Magical Thinker

Any good businessperson knows that if you want to cultivate a certain type of clientele, you meet with them on their own turf. Jodi Livon, a psychic medium who has counseled movers and shakers in the corporate world for the past twenty-five years, offices not in some shabby storefront, but at The Atria, a plush office building in Plymouth. She focuses her practice on powerful people, she says, because their actions are likely to affect many others. On this bright June afternoon, she trained her intuitive powers on me. Put together like an attorney in a smart Ann Taylor black dress, pearls, and stylish pumps, she asked me to state my full name and the address of my workplace, and to hand her a copy of this magazine. As she proceeded to describe in vague terms the kinds of dynamics and issues that could apply to many workplaces, I maintained a healthy journalistic skepticism. But then she delved into personal matters—intimate details about my children, former girlfriends, and my long-ago past—that she couldn’t have possibly ascertained through Google (or even, for that matter, through a really good private investigator). In the following interview, Livon’s first, the corporate psychic discusses life, death, and getting along with your boss.

Why isn’t your name listed on the door?
Many of my clients wouldn’t feel comfortable if others saw them walking through a door that said, “Jodi Livon, Intuitive Coach,” which is what I call myself.

Why do you focus on corporate types?
The office setting is where people in positions of power feel comfortable. I want to reach as many people as I can. Whether it’s two people or a thousand, when you run a business you are affecting many others; you are in a position to raise the energy vibration for everybody.

So you want to touch large numbers of people through their bosses. Who are some of these powerful people you’ve worked with?
I have more conservative white-collar clients than you would expect: a lot of well-known attorneys, judges, and physicians, people who work for Fortune 500 companies. Also many small-business owners—massage therapists, people who own hair salons.

Do people ask you very specific money questions, such as what the stock market is going to do tomorrow?
I would never tell them.

Do you know?
I don’t want to know. I don’t gamble; that’s not what this is for. That’s such an abuse. I would never give that information out.

What are some of the challenges people bring to you?
A big complaint is “I don’t like my boss. I don’t think he sees who I am, and what I have to offer.” They’re focusing on this and guess what happens: The boss doesn’t see them, and doesn’t recognize what they have to offer. I suggest that people focus on the positive things their bosses do, and then those things get bigger. I tell them to take the emotion out of it. It isn’t about who likes who. It’s about getting the job done.

That sounds close to what one might hear from a job counselor or self-help book. But what do you do as a psychic to help people in their careers?
I teach people to trust their gut, to use their intuition as they make decisions. One client was a physician. Everything about the tests he had performed on a pregnant patient seemed to point to a normal birth. But he told me he had this funny feeling that led him to the decision to perform a C-section. It turned out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the child’s neck so many times that with a vaginal birth that child might not have made it. Naturally, this doctor backed it up before going ahead with the surgery, but the course of action he chose began with an intuitive feeling.

Are you familiar with The Secret, the best-seller that advocates using the power of thought to get what you want?
I am, and I think there are some pieces dangerously missing from it. Intuition shouldn’t be about manifesting things; it’s about manifesting peacefulness.

When did you first realize you had these intuitive abilities?
When I was twelve I started to see that not everybody could sense other people’s energy the way that I did. I could feel energies of people who had crossed over—it just creeped me out.

How did you experience that?
I saw dead relatives in front of me.

People you knew?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I didn’t understand it. I would hear something one of these dead relatives said, and I would repeat it out loud, and my parents would freak out and say, “How did you know that?”

Do you see dead people as ghosts or as human beings?
It’s almost like a clear cutout, a mist. I can hear them, I can smell them, and I can feel them.

Should we fear death?
Not at all. It’s peaceful. In all the years I’ve been doing readings, I’ve never had anybody come over from the other side and say it’s horrible over there.

Did you have other types of paranormal experiences as a child?
I tried the Ouija board and it went completely crazy. People always wanted to do the Ouija board with me, but I stopped. It didn’t feel right because it was pulling from dark energy. Stay away from Ouija boards.

Have you had any particularly scary experiences?
I was in my first apartment—I was just eighteen —and all of a sudden I found myself on the ceiling and I saw someone else walking in my body below. I knew the energy in my body was male and was dead. After that I realized I needed to do some very serious work; I was too open and vulnerable.

What did he do while he was in your body?
He was enjoying being able to walk around. He seemed to be looking for some coffee or booze.

You must have had liberal hippie parents, right?
No [laughs]. I grew up in a very conservative family. In a very conservative neighborhood.

What were you like as a teenager?
I was sort of a freak at Golden Valley High. I was teased mercilessly because I had big, fat, frizzy hair, and I did my own thing.

Do your children share your abilities?
They are very psychic, which is really a handful to deal with. One is eight, one is seven, and one is four, and they talk about dead people. They say Mommy, I know people live again. And Mommy, when I knew you before…, and Mommy, when I come back….

Do you ever have a client come in for a reading who ends up saying, “I think you’re full of shit”?
Yeah, people have. They don’t do it so much anymore because I’ve become so comfortable with my abilities. I’ll just look at them like this [she gives a cold, steady glare] and they shut up.