Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Tale Of Two Kitties




I started to write this blog five weeks ago when Bob first transitioned to spirit, and I have attempted to write this many times since. I know in my heart that Bob really hasn't left, but even knowing he's here, I still cry. There are innumerable ways Bob brought joy to our home and I miss the physical presence of our "Little Buddy." I am incredibly grateful for all of the kindness and support of family and friends, many of whom are also pet lovers and understand how hard the loss is. 

Bob and Pepper grew up together. Pepper came to us as a kitten when my youngest son was born. She was a perfect addition to our family and a cuddly companion for my 5 year old son. About a year later a stray black and white, young cat started coming into our backyard. My oldest son would call to him (and of course I would too, I haven't met a cat I didn't like), and soon he was stopping by for food. My son nicknamed him "Cow Cat" for his holstein markings. Soon enough he was ours (or we were his) and he became part of the family. My son eventually named him Bob, and although I can't explain it, it  fully suited him. Bob was a sweet but timid cat, and he loved Pepper so. He would groom her and she would let him. She was the queen of the house, and he was her servant. When she had enough she would give him a bite to step aside. She loved him too, but Pepper was in charge.




Pepper was my desk kitty, and would sleep next to my laptop every day when I worked. She wasn't a head booper, but she would lick my hand as a sign of affection. I would pet her and inevitably she would get overstimulated and bite me. It was funny, she wasn't trying to hurt, just like with Bob. But she could only handle so much love! Our dear Pepper lived for 15 years and left for spirit on July 19th, 2016. 




I would talk to Pepper after she passed and ask her for a sign. And every time I did, a sign would appear. I had been meditating quite a bit, which was opening me up to the signs that are all around us. I was already noticing that I would say or type a word, and at the same exact moment someone would say it on the radio, or on TV, or some other way. I started to jot it down in a notebook. The first entries in my journal were:   

8/17/16: Life
8/18/16: Paw
8/19/16: Anniversary

The 19th was the first month anniversary of losing Pepper. It has been easy to connect with her, there have been many signs. I've seen her in different rooms of our home out of the corner of my eye and it's very comforting. 

Losing Bob has felt so much harder. He had a thyroid condition and a heart murmur, but there was more going on that wasn't uncovered. The day before he died, the vet said he has a large heart (instead of the more common "enlarged heart.") but it was so Bob. It was a perfect description. He had a large heart filled with love and gentleness. 

Bob was a tiny six pound cat, but he filled our entire home. He was with me from the time he woke me up at 5:30 every morning howling to eat, until I fed him his evening snack at night. He wasn't a desk cat like Pepper, but he would sleep on the chair in my office when I worked, or next to my filing cabinet. He would follow me to watch me cook after work. Every night after dinner he would jump on the couch and sleep next to me. He waited for my older son to come home from work at night and would scratch at his shoes and follow him for his french fries. He used all of our shoes all as a scratching post, which was really amusing since he didn't have front claws. It was this gentle, soft pawed, daily patting of our shoes.  At night, he would snuggle at night with my youngest son in his room. 

Bob and I had a staircase routine too. If I walked up the stairs, he would catch up to me and walk with me step by step. If I stopped at a step, he would stop. It was always together. I would laugh and sing "Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna get through it together..." So many funny, quirky, loveable things about Bob. Even giving him his twice a day thyroid medicine was a joy. I would scoop him up, kiss his head and easily squirt the dropper in his mouth. His only act of defiance was what we called the "paw of injustice." Bob would ever so gently press his paw against my arm. But that was it. I loved that time with him to give him an extra hug. When he left, it became so clear what a huge, empty gap he left behind. 




A few weeks before Bob died, Pepper started to appear frequently. I could see her in the house out of the corner of my eye. She was on the staircase, in our bedroom, all over. I didn't think anything other than how nice it was to know she was around so much.  About a week before Bob left, my husband and I went for a walk around our neighborhood as we often do. As we walk we play the "count the kitties" game. I'm quite cat obsessed as you can tell, and there are so many cats in the neighborhood. I always like to find them and say hello. Sometimes they like it and sometimes they run (probably because I yell "KITTY!" pretty dang loud when I see them)! My husband usually doesn't note anything particular about the cats, this game is purely for my benefit. But on this walk he said "Oh that cat looks like Pepper." The day before he died, Pepper even showed up in my Facebook feed. She was everywhere.




Bob became clearly unwell one weekend, and that Monday we brought him to our vet. They kept him overnight and ran some tests. The next day he seemed a little better but they didn't have the means to do additional testing that he might need. The vet suggested we take him to a pet emergency clinic that she knew well. We went to pick Bob up and in the waiting area is a large segmented cage that can house 4 or more cats. There are usually kittens in there up for adoption, or it's empy. I glanced over and there was a huge grey cat that looked like Pepper. It was the only cat in there. It was really large, a much larger version of Pepper as if to say, look at me, I'm here. It was as fluffy as Pepper with those big green eyes, and she meowed at my husband.

We took Bob to the clinic, but he started having breathing problems and everything quickly went downhill from there. I had to make the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and never wanted to make. I said goodbye to Bob. We brought him home and he's in our yard next to Pepper.

I have asked Bob for signs of his presence. In the beginning I knew I was blocking the signs because of my sadness. But I also knew he was here, just like Pepper. I know we don't really die, our bodies do and we are left with our true essence. I know that love is real and all the negative aspects are an illusion for something we have yet to fully remember. What we have to remember is that we are all eternal. I have an oracle deck on my desk, Denise Linn's Sacred Traveler. After meditation, I asked Bob to tell me what he would most want me to know through the card I picked. What did he have to tell me? It was joy. I know I will connect with Bob when I am joyful, not sad. I know that he wants me to be happy.




And that is how it has been. I have seen Bob on the stairs, in the dining room, felt him sleep against my back as he used to do. He is here and his presence is getting stronger. I feel so much gratitude for having had these two wonderful cats in my life. They are pure love, they are divine beings. I am grateful for the time I had with both of them, for Pepper showing me that she was here to bring Bob with her, and for both of them for showing me they aren't really gone. I hope their lives are as beautiful now as they made ours, and I hope they feel all of the love back that they have given us.

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com







Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Geisha, A Grandma, And Trust



Two weeks ago I attended the Many Lives, Many Masters one day workshop with Dr. Brian Weiss in Austin, which I'll be chatting about in my next blog. I arrived a day early and met up with one of my friends who was going as well. We decided to get together first at a crystal store called Nature's Treasures. Who could resist 7,000 square feet of crystals?! The store was also holding a psychic fair that day, so we decided to check it out. As my friend settled into a reading, I walked around and found Mia, who does akashic records sessions, past lives, pet readings, and more. She performed a lovely prayer to start the session and opened up my akashic records. She told me there were orbs, energies and lots of angels around me. She saw light beings, fairies and elementals around me too. 

Next she talked about my spirit guides. One of them was James. He appeared in his 20's. He was from a past life we had together in Asia. He loved me in that lifetime, but couldn't be with me because I was a geisha. I loved him too, and we were very close friends. When I told my friend about this after the readings she said "Aren't geisha's prostitutes?" I had this wave of shame wash over me (This feeling wasn't from anything she was implying, it was all in my head.), I always thought of them as artists.  They were skilled artists, but depending on the period during the rise of the geisha, they could be entertaining in the same quarters as courtesans. True geishas never married. As I was initially writing this blog, I stepped away and I felt embarrassed, feeling that I would be judged for this possibility. I thought well, you don't even have to publish this blog. And I don't. But then I got over myself. I know that the only judgement that needs to be let go of, is my own. 

My journey into past life regression is a work in progress. Through meditation and past life regression audios, I have only seen flashes of faces and places, nothing really concrete, not a real "seeing" of a past life. The most I have seen is my bare feet walking on a cobblestone street with shops around. It seems like I am in an old world European country, and I feel like I'm a man in that life. I have more senses away from meditation of what my past lives could have been. I have strong feelings that I have been Asian, American Indian, Indian (India) and Alaskan. I also feel a strong connection to England. Supposedly these connections reflect a knowing of a past life. There can be places, styles, cultures, interests, skills that we feel strongly or instinctually about, and those feelings can indicate a past life. We can also have fears and aversions that can indicate something significant that happened in a past life. Some people even have the "wounds" of a past life in the shape of scars or birthmarks. 

So feeling an Asian connection has made the possibility of a geisha past life plausable. I suppose the harder we try, we can get anything to make sense if we want it to. But this is just an exploration for me right now, so I am looking at all of the information I am gathering with an open mind, to see if there could be any truth to this. 

I have always had a serious problem with my feet. They hurt with just a small amount of walking, and this has been the case since I was a child. I worked for a short time at a podiatrist's office while I was in college. Dr. Steve helped me quite a bit by creating prescription orthotics for me. One of his curious observations after taking x-rays was that I had some free floating pieces of bone in my feet. His question was "Were you dropped as a baby?" Oh lordy. Well, that would make sense in this lifetime perhaps, but thinking towards a past life, what if these were the "wounds" from my geisha life in those bound shoes? Have you ever seen what those feet look like? Get ready...





I had called in to Denise Linn's Hay House radio show last year. I  asked her if the issue I had with my feet could be due to a past life (my heels were causing serious pain at the time and her show that day was on past lives). She told me she saw me in a past life in Russia or Poland. She could only see me from the legs down and I was barefoot. I was a refugee, walking by myself in the snow. She told me I was feeling hopeless at my situation. She made mention of how odd it was that I was all alone and not with other refugees. Digging into a past life has healed people in the present. More than one life can convey the same theme. If I can truly get to the bottom of why my feet hurt as they do, what the lesson is, the pain could actually go away. I am working through this same theory with my weight. Of course issues can be the result of a current lifetime, childhood traumas, and more. But I do believe there also can be more to it.

Next in my reading was a guide name Mary. She was an older person, a grandma in my past life or present life who is no longer here. Mary happens to be my grandmother's name who had passed over 25 years ago. Mia told me that we had several lifetimes together. She took care of me when I was little in some life. She saw her as Native American and in Peru. This was sweet to hear, as I have always have held loving memories of my grandmother. I include her in my prayers every morning to watch over my sons after I drop my youngest off at school.

The last guide she mentioned was Joseph. He hasn't been incarnated in a long time. He referred to himself as a teacher in training. He is trying to raise his level. She said it doesn't feel like he's from this galaxy. Mia felt he was from the Andromeda star system. She saw him with dark skin, short hair, tall, Indian (from India) and very smart. 

So a couple of things are odd, the Native American in Peru and the guide from Andromeda who is Indian. I do go into these things with an open mind, and I have only had a couple of readings, but I have yet to have a reading where the same guide came through again. If these mystics are actually seeing my guides, perhaps they appear in a way that is understandable to them. Would I see spirit the same way, or would another psychic see something completely different? Are the messages transmitted clearly, in metaphor, and skeptically speaking, how would I know if the psychic is really a psychic? I do believe we have guides around us, I just am not sure what really is true. I did a course of Sonia Choquette's called Ask Your Guides. Through it I learned to talk to and do automatic writing from my guides. I felt very connected and it felt true to me. I learned names of some of them (none the same as Mia's reading), and what they wanted to teach me.

Mia told me at times during my day I may be feeling a light pressure on my head, and that is spirit downloading information to me, upgrading me spiritually. I have felt that many times when meditating. It feels like someone has their hands on my temples or forhead gently pushing in. She told me to listen more to my intuition, believe more in myself. She said I second guess myself and worry quite a bit. I have to be more trusting. Trust seems to be quite a theme in my life, and I would say it's one of my biggest lessons. She said to ask my guides for help, because of free will, they can only help if we ask.

She asked if I had any questions, so I asked her about my weight to see if there was anything else behind it besides too many bars of candy. She said there is a layer behind my weight and that is for protection. She said it is an addition since childhood, using food as a way of coping with life. It fill s a void, helps me to cope with stress and emotions. She said self love is important. She said this in not physical (surgery would not solve the situation, I would just gain it back). She said it's an energetic and emotional fix. I have felt an addiction to food, especially when trying to let go of anything sugary. I also relate to the protection factor. And while I think about it, part of the thing I protect myself from is men. I feel uncomfortable about how I look when I'm thinner. It draws attention to me and makes me nervous. Could this relate to being a geisha? Could it relate to my isolation in my Russia / Poland life? What is the lesson I need to learn?

On a lighter note, of course I bought crystals after my reading! My first rose quartz pendulum, obsidian, celestite, a St. Peter statue to help with my aching feet (I just "happened" to come across him. I had no idea there was a saint to help with feet) and some candles. I talked to my friend at lunch about our experiences. She sat with Mia for almost an hour (mine was about 18 minutes, I could have gone longer if I wanted to but I felt I heard enough). She described some things that were absolutely incredible and very connected to her life. I told her I wasn't sure how I felt. She said I was a geisha, but I just happened to be wearing red lipstick (not common for me) and a bag that had an asian emblem on it. My friend said "maybe there's a reason why YOU chose to wear the lipstick and carry that bag." Hmmm. Since we are drawn to and repelled by things that occurred in our past lives, this certainly gives pause to think.

After the trip I had the urge to look up James in Japanese just to see if there was anything that would ring a bell to me. When I have thoughts to do stuff, I usually can tell when it's guidance and intuition, so I go with it. Awhile back I had a phone reading with Karen Kubicko and was told that smiley faces were signs from spirit of their presence. I went to an event with don Miguel Ruiz and don Miguel Ruiz Jr. right after that reading, (click here for blog) and instead of a wristband for seating, I was given a happy face sticker. That night was magical and I could feel spirit throughout the room for all of us. So much love. The smiley face was a beautiful sign among others that night. Anyway, after googling James, here's what I found: 
ジェームス



I see a smiley face, do you? There were many links to prior readings. Even if the names weren't the same, the lessons are linked. So maybe I need remember what I know in my heart to be true: the universe is speaking to us, I just need to trust.

Here are some great resources for learning about past lives:
Many Lives Many Masters book by Dr. Brian Weiss: click here
Many Lives Many Masters course by Dr. Brian Weiss: click here
Dr. Brian Weiss Regression CD's: click here
Denise Linn's Past Lives Present Miracles book: click here
Sonia Choquette Ask Your Guides book: click here
Life Is Just Another Class by Karen Kubicko book: click here


In Gratitude & Love,


Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Review: What Your Clutter Is Trying To Tell You by Kerri Richardson



I can't resist reading a new Hay House book, and how could I possibly resist reading something from another Kerri? I have been following Kerri Richardson on Facebook for quite awhile and enjoy her clutter busting tips, her many live chats, and following her adventures of building a tiny house with her wife Melissa. I was very excited to get my hands on her new book. 

What Your Clutter Is Trying To Tell You - Uncover The Message In The Mess And Reclaim Your Life arrived with a little over 100 pages, I thought hmm, this is slim, not your typical 250+ pages. But once I started reading, I realized something pretty spectacular, the book is clutter free! What could get across the point any clearer? When you read a book, especially self help, and the same message is repeated over and over again in slightly different ways, it can get very monotonous. You know the point could be wrapped up so much quicker. Well, Kerri did it! Kerri Richardson's book is filled with concrete steps to remove the clutter and get to the bottom of why it's there in the first place. She also provides her own personal stories and those from her clients too. 




What Kerri reveals in What Your Clutter Is Trying To Telling You, is far more valuable than just removing items from your home. Clutter is a symptom, and Kerri helps get you to the cause. Her book is a deep dive into the multitude of ways clutter clogs your personal space and your head space. Her book provides an easy method to break down clutter clearing in more manageable chunks. It takes away the overwhelm and provides an enormous sense of accomplishment in a short time.

While I read the book I also participated in a 30 Day Clutter Clearing Game that Kerri started on Facebook. This was also a fantastic way to ease into clutter clearing. For each day of the month, you clear that number of items (1 item for day one, 30 items for day 30, etc) and by the end you will have gotten rid of 465 items! Here's more details on Kerri's site: http://kerririchardson.com/clutter-game/She also offers private coaching, group coaching and Clutter Buster coursesKerri has endless ideas for clutter clearing. Along with her book, I highly recommend following her on social media to join her groups and live chats (links are below). The extra support helps so much. I am also an avid fan of her new Hay House Radio show on Mondays at 11AM PT. Definitely check it out, you can call in and speak to her too! 

Thanks to Kerri I realized that clutter is more than just objects, it can be in other things that weigh us down (including weight itself). She made me look at why I was really holding on to the extra pounds. I thought I was sabotaging myself for upcoming events in my life. I would start the diet because "x" event was coming up in a few months, but instead of losing, I would gain. Through Kerri's guidance, it became clear that it was the events themselves that I was protecting myself from. I am empathic, shy and sensitive, and new situations and different energies are difficult for me. The extra padding puts a buffer between that. It's definitely helpful to know the "why" when you are trying to make a change.

Another clutter trap was my art supplies. I have always thought "I am an artist" even though I haven't practiced it in a long time. I had art supplies in my closet as far back as high school and many from college. I felt like I couldn't let them go since "I am an artist" has been my mantra for years. I even bought a whole new set of art supplies well over a year ago to inspire me to create again. But it's still sitting in the same closet. Kerri helped me examine this. Is this something I actually enjoy? Through simple exercises, I have come to realize that what I thought was a fear of doing this again, may actually be that it's just not for me right now. I don't have to be an artist. Why would I create that kind of pressure on myself? I was able to let go of the high school & college supplies, and a stinky college textbook (I just don't like old book smell) And the best part is, I didn't have the attachment to it all that I thought I would. It wasn't hard to let it go. I kept the newer supplies, and before I decide if I will let it go entirely, I will try it out again, but with no pressure. I know now that I don't have to do or be anything other than happy.

I am the queen of lists. Through Kerri Richardson's book and the "Action Time!" steps, I was able to see how the lists were keeping me from having any fun. The lists never ended. So I've clutter cleared those, pared things down to what I really need to remember to do, and added in fun things on my list! I was also able to let go of Christmas items that had no meaning (or I didn't like), along with releasing the guilt feelings that whisper that I have to keep every memory forever. I let go of items that held negative memories. Going through the bad memories was only difficult at the start of the process (Who wants to conjure up bad feelings?), once I started working on it, and got things out of the house, I felt free and clear. Everything holds energy, and avoiding them and having them in my home, was not healthy. 

I let go of excessive wrapping paper, years old unfinished crafts (I have yet to remember what the googly eyes on rocks was all about), DVDs, kitchen items, school supplies, outdated food & medicine, clothing, computer cords, cookbooks, and more. Almost everything was donate or recycled. I paired down some of the school papers I've been keeping of my kids. Those memories are the hardest for me. I really felt like I needed to keep it all, but that was just something I put on myself, and now I am more able to let it go. I don't need to keep every single memory to remember their childhood or to honor them. 


                           


What Your Clutter Is Trying To Tell You shows the common causes of clutter, provides a resource list of where to donate or sell items, and even provides a section on turning clutter into cash! Kerri also points out so many additional types of clutter that may surprise you, but once sorted through and released from your life, will make a positive impact.

Kerri encourages us to look at what is coming in to our lives as the clutter leaves, and I just love that! This awareness paired with gratitude brings so much more goodness into our lives. Throughout the last month and a half of reading the book and letting go of physical, digital and mental clutter, so many blessings have arrived. I received an invitation from an Instagram friend to participate in goodness packs she was putting together. This resulted in a large order for Kindness Cards and paper butterflies that will now be distributed around the U.K.! I also received an affiliate check from Hay House, a free life insurance policy, a new TV for my office (also free), and many other blessings of kindness and abundance. The best part is feeling lighter, a sense that good is flowing in my life, and I am putting more positive energy into the world as a result. This is an ongoing process, but one I feel confident and positive about thanks to Kerri Richardson and What Your Clutter is Trying To Tell You.

Here are some ways to reach Kerri Richardson and buy her book:
Kerri's book: Hayhouse: http://hhafftrk.com/?a=3653&c=6166&p=r&s1=  
Kerri's book: Amazon http://amzn.to/2Fq5Oxa
Kerri's website: http://kerririchardson.com/
Kerri on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KerriCoach/
Kerri on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerrioke/?hl=en
Hay House Radio: http://hhafftrk.com/?a=3653&c=1445&p=r&s1=

In Gratitude & Love,


Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Spotlight On: Author Tara LaDue


I first met author Tara LaDue on Instagram. She is a beautiful, positive soul, and watching her make her book come to life, has been incredibly inspiring. Came To Believe, A Journey of Trust, Faith and Perseverance is Tara's spiritual memoir and is currently our Book of the Week! Enjoy getting to know Tara with my interview below:

SG (Suitable Gifts): This is your first book, congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment! When did you first realize you wanted to write?  

Tara (Tara LaDue): I always loved writing back in school.  I talk about this in the book.  Writing was my outlet, and my escape. 

SG: Why did you decide to write this book?

Tara: I wrote to help me in my healing journey initially.  I wanted to tell my truth with no edits as a way to release pain and shame.  Then as I was writing it and telling people about it, I was made aware of how much this book will help others.

SG: Tell us about your book.

Tara: Came to Believe is a Journey of Trust, Faith and Perseverance.  It is my spiritual memoir of how I had a shift in perception about my life.  It is my healing journey from growing up in a fatherless home, being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, living with the disease of alcoholism, and the unconditional love between a mother and daughter.  By trusting in a power outside of myself, putting my faith in the Angels and the Universe I persevered.  This memoir is how I Came to Believe in the power of manifestation and miracles.

SG: Why did you decide to self publish?

Tara: Well, I didn’t win the Hay House writer’s course contract, but I didn’t want that to stop me.  I knew my story was important, and realized that publishing a book through a big publisher isn’t the only way.  Also, I have learned that through self-publishing you have more control.

SG: Tell us about you.

Tara: Where do I start?  I am a Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Sprit Junkie, the best dog mom ever, an Auntie, an awesome daughter, a wonderful friend, a go-getter and I love working on my spiritual development.




SG: Tell us about your social media business.

Tara: I coach spiritual entrepreneurs how to build their social media platforms with integrity and authenticity, I also manage accounts and I wrote a Social Media Guidebook for Spiritual Entrepreneurs of all my tips and tricks that is pretty inexpensive! It can be purchased at gum.co/kwRm



SG: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Tara: Kundalini Yoga, walking, Social Media, playing with Chester, my adorable shih tzu.




SG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned creating your book (about the writing process)? 

Tara: It brings up a lot of emotions.  Also, I learned that I needed to remove distractions!  I love to write, but my mind would often wander to other things.  

SG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned creating your book (about yourself)? 

Tara: I have accomplished a lot!  And, I should be very proud of myself.

SG: What is the writing process like?

Tara: I remember Doreen say to write at least 1 page a day. I tried this, but for me I would be on a roll for 3 months and bang out 5 chapters, then I would have to take a break and come back to it.  Also, I felt I needed to get things done fast, I learned mid-way through to slow it down!  Don’t rush, so I can write from the heart.

SG: What advice do you have for other writers? 

Tara: Begin.  Start now!  Slow and steady wins the race after you begin. Be gentle on yourself, and remember self-care as you write.  A lot of stuff comes up so it important to have a support system.

SG: Who inspires you?

Tara: So many people! Going through my Instagram newsfeed and seeing what everyone has accomplished.  My mom inspired this book.  I wanted to tell a story of healing between a mother and daughter.  Gabby Bernstein has been a big influence on my journey.  My Spirit Junkie sisters and brothers.



SG: I watched you on Instagram manifest this book, can you share a little bit about how? 

Tara: I am a big manifestor and this book has a lot of manifesting stories and ways to manifest in it!  So, I’ll let everyone read it to find out! 

SG: How did writing your story heal you?  

Tara: As I put my thoughts to paper, the tears shed, the shame dissipated.  As I put my stories to paper, I smiled and laughed and realized I accomplished a lot of amazing stuff!  It was all healing.

SG: Do you view writing as a type of spiritual practice?

Tara: Yes, In Alanon I was suggested to write 5 things I was grateful for a day.  This causes a complete shift in energy.  This is when I first realized writing caused spiritual growth.

SG: Do you have a ritual or spiritual practice before you write?

Tara: I ask my Higher Power to write through me.   I have my larimar crystal that helps to write from the heart and my moonstone crystals near me.  I burn incense and meditate first.

SG: Did you feel that you were divinely supported while you were writing your book?  

Tara: Absolutely.  My angels held my hand and hugged my little girl all along the way.

SG: What was the most challenging part of your book to write about?

Tara: The chapter where I talk about my childhood trauma of being a survivor of incest.  It was the hardest for me to begin, but once I put my fingers to the keyboard it just flowed out of me.

SG: What was the most joyful part of your book to write about?

Tara: The healing with my Mom and I, but also the idea of finding your tribe and how I did it. 

SG: How long did it take you to write your book?  

Tara: The writing took a year and a half, but I started my social media platform for it 2 years ago.

SG: Did you write every day? For how long?

Tara: Not every day. I wrote when I felt moved to write and I wrote for as long as I knew it was coming from my heart.

SG: What authors do you like to read?  

Tara: My girl, Gabby Bernstein.  Marianne Williamson.  Wayne Dyer.  Caroline Myss.   

SG: What books have had a strong influence on you or your writing? 

Tara: All of Gabby Bernstein’s books.  Also, Rebecca Campbell’s books.  Doreen Virtue is really who made me feel like I could do it!

SG: What’s next? 

Tara: Wow! I really want to enjoy the accomplishment of this book, Came to Believe.   I already have my second book which will be titled, “You Are Only As Sick As Your Secrets,” which will be about my healing journey from childhood sexual abuse through Alanon, Kundalini Yoga, therapy, EMDR and EFT.  


Thank you Tara for taking the time to share about your new book, your writing process, and your life. It is an honor to know you, and I am so thrilled that so many others will get to know you too, and will be helped by your book!

For more information:
To buy Tara's book or Kindle version: Came To Believe
Tara's website: http://www.taraladue.com
Alanon – 12 step program from the friends and family of alcoholics www.al-anon.org
EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique www.thetappingsolution.com
EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing www.emdr.com


In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

FLOATing Into Fifty


Over the past couple of years, I've made it a tradition to do something special for myself for my birthday. I love going out of my way on birthdays for the people I love, and I realized I needed to include myself as well. This year is a big one for me, so I wanted to do something really different.

This year I decided to try floating! FLOAT offers pods that are essentially sensory deprivation chambers. I have heard of these for awhile, and when I found there was a place to go to in San Antonio, I knew I wanted to try it to celebrate my half century. Before I went, I meditated, prayed and chose an oracle card from Sonia Choquette's Ask Your Guides Deck. Before I choose a card. I usually ask for my spirit guides to show me what it is they want me to know for the day. This day I asked for a message about my upcoming FLOAT experience. I wanted to know who I might connect with during that experience. When I pick a card, the deck is face down and after shuffling I hear a number so that I know which one to pick. If I hear 5 for example, then it is the 5th card from the top to pull. Everyone uses these decks different ways, but this is how it works for me. The card I picked was "Solitude," so appropriate for this experience. The spirit guide connecting with me was my owner Higher Spirit. 




I said a prayer in the car for a good experience and headed on my way. The pods are filled with ten inches of water and up to 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt. I love me an Epsom salt bath, but I've never used enough to make me float, maybe only a cup or two! But even that small amount of salt relaxes and recharges me, and releases the negative junk in my auric field. I was a little concerned about the salt level. One time I tried a five pound bag of Himalayan sea salt in my bath and I felt so yucky after it. It was serious detox and dehydration. I didn't know what to expect with this, but I took a giant bottle of water with me just in case.



I had a choice between an i-sopod or a Zero Gravity Suite, which is less claustrophobic. I really wanted the full experience, so I opted for the i-sopod. I arrived at FLOAT and was soon greeted by Meredith, who was so kind and informative. She showed me to the dressing room and bathroom. It had lockers, two mirrors, chairs, and tables filled with lotion, combs, hair dryers, curling irons, hairspray, and more for after floating. I took everything off, and put on one of their soft, comfy robes. They had flip flops too, but I usually trip over myself, so I walked barefoot to the next room.



Meredith led me to a small room with three massage chairs. The room was dark and peaceful. I chose my chair, sat down and Meredith started the chair in motion. I relaxed for fifteen minutes while gentle waves were projected on the walls, "stars" and "moon" were overhead on the dark ceiling, while sounds of nature chirped throughout. I felt like I was on a camping adventure, well maybe more glamping since I was in such a high tech massage chair! But it was very relaxing. This was not your regular nail salon chair. It had rollers at my feet, kneading my heels, all the way up through the balls of my feet. The leg rests periodically squeezed my legs and ankles, as did the arm rests atop my hands. Every once in awhile, after the rollers went down and up my spine to my neck, the sides would squeeze my shoulders together. It was awesome!




After the massage, Meredith brought me to my room (pod #5). The sound-proof room was small, and the pod was big! There was room to hang my robe, a small table with ear plugs and vaseline (to keep out the sting of the salt if I had any open cuts). In the corner was a shower with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. Everything was provided for, which made it convenient not to have to pack a bag for this, other than some makeup. Meredith told me to shower first (they don't want oils or anything in the pod). She showed me where the latch was inside the lid of the pod for when I needed to open it. She said to keep it closed as much as possible to keep the temperature as it should be. It is supposed to be the same temperature as our skin.





Meredith opened the pod and it was lit in blue. The water was clear. I don't know why, but I expected it to be thick and salty looking, but it wasn't at all. Inside on the left was a button to push to turn the blue light off when I was ready for darkness. She said for awhile I would see light from the room peeking through the seams of the pod lid until the room light went off. The floating experience also starts with calming music, but that fades away too. On the right inside the pod, was a button to push if I needed any help (a panic button I thought, that I hoped I wouldn't need!).

She talked about ways to relax, breathing, how to rest my arms - she suggested placing them over my head to open up and relax more. She showed me a flotation ring for my head, hung on the wall, that I could use if needed. She said the head seems to be the last thing to relax. I can understand that, since tension always seems to show itself in my head and neck.

I was ready to roll, so Meredith left the room and I was on my way to my sixty minute adventure (they have 90 minute sessions too)! I took a quick shower and hopped in the pod. I closed the lid over me, layed down in the water and was floating instantly! The music was peaceful, as was the blue light. It was ethereal. I looked around briefly and noticed a decent amount of room in the pod to feel comfortable. It was warm. I really prefer to feel cool and breathe in cool air. That wasn't happening here, and I started worrying myself that I'd overheat or panic. It wasn't that hot, I was just overthinking. I turned the light off. Breathe, breathe, breathe. 

It was really fascinating to be floating in this unique experience. When the room light went out, it was so dark I couldn't see any difference with my eyes opened or closed.   My neck hurt. I had been to the gym in the morning and it was already sore, but I must not have been relaxing it completely. I had to pop the lid to get the neck support. Dang. I wish I had brought it in with me. I opened the lid and grabbed the ring and got back in. It was nice to get a little bit of cool air.

I settled back down, turned the light off again, and not too long after, the room light went out again. I prayed. I asked to connect to God, my spirit guides, my higher self. Everything started to look red. I don't know if it was from my blood pumping harder. At times I could feel my pulse beating in my ears. I didn't use the earplugs, I really wanted to feel everything. But the beat was really loud at times. I know how hokey this sounds, but you know I'm going to say it anyway...I saw the face of Jesus. I often see flashes of people, places and objects when I meditate. I have not been able to slow down the images enough to put together the meaning. This time I saw his face, large, just for a brief moment. After that I saw this jumbled mass of red and dark. It was kind of like a lava lamp, but more in the shape of a cloud.  In the mass, small faces appeared and receded. It was creepy and a little scary. It didn't feel like good energy. I prayed to Archangel Michael to clear it. Breathe, relax, breathe.

Off and on I could hear my heartbeat loudly in my head and at one point I heard a really loud sound that made me jump.  It's a sound-proof room, so I don't know what it was, but it jarred me for a second. It could have been from my own body, as my ears were under the water and the sound is amplified. They recommend eating an hour or so before the float so stomach sounds aren't distracting, so it could have been digestion in progress!

I struggled with the heat in the beginning, but I really wanted to stay in the pod for the full hour, so I just did it. I knew it really wasn't anything that would hurt me, I just needed to get used to it. I had a conversation with a friend of mine the night before the float, and she said she wouldn't be able to do it because she had an unexpected panic attack just getting an MRI. That vision popped in my head, and my heart beat faster. I let it go quickly. Breathe, breathe, breathe. 

I relaxed as I would when I meditate. The head rest was a huge help. Every once in awhile it felt like my shoulders were scrunching up, so I put my arms over my head as Meredith suggested. It felt much better. When my eyes were closed, and I relaxed more, I felt myself  moving. It felt like I was floating on a calm sea..at night...with no sharks. The music came back on when my time was up, it seemed like it all went by so fast. 

I popped the pod back open and showered again, dried off and put on my robe. After I opened the door and walked down the hallway, Meredith was there to bring me back to the changing room. I felt peaceful as I got dressed and dried my hair. Meredith had mentioned that I could go to a sitting area to relax as long as I wanted to after, so I did. It was a room with couches, coloring books, water, kombucha to purchase (which I did!), and tea. As I grabbed some water, Meredith and I chatted about my experience. I told her I didn't get to the spiritual place I wanted to, but I felt good and know that if I tried it a few more times, I would be able to relax as I do when I meditate. She said it usually takes a few sessions to relax as well. She also suggested maybe a 90 minute session might be better for me and I agreed. It really does go fast, and I think more time would be ideal. I also think I might try the Zero Gravity Suite and see if I feel better about the warmth in that environment.




I grabbed some locally made kombucha and walked to the entrance to pay for my float. Meredith had stepped out, so I was able to meet one of the owners Jeremy Jacob. He was just as kind and helpful, and rounded out a great new experience. Aside my quest to transcend my body and connect with spirit, this experience was relaxing, good for my joints and muscles, peaceful, and a welcome break from social media, news, and sensory overload.  I will definitely float again and continue to let go, relax, and breathe. 


For more information and a virtual tour:
FLOAT: http://www.floatsa.com/

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

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