September is “Coming Out of the Psychic Closet” month here on Conduit of Joy. Whatever you call yourself – psychic, intuitive, six-sensory, a channeller - we love and accept you here. We encourage you to be yourself, fully and completely.
In that spirit, I’m publishing a set of interviews from sixth-sensory folks who inspire me. Each of the interviewees featured is a gifted psychic, and also a teacher to other psychics. I’m touched that each of these intuitives chose to participate in this project. I’m most grateful to each one of them for sharing so openly of their experiences.
Apart from their psychic gifts, the fact that each one of these people is genuinely and authentically themselves, is a huge gift to the world.
With that, I introduce Anna Conlan, the author of www.psychicbutsane.com, who is the first interview in this series.
Anna offers intuitive sessions (psychic readings), and her specialty is career and life purpose. She also teaches psychic development, to tap into your higher self and spirit guides. She is a gifted empath, and has many fascinating articles about psychic development on her blog www.psychicbutsane.com.
Do you have specific “super powers” (ie. clairaudient, clairsentient, etc.)?
I have always been an empath and naturally very claircognizant, which means that I just ‘know’ things and get information popping into my head about someone or something.
I also have clairvoyance and clairaudience if I need them, but worked to develop those.
What general label to do you use for your “super powers”? (intuitive, psychic, etc.) Why did you choose this term?
I am a psychic. I thought about calling myself an ‘intuitive counsellor’ but I’ve never been keen on the word ‘intuitive’ – I think it can come off as a bit wishy-washy. Information comes to me (and to other psychics I know) that we could not have known otherwise. It’s not always dramatic but it can be surprising at times and people say ‘how did you do that?’
Of course, many people have the ability to tune in, in this way. But I don’t like calling it intuitive, not because getting intuition is inferior, but simply because ‘intuitive’ is commonly associated with reading between the lines or filling in the gaps of what people are not saying. And I think professional psychics do more than that.
Do you believe you were intuitive/psychic as a child? What kinds of experiences made you think this?
Yes, although I didn’t know what it was. I think I must have come off as a very eccentric child. I have seen ghosts and reported this to my parents. I would talk to Jesus and God. I started going to Church when I was 11.
I had a lot of psychic dreams when I was younger too. I dreamt about an earthquake before it happened. I dreamt of things relating to my family that came true as I grew older. I predicted the lottery numbers when I was a child and got them correct. I lost this ability for prediction as I got older. I think it was when I realized that predictions don’t always help people.
Was your family aware of and/or accepting of your psychic abilities?
I don’t think the term psychic abilities was ever mentioned. I was told that I had a very active imagination though. I don’t think anyone in my family had any respect for anything psychic, and certainly would not have used that term to describe me.
Who was the first person you told that you thought you were psychic? What was their reaction?
I don’t remember to be honest. It could have been my grandmother who is a very spiritual person and unlike the other members of my family. She understands and accepts psychic ability and I’ve done a reading for her.
When did you fully accept that you were psychic?
I think it was only once I was practicing and I was having experiences that could not have been anything other than psychic ones.
Was there a turning point that made you accept your psychic gifts? If so, what was it?
Yes, it was just over three years ago when I was woken up at night by a deceased spirit I didn’t recognize. I was working in Spain at the time, as a language teacher and it was a relative of my boss’s (although I didn’t know that at the time). I saw this spirit in my mind’s eye and he told me about an event that had happened to my boss and his wife and passed on a message about it. It was something I knew nothing about. I didn’t even understand the meaning of the message until I relayed the information to my boss. He understood it straight away and when he told me what it meant to him. At the time, I couldn’t believe what I’d just experienced. It pushed me over the edge into 100% faith in what I was doing. My boss even brought in a photo of the relative in question, when he was still alive. It was very weird to see that it was indeed the spirit who appeared to me, looking like he did in that photo.
Are you fully out of the psychic closet today?
Yes, I would say I am fully out of the psychic closet. My friends know, my family know, I am online, with my real name and a picture. The only people I don’t tell straight away are new friends, strangers and co-workers (I also teach languages). I say I have a website on spirituality if people ask.
I think that psychics sometimes feel they have to tell people what they do when it becomes a career. I used to feel like that, but I didn’t always like the reaction that I got from people when I told them.
I don’t mean to sound rude or arrogant, but I wasn’t all that interested in what people thought about it (and people sometimes assumed I really DID care what they thought, especially if they had something negative to say about it.) And if they did have a negative reaction, I knew it was more about them, than it was about me. It became draining having to deal with other peoples’ prejudices and stereotypes when they asked me that question ‘what do you do?’
I also found that the majority of people have such inaccurate ideas about what it is real psychics do. That is sometimes made worse by what psychics appear to do in movies or on television. Sometimes people have had a bad experience with an unscrupulous or inconsiderate psychic and can tar all psychics with the same brush. I recently read a story about a professional psychic approaching a famous actor at a party and telling him he would die before the age of thirty. No wonder psychics get a bad reputation. But I suppose that can happen in any profession. I remember when I was little someone told me not to be a journalist or a lawyer because nobody will like you. I can’t remember who told me that. We have stereotypes around lots of professions.
I also got tired of educating people on how psychic abilities really work. Although it was fun at first, I soon got fed up of answering the same questions about it (and some people are very intrigued and do ask lots of questions!). I got tired of people asking for readings on the spot or asking me to tune in when I wasn’t working, or new friends or acquaintances coming to me as their go-to person for spiritual guidance when they had a crisis. I didn’t want to be working when I wasn’t working. I wanted to relate to people on a more human level. It became a burden so I don’t bring it up anymore, unless I know the person is not going to do the above things.
What was the worst reaction you ever got after telling someone you were psychic?
That would probably be when I told a Catholic PhD nuclear physicist about the work I did. He was at the same university as me and was vigorously against what I do, and told me that I was doing people harm. I went to a very traditional ‘Ivy League’ kind of University (but a British one). Many of the students there seemed to be total believers in whatever science can prove. If it hasn’t been proven by science, it can’t be taken seriously.
Interestingly, some of these people were also religious, either Anglican Christians or Catholic. I don’t think science has proved that Jesus is the son of God either
So, I definitely encountered some people at university who thought I was stupid or crazy (or both!)
I remember another time – it was a weekend I spent in Montpellier, France with a small group of friends from university. We were in a restaurant and I went to the bathroom. As I was coming back up the stairs, I heard some cruel things that were said about me and my new-age interests and beliefs that I had told them about earlier on in the day. Later on, one of those friends also told me that for an intelligent person, I can also be pretty stupid. No-one disagreed or spoke up on my behalf.
I cried all the way home on the train and dropped those friends altogether and I have no regrets. That was about four years ago now. These days, I don’t hang around with anyone who is rude to me about what I do or who says cruel things. Interestingly, my best friend from university doesn’t fully believe in what I do. She believes it has a positive effect on people, but she doesn’t think it’s a paranormal thing. I don’t mind that, but I don’t like it when people think they know everything there is to know about God or the universe AND won’t respect your beliefs, as was the case with that physicist (and the friends) I mentioned.
What was the best reaction?
I don’t remember a specific reaction that was very positive, although my family were accepting overall. I just remember my grandparents being very open to what I do, and my grandmothers’ friends were too.
My mum is also very tolerant of, and open to what I do. She trained in a scientific field and is still not entirely sure what she thinks. But she helps me a lot in my business and is very supportive of my chosen career.
What would you recommend to other psychics who are “coming out of the psychic closet”?
Don’t feel like you have to tell everyone and anyone you meet about what you do, if you don’t want to. I think people feel like they need to tell everyone around them what they do, in order to be more authentic in their lives.
But you don’t share every part of you with everyone you know. You don’t necessarily have the same interests or things in common with everyone. So why do you have to share your spiritual work with everybody if they aren’t open to it or interested?
On the other hand, definitely don’t tolerate anyone being rude to you or cruel to you about what you do. I wish I had got rid of such people sooner. I believe that people not tolerating your new-age beliefs is the same as religious intolerance. All of the beliefs and practices that come under the umbrella of ‘new-age’ may not constitute a religion. But the spirituality that forms the basis of a psychic’s career is still THEIR beliefs, THEIR sacred truth. It deserves respect and acceptance from others, whether it’s a religion or not.
But even if you don’t get that respect or acceptance from others (which can happen) in some ways, this work can be a blessing because it can eliminate intolerant people from your circle without you having to do anything but be you!
My other piece of advice is: don’t feel like you have to discuss or debate anything with people who don’t believe in what you do. My work is not up for discussion or debate because that is a waste of energy for me. But when I first started, I let every Tom, Dick or Harry take a potshot at what I do. And I would patiently tell them why I disagreed.
Now I just accept we have different world views, different temperaments, different abilities, and put a stop to debates and critiques before they begin. In all the debates I’ve had, I’ve never brought a skeptic around to my point of view, nor has a skeptic ever given me anything opinion-changing to think about. So I consider it an unproductive use of time (and emotional energy!)
What advice do you have for anyone else who is considering “coming out of the psychic closet”?
As I said above, debating your work with strangers or acquaintances is often a waste of energy when they don’t believe in it anyway. But there is something wonderfully healing and liberating about being who you are, in close relationships, with family and friends. To me, that’s what’s really at the heart of this issue. Being yourself, and being comfortable with the people who matter to you. I don’t need the people around me to believe in what I do, if they just can’t get their head around it. I don’t talk about it much with close friends or family, really. But I do need them to know and accept that it is a part of my beliefs, and my career, and very much tied up in how I perceive the world.
Once I ‘came out’ as a psychic, and my friends and family realized I was serious about this funny new-age stuff, most of them didn’t care anyway and we went back to relating to each other in the ways that we always did.
If the people around you don’t understand what you do, but love you, they will accept it anyway (in the end!) If people abuse you, or reject you because of it, it is their loss. Cliched but true, in my experience.
Thanks very much Anna. Look her up at www.psychicbutsane.com, and to learn how to further develop your intuition.
I’m still here too, flexing my intuitive muscles! Email me for a reading at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2010 :: Kara Thompson :: Conduit of Joy