Sunday, December 19, 2010

Can Psychic Work Affect Your Health?

Whenever I sit down for a reading, my mind and body have to go through a type of “ritual” before information finds its way into my being. For a 1-on-1, usually a few hours before the scheduled meeting, my skin begins to lightly tingle, and the focus of my mind gently shifts. It’s typically at these moments when I am granted a glimpse as to who is going to come through, such as a deceased sibling, parent, or former lover. Not wishing to get into the specifics of the reading (and normally because I’m busy doing other things at the time), I will try to ignore the energy and wait for the actual moment of the sitting. However, once this subtle vibration hits, things happen.

You know that feeling that someone is watching you? All eyes are staring at you, and suddenly you’re on high alert? Yeah, that’s what it feels like. This sensation usually doesn’t happen with groups, but for individuals, just about every time. Sight becomes a little clearer, as well as hearing and feeling things internally, too. For group sittings, usually within 45 minutes of starting, my body will tire, as if it needs a nap. I’m not sure why this doesn’t happen for 1-on-1’s, but for groups the body gets very relaxed and then all it takes is grabbing the hand of the first questioner and all the senses come to full alert.

Now, for groups, the other ritual that has to be done is a thorough washing of the hands. Since most of the connections done in the group settings are by holding the hand of questioner, I need to make sure there isn’t any kind of residual energy or energy blockages existent in my hands and arms, as this is being used as the initial “portal of entry.” A good 60-second to 2 minute hot water hand-wash clears that. I also do this during the intermission breaks, as by then I will have grasped anywhere from 8 to 12 different hands, and received equally as many different types of energy through that portal. Water, being a conductive element, is awesome in taking the energy and flowing it out of the hands and down the drain, clearing the entry-way and providing revitalization to the tissues and nerve-fibers being affected by incoming energy. These days, I prefer to let go of the hand as soon as I feel a certain threshold amount of energy received, and then conduct the reading by standing a few feet back, as I typically would during a 1-on-1. (I don’t ask to grasp the hand of the sitter in 1-on-1’s; I just sit back and let the energy come to me).

During the process of giving a reading, the functions of the body are clearly affected. If I have been suffering from a cold and battling congestion, stuffy nose, etc., during the course of the sitting, all of the symptoms disappear. Headache? Gone. Yesterday, my head was throbbing from a wisdom tooth. I took a pain pill about an hour ahead of what was going to be a two-hour sitting. When my clients arrived, my face was still aching. However, due to past experiences, I knew there would be no pain once things got going. True to form, within five minutes, it was as if there had never been a tooth-ache whatsoever.

Now, some would say this is an excellent way of staying healthy! Feel a little sick, go conduct a reading!

Actually, this may not necessarily be the case. Yes, psychic energy might be aligning certain frequencies in the body and forcing toxins out prior to giving a sitting, but this may not be advantageous for the body over the long haul.

We are all vibrating energy beings, and when we come into contact with psychic forces – in particular other people (whether dead or alive) – we expose our auras and energies to their frequencies. This exposure is unusual in terms of our typical sense of communication and integration of energy information. Our normal route of communication is through verbal speech, mental symbolism from the talking, and then integration based on our personal psychologies. The amount of psychic or spiritual energy transmitted between a typical conversation is negligible. However, psychics and mediums have to open themselves up – their bodies, their auras, the psychological structures of their minds – to much more. The energy has to (in a sense) invade the space in order to excite the psychic’s perceptive mechanisms and transmit the message. The entry into the auric field, body, and mind definitely can have its consequences. Here, you will typically come across the notion of “putting a bubble around yourself” or “see yourself in white light.” Though these protective techniques might help, let’s face it – the energy still has to mingle with the psychic on some level, and this will have consequences.

People always ask me after groups or long 1-on-1 sessions how exhausted I must be. It is true, especially after groups, that my mind becomes a mush; I can’t concentrate or think with clarity – so here is an example of effect on my brain and probable psychological mechanisms. And within an hour my body will become heavy and in need of deep sleep. (And certainly, before doing anything the next day, a good long hot shower upon rising to hopefully clear away any residual energy).

What does all this mean?

It means that doing psychic work can expose you to certain health risks. Though on the surface it appears the effects are positive and/or negligible, over the long-term this may not necessarily be so. The continued assault of psychic energy could actually wear the body down quicker. In other words, your body may actually age at a more rapid rate, as the constant fluctuation of energies expands and contracts you like a rubber band, which guarantees a higher potential for lowering life expectancy. Think of Indiana Jones, when he said “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”

I am also reminded of Jane Roberts, who is known for channeling Seth. She died at age 55, with some debilitating physical health conditions. Some could argue that her health was the result of several multi-pronged personal belief systems and other natural conditions, and not a result of channeling. But one must not dismiss the possibility of the psychic energy that took over her body several times a week as possibly contributing to her demise. Are we seeing this in other channelers, such as Ramtha, or other mediums?

Health can be a tricky thing. We would hope that dealing with what we perceive as “spiritual energy” would be more of a help than a hindrance in regards to the effects upon the body. However we must remain mindful. Though we perceive the energy as “spiritual” and thus give it a connotation that is positive, we really don’t know if it’s “spiritual” at all. It is, as far as I’m concerned, just energy. And this energy does impact cells and tissues. If psychic communication is ever accepted by mainstream science, this we must look in this direction of how it affects health.

We must weigh the pros and cons of what we do. If psychic energy does wear the body down quicker over time, then we must consider why we should interact with it in the first place? For me, it is to try and answer some of the deeper questions about life, humanity, the nature of the cosmos, and share it with whoever is willing to listen. It is my personal hope that when my time on this earth is over, I have contributed to the best of my ability an opportunity to change earth for the better, leaving it in a more positive state than what it was when I was birthed into it. (Boy, do I still have a long way to go. Better get to work!)

Remain vigilant. If you’re pursuing developing psychic abilities, define why you are doing it. Make sure it is worth not just your time, effort, and reputation, but also your health. I think it’s wonderful that for a short hour or two, any kind of negative health condition I may be having completely disappears. But I have to wonder – do these hours also contribute to a shorter lifespan?

Could psychic communication, on some level, be akin to smoking a cigarette?

Admittedly, it’s a troubling thought. And we currently have ZERO research to answer that question. But when the tissues of your body are being “plugged into” a metaphorical wall outlet day after day, week after week, year after year, you must consider the long-term consequences.

Is it possible that it could extend your life, or have no adverse impact at all? Well, I do believe anything is possible. Leonora Piper did live to the ripe old age of 93, Geraldine Cummins, 76. Like I said, we don’t know.

But it always pays to be mindful. It’s a serious thing to open your body to so many different energies. Be aware of why you’re doing it, and ask yourself “Is it worth it?” For me, it is. For others, it might not. This kind of work requires a certain mindset, psychology, and self-esteem.

It’s not just your livelihood that could be affected, but the very health of your body, all the way down to the cellular level.

Until next time,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Life and Love of a Cat - A Tribute to Ms. Kitty (? - Dec. 7, 2010)

This was one of those weeks … A week you never look forward to: saying goodbye to one of your pets.

Ms. Kitty was a short-haired black cat (with a unique scar across her nose) that chanced upon me over 11 or 12 years ago. She was a cast-off, left behind at a boarding house by an owner who couldn’t take her when he left. Instead, she went from tenant to tenant on a daily basis, hoping for food and shelter, and in many cases was left abandoned and locked down in the basement. Nevertheless, she still loved people and wanted to be pet by everyone.

When I discovered she didn’t have a bonafide owner, I took her in. I will never forget the first time she came into the house. She plopped down in front of the couch and rolled joyously about on her back, grabbing the carpet with her paws and doing circles of bliss. She was definitely saying “Thank you for giving me a home! At last!”

At first she was an indoor/outdoor cat, and was always racing to meet me as I pulled into the driveway when I arrived home from work. She was an excellent companion, and in many ways understood me better than most people did. From her, I learned to distinguish when a cat smiled and when they felt scared. When I arrived at the vets to pick her up from her first checkup, the vet told me she must think very highly of me, as she behaved incredibly violent toward him and his staff J

There were times she gave me hope and a reason to keep going, as she walked the darkest paths of my life with me – a separation and divorce, isolation from the family, coming to terms with the realization that I wasn’t “normal” due to developing psychic abilities. When I felt other people couldn’t relate to me, or when I felt a total outcast amongst the rest of the world, she would look me in the eyes and tell me in her own way “I get you, and I love you.” I will never forget, during the height of my isolation living in a small apartment, I had fallen asleep on my futon – only to wake up and discovered she had climbed onto my chest and fallen asleep with me. That’s the kind of companion she was.

When Heidi and I got married, she carried that love over to her (though she hated her cat). In these last few years, before running downstairs for breakfast, she made a point of greeting Heidi – going out of her way to jaunt into the bedroom and meow as if to say “Good morning, mommy!” She would sometimes follow Heidi around more than me, looking for a nice snack or an occasional “pick me up and pet me.”

Over the last year or so, things started to change with my beloved feline. She lost practically all her weight and stopped using the litter box (something I could tell she wasn’t happy about. I could see some humiliation after catching her in the act). She became more brazen and bold at trying to get more food, as if she were starving 24/7. The vet told us her thyroid and everything was normal; she was just getting old. She started sleeping more and more, keeping to only one or two places in the house.

On Tuesday during morning meditation, I decided to ask my guides how Kitty was doing; I could see she was tired, and every day was more of a trial than it was a joy. Still, I was not prepared for what they told me: “Today is the day.” I didn’t want to believe them. I mean, sure, she had slowed down, but there wasn’t any other adverse medical conditions that she displayed. I figured she at least still had 3 or 4 more weeks left – maybe up through the new year, and that she would just fall asleep and not wake up when the time came. In their kindness, my guides said “If not today, then 3 or 4 days, maximum – but today is really it.”

When I let the cats out of their room (we keep them locked up overnight), I totally expected her to bounce out like she normally would – run to Heidi to greet her – then clamor downstairs for her morning meal. Upon seeing that, I could say to my guides “See, you’re wrong.”

That didn’t happen.

She didn’t come running out; she sauntered. She didn’t go into the bedroom to greet Heidi, rather she wandered to the stairs and slowly jogged down them, versus her usual dash. I also noticed her front paws looked like they might be swollen.

My heart sank.

At breakfast, she ate up, then made her way to the usual sleep spot and hunkered down. I told myself, she’ll be all right … Yep, that’s what I told myself, but not what I truly felt inside. Still, I went to work … battling in my consciousness what my guides had told me and what I wanted to believe. It was one of the hardest days at work in my life, having that cloud hang over me. I bawled in my car at lunch.

When I got home, she still greeted me at the door, like she always did. But instead of circling me to feed her, she went back to her sleep spot. When I laid down her food, she didn’t eat it all at once – and that certainly wasn’t normal. She came back for bits at a time, alternating between her sleep spot and the food bowl. And indeed, I could tell for certain now, her paws were swollen. I still argued, though, that today was not today … Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, but not today …

I spent every moment I could with her that evening. I scooped her up and we watched three-quarters of a movie together, like we always did (though we used to finish the film). At that three-quarters mark, she jumped off the couch – but refused to get back up. She tried to stand … wobbled … then laid back down. I took her to her sleep spot, where she laid her head on her paws and just stared off into oblivion, as if waiting for the inevitable. I knew my guides were right. She was dying.

Heidi rushed home from her engagement when I called her to tell her what was happening. When she arrived, Kitty acknowledged her by lifting her head ever so slightly and feigned a meow - yet it came out silent. She refused to stand; all she wanted was to lay there with her head down.

Now, one of our unspoken agreements from years ago was that when the time came, I wouldn’t let her suffer. I knew then, I needed to follow through. She didn’t protest when I placed her into the cat carrier. Nor did she scream in fear as we drove through the rain-soaked streets at 10:30 p.m., in sheer darkness, to the emergency vets office.

I got to hold her in my arms as the vet administered the solution, her little head gently in the palm of my hand. I knew if I was holding her, she would feel safe, and I believe she felt she was. Somewhere during the course of the injection, my senses registered an immense field of wondrous joy bursting open – as if she were suddenly screaming “I am free! I am free!” I looked up and saw in my mind’s eye, Ms. Kitty being picked up by a woman; it may have been one of my relatives or a guide, I wasn’t sure. But the intense feeling of freedom pervaded all my senses; that she was happy was evident -- though that sense of happiness still left me with my own sadness.

Around the same time as she passed away, Heidi’s mom – who had no idea what we were going through – dreamt about Kitty in her sleep. She saw her strutting with spunk, weight back on her bones, and filled with energy. She immediately woke up and wondered if something had happened. Indeed, something had.

That night, sleep was tough for me. Maybe three hours at most. However, twice during the deepest rest periods, I could swear I heard Kitty meow in the darkness. The next day, I came home early to catch up on some sleep. I passed out on the couch, then woke up to the unmistakable sound of her purring. In her own way, she was performing ghostly antics to tell me she had made the journey in good form and was quite happy.

Friday morning, I was finally ready to meditate again before starting the day. When I reached the meditation state, my pajama legs physically moved – Ms. Kitty had arrived and was rubbing against me, and it was a real movement of the cloth. In my mind, she then jumped onto my lap and curled up, as she used to do when it was just the two of us. She showed me she was frolicking through grassy fields on the Other Side, playing with mice and birds – all the things she missed since I decided to turn her into an indoor-only cat. She thanked me for taking her to the vet Tuesday night, and made me feel like it was the most loving thing I did for her; that I gave her back her youth. Inside my being, I also felt (and knew) it was right. I had no regrets about putting her to sleep. And, in fact, I’ve emotionally held up amazingly well through the whole ordeal. I figured I would be a blubbering mass for weeks over the loss of Ms. Kitty, but somehow, my internal barometer has made me feel like everything is right with the Universe – I fulfilled my role with her life as she had fulfilled hers with mine.

Yes, it still doesn’t look right not seeing her rush out of the cat room in the morning, or taking her up there at night, or not having her creating an obstacle course at our feet while we’re in the kitchen. Her absence is a void in our lives, no matter how many ghostly meows and purrs I may hear with my physical ears, or sensations of her presence and images she may send me through my senses as a medium. Even so, like I said, there’s a part of me that feels everything is exactly as it should be.

The real interesting thing is, that void of her absence was partially removed Saturday when I brought her ashes home from the vet (we asked for private cremation). It’s something we noticed with Heidi’s cat that passed away a few years back … Even though we know the body is a shell, their ashes still contain the feeling of their presence. I can only think it has to do with the notion of quantum entanglement. Their life force filled their bones and body for so many years … it does leave an impression after they die. Bringing her ashes back … made it feel like home, at least provisionally. I know that may sound a bit morbid, but it’s the truth.

Our two other cats, I think, are adjusting. No doubt, they have been wondering where she went.

One thing I know for sure – she’s not too far away. I do physically miss her around; we all do. But her presence is still here in many ways, and I know she’s happy and loves us.

No need to say goodbye, Ms. Kitty – how about, “I’ll see you around.”

Until next time,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Does Being Psychic = Being Spiritual?

There’s an unspoken danger lurking in the metaphysical community … It is an assumption harbored by many seekers who procure the advice of the many practitioners within the psychic healing/communication and energy-working arts. That assumption: the psychic or healer has an advanced knowledge of spirituality.

The assumption springs from the ideas circulating around the nature of the work. Speaking as a medium, a client will oftentimes assume that if someone has the ability to communicate with deceased relatives, then that presents a picture of having a unique connection to spirits, hence the practitioner must have a more developed sense of spirituality. Additionally, if someone seeks the advice of other types of psychics, it is perceived that if such people can have “supernatural” access to information (past, present, and future) or able to “read the cards,” or can do things seemingly outside the bounds of normal western medicine, that this unique talent must mean the person is a spiritual savant.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let me explain.

Psychic abilities – or the ability to perform any kind of a task – does not necessarily reveal the inner knowledge or disposition heralded by the practitioner in regards to spirituality or higher wisdom. To say that any psychic, medium, or energy worker is an evolved spiritual person would be the same as saying just because a young boy can shoot a basketball through a hoop makes him an all-time athlete on par with Michael Jordan. Quite frankly, it doesn’t.

The first hurdle in this quagmire is to define what being “spiritual” means. It could mean many things to many different people. Those clients who walk in off the street may feel that being spiritual is about having a deeper sense of the unity and oneness among all things; an understanding of forces somehow “outside” the normal scope of human perception and our relationship to them; unlimited compassion; charity; an unending supply of grace; and lack of prejudice. Yes, each of these (and potentially more) are great qualities, but is it safe to assume that everyone who is a practitioner in the metaphysical community has them or engages in them? Someone’s perception of spirituality may also be black and white: it isn’t about unity among God’s creations, but really the perception of separation between good and evil, and how things stack up and the battle that rages between them.

In either case, can we assume someone working within the metaphysical community is an ultra-spiritual being? Not at all.

There are those out there who choose to use their psychic gifts more for ego aggrandizement and self-serving needs than for truly helping others and behaving in a pre-defined “spiritual” manner. There are those practitioners who do believe that because they have a unique ability, it makes them somehow a “better” person than someone without the abilities. They wear their talent on their sleeves, consistently drawing attention to it like a spotlight to the lead actor on a stage. It’s more about them and not really about the client or helping others. As a friend of mine once said, when it comes to purchasing services in this field: “buyer beware.” It’s one thing to go to a psychic and try and hear from a deceased relative, or get another perspective on the past, present, and future … It’s another to assume the practitioner is going to have some higher knowledge or wisdom to impart that’s beyond your own life and understanding.

Instantaneous wisdom and advanced spiritual knowledge is not something that just “happens” or is granted just because someone has some psychic ability or is working to develop in that field. Since we do not know exactly how the psychic signal functions, we cannot say that the ability itself is anything spiritual, in the sense that we’re talking about here; it is more of a function and doesn’t necessarily come with a plaque that reads “guru.”

Plus – and here comes the real downer – there have been numerous cases of fraud and deception throughout history when it comes to practitioners. Whether it be by deliberate action or simply naivet√©, not everyone is legitimate. Some do take advantage of others; there are crooks and fiends in any type of business scenario, and the spiritual/psychic/energy healing business is no different. And when it comes to a field of endeavor where much of what is discussed has to be taken on faith because it can’t be physically proven (at least not initially, and even then the outcome may only be circumstantial and still not definitive), it makes it that much more difficult. Where do the bounds of reason and reality end and fantasy and outright falsehoods begin? It can be an extremely tough call.

There are human tendencies which do find their ways even into those fields where you would think such tendencies would be shunned: ego, ultra competitiveness … arrogance – those things you’d typically consider contradictory to spirituality. In the end, people are people, no matter what they’re doing, so we must be cautious. These things do exist in the metaphysical community – it’s one of the reasons I got out of doing psychic fairs many years ago.

In my opinion (take it or leave it), being spiritual is a choice, a way of being, and an attempt at understanding the relationships within all things in the universe and how it’s all connected. Again, that’s my definition … but guess what: the answers don’t just fall into place because I have some ability as a psychic.

We often talk about “walking the spiritual path.” Like any type of deliberate lifestyle, it requires discipline and a commitment to study, research, and – when it comes to spirituality – inspection of daily experiences in relation to a perception of the universe and creation; to become aware of how our lives unfold and are either supported by our hypothesis or how they aren’t, forever altering and becoming and learning more and more.

And it takes time.

To walk the spiritual path doesn’t simply mean the universe gives up all its secrets the moment you take your first step. To me, it’s constant work. Can we assume everyone in the metaphysical community is doing the work -- Steeped in the search for spiritual answers, or simply spouting what someone has told them or they’ve read about in a book? Is it work or regurgitation? And how do you know?

Experiences can definitely inform one about the nature of the universe … and, yes, psychic experiences can bring ideas and clues as to how things might be interrelated or what-not. But that doesn’t mean psychic equals spiritual (psychic = spiritual). Do all psychics pay attention to their experiences to glean what they can and learn more in regards to the nature of spirituality, or do their interests lie in showing off – getting from one client to the next, as if to say “look how cool I am! Am I not the greatest?” Is it possible that some walking the spiritual path may only be tiptoeing along, are shallow in their tread, and are not in the middle of the road but rather off to the side, looking to get more personal validation rather than learning and serving others? It’s a sobering thought.

Here’s an idea to help overcome this: No one needs to be psychic to be spiritual. A gardener, just by living and watching the seasons and their plantings could gain more knowledge and wisdom about the nature of life and spirituality than someone who talks to the dead. Someone who gives of themselves in love and compassion – who has no idea what the future might bring – may actually be living a more spiritual life (and thus have greater insights) than someone who can “read the cards.” Someone who watches what they eat and how they exercise may know more about bodily health and stress than someone who does energy work.

As the saying goes – “Never judge a book by its cover.” Though you may be entering a world where it appears everyone is walking a spiritual path and might have a deeper awareness of spirituality, the reality is – once you peel back the cover and start turning the pages, this may not actually be so.

The power and course and destiny of your life is always within you. In seeking advice from outside sources, don’t automatically believe, latch onto, or otherwise accept what you’re told without carefully weighing it within your life’s design, your mental framework, and your sense of being. And even if what we in the psychic/energy field tell you sounds good, cheery, gloomy, or even halfway intelligent, our perceptions are strictly our own and should never be used to supersede your own judgment. As you would be cautious letting your child stand at the bus stop with other strange kids (not really knowing what the strange kids are like), consider your mind, being, and spirituality in the same light when visiting anybody who presents themselves in such a glorious, amazing, and enlightened manner. Yes, they may be authentic … but then again, they may not.

As mentioned earlier, one slam-dunk at the basketball hoop doesn’t make you Michael Jordan. It takes years of study, practice, and commitment. Unfortunately, some are in it for the sake of appearances -- for personal validation to address their own issues with self esteem or other mania.

Remain true to you, for your life is your own, and you have to make the call. In the end, someone else’s advice is only an opinion to an alternative point of view or action. You are not required to believe it, accept, or act on it; it is only a possibility. In the end, your life is yours. It’s not about the psychic, the healer, or any of the others. They may provide clues, but they aren’t always the wise and powerful Oz. (Pay no attention to the guy behind the curtain).

Until next time,