I'm writing for a little advice. I've had so many experiences across the board that I'm not even sure what to believe, what's real and what isn't, what I am, etc.
I've always kind of believed in the "out of the ordinary". As a kid I had a few experiences, smelling scents suddenly that reminded me of a grandparent after they were deceased, thinking I had seen a skeletal figure outside my bedroom when I was around 10, hearing strange noises coming from other rooms. It scared me, but at the same time I was drawn to understanding what it was. My mother hated any mention of the paranormal, so even as a child when she would take me to the library I would sneak off to the section with books about ghosts, psychics, etc to read for a few minutes before she'd come looking for me and bust me with "forbidden books". And even as a child I had a strange feeling of being out of step with everyone, even with time. I think I was what someone might call an "old soul." I pondered the wonders of nature, of where we go after we die, and even once ask my dad why there were so many religions. He tried to explain about the different denominations and their beliefs. I couldn't understand why someone would break up into different groups like that. I told him that wasn't how it was supposed to be.
As I got older I experienced more and more things. Noises, movement out of the corner of my eye, the feeling I wasn't alone. Also, I had an incredible awareness of my body, like sometimes I drifted slightly out of it and was aware of every movement I was making, even walking down the sidewalk. But I had reached an age of reason where I was determined to explain away everything. Though one thing I never doubted was that I had a stranger than most connection with nature and animals. No one else seemed to marvel in the little miracles all around us, the scents on the wind, the colors of the earth. It's like my eyes were wide open. Animals seemed to be drawn to me, too. I could just look into an animal's eyes, or be near them, and have the oddest feeling that I knew how they felt. Sometimes overwhelming feelings come off of an animal, and also people, that it brings me to tears. Sometimes I can feeling emotions radiating off of people -- sadness, anger, fear, joy, without any words. I finally understood that I was an empath and it's been a tough road trying to shield myself sometimes.
But within the last few years things have picked up. I continue to see movements, for example as I pass a room, but go back and see nothing. I saw a white figure flash behind me, reflected in mirror. I have been woken out of a sound sleep several times to feel something like fingernails gently raking down my lower back, a concentrated spot of cold air against my neck. Another time I was woken up by someone patting my hair. I have also smell strange odors like men's cologne when my husband wasn't in the house, saw glowing blue lights, my husband saw an orange light over me one night, and one night I saw a smiling man's face reflected in the window. It couldn't have been anyone outside because they would have to be 10 feet tall (plus I saw no body). Most of the experiences aren't frightening, but a few have been. I have felt a strong scary presence in two rooms (rarely) and I try to tell it to go away.
I've also had the sensation that I suddenly dropped down on my bed. It used to scare me, until someone told me that it was an OBE. That friend also got me into a meditation class with her. That teacher, who became a very good friend, helped me a lot. She taught me about centering myself, grounding myself, opening my chakras, deep breathing for relaxation and calming. She taught me how to talk to my spirit guides, and explained some of the things I was dealing with, like the dropping to the bed feeling. She also taught me how to look at auras, and explained the energy and heat I feel in my hands (especially while meditating) might mean I'd be good at reiki. She also told me that the tiger (hence my user name) that flashes through my mind is my animal totem.
Sometimes, too, I'll suddenly think of someone's name right before they call or think of song and it's played on the radio next. That's about the closest to premonition that I've experienced.
My meditation instructor has since moved away for her work and I'm starting to feel a bit lost again. I have lessons for a good start, but don't know how to continue. There is an extreme lack of meditation instructors, centers, etc in this area, and the mere idea of some of the things I've experienced would cause people to think I'm nuts.
I've had so many other crazy things happen and have no one to talk to about some. For instance, during some of my meditations I have strange "visions." I keep seeing someone stepping on the edge of a low well to mount a horse. I've seen Joan of Arc and then was in the fire with her, being burned alive, seeing hers and my flesh peel and boil (that meditation I had to forcibly yank myself out of). Once I was shown several visions in a row by a guide. The first was centuries ago and I was going up a stone staircase. I heard voices and turned to the left to find three people plotting. They grabbed me and killed me by first choking and then stabbing me in the stomach. Another was a woman on a train traveling west to marry a many. It seemed to be roughly turn of the century. A couple of times in deep meditation I've gotten names, but doing internet searches I can't seem to find any reference to real people. I have a lot of vivid dreams, but only one had any reference to something I could prove. Cleopatra was mentioned in it, but as Cleopatra the seventh, the "ill fated." The next day I looked her up and the famous Cleopatra was indeed Cleopatra the Seventh, which I never knew.
Also, if I'm doing deep breathing before going to sleep, I'll start to hear jumbles of voices. I know at the time I understand some of what they're saying, but fall asleep before I can write it down and I can never remember specifics the next day.
If someone could offer advice it would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I'm being pelted with information or sensations and don't even know what to believe or where to start. At times I feel blessed that I can experience things that most people don't, connected to something deeper than our ordinary world. Other times I wonder if I'm crazy, or if everything (especially the visions during meditation) is all my imagination.