Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Widow Communicates with her Deceased Husband

In October I attended a one-day workshop on developing psychic skills, sort of a refresher course for me. One of the most copasetic events happened when I went to lunch with the woman who had sat next to me. We hadn’t met before and spent our lunch in a sub shop getting acquainted.

She was tall, vibrant, and warm. She willingly spoke about her family, her position in a law firm, and her husband who passed away. She smiled when she relayed the news of her widowhood. I found that unusual and asked her whether she had ever received a communication with him from the other side.

No only did she give me a resounding yes, but she agreed to an interview because I told her how much I thought readers would enjoy hearing her story. Here are my questions and her answers:

Toby: What was your attitude regarding communication between the living and the dead before your husband passed away?

Smiling Widow: I had never given this thought the time of day because I had not met anyone who believed in communicating with the other side.

Toby: What was his attitude?

Smiling Widow: He certainly was NOT a believer. In fact, many years ago I just mentioned casually that I felt that I must have lived during the time of the Civil War because I identified so strongly with the book/movie Gone With the Wind. He brought it up when we were with a group of friends and I almost had a heart attack! I told him later to never mention that again and he didn’t. At one of my sessions with the psychic/medium named Jamie Clark, Jamie brought up that my husband didn’t believe in any of this when he was alive but he is really enjoying this now that he’s on the other side.

Toby: Describe the first time you imagined you had received a visitation from your husband.

Smiling Widow: In February of 2006, I went to the Arizona Broadway Theater and when I came out, there was a red looking blister on the outside of my right index finger that I hadn’t noticed when I went in. After a few days, it turned into a red heart and I knew it was him because he always sent me flowers for Valentine’s Day. I told a few friends but I don’t think anyone really believed me. However, several people at my office noticed it and commented that it looked like a red heart.

Toby: How did you feel at the time?

Smiling Widow: When I first noticed the blister, I didn’t give it much thought but when it turned into the red heart, I knew it had to be him. I wasn’t upset or afraid but comforted that he was able to do this while on the other side.

Toby: About how many visitations have you had?

Smiling Widow: Since that first time in February of 2006, there have been many. He shows himself in many ways. I believe the next instance was in a dream. It was so vivid and real and I’ve since learned this is one of the many ways of communicating with us. Also, there was the time shortly after the red heart that I had been to a group session with Jamie who brought up angels during my reading. I had been doing some readings with angel cards so that’s what I thought Jamie referred to. However, when my friend and I got to my house, she just happened to look up at the sky and there in a clear blue sky with nothing else around it were white clouds in the shape of an angel. That’s what he was trying to say: he was sending me an angel.

Toby: How has your emotion changed over time?

Smiling Widow: It was very comforting to me to know that he was still alive. I was brought up in the Protestant religion and always knew that there was life after death but I never knew or was told that our spirit is capable of communicating with those left behind after our passing. I really hadn’t given it any thought before. Now I am more aware of songs that come on the radio while I’m driving because he lets me know that he’s still around. He knows I was a big Elvis fan so there are many times I’ve heard his songs on the radio. It’s just a knowing that those were directed to me.

Toby: How have these visitations affected other areas of your life?

Smiling Widow: This has opened a door for me to learn so much more about life and living it to the fullest, knowing that someday I will be with my family again. I am more in tune with my surroundings and it gives me such a wonderful outlook on life in general. I have gone from that first experience to learning that there is so much more to life—one book or person leads me to the next learning experience. I know that there are no coincidences in life, that everything happens for a reason and that people come into our lives for a reason. We have to take the blinders off and be open to the experiences that will come.

Toby: What do you feel is the cause of these visitations?

Smiling Widow: When our loved ones cross over, they are still concerned about us, especially at first, because they know we have to deal with our grief. They want to check up on us and make sure we’re doing okay. Just because they are not in their physical body doesn’t mean that they don’t love us any more.

Toby: Do you think your experience is special or do you think others could have similar experiences?

Smiling Widow: My experiences are not special except for me. Everyone can be in contact with their loved ones who have crossed over—just believe it can happen and it will. They are waiting for us to open up and recognize that they are still alive—just not in a body like ours.

Toby: Is your relationship with your husband ongoing or has he moved on?

Smiling Widow: My husband crossed over April 30, 2004 but it wasn’t until February of 2006 that he made contact with me through the red heart. I have no idea how many times he was with me until then. The visitations are not as often as at first because he has things to do on the other side and I have to get on with my life. There are times when I know he’s around, checking up on me and our dog, just stopping by to make sure we’re okay.

Toby: What advice would you give others who might be grieving?

Smiling Widow: Find a good support group. My husband had hospice care and they were wonderful. Know that everyone grieves in different ways and for different time periods. If you believe that there is life after death and you can communicate with your loved one, then find the people who believe as you do. There are many books on this subject and a good source is Reading helped me tremendously.

Toby: How has this experience enriched your life?

Smiling Widow: I have been blessed in so many ways through the many wonderful people I have met in the last few years. I have a sense of direction and am excited about the future knowing that my life will never be the same. Understanding that there are no coincidences has helped me to be more in tune with my life, to wonder what other people I will be drawn to, what book is going to be coming my way—what life has in store for me. This journey we are on here on this planet can truly be an exciting one when we are open to all possibilities.

How true the smiling widow’s words are. Blessings on her.

One disclaimer. I don’t know the medium she mentions at all, but because the smiling widow has faith in him I included his name.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Intention in Dreams

Paying attention to or intending dreams is important to dream functioning. If I give myself a suggestion as to dream content before I go to sleep, I dream more precisely with less random content and fewer references to events that happened during the day.

When I focus my dreaming self to follow a certain scenario, such as when I do a dream experiment, I am successful in organizing the dream events to follow the pattern, perhaps not closely but there is definitely accord between my goal and the dream. However if I think nothing about what my dream content will be before I go to sleep, it is often unpleasant or negative. Sometimes my dreams are wonderful but less so unless I ask for something wonderful. There’s an aimless quality to the dreams otherwise.

For the past several months I’ve participated in dream experiments in an interest group on The group is open and free, so join it if you want to participate.

The group, led by Bill Schuh, uses the following procedure: Bill chooses a key holder from a group of volunteers and decides the date of the experiment. The key holder decides the key. The night of the experiment, participants from around the world try to dream the identity of the key. Then, the participants post their dreams to the website. After a few days, the identity of the key is revealed.

My turn as key holder has been very interesting. I chose a plaster cast of the letter M because of its associations to words like mother, mentor, miracle, mystery. You can see the key and my instructions at

Here’s a summary of dreamers’ replies: Two people actually cited the letter M. Some tried to describe images like double triangles that were obviously impressions of the letter. At least five people guessed a pomegranate or apple as the key. That seemed an odd reference until some research discovered the pomegranate is used as a symbol for the divine feminine, a goddess especially Persephone, the Goddess, or Mother Mary.

I too dreamed that night, what at first seemed a humorous tangent:

First Grotto Dream – the night of the experiment

In my dream I went alone to a grotto in a woods where I laid a printed copy of the agreement about the experiment. I was aware in the dream that it was not my dining table area that should be the site of the key. I was also aware of my clothing, a long white gown that flowed past my feet like a medieval dress. However I don’t think I needed to walk as I was hovering over the ground, flying low. I went away and then returned to the grotto to find the agreement printed and sealed inside of the grotto. I considered this magic or a miracle as it was not possible in the dream environment to go into the grotto. One could only view it from outside. Some other teachers arrived and we started trying to figure out what caused the miracle of the sealed document and also why and how the dream location changed. The dream subject was an illogical dream sign.

When ideas about the Goddess kept coming from the participants, I searched on Yahoo for the word grotto. Many photos came up of grotto formations in nature. Many other photos showed either natural or manmade grottos honoring female deities, Mother Mary as well as Greek and Celtic goddesses.

Second Grotto Dream – twenty days later – I intentionally tried to dream about the grotto again and was successful.

I awoke with an image of the icon in the grotto. It appeared to transform so it was hard to tell, but I thought of the iris flower with stem and leaves, a cobra’s head and neck, a swan with fluttering wings and curved neck – all three images looked similar in shape and seemed to flash in sequence. Then I saw the same review of the iris, cobra, and swan on the right side of the grotto. On the left appeared faint images like copies of checks the bank sends, three checks in all to match the three images.

I believe the Divine Feminine, the Goddess, Mother Mary, whatever you want to call Her, visited me that night and directed my energy to the real image. She also visited many of the other dreamers to show them the pomegranate, a symbol of Her to make us all more aware of Her truth in our lives.

This insight about dreaming intentionally is new to me. I believe intending dreams might be a step up in consciousness for humanity. If human life is about becoming more conscious and more consciously in control of creating our reality, both literally and symbolically, then dreaming intentionally would be more productive and revelatory than dreaming randomly or as a reaction to daily functioning.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Interview with Dyan Garris

Hello Dyan and Welcome,

After you write your manuscripts, do you find it necessary to do major editing or does the text come to you in well-developed, organized segments?

Hi Toby. These are great questions. Thank you for the interview. I find that most of what I write comes to me in organized segments. Sometimes I’m not sure which segment goes where; but then it all comes together at the end, like putting a puzzle together. When I’m done I do have everything edited thoroughly for punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. When I wrote “Money and Manifesting,” I was told to write the characters first. So I did. Then I was told they would just interact and to my amazement they did. Then I was instructed as to where exactly to insert the fiction around the information. It really was an amazing process.

Would you consider your work automatic writing or inspired writing?

I’ve never looked at it quite as automatic writing. But everything I write is co-created. So yes, I would call it “inspired.”

In either case, to whom do you attribute your creativity? Angels as separate entities or your own higher self or some other intelligence?

The best way I can answer that is that I don’t believe in the illusion of separation. I am not God or angels; but I am part of that, just as the branches are part of the tree. Everything I’m doing I’m co-creating.

Your intuitive cooking idea intrigues me. Are you assembling responses from satisfied users? Does following this method result in slimming or regulating weight?

The intuitive cookbook was so much fun to put together. There are twelve channeled messages in the book. They are food related, such as “The Sweetness of Life” and “The Measure of Success” and “Ode to Popcorn.” And there are several “Intuitive Speaking” paragraphs which encourage the use of one’s own intuition in making the recipe. The book has several reviews, which are posted on my main website. Here is the link:
I do believe that intuitive cooking results in weight regulation. When you’re tuning into your body and feeding it what nourishes it on every level, your body is going to respond positively to that.

Thank you, Dyan, and best wishes with your books, your CDs, and all your efforts to bring new and better understandings to people.

Love and light,

Each person who posts a comment on any or all of the blog tour spots will be entered in a random drawing for a copy of Dyan Garris’ CD – Release. In addition – the blog owner that hosted the winning commenter will also win a free copy of Release. Share your thoughts and comments with Dyan. She will check in throughout the day to answer questions. You’ll learn more and you have a chance to win a CD.

For more information about Dyan Garris and her virtual tour, you can check the full schedule at and there are more details at
Her website is full of great details about all of the items within her “toolbox” and there are many special features. She provides the tools you need to have a full and happy life – and it’s not as hard to achieve as you think. Visit Dyan’s Amazon profile for links to many of her products -

Friday, May 9, 2008

Five Ways Out of the Psychic Closet

If you have psychic experiences such as seeing a ghost or knowing beforehand that something will happen, you’re not crazy. These experiences are a part of life. If you have trouble convincing yourself of that fact, maybe this acronym will serve you, as it has served me.

TRUST, The Five Ways Out of the Psychic Closet

T. Track your dreams
R. Repel ridicule
U. Use it or lose it
S. See your ability as a divine gift
T. Trust yourself

Track Your Dreams A direct route to your psychic self, dreams surface while the rational, analytical layer of consciousness sleeps. Focusing on psychic experiences that happen in sleep, such as precognition and encounters with departed loved ones, entices them to occur. You can track your dreams by recording them each morning in a dream journal. You dream about five times per night. Assuming you sleep every night, that’s more than eighteen hundred dreams per year. In thirty years of journal keeping, I managed to write down approximately one hundred dreams per year. That means at least seventeen hundred went out of memory, unrecorded. No wonder the sages say we go through life like automatons, using only a tiny portion of our brain’s ability. After you’ve attained the habit of writing down your dreams, read back through the dream journal at the end of each year and mark the dreams that have come true. If you’re like me, you’ll average four to twelve percent per year, the number of precognitive dreams found in research. You’ll also receive other benefits from tracking dreams, such as help in dealing with emotions, problem solving, self-understanding, and experiencing lucidity. All contribute to a better life and spiritual growth.

Repel Ridicule Scoffers come in two varieties: ones you can ignore or leave without looking back and ones you can’t. Tolerating ridicule from those with whom you have work, family, or love bonds can be difficult. Also, people deride psychic experiences, yours or anyone else’s, out of ignorance or in an attempt to deny their own. You can’t change anyone except yourself, but you can work to discover why your loved ones mock you. Explain to them what you are experiencing and ask them to respect you even if they don’t understand. It’s not easy to keep the fears of others from invading you, but encountering the situation with your loved ones invokes personal growth and builds self-esteem because you are honoring your experiences and your perceptions.
Use It or Lose It Psychic experiences, especially angel visitations or intuition, often come at critical moments to save our lives or give us insights. Unchecked self-doubt can deter positive outcomes if you’re not careful. I wish I’d come to this conclusion earlier. I wasted a lot of time. Once I had a horrible dream where someone I loved died in a car wreck. Because a few dreams with minor implications came true, I feared this one would also. I called the person and described the dream. Nothing bad happened to him in a car, but something bad happened to me. I took on myself awful responsibility by confusing awareness of the future with control over it. For a while I practiced automatic writing. Two spirit guides spoke to me and through me. They gave some excellent insights on life. I rejected those wonderful entities out of fears for my sanity so I also lost the ability to do automatic writing. No one knows better than I that, if you don’t use your psychic ability, you lose it. And if you fear it, it sometimes goes away.

See Your Ability As a Gift You understand synchronicity if you’ve ever picked up the phone to call someone, only to find that person on the other end having just called you. Or, you’re trying to remember the name of the actor who played in an old movie, then he appears on the TV screen, narrating a documentary. Some coincidences are bound to happen by the law of averages. Synchronicities are those that have such special meaning that they seem to have been designed. They let you know you are in the flow. Impulses can save your life. One morning I changed my route to school for no apparent reason then learned from the radio that two wrecks had happened on my regular route at precisely the time I would have been there. Premonitions can help you face bad situations that happen in everyone’s lifetime.

Trust Yourself Parapsychologists have already proven ESP exists with clairvoyance, psychokinesis, telepathy, and more. Now they’re trying to figure out how it works. As increased funding becomes available, more scientific proof will aid people in accepting this fragile facet of their being. The mystics have always known that psychic experiences can set a person on the path of spiritual growth that leads to lucidity and cosmic consciousness. Self-esteem grows when you honor your psychic experiences. Allowing rather than forcing helps them to occur. William James said it only takes one white crow to prove they’re not all black. One genuine psychic experience, if we’re honest with ourselves, is all it takes.

Dyan Garris Interview Coming Up

On Monday, May 12, I’ll interview psychic and healer Dyan Garris about her writing process and intuitive cooking. This interview is part of a virtual tour. I invite you to participate. Her entire tour includes the following topics:

1. Manifesting2. Self-empowerment3. Patterns and belief systems4. What really gets in the way of people manifesting what they want5. Music as a way to unblock energy and as a healing tool6. Meditation, mindful meditation, connection in general7. Chakra balance and energy field8. Angels and angel cards9. Psychic ability10. Integration of mind, body, and spirit and why it's so important

Each person who posts a comment on any or all of the blog tour spots will be entered in a random drawing for a copy of Dyan Garris’ CD – Release. In addition – the blog owner that hosted the winning commenter will also win a free copy of Release. Share your thoughts and comments with Dyan. She will check in throughout the day to answer questions. You’ll learn more and you have a chance to win a CD.

For more information about Dyan Garris and her virtual tour, you can check the full schedule at and there are more details at

Her website is full of great details about all of the items within her “toolbox” and there are many special features. She provides the tools you need to have a full and happy life – and it’s not as hard to achieve as you think. Visit Dyan’s Amazon profile for links to many of her products -

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Doubles, Fetches, Doppelgangers

One night when my children were small, a rustling sound awoke me. I saw or thought I saw my four-year-old scurry into the bathroom. I sat up and called to him then felt ridiculous. He looked transparent and wore an Indian-style feather on his head like little boys often do. Neither of my sons had such a feather in his toy box. I got up to go check on him. I went into the bathroom to find it empty. Sure enough, he lay in his bed, sleeping restlessly.
Clearly, I could have been dreaming. After all, I had been asleep before seeing the image. I dismissed the incident. In fact, I found it a relief to do so. I hated the intrusion of any possible psychic information. It complicated everything. Either that or a part of me wanted to confront myself.
A few days later, I saw another double. My friend Connie and I both taught at the local high school. Both of our husbands attended graduate school at Indiana University. She had a baby girl. While our kids played in the meadow between our married-housing apartment buildings one Saturday morning, Connie and I made plans to attend a bridal shower for another teacher that afternoon.
I volunteered to drive and told her I would pick her up at 1:15 in the turnaround at the apartment complex where she lived. At the time, Connie wore a red sundress with matching scarf around her head. Because I was in shorts, I asked her if she intended to change clothes. She said yes, and we agreed to dress up more.
At 1:10 p.m., wearing a dress, I drove into the turnaround and saw or thought I saw Connie walk through the door. I assumed she’d changed her mind because she wore the same clothes. I glanced at the curb as the car came to a stop then looked back to find her gone. Perplexed, I wondered what had happened to her. Momentarily, she came through the door actually wearing the same clothes.
As she approached the car, I called, “Did you forget something?” She shook her head. “Did you look out and then go back to get a drink of water or something?”
“No.” Connie looked at me suspiciously. “I just came down the elevator. I’ve not been outside since I saw you this morning.”
“I meant just now. You said you were going to change your clothes.”
“What’s the matter with you, Toby?”
The matter was that I didn’t want to admit that I had seen her double. My conscious mind anticipated that she would wear different clothes.
I couldn’t use the excuse of being asleep this time. I’d seen her wide awake, with the engine running on my car. I mumbled something inadequate, and we headed off to the bridal shower. But I didn’t forget, nor did I understand what had happened. I rationalized that my imagination had been working overtime. I couldn’t have seen Connie before she came through the door, therefore I didn’t see her, I lied to myself.
As the years have gone by and similar events have happened to me on occasion, I've come to realize that I'm not unusual. In fact such episodes happen so often and across cultures that many languages have names for the experience, double in English, fetch in Irish, vardoger in Swedish, doppelganger in German, ka in Egyptian. It is not known what causes the double to become visible and little research has been done on it.
In the absence of expert testimony, I'll give my opinion. There's nothing to fear from these appearances. Sometimes they might herald the impending death of the person. If the person does die soon after, the person seeing the double might simply be receiving a warning to help prepare him or her for the inevitable.
In my own case, the persons whose doubles I saw are still alive many years later. The double might simply be restless energy on the part of the other person, a projection of the aura perhaps. Seeing one might be disconcerting at the moment, but later it can become a comforting memory and example of the awesome scope of human capabilities, both to project the double and to see it.

The article is partially excerpted from Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature to be released by Twilight Times Books Summer, 2008.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Online Precognition Research

At 1:00 a.m. on the morning of January 25, I awoke and recorded the following dream:

I felt as if I were in the body of another younger woman. My husband and I and our small daughter bought a house at the bottom of a hill and moved in. We could look up at the top and see a casino, neon, glittering, and beautiful. An earthquake opened up huge fissures. I saw it happen. I heard people screaming and running, trying to get out. A young man fell through a railing. Others grabbed him and pulled him back, including a young woman who acted proud of being strong enough to do that. The next day reporters came. My husband had at one time been a reporter. He took one of their cameras and said something like “I’m back” to film my daughter’s doll abandoned in the yard at the time of the catastrophe. He and the reporters displayed crass emotions. People were laughing as they sifted through the debris. I was horrified by the selfish, empty destruction.

Imagine my dismay when I watched the evening news and saw that the Monte Carlo Casino burned in Las Vegas at 11 a.m., just ten hours later. In my dream the destruction came from an earthquake. In reality it came from a fire, but the juxtaposition in time and the similarity between the appearance of the casino in the video and in my dream shocked me enough to switch channels to see the images several times. Those images confirmed in my mind that I had at some level of consciousness been aware of the events about to unfold.

For a long time I dreaded my precognitive dreams because I had some notion that, if I knew something was about to happen and couldn't prevent it, then I was to blame. Everyone hates to feel guilty, and I let my fear get in the way of any usefulness in my abilities. Now I realize that I'm like most people. None of us understand these abilities we have. Even people who are far better at precognition than I don't understand the why of their abilities very well

Some things are already known about precognitive dreams. I'm summarizing research done by Arthur T. Funkhouser of Switzerland:

Most precognition happens in dreams rather than in waking life.

Precognitive dreams can be induced through intention.

Precognitive dream subjects are generally mundane, such as dreaming that you'll meet a person named Virgil when you've never known anyone by that name.

People who record their dreams find precognitive elements in 4 to 12 percent of them.

Most precognitive dreams play out in the ensuing 24 hours although a few take years for fulfillment.

Emotion tends to induce precognition.

There is much more to be learned about precognition. Online research allows many of us to participate. If you have dreams that intrigue you, I encourage you to join one or more of the following research sites as I have done and help create greater understanding of ourselves: - a new site - the goal is "to correlate collective dreams with world events, including natural and unnatural disasters, to see if collective dreams are predictive" - a site that has been in operation for several years with the same goal - The American Society for Psychical Research - the oldest and most broad-sweeping. Click on Online Research to enter your experiences in the database. - a new site with "a series of scientifically controlled, web-based experiments testing the power of intention to change the physical world"

The sweetest of dreams to you!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My First Psychic Experience

When I was in second grade, my best friend was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Two months later while I lay on the ground in my back yard, she leaned over a cloud and said hello to me. I asked her how she liked where she lived now. She said it was a good place then turned and disappeared.

The good news elated me, and I ran into the house and told my folks. They informed me it was impossible to talk to my friend because she was dead. They convinced me that I made up the whole thing and encouraged me to play with other children in the neighborhood.

From that time on, a part of me was never completely certain what had happened. I couldn't forget it, but neither did I want to mention it. I began to distrust my perceptions. Especially as I grew into a teenager, I had disturbing dreams that I tried to repress because I feared they would come true. Somehow I got the bizarre notion that, if I dreamed something, then it happened, I was to blame.

My parents didn't react as they did to be mean to me. They were trying to protect me. In the process they squelched a part of my nature.

Once I was grown I had to acknowledge that some of my dreams did seem to come true. That knowledge set me on the path of self-exploration that continues to this day.

If you have a child who sees ghosts or talks to an imaginary playmate, try to keep an open mind. Who knows? Your child might grow out of it. If not, it's important to remember we all experience the world in somewhat different ways. At least don't tell them they're wrong.

Kahil Gibran said of children, "They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts."