Coming Out of the Psychic Closet

It was harder than coming out as gay.

Image by Heather Plew from Pixabay

Nearly every day for the past few months, sometimes just for a brief moment, I have thought about putting down my spiritual writing, deleting my social media accounts, canceling my workshops, and going back to practicing law full-time.

Sure, I could blame quarantine, the lack of social connection, the drudgery of the election and the erosion of our democracy, or the never-ending claims of fraud.

In reality, I’ve been spending this time facing myself and the hard truth that despite all of my inner work, the countless levels of healing I’ve experienced, and the wondrous expansion of consciousness that I’ve been graced with, I still had to accept who I now am: a psychic channel.

Life as a Psychic Channel Can Be Hard

Why? Living as a spiritual author and intuitive guide is a rough gig. Working as a lawyer was easier in many ways. Sure, my memories of how demanding the law was have faded since I left my firm two years ago, but I enjoyed noodling through legal puzzles and collaborating with colleagues on tough questions.

I also love what I do now — and I honor that it’s a real gift. It’s indescribably beautiful to connect with someone who wants to heal their past and express their soul. When I work as an intuitive channel, I receive clairaudient messages about a person’s major blocks, patterns, and karmic challenges. The words come through like blissful raindrops on my head, filling me with insights I could not imagine.

Having been a lawyer, though, I have often wrestled with how all of that sounds. It sounds crazy — a loaded word, for sure — to a lot of people, some of whom have told me my story is hard to swallow. I don’t question these experiences (they were real for me) or worry that my mind isn’t all there (I have never been more lucid). In fact, this angst about my professional path aside, I have never felt more emotionally resilient or mentally healthy.

But being an intuitive and author has meant abandoning a certain stable, conventional path. You might think that, as a gay man, I’d be used to living outside the norm. I was a sophomore in college when I realized that I was gay, and my entire life was shaken up. Within 3 weeks, I had come out to everyone, and was suddenly a proud gay man.

Being gay isn’t as challenging as it once was, thankfully. Frankly, it’s harder to say that I’m a psychic channel. People often raise an eyebrow when you do.

Indeed, I’ve grown weary of friends who ghost or people who look askance because they find my path too weird. It does remind me of when I came out as gay that certain friends slowly faded from my life. But it’s especially tough when the judgment comes from those who are deeply entranced with the biggest names in the spiritual world and post quotes from Abraham-Hicks or Eckhart Tolle. Yes, they are the real deal, but you? The guy who was once a lawyer, and before that a professor of Spanish literature? Yeah, not you. Oprah never included you in her book club.

It was also really easy to say what I did at a dinner party or meeting someone for the first time when I was a lawyer. I now gauge my audience’s reaction. Is this an audience where it’s easier to say “meditation teacher”? Because if I say “conscious channel,” it always begs the question, “Who or what are you channeling?”, which means I have to get into the whole enchilada of how I had a kundalini awakening (Wait, what’s kundalini?), after studying with my teacher, whose gift is to transmit Light to others (Wait, what’s “transmitting light”?), and then a very loving and powerful voice filled my head and said, “We’re going to write, and we’re going to write quickly,” and I said, “Who are you?”, and the answer was “We are the Council of Light” (Wait, Council of what?! No, that is just crazy, dude.).

I might sound like the world’s most reluctant psychic channel, but I love channeling. The experience itself is a bliss fest. The first six months that I channeled, I downloaded a complete set of 3 books — a trilogy that mapped out human consciousness, relationships, and social transformation. I’ve published all three, and more books are on the way.

The Universe Keeps Reminding Me of My Path

The part of me that’s a lawyer somehow still holds on. I remember what it’s like to live a more conventional life, with considerable success. So there are days, like today, when I wake up and wonder: Is this what this path entails? Is the best use of my time posting memes and doing Instagram Lives? Am I going to be facing an ever-shrinking social circle as people decide they don’t want to talk about forgiveness or chakras?

I’m not alone in this struggle. Most teachers, authors, and psychics I know deal with some version of it. They’re riddled with doubt or dealing with backlash from disbelievers. Besides the few who are independently wealthy, most teachers I know are supported by a spouse or scraping by — in other words, they’re not making money at this, have no savings, and aren’t prepared for any kind of retirement. Some are living transient lives, even living out of their cars, and just getting by earning fees from session to session, workshop to workshop.

It’s especially difficult as I watch my former classmates carve out high-powered careers, getting tenure at prestigious law schools or arguing cases before the Supreme Court, working at the highest levels of the DOJ or making partner at their firm.

Every time I’m on the verge of giving up, though, something happens. A new client shows up. Someone tells me that reading Bending Time is the one book they carry around. Someone posts something on Insta telling me that Seeds of Light sits on their nightstand. A young law student writes me to say how grateful she was to see that this is where I ended up, as the law hardens her compassionate side. Out of the blue, my most recent book wins an award for books dedicated to world peace. A new client shows up, telling me that a piece they’ve read on Medium has inspired new insights.

Some event or exchange pulls me forward, reminding me of my calling, even if it doesn’t quite feel like what I imagined a “calling” would. It feels more like a “prodding.” Something keeps telling me that I’m on track.

So I keep listening, and asking, How am I supposed to serve? I didn’t pick this path. I didn’t ask for this path. It chose me, and I’m along for the ride.

The Universe Has Taken Care of Me Before

Throughout all of this, I have learned how much the Divine supports me when I surrender and allow life to move in and through me on a timetable not of my choosing.

A decade ago, just as I was about to have my great spiritual awakening, life hit me really hard for a couple of years. The blows kept landing, pummeling me. I was still recovering from the end of an 11-year relationship while working long hours as a law clerk for a judge. Then my cat had died from diabetes one month, and the very next I learned that my father, from whom I was estranged, had passed away. A few months later, my living situation deteriorated when I moved into an apartment with a roommate with whom I was just not compatible. And just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, an existential crisis hit me.

I had been offered a prestigious fellowship at Harvard Law School. After years of torment, it seemed like my life was finally turning a corner. But in the weeks leading up to the offer, I would wake up every morning completely nauseated. My stomach was churning, filled with the sense that this fellowship was the worst choice I could ever make. I had no idea why.

I wrestled with that decision night and day. I just couldn’t accept it. But it was Harvard Law School. I tried to accept it, and my stomach did so many turns, I was ready to vomit. Literally, my gut was screaming at me to let go of this.

The decision left me a nervous wreck. What would I do instead? I didn’t want to practice law. I was a mess, wracked with anxiety about the direction of my life.

I asked myself this question, day after day. I felt this sudden urge to go to the Kripalu website. I had never been to Kripalu. But I followed this intuitive urge, and as I opened the page, I saw a description of a teacher, Mirabai Devi, whose gift was to “transmit Divine light.” A lightbulb went off in my head. At any other point in my life, I would have rejected this as rubbish, but at this moment, I knew it to be true. She became my teacher.

It turns out that working with my teacher would be one of the greatest experiences of my life. And even though my recovery from my anxiety did not happen overnight, I ultimately recovered and landed at a law firm at a job that would turn out to be one of the most rewarding of my professional life.

I spent years happily working as a lawyer while also training with my teacher. Then I got the message: It was time to go. I had to step away to write and deepen my psychic and healing skills full-time. That decision to leave was divinely inspired, with no angst and no churning stomach.

It has been a wild and tumultuous 2+ years of new ways of writing, teaching, and being of service. I know that this is not a moment of failure. Like the two years where life pummeled me, these are years of incubation.

The Divine is guiding me. I know to allow myself to be with this uncertainty, however heavy it might feel, around the question of how I am to serve. It might mean working solely as a psychic and healer, it might mean returning to the law in some way, or some combination of all of my skills.

I know from experience that a new way of being is attempting to emerge. At some point, I’ll get a prompt in one direction or another. I can’t rush that process, however much I want to. Grace can never be forced.

𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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Patrick Paul Garlinger

Patrick Paul Garlinger

Spiritual author and intuitive guide who illuminates our sacred connection to life.

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