Thursday, March 29, 2012

Medium Jodi Livon on intuition v. fear

Jodi Livon is a Minnesota medium who has had strong mediumistic abilities since early childhood. However, she was raised in a family that had no framework for these phenomena, so she was quite scared of her experiences until her paternal grandmother died when Livon was about 22. Her grandmother had been her primary parent, and they had a very trusting relationship, so when her grandmother started to communicate with her after death, Livon felt both safe enough and motivated enough to begin to fully embrace and develop her mediumistic abilities.

In her book, “The Happy Medium,” Livon gives some autobiographical information, some examples of interesting sessions with clients, and a lot of hard-won wisdom about managing being psychic and/or mediumistic. She has clearly had some challenges early in life, and she has clearly done a lot of work on herself. She has fabulous boundaries. I wish I had such good boundaries! She’s very compassionate about people’s differences and flaws. And she has a lot of good advice about being self-compassionate, grounding yourself, and being yourself.

Her tips about how to tune into your intuition emphasize getting to know yourself in a psychologically robust way, rather than the usual exercises.

The following passage seems particularly good for those of us who are having a lot of trouble discriminating fearful imaginings from intuition, due to neurological damage or overwhelming psychic opening.

“Of course, when listening to that inner voice, be certain it is the voice of intuitive knowledge versus fear. First, ask a question that you know the answer to. Is the voice truthful? Are you feeling respected? If not, you are dealing with fear. Tell it to go away. Intuitive responses feel familiar. Unless there is truly immediate danger, the sensation should be one of calm certainty sent with respectful words and a loving quality. The voice of intuition is steady. The voice of fear is not” ( p. 154).

Now, this way of discriminating intuition from fear probably works more easily for people who are slowly and voluntarily working on opening up their psychic abilities. It’s a little trickier for people who are having a spontaneous, overwhelming psychic opening, and even more complicated if there is neurological damage confusing the issue.

The problem is that fear can be so, so convincing. This is true with anxiety in general, but it’s amplified when you’re having psychic experiences you weren’t prepared for or a neuro-damage-induced psychic opening.

Another problem is that you can’t tell fear to go away very effectively when you are in uncharted territory for you, such as having unsolicited psychic experiences, or when you are dealing with neurologically-driven fear. The forces you’re encountering are unfamiliar or unyielding. At these times, forget trying to be accurately intuitive; just being moderately rational is hard enough. Still, I think even we can benefit from Livon’s tip.

At one level, we can look at fearful imaginings as the blockade to psi, or as the antithesis of psi.  But, an additional way of looking at the fear that erupts after a distressing psychic opening is that the fear is a misinterpretation of the newly available psi. This may be especially common with distressing psychic openings.

How can we use what Livon wrote in this passage to illuminate this misinterpretation that’s going on? We can ask her questions, and then add one more:

Can you look at the situation you’re afraid of, and imagine that there is actually something particularly positive in it? Your fear may be a red herring, a misinterpretation at one level that masks what is, in fact, a particularly positive thing about the situation at another level. It may be that this is a consistent way that we misinterpret overwhelming psychic openings. The information we’re getting is so new in both quantity and content, that it just triggers a reflexive fear reaction.

In a simple way, you can see this dynamic illustrated by Livon in the sense that she was very psychically open from childhood, but not helped to be prepared for it, so she was afraid. Granted, she has had to learn boundaries and interpretive skills to manage the flood of information, but still there really was nothing to be afraid of ever. And this is what she, herself, now says.


  1. It seems to me that the point about intentionally looking for a more positive interpretation is immensely important. Sometimes it's a reframing that makes all the difference.

  2. Thanks so much for the comment, Nancy! Ain't it the truth?! It's absolutely weird how effective it can be to reframe things.