Now back to the story of how I ended up where I am today....
After the Lily Dale trip, I began to read. I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on from Sylvia Browne to John Edwards and an obscure book by Howard Storm. EVERYTHING!! I felt I needed to understand what I was experiencing and my family could only help me to a point. I also began scouring the web for metaphysical shops and classes.
It was during my searching when I found an incredible opportunity. James Van Praagh was going to be in Lily Dale! My aunt, mother and I (beginning to see a theme) purchased our tickets, packed ourselves up in the car and made our way back down to Lily Dale.
It was a rainy day, but over six hundred people filled the auditorium that day. It was packed and we waited in line for over an hour, in mud up past our ankles, for the session. It was worth it. During the session, James Van Praagh passed several messages, but the majority of the lecture was him working with the audience and teaching US how to pass messages. I paired up with a stranger sitting next to me, and for the first time passed a message!
Being able to pass the message was exciting, surprising easy and fun. To my chagrin, it was also ACCURATE! The other thing that surprised me was while passing the message the headache, which had been constant since my accident, went away.
From there, I threw myself into classes. Prior to my experience with James Van Praagh, I’d taken a few meditation classes, but now I was drawn to take more. And I did.
With the support of my mother and aunt, not only did they cart me to and from each class but also attended many with me. As a result, just a little more than a year after I passed my first message in the auditorium of Lily Dale, my headaches were almost completely gone and I participated as a reader at my first psychic fair!
It’s been an interesting and bumpy road, but I wouldn’t trade a day of it in. There are many people along the way who have helped me in my journey and there will be many many more. As, I’m still on the road to spiritual healing, perhaps better described as personal enlightenment.
Today my husband and I celebrate our fourth anniversary. We truly believe that spirit has played a significant role in our relationship – from our meeting and engagement (stories for another time… for as my best friend says, “You know it’s a good story when it takes at least three people to tell it right!”) through to our wedding and the last four years. Then again, we invited spirit in.
On to today’s tale!
Upon our engagement, to assist Don and I in determining the best day to get married, we consulted two talented astrologers for their advice. Fortunately, a date selected by them coincided with a time my father and step-mother were already planning on being in Buffalo!! So without hesitation we moved quickly to plan the affair as the selected date, August 23rd, was only two months away!
Don and I really wanted a small wedding. Prior to being engaged I never understood the need for a big, elaborate wedding and had even gone as far to joke that IF I were to get married (I never saw myself as the marrying type) I’d elope. But, when it came down to it, we didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So in two months time, we planned three days of wedding events: a blessing ceremony which mimicked a traditional wedding reception with our closest friends and family, the only caveat - WE WERE NOT MARRIED YET; a backyard barbeque where we invited all our friends and family, NO ONE was left out with over 300 invitations being sent; and, the actual commitment ceremony where Don and I were able to do it OUR way.
As with any wedding weekend there were some hiccups and disappointments, but overall it was truly beautiful. Family members still say it was one of the best (and most unique) weddings they’ve been to in awhile. People loved the music (Friday night we hired Nick Battistella who croons to songs by the Rat Pack and Saturday we were serenaded by Total Eclipse, a local cover band who even allowed Don’s Best Woman, Chris, to get in on the action and knock out a song on the drums); others loved the caricaturist who did pictures for wedding favors; others continue to comment on the beautiful invitations designed and created by my good friend Teresa, the proprietor of Willow Branch creations; others it was some the cheesecake from Say Cheesecake; and, others just appreciated the flowing spirits and hired bartender (it’s not an Irish wedding without an open bar!)… The one aspect that EVERYONE remembers and reflects upon however is the GEESE.
After the Friday and Saturday celebrations, on Sunday morning we had an intimate ceremony in Yates Park (aka Green Lake) conducted by one of my best friends, Reverend Amie Michaels. We hadn’t arranged a place, but were glad to see that the small gazebo next to the water that sat about twelve (perfect for our guests) was empty. It was there that we exchanged vows.
As we professed our love and commitment, the wind picked up slightly and just as we were saying our final “I dos” not one, but TWO flocks of geese flew overhead. Everyone present scrambled to get a picture… for we all knew it was something special.
We have taken the geese as a sign that spirit was blessing our union as a goose is a symbol of marital fidelity for a goose never leaves one of its own kind behind. Should a goose become injured during its migratory trek, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with its partner. This goose will stay with the injured until s/he has recovered or until its final breath. As such, Don and I knew this marriage was for the long haul.
Now four years in, we’ve had ups and downs in the road. But we always keep the geese in mind and one of us is struggling, the other stands by and helps the other. As I say to Don when he annoys me, “Oh goodness… at least it’s only for the rest of YOUR life…” which hopefully will be longer than shorter.
Rather than continuing the monologue of how I got to where I am, today I’m going to digress a bit and share a more recent tale.
A couple of weeks ago, Don (my husband), Kathy (a friend and teacher), and Kim (a friend and student) along with her husband and two year old son, decided to spend the day in Lily Dale. We all had different goals for the day: Kim wanted to introduce her husband to Lily Dale as he’d never been; her husband, a skeptic who tries his darnedest to support his wife on her spiritual path but struggles to align her beliefs with his own wanted to see what it was all about and perhaps get the sign he has apprehensively been asking to receive; Kathy will be teaching a class in Lily Dale in a couple of weeks and wanted to scope out the Lyceum building as this will be the first time she’s taught in there; I wanted to soak in the energy and just relax; and, Don never passes up an opportunity to go to Lily Dale – he likes to be reminded of the first time we met. So off we went, and we certainly lucked out! It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day!
Meeting up at just around noon, we planned to go to the healing service. Being a beautiful day and a weekend, Lily Dale was busy. Making our way towards the healing temple, we realized it was standing room only!! Rather than wait with a tired two-year-old to even get in to the temple and then our turn for healing, we decided to walk around and grab a bite to eat, including Cup of Joe’s famous Lavender Cookies!! My favorite!!
After lunch, we made our way to the 1:30pm service at Inspiration Stump. While walking down the path to Inspiration Stump, I informed my crew (and Spirit) that I would not be volunteering to serve that day. My reasoning, “I’m not working today. Today it’s all about me. It’s Sunday and after all, even GOD rested on Sunday.” Kim’s husband chuckled and remarked, “Have you told THEM that.”
Albeit a skeptic, he knows Spirit’s antics all too well. And although I had informed Spirit, that didn’t mean that Spirit would actually listen. And sure enough, they didn’t. During the service, there were four pesky spirits that would just not let up. One medium after another got up and as each one connected with different visitors, the ones that could tell I was a medium, got LOUDER. So loud in fact, Don turned to me and said, “Dawn, you either need to volunteer to work or tell them to go away. They are bothering ME now.”
And so I did. In my best teacher/mommy voice, I told them to stop. And all but one did.
She would not, despite my urging, go away. This middle-aged woman was relentless and desperately wanted to talk to a woman in a purple on the other side of the glade. As the service came to a close, I considered going up to the woman in purple to let her know her mother was here and pass whatever message she had. This is against Lily Dale rules and a big no-no as I am not a registered medium. But, I was willing to take the risk because I really wanted to get this woman to go away!! She was loud, pushy and a little obnoxious. But alas… when I looked for the woman in purple she disappeared in the sea of people.
Walking out of the forest, we discussed the service. I mentioned the noisy woman and her daughter in purple, surprised that a message had not been passed. At which point the woman, who was still walking with me said, “Find her. I want to talk to Vivie!” My jaw dropped, I realized at that moment I knew exactly who the message was for. This woman was there for Vivie, a woman my best friend had worked and I haven’t seen since my friend’s wedding five years ago!! Was it really possible that she could be in Lily Dale?
I pondered this as we walked. During our wandering, we passed the woman I knew the message was for. Unfortunately, she had her head in her phone and I couldn’t tell whether it really was Vivie, the woman I knew or not. I kept walking, despite the Spirit’s frustration. I did not want to approach a stranger with a message – I was no longer at Inspiration Stump and as such didn’t have the conviction to go against Lily Dale Rules. Approaching someone with a message without permission is also against my personal code of conduct. It’s like eavesdropping!! And anyone who knows me knows, it’s a big no-no!
So we continued on with our day, going to the labyrinth, the medicine wheel, the fairy trail and the museum. As it began to get close to dinner, we decided to part ways with our friends and head home. As we began our way to the car, the woman again started screaming in my ear. At which point I looked up and who was walking towards me, it was VIVIE!!
As we made our way towards each other, I called out “Vivie?” She approached, squinting at first, and responded, “Oh my goodness, Dawn IT IS YOU! It’s so good to see you. I’ve had this feeling that you would be here today and that I’d run into you.”
We spoke for a few minutes, chit chatting and catching up. At which point I let her know her mother was with her. Vivie responded that she knew and that she had a wonderful reading with a registered medium that brought her mom through loud and clear. And finally, the mother brought her daughter and I together, which was part of her plan. We chuckled and parted our ways. Her mother finally went with her and was gone.
I had gone to Lily Dale that day to have a peaceful, relaxing, “work-free” day. At first, I was a little annoyed that Spirit did not respect my wishes. But, when they revealed their message, I realized I got something so much more.
That day in Lily Dale, Spirit reminded me how we are all interconnected. There are no coincidences. That day I didn’t have a message for Vivie, SHE had a message for ME. Her knowing that I would be there demonstrated to me our interconnectedness and how messages resonate in each and every one of us. You don’t have to be a medium to talk with Spirit, all you have to be is open and willing to listen. Which Vivie was, I for a long time that day was not. But, by listening with your heart to Spirit, others and ourselves we gain strength and our wisdom. We also feed our soul. Thank you, Spirit, for reminding me of this valuable lesson.
After my accident, I was blessed with a group of talented and caring physical, occupational, speech, vision and emotional therapists. With time and their help, besides visual deficits and headaches, I was able to heal physically and emotionally. Which considering where I began, was truly a miracle.
The recognition of the miracle of my survival and recovery lent to some spiritual healing, however the need for spiritual healing tended to be overlooked by my team of medical practitioners. As my gift became more and more prominent, it became clear to my mother, my strongest advocate, that to heal further I’d need to heal my spirit. This journey began with a trip to Lily Dale.
It was a cold day as the end of March, when my mother, aunt and I made the hour trek down to Lily Dale to sit with a medium who had come highly recommended. It had been years since any of us had been to Lily Dale! As we pulled through the gates and made our way down the narrow streets, which were even skinnier that day due to the waist high piles of snow on either side of the street, our hearts sang.
Excited, anxious and a little nervous, when we got to our readers home it was decided that I should go first. Besides a palm reading I had done during Spring Fest in college, which was a HORRIBLE experience and the reason why I refuse to learn palmistry, this was my first reading. Family members had talked about their previous readings, so I thought maybe my grandfather or grandmother or Uncle Dennis would come through and I hoped I’d get some insights on my future, but I truly did not know what to expect.
My grandfather and grandmother did visit that day, and since then they almost always do. But there was another person who stepped in as well, one that I never expected. And he wanted to talk first.
Who came through you ask? A college friend, Chip. And what he had to say shook me to the core. It changed my life.
February 4th was a tough day for the Greek Community at my college. Not one, but two tragedies occurred: my accident, which in comparison was minor, and Chip’s suicide.
Over the years I had thought of him often. It never crossed my mind that he would have something to say to me, but he sure did. Everything he said did not make sense in the moment I received the reading. I was shocked. I was scared. I was confused. I was emotional. But as it sank in and I had time to reflect, the reading the medium gave me was profound and facilitated the release some of the long-standing pain and guilt. Chip spoke to my soul that day and with that my spirit began to heal.
-Come back later this week for part 2
Most seekers of spirituality, be it experienced mediums and healers or “newbies,” will tell you their journey began as a result of a traumatic event. The traumatic event may have been a death, an injury, an illness or other some tragedy, whatever it is it left them with the feeling that there is “something more” and a desire to understand what that more is.
My traumatic experience occurred on Monday, February 4, 2002 at approximately 11:30am. I was a first semester senior at Allegheny College. That morning I had to make the 30 minute trek to Erie to pick up my oboe from the instrument repair shop for band that afternoon. It was a little snowy when I started my trek at about 10am, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I grew up in Buffalo after all!
At about 10:40, it took me a little longer to get to Erie because of the snow, I picked my oboe up from the music store. Upon my departure I commented to the manager behind the counter, “Be careful today. It’s a little slick out there today!” Those words have haunted me for they were a harbinger for what was to come.
Leaving Erie that morning I breathed a sigh of relief for the snow seemed to be letting up. It had been a worse drive up than I expected and my nerves were shot, but I was from Buffalo, the snow was letting up so I assumed I would make it back to Allegheny in time for my next class.
On my way down 79S, just past Edinboro, the snow got worse causing me (and many others on the road) to slow down to about 45 and put on the blinkers. Less than ten miles from Meadville and just after the Saegertown/Conneautville exit, it happened.
All I remember is seeing something gold. For the longest time I believed it to be a gold car, however there was no gold care in the accident report. After that, it’s fleeting memories of the hospital. Most of which I believe to come from those who were there.
From what the accident architect could deduce, I was hit by two 18-wheelers and ricocheted off a third. It began with two trucks behind me losing control and somehow pinning me between them. My car, Petunia a Nissan Altima, was then pushed into a truck that had pulled over on the side of the road due to the inclement weather. After bouncing off of that truck, my car spun around and slid under one truck which sheared the top of the car off (I finally had the convertible I’d always wanted). At which point the car stopped at which point the second 18 wheeler, a flat bed carrying industrial metal piping, tipped and dumped its load on my car.
A total of eight cars were involved in the accident. And fortunately, only one was injured. Me.
But, considering the rescue teams thought I was a goner, I was fortunate. I didn’t break any bones, but I did have a significant head injury. It took me years of intensive occupational, speech, physical and vison therapy to get me where I am today.
I also, at that time, lost the ability to shut out spirit. Suddenly, they were everywhere. The sorority sisters that visited me in the hospital have spoken of my somewhat incoherent blubbering about ghosts and spirits in the ER. That was only the beginning. That was also when the headaches began.
Dawn Lynn is an EveryDay medium. She lives and breathes via her intuition, which as a fourth generation intuitive from a family of Spiritualists came easily. Her abilities became apparent in early childhood and were cultured by a supportive family. Through her Blogs and Vlogs, she wants to help you become the EveryDay medium too.