- How did your gifts unfold?
When I was very young, I already had some kind of sense that the world was magical and mystical. It really came to a head when I was three-years-old when my family lived in a haunted house. Events were really traumatic. In one case, my sister had the hot water handle from the bathtub blow off on her; she was pushed down the stairs. We had a dog get pushed down the stairs and go blind. My brother and I recount many times going up the stairs and having a little gnome at the top of the steps telling us to stay out of our sister’s bedroom. I actually had something charge me one night in my bedroom, and as a result, I actually slept with the covers over my head until I was 15. I was completely afraid of the dark. I was completely afraid of ghosts and goblins. And now I’m a ghost hunter (laughter from the audience). It’s come full circle.
But because of those incidents, though, always being lodged in my mind, it was an anchor, more or less, to the reality that there is more to everyday life than what we experience. Coupled with that negative stimulation I also have memories of positive things. At that young of age (3 years) up until about 5 years old, I had past life recall; I had communication with what people would call spirit guides that I could see at that time. I can’t see them anymore like that. So, one of the benefits coming out of that negative experience was also the lodging in my memory of the good.
Also, my parents moved every two to three years, so you never could get comfortable – we were always being uprooted. And so in a way, that made me become somewhat of an introvert. I had to go inward for my own stability (or at least remain lodged in myself), and I think that might have contributed to my being aware of how my body was always feeling and what was going on inside of me. And in my teens, as every teenager goes through, you never feel like you fit in. The way I dealt with that was, I would go to bed every night listening to music. One night, I had reached some kind of catatonic state. At the time, it was cassette tape – we didn’t have CD’s back then – so the tape flipped off and I had to turn the tape over. So, in order to do that, I had to open my eyes. At that moment I saw 7 glowing beings around my bed, and I know how that makes me sound – it makes me sound like a total weirdo. Immediately, my mind shot back to my childhood experience of being charged in the old haunted house. I put the covers over my head for a week. But then I realized, “You know what, if they wanted to do something, they’ve had 5 days now to do it. I need to see what this is about.” So, after some trepidation and nervousness, I repeated the experiment. I put the headphones on, made sure I relaxed into the music, and got into that state. And then I opened my eyes and there they were again. Basically, that was the start, really, of my development. Probably for a good year or so after that, on a nightly basis, I was being schooled, groomed, whatever you want to call it, about ideas regarding the nature of reality, stuff like that.
From there, I actually did something – my whole family … got into it – which is something most people try and stay away from. We got on the Ouija board. That’s when the medium abilities started, because I was able to finish the sentences and paragraphs that were coming before they even spelled them out on the board. I even got into some trance channeling, but that was way too taboo for me.
Then of course, as you grow up, you got to go out and live that normal life. You have to get married and have the white picket fence. So, I left all that behind. (But) eventually it got to a point that it seemed whatever I was doing I was hitting a brick wall, until one day I finally threw up my arms and said “What am I suppose to be doing?” It was around that time that my mother called me up and said “You need to turn on the sci-fi channel and watch this guy John Edward.” So I turned it on … Now I had seen James Van Praagh on television before and thought “That’s really intriguing.” It didn’t really grab me …
How old were you at this point?
I actually … Upon doing the first couple readings and discovering that, yes, something was happening … I guess the knowledge that it was possible (to be a psychic and a medium) was easy to embrace. What was difficult to embrace was the realization that, “OK, I know I’m going to be considered the odd man out now.”
It was the emotional part?
Yes. I mean, who wants to be seen as the odd man out, the freak, or even the fraud, or worse yet, mentally unstable. Nobody wants to be perceived as that. Even to this day, I feel like I’m leading a double life. I have my regular day job, I go to work, I get up in the morning. I don’t talk about this at work or anything like that. And then I come and do this kind of stuff ... (laughter from the audience) … where I’m staring off into space, and I know my eyes do this funky little dance, and things just start coming through …
Are you working on that integration?
Yes, I am working on that integration. I’m very cautious about it, because I am aware of the stigmatism that can come with it. Fortunately – now I’ve been doing this for about 11 years now – I haven’t really had any negative experiences. I haven’t had somebody come up and say I’m a Satan worshipper or some crazy thing like that. I guess that’s because I’m really cautious about it. I’m not out there grand-standing it or anything like that. Quite honestly, when things go good, when information is coming through, whether it’s with a client or when I’m on a ghost investigation ... With the ghost stuff, (the society) doesn’t tell the psychics anything about the environment, where the haunting is occurring and what (the haunting type phenomenon) is or the place’s history … So when I’m getting stuff and they can validate it, and when stuff is going good, the positives far outweigh any of the negative stigmatism that you can get.
What types of things did you have to overcome in order to hone your skills?
Actually there was a lot. First and foremost, and there is even some of that going on right now, is Fear (laughter from the audience). I mean, you get up and get in front of people, even if it’s just one person, and it’s natural to sit and go “Well, how am I going to look? Am I going to appear a freak or fraud?” You get self-conscious. But the fact of the matter is, after doing this for so long, when it comes time to sit down and do the reading, it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with what energy is there, and what the energy has to say to the person I am reading. At that point, you (acting in the role of the medium) are just a conduit. You are a tool, basically, to be used to facilitate a message; it has nothing to do with you. And realize, really, that you are out of the equation, except for the fact that you are doing it … Your presence is there.
The other thing I had to let go of, and I really didn’t do this until about December last year after I finally gave myself an adequate answer … was to let go of the left-brain analytical stuff. Your mind is always going “How does this work? What is the modus operandi?” I will tell you from experience, that kind of questioning ends up leading to self-doubt. And that will stunt you, because you are always trying to figure yourself out. Every successful reading you give, you end up before the very next one, saying to yourself “Well, maybe that was just a fluke. Maybe that really didn’t happen, because I don’t understand how I got the information.” So you discount it.
How did you learn to turn that off?
Actually that was very simple. I got a sheet of paper out and listed 60 just off the top my head memories of things that were way too abstract to discount. First one on my list, I just wrote the name “Ben.” This is the perfect example. I was at some friends’ house, where I was getting ready to do a small little group reading. This is before the reading got started. I was just sitting there and my friend walks across the room and the name “Ben” floats across my mind. So I asked, “Who’s Ben?” She said “Well, my dad had a best friend named Ben.” I asked “Has he passed?” She said “I don’t know.” So we just left it at that. She called me three days later and says “So I checked up on Ben. He died last week.” How do you discount that?
The second one on my list is Snoopy; the dog Snoopy. I was giving a reading … Somebody was hosting me for a private reading. The host gets up and walks by me. All of a sudden I get this image of Snoopy in my head and I say “Okay, I need to bring up Snoopy, but I think it’s for you.” And we just left it at that.
So you turned off your left-brain by counting your blessings?
Yeah. I made a list of about 60 occurrences where I got people’s names correct, where I got conditions correct, all the correct ones that just came to mind. I made this list and I read that list daily. Daily. To basically inform my consciousness that, yes, you are doing this. And I actually did come up with a good left-brain explanation about how I was getting the information.
The other thing to overcome to hone your skills … You have to go out and do it. Just sitting at home thinking about it isn’t going to do it. You actually have to go out there, bite the bullet, read strangers, the whole works. Now, you can prep for that – there are really good ways to prep for that. One of the best ways to do that is business cards. If you have a friend that is willing to do this with you, have them go around and gather up business cards of people they might know that you don’t. This is one of things I had a friend do for me for awhile. She would come in with business cards of acquaintances and business people she knew. She would just hand me this business card …
So you need an accomplice!
You need an accomplice! So … she would give me these business cards and I wouldn’t even look at the name, I would just hold the card. Whatever would come out, you know… And then validate and validate … But, you know, it’s practice.