by Dennis Dalman
One evening, not long after her marriage, Tiffany Johnson returned home from a hard-day’s work, walked into her kitchen and – to her stunned delight – saw the words “I LOVE YOU TIFFANY” spelled out on a cutting board with pasta letters from Campbell’s alphabet soup.
“Now tell me that is not romantic,” Johnson later said. “Funny thing is, he (husband Bobby) had to open both cans to find all the letters. Needless to say, I had some leftover soup for dinner that evening.”
In her new book, Johnson uses that soupy love message as an example of just one of the goofy everyday things that can bring a sense of fun into a romantic relationship. It’s also an example of one of Johnson’s main themes: “We fall in love between the ears (brain), not with the eyes.” The name of her book, her fourth, is Find Your Happily Ever After: Love and Relationship Advice from a Professional Psychic. It is a 228-page book which outlines in a breezy, conversational, level-headed way many tips and suggestions for making relationships work – and how to leave failed relationships with dignity and grace.
Johnson, who lives in Sartell with her husband, Bobby, describes herself as a psychic-medium, certified hypnotherapist, Reiki master-and-teacher, a healer and an ordained minister for all faiths and beliefs. Her professional nickname is “Psychic Tiff.”
She is well aware many people are skeptical – even cynical – about psychics and mediums, but she can also provide hundreds of testimonials from people who were amazed by her accurate predictions and her power to improve people’s relationships. She has held psychic-medium sessions and tarot-card readings on television shows, on radio and via telephone with clients throughout the world.
Johnson, who grew up in Burnsville, was known for having uncanny abilities when just a girl, giving her first tarot-card readings when she was just 12. Those who knew her were surprised by how she seemed to be able to “read” people – to know their pasts and to see into their futures.
By 1995, Johnson developed her career as a full-time psychic-medium, holding sessions, doing lots of traveling and writing four books. Her specialty readings, as well as her books, most often involve love and relationships.
Johnson had just finished the first half of Happily Ever After when a tragic, near-fatal medical crisis occurred Jan. 18, 2012.
After having a chiropractic adjustment to her neck, an artery began bleeding, leading to one of the worst strokes doctors had ever dealt with. At first, they were certain she would die, but if she did manage to survive she would be virtually helpless on her own.
All kinds of drastic procedures were done on Tiffany’s brain to take care of the clots that seemed to be alarmingly multiplying. After an angioplasty, her brain began to swell, requiring an emergency craniotomy.
After days of horrific tension, her husband Bobby was sitting in her hospital room when he suddenly noticed Tiffany raise her right hand and give a peace sign.
She spent two months in the hospital which she and her husband described as “deep and difficult days.” Then she underwent grueling physical, occupational and speech therapies at a skilled-nursing unit in Country Manor in Sartell. Her left leg was completely paralyzed, but she managed to learn to walk with the help of various leg and foot braces.
Finally, after four months, she was able to return to her home, which had been fitted with all sorts of therapeutic equipment and accessibility adjustments. Donations and gifts came in from throughout the world, including from Australia, Germany and Japan where “Psychic Tiff” has loyal fans.
Bobby, for the first many months, became her personal-care attendant, helping her do virtually every daily activity. Two of her current helpers are their two beloved service dogs, Emma and Voodoo, who are always loyally by her side, ready to help.
All who knew her were wondering, “Does she still have her psychic powers?” The answer is “yes,” her husband was glad to answer. She made a comeback Oct. 8, 2013 with one of her “Psychic Gallery” readings in the famously haunted basement of the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre.
Since then, she and Bobby have gone on a national tour, giving shows in Savannah, Ga.; Gettysburg, Penn.; and Louisville, Ken.
The Johnsons always refer to those two dark years as the “Saddest Miracle” – sad because it was physically and emotionally devastating, a miracle because both of them triumphed over the adversities, making a comeback and reconnecting with Psychic Tiff’s happy clients.
Although her book-in-progress was interrupted by her medical crisis, Johnson worked hard to finish it once she began to regain her former self.
In 28 short chapters, Johnson shares her insights into the ins-and-outs of relationships: the search for a mate, dating stages, deal-breakers, what men and women really want, commitment phobias, moving in together, adjustments, the importance of romance, the need for “me time,” marriage and children.
She also covers failed relationships: how to avoid them, how to get out of them, the dangers of abusive behavior and how fear of leaving bad relationships can wither one’s potential.
Some traditional-minded readers will take issue with some of Johnson’s opinions. She is, for example, a firm advocate of people living together before taking the marriage step.
Throughout the book, Johnson gives examples of her own earlier failures: headlong rushes into dating, sometimes with less-than-ideal boyfriends, such as one who began abusing drugs. She explains how she – and others – sometimes must make mistakes in order to learn from them.
One of her recurrent themes throughout the book is romantic love – the exhilarating walking-on-clouds kind – is over-rated and couples often expect far too much from it, as if it will cure all ills. What is more important, according to Johnson, are the small ways couples adjust to each other through kindnesses, an ability to listen, understanding, forgiveness, a sense of humor, letting go of petty things and having a sense of daily fun – such as, for example, telling your mate you love them with alphabet-soup letters.
In a chapter entitled “If You’re Not Feeling It in the First Five Dates,” Johnson introduces many of her points which she brings up repeatedly throughout the book in a number of relationship situations and circumstances.
The first date she calls the “hearts-and-flowers” one, in which both feel a bit heady about each other, make awkward small talk, try to give good impressions and become guarded in what they bring up to discuss.
On the second date, both are willing to open themselves up a bit more. They tend to discuss their jobs, their families and friends, hobbies. But it’s not a time to delve too deeply.
The third date usually brings communication within a comfort zone. It is, Johnson writes, the “charm” date and even, for some, the “lust date.”
“I know. It’s kind of crass,” she writes. “But I call ‘em like I see ‘em. Although (and I know this is completely gender biased) guys typically are good to go (read: sex) on any date, gals seem to have deemed the magical third date as the right time.”
If the couple hasn’t established a definite liking for each other on the third date, it’s time to reconsider and call off the relationship, Johnson suggests.
The fourth date is the time to be up front with the prospective partner. That, Johnson writes, includes skeletons in the closet, darker things or mistakes made in the past. If some of the messier things are not shared, it’s unfair because such held-back information will be a problem later in the relationship. On the fourth date, both should evaluate how their relationship will or will not work out, and it’s time to discuss both positive and negative factors.
The fifth date is “make or break” time. By this time, Johnson writes, the two should have seen “the flirty self, the fun self, the sexy self and the flawed self.” A choice needs to be made – to stay or to go.
“Don’t agonize or elongate something that, really, doesn’t have potential,” Johnson advises. “And certainly don’t just let it linger on until/if something better comes along. That’s just selfish. Let the other party go their merry way. Be honest. Let them know you are not feeling the connection you had hoped for and it’s not a perfect fit for you . . . Although the truth may hurt for a moment, in the long run trying to make something work that ultimately is not (going to work), is going to be a lot more painful.”
Throughout her book, Johnson shares anecdotes about some of the people she has counseled through her psychic-medium work. Some of the anecdotes are humorous. Here is one of them:
“One couple I knew, a bartender and a heavy drinker, combined to make a cocktail of frequent and heated arguments. In the end, the breakup was nasty, to say the least. Ironically, when she finally left the relationship, she took numerous bottles of valuable wine from his collection, which still bothers him to this day.”
Johnson’s latest book and her others are available by visiting her website: psychictiff.com