Rita and the Ghost Pictures

I am a new thought practitioner. To me, new thought in a nutshell means that I believe God (source, universe, whatever you like to call it) is in everything and is everything. Thus, I believe that each person, place, thing, thought, feeling, etc. is an expression of the source energy which is an intelligent energy made of pure love. I absolutely do not believe that God is some guy hanging out in the clouds dispensing judgment, punishment, approval, etc. That’s just not my current understanding at all. It is not my understanding that God is a separate entity who made us. Rather, you, me, everyone, the dust on the floor, the air we breathe, every drop in the ocean and in every mud puddle, all of it is God. Everything is made of love energy as that’s what source is: pure love energy.

We are the eyes, ears and hands of source. We undertake explorations in the illusory plane of separate consciousness in order to experience what we experience for the web of consciousness so that all that is can be all that is.

I was not raised up in these beliefs. I was raised protestant: whatever kind was closest to the house, basically. When I was a young child in Southwest Virginia, I went to a Methodist church. Later, when we lived in Central Virginia, I was baptized and confirmed into the Episcopalian church. When I had children of my own, they were all baptized into the Episcopalian church, where I taught Sunday school and served as part of the church vestry. I left the Episcopalian church in 2013 and joined the Unity church, which I also left shortly thereafter. I engage in my spirituality, however, in every waking and sleeping moment. I am my spirit.

Throughout my life, until my consciousness shift occurred, I prayed every day. I felt weird if I didn’t pray. Prior to that time, I tried to quit praying, but I just couldn’t do it. What’s so funny about this is that upon my “awakening” I realized that I, in truth, had not believed in the afterlife. I think I prayed “just in case,” but at the moment I understood and accepted that we don’t die when we die, I also understood that in my core, prior to that moment, I thought we really just turned into worm food in the end and that was it. I did eventually quit praying because I found it unnecessary as I pretty much constantly remain in a state in which I feel connected to and have an ongoing conversation with the divine.

At the time of my awakening, I described myself as a happily married mother of three young children (4, 7 and 9 at the time), a scientist and attorney working as an environmental regulator for the Commonwealth of Virginia. On May 23rd of 2009, my family celebrated the 4th birthday of my youngest daughter and the 77th birthday of my mother. Two weeks later, on June 6th, I made a trip to the Washington, D.C. area to see Rita O’Hara, my dear friend from college whom I had not visited in over a decade.

While at Rita’s home, as I waited for her to check her emails and take a phone call, I picked up a library book from her coffee table. It was James Van Praagh’s newest book. As I looked over the table of contents I did not see much of interest, having spent the first 46 years, 2 months and 12 days of my life as an avowed skeptic of anything paranormal or UFO-related. However, the book contained a chapter on karma, and I am a believer in the golden rule. I began reading this chapter and found it interesting enough that I jotted down the name of the book so that I could check it out from my own library when I returned home. While I had not visited a library in many years, I thought it would be worth a visit to check out this book, especially since it was time for our annual beach trip and I would have time for pleasure reading.

At the library, meaning to pick up the Van Praagh book, I mistakenly pulled a book called “When Ghosts Speak” by Mary Ann Winkowski off of the shelf. I read a paragraph and thought it might be worth a try, but knew it was quite possible that I might not even crack it open before the due date. I checked out both books.

That Friday, June 12th, as I was packing for our trip, my 9 year old daughter flipped through the photograph section of Mary Ann Winkowski’s book. She showed me the pictures. They stopped me cold. The hair on my neck stood up.

At my youngest daughter’s birthday party, I had taken photographs. Sometimes, I’ll do a quick check to see how they look, but then it likely will be months before I bother to download the pictures onto my computer and often I don’t even bother to print any. At the party, I took several photos of the dining room, decorated with balloons and streamers at the doorways. At the time I took the pictures, I noticed a dark shadow in the lower left corner of a few of these shots and was upset because I thought my camera lens was broken and that I’d have to shell out for a new camera. However, as the day progressed, the picture cleared, so I forgot about it. I also happened to note, however, the extremely bright sun mote in front of the head of one of my children’s friends in one of the shots on the deck. I had never seen anything quite like that in any of the literally thousands of photos I have taken over the years. But, as I said, I thought it was a sun mote.

So, when I saw the “moving” dark shadow photos and the spirit orb photos in the Winkowski book, I realized I had similar images on my own camera and that I myself had taken those pictures. You can believe that I quit packing and immediately got my camera and sat there comparing my photographs to those in the book. I was in a state of disbelief. In fact, both that day and on a later day, I took more than a dozen additional photos at the same time of day, with the same lighting, from the same angles, to try to recreate the dark shadow in the corner of the photograph. I simply was unable to replicate it. Every time I took photos of that room, the whole shot came out crystal clear.

I was extremely freaked out. I called friends who I knew believed in the paranormal and asked for their advice. It was a very humbled person on my end of the call. I once had been very dismissive of their points of view, but by this point was grateful for their expertise. They told me to call in Archangel Michael and ask for his protection. I did as they advised. And what that turned into?

We left for the Outer Banks, and while I normally don’t like to read in the car, I read the Van Praag and Winkowski books the whole way down. That first night there (and for months afterward) I slept with every light in the room on. I was in the strangest state of fear and amazement.

Of course, the weird picture episode was by no means the end of it; rather, it was just the beginning. That night, as I lay awake very late engulfed in paranormal literature, I noticed something in my peripheral vision that was hard to describe. It was a sheet-like field of blue and white sparkles hanging in mid-air about the size of a king-sized pillow case, and then, in a room in which all the windows and glass doors were closed and no fan or AC was running, I distinctly felt a cool breeze across my left hand. I have since come to understand that was only he whom I had summoned letting me know he was there. Archangel Michael is an angel of blue light, and when I called, he came.

So, because of that book on my friend Rita’s coffee table, my life changed. Dramatically. It was no mistake that I pulled the Winkowski book off of the library shelf. It was time for me to wake up. Spirit can and does make anything and everything happen in divine right time.

Since that day, June 12, 2009, which I consider to be a birthday of sorts, I’ve become a much better person. When you truly understand that your consciousness, the core of who you are, is eternal, it changes everything. I began to live in my soul purpose in earnest from that time forward. Hence, I will be making music until the day I leave this incarnation. It’s what I came to do.


The True Story

There are some who will think me quite mad. Others, in growing numbers, will congratulate me on the success of my research into the reasons I chose to come back to this planet, this incarnational plane.

For starters, I am tough. That is a given for anyone choosing this planet to grow their soul in. I did not know that I would ever speak in such a way prior to June 12, 2009. On that day I accepted that none of us ever die. A scientist and lawyer, I was a hardened skeptic. Ghosts, UFOs: all nonsense. (In fact, after I consciousness shifted, I realized I actually had been the truest skeptic: I had been atheist but could not admit it to myself as I judged it to be wrong to be atheist.) What was required for this change of perspective and what I received was irrefutable evidence that I had gathered by my own hand, camera images that I came to understand to be ghost pictures. The story of these pictures can be found in the essay entitled, “Rita and The Ghost Pictures.”

That fateful day launched a two year intensive study into a wide range of literature, starting with near death experience literature, which I favored as my first course of study because it featured the work of MDs and PhDs, and my prejudices at the time led me to believe their reports would be more credible than those of psychics, channelers, mediums and the like. I went on to past life literature, life between life literature (the heaven research of Michael Newton and Robert Schwartz), then graduated to literature on anything weird: UFOs, shamanism, channeling, angels, crystal healing, astral projection, etc. The journey has been fascinating and taken me to places and thoughts and understandings that are strange and wonderful.

Upon acceptance of the notion that we live forever, I released my suspicion that life is pointless and asked myself, “Why am I here?” Indestructible consciousness in truth, I chose this short term experience called the life of Robyne Richardson Lau Bridgman (stage name: Byrdde). Why? My footsteps took me down the path of past life regression experiences of my own, forked into life between life regression, and launched other trips into channeling, meditation, moon goddess rituals with candles and crystals, pendulum communications with the other side and the list goes on.

One thing–the most important thing–I did not need to read about or meditate about or discuss in spiritual workshops or ask a psychic about. This I knew the moment I awakened. I came to earth to make music.

I understood this about myself when I was about twelve. When I listened to Elton John, Queen, and The Beatles, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It resonated to my core. I proceeded to spend the remainder of my youth and most of my adult life not making music. Or, rather, making music half-heartedly, with lukewarm effort at best, when I bothered at all, between long stints of not making music. Understanding why I chose to take my journey that way has been another long journey of its own, one that is not the focus of this discussion.

This discussion centers on why I was born with one burning desire: to make music. I found the answer through past life regression and channelers. Channelers are people who are able to connect with higher vibrational intelligent energy that supplies them with information. Some refer to this intelligent energy as spirit guides, angels and the higher self or oversoul. This information can be received in the form of thoughts, feelings, understandings, knowing, visions, etc. Sometimes it can be music or sounds (this is one of the ways I channel).

A channeler named Kathryn Leeman, who connects with her spirit guide, The Blue Lady or Divine Mother, gave me the first clue. Kathryn began connecting with The Blue Lady when she was a child. As a culture, we are not yet at a level of development in which such connections are readily understood; thus, as I see frequently with channelers and psychics, she turned away from this path for some time, but eventually returned to it. I saw Kathryn at an event at Inner Peace, a spiritual center founded by healer Lisa Marks in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

At this event, a gentleman asked The Divine Mother why it was so easy for him to create music when he was in a gathering, but why it seemed as though no inspiration came to him when he was alone. She answered that it had to do with the vibrations occurring at the events, which were absent when he was alone. So, he needed to try to achieve those vibrations when he was trying to compose music at home.
I asked the next question, which was why did I have exactly the opposite experience: I create music readily in solitude but find no enjoyment in playing for others, rather the experience stresses me. I was quite surprised by the answer. The Divine Mother told me that I had a past life as a starving artist. I was a proud man and would accept no help from anyone. I died alone, in poverty, a failure. So, I have quite a bit of soul level angst around making music: disappointment, anger, resentment. She said my path to healing included making music and doing my very best: it was what I came to do. It is the pursuit my soul desires.

I wanted to learn more about this starving artist lifetime. At the time this information from Kathryn came to me I already had engaged in past life regressions. In past life regression, one undergoes hypnosis and visits the subconscious realm which holds all memory of the past and knowledge of the future. To date, I have not undergone hypnosis to look at the future. I have focused primarily on the past. I realize it may seem impossible to some to be able to see the future, but there really isn’t any such thing as the future: that is a fiction of this incarnational plane. On the other side, in the real world of heaven, all time happens at once and all experience is simply a web of probabilities, with the experience that occurs in this plane being based on the exercise of free will by all of the consciousnesses involved.

One night I had listened to a very effective self-hypnosis CD by a healer from Lynchburg, Virginia named Jenny Haynes who channels a spirit group called the Nexi. On a lark, rather than choosing to awaken from the meditation, I sought to meet this starving artist. So, I focused my intent on that desire. In my mind’s eye, I saw him. He wore a long, expensive-looking, very fine yellow gold coat with knee britches. Under his white wig, I knew his hair was short, light brown and curly. I saw him with a violin and a harpsichord in his apartment. I had a sense that he was from France or maybe Austria. But, my initial impression was France. I understood his name to be Charles.
Normally I do not bother researching internet search engines to find the identities of the past life persons I discover I have been. I can tell by the appearance of most of them that there is no point. So far, of the over two dozen past lives I have discovered, this is the only one who appeared to be a person I should bother looking for. Unlike the others, his clothing seemed very fine, so I thought if he were a musician and composer, there could be a chance that I would be able to find out something about him.

I started by researching the clothing I saw Charles wear. I was quite puzzled by what I found. The clothing was consistent with men’s clothing styles in England in the first half of the 1700’s. French clothing at that time looked different. I searched using the terms Charles, 1700’s, composer, violin, harpsichord, and England. I found a couple of composers who did not match the description of what I sought in that they had been successful in their lifetimes. I tried again, using the same search terms, but this time I added the word “poverty.” I found him.

The entries I found for Charles Francois Dieupart made sense. He was born to a candle maker in France and wore English clothing in my vision of him because he had moved there to teach the daughter of a wealthy English nobleman. Most importantly, his story resonated with me. He died alone, in poverty, a master of the harpsichord and violin, who went from playing in the finest houses in England to playing in beer halls by the time of his death.

While I have a number of missions in this lifetime, healing the karma of that lifetime figures prominently. I have invested much time and effort learning more about that lifetime. I have seen events from that lifetime and felt the feelings of that lifetime. I have come to understand at least some of Charles’s disappointments, dissatisfaction, anger, resentment, distress and despair. There really isn’t much in the way of good feeling that comes to me in regard to that lifetime, except this: I began to work very hard at music once I understood its place in my life experience.

I have made a commitment to myself and my higher self to spend the rest of my life making music every single day and taking step after step along that path, without stopping. I believe that part of my soul finally trusts me to do my best and knows that I will not quit or dally further. Finally, I had a vision of Charles sitting in front of a bank of tall windows, looking out upon a perfectly groomed expanse of lawn. It was the first time I experienced peaceful energy from him. He knows I’m trying my best.

Sometimes, just as I awaken, I receive message from spirit. The morning after I finished the bulk of the recording for my first solo effort, 8, I awoke with this word in my head: Oui. I know who sent that.

At this point, I do not believe in coincidences: rather, I’ve come to appreciate synchronicities. It was no accident that the name my French teacher gave me in high school was Françoise. It was no accident that my teacher called on me, with my normally redneck, hillbilly accent, when she wanted the other students to hear the correct pronunciation of the French terms we were learning. The accent came quite naturally to me.

It also was no accident that the first record I ever bought was “Love Train” by the O’Jays. That really is the true nature of this journey: it is a trip all about love, and understanding that sometimes, one of the ways we learn about something is through the absence of it and the return to it. I am glad to be back in the flow at last.