By Mardee Handler, guest author
Life-changing moments are rare, but they’re the ones that shape our belief systems.
My first psychic medium reading was something I did on a complete whim. While on a team-building trip to Miami in the fall of 2015, I was invited to a small-group reading that Amy Utsman would be hosting the following day.
My first thought was, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
The host of the reading didn’t need a response ahead of time; we were told to simply show up if we were interested. I was not.
I never put much faith in psychics or mediums, lumping them in the same category as magicians. I knew they could impress an audience, but I was sure there was some sort of behind-the-scenes trickery involved.
After spending all morning in air-conditioned, mandatory meetings, why would I give up an hour of precious Florida afternoon pool time to sit in on something I didn’t really believe in?
But about an hour before the reading was scheduled to begin, I had an abrupt change of heart.
All of a sudden, I really wanted to attend. What surprised me even more was that my husband — an even greater skeptic than I was — agreed to come with me.
I walked into the room a non-believer, and left in complete awe.
Here We Go …
The reading was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Including Amy, there were only five of us in the room, all roughly the same age.
As it turned out, it was a first-time reading for all of us “sitters” (as medium clients are called). Not knowing each other — or what to expect — the vibe on our side of the room could be best described as awkward. While I was grateful that my husband had agreed to come with me, I was afraid to look at him for fear I’d burst out in nervous, inappropriate laughter.
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Here we were, about to learn some pretty intimate details about each other’s lives — from a stranger, in the company of strangers.
Amy quickly put us at ease.
She explained that we would each get a turn to hear from our loved ones who had passed. The order would be determined by our relatives on the Other Side, who were lining up to communicate with us.
Reassuring us that she wasn’t crazy, she forewarned us that we might hear her communicate back to spirits and spirit guides. While that might look a little strange, she said, it was a normal part of the back-and-forth between realms.
Okayyyyyyy, I thought. Here we go …
The woman sitting to my right went first. She was moved to tears within minutes.
The messages she received didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but they certainly did to her. I listened intently, and was intrigued by the uncanny accuracy of these messages. Before I knew it, I was patting her arm and passing her the box of Kleenex from the coffee table in front of us.
One of the most important lessons I learned that day was that joy and sadness can coexist in the same moment. Her flood of tears were the manifestation of these simultaneous, strong emotions.
I was drawn in, and increasingly curious to hear what messages Amy might have for me.
Before it was my turn, Amy did a reading for my husband. After she relayed highly personal details that he had shared with me throughout the years, I felt my skepticism fading … quickly. How could she possibly know these things? Could this be real??
Still, while it’s one thing to witness a medium reading, it’s quite another to sit in the “hot seat.”
Having briefly met Amy for the first time the day before the reading, I wanted to be respectful. I liked her; she seemed warm, friendly and genuine. This was her life’s work.
But I also wanted to put her to the test. Determined not to feed her any information about my life, my family or my past, I remained pretty tight-lipped. Everyone else in the room had been visited by parents from the Other Side. Mine were both alive (then). Would Amy know that?
She told me that a couple, a man and woman who were not my parents, were waiting to talk with me. The woman, she said, wanted to go first. Could it be a grandma, she asked me? I loved all of my grandparents, but had an especially close bond with my Grandma Ethel, my mom’s mom, who died when I was 23 years old.
I hoped it was her. As soon as Amy started describing the woman wearing an apron, I knew it was her.
Still, I was in “prove it” mode. After all, lots of grandmas wore aprons in the 1960s and 70s. I wanted Amy to tell me more before I gave out any details. When she told me that she saw bells, I felt my heart skip a beat; Grandma Ethel collected bells — more than a hundred of them.
As Amy continued to describe my grandma’s personality and habits, I was captivated. I had almost forgotten that anyone else was in the room when the woman to my right passed the Kleenex box back to me.
The real watershed came when Amy passed along profound words of advice that my grandma wanted her to relay to me. I recall those words often — and I hear them in her voice.
At the end of my reading, Amy told me that my grandpa had been standing next to my grandma the whole time … that he, too, had messages for me, but knew I needed to hear from my grandma more. That’s exactly the kind of man he was.
As my husband and I left the reading, we looked at each other in disbelief. Were we dreaming? Did that really happen? It did; and it changed us — me, especially.
A Seismic Shift
For the rest of that day — and several days that followed — I felt a warmth in my heart that was hard to articulate. Yet it’s all I wanted to talk about, with anyone willing to listen.
Although I couldn’t see, hear or touch her, I had just had the most beautiful visit with my grandma. It felt like a gift. I also realized that my sudden change of heart that day wasn’t a happenstance. It was a message.
Since that day, I’ve had two subsequent readings with Amy. I also lost my dad.
Do I miss him? Every day. But the knowledge that we will always stay connected brings me a modicum of peace that I would not have felt before my first medium reading. I feel his presence and, thanks to Amy, have already heard from him.
“He sure likes to talk,” Amy joked during a recent reading.
“I’m so glad,” I replied, through tears and a big smile.
Guest author Mardee Handler is a career coach and content marketing consultant. She helps others find and use their voice to thrive in all areas of their professional lives.
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