Monday, June 8, 2009

“Love from Both Sides,” An Interview with Author Stephanie Riseley

Today, Stephanie Riseley stops by Hot Flashbacks Cool Insights as part of her blog tour to introduce her new book, Love from Both Sides. Her timing couldn’t be more perfect as I prepare to shift this blog on June 17 from a baby boomer focus toward spirituality, women’s issues, and especially the development of our intuitive gifts as guidance-- that thing some people call “women’s intuition.”

Stephanie is here to share one of the most unique flashes of intuition of all time--how to continue to commune with a loved one after death.

Stephanie, I’d like to start our time together by quoting one of your five-star reviews. I believe JM Shepherd’s description on Amazon is the perfect introduction to you and this book:

To call Stephanie Riseley’s Love from Both Sides amazing is like calling Niagara Falls a stream. This book is astonishingly ahead of its time. In the midst of her stunning grief, real-life hypnotherapist Stephanie Riseley is revisited by her newly dead husband, Dan. This is supported by similar episodes between Dan and his son, Sam.

Certainly, in your work as a hypnotherapist, you’ve probably encountered people who have had similar experiences … but what was your first reaction when it started happening to you? In a big way?

Stephanie: I thought I was delusional, of course. But because my background is from UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, and I’m an expert at “coding out” mental disorders, I kept checking myself – and I seemed quite sane. What helped me most, however, was that Sam, Dan’s son, had been telling me for four months that his dad was talking to him – and he was. Dan just couldn’t get near me, because every time he did, his energy triggered such an intense longing and loss that it sent me falling back into mourning-hell, until four months after he died, when I was so exhausted from the pain that I finally got angry. And because of that, my energy shifted, and Dan’s energy was able to break through the mourning. That was the beginning of the “communication.” And what might help readers now is to
skim the first four chapters online.

Give us some nitty-gritty. What did you and Dan talk about—and what larger lessons about life and death seeped into your conversations?

Stephanie: Love from Both Sides is the conversation between a newly dead husband (who has a good sense of humor) and his flipped out wife. When Dan died, he’d just spent four years trying to start an internet business, and he’d hocked our life up the wazoo. (Nothing un-American about that it turns out, yes?) So he was gambling, and he lost – but I paid the price, because when he died, I was left with nothing. No retirement, no savings, no insurance. I was 53, and I was like a deer in headlights. Everyone thought I would become a bag lady, and I did too! So, mostly Dan constantly assured me that I had the skills to get myself out of this, if I could just stay calm. Fear, he said, is toxic. It’s a virus – it’s contagious. So he was able to give me the “larger lesson” that allowed me to see the situation as an opportunity to develop my skills. Which, amazingly, I did! And the reader witnesses a transformation and a hard fought progression as I go from “flipped out widow” to “free at last” myself. It was a quite a trip!

Joyce: I hear you not only talked to your husband, but became acquainted with your over soul. Tell us about the over soul concept, what it was like to get to know it, and a few key nuggets of wisdom you gleaned from this new relationship.

Stephanie: Everyone has an over soul – and that’s just a word to describe who “you” are in that other “reality.” It’s all conjecture, because we’re talking about something that can’t really be described because of language. As the Taoists say, “Those who say don’t know. And those who know can’t say.” Or as Dan would say, “It’s like Wittgenstein – too big to talk about.” (He was a philosophy graduate student at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the late ‘60s.) But there’s a chapter in the book called, “Who the Hell is Enoch,” and one night I was sitting there channeling Dan, when he just stopped. And I said, “Are you still there?” And he said, “Yes, but I’m just afraid you won’t give me another chance.” (This life wasn’t the first life where he’d said one thing, and then done another!) And at that point, my own over soul, Barushe, just got furious with his over soul, Enoch. It’s was all so weird and but fascinating. And what was even weirder for me, was that once I got in touch with my own over soul, he told me I had “agreed” in the In Between (Heaven or what Buddhist’s call the “In Between”), to be a conduit for information, and that I had the wiring to “take dictation.” And so years before I finished Love from Both Sides, I sat and took dictation, and “typed” three “Cobalt Blue Books.” They are completely channeled – they’re on my website:
www.StephanieRiseley.comExcavating to the Core – A Seeker Soul’s Guide to the Authentic Self, is the first. Moment by Moment – A Seeker Soul’s Guide to Joyful Exuberance was second. The third is The Seeker Soul’s Guide to Sensational Sacred Sex.

Joyce: I liked what another reviewer said: Some people might fault you for continuing mental conversations with Dan for so long, but what grieving person wouldn’t want to connect with a lost loved one? I’ve talked to my lost loves, and sometimes I get answers from them in their voice in my mind; but you, of course, have taken that dialogue to a whole other level.

Is there a down side to communicating between worlds?

Stephanie: What you experienced was real, Joyce. And Love from Both Sides helps validate people’s “weird” experiences. So many readers have written to tell me of their own husband/wife/lover coming back to them, connecting, and then making love to them. But because it’s so strange, it makes people feel shame or just crazy.

The downside? Channeling can be a huge energy drain, and because to that many channels develop major health problems. Jane Roberts, who channeled the wonderful “Seth” books, died while channeling the last book, The Way Toward Health, which is ironic, yes?

Joyce: Very. Speaking of energy, you mentioned there was a big, energetic surprise to these communiqués that few people have talked about up till now. Are you willing to give us just a little preview of what your subtitle means—just enough to make us to run right out and buy the book?

Stephanie: That energies, spirits, ghosts… whatever you decide to call them, those essences that emanate from another dimension can physically connect with those they’ve just left. Which means, believe it or not, that they can have sex with those they love, and they do it all the time. Once again, I get the e-mails to prove it. And in my case? Dan was so flirtatious and funny… and in some ways, more seductive as a spirit than when we were married. But mostly, “Love from Both Sides,” makes it possible for a “shift” in thinking, because the reader experiences sex as the sacred energy that it is.

Joyce: Readers describe the experience of your book as everything from healing to hilarious—very engaging and emotionally evocative. Is this kind of communication for everyone, or do you think it takes a certain kind of personality to do it—or appreciate it?

Stephanie: Everyone has the “wiring.” But just like everyone has the ability to play a violin, not everyone will become an Itzhak Perlman. But like playing a violin, “connecting” takes patience and practice, and if you practice, you’ll get good at it.

Joyce: As a memoir writer myself, I have to say you knocked it out of the park for unique subject matter in our genre. What will you write about next?

Stephanie: I’m writing about what’s going on now – in our age group. It’s wild. I know – I’m a therapist. Now that the kids are grown, we’ve done our share, we’re ready to really own our power – and for women I think “Owning Your Inner Courtesan” and becoming sexy and powerful could be fun to write about. So much new research into sexuality done by women (finally!) proves that what turns women on is simply being adored, worshipped and desired. (Read
What Do Women Want in the New York Times Magazine, Jan. 25, 2009.)

In my hypnotherapy practice, I help people connect with their “inner selves,” power and sexuality, because I help them lose weight and get healthy. Living in a healthy body makes people happy, and if people get happy – they get healthy! From my perspective, there’s nothing more important right now – especially for people in our age range, because there will be no medical care available when we need it. There are just too many of us, right? So, it’s really up to us to take responsibility for our own health. And that’s why I love what I do – I make people happy and healthy!

Joyce: I know you have a great sense of humor, so I hope you’ll hear this with my playful intent. I described you and your book to someone as, “She talks to her dead husband, but otherwise, she seems completely normal—fun and cool.” One of the things I most want to accomplish, as I shift my blog focus, is to share any phenomena that’s new to people in a grounded way and to assure them these things aren’t woo-woo or crazy.

Unusual experiences have been a way of life for you and me, but not everyone. How do you think we can best share them so that they are likely to be well- received and make others less fearful of developing their own sensitivities?

Stephanie: There is simply an explosion of the kind of material around. Who hasn’t noticed that religions are having a nervous breakdown? And because of that people are seeking alternate ways to connect with the “divine.” I was just at the Louise Hay’s, “I Can Do It” weekend, and there were so many scientists speaking. My own teacher, Brian Weiss, MD., is a Columbia /Yale educated psychiatrist, whose many books validate the existence of Past Lives, and the power of Past Life Regression. Or you could read Bruce Lipton’s, “The Biology of Belief,” if you want to ground yourself cell biology, and how the power of the thoughts can heal your body. It’s all good. We’re living in time of shifting belief systems – and it’s exciting!

Joyce: Lastly, where can we buy Love from Both Sides?

Stephanie: is the big gorilla in book sales right now, Barnes& has it, too – and Barnes & Noble carries it online as well as on many of their store shelves.

Thank you so much for honoring us with a visit on your blog tour. I can tell you, Love from Both Sides just ascended to the top of my summer reading list.

I never asked you or your blog tour team how you found Hot Flashbacks, but my
cosmic tractor beam is clearly on overdrive. Thanks for beaming yourself into my world and rocking it!

Stephanie: Thank you, Joyce! I’m looking forward to the comments!


Stephanie Riseley is a Certified Hypnotherapist. She helps people unleash the power of their own subconscious minds to help them achieve their goals. She also does Past Life Regressions, and she trained with Brian Weiss, MD. She holds a Master’s degree from UCLA, and an undergraduate degree from UC- Berkeley.

Stephanie will respond to comments on this post.

Comments reminder: Don’t forget our blog comment contest through June 19! Readers who comment on this post only will be entered into a drawing for Stephanie's book, Love from Both Sides.

Comments on other posts will be entered into a drawing for Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors.


Dana Stone said...

Great interview ladies! In my experience, channeling and spirit walking can also increase your energy. When you let it flow and let it go, not blocking messages and insights, you can truly "light up your life" in wonderful ways.

StephanieRiseley said...

Thank you, Dana! It was fun! Ah... yes, and letting the energy flow is always good advice, yes? And lighting up your own life lights up everyone around you... Ice 9... in a good way... ;^))

Danna said...

Ladies, what an exciting and interesting interview. Addressing this topic will be so helpful to those who get "stuck" when a loved one passes.
Stephanie, I am looking forward to reading your book. Joyce, thank you for putting the information out there, so we may all learn and grow.