“The Empyrean”

Viewing the highest level of Heaven as it beams down through the clouds, amid its grandeur and grace.

There’s such beauty when gazing into the above, wouldn’t you agree? While watching the clouds drift by, one can see endless images form right before their very eyes. Such a majestic world we live in, one can easily get lost daydreaming in its glory.

“The Empyrean” is a work of art that I passionately created inspired by the late afternoon’s sky. I was so moved by the vibrancy of the blues and the cotton candied hues that I couldn’t resist getting lost in the intensity of the moment.

For prints, beach towels, fleece blankets, phone cases and so much more….visit Fine Art America!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

(“The Empyrean” ~ artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints, beach towels, fleece blankets, phone cases and so much more…. available only at Fine Art America!)

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“Coastal Life”

A beautiful depiction of a day at the beach!

Life here on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast has always been such a blessing to me and my family. We’re originally from Tennessee, moved to the coast back in 2006 after eight years of vacationing at the location.

It’s definitely a different world than from where we’re from, but everything has been such a wonderful change. We don’t have any actual family here, but the close friends that we’ve made while living here have without a doubt become our family. Even though they aren’t blood relatives, they are all special parts of our lives. All of whom we hold very dear to our hearts!

Living on the coast, there’s a sense of wonderment that still captivates me and I wanted to capture that moment so I could share it with you. A day at the beach offers serenity for any and all who appreciate the blissfulness that the coast has to offer.

My artwork simply titled, “Coastal Life” can be found at Fine Art America…… prints, phone chargers, towels, blankets and so much more!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

(“Coastal Life” ~ artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints, phone chargers, towels, blankets and so much more available only at….. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/coastal-life-sheila-renee-parker.html)

 

“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)

 

 

“You’re Looking Too Thin”

“You’re looking too thin.” Is what some people have been telling me lately. And even though I know they care, their comments are becoming a tad much.

A little over a year ago I was getting a check up and was told that my weight was slightly more than what it should be. Well, that did hit home because at the time, I had been feeling rather sluggish and unmotivated. But when the nurse practitioner said that, I did listen. So, I started eliminating certain foods that I knew weren’t of the right choice. I began eating healthier, choosing fresh produce rather than processed. Incorporating more fruits and veggies into what I eat on a daily basis. No more pop tarts, chips and things like that. Now, I do still like to eat the occasional cookie (or two… lol). Just a few days ago I baked some homemade peanut butter cookies that were out of this world! YUM!!! And yes, I still eat pizza every once in a while, indulge in a milkshake here and there…. but…. everything in moderation… even Hershey Kisses (which I will always love!)!!

I’ve gotten wiser on how I make my food choices and I couldn’t be happier! Before I made my lifestyle change, my energy level felt drained and my arthritis gave me fits. For anyone who has arthritis, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I would wake up in the morning feeling stiff as a board. My lower back would hurt so much that it would bring tears to my eyes. Not to mention the random hip pains that would often cause me to limp some. My hands would lock up and ache… my knees would, on rare occasions, literally give out on me. I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 34, but knew I had it for a lot longer than that. As I got closer to 40, my pain and discomfort gradually got worse. Actually, to the point where it was starting to limit certain levels of mobility. I hid the pain, dealing with it the best way I could. In the beginning I tried pain medication, but quickly stopped because after reading all the ridiculous side effects, I decided that was not how I was going to live my life, taking pills on a daily basis. That may be for others, but definitely not me!

Then, last year when the nurse practitioner said that about my weight it made me start thinking, plus with my arthritis…. my body was controlling me, making me feel horrible and I wasn’t going to let that happen any longer. I finally woke up, listening to the things that my body had been trying to tell me for so long. That’s when I started taking control by eating healthier and incorporating exercise into my daily routine. Yes, I exercise every single day and I absolutely love it! Guess what?! That arthritis pain….. I kicked its ass!!! Yep, I said it! By me constantly being active, my arthritis pain has become extremely minimal. Every great once in a while it will remind me that it’s still there, but nothing in comparison to how it used to be!

I exercise in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have a gym membership. I have a core flex machine, some light weights, an ab wheel, an exercise stretch band and an exercise ball. I do a lot of sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, etc… I even incorporate isometric exercises along with yoga, and I also jog.

By eating healthier and being active, I feel soooooo much better now! Honestly, I feel better than I did even when I was in my twenties! I haven’t felt this great in decades!! And yes, I have lost 40 lbs., but I’m healthier and I continue to maintain my yearly check-up. My only regret about all this is that I didn’t do it years ago. But can’t dwell on that because everything happens for a reason. Carpe diem!!! 😉

I also minimized my diet soda intake. I used to drink 3 – 4 of those every day. I know they say “no calories”, but seriously… since I am down to only having one a day, I honestly believe that has helped my weight achieve a healthier goal as well. I have become addicted to fruit infused flavored water. I love going to the local markets and picking out fresh fruits and veggies so I can make my own infused water. Totally delicious with soooo many health benefits!! So far, one of my faves is a water that I add green apple, cucumber, mint leaves and lemon to. It’s so refreshing and smells divine!!

Ok, here’s the question… since I’m a vegetarian (and have been for 15 yrs), how do I get my protein? Well, a few years ago I used to be a plasma donor. Every time a person donates plasma, their protein and iron levels get checked. My levels were often higher than those of meat eaters. Why? Because I’ve always known the importance of that so I make sure to eat protein enriched foods. Peanut butter, beans… dairy… and I am also a huge fan of Morning Star products, which are low in fat, but are awesome with maintaining a great protein level. Also, protein shakes… yogurt…. (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all!) You get the picture. lol

Together, my husband and I are both eating better so we can hopefully live long, healthier lives. So, for anyone who says, “It gets harder as you get older.” I say to that… Bullsnart! I was 41 when I made my lifestyle change and trust me, I’m extremely grateful I did it!

It’s up to us, people…. it only gets harder if we allow it!

 

Eat healthy, be active and stay motivated, my friends! Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed!!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here I am with a serious face because I am serious about staying motivated! Wearing absolutely no make-up and just finished working out, feeling awesome day by day! We can all make a difference in our lives, all we have to do is just do it! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Light Will Always Prevail”

Even when it’s cloudy the sun continues to shine.

Clouds cover the sky on a humid summer day, passing by with their random forms and patterns. And yet, beaming high above, the sun radiates its rays for all to see. Just witnessing this was so awe inspiring to me. Why? Because I saw it as a beautiful reminder that regardless of what we go through in life, light will always prevail.

Writing about and researching the paranormal, there’s always talk about the darkness and shadows. But what we have to remember is that regardless of how dim things may get, they cannot exist without the Light. There is a magnificent balance between the two. As I always say, “I love the Light as much as I love the Dark. It’s such a beautiful balance.” And I sincerely mean that.

We all go through our moments, good and bad. It’s up to us on how we perceive things. Remember, a positive mindset can do a world of wonders.

I’ve often been asked, “Sheila, how are you always so positive?” Well, the truth is… I’m not. I have my moments just like anyone else does. For example: when something happens and it absolutely irks me, I’ll be like “OMG, seriously?!?!” And trust me, I’ll say a couple of “choice words” about it, but then I have to remind myself to just let it go. Whatever it is, does not have power over me. I have power over me. I am in control of my life and whatever happens, whether it’s good or bad, is because it is meant to happen. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. We are never given more than what we can handle. But again, it is based on our perception on how we see things. Do we accept things as a lesson that will help us to grow and become stronger, better individuals or will we let things drag us down and consume us? We can either accept things constructively or destructively, the choice is ours. If we choose constructively, then we can embrace the experience as a lesson that will teach us to be wiser with a more positive outlook. However, if we choose destructively, we do so with a negative mindset, therefore becoming cold and bitter towards the situation. Subsequently, allowing the latter to control us. I repeat, the choice is ours. Constructively or destructively. Positive or negative. A positive life brings forth strength and happiness while a negative life results in weakness and misery.

When I was younger, I was actually more negative than positive. I would often look at things with a scowled look on my face, angry and wrapped up in my own little world. I would let things control me and still question, “why?”. And then one day I woke up. A co-worker once told me that no matter how some people may try to bring us down, we should always smile at them. I questioned her reasoning and she replied, “Because if you let them get the best of you, then they win. And if you do that, you let that person have power over you. But, by smiling at them, regardless of how hard they try to be rude, you let that individual know that they can’t control you.”

It may sound like simple advice, but I have carried that with me for twenty years and the older I get, the more it makes sense. I guess with age comes wisdom? Whatever it is, it continues to resonate with me and I find myself sharing my former co-worker’s advice quite often. (If you’re wondering what I used to do, I worked for a law firm serving subpoenas for a living and would often get a lot of attitude from people when I served them. Even though it wasn’t my fault why they were being subpoenaed to court, I was the middle person and the one who they hated. I must admit, the job did help me develop a tough skin, though.)

Keep in mind when you encounter someone who’s having a bad day, remember this….. don’t take it personally. And if you can, help them have a better day. Even if you just give them a smile. You may not think they deserve it, but I promise you, the simple gesture of a smile can brighten someone’s day more than you know. It can literally speak volumes. Pay it forward! Also by doing so, you continue to help yourself grow by incorporating a positive life into your daily routine. Your positive light can be the seed that manifests brightness into the world. How amazing is that, right?! You are a beautiful beacon of radiance! You glow and so does your magical smile! 🙂

Keep shining, my most awesome friends!

~ Love & Light, Sheila

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

(Here is the photo that I took of the sky that inspired me to write this article. ~Sheila Renee Parker)

One, Two, Three, Four… And Here’s To Many, Many More!!!

OMGosh…. Can you believe it?! At the end of this month will be four years since I created this site! Where has all the time gone? So many wonderful things have happened! I’ve had the awesome opportunity to meet tons of fascinating people, make amazing new friends and have had the honor to be a very special part in some pretty fantastic events! Last September I was a vendor at the Gulf Coast ParaCon in Biloxi, Mississippi. In November I attended the Paranormal Diaries Film Event in Sauk Centre, Minnesota and just this past weekend I was a vendor at the Society of Supernatural Convention in Wheeling, West Virginia (An upcoming article with photos about this trip will be published soon…. 😉 ).

And…. another event this coming November in New Orleans. Be sure to stay tuned for details about that one…. super exciting!!! Also, a quick SHOUT OUT to each and every single radio show that I’ve had the absolute honor to be a guest on!

All the while, staying busy working on my next novel and writing articles that you say you love! It is always such a pleasure receiving the positive feedback from all of you! I am extremely blessed every single day because of everyone, a big humongous THANK YOU!!!!

So, a VERY HAPPY 4 YEAR ANNIVERSARY to sheilareneeparker.com and all of you for making it happen!!! TOGETHER WE ROCK!!!!!

~ Much Love & Light, Sheila ❤

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

 

 

 

 

(Sheila Renee Parker. Author. Artist. Empath.)

Join us at the First Annual Mountain State Supernatural Convention presented by Society of Supernatural!

Well, the exciting big weekend is almost here and I’ve been super busy getting all my things together to make the trip to Wheeling, West Virginia to be a vendor at Society of Supernatural Mountain State Supernatural Convention!

This will be the first annual event presented by Society of Supernatural! It’s going to take place this Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino in Wheeling, West Virginia from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. General admission is $10 and the doors will open at 11 a.m.

“The event is open to all, however YOU MUST BE 21 years of age to enter the Wheeling Island Casino gaming areas.”

Friday night, June 15th, there will be a GOLD VIP Private Meet & Greet Gathering at the Bellaire House. For more info about the awesome meet and greet please visit thebellairehouse.webs.com.

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, “Bookmarks, Signed Copies & Ghosts…. Oh My!!!”, I will be there with signed copies of my novel, The Spirit Within! I am definitely looking forward to attending and we hope to see you all there! We can’t wait to meet you!

 

For all you paranormal enthusiasts interested in the event, please visit Society of  Supernatural Mountain State Supernatural Convention or thebellairehouse.webs.com

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html