A haunting melodic prayer awakens you from a deep sleep just before sunrise. The Arabic words echo across the rooftops from speakers, and although visitors like me do not understand them, the local population heeds this call to prayer. They turn towards Mecca, to the East, to pray. This is a morning ritual in Morocco, one that is repeated five times each day. I visited Morocco for a different kind of experience and came away with far more than I anticipated – a spiritual journey that I will never forget.

Our camel trek across the desert. Photo provided by Janet Lace of Marlin Travel

Our camel trek across the desert. Photo provided by Janet Lace of Marlin Travel

In older cities like Ouarzazate, people still live like they did one thousand years ago.  As our caravan of jeeps passed through the winding roads of the mountainous terrain we saw shepherds tending to flocks of goats and sheep. We passed empty gas stations and saw few cars on the road. (The price of gas is equivalent to ours in Canada.) The people in rural areas travel mostly in carts pulled by donkeys or on foot. There is no government assistance for the poor; families help one another and come up with creative means of earning enough income for food and shelter. Hence the many souks (outdoor markets) spread across the country where locals sell their crafts—handmade leather shoes and slippers, argan oil, pottery, pashimas, and beautiful hand woven rugs.

Very few people go to doctors in Morocco. Instead they visit pharmacies where traditional medicines are sold over the counter, even antibiotics. Farmers, no matter the size of their land, are excluded from paying taxes to encourage farming. Agriculture and tourism are the two biggest money producers, however due to low average rainfalls, the water supply will decrease by 50% in two years, forcing the government to decide which industry to support – agriculture or tourism. Already measures are being taken to replace orange trees with olive trees which require less water to cultivate.

The current ruler, Mohammed the 6th, is slowly but surely introducing reforms to the country. His wife was the first of “first ladies” to unveil and show her face to the people. Mohammed the 6th strongly defends new family laws which give women the same right to divorce as men. This is considered extremely liberal by the many Islamists among the coalition government in a country where men can still choose to have four wives. Surprisingly 30 women occupy seats in the lower chamber of government.

As we made our way to the desert in the heart of Merzouga’s red sand dunes, we drove deeper into Muslim culture. The women in our group remained behind while our drivers filled up at a local gas station. We were not allowed without head scarves. The more popular tongues spoken in Morocco are Arabic and French with a smattering of English. For the most part I found the people humble, respectful, spiritual and earthy. Alcohol is not part of their culture yet they respect ours and so most dining establishments offer wine and beer, with the exception of the traditional Berber home we visited where we sat on cushions on the floor and shared a delicious lunch served in tagines.

The highlight of the trip awaited us in the desert and our drivers raced the jeeps across the dunes to get to the camp first. We would stay there overnight in a Bedouin camp, two to a tent complete with beds and portable toilets. There was no time to change; we dropped our overnight bags in the tent and waited patiently while the camel drivers wound scarves around our heads before making our way to a herd of camels resting in the sand. We were given brief instructions: lean back and hold on when the camel rises or risk getting thrown over his head! As our caravan of camels headed across the dunes, I felt a connection to this ancient land and its people. At any moment I expected to see Lawrence of Arabia bounding across the desert!

Sun Salutation, photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

Sun Salutation, photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

It was close to sunset when we dismounted and removed our shoes to climb to the highest point. From the top of a sand dune we had a panoramic view of brilliant blue sky awash in a kaleidoscope of color. The camel drivers posed us with the sun at our backs and took photos to give us a unique memory of this unforgettable experience. Too soon it was time for our procession to mount up and head back to camp. During the night I awoke a couple of times to see the blanket over the entrance of our tent flapping in the wind. It was comforting to know that the camel drivers tending the fires watched over us.

Rooftop of the Riad, Ouarzazate, Photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

Rooftop of the Riad, Ouarzazate, Photo provided by Janet Lace, Marlin Travel

We set out early the next morning for Ouarzazate for an overnight stay in a traditional Riad. Riads are stone structures with a central courtyard that contains a water fountain and plants. As we made our way on foot through the narrow, cobbled streets people came to their doors to greet us and smile. Some of our “neighbors” sold crafts from their homes and beckoned us in. We watched one woman weaving a beautiful, multi-colored rug. Everything is sold on a barter system and the vendors not only expect buyers to haggle over the price, they enjoy it! We were thrilled to learn from our host that Brad Pitt and Ridley Scott had stayed overnight at the same Riad and held a windup party on the terrace overlooking the village!

On the road to Marrakech the next morning we paused for a photo op of the Kasbah of Ait-Ben-Haddou, the fortress which served as a backdrop for Lawrence of Arabia and The Gladiators. The breathtaking views from the winding, narrow road down the mountains were spectacular – we reached altitudes of more than 2260 meters – well worth the trip for photographers and anyone in awe of Mother Nature.

Our final day was spent in Casablanca, a bustling modern city of some four million people. We visited the famous Hassan II Mosque (tourists are not allowed inside) built to accommodate 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 on the outdoor terrace. We moved on to Le Sinatra Restaurant for a final lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean – and no, the film “Casablanca” was not shot in Casablanca but almost entirely on a Warner Brother’s lot! The movie however helped turn Casablanca into a popular tourist spot.

I have only touched on a few highlights of our 10-day tour to this fascinating country on the North West Coast of Africa. I heard a passing comment that we are far more advanced in the Western World than our host country. We have advanced to the point where we depend on technology and credit cards to get us through life while the old country depends on Mother Nature. We have a long way to go to catch up.

If you can take but one trip in your lifetime, let it be to Morocco. I only covered a small number of pleasant memories from the trip…after all I don’t want to spoil the many surprises that await you! For more information on a tour of Morocco, or if you want help in planning your next vacation, please contact one of the following agencies across Canada, whose Managers/Owners (all winners of the Bravo Club Excellence Award) I had the pleasure of travelling with. Thanks Transat Distribution Canada and Transat Discoveries for this amazing opportunity!

Janet Lace (janet.lace@marlintravel.ca) 1-877-404-9857 (Hamilton)

Claude Lapointe (claude.lapointe@marlintravel.ca) 613-443-1417 (Embrun)

Marion Rose (mrose@elgintravel.ca) 1-888-849-2789 (St. Thomas)

John Wood (john@durhamtravel.ca) 905-260-5646 (Courtice)

Melanie Johnston (Melanie.johnston@marlintravel.ca) 1-888-370-8752 (Edmonton)

Denise Luciani (denise.luciani@marlintravel.ca) 1-800-440-5303 (Brantford)

Susan Young (susan.young@marlintravel.ca) 905-723-7726 Ext 2221 (Oshawa)

 

Myth No. 4: The Missing Years
Jesus left home at the tender age of 12. It was customary at this age for boys to undergo a Temple ceremony to be publicly acknowledged as a man. Because of his family position, it is likely that Jesus furthered his studies at a school for the privileged, possibly in Jerusalem where he remained under the watchful eyes of the High Priests.

At around the age of 15, Joseph took Jesus on an extended journey that lasted more than two years. The journey was for political reasons to introduce Jesus, the crown prince, to the Diaspora – the displaced Jews who had fled Jerusalem when King David lost his throne. The diaspora settled in Alexandria in Egypt, Babylon, Ephesus, and as far as Rome.

The wealthy businessmen among the Diaspora had little interest in returning to their homeland; however they continued to send financial support to the Essenes by paying taxes. Jesus’ grandfather, Jacob-Heli, was growing old and wanted his heirs known to the Diaspora to ensure they continued to send financial support after his death. Hence there was good reason for Joseph and Jesus to meet their benefactors as the future heirs.

Upon returning from their long journey, Jesus entered the Essene Order of Priests in Qumran as a young initiate at the age of 17. In doing so he took a vow of poverty and chastity. Jesus lived and studied with the Essenes until his mid to late twenties, and it was during these years that he met Mary Magdalene.

Myth No. 5: Mary Magdalene was a prostitute
Mary was most definitely not a prostitute. She came from the Village of Magdala where her father was a wealthy businessman in the fishing industry. It was rumored that she was a divorced woman and had fled to Qumran to escape her husband.

Neither the High Priests nor the Essene Elders approved of the relationship that developed between Jesus and Mary. She became the target of much jealousy when Jesus appointed her as one of his disciples. When she and Jesus married it was against the wishes of the elders and high priests who felt that a divorced woman was not a good choice for their future king. For this reason, along with political differences, Jesus left the Essene priesthood to form his own public ministry.

Myth No. 6: Jesus was tried for blasphemy
Jesus wanted to bring social reforms to the country – reforms that went against tradition. He advocated equal rights, believing that any person who wished to serve God – man, woman, Jew or gentile – should have the right to do so.

His reforms made him popular among the masses, however his influence with the people were seen as a threat to the High Priests of Jerusalem and to Herod Antipas who was the ruling King at the time. Jesus was arrested and tried on trumped up charges of sedition – for inciting a public riot when the crowd who came to hear him preach got out of hand and could not be controlled by the Roman soldiers.

Myth No. 7: The Crucifixion
It is my belief that a Secret Order was formed to rescue Jesus from the cross when he was crucified and that Mary Magdalene was instrumental in forming this Order. Crucifixions were commonly carried out by the Romans; it was also in their power to release victims before death claimed them.

Jesus was given a potent while on the cross to ease his suffering and put him to sleep. He was still alive when removed from the cross and taken to a cave where healers looked after him. During this time he endured hallucinations and may have had a Near Death Experience. When he had recovered sufficiently to be moved, his followers took him by cart back to Qumran where he was hidden in the caves.

There is evidence that Jesus lived well into his seventies. He remained physically disabled after the crucifixion and may have spent his remaining years guiding his disciples in the writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Myth No. 8: Healing Miracles
The Essenes were an advanced society that practiced ancient healing methods similar to Reiki. Jesus had knowledge of the spirit world and knew how to transmit healing rays directly from the angelic realms to the patient. He understood the power of faith, and this along with his healing skills, produced some miraculous results.

Myth No. 9: Jesus the Man
How could a man as passionate about life as Jesus not love a woman? The Essenes practiced celibacy during their initiation years however once ordained, they were free to marry.  Jesus was next in line to the throne after Joseph. He was likely expected to marry and have children to ensure the royal line continued.

Jesus, like the rest of us, incarnated on earth to further his soul development. There is no doubt that he was an extraordinary man, well ahead of his time. No matter whether we think of him as Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Man, it is important to remember what he stood for and the great lessons he taught – unconditional love – compassion – brotherhood – and peace.

Your comments are appreciated. I know that many people hold firm beliefs around the crucifixion and resurrection…I don’t wish to offend anyone but merely offer a different perspective on this crucial part of history. I look forward to reading your comments when I return. Om shanti.

Many books have been written about Jesus over the years but to many he still remains an enigma. Was he the son of God as history would have us believe? Was he the messiah or a prophet? Or was he simply an extraordinary man? Several years ago I set out on a quest to find the answers to these and other questions. After researching the subject for seven years and writing a book on the subject, I feel satisfied that I have come as close to the truth as one can possibly get.

To get to the truth it was necessary to dispel some of the myths around Jesus and his life. Having studied screenwriting for many years, I learned that the best way to write dialogue and develop character is to know the subject intimately. Then everything that the character says and does will ring true. So I immersed myself in the culture and habits of ancient Jerusalem, researched the Herodian years when King Herod ruled the land, studied the politics, religion, customs and beliefs, and got to know Jesus’ family history. Here are some of the truths I uncovered:

Dead Sea Scrolls, courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com

Dead Sea Scrolls, courtesy of news.nationalgeographic.com

Myth No. 1: Was Jesus born of the Immaculate Conception?

Joseph (Jesus’ father) was a member of a religious order in Qumran called the Essenes. His father was Jacob-Heli, a descendant of Nathon who was the son of King David. In a sense, the Essenes were a more liberal society than their Jewish brothers in Jerusalem. They were also nationalists who aspired to put their own King back on the throne of Jerusalem and unite their country.

The Essenes practiced a complicated life of celibacy. They coupled with their wives only to have children and then lived apart from them. Because of Joseph’s royal lineage, having a royal heir to the throne was equally important to Joseph and to the Essenes. Now, here is the shocker. Mary became pregnant while betrothed to Joseph. This was common practice among the Essenes, a sort of trial marriage with the real marriage ceremony taking place when the woman became three months pregnant.

The Elder Essenes approved of the marriage between Joseph and Mary because it involved a royal birth. Possibly even the Crown Prince they longed for. The birth of Jesus placed him in direct line to the royal David throne. In actual fact, Jesus was conceived by Mary and Joseph according to the Essene custom, before the marriage ceremony. He was born the son of God in the same sense that you and I are sons and daughters of God.

But not all Jews accepted the legitimacy of Jesus’ birth. While some Jews proclaimed him their future King – others denounced his birth, claiming he was illegitimate and therefore not the rightful heir to the throne of David. The legitimacy of Jesus’ birth and his right to the throne became a political problem in later years. Hence the reason why the concept of the Immaculate Conception became popular in some religions.

Ancient Qumran, home of the Essene community. Courtesy of www.christusrex.org

Ancient Qumran, home of the Essene community. Courtesy of http://www.christusrex.org

Myth Number 2: Was Jesus born in a stable in Bethlehem?
When the Essenes were exiled from Jerusalem after King David lost his throne, they set up their own community in Qumran and formed their own government, alongside the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Qumran happens to be close to Bethlehem and of course, the Dead Sea. The Essenes even built a temple in Qumran, similar to the Great Temple in Jerusalem

With Joseph and his father both devout members of the Essene community, a separate structure was built close by for visiting members of the royal family. It was appropriately called The Royal House, a place for members of the royal family of David to give birth to heirs. Joseph and Mary traveled there from Nazareth to give birth to Jesus, the future Crown Prince. The birth of Jesus was celebrated by holy men – the elder Essenes who visited the Royal House to bless his birth.

Myth No. 3: Was Jesus a carpenter by trade?

Jesus was born into an affluent family. His grandfather Jacob was Governor of the West and both he and Joseph were esteemed members of the royal family. It seems more probable, due to his station in life and connections, that Joseph owned a flourishing construction business with other family members. Jesus likely learned carpentry skills at an early age while helping his father in the business.

Having been born into a political family, Jesus would have had great expectations placed on him as the heir in line to the throne after his father. Yet despite their status, Jesus’ family favored the simple way of life practiced by the Essene community. They were vegetarians and worked in service to others – healing and administering to the poor. By today’s standards, the Essenes were an advanced society in terms of their social policies. It is not surprising then that Jesus incorporated these values into his preaching when he broke away from the Essenes and took his ministry on the road.

To be continued…watch for Jesus: the Man and the Myths Part 2

When you are called to work with the angelic and spiritual realms, there is no limit to what you can do to help souls, both deceased and living. My good friend Freda Gladle, a medium residing in Ogdensburg, New York was asked by a friend to help with a male spirit in her home that was causing problems. This male spirit was nasty! Upon visiting the woman’s home near Potsdam, Freda immediately sensed a man and a woman with a dog.

Freda’s friend had arranged to have a paranormal team visit her home with a psychic to exorcise the house. During their research and investigation, the paranormal team discovered that the former owner of the house had been hit by a vehicle and had walked back into the house where he died. Now this male spirit was angry because he did not like the new owners or the renovations they had done to his house and he was trying to force them to move out.

The male spirit refused to leave the house and the paranormal team left to go back downstate. Meanwhile problems with him continued to escalate until Freda’s friend called on her for help. In her own words, Freda explains how she contacted the male spirit on the astral plane. “Of course it is generally during sleep around two a.m. (when she does this work). I was standing in the doorway of the garage when he approached and asked who I was and what the Hell are you doing here??? I informed him I was just visiting a while and wanted to meet him, and then left. 

 A couple of nights later I again returned and spoke with him, explaining he was deceased, what had transpired, and offered to assist him in the transition. He was satisfied and allowed me to assist him. A few nights went by when I returned to the house to check it. He appeared and thanked me for the information and assistance. I never saw him again. (My friend) informed me it is quiet at her place, the animals are not acting strange, the family never hears noises, plus they get a good night sleep.”

Freda explained that “many people when they pass over have no one to greet them. So they are lost and do not know where they are, or that they are dead. They then return to where they came from, a familiar place, often their home. This then is a haunted house. They cannot understand where they are or why other people are living in that house, often making them very upset.”

This makes perfect sense to me. Imagine if you were suddenly called away from home and when you returned someone else was living in it. Not only that, the intruders had renovated “your” house to their liking! Wouldn’t you be angry and want these strangers out of your house?

A few years ago I was approached by a man who was terminally ill with cancer. He had heard about my training and work as a distance healer with the White Eagle Lodge through a mutual friend and asked if I could help him. We set up a time in the evenings when we would both meditate for the purpose of connecting on the angelic/spiritual realm and I would send healing to him. During these sessions I was able to visualize the internal organs of “the patient” and the effects of the cancer on his body, particularly swelling in the abdomen and legs. Accordingly, I sent the appropriate colors of healing rays.

During our work together, we corresponded by email or telephone after each session and I explained what I had seen and recommend changes in diet, particularly to reduce the swelling which was causing discomfort and making it especially difficult for him to walk. After a few sessions, the patient happily reported that he felt well enough to attend a family reunion picnic. His condition continued to improve and he sent me an email with this message:

“Beverley, I thought you might like to know that we had a consultation on Monday with my Oncologist (Dr. Cripps), whom we had last seen about a month ago when the mutual decision was made to suspend chemo treatments. My blood test results including white cell count, neutrophils, etc were all normal and the doctor was surprised to see how much of the edema (retained fluid) in the tissues of my legs and feet had receded (to the point where I am almost back to normal). The abdominal fluids, which are still of some concern, are being drained every two or three days but also seem to be reducing somewhat recently.

Dr. Cripps was obviously taken aback and said something like: “We don’t normally expect to see this” and “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it”. We know that the significant reduction in fluid retention is a very good sign which most likely means that physical healing is taking place. We were all relieved at Dr. Cripps’s reaction but I’m finding myself since somewhat in a state of shock or even disbelief (Is this news too good to be true?).” 

During a healing session a few nights later I received a disturbing message from the “Higher Beings” that I work with on the spiritual realms. I was told that “I had done all I could. Now it was time to discontinue the healing and let him go.” I was heartbroken for this man and his family, and wept for them, but I also realized that I am but a vessel for the work of higher beings; it is not for me to decide. It was made clear to me that “his work here on Earth is finished and will continue in the spiritual afterlife.” Dan left this world soon after.

I have been called to another city where I will take up residence in the next few weeks. Watch for my next post when I get settled in.

 

It happened not once but twice – an unusual phenomena that left people shaking their heads and wondering if a UFO had touched down in Delta, Ontario, just a half hour from where I live. Jim LaForty was taking an early morning walk around his farm back in 2000 the first time he discovered unusual markings in the ice covering the pond behind his barn. A perfect circle with a ridge about 3 inches wide and approximately 15 feet in diameter appeared to have been cut into the ice.

Photo taken by Cathie Whittaker for The Mural. Joan LaForty and the ice circle.

Photo taken by Cathie Whittaker for The Mural. Joan LaForty and the ice circle.

The mystery circle wasn’t there the night before so it had to have appeared sometime during the night or early morning before Jim showed up at 7:00 am. There were no visible footprints or signs of disturbance in the frosty grass around the edge of the pond, and the ice was too thin to walk on, so how did the ice ring appear? Jim’s wife Joan had never seen anything like it. “It’s as if something came down from the sky, landed here, and left this track in the ice.”

2nd Ice Ring 2011. Photo provided by Joan LaForty

2nd Ice Ring 2011. Photo provided by Joan LaForty

Joan did not believe in UFOs, but after seeing this strange circle with no explanation for how it had gotten there, she began to wonder. Cathy Whittaker, a reporter with The Mural, heard about the mystery and featured a story about it in the paper along with a photo of Joan with the ice circle in the background. I spoke with Joan recently and she mentioned that after the article appeared in print, calls started coming in from other parts of Canada and the United States. She also said that the ice circle had shown up on the pond again just two years ago. This time they kept the story to themselves.

2nd Ice Circle - Photo provided by Joan LaForty. Check out the interesting "light" at the top!

2nd Ice Circle – Photo provided by Joan LaForty. Check out the interesting “light” at the top!

When the first ice circle appeared at the LaForty farm, it caught the attention of Paul Anderson, Director of Circles Phenomenon Research Canada (CPRC), who showed up at the LaForty farm for a look. I tried to contact Paul to get his opinion on the ice circle however his telephone number is no longer in service and the CPRC website no longer exists. So I asked Joan what she thought caused the ice circles. Joan has since abandoned the idea of UFOs and takes a more scientific approach to the ice circles. Having seen two identical ice rings in the same place, at different times, Joan now believes they were caused by a combination of factors, including electricity in the air, water current, and temperature.

I looked at a number of photos of ice circles available online and the explanations provided for them. In each case the ice circles appear to be loose and flowing, unlike Joan’s ice circle which appears to be encased in ice. Is it possible that the current in the pond caused the water to flow in a perfect circle and this is what created the ice circles? Or is there something out there beyond explanation that caused these mystery circles? What do you think? (Thanks Ryan Kentfield for suggesting this story and thank you Joan LaForty for providing the photos and commenting!)

We all know where babies come from but the jury is still out on exactly at what point of fetal/infancy they develop a soul. There are four possibilities for when this might occur – at the time of conception, sometime during the pregnancy stage, at time of birth, and sometime after birth.

To arrive at a conclusion, it is important to take into consideration your personal beliefs, what makes sense to you, and your knowledge of how body, mind and spirit work in relation to the Spirit World. One theory would have you believe that the soul is present throughout pregnancy because the infant in the womb reacts to the mother’s thoughts and experiences and remembers them. My response to this theory is to caution you not to confuse the “mind” with the “soul” for the two are very separate.

The mind is the intellectual part of the brain, a thinking, analyzing, decision-making reactive mechanism, while the soul is actually the blueprint that stores all past life experiences, memories, karma accountability, Universal knowledge, and spiritual life. This energy force, or soul body, surrounds the physical body with a protective aura and is the eternal life that returns to the Spirit World upon physical death.

I explain the fetal reaction to a mother’s thoughts and emotions as “pregnancy conditioning” – that is, the unborn infant stores impressions in its mind similar to how a child’s mind develops based on conditioning through his/her environment, family values and beliefs, cultural orientation, education, and other factors. The soul on the other hand, is connected to the physical body via energy points known as “chakras”. It is through the crown chakra that the spiritual energy force acts as a beacon to connect our soul body to the Spirit World or Universal life. Some people refer to this as the “silver cord”.

Infants are born with an umbilical cord which connects them to the mother’s life force, and a silver cord which connects it eternally to the spiritual life force. The actual timing of when the soul joins the body – whether in the seventh month of pregnancy or at birth – is less important than understanding why it happens. My own belief is that the soul joins the physical body when the umbilical cord is severed. At this point the infant becomes a spiritual being. Until then, the fetus in the womb is a physical, living organ without a soul body.

image courtesy of www.tsl.org

image courtesy of http://www.tsl.org

The soul already contains a history when it joins the infant’s body, and based on a pre-conceived plan, chooses its birth family according to where it is on its evolutionary path, the initiation it is working in this lifetime (Earth, Air, Fire, or Water), its accumulated karmic debt, and its spiritual mission. It is no coincidence that the parents of the child share the same astrological sun sign and/or rising sign with their newborn. For example, my two sons were born in the sun signs of Sagittarius and Gemini respectively. I am Sagittarius with a Gemini rising.

It is also typical for souls of departed loved ones to reincarnate into the same soul family they left so they might continue to evolve through their chosen initiation in this lifetime and draw opportunities to balance their karma within those relationships. Parents have a particular role in helping their child’s soul to advance – whether it is the lesson of unconditional love, faith, or humbleness and poverty they teach – the parents are the stewards, the keepers of that child’s soul while it is entrusted to them.

I want to thank my niece Katie for inspiring me to write this post with her soul searching questions. She and husband Stefan are expecting their first little soul in June of this year. Please note that all information contained in this particular post is based on my personal knowledge and experience with the Spirit World and the loving guidance and wisdom of the Higher Beings to whom I am privileged to know. I appreciate and respect that there are many different opinions from mine out there and so I leave it to you to form your own. As always, I welcome your opinions, comments and questions.

Happy New Year and good will to all! May this be a year that the less fortunate find good fortune; that government and world leaders find wisdom; that those battling mental or physical illness find strength; that those facing the unknown find courage; and that there be peace in the hearts and minds of women, men, and children throughout the world.

If you haven’t yet made a New Year’s Resolution, you might find this passage from Rumi a worthy and wise choice to consider. I came across it on Pat’s blog at www.patce.gan.

Before You Speak

Let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’

At the second ask, ‘Is it necessary?’

At the third gate ask ‘Is it kind?’

My friend Allison Craig shared the following words of wisdom with me a few months before she left this world. The author is Neale Donald Walsch. I share them with you now in memory of Allison’s beautiful spirit.

God wants you to know…

That no one does anything they do not want to do.You always have a reason—and usually a pretty good one—for doing what you are doing and choosing what you choose. 

Be careful not to convince yourself that you are doing something against your will. Such a thing is impossible.

Therefore be honest with yourself as to why you are choosing to do a particular thing. Then do it gladly, knowing that you are always getting to do what you want. 

The statement “I have no choice” is a lie. You can choose. You simply do not prefer the alternatives available to you for whatever reason. So you select the outcome that you most prefer. Isn’t that power?

I have much to be thankful for as we start the year 2014, including the many visitors worldwide who find my blog and enjoy it enough to return for more. Special thanks to those who take the time to leave comments, email me with personal stories,”like” the posts, and “follow” my blog. Your support encourages me to keep on blogging! I am closing in on my goal to get the blog around the world – 137 countries or 65% of the world with over 33,000+ visitors so far! 

Finally, I am happy to be part of the Word Press family. I quickly found a home in this supportive community where I continue to meet wonderful new blogging friends and discover amazing blogs. It proves once again that no matter where you live in the world, what language you speak, or your culture, there is an underlying spiritual connection that binds us all…we are one and the same in Spirit.

May you live a soul-full life in 2014!.

Beverley 0000XXXX

Not of a white Christmas…snow is a reality here in Canada. But I did dream recently of winning $40 million in a lottery. The dream seemed so real that I recall shouting “I hope I’m not dreaming” three times! For a few seconds I felt what it was like to win a lottery before it was taken away from me and given to someone else with the same name. Bummer!

I sent my dream to my blogging friend Cathy Hunsberger who has studied dreams and dream interpretation for over 30 years. She also gives seminars on dreams in Virginia and recently published a book on the subject. Cathy believes that dreams are a form of communication. “They are received via your subconscious while you sleep. Yes, they do mean a lot. They bring messages about your life, relationships, career, creative efforts, and more. These messages, when acted on, can change your life.” 

Here is a condensed version of her interpretation of my dream: Your dream certainly sounds like a good omen. You may have two personas, one of which is going to receive a windfall – do you have multiple projects and/or areas of expertise? Your namesake won, while you did not – are you not buying into a talent of yours that may be valuable? It felt real, as though you had won – perhaps your intuitive self knows something you do not.

Cathy Hunsberger, Dreams Interpreter and Author

Cathy Hunsberger, Dreams Interpreter and Author

You might ask what Lottery tickets mean to you. Describe the process as though you were explaining it to a Martian. For example, “I saw a piece of fruit with a solid outer peel, yellow in color with a curved shape. I had to remove the peel to get to the inner soft sweet meat” provides a better clue to what’s going on than, “I saw a banana.”

We all dream nightly but we don’t always remember our dreams, and some of them may actually be about past lives you have experienced. Because people sometimes have difficulty determining when a dream is about a past incarnation I asked Cathy to define a past life dream. She said Dreams of another life have a different feel and look about them. The setting is a past era; the clothing, transportation, lifestyle and culture reflect that time. You may even find yourself speaking in a language other than your current native tongue. You have remembrances or see experiences of being someone else. It is as though you are on a stage, living out a drama that is very real to you. Images are clear and crisp.

As with all dreams, past life dreams have a specific purpose. They work as a vehicle to remind you of something important that you otherwise would not dredge up from your subconscious on your own.  You most likely are struggling with a specific frustration or anxiety.  You might have a path blocked or a relationship in jeopardy. The past life dream shows you where those concerns began, the source of the lessons you are now continuing to learn. Once you understand the source of your challenges, you can begin to work on them more efficiently and effectively.”

Dreams-Unlocking the MysteryCathy’s book Dreams: Unlocking the Mystery takes you on an exciting journey through the world of dreams. It shows you how to remember your dreams, decode your dreams, and use those dreams to your best advantage. This information has the power to transform your waking world. Dreams are real; they are personal, and can change your life. You can order Cathy’s book through Amazon or click here:  http://www.bridgeunlimited

My dream felt so real that I went out and purchased a couple of lottery tickets when the jackpot hit $40 million. I didn’t win the lottery, but since the dream I have received windfalls in other ways that will bring positive changes to my life in 2014. I am a great believer in the importance of dreams knowing they are a window to our subconscious mind and a doorway to past lives. I found Cathy’s interpretation of my dream extremely accurate and insightful.

As a special Christmas present to you, Cathy has generously offered to interpret some of your dreams, free of charge. Simply describe your dream as you remember it, leave it in the comment box on this post, and include your email address. Cathy will send her interpretation to you privately by email.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Blessed Christmas. May you be surrounded by the love and joy of family and friends. Peace on earth. Good will to all, and stay safe on the roads. Beverley 

Have you ever wondered why money seems to flow easier to some people while others work diligently to accumulate their hard earned cash and never quite get there? According to The Secret the Law of Attraction basically works this way: ask, believe and you will receive. What it does not tell you is the theory works better for some personality types than others.

courtesy of http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/06/

courtesy of newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/06/

According to Myers-Briggs, there are 16 distinct personality types that determine whether you are introverted or extraverted (I-E), intuitive or sensing (N-S), thinking or feeling (T-F), and perceptive or judgmental (P-J). These personality types are then divided into four groups: artisans, guardians, idealists and rationalists. Statistics show that the group you fit into determines how much money you will earn based on your personality type.

Here is a condensed version of the personality types (Looking at Type: The Fundamentals, Charles Martin, Ph.D.):

ISTJ

Responsible, organized
Efficient and practical
Takes things seriously and expect the same from others
Traditional and conforming
May not be emotionally available, can hold rigid points of view
Likes formal and informal acknowledgements- cards and ‘thank you’
Under stress: may withdraw, push too hard to get things done

ISTP

Logical, realistic- natural trouble shooters
Quiet and analytical observers
Can be detached and overly pragmatic
Can be uncomfortable dealing with their emotions
Occasionally shows a spontaneous, playful side
Likes to be acknowledged for their problem-solving capabilities
Under stress: can feel trapped, move impulsively

ESTP

Enthusiastic, hands on, adaptable realists
Enjoys real-life experiences, new activities and challenges
Happiest when they are “in the moment”
Friendly, talkative and outgoing
Can be too eager for the next experience
Wants to be respected for their need for freedom
Under stress: may become excessively impulsive

ESTJ

Great talkers with strong opinions
Dependable and responsible
Find comfort in family routines and traditions
Organized and orderly, may try to control their partner
Can be inflexible and impatient
Wants to be acknowledged for keeping things running smoothly
Under stress: may become hypercritical and controlling

ISFJ

Strong need to belong and to have harmony
Good with details and the here-and-now
Trusts lessons of the past, rather than trying new things
Amazing command of the facts
Does not like confrontation
Needs to be appreciated for their contribution
Under stress: can become rigid

ISFP

Gentle, sensitive, compassionate
Down to earth, prefers action to words
Modest and reserved
Can take a long time to get to know
Hides their vulnerability behind an air of detachment
Wants a deep, intimate connection with partner
Under stress: can become passive and withdraw

ESFP

Enthusiastic about real-life experiences
Energetic and fun-loving, practical
Spontaneous and flexible
Frustrated by rules and regulations
Outgoing, a people person
Special concern for children
May show a lack of commitment or seem impulsive
Under stress: may be excessively impulsive, over commit

ESFJ

Cares intensely about people; generously supports them
Harmony is essential to their well-being
Takes work seriously and thinks others should also
Traditions, family events and holidays are important
Comfortable in leadership roles
Can be intolerant (based on their clear sense of right and wrong)
Under stress: can be overly emotional, see only the negative

INFJ

Deep concern for people and relationships
Lives for insight and imagination
Love of learning
Deeply concerned with fellowship and harmony; caring and compassionate
Concerned with the growth of others
Idealists at heart; value trust in relationships
Can be stubborn about their own correctness
Under stress: may be critical, self-absorbed

INFP

Skilled communicators
Often idealistic
Harmony in relationships is important
May not be able to get their own needs met
Excited by new ideas and possibilities
Creativity is important; artistic activities
Doesn’t appreciate people treading on their values
Under stress: can be critical of others

ENFP

Loves to talk about what is going on in their lives
Encourages their partner to grow
Needs to feel encouraged
Tends to withdraw to process hurt feelings in private
Needs to hear how much they mean to someone
Likes spontaneous demonstrations of love and respect
Under stress: may have difficulty saying no; take on too much

ENFJ

Strong desire for harmony
Loves to talk with and learn from others
Exceptional people skills
Makes decisions based on personal values
Idealists who need active people contact
Exudes charm, but can overwhelm others with their enthusiasm
Under stress: can be rigidly narrow, emotional and irritable

INTJ

Has strong opinions about the way things could be
Needs to be around other competent people
Avoids interpersonal conflict, but loves a spirited debate
Needs to feel in control
Appears challenging and insensitive (generally not true underneath)
Avoids emotional risks by keeping thoughts and insights to themselves
May appear stubborn
Under stress: may be overly-structured; paralyzed by seeking perfection before taking action

INTP

Flexible and adaptable
Wants to make sense of concepts, and the world
Logical and analytical – wants others to be logical
Has great powers of concentration
Likes abstract and symbolic thinking
Non-traditional
May be seen as aloof; out of touch with the world
Under stress: may feel overwhelmed and misunderstood

ENTP

Excited by possibilities, anything new
Eternal optimists
Value knowledge and competence
Gregarious, sociable; appears self-confident
Tends to view people objectively. so may appear insensitive
May argue for the sake of argument
Under stress: may take on too much, drive themselves to exhaustion

ENTJ

Good at analyzing and bringing order
Logical, big picture thinkers
Energetic planners and builders
Values competence and intelligence
Holds themselves to high standards
Confident and assertive
Under stress: may become hypercritical of self and others

To discover your personality type, you can take a free test online, however the results are not necessarily valid. The one at http://www.keirsey.com/ costs $10 and gives an interpretation as well as the four letters. Or you can take the complete Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test for $45 at https://www.mbticomplete.com/contents/learnmore.aspx

I have always been curious about different religions and cults and what compels people to follow them. Scientology falls somewhere on the fringe of both, and so when an opportunity came up to do a little investigative research, I was up for the challenge. My companion at the time had taken a couple of courses from Scientology and thought they were great, however when he chose not to sign up for additional lessons, letters from the organization turned from friendly to ugly.

Protesters march against the Church of Scientology

Protesters march against the Church of Scientology

The Church of Scientology, as you probably know, was founded by L. Ron Hubbard who said “If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” Hubbard was fascinated with ritual magic, the occult and hypnosis and took an interest in Freud’s theories, Buddhism, and other philosophies. He was also a voracious writer, and his book Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health became a best seller. A technique Hubbard developed, known as auditing, became a focal point in Scientology’s teachings and beliefs.

In Dianetic practice, auditors use an E-meter (similar to a lie detector) to clear patients of any negative effects from painful experiences by repeatedly recalling those experiences until they are erased. While in a trance state, patients began to recall similar painful experiences in past lives, leading Hubbard to believe he had discovered the human soul and that Scientology would free souls from entrapments of the physical world and restore their supernatural powers. His second book Science of Survival embraces that philosophy. Scientology maintains that after a thorough auditing, patients will attain a “clear” state, free from all mental and physical ailments.

My companion and I visited the Ottawa chapter of Scientology to get a firsthand look at what this organization was all about. Upon entering the upstairs establishment, we encountered a small group of young Scientologists sitting at a table, reading. They looked at us suspiciously and asked what we wanted. We explained we were there to find out more about Scientology and so one of our hosts escorted us to a small theatre room at the back of the hall and left us alone. Soon after, a movie came on about the history of Scientology and its founder.

The most intriguing part of the film was Hubbard’s office at Scientology Headquarters in Phoenix, still untouched many years after his death and a virtual shrine to the founder. A startling message came at the end of the film when the camera closed in on a man standing at the end of a pier. He said something to the effect, “Now that you know about Scientology, if you don’t join our organization, you might as well jump off a pier!”

Flagship Headquarters, Clearwater. Florida

Flagship Headquarters,
Clearwater. Florida

A second encounter with Scientology took place in Clearwater, Florida where the “flagship” of the organization is located. The closer we got to the downtown location, the more Scientologists we spotted – young men and women dressed in navy blue suits with briefcases chained to their wrists. The briefcases are said to contain auditing files of their patients. A man stationed at the front door was screening visitors and so we waited until he was busy with another couple and walked on in as though we knew what we were doing. While my companion sat and read some of the material on hand, I studied a huge chart on the wall showing the various levels of study that Scientologists go through to reach the top level. Courses takes years to complete and can cost upwards of $300,000 to $500,000 or more.

The whole time I felt like I was being watched. A young woman appeared and stood very close to me, all the while staring into my eyes as she asked questions. I must have passed the test because she told us we could walk around and left us to wander. The building is quite extravagant with its own theatre, auditorium, gardens, pool, and lavish suites for families to stay in while they study or visit. An impressive facility with all the trappings of a luxury hotel. 

I had heard horror stories from a friend whose companion had been a Scientologist for many years. Some of his children worked for the “org” in California and when he left Scientology, they no longer spoke to him. This is common among Scientologists and in fact encouraged. He was eventually whisked away to Florida for a “debriefing” and eventually got back into the organization. Stories of physical and mental abuse are surfacing as Scientologists flee the organization. A large number of them have formed an independent branch of scientology to continue practicing what they have learned. The Church of Scientology denies that this group exists.

Ron L. Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology

My own research tells me that Scientology is based on fear rather than love – that tactics are used to intimidate, control, manipulate, harass, and even sue members to keep them quiet and fearful. But ex-members are coming out in force to share their stories. The Passionate Eye’s documentary ‘Scientologists At War’ tells the story of a high level Scientologist who left the organization only to be harassed by the same methods he once condoned. Members camped outside his door, harassing him and his family until they moved from the area.

What’s up with that Doc Hubbard? Don’t you know that this raises red flags? That it tells us there is something unhealthy and unpleasant going on in the underbelly of Scientology?

Have you or someone you know had an experience with the Church of Scientology? What are your thoughts on this “non-profit” organization that rakes in billions of tax-free dollars?

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