My name is Marty Ross Vining. I was born in Missouri but mostly raised in southern Illinois; I moved to California in 1974 and have lived here ever since. I've been searching my memory bank for anything that was a hearkening to my adult life and my Spiritually-seeking path, but beyond feeling a deep, deep love for everyone in my life, I didn't really have anything happen that would be considered a Spiritual or "metaphysical" moment/knowing except for once seeing an old woman open my bedroom door and look at me, then softly close it. I was probably twelve or thirteen years old. Despite being told repeatedly by my mother that I must have been dreaming, I know full well I wasn't and can still see the image of that old woman's kindly face, looking at me. I now know I was seeing someone who existed in a different "reality" than I, a different dimension...but it was years before I understood different dimensions actually existed.
I attended Sunday school/church as a young girl, as did most of my friends, but it didn't leave much of an impression on me (no doubt because I wasn't there long enough TO have it leave an impression on me as invariably, my sister and I would sneak out the back door and head for our favorite sweet shop for a cherry cola). I DID have a Bible-thumpin' Baptist grandmother who used to scare the pants off me when she'd babysit, telling me stories of burning eternally in hell unless I was a "good girl". And I recall visiting a Catholic Church with a neighborhood friend and feeling a sense of reverence (though I was too young to even know what that word meant) when she solemnly informed me since the little box of light on the wall was lit up, that meant God was present. Other than that, I had no real connection with "God".
My childhood was "normal"....climbing countless trees, playing flashlight tag on summer evenings, taking long bike rides with my friends, playing baseball down at the school, catching lightning bugs by the hundreds, making homemade taffy and burying it in the snow, etc., etc. I lived a carefree and happy childhood, oblivious to anything but my friends and family and then later, of course, boys.
I DID have a cousin Chuckie whom I adored and with whom I could have "deep" conversations, though I didn't even KNOW they were "deep" when I was a young girl.....I just knew that when he was around, I thrilled at the kind of conversations we'd have, most of them regarding supernatural phenomena that never failed to interest me. Then, on a family trip to his house in Missouri when I was fifteen, I recall vividly playing a game of Spades with Chuckie, his mother Norma (whom I also adored) and my father, and having a conversation about reincarnation and the logic of its existence. Of course I don't remember the conversation per se. I only remember the thrill of thinking "YES....it HAS to be that way", because how else could you explain "knowing" someone when you'd only just met them, or remember doing something that you'd never done before? How could there be child musical prodigies, for example, unless they already knew how to play from a past life? And how could someone live a brief and horrible life and poof, that was it and that's all they got? That just didn't seem fair to me. Reincarnation wasn't a topic most people had in the early/mid 60's, at least not in my sphere of friends and family members, so to have someone to talk with about the subject brought FAR more satisfaction to my mind and heart than any other kind of conversation I could think of.
Otherwise, I didn't have any inkling of Spirituality or psychic perception or the fact that I would spend the majority of my life seeking to know Spirit/serve Spirit (as it turns out I have).
I should tell you how it came to be that Dixie and I found ourselves sharing each other’s paths. It was July 1979 in Bakersfield when dear friends of ours (Mark and Cindy) stopped by and mentioned they were taking a class on metaphysics, giving my then-husband and me a run-down on the curriculum. I'm not sure I had even heard the word "metaphysics" before, but the more Mark and Cindy talked about the class, the more my body was experiencing chill after chill after chill; and when Mark mentioned there was room for two more to join....ahhhh….I’ll never forget that Moment….NEVER. Though I didn’t understand exactly why I was so excited, I DID understand that I WAS….there was a silent thrill in me….my inner Being was in complete Joy.
SO….we joined the class. It was arranged that one of Dixie’s students, Bob Orrick, would conduct the weekly class, and then Dixie would drive over from Lompoc once a month for a full-day workshop. Bob was a GREAT teacher – Dixie did an excellent job of preparing him to be in charge of the weekly classes. We were so earnestly studying and learning - we were so excited….so alive….so YOUNG. I counted the days in between each class because I couldn’t WAIT to be in the energy of learning about Spirit.
Finally, it was weekend-workshop time – I had YET to meet this woman named Dixie whose curriculum was being taught by Bob....but I’ll never forget when she walked into the room – confident and a little shy at the same time, with a walk that was graceful and a look that was direct. I noticed during one of those direct looks that she had a birthmark on the white of one her eyes. I was feeling nervously excited, and when I’m nervously excited, I tend to resort to humor…AND so I said to my friend Mark in a stage whisper, “Pssst….did you see that mark on her eye? Whatever you do, DON’T look at it because you know what’ll happen!” Mark responded with something clever, but to this day I don’t know what he said because ALL I could think was, “OH MY GOD, I can’t believe I SAID that, I can’t believe I SAID that!!” My face was redder than red, and I was not only cringing from interrupting the workshop with my outburst, but horrified that I might have hurt Dixie’s feelings by making a remark about the birthmark. I was afraid to look at her, even though I could hear others laughing (to my great relief).
When I finally mustered up the courage to peek at her, WHEW – she was laughing, too….and I don’t mean politely….she was belly-laughing – she “got” it. I knew right then and there she was the real deal: she was not only a remarkable Spiritual teacher, but she was down to earth as well…and for me, both qualities are equally important.
Meeting Dixie marked the beginning of the two major roles I've played so far in this life. At that first workshop, though I was thrilled and excited to be there, I also wasn't feeling my best and made a comment about it. Dixie said, "There's a lot of pink in your aura.....honey, you're pregnant." WOW WOW WOW.....I didn't think I could have been any happier than I was just to be in the workshop, but to find out I was pregnant on that SAME day (which a doctor verified later that week).....well....I'm sure I was the group's first experience of witnessing levitation......(smile). I was on Cloud Nine! (I am now the mother of three grown, intelligent and very good men - the loves of my life.)
I began my conscious Spiritual journey, then, in July/August, 1979, as a student of Dixie's. It wasn't long before I began assisting her with HER work in addition to continuing to study with her....and now, some thirty-three and a half years later….here I am.....still doing “the Work” with Dixie (and others)….still seeking to Serve Spirit while remaining “grounded”….still Laughing….still deeply Respecting each other….still knowing we are Blessed to be sharing this amazing Path. I’ve learned SO much from this woman, about Spirit….about Friendship….about Love….about Life.
My gratitude of course is immeasurable.
Up to now, I’ve been more of a "behind-the-scenes" kind of gal, occasionally adding my two cents’ worth to some of Dixie’s newsletters and even writing a few of them myself when she wasn't able to due to illness or hospitalization. I like to write….I enjoy it and am pleased to be sharing some of the things I’ve learned from both Dixie and my own time alone with Spirit.
My best to each of you,