In high school, my friend Andrea called me, panicked, and said that she needed me to come over. She and our friend Crystal were talking about haunted houses when Andrea’s brother came downstairs, overheard them, and began laughing at their belief in ghosts. As he was laughing, Crystal and Andrea saw shadows flash across the wall. A spider. A snake. A man in a tall hat. Red and blue spots and orbs.

By the time I arrived, Crystal had gone home and Andrea was still anxious. We walked around her old, Victorian house and she told me that Crystal had been able to see ghosts since she was little. As Andrea talked, orbs and shadows flitted across the walls. Some of the shadows looked like faces. Some of the orbs shook and spun like pinwheels before vanishing in a wink.

The next several years, all Andrea and I talked about were ghosts, haunted houses, seeing auras and sensing other people’s emotions. High school was hard for both of us. Our junior year, Crystal ran away with a man she met online and then our social circle fell apart. Because of this, it was easy to dive headfirst into a different world as an easy escape.

When I hit college, I didn’t feel the need to pay attention to the supernatural and Andrea and I fell out of touch. But, I found myself knowing things I shouldn’t have known and feeling other people’s physical pain and emotions.

My last year of college, my parents moved to Ohio and I was looking for something to do the summer before I moved to Boulder. I also wanted to make sense of what I had been seeing and feeling for years. I hoped that a training would give me some answers. A ten-minute drive from the house was a Reiki center, so I decided to sign up for the Reiki I and II weekend classes. I got the training for fun, with no intention of practicing professionally, but 5 years later, after continuing to develop my skills in the Boulder area, I’m now using my intuition, empathy and Reiki skills to help people find healing and spiritual direction.

Photo credit to Heather (she/her) Hanson @msheathernoel.