I am lying on a yoga mat listening to the instructor’s voice. She is telling me to breathe into my belly, to feel it expand. I rest my right hand on my chest and feel the swell of it under my palm as my breath pushes upward and my ribs expand. I feel my belly and ribs fall again as the breath leaves my body.
My left hand is lying flat across the mid line my chest. I am completely in the moment of this rise and falling motion, lying on a yoga mat in the movement studio at OMEGA, holistic educational center in Rhinebeck NY. It is my first evening here. I have come to attend a five day workshop with James Van Praagh which is to begin the following day. But for now I am moving into the stillness of the evening not thinking about the workshop, or what might happen this year: remembering that last year, James, a world renowned spiritual medium bought Jesi through to me and told me how joyful and happy she was in her spirit existence, caring for the horses that had recently passed from this world into the next dimension.
I am not thinking about any of this, but just rejoicing in the peace I am feeling, the steady rising and falling of my chest. Until suddenly I am jolted by a sensation I had not expected. The breath is leaving my body. My hand is on my chest. All the breath has been expelled from it and there is an instant of complete stillness. And in that instant there is a searing sensation, a knowing beyond all doubt. Whether it is a feeling in my body or a knowing in my mind I cannot distinguish. But I absolutely know what it is. It is the moment of Jesi’s passing and it is happening in my chest and under my hand where my heart and her heart are suddenly one. I am sensing the moment her heart came to a standstill. I am jolted into this awareness yet simultaneously I understand that this is not her heart, but my heart, that this is not her death, but my life.
This is a message from her that she is present with me, and she will be with me this week.
I breathe in deeply feeling my chest and heart expand beneath my hand. And as with all the sudden appearances of Jesi’s spirit, I want that moment to come again. And again. But it doesn’t, so I relive it in my mind while the instructor’s voice recedes into the background.
Three days later I walk into the group to begin the morning session of the workshop. I am not wearing my usual black jeans and layering of tee shirts and sweaters. I am wearing a long brown skirt and a green shirt with swirls of brown and gold sparkles and I have thrown a flowing green scarf with silver threads woven through it over my shoulders that reaches down past my waist. When I enter James looks up and I sense he notices the change in me. Today I have vowed I will share my experience of Jesi’s visit and her presence with the group. During the morning discussion of experiences from the previous day (or days) I raise my hand asking for the microphone. I find it difficult to speak in front of groups. (The times I have, such as after Jesi passed away and I spoke in front of hundreds of people at the Light the Night walk for Leukemia, I knew I was the only the conduit for some light greater than myself to speak through me. The words that came out of my mouth flowed effortlessly and spontaneously. I still have no idea how or what happened that night under the stars and in front of all those lights. But I’m sure Jesi’s spirit was somehow responsible.) Surely, I think, Jesi is with me now. I nervously roll the mic between one palm and the other while waiting for the previous speaker to finish, desperately trying to focus on what they are saying and on the ensuing conversation, not on my own partly rehearsed script. When it comes to my turn, I put the mic to my lips and begin by telling of my experience in the relaxation class on the evening I arrived at OMEGA. And how I knew beyond a doubt that it was Jesi.
“I was both startled, felt a pang of the loss of her, but mostly I knew that she sending me the message that she was with me this week,” I told the group.
Then I continued, “Last year at this workshop, you did a reading of my daughter, James. You showed me how light and free and happy she is in the spirit world. I went home from the week feeling so much better than when I arrived. Like my spirit had been lifted in knowing Jesi’s spirit was happy….
Yesterday in one of our partner exercises Jesi came through again, and my partner who sensed her also felt her light and joyful spirit. She described her as impish and playful. A perfect description of Jesi. I’ve been in the doldrums this past summer. Going through a real period of grieving Jesi as her twin sister prepared and left for college. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to get out of coming here this year. I came without any expectations. All I knew was that I needed a kick start to get me back on track. I had forgotten that Jesi is light and energy and full of joy in her real home in the spirit world, I have been so wrapped up in my own loss. Being reminded not only that Jesi is full of light and free from pain but that she is really here with me… only not physically… is just what I needed to be reminded of. I can be sad at my loss of her physical presence but happy at her being free from pain.”
Then I handed the microphone back for the next person to speak.
Later that morning, at the break one of the other members of the group came up to me and thanked me for sharing my story. She told me how she could sense my light as well as my grief, and how she appreciated that. I remember thinking Wow, I never realized I would be giving others a gift by speaking up. My partner from the previous day’s reading who had bought Jesi through also thanked me for sharing the story and validating her experience too.
On the final morning of the workshop I also received a wonderful gift.
We were working in groups of five doing speed mediumship readings. I was sitting on the end of a row, this time a “client” being read by each of five “mediums” sitting across from me. James was circling the room checking with us as we worked. He came over to me and my partner and knelt beside us.
“How are you going?” he asked.
“Good,” I replied. My partner was bringing through my father.
“You’ve lost a child,” James said nodding at me. “A boy?”
“No, a daughter” I replied.
Then he turned to my partner, the medium and said. “Her energy is strong. Very loving. See if you can pick up the love.”
At that point my heart started to open up. It was as if it were a pair of lips that having an allergic. I could feel it swelling up inside me.
“I can,” I replied.
“You got it?” James was asking my partner. “That’s you’re way in. Just let yourself feel her love.”
My partner then was able to pick up on Jesi and give me a message from her. So like Jesi too, to remind me to take care of myself, to trust my instincts and believe in myself!
Then James stood up and walked off to another group. And as he did, I looked up. He gave me a nod and smiled ever so slightly. He put his hand to his mouth and pointed one finger upward to the sky. I couldn’t quite read what it meant. But it was an affirmation. And it was about Jesi.
And it sent me over the moon and into the heavens to her.