Pondering the Pavement

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

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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 3, 2015

It’s All in the Cards

Copyright Thomas Coyle

Copyright Thomas Coyle

* * *

“A deck of cards fans out. You do the same, you know?
Your aura, your energy, fans out to others.
The people will reach in and pull out what they need from you.
But always remember this: what they take is only what YOU freely give.”
– Pamela

* * *

Of all of the inquiries I receive, I have to say that the topic of Spirit Guides is in the top three. I have a very strong, and obvious, working relationship (or on-going feud, depending on the day) with my ensemble of enlightened ectoplasm. I’ve been fortunate enough to have connected clearly with them from the very beginning. While it seemed like a grand idea at the time, I’m willing to bet they’re kicking themselves now. Some of my Guides tend to be more prominent than the others. You know this just by skimming over my Facebook page or thumbing through my book, DAILIES. Some just seem more talkative. So I thought I would begin writing about some of my ‘lesser known’ Guides. They all assist me in my readings, meditations, writings—not to mention that daily routine you hear so much about—so I don’t want to give the impression that some are more important than others. There’s no Warren G. Harding or Chester Alan Arthur in my line up. Each stands out in their own way with their own Divine Purpose. The one common denominator is they have all improved on their golf swing whacking their clubs up against my cement abutment of a skull. God love ‘em.

In April, 1909, Pamela Coleman Smith was commissioned by A.E. Waite to design arguably the most recognizable tarot deck in history: The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck (now known as The Rider-Waite Deck). At the time it consisted of 80 drawings and by 1911 black and white prints would appear with Waite’s book entitled The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. Thus ends the lesson.

IN MY EARLY DAYS OF DEVELOPMENT, I was introduced to a new Spirit Guide by the name of Pamela. She was my fifth spiritual sidekick right after Christopher, my Tibetan Monk with ADHD (Ya can’t make this stuff up, people). Pamela gave me a swift glimpse of her physical appearance, like Christopher, in the very beginning. I saw a young woman with olive skin, dark eyes & hair, with full lips. She was dressed, in my best description, like a gypsy. I almost expected her to conjure up Larry Talbot (note the seasonal, nerdy reference). I’m also convinced she is an avid smoker but she denies it. She insists she is a reformed smoker. Oh, c’mon, Pamie. You can’t be helped until you’re honest with yourself first. Ahem.

She informed me that her role was to help me learn the Tarot. I knew nothing of the cards at the time and just accepted it for what it was. Our relationship began as a shipwreck beaten on the rocks and escalated rapidly downhill at a heart-skipping pace. Tarot and I did NOT get along from the git-go. The deck and I just didn’t mesh. I would stare at the cards and they simply stared right back at me. It was about as uncomfortable as an obligatory holiday family dinner.

Poor Pamela’s pet project was pretty much a pratfall. Of course, in those early days of my development, Pamela was still a wide-eyed entity chock full of determination and hope. Now, thanks to me, she’s bitter, broken and buzzing about bygone days of bliss. But she stays because she either has no place else to go or she’s a masochist. Probably a little bit of both.

Yeaaaaa… she’s gonna slap me down a rabbit hole for that one.

At one point along the way I found out about the artist of the Tarot, Pamela Coleman Smith. Needless to say, my jaw came crashing down on the tile. Could MY Spirit Guide be THE Pamela? I have to admit I was both impressed and intimidated. It seemed for a moment that Spirit had brought out the Big Guns. I had a sudden feeling I needed to really toe the line. And nothing creeps me out more than obligation. I put it out there and, in an automatic writing session, she answered my question. In her already familiar, snarky tone she wrote, “No, but I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?” It was at that point that I proposed marriage, as is my custom in such situations.

Her moniker provided me with an amazing validation. Of all the names I could have been given, I receive the very name of THE illustrator of THE Tarot Deck. Coincidence? Not by a long shot. The odds are just too high for that to even be considered.

She is brutally direct and she refuses to put up with my crap. She calls me on it all the time and, honestly, I’m grateful that she does. I can’t get away with anything with her. Excuses are unacceptable, end of story. I recall, once upon a time, when I attempted to take a beginners Tarot class in Anaheim. The class description boasted it was for fledgling amateurs who didn’t know squat about the Tarot. LIES! ALL LIES! It seemed to me that everyone in that class, minus myself of course, had been reading the Tarot prior to leaving the womb. While I was only comfortable with knowing which side of the card to have face-up, everyone else was tapping into the deep corners of the Universe and revealing the secrets of life to any and all.

“I got a rock.” – Charlie Brown

It was a four week class and I lasted two of them. After that first night I was enraged. I stormed out of the building like a rabid dog. I was storming down the street toward my car, ranting and raving the whole time. I went on and on about what a joke this was, how I was too stupid to understand this undecipherable language, and on and on and on. When I FINALLY had to pause to take a breath, I heard Pamela oh-so-very-clearly ask, “Are you through?”

I hate when a woman asks me that.

Undeterred in my own lavish self-pity, I screamed, “How can I expect to see anything hidden in a damn card when I can’t even see YOU?”

Keep in mind this conversation was out-loud on a busy, bustling street around nine o’clock at night. Of course, it IS Southern California so passers-by were assuming I was either talking on a hands-free phone or I was schizophrenic. Both are equally common out here and, for the record, I lean more toward the latter of the two.

Pamela, in her already familiar Angelic tone oozing with love, replied, “Don’t give me that whinny ‘I can’t see you’ shit. Do you want to do this or not?”

Yes, dear.

Pamela realized that this relationship was just not working. I’m no stranger to that, but that’s beside the point. So, like any adaptable enlightened being, she switched gears. She began working with my understanding of symbolism in general. My readings are often a rapid-fire bombardment of images, one after another, like psychic flashcards. It’s a quick form of shorthand that is designed to keep my physical mind happy to have a puzzle to solve while my connection to Spirit gets to jump over the fence of so-called reality in order to ‘hear’ the true message. After that slap in the back of my noggin, the clarity of the symbols has been staggering. It was as if I had learned a new language almost overnight. I don’t know how she did it—what wires she crossed—but, by gum by golly, it worked. I find myself connecting dots that don’t seem to be related…until I discover that missing key. Once that key turns in the lock a whole new level of understanding is revealed to all parties involved. And, honestly, it’s a trip.

She has also helped greatly with my seemingly natural connection to oracle cards. Why I can’t relate to the Tarot is beyond me. I’m sure it’s my own mental block at this point (a polite expression for ‘bull-headed flibbertigibbet’). I’ve just accepted it for whatever it is. I suppose I should give Pamela credit for the Oracle Connection, but the last thing I want to do is to give my Entourage a reason to feel good about Themselves.

Pamela is the one who prompted me to officially offer Oracle Card readings in addition to my regular sessions. Prompted, by the by, is a refined euphemism for ‘bullying’, in case you’re wondering. She is also the Mastermind behind my occasional “Card of the Day” postings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (for the 9 of you who follow all three venues). On occasion, whenever she is feeling like banging her head against a cement barrier, she attempts to sneak a Tarot lesson or two in the mix. And, as expected, it’s never really met with great verve.

I bought a Rider-Waite deck several years ago. Even after discovering my ineptitude with the cards, I kept them around like that odd uncle that no one really understands but, yet, you find comforting to invite to Christmas dinner, even if only for comedic relief. That’s MY goal in life, BTW. I placed the deck of cards in a wooden box and kept it on my altar. A photo of Pamela Coleman Smith stands guard on top of it. I like to have little trinkets, if you will, to represent my Guides on my altar. I don’t have items for all of them—yet—but I’ve found things for a little over half. It helps, in my mind’s eye, to solidify their presence in a physical sense.

Over the years, and throughout a handful of relocations crisscrossing the country, they ended up packed away in a box in my storage unit. It’s a wonder Pamela even continued speaking to me after that shun. A few months ago, while rummaging through my mountains of yard sale fodder, I unearthed the deck. Something told me to bring them home. So, after a hiatus, they’re residing once more on the altar, hopefully collecting more energy than dust.

September 18th of this year marked the 64th anniversary of the passing of Pamela Coleman Smith. I wanted to post something on my Facebook page about her. So, I simply did some snooping on line and found an intriguing illustration that was part of an art exhibit in New York in 1907.

She inscribed it to Alfred Stieglitz, the owner of the museum where her exhibit was held. She wrote:

“To one who appreciates what this means.”
With good wishes from Pamela Coleman Smith.
January 24, 1907.

She wrote it on MY birth date in 1907. It was written 54 years to the day before I was born and I “coincidentally” found it 54 years later. There I am, smack-dab in the middle of things. Again, “To one who appreciates what this means.” Those words vibrated more deeply within me than a tuning fork in an earthquake. When my peeps want to make their presence known they don’t hold back.

A couple of days later, I was preparing to post one of my CARD OF THE DAY messages.  I couldn’t quite decide which deck to use. I picked up a couple and my energy flat lined. Nothing there. Then I was drawn to the Daily Guidance from your Angels Oracle Deck. I shuffled for quite awhile. Finally, a card flew out…

“PERFECT TIMING. Now is the perfect moment for you to act on your inspirations. The doors are open, while you walk through them with us by your side. Don’t delay or procrastinate, as all of the ingredients are ripe for your success. Everything and everyone is on your side, supporting your positive outcome.”

That resonated strongly within me and, by the response to it, several felt the same way. Excellent! Time to clock out early and grab a Corona! Of course, it didn’t quite go that way. It never does.

Craig, a friend in Florida, emailed me:

Okay, so I pulled a card, too. Just because you did.  MOM, CRAIG IS COPYING ME AGAIN! (Note: You can clearly see why we get along)

The Six of Wands. Generally speaking, when the Six of Wands appears in a reading, the querent will find that obstacles will be overcome with ease and advancement in their life will occur quickly. They seem blessed at this time, with people praising them and offering them golden opportunities.

This reminds us that when we believe in ourselves and have confidence in our own abilities and character, we have already won the hardest part of the battle.

The message goes hand in hand with the Oracle Card I had drawn as well as what is going on within my own life at the moment. Once I saw his email I was “told” to draw a card from MY Rider-Waite deck. Again, I have not touched this deck in YEARS. That deck was boxed up when I left Arizona in 2009, untouched and nearly forgotten. So, I pushed Pamela’s picture aside, blew dust off the box (my maid hasn’t shown up to work since I politely pointed out the fact that she just doesn’t exist) and opened it. I slid the deck out of its cardboard packaging and into the palm of my hand. Care to take a guess as to what card was facing me when I slipped the deck out of the box?

The real kicker? I’m a six in Numerology.

Then IT happened. My beloved cohort, my partner in crime, my twin from another mother popped in for a visit: DOUBT. Seriously, people, what is wrong with me? If They club me over the head any harder my dome will pop like a ripe gourd on a hot summer day. (My apologies if you happen to be eating right now) Whenever I teach I always pound TRUST into the brains of my students. I all but beat them with the word. (Hurt me, beat me, teach me trust!) Trust what you get, what you feel, what you hear and sense. Then I turn around and pull this stupid stunt?

“Idiot.” – Michelle

I can talk myself out of nearly anything. It’s a gift, really. A useless one, like an alarm clock for an insomniac, but a gift just the same. I can easily accept the many amazing experiences of other people. But, when it comes to my own, I have to chew that jerky just a little too much, beat that dead horse long after its drawn its final breath. I actually spent more time than I’m willing to admit trying to convince myself that the chances of two people across the country from one another drawing the exact same card is an hourly occurrence. Keep in mind I consider watching reruns of The Love Boat to be quality time so I’m not much of a gauge. My favorite expressions with my Guides seem to be, “This can’t be real” and “What does all of this mean?”

My Guides have a couple favorite expressions for me, too. But it contains far too many expletives to share here.

On my way home from running errands the next morning, all snugly wrapped up in my big, ol’ burrito of doubt, a car zipped out in front of me as if driven by Speed Racer. Once the driver secured his place at the head of the line, he then felt compelled to drive at a speed that can only be represented as a negative number. I’m grumbling the whole time, of course. We were coasting along through the streets of Long Beach at a rate that would make The Poky Little Puppy seem like The Flash. As I shot death rays out of my eyes, I realized the car had a vanity tag. I had to blink a time or two in disbelief as my jaw began swaying in the breeze.

Want a good laugh? PAMIE C, in Numerology, is an 11. A big “thumbs up” from my Guides.

“Holy—” was all I managed to say before I burst out laughing. Staring back at me from the back-end of a car—in big, bold, DMV lettering—was a license plate boasting the name, ‘PAMIE C’. Whenever I’m pissed at Pamela I always call her “Pamie.” And “C”… well, that’s so self-explanatory that even I get it. Once the realization slapped the doubt outta me, the damn car sped up. “Oh, that’s just great!” I screamed to no one in particular. “He decides to run amok NOW?” I chased it down, like a deranged stalker, in order to snap a quick shot. The car went off in a different direction at the very next intersection after I took the picture. I have to admit I don’t blame the guy. If I saw a man in my rearview mirror laughing like a maniac and snapping pictures, I’d drive like a bat outta hell, too.

Keep that little tidbit in mind the next time you’re stuck behind a slow driver.

It looks like I need to rethink my expressions. ‘This can’t be real’ has become, ‘This IS real.’ As to what it all means… well, that’s the juicy one. It means several things. First of all, it means I need to practice what I preach and teach: TRUST. My Guides always let me know they are there, working in the background, just doing what they do. I know they are—I can feel them—but the physical reminders are always the ones that truly blow me away. It’s the same for you, you know? Trust that your Guides are right there, by your side, supporting you at every turn. You don’t really need to know their names. I know, in my heart of hearts, that the names they give me are just to appease my silly mortal mind. Call them what you will. If a name pops into your head out of allegedly nowhere, then go with it. Or just call ‘em, ‘Hey, You!’ They’ll still answer.

You must understand that they cannot make your decisions for you. We’re here living a physical life for a variety of reasons. Actually living that life is in the forefront. We make choices and we live through them the best we can. For example, I choose to be a blockhead. I do that of my own free to reasonably priced will. But my Entourage continues strengthening Their connection with me and They do their best to chisel away at my cement-lined stubbornness…and thank God they do. Thanks to Them, I have been blessed to be a part of something for the past 14 years that can only be described as miraculous.

What is Pamela up to? What message is she sending me? I honestly do not know. First and foremost, she is making her presence and participation in my life blatantly obvious. Perhaps my wanting to bring attention to her namesake on the anniversary of her passing brought it all on. Or maybe I was supposed to honor Miss Smith in my own way so Pamela could wave me down with her semaphore flags. The chicken or the egg? Who knows? I have to TRUST that it’s OK that I do not know. There’s always a reason. Always. So, again, what does all of this mean? It also means that despite my faults and flaws, my peeps won’t give up on me, my destiny, my path, my work… my very being. If THEY aren’t about to give up on me then it would be rude if I did not return the favor. I will simply continue through the clouded confusion of, as the Guide of a client of mine says, ‘this glorious life.’

Thank you, Pamela, may I have another?

* * *

“You cannot take the hand of another without extending yours as well.
In order to be a part of the chain—the link—you must take part in the chain.”

– Pamela

* * *

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius. All Rights Reserved.

July 14, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed (Part 2)

[The conclusion of my own tale of discovery in honor of the upcoming 14th anniversary of my spiritual journey]

Despite the deluge of self validations being strewn about, I was still no closer to solving this mysterious eagle reference. I was, of course, getting quite frustrated over the whole thing. Have you, by chance, picked up on the fact that I’m just not patient? Rumor has it that patience is a virtue. I’m OK with that theory providing that the virtue comes ‘round the mountain quickly. Needless to say I keep my guides quite busy hurling debris at me every few minutes. I like to think of myself as their personal workout regime.

I gave the menu at Denny’s a quick once-over to make sure they didn’t offer a ‘Batter Dipped Eagle’ luncheon special. No such luck. Obviously I wasn’t supposed to get all of my answers at America’s Favorite Diner. It’s a good thing that I didn’t because there’s was a Denny’s just around the corner from where I lived at the time. I would have been ticked having spent all that time and money traveling to Sedona for a blue plate special of perception when I could have just walked down the block. I will admit, however, that the timing of Heather’s call had truly convinced me that I was supposed to be in Sedona. Lord, but I’m easy.

EvaCassidyAlbumLater that evening I hopped in my rental and headed out to a grocery store. I was craving cantaloupe. Hey, it happens. I like healthy food if it tastes good! On a whim I had this desire to listen to a CD entitled “Live at Blues Alley” by Eva Cassidy. Eva was a extraordinarily gifted singer from the Washington, DC, area who left this world far too soon. She possessed a voice that can literally bring me to my knees. I’m not much of a fan of music in general; I listen to very little. But Eva is different. Her voice touches my soul—it hits home—pure and simple. Without thinking I slid the silver disk into the CD player and found myself chuckling over the first track: “Cheek to Cheek”. I’m on a spiritual pilgrimage and I’m hearing the voice of an angel singing “Heaven…I’m in heaven…”. Ya gotta love it. The second track, entitled “Stormy Monday”, began playing and I didn’t think anything about it at first. Suddenly, as I’m sitting at a traffic light, ONE lyric jumped out at me: “The eagle flies on Friday.” I just stared at the console and at that moment I knew Heather would have the key to this grating eagle reference. She had, just a few hours earlier, changed our clandestine meeting from Thursday to Friday. Was this divine intervention or just my desire to dump the responsibility in Heather’s lap? To be honest, either solution worked very well for me at that point.

As I pulled into the parking lot of the market, still chuckling in awe over “the eagle will fly on Friday”, another track had started. This one was entitled “People Get Ready.” It starts with these lyrics:

“People get ready
There’s a train a comin’

You don’t need no baggage
Just get on board
All you need is faith

To hear the diesel hummin’
You don’t need no ticket
Just thank the Lord.” *

The instant the second line was sung a train whizzed by along the track directly across the road blowing its whistle. I started to laugh and just muttered, “smart ass” to the cosmos. “Oh, yea,” I thought shaking my head, “I’m gonna pay for that one later.”

While in this grocery store I found a section displaying a wide selection of religious candles. Saint Francis and Mother Teresa stuffed right in there between Spam and Mrs. Butterworth. How handy. Save your soul, grab a bite, and you’re on your way. You have to love the convenience of it all. And, low and behold, amidst these candles encased in what resembled tall and skinny drinking glasses, was one for my pal, the Archangel Michael. It was only 99 cents. I figured Mikey was worth a buck so I put it in my basket next to my cantaloupe and Caesar salad… the whole time praying I would not somehow get them confused at the peak of my feeding frenzy.

Thursday night I went through my meditations and this time had success. In addition to calling in my usual entourage, I asked to speak directly with the Archangel Michael. Why not, right? You never know until you try. Within moments I felt a very strong energy around me; it was a force unlike any I have experienced so far. It was very strong, even authoritative. Not threatening by any means but I was given a feeling of a higher presence that had a definite purpose. Most importantly it was absolutely not Robert, my Master Guide (or any other member of my spiritual entourage for that matter). There was definitely a new kid on the block. I was immediately lead to my laptop. While I normally take pen in hand to transcribe these messages from upon high, I knew that this had to be typed. The energy was too strong for my mere hand. There was no way my penmanship could keep up with this intensity while still remaining legible. I sat down at the keyboard and this is the conversation that flowed like wildfire from my fingertips:

What message do you have for me?

“I come in love, understanding, benevolence, trust and truth. Be steadfast in your faith, Charles. It will not let you down. On a wing and a prayer you are perched and shall not fall. It is God’s love that never falters. It is your love that He seeks. You have offered it to Him unconditionally and he is stronger for it. Yes, God ‘needs’ your Love. You were made in God’s own image–does He not feel as you? Do you not need the love of others? Of yourself? God is no different. You have not quite grasped the concept of ‘Your God Self’. God IS within you and you are within God. Between heaven and earth is the almighty love of God and Man, permanently binding them together as one. Do not ignore the greatness within you for God has never ignored it. Accept it, Charles! Own it! Be the man that you are, not the man you THINK you are. Your reality is within your hands. Allow it to breathe and thrive. Like a butterfly let it soar swiftly, elegantly and with beauty. Open your palm, Charles, and release the butterfly from its cocoon. You are protected, you are growing. THAT is what you FEEL, Charles. What you perceive as doubt is CHANGE. You do not yet fully understand what is happening so you ‘naturally’ fear. You must admonish the fear; beseech it to leave you and, in its place, you will find God’s unconditional love. Within that love you will find AND understand the truth. The truth being YOU; not an illusion but the real thing.”

I worry about taking pride in my abilities.

“It is not a sin to be proud. Are you using your abilities for personal gain? Are you using them to mislead others?”

If I do this for a living I will be gaining from it.

“But is that the MAIN reason?”

No.

“There, my friend, is your answer.”

It’s hard to let go of insecurities.

“Insecurities are not truths. The truth is within the light. If you walk into a darkened room you are unsure of what lies ahead, correct? Once you turn the light on you know where to step. The trick is finding the light switch. YOU have found that switch, Charles. It’s in the same place each time you step into the room. Why do you ignore its very existence yet dwell on the existence of non-truths? Old habits die hard BUT they are replaced by the reality of God within you, your life, your surroundings…need I go on? God IS everywhere, Charles. Even in that darkened room you enter with such trepidation. Reach inside, turn on the light, walk where you know you should tread. The furniture may be moved but the path will always be seen. Have faith. As the staff in your hand steadies you over the rough terrain, so shall your faith. The journey will grow within you but shall always be clearly marked. OPEN YOUR EYES! Trust in yourself and KNOW God will never falter or leave your side. Be one with God as you go with God. In peace, in strife, God is there.”

And then ‘it’ was gone. I asked a couple of times just who I was talking to and I was answered by silence. I know, in my heart, it was the Archangel Michael. I asked to speak with him therefore my faith tells me that is exactly what happened. Once I added Michael to my collection of spiritual connections I felt compelled to ask the hotel management for a special group rate for my room.

Simply put: Friday could not get here fast enough.

* * *

Sedona RocksI drove into Sedona along AZ 89A taking in the breathtaking scenery. I stopped frequently at various ‘scenic overlooks’ along the route. As I was pulling out of the first tourist trap overlook I found myself behind a green SUV (like Elvis they are everywhere!). Painted on the back of that vehicle was a dream catcher with a soaring eagle in the middle of it. When I pulled out into the regular flow of traffic I saw the shadow of an eagle flying overhead cross the pavement before me. Slap me in the face again, why don’cha?

I met Heather at a Mexican Restaurant in the heart of the tourism that is Sedona. After proper introductions (which, among artistic types, can really be just about anything) we sat down and she immediately began discussing the tarot. Thankfully I was donning my blue sunglasses (a must for any fashionable medium don’cha know) so she couldn’t see my eyes widening to the size of half dollars. I said nothing but I was thinking “Well, son of a bitch”.

I’m widely known for my Mastery of the English Language. Yuh-huh, I shor is…

I have a major blockage to the tarot. I’ve attempted ‘fiddling’ with them, for lack of a better term, with no success. I run into walls and obstacles over and over again. I can’t grasp them—or so I want to think. I would have more luck if I tried to read lint. One of my guides, Pamela, is here, she claims, to help me with the tarot. As I see it dear old Pamela needs to sit down for a long one-on-one with Saint Jude for this little miracle to transpire. My learning the tarot is about as hopeless as finding a Hooter’s in the middle of the desert. (And I have looked!) Oddly, as I run like a madman from the tarot, I find it being thrust in my face with more regularity than the best of bran could offer. I have insisted, time and time again, that I can’t read the damn cards! And yet I have two decks, six books on the subject and even an Angel Oracle Card deck. Oh, yea, I’m ‘running’ from it all right. And here’s Heather, a total stranger, talking about those infernal cards the instant we meet. My guides must take turns driving yet another spike into my cranium.

Amidst her structured speech she suddenly stopped and explained, “When I went to bed last night I just knew I had to talk to you about the tarot.” I just laughed. I explained the whole ‘tarot blockage’ that I have and how I seem to be the only one who sees this impasse. I added, “My guides keep bringing it back into my life. Now, if they could just bring me a Hooter’s cheerleader, I’d be fine.”

Heather laughed. Thankfully.

Later in the conversation she said, “You know, just before I read your email about the eagles, I was having these random thoughts about eagles. Isn’t that weird?” Before I could respond a flash of realization swept across her face. “Have you been to the Chapel of the Holy Cross?”

I shook my head. “Never heard of it,” I said.

She went on to explain that it was a chapel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built into the rocks overlooking Sedona. She leaned into me and said, “There is a rock formation up there that looks exactly like a giant eagle head.” You know how you can look at some formations and say, ‘oh yea that could be an eagle or it could be a Buick’? That’s not the case with this one. It really looks like an eagle!” She emphasized each syllable of that last sentence with a series of rapid-fire pokes in my upper arm. She then leaned back and said matter-of-factually, “You have to go there.” So, of course, since I have no will power of my own I caved and readily agreed to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross later that day.

After meandering through a few art galleries, Heather and I parted company and I headed back to my Ranger. As I entered the sparsely populated parking lot I stopped dead in my tracks. Parked a measly four empty spaces away from my vehicle 05_hooterswas a Hooter’s Calendar truck with photos of Hooter’s girls plastered all over it. My jaw fell open, swaying in the desert breeze. If my eyes had grown any wider they would have merged together to give me that dashing Cyclops look that any unibrow would envy. Then, as is my custom, I dropped to my knees laughing in hysterics. Are my guides on top of things, or what? Now where did I put that tarot deck…?

Along the road leading out of Sedona, and toward the Chapel of the Holy Cross, there is an art gallery that has a massive sculpture of an eagle erected outside of the building. Suddenly eagles were everywhere! I made a left onto Chapel Road, parked the gray Ranger, and proceeded to hike up the path to the church overlooking the panoramic scenery below. Along the pathway up to the church there is a statue depicting St. Francis of Assisi, another saint that has been connected with me by other mediums. Yet another indication I was, indeed, on the right path. But why did it have to be so steep? I think all paths should have moving sidewalks and/or escalators. But that’s just me.

Once I reached the top (still bewildered why I hadn’t melted like the Wicked Witch of the West) I found myself being physically turned clockwise until I was facing a stone eagle head which overlooked the back of the chapel. I was immediately bombarded by a massive surge of energy that led me to a small wall. I was physically turned around, and ‘pushed’ gently down to a sitting position. Then I heard “Shhhhhhh.” I tried to ‘listen’ when a gaggle of tourists approached chattering about the heat, their bunions, the hilarity of their recently purchased I’M WITH STUPID t-shirts and other such topics of disinterest. I got up and walked inside the sanctuary seating myself in the last of the seven benches masquerading as pews. Of course the benches were out of the sunlight so I was happy. I would have sat on a pile of rattle snakes as long as they weren’t in the heat. I had lived in the Washington, DC, area for ten years so I’m immune to the bite of poisonous snakes. Enlightenment AND political commentary wrapped up in one saucy burrito? What a bargain!

06_chapelThere was a small group of individuals sitting in the sanctuary. Some kneeling, some sitting in quiet reflection and others just damned thrilled to be out of the sunlight. It was like I was sitting between a colony of Christians and a roving band of vampires. A description, I believe, that can adequately sum up any family reunion. A variety of hymns were playing over the internal PA system. I calmed and centered myself, closed my eyes, took three deep breaths and heard, “What are you going to write?” I was confused by this comment. Again, “What are you going to write?”

I replied, “I don’t know what you mean.”

Again, but this time far more insistent, “What are you going to write?”

I thought for a moment. I had no idea there would be a pop quiz on this trip. I was the one always asking questions and now the tables were turned. I was paying the price for the manifestation of the Hooter’s truck. “I guess something that will help others learn…” I uttered without an ounce of conviction.

“RIGHT!” I ‘heard’… or dare I say, ‘felt’? “In order to teach you must learn more, open your mind to more possibilities.” Then ‘he’ went on to give me a ‘polite’ lecture on Christianity. I have this habit of butchering the religion at every turn. I never liked it much and I tend to rag on it a lot. “There is nothing wrong with Christianity,” I was told. “The problem lies within the malpractioners of it. Remember that.” Of course, I had to admit he was right. “In order to teach you must free your mind of unnecessary baggage and weight for that will only limit you. Prejudice and ignorance have no place in the classroom. Do not forget ‘life’ is a classroom.”

I asked, “OK. Who ARE you?” Here I am being handed profound information and I’m wondering who’s talking to me. Am I a butthead or what?

“I am known as The One Who Soars with Eagles.”

“But what is your name?” Refer to the ‘butthead’ remark above.

“You would not be able to pronounce it,” he replied. He was not being condescending by any means. He was very matter-of-fact and I believed him. After a slight pause he then said simply, “Go in peace.”

Just as I was reeling from that experience I suddenly ‘knew’ the title of my book: ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’. Well, go figure. Once that dawned on me the PA began blaring another hymn in the Heaven’s Top 40: “The Old Rugged Cross”. This hymn “coincidentally” was my favorite when I was a kid. I admit that was pretty cool although I was more impressed with the Hooter’s truck. Once again please reference the earlier ‘butthead’ statement.

I left Sedona not as a new man but as an awakened man. As I pulled out of the chapel I saw an eagle flying high in the south western sky, just swooping down, left and right, going with the wind. It looked random but yet, at the same time, meticulous, refined and with self-assured purpose. I pulled off the road, put the truck in park, and just watched this majestic creature dancing in the sky. Many people sped by me, either immune or indifferent to their surroundings, as I absorbed every movement of this seemingly private viewing. “Thank you,” I whispered to no one in particular as I leaned on the steering wheel and just gazed, smiling, ever upward.

And so it began…

* * *

“Remember, as a child, you had to crane your neck to look up to the adults, the sky, the trees, the table top. As the years pass you grew and you found yourself not having to crane your neck as much. You are growing spiritually and you do not have to crane your neck as much as you did when you started. You are constantly growing. Like a flower reaching for the sun, bask in the warmth and love of the light and grow as high as only your own limitations will take you. Believe in limitless possibilities for then you will be soaring with the eagles.”

–Robert

04_eagle

*”People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius

February 5, 2015

Intention Intervention

“Be your own face value, the living embodiment of your word. Your actions are not merely a reflection of your intentions—they ARE part of you, no different than a limb or muscle. Every move, every reaction, every intention speaks volumes. Do your part to ensure that what you are saying is indeed what you want heard.”

– The Collective

  * * *

I don’t make many demands in my life. I just have a small handful of requirements in order to make various experiences more enjoyable, tolerable. Never serve me a sandwich with mayonnaise on or near it. Never put lemon in my tea for any reason because no good will come of it. Never, under any circumstance, sing along with the radio if you’re in my home or car. And, finally, just leave me the hell alone when I’m traveling. Don’t talk to me, approach me or, if possible, even exhale in my direction. I have a particularly deep intolerance of chatty taxi drivers. Drive, don’t speak, and we’ll get along famously. I have no idea why I’m this way. I’m completely fine with Joe Shmoe Stranger striking up a conversation with me if I’m standing in line at my local post office. But if I’m in an airport just get away from me as if I haven’t bathed in a fortnight.

My Guides are always nudging me to get out of my routine, to shake things up a bit. Nudge, in this case, is an all-too-polite euphemism for treating me like their own personal Whack-A-Mole. So, against my better judgment and instinct, I gave their advice a shot when a moment of so-called opportunity presented itself.

I was dragging my sleepy self onto the commuter tram in the Pittsburgh Airport after enduring a redeye flight from LA last December. The sparse pedestrian population in the terminal told me that my flight was probably one of the first to come in that morning. I made my way to the tram quickly and quietly with absolutely no interaction. When I boarded I was most pleased to see that there was only one other person on the train. There’s nothing like open space after being stuffed in an overly populated flying sardine can for several hours. My fellow traveler looked up at me from her newspaper as I stepped on the train. She simply said, “Good morning.”

HateXmasI responded in kind. Then, after a moment, I thought I’d push that envelope Robert & Crew are constantly throwing up at me. So I added, “Merry Christmas.”

Boy, was that a mistake. She whipped her head up from her newspaper as her eyes widened. “I don’t celebrate Christmas!” she hissed.

Without missing a beat I replied, “And Christmas is the better for it.”

She turned her self-righteous nose back into her periodical as I rolled my eyes. Bonding ceased at that very instant.

So what was the point of this delightful experience with this human Care Bear? Well, for one thing, it’s given me a great story. But it is also a damn fine lesson in the simple power of intent.

OK, so she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Big fat hairy deal. No one will ever accuse me of being Father Christmas. Scrooge’s philosophy of the holiday being a poor excuse to pick a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth day of December resonates deeply within me. However, I do understand the sincerity of passing along to another the simple, heartfelt wish for a Merry Christmas. I have Jewish friends who wish me a Happy Hanukah every year. I’m not Jewish—my covered dish encased Methodist upbringing proves that—but I am quite happy to receive their sincere wish. I can pass a Merry Christmas on to them and they, too, are good with it. Why? Because it’s the intent, the sincerity, that rings true.

I understand that our opinions and beliefs are sacred to each of us. But why does one feel compelled to throw them in someone else’s face in the most inopportune times? Why attempt to fill the big scheme of things with something so selfishly and insignificantly small? The woman doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Fine. But what’s the harm of replying with a simple ‘thank you’ instead of an impassioned stance atop a portable soapbox? How can a simple seasonal salutation be regarded as offensive? What’s next, people? Saying ‘hi’ to someone to only have them pummel you as they scream how they only accept ‘hello’ as an appropriate greeting?

Pick your battles, plan your platforms, and stop sweating the small stuff. We’ve taken ourselves far too seriously. We keep our heads buried in our own backyard and cringe at the idea of the different perspective of another. Think before you speak, before you act and react. Your intent will go farther than you may realize.

 * * *

“Words may seem like feathers, virtually weightless as they blow along your way. But, when accumulated, the feathers can soar to the heavens… or they can blow apart and plummet. Where do your words and intent go? That, dear child, is up to you.”

– The One Who Soars with Eagles

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius

June 3, 2014

A Getaway is a Great Way to Stay

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

It’s always nice to get away, isn’t it? It doesn’t really matter if it’s a short day trip, a weekend getaway or a full-blown two-week romp. Just having a chance to run away from it all to recharge the batteries is a blessing, a gift and, frankly, a bright shiny gold key to some resemblance of sanity. Where do you go to recollect yourself? Do you prefer to lounge on the beach with your toes burrowed into the granular mounds of sand separating you from the sprawling ocean before you? Maybe you’re solace is found on the wooden porch of a cabin high in the mountains as you look out over a sentry of trees staring silently back at you. Whether it is the hustle bustle of Vegas, a day at Disneyland, or a few hours visiting with your grandmother—each and every one of us needs to get the heck outta Dodge from time to time.

ImageI was fortunate enough to spend Memorial Day weekend in sunny San Diego. I was attending The National Cartoonists’ Society annual Reuben Award weekend. The Reuben, in case you’re wondering, is the cartooning equivalent of the Oscar. The only difference between the two is that no one really cares about the Reuben. In reality, it’s a great excuse to spend time with fellow ink-slingers. Cartooning is, for the most part, a fiercely isolated profession — as if being a medium fills one’s social calendar! This is nearly the only time we get to see one another—or anyone else for the most part—so we take full advantage of the opportunity. We spend hours hunched over a drawing table with nothing but the continual clicking of the deadline clock echoing inside our heads. So, getting the chance to actually talk to someone else is nothing short of euphoric. The most intimate relationship I have is the weekly drop off by my close personal friend, Whats-Her-Face, the FedEx girl. Yeah, we’re close.

I always have a great time at these yearly events but there was something special about this go-around. I completely let loose (now there’s a scary thought!) and had more than my quota of fun and frivolity. As odd as it sounds, I was completely stunned at this fact. Normally, I am one to socialize a bit, hibernate a bit, socialize a bit, hibernate a bit, and so on. This time, however, the hibernation was deeply dwarfed by the socializing. This character was totally out of character. After a day-and-a-half I realized that I had been in dire need of this vacation and I hadn’t even realized it.

It’s a tad alarming when you suddenly recognize how out of touch you are with yourself. After all, you’re with you 24/7. You really cannot escape it no matter how hard you try. But, yet, we tend to let ourselves slip by as we continually pile the daily duties and responsibilities higher and higher until we cannot see around them. We’re blinded by them. What happens next? We accept the limited view that we’ve invited into being as our only reality. I often envision myself as the guy on Sesame Street carrying an armload of pastries announcing, at the top of a long flight of stairs, “Ten banana cream pies!” And then, unable to see where he is going, he falls down the mountain of steps leaving a funny trail of meringue and crust along the way. As a friend of mine used to say, “I’m hopelessly lost but making damn good time.”

This point was driven home on my last night in San Diego. Our farewell soiree took place aboard the USS Midway. I have no clue who thought it would be perfectly safe to entrust a battleship to a bunch of overgrown adolescents, but that’s beside the point. As I was walking aboard the massive vessel I told my Guides that I would be totally open to any Spirit Communication that there may be aboard. After all, I was walking onto a virtual piece of history! You just KNOW there are many impressions out and about on the sprawling decks. Spirit, as always, had a different agenda. My request was answered with a resonating “NO.”

Admittedly, I was shocked at their response. Before I could question the reply I was told, “Just go and have FUN!” And, as God is my witness, They left. Every last one of ‘em (and you know that took some time!) I wasn’t there as a medium. I was there as a cartoonist, with my fellow brethren, left to my own devices. Not being one to disappoint my entourage too often—at least I hope I don’t!—I continued relaxing, laughing and just having a grand old time.

Yes, it IS good to get away. It’s even better when you’re able to realize just how vital any form of rejuvenation really is. Life is life, pure and simple. Responsibilities and that thing they call reality will be with us for the long haul. But we need to take the time to listen to ourselves, our souls, and understand when it needs a break from it all. It doesn’t matter if it’s five days or five minutes, but you have to take the time to treat yourself. A meal, a trip, a walk to your favorite park. Indulge in that personal “me time”. And if you’re thinking that you have no idea what your “me time” is then that, my friend, is a cast-iron giveaway of just how badly you need it. Body and Spirit both need a time-out.

“Time is precious, just as you are. Both need to be respected, cultivated, cared for and fully realized. Precious moments connect one by one to create a lifetime. How sad it would be to have breaks and stops through this pathway, this life, that are not required. Enjoy this journey, this purpose, this time. Be good to yourself at all times so that being good to others shall come more readily, more easily, more naturally.” – Laura

 

Copyright © 2014, Charles A. Filius

Photo above: One less item on my Bucket List: “Get Bunny-Eared by Weird Al. Check.”

April 13, 2014

One Ella of a Ride

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I take great pride in being the problem child under the rolling eyes of my disembodied caretakers. Robert, my Master Guide, has told me in no uncertain terms that I have driven him to drink. I’m convinced my Guides gather together in a pub on the Other Side and do nothing but complain about me. “Whose idea was it to start talking to him?” one will say. “It was so much quieter then!”

Yea, well, guess what? I wonder the same thing. Whose idea WAS it to start talking to me? I’m convinced They only connect with me for Their own entertainment. I am just a way for Them to pass the immeasurable hours.

I was first introduced to Robert within my second attempt at automatic writing. Laura, my Protector Guide, came in a few weeks later, as did Martin, my Life Guide. From time to time, I would sense something new in the air and a new Spirit Guide would join my already growing firm. The number finally rounded off at a nice even ten a few years back. I honestly figured that was the maximum room occupancy for this fiasco of a ride. Ten is a nice even, comfy little number. It’s quite popular in rating scales and it’s the core of the whole metric system. All was set in stone and I was snug as a bug in a rug with my Spiritual Entourage.

Or so I thought.

A few weeks ago I felt “it” again. I was vacuuming of all things (domestic God that I am) when I stopped in mid-glide. Turning off the vacuum, I looked around the room and I knew I was not alone. And this wasn’t one of my well-established peeps. Not by a long shot. I felt someone was circling me, slowly, assessing me with every step. “All right, who’s there?” I’m known for my originality don’cha know? My radar darted about my surroundings as I felt eyes of some sort focused on me. “Yesssss?”

I felt someone say, “Listen.”

My initial thought was a female energy. This would be refreshing for Laura and Pamela as they make up only twenty percent of my male dominated support team. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and heard “Ella.” Short, sweet and to the matter-of-fact-point. My eyes popped open and the other eyes were no longer upon me. I sensed nothing else so I brought the vacuum back to life with a quick click of a switch. “Ella, huh?” I thought. “I’ll take a side order of proof with that.” The roar of the vacuum drowned out Their collective ‘sigh’.

Like the menu at the Soup Plantation, the events didn’t matter and it faded from my mind shortly afterwards. I just chalked it up to the aftermath of too much swirling dust clouds emitted from my Red Devil. Late one night, while being slapped around by one of my dominant bouts of insomnia, I caught one of my favorite movies, IMPACT, on TV. This 1946 film noir gem stars Brian Donlevy and Ella Raines. I was about 20 minutes into the movie when it hit me (I’m quick on the draw, aren’t I?). “Too coincidental,” I quipped. “I need something more.” I envision my crew just standing in a semi-circle behind me shaking their heads in unison.

Admittedly, I am a bit of an Ella Raines fan. I’ve snagged a few photos of her over the years at some Hollywood memorabilia shows (yes, I am THAT big of a nerd). So the name Ella DOES have a personal significance for me. That being said, I’m thinking I could have easily allowed my own subconscious feed me the name in the beginning. My love of old movies would dictate that I would select an older film to watch at that hour. I pride myself in my logic—a polite word for ‘bullheaded stubbornness’. Once the movie was over, and I was not even close to renewing my citizenship in Slumberland, I jumped on eBay and gave a cursory search for Ella Raines memorabilia. One of the first items up for bid was an autographed photo! Well, how about that? I’ve seen a few autographed pieces over the years and the bids are almost always nearing the triple digits. Too rich for my cholesterol tainted blood. But this photo was different. It was being offered at a mere $18.00. While the black and white photo itself is not one of her best, the signature was billed as being authentic. Upon inspection my heart stopped, started again, skipped a beat and then began to swing dance. The photo was endorsed, “To Charles…”

Yes, once the feeling came back to my brain, I bought it.

ImageBut, once again, I doubted. It’s no wonder that I have a Guide named Thomas. Doubt is my Native American surname.

Later in the week someone on a Movie Memorabilia list to which I subscribe, posted a set of autographed photos he was selling. He was clearing out an enormous collection of photos from the Golden Age of Hollywood. I glanced over the treasures, ranging from Bacall to Ball and Cagney to Cotton, and found myself coveting each and every one. However, the only one that really jumped out at me was that of Colleen Moore. She was a popular actress in the 20’s and 30’s until her early retirement in 1934. I really knew nothing about her. I knew the name and that was about the extent of it. But I found her photo absolutely captivating. Honestly, there wasn’t really anything special about it but, on some level, it spoke to me. I emailed the seller and asked for the price. I was told it was $50, non negotiable. Too much for me at this point but I just couldn’t get the photo out of my mind. So, like any good geek, I started researching Ms. Moore. I wanted to find out why I found the portrait so enchanting. I soon discovered that her most famous role was in a 1926 modernization of Cinderella entitled “ELLA CINDERS.”

Oh, come on… Seriously?

Like a dog with a really juicy steak bone, I began gnawing even more. It seems that Ella Raines and Colleen Moore were both born in the month of August. My spiritual journey began in August, 2001. Both women passed away in 1988, which is an “8” in numerology and, yes, kiddies, August is the 8th month.

But, yet again, I’m just not buying into it. (Yea, save it, I know what you’re thinking…I am psychic after all!) I still hadn’t felt anyone or anything since the drop-in while I was channeling my inner house frau some days prior. Oh, sure, I could have just taken the time to simply meditate and tune into this new energy but, c’mon! That would just be silly! In case you haven’t noticed, I wear my pigheadedness like a letterman’s jacket.

A couple of nights ago, when insomnia and I were once again having a staring contest, I indulged in one of my guilty pleasures by watching an episode of MYSTERIES & SCANDALS on YouTube. This was a 30-minute syndicated TV show that was produced in the late 90’s. It made up of hokey reenactments and “investigations” into various Hollywood scandals throughout the years. And, thankfully, the vast majority of them are stockpiled on YouTube. I looked over the program listings and chose, for reasons unknown to me at the time, the episode devoted to the tragic murder of actor, Sal Mineo. I was never a fan. Like Colleen Moore, I didn’t really know much about Sal. But this is the only episode I opted to watch that night. As I clicked ‘play’ I actually said aloud, “I have no idea why I’m watching this.” I discovered the answer 4 minutes and 4 seconds into the video. It seems that one of Sal’s earliest acting jobs was a guest role on what I’m sure was a riveting program entitled ‘Janet Dean: Registered Nurse’. Television in the 50’s was just so simplistic, wasn’t it? The title character, Janet Dean, was played by none other than Ella Raines.

Oh, Sweet Mother…

I just sat there, nestled somewhere between numb and awe. Admittedly, I didn’t want to believe that I had yet another Guide. It seems silly, I know. But I honestly did not want to face this all too looming reality. I’d dodged it for quite a few days by this time and I was hoping my agile footwork would help me evade the entire event. Eleven Guides? Good God…Eleven? I must be a lost cause to them so does that now make me a charity case? Ella is my eleventh Guide. My Guides frequently use the number eleven in their spiritual shorthand. It’s like a “thumbs up” from the Other Side in my reference manual. That’s when I realized Ella even has an 11 in her name… “Fine. You win,” I laughed. I spread my arms wide, and said what I always say prior to giving a reading… “OK, let’s do this!”

I sat at my desk, stilled myself—a rarity let me tell you—and Ella officially spoke through me, via paper and pen, for the very first time:

“It is what it is but only if that is how you choose to leave it. Something is before you at all times—a task, a choice, a pathway to take or ignore. Analyze it to your heart’s content but, ask yourself, is this part of your action, your solution, or is this another excuse to not move onward? You always know the truth but are you strong enough to admit it aloud to yourself? Anything can be improved upon, anything can be enhanced and extended beyond its original conception. If your completion of each level is done to your true satisfaction then it IS complete! If it is only reached in order to give the delusion of execution then you are living, breathing and being a LIE. Please be true to yourself, respect your potential, honor your capabilities and be the LIFE!” – Ella

I can tell you she’s going to be quite the taskmaster. She has an accent but I am not sure of the origin at this point. It may be British, possibly Irish or Scottish. Her diction is quite exaggerated to the point that she even rolls her “R’s”. Her voice projects with great self-assurance. Her strong presence makes me think she may have even been on the stage during a lifetime or two. It’s going to be an interesting experience as we get to know one another.

I can’t help but wonder, of course, just how long it’s going to take me to drive Ella to drink…

 

Copyright 2014 © Charles A. Filius

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

March 6, 2014

A Moment in Truth

ImageWhen I tell someone I’m a medium I receive a well-established array of responses. First and foremost is the slack-jawed blank stare that resides somewhere between disbelief and “WTF did you just say”. That is usually followed by the religious zealot, who crosses themselves as they back out the door, insisting they’ll pray for me but at a distance. A nearby neighbor is the flat-out skeptic that wouldn’t believe Santa if the jolly old elf slapped ‘em into a Christmas tree. And finally, you have the delightful souls who already know of the infinite possibilities and realities of what I do. It’s those people who dowse me with an assortment of questions and commentary that would rival any Whitman’s Sampler box of chocolates.

The most popular of these is, “You are SO lucky to have such a great gift!”

Most days I agree with that wholeheartedly. Lucky, blessed, honored, you name it. But there are times when this gift feels more like that gaudy, ill-fitting sweater that was knitted by your colorblind great aunt after nine too-many holiday eggnogs.

I will say, up front, that I have witnessed moments that can only be classified as miracles. I have seen lost faith restored, spiritual reunions from across the ethers, grieving parents embracing and accepting the continuance of the lives of their beloved children once thought gone forever. I have seen so many people sitting before me laughing tears of joy, instead of sorrow, as their loved ones brought those happy moments to the forefront once more. I’ve delivered guidance from a place higher than our own level of being. I have relayed messages far beyond my own understanding that have assisted others in healing, believing in themselves again, freeing themselves of self-imposed guilt or shame. Miracles. Each and every one.

But, as with anything, there is a downside. Those moments that rank right up there with getting a root canal at the DMV as your ex announces all of your shortcomings over the PA system all the while scraping their fingernails on a chalkboard. Get the idea?

There are a number of unforgettable slap-in-the-face annoyances. For example, there was the geriatric client taking a whiz in the midst of a phone reading. Yes, it could have been worse. She could have done it during an in-person session. I suppose I should count my blessings on that one. What got me, beyond the absurdity of the whole thing, was the blatant disrespect the sitter demonstrated for me, the process and, most of all, Spirit! Another kick in the gut are those who actually see no harm in asking me to “spy” on people for them. “What is my ex-husband doing right now?” Another fun one was, “How can I hide my property in Vail from my ex-wife?” Really, people?

I vividly recall a reading I gave in 2008. She was a divorcee and had recently reconnected with an old high school flame. They were going out on their first date in 15 years and she, in essence, wanted to know if she was going to get laid. Hand to God, that’s what she was asking. I did not receive, nor did I search for, a response to that inquiry. I simply made myself available to whatever insight Spirit wished to pass along (such as a boot to the head, for example, but I digress). Spirit, never being One to disappoint, gave her something truly amazing. I found myself being visited by a young, fair-haired toddler, no more than two years of age, calling out to her ‘mommy.’ She was smiling, full of life and light, with arms outstretched as if coming in for a doozy of a hug. I described what I was sensing to the woman. And her reply shook me to my very core.

“Oh, yea, that’s my daughter,” she said. “She was hit by a car. I know she’s OK. So, what about my date on Saturday?”

She honestly could not have cared less. I still reel over that one. Where was her heart? Her soul? It was as if she was a gas tank well under E.

Those sessions are the ones that really knock me to my knees. The ones that make me question this life choice of mine. I was enraged and, yes, insulted. Insulted for not just myself, but for her daughter as well. How could the woman snub such a gift? After the call I just sat in my office fuming over the ordeal. And, as usual, my Master Guide, Robert, stepped up with his own gentle boot to MY head. Robert tends to be my voice of reason. Now there’s a duty that can test the patience of even the highest of evolved souls.

Robert stated, “Everyone, and I mean every single soul, is an individual. Each soul has their own journey to undertake at their own speed and time-frame. You cannot permit yourself to be caught up within the placement of another along their way. You cannot be angered by the soul in front of you at the market just because you have 1 item and they have 1 times 20! They are doing as they see fit at that time, they are traversing at the rate they deem fit for themselves. They are accumulating what sustenance they require—IN THE MOMENT. But what about tomorrow, tonight, an hour from now? Minds change. Ideals renew. Beliefs destruct and are rebuilt. The city skyline changes, buildings rise, fall, alter…only to rise again. Judge not in the moment for you are unaware of what the next moment may bring. Give thanks for the moments—each one—and for your opportunity to witness all that it brings forth. Especially the limitless possibilities of unending renewal!” There was a brief pause and then his signature sign-off, “I am done.”

Well, I guess he told me, huh? But Robert’s right. He’s always right (and you have no idea how often he holds THAT over my head…)

This work saddens me when I am faced with the cold-hard fact that there are many people feeling so lost, hopeless, even empty inside. But that sadness is replaced by the truth in Robert’s memorandum. What may seem hopeless today can become hope tomorrow, tonight, an hour from now… even by the very next moment.

 

Copyright 2014 © Charles A. Filius

 

February 27, 2014

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I have been very blessed, right from the official beginning, to have a strong association with my Spirit Guides that is sparklingly crystal clear. Their personalities, like mine, are overwhelmingly strong, loud and undeniable. Ignoring them is just not a comfortable option. They command my attention when they have the need to speak. It greatly reminds me of a small child tugging on their father’s shirt sleeve repeating, “Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad!” over and over and over. No matter what dear old dad is doing he eventually has to give in and scream, “WHAT?” When they request my undivided attention I have little to no choice but share their insight with others. I hope you’re willing to listen…

–CAF

Image“The mouth of a cave looms ahead, a gaping void along the side of a mountain of stone. It is monstrous in size, overwhelming to the visual senses. Ignoring its existence is futile, pointless. What steps do you take? You know not what awaits within its darkened walls. Other options are at your disposal, of course. You may walk around the expanding mountain range, searching for an easier approach. But what of its duration? Many cycles of sun and moon may, or may not, pass by prior to completion. You just do not know.

“You may wish to return from hence you came. Can you envision going back to where, and who, you were prior to this journey? Does this settle well and earnestly within?

“There is always the simplistic choice of merely staying where you are at this very moment. Contemplate the realization that this could be where you will forever take root. Look about you—is this where you will find nourishment? Contentment? True Peace? Eternal Knowledge? Is THIS all you require for your physical incarnation, happiness, fulfillment?

“Stepping in the cavern of the unknown does not require courage, despite what you may think you want to believe. It simply requires faith—within and throughout—in yourself as well as whoever, whatever, you KNOW your Creator to Be. Step into the cave, Little One. And explore!

“You are far more aware, on a deeper soul level, that the mouth of the cave is presented for a reason. Worry not about the “why”. Accept that there IS a “why” and it will be revealed—perhaps—at a future time.

“Do not toss aside precious, fleeting moments “finding” the courage to go within, Little One. There is no need for you ARE courage! Just as you ARE Love! Just as you ARE Light! Just as you ARE evidence of God’s Own Divine Presence!

“The darkness will build around you as you dare to explore deeper within. The light in which you started will dissipate until it has faded from conscious view. And then what? Human instinct will bring fear to the forefront. You are lost, you fear. You are alone, abandoned. There is no hope in sight!

“But wait…are you not standing? You cannot see the cavern floor beneath you, but you FEEL it, do you not? Reach beyond yourself in order to feel the walls surrounding you. You are NOT encircled by nothingness. Are you of the unknowing mind that clings to the limitation of only seeing is believing? Travel beyond your limited senses, mindsets and crippling assumptions. See what is unseen. Live what seems unlivable. Allow the unknowing to remind you that acceptance does not require any knowledge.

“Take advantage of the darkness. Use this time to continually explore within. All the while accepting that the lack of surrounding light does not diminish the brightest of light that is your soul, your spirit, your being, your Creator within and throughout!”

—The One Who Soars with Eagles

Copyright © 2014, Charles A. Filius 

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