Finding Balance In 2022

As I sit contemplating my yearly boxing day blog, I am wondering were to start, going back to October 2021. I was working as a relief worker for Two Saints at their Acton Lodge Hostel, a support worker had resigned due to his ill health giving a month’s notice, as a replacement had not been found, the manager asked me if I would like to work in the community rather than being hostel based. Working in the community would mean supporting clients in sublet accommodation, as well as clients in hostels awaiting sublet accommodation, the clients had previously been homeless suffering with drug, alcohol, and mental health issues. I jumped for this new opportunity as I wanted to do more to help clients, rather than day to day hostel duties. I explained to my manager that I had no experience of support work, but I would love to give it a try, as I hoped to become a full-time support worker, I had applied for the vacant position. this would mean I would have practical experience, and it would support my job application.

I feel I have learned important lessons during my time employed by Two Saints. I will discuss the lessons I learned throughout this blog. January 2022 started with me suffering with covid. Although I felt I had recovered enough to do my first service, which was a zoom demonstration of mediumship for Bognor Spiritualist Centre, the meeting went well although my voice became hoarse, and the meeting was called to time, fortunately before my voice gave out. A private reading with me was raffled, I was told lots of people had bought raffle tickets, because the reading would be with me, I know this sounds arrogant, but it made me feel good to know that my spirit team’s work, through me was touching heart’s helping people and making it’s mark.

I started out with a caseload of ten clients, and considered as a complex caseload, because of the client’s lifestyle, addictions, and mental health. I realise now as I am writing that I had bitten off more than I could chew, I started to realise that I had been thrown in the deep end. As a relief worker I was not entitled to travelling expenses, but I was expected to visit clients using my own car, and I had to get business insurance for my car, as at times I would have to take clients to professional appointments, such as doctors, dentists, and hospitals, or to the council, or to get benefit assessments, or to move clients from one property to another with their belongings. I was also not entitled to a company phone, as I could not give clients my personal phone number, this made things difficult, if a client wanted to phone me they had to leave a message at hostel for me, or if I needed to phone a client. I would have to drive back to hostel to phone them, or call hostel staff to call the client to give them a message from me.

In January 2022 I was interviewed for the role of support worker along with other candidates, I was unsuccessful in my application, and the job was offered to another candidate. I was a bit miffed as since October 21 I was working the vacant post without the correct renumeration, phone or training to do the job being asked of me, my manager asked me to do certain online training courses, but when I tried to do the training courses, I was not allowed to do them as I was still a relief worker. A week or so later I was told they could not employ the successful candidate in the community role, as she did not have a car or driving licence, she had started work at a hostel a bus ride from her home.

I was offered the support worker role. In hindsight I should have rejected the job offer, because it was clear I was second choice for the role, as a colleague reminded me a few days later. But I was happy as now. I would be working on a full-time basis, the working hours were 9am-5pm, which would allow me to earn a decent wage and accommodate my spiritual service, on the 7th February 2022 I started work aa a homeless recovery worker, not only did I have to manage my caseload, a new world of training had opened up for me, which meant I would lose alot of time to do training. I was working longer and longer hours to keep up with my caseload and the admin that comes with it, my predecessor had not done up to date support plans for the clients I had inherited from him, or arranged housing benefit for a client , which led to extra workload, with me asking lots of questions, as I had never dealt with housing benefits before.

It was at this point I realised I was becoming stressed, with my workload as I was working extra hours to keep up, also doing 3-4 services a week online and in person. I was not getting anytime for myself and quality time with my wife. I just seemed to be constantly working, the only respite I seemed to have was when it was time to sleep, as in the darkness of the night there was no expectation of me. and I could relax, at times I still had to meditate to relax enough to sleep, as to what I needed to do or worrying about what I may not have done was heavy on my mind, me and my wife had booked a 11 night cruise to the canary islands in March, which I was very much looking forward to, as I had never been on a ocean cruise before, and it would be a break from everything visiting new places, a time to rest and relax and spend time with my wife, who I missed as I was always working, and hoping to be inspired by the sea to write new poems.

My wife and I were very excited to travel to Portsmouth, to board our cruise ship the valiant lady 21/03/22. We were greeted with a champagne reception when we boarded, my wife and I had booked a rock star suite on deck 11 at the stern of the ship, we sailed later that day having a gorgeous steak dinner before bed time, it was an 80’s cruise and live entertainment was provided by Martin Fry of ABC, Toyah Wilcox, Annie Logan of Altered Images, and Carole Decker of T’Pau, and Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet. It was great to see them perform their hits live, over the cruise back in the day I loved all of my heart by ABC, and always wanted to see it sung live, so to watch Martin Fry singing All Of My Heart was truly my best highlight of the cruise, Veronica spent the first two days of the cruise in bed sea sick, to cut a long story short, the food was great and to a very high standard, the staff were wonderful, but other than the 80’s entertainment, there was not really much else to do on board the ship, apart from drink and lie on a sun lounger, there was also a blues band that entertained during the day in one of the bars.

Our cruise was struck by tragedy as a passenger had to be airlifted to hospital, due to a medical emergency, and we had to sail back a few hours so the helicopter could reach our ship, a man committed suicide by jumping overboard, he told his wife he was going to get some air as she was going to bed, his wife woke up 8 hours later to find that he had not returned to her, and a ship wide for him began, he captain made a tannoy announcement that the man was seen on cctv, jumping overboard and that no one else was involved, under maritime law we had to sail back to the man’s last known position, and search for him, we sailed back and the ship carried out a 100 mile search with the help of the French coastguard, once we had reached the search area me and Veronica and many passengers looked out to sea to see if we could spot him. The man was not found and an eerie silence fell upon the ship, our hearts going out to his wife and family.

Our cruise had been badly delayed, but it was no one’s fault the tragic circumstances for the delays, could not have been anticipated, it meant for me and Veronica that we spent a lot more time at sea watching movies in our suite, day trips were cancelled and our time in port was shortened, we did manage to visit Santa Cruz, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Lisbon. But basically it was just like being dropped off at the shops, in Tenerife me and Veronica walked around the shops and had coffee in a cafe, I remarked to Veronica “we could have done this in Eastleigh”. In Santa Cruz we hopped on board a coach trip that took us around the local sights and places of historical interest, with a very informative tour guide, that was a lovely day.

We landed back in Portsmouth 01/04/22, we saw the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier The Queen Elizabeth. to be bluntly honest I could not wait to get off the ship and go home, as I felt quite depressed this may sound very ungrateful, but due to spending a lot of time at sea with nothing much to do except eat and drink, and the tragedy that had occurred on board, coupled with the stress I thought I would escape from with this cruise, my mental health was way worse than before the cruise. I do feel blessed that me and Veronica could afford the cruise, but tragedy aside I guess cruising is not for me, tragedy aside my Veronica loved her time at sea and we may book another cruise in the future,

I returned to work 04/04/22 as expected I spent the first day replying to and actioning received emails, and visiting clients over the next 3 months my work load got heavier and heavier due to staff sickness, and being expected to cover hostel duties, as well as my own caseload and my off sick colleagues caseload, this I shared with another colleague who was also feeling stressed about he extra workload, I also had 2 complex clients that were being evicted and moved to another address, plus another client who I was trying to get sublet accommodation for, this involved a lot of report writing phone calls and emails, I was working longer and longer hours to keep up with my work load, coupled with doing 3-4 demonstrations of mediumship a week, I was not getting any adequate rest or quality time with Veronica, more than once I would get home at 7pm a quick meditate and tune in, and would be demonstrating mediumship by 7.30pm. During April 2022 I self published my collection of poetry titled Reflections on Amazon UK.

Over time I was becoming more and more stressed and anxious, as I could not keep up with my caseload and the workload it generated, I was also having to take time off to do training, which was giving me less time to focus on my workload. I had already resigned once before but was talked out of it by the service manager, things were coming to a head as I was becoming more and more stressed and dreading going to work each day, I took a weeks holiday in July, to decide what I was going to do with my life, and whether I could cope with stress and anxiety, and continue to do my job also realising the stress and anxiety, was getting harder and harder to rise above, and this would have a very negative effect on my spiritual service and marriage, my mental health was effecting my physical health as I was finding it very hard to sleep.

I unloaded my worries and woes onto my spirit guides, Red Cloud advised me if I did not find balance soon in my life, I would become to ill and I would be no good to anyone, and it would cut my pathway short, and they with me would not be able to achieve future service, I was reminded when I worked for an agency working around my spiritual commitments, I was rested and the household finances did not suffer, this was a lightbulb moment for me, although I realised Red Cloud was stating the obvious, my stress and anxiety was really affecting my train of thought, I decided to resign from Two Saints and go back to working for an agency so I could earn money have a better quality of life, and be well and rested enough for my spiritual service. 11/08/22 was my last day of working for Two Saints, it was a frantic day trying to complete the tasks my service manager and unloaded on me that day, I was full of stress and anxiety, my service manager asked me to return as a relief I told her I would think about it, a colleague asked me if I would come back as a relief, I told her with the way I was feeling I would not be back, staff had a collection for me, I received a lovely farewell card a bunch of sun flowers 2 bottles of my favourite wine sauvignon blanc and a box of maltesers, I was touched by their generosity.

My colleague Louisa invited me for farewell meal and drinks after work, I picked her up at the hostel she worked at and ranted about the events of the day, but I was touched she wanted to say a proper farewell to me, the sun was shining we sat in a pub garden had a drink and a meal which was most welcome I dropped her off in Gosport after the meal and went home, feeling relief about leaving my job and sentimental about my time with Two Saints, a curious mixture of emotions. I took the following week off to meditate and rest to get my stress and anxiety under control, midweek I went back to driver hire and signed on with them, a temp to perm job with meals on wheels was mentioned, I told them that the hours suited me and the hourly rate was good, I had a current DBS certificate so I start straight away, 22/08/22 I started work with meals on wheels and I have not looked back.

I am currently applying to work for meals on wheels full time on a 22 hour contract, which accommodates my spiritual service, I am renewing my DBS certificate once that is done I will be full time with meals on wheels, my stress and anxiety did not dissappear, it took a lot of meditation and self healing before I felt myself again, so I say to all take the time to be kind to yourself especially with mental health, myself and Veronica had a lovely week in York, to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary 07/09/22, sadly HM The Queen passed away 08/09/22, myself Veronica and the whole nation felt her loss as she was the only Queen we had known throughout our lives from birth, whilst in York I was invited to demonstrate trance healing at Harrogate Spiritualist Church, which was an honour and a blessing to do, 11 people received healing that night, also people saw loved ones and guides appear in the cabinet.

Spiritually I have got busier and busier, I am very blessed to say my 2023 diary is full, 2022 has taught me that I am not 30 years old anymore and I cannot do now what I did then, work full-time and do 3 demonstrations of mediumship a week, I have not got the energy I had 32 years ago, but hopefully now I have things in place, whereby I have balance in all areas of my life and the energy to fulfill all my commitments, I have also learned that I am not as mentally tough as I thought I was, and that self care with mental health is just as important as physical health.


Express The Great Spirit Within Throughout Your Life

How can a person become a medium and clairvoyant?

Every child of matter that seeks to serve the Great Spirit is a medium for the Great Spirit. Am I to say how he can evolve his souls. Has it not been told you so many times? Tell him to love his neighbour as himself. Tell him to serve, tell him to seek to uplift, tell him to do everything which will express the Great Spirit within him. That is the highest phase of mediumship. I cannot tell him how to become a clairvoyant, but I can tell him how to open the eyes of his soul so that the light of the great spirit can reach him. That is by the same method.

Silver Birch

I know the above quote from Silver Birch is old fashioned by today’s standards of equality, but it rings true for all of us whoever we are who call ourselves mediums, and spiritualists. Their is much more to mediumship than giving messages, today we focus on the mechanics of mediumship, how to receive and give messages from spirit, but turn our backs on the teachings of spirit love, kindness, compassion, to uplift all through our service to the Great Spirit. We must put into practice in our daily lives the teachings of spirit, for our own spiritual development and service, to all who are called to serve the Great Spirit as a medium, as Silver Birch says to serve and uplift is the highest phase of mediumship.

In modern times the great umbrella of spiritualism has become an industry, I feel it is a double edged sword, on the positive side the spiritual industry is creating greater awareness of a eternal universe and life, on the negative side the teachings of spirit are being shunned in favour of the mechanics of mediumship and fame and fortune, whereby I have heard mediums talking about developing their brand and the best way to market their brand, this to me is a total travesty of the teachings of spirit, that spirit have been giving us throughout the event of modern spiritualism, we have turned our backs on spirit teachings and the spiritual pathway of service to others, in favour of fame and money jealousy and ego are rife, amongst many mediums who try to topple another to be the top of the pile to gain stardom and fortune.

I have said for many years spiritual development is not for wimps, and this is very true through the teachings and practice of love, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion, our spirit evolves the light of the Great Spirit can reach us and becomes more powerful within us, we vibrate at a much higher level of awareness to spirit, and able to give much more through our mediumship, it is not easy to be loving kind and compassionate, to people who hurt us or we feel the weight of the world upon us, and this is where true spiritual development is happening, one of the greatest spirit teachings is to be loving, kind, forgiving, and compassionate, to those who vibrate at a lower level of understanding, people who are unkind selfish who will do anything and hurt anyone to get to where they need to be in life those who are violent hurt, maim, and kill. As I said spiritual development is not for wimps, but putting into practice in our daily lives the teachings of spirit, we can truly evolve as people and mediums.

There is much more to being a spiritualist than just attending a church or centre, to await a message from our loved ones, the teachings of spirit are there for all and given by spirit for us all with the intention of putting their teachings into practice, so that each and every soul can evolve to a much higher level of understanding and awareness, in doing so the collective consciousness of the human race evolves, and the light of the Great Spirit evolves, in todays spiritual industry the practice of mediumship has become more of a cabaret act, than the sacred practice of spirit communication, the 7th principle of spiritualism is eternal progress open to every human soul, by turning our backs on spirit guides and their teachings, and not promoting the teachings of spirit into practice, we are denying spiritual growth and evolution to all who come to spiritualist churches and centres, we as spiritualists should be learning from and developing with the teachings of spirit by making the practice of spirit teachings our way of life through service to others, to me the greatest way to express the Great Spirit within, is through spiritual healing, in whichever way we can heal and uplift others and our world.

To believe in something and not to live it, is dishonest. – Mahatma Gandhi

Stephen Rowlands 17/10/21

2020 A Year Of Change 2021 A Year Of Hope Seek And Ye Shall Find

At Christmas time 2019/20 I wrote about my optimism for the coming new year 2020, and without a doubt 2020 has been a massive year of change for us all, due to the covid19 pandemic, where many have lost their lives before their time, and many have suffered grief and loss throughout 2020, as a country the economy has suffered due to two national lockdowns, taking the country into recession, as I write this 25/12/20 it appears we are headed for a third national lockdown, which will cause the economy more harm and take the country as a whole into a deeper recession, The government has done its best to support people with the furlough scheme, and also support businesses that have had to close during lockdowns, but many have fallen into hardship losing jobs and livelihoods, placing greater pressure on social welfare and services also charities, the NHS has worked miracles to treat covid19 patients and to treat patients with other health conditions, although there were many NHS services cutback because of the covid19 onslaught, to help keep the NHS afloat whilst doctors and nurses were redeployed to treat covid19 patients.

My heart goes out to all who have passed into spirit due to the covid19 pandemic, and all people who are grieving and suffering financial hardship, and to those people who are suffering mental ill health, the lost lonely and confused the pandemic and lockdowns, have caused harm to peoples mental wellbeing, it is very hard as a nation to find something positive in 2020 due to covid19, I am a key worker as a security officer and a relief worker for a homeless charity, I was not financially affected by lockdown myself and my wife who is also a key worker as a carer in a care home, we managed to keep our heads above water and live comfortably, and we are very grateful for this blessing, I look to the lessons covid19 is teaching us as a collective human race, as I believe covid19 is teaching the human race it must change it’s ways, if the human race is to survive living on mother earth, during lockdowns the air became sweeter and far less polluted, as people used their cars a lot less only for essential travel, the animal kingdom flora and fauna flourished as they were far less impacted by the human race, we could feel mother earth healing beneath our feet, as far less industrial waste was being released into the atmosphere and buried in the ground, people had time to step back from the rat race the work/rest/play cycle and think about what is important in life, and the direction of their lives covid19 is teaching us the value of family friends and quality of life over money, and the joy of simplicity covid19 is teaching us we will not survive on mother earth if we the human race do not change our ways,

2020 effected my spiritual service and pathway as all my church bookings were cancelled, at the beginning of the March lockdown I thought to myself what shall I do now, my spirit guides came to me and said you will have serve us online now, people will still need guidance and the teachings of spirit to assist them on their path, I have always been against doing live readings on Facebook, as now due to the “Spiritual Industry” everyone is a medium, and becoming a medium is seen as a way of making money, and Facebook was and is choc a bloc with people giving free live readings, marketing their wares to get paid private readings, I decided to start doing Facebook lives in the format of a Spiritualist Church service, to accommodate prayer spiritual teaching and absent healing, and that spiritualist church goers would have a familiar online place to be as the churches were closed, many spiritualist churches started doing their services online, and to me and many this has been a very positive step by doing online services, it has brought spiritualism in the UK out to the world, I have been blessed to meet many people from all over the world whilst serving spirit doing online services, but Facebook live had its limitations and in the wisdom of Facebook they took the share screen facility away, making it very difficult for mediums to give messages from loved ones in spirit Angels and spirit guides, and as if by magic Zoom emerged an online meeting service, that enabled we mediums to give spiritual teaching and messages on a face to face basis, and to replicate spiritualist church services as best we can, in a meeting setting we can also play music during online services.

Through the power of Zoom I am now serving new churches and centers in an online capacity, but managed to actually demonstrate mediumship in three spiritualist churches between lockdowns, I was blessed to give charity readings via the Facebook group spiritual uplifting coming together as one, to raise money to pay for funerals for people who died prematurely due to covid19 run by my lovely friend Claire Louise Sutton, I have also given charity readings to raise money to train a hearing dog for medium Andy Musgrave, and to raise money for Stacy Cooper who has and will be undergoing major operations, and also to demonstrate mediumship monthly on the Slough Spiritualist Church Zoom demonstrations, alongside gifted mediums Charlotte Underwood Bill Hughes and Sarah Wawman, I realised people would get fed up with seeing my face all the time, in my Zoom meetings for my Facebook group Spirit Divine Centre, so I invited other mediums to demonstrate their mediumship for, Spirit Divine Centre and this has worked very well and I am thankful to all the mediums, who have demonstrated their mediumship now, I find myself running an online spiritualist centre I feel guided by spirit to do this, as I feel the need to share spiritual teachings as well as giving messages, so I have been doing Stevie’s GasBag a spiritual discussion group, and demonstrating transfiguration and trance to allow spirit guides to give their teachings, and to answer questions from spiritual seekers, on guidance from spirit we did our first trance distance healing via Zoom, which I am told a few people benefitted from it, so I intend to do more trance distance healing in 2021.

Dedicated to June Moore President Walton On Thames Spiritual Church

In the year of 2020 I have felt very guided by spirit, back in November 2019 it was a freezing night and I was grateful for my nice warm comfy home, and my nice warm cozy bed, I thought of homeless people and how they survive on a very cold night, and how blessed I am to have the comfort I have, but felt useless as to how I could help the homeless on this very cold night, so I prayed that the homeless find warm shelter and food, and that I may be used in someway to help the homeless, in December 2019 I was sitting by my laptop bored, and an incoming email pinged up it was from whiteknights recruitment, telling me that my CV matched there requirements and would I like to become a relief worker for the homeless, I was amazed by how they had found my CV, as for the past 30 years I have been working as a security officer, and my CV is on security job sites not social services sites, I can only say that my prayer had been answered, to be used in someway to help the homeless, I went along for interview that day, and to my surprise being a relief worker for the homeless, has a lot of similarities to my roles in security, my interview was successful and I applied for an enhanced DBS certificate to allow me to work with vunerable people.

In my 30 years as a security officer I have had experience of homeless people, from moving them on from buildings to arresting them for theft, to feed their drug and alcohol abuse, when I was a store detective, but have always felt compassion as to what must have happened to them, to live their lives in abject poverty addicted to drugs and alcohol some mentally ill, or a relationship breakdown rough sleeping on the streets, surely no one can choose that lifestyle realising drug and alcoholism mental illness homelessness, is a series of incidents in someones life that leads to a life on the streets, one memory comes to mind I was a store detective for a well known chain of chemists, a rough sleeper came into the store one day to pick up his methadone prescription, I kept an eye on him as the usual trick with drug abusers, was to collect their methadone then steal something from the store to sell, true to form this guy stole a sandwich a piece of cake and a soft drink, I arrested him outside the store, and took him to the security office I could see he was visibly hungry, on the search he had paperwork on him for housing and drug rehab also a couple of job applications, he told me he was trying to get his life back as heroin had destroyed his life, he was living on the streets and hungry my compassion kicked in, this guy was working very hard to turn his life around, he was not stealing for his drugs habit he stole because he had no money, I let him keep the sandwich cake and drink, this was against company policy as it could not be resold and would have been binned, but I let him keep the food as he was so obviously hungry, I escorted the young man off the premises sending him healing along the way, outside the store I shook his hand and wished him well for the future, he could not thank me enough for allowing him to keep the food.

In March 2020 my enhanced DBS certificate came through, and I started work as a relief worker at two saints hostels, my main duties are cooking and cleaning, wellbeing checks on residents, assisting support workers in their duties, updating daily logs, access control, and being a friendly supportive ear to residents, funding for the homeless has been cut in half due to government cuts, I felt as a spiritualist medium I could do something to raise funds for two saints, so they can continue their valuable work to get homeless people, off the streets and into homes and work, with drug and alcohol rehab and mental health support, I came up with the idea of organising a fundraiser for two saints, by doing an evening of mediumship, with fellow mediums Bill Hughes Charlotte Underwood and Sarah Wawman, but what to call the fundraiser I pondered, my spirit guide Red Cloud came to me and said, why not call it The Spirit Of Christmas as you have been guided into this work, and the teaching of Christmas is all about love kindness and compassion, I thanked Red Cloud a week or so later my medium friend Bill Hughes, started raising funds for Nightwatch his local homeless charity, it made sense to me to raise money for Two Saints and Nighwatch as myself and Bill were working for the same cause, myself Bill Charlotte and Sarah did The Spirit Of Christmas demonstration of mediumship 23/12/20, the total amount raised was £555.48, I looked up the angel number 555 and it told me to expect great change, that evening a colleague told me of a job vacancy nights on a 4 on 4 off basis at a homeless hostel, seeing this as a sign I applied for the job, which if I get it will provide financial security for myself and my wife, and give a deeper meaning to my service to spirit and expression of the will of the great spirit.

2020 has not been without personal tragedy as family friends and colleagues have passed away into the higher life, and I feel very blessed to have had those people in my life, and I wish them well and blessings to them for their journey in there new life, on a happier note myself and my beautiful wife Veronica celebrated our first wedding anniversary, on a lovely holiday we had in Torquay and with the money we saved when our cruise was cancelled, we refurbed our lounge including black out curtains, to accommodate transfiguration and trance, I wrote and self published my first book Messenger, about my early spiritual development and poetry, a real highlight for me was giving a talk on imagination via Zoom to The Unity Spiritual Community Of Salt Lake, I also started a home spiritual development circle that has been disrupted by covid19 but Zoom allows me to continue teaching, and in 2020 I have learned to focus on my spiritual path in life, and with the deepest gratitude I thanks all who have shared my path for the love friendship and the lessons, looking forward to 2021 I am looking forward to demonstrating transfiguration and trance for The Centre Of The Open Heart in San Francisco via FB live, and serving spirit in Churches and Centers via Zoom and hopefully in person, as one day covid19 will have run it’s course leaving its lessons hopefully learned, the future to me is the undiscovered creation and feel totally blessed that my path is guided by spirit, I say to all look forward seek and you shall find.

Stephen Rowlands 30/12/20