Month: November 2020

Book Review: Life After Death

Book Cover Life After Death

Life After Death:

The Burden of Proof

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., Penguin Random House (September 16, 2008)

Deepak Chopra has authored over 80 books. His signature 21-Day-Meditation Experience program has inspired millions of people around the world to meditate. This program originally launched with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

Transitioning from life to death

Because I am called upon to help people with their end of life passage, I decided to reach back to re-read Deepak Chopra’s 2008 book, Life after Death.

In his writings, Chopra often brings greater clarity to our spirituality through his personal experiences and his deep understanding of ancient philosophy. This book is written in this vein.

In Life After Death, he combines his understanding of physics with the knowledge he gained from counseling many people with their near-death experiences. Chopra offers his readers the possibility that dying might offer fantastic opportunities for spiritual growth.

Book Cover Life After Death

Dying is not to be feared

Deepak Chopra asserts that the spirit world exists in the same space that we inhabit. This world hides from view while vibrating at a different frequency than we do.

He describes life after death as if in a dream. In it, souls become your guiding force – bringing you back to the Source. I found this to be an interesting concept.

Time does not bind us

According to Chopra, afterlife lasts “as long as we can imagine.” In the afterlife, we exist in a world without thought, only images and memories. Here we can experience love, compassion, strength, and truth. In fact, Deepak tells us that in afterlife, “…existence becomes its own reward.”

The powers that can help you navigate through your afterlife, Deepak advises, are:

      • Imagination
      • Memory
      • Artistic Ability
      • Spiritual Sensitivity
      • Healing Abilities
      • Intuition

However, they are not required

He believes that what souls see and experience after death comes from what they expect. To me this explains the many different world views on what happens to us after we die.

I remember reading a review of Life After Death encouraging anyone expecting to die soon to read it. I agree.

Deepak Chopra’s explanations, along with the exercises he provides, help to make sense of our spirituality — whatever path one happens to follow.

Take care,


P.S. When I help clients and their families during their transition from life, we meet one-on-one. You can find information on my Treatment tab for Distance Healing.

Contact me if I can help. Call me at 1 (416) 203-2744 or email me with your phone number with good times to call you back at Let’s talk.

Gratitude in a World of Uncertainty

Butterfly Logo

This was originally published in my November 2020 eNewsletter that I mail through Mailchimp. Enjoy, Ellen

Can you believe we are reaching the end of 2020?  November has finally arrived. If you’re like me, this year’s passing comes somewhat of a relief. I am grateful for having survived.

Fall Colours

As I write this month’s message to you, our leaves here in Toronto continue their spectacular show. The red leaves have mostly dropped, and the yellow leaves shine in their full glory. Our oaks bask in their beautiful deep rust colours while our sumacs and burning bushes provide splashes of red. I really cannot remember a more colourful or longer-lasting fall. I hope your fall has been just as spectacular as ours.


I recently watched an old TED Talk that included a time-lapse movie by visual artist, Louie Schwartzberg.

His breathtaking photos reminded me that when you experience nature – even in a movie – nature can give you a feeling awe. Schwartzberg’s work inspired me to write this month’s message on gratitude.

A strange new world of constant Uncertainty

We live in very strange, and unpredictable times. Isolating away from our family and friends has induced fear, while at the same time, leaving us to our own resources. The uncertainty of our future can be quite unnerving – for you, for me, for everyone.

A psychoanalyst friend of mine, Doris Brothers, PhD, has written extensively on uncertainty and how difficult it is for us.

In our “modern society” we do not function well with uncertainty. COVID-19 has increased the level of uncertainty much more, so that it has become a burden. Doris goes even further saying that the uncertainty of our times heightens the “traumatic uncertainty of our going on being.” Subconsciously we react by heightening the differences between “us and them” which helps explain some of the violence going on in different parts of the world today.

I use meditation to help me calm down and to reduce the fear and uncertainty I feel sometimes.

From the Greater Good Science Center, I came across this Loving-Kindness Meditation that I thought I would share in light of what my friend explained about these troubling times. This 15-minute meditation strengthens feelings of kindness and connection toward others. You can listen to their audio and you can download a PDF or print it off.

Meditation can help you in your self-care efforts.

Indigenous Wisdom

From my friendships, studies, and readings I have come to understand that Indigenous people have always known how to accept uncertainty as part of their life. They learn how to live each day as it comes, from the time they are born.

I feel that we need to incorporate their Indigenous wisdom into our lives.

Science backs up their wisdom. Research shows us that by living in the present and accepting what each day gives us, we can live a more balanced and harmonious life. I’m sure you have experienced days where you enjoyed every moment no matter what happened? You and I need to create more of those days.

One way is through gratitude.

Gratitude Revealed

In the 2012 Louie Schwartzberg’s TED Talk that I mentioned earlier, he includes a movie about happiness and gratitude. Schwartzberg’s incredible cinematography brings to life the words of the narrator, Brother David Steindl-Rast, along with the musical montage of Gary Malkin.

Here are some of the words that inspired me.

Do you think this is just another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day that is given to you: today.
It’s given to you. It’s a gift.
It’s the only gift you have right now.
And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

Source: From the movie Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. Words by Brother David Steindl-Rast.

These words ring true in life.

I encourage you to take time to immerse yourself in the words, visuals, and music of this 10-minute video below. You’ll also find it at Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.. 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Much has been researched and written on gratitude. Researchers have found that gratitude can:

  • boost your happiness,
  • reduce inflammation in your body,
  • lower your stress levels, and
  • increase your feelings of optimism.

That’s just a few of the ways I can remember that will help you. You can probably come up with more ways you’ve witnessed that improve your life just by being grateful.

Practicing Gratitude

Kori D. Miller gives us more reasons to be grateful in her article 14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science. Miller also provides you with a list of 16 practices you can do to be more grateful and to realize these health benefits of gratitude even more.

When you practice gratitude, you begin to live in the now. You lessen your stress and have a fuller life when you are grateful. Nothing in the world is stable. Even our universe is forever changing and evolving. Worrying about the uncertainty that we currently live in just causes you more stress in your life. You don’t need that. I know I do not.

Politicians rule through fear. News outlets insists that “if it bleeds; it leads.”  We need to push through this bombardment of craziness by using beauty, gratitude, and love to make our voices heard. (Especially those voices in our heads!)

I refer back to the Indigenous peoples. They understand that an attitude of gratitude helps them to live each day as it comes. They experience life through the eyes of nature. They see beauty in a single flower, the flight of a bird, and even in a dying tree.

We can too when we stop, look around, and be grateful for all that we see, smell, and hear.

When we can do this, we expand our sense of self and feel much happier.

Start with this one practice

Begin to strengthen your gratitude by writing in your “gratitude journal”.

This can be a piece of paper, a spiral notebook, or a bound journaling book. Just write down each day one to five — things, people, places, or events — that you feel grateful for in your life. This could be as simple as being grateful for the blue sky.

I suggest you write in your journal at the end of your day. You may be surprised by how much better you feel. You may even sleep better ending on a note of gratitude.

There is no rule that says you must write down in your gratitude every day. Write whenever you feel inspired. The true rule is that you must practice living every day in an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for all things good.

Downloadable journal pages

To help you along, I have two Gratitude Journal pages you can download and print to write free hand the memories you feel grateful towards.

One is blank and the other has been divided into five parts. For the one-page, five-part Gratitude Journal I have also made it into a fillable PDF form that you can complete and save on to your computer or smart phone.

You will find them on my Free Download: Your Gratitude Journal.

Take care of yourself.

You’re important in our quest to make this world a better and more harmonious place to live. We can do this.

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P.S. You can find more of Louie Schwartzberg’s amazing cinematography on his home page at

P.P.S. The Greater Good Science Center offers a great quiz on Gratitude. It originated over a decade ago with a report of their findings compiled in 2012. You can still take the quiz here to find out how grateful you are.


Free download: Your Gratitude Journal


Beginning today, I encourage you to write down things you are grateful to have in your life. Your list can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

There are no rules except to have gratitude every day of your life. Plus, research shows that we need to write down at least one thing you feel grateful for every week. Aim for three times per week.

Your Gratitude Journal

Young man on coach typing

To get you started, we’ve designed three PDFs for you to download and use as your gratitude journal. Choose the one that works best for you. Try them all out.

My Gratitude Journal

 | Blank

My Gratitude Journal 5-part

 | Gratitude Heading

My Gratitude Journal fillable form

 | Online; Save to computer or smartphone

I’ve also included an example of one filled out.

My Gratitude Journal EXAMPLE

Now, let’s get started! Download today.


~~ Ellen

P.S. If you need inspiration to get started, The Greater Good Science Center offers good advice and some helpful hints. Find out more at Greater Good in Action and their  Gratitude Journal practice.

Book Review: My Summer with the Leprechauns

Cover: Summer with the Leprechauns

My Summer with the Leprechauns:

The Authorized Edition

by Tanis Helliwell Wayshower Enterprises (February 18, 2012)

Have you ever planned a trip and then remembered a book you wanted to reread? My Summer with the Leprechauns by Tanis Helliwell is the book I wanted to re-read before my trip to Ireland last year. I’m glad I did. I found my second reading just as fascinating as I had the first time. This book truly prepared me to recognize the magic of Ireland.

Cover: Summer with the Leprechauns

A time of unplanned discovery

In the mid 1990’s, Tanis Helliwell decided to go on a spiritual retreat to Ireland. She rented a cottage in a remote area of Ireland to spend her summer. Soon the nearby townspeople began telling her the stories about the leprechaun family that lived in the cottage she just rented.

Her apprehension turned into delight as she befriended one of the leprechauns. She later referred to him by a pseudonym name, “Lloyd,” to protect his real name. The summer, that started as a spiritual retreat, soon turned into a summer of discovery.

She learned about the evolution of the elementals through the soul of her new leprechaun friend. Elemental beings align with the elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Leprechauns belongs to the earth elemental race along with fairies, elves, trolls, brownies, and gnomes.

An important message

Lloyd pleaded with Helliwell for humans and elementals to work together — helping both races and the earth. The message he delivered became more urgent as the months passed. He clearly warned that “Humans are harming our own environment as well as theirs.” He wanted her to help get the message out. A message that sadly, is still relevant today as it was in the summer of 1995 when it was first received by Helliwell.

Helliwell helps us understand the instructions Lloyd gave her on how we can interact with elemental beings. You see, leprechauns are seldom seen and can be quite mischievous.

Each time I read her book, Tanis Helliwell’s style of writing engaged me further into her true story as she described her experiences in the elemental world and her new relationship with the leprechaun.

Sharing her experiences

In 2010, Helliwell produced a DVD about earth elementals and her experiences in Ireland. I encourage you to watch this 5-minute video excerpt from Nature Spirits and Elementals with Tanis Helliwell. It provides a quick overview of the elementals.

In 2011, Helliwell edited her original 1997 book about her experience in Ireland, My Summer with the Leprechauns: A True Story. Helliwell re-edited so “…that the reader can hear the leprechaun’s voice in all his mischievous wisdom.” In this updated version, she includes more information about the fascinating world (and mission) of the elementals than her original manuscript.

Today Tanis Helliwell carries Lloyd’s message to people from around the world. She helps people restore themselves and the world to health working with nature spirits. You can find more information about her work on her website Tanis Helliwell.

My Recommendation

Once again, I enjoyed reading Summer with the Leprechauns book. Tanis Helliwell mixes humor along with the importance of working together for the betterment of our earth — making this book a fun and fascinating read.

I recommend reading it to learn more about our spiritual world and that of the elementals who live with us. If you’re traveling to Ireland, it’s a must read.

Take care,


P.S. You can find the highlights of my trip on my blog post, Ireland Road Trip. Enjoy.