Monday, May 28, 2018

The Universe Conspires to Get Us Where We Need to Be

"I am Don Quixote!... When Destiny Calls Me, Onward I Go!"


My first trip to Sedona was in April of 2001. I had just ended a very intense and transforming relationship, had written a semblance of a novel and when I decided to temporarily leave my very busy life as an Upstate New York business owner, I chose to rent a house for a week in Sedona to work on the novel.

Over 1400 pages of novel notes were based on my relationship with Benito, a complex and highly spiritual Mexican immigrant who changed my life. Not only was it a love story, it was an experience that taught me about spirituality and deep connection with others. We shared the same nighttime dreams. I would think of him and he would call within minutes of my thought of him. As I began researching and writing the novel, I would read him excerpts from it and he would say "How did you know that? That is EXACTLY what happened!" Or he would tell me a story and I would reach over, pull out my novel notes and read it back to him almost verbatim. It was bizarre! It was amazing. It was about connection and the knowingness that comes naturally when you allow things to flow in your life. At the time the title for the book was Don Coyote and has since been renamed Trickster.


So, back to Sedona. When I arrived at the private rental home, I was greeted by the owner Maria. She and I hit it off and we went for coffee at a local bakery before she left for LA where she was completing work on a screenplay. Over her coffee, she leaned towards me. "So, tell me what your book is about?" In a fragmented way, I told her it was about a Mexican guy and an American girl and that the backbone of the book was based on the life of the coyote who gets hunted, moves, adapts, survives and so on. 


Maria says to me "Watch out the back in the morning and every day you will see a lone coyote passing through the backyard." 


Here's a photo of the lone coyote taken from the rental house balcony the next day.

Maria proceeded later on in our conversation to tell me about what it was like for her to buy her land in Sedona and to build her home. It was built high on the rocks and in order to access the main floor, you had to go up 16 steps to get into the house. She told me a story that when they were clearing the land, they found human remains. Now, in NY, finding human remains initiates a call to the police. In Arizona, bones, ruins, the ancient past of the area is uncovered on a fairly regular basis, so it was really no big deal that she found a femur and pelvic bones! I enquired "What do you DO with the bones when you find them?" She replied,"I set them aside and that night I went out, lit a candle, said a prayer and buried the bones at the edge of the property." Taking a mysterious breath and looking to the left and then the right, she said to me in a hushed tone, "You know, I believe that the coyote that passes through each morning is the spirit of the guy whose bones those were."

Maria had no way of knowing that in my novel was a similar story. The Mexican guy's grandfather had traveled north to the US in search of work and had never returned. It turned out that grandfather's traveling companions had spotted a coyote at every twist and turn and they believed that the coyote was the spirit of the deceased grandfather who had been killed during a group border crossing.

At the end of the day, Maria was on her way to LA and I was settling into life at the rental house. I went to sleep that night in the master bedroom. The only book in the house was on the bedside table and it was on screenwriting.

The next day I had writer's block -- I was stuck! Until a light bulb went on in my head and I asked myself why I was writing the MOVIE in my head, trying to make it a novel instead? I then outlined the whole complex thing sitting on the back of Bell Rock on a Wednesday afternoon.... and then towards the day's end, with the scrap paper I still had left, I found myself drawing house plans (What house plans? Go figure!? Since when did I have an opportunity to build my dream house?)




Bell Rock

The Sedona story continues -- Later that week I put my tourist hat on and head out to the Airport Vortex with my digital camera. The vortex gave me(on demand) a brilliant rainbow and then it gave me a guy who spoke to me and reminded me that there was a pot of gold at the end of it... which ultimately led for a search for the "pot of gold" which led me to the Elephant's Foot which led me to Painted Canyon Drive and I came to a stop at the side of the road at a Real Estate sign. (Hmm! I thought. There's a novel idea. After a lifetime in my hometown, I was considering what it would be like to have Sedona red rock views from my home).




Could it Be? Could it be that there is a pot of gold at the end of it?


As I was looking at and half-heartedly pondering the land for sale from my car at the shoulder of the road, two coyotes slowly appeared at the front of my car -- one looked me directly in the eyes; the other one nervously followed him as he headed into the parcel that was for sale. I don't know if there was meaning in this (? reasons for all ?) but I was very oriented to the coyote at this point in my trip. Was it a sign? Was the coyote guiding me?

The following week I was back in NY having lunch with my colleague, Mark. He asked me whether I had completed my novel during my time in Sedona. "Not yet," I replied, "but I've titled it Don Coyote." Mark then serenades the restaurant with "I am I Don Coyote the Man of Lamancha... Onward I go!"  I made a face while I laughed at and with him. At the end of lunch we walked down the street and had gone our separate ways just as a woman was handing out flyers on the corner. I took a flyer to be polite and my jaw dropped as I glanced down at it. "Syracuse University Theater Productions presents: Man of LaMancha" and lo and behold, there was Don Quixote on his horse with Sancho Panza next to him.
Chock it up to irony?

So next thing I know I'm surfing the internet looking for Sedona Real Estate -- I couldn't help it, Sedona seemed to take hold of me. One day I got an email from Gretchen at Sedona Realty (
http://www.sedonarealty.com/) and the subject line read "Cute Little House." I opened it and it's showed a two bedroom, one bath (read between the lines - affordable) with huge panoramic views of Sedona.


It was located on Tonto Rim Drive. I viewed the 360 virtual tour and decided that when I go to Sedona in August (four months down the road) if it was still on the market I would go to see it.

In the meantime (I have a tendency to enjoy researching details) I found out that the seller's name was Douglas Flackman, an oil artist. I had been told by Gretchen that the owner was relocating East to continue his work. Since this feng shui consultant wanted to learn more about the energy of the "previous owner," I Googled "Douglas Flackman" and was taken to a webpage where I could view his beautiful work. Must be a good energy person to do this kind of work, I thought.

Then I clicked on "Home" on the artist's page and it took me to the HomePage of the "
Tilting At Windmills Gallery" and there -- once again, was Don Quixote on his horse! I begin to wonder if this house MUST BE FOR ME!? It was a long wait until my next planned August visit.



www.tilting.com



In the meantime, I was preparing for my Master's program in Feng Shui and had to recruit client histories, hours and feedback for services I had provided. I was preparing a mailing and questionnaire for my previous clients. One day I realized I didn't have all of their addresses in my records.

As I looked up my client "Kim Hennessey" in the phone book, I saw just above her name "Paula Hennerty."  Paula was a nurse I worked closely with at Iroquois Nursing Home years before. I am not one to make a spontaneous call very often, but I made a call to Paula at that moment. We caught up on events from the past few years since we had seen each other--and when I told her of Sedona and Don Coyote and Don Quixote she replied "What are you DOING?! Don't wait! You HAVE to go out and see that house."

I argued with her to an extent that I had too much to do, but then I looked in my calendar and surprise surprise, I had "SEDONA" written on the weekend of June 25. My mother and I had planned to visit Sedona and Mom had made other plans and had to cancel but I had never removed it from my day planner. So, June 25th I was on a plane to Sedona for the second time - for four precious days.

Oh, and in the MEANTIME, I had been corresponding with a guy in Pennsylvania who specialized in the archives and collections of Carl Moon, who photographed Native Americans in the early 1900's. Author Tom Driebe sent me a complimentary signed copy of a
coffee table book he had written and two little used books that he thought might be of interest to me. One of those books addressed the "People of the Tonto Rim" --- Could this be the SAME Tonto Rim that housed Douglas Flackman's house for sale, located on East Tonto Rim? I took the book with me on the trip.


www.carlmoon.com


So, back in Sedona again, I find myself in pursuit of a place that I might call home. I went with Gretchen from Sedona Realty to go see the Flackman house. It was lovely enough but it just didn't feel like the house for me. It seemed like a bad joke! It called me here with its beautiful views and the moment I walked through the door I knew it wasn't the house for me. This would not do. What the heck am I doing here in Sedona anyway?! Am I crazy?

I spent the weekend driving all around, getting a "feel" for neighborhoods and spaces. Not far from the Flackman house was a huge green area.  I remembered when I had left town the last time that I had glanced over at this particular landscape and said to myself "Hmm. I wonder what that is over there?" I assumed it was National Forest land or something. Little did I know it was an introductory glimpse of my future. The acre+ lots had been divided and were For Sale By Owner. I decided to explore.

It was not long before I was writing my family and friends at home that I could not even afford a chicken coop in Sedona. One acre with a crumbling coop was priced at nearly $100K. The price of my whole house in NY. The journey was leading me to realize that Sedona was out of my league.

The Coop
But how do you put a price on the view from the coop? 

(see below the view in my rear view mirror)

Rear View Front View from the Coop!

I hiked around some more and as I arrived at a particular lot at the base of Wild Horse Mesa, in a heartbeat I KNEW I'D COME HOME. In a moment I knew that no other lot would do. No other house would do. I threw away all of my real estate notes and catalogues and guides and I called the owner and offered the value of my entire house in New York for that parcel of land.

It was all too soon time to leave Sedona, but not without many photos of this parcel. The last photo I took was from across a nearby field. I went to take a long shot and I had to stop and look twice. There, peeking out above the trees at the top of the property, was the "Don Quixote" house in clear view.

Flackman house is on the right. The yellow ranch below it is the house that borders the rear of my property. 
(I never noticed the glowing orby light at the lower edge of the photo until now)


Just after I put in the offer in on the land, I took a drive uptown to get a smoothie at the local coffee shop. I sat in the shop and looked around me at the people who were milling around. It was a shock to realize I had just put an offer in on a piece of land in a community that had so many people who seemed so unlike me. They seemed kind of like misplaced new age hippies. Oh my God. What on earth was I DOING? Had I made a mistake? My goodness, I had nothing in common with the people in this town! I came from a very traditional town. As I was pondering this, my heart fluttering, they called my number to give me the smoothie and I quickly left the place. 

I then drove down the street to a New Age shop and went in to buy a couple of souvenirs. When I approached the counter there was a lady in a long flowing mumu with long hair and big-lensed glasses. She was a bit strange-looking to me, as most of them were, but she looked at me with warmth and kindness and in a gravely voice said, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I replied, "Yes and more. I'd better just move here so I can stop buying souvenirs!" She looked me straight in the eye and it was like the moment was frozen in time when she said to me, "You are being CALLED HERE, you know. You are MEANT to BE here. Do you KNOW that?" I said "I guess so," and I paid for my stuff, thanked her and left the store. 

I returned to New York and proceeded to go home to get my house there ready to sell. After all, I had to sell the it to buy the land, so things were now set in motion. I was assuming my offer would be accepted.

Hmmm was Don Quixote was leading me after all!? Three days later my offer was accepted. I put my entire retirement account in escrow (and sent it off with a SMILE!???) -- agreeing to lose most of it if I didn't come up with the remainder by the October 1st closing date. I put my beloved NY house on the market a week or so later.

Think the story's over!? Not quite! Soon it was August and I was getting ready for my next trip West which wast to include a week in Sedona and week in Northern Utah for feng shui mastery training. My mother came along to visit Sedona with me for a few days on the early end of the trip. It was very hot for it was the middle of monsoon season in Sedona -- we spent most of the first day going in and out of shops and cafes, being typical tourists. We went up to visit the Chapel on the Rocks and while there I glanced at the open bible near the altar which was opened to the Book of Mark. My eyes landed on 21:22 which reads...



AND ALL THINGS, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING, YE SHALL RECEIVE.... Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you... For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ...Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 
(Just in case ye don't "get it" the first time -- or the second!)

Chapel on the Rocks, Sedona Arizona


Mom and I went for a happy hour margarita at The Wild Toucan Restaurant and then we proceeded to visit my property. At approximately 7:15 pm, she and I were on the Southeast ("Wealth") corner of the property planting a special silver dollar that she had given me on this trip -- along with a copy of the prayer from the Book of Mark. A few hours later a call came in from my realtor in NY. Apparently at 10:15 PM (with a three hour time difference between NY and AZ, it was at EXACTLY the very moment we were planting the prayer) the paperwork was signed for a full purchase offer on my house in NY.

And that was weird too! The buyer had come into NY from California for the weekend for a reunion. She and her husband took a trip down Memory Lane and drove by her Grandma's house and found that it was For Sale. She went up to the front door, looked in the window, called over to her husband, "Honey! I have to have this house" and he says "OK."  They went to the reunion dinner, met with the realtor later, signing the paperwork late in the evening and were on a plane back to California the next morning. The house had come full circle and ended up back in it's own family.


The little house in Marcellus. It's been good to me.

...And after following the signs and messengers, I, too, have ended up where I need to be.




Sunday, May 27, 2018

Can You Feel Us? We Speak To You Through Energy


Dear Jack, 
I've been told to look for "signs"... That my baby is still with me and he will come to me somehow to let me know...
The day Gotti gained his wings I had the vet come to the house. I wanted him to be comfortable in his own bed..the familiarity.. His appointment was scheduled for 6pm...  Last night my bedside clock stopped… This is a sign, is it not? 
Love,
Tina

When humans speak to one another they speak with their voices in words that they have defined.  Do you realize that the words people speak are just a small percentage of their communication? When you take away the voice, the speech, the words, there is still a great deal of communication taking place. The words are shaped in the mind; in the brain. The inspiration for speaking the words comes from the heart.  The heart is the true center of genuine communication and Love is the greatest inspiration in the universe.

You may not realize it but you are communicating with us all the time, even when you aren't speaking. We watch you. We hear you. We feel you.  We observe your body language. We look into your eyes. We watch your gestures and listen to your tone of voice.  These are more revealing than the words that you might speak.

"Like words that sound the same but are opposite, sometimes I couldn't tell if she was laughing or crying. They kind of seemed the same. I would have to look very carefully at her eyes and her mouth. I assessed the tilt of her head and her breathing pattern. I got good at deciphering her, but sometimes even when she was laughing, tears would come out of her eyes. Humans are strange that way. They live such a dichotomy." 
(Jack McAfghan: Reflections on Life with my Master, Chapter 29)

You can learn to understand us too.  We do not use words, but we communicate in very similar ways. We can't smile but we can wag our tail. We can't speak our joy in words but we can jump and squirm and wiggle when you come home from work.  You can get hot under the collar because you are angry. We can get hot under the collar too and we might growl when we feel that way.  Most of all, we speak from the heart. Our heart to yours.

After we cross Rainbow Bridge we are all magicians!  We can speak in amazing and unique ways by using the power of energy connected to tangible things. While some of you can pierce the "veil" between Heaven and Earth and see and hear and know things through the power of the psyche and intuition, we know that most of you can only sense things in the physical realm, if you are aware of us at all. So we find ways to reach you.  Clouds, rainbows, dreams.  Lots of times things that are associated with power and energy like lightbulbs, clocks, electronics and appliances.  Electricity is the closest thing on earth to what we become when we cross Rainbow Bridge. We are energy and electricity is energy so it's easiest for us to reach you through energy circuits.


Life between the worlds is much like the world of dreams. Get yourself a dream dictionary so you can refer to it when you see things in life on earth that get your attention. Metaphors and symbols are the universal language.  It's how we speak to you because we can't typically express through the spoken word (although sometimes we put you in a place where nearby people will speak the words we want to say to you --- or a book will fall off a shelf whose title is something we want to tell you).

You can learn to communicate with us if you can translate what you see into what we are telling you. You can learn to speak to us not only through your words, gestures and body language but also through your heart. It is through the heart that we see, hear and feel most clearly.  If you think you might have seen a sign from me, chances are you have -- or you wouldn't have even thought of signs from me. If you have goosebumps (the electricity of the skin) -- observe your thoughts and look around. It is probably me.  All of us in Heaven have a goose bump "signature" and you will learn to recognize mine.


Back to our Letter to Jack. What is Gotti saying to Tina through the stoppage of the clock?  Yes, 6:00 got her attention because that is the moment the vet had arrived to assist Gotti over Rainbow Bridge. "6:00" was designed to get Tina's attention so that she would share this with us so that we could teach her further how to read the signs.

Dear Tina, 
There is more to this than you realize. Look at the time. The minute hand stretches to Heaven. The hour hand points to Earth. The alarm is set for a time in the future... perhaps to let you know that you are not finished "sleeping" yet.
Love,
Jack

Pay attention to the signs.  Tina is tuned in.  This event might have come and gone with a wave of the hand or even a grumbled complaint that one needs to get a new battery for the clock. Be calm, still, attentive to the signs for they are everywhere.

I am everywhere. We are everywhere -- in constant contact with the ones we love.




Friday, May 25, 2018

Sonnet for the Tree Frog

I wrote this while lying awake in my bed at the Rosedon Inn in Hamilton Bermuda... 



Tree frogs, small as a fingernail
Filling the night with boisterous song;
With rhythmic cadence they tell their tale.
To some they are a noisy throng!

Paying attention to the way
They send their notes into the night
Finds them, by nature, propelled to play
Every melody as an orchestra might. 

One sets the beat, the others chime in
A metronome of predictable sound 
Of perfect harmony, timing and 
Like carousel music, goes 'round and 'round. 

Strength in numbers, harmony the goal, 
They simply sing out the song in their soul. 


Oh how we can learn from the animals!  
The Frog represents RENEWAL, CLEANSING and ultimate TRANSFORMATION.
What is the song your soul is singing? What are you yearning for? 
It's never too late to renew your perspective and discover it. 

Learn more about Animal Spirits and Signs in our book "The Lizard from Rainbow Bridge" Available on Amazon Worldwide, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited! 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lesson at a Book Signing Event


A woman approached my table. She looked right at me with her deep blue eyes, as if she could see into my soul. "I have grief," she stated simply. She was not young; she was not very old. She told me how, over a brief period of time not so long ago, she had lost her husband and their two young adult children. 

We grieve and it's one of the hardest things to triumph over, but if we stick with it and have time and support on our side, we do indeed rise triumphant from the ashes. 

In the meantime, let's count our blessings. There is always somebody somewhere who has it worse than we do. 



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Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Jack McAfghan is "A Treasure!!!!!!!"

☆☆☆☆☆ "There is so much healing and love flowing from this book it will spin your head around and you will forever know the reason your beloved pet came into your life and then left. For every time there is a season and for every loss there is a reason. A treasure!!!!!!!" Amazon Customer Review


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Did God Take Him Away to Punish Me?



Dear Jack,
If it wasn't for my dog I would surely be dead or in prison. He had this little look he would give me like he was saying, You Know You Shouldn't Do That, then he would come up and lick my face like he still loved me. He really turned my life around. He was a God send. I thought at first God took him to punish me for things I've done but a Preacher told me God loves all the things we do and wasn't like that. 
Could that be true? 
Pete

Dear Pete,
Oh my friend it's true. God was not punishing you at all. You cannot lose God and you cannot lose your dog either. They both live in a Place Beyond Time. Try to keep your beautiful dog in the present tense, because Love Never Dies. It's hard to realize amidst your grief and your loss that your dog still is very much alive in spirit and soul. He is not in your past. He is your Now. He is your Forever.  He is your Always. 

It was the voice in your own head that you projected into your dog's head that said, “You Know You Shouldn’t Do That.” Your dog never ever stood in judgment or blame, not for a moment. God was simply giving you a glimpse of Him and His Love through your dog's awareness, forgiveness and acceptance of All That You Are. All. That. You are. You are loved. You are accepted. You are forgiven. This is what we come to teach you and this is why God sends us.  We are His gifts to you so that you can know how much you are Loved. 


I love you too.

Jack


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