Nathalie Johnson suffered through unthinkable trauma as a child before being forced into an impossible situation as a young bride, but in this spiritual guidebook her life story becomes a message of hope.
At one low point, Nathalie descended into a darkness she thought she would never emerge from. Then she began to dream of angels, and everything changed. These vivid, peaceful dreams left her marveling when she awoke. Each subsequent dream continued where the previous left off with an ever-expanding cast of angels and celestial beings. The dreams washed over her with overpowering feeling of love, warmth, belonging, and acceptance. The experience was indescribable, and working through it opened her soul to realize what she is meant to do: work with angels.
In Let Your True Self Shine, the author reveals what she's learned by interacting with angels, offering a 222-hour plan broken into nine days of inspiration, exercises, and attainable goals for finding your way through the darkness and into the light.
|Publisher:||Author Solutions Inc|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A DIFFICULT START
And there I am, still in the womb, still forming into a little baby girl, screaming in pain, though unheard, because someone is kicking me. Who hates me so much that he wants to hurt me, that he wants me dead? Sucking on my thumb, I beg the pain to stop. Before the kicking started, I was stretching and beginning to extend my arms and legs. I hear Mom. Wait, she is touching her belly and me. Oh, no. What can be going on that makes my mother throw up? Is she upset? Did I do something wrong? I hear fighting. She is running for her life. Then the commotion seems to stop, and I am in a state of calmness. My mom is touching her belly again and eating. I can't wait to be in her arms and tell her how much I love her.
Time passes, and I notice I am getting bigger and bigger and flipping upside down. I want out! I want out! The doctor gives me a slap, and I start to cry, but then my mom takes me in her arms. Mom, thank you for bringing me into this world, I say with a smile. Of course, I can't speak words. Still, I know my mom understands what I am saying. I still wonder who was kicking me, wanting me gone and making my mom sick.
About ten years earlier and on the other side of the world, another woman with a big heart was expecting a very special child. This mother-to-be loved God with all her heart and devoted time to pray each day. Her compassion touched those in need. One night she had a powerful dream. In the dream someone told her she was going to have a very special boy, and she should name him Zoroaster, like the spiritual leader and ethical philosopher. In Tehran, Iran, at eight in the morning on a month in autumn, this special boy was born.
Zoroaster was the oldest of four kids who liked to go see his grandparents in the village where they lived. He felt a connection to Mother Earth, mountains, and nature. Whenever he saw elderly people carrying heavy bags or any other tasks that might require extra strength, he was there to help them. His favorite fruit was bananas. Since they didn't grow in Iran, they were a very rare, delicious treat.
In October 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. A war started, which was soon followed by a long history of border disputes. Iraq wanted to replace Iran as the dominant state on the Persian Gulf, an important channel for both states' oil exports. Dictator Saddam Hussein claimed the reason for the invasion was a territorial dispute. The war consequently took many lives, including those of children and women, and it created traumatic memories for those who survived. The tactics used during this war were compared to those of World War I, including deliberate attacks targeting Iranian civilians with weapons of mass destruction and the extensive use of chemical weapons along with bombs.
Zoroaster's mother still recalls the missile strikes targeting Iranian people in Tehran, the city where her whole family lived, and people trapped in collapsed buildings. Fleeing refugees like Zoroaster and his family survived, many of them migrating to Canada.
But at that time, I was yet to be born, and I had no idea my path might one day cross with the path of that special boy. It wasn't until years after my own birth, across the globe from Iran in Colombia, South America, that I learned the whole truth of what was going on while my mom was pregnant with me. My mother was a sixteen-year-old high school student and in love when she accidentally became pregnant with my dad's baby — me! My dad, also a high school student, was seventeen years old and in love with Mom too. He wanted her — and me — to have a better life than he had. The Colombian mafia had recently kidnapped his father, and the kidnappers wanted a substantial amount of money to release him. Of course, no one had that kind of money, so they tortured him until he could not fight for his life any longer.
My mother's mother, my maternal grandmother, wanted to hide in shame when she found out I was on the way. My mom hid her pregnancy for a long time by putting really tight gauze around her belly, which explained the pressure I felt and why I experienced some difficulty when I tried to extend my arms and legs. My mother told only her best friend about my existence. She also shared with her that she was thinking about having an abortion. But my grandmother received a mysterious phone call about me and my mother's plans. Once my grandmother found out, she got very angry. She couldn't believe her daughter had betrayed her by getting pregnant at such early age. My grandmother, like any other mother, wanted my mom to continue her education and not be stuck raising kids her whole life. Now she was disappointed and scared for her daughter.
* * *
As a child, I felt an energetic and powerful yet calming presence. It gave me a feeling of safety. Since I couldn't explain what it was or where it came from, I decided it was best to keep it a secret. My mom and her friends had weekly get-togethers led by their friend, Vivian, who was a gifted medium. All the kids were forbidden to witness the adults' world during these gatherings. But my curiosity always took me places where I was not supposed to go, so I would sneak into the room and watch what they were doing. First they would offer a prayer. Vivian, leading the prayer, would close her eyes halfway, rolling them at the same time. What I saw happening was energy being formed in the air and then going through her head. Once this energy spirit was in her body, her voice changed, and her eyes were halfway open as she sipped on a glass of wine and smoked a cigar. I learned that while this particular spirit was alive, he liked wine and cigars.
These meetings were typically for the people in the group who needed guidance in their lives or for the future to be revealed to them so they could be better prepared and make the right choice in the present. The spirit answered all the questions quickly and confidently, using accurate details. It was as if the spirit had been in these people's lives before. Witnessing that moment made an impression on me, and I sneaked in on these sessions as often as I could.
I viewed everything from an early age as if the world were painted in rainbow colors. It was a thrilling, magical place full of adventures. I loved to go for walks in the park. I smelled the flowers and talked to the bees and butterflies. I took a book to read and my colored pencils, so I could draw while I rested against the trunk of a tree. I watched the clouds as they moved and saw different shapes and figures forming on the blue sky. I always imagined there were infinite possibilities for dreamers like me, where anything one thinks of can manifest itself in different shapes and forms. I dreamed of a world where love was the religion everyone followed and where all the countries ended segregation and came together to end poverty. I knew about poverty from witnessing the homeless children selling candy on the street and those who slept under a bridge and cleaned windshields in exchange for money. Those images made me wish for a more peaceful, just world.
Animals were always my passion. From an early age, I told everyone that when I grew up, I wanted to become a veterinarian. I felt an incredible connection with all the animals and a deep compassion for ones that didn't have a home. Mom often found me with food in my pockets to feed any animal I encountered on my walks to the park. Animals were not just my friends; they gave me the strength to believe there was something meaningful to live for. And when my mother took her anger out on me, I cuddled with my dog, Cindy, after the beating.
Animals have a deep connection to our Mother Earth. They have a deeper respect than we humans have for the suffering our carelessness causes the earth. We often act thoughtlessly toward future generations by abusing the resources our earth gives us. However, with an awakening of consciousness, we can reduce pollution. We can stop killing animals for fashion purposes. We can reuse, recycle, and much, much more. Then we will assure future generations get to see the beauty of this world.
Growing up, we lived in a place where stores were within walking distance. So one Sunday morning when I was six years old, my mother sent me to the bakery to get a loaf of French bread. This was a Sunday tradition in our family. Although my dad wasn't in the family picture much during this time because of his alcoholism, my mother always made sure the three of us — my mother, my younger sister, Sophia, and I — had special times together.
On my way home that Sunday, a thought entered my head. I really want some of that bubble gum with the fruity flavor inside. As I walked along, I wanted it more and more. The only thing was, I didn't have enough money in my piggy bank. I knew Mom wouldn't buy it for me because of her strict policy of no candy before breakfast. I became so determined that I took money from the change after buying the bread and bought the bubble gum.
When I got home, Mom asked why she was missing change. I didn't have the courage to tell her the truth. I was always afraid of her violent reactions toward me, so I lied and told her that it must have fallen out of my pocket. She then boldly inspected my pants and, to my surprise, she found that bubble gum. Minutes went by. I knew this couldn't end so smoothly. The clock kept ticking. My palms were sweating. I felt nauseous, like I was going to throw up, as I waited for the resolution to the problem I had just created. Sitting next to Sophia, I watched Mom walk toward us, bringing a spoon that she had left on the stove to heat up the metal. I was puzzled. Why would she bring only one spoon and have her other hand free? Seconds later, I found out the reason.
She began by asking me why I had lied to her. I told her that I was afraid of her, afraid to tell the truth. The conversation didn't last very long before she grabbed both of my hands and pushed the hot metal spoon against each of my hands. I experienced excruciating pain, as if my skin were melting. I screamed and cried and begged my mother to please forgive me and to please make the pain stop. She soon realized the physical damage she had caused on my small hands and ordered me not to tell my dad if I wanted to avoid more pain.
Even though my dad had alcohol issues, I felt very close to him because he always gave me unconditional love and never hit me. To Mom's surprise, Dad came to the house that day, unannounced, soon after my punishment. Mom had placed me on the bed, lying with my palms facing up in order to cover up the burn on the top of my hands. My dad approached me. I was sobbing, my tears soaking the pillow. He couldn't believe what had happened while he was away from home. I could smell his alcohol breath as he stroked my hair and told me that I was going to be okay. He and my mom argued and fought, hitting each other. I couldn't help but close my eyes to avoid seeing the two of them fighting over my well-being. My mom's argument was based on teaching discipline — even if that involved physical pain. My dad's approach was more sensitive and lenient — on the passive side.
After an unsuccessful resolution to my parents' ideas about the right way to raise me, my dad decided to call his sister who lived close to a pharmacy only fifteen minutes from our house. My aunt adored me, and I adored her even more. She and I would often go to the park together or go shopping whenever my mom allowed. My aunt brought over a cream for third-degree burns, following the description my dad had given her over the phone. She was the type of woman who always avoided confrontation and fights but always sought for the best for everyone. She convinced my dad that I should be taken away from my mom, so I could have a positive and normal childhood. When they told my mother what they had decided, she was strongly against it and was willing to do whatever it took to keep me by her side. She finally confessed that she regretted what she had done to me. This wouldn't be the last time I experienced physical abuse from her. It became routine for her to push me down the stairs, beat me with wooden sticks and wires, throw anything that was in her hand at me, drag me by my hair, bang my head against the wall, kick me, punch me, laugh at me, make fun of my skinny body, call me worthless and dumb, and force me to eat my own vomit. Every time she would beat me and then see the blood, bruises, or broken skin she had inflicted on me, she would cry and ask me to forgive her and swear that she would never do it again. But then the story would repeat itself all over again. She told me if I told my dad, who she knew would call the authorities and try to gain custody of me, she would beat me twice as hard. I lived in constant fear that people might find out what was going on in my household.
Multiple times social services and doctors reviewed my case, and after careful observation, they all determined that mine was a severe case of child abuse. Still, my mother was able to shame me into denying that she had hurt me. "Do you want me to look bad in front of the doctor?" she would ask me. "Do you want me to go to jail?" I can so vividly remember her voice and the look in her eyes. "Is that what you want to do to your mom?" Then she would threaten to unleash more violence against me if I didn't go along with her lies. In the end, after practicing my story with my mother and repeating the words she told me to say, I would always comply, telling the doctors and social workers that I had hurt myself on the playground.
But all of this became normal to me because I had never known anything else. I was six years old, and I had learned to accept that my mother had to hit me — that it was simply part of my life. I didn't know why she only hit me and never my little sister, but I was glad that Sophia did not have to endure her violence. Unfortunately, the lack of a nurturing and loving upbringing along with feelings of abandonment from my dad leaving us led me to believe that there was something wrong with me instead of something wrong with the people in charge of my well-being.
"A child that's being abused by its parents doesn't stop loving its parents, it stops loving itself." Shahida Arabi
Often, the pain that we face in life gives us courage to be braver than before and allows us to grow on a soul level. We are here for a limited time on this earth, and that is why it is paramount to live with few expectations about others and to love them as best as we can and accept them as they are. That is not to say that you must love a person who causes you pain, but instead accept that the person has wounded you and that you do have a choice. You can forgive and let go.
* * *
My mom was always a go-getter at heart who often held two jobs at the same time while also managing to raise my sister and me. Her own childhood had taught her that discipline often involved physical pain. When she became a mom at such an early age, still full of dreams without the means to make them come true, she built up a lot of anger. This anger, accompanied by pain and frustration, was hard for her to control.
On one occasion, my mother, sister, and I had to move to a different neighborhood if we wanted to stay alive. It started when two men knocked at our door one night loudly, as if they were banging their fists against the door. When my mother opened the door, the two men said they were looking for my dad because he owed them money. My mom told them that she and my dad had not lived together for quite some time and that they were living practically as if they were divorced. One of the men called my mother a liar and came into the bedroom that I shared with my sister. He took the blankets off the bed where my sister and I were lying down. Then he grabbed my sister and me and threw us violently to the floor. My mom screamed, "Leave my girls alone! Take it out on me instead!" The two men then put a gun behind my neck and my sister's neck. One of them spoke in a very loud voice: "If we don't see your husband and get the money, we will finish this." My mother got on her knees and implored them not to kill us. I was scared for our lives. After they left, my mom was in shock and couldn't stop crying or speak clearly to us. Then we began to pack.
We didn't know where my dad was. Sophia was too young to help with the packing, so I helped my mother do most of it. The next few nights, my mother slept with one eye open, fearing what could happen next. We moved to a place a few hours away. I never found out if my dad paid the debt or if they were still looking for him or us.
As for my dad, he could pass for an ordinary guy — not so tall; dark, black, straight hair with a few white hairs mixed in; a smile that would go to one side more than the other; and deep brown eyes, one of them a lazy eye. His ordinary presence didn't give away that he had so much love to give. He chose wisely to whom he showed that side of himself. The oldest of three, he had been raised with a stern hand by his father. At that time, punishments that now seem cruel were the norm, and the belief of that time was that punishment was the way to teach a child how to behave. My dad still experienced a degree of abuse from his father, but he used this experience in a positive way. Since he knew what it felt like to be mistreated, he did not want to raise his children the same way. To his family's misfortune, my dad's father left this earth too soon, and his absence in my dad's life caused him to turn to alcohol.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Let Your True Self Shine"
Copyright © 2019 Nathalie Johnson.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part 1 My Personal Journey, 5,
A Difficult Start, 7,
Finding My Way in America, 16,
Looking for Happily Ever After, 22,
Rising Above, 33,
Healing Journey, 41,
Part 2 How to Transform Darkness into Light, 55,
Your Soul Calling, 57,
Day 1 Trusting in the Infinite Love of God and His Angels, 59,
Day 2 Ego, 66,
Day 3 Conditioning, 72,
Day 4 Forgiveness, 75,
Day 5 Energy, Intention, and Manifestation, 78,
Day 6 Loving Yourself, 81,
Day 7 Increasing Your Frequency and Vibration, 92,
Day 8 Meditation and Living in Gratitude, 98,
Day 9 Living in Your Gift, 104,
Part 3 Tools for a Healthy Life and Spirit, 115,
Healthy Gut Care, 117,
Candida Health, 118,
Organic Foods, 120,
Food Label Claims, 123,
Balanced Diets, 133,
Ayurveda Medicine, 136,
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), 153,
Traditional Medicines, 158,
Antibiotic Tonic, 163,
How Nathalie Can Help You Continue Your Journey to Light, 166,