Psychic Matters!

PM 027: Honouring Grief, Befriending Death with Brian Bowles

January 14, 2021 Ann Théato with Brian Bowles
Psychic Matters!
PM 027: Honouring Grief, Befriending Death with Brian Bowles
Chapters
Psychic Matters!
PM 027: Honouring Grief, Befriending Death with Brian Bowles
Jan 14, 2021
Ann Théato with Brian Bowles

#027 Hi there, my name is Ann Théato and I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

Our life can change when we befriend death and our willingness to be curious about it can shift our discomfort.  Our grief is not a malady to be fixed but a  badge of honour which we wear – reminding us that we had the courage to love.

DEAF FRIENDLY: If you'd like to get the links & show notes, including a complete transcription, head to: www.anntheato.com

Show Notes Transcript

#027 Hi there, my name is Ann Théato and I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

Our life can change when we befriend death and our willingness to be curious about it can shift our discomfort.  Our grief is not a malady to be fixed but a  badge of honour which we wear – reminding us that we had the courage to love.

DEAF FRIENDLY: If you'd like to get the links & show notes, including a complete transcription, head to: www.anntheato.com

Hello everybody! My name is Ann Théato and welcome to the Psychic Matters Podcast – episode number 27. 

In this episode, I am talking to Psychic Medium Brian Bowles, about the importance of honouring our grief, be it through a bereavement or a relationship that has been lost to you.

Brian’s gentle and compassionate nature, coupled with his many years of experience working in hospice, and his incredible work as a Psychic Medium, means that he is extremely well placed, to help you, to come to terms with loss and to honour the process of letting go.

Before I begin, just a couple of announcements: I have a wonderful 2-day workshop coming up on Saturday 27 Feb and Saturday 6th March 2021, it’s a 5 hour workshop, UK time zone 3pm to 8pm, so that’s 10am EST to 3pm EST – it’s called the Theatre Of Mediumship.

I have drawn upon my extensive knowledge as a professional working actress, to craft this unique two-day workshop.  It promises to be a lot of fun but be prepared to work hard! The two sessions take place on Zoom and they will give you the tools necessary to bring any dialogue with the spirit world alive, whilst looking at building your presentation skills, and helping you to craft a good opening and closing for both your platform and 1:1 work.  

An actor’s job is to become the character they are playing and to host a conversation between the playwright and the audience, showing that the person they are portraying is a real life, 3 dimensional, living, breathing, human being.

Actors do this by studying a character’s personality and backstory.  Every individual has a distinctive character, formed by a combination of qualities.  Their personality is formed and affected by their own values, and those imposed upon them from their family, environment, culture & timeline of existence.  Attitudes, personal memories, social relationships, habits and skills all help to form the personality of a human being. 

 A good actor can bring a character to life and make them 100% believable to the audience, whether it be on stage, TV & film or radio.

A medium’s job is to blend closely with the spirit person and host a conversation between the spirit person, and the audience or recipient, showing that those who live in the spirit world are real people, who are still very much alive & vibrant, and who can still share their personality, attitudes, personal memories, habits and skills.

Mediums do this by blending with the spirit person, and gradually becoming more and more aware of their personality and backstory. Unlike actors, who have a full grasp of the character they are playing before the play or filming begins, a medium has no such access to any backstory or knowledge of the spirit person before they begin work. 

A good medium works in the moment, placing full trust in the spirit world, and opening up their awareness to receive and allow information from the spirit world to touch the mind, holding an internal conversation with their spirit contact, whilst also relaying what has been given by spirit, to the recipient.  

As mediums, we have the ability to pick up information from anywhere along a fellow soul’s timeline – from the life they lived on Earth and from the life they are living now.  We all know this, but sometimes when demonstrating or giving 1:1 readings, we can feel ‘blank’, or we find ourselves waiting for fresh information to touch our mind, and we are not always 100% sure what sort of evidence is available to us.  This affects our confidence, making us unsure, hesitant and doubtful.   

Through mini tutorials, exercises and break out groups, you will have an opportunity to work with other students from across the globe.  We will work together to transform our mediumship, through fully realising the three-dimensional attributes of our spirit communicator and thus, we strive to become better ambassadors for the spirit world.

TO BOOK: https://anntheato.com/events/the-theatre-of-mediumship/

Back to this episode

Honouring Grief, Befriending Death.

Ann

So I’m in the studio today with the magnificent Brian Bowles. Brian welcome to Psychic Matters.

Brian

Thank you for having me Ann.  This is a lot of fun, I'm excited to be here.  So what I'm really passionate about these days actually, Ann and it's going to sound weird but I've got, one of my dearest friends is dying from cancer as we speak.  She was just given in to a Hospice and she just had a port put into her belly because of the peritonitis from her liver cancer. And I would just like to talk about how in, not just in mediumship but just in life, how there's a point at which our life can change when we befriend death. And I think that's what mediumship is, for me has been, the biggest lesson having come out as a gay man during the aids crisis and having stood on the  lawn in Washington DC and looked at all of the aids quilts displayed in 1992.  It seems to me like when I came out, you know, I came out to disco music and hot guys wearing, you know, gosh this one fellow that I dated, he was such a cutie, this Italian fellow that wore a Mighty Mouse T shirt and I thought he was, he was so dreamy, Ann, I was like, what are you even doing with me? But that's fine, so we dated for a bit, but I just remember all of that going on, all that excitement, all that fun, and Drag Queens that were just gorgeous and I just wanted to like, bow at their heels and be like I'm not cool like you, because Drag Queens basically raised me when I was 15 and came out at the gay bars, and that's not a joke, they were like a family for me in a big way. So I had all of that going on and then in the other, the other hand that you're offered is death, because the whole aids crisis is happening and all these people that you're meeting are secretly dying.  And all of a sudden, Jimmy doesn't appear at the clubs any more, and then four weeks later you find out Jimmy died and it became, this really bizarre process of going to memorial services or doing, you know, random memorial services at the gay clubs. Sometimes a memorial service was, I mean just to be direct with you, was to drop acid and go to a dance club.  It wasn't fancy, it wasn't, nobody was running around, there were no priests involved in any of this, but it was certainly a version of a memorial service, and I don't want to make myself sound cooler than I am, coz there's a danger in that, cause I was never really all that into drugs, or being that fancy or cool, but for some reason I had some really cool people that were friends of mine and I was like, I want to be cool like you,  so that's kind of, I think that's, I'm 49, and I think that's how I felt, I had these really cool people around me, but I think in mediumship, I think we're asked to get to know death, don't you think Ann?

 

Ann

Yeah, for sure definitely, befriend death was the phrase that you used just a few moments ago.  How easy do you think it is to befriend death?

 

Brian

Well I had a situation where meditated on this.  And my version of meditation is not, I'm an ADHD person, so I'm like, I don't relate to people when they talk about, “… I meditate and I lost all my thoughts and I connected with the underworld ...” I'm like ,what is that like? I don't even know what that's like.  So I still have all the chatter and stuff,  but I get in the bathtub and I play soft music, and anyway, so one time I asked my guide Joanne, I said I'd like to talk to you about death and she said, well why don't you meet someone that works with death?  I said okay well, what's that?  She goes, well just trust me Brian, don't be such a drama Queen, you can meet her.  So my guide’s very direct, you know, it's not, she's not walking around with wings and like, that's not Joanne, she's just really direct ,and I really love her dearly. I came to know Joanne as my guide when I started in the work and I didn't really believe in all this, as I mentioned to you, but so I started to trust that this guy was real and she told me I was Jewish.  And at that time I didn't know that I was Jewish. I found that I was Jewish six years later at dinner with my uncle.  So she'd been pretty incredibly accurate about my family and things like that.  It just kind of blew me away.  But anyway, I'm sitting in the bathtub as I do, and, with all my salts and stuff, and that's where I got it, that's really where I meditate, she said would you like to meet someone who works in the world of death? I said sure, so I get this woman that comes in, and her name is Izzy, and she's Latina, she's a Latina woman, and she's got her Jean jacket on and she's got, you know, she's probably in her late, like her mid 50s, and her hairs feather and she's just really fun, she has glasses, and she talked to me about how she greets people when they die and her role in that, and all of that.  And I'm, by the way, I'm not suggesting that I'm right about this or this is some belief system, it's just it's just a goofy way that I think my soul stories death. I don't think it's how it, I'm not trying to say that this is how it happens or any of that other nonsense, I just find that for me, I make meaning through story, so I think my guide uses story to help me make meaning of things.  So I'm not asserting that this is true or what have you.  It may be true, it may not, I don't care, frankly it doesn't really matter but through that connection I've really been able to ask questions about death that I've always wanted to know, and I think it's, I think it's the willingness to be curious that can shift our discomfort with death.  Even in mediumship I think there's an assumption that somehow because we're mediums and we do that, we have this ability of mediumship that somehow because of that, that we’re wise about all spiritual matters and I think that's unfair.  Unkind to ourselves actually because we're in the river with everyone else, right? And do you find that to be true for you too Ann?

 

Ann

Definitely, yeah definitely.  We’re not built like tanks where we don't have feelings or we know exactly how to deal with every situation.  You talk there about your beautiful friend who's, who's very, very sick with cancer at the moment, and you know, how do you, just because you're a medium, doesn't mean you're immune to feeling sadness and loss when you're faced with a situation like that, it is very, very difficult.

 

Brian

I think the beautiful thing of that, is that, you know when Hospice, when I started in Hospice and I ended up doing Hospice work completely on accident

 

Ann

What did you do in a Hospice? What was your job there?

 

Brian

Family Therapist.  alright my internship was supposed to be in another clinical setting. It was actually supposed to be an after school programme but the University that I, where I was attending, asked me to go to this interview with Denver Hospice they were trying to strike up a relationship with Denver Hospice for their future intern.  And so I went to the interview and submitted my paperwork and met with, met with their team.  It was supposed to be an hour-long interview, and I was there for 3 1/2 hours. I just fell in love with their team, such beautiful people and I wound up doing my internship there.  And then I wound up really defining myself clinically through the door of grief and loss.  And what they say in Hospice, it's a quote by Alan Wolfelt and I love it dearly he says, “Our grief never tells us what's wrong with us, it only tells us what's right with us, it tells us that we love.”

 

Ann

That's a beautiful quote.

 

Brian

I think often our vulnerability, we're taught to be ashamed of our vulnerability, aren’t we?  In our world.

 

Ann

Yes we are.

 

Brian

And I think we, we somehow perceive cynicism as a higher form of intellect. We kind of make cynicism a form of intelligence and cynicism to me, is just a witty way of covering up your hurt.  And so in Hospice we don't view someone's hurt or their grief as a malady to fix, we see it as a reflection of their capacity to love.  So it's, we're not trying to fix anybody, we're trying to honour.  We're really creating space to honour their grief, because grief is, is the journey that's only there for those who take the risk to love.

 

Ann

Yeah, it's hard isn't it? I mean how are you, obviously through your work you've dealt with a lot of families who have lost their loved ones, simply put.  And you're about to face the loss of another dear friend. How do you prepare for that yourself?

 

Brian

You know, I've never, I've never really acknowledged how I do that. I don't know if, that I, you know, we have a dog that had been with us for, you know, a good 12 years.  And Lily was very, very dear to me and John and we knew she was dying.  She had heart disease and we knew, we knew when it was getting really serious. I think what we do is we, the memories of that relationship start to come, and you start to ,start to recognise just how lucky we were that that person chose you as a friend.  And we actually met doing a musical together working, and then we did Godspell together, which is actually kinda funny, because my poor husband had to deal with me, coz I, I played the Jesus character, and so there's nothing worse than being married to somebody who's a medium, and who thinks he's Jesus. That's, that's fun.  

 

Ann

That’s hilarious!

 

Brian

He’s telling me to do the dishes, like, the dishes are still waiting for you.  Yeah, okay grey one, yeah, it would seem, it was a very humbling experience, this is actually before I even knew about mediumship, this is no, this is actually many years ago, 20 years ago, hoofta.  And that's how I met Jane, this lovely, lovely friend.  And so you start to, these memories start to come to you, and they start to, they start to form the, they start to form the story, I think actually. They start to, you start to recognise how, the way these people have loved you has softened you and made your heart, made your heart more available to the world. You know, she, she doesn't ask for anything from this world, she only offers, and she gives of herself so freely without any expectation of anything in return. But there's not an ounce of martyr in that, in any way. There's a, there is a beautiful way she just smiles at life and she's always had more to offer this world than she's ever had to take from it.  So that's been interesting isn't it, too, you look around you think well how did I get, how was I lucky enough to have a friend like this?  Because I was a really self-centred person when she and I met.  So you, I think in some ways what death offers us, is a chance to, it may seem narcissistic but I don't believe it is actually, I think it's a good opportunity to think about how someone's way of loving you has changed you, and think about the person you were before you met that person.  And I believe it's, if it's a family member, and I, I would, I'm a big believer that our family members are our greatest teachers, because we don't have a choice but to love them.  It's like spirits are like, here, enjoy, love these people that you would never want to have dinner with, enjoy, there aren’t they great? But there's, there's, a there's a, there's a peace that comes from loving our family members that may not return the love, especially as a gay person. I think there is a unique way we get to love our families and I don't feel like a victim of that anymore. I used to feel so sorry for myself about all that but now I really don't. I feel like it's really, it's really a great lesson isn't it?  We get to have peace in our life because the minute that you love somebody, you don't need anything from them, they can't hurt you. We can tell all the stories about how someone has hurt us 5000 times and I think death also brings up the hurt in a relationship. But the minute that we decide to love that person, they can't hurt us, because we almost feel them as a child in a way, where we don't ask them to be anything other than who they are. We just have an open heart for them.  Does that make sense?

 

Ann

Yeah that doesn't make sense, and so what you're saying is, you're, so your family, are you saying your family rejected you because you are homosexual, or?

 

Brian

Yes 

 

Ann

Right, okay, I'm sorry about that, that's very sad to hear.

 

Brian

Well it was the time too. I mean it's more complicated, it wasn't, it’s hard to explain. I was not invited, or I was invited to my brother's wedding but my partner John was not allowed to come, he was not was uninvited. And I said well I can't just, I can't honour your love by dishonouring mine. I'm not going to be going into a situation where my, my beloved is not welcome. I'm not, I'm not going to be doing that, and so that became the rift and we haven't really connected since .  And I have tried to reach out to him and forge that bond again with him, but you also recognise there's a point at which the, the relationship becomes defined by the separation, rather than by the love, and that's OK too, I've kind of come to accept that.  And I really love him, it's really fascinating isn't it in that way.  And my mom and dad, you know, they, they were, my dad's a Catholic Deacon, and my mother died about 2 and half years ago, and I think, for them, it was, I told them when I was 15, you know, I'm, during a, during a commercial break, during the show Growing Pains.  I just, my poor parents, like what do we do with this weird child?  But I just kind of knew I was not, I didn't get to be confused by being gay, it was like really obvious, I was like okay, I'm not really confused about all this, but I think also your, your mom and dad have a dream for who you're going to be.  And that dream dies, when they, when you let them know that you're gay.  You know, their idea of who they who they believed you to be and the dream they had for you changes.  And I think they, you know, I've learned to, learned to really believe that we can love our parents enough to give them the time to grieve that and let them embrace the new version of you. And really my mom and dad have done that to some degree during my life, I would say, you know, but I actually think for me, more importantly, is that I embrace the parents that I have and the place that they are with those issues. Because you know, even when my mother died, my dad asked my, asked and I wrote the obituary, and I met my dad at the Mortuary, and my dad asked me to take John’s name out of the, out of the obituary.  Because in the obituary, you list the family members and you list who's the wife is and who the child is, that's kind of a typical American custom.

 

Ann

And John is your partner?

 

Brian

Yeah, John is my husband, yeah we’ve been together for gosh 25 years, so, he, and this was just two years ago, two and a half years ago, but he asked me to take John’s name out of the obituary, and I, you know at that point I wasn't going to make it a gay rights movement moment, you know, that's not the right time.  My Mom had died, his wife had died, you know my dad's wife had died, I know I'm never against that actually, and I thought at that moment it really didn't need to be all about my hurt at that time, it really didn't, and it shouldn’t have been. And I don't think it really had, I think it had more to do with the public perception, coz my dad’s a Catholic Deacon and what have you, I started to really understand the why of that.  But it was also awkward for me after so many years that he would need to have John’s name taken out of the obituary, it was such a weird thing to me. But I also think that's what death, death, death forces us to tell the truth about the relationships we are in, you know, there's too many aspects of death that require us to tell the truth, does that make sense Ann?

 

Ann

Yeah, it doesn't make sense, it's very interesting listening to you talking about this because I was rejected also by my parents for different reasons. I was rejected by my parents because I had two children, well first of all I had one child out of wedlock, so that was bad enough and then I went and had a second child by another man out of wedlock, and they couldn't cope with it, they just couldn't cope with it, so they couldn't talk to me, they, they disowned me, they, they re-owned me, a little bit further down the line but that level of rejection and it was interesting, I spoke to my mum, she's also a Catholic, she's old now, 87, so she was  born you know in in 1933, and just has a very strong way of looking at the world, and that's what keeps her safe, by looking at the world, these are the rules, and these are the boundaries, and this is how I live, and you should live like this too. I guess there's a fear of living outside of the rules, but her dreams for me died when these things happened.  For me that was difficult for other, a multitude of reasons but she said to me, she's Irish, she said to me, I feel as if I've knitted this beautiful jumper and somebody's come along and destroyed all my stitches.  Isn’t that funny?   Like that’s, that’s, she had such a great plan for me and I had undone her beautiful, knitted plan. So, yeah, there's a sadness there, but once, like you say, you have to work through the process of why they acted like they acted, and all you can do is love that person because they can't help where they’re from. She can't help how she was born in that era with those opinions and those, and, and her rules and regulations, that's what she knows, so you have to honour the person.  She's got beautiful qualities, as I'm sure your mum and dad do too, otherwise they couldn't possibly have bought you up the way they have, for such a beautiful loving person, so everybody's got wonderful qualities, we all have our dark side, and loving that person is the best, love is always the way forward isn't it?

 

Brian

Yes and I, you know but I, I love what you're, I’m so appreciative that you shared that with me, because I wonder about this a lot, you know, because when you're in mediumship classes, you’re around, I always feel like I'm around some of the most courageous people I've ever met. These are people that have been deeply hurt by this world and yet they are there in that class to figure out how to love that world. You think about that that's really magnanimous isn't it?  It's really something profound, they've been deeply hurt by this world and they are in that class to learn how to open their heart to love this world. That's really something.

 

Ann

Yeah, that really is something.

 

Brian

You think of the wound that you experienced, and the wound I experienced, they have different stories, and the wallpaper’s different isn't it but it's not different, it's the same and I wonder if that rejection for me became the permission that I would have needed to then embrace mediumship .

 

Ann

Yes, exactly and it's funny isn't it, I think about, I've never experienced, and will never now , somebody welcoming my child into the world. I'll never have that, both fathers left as well by the way, so there was never that experience for me, I will never have that, where a child was warmly welcomed. It was always a difficulty and a trouble. I think what I'm trying to say is, we have all this love inside of us, and sometimes we have all these gifts and abilities, not just in mediumship or psychic ability but you know maybe we're good mechanics or we're good at cutting hair or something, and sometimes we don't always get the opportunity in the lifetime here that we lead, to fully realise our own unique potential. So you're beautiful friend Jane, who's dying way before she should be dying, she probably hasn't had the opportunity to fully express herself here in the world, and there's a sadness in a way, that you think, oh, she's never going to be able to do this, this and this, but with our knowledge of the spirit world, we know that you can go on and, and still do all of those things in the spirit world, so it doesn't stop just because our physical body’s conked out, our spirit will still go on and do all those wonderful things and more,  so that there's an excitement there but going to the spirit world.

 

Brian

I really I love what you're saying, you know for me, I think what's miraculous to me about someone like, someone like my friend Jane is that I don't think she would feel that way, you know, she is that person that whatever the experience was, it was perfect.  When I meet people like her, I'm always like, who are you?  Like what strange planet did you come from? Because, you know, I think we, I think death also offers us this great gift, you know, because I don't think Jane thinks about her life in terms of accomplishment, and I think death teaches us to think about the story of our life differently. You know, I think oftentimes we are so obsessed with celebrity, aren’t we? And we're so obsessed with the idea of accomplishment, that you're, you know, I want to be someone, I've proven that I am, oh I have  this many likes or this many whatever, but I think death teaches us that, all of that is not only temporary, but, but ultimately meaningless, because you know, you can have the beautiful ability of mediumship and be an incredibly disrespectful, narcissistic person, you know that's why I'm a big believer that mediumship is an ability and not some offering from God, that's given to the great and holy, which is a bunch of nonsense to me. I think mediumship is an ability that's teaching our soul what it needed to learn in this life. And I'm a big believer that part of that lesson is about authority, you know, if we use our mediumship to somehow believe that we are at the pulpit of life, in we’re meant to educate the plebeians about you know, the world that may, the world in front of us and there's a real, first of all that's nonsense, but I think mediumship is actually to me about companioning the suffering.  It's the willingness to be so vulnerable that you're willing to companion with someone who is suffering.  And in that process of being a companion to the suffering, I think we, mediumship is so natural isn't it ,you know, the spirit just comes in.  We make it complicated, we make it weird, or some other ways we teach mediumship are goofy to me frankly, but I think at its core mediumship is just an incredibly natural process of companioning, and I think if your companioning with somebody, you're not concerned with whether you're above them are below them, your souls are connected, there's no comparison, there's no accomplishment, there's no resume, there's no celebrity, is there, it's just, it really is that sense of companionship.

 

Ann

Yeah, there's a great equality in it, which is really beautiful, and you're right that this world is set up to, even as children, you have to succeed, you have to do this exam, you have to get to this level, and then you have to do this, and if you get the car, the fancy house, then you will be seen to be better than those that don't. And so there is this terrible structure that we're all born into which is completely alien to our soul, that we're trying to fit into as a human being.  And I think some for some of those people that have achieved all those things, there's a kind of an emptiness, like, there’s still something missing, even though they have all those worldly things around them.  So I've rather enjoyed being an outlaw living in the woods, because you don't have to prove anything you don't have to, I don't know, you can meet people on their level, it's much easier to find an equality with people and not be so judged.

 

Brian

So Ann, when did, after you went, coz this kind of relates to, in Letter To Young Medium when I started to write that book, it was very authoritative.  In fact the 1st four kind of lessons that I wrote, I went back and revisited them and actually my husband is the one that said that he said, trust your stories.  He said, don't tell me how to feel about your stories, he says, I don't need you to do my work.  And it was so helpful for me.  Coz I had like another two pages per every lesson with all this grandiose blah blah blah but what you're supposed to take from every single story, blah blah blah blah and he's like you know, I don't need you to really do that for me.  He said good writers trust the readers.  And good writers let the readers have the experience there meant to have with the story.

 

Ann

I absolutely agree, and the book that you've written, Letter To A Young Medium is so beautiful in its description, and you touch on so many commonalities of feeling, that it really speaks to the soul and the heart.  Maybe you could just explain to those people that are listening to this, what that book is about and how you came to write it.

 

Brian

Well what I make sure I do here though is let this not be a plug for the book or any of that nonsense, it's more um, I was trying to explain to myself, I was trying to capture for myself, kind of notice and name the lessons that were offered in mediumship, that are not the lessons about connection, how we connect the spirit, how we get names, how we get all that stuff. I wanted to write a book, or it was actually just an essay. I just wrote a kind of quick essay, in two days I wrote an essay and I put it out there, and the lessons there were just stories about mediumship.  And you know, one was the example that I gave of working when I was a special Ed teacher before I became a family therapist. I was working with a child with significant special needs, and he was not able to talk, but so I assumed he wasn't able to communicate. When I was asked to work with him one hour a day, he kept grabbing my finger, next to my thumb, is that the index finger, I'm not sure.

 

Ann

Yes.

 

Brian

Okay. He kept grabbing my index finger and at the end of our time, he would grab that index finger. And I would, I was doing this weird stuff where I would separate the fingers and see if he would still grab the same finger and he would still grab the same finger, Ann. And what I was doing was, I was actually reading a story to him on the computer, and I was staying with him while they did the range of motion exercises with him on the floor .  And every time I would say goodbye to him, at the end of our hour, he would crumble up his face and start to cry.  He’d get so upset and he’d grab my finger.  And I told my director. I said well I don't think I'm meant to work with this kiddo, you know, I'm I have my Masters degree and I'm really good at supporting kids with science and math, and I'm, I was very, very impressed with myself, and she said well, I appreciate that you feel that way, and you're going to be in there an hour a day.  And so this kept going on and she said well, and I kept complaining and she kept saying, you're staying.  Well there is a point at which she said, because I kept saying you know an aid could do this work, that I would, it's just embarrassing, but I’ll just tell the truth about myself at that time.  And she said, well I'm going to have you work with the speech language therapist because you're not you're not trying to learn how to communicate with this young man.  So I'm going to have a speech language therapist come and work with you basically.  We're going to have a speech language therapist have extra time with you.  She said it that way on purpose, to make sure that I understood that it was me that was the barrier.  And I felt, really I felt really misunderstood and all that stuff, it's so funny when I look back on it.  Anyway long story short, I go into work with the speech language therapist and she's got this way of communicating with this one hand that he could ambulate, and she had interacted like doing a circle in the palm, and grabbing different fingers ,all this kind of stuff.  Well at the end of the time, she grabbed his index finger and he grabbed her index finger.  I said now what's that, I said that, goodbye? And she said no, that's I love you.  That's I love you, that's the first thing the mother taught me when I started to work with him.  And he is fully receptive language with Mandarin Chinese and English so I made up an entire story about this young man that was completely untrue. I assumed that he was, I assumed his capacity to be at a completely different level.  And I think that's a really interesting aspect of mediumship, because we, it's just the presence, not some trick or magical tool or magical anything really.  It's the presence we offer the soul, that allows the story to be told through us.  It's not, it's not something magical but it is something precious, isn't it?

 

Ann

Yes, it’s really precious.  So how did you become a medium.

 

Brian

I actually, I think I wrote about that, I've a new book coming out called Halfway Through The Woods, and here I am plugging another project that I'm working on, so forgive me, but based on the musical Into The Woodshello, fellow actress, Halfway Through The Woods.  Anyway, I basically, how I opened up to mediumship, I’ll give you the short version of that, is in my work in Hospice, I started to have this experience of feeling the loved ones in the room with me.  And I thought it was just a form of empathy, honestly, I thought it was just kind of a form of empathising with the clients that I was working with.  And then they had a medium come to the Denver Hospice office, through Horan Macon at the Mortuary, Deb Shepherd is her name, she's a really incredible medium and she came in with her high heels, and she's just this gorgeous, beautiful woman, I just love her, and she did a talk and what have you with our, with our staff there, and I walked away making fun of her.  I thought and I thought this is really unacceptable that we’re suggesting this to our clients.  We’re professionals, I'm not going to be suggesting someone go talk to this woman that said she could talk to the dead, I'm not like, I'm not doing that.  And I was making fun of it, the whole thing, and I had a colleague come into my office later and she said with tears in her eyes, she said, you really hurt my feelings today.  I said well  what do you mean?  She said, well you're, you've decided to discredit Deb when you don't know a thing about her work, she really helped me tremendously when my son died.  And at the end of Deb’s talk, that very first time, I forgot to tell you this part, Deb came over to me and she said you're a medium, you need to be doing this professionally.  And I was like, oh the crazy lady thinks I should be doing mediumship and I just, was just a jerk about it frankly.  And that's when my friend Ellen, she came to my office and she said, what she said.  And then she said you know if you won't go meet with Deb for you, go meet with her for me.  And I went and met with Deb and Deb changed my life in that hour.  She brought through a dear friend of mine that died of aids.  And then she had me, she had me connect with my own mediumship in that experience and that was a life changing experience.  So that's how it all happened.  I connected with one of her dogs, actually that had died, then she went to her daughters room and brought the picture of the very dog that I connected with.  And so I was such a sceptic and I'd still say my approach to mediumship is sceptical in some ways, because I want to make sure that if I if I say I can do something with the client, that I have proven it to myself that that's a real thing that I can offer, because there's a big piece for me about ensuring that I'm offering what I know I can offer.  Does that makes sense to you Ann?

 

Ann

Oh gosh, yes, absolutely yes.

 

Brian

Bringing in that integrity, knowing your competence, knowing where you're at with all this. Because you know, that's the beauty of it, mediumship is going to be informed by our by our soul. You know our soul is our instrument, I'm a big believer of this, that we have to tune that instrument, the strings of our instrument are, require our attention to time. We have to, if we have people in our life that we don't know how to love yet, or we haven't forgiven the father that hurt us, or the mother that hurt us, until we forgive those people, it's going to be hard for us to be an instrument for the mother in spirit that needs to complete with the pain with their daughter or with their son. You know, I feel like we have, part of the requirement of our work, to do it well is to tune our instrument all the time, to keep growing, keep softening to the lessons that others have offered us.

 

Ann

Yeah and I think, I think you're right to keep softening is a really good description, because it's not easy to forgive a lot of things that happened to us while we are here and we have to work hard at letting go of things, and realise that it's not important, it’s that letting go and that softening that is really good phrase to use actually Brian.

 

Brian

Well Ann, I think when we become the love we are seeking, if we can learn to become the love, that, so in other words when I was hurt by my mother, if you can become the love of the mother that you desperately wanted, somehow that heals us I think.  You know it's a fascinating thing when you can learn to love the mother in the way that you wish that she would have loved you, but somehow we heal, and I don't know how that works, but it seems to work.

 

Ann

Yeah and you do have to keep looking at things from somebody else's perspective.

 

Brian

Yes.

 

Ann

I remember when I was a young child, I don’t know how old I was, maybe, maybe 5 or six, and I’d gone into hospital and I had my adenoids removed from my throat. I used to get a swollen throat or something, when I was little and I remember the day my father came to collect me from the hospital and he took me out of hospital in my little nightdress, with a teddy bear, and wrapped me in a blanket.  And I remember to this day, how gentle he was when he laid me across the back seat of the car to drive me home. Now this was back in the day before we needed seat belts.  And he laid me across the back seat car and I remember how slowly and carefully he drove home.  He drove really slowly, and was careful about every turn in the road and every bump, until he got me home, and then carried me into the house.  And when I used to do the school run and my kids were in the car, they used to say, why is this person in front going so slow, we're late for school, and I'd say, you do not know what is going on with that person in that car. And I’d tell them the story of how my father drove really slowly. And you just have to be very mindful that everybody's got their own thing going on and just because they're driving slowly, they might have a sick child in the back of the car, for all they know.  They might have an old person in the car. Again, when my father was old, interestingly enough, when he was 80, he died just after he was 80 but he had cancer and it spread to his bones, so any journey was very difficult for him.  And I remember going over to Ireland, ‘cos he'd moved over there to live and I hired a car, a big car so that it was easy for him to get into, and I remember he came out for a meal with the family, and I remember driving home after that meal out, and I remember driving, oh my God, I'm going to cry it so sad, so slowly, I drove so carefully, my father over the bumps and round the corners, because I knew that every bump in the road was very hard for him.  It almost kills him it was so sore.  And although that's a sort of a tearful thing to explain, there's a real honour in being able to do that in return for him as he did it for me when I was little and suffering.  And anybody who was following my car that night, wouldn't have known that I was driving this very old, sick man home, and so what am I saying here, let me try and sum up, we don't know what's going on for other people, do we, in life, and so we have to keep looking at things from other people’s perspective and not from our own, what we want, making demands.

 

Brian

Yeah, but what you offer is so beautiful, because the return of the love, the way your father treated you as precious cargo, and then you got the opportunity to do the same for him. That way in which we’re given the chance to return the love, that the story becomes the circle.

 

Ann

Yes.

 

Brian

I’ve really come to believe that grief, grief is part, part of how we get in our way is that we imagine grief to be on a timeline, even when we're wise about grief, we imagine grief to be on some timeline, that doesn't really exist in real life, because grief  it's recursive, it's a circle isn't it ?

 

Ann

Yeah.

 

Brian

So, we're always grieving, and I think when we honour that, that we’re in a different stage of grief with every loss. And we revisit those stages and we deepen with our grief, that we, that we begin to allow our grief to speak more, and we begin to, we begin to honour. That these relationships matter.  Your connection with your father matters deeply and the way that you returned the love to him, that’s just such a stunning story, I hope you, have you written that one down Ann?

 

Ann

No, it just came out just now. I hadn’t even thought about it before, it just came out that way.

 

Brian

It's really, really lovely.  To me, anyone listening to that story would be, would be given the opportunity to grow from it.

 

Ann

Yeah, it's interesting isn’t it.  And you spoke a bit earlier, when we first began chatting, Brian, about your spirit guide, Joanne, and you said, she told you about how she greets people when they die.  Can you tell us more about that?

 

Brian

Izzy. So, Joanne introduced me to this woman, Izzy, this Latina woman with her Jean jacket and she says, she's just got this really, really fun personality.

 

Ann

and Izzy is in spirit?

 

Brian

Yeah, yeah, exactly, Izzy  is the kind of spirit that works in the world of death. And the way that she explains it to me is that, she, she said to me, I had a really difficult reading one time with a family, I won’t go into a lot of details, because I want to make sure that they're not able to be identified, but just to say that there, it was a murderer kind of situation, and it was a very painful way in which somebody would, you know just a very, very painful story that this family was enduring.  And after that, I'll sometimes go to Izzy to get guidance or just to, just to be seen I think, because sometimes I, sometimes I don't love my job, I think every medium could say that, I mean we're not a victim of our work, but sometimes I don't love my work, because were invited into places that I feel like an interloper at times.  I feel awkward being in some of these hard spaces that these families have to walk in.  And I try to be very, very thoughtful and pay attention when I'm in those spaces but it impacts us doesn't it?

 

Ann

Yes.

Brian

When someone dies for murder it's a very devastating thing and Izzy said to me, she said, Brian, your soul never hits the ground.  She said, I'm, I'll be there to catch you.  Someone is there to catch the person that's dying.  Someone is there to help them stand and feel their feet on the ground.  And when they become aware that they're the spirit again, when they become aware that they, there's a part of us she said, you know there's a part of us that never dies, there's a part of us that can never be hurt or damaged or changed in anyway.  And I just love that intention, I love that idea. And so I think the way, the way that Joanne, when Joanne introduced me to this woman Izzy, you know, and again as I mentioned, I'm not standing on any kind of, I don't want to stand and say that this is true, or what have you, but it's my truth, it's my belief for myself, that's served me, and so I'll go to Izzy when I have complicated situations, and Izzy, basically how she explains it, is that she gets the beautiful job and the beautiful task of receiving the person, so that their feet never hit the ground, she's there to catch them. Now that's just giving me a great sense of peace.

 

Ann

That’s beautiful isn’t it, to know?

 

Brian

Because I still think either there's, the human mind is fascinating isn't it? The human mind will say, well my love one needs to be guided after they die, and might ,you know all these, I can't, I don't have it all figured out, I'm not the authority, but that doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I, but I'm, it doesn't mean I'm right about that either.  I think mediumship the, it's a miracle isn't it? For, it changes how we live doesn't it, Ann, knowing that we live on, knowing that our life has meaning, and that it wasn't all about becoming successful in the traditional sense, that it was actually about softening our instrument, it was actually about learning how to be present to another’s suffering, about a fine, about how to find equanimity with every soul we encounter.  You know it's an interesting thing to recognise that our life has meaning and that we continue on. That actually we're borrowing, I feel like sometimes I kind of imagine, I'm borrowing the shoes of this person named Brian, and that I'm this character of this person for this lifetime, and some people love that character, some people hate that character, some people do not care about that character, but in that life I have a responsibility to do the very best I can to take the risk, to live the life as this person and to allow that life to unfold and to let that story be what it's meant to be, and to have the courage to allow the story to advance, even when I'm scared, or when I'm frightened, I can always go back to trusting that I'm more than my name, I'm more than my lifetime, I'm more than my accomplishment, you know, it's really, I think as mediums we are really very blessed in that way, because it's proven to us in a way that's unquestionable.  Mediumship makes, makes the life after this life unquestionable.

 

Ann

Yeah, it really does, and I think as an actress myself in my history going back, as you know, I was a performer, and never really hit my stride with it, was never really got to where I really would have loved to have been, and I used to really be so upset about that.  Coz I know I've been given the talent and the gifts to, and had the, had I known the right people, still, if I still knew the right people doors might open and things might happen, but I'm also OK with that not happening now, because I see that as a very one lifetime view point, and I think I said it already in earlier in the interview, I’m quite happy to go over to the spirit world and carry on with those same gifts and exploring them over there, or perhaps in the next lifetime or the next lifetime that's fine, fine by me, and it has redefined, because that is my belief, it's redefined how I live now.  So I don't have to go and get upset or depressed or sad or now live a much more joyous existence and my Theatre became the interior of the car when I drove my kids to school. I would put on funny voices, I would entertain them, it didn't matter if it wasn't to an audience of, you know several 100 in the Theatre, that same feeling of entertaining in the car to two people who were laughing their heads off, that was great, that was enough.

 

Brian

So I love that Ann, because I think there's a, there's a consequences for having a life with 200 people in the Theatre staring at you, that there is a consequence for that, but I don't think we honour, and I think we, a lot of us that are, you know, kind of into the acting realm, into mediumship and what have you, we think we're extraverts but I actually think we're introverts.  I never appeared as an extrovert on any assessment I've ever done, I'm always an introvert.  So I think there is there's a way in which mediumship would probably not have happened, if you were living that extroverted life, and the world outside of you was telling you whether or not you were valuable, and the reviews in the newspaper were deciding if your performance was good enough or not good enough, you know, there's a consequence for that, I think that I've come to really recognise.  Do you believe that?

 

Ann

I absolutely agree with you and taking that again to my experience where I became an outlaw and lived in the woods because my family decided that they wanted to disown me for various misdemeanours in my life.  If that hadn't happened, that was a real blessing for me.  It didn't feel it at the time, I can assure you, but it was a real blessing, because through that, I had a whole load of various different experiences that made me so empathic to other people and made me look other people’s stories so much more, which I would not have. I would not have had the ability to look at life in such depth, if that suffering hadn't happened to me, and I think in the suffering, is where we get the depth of our spirituality and possibly you feel the same with the experiences that you've gone through.

 

Brian

Well, it’s so beautiful Ann, you know, my, the thing I think about a lot and the joke I make with friends a lot is, who would you rather sit next to on a plane?  A perfect person or someone with a story and you can only have a story if you earn it.

 

Ann

I know

 

Brian

And that means taking the risk to not do what people want you to do.

 

Ann

That's it 

 

Brian

And it may be messy and it is messy by the way, and it's not always pretty and but I also love that too, I love the grit of that, like there's a story in the book that I'm putting out and it's it's a wild story but you're in the gravitron do you know the gravitron ride that goes around and around and around?

 

Ann

What where you stick to the sides?

 

Brian

Yes, you stick to the sides, you got it.  I don’t know what they call that in Europe.

 

Ann

I know, it spins around in a circle, creates a vortex and you all go schlup and you get stuck to the side of the cylinder.

 

Brian

Anyway, so that's what the story is about, it's about, when I was with my friends and we huffed gasoline, coz who doesn't huff gasoline, cause that's fun, you know, why not, but it just kind of gives you an insight into how crazy my life was at that time, at the age of 14 or 15. And we were in this ride, the gravitron going around and around and this guy looked like Ronald McDonald, I mean the guy the ride operator, red hair, acne, glasses and he was just like this angry villain, and he, he was kind of a bully kind of, kind of guy, I'm sure he'd been bullied, I'm sure that's why he was that way, but, but he was screaming out in the announcer thing, he said I'm not going to stop the ride until , until you admit, until those of you admit that you’re fags raise your hands and of course we’re all sticking to the wall so raising our hands would be impossible, so we just like..  well I got, I was feeling nauseous and I lost it, I actually vomited, and then what happens in a vortex like that, if you vomit everyone else does too coz, it's really disgusting, so that's the first story in the book.  So I realise that life I've lived, like it's not going to sound like the lovely, like after school special or touched by an Angel, like that's not my story, mine’s more like the messy person's version of how to become a spiritual person by, like vomiting on one another in a gravitron. Because there was like a moment where I was like, when I revisited that story, there was just a moment where I was thinking, of course I was on a gravitron vomiting on everyone, and everyone was vomiting on me, and of course that makes sense, because we're all in it together, aren't we? 

 

Ann

Yes, yes we are

 

Brian

I love the imagery and I love the idea that we're all  in this together, even when we think we aren’t.  And the pandemic is a great lesson in that isn’t it.   That what we do on a daily basis impacts our neighbour.

 

Ann

That's so interesting, because in  my mind I get this picture that used to be pinned up in our church Hall when I was a kid, which was of God, it was a black and white sketch, and it was God with a big beard and he had two big knitting needles, and he was making this knitted fabric or knitted item, and it was people's faces.  So he was knitting all these different people, and they were all together in this knitted, they were the stitches in the fabric of the community that he was knitting and how interesting I should have that vision when I said my mother's description of me was how she’d felt that she'd knitted this beautiful item and that someone had come along and undone all the stitches, but actually if you look at it differently, if I look at it in a different way, actually part of my having that experience was to bring a community of people together, was to knit people together and to understand how important community is, and how we impact each other’s lives, it’s fascinating isn’t it?

 

Brian

Well if you take away any of the ways in which you've been hurt you're no longer you.

 

Ann

Yes

 

Brian

And  I think also, we don't talk enough about this, but if we take away the ways in which we've hurt others, you know we are often more comfortable talking about the ways in which the world has hurt us ,but it's also wise, I think and true, to spend time talking about the ways in which we've hurt others, because we're imperfect aren't we?

 

Ann

Yes 

 

Brian

And we're going to fail at loving all the time, and giving ourselves permission to find, to tell that truth, and tell the truth of that, tell the story that, reminds us that, like you said, we were, it's a constant process, that image is so powerful, that idea of knitting, that we are knitting the fabric of our experiences into this new blanket of our soul, like this new version of who we are, that is such a powerful image you have Ann, I think that's gorgeous, I'm going to steal it and say it's mine now forever.

 

Ann

You can have it, it's yours.

 

Brian

No, I totally kidding with you. I would never, I have never picked up knitting needles in my entire life.  My husband does, he, when he gets stressed out, I can always tell he’s stressed out coz he'll pull out the knitting and it will be on the side of it him and he will be knitting and I'm like, you okay dear is everything working out for you?

 

Ann

Do they clack really loudly, the knitting needles, depending on how cross he is?

 

Brian

Exactly, yes I’m angry at that scarf, oh my god no! You are just lovely, this was so much fun, to spend some time with you.

 

Ann

Wasn't it lovely, thank you Brian, just chewing the fat, talking about mediumship, seeing where we're both at at the moment, it was a really lovely chit chat, I’ve really enjoyed it.

 

Brian

Me too I'd love to chat with you again actually this was really fun.

 

Ann

Yeah let's chat again I'd love to.

 

Brian

I'm doing a podcast in the next couple of months on death and I'd love to have you come and be a guest on it.

 

Ann

Oh, I’d love to.

 

Brian

We’ll  talk about that later, but ,but you were just a gift, and I and I can't thank you enough for making some time for us to have this conversation, it really was, was really lovely for me, thank you .

 

Ann

Thank you very much it was beautiful talking to you Brian.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this episode with my wonderful and truly compassionate friend and very talented, fellow psychic medium, Brian Bowles.  

All resources for this episode, including a full transcript and plus importantly, how to reach Brian, are over on my website under podcasts, so do  head over there and you can pick everything up on the show notes www.anntheato.com.  Have a little explore while you are over there, and take a look at my upcoming course and audio meditations that are available – you might find something you love.

 

To carry on the conversation, with Brian, or any of my guests, please do head over to the Psychic Matters Podcast Group FB page and join in the discussions – you will be very warmly welcomed!

 

For now, I would like to wish you all a very peaceful couple of weeks until we meet again.  Remember that you are a spirit being, having a human experience and as such, try to keep turning time and again to the stillness within yourself, for that is where you will find  answers and it’s where you will find peace in a world turned upside down.

 

My name is Ann Theato, and thank you for listening to Psychic Matters