Connecting people to the spiritual realm by way of positivity, mindfulness, and meditation
During the Pandemic, after binging The Tiger King, our next in queue was a show called Seatbelt Psychic. Always fascinated with the spiritual realm, we were hooked. Thomas John, star of Seatbelt Psychic and later The Thomas John Experience, would pick up someone needing a lift, physically and maybe spiritually. Moments later, Thomas would connect to the spirit world on their behalf. From skeptics to earnest believers, people needing a special word from a loved one buckled up for a ride with Thomas John.
Later, Thomas John would host The Thomas John Experience, traveling around the country making powerful connections between the living and the dead. Now, with a vibrant social media presence and a book in the works, John not only connects people with the spirit world, but also helps people center and connect to the spiritual realm by way of positivity, mindfulness, and meditation.
When did you start to first realize that you were an empath?
Thomas John: I was around four years old. I’ve always had memories. Since I was born, I’ve been seeing spirit. My mom said that I used to talk about seeing spirit when I was three and four years old. I always would mention that, and some things I don’t remember, but she said that I would talk about relatives and things like that. As I got older, I became more aware of it. In my early twenties, I started to put a label to it and a name to it. Obviously when I was growing up, when I had these experiences, nobody really said like, “Oh, you know, that’s psychic abilities or medium abilities.”
I’m 37 years old, so when I was growing up like 30 years ago, nobody was talking about mediums and psychics, and it wasn’t on TV all the time. My family didn’t really know what that was. They had never been exposed to that. I see it as two things: First, when I was very little, becoming aware of it but not really knowing what it was. And later, being able to really identify what it was and being able to be like, “Oh, I’m a medium!”
When you were in your twenties, how did you learn how to harvest those gifts?
TJ: Basically, I started to have these empath experiences. I would share them with my family when I was five, six, seven years old. I grew up in a family that was pretty religious. I wouldn’t say very religious, but religious Catholics. My father was an extremely kind of violent, crazy, angry guy. My mom was often scared of him. So together, it kind of became this situation where it was like, “Don’t talk about this, don’t do this. Don’t go over here, don’t do this.” As I got older, I still had these experiences, but I stopped talking about it because every time I brought it up, it was a negative experience.
When I was 18 years old, in my freshman year of college, I took a meditation class because I was having a lot of anxiety. It helped me to actually kind of learn to connect a little bit more to my inner gifts and inner abilities, and my connection to the spirit world. I think that’s when I learned how to harness it. Then, of course, I started to learn from watching other mediums or working with other mediums.
Your spirit and your charisma, you’re so engaging and your magnetic. Were you always a connector or did that come as a result of meditation and learning more about your gift?
TJ: I’m actually very shy, introverted, and awkward. I actually have a lot of social anxiety, but what happens when I’m doing my readings, if I’m on the “platform,” which is what we call being in front of people in mediumship, the spirit world does kind of come through me. They’re the ones that really bring through the messages and they really kind of light up my energy. I just always find the spirit world so fascinating.
And I’m a sort of a closet skeptic if that makes any sense, which I know sounds weird since I talk to dead people for a living. I sort of am always in the mindfulness of skepticism. It’s not skepticism in a closed off way, but because I did go to the University of Chicago on a science track. When I did my first reading, I was actually filling out an application to go to medical school, so I tend to be a pretty science-oriented guy. With my readings, I structure them in such a way, and I always kind of jokingly tell people like, “Wow, if I haven’t proved the afterlife to anyone else, I’ve definitely proven it to myself!” When I do readings and Spirit brings through these crazy things, there’s just no way I would know, there’s just no way.
There’s people who obviously have skepticism and they say, “Oh, you know mediums, they just guess things. They just make references, or they find out stuff about you.” In this day and age, everybody puts their life on social media. Obviously, I don’t do any of that. I don’t guess things; I don’t try to get information. What I think is cool is when Spirit brings through things that clients say to me, “Okay, I’ve never talked about that with anyone.”
I was doing a reading for a client recently who I’ve actually read multiple times. The name “David” came through and I said, “I don’t know why I’m hearing the name David.” This woman’s 80 years old. I’ve given her probably 10 readings. She said, “That’s so crazy that you’re saying that name because in all the readings, I was always wondering if that would come through and it’s never come through.” She shared that it was the name that she gave her abortion. She had an abortion like 60 years ago and she named it David in her head.
She’s always referred and prayed and called him David. That was pretty cool because, of course, you know, that’s not on her Facebook page. Like she didn’t post a thing and say, “Oh, you know, I aborted a fetus and it was named David.” I think that she was like, “That’s crazy that that came through. My husband doesn’t even know that this happened.” It was a really powerful thing.
I recognize a structure about your readings. You always ask permission before you read someone and you always say, “Now, don’t give me too much!” Has there ever been a time where you’ve gotten messages but have chosen to conceal them?
TJ: No. I actually have an agreement with the spirit world that anything they tell me, I have to tell the person. I just trust them. I implicitly trust people when I get messages in that way. I trust them more than the living people. I just know that if they do show me something, even if I perceive it to be scary, there would be a reason why they would bring that through. It must be to help that person. Of course in readings, everything can’t be positive news, but I always feel like you can adapt things, you know?
I was doing a reading last month for a woman and she point blank asked me, “I wanna just know if my husband’s having an affair.” And so Spirit said, “Yes, he’s having an affair. Talk to J——.” She goes, “That’s my best friend.” Well, anyway, I guess she did talk to her and it turns out that her friend wasn’t having the affair with her husband, but the best friend had seen something a couple of months prior that was very weird. She had seen her husband with somebody somewhere. She said, “Yeah, you know, I didn’t know what to do or say it was such a weird thing, but I was at this restaurant and your husband walked in, he was clearly with somebody. Even though I’m your best friend, I didn’t know what to do with that information. I just felt like it wasn’t my place to ruin your marriage.”
So that came through. I guess somebody could say, “Oh my God, that’s bad news.” But I feel like it’s in a way probably helping that person, you know? So I don’t see it as bad news. Spirit doesn’t really come through with like, “Yeah, in 27 years you’re gonna die.” They don’t really work like that, and I don’t really filter a lot. No.
Have you mastered quieting your gift when you need to center and turn off?
TJ: I guess it’s something that I need to focus on enough, so it’s like, even if I’m a little bit distracted, I can’t really focus on it. That would be the quieting process. It’s something that I have to kind of have devoted time and energy to.
We first experienced you by way of Seatbelt Psychic and The Thomas John Experience. How did those experiences doing those shows shape what you’re doing now?
TJ: It just really opened up my stuff to a wider audience. I was actually surprised how many times on that show when I would say, “I’m a medium,” and people were like, “What is a medium?” It wasn’t that people would flat out be like, “Oh my God, I don’t believe in that.” But I remember this one guy who was like, “What do you mean you talk to people that are dead? They’re dead. How would you talk to them?” I said, “You’ve never thought about what happens when you die?” And he’s like, “You just die. I don’t know, what else would be happening? I don’t believe in religion or God or anything like that.”
He ended up getting a message, but I don’t think we put it on the show. It wasn’t really super impactful. Anyway, there were definitely people that didn’t believe which, of course, I’ve had that. My best friend in the whole world doesn’t believe in what I do. He’s like, “I don’t know how you do it, but I don’t think you’re talking to dead people.” But there were so many people that it had never even crossed their minds to think about a reading. They didn’t even know what a medium was. I thought that was super interesting.
In the LGBTQ community, it could be argued that a lot of people need to receive some sort of message from loved ones, who maybe in the living realm were unsure of their lifestyle. Drawing on trends of messages that you’ve received, what can you say to our readers who maybe need some encouragement?
TJ: It’s been interesting with my work. I find that the community, I find that it’s like a polar reaction. I either find that people are really into what I do in our community, or I find that they can’t be bothered or they’re not interested or they think it’s weird. Of course, we did have some in our community on Seatbelt Psychic and The Thomas John Experience. We had like the drag queen episode and the drag queens are in the back of my car. I think that, you know, as it’s becoming more mainstream it’s interesting.
I think we all carry different personal traumas with us. Within our community, there’s so much about fitting in, being accepted. Many people have had issues with their parents or things like that. I have had many healing readings with somebody who’s come through and some fascinating stuff.
I had a reading with a woman a couple weeks ago. It was very powerful. This woman came to the reading, and she wanted to hear from her brother. Her brother came through and they had really never gotten along. They were somewhat close, but they weren’t really close. She had always kind of wondered why. This woman was maybe 75 years old. She shared what it was like growing up with her brother, and I said, “Well, your brother told me that he’s gay. Did you know he was gay?” She started crying and she’s like, “So much makes sense.”
She didn’t know why her brother didn’t tell her that. She shared that she felt like an idiot to have had a blind spot about that. She goes, “Because I have a million gay friends!” As the reading went on, it came through that her brother was living in San Francisco. I kind of felt in the reading that he probably was openly gay with certain people, but not to her for whatever reason. It was just an interesting thing because she was like, “So much stuff makes sense now.”
What’s next for you? What are you working on?
TJ: I’m currently working on a book which is going to be about tapping into your own intuition!