Friday, August 29, 2014

Theresa Caputo a Hermit? Shut up!

On August 18, I was lucky enough to see Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, at one of her two shows in Albany, NY. I really enjoyed “The Experience” as she has aptly named her tour.

I went to the show with my teenage daughter, Bailey, who is also a fan. While neither one of us were specifically looking for a message, there was an inkling of hope that maybe – just maybe - my grandmother or one of her paternal grandparents might come through.
Theresa Caputo during "The Experience" tour.
They didn’t. But that is okay. We had no pressing “need” for either of us to receive a message. When we discussed it in the car, we actually said we hope the people who need the readings most are able to get them. 

Interestingly, as I walked out of the theater “empty-handed” for lack of a better term, I realized that indeed I did receive a message from ‘Spirit’ that night.

Before I explain what I mean, let me first talk about Theresa herself. Love her or not, she is a very special person. Despite claims of “plants in the audience” or charlatanism by mainstream reviews, I saw none of that. Really.

What I saw was a woman who believes in herself and in her mission. Like the Hermit in the Tarot, which I write about in this month’s Fool’s Paradise, Theresa is a person who has spent time getting to know herself, her gift and her purpose in life.

Believe it or not, the Hermit and Theresa Caputo are a lot alike. Okay, stop laughing. It is true. Take away the big hair, the polished nails and the bling, and what you have are two individuals who specialize in the delivery of messages.

The Hermit’s messages come when we find a stillness within ourselves. When we quiet the mind and remove ourselves from distractions, we are able to hear the whisper of our inner voice guiding us in the direction we need to move.

Theresa, on the other hand, is anything but quiet. Her classic exclamation, “LARRY!!!!!” is an example of what I mean. However, that doesn’t mean she can’t be a beacon of light for people immersed in the darkness of emotional pain.

As I watched her work, I actually saw a person delivering messages to individuals who either did not know how to quiet the mind and hear them independently or who were too disconnected to realize they had the ability to directly receive these messages themselves.

And therein exists the main difference between the Hermit and Theresa. While Theresa relays the messages for us, the Hermit teaches us how to hear these messages ourselves.

Prior to her actual readings, Theresa spent about 15-20 minutes discussing her background. She pointed out three things she wanted us to know about “the Experience.” I am sure there were more, but these are the ones that really resonated with me.

First, she talked about how she came to know and develop her gift after years of denial. She talked about her fears – both the overt ones we see on her TV show and the more subtle ones which have to do with accepting unfair criticism. She talked about the discomfort that comes from the latter and how she used that as a spring board to develop more confidence about her skills. Her first message to the audience was to never apologize for your gifts.

I tell you, I really connected with this one. As a Tarot card reader and Numerologist, I have run into people who dismiss my abilities because of the intangibility of this skill. I can’t tell you how many times, particularly when I was younger, that I felt as though I had to ‘prove’ myself or defend my gift. It took me a while, but I finally realized that was a drain on my energy. Most of these ‘Doubting Thomas’s’ didn’t want to be convinced. They just wanted to criticize something they couldn’t understand. When you entertain this kind of energy, it is nothing more than a struggle for power. Someone will come out feeling drained, and as though their energy has been taken. I have learned it is best to respectfully disagree and walk away.

Next, Theresa made it very clear that when she reads for people, it is for the sole purpose of healing. Her goal is to ease the pain people feel and clear up the confusion associated with the concept of death.

As a result, Theresa delivered messages with sincerity, humor and, at times, a hard-to-swallow truth. Despite a sold-out crowd of more than 3,000 people, she was able to focus in on specific individuals and deliver important messages. She made direct connections with many people who had lost spouses, parents, children, etc. She brought a sense of peace to them they didn’t have when they entered the theater. Did she always connect? No. Was that always her “fault”? Definitely not.

One difference I noticed about the people with which Theresa was able to deliver messages and the ones with which she struggled to make a connection was what I would describe as “openness.” This is not gullibility I am talking about. What I am describing is awareness. Awareness is a state of mind in which you are fully present and open in thought and action.

The people who successfully received a message from Theresa were individuals who were willing to listen and hear what she had to say. This does not mean they liked the message. It only means they were willing to receive it. Conversely, the people who stood with arms folded across their chests, with their bodies turned in a different direction, with a doubtful look on their face or a rigid structure struggled to find any meaning in her message. When I saw that, all I could think of was, “What a shame. Why are you here if you didn’t want the message?”

And that leads me to Theresa’s third point of the night. This final message – in my opinion - was the most important. It served as a reminder of the power we each hold within ourselves. I will paraphrase her words here as I don’t remember them verbatim. It went something very similar to this, “You know, you can connect with your departed loved ones any time you want. They aren’t waiting for you in the cemetery, and they aren’t following me around. I have my own dead people following me. They are with you all the time. They send symbols and signs to you. Look for that.”

I really liked that final message because it served as a solid reminder to stay present in life and be aware of the power that exists within and around all of us.  Despite my lack of direct communication with Theresa that night, I walked away from her show with what I believed was a personalized message from the Universe.

That message was to stop looking outside of myself for the answers. When I left the theater that night, I was reminded of my ability to access a power much greater than my own; a power that already exists within me.

Interestingly, that is also the message described by the Hermit card. It is about the ability to silence the mind and tap into the divine flow of the soul. By doing so, we receive messages from our higher selves that help us find our best paths in life and create “The Experience” we are meant to have right here on earth. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Let your Inner Light Dispel your Darkest Fears

I don’t know about you, but I have an inner “demon” who knows just the right buttons to push to make me think I am losing my mind. She taunts me with uncertainty when I have a dream in the works. She whispers in my ear that I am not as physically fit as I used to be, and am in need of some dieting help. She turns my mirror into a magnifying glass and feeding from the trough of vanity reminds me that I am not as young as I used to be.

You know who she is, don’t you? You have probably met her  yourself from time to time. What false beliefs does she use to torment you?

Perhaps it is an uncomfortable sense of inadequacy when a neighbor comes home with a brand new car – again. Maybe it is a sense of frustration about a job for which you have little passion or maybe it is this intangible sense of animosity that sits within you, and you are not even sure why it is there.

For what it is worth, everyone struggles with this “demon” to some extent. In case you don’t believe me, this “demon” is your ego. Everybody has one, and it is not the tradition definition of “ego” with which we are familiar.

The ego exists within us almost as a separate entity. Its purpose is to keep our focus on the easy road in life. It draws our attention to “pleasure-seeking events.”

So what is wrong with that?!?! I know that is probably what you are thinking. However, that is not your idea. That is your ego talking.

The problem with that approach to life is that it inhibits our ability to connect with our higher selves. We need to remember we are spiritual beings having a human existing. We came to this earth school to grow spiritually at an accelerated rate. While it is important that we experience many joys and pleasures of this plane, we must also connect with our spiritual side, and grow at a deeper level.

Like the Lion in the Strength card, discussed in this month’s Fool’s Journey, the ego exists only in relation to your outside circumstances. The ego attempts to control your exterior world and convince you that your happiness is dependent on the alignment of outer situations. It is the ego that says, “If only I could lose 30 pounds…”, “If only I had more money…”, “If only I was younger…” The list goes on and on.

The ego is actually quite fragile. It cannot exist on its own. It creates these false outer ideas to convince you the only way to happiness is to avoid challenging, frustrating or upsetting situations in your everyday existence. That alone makes it exist.

If you think about it, a lot of energy is put into avoiding that which we don’t want in life rather than what we want in life. Our focus is on controlling our outer world in an attempt to make our inner world better. The problem here is we need to experience challenges in life to grow. In addition, all this outer chatter blocks communication with our inner, higher self.

The ego is like the student who does not want to do the work to pass the class. He is in school to learn but is under the erroneous assumption that he can learn without doing the designated assignments.

As a result, he avoids, makes up excuses, and puts himself through stress in an order to do less school work. The truth is that it is twice as hard to put these avoidance techniques into play. If he would just put his head down and plod through, the lessons would be learned and with help available.

When we give in to the ego and believe the hype, we become that student avoiding our lessons here in earth school. Our spiritual side does not grow. Like the young student, we are wasting time and energy. We are also adding stress because we are convincing ourselves we have to avoid the very lessons we came here to learn. It really would be so much easier if we put our nose to the grindstone and focused on the lessons. It does not have to be as severe a challenge as the ego would have us to believe. The ego just makes a lot of noise that drowns out our Higher Self and Inner guide. The ego is like the lion in the Strength card that won’t listen to the patient young woman (our Higher Self)waiting to show him a better way.

Unlike the ego, our Higher Self won’t fight for attention because it is against its nature. To do so would make the Higher Self like the ego. Rather, she waits patiently for us to tire of the games and useless antics. When we realize there has got to be a better way to live, it is only then that we can hear her.

By silencing the useless cacophony and increasing the pause between the noises of the ego, we can become aware of a peacefulness unlike anything else we find on this earth. And, that is because what we find in those spaces is not of this plane. It is in these moments we hear the voice of our inner teacher guiding us through our lessons on true confidence, strength and divine purpose so that we can make the most of our time here on earth.