“Good day, come in. I’ve been waiting for you.” Standing a few feet away from me is an older woman dressed in a pink caftan with a wreath of matching pink hyacinths on the top of her head like a Greek crown of laurel. Her long white hair falls straight, but is woven also with hyacinths. She is barefoot.
I am too surprised to say anything but “Huh?” as I look at this fairy tale image. I push the gate open and walk up the path to greet her. My city alarm system seems to have completely shut down. “Good morning,” I say, and “Thank you for inviting me in.”
“The eagle notified me of your presence,” she says, “and I saw you under the waterfall last night.”
I feel her deep brown eyes penetrating mine. I have this sense of helplessness. I cannot move or talk. But the waterfall in my dream, I think to myself.
“Come, my child, sit, let’s get acquainted; we have no time to waste. The waterfall means your stay here is short, so we have much work to do on you. Your psyche has been tremendously wounded; it’s my job to help you heal. Water is the element of emotion and your emotions are pouring out into your aura, but they are also being cleansed and I am meant to help you with that.” Feeling otherworldly, I quietly take my place next to her in the empty rocker. I catch myself staring although I am somewhat frightened to look at her.
“Child, look at me, you will never be afraid to look upon anyone. Look into my eyes. What do you see?” Her brown eyes, bigger than normal through her glasses tell it all.
“I see love. I see compassion, I see power,” I whisper.
“And as I look into your beautiful blue eyes, I see fear and confusion; beyond that is where I will go, into the essence of you to bring out your strength, your strength, your serenity, and your self-love. Never again will you allow anyone, including yourself, to negate you, to condemn you or your individuality.” She speaks as if from my dream, soft healing words that are almost visible, as if they shimmer in the air. My tears start flowing, overwhelmed with gratitude that the universe has sent me here. The energy in her presence is remarkable, the peace. “My child, my child, let it flow, your healing has already begun. Tears are magical. We will have tears and laughter and magic together. My name is Angelica, Honey, what is yours?”
Well, throughout your time here, your name will be Grace,” she says. “Wherever you go, whatever you are doing, Grace is that presence within you. It is you, it is with you, if you acknowledge it, respect it, and honor it. It respects you, recognizes you. That’s all you need, a few, a very few, strong core belief changes. And when you leave here, when your time here with me is over, no one in the presence of Grace will be allowed to demean you. Including you. You have a special relationship with Grace, like you have had with no one ever in your life. Grace is unconditional love and acceptance of yourself period. Grace is a free gift from the universe. You don’t need to earn it, it has nothing to do with karma. It is just given without any catches or requirements. No ifs, ands, or buts. No exceptions. Now, what have you done that is so bad that you are carrying that weight on your shoulders and in your heart and soul?”
Oh, my God, she sees through me, I think. I clear my throat. “It’s the men in my life. I keep repeating the same patterns. It may come from my upbringing, my father’s criticisms of me.”
“ And what is so awful about that? Who says? You have not learned your lesson, is all. You have not learned you are Grace, you’ve not learned of your value and worth. You have not learned no man can say one thing and mean another to you. Not just men; no human being has that right in your life any longer from this second forward and through the complete rest of your life. No matter. I will teach you. We will have long lessons.
“Come inside, my dear, come, we will have some tea. I am a hypnotist, a clairvoyant, and a healer. I have no license, no business cards, no office, and no fees. I come from a long line of healers. You come from the world of wrong-thinking, I see.” Inside we sit at her small table. I watch as she puts the teakettle on the old-fashioned cast iron stove. Her kitchen is like a doll house. Lace curtains hang over her window looking out to the back yard. Sunflower wallpaper borders the ceiling and on the walls above the counter and around the wall adjacent to the table. A white lace tablecloth, flowered china cup, and real silverware. Her home is open, one large living area, and it is impeccably clean. Hardwood floors, more delicate white lace curtains over the picture window. She has a small fenced front yard then a road then the forest lies beyond. Her stately antique furniture seems new; a gold, silver, and blue couch, oval mahogany table, another white lace tablecloth, and glass, and gold bowls, and a beautiful grandfather clock. Watching Angelica, I see she is short and of medium build, gentle, and has shoulder-length white hair. She is wearing lavender and crystal earrings with a necklace to match that goes nicely with her pink flowers and robe. Although she is barefoot, I spot a pair of leather sandals in the corner of the kitchen.
Her home is decorated with stunning paintings depicting the sun and the moon. On her mantel are large amethysts, crystals, citrines, an assortment of moonstones, a labradorite sphere and a heart-shaped rose quartz. A pair of the most enchanting four-foot circular ammonites stands in front of her fireplace. Her bookshelves are full of self-healing books. Nicely spaced statutes of Othecarus line the shelves. A glass case displaying colorful arrowheads hangs on the wall.
She pours the hot water into my teacup and passes an assortment of tea bags on a silver tray, and honey. “I made banana bread,” she says. “Would you like some?”
“Yes. Thank you,” I can barely respond.
“Grace, have you been hypnotized before?”
“Yes, I have.”
“ Good,” she says as she sits and prepares the tea, cutting fresh, fragrant brown bread. I feel so comforted, so blessed. I sip my tea and smile as a warm peace settles within me. “Just receive, Grace, this is your time to receive.”
“OK,” I say, and sit back in the wooden chair.
“Partake,” she says.
“It’s delicious.” I feel totally comfortable in her presence.
“I want you to tell me all about your life . . . from the beginning.”
I say “Yes.”
“Grace, I mean from the verybeginning. But that we will do in the healing room.” We finish up the breakfast snack and she clears the table. “I must prepare,” she adds. “I need a minute.” She disappears around the corner. A few minutes later she asks me to follow her into a room whose soothing energy I can feel immediately. Everything is gold and white. White sheers over the window with gold sparkles in them, an antique small gold chaise longue with white soft plush pillows and a shimmering gold and white throw. Candles are lit, and soft American Indian flute music is playing. Her chair is a gold high-back antique with a leather footstool. Several antique tables and shelves hold salt lamps, meteorites, corals, shells, and lots of white selenite and fool’s gold. The ceiling is draped in a gold shimmering cloth and the walls are papered in a rich, linear gold and white pattern, with a dark wood border. I love the tall antique lamp with its smoky glass shade.
“Take your shoes off, Grace, and fix the pillows—make yourself comfortable. I’ll get you some water.” I go for it and begin to relax. I am ready to be healed. I want this with all my heart. She sets the crystal glass on the table where I can easily reach it. She settles in her chair and begins by reading a Sanskrit poem.
She starts with the breathing relaxation technique. “At any time that you are uncomfortable, please speak out, that was your first lesson, remember, Grace. I will not remind you again. I’m going to take you to an altered state of consciousness and ask you about your life.”
“OK, fine, I say, as I easily follow her instructions. She asks about my past, my
childhood, the tone in our home, how I felt, what I thought.
In this state I see . . . myself. My wounded self. Her words and thoughts send love and nurture deep inside me. She now says affirmations that I am instructed to state aloud as part of my being and to mentally repeat after her. I am loved, I am cherished, I am worthy, I am strong, my worth is invaluable as a divine being. I am the pearl of great price. I am Grace. She repeats them over and over, each time her voice gets deeper and deeper, then softer and softer. I follow, I am Grace. I am love. I love myself. After a long time the music stops. She tells me to wake up.
I don’t want this to stop or to leave. This state of being is too remarkable. But I follow her instructions, drink my water, put on my sneakers, and out I go. I forgot my sunglasses, so I return to the room with such peaceful presence and harmonious energy. I pick up my sunglasses and smile in serenity.
“Let me see your eyes in the sunlight,” she says. “Oh my, I see radiant love, strength, and power. Bye, Grace, have a beautiful evening.”
We hug. She kisses me on the cheek. “Bye, Angelica.” I walk out the gate; go left is all I can remember. I look at the sky and realize it is almost evening. I have been there for at least 6 hours of real world time. How mysterious. I shrug my shoulders and shake out my hair, feeling completely refreshed. My little girl heart is undeniably filled with joy and happiness. I am excited to my core. I see the hawk again and thank him for announcing me. There’s the trail entrance. It’s amazing how close Angelica lives to Melissa. When I get to the house, Melissa’s still not home. I decide to unpack and get settled. As I do I see a hammock out back and grab my journal, and I’m there. I fall into a deep rest under the shady oaks, nestling my body into the hammock under what’s going to be a beautiful sunset.. Mesmerized by nature, I am Grace.
The horses are watching me from the fence nearby. Beautiful creatures. I wave hello. They are so graceful. Like me, I laugh, that is . . . full of grace!
Melissa pulls in with a truck full of hay and a helper, a younger fellow. I wave to them and they wave back. Melissa comes over to chat. “That’s Charles, a very helpful neighbor.”
“Great, Melissa, I say.
“ I see you found the hammock—isn’t it comfy?” I figured this would become your
“You’ve got that right.”
“How was your day?” she asks.
“Wonderful,” I say, thinking full of wonder. I walked in the forest some and really enjoyed it.” I want to keep my visit to Angelica secret.
“Good, hey, I have to go help Charles right now, OK?”
“OK, fine.” I’ve decided not to tell anyone about Angelica; it’s just too special, too miraculous to spoil. I am inspired to drive into town. Happy, I ask Melissa if she needs anything, and she introduces me to Charles. I enjoy the ride into town and find a yoga studio. I find the health food store and pick up dinner for Melissa and it’s a super successful day! This town is so small and it seems everything is on Main Street. How quaint and lovely! I return to Melissa’s.
“Surprise, I got you your favorite.”
“Oh, but my stomach’s upset. I’ll have to pass,” she says. Melissa often skips meals due to stomach trouble. I retire to the family room and eat alone, watch a little TV and fall asleep. I want to go to bed early and wake up early for my next visit to Angelica’s.
As I prepare for bed, I contemplate the words Angelica spoke, the sincerity of her voice, Grace, I am Grace. Grateful, I drift off to a peaceful sleep. The waterfall pours through my dreams.
The next morning I awake excited to greet my day. Gleefully, I prepare for my walk. I join Melissa at the kitchen table. She says Good Morning and I tell her I’m off for my morning hike.
“What, are you skipping coffee?”
“Oh, I forgot.” I get a cup and savor it.
“I’ll be gone most of the day again today. Can you look out for the horse like you did yesterday?” she asks.
“You know I would be glad to.”
“What are you up to? You are too awfully happy. Beth Anne, you are not talking to Jack are you?” I hear the word Grace.
“Melissa, I am choosing to be happy and that is my choice and Jack is none of your business. I am not commenting negatively or critiquing you about your relationship with Danny.”
“That’s different,” she states abruptly. Do I detect a little hurt in her voice?
“Really?” I say, “I’m fine.” And I head out for my walk. I like this idea of attracting Grace toward myself. I feel empowered. I am empowered. My business is just that, mine and no one else’s.
I am walking as fast as I can and have entered the forest already. No hawk today, but I spy a cardinal and a wild peacock.
Angelica is rocking on the porch. She stands, smiles at me while getting up and waving me in. “You look radiant, my dear Grace. Sit and tell me how you are.”
I thank her smiling and can’t tell her fast enough how I stood up to my sis in her house! I would have never done that before.
“Very good, Grace, you are progressing rapidly, and that is why our time is short, you have been prepared, I see. Let’s not tarry, come in, and we’ll get started right away. We bypass the tea and head straight to the healing room. I take my shoes off and get comfortable as she lights some candles and turns the hypnotic music on.
“Today we are going to talk about self-esteem and body image; they go together. At one point I am going to do some reflexology on your feet. Are you OK with hot towels?”
“Yes, I am, I say,” smiling.
“Close your eyes and breathe and just let me talk to your subconscious mind. Repeat my words in your thoughts. I love my body, my body is a gift, and my body is perfect as it is. My body belongs to me alone. I care for my beautiful body . . .
.I start repeating when she says quietly, “I am leaving the room for the hot towels.”
She returns and cleanses my feet and starts the massage with the lavender oils. “We are going deeper still; I am going to talk as I am massaging your feet. What were you told about your body? She pauses. That you were fat? It’s a lie. Forgive that person; give that damage back. It wasn’t about you. It didn’t have anything to do with you. Reclaim your perfect body image. Rest in your body, Grace. Your body is graceful. Your body, and not anyone else’s.”
I claim my body. My body belongs to me; no one has the right to critique anything about me or my body.
“Grace, do you understand? Grace, do you hear me?”
“ Yes, I do.” The massage ends. The messages end. I’m still absorbing the peace.
“I’m going to place my palm over your heart. Is that OK with you?” I nod and she places her hand on my heart and sings a blessing over me that I have never heard before. I feel warmth like I have never felt before. She sings. Make my heart one with you. Make me know of your blessings. Make me free as you created me to be. Open my heart and make me new. Grace, you may rest a while. I will get you water.”
I place my hand over my heart when she removes hers; I lie still. I feel I can’t move yet. “Grace,” she says, “we are done for the day. She sets the water down. I repeat the
thoughts in my mind: no one can critique my body; my body belongs to me. Lesson two: I feel complete. I drink the water, put on my shoes, pick up my sunglasses, and meet Angelica outside.
“Good day, my dear, dear Grace.” I thank her. “Be on your way, divine anointed one. You have much to do today, see you tomorrow, bright eyes.” I say goodbye to Angelica, smiling into the sparkling depths of her own amber eyes.