Tag Archives: spirituality

Interview with Michelle Frost

Author of Elephant Songs

Michelle Frost has written an amazing book detailing her journey as a reluctant psychic. Elephant Songs is the autobiography of her life story from Africa to Scotland and from childhood brushes with spirits to a more mature spirituality. The book is engaging, honest, and very intriguing. Today she joins me to talk about the book and her experiences.  

Why did you decide to write an autobiography? How did it come about?

My mother was the first person to suggest that I write a book. She felt I should share my experiences, but every time I tried to write I’d start thinking about strangers actually reading my life and… I’d freeze up. Everything I wrote was stiff, deadly dull and boring. This book is very much owed to my internet friend, Richard Eldredge. He’s a rare thing – an open-minded sceptic. He’d constantly ask questions and I’d email back. By the time I’d finished answering all his questions I had 42 emails about my life and my abilities. They became the foundation of my book. 42 is the answer to “Life, the Universe and everything”, according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. How could I resist that cosmic joke?

Do you thinking growing up in Africa influenced your on-going spiritual life?

Definitely. Africa is steeped in mysticism and its people are far more aware of magic and the unknown. Things that would be laughed at in the West are still seen as perfectly normal in Africa. I grew up with first hand experiences of witchdoctor curses and cures as well as the legends of magical places and legendary beasts. Anything feels possible in Africa.

How important was it to your spiritual development to keep a dream journal?

I’d say that it helped my self-trust mostly. When I first started a dream journal my intention was to prove why my dreams came true. I was expecting to find a rational explanation, but instead all I proved was that I really was dreaming of things before they happened. Having that proof helped me come to terms with the fact I had psychic abilities. I’m a rational person at heart and simply trusting my intuition does not come easy for me. Having my journal to return to has enabled me to look back over decades and see patterns as well as reasons that I was completely clueless about at the time.

How did your hospital stay of 2005 affect your abilities?

It was the first of two events that changed my abilities. I woke up from surgery to find I could “see” and “hear” at a level I’d never had as an adult. I’d been able to see spirits as a very young child, but that faded quickly as I grew up. The surgery seemed to trigger some change. A friend of mine suggested that the anaesthetic and morphine acted on my brain in a similar manner to the hallucinogenic plants South American Shamans use.

By “see” and “hear” I mean a state of awareness that is more clear and real than imagination, but not literal seeing or hearing.

You had a spirit-guide who revealed himself over a long period. This experience was far from what is commonly reported. Can you tell us a little about that? What advise do you have for others whose experiences don’t match the textbook case?

My “spirit-guide” (we both know the label isn’t a perfect fit, but to say more would be a book spoiler) revealed himself after the second major event to change my abilities. I was writing my second book, Wisdoms of the Light (sequel to First Light), in 2013. Writing that book changed me. It was an intense experience and I wasn’t alone in feeling that. A psychic friend of mine offered to be an extra proof reader. When he finished reading through the first draft, he sent me a message his spirit-guide dictated for me:

You have grown exponentially of late and it is because of the book, because of the creative process employed with the book and the unusual way in which you created characters from self, from “ALL”, from else-where’s lifetimes, to both create a fascinating narrative and also a healing, consciousness raising/expanding experience for you.

It was about a week after I finished that first draft that I HEARD my spirit-guide speak for the first time. HEARD because he was loud, clear and very real. A life-changing moment I will never forget.

I can’t comment much on “what is commonly reported” since I haven’t read any books about other people’s experiences with spirit-guides. My advice to others would be to trust themselves and their “gut feeling” over anything they read or are taught/told. We are all unique and nothing works for everyone. If something feels wrong – trust that it is wrong for you and move on. Same with what feels right. I’d have saved myself a lot of stress and grief if I’d relied on my gut and intuition more than my intellect.

Your spirit-guide repeatedly tells you to “think from the heart, not the head.” What does he mean by this?

I can start by saying what he doesn’t mean, this isn’t about connecting to your emotions.

Let’s start with some basics. We tend to use the heart as a symbol of love and emotion, just as we use the brain to symbolise logic and intellectual deduction. I’d say that modern humans have become exceptionally “head bound”. We revere the brain and all things related to it: book learning, diplomas in knowing stuff, facts and figures. And as a result, we often see emotions as being unstable and more of a weakness than a strength.

My spirit-guide explained that there has to be balance between the two for any human to be completely healthy and productive, but this “thinking from the heart” is something more than that. When he says this, he points or presses his hand on a spot a few inches below my throat; a place roughly half way between heart and brain. He says this area is where we hold the energy he describes as “the higher heart energy”. It’s the place from where we connect to “All” – our higher self, God and/or the Cosmos. Here is where we experience those feelings we call intuition or genius; those moments when we simply KNOW something instantly without any need to mull it over in our brains or run it through our emotional heart. 

He constantly nags me about this higher heart thinking. I’m still struggling with this. I’ll have the moment of instantly knowing (higher heart intuition), but then my brain starts asking questions and my emotions run off in all directions like a flock of hysterical sheep.

Were you ever concerned that writing a book as deeply personal as this, might open you to ridicule? Has there been any negative pushback? What about support from surprising places?

I’ve worried mostly about accidentally hurting or offending anyone, since this is a book about my life where I do talk about my experiences and people I know, friends and family. Ridicule doesn’t worry me as much. I was teased for being skinny and sickly as a kid, laughed at for being overweight as a suddenly healthy teen and ridiculed for all sorts of things (politics, religion, nationality, gender, etc.) as an adult. I’m fairly immune at this stage. My main concern was to keep it truthful without causing harm to others.

So far, I’ve not had any negative pushback. As for support in surprising places… I’ve had a few people contact me to say thank you for writing the book. They’ve all been people who can relate as they’ve had similar experiences. That’s been awesome.

In a time when it appears more and more of us are “waking up,” how important is it that stories like yours find their way into the world?

This is why I agreed to publish in the first place, because people like my mom and friends said, “this is needed.” I know dozens of people who have psychic abilities or have had esoteric/spiritual experiences and been too afraid to admit that fact for most of their lives. That, to me, is a tragic waste of human potential.

Thanks for being here today and sharing your journey! For more about Michelle Frost and her work, check out the links below.

Blog: http://crows-feet.blogspot.com/

GoodReads: http://goo.gl/swYHsB

Amazon: http://goo.gl/KKGKkD

Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/QH9tQe

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Buddhism & Quantum Physics:

Early Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and Relativity with Bhante Samāhita

A lecture on the parallels of early Buddhist teachings and quantum physics.

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What’s a Beguine?

Let’s find out! I visited Bruges recently and share some of my photos below.

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The beguinage at Bruges (Belgium)

The 12th and 13th centuries were characterized by renewed religious fervor. New spiritual pathways emerged. Some of them were seen as heretical (like the Cathars), while others were tolerated. Franciscans and Dominicans came into existence to reorder the Church from the inside out. The beguines emerged as one of the most original spiritual pathways and they endured for hundreds of years. They can also be viewed as the first feminists.

The beguines appeared at the end of the 12th century. These women initially came from the poorer classes and sought a life of faith without taking formal vows. At first, small groups located themselves in urban settings near hospitals or abbeys. They dedicated themselves to prayer and contemplation, but worked in their communities caring for the sick. The beguines were a conundrum and a challenge to the social order. Free from the male dominance of a husband or spiritual director, the beguine was an independent entity. Her freedom also required she support herself by working. This beguine structure for the first time opened a religious path for poor women who previously had no access to it. Nuns came from wealthy classes and bought their way into the life through large dowries, impossible for poor women.

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There is controversy over where the first beguine community was, but we know the movement spread quickly from Flanders through Italy, France, Poland, and Hungry. Over time a communal lifestyle prevailed and took hold. The beguines lived in a beguinage that functioned as a predominantly independent community, with rights and the ability to own property. Women often sought work in the thriving textile industries of their cities. By 1240, most of the beguines in the south of Flanders were living in communities surrounded by walls, where the door was closed at night creating its own version of a monastic center. The beguines had no founder and adopted no universal rule. There was no central authority. Each beguinage was a separately functioning entity, and this was sometimes a strength and sometimes a weakness.

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Not surprisingly, beguine communities were the subject of much concern for the Church. The movement ran counter to the power structure and heresy was often a concern, but two papal bulls in the 13th century did support the movement. But it was not enough. Some beguines were burned for heresy while others received protection. By the 14th century, the beguines were suffering. They were subject to inquisitional authorities, and some beguinages closed losing their assets while others were absorbed into traditional monastic orders. Some beguinages persisted through the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, but only a few survived into the 20th century. These were clustered in Belgium including the one at Bruges.

I’ve been to several former beguinages in the Low Countries now. They are always peaceful, contemplative places. From these places, there are still echoes of women wanting spiritual space and a place in the world. Sauve Garde.

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Read more:

The Beguines:Women in Search of Sanctity Within Freedom -Silvana Panciera

The Wisdom of the Beguines- Laura Swan

Meister Eckhart and the Beguine Mystics– Bernard McGinn

Owl Killers– Karen Maitland (fiction), starts and ends at the Bruges beguinage

Sisters Between-Molly Connally (fiction)

 

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And the winners are:

August 11, 2PM: I’ve drawn 4 winners for the print copies of Into the Land of Snows. Thanks to everyone who entered. The winners are: Sue S., Finally Florida, Alessandro, and Paronson. Congratulations!! I hope you’ll like the book. I will be contacting all of you to get your shipping addresses. If you see this, you can shoot me an email at: himalayaspencerellis@yahoo.com.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Land-Snows-Ellis-Nelson/dp/1534879765

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National Book Lovers Day

Open new doorways and celebrate by reading!!! And don’t forget to enter my book contest by commenting on the post below.

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Photo by Bjoertvedt

http://www.ibtimes.com/national-book-lovers-day-2016-quotes-21-sayings-about-reading-bibliophiles-2398724

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WIN A SIGNED BOOK!

After Jupiter Gardens Press went belly up, I struggled with whether or not to do the self-publishing thing. Turns out, it was easier than I expected. I am excited to announce the launch of my first self-published book! I worked with the fabulous Anna Spies at EerilyFair to create a cover I truly love. Thanks, Anna! Now it’s time to share the love. I will be giving away 4 signed paperback copies of Into the Land of Snows using a random drawing (US residents only, since I have to mail them). The contest will run from today until noon Aug. 11 (next Thursday). Enter by leaving me a comment about something fun you did this summer.

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About the book: Visionary Fiction 

Sixteen year old Blake travels to Base Camp on Mt. Everest to spend time with his physician father. When a deadly avalanche occurs, Dad is forced to rethink things and sends Blake away. Now accompanied by a Sherpa guide, and in possession of a mysterious camera, Blake undertakes a journey that will challenge everything he believes. In the magical Himalayas, he will be forever changed by what he experiences.

Available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/6HUnDX

ebook ($4.99):  https://goo.gl/mbHZsr

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“Well-written with engaging and believable characters, this story has it all: adventure, mystery, magic, and wisdom.” Naomi C. Rose

“Into the Land of Snows is a eminently readable YA novel that moves quickly and adeptly through many mystical twists and turns. A very fast and enjoyable read! I recommend it highly to YA audiences, but to adults as well.” Rea Nolan

“Into the Land of Snows takes the reader into a world so different, so beautifully challenging in its vision of life that the reader is drawn-in completely. So strong is the vision presented in this book it may even change the being within you.” Karin DeMer

 

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SNEAK PEEK

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With Jupiter Gardens closing its doors, I’ve decided to re-release INTO THE LAND OF SNOWS. I’ve had an amazing time working with Anna Spies of EerilyFair (https://www.facebook.com/eerilyfairdesign/). She is a talented and imaginative cover designer and here’s a peek at the new cover design. Freakin’ awesome job!

As part of the process, I got to view photos of teenage male models and choose one for Blake. Somehow I accidentally sent some of those images to my son via Facebook. That provoked a few awkward questions!!

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HAVE WE LIVED BEFORE?

Reincarnation: Past Lives & the Akashic Record by Lois J. Wetzel

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I downloaded this book recently following a lead from Dana Taylor (www.supernalliving.com). It is the second book by Lois J. Wetzel concerning case studies of past life readings she’s done. This book clarifies some of the issues raised in the first book and goes on to share healing aspects that clients have experienced as a result of the readings. Wetzel also says that she has had readers report being healed just by reading the book.

Wetzel begins the book with the belief that we are immortal, spiritual beings reincarnating to learn lessons for the soul’s evolution. Eventually we become Master Souls and move on to other levels of development in the spirit world.

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In order to help clients deal with issues or problems, she describes a process where she reads an individual’s Akashic records. This is a different process than doing a past life regression. Using a photograph of the client, Wetzel connects to the person and, while in trance, views past lives. The client does not have to be present or be hypnotized.

The book does not attempt to prove reincarnation (from a Buddhist perspective, the more correct term is rebirth. Only advanced masters reincarnate. The rest of us stumble back and take rebirth.). However, there is mention of some of the scientific work investigating reincarnation including that of Ian Stevenson, Jim Tucker, and Brian Weiss.

Readers will probably be as surprised as Wetzel was that she has seen past lives as dolphins and faeries.  She also talks about overlapping and parallel lives which may be difficult for some. In addition, she’s viewed lifetimes prior to recorded history and glimpsed civilizations we apparently have no record of.

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The case study section of the book provides a transcript of a reading followed by comments from the client. There’s no doubt that the readings often resonate with the client and many things are confirmed. The power of the work lies in its ability to provide healing and consolation for the individuals seeking it.

Reincarnation: Past Lives & the Akashic Record is an engaging read and will leave readers wondering about their own lives and the ones they’ve lived previously. What is a hold-over from the past? What kind of healing can be had here and now? All good questions.

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/Sc806k

Author Website: http://hotpinklotus.com

Dana Taylor’s website: http://supernalliving.com

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The Interview

cat&books

Author Paul Hill kindly hosted me on his blog. Follow the link. I spill the beans on my military background, why I write for kids, and share some curious personal paranormal happenings. Comments welcomed! I’m always here (or there) to chat.

https://lightinthedarkparanormal.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/interview-paul-hill-author-ellis-nelson/

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Mystical Life

Nicholas & Helena Roerich

The Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists & Peacemakers by Ruth A. Drayer

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This was an enjoyable read that followed the lives of Nicholas and Helena Roerich as they fled the Russian revolution traveling the world looking to bring a measure of spirituality and art into everyday life. Although not a name recognized today, Roerich was very well known from the 20s until his death in 1947. He was primarily an artist who left a vast legacy of paintings (most of which remain in Russia). But he was also a bit of a Renaissance man dabbling in archeology, spirituality, travel, and efforts at conservation and world unity. Equally interesting was his wife, Helena, who was a psychic and healer who had contact with some of the Masters known to the Theosophists. She wrote and developed the foundational works of the Agni Yoga practice. Together, they functioned as a spiritually-driven couple who established a school of the arts in New York City in the 1920s.

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Their pursuit of all things spiritual eventually took them into India, China, Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia. The treks happen at a dangerous time when few Westerners have traveled these regions. They often find themselves in situations they are ill prepared for. As a travelogue, it’s a fascinating journey, but not one many of us would choose. We learn that the Roerichs are in search of signs of the coming of Maitreya (a future Buddha) and interested in establishing a New Country (Shambhala) that has been prophesized. All through the journey, they hear tales about Christ (Issa) having spent time in the East. Although Nicholas’ art is energized by the trek, they don’t seem to find what the Masters are leading them towards. They settle down in northern India.

Nicholas’ next chance for adventure north comes in 1934 when he is asked by the US government to lead an expedition into these regions to find seeds for drought resistant grasses to help recover lands being swallowed by the dust bowl. He agrees, but things don’t go to plan due to political instabilities in the region. Around the same time, Helena maintains a correspondence with FDR.

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Roerich’s lasting legacy is his art and the signing of the Roerich Pact in 1935 by twenty-one nations including the US. The document was signed at the White House to protect artistic and cultural property, especially in times of conflict. Roerich was trained as an artist in Russia but also incorporates his sense of spirit with influences coming from peasant culture, Buddhism, and Theosophy. His work is overwhelmingly mystical.

The Roerich Museum (NYC):   http://www.roerich.org/

Link to Drayer’s book: http://goo.gl/IrxpnP

 

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