Channel crossings – Out of this world with hypnotherapist Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD

Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas at home. Behind her are several of her paintings. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

by Bondo Wyszpolski

One of two dozen books by hypnotherapist Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD

In everyday life, there’s more than meets the eye, and the same goes for what we know or can intuit. Some people, however, seem able to perceive things that leave the rest of us amazed or incredulous. I’m thinking of psychics, clairvoyants, telepaths, mediums, and the like. In 2018, I met and interviewed animal communicator Samantha Khury, who lives in Manhattan Beach. She could go mind-to-mind with all sorts of creatures, cats and dogs, of course, but also, ranging in size, from scorpions to elephants. Samantha was kind and perceptive, and now I’ve met another woman, also kind and perceptive, Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD, who lives near Marymount University atop Rancho Palos Verdes, and whose home has a magnificent view of the Peninsula coastline.

Shelley — because we’re going to kick off our shoes and be informal — also has the ability to discern the thoughts of animals. “Recently, in Sedona,” she says, “I passed a lady with three dogs and one dog told me, ‘I am disappointed in the lady. She likes my twin brother more than me; she ignores me.’ When I [mustered] the courage to tell the lady, she affirmed it was so and then picked up the little guy. Another time, a racehorse told me he liked the smell of his caretaker’s perfume, and that she needed to use it more often. Seems even animals want to get in on vibrational communication.”

But Shelley’s renown isn’t really with animals, it’s with people, and it’s no less astonishing. She’s the President of the International Hypnosis Federation and claims to have instructed thousands of students in all aspects of hypnosis. She’s also a healer and a channel, and has described how all this works for her — and can work for us — in some 25 books. I can’t vouch for everything she does, but I can say that for someone who is 77 she has a lot of pep, is as smart as she is charming, and has a grand sense of humor.

Diving into deeper waters

Shelley is one of the local kids, you might say. She was born in Torrance, lived in the Seaside neighborhood of Torrance, and then Hollywood Riviera. “I went to South High, the first class to go all four years to South High. Class of ‘62.”

Her father was a lawyer, also in Torrance. Her mother, “incredibly intelligent and very beautiful,” met with some frustration in life. “She wanted to be a lawyer; my dad wouldn’t let her go to law school. Women don’t go to law school.” That was how things stood for many middle class families in the 1950s and 1960s. Dad was the breadwinner and mom stayed home to raise the kids.

However, Shelley says of her mother, “She was going to make me a movie star, and my brother a movie star. So, from the time I was four I had to take acting lessons. I was very shy…” Well, I believe that’s one hurdle she’s gotten over.”

On the homefront, at least, she was a star. The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce crowned her Miss Redondo Beach, “and then hired me as a recreation leader and had me write a column for the Daily Breeze called ‘Recreation Lessin’ (Lessin was her maiden name). I also created the first drama program for children in the city at the elementary schools, and taught several recreation classes for adults.”

At this point I’m asked, “Would you like to know how I came to channel?”

So let’s skip a few years, to when Shelley was a flight attendant for TWA. Among her crew members, she says, I was known as a hypnotist because I made five or six cassette tapes for flight attendants and pilots.” The purpose of these cassettes was to help them “deal with jet lag, so they would keep their weight down, so they’d sleep better, deal with stress. One tape was for children of hostesses, ‘Mommy Bunny’s Going to Work.’”

Prior to that, she says, “the flight attendants did not know what a hypnotist was. This was 1970. And so a flight attendant would come over to me and they’d go, ‘Are you the hypnotist? Would you read my palm?’ So I’d look at their palm and make up stories — because I didn’t know how to read palms, I was a hypnotist, I wasn’t a psychic.” She then made up stories to tell them, whatever came to mind. “And they’d go, ‘Oh my God, how did you know that? That’s amazing?’ And I’m thinking, I made it up, I just made up stories.”

Shelley was then known among her colleagues as both a psychic and a hypnotist. Of course the reader will be wondering from which school she received her credentials. After all, not many of us can legitimately place a PhD after our names. To which Shelley replies, “I received my PhD in Transpersonal Psychology from the International University of Professional Studies. My thesis was on… surprise… hypnosis.”

Also, since she had written poetry, Shelley had a small reputation as a writer. This led to her being asked by a friend in Laguna Beach to write a poem as a birth announcement for her new daughter. Four years later, Shelley received a call from the same woman, saying the little girl was seriously ill. “Would you please go to the hospital and heal her, because I know you’re a healer.”

That seems a lot to ask of anyone who’s not a trained physician. “I’m thinking, I’m not a healer; I’m a hypnotist who pretends to be a psychic,” Shelley says, but she drove down to Laguna Beach and sat with the girl, who was comatose. She tried various approaches, all to no avail. On her third night by the bedside, during a few moments when she was alone with the girl, a voice came through her and told the child that the decision to stay in this world was now up to her. “That’s your choice, Jessica. Either way, everybody will be fine.” And not long after that the vital signs on the monitor ceased and it was all over. At least on this plane.

Shelley gave the funeral eulogy. Sometime later, the girl’s mother began calling Shelley, saying she’d been to a channel and that Jessica was sending messages — and apparently not distressing ones at that. This led to an invitation to the Whole Life Expo. She went, and two different psychics commented on the strength of her guardian angel. In another area of the event was a medium, a woman who, after asking God for blessings, began to speak “in this funny voice.” Shelley wasn’t impressed, but the next day she told her secretary that she could channel. The secretary basically said this: Prove it. So Shelley imitated the prayers she’d heard the day before and, guess what, the guardian angel who was conspicuous at the expo, or else one of its colleagues, decided to speak up. Why there and then, who knows, but because the secretary wrote it down the transcript was preserved. After announcing itself, the entity spoke of a rusty door being opened, and that it must be allowed to swing freely and gently. “When the door is open, show respect for the room of wakedness… We have chosen her (Shelley) to speak for us… She must stay awake so that she can light others. Let’s not play games. Spirit is to be respected.”

We can assume that there are blanks here that need to be filled in, but then Shelley received a letter from the mother of Jessica, the little girl who passed to the other side. Dear Shelley, it began, I write these words through my mommy. I just want to tell you that you were the one who helped me to see the angels, and it made my transition to this side most loving and easy. I will send you light and love from this side. You are the one to light the way for many, many people. I’ll be here for you when it’s your turn to cross into spirit. Be in the light, be in the light. Love, Jessica.”

Shelley admits to being “just weirded out.” Then she adds, “That’s the backdrop for what happened next.”

Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas and the door to all knowledge. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

They’re still with us

What happened next were a couple of speaking engagements at Miraleste High School, speaking to the psychology class about hypnosis. By and by, she mentioned to one of the teachers that she could also channel, and was immediately invited back to demonstrate for the students. Maybe it was a good decision to do so, maybe it wasn’t, but ultimately it led to the home of a well-to-do couple whose house had been burglarized. Shelley had only channeled twice before this, but if I may cut to the chase it did prove (and I heard the story from both parties independently) that Shelley was an effective medium. Something she mentions later in our conversation I’m going to drop in here, because it relates to what I’ve just written:

“One of the things I do in my career as a hypnotist is, I’m a forensic hypnotist, which means that I will interview somebody who’s been a witness or a victim of a crime, and I will regress them back to that moment in time, so that I can recall details that are hopefully in their memory banks.”

That home robbery and its aftermath took place nearly four decades ago. After that, while teaching a course at the Palos Verdes Art Center entitled The Zen of Art or Creative Poetry, Shelley can’t recall which one it was, a number of people became intrigued by the notion of channeling. “So we started a group,” Shelley says; “it was called our Tuesday Night Group, and it went on for 37 years in this office. For 37 years we got together and channeled. It was hypnosis and enlightenment and fun. But at the end it always was half an hour of channeling.

“And so over the years I have channeled for thousands of people.” Some of them became well-known channels themselves, Shelley says. “My latest book is called ‘Spiritual Counselor Secrets,’ and it’s a book that I wrote with a friend. It includes how to channel, because everybody can be a channel. It’s a weird thing to do, but it’s available to all of us.”

One may rightly ask, Bondo, did she demonstrate on you? And if so, what was your reaction?

The answer is yes she did, but I was quite preoccupied that day and perhaps unable to sufficiently relax. However, I was inspired by the process, by the way it works, with deep breaths. One can interpret this as one likes.

On the other hand, while speaking to a group of about 100 senior citizens at Leisure World, Shelley discovered that over half of them felt they had known something or other before it happened. That’s a presentiment or precognition. Also, over half of them said that a deceased loved one had contacted them. Had this ever happened to Shelley herself? “A very early spirit communication came from my father,” she replies, “who said, ‘I am very proud of you, Shelley,’ after I had done a one-woman show at the Norris Theatre.”

The point is, a large number of people, perhaps a majority, have had (or at least believe they’ve had) a dead relative try and reach out to them.

Shelley also mentions that she has a dominant guide named Kendra, and apparently even knows a fair amount about this spiritual entity. So how did you learn about Kendra? Did she voluntarily tell you about herself or did you have to ask?

“When I began channeling Kendra,” Shelley says, “my students asked about her and where she came from. That is how I came to know more about her.”

Also, after a reading or a channeling session, the client should evaluate the result. “Most of the time the information is accurate,” Shelley claims. “Sometimes it’s not. So I always want to do a disclaimer before I do a reading. I want to say, The only person who really knows you best is yourself. So, as this information comes to you, if it doesn’t fit just blow it off. But of course people are highly suggestive, so you have to be very careful. That’s why I wrote this book, because there are a lot of crackpots out there. I wanted to make sure that people who do this work, into spiritual passing of any sort, really heed what they’re saying, because you can hurt somebody.”

Hypnotherapist Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

Crossing the divide

“I want to mention this,” Shelley says. “We’re all psychic. Every person has wisdom beyond wisdom within. How they receive that wisdom can come to them through sound, through voice, through feelings, through intuition, or through just an ah-ha! It can come to them in visions, in smell. Bottom line is, it comes first with a willingness to open yourself to that possibility. It also comes with an idea that you’re going to make sure that this is coming for your highest good, that it’s not some creepy subpersonality inside of you that is going to destroy you. People have (or hear) voices that are not good voices. That’s why I recommend you always do a prayer or a blessing first, asking that all these teachings be for your highest good and the good of the planet.” She pauses. “I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I believe it does.”

Is there ever a danger to you when you’re channeling?

“I would say I’ve never felt endangered,” Shelley replies, “but I’ve had a couple of experiences that were very unsettling.” She mentions a local policeman who was shot and killed. Someone in her Tuesday Night Group felt sorry for him, so he was channeled. It was, Shelley continues, a horrible experience. “He was bigoted and nasty and swearing… He was so hateful in the channeling — and I have never had this happen — that my dominant guide said, That’s enough. Leave. And he was gone.”

When you channel someone who is deceased, how do you know that they’re not being interrupted from something else — like having dinner in the Netherworld? To put this another way, is there ever a sense of imposing on them?

“I never think I’m imposing,” Shelley says. “I invite information and messengers for each person’s ‘highest good and the good of the planet,’ and the messenger seems to willingly show up.”

For that matter, wouldn’t there be certain people, like Cleopatra or Shakespeare or Thomas Jefferson, who are called upon so much (“Thom, it’s for you again”) that it might simply be annoying for them?

“I love this question,” Shelley says. “Never thought of it. I will ask now.” Later I’m emailed Kendra’s response: “Guidance willingly comes through when requested. We are teachers from your ancestry and other dimensions, and we wish the best for you on your earthwalk. It is challenging for those who are dense because of a body to comprehend that we are free energy and never are tired or annoyed.”

In short, don’t be intimidated if there’s a certain historical figure you’d like to reach out to.

And lastly, is it possible we’re being watched over? We’d certainly like to think so.

“One of the things I do in groups,” Shelleys says, “is I have everybody meet their guardian angel. It’s very easy to do, and it’s very fun. And when you meet your guardian angel it gives you a kind of understanding that there may be more to life than just physical structure or emotions or mental… There may be something more. That’s for each person to decide.”

And this was my introduction to the fascinating world of Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, believe it or dismiss it as you will. For this writer, time with her was pleasurable and well-spent.

Shelley Stockwell-Nicholas, PhD can be contacted by phone, (310) 541-4844 or by emailing her at PEN


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