“We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy.” ~ Joseph Campbell
“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with joy.” ~ Mother Teresa
When I arrived at my destination, I parked across the street from the farm and stayed in the car. Fear and anxiety poked tiny holes through the sparkling love energy which normally surrounded me. I sat quietly and took several deep breaths. Yesterday’s workshop had yielded many moments where I was caught off guard by an individual in pain. His powerful saber of words carried the hurt from his own heart into the hearts of those that attempted to support him. He was blind to the damage that he created and many gave him a wide berth because of it. His own pain had created a deep chasm in his heart and it clouded his perspective. Today I hoped to touch his heart. His wounded heart. But also the hearts of many others. As I opened the door to the car, I reminded myself to Breathe Love.
I had looked forward to this trip for nearly two years. It would be an opportunity to meet, in person, many members of an online Facebook group. We had gathered our works together in a forum that enabled us to share writing, photography, painting and other creative pursuits. We had forged a comfortable camaraderie together. I had created my blog because of this “ministry of encouragement”. I had also shared, through my writing, things that had never been spoken out loud. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and my blog was being read all over the world. My Spirit guides had told me that they would carry my words to the hearts of those that would find comfort and healing from reading them.
My heart pounded in my ears as I stepped from my car. In that same moment, I also felt my spiritual troops as they gathered around me. I slipped seamlessly into their reality and it became my own. The air felt full. Love permeated every cell of my being. I knew that my entourage was there to support me. My Spiritual entourage. Today I was to continue to fulfill a mission that had been created between my sister and me almost two years earlier. My sister Carol had died in 2011 but she brought me a plethora of signs of her continued existence on her spiritual birthday in 2013. Penelope the pig, a tiny glass figurine with angel wings, was one of her signs and had become a symbol for our mission. The words Carol had said to me were these:
“Let’s do this together. Spread joy. Your part is to give people the Angel Piggies. My job is to be with you and send love through you to their hearts. It will be magical for everyone and you will feel me with you. Every single time.”
I could barely feel my feet beneath me as I walked up the driveway. I felt buoyant and even a bit out of my body. My steps were directed by unseen energies. My bag held seventeen Penelope Pigs. There were far more people there than the figurines that were in my bag. I opened my heart and listened. I was being guided by my sister but there were others in the background that surrounded both of us. A chorus of whispers. Mothers, fathers, spouses, grandparents, in-laws, siblings, children and grandchildren, friends. These were the Loved Ones in Spirit of the kindred souls in my creative group and this was their message:
Please tell them that we are here. Each one of them has their own spiritual entourage. They simply need to be open to the signs we send, the songs we play for them, the whispers in the wind that make them shiver and talk about “that feeling”. We feel their hearts weep and are right beside them. Tell them we are here and no one ever dies. Tell them love never dies. We are alive, our love is alive.
I tried four times to speak to the Man in Pain from the workshop. He brushed me off each time. My Guides told me that his pain was too deep to allow himself to open his heart to receive joy. He had become a prisoner, a slave to his own pain. They showed me the love which surrounded him. They encouraged me to send him love. And so I did. I still do.
Time operated in an odd fashion. On occasion, the minutes seemed to fly by but there were other moments when time stopped. I waited patiently for direction from my Guides. I felt my sister by my side. We passed out the figurines together. With the encouragement of my entourage, love was plentiful and it was wrapped with a mystical magical joy. My heart opened farther with every interaction with the members of my group. Love poured out. Words came from me but they also came through me from our Loved Ones in Spirit. I will carry forever in my heart the snapshots of our moments of deep connection. Each face is seared in my memory. The tears that we shed. Long hugs with open hearts pressed together. I felt each one of their lights merge together with my own. Soul to soul. A bit of each of their Lights has stayed with me and I shine brighter because of it.
Members of the Joy Brigade ~ Donna, Nancy and Kate
I began each sharing of hearts with these words:
From my heart space in this reality and my sister’s heart space in the reality in which she resides, we call on you to become part of our Joy Brigade. We invite you to join your heart with ours in the sacred space we have created. United together, we will continue our mission of love to spread joy and let our Lights shine.
After arriving back home, I was startled to discover a few days later that I would no longer be able to purchase any figurines to continue our mission. They were not available anywhere. During meditation, my sister came to me with another message.
It’s not about the PIG!
I immediately replied with “Yes it is!” Carol said, “No it’s NOT!” and back and forth we went. I may be the only person alive who argues with their dead sibling. Eventually I quieted down enough to listen to the rest of her message.
I used a tool to get your attention. It was an object that was important to me when I was in body but it became important to you because of what it symbolized. LOVE. We are very connected now. You hear me all the time. Our love, all love, is what spreads the joy. You don’t need any symbol at all though having one will help others in the same way that it helped you. I feel joy when YOU feel joy. Keep on sharing the message and sharing the love.
We are helping you to heal hearts. One at a time.
Oh, and I love the Spiritual Warrior idea.
Tears were running down my cheeks. A thought had been circulating on the drive home from the farm. I had been mulling over the fact that so much time is spent on things other than love. What would happen if we lived for love? Maybe it was my sister or maybe it was my spiritual entourage. Or perhaps it was all of them, our Loved Ones in Spirit collectively joined together who gave me the idea. And so it was born.
The Spiritual Warrior Joy Brigade.
Addendum February 2016
Our gift to new warriors joining the brigade is now a small crystal, a pink quartz stone in the shape of a heart.
“The fair and lovely Rose Quartz, with its gentle pink essence, is a stone of the heart, a Crystal of Unconditional Love. It carries a soft feminine energy of compassion and peace, tenderness and healing, nourishment and comfort. It speaks directly to the heart chakra, dissolving emotional wounds, fears and resentments, and circulates a Divine loving energy throughout the entire aura. Reawakening the heart to its own innate love, it provides a deep sense of personal fulfillment and contentment, allowing one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others.” (crystalvaults.com)
We are always sending out Love and Light to call new warriors to the Joy Brigade.
Jacqui Kate and Carol Jo
Carol Jo Strang December 20, 1953 ~ October 21, 2011
credit to Kathy Dewez for the Joy Brigade picture
To read about the year Carol sent me the plethora of signs-
And my letter to Carol on what would have been her 60th birthday-
~ until our paths bring us together again ~