Posts Tagged ‘pre-destiny’

Greetings, my friends!

I’m recycling another of my favorite posts today. I was reminded of it last week when I was on Etsy, and an antique hour glass showed up in a search – randomly, I might add.  This is a favorite post because of Professor Beard’s message–one that has never left me since the below documented reading nearly 3 years now. ENJOY!

Post from June 6, 2014:  I was nearing the end of an hour-long reading (Messages from Loved Ones & Guides) with Louise, from Iowa. She came into the reading with a number of goals and questions, and it was interesting to see how they were answered one by one. Her Loved Ones in Spirit had covered most of them to her satisfaction, but a few more mysterious ones—like why she couldn’t get past the block in her genealogical research on her father’s side of the family—had yet to be addressed.

Hello, Professor Beard

My search for an image similar to Prof. Beard’s dress and physical features yielded this painting of Frederick Guthrie Tait (1870-1900), a Scottish golfer from Edinburgh. It looks like the University towers in the background.

That’s when Professor Beard showed up. I didn’t have a name for him right away, but described him as a scholarly man, with light hair and of large build. He was dressed quite smartly in a creme-colored suit, white shirt and some type of old fashioned neck ribbon or scarf. I could see the chain of a pocket watch hanging from his waistcoat, and he sported wire-rimmed glasses and a flat cap. From his dress, demeanor and coloring, and the way I sense geography, I said to Louise, “I feel like I’m in the early 1900’s, maybe 1920’s or so. I also feel like he would have lived in Ireland…(at which point, the image of a man I knew from Scotland flashed across my mind)…or Scotland.”

Louise stopped me, “Oh, my maiden name is Beard, and my father would say ‘there are a lot of Beards in Scotland,’ but I always thought he just meant there were a lot of men wearing beards! I guess he really did mean that it was a popular family name.”

“Aha! Well, this man does not have a beard, but it does look like he may have a mustache or other facial hair,” I responded.

University of Edinburgh in Scotland

University of Edinburgh in Scotland

The gentleman then made it clear that he was a teacher, and I could sense the connection to the University of Edinburgh, as I saw a quick flash in my mind’s eye of the University’s towers. From that point forward, I referred to him as Professor Beard. I then saw the Professor in a lecture hall and he pulled out an hourglass to show me. He said that he used it as a means of keeping track of the lecture time. But then the conversation shifted; Professor Beard began using the hourglass as an analogy and spoke at length about a preferred means of “measuring our lives.”

Now, because such concepts tend to come through to me in a jumble of visual, sensory and auditory information, I’ll paraphrase what he communicated through me to Louise.

hourglass“Most people look at their lives and they think of the time left to live, or rather exist on Earth. If we use the hourglass as an analogy, each of the grains of sand can be considered to be a measure of our life: days, months, years. As the grains fall down from the upper bulb through the neck to the lower bulb, we see it as time slipping through our fingers and find ourselves increasingly anxious at the thought of the final sands of time passing us by, always looking to see how many grains are still in the upper bulb of the hourglass.”

It’s a matter of shifting one’s gaze

He went on to say:

A much preferred way of looking at life is this: imagine each grain of sand that passes through the neck of the hourglass is a life goal met, an exciting accomplishment or desired achievement, a moment fully lived. Rather than feel anxiety at what is lost from above, gaze at the bottom of the hourglass and feel joy at all that has been gained! Take time as you move through the paces of your life to reflect on those accumulating grains of accomplishment and happy moments. Live with gratitude and a knowing that you are on your path, that you are reaching those goals you set for yourself prior to this present incarnation on Earth. Be glad for your experiences and for the progress you have made in the continued evolution of your soul, for all that you have learned!

Thank you for this reminder, Prof. Beard. Life is indeed a gift and we humans, in our obsession with time, sometimes miss the point of living altogether. Our lives are not simply strings of days, months and years held together by measured time. Rather, life is truly a succession of opportunities for expanding our awareness, knowledge and perception of our world. Every day is an opportunity to grow and evolve intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Every grain that falls in our own personal hourglass should be seen as a marker of progress and fulfillment.

What about the last grain of sand?

As I apply this analogy, a reading earlier this week comes to mind. It dealt with a tough question: “Why can’t my father just let go? His health is so bad, his quality of life is so poor. He wants to know if there is something left for him to do before he can go on to Heaven?”

Good question. Why is a life drawn out when it only seems to delay physical suffering? It may just be the case for all of us that our hourglass will not drop its last grain of sand until we have achieved what we have come to achieve in this lifetime, at least that which is still feasible given our circumstances.

I believe there are many reasons for that last grain of sand to defy gravity, but we may need to dig deep to find it. It may be something as simple as saying, or allowing someone else to say, “I love you,” or, “I’m sorry,” or something else equally as important. Perhaps a meeting with friends or family must yet take place, someone forgiven, a secret shared, a burden lifted, an empathetic understanding found, a project completed for benefit of others…  I believe that if we look inside with truthful eyes and an open heart, we will find it, and we will know what is required of us for our Spirit to fly free once again.

John Beard, D.Sc  (1857-1924), Professor at University of Edinburgh in Scotland

Tonight, I received an email from Louise. She wrote, “I found possible links for…a John Beard, who was a professor at the University of Edinburgh.  He wrote an early study on stem cell research about 1910.”


Dr. John Beard

Now isn’t that interesting. And perhaps quite fitting that a scientist researcher of early stem cell research, the study of life itself, should also philosophize on how we should best measure and perceive the passing of one’s life. I just did my own search on John Beard (1857-1924). The photo I found online bears striking similarity to the Spirit who became known to us as Professor Beard.  I also have discovered that I’ve actually read references to his work in recent years! For those who know me personally, I pay a lot of attention to diet and the impact of toxic environments on the body as it relates to the perpetuation of cancers and other inflammatory diseases. John Beard’s work, once largely ignored, has made a strong comeback as current medical researchers are finding validation and insights in his early work. He was a man ahead of his time. In fact, his book , The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer, first published

Published in 1911.

Published in 1911.

in 1911, was reprinted in 2009 and available in hardcover once again.  If the Prof. Beard who came through as an ancestor to Louise is the very author of this work, I’m feeling very humbled this evening that I was able to share one more sliver of brilliance from this man.

Needless to say, I’m very inspired by Prof. Beard’s hourglass analogy. I’ll be on the lookout for the perfect hourglass to remind myself to change my perception of life passing by or slipping away, to a more positive, rewarding and accumulative philosophy. As Prof. Beard would say, “It’s really just a matter of shifting one’s gaze.”


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Adoption is not so black and white.

A man, whom I’ll call Paul, recently came to me for a Messages from Loved Ones reading. He’d never had such a reading before, and admitted some doubt about the process itself, but the opportunity presented itself, and so he was going to take it. His open-minded attitude was enough for me to feel comfortable proceeding.

Paul had one very specific question in mind: Why did his birth parents give him up for adoption? Both his birth parents were in Spirit, and so he couldn’t ask them directly. No one had ever come to a reading with such a question, so I had no idea what might come from it, but I was interested to see where this question would take us.

Now, Paul wanted me to understand in advance of the reading that he’d had a very good life, with very loving adoptive parents, and never lacked for anything growing up. He said that he bore no ill will toward his biological parents for their decision, whatever their reasons, but nevertheless he was curious, and if he could know the answer to this question, he could stop wondering about it. He added that he had never, throughout his life, felt strongly compelled to discover his biological roots. And yet, in recent years, due to a near-death medical emergency, Paul found himself propelled along the journey of family discovery in middle age.

And so, there we were, about to answer a question he had held in his heart for his entire life.

I placed our chairs facing each other, knees to knees, close enough to take his hands in mine. I led us through a relaxation and pillar-of-light visualization that I do for all my clients prior to a reading. Usually, after I’ve finished with visualization, I release my hands, we both sit back, and within a minute the Spirits approach slowly, and begin the communication. But this case – this case was different.

I’d barely begun the pillar-of-light visualization when one set of parents slid into place along my right arm and Paul’s left arm, still joined at our hands. Suddenly, another set of parents slid into place to my left, facing the first set of parents. It was as though we were at a card table, all facing in. I was still talking Paul through the visualization, even as I was observing these two sets of parents taking their seat at the table, so to speak. As I was finishing the visualization, the two parents reached across and through our hands, and joined hands themselves. Imagine if you will, six pairs of hands joined across the table, energetically merging. Clearly, this was going to be a very special reading.

I finished the introductory visualization, and explained to Paul what had just happened. Before Paul could say anything in response, the woman to my right identified herself as his birth mother, and  began speaking.

“It was a pact, Paul,” she said. “A pact, or agreement, that we all made prior to your birth.” When she said “all,” she waved her arm in an arc to include his adoptive parents, Paul himself, and she and her husband, the biological father. “It was a part of your life plan that we all agreed to—I and my husband agreed to conceive you, and then to give you up for adoption. Your adoptive parents across from us agreed to adopt you and to provide you the life situation that they did, a life situation that you sought. Of course, on the Earth plane, we forget this agreement, but our souls do not, and so we are driven toward these decisions, despite the grief and sadness that we are left with. Let me say however, that it has been such an amazing relief—and I speak for myself now—to have the opportunity here (on the Other Side) to meet your adoptive parents again with my husband, and to share our experiences. To know that the sadness I felt at giving you up was balanced by the immeasurable joy your adoptive mother and father experienced reminded me once again, why I agreed to it. Much of my life plan was about personal loss in this lifetime, and about finding the courage to work through it, to move through it, and to continue to thrive for the sake of my other children. It was a very difficult life for a variety of reasons, and yet when I see now how the gains balanced the losses, I understand it, and am able to release the sadness and guilt I carried with me for so many years.”

I paused as Paul let this sink in. His biological father spoke briefly of his role in the decision to give up Paul, and that he was motivated by practical reasons, but that later in life he would feel the regrets and the pain of loss rise up again and again. He said, “It helps to understand that I played the role that my soul agreed to, difficult as it was, and as my wife said, to see the wonderful life you’d been given by your new parents eased the difficult and lingering emotions around that decision.”

Next, Paul’s adoptive parents spoke. It turns out Paul’s adoptive father was the head of the county social services, where Paul’s biological mother gave birth to him. His father made sure that he would be well placed to receive Paul when it was time for him to be born, and he was! The adoption was handled directly and efficiently. His adoptive mother spoke of the joy they felt when Paul became their son, and no love could be greater than that which they felt for him. He had made them so proud. There were more lovely memories shared in this part of the reading, and Paul was taken back, albeit briefly, to his happy childhood.

The adoption was my idea?! Paul wanted to know why he, himself, would choose to be given up for adoption. Could they tell him that? So I asked the parents, and what came forward was a new aspect to pre-birth Life Planning that I had not understood up to this point myself.

A clipboard holding a checklist floated into view before me. I’m not sure who brought it forward – his biological parents or whether it came in from a Spirit Guide. Both sets of parents seemed to be privy to the information on the paper.

Paul’s biological mother spoke again, “Paul, in this lifetime, you wanted to explore the expression of familial love and bonds outside of genetics, outside of the biological stream, if you will. You wanted to know if you could flourish in the same way raised by those who were biologically unrelated to you. You were seeking to understand the nature of family and love, and what are the determining variables. It’s quite clear on your checklist.”

My attention was drawn again to the clipboard, upon which was a list of Paul’s life goals—goals that he had written for himself. There was a long list of goals that appeared in dark type; most of them had checks next to them, marking accomplishments. Near the bottom, however, was a dotted line, and below it were a few more items, but they were grayed out. His biological mother continued, “You see the items at the top were all part of your pre-birth Life Plan—as that of a child given up by us, and taken in by your adoptive parents. You’ll see key benchmarks in career, marriage, children – it’s all there. You have followed your life plan quite skillfully, Paul—better than most.”

Not all life goals are created equal:  She then pointed to the bottom of the page and said, “The two grayed-out items at the bottom of the page are those items that you did not want to include as pre-specified goals prior to being born on Earth. You wanted the flexibility to determine if each would be a goal or not–in real-time–while living your life on Earth. One of these items was to find your biological family. You didn’t want the insistence of your soul to do so; you wanted to let free will and circumstance lead you there—or not. So you see Paul, this is the reason that we, my husband and I, never told our children about you, or sought you out. Our souls knew it was to be your decision, and we had no right to take that from you. As hard as it was at times to not seek you out, to learn how your life was unfolding, we did not break our pact with you, because we knew in our hearts that we should not.  I hope that you can understand and appreciate this fact.”

At this, Paul nodded. He seemed to understand it completely. The two sets of parents then showered Paul with love, and pulled back (or rather floated back) from the table, allowing other Spirits who were waiting to greet Paul to step in, and the reading proceeded as any other.

The Adoption Pact: Because of the unique nature of the discussion of Paul’s Life Plan, and the “Pact” he had made with both sets of parents regarding his adoption, I asked him if I could share that part of the reading, so that other readers, who may be experiencing one side or another of an adoption may find comfort in this story.  Adoption is a part of so many families’ experience today, and yet the attendant emotions continue to be complex, sorrow- or guilt-ridden, or simply confusing in a culture that places a high value on knowing our roots, our family story, our biological lineage. No adoption is like the next, and yet all adoptions may share the common event of a pact between all parties prior to life here on Earth.

Once again, we are reminded that we, as individuals, are the architects of our own Life Plans. We have a voice in all significant events that will occur in our lives, the goal being our soul’s continued growth and evolution. So when life seems really hard, or throws that unexpected curve ball, take a moment to reflect and to assess the learning that is happening. In quiet meditation, ask your soul, your higher self, why you have been put in this situation, and how it will serve you though the rest of your life? The answers are there, you just need to listen for Whispers from the Light…

Do you have a story of adoption to share, a story of love, or courage or learning that was possible because of an adoption? Please feel free to comment below.

With Love and Light ~ Renee Buck

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My sister, Susan Buck 1954-1973

I have been blessed to be born into a family whose genetic makeup allows for a comparatively advanced psychic experience. On the other hand, some might say I’ve been cursed to be born into a family where death seems to visit a little too often and a little too soon. Blessings and curses, gains and losses, gives and takes–life is a story of balance. Yes, we’ve lost plenty, but the silver lining in the storm clouds is that we’ve also been able to communicate across the veil in ways that ease our pain, and help us to know that our Loved Ones are still there when we need them.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that Spirit communication has been occurring in various ways for each of the members in my family for decades. Today, I’m going to talk about my sister, Susan, who died 39 years ago, and how she has actively communicated with us since her death.

Susie died in a car accident at age 18. She was on her way to work at sunrise on January 6th, 1973 and was hit head-on by a drunk driver who’d fallen asleep at the wheel. Susie died instantly. It came as a tremendous shock to our family, following so quickly on the heels of my brother’s death, just 16 months prior. I had just turned 14 at the time of Susie’s death, and once again, the various explanations for her death came from all sides.

The story of Susie’s passing holds a key message from Spirit, which manifested in quite a different manner than the 30+ years that we waited for brother Merle’s message to come through a Medium. (See Blog Post of 10/20/2011 – Merle’s Choice)

I was the last one to speak to my sister. The bedroom I’d shared with her was just off the dining room. The morning of her accident, I woke up at about 6:20am, and saw Susie sitting in the dark at the dining table. The light above the stove in the adjoining kitchen was the only illumination; her face was in shadow. An account of Sue’s passing and a visit from her Spirit is chronicled in my personal diary, written at age 14. The following are excerpts:

Diary Entry: Saturday, January 6, 1973

Sue is dead. I just can’t believe it. I just talked to her about 10-15 minutes before the accident. She was sitting on the dining room chair and I could see her as I looked out my door from my bed. This is what I said to her, if I remember right.

I turned around in bed and said to Sue, “Didn’t you even go to bed?”

“Yes, I’m just waiting to go to work,” said Sue.

“Oh,” I paused. “Hey Sue, are you going anywhere tonight? Cuz I need a ride home from roller skating.”

“I’m going out with Randy. You’ll have to find a ride from someone else,” she answered.

“Ok,” I said, and I turned over in bed and fell asleep until the doorbell rang…

After Susie’s accident, I kept thinking to myself, if only I’d gotten out of bed and talked with Sue; if I’d kept her just a little longer, she might have lived. Just a few seconds either way, and she’d still be alive. I was consumed with the idea that I could have made the difference. I believe it was this dark obsession that encouraged Susie’s Spirit to “explain” something to me about her death.

Diary Entry: January 30, 1973

I had a dream about Sue two nights ago. I slept in Sue’s bed that

My First Diary: 1972-1974

night, and I dreamed that I woke up, and the time was just about 6:00am, the time Sue was usually getting ready for work. And there was Sue, sitting on the floor between our beds. She was leaning on my bed, but staring at the clock [on the table between our beds].

When she turned to me, I said, “Sue!”

She gave me a weird, puzzled look, and then stared back at the clock again and said, “I’m not going to work today,” and then she smiled and looked at me. I smiled and agreed with her. Then I got up out of my bed and started crying, and hugging her.

Then she said, “Don’t.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you make me feel bad,” she said.

Then I asked her if I could cut a lock of her hair for me to keep, and she let me, but then said I took too much. After a while I asked her, “How much time do you have left?”

Sue looked at the clock again and said, “About three minutes.”

I asked, “Should I get Mom and Dad?” but then I thought for moment and said, “No, they’ll just feel bad all over again.”

By then, Sue was lying on my bed, and I was kneeling by her side. She began struggling and trying to fight off something. I held her…and she died. Time: 6:30am.

It was all so real, but it showed me that no matter where you are, when the time comes, there is nothing you can do. I can’t stop thinking about that dream, and about Sue and Merle….

As a 14 year old, I didn’t know how to frame a visit from Spirit. A “dream” was the only way I could describe it, but the “dream” was so vivid that it seemed more like a conscious experience than a dream, and consequently stayed with me my whole life. Only last year, while searching for some unrelated information, did I revisit this diary and find my original recounting of the “dream.” Whether a dream or a Spirit visit, or a Spirit visit within a dream, it doesn’t really matter – what matters is the message that Susie brought me: There is nothing I could have done to have prevented her passing. Whether in a car accident, or quietly resting on her own bed, it was her time to pass from the Earth plane, and back to her life on The Other Side.

Because I wasn’t willing to accept that “God’s will” or “God’s plan” led to Susie’s death, I didn’t know how to understand Susie’s message of predestined death. If it was not God’s will, then whose? Who determined that Susie should die on January 6th, 1973 at 6:30am? Who? It was this question to which I sought answers for decades, until I was finally introduced to the concept of Life Plans, and came to better understand the work that each soul does on The Other Side to architect his or her life on Earth—with loving guidance from Spiritual Advisors.

Susie’s Communications from The Other Side: Susie was just 11 months younger than my eldest sister, Connie. They grew up finishing each other’s sentences. Where Connie went, Susie followed. They shared a bedroom their entire lives until Connie married and moved out just three weeks before Susie’s accident. Their bond was immeasurable, and Connie’s sense of loss when Susie died was also immeasurable. But just as Susie appeared to me to explain that her death was inevitable, she’s never really left Connie’s side. Several times, in fact, Susie warned Connie when dangerous events were unfolding.

Connie and 3 yr old son, Lance

On a frigid cold January day in Minnesota in 1984, Connie’s 3 year old son opened the front door unnoticed and went out into the cold without a jacket. The heavy front door slid shut behind him. Connie had the vacuum running, and didn’t hear the door close. What she did hear, however, was a woman’s voice say, “Connie, it’s Lance! Connie, he’s outside and can’t get in! Hurry!” Connie stopped the vacuum and was looking around for her son, when she caught sight of him crying outside the front door, unable to reach the doorknob.  Connie knew then, without a doubt, that it had been Susie’s voice in her ear. It was Susie who had made sure no harm would come to her precious child.

And so it was and has always been. As Connie moved through the paces

of her life, Susie would make herself known at various times, warning Connie of impending or immediate events—sometimes pulling her out of sleep to take action. It was not until a few months ago, on my trip home to Minnesota, that I brought Susie through in a reading for Connie. It’s a funny thing about mediums; we prefer to do readings for people we know less well, so that we can be sure our own minds don’t get in the way. But this Christmas, Connie and I decided to sit for a formal reading to see how well it would go—to see if I could set aside my conscious thinking mind enough to be a clear channel for Spirit communication. And I’m so glad I did.

Now, it’s no surprise that Susie was the firstto speak, but she was also the

Susie in October 1972

primary speaker throughout the reading, and was clearly overseeing the order in which other Spirit visitors would communicate. Susie spent a lot of time providing a problem solving strategy for a situation in Connie’s life, and it was fascinating for both of us to learn from Susie in this way. What was especially fascinating for me, was the change I felt in Susie’s energy.  I remember Susie as a teenager—shy, sensitive, and silly at times. But when she came through as a Spirit entity, her energy was very focused and sophisticated; her message wise and measured. She was not in any way judgmental, but rather descriptive and helpful—traits of an evolved soul. Susie was her fully aware self, and had clearly opted for a short life here on Earth, so that she may serve others in a Spiritual capacity from The Other Side.

To feel Susie’s energy as a Spirit Guide, differentiated from the Earth self I remembered as her little sister, was special and enlightening for me. It was like meeting her for the first time, and in a way it was.

I asked Connie to comment on the experience, and she said this, “I knew Susie would be the first one to speak. She’s been with me all these years—of that I have no doubt. And it sounded like the Susie I knew. We shared everything, and it was always an equal exchange with us. She may have been more shy around others, but with me, she was her wise self, and I depended on her advice.  The reading was very emotional for me, but it was only because it really felt as though she was talking with me again. I’ve missed that so much.”

Susie has come through many various mediums to me over the past decade, and I’ve always relayed the messages to Connie, knowing how much they meant to her. But now, I know that I can bring Susie directly through my own mediumship, and that, my friends, is the greatest gift of all–for Connie and me both.

PS. Coincidentally, I was planning on posting this story yesterday, but it was a busy day, so I put it off. Then, last night I had another very vivid dream about Susie. In the dream, I was applying for a job as a foreign correspondent at a large international newspaper publisher, and Susie was there, working. I saw her from behind. She was standing at a desk, her hair held back from her face by a narrow ribbon—as she always used to wear it.  I went up to her, and said, “Sue! I thought you were dead.” She just kept working with the papers at her desk, and said over her shoulder to me, “No Renee, I’ve been here all this time…”

Do you have a communication from Spirit you’d like to share? Please do in the Comment Box below.

With love and light ~ Renee Buck

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Do you watch American Idol? I do. Wednesday night’s episode in Portland, Oregon was filled with great stories, but one in particular stood out for me. It had to do with a young female contestant named Brittany Zika, 21, who had a dream in which she was singing Gravity onstage with Sara Bareilles. In a synchronistic turn of fate, her mother presented her with two tickets for a sold-out Sara B. concert. While at the concert, Brittany held up a hastily scribbled cardboard sign asking Sara if she could sing that song with her. Wish granted. Before she knew it, she was on stage singing Gravity with her idol Sara Bareilles—just like in her dream.

So, the question is: Was it a prophetic dream—did Brittany see her future? Or was it a wish dream that Brittany manifested because she believed it was her destiny? We’ll never know for sure, but whichever the case, the energy was propelling her toward that event and she ran with it, ensuring her destiny.

Most people accept that dreams play a significant role in our mental and emotional health. But they can also provide a window to the future, a doorway to The Other Side, and a vehicle to travel to other places on dream-time jaunts. In today’s post, we’ll focus mostly on the Prophetic Dream, sometimes referred to as pre-cognitive dream. If you’ve had one, you know how powerful they can be!

I have adopted Sylvia Brown’s categorization of dreams, outlined in her Book of Dreams. I like it because it’s the simplest, clearest, and most comprehensive categorization I’ve found. She uses five basic categories to discuss dreams:

  • Prophetic –witnessing the future during sleep
  • Release—the subconscious working through fears, guilt, regrets, and confusion, often manifesting in recurring nightmares or disturbing dreams
  • Wish—the subconscious delivering in dreams what you most want; the trick to this analysis is to recognize what the objects or people in your dream represent to you in a figurative sense, not necessarily in a literal sense.
  • Information & Problem-Solving—Oftentimes, when faced with a big decision, we decide to “sleep on it” and inevitably we have a much clearer sense of the right path upon waking. What we generally don’t remember are the dreams in which we test each of the various possible paths before us, so we can make the decision in our waking lives with conviction.
  • Astral Visits—these include visits to The Other Side, to other planets or dimensions in our Universe, and even to parallel lives or past lives.

So, what is a Prophetic Dream? It’s a view into your most probable future via a dream. By that I mean that the cause and event continuum in your life and in those you touch is lining up in a way that will deliver a particular future. I don’t know why some people have or remember them more easily than others, but only a handful of people I have met recall them.

Why do we have these dreams? I believe two related but different phenomena lead to prophetic dreams:

  • Our Spirit Guides use our dreams to prepare us for a future event—to warn us, to prepare us emotionally, to stimulate us into action, or to help us relax about whether something will or will not happen.  I believe we only see what we are meant to see; that which is helpful to us in some way.
  • The higher self, or soul, allows selected information in one’s subconscious regarding the Life Plan (replete with images), to seep into dreams, for the very same reasons noted above.

I believe I’ve had numerous prophetic dreams in my life, but I can only prove three dreams were precognizant because of journal entries made about the dream prior to the event.  The first recorded dream revealed a work scenario that would occur over two years later in Japan, although


the dream provided no clue as to where in the world it was. The second dream put me in a graduate school classroom, that would come true a year later at MIT. The third one happened in real-time. It signaled a painful personal event occurring thousands of miles away, but also introduced me to my Spirit Guide, Brown Bear.  After this dream and the challenging reality that followed, I needed to know how and why these prophetic dreams were happening, and who was this mysterious man who appeared in my dream? A friend told me about the Spiritualist church nearby in Swampscott. “There are a lot of Mediums there. Perhaps someone can help you,” he said. He was right. That dream put me on the path to my own psychic and spiritual unfoldment, and directly on the path to becoming a Medium. A path, I might add, that has surprised no one more than me!

How can you tell if a dream is Prophetic? There is a special characteristic to these dreams. They are very clear and lucid, like watching a movie of one’s life. There is nothing surreal or strange happening in the dream. Everything and everyone in the dream seems quite normal. There’s a reason for that—they are!

So, is there a single destiny for each of us? It’s logical to think that if we can dream the future, then it’s already set, and we can’t change it. Not true. We always have free will, remember? So consider this:  each of us is undoubtedly having prophetic dreams about a variety of high-probability futures, but of course we only recall those that come true. The others become irrelevant. So, keep this fact in mind when reviewing your dreams. Is the energy there to take two equal but different paths? Or will others’ decisions and actions determine your final destiny? What do you think?

How is Déjà vu different from a Prophetic Dream? My understanding of the difference is that déjà vu is not a dream recall, but rather a soul memory.  On The Other Side, before we are born into a lifetime on Earth, we are given the opportunity to review scenes from our upcoming life, as we’ve planned it, on some type of video display. Now, these scenes represent life events that have a high probability of happening—and when they do, we have the feeling that “we’ve been there before.”  A prophetic dream, on the other hand, happens during our lives on Earth, but again, represent events that have a high probability of happening, i.e. the causal events are lining up in such a way as to ensure it. Now, could the déjà vu be a dream recall, but you just don’t remember that you dreamed it? Yes, it could be that, too.

So what can we take from these phenomena that’s useful? It’s simply this: if you have a series of déjà vu experiences, perhaps coupled with prophetic dreams (however trivial the contents), it’s a good sign that you’re “on track” according to your life plan. Now, not everyone is as psychically open, or remembers their dreams, so if you have neither, don’t worry, you can take some actions to improve your dream recall (see below).  And by the way, a better indication of not being on Plan is the feeling that you are not doing what you should be, or living where you should be, or working where you should be, and everything is difficult. But that’s a discussion for another day…

Here are some strategies to better remember your dreams:

  1. Buy a blank book and keep a dream journal. Keep it separate from any other journal you may have, and use only for dreams.
  2. Keep the journal and pen next to your bed.
  3. Set the intention to remember your dreams. Ask Spirit to help you.
  4. Record your dreams immediately when you wake up, so you don’t forget. Date them.
  5. Categorize your dreams as best you can. Try to do this each time you record your dreams; it will come more naturally over time. I recommend Sylvia Brown’s Book of Dreams for this.
  6. Analysis:  If the dream isn’t obviously meaningful to you, talk with someone who knows you well about your dream. They may provide insights that you miss.
  7. Get yourself a few dream symbol books, and use these to help you analyze your dreams. When you find a book you like, invite Spirit to use these same symbols while communicating with you. We use the same strategy in mediumship, and it works.
  8. Record your analysis as soon as possible after the dream, when you can still “feel” the dream.

Some dream analysis books I like:

  1. I had the Strangest Dream—The Dream’s Dictionary for the 21st Century by Kelly Sullivan Walden
  2. Dream Dictionary by Tony Crisp
  3. The Dream Book–Symbols for Self Understanding by Betty Bethards.

In a future post, we’ll talk about Astral Traveling while dreaming. It’s probably the most fascinating of the dream types, and I find them particularly illuminating when it comes to understanding Life Plans and the Soul’s Journey.

I’d love to hear about your prophetic dreams, and how they have impacted your life. How long is the gap between dream and event? Has it changed over time? Is there anything consistent in the theme, or style of the dream? Thanks for sharing!

~With love and light—Renee Buck

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Yes, that’s right. One particularly well-documented case occurred during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when the President’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, invited a noted trance medium, Nettie Colburn Maynard, age 21, to hold a séance in the White House and to meet the President.

Abraham, Mary and their two surviving sons, Robert and Thomas "Tad" Lincoln. A photo of Willie, who died at age 11, is on the back wall.

The Lincolns, particularly Mary, sought comfort in such Spiritualist practices after losing two of their four sons to Spirit at very young ages. Their second son, Eddie, died at age 4 in 1848, and their third son, Willie, died in 1862 at age 11. Willie died during the Lincoln’s White House years, and it was a particularly difficult time for both parents. While Mrs. Lincoln was primarily interested in hearing from her sons in such séances, it was the President himself who benefited from strategic advice and encouragement from Spirit at a time when he most needed it—at the height of the Civil War. [Side Note: We all have a team of Spirit Masters, Teachers and Guides who follow us through our lives, guiding our actions, helping us to stay on Plan. In this instance, a Spirit by the name of Dr. Bamford apparently played a significant role in offering specific guidance, implicitly and explicitly, to Abraham Lincoln regarding his presidential career and decisionmaking.]

Now, it should be understood that Nettie Colburn Maynard worked as a trance medium, enabling Spirit to speak directly through her to the President. While in trance, Ms. Maynard was unaware of what had been said through her voice. The following is Ms. Maynard’s fascinating personal account of this experience, drawn from her book published in 1917, Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?: Or, Curious Revelations from the Life of a Trance Medium.

 I was led forward and presented. He stood before me, tall and kindly, with a smile on his face. Dropping his hand upon my head, he said, in a humorous tone, “So this is our ‘little Nettie’ is it, that we have heard so much about?” I could only smile and say, “Yes, sir,” like any school girl; when he kindly led me to an ottoman. Sitting down in a chair, the ottoman at his feet, he began asking me questions in a kindly way about my mediumship; and I think he must have thought me stupid, as my answers were little beyond a “Yes” and “No.” His manner, however, was genial and kind, and it was then suggested we form a circle. He said, “Well, how do you do it?” looking at me. Mr. Laurie came to the rescue, and said we had been accustomed to sit in a circle and join hands; but he did not think it would be necessary in this instance. While he was yet speaking, I lost all consciousness of my surroundings and passed under control [of spirit].

For more than an hour I was made to talk to him, and I learned from my friends afterward that it was upon matters that he seemed fully to understand, while they comprehended very little until that portion was reached that related to the forthcoming Emancipation Proclamation. He was charged with the utmost solemnity and force of manner not to abate the terms of its issue, and not to delay its enforcement as a law beyond the opening of the year; and he was assured that it was to be the crowning event of his administration and his life; and that while he was being counseled by strong parties to defer the enforcement of it, hoping to supplant it by other measures and to delay action, he must in no ways heed such counsel, but stand firm to his convictions and fearlessly perform the work and full the mission for which he had been raised up by an overruling Providence. Those present declared that they lost sight of the timid girl in the majesty of the utterance, the strength and force of the language, and the importance of that which was conveyed, and seemed to realize that some strong masculine spirit force was giving speech to almost divine commands. 

I shall never forget the scene around me when I regained consciousness. I was standing in front of Mr. Lincoln, and he was sitting back in his chair, with his arms folded upon his breast, looking intently at me. I stepped back, naturally confused at the situation – not remembering at once where I was; and glancing around the group, where perfect silence reigned. It took me a moment to remember my whereabouts.

A gentleman present then said in a low tone, “Mr. President, did you notice anything peculiar in the method of address?” Mr. Lincoln raised himself, as if shaking off his spell. He glanced quickly at the full-length portrait of Daniel Webster, that hung above the piano, and replied, ‘Yes, and it is very singular, very!” with a marked emphasis.

Mr. Somes said: “Mr. President, would it be improper for me to inquire whether there has been any pressure brought to bear upon you to defer the enforcement of the Proclamation?” To which the President replied: “Under these circumstances that question is perfectly proper, as we are all friends smiling upon the company. It is taking all my nerve and strength to withstand such a pressure.” At this point the gentlemen drew around him, and spoke together in low tones, Mr. Lincoln saying least of all. At last he turned to me, and laying his hand upon my head, uttered these words in a manner that I shall never forget: “My child, you possess a very singular gift; but that it is of God, I have no doubt. I thank you for coming here to-night. It is more important than perhaps any one present can understand. I must leave you all now; but I hope I shall see you again. He shook me kindly by the hand, bowed to the rest of the company, and was gone. We remained an hour longer, talking with Mrs. Lincoln and her friends, and then returned to Georgetown. Such was my first interview with Abraham Lincoln, and the memory of it is as clear and vivid as the evening on which it occurred.

It’s not surprising to me that President Lincoln should be attending his first, and perhaps only,  séance (whether out of curiosity or in efforts to please his wife, we’ll never know) and then be the one to receive such an evocative and powerful message from Spirit—not from his sons, as was expected, but rather from a Spirit Guide bearing a message of strength and encouragement that he needed at that moment in time.

I see it so often in this work. We believe we are going to have one experience or to hear from a particular person in Spirit about a particular topic, but Spirit, given the opportunity, turns it into something else altogether, and that something else turns out to be more important, more significant in the end than what was initially sought or hoped for by the Sitter. Why? Because Spirit has the big picture—they know our past; they see our future’s most probably path; they see the potential impact of future actions, and they do their best to communicate what we need to keep moving in the direction we’ve pre-determined we want to go in this lifetime.

That President Lincoln was asked by Spirit to not buckle under pressure and to maintain his resolve to not defer the Emancipation Proclamation may have ensured the history we know today. If he had not received this message, would he have deferred? And if he had deferred, what would that have meant to our divided country? How much longer would racial injustice have prevailed in this country? Who knows? We only know what happened, and by this account (corroborated by several others present) that Spirit found a way to the President of the United States at that most critical juncture in our country’s history.

I personally love the part in which President Lincoln says to Nettie, “My child, you possess a very singular gift; but that it is of God, I have no doubt.”  If you have read any accounts of Abraham Lincoln, you will find significant debate as to his religious leanings. Wikipedia offers this concise overview:

Historian Dr. Mark Noll states that “Lincoln never joined a church nor ever made a clear profession of standard Christian belief.”[6] During the White House years, however, he often did attend the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where the family pew he rented is marked by a plaque.[7] Noll agrees with biographer Jesse Fell that Lincoln rejected orthodox views. Lincoln did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, the Atonement, the infallibility of the Bible, miracles, or heaven and hell. Noll argues Lincoln was turned against organized Christianity by his experiences as a young man who saw how excessive emotion and bitter sectarian quarrels marked yearly camp meetings and the ministry of traveling preachers.[8]

The one aspect of his parents’ Calvinist religion that Lincoln apparently embraced wholeheartedly throughout his life was the “doctrine of necessity,” also known as predestination, determinism, or fatalism. It was almost always through these lenses that Lincoln assessed the meaning of the Civil War.

What is interesting in this overview of what Lincoln did or did not believe is that it closely mirrors the Spiritualist Philosophy. So, was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist? I’ll have to read Nettie Colburn Maynard’s book to see the conclusion she drew, but after what I’ve learned in my cursory research, I’d have to say, “Unlikely.” Attending a few séances does not a Spiritualist make, nor is Spirit Communication the domain of Spiritualism by any means. Now, would President Lincoln have found common Spiritual ground with Spiritualists and/or Universalists? Yes, he would have, but does it matter? He was guided by a strong ethical compass and deep Spiritual convictions. He allowed himself to be open-minded to all possibilities, and for that, and all that he was, we respect him as one of the greatest American Presidents of all time.

Life-sized bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg National Military Park & Museum.

As an aside, last summer I had the opportunity to stop and visit the Gettysburg National Military Park and Museum situated near the Gettysburg battleground. As I walked up to the museum, I stopped to study a full-size bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, sitting on a bench. It had been raining that morning, but everything had dried…except for one drop, which lay on his right cheek like a single tear. At first I thought it was part of the statue, because everything around the statue was dry, but when I looked closer, I could see that it was indeed water. I was touched by it, but not until I walked through the exhibit, choking back my own tears at display after display of human carnage and suffering, did I have even a glimmer of understanding of the depth of President Lincoln’s sorrow during his final years. Does he still shed a tear for the divisions in our world? For what we’ve lost due to misguided ideologies?

As I write this blog post, I can’t help but wonder if President Lincoln has elected to continue his work from Spirit with our living Presidents, guiding them to follow their hearts and minds, and to not buckle under political pressure when difficult decisions are necessary—as his Spirit Guide did for him. I am comforted by the idea that he may be watching over and guiding President Obama, who symbolizes for many of us, within a single soul, what the Civil War was all about.

Whew. That got a little heavy, didn’t it? You can’t talk about Abraham Lincoln without thinking of slavery, the Civil War and the powerful way in which President Lincoln’s beliefs and resulting decisions dramatically altered the course of history–our history.

As we send out our heartfelt gratitude to the Spirit of Abraham Lincoln, and come back to the present, an opportunity awaits. Have you ever wanted to participate in a Spirit Circle or Séance, but never had the occasion? Well, the good news is that the tradition of the Spiritualist Séance continues today. If you are in the Boston area and would like to participate in one, you have a chance in the near future to do so!

For the first time in over a decade, the Swampscott Church of Spiritualism is holding a public Victorian Séance on Saturday, February 18th, from 2:00-5:00pm. I’ll be there, leading one of the eight tables, so be sure to introduce yourself. And don’t delay–tickets are limited!

With Love and Light ~ Renee Buck

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Welcome back my friends,

As I began working on Part II of the Series on Life Plans, I was reflecting on the fact that I started the discussion of Life Plans with two stories that illustrated how the soul chooses the means and timing of its death, or more accurately, its passing from an incarnation on Earth into its Spirit life on the Other Side.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to begin the conversation there, but it was where my understanding of the soul’s influence over its own Earth-Life destiny began. I know from my work as a Medium, that it’s the same for many people. We try to make sense of the death of our loved ones, and it is this tragic event that puts us on the path of the Seeker.

It follows then, that just as a soul chooses the circumstances of her own death, so does she choose the circumstances of birth, her physical body, her family, her spouse(s) or significant others, her children, her best friends and others who play critical roles in her soul’s spiritual development on Earth, which is, in case you were wondering, why we’re all here.

The Seeker in me is always thrilled to find supporting evidence for claims and theories brought forward by brilliant minds around the world, across the millenia. I am also particularly fascinated by the teachings of Spirit entities channeled through humans while in trance. Seth, one such Spirit entity channeled by Jane Roberts in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, is particularly eloquent on the issues of soul agreements, reincarnation, the nature of man and God, the laws of the Universe.  (Source: Seth Speaks)  Other significant supporting work and research in this body of knowledge include:  Sylvia Brown, Edgar Cayce, Dr. Michael Hathaway, Carolyn Myss, Dr. Michael Newton, Dick Sutphen, and Dr. Brian Weiss, to name a few.

In simple terms, life planning on The Other Side goes like this: Broad-based sacred agreements are reached between souls prior to being born into a new life on Earth. Every soul knows (or think she knows) what she is getting into and what she is expecting to get out of the life experiences, both the good and the bad, while on the Earth Plane. While certain events in the Life Plan are pre-destined, human’s free will, however, will determine whether the agreements surrounding these events are fulfilled in whole, in part, or not at all. The degree to which a person actually follows the path her soul has prescribed in her new incarnation (for the purpose of spiritual growth), is directly proportional to the degree to which she follows her heart, her conscience, and her gut feelings. The soul or higher self is constantly communicating with the personality in human form on Earth, guiding, nudging, or cajoling back to “the Plan.” And then there’s everyone else, in the same situation, doing their own thing while impacting this soul with whom agreements were made.  “If, then…” statements are written into every agreement, and if needed, the “understudy,” steps in to help us accomplish our goals and further our soul’s development. Similarly, if one screws up a learning challenge, more opportunities are in the wings to try again—if not in this lifetime, in the next. That’s where Karma and Karmic debts and credits come into play—more on that later.

Now, keep in mind that what souls promise to do for others on Earth is not necessarily all nice and happy. For example, if I choose to experience oppression in my life, so that I may learn and grow from it, then others may agree to be my oppressors.  Here’s the key takeaway: The oppression is just the setup. My soul’s challenge is to overcome and rise above the oppression, to free myself either physically or emotionally from it, and to take responsibility for this challenge. So, yes, sometimes when life really knocks the wind out of you, you did ask for it…the bright side is that you’ve arrived at an opportunity to grow from the experience, and to apply your learning purposefully and with wisdom the next time that situation comes around. You may even find yourself in a mentor situation helping others suffering from the same type of oppression.

The first time I read about the concept of Life Plans, I’ll be honest, I was of two minds. I loved the idea that I was indeed the architect of my life (with guidance from my Master Teachers), but there was this other niggling thought, especially while reading Seth Speaks, that went something like this: “If this is just a play we’re acting out here on Earth, then how important is it? If this isn’t our ‘real life,’ because our ‘real life’ is on The Other Side, then…so what if we screw up? We’ll get another chance, right? We can come back to Earth as often as we want…so why sweat it?”

Now, Seth Speaks is probably not the place to begin exploring these ideas, as they are more than mind-bending to the novice. Seth introduced me to the concepts of multiple lives, multiple realities, probabilities of events, probable lives, reincarnating civilizations, non-linear time, consciously creating our reality, and much more. Digesting his teachings was something of a philosophical low point in my “classroom” on Earth, and I spent many hours turning them over in my mind, discussing these concepts with others and reading everything I could get my hands on to feel better about the importance of my life, here and now. Today I have a much brighter perspective, a keener understanding of karmic influences, and a renewed sense of self and purpose, so let me tell you how I got there – and I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on the topic!

When I finally retired Seth Speaks, the next stop for me was Sylvia Brown’s book, The Other Side and Back. It’s really a very good introduction to these concepts, and a much easier read. What Sylvia presents in her book is rather one-dimensional compared to the Seth material, but when it comes to re-arranging my understanding of reality, baby steps were called for! The rest of her books add incremental knowledge to this one.  I especially enjoyed her Book of Dreams. Spirit guides and loved ones regularly communicate with us via dreams, and her categorization of dreams is helpful in understanding which dreams are most likely message bearing vs. the mind simply working through and problem solving issues in our lives.

Renee at PLR training with Dr. Brian Weiss

I eventually found my way to the works of renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Weiss. His books chronicle client case studies in Past Life Regression and more recently, Future Life Progression. Regression is a form of hypnosis, where the trained hypnotherapist leads the client back through various life experiences, and then asks questions of the client while they are under hypnosis experiencing their past life. Dr. Weiss had no knowledge of, or even interest in past life regression in his early career—until one day, one of his clients regressed back to another lifetime without him actually leading her there. It was no accident however, as it marked the beginning his real life’s work—case studies and experiences that offer profound insights into the journey of the soul. In Dr. Wiess’ seminal works, Messages from the Masters and Many Lives, Many Masters, many of the same concepts as those introduced by Seth were explored, including messages directly from Spirit Masters who spoke through his client known as Katherine, while she was in a deep hypnotic state. I highly recommend his book, Only Love is Real for an amazing love story of two soul mates reunited in this lifetime. Dr. Weiss’ cases studies added significantly to my understanding of the soul’s journey. If you’re curious about past lives, read all of his books. They will keep your attention and provide so much food for thought regarding your present life and potential past life connections. In 2006, I was fortunate to study past life regression from the Master himself–an experience I’ll treasure always, for Dr. Weiss is a man of integrity and goodness. Now, when you are ready to explore your own past lives, I’ll be happy to be your guide.

They say we haven’t developed the capability to time travel. I disagree. Past life regression and future life progression is time travel via the mind. Chew on that for a moment…

Finally in 2007, I was introduced to the research of Dr. Michael Newton, a world-renowned psychotherapist, who has devoted his life’s work to understanding what happens to us after we die, and before we come back to Earth in another body to live again, in other words, our lives as Spirit beings on The Other Side.

As happened to Dr. Weiss—by chance (or so it seems), one of Dr. Newton’s clients, while under hypnosis, took Dr. Newton to the space between two of the client’s lives on Earth. From that point on, Dr. Newton dedicated his practice and his research solely to understanding “Life Between Lives.” In his books, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls (the latter being the better of the two, in my opinion), Dr. Newton draws from his experience regressing thousands of clients over decades, to this space between lifetimes. He identifies consistent themes, symbols, activities, processes, and goals—all through his clients’ descriptions of The Other Side. He actively explores with his clients the metaphysics of The Other Side, how souls are born, how souls live on The Other Side and interact with others, the hierarchy of souls as they evolve, the many-faceted and fascinating process of reviewing our most recent lives with our Master teachers and Spiritual Advisors. He describes the detailed planning of our next life often hundreds of years later, and the various methods by which Spirits on the Other Side communicate with humans (or at least try to).

We learn from Dr. Newton’s research that in the life planning process (pre-birth), each of us enters into sacred agreements with a broad range of other souls, those in our inner circles, our middle circles, and our outer circles. We often reincarnate with the same soul group, each soul helping others in the group to reach their own development goals, and often working through Karmic relationships and debts incurred. Each of us agrees, of our own free will, to play a specific role for those in our soul circles. We agree to play out situations and circumstances through which optimal learning and growth is available to us, and as it turns out, we learn the most when the road has been strewn with obstacles. No surprise there, right? Often times, states Dr. Newton, the more advanced the soul, the more complex the human environment, the tougher the lessons, and the greater the soul’s positive impact on others. Beyond our Spiritual Masters, I imagine highly advanced souls to include such influential people as Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela, to name a few. The rest of us just keep working on our own personal evolution. With each lifetime we develop greater empathy with mankind’s plight; we develop a stronger connection to the Divine while still on Earth; we develop the ability to communicate, heal and console, and to bring light to the dark corners of our world.

I’ve given you plenty to think about, and gosh, isn’t that book list growing? With your holiday time off, pick up one of these inspiring books, and begin reflecting on your own soul’s journey.

In Part III, we’ll explore Karma further, and I’ll share my own experience in a 3-hour Life Between Lives regression (hypnosis session). To say it was enlightening hardly describes the impact it’s had on my outlook and sense of purpose in this lifetime.

My friends, I’m off for the holidays, but will be back blogging at the end of the year. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanza! May all that your heart desires be yours in this holiday season and beyond. Remember, your Loved Ones in Spirit will be there celebrating right along with you, so take a moment to acknowledge them, invite them in, and thank them for their love and guidance in your life. And…with them fully participating, who knows what magic is in store?

With love and light ~ Renee Buck

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Welcome back, my friends.  Today we begin a 3-part series on Life Plans.

About 9 years ago, I was introduced to the concept that I wrote my own life plan before coming down to the Earth plane as Renee Buck. I still remember the emotional impact of that understanding—so profound, and yet it answered so many of the questions on the nature and purpose of life and death that had been gathering since childhood like dust in a dark corner of my mind.

Of course I would be the architect of my own experience! Of course I would coordinate the karmic debts or credits and particulars of my greatest life lessons! Of course I would choose certain souls for certain roles, for who knew better than I what I needed for my soul to progress toward greater enlightenment? It just made so much sense.  Suddenly I was looking at every life experience in a new light. No more “Woe is me; why does this keep happening?” but rather, “What have I learned from that experience or relationship that can make me a better person? What was the point of it?” I just leaped right out of the pity party and into the classroom, which was exactly where I needed to be. Exactly where we all need to be.

Earth is a classroom. Everyone you meet is a potential teacher. Every incident is a learning opportunity. Every lesson learned is one step closer to becoming the person you’re meant to be, and a more evolved soul in the process. 

This understanding allowed me to finally put to rest the idea that “God’s plan” would or could result in inexplicable hardship, horrific pain, or endless terror to any soul on Earth. As a child, I rejected the explanation of “God’s Plan” for the death of my siblings, and any other bad thing that happened in the world. I knew God to be good, not cruel, not heartless in his/her actions. Growing up, I favored the “random accident” explanation for bad things that happened, and attributed all other action to man’s free will. The concept of pre-destiny had no place in my life. With my new understanding, however, I was able to see that random accidents, free will, and “God’s Plan” by themselves, are all faulty explanations due to the limited scope of each. If this sounds like a simplistic version of the religious arguments of the Catholics and Protestant Reformers during The Reformation of the 1500’s, you’d be right. My great frustration was that no single answer was sufficient, and thus my lifelong spiritual quest beyond the limiting dogma and philosophies of Christianity.

Merle’s Choice

The Spring of 2002 was the first time a Spirit Medium, Nancy Strickland, brought me a message from the Other Side. It was from my brother Merle, who died at age 14, when I was just 12—in what my family always considered a “mysterious accident.” Before I tell you the story, let me take you back in time to the circumstances leading up to Merle’s death.

My brother, Merle

We lived in a rented farmhouse at the time. The farm sat on the opposite side of a country highway from the small town of Searles, Minnesota.  Merle’s 14th birthday was on August 24, 1971, and the only thing he wanted was a motorcycle.  And he got it—a small blue 50cc motorbike. Mom and Dad paid for half, and Merle paid for the other half from his summer job. He was so proud of that bike and was on it every possible moment, until…

About a week after his birthday, Merle had come home from riding the paths on the nearby river bluffs.  He was visibly shaken, and proceeded to tell me and my sisters about “something unseen trying to pull him over the bluff to the rocks below.” He said that at one point, he was “teetering over the edge, but fought his way back.” Merle, the daredevil of the family, was clearly spooked by the incident, and his bike sat untouched for several days.

Fast forward now to September 8th of the same year. Merle had just come home from school.  It was about 4:00 pm, and he volunteered to pick up our younger brother, Jim, from the babysitter in Searles. Rather than walking into Searles from the bus stop at the end of the driveway, and walking home again, Merle decided to get his motorbike and surprise little Jim, who loved to go with Merle on rides around the farm. Merle left the house on his motorbike holding his helmet rather than wearing it, because he only had one helmet and was apparently planning to put it on young Jim. Although Merle had at least a half mile visibility in each direction before crossing the highway, he inexplicably drove his small motorbike out in front of an oncoming car going 65 mph. The driver never saw him; Merle didn’t have a chance. He died later that night of trauma to the brain.

Back to 2002: After validating Merle’s presence through an amazingly accurate description of his age, build, hair and the

1971 Honda

blue motorbike on which he died due to “mysterious circumstances,” Nancy relayed the following message from Merle: “I know how hard it was on the family when I died. It’s always more difficult to accept the death of a child. But I want you and the family to understand that it was my choice to leave at that time. I had completed what I needed to do, and it was time for me to leave. So please, tell Mom I love her, and don’t let her hold any more guilt about it, ok?” Needless to say, I was blown away by that first contact from Merle after all those years, and any skepticism I still held for the work of the medium was washed away in a matter of moments.  The only part I didn’t understand was regarding my mother’s guilt.

I called my mother on the phone later that day and relayed the amazing message from Merle. I asked her if she felt guilt about it, and why, and Mom immediately broke into tears and explained her anguish over his death. She had fought our father for months on the decision to allow Merle a motorbike, because he was so accident prone. Indeed, less than a year earlier he’d nearly killed himself in a snowmobile accident. Regardless, with Dad and Merle both putting on the pressure, she finally gave in, and Merle got the bike.  She described how she used to say to herself over and over again after his death, “If only I’d held out. If only I’d refused that bike, he’d still be with us.” We cried together on the phone. To know that my mother held that guilt for all those years was a tragedy in itself. But through Merle’s loving message, a tremendous healing was made possible, and the decades-long burden was relieved. All my mother needed to understand was that it was Merle’s choice, or perhaps more accurately said, the choice of Merle’s Soul to die at that time, in that way. She had simply acted according to plan, her plan, and undoubtedly according to her sacred contract with Merle before they both began their lives on Earth.

We, as individuals, choose the circumstances of our birth, our life here, and our deaths (with some exceptions). God, however defined, provides us this amazing Earth, rich in resources and opportunities—all that we need to survive. God also enables us with Free Will, which is always with us, on Earth and on the Other Side.

Charles’ Choice

I recently received an email from Diane, a client of mine, who told me the story of her beloved Charles, which again clearly articulates the Soul’s choice as to when and how death on Earth, and rebirth on the Other Side, will occur. Charles was clearly a very spiritual man. During his life, he studied Eastern philosophies, pursued martial arts, understood what Karma was all about, and took good care of himself.

On the morning of 9/11, at the very moment that the towers were being toppled, Charles was undergoing triple by-pass heart surgery just 20 miles away. He suffered from a condition that clogged his arteries with cholesterol at rates much higher than in the average person. In the recovery room, after the surgery, he died due a reaction to the anesthesia. near_death_lightCharles saw himself rising out of his body. He heard what the doctors and nurses were saying to each other. As he turned away from them, he saw a beautiful white light, and moved instinctively toward it. Greeting him there in the light, was his mother who’d passed into Spirit the year before. She said to him, “Charles, it’s not your time yet. You need to go back.” And so, always the obedient son, he turned back to his body, and before he knew it, was waking up to see a nurse in the recovery room. He would live to tell the story of his near-death experience, and to understand that his Mother was alive in Spirit and still watching out for him.

You see, it wasn’t Charles’ time. He had more to accomplish in this lifetime on Earth. He would pass into Spirit according to plan, and dying on 9/11 in a hospital recovery room was not the plan.

A few years later, Charles was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He refused surgery until he’d exhausted every other possible means of healing. He did his own research and discovered the positive connection between the acidic body and cancer growth. Charles worked very hard at modifying his diet to include plenty of alkaline foods (like fresh vegetables and fruits, salads, fish, alkaline grains, etc.) He cut back on acidic foods (like red meats, dairy, sugars and simple starches) to enhance the alkalinity. In time, his body tissue became slightly alkaline, which is the state of being that we all need to attain in order to stay healthy—a state in which most cancers cannot thrive. His now alkaline body refused to let the cancer grow, and in time, he starved the cancer that was already there. At his next checkup, only the doctors were surprised to find that cancer was gone. Charles was not going to die of prostate cancer. It wasn’t the plan. Rather, the plan called for learning how to cure his cancer, and in doing so to inspire and motivate others who suffer from the disease.

Shortly after the cancer free diagnosis, Charles said to Diane, “I knew I wouldn’t die of cancer. If anything kills me, it will be my heart.” Charles was correct about that: within months, he died of a massive heart attack. It reads like a Greek tragedy: Just in the wake of victory, the hero is slain. Tragic indeed, and my heart goes out to all those who knew him and loved him, and miss him still here on the Earth plane. Such a beautiful Spirit he is! (I know this because he came through during a reading earlier this week, and I experienced his loving energy.)

But again, what can we take from this story? When it’s our time, it’s our time, and when it’s not, it’s not. We take some comfort in knowing, however, that it will be according to our own plan, and according to our agreements with others to depart at a particular point in time, in a particular manner. In each death, there is a learning opportunity for those left behind. Sometimes, as in my case, a lifelong spiritual quest is born. For some, it’s a wake-up call to live the life we’re meant to, to repair existing relationships before it’s too late, or simply to take better care of ourselves. For many, it’s a renewal of the understanding that life goes on and that love is eternal.

What have you learned about yourself in the wake of a loved one’s death? And have you put that learning to good use?

Are there exceptions to this rule? Do we always die as we planned? There are exceptions, because free will exists for everyone. We can’t always control the actions of others, and not everyone stays on the life path they set for themselves. But this, my friends, is a discussion for another day.

Do you have an experience to share, that sheds light on this topic? If so, please do so in the comment box below.  And thanks for sharing!

In Love and Light ~ Renee Buck

Stay tuned for Life Plan: Part II — Soul Agreements and Karma

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