Pondering the Pavement

July 3, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed (Part 1)

[As the 14th anniversary of my spiritual journey approaches next month,
I have opted to write about one of those early, faith-altering moments of mine. Enjoy the Enlightenment!]


“Have faith. For faith will carry you above the clouds of doubt and despair
providing a view that is more breathtaking than that of the highest eagle.”

– Robert

 

Perception is everything. If you don’t believe me just let your eyes dance over the brilliantly mind-numbing artwork of E. C. Escher. Sometimes it’s enough to drive you to drink. Is the glass half empty or half full? Or, in my case, it’s simply not what I want because I am craving a cheeseburger. Yup, it’s all a matter of perception. For example: there is an enormous difference between ‘waking up on your own’ and ‘being awakened’. Light sleepers have it easy. It doesn’t take much to get them to a waking state. A simple nudge will suffice. A slight shake of the shoulder or even a polite clearing of the throat will do the trick. Then there are people like me: the ones who can sleep through a hurricane while a marching band storms through the room blasting any given high school ‘fight song’ and not even flinch. To get me out of my hibernation I have to be bombarded with noise. Not once or twice but a multitude of times. It’s the same process used to rouse me spiritually as well. Lately I’ve had my guides working overtime with chisels and mallets on my skull. They’ve been pounding day in and day out until I finally ‘heard’ them. They’re either a relentless and devoted crew or they get paid a lot for overtime.

I had spent the first seven months of 2003 attending Psychic and Mediumship Development classes in Port Charlotte, Florida. Under the watchful eye of several skilled teachers, I discovered—along with my fellow ‘classmates of life’—that my own abilities ran far deeper than I ever imagined. More importantly, I discovered the normalcy in what I do. We, as a whole, are psychic. It’s not a matter of tapping into it as much as it is allowing yourself to tap into it and accepting it as a part of who and why you are. It’s also great fun at parties and it keeps you entertained when the cable is out. Think of it as shadow puppets but without the physical exertion.

On the Saturday evening after our first class of the month it was customary for one of the instructors to host a group platform demonstration. This is a group reading before an audience of individuals nestling into overactive anticipation of hope and curiosity. The intimate group varies in size and can last anywhere from two to three hours (depending on the chattiness of the Spirits who join us for the evening’s brouhaha). The one thing that is totally predictable with these school sessions is that the medium always picks up on my Spirit Guides. It’s practically a tradition worthy of depiction by Norman Rockwell. While others are being comforted by their great Uncle Hector and Cousin Penelope, I’m getting descriptions of my spiritual entourage. Don’t get me wrong: I have found a lot of comfort and validation in these readings. First and foremost, these experiences have proven to me that I am not schizophrenic. Being bombarded by a deluge of various energies and personalities is overwhelming when you’re not accustomed to the idea. I have to admit that I was questioning my own sanity in the beginning. My first contact with my spirit guides was the equivalent of walking into a bar where everybody really does know your name.

This particular Saturday night was certainly no different. The medium paused in front of me and said, “I hate to do this but I’m seeing another guide.” He took a deep breath as he said, “He’s a Native American.” I was told he was sitting on a rock overlooking the desert facing west. I chuckled and told him that I was planning a trip to Sedona, Arizona, later that month. I had not mentioned this trip to anyone. Well, no one on the physical plane anyway. The woman next to me started laughing. She was wearing a T-Shirt that read “SEDONA” in big bold block lettering. He also described, in great detail, a building that I would find while in Sedona. He said it was vital that I visit this place known only in his vision at this point. He described a large A-Frame log building with a green roof. The front would have very large windows—practically all glass. And there would be a lot of green surrounding it. He said I ‘needed’ to go there. Travel advice from the dead. Who knew?

01_cabinI did some snooping on the Internet later that night and, low and behold, I found the building described to me. It was a place called “Michael’s Vision” which was inspired by the Archangel Michael. I have a special connection to Michael (which is another story unto itself) so it all fell into place. I like to think of Archangel Michael as my personal archangel and I just happen to be generous enough to share him with the rest of the world. I also like to think that Michael pretends to find me funny. Yeaaaaaah. Sure he does.

I downloaded the photo from the website and showed it to the medium in residence the next morning. The first words out of his mouth were, “Are you going to buy that place?” I didn’t tell him but the property was indeed up for sale. Location! Location! Location!

Just prior to my trip to Sedona one of my guides, Oliver—who is usually a man of few words—chimed in with one lone simple sentence that ended up dominating my every thought for over a week: “Eagles. Go with the eagles.”

I asked, “What does THAT mean?”

He replied dryly, “You’ll find out.” I couldn’t see him, of course, but I just knew he was smirking. Well, yee-haw, Katie bar the door ‘cuz we’re gonna have some fun now (said in my best trailer trash accent)!

* * *

I arrived in Sedona late on a hot Tuesday night in late July with nothing more than bewildered anticipation and a bottle of sun block. I didn’t know what to expect and, frankly, I liked that idea. I’ve always hated planning and structure. I find the surrealistically whimsical approach to be best for me. Reality just bogs me down. Why balance my checkbook when I can create? Of course I was keeping an eye peeled for ANY references to eagles. I figured I would either find some earth shattering revelation connected to eagles or I would discover that Oliver has one perverse sense of humor. At that point in time both seemed utterly plausible.

Wednesday morning was spent at The Angel Valley Ranch in Sedona, which is home to the creator of “Michael’s Vision” described earlier. My connection to the Archangel Michael took me to that place. I found myself quietly surrounded by the watchful protection of Michael for quite some time now and I’m always excited when other connections to him present themselves. Since Angel Valley was dropped in my lap and who am I to say ‘no’? I was raised better than that and my Momma didn’t raise no dummies. My grandparent’s helped.

My guide on the ranch was the man who put the whole thing together and his name is—as hard as this may be to believe—Michael. Well, go figure. Michael, a slender man matching my 6’ stature, has a very calming presence about him. It’s as if he is ‘tranquility’ personified. He didn’t even seem upset that I was nearly 30 minutes late. My tardiness was a result of my inability to find my own ass without a detailed map. I could get lost in a phone booth. Upon my arrival, and after introductions were made, we began walking. I assumed he knew where we were going so I blindly followed…the whole time mulling over whether I should leave a trail of bread crumbs.

I said to him, “I don’t recall the last time I heard this much quiet.”

“You don’t have that in California,” he said. It wasn’t a question. It was a statement of fact that was based, I later found out, on personal experience.

“No, there isn’t,” I replied. “My idea of a quiet evening is when I don’t have to listen to my neighbor’s car alarm.”

He smiled. “And yet you’re still there.” He led us to the left toward a small bridge. “You’re the one in control, Charles.”

“I like California,” I said, “but I feel I need a change.”

Again, he said matter-of-factly, “You’re the one in charge.” Then, out of the blue, Michael asked me, “What do you want, Charles?”

Silly mortal that I am, I replied, “I want to find out what’s next in my spiritual growth.”

Michael was kind enough to not laugh outwardly at me. We walked to a circle of rocks beneath a tree near the bridge and a stream. The tree seemed to envelope us within its limbs, like a mother protecting her young. We headed for a small circle of rocks near its trunk. He asked me to sit on a rock that ‘spoke’ to me. After pushing images of Jim Henson’s ‘Fraggle Rock’ out of my mind I did so and he sat on my right at a 90 degree angle. We sat for about an hour-and-a-half ‘just talking’. It was honestly better than any therapy that I’d ever had (and trust me that’s been a LOT—not wanting to brag). After a while he asked me again, “What do you want?” He made me really think that time. After a pause I was surprised to find myself answering, “I want to feel.” Michael smiled and said, “Now we’re getting somewhere.”

I turned myself off physically years ago. I became an extremely cerebral being at a very young age. For example, I don’t FEEL that I’m in love. I KNOW I am in love. I don’t FEEL tired. I KNOW I’m tired. Get it? There is a simple variation of the descriptions—replacing one word for another—but it is a massive difference. At the risk of repeating myself: perception is everything. It’s also one of the few things that I simply do not think about. Physical emotions get in the way. Thoughts are far more logical. Not to mention far more satisfying.

Michael and I discussed the importance of the opening of the charkas, especially the heart. This is, of course, one of the two that I feel I have the most difficulties. I’ve noticed that even during chakra meditations my mind will wander off during the exercise covering the heart chakra: My conscious and subconscious working together to avoid that little demon. Nothing like teamwork, eh? When it’s time to work on the heart chakra my mind goes off into an infomercial for the ‘Amazing Space-Age Insta-Juicer 2000 Buttering Wand and Candle Maker’ (or something equally intriguing) then returns in time for the throat chakra exercise.

“What excites you?” he asked. “What do you really love to do?”

“Obviously, I like drawing…” I began to say.

“Not ‘like’. Listen to me: ‘what do you really love to do?’ See what I’m saying?” I nodded as he began telling me his own personal story. How he realized that he didn’t really have anything in his life that ‘excited’ him. Once he realized this he ventured out on a cross-country trek. With what little he owned in his car and seven dollars in his pocket he drove from California to Pennsylvania. When he arrived in The Keystone State he had thirty-two dollars in his pocket…and a lot more faith. One tale in particular stuck with me: as he was driving through one state he noticed he was not only nearly out of gas but in the middle of nowhere, population zero. He kept saying to himself, ‘I need money. I need money. Where am I going to get money?’ Finally, he said he heard a ‘chorus of angels’ say to him, “You dummy! You don’t need money! What you need is gas!”

Again, it’s all a matter of perception. I have to admit I’m a bit jealous. I really would love to have a chorus of angels call me a dummy.

He realized they were right. Once he made peace with that idea he came upon a farm house just off the road. He said he considered it a miracle. He pulled into the road leading to the home and prayed for ‘the kindness of strangers’. The farmer had seen him turn onto his property and was waiting for him. Michael explained he was almost out of gas and definitely out of money and hoped that the man could spare him a couple gallons so he could continue his journey. Without hesitation the man began filling the fuel tank from his own supply. After a few minutes of friendly banter the man asked Michael, “What does your gauge say now?” The tank was full. The man said, “Now that didn’t take long, did it?”

“Like I told you, Charles, you’re the one in charge,” Michael said. “There comes a time in your life when you need to change patterns. You must want this. I faced that moment myself and I just told the universe ‘I’m done!’ and I meant it. When you accept that you are at that place in your life the Universe will work with you and in the time frame you desire. Do you want to change in a week? A month? A year? It’s up to you.” He smiled knowingly. “Finding what it is that truly excites you is part of that change. Find it and do it. Stop saying what you think people want you to say and say what you feel.”

There’s that infernal “F” word again.

And then that bastard had the nerve to ask just one more time: “What do you want?” I briefly considered knocking him in the head with a Twinkie and running for my car in a flurry of dust and gravel. However, my disdain for physical exertion, combined with my overall almost religious devotion to mass produced cream-filled pastry, prevented me from taking that blasphemous route. So I had no option but to tell the truth. I said, “I want to own what I feel.”

There. I said it. Happy now?

Michael sent me out on my own to ‘just go where your excitement takes you.’ No expectations, no rules to go by. Just do…whatever. As I started off on my odd quest Michael asked, “What brought you here?” Without thinking I replied, “I’m here on a wing and a prayer.” He smiled and said, “That’s all you really need.”

After climbing to the top of a hill I was most pleased to see that I could appreciate the beauty all around me before dying of a massive combination heat stroke and coronary. I decided to do some breathing exercises and meditations. I then announced to the Universe that upon completion of this exercise I would have a better insight to this eagle ‘dilemma’. Once the exercises had concluded I opened my eyes and what did I see but an AIRBORNE EXPRESS van driving through the valley below. As is my custom in these situations, I simply burst out laughing.

02_creekAfter traipsing around in 108 degree heat I found a most inviting creek. Without rationalizing in any way, I wandered out into the middle of it, beneath a waterfall, and plopped myself down in it. It was WONDERFUL! I just sat there for about an hour just letting the waterfall soak me from head to toe. So, as this ‘city boy’ was communing with nature he was totally unaware that the contents of his back pack were being ruined. This included his small art portfolio that he had placed in there and had conveniently forgotten about its existence. Twelve years of work GONE.

The screaming that came with the discovery of this mistake later in the day has been rumored to set off seismographs in a 550 mile radius. Tides altered. Animals ran from the forest in a panic. Natives in the mountains made up songs about it. A group of tourists were lost in an avalanche in the Grand Canyon. However, they were all lawyers so no one really noticed, or cared, that they were missing.

Was this a sign that I would NOT be moving to Sedona? Was it a sign to say that I was there to grow spiritually and not focus on my artwork? Perhaps it was meant as more proof that I need to change everything. Or it could be just my own obliviousness to the reality that I’ve created around me. A friend of mine told me ‘Sometimes we have to throw out what we think we know in order to really learn something.’ You know what I learned? I learned that I was pissed! How’s that for a friggin’ life lesson?

I tried meditating Wednesday night but had no success. My mind was everywhere… except where it should have been. My first full day in Sedona had proven to be, for the most part, a major disaster (or so I thought at that moment in time). I had HVincentoriginally planned to have lunch with a woman named Heather that afternoon. She is a fellow artist and psychic who also happens to be the niece of the very first psychic I ever met. I had been talking with Heather’s Aunt Donna for a decade yet she NEVER had the urge to speak of Heather until I had made my plans to visit Sedona. The fact that I had an interest in psychic phenomenon coupled with my being an artist was never enough for Donna to drag Heather into the conversation. But, once I made the plans, Donna just couldn’t shut up about Heather. I couldn’t just shrug it off as a mere coincidence.

However, as things were going from bad to worse, Heather and I did not get together as planned. I spent more time than originally planned at the ranch so, by the time I called her Wednesday evening, she seemed ‘disinterested’. She said she would call me back later that night and we’d finalize plans for the next afternoon. The phone did not ring again the rest of the night.

The next morning I was livid. Tossing aside the wealth of self reflection I had attained at the Ranch on Wednesday I was considering this trip to be nothing short of a farce. I was disgusted beyond belief. My life’s work was ruined. Heather, who I thought would be a great connection for me, was a no-show. I was spending money that I did not have. I exclaimed, “SCREW IT” (in far more descriptive terms than I care to post here) and decided right then and there that I was going home. If I could not get my ticket changed at no charge I was going to just live at the airport until Saturday and sulk.

“Pity Party of One? Your table is ready!”

I’d had it. I was walking away and not looking back. The instant I made that poorly chosen mock-decision the telephone rang. It was Heather apologizing for not getting back to me the night before and asking if we could meet on Friday instead of Thursday. I took a deep breath, kicked myself for doubting and enthusiastically agreed. I hung up the phone and just muttered to anyone within earshot, “Well, I guess you told me, huh?”

There’s no way to prove it, of course, but I’m convinced Archangel Michael was, at that very moment, muttering something along the lines of, “Neener neener boo boo.” Remember that whole “I like to think Michael finds me funny” comment earlier? I hope he does, too.

I walked down the street to a local Denny’s for lunch. It would be rather absurd to walk down the street to a non-local Denny’s wouldn’t it? “I’m going to Albuquerque for a bite. See you on Thursday!” It just doesn’t work. I was served by a lovely young lady named Brooke who was in possession of one of the most radiant smiles I’ve ever seen. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with apple sauce instead of fries. Brooke asked, “Are you on that weird Atkins Diet?” I looked at her, shaking my head ‘no’, totally bewildered how anyone can accuse me of being on any kind of diet. She said, “A lot of people come in here that are on the Atkins Diet and they will get applesauce instead of fries. Then they will eat the burger but not the bread, ya know?”

I smiled and said, “I just happen to really like applesauce.”

She smiled and said, “Well that’s a better excuse than being on Atkins! That’s just wrong!” I had to admit I agreed with her. Then she asked, “Are you traveling?”

“You have no idea,” I said dryly.

“Where are you headed?”

“Here.” I paused for a moment. “Sedona. Not Denny’s.” Sometimes it’s best to clarify.

She laughed and asked, “Where are you from?”

Chatty little thing, isn’t she? I told her I was currently hailing from southern California where everything should be stamped AS SEEN ON TV.

“That’s funny. Most people leave here to visit there instead of the other way around. What brought you here?”

My first instinct was to say “an airplane” but opted against it. I thought, “oh what the hell?” and I said, “You could say I’m here on a spiritual pilgrimage. No real rhyme or reason. I’m just traveling on a wing and a prayer.”

She said, “Oh, really?”

Then I decided to ‘go for broke’. I said, “I’ve discovered I have this wacky ability to talk to the dead.” I paused. “They talk to me, I talk to them, and wackiness ensues.” I looked at her fully expecting her to scream “HERETIC” at the top of her lungs while dousing me in holy water. I had a straw poised for action just in case. I was parched.

She flashed that smile and said, “Oh, I understand. My whole family is like that.”

I was dumbfounded. I’ve had several friends who have packed up their old kit bag and got out of Dodge when they found out I was getting into mediumship. I’ve even had one in particular tell me that she was afraid I was losing my mind. She went on to tell me she would do ‘anything’ within her power to get me help if it got ‘out of hand’. And here was a total stranger telling me it was as normal as ordering applesauce in place of fries. Sometimes you just have to change your diet. Replacing fries with applesauce doesn’t take away from the meal as a whole but merely changes it. The nutrition is there—even enhanced—and it just takes some time to stop craving the fries. You don’t have to stop eating all together. Just alter your diet. As Michael told me: “I’m done!” I never knew wisdom could be found in a Denny’s. Gum under the tables, sure, but not insight.

moving2To Be Continued…

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2 Comments »

  1. I absolutely LOVE this story! It definitely leaves me wanting to hear MORE!!!

    Comment by Tracey — July 4, 2015 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  2. Wow, I was feeling having my own pity party this morning. I opened up your e-mail this morning because I needed a brain break from my own self-punishing thoughts. When I started to read your blog I kept thinking of my last reading with you. You told me about I was in an airplane, in the cockpit, I was in control and I should enjoy the ride. There were several other things that resonated with your reading. Yes, I took notes and still have them. I am so grateful to the All That Is, in reminding me again that I am in control, not my emotions. Thanks Charles.

    Comment by Maria P — July 4, 2015 @ 6:50 pm | Reply


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