As the medium delivered her first message to the group, I cringed. “A spirit is with you,” she told a woman in the audience, “and he won’t go away.” Oh, no, I thought, the poor woman is going to think she has an attachment! The medium is scaring her! I watched the woman’s eyes grow wide, and I felt like standing up and shouting at the medium, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING?”
But I sat still and blew out an exasperated breath. This wasn’t my event, and I had no authority to correct what I felt was an inaccurate reading. Tuning into the energy of the woman in the audience, I felt her father in spirit had come to comfort her because she was having a hard time coping with personal matters. So the platform medium had it right, she just didn’t know how to phrase her response. Quietly, I told spirit that if they wanted me to talk with the woman later, they should present an opportunity for us to meet.
I often attend message events of other mediums because sometimes, I like to get a message, too. (Funny though – I rarely get picked.) Plus, I like to see what others in my profession are doing. It gives me a chance to learn from the best – I love watching John Edward – and get some valuable lessons from others who are not-so-best.
This night’s event featured four Toronto-area mediums I wasn’t familiar with. As the first worker stumbled through her readings, she did get some confirmations from those she spoke to – but she also gave a lot of glittering generalities. Messages that ended up sounding like fortune cookie lines: “I feel like you’re working through a problem.” Or: “I have a grandmotherly energy for you. She’s wearing an apron.” And one of my favourites: “Someone from the spirit world is coming in with a lot of love.”
So, who doesn’t have problems? Who doesn’t have a grandmother who wore an apron? Don’t we all have at least one relative that loved us?
The next medium delivered a message, then asked the audience member if they had any questions. “What do you see in my future?” the person said. The medium paused, looked at the floor, then gave the person a hatful of predictions.
I rolled my eyes. We’re mediums, not fortune tellers!
The mediums I saw weren’t bad. They just weren’t trained. They may have an innate gift to connect with spirit and a desire to serve, but they just weren’t ready to speak publicly. I mean, just because someone received an “A” in Intro to Anatomy, does that mean they’re ready to perform surgery?
When I see mediums practicing their rudimentary skills without learning the fundamentals of delivering messages from spirit, I think of Canadian philosopher and author Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that it takes someone 10,000 hours of practice until they become proficient at something.
Gladwell wrote about a team of German psychologists that asked violin students about their practice habits: “Ever since you first picked up the violin, how many hours have you practiced?” All of the violinists had begun playing at around age five, with similar practice times. However, by age eight, practice times began to differ and by age 20, the best performers averaged over 10,000 total hours of practice, while the less able performers logged only 4,000 hours of practice. The best violinists had more than double the practice hours of their less capable counterparts.
Think of it this way: Bill Gates joined his college’s computer club in 1968. He loved computers and spent every waking moment learning to write programs. Seven years later, he founded a small start-up company called Microsoft. In 1960, four guys started making music and two years later, got a job playing at a nightclub eight hours a night, seven days a week. In 1964, when the Beatles hit America, they had played over 1,200 concerts.
A golden heart and a desire to serve humanity are great. But it’s only a start. You’ve got to spend 10,000 hours making circuit boards, strumming a guitar or taking psychic development or mediumship classes before you’re ready to really unwrap your gift and illuminate the world. Anyone can do it. It just takes practice.
10,000 hours. My goodness, I wonder if I’ve given 10,000 readings?!
After the event ended, I got up and put on my coat. Oh well, once again, no message for me. As I headed for the door, I locked eyes with the wide-eyed woman. She smiled at me and I returned her warm greeting.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said as she approached. She seemed nervous. “It’s just – do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Not at all,” I said, and thanked spirit for the opportunity to talk with this woman. “I’ll walk you to your car.” She seemed to relax and I thought: 10,001.
If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please visit me again!