Connecting with departed loved ones this holiday season is easier than you think.
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How to Become Your Own Medium and Connect With Loved Ones This Holiday Season
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After my paternal grandmother Edith, who I call "E," passed at 93 years old, I struggled to get through my eulogy. One of the main thoughts that kept interrupting my ability to hold it together was, "I'll never get to call her out of the blue again and ask her how to make matzo ball soup or tell her about my latest byline or hear about her most recent mahjong get-together." Little did I know, I'd connect with her constantly — just in an ethereal way. 

In the years since her passing, we've communicated through a handful of medium readings, the most recent of which was with Fleur Leussink, a world-famous psychic medium, writer, intuition teacher, author of Moving Beyond: Access Your Intuition, Psychic Ability and Spirit Connection.

Leussink described my Grandma E perfectly: "very short" like me, "big," teased hair, and feisty. She talked about how proud she was of the fact that people still use recipe cards she wrote out by hand. Leussink said she saw my grandmother, who was alive to see me walk down the aisle, put a wedding ring on and then off quickly before reassuring me that she supported my decision to divorce, which occurred a couple of years after she passed.

I felt intuitively that E has had my back since her passing, but now, I'm absolutely certain of it. Leussink confirmed she's one of my greatest spirit guides and that she's with me always — especially when I'm baking, like we used to together. That, along with so many other messages Leussink shared with me from my dearly departed family members, are among the greatest gifts I've ever received.

Connecting to loved ones in the spirit world is a wonderful way to know that we're not alone — especially during the holiday season, says Leussink. "In the same way that people were there for you in big moments in life, they're there for you in big moments in spirit," she explains. "They're not tethered to you at your hip; they've got things to do! But in the same way that your relationship with them in this life would have moments in which you're sure to connect, the same happens in spirit. They'll check in with you regularly, and they're going to definitely be there for any major celebration or holiday that you guys would have had a special connection to as well." 

In fact, in a reading, a loved one will often talk about what they're seeing you do and what they're doing with you even in spirit, says Leussink. "It's not unusual for somebody to say, 'I see you're having a family reunion coming up in a couple weeks, and I know that you still keep a seat open at the table for me,'" she notes. "Or 'I'm watching you unpack the ornaments, and I see that you've kept the ones I hand made.'"

Spirits also often reassure their loved ones that they're around them "in real time," observes Leussink. That said, we all have the ability to move beyond the physical world and access their inner intuition, psychic ability, and spirit connection in order to give ourselves the gift of communication with the people we miss whenever we want, she explains.

Here, several of Leussink's best tips for practicing mediumship on your own this holiday season — or whenever the desire to connect strikes.

Honor your inner voice. 

Leussink's book is divided into three parts: intuition, psychic ability, and spirit connection (i.e. mediumship), and that order was a very conscious decision on her part, because connecting with yourself is the first step to connecting with people you love in the spirit world.

"Even if the destination or the goal is wanting to connect to your loved ones, it's still going through your own spirit, so all information — whether it's about you, someone else, or connection to spirit — it all has to go through your own spirit. This is your source. We can't actually be good mediums or have connection to the spirit world if the connection itself isn't in place first." For that reason, Leussink says the foundation of any intuitive work is to create space for listening to the internal, or your inner voice. 

And the ability to tune into and trust yourself has benefits that extend well beyond chatting with your dearly departed loved ones. In fact, after more than a decade of readings — many of which have been for successful A-list celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople — Leussink found that in the area in which these people were "winning," they always followed their internal voice. "If someone was making really great moves in their career, I could tell they were listening to their own gut on it — same in love and romance," she notes. In other words, they had an unflinching connection to self. 

Acknowledge how you might be suppressing your intuition.  

There are so many reasons people suppress their intuition and so many ways in which they do, says Leussink. A few of the most common:

  • Fear. whether that's rooted in family or societal beliefs. 
  • If your own internal feedback was never validated. Perhaps you feel like you never got to listen to yourself over others. 
  • Busyness. "We're also so busy, on our phones all the time, numbing out," says Leussink. "If we fill every waking moment of our day with stuff, there's not a single moment to be like, 'Ooh. Is a thought I'm having maybe not my own? Or is there a feeling I'm having that maybe originates from somewhere else?'"
  • Absence of embodiment. People often believe that in order to have intuitive or spirit communication moments, they have to be out of their body or meditate into some astral plane far, far away, says Leussink. But she believes it's actually quite the opposite. "If you can't be in your body and you can't feel your feelings and don't know from where those feelings are originating, then you're also not going to feel the subtle connections to spirit," she notes.  

Create space to connect.

We usually think all metaphysical practices, including mediumship, require sitting down on a meditation pillow, using sage, or lighting a candle. But doing so could actually hinder your ability to connect. "Your rational mind is going to be like, 'Are they there? Are they there?'" says Leussink. 

Instead, she recommends considering where in your life you go into a truly receptive state. "We know through scientific studies that when our brain waves are in theta waves, which are slow and open," explains Leussink. "And we know that when we have these big insights and intuitive, seemingly mystical thoughts, we're in the theta state. And when we do repetitive activities in our life — driving, doing dishes, folding laundry, in the shower, running, or playing an instrument — we go there too." 

And when you're in the midst of one of these activities, you can consciously call in a connection to your loved one, explains Leussink. You can say, "No expectations, but I'd love you to join me." "Then, do that repetitive activity, and your brain will naturally slow down," she says. 

Although you won't want to set your expectations too high — and you might end up needing to do this a couple of times — this exercise creates space for you to receive, creates the calmness that you need to receive, and sets the intention that you'd like to receive, says Leussink. 

"You'll have set the stage, and they will join, and you'll have an experience," she notes. 

Do your best to suspend disbelief.

If you feel like you've been connecting with a loved one but are struggling to trust that it's real, consider zeroing in on a mantra that Leussink herself used when she was facing the same challenge early on in her career: "Suspend disbelief." 

Leussink actually committed to doing this for six months, telling herself, "I'm going to stop questioning every time something happens, and I'm going to stop rationalizing it away, just so I can allow some momentum to build." And it turned out to be the "most liberating experience." 

That's why she advises anyone looking to connect with loved ones do their best to hit pause on interruptions from the rational mind. "In the moment, just experience it, if you can," she advises. "If you can't find that little bit of faith required to bridge the gap, you can't have the experience, so it's a little bit of a catch-22." 

Look at patterns. 

In order to differentiate what's real from what's imagined, Leussink recommends reflecting — in retrospect — on your patterns.

"When you feel like you're experiencing something or receiving something, ask yourself, 'What state of mind am I usually in? How does it show up?'" she advises. "All spirit communication is going to follow a pattern for you. As the connection to spirit connects to your own soul, this information rises into your rational mind and your physical experience through the same pathway every time." 

And that pathway will be uniquely your own. For example, some people might get goosebumps, explains Leussink. Others might feel like something's in the room or have a voice in their head. All of these things are going to be slightly different than if it's happening because you created it or you just happened to be emotionally triggered. 

By thinking back on your experiences, you can tell the difference between what a spirit connection might feel like versus how your anxiety or wishful thinking shows up. "When anxiety shows up in your body, it tends to show up in the same way every time," she points out. And the way you experience it isn't necessarily going to be in the same way as someone else.

Know that the experience will be subtle.

One of the main misconceptions that Leussink says trips people up in the beginning is the idea that you need to see your loved one in order to have connected with them. "Very few mediums talk to people who've passed in such a way that they're standing in the room, and you see them and hear them," emphasizes Leussink. "It doesn't happen that way. I get flashes of images, little bits here and there. Sometimes it feels very much like playing Charades. You're putting together a story."  

You might experience a subtle shift of emotion, experience a physical sensation, get a flash of a daydream-like image, or you'll hear a thought out of nowhere, she explains.

Keep going.

Once you've started honing your mediumship ability, taking it to the next level just requires continued exploration. Ultimately, you'll be able to get to a place where you use your intuition in everyday life, trust it, and feel confident. 

Nurturing this ability can have unexpected, long-term downstream effects as well. "When people have the experience of being connected to something larger than themselves, life changes," says Leussink. "You're not as afraid of passing or of life. There's also a moment when you realize, 'Oh, I have much more creative control over life than I thought I did.'"

Like anything, if you stick with it, and give yourself room to grow, it just gets easier, says Leussink. "It's a language," she notes. "You have to put time into learning a new language, and that's ultimately what this is: a new language."