Afterlifethoughts & Angels: Part Two

2528715602_5563b7a9de_bWe need our angels now more than ever before…

 

Thanksgiving Edition: I’m posting a few days early since I thought you might want to try this idea tomorrow, probably not at the dinner table, but in private! ūüėȬ†

Dear Friends,

First of all, Happy almost-Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it!

Recently I read Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal¬†by Anthony William. Although I’ve established I’m a bit of a “woo woo” gal, I initially didn’t feel drawn to reading it because I was turned off by the Panglossian title. But thanks to my mercurial mind, I eventually read a sample on my Kindle and gave it a chance.¬†

In the first section, Anthony William depicts his extraordinary life. Critics can pan the book all they like, but the book has been a New York Times bestseller, and it has been endorsed by numerous celebrities and physicians.

I found William’s bizarre gift and upbringing fascinating, but I won’t give away any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that.¬†

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However, I won’t be spoiling anything by discussing one of William’s self-help chapters about angels.¬†

I haven’t blogged much about religion, and don’t worry, I’m not about to start doing it now, but I think it’s helpful if I share a few facts. I was born Jewish, but I’m not religious and I didn’t attend Hebrew school. I believe there is a higher power, which technically makes me agnostic, a word that sounds as cool as “moist” or “constipated.”

I’ve never been into angels unless they were attached to “food cakes,” but after reading William’s information about praying to obscure angels, I¬†was intrigued.¬†His instructions were easy, free and seemed harmless. I decided to try out his suggestions, but I was skeptical.

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In chapter twenty-three, Essential Angels, William writes about different angels including a group he calls the¬†Unknown Angels. These are not the “superstar” angels like Archangel Gabriel and Archangel Michael that even this agnostic knows about. The Unknown Angels are the unsung angels that don’t have specific names, and there are many of them – we’re talking thousands.

Williams asserts that the Unknown Angels are some of the most powerful angels around, but they are the least in demand, and they are “eager for the chance to work on us.” ¬†

The catch to this exercise is that if you decide to appeal to these angels, you need¬†to ask for their help out loud.¬†I keep it super-simple, i.e. “Hi Unknown Angels, can you please help me with ¬†XYZ – thank you!” If you’re deaf, have a speech impairment, or are too weak to speak, William suggests using sign language or your thoughts to ask the Angel of Deliverance, who will “express your soul’s wishes to the other angels.” (To those muttering non-angelic words right now, I beseech you to roll with this!)

Also, I encourage you to read this chapter in its entirety, as I’m leaving out 95%, but I’m sharing the bare minimum that has helped me.

This information might sound¬†hippie-dippie or not jibe with your religious beliefs. But after I self-consciously uttered a prayer about a problem that was promptly and unexpectedly solved, I wasn’t so cynical. At the very least, talking to the Unknown Angels has gotten me out of my usual loop of negative thoughts, and I like how that feels.

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My prayers to the Unknown Angels aren’t always answered¬†or answered exactly the way I want them. Still, I’m getting results that convince me to appeal to these mysterious Unknown Angels, especially when I pray during moments when I’m totally stressing out.

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Sometimes this lovely meme’s concept simply isn’t possible, i.e. Thanksgiving dinner. I’m a sucker for a cute animal meme, so I’m using it anyway!

The placebo effect could definitely play a part in some of my prayer successes – I don’t know, and frankly it doesn’t matter. I’m just grateful to have this option because the act of doing it seems to reduce my anxiety. I don’t feel so alone with my problem, be it great (worry about the health of a loved one) or small. (I’m too embarrassed to admit my small prayers, but they might be about things such as finding a parking spot or landing a hard-to-find child’s Halloween costume. Maybe.)

While writing this post, I visited Anthony William’s blog and found a¬†post about Life-Changing Angels, the twelve female angels (go Girl Power!) discussed in his second book Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself And The Ones You Love With The Hidden Healing Powers Of Fruits And Vegetables.¬†I don’t want to overwhelm you, but you might want to take a peek at that post.

If this topic sounds remotely interesting, please check out William’s book at your library, or splurge – it’s not cheap (even for the Kindle version) hovering around $15.00, so the library might be your best bet.

I’d love to know if you try reaching out to the Unknown Angels and what happens…

Until next week, please take good care of yourselves. I send you lots of love and strength to get through these challenging holidays!

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder¬†with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of¬†The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry)¬†will be published by¬†Post Hill Press¬†in October 2017.

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Afterlifethoughts & Angels: Part One

What Dreams May Come is a film based on Richard Matheson’s book and stars Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra and Cuba Gooding Jr.¬†It’s¬†one of my favorite movies, but I can only watch it when I’m feeling relatively stable (TW) as it contains themes of suicide and children’s deaths. An amazingly vivid, imaginative & groundbreaking film, it won the¬†Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

 * I apologize for the spacing/formatting snafus РWordPress seems to have a glitch today!
I intended to post about the afterlife and angels the week before Halloween, but it simply didn’t happen. Since I’m unable to write coherently (or even incoherently) about the election (plus I’m sure you don’t need to read more about that)¬†today’s the day to expound on the¬†afterlife. Next week’s post will focus on the angels.¬†
As a special treat, I’m not writing about ten topics in one 2500 word post – hurrah!
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The Afterlife
I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of life after death. However, I didn’t think about it constantly until after my father died in 2009.
I’m reminded of Prince’s solemn “sermon” in his classic song¬†Let’s Go Crazy:
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night…
Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own.
I think Prince got that right.
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A few days ago I was walking Lucy among the peaceful redwoods…
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As we trudged along the muddy path, I thought about my friend Ulla¬†who died by suicide not long ago. A wave of guilt hit me because I realized I had stopped thinking about her every day, and while that’s no crime, I felt like an ass.¬†I began speaking to Ulla out loud, not caring if another hiker heard me.¬†I told her I was sorry for placing her on my mental back burner. I said I hoped she was happy wherever she was. And then I begged her to give me a sign she was okay.
I thought a mountain lion sighting (far, far off in the distance) would be cool, or even a brush with the hirsute Bigfoot….yes, Bigfoot allegedly likes to hang out there too. But¬†I settled on a deer sighting.¬†
As¬†Train’s¬†Pat Monahan sings in¬†Calling All Angels,
I need a sign to let me know you’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me 
During the remainder of the hike, I didn’t see a deer¬†or even a bit of deer scat. Even though the skeptic in me thought it was unlikely I’d get the sign I wanted, I was disappointed. I wanted to believe with all my heart, not just some of it, that we move on to a better existence, yet remain connected to those we care about here.
Although I didn’t get the sign I wanted this time around,that won’t stop me from asking her again on another next hike.
Psychic Mediums
An authentic psychic medium can see a client’s past, present, and future¬†and communicates with those who have died. I’ve met with one affordable psychic medium who told me some details about my life that were accurate, but I didn’t have the transformative experience I yearned for: to communicate with my Dad. I wanted to receive a message from him that would prove it truly was him.
I could try another session with a different psychic medium, but our family doesn’t have the financial means to do so. The practitioners with stellar reputations charge astronomical amounts. Unless I’m blessed with an unexpected windfall, I’m not pursuing it.
Books
I love reading well-written books about the afterlife. I admit these works aren’t exactly up there with Shakespeare, so they are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but when I read them I relax. I relish escaping into another world – whether that world is a fantasy or reality, I guess I’ll eventually find out!
Some of my favorite authors include Dr. Raymond Moody, a¬†psychiatrist with a colorful personal history, Maureen Hancock, James Van Praagh, Suzan Saxman and yes, Theresa Caputo, the wacky Long Island Medium. You can give me a hard time about her – I can take it! ūüôā
Calling All Angels

This is such a great song, even if you’re not a Train fan! The lead singer Pat Monahan reminds me of a lizard.
Next week in Part Two, I’ll focus on the angels. I want to share something I learned about angels that affected my life for the better.¬†I know that sounds like a dubious claim, perhaps fueled by a “special” brownie, but I’m sincere. When the post is up, please give me the benefit of the doubt and take a peek.
In the meantime, I want to thank you for reading this blog. I know it’s a particularly hard week, so please¬†take care of yourselves. I hope you do something nice for yourself this weekend!
lots of love,

Dyane

Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder¬†with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of¬†The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry)¬†will be published by¬†Post Hill Press¬†in October 2017.

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AROHO’s No No/An Intriguing Book About Virginia Woolf’s Manic Depression

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Happy day before Halloween!

 

Several weeks have passed since I emailed A Room of Her Own Foundation for Women: Writers: Artists, a well-funded nonprofit also known as AROHO. 

The A Room of Her Own¬†website features a profile of a young Virginia Woolf in its logo. Woolf is referenced throughout the AROHO website, i.e. the foundation’s mission and Woolf’s bio. There’s not a peep about¬†her lifelong¬†struggle with manic depression which had a massive influence upon her work.

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I wrote in gory detail about¬†what happened after I contacted AROHO in my post¬†A Stigma of Her Own.¬†While the post received fantastic replies and generated a lively discussion, when it came to AROHO’s eagerly anticipated reply to my suggestions, I only heard crickets chirping.¬†

I’m not surprised they didn’t get back to me “thoughtfully”- that’s what their auto-generated email which I¬†received from them promised me: “Thanks for your email and we’ll get back to you¬†thoughtfully within a few days.”

However, I was disappointed all the same. I figure that whoever ignored my emails¬†will have to face her stigma at some point. She won’t be able to run away from it, since mental illness affects one in four people in this country.

An interesting thing that came out of this experience was finding two books written solely about Virginia Woolf’s life with manic depression. (There very well may be more books, as I only did a quick¬†Google search!)

The book by Thomas C. Caramagno titled Flight of the Mind got great reviews across the board and get this Рit has an afterword by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the bestseller An Uniquiet Mind and numerous other books.  (Dr. Jamison discusses Woolf and manic depression in her classic book Touched with Fire.) 

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The other book is titled¬†The Marriage¬†of Heaven and Hell: Manic Depression and the Life of Virginia Woolf by retired British psychiatrist Peter Dally. It only received one Amazon review (at least it was 5 stars), but Kirkus and Library Journal’s reviews were very lukewarm.¬†

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Before I continue, I promise each of you I will let this subject go, but here’s my last longwinded¬†sentence to sum up everything:

I located¬†these two Woolf & manic depression books after¬†I contacted AROHO. I was¬†frankly¬†amazed to find two books written exclusively about how Woolf’s manic depression affected her writing.¬†

The fact that AROHO, a¬†big, cushy nonprofit claiming to be dedicated to women writers and artists, has¬†swept such a profound aspect of Woolf’s life under the carpet is ludicrous.

I wish I could get Woolf’s take on it! Who knows what she would say or write on the matter? I could have a seance tomorrow night and ask her myself…NOT! ūüėČ

(For the record, I’m¬†fascinated by the afterlife, but I wouldn’t be up for doing that. It would most likely annoy Woolf.)

So on that cheerful note I bid you adieu.

I wish you a wonderful Halloween, my favorite day of the year! What will you be? I’m¬†going to be a mysterious dark vampirish lady sans fangs.¬†

take care & be careful on the streets while filling up those candy bags. (Hey! You’re never too old.)

Dyane

p.s. I would LOVE your take on any of this: Virginia Woolf, stigma, hypocritical nonprofits, seances, the afterlife, whatever.  

p.p.s. My friend the blogger extraordinaire Kitt O’Malley shared a very cool resource:¬†UC Press E-books Collection¬†to read Thomas C. Caramagno’s book The Flight of the Mind – Virginia Woolf’s Art and Manic-Depressive Illness.

Please visit the link here

 

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Dyane‚Äôs memoir¬†Birth of a New Brain ‚Äď Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder¬†with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed book¬†Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women‚Äôs Stories of Trauma and Growth)¬†will be published by Post Hill Press in early 2017.