Embracing the Journey.

book

The book in my hands contains one of the very wise teachings of the Hindu spiritual leader and guru known as Amma. I picked this book up at a Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia, randomly opened to a page, and this is what I read:

“As we get older, we lose our enthusiasm and joy. We become dry and unhappy. Why? Because we lose our faith and innocence. Somewhere inside each of us, a child’s joy, innocence and faith lie dormant. Rediscover them.”

Amma is so right. I live in a high rise inhabited by many older people. Many of them walk around like cranky, dry old sticks. They are closed to new possibilities and ways of thinking. Their attitudes remain fixed in place, rigid and unyielding. They seem so unhappy!

Instead, here I am in my 6th decade, gathering my courage, empowering myself and “coming out of the closet” by bringing the amazing messages that were channeled for my book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven, to a much wider audience.

A lot of people find what I am doing to be glamorous, but I must admit that I often find it terrifying. I haven’t been on buses to NYC let alone subways all over the city since my twenties, but now I find myself getting up at 5am to catch the early bus into the city, then get on the subway to get myself to special bagel shops in Manhattan for my Book and Bagel Tours in the city. Will I find my way and get there on time? Will I stay safe?

I am also meeting all sorts of new people. I’ve never been a shy person but this is completely different. I am touching hearts and selling books, but I also grapple with rejection at times. Can I grow a thick enough skin to weather rejection and keep moving forward? I know some people think I am crazy to be doing all this, yet, most of the time, I find myself feeling happy, fulfilled and full of joy. So I keep keeping on, remaining rooted in my faith that this is meant to be.

I think of the first day that I set up at a Bagel Shop for my very first Book and Bagel Tour. It felt so strange to erect a banner promoting my book, to arrange the table with my books on it, to be actually promoting what has become a true labor of love, yet it also felt so right.

That very first day, a woman and her child walked by my table. She stopped and asked me what my book was about. As I began to tell her about the profound messages I had received before, during and after the tragic car accident that took my precious husband’s life, and how this experience had led me to a spiritual awakening that had changed my life, she began to cry. “I need your book,” she said to me. “I was very close to my uncle who just died. I miss him so. I feel your book is going to help me make some sense of all of this.”

There have been other frightening firsts, like the first time I was interviewed for a blog, my first speaking event, the first radio and TV interviews. I remain mindful to put one foot in front of the other, to not be so hard on myself, to remember that this is not about me, the messenger. It is about the message.

I find myself, like Amma’s proverbial child, filled with wonder each time I meet a challenge and pass through another milestone on this most amazing journey. I am stretching beyond my comfort zone more and more every day – everything is so new! There are occasional tears, but also excitement and joy about all the new things I am discovering and learning.

My first childhood contained a lot of suffering and pain. This time around, I am filled with joy at the wonder of it all. I am not only rediscovering the child within, this new journey is helping her to heal.

4 Life Lessons of Self Love Everyone Needs to Learn

Relationship Advice from Video World on Vimeo.

The term “Crone” brings two very different images to mind; one, a malicious old hag, and the other, a woman who is venerated for her experience, judgment and wisdom.

Tyler Perry portrays the more positive image of a Crone brilliantly in the persona of his character known as “MADEA”. As I clicked onto the link and heard MADEA’s wise words, I was fascinated at how in sync MADEA’s advice is both to the channeled words of wisdom in They Serve Bagels in Heaven: One Couple’s Story of Love, Eternity and the Cosmic Importance of Everyday Life, and lessons I have personally learned since my husband Saul’s death:

1. “Get up and go on with your life.”

Just after Saul died next to me and the EMT’s were pulling me through the broken glass that had been the window of my car, an authoritative voice trumpeted, “Be loving and kind to everyone.” in my head. That Heaven-sent message will impact me for the rest of my life, but there was also another more earth bound message that resonated within me. I remember thinking, “I will get through this somehow because I must be a role model for Matt (my son),”  and that “you can get hit by ‘a grenade’ in life and keep on going.”

This journey from devastating loss to finding the joy in life again took me on a new path to healers who could help me to heal, not only from the trauma of my tremendous loss, but also from other traumatic events in my life. And indeed, about five years after the accident, after I had done a lot of healing work, my son said to me, “Mom, there has been nothing worse than seeing you in utter sadness and despair, and nothing better than seeing you be able to find joy again.”

2. “If someone wants to walk out of your life, let them go.”

MADEA adds to that sage advice, Some people are for a season, some for a lifetime. Don’t marry season people for a lifetime. Some people are meant to be with you for a season to teach you one lesson, not meant for a lifetime.”

Then she compares people to leaves on a tree: “Some people are like leaves, unstable and gone. Some people are like a branch; step out on them and they break and leave you high and dry. Two to three people are like the roots: strong, steady, ‘ain’t going nowhere. Hold onto the roots and let the leaves and branches go.”

And more: “This thing you are doing that’s causing a problem, if they try to fix it, good, if not, let them go. If a leaf is trying to grow up, great, if they keep hurting you, let them go.”

MADEA’s wise leaf analogy is about letting go of the toxic people in your life, which is a powerful expression of self-love.

I couldn’t agree more with MADEA’s analogy. When I had begun to heal and change, some people were attracted to and inspired by my new changes while others were repelled by them and seemed to resent my newfound independence and sense of empowerment. It felt like they wanted me to join them in their toxic swamps of jealousy and resentment instead of joining me in my newfound light.

My newly developing sense of self helped me separate from those relationships that were bringing me down in one way or another. They were the leaves and branches in my life. Thanks to continued healing, I learned the valuable lesson and now release toxic people from my life with love.

3. I’ve learned that the message I received, “Be loving and kind to everyone” also includes yourself.

And MADEA certainly agrees! She states that there are two primary places we deserve peace; the grave and in our house. She cautions not to live with dysfunction.

Self-respect is an important component of self-love. Out of respect for yourself, why continue to suffer in an abusive relationship? Keep working to heal your own stuff, so that you can grow healthy emotionally and evolve spiritually. Be careful not to count on others to complete you, especially if they are toxic people.

4. MADEA also advises, “Learn how to be alone.”

Isn’t it better to learn how to be alone instead of putting up with abuse in order to not be alone? Keep enjoying your life, welcome new experiences, keep your faith that there is much more to your life than meets your earthly eyes, be patient and continue your healing journey. The future of your soul is dependent upon your conscious choice to grow and evolve.

Thank you MADEA!   Irene

 

Forgiveness, Love and Kindness is Around Us

“And then I saw the souls of the men who had massacred my wife and child. They looked fevered with agony over what they had done; and they had been waiting quite a long time to beg me for forgiveness, because once a soul has done such a horrible act, their fate is really in the hands of those they harmed. These poor, beggared souls knew that until I forgave them, they would not be able to complete their soul development.” They Serve Bagels In Heaven: One Couple’s Story of Love, Eternity and the Cosmic Importance of Everyday Life

I am struck by the seemingly instant forgiveness bestowed upon Dylann Storm Roof by the relatives of the nine people he shot down in Charleston, South Carolina. Incredibly, the grieving relatives offered the 21-year old racist forgiveness at his bond hearing, and told him that they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses. They even spoke of love:

“I forgive you,” Nadine Collier, the daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance, said at the hearing, her voice breaking with emotion. “You took something very precious from me. I will never talk to her again. I will never, ever hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

thepost

Dylann Roof’s heinous act was an expression of racial hatred, designed to magnify powerlessness, create chaos and spread violence. Instead, his horrific act was met with forgiveness, love and kindness. As stated in my bookspreading love and kindness can reach a magic tipping point that will result in less violence, while energizing and enabling people to live in a space of joy instead of a space of lack and disappointment.

The relatives’ surprising choice set an amazing example for significant states and companies to emulate. Many of them quickly began to remove the Confederate flag (to many a symbol of racism) from both flag poles and merchandise that displayed it on store shelves. It certainly does appear that the love, kindness and forgiveness passed forward in South Carolina reached a magical tipping point. By forgiving Dylann, these grieving relatives, so filled with Amazing Grace, greatly benefitted themselves on a physical, emotional and spiritual level while they consciously enabled Dylann to continue his soul development.

Dylann will probably get the death penalty on this current earthly journey, but how enlightening it would be to be able to witness both his Life Review when he crosses over and the amount of atonement and healing his soul will now be able to achieve once he is back on the Other Side.

And how about the Life Reviews of the grieving relatives who chose forgiveness over hatred? Here’s another quote from They Serve Bagels In Heaven: “The requirement for each soul to evolve spiritually is the reason for this physical incarnation.”

Can there be any doubt that the relatives of those gunned down made a conscious choice to love, forgive and further evolve to their highest goods on their spiritual journey in this lifetime?

The 2015 Afterlife Awareness Conference

“It takes a huge diversity of cultures and traditions to even come close to a full expression of the totality of our Creator.” – Irene 

From June 4 – 7, I had the pleasure of being an exhibitor at the Fifth Annual Afterlife Awareness Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. This conference is both founded and facilitated by Terry Daniels, who did a magnificent job highlighting various religious and spiritual points of view as people both explored and validated the belief that we do go on, that there is indeed life after death.

I feel Blessed to be yet another voice in the growing chorus of people confirming this!

IMG_7973

Since the title of my book is They Serve Bagels In Heaven, I had an offering of scrumptious bagels and delish cream cheese choices from a wonderful Norfolk Bageldashery called Yorgo’s welcoming the many conference attendees who purchased and asked me to sign my book.

Anita Moorjani

IMG_8034_2

I was honored to meet Anita Moorjani, the author of the best-selling Dying To Be Me, whose book is in development to become a feature film…and so exciting that the Academy Award winning actress Natalie Portman is being discussed as the possible lead in the film! What touched me the most upon meeting Anita is her presence; it is filled with humility and grace. What a wonderful role model she is, and her story is an inspiration for us all.

Suzane Northrop and John Holland

The first time I met Suzane Northrop was at a Séance in NYC when she channeled Saul for me. I have also been at a Gallery she and John Holland held at a college in Massachusetts for around 500 people, when John received messages for me from both my paternal grandmother and my father. Suzane and John are each incredibly gifted and a profound “gift” to the many grieving people they help by communicating with the deceased. I enjoyed seeing them again at the Conference as they channeled messages from the deceased to their loved ones. Outstanding!

DeadTED Talks

IMG_8443

Another highlight for me was the opportunity to present my book at the deadTED talks, the metaphysically=minded talent show for conference attendees.

Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE)

I also visited with the very wonderful people who are part of Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E), located in Virginia Beach, Va. This included the gifted Spiritual Intuitive/Consultant Nancy Laporta and Christine George, the Manager of A.R.E., who expressed interest in carrying They Serve Bagels In Heaven in the store. YES!

Bonding with Fellow Exhibitors

Getting to know some of my outstanding fellow Exhibitors was another highlight.

IMG_7965_2

Jennifer Lipski of MyMetaWorld.comInner Wisdom in Community.

IMG_7978

The Grammy-nominated and very talented David Young.

IMG_7962_2

Sondra Sneed of Godscribe

IMG_8082_2

Debrah and Leslie Strebel of Lee Alexander & Co., makers of commemorative jewelry

IMG_8085_2

Christina Pateros – Shamanic Art who journeyed to find Stephanie’s power animal (and paint this beautiful art to take home with her) – the Egret!

Tammy Petruccelli – Reiki Master at Pike Creek Reiki and Healing Arts Center

AND…an extra-special shout out to my extra-special Publicist Stephanie Barnhart, founder of Socialminded Media Group – thank you Steph from both my heart and my soul!

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Afterlife Awareness Conference which will be held at the Sheraton Westport Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri from May 12-16.

How about joining me there?!

Irene Weinberg with Seta Shahinian

IMG_7937Seta Shahinian has amazing energetic healing gifts.  She has removed evil eyes from my auric field, helped me to improve important relationships in my life, removed blockages to healing from past life trauma, altered my energetic blueprint, channeled customized prayers needed to overcome limitations  and much more.  Seta can help to heal physical, emotional and spiritual issues. She is an absolutely wonderful healer.

Practice What You Preach!

 

Here’s a wonderful quote about self-love and self-forgiveness from They Serve Bagels in Heaven:

“Self-love is acknowledging that we are all flawed and that committing mistakes at certain times in our lives is inevitable, yet with self-love we are able to forgive ourselves for those mistakes, learn from them, and choose to evolve with awareness from them.”

I have to admit that I’ve been struggling with this concept of late. I recently had a friendship with a person I thought I could trust. I’m not one to gossip, but when the gal I trusted started telling me that another gal we knew was talking smack about me to others, I chose to believe her  – which of course negatively impacted my relationship with the other gal.

So guess what happened.

I found out that my supposed friend who I trusted had been lying to me about the other gal. I was shocked, saddened and felt embarrassed. How could I not have intuited that I was being lied to and taken in?

It took time, but after a few weeks beating myself up with negative self-talk, I began to consciously give myself positive self-talk about being human, that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that no one is ever required to be “perfect.” I eventually switched from self-blaming: “How could you have been so gullible?” to self-love: “What lessons have you learned from this experience that will inform you in the future?”

It didn‘t take long for me to have an experience that would test whether or not I had learned the lesson of self-love and self-forgiveness. A few months later, I was feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list when a business dilemma hit my inbox. Instead of taking my time to evaluate the problem to find a solution, I took the expedient way out. That choice brought about a poor judgment call which could have created a disastrous problem for a colleague. When she got upset and called me out on it, in the moment I began to feel embarrassed and guilty …but when I almost immediately caught myself thinking the negative thoughts, I apologized to my colleague, reworked the situation and then lovingly patted myself on the back for apparently learning the lesson and actually being able to apply it to the new situation.

I am sure that I will be faced with challenges to the high spiritual concepts of self-forgiveness and self-love many more times in my life. I hope that my quickened conscious recovery times will enable me to reset myself to “lessons learned” with greater frequency!

We are each a work in progress! Loving ourselves as we do “our work” in this lifetime on our individual journeys is surely the “heavenly” way to go.

– Irene

Irene Weinberg with Dr. Ange DiBenedetto

ireneblurredwithange

When I was in the depths of grieving, It was Dr. Ange DiBenedetto, Certified Life Transition Coach, who helped me to process what I was feeling and also helped me figure out what life without Saul could look like. She presented me with choices that would never have occurred to me…lots of “food for thought”  and strategies that greatly empowered me and pushed me past my fears. She also facilitated a family healing after my father died that healed tremendous dysfunction and transformed the toxic legacy left to my family. Dr. Ange is incredibly resourceful, tenacious, compassionate and creative. To this day, I occasionally call Dr. Ange when I need some extra help processing something that has happened or figuring out a problem.

Bruce Jenner’s Soul Purpose

In his interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner – famous athlete, Olympian and reality TV star – identified being a transgender as his soul purpose with God.

A lot of people may have taken this as a strange statement, but I totally identified with it. In my book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven: one couple’s story of love, eternity and the cosmic importance of everyday life, my husband Saul defines the soul purpose as “the gift you came here to share with the human race, no matter how simple or grand it may seem. It also involves the personal relationship lessons you came here to learn this time around. Even when you don’t consciously remember your soul purpose, you know it in the fiber of your being.”

bruce

Credit: Tony Duffy/Allsport

It appears that Bruce Jenner would whole heartedly agree. “What I am doing is going to do some good,” Jenner said,“and we‘re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that.”

It took a lot of inner fortitude and courage to speak my truth by coming out with my book. There were people who were literally hostile to me when they first heard my story, but today, there is a widespread, growing acceptance and belief in life after death. What a comfort that more and more people are accepting not only that our lives do not end with the death of our physical bodies, but that we will be with our deceased loved ones again when it is our time to Cross Over.

Spreading this message is a significant part of my soul purpose.

In like fashion, Bruce Jenner is being incredibly brave to come out with his story. In my mind, he has courageously begun planting seeds of acceptance and inspiration that can be change agents, not only in the world of public opinion, but also in the minds of other less famous transgender personalities who might be considering something drastic like suicide to end their misery….yet now, miraculously, they have a new, famous “champion” to look to and identify with.

Thanks to Bruce, hope will now begin to bloom for the many people who are probably tremendously conflicted about their transgender inclinations. This new door of hope may eventually grow into acceptance, not only for them within their communities, but even more important, within themselves.

Like Jenner said, “I would like to think that we could save some lives here.”

Another interesting correlation with my book, They Serve Bagels in Heaven, is the notion of Divine Timing. Sometimes when we look back, our lives seem to have some sort of theme; events in our lives therefore begin to make sense, enabling us to understand when certain things happened – or are now happening – in our lives. In the interview with Diane, Bruce Jenner talked about taking hormones years ago to begin his transition but then losing his nerve and stopping the hormones. Could it be that that particular timing was simply not the Divine “right” time for Bruce? Perhaps he had to become even more famous so that much more attention would be paid to him, his message, and his journey to healing.

And could it also be that the famous Kardashians are actually helping Bruce to accomplish his Soul Purpose? Remember, a person’s Soul Purpose can often involve personal relationship lessons a person came to learn this time around. The Kardashians are teaching the world tolerance and unconditional love by being transparent about their own struggles and limitations to accept Bruce. By accepting Bruce’s feelings and choices, they have begun the journey to acceptance, love and kindness, not only for him but also for themselves.

Kanye West had it right when he explained to Kim, “I’m nothing if I can’t be me.” Bravo Kanye for empowering and supporting Bruce in front of the world, helping him to accomplish his Soul Purpose.