Tag Archives: mediumship

Doing kindness in my own way

Growing up, I was one of those kids who did things her own way. My mum called it either creativeness or stubbornness, depending on her mood and how far I’d pushed my boundaries that day. (I come by it naturally, she’s the woman who taught me that there’s an exception to every rule, and that she was usually the exception.)

And so I continue to be exceptional, in my own way.

This time it’s going into relative publicity seclusion after publishing three books this summer. That’s generally not the accepted plan. You’re supposed to publish your books, then show them off–and sell them–to everyone.

We did have a launch party for The Awesomely Amazing Adventures of Cherry in October (somehow timed to coincide with a wind storm). And I’ve had a few events where I’ve sold books. But no major splash. No huge push. Just write the books and get them out and hunker back down in the relative sanity of daily life. Which is why there’s been no update here.

Another new book

Communicate with SpiritOnce school started, I got swept up in the routine of my life. Fortunately, kids in school = writing time for me. Which produced another book, Led by Light: how to develop your intuitive mediumship abilities, that published at the end of October.

I’ve also been continuing to build my intuitive mediumship practice: seeing clients, mentoring students and teaching classes. In early November, we had our first public intuitive mediumship event, in which I and some of my students gave short readings to everyone in attendance. It went really well and we plan to do them regularly, every two or three months. I also taught a class on developing your intuition (and am working on a book on that subject) and am currently teaching a mediumship development introductory class. It turns out that I love teaching people things I know that can help them live better lives.

Making a living

Eugene Spirit Medium (the business’ current name, although I think I’ll change it at some point to be less location-specific) is becoming my “day job” for my writing career. In addition to that, I’m still doing freelance writing for the Register-Guard as well as commercial/business writing and editing for clients. Plus I’m the music coordinator for the Center for Spiritual Living Eugene. And the parental unit who does the grocery shopping, cooking, and operates the kid taxi service.

At some point, I’d like to consolidate my assorted businesses/ways of earning money to one or two things so I can focus more energy on them. That’s never been my strong point, though, even when I’ve had full-time jobs. Even if my primary role has been a writer of some kind (journalism, public relations, fundraising, web content), I’ve always incorporated various other skills to keep things interesting–like photography, videography, graphic design and web development. I can’t seem to help it. Fortunately, writing and marketing my books means I get to keep on doing a bunch of different things, not just writing.

On the writing side of things, my calculations show that I’ve earned just over $1,000 in book sales so far this year. Not a fortune by any means, but the four figures are strangely satisfying. As a new author, most of my income (which honestly isn’t that large at the moment due to my part-time paid work hours) comes from other forms of writing as well as my intuitive mediumship practice.

Practicing kindness

The other thing that’s been occupying a large amount of space in my brain and emotions is the U.S. elections. Without getting too far into politics and opinions (I’m probably about as socialist as you can get, which is unlikely to be a surprise to anyone who knows me), the results and the reactions to the results among the people I usually talk to has been emotionally overwhelming.

It’s taken me awhile to regroup.

To do that, I’ve heavily filtered political posts from my Facebook feed, removed my Facebook icon from my phone’s home screen (I have to go digging through my apps to find it now), turned off my Facebook notifications and largely stopped scrolling through Twitter. After taking a breather, I think I’m ready to stick my head back up and figure out what I can do while maintaining my sanity (and not triggering severe anxiety).

I realize I can’t fix the world (should the world want me to even try). But I can teach my children to be kind, open and unprejudiced. I can recognize my own privilege and understand that where I come from isn’t necessarily where other people come from. I can speak up when I see something happening that’s not right. And I can donate to organizations who can do the work that I, in my safe little world, can’t do directly.

I will also be kind and practice deliberate acts of kindness as often as possible. Give socks to people who are homeless. Help my friends learn how to independently publish or get their blogs set up. Buy coffee for the person behind me in line. Give up my parking space with a smile. Tell people I love them.

When I think about the root causes of our issues, the conclusion I come to is that we’re afraid. And that fear is rooted in lack: that we won’t have enough, that we have to take from others in order for us to have enough. I don’t believe that’s the real truth of the world. I believe there is enough. There’s enough money, enough parking spaces, enough jobs, enough time, enough people to buy all our books.

Since I’m a woo-woo woman who does things her own way, I can say that, ultimately, it comes down to love. It comes down to whether we’re able and willing to access the infinite love that is available to each one of us.

Being kind to each other brings out that love. Kindness is a concrete way of showing we believe in abundance.

I’m going to continue to believe that there’s enough love and abundance in this world and that we can experience it. I invite you to do the same.

Hanging up my shingle

Some seeds germinate slowly.

Last summer, the marquee of the McDonald Theatre in Eugene kept catching my eye. James Van Praagh, spirit whisperer, it said. Or something like that.

The kids would be at their Dad’s. I could go. Go, said my intuition. Go!

I put off buying tickets until a week or two before the show. And then they were all sold out.

Look on craigslist said one of the voices in my head. Hey, look, VIP tickets. Sweet.

IMG_20130803_184649As I sat in the blissfully air-conditioned auditorium (after standing in line for a really long time for a quick meet-n-greet, during which James and I talked about the weather in England of all things) something woke up within me. He talked about mediumship and connecting with Spirit, why we do it, how we can. And the small voice inside of me said, Yes. Yes. Remember this, Joanna?

I remember, I thought back to myself. But I don’t really do this anymore. I haven’t heard of any mediumship circles in Eugene. The rest of that story is essentially told in this story: Plugging back in. The short version is that I listened to my inner voice and started a mediumship development circle which is now meeting twice a month (1st and 3rd Mondays, 7-9 p.m., join us!).

So that took a while to develop and come to fruition. But it did. I’m not sure that I have any real idea what I’m doing, but people keep coming back, so…

Now available to talk to dead people!

Here’s another thing that’s new and somewhat slowly moving: enough people asked me if I do private readings that I’m now offering them. And, since I need to let people know what I’m doing in order for them to find me, I’ve set up a website and a Facebook page.

I confess I’m feeling my way forward here, relying on Spirit to shine its light on my path. Gallery readings, platform mediumship in church, development circles — those I’ve done. Teaching mediumship? Private readings? Well, I like learning new things.

Plus, if I’m teaching other people to feed their intuition by following it and listening to the still voice inside…I might want to do the same thing myself. And honestly, every time I’ve trusted my inner self, even if it meant going out on a limb, it’s worked out really well. As much as I feel like I’m flailing around sometimes, I’m in a really good place in my life. I’m so grateful.

Plugging back in

I have a closet to come out of, people of Eugene*. It’s really more of a cabinet: a medium’s cabinet, that is. Not that I’ve ever sat in one — I don’t think people really use them anymore.

I’ve been very good at reinventing myself. Trying on a new facade and seeing how it fits — sometimes for years at a time. My last attempt — professional career woman — was so successful that part of me is still reeling from the loss of it, even as I type this, comfortably at home in jeans, sweater and socks walking at my treadmill desk.

It’s still the same wheel

The truth is, I’m all of the outward expressions of myself that I have ever been. Off-grid nature girl, small town journalist, chick-folk-rock singer-songwriter, copywriting work-at-home mother, ambitious donor communications manager, Spiritualist medium and minister.

Perhaps it’s because there is so much of me to fit in my life that I tend to put certain aspects of myself into boxes when they don’t seem to fit. Spiritualist medium + ambitious communications professional didn’t seem congruent when I moved to Eugene. So one of them got packed away for a while.

Plus, I couldn’t find any Spiritualist churches or groups in Eugene. If I wanted to do something, I’d have to create it myself — and with a full-time job, a live-in mother, two little kids and a disintegrating marriage, it wasn’t going to happen.

And yet it’s nagged at me. Much like my repressed memories of abuse when I was younger. I knew something was there, even if I was purposefully forgetting it.

Re-opening to myself

In the last few months, as I’ve purposefully pawed through old boxes of memories (literal and figurative), I’ve noticed that I am admirably surviving the experience. And with time to finally think complete thoughts that aren’t solely about my workload, kids’ homework or what to cook for dinner I’ve been feeling the prodding from Spirit.

Perhaps, I thought, it’s time for that box to be reopened as well.

I took another look around to see if I could find any Spiritualist or mediumship groups meeting. Surely there must be a few psychics or mediums meeting in Eugene? (Not that they’re entirely the same — all mediums are psychics, but not all psychics are mediums.) We’re rife with Reiki healers and this is the West Coast, after all.

But no.

And every time I mentioned the dearth of such activity to someone, their response was, “Well, perhaps you need to create it.”


I hear you, Spirit.

So I did.

Calling all mediums (and smalls and larges)

We had our first circle last night, the Eugene Mediumship Development Circle. A kind and lovely member offered us her living room to meet in, as I haven’t yet had success securing an ongoing meeting location.

And it was amazing. I haven’t sat in energy like that in a long time. Not since I stopped hosting weekly mediumship circles at my house in Rochester after the kids were in bed. Spirit presences were there with us and the shared experience was just lovely.

The plan is to meet at least monthly, hopefully twice a month, probably the 2nd or 3rd Monday evening from 7-9 p.m. and another day during the day.

Want to join us? Have questions about mediumship? Let me know.  It feels really good to have this aspect of my life present again.


* I realize, people of Rochester, NY, that you’ve known this about me all along. I’m sorry if this post is anticlimactic for you.