"How can I get to be psychic like you?" people ask me breathlessly.
I've worked as a psychic for over thirty years and it means more to me each day, but would you really want to have this gift if you actually knew what it was like?"
First off, people expect free, on the spot readings no matter where you are or what you're doing. I'm lying on the examining table in a paper robe at the gynecologist's office, my feet in stirrups. The doctor inserts the specula, sits down on his little stool for a good look, and asks, "So, what do you see for me?"
Or I'm having a romantic dinner with my husband at a restaurant. (We practically don't see each other during the week because he leaves before 6 am and when he gets home, I'm on the phone with clients.) Friday nights, he and I have so much to catch up on. We begin telling each other about our week when one of the waiters recognizes me.
"Am I going to get that part?" he asks.
I've just sliced my blackened tuna in half and pushed it to the side of the plate so I won't eat more than the four ounces my latest diet allows for. For a moment, I think he wants the other half of my fish. And then it hits me. He's asking for my psychic opinion about whether or not he'll land an acting role.
"Just once can't we eat out in peace?" my husband asks him.
Apparently not. The busboy and a whole family from another table come to ask me questions about their future too.
As uncomfortable as it is when other people badger me for readings, it's worse when, without prodding from anyone else, I can't turn off that part of my mind when I'm not working. Imagine how it is when the daughter of a friend rushes up to me, her face flushed with joy, holding out her hand, splaying her fingers to show off the diamond ring her boyfriend, now fiancé, put there last week. What pops into my head? I see her standing at the alter in her Vera Wang wedding gown, groomless and sobbing. Maybe the guy isn't going to leave her right at the altar, but it's a sure sign he's going to back out, and probably well after all the down payments have been made. She's not my client. I don't have the right to say anything but a booming "Congratulations," my face stiff with false cheer.
What if she were my client? It's bad enough the jerk is going to break her heart. Do I have to as well? Yes, it's my job. I have to do it. I have to even if she curses at me, even if she threatens to kill herself. But if she does threaten suicide, I have to call 911 to report it even if my intuition tells me she'll live into her late nineties.
So after all of this, if you still want to be a psychic, the best thing I can tell you is to begin to meditate. When you meditate, you have the peace of mind to hear your own thoughts or what you think of as your own thoughts. You'd be surprised who and what you'll get to know if you pay attention.
The other thing to do is at night, before you go to bed, write down three things that you think are going to happen to you the next day. I don't mean to write down what's in your calendar for the next day, but try to guess what your friend will be wearing when she meets you for lunch or a specific phrase someone might say to you. If you're wrong, don't let it stop you from doing it again the next night. It's the daring, the act of focusing in that way that will train the mind to see the future. Within a matter of months, you may become an expert on tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Follow Rochelle Jewel Shapiro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rjshapiro