It is true. I am waiting for a sign. I know it is too early. It has just been a week after all. And I could have, should have gone to see her before she passed. But I’d convinced myself that she was going to get better. And I did not want to see her sick. I hoped and prayed and yet, somehow in the recesses I knew. She was going, going, gone.
To me, she was always the very dictionary or encyclopedia meaning of healthy. Alive. Laughing. Joyful. I could not bring myself to imagine her deathly ill, a skeleton, in a hospital room. That smell of sickness, drugs, chemicals and lingering odors of those who have passed hanging around the hallways.
I could not bear it. I wanted to keep her memory alive and fresh and juicy with life. And not ruin it with the ugliness of sickness.
Of course, when my father passed, i knew it was time for his demise, too. And I had convinced myself that he was still with us even when i went to see him early that morning. I had prayed for him all night. And was sure that he would be there in the morning. A healing miracle would happen.
When i went back to his bedroom though, one look at his blue tinged face, i realized that the father that i knew and loved was gone. He was no longer in that body. His spirit and soul or essence had left the building.
A few years later, or maybe a few months, it is a blur, we visited a temple in India, near Calcutta. And Johannes, who is also now no longer on this earthly plane, insisted that we watch the holy men’s ritual of killing the goats. I am squeamish and did not want to watch as they swung their axes. So i turned away at that moment.
What struck me afterwards was the head of the goats on the fence. They were pieces of meat, ripe with the stillness and emptiness of death. No longer alive. They reminded me of how my father looked when he was no longer there. I wept at the memory. And deeply felt the loss.
How do you go on without someone so crucial and important to your life? The person who introduced you to your Spirituality, Your Higher Self, God, Goddess, All That is ? You want to call them up and talk to them on the phone. A song, a smell, or a word brings back a memory of how you held hands and walked around the neighborhood or the beach.
With Rannette, how she called me Pretty Lady, got me to do things I had no idea that I could do. How she laughed that amazingly melodiously lyrical sound. It was music like a river flowing out of her mouth and throat. And those eyes filled with the most love I’ve ever known from any human being.
Even when she told me harsh truths. And when I ran away and did not want to listen to her, i knew deep in my soul that she loved me. It was palpable and throbbed like a beating heart. She once gave me a double rainbow for my birthday.
How do you go on in life knowing that you cannot talk to her the same way again. Oh yes, I have had numerous encounters with those who have passed. Furry ones, my cat Abundance came to me in a dream purring on my belly as he did in life. My dad brought me an umbrella as a symbol of safety and security and protection at a very difficult time in my life.
If my Aunt Leona could muster calling my name out loud, audible as I was coming home from work, a couple of weeks after she passed, then surely Rannette, masterful magician that she is, can conjure up a miracle or two or three from the beyond.
Right before she passed, i had a dream where i kissed Rannette on the cheek. I’d never have the audacity to do that in real life. But then, she kept hugging me the last time that I saw her on my birthday. She was not that kind of touchy feely person. At least not with me. And yet, that night, she drew me near to her over and over again. And i felt her in my heart, experienced her big heart energy flowing into mine in a way that is hard to explain. I’ve never felt the kind of love she gave to me so freely.
I saw it in her eyes, heard it in her laughter, and felt it whenever she spoke. No matter what she said. There were a few times that were special, intimate, when she let me sleep beside her. For comfort. As one does for a child who is afraid of the dark. One night before I was to fly home to the USA from Germany. She knew how much I was afraid of flying.
When I met her, I was a terrified 25 year old who had a mentally ill mother who rejected and abused me. I had aunts who loved me, yes. And it was not the same, not even on the same planet, in the depth, breadth, and scope of Rannette’s powerful heart beating madly out of your chest love.
She just knew what to say, how to say it and how to look at me with those wisdom filled blue green gray eyes that touched the core, the essence of who i am. Every time. She just knew. And she sprinkled her love upon me like confetti. Whenever i needed a boost. She sent me light and healing energy. And i felt instantly surrounded by her presence.
No one had ever talked to me the way she did. No one ever loved me like she did. No one else called me Pretty Lady. No one else told me that I was too magical. No one else filled me up buoyant with hope and inspiration until i was floating up up and away on clouds dreaming BIG dreams.
One of my visions and dreams was to someday live at or on the beach. I did a meditation about it, casting the dream out to the earth, wind, water, and fire. I forgot about this and a few years later, as I was driving along the coast to my new home on Bodega Bay where i would live for a year, across from the beach, in someone else’s home, i remembered that meditation.
She knew how to tell me things that i did not want to hear. One coaching session, she played Helen Palmer’s Enneagram tape of the Number Four (my type). And she kept stopping the tape and sharing with me how uproariously she giggled when she heard that or that or that. It described me in such a way that she wise woman, sage and mentor, had never imagined in her guts. She was truly rolling on the floor laughing.
And one poignant moment, she looked me directly into my eyes, her eyes glistening with tears, she apologized to me. She was extremely sorry for something private that I will not say. No one has ever apologized to me like that.
Rannette Nicholas loved people and places and things in a way that was unique and special to each person. She knew you. She looked right into your heart and soul and scooped up your wildest dreams. And encouraged you to go for them.
Not long after i met her in 1975, she gave me an assignment. She used to give everyone such tasks. Impossible crazy things to do. Mine was to work for her for a week or ten days. Without pay. We called it assisting. And she guaranteed me that at the end of the time, i would have a job. A job that would pay me cash, money, a paycheck.
How could that be i wondered at the time. We discussed it. Mostly, i balked and she laughed to discourage my fears. What did i have to lose? I had no job and no prospects either. I no longer wanted to be a secretary. I had walked away from the safety and security of working for the City of Los Angeles. I wanted to find my life’s work. And I had worked for a week or two for an abortion clinic. That was not it. And i had tried this and that. And now, i was confronted with the idea of working with this mad in a wonderful way woman without pay. Crazy, huh.
Still, I decided to go for it. And it was the most fun i had ever had working. She gave me the task of being in charge of the tape recorder of her first Successful Living weekend workshop, a two day event. I sat captivated at the back of the room, watching how the participants were transformed by the seemingly simple communication exercises and silly jumping jacks and other antics.
“The Duke of Cumberland. He had 10,000 men. He marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again. And when they were UP they were UP (Everyone stood up). And when they were DOWN they were DOWN (everyone sat down). And when they were only Halfway UP, they were neither Up nor Down.” (calisthentics of being half way up and down).
One man looked like a bull dog. He had an extremely angry face. A mad face. And by the end of that weekend, his face had softened and he looked radiant, like a newborn infant.
At the time, i had been in therapy but i had never experienced such results and joy in group or individual therapy. I knew by the end of that weekend, that THIS was my Life’s Work. That I wanted to work with this woman forever. At the end of my assignment, she actually offered me a job as her secretary. Whether she had intended to do that when she gave me the assignment, i do not know. We never discussed it. But I got paid a small stipend. And she had me writing for her company newspaper, taught me how to lead seminars and workshops, and eventually had me travel around the world, go to John Robert Powers modeling school, complete college (finally), co-write seminars and workshops, do public relations for her businesses, do coaching and so much more. For 40 years of my life.
She taught us how to Direct Our Intention and utilized several exercises that I shared with her in the experience (giving me full credit). One was called the Nametag Exchange. It was based upon a powerful exercise I had done in therapy, when my therapist had taken on my mannerisms and acted like me, saying the things I would say. During the experience, people would act out the other person’s pretend self. The one that they showed to the world. Not their Real Self. And people were astonished, wept, and their lives were changed just by being seen in such a way. No one before in their lives had ever mimicked them. Not in a mean way. But in a way that they could see how their Fake Self did not serve them. They were SEEN. No longer invisible. And the gig was UP.
And every week, month and year, when I write down and collage my Intentions, I will think of how Rannette encouraged and supported me to get what I want, my preferences and dreams. And sometimes beyond what I wanted for myself or could even possibly imagine. She wanted more for me at times than I did for myself.
One time, i wrote out a bunch of travel and other dreams that i wanted to embark upon. I wrote and put the papers away. A year or two later, i found the papers and realized that they had all come true. I had wanted to travel on the east coast. I was living in Florida at the time, completing college. And i had decided during one hiatus that i would travel by train and escape the heat. I changed my itinerary numerous times. Too many times. And yet, when I reviewed what i had written a few years later, I had visited the places that I had wrote about and in the exact order i wrote about them. Weird, huh. But that was how magical it was to be around Rannette and do the things she suggested.
And now, i will no longer lead seminars and workshops with Rannette on this earthly plane again. it was all that i had hoped for the last many years. The rebirth of Earthplay, the organization she founded, renamed and offered her workshops and seminars, the SLS experience, through. Her workshops became popular and flourished in Germany and Los Angeles. In 1975, she had christened her business the Daniels Institute of Successful Living, paying homage to her father, Dr. Ranald Daniels, who had taught her all about seminars from the time she was 4 years old.
Ranald had one of the largest motivation institutes in Southern California in the 1950’s. He also was a friend of Ernest Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science, and in the 1950’s they, and a couple others, had weekly luncheon get togethers. He also did a radio show and interviewed folks like Think and Grow Rich author Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie.
Rannette created her own creative and power filled, life changing, and evolving of consciousness work: the experience and The Completion Process™. The Completion Process™ is a complex integration, an intricate, healing, and empowering method of transformation and transcendence.
She trained me and others to become Experience Leaders and we designed and led workshops and seminars such as The Family Experience, The Money Experience, and The Process, as well as dozens of seminars and series such as Freedom Eating, Relationship Realities, and one day and weekend workshops such as Assertiveness and Anger.
Later, in the 1980’s, Rannette and her husband Dafydd, founded OIM (Obedience Intercessory Ministry), an educational, interfaith, interdenominational, international, intercessory prayer ministry. Numerous people from different countries (America, England, France, Germany, Israel and others) traveled around the world and participated in various projects such as The Holocaust Journey and the India / Thailand / Bangladesh project.
The Holocaust Journey: In March and April, 1986, over a six week period, eleven members of OIM, including two German families, two Jewish women, and Dietrich courageously rented a VW bus and visited 21 Concentration Camps, amongst them:
Dachau, Hamburg, Buchenwald, Ravensbrueck, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Lublin, Belsec, Sobibor.
They worked with healing and forgiveness energies and forces, and interceded for the healing and freeing of the land, for the souls, for the shocking inhumanity to all concerned.
During the years, 1983 to 1990 it was a time of Service and Exploring the complexities and wonders of today’s religious institutions. As we traveled from church and temple to mosque, community to community, throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East including Israel and Egypt, and on around the world, we spread hope, understanding, kindness, tolerance, and wisdom.
In 1990, Rannette designed and developed the Forgiveness, Prayer, and Praise Workshop which was given in churches of many denominations in over 30 cities in North America. We even gave one in Bangkok, Thailand. Johannes did not want to do it. But he said he would pray about it and he did. The next day he registered an entire church and their pastor for it.
The foundation of OIM, intercession is respect for each individual and their chosen and personal relationship to the Divine, however, whatever that is or isn’t. Whatever name each gives it.
To pray and meditate for the highest and greatest good of a person, a family, a church/temple/mosque, a community, a nation, and the world. With harm to none.
Individually and collectively, we explored The Crisis of Dignity. The Crisis of Character. The Crisis of Vision. The Crisis of Vitality.
Often those who participated with OIM stopped, paused, to not be drawn into the drama, the tragedy, the situation, but to seek a higher ground for a pressing or vital issue of the times, be it health, a passing, war, abuse, a weather or earth issue such as the Berlin Wall coming down peacefully in 1989; the June, 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines; the August, 1991 coup in the USSR that ended with virtually no bloodshed; the AIDS crisis; peace in the Middle East; the 9/11 Twin Towers attack; the undeclared war in Iraq; the Tsunami of 2004; Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the revolt in Burma in 2007.
Rannette Eva Nicholas met with gurus, best selling authors and zen masters around the world and was committed to healing her own internal wounds. She told me once that whenever she was shown intuitively by her guides something most people would consider awful, horrible, sinful or dark, she would fill with bubbling excitement because she would have the opportunity to heal whatever she was shown. When most people are confronted by their dark side often called the Shadow in metaphysical circles, they cringe, are filled with guilt, dread, shame or regret but not Rannette. She would Go For It. And dig deeper and deeper and process internally until she felt cleansed and the healing was complete. Even if it took years to do.
The gusto and zeal to which she devoted herself to the Light was epic. I could not imagine another human being who was more committed to healing herself and supporting others to heal themselves. Her intention was to Serve Herself and Others.
And indeed she did, for all of the time she lived here on earth.
So tell me, Rannette, how am I supposed to Live without you? Set free of the pain and suffering of this lifetime, I know you are soaring to new heights over there. And i long to feel your wings surrounding me again. I imagine you will send me a sign or two eventually. Am trying to be patient and i want to scream out. Hurry Hurry Hurry.
Not to be greedy, I know that you have other loved ones ahead of me to serve, your husband and children, grandchildren and dear ones i know and those i do not. Still, i know i have a place in there somewhere, where you and i can walk the beach, marvel at rainbows and hug trees together. Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
“Life is Eternal, Love is Immortal and Death is Only a Horizon,” Carly Simon.
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