“Get a communicator.”
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.”