Like so many, this weekend marks my high school graduation anniversary. It’s that time of year, and many of us are reflecting back on those years.
When I was a kid, graduations were for high schools and colleges. Younger than that, and you had end of the year assemblies, where awards for academic merits, athletic achievements and attendance were given out.
Now it seems like almost every single grade, including kindergarten, have graduations.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong. I actually think it’s a good idea to celebrate the transitions in life, to mark the ending of one era and the start of another.
That doesn’t happen too often once you get out of college, though I guess you could argue that a bachelor party is kind of like a graduation for the groom.
Otherwise, though, it’s pretty scarce. When you land a job, or get a promotion, or leave a job for a better job, there’s no ceremony. If you correct a matrimonial mistake, and get a divorce, there may be drinking and you do get a legal document, but there’s no commencement.
I think there should be more of that.
We grow up with annual celebrations of our academic awesomeness, advancing from grade to grade with our friends (most of the time with most of our friends). And then we go cold turkey. Congratulations on getting through another tax season, now get back to work.
We should revel in our achievements, whether they are meager or massive. Did you get through the year okay? Did the good days outweigh the bad? Awesome! You get a gold star and you advance to another year, full of potential and opportunity!
The tricky part, of course, is for those who don’t feel like they’ve had such a great year. Sometimes, we all feel like it’s so much easier to add up all the losses, because there are just so many of them.
But you know what? You still get to graduate! Every year, every month, every week, every day is another chance.
Even if you feel like you’ve lost it all, you get a do-over. You aren’t being held back. You’re being promoted, anyway.
The truth is that in every instance, whether you had an “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” kind of year, or the kind of year when you felt like if it weren’t for bad luck, you would have had no luck at all – in each scenario there’s an opportunity to learn and grow. And each experience, the good and the bad, make us who we are.
I had some pretty miserable years a while back. I was in the wrong relationship, in the wrong job, in the wrong life. And while I wish I could have gotten past all of that sooner, to get where I am now, it still made me who I am. It helped me learn, even if it was just learning ways I wouldn’t want to treat someone else.
The Beach Boys’ song, “Graduation Day”, which is actually a cover of the original tune done by the Four Freshmen, has been in my head a lot lately. It’s seasonal, of course, which is probably part of it. And nostalgic, as I see some of my old friends on Facebook planning to get together to celebrate our anniversary.
But I think it also fits with something that’s going on with Psychic Tapestry.
We have learned a lot since we went on the air last year. We’ve talked to a lot of people, and we’ve gotten to meet many in person at events in Old Town and Las Vegas. And while we hope that we’ve touched lives and helped in some way, we do have to acknowledge that our listeners, our Facebook friends and our Twitter followers have had an enormous impact on us.
More than we ever thought when we did that first show at the beginning of last summer.
Teresa and I both feel like we can do more. We want to do more. I even get the feeling that we need to do more.
It’s one thing to do a weekly show on the internet, and an occasional appearance as we can. But in hearing your calls each week, we feel like there are so many more that we could reach, if we just make a few changes.
So we’re making a transition. We’re graduating.
Teresa and I talked about this, and we feel that the best way to try and reach as many as possible, is for us to travel. We want to bring Psychic Tapestry to you. Live and in person.
That will take some time to orchestrate, and it means that some priorities have to be shifted.
So we’re graduating from Starcrafts. We have learned what we could with that wonderful place, but we need to have the freedom to be out, as often as we can, away from what had been a comfortable, safe berth.
I wanted to mention that for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost, I’m very excited about our plans to head out on the road. I love the idea of getting to meet as many of you as possible!
I also wanted to explain that this transition is a choice, and it’s a good thing. Running a retail shop takes a lot of time and energy, and we feel like it would be a better use of those things to move Psychic Tapestry forward, out into the world.
We both seem to believe we’ve hit the ceiling, learned and done what we could, and it’s time for the next phase. And we have lots of cool things on the drawing board, and hope you can join us along the way!
The other thing, which seems almost silly to mention it, is that when you make a change like this, especially in the mysterious industry of psychic mediums, there are nay-sayers abounding.
To begin with, there are plenty who don’t understand what we do, or try to do, and can only see us as scammers and charlatans. All I can say to that is that our show is free. If we’re trying to scam you, we’re obviously doing it wrong.
The other thing is that some will concoct stories about “what’s really going on”. You may hear crazy stories about money, lawsuits, curses, etc. I’ve even heard one about an evil landlord and a “real” medium who was threatening to expose us.
I’m hoping we can graduate from that, too, but since there are plenty of very well-known psychic mediums who still deal with that kind of thing, I’m guessing it’s here to stay.
Anyway, I got a little sidetracked there, but I just wanted you to know that we have big plans for this summer and beyond, and we would love you to be a part of it! It’s kind of like I’m inviting you to our graduation party!
I’d just like to add that, if you’re going through a transition of your own, you don’t need to feel like you’re putting some sort of spin on it to make yourself feel better. Regardless of the circumstances, you’ve learned what you need to learn and, whether you feel like it or not, it’s time for the next step.
How Far We've Come
I hope this one doesn’t come across as preachy. That’s never been my intention, and I’m not looking to start now.
The problem is that, with written text, it’s too easy to take things the wrong way. I’m sure you’ve seen that happen in social media, probably plenty of times. It’s so simple to mistake a Tweet or a post on Facebook and wind up with a ridiculous flame-war between people who don’t know each other over an innocuous comment that wasn’t supposed to mean what they thought it did.
This blog isn’t political, so if you read that into anything I write here, I ask that you read it again, as that’s not my agenda.
I’m also not singling anyone out. I do have a couple people in mind for this particular song and message, but I think it’s something most of us can relate to. I know I can (not to make it all about me).
Anyway, I just didn’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt, to think I’m telling them how they should live their lives or anything else like that. This is just about a song, what it means to me, and what I think you could get out of it.
“How Far We’ve Come” was a big hit for Matchbox Twenty about six or seven years ago. It was a platinum-selling single, doing well in the U.S. and at least half a dozen other countries. In fact, according to the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, it was the most-played song in Australia in all of 2008.
So it was a big song, and the odds are you’ve heard it before.
It’s catchy and has a fun beat. Fifty years ago they would have given it a rating based on how easy it was to dance to.
If you listen to the lyrics, it sounds like it’s about the end of the world. There’s destruction and impending death all around. There’s nowhere to run to. Say your goodbyes if you have someone to say goodbye to.
Sounds a little hopeless, doesn’t it?
I find it hopeful, actually.
I think that, so often, we all get overwhelmed by what lies ahead of us. Bills are due. Projects are due. Laundry is piling up. Doctors appointments. Dentist appointments. The car’s making a funny sound. So is the water heater. All the movies you’ve ever wanted to see are coming out and it’s still two weeks until pay day.
And you can add your own to the list, as I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But the thing is, your whole life isn’t just about getting to the finish line, reaching your destination, crossing everything off your to-do list. It’s about the journey. The whole journey.
And that includes how you got where you are.
Think about all you’ve already done. All that you’ve already accomplished. The big and the small. What you set out to do and have already done, what you’ve set out to learn and already know.
Focusing too much on the end game can make you feel like the world’s ending. So far to go. How can I ever get there? How can I ever do all that needs to get done?
But look where you started. What you’ve been through. The goals you’ve reached, the mistakes you’ve made (and hopefully learned from). Even the errands you’ve already taken care of and the laundry you’ve already done.
I’m not suggesting that you live your life looking backwards. The past is a fun place to visit, but you shouldn’t try to live there.
The point is to appreciate where you are, how you got here and what you’ve already been able to do.
Even if you’re just starting out, beginning a business, jotting the first lines of your first book, going on your first interview, trying to figure out how to write your first resume. Even if you think you’re just starting, you’ve still come a long way. You’ve figured out how to start.
That’s no small thing. Sometimes figuring out that first step is one of the most difficult things to do.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, the point is that, sometimes, we just need that remind to appreciate where we are, and what we’ve already done just to get here.
Look at yourself right now! This looked like a really long blog, and you’ve already gotten to the video! Look how far you’ve come in just the last few minutes!
Ghost In The Machine
This particular blog is a little bit of a departure for me.
Usually, I write about a song that’s been in my head, and replay whatever message or messages I think it has for someone that has stopped by to read it.
It does kind of have a connection to the Police album “Ghost In The Machine”, and there is a song from that album that I’ll talk about in a bit.
But first I want to talk about EVPs.
EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. These are sounds found on electronic recordings which resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional recording or rendering, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voice_phenomenon).
Typically, these are things that are heard when the audio is played back, and most often when it is augmented using special equipment or software.
Lots of people have different opinions on these. Some say EVPs are spirits or angels. Others say it is merely a coincidence, with odd pieces of static that resemble words or phrases, but aren’t really anything more than peculiar bits of white noise. And some say that EVPs are nothing more than a scam, fabricated by someone for their own reasons (usually involving money).
Well, we’ve had some interesting things happen on recent episodes of Psychic Tapestry, and I’ll offer these up for your scrutiny.
A few weeks ago, we had a caller on the show and Teresa was relaying a message from one of that caller’s spirit guides. The ‘gist of it was that the caller needed to believe in themselves, and only they could change their situation.
As Teresa talked to her, something interesting happened.
Now, we didn’t hear this when it happened. I didn’t. Teresa didn’t. And the caller didn’t.
But some of our listeners did.
Here’s a brief clip from that call.
Did you hear that whispery voice? It sounds like it’s saying “You have the power.” That wasn’t me. And it obviously wasn’t Teresa. And it wasn’t the caller.
Here it is, a little more isolated.
I can’t really prove that it wasn’t me. I can tell you it wasn’t. Swear that it wasn’t. But I can’t prove it.
All I can say is that I don’t really have anything to gain by doing that. Our show is free. And you either believe that stuff we talk about, or you don’t (in which case, you probably don’t listen).
Plus, I’m pretty sure there are people out there with better sound equipment than what I have. And if I were trying to trick you, they would quickly be able to put me in my place.
There have been other instances of this on our show. In fact, last weekend, during the show, the chatroom was buzzing about different things they were hearing during some of the calls. If you’re curious, you can check that out by listening to the podcast (which you can find RIGHT HERE).
Rather than posting another sample, I thought I’d just direct anyone that might be interested to listen to last week’s show. Those are actually stored on the Blog Talk Radio website, so I wouldn’t be able to alter them. So check it out for yourself.
The connection with all this to that Police album must be obvious by now, if it wasn’t before. We do seem to have a Ghost In The Machine. Probably more than one.
The Police album title is actually taken from a philosophy book of the same name, and has nothing to do with spirits, ghosts or angels. But as with most music messages, it’s about what it means to me, rather than what the artist might have intended it to mean.
So that works.
The second single from that album was “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”. It was their most successful single up to that point, reaching #3 on the U.S. charts and hitting #1 in four other countries.
It’s about recognizing the beauty, the love and the magic in someone else, and finding joy in that discovery. Yet, even so, no one else can make you feel that way. You have to do it yourself.
As someone told me recently, “You have the power.”
There’s a pretty good chance you already heard this song today.
It has been the number one song in the U.S. for the past ten weeks. It’s also been number one in twenty-three other countries. It’s had multi-platinum sales in at least seven of those.
It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song (as it originally appeared in “Despicable Me 2”), but it lost to “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen”.
While a little unusual for a new song, it’s already been covered by many other artists (there’s even a duet floating around the Internet with Naturally 7 and David Lee Roth)! And it’s appeared on “X-Factor”, “The Voice” and even “Glee”.
And there have been many versions performed by people in other countries, who title the song something like “Happy We Are From Belgrade”.
So even if you haven’t heard it on the radio today, you may have come across a video on any one of countless social media sites.
While I usually talk here about getting messages from songs popping up in my head, this is an instance where the song could be in my head for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with messages. It’s a catchy song. And when you hear a catchy song, they tend to burrow in and stay a while.
But I also think that “Happy” is a good song to use to illustrate the wide variety of meanings that a seemingly simple song could have.
For example, here’s the video of this song for the movie “Despicable Me 2”:
In this context, the song might not just have it’s obvious meaning, but it could have something to do with this movie. Does this film have a special meaning for you? It could be about who you were with when you saw it. It could be about something that happened when you were at the theater. Or something that happened on the way to or from the movie.
We all love those minions; maybe it has something to do with them. Do they make you think of someone in particular? Maybe it has to do with another character in the movie. Is there something about Margo, Agnes or Edith that makes you think of someone else? Do you even know someone with that name, or something similar? You probably don’t know someone named Gru or Dr. Nefario, and if you did, you’d probably already made that connection.
There’s also a version out there, where someone has stripped away the music, replacing it with slow, orchestral music, which makes the song feel the opposite of what it’s supposed to…
Does that strike a chord with you? At once, it’s the same song and it’s one hundred and eighty degrees different. And sometimes when you get a song that’s a message, the message could quite possibly be the polar opposite of what the song is actually about.
“Happy” could be about being “Sad”.
For me, it’s about how sad life can be when you take away the music. If you’re sick of this song, it could be that you’re “Happy” when this particular music gets taken away.
Then there are the multitude of versions from different places all around the globe. One of the most recent versions of that is this one from Nitra, Slovakia…
So this song could be about travel. It could be about someone you know from somewhere else. Or it could even be about something related to Star Wars…
It could also be about remembering something from your past. And that doesn't have to be "Star Wars". It could be “Soul Train”…
And sometimes, you get a song in your head just because someone somewhere loves you, is thinking about you and knows that particular song brings you joy.
The point of all this is that any given song could mean almost anything to any one. The trick is trusting yourself enough to get what it means to you. And to do that, you really don’t have to work so hard.
Sometimes it really is just about being happy…
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)