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SPIRITUALITY / JUL ‘2016

Spiritual encounters

An ordinary woman shares her extraordinary spiritual journey, recounting Spiritually Transformative Experiences in her new book, Where the Light Lives. With the launch of a blog and home-based business this year she hopes to connect with, help and inspire spirituality in others.

Words LISA O'ROURKE

Spiritual encounter

It’s 1990 and a terrified 16-year-old Perth school girl, Linda Cull, sits breathless with fear on the floor, overwhelmed by her first spontaneous spiritual experience.

Only moments before, Linda was happily sketching, immersed in thought, when she began to hear a voice wistfully calling her name. Initially dismissing  the voice as her mother’s or neighbour’s, Linda slowly came to the frightening realisation that the voice was emanating from directly beside her – an invisible spiritual energy was gently calling her name beckoning her to notice.

Frightened and alone as she was, Linda says this experience was a “blessing”, signifying the beginning of the remarkable and life changing personal spiritual journey which ensued.

From this point onwards, Linda’s life exploded with what she describes as overwhelming, spontaneous, spiritual phenomenon including, “many encounters with The Light, Angels and religious figures like the Blessed Mother, as well as multiple out-of-body-experiences (OBEs), after-death-communications and past-life-recollections,” she says.

At 21 Linda had what she describes as a Light Encounter that was, “the most exceptional spiritual experience of my life. I encountered the Divine Light and entered a heavenly state where I experienced the reality of all things”.

Linda Cull

In the following year Linda explains she had an epic OBE when she encountered a “spirit guide” who guided her through a Life Review and then a Life Preview, “and gave her the choice to either stay in the spiritual realm or return to physical life”.

Beautiful and profound, Linda says that these experiences brought with them a new life purpose and spiritual direction. She believes they resulted in the spontaneous healing of her life and recovery from the depression which had plagued her teenage years as she struggled with a poor body image due to scoliosis (a curvature of the spine), which was becoming increasingly exaggerated as she grew taller to fill her adult 6ft 2in frame. 

Linda had also endured transgenerational grief throughout her childhood. Her father, as a boy during the Second World War, had witnessed the executions of his father and brother. This trauma permeated the mood in Linda’s home every day.

With every OBE (of which Linda recalls over 30) her perception of reality expanded, and her world view would never be the same again.

LindawithBoys9_LR

"She struggled with a poor body image due to scoliosis, which was becoming increasingly exaggerated as she grew taller to fill her adult 6ft 2in frame".

Defying popular belief that such experiences are reserved only to those near death (Near Death Experiences/ NDEs), Linda’s experiences, spanning the last 20 years, have sparked the interest of researchers across the globe.

Raised Catholic, Linda felt her new spiritual realities could no longer be explained by The Church and hence painting became her refuge. It was also to become a “spiritual communication line”. In her twenties, while cradled in the comforts of the artistic process, surrendering thought, and feeling truly fulfilled, Linda’s first of many Intuitive Artistic experiences were evoked. 

Linda defines Intuitive Art as an automated artistic process and an example of a phenomenon known as Spontaneous Inspired Creativity. As the artist, Linda relinquishes her own will, granting authority to her “highest spiritual aspect” that directs her without conscious plan or vision. Without effort, subconscious interpretations of spiritual themes are transferred onto her canvas.

“Painting in this manner is very different to the deliberate process of the painting I did as a teenager,” she says.

Painting_by_Linda_Cull-The_Wind_Whistled_Through_the_Cherry_Tree[1]_LR

Linda refers to an inner energy guiding her hand, sometimes illuminating a path for her paintbrush to follow across the canvas, like numbers on a dot-to-dot, arousing the same thrill of a child, who is slowly revealed to the hidden image after much anticipation and invested commitment to the task.

Now a mother to two boys aged ten and six, when possible, Linda creates opportunities for spiritual lessons, learning and growth for them, as she would do with any other life skill. 

While Linda’s boys have not yet had spiritual experiences of their own, Linda provides other caregivers with strategies that could help their children cope with the confusion, loneliness and fear spiritual awakenings can invoke.

“A Spiritual Experience, like an OBE or spirit encounter, can be confusing and scary for kids, so it’s best to listen attentively, ask questions, assure their safety and validate their experiences as real and natural, even commonplace.”

“I’d encourage them to draw or write about their experience to manage and share their feelings.”

Linda refers to an innate spiritualty which is very strong in children and can be developed regardless of their propensity to display such abilities, and she advocates the practice of mindfulness as a way of nurturing this. 

“Encourage children to immerse themselves in nature, notice how they are feeling and what their physical senses, such as hearing and vision, are experiencing.” 

“Paying attention to small things and subtle signs can be learnt, and does become easier with practice. It’s one of the ways the spiritual world communicates with us.”

Children’s natural curiosity can lead to many spontaneous discussions about life, love and death. Linda explains, “We can provide many opportunities to introduce notions of spirit, soul, connectedness and compassion to them.”

Painting_by_Linda_Cull-Whispers_of_Immortality_(3)[1]_LR

Children observe, learn and model their behaviours on those of their parents or caregivers and therefore Linda believes that to provide the best spiritual foundations in our children, parents must nurture and grow their own, by living “authentically” – attending to their innate gifts for “their own sake and in the service of others”.

Throughout motherhood, writing has provided Linda with an alternative spiritual outlet to her Intuitive Art, explaining that it is more easily assimilated with everyday family life and around the hectic pace of motherhood. She feels more able to “snatch time” between parenting commitments. Linda enjoys the writing process, likening it to painting with “its layers and rhythm”.

When Linda considered her options about returning to the workforce she changed her thinking about the business of spirituality, realising that in order to do what she loved every day she needed to earn a living from it. Once the bohemian, gifting her paintings to friends, Linda now writes for both business and pleasure.

An Anglican priest, Father Barry May of Embleton (deceased), interested in near-death-experiences and out-of-body-experiences, encouraged Linda to write a book about her own spiritual experiences saying, “It would give hope to many”.   

So with her family’s support, Linda worked day and night for the last five years writing and self-publishing her first book, Where the Light Lives, released in February this year, about her spiritually-transformative experiences.

Painting_by_Linda_Cull-Liberation_of_Persephone[1]_LR

Previously working in Politics, Linda says that spirituality feels like her “Life Calling”. While the career change has presented some challenges including learning new technologies and adjusting to working alone, Linda feels the decision has been unquestionably the most fulfilling.

Linda aims to reach out to those needing help to assimilate spiritual experiences into their lives as well as to connect with people interested in developing their personal spiritualty. In doing so, Linda is living with authenticity and thus realising her own spiritual growth. She dedicates about 50 hours per week to promoting her blog, Spirit my way, to other spiritually-minded people as well as developing inspiring new products to sell online. 

Last year Linda focussed heavily on establishing her website and preparing her book for market which involved editing the manuscript as well as managing the design, publication and distribution of her book. This year, her focus has shifted to marketing her book as well as writing weekly blog posts and growing an audience.

She is learning and persevering to fulfil her dreams. Linda walks her own talk, practicing “mindfulness” every day. While some days are challenging, she is enjoying the flexibility of working from home and found a harmonious balance between work and play.

Today, Linda stands tall in both stature and presence – elegant, happy, strong and fulfilled, living by her own words. By “living authentically” and doing what makes her happy every day, she towers above all of life’s challenges with a graceful poise and contentedness she once thought beyond her grasp. 

Where_The_Light_Lives-Cover-Web[1]_LR

Contact Linda with your story and view her website at lindacull.com

Linda’s path is destined for fulfilment. Grateful for her opportunities, she aims to continue to grow her business by continuing to be true to herself and advocating:

“We have all chosen to be here and we are spiritually perfect, and gifted, whether we recognise it or not. There is nothing we need to be or do to be loved by Spirit. We are infinite beings of light here for the purpose of growing from our experiences. As difficult as this life can sometimes be, there is a long queue of souls awaiting their chance for this physical experience. It’s a privilege to be here, and to love in form!”

Regardless of one’s own spiritual beliefs, the breathtaking imagery of Linda’s spiritual accounts convey the importance to love ourselves and all others in this lifetime.  Life truly is a precious gift to be nurtured, respected, cherished and above all else be grateful for.

lindacull.com