Archive for Spirituality 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.


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.


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

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Courage, Dreams/Goals, Faith, Inspiration, Spirituality by Maryanne | April 11, 2017 | 2 Comments

Finding Faith – In Ourselves


“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Have you ever actually heard yourself complaining about how you can’t do something? 

I have…and it wasn’t pretty. But it made for a funny story!

I delivered a presentation recently, at a Westshore Women’s Business Network (WWBN) event in Victoria, BC, that was partly based on that story. But I rather surprised myself in the question and answer period afterwards.

My presentation was entitled, The Electric Jello Story – Turning I Can’t Into I CAN…and I Will.

The first part of my talk was the sordid tale from my party days about a stagette gone awry. I had overindulged in some electric jello shooters 🙁 and had been sent home from the bar early. But when the girls tried to awaken me from my drunken slumber in the wee hours of the morning, so that I could buzz them up to the apartment – I wanted no part of being woken up, thank you very much.

Nor could I seem to figure out which button to push on the damn intercom to let them in the foyer.

Unfortunately, my repeated wails of, “I can’t,” – in the most whining and pathetic tone imaginable – was recorded on the answering machine. Much to my chagrin, the girls played the tape back to me the next morning!

In the second part of my presentation, I told the story of the conversation John and I had the day before he died when I said to him: “I am so scared I am going to wake up 20 years from now and still not have finished writing a book.”

To which he’d responded: “You’re probably right about that…just as long as you know that will have been your choice.”

Tough words, yes. But in all fairness, after 12 years of being together, I think the poor guy had run out of patience listening to me whine and complain about not having the time or money to write. For more than a decade, I’d used every excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t make my writing a priority.

“I’ll show him!” I said to myself, after dropping him off at work that night. I promised myself I would wake up early the next morning and do an hour of writing before going into work at my clerical job.

But when the alarm clock went off the next morning, what did I do? I pushed snooze. “I can’t get up,” I whined. “I’m too tired to write.”

When I finally hauled my sorry butt out of bed, after pushing the snooze button multiple times, there wasn’t any time to write. In fact, there was barely time for me to get to work.

And when I did arrive at work, my whole life changed in an instant. John died that day. And I got the wake-up call of all wake-up calls about the danger of waiting for a tragedy to happen until we make achieving our dreams – the work we are here to do – a priority.

Two weeks after his death, I woke up one morning and started writing what would become my book, A Widow’s Awakening. It took me 8 years to get it – and me – where it needed to be. But I did it.

After I finished my presentation, we had a bit of an impromptu Q&A, and Deb, the founder of WWBN, asked me this excellent question:

“If there was just one word to describe what you think is THE most important thing in terms of transforming “I can’t” into “I can,” what would it be?”

I thought about this for a moment and then a single word popped into my mind.

Faith,” I heard myself say to the group. “But not faith in the traditional way we often think of faith, as in having faith in some sort of divine guidance or a religious belief.”

“I’m talking about faith in one’s self.” I continued. “I think it is absolutely imperative that we have faith in ourselves and our ability to achieve what it is we really want to achieve. Because if we don’t have that, then all the divine help and spiritual guidance in the world can’t help us.”

Likewise with our mortal supporters.

John believed in my potential as a writer and did everything he could to encourage me to take concrete action towards meeting my goals i.e. get my butt in the chair and WRITE.

But at the end of the day, taking action was my responsibility. That was a very tough life lesson to learn in the wake of such an immense loss.

If we don’t have faith in ourselves that we can – and will – step up to the plate, each and every day, and do the work that needs to be done, then the support and encouragement of our loved ones, as well as any sort of divine guidance we may believe is available to us, will all be for naught.

And for the record, I DO believe there is a tremendous amount of spiritual assistance just waiting in the wings to help guide us…sending us all sorts of signs and signals. We just need to a) pay attention and b) take action 🙂

“When you act, you will be amazed at the things that come together. The universe responds to action.”

Barbara Edie, Impossible Dreams; What it Takes To Bring Your Vision to Life

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.

published in A Widow's Awakening Book, Death, Life After Loss, Soul-mates, Souls, Spirituality, Widowhood by Maryanne | February 14, 2017 | 2 Comments

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

Soul Survival – Do You Believe in Life After Death?


“It’s amazing, Molly…the love inside, you take it with you.”

– Patrick Swazye’s character, Sam, to Demi Moore’s character, Molly, in Ghost

Do you believe in some sort of life after death?

C.S. Lewis once said that he never had any doubts about people surviving death, but when his wife died, he was no longer certain. Why? Because it was so important to him that she be living.

When it comes to the belief in the possibility of some sort of life after death – i.e. the soul/spirit/essence/consciousness of a deceased person living on in some capacity after the death of their body – C.S. Lewis expressed it this way (as told by Anthony de Mello in his book, Awareness; The Perils and Opportunities of Reality):

It’s like a rope. Someone says to you, ‘Would this bear the weight of a hundred twenty pounds?’

You answer, ‘Yes.’

‘Well, we’re going to let down your best friend on this rope.’

Then you say, ‘Wait a minute, let me test that rope again.’

You’re not so sure now.

In other words, before we lose someone near and dear to us, the possibility of some sort of afterlife may not be that important. In theory, we may or may not believe it.

Sure, it’s an interesting concept to think about, read about, watch movies and plays about, and discuss – but if all our loved ones are still right here with us, then what happens after they die isn’t usually too high on our radar of stuff to worry about.

But when we do LOSE a loved one, boy oh boy…now we’re concerned! I mean, where the heck did they – the essence of them – go?

Or is dead really…dead? When the body dies, is that really the end?

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, then perhaps you may have found yourself asking these types of questions.

I certainly did after John died.

But here’s the thing: what I experienced right after his death is, in retrospect, pretty incredible in terms of evidence to support the possibility that something lives on after the death of our bodies.

As I mentioned in an earlier Life After Loss blog, I was able to spend the last day of John’s life with him in the ICU, holding his hand and comforting him as best I could as the medical team prepared his body for organ removal.

As for what happened next, here’s an excerpt from A Widow’s Awakening (I am “Adri” and John is “Sam”):

Just after midnight, an operating room becomes available. I watch as a group of nurses and technicians prepare Sam’s body for the transfer. One person temporarily detaches him from the respirator while another manually forces air into his lungs though a device that looks like a plunger. I want to scream. He’s leaving me and there’s not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

They wheel Sam out of his room and down the hall. I follow behind, right into the OR. When I turn around and see that several family members have followed us in, I scream at them instead: “Get out! Leave us alone!”

The medical personnel stare at me. But my crew of supporters high-tail it out of the operating room. I walk up to Sam, lean over and kiss him on the lips. “I love you.”

Then I take a deep breath, give him one last wave, turn around and walk out into the hallway full of family and friends.

But then an amazing thing happened. I awoke the next morning at 5:30 to see a large reddish orange light framing my entire bedroom window. When the organ removal coordinator called me a few hours later to update me on which of John’s organs were able to be donated (heart, kidneys and pancreatic islets), I asked her if she knew what time John’s heart was removed.

I could hear her flipping through her notes on the other end of the line.

“Here it is,” she says. “His heart was removed at 5:30 this morning.”


I actually saw that red light two more times in the months following John’s death: once in my bedroom again – but hovering on the night stand right beside my head, which freaked me out.

But then, as the years passed, I no longer saw the light as red. Rather, I saw a white light.

In fact, it wasn’t even me who saw the white light one night above my head about three years after John’s death. I was a rustic retreat in Bragg Creek and there were several women staying in a room with bunk beds. I had slept in a top bunk bed and when I woke up the next morning, the woman in the lower bunk bed, diagonal to me, asked me how I’d slept.

“Fine,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. “Well, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the reading light above your head was on, so I figured you couldn’t sleep.”

Puzzled, I looked above my head then back at the woman.

“There’s no reading light up here,” I said.

“Well,” was her reply, “there was some sort of white light above your head in the middle of the night.”

In light of all I experienced since John’s death, I strongly suspect something does live on after the death of our bodies. The fact that it is often some sort of light that’s seen, after the death of a person, is interesting.

In John’s case, it makes sense that his light was red at first because I highly doubt his soul was at peace, after being taken so suddenly in the prime of life.

Whereas, as time passed, I think his soul did find peace with his sudden death, which perhaps explains why it later appeared as a white light.

“Your soul is that part of you that is immortal,” writes Gary Zukov, in his book, The Seat of the Soul. “Love is the energy of the soul…but love is not a passive state. It is an active force. It is the force of the soul. Love does more than bring peace where there is conflict…it brings Light.”

I watched the movie, Ghost, the other night. I hadn’t seen it in years. This time, however, I didn’t find it heart-breakingly sad.

Rather, I was intrigued by the way the film tackled the subject matter of life after death…and found much of what the characters experienced weirdly similar to what I have personally experienced over the years – and not just the white light at the end, when Patrick Swazye’s soul was finally at peace and able to move on.

The film also touched upon the idea that animals can see or sense the soul of a departed person, as well as the possibility that the soul of a departed person can temporarily exist in a living person for the purpose of communicating something important to a loved one (Whoopi Goldberg was fabulous as the medium!).

But those are subject matters to perhaps tackle in future blogs…

What is your experience with and/or belief about life after death? Do you think the soul lives on, in some way, after the death of the body?

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.