What is it like to be a Medium? [The Chipper-Jim Session]

What is it like to be a Medium? [The Chipper-Jim Session]

by Tiffany Harelik, MA, RTY

One connection with a deceased loved one—at the right moment—changes everything. Your outlook on death, dying, and connection to Spirit changes. Your view of God and Heaven changes. Years of agony and grief over questions unanswered are cleared in a matter of minutes. Peace floods your nervous system and you can relax back into your life. You can move forward.

I’ve had mediumistic gifts from a very early age. It has taken a long time to understand, admit, and properly develop. Since adding evidential mediumship to the offerings at Wise Skies, I’ve been asked more and more about how my gift works. So I wanted to share a recent experience to illustrate what a mediums experience is like… 

Do you think Jim would come through?

I’m hiking with my friend for her birthday at Enchanted Rock. We’ve had a fun day, in nature, taking pictures and laughing, throwing tarot cards and inspecting plants. We go out to eat on our way home, and at the restaurant she asks me: Do you think Jim would come through?

This is her friend’s Dad, someone very close to her. I’ve been receiving mediumship messages for over a decade now, and have taken classes from the world’s best international mediums to hone my practice: Janet Nohavec, Tony Stockwell, Mavis Patilla, Lisa Williams, Stella Upton, and more. I’ve also been certified as a medium through the IEL Institute.

While I’m confident in my ability to communicate with the Spirit People, I really don’t think I’ll get anything tonight. It’s been a long day, I’m hungry, we are in a public place – I can’t imagine getting something solid for her in these circumstances. But I try. I want to be of service. I take a moment to center myself and then ask…

Me: I sense a man with a green canvas bucket hat coming through, would that make sense to you? Maybe camo?

Her: Her eyes get big, she nods her head yes.

Me: He’s showing me a red truck or jeep that is significant, does that connect?

Her: YES. It was a red Ford Explorer he handed down to one of his daughters. (In fact, there ends up being a significant backstory she tells me later about the daughter wrecking the car but coming out unscathed. The only thing she grabbed and salvaged from the wreck was her dad’s health ID tag.)

Me: OK good, I think we are making a connection. How about a nose ring. Why is he showing me a nose ring?

Her: That’s one of his daughters! (her good friend).

Me: OK and an “L” name?

Her: Yes! Her name is Lindsay.

Me: He’s telling me she has a boyfriend he never met. Can you understand that?

Her: Yes, that’s right. 

Me: And is he a dentist? Or is there a connection to a dentist? Or dental work? He’s showing me teeth and wants me to ask about the dentist.

Her: Lindsay works at a dentist’s office!

Me: OK, that’s great! He’s wanting me to say Norwood. Does that make sense to you? Maybe Norwalk? Norwood?

Her: Oh my God! She lives in Norwood! (Mind you, his community is in New Hampshire, and we are in Texas. I don’t know their area or community names. Her dad was communicating very clearly with me, helping me to say exactly what was needed to illustrate evidence of a connection beyond a shadow of a doubt. He was a very good communicator).

Me: Good job Jim! That’s very clear communication on his end! Now… He’s showing me he died of an electrical issue, a connection wasn’t made, things aren’t firing, there’s no electrical connection, and it’s happening here (I motion my hands between my heart and head). 

Her: Yes! The hospital did not plug in his pacemaker and his wife found him dead. (My friend later told me they actually weren’t sure the exact cause of his death because so many things were going on. This helped clear things up for them in understanding how he passed). 

Me: OK, about his wife… She never remarried. Is this correct?  (I could see her haircut and color, but did not mention it at the time. Later, when I was shown a picture, I was quite amazed to see her exactly as I had in my mind’s eye. His ability to show me pictures of her helps illustrate the evidence of a true connection so I wished I had described her to my friend during the reading).

Her: Yes, that’s true.

Me: He is having a sense of humor about it – but he’s like, ‘that’s my girl, she’s not going to be with another guy’ – he’s not jealous at all, just proud of her and knows he’s her one and only.

Her: Yes! Definitely! That’s Jim!

Me: He’s showing me something about her and Lindsay, maybe going to the cemetery where he was buried?

Her: I really don’t know. We can call Lindsay on our way home. 

Me: OK there’s definitely something he wants to be sure I say about the visit to the cemetery. I’m not sure if they are planning on going, already gone, or if he just wants them to go – so let’s remember that one. I’m wanting to give you something about the other sister. Does she wear black a lot?

Her: Yes! She does. 

Me: But I’m understanding that she is actually quite stable and at peace with his passing, it’s Lindsay that needs the support and connection from this reading. Can you understand that?

Her: Yes, that’s absolutely true. 

Me: He feels she has a Dad-shaped hole in her heart and he’s worried she will always feel this deep loss. He wants her to know the veil is thin, and that he’s right there with her. He wants her to live and enjoy life to the fullest as he did. Does that make sense to you? (I’m crying, she’s crying, it’s true).

Her: Yes, that does. 

Me: He is showing me that he actually didn’t go far from his community – like he really liked where he lived a lot. Like he’s drawing a circle around it and showing me how much he loved his life there.

Her: Yes, they called him the mayor of their community!! 

Me: He’s actually taking a moment to thank me for the gift of being able to speak with his daughter again. He has a lot of gratitude for me carrying this message to you and Lindsey. I know you were like a daughter to him too. OK and he’s showing me a fishing trip – would this make sense?

Her: I don’t know, let’s ask Lindsay. 

Me: OK, and what about a bar that had an option to drink ‘around the world,’ or some way to drink all the varieties of beer so you could get a t-shirt? I see a lot of mugs on the ceiling or a lot of varieties of beer. Can you understand that?

Her: YES! That was the Ocean Mist bar in Matunick, Rhode Island. That was his favorite bar! (Lindsay later sent us a picture of him drinking at that bar and it was exactly as I’d pictured it in my mind).

Me: He wants to acknowledge the mall?

Her: Yes, we used to go to the mall a lot. 

Me: And why do I want to say Nantucket??

Her: I’m not sure. His favorite beer was Narragansett though.

Me: I’ll take that, as I’m not familiar with that beer, and that’s as close as I could have said that.  Also, is there a nickname for Lindsay – an M name? That is connected to her mom? Was she named for her Mom’s middle name or is there a connection with the M and the middle name?

Her: No, but her mom’s name was Marsha. (This turned out to be true later).

Me: And a nickname for him like Skipper??

Her: Not that I know of, let’s ask Lindsay.

At this point, we are pretty sure we’ve freaked out the table next to us.

We are crying, laughing, high fiving, and taking notes about all the hits. I’m feeling complete, as Jim is showing me a sunset, and I’m taking that as a thank you, and a bowing out. I express my deep gratitude for his coming through so clearly. It truly was one of the clearest connections I’ve felt with a Spirit Person over the years and I’m elated for the opportunity to communicate for this sweet family.

On the ride home, we call Lindsay. She is skeptical at first, and wants to know ‘how all this works’ as many of you do who are reading this. 

Me: The truth is that no one knows how it works, and if someone tells you they do – don’t believe them. I have a spiritual gift to be able to talk with the Spirit People (yes, the dead). I receive it like I’m remembering a movie. I don’t exactly see it, I don’t exactly hear it – it’s just like a memory of a distant past. Then, as I get a stronger connection, it’s like a memory of a recent past. Like remembering a movie I watched a month ago, and then a movie I watched yesterday. 

She is understanding my explanation, so we run through the connections and ask the lingering questions. Yes to the M-nickname / middle name – he called her Maggie Mae! And in fact her middle name is Margaret. The fishing trip? Yes! She sent over a picture of him on a boat, and another photo with him in the hat I saw, with the red Explorer he had passed down to her, wearing camo shorts and all. And – Yes to Skipper! One of their loved ones called him Chipper! This is close enough to Skipper for me to accept as a connection. And my favorite – yes to the cemetery….

Lindsay: I can’t believe that! I was just thinking today how I wanted to go visit his grave and I didn’t tell anyone that. I even put a note in my phone to ask my Mom if she wanted to go, but hadn’t said anything yet. No one knows I was thinking about that. 

Me: That’s evidence that your Dad really is with you Lindsay. He wants you to know he’s not so far away, and he wants you to live your life to the fullest as he did. He loves you, and this was a very important message for him to get across. He doesn’t want you to be in grief for years to come. He wants you to live. It doesn’t get any better than this – he has really worked hard to get this message to you. He’s right here with you, he loves you, and he wants you to live a full and happy life.

As we arrive at my friend’s apartment we are still giddy from the exchange. With chill bumps and tears, we agree: it was a good one! This was exciting because not all of the Spirit People communicate as well as Jim. 

Sometimes, for reasons we don’t need to understand, a connection is not made at all. Mediumship is not like a regular job that happens perfectly 100% of the time. The conditions have to be optimal for three beings (me, the sitter, and the Spirit Person) in order to get a good, clear reading. This is one reason it takes a lifetime and dedication to develop the gift of mediumship. 

While driving home, I know Jim is still with me.

This song comes on the radio called “I am the Light.” It feels very loving and warm and I realize Jim wants me to play it for Lindsay. He is offering another sweet reminder of his love for her and of his well being on the other side. 

Some of you have more questions than I’ve been able to address thus far.

Am I a Christian? A witch? How could I possibly get this information? Is this a hoax? Am I cursed? Blessed? Am I scared? Do I sense dead people all the time? Can I clear bad energy out of their house? Did my near-death / out of body experience have anything to do with my gift? How does it work? Can anyone be a psychic medium? Am I picking up on anything? 

Mediumship is not for everyone. To thine own self be true. I can’t ignore my experiences of complete awe and connection to the Divine that have occurred through mediumship.

This brings up another point: Mediumship is not a sideshow. It’s not a performance or entertainment. I don’t work for skeptics to prove Spirit People exist. I don’t defend my position or experience of the other side, but I gladly share it with those interested in connecting with their loved ones. A mediumship session is a healing opportunity for both the people here on Earth and those in Heaven. 

Each Spirit Person communicates very differently – so each session is a unique puzzle to try and decode. Sometimes the session goes really smoothly, other times the conversations are more difficult to convey. That’s why it’s important to pull memories and information from my background and fine-tune my practice with continued education and experiences in order to be the best message-deliverer I can be. 

Most importantly, I keep my intentions pure: to be of service to God, the Spirit People, and those grieving, confused, or challenged by the ups and downs of life and death.  

These are just my personal practices – every medium works differently. Just like doctors have different specialties in medicine, mediums have different interests, strengths, and techniques that make them uniquely qualified to deliver messages of peace, eternal love, and healing to the people that seek them out.

It is an honor to work with the Spirit People and people on Earth – for their healing, and for ours.

It is an amazing thing to witness someone’s heart lighten. I’ve shared in that experience as a sitter as well. Other mediums have shared messages from my Mom that were so private and so accurate – that I have no doubt she was there communicating with her loving kindness, blessing me with a “hello” from Heaven. 

I’ll never forget the connection we made with Jim that night. He is truly an ambassador of light. The Chipper-Jim session deeply touched me, my friend, and his daughter. His message for her applies to all of us: Life is short – enjoy every moment you can! 

The veil is thin, your loved ones are ‘alive’ and well on the other side, loving you with all they’ve got. Try to live your life fully—that is absolutely what they want for you. 


Many of them would love to be back on Earth to help you remember the joy you can find by being here in the physical realm. Stay curious and interested in your life here and now, the eternal afterlife will be there when it’s your time to return to the Dream.

by Tiffany Harelik, MA, RYT

Texan to the bone, Tiffany is a fourth-generation Austinite. Her family lineage is steeped in Russian and Celtic ancestry. She holds a Master’s in Psychology and specializes in guiding clients through deep diving intuitive sessions. When she’s not writing the astrology column, you can find Tiff bee keeping, gardening, and midwifing new books at Spellbound Publishers. Explore her creative projects at www.TiffanyHarelik.com