I am not sure where my head space is. Or where my head is for that matter. I tend to ascribe to the Buddhist teachings that we don’t exist, as we can’t see ourselves in totality… Ever! And so, like the rest of me, my head has mysteriously disappeared.
Lately, some part of “Me” has been noticing I am much more aware of my environment. It seems that for decades, until now, I have skid past life and missed much of what happens around me on a day-to-day basis. Kind of like a first time ice-skater skidding on her butt so fast and so far that when she stands she doesn’t reckon she notices anything, except the full-heated rush of blood to the face, the cold butt, bruises, and torn pants.
Life seems like that for me, right now. Like I spent some four-decades plus skidding on my butt on the cold ice, only to just now discover that there are bleachers, chairs, and waiting areas, and even snack bars!
Today, everything is more clearer, as if, finally and at last, somehow I figured out I could step off of the ice, and even remove my ice skates. I cannot explain it any better.
Just recently, I am beginning to notice things I never ever did before. Patterns for starters, like the patterns in puddles, and patterns found in the streaks on the road after it rains, and the patterns in the shapes leaves make after falling. I am starting to notice patterns everywhere. I somehow managed to spend years not recognizing things that are right in front of my face.
I am going through many ah!ha!, look-at-that!-moments; It is similar to how I never understood about how a flower only lasts so long and then dies, even if it is in a pot of soil. I used to think a flower would last forever. It wasn’t until my twenties that I made the connection. While all around me flowers were blooming and dying. I just couldn’t see it or comprehend the process.
I have discovered, that at like faces, I cannot remember scenery. I cannot grasp the completeness of my surroundings. I am in a way in some type of visible matrix, in the center of an ever-changing energetic playing arena.
I cannot remember the order of houses when I drive down streets, the order of streets, the order of trees; I can’t remember where I saw the fire hydrant or where that one street was I once turned down. I just can’t. I have this incredible mind, but it cannot grasp the simple things, or at least not hold onto them.
I am finding great comfort in painting. Well, truthfully comfort isn’t the appropriate word, as the painting process itself is excruciatingly emotionally. So much energy and purging comes up. I go through cycle upon cycle of feeling, and have sensations of intense energy, both beneficial and exhausting. And no matter how hard I concentrate, I do not know what the painting will look like until it, the painting itself, is done.
As I have said early, when I paint, I am waiting for what is inside of the canvas to emerge. I feel this presence there just waiting to be uncovered and discovered.
And that is how I am seeing life now: That behind everything and everyone is this universal light and love waiting to be recognized and recovered, waiting to be held for its beauty alone.
I am much like a young child in so many ways, in so many “good” ways, able to see the same street again and again with new eyes.
Everything is shifting. Like the image of me in the mirror, my world is not stagnant.
Life to me is a river of sorts, and I am carried daily.
Instead of thinking I have fallen and am endlessly sliding on the cold ice, I can see I am very much alive, awake, and full of newness, the same newness that exists everywhere.
Interestingly enough, when I first delved into painting a few months ago, my angels (Holy Spirit) spoke to me and said with a camera I would be able to see images (spirits and souls) in my paintings.
This is truly amazing for me, as I am finding more and more “messages” and “signs” in my paintings. On this post I have shared one of my most recent paintings. It went through hours of transitions.
I love this painting. I see this as a spiritual being, me, in which essence and energy attaches. I am able to look at this and find peace. This painting is how I see the world. What I take in shifts and changes depending on the angle, my mood, the people and events around me, and the energy of the moment.
There is a beautiful energy here.
Gratitude is immeasurable. I am gratitude.
I exist as joy and thankfulness. And I embrace all parts of me, however imperfect or fabulous they are deemed.
I know, that like the images I am creating, in my painting, and through the limited scope of my mind and eyes and senses, that everything is always changing and shifting. There is no need to pitch down a tent upon myself and force, or, better yet, try to force myself to be this way or that way for this purpose or for that purpose; because soon, none of what is now will exist.
I am a river. My life is a river. Silly to try to capture a river.
I have had precognition, a profound sense of knowing, the ability to sense emotions in others, and similar experiences since I was very small. The first experience I can recall was when I was about the age of three, when I dreamt our house was on fire. A few days later, my mother woke me up in the middle of my sleep, and brought me outside, as the neighbor’s fence was aflame.
My nightmares came early, about the age of three. Terrible night terrors involving giant insects; the one I remember the most was a grotesque caterpillar that wanted to devour me. When I reached the age of eleven, terrible spirits, that seemed like demons, would come and torture me in my sleep. It was at this time I started having out-of-body experiences, finding myself awake outside of my body, able to see and sense everything in the room (and beyond) but unable to get back into my body.
During my many years of nightmares, once demons placed me over an open fire and spun me on a stick to burn my flesh. Another time, I was out of my body (astral projecting) and a demon was dragging me by my feet down my bed.
I was visited by spirits in the daytime, too, and for a good stretch of a year slept with a rosary around my neck and the bedroom light and television on.
For years after my dog, Justice, died, I would feel him upon my bed next to me and hear him suckling at his backside.
I began to dream of my pets’ deaths, when I was about the age of eight, and would wake up terrified and screaming. My mother always, always without fail, believed in me. She would listen to my nightmares, or what I deemed nightmares, and we’d watch together in the next seven days, as my dreams would manifest into real life.
I’ve dreamt of car crashes that came true. I’ve had friends visit me in dreams and tell me about their lives.
Lately, I’ve had physical symptoms connected to a dear friend. She has gotten to the point now that she calls me to tell me how she is feeling, as I pick up on her health (before she informs me of an ailment), and then I am temporarily overcome with anxiety. The last time was the visualization of a lancing of a cyst near my upper left side. Something my friend later confirmed.
When my husband and I were hoping to move to the Northwest of America, I called upon my angels. I asked: If we are going to move there. If my husband is going to get the job, give me a sign in the next song. The next song on the radio mentioned the exact town my husband’s future job would be, the exact place he was interviewing that day out-of-state. No other songs have the name of this not-so-famous town in their lyrics. And it just so happened, that same day as my husband’s interview, my son’s school went to a minor-league baseball game, and I tagged along. The team the Sacramento River Cats was playing was from, like the song lyrics, the exact town my husband was interviewing in that day.
I believe. I believe in knowings. I believe in what I choose to call my angels.
When I tried to explain these types of events, in limitation, and without too much information, to my psychologist years ago, he quickly scribbled on his notepad some words, and then said, in a classic-Freudian-manner: “Hmmmm. I see. You have what is called: Magical Thinking.”
It was then, I began to think something was wrong with my world, in the way I saw things, and felt things. It was then, I tried to block some of these “magical thinking” experiences out. It would take me several years to realize that when I did not accept what I consider my gifts that I would endure suffering in multiple forms, including physical and mental anguish.
It’s not that I believe I was being punished for trying to stop my natural nature; I think these non-beneficial sensations occurred because I was not being true to myself, and blocking my life potential and calling. When I started to accept my self in completion and follow my inner calling, I began to heal.
I find it very odd that the way I experience aspects of my life is termed: Magical Thinking by mental health professionals. After all, there is proof that the events I experience beforehand come true, and there is evidence that I have accurately picked up on others’ emotions. I find it odd because in other cultures throughout the world, people believe in all types of what would be termed magic, such as shamans’ mystical powers.
It is interesting to me that trained psychologists draw a fine line between magical thinking and spirituality based on core religious beliefs. In other words, the fact that I believe in a higher power and pray to this invisible source, and take refuge in a person dying and coming back to life, is totally acceptable to a person in the mental health field, as these thoughts fall under the pretense of an accepted religious sect. However, if I went into a psychologist office and claimed to be talking to the trees and the spirits of the trees, this would be deemed “magical thinking,” or likely something more derogatory in nature. Only becasuse a psychologist has accepted a spiritual belief as normal based on the consensus and behavior of a majority of people, and in contrast not accepted the spiritual consensus of a minority of people. This seems like a form of prejudice to me. I truthfully don’t understand how mental health professionals can draw a line.
I’m saying all of this because my so-called “magical thinking” has been stronger than ever. I am called to write, and lately to paint. The painting, during the last few days has blossomed for me. I am using mixed media, including paper towels, toothpicks, and today vanilla liquid, and the vanilla bottle cap, to paint with.
As I am creating, I am in prayer and with spirit. Sometimes the process takes more than two hours. I start with my logical mind and a paintbrush in hand, painting symbolic images that are significant to me and reflect angels, love, and peace. Sometimes I first write positive words in pencil on the canvas. Something generally clicks in after an hour, and I begin to disconnect from the logical part of my brain, and spirit takes over, guiding me. I do not know what the end product of my paintings will ever look like. I don’t even know parts of what I am painting, when the second hour sets in.
At the start of my painting, a week or two ago, my angels revealed to me that I would be able to see spirits and love in the end product. I have been pleased and amazed by my last few paintings. The original three were dark and gloomy, as I was processing through much mourning. But the last three have been brilliant in regards to the energy I feel from the images.
As I was painting recently, I felt multiple sensations and saw multiple avenues of energy and energy blockages. I am able to use the paintbrush to open up and free these blockages through wide and free strokes, guided less by me than by another source.
Whether one chooses to call this my creative side, the collective unconscious, my higher-self, my angels, or a helping spirit, makes no difference to me. I am not attached to definitions. But I know for me that this process of painting seems to include a positive force from the light.
Through this process of painting, I have been able to release much angst and worry, and to forget where I am momentarily. Like many artists at work, I am able to escape this reality and fall into my very creation.
The only part I find a bit difficult is pulling out of the rhythm to do manual tasks, such as the act of retrieving a paper towel or cleaning a brush. The rest is a smooth process of freedom.
My angels typically present themselves as one, and speak to me as my own inner voice. I am always filled with intense peace when they are about. They never criticize or judge. There is never harmful intention or ill will. All is perfect and glorious in their world.
A while back, some two years ago, my spirit that guides me presented himself as Stewart of the Light. He instructed me to consider looking up the name Stewart in a book of names; when I did, I discovered the name Stewart means “Helping Spirit.” He giggled at me, as angels have a marvelous sense of humor, when I announced: Helping Spirit of the Light.
Today’s painting, King of Kings, reinforced for me what I can produce (with help) when I listen to my angels. I can see now, as they have told me, that this is a picture of Jesus, both the King of Angels and the King of Kings. His robe is made of vanilla, to represent his sweetness. He has feathers to represent his wings. His “royal” robe is opened to those in need. To his left, the right side of the painting, is a woman. She is both comforting Jesus, praying to Jesus, and weeping at his side.
I do not label myself “religious” or “Christian,” as during the times we live in now the energy behind these specific words can often frighten and harm people. Not intentionally, in many cases, but the words, nonetheless, often still have non-beneficial energy. I do pray there comes a day when these words reflect the wholeness and goodness of Christ’s unconditional love.
I can’t say I am angered by those who try to push their belief system upon others, because I have had a difficult time experiencing anger towards anyone anymore, other than during fleeting moments. But I can say that it saddens me that those that are supposed to represent Christ’s love (by calling themselves Christians) are often times presenting themselves in a way that seems to me to be closed-minded, judgmental, and harmful.
I’m not sure while all of these thoughts are presenting themselves at this moment. Perhaps this is my angels way of wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Perhaps not. Perhaps this is indeed just all magical thinking. In the end, I don’t think any definition applied to my experience and perception truly matters, as long as I am loving myself and others.
Merry Christmas Lovely Souls.
When I began to paint, my angels told me that when I took photos of my paintings I would see helping spirits and angels. I do!
Images of Spirits
New King James Version (NKJV)
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
The other night I had a dream. In the dream a man approached me. He was not of any form I recognized. As hard as I tried, I could not visualize him. Eventually he took the shape of a human, in an appearance he believed I would be comfortable seeing. I knew this because he communicated with me without speaking. He instructed me, without words, to stand there and to shut my eyes. I knew innately, in the whole of me, I had nothing to fear. He faced me, standing close, and stretched out his arm very straight and with much intention. He then placed the whole of his palm upon my forehead, in a form of a blessing or anointment. I understood I was being healed. I saw a brilliant vision of blue, a color I cannot place or recreate. The blue remained until he pulled his hand away. He spoke again without use of his mouth and then placed his palm back upon my forehead. I don’t remember what happened next.
Since this experience, I have had a new-found peace, clarity, and reawakening. I am still me, no doubt, with the complexities of my mind, and the emotions that play out based on other people and my own physical body, but there is a distinct difference inside of me, where in more and more fear and attachment is being released.
by Samantha Craft, April 6, 2012 (Based on True Events)
I was an only child. But I wasn’t a lonely child. I always had some type of friend; whether a cousin, a daughter of mother’s friend, a neighborhood kid, or an imaginary spirit friend, I always found company. Making friends was never an issue, before I hit puberty. I had a natural cheeriness and good nature, and downright quirky humor that kept people about. I was clever, too, creating skits and recitals on a whim, and performing for whomever would listen. I still appreciate the young couple, our landlords, we had for one year, when I was about nine, who painstakingly listened to me sing You Light Up My Life, whenever I saw them. I couldn’t hit the high notes of the lyrics without a terrible screech—still can’t for that matter.
Though I had friends, I was often alone in the afternoons after my three-mile hike home from middle school. I remember there was a pointy-teethed German Shepard that lived at the top of First Street. He growled at me whenever I walked by, and then darted out clanging his lengthy metal rope with him. It took a lot of courage for me to walk home. Not because of the ferocious barking dog but because of home itself.
Things had a way of following me from house-to-house, and I do me things, as I never did figure out what else to call them. These things kept happening to me.
The things came to the upstairs duplex I occupied in Palo Alto. There was an afternoon when my babysitter and I were sitting on the living room couch and heard a circular sawing sound directly above our heads. Only when we ran outside onto the balcony to see what the noise was, nothing was there. Confused, we walked back inside, but as soon as we sat back down the sawing sound began again. We spent the next several minutes playing a game of running outside to find the noise and then running back inside to hear the noise. No explanation was ever found. Soon, we lost interest, and as children do, turned our attention to afterschool television specials.
That same house is where I discovered my imaginary spirit friend whom I named Buddy One. To this day, I’m not sure if he existed or not. I do recall one time reaching up for a bottle of wine vinegar and losing my grip. The bottle came rushing toward my head, and then, somehow, the bottle moved in the shape of an L and landed gently on the kitchen counter. I remember televisions and phones going wacky and all fuzzy on occasion; and I remember how the faucet in my bathroom would turn on when no one was about. There were knocks at the front door at night with no one behind the door. After a couple of years of living on the property, between the occurrences and my continual nightmares and premonitions of our pets dying, Mother was spooked enough to have a priest visit with holy water in hand.
Later, in my teenage years, when I belonged to a local Catholic youth group, I’d attend meetings in an old yellow Victorian building that used to be a nunnery. That house always spooked me. I couldn’t use the bathroom there. And twice, when I entered the empty kitchen, the faucets turned on.
One of the creepiest happenings took place at my father’s in the Central Valley in California, when I was in college. Dad worked nights, so I was typically home alone. One late night, after I’d watched the Silence of The Lambs at a local movie theater, I entered the house spooked by the whole movie. I flicked on the television for comfort, and right after I turned the television on the stations started flicking from channel to channel, one after the other, nonstop. I couldn’t get the television to stop, even when I used the remote.
But of all the places I lived, the duplex at the bottom of First Street on the Monterey Peninsula was the scariest. The house had a way of calling things to it. It was during this time, during my middle school years, I had horrible nightmares of being speared with a stick and roasted over an open flame by demons. This was the time I’d wake in the middle of the night feeling as if something was pulling me down the bed. A time when I didn’t change my clothes at night because I was afraid of the darkness that came when I lifted my shirt over my head. A time I slept with the light on, the television on, and my nana’s rosary around my neck.
One day at the duplex, I remember a tall stranger came whom had claimed to be a painter. My friend Renny and I were sitting on the back deck, when he sauntered through the yard with a wide and even gait. I can still hear the gate squeaking, the iceplant crunching beneath his boots and his deep voice clearing.
Stopping at the bottom step of the deck, the stranger had glanced across at us two girls with a cool smile and said, “Hello.” It was a simple calling, as if he hadn’t a care in the world. As if the backyard belonged to him. It was Renny who moved first, sitting upright and giggling, blushing like the word Hello had been a compliment.
Inside of me, I felt a need to run, to escape.
“I was asked by the owner to paint the house,” he said.
Wanting to leave and go inside, I had tried to catch Renny’s eye, but she was too busy looking at the blonde stranger.
The man tapped his boot on the step and shifted his weight. He was silent for the brief time he took to scratch his head and sink his hands into his overall pockets. Then he looked out with a rather empty stare. “You two ladies go to church?”
“No,” Renny answered.
I was inches away from the doorknob. “Sometimes,” I said.
The stranger leveled his eyes on Renny. “That’s interesting.”
“Not really.” Renny retorted.
“Don’t you think it’s time you made a decision to commit yourself to something other than yourself? Now you two, let me guess. It’s probably all about boys for you. Am I right? No time for God. But plenty of time to do things you ought not to be doing.”
Renny’s red ears were poking through her hair. She shrugged her shoulders at the man. I remained frozen.
The stranger continued: “God isn’t something to take lightly. Do you want to burn in hell?”
My toes felt numb. There was something terribly wrong with his tone, like he was trying to inch his way inside me with his words. Watching Renny begin to tremble, I remembered back to my friend Jane, when we’d been beaten with the board.
I shouted, “We’re leaving!” and grabbed Renny’s hand. Renny didn’t hesitate to follow. We were through the backdoor quicker than the man could utter one more word. And we left him there, good and lonely, not wanting a single thing to do with him. About an hour later, after Renny and I had escaped inside my bedroom, I gathered enough nerve to look out the kitchen window. The backyard was deserted.
Most days at the duplex, I got the sense I was being watched. It was a terrible frightening feeling. I can’t think of anything worse than the fear I had of entering that duplex. Nothing worse than fearing home: the one place that was supposed to be safe.
I spent most of my afternoons when school let out outside on the back deck, on our flat roof with the ocean view, or on the small front patio. There was easy access to the roof. I only had to climb through our upstairs bathroom window. Out on the patio, a space no larger than two pizza boxes set side-to-side, I’d watch television through the open front door or pull out our extra-long orange cord and talk on the phone.
One cloudy day I ventured inside the duplex to grab a snack. I immediately did what I always did—I opened all the draperies, the front and back door, and clicked on the television.
While I was in the kitchen, rushing about to find something in a hurry, I heard a strange and unfamiliar sound. At first I thought the sound was coming from the television. Some haunted house event on Sesame Street. But the sound didn’t stop. It was a loud throaty breathing, a very scary sound, I will never forget, and can still imitate with a chill-rising tone. The sound was comparable to Darth Vader’s breathing, only more pressing. I’ve only heard the breathing replicated once accurately, and that was when I was watching a ghost hunting show.
On hearing the breathing, I ran to the living room to turn of the television off. I couldn’t stand the noise. I wanted to jet out of the house. However, when the television was off, the noise remained.
I recall turning around frantically to find the source. Not believing the sound could still exist with the television off. It was then, as I began to panic, I heard the sound again. This time right before me. Suddenly, in front of my eyes, a gigantic wall of static formed from ceiling to floor. The static hissed something terrible.
Trapped and cornered, I clamped my eyes shut. When I opened them, the static was surrounding me. The deep throaty breath pulsating through my entire being
As I trembled, I heard words, words that sounded as if they were filtered through a thick mask and felt tube-fed into me: “Get out! Get out! Get OUT!”
As if on cue, at the same time as the words Get Out were voiced, outside the thunder rumbled and the rain poured down. Fearing for my life, I burst forward through the static and dodged around the corner, sprinting out the backdoor at full speed.
Terrified, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and ran and ran up the hill. Finding myself a block up from the house, on the top of an unfamiliar flight of stairs, I leaned against an apartment door and wept. Then without thought, I pounded on the door, still screaming. A young man opened the door and brought me inside.
Ten minutes later, Mother arrived. Taking me by the hand, she led me through the rain down the street and back inside the duplex. Mother listened to my story but blamed the event on my over-active imagination. As twilight approached, she wouldn’t give into my screaming demands.
“Just go to bed and stop letting your imagination get the best of you. If I let you sleep with me, what’s that going to teach you? I’m doing this for your own good.”
My black-beaded rosary, a gift from Nana, was swinging around my neck. I held firmly to Mother’s doorknob. “Please let me in. I’ll be quiet. I promise.”
“Let go of this door and go to bed!” she insisted.
“But the ghost, the ghost is in the house. Please!” I begged.
Mother pulled harder.
“Mother you don’t understand. It was real. I don’t want to be out here alone. Please let me in. Please help me!”
Mother shook her head and glared at me.
My hand slipped from the knob and Mother’s door slammed shut.
I ran downstairs, grabbed the phone, pulled on the cord, and ran outside to the small front patio.
I dialed my father. Before I had spoken more than a few sentences, Dad suggested I stay at Nana’s house.
“Did Nana teach you the Lord’s Prayer?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“Use it,” Father said.
Father cleared his throat. “You have to know something. Today I was staring at a photograph of you for over an hour. I don’t know how, and this has never happened before, but I had this sense some evil force was attacking you. Your nana’s mother used to have dreams and sometimes she saw spirits. Last week a psychic told me to destroy a painting I’d made. One with a gray house set up on a high hill. She said to paint candles all around it because she believed it was a portal to another world. Anyhow, I painted the candles, and threw the painting away. Right before you called. I can’t believe this. It’s very strange.”
Dad went on, for several minutes, explaining about how a spiritual group had recently tried to recruit him claiming they believed he had spiritual gifts. Dad, never one to talk on the phone for more than a few minutes, quickly ended the conversation with some more nervous laughter and some pleasantries. Then, after wishing me luck, he hung up.
I sat on the patio listening to the dial tone for a long while, still wiping my tears, and twisting the rosary in my hands. I thought back to all the times before—the nightmares, the stranger, the unexplainable happenings.
I ran into the house, quickly grabbed the old afghan off the couch, and ran out to the backyard wooden deck. I could sleep there, I thought, at least until the rain came.