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5 Reasons You Might Want to Visit a Psychic

 
Positively Present Psychic

 

"Let me check the address," she said as we hesitated outside of the basement apartment door. As a birthday gift, my friend was treating me to a psychic reading, so there we were, hesitantly walking up the city sidewalk. As my friend pulled out her phone to determine if we were at the right location, I peered nervously at the shadowed doorway in front of which we'd stopped. I'd always wanted to go to a psychic — mostly just to say I'd done it — but now that we were standing right outside the door, my logical, this-is-bullshit self was being challenged by the irrational, but-what-if-it's-real-and-it's-bad-news me.  

Just then the door opened and a woman wearing a full-length dress and dramatic earrings ushered us inside with enthusiasm. The interior of her house looked both as I expected and different, too. There were celestial tapestries on the wall. Little spiritual statues and knickknacks lined bookshelves. But there was also a standard-issue beige carpet (on which we were instructed to sit). I spotted an iPhone charger in the corner. And the crystal ball, much as I loved how it aligned with my view of what a psychic's decor should include, had a TJ Maxx price tag affixed to it. I was skeptical to say the least. 

I went first, pulling my cards and doing my best to keep a straight face in an effort not to influence what the psychic told me. I know how easy it is to read body language and facial expressions and use them to move the conversation in a certain direction, and, even though I knew the whole thing was a just-for-fun scam, I wanted to give this past / present / future reading a fair shot. Neutral expression in place, I listened as she told me a variety of things ranging from the fact that I'd have two kids (ummm, I hope not!) to the notion that "something good" would happen in October / November to her perception that I'd live well into my nineties. She said I'd be successful but not in the exact thing I'm doing now (ugh). She told me to stay away from the negative people who have been dragging me down (vague, but very good advice for my current situation). She told me to stop focusing on the negative and be more positive (super vague, but also good advice). She told me I was closed off and needed to open up more (quite true, but, again, could apply to tons of people). 

After my friend did her reading and we left, my feelings were mixed. On one hand, visiting a psychic is, of course, a ridiculous waste of time and money. Most of what she said could apply to lots of people. Be more positive? I bet there's not a person reading this that couldn't use that advice. But there was a tiny part of me that couldn't help but wonder, What if she's right? What if I do end up having children? Or living well into my nineties? I was slightly unnerved by the things I didn't want to hear. They echoed more loudly than the positive things she'd said. (Perhaps I should be taking her advice about focusing on the positive!)

Later that night, I kept thinking about what the psychic had told me and, more importantly, how I was feeling about it. Because, just like reading a horoscope online, it really is about taking the abstract concepts put in front of you and applying them to your own life. It's not so much about what the psychic says; it's about how you react to it. While I honestly think most psychics are complete scam artists (I'm hesitant to say that all of them are because I can't completely discount the idea that maybe there are people out there who have some sort of special insight or intuition...), I don't know if I can say for certain that going to see a psychic is a bad idea. In my experience, there were four key benefits derived from a psychic reading: 

 

  1. You realize what you don't want. 

    This was one of the first things I realized after my reading. It became very clear that some of the things she'd said to me were things I didn't want to happen. This might sound like a bad thing, but it's actually really useful to know what you don't want in your life, and it's not always something we think about since we're taught to focus on goals and dreams and we're encouraged to go after what we want. That's certainly a positive thing to do, but identifying what you don't want can help you move forward toward what you do want. 


  2. You identify what you do want. 

    Likewise, listening to the psychic gave me more insights on what I do want, which is always good thing. As kids, we're always asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" but, even though we focus on goals and achieving certain milestones as adults, we don't always ask ourselves what we really want -- or check in to see if what we wanted before is what we still want now. By hearing someone tell you what the future holds (no matter how bogus the words might be), you're given a great chance to think about whether or not that's the future you want. 


  3. You get a fresh (albeit odd) perspective. 

    Even if psychics (or mediums or palm readers or horoscopes...) are a scam, there's something so interesting about seeing your life through the lens of a complete stranger. While I doubt all psychics have supernatural powers, they do spend a lot of time studying people. They might not know how to read the stars, but they likely know how to read people. What they say to you probably has a lot to do with how you're reacting -- which means that their words, true or false, might be worth thinking about. 


  4. You receive an opportunity for reflection. 

    Regardless of how the reading goes or what is said to you, at the very least, visiting a psychic gives you an opportunity to reflect. Not only can you reflect on what was said, but also on what you were hoping would have been said. What did you hear that you didn't want to? What did you wish she'd said? Which topics were discussed? Which weren't? All of these questions can lead you to a better understanding of yourself, of what you want to focus on in your life -- and that knowledge can be powerful in helping you make decisions for the future. 


  5. You acquire more awareness of the present.

    People usually visit psychics to learn what the future will hold but talking about the future can make you more aware of the present. When a psychic tells you things you want to happen in the future, you have to consider how you'll take action now to get from here to there (or what you'll do avoid what you don't want). To arrive at a future you want, you have to start moving toward it now, and seeing a psychic might be like spotting a guidepost on a hike: it won't force you down a certain path, but it'll tell you if you want to go that way, pick a different path, or turn around. 

 

So, would I visit a psychic again? I'm not sure... On one hand, it was a fun little experience and interesting to hear what she said (regardless of whether or not it comes true) but, on the other, no matter how rational I try to be, the words she said to me are hard to shake, which isn't ideal (particularly if they're total nonsense). If you're thinking about visiting a psychic, it's something to keep in mind: no matter how logical you think you are, there's a part of you that will be impacted by the words. But, depending on what those words are, that could be a good thing! 

Have you ever been to a psychic before or, better yet, are you a psychic? I'd love to know if you have any experience or insights! Let me know in the comments below! 

 


 

Have you signed up for Patreon yet?! The Positively Present Patreon is for... 

  • People who love Positively Present and want to support my work
  • People who want to support writing and art in general 
  • People who don't want ads or sponsorships interfering with content
  • People who want behind-the-scenes looks at what I'm working on
  • People who want access to exclusive digital content
  • People who want to contribute ideas and inspiration for Positively Present
  • People who want to download Positively Present artwork
  • People who long to learn more about creativity and digital art
  • People who get something valuable out of daily (free!) posts

If you've never heard of Patreon before, you might be like, Wait. What is this? I still don't get it. Don't worry! You can learn more about it by checking out the Patreon page or my FAQ post. And, of course, you can reach out to me via email if there's anything you want to know more about! 

 Patreon


Announcing... Positively Present on Patreon!


Patreon Screen


For years, I've been working solo on Positively Present, and I absolutely love what I do, but I've been looking for ways to expand on my work and on the Positively Present community. Like many who create primarily online, I've struggled a lot with friction between wanting to create and share and not feeling as if my work is valued (and, in some cases, stolen, even by large companies). 

The world of online creating is still a bit like the wild west. We're all trying to learn the rules, to figure out how we can consume and share and create in thoughtful, productive, and rewarding ways. A lot of online creators choose to run advertisements or work with brands. I've done these (and may continue to do so), but, at times, it feels disingenuous. Even if I love a brand or product, it's turning me into a salesperson when I'm a creator. I want to make things you like and I want to be able to afford to do it, and I don't want to have to sell you random stuff you don't need (even if it's my own stuff!) in order to do so. 

I'm not the only creator who feels this way. Luckily, someone came up with the awesome idea for Patreon.

 

WHAT IS PATREON? 

Patreon is a membership platform that allows patrons (people like you) support creators (people like me) while getting access to exclusive benefits. What I love about it is that it's a direct relationship between the creator and the patron. It's a way to show creators that you value their work and to support those who spend their lives trying to make the world a better place online. 

Creators set up a series of tiers and the more a patron contributes each month, the more rewards s/he receives. You can see the various tiers (starting at just $1/month!) on the right hand side of this page. Basically, it's like this: you pay a set amount each month and you get access to cool things you wouldn't otherwise see. 

  Patreon


WHO IS PATREON FOR? 

Every creator's Patreon platform is unique, but, for Positively Present, Patreon is for... 

  • People who love Positively Present and want to support my work
  • People who want to support writing and art in general 
  • People who don't want ads or sponsorships interfering with content
  • People who want behind-the-scenes looks at what I'm working on
  • People who want access to exclusive digital content
  • People who want to contribute ideas and inspiration for Positively Present
  • People who want to download Positively Present artwork
  • People who long to learn more about creativity and digital art
  • People who get something valuable out of daily (free!) posts

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? 

If you've never heard of Patreon before, you might be like, Wait. What is this? I still don't get it. Don't worry! You can learn more about it by checking out the Patreon page or my FAQ post. And, of course, you can reach out to me via email if there's anything you want to know more about! 

 Patreon

 

I've been hard at work setting this up, but it's still a work-in-progress, so stay tuned for updates (and even more rewards for each tier!) coming soon. I know the idea of directly supporting a creator might sound odd at first, because it's still relatively new, but the digital landscape is changing and more and more of what we use and consume is going to be online. If you are regularly consuming something you enjoy — whether it be a piece of digital art or a piece of delicious cake — you should want to compensate the person who created it. Yes, it feels like you get content for free, but nothing is really free. There's a give-and-take for everything. If you're consuming something that someone else worked hard on without ever giving something back, that leads to an imbalance that puts a lot of pressure on the creator.

The creator either has sell you a product (which can be great, but isn't ideal in a world where we all have so much stuff or where people have come to love the digital work and don't necessarily want things), sell an ad for another product (leading to the same problem of more consumption and/or the often icky feeling that comes with selling things randomly -- take note of all of the creators pushing Audible or Skillshare...), or sell a service (which isn't always doable or reasonable to expect of someone who already has a job creating content on a daily basis).

The more creators have to balance advertising, sponsorships, brand deals, etc., the less time they have creating content that you really love and find valuable. When you join a creator's Patreon, you'll have access to extra cool rewards and a community of people who love the same stuff you do. Plus, you become a real-life patron of the arts, which, let's be honest, just sounds fun and fancy! 

I've been so excited working on this for the past few weeks and I'm so excited that it's now going live! If you have any questions / comments / etc., let me know in the comments below or via email! 

 


The Great 8 Benefits of Creativity

Creativity-Positively-Present

Prints available in the shop! 

 

I'm in the midst of working on a new book on creativity, and as I've been writing and researching, I've come across so many important benefits that can be achieved when engaging in creative experiences. The list is super long (I'll be exploring them in more detail in the book!), but I thought I'd take a break from my research and write about some of them here. 

When the average person thinks of "creativity," they typically think about one of two things: (1) a professional creative who works in a creative field (or is a well-known artist), or (2) a somewhat frivolous activity that can be done during downtime (see: the boom of the adult coloring book market). But creativity shouldn't be reserved for professional creatives or for people who seemingly have lots of extra time on their hands. Creativity is for everyone. And, more importantly, it's essential

The more creativity we cultivate, the more we all benefit, both personally and as a society. The benefits of creativity can be life changing (they have been for me!), and, unless you identify as a creative person or work in a creative field, it can be challenging to recognize (and make an effort to reap!) the rewards. In future posts, maybe I'll get more into the details of how to be creative, but first I thought I'd dive into why you'll want to incorporate more creativity into your life. 

(Note: I'll primarily be referring to creativity in terms of creating art, because that's something I do personally, but keep in mind that creativity can play a role in almost any aspect of life: cooking, raising children, developing relationships, work, day-to-day routines, etc. so even if you don't enjoy making art, you can still benefit from creativity!) 


CrayonCHILDLIKE FREEDOM

As adults, we don't often get to experience the best bits of childhood: wonder, playfulness, freedom to be silly. Depending on your career, you might be limited in what you get to do on a daily basis. Creativity provides an opportunity to have complete freedom to do whatever you want. When it comes to creating, particularly creating art, there are no rules. Or, if there are, you can break them at any time. The freeing feeling that comes from creating something out of nothing is one of the greatest joys of creativity. 

 

Paint SetSELF-EXPRESSION

Closely tied with the notion of freedom is one of creativity's second great benefits: self-expression. There are many ways we can express ourselves (what we wear being on of the most obvious ones), but creativity provides a great outlet for exploring the self and taking what you find an putting it into a tangible format. Creativity connects you with yourself, and, as I've talked about many times, the more you know yourself, the better equipped you are to take on life's challenges. 


Paint TubeSTRESS RELIEF

There's a reason the adult coloring craze came to be. Creativity reliefs stress! When you get into a creative project, you get into what's known as the "flow" (that feeling when you're so absorbed in what you're doing that you forget what time it is, forget all of the things you've been worrying about, and are fully engaged in the moment). I personally find it hard to get into the flow state doing anything other than creating, and I know I'm not alone in this. Making something makes you present. And, when you're fully in the moment, you're unable to stress about the past or the future. 

 

InkINCREASED CONFIDENCE

This benefit can take some time to develop, but the more you practice making, the better you'll get at it. You make think to yourself "But I can't draw!" or "I'm not creative," but, believe me, if you keep doing it, you'll improve. And all you have to do is keep at it. You don't need special classes or tools (though, admittedly, those can help). You just need to keep trying, exploring, and doing. The more you do, the better you get, and the greater your creative confidence becomes. The confidence you experience in on aspect of life spills over to others as well, increasing your overall sense of ability. 

 


CupFUN-FILLED EXPERIMENTATION

Just as creativity leads us to cultivate that childlike sense of wonder, it, too, gives us permission to experiment in new and exciting ways. When you're doing something creative (and not for work!), you can do whatever you want. You can try new and weird mediums. You can explore a different style or layout. You can do anything you can think of, which is pretty amazing! There aren't many aspects of life in which you can experiment like crazy, but creativity is one of them. In a world where answers to most questions are just a click away, the opportunity to experiment and not know what will happen is fun

 

PaperPERSONAL GROWTH

When engaging in something creative, you're growing. Whether you realize it or not, that's just part of the deal. The more you create, the more you learn about yourself, and the more you learn, the more you grow. You'll find yourself pushing yourself out of comfort zones you didn't realize you had. You'll find yourself able to create things you never knew the world needed. If you pay attention, you'll start to see your patterns and preferences, both of which teach you a lot about who you are — and who you want to be. 

 

ErasureSAFE MISTAKES

In addition to the fun-filled benefit of experimentation, creativity is also a wonderfully safe haven for mistake-making. When you're creative, you're able to try new techniques, tools, and formats with minimal repercussions. Making mistakes sounds like it wouldn't be a benefit, but being able to make mistakes in a creative format is actually a great life lesson. As you're creating, you're going to make mistakes (and also wonderful things) and doing so teaches you that life is a balance of making things happen and letting them happen. 

 
GlueNEW IDEAS

And last, but certainly not least, creativity is vital for coming up with new ideas. Consider all of the technology and art and books we have in today's world. None of those would have come to be without the creativity that drove their creators to think in new ways. The more you create, the more ideas you'll have. And they won't just be about the work you're creating. Creativity leads to new art-focused ideas, sure, but it also leads to new ways of seeing the world and experiencing life, which will inspire new ideas in all areas of your life! 

 

Creativity has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I know that's not the case for everyone. With this post (and the new book I'm working on!), I hope that those who don't feel creative will consider incorporating more creative activities into their lives. These are just a few of the many benefits creativity has to offer, and you don't realize how much it can transform your life if you don't give it a try. If possible, do something creative this week (even if it's a little doodle!) and see how it feels to take something that existed only in your mind and put it on to paper!