Holly Paulson Ph”Md.”

I should have been a doctor. Oh sure, the classes are intense, the time laborious, but at least there’s a plan.  You take chemistry and anatomy and then move on to biology and clinicals (or however it goes) and never sleep and then years later its over and VOILA! You’re a doctor.

But this? This is wacky.  I’m sort of in a rut right now- the spiritual juices just aren’t flowing currently. So it doesn’t help that I don’t know if I’m a freshman or a sophomore- and I’m pretty sure I”ll never know if I graduate.  And, as hard as I want to work to see this through, I don’t know if what I’m doing is even part of the curriculum! There is no one school I can get into and just show up for class. It’s like I WANT to get my degree- but there is nowhere to apply!

“OK but what about ghost school? Didn’t you just get back from London?”

Well, yes. That is true.   And its also true that one of the only things that has kept me sane so far is going there and learning that a lot of spiritual experiences are so similar. “Oh good you heard the voices, too? Whew!”  But as much as I was hoping that the London course was going to be Ghost 101 (GST101) leading to a Medium degree at Oxford, it wasn’t.  And ironically enough, it was an exchange I had outside class that really helped this sink in.

If you’ve been following from the get go, you’re familiar with the story that set this whole thing into motion a couple years ago: when the 20 something year old kid basically shared my body for a good 45 minutes so he could hug and assure his mom he was ok.   I wrote about that experience in a very detailed way; not for artistry, but because what I wrote is EXACTLY how it went down.  From the square plane of energy that glided through my head to the abrupt ending once he said “I gotta go,” those details were amazingly clear to me.  Furthermore, I knew I’d deal with skeptics from all around… but I never thought I’d have another medium question it…

A little background on the London class: The gentleman who put it together is a highly respected medium named Paul Jacobs. (I hadn’t heard of him before my trip but HO-LEE-CRAPOLA he is GOOD!) Paul’s mentor was a man named Gordon Higginson. Now, I still haven’t learned much about Mr. Higginson, but apparently he was THE king of “trance” mediumship while he was alive. (I will also say I don’t know much about trance mediumship either- I’m still a freshman! Or a sophomore?) Anywhoo- I think I was one of the only people there that just went to this course on a hunch, cause everyone else seemed to have the backstory down.

Cut to one of the nights after a long day in class: a lot of us went to the little “pub” the school has downstairs to keep mingling. I think it was night three, and I started talking to a woman who wasn’t in my class.  I’m pretty sure she had been to the school before, but I know for sure she currently works as a medium and a spiritual teacher. My point is- she was not in the kindergarten class like I was. Ha!  Somehow we got to talking about what had brought me to the school, and I told her a bit of my story.  When it came to the part about this kid sharing my body- she gave me a look of disbelief. And not disbelief like “wow thats amazing,” but disbelief like “you have no idea what you’re talking about you silly little kindergartener.”  I found myself retelling details to try to convince her that it happened just like I said it did. Her reply was something to the effect of “spirits don’t take over your body like that. Maybe it felt like it but thats probably just because you didn’t know what connecting feels like. If they DID take you over it would be trance mediumship and you wouldn’t be able to remember it.”

I walked away from the conversation incensed.  Her comments came off to me as completely condescending. “I was the beginner, so I couldn’t really know yet now could I?!” (Sarcasm font.)   Trance mediumship was out of my league, I guess. (Without getting into the intricacies, I stand by my story. Nothing I have experienced since that day has been even remotely like it.) After feeling like I was being bullied by a fourth grader, my co-kindergarteners finally talked me down.  I realized that I must have come off to this woman like I was trying to put myself up there with the likes of the revered Gordon Higginson, and if my story was true, it threw her whole perception of the process right out the window..  The idiocy of all this makes me laugh now- because its such a typical “Holly” thing to do.  It was like I went to a Michael Jordan basketball camp run by Steph Curry and had no idea who either one of them were beforehand. And then to top it off, telling one of the participants that I had just started getting into basketball because I got asked to join a pick up game one day and made 30 half court shots in a row and thought, hmmm, maybe I should try this sport. (Oh wait- I was supposed to make a medical school reference there, wasn’t it? Shoot. Eh- Ill get back to it. )

So, I took a few things from this dramatic episode of ghost school:

1) A deep breath before responding is GOOD- because I was ready to take that bi@#h DOWN.  😉

2)   This woman was trying to fit being a medium into a tidy little schedule of courses and semesters. A syllabus where “trance” mediumship is only for the PHD’s. (There it is.)  And taking it further- that true “trance mediumship” had to fall into a specific set of circumstances.  She wanted to put rules and parameters on something that no one can really explain.  But how can I blame her? Thats how I want it to be too! This chaotic medium journey would be exponentially more palatable if there was a visible path to graduation.  Which leads me to-

3) In the beginning, as much as I needed to know that others were having the same experiences, I’ve finally rounded the corner, and now know it’s OK to have different ones too- ones that don’t need to be a part of any textbook. I don’t need to label myself as a type of medium, nor do I want to limit any abilities because I don’t consider myself an upperclassman.  That is not to say there aren’t some good lectures I should be sitting in on from time to time-  I know that there are teachers out there who know WAY more than I do now- but I also have to remember:  I don’t ever get to put on a cap and gown and finally start the “real work.”   This is more like a lifelong internship- keeping my ears and heart open, knowing that my next “patient” could be the girl I’m playing in tennis tomorrow.

So my current spiritual lull that I’m in? IT’S OKAY.  It’s not even that I’m having DIFFERENT experiences… I’m just not really having ANY experiences right now. BUT THAT’S OK. A couple weeks or months off isn’t going to kill my semester grades.  That’s what’s been on my mind lately- “what am I NOT doing?! Why isn’t meditating working?” And then when I overthink it… anxiety. And anxiety equals getting in my own head and blocking out the very thing who’s absence is making me anxious. Vicious circle, I tell ya. 😉

I wanted to share this last little story too. It might beget more questions than it answers, but it was sort of mind blowing to me.  So, I’m an avid watcher of Hollywood Medium.  It’s a show starring a 20 year old named Tyler Henry, and from what I can tell- this kid is as legit as they come. He’s such a good mix of giving solid evidence while also being extremely empathetic. It’s really a perfect example of how I would love to work someday. Well, I came across an e-book a few weeks back (I’ll have to link to it in an update.) The text was mostly philosophical and way over my head- but one paragraph caught my attention as I was skimming. It repeated the question I had been unknowingly asking for so long- Tyler Henry is 20. TWENTY. I didn’t even have my first spiritual experience until I was 25- what’s the deal??? Why do some people connect with Spirit so easily (especially at young age) while others have to work so hard at it?

The answer they gave was that connecting with the other side takes a LOT of work, and people who it seemingly just “happens” to (like Tyler Henry) have just simply already put the work in.

LIKE

IN

A

PAST

LIFE.

Whoa. Makes SO MUCH SENSE.  But the disheartening part… I realized I may not be a junior now until I’ve died and come back again.  Yeesh.  Doesn’t heaven have any legacy admissions?

 

p.s. I’m working on ending the lull- and I definitely feel like I’m emerging from it finally. Meditation is the key (man they’ve been saying that for ages haven’t they?) and I’m moving toward putting that into daily practice. I just watched one of my London teachers, Andy Byng, give a talk the other day, and I took this from it: “Break down your meditation. Master each piece. Then put it together.” I’m working on it, Professor!

I am a medium.

Arthur Findlay School, class of… April, 2017?  Of COURSE I jumped in front and center! I am my mother’s child.
I’m home now…. and man, I don’t even know where to start. Six full days of ghost school under my belt… I had so many questions answered and hypotheses confirmed, but I’m also now even more keenly aware of my shortcomings as a medium.

When people ask me how my week was, I’m still trying to form my thoughts.  I saw demonstration upon demonstration that would turn any skeptic in to a believer right then and there. I met loads of people who were in the exact same position I was.  But as I touched on in the last post- the word of the week for me was “subtle.” My tutors (I’m so UK now) confirmed what I had begun to realize; my signs from the spirit world were not going to be as huge moving forward. They have my attention now, and aren’t using so much energy (which apparently isn’t easy for them) to chat anymore. The big stuff is for the people who aren’t listening!  (Which leads me to a funny story that I just have to tell real quick…)

My tutor John told me about a woman who had called him, exhausted about weird things happening in her home. She said three other mediums had come in and basically ran away with their tails between their legs, at having failed to expunge the evil presence at her house.  John said he was there doing his thing for about two minutes when he said to her (in his Irish accent) with a laugh, “Your grandfather doesn’t appreciate being called evil.” He said the woman just started at him wide eyed. 

“What!?”

“I said, your GRANDFATHER doesn’t appreciate being called evil.”

John explained that he told this lady that the presence was not some demonic evil thing, but her grandfather hanging around. He said she just needed to acknowledge the spirit presence, and tell it that you know it’s him! And also, that she would appreciate if he would stop, as he was frightening her.  John told me that after they did that, the incidents ceased.  See? she just wasn’t listening. Haha!)**

Alright, back to the task at hand: I AM a medium. That was one question I answered for myself last week. There is no way I could walk away from this now. As we were discussing booking this trip to Arthur Findlay College a few months ago, my husband, Casey, asked me, “What do you want to do with this? Where do you see this going?” and in the past, if I didn’t have the answer, I would have backed down with a lack of confidence- as if I knew I needed to do some more research and make sure I knew my next move before I dove in.

But THIS time, all I could come up with was, “I don’t have an answer. I just know that I have to go.” I don’t know how it’s going to pan out! Will I be a medium who gives personal readings? Who does platform demonstrations in a church? A medium who writes books? Will I be able to sense spirits just hanging out in a restaurant? See auras?

I have none of these answers. I don’t even have a preference, necessarily. I also don’t know if someday I will be able to contribute to any sort of college funds or family vacations with this as a profession. All I know is that – this is me.

Can anyone be medium? I dunno.  I DO think we can all be psychic, but maybe being a medium is more of something that is part of your soul’s DNA. And as one of my tutors Andy Byng, pointed out, “I want to help people” isn’t really the answer to “why do you want to be a medium?” Doctors help people all the time! So do teachers and firefighters and… roofers!  So it can’t be just that.  He went on to say that the meaning of life is to LIVE! To live as who you were meant to be to best flesh out your soul’s purpose. So in the same way that one may have had the soul calling to become a journalist or a nurse or a dancer or an artist, I AM a medium. Radio DJ didn’t fill my soul- it got me free dinners and tickets (and some badass backstage passes that I dearly miss.) TV weather girl didn’t get me closer to loving people- It just filled my ego (people now knew who I was by sight, not just my voice! Yay.) Photography? It was actually probably one of the catalysts to opening this spiritual door for me. It allowed me to photograph people, especially teenagers, and use a camera to help them feel beautiful and confident. It opened my eyes to how much some of us need that! But, in the last few years, it just hasn’t felt like my thing.

No, I am a medium. Nothing else has ever felt truer to me.

Now, saying that is only part of the equation. It doesn’t mean that I have all the skills to successfully connect everyone with their loved ones who are in spirit. It means that I now know, if i put in the hard work, I have a fighting chance at having some confidence when it does happen. There were two times throughout the week that I had full confidence that I had truly connected with a spirit, and I talked about one of them in my last post. But what I didn’t get a chance to talk about yet was the other two or three that felt like I got nowhere.  I could go into all the reasons it probably wasn’t working, but most importantly, it highlighted that it’s still my responsibility to tread lightly. (Thank goodness the people I “failed” with weren’t actually there for some answers!) I have had many people approach me for a reading, but I know there is a fine balance between them needing some closure and guidance and a CONNECTION with their loved one, and me needing some PRACTICE.  What if I can’t provide the connection? The bottom line is, I need to connect with spirit on my own time and terms over and over again before I can trust it to be there when someone ELSE needs it.  I owe that to us all.

Now- how will I do that? It’s not just meditate meditate meditate. It’s SIT IN THE POWER sit in the power SIT IN THE POWER.  This means when I sit quietly, I don’t need to quiet my mind- I need to sit in my own aura. (Stay with me here. I know this is sounding weird from me. Hahah!) Simply put, it’s active meditation, where you really focus on your inner energy and building that and spreading it out to be something that other auras can easily blend with.  SHEESH, IS THAT ALL???  Once you really know what that feels like, you can then practice with your spirit guide, by alternatively asking them to blend and back off. (Hmmm…”Back off” sounds aggressive… maybe I should say “de-blend?” Yeah. I’ll use that going forward.) OK- so blend, de-blend, blend, de-blend. And try to notice the subtle shifts in your energy. Notice any physical changes. Does your face tingle? Do you feel a tight band around your brow? When I did this exercise, it felt as if the air around my skin just got tighter, like a higher pressure (although at other times I have gotten the tingling and the brow band and my nose will tickle too!)

Once you get used to THAT exercise, then you can ask your guide to bring someone in that wants to connect.  If someone does show up, you may feel differently yet again! (I feel like this is some PHD sh*t, so I’m not expecting to necessarily get there anytime soon, but I’ll keep working!)  (PS. Also, your guide is your gatekeeper. They won’t let in just anyone, so stop stressing about being taken over and whatnot. ) The takeaway from this is simple even if the work ahead is not: know what your being/self/aura feels like on its own well enough that when that changes, however subtle, you can recognize it.

Thats where I’m at now.  That does NOT mean that you shouldn’t ask me for a chat or a reading- I can’t predict what spirit will do. In fact, usually when someone approaches me about needing some help with connecting to someone, Spirit will end up tapping me on the shoulder soon enough to make it happen.  And, as in the case a few weeks ago when I got the “uncle, affair” message before I went and picked up the chair from my friend, sometimes those messages will be for those who weren’t expecting them! (Although I promise not to give them to you if you don’t want them… or in public. )

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so wordy- I have many more things I need to post from the week! Wax color readings (I’ll share that next!) and aura photographs (so so cool. I totally thought it seemed like such bulls*&t, but it was AWESOME.)  For this post though, I will wrap up with a thought- and maybe I’m just working this out for me, but I’m gonna share:

Right now, I think I AM fulfilling my purpose. RIGHT NOW, I am a”blogging medium,” simply trying to explain all this weird weird stuff to not only myself, but to people who knew as little as I did two years ago, using words we all understand, without all the unnecessary “woo woo” goodies.  Maybe, just maybe, someone else who got hit with the cast iron spirit skillet will happen across this and know that there are others who trudged this path before. Maybe you, reading this right now, have gone through much of life calling BS on all of this stuff but then read some of this and went, “Shit. I know her, and she just does not seem the type to make this crap up.”  Once I start speaking in tongues, I’m thinking maybe you wont be able to relate to my experience anymore … but RIGHT NOW, this is a start.

 

So now what?

In search of answers and help- I started telling my spirit story to people that I trust.   Everything on the internet seems so hocus pocus or what they call  “Woo”-ish that it tends to be off putting. Why does everything that has to do with “the other side” also have to have crystals and tarot cards and candles and… weird shit?  Still, the only people I have yet found to talk to (that say they are mediums) are, yes, weird. (But, helpful also, as it turns out!) I discovered a woman about an hour away that was giving a “medium” class in her home.  Two days- i think it was $80- what could it hurt, right?

I show up and the teacher hands out, what else, CRYSTALS.  Jiminy Christmas.  They are purple and supposed to help with… something.  There were two other people in my class- both in their early twenties and very normal looking (yay!).  The teacher, though, is a bit older than me with dark orange hair and blunt bangs just above her eyebrows, kind of like a 50 year old “emo” woman.  I had to talk myself into putting aside my preconceived notions of the weirdness and remember I was here to learn, so I hung the crystal around my neck.

The first day was filled with lots of information, mostly about how different mediums get their info (clairvoyance, clairsentience, etc.)  and the different types of mediumship (trance, physical, etc.) The teacher told me she’d like me to get to a place where a spirit didn’t have to take over my body to get me to convey information. (Novel idea, huh?)  That I could actually say “no” to a spirit that was giving me messages that way and ask to do it differently. It made sense, as the “Henry” experience had literally left me exhausted for two days. It was all interesting, but I still felt like maybe these experiences I’d had were flukes, that it wasn’t going to happen again, that I just didn’t have the right brain.  I felt like I was no where nearer figuring out my next step.

Day two, however, It all became a little more clear for me.  That next day’s lesson was hands on- we were going to try out our skills.  Guess what the weird teacher pulls out?  Tarot cards.  UGH.

We were to take turns thinking of a question and having the other then try to read the answer from the card.  I don’t even remember what my secret question was or how the other student read me, but a funny thing happened when I did a reading for him.  He picks out five random cards (which are apparently not random at all. I say that slightly sarcastically but then again- not really- because who am I to say something is crazy at this point?) Anyway- he has thought of a question he wants some guidance on and I am supposed to look at the cards and answer him.

Ummm. I got nothing.  I have no idea how the serendipity card mixed with the marriage card affects you, dude.

After staring at the tarot deck for 30 seconds (which is an eternity when everyone is staring back at me) I finally had a “f**k it” moment, and decided to do things my way. I grabbed my pad of paper and pen and closed my eyes.  Immediately I got  “Timothy” and “motorcycle accident,” and then saw a windy two lane road.  (By the way- I’ll try to explain this more later, but when I hear something or see it, it’s not really different than my own thoughts, so sometimes its hard to discern. Especially in the very beginning- how did I know I wasn’t just making this up?)

“Alright,” I started, feeling somewhat overwhelmed, “I have no idea what this has to do with the tarot cards but i just saw a two lane road and heard motorcycle accident, and this may or may not have to do with a guy named Timothy.”

“Yeaaaaaaah… no. That wasn’t my question,” he told me. “I wanted to know whether I should go to my grandmothers house for Christmas or not.”

“Well, don’t drive a motorcycle there I guess,” I told him, rolling my eyes at my defeat. I felt like I was wasting my time here- again that maybe this channeling stuff was just a sporadic thing that will happen to me every decade or so. But then the guy says to the teacher, “Hey wait- remember my old coworker Timothy who died in the motorcycle accident?”

“Oh yeah,” the teacher commented, “he came through at your reading with me as well!”

I sat there eyes wide open.  My heart and mind raced as I realize I have actually just channeled a spirit again, QUITE EASILY IN FACT! I’m about to burst out with “it worked!” when the teacher  turned to me and said nonchalantly and dismissively “But that’s not what we’re working on. We want to get our information from the tarot cards today.”

Seriously.