Shortly after I had completed the choreography and worship service of the cantata “The Seven Last Words of Christ,” I was asked to choreograph and work with the choir to present another cantata for the same church. “A Shaker Service” was the new cantata and, since I knew very little about the Shakers, I began to do some research.
I discovered that dance was part of their worship and that they also used meditation. I had always been curious about meditation, so I read several books about it and found out that that “strange stuff” was something I already did! My choreography was always done in that state — I just didn’t have a name for it. I also tended to enter a similar kind of state to read philosophy.
Close to the same time that I was reading about meditation, I happened to attend a women’s luncheon and was seated at a table with a woman I didn’t know well. She talked about meditation and about a group that met to meditate, as well as discuss spiritual ideas. I learned that the group met at her house and was actually meeting that night. I said if I could find a babysitter, I would be there. I did and was.
I continued going there for a number of years; however, the two “messages” that made me a “believer” were ones I received when I was just beginning to meditate on a regular basis, as well as participate in the guided meditations there.
The woman who led the group was a Spiritualist minister. In addition to learning to meditate, those of us in the group also learned to give each other “messages” and to become more aware of Spirit speaking to us in a variety of different ways, sometimes as “messages” from someone, sometimes as gut feelings, sometimes as “warnings,” and sometimes as “knowing.”
By the time I received one of the “messages” making me a “believer,” I had received a few and heard others receive messages that clearly made sense. The one Marie gave to me that night didn’t! She said she could see me and my family for the next year crisscrossing the country. At the time I received that “message,” I was sure she had made a mistake. She had either misunderstood the message or it was for someone else! There is no way that what she “saw” was going to happen as we had no extra money and no plans to do any traveling whatsoever. Well, I was wrong. The universe had something else in mind and proved it in amazing ways!
The second “message” was of a totally different kind. Marie had offered to take me to her Spiritualist church service on Sunday, and I had accepted. Having been there once or twice before, I knew messages were part of the service. On that Sunday, we had just received word that my husband’s sister had died suddenly. After many phone calls, we were waiting for family to arrive from Georgia to Wisconsin, and then the four of us were leaving the following day for Minnesota for the funeral.
My husband’s family was very religious and worshipped through different denominations — and they definitely were not into Spiritual Church messages. I had plenty to time to attend the service and get back and get ready for everything else. The message I received was that this trip was going to give me an opportunity to assist my husband’s family to become more open to a different concept of death. I can’t tell you how excited I was to carry that out! That same night, I took a very hot bath. While relaxing, I was aware of my newly dead sister-in-law, someone I hadn’t been that close to in life, telling me that she wanted me to tell her family that she was “fine.” I was still a little overwhelmed by what seemed to be my “assignment” as I was still very new at this “stuff.” I declared “Divine Order” for everyone’s highest good.
My brother-in law and sister-in-law arrived in the middle of the night, and after a little sleep the four of us left early the next morning.
My brother-in-law and I both liked to discuss ideas, sometimes into the wee hours, so while I was still able to breathe with three chain-smokers in the car that November day, we did a little talking about the passing of their sister. The death had been unexpected, and she was also the first of the five siblings to die. There was a lot of emotion.
The Exact Time
When we arrived at their mother’s, I found another sister and brother-in-law who wanted to share with me that he had been awakened at the exact time of his sister-in-law’s death and had found the paper open an article by Elisabeth KÃ¼bler-Ross! That kind of thing just continued to happen. I looked for a florist to buy the flowers I had promised from my children, who were being watched by a friend at home. I chose two long-stemmed red roses, the only flowers allowed to be on the casket. To the best of my ability and with a lot of assistance from “Divine Order” and the universe, I carried out my “assignment” and by the time we returned there was a lot more openness about death as a veil and not as something final.
Interestingly, the first of the crisscrossing stated in the other “message” was that funeral trip to Minnesota in late fall. Then during the drive to and from Minnesota, the four of us discussed a totally new idea, the possibility of using my brother and sister-in-law’s restaurant and of the four of us working together to do summer dinner theatre in Georgia! That discussion set up another cross-country trip later to Georgia.
My mother sent her Christmas present in the form of airline tickets to the four of us, so we flew to and from California for the holidays. I was thrilled at the opportunity to share a California Christmas with family and friends. Another trip to Minnesota, a totally different kind of one, came when my husband received a National Endowment for the Arts award to attend a Lessac workshop for five weeks during the summer in Duluth. We joined him for much of the time and our family enjoyed staying in the Duluth area and sharing time together.
Thanks to meditation and other spiritual/philosophical insights, I was able to see a lot of what Arthur Lessac was using and teaching, and I loved meeting the “Jewish leprechaun,” as he called himself! By the time the year was over I was definitely a “believer”!
Such a powerful message. I can’t wait to share this widom with my patients!