To help provide a little more clarity on the process of spirit communication and how it works, I feel it's first important to emphasize the difference between a medium and a psychic. A psychic is an individual who can sense information about a person, place, or thing. They connect with individuals on a one-to-one level. A medium is an individual who is able to sense communication from another individual in spirit and is able to relay their message. Thus, when a medium is involved, a triangular connection is formed: the medium, the spirit, and the person receiving the message. All mediums are psychic, but psychics aren't necessarily mediumistic.
Spirit communication tends to come in one of three ways: clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairsentience (clear sensing), and clairaudience (clear hearing). There are also other, less common "clairs," such as claircognizance (clear knowing), clairalience (clear smelling), and clairgustance (clear tasting). It's also important to remember that these senses are within the intuitive realm and may not be something you actual see, hear, or feel in the physical world. When it comes to "seeing" spirit, I like to tell people it's kind of like picturing someone standing next to you. You can imagine the person standing there, but you don't necessarily see them as physically as you see the chair. Now, there may be some people who are able to see spirit that clearly, but in most instances it is a communication that comes from within the mind's eye. As you develop, it's also important to remember that you may not use all three main senses in your work. You may see better than you hear, or you may sense more than you see, or you may experience a combination of all three.
If you choose to develop or explore your own intuitive or mediumistic abilities, it's good to realize that you are not alone in the process. There are spirits on the other side who are actually assisting you in your development. These individuals are known as spirit guides. A spirit guide is an individual in spirit who works directly with you on your development in this lifetime. They are with you from birth to death, and whether you are aware of them or not, they are there to assist you and inspire you upon your path. I like to think of a guide like Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder or a guardian angel. There are many perspectives and writings on spirit guides and angels. Some people see them as two separate entities, but in this instance, whether you call this support your spirit guide or your angel, it's more important to just know that there is a special spirit there for you.
It's also valuable to know that you never need a medium or a psychic. Although it can be a powerful experience to receive verifiable information from a complete stranger, it's more important to remember that you can receive communication from your loved ones through your own abilities at any time. Oftentimes it just takes a few moments of silence to help the process. Remember that communication can come through dreams, songs, signs, scents, feelings, and a number of other ways. It's helpful to first look for a logical explanation for what you perceive—for example, if you feel a cool breeze on your neck, check to see if the window is open. If the window is not open and you feel at the pit of your soul that it was communication, then trust your impressions and accept it as a message from spirit. I often say that if you experience three or more "coincidences," then God is trying to tell you something. If you receive more than three signs from a loved one, trust it!
Personal discernment is one of the most challenging aspects in the development of your intuitive abilities. How do you know what's communication from spirit and what might be your own hopes and desires? Ultimately, the way to distinguish between these is to practice. The more you work with receiving spirit's message, the more you will understand what is what. Spirit communication can occur in very subtle ways, and having patience in developing the process and patience with those in spirit around you will help tremendously. Also, be clear as to what your intentions are with your development. Mediumship is not a parlor game or a neat trick to try on friends. It's a very serious endeavor and should be presented and treated as such. If you are able to realize that spirit is coming forward to you to relay a message to someone, it may be the only opportunity this spirit has to share what he or she needs to communicate. Approach this work with integrity and love.
The quickest way to begin the process of connecting with spirit is to sit for meditation. Now, stop, don't run away...meditation isn't something that has to be a difficult or laborious process. Nor do you have to sit with your legs crossed and say "om" to yourself for an hour. Meditation can be as simple as taking a few moments to pause in your hectic day and just quiet your mind. Being mindful of your breath and allowing slow deep breaths in and out can help open your mind to new insights and inspiration. Meditation can also be a wonderful way for you to reach out and connect with your loved ones in spirit. Below, you will find a sample meditation I offer to people to help them connect with their loved ones in spirit.
Connecting with Your Loved Ones in Spirit
Take a few moments now to relax. And with each breath in and out I want you to imagine that you are expanding your light, you are expanding your soul. As you take this moment to center yourself and focus on your breath, you become like a beacon of light, shining brightly so that those in spirit can draw closer to you. Just take these next few moments here to find that place of peace, to find that place of connection.
As you become relaxed, I want you to invite someone to come to you. Someone you are hoping to hear from, someone you have perhaps been missing—a loved one, a family member, a friend who is now on the other side. Invite them to draw close to you; imagine them standing in front of you. And as you do so, it's important to remember and to acknowledge the things that you are seeing, hearing, and sensing.
You don't need a medium or a psychic to connect to your loved ones in spirit; it is an ability we all have and is a connection that we can all make. So as you find yourself now in this moment of silence, send out that invitation and invite that person you are hoping to connect with close to you. And as you begin to build this link, allow the emotion, allow the feelings, and allow the connection. See that person, hear that person, feel that person, for they are still here. They are still present. They are still connected.
Take these next few moments now just to be in their space, in connection with them. Feel free to ask them questions or share your thoughts. And then sit quietly and trust the impressions you have received. You have built this bridge between two worlds. And you are connected to the loved one you wished to reach. Be, together, in the space of communication...
Meditation is a wonderful process. It can be quite powerful not only in connecting you to your loved ones, but also helping you manage the stress of everyday life. So whether you choose to sit on the top of a mountain or in your own backyard, meditation allows you to reconnect to your own spirit—so that you can connect to the spirit that connects us all.
Excerpted from Bridge to the Afterlife<, by Troy Parkinson