We’re all born with unique gifts — special abilities like artistic talent, or mechanical aptitude, or a flair for public speaking. Many of us find fulfillment and purpose in cultivating these gifts and sharing them with the world. But what if your gift, which you know could help countless people lead more fulfilling lives, is something much of the world doesn’t take seriously and even scorns?

Meet Robyn Hessinger, former editor-in-chief of Care2, a holistic health and green living website. Unable to ignore her true calling any longer, she recently ventured out of the “metaphysical closet” to offer her gifts as a psychic, medium and energy healer. Her journey — from the mad scramble of corporate life to a more tranquil and authentic existence as founder and CEO of Inspired Guidance — has been one of the most challenging and liberating of her life.

“I recognize this sounds really woo-woo,” she admits. “Becoming editor-in-chief was the pinnacle of my journalism career, my dream job. And if you’d told me five years ago that I’d be doing intuitive work for a career, I would have said you were nuts or high. But I can’t imagine doing anything else now.”

A tale of two lives

For years, Hessinger lived in parallel worlds. In one, she was on a heady career rise, even hobnobbing with the likes of President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama. But her life was also increasingly frenetic with frequent business trips, a two-and-a-half hour daily commute and nonstop emails from daybreak to midnight.

“I didn’t have the healthiest lifestyle and absolutely no work-life balance,” she says.

At the same time, Hessinger also felt a growing pull to explore metaphysical topics that had interested her for years, including reiki (a form of energy healing) and intuitive/psychic phenomena.

After reading several books and taking classes, she noticed her own intuitive abilities beginning to emerge with increasing regularity — and often at inopportune times. Once while dining with a friend, for instance, Hessinger saw the woman’s recently deceased aunt dancing nearby (visible only to Hessinger) bearing a message that she was at peace.

Messages also just came on their own to Hessinger about people all around her, even random strangers. Once at a hotel, she advised the bartender to call his mother. He was so startled he dropped the glass he was drying and demanded to know who’d sent her. Turns out he and his mother hadn’t spoken in two years and the disconnection was causing problems in his life — something he’d never shared with anyone.

“I was discovering that everyone has guides and angels,” Hessinger says, “and that they want us to live our best, most peaceful, calm, joyful and abundant life.”

Heeding the call

Robyn HessingerAs the messages grew more constant and insistent, Hessinger felt the need do more with them. She developed a tentative plan to see clients part-time and registered her website domain name. But nothing really changed; she continued her feverish pace at work, and mostly ignored her own inner guidance. Even after she crashed her car into a cement freeway wall at 65 mph and was laid up with a broken clavicle and dislocated ribs, she didn’t slow down. She just continued working long hours from home.

“Then the universe gave me a big kick,” she says. In 2012, Hessinger was ordered to lay off half her staff, and later that year lost her own job when the company reorganized. “As hard as it was on my ego, it was also a huge gift and blessing because I wouldn’t have stepped out on my own," she recalls. "It was my guides and angels saying, ‘OK, now it’s time.’ ”

Since then Hessinger has started working with clients regularly via phone, Skype or in person. Services include intuitive readings on life and career issues, mediumship sessions with departed loved ones and reiki healing sessions.

Clients run the gamut from individuals to professionals seeking intuitive business advice to scientists looking for direction on which patents or investors to pursue. “I often get a vision, then the words,” Hessinger says. “If somebody wants investment advice, I might see a stop sign and then get words on why it’s a bad idea. Or I see yellow caution tape or a flashing yellow light and then things to consider before moving forward. Or I’ll see green lights or bags of money, then the meaning behind that.”

Owning the gift

Hessinger still occasionally wavers about her chosen path. “Sometimes I still feel the need to say I’m a former editor or was in the corporate world for 20 years,” she says. “Yet the things I was most worried about — like losing LinkedIn connections or being shunned and ostracized — hasn’t happened. In fact, people I worked with professionally have reached out for sessions, which seems like the highest compliment.”

With growing openness has come growing demand. Hessinger hasn’t needed to market her business. All clients come by word of mouth and referrals, and most are repeat customers (a testament, she says, to the effectiveness of her work). Best of all, she’s finally using her gifts to help others heal and grow.

“I’ve had wonderful successes in my career,” she says. “But having sessions where something shifts for someone, where there’s clarity and healing, or somebody comes in tears of despair and leaves in tears of joy, that’s far more rewarding than any site or newsletter or product I’ve launched. Being able to help people help themselves is huge.”

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Photo credit: Monique Feil