“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
~ Paulo Coelho
If you regularly read my blog you’ll know that I am psychic. I was born that way, and I believe all of us have intuitive capability. But in some of us it is more focused than in others, as with any kind of ability.
For most of my early life I considered this psychic capacity a curse. I was ashamed of it. I wanted to be normal. Like everybody else. In fact, I did everything I could to ignore the feelings, visions and experiences that came unbidden. In doing so I hoped that all of it would somehow just go away.
Of course it didn’t.
Still, I managed to keep a lid on things until I moved to the Kimberley and met the women who would become my Aboriginal Aunties. Under their watchful eye and gentle tutelage I began to trust my abilities and to grow in the using of them.
Then I came back to the city and did my best to shut things down. I managed to co-exist with the abilities but keep them shoved to the side most of the time, while I pursued a more ‘normal’ life. Corporate by day, psychic when no-one corporate was looking… I managed to do both, without having either world collide.
But that all changed on my thirtieth birthday.
I was staying in Sydney while I attended a conference, hoping to use the skills I was gaining to further my corporate career. The hotel hosting the program was prohibitively expensive so I’d chosen to share a room at a travellers’ hostel with another course participant – a lovely stranger named Robyn.
On the second morning of the course I woke early, and stood on my bed to peer out of the tiny high window that looked down over the beach. It was sunrise, and I hoped to see the sun come up to welcome in my thirtieth year.
Everything looked blurred. I rubbed and rubbed my eyes but still nothing came clear.
No, that wasn’t quite right. The people were blurry, but the landscape remained unchanged. All of the people looked as if they were encased in bubbles of translucent multi-coloured light.
It began to freak me out. Slowly I climbed down from my bed and looked across at my sleeping roomy. She was a bubble of light too.
I grabbed my towel and a change of clothes and made my way down the corridor to the women’s bathroom. Things went from bad to worse. A man walked towards me and I felt myself flinch and press myself to the wall, trying to stay out of the way of his ‘bubble’ which seemed to me to be a tangible thing. I was sure he would run into me.
After my shower more people were up and about and I became distressed as they walked past me, crowding me with their strange bubbles of light, which pressed in all around me. I felt invaded by their energy, and panicky. Something terrible was happening to me, and I worried this might be a stroke or brain tumor or some other kind of medical emergency.
Back at the room Robyn was so kind. She fetched me some water, sat beside me and asked me to explain what was happening. We came up with possibilities, including a migraine.
Eventually she went off to the course and I took myself to a local doctor and then to hospital.
Even in my panic I began to notice that the bubbles of light were different colours. At the hospital many of the nurses had pink in their bubbles. Many of the doctors had a particular shade of blue, and both groups seemed to have a lot of yellow.
After seeing a couple of different people I was sent to a calm, quietly-spoken older man. A neurologist. He believed that I might be seeing auras. He had another patient who saw words as colour, and a patient who saw music as colours. He didn’t seem to be freaked out by what was happening to me. Instead he was curious, and encouraged me to be the same. I was given a referral to a practitioner back in my home state, and told to come back to emergency if I experienced mental confusion or chest pain.
I went back to the hostel feeling frightened and very much alone. I was still very panicked, hoping that these colours would wear off soon and my eyes would go back to normal. I didn’t know how I’d go home to my relatively new relationship and explain this latest shame to my boyfriend. I was sure he’d end it with me. I mean, seeing bubbles of light around people? That was the ravings of a crazy person.
How would I tell my parents? What if people found out? What if it never went away?
I worked myself into quite a state. I already had an illness no-one seemed to believe was real. (Yep, that was undiagnosed lyme disease, making my life a misery even back then!) Now I had this bizarre awful thing happening with my eyes. My world had turned foreign and dangerous overnight. Everything looked strange. My spatial knowledge, my personal space, my sense of safety and boundaries were all being challenged. Walking, crossing the road, negotiating pedestrians and traffic – all of it was terrifying. It was as if I’d woken up in someone else’s life, or someone else’s sci-fi dream. I couldn’t turn it off. I couldn’t make it stop. All I wanted was to go to sleep and wake up the way I’d been the day before. Was this what my life had been reduced to? Was I mentally ill?
Before, I could hide the fact that I was different. Now I had no chance of that. The worst thing was I could no longer deny this to myself. How could I kid myself I was normal, or that being psychic was ‘just a phase’. What would my life look like now? What would this mean for me? I seriously considered walking to the next beach and throwing myself from the cliff there.
My roomy came back late that afternoon, and insisted in taking me downstairs to a cafe for celebratory coffee and cake. She didn’t treat me like a lunatic. Instead Robyn had bought me a birthday present – a notepad and some coloured pencils from the local newsagency. Draw what you see, she said. Draw me! And so I did my first aura reading, without knowing yet that this is what I was doing.
Robyn truly saved my life that day.
This gentle wise woman held my hand, sat patiently, and talked me into staying on the course, and calling my boyfriend, Ben to tell him what had happened. By the end of the week I was even drawing auras for other people Robyn had befriended and brought to our table.
Then my dear new friend stayed in touch. She rang me after we both went back to our interstate homes, to see how I’d settled in and how my reception with Ben had gone. Robyn kept quietly encouraging me and accepting me.
And that made all the difference. She handed me a lifeline via her kindness and compassion, helping me to find my way back from a dark and frightening place. Because of Robyn I stayed present, I sat in awareness and I stopped fighting this thing that radically changed me overnight.
That’s a long time ago, and I’m used to seeing auras – around people, and animals and plants and places now too. I even know what they mean. This seemingly terrible thing has radically changed my life in so many good ways. Yes, there is some not so great stuff that comes with seeing the energy of others, all the time, but doesn’t everything have its ups and downs. It’s taken a while but I accept myself with grace and good humour. I am what I am. Just as you are what you are.
I’m sharing my story today for two reasons. One: for you to know that it’s okay to be different. You’re you for a reason. Embrace that! If it’s challenging you, sit in awareness and wait to see what happens next. Be curious and non-judgmental. Most of all be gentle with yourself. And Two: to help you understand that through kindness and compassion – even the smallest and simplest of gestures – you can radically change the path of another, and perhaps even the wider world.