Positive energy: Fargo intuitive helps clear people, spaces of negativity
Jodie Harvala is quick to jump in and explain away her new office.
"Ah, don't look! I just moved in. I don't have it the way I like it yet."
But considering what Harvala does for a living, the open, uncluttered office space somehow feels appropriate.
Harvala, 38, is a Fargo-based intuitive who not only provides psychic readings to clients, but also helps them clear negative energy from their homes or offices.
As a trained dowser, Harvala uses L-shaped metal wands to pick up on negative energy within a space. She then uses copper circles and rods to block it and hold in the positive energy.
People will come to me and say, "I don't like to go into that room. It just doesn't feel right. That's when I try to come in and sense what's going on."
And she's doing more and more of that these days. Her classes are a hot ticket and her calendar is full of appointments.
Melissa Lindahl of Fargo is a dowsing client who has also taken classes from Harvala.
"Jodie's amazing. I love her 'take no prisoners' attitude. She's so good at what she does," Lindahl says.
Jodie says unlike many intuitives she didn't always know she had psychic ability. But there were clues.
When she was a child, she remembers her grandmother coming to her in what she thought was a dream.
"She told me she was going away, but that it was going to be OK."
The next morning Harvala's father broke the news that her grandmother had died unexpectedly.
"I told him, 'I know. She came to me last night to say goodbye.' My dad looked at me a little cross-eyed, said nothing, and left the room."
But still she didn't give it much thought during her childhood in Fargo.
Following graduation from Fargo South, she worked as a waitress and in activities at Bethany Homes.
What followed was a career in sales and advertising. She says she loved the creativity and freedom that came with it, but found herself getting a little bored. She felt drawn to learn more about the psychic world.
"I think I've always been intrigued by psychics and palm reading. I started taking classes and learning what I could. You could say that I developed my psychic abilities on a very conscious level."
Still, it was just a hobby.
"When (Fargo psychic) Susie Ekberg Risher did a reading on me and said that one day I would be doing this for a living, I thought she was nuts!"
But by 2007, she had taken the plunge and began full-time work as an intuitive. Now it keeps her busy enough to help support her family, husband Eli and sons Foster, 9, and Keaton, 5.
"This has really fulfilled my constant need for change, because it's truly something different every day," she says.
Some readings stick with her more than others - ones that make her know she's making a difference.
Harvala says she'll never forget dowsing the home of a woman who had recently had her first baby. The woman was distressed that her father had died before the baby was born. But Harvala said she needn't be.
"I kept seeing an older man sitting in a rocking chair with this baby. She needed to know that her father held the baby before she did."
In this case and others she doesn't know if it's the loved one or other spirits communicating with her.
"I know certain messages come from guardian angels and spirit guides. They're positive messages and centered in love. When you hear negative thoughts, those are opinions and ego talking. They're junk that need to be tuned out. Your guardian angels are never going to tell you you're fat."
Harvala says we all have the ability to tap into our own intuitive powers. We just need to listen.
She tells the story of woman who came to her for a reading because she was unsure whether to marry her widower boyfriend. But Harvala says the answer was obvious.
"I was picking up a very strong message as she sat there. It was just so clear to me that I just had to say it: 'She picked you.'" The "she" Harvala referred to was the man's deceased wife.
The woman started crying and said she always had a feeling that the first wife was somehow behind their relationship, but she didn't dare trust that feeling.
Harvala says most of us wouldn't trust these feelings. We tune them out. Our minds are cluttered with other thoughts, but we need to stop, sit and just listen to what our intuition is saying to us.
"I just wish people could feel their way through life. Trust their gut a little more. We spend so much time thinking and not enough time feeling."
That's what she's told Lindahl.
"She doesn't always let you get away with things," Lindahl says. "She wants you to feel it for yourself - draw your own conclusions."
Harvala knows this kind of work isn't accepted by everyone. But she says she's lucky because those skeptics don't cross her path much, and so what if they did?
"I've really lived by that old saying, 'It's none of my business what other people think of me.' I know what I do is bring peace to people and why would anyone want to try to explain that away somehow?"
While Harvala changed jobs frequently in her early career, she sees herself in this profession for the long haul.
"Everything I did, every job I has lead me to this. I just knew when I held these dowsing wands for the first time that this was what I was supposed to be doing."
Now if she could just get to work on that office.
Tracy Briggs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.