Mediums: The New Life Coach?

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! :-)

Love Is All You Need

Years ago, a wonderfully wise mentor of mine named Carmine once told me, "Every human behavior ties back to one of two emotions: Love and Fear".  At the time, it seemed like an oversimplification of people.  But as I have assumed the role of mentor and coach to many as they transition through their lives and careers, I have found it to be that simple.

Love is an easy one to understand.  When we demonstrate compassion, forgiveness and charity, it is clear what actions are love-motivated.  With love comes light.  However as we know, the opposite exists.  Anything outside of this is rooted in fear.  Anger, insecurity, and conflict stem from a fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failure, fear of judgement, and even fear of self.  

Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung believed our fears manifest themselves through our "shadow side".  He maintained that we all possess a duality - we can act in line with the light (love) or the shadow side (fear) in any archetypal situation.  We as the archetypal "ruler" can inspire order (light side) or impose chaos (dark side).  We as the "explorer" can discover new things, or succumb to a life of wanderlust.  As the "caregiver", we can provide stability, or we can over-control.  In order to grow professionally, emotionally and spiritually, we must acknowledge that we are both light and dark.  It is not meant to be an exercise in judging ourselves, but rather an act of self acceptance.

Ultimately, growth is about seeking truth.  Fact finding.  Exploring with an open mind and open heart.  Allowing ourselves to be open to the possibility of seeing things in a completely different light, and letting go of the people, emotions and limiting beliefs that no longer serve us.  This requires courage, and a intentional releasing the fear of the "What ifs..."

As you go throughout your day today, pause and ask yourself before you act, "Am I acting out of love, or fear..." If it is anything but love, ask yourself "What am I afraid of?  Why am I afraid?"  It is okay if the answers are not immediately intuitive.  Keep asking.  The process of growth and discovery begins with you asking you.  

Only after we identify the fear can we examine and dispel the fear.  With each fear we release, the more clear, open and whole we become.  That is how we grow, and become lighter and happier.

Perhaps John Lennon said it best:  "There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life."

You can choose love, or choose fear.  You are in control of your own destiny.

I say choose love.  When you choose love, you choose your highest and best you.

Befriending Your Inner Saboteur

One of my favorite questions to ask professionals in my coaching practice is, "What do you do to self-sabotage?"   Regardless of a person's title or years of experience, I generally hear 3 common themes:

  1. "I don't set boundaries"  
  2. "I am indecisive when problems arise"
  3. "I avoid confrontation"

Once a behavior is identified, I ask three Why's.  Common answers to why people don't act when they know they probably should include:

  • It could create interpersonal or team conflict
  • The employee/boss may not like me anymore
  • I may be seen as uncooperative
  • It may tarnish my reputation
  • I may get fired
  • I may be wrong

What do you notice about these Whys?  They are rooted in fear, full of assumptions, and ego-based.  Most of us default to the status quo and prefer to keep things the same even if the situation is less than ideal rather than act and initiate some sort of change.  However, change is often needed to inspire a better outcome, and even if we do nothing, change is inevitable anyway.  And as my good friend Carmine always says, "Bad situations have a way of self-correcting..."  (and Carmine is never wrong!)  

So if things will eventually change anyway, why fear it?  Life is dynamic and nothing stays the same for long.

If we get into the Jungian psychology of this, we learn that our inner Saboteur is actually there to protect us rather than harm us.  When our inner Saboteur is working in the positive, it is highlighting the fear we have about changing our lives for the better.  It is simply making us aware that fear is a normal emotion when it comes to change.  However, when our inner Saboteur is working in the negative, it leads us to self-destructive behaviors or causes us to undermine others.   

Here is where we have choice.  We can admit we have the ability to self-sabotage and feel bad about it, or we can view our inner Saboteur neutrally without judgement.  In fact, we can use our inner Saboteur to our advantage by having a brief conversation with it.

If we pause and ask our inner Saboteur why we aren't setting boundaries or avoiding confrontation, then ask what we are afraid of, it may give us the higher level perspective we need to take that step forward.  We can likely rationalize why each fear stems from a low-to-no risk possible scenario.  More than likely, you will not lose your job, any potential conflict will resolve and people will still like you.  

So give it a try.  Ask yourself, 1) What do I do to self sabotage? 2) Why Why Why and 3) What am I afraid of?  When the answers come to you and you feel more at ease stepping outside of your comfort zone, you'll know your inner Saboteur has become a powerful ally working for you, not against you.

In the process, you will become a more conscious leader.  And, you've made a new friend. :-)