I was watching a YouTube thingy the other night, featuring the young psychic/medium, Tyler Henry. He was doing a psychic reading for a celebrity client, explaining that he asks all clients to provide an object related to someone they want to connect with. It helps him get the “conversation” started, so did she bring one? “No.” In a cutaway, she explained that she doesn’t want to give him any “help.” He managed to get the reading underway and she was sufficiently impressed by the end. But her attitude is reminiscent of clients I’ve had. I call them the “DMs” — “Dazzle me.”

Frequently, people who want a psychic reading approach it as some kind of metaphysical entertainment. They want to be wowed. I agree that psychic phenomena is very cool, and I’ve had my share of “WTF?!” moments in my own explorations — but to me, a reading is meant to be helpful and practical. That’s why, before we start, I ask my clients what areas of their life do they want/need clarity on? It helps me organize the flow so that the client can get the absolute most from the time we have. I don’t need (nor want) every detail, but it starts things off in the right direction.

I’ve come to regard a session as a conversation. Asking a client if the information “makes sense” or if they recognize the person being described is a way to keep the energy flowing between us. Expecting any reader to just pull everything perfectly out of thin air is unreasonable — and makes for a worse experience.

I read a new client the other day who sat across me with her arms crossed and gave me nothing but “yes” or “no” responses. The reading seemed to satisfy her, but I confess that it was much harder than it needed to be.

Many people assume that psychics or mediums are some kind of unicorn: magical and perfect. We are most definitely not; we have good days and bad. But this unicorn idea sets up unrealistic expectations. A perfect example is the celebrity medium, John Edwards. I know folks who knew him before he was famous and attest to his very real abilities. Several years back, he got a TV show. His producers didn’t understand that no psychic/medium gets it all right, all the time. And we admit it.

But in television, the point is to “dazzle” the audience. While Edwards’ gifts are substantial, apparently they weren’t enough for the producers. It later came to light that staff would sometimes be in the audience ahead of shooting, overhearing conversations and slipping a little info to the broadcast booth. Then the show would be edited — as it is with any TV show — for maximum effect. While that makes for great entertainment, it does a legitimate disservice to the profession and reinforces unrealistic expectations.

And that’s when you get the “Dazzle Me” client.

I can only speak for myself, but I aim to do my very best for my client during a reading. My goal is to give information that will be the most helpful to them, and before they arrive, I specifically ask my guides to help me achieve this. Being willing to relax and engage will make the session better.

Bottom line: conversing with your reader isn’t cheating. You’ll get more out of the time. And you just might be even more “dazzled.”

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