Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, I’ve lived in western New England since 1978. I have been a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist; staff writer for a publisher of informational handbooks on health care, disease management and other self-help topics; and since 1995, a freelance writer. I also volunteer as editor of several hard-copy newsletters. I have been working on and off (mostly off!) since 1980 on a novel.
What my life looks like: I work in a home office overlooking the woods on our mini-farm. Others living here include my husband, two horses and two cats. Our daughter graduated from Suffolk University in January 2012 and is now employed in Boston. I have Type I diabetes and began using an insulin pump in 2005. I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer in 2006; it was caught by mammogram very early, with no lymph node involvement.
I have been dabbling in genealogical research and have been delighted to discover a few distant cousins in the process.
I am very active in my Unitarian Universalist Society. I was raised Unitarian (before the merger with Universalism), but now see that I am as much a Universalist as Unitarian! Within UU’s wide range of beliefs, I have been delighted to discover “process theology,” or panentheism (not to be confused with pantheism). Quoting UU historian Mark W. Harris, panentheism “equates God with evolution, or the power behind it. . . . God is everywhere, but is not in anything. . . . God has an existence that is manifest both within nature and beyond nature. God is the divine creative force moving through nature and through us.”
Or, in my own words: We are all pieces of God, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
I first came to Live Journal at the suggestion of my (then-teenaged) daughter, who thought I would find like-minded souls in the Empaths community. Since then, I’ve joined other communities here.
When I had to complete the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to attend a UU leadership training program in 2003, I came out as ENFJ (Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling and Judging), but my score was almost tied with ENFP (Extravert, iNtuitive, Feeling and Perceiving).
I realize intuition, empathy, and telepathy are not considered by some to be the same things, but they are hard for me to tease apart, as they work together in me, particularly the first two. I believe that to some degree, everyone is born with these traits. But hardly any adults I knew when I was growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s acknowledged, much less talked about, anything deemed paranormal. My parents, even more than most at that time, were of the humanist school that questioned anything that one could not see, taste, touch, smell or hear.
My maternal grandmother, however, did show a (seemingly) mild curiosity about what my parents called “the occult.” Now that I have a vocabulary to describe it, I’d say she was without doubt an empath and intuitive. Her undeniable ability to know what was going on with me, even from thousands of miles away, is what began to open my mind to the possibility that “all this weird stuff” might be real. After she died, a friend of hers told me she had been more than “curious” -- she was a solitary witch. I realized then that her “joking” comments during my teen years about how she was a witch and would “light a candle and mutter an incantation” for me (when I was worried about taking a test, for example) were her way of “hiding in plain sight.”
I was her only grandchild. I appear to fit the descriptions I’ve read for “hereditary solitary natural witch,” a phrase I saw for the first time on the Empaths community.
Over the years, I have experienced:
* “mental radar” -- using empathy to locate a person in the physical plane; this only works with certain people, however * out-of-body experiences (starting in early childhood) * precognition about events that have ranged from the mundane to one that led to national mourning (the Challenger explosion) * memories of past lives (a real skeptic, I’ve traveled thousands of miles to “get this reincarnation b.s. out of my system!!” by “proving” that my memories were false, only to discover they were more true than I would have possibly imagined… and still, I question them! *sigh* It’s that darned humanist upbringing again!) * astral communication with living human friends * communication with relatives who have passed away, most notably with my maternal grandmother -- no surprise there! ;-) * communication with invisible “others” (I don’t know if they are spirit guides, guardian angels, my High Self, or what -- or even if it makes a difference) * telepathic communication with living non-human animals.