Drink 3: Arnold Palmer

The Date: July 18

The Friend: Bill Burns

The Place: Cotton, Manchester, NH

The Drink: Arnold Palmer

Bill BurnsThe Story: I met Bill Burns almost five years ago through my chiropractor, friend and personal angel, Robin. Bill is a psychic and medium based in Los Angeles. Through the years our relationship has included elements of friend, personal and professional adviser, client and confidante.

Bill was my first introduction to the spiritual world and opened the door to my personal spiritual awakening and the path I’ve been exploring ever since my first session with him. My mom has been exploring this same stuff since I was a kid but you know how it is with these things, you’ve got to come to it on your own if it’s going to be meaningful to you.

Five years ago, I was in a bad place. I hated my job. I was in a bad relationship that had gone on far too long. I wasn’t happy with much of anything and I had been having panic attacks every night before I fell asleep for more than six months.

From the outside it may have looked different: it was a great professional job and a great step for my career; I had a longtime boyfriend who had moved from the Midwest to be with me and did truly adore me; I was deeply involved in the local business and nonprofit community. But, man, was I miserable, and I had no idea how to get out of the place I was in.

I remember telling a massage therapist that, each night when I climbed into bed, I would get short of breath, my heart would race and I would feel creepy crawlies up and down my legs until I would want to thrash hard enough to get the sensation to stop. She was the one who had to tell me that these were panic attacks. I had no idea.

It was about this time that Robin, who had been trying to lure me into her crazy, out-there, spiritual realm for years, told me that it was time, that I was going to see Bill and that she was going to sponsor the reading so that I couldn’t claim that it was too expensive.

A reading with Bill is one of life’s more interesting experiences. When I first walked through the door, I wasn’t sure I believed in psychics or any of “that stuff.” When you sit down with Bill, though, he he just starts talking. What he says are things about you that are surprising – in that you would NEVER have vocalized them; they sound too crazy or arrogant or just like something you don’t say out loud – but not surprising – in that, when he says them, at some level you already knew that because it’s what’s inside YOU, and always has been.

I went back and re-read the transcription of our first session together and was reminded of some of the things he said to me that were so amazing and, honestly, life-changing.

Like this: “you’re really a Victorian romantic and you’re a little girl, and you’re fascinated and you’re curious and very spontaneous and have trouble watching your tongue … And, there is this little girl that believes in magic and that believes in miracles – and who hasn’t really grown up …”

Well, if you know me at all, you probably knew some of that already but I can tell you that, for me, at the time, it was as good as being struck by lightning. I’m not sure I ever knew that it was acceptable to really be those things after the age of seven.

In that first session, Bill gave me what he called homework but what I have come to understand were actually simple tools that would change my life.

The first thing he tried to teach me (which Robin had already been working on) is to stay in the moment and trust my gut. The words sound so simple but it could (and probably will) take a lifetime to master these two things.

The second thing he asked me to do, and the thing that I really credit with changing my life, was a journaling exercise. Interestingly, as someone who is a born writer, I have always hated to journal. I don’t think I kept a journal as a kid and I certainly never have as an adult. The closest I ever came was to journal while I was traveling.

But this exercise was different. Bill asked me to – at night – write down what had pleased me during the day. This could be things I did well, things I noticed, kittens, puppies, double rainbows, whatever I could come up with. Then – and here’s the interesting part – after I made that list, I was to go through it again and figure out what it was about ME that made that go well and write that down, too. How was it that I made it possible to do, feel or appreciate that thing that pleased me? How was I responsible for making things go well during my day?

When I first started this homework, I did it almost grudgingly. Then it got easier. Then it became a habit. Before I knew it, something magical happened. That voice in my head – the loud one – the one that had always told me that I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t smart enough, hadn’t tried hard enough (even though empirical evidence would contradict it) – quieted down a little and that made room for the other voice – the one that said I was smart and beautiful and successful and loved. And THAT has made all the difference.

I truly credit Bill with helping me change my life and become a better version of myself. I can’t say he did it, because I actually did the work, but he opened the door; he showed me the way and, for that, I thank him sincerely and profusely.

The Drink: Bill’s signature drink is the Arnold Palmer, so we enjoyed one with our recent lunch at Cotton.

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