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Excerpt from "The Return of Intuition"

by Kathryn Harwig


Grace sat in my office, tears welling in her dark brown eyes. She had lost her husband and soul mate to cancer six months before, but the tears were not because of that.

“I just can’t tell anyone about this,” she whispered. David, who had been her companion and the love of her life, had died slowly, she told me. They had shared laughter and tears and life for four decades, and she missed him desperately. “But,” she insisted, “I am not crazy. I may be old. I may be grieving. But I am not crazy.”

Since David’s death, Grace told me, she had been experiencing visible and auditory messages from him. He would also leave her little signs: pennies on the Introduction carpet, a butterfly landing on her hand, the television turning on and off.

At first, she went on, she told herself she was making it up. “Anything to comfort myself,” she laughed. But, as the weeks wore into months, she began to feel his presence more and more. “He will sit on the bed at night,” she continued. “I can see the indentation.

“He talks to me in my mind as well. I know his speech, his mannerisms. I know it is David and not my imagination.”

Grace was mourning not only David’s passing, but also her inability to tell her friends and family about this phenomenon. The few times she had tried, she told me, they had smiled and looked at her as if she were daft. “I won’t do that again,” she stated.

Instead, she came to see me. While she was embarrassed and chagrined to be talking to a psychic and medium, she was relieved to have someone believe her sightings of her dead husband.

“It is not at all uncommon,” I told her. “As a matter of fact, over half of the spouses of deceased partners experience some sort of contact with the deceased in the first year.”

“What do they do then?” asked Grace, her face momentarily lighting up.

“It is really up to you, Grace,” I told her. “You can pretend that it didn’t happen and soon enough he will go away. Or, you can open yourself to that experience and learn to use your intuition to maintain contact, not only with him, but also with other guides and information that is available to you. David is giving you one last gift. He is giving you the gift of intuitive access and wisdom.”

Over the twenty years or more that I have been a professional psychic and medium, I have heard hundreds of stories like that of Grace. The circumstances of the occurrence are very different from person to person, but the effect is the same. Something happens—a death perhaps, or a business failure or a significant illness—that prompts an awakening of sorts. They hear the still, small voice of intuitive knowing that has been lying dormant within them since childhood. They may have heard its call before, but this time they listen.

Very often these occurrences happen in the last third of a person’s life. A number of factors come into play to make this so. First, older people are usually finished with the embracing, fulfilling, yet distracting times of child rearing and career development. Often, they have entered a period where they have the time and money to do some soul searching.

Also, the death of a spouse or child, the risk of a serious or life-threatening illness, or even the trauma of a midlife career or relationship change is much more common as we age. Not many of us escape our fifties without some sort of wake-up call from the spirit realm.

It is as if we are programmed to awaken our natural intuitive ability at this stage of our life. We are, in fact, invited by spirit into what I have coined “the elder generation.” The purpose of this book is to help the reader join in this cultural and spiritual revival of elders, sages, crones, and wise ones.

Souls come into this world with most of their memories intact. They also come in fully connected to the world of spirit and the information it contains. They know that they are one with all beings, and that what one knows, we all know.

Until this knowledge is socialized out of them, children act on this knowing. Spend time with a small child and notice how alert they are to things you cannot see. Often they will have conversations with “imaginary” friends. They will stare at a corner, seemingly communicating with an unseen being. When they first begin to draw or color, they often draw what they see: bright vivid colors surrounding human bodies, floating balls of light, and doorways into other dimensions.

Of course, all too soon they are told to color between the lines, ignore the boogieman in the closet, and quit making things up. After a time, even the memories of those experiences fade or are relegated to the status of a cute story. Socialization occurs and memories of past lives are laughed at until they are no longer mentioned and soon forgotten. Because of this, most people lose their ability to focus and psychically “know” things by about the age of seven. But, as this book will show, there is another time of life when psychic ability once again becomes commonplace. That is the time when, due to a number of different factors having to do primarily with aging, our intuitive abilities return. It is the time, usually around age fifty, when many of us join the elder generation. Before that stage of life most people, myself included, are far too busy living our lives to pay much attention to anything outside of our immediate existence. The realm of spirit and intuitive knowing fades away during much of our youth and middle adulthood.

During our early and middle adult years we are distracted from listening to our inner voices, much less the voices of other realms. Family, work, and social commitments occupy all of our waking moments. Few of us have more than a few seconds of silence in our days. If an intuitive voice or impression were to be calling you, would you hear it over your cell phones, iPods, and e-mails?

At midlife, however, an interesting thing happens. Most people experience something that prompts their inherent and yet forgotten intuitive abilities to resurface. My own wake-up call to intuitive knowing came via a perforated esophagus and a near-death experience. Yours may come due to a health issue, the death of a child or a spouse, or simply by coming face to face with the inevitability of mortality. Whatever the cause, most people experience a time when the veil between the world of spirit and that of flesh once again becomes permeable.

While sometimes happening at a younger age, it is generally around fifty that we begin inevitably to feel the call of spirit. For some it may come spontaneously, as when a widow suddenly feels the presence of her deceased husband or an illness prompts a near-death experience.While these trigger experiences become more and more common after the age of fifty, they can happen at any time of one’s life. What is unusual about the individuals at this point, however, is that they are much more likely to heed the call and to act on what they are told or experiencing.

For some aging adults, this phenomenon may happen more slowly. They may find themselves becoming fascinated with inner work. There may be a strong urge to explore meditation, religious practices, or spiritual development in a way not felt before. As we age we all enter, in one way or another, that elder generation I spoke of. What we do then is the subject of this book.

Many of us are discovering that the things we desired and strived for when we were young no longer seem to matter as much. Before joining the elder generation, some of us first have a stereotypical midlife crisis. But soon, the affairs or Harleys or facelifts don’t matter much either. Eventually, all of our life journeys inevitably lead us (sometimes kicking and screaming) face to face with the realm of spirit. No matter what event causes us to reach that point, once we do, we cannot go back.

How do you know when you have entered the elder generation?

While everyone is different, there are unifying factors. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Have you recently experienced a trauma, change, death, or illness that has caused you to think about life and death issues?

2. Do you find that the day-to-day business of life (i.e., work, home, shopping) no longer holds your full interest?

3. Have you noticed that you have difficulty explaining what you are feeling, especially to people younger than you?

4. Do you long for more time alone? Are people suggesting that you are becoming too solitary?

5. Are you sleeping more (or less) and having more vivid dreams?

6. Do you read the obituaries on a regular basis, not looking for people you know but rather out of curiosity as to how they lived and died?

7. Are you more interested in books, television programs, and films that have a spiritual nature than you used to be?

8. Do you find yourself acting upon your inner knowing with more frequency?

9. And, the most important factor: Are you nearing or over age fifty?

There is no scoring to this test. You will know within your innermost soul if you are part of the elder generation. I would certainly suspect that your very reading to this point is proof of your eligibility.

As we age, we have only two choices. We can embrace our natural human intuitive ability or we can deny it. In most cultures prior to the twentieth century, the aged were revered as wise ones who could see beyond the veil. The shamans, crones, midwives, and medicine men were generally aged persons who had lived long enough to master intuitive and mediumship skills. In a culture where living to old age was rare, those who were blessed in that fashion were honored and listened to for guidance.

With the advent of the industrial revolution and the dissolution of the extended family, older adults have become invisible and unimportant. However, that is about to change. One reason is that we now have a huge aging population. As of July 2, 2005, the US Census Bureau estimated there were 78.2 million baby boomers in the United States. In the year 2006, 7,918 people turned age sixty each day. We are hardly alone.

Like it or not, the baby boomers have changed society. As they now enter the elder generation, I believe that their awakening psychic powers will once again rock the world. We have the potential to be a huge force in our society. We dare not turn our backs on this resource. In my consultations with people from all walks of life, one theme keeps recurring: as people age, they become more and more psychic. Some report spontaneous psychic occurrences that prompted them to explore this topic. Some people talk about being kicked in the pants by the spirit realm. It seems that the brain often compensates for decreasing memory and other cognitive skills by enhancing intuitive ability. It also appears that the lifestyles of older people allow for more quiet,solitude, and introspective time. Finally, the trials and tribulations that come with a full life will often trigger previously unnoticed psychic ability.

This book chronicles some of those stories. My hope is that you will recognize your own journey in the stories and take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I also give you some very concrete and specific tools with which to cultivate your new skill.

Being a part of the elder generation is the greatest gift we have yet to receive in this lifetime. We are being shown glimpses of our lives to come. We are being given information that we can use to help ourselves and those who follow us.

As the population bulge of the baby boomers morphs into the elder generation, we do so with the hope for peace and love that we started with in the 1960s. This time, however, we have more tools. We have experience, wisdom, psychic ability, and yes, money.

We can make a difference.

As we age we have a choice. We can become the shamans, crones, and wise people for our world. Or, we can live in the shadow of fear of aging and death. We can fade into an invisible generation, or we can step forward as the elder generation. We can embrace our ability to see beyond the veil or we can live in fear of passing to a place we do not know and of which we are terrified. The choice is ours to make.

In the end, we will pass from this world. How we live now is all that matters. This book is about embracing who we are in joy and soulfulness. It is about claiming our place as wisdom seers. Join me then, as part of the elder generation.

Professional psychic medium Kathryn Harwig has trained thousands of people worldwide to use their intuition. She is the author of The Return of Intuition (Llewellyn) and has appeared on A&E’s The Unexplained and truTV’s Psychic Detectives. Harwig lives in Minnesota. Visit her online at www.harwig.com or www.llewellyn.com.

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