Both draw skepticism, judgement, and flat out disapproval. Both can be awkward and, at times, intimidating, but eventually, if you want to keep it real and be true to who you are, you gotta just—boom—step on out.
In fact, I’ve just completed an online course—the first class I’ve ever taken of its kind—and the teacher, a well-regarded expert in her field, says it’s vital to “come out,” in order to clear your throat chakra.
Only the “closet” she’s referring to, is what she calls “the medium closet,” and the course, which covers all things chakra, meditation, and the other side, is something I’ve kept quite quiet about.
We’ve been quarantined for about six weeks now, and the timing of the course start date, which coincided with the lockdown, didn’t feel like a coincidence. It’s been a much needed distraction.
Today, when the class ended, I was faced with a few big questions—Where do I go from here? Do I need to “come out of the medium closet”? Am I even a medium? Can I just call it “coming out” of the clair closet?
Either way, the last thing I want, or need, is a muddy throat chakra, and this is the easiest way to say what I’ve gotta say without having to explain it over and over again. So here goes…
You may already know that the vivid stories that pepper my novels—Beyond the Screen Door, and the unpublished sequel, We Just Walk— are inspired by many of my own experiences.
Much like one of my main characters, the connection I have to the unseen is something I’ve tried and tried to shut down.
Until now, I’d never looked into it, in any kind of official capacity.
Where to begin…
The week before last, the course shifted gears. Among other things, we were given an assignment to read for a live sitter (of our choice) over the weekend. For some strange reason, it hadn’t even occurred to me that we’d be doing “readings” when I first signed up for the course!
Who was I supposed to ask? No way! My plan was to skip the assignment, but my “spirit team” had a different plan altogether.
*names of sitters, spirits, and/or their families, have been changed to uphold privacy
8 days ago
8 days ago, we were supposed to set up a call with a live sitter, and I didn’t. So, during an early morning meditation, some unsolicited visitors came to see me instead.
First I heard a man’s voice say, “I’ll see you on March 24th.” That was the day my cousin Briana’s father-in-law died of Covid-19.
Briana’s ex partner, Laura, didn’t get to say goodbye to her father. He died alone, per quarantine regulations. Caught off guard, I asked for what’s typically called “validation” (or evidence).
I heard “David.” Then a phrase that kept repeating, “Dave is in the grave.” Laura’s mother, who I’d soon learn had passed away this last Christmas, came through as well.
That afternoon, I reluctantly called Laura. She validated that David was her father’s brother-in-law & friend, and he’d passed away 8 years ago on Easter.
Whereas I’ve only known one David in my life, Laura, apparently, knows a few. David must’ve known her first question would be, “Which David?” (hence the rhyme). Not only would I need to know he was the David who’d passed away, but also, I wasn’t writing anything down, and he likely wanted to make sure I’d remember.
The message from her father was quite simple—It’s okay. I can still hear you. I am still with you.
It was the first time I’d accessed the spirit world ‘on demand.’ Only I hadn’t made the request, my teacher had, and it seems my “spirit team” wanted me to keep on track with the plan.
Even so, I wasn’t ready to go labeling myself a medium. But things were about to get interesting…
7 days ago
7 days ago, I attended the live class workshop (via group video chat). And—surprise!—there was a live guest sitter, Rosa. She was pretty, curvy, and had a shyness about her. She didn’t speak other than to say hi.
We had to take a few moments to quietly do a reading, and then quickly submit all of the information we ‘received,’ privately, only to the teacher. I typed, “male, tall, skinny, dark hair, light but darker skin, brother-like energy, brotherhood, Live fast Die Young, a crew, rap music, unexpected, they’re pouring out liquor.”
The teacher addressed my assessment first, confirming the description I’d submitted. She asked about “Live Fast Die Young” (a reference to an M.I.A. song and video that I was hearing and seeing in connection to this spirit).
If you’ve seen the M.I.A. video—fast cars, speeding, turning, kicking up dust, and fires—you’ll understand why I heard and saw this in connection with a spirit who (we were now informed) died young, driving fast on a dusty road, ending with the engine catching fire.
After a lifetime of spirits, coming and going as they pleased, was it possible I could access this at will?
6 days ago
Reading from a photo (or an object), is called psychometry. We were asked to read a few people, who are now in spirit (from photos provided to us by the instructor), using that method—And then privately submit what we received to the teacher. We’d have to wait till the following week to hear back!
Feeling so uncertain, in my notes, I’d written, “Tried to print and the computer quit and shut down all pages. Now, ‘low on ink replace soon.’ Thinking I’m not meant to do this today.” Beneath that, in an attempt to work through my reluctance, I’d written, “Stephanie” “Matt” and “Janet.”
6 days ago, when I logged in, the results were finally back! When I saw that Stephanie was the name of the spirit’s wife, Matt, the name of her new husband, and Janet, the name of one of Matt’s kids, I kinda freaked out.
My wife made me a soothing cup of quarantine tea, and reminded me that I’d given the spirit world an ultimatum, aloud—If you need me to do this, fine, I’m happy to help, but I’m gonna need details. If not, I’m gonna find a way to shut this down, once and for all. I was half-joking, but mostly serious.
Even though I’d gone into the assignment feeling skeptical and aggravated, team Spirit hadn’t let me down. But a “medium closet”… I just wasn’t there. Then this happened…
5 days ago
5 days ago, I logged in to see the results of another photo assignment (from the set of photos provided to us by the instructor). In the summary I’d submitted, I’d written “Angel… Angelo, Mark.” So, when I saw the teachers comments, that the man in the photograph was named Mark Angelo, I spiraled a little bit.
My whole life, there was no sense of control over this thing—It was erratic and, more often than not, frightening. To learn it was something I could actually work with, peacefully, and access upon request, felt life-altering.
In response to what I’d submitted, my teacher wrote that she was “blown away!” At first, that’s all I could feel too—Totally blown away. But the next day, fear crept up on me in a major way, which leads me to the final push that sent me over an edge…
4 days ago
4 days ago, I wondered—What if I just trust in this? With some hesitation, I called Ryder. He was Sammy’s fiance. Over a year ago, she died unexpectedly, just a month before their wedding.
Rewind: Sammy was in my dance company, and although we didn’t have the kind of friendship where we’d catch a movie or go out to lunch, there was a certain love and loyalty that existed between us. In fact, it was a particular visit from Sammy, several months back, that was a catalyst to this very path—She was trying to tell me something important, and I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.
Smack dab between “Stephanie, Matt, Janet” and “Angel, Angelo, Mark,” I started wondering if I should be doing any of this. I asked Sammy to turn on a kitchen light if I was doing the right thing. Less than a minute later, the light came on.
On a loop, that lasted about an hour, I heard, “Maryanna, Maryanne. That’s my middle name!” The next day during a meditation, she, unexpectedly, visited again.
She showed me a friend, Elizabeth, and different scenes played out, like choppy clips of a film reel—Together, we go by “Maryzabeth.” The two friends laughed and even got into a tiff.
Once again, it felt as though there was something else she was trying to tell me. Bits and pieces that I’ve yet to put together.
For now, she’s guiding me through all of this—My team Spirit cheerleader, inspiring and encouraging me to plug along… to adjust the radio dial, till there’s less static coming through.
Many people don’t realize that those of us who see and hear spirit, can actually be very skeptical…
Instead of calling Ryder, when all of this first happened, I texted one of my dearest friends, Myriam. She’s often believed in this thing I’ve got, more than I’ve believed in it myself. She was also closer to Sammy. Would she know if Sammy’s middle name was Maryanna, or who Elizabeth was?
She didn’t. So I looked everywhere for the middle name, and for Elizabeth. The wedding invite… social media… Nothing. My skeptical side crept in and set up camp—Maybe it was just the quarantine messing with my mind.
But if I’d learned anything in the past week, it was that I had every reason to trust. So, 4 days ago, I called Ryder and, lo and behold, he confirmed Sammy’s middle name was Maryanne, and that Sammy did have a good friend named Elizabeth… and that, yes, they would’ve combined their names to “Maryzabeth.”
Later that night
In the interest of full disclosure, later that night, I broke down over a Facetime call with my Auntie B.
“I can see how distraught you are. Your whole face has just changed,” she said. And that’s when I lost it and, embarrassingly, there were tears.
What was I going to do without the support system that’d been helping me through all of this? It was like the door had been flung wide open in the last week, and just like that—bam—the class was ending.
As you may have noticed, I’ve skipped over 3 days ago, 2, and 1, because I spent that time alternating between stepping away and wrapping things up, but I didn’t meditate or take the time to shift my mindset. Instead, I went into shutdown mode.
And now, here I am, writing this… It’s my first step to tuning back in.
So, am I a medium? Maybe kinda, but no, not really. To my mind, a medium is someone who officially takes sitters with the intention of connecting to spirits, and I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I ever will be. Either way, my mentor’s advice couldn’t be truer, and couldn’t have come at a better time.
The murkiness residing in my throat chakra has got to go, so I’m doing this in the most efficient, least draining, way I know how—Words typed up and put out into the universe (same way my mentor once did).
Hopefully this “coming out” clair backstory, explains how I got to, “Yes. I am,” in a matter of the last 8 days, and hopefully it inspires others to clear their chakras too. We could all use the vibration boost at a time like this (and yup, of course I managed to squeeze in a quick lesbian head-nod to Melissa Etheridge… Here’s a link to a 1994 performance of “Yes I am”).
This class began just as quarantine hit, and it didn’t feel like that was by chance. Signing up was a blur—In fact, I’m pretty sure my higher-self may have signed me up, while my not-so-higher-self was just riding along, not really grasping where I was going.
Getting in touch with this meditative, chakra-clearing, faith-having side of myself, is the very thing that’s helped me cope with this bizarre, uncertain, and stressful blip in time.
The end of this class not only eerily marks the amount of time we’ve been in quarantine, but it also leaves me without the structure that was filling this abyss of time. And what a strange time it’s been—Feeling, simultaneously, the panic of what’s happening, and the calm of inner resolution that’s finally come after all these years.
Shifting your mindset is powerful, but a lot of people don’t get this sort of thing. There will always be skeptics and judgement, and at times it may be awkward. That’s not an unfamiliar feeling for me.
When you don’t reside within the ‘norms,’ coming out is an ongoing choice between letting people know who you are, upfront, and hiding a big part of yourself, to avoid potential consequences.
Today, I’m choosing to “come out” clair, and embracing the path to wherever that leads.
You’ve already reached the end of this article. But if you have a skeptical side, you may want to read this science section I’ve just added, to address a very good question that many people have privately sent to my inbox, since publishing this article:
My skeptical side needs to know the answer to this question too. And this question can best be answered by looking at one of the most basic principles in science: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another. Science also tells us that the total amount of energy and matter in the Universe has always been the same.
If you break down anything material to its most basic form, you’ll find it consists of atoms. The atom is made up of energy swirls. Whatever you’re sitting on, standing on, or lounging on, right now— It’s solid, but if you break it down, it’s made up of atoms (swirls of energy). Everything is.
Think of a glass of water—If you put it in a tray and freeze it, it becomes ice, or if you put it in a teapot and leave it on the burner, the water will eventually evaporate into steam. Either way, you’re just slowing down, or speeding up, the vibration of particles. When the water evaporates, it doesn’t cease to exist. It’s still there. You just can’t see it. This is one of my favorite ways to (scientifically) explain what happens… We are the steam coming out of the teapot.
Now consider the animals that sense a natural disaster, before it happens. When they go running, it’s not because they’ve just crouched over a crystal ball in some secret meeting… but they are sensing a shift in frequency and vibrations. Consider nocturnal creatures that can see best at night. Again, no magic involved. Their vision is just different.
We know through science that the ‘normal’ range of human senses, such as vision and hearing, goes beyond what the average person understands to be true… Think about how you can use a radio to pick up signals, to tune into higher frequencies. When you turn the radio off, those frequencies are still all around you. Just because you can no longer hear them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. They’re just moving too fast for you to hear them without some sort of device.
A person who’s clairaudient (clear hearing), is tuning in to fast moving vibrations, without a radio. A person who is clairvoyant (clear seeing), is catching a glimpse of energy that’s vibrating at a faster speed, even though it’s changed forms.
And this isn’t all so neat and clear, so perhaps it shouldn’t even be called “clair” (French for “clear”). Sometimes a transient will pop by and chime in, and you won’t even notice right away that they’re not part of the original tour group. They’ve just drifted on over, like—“Hi! It’s Bobby!” Some days the signal is clear, and some days it can be like that Verizon guy— “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” Same goes for the picture screen… Some days it’s clear, other days you might wanna wack the TV set because the picture is fuzzy.
*article updated 5-6-20 to include section on science
جوليا ديانا— Julia Diana Robertson, is an award-winning author, and journalist—A first generation Arab-American, who grew up between worlds, and currently resides somewhere in the middle with a bird’s eye view.