MY NOVEL–
READING THE SIGNS: A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY

Ted Jones, campus chaplain and English Professor in downtown Denver, doesn’t need more problems. His life has been full of them. More than a few of the clergy seem to think of the church as a sex club, and those who administer the English Department are vipers. Yet, at the beseeching of the spirit of an old woman who appears floating near the stained glass window of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Ted soon becomes involved with Sharon, the deceased woman’s grown granddaughter.

Damaged though she is, Sharon responds, trying to return the steadfast love that Ted offers. After her grandmother died, she lost that capacity in herself and couldn’t find it in any of the people who professed to love her.

Although Sharon and Ted’s trials are multiple, their love forms the crux of the novel. Such love reaches beyond time and space as we normally conceive them, to involve intersecting planes of existence that touch both past and future.

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While fiction, and centrally a love story, it is essentially true. My experiences teaching at CU Denver and the Episcopal Cathedral stick very close to the facts.

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Please help me launch this project by preordering copies on my website, using PayPal or another method (personal check, MO).  Paypal buttons will soon be up on the Writing Page.

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The novel ends with a vision of meeting Sharon on the fields of eternity:

For a moment, my earthly sight blurred with tears, I glimpsed Sharon and me. We stood on fields of gold, there, where chronos meets kairos, and earthly time rolls into eternity.

I think this will be the cover.

Lindsay Holmes writes:

Let’s be honest: relationships are complex, no matter what kind of personality you have. And some truths are universal, like fighting is never fun. Romantic gestures are usually appreciated. Communication is definitely valued. Compromise isn’t always easy.

But a lot of these nuances are only heightened if you’re of a more sensitive nature. Below are nine things to keep in mind if you’re in a relationship with a highly sensitive person.

More.

Kat Gal WRITES:

Chronic pain is something I’ve lived for years, chronic headaches, chronic hip pains and related chronic back pain, chronic neck aches and chronic muscle pain… not to mention the emotional pain that came with it.

I’ve healed from my non-stop, 24/7 chronic headaches and running happily without chronic hip pains again.

I am grateful for every pain-free moment. I am happy for my healing. I also don’t take it for granted.

I understand others who are struggling with chronic pain right now. While I believe healing is possible for just about any condition, I know that in some cases it can take decades of trial and error and for some healing may not arrive this lifetime. The hope is out there. Healing is a journey. Personal and spiritual growth happens even if the pain doesn’t disappear just yet.

Still, living with chronic pain is difficult. I felt misunderstood, lost and lonely — often hopeless. During my many years with chronic pain I’ve heard many comments from friends, family and strangers. While I know most of these comments came with good intentions from kindness, the truth is many of these comments were hurtful, annoying, unhelpful and even inappropriate.

More.

Pamela Madsen writes:

As a relationship and sex coach, I watch men blow relationships even when they actually love and desire their woman.

How can we really want to be in relationship and yet make a mess of it?

More.

From her blog:

“Learning to trust the imagination is based upon using it and finding out how it can help you…Literal-mindedness will not help you here. Engage with the metaphor, the image, the feeling, the inkling that is just within your grasp. Use your subtle senses, not your everyday senses. Follow the story or scenario that’s unfolding within you. If an understanding forms in your mind, or a sense grips your body, follow its meaning without shouting it down with your disbelief. You and your senses are a valid source of wisdom. You don’t need to depend on experts to trust and validate your understanding.” (Quoting Caitlin Matthews, Psychic Protection, Ulysses Press, 2006, p.41.)

We each work with multiple senses to access and interpret information, including both our rational, linear abilities, and also including our non-rational, non-mental faculties. Our own imaginal realms are invaluable sources of information beyond language, and a gateway to insight, or what I call inner sight. Just as dreams can often contain important insight, so too your imagination offers you understanding, discovery, motivation, creativity and direction.

More.

A summer homework list assigned by Cesare Catà of Don Bosco High School in Fermo, a small town on the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy, is currently going viral across that country.

Instead of giving his students required reading assignments, Catà gave them a prescription for how to live an inspired life, telling them that in the next few months, they should take time to admire a sunrise, dream about the future and read, because reading is “the best form of rebellion you have.”

The Huffington Post interviewed Catà, who said he models his teaching methods on Mr. Keating, Robin Williams’ character in the 1989 film “Dead Poets Society.” “Surely a pupil could consider literature, philosophy or grammar as instruments to become himself,” Catà told HuffPost in an email. “I think that the radiance of summer, especially during adolescence, could have a special spiritual influence.”

More. Wonderful advice.

Watch video.

Scientists researching the potential connections between deep, restorative sleep and the protein fragment beta-amyloid recently found that poor sleep not only hinders the brain’s ability to save new memories, but also creates a channel through which this Alzheimer’s-triggering protein is able to travel and attack long-term memory storage.

“Over the past few years, the links between sleep, beta-amyloid, memory, and Alzheimer’s disease have been growing stronger,” William Jagust, a UC Berkeley neuroscientist, Alzheimer’s disease expert and co-leader of the study said in a statement. “Our study shows that this beta-amyloid deposition may lead to a vicious cycle in which sleep is further disturbed and memory impaire

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Previous research has implicated the deposits of beta-amyloid in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, because it begins destroying synapses before clumping them into plaques in the brain that lead to the death of important nerve cells. But this new study suggests that, while poor sleep creates the pathway for this nerve damage to occur, it is an entirely treatable issue. According to Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley neuroscience professor and senior author of this study, exercise, behavioral therapy and electrical stimulation of brain waves during sleep are all viable ways for young adults to increase their overnight memory — and protect against the build-up of beta-amyloid proteins.

“Sleep is helping wash away toxic proteins at night, preventing them from building up and from potentially destroying brain cells,” Walker said in a statement. “It’s providing a power cleanse for the brain.”

More.

Creative people are often accused of doing nothing. What people who make such remarks do not understand is that often when we are taking time out, being quiet, meditative, and so on, we really are working. We’re mulling ideas, working on our current projects–and hatching new ones.

The following article is about that–and about the importance of daydreaming, not just for the creative but for all:

Some people feel daydreaming is all about wasting time, zoning out, or simply not wanting to be present for whatever is happening in the now. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Research shows that more than one third of our waking hours is spent daydreaming. One in three! And when MRI scans are performed on people when they are daydreaming, the results show a very active and very dynamic brain function, which has to mean that daydreaming serves some vitally important function, right?

People who daydream demonstrate more creativity. And when you learn to daydream in a controlled way, these mental wanderings can cause you to be much more prolific and productive in all that you take on.

Daydreams have benefits. And with a little focus, you can turn them into a creative task that will help you get more done and be more inventive with everything you do.

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One nerve connects your vital organs, sensing and shaping your health. If we learn to control it, the future of medicine will be electric.
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However the technology develops, our understanding of how the body manages disease has changed for ever. “It’s become increasingly clear that we can’t see organ systems in isolation, like we did in the past,” says Paul-Peter Tak. “We just looked at the immune system and therefore we have medicines that target the immune system.

“But it’s very clear that the human is one entity: mind and body are one. It sounds logical but it’s not how we looked at it before. We didn’t have the science to agree with what may seem intuitive. Now we have new data and new insights.”

More.

The power of curiosity
May 26th, 2015

Over the past four decades, Hollywood veteran Brian Grazer has worked on television shows and movies that have been nominated for 43 Academy Awards and 149 Emmys, making him one of the most successful producers in the entertainment industry. During his prolific career, Grazer says he’s learned that having one particular quality directly correlates to one’s level of success: curiosity.

As he tells Oprah in the above video from “Super Soul Sunday,” curiosity has been a big factor in helping him achieve his greatest accomplishments.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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