Spirited Away: A Review of “Stay Tuned: Conversations with Dad from the Other Side”

As much as I love curling up with a good book, I rarely make the time for it. That being said, for me to not only read a book cover to cover, but give it a resounding endorsement is actually saying quite a lot.

A fan of author Jenniffer Weigel’s Chicago Tribune column, I picked up a copy of her book Stay Tuned: Conversations with Dad from the Other Side (Hampton Roads, 2007) out of curiosity more than anything. 
And I am so glad I did.
This sincere, witty and heart-warming account of the spiritual journey on which she embarked before the passing of her father, beloved Chicago sportscaster Tim Weigel, is truly compelling and inspirational. 
After bucking her Dad’s advice to go into teaching, she follows him into the world of broadcasting, much to his chagrin. Eager for some non-judgemental career guidance, Jenniffer accepts a pal’s invitation to visit a psychic. 
Approaching the experience with the curiosity of an investigative reporter, she holds her cards close to her chest. When the psychic nails a few key details about her life, she’s intrigued, but not yet convinced. Instead, she asks her Dad to join her for a follow-up visit in the hopes of connecting with her deceased paternal grandmother. 
What ensues not only intrigues the self-described “Emmy award-winning skeptic”, it opens a up new medium (pun intended) for discerning her potential and identifying her dream job while enhancing her relationship with her Dad.
Like Jenniffer, my career choice was heavily influenced by my father. While I yearned to scratch out a living as a writer, he insisted that I major in business so I could earn a decent living and someday follow his footsteps into corporate infamy. Striking a compromise, I chose the field of technical writing and generated software user manuals instead of novels. 
After too many years of sitting in claustrophobic cubicles, I too found myself looking for direction and spiritual fulfillment. During my quest, I stumbled upon a few of the same experts mentioned in this book, but the only psychic I ever visited was a suburban housewife who, for forty dollars, told me I would have two boys (which I did, plus 3 more) and that I had issues with my Dad (really, who doesn’t on some level?). Nonetheless, I was riveted by Jenniffer’s encounters with the mediums she interviewed.
I especially liked the way she would practice changing her attitude from want to gratitude (ala author Neale Donald Walsch), nabbing perfect parking spaces and, later, plum jobs by stating, “Thank you in advance for the job that already makes me happy” and believing every word.
She also recounts interviews with renowned authors who help her gather the courage needed to pursue her dream. These particular passages, in which James Van Praagh describes exactly what happens when we die and Carolyn Myss shares her belief that we each must follow through with our sacred contracts, left me feeling comforted and validated. 
Is it any wonder I couldn’t put this book down?
As I continue to carve a path that will transport me from technical writing to a syndicated column and bestseller list, I find myself drawing the same conclusion as Ms. Weigel – true happiness and fulfillment can only be found within. Easier said than done, I know, but here’s hoping practice makes perfect.
Thank you in advance for the job that already makes me happy…
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