5 Ways You Can Tell You’re Stunting Yourself In A Relationship

Kali-Ma don't care. Crazy, nasty-ass Kali-Ma doesn't give a single shit. She just does whatever the fuck she wants.

Kali-Ma don’t care. Kali-Ma doesn’t give a single shit. She just does whatever the fuck she wants. And she’s really awesome at it. We could all learn some important life skills here.

I posted something the other day on Facebook by Derek Rydall that said, in essence, “Love your neighbor, but don’t take their shit.”  Words to live by, and worth expanding upon a bit. Please note – I’m not discussing how to hold yourself at work, at the grocery store, or with acquaintances here, but rather close friendships and romantic relationships.

I spent several years of my life stunting a large part of who I am, for which I take full responsibility, while still acknowledging the existence of our society that tends to devalue women, devalues spiritual practices unless they adhere to rather circumscribed religious norms, and dislikes non-dual consciousness; these larger factors can make it hard out there for a mystical hustla, and I certainly carried them into several relationships in my life along with my own matched set of personal emotional baggage. Leopard-print, natch.

This sort of soul-squishing fuckery, unless unpacked and examined, can put lots of bad mojo on you, so here is some stuff to watch out for.

1. Doubting your own perceptions and judgements

This most often happens when your views threaten the other person in some way, but they’re not in touch with this feeling; instead, they feel entitled to invalidate your feelings, legitimated by the status quo. The invalidation can take many forms, but essentially you know it when you feel it – it feels depleting and crummy as hell. It’s one thing to have a spirited disagreement or exchange of ideas, but it’s quite another to feel that someone is needling or invalidating your views about sacred shit simply because it makes them a little uncomfortable.

2. Needless fear around talking about spiritual topics like meaning, purpose, existence, the afterlife, spirits, etc

This is where you edit, hold back, and clam up on things that are important to you because you’re afraid of what they think. Don’t be. But I do suggest you take a look at why you’re doing this stuff – are you nursing a friendship that has run its course but are reluctant to let it go? Are you clinging to the notion that you and your significant other are perfectly matched, except for this pesky problem of perpetually not feeling safe having certain existential conversations? My contention is that it’s fine to disagree, but that the fear is a signal that something’s off, and that this needs to be addressed.

3. Realizing that the other person has no intention of hearing your views

This is kind of a no-brainer, but Lordt knows it’s really tough when you love the other person and want to be respectful: “I don’t want to talk about it” “I don’t want to hear about your airy-fairy stuff” “I’d just prefer if you kept that to yourself” “I don’t want this stuff in our house” et cetera, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. See also: breaking off eye contact, turning their back to you, walking out of the room, changing the subject, ignoring. Actions speak louder than words, and even if people can’t or won’t tell you who they are, they sure as hell will show you through these kinds of stanky behaviors.

4. Active dismissal, constant correction, mean-spirited questioning or outright derision your views

See also #3 above. For reals. I’ve had friends sneer, after begging for a Tarot card or mediumship reading just seconds before, “But honestly, isn’t that all just a bunch of bullshit?” and “Ohmygahd, you can’t seriously believe in spirits, you have a Ph.D.” thinking what…that I was going to instantly develop tremendous respect for their well-explicated Weltanschauung and drop my own? Where I’m from we call those types of remarks emotional abuse, or maybe just being as nice as a bag of smashed assholes to another person. Bye.

Don’t bother reaching out to people who are like this, taking them on, arguing doctrine, or getting all jazzy. It’s not worth your energy; you aren’t here to cater to immature meanies. You have more important things to do.

5. Understanding that you can no longer continue to grow as a person and remain in the relationship the way it is

This is by far the most painful awakening to experience, particularly in a romantic long-term relationship. It’s awful, and it’s usually a stepwise, gradual dawning versus a sudden burst of enlightenment, although certainly that does happen to people. Please know it doesn’t mean that the other person is automatically bad, wrong, or fucked-up, or that you’re some hapless victim. It just means that if you want suffer, you’ll stay connected at the same level of intensity or intimacy, and if you want to relieve this suffering, you’ll either exit the relationship or change your expectations. Because honey, ain’t nobody gonna change for you. It’s going to be up to you. And this kinda sucks.

To wrap up, here’s the tl;dr part:

Realizing that the price of staying when you’re going to have to hide or minimize your real self in order to “keep the peace” or somehow legitimate yourself in their eyes is the first step. The next is deciding what to do about it. Certainly I have very cool people in my life who are dyed-in-the-wool atheists and agnostics, and I love them dearly – these relationships work because there is respect on both sides. I don’t ask them if they’ve accepted Cthulhu as their personal god and savior, and they don’t trivialize my speerchull biznatch.

So, if you’ve seen yourself here in any of numbers one through five above, and you don’t like what’s going on, it may be time to either cut some bitchez loose or simply place them in the periphery of your social sphere. You don’t need to hate or hold resentments in this process, but it’s certainly healthy to take action when someone has disrespected you, which is basically the point of this whole thing.

Here are some ideas for actions: on social media you can unfriend, unfollow, block or hide posts on social media as you think best. On Facebook in particular you can even ensure that only certain people see certain posts. In general, whether online or in real life, the least dramatic solution is generally the most advisable, except in more extreme circumstances.

Not everyone is in our lives for a lifetime, or even a season; sometimes it’s for a reason. Many shamanic traditions hold that everyone we encounter holds a mirror up to us, one in which we can see our own foibles and flaws, which is very similar to the notion in the analytic psychology tradition which holds that the things we most dislike in ourselves we tend to most easily spot in others. It follows that if you keep attracting people who are disrespectful, doubting and myopic assholes who have a teeny tiny comfort zone, then clearly you believe on a fundamental and probably unconscious level that this is all you deserve. And you deserve so much more, you sacred gorgeous creature you.

Posted in Reflections, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Intuition: Muh Spiritual Adventures

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In psychology, we think of intution as knowing without knowing how we know, something that happens without conscious reasoning. In psychotherapy and counseling, we encourage attention to it, because acceessing deeper and broader knowings and feelings is key to the healing process. Most of us walk around not heeding this sort of thing, or at best, attending to it but brushing it off later as mere coincidence, and we miss a lot of important information about other people, situations, and places due to this oversight.

But there is another type of knowing out there that psychology doesn’t much reference,  or only in a pejorative way; psychic intuition.

This type of experience goes by many names, depending on culture, language, and spiritual training. You’ve probably heard some of the following terms: the Sight, psychic insight, communion of the saints, contemplative or centering prayer, clairvoyance, clairaudience, mediumship, visions, active imagination. It goes by many names, and of course there are differences amongst these phenomena, but they all share one thing in common, and that is this: knowledge that comes from a metaphysical source, without conscious thought process.

Adventures With Catholicism and Zen

The two main traditions I’ve formally studied, contemplative prayer of the Carmelite order, and Soto Zen Buddhism, emphasize not getting distracted by “psychic” phenomena such as the ones I’ve listed above, as they are seen merely as semi-interesting diversions to the purpose of the practice, which is either union with God or enlightenment respectively. This always made a kind of abstract, esoteric sense to me, but left me feeling sort of displaced. For example, back in the early 1990s when I began a formal practice of contemplative prayer, I had all sorts of odd things happening; I found that I could sense what was going on with someone for whom I was praying, even if they were thousands of miles away, particularly any physical ailments. I again began seeing auras around people, as I had in adolescence. I had no framework for understanding these experiences except the guidance of my spiritual directors to not heed any of it, because according to tradition, it wasn’t important.

In hindsight, I see the Carmelites exhortations as emblematic of the Catholic Church’s long and grand tradition of steamrolling women along with anything else that threatens their hierarchical control over the masses; if people could trust their intuition, then why would they need organized religion and the ridic anti-contraceptive musings of half-dead old men to tell them how to live? Heresy! She’s a witch! Where my money at! And so forth.

Several years later, while performing zazen (sitting) and kinhin (walking) meditations central to Soto Zen Buddhism, I enjoyed the peaceful discipline of calming the mind, but again began having vivid spiritual experiences. The sensei wasn’t too keen on all that, so I would usually practice my own version of zazen outside of the normal daily zazen, where I’d actively invite light beings and saints to offer me their counsel so I could become a better psychologist.

Eventually I quit formal zazen practice and training altogether. It was too hard to have to keep my eyes open instead of closed, and again I felt squashed and like I didn’t really belong. Plus, there’s a minimum of bling involved, and I really like spiritual bling. Truth.

Back From Self-Imposed Psychospiritual Fuckery

It’s been a long road back to myself, my homies, back to trusting my own inner knowings and inuitions. It’s so easy to get lost in tradition (“We’ve Always Done It This Way!”), stubborn orthodoxies (“This Is THE Only Way! There Is No Other!”), fear (“If You Stray From Our Path, Jesus Gon Gitcha!”), and self-doubt (“No One Is Going To Respect A Shrink Who Is So Freakin Weird, Man!”). And Lawd knows I’ve been lost in all of them at one time or another, sometimes simultaneously.

The one thing that has persisted is the desire to help relieve suffering, and all the things I listed above are the enemy of this goal, I’ve found. It’s taken me a long time to stop contorting the shape and texture of my soul into something more socially, academically or religiously acceptable, and my road has turned out to be quite different than the one I’d hoped to travel back when I was a young shrinkling-in-training.

My hope for anyone reading this is that you learn from my adventures and mistakes BCUZ OMG SO MANY. I have put myself through a lot of psychospiritual fuckery while trying to come to terms with my identity as medium and intuitive who happens to be a psychologist, feeling like I had to have Everything Figured Out And Justified before I could return to blogging and whatnot. If I could travel back in time and lovingly read myself to filth, I would have told myself this: The world is going to hell in a flaming, rickety-assed handcart that smells like feet and fear. We’re destroying the planet, each other, and girl no one cares about one foulmouthed little shrink. So you may as well tell your truth and keep moving forward. Also? Blunt-cut bangs are iffy on you.

Word.

Posted in Healing, Spirit | 4 Comments

Dear Dr. Ding: What About Love?

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I get asked a lot about relationships, about love, about soul mates, Twin Flames, you name it. Freud said that love and work are the two pillars of mental health, and it’s no different when we do the Electric Slide away from the tropes of modern psychology, and boogaloo into the numinous world of human metaphysics.

It’s pretty much a given that if a client consults with me, wanting to know about their current booed up relationship, that something in the milk ain’t clean, honey. It may a big thing, it may be a little thing, but it’s something. Something isn’t sitting right.

So what do I tell people? I tell them to look. Deep. Way-down deep. It may help to imagine that this other person is represented by a vessel filled with liquid – how far down can you see into them? Why? And what do you see?

Is it clear? Murky? Filled with flesh-eating piranhas and stuff? Is the person even facing you or are they disinterested? Do they feel denser or lighter, heavier or slower, dimmer or brighter, louder or quieter than your own energy? Pay attention. You’ll get good information this way, even if you’re not 100% certain how to interpret it at first. I tell them, keep after it.

The question I ask next: what are you avoiding within yourself that you’re projecting onto this other person, thereby creating distortion in how you view them? Projection is a specific term, meaning that we tend to see the unpleasant parts of the Self about which we are largely unconscious everywhere but inside ourselves. It’s not about being a total putz, it’s a natural human foible. Foible. I love the word, sounds like I’m saying “gerbil” in 1930s NYC.

So we pick people that aren’t right for us, with whom we play out all our old unfinished business from our formative years. Over and over. It’s called repetition compulsion, and we’ll chat about it some other day. We project, they project, yadda yadda yadda. Next thing you know you’re two years from retirement with someone you can’t stand, having inane conversations about kitchen tile and crying yourself to sleep at night. Your chakras are fused and jammed and spinning backwards. Oh cheez.

I have a good friend who struggled with relationships over the years. After a particularly difficult and unexpected breakup we spent several hours talking, and she turned to me and said these apocryphal words: “There has got to be a better system of picking a partner, and I’m going to find it! I’ve got to keep refining my system.”  While I admired her determination and resolution to not make the same mistakes, I found her stance puzzling and told her so. I mean, isn’t that what we’re here for? To love the wrong people sometimes? To make new and different mistakes? If we reduce this grand force running through the veins of our lives down to a methodology, we cheapen it and maybe even dehumanize it. We agreed to disagree. Take a look at this wonderful scene from Moonstruck which illustrates this, best stuff is at 3:29:

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Money quote: “… love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed!”

You were right, Slightly Neanderthalic Pre-Plastic Surgery And Bad Hairpiece Nicolas Cage! Love can wreck your shit with its sheer irrational power. It’s a huge goddamned risk. But it’s the risk we must take, lest our hearts become all shriveled-up like beef jerky. And who wants a jerky heart. Ew.

Sometimes it’s a risk to get involved, and sometimes it’s a risk to leave when it comes to the way the heart works.  I feel that too many worry too much about the Twin Flame/soulmate bidness; statistically, all of us have at least 10 other human beings on the planet with whom we could be a terrific match. The number is higher the younger we are and attenutates with age. So don’t worry if your sweetie is The One Flaming Twin or not. Chances are, there is more than one The One. It’s not a very romantic view I know, because it’s partly based in mathematical probabilities and statistical concepts, but my darlings life is too short and too interesting to spend a lot of time fretting about not meeting the other half of your soul and stuff. Just keep taking small risks if you’re still looking. Stay open to possibility.

So back to my original premise; if you’re asking someone for advice about your love relationship, first look within. Look within yourself but also within your partner, as far as you can see. Be honest about what’s there and not there. Learn to trust that little voice within that squeaks that maybe this isn’t the right person, but also learn to trust that same voice that tells you to take a chance. Within a few months of dating someone, you have most of the important data; people usually spot problem traits and behavior patterns early on, but don’t trust their findings. You have all the data you need.

You just have to really look at it.

 

Posted in Dating, Dear Dr. Ding, Marriage, Reflections, Relationships, You Tube | 2 Comments

Dr. Ding Fields Your Questions

In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a number of questions about what I was referencing in this post, so I thought I’d clarify.  I’ve collapsed some of them into summarized queries below.

What happened with that spirit that showed up at a patient’s bedside and gave you helpful information? And the stuff that followed?

Good one. I can’t give you any identifying information, but what I can tell you is that back in 2006 I had a bedfast hospice patient who wasn’t very communicative due to overall decline following her spouse’s death a few weeks before being admitted and then referred to me. I’d had zero additional information – typical for that facility, which was huge and understaffed. In that first visit, I was having an unusually hard time getting rapport with the patient, who seemed more interested in sleeping than answering questions, her deceased husband just sort of popped into my awareness; I could somehow sense him standing at the foot of the bed, trying to get my attention. I didn’t “see” him with my naked eye, but it was absolutely unmistakable that he was there, with what looked like Brylcreemed hair, wearing a plaid short-sleeved shirt, white undershirt, black oxfords, and khaki pants. I couldn’t really hear what he was saying, but he showed me an African violet plant and pointed emphatically and excitedly to the patient. During this, I felt uneasy because at that point in my life I’d thought that I had successfully willed away such experiences. However, it was absolutely clear to me that he loved his wife very much and wanted to ease her suffering, and that her love of this particular flower was a possible inroad.

I asked her to describe her husband to me, which is common approach with grief work, and was able to confirm the attire I’d “seen” him in, from the slicked-back hairstyle to the black oxfords. Hoo golly. Nothing in my training had prepared me very well for this sort of thing, except that you don’t blurt out to patients that you’re seeing their deceased spouse standing there. I gradually changed the course of the discussion and asked the patient about her interests and hobbies, asking “Do you like flowers by any chance? I’ve always thought African violets grew really well on this side of the building” – yeah, I thought I was all cool like that.

Her eyes flew open, widened, and began to tear up a little. She nodded and then smiled, and for the first time, turned her head to look out the window. It sounds like a small thing, but the waves of misery that rolled off this woman seemed to gradually still, and then stop. She smiled again, this time at me, and I reassured her it was okay to rest in this memory and that I’d see her in a week.

I’ve seen people deep in the throes of mourning many times, but nothing like this, nothing like this absolutely oceanic, bone-deep response to loss.

I went to the nurses’ station and retrieved her chart, and thumbed through it before writing my preliminary assessment report. I’d gotten so little hard data from her that I  needed to dig into the social history information to fill in the gaps. I saw that she and her husband had owned a florist shop, and that her favorite pastime was, you guessed it, raising prize African violets.

I visited a few more times, offering support and hopefully a comforting presence, which is the better part of bereavement therapy; it’s nothing fancy, but you must be absolutely 100% emotionally and dare I say it, spiritually present to the client, a witness to their soul-suffering. I got the facility to find her an African violet and put it on her windowsill, and this seemed to brighten her spirits for a time. But finally, in what was to be the last visit, the husband again appeared, this time with a huge pair of garden shears. He pushed them together twice, and I heard a “snick snick” sound as he cut an emanation of light that came from the patient’s belly button area. His expression was thoughtful, and when he turned to me, apologetic and mournful but resolute. I knew it would soon be her time to go, and yet didn’t want to believe it. But sure enough, when I arrived the next week, she was no longer there.

I stood at that empty bed, silent. I had other patients to see, but I needed to take a moment to reflect. I grieve when patients die, but it’s not the same kind of grief as over a personal loss. I experience it mostly as an absence of their emotional pain, and a strange  kind of goodbye-less closure, and it was much the same that day. There was no sign of her presence there, nor his, except for that small pot of African violets on the windowsill, a poignant reminder that love really is stronger than death.

A few weeks later I had an experience with a fairly healthy new patient, where an old flame basically popped in to tell her he loved her and had never stopped loving her, even though she married someone else. Inside my head, I told him that this was very nice and all, but that he needed to communicate with her directly because I wasn’t supposed to say stuff like that to patients. He was quite insistent, and I’d like to state for the record that this dude was wearing a trucker cap and Canadian tuxedo, e.g. jeans and a jean jacket. That’s what you get for interrupting my visit with a patient, sir. I will front out your dubious afterlife wardrobe choices, on the real.

Anyway. Eventually, after a lot more his continued lovesick pestering despite my attempts to spiritually shoo him away during that session, and after a desperate intercessory prayer to the archangels, I was able to find the right words to bring relevant aspects of this into the conversation without sounding like the Long Island Medium, who I find really intrusive and inappropriate. Also, my hair looks a lot better than hers.

Somehow, miraculously, it worked out. I don’t exactly remember how the conversation went, but I do remember that this patient mentioned that she’d been thinking a lot about this fella prior to our visit, and that she felt a lot better having talked about him. He never showed up again.

The rest of this long, strange trip will have to be saved for another post.

Isn’t it cool being a psychologist and a spirit medium because it’s like having an advantage over regular shrinks, right?

Yeah. No.

See, telling my psychotherapy peeps about what their aura looks like or the exact floral pattern on their dead grandmother’s apron ain’t quite cricket. These things are not kosher in the world of professional licensure, definitely not considered valid mental health treatment approaches. Which I utterly respect; we gotta have rules, otherwise any ole crackpot with a doily of ectoplasm on their head starts telling clients that they don’t need their meds or their reality-testing skills and next thing you know, BOOM. Malpractice.

There have been times when I knew specific factual details about a client and I forgot that they hadn’t actually told me, but brought it up as if they had. This sort of thing has the potential to make people feel exposed or uneasy, and so I’d be forced to chalk it up to being a “lucky guess” or clinician’s intuition on my part. I’ve had to be very careful, because First Do No Harm is always paramount, and vulnerable clients thinking I have a powerful mojo hand or something similar, may contain potential to do harm.

Is it true that only some people can see auras and stuff?

I think all of us are born with the hardware to see auras and whatnot. I have a lot of theories about how and why certain people are able to more easily see/hear/feel/know in this way, but that’s a long post for another day. Suffice it to say that you don’t have to be a holy person or ascetic mystic to have metaphysical (literally: beyond physical reality, unseen, or transcendent) experiences. I sure ain’t. Oh my Lort no. I mean, I’m not even vegetarian.

If I get a consultation from you, is there anything I need to do to prepare? Do you need a picture of the person or their birthday? Or can you just read my cards?

Nope. It helps to have a question or two in mind, or we can do a general kind of overview thing. If you’d like to pray or meditate or perform rituals like lighting candles, that’s cool if you’re into it. Anything that elevates our level of discourse can be helpful, but it’s not necessary. You can totally wear sweats or #afterpants or whatver. Put a doily on your head. It’s all good.

If you’re interested in contacting a deceased loved one, please know that all I do is extend the invitation; it’s their choice to show up. Somtimes they don’t, and sometimes someone we didn’t formally invite really really wants to speak and so they show up, e.g. Canadian Tuxedo Guy, see above. I just need a name, and an age is helpful, but I don’t need pics or anything they owned. Both human and spirit energy are pretty subtle but also non-local, so I also do email readings. Trippy.

Yes. I’ve been reading Tarot cards since my Mom bought me my first Rider-Waite deck when I was turning 16. That’s a lotta Tarot. I’m self-taught and have my own divination system, which is geared towards learning about oneself and the archetypal energies we both contain and encounter, as well as changes one can expect within the next few months up to a year or so, if current trends continue. If I’m on like Donkey Kong, I can touch the cards in the layout and receive clairvoyant (clear-seeing) impressions.

You can book a consultation here. And if you book from now until 2/14/15 my services are available for only $50, to celebrate me busting outta the spiritual broom closet Broadway-style. Bookings made after 2/14/15 will be at full price, so book soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Angels, Death, Old Peeps, Spirit | 2 Comments

ZOMG This Whole Facing-Your-Fears Thing

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So. Last week I made the big reveal, a process that took the better part of 6 months, and NOTHING BAD HAPPENED. In fact, so far, only good stuff has happened to me, including, but not limited to the following thangs:

1. outpouring of support from like-minded others
2. outpouring of support from not-so-like-minded others
3. requests for consultations
4. overwhelming sense of peace and purpose
5. return of the Mack
6. feeling joyful and more creative
7. more energy freed up for things other than worrying

I shared My Big Secret, and suddenly, instead of all the nightmare scenarios I’d imagined (getting pummeled by soap-in-a-sock; being shamed publicly while clad in Aunt Flo sweats, a kitten t-shirt and clown shoes) I felt uplifted and pleasantly shocked. Not even a single tiny ripple of negative vibes, man.

So, in celebration, I’m offering readings at a reduced rate for the next 10 days, after which the price goes up. Peace be with all y’all.





 

Posted in Spirit | 4 Comments

Coming Out Of The Spiritual Closet With Jazz Hands Of Mercy

It's Quan Yin, bitchez!

It’s Quan Yin, bitchez!

I’ve written and rewritten this post so many times it’s redonk, and it’s still not where I want it to be, but  my 46th birthday is tomorrow, and it’s about damn time that I just spit it all out.

So here’s the gig. Since I was somewhere between two and three years old, I’ve: seen dead people, biofield/aura energy, and spirit beings, had premonitions and pre-cognitive dreams, and felt the presence of angels. I’ve doubted and agonized and tried to wish it all away. I’m a scientist-practitioner, fer Chrissakes. Ghosts are for crazy people and hysterics! The mind creates meaning out of ambiguous stimuli!  It sees what it wants!

Why share this now? Simple. The world is going to hell in a rickety, flaming, just pure nasty-assed shopping cart of fuckery, people. We’re systematically tearing the shit out of this poor planet’s resources and fighting endless wars over those same resources. Corporations are screwing us out of everything including the very existence of a middle class, and we’re too asleep or exhausted to notice or care, much less do anything about it. We are breathing and eating and drinking literal poison and wondering why so many people are unwell. Humanity is sorely in need of healing, repair, revision. We need the return of sacred, empathic, and intuitive ways of knowing. All this other stuff is just so much swingin’ dick competition, left-brained bullshit drama, and I’m sick of it.

So here I come, with my spiritual jazz hands, bursting out of what my witchy friends call the broom closet. Baby look – I’m even more idiosyncratic than y’all thought! But here’s an awesome thing about being solidly in my mid-40s: I am all out of fucks to give about what anyone thinks of my fluffy, idiosyncratic ass. It took several weeks to really sink in after first realizing this a few months ago – that I could decide to just stop compartmentalizing myself and hiding half of it away from everyone. All it required was letting go of fear.

I began working in hospice in 2006 and that’s where I saw my first dead person show up smack dab in the middle of a session at a patient’s beside.  Standing politely by the foot of the bed, he was very specific about why he was there, and relayed information quite pertinent to the patient’s situation. It happened again, and then again a few days later with a different patient, and then I couldn’t shut it off.  There is of, course a lot more to this period of my life, but that’s a story for another time.

In 2007 decided I needed to open up to other realities and approaches; I tried Angel Therapy Practitioner Training, Energy Psychology, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and The Aspen Psychic Development Program.  I eventually became a Reiki master teacher, which frankly sounds redonculonk to me, so I just say that I practice Reiki.  I met so many lovely people along the way. Inspired, I did every gallery reading/practice session/playgroup I could squeeze into my schedule, and for a time even read Tarot cards and did intuitive readings at a metaphysical bookstore.

Just as things were starting to take off in 2011, I quit. Why? I got scared. I felt exposed, “outed” and way beyond my comfort zone, even though I only provided readings pseudonymously and making no mention of my other credentials. And it had gone really, really well.  I loved being able to freely share information with clients that I wouldn’t in a million years dream of saying in a therapy session; I felt uplifted and aligned not only with Spirit but with my very own soul. Just as word was getting out here in Denver, I stopped, shut it down. Too scary, because I was still living in fear. Happy as I’d ever been in my professional life, but terrified of people really seeing what I am.

A life lived in fear is a life half-lived. 2014 brought many challenges and changes in the professional realm as well as in regards to my health.  I quit a position I’d held for four years, having no clear plan in mind, and floundered in trying to figure out what else made my life meaningful and nurtured my spirit.  I changed to a less emotionally taxing line of clinical work and threw myself back into university teaching. After a 6-month-long Dark Night of the Soul, I finally decided it was too painful to remain closeted any longer. I reasoned; if it’s good enough for Judith Orloff, Doreen Virtue, M. Scott Peck, and Clarissa Pinkola Estes, it’s good enough for me.

All the abovementioned folks are mental health professionals who at some point realized that there was far more to helping people than just talk therapy; there was the world of Spirit, of the connection to the divine, of the deep need for human beings to have a sense of connection, purpose, identity even beyond the mundane, to account for their anomalous experiences and to explore them in a safe, non-judgemental environment. To work towards deep knowledge of Self and the outer limits of consciousness while not forsaking others, while increasing the capacities for loving and being loved. To find one’s place in the stars.

And now I’m at a point in my life and career where I no longer care if anybody likes what I do or believe or say. I’ve made my bones, gotten my patch. I have nothing to prove anymore by hiding this part of myself, and in fact I feel I now have something to lose by continuing to hide it. I don’t run around touting myself as a medium or clairvoyant or Reiki practitioner, but I’m finally comfortable admitting that these things are every bit as much a part of my identity as being a psychologist, daughter, partner, devotee of Murder, She Wrote, part-time step-mom, auntie, sister, world-class belcher, and Midwesterner.

What I Do Now

What I do now is a stand alone process, held in sacred time and space, for the client to see for themselves, in the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes what and how and why, according to their own soul’s sensibilities, for strength, knowing and healing. To create a more aerial view of people across the world, a way of looking at our commonalities that helps us see each other and that holy spark in all of us.

So: you can book a consultation. That’s what I’m into nowadays. This is the deal where I tune in to your energy and tell you what I’m seeing. No, it’s not like on The Witches of Eastwick or Charmed or Jersey Shore or whatever.  Or Poltergeist. Oh, no fuck that Poltergeist shit. It’s basically a conversation where we invite only the highest energies to speak and drown out my potty mouth.

Anyway. Energy is non-local, meaning I don’t have to be anywhere near a client to have a brief conversation, either telephonically or via email (maybe Skype later assuming its unrelated to Skynet what?). This kind of thing shouldn’t replace going to see other types of professionals for a definable mental or physical condition, duh.

It’s meant to be brief. I don’t want to hear from clients more than once every so often; too much threatens to encourage peeps to not trust their own judgements and intuitions, which I am very much against. Unlike psychotherapy, intuitive consultation involves a far more open paradigm of what causes change. The timeline is therefore open; there’s no pressure to resolve a longstanding issue or problem in a fixed number of consultations. The general goals of intuitive consultation are as follows:

1.  to increase understanding of oneself, one’s history, one’s relationships with others, or of the world aka Where You’ve Been

2. to promote a feeling of peace, clarity and calling aka Where You’re Going

3. to foster a sense of interconnectivity and empathy for all sentient beings, by recognizing that animating force shared by all of us, but which is far greater than us and contains everything we need in order to heal ourselves

4. to promote right action – healing the world

5. to increase the higher energies and God/dess’ presence in the world by inspiring one to be his or her best self

6. to bring you right down to the bone of who you are

7. to serve as a clarion to call back your Spirit

8. to help bring balance to The Force – are you paying attention?

9. to respectfully remind us that all life passes by

That’s pretty much it. You can still seek out psychic folk who will tell you all about your lottery numbers or what horse will win the Preakness, or who will promise to cure your bunions using rainbow farts and unicorn crystals. That’s fine, but that’s not what I do. I’m an intuitive who happens to be a shrink. My stance is similar to what I do in my other life; first, harm none. You have the added benefit of hearing my astute verbiage, forged in the rarefied fires of 800 years of graduate school education; that’s the “lagniappe” or something extra part. Well, that and my usual profanity stuff.

I’ll figure out the rates/fees stuff later. Go in peace, my friends. I am who I’ve always been, only more so.

 

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