Thursday, July 22, 2010

Learning from Lily Dale

Last Saturday, I went with my friend Ernie to visit Lily Dale, NY, a community of mediums and energy healers in New York, about 2 hours' drive from home. I found lots to learn from the experience, and I am glad to share it with you here.

Before we went, we decided to book a couple of appointments for a reading with one of the mediums there. Not knowing who to choose, we looked through the list on the website and clicked on various websites that some of the mediums have. It was a hard choice and Ernie emailed me his top choices, then I made some choices, and we decided on one and called her. She had two appointments available late in the day, so I booked the earlier one. Then Ernie called her and booked the one after mine.

I didn't want to get home too late, and so after thinking it over, I called Ernie and asked him if he thought we might cancel the later appointment and take our chances finding a different medium who has an appointment earlier in the day so we could get back at a reasonable hour. Plus I thought it would be cool if we could experience readings from two different people. Ernie agreed and canceled the later appointment. I tried calling another medium on the list of our choices but she didn't return my call. We decided to take our chances and that the Universe would sort it out once we got there. We went.

To our surprise, the Sci Fi Channel was there with the Ghost Hunters and so the city was packed with people. As we walked up and down the streets looking at quaint houses next to rundown houses with for rent signs, we looked for anyone with an open appointment. There was nothing available. I started getting anxious. I started beating myself up, saying that I never should have canceled that appointment, that we went all that way there and I wouldn't get a reading (since canceling the appointment was my idea I wanted Ernie to have the reading that was scheduled), and Ernie tried to keep up with my stream of words with reassurance and telling me to stop worrying.

I started worrying that I couldn't follow my intuition, that how was I supposed to know what to do, that I didn't know what guidance to follow - should I have selected this medium? Should I have made the appointment? Should I have canceled it? Should I be looking for some other signs? It was pretty frustrating. Ernie told me to relax. I was on a tangent of doubt. I went to the bathroom.

While Ernie waited for me to get out of the bathroom, a random person walked up to him and said that right outside the gates, a little way down the road, there was a Fellowship Hall where student mediums and some of the mediums from Lily Dale were giving 10 minute readings for $10 as a fundraiser for their medium training program. Ernie told me this when I got out of the bathroom. He said "Here's the sign you wanted." I was encouraged.

Ernie and I ate the lunches we had packed together at a picnic table. We talked about our lives and talked about our dreams.

Before we decided to walk up to the Fellowship Hall, we went to Inspiration Stump, where people gather and mediums come before the crowd and select people there to give messages to. It was packed, and we stood in the back. The weather was gorgeous and the sunlight was perfectly streaming through the trees. A medium was introduced and got up in front of the crowd. She gave some names of departed people and asked if anyone recognized the names and some characteristics she named. Someone did. She gave a message of encouragement to that person and thanked everyone. Ernie and I stayed for a few more mediums doing their thing. One guy was pretty specific and told one person that she would be moving to New York and meet a friend there who she should not marry, but should remain friends with him. Another medium came up and had a strong presence, getting the crowd to say "Good Afternoon" to her very assertively. She was fun to watch. Her name was Jessie. Jessie did a similar thing to the other medium, and passed a message to someone in the crowd that her mother was watching and cautioning her not to take on too much, not to say yes to every request that comes her way. Ernie and I decided to go walk to the Fellowship Hall, so we left at that point.

When we got to Fellowship Hall, we each bought a ticket for a 10 minute reading. Then we were instructed to wait until the hostess seated us with one who was available. Medium students and certified mediums were seated in rows of chairs facing people they were talking with in the big room. We sat at a table and chatted, and Ernie reminded me to just be in the moment and stop regretting having canceled that other reading. I was called to sit with a medium, and to my surprise it was Jessie from the Inspiration Stump. She is one of the certified mediums of Lily Dale. Jessie said a brief nondenominational prayer and then told me that a gentleman in very old fashioned clothing was standing with her, an ancestor of mine, looking as he had in a picture. I couldn't think of who it might be, but was ok with that. She said that lots of forward movement was happening for me, and it was important for me to stay organized and delegate when I needed help. I thanked her for this advice. She also said that my husband would find a job in two weeks to two months' time, and he would feel much lighter and happier about that. I thanked her for this also. She also said that I need to remember to laugh often and keep my creativity and sense of humor going daily, and meditate daily to hear my guidance. I know that all of these are important. I liked the reading. I thought it was great that I got a reading, and that it was less money than I had been prepared to spend (always a good thing!).

Ernie had his reading, and he liked it also. When we walked outside, there was a little craft and gem fair outside so we walked through it and each purchased a healing stone and chatted with the vendors. Then we walked back to Lily Dale for Ernie to have his reading with the medium we had scheduled with.

You probably noticed that I have not mentioned her name. There is a reason for this. You'll understand why in a minute.

So we found the little house of our person, and we went in. I saw that she had not filled the appointment in the space we had canceled, right after Ernie's appointment. So when she came out, I asked her if she could read for both of us as originally planned. She said she could, and I was glad. I had a moment when I was again feeling unsure if this was the right thing or not, since we had made, canceled, and then I had had another reading. Should I ask or let it be? I knew that I had spent the whole day so far doubting myself and wondering what I should be doing - an uncomfortable feeling, and then I also knew that despite my spinning thoughts, I had so far received exactly what I had wanted. Funny. In any case, the medium said I should go first and she took me into her room.

She put on a tape recorder to record the session and said a brief prayer like Jessie had done. Then she asked me about if my grandparents were living and I told her that one is. She said my grandparents on my dad's side were with us. I never met them because they died when my dad was an adolescent. She said that my grandmother was referring to a bracelet of some kind, and did I find that familiar? I did not. She said that it was silver and had a charm dangling from it. I still had no idea - I don't have anything like that. She said no matter, it might be something I would find and buy in the future. She then said that my grandparents I had never met wanted to tell me they love me and that they would like to be remembered. Ok. Then she asked me about my mom's parents. I told her that my grandfather had passed over. She asked if he died when I was young and I said no, it was 6 years ago. She said he was mentioning two children, did I have two children? I said I have four. She said he only knew my two oldest? I said he was particularly attached to my son (#3), who was a baby when he died. She said hm he isn't referring to that one. Then she talked about my kids and their personalities, but the qualities seemed to be matched to the wrong kids. I gently interrupted and asked her about my career and if she could get any guidance for me on my career path or my home life in the near future. She asked me what I do. I told her I teach Reiki. She said this isn't going to be my job, that there are LOTS of Reiki teachers out there and it isn't a lucrative career. She looked at my necklace and asked me if I make jewelry. I said I was going to be soon offering energy-charged stones on a necklace, and she said I should do that - make jewelry - because that would be a better business for me than teaching Reiki. I said that it is my life and my heart to teach Reiki, and I dearly want to be doing this. She said it's always my choice to do this but she sees of all the possibilities for me out there, this one has a very remote chance of success. But if I'm bound and determined to succeed, I might be able to do that. Maybe. I was upset. My time was up. I paid her and held back tears as I went into the waiting room. She called Ernie in for his reading.

I spent the next half hour alone in her waiting room, beating myself up again and fuming about this reading, which I hated. I wanted to throw the tape she gave me in the nearest trash can. I knew I shouldn't have had this reading, that I should have been happy with the gift the Universe had given to me of a good reading for less money than I had anticipated, and we would have been able to leave earlier, which I had wanted. I questioned my intuition, and asked why I could only see things in hindsight, as what I SHOULD have done, instead of feeling confident about what decisions I'm making in the moment. I wondered if I should ask for my money back from the reading, which had only upset me. I know I need to be teaching Reiki, that this is what makes me truly happy, and that this gift of being able to help people learn and offer healing energy is something that I need to share. I decided to only tell the medium how I felt and give her back the tape, which I really did not want to keep.

When she came out with Ernie, she started to say goodbye to us and I said that I wanted to return the tape, that I felt the reading really didn't resonate with me and I was sorry. She grew immediately angry and said that she knew she had a strong connection, and she nearly threw my money back into my hands, took the tape, and slammed the door. I stood there holding my money, and Ernie looked at me rather stunned at what had just happened. We left.

So here's what I learned from the Lily Dale experience:
  • Not all mediums resonate with every person. (Later, watching the HBO documentary "No One Dies in Lily Dale" I saw this was true for some of the people in the film.)

  • I ended up getting everything I had wanted. I had (one) good reading. I didn't end up spending a lot of money (smh), I experienced what Lily Dale is like on a gorgeous day with my friend Ernie who is a really good guy. I had a chance to take a road trip and spend the day doing something really different from my regular routine. (Mucho thanks to my wonderful husband, Evan, who managed all four kids by himself for the day so I could go.)

  • Intuition may not always be there to tell you what to do at any given moment of the day. Maybe the point is to just make a decision and go with it, being open to what happens next and trusting that it is all as it should be. Worrying about what to do next takes a lot of fun out of the experience, which is happening anyway. That in itself is a powerful lesson. It's likely the most important lesson of the day and one I will try to remember and apply daily.

  • I am going to follow my heart and good things will happen. I don't need to be told that I am doing the right or wrong thing. My experiences tell me when I am making choices that make sense. Since the trip, I have started moving forward with planning a slew of local classes and a new Energy Healing Certification Program, and new students and interest are coming in quickly, following the energy of my efforts. (I will be offering this by distance also - stay tuned for official info in the next couple weeks!) I have lots to do (and need to stay organized - thanks, Jessie,) and I have trust that this will be only the beginning of great things. I also made some necklaces from the healing stones and put them on my website. (I was going to do this anyway but I got it done.)
So in retrospect, I learned lots from my trip to Lily Dale. Maybe I'll visit again sometime. If so, I will go with an appointment with a medium already set (and choose from a more informed perspective). A note: I did not mention the medium's name because I know that her readings might be great for other people, so my experience should not taint her future business in any way. Even though I think she was not at her best in the way she responded to me at the end, I know that we are not all at our best, and don't want to cause her to lose business by giving her a bad review and sharing her name.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and I invite you all to my next Reiki Talk broadcast on blogtalk radio on Sunday, August 1, from 10-11 pm EST, where I am excited to be featuring my friends and colleagues Ming and Candy of to talk about Reiki for pets. If you can't make the show live, a replay will be available for download or online playback immediately after the show.


Kat said...

This sounds like an adventure! I am glad you were able to go and enjoy the day. Keep in mind that the second reader's limiting beliefs about earning potential for a Reiki teacher are exactly that; her limiting beliefs. I think you are a very talented teacher and have powerful manifestation abilities. I am excited about your new class offerings and would love to help you any way I can. xoxo

Alice Langholt said...


Thank you so much for your supportive comment! I agree about the medium, she seemed to be trying to give me practical advice from her own experience rather than from Spirit. In any case, I am moving forward, undaunted, towards my goal of having a growing and thriving local and distance Reiki practice. The Universe is supporting me. My wonderful students and friends such as yourself are too. That is the best reinforcement, and all I need.
Much love,

Leaming said...

Hey Alice, I was on FB a caught the word medium. So I was intriqued to read... and I must say as I was reading I was going thru different emotions as you must have been that day! I had a mini reading from Colette Baron-Reid, the intuitive's intuitive! She told me that my Reiki would change. I was like huh? I had no idea what she was talking about. Soon after I learned Avesa. Was she ever correct. Our Reiki now amped up with Avesa is more powerful than ever. Our clients, the fur babies are experiencing new heights. Which I may add we will be happy to share with you when you interview Reiki Fur Babies. Always follow your heart and what gives you joy. You and I Alice will always be rocking the Reiki. xo, Ming

Reiki Music said...

This is a great story. I like hearing about different experiences with intuition. It takes a whole lot of practice to learn to trust the intuition and decipher it from common sense and emotional feelings. It sounds like you already know what's in your heart and that's much more important than what any medium might tell you

Alice Langholt said...


Thanks for your comment and I'm so excited to have you on my show and hear more about Avesa, which I know you have become so enthusiastic over! I read some on their website and was surprised by how many tools go with this method! I look forward to hearing how you use this with your Reiki fur babies and people too.

It's cool when you get a reading that afterward you say, "ohhh so that's what that meant!"

Reiki changed my life and I truly know it's in my path to show people the power of their own energy. So it's always great to know that you and other people who get that really also get where I am coming from.

Love and light,

Alice Langholt said...


Thanks for the comment. I agree that intuition works like a muscle and the more it's exercised, the stronger it gets. I'm working on developing it enough to have the confidence to know it from my own thoughts or wishful thinking. Obviously I have a ways to go but I also know that I've made progress that's measurable (so that gives me reassurance!)

I do know in my heart that this is my calling, so I'm following it and the rewards are many. You're right that one who tells me otherwise just doesn't know or truly see me for who I am.

Thanks for the supportive comment, and for reading.
Love and light,

Norman said...

Lily Dale sounds like a very interesting place, and Inspiration Stump sounds wonderful.

You certainly experienced both a good reading and a poor reading. It was amusing the way the second reader had to backtrack to redefine what she meant by the incorrect readings.

I believe the reader really has to intuitively connect with the person for whom he of she is doing the reading, and that doesn't happen all the time, but increases with experience.

Alice Langholt said...


Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting. I forgot to mention in my post that another thing the second medium said to me was that she could tell me what I wanted to hear, or she could tell me what she saw, and she felt obligated to tell me what she was seeing to give me a "true" reading. That's why it was so upsetting that she was discouraging me from thinking that I could build my Reiki practice into a more sustainable career. I kept wondering if I liked the first reading more because it was what I wanted to hear, or if I was upset because I knew that the second reading was so contrary to what I've been feeling and believing for myself even when I feel vulnerable and a little anxious at the leap of faith I'm taking when I take steps to grow my practice further. What I mean is that I used to have a different career, I have different degrees, which I sort of left behind to pursue Reiki. There is always a measure of knee-shaking that comes with leaving a steady gig for one that's as subjective and uncertain as this can seem. So I was sitting there asking myself if I was upset because I heard what I didn't want to hear, or because I knew she was flat out wrong. Even now I ask myself that question. But I keep coming to the conclusion that I am in the right place, doing the right thing. And I continue.

Thanks Norm. Please come back and share your comments again.

Divine Lotus Healing said...

As a medium who reads for people myself, I truly appreciate your candid wisdom of understanding that not all psychics resonate with the people they read for & for not "trashing" your reader. It can be hard to tune into people's energy fields for many, many reasons and sometimes it just doesn't gel. It's not either parties fault- so thank you, thank you, for your kindness towards the profession! Namaste.

Alice Langholt said...

Divine Lotus Healing,

Thank you for your comment and your perspective. I know that if for some reason someone didn't respond to a Reiki healing I gave that I would not want that person saying that Reiki was bogus, or that I was either. I would also graciously refund the person's money and hope that he was more receptive the next time he might try Reiki. So I tried to extend the same sense of understanding to the medium who gave me a reading that did not work for me. I hope that all whom you read for do the same for you should that ever happen.

Thank you for reading my blog and please continue to share your thoughts when you are guided to.

Love and light,

Shan said...

So sorry you had such an experience at Lilydale. As a medium apprentice the first thing we learn is NOT to give a reading like that. It sounds as if she was really grasping at straws and deep down she knew what kind of reading she gave and that's why she was SO angry at the end....she was called on it. Always trust your instinct and intuition for it is the truth.

Alice Langholt said...


It's great to have the perspective of one in mediumship training, so thank you so much for adding your insight. I also appreciate your validating trusting my own gut instincts over what someone on the outside would tell me. It's sometimes hard to gauge whether I'm off the woo-woo end of things or grounded in reality to pursue such a dream of having a big, thriving Reiki practice. I'm going for it though, and the Universe seems to be saying "yes" back.

I have the feeling that my own abilities in this area will develop further at some point as well and I'll be able to experience the other side of the medium reading chair when that happens. Good to know there are good people to give me advise when I do.

Love and light,

Tayla said...

Wow. That was quite a read! I wish Lily Dale were closer to my school, it sounds like the kind of place I would love. But just reading about your experience is good enough for me; maybe I'll get out there before I graduate!

I think we all have those moments when we hear something that is contrary to what we KNOW in our hearts is right. But often, those contradictions just strengthen our beliefs. I think the fact that you were so upset that she told you to follow a different path solidifies that Reiki is what you are supposed to do. I'm sorry you had a poor experience, but at least you got a good one (and cheap too!) What you're doing is an amazing thing; don't let anyone tell you otherwise! I hope that one day I will be as confident with Reiki as you are :-)

Alice Langholt said...

Dear Tayla,

If you ever do decide to go to Lily Dale, give me a shoutout - maybe I'll meet you there! I could be up for another try sometime. :)

Thanks for the encouragement and also the reassurance. It's always great to hear from others that I'm in the right place, even though I know in my heart that I am. Also, you can be as confident as I am - just keep practicing. The results will validate your confidence and trust in the energy.

Much love to you, shining light!

axel g said...

Hello Alice!

That was a really enjoyable read about Lily Dale. Thanks for sharing your experiences, I haven't heard about it before.

I love monasteries and spiritual communities. They are full of beautiful energies, it truly inspiring...

Bob Reuther said...

Your fourth bullet point sums up our philosophy quite nicely. People are coming here, always looking without for guidance. It's the little, inner voice. It goes where you go and speaks whenever you're willing (and ready) to listen.
I'm sorry you had a bad reading. Thank you for not blaming the medium, altho she could have been a little nicer, eh. I hope you do visit again.

Alice Langholt said...

Axel g,

Thank you for reading and for offering your supportive comment! It's truly an adventure to wander into a spiritual community, ashram, monastery, or anywhere that you can experience a different vibrational energy. When people all around you are seeking higher insights, the energy really is different!

Love & light,


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate having a Lily Dale insider's point of view and the confirmation that my lessons were good ones. I'm following my heart. In the end that's what'll get you to your dreams. I'm testing that theory now :)

I agree that rude was not a good choice, but we all have our fallible moments. I wish you and all of the mediums of Lily Dale blessings and prosperity.