How connecting with my father’s spirit helped me regain my own.
I had a thriving business, a loving family, and was financially secure. Yet, I felt a sense of emptiness… a sense I was meant to do more with my life. My life was nice and comfortable, but I realized it had lost its spark, its passion, and its vitality.
My life had lost its spirit.
On February 4, 2006, as I was driving to visit my ill father, I made the conscious decision to reclaim my spirit and live the type of life of which I had always dreamed.
In the car, I decided after Dad passed on (which I thought would be sometime within the next two years), my family and I would sell everything and move to the other side of the country. What I was going to do, and how I was going to do it, I didn’t know.
All I knew is we had to move…
That visit to my father was the last time I saw him alive.
Dad died two days later.
On February 6, 2006, while I was doing a consultation, I was interrupted by an urgent phone call: “Dad’s dead! He’s here and he’s dead. Dad’s dead!”
The sheer intensity and raw emotion in my brother’s voice over the phone that day will be forever etched in my memory. My heart went out to my brother. I wished he weren’t the one who had to experience the shock of finding Dad’s lifeless body. I wished it had been me because I had been working in the health profession for fifteen years. At least I had some experience in dealing with the topic of death.
I quickly got into my car to meet my brother at the apartment where Dad was staying. Although Dad’s death was hardly a surprise, it was still a huge shock. I thought it was going to happen someday soon, but now? As I was driving to Dad’s apartment, an eerie calmness came over me. I recalled the thoughts I had two days earlier as I was driving along the same route. Taking a few deep breaths, I contemplated the impact of Dad’s death. I realized the time for a major change in my life was now.
When I arrived at Dad’s apartment, my brother and I sobbed and hugged each other so tightly, in the hope it would somehow ease the pain. It didn’t.
I went into the small, dark, apartment where, on the bed, lay a lonely figure draped with a white sheet.
It was surreal.
I gathered myself by the side of the bed and finally mustered enough courage to lift the sheet. I hugged my dad’s lifeless body, struggling to comprehend how my big, strong, wisecracking father could be reduced to this.
He was so different without life coursing through his body… just an empty shell.
Refusing to give in to reality, I even checked Dad’s vital signs, hoping for a flicker of life. But there was none. For the next thirty minutes, I hugged and looked at Dad, trying to take in as much information about him as possible, to ensure I would not forget him.
After my father’s funeral and after finalizing his affairs, I visited one of my mentors, Mardi, who does spiritual energy balancing. I told her I had no idea of any direction in my life, and all I knew was that I had to move to the other side of the country.
Mardi said I would start to attract the people, places, events, and circumstances that would assist me in my journey.
How right she was!
That night, I went to a health talk and began sharing my intention to move to the other side of Australia. There, I met an amazing nutritionist and author named Erica, who, by chance, used to live in the area to which I was moving.
I was intrigued by this person as she seemed completely different from anyone I had met before, yet strangely familiar. I was certain I was meeting her for an important reason, especially when she revealed the translation of her surname meant ‘angel.’
We shared stories of remarkably similar journeys in our lives. I was inspired by her stories of what it meant to be able to make a difference in other people’s health on an international scale.
I returned to work with a renewed sense of vigor, buoyed by the knowledge I was somehow being guided in my journey.
Within two months, I had sold my practice to an exemplary young man and agreed to stay on for the following six months in a part-time capacity, assisting with the transition, as I waited for my children to finish their school year.
Around this time, I had become so focused on the changes in my life I forgot about my wife, Angela. She was understandably hesitant about our comfortable lifestyle being turned upside-down in the selfish pursuit of my dream. Our marriage had been so strong, now, for the first time, it too was uncertain. Just the thought of this sent my world into a spin.
I didn’t know what to do, so I went for a walk in nature to clear my head and get some sort of perspective on my life. I rested on a rock, where I realized that the only person in the world who I really wanted to talk to about this was Dad. This triggered an expression of grief so raw it felt.
This triggered an expression of grief so raw it felt exactly like when I was crying by my father’s gravesite.
My crying continued unabated for the next fifteen minutes. I was at my lowest ebb. I looked to the heavens and surrendered.
“I give up. What in the … should I do now?”, I screamed.
I shouted at the top of my lungs until there was no more grief, anger, and desperation inside of me.
I gathered myself and began the hike back out of the forest, thinking about how I longed to speak to Dad. I had walked approximately fifteen steps when I heard my father’s voice over my right shoulder.
“You know, I am here if you need to talk.”
My body tingled with goose bumps of exhilaration as tears of joy washed down my cheeks.
“You can write books and teach people how to regain their spirit. You can call it ‘Teen Spirit.’”
Instantly, a vision flashed in my mind of going on a book tour and giving presentations on health, energy, and life fulfillment to groups all over the world. This was accompanied by an amazing sense of euphoria for rediscovering some purpose in my life. I then thought to myself, “How do I go about writing a book?”
A picture of Erica (the author I had met a few months earlier) flashed into my mind.
My feelings intensified as I appreciated the synchronicity of the recent events. The pieces of the puzzle were starting to fit together. It was amazing. Within five minutes of experiencing some of the most intense feelings of grief I can ever recall, I was now feeling one of my life’s most amazing highs. I laughed at the inevitable ups and downs of life I had long striven to avoid for the sake of stability. The intensity of this experience really jolted my senses, and I was now feeling alive like never before.
Later that afternoon, I tracked down Erica’s number and plucked up the courage to call her. She not only supported my book idea, but also actively encouraged me to make a difference to others with this book. She passed on a lot of what she had learned throughout her writing journey and recommended I go to a writing conference in Hawaii to fast track my learning.
I began doing a lot of research and writing in my spare time, as I completed my work commitments amidst organizing our belongings.
After Christmas, 2006, my family and I traveled to our new home, 5000 kilometers away in Queensland. Motivated by my life’s purpose, I continued writing and decided to go to the writer’s seminar in Hawaii.
During this conference, I lost my way around the hotel and unintentionally ended up at a presentation by one of the people featured on The Secret, Lisa Nichols. Towards the end of her presentation, Lisa mentioned one of her teen support programs called ‘Teen Spirit…’
Recognizing my father’s very own words, my ears pricked up as I realized I was again being guided.
As Lisa walked off the stage, she pointed to me and mouthed,
“I’ll speak to you soon.”
People sitting adjacent to me turned to me saying,
“Did you see that? Was she talking to you? What do you have to talk about?”
The hairs on the back of my neck were again on end as I knew I had to go and speak to her to find out about this program.
After speaking with Lisa about Teen Spirit, I became quite emotional, so I walked out to the hotel foyer where I took in the incredible view of the ocean. There, I heard that same voice in my head …it was Dad again.
“Thanks for remembering, mate,”he said.
“I…I’m proud of you.”
For the next forty-five minutes, an enormous feeling of love overwhelmed me. I cried with joy as it felt like everyone in the world was hugging me, saying,
“I love you.”
Staying connected to this feeling, I became aware that part of Dad’s purpose in his life was to help me become inspired about health.
“You went through all of that to help me?!” I exclaimed, while recalling the suffering he went through in the second half of his life. I felt so humble.
I resolved, if Dad went through this to help me find my inspiration, nothing was going to stop me from helping others regain their energy and spirit. I strode with an air of confidence into my meetings with the interested publishers and agents. For the first time in my life, I was completely clear and assured about who I really was as a person – and what my purpose in life was.
My father, in his passing, became my ultimate spiritual guide – leading me through the most incredible range of lessons and people. I learned about the real part of them.
I now see my spirit as a real part of me.
I am sharing this story to help other people who may be facing a similar situation in their lives.
Yes, you will probably be experiencing so much pain, sadness, and desperation as you face the mortality of a loved one. But I say this to you with the utmost conviction and clarity because I know deep inside that this is the truth.
Amidst this suffering, there is joy, happiness, peace, and contentment.
How do you find these gifts amidst your despair?
Start to look for them. Start by interpreting your current events in a different way. Look at them with a different perspective and pay attention to your emotions.
Use your emotions as a guide. As you explore different interpretations of your circumstances, pay attention to interpretations which make you feel better.
If you’re feeling bad, that is your heart and soul saying there is another way of looking at things.
It’s your body telling you to look deeper. The stronger the pain, the more important it is to delve deeper. Your body will let you know with bursts of positive emotions when you have found these gifts amidst your sorrow.
As a result of the beautiful gifts that have arisen from my wonderful father’s death, I can say from deep in my heart …
“Thank God my dad died.”