A Spirited Game

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – How many people are aware of the subtle messages constantly being transferred from a spiritual realm into material reality, and how many such people consciously seek these messages for inspiration or guidance?

In the early afternoon I had a brief appointment with my friend Stan, who owns a promotional products business. I wanted to look at samples of small personalized pencils that children can keep in their pocket. Upon finishing my meeting, Stan commented how he had been having trouble sleeping and was waking at 2:00 every morning, with lots of ideas in his head. I acknowledged that this happens to me, too.

This is a widely-experienced phenomenon that happens in the liminal space that separates the end of the night and the beginning of a new day, sometime between 2am and 4am. A friend of mine once referred to this time as the Hour of the Angels. Could it be that this time of peace and quiet is the best time for the spiritual realm to download the answers to the perplexing questions that are in people’s heads as they settle into bed for the night?

Driving out of Stan’s parking lot, I turned on the radio and heard the words “you can’t sleep,” from Robert Palmer’s song Addicted to Love.

When songs on the radio align with my thoughts or experiences, I wonder if some musical angel has just whispered into the subconscious mind of the DJ. Recognizing and acting upon communications from angels through such cryptic means has become a game for me. This game was inspired by two characters, Sophie Neveu and Robert Langdon, in Dan Brown’s spiritual detective novel The Da Vinci Code. I associated with Sophie’s archetype as a cryptographer. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was very young, and she was raised by her grandfather, an art curator. Her grandfather trained her to solve complicated word puzzles, and, before he was murdered, he had created a trail of clues, for Sophie to find and decipher. The story is a fine arts treasure hunt, in which Sophie and Robert must reveal the hidden meaning behind one masterpiece after another, in order to navigate to the final conclusion – a revelation about the Divine Feminine that could shatter history. My version of the treasure hunt game is a bit more whimsical and lighthearted. I play it with angels, and my husband dubbed it Story Walking.

Upon arriving home from Stan’s, I composed a playful query in rhyme and emailed it to my friend Anne, a collector of illuminated manuscripts who channels angel messages back and forth… between here and there.

I wondered if this would elicit a response. It did… Read more.

The Resilient Heart

Raising a resilient child begins at an early age. Books give children a rich vocabulary of words they can use in expressing their own thoughts and feelings. My husband and I read to our children from infancy, beginning with picture books of rhythm and rhyme. Then we moved on to picture story books, chapter books, and children’s classics. At bedtime my husband would read to one child, while I would read to the other.

Reading requires looking, listening, and thinking, and develops all these skills through practice. Once children learn to see, they can see to learn. Once they learn to listen, they can listen in order to learn. And, once they learn to read, they can read to learn. These skills are empowering.

When our children were able to read on their own, we listened as they would read aloud to us. When they got tired of reading aloud, we would take over and read some engaging fiction that was well beyond their reading level, exposing them to more advanced vocabulary and emotional situations. By reading aloud, fluently and expressively, we were able to model effective communication skills to our children. Reading teaches empathy. Studies conducted at The New School in New York City show evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Children learn from stories about how other children handle life challenges. By reading books that share the stories and beliefs of children raised in different cultures, we can expose our own children to a wider range of experiences and perspectives, and to higher levels of imagined and unimagined intelligence. These stories lead us to learn the more advanced vocabulary of empathy, compassion, respect, collaboration, and resilience, so we can model these practices for one another.

While referring to God in my children’s book, The Angel Heart, I must acknowledge and respect those who believe in different forms of spirit – god or goddess, guardian angels, Mother Nature, Father Sky, Great Spirit, The Force, or perhaps a collective entity. Some people think this is all hogwash, and so be it. Telling the story of a real, yet magical, flower, I provide clues that suggest the presence of a mysterious creative and benevolent source that provides for us and watches over us. Faith in this higher power helps us to cultivate spiritual wisdom, strength, love and peace within ourselves, which we can then share to help make a better world.

I am toying with the idea of more spiritually inclusive version of The Angel Heart, at a lower price point and with supplemental material for parents and teachers. Until then, however, my original book and e-book can be found for purchase by clicking here, and my Natural Awakenings magazine article about Emotional Literacy can be found here.