A friend recently posted a quote from Jim Carrey on her website:
Risk being seen in all your glory.
Within the spiritual community when people talk about letting themselves be seen, it typically means allowing their spiritual self to shine through. Letting the world see the joy and love we all hold within.
When I read the quote, the word “all” caught my attention.
ALL our glory is about a different kind of being seen. What happens when we share beliefs, skills and abilities that are a bit outside the norm? If we put things right out there for public consumption? What if we mention healing work that is complementary to traditional medicine but still outside the box? What happens when we let go of fear and simply acknowledge our abilities with a direct, “matter of fact” attitude?
She asked me, “Are you Out at work?”
I replied, “Yes, I came Out a couple of years ago. They are pretty cool with it at work.”
This was a recent conversation. We weren’t talking about sexual orientation, we were talking about the fact that I teach meditation and do psychic readings. She wanted to know if I’d let co-workers (and supervisors) at my “day job” know what I did. I remember thinking as we spoke that a lot of my friends keep their psychic abilities and/or spiritual beliefs private (hide them or keep them a secret) because they have many of the same fears that keep those in the LBGT community in the closet.
I Came Out gradually over a period of years and with a great deal of thought at each step. I had several considerations:
- Coming Out can generate ridicule from others. I was mostly afraid people would think I was crazy. However I also worried that they would shun me or say disparaging things about me in public in an attempt to hurt or embarrass me.
- Coming Out can lead to physical harm or property damage. Hate crimes aren’t new. My husband now occasionally jokes that he expects to find a burning cross in our front yard one day, but 15 years ago when I first started openly sharing what I do, some kind of physical backlash was an actual concern.
- Coming Out could have an adverse impact on my immediate family. I’ve lived in a very small town in a fairly conservative part of Washington State since 1985. When I started sharing what I did around town, long after I’d been ordained, my daughter was still in school. I had to consider the potential of other kids teasing or bullying her because of my actions.
- Coming Out could harm my job prospects. It was doubtful that my employer would fire me for my activities, but they could stop the advancement of my career through lack of promotion.
- Coming Out could cause a rift in the family. My husband’s family is large, extended, and close. Several of them hold very religiously conservative views. They all know I’m an ordained minister, but it has only been in the past 5 years or so that I’ve shared what that actually entails.
To sum it up, for me, Coming Out was a risk. It was a scary thing to do.
I started small by not hiding in town. If someone commented on the “Rev.” printed on my checks, I’d tell them what I did. I would occasionally mention that I was going to go do a reading for someone. I’d be at one of my daughter’s sporting events and say something to another Mom about giving our girls a healing before a big game.
Eventually, I expanded things so that I would talk about “psychic stuff” to anyone who showed an interest. However I was always careful to wait until THEY introduced the topic. Having a daughter heavily involved in school sports (the core of a small town community) meant I got to know many of the other parents and community members. What I did outside of my regular job got to be common knowledge and, to my shock, it was no big deal. My daughter was fully accepted by her peers and, just as important, by their parents.
In 2010, I made the decision to formalize my reading and healing work. I took office space in a larger town and incorporated as a sole proprietor LLC. By this time I’d shared what I did with my closest co-workers, but not really anyone else at my day job. When I formalized the business, I told my supervisor what I was doing. She was very supportive.
In early 2012, I got cancer and many people at work – including our CEO and COO – wanted me to keep them in the loop about how I was doing. My healing process was deeply personal and I relied heavily on my spiritual information and training to get me through. I also continued reading and healing others during chemo because I felt that it helped me maintain a spiritual focus. I used the treatments as a boost to dig down and process deeply buried spiritual blocks. Because it was all so entwined, I made the conscious choice to share large parts of my spiritual beliefs and psychic activities/skills in my periodic updates. As a result, I am very much Out at work.
Finally, early in 2014, I launched my website – making myself visible in a whole new way. I don’t know what my next step toward visibility is, but there will be one.
Looking back through all the stages of my Coming Out, all the incremental risks that I took, I marvel at the process and at the results.
The more fear that I let go of, the more visible I became in the community, the more obvious my enthusiasm for what I do appeared, the easier letting myself be seen became. Each step, from mentioning healing at a basketball game to starting my business to fully Coming Out at work and ultimately creating my website was both scary and exciting. An unexpected side benefit was the support, interest, and many new friends I gathered along the way.
My considerations, my fears, were very real and as I addressed them, amazing things happened.
- Ridicule: Are there people out there who think I’m a little strange? Yes. Does it bother me? Not really. The people in town don’t seem to consider the fact that I’m psychic an issue. I was elected to the School Board in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.
- Physical harm or property damage: This has never manifested. Additionally, attitudes toward those who work with energy have eased quite a bit in the past 30 years.
- Adverse impact on my immediate family: My daughter’s peers are now in their early 20s. They still swing by the house when she is visiting; last time, we talked about doing readings.
- Harm to my job prospects: My employer holds a large conference each year. The attendees are mostly City Mayors and City Council Members from across the State of Washington. At this year’s conference, they had me present a 1 hour workshop on meditation as part of the official program.
- Rift in the family: I’ve now done readings for several of my husband’s extended family. Additionally, last summer I taught a meditation class. It was open to everyone, but ended up being a class for members of his family. The more conservative family members simply set aside what I do – as I set aside their more conservative beliefs – as we relax and enjoy each other.
Admittedly, my situation as an actively practicing psychic is somewhat extreme. However, we all have bits and pieces of ourselves that we hesitate to share because they are too tender or too precious to us to expose. I encourage you to take the risk, to Come Out in your own way, share all of who you are, and see what wonderful things manifest. The world will be a better place when you do.