Lisa B's Psychic Reading Blog

Is That Ghost More Powerful Than Me? Or, Near Halloween, Our Thoughts Turn to Haunting 

(This post appeared originally in 2014 but was accidentally deleted. Lots of people liked it and commented on it. Here it is again, slightly revised.) 

 Are spirits such as ghosts, guides, and angels more powerful than you are?

Ghosts cartoon

The question takes on an exciting, scary flavor around Halloween. Boo!

But it also comes up year-round, overtly or not, as I work with folks as a clairvoyant.

You may believe that any bodiless spirit that might cross your path – whether a goblin or a fairy, the ghost of a former resident of your home or your grandmother from the beyond – is more powerful than you are.

Maybe more terrifying: the feeling  that whatever haunts you from your past has a spiritual tenacity so great that it can’t be released.

The short answer is, generally, no. Spirits are not more powerful than you. Hard as it may be to believe, you the living human are the one with more capabilities and chops.

But to get to the bottom of this question, we have to start with how we feel about being physical creatures.

Most of us in Western civilization have been raised to believe in a big split between body and spirit, or matter and energy.

In most of the realms of our lives today, matter (the body) gets all the play. Matter is what matters. The main mantras: Earn money. Make your body more attractive. Keep building on and “developing” nature. Work a lot of hours so you can get bonuses and raises. And while we hear about exercising and eating right (which does lead one into more energy, and hence into more connection with one’s spirit), many people living in developed society are unable to act on this message, becoming fatter and unhealthier.

Poverty and scarcity push our noses down into focusing on matter: if you’re barely surviving, you have to pay a lot of attention to just keeping your body and your clan going. Few humans or animals want to feel deprived, ill, or uncomfortable, and in our capitalist or state-capitalist societies, we need to privately acquire modern things and money to improve our lives.

However, it is everyone in modern consumer society, not just those who are struggling, who gets the relentless message to consume, gather more things, and stay attractive – which puts matter and physicality in the foreground.

And then there’s the other side of the split: spirit. In the classic model, we must seek it in a separate space, often a type of church. Our work lives don’t involve it. Often our family lives often don’t either.

Woman spirit in trees illustration
Furthermore, we generally don’t have an empowered relationship with spirit or energy or what we call the divine; instead, we must plead to our God. Or to angels. Or guides. Or to some other beings or forces stronger than ourselves. Or to their intermediaries. Many of us believe that as individuals, we can’t accomplish much with our own spirits or by working with energy. Usually, we don’t have conscious awareness of the tools to do so.  

Strangely, the division between body and spirit in most of modern consumer society, even as it emphasizes the material, comes with contradictory values that can make us feel crazy. One of these is that matter is dirty and inherently inferior to spirit. An unfortunate legacy of our patriarchal belief system is the idea that the body is bad and the spirit is better.And that desire is bad and must be strictly moderated; achieving higher spirituality means renouncing the physical.  

The related crazy-making belief, the foundation for the mantra of modern consumption, is the message that we’re inherently not good enough. After all, we are matter, which is inferior. To make up for it, we’re programmed to pursue, compete, acquire, and consume. Commodities and packaged experiences: yes. Just being with yourself and others: no.

Photo of cat stuck on hanging laundry dryer

So, to recap: your body isn’t really good enough, yet you don’t have a sense of spiritual empowerment. (What does “spiritual empowerment” even mean? you may think.) That leaves you with the physicality of work and the physicality of consumption. But you never end up at a place of satisfaction. What a double-bind!

These are overly broad statements, of course. Not all of Western consumer culture conforms to this matter-focused reality – I think of joyous family and community occasions, access to the sublime supplied by music and art, how sports events can celebrate the triumphant entwining of body and spirit. Going camping, going fishing, gardening, even (just in the early days?) going to Burning Man. Having sex can give us a peek at the divine. As can spending time with our children, pets, friends. But these are all positioned as time-outs, activities on the margins of the main thrust of our modern lives.

Meanwhile, advances in both science and culture have led us to see that our bodies and our beings – our physical selves and our spiritual selves – are simply different expressions of the same essence. This alleged, influential split between matter and energy doesn’t exist.

In our era, Albert Einstein taught us that “mass and energy are both different manifestations of the same thing... E=MC2 [energy equals mass multiplied with the square of the velocity of light] showed that... mass and energy were in fact equivalent.” 

It’s not a new insight. The teachings we know from Jesus, for instance, popularized that whole “kingdom of heaven is within you” thing, not to mention “He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these.”

In fact, all of Western philosophical thought has kept grappling with “the mind-body problem.” I like this statement by Aristotle: “It is not necessary to ask whether soul and body are one, just as it is not necessary to ask whether the wax and its shape are one… For even if… spoken of in several ways, what is properly so spoken of is the actuality.”

Aqua swirl illustration
he actuality: you are a spirit
and you have a body. You are made of heaven and earth. You are both. And most of what we see around us, as physics has taught us, is both too. 

Granted, some energies convert more slowly into matter than others: think about a redwood tree, then think about solar power. One level under it all, light travels as waves, then transforms into particles we call photons. And on levels below that, well, that’s the stuff we start noticing using what we call our psychic abilities.

One way to get to know yourself as spirit is to get to know the way your spirit is organized – that is, to explore your energy anatomy. This consists, on a basic level, of your seven major chakras, those storehouses of your spiritual information, and your aura, a dynamic storybook of your evolving soul.

And you can start exploring meditation, or creating quiet space and time for you to pull in your aura from the clatter and demand all around you, drain off that clamor and extraneous stuff, and hear the silent voice inside you that feels like you. You might even say hello to whatever you know as God, and how it/she/he manifests as both energy and matter.

The next step is learning some energy tools to explore and change your experience. Get some communication from a trusted psychic or other kind of energy-worker, including instruction about using energy tools. Effective ones will help you release what haunts you and replenish your spirit and body. 
Mandala eyes with green illustration

You the spirit take charge of your self and your body, little by little.

All this completely changes the game of matter bad, spirit good but inaccessible, and competing with yourself and others to make up for it. Once you start thinking of yourself as a spirit in a body, you stop feeling spiritually powerless and physically incomplete. You start realizing that both aspects of yourself – spirit and body –  involve pleasure and validation, not scarcity and invalidation.  The compulsion to consume starts diminishing. The need to compete becomes weaker. Well-being for one doesn’t mean you have to squash another. You don’t even have to squash yourself.       

So, back to our original question. You, a unique body energized by your unique spirit, come across the idea, or even feel the presence, of spirit guides or angels. And you naturally fall back into the bedrock Western belief system: these guides and angels are better, smarter, more capable than me. Because they’re spirit, and I’m a body, right? And spirit is inherently better, right?

Scary masked creature illustration
Wrong. Don’t go back to that up-down, better-worse game, in which the goal is to leave your body to access spiritual fulfillment, and spirit guides and angels are simply ahead of you on the climb toward holy bodilessness.

Spirits without bodies are not automatically higher up in some divine hierarchy. Why not?  Because you can access spiritual fulfillment while having a body. Because energy isn’t better than matter, but another aspect of it. Because the divine isn’t different from the earthly, but right here inside you and in your reach.

Most of the spirits you notice want some kind of relationship. They like that you have a body. Bodies are so useful on this planet! 

That said, they're not all nice. Just like spirits in bodies, spirits without bodies anymore (or ever) come with various temperaments, abilities, histories, and values. You get to decide if, and how, you want to related to them.

More on that in another post!

Updated intuitive-services website! 

Check out my newly updated and revised website for my intuitive services. 

I'm especially thrilled to have added a new section on my services for diabetics and their allies. (I've been a type 1 diabetic for nearly 40 years, so I particularly enjoy working with fellow folks with diabetes of any type.)

Do you have a question or two about your life, your self, your spirit?

Anyone can benefit from a psychic, intuitive reading from me. I offer these by plain old audio call – which works great since I have my eyes closed during the reading! Sessions are available in half-hour or hour increments.

ince 1993, I’ve been providing readings, energy-healings, and coaching to people from many walks of life and many places. Using clairvoyant insight and other intuitive abilities – and, at parties or on request, tarot cards – I help you access the answers that are right for you.

Every reading is a journey I take with you toward greater understanding of your individual truth.

I look at the layers of your aura (your personal space or energy field) and your chakras (seven main energy centers), then home in on pictures in your energy field and the "movie" of your life as they illuminate your current state and your questions.

I read and interpret these, revealing the answers already there in your space, but perhaps hidden, immobilized, or invalidated by other energies you've taken on.

Details include specifics about what's going on in your personal space, what's working for you (flowing), and what is blocked. I then can help you move out energies that are keeping you stuck or that weigh you down, even subtly. Finally, I'll identify actions for you to take to move forward. 

The answers – your own truth – feel good to you, providing the relief and instant recognition of meeting a trusted friend. You are likely to emerge from the reading feeling clearer, more empowered, and more optimistic, knowing what steps to take next.

Some areas of your life where you may have questions:

~ Relationships
~ Career
~ Family
~ Well-being
~ Creativity
~ Pets
~ Crossroads and decisions
~ How your past lives are influencing you now

I also can work with you during our consultation to teach basic intuitive tools. These will help you get more in synch with yourself, release stress, replenish your body and spirit, feel safer and more certain, and create the outcomes you want. (Learning a couple of tools per reading is plenty!) We can arrange one or more phone readings, with follow-up activities.

This is all a way to clear out the old, welcome the new, grow, and have fun along the way.

Reach out with any questions about what a session with me is like, or to schedule an appointment!

Looking forward to communicating soon!

 –Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)


Comments are now enabled again - please chime in! 

Dear readers, 

This intermittent blog underwent substantive pruning recently, during which time comments were inadvertently deleted and disabled. I hope to return to posting anew soon. Meanwhile, feel free to remark on the contents.


Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)

Healing As Collaboration 

I recently gave a psychic reading to one of the collaborators on my new record. 

I worked with this lady on previous records and I always enjoy her. Not only does she know her stuff, but she's also down to earth, generous, and adept at making her clients feel comfortable in stressful situations. And she enjoys being part of a creative team – which is what making a record is all about.

Not surprisingly, but still unusual: almost all of her questions in the reading were about others in her extended tribe who were having a challenging time right now.

So I read their "mini-movies" – what I saw them experiencing, what they were creating in their lives in the near future, and the ins and outs of their particular scenarios. 

After the reading, she felt relieved and much lighter. Part of the message she got was that she could be there for the people in her life as a helper (in limited ways) and listener, but she really couldn't do more to solve their problems, as much as she wanted to. Fortunately, I saw, these characters in her life's drama were on the path of figuring things out for themselves. 

The insight that you can't solve others' problems for them can be a frustrating realization for a natural healer! Believe me, I know – which is one reason I learned specific techniques to help others connect with their own most fruitful and authentic energy vibrations.

But I still can do only so much without the collaboration of the person I'm working with.

After musing about this issue after the reading, I wrote my client/collaborator a little note:

"I think it's tough for those of us who want to help others, and for you with your especially strong clan associations, when we see those around us suffer. However, it doesn't really work (unfortunately!) to solve other people's problems.

"Somehow the way we are wired on this planet is that people have to solve their own problems, and inserting other folks' energies into someone's system more often than not gums up the works. Like pouring in diesel when that vehicle runs on regular gas.

"The best thing you can really do is to let that person know you see them. That validates where they are and what they are doing as a spirit.

"Then communicate from within your own space with the other person, always including a speck of amusement. Because usually the other person can start to match this spirit of mild amusement without even knowing it. This makes their own energies move more quickly and they can start to release what isn't them and what isn't working. 

"I'm sure you do this all the time with your clients!

"Even in the healing work I do (in which I'm working with the underlying energy system that is aligned with the body), the other person can recreate anything I changed IF she doesn't get the communication part. When it works, it's because that spirit getting the reading/healing does intuitively and/or analytically understand what we are working on together. 

"So, essentially, healing is a process of communication – and collaboration."

Probably this lady knew all this, but I liked writing her about it anyway. Part of my lingering impulse to help solve others' problems. (Ha ha.) (Plus I improved the note a bit for publication here.)

Of course, we can take specific actions that help others.

But that's very different from jumping into someone's personal space to tidy it up like a mad housekeeper.

(I don't mean that my correspondent/client/collaborator was doing that. But know what it feels like to succumb to temptation and blunder on in. Never works out.)

When you stay aware of your own and others' energy boundaries, it reinforces the power and autonomy of all involved. How can we collaborate when we have become one big muddy entity?

Instead, start with just saying hello and asking the person in need what she wants. 

Even if she doesn't know the answer yet, she knows you are there asking the question. Which is a form of love.

copyright © 2017 Lisa Bernstein 

Questions for A Clairvoyant Reader in the Past Month 

Usually, this blog sticks to diabetes-related matters from my perspective as an intuitive reader and energy worker (not to mention as a person with type 1 diabetes).

smallish red rose from spiritualmechanicsofdiabetes blog by Lisa B
But it seems to be a good moment to pull back the curtain a little bit on my broader clairvoyant reading practice.

So, in that spirit, here are some pressing issues my clients have been asking about in the past few weeks:
  • A custody matter
  • An affair
  • A legal case
  • An upcoming promotion
  • The exact nature of a couple of new businesses under development (by two clients)
  • Whether to buy a second home in a particular city
  • How to make a bar mitzvah go well
  • What to ask for (and receive!) in a (now not so) rocky romantic relationship
  • The energetic roots of one client's ADD
  • The emotional aspects of another's hip pain, and 
  • Where to go on vacation.
Among other issues.  (I offer neutral insight on any question, with warmth and even humor.)

Every person I read got specific answers to their questions, including a sense of greater ease and clarity about relevant past and present forces and desires, and help with encouraging the future to unfold in ways the person I was reading would prefer.

Curious? Have a burning question? Want to let go of outmoded programming and old energies that keep you stuck? 

Good timing! Because I've just adjusted my prices to allow folks with various budgets to get readings. Try:

~ A 20-minute taste for $49 (clairvoyant or clairvoyant tarot)
~ A half-hour reading for $69, or
~ A full-hour for an intro rate of $99 or just $130 for returning clients. 

Come on, invest a little bit in yourself!  You will feel different afterward  – in a good way.

Get in touch here. And read some testimonials of satisfied clients here.
copyright © 2016 Lisa Bernstein

Lessons from Diabetes for A Creative Person 

It has become clear that diabetes is the health issue of our century, with worldwide massive increases in new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes, even in children; perhaps even more widespread prediabetes; and millions of new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes as well.

pink writing journal from Lisa B's blog on spiritual mechanics of diabetes
Diabetes gave me crucial insights
applicable to my creative work and play




But diabetes has a silver lining: it's a great teacher. This is so because it asks those of us affected by diabetes to pay more informed attention to our bodies, our energy levels, and our actions. 
The call to action may be lifelong, but the payoffs can be instant. Moment to moment, day by day, we can see the positive impact of out attention and choices on our health and well-being.
Here's another benefit I've found in dealing with the type 1 version of diabetes for more than three decades: a lot of what I've learned is crucial to my work (and play) as a poet, singer, and creative person. 
This post [] from my other blog (the one about being a singer and poet) gives those key lessons.
copyright 2015 Lisa Bernstein

"For the Wordless Body," A Poem About Diabetes Written Shortly After Diagnosis 

As readers of this blog know, diabetes has been a great teacher for me. Here's a poem I wrote a couple of years after being diagnosed (with type 1). It's published in my book from Wesleyan University Press called The Transparent Body.
cover of The Transparent Body by Lisa Bernstein (Lisa B) published by Wesleyan University Press

(You can order the book from my website:, or from Amazon at If you buy from Amazon, please buy a new copy directly from them rather than another seller, otherwise I won't see any of the proceeds.)

The feeling of first grappling with being officially diabetic rushes back to me when I read this almost three decades after writing it. And much of it remains relevant to my relationship with this constant companion, who brought me into closer communication with my body and helped me know myself better as a spirit.

For the Wordless Body

the muscle constricts with thirst.
The scent of citrus in the urine,
sugar leaking
into a film across the eyes.
Morning fills the windowpane,
a lit rectangle to be hungry in. I hurry
past buildings, counting out streets,
a self with words
and a hollowing silence of cells.

Language punctures
the skin.
Slimmer than a pen
the syringe shoots the insulin.
The sweetness of tangerines
lingers in the bloodstream. The injection
combusts it into strength and heat.

Body, christened again
you burn too well, flushed
as an infant and shaking for food.
A frantic mother, I bend to you.
At night I fake the bravado
of a teenage boy pinching
a girl's bare leg,
the needle poised above my thigh.
For years you absorbed what I fed you,
then denied.
Now you try to refuse
the sweet essence that keeps us alive.

So I am vigilant
for the sake of eyesight and limbs,
grateful to have seen this particular death
and to walk away. I forgive us
this defect, the first defection
to the dissolving silence
trailing me like a cloak.
It falls from my shoulders
when my arms rise, awkward
and bare, a child's A
against the light.

copyright 1989 Lisa Bernstein

Savoring the Golden Apple  

Lisa B_Lisa Bernstein_holding peach"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could." -- Louise Erdrich

I fell for fiction-writer Louise Erdrich after reading her wonderful novel “Love Medicine” and have since gobbled up her short stories in The New Yorker. I’m overdue to read another novel by her. I’m not sure where this quote came from; I found it in the Facebook post of a good friend today.

I love the imagery of eating and food Erdrich gives us. After bluntly stating that “life will break you,” she reminds us that the reason we are here is to be swallowed up by life, even to the point of being broken and bruised. Next she calls us to notice that the earth’s bounty also often experiences the same cycle, the same falls, the apples “wasting their sweetness.” We are like that bounty. And as we become witnesses to the apples in both their deliciousness and their sad fates, it makes our own suffering somehow more natural and bearable, even lovelier. We have companions in the sweetness “in heaps” all around us.

Finally there’s another turn: we’re not only like the apples, but we get to taste them – taste each other. So the thought comes full circle – we taste, and we are tasted, and it’s this experience that swallows us up. Life is the grand eater and we are its food; and at the same time, we are grand eaters of life.

As a diabetic I love being told to engage with sweetness – to listen to it, to notice its natural source, to tell myself about it, and to taste as much of it as I can.

Of course the apple means knowledge too, knowledge that is both sacred and inextricably involved with the body. No perversion of the story of the Garden of Eden can erase that. The golden apple shines in the stories of many cultures, promising divine information and immortality. How tantalizing that timelessness is offered in such a savory, physical package, one so transitory as it is devoured.

Diabetes gives me similar tantalizing knowledge – glimpses of the precious gold of the present moment in all its physicality, and of the spirit (that is, me) who chooses to savor that moment, over and over.

Taste the day, and enjoy.        

copyright © 2013 Lisa Bernstein