Saturday, November 30, 2013

Countdown to the WDW Half-Marathon: Itinerary planning

From my running blog at Run Kimmy, Run!
Tomorrow is December 1st!  It's getting closer!  I'm starting to get excited!  No, not about the holidays.  I'm getting excited for my first ever half-marathon and my first ever Run Disney event.  I'm looking forward to the entire experience! Only 38 days until I embark on this journey that just a year ago was not even on my radar!  The fact that we all have literally gone from couch to 5K and then 5K to 13.1 miles in 9 months is impressive, even to us!  Disney is a powerful motivator!!
Donald half marathon 13.1 runDisney 2014
To get us organized, the girls I am travelling with held a planning meeting this past week.  Three of us are running and one is 'support staff'.  She, along with my parents and aunt, will be our chEAR squad members. It's so nice to know we'll have friends and family out there rooting for us.  They are making plans on where they will be positioned to spectate, making signs and my parents and aunt will be festive and in costume.  My mom will be the fairy Godmother, my dad Goofy and my aunt Peter Pan.  They all live about an hour from Disney and are annual pass holders, so it was an easy choice for them to plan to come see us run.
Our costumes have all been chosen and I think we all have all our running gear for race day.  My sister has a Wishes themed costume and our other running friend will be in Cheshire Cat attire!  I have a delightful Tinker Bell costume complete with a green Tink inspired sparkle skirt, green compression socks, a green running bra, Tink inspired running sleeves, a Raw Threads Fly thirteen point one green running tank with glow in the dark wings on the back (!) and a Tink green sparkle headband and pony holder for my hair.  I have a long sleeve lime green tech half-zip in case it's cold and fleece warm up pants and a jacket if it's really cold, both of which I can toss pre or mid-race if I need to as I know Disney donates them.  And, of course, my running shoes (and a back up pair).  I've made my packing list and the list of things for race day alone is surprisingly long.  In addition to my costume, I need my iFitness fuel belt/water bottles, my phone and extra battery, camera (lightweight point and shoot), clif shots and sport beans, ear phones, blister band aids (just in case), body glide (pre-race application), sunglasses, interval timer (back up) and running watch.  Oh, and my race bib!
We've been planning this vacation since last March with the help of the amazing Suzy at Mouse Fan Travel. They rock!  If you need to plan a Disney vacation, especially a Run Disney one, give them a call!  My sister is the Disney guru so she has held the reins and is doing a fabulous job of organizing our Disney experience.   We have quite the itinerary, complete with spreadsheet for reference!  We tried to plan as best we could a racecation that was a good balance of touring the parks, preparing to run and recovering all while having a blast with the girls.  Yes the girls!  Did I mention no husbands and no kids!  Disney for grown ups!  Yay!  Of course I had to sign up to run a half-marathon to manage that... Hmmmmm.
One of the highlights is we're staying at the Beach Club Resort.  The proximity to EPCOT is intoxicating but so is the fact there is that amazing Stormalong bay and hot tubs!  Oh, and Beaches and Cream, of course. There is also a jogging loop in close proximity for that last 3 mile jog before the race.  The 4 of us are able to stay in one room and there is even a mini-fridge!  We've selected our Magic Bands and chose our fastpass times at our planning meeting.  We have only 2 ADR's but they are good ones!  Via Napoli for our post race celebration (can you say Tiramisu?!) and Be Our Guest the next evening because why not celebrate twice? We plan to just use the counter service restaurants when we feel the need to eat the rest of the time since we all have different fuel needs.  We are all also planning on bringing some of our favorite snacks and race fuel favorites with us from home.
I'm looking forward to the Expo.  We're planning to go there right after we arrive on Wednesday (via the Magical Express from MCO of course) to get our race packets.  We have the first flight out of Providence, so we will arrive bright and early to Orlando.  The entire race experience for me will likely be once-in-a-lifetime, so I want to take it all in, but I also want to get to the MK later that day!  I've already purchased a Run Disney warm up jacket from the Disney Store which is awesome, so although I'll browse, there is nothing I particularly covet at the Expo other than the 13.1 mouse ear car sticker!
From the Expo, it's back to the Beach Club to drop off  our packets and then off to the MK for the rest of the afternoon/evening.  We've already selected our fastpass times for the evening and of course, we will take in Wishes.  I hear we might be glowing with the show! We plan to end our first evening with a toast in the Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian.
Thursday is a long and fun filled day.  We plan to be up bright and early to take that last 3 mile run, since race day wake up call is in the middle of the night, we might as well stick to our early morning wake ups and get a taste for running in the dark.  Then we are planning to be at the MK by 8am for rope drop!  At least my sister and I are!  After spending the morning at the MK, we will grab a late breakfast or early lunch and spend the rest of the day at EPCOT.  We've got Soarin, Mission Space and Land fast passes.  We plan to ride Test Track stand by if the line is reasonable and then work our way around the World Showcase.  We're attending the pasta in the park party and have VIP seating for Illuminations that evening.  There will likely be a stop at the hotel lounge before turning in for the night.
Friday is all about fuel and rest.  We're planning to be up early for a good breakfast and will be spending the morning at Hollywood studios with fast passes for Toy Story Mania (of course!) and Tower of Terror (I'll be shopping during that one).  We aim to attempt to lay low in the afternoon to rest our legs so we're hoping for cooperative weather and an afternoon at the pool.  It may be hard to resist the World Showcase though.  We will meet our parents for a late lunch or early dinner and have our final race planning meeting with our chEAR squad members so we know where they will be!  We're hoping to get to bed early but we figure that is not likely to happen with the excitement for race day!  Those crazy people doing the Dopey challenge will be 2 races done at this point!
Saturday is our big day.  The 2:15 am wake up call is going to suck, but the adrenaline and excitement of it all should motivate us.  We don't want to be rushed, so we will aim to be on the first bus to the start area.  We want to soak it in.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and it won't be too cold or too hot, but mostly, I'm hoping for dry weather and sunshine.  We will have a blast and celebrate in style after the race.  My sister plans to attend the WDW radio meet up in the afternoon.  Other than a Test Track fast pass at 4 pm and Via Napoli at 5:45 pm, the afternoon plan is going to depend on how we all feel.  I think it may be spent at the pool!  We expect to be dead tired after dinner, so early to bed is definitely the plan for Saturday evening!
Sunday is our last day at Disney and we tentatively plan to spend the morning at the Animal Kingdom.  The safari and Everest are our chosen fast passes there.  We have a dinner reservation in the MK and then we plan to hit Jellyrolls for our last night of celebration.  We will cheer on the marathoners of course, too.  Bling around our necks all day, of course!
On this last day of November, I am giving thanks for this amazing opportunity.  I am grateful for my health and the support I've had in training these many long and hard weeks to increase my mileage to half-marathon distance.  I'm grateful for the bond that has developed between us running girls and for the opportunity for 'girl time' together.  I'm grateful for the support of my husband, kids, parents, family and friends as it's really helped and yet meant I've been less available, especially on those long training run days.  It's also meant my husband has had to step up to the plate and take over some of the duties I usually claim, especially while I'm gone for my racecation. He is amazingly supportive and I so deeply appreciate his support.   I am grateful for the opportunity to fulfill this bucket list dream that sort of happened on a whim.
Life is short.  Carpe Diem!
I can fly!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Psychic Mediums: Real or Imagined? A window to a lively conversation with my husband.

Ever have a lively and animated conversation with your spouse or significant other on a topic you disagree on?  Here’s a look inside the window to a conversation my husband and I had.  Enjoy!

How do you feel about those who claim to be able to ‘talk to dead people’?  As professionals, they are referred to as mediums.  People who are a bridge between this world and whatever lies beyond this world after we die.  They are messengers.  They bring messages to us from our departed loved ones.  

It’s not hard to find mediums.  With the advent of the Internet and social media, all you need to do is a Web search and you’ll find a plethora of them.  There are famous mediums like John Holland and James Van Praagh.  There are those who have written books, have radio shows or are guests on radio shows and TV and even have their own TV shows like the Long Island Medium.  They speak at conferences and metaphysical or spiritual expos and conferences.  They assist law enforcement with unsolved crimes.  They are sought out by world leaders and the rich and famous as well as average everyday folk like you and me. They lead workshops and training so that you, too, can learn to develop your psychic gifts and communicate with the spirit world.  

My inspiration for this post is actually a discussion I had with my husband recently.  He and I have differing views on most topics of spirituality and metaphysics.  He is a self-proclaimed man of science.  He thinks very concretely and black and white.   I am much more open-minded.  While strongly rooted in science, I am also strongly spiritual and because of my own personal experiences, have come to better understand and believe many things I once did not hold true.  I see a lot of gray areas and colors.  Lots of colors.

I chose to go to a gallery reading with psychic medium John Holland last weekend at a local expo.  The cost to attend the 2 hour session was $45.  The venue held 400 people and it was filled to capacity.  I’d never seen John speak before, but I’ve read some of his books.  I've seen other mediums, both individually (private readings and information) and at a similar gallery reading event.  Not all of them resonated with me.  I did not go because I expected or even wanted my loved ones to ‘come through’.  I went because I wanted to experience it first hand.  John is probably one of the most gifted and respected psychic mediums out there and certainly one of the best known.  He was highly recommended to me. It was an opportunity I have not had before so close to home and so I went.

My husband was disgusted I ‘wasted’ my money on this ‘guy’ who ‘tells people lies to make them feel better.’  He feels he is a thief, preying on the bereaved.  He feels he and all mediums, use cold reading, verbal feedback, body language and emotional cues/reactions from the bereaved to make his readings seem honest, accurate and true.  He believes readings are generic and general and could apply to anyone. He feels these self-proclaimed mediums are collective liars are behaving in a destructive and morally irresponsible way because they can’t possibly be really communicating with their deceased relative and they charge people money.  Sometimes lots of money. Still, he respected my decision to go see him because it does resonate with me, and well, I was going to go regardless of how he felt about it.  It made for quite a conversation...

What struck me most about John was that he was very real.  He was personal and conversational, even though there were 400 people in his ‘living room’.  He has a fantastic sense of humor.  He explains the process and how he gets information as he does the readings.  He has no prior knowledge of the people he is reading for, at least in a gallery reading, in fact, he has no idea who he is reading for until he starts to share the information and someone claims it.   

Mediums or anyone with psychic gifts, receive information in different ways.  Some ‘hear’ things or have thoughts that are random and not their own, others ‘see’ objects or symbols in their mind’s eye and others literally feel sensations or emotions that are not theirs.  Sometimes they just know something.  A strong intuitive ‘hit’ or read.  Everyone has a psychic strength or gift, some more than one.  It’s learning to understand the information and how you receive it, and then deliver it with confidence that is the challenge.

I was quite impressed with John’s readings.  They were much more detailed and specific than I imagined they would be.  When more than one person ‘claimed’ a reading, he was able to sort it out with increased detail and without asking the person who he was reading for anything.  In fact he asked them not to give him more than what he might ask so as not to make it seem as if he was being ‘fed’.  

I also happened to be sitting next to a good friend who is a psychic and a medium in her own right.  She was getting much of the same information and telling me about it before John even said it.  Before you ask, we were in the second to last row waaaaay in the back, so no, he didn’t hear her.  :-)  It was validating for her and fascinating to me.  

Fast forward to a few days later, when my husband and I were having a conversation with a spiritually open-minded friend and he was once again expressing his disgust at the fact people charge, and get, money to ‘lie’ to people to make them feel better about their deceased loved ones.  The key points were as follows:

  • To his point that it’s either all made up, cold readings or taking advantage of someone’s grief and vulnerability I replied:
    • The bereaved seek them out, not the other way around.  I didn't have to go or pay money for him or anyone else to get a reading.  I freely chose to do that.  That’s the great thing about being human, free will.

  • To his point that it’s morally wrong:
    • Who is he to judge?  He is entitled to his opinion, as is everyone else.  
    • People have the right to choose.  What’s good for the goose is not always good for the gander, and that is perfectly fine.  Someone is only going to choose to go to a medium if they want to.  If they do, clearly they see nothing wrong with it.

  • To his point that they shouldn't charge money:
    • Why not?  I do angel card readings.  I get paid for those.  Am I also a fraud and morally irresponsible in what I do?  (no, apparently not, because it’s different)
    • Who is he to judge?  People choose to pay the money.  Whether they charge $5 or $5000, they don’t force anyone to choose them or their fee.  Once again.  Free choice, free will.
    • Kids sell lemonade and charge money.  Business is business.  

  • To his point it’s not scientifically proven:
    • Maybe not.  But there is a lot science can’t prove that we still hold to be true because we think it’s right.  Until it’s disproved.  Look at all the things we thought were true scientifically that were found to be incorrect
    • 2 words.  Quantum Mechanics.
    • Who cares?  People are looking for healing.  If they find it this way, it’s no one’s business but theirs.

  • To his point that it’s not possible (although he also claims anything is possible):
    • Just because he doesn't have those gifts or chooses to believe no one can have those gifts, does not mean it’s not possible.  He is not omniscient.  No one is.
    • He claims to believe in my clairsentience and claircognizance/premonitions.  He has heard my stories, some that had a direct ‘hit’ in his life, with people he loves and cares about.  So does he believe it’s possible or doesn't he?  If he believes I can have those abilities, why can’t someone else have that and more?  Or, is he lying to me that he believes me?
    • None of us know what we don’t know.  
    • Anything is possible.  It cannot be proven or disproved at this time
    • Who cares?  Again.  If the person seeking out the medium believes it will help them get what they need to heal, that’s all that matters.  It’s not about us, it’s about them.   

Ultimately, my argument to him was the bottom line is the bereaved often long to connect with their loved ones who have died.  They want to know they are OK and safe. They want to know they are watched over.  Sometimes, they just want validation of their own experiences. Maybe they have some psychic gifts that they are realizing and just want to learn more. Or maybe, they are skeptical and are looking to get ‘proof’ one way or another about the possibility of an afterlife and ability to communicate with a deceased loved one on ‘the other side’.  

Some choose to actively pursue a connection.  Mediums offer that connection.  There is nothing inherently wrong with that.  If it feels right to them, that’s all that matters. Are all of them real, honest and good?  Of course not.  I am sure there are self-proclaimed mediums who do not actually have psychic gifts, who cold read, who do very general and benign readings, ask you more questions than they give answers for you and who charge high fees for their services.  

There are also those who are amazingly gifted and they all deserve, just like anyone else who works, to be paid for their time and appreciated for their talents and gifts.  They deceased don’t have bodies or mouths, they communicate with senses, thoughts and feelings. The medium has to receive those communications and messages and simply deliver them, not judge them or try to make sense of them.  That’s the job of the person being read for. The ego of the medium needs to be totally out of the picture in order for a reading to be accurate.

So yes, it might be difficult to know if a medium is ‘good’ or not.  I've had several readings.  Some have certainly been very accurate and validating and by people who knew nothing of my history.  Others have felt too general or just wrong or I did not trust them intuitively.  Some have been so-so, with parts of the reading really making sense and others not so much.  I've been read on the radio (live, in studio) and by several others, some specifically for mediumship and were paid for their readings, some just sharing information as part of energy work or bodywork who also had psychic gifts, and others who just share freely because they feel they want or need to and know I’m open to it.

Certainly a 1:1 reading offers the opportunity for a specific connection and validation for the medium of their skills.  A large gallery reading, like the John Holland event, is more random.  Chances are high you will not get a reading at an event like that.  Like any job, there is a learning curve.  Many mediums were psychic and highly intuitive as children.  They saw colors and even spirits when they were very young.  They might have known things that were going to happen and then they did.  It’s easy to write it off as imagination or coincidence.  That way, we don’t have to embrace or admit the possibility exists they were right.  They really do see and hear dead people.  They are gifted.  Then the adults in their lives scold them, tell them they are wrong or medicate them.  It’s not until they are adults themselves and feel comfortable ‘coming out of the closet’ that they embrace their gifts and hang out their shingle to help others.  

Ultimately, we agreed to disagree.  A highly important skill for the harmony of any relationship!  One I highly value in ours.  The ability to communicate openly and freely, to engage in spirited discussion and challenge each other, hear each other and ultimately find a balance.  It’s not like I didn't’t know his scientific convictions and he didn't know I was spiritually inclined before he married me. :-)

My take home message was that no one has the right to judge the decisions or actions of another person.  This we agree on.  Perspective is everything.  We may not agree with them, but we are not them.  We are not living their lives.  We have not had their experiences.  Only they have.  Only they know what will help them heal and find peace.  It might be different than how we might choose to do it, but that doesn't matter.  They deserve and have the right to free choice.  We have no right to impose our opinions or beliefs on anyone else, for any reason. Regardless of whether or not mediums are ‘real’, if the person seeking validation, connection or healing receives it, that is all that matters.

And so, we left it at that.  He still doesn't believe it, but he has a better understanding of why others do and how it is a tool for healing.  An important life lesson for everyone is that we never, ever, have the right to judge anyone.  We need only worry about ourselves.  There is no right or wrong way.  Only our way.  


Sunday, November 17, 2013

NaNoWriMo Update. Day 17

Well, today seems like as good a day as any for an update.  I'm coming up for air!

I'm psyched!  My plan of a self-imposed deadline is working!  Although I have failed in my goal to write every day, even just a little bit, I've written 13 of the last 17 days.  Often for hours at a time.  It's been easier than I thought for the most part.  The biggest challenge has been resisting the urge to edit as I write.  The other big challenge is that as I am writing one chapter, I think of something else I wanted to write about a related topic that was covered in a previous chapter.  Then I go back and am tempted to edit while I add the additional information.  This is counterproductive to word count and stream of consciousness.

Interestingly, I am wondering how much I'm repeating myself.  This is, in part, a story I've told before.  It's a story I've written bits and pieces of before.  It's a story that has been swimming in my heart and in my head for years.  At times, I can't type fast enough.  At other times, I sit, fingers poised on the keyboard and do nothing.  Unsure of where to being or how to express it.  Then, I forget if I wrote it or only wanted to write it!

I am purposefully not reading my journal yet.  My 400+ page letter to Meghan I began days after she died.  I last read it about a year ago.  I will go back and add some of those memories and lessons in the 2nd draft.  I don't want to get lost in it now.  While I originally (years ago) thought it would be my rough draft, I know now, that is not it's purpose.  That would be an entirely different book. My goal is a rough (and it will be rough) draft by the end of the month.

The biggest lesson in this for me has been resisting the urge to 'get it right' and just write.  Get it out of my head and onto the 'paper'.  To stop worrying if I'm being redundant or if I forgot something.  I've started a notepad to jot down ideas and thoughts I want to include as they come to me.  I have at times, written out of sequence.  There are lots of typos and grammatical errors and I'm sure, a gazillion formatting issues yet to come.  I've created a system for myself to mark where I need to go back for the second draft and add research or additional information, where I want a picture or reference and cross references to other chapters.  It's been a learning experience in and of itself.

So how far am I?  As of right now, 42,718 words.  11 chapters mapped out but some literally have but one paragraph.  The chapters are, in a way, placeholders for thoughts not yet developed or written about but that will be important and necessary for the reader to have.  I've no doubt I will 'win' NaNo.  I will surpass 50,000 words for sure.  I'm not sure the first draft will be complete by the end of the month.  A substantial chunk of it will be.

My secondary goal will be to complete a full first draft, including the research and references, by the end of the year.  A lofty and ambitious goal, even with 13 days left to go in NaNoWriMo.  Even more lofty, I'd love nothing more than to be holding a printed copy of this book by October of next year.

Hell, I ran 13.5 miles a few weeks ago.  Never thought I'd do that.  I've always known this book need to be and would be written.  I'm fairly confident now is the time and that the Universe is pulling for me here.  There are bereaved mommies, daddies, siblings, family members and friends who lost an important person in their life and they want and need guidance, support and a knowing that they can and will survive this. There are lives to be saved.

Meghan's Hope is my hope.  That no parent ever know this pain or need this book.  Yet if they do, that they can find hope, inspiration and courage in these pages to let their love lead them on a path to healing.

Nurturing the Soul

This is a cross post from my Spiritually minded blog Pathways to Love and Light.  If you are like-minded and wish to follow me there (and on Twitter and Pathways Facebook page) as well, please do!
If you are reading this, you are likely part of my tribe.  Our tribe.  You know, like-minded people who have an interest in spirituality and metaphysics on some level.  We are not always understood or even taken seriously let alone accepted for our beliefs or practices because they are often 'different'.  That makes us, 'different'.  Of course we know we are all one, but if everyone 'got' that, the world would be a different (and much more peaceful) place.
Yesterday I had the tremendous gift to be able to spend the day with 'my people'.  There is an annual spirit fair of sorts here in Massachusetts called the Natural Living Expo.  It's sponsored by Spirit of Change, which is a free monthly newsprint magazine devoted to topics of spirituality and metaphysics and a way for local practitioners to advertise.  They have a Web Site and Facebook Page if you want to check it out.  I've attended a few times before.  It has grown tremendously in it's 7 years and this year it was huge, encompassing 2 full days!  Sorry skeptics, this 'weird stuff' is alive and well!
Admission was a mere $12 for the entire weekend!  The first 200 people received a gift bag with goodies in it from Cedar's Foods and there was also a sample bar where there were a bevvy of natural food and product samples as well.  Aside from the literally hundreds of exhibitors, there were a huge variety of free 50 minute lectures on everything from healthy cooking to past life regression to homeopathy and many psychic development lectures including mediumship and angel communication.
Headliners put on 2 hour lectures for a fee of $35-45 including John Holland, Gabrielle Bernstein, Marilyn Taylor, Will Tuttle and the amazing Matthew Sanford.  An evening concert by Wah, was also offered.  Many of the exhibitors were doing demonstrations, selling everything from books and divination or oracle card decks to clothing and crystals and so much more, even aura photography.  Others were offering free mini massage or energy healing.  Others were providing readings or energy healings for a small fee for 15-20 minutes.
I intended to stay for the day.  I was meeting some like-minded soul sisters and very much looking forward to some 'me' time, attending to nurturing my soul.  We spend so much time, especially as mothers and those in helping professions, nurturing others, that we forget to practice what we preach.  I set aside this day for me.  It was wonderful.  I am grateful for the opportunity.
I had asked the Universe to guide me and for the gift of abundance.  It began by winning a free admission!  I arrived early and sat quietly in line, reading John Holland's book for 45 minutes and chatting with those around me.  It was nice to be able to walk the exhibition floor before it got too crowded and take it all in.  I decided to have a reading with a card reader/medium.  Most of what she said resonated with me and that is likely a separate post.
The first lecture I attended was on homeopathy and natural medicine.  What an informative hour!  Burke Lennihan is an RN and CCH.  She gave away copies of her book, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet.  I strongly recommend it.  The information is simple and fascinating and could quite possibly keep you and your family healthy and flu and virus free and tame allergies inexpensively,  naturally and quickly!
As luck would have it, the second lecture I wanted to attend was in the same room.  It was about Integrated Energy Healing and the Violet Ray of Angelic Healing.  The speaker was Michelle McCarthy and what a loving and peaceful presence she is!  She led us through a heart centered energy healing with the angels of the Violet Ray.  The love was palpable in that room.  The experience was so healing, bringing about a sense of peace and love but also energy.  I need to learn more...
Next up, lunch!  I met up with my soul sisters and one had brought us the gift of lunch! Another answer to my request for abundance.  No need to spend money on lunch! Mother Nature provided for an absolutely gorgeous November day.  The skies were sunny and the temperature was near 60!  We had a picnic on a patch of grass together and talked about our experiences of the morning.  Perfect!
My afternoon was filled with a 2 hour gallery presentation/reading by John Holland.  He is the second psychic medium I've seen in a gallery style reading.  There were 400 people in attendance and it was sold out.  I was seated next to a good friend, who is also a medium and it was fascinating to see her and John get the same information at times about the person he was reading.  What I love about John is he is real.  He has a very conversational, good friend, honest, living room style approach.  If he's reading someone and the information is not fitting, he apologizes and moves on to the 'right' person.  There was always a right person. I was stunned at how detailed and accurate his readings were.  He also explains along the way how he gets his information and came to do what he does.  The energy in the room was also fascinating to read.  Afterwards, he did a book signing.  I waited in line with my friends and we all had items signed by John.  He made a point of having a brief conversation with everyone he signed for which was nice.  Although I tried my best to shield myself, I left his session feeling a bit energetically tired and very, very thirsty.  Ah, the curse of the energetically sensitive and the empath...
We headed back to the expo hall because we were late due to waiting for our book signing and the next sessions we wanted to attend were already full.  Some of us parted ways with hugs and love and my cousin and I wandered the floor a bit then realized it was snack time!  We sat by the food court and chatted for a good hour.  It was great to catch up and connect.  Then we wandered the floor some more.  We happened upon a meditation coach, Will Raymond, who we chatted with for quite some time.  He offered some good insight and gave us each an autographed copy of his book, The Simple Path of Holiness.  Abundance abounds.
I tried to be very selective with my purchases, mindful of my need to be frugal.  It is a good exercise in that while there were many things I would have loved to choose (mostly crystals), I was very tuned in to only purchasing what I truly needed or that which strongly resonated with my spirit.  Aside from the one reading I did, I purchased only two crystals.  Neither of which I'd ever heard of before but oh, how drawn I was to them!  One is called Ulexite, which is one of the crystals that makes up Lapis Lazuli!  You really do learn something new every day!  The other is, would you believe I've already forgotten the name?  I really need a crystal for memory...  I also purchased a beverage charger from OrgoneIAM.  Based on the research of William Reich, they are supposed to transmute negative energy, including EMF, and protect the person from the negative effects.  They propose this can protect the body from the damage that can be caused by these negative energies and even cure/reverse disease processes.   They make jewelry as well as other items.  While I need to do more research, at the very least, their creations are pretty and the energy did resonate with me.
Lastly, I happened upon the art work of Melissa Harris.  My cousin kept telling me I should look at her watercolors.  I was not in the market for a painting, or greeting cards.  I glanced at the greeting cards.  My eyes immediately went to a painting.  I knew why she brought me here.  I needed that painting.  It was the most beautiful summation of my day and how I ended up on this path.  A beautiful story of love, earthy existence and spirit.  It was as if she painted it for me.  It's called Moon Magic.  It is a night scene with a young girl dressed in a flowing white robe, holding a glowing white orb, who appears to be running toward the sky, followed closely by a small cat.  It spoke all kinds of Meggie (my daughter) to me.  She came through in my reading this day. She catalyzed and kicked my ass onto this spiritual path and journey and it was as if she was saying, 'Hello mommy.  Now take this home and know it's OK.  Let my brothers know.  I really am a kitty angel'.  Melissa is a gifted artist.  I encourage you to visit her Web site.
The day was an amazing gift on so many levels.  I came home, suddenly exhausted.  Being surrounded by all of that energy all day left me feeling peaceful and balanced, but oh so tired.  My husband and boys were watching a movie so I went to bed to read.  I quickly dozed off.  My dreams were amazingly vivid and very spiritual in nature.  I journeyed somewhere wonderful.  I woke this morning feeling more rested than I have in a very long time.
Thank you, spirit, for the wonderful gifts of yesterday.  Thank you my soul sisters, for sharing this journey.  I think we all need to do this soul level nurturing more often!  Don't you?