I was in college the first time I ever went to a psychic. It was a spur of the moment thing that I did with a couple of friends as we walked by the shop on a Friday evening. I didn’t have any burning questions – “Just tell me what you can about my future,” – and didn’t expect much. I got what I expected – that I would be married within five years (wrong), have three children (wrong) and have a successful career in the medical profession (wrong again). It was all bunk but I didn’t care; that psychic stuff was strictly for entertainment purposes only. My friends and I giggled over the experience then promptly dismissed it.
That was when I was young and still believed in a material world. That was when I believed that reality consisted of what I could see and what science could prove. That was before I started wondering about and exploring what it meant to be a human being with consciousness.
I did a disservice to that long ago psychic – I went in with a closed mind to what she was offering and with the sole intention of being entertained. I got what I paid for. Would it have been different had I approached it with a different mindset? I went in with a defensive attitude determined to protect myself and my world view rather than open to whatever insights I might have learned. I’m not surprised the poor psychic found it difficult to read for me.
The second time I went to a psychic was a full quarter century later. I had joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service officer, had gotten married and then divorced, and was raising two kids by myself. I started exploring the spiritual side of reality and was looking for clarity. (Okay, maybe I was also looking for a little reassurance.)
By this time I had done a lot of investigation into psychic phenomena and had had a few experiences myself. I wanted to believe it was possible, but was leery of getting conned. The psychic I finally selected had posted dozens of articles on various subjects of a paranormal or mystical nature, and from those I was able to get a sense of her personality and values – she was a person I would respect and be friends with in real life. Before the session I sat down and worked not only on clarifying the questions I had, but also taking a hard look at where I was in life and how I had gotten there. When we finally had our session, I found I was consulting a psychic rather than going to one. There is a difference. And there was a difference in the value and information I received.
Five years later found me attending Erin Pavlina’s class on how to be a professional psychic. She taught that we live in a free-will universe, and that one of a psychic’s main responsibilities is to help clients look at the options they have and to clarify the probable consequences of whichever option they might choose. Above all she emphasized the need for us – both psychic and client – to trust ourselves and to pay attention to our gut.
I spent about a year giving psychic readings. In line with my training, I advertised that I could not tell the future, but that I functioned like a counselor who could see in the dark. Many of my clients were appreciative of this approach, but others just wanted me to tell them what to do, how to get out of the situations they were in, or how to avoid any negative experiences for the rest of their lives. One woman spent ten minutes berating me for not “being like other psychics,” and gave the example of the last psychic she had gone to who had told her she would meet a “tall, dark, handsome stranger” who might express a romantic interest in her.
I think this harks back to the trend in modern society to look to authorities (parents, spouse, doctors, teachers, leaders, politicians, and experts of any and every ilk) to tell us how to live our lives. We are told we don’t know to raise our kids as well as complete strangers with PhD degrees. We consult a doctor when we feel something wrong with our bodies, and are offered a prescription for Valium without any examinations or medical tests being conducted because it’s obviously all in our heads. (Yep, this happened to me.) We are told that happiness can be obtained by buying a specific car or a house with more bedrooms than people living there.
You might be wondering whether I’ve gone off topic, but I haven’t, because what I am talking about is trusting your gut, which is what being psychic is all about. It’s about knowing yourself and being yourself. It’s about trusting your internal compass to tell you what’s best for you.
This doesn’t mean I shun conventional solutions. If I get sick I will sometimes consult a doctor (but I do admit to holding a grudge – after the Valium experience I tend to favor alternative health practitioners). I support the education offered by my local schools and do what I can to assist my town’s development plan. All this is well and good.
But in any situation I first check with my gut rather than check to see what the conventional wisdom says. If after looking at all my options I still feel torn on an important question, I will consult a psychic – this happens about once every year or two. I no longer give psychic readings, but I found that the clients who obtained the most relevant and helpful readings were without fail those who took responsibility for their own lives and their own experiences..
The truth is we are all psychic – and we are all our own best psychics. If we can do away with our defenses, our fears of not being good enough, and our worries that we are not in charge of our own lives, we will likely find that we can figure out our own best paths without consulting that glut of outside experts who insist they have all the answers.
It’s as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”