HOUSTON, TX — Annie Boland nearly died three times before the age of thirty. She lived through a difficult childhood, cared for her dying mother, and continued to care for her mentally impaired father until his death. She knew when her contractor was lying to her; she knew when her husband was cheating. She knew when chaos was brewing, and when her friends were in trouble. Yet at 50 years of age, Annie still didn’t trust her own instincts.
“I grew up in a strict Southern Baptist environment,” she says. “First you were supposed to trust God, then the government, your teachers, then your parents. The last thing anyone wanted you to do was trust yourself. If by chance I had an idea all my own, it was quickly whooped right out of me. That’s a hard thing to unlearn.”
The moment I met Annie, I knew she was a kindred spirit. A self described “short round blonde,” she had a smile that would melt a glacier and a sense of humor to match. Her blue eyes glanced warmly at me as she let out an unguarded “HEY!!!!!!” and made her way across my classroom.
Annie took a seat in the front row. To her left was Megan, a single mother of two with a penchant for picking the wrong type of man. To the right was Wayne, who worked for a brokerage firm. Wayne always seemed to be kicking himself for not having listened to “that feeling” when he had it. Also in the class were a chiropractor, an English teacher and a real estate agent. Each had his or her own story, but in the end it boiled down to the same thing. They wanted to learn how to trust their own instincts.
This is not uncommon, as more and more people from every possible background are beginning to search for something beyond their normal range of experience. Some want a competitive edge in business; others are looking for spiritual insight. Many just want to understand themselves better. Lucinda, a restaurant manager, says “I’ve always known that I could do it. I want to learn to be more accurate. I know that I can do it because I’ve used it all my life.”
“It,” is known as psychic ability, and I, Diane Gremmel, teach psychic development to adults and children. I’ve worked as a professional psychic medium for over twenty-five years, and at that time I had already done thousands of readings, dozens of lectures and interviews, as well as appearances on television and radio. Nothing, however, has given me the satisfaction I feel when watching a student’s potential unfold.
Psychic ability is something that every one of us has, but few of us are aware of our gifts. Most of the time, we are grounded in a physical world that consists of honking horns, blaring voices, and rushed appointments. The subtle cues from the energy around us get lost amid the craziness of modern life. There is, however, a constant flow of information that is always available to us in the form of thoughts, feelings and images that we receive from a place beyond the physical. This is what I teach my students to become attuned to. This is what it means to be psychic.
On the first day of class, I asked the students to consider themselves radio receivers. All day long signals go out to every radio in town, whether or not you are tuned to that station. Most of the constant input we are given is rejected in favor of more immediately pressing matters, but sometimes bits of information get through.
Megan, the single mom, related this story: “I was rushing around, trying to get the kids dressed for school. Every time I thought we were ready, I’d remember something else we’d forgotten, so I ran back and forth from room to room, praying I could drop them off and still make it to work on time. Underneath all of the noise, I felt a surge of peace, as though everything would be fine, but I brushed it aside and continued to go nuts.
Just before we left the house, the TV announced that all schools and federal buildings would be closed due to snow. Suddenly, it was me and the kids at home, enjoying a snow day. I wish I’d listened more to that calm feeling. I might not have gotten so stressed.”
I appreciate the example, because paying attention to intuition can solve a lot of problems before they get started. I asked the students to carry a notebook that week and record any flashes of energy they received in the form of thoughts, feelings, pictures or words that just “came to them.”
Annie approached me before the next class. “I wrote down some dreams, and I also wrote down some feelings, but I’m not sure if any of it means anything. How do I know if I’m making it up? How do I know if a feeling is real?”
My answer was pretty simple. If something just “comes” to you, make note of it. If you reach a conclusion via logic, that’s not intuition. Psychic hunches will come to you in a way that has nothing to do with your logical mind.
I usually give students a new exercise every week, each one tapping into a way of receiving information. Everyone is different; some receive feelings, while others just “know.” A few words that come to one student are no less valid than a picture that pops into the head of another. The common thread is that all of us receive, and by paying attention, we enrich our perceptions with additional information that most people would miss.
Several weeks of class brought breakthroughs for many students. Wayne, the stockbroker, had followed a hunch about a stock transaction, saving several client portfolios from ruin. Emily, a teacher, successfully predicted a fire drill on the day before it happened. Others had stories to tell about lucky breaks and flashes of knowing. Everyone had a story, except for Annie.
“It’s just not working” she said. “I tried all week to play a guessing game with playing cards, and I couldn’t get anything right!”
“The problem is,” I told her, “you need to stop guessing an outcome. Just sit until you receive an answer in your head, even if you sit all day.”
Our game that day was one that I love to use whenever a new student arrives in class. By means of a series of questions to ourselves, we try to determine that person’s lifestyle and personal history. We sat in a circle around Debra, a nurse with short dark hair and a no-nonsense manner. Megan volunteered for the first question.
After a moment of silence, she announced “You vote Republican and have strong conservative views.”
“That’s right!” Debra said.
Then Wayne jumped in. ‘”You live in a two-storey house and I see a red door with ivy around it.” Debra smiled, genuinely amazed.
To my left I saw Annie staring at the floor.
“I’m trying to see if she is married or not, if she has any family,” Annie said. “And at first I thought someone was saying ‘orange, orange’, and I knew that couldn’t be right. Then I thought it was ‘Oran’ or ‘Owen’ or something like that. I never could get an answer.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!” Debra said in stunned surprise. “Oran was my grandfather. I miss him terribly. Do you think he’s trying to say something to me?”
Annie looked just as surprised as Debra. “Maybe he just wants to say hello and let you know that he’s with you.”
Later, Annie asked me, “Do you think maybe that was just a lucky guess?”
I grinned at her. “Think about it. How many people do you know with a grandfather named Oran? You picked something up today, and it was real. Just remember the way it felt to receive, and keep the information coming.”
“In that case,” she whispered, “I was picking up something today in class about your car. You need to have your front brakes checked. I think they need adjusting.”
Guess whose brakes gave the tiniest squeal when she left the parking lot? I made a mental note to have them checked.
For each new class of beginners, the psychic realm feels unfamiliar. A place to be visited by only a chosen few. They soon learn, however, that the psychic world is the one we all walk through every day. I simply teach them to see it in a different way.
In this realm, and the non-physical one, it’s all about knowing which direction to look.