As a medium, I often encounter clients who refuse to acknowledge signs of change. Spirit communicates with us in every way that we can sense-through occurrence, thought, feeling, dreams, sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, intuition, you name it. Your life has a story arc, a narrative structure, that did not happen by accident or entirely by your conscious design. Your life unfolds according to a basic blueprint prescribed by you and your soul group when you are in Heaven, then you add the details on the fly here on Earth as you live out your lessons, some in triumph, some in despair. To guide you along that narrative, Spirit throws signs in your path, directing you toward necessary change. When you studiously ignore those signs and bluster forward while looking behind, Spirit has a way of opening the blinds.
Just when you need it, Spirit sends a catalyst to spark and accelerate change in your life, enabling you to transform. That catalyst often feels like all hell breaking loose, or as a friend of mine recently put it, “a series of WTF moments” (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, of course).
What brings me to talk to you today about catalysis is what brings me to talk to you about anything, any day. The word “catalytic” appeared to me three times (plus one for good measure) this past week in very distinct and separate occasions, clearly pointing to a message. The message is that transformation and freedom from pollution and stagnation in life require a catalyst, and to allow Spirit to send catalysts into your life, you need to embrace the Unknown. It’s time to flirt with disaster, to set off on a journey, even if it’s a metaphorical one. It’s time for a grand adventure.
The word catalysis refers to an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction. The first instance of “catalytic” last week occurred about 10 feet from me in a Walmart store. It was humorous enough to catch my attention and make me chuckle while I shopped. A young lady told her gentleman companion that the “Cadillac converter” in her car had “gone bad.” The gentleman kindly corrected her with “catalytic,” inspiring her to say “I don’t even know how LONG you can DRIVE a car with a bad Cad-cata-CONVERTER.” For all of his knowledge of pronunciation, the young man also did not know the answer to this question. More to come on that later, as the answer, apparently, is “forever, it is not intrinsic to the operation of the vehicle” (courtesy of my research and my own gentleman companion).
With the Cadillac converter long forgotten, I set off on an adventure to the movies Saturday night to see “The Nice Guys” with Ryan Gosling and the lovely Russell Crowe. A major plot point in the movie centered around the emergence of catalytic converters in the automobile industry and what it meant for preventing air pollution. Oddly enough, I and my gentleman partner were unaware of this plot point going in, and he had noted that he thought he saw smog lying near the ground as we drove to the mall that evening.
This, my friends, is not a long, boring story for much longer. This is synchronicity #2, Catalysis edition. Still just a series of coincidences, however, that I chalked up to “life is funny.”
That was, until the next day, Sunday, when, feet on the dash of the car in the pouring rain, I read aloud a truly excellent horoscope written by Rob Brezsny in a local paper. The horoscope (for my sign) ended with:
Now is an excellent time to reap the catalytic benefits of being willingly lost in a wild, idyllic, relaxing setting.
Well, what do you know. Spirit is trying to talk to me about catalysis. I proceeded to meditate on the subject of catalysis, and to read everything I could find about how catalytic converters work.
Essentially, a catalytic converter sets off a chemical reactiont that converts emissions into less harmful gases. It spurs and accelerates a reaction to ultimately result in reduced pollution-cleaner air, greater clarity.
I also asked Spirit through my music player to help me further understand their message. The lyrics were daunting:
You were my fire, so I burned, ’til there was nothing left of me
I, I touched your face, I held you close, ’til I could barely breathe
Why give me hope, then give me up, just to be the death of me
Save the rest of me-“Hesitate,” Stone Sour
Catalysis is about igniting a reaction, firing up an essential change in the elements at play. It is about burning off what existed before until there is nothing left of it and creating something new, and in the case of a catalytic converter, it is about breathing easier. The final sign was undeniable.
Breaking the messages down to their basic elements, we have a repeated message about a catalyst. Catalysts set off reactions, they spark change. A catalytic converter, at the heart of this synchronicity, results in less pollution in the air and is better for all surrounding life. It clears the air and presents stagnation.
What the angels and Spirit are telling me is that they want me to experience more of life, to allow for change, because change leads to transformation. To willingly enter a time of uncertainty and allow it to be a catalyst for positive change can be wildly refreshing. Embracing change and opening space for a new version of yourself allows you to create a platform from whatever life throws at you next and to build on it, instead of holding onto the past and being shoved into the future by a catalyst you could not have foreseen.
Faith and trust are important at times like these. I have experienced catalysts before, including when I was first building my mediumship. The catalyst for my psychic development was being initiated into the practice of Reiki. A channel opened up to the Divine during the very first attunement and I never looked back.
Probably the most moving catalyst I have ever encountered is a man named Ken Baldwin. He was written about by journalist Tad Friend in an article in The New Yorker titled “Jumpers.” Friend captures the memory of Baldwin leaping from the Golden Gate Bridge, stating:
As he crossed the chord in flight, Baldwin recalls, “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.”
Baldwin’s catalyst was leaping from a bridge known for ushering in many gruesome deaths. But Baldwin survived to tell his incredible story, and, wherever he may be right now, that one act of bravery, of telling that story to a journalist for The New Yorker, has saved someone. That act has given someone the catalyst to achieve a new mindset, to look at life from a new perspective. When i’m in times of despair and anxiety and I just don’t know where to turn next, I think about Ken Baldwin. I consider that moment of perfect clarity as he arced through the air, and I think about how my busy mind would snap to and solve all of my problems as I spun out of control, rear over teakettle, like he did.
This, my friends, was one of my early catalysts, my spark for change in the depths of depression. I share this story with you not for sympathy, because I am miraculously strong and healed now, on most days. I share it because, essentially, stories like this enable others to heal and to step into an imaginary space with a new perspective, without actually leaping to imminent danger.
I share it only because I want you to answer a question for me, and for you. First, gather all of your most pressing problems, and sit in front of a computer or a pen and paper. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine Ken Baldwin taking that last step.
What solutions do you see?
In love and light,