Lessons From a Medium

People often ask me about spirit guides. “What is their name?” they ask, or “How many do I have?” These are hard questions to answer. Spirit guides don’t really have names, per se, like humans. A spirit guide is an energy, but you can apply a name to it if you like.

As for numbers, we each have many guides. Some stay with us through many lifetimes, and some come just for one lifetime. We also have what I call opportunity guides that come and go within the same lifetime. If you want to start oil painting, you’ll attract a being who will help you use your innate soul’s gifts for oil painting. When that’s done, that guide moves on. When I write my books, for example, certain guides come in specifically for each book because the subject of the book is their particular specialty.

There are also teams that support us to do our soul’s mission. These are very positive, loving, benevolent beings who have a vested interest in our evolution because they’re hoping to evolve as well, as they work with us. As we expand and grow, so do they.

A lot of people ask me questions about contacting the spirit world, including “How can I hear my loved ones?” and “How can I be more aware of my guides?” You have to become mindful and aware of them around your space. I suggest getting into the quiet mind, the stillness, the Silence—whether that’s through meditation, mindfulness, or an ongoing daily practice. Just sit in the quiet, with no disturbances. Then send out an intention and invite them into that space.

I often recommend an exercise called the “meeting room,” which was given to me by the medium Mavis Pittilla, who studied with the very famous medium Gordon Higginson, who started the Arthur Findlay College for mediums in England. After you get yourself to that quiet state, then imagine a meeting room, square or round, big or small. Make it any room you want, as long as it has two chairs and a picture window. Imagine yourself sitting in one of the chairs, facing the picture window, and ask for a guide or a loved one to appear. Invite them to sit with you and chat. This is an opportunity for you to hear what it’s like in the spiritual dimensions from a guide, a teacher, or a loved one. You are finding out more about their world and their point of view.

You’ll begin to have communication with your soul, working from the inside out because there are many layers to our souls. You become aware of the atmosphere around you and within you, and you become aware of what the atmosphere feels like when you have another energy in it—there’s a shift that you will sense. Then listen to the next thought, let them drop that in, and when you feel that energy along with that thought, you’ll know the thought is from them. You begin to have these incredible insights.

But you have to be willing to put aside the time to listen carefully to the quiet because this communication is extremely subtle. People expect a hammer over the head. It’s nothing like that. It’s whispers.

One more piece of advice: Have no expectations. People tend to have expectations of what they want to hear, but instead, just be open to whatever happens. It takes practice, and it requires patience.

When we connect with our spirit guides or a loved one on the other side, they have to lower their energy— and we have to raise ours. They’re in a higher dimension; their frequency is outside the human spectrum. The analogy I use is a ceiling fan: When it’s turned off, you can see the individual blades. But if you speed it up, you can’t see them. In the spirit dimension, their vibration is very fast and you can’t really see them. They have to slow themselves down and get closer to the human dimension, and a medium then must raise their vibration through meditation to meet them. That’s how guides or loved ones are able to communicate with us. It’s like meeting on a bridge between the spirit world and the human world.

Raising your vibration is about feeling the love within yourself that is God, this spark of the Divine. That includes self-love, so find aspects of yourself that you love, write them down, and put them up on the bathroom mirror so you remember them every day. (What other people think of you, by the way, is none of your business.) Getting to the power means getting into your self-love.

The more people open up to this part of themselves and accept it, the more it multiplies. I often remind people that herbal tea used to be considered a very strange thing, as was yoga. Now look—both are everywhere. In the same way, more people are now becoming able to speak about their experiences with spirit communication because those experiences are actually very natural.

That’s a good thing because so many people live in fear. A lot of them are living a life that’s not theirs—it’s someone else’s life. It was imposed upon them as children that they have to behave a certain way in order to be loved or be accepted. People love that sense of freedom when they realize, Wow, I can be myself, and I can have my own belief systems, and I don’t have to fall into these traps or believe the illusions that other people are forcing on me. Part of my work is bringing people back to their true selves, their true essence—not who they think they are, but who they truly are.

Too often, we jump into judgment, and judgment is fear-based—it’s a knee-jerk reaction. We judge others because we want to feel in control of the situation. I often tell people to use what I call the pause button. If someone else has said something nasty to them, I say, “Pause, take a few deep breaths, and begin to see that person for who they are. Realize that what they’re projecting is their own stuff. They’re going through some things, and you’re just in their way. Look and see what’s going on with them.” If we could see everyone who comes into our life each day as a teacher or a student, we can ask: What are they teaching me now? Patience, understanding, forgiveness? or What am I going to teach them? Healthy boundaries, respect, responsibility? It’s back and forth. Use the golden rule, treating others as you want to be treated, and don’t take things personally because everyone has issues.

Remember that the No. 1 unifying force is love, which is our natural vibration. The more we can use that, the closer we are to our true self. The first step to unconditional love is forgiveness. If you can forgive another, then that space is opened up for energy to come in and move in other areas of your life. If you’re holding on very tightly and you’re not able to forgive, you’re blocking positive things that might happen for you. You must forgive in order to grow.

Author Biography: 

James Van Praagh is a pioneer of the mediumship movement and a New York Times best-selling author. He recently launched the James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts, an online school offering audio and video courses with live calls and online forums. Visit jvpschoolofmysticalarts.com and vanpraagh.com.

This article was adapted from an October 2017 interview James Van Praagh gave to Debra Moffitt on her Unity Online Radio show, Divinely Inspired Living, airing Tuesdays at 9 a.m. (CT) on unityonlineradio.org.