Alis

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I arrived by Uber car at 223 Jay Street before my 2pm appointment. I hate being late so I made sure to be early. I called Herve, (Er-vay) the hypnotist I was there to see. He came down to greet me at the door. He was tall, thinner than I expected, with a kind face and expressive eyes. His voice was already familiar from a phone conversation we had a few days prior.

He brought me to a little office in this really interesting older building that he described as a “maze”. I felt like there were random staircases and hallways leading nowhere and back to each other, like that weird painting. Yeh, you know which one. The room was comfortable, it had good energy. The chair I was meant to sit in was less daunting than I thought it would be. It literally spoke to me with it’s cushiness, ‘come in, sit down.’ So I did.

Herve felt comfortable with my level of understanding of mind, spirit and hypnosis in general. I only had one prior experience that I even acknowledged and I remembered that with an air of disconnect and uncertainty. But he was calm, thoughtful, and he was a good listener and he relieved any pressure or nerves I had about what to expect. I needed to trust myself, as I always have, and I was supposed to be open, open to whatever came through. So I was.

We started with a small exercise. He held up a pendulum and immediately we both had the same thought, his was in jest, of course. ‘Is he going to start swinging that thing in my face saying ‘you’re getting sleepy?” I thought. But alas to my relief, he did not. He acknowledged the moment jokingly and said, “No I’m not going to do what you think, but you are.” He handed me the pendulum and asked me to hold it eye level and imagine it swinging like the pendulum in a grandfather clock. Easy enough, except that immediately the thing started swinging back and forth rather than side to side! He asked me to imagine in my mind, the clock pendulum swinging side to side, but this time I made the thing swirl into a circle. He thought that was good. After several attempts, the pendulum continued to swing, more vigorously, back and forth, until I literally made a concentrated effort and a small grunt which sent the thing spiraling into a frenzied circle that landed in a perfect side to side swing. I was fucking amazed.

“We use those same micro-muscles when we are under hypnosis,” he explained. And that I should trust the process, trust my mind, and trust what I saw. Even if it felt like I was ‘making it up’ it all stemmed from my subconscious mind, which is what we wanted to access anyway.

We did a short 15 minute test that felt like 3 minutes. I visualized a happy childhood memory of my cousin James arriving for a visit and then he led me to visualize my mother’s womb, and what I heard and felt there. Muffled voices and warmth. And then I visualized my birth. In hind sight, and after speaking with my mother, what I saw was accurate and we had a moment of ‘holy fucking shit!’ while I recovered on my couch at home.

In my birth visualization I could see the doctor, masked and covered up to his eyes, holding me up like a prize and babbling inaudible words with a cheesy grin. Probably something like ‘there you are little baby’ and it was a silly thing to recall. Herve asked me who was in the room and if my mother was holding me, but my response was obviously unexpected by him. There wasn’t anyone in the room with my mom and I was immediately whisked away while she laid in the bed motionless. I saw one nurse, and she was black and the other I did not ‘see’ but knew she was there.

My mother confirmed this. She had a Jamaican nurse whom she loved. She had told my mom, “We’ve had boys all night, but you’ll be the one who has a girl.” And she was right. The fact that the woman was black was a detail I didn’t share with Herve, it didn’t matter much at the time, until I recalled the visions to my mother and mentioned it as more detail became clear. My mother launched into another ‘Holy shit!’ and told me about the wonderful Jamaican woman who took such good care of us in the days after my birth. That I was whisked away after the doctor pulled me out while my mother was asleep! My father wasn’t in the room either but commented later how the doctor was so serious before I was born, and then he was delighted and cheerful, just the way I saw him laughing as he held me up. Well then, we must be on to something here.

Next Herve said we would dive right into a past life regression which was the purpose of my visit. I wanted to find the source of my books, the source of the sadness I feel in my heart and the unknown person I mourn who has been missing from my current life. I wanted to find a life in Ireland or Scotland or confirm that I was a gladiator in Rome as I always suspected or a warrior king like Alexander the Great, who maybe I fought with. But you have to be open to whatever you find and trust yourself to show you what you need to see.

Herve asked where I was, what I saw. My conscious mind stayed fully aware and active and became like the peanut gallery, reacting to what my subconscious mind brought forth like a skeptical mother in law. I wanted to blurt out, “You’re not going to believe where I am.” But instead I just laughed, because I couldn’t help it, as the beautiful Palace gardens of Versailles materialized around me.

FRENCH!? Yes, go with it!

I was 14, I was wearing a beautiful white and gold gown that someone had lent to me. I had no jewelry which told me immediately that I was not a princess, nor anyone royal or even rich for that matter. I didn’t belong there and felt very out of place. I wanted to hide behind the giant hedgerow and swirling green topiary. Herve asked me to find my reflection so I peered down into the fountain water and saw I had golden blonde hair twisted and pinned up like crown on my head. I had pale white skin and was very thin. Not in a chic way, but in a malnourished sort of pathetic way. But I was very pretty and I knew that was why I was there.

Herve asked me my name. I said Alis. (Ay-lease)

He asked me what year. “17” I said. “What’s the next digit?” he asked. “7” I said. “Try to find the last number if you can,” he said. ‘6’ my mind whispered but it couldn’t be. I doubted this now and thought I had regressed into a high school lesson about the revolutionary war! But that was America not France! “It might be another 7,” I said, “Or maybe a ‘1’” as if taking it forward or back a few years would change the truth.

There was an older man with me in the palace garden, maybe in his sixties. He had taken me out privately to speak to me, to convince me of some thing he and my family wanted me to do. He was some military captain or important man of the court. I wanted to hide from him too. It didn’t make sense. Why did he want me to marry a well to do man, when I was a peasant, beneath him? I didn’t trust him, nor did I trust my family now either, who would benefit from my marriage to someone I didn’t know, let alone love.

There were other men in fancy coats, dignified military generals of sorts, having tea in the palace. I noticed an older man, the leader of them, who was loud and boisterous and sweaty. He spit when he talked but the other men listened and laughed in agreement. I didn’t know what they said, Alis was only passing them.

Herve asked me to move forward in time. I found myself in a house dress, I was 19. I never married the man I went to the palace to meet and I could feel my family’s disappointment and anger. I was supposed to save them. I was going to be their meal ticket, despite how unhappy I would have been in a loveless marriage. I was in my room alone. Alone became the theme of this life and I felt it right from this moment. I saw a mirror on the wall, my bed, my meager belongings. I had next to nothing and I lost my family too, who I could hear in the next room. But I couldn’t face them, so I hid away.

We moved forward in time again. I was in my 20’s. I was walking along shops and store fronts in a town or city. I was looking for someone. A young man my age. I liked him, it wasn’t serious or anything, but I wanted to see him. I wanted to smile. Instead I saw the boisterous man from the palace. He was shouting into a crowd of young men, poor peasants and I knew he was recruiting them for the army. I found the young man I was looking for in that crowd, listening to the boisterous one and believing him. He wants to go to war. I tried to explain to him, these are not trustworthy people. What do you think they do with peasants? They send them to die. But this young man wouldn’t listen to me. He had a sense of duty and love for his country.

Herve wanted me to move forward but I refused. “I am still trying to convince him not to go.” I said. I spent another few minutes there with him but to no avail. I knew he would go and he did. And I knew he would never come back.

I spent the next years alone. Estranged from my family. Our house burned down. Accidentally. I don’t know who did it, but it wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t me. I didn’t have anything anyway and it was almost liberating. So I wandered. I was homeless but I was still young and pretty, in my early 30’s. So people helped me but I was worried. I knew I wouldn’t be pretty forever and then no one would help me.

A building caught my eye. A beautiful white building in the sunshine with iron gates on the windows and flowers on each sill. It was curved so subtly, settled on a main intersection and corner. I was intrigued by the architecture, that they could make a building rounded in the front. I guess I thought houses had to be square like they are in the poor sections. I watched rich people come and go. Dressed beautifully, with horse drawn carriages and attendants. I envied them for a moment, wanting to live there. I realized, had I married, I might be living there now. It was the first time I felt regret for not doing what was asked of me. But I was strong of mind and didn’t care for those things then. I would have to keep surviving on my own.

Then I found myself in a cemetery. My mother had died. I waited for my family to leave before I visited her grave to say goodbye. I didn’t feel I had a mother anyway so the loss was not significant. She had been so angry with me for letting the family struggle that we never had a relationship after that. I didn’t trust her from when I was young. I took care of myself anyway, so I didn’t shed one tear at her grave.

I worked for a fat disgusting man, cleaning his house. There were kids there but not mine. I don’t know where their mother was or if they were his. They were very badly behaved. Running and screaming and getting in my way. The fat man would make a mess on purpose so I had to stay longer, clean more. He liked me, but of course, I hated him and wanted to get away as soon as I could.

Herve moved me forward again and I knew I was in a house now. I had moved in with my friend and her husband and her kids. I helped their family and they kept me off the street. She was my only friend and it was the first time I wasn’t alone.

Herve moved me to the end of my life. I found myself in my friend’s house, in bed with a fever. They said I was dying but I didn’t believe them. I was so strong willed I thought for sure I would be better soon. Herve asked me if I died there, “No.” I said. He asked me to move to my death event and I found myself still in that bed. Turns out, I did die of that fever. I think I was 43 years old.

Herve asked me what I felt, as I crossed over. Immediately I became very emotional for the first time during the session. “Sadness” I said. I was leaving a life of solitude and struggle. One without love or trust. One where I thought I was strong for not needing anyone, but it was the love of others I truly wanted. I didn’t realize until I left my body. I felt myself transition into spirit form. Herve asked me what I felt again. “Disappointed.” My spirit self was disappointed with Alis, for being so stubborn and strong willed and unwilling to trust and love. Trust and love was the point of all this. Love is the point of all.

I moved into a healing state where I continued through the feelings of emotion, disappointment, sadness, but also reflection and understanding. On the other side you shouldn’t have feelings like sadness, and if you do, you go to a place of healing. Herve asked me to find loved ones who crossed over but I couldn’t leave the reflection ‘room’. “They want me to stay here.” I said. “Who does?” he asked with renewed interest. “My spirit guides.” They wanted me to feel these things completely, so the lessons I learned as Alis resonate with Jessica. Jessica has the same issues now. Not needing anyone. Feeling strong and independent when in reality she feels very alone. The weight of the world is on her shoulders and she’d rather not bother anyone with her burden.

I wanted to stay in that healing space and reflect but it was already 2 hours into Alis’ regression and the 3rd hour of my entire first session. I was ready to come back to Jessica, to remember everything Alis had lived and to learn those lessons now.

“Forgiveness.” I said. Herve wrote it down. “I have to forgive myself when I don’t do the right thing. When I don’t make the right decision. It’s ok to make the wrong choice.”

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Chris Cornell 5.17.17

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Musician Chris Cornell arrives for the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year gala in Los Angeles

We all carry this sorrow and this loss inside of us that is centuries old. The idea of the single life to be lived to the fullest and that’s all you get is so misleading and limiting to us spiritually. We are all on a very long process to learn and to love. However sometimes these past lives stay with us much longer than we ever thought that they could. And we carry with us love that has been lost, events that have been traumatic, pain that we’ve been through, we carry that into our current lives and it goes untreated. Unresolved. And people like me, who FEEL the depth of thousands of years don’t have a voice. And the problem with an eternal soul is the idea of this unresolved suffering is from a time so far passed that you could never resolve it. Pain like this can never be reconciled or healed because the people are gone, the events are gone, that life is gone. And people like Chris Cornell who killed himself seemingly out of absolutely nowhere because in his real life he was so happy and fucking had everything. But no our real lives don’t get our real selves. Our real selves are in our art and in what we create. What he created for millions of his fans was not a fantasy persona but his real self. People tell me ‘you didn’t know him personally so you can’t possibly be grieving’. Well that’s not true and I don’t fucking buy that because the realest he ever was was in his art and in his music. He showed me exactly who he is and he’s just like me. As I show exactly who I am in my writing. My real life doesn’t get the real me. My real self is not there when I go to work. My real self is not there when I pay bills. That is bullshit beyond bullshit and sometimes your real self isn’t even in your day-to-day life with your family. My real self is between two covers of a book. Chris’s real self is a series of sound waves, in his music. That’s who he was, that was his real self. And if I am honest I knew exactly what he felt and I know exactly why he did what he did and it should not be a shock to anybody. Because we are so diminished and taught to be so small BUT our eternal souls are so gigantic, as big as God because we are God himself, but if you believe that it’s called an ego or you are a narcissist. Meanwhile our real selves are diminished every day and of course someone that deep, someone who is that old of a soul will not want to put up with it longer than they can stand. We handle our pain everyday and it’s the day we don’t want to anymore that ends this journey to simply start the next. I empathize and I understand him. It doesn’t mean that I too will take my own life but I will recognize that not enough is done to address this issue. And more people like us will choose this dark path back home because we can only carry this weight for so long, while the world IGNORES it. You forget, we are eternal souls having a human experience and no more. Do good, show love, do better for others, that’s the fucking point. And Chris DID THAT. He was done. It’s ok.

My idea for a radio show called ‘Elevated’ speaks to people about this empowerment that is so deep inside of us that we are taught never to tap into- as much as they tell us to be strong- they don’t fucking mean it. They mean to keep you small and keep you consuming. You’re a consumer. That’s all you are to them. But to me you are the entire world and the world inside of you is part of me too. It’s time to elevate each other and elevate ourselves and understand the internal struggle that comes from the eternal struggle we are forever battling.

Keep it to yourself…

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I wrote a book in hopes to have someone outside of my head to discuss it with. Selfish, I know, but I never wrote the book for anyone but me anyway. I had been writing it for YEARS upon years if I even remember correctly, and never shared it. It is for me, it is for my characters, and they have a story to tell someone. I was happy being their sole audience until I decided to workshop it, and everyone loved it.

So I decided to finish the book and with the help of two AMAZING ladies I was able to do that. And I self-published, hoping a few people would be interested, or everyone in the world! So I waited, books sold, reviews came in, people told me they LOVED the book. But something odd happened then. They would have very little else to say. They would comment on an event, a specific act a character did and describe it to ME in vivid detail as if I had no idea this happened, and they would use very excited language and body language, but nothing more after that. And I was elated and disappointed.

At first I thought, maybe it’s not that good of a book! Not profound or moving enough. There’s nothing deeply spiritual as I had hoped for, nothing moving my readers to want to discuss their experiences with my story. I was self conscious about something I never wanted to share in the first place. But I was just being selfish again. I wanted to know what my characters made people feel, I wanted to know what they thought of them and how they impacted them and changed them, but feelings like these are very private aren’t they?

I realized, people HAD a profound reaction on a visceral, primal level within themselves. They had a very personal experience, however wonderful or disturbing. And it was none of my business. I was rude to ask. I have to trust this conclusion now, as the overwhelming feedback is positive and the reactions are strong, so something is happening, but I fear I will never know what it is. But I guess, I was never going to know, since I was never going to share it, not until they found me dead in a pile of manuscripts that THEN got published as I decayed in the earth. But if one person has a reaction strong enough to change one small thing positively for themselves, then I would be justified in this great undertaking, but I will never know it happened.

So, that’s fine, keep it to yourself.

I stand with Standing Rock #NoDAPL

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I saw a brilliant message on one of the protestor’s signs… You can’t drink oil.

All of my life I’ve always had a deep seeded feeling that we have to conserve the water. I don’t know where this feeling originates, in my ancient soul, in my human heart or in my practical mind, but it has always been evident, that water is life.

There is a revolution going on in this country that the media has all but blacked out. A revolution for, not our country, but for our mother earth. Someone must stand up for her.

Fracking, drilling, deforestation, what do you think the end the result will be? Of course our land and water will continue to be poisoned, of course our politicians continue the destruction to make millions for their billionaire friends. Of course they don’t care about us. It’s as if they are not even part of our planet, cause what living creature could destroy the place they live?

Standing Rock has an opportunity to join all Americans, native or immigrant, black, brown or white, christian, atheist or muslim, all of us together to stand for OUR collective earth. This is our home, we can fight about our differences later, but this is a fate we all share, and we must be vigilant.

I’ve decided to collect supplies and get them out to Standing Rock in the coming weeks. I am also going to donate the entire profit I get on each paperback sale, which is $9.67 when purchased through my publisher, to Standing Rock’s cause and ongoing support. (Truthfully, I will donate an even $10) To participate use this link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thegreywoods

This is our fight, our revolution, our earth. You don’t care until it’s your water. North Dakota sounds so FAR AWAY to a New Yorker like me, but mark my words, it is coming this way. Water is life. You can’t drink oil.

We must stand with Standing Rock.

Comic Con

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Yeh, that’s me. That’s my book, more importantly. And that was New York Comic Con.

I never in my life realized how important it would be to meet my fans face to face. Well, I can’t say fans unless I say instant fans. They had no idea who I was, what my book was, or what the heck it was about… but they were drawn in by larger than life black and white pencil drawings by my friend Emily. They walked right up, stepped right into the Grey Woods and said…. what’s this about?

To which I replied a hardly practiced explanation that was perfected over time. After saying it 300+ times, I think I can say it now with ease. Shall I?

The Grey Woods, a place where you can access all of time. All of history. Anyone that’s ever lived, any event that’s ever happened, can all be accessed there.

That seemed to be enough. I would pause and assess the look on my new fan’s face. Interested? Yes. Eager to hear more? Yes. And on I went about Atya infiltrating the Grey Woods to influence her own future, drawing unsuspecting Fin there, seemingly to help him but alas, her own agenda was in play. The story hinged on Fin’s cousin Madros, the ‘Jim Morrison’ of the fantasy world. Good looking, artistic, talented, loved and tragically self defeating. It is he who holds the future in his hands. It is his choices that will bring us to darkness or to the light. And Fin is scrambling to understand why Madros is such a complete mess!

Sounds interesting to me.

Atya helps Fin understand Madros’ behavior by showing him past events that seem to explain his present choices. Ah ha! Walking in someone else’s shoes. Gaining empathy as well as understanding. Knowing WHY someone is the way they are. We never get to do that!

So, that was my pitch and it seemed to have a very positive effect. Half of the people asked…. how much is it? I was delighted. But more than money I wanted the book in their hands so I raffled off a bunch  and one person a day walked away with a hardcover.

I was meeting incredible people. Creative-types. People out of their minds crazy like me and weird and introverted and it was beautiful lol and I loved it! Some were dressed up as their favorite characters from stories, movies and TV shows and some were in plain clothes, just eager to find the next adventure to lose themselves in. But I loved everyone I met. They were all amazing and I truly wish them all the best in their creative endeavors. And I truly hope they love my story.

Thank you, Comic Con geeks, for being my instant fans and I hope you stay part of my Grey Woods family. Cause that’s what we are now. I consider you friends and family and I hope to see you again at the next incredible event. Cause I found out you were just like me and I am like you, and there’s nothing more liberating than finding people you belong with.

Thank you.

The New American Normal?

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Is this how we should accept to live?

More bombs and a terrorist manhunt.

I’m a Bernie or Buster, all the way. I do not and will not support Hillary Clinton. I am disappointed in Obama who told me…. ‘Yes we can’ and I believed him. I cried tears of joy when he was elected and inaugurated. It was a proud moment for this country, today, my heart is broken, again, for my country.

8 years later it is more important to be politically correct and socially careful than to state truth and facts. You know the facts, you hear them, you read them and you either accept them or you deny their legitimacy. It is true though, we are at war. Extremists and radicals have very proudly stated that they hate us. They burn our flag. Our FLAG. Our star spangled banner that stands for our very freedom. We need to fight back, we need to face the truth. We need to protect Americans, ALL Americans, our Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Atheist brothers and sisters alike. People who believe in and contribute to our dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We need a wall.

Hillary wants to let 100,000 more refugees in. She thinks it’s fine to flood our cities with undocumented, unchecked immigrants. We have always helped (when profitable) in the past, so why be racist and close our borders now? Because America needs help. Americans need our leaders to make us strong again. 80% of Americans live at, near or below the poverty line. 80%. Chances are someone you know, who may be reading this, knows that all too well. We need to to take care of our family first before we break our precious bread and hand it to another. Would you take food from your children, to let them starve, and hand it off to a stranger’s? Sounds beautiful, utopian and selfless. But we are not in Utopia.

September 2016. 4 bombs and a stabbing in Minnesota. American lives impacted, lost, changed forever. That wall sounds really good right now to New York and New Jersey too. When an act of terror happens to your city, to your friends and family, you want to protect them, vehemently, so it never happens again. Once you’re safe and your constitutional rights are protected, you can tell me how racist I am for flipping to Trump today. Once you’re safe behind his wall with our fellow Americans of all races and backgrounds, free to think and do what you want because THAT’s the American way. Once you’re safe, you can call me a racist for believing Americans come first. Black ones, white ones, brown ones, yellow ones and red ones, they are my people. We are one united soul. But we need to protect our own family before others, and before we ‘name call’ into oblivion.

They have declared war on us. They hate us. They burn our flag. Our beautiful national symbol of our very freedom. It’s not a perfect country, but it’s our country. And I want it safe. My husband, my mother, my brother, my nephew and nieces, my cousins, my family, I want them safe.

I want a wall. And I am perfectly comfortable with you thinking I am racist for it.

-J Carson Rose

The People Dilemma

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This is actually a writing dilemma. To add people, or not to add people? That is my question. One of the things I hear people struggle with in George RR Martin’s writing is the MANY story lines and seemingly irrelevant characters and minor plot points that distract from the main story. On the other hand, one of the things I truly love about his writing is the weaving of these people through the main plot points, showing how they ARE in fact influencing and affecting the greater story arc, even if it takes a long time to get there. So ultimately, I have faith in his writing and his vision. After all, it is his world.

However, there is something really special about Robin Hobb’s very intimate portrayal of ONE character. I read Fool’s Assassin and was so engrossed in Fitz and the world revolving and unfolding around him, that I rather long for that intimacy in other stories. That said, in my own writing, I have struggled with writing in that limited POV (limited is not negative, it’s a creative choice which I adopted for book 1) and I want to branch out very widely, bring in new folks and new stories in book 2. Can I make this leap, and will my readers stick with me? Book 1 was an introduction to the world and characters, and I am hoping once the readers are invested, they will go with me on another journey. Or two. Or three…..

So the people dilemma, how many people is too many people? I have 11 cousins in this epic tale, to start, and they are all about to attend a funeral (inciting incident), meanwhile the main character just ‘returned from the dead’ (no he’s not a zombie), and people are flocking to the city to see if that’s true. Nothing like a funeral or a birth to draw a crowd. Maintaining each character’s individual arc and story while mixing them together is tricky for a writer, but not impossible. So this is my challenge, add them and add them all, because they are ALL relevant to the final outcome, BUT I have to keep them moving, keep them interesting and keep reminding my readers why they are relevant. And reminding myself. And as soon as they are not helping the plot, their death just may do that instead!

What am I doing here? I have work to do!!!