Barb, Psychic Medium – part one
An amazing story of transition from public servant to psychic medium.
Barb and I have known each other for more than 15 years. At one point in her life, she thought she would never retire – partly because of the financial security she needed but also because she had only ever seen herself in the role of full-time worker – working long hours for someone else. Now she is a leading and respected psychic medium, running her own business.
I knew Barb as a colleague through our work in human services with a Queensland Government department. Then she mooted a possible change of direction and a few months ago, Barb left our office to pursue another stage of her life. I asked her if she would be willing to share her story with readers of Classic Women. She graciously accepted and we caught up in May, shared a cuppa and a fascinating tale.
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Barb, Psychic Medium
Barb originally trained as a darkroom technician and then worked in the fields of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, disability services and domestic violence (women’s refuge). Barb is certain her rich and varied life and work experiences have assisted her readings.
I started by asking Barb to tell me about discovering her psychic abilities.
‘Look, I stumbled into this. Looking back now, I am aware that I had a gift, but I thought everyone had it. Everyone is born with it – it just depends on whether you want to use it or not.’
Barb shared some stories about times when she followed her intuition where listening to her inner voice led to good outcomes for her family.
Reaching out to the Universe
One day, Barb was prompted by a friend to visit a psychic, and during that meeting, Barb mentioned she was thinking about how to start-up a home business. Her children had moved out of home, husband Bernie often worked shifts, and she had some space in her life to explore other interests. The psychic suggested Barb might like to attend some psychic development classes that she was offering. Barb went home and mentioned it to husband Bernie and he was immediately positive. Barb explained to me that when she originally met Bernie, he had been travelling his own spiritual journey for many years, and had connections in several spiritual churches. However, when he sensed Barb didn’t have similar leanings, he moved away from those communities and chose to prioritise his relationship with her. Naturally, when Barb met her spiritual guides, Bernie was delighted and very supportive.
‘It’s got me into a new community, and Bernie loves it too.’
The course took about three months and Barb loved it. She thought about using one of the now-free bedrooms to create a place to perhaps do an occasional reading. She set it up as a peaceful, private place and Bernie found her a ‘conversation table’ on eBay.
Barb started out by offering free readings to about a dozen people – not people who knew her.
‘I did the first ten readings for free and even when I started charging, I set a really low fee.’
She wanted to test her talents and asked her initiates for honest feedback, which was really positive and helped to build her confidence.
Barb started noticing themes across the people she read for. For example, there was a group of people where the theme of disability was a common link; later, she encountered a number of individuals, each of whom had been affected by a of reportable write-offs (cars that have been written off and are uninsurable). She explained that she discussed this with her fellow-psychics and it turns out that this happens also for others.
Coming out at work
I remember this period in Barb’s life. She was very private about her new-found interest in the spiritual world. She explained to me that she was concerned about her reputation at her workplace, where she prided herself on being a solid, reliable worker who got things done.
‘To go into this industry when 99% of the people out there don’t believe in it, I felt as though I was going against the grain. This is why it took some time to come out at work – I didn’t want people to think I’m a nutter.’
Barb ‘outed’ herself accidentally one day at work while attending an emergency meeting concerning a new client who was in critical need. Only one participant in the meeting knew the client’s name and as she was struggling to pronounce it, Barb spontaneously said the person’s surname – it seemed to just come from nowhere. Of course, the group queried as to how she knew it.
‘They were floored and asked how I knew that. I said, “you don’t want to know”.’
They pressed her for an explanation and she told them that it was a chain of events: during the meeting, Barb’s hair fell forward; she thought of her hairdresser who works at Sorrento; she saw an image of her mum; her mum used to live in the street whose name corresponded to the client’s surname! They were amazed until one of her colleagues said, ‘well you do know she’s psychic’. Barb said it became easier from that point on.
Bernie continued to be a strong advocate for Barb’s growth as a psychic, then more support came from other family members – her niece was visiting, and Barb was tentatively mentioning she had started to do readings. On the spot, her niece grabbed her phone and set up a webpage for Barb, even naming it herself – ‘Barb’s Psychic Readings’.
Business name sorted! Website en route!
‘My daughters were really supportive, and I’ve read for their partners who were shocked at some of the things I described! For example, I described an office in a building that one of them subsequently came across and rented.’
I asked Barb if there were any rules about doing readings for family members.
‘No, not really. I did a couple of readings for my younger daughter about two years ago, and she recalls that I picked the date and year that her baby girl was subsequently born. I don’t remember that.’
Working two jobs
I recall Barb working long hours, holding down a full-time job while building Barb’s Psychic Readings. She committed to building her profile through social media, developing her website, using Facebook to its full potential, building her clientele. On some Mondays, I knew that she had spent most of her weekend working in her business as well as on her business. She experimented with a range of platforms such as regional show days, psychic fairs, etc.
‘I worked very hard on my website; then I was doing one or two readings a week; it grew to about four, and then I’d do a show. We were doing about 15 show days a year. Around this time, a workmate put me on to a TAFE course on business planning which helped me to develop a 5 year business plan. This gave me some direction and I was so excited when I exceeded the three-year mark only 12 months after I started! By the time I left work, six months after the TAFE course, I’d hit my five-year target.’
Barb engaged a wonderful web designer who improved her web page and added an automated booking system, which has freed up much time.
So many ways to reach out to people
As well as speaking to groups at spiritual church meetings, Barb conducts one to one readings.
‘I do readings at the Helensvale Night Quarter, and radio interviews. Bernie and I travel to regional expos – we have 70 this year! I write e-Magazine articles and was invited to write for the Spiritual Event Directory. I also write for UK magazines – they set the theme and I write about my experiences and discuss strategies that people can use, such as the 3 Cs – cleansing, clearing and channeling.’
Barb does readings for business people and this year even attended a Children’s Expo.
‘We did a kids’ expo recently – I was flat-out, 18 to 20 readings a day! Not the children and parents – it was the other stall holders! I expect this at Psychic Fairs, but not at a kids’ expo’.
Her phone readings are about to expand because Barb has just been accepted to work on an international psychic line. She explained that it is very competitive to be accepted and not many people are chosen. After two rigorous phone readings/interviews, the selectors liked her style and chose her.
‘I’ve been doing phone readings for a while…For people in the US, the peak time is our 11am-5pm.’
She expanded her reach through 21st century technology … Skype and Facebook Live.Out of curiosity, I watched one of Barb’s Facebook Live sessions. I saw a different Barb, somehow detached and, well, spiritual. She exuded calm and peace, totally focused and in a zone. I asked if this had been an easy step for her.
‘It has had its challenges. For example, I am 20 seconds in front of everyone, and the delay can be disconcerting. I set a theme and start talking, and then the questions fly through! I see a question come up, and stop to respond to it, then move onto the next one. People ackno
wledge my readings, by sending replies, but it all moves so fast that I might not see their responses until it’s all over!’
I mentioned I wondered why Barb augments the live reading by using spiritual cards.
‘Yes, people like to see something. I do psychic parties too – get people to put flowers or jewellery into a paper bag they’ve touched – I pull one out and then start a reading. That’s fun – people like it – it’s cold turkey stuff that a lot of psychics avoid.’
Are people wary of her because they are fearful of her engaging her psychic abilities when talking to them?
‘There can be a stigma about saying you’re a psychic in some places. People say “what are you seeing?” But unless they’ve asked me to do a reading, I don’t have permission. Technically I could, ethically I won’t. I have strong ethics behind me.’
Advice to women in transition
I encouraged Barb to tell me what she would say to other women who are contemplating following their heart to pursue a venture outside of their regular routine.
‘I acknowledge people being scared about retirement, however I believe there’s so many ways to approach it! It took about six months after leaving full time work for me to not feel guilty about not being at work.’
Next week, Barb describes what it is like to be a psychic medium and how she helps herself develop professionally.