Archive for Saviour Play Posts

Channeling 101: Hello…Is Anybody There?

 

“When someone’s got a direct line to the Universe, their words have such a profound resonance, you immediately recognize them as truth.”

– Martha Beck

My Dad was a Devout Atheist

He did not believe in any sort of Divine entity. He despised organized religion. And he most certainly did not think there was an afterlife…when the body dies, it’s all over.

So when he passed away six months ago (in February), I was very curious as to what his actual post-death experience was. Did his existence just…fade to black and that was it?

Or (much to his surprise and perhaps dismay) did he discover that something – our consciousness, soul, spirit, essence, etc – does live on after the death of the body?

Now, my personal experiences in life thus far have demonstrated to me enough evidence to support a belief that there is something after the death of our bodies. Not sure what, exactly…but I strongly suspect our souls do continue to exist in some capacity.

But I must say, in the three months following my Dad’s death, other than a sense of feeling that his spirit was close (mainly in the increased clarity of my thoughts), I did not receive any sort of tangible “sign” that his soul was…you know, still in circulation 😊

And then, wouldn’t you know it but three months after his passing (on Mother’s Day, oddly enough), I had the strangest experience. I woke up at 4 a.m. because I could hear a man’s voice saying, “Dad…Dad…Dad…”

It was not my Dad’s voice. In fact, it didn’t sound quite human…close but not quite.

My room was pitch black but it sounded as if the voice was coming from a few feet to my right. At first, I thought I was still dreaming, so I blinked my eyes several times. But the voice kept repeating the word, “Dad.”

Then I thought (hoped!) it was my dog, Sadie, snoring. But I held my breath and listened carefully. Nope…I could hear Sadie breathing and the voice saying, “Dad.” By this point, I was wide awake…and starting to freak out a little.

I didn’t think there was actually someone in my bedroom…at least, not a person. I was freaked out because I was pretty sure I knew what I was hearing – and it wasn’t something I would be able to see when I turned the light on.

I finally reached over and switched on my lamp. Sure enough, there was no one in my room. And the voice stopped instantly.

Now you can either choose to believe me – or not. If you don’t, I wouldn’t blame you one bit because it is pretty weird.

But here’s what I think was going on: I think what I heard was the soul of my Dad learning how to communicate with the living (he’d had three months to get over the shock of realizing there is life after death!). It sounded as if he was practicing how to “speak” as a soul by repeating the word, “Dad.” And it makes sense that it wouldn’t be his voice I heard – because he obviously no longer has his human voice.

As for why it was three feet from my head that his soul was practicing his newfound communication skills? Well, it’s not just because I’m his daughter and he loved me very much (although I’m sure that’s part of it). Rather, I suspect it was me he chose to practice on because he knew I would get it.

Why?

Because I have just spent fourteen years working on my Saviour play script. And what is Saviour about? The soul of Virginia Woolf – who is dead – teaching “Sam” (the character based on my real-life husband, John) – who is dying – how to die, why he is dying so young, and how to communicate with the living.

How I have written this play, I have no idea. But I strongly suspect I have had an awful lot of help from…the other side.

At any rate, wouldn’t you know it but on the very same day as my “Dad” visitor, I already had a session booked with a woman by the name of Lanne Rice. Lanne is an artist and energy worker, who has the ability to “channel.” Lanne helps people see the truth to any question they may have by channeling the direct answer.

What is Channeling?

According to the Crimson Circle website, “Channeling is a natural form of communication between humans and angelic beings, nature spirits, non-physical entities, or even animals and pets. A channeler is very similar to a language translator or interpreter. They allow themselves to sense the non-verbal communication from another being and then translate it into human words.”

A channeler can also help someone get in touch with their own soul…their higher self.

For the record, I have not spent time with a channeler before. Truth be told, I have enough weird stuff happening to help me on any given day that I don’t feel the need to go looking for answers! But I had met Lanne at a couple different events over the past few months and had clicked with her. I trusted her.

So when I met Lanne for our channeling session a few hours after hearing the “Dad” voice, I told her about the experience.

She was delighted but not particularly surprised…that is, after all, her world.

Lanne then asked me if I would like to know if my Dad was, in fact, around at the moment – in her studio.

“Sure,” I said.

A few minutes later, we got an answer. Yes, he was there with us – but he did not particularly like being “summoned,” because he felt he was being put on the spot. So if it was okay with me, he would prefer to just hang back and listen in.

Cool.

And so, the session went from there. I won’t bombard you with the details but I will say this: I cleared out a lot of old stuff in my heart and head in that hour…literally. I mean, I visualized boxing up all sorts of thoughts I no longer needed and putting them outside the door of my mind – very similar to what I had been doing at home, in preparation for putting my house on the market: getting rid of all sorts of old stuff from the boxes in my basement.

“Your Dad is helping you,” Lanne said at one point. “He is taking the boxes of thoughts you no longer need and throwing them away for you.”

I looked at her and raised one eyebrow.

“He really likes helping you,” she said. “He wants to help.”

Three weeks later – before I had even put my house on the market – my neighbour’s realtor knocked on my door. A developer was keen to purchase both our properties…was I interested? You bet! Within twenty-four hours, I had sold my home for significantly more than if I’d sold it on the open market…and, of course, much less hassle.

My real estate agent was thrilled but a bit baffled. “Nothing surprises me anymore in this business,” he said. “But I must confess I didn’t see this deal coming.”

Oh, and did I mention…my Dad had worked in commercial real estate for years. He loved making deals 😊

And guess what the developer chose as the closing date? September 29th – the anniversary of John’s death.

You can take what you like from this blog. But I shall leave you with this quote to ponder:   

“Generally when we pray, our highest power doesn’t get right back to us – but that doesn’t mean we can’t find answers. Some earthlings can listen so deeply that they actually hear the divine. They receive guidance and comfort to share with the rest of us, like spiritual receptionists passing along messages. Of course, there are plenty of frauds who only claim to hear wisdom – but I’ve found that when someone’s got a direct line to the Universe, their words have such a profound resonance, you immediately recognize them as truth.”

– Martha Beck, O Magazine, July 2017

I think Lanne Rice is one of those special people who do have a direct line to the Universe. Mind you, I think we all do…we just might know how to listen.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Tempus Fugit – Bahamas Reflections on My Dad

Soul Survival – Do You Believe in Life After Death?

When Opportunity Knocks at the Door – Literally

 

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

Lanne Rice is the owner of Broken Heart Studio…a broken heart is an open heart. Lanne is a coaching artist who guides people in the process of creating their own original piece of abstract art. She is also an energy worker who helps people see the truth to any questions they may have. Lanne has the ability to channel the direct answer to questions, over the internet or in person. For further information, please visit www.lannerice.com.

This is the fifth blog in the Life After Loss series:

What Are We Doing Here? A Discussion of Destiny, Fate & Divine Plan

 

“Our authentic calling, our true work in this world, becomes an outgrowth of our lives. Our work can transform and transcend whatever traumas we survive, turning them into something useful for ourselves and, we hope, for others.”

– Louise DeSalvo, Virginia Woolf scholar

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, both destiny and fate mean “a predetermined state or end.” Fate implies an inevitable and usually an adverse outcome. Whereas destiny implies something foreordained and often suggests a great or noble course or end.

In other words, both fate and destiny infer that some sort of predetermination exits.

As for who or what or where that predetermined outcome originated from? Well, I suspect that answer depends on whatever belief system you happen to be most aligned with.

Regardless of what you believe and/or have personally experienced in life, the idea that our souls are here on earth to fulfill some sort of purpose can be either reassuring (especially if we feel we’re on the “right” track) or unsettling (if we are feeling rather lost and off-track).

Or, if we are of the belief that this whole exercise is just one big chaotic crapshoot that is simply unfolding at random, then although we may not believe in any sort of predetermined plan or individual purpose, that doesn’t necessarily mean our lives don’t have meaning. Rather, our lives may have the meaning we assign to them – versus some larger force.

However, just as I discovered with exploring the possibility of life after death, it wasn’t until after I lost someone very dear to me that I suddenly became VERY interested in whether or not he still existed, in some capacity, after the death of his body.

I suspect it’s the same with destiny, fate and the possibility of our souls having some sort of higher purpose for being here: we may not really think too much about it, until we are forced to…until it really matters.

In my experience, life after a significant loss is when life’s big questions come bubbling to the surface.  

I think this is partly because searching for, and perhaps finding, a higher meaning in the wake of a tragedy helps make whatever anguish we may be experiencing a bit more…palatable.

Do you believe in the idea that a “Divine Plan” exists for each of us?

God knows (sorry for the pun) I heard that whispered in my ear enough times in the days and weeks following John’s death. And quite frankly, that particular platitude offered me little in the way of solace. Instead, I was tempted to wind up and punch the person in the nose.

Why?

Because I found it presumptuous that people would tell me that John’s sudden – and easily preventable – death was part of some greater plan schemed up by a God who may or may not even exist…and as such, I best accept it.

To me, the concept reeked of apathy, especially when I realized that this “Divine Plan” is not something any of us mere mortals get to know. Rather, it’s supposed to be enough that a plan exists, so no further questions necessary.

But what is the point of God having some grand plan if no one knows what it IS? 

I guess that’s where faith come in.

However, perhaps because I had so many people telling me that God had a plan for me and John, I began to think they may be right. So what did I do? Why, I tried to figure out The Plan – or at least, our tiny parts of it.

I didn’t meet with much success 🙂

But now that nearly 17 years have passed since John’s death, I have the liberty of seeing things far more objectively than I did in those early days. And I cannot deny the possibility that there could be some sort of plan at work. Or maybe it’s just the way I choose to frame the situation?

Here are a few facts to our story:

1.) John and I used to argue about my procrastination as a writer. I had read Virginia Woolf’s book, A Room of One’s Own, multiple times. Woolf maintained that in order for women to write fiction well, they needed a room of their own and a secure income. John thought that was ridiculous. He figured motivation and me sitting down to actually do some writing was far more important.

2.) The day before John died, we had one last argument about me not writing and I told him how scared I was of waking up 20 years later and still not have finished writing a book. He looked at me and said, “You’re probably right about that…just as long as you know that will have been your choice.”

3.) Because John died in the line of duty and we had mortgage insurance, I was entitled to receive exactly what Virginia Woolf had proposed: a secure income for the rest of my life and an entire house – paid off in full at 32 – in which to write.

4.) Two weeks later, I started writing what would become my book, A Widow’s Awakening. It was published 8 years later…well under the 20-year time limit 🙁

5.) A few years after his death, for some unknown reason, I took a playwriting course. My very first play script was entitled, Saviour, and it’s about John dying of his brain injury – with none other than Virginia Woolf as his spirit guide.

And then there’s the workplace safety initiatives of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If John hadn’t died as the result of a preventable fall at an unsafe workplace, the JPMF wouldn’t exist – and I certainly wouldn’t be an advocate for safety.

So DO I believe in destiny, fate and/or some sort of Divine Plan?

Honestly, I don’t know WHAT I believe in. But I do believe there are far larger forces at play in our lives and our job is to get up each and every day and do our very best at whatever is in front of us…and everything else just seems to fall into place. Eventually.

“God does not die on the day we cease to believe in a personal deity. But we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance of wonder renewed daily, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

Dag Hammarskjold, former UN Secretary-General

I would love to hear your thoughts on fate, destiny and/or a Divine Plan. Do you think your soul is here to fulfill a certain destiny?

For further info about the Life After Loss blog series, please click here.

Here is the link to subscribe to receive the Life After Loss blogs – as well as to read the blogs posted thus far in the series.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

This is the second blog in the Life After Loss blog series:

To What ELSE Did This Widow Awaken To?

 

“Live in the present moment. This is one of the things you will notice happening to you as you come awake. You find yourself living in the present, tasting every moment as you live it.”

– Anthony de Mello, Awareness; The Perils and Opportunities of Reality

Even the worst moments of your life?

Yup. Even though the horrific moments may be dreadfully bitter pills to swallow, I suspect they hold tremendous potential for teaching us who we are, what we love and perhaps even a little bit about the bigger picture we are all a part of.

On the day of John’s fall – Sept 29th, 2000 – I was pretty much forced to live moment by moment because I knew, very early in the game, that I had precious few moments left with him.

Despite how much it hurt spending the day with him as he succumbed to his brain injuries, looking back I am so glad I had the intuitive wisdom to experience each and every moment, painful though they were.

I learned an awful lot that dreadful day; it was one heck of a harsh wake-up call. But once I was awake, there was no falling back asleep again…which was sometimes – and continues to be – a real pain in the ass 🙁

And so, in addition to the realization that life is precious and can end in an instant so we best be making the most of our lives, what else did this widow awaken to?

Well, for starters, that there is a heck of a lot more going on in this life than we are aware of!

“Awareness means to watch, to observe what is going on within you and around you.”

– Anthony de Mello, Awareness

Now, I’m sure shock had a huge part to play in some of what I experienced on the day of John’s passing – and in the weeks to follow. But whether it was shock, sorrow, fear, devastation or some combination thereof that was the portal to my “awakening” matters less than the fact that I was awakened.

But to what?

Well, to some sort of…alternate level of reality, I guess – or a different level to our reality might be a better way to put it. Right from the get-go, it felt like I had been launched into some sort of heightened state of awareness.

As an example, in this passage from A Widow’s Awakening, I had just arrived at the hospital but have not yet seen John, and am waiting with some of the police officers from John’s team (since the book is creative non-fiction, John is “Sam” and I am “Adri”):

An ER doctor comes in and gives us an update: critical but stable. That’s one way to put it. The car is totaled but we’re salvaging what parts we can, would be another.

“When can I see him?” I ask.

“Very soon.”

Twenty minutes later, the social worker comes to get me and the two of us walk down the corridor together. I ask him how Sam is doing.

The social worker stops walking, so I do too. “He’s in pretty rough shape, Adri.”

I nod slowly and we resume walking. Then, for just a second, it’s like I split in two. I’m physically beside the social worker yet I’m also watching the two of us walk.

When the social worker and I arrive at a set of doors, he takes my arm. Like arriving at a party too late and entering the banquet room to find the busboys clearing the tables, no one has to tell you it’s over – you just figure it out. By the time I get to the strangely inactive emergency room, they’ve obviously given up on trying to save Sam and are instead merely stabilizing his body.

Since it was the back of his head that struck the concrete, Sam looks much the same as when I saw him last night. Except that now, he’s unconscious, flat on his back, draped in a white sheet and has tubes sprouting out from his chest, neck and arms.

I race to his side and grab his unresponsive hand. I kiss his cheek and the real tears finally arrive, streaming down my face.

“I love you,” I whisper in his ear.

No response.

“I love you.”

Nothing.

“I love you, Sam.”

My silent treatment has been reinstated.

And then it happens again: I’m holding Sam’s hand and yet I’m also observing the two of us from a few feet away.

Then the social worker gently takes my arm and leads what’s left of me out of the emergency room.

Before I continue, I need to explain why I was able to spend the day with John as he succumbed to his brain injury – versus saying goodbye to his corpse at the morgue. It was because of the quick actions of the K-9 officer John had gone into the building with.

After John had fallen through the false ceiling and hit his head on the concrete floor of the lunchroom, the K-9 officer had found him and immediately started CPR, getting John breathing again.

So although John himself couldn’t be saved, the actions of the K-9 officer meant that John could be put on life support for the purpose of organ donation. It also meant that I, and all our family, friends and colleagues, got the chance to say goodbye.

However, since John was declared legally brain-dead early in the day, it was obviously a very one-sided conversation he and I had. And yet I got the distinct sense that on some level, our souls were communicating loud and clear. That’s what my play, Saviour, explores.

“You don’t need to be a mystic to understand that reality is something that cannot be captured by words or concepts. To know reality you have to know beyond knowing.”

– Anthony de Mello, Awareness

Spending the day with John as he passed away was, by far, the absolute worst day of my life – but it was also heartbreakingly beautiful. Not only did I feel a connection to him that was so much deeper than our human relationship as husband and wife, I could also feel the love from so many people who were, understandably, rather concerned about me.

After spending seventeen hours in the ICU with John, the time came for me to head home – and start my new life as a young widow. But that sense of awakening to a larger reality, experienced in the hospital, was just the beginning of a new way of perceiving my connection to the world – and the people – around me.

It’s like I had begun to experience…the wholeness of everything, if that makes sense. But I could just see tiny little snippets of the bigger picture, here and there – kinda like the “Whack a Mole” game at an amusement park.

You know the one where you are holding a foam-covered hammer and a mechanical mole pops up and you whack it down but then another mole pops up from a different hole and you try to whack that down? All the moles, of course, are just below the surface and although they are individual moles, they are all part of the same basic machinery.

That’s sort of how I started to perceive the world around me. This may partly explain my experience of being in two places at once in the above passage from A Widow’s Awakening. Perhaps my soul was like a mole who temporarily popped out of its hole (my body) just long enough to see a glimpse of the bigger picture and then popped back down again?

Or…I may have been having some sort of psychological reaction to a significantly traumatic event – and my mind was starting to do wonky things in response to the horrific reality I knew was waiting for me behind those emergency room doors?

Or maybe it was a bit of both?

For that heightened sense of awareness continued well past September 29th, 2000. In the days to follow, I began to perceive connections between what seemed like completely unrelated events – but made complete sense to me. But I’ll explore that further in next week’s blog 🙂

Have you experienced some sort of “awakening?”

If so, what was it like? What did you awaken to?

If you missed the first Life After Loss blog, you can read it here: Awakening the Soul – Loss as a Wake-Up Call

For further info about the Life After Loss blog series, please click here.

Here is the link to subscribe to receive the Life After Loss blogs.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.