Tom is home.


A few days ago, a young woman came to me with the photo above and a story. She and her family had been painting a few rooms in their house. They moved some furniture to make room. Moving the furniture, as it often does, drew her attention to some dust. She cleaned. Later, she used one of the dressers she had just dusted as a seat while she put on her makeup. It was in the way in front of her mirror, so she made do. When she got up, she looked down at the dresser and found this… 1787 etched clearly in the top. It had not been there when she dusted. It had not been there just moments before. And it wasn’t as if her sitting on the dresser could have rubbed clear the numbers that had been there forever. It was an IKEA dresser — cheap, functional, and without a doubt, not anywhere near 227 years old.

She didn’t feel scared. She felt no negative energy in the house. She was more curious. She wondered what it was and who had written it. She asked me to help.

Channeling, I learned that the spirit who had etched the date was named Tom. He was not ill-intentioned at all, he was just lost. He had encountered the woman and her family at the park. He felt safe with them, so he followed them home. He had not been with them long. And all he really wanted to do was to get home, back to the spirit realm.

I gained his permission, the Elders’ permission, and the permission of the woman who had contacted me to release him. I facilitated remotely. Because the spirit was friendly and just wanted to return to the spirit realm, and because I had been in this house and could visualize the room in which he had made his temporary shelter, this was relatively easy.

I telepathically reached out to him as my spirit guide, his spirit guide, and escort spirits joined him. I asked him if he could see them and then warmly told him that they were there to guide him home. So happy, he allowed them to wrap him up in light and guide him back to the spirit realm. He was free.

This morning, I asked if Tom might be interested in speaking with me, to tell me about his last life and about the experience of returning to the spirit realm. He agreed. Here is our channeled conversation.

Me: Hello, Tom.

Tom: Hello.

Me: I am honored to speak with you.

Tom: I am honored as well.

Me: Tell me, please, how are you?

Tom: I am fine.

Me: Was there a reunion for you when you arrived home?

Tom: Yes! It was so wonderful to see all my friends and family again. I was so relieved, so happy. And it was decadent!

Me: Decadent? Was there a feast?

Tom: Yes, with cooked food!

Me: Cooked food? You’ve missed cooked food, I imagine.

Tom: Ohhh, yes.

Me: What was there to eat?

Tom: Veal and hot soup and wine.

Me: It sounds nice. Who was there to celebrate with you?

Tom: My entire soul group. Everyone came.

Me: That must have felt amazing. I can’t imagine the love, or how much they must have missed you.

Tom: We talked and shared everything. I had missed so much, but I am all caught up now.

Me: How many lifetimes had your group lived in the time you were stuck on the Earth plane?

Tom: Some one, others up to three.

Me: I see. Do you feel like you missed out or fell behind?

Tom: No. I will catch up!

Me: How many souls are in your group?

Tom: 13

Me: And are you excited to be back with them, and working with them again?

Tom: Yes.

Me: Tell me about your group, please. I’d like to know about them. Do you have a specialization?

Tom: Yes. We work with Xe.

Me: Xe is your spirit guide?

Tom: Yes. He is a very respected elder.

Me: I see. What type of work do you do? Remember, I am still on Earth plane and do not recall.

Tom: Oh, I remember. I was there for a long, long time.

Me: (Laughing) Yes, I didn’t think you could forget so soon.

Tom: We are zoologists.

Me: (Surprised) Zoologists? So do you work with beings from another realm?

Tom: Yes. We study all sorts of animal life and relate our learning to the souls of our realm.

Me: That’s fascinating. So are you a sort of Ambassador Soul?

Tom: Yes. We study and share.

Me: Was your work in your most recent past life on Earth somehow related to your work in the spirit realm?

Tom: Yes. I was an explorer. I came West with Bridger.

Me: Jim Bridger? You were in his party? When were you with him?

Tom: Around 1825.

Me: 1825 is when he was in this area. I’ve read he was among the first European Americans to see the Great Salt Lake, and at about that time, yes?

Tom: Yes. I was with him. It was a sight to behold.

Me: Were you with him to document the animals of the West as you traveled?

Tom: Yes. I was a very good artist.

Me: What was your full name?

Tom: I was Thomas Wipple.

Me: Did you work for the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and leave from St. Louis in 1822 like Bridger did?

Tom: Yes. I recorded the animals we saw in our travels.

Me: How old were you when you joined the company in St. Louis and headed west?

Tom: I was 30.

Me: So that means you were born in 1792?

Tom: Yes.

Me: So, Tom, what was the significance of the date 1787, the date you etched on the family’s dresser a few days ago?

Tom: When I was a boy, I borrowed a knife to etch that date into a tree. It was the year that my brother was born. I also etched the year he died. I made his grave marker.

Me: What year did he die, Tom?

Tom: 1798

Me: Your brother was very special to you?

Tom: Yes, he was.

Me: Did you finally get to reunite with him when you returned to the spirit realm?

Tom: Yes! It really was… well, no words can express.

Me: Is he a member of your soul group too?

Tom: Yes. We are reunited. And we will work together again soon on Earth.

Me: So, why did you etch 1787 into the dresser?

Tom: It is permanently etched on my soul. I remember it so well. I just thought it and it appeared on the dresser.

Me: Why did you etch on the dresser? What were you trying to do?

Tom: I wanted the woman to know I was there. I thought she might be able to help.

Me: To help you get home?

Tom: Yes, back to the spirit realm.

Me: Was there something about her that made you feel that she could help?

Tom: Yes, she was so bright. She is truly good. And shortly after, I got to return. She did help. She came to my rescue.

Me: Is there anything that you’d like to say to her?

Tom: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. And to you too. Thank you. You do beautiful work.

Me: Thank you, Tom. I am honored and happy that I could help you. I have a few last questions, if that is ok.

Tom: Yes.

Me: How did you die?

Tom: Even a strong man couldn’t survive a bullet to the chest.

Me: You were shot?

Tom: It was a stray bullet.

Me: How old were you then?

Tom: I was 45.

Me: So let’s see… that was 1837. Where were you?

Tom: I was in camp.

Me: Ah. I see. And you’ve been wandering about what has become Salt Lake City ever since?

Tom: Yes. I’ve seen a lot of changes.

Me: Why didn’t you return to the spirit realm when you died? Why did you stay?

Tom: I had children. I wanted to make sure they were fine.

Me: So you stayed to watch them grow up?

Tom: Yes. And then they died, and I was stuck.

Me: So you were reunited with them as well, in the spirit realm. Are they part of your soul group?

Tom: They are not, but they came to welcome me back, and they came to the feast.

Me: Tom, I am so glad you are home. I am happy you are with your loves again. I wish you the best. Thank you for speaking with me.

Tom: Thank you as well.


As the obedient prayer-learning child of Catholics, and the unknowing but attention-paying granddaughter of an alcoholic, I knew the Serenity Prayer by heart by the time I was seven. You know it too, right?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

By the time I was a senior in high school and had made the final call not to be Catholic anymore, or to pray for that matter, I could still appreciate the words as valid, just maybe without the god part. I wasn’t sure about that, or him, or it yet. That came later. So when Sinead O’Connor released “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” that same year, the song Feel So Different made sense to me. I found beauty in the words as a reflection on how I was raised, as well as a reminder of a worthy philosophy as I packed up and moved on to college and whatever was next.

The little ditty has served me well. It takes courage to step up and act when you can act. It takes bravery and focus to have a goal and to work towards it systematically, undaunted. It takes ambition and work to change ourselves, to shift social mores, to engender revolution. But it can be done. And just as the most seemingly daunting bastions of how-it’s-always-been can be changed, there are things that we honestly have no control over. We can’t change our pasts (though we can do things differently in the future). We can’t control how others feel about or react to us (though we can control how we feel about and react to them). We can’t change some physical challenges (though we can opt to overcome them and develop other strengths).  We can’t change the death of those we love (though we can change our understanding of it and the way we live in its wake). So, yes, it takes serenity and grace to recognize not only what it is that can’t be changed, but also to find in yourself what it is, in light of this recognition, that can be.

Today, though, I’m thinking about this differently. I’m thinking about serenity itself.

What I’ve missed until now is that the first few words of this prayer are the most important. These words have been etched on my brain for 35 years and it’s not until this morning that I finally get it. It’s serenity. Serenity is the key. The answers I seek I will find… in serenity.

Grant me the serenity… 

Grant me the serenity to…

Grant me the serenity to listen… to hear… to understand… to envision… to dream. Grant me the serenity to discover, to connect the dots, to connect. Grant me the serenity to feel deeply, to relate, to find and express my truth, to be me — the best me — the brightest version of myself.

In meditation, I’ve experienced one repeating message over and over. In different words and in different ways, I hear: “Still your mind and open your heart.”

Still my mind. Experience serenity.

When I channel my higher self, my Spirit Guide, or any of the spirits that come to speak with me, I hear differently. I calm the chatter in my mind and I hear with my heart. I hear through feeling. I can’t do that when I’m not serene. When I work with clients, guiding them through past life regression, it’s when my mind is calm and I’m most present with them, in serenity, that I’m most effective. When I channel Reiki energy, I can intuitively foster the most healing environment when I am serene.

But more than that, it’s when I am serene that I can let go of the unnecessary weight in my daily life. In fact, it’s when I’m serene that I can see clearly what it is that actually is unnecessary. I can identify what I don’t need, or what isn’t mine. I can let go of hurt or anger or desire or confusion and just be. Serenity gives me the space to step back, to think objectively, and then to act in the way that I feel is representative of the me I want to be.

How to do it? There are lots of ways. Meditation. And if that comes hard for you, try guided meditation. Yoga Nidra. Listening to calming music. Walking, hiking, running, swimming, or dancing. Lose yourself in your breath, in the rhythm or flow of your own movement. Try attributing a color to the chatter in your mind. (Mine is yellow.) Then imagine that color fading or escaping or being gradually replaced by another darker color as you feel your receptive center move gently down from your head to your heart. Feel the vibration of what you hear change as well. Notice what’s present when this happens. Notice that what remains is what is important. Take stock, peacefully. Feel the freedom of less. Then listen.

It is in serenity that you will understand and know how to proceed. It’s in serenity that you will see different things differently. It’s in serenity that you will find answers. It’s in serenity that you will be most able to forgive, to let go, to let lie. It’s in serenity that you will be able to accept the things you cannot change and to change the things you can.

And, maybe, like me, today, it’s in serenity that you might just pull out an old memory, pay attention to it in light of what you know now, and find something new.

I am the love of my life.

My best friend has been going through a hard time after a challenging break up. You know, one of those splits that leaves you reeling, unsure of footing or direction or… anything? I’ve been there. I highly suspect you have too.

Last night, I got a text from her. It was simple, but so exactly perfect. She wrote: “I realize that I am the love of my life.”

“I am the love of my life.”

That’s big.

Can you love someone else, truly, when you do not love yourself? Collecting the emotions or affections of others to fill you up when you are yourself empty does not work. Without love within to serve as your sponge, your magnet, the other-love dissipates quickly. Vanishes. And leaves you, again, empty.

Can you heal yourself, truly, when you do not love yourself? Without the self actualization and empowerment that comes from belief in and love of yourself, you have nothing to draw upon as strength. Your fortitude is low, you run on fumes. Without your own regenerating light power within, your love, you will not thrive.

Can you free yourself, truly, when you do not love yourself? Not one of us is immune to karma, the binding lessons of soul life. And not one of us can ultimately find the karmic balance of love without love within to guide us, remind us, show us the way. We are all deity. Loving yourself motivates you to be the best version of yourself. Being the best you allows you to love others wholly, without judgement or expectation. Love is the source and the goal.

Can you be yourself, truly, when you do not love yourself? Who are you when not your best you? A shadow? A shell? You are not the flat grey form on the sidewalk in the summertime light. You are not only skin deep. Who you truly are is only as bold and brave and  beautiful as your powerful spirit within. And it is through deep and unconditional self love that you may honestly actualize that you.

It is sometimes hard to love yourself. It takes honesty. It takes responsibility. It takes ownership of feelings and words and actions. And it takes acceptance. No, you’re not always perfect. And you know what? That’s not only ok, it’s awesome. Because you’re you, and you’re beautiful, and you’re learning, and you’re loving. And while you may have a long way to go (we all do) you are totally on your way.

“I am the love of my life.”

Say it. Remind yourself. Like my friend, claim it and be proud. Because in truly being the love of your life, you will be the best you you have ever imagined. You will be more loving, more caring, more giving, more forgiving, more approachable, more open, more true, more honest, more responsible, more understanding, more free, more empowered. You will be more alive. And isn’t that what this life, really, is all about?  We’re here to live, right? Why not go all in?

What do you have to do to fall madly in love with yourself? Try spending more time with yourself for starters. Treat yourself with respect and listen, really listen to what you have to say. Try being a little less hard on yourself when you mess up. Own your mistakes, for sure, but learn from them and move on. Know that you’ll do better next time because you’re paying attention. Congratulate yourself when you succeed. Be kind to yourself when you’re hurting. Eliminate negative self talk. Be honest with yourself — not critical, just honest. Stop making excuses. Try less and do more. Just be there. You are your own best friend. Act like it.

And when you do find that you are loving yourself more, roll with it. There’s no need for limits. Self love is not selfish. You’re not loving yourself at the expense of others. In fact, you will find that you can love others more and better when you have filled yourself up. You will find an ever-flowing, abundant source right within you.

But first of all, believe. Give it a shot. If you have to, fake it until you make it. But do it. Look in the mirror or right into your heart. Take a deep breath in. And when you say it, say it like you mean it:

“I am the love of my life.”