Happy Spring! (BTW, I'm a psychic).

Yep.  You read that right.  This may not be a surprise to some of you, as I’ve been slipping new language into my posts and blogs other the past year.  I’ve shared about doing readings, getting messages, and practicing energy medicine.  And it does say it, explicitly here on my website.  But I have been shy to actually SAY it: that I’m a psychic.

I haven’t used THAT-WHICH-SHOULD-NOT-BE-NAMED because I imagine it conjures this image for people:

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(which would be justified.  I mean this is me three years ago)

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But “psychic” just means “of the soul”—though I know the word itself now carries so much more.  Go ahead and ask all your questions.  No, I’m not reading your mind right now (though some people can); no, I can’t prophesy on command (though some people do); and no, I am not communing with dark spirits—though they are real, and they do show up.  But the work that I’ve been trained in is, in fact, of the highest form of light work, aligned and congruent with the spiritual medicines of all the worlds religions—their mystical heart, if not their dogma.  And, along with therapy, yoga, trees, and best friends, it saved my life.  

You see, about a year and a half ago I thought I was losing my mind. 

It was the fourth month of a period of severe depression.  I was having panic attacks and insomnia and bouts of uncontrollable weeping.  Having cycled through depression many times before, my normal coping mechanisms were not working.  I was no longer holding it together, and I requested a 6 week leave of absence from work.  

In the weeks prior to actually taking leave, my cognition started to slip in ways I had never experienced before.  I would without warning be unable to understand the person speaking to me, as if I had never even learned the English language.  I was losing time and getting disoriented.  I couldn’t track on thought to the next, one conversation to the next.  My mind, which had always been my ivory tower of safety, my intellectual sanctuary that could over-ride and contain my for-so-long-inexplicably-complex emotional world, and engage successfully with the outer world, with much applause as an over-achieving well-spoken academic—it was failing.

There was a part of me that felt terrified at this discovery—and somehow, though, another part of me that everything was actually still ok.  I had another friend at that time who had been working through her own mental health challenges for many years, and one thing she discovered in her work was this: confusion is the gateway to clarity.  Breakdown is your psyche knowing that it’s finally safe enough to let go and let what needs to come to light surface. It wasn’t fun by any means—but some part of me knew that this was progress and something was about to happen.

I went on leave.  I let myself fall apart into a web of friends and healers and healing practices that I knew could hold me.  Within the first week I attended a group reading with Nancy Rebecca of Intuitive Mind.  Things showed up in that reading that broke me completely open to a felt sense of the palpable presence of the Spirit world, dwelling among us just beyond the veil.  I started to hear voices—or rather, voices that were familiar, that I had always heard, became more clear and persistent—as if to say, no really: this is your Soul speaking.  LISTEN.  We are here.  And you cannot afford to sideline us anymore.  Jesus showed up, and Mary Magdalen, Mother Mary and Kuan Yin and literally the Heavenly Hosts.  I could feel them right there, these presences and beings of pure pure pure love. 

I knew, without a doubt, we have never been alone.

The world around me began to appear as particles of light and magic.  When I had a question, I would just ask—and get instructions that felt crystal clear and specific about each next step.  Clear more space.  Ask so and so for this.  Let go of that thing.  Eat.  Rest.  Call this person.  I would listen, and respond—and if I didn’t, the channel of communication would close until I followed through.

I’m imagining, now, what you might be thinking.  Um, ok—so you heard voices.  And you listened to those voices.  And we have a diagnosis for that.  And a medication.  Yes.  I am aware of how this sounds.  Go with me, though, to that very thin line between mania and genius.  Consider the possibility that we of the industrialized and rational West have pathologized the gifts of the Spirit nearly to extinction (beyond the scope of this particular blog, but see the movie CrazyWise for more on that topic!).  

At any rate, I get it if this sounds totally wacky to you.  Believe me, I was not seeking it out!  I could tell I was buzzing, but unsettled and uncertain with what to do with what I was experiencing.  I had the hunch that, in older times and other cultures, this was when a person would go to the council of elders and say: something’s happening that I can’t explain!  Help!  Send me on a quest or something!  I didn’t have that.  So I joined the Intuitive Mind Psychic Mastery class of 2017 (it was that or join a convent.  What'd I have to lose?).

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Then last year happened, which was a TOTAL trip, and perhaps a story for another day.  It was hard, and brought up every kind of My Stuff.  Learning the psychic tools was not a magical pill of the perfect life, but it gave me a container within which to simmer and cook in the heat of practice and all that life was handing me. The thought of actually “becoming a professional psychic!” like the tagline of the program advertised was utterly laughable to me, and not at all what I was there for.  I just needed to not go crazy and not lose my shit.  Like this ----->>>

Things shifted in the course of a year.  I graduated from my program in December, and launched my business as a Psychic, Priest/ess, and Sacred Activist earlier this year.  I’ve done over 100 readings and healings.  I have a rigorous daily practice of energetic hygiene.  I do group readings at the New Moon, and see clients 1-on-1.  I do land healings and chat with ancestors.  I just recently got guidance to chant during readings, which feels scary.  This past week I read for a pre-teen boy, which felt even more scary.  I’m still running women’s circles and retreats and patching things together.  Yeah—it’s a good kinda weird.

Maybe you’re wondering: ok, you read energy, or whatever, but what does that even mean?

Here’s the thing: everyone has psychic gifts. 

That is, everyone has ways of knowing more that what the logical mind can know.  To go further, everyone has a direct access point to the entire cosmos, and consequently the knowledge of the entire cosmos.  This is a shared principle of many of the mystical traditions of the world’s religions: as above, so below; the macrocosm dwelling in the microcosm; the Kingdom of Heaven lies within; baby Krishna opening his mouth and his mother seeing whole galaxies swirling inside.

BUT.  Most of us are conditioned out of trusting and utilizing our ways of knowing.  Or just take for granted that, oh, that’s just a thing I do, get songs stuck in my head or am exhausted after a night of dreaming or see vivid images when I pray, and it’s no big deal and that must happen for everyone and it doesn’t mean anything.  Well, yes, it does mean something, and no, it doesn’t happen for everyone—at least not in the same way.  Everyone’s psychic gifts are different.  Some people see energy and spirits with their eyes open; some hear, or get an image in their mind, or a feeling or a knowingness.  Some even are psychic through their sense of smell!  It’s more than just intuition—it’s precise and methodological.  It’s one’s Soul, connected to the Oneness of Spirit, speaking what it needs you to know in this body and this lifetime.  

As a psychic reader, I just tune in and listen.  As a healer, I move energy to clear what is blocked or outdated.  The method is a series of ancient meditation techniques that anyone can learn.  In some ways there is more to it, but it actually is basically that simple.  

I do still hear those voices, and I know them by name and feel now.  I visit people in the dream world and get messages from my ancestors all the time.  My cognition is back to being quite good (enough, I hope, to be in grad school and run my own business!)  And don’t get me wrong, everyday's not a picnic.  I get crabby and foggy and triggered and furious and make mistakes and overdraft and still haven’t quite figured out why my left hip won’t release.  I'm still me and I got my work to do, just like everyone.  But I don’t suffer like I used to, and in fact, I think I have more to give than ever before.  Which is a relief for someone who’s lived a life in the sinkhole of depression, within which it feels like you are sucking all the light out of the world.  I am putting light into the world—I know now I was doing that all along, but now I know and can feel it enough of the time for me to believe that it’s true.  Which is a great relief indeed.

So there it is. I just needed to say it because we queer folks can’t just come out once.  Call it a Spring Awakening, an Equinox gift to my self.  I’m a psychic!  Just by the way.

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Sacred Self-Centeredness

We’ve all heard it, I’m sure: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Wise words, to be sure, we find them repeated in some variation in spiritual traditions worldwide.

However, I’d like to bring attention to two potential problems with this principle.  The first is this: if our gauge for treating others just how we want to be treated, then doesn’t that keep us at the center of the equation still?  The particulars of what we’d like and how we’d like to be treated may not be something universally shared.

Secondly—and this one to me is more important—this presupposes a kind of wholeness of being that would allow a person to give in such a way that isn’t just as a way to fill their own need-hole, which actually ends up feeling more like taking than giving.

Let me illustrate with my own story.

When I was 21, I came out of the closet.  I had fallen in love with a sweet lady while I was studying abroad and when I returned home I decided I wasn’t going to close up that part of who I could see myself living into.  I identified (and still do) as queer and told my friends and (slowly) my family.  

This was the first what is becoming a lifelong practice of “coming out”—of discovering and being willing to live into deeper and truer aspects of my being.

About a year later I came out again—this time, I came out as someone who was living with severe depression.  In some ways this one was at least as hard.  I was one of those peppy thin white 20-somethings who “did it all”.  I was a strong academic, I had a position in student government, I had co-founded the campus peace and justice group and a community garden project.  I was acquainted with everyone (it used to annoy my dear friend that we couldn’t walk across the campus together without me stopping a dozen times to say hi to people I knew).  

And on the inside I was completely empty.  

When I finally admitted to this emptiness, it was both relieving and terrifying.  One day, as I was standing in my apartment staring blankly out the window, I was struck with the realization that this whole outward show of do-gooding was in response to a deep and hidden insecurity that went something like this:  

Everything I’ve done has been to earn the love I don’t deserve.  They think I’m good because I do good things.  It can’t ever be found out that actually I’m bad.  I’m not good.  I’m bad.

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It would take years for me to identify these as the thoughts of a much younger version of myself, struggling to make sense of her own emotions, her body, and later, her sexuality.  There are a lot of moments throughout a humans development where, in a moment of trauma or turmoil, we crystallize a belief about ourselves or the world deep in the unconscious psyche where it directs and motivates our thoughts and actions without our knowing.  

Accepting the reality of my depression and becoming conscious of this deeply held belief got me going on a long road of healing (I’m still on it).  

My depression was what I would call a functional disfunction.  The way it manifested was in ways that were culturally acceptable and even earned me a lot of positive reinforcement.  

I realized that, even though ostensibly I was “doing service”, my need-hole was loud and proud out front.  The need-hole is what I’ve come to know as any way we feel incomplete or un-whole in ourselves.  This is not to say that we don’t truly need each other—we do very much!  But we need each other the way an ecosystem needs every species and element—as whole, individuated AND interdependent beings.  

The need-hole is also addressed by most spiritual traditions.  The tradition of yoga calls it anava mala, or the having forgotten our truest identity of oneness with the Goddess.  Christian spirituality often alludes to the “god-shaped” hole in the heart.  

I decided to take care of my own need hole through a careful cultivation of my own sense of wholeness and well-being.  My hypothesis is that if we all tend to our own need-holes, than when encounter each other and our world, it isn’t from a place of needing to suck on the world in order to fill our own needs.  Rather, we can encounter the world as whole beings, and from that wholeness, we can truly give freely, in the ways that are being asked of us, out of overflow without the need or expectation of getting anything back for it.  This is sacred-selfcenteredness: loving yourself the way you want to be loved, a willingness to put yourself at the center of your universe as mirror image of the whole cosmos so that the healing that is done there, the ways you treat your body, the ways you listen to the parts of you that have been neglected, the ways you clear shame and shoulds—all of that connects you to the direct experience of fullness of being alive that, in my experience, can’t help but spill over into doing unto others the way they want do be done unto them…or something like that.

This, I find, is a particularly important practice as a queer person and as a woman, who's physical existence has for millennia been devalued and considered less then, and this day is still under daily threat of abuse and erasure.  To elevate and prioritize, then, the love and care of this queer female body in which I dwell takes on the quality of a subversive, revolutionary, and gospel-inspired life-generating act.   

Let’s carry forth with the prophetic words of 15th century Sufi poet, Hafiz:

"With That Moon Language"

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this: this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a moon in each eye,
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?