Albert Einstein once said of miracles: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Yardley-based psychologist and author Susan Apollon agrees, and has spent almost two decades backing up this hypothesis by studying the nature of miracles and the conditions under which they occur.
Her conclusions? That everyone can receive these natural gifts because all are spiritually connected to whatever one chooses to call a "wellspring of goodness."
Her new book, Touched by the Extraordinary: An Intuitive Psychologist Shares Insights, Lessons, and True Stories of Spirit and Love to Transform and Heal the Soul, compiles and analyzes years of metaphysical research and highlights story upon story of real-life occurrences that can only be defined as the stuff of miracles.
Apollon writes that her original intention for this work was to "provide comfort for those who grieve for loved ones. I believed that the sharing of stories about deceased family members and friends who appear after their death in some form or presence would not only validate the experiences of those who grieve, but would also expedite the healing process - especially for those who tend to bury, suppress, deny and negate experiences they believe others have not encountered."
Raised in a home where her mother and grandmother resided, these women were, according to Apollon, "two magnificent souls who were very dedicated to their Jewish legacy and their identities."
Today, she notes that her love of Judaism is very much rooted in the traditions established by those two women. "They gave me what I needed in terms of my heritage, as did my father, who is still alive and still very involved in Jewish causes," she says.
Besides a commitment to her religious background, Apollon is also extremely dedicated to her work, which she hopes will "lend comfort to those who have unexpectedly lost loved ones and who feel guilty that they have not yet felt a sense of connection with them."
She herself has been in touch with loved ones who have passed over, including her father-in-law who came to Apollon shortly after his death - it was a time when Apollon was worried about her son who was about to have surgery. She's also "seen" an aunt, uncle, cousin and others, experiences she discusses in her book.
In fact, a very special chapter in the book is devoted to the experienced phenomena of deceased love ones, divine and spiritual beings, angels, and the communicative presence of higher evolved beings.
The author recounts experiences of others, like Alexa who, urged by a stranger not to drive, ignored the warning. Apollon writes that, after rushing to the scene of Alexa's accident, rescuers found her trapped and dazed while a gentleman worked to unlock her door and pull her from the car.
"The following day, Alexa, wanting to know the identity of the stranger who had helped her, went to the police station for a copy of the report. Her eyes jumped to the signature at the bottom. … It was her [long-dead] father's signature, in his own distinctive and unusual scroll."
Apollon also deals with the metaphysical aspects and psychological elements involving dreams, visions, encounters with the sense of the body, intuitive wisdom, automatic writing, precognition, near-death experiences, psychic energy and more.
Of course, Apollon admits, over the years she's met her share of skeptics, and that's fine with her. She says, "Whenever you're ready to accept the premise in my book, you will. I'm not an entertainer. I teach people how to do what I do.
"I know my work is being here on several levels. I know I'm part teacher and I'm supposed to go out bringing my work to the public and it means a lot to me to do it."
She insists we all have the ability to perform these so-called "extraordinary" events, claiming we all have the gift and were born with it.
"In fact, most of my patients have been using their abilities all along. They just don't realize it. I hope to be able to train them and others in a variety of ways to use their abilities even better."