The Reluctant Medium

I’ve been keeping a secret.

Two years ago, I realized I was a medium. I could communicate with the spirits of people who’ve passed.

Out of nowhere, I could feel my deceased friend’s presence and hear him talking to me in my head. It was as if he was sharing his thinking and I was hearing it instead of mine.

He showed me the circumstances surrounding his death and then gave me messages for his family. He answered some of my questions. Then, just like that, he was gone.

Nothing about this experience was scary. It was surprising — and enlightening.

All my life, I’ve had instant and strong feelings about people, sometimes even before they ever said anything to me.  My mom would say that I was always a good judge of character.

I would meet people and instantly know things about them that I couldn’t possibly know. I could “hear” if what they were saying and what they were feeling were the same, and I would say extremely specific things about the person that I hadn’t personally experienced, but that I knew were true.

Of course, I thought all of this was normal and that everyone else could do that too.

I grew up in a conservative, Catholic family. From a young age, I was told that contacting spirits was wrong.

That stuck with me into adulthood. Even as I got into yoga and reiki, I didn’t believe in mediums. I didn’t understand why anyone would want to talk to the dead.

Then I heard from my friend.

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Two years ago, I took my first reiki training.

As a long-time yogi, I’d been aware of reiki as a form of energy healing, but I considered it a bit too “woo-woo” for me.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the class and stunned when I realized I actually felt something.

My partner for the class was already a reiki master but was taking the introductory class because she wanted to learn more by adopting a beginners’ mindset.

After working together for the first time, she sat back and said: “You’ve been a healer in many, many lifetimes.  When it’s the right time, you will hear, and you will see.”

I stared at her thinking, “OK, lady. This is the exact reason why I avoided this woo-woo nonsense.”

After taking the level two a month later, I got really sick for about three weeks — maybe the flu, or something.

I was congested and coughing. My ears were blocked. My stomach was upset. My skin broke out like I was back in middle school.

My acupuncturist had a different idea.

This wasn’t the flu, he said, but a full-body detox. I’d gone through a reiki attunement and this was a top side effect.

When I came out on the other side, everything started getting strange. I got ringing in my ears I thought was tinnitus. I had strange pains — in my right shoulder, the outside of my shoulder joint, my bicep connection or deep inside my collarbone. 

I couldn’t replicate the pain by lifting weights or doing yoga. It would come at random times and then pass just as quickly. I went to the chiropractor and acupuncturist, but neither could find a physical reason for the pain and neither could resolve it.

After about a month, I had a breakthrough.

I had a dream about a friend who had passed a year and half earlier. In the dream, he was trying to talk to me. I could see his mouth moving but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. In the dream, I was having the shoulder pain. When I woke up, I had the sharpest pain to date. I was so confused.

I explained what happened to my acupuncturist. He thought the pain was because fear was making me block a message. I was ready to try anything at that point to make the pain go away, so I obliged him. He put a couple of needles in me. I laid there and waited for something to happen. To my genuine surprise, after about five minutes, it did.

That’s when I felt my friend’s presence.

My acupuncturist came back and took the needles out and I basically ran home without telling anyone what had happened.


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Over the next few weeks, I debated if what I had experienced was real. Was I losing my mind? Did I imagine it?  Would anyone even believe me if I told them what happened?

The pain in my shoulder persisted. Finally, I went to see my reiki teacher. On the drive to the appointment, I was talking out loud to my friend’s spirit. I was in the bargaining stage. I said that if my teacher confirmed what my friend had told me, I would talk to his family like he had asked.

I told my teacher about the shoulder pain and asked him to see what he could pick up on. He gave me a more general but still accurate description of what was going on: a male spirit that was connected to me — more as a friend than a romantic interest — was trying to get a message across, and he was being so persistent because he was concerned about someone in the living world.

This was exactly what I needed to hear, and exactly what I didn’t want to hear. I knew I had to talk to my friend’s parents.

I was so nervous walking in. My palms were sweaty. I didn’t know where to start. I told them what had happened and what my friend has said. They were floored. We were all in disbelief.

Yet, it was what I needed to see.

That experience showed me how much closure these experiences can bring, and it opened my eyes to how healing this work can be.

After that, the floodgates opened. I was getting contacted by spirits left and right. I could feel them trying to talk to me while I was driving and teaching and at work meetings.

I didn’t know how to control it. I was overwhelmed, anxious and exhausted. What had started as a gift turned into a bit of an overwhelming mess.

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I needed help.

I learned a lot: how to control my abilities, how to tune in and tune out, and how to set strong boundaries. 

That was critical. It calmed me down and helped me feel more like I was running the show, rather than spirits inundating me.

Over time, and with a lot of practice, I learned how to better communicate and how to sit and read someone.

I’ve also taken reiki level three, Kundalini reiki certification, and reiki four. My gifts, suppressed for far too long, have only grown with practice and additional trainings.

With reiki, I’ve been able to zero in on specific issues I see in people’s energy. I’m not just seeing that a person has grief in her abdomen, but that she has a complicated relationship with food stemming from comments her mother made when she was a kid.

My mediumship has also come into play. I often feel spirits come in with my clients. Inevitably, I find that whatever a client is struggling with is tied to his or her relationship or perceived responsibility to the spirit that came in with them.

Doing mediumship readings is the scariest thing I’ve done.

I feel open and vulnerable. I get a ton of information and have no context or knowledge to know if what I’m saying makes any sense. It takes a lot of trust and ability to let go of the need to be right.

I would always feel a moment of pure panic before I started and then as soon as I settled in, I would see, or more likely hear, that it was connecting for the person. 

The past two years have been a wild ride, and I’ve been navigating all of it while working a full-time corporate job, part-time yoga-teaching jobs, and living with a boyfriend for the first time ever. So much change in such a short period of time.

So why am finally going public now?

Because I’m finally making the leap. After two years of doing energy healing and intuitive coaching on the side, I’ve decided to make it my full-time gig.

In future posts, I’ll answer some common questions people have about reiki, mediumship and tarot.  I’ll be using this blog as a way to catalogue my experience and make some of these complex, abstract ideas more understandable.

8 Replies to “The Reluctant Medium”

  1. It is so fantastic to see you are taking a leap to go with your true calling. I am currently in a transition period in my life as well and look forward to your continued posts through your journey. Scary but exciting all at the same time. All the best to you!

  2. I’ve always know there was something special about you and your energy since I met you. You have my love and support in this next phase of your journey.

  3. My mind is blown!! I’m so intrigued, amazed and overwhelmed. So strange because I was thinking about you yesterday out of the blue a vision of you as a tiny little girl maybe 2 years old at a Masterson family Xmas party. U were the cutest toddler just walking around with this box u kept putting onyour head. For some reason that memory just came right up and the overall feeling I had was love, how precious time is. I haven’t seen you in years except thru FB but I was telling my husband about that story. Anyway we must meet. I think you are so very brave and I would love to sit with you. How do I make that happen?

  4. Fascinating & Inspiring ! Cant wait to read more about your spiritual path! My neighbor/friend is a medium, who is also very good and has also made it a full-time job . If you need any personal medium connections to help guide you along, I will gladly send her contact info to you. 💫

  5. Wow, Sheila :)!! I am so excited for you! It’s weird I just scrolled down on Jackie’s page and their was your post. You are going to help so many people! Please let me know when and where you start your readings. Congratulations on finding your true path in life! Hope to see you soon at Jolly. Take care!!

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