By Theresa Puskar –
Robin Hodson, Trance Workshop…and My Meeting with Abraham Lincoln
Cherry Valley Spiritualist Camp
Cherry Valley, IL
June 12th, 2017
On Monday, June 12th, I headed out to the Cherry Valley Spiritualist Camp to learn more about trance mediumship from medium and metaphysical teacher, Robin Hodson. Based in England, Robin was visiting several Wisconsin and Illinois Spiritualist centers to facilitate a variety of workshops and classes. While I’ve been curious about this subject for many years, I’ve been hesitant to research it further, over concerns regarding the potential to engage with negative or heavy energies. Soon after meeting Robin, however, my apprehension was quelled. I knew I was in good hands. He is clearly a man of integrity, insight, beneficence and wisdom. I also trusted that by setting pure intentions to only connect with higher consciousness, I was protected from heavy energies.
I was surprised when I pulled off of Highway 20, just outside of Rockford to discover the Cherry Valley camp, which was started as First Spiritual Church in Rockford in 1925, then became the Cherry Valley Spiritualist Camp.
The moment I stepped out of my car, I felt a sense of peace, powerful community, and joyful connection. It was delightful, and Reverend Nancy Ryall, founder and pastor of the Spiritualist Chapel in the Woods, was both warm and welcoming.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. To start with, Robin provided us with a fascinating history of the phenomenon, with cave drawings depicting evidence of its very early existence. He then shared information on the physiology of mediumship, and finally directed us into a trance, so that we could act as mediums, holding space for spirit to communicate.
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” — Abraham Lincoln
This is where writing this column gets difficult. You see, during our first trance medium exercise, I was visited by the great Abraham Lincoln. In all honesty, my first response was, “Theresa, this is your big ego playing games with you!” However, as I described my experience to the group, I was overwhelmed with emotion about the message. Then Robin asserted that Lincoln did, in fact, have an interest in the phenomenon, and could very likely have been a part of my experience.
In order to describe the communication with Lincoln, I need to backtrack. Several months ago, while writing my one-woman show, I got a nudge to ask my divine how I might best serve the world. Being fully aware of how I often get caught up in my ego’s wants, needs, and insecurities, I immediately responded to the nudge, and meditated on the question. What I saw was extremely powerful. So much so, that I began to tremble as I wrote about it. You see, I’ve been struggling with the anger, hatred, fear, and hopelessness surrounding our current political state in America. In the meditation, I saw a political leader with whom I struggle, standing before Christ. Christ was staring deep into the politician’s eyes, and he said, “I see you, and I love you.” The politician responded by hyper-extending his chest, like a proud peacock, ready to list his victories, and defend his “successfulness.” But, Christ stopped him, and simply looked deeper into his eyes, and gently repeated, “No. I SEE you, and I LOVE you. I LOVE you.” In response to that deep love and acceptance, the politician softened into the content, confident, and joyful little boy that he was before he was laden with his heavy emotional armor. This vision moved me to tears and softened my hardened heart.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” — Abraham Lincoln
Then a thought came to me – a call to action. I call it the I-I-I Challenge. What if we all started giving our fearful minds a rest, and started thinking from our hearts? What if we blasted love bombs to those whose beliefs are antithetical to ours? What if we each opened our hearts a little wider with every criticism, hateful tweet, and anger-driven decision? Right now, while I can’t speak for you, I can speak for myself. If I don’t open my heart and have faith, fear creeps into my psyche. It weighs me down, and life becomes heavier and heavier, and more and more hopeless. I don’t want to live that way.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” — Abraham Lincoln
So much of the media has been perpetuating fear, because fear sells. I believe that our present political situation has manifested in response to a fear base that abounds in this country – fear of job loss, of scarcity, of the inherent power in women, fear of violence and terrorism, etc. Ironically, I found myself caught in the web – responding to fear with fear, reacting to hatred with hatred, and championing ignorance with ignorance. It doesn’t work! Now I’m not suggesting that we become complacent, or inactive… not at all. However, perhaps while speaking and living our truths, we stop fighting against, and start celebrating what we are for. I haven’t had a television for seven years. Since noting my recent internal upheaval, I’ve committed to listening to the news once each day, and then turning it off. I skip the political blasts on Facebook, and watch the videos that raise my energy and make me feel good. It takes discipline, and if every one of us opened our hearts and sent loving kindness, once each day, for one minute, for one month – first to ourselves, and then to those we judge, there is no doubt that the energy frequency of the earth would be raised. Hearts would soften, and hatred would melt away, one individual, and one minute at a time.
“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” — Abraham Lincoln
I look into the eyes of each and every one of my “so-called” enemies, and I say, “I see you. I love you.” I look into the eyes of every politician and terrorist I fear. I soften and say, “I see you. I love you.” I imagine the golden light of love radiating from my divine, to my heart, and then out onto each of them. I practice this each day for at least one minute, and therein lies my peace. Go ahead and call me naïve, yet I’m more apt to label myself as selfish. I want peace within and around me. I hope you will join me, and join forces FOR peace.
So, in this moment, I am choosing to be driven by my heart. I look into the eyes of each and every one of my “so-called” enemies, and I say, “I see you. I love you.” I look into the eyes of every politician and terrorist I fear. I soften and say, “I see you. I love you.” I imagine the golden light of love radiating from my divine, to my heart, and then out onto each of them. I practice this each day for at least one minute, and therein lies my peace. Go ahead and call me naïve, yet I’m more apt to label myself as selfish. I want peace within and around me. I hope you will join me, and join forces FOR peace.
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” — Abraham Lincoln
As I mentioned, I was hesitant to write about this experience, fearful of backlash. However, in the exchange during the trance, I asked Lincoln how he found the strength to speak out. He said that he had to, and that I will know what to do. So, I’ve chosen to speak out. I offer a challenge – for each of us to choose love over fear, and peace over hatred. When we do it for ourselves, our heightened consciousness affects the rest of the world.
I am deeply grateful to Robin Hodson for a remarkable workshop, and for facilitating the powerful exchange. I realized that I was given an extraordinary gift by participating, and addressing my fear. Robin is an exceptional master and wonderful gift to the world! To end with, I leave you this Lincoln quote to ponder, as we face today’s challenges, or should I say, opportunities:
“I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind.” — Abraham Lincoln
Theresa Puskar, our All About Town contributor, is a writer, trainer, speaker, minister and inspirational audiobook producer. She is the author of a solo show, Beauty, Bollywood and Beyond, along with The Terri Series – seven children’s books that focus on bullying, honoring diversity, celebrating creativity, non-judgment of emotions, finding alternatives to technology-based entertainment, discovering a non-judgmental God, and overcoming fears. She has also recorded a powerful experiential audio program, How to De-Clutter Your Mind and Live a Heart-Centered Life. To place an order or learn more about her upcoming shows or ministry, visit her website: www.theresapuskar.com.