An inspirational, no bs guide to connecting to your soul and understanding your purpose by a medium who learned it the hard way.
Mind & Body Spirituality
||New Orleans, Louisiana
||4 publishers interested
An inspirational, no bs guide to connecting to your soul and understanding your purpose by a medium who learned the truth the hard way.
Your soul is not something you need to search for. Your soul is already front and center in your life. The trick isn’t how to connect to your soul--the trick is how do you learn to shed the biology that prevents you from stepping into alignment with the purpose of your human existence?
“My experience on the train in Germany was proof, to me, that our consciousness is our soul. It's not that complicated. Our higher consciousness is the higher knowledge of our soul. Our waking consciousness is the part of the soul that we work with every single day.”
-- Melinda Mae Miller, “Life as Human”
In "Life as Human," medium Melinda Mae Miller uses extraordinary experiences from her life to illustrate how she came to understand the nature of our spirituality and was led to share the information with others.
Part one of "Life as Human" starts with Melinda’s first extraordinary experience at the age of three and takes you through highlights of her life until a mid-life crisis led her back to a path of spiritual development. Through visions in meditation that eventually played out as real events in her life, it was proved to her that the information she receives is true. These visions and experiences tell the story of who we really are and the nature of human existence.
In part two of "Life as Human," Melinda outlines the basic first steps to move into alignment with your soul. When you step into alignment, the path to the purpose of your existence begins to unfold for you with very little effort. She teaches you how to recognize and understand your biological fears--the energy and processes that keep you chained to a lower vibration. As your vibration rises, the path you chose for yourself before your human birth will begin to unfold for you with very little effort. Living this path of unfoldment leads you to the goals you created for yourself at the soul level.
You are a spiritual being having a human experience. "Life as Human" is a handbook for straddling your spiritual and human existence. It is a guide for removing the roadblocks that keep you from your full spiritual potential.
Spirituality isn’t complicated. Life as human shouldn’t be, either.
Part One: A Medium’s Tale
Chapter One: A Medium Born
Melinda had her first psychic experience at the age of three. Within fifteen years she learned to hide her abilities, but a mid-life crisis brought them back to the forefront of her life as she comes face to face with the misery of her human existence.
Chapter Two: Life Disrupted
Melinda starts to understand who she really is as a soul after a life-changing solo road trip when she realizes she is the common denominator of her failures in life.
Chapter Three: A Glimmer of Insight
Having been told she is a medium, Melinda spends years trying to hear what the spirit world has to say, but when it finally happens it isn’t an earth-shattering, life changing message. Instead, she gets schooled on the simplicity of spirituality over a cup of coffee with her dead grandmother.
Chapter Four: New Orleans
Melinda knows it’s time to escape the toxic environment she has been living in and moves to New Orleans for a fresh start. As her mediumship development deepens, she begins to understand the lessons being brought to her by the spirit world are not just about her, but about the nature of our existence as humans.
Chapter Five: A Lesson in Trust--Europe
Melinda heads to Europe for two months with nothing but a round trip plane ticket and $200 because in a meditation she was told that everything was taken care of. It may have been the stupidest thing she has ever done, but it also becomes clear that in order to teach the lessons, she needs to live the lessons.
Chapter Six: A Lesson in Trust--Back Home
After returning home, Melinda finds herself facing a life she doesn’t want, but had been given glimpses of throughout her mediumship development. It isn’t the life she envisioned for herself, but she finally embraces the nature of her purpose and makes the decision to go where she is led, even when she doesn’t grasp the underlying reasons for the journey.
Chapter Seven: We Are Souls
After seeing a shift in her clientele from people who need to heal by connecting to loved ones who have crossed over to people looking for answers about the purpose of life, Melinda begins teaching and counseling people on how to step into alignment with their soul’s purpose. The only problem is, they want it to be more complicated than it is.
Part Two: You Are Your Soul
Chapter Eight: It’s Not That Complicated
Stop looking for something you already have.
Chapter Nine: Who Are You, Really?
You know who you are, happiness comes when you accept who you are.
Chapter Ten: Stop Killing Yourself With Kindness and Start Facing Your Fears
Negative behaviors are based in biology and are the lowest form of energy we can live in. Love and gratitude, on the other hand, create an instant connection to the divine.
Chapter Eleven: Identifying Your Biological Fears
The origins of our fears and how they manifest themselves in our negative behaviors.
Chapter Twelve: The Simple Steps to Soul Alignment
Shifting into alignment with your soul’s purpose, quantified.
This book speaks to women ages 28-60.
These women are firmly on life’s treadmill--they work to pay the bills and they have a bit of disposable income--but they feel that there must be more going on around them than the never-ending hamster wheel they have landed on. Family is a priority to them, as is being kind and helpful to others. They want to be seen as kind, but deep down they are trying to fill a void in themselves.
Most of these women are looking for a relationship, or are in a relationship that doesn’t fulfill them. They seek out books, movies and the occasional class hoping the subject matter will bring more meaning to their lives. They pin their happiness on the actions of others, on how others treat them, without seeing or realizing that they alone are responsible for their own happiness. They take steps to educate themselves without realizing that by understanding who they are at the soul level they can create their own happiness.
This audience believes in a God, but they don’t tend to be overly religious. More often than not they define their beliefs as “spiritual.”
- In 2012 46 million adults in the United States identified as religious or spiritual
- 67% of them said they believe in God
- 37% of respondents classified themselves as spiritual rather than religious.
According to K-Lytics, both the “Religion and Spirituality” and “Self-help” categories rank in the top ten for Kindle sales on Amazon.com, with a combined daily sales average of over 2600 units per day in 2015. Overall, books with religious or inspirational themes saw an increase in sales in 2016 and were among the year’s best selling books.
“Books that emphasized values, simple living or had inspirational messages like the Magnolia Story, Present Over Perfect, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Uninvited were among the most popular in 2016,”
- Tina Jordan, Vice President of Trade Publishing, Association of American Publishers.
The book-buying public is reaching for spiritual titles now more than ever before. This book is relevant to the women in this category because, as a culture, we have been led to believe spirituality is difficult, that deep spirituality exists in some magical space up in the sky and far away from where we are, and if we can only find it, grab it and bring it home we will know all the magical secrets of the universe.
These women consume their spirituality in small, meme-like bites. They see spirituality and living with a deep connection to Spirit and the Divine Source as hard. They see it as something they have to search for, as something that must be sought out, when in reality it is front and center in their lives every single day. They don’t recognize their own spiritual connections because they believe it is a complicated process, something reserved for a select few.
That isn’t how it works.
In this book Melinda breaks down the lessons of life as a soul having a human experience into simple, easy to digest concepts that fit the “spirituality in a meme” mentality that pervades our 21st century spiritual audience. The simplicity of the concepts will be easy to for the beginner to digest while bringing insight and new concepts to the advanced seeker.
Melinda’s audience will be drawn to this book for the stories she has lived that illustrate the simple lessons she has learned, and now teaches--that living in alignment with your soul is easy, it is life as human that is hard.
If you ask Melinda Mae Miller to describe herself, she will tell you she’s a “regular, street-pounding medium.” What she means is that some mediums are called to the public eye to open up our awareness, but others are called to do the work on the ground, and that is where she serves. Melinda travels ten months a years teaching people about the nature of spirit, connecting people to their loved ones and, as she says, “sharing the love.”
Melinda came to her mediumship late in life and reluctantly, but since embracing who she is she has traveled the world as a medium, sharing love and knowledge from the spirit world with the people who need it.
She had her first psychic experience at the age of three, and by fifteen, trying to appear “normal”, she was hiding her psychic abilities from her friends and family. Her mediumship became overwhelming after a traumatic mid-life crisis, and Melinda began a course of meditation and classes to learn to control her connection to the spirit world. She stayed on this path for several years until she felt the calling to share her spiritual knowledge with others on a spiritual path.
Born in Seattle and raised in northern California, Melinda made her home in New Orleans several years ago. Since then she has studied with many of the world’s great contemporary mediums, including John Holland, Janet Nohavec, Tony Stockwell, and Minister Colin Bates. She has also studied at Arthur Findlay College in Stansted, UK.
Melinda continues to teach and see clients on the road wherever she is called to serve.
I have over 4,000 followers across my social media accounts and email list. For the last two years I have been writing and sharing long-form prose on my experiences and the nature of spirituality and human life. My social media posts on these topics are the most popular content I share. In addition to native social media promotion I will run a series of paid Facebook ads and YouTube video ads.
I plan on focusing the bulk of my marketing on my personal appearances. I travel ten months a year teaching classes on spirituality and serving clients with my public mediumship demonstrations and private readings. I serve thousands of people a year all over the country; for the last two years people have been asking if I have written a book. I work with a lot of bookstores and spiritual centers around the country and all of them are interested in stocking anything I write, so in addition to sales at my events those shops represent another distribution source.
My appearances to date in 2017:
The Crystal Mystic, San Antonio, TX (January, March and July 2017)
Lavender House, Lawrence, KS (April 2017)
The Light Center, Baldwin City, KS (April 2017)
Seraphim Center, Gainesville, FL (March and October 2017)
The Light Center, Baldwin City, KS (July 2017)
Personal Power Wholeness and Pilates, Lawrence, KS (July 2017)
Into the Mystic, Mission, KS (July 2017)
The Gratitude Center, Red Bluff, CA (February 2017)
Inner Path, Nevada City, CA (November 2017)
Currently scheduled appearances for 2018:
Private Class, Beaumont, TX (January 2018)
The Crystal Mystic, San Antonio, TX (January 2018)
Into the Mystic, Mission, KS (January and February 2018)
Personal Power Wholeness and Pilates, Lawrence, KS (February 2018)
Lavender House, Baldwin city, KS (February 2018)
Unity of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (March 2018)
The Seraphim Center, Gainesville, FL (March 2018)
TBD* Virginia Beach, VA (April 2018)
TBD* Philadelphia, PA (May 2018)
TBD* Flagstaff, AZ (July 2018)
TBD* Tempe, AZ (July 2018)
*Pending final contract with venue
“Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World” - John Holland
Synopsis: This is a step by step guide to help you reconnect with your natural spiritual abilities. You’ll develop a conscious awareness of the spiritual laws that exists in each and every person’s life.
Comparison: Readers of “Power of the Soul” will enjoy “Life as Human.” Mr. Holland attracts a clientele very similar to Ms. Miller’s--people who are on a journey to discover who they are and how they fit into the world. John also uses an autobiographical format in his books as Melinda has, using his life experiences to illustrate the points he wants to make. Many of Melinda’s clients are fans of John’s work.
“The Power of Love: Connecting to the Oneness” - James Van Praagh
Synopsis: When you align yourself with loving thoughts, anxiety and worry will start to fade. Decisions that might have preoccupied you before will become easier to make. Difficult events and people will not be drawn to you, because you are learning to release that magnetic energy. When you begin to consciously surround yourself with the energy of love and acceptance—your natural state of being—your journey in this physical dimension can become much smoother, more purposeful, and more powerful.
Comparison: Mr. van Praagh’s teachings are beautiful and highly respected. His audience will have an interest in “Life as Human,” however Melinda takes a very nuts and bolts approach to saying what she has to say, whereas van Praagh takes a more ethereal approach.
“Destiny of Souls” - Dr. Michael Newton
Synopsis: Explore the meaning behind your own spiritual memories as you read the stories of people in deep hypnosis, and learn fascinating details about: —Our purpose on Earth—Soul mates and spirit guides—Spiritual settings and where souls go after death—Soul travel between lives—Ways spirits connect with and comfort the living—The soul-brain connection
Comparison: Anyone who has read “Destiny of Souls” or Dr. Newton's other books will understand exactly where Melinda is coming from in her approach to spirituality. Newton’s readers are drawn to him because of his excellent work quantifying the mystical, with a tendency to err on the side of caution. “Life as Human” is a perfect, real-world compliment to Dr. Newton’s work.
“Born Knowing” - John Holland
Synopsis: In this work, John Holland explains how he dealt with the internal conflict that his abilities created and describes how he finally accepted his rare gift as a spirit messenger when he survived a near fatal car accident. The crash greatly amplified his mediumistic ability.
Comparison: Fans of “Born Knowing” are a perfect market for “Life as Human.” The people who are drawn to Mr. Holland’s first book have an interest in mediumship, what it is and a curiosity about the life of a medium. The similar approach of using autobiographical stories to illustrate practical lessons will resonate with his readers.
“Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential” - Michael Bernard Beckwith
Synopsis: In this handbook for spiritual revolutionaries, Michael Bernard Beckwith challenges readers to search within for the key to unlock their future, preparing them for the great transformation that is theirs to experience.
Comparison: Although not as familiar to most readers, Beckwith’s message is a perfect compliment to Ms. Miller’s message
I did everything I could to avoid writing this book.
I travel the country doing readings and workshops, and everywhere I go, people ask the same questions: What's it like to be a medium? How do I find the purpose of my life? How do I create a stronger connection to my soul?
I was blessed to host a very powerful demonstration of mediumship for a lovely and active audience in Lawrence, Kansas in one summer. Afterwards I was asked several times, "Have you written a book?"
Later, I was talking to my friend and told her I just didn't know what to write about. "Writing a book is a lot of work!" I said. "I don't want to do all that work and find out nobody wants to read it."
"Just do it," she told me.
"I don't know what to write about!" I argued.
"Write your stories," she said.
"Nobody knows who I am!" I tried again.
"You didn't, either, when you started this journey," she replied. "That's your book.”
As I drove south towards San Antonio, I mulled over the what I wanted to say...if I decided to write a book. Why have I had these experiences? To learn and grow my spiritual connection. It occurred to me that by sharing my stories and the lessons I learned, other people might be able to learn, too. I liked that idea a little more. Not much, but a bit.
Still, I wasn't comfortable writing about myself. Good mediumship training pounds into us that working from or for the ego is a death knell, and I took it to heart. I practice humility every day, and I just couldn't imagine anyone being interested in me. Interested in my mediumship abilities, maybe, but my stories are about me, Melinda the human soul.
I am not special.
I admit my life and how I've chosen to live it is unconventional. A lot of people disapprove of my choices, but after three failed marriages, a career in IT where I experienced corporate greed first hand, and accepting that I would never fit in with the dysfunctional part of family, I gave it all up to serve others with my mediumship. Despite what you see on TV, the life of a medium is not glamorous and filled with wealth. It's a modest living, but that is the key word--"living." I'd rather travel the country doing demonstrations for 24 people than go back to grinding the corporate hamster wheel. When the time came for me to fully embrace my mediumship I sold everything I owned and hit the road in a Mustang convertible. I've never looked back.
I’ve always been a medium, I just didn’t understand it. But I have a special connection to spirit, and I have always received messages about how to live my life. I only started listening when I began my path of spiritual growth.
Over the years I have come to realize that life isn't as complicated as we think it is. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The experiences serve to teach us how to live in a state of love, gratitude and service. The experiences are about the individual.
Being human isn't that complicated.
I believe the current "awakening" people are experiencing is simply an extension of our human evolution. First there were cells, then there were life forms, then there was intelligence. Now we are experiencing the growth of our soul consciousness. I believe the "mind" (as opposed to the brain) is part of our soul consciousness. I believe the soul is not some elusive thing we must strive to connect to, but something we already have knowledge of and work with, even if we aren't aware of it in that way. I believe all of the knowledge and insight we need is already with us, the challenge is to learn to tap into it.
The challenge is to learn to listen.
The stories in this book are really about how I learned to listen, and what I learned when I did. What I learned is life isn't that complicated. What I learned is that we allow our social and cultural stigmas to hold us back from being who we are at the soul level. I learned that when we find the courage to stand up and be who we are, to stand in our truth, the universe opens up and provides us everything we need to succeed.
I learned to redefine my idea of success.
For me, success is not human; it is not material. It is not about perfect lawns and big houses. Success, to me, is knowing I'm taking the perfect actions I laid out for myself at the soul level before I jumped into my human. When I started doing that, my life became magical.
I believe success is spiritual, not biological.
I know there are physical side-effects for some successes, but other rewards come from the sense of peace you get when you know you are walking your soul's path.
People think that working at the soul level is some elusive thing we have to reach for. People think it's complicated. It's really not, and that is the purpose of this book.
Life as a soul is easy. Life as human should be, too.
This book is about how to live as a soul with a body, not a body with a soul.
The weird kid
I had my first psychic experience at the age of three, though I didn't know it was a psychic experience. Mom loaded me into the back of her early model Ford Falcon. There were no seat belts or car seats in those days, she just opened the door and sat me in back behind the passenger seat. She and Gramma got in the front, Mom driving, and headed for the grocery store. I remember car rides as being boring when I was young. I was much too tiny to see out the window. I couldn't see anything but the vinyl seats around me.
I looked to my left, to the middle of the back seat, and was aware of another kid in the car. He was a young boy, about my age. "I'm Billy," he said. We began chatting and he told me he was here to play with me. I had a friend. Billy came here to be my friend.Having a friend was a big deal for me. I didn't have any friends. In my family, the family was everything. We stuck close together. It was very much an us-and-them mentality. I don't recall my mother having any friends of her own until the mid-70s. If she had regular friends before that they certainly didn't have any kids for me to play with. I was the first grandchild, and my brother was an infant. I played with my uncles and my grandparents. My family were my friends. My family were the only people I knew.
That social isolation made the appearance of a kid in the back seat of the car that much more exciting to me. A kid! I had a friend and he was a kid just like me.
I was aware of his invisibility even though I saw and heard him clearly. I found my family's occasional whispers of "imaginary friend" quite offensive. Even at that young age I understood the difference between imaginary and invisible. Billy was clearly invisible. As I got older, I kept my relationship with Billy quieter, more to myself. The relationship was important to me and I didn't want anyone to jeopardize it. By the time I was nine or so, he and I only interacted "in person" in a secret spot in my house. Billy talked to me about how to deal with people, words to say in specific stressful situations, and how electricity worked. I often took apart little things to see if he was right. Back when telephones were mechanical, I rewired our phone so the bells rang when a number was dialed instead of when we received a call. I blew out the main breaker of our house trying to make a power cord for my little cassette recorder based on Billy's instructions. My little experiments didn't always succeed, but they always got attention from the rest of the family. I never revealed my motivations for those little experiments, I simply shrugged my shoulders and said, "I just wanted to see what would happen." Billy fostered my interest in numbers; I’m now an accomplished numerologist.
Billy also showed me that the invisible dream (or spirit) world was just as real as my visible world. He was not the only invisible person I saw and heard, but he was the only one I had a relationship with. Then, one day, he was gone. I don't remember exactly when it happened, I was probably ten or eleven. It never seemed odd that after so many years he was just gone. I really never gave it much thought.
I was eight when I realized other people did not see, hear and feel the same things I did. I was eight when I realized I was different. All my life I had been aware of the presence of “others” around me. I knew they weren’t like us, but I was eight when I realized not everyone was aware of them.
My precognitive dreams started when I was 11.
My family lived on a small farm in Oregon. One morning I dreamed that the phone rang. When my mother answered the call, the person at the other end said they were at a local coffee shop, and would someone please come and get them.
Even though the dream was quite mundane, it felt very odd, very different from my usual dreams. It confused me and the feeling stuck with me as I broke through the fog of sleep into the morning's routine. It was so long ago I couldn't tell you now exactly why it felt different from my usual dreams, but the feeling was odd enough that I was compelled to mention it to my mother when I staggered into the kitchen for breakfast. I told her about it, word for word, as she stood over the stove flipping pancakes. Without turning around or displaying any surprise or shock, she responded, "Well, your grandparents just called. Grandma's exact words were, 'We're at the coffee shop, come and get us.' Your dad just left to go pick them up." Even though her words were even, when she turned around to hand me my breakfast of eggs and toast I felt and saw that she was trying to hide her shock.
Some might say I heard the conversation in my sleep, but I dreamed both sides of the conversation word for word. How did I know what was said on the other end of the line?
My birthday was about a week later. My parents were extremely strict, so even though I was in junior high school, I wasn't allowed to wear any kind of make-up, not even lip gloss. I gave up asking because I knew it was a lost cause. My parents were also very strict about birthdays. Any gifts, or any kind of celebration at all, only happened after dinner. A birthday was a painfully regular day until dinner was finished and the cake and presents were ceremoniously laid out on the dinner table.
The night before my birthday, I had another odd dream. In that dream I was presented with a package. I opened it to discover a box of make-up. The top of the box opened flat and folded back at the sides to reveal a tray built into the bottom. The tray had molded compartments, each designed to hold a different object. The objects it held were a variety of different types of make-up and beauty products.
Like I had the week before, I went to the kitchen for breakfast and told my mother about the dream. Again, she showed absolutely no shock or surprise. Instead, she left the room without saying a word. When she returned, she put a wrapped package in front of me. "You might as well open this now," she said.
It contained a vinyl box with a lid that snapped shut. When I opened it, the top and sides folded back to reveal a tray molded with compartments. It was a very fancy manicure set--the compartments contained base coat, top coat, cuticle remover, a variety of moisturizers and manicure tools. I was floored again at the accuracy of the dream. Unlike the first dream, which, admittedly, left a bit of room for physical explanation, there was no possible way for me to have known what was in the package I had just opened. My mother was a stickler for not only keeping presents hidden, but wrapping them well ahead of time to prevent snooping.
The second dream, though quite literal, also utilized some symbolism--using makeup to illustrate a beauty product, in this case, nail care products.
By the time I started high school, I was hiding my natural psychic abilities. It was too hard to explain, and besides, I didn't understand it and I didn't know what to do with it. I had no control over it at all, and that was a very uncomfortable feeling.
When I was 28 I scheduled a tarot reading with a woman I knew to be very good. She later went on to be the personal psychic to a very well known musician. She motioned me to a seat in her tiny reading room, in front of card table covered in layers of colorful silk scarves.
I watched her methodically lay out the cards, one by one, pausing to take in each one before flipping over the next. The images meant nothing to me. I had read a lot of books on the tarot, but have never been able to make sense of the mysterious pictures. They speak to so many people; they have never spoken to me.
After the cards were all laid out out on the table, I watched her eyes bounce from one to another, taking them in. I held my breath, waiting in the silence of her thoughts.When she finally spoke, she said, "You're psychic."
I felt a bit sheepish, back then it wasn't something I liked to admit. I looked down at my hands in my lap and muttered, "Yeah, I am, but I don't like to talk about it."
"You're going to be doing what I do when you're older," she announced.
"Oh, no, I'm not!" The words blurted from my mouth. "I have no interest in doing what you do."
"Well, you will be," she replied.
"I won't," I said.
"Yes, you will!" Her voice was louder, now, firm and insisting.
"No! I won't do it!" I yelled, horrified at the thought. It wasn’t just the thought of embracing the unknown that horrified me, it was the idea of the responsibility of guiding and counseling other people that was terrifying. Why in the world would I take that on?
We began to argue back and forth--you will, I won't, you will, I won't--until she startled me by standing up and stabbing her finger violently on the table to emphasize her words: "It says right here you will be doing what I do when you're older! That is what you came here to do!"
I shut up. I didn't want to hear it, and she wouldn't let me escape it. I don't even remember the rest of the reading. In fact, I completely forgot about the bizarre exchange for twenty years.
I never really felt like I fit in with my family. Even though I lived in a house with people I called parents and brothers and sisters, I never felt like I was “at home.” I always felt like a visitor, a stranger on her best behavior. Later in life I described it as feeling like I was an alien dropped into the U.S. with a Spanish-English dictionary instead of the Alien-English dictionary they should have given me.
The only time I felt completely comfortable was with my grandparents. I spent a lot of time with them when I was young; in adulthood, they were often the only family members I had who looked out for my interests or defended me against the constant stream of passive-aggressive insults the dysfunctional part of my family thrived on. My grandmother's passing was hard because I knew I was alone again.
We didn't speak much the year or two before Gramma passed, but I wasn’t mad at her. I made a decision she didn't agree with and I refused to change my mind. Nobody in the family had ever done that before. Everyone came to Gramma for advice--she was quite psychic--and everyone followed her advice to the letter. She didn't take my rejection well, but I understood why. She was in her 80s. She liked things the way she liked them. She was used to being the final word; my rejection of her advice must have felt like a rejection of her wisdom.
She died in November on Friday the 13th, two hours after flipping off her ICU nurse. Her last defiant gesture made me smile.
That didn't make her death any easier on me.
Six weeks later my uncle died.
My mom was on a plane, flying across the country to see him, when he passed in the ICU at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. She called me from the hospital; her voice was clouded with anger and confusion. Anger because he died before she got there. Confusion because nobody expected him to die. She asked me to fly out, she needed help. I knew what to do, she didn't. When she called I was doing laundry. I had no clean clothes to take so I stuffed my suitcase with dirty clothes and raced to the airport.
As soon as the plane was in the air I fell into a deep, exhausted sleep. My uncle came to me in a dream. He sat across from me looking exactly like I remember him looking when I was young. He was thin, vibrant and healthy. "I need you to do three things for me, Mouse," he said. I listened to him, nodding but never speaking. I understood his message. The three things were simple, but important to him, loose ends he should have taken care of and didn’t.
Just like in my youth, I woke up knowing that dream wasn't a regular dream. I knew it was a visitation. I kept it to myself as long as I could.
My sister flew to Florida the next day, and the three of us, all a bit disoriented, set out to empty my uncle's house. It was a huge job made harder by being in a strange town; every little thing turned into a research project. Where is the Goodwill store? Where is a grocery store? Where is the funeral home? It drained us and we fought hard not to show it.
Towards the end of our first week we were running out of money, too, which only added to an already stressful situation. Another uncle, a lawyer, had told us to try and figure out the bank accounts and what-not so he could start dealing with that part of the estate, but we had no luck there and finally gave up. The lawyer was paying for our hotel room, and my uncle’s friends were feeding us like royalty, but we had no cash for gas. The three of us did some brainstorming before bed one night. We finally threw in the towel, handing the problem to the universe until morning.
My uncle came to me again that night. He took me into his bedroom, reached into a spot high in his closet and pulled out an envelope. In the envelope was his bank card. "There's money here you can use for gas," he said.
As soon as we got to the house the next day I walked right to the closet he had shown me in the dream, reached up to the spot he had shown me high in the closet, and found an envelope. It had his bank card in it. I was more surprised than anyone.
I spent two weeks in Jacksonville helping my mom deal with all the things that come with a death. I felt Gramma around me the whole time I was in Florida, and the feeling became stronger when I got back to California. I felt my uncle there, too. I felt crowded, as if I was being rushed around by a mob, but there was nobody there. My ears were filled with a constant white noise. Not ringing, but white noise, like the sound of a television without a signal in another room. Even though I was still pretending I didn't have my psychic abilities, in my heart I knew my people were trying to talk to me.
I tried meditating, but the noise didn't get clearer. I tried just asking, "What are you trying to tell me?" but I heard nothing. One day when I was home alone, out of sheer frustration, I covered my ears and screamed into empty air, "I don't know what you want, please leave me alone!” But it didn’t stop.
Out of desperation, I sat down at my computer one day and Googled "psychic in my town." The first website that popped up looked very respectable, the gal looked like a harmless, all-American soccer mom. I made an appointment.
I was relieved and surprised when I walked into her shop. It was small, bright and cheery, filled with books and crystals. Large windows flooded the room with sunshine. Her motto was “Taking the ick out of psychic.” As a concept--she nailed it.
She waved me to a seat in the middle of the room and sat across from me. She leaned forward, hands clasped in her lap, and said, ”Tell me, Melinda, how can I help you today?"
I looked over each shoulder just to make sure there was no one outside the windows listening, nobody hiding in the back of the room that might overhear what I needed to say. "Dead people won't stop talking to me," I whispered. "I need to know how to make it stop."
She was genuinely confused. "Why would you want to do that?" she asked.
I lowered my voice even more. "Because...it's weird. I don’t like it."
She told me that being able to hear people in the spirit world is a very special gift, and I should be happy I have it. "You can't make it go away," she explained. "Once they know you can hear them they want to talk to you, they want someone to give them a voice. Not everyone hears them, so they get excited when they know you can," she explained. "You can learn to control it, but you can't make it go away."
That wasn't the response I was expecting; it really let the wind out of my sails. She invited me into the back room for a mediumship reading.
By my mid-forties I had three marriages and two children under my belt. My last marriage was the longest, and the divorce the most devastating. I spent over a decade being a mother, wife and partner only to find myself cast aside; I felt like a failure at all three. I struggled for months to come to terms with the situation but I couldn't. I tried to move forward, but just the thought of the effort it would take left me feeling defeated. After several months of internal and external struggle I gave up and went to bed.
I was self-employed so I literally didn't have to be anywhere. I could, and did, work from bed in my pajamas. I quit making any efforts to live at all. I even went to the grocery store in my damn pajamas. I had given up. Life didn't seem worth the effort.
I lay in my room one night, sprawled across my gigantic, king sized bed with a fresh bottle of Xanax in my hand. My doctor had prescribed it to help me sleep. I dreaded sleep more than anything else. It wasn’t that I couldn't sleep, it was that I didn't want to. The thought of waking up to another pointless day was more than I could bear. And it seemed genuinely pointless. It wasn't that I layed around feeling sorry for myself or the state of my life. It wasn't even that I lost the will to live. I simply dreaded waking up because living felt like the worst exercise in futility I had ever experienced.
I knew I would wake up in the morning and do some work. I would make some money and put it in the bank, then I would go online to give it to some faceless corporation that did everything they could to dehumanize me for the purpose of sucking money out of me. I did that so I had the power and internet I needed to work, and a house to live in, and a gigantic bed to sleep in. I would close my eyes at night knowing I had a house with working utilities and food and whatever else I needed, then I would wake up and do it all over again.
What a stupid existence.
I layed there staring at my full bottle of pills, thinking about the stupid hamster wheel my life had become, a life that existed only to generate dollars for a non-human "person." I was over it.
The thought of thirty more years on that kiddie-train ride killed my spirit. I decided to take the pills.
I shuffled downstairs in my oversized flannel pajamas, the bottoms frayed past their natural lifespan from over the use and over wear of the last few months, and poured a glass of water to wash down the solution to my misery.
I held the bottle in front of my face, perched on the edge of my bed, and stared it down like a wide-eyed child in an old-fashioned staring contest. I tried to think of a reason, any reason at all, not to take those pills. I couldn't think of one. Surely there must be one? There wasn't.
I opened the bottle, and as I began emptying the pills into my hand, I remembered my sons. They were both grown by now, but my oldest son had been battling personal demons since he was eleven years old. Demons brought on by the suicide of his father, my first husband.
That stopped me cold.
I poured the pills back into the bottle, replaced the cap, and sat it on my nightstand. I couldn't put my kids through another suicide. I resigned myself to living thirty more years of a miserable, pointless, stupid life.
I had started taking psychic development classes just before my husband left me, after I my first visit to the local medium. I also had a regular meditation routine. I didn't want to do anything with it in a public way, I just wanted to understand, and maybe control, this weird thing that I have.
After my brush with suicide I threw myself into those studies. I needed something to fill my time. I needed a reason to wake up in the morning. I needed something to look forward to besides the hamster wheel my life had become. It wasn't much, but it was all I had. I also took muay thai classes, boxing, kickboxing, anything that would relieve me from the dread of the life I had to look forward to. Temporary relief was better than no relief at all.