what do spirits look like? a peek inside the other side

what do spirits look like? a peek inside the other side - post by liv lane

I think I have something in common with police sketch artists. You know, the ones who visualize and draw images of criminals based only on descriptions from others? When those artists later see what a captured criminal really looks like, that’s where our experiences intersect. To see how closely the portrait they imagined and sketched resembles the person’s real-life image has to feel equally bizarre and amazing. 

That’s precisely how I feel whenever I see the real-life image of someone I’ve communicated with in spirit. It’s totally bizarre. And totally amazing.

I’m a visual person, so I’m grateful that when I communicate with spirits, guides and angels, the universe lets me see them in addition to hearing them. Of course, none of them needs an earthly body to exist in the Great Beyond. But the spirits of human beings who have crossed over appear to me with physical attributes for several reasons:

  • to illustrate their personalities, passions or happiest times in their lives (a dad of a dear friend, for instance, always shows up in a sweatshirt celebrating his favorite football team; turns out cheering for them was a favorite pastime)
  • to show me when they were alive (World War II vets sometimes show up in uniform and with a sepia tone to them, for example)
  • to get me to share something relevant that will resonate for the person on the other end of the line (one spirit kept pointing to her curly, perfectly coifed hairdo, wanting her daughter to know she was finally getting her hair done again!)

I never really know if the images I’m seeing of spirits are truly what they looked like in real life – unless I’m shown a photograph of them later. And that, my friends, is a take-my-breath-away WILD experience.

Several months ago, I was texting with a friend who was at the bedside of her dying grandpa. His wife (her grandma, whom I’d never met) came through to me to say she was excitedly waiting in Heaven…and could her husband hurry up already!? 🙂 She didn’t look like a grandma to me, though; she showed up as a young woman – in black & white – reminiscent of a 1940s photo. My friend said that made sense, because her grandparents were so happy and carefree at that time. A few hours after that exchange with my friend, my heart skipped a beat when I looked at my phone and, for a split second, thought the spirit of her grandma was staring back at me. My friend had texted me an old black & white photo of her grandma as a young woman, and she looked exactly like she did when she’d come to me hours earlier!

A similiar thing happened the other day – on Facebook. I was scrolling through my feed when – bam! – I got chills seeing the photo of a woman I recognized. She died on 9/11 and I’d done a reading for her mom several years ago (one of my first!). A mutual friend posted a picture on Facebook in her honor – and it took my breath away. You guys, it is the weirdest thing to wonder, “where do I know that person from?” only to realize you only know them from communicating with their spirit!

Even though this is part of my everyday life, I am still completely amazed each time it happens. Every speck of validation, every word that resonates with those left behind, every physical image that resembles the spirit images I’ve seen are reminders to me that anything is possible in the name of Love. Our loved ones do not forget us, they do not forget their earthly lives, and they do not lose their personalities – or even their favorite outfits! Yes – I’m very lucky to get to see them; but that’s not necessary to feel their love, to trust they’re present, to communicate with them in your own ways.

So, say hello. Blow them kisses. Trust the signs and symbols they send. Even if you can’t see them loving you, they can see you loving them.

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” 
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

my sports fantasy: moving from ‘new age’ to totally normal

when sports teams have success with visualization, yoga and other mindfulness techniques, the media marvels at the potential impact of 'new age' thinking. People! It's not new age...it's really old, and it's super duper effective.

I cringed when I read this headline in yesterday’s Star Tribune: New Age thinking helped turn this North High team around. I knew right away what the article would say: that yet another sports team had experienced great success after supplementing their practices with a little inner reflection…also known in the media as ‘new age thinking.’

Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled every time a team publicly reveals the impact of creative visualization in the locker room. What gets under my skin is the way these ancient and proven techniques are often billed by the media as ‘new age’ – a term originally coined in the 1960s to describe a new approach to spirituality, merging Eastern and Western philosophies and traditions. Over the years, the term ‘new age’ expanded to include everything from A to Z (astronomy to Zen) – and, in the eyes of many mainstreamers, a whole lot of crazy. I know many people for whom the term ‘new age’ carries a stigma; more hippie-dippy and out-of-touch than holistic and centered.

The article I saw yesterday profiled North High, an inner city basketball team that took last place in their conference last year. Coaches hired meditation teacher Jane Barrash to lead visualization sessions with the players, and this year, the team went from worst to first. In part, the coaches say, because Barrash worked closely with the kids to help them release fears, breathe deep, visualize success and realize their potential to co-create their reality. Yes, of course! Young people are still developing their perspectives on the world and themselves; to show them how to imagine themselves at their best and believe they’re capable of it? So powerful.

Every success story like this makes my heart leap and gives me hope that all youth athletic teams (and academic, too – why not!?) will one day incorporate these mindfulness and self-realization techniques into their programs. Countless pro athletes have employed the power of mental imagery, from Muhammed Ali to the 2014 Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks (whom ESPN profiled last year for their “unusual techniques” off the field). It baffles me why major media seems startled every time another sports figure or team reveals this is part of their routine.

Reporters, producers, athletes and coaches: we need your help to move this from ‘new age’ to totally normal, from alternative to mainstream. 

I have a kid who, like many, idolizes great athletes. He wants the foods they eat, the shoes they wear, the equipment they use, the shampoos they endorse. And he’s cool with visualizing success before a big game only because his dad and I have made sure he knows many of his favorite athletes do that, too. But we could use some back-up; more media examples of coaches talking about meditation as a must-have for teams, more players loudly and proudly endorsing the practice, more youth coaches incorporating guided imagery into their skills training.

The North High basketball players have already seen how mindfulness boosts their chances of winning on the court – and maybe even in life. Imagine if all of our kids knew how to breathe through stress, to believe in their power to succeed, to listen to their bodies, to feel connected to something amazing within them and bigger than them. This is my sports fantasy, but I’m visualizing it becoming a reality. Join me?

Aw, that's my hubby...coaching his team to be their best. :)


Here are several great sites to turn to for help encouraging your kids (and maybe yourself) to embrace the power of visualization.

Imagery for Kids: Dr. Charlotte Reznick offers great guidance for parents and recorded meditations for kids.

Parenting with Presence Summit (March 18 – 21):  This free upcoming summit features online interviews with thought leaders including Jane Goodall, Marianne Williamson and Arianna Huffington. (I’m an affiliate)

Left Brain Buddha: My childhood friend Sarah Rudell Beach grew up to become a teacher and an expert blogger on motherhood & mindfulness. You’ll love her posts, full of humor, great research and cool ideas.

The Ultimate Sports Parent: This site offers helpful posts about sports psychology & kids, like this one on visualization as well as audio programs that focus on stumbling blocks like anxiety and lack of confidence.

Athletes Who Meditate: Walk your kid through this slide show of current sports stars who meditate and visualize success. I especially love this quick video of basketball superstar LeBron James meditating during a time-out. 🙂


restless soul syndrome: finding the cure

are you suffering from restless soul syndrome? here's how to find a cure...

How many days this week have you woken up feeling anxious, fidgety, unsettled? How many nights this week have you laid in bed with your eyes wide open, even though you felt dog-tired? How many times this week did you feel wrapped up in joy? 

Two years ago, I wrote here about an all-too-common state of being I call restless soul syndrome. It remains one of the most frequently-read posts on the blog; women find their way to it every day, looking for any bit of relief from this perpetual state of unrest.

This is bad news.

Because it tells me restless soul syndrome is running rampant. Left untreated, it feeds off itself, spreading like a fungus and clogging the spiritual arteries to your heart. When a hot bath or good workout or great dessert doesn’t cure the unrest of your soul, it’s easy to beat yourself up and spiral down. And when it seems like everybody else has their act together – looking rested, happy, productive, focused – you not only start to resent the lucky jerks but use their joy as further evidence that you’re a big fat loser. Sound familiar?

In Soul Currency, Ernest D. Chu writes, “Any sense of restlessness is a sign your soul is ready to grow.” The problem, I hear so many women say, is figuring out where and what and how to grow. Actually, dear ones, the problem is assuming that there’s something to DO in order to embrace all you’re meant to BE.

Want to cure your restless soul syndrome?

you. are. light. Treat yourself to stillness every day, even if it feels scary at first. Put down the crossword puzzle. Turn off the computer. Close your eyes in the shower. Listen for light: instrumental music, the birds chirping outside, children giggling, wind in the trees. Imagine yourself standing in a beam of loving, brilliant light that has the power to heal what feels broken, calm your racing heart, ease your fears, melt away guilt. Feel the light moving from head to toe, warm and soothing, relaxing and renewing.

Every moment of stillness is soul balm; providing space for your light to expand, gently awakening your sense of worth, boldly inviting guidance to come (in nudges, in whispers, in synchronicity, in signs), quietly leading you to people and places and opportunities that allow for greater joy, for deeper understanding.

We move into March tomorrow; use this month to make stillness a habit (some of you will be starting this practice, others will be deepening it). Just as you would not take a vitamin one day and consider your body fully fortified, serenity will likely remain a stranger without regular doses of self-prescribed stillness.

All that anxiousness, all those worries, all that emptiness is actually your soul’s way of letting you know it’s time to grow. Your restless soul is calling you into the light – how great! And all you have to do is be.

a new message from Spirit and an incredible visitor (just…wow)

tribe dancing around fire | another message from Spirit via Liv Lane

You guys, I am FREAKING OUT. Rendered speechless. I cannot believe the series of events that just happened. I mean, of course my heart and soul believes it, but my brain is flipping out, trying to process it all.

(First, for newcomers, let me just explain a couple of things. I am highly intuitive and am able to communicate with spirits and angels on the Other Side (and it only took me 39 years to admit that publicly). A couple of weeks ago, something new happened: a communication/channeling with a flurry of beings that asked to simply be called Spirit, with a request to deliver their messages across a span of 18 days in December (starting one month from today, on Dec 4). Hello! That certainly wasn’t on my business plan! ;o) But the response has been amazing; I’m so excited to share this with so many of you.)

Still, questions have been coming in from readers and I’ve been wondering, too, what in the world will transpire in December. This  afternoon. I had to get some errands done and card orders shipped out – but all the while, I could feel Spirit waiting. I’m not sure how to explain it; I get a buzzing in my body, a chill in my bones and the sense I’m late for something. Brad says it’s like my very own Bat Signal – ha!

So I hurried home and found that I had 30 minutes to spare before Tru got home from preschool; I hoped it would be enough time to light the candle in this tribal circle, relax into a meditative state, connect with Spirit and transcribe their messages on my laptop (eyes closed, by the way!). I should have known it would all be perfectly orchestrated: message delivered, transcribed and saved in my computer within one minute of Tru’s bus arriving so that we could receive an incredible visitor.

The message is clearly directed to me, but Spirit has some specific requests for those embracing Into the Light. So, I’m choosing to share the entire transcript with you. I mean, we’re all in this together, right? Ready, set, go…

We are filling you with light. Sending waves of energy from your sacral chakra to your crown, allowing you to speak for us, clearing a path to the purest communication, clearing your thoughts and hopes and desires to make way for what is divine. Do not fret about the messages that will come through. We know there are questions. Know there are answers. All to be delivered in due time, at the right time. Thank you for scheduling this for us. It is perfect timing.

There are more to reach however. There are human beings in far away places that you do not yet know, but those who follow you know. Light travels faster than the speed of sound, as they say on your planet, so let the light be heard. Send your people on a mission to make noise. They were drawn to you and us and this event for a reason; not only for what they long to know, but for whom they already know. The greater the audience, the greater the impact. Can you deliver this message to them? (I replied YES). Then it is done.

At this point, I asked: who are you?

We are sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, parents and prayer keepers –  messengers of light, ancestors of the stars, spirits ever connected to that which is beloved, that which brings peace, that which delivers light, that which moves mountains. We are charged with reaching a segment of your population. Those who are ready, who can be empowered, who live with a match inside them and are ready to strike at the sign of GO and GOOD and GOD and YES. We come to you in one voice, one mission, one love.

Then I asked: what will we talk about? and immediately heard echoes of laughter

We laugh not to mock or judge, but because your curiosity rings in joyous strains, like music, like a choir of goodness, of readiness, of hope and eagerness. It is music to our ears, as you say, to hear that you already wonder what will come of this, what it is we will say. We ask that you lay down your fears, gather up your courage and sleep with patience. We have instructions to give for higher living, observations to share on what we see, hope to give for a new tomorrow. Your time will not be wasted, if that is what you wonder. Your time will be glorified, magnified, blessed and abundant, ongoing and fulfilling.

Please tell your followers to practice being quiet, being still, even for a few moments in each day. They must learn to hear themselves, to hear their beating hearts, in order to hear our words so that the messages may beat through them, not around them. So that they may feel the vibration of our heartspeak. Ask them to make noise and spread the word – and then to find their own quiet. The two may seem like opposite requests, but in truth they are intertwined, beautifully wrapped around each other with a golden thread of purpose.

We depart now, leaving you with this message to impart, with gratitude. May light permeate , protect, uplift your teaching and reaching out. And so it is. 

Wowza, right? I opened my eyes, the alarm on my iPhone went off, and Tru’s bus pulled up to our driveway. I walked out as he hopped off the bus and we watched it pull away. And then?

A BALD EAGLE swooped through our yard and circled above us. A BALD EAGLE! What!? Do you know the spiritual meaning of eagles throughout history? Here’s a partial description from Pure Spirit:

When an eagle appears, you are on notice to be courageous and stretch your limits. Do not accept the status quo, but rather reach higher and become more than you believe you are capable of. Look at things from a new, higher perspective. Be patient with the present; know that the future holds possibilities that you may not yet be able to see. You are about to take flight.

The eagle is the chief over all the winged creatures. Eagle conveys the powers and messages of the spirit; it is man’s connection to the divine because it flies higher than any other bird. The eagle brings the message of renewed life because it is associated with the east winds – the direction of spring, dawn and rebirth.

Friends, we live in the ‘burbs. Never in my life have I seen an eagle in our metro area. This eagle came out of the blue, circling above us with an enormous wingspan, as Tru and I watched with our mouths agape. (Ha, as I wrote that, I realized the multiple meanings of agape are all so perfect here).

As we watched the eagle, so close I could see his eyes and gorgeous white feathers, I knew that bird was a messenger for us. A stunning gift for me and also for Tru, who’s been having his own spiritual walks & talks lately. And surely that eagle was for you too – for those of you willing to take Spirit’s messages and requests to heart…to help make noise and spread the word, to practice stillness, to choose to be part of what’s happening here.

Once again, holy wow. Life is amazing.


***Since posting this, I have created this page dedicated to Into the Light, where you can register and find answers to the (many!) questions coming in. Thank you!

into the light: my biggest collaboration ever – and it may be meant for you

an invitation from spirit (my kind of blurred lines!)

Something happened last week that I’m so excited (and a little nervous) to share with you. It’s why I’ve been pretty quiet here lately. I’ve focused only on the most pressing needs – my family, my classes – but the rest of me has been totally engrossed in the stunning show that is my life these days.

Some of you already know my interactions with the great beyond have intensified so much since my dad died two years ago (I wrote about it here in June), and particularly rapidly over the past few months. The angels are louder, the spirits are clearer, the knowing is stronger. Years ago, I could ignore it…numb out…distract myself. Not anymore.

I am being called deeper into my calling. And apparently, you are, too. 

This past week, there have been huge shifts, breathtaking messages, and perfectly-timed guidance to catapult me into the next leg of my journey. Last Tuesday, I did a Firecracker Call with a wonderful client, but she didn’t get specific guidance for her work in the world during our session. Instead, her departed (and sweet-as-can-be) son came through with crystal clear messages and images for her that blew us both away. I’ve lost track of how many of these soul-to-soul reunions I’ve facilitated, but this one felt extra powerful…extra clear. And extra hot. I am always cold – but I was so hot during that conversation, I was peeling off layers of clothing. An hour later, I was in a favorite healer’s office (at an already scheduled appointment). Right away, he knew a major shift was in the works – in how I connect, how I communicate, how I hear, how I see, how my body processes it all.

Over the next couple of days, I physically felt shifts in my body that seemed to be magnifying my extrasensory awareness and abilities. It was so wild; kind of like feeling your baby move when you’re pregnant – except these shifts were happening from my chest up to the crown of my head. Was I scared? Not at all. Though I am terrified of horror movies and ghost stories, I am always completely at peace whenever I feel connected to God, to spirits, to angels.

Loved. Led. Protected.

Then, on Thursday night, I had an extremely vivid dream about creating a new online offering this year. But when I woke up, I shrugged it off; I couldn’t recall what the “dream” class was supposed to be about and it would be difficult to create something new with this class starting in early November and another project in the works for early next year. But it stirred inside me, that dream. Wouldn’t let me go. So, I decided to meditate on it to see if I received any additional guidance. Boy, did I ever.

It felt like an instant, but as soon as I asked for guidance on that dream, I was out of my body for a good 20 minutes, listening to instructions from the kindest, most loving army of angels and spirits. They spoke in one beautiful voice, asking me to receive and deliver a series of daily messages on their behalf, and facilitate a circle of support for those who read them. How will I find the people you want to reach, I asked. They’ll find their way to you, they said. What if people think I’ve lost my mind, I asked. The people who are ready for this won’t, they said. And what will I say to invite them to come? 

With that question, I was asked to go to type out a message, an invitation. (They knew, I suppose, that this is fairly normal for me; spirits have frequently visited me when I was at my computer, hoping I’d type out a message to loved ones.) So, I typed as I heard their sacred words. When they were done, I read it back and my eyes filled with tears.

Spirit Says…

You are a divine creation, like no other. Possibility is infinite. Hope is your paddle in a river of worry.

Shed the expectations of what your life should be, who you ought to be. To be, do nothing. You (humankind) have it backwards, striving to do in order to be something more than you already are.

We come not to convince you that God exists, but that you are holy. Perfect. We watch you obsess about the little things so much that the big things pass you by. You do not know what you have already missed. And we long for you to see it, be it, find YOUR highest power. 

We will gather for 18 days before the solstice, walking you into the light, walking with you in love, speaking to you through Liv, speaking to you through life. 

I sat there stunned, trying to catch my breath, feverishly dialing my hubby on the phone. I rushed over to the calendar; the Winter Solstice is Dec. 21. Counting backwards 18 days means we’d start on Dec. 4th. Gulp. A crazy-busy time of year…and the shortest, darkest days of the year…yes, of course. Probably no better time, I thought, for all of us to step deeper into the light.

Over the weekend, I have gained more clarity on what to do, though I have no idea what to expect from the messages that are received. It will be a leap of faith for all of us which, I guess, is the point. Right after I received that first message, I did ask Spirit the significance of 18 days. Immediately, I was told: To represent that you are 1 with infinity (8). Whoa. I also wondered if I should even charge people to participate in something so sacred, but Spirit was adamant that I charge “dollars equal to days,” because my spiritual and intellectual abilities as well as earthly resources are being leveraged to bring this to fruition.

So there you have it. I’m collaborating with Spirit. Holy wow!

And YOU are so totally invited! Each message will be delivered daily via email starting Dec. 4th for 18 days. I will set up a private Facebook group where we can hyperventilate breathe it in together. It will cost $18. If it doesn’t feel right for you, believe me – I understand. But if it does, you can sign up here.

into the light with liv lane

Note: Since posting this, I have created this page dedicated to Into the Light, where you can register, get the latest info and find answers to the (many!) questions coming in. Thank you!

peek inside my spiritual toolbox

First things first, you guys. Giant, heartfelt thanks for all the love you’ve sent my way after posting the letter to my dad. Wow. If I haven’t yet responded to your message/email/tweet, please know I have read them all and been so touched by your stories, your support, your own tears. This has been a vulnerable, raw week for me and your kindness has lifted me up.

The other thing that got me through this week – and this past year – is my spiritual toolbox. That’s what my therapist calls it. I’ve seen Jeanne on and off for many years, from the time I was swimming in the deep end of PTSD. Not long after my dad died, I went back for grief therapy. Leading up to this week’s one-year marker, we reviewed the soul-soothing, spirit-lifting tools I can tap into during times of trouble.

Wanna see what I’ve packed inside my toolbox?

1. My camera. Photography is like prayer for me, especially out in nature. On Tuesday morning, I reserved time to go to the Minnesota Arboretum. I walked through the woods, on paths and off, and literally got lost – which made me feel found. All pics here are from that morning.

2. Breath. Mine. Deep. Cleansing. Sometimes I forget its power.

3. Music. I have soundtracks for different moods, playlists in my head, tunes to hum and make me feel better. We actually ended Tuesday evening with a spontaneous family sing-along, with my brother strumming a ukulele. I could feel my heart expanding.

4. Humor. The aforementioned sing-along was accompanied by wise cracks, missed words and great big belly laughs. I can literally feel my body’s chemical make-up change during a fit of laughter; it is essential for me.

5. Hot liquid. I know, sounds weird. But I know this about myself: my day is infinitely better if it starts with a hot shower. As the day wears on, I’m comforted by hot drinks – coffee, tea, chai. Love to feel that warmth running through me.

 6. Art making. I’ve taken to carrying around my paper and markers, just in case inspiration strikes when I’m out and about. Creating art is calming for me, always has been.

7. Grounding. Don’t worry if you ever see me crouched down outside on all fours. I’m simply releasing unwanted energy into the earth and imagining it disintegrating just at the surface so as not to harm anyone or anything.

Everything on the list, in my spiritual  toolbox, is accessible and doable at a moment’s notice {well, minus the ukulele}. And it’s all written down, in case I forget in an off moment. They sound like small things, but they create huge shifts in my SELF.

Already have your own spiritual toolkit? Tell me what’s in it! Need to fill yours up? Start noticing the simple things that bring you joy during the good times; they might just bring you joy during the rough spots, too.


At The Risk of Sounding Woo-Woo…

I’m getting tired of everybody – including me – apologizing for the woo-woo in their lives.

I don’t know where the term “woo-woo” originated, but it’s become a common put-down for many age-old spiritual practices, from psychic phenomenon to hands-on healing, that are intended to enhance consciousness and well-being. The word “woo-woo” conjures up stereotypical images of loopy, flowery hippie chicks {think Harry Potter’s zany Professor Trelawney!}. Nobody wants to be considered a flake, right? So, we wind up backpedaling a bit or prefacing our soulful, spirited stories to protect ourselves from scrutiny.

Yep, guilty!

A few weeks ago during a coffee meeting, I shared a story of grand synchronicity and karma with a guy who seemed very conservative and reserved. I wasn’t sure he’d be open to it, so I started my story by saying, “sorry if this sounds too woo-woo for you.” He furrowed his eyebrows, looking confused, until I told him the story. His response? “I have no idea what woo-woo means, but if it includes cool stories like that, I’m all for it!”

That was a watershed moment for me, realizing there had been no need to tiptoe around my belief system or provide a “woo-woo” warning – even with someone I didn’t know well.  See, the bolder we all get in sharing our experiences and beliefs, the quicker we’ll shift the definition of “woo-woo” to allow for goodness and possibility.  Wanna join me?