The woman who initiated my spiritual path

angela wood

Angela and a teenaged me.

I am mourning the loss of my beloved friend Angela Wood, who passed away a week ago today. We were an odd pair. Our relationship one of the most unconventional you could find. Our paths were perhaps always destined to cross, as suggested by the extreme serendipity of our first meeting. A moment where time stood still and marked an X on the timeline of my life. A reunion of souls, a divine orchestration at its best. A soul reunion that initiated me into the work that I do today. For those of you who have heard me speak or read Light Is The New Black, you may have heard parts of Angela’s and my story.

Soon after starting high school aged 14, I began experiencing what I can only describe now as my first awakening. A natural empath, I would pass strangers on the street and feel their innermost thoughts and feelings. All of this cracked wide open after I read an article in Dolly Magazine about a teenage girl called Anna Wood who tragically died after taking the drug ecstasy. In the interview Anna’s mother, Angela, openly shared the loss of her beautiful, bright light of a daughter. This article touched my soul so deeply, and I remember sobbing myself to sleep from the sadness I felt for Anna’s family, particularly her mother, without really knowing why or being able to express my thoughts.

The next day I got the bus to the bookshop and bought Anna’s Story, the biography of Anna Wood’s life. The following day at school, I began passionately telling my friend how much Anna’s story had touched my heart.

anna's story

I turned to the page of the book where there was a picture of Anna and her mother and said,

‘It’s really weird, I can’t explain why, but I just have this urge to find Angela and give her the hugest hug, and try to take away some of her pain.’

My friend said,

‘That IS really weird.’

She then looked up, back down to the book and then back up again, and pointed, saying:

‘That lady over there kinda looks like Anna’s mother.’ 

I looked up at a tall blonde woman making her way across the school courtyard, and realized…

IT WAS HER! It was Angela Wood!’


Photo Booth pic taken in 1998 in a year 2000 photo frame! Totes retro now.


Angela and me in my awkward gangly teen years

I hesitated for a moment, unable to get my head around the weird serendipity of it all, but then, moved by a force bigger than my mind or body, I found myself running after her. The school vice Principal intercepted me with a question and mid-sentence, I turned back around to find that Angela was nowhere to be seen. Heart deflated I finished the conversation. As I turned around to head back to my friends, I found Anna’s mum, Angela Wood, looking back at me.

Everything seemed to stand still and we had this weird moment of soul recognition… before I introduced myself and bumbled about doing my best to express how much her story impacted me, clutching the book in my hand. Angela then invited me to attend her talk that she was about to give to the senior year. Knowing I must be there, I skipped math and sneaked into Angela’s talk – doing my best not to stand out.

Afterwards, I waited sheepishly to talk to her and we made plans to stay in contact. Angela later told me that it was her birthday the week we met. That morning she had asked Anna for a birthday present, and she knew our meeting was it.

Angela and I quickly became friends. Our families meet and are generously understanding of this seemingly odd relationship. We spend hours sipping coffee and deep in conversation about the meaning of life, the afterlife, grief, death, past lives and angels. We trade dreams, poetry, books and theories on life and The Universe. I learn firsthand about the power of the human heart and the courage of the human spirit. I listen for hours upon hours as Angela shares stories about the life and death of her beautiful bright light of a daughter Anna. How she touched people’s hearts more deeply in fifteen short years than most do in eighty.

I pray to be able to do the same.

angela wood

Angie and I in her pub in Windermere, UK. I cut off all of my hair when I went travelling to the UK when I was 18. I loved that top so much!

My mum was amazing at accepting this seemingly odd relationship. A compassionate, stylish, driven, intuitive, selfless, strong woman, she intuitively knew that this relationship was somehow important. Last year, when Mum was going through her treasure box, she pulled out some old letters she had kept (I would often write to her when I was angry or upset, allowing my words to express what my voice could not). One read:

‘I know you don’t understand my relationship with Angela. I don’t either.

But we both need to trust it, because it is somehow important.

And in years to come we will understand why.’


During those years I found myself getting off the school bus and walking up the steep hill in a sort of creative trance, words rushing through me that I had to get down. They would flow from my soul without effort and with a feeling of grace. I’d write about what was happening with the world, what happens when you die, that our loved ones lost never really leave us, and how we each have our own team of angels and spirit guides around us. Often I would wake the next morning not remembering what I had created.

Looking back, I see now that I was channeling – although, perhaps, all creativity is just that. Messages and ideas that are waiting to be born to people who are open enough to receive them. During school vacations I would sometimes join Angela on the road at her speaking events as she spoke about how precious life is, how we must hold those we care about and tell them how much we love them. I watched in admiration as her message so effortlessly flowed from her heart.

I pray that one day I might do the same.

angela wood

I’d been cracked open and all the other things in my life just didn’t seem to matter. I’d spend all of my free time and money from my part time jobs learning about the afterlife, soul purpose, past life regression, crystals, healing, and anything I could get my hands on. And all the time it was as if I were remembering things that were deeply engrained in my soul.

Looking back I see how this relationship with Angela was an initiation along my path as a healer. We would go to spiritual events and workshops together. I still remember at one event, as we watched the speaker on stage, Angela leant over and whispered in my ear “that will be you up there on the stage some day”. And she was right!

A few years later, just after I’d finished high school, Angela moved to the UK. I was devastated and felt like I lost the only person in my life that truly saw the real depths of me. At that stage she was.

From Australia to the UK and back again. As the years clicked on we both found ourselves spinning around the world. As if circling each other in figures of eight, meeting in the middle in spontaneous moments of time.
Like in 2009 when I found myself planted back in Australia while waiting on my UK visa. Angela had just moved to the same suburb as my parents (where I was staying, halted, waiting for five months). Every day my visa did not arrive was an extra day with her.

Enjoying champagne and oysters on a Monday morning!

angela wood

Surrounded by my angels. Angela on my left & Blair Milan on my right.

angela wood
Like when I returned to Australia this past Christmas to get married, I texted Angie who had been living on the other side of Sydney and discovered she was in fact staying at her daughter’s place in Manly, just five doors up from the Airbnb apartment I had chosen at random. Out of all of the streets in Sydney, seemingly picked up and planted once more.  At this stage Angie had been living with lung cancer for almost three years. I remember saying goodbye to her on the street with the ocean behind us and knowing that it was going to be the last time I would see her in this life. A snapshot taken and stored away in the precious caverns of my heart.
Ten days ago I received this email:
angela wood
 I sent this text to Angela a couple of days before she passed away. On Monday night when Angela’s husband told me that she had passed he said “Thank you so much for sending through that email from the woman from Australia who heard Angie speak”. I am so glad she received it and so grateful that that woman sent that email and my assistant passed it on.
…And so at this sad time where my and many other hearts are water logged, my grief is somewhat lightened by feeling so deeply honoured that I had Angel(a) in my life and that things were never left unsaid.
angela wood

On the darkest day of the year her earthly body began to let go. She was born in the winter and she would return the same way.

Her spirit left this world on her mother’s birthday, two days after the full mooned winter solstice night.

To journey back to her daughter Anna’s arms, to return once again to the light.

~ Angel(a) Wood ~ 1947-2016 ~

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