The Magical (and True) Story of How My New Healing Podcast Came to Be

I drove up to Sebastopol on a foggy Bay Area morning last fall because something was pushing me. I just kept feeling the urge to go back  to this sweet town where I once lived. At the time, I felt stuck. I couldn’t move forward, though I badly wanted to.

In my meditation, when I asked what was next for me, the image of Sebastopol’s main street and it’s intersection in the middle of town was shown to me. It was an image that had come to me repeatedly since Teal’s death, at one point prompting me to live there for a year and a half.

Although I moved away, Sebastopol still calls to me and invites me in …this is a place where I resonate and where Teal’s spirit really comes alive for me. Especially as I drive up there.

While I was driving on that particular day, I felt so lost. I was at some kind of crossroads with my work. The novels were being published but I felt incomplete. I submitted an  excerpt from my memoir to an agent and was waiting for her feedback. I was ‘on hold’ and I didn’t like it.

So I prayed to Teal as I drove. “Please show me what I’m supposed to do. Make yourself apparent to me. Help me know what is next.”

After I got to Sebastopol, I did what I always do … I went into Infusions, ordered a cup of tea and a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, and put down my backpack. Then I looked through the big glass doors of the tea shop.

Standing there was a blonde woman talking to Magick, the psychic who usually sits outside. I studied her. I was instantly drawn to her though I really didn’t know why. It could have been because she is beautiful, but there was some other, bigger reason I couldn’t put my finger on. I thought perhaps I knew her.

Then I realized it was Michaela, the shaman who Teal had done a session with her only a week before her death. It was Michaela who’d gotten Teal so very interested in shamanic healing in the first place.

It was in this very spot that I’d run into Michaela several times over the last four years. I said hello to her, we hugged, then spontaneously sat down to tea together.

Ninety minutes later, I had a clear sense of my purpose moving forward.

Because Michaela is a shaman, she ‘travels between worlds’ and often talks to beings such as Teal who inhabit the other side. We started chatting and inevitably Teal’s essence began seeping into the conversation.

We talked about life, and then moved on to the topic of organ donation. Teal’s heart was donated to another young woman about her age whose life was saved, and who moves through this walking life right now because of Teal.

Michaela began to receive all kinds of information from Teal, then, about what happens to the stored memories in the cells of the transferred organ. She went on to channel Teal at length, ending with these words.

When my heart stopped I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. My soul was ready to go, but I was not aware that my heart had a different trajectory … when I was young I didn’t understand the pain that my heart was in. And I didn’t know if I could sustain it. There was an aspect of denial that is part of being young, which prevented me from expressing the pain and working with it in a substantive way.

And yet, my heart’s journey was really to impart information from another dimensional aspect, so people could hear the wisdom of my heart and other hearts. I was not capable of doing that psychologically in my body, and with the personality that I had. I wasn’t evolved enough to understand that in order to heal the heart, I had to experience what the heart was harboring.

Now when I look at it, it’s more like I had to learn how to play the chords, so that I could improvise in a major way. I’m now improvising in a major way, but I didn’t have the tools to do that when I was young and alive.”

Then Michaela looked at me. “Teal says, ‘To be continued,” she said.

Michaela had no way of knowing that that Teal was a musician … a musician who loved to improvise. Nor did she know that when Teal was dying, she came to me several times as thoughts in my head. When I asked what she was doing, she told me, “I’m trying to reconcile my heart and my soul.”

At the end of our conversation we both felt great. Uplifted, serene, content, happy. And energized in an entirely new way.

And suddenly I knew exactly what I needed to do next – the path was crystal clear. I knew I was to create a podcast and have Michaela as my first guest … and a repeat visitor. It was to be an exploration of the Afterlife, and whatever we can learn from this side of the divide.

I got my confirmation on the drive home. Sensing Teal around me once more, I turned on my iPod which is always set to Shuffle. Immediately, I heard Teal humming the beginning of the introduction I’d recorded a few years earlier for a podcast that never happened .

Of the nearly 2000 songs on my iPod … this was the first one I heard Now it all made perfect sense.

I’m pleased to announce our podcast will begin on February 21. Naturally, Teal popped in with a name for it while I was interviewing Michaela … Before the Afterlife. I’ll be sharing my own stories, and talking to mystics, psychics, shamans, monks, brain geeks, authors and experts who deal in happiness. It’s about healing, spiritual guidance, and how to be happy before you go.

Now you know the story behind Before the Afterlife … I do hope you’ll give a listen.

Thank you. And as ever, Namaste.

Before the Afterlife will be available on iTunes by February 20 … Hope to see you there!

 

What Donating My Daughter’s Organs Taught Me About Love

3a334400f50811a048df700714c76033Three and a half years ago, I sat by my daughter’s bedside, watching her slowly die as I held her hand. As machines were unplugged and the minutes ticked by, a strange new reality settled in around me.

I was losing an inextricable piece of my heart. My beautiful 22-year-old girl — who only days before was buying books for her college classes — would instead be returned to dust.

Her father, her brother and I watched, dumbfounded, as the Neuro-Trauma team went about their end of life tasks.

In an instant, life had turned radical on us. Save for one small grace.

Because of the nature of Teal’s death – a medically unexplainable cardiac arrest – her organs and tissues could be easily donated. Lives could be saved, and so my own shattered life could somehow begin to make sense again.

Today I find myself awash with gratitude.

Believe me, I’ve thought long and hard about this experience. And I’ve extracted some precious truths. For donating life is not a cut and dried experience; it lives in your heart and soul like a small, eager plant, winding its tendrils around your everyday experiences.

If you let that precious vine of love do its work, you can, in fact, be renewed. I know I was.

One of Teal’s kidneys and her liver went to two women in their fifties. Her heart and her other kidney were received by a free-spirited young woman not much older than Teal. A young woman I’ll call ‘Amy’.

“It may sounds strange,” Amy wrote to us in a letter overflowing with gratitude, “but I feel your daughter and I would have been good friends if given the chance ….”

This young woman and I have never met, though we’ve corresponded and spoken on the phone. And just those few conversations have been enough to blaze a path through my soul, as a tiny bit of light cracks open around me.

This is a really hard thing to get.

A life was saved. Like .. saved. Yes, someone’s life was actually saved.

By me. By us. By our small consortium, standing in the Neuro-Trauma unit of San Francisco General Hospital making a decision on an August afternoon. Somehow the celestial joined us that day, and waved its fairy wand.

And so a life was saved. Maybe even several.

There is someone walking around out there – a young woman, like Teal but not like Teal in her own beautiful way – who can walk up hills now without becoming faint, and who has color in her cheeks again. She can roar through the woods on zip lines, and travel around the world …

There is a young woman out there who is now free to find the career of her dreams. She can marry, have children, and pursue anything else she so desires.

There’s also a mother out there, who can rest easy at night now, knowing her daughter won’t die tomorrow. All because Teal died and we agreed to donate her organs.

So I ask you — isn’t this the point of life, to share the love, however we can? At the time, I had no idea how big this gift was – nor did I understand how it would keep giving back to me again and again.

Yet, that is exactly what happened.

You give an anonymous gift from the heart, simply because it feels like the right thing to do. And that heals your own tattered heart.

Now I understand both the fragility of life, and our own power to support and save each other. But more importantly, I understand the critical calling to save someone you may never know.

So I become uplifted every time I think of those people who have Teal’s cells, organs, and DNA in their bodies. I don’t have to know their names … I just need to know that now we are a little bit closer, these strangers and I.

We are invisible friends in the unified field of love – a magical place that unites us all. For in the end, what are we beyond bones, skin, tissues, and organs?

We are love, my friend.

In the end, we really are just love.