So Mary Ann Winkowski taught me about the first level of the spiritual realm and the books I read by James Van Praagh took me to the next level. I think sometimes people get confused about what a medium is and what they do. Some would classify Mrs. Winkowski as a medium, but in fact she isn't. I found this article that clearly explains how a medium works. Please reference this link for deatils: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/What-is-a-Medium-Rebecca-Rosen/1
Simply put, however, a medium connects with people who have crossed over into the light of God. And they have to fine tune their skills - just like any talent. In Mr. Van Praagh's case, he always saw spirits surrounding him and, as a kid, was readily discouraged about sharing anything he saw or heard from the other side. He grew up Catholic, but was confused about the religion because of what he knew about the other side from the spirits he could see and connect with.
As a teen he ignored his gift as much as he could and pursued a career in broadcasting and communications - he wanted to be a producer and co-produced The Ghost Whisperer. Eventually, the other world became so much a part of him, that he had to decide if he wanted to give up his gift completely or turn it into his profession, which is what he ended up doing.
While learning about mediums, my dear friend who interested me in all of this in the first place, confirmed for me that my mother-in-law (who died in 2003) is often around me. I had premonitions that this was true all along, but she confirmed it for me. I feel her presence often. Although I never met her in this life, I know that she guards over my children and is a strong presence for good in my life. I welcome her and am thankful she is here!
I also saw my friend do a reading for a mutual friend and the spirit that was with us 3 women at the time was amazing! When you have an experience like this, the spirit is testifying to you - so strongly - that there is an existence after physical death - that it moves people to tears! And you know that what you are hearing is truly a message from the other side!
While I was having my own spiritual experiences with real people, I was reading about other people's experiences. I started reading books/accounts about near death experiences (NDE's) as well (which I will cover in my next post), but I also read a book called The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. This book paved the way for me to understand how a medium connects with the next life. While the book has a fictional storyline, the principles it teaches are true.
Most importantly it taught me about "energy" and how we connect to each other and every living thing. This book clearly defined for me the importance of staying connected to God. I loved how it explained the effects of manipulation and domination. This book, together with James Van Praagh's books, helped me to evaluate my past, present and future. (For more information about the teachings from The Celestine Prophecy, go to this website: http://www.celestinevision.com/ and you can see 9 insights listed on the left side of this post.)
I read 3 of James Van Praagh's books, Ghosts Among Us, Unfinished Business and Talking to Heaven. Remember that I mentioned mediums only connect with people who have crossed over into the light and they bring messages of love and hope to the living? Well, I believe this is why Mr. Van Praagh specifically mentions that he does Not believe in a devil as an actual person, because he does not encourage "dark" encounters. However, he does believe in evil! Before he does a reading, or invites the spirit world into his life, he prays for protection and asks for only good energy to be with him. I loved some of the imagery he taught for prayer! He tells about envisioning God's love as a bright white light. He says to imagine this love/light flowing in and around you - and everything you want protected or filled with love. He is the one who helped me to see just how Very, Very powerful thoughts can be!
Because the veil is so thin for him, he can see people's aura's, or the energy surrounding a person. Often he can see where the energy is sick or weak because of negativity in a person's life. I loved the account he told of a CEO who was not very much liked because he was not a nice person. One day the CEO walked past him and he could see knives sticking out of his back from all the negative thoughts people had thrown his way. Mr. Van Praagh said that if this CEO didn't have any major sicknesses at the time, he was going to - if he didn't change who he was! Whether those daggers were literal or not is not the point. The point is that the negativity you send to someone - even via thoughts - affect yourself and those you point them toward. After reading that story I quickly repented of negative thoughts I had been sending to certain people in my life - Especially myself!
James Van Praagh's books made me see life differently and heightened my spiritual awareness tremendously. From his books I learned that there is no accidental experience, that we can take EVERY single experience that we have - good or bad - and learn from them. Together, with the Celestine Prophecy, I learned to look at my past and present; evaluate where I was, how I got there, and the lessons I had learned along the way.
All of a sudden I knew why things had happened in my life - things I had been beating myself up about and questioned for years! I was open to revelation that helped me to see my life from an eternal perspective. I clearly saw the choices I made, why I made them, and the lessons I had learned because of those choices. I learned to be thankful for my trials and I learned how to see important lessons in even the hardest of things!
Let me be very clear that in all the research I have done about "the other side", I have never, not even once, or a little bit, wanted to have any sort of experience like a medium does! However, all of his books have a section where he teaches you tips about how to be closer to the other side. I would read them out of curiosity - the whole time praying for NO such thing to happen to me!
It's a bit ironic that even though I didn't want any sort of "heightened" spiritual experience, that's exactly what I got. For those of you who don't know, I have a baby monitor in my house. The part that monitors noise is upstairs in my hallway, and the part you hear the noise out of sits on my kitchen counter. Around the time of reading these books I had a few interesting experiences. One day when Jessie was in school and the other 2 were taking naps, I heard a child's voice clearly say, "Mom." Of course, I went up to check on my kids, but they were sound asleep, although they have been known to talk in their sleep before, it is few and far between. I thought it was a bit "supernatural-ish", but nothing like the next experience where I was laying next to Jessie on her bed (at bedtime) and felt a little hand tap my back. I turned, fully expecting to see Anastasia standing there and there was no one. Ana and Tressa were sound asleep in their beds! I then realized that, a few weeks earlier, Jessie had been complaining about her sisters running back and forth in the hallway. Every time I went to check, they were sound asleep. I put 2 and 2 together and realized there was a child's presence in my home and asked for Heavenly Father to not make it so obvious to us - or let it be known in some other way - He did. To this day I have no idea why I had that experience!
Reading these books has certainly made me closer to the other side (which I will cover more in depth in Part 3) and I could talk, for hours, about the things I learned from Mr. Van Praagh's books. However, I think this blog post is enough - along with other tidbits on the right side of this post. If you feel you would like to learn more about a medium's life, keep these things in mind:
1. Make sure you set clear boundaries about what sort of spirit you want to enter your life and home because these books - if you believe them - will open you to a closer connection to the spiritual realm!
2. Mediums connect to their spirit guides, or their guardian angels, if you will. They may encourage you to pray to them - this is wrong. While a guardian angel is there to protect and guide you, they do not want you to pray to them and they will get any message they may need through you speaking to them directly, or by praying to God!
3. Most mediums also believe in re-incarnation. I believe almost everything James Van Praagh has written about is true, but this is one thing I do not believe! I have done some research on this topic and will discuss it further in my next post, however, I will caution those of you who are easily swayed to read up more on this topic (if you feel it may be confusing to your current beliefs) before you are confronted with someone who believes in re-incarnation.
I very strongly recommend The Celestine Prophecy as a good read! Below is a clip from the movie. It's called: giving and receiving energy. It is a bit cheesy to see the energy floating around the people, but I think it illustrates the point very well! The woman is talking about a piece of ancient manuscript that has insights about how to live your life. (Please ignore the weird koala picture at the end!)