LOVE IN THE AIR

Several years ago now—I resisted the gym, which, I must say I thought was strange, but there was such a pull to be outside.  It had been coming—but this particular year—I couldn’t go back to the stuffy atmosphere and stationary workout equipment I knew so well. Something strong was calling me, so I went with it. I called it Gaia. I needed to walk—to feel the fresh air and sit by the beach. To commune with the palm trees and sand, the unique tropical birds and big bright green iguanas who watched me, silently; weird moveable eyelids and their prehistoric nature all became part of my experience.  And then one day it became routine. Every morning for almost two years I walked the neighborhood. In the process—I said hello to new faces and others became familiar on my walk each morning; soon I had old friends that I passed each day waving to and greeting with a smile. I watched the neighborhood change as houses were put up for sale and new families moved in. Other houses were remodeled, and their new beautiful renovations updated the quiet streets. Lawn and maintenance crews were always present somewhere along the way like standard fixtures. So were the police, waitresses—and the businesses of Lauderdale by the Sea and the community in which I lived; it was all mine.

And, then there was Richard. He worked as a maintenance man at one of the big elegant condominiums on the beach. Normally, most mornings when I passed by, he was out in front with a hose—washing the side walk. I said hello—and he smiled—and said hello back. Occasionally, as I got to know him better, we would chat for a few minutes. Never very long—as there were cameras everywhere he would say—and he wasn’t keen for trouble.  So, most mornings—it was a wave and a hello and a smile and a cordial wish for a good day. We all have people in our lives like this—and I enjoyed his smile and energy as much as he enjoyed mine.

And then, like the tide—I was called back to the gym. And, I would now only walk occasionally. Months later—while walking “my route”—Richard was out in front washing the sidewalk like always. I said hello—and he said, “where have you been?”  I told him I had gone back to the gym—he said he had missed me, asking for my number.

To my surprise, he called me. We met at Starbucks a few times to talk. I gave him one of my books. I learned he was a gifted musician and music was his passion. He was divorced. He had two children. He had been born in Jamaica. I shared my story too. But, most of all Richard was just sweet. He had a contagious smile and caring eyes. And, probably one of the nicest people I knew. Our friendship grew—and he would drop over to the house from time to time. He played his CD for me one day—and his voice and talent were amazing. I’d make him coffee if he’d had a long day—and we continued to talk about life; never shallow conversations. Our friendship was real and honest. I guess that’s what made it so special. When I was out of town and hurricane Irma was barreling in our direction—it was Richard who came over and hauled in all my stuff in and prepared my house for the storm. That’s who he was.

On October 29th he texted me at 8:09 am. The text said . . . “Good morning”. “Thinking bout u.” I respond back—“Good morning! How are you doing?” “im good can i stop by”. “What time?” I replied. “Now” he texted back to me. (I was in the middle of breakfast for my LAL students who live in my house—and still hadn’t had my coffee.) I texted him. “Later?”, I asked? “Ok i will try.” But that day went like a flash and we did not meet.

On November 5th my cell phone rang. It was a 305 area code and a number I didn’t recognize but I answered it anyway. “This is Richard’s friend Noel”, the caller began. “Richard died last night.” I paused, “Richard Friesland I asked?” “No Richard Harvey”, the gentleman replied. What? I paused drawing a blank for a nanosecond as my brain searched for meaning. “WHAT?” I said again. “How did this happen? When?” I was shocked—and told Noel—I needed a few minutes to process this untimely news. Richard was 43 and had young children. “How could this be?”, I thought to myself.

I talked to his brother Ian several times—he sounded just like Richard. I attended his funeral two weeks ago.  It was a celebration of his life! But, I miss him today. Without realizing it, he had impacted me in a very subtle and profound way. His brother said he talked about me a lot. I guess I had impacted him too.

As I reflect  on our friendship—I guess you never realize how somebody’s going to impact you—or what meaning they hold in store for you. And, how this “chance encounter” would affect me so deeply today.  I feel him around me. I “hear” his voice and laughter. I wonder if he is one of my guides now? I feel that he is. (My friend Annie confirmed this is in fact so.) And wonder now, if that is why I had such a pull to walk pulling away from the gym? I know there are no coincidences or accidents. I also know that there is no such thing as an inappropriate death.

Before his “graduation from earth school”, his young nephew awoke from a deep slumber—walked into his Mother’s bedroom and said, “Richard can’t stay. He’s got to go.” Two days later Richard was gone from a undiagnosed kidney infection.

I know that there was a love between us that was unexplainable—an undefined intense soul connection—that I for one didn’t understand. Maybe he did?

I think it is important with all the division and fighting, and angst in the world right now—and in the United States in particular, to create a unity with others. At the end of the day—we are all the same—all from the creative source—all with divinity inside. We must throw away the idea of separateness and embrace our Love for one another; one Human Being to another. This much I know is true. I think Richard did too.

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Dear Dad . . . Open Letter for Father’s Day

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Dad’s 80th Birthday–with siblings:  L to R, Chris, Caryl, Cathrine, Charles Jr

Dear Dad,

I won’t be calling or sending you a card this year, but you already know that, don’t you?  It has been almost a year since your transition—or what I affectionally call ‘your graduation day’ (from earth school).  Your expansion and lessons for this incarnation complete. I cannot be sad; that would be selfish.  I saw your frustrations—exasperations—and vexations prior to your exit. Life did not hold the same pleasures or satisfaction; no words were necessary to explain, I knew. Unexplainable to most, I know you have not left me or anyone dear to you for that matter.   I know you are with me always—everyday—and every moment; divinity hidden behind the veil of mystery. Separation only an illusion.

We all react differently to death. I must say that I know you are around me more now than when you were here physically as my Father.  I know you helped me bury my cat Sasha last October.  In my minds-eye, I heard you tell me “go get your gloves and shovel.” We did that together. To confess, it’s not because I ever felt disconnected  but, because I know a piece of you has stayed with me and I know you understand more of what I’m about; who I am and what I believe.  I know I confused you at times; but that is ok too.  You get me now.  Your understanding has clarity. You exist in a quantum expression entangled with all here on Earth.

We said our good-bye’s in May.  I am grateful.  I never thought about what an example you were to me; I only hoped that I can impart these qualities to my own two sons. I share that now.  Perhaps, that is why we chose these soul relationships this time around?  You my father; I your eldest daughter.

I am grateful you showed me compassion by your way of being; your gentleness, caring, concern and kindness towards others. I say it kept me sane.  This way of being shown through with your customers at Equine House and the way you treated our animals; the horses, adopted dogs and barn cats.

You taught me about unconditional love.  When I married my now ex-husband, you may not have understood, but you assured me that as long as I was happy—you were happy too.  Not all parents can do that.  You stepped up when it counted.

As a young child and young adult, you always respected us—all of us.  You listened and tried your best to solve the crisis at hand;  I appreciated that you listened.  Sometimes, we just need to be heard; I needed to be heard and you were there.

You taught me patience and anticipation.  These were lessons while horseback riding, but they apply to life too.  I believe now they are a metaphor for how we live.  They were not fearful warnings, but common sense practical guidance. It works as well today, as it did decades ago. I know life is a wheel—constantly moving up and down.  Cycles within cycles; patience is key—so is trust. You taught me that too.

You taught me about the simplicity of the the small pleasures perhaps the real secret to life; that satisfaction from within.  The value of spending time with your children.  The side trips along small winding country roads back to the barns from the feed store or the hardware store. You held the space for the family vacations; that once a year camping excursion to The Big Woods camp ground, the Calgary Stampede, Grand Tetons or Yellowstone Park.  Thank you.  I too shared adventures with my sons while they were young.  I know they will one day look back fondly—just as I look back fondly now.  It could have been yesterday.

Most recently, I discovered you always loved to finish your dinner with a dessert. I never realized that growing up; maybe everything was lost in the hustle of school and hurried family dinners.  It was only when I visited those few weeks each year, I discovered this nugget.  I understand Grandfather was like that too—the apple never falls far from the tree.  (smiling) There was a child-like pleasure when Linda ( your wife) and I announced we had a sweet-treat to complete the meal baking in the oven.  A twinkle in your eyes, and smile as a child like innocence couldn’t contain the excitement over the confection presented; an image indelibly seared forever in my mind.  I recall the bakery that we used to visit every trip to Washington in La Conner; that delicious apple dumpling—more like a single serving apple pie!  How cool is that Dad? I found a recipe on line. I know you’ll enjoy it with me—when I make it at home!

And so, on this Father Day—I know you view the world differently these days from your new vantage point; I don’t know how that looks.  You know what I am thinking. You know more about me than I know about myself.  You know many of the secrets of the Universe that I would love to know—and that’s ok. I’ll wait.  But, one thing I do know, is love is something that rends the veil.  It is a multidimensional attribute.  And so, from my soul to yours, I wish you Happy Father’s Day—and Thank you for being you!  Recorded in the history of earth and humanity—that will never change and always be part of who we are—and who we have been and for that I can celebrate this day and all Fathers’ Days to come!

Love Always,

Cathrine

Oh, and no, I won’t forget the Vanilla Ice Cream—I know it wouldn’t be complete without the frozen sweet topping melting over the hot apple dessert!  LOL  Yum. 🙂

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Apple Dumpling ala mode, La Conner Bakery, La Conner, Washington.

This Much I Know Is True—Signs From The Otherside Of The Veil.

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I have been called intuitive, psychic, clairsentient, and an unconscious channel.  I believe there are no accidents—only synchronistic moments.  Some we acknowledge and others we fail to recognize.  So, was the case when Joe pulled into my driveway Friday afternoon.
His boss had sent him to replace my antiquated hot water heater which had given up the ghost and declared to me by the leaking water water in my garage, this Reem was complete.  It had given service to my home for decades—and it was time to move on to appliance heaven on my watch.  And with my blessings I prepared for a replacement. New energy perhaps?  In any case, Joe, a forty something plumber with dark curly hair and  a heavy northeast accent, wearing a bright red shirt,  stepped out of his truck and surveyed the situation.
He got to the task very quickly, but needed my approval for a new ‘ball valve’ shut off handle  and uttered something about having to turn off the water to the house which brought me into the garage and into conversation.  I stood there briefly my attention turning to the project at hand and moments later engaged on the details of the new installation.
An unseasonably hot sunny South Florida day,  I leaned against the door jam by the entrance to the laundry room door observing the progress as he worked, sweat poring off his forehead talking in light conversation as he wiped his brow and began to work his magic with the copper pipe fittings.  The subject had turned to more serious matters.  Joe shared he had been in an serious car accident five years earlier and spent ten weeks in the hospital—including 10 days in a coma.  “they didn’t even tell me for two months,” he said with anguish on his face.   I tried to hide my confusion, my mind scrambling, to carefully piece the story together.  He carried the scars on his arm—a plate on his shin—and halo marks on his skull.  He also carried something even more sobering than the visible scars and that was the death of his brother from that fateful,  sorrow filled night.  As much as he tried—he could not put those events out of his mind—emotion welling up, he turned away facing the new heater.
 “Do you feel your brother around you?” I asked causally placing my hand on the corner of the dryer.   He turned around and looked at me, copper fitting in his gloved hand.  “No—well maybe sometimes”.  “You know I’m Catholic.” As if to say, I’m not allowed to believe in those things.  I smiled.  “Do you think he’s all right?”  I nodded. “My brother was a great brother”.  He continued uninterrupted, “protected me through high-school.  We even lived together.  He watched out for me.  I miss him.”
So, unfolded a deep conversation as the water heater installation progressed, and so did the ideas and beliefs upon which he was raised, in a safe round about way—we talked about his brother and Grandfather’s death;  the sides of his box came down just a little Friday afternoon. Beyond reason.  Beyond logic.  Beyond proof. He had outgrown his box, he knew there was more.
 I don’t have to tell you Joe will never be the same after his experience—but now he was looking for the “why” in all this.  Life he felt was a struggle everyday.  I sighed.  “What if your brother loved you so much, that you and he had an agreement that he would go first?” I said.  He looked confused. “What if this is about opening up to something bigger—that cannot be denied?  What if he is still helping you?  Watching out for you and guiding you? What if he is with you right now?” It is strange he confessed, that I ended up here this afternoon.  “The laundry room is actually quite crowed,” I said smiling. Your Grandfather is here too.  How do you know that, he asked.  “Because, I answered, there is an agreement that a little piece of them stays with you– with us—just like you will stay with your loved ones when you leave your physical body.  But—you’ll be back.  I promise.  Just like he will.”
He will give you a sign if you ask, I assured him.  “Perhaps a song on the radio or a license plate just when you think of him –a coincidence too uncanny to be accidental.” I continued,  a sign on a truck or a coin.  “Coin?” He said turning around digging for something out of the back of his van.  “Yea—it will be something” I said.   “It would be a dime”, he declared.   Now it was my turn to be surprised.  As much as I feel and “know” the synchroncities never fail to surprise me.  The day before—I had been out running errands, and stepped out of my car– looked down and found a dime—heads up.  In the moment, there was something in me that knew it was a message; the feeling was there, but the meaning unclear.  I picked it up.  I can’t explain it in logical—left brain terms, for those that need explanation because it exists in that quantum state, but  I remember saying to myself, “I wonder what this means?”  Today, I had my answer.  “Hold on Joe, let me go grab the dime out of my car.  It is in the cup holder; safe.”  Still facing up, I handed the silver coin to him.  Joe looked at me, smiled and slid it into his pocket, he returned to his work.
We continued to talk about his brother’s death—memories of his grandfather—his son and his family lineage.   I know Joe was supposed to be there Friday; so did he.   I know why I had kept that dime safe.  It was to let Joe know that his brother was right there beside him. Never really gone.  He needed to hear that. I assured him that his brother was fine when he asked.   There is “no sting” in death for the one that passes.  It’s only us—left behind—missing them.  Sometimes guilt, anger, or sadness—torn—and confused and often wondering depending on our belief and our relationship–and circumstances.
I ask you to discern this message.  Maybe it resonates—maybe it doesn’t; either is okay.   This is about healing.  It is about love.  It’s about giving permission—and being open to the answer.  Because, death, our loved ones, and what we make up about all this is far more important and bigger than suffering.  God does not want us to suffer.  These are contracts and potentials that we agreed upon before we incarnated here this lifetime for our growth and wisdom far more immense than our 3-D reality allows us to behold.  I know there is grand purpose and we will reunite once again when we meld back into wholeness of source which in human terms is undefinable.  But the human soul—not really human at all– is there beside us always.  We just have to be open enough to look—and keep our heart open enough to feel—because they are there.  This much I know is true.
For interesting read that I loved,  you may check out Carol Bowman’s book, Return From Heaven.  You may also want to consult a grief recovery specialist in your area or begin with the book: Grief Recovery Handbook by Russell Friedman & John W. James.  Or email me at Cathysilverhealth@gmail.com if I can help you.
“Inspired Wellness from Within”
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Making Snow angels

Sand Angels 1We walked out the door of Early Winters with our Gore-Tex rain gear in hand. The hike had been planned, and our tactics included preparation for the normally inclement northwest weather.  Our destination was a trail head in the Mt. Rainier National Park. Yet ironically, the late fall afternoon was a picture perfect sunny and 80 degrees, as Mitch and I set out and traversed the trail enjoying the bright autumn freshness.  We walked along the well-worn path proudly in our Asolo boots, blue jeans and tee-shirts— Antron-wool jackets tied around our waist; rain gear safely locked in the trunk of our car.  No need for this we surmised.

“Man plans and God laughs.” I would recall my ex-Mother-in-Law’s decidedly and legendary declaration in just about any crisis, or particularly challenging situation.  I believe she tried to make sense out of the unexplainable situation before her—but beyond the knowing handed it over as somehow God’s plan.   Several hours into the hike, and too far to turn back, threatening clouds moved in above us.  A light sprinkle from the grey and darkening sky didn’t deter our optimistic attitude, determined to enjoy our weekend hike, new equipment and getaway out of the city, we headed farther up the trail.

I guess at some level it was “the plan” because we got wet and wetter with a now heavy rain falling and the temperature dropping rapidly fueled by the wind which blew fiercely through the large evergreen trees and underbrush. Soaked and steaming both, we paused under a small overhang and wrung the water from our jackets. It was time to find a place for our small North Face tent and get dry.  Tomorrow was another day I thought, as we fired up our tiny stove for dinner and tried our best to dry our sodden jeans on the now hot rocks near the fire.

We fell asleep that night with the wind and rain beating against the tent, safe in the cocoon of our golden-yellow nylon dome.  I awoke once to surprising silence during my slumber. Reassured, I fell back to sleep confident, the sun-drenched weather would return come daybreak.  However, what greeted us several hours later when we unzipped the door to our tent was a blanket of snow everywhere; silence and beauty, cold and stark. I was astonished and panicked all at the same time.

Everything looks so different covered under a blanket of white; similar to darkness in some ways—except the snow was not going to reveal anything new and familiar as the daylight came.   A sudden 360 degree reevaluation of our situation was necessary.  Our sunny carefree weekend had turned potentially dangerous and, it was time to head out—back home to safety and civilization.

Looking back all those years ago, my weekend hike seemed easy in comparison to the trails I have traversed during my life since.  So often and with the best intentions, we make plans about our future.  Everything seems to be in order when we get soaked and cold and our jeans get burnt on the rocks trying to be dried out or just like the surprise snowfall—nothing looks familiar or safe.  We are lost and fearful or angry–sad or hurt.  Change is like that. A divorce, an illness or a death (expected or not) can give us the opportunity to look at life in an entirely new way, just as that snowfall did on that fateful hike.  At each juncture of the trail, nightfall or snowfall we have the choice to fall up or fall down.

What I’ve learned for myself and what I teach others now is, when you get caught in the snow storm, make snow angels. I am inspired by an inner strength to help others; the necessity for openness and reevaluation and the questioning of old ways and thoughts. For myself, when I could see my circumstances with new eyes and new understanding—I grew in a passionate, positive and transformative ways.

The benefits become a gift of transmuting a loss to a new and fresh star  for you.  If you or someone you know wants to learn how to make snow angels in the warm tropical sandy beach of south Florida, I extend a personal invitation to visit my website where you can explore a signature program I have designed  expressly for you to heal, grow, understand and transform your loss and grief to sand Angels with large wings.

Visit: www.soultosoulretreat.com  ▪ 5 powerful life-changing days filled with love and purpose.

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