I have been a Medium all my life.  I have been a practicing Medium (giving readings to others) since 2009.  I had been to a few courses at that time, both psychic development and Mediumship, and hit the ground running, so to speak, providing one to one readings for others.

In about 2012 Medium James Van Praagh was giving a class where I lived.  I asked my guides if he was the right teacher for me, and they said “No” and showed me a picture of John Holland, who I knew nothing to little about at that time.  I waited a year and a half to get into a class of his, and then saw him again the following year when he had Medium Janet Nohavec with him for a course at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.

The first I’d heard of Arthur Findlay College was in my classes with John Holland.  He’d lived in the UK for 5 years, and spoke highly of the college.  He said things to the effect of that he could always tell when a Medium had been trained there because of the way they presented their readings.  He basically said that British Mediums were amazing; at least that’s how I heard it.  Of course, then I was intrigued.

I found that after my courses in America, I wanted to be pushed more.  I talked with another student in my last class and we discussed how we’d both wanted to go to AFC.  I got home from that trip and looked at the AFC website for the first time.  I perused the catalogs – how would I know which one to go to when I had never been and had no idea who any of the tutors were?  Then I found it – my class.  It was called Mediumship – Meeting the Needs of Today.

The catch was that it was over Thanksgiving week in the US the following year, but I knew without a doubt I needed to go.  Something in the description caught my eye and I applied for the class and put my deposit down over a year in advance.

Some major changes have occurred in my personal life in the last 14 months since I’d booked that class.  I had a major romantic breakup and had to move as a result of it.  I changed my day job at the same time (not on purpose, but it was an offer I could not refuse).   Then I moved again because I didn’t like the first apartment I was in.  Suffice to say, this class was the last thing on my mind during the upheaval in my life, but the closer it came the more I thought it was too expensive (the flight from the US alone is substantial in price) and that I’d be missing one of the biggest holidays of the year in the US.  I thought of seriously canceling 2-3 times, but something stopped me every time.  I just knew I had to go and decided to trust it.

A week before the trip, the tragedy in Paris happened.  I knew my family would worry that I was going to Europe, but had to trust my sense of peace about the trip.  Security was tight both getting out of the US and getting into the UK.  By the time I had my passport stamped in the UK I was shaking from the line of questioning and thought to myself, “Lisa, what the hell are you doing here?”

The next day I took the coach (bus) to the class and was shown to my room.  Most of the rooms there are shared and the bathrooms are also shared.  When I’d booked it I figured I’d just go with the flow, and I’m glad I did.  I had a lovely roommate; I have always had good luck sharing rooms when I go to these classes. 

Several people had mentioned to me that I had better go downstairs because Paul Jacobs and Jose   Gosschalk because they were interviewing us to put us into groups ( I later learned that most of the time during the week would be spent with one primary tutor and group of about 12 students).  While I was in line waiting to be assessed, I heard others around me talking.  I could tell that many of them had been here before, either to AFC or even to this same course (I later found out that some people took this same course year after year).  Frankly, it also struck me that there were some very self important students, there.  Anyway, to me, the most popular tutors, Paul and Mavis Pitilla seemed like they already had their groups full, but I thought to myself that it was okay.  I really didn’t know of the tutors and had no other agenda other than to trust that I’d land with the right tutor.

When I finally got to sit with Paul and Jose’ I just told them my experience and then they both psychically tuned in to give me the right tutor.  They said it was down to Chris Drew or Andrew Byng and Paul said he wanted to tune in to feel which one had the personality I’d fit the best with and I landed with Chris Drew.  We had a program that night and a demonstration (of Mediumship) by one of the tutors in a service (it’s a Spiritualist college.  In Spiritualists services, a demonstration of Mediumship is part of the service.  There are not many Spiritualist churches where I live, so it’s something I’d really never been exposed to).

The first night we went to dinner and Paul told us that when we chose our tables to make sure we stayed at the same table all week.  I ended up with some lovely Swedish people and a couple others.  The Swedish people ended up not only 3 of them in my same group, but some of my best friends that week.

The first day in Chris’ group we all met, and I knew I was with the right group.  I loved Chris’ energy, and was curious to find out about the rest of the group.  We did have varying levels of experience in our group – Chris explained that the groups had not been split up according to experience level.  I hoped, as I could feel the other experienced people in the class, that we would not be held back because some things had to be explained again.  That mostly didn’t happen, which was a relief.  Later in the week, I received one of my best psychic readings, ever, from one of the so called beginners in that class.  I thought to myself it must be a courageous beginner who came to classes like this.  We worked from sun up to sun down and beyond.  Breakfast at 8am, first class at 9:30, and we end at 9pm after the evenings service or demonstration.  There were abundant breaks, but still it left little down time.  After that first night I went to bed unable to sleep because my mind was racing due to not having time to process it, but I later learned in the week to guard my down time during the day so that didn’t happen.

The exercises we did the first couple of days were good, but I felt like I had similar exercises one way or the other before,  I knew I’d learn something from this course, I just found myself wondering if it would be like the past courses I’d had in the states where I felt like something was missing.  Honestly, Wednesday morning I woke up cranky.  I told my roommate about it and she suggested to tell someone and maybe see if I could change my tutor.  I’m not the kind of person that complains, but I remember saying to Ali, my roommate that I doubted I would come back to AFC again after this course.

Of course, after that, things got interesting, in a good way.  I later found out that it’s called ‘Weepy Wednesday’ and it was possibly why I was upset – it was also the day before Thanksgiving, and I wondered if that was emotionally upsetting me deep down, as well.  Anyway, the Universe must have heard me, because that’s the day we started demonstrating in class (platform readings).  What that means is that the student stands in the crowd and does a reading and I later learned that is what this class was focused towards.  I have a history on stage both with acting, music, speech, you name it.  I’m not shy. In that, I knew that there was a reason I was there, and decided to go with it and take the opportunity when I was given a chance in the course.

Chris said it was my turn to demonstrate in class.  At first I thought my reading was not going well.  I had a little stage fright more involved with the Mediumship than the public aspect.  I had a grandmother, she felt like an only child, and I got a piano and the inside of a piano. That last piece did not resonate with the woman I was reading for, and then another woman raised her hand and said it sounds like her grandmother.  She said that her grandmother hid inside the piano as a child, and I knew that this was the correct person to be reading. Once I stepped into that power with her, the reading had a life of it’s own. I brought up her and her grandmother singing together and she started to cry.  She later said that she thought she was going to die in childbirth and her grandmother just held her hand and said “Let’s sing” {our way through it) and later her daughter was born. There were very few dry eyes in the group, and the class applauded for me.  Chris gave me some nice feedback about the evidence I brought through and it clicked with me then, that’s why I was there.  To stretch myself.  I was not there to be comfortable or as my tutor had said the first day “If you’re here to hear “yes” you’re in the wrong place.”

Wednesday night there was a demonstration by the tutors in Service and it was interesting to see them all work.  My tutor Chris was amazing – he brought through three spirits and read them all in tandem.  It was both wonderful and inspiring.  He later confided in me that after that he had several students that wanted to switch into his group after that night – that’s how good he is as a Medium and his style is high energy and infectious.

On Thursday in group, for one of our exercises Chris had for us was about his grandfather.  The principle of it being a grandparent is not just a grandparent (ie; a grandma is not always in the kitchen cooking with her apron on).  The exercise was that we had to get his grandfather on a certain side of his family and first we’d bring through info about him as a grandfather, father, husband, etc.  When Chris came around and asked what he was like as a husband I started receiving all of this information and raised my hand.  Frankly, I felt his grandfather communicating with me from the spirit world and flirting with me, so I knew at that point he may have been a ladies’ man.  So I said “I think he was a ladies’ man” and he encouraged me to keep going. I got other evidence after that and it was nice to be pushed (he encouraged me what to build on as I was reading), and taught me so much about how we can explore the spirit we have because as humans since they were so much more than just a one dimensional character.

Thursday night there was to be at the second student demonstration of the week in Service.  Tuesday and Thursday night were student services.  There were Mediums chosen (70 students and not everyone got the chance or wanted it) and usually another tutors group sat in the demonstration and another tutor (not your own) would assess it.  There was also a chairperson (who introduced the Mediums and facilitated the service and also a speaker who gave in inspirational speech).  I had played both the role of chairperson and speaker on Tuesday when Chris needed someone at the last minute. I ended up doing both because of a misunderstanding.   With my background in stage, I’m not afraid of crowds, but I did later receive feedback that I forgot to introduce myself (whoops) and my inspirational speech was too short.  Jose’, the tutor assessing that night’s student demonstrators, told me my speech was good but it could have been great if I would have stepped into the power (of spirit) a little bit more. She was very kind in understanding that I’d had to be both Chair and Speaker, and I must say I listened to everything she told both me and the Mediums. She’s got this energy that’s like the Sun – I could bask in it all day – and I was there to learn, even if it was through feedback given to others.  It was my understanding that if you chaired or were a speaker, you’d lose your chance to demonstrate, but was hoping I’d be given an opportunity anyway since I filled in at the last minute.

So Thursday came, and it was time to choose the Mediums for that night’s student dem and the three Mediums from the UK in our group were kind enough to say that the ones from overseas should get the opportunity to dem since they could do it in Spiritualist Churches there (and many already did).  So the three of us that wanted to dem and one of the UK Mediums got to demonstrate, and off we went.  That last night there was to be a party after the dems, but I knew I’d be in the dem until at least 10pm (the others would be there at 9) because the feedback goes for about an hour after for the Mediums that want it.

That night at the dem, it was the four Mediums from my group as well as the chair and speaker, and two Mediums for another group.  I could feel the nerves of the Mediums and Lena, one of the other demonstrating mediums asked me to go last saying that we needed to close with strong energy.  I walked in there knowing I would be last, and agreed.  It meant I’d have to wait longer (and more nerves possible) but I knew I’d be okay.  I was going to get up there and dem whether I did well or not.  I work for Spirit and trust that I’d bring the right information through.

The demonstrators each have 15 minutes and were to bring through two connections. I got up last and told the crowd that it’s Thanksgiving in the US, and that I was thankful to be with them and to be working for spirit and then it was time to connect with Spirit. My first connection was for Amy, another medium in the class and honestly the best friend I’d made all week. So when I realized it was for her my nerves kicked in (I didn’t want to let her down).  The whole night a young male had come to me that felt like he was a gambler and the life of the party, and that’s who I brought through. Then the second connection I made was for Lena, another Medium on the panel (her grandmother).  I thought both went well but could have been better.  I found myself falling into habits I’d had when I came such as giving a very general age range (young male in his 20’s or 30’s; we were told not to do that to not give an age unless you have an exact age), but I did it anyway. 

Andy, the tutor assessing took the time to tell me that I had thrown some of my evidence away.  When Amy didn’t recognize that he gambled I threw it away and I didn’t explore it.  I later found out that they worked at a place where there were slot machines, and I had explored it further I may have received that but instead I threw it away and moved on.  Chris had told me something similar before that, that I was good, but sometimes threw my evidence away.  I think it went better than I thought it did, but it made me want to do this more so I could explore the evidence further.

The thing I really learned that week, other than the demonstration aspect that I was introduced to, was that everyone’s life is a story.  So exploring that story further can make a reading that much more of a connection for your clients.

The final day, Mavis gave a talk about our soul’s purpose.  It was fantastic.  The things I remember from her talk was that she said to us that we were all born at the right place, at the right time four our purpose.  That we were born Mediums.  That they day we were born, the spirit world rejoiced for someone came to Earth that could bring through the messages and love that they have for the people they’d left behind.  It was the perfect close to the program.

I made some great friends, met some great people, and was touched by all the tutors there in one way or another.  And despite my questioning my reason to be there, I know I will be back when the time is right.