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Excerpted from The Gift by Echo Bodine. Copyright © 2003 by Echo Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Each one of us has psychic abilities to one degree or another, but because theyíre usually so subtle, we often donít realize thatís what weíre using."

  Echo Bodine, The Gift, Part 1

As I was writing this book, an acquaintance asked me in passing what I was working on. When I told her, she looked at me with this glazed stare and asked me, "Why on earth would anyone want to develop psychic abilities?" For a second, her question took me aback, and then I realized that she probably had no idea how often she uses her own psychic abilities to help her in her everyday life.

Each one of us has psychic abilities to one degree or another, but because theyíre usually so subtle, we often donít realize thatís what weíre using. When Mrs. Olson first told me I had these gifts, I didnít have a clue what she was talking about until she was able to explain it in terms I could understand.

Have you ever realized the answer to a question when a picture popped into your head? Has a thought ever come into your head out of nowhere, and it was the guidance you were praying for? Have you ever sensed something about a person that wasnít based on anything you consciously knew but that later turned out to be true? Have you ever experienced a smell that reminded you of a deceased loved one? Every day at least one of our psychic abilities is helping us in some way.

The Four Psychic Gifts

There are four psychic abilities: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and clairgustance. Clairvoyance is the gift of seeing. We all have an invisible third eye located in the middle of our forehead, which is sometimes referred to as the psychic eye. Itís with this third eye that a clairvoyant sees information in the form of pictures, visions, or images. When we see a ghost, a spirit guide, or a deceased loved one, thatís also clairvoyance.

Clairaudience is the gift of hearing, which sounds simple enough, but it can become quite confusing. When a clairaudient receives information, it comes into his or her mind as thoughts. Since these thoughts donít sound any different than oneís own thoughts, the clairaudientís job is to learn, through trial and error, to distinguish between personal thoughts and incoming psychic information.

There are a variety of sources that send thoughts to us and the sources have a lot to do with the path weíre on. We could be receiving information from our spirit guides, a guardian angel, deceased loved ones, or earthbound spirits. Spirits do not have voices like we do. The way they communicate with each other and with us is that they project thoughts.

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