Articles and Media

Reading Our Choices

by Ana L. Palles

Wheel of Life “Can you recommend a good reader?” Each time I am asked, I stop and give my answer a lot of consideration. I first try to discover what the person is actually looking for, and often it is spiritual counseling.  I spend some time talking with them, getting a sense for who might best fulfill their needs. Always the question leaves me feeling as if the answer will be barely adequate.

The truth is that this can be a very tricky area. In my experience, readers may pick up on possible outcomes, like a movie that lets you choose different endings. We have free will and choices which give us several paths we can take. It is why so many books on the subject, and many readers themselves, will say that this is simply the outcome at this point in time, based on current actions.

The idea of self determination is so strong amongst Americans that we often believe we can shift our fate, beat the odds and manifest our own destiny. And this is absolutely true, we can. It is the stuff of miracles and magic fueled by the light of hope. There are patients everywhere who surprise their doctors by overcoming their prognosis. And we love reading stories of people who at death’s door have made miraculous recoveries even when as their doctors told their families it was the end. A beloved friend diagnosed with cancer once told me, “It ain’t over till I say it’s over.” And that is exactly how it went.

He defied all prognostications that he would never walk again, miraculously recovering, walking out of the hospital and flying out to hike the Utah canyons.

He made pneumonia disappear from his X-Rays, not once, but several times, from one day to the next. The first time it happened, the doctors decided to retake the films and get a pulmonary expert down to check his lungs again, not trusting what they were hearing through their stethoscopes. They couldn’t understand how he had no fever and his lungs were suddenly free and clear.

The same thing happened twice more on separate occasions. His oncologist and the radiologists simply shook their heads and documented the case notes carefully, trying to determine what strange combination of events had caused the pneumonia to disappear. All the while, he would smile in silent amusement.

His doctors predicted he had six months to live, but he decided he didn’t believe it and stuck around for another 3 years. In that time, he did everything he said he would do. The six months was simply one of the options on his wheel, and so he decided on a different choice.

And so it is with readers as well. They often see the options on our wheel, but ultimately, it is we ourselves who make the call. And this is why I hesitate in making recommendations for psychic readers. Just because something is a possible outcome does not mean it has to play out that way. My friend Steve often uses the phrase “ dreaming it into being,” which is another way of saying that we create what we think. We can, and do, project our futures. We make choices every day leading us to where we are at any given moment.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend a psychic reader. Sometimes they catch glimpses of a possible outcome that we hadn’t thought possible. Sometimes, like a gifted friend, they offer us hope when everything looks bleak and safe passage through troubles impossible.

I once went to a reader who told me about a future that I had not considered. It was so far-fetched and yet the look of wonder in her eyes as she described what I would be doing and how it would all play out engraved the moment in my memory. Years passed and I pushed the memory aside until quite suddenly and serendipitously, things began to manifest in the way she had described all those years past.

I remember sitting in my office reading a journal entry I made about that incident in a forgotten notebook at the bottom of a drawer I was sorting for recycling. The result of the reading all those years ago was to restore hope that I would make it through the dark times, and more importantly that those I loved and worried about and whom I was powerless to help would also be fine and make it through. And this is something I desperately needed to hear, a balm to my faith and restored my strength. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the unlikely events foretold would truly be an option. But it was good to hear it nonetheless.

In our shamanic practice, we are often given information in metaphoric language, but sometimes it can be a literal image or message. We cannot tell which it is and so we do our best to simply relate what we are seeing or hearing without mixing in too much of our own interpretation. However, many of our clients want our help interpreting so we spend some time sharing insights. Always, though, we preface these discussions with the caveat that this is simply our interpretation and may or may not resonate for the person. It is simply another option to consider.

I like the word option. It fits perfectly. We are offered an idea and when the path presents itself, we have the option or choice of taking or leaving it. Each piece that falls into place after that is a deliberated choice. I like that.

Early in my computer industry career, I worked for a manager that always held his staff back from making decisions. He told me once, with an air of satisfaction, that if you simply hold back and not make a decision the decision would be made for you by someone else. I stood there and looked at him dumbfounded. He was so afraid of having the responsibility that he froze in place and waited for his peers or his management to come down like a roaring river and force action. What he didn’t’ realize was that by not taking responsibility he sent everyone down a much harder road.

Our futures are built upon our decisions. Some spiritual disciplines believe those choices begin before we are even born. Regardless of whether we agree or not, the bottom line is the same. We are always making choices even when we choose not to decide.

So go ahead, consider the different spokes on the wheel of your life. What options are out there, what paths can you travel? Consider possibilities, even if they seem far-fetched, and then decide how it’s going to be for you. When you assume responsibility for your life, you suddenly realize that you are not helpless and powerless tossed around on the ocean of life circumstances. You are an active participant, and this feels a whole lot better than a drowning victim.