psychic abilities

Is it psychic? Or just experience?

Intuition/psychic ability and experience form a spectrum of knowledge, and it’s not always possible to tell where one begins and the other ends. Here’s what I mean:

There’s an old story about a factory owner, whose very complicated, very expensive piece of machinery stopped working. This machine was essential to his manufacturing, so he couldn’t let it stay idle for long. So he called a crusty, old repairman,  who arrived with his ancient tool kit. He looked at the machine for a few minutes, opened his kit, took out a wrench, and tapped a pipe 3 times. Then he presented the factory owner with a bill for $1000.

The factory owner was furious. He said to the repairman, “You’ve only been here 5 minutes. All you did is tap 3 times on a pipe. How can that cost $1000? I want an itemized bill.”

The repairman wrote out a new bill, which looked like this:

  • Tapping on pipe                       $  15
  • Knowing where to tap              $985

The joke obviously revolves around the value of experience.

At the extreme other end of the spectrum, there is knowledge that can only be gained psychically. For example, 25 years ago, when I was first starting to do psychic readings, I volunteered to do readings for a small women’s group, to whom I’d been referred by a mutual acquaintance. I eventually became friends with a couple of the women. Last year, one of them told me that she knew right away that I was for real because I told her something she’d done that she had done by herself, and never told anyone. So clearly that was psychic info.

Sometimes it’s not so clear. Last November, another acquaintance approached me about joining a network marketing group he had joined, saying that in 5 months, he was already making a ton of money on his tiny investment. The company was Zeek Rewards, in which he bought penny auction bids and gave them away via an automated process arranged by the company. He said he was making “1.4% average a day or 42% a month and it compounds” in just a few minutes a day. This man has proven himself trustworthy over the years, so I believed him.

But I’m not into network marketing (some of the products don’t work, all are overpriced, and even if the products work, the commission set up has to be good enough to make money.) I have never made money on any network marketing. It’s fine for other people, just not for me. I ignored his email.

I ran into him in early July, and he extolled the virtues of this particular network marketing company, telling me I was missing out on a good thing, taht he was still making money, exactly as he’d told me. Something in me said, “Ponzi scheme”. Not only did I not go for it, I told him to take his money out ASAP, before he couldn’t get it out at all. Honestly, I can’t tell you if it was a feeling (clairsentience) or a voice in my head (clairaudience or telepathy).

Here’s the funny thing: I was right.

So was it psychic knowledge? Or was it just that I’ve been around businesses for a long time, and I know a scam when I hear one? I honestly don’t know — and that’s the point. Experience and psychic knowledge go hand in hand — and maybe that combination is what people call ‘intuition’.

What Do You Know? And How Do You Know it?

Friday night, my husband, Kosta, and I were in San Francisco. We were hungry, and stopped in to a funky little place with a diner-ish menu. As we sat down in our booth, there were 4 or 5 people in the booth next to us, who seemed to be finishing up their meal. I didn’t pay much attention to them, but noticed they were of both genders, probably in their 20s.After they left, the 50-ish waiter covering both our booths (actually, the whole restaurant, as business was slow), started kvetching (complaining, for you non-Yiddish speakers, but it also has the connotation of whining, and doing it persistently) about the people who’d just left, “Those are the worst customers I’ve ever had… probably raised by wolves. They just don’t know how to act.” And on.. and on…

When I asked what they’d done to earn that stream of bitching, he said that they’d asked him to justify the price of each menu item, asked for everything done in a slightly different way than on the menu, then complained about being charged for substitutions, and decided at the end of the meal that they wanted separate checks. Having been a waitress one summer in college, I completely sympathize with his estimation of these customers.

By this point, I’d detected a slight New York accent. I didn’t want to ‘lead the witness’, but slipped into his phraseology, and asked, “Where ya from?” with a smile.

“Queens, and proud of it!”, he answered. Then he began to kvetch about San Franciscans, in general, “No one will tell you like it is, everyone just tells you what you want to hear.” And on… and on… He mentioned that all his friends still lived in Queens, that he was the only one who’d left.

“Why don’t you just move back?”, I asked, still smiling.

“I’m gonna be buried there!”, he answered defiantly — but he was smiling, too., as he left to put in our orders.

At this point, I just knew that he’d moved to SF 30 years ago because he was gay, and and said as much to Kosta. He was surprised, and asked me me how I knew the waiter’s story.

This was a complete shock — I just assumed everyone would have known that — that he knew that — because it was so obvious to me. We agreed to ask the waiter how long he’d been in SF, his sexual orientation seeming a bit too personal to ask a complete stranger.

Sure enough — he’d been in SF for 25 years. Okay, I was off by 5 years — but then I could have been off by a few years in his age, too.

Kosta tried to pass it off as, “my wife, the psychic lady”. But to me, being psychic is doing readings. And readings are something I do in an hypnotic state, where I’m really focused on the other person, with my guides around me, showing me pictures and talking to me, giving me information I couldn’t possibly know any other way, especially since I rarely even meet, or see photos of, the people I read.

So I really had to think about how I knew that he’d been in SF for so long. When I backed into the logic of it, it went like this:

The waiter clearly loved NY and had friends and family there, clearly thought it was a great place. He’d been in SF long enough to complain about the differences between the two cities. 30 years ago, when he’d been around 20, NY was even bigger and more powerful in relation to SF than it is today; you could get pretty much anything there. The only reason you’d leave NY to come to SF was lifestyle — and SF being the gay mecca of the world would probably explain it.

Absolutely none of these thoughts was conscious. It’s just normal for me to infer things — and they often turn out to be right. I don’t think of this as psychic/intuitive; it’s just what I’ve always done. It’s what used to piss people off about me as a kid, because I did it, and knew stuff, and didn’t know not to say it. I still don’t know if they were angry because I knew things I wasn’t supposed to know — and was right, or because I said these things — and lots of them were, I guess, embarrassing to the adults. Anyway, what I learned was to shut up, and only to use the information when I needed it for my own protection.

The dirty little secret here is that my Dad used to do this stuff, too. I spent a lot of time with him as a child, and he’d look at complete strangers and tell me about them. He did it with a medical eye, like seeing the telltale signs of alcoholism — but I suspect he knew a lot more than he could have gotten just that way. Of course, he never admitted that he was in any way psychic.

I learned how to do it, at least the more everyday parts of being psychic, as a skill, by copying my parent, like all kids do. (Thanks, Dad!)

So this intuition is just a skill, like any other, that everyone can do — they just maybe haven’t been taught how. We all pick up little clues about each other, about the world, that we don’t have the bandwidth to process with our conscious minds. (This is what Malcolm Gladwell was talking about in Blink.) We combine that with what we already know about the world to form an even more complete picture of the world.

So if you didn’t have a parent who modeled intuition for you, how do you learn?  

  • You wonder about things, or people, create a hypothesis — and check it out (like we asked the waiter)
  • You let yourself imagine how something, or someone, might have gotten to be the way that it is — and check it out.

And sooner or later, you’ll find yourself just knowing that your waiter moved to San Francisco a couple of decades ago.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Are you psychic? 8 ways to tell

Every time I ‘read’ a new client, I look at their ability to get information intuitively aka psychically. Lately I’ve had a few who were quite psychic, but didn’t know that, and were uncomfortable with it. All they knew was they knew or felt things that they weren’t ‘supposed’ to know. At the end of our session, one of these clients said, ‘thanks for letting me know I’m not crazy’.So I thought I’d give you the most common ways people experience their psychic abilities, when they don’t know the abilities are psychic abilities — the things that make people think they’re crazy.  Often people experience more than one, but it’s rare for someone to have ALL of them. I’m listing them in the order of the chakras with which they’re associated. For more on the chakras, go here.

  • I’m jumpy for ‘no reason’ – You might get psychic information in your first chakra, which is normally concerned with survival stuff (health, money, etc.). The problem is that when you’re getting psychic information here, this information may not be about you. So when you feel nervous or jumpy, you have to ask yourself, “Is this even about me?” If the answer is yes, deal with it yourself. If the answer is no, then sit with it, and see if the information becomes more specific. If you can’t get anything more specific, let it go and relax.
  • I can feel other people’s feelings -This is a classic example of a wide open 2nd chakra. To some degree, we are all wired for this (using mirror neurons) and it is definitely stronger in some people than in others. For many, this is a good thing. But for some people, others’ feelings hijack your own life. There are things you can do to stop this, but a written description won’t suffice.
  • I can feel the energy of a place – This is similar to feeling others’ feelings — except no mirror neurons are involved. Back when I was opening up psychically, I attended a Sunday open house of a house that was for sale, on the recommendation of my realtor. Though the house had all the features I was looking for, I was so creeped out by the feeling of the place that I literally ran out in under 2 minutes. The next day, the realtor told me that the house was owned by a fugitive who was wanted for murder.
  • I have these internal arguments – And it’s not just yes/no or should/shouldn’t. There are multiple lines of argument from different points of view. I suggest that in this case, you are probably hearing your guides’ points of view. There are things you can do to work with this, and turn it into an asset rather than an annoyance, but a written description won’t suffice. This is a throat (5th) chakra ability.
  • I can hear other people’s thoughts or or see other people’s pictures – Have you ever had a thought, and then had it immediately contradicted by another? Many years ago, my (now ex) husband went out of town on a business trip while I moved house for us. The new place was closer to the airport than the old one. When I picked him up at SFO, he said he wanted to drive, which was fine with me. As we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, I pictured in my mind our new exit, and driving to our new home. Immediately afterwards, an image of the old exit came into my mind. I said, “No, we’ve moved, we’re getting off at the Sausalito exit.” To which he replied, “Thanks.” (I was so sure that I’d seen his picture that I never even asked him. And I was right, because he wasn’t even surprised when I corrected him.) My example is a third eye (6th chakra) one, but hearing others’ thoughts is either throat chakra or crown (7th) chakra  ability.
  • I get images of the future, places I’ve never been, people I’ve never met – Classic clairvoyance (third eye)! The problem with these is that you don’t know what the images are until later. It’s important to remember these (even keep notes), so that when they show up in real life, you’ll understand (a) that you ‘saw’ this stuff earlier and (b) learn what sorts of things/people/ places/events you tend to foresee.
  •  I ‘just know’ stuff – I ‘just know’ what someone else is thinking, or who’s on the other end of the phone when I pick it up (and no, Caller ID doesn’t count). Again, this is a crown chakra ability, which is direct mind to mind communication. When it’s with a living human, it’s called telepathy. When it’s with a discarnate being, it’s called channeling.
  • I have precognitive dreams –  This is often astral travel, which is sending your consciousness to other places and/or times. Sometimes (though this will feel completely different, and is not technically a dream), it’s actually leaving your body to go to another point in space/time.

If you do any of these things, and want to learn more about your abilities and/or practice them in a safe setting, please send me an email. I’m thinking of doing my teleseminar series again, beginning in August. It will be twice a month, for about 1 1/4 hours/class, at 5:30PM PT. I am taking votes on whether Tuesdays or Thursdays are preferable. Please let me know which day you prefer.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

What do you know? And how do you know it?

Many years ago, I was a part owner of a business that sold equipment to fire departments, so I got to know lots of firefighters, mostly fire captains and fire chiefs. One of those chiefs, who’d been a volunteer for over 20 years in a fire department that protected part of Hwy. 80, told me he’d never seen a fatal car wreck where the driver was wearing a seat belt. He didn’t know why, but suspected it was because it kept the driver better oriented to what was happening.Times are about to get very weird. (See this and listen to this and this to learn about what I mean. They are long, and well worth the time and effort. The written one is well-researched, and the audio is convincing.) Imagine that you’re alone, flying down the highway at top speed, when the road suddenly disappears. Maybe you’re just on grass, or worse, mud. Or you’re suddenly in a forest, having to drive around trees that you never noticed before. And all kinds of people are suddenly clamoring for your attention, some from the back seat and some from the forest.

It’s definitely time to fasten your metaphorical seat belt. How do you do that?

Ask yourself how you know what is true. The natural world is a great place to start. Plants can’t really lie, and animals find that pretty hard, too (the Oscar-worthy performances of our cat to scam us out of more food notwithstanding). What do you feel in your physical body (or your electromagnetic body) when you’re in nature? Maybe you’d describe it as peaceful, or grounded, or one of a thousand other words, but go deeper. Use kinesthetic words to describe the feeling — are you feeling light or heavy? warm or cool? tense or relaxed? tingly? These are just suggestions — it doesn’t matter how you feel, but rather that you identify it.

Once you have that down, how do you know when someone is telling the truth? Again, use what you feel.

Or here, maybe you have an inner voice, the still small voice within, that says, “nope”, or some variant of that. It’s important to pay attention to the quality of that voice. Is it male? female? neither? How fast does it speak? Does it’s inflection go up and down, or stay fairly flat? Where does the voice seem to come from? Is it inside your head, or somewhere outside that you can point to?

Or maybe it’s not a voice, exactly. Maybe it’s a sound. Maybe it beeps when you’re getting a lie, or the truth for that matter. Again, it doesn’t matter how you know the truth, but that you identify how you know it. 

It’s important to keep that truth meter on all the time. The best lies include some elements of truth, and you have to be discerning to tell which is which.

Remember, as things get strange, you can’t drive looking in the rear view mirror. If things change significantly, then habitual ways of acting must shift. You wouldn’t drive the same way in snow as you would on a sunny warm day, would you? Look at the conditions ahead.

As you watch significant changes happening all around you, it might be easy to be seduced by the spectacle into just watching. This is equivalent to trying to drive while watching out your side window. You’re likely to crash, because you’re not watching where you’re going.

Similarly, it will be important to stay focused on your responsibilities as things change. This will be different for each person, and only you will know your particular path through the new landscape. How will you know? By knowing your own truth.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Concidence, Synchronicity — or Telepathy?

On Saturday morning, I went to the Farmers’ Market, as usual. I got hungry while I was there, so I stopped at a pupusa stand which makes an amazing meal of a bean, cheese and pork pupusa (a kind of stuffed tortilla) with spicy, vinegary coleslaw and hot tomato sauce. Yum! The only drawback is that this is definitely not fast food — there’s about a 20 minute wait from when you place your order till you receive it.While I waited, I perused Facebook on my iPhone. One of my friends had posted a link to a new blog post I’d been awaiting for a couple of weeks. I knew my husband had been awaiting it as well, so I called him right away. I don’t normally use my phone when I’m out and about unless I absolutely have to, so this was somewhat out of character. He knows I don’t like to be texted, so this is a bit out of character for him, too. (He knew I’d never answer the phone if I were driving, which explains the text.)

When he answered, the first thing he said was, “Did you get my text?” I hadn’t gotten a text message from him — but within 30 seconds before my call, he’d texted me to say that this particular blog post was up!

Is this merely a coincidence? According to Webster’s dictionary, a coincidence is “an accidental and remarkable occurrence of events, ideas, etc. at the same time…”.

Well, okay, it’s definitely remarkable, but is it accidental?

Is it more? Is it a synchronicity?

According to Wikipedia, “The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined as the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships that are not causal in nature. These relationships can manifest themselves as simultaneous occurrences that are meaningfully related.”

Maybe, maybe not.

Is it telepathy?

My definition of telepathy is mind to mind communication, unmediated by physical world communication. That is, if we had already spoken and planned to contact each other when the blog post came out, it wouldn’t be telepathy. If we looked at each other, shared a meaningful glance, and said, “I just saw this post”, it wouldn’t be telepathy. But since we were miles apart, and had no communication before the almost simultaneous communication, it could be.

So which is it? My vote is for telepathy. Maybe telepathy explains this particular synchronicity and what others might call a coincidence.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.