quietly requested that she put David’s bill on ours. I wanted to express to him with a gesture that we appreciated his company—we didn’t resent it—but I didn’t want him to know about it until after we’d left. The bartender seemed surprised at my request. I think it finally occurred to her that we actually enjoyed talking with him.

When I arrived back at the table after paying the bill, David was telling Melissa that his favorite movie of all time is Pay It Forward, a movie about random acts of kindness. Chills sprinkled down my spine. We chatted a little longer, but when David pulled his credit card out, Melissa and I said our goodbyes.

“We’re really grateful to have met you, David,” I said, as I shook his hand.

“The pleasure’s all mine, Bob,” he said. “I feel like the two of you are old friends.”

Maybe we are, I thought, as David took Melissa’s hand, bent over and kissed it gently. But then he suddenly appeared nervous. His brain got in the way of his instincts. He looked at me to read my reaction. I smiled. He relaxed. And Melissa gave him a big hug. David’s eyes turned misty, which had me wondering how long it had been since he’d been hugged.

Melissa and I then grabbed our doggy bags and left. And as we walked out the door, David hollered in his gravely voice, “Bartender! I’m ready for my check, please.”

On the way back to the car, Melissa looked at me and said, “If we give people a chance, you can see God in everyone you meet.”

JUNE 2011

The Food--Medication Connection That Saves You Money

A year ago, I began having issues with a medication I had been taking for 16 years. I was experiencing toxicity from it, which I can only describe as the symptoms of being drunk—dizziness, blurred vision, slurred speech and the inability to think clearly. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

When I first began taking this medication in 1994—something I need to take for life—I started at the maximum recommended dose, which was 1200 mg per day. This wasn’t surprising, as I’ve always needed more medication than most in order for it to work. But then, every few years, I needed to increase the dose. My doctors said my body was getting used to the medication, so it needed more in order to have what they called a therapeutic effect.

In the fall of 2007, my wife, Melissa, and I went on a raw food diet, meaning we ate mostly raw vegetables and no meat (no beef, no poultry, no fish). What was intended to be a temporary nutritional diet turned into an ongoing lifestyle because we both felt so good eating healthy, mostly uncooked food. The surprise that came, however, was that I became toxic on my medication for the first time. Long story short, I learned that as my body became cleaner (less clogged with foods that like to cling to our intestines), I began absorbing more of the medication, so I needed less of it.

It was after three months on the raw food diet that I first experienced toxicity because I was absorbing more of the medication than my body needed. So I went down on the dose and the toxicity went away. Luckily, my medication is the type that I can take a blood test to know if it’s in the range for therapeutic effect, and—low and behold—I was still in the therapeutic range even though I was now taking less of it. In fact, I was at the exact same therapeutic level, which meant I truly needed less medication for the same effect.

In the first year of eating raw food, I went down on my medication three times (about every three to four months). And, in 2008, I was now taking only 1700 mg a day. I had gone down 300 mg despite previously having gone up 100 mg every 3 years. How cool is that? The whole experience was an incredible testimonial to how clogged up our bodies are due to the typical American diet.

Today, Melissa is still 95 percent vegan (for the health benefits), but I’m probably 85 percent veggies and 15 percent other stuff, including some beef, poultry and fish. So I wondered if I might need to go up on my medication at some point since I wasn’t eating 100 percent raw food anymore. Nope! Instead, I actually went down once more about two years later.

It was January 2010. I had been experiencing occasional toxicity, so I adjusted my daily dose down to 1600 mg. Unfortunately, lowering the dose didn’t stop the toxicity this time. Yet taking less than 1600 mg brought me below the therapeutic level (as indicated by blood tests and evident by recurring symptoms that the medication had eliminated in 1994). So I was clearly getting toxic, but taking less of the medication would deplete the reason I was taking it in the first place. This sent Melissa and me on an investigation.

After about a month of researching all the ingredients in the medication, Melissa and I realized that there were some inactive ingredients that might have been causing some of the toxicity—possibly causing the toxicity I was currently experiencing. One extra, unnecessary ingredient is known as Magnesium Stearate, which is added to many, if not most, medication tablets (and even vitamin tablets) for the purpose of preventing the tablets from getting stuck in the machines that make the tablets and fill the packaging.

The more I read about this inactive ingredient (and several others that were in my medication), the more I felt intuitively that this was causing my new problem. After all, I was taking 8 pills a day with this stuff in it—that’s 240 pills a month. So I was putting a lot of unnecessary ingredients into my body, and that stuff can build up over time.

My doctor suggested I take the same medication but in liquid form, which would be cleaner. So I tried it because it did have less inactive ingredients. My toxicity stopped but I became severely bloated after about two weeks. After checking the ingredients again, I realized they added Sorbitol for flavoring so that children would like it. I couldn’t believe it. I got rid of one problem only to cause another. The liquid form worked, but once again I had a problem due to an inactive ingredient—this time used just to make it taste like some weird medicated soft drink.

This is when I remembered that a friend had been using a compound pharmacist to make a medication for him the old fashioned way—by mixing ingredients and putting them into capsules, creams and liquids by hand. So I found two compound pharmacists right here in Maine and gave them a call.

I learned that compound pharmacies are able to make almost any medication once it’s available in generic form. So I got quotes from these two compound pharmacists who said they could make my medication for me AND they could make it for me without all the inactive ingredients. In fact, they added only one inactive (and harmless) ingredient where my name brand medication had several inactive (and potentially harmful) ingredients.

One compound pharmacy was $100 cheaper than the other. The less expensive pharmacist said they could make me a one-month supply for $75. They do take insurance, but my health insurance plan didn’t cover this prescription. What was funny, though, was that I was paying $280 a month for the name brand medication through Rite Aid Pharmacy, and now I would only pay $75 for medication that didn’t have all that unnecessary crap in it. I was saving over $200 a month.

The compound pharmacy’s medication did work perfectly, so my toxicity issues were over. I have since referred many friends and relatives who take medication to compound pharmacies. If you’ve ever been given a medication that caused a side effect, you know that some doctors will just add another medication to your daily regimen to offset the new side effect. And, before you know it, you’re taking five or ten medications. Yet many side effects result from inactive ingredients in medications, so there are likely tens of thousands, if not millions, of people out there taking multiple medications instead of just one because of the side effects caused by these added ingredients that don’t need to be in there.

To me, getting medication from a compound pharmacist (who agrees to not put any unnecessary ingredients in it) is like getting a steak without the fat, getting a new computer without the trial software, and getting soap without the dyes and unhealthy chemicals that make it colorful and more foamy. If you’d like your body to be cleaner, and therefore healthier, give a compound pharmacist a call to see if they can make your medication with the least amount of inactive ingredients.

As I write this in June 2011, I now take only 1400 mg of my medication. That’s only 200 mg more than I started taking seventeen years ago in 1994. And that’s 600 mg per day less than four years ago (18,000 mg per month less and 216,000 mg per year less), just because I’ve been more conscious about what foods I put into my body. A cleaner body means I need less medication to have the same effect, and that can only be healthier for me.

I know this isn’t the most thrill seeking, emotionally engaging blog story I’ve written. But I know there are a lot of people who are taking medications, or will need to take medications some day, who will benefit from my story. So I thought it was worthwhile to share it. Please refer this to anyone you know who takes medications. It might truly change their life.

PS, To find a compound pharmacist, do a Google search for compound pharmacies or specialty pharmacies in your area. When you call them, ask to speak to a pharmacist. You’ll want to ask if they can make your particular prescription, how much it will cost and if your insurance will cover it.

Two compound pharmacies that my family members and I have used are listed below. They both ship your medication to you at no extra charge. Just get quotes from both of them. And tell them Bob Olson sent you, even though they’ll probably have no idea who I am.

1. Apothecary By Design: http://www.apothecarybydesign.com

2. Ascend Specialty RX: http://www.ascendspecialtyrx.com

Enjoy your summer.

Warmly,

Bob Olson
OfSpirit.com Magazine editor

MAY 2011

Mr. Bob Goes To The Spa – A Photographic Journal
by Bob Olson

This month’s blog was inspired by my friends. In celebration of my birthday on May 3rd, my wife arranged for all of us to go bowling and then out to dinner Saturday night. My friends Michael, Cheryl and Ileen gave me a Mr. Bill doll action figure because Michael had created some very funny “Mr. Bob” cartoons in the past on his iPhone.

Being playful, my wife, Melissa, and I began photographing Mr. Bob in precarious situations throughout the day on Sunday and texting one photo every hour to everyone who was at the birthday celebration. One response from our friend Max read, “Are you having a spa day, Bob?” And Max's text inspired the following photographic journal.

PS, In order to fully appreciate the twisted humor in this photographic journal, it’s important to know that the “Mr. Bill” skits, which originated in old Saturday Night Live episodes, always left Mr. Bill (who was made of clay) in dangerous and even compromising situations.

Mr. Bob Goes To The Spa

I began my day by waking up to a sunny morning with my dog by my
side. I was excited about the day because I’d booked myself in one
of the best spas in New England for the weekend.


“Oh boy! “Today is going to be fun and full of wonderful surprises!”

To begin my day, spa employees set me up with some calisthenics.


“They really know how to motivate you to keep going.”

Then it was off for a smoothie body wrap.


“Excuse me little boy. Please don’t play with those buttons.”

After feeling invigorated from the body wrap, it was time for a hot oil treatment.


“Hello? Hello? This is the hot oil treatment, right?”

By midmorning, I was off for some reflexology.


“Wow! I had no idea how effective reflexology can be.”

Then I got the most cutting-edge ab-flattening treatment.


“Cool. No more crunches or sit-ups for me.”

Finally, I ended my day with vibrational massage therapy.


“Oh, there it is. I’m starting to feel the vibration.”

What a wonderful day. This spa really knows how to pamper people.


“Affirmation for tonight: Tomorrow’s going to be a great day!”


Melissa and I had a fun time over the course of the day playing with Mr. Bob. So, if there’s a message in this blog at all, it’s to reconnect with the child in you and find more time to play.

Warmest wishes for a playful month,

Bob Olson, OfSpirit.com editor

OfSpirit.com Magazine
http://ofspirit.com

Best Psychic Directory
http://bestpsychicdirectory.com

Best Psychic Mediums
http://bestpsychicmediums.com


APRIL 2011

The Law of Distraction

If people in my home state of Maine weren’t paying attention last year, they might have thought we went from fall to spring by skipping right over winter. Call it global warming or just plain luck (I loathe winter), but I only used my snowblower once the entire winter season. Yippee! So I hoped this winter would be much of the same.

Looking at my ten-year-old snowblower this past December, I noticed it was looking sad and rusty. I wasn’t sure it was going to start this year, as I had to pull the starter pulley dozens of times last winter before I could get it to work. Nevertheless, this year, I kept procrastinating bringing it in for a tune up until it was too late—the weather person predicted a nor’easter.

“I’ll just shovel like the old days,” I told Melissa. “I’ll enjoy the exercise.”

So I shoveled after the first two inches had fallen, hoping to remove the flakes two or three inches at a time. Yet somehow the storm turned up the volume, and before I knew it, another ten inches had fallen.

“No problem,” I said to Melissa, as I pulled up on my belt while doing my best Don Knotts impression, “I’ll have the driveway shoveled in a jiffy.”

As I began to shovel this time, however, the snow was made of lead. Honestly, someone must have mixed ball bearings in with the snowflakes 
outside my house. After exactly three minutes of shoveling, I said to Melissa, “I’m going see if I can get the snowblower going.” She handed me the key to the snowblower like she had known this would happen all along.

Melissa and I walked down to the barn and I checked the snowblower for gas. Yup, the tank was filled with year-old gas. Melissa looked at me, “Is that bad?” It was bad. But it didn’t really matter because I didn’t have any fresh gas to use.

“This is going to take about a hundred pulls before this thing starts,” I predicted to Melissa.

“That’s a bad affirmation to give yourself,” she responded. I ignored her comment and began pulling the starter pulley.

I pulled and pulled, but the snowblower didn’t even twitch. I pulled with my right hand. I pulled with my left hand. I fiddled with the choke. I pushed on the primer switch. I moved the gas lever up and down. Nothing worked, not even a sputter. I caught my breath and pulled some more until little beads of sweat began to form on my forehead.

After literally pulling on this thing about a hundred times, I admitted defeat. “I surrender,” I told Melissa, and I put my cold hands into my pockets. She looked at me kind of sadly, knowing that I’d just worn myself out for shoveling.

My eyes opened wide. “Oh my God,” I said.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

I pulled my hand out of my pocket, holding the key to the snowblower. “I forgot to put the key in.”

I put the key in the snowblower, pulled the starter pulley three times, and it fired up and ran like a brand new machine. I looked at Melissa with a smirk and raised my shoulders.

She made sure I learned my lesson by saying, “You said it was going to take a hundred pulls before it started. You got what you asked for.”

I was too tired to respond, but in my head I saw the evening news headline, “Man Chases Wife Through Kennebunkport With Snowblower.”

FEBRUARY 2011

The Dreaded Question In The Paranormal Field

What a lot of people don’t know about those who work in the paranormal field, for lack of a better term, is that we deal with a stigma that surrounds this vocation. I’m an afterlife investigator and psychic medium researcher, which you might think is a fascinating line of work—and it is—but anyone who works with spirits, spirit communication or the spirit world will tell you that many people get uncomfortable at the mere thought of these subjects.

One of the most dreaded questions of people who work in this paranormal field is, “What do you do for a living?” Of course, I’m talking about dealing with everyday people in ordinary life. If you’re at a Hay House “I Can Do It” conference, that’s a different story. In that venue, the afterlife is a natural conversation. But when talking to people in your home town, it’s often easier just to avoid the question than it is to say you’re a psychic medium, past-life regressionist or energy healer.

In my experience, some people don’t know how to talk about death and the afterlife, because our culture doesn’t prepare for us for the dialogue. Others prefer not to talk about it because they think it’s going to invite death closer into their lives. And, still, others have all sorts of religious beliefs around it—often misinterpreted—that lead them to think anyone who works in this field is dealing with realms that should be left unspoken and untouched.

I’ve found that the stigma surrounding any subject is diminished by the mere act of talking about it. My first book was about mental illness, mainly clinical depression. I wrote it in the 1990s when most people were afraid to tell anyone they were taking an antidepressant. When my book got published and I began speaking to support groups about it, I was surprised at how many people told me that no one knew about their struggle with depression, including their spouses, children and closest friends. They said they were afraid their family members and friends wouldn’t understand it and might even reject them for taking a medication.

Consequently, one of the key messages in my lectures was to encourage depression sufferers to talk about their struggles with loved ones. I recognized early on that depression sufferers had family and friends who were also depressed, yet everyone was keeping it a secret, so they were unable to support one another. The more I talked to people about depression, the more it became clear that the biggest culprit keeping the stigma of depression alive was that nobody was talking about it. And that was soon proven true, because today a lot more people are open to discussing their depression and the treatments they take for it.

More than a decade later, I found myself encouraging people to talk about death and the afterlife for the same reason. So many of us are curious about life after death, yet so few of us dare to initiate a conversation about it. That said, I know from personal experience that it’s not always easy. I too feel the stigma, as I mentioned earlier, so I’ve had to make a conscious effort to look the stigma in the eye and follow my own advice. It’s easy when I’m around like-minded people who work in the Mind/Body/Spirit field. But it’s a different situation altogether when dealing with mainstream people who have no interest and don’t work in these fields.

This past summer, a couple from town named Peter and Denise invited Melissa and me to a dinner party. We didn’t know them well, but we had mutual friends, so we somehow got on their invitation list. I wasn’t sure how much they knew about my work with psychic mediums and the afterlife, and I was sure that the other guests knew nothing about it, so I was hoping I could escape that inevitable question, “What do you do for a living?”

It was a warm summer evening as Melissa and I walked up to Peter and Denise’s home overlooking the ocean. They had the most beautiful gardens on every side of the house. Upon entering, there were three other couples in the living room, plus our hosts. We were introduced to everyone, a lovely bunch of people, and we got to know one another while snacking on appetizers and sipping wine.

When we moved into the dining room for dinner, I ended up sitting on one end of the long, rectangular dining room table. It was the only chair left unoccupied. Melissa sat to my right. Denise sat to my left. And Peter sat at the opposite end of the table, what seemed to be a million miles away. Consequently, everyone at the table heard Peter when he shouted to me, “So, Bob, what do you do for work?”

All nine faces at the table turned to me and the room went silent waiting for my answer. I buckled a little under the pressure.

For years, I was able to tell strangers that I worked as a ghostwriter, because that’s how I had earned my living. But I stopped working as a ghostwriter a few months prior, so I couldn’t fall back on that response anymore.

“Oh, it’s a long story. You really don’t want to hear it,” I told Peter, hoping he’d let it go.

No longer needing to shout, since the room was now very quiet, Peter replied, “No, I’m interested. Do tell, no matter how long the story is.”

I had no choice but to tell the whole group my story, so I surrendered knowing that I really shouldn’t care what these people thought of me. After all, I’m proud of the work I do and my efforts help a lot of people. So I took a deep breath and told my tale.

I told the story of how my father passed in 1997, which got me thinking about life after death for the first time. I explained how I used my skills as a private investigator to investigate evidence of an afterlife; and how after two years of investigating without success, I had my first reading with a psychic medium. I told them how the evidence in that reading broke through my skepticism and changed the course of my life. This eventually led me to create OfSpirit.com Magazine, BestPsychicMediums.com and BestPsychicDirectory.com. I told them about my experiences getting three past-life regressions, interviewing people with near-death experiences, and talking with children who recalled memories of past lives.

When my story ended, all eyes were wide open and locked on me, but the room was completely silent. I said to Peter with a smile on my face, “I’ll bet you’re sorry you asked now.”

Peter, sweet man that he is, said, “Are you kidding? That’s the most interesting story I’ve ever heard. I’m thrilled that I asked.” And he seemed genuinely sincere.

Questions immediately ensued from some of the guests while others remained quiet. But the group kept the conversation going for another half hour, at least. A couple guests shared their own mystical stories with the group while private stories were being told off to the side. Eventually we moved on to other conversations, for which I was grateful. I really didn’t want the rest of the evening to be consumed by talk about the spirit world. Nonetheless, I felt liberated to have told this group of strangers what I do for work and have survived it unscathed.

As everyone was leaving, a woman named Peggy walked up to Peter as she put her jacket on and said, “Geez, Peter, you sure have some colorful friends.” Melissa and I were walking up beside Peggy just as she said it, and Peter looked at me as we all burst out laughing. Then, as we left and walked to our cars, Peggy couldn’t wait to tell Melissa and me a story about seeing the spirit of her father-in-law after he had passed.

Peggy admitted to waiting until we left the group to share her story with us. She said she was too embarrassed to share it with everyone. Melissa and I understood, of course. She seemed relieved to have people who finally believed her. Her husband apparently didn’t believe because, as she told her story, he got into the car and waited for her inside it. He seemed perturbed that she was telling the story to us. I looked at his expression through the windshield and could tell he was hoping we wouldn’t encourage her. I chuckled to myself knowing he was going to be disappointed.

I realized at that moment that it’s people like Peggy who need people like me to tell my story, because it opens up the conversation for them to share their own stories—stories they’ve held inside for years because they felt no one would ever believe them. I’m talking about people who have had deceased loved ones visit them in a dream (called Dream Visitations), people who have witnessed a dying loved one seeing spirits welcoming them home (called Deathbed Visions), and people who have died on the surgery table, or in a car accident, and come back to life to tell about their temporary visit to the spirit world (called Near-Death Experiences).

These stories and so many more are being kept secret by millions the world over, and it’s all because we’re reluctant to tell anyone about them for fear of ridicule. If we would just realize that we’re not alone in our paranormal experiences, we would quickly learn that others are having similar experiences, too.

Warm regards,

Bob Olson

PS, I write my stories about spirits, spirit communication and the spirit world, and people the world over email me to tell me about their own personal experiences. How nice it would be if we had groups similar to book clubs or support groups where people could share their stories with one another and talk about the afterlife, past lives, after-death communications, out of body experiences, near-death experiences, deathbed visions, dream visitations, and children’s memories of past lives, to name just a few.

If this is something that interests you, please let me know by email (editor@ofspirit.com), as I’ve considered creating and organizing these types of groups around the country and possibly the world. Still, don’t wait for me to do it. I encourage you to start your own local group and tell me how it goes.

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