I am sitting alone, waiting for my daughter to get home from Shea’s funeral. (I thought hiding the details for this story, but something doesn’t feel right about changing things.)
Shea died in March, not long after the Coronavirus hit, leaving his family struggling to find a way to grieve without a proper funeral. Shea was a high school junior, one of the quieter ones of the friends that would come over, and a talented piano player (I would learn later on.) What stands out for me with his passing, is not only was he a friend of my daughter’s, but that I had also given him a reading a few months before the accident.
Maybe it was December, could have been January or even November… but Shea had come over to my house with his friend Aidan for individual readings. I knew Aidan much better, and he had many times expressed his interest in what I “do.” He was kind of scared, though; worried about the heebie jeebies of the unknown. I laughed and assured him he was safe, but I think he may have recruited Shea to come along for his own reading as backup.
I sat on the couch, and actually pulled my hood over my face to try to get into my zone. I don’t think this helped the heeby jeebie factor, as Aiden later told me he had taken a picture of me sitting like that and sent it to my daughter, as in “what the heck is happening!?” It worked, though, as I brought through loved ones for both of them, and answered as many questions as they had. They were both thankful, and as much as I could tell, “wowed” by the experience. I think I even got some tears out of a couple teenaged boys! Now that’s saying something!
We got the call from my daughter that Shea had been in an accident and was hurt, and I remember my first thought being “maybe he broke both legs.” Even hearing that he was lifeflighted, somehow that was as bad as I could imagine it. So, when later that night the talk turned to “life support,” it was shocking. It didn’t take long for the news to turn even grimmer. There wasn’t much hope. I heard that Shea was on life support mostly to give his loved ones time to come and say goodbye to his physical body.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll understand that I make that distinction very purposefully. Shea, the physical body of a still growing teenager with the rosy cheeks and blond hair that we can touch and see and is gone, yes. But Shea, the PERSON, the SPIRIT that resided in that body, is not. And I don’t say that with a general rule of thumb attitude. No… I say that because Shea himself let me know he’s still around.
A few days later, Shea was still at the hospital. My daughter was getting some conflicted information on when life support would cease, but we knew it was imminent. Again, this wasn’t long after COVID was in full force in NY and CT, so we were in strict lockdown. My family and I were all at the dinner table doing a puzzle this particular night. My COVID days have mixed together, so again, I can’t tell you if it was Saturday or Sunday, but I remember I was sitting there with a glass of Cabernet, and my job was to weed out the puzzle edges. We were laughing and had Alexa playing an assortment of music.
As I was studying the pieces, I felt a strong pressure in/on my right ear. This has happened before, and I’ve probably already described this feeling… it’s as if an airplane takes you to 40k feet and your ears so badly need to pop! But, this is only in only one ear. Having had this as a sign from Spirit before, and also KNOWING this was Shea, my first inclination was to glance at my watch, thinking he was giving me his exact moment of passing. But as soon as I registered the time, I got the message to pay attention to the music that was playing.
The song was “American Pie.” Like, drove-my-Chevy-to-the-levy American Pie. But, it was as if Shea had come to me at the precise moment he wanted to, a spiritual picking up and dropping down of the needle on the vinyl… because as soon as I listened I heard, “this will be the day that I die… this will be the day that I die…”
I remember stopping everything for this moment in time with him, trying my best to get what he was giving. What was he telling me? Was there a message? As soon I asked the question, the answer became clear. Shea showed me just a spiritual tap on the shoulder. He was just passing through, and wanted me to know that he now knew, too. I have no doubt Shea will try to let his loved ones know he is still around when the right time comes, but what I’m excited about, is that he knows he CAN. It was a quick goodbye and hello at the same time, and I will be forever honored that he took the time to give it to little ol’ me.
So as I sit here, waiting for my daughter to come home, I am again taking delight in the little things. It wasn’t a formal reading, it wasn’t in the midst of a meditation… it was just… a hello from the spirit world at such an unexpected moment.
*** I can’t tell Shea’s story. But his family passed out bags of #SheaStones today at his funeral. Those who loved him are encouraged to leave a stone when they go somewhere or see something that reminds them of Shea. I believe his story will continue to be told by others… aren’t they lovely “little things?”
These were the instructions uttered to me by super-medium Chris Drew as I stood in front of 15 classmates. He wanted to me connect to the spirit world in an instant, and see who had come to chat for this exercise. Up to a week ago, these words would have crippled me into a ball of anxiety, but this time, I simply closed my eyes for a few seconds, and replied, “I have a man.”
“He feels like a cousin or a friend,” I continued, “and now he’s standing in front of me. He’s thin and wore black clothes, kind of like what we would call ’emo” dressing.” (I was quite proud of myself.)
“Well was he a cousin or a friend?” the teacher prodded.
Wha? I have to narrow this down right away? I went back into my zone. I had to see which one seemed more natural to me… which of those choices “felt” right. I confidently stated, “He was a friend.”
“Ok. Now go direct.” Chris was now asking me to feel out which person in the small classroom audience this person was here for. I scanned the room slowly until I felt my eyes quickly darting back to a 30-something year old guy in the room. I started to give this man some more of the traits of the spirit. They were minor details, but the guy looked perplexed; this information was NOT resonating with him.
The teacher cut in to guide me, “So if the information doesn’t seem to be flowing naturally, you’re probably with the wrong person. See if anyone else in the audience can take that information.”
I asked the audience if any of them knew a man like I was describing. Two people raised their hands. One was a quiet woman in my class, and the other… Chris Drew, THE TEACHER. (Seriously?)
Chris coddled me along, “Again, repeat the information you have to each of us, and as you do, feel into who seems like the recipient you should be with.”
I repeated what I had to Chris, giving the information like bulletpoints.
“This was a male friend.”
“Ok,” the teacher confirmed.
“He didn’t have a lot of friends- you were very special to him. You treated him with kindness.”
“Yes, I can take that.”
“You met in your twenties.”
“Yes, we did. Now go to their other person that raised their hand and see how it feels when you tell it to them.”
I turned to the quiet woman and started to speak, “This was a male friend,” but as a I said the last word I knew in my gut this wasn’t for her. I felt pulled to turn back around to the teacher. “I’m so sorry but this is not for you. I need to go back to Chris,” I told her apologetically. It was as stereotypical of a “gut feeling” as I can tell you. That was how I’d describe it. I just KNEW.
I proceeded to tell Chris the details his friend was giving me- about how he’d felt jealousy as he watched those around him move on in life while he felt stuck. About how he’d felt rage when he was abandoned by his parents. (“ABANDONED” actually flashed in my mind as a written word when the spirit conveyed this to me.) This exercise in particular was about feeling emotions, so the spirit that came through did just that for me. He had me feel his rage, his jealousy, end even his empathy. We ended on a high note as Chris confirmed all of it and said that his buddy comes through quite often to help with teaching.
This story is quite representative of what I did ALL week at Arthur Findlay college, the place I lovingly refer to as “ghost school.” I went for a 7 day class at the end of November, leaving the day after Thanksgiving straight for London. (Did I say straight? It wasn’t even REMOTELY straight. I flew Dallas to Chicago, Chicago to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to London. And if you’re following along on a map, that was the opposite of time efficient traveling. But, BUT- it only cost me 30K miles, so…)
I basically just want to recount some of the little stories and events that happened to me that week that I really want to remember, so don’t mind the “messiness” of this post. It’s likely to skip around quite a bit.
That said, let’s skip, shall we?
Super-medium Chris Drew actually set this course up. So it was him and a few other super-mediums teaching all week. When we arrived on campus, Chris interviewed us individually to see who’s class we’d fit in to. It’s sort of a long story, but let me just say, the gods were WITH me when I landed Lynn Probert as my main teacher. In fact, Chris was initially a bit worried about putting me in her group. (Backstory: this class was advertised as “no absolute beginners.”) “Everyone else in that group is a working medium,” he told me. “Im afraid you’ll feel like you’re in over your head and get discouraged.”
My mouth may have spoken, “I’ll be fine,” but my insides churned with insecurity.
Our session with Lynn on the first night was mostly just introductions and her assessing where we were with our mediumship. I was relieved when almost all of my classmates echoed the same concerns I had. I learned that “lack of confidence” rears its head for even the most practiced mediums. Also, a few of them seemed to be in the same boat I was- they were practicing mediumship (with other mediums) but not PRACTICING mediumship (as in giving readings to actual clients.) Whew! Because of this, I didn’t feel so bad in admitting to Lynn that I wasn’t even confident in the most basic of mediumship: establishing a contact. I mean, I knew I could do it, but like I’ve explained before, it is maddeningly subtle, and sometimes (meh, MOST, times) it can feel like I’m just making it up.
Lynn sat with me and gave me what was probably my most important lesson of the whole trip. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like, “Sit quietly, expand your aura all around you. Then instead of looking for someone to communicate with, let them come to you. See who joins you.”
And by golly- it worked.
The first time, there was no mistaking a man who arrived as a small rectangle of energy at the top left of my head. Later that day it was a woman who came in to the lower right. It was an “aha!” moment that I’m sure I will continue to use as long as I’m doing this work.
One of the things I find fascinating about mediumship is the variances in which Spirit “does their thing.” From how they arrive, (right? Left? Full body visual? Just a face? In the same pose as an old photograph?) to how they give their information (a picture? A feeling? A word spelled out?) Spirit arriving in my aura turned out to be no different… that is, pretty much different every time.
For example, the third day of class, one of our exercises was to stand up and do a “mini demonstration.” We were to get into groups of four where one of us stands up and does a reading for the other three. (We wouldn’t know who it’s for, of course, until the recipient “claimed” their person.) I stood up and gave myself a few seconds to just feel who might come forward, and as I did, a small little older man just walked right into the back of my body. Yep, just like the movies! Just stepped right up and in. And from this, I knew he was small in stature. (I’m almost 5’2, and he pretty much fit right in with my height.) In fact, in one fell swoop I knew what he looked like, what he was wearing, and who he was. I ended up doing a very successful reading for a woman from her father. It was so fun!
Our week was back to back exercises, each one being just a bit different. The thought is that the Spirit world knows exactly what we are doing and wants to help in each instance, so they will give us the information we ask for. Remember how the first reading I mentioned was about getting emotions from the Spirit communicator? Well, we also did one where we were to start the reading with only a place. We had to describe things like climate and vacations.
Another one, and actually one of my more memorable readings, was where we were to try to hold something, or have the spirit make us actually FEEL something in our grasp. This could feasibly be feeling the petals of a flower, the edges of a diamond ring, or in my case… the burning and breaking of the Spirit’s hands.
(Yes, I know this is serious stuff, but as I type this out I cant help but think of a recurring Saturday Night Live skit where three people are abducted by aliens. Each time, two of them have beautiful life affirming experiences, but Kate McKinnon’s character tells government agents the tales of, ahem, other things that happen to her.)
So while others were feeling the brush of a child’s cheek, or the texture of a mother’s scarf, my hands were on fire. Ha! (I know that sounds scary, but it wasn’t actually painful.) The reading started with a few details just so the woman knew it was her male cousin coming through. I then told her I could feel burning on my hands, a detail she didn’t understand. I tried to feel it again and I could tell it felt like some sort of chemical burn on my skin. He had “died in an accident,” she told me, information she offered up because she wasn’t making a connection with what I was feeling. I felt back into it and actually had a quick visual of bones in my forearms and hands being broken. I received the information and told her this was an automobile accident and that he was the only one involved, which she confirmed.
Closing my eyes again, I saw a tree. I got a quick knowing that he had hit it, but I felt uneasy giving such a specific piece of information that could SO EASILY be wrong. (This is why I have to practice! I need confidence, people!) I finally decided to go with it: “Did he hit a tree?” I asked her. She confirmed he had. (My insides scream, “He DID hit a tree?! What are the CHANCES!?” I wanted to jump out of the chair and start high fiving the whole class- which, to clarify, would have BEEN THE WRONG THING TO DO.) I still had a mystery to figure out, though, so again I asked this spirit cousin for more information. He let me know that the impact from the tree and the steering wheel caused his hands and forearms to break, and that there was a fire in the car that he couldn’t escape from. I hated to relay this information to her, but I did so as gently as possible. As it turned out, she couldn’t confirm many more details of the crash or his injuries. But I knew they were correct, and Spirit had amazed me yet again by working with me on a specific exercise, allowing me to “feel” with my hands, even when it wasn’t pertinent to their loved one.
Also, I’m changing my answer. The ACTUAL biggest thing I took from my week at intermediate ghost school?
“JUST SAY IT.”
I usually spend so much time in my own head working through the information that spirit gives me, trying to make it fit in a pattern I understand. Like the tree example I just talked about. I sat there for ten too many seconds wondering if the information “sounded” plausible. But the thing is, I dont have to understand it. The only person that needs to understand what the spirit is saying is the person I am reading for.
I’ll give you a quick example of this- where I wanted to kick myself after a reading, in which if I had just said what I’d been shown, the sitter would have understood the message. Early on in the week, I was exchanging readings with one of my new friends and classmates. I brought through her Grandmother, who showed me a purple stone. I was describing the stone to my friend and asked if she knew what this was. She told me that she did indeed have a purple stone, but that it had nothing to do with her grandmother. Both of us confused, I looked back into it. Immediately, the Grandmother showed me herself handing this purple stone to my friend’s young daughter.
BUT I DIDN’T SAY THAT.
All I told my friend was, “Your grandmother is bringing my attention to your daughter now.” Again, we were both a bit perplexed. When our time was up, my friend told me what the purple stone was. Turns out, she has a purple stone at her house, and the day before she was leaving her daughter pointed it out and asked her mom to bring her back “one of these.”
So, we had BOTH just spent ten minutes trying to figure out what the heck I was talking about, and the answer was right there for the taking all along. Grandma was gifting a stone to her granddaughter- and I didn’t mention it. (This actually WAS an instance where I stood up in the class frustrated with myself and way too loudly exclaimed, “You’ve GOT to be KIDDING me!)
Aside from the amazing new people in my spiritual circle, Mediumship school was a chance for me to get these experiences in rapid succession, for a whole week, with almost no downtime in between. That, of course, is the exact opposite of what happens when I’m at home, which keeps me feeling like I’m never in the groove.
So… how do I remedy that? By finally opening up for readings. And I figured I’d put it out there to those that are interested in my adventures first, the blog readers!
Interested? Dont worry about location. Through a lot of practice, I’ve found that online readings via Facetime (or Zoom) are just as good as in person (Spirit knows how to work it!) If you trust me to try to bring through your loved one, I’m up for giving it a go. I’ve set aside a few times each week and will continue this for a couple months. Send me an email and we can try to set something up: Hollypaulson@mac.com. Let’s do this, together!
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but you know how some people see recurring numbers/times? Well, oddly enough mine is 9/11. I’m always seeing some version of that- and spirit always makes sure I look at the clock at that time. (My birthday is 9/12, so you’d think it would have been those numbers- but… it isn’t.) Anyway- I was heading home from London Heathrow -having my last true English breakfast at the airport (back bacon RULES,) when I had the grand idea of using the rest of the UK cash I had and just putting the rest on my credit card. I dumped it all out on the table and painstakingly counted it. (Takes forever when you don’t know what’s what!)
Guess how much I had? Exactly 9 pounds and 11 pence. And that was the SECOND time I said out loud, “You’ve got to be KIDDING me.”
UPDATE: EEK! It has been brought to my attention that the change in the image actually equals “£7.13p. The brown 2 you have gathered with the £1 coins is a 2p not a £2.” (RATS! I told you counting this wasn’t easy.)
So yes, I counted wrong, But I STILL think Spirit had something to do with this. What I didn’t write earlier was that originally I had emptied my purse of all the change and it only totaled (what I thought was) £9.01. I didn’t think anything of it. But, two minutes later I went back into my purse for something, and lo’ and behold, in the pocket that I had JUST cleaned out was a 10p piece. Call it a stretch if you want, but I really do think Spirit went, “this silly girl thinks that’s £9.01. Let’s give her another 10p to really flip her out.” I’m telling you it was as if that dime appeared out of nowhere. So I’m sticking to my story. The only thing I feel bad about is that the poor waitress was bilked out of 2 quid!
Before I get into the juicy bits, I need to offer a quick recap of the last year. I’ll make this quick, promise! I’m still in the learning/pre-professional medium stages. I continue to have experiences with the other side, but usually I’m simply practicing online with other mediums. We trade readings with each other to hone our skills, and it’s extremely helpful! BUT, I find this to be harder, actually, than readings with “normal” folks. As an example, and it may sound silly, but I talk to my grandparents every week; There isn’t a lot unsaid at this point. So, naturally, I find that the spirits coming through aren’t doing so with a lot of urgency because, like I said, my medium friends and I talk to them all the time! If you’ve been following along, you know that’s a lot different than most of my readings in the past… i.e. those ones that tend to come out of nowhere and hit me with a hard shot of anxiety. I now know that means someone up there is tapping me on the shoulder to stop what I’m doing and listen, ’cause they’ve got something important to say!
That said, the prospect of doing readings for people (people who REALLY need it) is scary for sure. When someone puts their trust in me to bring their loved ones through, the responsibility I feel to make sure I am getting it right can be overwhelming. (Which is why I’m still merely practicing!) SO, as a rule, I have made it my mission to simply convey what a spirit is telling me as best I can. I trust that they know what their loved one needs to hear, and will try their best to get that across through me.
Which brings me to tonight’s fireside chat. How many times have you heard someone hoping that a person who passed didn’t suffer? It’s a common human sentiment- we want to think they passed quickly, or even better, that they didn’t even know it was happening! Makes complete sense.
But I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter.
This epiphany all started with a reading I recently did for an old high school friend, Kat. She had lost her husband within the past year, and had been posting about her experiences/feelings of being a new widow on Facebook. Her openness gave me the green light to send her a message offering some words of support. We had traded a few texts back and forth when all of a sudden… BLAM. The anxiety hit HARD. Thank goodness I knew from enough past encounters to know exactly what this was. And I also knew from intuition WHO it was. It was my friend’s husband, Brad.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t grab a pen and paper fast enough. I was on the verge of what I imagine a panic attack would feel like- and when I did finally have writing tools in hand- the information flowed fast and furious. I ended up with two pages of single spaced notes within a few minutes. The anxiety subsided once I had transcribed what Brad was telling me, but it wasn’t until I finally sat with Kat over FaceTime that I really assessed what her husband had conveyed. The first 1/2 page, a full 25% of my notes, was all about what was happening to Brad when he was dying. I felt uncomfortable reading it back to her. At the time it was coming through, I was simply a vessel writing the information as it came. But as I read it back, I sat there thinking “is all this necessary? Why would Kat need to hear this?” To this day, she never did clarify what exactly it was that took Brad’s life, but I could gather from the information it was probably a stroke, or something along those lines. Brad had went into great detail about what his death felt like, how his right arm had been numb, and even made sure to tell me that he was indeed in quite a bit of pain as it was happening. He also told me that he was very scared. I couldn’t believe I was telling her this as it came out of my mouth- it seemed hurtful!- but I had to fall back on to my tried and true rule: if Spirit conveys it, they want you to say it.
One one hand, I think that Brad was trying to prove to her that it was indeed him by giving me this information that I would have had no other way of knowing. But at the same time, it was just like having a chat with a friend. I don’t think he saw those details as being hurtful for his wife, it was just what he would have said if they were sitting there talking like they would have done when he was alive. He was just describing what had happened to him and how he felt.
I still don’t necessarily have the explicit answer to “why all the gritty details?” but as I sat one day last week contemplating that very question- what I did get instead was a download of information from Spirit.
First of all, as much as we HOPE our loved ones didn’t suffer during death- there’s always going to be those that did. That’s inevitable. So then what? Have our darkest fears been realized?
The answer lies in how you view the continuation of life after our passing. If you believe that we are simply here to live this one life and then simply turn to dust once it’s over, then yeah… that would SUCK to spend your last moments in extreme pain. SUCKY SUCK SUCKERTON.
The way I see it, though, and the example Spirit gave me, is that it’s kind of like childbirth. Not all of of us have experienced childbirth firsthand, but we’ve all heard the horror stories of extreme pain. Maybe we’ve even seen someone go through it! My own experience fits this bill. When I had my last baby (Sayde- who is my now 17 year old,) it, too, was SUCKY SUCK SUCKERTON. I had no meds to take down the pain, and I even remember thinking that I had had enough, and if given the choice at the time I would have said, “Yeah I changed my mind. Let’s not do this. Let’s just call this whole thing off.”
As we all know, that wasn’t an option.
After enduring pain I would have never thought was possible to survive, it was over just as fast. (She was born “en caul” by the way, which is a fancy way of saying my water never broke; she was born in an intact amniotic sac. It was like I birthed a balloon! But that’s for another blog post, I guess.) My point is, none of us now go around professing our sadness for how bad that freaking hurt, do we? Can you imagine if we approached every new mom telling them how sorry we were for their suffering? “Oh, I see that you have a new baby. I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR PAIN.”
This was the same sentiment I got from Brad. While the first 25% of his message was about pain, the last 75% focused on happier things. He described seeing all the people at his funeral and lamenting in jest how it would be so cool to know during life that we were all loved so much! He wanted his wife to know that he thought she should get another dog. He said how cool it was that his brother in law spoke at his funeral- that he hadn’t expected that. He was OVER the pain. It clearly wasn’t playing a part in his life on the other side anymore.
This, of course, applies to everyone in SPIRIT. That pain is OVER.
In other words, Kat would be doing herself a sad injustice if all she focused on was how her husband Brad spent his final moments here in his earthly body, instead of now looking for him sending his love with butterflies, “specifically orange ones,” he noted during our reading.
People suffer every day, of course. When they survive, we tend to focus on the life they have after that. “Oh look at you! You’re doing great!” But if someone dies while suffering, we all too often focus on just the end, even though they, too, are still doing great.
We can stop that now. As Spirit says, “It doesn’t matter.”
Well, well well. It’s been a while, that’s for sure.
Since we last chatted, I’ve driven and moved across half the country, started my daughter in a new high school (and taught her to drive! EEK), taken my middle son back to college, and married off my oldest son. Truth is, I haven’t made a lot of time for Spirit. That’s not to say Spirit-y things haven’t been happening, but I also haven’t been as inclined to then share them either.
I usually get inspired by a reading or learning something new about the Spirit world and want to share it, but that didn’t happen, and I had spent the better part of the last year feeling like I was failing myself and my “audience.” That is until I came across a particular paragraph on a Facebook page for mediums I’m a part of. Of course, I promptly misplaced it, but it went something like this, (in a much more eloquent style, of course):
‘I haven’t been sharing everything because I needed it to be just for me for a while. I needed to experience these things without the filter of how I was going to retell the story.’
Something like that anyway. You get the gist. I realized I needed to be able to have the mediumship learning experience and not necessarily self-reflect in real time. I needed to get to the 20/20 of the hindsight. (Also meaning, I don’t feel bad anymore for ignoring writing. Ha!) I do have some fun things to share soon enough, but first…
I’ve really been holding back on you.
Last time we chatted I was telling you all about Joseph, my newfound Spirit guide. The thing is, I didnt tell everything. There was a pretty big portion of that “vision” that I left out. I didn’t think you were ready for it… or, maybe I didn’t think I was ready for the murmurs of, “ok, NOWWWWE’VE lost her. WHOA.”
In time, I shared my info with a few people, and the more and more I did, the more I learned that what I saw wasn’t so exactly out of the ordinary. That the idea actually existed in some religions even. And before you say, “Kalachakra? What are you talking about, lady?” Let’s recap.
As I shared in my last blog post, I was in a deep meditation last year when my Spirit Guide, Joseph, introduced himself to me. First, he showed me a past life where I was male and was dying from a gunshot to the chest. Jospeh then lifted my soul from that body and whisked me up to the spirit world. My epiphany at the time was that this guide had been with me through MANY lives, and loved me with the same (actually more) intensity than a mother can love a child. It was INTENSE. And I think that’s where I originally stopped the story… but it was the NEXT part where my brain sort of exploded.
You ready for this? After that, Joseph showed me myself in the “other” realm basically seated in a classroom learning about the ways of “it all.” The visions were in quick succession, but I went from sitting in a classroom looking at some sort of rolling screen, to then standing in the middle of a circle, and knowing that I could choose where to go for my next “life” from ANY point on that circle.
Next, Joseph next showed me a line. The end of the line to my left was the beginning of time, the other end being, well, the end of time. We, of course, are somewhere in between. THEN, he took the ends of the line and brought them together to form…. a circle.
THAT CIRCLE. The one you stand in the middle of where you get to choose where you are going for your next life iteration. That choice is anywhere IN TIME. Time is CIRCULAR.
Would you like to go get a cup of coffee, or maybe a glass of wine before we sit down and discuss this further? Ha!
OK. So I like to think of myself as a pretty scientific person. I think I’ve talked about this before- I firmly believe that what I am experiencing isn’t supernatural or magic, it’s just something we don’t know how to measure yet: a way of communicating that most of us dont pick up on. My guides know my brain works scientifically, and I truly believe it is why they gave me this special glimpse of the inner workings up there. So, I received an explanation to help me understand this in science-y terms: You know how when we stand at the coast, looking out onto the ocean, we see a flat horizon? Well we also know that if we get back far enough, perhaps way up high in a plane, we could see that the horizon actually bends, and going even further up would show us that eventually it comes together to form a globe. Nothing new here, I know. But let’s go further. You know how scientists have said that time bends? (Interstellar, anyone?) And we all usually collectively scratch our heads and go, HUH???? Well, it’s the same as it is for the horizon. If we stand far enough back, eventually time comes back around to itself.
Finally, there are infinite points on a line- we all learn that in Geometry, right? Thus, there are an infinite number of places on that circle we can “go.”
See? It’s all science!
I know. Take a moment if you must.
You might be thinking, “But Holly, If the curve of time is like the curve of the earth then shouldn’t it be a globe?” Well, yes, I agree, but I wasn’t given that info. I don’t know. But man, that kind of makes sense, and now that I’m thinking about it my brain is starting to freak out again. OUCH! The possibilities!
In other news, things have finally settled down again and I’m committed to giving this Spirit stuff the attention it deserves. I came across a tweet yesterday (that I actually saved!) which rings amazingly relevant for me right now,
So, I’m done ignoring. I’m now in some fun online groups I’ll share about soon and have also signed up for another round of ghost school in April, so we should have some serious stories this year! And next time, I won’t keep any secrets. It is what it is and I’ve resigned myself to being the weirdo in the bunch. I even bought some Tarot cards. 😉
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.
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’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.
“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.
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.”