Tag Archives: Ancestral healing

Heirlooms and Ancestors

Priceless heirlooms or burdensome dust collectors? How you feel about family heirlooms can tell you a lot about yourself and your ancestral history.

I saw an article online recently about how the younger generation isn’t interested in family heirlooms. I’m both scandalized by and understanding of that attitude. I think that’s something that evolves if you manage to live long enough. From the perspective of ancestral healing, the question takes on a new depth.


When you ask yourself how you feel about heirlooms, it can tell you a lot about family behavior patterns that you might not have considered before. So ask yourself, depending on which side of the coin you favor:

Why do you feel that heirlooms must be passed on? Do you feel that your ancestors’ stories can be kept alive by bequeathing the items they owned to their descendants? Or, are you more interested in their value as antiques? If your heirlooms were destroyed or stolen, which flavor of loss you would feel?

OR

Why aren’t you interested in taking on the responsibility of family heirlooms? Is it about not cluttering up your house with relatively (no pun intended) meaningless stuff? Do you see it as a bunch of old crap that belonged to people you never knew (or cared about)? Do you move too often and don’t have a stable place to store or display them? What are your thoughts?

When I asked myself about my family’s heirlooms, which I now treasure, here’s what I realized:

When I was a kid, I was interested when family lore was shared, but that didn’t happen often. I didn’t feel a great sense of connection with my ancestors. All I knew was my mom’s dad immigrated from Scotland and my dad’s dad came from Malta. Both of my grandmas were born in the US and I didn’t know their nationalities. I don’t recall any heirlooms on display in our house. I learned years later that they were stored in a box in the attic.

As I grew up, as the only girl, my mom started talking about passing her china and silver down to me. And, as my mom grew older and more affluent, she began collecting things of her own that would be heirlooms for future generations. She had an exquisite collection of trinket boxes and Royal Albert style bone china teacups that she wouldn’t allow anyone to touch. They stayed behind glass in lighted display cases.

Mom would get mad at me because, in her eyes, I was too irresponsible to take care of all these things if she suddenly died. I was young and moved around a lot, I struggled to make ends meet, and the last thing I wanted to think about was taking care of a bunch of meaningless stuff that would someday be foisted on me. To worry about teacups and trinket boxes seemed almost insulting when I couldn’t afford to get my kids vaccinated to prevent them being expelled from elementary school. The guilt trips I received over my inability to take care of things I didn’t want or ask for were insane (I took the guilt trips to heart at the time … I only see the insanity now, in retrospect).

There is almost nothing from my dad’s side of the family. I didn’t know his parents well, as we lived in another state, and we called them by the formal names Grandmother and Grandfather. As far as heirlooms go, there’s only a decorative plate that belonged to Grandmother, who gave it to my mom as a thank you gift for doing her hair for a special occasion. Grandmother died when I was six and we didn’t visit Grandfather often. My most vivid memory of him was his gorgeous Maltese accent, which he never lost after seventy years in this country, and he called me “Leeza”. Oddly, just remembering the sound of his voice brings tears to my eyes.

As Mom got old, after Dad died, I knew that I’d be inheriting these things sooner rather than later. By this time, I had become keenly interested (obsessed, actually) with genealogy and starved for information about my ancestors. I wanted to know the stories behind the heirlooms. Who did they belong to? Where did they come from?

For reasons known only to her, Mom clammed up. I would say to her, “How about if you and I spend some time together cataloging your collectibles? I’ll take pictures of everything and you tell me their stories. That way, the information can be passed on for generations.” She always put me off, and refused to tell me.

This is the cup and saucer that my grandma smuggled into the US, one of my favorite stories about her.

She took that information with her when she died. The only story she ever shared was about a teacup and saucer that my grandma smuggled into the US from Canada. She hid the saucer against her belly, beneath her girdle, and the cup beneath her bra. I thought this was a marvelous story and I treasure it and the cup and saucer.

When I’d ask, as a youngster, to use one of the teacups she’d say in a reverent tone, “No, that’s very expensive!”

In reality, they weren’t very expensive. Yes, Royal Albert was a grade or twelve above what we used in daily life, but what she was saying was she didn’t trust me to not break her valuable things. She continued this distrust when she got so mad at me for not settling down into the kind of life she lived, with her house in the suburbs and a safe space to store stuff.

I still don’t know why she wouldn’t tell me the history of the items. I suspect it’s because, in her elder years, she became miserly and felt like everyone wanted to take her things. She felt put upon and taken advantage of, which was truly not the case. No one in the family deliberately did this to her. Everyone was respectful of her things and her fears. I can only assume that this was a buried psychic pattern, an ancestral wound.

Mom valued things for their monetary value and I treasure them for their stories. It breaks my heart that I’ll never know the origins of many of the items.

I’ve chosen to explore this aspect of my mom’s psyche because if she had this bent perspective, so do I, even it’s expressed in a different way. She expressed the dysfunctional pattern as a fear of people taking her things, but it expresses in me as “I’m not good enough, mature enough, responsible enough to take care of very expensive things.”

Perhaps that’s why I choose to look at these very expensive things as stories, instead. I’m a great caretaker of stories. Maybe that’s what made me the family historian. It’s not about the money spent, it’s about the people who spent it.

Now that I’m in possession of a portion of Mom’s collectibles, I keep her teacup collection in her display case, which I inherited. I make a deliberate point of inviting my kids and grandkids to carefully choose a cup for a spot of tea, which I make in my own teapot that I hope someday my kids will fight over inheriting, instead of dreading having to store their mom’s old crap.

My way of breaking this pattern, aside from allowing the kids to respectfully use the teacups, was demonstrated recently on my granddaughter’s 21st birthday. She and I have spent many afternoons sipping tea and eating scones together, and she’s beginning to collect household items for her first apartment. With this in mind, her birthday gift was her very own Royal Albert teapot set, in a design pattern that fits her personality.

I hope she’ll pass her tea set along to her progeny as an heirloom of her own, along with the teacup my grandma smuggled in from Canada in her bra, and the “Feed the Birds” cup that I bought at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and all the other items I’ve told her stories about …


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author whose “day job” is as a Program Host at The Shift Network, where she hosts summits on ancestral healing, life after death, and intuition and medicine.

Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

I’m not *that* bad! Are you?

Albrecht Dürer woodcut, The Penitent

Dig this: I’m not a bad enough person to feel as bad as I once did. While I’m not perfect, I’ve never caused enough harm to deserve the levels of guilt and anxiety I’ve dealt with most of my life. In order to feel this much guilt and fear of punishment, I would have had to commit a heinous crime. Guess what … not guilty.


So where do these unwanted feelings of unwarranted unworthiness come from? Societal conditioning? Brain washing by Madison Avenue and/or the Illuminati? Past life karma?

Or, it could come from ancestral trauma. The science of epigenetics has proven that traumatic events, which cause a fight-or-flight reaction, can change the way our genes express themselves. This physical manifestation of PTSD gets passed down through the generations. Here’s just one article explaining how it works, if you want more information. As the host of three annual Ancestral Healing Summits for The Shift Network, I’ve interviewed a ton of experts who agree on this so, for me, this is not in question.

My session airs Thursday, February 25, 1pm Pacific, and will stream free for 48 hours after.

Ancestral trauma can kink your hose in ways you don’t even realize. In fact, in my own session of this year’s Ancestral Healing Summit, the awesome Nick Mattos and I talk about how to rediscover and reawaken your magical heritage by looking into your ancestral past, to discover where/how your connection to your gifts might have been broken.

For clarity, when I used the words magical heritage, I’m talking about natural gifts and abilities that we all have, things like a green thumb or a knack for cooking, crafting, or even healing and intuitive abilities. Sharing these gifts in communities are how humankind survived for as long as we have before technology made life so much … ahem … easier. These skills were often the causes of accusations of witchcraft which, as we know, resulted in some pretty heinous behavior.

But because many of our gifts have been oppressed, we may not even know we have them. Or, we may be aware of them, but are afraid to demonstrate them for fear of reprisals or rejections.

You should check out the Summit. I had some amazing conversations with some amazing people, who had amazing information to share. It airs free during the week of February 22-26. My session airs at Thursday, February 25 at 1pm Pacific time, and will stream free for 48 hours after that.

And, at the risk of sounding like a crummy commercial, I also talk at the end of my interview with Nick about a new project I’ve been working on with the lovely and talented Carrie Paris. Since discovering her Relative Tarot and Oracle, I’ve become a big fan of her work. (Check out the interview I did with Carrie for Mind Yourself on the topic of communicating with ancestors.)

As Carrie and I got to know one another, she suggested that we combine our areas of expertise to create an oracle designed around ancestral healing, I jumped at the chance. Check out the Generations Oracle!

This divination kit (featuring Carrie’s gorgeous artistry), includes a reading cloth, casting charms, a pendulum, informational coins (based on the Lenormand oracle symbols) and an instruction booklet. Bring your own ancestors. We’ll be teaching classes in its use further down the road, so let me know if you’re interested in getting on the waiting list by subscribing to my blog. That will be the best way to stay in the loop.

Anyway, back to ancestral healing … I’ve talked about this elsewhere, but it bears repeating. By doing this work, I feel so much less existential guilt and anxiety. I understand my mom — the unintentional source of some of my pain — so much better. I grok how her family history dented her in ways that were beyond her ability to cope, or even repair without a lot of inner work. And people in previous generations didn’t know about the kinds of inner work we’re used to these day.

I see, now, how she felt as bad about herself — worse actually — than I did before embarking on my own inner work. She was, by all accounts, a good person who loved her family. She was a good mom. But she was screwed up by her family story, and passed it on to me … which I passed on to my kids, and they passed on to their kids …

What happened in my mom’s lineage to break her in just this way? I’m still scratching the surface (in fact, I’m writing a novel based on the fascinating story I discovered in my mom’s ancestral history about witch trials and mine explosions), but I can say, without a doubt, that her father experienced numerous mind-bending traumas in a very short time frame, at a fairly young age. He didn’t stand a chance to be a healthy individual, much less a healthy parent. The pain he was in could have easily caused my mom to feel the way she did, and for me to feel how I felt, and my kids, and their kids …

I’ve been working with my mom’s father’s ancestors because, in triage order, this branch needs attention more than the others — it’s the most wounded. Since beginning this exploration, my physical and mental health have improved tremendously. I used to keep my bottle of Xanax with me at all times, just in case. Now, I only rarely feel anxiety intense enough to medicate myself. That, in itself, is a tremendous shift.

What about you? Do you see anything in yourself, like this, that just doesn’t make sense until you look at your ancestral history? I’d love to read your stories in the Comments.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Miraculous acknowledgment of WWI ancestor on 11/11

A commemorative coin I picked up in Saltcoats, Scotland, 2019

It’s 11/11, Veterans Day in the United States. For many New Agers, seeing all ones on the calendar or clock has an angelic meaning, especially at 11:11 on 11/11. In fact, I just happened to be awake at 1:11 this morning and took a screen shot on my phone. Today, however, I’m reminded of something that happened over a hundred years ago — the celebration of Armistice Day and the end of WWI — and I’ve got a marvelous story to tell about synchronicity and an honored ancestor.

My mom’s paternal ancestry is wholly Scottish and her grandmother Helen’s little brother, Buchan Littlejohn, was my second great uncle. Helen raised Buchan and her four younger siblings after their mother died when Helen was fourteen and Buchan was four.

Kilmarnock Standard, November 4, 1916

Buchan joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers shortly after WWI was declared. A Lance Corporal, he was wounded and sent home in July 1915. He spent eight months convalescing before being sent to France in March 1916. He was killed in the attack on Bayonet Trench, Battle of the Somme, October 12, 1916 and buried at the A.I.F. Burial Ground in France.

As both parents had died by that time, Helen was listed as his next of kin on his military records. The military dispersed Buchan’s belongings to her and their other siblings.

WWI Monument, Dreghorn Scotland

When my husband, brother and I visited Scotland last summer, we made a special point of digging up as much information on Buchan as we could find. As there was no local grave to visit, we climbed a steep hill in Dreghorn to find this monument with Buchan’s name on it. He’s listed here with other young men from the area who were killed in the “Great War”. He was only 22.

Short of taking a trip to France to visit his grave, I thought that was the end of the information I could find about my great-grandma’s baby brother. I was wrong.

A few months ago, I found a message in my Ancestry.com inbox from someone named Rita, asking if anyone in my family had ever lived in Tacoma, Washington. She and her husband Roger had found something on their property there, when building their house fifty years ago, and had always wondered how it got there. With the advancements in technology since then, she was finally able to make a real effort to track it down.

What they had found was a Next of Kin Memorial Plaque (also known as a Dead Man’s Penny) with Buchan’s name on it. While this made me tingle with excitement, I had no idea how it could have gotten all the way to the far west coast of the United States.

Helen and her family emigrated to Utah in the early 1920s. She would have received the plaque, as next of kin, in 1919 when they were awarded by King George. She would have brought it with her to Utah, where they settled in the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Carbon County, where three of her older brothers lived and had risen in rank to be foremen and supervisors at various mines in Carbon County.

Helen died shortly after arriving in the States, at the tragically young age of 39. Her husband died six months later, leaving their kids orphaned. Their children all eventually ended up in Michigan. None ever lived in Washington state.

Rita and I corresponded for months, trying to solve the mystery. I chased down all sorts of loose threads on Ancestry.com. Some brought me to Washington state, as a few descendants of Helen’s brothers went west, but no one ended up in Tacoma.

Finally, a breakthrough happened when Ancestry popped up one of their famous “green leaf” hints. I discovered that Helen’s oldest brother’s daughter eventually settled in Tacoma, just a couple miles from Rita’s house. This brother, as head of the family in the US, must have assumed ownership of the plaque after the deaths of Helen and her husband. Helen’s niece, I assume, took possession of the plaque after her father died.

That’s as far as my search took me … just a few short miles away from Rita’s property. Further digging, though, showed me that the niece divorced and remarried. Her new husband just happened to own the property adjacent to Rita and Roger’s new land but because the niece took on her husband’s name, and no longer lived there, there was no way to connect the last name “Littlejohn” to anyone there.

As the niece had no children, the ancestral lineage stopped there. Rita, who has become a good friend, kindly and generously sent the plaque to me, and it hangs in a place of honor in my home.

It may have been my imagination, but the first time I held the plaque in my hands, knowing that it belonged to my great-grandmother — the only one of my great-grandparents I have no picture of — I swear I felt a ripple in time as I ran my fingers over Buchan’s engraved name. I’m quite sure Grandma Helen did the exact same thing, at least once.

Thank you, Rita and Roger, for helping to close the circle and bring Buchan’s memorial plaque back into the family, where he is still remembered and honored.

In loving memory of Buchan Littlejohn, 1894-1916, Lance Corporal – Machine Gun Squadron, Royal Scots Fusiliers

Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Mind Yourself: Communicating with the Ancestors — Carrie Paris and the Relative Tarot

Lisa’s interview with Carrie Paris is now online!

Sometimes the Big U hands you a surprise, and Carrie Paris was one of those! I’ve hosted the Ancestral Healing Summit for The Shift Network for two years and have been searching, all that time, for a divinitory tool to communicate with my own ancestors. While the people I’ve interviewed offered a plethora of ways to do so, my own preferred method is through oracle cards, but I was darned if I could find a deck that suited me.

Divine Timing must have been playing a role because, lo and behold, after this year’s summit interviews were completed, I happened upon Carrie Paris and her incredible Relative Tarot/Spirit Oracle boxed set. I told her how much I love them, how they truly speak to me like nothing else I’ve ever used, and I simply had to interview her.

So, in this episode of Mind Yourself, Carrie and I discuss communicating with our ancestors with the use of these truly magical cards. If you’re into ancestral healing, at all, you owe it to yourself to watch this interview.

The Relative Tarot is a traditional 78-card tarot deck (with extra cards). It also comes with an 80-card Spirit Oracle for ancestral communication and 60 page instructional booklet. Both decks come nested in a sturdy magnetic flip box. These cards are lux, yet easy to shuffle and edged with a dark tea stain. For a full glimpse of each card, check out the video walk-throughs from some of Carrie’s favorite YouTube channels. You can find them, and order the decks, at http://www.carrieparis.com

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION:
Lisa’s newest book, The Poppet Master, can be found here: http://www.thepoppetmaster.com

Visit http://www.MindYourselfTV.com for more video interviews with leaders in the field of human transformation.

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Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master is available wherever books are sold. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

 

Ancestral Synchronicity in Saltcoats, Scotland

The Saltcoats train and bus station, with connections to Glasgow, Ayr, Kilmarnock and many other places in Ayrshire.

Jeff and I parked the camper for two weeks in Saltcoats because their “holiday park” had the amenities we needed for such a long stay, and it was a centralized location, with a train station, for my genealogy research in Ayrshire. Little did I know, when I booked our spot months before we left the States, that I would also find ancestral connections there!

Saltcoats Town Hall

Saltcoats is a cute little town on the coast of the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland, just a short hop to Kilmarnock—where most of my research was to be done—and to Ayr and Glasgow, also places with ancestral connections.

My husband (Jeff), my brother (Mike) and I spent a lot of time bopping around the town on the days that I didn’t feel well enough to be out scouring the countryside for genealogy clues. There were plenty of pubs to keep us busy, including The Salt Cot, where the food and drinks were very affordable and downright delicious. They have a great system where you order by app from your table by giving your table number and paying for it on the app when you order. They were also one of the few places I found with Pimm’s readily available.

On the days I felt well enough to leave the camper, I certainly kept up with Jeff and Mike in the ale sampling, in spite of (or because of?) being sick with a head cold. One of my favorites pubs was the Windy Ha, where Rabbie Burns is said to have been a regular customer because he enjoyed the friendly atmosphere.

The Windy Ha, where Robert Burns is rumored to have been a regular.

There’s a framed print on the wall, inside, saying that Rabbie wrote his 1792 poem, Saw Ye Bonie Lesley, “while having a quiet drink” in the Windy Ha, about a local woman named Lesley, with whom he had fallen in love.

In addition to enjoying our unhurried time in Saltcoats, which allowed us a chance to soak in some genuine Scottish life, as opposed to hurrying from place to place or only visiting tourist sites, imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that my 3x great-grandfather, Alexander Garroch, lived in Saltcoats in his final years, according to the 1901 census.

Alexander is as far back as I can trace the Garroch name in my family tree. He was born around 1827 in Wigtownshire and, from what I can gather, was involved in a paternity suit in 1844 at age 17, while working as a farm laborer. He didn’t marry the girl, and she gave birth to a daughter. He married my 3x great-grandmother, Margaret, when she was 21 (he was 19). They had nine children in 15 years.

My 3x great-grandfather lived at this address at age 75, according to the 1901 census. He lived in many places throughout his life, but retired and probably died here.

Alex and Margaret eventually moved to Riccarton, near Kilmarnock, living for a while in a place called Bridgehouse Cathouse. I assumed, using American vernacular, that this meant it was a house if ill-repute, but my Scottish researcher friends were surprised at that and quickly assured me that it probably meant that there were just a lot of cats hanging out around that house. Many houses had descriptive names instead of street addresses. The local residents knew the houses by these names.

In 1861, they lived in the Gatehead Tollhouse, where Margaret was the toll keeper and Alex worked, again, as a farm laborer. She died in 1870 at the age of 45 and he remarried a woman named Jessie, with whom he eventually moved to Saltcoats and lived as a “Retired Ploughman” according to the census.

The most welcome ancestral connection, though, came in the form of meeting a living and breathing distant cousin, Sandra, who just happened to own a caravan at the same holiday park we were staying in. Sandra and I are related through our shared 5x great-grandmother, Grace Maxwell. Grace has been a brick wall for many of her ancestors, with a lot of different online family trees disagreeing about who her parents were. That mystery has finally been solved, but now her confirmed father, James Maxwell, is the new face of that brick wall.

I had a lovely chat with Sandra and her husband, Bobby, when they came to the park’s laundromat to keep me company as I tried valiantly to do two weeks worth of laundry. We talked like we’ve known one another for lifetimes. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos because I was distracted and looking pretty ragged, after so much traveling. The dryers weren’t working because the fish and chips shop next door had recently caught fire, so the gas was turned off in the building—meaning, no heat in the dryers!

But, just like family, Sandra and Bobby generously volunteered to take my wet laundry back to their house to dry it for me. Weeks later, as I write this, my heart still swells with gratitude for this huge favor. We had no way to get the wet clothes to another local laundromat (we couldn’t drive the camper, due to the diesel/unleaded fuel clusterboink) so I was screwed. My cousin’s willingness to help was such a godsend! Thank you, Sandra and Bobby!

And, of course, here’s you another dug (Scottish for dog), this one waiting for its people on the main drag in Saltcoats:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

 

 

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Ancestral messages delivered via involuntary altered states

This is what the sky looked like in Scotland much of the time we were there. It was windy, rainy and cold—not a good combination for an oncoming head/chest cold.

Almost immediately upon arriving in Scotland to begin the hunt for my ancestors, I caught a cold. Between adverse conditions and taking whatever cold/flu meds I could find in a country where I didn’t recognize the brands (no Nyquil or Sudafed*), my head was in an altered state for this journey.

My first reaction was panic, and then rage. I had been saving and planning for this trip for years and now it was about to be ruined. I had a schedule to keep, ancestral sites to visit and research to be done. Ain’t nobody got time for that. On top of that, the weather felt frosty, in spite of it being June, and I just couldn’t get warm.

I live in Arizona and, at home, summer means temps over 110 degrees. It was unseasonably cold in Scotland—the highs during most of our visit were only in the 50s, with thick clouds overhead, lots of rain and frigid winds. We were camping on the coast in a little town called Saltcoats, so the wind was gusting off the Firth of Clyde, adding a biting chill to the air.

I packed for the kind of summer I remembered from growing up in Indiana, where the average summer temp would be around 70, expecting that to be our experience in Scotland. But even the heavy sweatshirt I bought in London to wear under my jean jacket, once I realized I had underpacked, wasn’t enough to keep me warm.

This tiny bunk is where I slept and shivered with fever during our trip. I had a stock of nasal spray, tissues, ibuprofen and plenty of liquids tucked away in a corner near my head, along with a copy of Michael Caine’s book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, which I picked up at Tesco, in London.

As my teeth chattered from the fever, lying in my bunk in our camper, I was terrified. What if this gets worse? What if this goes from being an annoying cold to a full blown sickness, the kind that one needs to see a doctor or die? It can happen. I’ve been that sick in the past and I know what it feels like. This felt like it could turn into that.

Where was the nearest hospital? Where could I find a doctor if I needed one? What if that happened while I was a stranger in a strange land, stuck in a camper that had come to feel like a prison?

After all, we couldn’t drive it anywhere. Not only had Jeff accidentally put unleaded gas in the diesel tank (long story, but suffice to say in the UK, the unleaded pump is green, like diesel is in the States, and the nozzle fit in the tank, also unlike in the States where they’re different sizes) and we couldn’t drive it until we had it drained and refilled. And even if that weren’t a situation, he was still learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the very narrow roads and needed me as a co-pilot, and I was thoroughly unable to do that. We were immobile.

This is the view of Saltcoats from the bridge over the ScotRail train track, between the campground and the beach. Our camper is on the right and to get to any of the stores, which are mostly on the left side of the photo, is about a one mile walk. Surprisingly, being so close to the track wasn’t an issue. The trains were whisper silent.

The town itself was about a mile away from the campground so if we needed anything, we had to walk. I was in no condition to do so. Jeff would have to walk by himself and be gone for a long time, leaving me alone. So yeah, I was scared. Feverish and scared.

While I lay there shivering and half out of it, I received my first message, this one from my great-grandmother Helen: this is what it felt like for them, to get sick. Any illness was potentially deadly. And it was cold in their houses, up there in Scotland, in the days before electricity. This inability to stay warm was part of being sick for them.

Helen had 10 children, and only four lived. She knew the gut-wrenching terror that a fever could cause. She watched her babies die and then died, herself, at the young age of 38. Early death was a reality for them.

In modern times, if we’re privileged enough, we can pop a pill or go to the health food store for bone broth and echinacea tea (which I couldn’t find locally, either). Maybe we visit the local Urgent Care center, or even the Emergency Room, but at least we have these luxuries (those of us who can afford them, that is).

I also heard, loud and clear, that there was a reason I was sick. I had intended, planned and requested my ancestors’ help for a specific type of trip. I wasn’t just in Scotland to sight-see, I was there to walk in their footsteps, to pick up as many psychic impressions as I could and that couldn’t be done without being in a slightly altered state. I wasn’t so out of it that I was tripping, just enough to tilt my reality and allow for information to enter that would have otherwise been blocked by my rational mind.

See that brick building way in the distance? That was the bathroom/shower building. That’s how far I had to walk, in my weakened condition, to use the facilities because we were not using the camper toilet/shower. If I wasn’t sick, I might have grumbled occasionally about the long walk, but I was sick, so it became an issue. I realized, though, that this was part of it. My ancestors didn’t have indoor plumbing. They would have to walk to the community privy. Yes, even when they were sick.

Add to the illness the appearance of dark, cold and stormy weather, which was weirdly frightening. Also, we were so far north, and so close to the summer solstice, that the days were 17 hours long. That’s a lot of daylight for someone not used to it. Even though it was mostly cloudy, it was light when I went to sleep and when I woke up. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone and very open to feeling the echoes of the ghosts of the past, throughout the rest of the trip.

Fortunately, a few days after we got to Scotland, my brother Mike flew in from the States to meet us and hang out for a week (staying at a local B&B, with a rental car), and he’s a seasoned enough traveler to have brought Sudafed and Nyquil with him. He gave good advice on traveling while sick, and kept me well supplied and able to push through while feeling like crap.

Thank God, I didn’t end up getting desperately ill, but I did stay sick the rest of the time. I ended up going to my doctor a week after getting home, as I had developed a sinus infection. But I’m on the mend now and finally able to sit down and write a blog. I’ll be sharing more, in upcoming days, about the continuing series of synchronicities and messages I received from my ancestors.

(* I did eventually find Sudafed at a Boots pharmacy, once we were in Glasgow, but I couldn’t find it in Saltcoats.)

Also, here’s you another dug (dog, in Scottish)— this one was always tied up to a camper between ours and the bathroom:

That was one ferocious beast, barking its head off every time I’d walk past.


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Setting foot on ancestral land

This flag attached to the ceiling of the Tam O’Shanter Inn in Ayrshire, Scotland reminded me that I was in the land of “Freeeeeeeeeedom!!!”.

I knew, when I set off for Scotland, that I would come back changed. I knew that some “ancestral healing” would occur, because that was my intention. And, boy, did I get it … in spades!

For the first time, I set foot on Scottish soil—the land of my mom’s dad, and his folk for as far back as I can trace. I went because I’m that serious about  genealogy and because these people have a fascinating story. But mostly I wanted to figure out why my mom—who died last year—was chronically depressed, because she passed it on to me and I had to know: Did she inherit the gray gloom from them? And, did I have to inherit the gloom from her?

It makes sense that an inherent miasma of woe was passed down through this lineage, considering what happened to her own dad, William (called Willie, as a child—in his homeland, that’s pronounced “Wullie”).

On the right side of this photo taken in Coalburn, Scotland, there used to be a coal mine. My great-grandfather and his son Wullie, my granddad, used to walk to work down this road. I walked in their footsteps.

Wullie had a hard childhood, working in the coalmines as a teen, and then losing both of his parents before he turned 19, right after emigrating to the States and leaving everyone and everything he knew behind.

No wonder he couldn’t show love to his own kids, when he eventually had them. His ability to feel must have been blown to bits after his mom died of cancer and was buried on his eighteenth birthday, and his father was killed in a mine explosion just a few months later, leaving all four of their children orphaned in a strange land.

(Image Source) This photo was taken days before the March 8, 1924 explosion at Castle Gate Mine #2, in which my great-grandfather was killed. For all I know, he could be in this photo.

Wullie could have died alongside his father that day—he should have been in the mine, but was laid off because work was slow and he didn’t have a family yet. Men with families to support were allowed to work that day.

So, let’s add survivor’s guilt to an already very full plate. It’s no surprise that he was unable to connect emotionally with his children or his many wives, leaving my mom hurt and resentful through the end of her days.

If you want to talk about passing down depression, this is a pretty good place to start. Mom, even though she had a good life by normal standards, was never happy. No matter what she achieved, or what gorgeous possessions she surrounded herself with, she just couldn’t be happy for herself, or anyone else. In fact, many of us wouldn’t even tell her our own good news because she’d always find a way to look at the dark side and pee in our Wheaties.

I have a tendency to look at life the same way and have, therefore, been as deliberate as I can to instead view things in a positive light. In spite of these efforts, I have always been tortured by depressive thoughts. No matter how much I accomplished, no matter how nice a home I created, it just wasn’t enough to feel okay. That’s all I wanted—to just feel okay, and that’s not a very high bar. Even so, I couldn’t do it.

It didn’t start with my mom or Wullie, though. I experienced things in Scotland that showed me that they were just cogs in a very large wheel. I could write a book about how this trip has changed my outlook (in fact, don’t be surprised if you see it fictionalized one of these days). But because this is a blog and needs to be kept short, I’ll just say that these past few weeks of being put through the ancestral healing grinder have been truly transformative. I’ll tell more about it in the days to come, but this is enough for now. The story needs time to unfold.

I’ve been home less than 24 hours and my house feels both alien and familiar. Yes, this is the same place I’ve lived for a long while, and these are the things I’ve collected over the years, but I’m seeing it all like a hologram through prismic lenses.

Right now, I’m struggling to fit back into my old life without losing any of the expansion I’ve attained. It feels like trying to force myself into a pair of favorite shoes that I’ve grown out of over the past month. I loved those shoes, but my feet are bigger and I can’t wear them anymore.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thanket.

So, I’m stretching those shoes as I reminisce, unpacking my souvenirs and showering with the remains of the travel-sized soaps and shampoos. I’m hanging up the Rabbie Burns plaque that we bought in an antique shop in Ayr, and finding a place for the rock that I picked up in the parking lot at Stonehenge. I’m eating the last of the chocolate Weetabix that I brought home, and drinking my morning tea from the cup I bought in London on our first day there. This is all helping to assimilate old me into new me.

I’m changed. I’m more multidimensional. I’m bigger on the inside. I’m deeper and richer, and somehow … happy. So, the healing begins.

Stay tuned for more and here’s you a pair of Scottish dogs (or dugs, as they pronounce it there):

 


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Money … tickets … passport … holy water

We’re leaving tomorrow for our trip to the UK so it’s crunch time! Do I have everything? Money? Tickets? Passports? My sanity?


I’ve been planning this trip since 2013 and it feels like a lifetime. But now that we’re less than 24 hours from departure out of Phoenix, we’re zooming through time at the speed of light and if that isn’t enough to bend the time/space continuum, I don’t know what is.

It’s not just the physicality of what we’re doing … money, tickets, passport … that’s looming large. It’s the psychicality (is that a word? it is now!) that’s blowing my mind.

See, there’s a lot going on here. I’m not just going to fly across the Pond for the first time, I’m going to achieve a Bucket List event — visiting the glass-floored “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower. But even more importantly, I’m also doing research for two books, including genealogy research into a witch trial in my family’s past AND doing what I can to break the resulting curse.

Although I’m ecstatic that we’re going, I’m also on the verge of empathic overload. Those of you who have at least one foot consciously in the psychic realm will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those who don’t, I probably already lost you when I wrote about breaking curses.

But, for those of you who are still with me, I’m what some would call “overly sensitive” to the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s easy to sometimes lose track of where I end and the “external” world begins. So, therefore, all of what I’ll be doing over the next few weeks is a little overwhelming.

But I’ve learned, from many years of experience, to just put one foot in front of the other. And for today, that means … money, tickets, passports.

Before I go, here’s you a traveling dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Bucket Lists are scary as hell

Anyone who’s been reading my blog for any length of time knows that my biggest Bucket List item is to visit the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, England. Well, it’s FINALLY  about to happen and I’m freaking out!


I’ve been yearning for this since 2013 (and having psychic dreams about it for far longer). It’s taken years to materialize, no matter how much “Law of Attraction” work I’ve done. I realize now that there were some very good reasons for it to take so long.

In “New Age” speak, it’s because I didn’t vibe with it yet. I get that—I understand that “like attracts like” and I wasn’t “like” this yet. But understanding that didn’t make the waiting any easier.

Turns out there were things I didn’t know yet—important information that I needed before heading off on the second leg of the journey, to Scotland.

For example, I didn’t yet know about the Scottish curse on my family, or what to do about it (I’ll talk about that in another blog). I also didn’t know a lot of the things I’ve recently discovered in my genealogy research which I can only follow up on when I’m there, where the original records lie. If I had been able to make the Bucket List trip back when I first conceived of it, I would have completely missed out on my chance to easily visit these places.

The Blackpool Tower, on the coast of the Irish Sea.

It’s also clear now, when I look back at my original reasons for wanting to do this, that my motives have changed entirely. I didn’t realize then that the Blackpool Tower was merely acting as an antenna, drawing my undivided attention to the UK, but for much different purposes than I ever could have known back then.

However, the most important thing at this stage is my “Duh!” realization that Bucket List items are hard to attain—unlike everyday life—because they scare the crap out of you. I’m not big on facing fears head-on, hence the long delay.

The view, straight down, from the “Eye” of the Blackpool Tower. The Comedy Carpet is to the right, and the Irish Sea is just beyond that.

For some unknown reason, I’m drawn to the Blackpool Tower (which is similar to the Eiffel Tower) to ride to the top, step out onto the glass floor and look down at the Comedy Carpet. Then, while I’m up there, I’ll watch the sun set over the Irish Sea.

Have I mentioned that I’m terrified of heights?

I’m also afraid of flying across the ocean. I’m afraid of driving on the “wrong side” of the road. I’m afraid of being in another country, on the other side of the planet, and not having everything I need. The list of things that cause me crippling anxiety goes on and on.

And yet … I persisted.

I think the reason I’m finally able to go is because I’ve finally matured enough to do this. I have all of my research ducks in a row and I’m go for takeoff. I may still be terrified, but I’m now actually looking forward to facing these challenges.

I better be, because we’re leaving in a little over three weeks.

FINALLY!

Here’s you a scared dog:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com

Ancestral Healing and Generational Pattern Shifters

My interview with Heather Dane (Image Source)

I mentioned in my previous blog that I’m hosting the Ancestral Healing Summit for The Shift Network, which airs online (free) from April 8-12, and I’d like to talk today about Heather Dane, who offered a fascinating look into the concept of Generational Pattern Shifters.


Health Coach and 21st century medicine woman Heather Dane combines ancient wisdom from her Native American lineage (Haudenosaunee, Oneida Nation Member) with holistic health and nutrition training to offer the most cutting edge prescriptive remedies for your health. She has co-authored two books with Louise Hay: Loving Yourself to Great Health and The Bone Broth Secret: A Culinary Adventure in Health, Beauty and Longevity. She also hosts her own show on Hay House Radio.

She specializes in supporting people to resolve addictions, weight challenges, stress, chronic fatigue, depression, autoimmune illness, energetic sensitivity and much more, while enhancing their capacity for self-love and self-care.

Heather and I met a couple years ago when I was first beginning to get an inkling that there even was such a thing as ancestral healing. I had been fairly obsessed with genealogy as a hobby, and I was starting to recognize that there’s more to it than just finding out the names of ancestors … there were deeply meaningful patterns in the chaos. I didn’t realize anyone else was doing this kind of work or that it even had a name, until I heard Heather talking about Generational Pattern Shifters.

She says that she’s noticed, over the past several years, that many of her clients have been called to break the chain of unhealthy patterns that have been passed on through the generations. These people fit a certain set of descriptors, all of which I relate to. Do you?

As Heather began studying epigenetics and how people can heal at the DNA level, she began noticing these patterns. She says that the call to be a Generational Pattern Shifter may come unexpectedly, through a breakdown in the family, a health diagnosis, or a trauma. What many people don’t realize is that these challenging experiences are an invitation to heal not just yourself, but all generations before you and after you.

The journey is often not mainstream, it’s not straightforward, and it often requires healing many layers. The end result is that as you heal yourself, this healing often extends to all generations before you and after you.

My interview with Heather was chock full of fascinating information, and it’s one of the key conversations in the Summit. I hope you’ll do yourself a favor and drop in to listen. Check it out here.

By the way, here’s you some generational dogs:


Lisa Bonnice is an award-winning, best-selling author. Her current passion-project is a series of metaphysical comedy novels. The first is entitled The Poppet Master (previously published as Be Careful What You Witch For!, now revamped and with a new ending). The Poppet Master is a modern-day fairy tale about Lola Garnett, a bored housewife and office drone who wakes up with unexpected psychic abilities, and no instruction manual, and Twink, the reluctant, sarcastic faery assigned to assist and educate her. The Poppet Master will be available in summer 2019. Its sequel is in the works.

Lisa is also writing The Maxwell Curse, a fictionalized version of a story she found in her own ancestral lineage about a witch trial, a generational curse, and massive mine explosion, all of which left ripples of destruction in their wake, devastating one family’s tree.

http://www.lisabonnice.com