Within the spiritual community there’s been a lot of conversation surrounding soul contracts, soul missions, and the law of attraction. These phrases and the contexts in which they’re discussed, suggest that much if not all of the content of our lives and beings are preordained.
However, this stance omits a critical component of being human: free will. As incarnate individuals we have the personal agency to make choices that precipitate adaptive or maladaptive outcomes in our lives, the lives of others, or the totality of existence.
Moreover, by neglecting free will we run the risk of absolving individuals of personal accountability, perspective taking, empathy, and rectitude. This is particularly evident when spiritual tenets are misappropriated to engage in victim blaming or to excuse those who have committed maltreatment (whether egregious or minor in severity) of the personal volition that fulfilled their transgressions. Because let me be clear: When one is performing any type of harm, the onus is on them not on the individual who is enduring affliction. Yes, there are grace, forgiveness, and redemption. But those virtues can’t come from ignorance and denial.
While we enter this world with purpose that does not mean that we are absent minded puppets of the cosmic machine. We always have the free will to yield helpful or injurious results. Hopefully, we have the awareness, as well as the moral and cognitive development to do the former and correct the latter.
Englane Read is a 35-year-old British psychic-medium. She identifies as a bisexual, multiracial (i.e., English, Filipino, and Spanish), cisgender female. In addition, she is an accomplished musician, who has played reputed musical events such as the Isle of Wight Festival. Finally, she is a devoted life partner, friend, and has a lust for life. I'm honored to call her a Soul Sister and give you the opportunity to get to know her better.
When did you first notice that you had psychic, intuitive, mediumship, and/or healing abilities? How did you feel about it at the time?
I first noticed my extra sensory abilities in 2003, when the Spirit of a famous rock star visited me and stayed with me for a while and played their music in my head all the time! Being that I’m a huge fan of the person I honestly, genuinely thought I was losing my mind! Even my friends were worried about me! But that initial experience taught me a lot.
Did you have any religious or spiritual beliefs prior to being aware of your abilities?
I was raised Catholic, but I certainly wouldn’t class myself as one! I’ve always believed in the Afterlife and Spirit.
How have your religious or spiritual beliefs evolved?
I’m definitely the most spiritual now than I have ever been. Loving the continuous journey - a learning curve, to say the least!
Have you come out about your abilities? If so, what has the response been?
I haven’t fully come out about my psychic-mediumship abilities yet, but I am certainly getting there! I’m getting braver about sharing certain things, definitely. So far the response has been positive and people have been intrigued and asked me about it, which I think is nice.
How has having these abilities affected your relationships with family members, friends, romantic partners, etc.?
I am very lucky to have extremely loving and supportive parents who are extremely open minded, and my partner has been amazing about it, too!
In your opinion, what are some of the misconceptions people have about psychics, mediums, and other highly intuitive individuals?
It really bothers me that people tend to tar us all with the same brush, in the sense that we are all ‘fake’ and/or scamming people. Also, it’s not a given that we can “see into the future!” Stereotypes!
What have been the greatest joys of having spiritual abilities?
Being visited by and able to communicate with an array of different spirits, famous, non famous, family and friends that have passed, etc. It’s a beautiful, comforting thing.
What have been the greatest challenges of having spiritual abilities?
Having TRUST and FAITH in my abilities and not just shrugging them off or thinking “it’s all in my head.” Also, unfortunately - being worried about what certain people might think, and being laughed at and criticised.
What are some of the best and worst experiences that you’ve had with spirits or other preternatural beings?
I’ve had some absolutely mind blowing experiences with Spirit, positive and negative ones, but I view them all as positive for being able to sense/hear/see them at all!
What do you think the afterlife is like?
One hell of a party!
Do you fear or embrace death?
I fear the way I might die and the feeling of it, but I embrace going over to the other side!
Do you think that people can carry on relationships with loved ones in Spirit?
Oh, absolutely! Without a doubt. You simply cannot break energy. We are everlasting.
What are your thoughts about grief?
It is truly one of the worst things that we can ever feel, or go through. One of the worst things about death, in general. But time does indeed help to heal.
What has facilitated your personal, spiritual growth?
Well, practice makes perfect, but it’s also SO important to be able to talk about and share your different experiences with other psychic mediums! Invaluable, in fact.
What do you do for self-care?
I love to relax and unwind, pamper myself with long luxury baths & products, eat good food, and sleep! I love my sleep!
What boundaries do you have when it comes to your work with spirits and clients?
Hmm... I haven’t really had any clients yet so it’s hard to say really. But I would never do anything that made me feel unsettled or uncomfortable!
Where do you see the spiritual/metaphysical field evolving?
Hopefully it will evolve so much that it’s many people’s reality and normality, one day!
Where can people find you and your work?
Or just look me up on Facebook!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Englane!
You’re very welcome, sweet Soul Sister!
All of us have shouldered the burden of emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual distress in our lives. I've experienced it myself and as a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. Yet, rather than be compassionate towards ourselves for the pain and suffering we so valiantly carry, we berate ourselves for never achieving an absolute state of healing. The reality is that healing is a cyclical process that we are equipped to address.
For example, when I was a trainee I conducted therapy with children, adolescents, and adults. Quite often they would express frustration over dealing with the same mental health problems for years. Compare this to how we react when we get the flu. None of us say, " God damn it! Why am I getting the flu again? I thought I was done with this shit when I was five." No. Rather we recognize that external conditions have compromised our immune system and we must remedy it with appropriate intervention. The same line of thought applies to mental illness or other forms of distress that impact us. Just as the earth takes its revolution around the sun, psychopathology and nonpathological stressors can reappear in our lives. Luckily, when it does we can address it with healing tools, or even better, preventative measures.
The following exercises are adapted from the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) model. The ARC model was created as a psychotherapeutic intervention to address the multifaceted sequelae of trauma among children and adolescents (Blaustein & Kinniburgh, 2010). It is based on the theory of complex developmental trauma, which pertains to repeated and protracted involvement or exposure to harmful, interpersonal experiences, beginning in early childhood (van der Kolk, 2005). Due to limited research, the ARC model is categorized as a promising/emerging treatment (Arvidson et al., 2011). However, the model is based on empirically supported theories and research related to: attachment, lifespan development, trauma, and neurobiology (Kinniburgh, Blaustein, Spinnazola, & van der Kolk, 2005). Some of us may not be within the population for which the ARC model was designed. However, the underlying theories from which the model was derived apply to and have useful implications for a wide range of ages, developmental stages, and presenting issues.
Exercise I: Steps for Emotional Definition
Exercise II: Steps for Emotional Management
When you have completed exercises I and II please put your responses in a place that you can easily access in times of need. You have now complied a set of resources that you can modify and expand, accordingly.
As we go through the cycle of healing, we realize that revisiting adversity does not have to be redundant and leave us feeling helpless. It can be empowering, by enabling us to utilize our skills and acquired knowledge for restoration and progress
Arvidson, J., Kinniburgh, K., Howard, K., Spinazzola, J., Strothers, H., Evans, M., … Blaustein, M.E. (2011). Treatment of complex trauma in young children: Developmental and cultural considerations in application of the ARC intervention model. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 4(1), 34-51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19361521.2011.545046
Blaustein, M.E., & Kinniburgh, K.M. (2010). Treating traumatic stress in children and adolescents: How to foster resilience through attachment, self-regulation, and competency. New York, NY: The Guilford Press
Kinniburgh, K. J., Blaustein, M., Spinazzola, J., & van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Attachment, self-regulation, and competency. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 424-430. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.3928/00485713-20050501-08