In the past couple months I have been having some experiences that are confusing to me. To give some background information I have had sleep paralysis episodes on and off for many years though they have never been scary, just annoying. I've heard that it is a starting point for OBE though I've never had any interest in trying that. Seems too risky to me. I've also had a strong interest in the afterlife though in the past couple years I've had serious doubts. I am 40 and earlier this year my mother passed away. I was not at her bedside when she passed but my father was and he was telling me that that evening she was "delusional" claiming that her mother (my g-ma dead for 30 years now) was in the room with them. I believe 100% that my mom knew exactly what she was talking about and this has affected me very deeply. It's as if it was the missing puzzle piece I needed to truly believe.
A month or so after this I started waking up in the middle of the night feeling vibrations in my body. Kind of like sleep paralysis they annoyed me and I've read enough to know what they are - precursor to OBE. I tried to get rid of them the first few nights this happened by rolling over on to my stomach and it worked. It seemed to me that they were not going to go away though so I read about how to contact your spirit guide (which I have always been interested in doing) and the next time the vibrations happened I cleared my mind, focused on my breathing, imagined myself protected by white light, and concentrated on my "third eye" with the intent of asking my spirit guide who they are. I got a loud ringing in my ears, heard a couple seconds of background voices and static and then received a quite random vision of construction workers followed by another black and white vision with a smoky background of a theater mask (those plain happy/sad ones) which changed into a mans face. Needless to say I was a little freaked out. It was SO different than a dream. In the "construction" vision I saw numbers on a vehicle and I thought "I want to see those numbers closer" and they instantly zoomed into my vision. Really I was not expecting anything like this to happen.
Since then I have had a few more visions (maybe 4-5) because I'm curious about all this and instead of the "chatter" they have been preceded by 1-2 seconds of chimes. I only get these visions after I get through the vibrations. So am I leaving my body when this is happening? Is this what astral travel is? I had one vision that I was in a very high place with an angel (that's the impression I got) and the angel came close to me as to lift me up and it felt as though my legs started to raise and I said I don't want to leave my body and then it ended. And then just a couple nights ago I got vibrations again and I rolled over to stop them (I have conflicting feelings about all this still) and I heard a quick springing/ popping sound and it felt like I literally flipped high into the air and I thought "no no no!" and I came back instantly.
So what's going on here? I didn't seek any of this out. After reading so many other stories on the internet I know I'm not going crazy. I've tried meditating in the middle of the day sitting up but nothing happens. I can only have them after the paralysis sets in. But I am also Catholic (liberal) and have mixed feelings about making any contact at all. I've been around the world enough to know that there is not one "correct" religion and we all are praying to the same god, but still, I don't want to have OBE and "mingle" with other spirits, I don't want to have premonitions about the future, I don't want to try and contact dead people (not even my mom) so I don't know what to do with this clairvoyance. So confused. Any advice?