Donna Lyons Interviews Carlos the Medium on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss

Donna Lyons Interviews Carlos the Medium on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss

Would you like to connect with your loved ones on the other side? Curious about what mediumship is all about? Tune in to Love Liberty & Lip Gloss on Writestream Radio Network on Thursday, February 16 at 7 PM Eastern:

Carlos is a naturally gifted medium with a sensational ability to connect with your loved ones in Spirit. Carlos will serve as a messenger to deliver messages of love, healing, and closure between you and those dearest to you in Spirit. He is a devout father, military veteran, and a deacon. Through his spiritual journey, Carlos continues to confirm that love and life are eternal.

 

If you would like to ask Carlos a question about a loved one on the air, please dial (347) 945-7246 at 6:45 PM Eastern and then press “1”. I’ll be screening calls, e.g. asking for a first name and state or country the caller is from, then placing each person in the queue in the order their call is received. By dialing in at 6:45 PM, you ensure your chances of speaking with Carlos. It also keeps us organized and allows us to welcome you personally to the show.

If you would like to stream the live episode through your computer, click on this link to Donna Lyons Interviews Carlos the Medium at 7 PM Eastern on Thursday, February 16.

About Donna Lyons

DonnaLyonsLLLDonna Lyons is a Military News Journalist, Author, Talk Show Host and Managing Editor based in Washington, D.C and California. She has been featured on national news and local news along with national and local radio shows. Her columns have concentrated on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, highlighting the positive aspects of individuals, projects and programs that benefit our military, veterans, wounded warriors and their families. Donna does her best to offer a nonpartisan and inspiring journalistic view, working in tandem with numerous veterans and military organizations.

Donna made her debut as the new host of Love Liberty & Lip Gloss on March 10, 2016 and we couldn’t be more delighted. Tune in every Thursday at 7 PM Eastern.

 

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Get Fit, Feel Fabulous with Britt: Day 16

This morning, Britt and I hosted and produced her show, Get Fit Feel Fabulous from the same location. In the first half, we had a fascinating discussion about life coaching and Chinese medicine/acupuncture with guest Bonnie McClure. Afterward, Britt interviewed me about my experience so far with Isagenix. Click below to listen:

Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Writestream Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio
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Memories of Madeline

Me as a baby. My grandmother's hands are holding me on either side.

Me as a baby. My grandmother’s hands are holding me on either side.

From the time I was six years old, February 15 has been a melancholy date on the calendar because it marks the anniversary of losing the only grandparent I’d ever known: my maternal grandmother, Madeline Cauterucci. Readers familiar with the back story of Water Signs already know that my main character’s name, Madeline Rose, is derived from my grandmother and my mother (although in the story, “Rose” is also the family surname). The circumstances surrounding her death and my mother’s decision to leave me at home with a babysitter rather than attend her viewing and funeral led to a very interesting resolution to my panic and anxiety disorder much later in life. I blogged about incorporating this real-life experience into the book a few years back:

Which brings me to perhaps the most controversial element of the book, which is also an event straight out of real life. While still battling panic and anxiety disorder — in spite of embracing just about every known remedy from prayer and meditation to Yoga and exercise — I bumped into a very interesting woman at a monthly business/networking meeting. Trained in what is known in military circles as “remote viewing”, she was in reality what most civilians call a psychic — and many Christians a “handmaiden of the Devil”, although upon first sight, she looked like just another no-nonsense businesswoman.

When Maddy meets Ann Claire in the novel, it’s an accurate retelling of my own experience. Thus, when Ann accurately calls out Maddy’s guilt for “leaving behind a middle brother who is handicapped” (my brother Ralph who is in-between oldest son, Mark, and youngest son, Paul), and notes that she is still “in mourning” for a grandmother who’d passed away over 20 years prior, it’s an example of fact that has only been fictionalized marginally. I might have changed the names and altered the descriptions a bit, but the basic events are 100% true, including the fact that Maddy awakes one morning — six months after a private reading with Ann — to discover that for the first time in years, her head is clear, her stomach is calm and that the black cloud that seemed to relentlessly hang over her head has completely dissipated:

I believe I’ve had such a close connected to the woman I called “Nanny” even after she left her earthly body in 1974 and crossed over the the other side because of the circumstances of my own conception and birth. I was not a “planned” pregnancy (although I am grateful everyday for Catholic, pro-life parents). In fact, news of my existence could not have come at a worse time for my mother and father, who were struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over the heads of their four children. Having been blessed with at least one girl, my mother was happy. My father was a new resident and even given the fact that he would go on to a successful surgical career, nothing was guaranteed at the time.

Me at around 18 months.

Me at around 18 months.

Then a month after receiving this unexpected, earth-shattering news, my mother’s father — husband of Madeline — had a sudden heart attack and died. Having been very close to him, my mom of course was devastated, adding even more stress to the pregnancy. My grandmother subsequently spent all of her time in mourning. Until several months later when I was born on March 14 and gave her a reason to smile again. Ok, maybe that sounds a little self-serving but from all accounts, I was like her little “doll.” She was constantly bathing me, dressing me up, fussing over me and just loving me the way a devoted grandmother would.

Although I was a young child I’ll always remember her warm smile, happy-go-lucky personality, affinity for Lawrence Welk and adherence to all things feminine in the form of skirts and blouses, regular hair appointments, dresses, and matching pearl and/or gemstone necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Come to think of it, I don’t believe I ever once saw Nanny in a pair of slacks. Like my mother, she was a consummate lady in terms of fashion and sensibility.

After my grandfather passed away, Nanny lived with my wonderful Aunt Emma and Uncle Al but frequently made visitations to our house where she’d stay with us for weeks at a time. One the night of February 14, she and I curled up on the couch to watch a movie called Ryan’s Daughter — something she’d talked excitedly about for days. My parents had gone out to visit a friend who’d been in the hospital so it was just Nanny and my four siblings in the house.

The movie had barely begun when she suddenly succumbed to heart failure, although as young kids we had no idea what was going on — just that it was incredibly frightening. Nanny began shaking violently as her body temperature dropped, prompting us all to run around gathering blankets, make her hot tea

Nanny (middle) with her friend Angie (left) and my Great Aunt Emma enjoying a vacation together.

Nanny (middle) with her friend Angie (left) and my Great Aunt Emma enjoying a vacation together.

and comfort her as best we could while my oldest brother called our parents. Having been diagnosed with diabetes several years earlier, I’d later learn that this was not an unexpected event. I remember Nanny being in and out of the hospital for treatment of various diabetes-related complications and watching her administer scary-looking insulin needles into her arm every day — always with a smile on her face. The woman never complained about anything, at least not in front of me. But even at a tender age, I’d vowed to myself that I would never get that awful disease and suffer the same fate of daily insulin injections. And thanks be to God (and dieting + exercise discipline) I’ve thus far managed to keep that promise.

It’s hard to describe the sheer terror and helplessness I experienced as little girl that night. Watching my beloved grandmother struggle for breath and for warmth while we all did our best to remedy a futile situation is a memory that will be with me forever. I vaguely recall an ambulance coming to take her away and subsequently receiving the devastating news the next morning (delivered gently by Dad with Mom by his side) that Nanny had “gone to heaven.” In response, I ran out of the room crying. Some time later, my mother gifted me with Nanny’s engagement ring, left to me in her will. Since becoming an adult and having it sized down to fit my finger, I’ve never once taken it off, except to clean it. When I made my Confirmation at the age of 12, I took the name Madeline in her honor, although I remember making that decision in anticipation of being confirmed someday in the future soon after her death.

As a child and adolescent, I had no idea that decades later at the age of 30 I’d be engaged in a battle to overcome panic and anxiety disorder partially caused by a lack of closure with my grandmother’s death. Or that it would be a psychic I’d bump into a monthly women’s social meeting who would make that diagnosis and suggest holding my own private ceremony to honor her memory and to ask her spirit to let go of me just a little. This woman strongly sensed that Nanny’s

Me (left), Mom and  Carolyn on Easter Sunday, 1970.

Me (left), Mom and
Carolyn on Easter Sunday, 1970.

presence around me was a bit too suffocating and that I needed to gently find a way to assure her it was ok to release me.

I followed this woman’s advice, lit some candles, said some prayers and thanked my grandmother for loving me so unconditionally. Then I told her how much I loved her and asked her to continue to hang around me in spirit — just not as intensely because it was affecting my ability to fulfill my own God-given purpose.

Not a day has passed since February 15, 1974 that I haven’t thought of Nanny, if only briefly. Her loving presence, her warmth, her smile, her sense of humor and her appreciation for the simple things in life will never be forgotten. Nanny lived a good and happy life if not an extravagant one. She raised four kids, suffered through the loss of a son during World War II and dealt with a myriad of diabetes-related health issues. But she did it all with grace and always with an appreciation for the simple pleasures of life: playing cards with her friends, spending time with family, going to the movies, cooking, shopping and being the strongest influence on my life for my first six years on earth.

Thanks for the memories, Nanny. You are loved and missed always but I know I’ll see you again someday.

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Panic and Anxiety Disorder in Water Signs

Without a doubt, the most difficult part of the Water Signs writing process was incorporating my real-life bout with panic and anxiety disorder into Madeline’s experiences as my fictional counterpart. While overall this book literally flew out of my imagination and memory and onto my computer screen — seemingly with a life of its own — choosing to include the darkest period of my life into the story presented its own unique set of challenges.

No, I never faced the dreaded “writer’s block” at any point along the way, but I did have to overcome some serious resistance to pulling out and perusing some very old journals chronicling that entire, frightening phase. As strange as it may seem, while I was at my lowest point in the battle, I’d journal every day without fail — but I would never go back and read the previous day’s submission. I’d just turn to a fresh page and start writing. And when I’d fill up a book, I’d put it away with all of the others, never to be opened again. Or so I believed.

It’s kind of hard to create a compelling narrative without the use of proper description, which mandated pulling out all of those handwritten journals and figuring out which elements to include in the book. But even though  by that point I’d been free and clear of panic and anxiety disorder for well over a decade, I encountered tremendous internal resistance. For anyone who’s already read the book and remembers this portion of the story, it’s probably easy to understand why.

Eventually I worked up the courage to do it, but not before playing an emotional game with myself whereby  I actually skipped ahead and literally wrote the happy ending — which was a bit tricky from an editing standpoint when I then had to go back and fill in several earlier chapters. I suppose my unorthodox method worked because every time I’d read a particularly heart-wrenching entry in my journal, I’d remind myself of two things 1.) No matter how horrific it got, it was in the past and it could no longer hurt me; and 2.) I was working my way up to a magnificent conclusion, which in order to retain an air of unbridled triumph and victory, had to be preceded by a tough, seemingly hopeless struggle, a “dark night of the soul” kind of thing.

Still, reading those journals and being hit with the stark reality of just how bad things were at one point in my life was jarring, to say the least.

One thing I’ve learned from the countless readers who’ve come forward to thank me for writing about panic disorder in the book, and to share their own battles with this emotional menace  is that it seems to be an intensely personal experience. That while there are common symptoms — racing heart, pounding head, feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin — others are not shared by all afflicted.

In my case, one of the strangest and scariest was described in Water Signs like this:

But most distressing was a new and chilling sensation she could only describe to her father as a ‘tightening of my spine’. During these frequent and unpredictable moments, her legs and arms would suddenly feel limp and lifeless, though still fully functional. This was preceded  by a palpable sensation at the base of her neck, whereby she’d swear some invisible ‘puppet master’ was literally pulling her strings and forcing her into submission. All of these symptoms were now accompanied by vivid nightmares that typically featured disturbing images — from snake-pits and fire-breathing dragons to evil men in masks wielding AK-47s.

It might be of passing interest to note that at the time (1996), I was not really up to speed on radical Islamic terror, though I certainly knew about the unrest in the Middle East and remembered significant events like the Iranian Hostage Crisis. And although I didn’t include this in the book, somewhere around that time I had an awful nightmare in which my oldest brother Mark and I were captured by terrorists, who forced me to watch while they murdered him. Like I said, chilling stuff.

HurricanePalmsAnother point of interest in my experience with panic and anxiety disorder is that although most people associate it with acute, intense attacks, they were typically rare for me. Did I have full-blown anxiety attacks? Absolutely. But unlike many others, mine occurred maybe about once a year throughout the entire five-year duration. But when they did happen, they came on with a vengeance as described in Chapter 18:

But soon after they’d arrived, the pulsating rhythms and flashing strobe lights suddenly changed from energizing dance accoutrements to instruments of torture. In reaction to these typical club stimuli, Maddy’s heart began to race out of control, vying for first place with her head, which pounded ferociously. These sensations were accompanied by that frightening fight-or-flight response, compelling her to run as far and as fast as she could to some unknown destination. On this particular evening, Maddy followed her impulses back to the parking lot, oblivious to the freezing temperatures.

Her dance partner had trailed right behind and insisted on taking her to Shore Memorial, where a nurse attached a clip to her finger and proclaimed that Maddy was getting plenty of oxygen, despite her protests to the contrary. And though she saw the blinking green indicators that confirmed this sound medical opinion, she remained unconvinced. That belief only intensified with the nurse’s subsequent announcement that the patient was suffering from the flu — perfectly understandable given the recent outbreak.

There’s nothing quite so frustratingly embarrassing as trying to convince a medical professional that – while it might not be of physical origin — something is seriously wrong with you. In this particular instance, as with most others, I usually nodded right along with them, temporarily accepting the fact that no one ever would understand exactly what it was I was grappling with. For a while, it just seemed simpler and easier to concede.

But as I said hyperventilating attacks were not a common occurrence for me, thank God. However, the symptoms I dealt with on a daily basis were not exactly fun either:

But even though the acute onset of symptoms seemed to have subsided, a persistent general feeling of uneasiness had taken over, accompanied by relentless headaches, stomach pains and occasional bouts with alternating sweats and chills. All of this continued apace without regard for the fact that she’d dutifully gone back on the Pill at her doctor’s insistence, thus experiencing regular, if false, periods.

While hormones no doubt did play a part in this unwanted drama — exacerbated  by the Pill, which at the time was the apparent cure-all for everything — ultimately panic and anxiety disorder is an emotional problem, not a mental or physical one (although the emotions adversely affect the physical body). Years ProLieflater, Arbonne’s natural progesterone cream solved every problem I ever had of the female variety; if only I’d discovered it sooner. Better late than never, though, and I am thankful for happening upon such a simple solution by the time I hit my early 30s.

As for the panic phase of my life, encountering the “remote viewer” I discussed in a previous post was an absolute Godsend. But just as the problem affects everyone differently, its solution may also be unique to each sufferer.  That’s why my advice is to never give up, to keep seeking out potential solutions and trying everything that has the potential to help you without actually hurting you. Far be it from me to encourage anyone to see a psychic if that conflicts with their religious beliefs; I can only honestly report how my real-life story went down. I long ago made peace with the fact that my cure came from an unlikely source, one I will never believe came from a place of evil.

Perhaps when I get to the end of my life, I’ll find out differently (I pray this is not the case). For now, all I can say is that thanks to a psychic, I said good riddance to panic and anxiety disorder forever.

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