Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Soul's Contract

The year of 1988 was challenging for me, earmarking several significant events. On the upside, I sold my first large painting through a New York Art Dealer to a corporate collector. But before I ever received the check, my mother suddenly passed away due to tragic and unnatural circumstances. She and I were extremely close, and I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to her. It was a shock to all of my family, and we were quite devastated. What I remember most about that year was that I grieved heavily.

Bertie and I, Miami Beach, Florida, two years before his passing
I was living in New York at that time, and five years into my work as a Channel. On one occasion, three people came to my home to share a channeling session. A few weeks later, one of them returned for a private appointment just for himself. His name was Lambertus Humbertus Ekkart. His friends called him Bertie. He told me later that there was something profound that happened in that session making it clear to him that he needed to come back alone. He continued to have sessions with me on a regular basis for the next 17 years.

Dutch, born in Indonesia, educated, elegant, cultured, possessing a wicked sense of humor - Bertie was a fascinating man. He performed as a ballet dancer on the stages in Paris, and in Hollywood films of the 1950's. This is what brought him to the United States. After suffering a dance related injury, he became a perfumer, and would eventually retire at the top in his field.

As many of you know, I work in a deep trance, and my own consciousness is not present when I channel. Sometimes, however, when my own guides feel that there is something relevant I need to hear (that is not of a personal nature for the client), they open the door to my consciousness so I can become aware of that one specific message. What surprised me on one occasion, was that the information I was allowed to hear was a conversation that Bertie had with Spirit. It was about an incurable illness he had just medically confirmed having. At that very moment, my Door Keeper Guide, Sonia, told me that I had a soul contract with Bertie to be with him until he took his last breath. Now you must understand how strange this sounded to me. First of all, I hardly knew him. Secondly, he was planning to leave New York and move to Miami Beach, Florida. And thirdly, it just wasn’t logical. In all the time I spent with Bertie, I never mentioned this "soul contract" with him. There was a part of me that wondered if I had made it up, so I was hesitant to mention it. Keep in mind I was new to my channeling work, and didn’t want to be inventing things.

With hindsight, I know that this "soul contract" was profoundly symbiotic. As it turned out, Bertie moved to Miami Beach sometime around 1991. What I didn’t know then was that I also was going to be moving to Miami Beach about a year after him. We ended up living no more than twenty minutes by car from one another. Bertie was not only a client, but a wonderful and supportive friend. When I relocated from New York, I was rebuilding my life from the bottom up. All I had with me was my faith in Spirit, and a few possessions. Step-by-step, Spirit assisted me during that time, and Bertie helped me in whatever way he could. I was fiercely independent, and it was difficult for me to accept his help, but I did because I needed it. It became clear that this was one of the ways that the universe was providing for me.

We developed a friendship that included cultural events, elegant lunches, and a lot of laughing at the follies of life. Bertie far exceeded what the doctors expected his life span would be. When life got difficult for him, he would often joke, "I thought I would be dead by now!" He made up his mind that he wasn’t going to die the way others with this illness had. It simply wasn’t his style. This determined man was going to meet death head-on. As the years went by, neither Bertie nor his doctors could understand why he continued to defy the statistics that said he should no longer be alive. Frequent conversations with his Spirit Teachers led eventually to an important understanding. At this juncture in his evolution, he realized the necessity to complete his soul’s work in this life-time. Bertie was adamant about finishing his incarnation-al journey, but sometimes he was weary about being alive; after all, his body was growing tired. Spirit told him, however, that he would not leave until his soul was completely ready. They further indicated that it was a great evolutionary opportunity to consciously approach death. He somehow found the courage to do so.

Even though my dear friend had already been accomplished in two careers, he engaged himself in two more rewarding endeavors. Bertie developed the ability to do automatic writing, eventually filling up volumes of notebooks. He also took up painting. He quickly became adept in both forms. With only a few basic painting classes, Bertie began to express his soul’s light and energy with surprising skill. He documented his unique journey through visual imagery and channeled wisdom. In 2000 he had an art exhibit at The (now closed) Wallflower Gallery in Miami, Florida. This was also the premier of a book that he self-published called, Love Of The Known. It consisted of his paintings and channeled writings. I was fortunate enough to have written the introduction to this book.

Although Bertie enjoyed a daily walk and swim in the ocean, the last years were particularly strenuous. Years of professional dancing caught up with him in the form of severe arthritis. Eventually, he could no longer walk with ease, paint, or even read. His body was giving way, but his Spirit was still vibrant. He would say to me, "I don’t feel my Guides anymore. There is only God now."

Bertie was adamant about having all his affairs in order. In early 2005, he wanted to make some revisions in his will. Several months later, when visiting with him, I noticed a big stack of papers nearby. I queried, "Did you finish your will?"
"Yes" he replied. I knew then that he was finally ready to let go. My visits became more frequent. I would bring black coffee and cookies from the Argentinian bakery across the street and we would sit and talk. First, on his balcony overlooking the ocean. Then he could only manage to sit in the living room. Eventually our visits were limited to the bedroom where he would remain in bed. Bertie often spoke with his Guides about how he wanted to pass from this world: laying in his own bed with the magnificent view of the warm Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t want to be alone at the moment of his passing from this world. When in session with me many times he asked his Guides, would he be surrounded by his dearest friends when he crossed over. Spirit consistently assured him it would be so. They even specified who would be there! He wanted his transition to be peaceful. He was ready to be free.

The hand of Spirit can sometimes be felt in the most subtle ways. I would drive to his apartment after completing my days’ work, to sit with him when possible. It was never known when the moment would come, and yet I knew in my heart and soul that I was "contracted" to be by his side. Finding a parking spot for my car on his well-trafficked street was another smaller, but integral challenge. And yet, every time I would head over in the final weeks, a parking spot would always be "waiting" for me. And usually in the exact same location! I knew that Spirit was coordinating everything.

When I received the call that Bertie’s condition had worsened, I rushed in my car, communicating to his Spirit as I maneuvered through rush hour traffic, found my "magic" parking spot, and came upstairs. His niece had flown in from Holland. Another friend arrived from New York. There were five of us together on that day, along with a hospice nurse. We all gathered, and calmly waited. He was in a coma by then. We put his favorite classical music on the stereo, and spread rose petals on the bed. The ocean glistened outside the bedroom window. As his breath was becoming more shallow, we surrounded Bertie, each of us touching him gently. We softly spoke, "It’s Ok to let go now."
And then he slipped out, and was gone.

A week later his ashes arrived. This time a larger group of friends gathered by the ocean that he once swam in daily. Everyone collected a handful along with some roses and silently we walked into the water, releasing his spirit back to the Everything. There weren’t any sorrowful tears, only reverence for the beauty of creation. I could feel his Spirit expanding over that ocean that he credited for keeping him going for so long. He was powerful, vibrant, happy, and free.

I had completed my soul contract to be with him when he took his last breath. All of us that were by his side at precisely the right moment knew that there was clearly a larger force that had enabled this. It also helped to heal the pain from not being with my mother when she crossed over the same year that Bertie and I met. Bertie had completed his soul’s contract, too. It was hard work at times, but he faced his challenges with humor, dignity, and wisdom.

My mother’s Spirit is most definitely with me, and Bertie is out there, too; riding the cosmic waves in a larger ocean now.

Copyright Asandra, originally published 2006

Are my dreams just a fantasy?

Recently both a client and an artist friend asked me (after they experienced some setbacks), whether their pursuits were just a fantasy. They wanted to know if they should continue to forge ahead in the direction of their dreams. My advice to them was, if you feel the passion for what you do in your heart, you must always pursue your dream no matter what. Personally, I have found the necessity of recommitting to being an artist more essential than ever. As far back as I can remember, the only thing I wanted was to be a painter; the artist kind that is. My mother encouraged this at a very young age and I eventually went on to study at one of the top art schools in the world. But I abandoned my plan for a variety of reasons. One of those was that my spiritual path was calling me, and although still a teenager, I gave up all worldly possessions and pursuits and moved into an ashram*. After fifteen months, however, I was deeply dissatisfied with this limited life, and moved out of the ashram. This led to a two-year period of traveling abroad, a marriage, and a return to New York. At this point I had to get a job and somehow managed to fake my way into a good position as an Art Director for a prestigious art magazine. Most importantly, I began to paint again.

The problem is that I still carried within me a conflict that I didn’t know how to resolve. My introduction to the spiritual world was during the 1970’s when Eastern mysticism was the overarching influence. Focusing on being an artist was considered self-centered. The idea that one must do service, be humble, and live austerely was the credo of that time. I desperately wanted to paint and fulfill a dream I had since childhood (to be successful at it and not just a “Sunday painter”). Yet, this quiet inner guilt that I was doing something selfish and not “spiritual” was so deep that it caused a schism in my life. It may well be that the depth of this inner conflict was rooted in past-life experiences and I was working through it in this life. In fact, I believe that all inner conflict is a karmic agenda.

I have reached a point in my life where compromise just won’t do. No longer do I feel the necessity to measure my true passion on a scale of service versus personal desire. And of course, I already have the ‘service’ part down in my work as a Channel. Nevertheless, my sense is that if something is a burning desire, then the thing you are impelled toward (in my case, being an artist), has a higher purpose and we need to trust it, not judge it based on cultural or ideological beliefs. To free ourselves up from the restraints of limiting beliefs is always a big part of true liberation. It doesn’t matter how we get there, only that we do.
© Asandra

Staying clear of drama

This morning I did one of those too-late-to-take-it-back social media things. I made a comment on someone’s Facebook post. This was a post not by a friend, but just one of those random people that you somewhere along the way get connected to. He is an author on books about “soul transformation”. Okay, truthfully I have neither read any of his books nor ever commented on a post of his before. He had written an angry diatribe and I shared my experience as a Trance Channel which I had intended to be insightful. This was immediately followed up by a dismissal of my work as a Medium (although he neither knows me nor my work).
This in and of itself is not a big deal. I’ve been doing my work for over 30 years and have a fairly thick skin at this point. Okay, it did raise my blood pressure a little, but I quickly remembered the importance of staying connected to Source. The point is not to get thrown off course just because you drive over a pothole you didn’t notice.

Staying focused on the path that is the most meaningful to us is essential. I quickly extracted myself from that situation and sat in meditation. I did not want to engage in any drama. More than ever I feel the need to connect deeply within, stay present, and keep on keeping on. Perhaps it is middle age speaking, but the sense of time as precious seems more relevant to me than ever.

There are many kinds of drama: the kind that entertains us, the kind that we call “the world”, and the personal inner drama we all unwittingly engage in. These are time demanding and it is important to choose wisely where to express our precious energy. We all have so much light to share and there is never a need to waste it where it is not valued!



            Somewhere between waking and sleeping I heard a spirit speak to me for the first time. I was about nine years old, lying in my bed at night in the room I shared with my older sister. It was a middle-aged man reciting a sonnet in the elegance and formality of the King’s English. I had no idea why this was happening, but I knew it was something special. My sister was asleep in her bed on the other side of the room. I had to be careful not to wake her, but I also knew that if I didn’t grab a writing utensil and record what I was hearing, no one would believe me. Even at that age it was clear this was beyond the norm. I searched desperately for paper and pen or pencil (this was long before the personal computer era), but to no avail. Despite my efforts, I was not only unsuccessful in locating a writing instrument in the dark, but also realized that the voice had faded amidst my interruption and was by then completely gone. I was not able to recall a single word of what I heard, but it made an impression on me. Even at that young age, I knew that this presence had somehow gracefully entered into my awareness from a distant place.
            The veil between the dimensions where we exist and of those on the spirit plane is thinner than we realize. My childhood experience was a testament to that. I never mentioned this incident to anyone. It neither frightened me nor did it feel wrong and I accepted the phenomena as natural. With hindsight I understand that I was open and this allowed a visitation from a benevolent spirit. In my book, Contact Your Spirit Guides, I provide specific instruction in how to insure that we are calling in spirits of the highest frequency. Nevertheless, I present this example to help explain how close the spirit world is to us. We just need to be open. As a child I did not have filters and this allowed an ease of entry for my early spirit visitors. We all know about the classic “invisible friend” that children sometimes have. They have not yet been taught to believe that it isn’t real.
            We do not enter this world unequipped to find our way. Our spirit family is always silently walking by our side. Loving and far-seeing spirits are a part of the higher intelligence of a guidance system we are born with, directing and inspiring us along the way. Without question, there are myriad ways for an individual to find clarity and inspiration. Knowing that our spirit guides are with us is one of those ways. The information from our authentic spirit guides will touch us in a manner that bypasses our intellect. Simply put, it reaches the heart. This is why knowing that our guides are with us can change how a person walks their journey in life.


Why don’t you ask your Guides for help?

When seeing me struggling with an issue, a good friend of mine used to say, why don’t you ask your Guides for help? Naturally, this would always stop me in my tracks. Of all people, shouldn’t I remember to do this? Yet, it is easy to get stuck in tunnel vision, thinking that we are the ones that have to resolve our issues. I see this often; the tendency to get trapped in a hamster’s wheel of inner conflict. It is the illusion that we can figure out a life-path problem only with our minds.

This is not to diminish the power of our intellect. It is simply that the brain is not the source of our souls’ agenda. Therefore to circle around in our linear-thinking minds for solutions to non-linear issues is pointless. In fact, as we probably all have experienced, letting go and handing it over (to our Source/God/Creator, etc) often clears the way for a seemingly miraculous solution.

It is as if we are all on a retraining course to learn how to live our lives on a higher plane. It is ironic that the most natural thing (to trust the highest) is often the thing we resist the most. My sense, from over 30 years of doing channeling work, is that we are evolving into an awareness of our oneness with Source. Yet, it is not sufficient to have a philosophical belief in this. We must do the daily work of raising our consciousness. More often than not, the real effort is not adopting a new belief, as much as it is letting go of the clutter and confusion that intercepts the organic experience of a higher reality.

In other words, we don’t have to strive for ascension. We simply need to clear away the debris that keeps us from the empirical knowledge of a higher truth. One of my earliest painting teachers taught me the 19th century adage, less is more. Although she meant don’t overdo ones’ painting, it applies to everything in life, especially over-thinking, over-striving, over-doing.

This brings me back full-circle; if we remember that we are already connected to Source, the path gets easier, the way forward clearer, and the support more apparent.



I always want to write something for my newsletter that is inspiring and genuine. I started and stopped writing this post several times (Saturn is opposing my sun – don’t ask). How do I write from an authentic place and yet remain discreet about my personal affairs? I hold the belief that our external reality is always, without exception, a reflection of the interior. Therefore the “story” is just the wrapping paper that covers the real gift inside.

This does not mean that we are always the direct causal source of whatever is happening in our lives (at least not in a strictly linear sense). At the same time, our life challenges aren’t arbitrary. This is why I don’t subscribe to the notion that we are victims of circumstance. There is a karmic agenda that we all have, both of the “good” and “bad” kind. Not that I think we should label karma as either good or bad. When life aligns harmoniously, we often refer to those conditions as blessings. When it doesn’t, seeing it as a karmic challenge can be instrumental in facing the obstacle. Why? Because then we take responsibility for the issue at hand. This gives us the power to face that thing and pierce through the illusion of whatever it is pretending to be. Otherwise we remain powerless over the circumstance.

The danger zone (for me) is what I have always called the “woe is me” syndrome. I had a client (and dear friend) that passed away a while back. We used to joke that whenever we were feeling sorry for ourselves, we would go to an imaginary room where sorrowful violin music was playing and all the attendees sat around crying (the pity party).

Facing demanding karmic challenges has been an ongoing occurrence for me in recent years. I have to start the day in prayers and meditations, hand over to Source whatever plagues me, and stay fully present. Some good, strong coffee doesn’t hurt either.
I don’t like to discuss the details of these ongoing karmic challenges for two reasons:
  1. There is nothing I dislike more than someone offering advice on how to “fix” my problems. This always feels like the person doesn’t really hear me (most of the time we just need empathy, not to be “fixed”).
  2. I believe the outer “story” or manifestation is only that; a reflection of a deep internal journey we all walk.
All of the above being said, I realize that I have the inner power and endless blessings to face these karmic agendas. Am I always masterful at it? Absolutely not. Do I struggle inwardly? Frequently. What I do have is this next moment in front of me that is the opportunity for grace to be present. Sometimes that is all that I know.

A Clear State of Heart and Mind

It is a cliché to say that every moment is precious, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Spirit teaches that if we can appreciate each of these continuous moments called life it will bring us to a more expansive and clear state of heart and mind. We have long been indoctrinated to believe that clarity is found though our thoughts. Yet, this is not the function of the mind that stores information, memories, beliefs and ideas. Our brain is a vast data base of both empirical and learned information. But its job is not to bring us the kind of clarity that can only be accessed at the soul level. The mind functions to gather and organize information but it cannot align us with our higher, soul-intelligence.

Why then, do we so often run in circles mentally when attempting to resolve an important issue (of any kind) by relying entirely on our thoughts? Because the answer to life’s most important questions aren’t located there. It would be another too often used cliché to state that the answers we seek reside in our heart. And yet, that too is true. The question would then be, how do we maintain our connection to this part of us we metaphorically refer to as our spiritual center?

Spirit advises that we need to extricate ourselves from (lifetimes of) old habits of scrambling around in our brain looking for clarity. This means having a different relationship with time, space, and life in general. It means that we have to understand that our authentic relationship with our Source/Higher Self/Spirit resides only in the moment. When we are doing mental gymnastics in our mind, we are not fully present. The requirement then, is to take the time to extricate ourselves from the siege of mental debate and return to our breath/soul/inner self.

This is only a challenge if our conditioned habit is to seek answers from our minds and not our souls. It means that a change of priority in one’s life is probably necessary. In other words, if one only seeks out the inner self during moments of desperation, then that individual is living an unclear life. If we root our consciousness in the soul daily (however one chooses), then there is a greater likelihood of intuition and clarity on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, letting go of the struggle is a relief. It creates the energetic space for the answers to appear before us. The answers that were always there all along.