About author Jaylee Balch
I had no idea that my lion nightmares would stem from my formative years, when my folks and I lived in a caravan in Wankie Game Reserve – then Rhodesia (now known as Hwangie G.R in Zimbabwe). My father was an engineer and contracted to a mine in the area, and my bath times were in a galvanized tub in the African bush, with my dog yanking my diaper off at every chance it had. The night times would impact for decades, as the only nightmares I ever had, were the sounds and visuals of lions. They were the re-occurring themes in my nightly sojourns until my mother told me that the lions would circle the caravan at night and growl so loud that it was impossible not to remember them at some level of my being.
I was grateful that they were the only bad dreams I had, because on the lighter side, from as young as I could remember, I would inhale books of every genre and without thought, take note of each author’s style, liking some and disliking others. Little did I know that I was forming myself and carving a path for my future as an author. Being young in Rhodesia was a blessing and yet came with anxieties known only to those who may have lived in the unrest of a country going through transition. I can still recall the sounds of the night the explosions went off, at the local airbase near my grandmother’s house, and the guards at the farm gate or the military convoys into town. As part of a family living on the periphery of those times, we endured the personal tragedy of terrorism, as we lost loved family members and friends during and as a result of the war.
Dismissing out such negative images was relatively easy as a child living in the wondrous gift that is called – Africa. Africa is a living juxtaposition of absolute beauty of nature versus unforgiving harshness: it is that ‘strange’ diversity that is, to this day, a source of powerful and beautiful moments that I will cherish. To be a child and witness the stalking of prey or to see a herd antelopes in full flight, and a myriad of other moments of pure connection with the animals and land that is Africa.
I felt so alive under the African stars – no artificial lights, only the purity of the light from the stars to guide me – I am sure they gave birth to the many wondrous fantasies I experienced. I would climb to the top of mountains to be closer to them, and even as a child I loved to climb mountains. I had to be on top of the world, able to see everything for as far as the eyes could see.
At a young age, I was taken to Scotland on holiday, the land of my ancestors and grandparents and I never wanted to leave. It was so breath taking to me and beautiful, that I have returned whenever I get the chance, and deep down I feel the pull of the Celts still today.
When we left for South Africa as I entered adolescence, leaving my grandparents and my home did not go down well for me. I was introverted to some degree and my focus was channeled into my swimming, which would take me on a journey for a decade through state championships, but I stopped when my grandmother had a re-occurring dream about an accident I was to experience. Eventually I accepted her dream as the prophetic message that it was and a new chapter of my life opened. My new journey was an admission of one of my family traits that was discussed only in private . . . prophetic phenomena.
This discovery of the world of prophetic phenomena has certainly been significant in my life. Initially, it helped me to understand; my dreams – which I later learnt were prophetic . . . my feelings about people, and the visions I had which came true, and things I heard which were not there. I turned to spirituality and God and sought understanding. Even after everything I could learn there, I felt that there was more to know and understand and began my quest for knowledge and followed trials into many religious and spiritual paths. I found that each singular road in any religion brought me to a place where I (sovereign and made in the Father’s image) could not pass. There seemed to be an invisible man-made ceiling.
As a side to this, I spent much time sitting and reading at school and was certainly not popular or memorable, school bored me witless and I preferred to spend my time in the realms of the imagination. As a random gift, I later learnt that I was actually very intelligent in many non-conventional ways.
I walked a long path with a revival church and still today, I have an open heart for godliness, but I did learn that my abilities were not welcomed with open arms in some religions. I led an ordinary and barely satisfatory life until my late 20’s. When my children were four and five years of age I would encourage them to sit in the long grasses of a game reserve and close their eyes. They learnt to call the Zebra, who were very curious and would stroll over to see these two tiny beings sitting in faith. I was very adventurous with them and we hunted for dragons in strange forests and they climbed the chain ladders of the highest cascading waterfall in the world. It was suggested to me that they were the youngest ever to do this – I cannot confirm that. All the classic stories of childhood I retold to them in my own unique way, and my daughter has asked that my version of the story of creation be shared with the world, for its humorous unfolding – we shall see.
But normalcy was never to be my destiny and my family life all fell apart. It was in the despair of my ordinary and uneventful life that I began to write – by hand – my first book. I wrote over five hundred pages and it still sits on the computer needing a master with editing skills. I did a double degree in Psychology and Communications and found it tedious and limiting. And still, I studied until I came to meet the Tao Grand Master through a friend. I was open and intrigued and I needed to know more about the Way, the Truth and the Life and why I was born in the first place!
From my first church, I learnt that I was loved and would always be looked after and from the Tao way, I learnt that there was a way and there was a truth and it could be found within. This did not seem to conflict my earlier upbringing, so I embraced it and it included my Christianity and seemed to make it a whole lot bigger. I have wonderful memories of my times with the Tao community and their gentle ways, and great cooking, but I was lead to meet my now – Australian husband and best friend – Paul. It was a chance meeting on a boat on a river in Africa, where I went on a journey and I left everything behind, and found myself exploring new lands, cultures, and a whole new world.
Secretly, I knew something else – I had for a long time used my prophetic ability to ‘see’ if there anyone out there who would understand me and had caught a glimpse in Australia. I thought it was near impossible for me, a single mom, to meet such an exotic creature whilst I was stuck in a one horse town in Africa. But providence was kind and I met this Aussie and contrary to popular opinion left everyone and everything to pursue my quest to understand myself and destiny.
Leaving family behind is a very controversial topic, and I fought long battles within and often thought that I should return to the expected motherhood program, but when I thought of settling down to normalcy, a part in me cringed so deeply that I stood strong and kept going. Was I a diligent mother in the ways I could personally be – yes! I returned each year spending months at a time with my children, bringing loads of gifts, I called, sent cards and presents and still knew that I was standing against an army of people who loved them, but quietly standing for something I needed and wanted too. My higher purpose. My destiny.
It was in Australia that I met a Tibetan Lama through my husband and this was no ordinary Lama. Without disclosing anything discussed and shared in confidence, this was to be one of the most enlightened beings on earth I had ever met and most likely would meet, and through these meetings I learnt so much about myself and how I am in this world. My times with him, grew my understanding and added to my previous teachings, magnifying them and I learnt the ways of the mystery schools of Tibet.
I must insist that it be known that at every stage, with every teacher of each spiritual discipline, the highest regard of Christ is made known. The Tibetan taught me about the path of the inner Christ.
This changed everything!
Suddenly, I was given permission to breathe and actually exist and have an impact in the world. After four thousand or so books, that I had read searching for the truth, I knew a few facts that were irrefutably, the cornerstones of learning were to surrender into my destiny or my Soul purpose.
I did a Master Hypnotherapy Certification becoming an Instructor, with a highly recognized school in North America, and through encouragement from the Lama, began to work with animals in different ways but mostly, calling them in from the wild, by using my gifts.
I have called wolves by my side, held hummingbirds, been massaged by raccoons, trained chipmunks and their families, called orcas in strange places and many of Africa’s wild life to me. I have hypnotized sharks and swum in strange waters with rare creatures. My own chickens climb up my leg and sit on my shoulder and the butcher birds sit on the window sill and listen while we speak and prepare food. I have called snakes and I am now working to call and love spiders, which makes one of the main characters in my books very interesting. Partly, my reason, is that one of my abilities is to know when someone or something will pass from this world, and each time a spider will appear and give me a fright.
Finally, I was climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town with a really good friend who is a deeply spiritual man, a film maker (OscarAward winner – Craig Foster – ‘My Octopus Teacher’) and works intimately with wild life. He gave me the opening lines of a story he told his son, and my imagination took those few sentences and went to the moon and back. This was the beginning of my ‘Tomas of Terra Trilogy‘. Across the globe, there is an army of people who care for the earth and wish to make the changes that bring about, not only a change in earth herself for the better but a change in the people of earth so that they can become the custodians of a bright future and that is my task, my destiny and my Soul purpose.
When I sat down at my desk to take a peek through the door which our friend had opened, I discovered the Liminal realms and all its folk. What took me back at first, was the inhabitants all rushing at me, trying to be in my book, wanting to be known on earth. This must sound like a mad person in a living reality and half of that is true! They were eager to make themselves known, to be a part of the changes on earth and definitely involved. Thankfully, I have managed to quell the urges and they understand that their stories and their parts in the unfolding of the changes will be made known within time. I have completed the first trilogy in the saga of Tomas and am currently completing the second. I have written ten children’s books and a number of other similarly focused novels. I have a collection of poetry and wedding vows, which I have written and plan on releasing all of these to the public within time. I have designed and published 2 decks of cards, with a unique two more coming. So much has happened in my lifetime that I will have to write many books to capture how I crammed 6 lifetimes into one.
This is my story and I’m sticking to it.