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Spirituality, Sufism & Starbucks: I See Dead People

Spirituality, Sufism & Starbucks: I See Dead People -

I see dead people.

No, seriously.

I can communicate with people who have passed over. This is not a path I necessarily chose, at first. But after acknowledging and purifying my clairvoyance, through Sufism, I have accepted it. The spiritual path I embarked on enabled me to reach this height of clairvoyance. We all have the opportunity to do this but you need to make sure the path you choose is right for you. While I never left Islam, my spirituality took me through various schools of thoughts which all lead me to Sufism.

I am not possessed nor am I schizophrenic. Often times these two labels are thrown onto an individual with these spiritual gifts, out of ignorance.

When I was eight years old, after visiting my family in Egypt, my aunt passed away. She passed away after we left so I was not directly affected by her loss during the vacation. However, a few weeks after her death, I awoke in the middle of night with her presence in my bedroom. I could hear and see her, vividly. She was kind and gentle. She even played dolls with me! My mother, on the other hand, was not pleased when she learned about these visits from my Aunt. Therefore, my mother reacted how any other Muslim would, she filled my bedroom with stacks of Quran and prayed over me consecutively until I fell asleep from a Quran induced coma. Weeks had passed, and my aunt stopped visiting me.

I became “religious” in my teenage years and immersed myself in my community mosque. It was during Sunday school where I had learned that spirits were to be left alone and never associated with. The topic of spirits and jinn did not frighten me, like it did my counterparts. On the contrary, I was fascinated about that world. I started to remember the visions I received as a kid and sought to explore the topic further. I was only met with extreme resistance from the leaders in my community and often times condemned for even questioning the field.

I wanted to change.

I retreated, again, and decided to categorize the metaphysical world as, haram (forbidden).

Fast forward to my early adult years when I began to break away from the strict dogma I was engrossed in because I was disgusted with myself — I became consumed with what was “haram” and “halal” and I was acting as the religious police to others. I was judgmental of how other’s practiced religion and I was extremely closed-minded. I viewed the world in black and white.

For example, God tells us not to consume alcohol. Did you know a pack of gum contains 2 grams of sugar alcohol? It was for that very reason that I chose not to chew a specific brand of gum. What a crazy, rigid mind I had! Clearly, these were not attributes of a pious, humble individual. I wanted to change. I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to soften my heart. I just didn’t know how.

A week before my move, from Ohio to California, I coded. I lost a heartbeat. I died. For 1 minute and 33 seconds. I saw myself on the operating table and I witnessed my resuscitation. I was dating a Physician Resident at the time and he was on call that night. The look of devastation on his face when he walked in and learned it was me on the table still haunts me.

I remember thinking to myself, “I have to come back. My mother will not be able to go on if this is my end.” I felt trapped. In an odd sense, trapped in my own body. I could see what was happening to my physical body but I was not connected to it. I was even ashamed to see the staff rip off my clothes in order to get all the necessary equipment attached to me.

When I regained consciousness, I told the physician I saw everything. I expected him to roll his eyes and refer me to a psychiatrist. Instead, he looked at me with kindness, placed his hand on my arm and said, “That has been known to happen. You should explore that and see what it means, to you. I suggest you seek your spiritual counselor for guidance.”

A Western medical professional, in Ohio, just advised me to seek spiritual counseling and not psychiatry. I definitely died and woke up in a different realm!

After my move to Los Angeles, I was very sensitive. I could pick up other people’s emotions. I thought I was moody, myself, seeing how I had an enormous shift in my life. From dying and coming back to life, to then moving across the country and leaving behind not only my family but a guy I was dating. For the first time in my life, I chose myself over others. I chose to start my independence, away from family and societal expectations. I chose to leave a beautiful relationship to pursue my career and give him space to pursue his.

Three months into my new life in California and I started to feel balanced. While my emotional state was still fragile, I was coming to terms with my life. My first apartment had heavy energy. There were random spots in the home that were inexplicably cold. On certain days, I would feel a draft through my living room. Even when my windows were closed. In the center of the main room, there was a slight stench. Not noticeable to the average guest. But it was apparent to me and at times I couldn’t quite figure out what the smell was. It wasn’t good or bad. It was just, odd.

For a week, I was waking up every night at exactly 3:33 AM. As if a switch went off in my mind, I awoke and was immediately alert. I would mutter a prayer and go back to bed. Until one night, I woke up to a spirit inches from my face. I froze. This being was missing body parts, which I would later find out what that means. After what felt like an hour, but really only seconds later, I uttered the Shahada (declaration of faith) and Ayat al-kursi (verse of the throne). Eventually, I regained mobility and I immediately called my sister in a panic. I thought I had lost my mind.

My sister’s first words of comfort were, “That’s so cool! I wish I could see!” After I cried and screamed, “I am so scared, I almost wet myself” she took me seriously. For about five minutes we were serious, then she reverted back to telling me how “cool” my encounter with a spirit was.

The following day, I sought guidance from an Imam at a mosque in Los Angeles. Again, I expected him to tell me I’m possessed or delusional. Or at least, hose me down with a cauldron of burning bakhoor — reciting 1/3 of the Quran. I was expecting the most cynical outcome. Instead, he softly said, “You need to purify your gift and develop it. You can help so many people, if you take the right path. Start studying Sufism.”

Sufism? I thought Sufism was the Muslim equivalent to Jewish Kabbalah. In other words, high profile celebrities or extremely wealthy individuals, parading around Los Angeles, showcasing their spirituality by the latest jewelry trend.

I had always enjoyed reading the works of Imam Al-Ghazzali and Sheikh Nuh Keller but I never associated that with spirituality or metaphysics. I didn’t take the Imam seriously so I went to three other Mosques in Los Angeles. They all advised me the same, seek spirituality through Sufism.

I consulted Sheikh Google ibn Yahoo (not a real sheikh) and searched, Sufism. My screen was inundated with Rumi quote images and whirling dervishes. Again, I was not satisfied with this information. My senses were extraordinarily heightened at this point. I could not walk down the street without getting bombarded with spirits. The problem with being a psychic medium, and not knowing how to shield or protect your energy, is you are always open. Spirits know that and flock to you because they need to get information to their loved ones.

For inquiring minds, the spirit in my apartment was a young girl who had died in the living room. She had not crossed over, as the mystery surrounding her death was not complete. She was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Her boyfriend was a drug dealer and after an argument escalated to new heights, she was caught in the crossfire. I hired a specialist to cleanse the apartment and assist in the young woman’s journey to the other side. Once she had crossed, the stench in my apartment went away and I no longer had issues with the fluctuation in temperature.

Months had gone by and my frustration for not feeling like I had answers or even a sure path to understanding grew. I walked into the Psychic Eye Bookshop and browsed their bookshelf, feverishly. This was my first time in a metaphysical store and I had no idea what to even look for. While skimming over the stacks of books on witchcraft, wicca and paganism, I finally found the section on clairvoyance. Right when I grabbed a book, a lady from behind me spoke, “Oh, you won’t like that one. Check this one out instead,” she placed a book in my hand and then she looked slightly above my head and said, “You have really strong energy. Your aura is very bright and your crown chakra is illuminated.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what any of that means,” I responded.

“You don’t even know how powerful you are. Why don’t you sign up for my class? I teach an entry level course, here at the shop.”

“Eh, I’m not into witchcraft,” I responded. I thought this lady was high on something. What does she mean, “Powerful?” I can barely tie my shoes in the morning without throwing out my back; from all the heavy energy I have been experiencing lately.

“Who said anything about witchcraft? I teach a psychic class. You clearly need direction. The only thing stopping you from owning your power is fear.” She handed me her business card and walked off.

I was the first one to show up to her class that Wednesday evening.


Stay tuned for next week!

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