Keep talking

I’ve been thinking for a couple of weeks, what I could talk about here that is going to actually help my blog friends.

I’m deeply concerned for my friends in the US, and for my own country as I see a similar spike of hate crimes and the increased mobilization of extreme right-wing AND left-wing politics and sentiments.

We cannot stop talking to each other, folks. The second we split into “us” and “them” – right wing extremists, leftist elites, we rage against and vilify each other.

We can’t let those who will benefit from this rift in our humanity trick us into hating each other.

It’s easy to hate when you’re afraid for your future. When you’re afraid of “those people” whoever they are, you stop talking to them. You forget that their humanity is the same as your own.

I know that some of my blog readers and clients are Trump supporters. I’ve had conversations with you. I think that every one of the people I’ve talked to just don’t see the connection between their vote for Trump and being called racist. That is where they’re at. They really, honestly believe they did the best thing for their country with their vote. Most of the people I know who voted for Trump did not vote from a place of hate. Privilege – yes, but not hate.

(The privilege here, by the way, is the ability to overlook all the incendiary and hateful things Trump has said in the past two years on the campaign trail. He has never tried to hide who he is, so a vote cast for him is a vote cast in full knowledge of WHO he is, and that each individual voter doesn’t see any of his hate rhetoric directed at them, personally. That’s white privilege.)

*It is extremely difficult for me, as a woman, and a queer person, to not view a vote for trump as a vote to suppress and eliminate people like me.* And I recognize my own good fortune, having been born white, Canadian, and into a supportive family. There’s a reason my mother cried when I came out to my family. She was afraid for me. She was afraid because the hatred we’re seeing expressed right now was never that far beneath the surface, held in check.

I can only speak from my own perspective, so I’m not going to speak much about racial issues at this point. I feel unqualified. I’ve started and stopped probably a half-dozen podcast episodes and blog posts about race, and everything I’ve learned – but I will always be decades behind my friends who live it. If you guys have personal stories you’d like to share with me, I would love to hear them.

I will take this opportunity to share a few resources, which have helped me learn about racial oppression today:

This podcast about race, with the great Baratunde Thurston and his friends (his autobiography is entertaining as well as informing.) This podcast about race and culture, hosted by two hilarious and talented black women. And this podcast which has a feminist focus, hosted by two best friends, a white lady and a black lady. When they talk race, I learn things.

By the way, each person in each podcast has an incredible resume and is worth checking out, following on social media, buying their books – all the things. But their podcasts are a good way to be introduced to them.

I really try to educate myself about racial issues in Canada and the US, so I can help push the move away from institutionalized racism.

And it’s hard work for me, though I am not asking for sympathy here, because it’s harder to be a visible minority. Hell, just dating a Jewish girl for a few months in my 20s, who was also blind (making her a quadruple minority) showed me just how easy and close to mainstream my own life is! I had no idea until I dated her.

Here on the west coast, no one cares that I’m gay. They think it’s interesting that I work as a psychic. In other parts of North America, I’d be run out of town, or beaten up, or worse. It’s happened to many others.

That’s what happens when you look at someone *like* you, and you see something terrible happen to them. You think, “That could have been me, or my loved one.” That’s why my mother cried. She had good reason to be afraid for me, despite my many advantages in this country.

Dear Trump supporters, now is your time to stand up for your values, indeed. If you’ve been reading this, the blog of a psychic queer woman, I know you’re not one of the people spray-painting swastikas on cars and churches. You’re not idealizing white supremacy. So now is the time to *be vocal* about your opposition to hatred. Don’t brush off the parallel comparisons between Trump and Hitler. We are seeing the warning signs right now. Remember, Hitler was elected by a willing populace too, and he *did* improve the German economy for a time. Don’t kid yourself about the similarities here, you can’t plead ignorance later.

Steven Bannon is freaking terrifying! Just like Trump, he doesn’t attempt to hide who he is. We can’t ever be surprised if he acts on the prejudices he promotes and shares. Maybe when you voted for Trump, you didn’t realize your were voting for Bannon. Speak up and say so!

We cannot know, until our life is finished, the full impact of our actions and choices.

I wrote that many of us come in with non-specific life plans. Wingers and Rafters, who are often tapped to be angels, with boots on the ground. I think that most of us are tapped at different points in our life, to divert from our plan a bit, for a while, to help out in the big picture. These are the little secret moments in life, where a small gesture, or an act of kindness, can completely change the course of a person’s life, without us even realizing it! We don’t get to see most of that stuff until after we die.

But we have to live our lives carrying that responsibility.

We will see the impact of our actions. We’ll see missed opportunities to connect, and chance meetings creating a gorgeous web of new and hopeful outcomes. Small things add up over a lifetime.

This, I believe, is one of the fundamental truths that’s been captured in a lot of different religious expressions – that we have to take care of each other, that we have to look out for one another. When we see injustice, we have a choice to make. When we see someone drowning, we have a choice to make. Even when we see someone’s having a bad day, we have a choice. All those choices add up. Those choices become an expression of who we are. That stays with us. I believe we will experience the full impact of those choices when we die. I’ve heard a lot of stories from people on the other side!

I think what we have to fight the most in the next few years is the desire to shut down or shut out. We can’t afford to let the lines of communication between us fail. We also can’t afford to buy into a passive, “God’s got this,” frame of mind. No sir. No Ma’am. It’s on us. That’s life. That’s personal responsibility.

If you’ve had a liberal call you racist for voting Trump, don’t shut down, or shut us out. If you are a liberal and you have a friend or neighbour who voted for Trump who says the things that make you feel terrified for our future – don’t cut them out. Keep yourself safe, first of all, and then try to keep those lines open.

Have a real conversation, and then another, and then another.

When people go to the doctor, they need to hear information three times before it really sinks in. They need to hear the instructions for their medication three times. They need to hear or read the name of their diagnosis three times, just for it to sink in – and that’s information they’re going out of their way to hear, that’s information they want, that they seek out. Three times.

With advertising, people need to hear things a hundred times, before they start to come around to an idea. What dish soap they use, or which TV show they might watch. That’s a message they’re probably neutral about.

So when you’re talking to someone who is angry with you, or who you are angry with, remember that this conversation is just one in possibly a hundred or a thousand repetitions of that message. Every conversation is a small act that has an outcome we can’t understand completely, while we’re alive. What helps me, is knowing that I may not move someone with *this* conversation, but I have at least ticked off one of the hundred or thousand encounters they need, before they can hear that bit of information. You can’t hang all your energy and hopes on a single conversation. You can’t make your participation in these necessary conversations contingent upon their agreement with you.

Sometimes people *first* need to be heard before they themselves are willing to listen. So teach them how to listen, by demonstrating it. I believe this is true for all sides.

Talking is an act of hope, of optimism, and trust. So is listening, by the way.

Okay, I do want to talk about psychic protection again, especially in the context of having these tough conversations, but this post has gotten very long already, so I’ll save that for next time.

Love each other, protect each other, help each other.

Bring the Freaking Ever-Loving LIGHT

There are a LOT of psychics chiming in on the election right now. On both sides. This makes me hesitant to chime in, because I take my job seriously – but I also take great care to be mindful of exactly *when* a medium’s input is appropriate.

Is it appropriate for a religious leader to say “god hates ___” or “god wants ____” or “god has spoken to me, and he says _____”?

Of course, the fact is, people DO say these things, and many millions of other people listen, base their lives upon the assumption that these statements are correct, and that their correctness transcends any mortal, earthly (temporary) suffering.

We see this mentality play out in smaller, isolated groups – cults. Hundreds or thousands of people accepting the absolute word or rule of a spiritual leader. *Be careful where you put your faith.*

This is why I’ve always asked you to read my blog and listen to my podcast with an open mind and heart, but with your brain engaged too. These are IDEAS. No medium and no spiritual leader anywhere can lay claim to the whole truth according to God. As humans we crave that truth, so I can understand how it’s just so tempting to put your trust and faith in an individual, and trust completely the things they say.

Now, observe, carefully and quietly, what you’re saying to yourself. Are you looking for “it was meant to be”? Why? And if you knew with certainty this was NOT meant to be, how would you behave differently? Why do you NOT want to do that now?

As a medium, I know where my information comes from – how delicate the line of communication, how easily influenced it is. Understand that mediums are humans, and we’re influenced by our own life experience. Humans are imperfect. When a medium accepts the trust of another person you have to treat that gift with the deepest respect and care.

Just because I am good at channeling your loved ones and pets doesn’t mean I’m infallible. NO MEDIUM IS CORRECT 100% OF THE TIME. Not even if they predicted the results of this election correctly. Not even if they pulled incredible confirmation from thin air during a session. You put your trust in a medium, but never forget that we’re just doing the best we can. NO ONE is granted unfiltered, absolute access to the unknowable. Not ministers or priests, not monks, not mediums. We have a lot to offer, yes. But I have *always* been very clear with my clients and you, my dear friends and readers, that you have to keep your brain engaged. Take what makes sense to you, but don’t take it as certainty. Take is as a useful idea, and examine those ideas regularly.

If you’re still reading, please keep all this in mind. And thank you for reading! I’m so glad you’re here.

Now is not the time to look to mediums for answers, now is the time to look to your own community, and make your own plan of action. My greatest fear as a medium is seeing other new age people (mostly white people) settle into complacency with a “God’s got this” mentality.

You know who can’t afford to say that? Minorities. Consider for a moment how abusive it is to say to a minority, and remember I’m one of them, “Oh, this is all meant to be.” If your friends and family experience violence, that’s meant to be.

No it isn’t. We live in a volatile environment and we have to engage in it, vigorously!

I very strongly believe in universal truths. You know, those messages which pop up consistently all over the world, even in isolated populations. We come up with the same answers to the same basic questions:

Where do we go when we die? On. We go on. We do not disappear.

Who is in charge of all of this? Well, we are, to a large extent. To say that god has a plan and this is the rolling out of that plan is to take it a step too far, in my humble opinion. Whatever comforting words that are passing around about “This is all for the best” you’ll notice are the sentiments of people who don’t have a lot to lose in the face of all this.

My dear friends, I’m not going to mince words about this. Speaking not as a psychic, but as a human with a logical brain who has read some history books, who has descended from Germans who survived living in Berlin during Nazi rule, now is not the time for words of comfort. It is not the time to see how things go, and maybe it won’t be that bad.

How bad does it have to get? And if it gets that bad, will you be able to stop it then?

We need to be afraid here. Not a paralyzing, helpless fear – we need that fear to motivate us to do what we have not been doing to prevent a man who has not only a decades-long well-documented history of racism, misogyny, and elitism, but someone who CAMPAIGNED ON that very hate and fear of the “Others”. That’s called Xenophobia. We’ve seen this before. We know where this can go, how this can end.

Trump and Pence have not even attempted to hide who they are. They *campaigned* on it. AND WON.

Human suffering matters. We are obliged, as loving beings, to work to ease that suffering. That’s what a “lightworker” is supposed to do. Now is the time to buckle down and BRING THE FREAKING LIGHT.

It is a FACT that hate crimes have taken a big jump this week. The culmination of Trump’s divisive campaign rhetoric has been this big blank permission slip. “We took our country back.” From who? And what are you going to do with “them” now?

On November 9th, I watched through my white person shock and horror the results of the American election. I say “white person shock” because it was my privilege to be so blind to real hatred in the US. It’s made me take a new look for the hidden hatred around me. And now I have to reconcile myself to the little indications I’ve witnessed of this very hatred in my own communities. People don’t think their relative who made that unsavory comment that one time are THAT bad. But that’s a vote for Trump, or for your country’s version of Trump. We Canadians need to be mindful of our own politicians parroting Trump’s sentiment.

I grieve with you, and with the world. Most of all, I grieve the willful ignorance of the person who saw Trump as the better candidate. I grieve their willingness to look past the very things he said at his own rallies, and throughout his life. Their naïve belief that despite what he *says he intends to do* it will work out for the best. I grieve what that person’s concept of “the best” is.

I grieve their station of privilege too. They could afford to take that risk.

On a specifically personal note, did you know that Mark Pence, Trump’s second in command, is an anti-gay politician? Did you know that he wants to de-fund AIDS/HIV treatment and divert that funding to conversion therapy? Therapy that has been scientifically proven to be ineffective? Speaking just as a queer person, just on this one issue – that’s terrifying.

A decade or so ago, queer folks and their families started to see full page ads for conversion therapy. It *is* a ridiculous idea, and we didn’t really take it seriously. We didn’t understand the threat of those ads. The real purpose of those ads was not to lure actual queer folks into conversation therapy – the real message was never directed at us. It was shot right over our heads, into the laps of those who didn’t understand us. Those ads told the ignorant people that being gay is a choice.

It was diabolical and a brilliant tactic, when you look back on it.

I see that very tactic at play right now. A country’s problems being blamed on immigrants, the “immoral” minorities. This tactic is frighteningly compelling. It works.

You know, after Hitler came to power, life improved for the average German. Germans who weren’t ethnic, religious, or sexual minorities, Germans who weren’t disabled or mentally ill. Germans who weren’t vulnerable. Life improved for the privileged.

At what cost?

When I posted on November 9th, “Oh USA, what have you done?” I got a response. “We took our country back.”

That chills me to the very bone.

Took your country back. From who?

From the others. The immigrants. The gays. The non-whites. (As though all us white folks aren’t immigrants too.) That’s white supremacy in action, and it’s freaking ugly. White supremacy isn’t just about skin colour – it’s about a type of person that has declared themselves to be superior, and has decided to take everything for themselves.

We’ve seen this before. We see this in action all over the world, right now.

No, now is not the time for comforting words from Spirit. But I have to say that Bob Marley has been on my mind a lot lately. Rather than channel him again, I ask that we go back and read his words. https://psychicintraining.com/?s=bob+marley Even now I post this hesitantly. I feel like my role is to be supportive of my minority friends, especially the American ones. Although I’m a minority myself, I walk through this world with great privilege, right now, in this body, in this life. I’m not an oppressed minority, where I live. I’m so lucky, and maybe you’re lucky too. If count yourself lucky, you’re in a position of strength. How are we going to use that strength?

I don’t want to give people an excuse to feel better and become complacent. We need to be uncomfortable and upset right now. That’s a part of life. A part of *why we incarnate in the first place*. We can’t experience anything like this in spirit. We’re not meant to disengage from it, or rise above it on assurances that all will work out as it should.

I can tell you from my experience as a medium – not everything is planned. Accidents happen. Premature deaths happen. Unplanned disease happens. Life is freaking risky, and hazardous. That’s why we have spirit guides! That’s why our guides’ jobs are so hard – and even with our guides, with helpers / angels, we can still die accidentally, our life plans – however detailed or loose they may be – can get derailed.

And if the world is shifting on its spiritual access, if it is meant to be and we’re on a path – well let’s all get to work and push it along this path in the RIGHT DIRECTION, as quickly as possible! Let’s help each other along the way, let’s take care of each other, let’s take advantage of all the incredible wealth that surrounds most of us.

We are in THIS reality. We missed the bus to that parallel reality where Hillary is president. We’re here, this is our reality, we need to own it, and we have to be proactive now, more engaged than ever before.

Have you noticed that nothing is as unifying as a common cause?

We need to bring the freaking ever-loving light!

(See the comments for discussion on how we can bring the freaking light. This is going to roll out for a while.)

The Energy of OCD

The Energy of OCD

I’m back! I have been a bit scarce around the internet this past month, having been away to visit my Dad. It was a really beautiful trip. If you’re going to visit Ontario, go in late September / early October.

I have fallen behind a bit with my cross posting, so first things first: Those who are *not* subscribed to my podcast, you can subscribe if you wish and automatically receive the episodes as soon as they’re released. This is really handy when a podcast isn’t on a consistent release schedule.

You can subscribe on your ipod / ipad / iphone by clicking here. Or if you have an android device, you can download the Stitcher app, and then subscribe by clicking here.

The nice thing about having a mobile device like a smart phone is you don’t have to *remember* to download your favourite podcast, it will automatically update. Then the next time you’re in the car, or taking the dog for a walk, or working out, you can check your device for new episodes – and surprise! There’s a new Joyful Telepathy episode out there for you!

Okay, on to today’s topic.

I want to talk about the energetic aspect of OCD (Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder.) I’m not talking about the “oh I like to have my desk in perfect order, I’m so OCD.” I’m talking about “I have to check my stove three times to convince myself I turned it off, and even THEN I may still worry about it all day.”

Real OCD has a huge impact on people’s lives, and it can take a lot of different forms. I didn’t really know much about it until I got together with Sweetie.

By the time we met, Sweetie had gotten her own OCD under control. There was a point in her life where OCD would hold huge chunks of her day hostage. She would tell me about the time it used to take her to get ready – her routine involved cleaning her soap.

“It’s soap, it’s self-cleaning, isn’t it?”

Well, that’s not really what cleaning the soap was about.

She tried to explain, “I felt like the soap was contaminated. And whatever had touched the soap, that had to be cleaned too. It was all about protecting myself from this contamination I sensed on whatever object I was worried about.”

I’ve talked about this idea before – the idea that objects hold some of the energy we, ourselves, were bringing or carrying the last time we came into contact with it.

I’ve also talked about this idea that sensitive people can also be spongy – they can absorb what’s around them and carry it around with them.

Sweetie is extremely spongy.

I’ve observed this about her while she’s worked at different jobs. If a co-worker has a chronic shoulder issue, she’ll start to feel that shoulder problem by the end of the week – or sometimes even by the end of the day. She might feel it once she sits on a chair this coworker was occupying for much of the previous day.

A few years ago while she was working at the hospital, one particular week stands out in my memory. Sweetie started to complain of swelling and pain in her hands. By the end of the week, her knuckles were visibly enlarged, swollen and painful to the touch. It turns out that a particular patient in the hospital, who had been going through a lot of linens (which Sweetie then laundered) had severely swollen, arthritic hands.

That’s when I *really knew* that Sweetie was experiencing a level of energetic sponginess that is new to me.

From what I’ve observed, sponginess seems to be related to a tendency to go inward, retreating from the energy that seems harsh or over-stimulating. Most people who have met Sweetie tend to describe her as shy. She’s not shy at all. She’s just very quiet, observant, and her attention defaults to her inner awareness.

That’s partly why the OCD manifestation tends to come up for her. For Sweetie, what’s going on in her inner, subtle awareness is *louder* to her than someone right in front of her. Someone could be sitting right in front of Sweetie, behind a desk with a sign that says “Customer Service” – but if that customer service person was exuding an energy of “don’t bother me”, Sweetie wouldn’t even register this person’s existence. Not even if she was in need of customer service. By default, she sees the energy first.

It’s part of what makes her an amazing partner. She can tell when people are lying. Me, I always default to giving people the benefit of the doubt, but she will have the number of a sales person or a dirty business owner within a few minutes of speaking to them. This came in very handy when we had our coffee roastery.

Last night, Sweetie was telling me that before she had an understanding of “energy”, she was responding to it with her OCD patterns. The soap held remnants of the energy she had cleansed herself from the day before. Whatever she’d picked up from everyone else around her, her boss, her co-workers, random Torontonians on public transit – that had all gotten into her clothes and on to her body. She would wash it all off, and not want to pick any of it back up again.

Like a surgeon scrubbing up, she’d methodically wash, avoid touching the clothing she’d worn that day, get a clean towel and into a clean set of clothes.

In the difficult days where the OCD was eating large chunks of her day, she could spend hours just to feel OK and safely clean.

This is not the only way in which OCD affected her life. By contrast, she went through a paper hoarding period. If she opened her wallet and an old receipt fluttered to the ground, even if it was blown into traffic, she would have to retrieve that receipt, and keep it. Indefinitely. To her, letting that receipt go, throwing it out, was creating a vulnerability. Someone else could find that receipt, and gain knowledge about her. Of course it’s not intellectually rational, but when you look at this behaviour energetically, it does make some logical sense.

You handled that receipt. It represents a transaction, as well as an interaction in the world. If you’re someone who feels like the energy of the world is infringing on your boundaries, if you spend hours every day just cleaning the world off of you, yeah – that receipt becomes a part of yourself abandoned to the litter of the world. You have to hold on to that.

I kind of get it. Here’s a visual of what I’m thinking.

The dark green circle is your physical body. The light green is the physical body’s energy field – some call it the aura, some call it the energetic body – whatever you want to name it. Some people can physically see this energetic field. Sweetie can see it, although she sees it more easily in the dark.

Some people will also say this aura has many different, very specific layers. Sure, we can go with that. But what I’m really interested in is at what point to you, as a unique person, sense an invasion into this field?

I don’t physically see this field, but I sense it, and sometimes my brain will translate this to an image in my mind. I used to play with this energy when I was little. Here’s a quick little test you can do with a friend to figure out where your energetic field, or aura, is around your body.

Close your eyes. Have your friend move their hand slowly, closer and closer to your skin. Start with the arm, then the leg, then foot, then hand, then head.

You say “stop” when it feels like that person is just about to touch you. Take your time, and just have fun. We don’t play these weird fun little games as adults, do we? I used to do this kind of thing all the time as a kid.

Anyway, see if you can discover a consistent distance off your skin where you tell your friend to stop.

I have found this distance changes, and sometimes it’s different depending on what’s going on in my friend’s body. For example, I remember one time my friend Meghan had a broken wrist. She would say “stop” pretty consistently about six inches off her skin (I remember we were outside in winter, so this would be about three inches away from her snow suit.) But around her wrist, she would say “stop” if I got anywhere near it, even though her wrist was in a cast, under a scarf, under her parka. Even with her eyes closed and a toque pulled over them, she could always tell when I was getting close to this vulnerable injury, even though I never ever actually touched it. Touching was against the rules.

Look, not every kid is into snowball fights. Yes, I was a weird kid! Man, in retrospect, what a weird game to play!

Okay, so the point I want to illustrate is that some people have a consistent ability to sense when someone else is encroaching into their space, without looking. Many people have a boundary. For some people though, it’s their skin. I think those people who would never say “stop” their green circle is solid. And that’s just fine!

Now, scroll back up and look at the orange radius in that picture. That’s the “personal space” hula hoop we were taught about as kids. When we have our eyes open and we’re moving around in the world, that’s where we’re comfortable having people. The thing about this hula hoop though, is there is some social push-back if that radius is too large. Maybe you’re most comfortable if people stay at least six feet away from you. That’s my personal space radius for non-friends. Don’t come within droplet transmission distance.

But that’s socially unacceptable, isn’t it? You can’t expect everyone to stay six feet away from you at all times. So I had to adapt, but I think that may be one of the reasons I don’t find parties or crowded rooms to be invigorating.

The pink entities in there are other people – mainly their energy, depending on how much “space” they take up, energetically.

The more sensitive you are, the more porous your energy field, the more you’re going to be affected by other people.

Here, we’re just talking about physical people around you – we haven’t even touched on the energy other people or events leave in the environment that you can also pick up.

Sweetie has found a lot of grounding and mindfulness techniques to be incredibly healing and helps her manage her brain’s tendency towards OCD, which is a real blessing. OCD can take various forms, and unchecked it can really take over your life.

I have a theory about why and how energy and sensitivity is shown in extreme OCD behaviour. It’s an extension of my physical body theory.

I think that a part of some OCD behaviour is an intuitive response to feeling this vulnerable and energetically sensitive. Before Sweetie really thought about energy lingering and attaching to things, she just perceived the clothing she wore out for a few hours as dirty. She could feel the previous day’s encounters on the clothing, but she didn’t have a framework of energy concepts to understand this feeling of “dirty”.

Likewise with her desire to hoard little slips of paper – it was really about her feeling vulnerable to other people. If someone else found this paper that had *her* energy on it, they could know something about her. It would create a little energy connection there. She wanted to avoid that. So, without thinking about it in energetic terms, she tried to manage this energy input with the physical objects involved. Wash the clothing. Clean the soap. Keep all the papers. It was starting to all pile up on top of her.

This was over ten years ago, maybe closer to twenty years ago now. Sweetie hasn’t had to struggle with obsessive-compulsive behaviour affecting her life, but as a sensitive person, it will always be a potential behaviour. Similar to how depression will always be a potential to me, or how extreme anger is a potential for others. We all have our tendencies, and I wonder, how much of those tendencies could be helped with an energetic understanding, incorporated into our evidence-based therapies?

Yes, let me reiterate: If I struggle with emotions (like grief or depression) I go to counselling. Please understand that energy work is not a *replacement* for evidence-based, useful, medical assistance. So go find a counsellor and if you don’t like that one, find a different one. In my 20s, I once went through three different counsellors before I found one I clicked with. I’ve had to shift through physicians too – sometimes it’s all about getting in front of the *right* person.

But consider the spiritual and energetic part of our ailments too. Spiritual care can be so helpful for our mental health care. You don’t have to choose one over the other (no matter what David Wolfe might post on his facebook page.)

OCD is absolutely a physical brain issue – it’s a groove worn so deeply into our neural pathways that it can be a real hassle to change. It was around the time of her recovery that Sweetie started to study energy shifting techniques, like grounding, clearing, and protecting her energy field. It really helps her to remind herself to check how much she’s feeling actually *belongs* to her.

“Is that my shoulder ache, or have I picked this up from my coworkers?”

Those of us who are empathetic can relate to this idea on an emotional level. Is this my stress, or have I absorbed this from someone else?

We are all connected. This is a universal truth that resonates through thousands of years of spiritual practice all over the earth. What we have not agreed upon yet is *exactly* what defines our separation? Or why do we experience separation differently?

I think how separate we are from others’ influence and energy depends on who we are, how we are calibrated energetically. Some of us, like Sweetie, are spongy. We need to always ground, clear and protect.

Some of us may be islands, and search for this illusive connection others talk about. That’s okay if you don’t pick up other people’s emotions or body ailments. That’s actually a great thing! Very convenient!

I wonder about politicians sometimes, or people high-up in corporations who seem completely detached from the impact of the decisions they make. I wonder, “How can they sleep at night?” I *literally* wonder how they can sleep, because while I was training as a nurse, I could not sleep. The gap between what care a patient SHOULD receive and what I could see they were getting was too great for me. I couldn’t sleep, knowing that.

I wonder whether those people who *can* sleep at night, if they’re just completely, utterly impermeable. Maybe they are, maybe that’s how they occupy their bodies, energetically. They could be the polar opposite of empathetic me, or Spongy Sweetie. Maybe there’s just no energetic feedback for them to experience, because their energetic fields have become diamond-clad, impenetrable. I wonder.

Well, what do you guys think?

Isn’t it a beautiful fall?

I’m back! I have been a bit scarce around the internet this past month, having been away to visit my Dad at the end of September. It was a really beautiful trip. If you’re going to visit Ontario, go in late September / early October. The colours are incredible, and it lifts my heart whenever I go. I had a wonderful visit with my Dad and extended family.

I did not visit my Mom’s gravesite. I just didn’t want to revisit that grief. It felt weird, in a way, to visit and not go to the grave, but here’s the thing:

The grave, to me, is the site of the burial. It’s not where I see my Mom, it’s not where she is now. It’s a memorial to her, and I’m really glad it’s there. I’ve seen photos. There is a hummingbird engraving, and a dharma wheel. It’s lovely, truly. I just… really have no desire to bring flowers to the marker of (most) of her ashes. To me, I would be revisiting the intense sadness of her funeral, and all the terrible emotional upheaval of that time. Going would just have made me sad. So I wrestled a little bit with the idea that I *should want to* go, but ultimately just decided not to go this trip. Grave sites are good at waiting.

Instead, I focused on enjoying the time with my Dad, and my extended family. It’s a really great clan.

So that visit took about two and a half weeks of brain space.

I’ve also had quite a bit of hum-drum, non-psychic stuff to deal with in my day-to-day life. Remember that stabbing bladder pain? Well I’ll be spending a part of my winter investigating that. Fortunately, I really like my urologist, and I’ve known him for a few years through the hospital. He’s one of those doctors who’s always looked me in the eye, smiled, and clearly communicated what he needs for procedures. Arranging that, thinking about it, and following up on getting an ultrasound and a scope (scream!) will be projects that’ll continue to divert my time and attention from the blog this winter.

I’ve also been kept busy with union stuff. I don’t generally talk about the union, because it’s frankly *super* boring. UGH. Oh my GAWD you guys. SO BORING! But it is important work, and I do it for my friends and coworkers at the hospital. We had a meeting in the beginning of October, and, as usual, there’s a lot of follow-up work for me post-meeting, as the secretary-treasurer. So that’s a distraction from the blog too. Sheesh!

Today, my attention is back on the blog! I even started a new entry, but I haven’t finished it yet.

I have fallen behind a bit with my cross posting, so first things first: Those who are *not* subscribed to my podcast, you can subscribe if you wish and automatically receive the episodes as soon as they’re released. This is really handy when a podcast isn’t on a consistent release schedule.

You can subscribe on your ipod / ipad / iphone by clicking here. Or if you have an android device, you can download the Stitcher app, and then subscribe by clicking here.

The nice thing about having a mobile device like a smart phone is you don’t have to *remember* to download your favourite podcast, it will automatically update. Then the next time you’re in the car, or taking the dog for a walk, or working out, you can check your device for new episodes – and surprise! There’s a new Joyful Telepathy episode out there for you!

Okay, I will be back soon when I finish a longer post about Energy and OCD. It’s just taking a while for me to completely figure out what I’m trying to say. More to come. Stay tuned.

Ep. 53 ~ Special Guest Jessica Kupferman! Pt 1.

okay friends, it’s late and I can’t figure out why I am having trouble posting a photo for this episode.

I will just give you the link:

http://www.joyfultelepathy.com/mobile/e/53-special-guest-jessica-kupferman-pt-1/

There! It’s ugly but it works!

Yay!  I held this episode back for a few weeks because I wasn’t sure how to introduce it.  And then I heard Jess talking about her sessions with me on her latest episode of Off in the Weeds.  Her cohost John was understandably skeptical, and I really appreciated their conversation.  

I put that exerpt of Jess and John in the intriduction of this episode. 

What do you think? Let me know!

The weight of it – holy hormones!

  
It has always amazed me just how much of our physical presentation, our emotional well-being, our motivations, our very perspective on life, depends on our hormone balance.

I’ve seen female bodies transition to male, and male to female almost entirely through the addition of different hormones.

I saw my mother suffer for more than a decade from never-ending menopause.  

Remember when I said I thought I had adrenal / cortisol fatigue?

This, after months of working with a nutritionist and losing zero pounds. I may have even gained a pound during that.  The puzzling thing was, there was no reason I SHOULD have gained weight, especially not while maintaining a chaperoned diet designed to help me lose weight.

I have not mentioned how, in the last two years, my periods have been getting worse.  Investigating that was on my to do list for this fall anyway, but it didn’t seem urgent.

Know how your body tells you something is urgent?  It gives you a STABBING PAIN IN THE BLADDER for days.  No infection, just RELENTLESS ALARMING PAIN.  And since the GP (family doc) advises you to take ibuprofen for the pain and await test results, which he then says are all “within normal range”, it’s your body that drives you to a private clinic.

At least, that’s how it has happened for me.

Today, I am delighted and relieved as I sit atop this ice pack to say that my “normal” blood work is not actually normal to the specialist – a naturopathic doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health.  Apparently, blood results are open to interpretation. 

I suspected I had estrogen dominance.  I had three different blog friends email me and suggest I look into it, as they were helped with that diagnosis after years of farting around with symptoms similar to what I’ve described here.  I did some reading, and yes, that would explain a lot.  The ridiculous periods, the inexplicable stubborn weight gain, the embarassing constipation I didn’t know I had. Even my dry itchy eyes could be resulting from estrogen dominance. 

What was immensely gratifying was the confirmation of my suspicion: my progesterone should be MUCH higher than it is, in relation to the estrogen.  Even though both hormones are within acceptable range, their ratios are abnormal – and that’s not something my GP seems to know about.  General Practitioners can’t be expected to keep up with everything, and our GPs are also emergency room docs.  Don’t get me wrong, they are great docs – but I wonder if docs who so frequently do emergency work look at me, walking, talking and complaining of pain, and immediately de-prioritize my care as “not urgent”, like they would in the ER.

Female pain tends to get down-graded too.  When the GP suggested “dryness” and “discomfort” I felt like my description of “scary stabbing pain” wasn’t really heard.  Office chairs are uncomfortable.  Pain is pain.

It probably doesn’t help that I have a dark sense of humour, and describing pain while cracking a joke is not something I should do in a doctors office. As long as I am coping, and I can cope with a good deal of pain, I will cope with jokes.  When I can’t cope, I cry, and that’s what happens at pain level 8 or 9.  Broken bones are an 8, nerve pain for me is a 9.  This current pain is a 7.  That’s what I should have said.  DO NOT MAKE JOKES WHILE DESCRIBING PAIN.  Note to self!

GPs and ER docs are not reproductive health specialists.  

I knew I needed a specialist who wouldn’t just toss a cookie-cutter prescription at me.  And who would spend more than 10 minutes with me.  AND who was open to the idea that this all started years ago, with intense, prolonged stress.  Stress that changed the colour of my hair from warm, multicoloured chestnut, to flat, monotone, dark brown with 1/4 grey hair.  

If that happened to my hair, what happened inside?

Oh and I’m also significantly iron deficient.  Probably from all of the ridiculous bleeding.  I will have to sit down and have a conversation with this intelligent designer I keep hearing about – I think we need a fertility off-switch.  There’s got to be a suggestion box up there.

 Did you know that if you take iron supplements you should also take them with vitamin C?  It improves absorbency.  But avoid calcium with the iron, because that will interfere with iron absorption.
So that nice glass of organic milk I had with my steak last week was not as helpful as I thought.  

Next step: getting my lab kit in the mail.  Know what you do with that?  You spit into vials four different times on the 18th day of your cycle, and then freeze it.  Then you mail the frozen saliva back to the lab.  Neat, eh?

The reason for spit-testing is this: the hormones flying around the blood stream don’t all make it into the tissues.  The estrogen / progesterone ratio could be different when you look at what has actually passed through the tissues and into the saliva.

This next round will also give more detail about which types of estrogen and progesterone are at what levels – blood tests gather the sum total of each type. 

At the end of all of this, I will come away with a precise prescription to get my body back on track, and there will be monitoring of the progress / effectiveness of the treatments too.

In describing my pain, the specialist suggested I go to the ER to access a different doctor.  She really took my pain seriously.  She heard pain and understood I meant PAIN.  I had to explain that while our town is beautiful, we don’t have many options with doctors – it’s the clinic docs who staff the ER.  I would just be sent to the clinic, or I’d end up seeing the same clinic doc in the ER!  Unless the pain was so bad I needed morphine, there was no point in going to the ER.  

The ER is like a hammer.  I need a tuning.  You can’t tune a piano with a hammer.

Anyway, I will continue to see the GP for referrals to get an ultrasound in search of the source of the stabbing pain, and for a referral to a urologist. Stabbing pain is not a hormone issue – unless it’s a cyst or polyp caused by the hormones.  It could be that, it could be a few other things. More information is needed.

I really love our public health care system.  It’s just a shame that public health care sometimes means slow, incomplete health care.  This diagnosis could have taken me months, possibly years through the public system.  I had an extremely painful condition in my 20s that progressed  for nearly 2 years, with normal test results and multiple clinic and ER docs repeating the same, useless information.  Then, I finally got in front of a specialist who knew what she was looking at the moment she saw me.

And the solution was gentle and easy.  One pill once a month.  It took me over a year before my body’s balance corrected itself and I no longer needed those pills, but they completely turned it around for me.

This is why I love heath care.  The right solution can change your life.  Do you know how many times I would have died if not for modern medicine?

I always think about the diet factor.  But sometimes, diet isn’t enough.  Diet could not fix this spiral – the stress, causing adrenal fatigue, causing estrogen dominance, causing anemia, weight gain and a plethora of other symptoms.  

Encouraged, I’m going back to my healthy diet with new zeal.  No sugar.  Low flour.  Little dairy.  It’s not easy, but I know it’s the best diet for me, based on experience.  I feel like it’s worth the effort now, because I think I’ll be back on track soon.  

Good health, everyone, or as they say in Germany, gazunteight!

Ack! So much happening!

  

Friends, I’ve had such a wonderful summer.  I’m planning a trip to visit my Dad at the end of September, sweetie and I have been on a little summer vacation to Salt Spring Island, I’ve had some quality time with my friends – and I’ve had some wonderful sessions with some of you!  

If you’re not already following me on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram, please do so, because that’s where my day-to-day updates tend to go.  If you’re curious about my life, that is!  And assuming you like pictures of cats.

I do have two new podcast episodes coming down to you – I will try to have them posted tomorrow, but if not, it will definitely be next week!  Check out joyfultelepathy.com, or subscribe on iTunes or stitcher to be updated as soon as its released.

I am also about two weeks behind on my emails at the moment.  I really love hearing from you, and just today I responded to two people with paranormal stories / spirit experiences that parallel my own.  VERY COOL, I love it when you reach out to me and trust me with your stories.  Thank you.  It make take me a little while to get back to you, especially as we get further into September and I’m preparing for my trip.  

So keep emailing me, and know I’m not ignoring you!  I will always answer your emails.

Have an amazing day, everyone.  Kate

Big trees, ashes, and love.

  
Well friends, it has been one busy month.  Summers are always super-busy, but this year Sweetie & I actually got summer time off together for the first time in seven years!  

We welcomed some friends from our home town of North Bay and the brand new human they created, Ginny.  You guys, I just love this kid.  I miss her so much!  She is a total badass, too.  Here she is bleeding through her leggings because she took a header down a gravel hill just before our boat ride – I thought it was over, folks!  I’ve taken falls like that!  THEY HURT!  Sliding on gravel can wreck your day, but after some love and cuddles from her parents, and some matter-of-fact first aiding, we made it out to Meares island, home of the 1200 year old trees.

The one in the background of this photo is about 900 years old, apparently.  

There’s another special thing about this tree – last time I was here, it was with my mother.  And she was pretty pissed at me.

See, the boardwalk on Meares island is really rough, and I didn’t know that Mom had become unsteady on her feet.  This was before we knew about the brain tumour.  I was shocked she was so upset that I’d wanted to take them to this trail.  Again, before we knew about the brain tumour, Mom’s emotional responses seemed extreme and confusing.  

I hadn’t remembered the trail being so rough, and I hadn’t known that my mother had declined so far in her health she wasn’t comfortable on anything but a paved surface.  Plenty of people in their 60s and 70s walk these trails.  Not Mom though. She was scared she’d be hurt.  It started their visit off on a very bad foot.

We made it as far as this very tree.  We took some photos by this tree, and a bright blue stellar jay showed himself in all his electric glory.  We have photos of him too.  If I get time to dig up those photos, I’ll post them here.

And here I am, years later, at this very tree.  What you can’t see is my Mom is here too.  In spirit of course, cackling along with her favourite aunt (they like to tag along on our vacations), but she is also in my pocket.  I brought her ashes with me, to this spot, on this day.

And I left some in this tree.  The next rain washed the teaspoon of ashes away, I’m sure, and I hope some molecules of what used to be her body will be taken up into this tree.  Because even though Mom was angry with me at the time, weeks later after thinking about it and looking at the photos, she told me she was glad to have been there, and wasn’t that Stellar jay beautiful?

Right after this photo was taken, a Stellar jay chattered, and showed himself.  I IMMEDIATELY started to cry, and explained myself to my friends who were unaware of my secret ashes-scattering mission.

My friend responded “well, good!  If we can have everyone in tears by the end of this journey, we can declare this day successful!” (Refrencing  Ginny’s painful face-plant that was referred to for the rest of the visit as The Incident.)

I love that I have a little bit of my mom in this tree.  I love that before Mom died, she promised to send me schnauzers and birds.  I see her in hummingbirds that visit my garden, in startling and delightful yellow warblers, and in the merry chattering Stellar jay, whose presence confirmed hers.

Love you, Mom.

The Cat-Mitzvah!

The Crazy Cat Lady enclosure is nearing completion of Phase 1!

Let me give you the background here: In the past, all my animals have been rescues. With the exception of Happy, I didn’t know any of the birthdays of any of my pets. I never *really* knew how old they were.

Today, my friends, Mikey and Rupert are One Year Old.

One year of age is when you stop referring to felines as “Kittens” and you start calling them Cats. It’s their Cat-Mitzvah, people! I can’t believe how excited / happy I am today. It’s really funny, I’m rolling my eyes at MYSELF!

In the past, my cats Leo and Sunshine were indoor / outdoor cats. While we were living in Toronto, they were strictly apartment cats, but once we moved to the west coast, as both of them had been identified as “strays” at the SPCA, and both clearly knew about predators and staying close to home, they had free access to the great outdoors.

With Mikey and Rupert, not so much. They’re ragdoll cats. Their ancestors have not been outside in at least SIX generations, possibly longer. Ragdolls are bred to be sociable, compliant, and… well, soft. This makes them amazing pets.

But I would not give Mikey a shot in hell at surviving outside on his own. We have actual predators out here, people. Eagles prey on housecats. Wolves actively target them. So do adolescent cougars. I can’t let Mikey outside.

Rupert, I think, would fare just fine. He might fare a little too well. The neighbours have elderly cats, and apparently the other cats in the area are beating the oldies up. I wouldn’t put that behaviour past Rupert. I’m also certain that Roo would be an incredible hunter, given the opportunity.

If it were only Rupert, I’d probably start introducing him to the outdoors on a leash, and build up to supervised, off-leash backyard time.

But I don’t want to have to rush him to the vet after getting in a tussle with another cat. And I don’t want Roo to be the type of cat who used to come beat up my Leo. Roo, at times, is more like a mini bobcat or wolverine than a domesticated feline. I think he’s some sort of genetic throwback. With his people he’s incredibly demonstrative and affectionate. He follows us around and licks us like we’re his kittens. But there is something distinctly feral and dominant about him, despite his domestication.

This other side of him supervises his brother’s litter box use (one for pee, one for poop!) and howls loudly when I mention aloud, the possibility of one day, maybe, adopting another dog. “Noooooooooooooooo!” Rupert is anti-dog.

Thanks to my dear friend for sponsoring this outdoor enclosure project.

Rupert and Mikey will soon have safe access to the great outdoors via this laundry room window. The enclosure will contain this cat tree, and a pentagon-shaped surround of cedar with chicken wire panels. I call this “Phase 1” because I plan on expanding the pentagon in the future to include a cat garden and part of the lawn.

The panels stack to eight feet high, and come up just under the overhang of the roof. The top of the enclosure will have deer netting to keep the cats in and the eagles out, and I’ll probably cover the top and two sides with clear plastic during the rainy season, depending on which way the wind tends to blow.

So that is the Cat-Mitzvah update!

In other news, folks, I’ve been podcasting! I’m not always great about cross-posting episodes to the blog, but I can see from the numbers that at least 90 of you are downloading the episode as soon as it’s released, which means – YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED! Thank you!

You have a new episode today, and two more coming next week and the week after! Next week’s episode features a super-special SECRET guest! We had a fantastic conversation. Today, I finished off talking about my parent’s weirdly occupied house and what we did to make that place habitable while they were living there. You can listen to that episode here:

If you would like to subscribe and get the Joyful Telepathy episodes the moment they’re released, here’s what you do:

With an apple iphone or similar product, open the podcast app. It looks like this:

Then within the app, search for Joyful Telepathy, or Kate Sitka. When you find my podcast, click on it and select “subscribe”.

That’s it! The new episodes will download on to your device as soon as they’re posted to joyfultelepathy.com

If you have an android / windows / other phone, then you’ll need to download a podcast app first. There are many of them, but to make things easy I suggest you download Stitcher to your device.

My podcast is already on the Stitcher network, so once you have the app, all you have to do is search for Joyful Telepathy or Kate Sitka, and subscribe!

If you would rather have a different app, you can still subscribe to the Joyful Telepathy Podcast. What you would need to do instead of searching for Joyful Telepathy or Kate Sitka, is instead search for this:

http://www.joyfultelepathy.com/feed/

That piece of code that looks like a website address will tell your podcast program where to find the data for my podcast. It should automatically add my podcast to your listening cue and update it with new episodes.

That’s it!

In honour of Mikey and Rupert’s very first birthday, post a little comment if you like and I’ll read it to them tonight!

Stormy the Pittie and more podcast episodes!

  
Everyone give Stormy lots of love!  Here she is a few days ago after getting her SECOND knee surgery poor girl.  At this point she was pretty high on fentanyl and lots of cuddles.  This surgery was much harder on her than the first one, which surprised us both.  I told her it would be just like the first one, which was pretty easy for her, but because the injury was so much older on her second surgery, she experienced a rude awakening.

Stormy’s Mom, Carla, owns the pet supply store here and is so dedicated to her animals.  Storm pretty much required the reassurance of constant physical contact with Carla for the first 48 hours after surgery, so Carla set up a giant couch / bed and snuggled Storm for two days straight.  Here I am in the pic, clearly on my day off haven’t done anything with my hair and wearing my yoga pants, relieving Carla of snuggle duties for about 30 minutes before Storm wanted Mom again.

I’ve continued to release podcast episodes so if you haven’t already heard the latest episodes, please go check them out!  

I’ll be releasing more episodes soon, including one with a special secret guest! 

As usual, I find it challenging to keep everything updated, as summer is the busiest time for me, both at the hospital, with my psychic business, and socially as we’re having visitors this year!  So when you see some silence on the blog, be sure to check out the podcast and the Facebook / Twitter / Instagram, on the right sidebar – or scroll down if you’re on a mobile device.

As always, you can reach me at tofinopsychic@gmail.com!

HAPPY SUMMER!!!