your pal, erin

Writer & Psychic Medium

Oh no. Not Ali!

Dear Erin,

Now we’ve lost Muhammad Ali?! What’s up with all the celebrity deaths these days? My heart just can’t take it anymore.

Bernice


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Dear Bernice,

I feel you, girlfriend. It’s hard losing the people we always thought would always be here. Whether we’re mourning the passing of a legend or a loved one (in some cases, both at once) it’s devastating losing those who make the world a better place simply because they’re in it.

The best way to honor these magical beings is to continue their legacy. Even though you might not feel that you could ever be “The Greatest,” don’t underestimate yourself. You have so much to offer the world!

Sometimes we’re so awed by the radiant glow of others that we don’t realize our own shine. What can you do to help people feel good about themselves just by walking into a room? Whether it be a kind word, a positive thought or just asking someone how they’re doing, your presence for others is invaluable.

More important, what are your secret superpowers? How can you share them with the world?

Mine is being able to see people for who they are in their hearts. I can see that you’re a loving being who’s filled with light, laughter and joy. In fact, my Spidey Senses are saying that you’re one of the funniest people that your loved ones know. It’s time for you to embrace that gift!

Don’t be shy about your sense of humor. Speak your truth. You have the ability to diffuse difficult situations by saying what everyone else is thinking, in the funniest, most positive way. Your superpower is transforming angry situations into something everyone will eventually laugh about.

How cool is that?!

This might not be the answer you’re looking for Bernice. I’m sure you weren’t expecting an impromptu psychic reading, but your gifts of love and laughter are of the few things you can control in this world. I can sense right now that your grief has you feeling like you’re at death’s mercy — I’d love to see you reclaim some of your personal power to help get your groove back!

Thank you, dear readers, for all the questions you continue to ask online and in person. I’d love to answer more of them here and am glad to use my psychic sensibilities to do some mini-psychic readings.  It could be fun!

Got a question about life after death or life in general? Drop me a line at psychicyourpalerin@gmail. I can’t wait to hear from you and am always glad to help.

Sending love and light to all in the meantime.

 

Your pal,
Erin

 

Originally published in Connect Savannah

          

Matthew Michael & the Case of the Curious Mother-In-Law

Dear Erin,

Have you ever made a wrong prediction? If so, what happened?

Just Curious

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Hi Just Curious,

There’s no sugarcoating this one. Yes I have, and it was awesomely bad.

Here’s what happened: I was in Utah on a business trip and wound up bedridden with a bladder infection. In search of some holistic healing, I went to a new age bookstore and got a psychic reading while I was there. (No particular question in mind, that day. Mostly, I wanted to avoid holing up in a hotel room watching daytime TV.)

When the reader said I had two children waiting to be born, I explained that my boyfriend Fred and I didn’t want any children... to which she replied, “Fred’s not the father.”

I knew in my heart that she wasn’t wrong. Fred and I had been falling apart for awhile. You’d think that living together for six years in a 300 sq. ft. NYC studio would have highlighted the fact, but given the alternative of being homeless, I’d proceeded with blinders on.

Fred and I continued living together for the next six weeks, as I searched for a new home. Meanwhile, I was chatting online with a cute former co-worker named Finn. Back in my Los Angeles days, Finn would hang out in my office, flirting with me in his cranky, Old Man Flanders kind of way.

I’d only been to Finn’s office once, after a gossipy co-worker pulled me aside and whispered in her whiny, Long Island accent, “Oh my god. Did you hear that Finn’s mom died? Don’t say anything. He doesn’t want anyone to know.”

Stunned, I walked over to Finn’s desk and asked him if he needed anything. (Without mentioning his mom, of course.)

“Why?” he demanded, as if I were a loitering kid on his front lawn.

“Oh…nothing.” I said, admiring his bravery in the face of his grief.

So Fred and I were still living together; Finn and I were emailing occasionally, with absolutely no sexual innuendo, but I was crushing on him a little bit…

And then I had The Dream. I was holding the sweetest, most docile baby boy, with brown hair and brown eyes, like Finn’s. As I rocked him, he said, “My name is Matthew Michael. I’ve been waiting to be born to you for awhile now.” That’s when I felt the booming voice of an older woman standing next to my bed. She said, “And I’ve been waiting, too!’

Grief causes us to do bizarre things. It doesn’t matter whether we’re mourning the death of a relationship or a loved one. It’s a strange fucking place. And for whatever reason, when I heard the disembodied voice of a woman standing beside me, I concluded that it was Finn’s dead mother insisting that I bear her a grandson.

Go ahead and take a moment to let that sink in.

I’ll just be sitting over here, feeling like a total dink for ever admitting it.

At the time, it didn’t even make sense to me, but I went with it. Rather than trying to overanalyze the situation or judge myself, I just let myself be who I was (a hurt woman in the middle of a common law divorce) and where I was (on a mission to give birth to my dead future mother-in-law’s grandson).

Needless to say, I went into therapy. There I talked about my vision of Finn, our child and his deceased mother, rather than talking about the death of my relationship with Fred. Even though Matthew Michael and Finn’s mother were very real to me, I admitted that I was disassociating from my breakup by focusing on this “phantom” pregnancy instead of dealing with reality.

For the next six months, my disposition was eerily similar to that of James Stewart in the movie “Harvey.” I openly acknowledged Matthew Michael and his nana to my friends, family, co-workers, even Fred. The only person who didn’t know about them was Finn.

I prefaced the news with an email about his mom:

“Remember that time that I came into your office shortly after your mom died to ask if everything was okay?”

To which he replied: “What are you talking about? My mom’s not dead.”

It turns out, our snidely co-worker lied to me to see how long I could keep a secret. (Guess what, bitchface? Ten years is your final answer.)

So yeah, that happened.

I guess the point of the story is to make peace with yourself; wherever you’re at, whenever your find yourself there.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Just Curious. Sending happy thoughts to you!

 

Your pal, 
Erin        

 

Originally published in Connect Savannah

 

Jesus Christ Superstar

Dear Erin, 

Weird dreams last night…but a guest appearance by The Purple One…standing there eating a cookie. Yes…a cookie. He really loved that cookie!! 

When Prince appears standing before you in a dream, staring at you, dressed in a beautiful cream colored suit and eating a cookie... you know it is the best damn cookie ever made!!

And I'm pretty sure it was an oatmeal chocolate chip with nuts and coconut (and possibly craisins)... not overly sweet but warm and chewy.

No idea what it means, but I wanted that cookie too.

Your pal,
Du

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Dear Du,

Believe it or not, I’ve received many letters from friends and acquaintances reporting experiences of deep spiritual communion with Prince in the days after his passing. And like the ecstatic man in the Double Rainbow video, they’re all asking the same question, what does it all mean?

I chose your letter because it’s the funniest, most lighthearted of the correspondence. Most have been deeply personal, expressing uncontrollable tears, inexplicable loss and a profound sense of mourning. People are unsure why they grieve him when they didn’t even know him. They question whether his appearances in their dreams and waking moments are hallucinations or real.

(Quick show of hands, dear readers —raise yours if you can relate to any of these experiences.)

See? You’re not alone and it’s not your imagination. It’s a very real, transcendental phenomenon. He is very much among us.

But why is it happening? Why with him? Why weren’t we as moved by the passings of other beloved geniuses like Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman or even David Bowie?

What follows is just a theory, not a definitive answer —one that’s entirely subjective, informed only by my personal experience. Maybe you’ll find my insights resonant, maybe not. Regardless, I hope they will help provide some relief to people who are grieving his loss in a very tangible way.

To be honest, I was never a big fan of Prince as a person. As his former employee/World’s Worst Cocktail Waitress at his nightclub Glam Slam, his presence invoked an intolerable degree of chaos over which he exercised maniacal control.

There were strict rules about who could approach him, when and how, yet he reserved the right to pluck anyone he saw fit—employee or patron— out of the crowd and sweep them away on his purple jet at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, The Little Man made it known that rebuffing an exclusive invitation was highly frowned upon.

The dude had boundary issues.

It bothered me that he kept his muse Mayte (literally) locked up in a cage, belly dancing above the crowd in his VIP suite. There was something grossly harem-esque about the whole production. Sure, it was a cool artistic concept, but as a woman, I found the whole experience insufferable, especially after my experience with Noxema Boy.

Nevertheless, I always felt that I was in the presence of God whenever I listened to his music. It didn’t matter whether the topic was sacred (“I Would Die 4 U) or profane (“Darling Nikki”). His musical genius was an invariable testament to a Higher Power.

I suspect that Prince possessed the essence of Jesus Christ incarnate—a notion that is bound to rub many the wrong way. Modern Christianity is quick to put Christ on a pedestal —the standard that all humans must aspire to, but no one could ever possibly become.

Prince never would have been so blasphemous as to liken himself to Christ, yet it was evident, both in his work and in his interviews, that he did so love the Lord and devote himself to Christ’s teachings that he consistently aspired to Christ’s perfection, even though he was an imperfect person.

I suspect that this is why we collectively grieve his loss.

Even though the magic of the man created the illusion that he floated above us in life, he so devoted himself to the path of Jesus Christ that he now appears to all of us in death to remind us that we are all God’s children — each with our own inherent gifts to bestow upon the world— and that we are universally loved.

So go make those damn cookies, already and share them with the world! Stop hiding your gifts to yourself.

I promise you, The Little Man would have wanted it that way.

Your pal, 
Erin

 

Originally published in Connect Savannah.

The only prescription: MORE COWBELL

Dear Erin, 

In the past two years I’ve had three near-death experiences. I’m scared to die. Help!

 -- Ed

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Goodness Ed!

You’ve written a simple letter with many complex answers. In the words of Deborah Kennedy —a Brooklyn PS 399 teacher who never gives up on her kids and is one of the most inspiring women I know— “There’s more than one way to skin this cat!”

 So many possibilities…where to start?

There’s the quantum physics lesson, in which I conclude you have nothing to fear because there’s no such thing as death; we’re all just transitioning from the one dimension into the next. I could add that even the Earth itself is transitioning from the 3rd Dimension, through the 4th and into the 5th Dimension.

But that’s an awfully tall order to fill in 750 words or less.

We could take the Abraham-Hicks approach, which teaches that this is an all-inclusive universe where there’s no such thing as the word “no.”  Because of this, when you say “I’m scared to die,” Law of Attraction only hears the word “die,” therefore making you a vibrational match with death. I could gently suggest you proclaim “I’m thrilled to live!” so that Law of Attraction can supply you with life affirming experiences instead.

But that’s easy for me to say. I’m not the one who keeps almost dying.

We could talk about the Emotional Scale, a tool that measures where we are in relationship to where we want to be. I could note that when you find yourself fearing death, it’s simply an equal and opposite indicator of exactly how much you want to live. Which would lead us redundantly to the “Hooray for Life!” proclamation.

I could tell you that the secret to slowing death’s momentum is to hoard your good feeling thoughts, stash them in your “Happy Place” and hide out there as often as possible. (Thus adding the p.s. that animals are the most invaluable of “Happy Place” treasures.)

Instead of telling you not to fear the reaper, the best advice I can muster is to play the heck out of the cowbell while you’re still here.                       

That and “Know that you are safe and well and that life is good. Not because I say so, but because you say so.”

 

Your pal,
Erin

 

Originally published in Connect Savannah

 

 

The Dude Abides

Dear Erin,

My brother put me in touch with a friend of his who is an empath and a witch because I have been experiencing some paranormal things. She told me that something has attached itself to me. Also, a person who left my life several months ago left some bad energy behind and it’s been sticking around. She had me put salt in all my doorways and recite something that she sent me. Is there anything else I can do?

—Zoe Adams

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Hi Zoe,

Thanks for getting in touch. Before we get to your question, I’d like to give everyone a quick refesher course in the science behind your paranormal activity. Newton’s Third Law states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Because of this, we know that waves of light and sound continue in perpetuity, even after we can no longer see or hear them. Did you know that the same principle applies to our thoughts and words, even after we think and speak them?

It turns out, angry thoughts and words vibrate at a lower frequency and are composed of finite energy. In order to maintain their momentum, they need to draw additional energy from an outside source. Meanwhile, loving, positive thoughts and words are comprised of infinite energy and their wavelengths are self-sustaining.

Right now it probably feels like you’re the renewable resource for all the paranormal activity that’s happening in your life, especially that Klingon of bad juju your dude left behind when he hit the road.

The great news is, once you turn your conscious thoughts away from that lower energy and focus on positive, loving thoughts, none of that negativity will be able to glom onto you. It’ll just lay dormant until it crosses the path of someone else’s lower thought forms.

Here’s a little invocation that I use before all of my psychic readings, in order to connect with energies of only the highest integrity:

“We come in light and love. We come in joy and play. Anyone who’d like to join us in light, love, joy and play is welcome. If you’ve had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad life, you’re welcome to observe and we respectfully request that you remain neutral. Anyone changing their mind who decides to join us in light, love, joy and play is always welcome.”

This has been my go-to source of psychic protection for years. I suspect that the reason it works so well is because it allows all energies to be present, while establishing clear boundaries about what does and does not have my permission to appear.

Personally, I’ve never liked being told to “go away.” It hurts my feelings. But I appreciate knowing that I am welcome to join in if I’m willing to make positive contributions. I suspect that those looming, paranormal energies appreciate it, too. And if they’re inspired to change their polarity from negative to positive in order to join us, all the better.

I first used this invocation while working at The Old Sorrel-Weed, Savannah’s only haunted house to open its doors to the public for paranormal investigation. Certain members of the staff were understandably leery about opening up the house alone in the morning, so I would join them and say these words as we entered. The energy of the house always welcomed us.

In fact, I only experienced one paranormal event the entire time I worked there. One afternoon a belligerent drunk claiming to have done construction work on the house came into the basement yelling, “This house is not haunted! I pulled the slate slabs off these floors and never saw a ghost. There is no Ghost of Sorrel-Weed. I AM THE GHOST OF THE SORREL-WEED!!” and stormed out.

Not five seconds after his departure, there was an enormous slam in the northwest corner of the room. At first it freaked me out, but then I realized the house was simply saying that if I insisted that its energies come in light, love, joy and play, then everyone else must follow the same rules.

Or, as I informed our visitors thereafter, “Remember, The Dude Abides.”

Thanks again for your question, Zoe. I hope this helps. Sending love and light to you!

Your pal,
Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah

Sometimes You Just Know

Dear Erin,

So sorry to hear about Pup —I hope she’s okay! Your column last week reminded me of my own issues about trusting my intuition.

Recently, my husband Matt and I were shopping for routers at Costco. When he grabbed one and put it in the cart, I had the feeling something was wrong, but I didn’t want to sound like a nag, so I kept my mouth shut.

Later, when he opened it, there was someone else’s receipt inside! Even though the box was in perfect condition, the router had obviously been used. It wasn’t such a big deal for Matt to go back and replace it, but if I had said something, it could have saved him the return trip.

When Matt heard about how I almost told him to pick different router, he said that I’ve had enough “hindsight being 20/20” experiences that I should have just listened my instincts.

Why do you think we doubt ourselves?

—Laura in Seattle

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Hi Laura,

When it comes to trusting my gut, I tend to overthink things. This stems from the need to corroborate my feelings with some form of fact. And when I can’t find the supporting data in my head, I seek affirmation from other people.

Any of this sound familiar to you?

One common pattern that I see in both our situations is that we were worried about other people’s opinions. You didn’t want to sound like a nagging wife and I was hoping my porch pals would confirm my concern for Pup’s wellbeing.

Here’s the thing: our intuition is merely an extension of our life experiences. Because of this, it’s rare for two people to have the same point of reference in the exact same moment. And when it happens, we get all freaked out about it and say things like, “Jinx! Buy me a Coke.”

The reason you kept your mouth shut is because your point of reference was focused on all the times you’ve been nagging wife, rather than all the times you’ve had 20/20 hindsight.

When looking for confirmation from my friends that I was right to worry about Pup, I had completely blocked out the experience of having PJ die suddenly and unexpectedly. I also didn’t take into consideration the fact that the median age of our porch gathering was 67.2. So of course their frame of reference was that Pup just showing signs of regular wear and tear!

Even when I expressed my concern about Pup to the vet, she operated from assumption that Pup had most likely fractured one of her dog knuckles, based on the fact that her pain was presenting itself almost entirely in her paw. It wasn’t until Pup was sedated and her leg was shaved that they discovered that she had been bitten by a copperhead snake.

Thank goodness I worried. It saved her life.

When it comes to trusting our intuition, we don’t always have the evidence we need in the exact moment. Sometimes we just know. The best way to overcome our doubt is make peace with this fact.

Thanks for your letter, Laura. Sending big hugs to you and to all the wonderful, amazing readers who have expressed their love, kindness and concern for Pup and me over the past few months—both online and in person. Who knew there were so many and from so far away?

Sending much love, light and appreciation to you all. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Your pal,
Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah

 

When all else fails, ask

Dear Erin,
 
I was wondering if you might be able to help me. Earlier this year I tried to kill myself.

I haven’t attempted suicide again, but I have called 911 at times when I wanted to hurt myself. I’m having a really hard time overcoming my depression and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Many people I love have died or left me because of my problems and I feel so alone. I also feel guilty for calling the police when I need help, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to bother anyone. I just want to feel better.
 
Thank you for your time.
 
 —M
 
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Dear M,

Thank you for reaching out and for agreeing to let me publish your letter. I’m glad to help, especially with a problem that affects so many people. Please know that even though you are feeling isolated, you’re not alone. And by asking for help, you are bravely helping others.

My best advice to you, M, is to keep asking. Ask for help whenever you need it. Ask anyone who will listen… the police, the 911 operator, Your Pal Erin, the loved ones that have abandoned you…ask us all. Ask even though you’re scared that we might ignore you or dismiss you as crazy. Ask even though there’s a possibility we just might tell you “no.”

Every time you ask, you create an opportunity for human connection with someone who might understand what you are going through. There are more of us than you realize, M. Even though I’ve never actually tried to kill myself, I have felt suicidal. It was a powerless, scary feeling to be so far at the end of my rope that I didn’t know if I would make it through the night.

In these moments, I have reached out to people who love me, people who don’t know me…even people who don’t particularly like me. For the most part, their responses have been compassionate and always provide me with a new perspective. Even being told to “put on my big girl pants,” helped shock me out of my despair and reminded me that I am stronger than I realize.

Be gentle with yourself when you feel guilty for reaching out to strangers, M. Lack of human connection has made me do some pretty wacky things. Once when I was out driving, I stopped by an open house and pretended to be an interested buyer just for the sake of having some company. Another time when I was on my lunch break at work, I went to confession and admitted to the priest that I wasn’t Catholic, but a frustrated Episcopalian who had no idea what the hell I was doing with my life.

Even though my woes might seem trivial in comparison, my desperation and loneliness were just as real; they’re horrifying to admit and painful to remember. And the only reason I didn’t wind up hurting myself is because I was willing to ask anyone for help in my own weird, backward way.

You didn’t mention how many times you’ve called 911, but you’ve only hurt yourself once. Since then, you’ve reached out to trained professionals who have the actual ability to help you whenever you feel like you can’t help yourself. That shows a strength and willingness to live that you can be proud of.

It sounds like your addictions could be part of a cycle of depression and self-medication that’s leading you into further depression. AA and NA are places where you can commiserate with people who understand where you’re at and are willing to show up for you anytime you ask. It sounds like I’m stealing a page from the Capitan Obvious Handbook by pointing that out, but when you stop and think about it, the idea of people who are willing to help you anytime just because they’ve been in your shoes is pretty cool.

Thanks again for reaching out, M. If you ever want to talk in person, you can reach me Monday afternoons from 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. on the Ask Your Pal Erin radio show on WRUU 107.5 FM Savannah Soundings. The show will be available online at savsoundings.org in just a few weeks and on the air soon after. I hope you give a call sometime to let us know how you’re doing.

In the meantime, I’ll be holding you in my best, most positive loving thoughts.
 
 
Your pal,
Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah (p. 69)

The Long Overdue Discretion Talk

Dear Erin,
 
What’s happened to Downtown Savannah? I’ve lived here since the 1990’s, back when a majority of the Historic District was condemned and Broughton Street was a crack whore haven, but even then it was never violent like this. In addition to  carjackings, rapes, robberies and public square shootings, last week there was a stabbing at Pinkie Master’s!
 
You’ve mentioned burial grounds, war battles and other “woo-woo” reasons for the city’s problems. Have you ever considered the possibility that Savannah is just plain fucked?
 
Have a nice day,

Ted
 
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Dear Ted,
 
When I was growing up, my mother was a force to be reckoned with. Her ability to invoke the fear of God with a single sharp, sucking breath was second only to her legendary “Discretion Talks.”
 
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, but stay with me.
 
Mom had zero tolerance for gossip. Having grown up in a small town where the airing of dirty laundry was considered a highbrow form of community theater, she abhorred using the private lives of others as a means of public entertainment.
 
Over the years Mom gave several Discretion Talks, in which she would disseminate need-to-know information about the private lives others, along with explicit instructions that such information never be repeated, so as not to cause further pain or embarrassment. Most often, these debriefings were conducted in the back seat of the family station wagon, while in transit to the homes of our Discretion Talk subjects or to public functions where we might encounter gossip.
 
Mom’s first Discretion Talk dates back to 1968, when she informed my siblings that their friend Joey’s parents were getting divorced. After explaining what this meant, she made it known that if anyone so much as breathed the word divorce during Joey’s upcoming weekend sleepover there would be hell to pay. My wise-ass brother challenged mom’s decree, making googly eyes and silently mouthing “DI…VORCE!” behind Joey’s back, prompting her to hiss, “Discretion Michael…” several times during the course of his visit.
 
Ted, since you have taken it upon yourself to climb into the back seat of my proverbial station wagon, here’s my Discretion Talk to you:
 
“I understand your concern about the all of the scary things that have happened downtown, especially the incident at Pinkie Master’s, but what you don’t know is that the person who got stabbed there is someone I know and love, someone very dear to me. I know you were just trying to lighten the mood by joking that Savannah is fucked, but sending a sarcastic letter to an advice column doesn’t help him and it doesn’t solve the city’s problems. If you can’t contribute something helpful, perhaps it’s better to say nothing at all.”
 
I don’t mean to be the Debbie Downer here and I realize that humor is a natural human defense to tragic situations. It makes perfect sense that in the wake of such a shocking event, the staff at Abe’s On Lincoln would show their solidarity with their injured bartender brethren by posting a chalkboard sign that features the image of a fish with a knife in its side and reads, “The Neighborhood Bar Where You Won’t Get Stabbed.”
 
It’s funny. It cleverly calls out the competition’s most unsavory qualities. And if I didn’t feel like it was my own heart that was up on that chalkboard with a knife stuck in it, I might have laughed it off without a second thought.
 
Instead it gives me pause to reconsider what I am putting out in the world and to ask my readers to do the same.
 
Those of you who know me personally can attest to the fact that that I don’t like to talk about negative situations because I believe that what you focus your energy on is what you create more of.
 
My motivation for creating the Ghost Dog Diaries column was to answer reader’s questions about death and other "woo-woo" topics in order to help provide relief from the pain of losing their loved ones and to spread a little light, love and magic.
 
I am proud of my contributions, both in answering readers’ questions that are in this vein and in responding to the more controversial questions.
 
Ted, my best, most honest answer to your question is that the violence we’re experiencing isn’t exclusive to downtown or even to Savannah. The world has become a more volatile place since you first moved here. Some people believe we are in End Times. Others consider it the clearing of fearful, warring energies to make way for a more peaceful, loving planet. I see it as an opportunity to bring light and love to all.
 
In 1999, I received a psychic reading instructing me to remain the calm at the center of the storm during these violent times. It’s my intention to do so, and the best way I know how is to eschew the “Savannah Shit Show” as a form of public entertainment (thanks Mom!) and to see people for who they are in their hearts instead of for what life has made of them.
 
One effective tool I use for doing this is to remember that everyone comes into this world as somebody’s baby, even the person who is responsible for the violence at Pinkie Master’s.
 
This is the last advice that I will offer in this column.
 
Starting next week, The Ghost Dog Diaries will take on a new format: a weekly serial chronicling my supernatural journey from Hollywood D-Girl to Savannah psychic, starting with the Origin Story of “Your Pal, Erin.”
 
Thanks again to my Ghost Dog Diaries contributors and readers for your support. I hope to see y’all next week.
 
Until then, happy thoughts!
 
 
Your pal,
Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah (p. 37)

Did my dad know it was his day to die?

Dear Erin,

I’ve got a question that’s been weighing on my mind for years, now. On the last day of my dad’s life, we sat on the front porch and had a good, long talk. I could tell that there was something different about him, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. A few hours later he had a heart attack and died.  

Do you think he knew that he was going to die that day and kept it a secret from me?

Thanks, 
B

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Dear B, 

Please know that I am sending love to you regarding the loss of your dad. I also want to acknowledge and honor the grief that you’ve felt over this longstanding, unanswered question.

While I can’t speak directly to your dad’s passing, I can do my best to tell about how I felt in the hours before having my own near-death experience. Hopefully, it will help you to better understand what your dad might have felt that day.

When I was twenty years old, I got a summer job nannying for an American venture capitalist living in Poland. Although I had only been with the family a few months, we bonded very quickly. I loved them so much that I even considered postponing my sophomore year of college to stay with them an entire year.

One afternoon, while we were in the middle of hosting a barbecue for an expatriate family that had just moved to Poland, I walked into the kitchen to grab a salad for our guests, when I suddenly felt like I didn’t belong there anymore. 

I remember very distinctly the sensation of standing there, watching the kids playing together in one corner of the room and the moms gabbing away in another. Even though I could see everyone’s mouth’s moving, I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying. It felt like I was trying to listen to a radio station with a signal so faint, it was almost gone.

At the same time, my body started feeling all sparkly inside, almost as if I was being transported off the Starship Enterprise. I could feel myself physically disappearing from the picture, like Michael J. Fox in the prom scene from Back To The Future

Eventually I snapped out of it and dismissed the sensation as some weird kind of daydream. A few hours later, I was hospitalized after being critically injured in a car crash. Within a few weeks, I was back in Minnesota recovering from my injuries.

We will never know for sure what your dad did or didn’t know on the day he died, but because you could see that there was something different about his energy, it’s probably a safe guess that your dad was feeling the quantum shift, too. 

But even if that were the case, I doubt that he was deliberately keeping his death a secret from you. Even though there’s no proof either way, it just doesn’t make sense that your dad would spend his final hours keeping secrets when he could have taken the opportunity to tell you everything he’d ever want to say if he knew he was never going to see you again.  

Thank you for your thoughtful letter, B. I hope my answer helps you feel better. Please know that I am holding you and your dad in my happiest, most loving thoughts.


Your pal,
Erin



Originally published in Connect Savannah (page 37)

Joan's Go-To List for Happy Thoughts

Dear Erin,

I’ve been enjoying your column in Connect Savannah, especially your ability to maintain a positive and loving attitude, even when the letters people write are often cynical.

In response to last week’s column asking readers to share their Happy Place, here’s my Go To list, in no particular order:

1.  Refer to anything written by Eckhart Tolle. He is a true Teacher. Here’s something that arrived in my inbox earlier this week: “Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you."

2.  Get yourself on the John of God crystal light table the next time Renee and Barry Adcock are in town (at Unity Savannah). Do the one-hour session. You will be lifted and shifted. John of God is a divine energy portal. For more information, go to www.spiritenlighten.com.

3. Take in less news and/or focus on stories that inspire. The so-called “news” reflects our collective addiction to fear and worst-case scenarios, multiplied by constant global distribution and access. Much more good is happening in the world each day than what is peddled in the media, so let’s be more selective about where we focus our attention. Many of us understand the concept “what you focus on expands”. It’s time for us to live it. If you don’t want to quit the news (like me), resolve to approach it more lightly.

4.  Recite the serenity prayer.

5.  Refer to anything written in the Course in Miracles. One of my favorite lines and antidote (for any problem) – “Only Love is real. Nothing unreal exists. Therein lies the peace of God.”

6.  Read Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver. It’s a best seller for good reason. This anthology of briefs about living and growing in wisdom is so funny you’ll laugh out loud.

7.  Repeat this mantra, “I bring light, love and joy to the world when I bring light, love and joy to my self. When I make myself happy I am in service.”

8.   Spend time in a “happy place”. For me it’s Whole Foods Savannah, one of their most beautiful stores with many lovely people working there.

9.   Cook and eat something delicious and beautiful.

10. Step out of your comfort zone and reach out to others. Ask for what you need.

11. Make peace with the worst-case scenario. Shake its hand. Pat it on the head. Then it no longer has power over you.

12. Remember always – I am Eternal Being and so are You.

Peace and blessings to you Erin – and thank you for asking for help and inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone.

Namaste,

Joan


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Hi Joan,

Namaste back atchya!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter. I appreciate your willingness to step out of your comfort to help bring peace and joy to all who read this column.

Sending much love and light to you, Joan. Please share your insights with us anytime.


Your pal,

Erin

Ps. If Joan’s letter has inspired you to step out of your comfort zone, why not share your story? You just might be the candle that ignites the light of inspiration in someone who could really use it.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams



Originally published in Connect Savannah (page 37)

Gay Marriage: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Dear Erin,

You were totally off-base with your advice to T.C., the gay man who doesn’t want to be gay. Instead of encouraging him to follow his heart, you told him to keep lying to people. This is total disservice to him, the women he’s “playing” and to the gay community.

Legalizing gay marriage moved America one stop forward. Your letter took us two steps back. Way to blow a teachable moment.

Becky

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Dear Becky,

Thanks for getting in touch. When responding to T.C.’s letter, I took into consideration the very concerns you have expressed. Given his fear and reticence, I didn’t sense that he would be open to the suggestion, “Just be okay with being gay.”

And based on his feelings and his experiences, I can’t say that I blame him.

As a straight woman, my biggest vulnerability is wondering whether or not the guy I’m hot for likes me back. T.C., in contrast, would not only have to “out” himself every time he wants to know if a man is interested, he’d also have to worry about getting his ass kicked as part of the rejection process.

As a straight woman who’s currently going through a breakup, I am grieving the end of a romantic relationship. T.C., on the other hand, would be grieving the end of a romantic relationship and be facing the disapproval of his family and friends. Sure, one could argue that the same thing is true for straight people, but when you’re gay and you don’t have the support of your loved ones, the words “I told you so,” take on a whole new meaning.

What I wanted to tell T.C. more than anything —but couldn’t because we ran out of column space—is that when I was 11 years old, my older sister told me that she and her roommate Ella were lovers.

At first I was totally uncomfortable, not so much because she and Ella were lesbians, but because I was in 5th grade and worried about what my friends would think. Ella had been hanging out with us for a couple of years at that point and we all thought of her as our cool older sister. I was worried that they wouldn’t like her (or me) anymore.

About 30 minutes after our talk, my sister and I met Ella for lunch. Surprisingly, I was relieved when Ella walked into the restaurant. My sister had been painfully uncomfortable during our conversation, but Ella was her usual, funny, super-cool self. From that moment on, I enjoyed their company and never felt awkward about their relationship again.

You can’t always teach people to think differently by using words; sometimes they need to be inspired by example. Ella’s confidence inspired me not to be afraid of what other people think and to love her and my sister even more that I thought possible.

It’s my hope that T.C. will find someone like Ella who inspires him into loving himself, so that he can open his heart to someone special. Whether that someone is man or a woman is irrelevant; what matters most is that it’s someone who makes him feel like he’s found his home.

Thanks again for your insights, Becky. Much love and light to you!


Your pal,
Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah

Calling All Readers: What is your Happy Place?

Dear Pals, 

Lately, I’m suffering from a serious case of weltschmerz— a Yiddish word meaning “world weariness.” Based on your letters and feedback, you’re feeling it too. 

In the past few years, the world seems to have gone mad. Reading the news is like playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons where every character you encounter has rolled a perfect 20 in the alignment of Chaotic Evil.

Even worse, the people that we know and love are leaving us much too soon. Parents, grandparents, children and friends, taken away by addictions they just couldn’t kick; freak accidents that no one saw coming; rogue diseases that had no business being in their bodies in the first place.

Take a wellness census in my neighborhood and you’ll tally two strokes, three terminal illnesses, and one passing that could be attributed to a broken heart. We also bore witness to the motorcycle crash that claimed the life of Black Tusk bassist Jonathan Athon, while still recovering from having lost our incomparable Ben Tucker just seventeen months before.

Last week I lost my childhood friend, Jeffrey “Meat” Gadbois, to an aggressive form of colon cancer. Meat was a brilliant poet and visual artist with absolutely zero filter when it came to speaking his mind. He also had the biggest, most loving heart of anyone I’ve ever known. 

He is survived by parents Marilyn and Stanley, brothers John and James; all of whom buried his sister Janet just a few years back. 

As you read this now, you might be reminded of someone just like him; a light unto the world, whose passing has left you feeling like your heart was robbed at gunpoint. Lately it seems that guys like Meat are not Death’s exception, but its rule. Even more so, in groups of three.

For sixteen years, I have studied with The Ascended Masters. Their teachings have helped me to embrace this amazing new energy that brings important changes to our planet. Intellectually and spiritually, I understand that loss is a necessary part of the process. Yet for all of my training, I am gobsmacked and reeling from the emotional burnout brought on by this non-stop mourning.

One of the things I love most in life is bringing light, love and positivity to everyone I meet. I’m upbeat and joyful more often than not, but this constant exhaustion is corroding my morale. Sadness and grief are a natural part of life, but they contradict our inherent state of wellbeing.

It’s time to nip this sucker in the bud before it can blossom, dog forbid, take root.

And so, my pals, I am turning this column over to you. How do you stay positive in difficult times? How do you bring light, love and joy to the world? Please tell us about your Happy Place so we can benefit from your insights.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, what do you need? How can we help? Is there a resource you’d like to see that’s not available? A special community you’d like to build? Please let us know what we can do for you.

Thank so much for keeping your eyes, ears and hearts open to those of us who could use a little boost of love and positivity. And thanks for spreading it generously.

As always, I am sending much love and light to you. I look forward to sharing your thoughts.

 
Your pal, 

Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah (page 37)

He'd rather be a player than be gay

Erin, 

Everywhere I go people are celebrating the Supreme Court ruling making gay marriage legal and congratulating their gay friends and family members for being equal in the eyes of the law. Hooray for them, but what about me?

I’m a gay man, but I sure don’t want to be. All my life my family and friends have told me that being gay is bad. The church says that homosexuality is a sin and I will burn in hell if I have sex with men. When the AIDS epidemic started, people said that it was god’s punishment of fags, and to this day I still believe it. Even if didn’t, I’d still at risk for getting AIDS if I had gay sex. 

Instead of hating myself for being gay all these years, I’ve dated women and kept my homosexuality in check. Because I’ve had so many girlfriends, people think that I’m a player, and that’s okay because I’d rather be a player than be queer.

Everything was fine and dandy until the Supreme Court went and fucked it all up. Now, every time I see a rainbow flag, I feel like the world is congratulating me for being a faggot. 

To all the bleeding heart liberals out there, I just want to thank you for passing a law reminding me to hate myself. 

–T.C.

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Oh, kiddo… I never thought about it that way before. You’ve certainly given us a powerful perspective to consider.  

Before answering your letter, I want to acknowledge that I have chosen to publish it in its entirety, even though it contains what could be considered hate speech. Your words serve as a powerful example of the self-loathing you have learned from people who love you and were doing their best to protect you from harm when you were growing up.

As someone who understands their motivations but respectfully disagrees with their views, I would like to ask you a question: What would God have to gain by sending any of us to Hell or punishing us with diseases of any kind?  Each one of us is only human and is doing his or her best to get by in this world.

Please know that I’m not here to judge you, your family or your friends…or to change your minds in any way.  I’m just here to offer you love and support at a time when you feel like you are being reminded by others to hate yourself. I just want to do my best to help you make peace with where you’re at.

From the sounds of your letter, you’re not so much upset about being a gay man as you are about everyone else’s gay pride, because it reminds you of all the negative things you’ve ever been told about being gay. Considering all the scary messages you’ve heard, your feelings make perfect sense.

Here’s a little insight that I hope will help to put things in perspective: The only relationship in this world that matters is the one between you and you. Everything else is irrelevant. Who you date is irrelevant. People’s opinions about your sexuality are irrelevant. Whether they are pointing fingers in judgment or waving flags in show of support, what they have to say is irrelevant. 

There’s no law that says you have to start dating men just because our government now recognizes gay marriage. If dating women the best thing for your relationship with you, then keep doing it. To hell with other people’s opinions. It’s none of our business anyway.

Thank you for sharing your experience, T.C. Even though you may feel like you’re in the minority on the issue of gay marriage, you can’t possibly be the only person who’s feeling this way.  Please know that I am holding all of you in my best, most positive, loving thoughts.


Your pal, 

Erin

Originally published in Connect Savannah

 

Exorcizing the Ghosts of Retail Past

Dear Erin,

Lately there’s been a lot of hoop dee doo about all these big box stores opening downtown, courtesy of a certain Atlanta real estate developer. Even before he got here, many of those buildings were unable to attract and keep financially viable establishments. What do you think drove everyone out of business: the highfalutin rents or the ghosts who didn’t want them there in the first place? 

I have my theories and am curious if you have any advice to help keep the remaining Moms & Pops in business.


Preston

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Hi Preston, 

When it comes to small businesses that are going out of business, downtown Savannah has been the perfect storm de merde. High rent, corruption and interesting choices (including a Pan Asian bistro that served the best Fettuccine Florentine in town) have certainly informed some of these scenarios, but given the astonishing number of closings in the past few years, there’s gotta be something more going on.

This city was a burial ground to the Yamacraw people long before it became the site of America’s most famous wars. I suspect that the disruption of this sacred energy might have something to do with it.

Years ago, my spiritual teacher Jason told me a story about a psychic reading shop he opened at a funky old flour-mill-turned-shopping-mall called Riverplace. Built along the Mississippi, this complex offered a cornucopia of unique products and services to the people of Minneapolis. Despite its enormous popularity, most every one of Riverplace’s businesses were failing, including Jason’s. This was especially confounding, given that the area garnered plenty of visitors and the stores’ price points were reasonable.

The lone store making a profit was a pipe tobacco shop owned by an elderly Native American man. One day Jason popped in and asked him the secret to his abundance. “I honor my ancestors with a peace offering,” he said.

It turns out Riverplace was built atop an old Sioux burial ground. As a show of respect for its resting souls, the proprietor placed a small, tobacco-filled purple cloth, called a prayer tie, in southwest corner of his shop and thanked the spirits for their kindness and generosity each time he opened and closed the store.

Jason adopted this practice in his own shop, placing a purple prayer tie in the southwest corner and thanking the ancestors every time he opened or closed the store…even when he took bathroom breaks. His psychic reading business began thriving almost instantly. 

So to all you open-minded proprietors out there who might be interested, why not give this practice a try? It just might work, if only for its placebo effect. Worst case scenario, symptoms could include increased profits. 


Your pal,
Erin




Originally published in Connect Savannah

The Curious Case of the Little Red Hen

Hey Erin, 

I think I might have seen you at the Salvation Army on Montgomery Street, trying to fit a bike in the back seat of you car and then giving up and driving off with the door half open and your hazard lights on.

Why didn’t you just let the guys who work there put it in the back seat for you?


Roy

Ps. I’m no psychic – the car magnet on the side of the door advertising your Ghost Dog Diaries column gave you away :)


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Hey there Roy, 

Ah, the joy of small town living. When you have a bad day, everyone knows it …whether or not you have a business magnet on the side of your car.

The good folks at the Salvation Army indeed offered to help, but I just couldn’t let them. In my logical mind, I was buying a bike to ride around the railroad tracks out on Tybee. Therefore I was obligated to figure out how to pack it into the car myself. 

The more I struggled, the more they offered their assistance but I was too committed to my stubborn notion of independence to accept. Eventually I asked them to please step away from the vehicle, as it was embarrassing having an audience watch my failed attempts. 

I was too embarrassed to be seen struggling, but not too embarrassed to make a low-speed getaway with my car door hanging ajar; one with a great big sign introducing the world to Psychic Your Pal, Erin, no less.

Me-haw.


What you saw was a single woman —one who lives alone and is used to doing everything herself— having a Little Red Hen moment. 

What you didn’t see was me bawling my eyes out on that 15 mph drive home because I’m too exhausted to keep on playing the Little Red Hen. You didn’t hear my rationalization spoken aloud, to no one in particular, that “I am a single woman living alone and despite their best intentions, none of those guys is gonna be there the next time I need them, so I have to do it myself.”

You also didn’t see me pry the bike from the car, only to discover that it has a removable front tire.

(See also: ME-HAW!) 

You missed the teary message I left on my ex-boyfriend’s voicemail, apologizing for being such a pain in the ass and the subsequent confession that I’ve felt the need to do everything for myself (thank you very much) since I was a little girl because the grown-ups in my life who were supposed to take care of me weren’t always emotionally available. 

You didn’t feel the sucker punch realization that this was the honest answer to the oft-asked question, “How come you’ve never been married?”

You weren’t there to see my shoulders finally buckle under the weight of 41 years of self-imposed exile… or the relief when I surrendered to the fact that I can’t go it alone another day. 

The notion of making peace has been the subject of many a Ghost Dog Diary lately, whether making peace with things that are beyond our control; with the people around us; with our increasingly violent world; or with ourselves for simply being where we’re at. 

The next time I witness something that doesn’t make sense, before I react I will do my best to remember that there’s more to the situation than I’ll ever realize and then send my best, most positive, loving energy to all involved.

Thanks for your concern, Roy. I appreciate having the opportunity to reflect on your question. Much love, light and peace to you.


Your pal, 

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah

Ode To Puss

Dear Pals, 

Attached please find a copy of "Ode To Puss."  Upon its print publication, I started reading the column but couldn't bring myself to finish it…not for grief, but because it reads like Webster's Dictionary took a word dump on the middle of the page.  On the bright side, I tend to get writer's block when tragedy strikes, so kudos to me for following though. But mea culpa for the verbal diarrhea. Grief makes us do strange things.


Your pal, 
Erin


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Dear Puss-Puss, 

From the moment you followed me home from St. Nicholas Avenue in Manhattan seven years ago, you made it clear that our partnership was an open-ended engagement; one that you reserved the right to terminate at any time. Sadly, that contract expired this past Memorial Day when I found you dead on the side of the road, just weeks after publishing a column about how to keep our pets safe when they escape outside. 

It’s a twist of fate that some might find ironic, or maybe even just deserts for allowing you to be an outdoor cat in the first place, but I’m okay with it. While some might think I’m an irresponsible pet owner, we both know that I was simply surrendering to your persistence to live life on your own terms.

The guilt I feel about your passing has nothing to do with how you died and everything to do with I lived: too self-involved in my New York lifestyle; never there to hear your heart wrenching cries, reported by neighbors who worried for your well being when you were left alone for more than a few hours at a time; too in love with my little dog PJ to include you as an equal member of our pack.

PJ’s love for me was unconditional to the point of canonization. She was my fifth appendage, magnetically attached to my side at every possible moment. Compared to your mercurial, “No, I’ll let YOU know when you love me,” mindset, her love language was more in lockstep with my own brand of human loyalty. 

Behind your stoic cat façade were clues that you were more of a pack animal than you ever revealed: the vet’s report of your tendency for social eating and the suggestion that we have our meals together whenever possible; your middle-of-the night yowls, demanding that we play fetch with the random sock or balled up plastic shopping bag that you dragged onto the bed; the picture of you with your arm draped around PJ’s shoulder as she sat upright in her winter jacket, anxiously awaiting a visit to the doctor.

Perhaps in your aloofness you were taking cues from PJ’s jealous lead. Remember that time when I was meowing at you like a mama cat and she upstaged you with a long, protracted yawn that ended in a high-pitched “Me-OW”? Delighted, I begged her to do it again, in part because of the novelty of a meowing dog, in part to make sure I hadn’t hallucinated the entire episode. 

PJ faithfully obliged, but when I implored her to do it a third time, she just rolled her eyes, making it known that she’d only meowed twice to prove she could; anything more than that was beneath her dog dignity.

Your grief over PJ’s passing took its toll in the form of uncharacteristic clinginess and fur loss that made your hind legs look like little naked pork chops. In your darkest hours, you found respite by escaping outdoors. At first, I felt like a horrible mom for allowing you to play on the sidewalk; once I remembered our contract, I knew that having long-suffering, indoor house cat for the next fifteen years was not an option.

So instead of worrying about your safety while you were out carousing, I resolved to include you as much as possible when the new dog came along. Every time Pup showered me with kisses, I made a point to tell her, “It’s Puss’ turn,” and make you the focus of our love fest. You accompanied us on our morning and evening constitutionals, even though you refused to walk on a leash (much to the shock and delight of everyone we ever encountered.)

At the time of your passing, I was just getting to know you, my favorite revelation being how much you loved cuddling in your sleep. This required that I lay on my side. Although a lower back injury precluded me from holding you all night long, I hope you know that’s how I wanted to love you, even though I couldn’t.

Puss-Puss Ferdinand, you came into my world by way of a city street and that’s exactly how you left it. 

Finding you alone on the boulevard was a devastating discovery, but it came as no surprise. I could see you slipping away in the months before your passing; first in your dismay when we moved from your beloved block on East Gordon Street to the beautiful new home across town; then again when you contracted a 104.5 fever in April. I could tell by the slight but measurable changes in your personality that you were ready to go. I’m just glad that the amazing team at Central Animal Hospital helped buy me an extra month to love you as best I could.

Thank you, sweet Puss-Puss, for teaching me that true love comes in many forms other than adulation. Most of all, thanks for never giving up on me.

Until we meet again.

 
Your pal, 

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah 

H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

Dear Erin,

When we die, we go to one of two places. End of story.

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I always appreciate the opportunity for discourse and would like to reply with my own perspective.

Imagine for a moment that we might both possibly be right; that free will allows each one of us to create and live our own personal truth.

Where you might see Heaven as a place where you can walk hand in hand with the Lord in the afterlife, I see myself connected with All That Is in the here and now.

Where you might see Hell as a place where you pay for your earthly sins in the form of fire, brimstone and eternal damnation, I see it as the unhappiness we create when we are estranged from the unconditional love that’s inherent within us.

Where you see might Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, I see a man who was so connected to Source that he could bring people into alignment with that inherent, unconditional love; a man who taught us how to experience it fully for ourselves and share it freely with others.

Where you might see good and evil, I see energies that are either finite or infinite in their connection to God.

Where you might see finite energy as sin and infinite energy as salvation, I see both energies as necessary to the process of our spiritual evolution, for how can we appreciate our connection to Source if we have not experienced the absence of it?

Where you might see science as something created by humans to disprove the existence of God and His glorious creations, I see it as empirical evidence of His inexplicable miracles. Especially Quantum Physics... they’re pretty damn awesome!

Where you might see those who are saved or left behind, I see people who are doing the best they can at any given time.

While your letter doesn’t indicate any particular opinion about those who do or don’t see the world as you do, I’d like to think that regardless of our point of view, in the final analysis we are all the same: perfectly loved; perfect exactly as we are; at peace when we leave this physical plane; doing our best to be peaceful in the here and now.

Thanks for hearing me out Tom. Much love, light and happiness to you!

Your pal,

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)

Dear Erin, 

LET'S be honest. Savannah has a black/white problem. Whenever I want to go downtown for a night out, some black dude starts up shit with me and my boys. It happens every single time and it's ruining our city.

Scott

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Dear Scott, 

I GOTTA be honest with you. I just edited the crap out of your letter, as it was one of the angriest, most racially charged rants I've ever read. I parsed it down to its most basic elements, so you might not recognize this as letter as yours, but it is.

Also, I am not going to try to talk you out of anything you wrote or to change your mind on the matter. As much as I wholeheartedly disagree with you, I respect the fact that your experiences have shaped your perspective of the world. I also acknowledge that I don't have the right to force my opinions on you just because I write some column for The Connect.

Currently, there are a couple of letters in my queue that address the ideas that I am going to present today, but I feel that your comments are much more timely and relevant to what's happening in the world, so let's roll.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Ascension process and its role in shifting the Earth from a fearful, warring planet to one of peace and love. That column ("Cancer Sucks and WTF?!") talked about the spiritual theory behind the Ascension process. This one will address the Quantum Mechanics involved. 

In conjunction with the Ascension process, the Earth is undergoing a physical shift out of the 3rd Dimension and into the 5th. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

The first time I heard this news, I couldn't wrap my head around it. My biggest point of skepticism: What the hell happened to the 4th Dimension? 

It turns out that in the course of our planetary shift from the 3rd Dimension to the 5th, the 4th Dimension – which is commonly known as Earth's Ether or Astral Plane – is acting as a sieve that sifts the fearful/warring energy of the 3rd Dimension from the loving/peaceful energy of the 5th Dimension.

I gotta be honest with you, Scott. Every morning, I wake up, think about the prospect of this shift and pretty much ask myself, "WTF?!" 

But as time passes and the wars, riots, mass shootings and police violence pile up, the notion of some science fictional type rip in the space-time continuum becomes far less shocking. In fact, nothing really surprises me anymore.

So what does any of this have to do with you and your boys coming to blows every time you head downtown?

Whether the conflicts we are experiencing revolve around our feelings about black/white, gay/straight, Christian/Muslim, Palestinian/Israeli, they are all rooted in the same vibrational frequency – warring energy. And as time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that the warring energy has to go. I'm not saying that it's your responsibility to single-handedly stop it. I just want to ask you an honest question: Isn't all of this fighting wearing you out?

I ask from a point of pure selfishness, as earlier this year I came to the realization that I don't have it in me to fight anymore. In my case, it wasn't a physical fight, but a tenant/landlord dispute that got ugly. Once this realization struck, I discovered that most everyone I talk to is feeling the wear and tear of all this human conflict.

New Thought leaders don't believe that this collective worn out feeling is a coincidence; they attribute it to the planetary shift from the 3rd to the 5th Dimension. 

According to one theory, as of 2015, the Earth now operates in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Dimensions simultaneously. Any moment that you are experiencing the fearful/warring energy, you are having a 3-D experience; anytime you feel loving and peaceful, you are having a 5-D experience; whenever you have emotional or physical purging (like mental or physical illness, confusion, spaciness and other Ascension symptoms mentioned in the previous column) you are having a 4-D experience. 

This shift is expected to continue for the next seven years, with the transition to the 5th Dimension being complete by the end of 2022.

If you're curious to learn more, there are lots of people out there with insights on the subject. My favorite is Gregg Braden, a chemist who worked for a Big 8 oil company who teaches about the new frontier of science and spirituality.

In the coming weeks, I will publish two letters that specifically address solutions to help people process the Dimensional Shift and to neutralize Earth's warring energies, but now's not the time or place. 

I feel that you wrote me because you wanted your feelings to be heard and acknowledged, not because you were looking for a lecture on solving the world's problems.

So thank you for sharing your letter, Scott. Even though we respectfully disagree, I appreciate your taking the time to write and to help clear these 3-D energies from the planet. Know that I am holding you and everyone you meet in the safest, most positive, loving light.

Your pal, 

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah

They're HE-RE!

Dear Erin, 

I think I have a ghost. I felt someone pushing their thumbs onto my eyes in the middle of the night. Scared the bejeezes out of me. 

Nothing like this has ever happened before and I'm worried it will visit my 7 and 12 year-old daughters next. What can I do to get rid of it?

Pippa

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Hi Pippa, 

From the sounds of it, you just might have a poltergeist. Not the kind of that will possess your porcelain clown and suck poor little Carole Anne through a portal in the TV set, but one that's a garden-variety symptom of puberty.

In researching your question, I discovered that many parents with children your age have reported the sudden appearance of ghosts in homes that have never been prone to paranormal activity. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the presence of poltergeists – disruptive, non-physical entities that feed on the turbulent emotions of adolescent children.

They also agree that poltergeists aren't actual ghosts, but rather, physical manifestations of typical teenage angst. So basically, when your kids come home from a mean girl day at middle school, it's your house that has the afternoon snack... or in your case, the midnight munchies. 

But how is that even possible? 

Einstein proved that everything is energy. Thanks to his predecessor Newton, we know that energy is neither created nor destroyed. And just like the energies of light and sound, the energy of our thoughts (for better or for worse) travel into infinity.

We also know that all energy exists in one of two forms: finite (limited energy) or infinite (unlimited energy). Infinite energy comes from Source, God, the Universe, or whatever you happen to call it. Finite energy, by comparison has no source, so it needs to draw off the energy of others in order to maintain its momentum. 

Some finite energy examples include negative or fearful thought patterns, physical acts of war and the poltergeist that was poking on your eyelids while you were sleeping. 

While our infinite thoughts have a consistent, positive energy source to draw upon, our limited thoughts express themselves in bursts of negativity and then linger dormant until there's an opportunity to feed off energy that vibrates at a similar frequency. And nothing feeds finite energy like the frequency of teenage melodrama.

As children, our connection to Source is strong because we have limited exposure to Earth's finite energies. We are happy, playful, imaginative beings who vibrate at a high frequency. Because of this, we tend to attract non-physical entities that are also of infinite energy. 

In the first year after the birth of a child, many of my clients have reported the phenomenon of sensing, hearing or smelling the presence of their loved ones who have passed. One friend even sent video footage of a white orb that appeared on her daughter's baby monitor and wondered if it might possibly be the energy of her late mother. (Big yes to that!)

Pippa, you might not be able to get rid of your poltergeist, but you can take away its Scooby snacks by turning down the volume on all the Teenage Wasteland vibes that are flying around your house and resetting your tuner to that infinite, Source energy from whence we all came.

Here's an invocation I use almost every day that helps neutralize the rowdy energies I might encounter:

"We come in light and love. We come in joy and play. Anyone who wants to join us in light, love, joy and play is welcome. If you've had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad life, you are welcome to observe, but we respectfully request that you remain neutral. Should you change your mind and decide to join us in light, love and positivity, you are always welcome."

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to send the poltergeist "into the light" in order to create peace in your home. You just need to set boundaries and let the energies know that they only have your permission to participate in ways that are loving, light and joyful. 

You might find this invocation most helpful on those mornings when your kids wake up with a case of the Mondays and whenever they come home from school. (Also, lighting a candle or smudging sage can help cut loose some of those nasty little klingons that have attached themselves to their clothes and book bags.)

Thanks for your letter, Pippa. Sending light, love and joy to you!

Your pal, 

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah

Dropping The Vortex VOOM!

Dear Ms. Erin, 

Daesha used to be my best friend, but now she and the other girls in my class are so mean to me. They say things like, “Amani, you so fat you have to walk through the door sideways!” 

Mama taught me to treat others like I want to be treated, so I never say mean things back. I just want to be nice to people and do my best in school, but it’s hard to concentrate on what the teacher is saying when the kids are so mean. 

Sometimes I am mean to my own family after being nice to everyone else all day because I get so mad I just can’t take it anymore. What did you do when the kids were mean to you?

Your friend, 

Amani

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Dear Amani, 

This phenomenon that you are asking about —the one where Daesha says mean things to you and then you go home and are mean to the people you love— that’s called being “out of The Vortex.” 

The Vortex is the happy place that we all have inside us. When we are in it, we feel so good that it would never occur to us to be unkind to others. 

The Vortex is also an essential part of the creation process. It helps you to get clear about which things you want to create more of in your life and which experiences you want to tune out all together. Because of Daesha’s unkindness, you wrote, “I just want to be nice to people and do my best in school.” 

So in a way, Daesha did you a favor by helping you to get clear about your priorities. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to tune out her mean words so you can create the experiences that you want. 

But first, let me answer your question. 

I was little and kids were mean, I cried a whole lot. Just like you, I wanted to be a kind person and a good student, but instead of using my sadness as an opportunity to create what I wanted, I faked being sick in order to avoid going to school.

As a result, I created bad grades and sickness in my body for real. So rather than looking at what I did when I was little, maybe it makes more sense to talk about the things I do to help myself feel better now that I’m a grown-up. 

One thing that helps me to feel better when people are acting mean is to realize that nobody wakes up and says, “I’m gonna be a big jerk today.” Not you, not Daesha…not even Justin Bieber when he threw those eggs at his neighbor’s house. Everyone is just doing his or her best to stay in The Vortex and sometimes we just plain fall out.

Case in point: when you leave school after a bad day, you try to go home and be happy. But when your mom innocently asks, “How was your day, Amani?” you wind up howling at her like a mad ol’ jackal because it feels better than talking about your crappy day.

It’s human nature for people to try and drag others along with them when they fall out of The Vortex. The good news is you don’t have to join them. 

You might not be able to control how people treat you, but you can control how you feel about it, and I am going to teach you a super easy magic trick to help you out. Whenever you realize that you or someone around you is out of The Vortex, take a deep breath and say, “1…2…3…VOOM!!” as loud as you can. 

For maximum effect, use your fingers while counting to three and be sure to point with your index finger like Hermione Granger yielding her magic wand when you drop the ”VOOM!” 

I discovered this trick as a camp counselor years ago when hot, grouchy kids started being mean to their friends. The first time we tried it, they looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my ears, but by summer’s end, all the kids were doing it because it helped them feel better instantly.

Thanks for your thoughtful letter, Amani. Always know that I am sending love and happy energy to you!

Your pal, 

Erin


Originally published in Connect Savannah