When it comes to experiencing the paranormal, I tend to encounter spirits when I least expect to. Conversely, when I most crave an ethereal encounter, that’s when zilch happens. Why?  Because I’m trying too hard.

While I’m aware of this conundrum, I still do it from time to time and then I get frustrated when I fail to sense the supernatural. Fewer than four months after I spent the night in the Goldfield Hotel, I had shut down my psychic abilities (I’d misinterpreted a premonition and it had horrified me). Since then, I’ve worked to regain this sense that had provided me with so much insight.

Repeatedly when I’d been ghost hunting with a psychic or medium, they told me, “You’re trying too hard. Let it come naturally.”

I’m a stubborn person. Just tell me not to do something—and, even if I consciously think I’m not—I’ll just do it even more. So, the more I strove to connect to energies, the more closed down I became.

Why do psychic senses work this way? I found a great blog post by Julia on muse-net.com, where she explained it.

“Psychic perception is about receiving, not attaining.”

This is what Julia, a spiritualist minister/medium, wrote. She pinpointed two effects that occur when you become too zealous in encountering unseen energies:

  • you move from the intuitive center of your mind to the logical center, and
  • you grow frustrated from not having the desired experience and blame yourself, which lowers your vibrational energy, making it more difficult to connect with the higher vibrating spirits.

Aha. This makes so much sense to me. Just like the brain has the right side (responsible for creativity) and the left (responsible for analytical function), the brain balances our abilities—if we focus too much on one area of the mind, we’re likely to block the opposite spot. As for the second reason, I can see how putting pressure on myself increases my stress level and keeps me from relaxing.

Julia shared that relaxation is paramount to being open to a paranormal experience in that it makes the mind more receptive. This is one reason why meditation can be so helpful in developing intuition. It also explains why so many encounter ghosts when they’re in bed.

So how can you exercise your sixth sense?

  • Be present in the moment.
  • Be lighthearted.
  • Meditate.
  • Know that anything is possible.

And, when investigating the paranormal, have fun (see my post Creative Ghost Hunting Techniques).