I interviewed Kali Meister, spiritual healer, empath, claircognizant, and stand-up comedian. Kali, who studied psychology at the University of Tennessee, describes herself as a “Christened Catholic, former Baptist and Wiccan, Jewish sympathizing God fearing Buddhist.”
Leslie: Can you tell the story of how your calling as a medium/clairvoyant first showed itself?
Kali: I was 4 or 5 years old when my mother, brother and I had moved into a haunted house. My mother, her parents and I stayed in the house for the first time having moved everything in that day. My mother slept on the couch downstairs and I slept upstairs in the bed with my grandparents. My mother woke to an interdimensional being standing at the end of the couch. She could not move. Upstairs I began to sweat and tell my grandparents I was seeing multi-colored lights. I was burning up, apparently. This went on for some time. Honestly I do not remember this story. It is one my mother told me later when I was a teenager and began to become fully aware of my gifts.
Leslie: Can you describe, please, the subjective experience while being a Claircognizant, and Clairaudient?
Kali: The knowing and seeing were easier for me to acclimate to than the hearing. I have known and seen as far back as I can remember and it feels quite normal to me, but I was sixteen when I began to hear spirits. It scared me because I thought I was crazy and I felt alone in the experience because I could not explain it and had nobody to really talk to without feeling more alienated. My spirit guides were very loud and insistent. In my 20s I asked for them to back away, and they did. In my 30s they came back. In my 40s I have learned to fully co-exist with everything that speaks to me. Spirit speaks to me through the back of my neck. What I see ranges from being quick in movement (like a flash, and then it’s gone), foggy, very realistic, and interdimensional. I have done interdimensional viewing over the last couple years. It is an eye opener on just how small, yet profoundly significant we all are.
Leslie: How do work with clients? Are trance states part of it?
Kali: I don’t do trance states. I feel what I do is more of riding frequency and vibration. I will sometimes rock back and forth while I’m reading, but I’m always there and present. I never feel like the gift controls me. I’m always the captain of the ship, even when spirit is on board.
Paul Selig, one of my teachers, once did something while I was learning that I catch myself doing now. He says he is a student to his spirit guides. I feel the same way about my spirit guides. He was channeling and the guides asked him to “Release the neck…” He replied that they were asking him to release his neck. This happened at least 3 times, with him telling us his guides wanted him to release his neck until finally he tilted his head back and exclaimed to the Universe, “I am trying!”
Recently, in a channeled reading, a client and I were talking with her loved one who had passed. She was talking and all of a sudden I said, “I’m not telling her that.” The client asked who I was talking to and what that was about. I had no idea I had even said it out loud. The spirit wanted me to tell the client something that I did not feel comfortable saying. It was something that I felt that if a deceased loved one presented to me I’d be really upset. I finally told her and she was relieved. It was what she needed to hear and what she was waiting to hear.
Again, I have to learn to trust spirit and not put too much of Kali into the equation, so there is a release that has to happen, but I’m always present. Balance in everything is always key… even in readings and my work on all levels.
Leslie: Can you explain what you mean, please, when you describe yourself as a ‘spiritual progressive’ and empathic person?
Kali: Empathy is an ability to feel other people’s feelings – and I do sense what people are feeling very profoundly. Oddly, it’s why I often have a complicated time in crowds. I do not like to go where energies are chaotic, and I choose not to.
I used to do a lot of protest and activism in my 20s. The energy was difficult because there is this level of resistance at play in activism, but I was young and had the energy to recover from it pretty quickly. Now my energy is so very different and I am particular about where I choose to focus my energies. That has been my favorite lesson: value your energies and choose how to use them.
I have also learned that the work should not deplete, it should give birth to more energy. That was a profound lesson for me. When I was young and before I learned how to properly focus my energies, the most difficult thing was trusting spirit. I had to start trusting that my guides, angels, and ancestors have my best interests at heart. Honestly, it is a lesson I’m still working on, but I’m stubborn. As far being a spiritual progressive, well, I think to not fit into any box is progressive. And I do not fit into a box.
People will ask me, spiritually, what I am. My response is “Christened Catholic, former Baptist and Wiccan, Jewish sympathizing God fearing Buddhist.”
Leslie: How and what do you write? What routines/personal approaches do you use during the writing process?
Kali: Natalie Goldberg is one of my spirit animals. I try to write in something every day. That is key. Her book Writing Down the Bones should be on the shelf of every writer. For her writing is a spiritual process. She also turned me on to Buddhism. I wish I had known about her before I began my long process of personal recovery.
I write because I have to. Writing saved my life. I have journals of nonsense that was inside of me. There is this song by Anna Nalick that has a lyric that sums up the kind of writing I do, “If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.” Writing is literally my release.
Leslie: What part does writing play in your spiritual world?
Kali: Writing helps me with acceptance and it is a large part of my calm. My spirituality stems so much from my calm. Calm has been such a journey for me and, oddly, why I think I have settled into Buddhism. Buddhism is so calm.
Leslie: As a stand-up comedian what ‘point of view’ or personae do you use?
Kali: I’m a storyteller. My comedy comes from stories of my life and the ridiculousness of it and the lessons I learned in my process… and oddly, the gratitude I feel for the lessons learned. In the end I’m glad I can laugh at myself. It is the greatest gift I have, I think. I will say a lot of my comedy is about interpersonal relationships.
Leslie: How do you craft your comedy?
Kali: Being aware and being honest even when it cuts me to my core. What makes good comedy is being relatable to as many people as possible. We all understand humiliation and failure. We all hope to overcome our failures. That has always been my focus as a funny person.
Leslie: You have been through extensive testing for ADHD and dyslexia. How has that process contributed to your journey?
Kali: That diagnosis was difficult because while it explained much in my life it did not define me. I learned that distinction from being tested. I had an amazing clinician named Guy Edlis who was compassionate and kind and cared about me in this process. That helped me so much.
I did this huge gamut psych evaluation when I was a student at the University of Tennessee. I figured I was dyslexic and had ADD, and I wanted to have accommodations for my graduate record examination when applying for graduate school, so I needed official diagnosis. I went through at least 20 hours of testing for everything under the psychological sun. Because of my gifts I feared I would be told I was bipolar or schizophrenic—I was not.
The assessment was still painful to hear because it took me back to when I was a child and I felt so stupid because everything in school seemed impossible. Guy was kind and mindful, actually. He told me this testing is just a moment in who I am. It was an explanation, not a definition. His words really changed me spiritually. What a great teacher he is.
Leslie: As a seeker, writer and spiritual adventurer, who has inspired you – why them?
Kali: This will maybe sound clichéd, but every single person who has ever been in my life inspires me. I believe we are ALL teachers and all students. I will admit, some have inspired me more than others, and I grow with each person who allows me in their life.
Some lessons are painful, and some are joyful, but I grow from all of it. Specifically I’m grateful to have studied under Paul Selig. He is a pure channel and INCREDIBLE. His channeled books are life altering.
Again, Natalie Goldberg is amazing and helped me feel secure in who I am. Marilyn Kallet is my mother/sister/savior/teacher friend and I owe her more than words can express. Dorothy Allison and Tama Janowitz are my writing idols.
Carol Burnett taught me it is okay to be female and be funny. I’m also grateful to my parents for giving me a fierce love for music because we all resonate in frequency, and to appreciate others we must love music.
Leslie: How do you harmonise your wide range of expressive disciplines and get them to work together? Is there a priority order to your creative activities?
Kali: I’m 46 and still trying to figure that one out. I will say giving in and finally working for myself and creating my own path has helped me prioritize. I’m grateful for the abundance of talent I have even when direction eludes me.
At this point in my life I’m better at prioritizing my time, however I do not have the energy I once had. I guess that is a trade-off. Age gives you experience in what works and what doesn’t for you.
Self-acceptance has helped me know what is important and what can wait. Self-acceptance is what makes intuition strong. Also an ability to fly by the seat of my pants helps me coexist with it all.
Leslie: Can you give a few tips on how to stay open, positive and creative in life, please?
Kali: Never give up on hope. Once you lose hope all is lost. The keys to keeping hope alive are being grateful and honest, having faith in a higher power, assessing how you got where you are, and having an emotional support system. Closing ourselves off from the world is a sure way to nurture your own negativity. We need people to help us grow and stay positive.
Next week I interview former producer at LBC Radio and studio manager at Essex Radio, Steve Campen, about good and bad radio .
ABOUT LESLIE TATE’S BOOKS:
- Love’s Register tells the story of romantic love and climate change over four UK generations. Beginning with ‘climate children’ Joe, Mia and Cass and ending with Hereiti’s night sea journey across Oceania, the book’s voices take us through family conflicts in the 1920s, the pressures of the ‘free-love 60s’, open relationships in the feminist 80s/90s and a contemporary late-life love affair. Love’s Register is a family saga and a modern psychological novel that explores the way we live now.
- Heaven’s Rage is a memoir that explores addiction, cross-dressing, bullying and the hidden sides of families, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. “A Robin Red breast in a Cage / Puts all Heaven in a Rage” – William Blake. You can read more about/buy Heaven’s Rage here.
- The Dream Speaks Back, written by Sue Hampton, Cy Henty and Leslie Tate, is a joint autobiography exploring imagination and the adult search for the inner child. The book looks at gender difference, growing up in unusual families and mental health issues. It’s also a very funny portrait of working in the arts, full of crazy characters, their ups and downs, and their stories. You can buy a signed copy of The Dream Speaks Back here.
Lovely to meet Kali and learn about her talents, Leslie. I agree with her that hope is one of the most important emotions in the world. If hope is lost then everything is really lost.
Thanks, Robbie. Yes, it’s one of the best things about online interviews – getting a picture of all the different people…