Pondering the Pavement

July 1, 2019

Self-Expression Mirrors Self-Reflection

Beautiful woman businesswoman in front of a mirror with a reflec

“Often we’re recreating what we think we’re supposed to be as human beings. What we’ve been told we’re supposed to be, instead of who we authentically are. The key about the creation of full self-expression is to be authentically who you are, to project that.”

– James Cromwell

 

* * *

 

I’ve never been a fan of astrology. It’s not that I don’t believe in the significance of it. I’m just not interested. It fries on the same back burner as UFOs, the Akashic Records, and salads. But I do have a legitimate interest in numerology. (Can a bastard can have a legitimate anything? Point to ponder…)

It’s weird that I would take a shining to numerology because I have always had a valid hate/hate relationship with math. If someone suggests I balance my checkbook, I get an uncontrollable urge to see how long I can perch it on the end of my nose. I’m convinced that algebra, like disco, is just a cruel, sick hoax that spiraled way outta control.

In the delightful world of numerology, I am a “six.” And being a “six” is all about self-expression. Nail meet head, right? I’ve never had a problem with expressing myself, much to the chagrin of some (that’s what makes it fun, don’cha know?). I’ve spewed my philosophies around all willy-nilly for the vast majority of my buy-in-bulk life. Since I speak fluent sarcasm, I’ve had no problem expressing myself verbally.

One of the top three compliments I’ve ever received (yes, I keep a running list of favorite things said about me…don’t you?), was when a longtime friend said, “Charles is completely capable of disemboweling you with his tongue and you’ll walk away laughing without even realizing you’re bleeding.” That quote is going on my headstone.

I also find a natural outlet on paper, both in drawing and writing. Sometimes, for the Woodsy Owl hoot, I’ll combine all three. I believe the phrase “the perfect storm” has been used a few times to accurately describe that delightful experience (anyone pick up on the sarcasm there?).

When my mother cashed in her chips a couple years ago, I was reminded of just how far back my flair for self-expression goes. She saved everything, from every grade school paper to receipts for furniture she purchased in the late 1940s (you never know when you’ll want to return a cedar chest).

When I flipped through the memories, I was reminded that I had a “habit” of drawing cartoons on all my mimeographed worksheets in elementary school. I’d rush through the test, turn the paper over, and start doodling. It was all pretty much the same theme: two jagged cliffs on either side of the paper. A bridge, now collapsed, had at one time connected the two precipices. There were jagged rocks and/or stalagmites jutting upward at the bottom of the great abyss. Once I had set the stage, I added countless hurling bodies falling to the rocks below. Then I’d cover the piece in multiple word balloons all screaming one word and one word only: HELP!

Self-expression that was, I assure you, totally ignored by the powers that be in the 1960s West-By-Gawd-Virginia Educational System. I enjoyed creating the scribbles (poor man’s therapy, I suppose). My teacher was annoyed with my perseverance of such a useless activity. Admittedly, her irritation was just a juicy cherry atop the whipped cream covered graphite sundae. I just drew what I felt needed to be drawn. And, in my mediumship, I say what needs to be said. I didn’t self-edit when I was a kid, and I certainly don’t do it now.

Show of hands… who’s shocked? Anyone?

One of my biggest belly-flops in the community pool of self-expression took place in 1976. I was a nerd who was fully immersed in Bicentennial Fever. (Woo Hoo! A timely Fourth of July theme!) I even managed to convince my family that we should travel to Philadelphia for our annual family vacation that summer. That’s the equivalent of starting your Christmas shopping around 9:30 p.m. on December 24th and expecting no one else to be at the mall.

CAF_BicentenialShirtI read any and all bicentennial themed literature I could get my hands on. I had t-shirts covered in images of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. I memorized the Presidents in order because I thought it would be “cool” (obviously, it wasn’t). If it had a 1776 theme then, by-gum-by-golly, I was interested in it. I was so unrelatable, the other nerds wouldn’t hang with me.

I thought I struck euphoric gold when Kellogg’s announced a bicentennial contest. They asked for drawings of any historic figure from the American Revolution eating a well-balanced breakfast. The meal, of course, had to include any of the sugary nuggets Kellogg’s offered at the time. If your drawing was selected, you would win a prize of — are you ready for this? — a $5 weekly allowance for a whole year! That’s right, I would get a whopping $260 over a 52-week period. I was stoked. How could I miss? This aspiring cartoonist was a friggin’ shoe-in!

I knew I had to think outside the box in order to get noticed. Everyone would be drawing the same historical figures: Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, et al. I had come up with someone more obscure. I needed a subject that would really show I had thought long and hard on the project. I racked my brain, stewing on it for days. Finally, as if clubbed over the head by the mallet of inspiration, I had it! A sure-fire attention grabber. Someone who would truly express my unique brand of creativity.

I chose Nathan Hale. Yup. You read that right. That Nathan Hale. The guy the Brits hanged for spying.

I drew Hale standing on the gallows, noose secured around his neck. Naturally, he was eating a bowl of cereal. The hooded executioner was standing off to the side holding a tray of bacon, eggs, and a big ol’ glass of OJ. As Hale held a spoonful of cereal to his open mouth, he said, “I only regret that I can eat but one breakfast for my country.”

Yuh-huh. I really did. And I was convinced that I would win. I was sure no one even came close to what I had created (and I’m sure I was right on that assumption). This may come as a shock to you—because it certainly was to me at the time—my cartoon was not selected. I guess I was just too far ahead of my own time. Ahem.

Looking back, I can honestly say I was never upset or angry that my entry wasn’t chosen as a winner. I was perfectly comfortable knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that I did my very best (keep in mind that “my best” is usually wedged somewhere between someone else’s “deranged” and “twisted”). I was true to myself. I trusted my instinct. The judges just weren’t ready for me. Yet.

I must admit, though, that I’ve found myself often wondering about all those unsuspecting souls sorting through the contest submissions all those years ago. Did they find my cartoon funny in a Not Suitable For Work kind of way? Or did they join in a communal prayer circle, thanking God Almighty that they were a (realistically) safe distance from a very fucked up kid over 400 miles away in West Virginia.

My instincts, for lack of a better term, tend to work in my favor. Sure, they usually take me around Gobbler’s Knob as the crow flies to get me where I need to be, but still, they work. It’s said that the journey is as important as the destination. And my journey is a vast array of odd souvenir stands populated with items stamped with the standard WISH YOU WERE HERE sentiment. Mine, however, usually end with a question mark.

WishYouWereHere_SQ_NewsletterThe toughest uphill battles in remaining true to myself are always the ones I’m the most comfortable with completing. If it’s a pain in my tuckus, then By-God, it’s the right choice. At the forefront of this list of self-making choices is my choice of the style of my mediumship. If you’ve seen me work, you know I am anything but cut from the cloth of the norm. I am not soft-spoken and gentle in my delivery. I am blunt, direct and I shoot from the hip (often grazing an innocent bystander or two in the process). And, more than anything, it’s all interwoven tightly with long strands of humor that ties it all together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been chastised more than once for my style over the years. The judgments have come from both audiences and fellow mediums alike. Hell, I even had a spirit coming through in a reading complain about me! But, according to the sitter, her grandmother’s dislike for me was very fitting with the late woman’s personality. I didn’t take offense to it (I can’t be offended—it’s scientifically impossible), but it took me a couple years and several readings to accept how it all works for / through me.

Then, within the cozy confines of a relatively innocent conversation, my POV was changed out for a much stronger, brighter bulb.

See, there was a fellow reader I had personally dubbed, “The Chameleon Medium.” He had a knack of taking on the mannerisms, catchphrases, and overall working style of others in the field. He would even start dressing like other mediums! Like Disney and all their “live action” remakes, it would have killed him to do something original.

One evening, I found myself at a large social brouhaha jam packed with a slew of those New Age sorts. I was blessed to spend some time with Peter Close, a charming medium from the UK. I was working the refreshment stand (what kind of unreliable psychics put the fat guy in charge of the food?). Peter commented that I must have been a tavern’s barkeep in a past life since it came so naturally to me. I shrugged it off, explaining it was my love of carbohydrates that drove me to do my best. As we chatted, the Chameleon walked by, attempting to impress anyone who was willing to listen and watch. Peter looked at me, grinning, his eyes twinkled, and said, “That’s just not you, is it?”

I shook my head, chuckling. “No, it’s not.”

“Charles,” Peter emphasized in a capitalization and italicized sort of way, “You know what I mean?”

Well, I certainly did. And there’s been no turning back. In the early days, I’d hold readings where I’d just do them the way I thought I was supposed to give them. Lots of reserved commentary, quiet nodding, the usual lack-luster shebang. But I just couldn’t find my stride. Then I finally tossed the reins aside like an unwanted side dish of kale and let myself shine through in my natural, garish light. Ya know what? I find more and more embrace my delivery service with great enthusiasm. Time and time again I will hear how my off-the-wall style actually puts them at ease—especially with those who have never, until then, experienced mediumship.

One even said, “I personally think your style is unique and a refreshing… I’m so tired of watching mediums that all sound alike and seem to be following a formula. We need more mediums like YOU out there working.” Far be it from me to argue with that logic! The way I see it, those who come to me are led here for a reason. Either all parties involved will benefit greatly from the experience, or they must learn living a life as an easily offended wuss is just not an option (I may be lightly paraphrasing, but you get the idea).

What’s the moral of this story? Is there a moral? If I had to say so, it’s just a reminder that no matter how outlandish or seemingly ridiculous your self-expression may seem to others, you owe it to yourself to be true to it and to yourself.

Self-expression, like points of view or beliefs, change over time. Sometimes subtly, other times radically so. It’s all a part of living, growing, experiencing all that comes before you. One of the frequent messages I get from those on the other side are regrets that they didn’t allow themselves more flexibility in their own lives. Sorry that they remained so steadfast in beliefs that were nothing more than excuses to not trust their own heart, values, and instincts.

I was stoked about my Kellogg’s submission. However, now, I find it just bizarrely hysterical. Anyone who knows me would hear that story and immediately think, “Yup. That’s Charles.” And, despite the adoptee moniker, that’s who I’ve ever really tried to be: Charles.

My art and my writing are just like my mediumship: completely and totally mine. Just as your life should be built around being you. Be kind to yourself, and others. And be flexible. It’s OK to change and rearrange. Only make a point to be the one who instigates the change as well as the one who carries it out.

 

* * *

 

“OK, fine. But remember, “bee” yourself.”
– Genie (“Aladdin” 1992)

February 12, 2016

Speak It, Teach It

AlgebraI helm a weekly mediumship development circle every Sunday in Signal Hill. Some of you are, in all probability, scratching your head over this one. If you know me, you also know that teaching is not one of my favorite pastimes. Teaching ranks right down there with holiday family dinners, raisins and Country Caterwauling that some insist is music. I’ve always assumed my dislike for teaching stems from my lifelong loathing of school in general. I often feel like the character in the Far Side cartoon asking his teacher, “Mr. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.” I was bored to tears the vast majority of the time back in my school days. And it wasn’t because I was some unearthly genius, either. Good heavens, no. I just resented anyone telling me what to do. (A delightful quirk that I clutch onto with a stubborn death grip to this very day.) Even then I knew the path my life would be taking. I was going to be a cartoonist and that journey would not involve algebra or geometry. I guess you could say, upon reflection, that little snippet was one of my earliest psychic predictions. Move over, Psychic Twins, there’s a new Criswell on the block.

I’ll let you know if Terry and Linda ever speak to me again after that comment…

So, why on earth (or any other plane of existence you prefer) did I decide to take on this class? That’s a damn fine question. Honestly, I did it out of sheer boredom. I was looking to shake things up, do something different, so I put that desire out there to my Guides. When will I ever learn? Once again, Robert and the Gang opted to take me at my word and toss me in head first. Way to go, Guys and Gals. The class had originally been taught by someone else, but he moved out of the area. A couple of his students approached me and asked if I would be interested in stepping in as their new teacher. Great Googly Moogly, what were they thinking? SERIOUSLY? That’s like putting me in charge of the dessert cart. You just know nothing good is going to come from it.

When I teach, I like to push the envelope, test new ideas, take students down unfamiliar pathways. It’s fun to dive into the deep end of the pool without an inflatable clown-character raft. Not knowing what will happen is a great spiritual aphrodisiac.

My personal theory is that your connection with your own Spirit Guides is singularly the most important aspect of this work. The stronger the communication, the personal connection, the clearer the corridor. This connection can take you to uncharted places with unbridled passion. The more I discover, the more I want to know. The more I know, the more I want to share with anyone within a somewhat interested earshot. I’m not one for rambling lectures. The learning—the excitement—is in the doing, not in the humdrum listening and waiting.

So, to keep things lively, I’ve opened the door to channeling for my band of students. I’ve shown them exercises in meeting with their Spirit Guides—hobnobbing with them if you will—and even their Higher Selves. I’ve taken them to the next stage of conversing with them through Automatic Writing (a true passion for me). Channeling seemed like the logical next step along the way. This builds trust as well as comfort in your connection to your Spiritual Peeps, your Crew. I assure you that channeling is NOT for everyone. But it will allow you to better feel, and understand, the energy of your own Guides. This comes in especially handy for those times when you think, “I can’t feel my Guides around me! Where are they?” We all do it from time to time. Trust me on this. You will, by merely raising your own sensitivity and awareness, find that statement will all but completely vanish from your daily diatribe. And how cool would THAT be?

I know what you’re saying… “Hey, Charles, it sure sounds like you’re teaching right now!” Yeah, whatEVER. I’m doing it at two in the morning while nibbling on a cold frosted strawberry Pop-Tart and sipping an ice-cold glass of milk. My class, my rules.

The class had some major breakthroughs this past week. I was extremely proud of my students and their accomplishments (Pop-Tarts would have improved the experience but, hey, you can’t have everything). Some very intense messages, emotionally as well as philosophically, came through each student. There’s nothing like a good dose of self awareness to wake you up in the middle of the afternoon. Normally, I will go into channel first in order to set the tone of the exercise. It is also good for students who have never experienced anything like this to see a bit of the possibilities lying ahead for them. Last week, however, I was told in no uncertain terms, I had to wait until the end. While unhappy about being told what to do, I begrudgingly admitted that They are always right. Just like my editor, but I digress… So, like a good whipping boy, I waited.

When I channel, privately or in public demonstrations, I discover there is a protocol. Robert always opens and closes the session. He has a ritual that he has gone through since day one. Then he will move onto whatever topic he deems necessary for those in attendance. Once he takes care of his agenda others may, from time to time, pop in for more commentary. It is interesting to hear the view points of the others. They merely offer their take, their spin, on Robert’s initial message. Once they are finished Robert will pop back in with a quick summation or message and then off they go. Robert, and Robert alone, always opens the floor for a Q&A when I am giving a public channeling demonstration. He doesn’t bother with personal questions (“Should I move to another town,” etc). He is looking for questions of a Universal, a more spiritual, nature. “If you broaden your mind you will surely enhance your intentions,” Robert says, “Imagine the possibilities within THAT!” The ONLY time this protocol was broken was during a demo at The Owl’s Lantern in Fullerton, CA, a few years ago. Robert had taken a couple of inquiries from those in attendance, as is his custom. Then one woman asked a question and, much to everyone’s surprise, Robert stepped aside and allowed Dondi to speak! This was the first and, as of this date, the only time that has occurred.

A little background on Dondi. He is a three-dimensional version of the comic strip character by Irwin Hasen. He is about 5 or 6 years of age. His love of life is contagious. It’s really fitting because I am a cartoonist, as you know, AND I’m an adoptee. The whole package is once again wrapped up neatly and beautifully. Realizing that my Joy Guide is a 5 year old REALLY explains a lot about me, doesn’t it?

Anyway… Dondi answered her question and then Robert returned to continue. I later discovered that the woman who asked the question had a daughter whose name is Dondi AND she was named after the comic strip character! So, once again, proof that the interaction is never random. There’s always a reason. ALWAYS. We may not get it at the time but, trust me, one day it will all come together.

You’re wondering what Robert had to say this past Sunday, aren’t you? Well, speculate no more, for here are Their words. Happy mulling!

 

ROBERT

“I am here, Charles. I am Robert. I will answer your questions at this time. I am here, on your right, as always.

“Lovely to see you. More lovely to see your experiences today. Intoxicating, isn’t it? This is to be understandable. For some, it is very new. And, with the newness, comes intensity, fascination, sadness. But not [sadness] in a sorrowful way. Perhaps a sadness of what you may have missed by not pursuing this communiqué sooner. A sadness for missing emotion of the heart. Sadness of not really believing… not mentioning any names. (Whispers) Is Kevin listening? (loudly) HAHA!

[FYI: Kevin and I are both life-long members of The Bull-Headed Skeptics Club. We have a secret handshake and everything.]

“Your ways are not foreign to us [Kevin]. If you had to work with this (pointing to self) you would understand. HAHA! It is true. He HAS driven me to drink. HAHA!

“Right now, the levity felt in your hearts, in your consciousness… do you feel that? (Snaps fingers 5 times) The guards come down so you may see. And what you see, my friends, is but merely the beginning. If you never do this again you will always have this experience. But, since you have touched it, taken it, you want to try it again, don’t you? Again… intoxicating. Allow the excitement, the wonder, the curiosity to lead you, entice you and, most importantly, BE you.

“Your soul craves the connection of ‘home’. The body knows it is home but you understand, now, the duality. What you see is not always what you get. For what you are seeing is always a little more complicated. Look beyond what SEEMS in order to see what IS.”

 

PAMELA

“Oh, he’s not going to be happy that I’m here. (Long sigh, as if exhaling smoke)

“Hello, my friends. I… am… Pamela. I am, as my host would say, a bit of a smart ass. But would you expect anything else? (Whispers) I don’t think so.

“Robert speaks of what is seen, what is felt, what is processed (she pronounced it as PRO-cessed). *I* understand the individual versions of what your eyes, what your mind, tells you. Rebeka, Love, first word that comes to your mind when I say the word, ‘Radio’?”

Rebeka: Frequency.

“Shawn… same question.”

Shawn: Transmission.

“Two different answers! Which is correct? Both! ‘Frequency’ for Rebeka, ‘Transmission’ for Shawn. Each of you has a set of, shall we say, encyclopedias in one’s mind, in one’s heart. Rely on these. Rely on these.

“One continually asks for a sign. We are not in the billboard business! But… but… beyond the billboards you seek—or THINK you should see—that is where the signs ARE. That is where the signs are. If you do not understand what you are feeling, focus on what you are seeing. How does THAT make you FEEL? And your answers can be there. It will not always be black and white. WHY? Because you have to work through it. THROUGH IT.

“Why? Why not? Think about that. WHY NOT? To desire knowledge, to crave knowledge, you must first dive into it. Play with it. And let it be whatever it needs to be for you. Each of you.”

 

ROBERT

“I am Robert. With our collective hearts, our collective thoughts, our collective intentions, and, of course, our collective love, you are thanked, you are appreciated. And, until next time, I am done.”

 

With those three little words—I AM DONE—Robert was “gone”. I know he wasn’t truly gone but his focus, his energy, was hurled back from hence it came. I always feel an odd emptiness when he has stepped back. I mean I’m plugged into this intense generator when, all of a sudden, the power source is shut off faster than he can snap my fingers. What never ceases to amaze me is the depth of Their brevity. The messages are always deceivingly short. But, if you re-read them, over and over, you’ll discover such complexity and influence within the few sentences that have been given. I’m always left in a state of awe. I know my own words. I know the pattern and rhythm of my own speech. I stare at the messages given and my first thought is always, “That is NOT me!”

If They can provide words through me that are not my own, then they can just as easily push, poke and prod me into other things that are not necessarily my own preferred actions, such as teaching. It isn’t fully me at the podium. I know that. But, if I truly did not want to teach, I would not be doing it (as much as I hate to admit it). I have had, from the onset, this simple philosophy regarding mediumship: I will quit the instant it stops being fun. The same can be said about teaching, too, I suppose. I like to push my students out of their comfort zone because I know they’ll learn from the experience. My Guides enjoy doing the exact same thing to me. What a friggin’ shock.

The lesson here? You need to embrace each and every part of yourself. The dark and the light, the cozy and the discomfort, the chocolate and the broccoli. It’s all there for a reason. As Pamela asked, “How does THAT make you FEEL?” Mull it over, kids. Class dismissed.

Copyright © 2016, Charles A Filius, All Rights Reserved

January 5, 2016

Playing with Mediumship

11613010_sHaving grown up as an only child, my so-called social life consisted of mingling and hobnobbing my toys. As any only child will attest, you are always on a constant search for new-fangled ways to entertain yourself. Personally, I became very adept at playing most board games as a lone player. I could objectively play games of chess, Monopoly, Life—even Sorry—against myself. I’ve always had a strong love of board games simply because they involve two of my favorite pastimes: concentrating and sitting. Sitting is underrated. It really is. Die-hard sitting takes commitment and determination. Ask anyone with ADHD. One day I will have a pillow embroidered with these soulful words:

“If It Shan’t Be Done Whilst Sitting
Then ‘Tis Not Worth Doing!”

Despite my adoration of those geniuses at Milton Bradley, my favorite toy of all time was my odds-and-ends assortment of various plastic figures. I had accumulated, over time and by no intended purpose, a green draw-string bag filled to the brim with an ill-fitted bevy of cowboys, Indians, astronauts, soldiers and even Presidents. Yes, you read that correctly. I had John Adams and Abe Lincoln in full living color and a plain white Dwight Eisenhower (accurately depicted, I do believe). They stood approximately 2 ½” in height. I have no vivid recollection of how they came to be a part of my collection. They were just always there. Eisenhower’s head was lopsided because, early on, I discovered that I could write on the sidewalk using his Presidential cranium like a piece of chalk. Clearly, I did not like Ike.

I would spend long hours, day after day, immersed in the world I created with my plastic playmates. Each one had a name and a very specific role in our world. There was a band of heroes led by The Professor (an old west doctor holding a medical bag). He was assisted by Alex and Jane (both being Native American figures, red and blue respectively) and Hans (a confederate soldier separated from his regiment when he was caught up in the aftermath of a time machine the Professor had invented—who hasn’t had THAT happen at some point?). A reoccurring character was a Viking named Thor (I pride myself on the originality of names). He was another victim of one of the Professor’s time machine mishaps. Later plots revealed that Thor and Hans had actually been brothers in a previous life. They fought various Batman-Inspired villains such as The Evil Bozo (where DO I come up with these brilliant names anyway?). He was a bendable Gumby-Like Bozo the Clown who had his arms torn off in some freak undisclosed accident. This once beloved circus clown was now engulfed by his hatred of the world. Quite the diabolical mastermind, lemme tell ya.

The point? Each and every one of them was as real as any flesh and blood person in my life. I could retreat myself into them and their plane of reality effortlessly. Some would say that action was a defense mechanism, that I was hiding from something and ignoring reality. I’m sure there is some truth to that notion—what 7 year old doesn’t get their reality and imagination mixed together? Looking back through my trusty Hind-Sight X-Ray Specs, I can “see” how my frolicking imagination was preparing me for my future, both at the drawing board and on the platform.

First is the unfaltering believability of it all. I didn’t think my toys were alive and real. I KNEW it. There wasn’t a doubt in my little, open mind of this. Do you remember your favorite childhood toy? Your doll, teddy bear or train were each a part of your posse. They were your peeps! They had your back! How many of us curled up with our favorite stuffed animal at night KNOWING we would be safe as we slumbered? Our toys were really our first experiences in having faith, the all-knowing sense that it “is”.

Second is the open unobstructed dialogue. I did not just talk FOR my toys, I talked TO them. They heard me and would speak with me in return. The Professor and crew had their own distinct voices and personalities so I could easily tell one from another. I knew how each would react to any given situation. I knew their strong points and weaknesses. I definitely knew one from another.

Finally, I would merely allow the adventure to unfold before me in whatever way it needed. I gave up control of the moment and allowed it to just be what it is. This simple act enables the enjoyment while eradicating the expectations. I discovered that relinquishing control is liberating. Quite the statement for an adult diagnosed as an Early On-Set Control Freak.

In cartooning, my truest love, I have to believe in the characters that I draw. In order for them to make sense to the reader, they MUST make sense to me. They. Are. Real. Then comes the dialogue between creator and character, then character to character, and ultimately character to reader. But, in order for the reader to “hear” them, the initial connection from the creator is an absolute must. In the end I simply let the cartoon draw itself. I may have an initial idea of where it SHOULD be going but, more times than not, I find it going in some other direction. The work always speaks loudly and comfortably on its very own when I allow that to happen.

Nearly verbatim, the same philosophies can be said about mediumship. I truly KNOW the connection is real. I trust The Creator and the connection within. Those in Spirit are as much alive as my toys of yore and my current creations sprawled crossways over Bristol. Once that initial realization is embraced, I latch myself onto the dialogue. Whether it is between me and a Spirit Guide or a “Deceased” Loved One, the exchange, in whatever form it is in, is vital. I allow them to speak their minds, their souls, as they “see” fit. And, finally, I just toss up my hands and do my best to release the control to “Upper Management”. I watch AND listen as it is merely played out.

A trail of breadcrumbs is sprinkled before us from the onset. There are times when the path is crystal freakin’ clear—but rarely. Most of the time it’s a blissful blur of wonder and (alleged) confusion. However, on those cool summer nights of reflection we are given the reward of reasoning. Out of the blue it suddenly makes sense. We finally find the reason ‘why’ dancing right in front of us in a well-choreographed Busby Berkley Extravaganza. “Now I understand,” you’ll say as a smile of knowing, of faith, spreads across your lips.

Make a point, when that AH-HA Moment strikes, to offer your appreciation to all parties involved. The medium and the cartoonist in me are certainly grateful to that imaginative little boy from not so long ago. His daring diversions cast a firm foundation through his misinterpreted monkey business. Through his unplanned playing, I was led to a life of wonder, joy and continual healing laughter. It is misunderstood by some but it has never been, nor will it ever be, misGUIDEd.

Jpeg

The Professor & Crew join forces to battle The Evil Bozo one more time…

 

 Copyright © 2016, Charles A Filius, All Rights Reserved

October 15, 2014

Gabriel’s Flight

Filed under: Uncategorized — cfilius @ 11:11 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

“Oh, I believe in coincidences. I’ve just never seen one.” – Dannion Brinkley

 

22973022_sI love to travel. I always have. I’m never really happier than when I have an airplane strapped to my butt. As much as I adore be-bopping around the country, the only thing that makes me happier is being left completely alone as I do it. I have less than zero tolerance for chatty cabin companions on planes or trains. Just because we share a seat does not mean we’re going to bond, become Facebook Friends or swap thrilling anecdotes of adventures in coupon clipping.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. For example, several years ago on a flight out of San Diego, I found myself sitting next to a monk. An honest-to-Buddha-Monk decked out in full monk regalia. When God hands you a plate of cookies it is just rude to pass on it. I found myself uncharacteristically turning to my seat companion and saying, “So, what do YOU do?”

He looked at me for a moment blankly then burst out laughing. Another off my bucket list: Make a Monk laugh. Check.

I was making my way to my gate at LAX for my recent trek to Wisconsin, via Chicago, when I first spotted him. A bald man, slightly under my own six foot stature, clutching a large See’s Candy bag. “Ah-ha!” I thought to myself. “TOURIST!” He was clearly taking a large batch of various chocolate morsels for his family back home. I’ve noticed over the years that locals stuff their candy in their bags while tourists tend to flaunt their sugary trophy. I chortled at my nearly Sherlockian reasoning and ventured on to my gate. Once I secured a seat next to the closest electrical outlet—a highly coveted spot in any airport—I noticed See’s Man standing nearby. Seems I was sharing airspace with a tourist from the Windy City. How funny that I would spot him upon my arrival at LAX. What are the chances? I mean, out of all the airlines and gates and terminals at LAX I spot, almost the second I arrive, a guy going on the same flight as my own. Weird. I returned my nose to my book and happily tuned out the world around me.

I piled onto the plane with the rest of the herd all the while praying to any available Deity that I would avoid anyone even slightly enthusiastic about swapping verbs and pronouns. I made my way to my seat in the rear of the plane (seems fitting, doesn’t it?), slid into my adored window seat and then just waited. People kept filing on-board as I kept shooting small, unobtrusive death rays from my eyes at each and every one of them. It was working. No one was sitting in my row. Hooray. The boarding was nearly complete and I felt I could let my guard down. I sank into the nearly comfortable seat, sighed a self-praising relief, while whipping out my customary bag of Peanut M&M’s. Then it happened… One last straggler, panting, made a nearly Kramer-esque entrance onto the plane. It was none other than See’s Man. He made his way happily to the back of the plane, smiling at everyone who met his green-eyed gaze. “No…no…no,” I kept whispering to myself because, at this point, even my Guides aren’t listening to me. He stopped at MY row, took off his coat, and stuffed it overhead. He slid himself into the aisle seat, leaving an empty space between us as his treasure trove of See’s Candy went snugly under the seat in front of him. “Oh, just friggin’ peachy. He’s going to be friendly. I can tell…” I grumbled to myself.

He sat down, turned to me and gave me the renowned manly non-committal, “Hey.”

I returned the same all the while tightening my grip on my M&M’s. He was then kind enough to sit there and not say another word for over 4 hours. God love him.

The plane safely touched down in Chicago. See’s Man, and his coat and bag, ventured off the plane following another emotionless “hey” exchange. All is well and right in my world once again. I wandered off to my next gate with the same determination I have as I circle the Lo Mein bin at any Chinese Buffet. My gate companions and I streamed our way onto the Wisconsin bound aircraft in an almost Pavlovian-like ritual. My seat was, thankfully, a single one on the left side of the plane. There was absolutely no chance of anyone even thinking of starting a conversation with me this time around. Life is good…

Then I heard a voice. “Hey! You again!”

I glanced up and, by God Almighty, I’m facing See’s Man yet again! My eyes widened behind my tinted lenses as I said, “Seriously?” He just laughed and jutted his hand out to me. Well, I had to shake it or hand him my second bag of M&M’s. Since I don’t share, I went through the motions of being oh-so-gosh-darn friendly. We chuckled, one of us with sincerity, and he walked on by. Again…what are the chances of this happening? I stared out the window, asking my Guides, “What IS the significance of this?”, as I gnawed on a mutant two-fused-as-one light blue M&M. I got nothing. So, I just shrugged it off. There were, after all, M&M’s to explore.

I was standing in baggage claim playing luggage roulette by the carousel. Will my bag be within the first ten? Odd? Even? Who’s to say? I fill my time with weird shit. No doubt about it. I glanced over my left shoulder and low-and-behold, See’s Man was approaching me. I just looked at him, as he smiled, and said in my subtle, cellophane melting voice, “STOP FOLLOWING ME!” He laughed. He thought I was kidding. How adorable.

“So,” I said, realizing he was just not going to walk on by, “Come here often?”

He smiled, “I’m moving here.”

“Willingly?” I asked out of true bewilderment. “You DO realize they have REAL winters here, right?” The only way Californians realize it’s winter is when we have sudden urges to wear socks.

25451295_s“Yea. I know it’s going to be different but I like it.” He placed his See’s bag on the ground and extended his hand yet again. (I thought we’d already finished with this ritual!) “My name is Gabriel,” he said with genuine Midwestern sincerity.

I just smiled to myself and said, “Charles. Nice to meet you.” When in Rome, you know?

We chatted a few more minutes until my suitcase finally made its curtain call. I snatched it up and wished him well in his new life.

“God’s speed,” Gabriel (aka See’s Man) said as I hauled my American Tourister down the corridor.

As I made my way to the outside Wisconsin air, I thought it was pretty cool that I had an angel traveling with me. I figured it was just my peeps letting me know they were there. Awesome. I made a note to jot this down for a later date and then went on my merry way assuming that was the end of the story.

Assuming is, of course, the working word here.

* * *

Mediumship is, by no means, an exact science. Once the barn doors are open any and all animals within no longer feel a need to remain in their stalls. I may give a reading to someone hoping to hear from their loved ones when, out of the blue, a co-worker’s father-in-law may make a cameo appearance. This has happened far more times than I can count. This has nothing to do with my inability to add—I am just far too lazy to actually keep track.

I stayed at the home of Gregg & Dar, both clients and now dear friends. Yea, I question their tastes in friends, too. I just assume it’s based on pity. ANYWAY… During a reading for Dar last July I was faced with someone who was not in her own inner circle. The son of one of her high school friend’s dropped by to reach out to his grieving father. Outside of a few snippets of information, Dar wasn’t really able to confirm much of what the boy was giving me. She made notes of all that was brought forth and promised to later relay it to her friend. I provided her with a separate MP3 recording of his messages for his father as well. She contacted her friend who seemed somewhat intrigued but, as with many unfamiliar with the truth of mediumship, he was hesitant. He said he would get back to her once he made a decision. A couple of times afterwards he contacted Dar about possibly swinging by to hear it. However, on both occasions, their schedules just did not line up.

Flash forward to my October arrival. I doubt I had even been there an hour when, out of the blue, the man called and wanted to hear the barely 10 minute recording.

“Charles is here right now!” Dar exclaimed. “When do you want to come over?”

“Five minutes. I’m just down the street,” he replied. Sounds like one of those so-called coincidences, doesn’t it?

Through tears he was able to validate all of the information that came through via his son’s never ending love. In the midst of this emotional roller coaster, he made an off the cuff reference to his grandson, Gabriel.

I just stared at him. You have GOT to be kidding me…

***

Moments later I received a text message from a friend of mine in LA. He was telling me he’d just spent the day in the San Gabriel Mountains. He makes frequent visits there but, in the past, he has always referred to it as simply, “the mountains.” As in, “I’m going to THE MOUNTAINS” or “I really need to plan another trip to THE MOUNTAINS.” I have never known him to refer to them as the San Gabriel Mountains. Well, go figure.

***

After Dar’s friend left, I returned to my room to unpack. As I was mulling over this whole Gabriel scenario, I pulled my Archangel Tarot Deck from my bag. I was immediately given the short and sweet suggestion, “Look at the top card.”

Since I have no will power of my own anymore, I removed the thick deck from its box and flipped over the top card. It was an Archangel Raphael card. I shrugged. “Yea? So?”

Then I heard this exasperated voice whisper, “No. The OTHER top.”

Clearly the Angels feel the top of the cards should be the side with the angel’s picture and NOT the ‘back’ of the card. So, I flipped the deck over and dealt from what was once thought of as the bottom. It was an Eight of Gabriel. My shrug was now replaced with slowly widening eyes. For hoots and giggles I checked out the very next card: The Nine of Gabriel. To add just one more cherry on the proverbial Sundae, I was told to cut the deck. I did without hesitation and found myself staring at The Page of Gabriel.

It was at that moment that my jaw and the floor fused as one. This was more than Spirit letting me know they were with me on this journey. But, for the life of me, I had no clue as to what it meant or what was coming. Some psychic I am.

***

My second group demonstration of the week was held at Kindred Spirit Books in Stevens Point. (Happy to make a shameless plug for this wonderful store!) The second reading of the evening went to two ladies in attendance, mother and daughter. The Spirit drilling through with an absolutely hysterical personality was the daughter’s fiancé. He had passed tragically too soon in a vehicular accident on Mother’s Day of this year. His energy was nothing short of dynamic. His humor and love was so vivid! His energy seemed to grow with each validation that was given. His fiancé and her mother were laughing through their tears, just as it should be. The healing truly excels once the tears of loss are replaced by those of recollection and love.

In the midst of this intensity he told me to stick my tongue out at them. Isn’t it great that I can pull all sorts of immature stunts like that and blame it on the dead? I love my job, but I digress.

So, like an obedient medium, I stuck my tongue out at the ladies. There was a brief gasp of shock and then they both laughed so hard I thought they would fall out of their seats. They explained to me that he stuck his tongue out in nearly every single photo that was ever taken of him. His mother-in-law-to-be said, “We have more pictures of him with his tongue OUT instead of IN!”

His fiancé laughed, wiping a tear from her eye, and said, “That is just SO Gabriel!”

I stared at her. It was if time had literally stopped. “Did you just say his name is Gabriel?”

She nodded, “Yes.”

I was dumbstruck—emphasis on ‘dumb’. Unbelievable. I took a moment and told them the whole Gabriel story. I finished by saying, “That guy has been hanging with me since I left LA! He’s determined!”

His fiancé confirmed that. “You bet he was!”

Her mother added, “Honestly, on the way over here, I told her that with Gabriel’s personality, it would be likely that he would show up first!”

“I’ll be honest with you,” I said. “The way he felt in the beginning made me sense he was actually late for the demo tonight.”

Both ladies laughed again.

“He was late to everything,” said his fiancé. “I even told him he’d be late to his own funeral!”

A group guffaw erupted on that one.

***

This is a grand example of how our loved ones are not only with us, but they are with others, too! Gabriel didn’t know me from Adam, coincidentally the name of the son of Dar’s friend mentioned earlier, but yet he knew I was on my way. He knew his beloved was going to be there. And, most importantly, he knew he could trust me with this responsibility and, for that, I am honored. Our loved ones, just as the love we share with them, know no limits or boundaries. There are absolutely no time or space restraints on our connections with one another. We just keep going and going and going, never ending, always loving and living.

I’ve always said that once this work bores me, when I am no longer amazed or intrigued by it, I will just walk away. Well, kids, I can honestly say I just can’t see that ever happening. I hope Robert and the Crew are OK with that.

15461882_sCopyright © 2014, Charles A. Filius

September 11, 2014

Even In the Darkest Times We Will Shine Through

Filed under: spirituality — cfilius @ 3:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

Copyright © 2001, Charles A. Filius

You will always remember where you were on that September morning more than a decade ago. That morning when all of our lives changed. The maddening range of emotions, the realization of the devastation, the quiet mourning both public and private.

As the anniversary approaches it is truly safe to say that emotions are running high. It’s hard not to experience the need to reflect on what has happened over the past decade, not only as citizens of the world but in our own personal lives as well. As I hear all of the stories regarding the events of 9/11 I can’t help but wonder about those that we are NOT hearing. We hear reports of the phone calls to loved ones with a final “I love you.” How do you sum up so much passion in a few short moments filled with uncertainty and fear? Why do we sometimes only return to a place of love when we face some form of finality?

What about those that did not get that last comforting message? Take a moment to think about the ones who, sadly, had cross words with a loved one prior to that morning or the individual whose last words were merely routine and indifferent. “Don’t forget to pick up milk on your way home.”

So many times we forget to let our loved ones know what they mean to us; how we cherish them in our lives and the fact their voice can be as sacred to us as their touch. How often do you whisk out of a room or end a telephone call with a habitual, “Later!” We assume we will be seeing that person again. September 11, 2001, made us realize that that isn’t always the case.

Not on this level of existence anyway…

This thought pattern lead me to a note written to me several years ago by a past love. Although written well over 20 years ago I find it most fitting considering the circumstances and I want to share it with you now. I hope she doesn’t mind…

“My soul needs to see you, to hear your words, feel your touch. It’s been a lifetime since we’ve exchanged voices. Come to me; find me and tell me you are thinking of me just one more time.”

Don’t let a lifetime pass between exchanges. Cherish those you love and make sure they know it. And, never, under any circumstance, ever lose your humanity.

God Bless the World. No Exceptions.

Peace.

 

 

“We think too much and feel too little.
More than machinery we need humanity.
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without those qualities life will be violent and all will be lost.”

– Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin

March 27, 2014

On Your Road Again

Image“It doesn’t matter what you want if you do not actively seek it! A wish upon a falling star, the dropping of a coin in a wishing well in a picturesque grotto, the rubbing of a rabbit’s foot…all can be called symbolic but, in truth, it does not go beyond that! The falling star is beautiful to see, the tranquility of the grotto may bring you some peace, and the rabbit’s foot is soft and gentle to the touch. Ya know what? Big deal. These sensations are fleeting, momentary only. Pursuit, active participation, will enable you to walk your path.

“Totems, symbolic articles as well as rituals, are, of course, useful PROVIDING you do not soul-ly rely on them alone. Your dream will not come to your door—you must venture out and rap on a few doors yourself. Mingle with the Universe, exchange ideas and ideals. Learn from the stumbles as well as the solidity of assured footedness! Your destined goals can be enabled, as well as disabled, by active AND inactive participation. Care to venture as to which goes with which?

“Look outside right now—outside your window as well as outside yourself—and what do you truly see? Stepping outside of yourself and gazing impartially within takes time and nerve—no doubt about that. But do it! DO IT! Do it again and again and again for it never gets old. Each gaze can provide new insight aligned within each and every moment of each and every step as well as hesitation.

“You know what you are made of, what kind of person you are, what your true aspirations are as well as the perspiration that goes into it all. Some days of travel are far worse than others. That is a fact of all Life. But, do you choose to dwell on that OR embrace the obvious that the opposite is true as well? How many vacations have you taken—from a single day to several weeks—where SOMETHING has gone awry? But, overall, you look back on it with joyous smiles and the feeling of a good time had by all. It may not have seemed all that grand at the moment, but hindsight and reflection are great tools in achieving clarity.

“The negative, the frustrations, the struggles are temporary. They will soon be overhauled by positivity and purpose. Providing, of course, that YOU do something to motivate it, as well as yourself, onward ever onward.

“Do it, my Children, whatever IT may be to you. Continue along your journey so you can beckon others to follow their own convictions and drive with a simple, yet powerful, ‘Having a Wonderful Time! Wish You Were Here!’

– Thomas

Copyright 2014 © Charles A. Filius

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.