The Soul Spectrum has gone a little quiet recently because my family has been on the merry-go-round of winter illnesses. We’re through that now, thank goodness. It’s truly uplifting to finally see spring emerge in its full glory, complete with the rich smell of violets and freesias (at least where I live), and so many blooming colours.
I’ve got some more interviews lined up for the coming months, but I thought I would write a quick post with some reflections on what I’ve learned while conducting interviews for The Soul Spectrum so far.
I’ve learned that there is an incredible generosity of spirit out there, particularly if you’re willing to ask people to let you in. I’ve been taken aback at how disarmed and honest The Soul Spectrum’s interviewees have been when I’m asking them particularly personal questions. It’s a level of honesty that I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable in offering if someone plonked a recording device in front of me and said my words would be published on the internet!
Similarly, I’ve been so, so impressed at how articulate interviewees have been when talking about their personal journey with soul and spirit. It’s clear that they have reflected deeply on these questions, and I just find that plain beautiful. Again, I’m not confident that I could do the same.
Finally, I just love how idiosyncratic each person is when it comes to expressing their sense of soul and spirit. I love the clear picture of diversity that is emerging from The Soul Spectrum’s interviews, which is a liberating discovery. It might be a cliché to say there’s not one way to live a soulful life (I dunno, is that actually a cliché?), but there it is…
Paradoxically, however, I’ve started to notice some common themes among the interviewees. Several have grown up close to the natural environment, which has had a positive and indelible impact on their spirits. Many have spent a lot of time alone to connect with and nurture their soulful selves. And all of them are searchers following their apparently unconventional noses to places that are meaningful and fulfilling to them. This might sound easy, but it can be tough work when the pull of mainstream culture and its glitzy offerings are so overpowering and relatively ‘easy’ to just go along with. It takes a bit of chutzpah (as Ganga Karen Ashworth would say) to get out there and genuinely, really and truly be doing your own thing. I just love it, I really do.
If I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that spirituality is life in action (a realisation which is, in part, inspired by Gail Withers and her Patch Adams quote, “Spirituality is love in action”). It doesn’t look or sound a particular way, it doesn’t come with store-bought material expressions of spirituality, although these can be tools that help you get there (I’m thinking candles, Buddha statues, religious motifs or hymns). Spirituality comes with existence itself. Existence is imbued in spirit every moment of the way. So, to me, spirituality is omnipresent. It is just there ready for you to look at it, marvel at it, and love it with passion. As I said, spirituality is life in action. Take a look around you. The padding of your feet against the earth. The dimples on a smiling face. The breath of fresh air coming through your window. Nope, if you ask me, you can’t get away from it… So I started wondering where my soul is, only to realise it has been there all along. Whoops.
Gail Withers is a spiritual medium who can interpret and pass on messages from people who have passed away, a talent she embraced following the revealing death of her Dad. She complements that work with holistic counselling, reiki and spiritual development classes, which all makes for a busy, determined and sensitive woman. I went to one of her spiritual medium platform nights and was truly moved by the experience. Many people in the audience had the chance to hear messages that resonated deeply. Of course, Gail’s line of work invites scepticism, but it’s her personal mission to destigmatise the work of good-intentioned spiritual mediums, and to encourage people to embrace their own sensitivities and intuitions. I spoke with her on a bracing winter’s day in Bowral.
Jess: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you grew up, what kind of family you had, and what kind of ideas you had for yourself and your future?
Gail: I’m one of five kids and the fourth girl. We grew up in a tiny war service home as my Dad was a returned serviceman from World War Two. My Dad features strongly in what I’m doing now so I like to think of it as Dad giving me not only my physical life but also my spiritual life. We were a poor working-class family of the 1960s and 1970s. I was a very, very, very shy and sensitive little child. I used to cry over anything and everything and hide behind my Dad just because somebody said, “Hello”. I felt everything, I couldn’t watch anything scary or nasty, I would just cry and be terrified. Mum used to say I was very dramatic but really I was just so anxious and full of fears. It was a very tough upbringing with five kids and Dad working three jobs to support us, so Mum was short on time and patience.
It wasn’t an idyllic, sunshiny life but on reflection it could have been a lot worse. I remember that there was always something going on that was scary to me, because I could ‘feel’ and ‘see’ things that not everyone else could. I would be lying in bed and I could feel something/someone pressing on me, I could feel them in my ears, I could feel this energy around me making every hair on my body stand up and tingle. I could see faces and shapes and hear voices trying to talk to me. As a terrified child I thought it was the Devil or vampires or other ‘monsters’ because there was nobody talking about this kind of thing back in my younger years. There was no John Edwards or Alison DuBois on TV telling us that these happenings were normal when connecting with Spirit.
I used to take myself off to church, as that was the place where I felt safe. I thought that God would keep me safe from all the feelings and visions I kept having. When everything felt dark and scary, the church was pretty lights and glass, candles, ceremony, and security. I even entertained being a nun at one stage when I was young as I was so frightened of what was happening to me.
Jess: But you were raised Catholic?
Gail: Yes, I was christened Catholic but that was it. It wasn’t like we went to church every Sunday. But I would be taking myself off and it helped keep ‘things’ at bay. My Dad used to say, “You have such an imagination,” because I used to write really good stories and dreamt all sorts of things up. I always thought I would be a writer because of my stories. My Grandpa was a photojournalist and he was always going to get me a cadetship as a writer. I loved anything creative: music, writing, sewing, cooking. I guess I was always looking to express myself.
So even with my ‘feelings’ and ‘sensing’ and ‘seeing’ things I never acknowledged anything, I just thought it was creepy or I was weird. I even had a bad experience with a priest that put me off going to church at around age 13. During confession he was asking me if I’d had impure thoughts and I was like, “No!” So even Church no longer felt safe.
Jess: So you never talked to anyone about it? You never said to your Mum, “Look, sometimes I see funny things”?
Gail: There was never a channel open for that sort of communication at home. I probably would have gotten in trouble for being dramatic or making things up. I think I was always the odd one out at home. My Dad was very soft and gentle but he was always at work. So Mum was there with five kids under 10. I’m not going to say “I see dead people” or something like that, she would have said, “Don’t be stupid or ‘stop acting’”.
Jess: I imagine she was very stressed and had to run things like a military regime.
Gail: She was brought up in very tough times and did the best she could. Mum only recently came to have reiki with me and she was quite impressed. Before that she was a bit sceptical or not sure of what it was all about. I think I got my sensitivity from Dad because he was a very deep man, a man before his time. So I grew up never saying anything about it to anyone. I have always been good at keeping things to myself. I left school early and I got a job in the public service instead of journalism because my Grandpa died.
Jess: So your Grandpa dying meant no more cadetship?
Gail: Yeah, he wasn’t there so I let the dream go. And then came the teenage years, and the trials and tribulations that go with those years, I really did struggle when I was a young woman. I can really see how there is a fine line between having this link with Spirit and mental illness. When you’re that sensitive and when your heart leads you all the time, it doesn’t always lead you in the right direction. I have often marvelled that I never dabbled with serious drugs to escape the feelings. I could have but something always stopped me, probably the thought of my Dad and his disapproval. He was so against drugs, really drilled it into us. I could see how the escapism of addiction could have appealed to me during those trying times… thankfully I never went down that path.
Jess: You mentioned that you’re a Pisces [before we started recording]. Well, that’s classic Pisces behaviour. You either go psychic, addicted or performer.
Anxiety for most people is caused by their over sensitivity. Most anxious people I know are really lovely people; they just have a really hard time dealing with all of these feelings…
Gail: Exactly, that addictive, dreamy thing. Being off with the pixies, so to speak. I obviously have a lot of other astrological attributes, as I’m also very fiery. So when I was younger this connection was very, very hard. I see a lot of clients, both young and old, really struggling when they’re very sensitive. I strongly believe that anxiety for most people is caused by their over sensitivity. Most anxious people I know are really lovely people; they just have a really hard time dealing with all of these feelings and don’t learn to trust themselves because of the overload of input they continually receive and try to interpret.
Jess: I know what you mean! [Laughs.]
Gail: Yes, because gentleness is not a virtue that is admired or encouraged in the world. We are all told you’ve got to be tough, you’ve got to get to the top, and you’ve got to beat everyone else. So generally most people I see with anxiety are really gentle people just trying to live in a not so gentle world. That’s why I tell everyone try to make anxiety your friend instead of looking at it as the enemy, which is what I feel I’ve done for myself with this work. I have taken my particular sensitivities and put them into the positive. You need to feel that you can control how you process the input, otherwise it does tend to overtake your life. Anxiety has become almost an industry in itself, and generally leads to depression. I think it’s Lao Tzu who said, “Depression is living in the past, and anxiety is worrying about the future, calm is in the present.” So most anxious people are looking for that comfort zone, because when you’re feeling things as they do it’s so exaggerated. Most people can measure their comfort or discomfort zone on a scale of one to ten, but for anxious people it’s somewhere around 50+. There’s a whole mass of anxious people suffering, often in silence, that have this ability to link with Spirit. They should all come together and make a group or club, take comfort from the fact that they are not alone in this and that what they feel or see or know is not weird, they are just tuned at a different frequency to a lot of other people.
Jess: They can all get together and feel affirmed.
Gail: Yes! My spiritual development class is a bit like that. It’s a class where everyone can just be relaxed, talk about things that are happening to or through them, all the things considered outside the norm. Everyone says, “I know that this is going to sound weird,” but it’s not weird, it’s just their experiences and sometimes those experiences can be outside physical realms. Having that platform, that safety zone to talk about these experiences and to develop it further if they wish, is just wonderful. To me spiritual development is really self-development as we’re all trying to find out who we are and what is our purpose.
Jess: I can imagine that that would feel really liberating to people. They have lived their lives with all of these hunches and feelings and then being able to talk about it…
Gail: Yes, especially people of my generation. Everyone is aware of the indigo and crystal children now. Kids are so much more open about it than I ever was able to be. And if my children say something about it I can say, “That’s fine,” or “What do you think?” and we can discuss it without fear or judgement, so to me that’s enlightenment. I was only saying to someone yesterday, I’ve come to realise that my generation and those before were like pioneers that went and blazed the trails for the indigo and crystal children to come and hopefully they won’t have to deal with the stigma and judgement that often follows this work or ability.
Jess: They won’t meet the same kind of resistance and scepticism.
Gail: No, not nearly to the same degree. I was talking to a woman yesterday whose family was connected to the first spiritual church in Enmore, which went from World War One. She said it was illegal, it was like prohibition was with alcohol, these people had to do it underground in secret. It was against the law to get together for these kinds of practices … unbelievable!
Jess: People were very closed-minded.
Gail: It still exists now though thankfully not nearly as much as only a couple of decades ago… Even back in the 1980s I might have literally been carted off to a mental institution! It’s funny to think that all I am trying to do with my work is what was considered normal thousands of years ago when kings and queens held seers and healers in high regard. Then the Dark Ages and religion came along and so belief and abilities went underground and stayed there for quite a long time. I feel like the wheels are starting to turn back a little and we are finally going back to where we started. Hopefully people will regard this work with Spirit and energy as a valid and worthwhile modality. This work can and does support your regular visits to your doctor, your dentist, your gynaecologist, and your beautician. I love to envision that you would have a wellness practitioner that would include metaphysics as much as naturopathy, massage and any other complementary therapy.
Jess: You’ve got to deal with all of the elements, don’t you, of body, mind and spirit?
Gail: Absolutely. My dream is that people will go, “Oh yes, I’ve made an appointment with the dentist, and I better go and see my holistic practitioner for a chakra balance, recharge, etc.” That would be fabulous.
Jess: You’ve got to get a tune up.
A reading should never tell you how to live your life, it should confirm what you already know or what you intuit yourself. So it’s really a confirmation, not a set of instructions.
Gail: Yes, just like you do with any area of your life that needs some support. I see many people a few times a year. They come in and say, “I just need a boost, a bit of reading, a bit of a tweak on the chakras,” and off they go. It’s not my dream or vision to have people dependent on me for their every move. I tell everyone that a reading should never tell you how to live your life, it should confirm what you already know or what you intuit yourself. So it’s really a confirmation, not a set of instructions. I saw a client yesterday – when she rang up she was sussing me out like she was conducting a job interview. It turns out that she’d been to see a clairvoyant and she was getting quite accurate information, and that was fine, but from that moment on she had been bombarded with emails and texts, “I keep getting these flashes of your life, I’ve read the cards and I keep getting the Devil card.” She was going to the dark side of that because the Devil card doesn’t even mean the devil. I don’t do cards in my readings, but I know that death doesn’t mean physical death but the end of a situation or phase. She said, “She was literally trying to scare me into coming back.” And I said to her, “That’s what I’m trying to change.” To break down the barriers and misinformation about this work. Mind you there are lots of unprofessional and unethical people in every field of work: police, church, teaching, medicine, law, retail, etc. But in this particular industry you are under that much more scrutiny.
Jess: There’s stigma to break through.
Gail: Yes, there’s a lot of it. And this is only a recent thing and that’s what makes it really hard for people like me. There are a lot of genuine people trying to do what I call “light work”. Working with the light or energy, as basically we’re all, in essence, light. Medical doctors work with your blood and bones; I work with your light.
Jess: You said that when you were a child you were hypersensitive. When I met with you recently you talked about working in administration for a little while. Could you tell me a little bit about the transition from being a young woman unsure of what is going on around you to your adult years and where you are now?
Gail: I was always attracted to the esoteric world… if there were psychic fairs, I would go along and get a reading. I love astrology, numerology, colour therapy, anything metaphysical, love it all. I would love to have the time to learn all of it. As I said, I left school and joined the public service and that pretty much set me up for the next 20-odd years of working in offices. I didn’t do my HSC, which always bugged me because I was a really good student. It was the only time when I thought Dad was a bit disappointed in me. He never said anything but I could tell. So I was a good student but I was also an emotional Piscean, which made for a tough start in life with heart versus head all the time. So I went back and did my HSC when I was 22 at TAFE. I did well there. It was important to me that I finished and got my HSC, Dad always told me knowledge is never a burden so I took that on board and continue to do so. This HSC took me out of office and clerical jobs without much future, and got me into payroll. That work was much better paid and more of a challenge… Ever tried working out manufacturing bundy cards manually? Very challenging! In hindsight it was so at odds with how I thought I would be making my money because I was always creative. But I was very good at it, and I liked the people side of it.
But then I started getting bored. I always thought, “This is not what I want to do with my life.” I remember thinking quite often that I was supposed to be doing something different and I’m not doing it. I used to think I’m meant to be doing something really amazing but thought I was only daydreaming as nothing changed. Then when I had kids I thought maybe I got it wrong and they’re going to do something amazing, because I just had this feeling that something really amazing was supposed to be happening. Payroll made a good living and I met many lovely people who are still good friends, but it wasn’t interesting to me at all. Although I did meet my lovely husband through payroll so that more than makes up for it.
Jess: Well, there you go, that’s the reason for it.
Gail: That’s right, exactly. When I think about it, payroll has been really helpful for business now. Having all of that office admin and numeracy knowledge has been great. So I use a lot of those skills even though at the time I thought it was so boring and I hated it. And then you have kids and you think you’re stuck with your lot. In hindsight, I became quite unhappy in myself. I had a wonderful loving husband and two beautiful kids but I was never really very happy. I was probably a really uptight mum when they were little, so busy working full-time and carting the kids to Nana’s and day-care, and then everything else that every working mother around the world will totally understand and relate to. I just felt, “Is this it?” And you feel really bad for feeling like that as you are very lucky on so many levels.
Over the years, I had all of these experiences. I would have dreams and wake up and tell my husband, “It was really weird but so-and-so was talking to me.” Once I woke up and I heard a voice saying, “If you don’t stop smoking, you’ll die.” It was so loud and clear and I thought, “Who said that?” I was really scared because I was starting to get wheezy in my breathing; I had been smoking for a really long time. I’d been trying for ages to stop. Some people can smoke until they are 110, but I knew it was bad for me. So I did stop. So I had all of these experiences going on and I would forget about them or brush them off with the thought, “Doesn’t everybody have things like that happen?”
So, fast-forward… In 2007 my Dad got really sick after his second stroke. He was an elderly man of 83 and he smoked for a long time. He was terrified of dying. He used to tell my siblings and me, “You’re my mortality, and I’ll never die with you here.” He was terrified, I think because of the war… or maybe he was just scared of the unknown. I was terrified of death as well. I’m not sure why, I just couldn’t bear thinking about it. I hated going to funerals because they used to scare me so much.
So there’s my Dad lying in the bed literally dying before me, and there was all the family standing around him. We had all said our heart piece with him, and spent time with him and cried. We were all sitting around him in a horseshoe shape around the bed. My sister was rubbing his hand and Mum was there, and I remember putting my head down, I remember this so clearly, and I felt everything go really slow and quiet. I felt like all of the energy was pulling into me. Then I had this picture of Dad as this young, handsome man with dark hair. He had these long pants on that I’d never seen. They weren’t shorts and they weren’t pants. And he was waving at me saying, “I’m here.” And he was handsome and wonderful, and in my head I’m thinking, “Dad looks great.” I could see the palm trees and it was a beautiful, warm day. I remember looking up and, as I did, Dad’s eyes had opened and he was gone. And at that moment I knew Dad had shown me his heaven. Dad had gone straight to his heaven and his heaven would be a beach, because he grew up in Bondi. It was very surreal.
Later that night we were sitting around talking and crying and I said to Mum, “It’s really strange but this happened,” and I told her what had happened and that he had these pants on. She said, “I made him throw them out when we got married, I hated those pants.” But I’d never seen them so everything I was saying to her was confirmation of Dad’s existence after life… life after life.
Once the numbness had worn off I knew Dad had shown me that he was okay, even though I missed him I felt such peace and wanted everyone to have that sense of peace when they lose someone they love. So literally two weeks after that I started doing development circles, I started doing courses and my fear was well and truly gone. Dad took my fear and replaced it with love, hope and peace. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no hurry to get ‘there’ [death]. I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do. I always say to Spirit, “Do I have to be this age, couldn’t I have been younger?” But I know I wouldn’t have been ready. You have to deal with your own stuff before you can serve other people. You don’t want to bring that to the table because then you’re making it worse, and you’re using somebody else’s time and space for yourself.
Jess: For your own purposes.
Gail: Yes, and that’s not what it’s about. So doing this and doing the counselling course has been very cathartic. I’ve done a lot of work, which has led to a lot of changes for me, even though I thought I’d already worked on so much there is always more to re-examine. There’s still learning and learning and then more learning to be done.
When I’m working with spirits I just ask for the love and light and that’s it, I’m good to go.
People talk a lot about protection in this work and they burn a lot of sage and do these rituals, but I just ask for the light. I’m not curious. You know in those movies when they say “Don’t open the door, don’t open the door,” and they open the door? I would never open the door. Curiosity will never kill this particular cat. I don’t want to see what’s behind that door. So when I’m working with spirits I just ask for the love and light and that’s it, I’m good to go. That is all I get because I’m not even minutely interested in anything else. There are many who do really good work with the more negative spiritual realms but that doesn’t interest me so I leave it to those who choose it.
Jess: When Spirit talks to you, do they sometimes indicate that somebody is going to die? You mention ill-health and things like that [at the spiritual platform night], but do you see flashes of the death or…
Gail: Again I’m very strict in my boundaries in what I will and won’t bring through. I won’t and I never have asked when someone is going to pass. Even if someone asks me I would say, “Even if I got it, I wouldn’t tell you, what if I get it wrong and plant that idea?” I don’t feel that’s enlightening, only frightening. If someone were terminally ill, or their partner or somebody they loved was terminal and they already knew that they’re not going to recover, then I would encourage them to spend as much time as they could with them and to find their peace. But that’s a counselling technique not a psychic thing, I go between the two. I’m a holistic counsellor and I am fortunate to have this other ability or link. So I always come at a session from a counselling point of view of what’s appropriate to bring through. When I’m doing a reading I ask Spirit to give me something that will help give the client an insight or clarity. Don’t come to me if you want to know the Lotto numbers, or to ask me if you should leave your husband. If you have to ask me that question I think you have answered your own question. I’m not going to tell anyone that. I’m not going to tell anyone how to live his or her life. I can only tell you what Spirit is telling me to the best of my ability and with the idea of bringing you clarity or confirmation of your own intuition and self-knowledge. So if they don’t tell me, I’m not going to be able to tell you. So I’m not going to tell you to leave your partner but I will tell you what your grandmother thinks of them. And I say to people, “If your grandmother was here telling you this, would you listen to her?” Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t, because it’s your journey.
My idea of Spirit is that they can definitely have a good bird’s eye view of your life and want the best for you, if that is your choice. I don’t think it’s empowering to make decisions for people. At the end of the day I’m interpreting what they’re telling me as best as I can in the hope that the client will have their own moment/s of clarity and connection. Sometimes the client just needs to know that their loved ones are still around them, sending them love, encouragement and hope.
Jess: Do you find that when you’re doing a reading with a person that there are several spirits? And I imagine that just like sitting in a room with a group of people that each spirit would have a different perspective on the same issue for you. Is that something that goes on? Or is there generally a consensus?
Gail: I haven’t had them argue the point in my head. I have had Spirit come and push Spirit out of the way and say, “Right, I want to talk.” That’s been quite funny. I’ve had grandmothers go, “She needs to hear from me,” and she will literally come running through my head. Generally, even though they have different relationships to each other and to the person, they all want the best. Generally they will all come together for the highest and best for that person. Some of them like to take the credit. It’s quite funny, like a grandmother will say, “She gets that from me.” I haven’t had one saying, “Leave him,” and the other one saying, “No, stay.” I’ve had parents come through admitting that their kids have been pretty crap with the way they were going on about things, and it’s hard for me to do that because they love their child. But you have such a different and clear perspective on things in Spirit that you didn’t see in life, even if it pains you to admit it. People generally stay the way they were otherwise no one would recognise you. Like if the cranky old grandmother was suddenly sweet and nice and the person is saying, “Oh, that’s odd as she was always a real cow.” So they keep their true essence as far as I’m able to interpret it, so for me to understand and relay a message it has to be at a level that the person will understand. They have to come through as they were known.
Jess: It’s not the same energy.
Gail: I have the best laugh sometimes; I meet the best people, here [in life] and there [in Spirit]. And you can have a laugh with the person even though you respect that there is grief. And sometimes they’re crying and laughing.
Jess: So what does it feel like for you? When I saw you the other night there was a combination of talking and also an embodied experience as well.
Gail: They’re all the ‘clairs’. So you’ve got you’re clairvoyants, which is the clear sight, clairaudience, which is the clear hearing, and clairsentience, which is clear feeling. I get a lot of information through clairsentience but I generally get the sight and hearing during a reading too, it just the degree that changes with each experience. It’s always different, because every spirit communicates differently and they use the best way they can to speak with me. They have their own strengths; some are better at it, like people in life can be. Basically I have to go with what I get. That’s why I said I made friends with my sensitivity because it works for me now and it’s been fabulous.
Jess: Watching you, it all happens very quickly. That could be a skill in itself, to be able to register and then report so instantaneously.
Gail: Well, the more you do the quicker you get at it. I always tell everyone, “Do you go to the gym once and then become Arnold Schwarzenegger?” No, you’ve got to practice and work at it. I can tell you how I’m doing it and how I’m feeling it, but that’s not how you’re going to experience it. You’re going to have to work out your own signs, your own language. Like a symbol in my head for plants might be different for yours. So we work on creating little libraries for ourselves. So I see my work as a medium as translating.
Jess: So how does it work? For example, my grandfather was Italian and he had broken English, and my grandmother was German and had very good English. Do they talk in English for you?
Gail: Good question… I had a lady in here yesterday who bought her mother who was visiting from India and her Mother in Spirit came through who has never ever once spoken a word of English. I could understand her because we were talking mind to mind; it is not like talking a language. There’s another clair, claircognisance, which is clear knowing where you simply just know things. I can and have communicated with horses, dogs, cats, and birds, even a tree… Do I speak horse or tree? No! Because we’re not talking language, we’re talking mind to mind.
Jess: You talked earlier about being a very sensitive little girl and now you’re doing this work. Can you explain to me more precisely what the process was?
Gail: As I said, Dad was the catalyst and once I lost my fear it all happened very quickly and rather easily. Fear is really the enemy for everything but especially if you want to do this kind of work. You also have to ask why are you doing this work. While it is certainly wonderful to be able to do this work it is also a huge responsibility as you are often dealing with vulnerable, lost, sad and lonely people. I’m certainly not some pious and all-knowing spiritual guru to say you shouldn’t do it this work one way or the other. People can do what they feel is right for them. It is their business but I really hope that, when someone is interpreting Spirit or giving a healing, they are coming from a place of peace within themselves. First and foremost you’ve got to recognise that you are a human being and that you’ve got to be very grounded because we’re in a physical world. I have built trust in myself, in the spirit world, and in my intentions. I’m also very straightforward, I don’t believe in all of the theatre and drama of this kind of work, which makes it seem like it belongs in a carnival show or on the stage. This is the stereotype I am trying to dispel.
As I’ve been doing the work with Spirit, I’ve been more drawn to the healing side of things. I have practiced and studied many different modes of metaphysics and some are more comfortable for me than others, so it’s also about learning to trust where you align yourself and what you see yourself doing in the service of Spirit because I really see this as a service. It’s also important to not be afraid of not being successful in a reading every now and again. On a couple of occasions I have had to say, “Sorry, I’m not going to be able to continue this session.” This is usually because the person is not willing or able to take on board or acknowledge the information that Spirit is giving. I would rather stop than continue to try and convince a person who may not be ready to deal with what has arisen. Maybe they never will be and that is fine that is their choice. I think people recognise the honesty.
Jess: You’re human and therefore there are feelings of darkness there sometimes. Do you sometimes get darkness coming in?
Gail: I’ve had information on murders and less than pleasant things come through, and I just shut it down. Some psychics are really good at dealing with that but I just don’t want it. After my Dad died, the doors flew open and it was like Pitt Street with Spirit coming and going at all hours. People were walking in and out of every door in my home and I said, “No, take it away, I don’t want it.” So I decided that if I was going to do this work I would be very structured about it. Spirit doesn’t have to come along and interrupt your meal or your life. And if they do you say, “Go away please, I’m not working now. I’m on between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.” It sounds funny but that’s what you have to do. You have to be very clear because they’re so excited and want to get their message across to their loved one. There is no midnight to them so you have to be very structured, put your boundaries up, and say what you will and won’t do. So I don’t get the dark stuff because I’ve been really strict on that because I need to feel comfortable in what I do.
Jess: Can you tell me about a day in the life of Gail?
Gail: I am just like everyone else. I’ve got two kids, I’ve got a husband, I’ve got two dogs a house and family to run. I’ve got teenagers and that’s very testing, but I am lucky as they’re really good and kind people. So I am busy doing all the usual things so I can’t be tuned in to Spirit all the time, I can’t be on all the time because I would burnout. Generally people come here to see me when there is grief and loss and challenges, so I need to be clear and focused. So I have my boundaries about switching on and off. Any counsellor and therapist will tell you that you need to do that. So I get up, get ready, and go to work and my day begins. When I go to work I am ‘on’ and when I finish for the day I switch it ‘off’ and get on with the tasks of everyday life and family.
Jess:The Soul Spectrum is looking at different people’s understanding of soul. We’ve been using the word ‘spirit’ a lot. Is there any difference between soul and spirit, for you?
When I see you as the beam of light that you are, you are perfect. Absolute perfection. Each and every soul is perfection.
Gail: I see it all as one source. I’m starting to understand that idea, when they talk about unity and being one. I’m starting to see it through the work that I’m doing. I have glimpses of great illumination and then I get back to being just silly old me again. But I have those snatches of moments where I see stillness, that beautiful place. Then I feel my whole being in those moments being just huge, it’s amazing. When I’m talking about Spirit I’m talking about anybody that comes to talk to me from the other side. When I work with someone, when I’m doing the healing, quite often I see his or her soul. I see the colours of their soul; I feel the state of their soul, because that’s where I’m working, in their energy or soul. And that’s a totally different connotation to the word spirit. As a medium I’m bringing through and interpreting another energy. When I’m working with a person one-on-one I am in the space of his or her own energy, if that makes sense, and it’s wonderful. I’ve seen some amazing things. Sometimes I see their soul connecting with their loved ones that have passed. And it’s a beautiful, joyous reunion. That can really bring some healing to the person. This is all going on while they’re lying on the therapy table; it’s going on energetically in and around them.
And I always tell clients that when I see you as the beam of light that you are, you are perfect. Absolute perfection. Each and every soul is perfection. And that’s wonderful. But how are you going to experience everything if you’re perfect? If you’re perfection, what can you experience other than perfection? So to experience the good, the bad, the ugly, you had to come down to earth. You’ve got to don the heavy coats of humanity. But you also get some wonderful sensations in the physical life. That’s why I think people keep coming back to having these many lives time and again for centuries, for eternity. Because it’s not all bad. Think delicious food, warm sun, newborn babies, a long relaxing massage, incredible animals and breathtaking beauty of humans performing and producing amazing music, sport or art, so many wonders to behold. The only way you can know perfection is to learn through the imperfectness of being a human being.
Tisiola Learis a wholehearted life coach who works with women to embrace their potential and finesse the art of self-love and acceptance. When she migrated from her native Tonga to Australia in 1984, she didn’t expect to have a series of intense, transformative experiences that have connected her with oneness and permeated her very being. Her spiritual journey has led her to love in all of its human and transcendental glory. I spoke with her on a brisk afternoon in Bowral.
Jess: Can you tell me a little bit about where you were born, how you grew up, and all of the things that have happened in between that have led you to here today?
Tisi: I was born in Tonga, a little island in the Pacific Ocean. Tonga is an independent island that is made up of many islands. I grew up on the second biggest island called Vava’u, in a little village called Tu’anuku. We lived in a village that was very close to the bush and the water. We had a lake on one side and the ocean on the other. So my childhood was very beautiful, I just remember being very close to nature. The people were very spiritual. There was that sense of linking to our ancestors and to the land. People were very aware of nature.
I am one of eight children; four girls and four boys and I’m number five. What I most remember was that I was always a free spirit. I remember climbing trees. As a little kid, when you’re up so high and you’re looking down on everything, you think it’s your world.
Jess: What a wonderful way to grow up!
Tisi: Yes! Our people mostly lived off the land and from the sea. It’s still that way today. There is always that sense of abundance. My school days were very happy. I loved to learn and never stopped asking questions. I won a scholarship each year of high school, which helped my parents put me through school. I remember my school days being rather long as we needed to travel each day, either by boat or truck, from my home to school. It took three hours to get there. Even so, I loved school and learning as I’ve always had a mind that keeps asking, “What else is there?”
Jess: Quite an analytical mind, then?
Tisi: Yes, just looking at what’s behind things. In 1984 I married and came here to Australia. When I first arrived, for the first few years of my marriage, I was really questioning life. I was brought up in two religions.
Jess: Which religions were they?
Tisi: I was brought up in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which was Mum’s religion. But my grandparents on my Mum’s side were part of the Church of Tonga, under the umbrella of the Christian Church. My grandparents were missionaries, and my grandfather was the Church Minister. He went around the island spreading God’s word, and that’s how my Mum met my Dad. My Dad’s side of the family weren’t religious, they just believed in being one with nature. So there was an issue about that in the past, which I only know from stories. Then, when I was in Year Seven, my Mum converted to the Mormon Church and I was baptised a Mormon that year.
Jess: That’s very mixed, then.
Tisi: Yes, very mixed! Until I married, I was brought up in the Mormon Church. There are so, so many rules with that religion, as there are with the Seventh-Day Adventists. So I grew up thinking, “Which one is right?” as the ‘rules’ of both churches differ somewhat.
Jess: I’m curious because you describe yourself as being a free spirit. How does a free spirit negotiate all of these imposed belief systems?
Tisi: Not very well. I appeared on the outside to be conforming to what was expected, because I was dealing with my parents and they’re meant to know what’s best for you. And you’re also trying to deal with the authority of churches and “converted” friends. But inside I was always questioning the church’s rules and beliefs. I remember thinking at the time, “You just need to go with the flow.” But there was a huge argument among family and friends when I wanted to marry. They were really against me getting married because I was doing the wrong thing by marrying someone who is white, and they thought I was too young. My family believed I should be pursuing my studies at university. I would also be leaving the church because my husband-to-be wasn’t a Mormon. Some of my family wanted him to become baptised into the Mormon church and I said, “No, I’m not going to ask him to get up there and lie to all the people that he believes just so we can get married.” I wouldn’t let it happen that way. So we were married in the Tongan tradition and headed to Australia to live.
Jess: So your husband is an Australian man?
Tisi: He is. He was in Tonga on holidays. I was going to go to the university in America and follow the pathway of being a Mormon wife. But I followed what I felt was right for me at the time. I remember having a conversation with my Dad. I said to him, “I’m so sorry but this is what I want to do.” And he was fine with that, he gave me his blessing. Not long after I left Tonga, he went missing. To this day we still haven’t found him. For years afterwards I had dreams of seeing him, over and over, coming to me. I thought he might still be alive somewhere, I couldn’t accept that he could just disappear off the face of the earth. But I have finally put him to rest in my mind.
Jess: That would be a really hard thing to come around to.
Tisi: It was… And my husbanddidn’t seem to have any spiritual connection. He was brought up in the Anglican Church when he was little but he didn’t really believe in anything. I then started thinking, “Well maybe that’s right.” Other people seemed to be living their life without some sort of ritual or connection and they seem to be fine. So I felt like I went off the rails, I felt like I was a bit lost. I started living a life disconnected from the spirit. I felt like my spirit was experiencing life from a different perspective. During that time I really went against all religions, I became anti-religion.
Jess: You rebelled against the kind of experience you had growing up?
Tisi: Yes. I didn’t want to know anything about religion at all. I thought God was also religion so I didn’t want to know Him either. I just rejected God and anything to do with spirituality. Looking back, there was just a deep sense of loss and confusion. I should mention I have given birth to four children.
Tisi: Three actually, two boys and a girl. I had a miscarriage and my first baby died after four and a half months. That was another dark time for my soul, really dark, and I lost contact with the outside world. I didn’t want to know anybody and I questioned, “Why and how did that happen?” Then I had three healthy kids after that.
When I saw the beam of light I had this overwhelming feeling of oneness, it was the feeling I experienced when I was a kid.
When my youngest son was born I spent his first Christmas in hospital. He was only three months old. I was taken to hospital by ambulance as I couldn’t move my leg. I was paralysed from my hip down to my foot. The doctors thought it might have been a blood clot. I remember waking up on Christmas morning and I looked out of the window in my hospital room and saw a tiny beam of light. I thought, “God, if you are there and you can hear me, I just want to surrender.” All that time I’d been trying to fix things. I was very anxious and thought, “What if something happens to me, what will happen to my kids?” When I saw the beam of light I had this overwhelming feeling of oneness, it was the feeling I experienced when I was a kid.
Jess: It returned.
Tisi: Yes, it returned. And I felt that everything was calm and that there was nothing to worry about, there was no more fear, there was nothing like that. I just thought that everything would be okay. On Boxing Day I was able to go home for a short time to be with my family. I walked around my home, as if nothing had happened to my leg. I had to return to the hospital in the evening to undergo further tests.
Jess: So what did happen to your leg?
Tisi: I don’t know, the doctors didn’t know. They all had different ideas, but nothing was proven. I really connected to that part of me that always felt okay throughout that experience. I then became curious about things. I thought maybe I should go back to the church. I went to the Anglican Church and reached out. I thought, “I’ll get my little boy christened.” When I went to organise the christening, the Minister asked, “Why do you want to have him christened?” And I said, “I have no idea.” It is like a family tradition, I guess. And that really stirred me up. I was thinking, “Why do I want it done?” I pursued it and thought, “I’ll do a little bit of reading into it.” I did have him christened but I was still restless. Part of me was wondering if I was still rebelling.
Jess: Clearly there was a yearning but you couldn’t describe what it was?
Tisi: There was a yearning, exactly. I thought the only way to find out was to go to church. But, when I returned to the church I felt worse. I felt really uncomfortable with the whole system of getting up and singing, and then sitting down, and doing this and doing that. I became even more anxious inside because I was thinking, “I don’t really feel comfortable.” It’s almost like the people in the congregation had been doing it for so long that there wasn’t any depth of feeling, they were just going through the ritual of the service. I just felt…
Tisi: Yes, it was like that. The Minister’s wife said to me, “We have a women’s Bible study group, if you want to come along.” So I said I would give it a go. When I arrived, I was handed pieces of paper. I thought, “They’re going to sit in my bag for the next week.” I wouldn’t even do the study. Again I felt very uncomfortable. I kept asking questions like “How are the Bible teachings relevant to our lives today?” I needed to know. But no one seemed to have the answers, and they all appeared uncomfortable. I thought I was wasting my time. I didn’t see the relevance. Then I ran into the Minister’s wife at the shopping centre, and she said, “We missed you, are you going to come back?” And I thought, “I don’t think they missed me, they’ll be glad that I’m not coming!” [Laughs.]
Not long after that I had a conversation with the Minister’s assistant who said, “If you are interested in learning about the history of the church, come along to this.” I attended the first lesson, and he said, “We are going to talk about timeline.” And I said, “Look, I just want to ask about the spirit.” And I could see he was really uncomfortable. I said, “Well, I’ve been trying to deal with my Dad who is missing and I just need to know if his soul is okay.”
My sister, who also lives in Australia, went back to the island for a visit and she took a video when she entered our village. The village is very small, everyone knows each other, and there is this moment in the video when an image of my Dad comes into view. He’s walking, not on the ground, but right next to her. So I was asking this man, who has authority in the church, can he give me an answer that will rest my enquiry about my Dad’s soul? His answer was, “The Devil lives.”
Jess: Oh, that would hurt.
Tisi: It did hurt, and I just thought, “Wow, that is not what I thought he would say, how could he relate that to the Devil?” As far as I’m concerned it’s something good. I’d like to think that my Dad did come and welcome my sister home after years of being away from the village. To me it makes sense that my Dad would do something like that. So I spoke to the Minister’s wife and told her I didn’t want to come back to the church.
Later on, the church was going to run a program called Alpha, which is like a ‘Christianity Explained’ course. I was told I would probably like the program because I’d be able to ask lots of questions. It was the first time they ran that course. I loved it and I asked questions. The course included a weekend away, which was to focus on receiving the Holy Spirit. My husband and I had lots of excuses for not being able to make it. But then I said, “I’m going.” I made up my mind and in the end he reluctantly came with me. A day was given for everyone to have the chance to receive the Holy Spirit. I didn’t really know what that meant. But I did the same thing as when I saw that beam of light at the hospital. I don’t know what other people said to themselves, but I said, “Lord, I don’t really know you, if you’re real or not, but here I am. If you’re real just show me what I need to know.” And, in a moment, it was like I had the whole world hugging me. For the first time I felt love that was endless.
In that moment I just felt that love, and all of its fullness, was with me.
Tisi: Yes, infinite love. It was so full in my body that I could hardly move. And each time I asked the question, “But…” I would get more of this energy hugging me. I literally felt that somebody had put their arms around me and hugged me. And the words I kept on hearing were, “I love you.” I had tears streaming down my face. “Could this be real? Could this be what it is?” I couldn’t move from that spot. The energy was so overwhelming that my body couldn’t take it. All I could see was the crucifix. For the first time I understood what the crucifix means. And in that moment I just felt that love, and all of its fullness, was with me. I have remembered that feeling from that day onwards.
Jess: So that would have been quite a transformative experience.
Tisi: It was huge. And from that day on I never saw things the same way again. I was starting to see people very differently. I saw everyone with love, including the people in the church that I once had no time for. There was no judgement, it was just love. It transformed my thinking. My mind was no longer seeing things in the same way.
Jess: That’s just huge. How long did that experience last? For a few minutes, or longer?
Tisi: It was a long time. People came and stood around me quietly, there were no words that could explain the feeling at the time. I was speechless. I was sitting there in awe. And I was crying. I never experienced love and its fullness like that. That’s all I could feel. Everything became one. After that I became really interested in running the Alpha course. Not so people could become religious or join the church, but so they could experience what love is. So I started running Alpha and continued to run it for a few years. I took people on weekends away. However, some people in the church didn’t support what I was doing.
Jess: Why is that? Because you weren’t being strict about the religious aspects?
Tisi: Yes, some of that. And because my thinking was that it’s boring just going to church and sitting there. I said there was a purpose in doing that but now we need to reach out to the people who are lost like I was and not Bible bash them. Just bring them to experience love. So I suggested things like doing dinners and other social things as well. But there was resistance. Every time I ran the course it was a full house with people from all walks of life.
I was shocked when I realised that I was not fully supported by the church because I had a different expectation. I thought that every single person who went to the church had experienced what I had. Then I became curious about how important it is to have an environment that supports growth. So was I going to keep bashing my head against a brick wall or was I going to do something about it?
Shortly after I was baptised as a Christian my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer where people usually die within two years. The women in the church were praying for us, bringing food for the family, and providing all sorts of help. And I thought, “Wow, my husband is in the midst of all this and here is the hand of God bringing this love.” People were saying, “Tisi, aren’t you afraid?” People were crying for me. But, to be honest, I wasn’t worried. What I was worried about was that I wanted him to experience what I had. It wasn’t about losing him or his physical body, I was more interested in his soul not being lost. And I wanted him to know that. So we got through the cancer and everything is fine, he still lives today. That was in 2000.
Jess: So did he find his soul?
Tisi: I don’t really know! It took five years to be reassured that he was going to be fine. However, during that time, our relationship was in a downward spiral. Before he became ill, he was lost in himself, he was always unhappy and I was so busy with the kids and other activities, I didn’t realise that I had over-focused on his illness. All of my energy was focused on fixing him, making him well. In 2006 I became very unwell. I had this feeling of being cut off within.
Jess: What were you sick with?
Tisi: I was diagnosed with clinical depression. The doctor said I would be on pills until the kids were older. One part of me was relieved to think, “Well, good, now I know what is wrong with me.” I felt so tired, like there was a cloud over my head all the time. I became so unwell that I couldn’t get out of bed so I slept a lot. I went within and I did what I call the ‘deep work’. I was really searching for that self that I had lost.
Jess: What kind of work did you do?
Tisi: I literally slept and slept but part of me was thinking, “I wonder if the same God with all the love that was around before is still here and can he see that I’m unwell?” Even when I couldn’t put anything into words there was a part of me that knew it was going to be okay. It was a very dark time. I was cut off even from my children. I really didn’t want to be in this state, but physically I was falling apart, and mentally I was totally exhausted and worn out.
Jess: It was quite blinkered and myopic?
Tisi: Yes, I didn’t feel, I didn’t hear, all of my senses were cut down. So I slept for days. I had 12 months off work. Barb, my sister-in-law, helped look after me because the kids were young and my husband was at work. Then one morning when I woke up with this deep knowing that everything was going to be okay. It was like I had been awakened to the fullness of my being. It turned within. I had this revelation. It’s like my state altered and I was taken to a place where all I could see was a beautiful beach. The water was so calm and crystal clear, and the sand was still untouched.
Jess: Was this metaphorical?
Tisi: No, I literally saw this in my head. I saw myself walking on the beach. I felt that deep clarity. And then I thought, “I am well!” There was no question about it. Just, “I am well.”
Jess: You had a realisation and you genuinely felt it within all of your being?
Tisi: Exactly. A boom of energy had energised all of my being, there was nothing damaged in the picture, everything was there. I felt calm, at peace, and clear in my head. I slowly weaned myself off the medication. I then committed to learning about what had happened to me and why.
I searched for information extensively and I found Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) through a nurse who had studied NLP. I completed all levels of NLP with Pip McKay, CEO of Evolve Now: Mind Institute in Sydney. NLP was created by a mathematician and a linguist, John Grinder and Richard Bandler, in 1970. They were curious about how the mind and emotions work and the relationship between the two.
Jess: Do you use NLP on yourself? Was that part of your process in discovering why you were unwell?
Tisi: Yes. As I was studying what they were teaching, I was applying it to my own experience and sickness. I realised how the unconscious part of the mind forms these beliefs, and I learned about the underlying things about myself that had been embedded for a long time. So I started clearing all the “old” stuff and releasing it and also understanding why my energy had been so affected.
Then I was curious about that part of me that always assured me that I was well. That curiosity led me to meet Dr Jean Houston in America. She is an amazing woman who has helped shed some light on how I had been thinking about many things. Another person who has been a big influence for me is Dr David Hawkins who has written many books, including Power Versus Force.
Jess: Can you tell me a little about them?
Tisi: Well, Jean is many things. She is an historian, a philosopher, a scholar, a teacher, a visionary leader and an author. She is also Chancellor of the Meridian University in San Francisco and has developed a school called the Mystery School and Social Artistry. She doesn’t like to be a famously known person, yet she is appreciated by many for her amazing knowledge and huge contribution to discovering and evoking human capacity and potential.
Jess: She’s modest.
Tisi: Yes, but she is a people mover. She makes changes in big ways. She works with governments of many countries and helped Hillary Clinton write It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. She has been interviewed by Oprah, has met Mother Teresa and many other well-known people throughout the world. She’s not only learned through books but she has lived with people in many countries, rich and poor, to gain a real sense of the capacity of humans. She helps people move into what she calls the parallel world to understand our soul.
Jess: What kind of course are you taking?
Tisi: Jean offers many courses. I did one online called “Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”. And, in June 2013, I attended a weekend workshop in San Francisco where she used one of the books she has written, The Wizard of Us. It’s her take on the story of the Wizard of Oz. She looks at our understandings of archetypes to understand how it fits into society. That understanding really helped me understand my little self, and how it fits into the bigger society picture. It’s not just airy-fairy talk about love; she has the scientific research to back it up.
I also did her seven-day salon in October 2013 in Ashland, Oregon. On one of the days she was talking about the illumination stage, where you see the light. We did an exercise that took us into the world of our own university, and I had a really a vivid experience. I went into a room and I saw a library of books that contained everything that I ever want to read, and more. And on the other side were people who were there to answer any questions I had. Then I was in a building and, as I was coming out, there was just openness, it was everything. And then I heard a voice asking me to put out my hand. I literally saw a ball of white light drop into my hand. The light ascended and all I could see was infinite light that had no beginning and no end. I was taken up into the light and I couldn’t see myself any more.
Jess: You must have merged with it.
Tisi: Yes, I saw myself merge into this light and I became it, and I was trying to say, “Where am I?” And all I could hear was, “You are in me and I am in you.” And that was it. There was no beginning, there was no end and I was in there. When we finished the exercise, I said to Jean, “I can’t move.” She said, “You’ve experienced what we’re about to do this afternoon. So now just rest.” And my whole physical body went to sleep for hours.
Jess: And what was that, exactly?
Jess: That’s very powerful.
Tisi:Very powerful. My physical body could not take the energy. I slept, yet I knew what was going on in the room. I saw everybody as one. Everything was complete. Every single person in the room was radiating with this light, and they were all beautiful. It was like I was in love with everybody. It was that sense of you are not a woman, you are not a man. I was just radiating in this beautiful light. I couldn’t talk, I had no words to describe it.
Later, when I returned home, I read David Hawkins’ book The Eye of the I. He wrote about his own experience, just like the one I had, which helped me make sense of it. He is a psychiatrist and the director of the Institute for Advanced Theoretical and Spiritual Research. He has been knighted and honoured in the East with the title of “Foremost Teacher of the Way to Enlightenment”.
Jess: It seems like you’ve had maybe four or five of these kinds of experiences.
Tisi: Yes. And I had another one when I went back to my island in 2011 for the first time in 27 years. You can imagine going back to the island and Dad’s not there anymore and I was not going to see his physical body. But I knew that I was going to sense his spirit. I went with Pip McKay. She became my courage and we did clearings about things to do with my Dad, she had experienced what I had and knew what I wanted. In my mind I was going to go to the village and do a ‘ceremony’ for my Dad on 7 July.
Jess: What was the significance of 7 July?
I made peace with the land, with heaven, with earth, with everything.
Tisi: My Dad’s birthday was in July and the number seven is a completion number for me. It was all about completion. I just wanted to go to the beach where he took his last walk before he went missing. I saw Dad as I walked into the house where I grew up. Again I had the feeling of spirit merging and feeling so overwhelmed that he was there to welcome me home. I was crying with joy. I now accept that he will no longer be here in the physical body, but his spirit is here. I wanted to honour him. So I took Pip and my nephew’s children and went to the beach. I said to the kids, “Let’s just collect whatever we can.” They found flowers and stones. I had already been to my family’s graveyard and picked up a little piece of bamboo from the graveyard’s garden. Symbolically I thought that this is going to be like me letting go of his body and releasing his spirit. We then laid some flowers in the water. Everyone just stood in one line along the beach and the water was up to our ankles. I said my speech. I felt like I was speaking for all of us who were feeling the pain. But I wasn’t only speaking to my Dad, I was speaking to all of those who have gone. And I had that feeling again. It was an elevated feeling, I felt like someone had taken me from the beach and put me on top of the water and that I could just walk out to the ocean. It was that feeling of goodness and that everything was one again. I made peace with the land, with heaven, with earth, with everything. I knew that the others were standing there, but I felt again this aura of oneness in all of creation.
Jess: So how does that work on a day-to-day basis? For example do you feel that sense of oneness right now?
Tisi: Yes, there was one thing that I didn’t really quite understand. It was, “How can I come back to a different reality and live a normal life?” I put that to Jean. It’s almost like there is a part of me that would rather be in that place.
Jess: Well, it sounds very blissful.
Tisi: It is. The only thing that I know is that I wouldn’t be able to function as a human. If I am in that fullness of energy, I just couldn’t function. It was only upon returning to the physical that I could ask the question, “What do I do with that? What does that mean to other people?” And what it means to me is that we all need to know about it. I hope one day we will all be in that place, but we can’t be while we are in this limited body, which is not who we are. We are not our body, which is limited. We are not our mind, which is limited. I’ve been given this amazing knowledge, and it has a purpose. I keep remembering that voice that says, “You are in me and I am in you.”
Jess: So what are you doing with it? You’ve developed Embracing Women’s Potential, for example.
Tisi: I’m developing a program to teach people exactly that: you are more than just your body and your mind. I thought that religion was the way to find the light, to become spiritual and to connect to the One. And in my experience it hasn’t been the case. What I’m trying to do is to teach people, not to become anti-religion or anti-church, but to know that what they hunger for can be found within. But what is missing in the teaching is how. When you go to church, people show you what, so you become overwhelmed with knowledge and it just sits there. It makes you hunger for more.
Jess: So what is the “how” that you’re sharing with others?
When I am present with a client I help them to activate who they are.
Tisi: That’s the program! That is what I’ve been given and it’s what I think people can use. At one time when I was seeing clients I was doing everything with a script, and I thought nothing is happening. And then of course nothing is going to happen. Because I am just the channel for people to open up their own light. When I am present with a client I help them to activate who they are. And that is the gift, because not everyone can do that. A lot of the time I’m not prepared, it’s intuitive. I download stuff that is appropriate to that person, because I now know that I have that deep connection with the One. The One also has a desire for that person to come into the light. I’m working in partnership, I’m not doing it on my own. It’s not about all these boring scripts that will cause the person to nod off.
Jess: So what brings people to you? Do they see you because they’re having troubles or an emotional block or ongoing issues that don’t seem to change?
People get lost when really their home is already there. And when you return home, other things outside of you will fit into how you want them to be.
Tisi: Often they will have a relationship issue. And often I know that what is falling apart is their relationship with themselves. So I don’t sit there and talk about what’s not working in their relationship, I work with the person to take them to what is possible, which is knowing their potential. Not what is already wrong. My work helps to return them home. And their home is within. People get lost when really their home is already there. And when you return home, all other things outside of you will also fit into how you want them to be.
Jess: How do people get to their home, their soul?
Tisi: First of all you’ve got to want to. You need to know that you might not be answering the call. And then in answering the call you’ve got to ask yourself, “What does it mean for me to be answering my soul’s call?” And then it’s important to really get to know the language of the soul. What messages does the soul give you? Everyone is different. But it can be very similar, in the end. You’ve also got to know how to welcome the soul through a ritual. For us to keep that connection alive you’ve got to have some way of doing so. Some people might like to say a prayer every day or meditate. But a person needs to know how to get there.
Jess: How do you stay close to your home, your soul?
Tisi: I choose to make it my way of life, I just operate from there. I just welcome it every day. I say I am at home with my soul. So when I see things happening outside I talk to my soul and I ask, “What would you do here?” So I don’t react to a situation or just run off. I do have quiet time to myself, mainly in the morning. I get up and I have a spot in the house where I spend a few minutes to read a Bible verse. Then I will say a prayer. But when I say a prayer I don’t just pray from my own needs, most of the time I give thanks. That’s the other thing that the soul loves – gratitude. And I like to give thanks because there’s more to embrace, rather than focusing on the lack. So I say a lot of gratitude prayers, even for what is not working, I give thanks to it for whatever lesson it brings. I very humbly accept everything and say thank you.
Jess: That’s all very beautiful. Thanks very much, Tisi.