Letters from Camp #4

beamsinfogNever Too Late to Start

I prayed about whether I was being guided to commit to a training program that most likely would take years to complete. After all, I’m not feeling too much like a Spring chicken these days. Bones creak. I grunt when I get out of the car after driving for a few hours, and it takes me a few steps to loosen back up.

But I am feeling strongly impressed to start walking down this road, and being one who knows that Spirit – my Spirit Guides in particular – understand better than my little personality-Self what is for my highest and greatest good. With a heavy sigh, I make arrangements to attend my first week-long Seminary.

The sigh is not for the information I may glean from the classes, it is for the time and effort it will take to get ready for the trip: the planning, the packing, the loading, the driving, the unloading, the change in time zones, the sleep pattern disruptions…It is really going to take me out of my routine, and so – though I won’t like it very much – it is probably about time for a little routine-disrupting. I learned a few decades ago that the more I can vary my routine, the less likely I am to fall into the density of the consensus reality most people live in.

This time around, I give myself ample time to properly prepare, and this relieves a lot of the stress I sometimes feel when getting ready for a road trip. Fast forward to the week of classes. I am sitting in a class, and somehow the conversation turns to learning, and how when we commit to mediumship, we are best served by continuing to study to improve our knowledge through education and training whenever possible. The message was: there is always more to learn.

An older man is sitting in the class. I notice him because he obviously has more miles on his physical vehicle than I do. He listens intently, and makes the comment that sometimes he wonders if his continued efforts even matter due to his advanced age. The teacher responds by saying that someone once told her that they continue to study not for advancement in THIS life, but in preparation for the NEXT one.

Though this comment was directed at him, it resonated deeply with me, as well. I know now that I will never be too old to be learning about Spirit and the things of Spirit. It is NOT in vain, because it is not for this life,but rather the next, for indeed my Soul is eternal even though this body may not be. Thank you, dear man, for asking that question. I very much needed to hear that message, too. And isn’t that how Spirit works after all? We will all get what we need, even when we don’t know we need it!

Always listen to your heart. The wisdom of your heart is the connection to your authentic power – the true home of your Spirit.                                                                ~Angie Karan

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016 – Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Letters from Camp #2

Camp Chesterfield Sign

Meeting Solomon and Charlie

When I went to explore Camp Chesterfield in July of 2016, I went with some hesitation. My past experiences with Spiritualist Camps in particular, and Spiritualist Churches in general have been – well, mixed is the best word to use.

When I was first reawakened almost 30 years ago, Spirit led me into a tiny Spiritualist church on the West Coast, but based on later experiences in other Spiritualist organizations, you wouldn’t know it was a Spiritualist Church. There was a healing service and a message giving time, but both blended into the regular Sunday service. The founder of this little church was a tiny powerhouse of a woman (supported by her delightful husband Jim) with cornflower blue eyes that – with one glance – could pierce you to your very core. Her name was Beulah. I don’t think it was an accident that one of the meanings for this name is ‘lady-boss’. She certainly was the center around which that church revolved.

There is a whole magnificent teaching story with this Master, but I will save that for some other time. The point of mentioning this church was the sense of welcome and warmth I felt when I stepped into this small, close-knit community. Almost a generation’s worth of years later, I walked into a large well-established Spiritualist church and barely made it to the end of the service. I left, trembling, and decided that was not the place for me. I’ve never been back.

I won’t mention the OTHER Camp I visited that left me disillusioned about all things Spiritualist. There have been some changes there since last I worked there, and I am sure they have been only for the better. When I left there, I left feeling that perhaps this Spiritualism thing was not for me in any form. Yet I kept finding myself on Spiritualist websites (mostly English – as in England – ones). Well, when would I ever have the resources to study in England? Probably never, to be honest here.

Then came the repeated hints (I now understand they were coming from my Dr Teacher) to give the ‘sunflower philosophy’ one more chance. This year, 2016, was the time to do that. I recently moved to a state that put me within a comfortable day’s drive of Camp Chesterfield, so the travel obstacle was removed. I discovered they offer a training program that I can participate in according to my means and time schedule. That provides an incentive to explore in that direction.

I took things slowly. I enrolled for a weekend workshop with someone whose books I’d read and enjoyed. I enjoyed the grounds and the overall atmosphere of the place. (Notice I didn’t use the obvious phrase: I really liked the ‘Spirit’ of the place.)

But this Letter is about exactly that: the Spirit of the place. I had the most intense experience while in that brief workshop. The workshop leader guided us through a relaxation/grounding meditation, and then said that now we would have the opportunity to meet one of our Spirit guides, the one we most needed to connect with according to our current place on our spiritual journey.

I’ve never had such a physical reaction to the presence of anyone in Spirit, except for the times when crossed-over loved ones hit me in the heart with the intensity of their love and it makes me want to cry. I have ‘seen’ Spirit guides and loved ones clairvoyantly and ‘heard’ them speak clairaudiently, but rarely have the communications been so clear as they were this day, in this place.

He stood directly in front of me, eyes blazing. Robed and carrying a staff, he just worked with the energy of my 3rd chakra, my heart chakra, my throat, my 3rd eye and my temples as well. I felt all of this in my physical body during the brief meditation. When we came back from the guided meditation, it took me awhile to come back to normal, waking life self. I proceeded to do a sketch of this being, and as I worked, I heard the name Solomon. Right after I finished the drawing, I concentrated on coming back to normal awareness.

In the process of ‘coming back down’, I saw very clearly a smiling red-haired, slightly balding, short-statured man. With this image, I heard the name ‘Charlie’. What the heck? I thought. Who the heck is this Charlie fellow? Is he someone’s crossed-over loved one? Sometimes I see them clearly enough to draw them. No one claimed him. For no apparent reason, I heard an old hymn in my head while I sketched Charlie. I filed that away, too.

Later that day, I had a reading with the workshop facilitator. I wanted to experience her process. Towards the end of the reading, she mentioned the name Charlie and tried to place him as one of my relatives in Spirit. the problem is, I don’t HAVE a relative named Charlie in Spirit. When I said so, she just replied ‘Well, I’ll just leave you with that, then.’ I left a bit confused, but knew that the mention of Charlie was something I needed to pay attention to.

Later that evening, there was an All-Medium Message service in the Chapel. I thought the extra donation would be worth the experience, so I went. Messages were flying to people all around me, and some were getting more than one. I was curious as to whether anyone was going to come to me. The demonstrations were drawing to a close. There was only one medium left, and she was going to do flower messages. The hymn chosen to introduce her was the same song I’d heard in my head earlier that day.

OK. NOW I’m paying attention. Then she asked anyone who had not yet received a message to raise their hands. Up went my hand. I told Spirit in my head which flowers I wanted them to impress her to choose for me so that I could know she was for real listening to Spirit. The vase began to empty. Then she reached for the flowers I had chosen for myself. She pulled them out, and gave a message to someone else. ‘Bummer,’ I thought.

She gave another couple of messages before she turned to me. She reached for the flowers from the vase, and struggled to free them. All of them started – and kept – trying to come out in a clump. Even she made the comment that they were fighting her. Inside, I smiled. Spirit was letting me know they TRIED to impress her to pull those particular flowers for me. She literally had to use both hands to wrestle the ones she’d chosen for me from the vase.

I don’t remember the exact words she first spoke to me, but it had to do with my willingness to Serve Spirit. Then, as she was winding down, she mentioned Charlie. Here it was AGAIN. When things come to me in threes, I pay very close attention, especially when they are so close in time. OK. So I don’t have a loved one in Spirit named Charlie, but someone named Charlie is definitely trying to get my attention!

I went home with a lot of questions but knowing that, as always, when I am supposed to know something, I will. I have been living with the knowledge that the Universe does not waste energy. I will know what I need to know WHEN I need to know it, and not a moment sooner.

I’d been sensing for months that I was in the middle of what can only be termed a second awakening on the level of that re-awakening I’d experienced in my 30s. And now, with this trip to Camp Chesterfield, came the awareness that this sense was on track. I could hardly wait for what would be coming next.

Life is a series of awakenings.                                                                      ~Swami Mukeiji

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016 -, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Letters from Camp #1

Camp Chesterfield Sign

Remember when, as a kid, you wrote letters home while you were at Camp? Well, I never went to camp, but do know about the practice of writing home while away at camp for the summer. Later in my life, I am finally having the ‘Camp’ experience, though not in the most traditional sense of the word. My insights and experiences will be sent to you in this series of Letters. I hope you will find them of value to your spiritual journey…

Just when I think I have a handle on what is coming next, the nudges from Spirit happen and I am off and running in yet another direction, down what may – at first glance  – appear to be a deviation from my path.

Such is the case with my recent ‘obsession’ with pursuing yet more spiritual education via an extended formal training program in Mediumship through a Spiritualist Camp in – of all places – Indiana. So, in addition to it being a long program, it’s not an easy thing to manage the scheduling and traveling arrangements.

Six months or so ago, I found myself ‘wandering’ online. (When this happens, I just allow it because it is a way that Guidance brings me information I’m not consciously aware of.) This day, I found myself on the Camp Chesterfield website.

I remembered I’d found myself here before, some years ago. I mention this because often people worry they might miss an important opportunity on their spiritual growth path if they make the ‘wrong’ choice. Not so. If it is part of your Soul’s intention for this incarnation, trust me, Spirit will find ways to keep bringing that opportunity around for you to choose – or not choose – until, I suspect, you draw your last breath.

Last year, I’d begun the study of Projective Dreamwork with Jeremy Taylor, and now I find myself looking at this Mediumship program. What was up with this, anyway? I have a dear friend who is an incredibly gifted, accomplished Astrologer with over 40 years’ experience. She is also a Scorpio, which makes her very intuitive. I asked her for a favor. I asked her to look at my chart to determine if there was any ‘higher’ vibration I might be responding to.

No surprise, there it was. For the next two years or so, I am in a cycle of learning. This allowed me to relax into the flow of where the energy was leading me. I hedged my bet by traveling up to the Camp for a weekend workshop just to get the feel of the place.

There is a supportive energy there that allows for a lifting of the vibrations of the physical body. (I will share about this weekend in a separate letter.) Simply walking the grounds can bring calm and a sense of peace.

Grotto at Camp Chesterfield

If you look for the goodness, the blessings that are available here, you will be rewarded. Go in with a positive, receptive attitude, and Spirit will respond in magnificent ways.

When I returned from that weekend, I prayed about that next step, until I felt I’d received clear guidance about what I needed to do next in order to improve my ability to serve Spirit. I had the impression I’d be well served to record my experiences as I had them, that I would be learning some important things during this time. I did not keep as good a record of my early teachings that were given to me by my Spirit teachers almost 30 years ago, and I know I missed some important insights. This time, I vowed to do it differently. These Letters are a part of that promise to myself.

The Universe is always delivering to us what we need for a spiritual awakening.            -Erin Fall Haskell        

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016- Julia Marie. All rights reserved.        

 

 

 

 

A Time of Resurrection and Renewal

Photo of green leafy plant

Finally! The days are longer, and I begin to wake from my winter hibernation. The sap is flowing in the trees, there is early morning birdsong as my alarm, and my energy levels are starting to come up again. No more running on empty – at least for the next 7 months or so.

The world makes resolutions on New Year’s Eve, and by the end of January, most of us are back to our old habits or patterns. Working to make changes during a time of hibernation can be extremely difficult, at least for me. I exercise patience. I wait for a time when the energy is on my side. I don’t fight the inertia of hibernation I experience during the deep of Winter – which is a time of slumber for the entire planet anyway.

Resurrection means coming back to life, coming back into practice or use, revival; and renewal means a state of being made new.

The Equinox is just passed. During this weekend of balanced energies, I attuned six people to Reiki Master in a weekend intensive format. These people felt called to bring to life – or back to life – their connection to healing energies.

As I worked with this group, I contemplated what I wanted to resurrect in my life this Spring. I renewed my commitment to certain personal goals I set for myself this year.

I am aware of my human failings. Some things take me more than one attempt. It took me over 8 years and six attempts to quit smoking. I tried more than one method, including hypnosis (didn’t work for me), cold turkey (worked, but I started back up again). It was the worst mistake I ever made because it took me an additional 5 years to (finally) quit. It was  tapering the number of cigarettes per day with the addition of a tobacco substitute to take the edge off the craving that finally allowed me to free myself of the chains of that addiction.

I did a lot of behavior changes before I took that final step. I quit smoking after eating. I stopped lighting up every time the phone rang. I separated the act of smoking from every other activity I did, and made it extra-tough to light up by putting the cigarettes, lighter and ash tray in a room far away from the main part of the house. If I wanted to smoke, I could only smoke. Smoking lost its grip on my life one butt at a time. I am an addict. I know that now.

I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to my herbalist friend Denise in Washington State for her smoking mixture that has no tobacco in it. (www.MountainSpiritHerbals.com for those who may be interested.) She has wonderful personal care products that are chemical free (I adore her Lizard Cream, especially in winter), and a nice selection of loose herbs. This wise woman is a cornucopia of herbal knowledge. I used Shaman’s Blend to wean myself off cigarettes after I cut the cigarettes down to less than 6 per day. The Shaman’s Blend has valerian and chamomile in it, which helped calm my craving for nicotine.

This year, I am renewing my promise to myself to clear out anything that no longer serves me. I sold all my acrylic paints. (I figured out why I had them in the first place, and now no longer need them. I can express my artistic side with pencils and pastels, as I have been doing for decades.) I have donated household items twice, and there will be another large donation after the moving sale that is coming soon.

I am looking at all the objects in my world and am asking if there is value in it for me. Does this thing  contribute to my life or does it drain life force from me? The biggest challenges are with items that have sentimental value for me.  I still have some work to do, but I am renewing my commitment to do this work so I can make room for whatever it is Spirit desires to bring my way.

What are you going to resurrect in your life? Perhaps there are some New Year’s resolutions you’ve already given up on. Now is an excellent time to plant seeds of success for yourself. It is, after all, Spring, the perfect time to plant  what you would like to see harvested come Fall.

Do you want to explore your connection with Spirit? Develop your intuitive connection? Learn how to paint a picture? How about personal training to improve your physical health? Yoga? Martial arts? Meditation? What will you renew your commitment to for your personal growth and development? Do you have something you used to do that you  let fall by the wayside? This is the time to contemplate renewing that practice .

Take some time to find something, just one thing, you can renew a commitment to. Then take the actions needed to plant that garden of positive change. It’s Spring. The Light is with us. Now is the time.

Starting a new way is never easy, so keep starting until the start sticks. ~Tim Fargo

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

 

Musings on Projection

projector2The projective style of dream work has opened a whole new level of perspective for me. The primary tool is projection.  The dictionary defines projection as:the attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings or attitudes to other people or objects; esp the externalization of blame, guilt or responsibility as a defense against anxiety.

We are all uniquely blind to our own shortcomings, but are easily able to spot others’ deficiencies. Lately, I have been paying more attention to how I respond to others, and the thoughts I have about them. I know that this is an elegant way for me to quickly identify where in my psyche I still have work to do.

Try this the next time someone irritates you or disappoints you or upsets you, or betrays you. Ask yourself where in my life am I (irritating, disappointing, upsetting, or betraying) myself? It is not as easy a task as it seems. It requires unstinting honesty.

I also need to say that it is not only about the negative things we perceive in others. More importantly, it is often the positive things we perceive in others that we need to see in ourselves. (This is called the Bright Shadow).

Becoming more aware of the thoughts we have about people helps us become more aware of how we perceive ourselves. We don’t have to have someone else tell us, we just have to pay attention to where our mind goes while we are in relationship with those in our world.

Sometimes, I don’t like what I find, but it gives me something I can focus my conscious attention on, and begin to transmute. Intellectually I understand it is all part of the Hero’s Journey,(the part where we slay the dragon) but that doesn’t make it any easier.

The progress of my work with myself  manifests in the dreams I remember. It still fascinates me how consistently relevant these nightly messages from my highest wisdom source are. These gentle ‘report cards’ give me hope and encouragement as I continue my personal journey towards wholeness. I do this work with the awareness that as I do the work for myself, I do the work also for the collective. It is, after all, how we will heal the world’s collective wounds.

Have courage. Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. ~Paolo Coelho

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

How Can I Remember My Dreams?

Everyone dreams. Without exception. Some of us don’t remember them. There are things you can do to help ‘catch’ a dream or two.

We will start with the most important thing to remember: intent is everything. That applies to the catching of one’s dreams in particular. The most important thing you can do to improve your dream recall is to focus your intention and your desire. Decide you really do want to remember your dreams, even if that means you may have to face some unpleasant information about yourself.

As you drift off to sleep, you can imagine yourself writing down dreams in the morning. You may even decide you want to share your dreams with others in a group setting. What seems to happen once a person sets an intention to work with their dreams, is they begin to remember their dreams! When your Dream Source  knows it’s being heard, the messages will start to flow again, and you will begin to remember your dreams.

It's important to record your dreams in one place.

It’s important to record your dreams in one place.

FIND YOURSELF A JOURNAL FOR RECORDING YOUR DREAMS         Do you need to have a detailed  dream experience in order to be able to uncover the treasures awaiting you in your Dreamtime? No. Whatever you remember, you are remembering for a reason: it is important.

Don’t discard those fragments or snatches of dreams. Give them the same respect you give the longer dreams. You will soon learn how complex a simple image is once you work with one of these in a dream group.

When you wake up in the middle of the night, it is imperative that you take a moment to scratch a few notes down. I keep a simple composition notebook by my bed to capture the crux of my dream experiences before they can escape. In the morning, I transfer these notes into my dream journal over my first cup of tea.

343px-Ice_coffee_imageIf you want to increase your chances of remembering a night dream, drink a large glass of (non-caffeinated) liquid before you go to bed. You will increase your chances of waking up in the middle of a dream cycle because you’ll need to answer nature’s call. Before you move, take a second to ask yourself: ‘What was I just dreaming about?’

When you first wake up in the morning, remember to ask yourself ‘What was I just dreaming about?’ before you turn your attention to your morning routine. If all you have the time for is a few words, jot them down in your composition book and transcribe the notes into your dream journal at your earliest opportunity.

Another tactic that works for some dreamers is to use the following morning’s date, and to write out their intention: I intend to remember my dreams when I wake in the morning.

If you still cannot recall any of your dreams in the morning, make one up. What would your dream have been if you had one? Record this in your journal. You are sending a signal to your DreamSource that you are serious about working with your dreams.

Half-Dome-Fire-1024x688Some dreamers choose to use a digital recorder to capture their dream notes. At some point, you will have to transcribe these notes, and often the words are not intelligible when you listen back. Some use a computer to keep their dreams. I prefer the journal approach. It is important you honor your dreams. The more energy you put into recording your dreams, in drawing images that come to you in dreams, the more likely it is that your dreams will reveal their vast potential to improve your life.

Pile of notebooks and papers

Copyright 2012, Julia Marie.

If your dreams are scribbled on stray scraps of paper, or in many notebooks, the quality of your dream catching will reflect this haphazard approach. If you take the time to set up a proper journal or file where you keep a record of your dreams, the more meaningful your dream experiences will be. You may even consider decorating the front cover of your journal. If you are artistically challenged, consider using images from magazines to reflect some of the dream themes or recurring images contained in the journal. For example, in 2014, one of the recurring images in my dreams was ships. These were all sizes, and included a massive space ship. Some NASA images and images off the internet of ships that closely matched what I saw in the dreams grace the front cover of this journal.

An interesting way to decorate the cover is to wait until a theme or recurring image shows up. You will be able to identify the themes more easily if you keep all your dreams in the same journal. Save a few pages in the back of the book so you can create an index of your dreams for easy cross-referencing. You will quickly recognize the value of this practice.

HOW TO SET UP THE JOURNAL

When you go to bed,  make sure to write the date in the composition book. Jot a few sentences about what happened during the day. (These notes will be important later. Context is critical to understanding the messages of your dreams.)

When you transfer these rough notes to your permanent journal, write ONLY on the right side of the page, leaving the left side blank as a place for images and any insights that come when you work with the dream later. Record your dream using first person, present tense. Using past tense when recording your dreams creates a barrier between the waking mind and the dream experience. In addition, sometimes there will be past experiences in the dream, and it is more difficult to sort this out if the dream itself is recorded in the past tense.

Give the dream a title, whatever comes to your mind even if it doesn’t seem to ‘fit’. This is often another clue about the dream-message. Do not hesitate to sub-title your dreams when you review them days or even weeks later.  If you can remember how you felt when you woke up, record that, as well.

Once you have a number of dreams in your journal, take the time one day to go back through looking for and cataloging common or recurring themes or images. Cross-reference these dreams whenever possible. (I do this in the index in the back of the book, as well as  with each dream.)

Angel in the SkyIf you get inspired, make art from your dreams, or turn a dream into poetry. Any way you can engage with the energy of your dreams and ground it into your waking life, the more intense your dream life will become and the more active your interaction with your dreams during your waking life will be.

Next time, we will take a look at some of the layers every  dream contains.

May you dream well this night. And may you remember them.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it (come) true.                                                                                                                   -Richard Bach