When you meet Jodi Livon, you would never know she sees the dead person standing behind you.
Not that she’d tell you. Not unless you ask, of course. Just don’t ask her to predict the stock market, the Stanley Cup winner or if you’re going to get a divorce.
“I am so alive to my own insights that I can feel things about every single thing in front of me,” Livon said. “But I don’t predict the future. Predicting the future limits people in a nasty way.”
Livon, who calls herself “The Happy Medium” and an intuitive coach, is a psychic medium who claims to have a special ability — a sixth sense — that she uses to help others gain insight and closure, especially during times of grief.
Like many in her line of work, Livon can trace her psychic roots back to childhood, but it wasn’t until later in her adult life that she came out of her “spiritual closet” to help people connect with the other side.
Today, Livon is a nationally recognized psychic with a broad clientele: She says fortune 500 companies hire her to offer insight to improve business; grieving parents seek reassurance that their deceased child is OK on the other side; and others work with Livon to discover a new career or relationship.
She’s just written her second book, “Speaking the Language of Intuition,” which contains a series of exercises to help readers harness their own intuitive powers.
“I like to show people the intuitive process is really normal,” Livon said. “Everyone is somewhat psychic.”
Everyone? I set up an interview with Livon at Dunn Brothers Coffee in Excelsior. She arrived wearing Barbie-pink lipstick and strands of pearls draped around her neck, her blond locks tightly tousled around her face. She is lively, warm and approachable. Livon calls this her “high-flying vibe” and will later tell me how hard she’s worked to maintain it.
I maintained my journalistic skepticism. But then, she started answering questions before I could finish asking them.
A burden becomes her
Upon meeting her, Livon immediately acknowledges that what she does is controversial.
“There are people out there who think I’m the devil,” she said. “It’s threatening to some peoples’ comfort zones. People want to believe there's life after death. But they're afraid to believe it. They're afraid I might have information they don't have, which isn't really true — we all can have this.”
For Livon, it’s never been about how to be more psychic, it’s about how to be less psychic.
She works from a cozy office in Wayzata and also from home, fielding calls and tending to social media while juggling domestic life as the mother of a 14-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 16 and 18.
Livon said she’s raising her children to trust their intuition, too, but she doesn’t use her abilities to spy on their every move.
“It isn’t appropriate for me to know all sorts of things about my kids, nor do I want to,” Livon said. “I can turn up my abilities, but I can’t turn it off — there’s always information coming in, but I can choose not to attach myself to it.”
Growing up in a Jewish family in Golden Valley, Livon was overwhelmed by her psychic abilities. As early as elementary school, she could sense when a new classmate wasn’t going to be nice. She knew who was calling before caller ID existed. And she could feel the discord between her parents, who later divorced.
“I couldn’t stand to feel others’ pain and loneliness,” Livon said. “I carried their emotions as my own and wanted to fix it. It was an incredible burden.”
Livon was teased mercilessly for her frizzy jet-black hair, and she was sent to her room constantly for blurting out things about dead people.
“I call them ‘drive-by insights,’ ” she said. “My parents didn’t like it. These things would just fly out of my mouth.”
I paused to tell Livon that she was doing that thing again: answering my questions before all the words have left my mouth.
“Oops, sorry!” she says.
After several difficult, lonely years, Livon eventually reconciled her abilities with the support of a therapist.
“I accepted that this isn’t a choice for me — this is who I am,” she said. “I knew I would have my intuition or my intuition would have me.”
Livon learned to protect herself with boundaries and how to “bubble up” in public places, which is often still difficult.
Livon’s husband of 20 years, Jason, recalls a trip the couple took to Las Vegas that didn’t go well: “She went out of her mind with lots of stress and was picking up everyone’s energy who’d lost money and was trying to recover it,” he said. “She’ll never go back.”
‘We are all psychic’
Once Livon made peace with her mediumistic abilities, she tried to remain rooted in the realm of the living, and pursued a career in sales.
“I could feel what [my clients] needed and I knew my product and the ways it could help them,” she said. “I made great business decisions.”
Livon lost her train of thought as a middle-aged woman sat down across from us.
“That person’s dead person just came into my head,” she said. “What was I saying?”
A career in sales eventually transformed into intuitive corporate coaching.
Although the financial crisis led more business executives to seek out psychics, few like to talk about it publicly, Livon said.
Twin Cities companies hire her, she said, to help with hiring decisions, to train CEOs to use their intuition, and to pinpoint employees who might be stealing from the company if the books aren’t adding up. Livon declined to name which companies have hired her.
And thanks to interest in psychics, mediums and all things paranormal being at an all-time high, Livon has been the resident psychic and a regular guest on KSTP-TV’s “Twin Cities Live” since 2009.
Livon prefers the title “intuitive coach” over psychic, both because of some people in her line of work who have given the psychic ability a bad name, but also because Livon doesn’t see her ability as a phenomenon limited to a chosen few.
“It’s like having the ability to sing,” she said. “We can all do it. Some are just better than others.”
Although Livon said she can communicate with the dead, she thrives on using her sixth sense to give intuitive practical advice.
Livon says her psychic ability allows her to tune in to her clients’ feelings; she also has visions of their future, although she’s cautious about sharing them.
“My work isn’t for the faint of heart,” she said. “I don’t tell people little fluffy things, but I’m careful in how I say it.”
Angela Champagne-From called her work with Livon “transformative.”
While holding a local workshop in 2012, Livon was drawn to the 33-year-old Dayton woman in a room full of people. Just a few months earlier, Champagne-From had survived a knife attack by a sex offender.
As she collapsed in a pool of her own blood, Champagne-From said she saw her deceased grandfather and heard him say, “keep fighting.”
“Jodi told me that my grandpa stopped me from passing over,” she said.
Since then, Champagne-From has received readings every six months and credits Livon with helping her move on from the attack.
“She gave me closure,” Champagne-From said. “She delivers life-changing messages in a positive way, but you have to be open to it.”
Livon has spent most of her psychic career teaching others how to obtain information outside the five senses — how to be more intuitive.
Harnessing intuition doesn’t have to be as dramatic as talking to dead people, though — it can be as benign as finding a parking space, buying a car or mustering the confidence to talk to your boss.
Livon said: “When you’re doing what your spirit wants you to do, good things just naturally happen.”