John Edward. Theresa Caputo. James Van Praagh. Whether you are a believer or non-believer, these world-famous intuitives have stirred things up, and in the process have helped millions of people profoundly shift their lives.
So what do people really believe? A 2013 Harris poll found that 42% of Americans believe that spirits exist. A 2015 Pew Research Foundation poll found that 18% of Americans have actually seen a spirit. Gallup notes that women and younger people are most inclined to believe in the unseen world. About one in three people do not disbelieve, but need some convincing.
Enter Spiritual Counseling.
Falling under many names such as "readings", "intuitive coaching" or "spiritual counseling", the category as a whole is gaining traction. With anxiety, depression and health issues at an all time high, and access to quality medical care at an all time low, people are increasingly open to non-traditional methods for feeling better.
My first experience with this genre of healing was in 2013 in Glastonbury, Connecticut at a place called The Healing in Harmony Center. This center offered a variety of Mind-Body wellness services such as massage, reiki and metaphysical classes. One-on-one sessions were also available the intuitives on staff. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first, but went in with an open mind. I participated in a 2-day workshop that emphasized meditation, creativity and shutting off what center owner Priscilla Bengtson called your "monkey mind" to open us up to higher level guidance.
In this workshop, twenty-five students learned how common it is to receive information from a place none of us could see or touch. We learned to be more aware of our hunches, and noted just how often we experience synchronicity. "How often have you thought of a song and it immediately came on the radio? How often do you pick up the phone to call a friend and instantaneously, that friend calls you?", asked Priscilla. "That is how energy works. We are all energetically connected. We all possess the ability to connect with other beings as a natural part of our daily lives," she explained. We went through a series of exercises that proved exactly what she told us. Turning this ability on can help better navigate through life so we can make decisions that serve our highest and greatest good.
Some call it "trusting their gut" or "street smarts". From a brain-science perspective, it's considered "pattern analysis". On a subconscious level, our brains are constantly evaluating patterns, reading things like body language, tone, habits... We do this in a fraction of a second without even realizing it. A psychologist would say our brains are making "mental short cuts". We sense, then act.
Now how does this connect to mediums and psychics? It is all part of the same phenomenon, but explained in different ways. Those who trust their gut over logic are actively using intuition to guide them. They may not self-identify as psychic or intuitive, but that doesn't make it any less real. Consider the best professionals in law enforcement... they need a keen sense to solve crimes and outsmart criminals. Consider those in the healthcare field who intuitively diagnose what traditional tests miss. Consider those who play the stock market with a winning record that exceeds the norm. We can agree there is IQ and perhaps even EQ at work here... but perhaps there is more to it.
We all have an internal compass that helps steer us clear from harm. Unfortunately, we have been taught to ask others for advice first rather than trusting ourselves. This whole world of intuition is all about learning to turn within and listening. Mediums, psychics and intuitives are simply translators who can receive messages for you. Some will teach you receive messages yourself.
More and more, intuitive counselors are being consulted for advice on relationships, health, finance, life stage transitions... Think of such advice as an input in your decision making process. Since my Healing in Harmony experience, I have seen hundreds of people, including CEOs, transform their lives after having their own spiritual experiences. Intuitives can offer a perspective that is unique, and just may give you the permission you silently crave to make otherwise scary changes in your life. Leave that job... stand up for yourself... end those toxic interpersonal relationships... you deserve more...
My hypothesis is that this alternative form of counseling will continue to rise in popularity. What was previously deemed "weird" and "woo-woo" will become more and more main stream.
Ultimately, no one knows better than you what is best for you. Act only on what feels right to you. In the meantime, explore this space. Attend a local expo where you can sample several spiritual counselors. Go see John Edward live as he tours the US. If you want a more intimate first experience, reach out to LPN, spiritual counselor & hypnotherapist Rita MacRae. It's been an honor watching Rita work with hundreds of individuals over the last few years, and seeing people reach their highest potential in a short amount of time.
If after reading this, your "gut" tells you to act, then DO IT! See what this world is all about, and be your own judge. I am going to see John in Providence for the first time on March 8th... maybe I will see you there!
Until then, happy exploring! :-)