Since my earliest memories, I have connected to the world around me, especially other sentient beings through feeling. This doesn’t come quite the same way as perception through the senses, though on some occasions I will notice goosebumps, chills, smells, visuals, or sounds. It is difficult for me to describe as I cannot remember ever not being this way. I can’t tell you why I am as I am, or exactly where it comes from.
I didn’t realize that my way of experiencing the world was anything unique until I was an older adolescent. I thought everyone operated this way. Many do, but it seems to be less common than I had realized as a young person. I chose early on to not talk about this “thing” I seemed to carry because, simply put, people think you’re “full of it.”
As I got older, I began to understand that my experience was what would be called extra sensory perception. I believe all humans have these abilities, but because cultural/societal norms don’t encourage it, we under utilize them until they go dormant. Some of us are born with a higher propensity to rely upon and develop these skills, while others are connected to them through intense life experiences. For me, I think it was a bit of both. I was also brought up in a home where things of the supernatural or paranormal were discussed as being as real as you and I. Both of my grandmothers held these beliefs, and passed them on to us.
Much of my life, I have only privately used this extra sensory perception or intuition for myself. At times, I have dabbled with using it in service to others, however, I always stopped because of my strong desire to be a person who is taken seriously and feelings of imposter syndrome. I do not believe we each carry our unique traits accidentally, however, and it has been my experience that people sense in me the ability to hold space for their deepest stories, and to understand their personal experience whether or not I’ve experienced anything similar. People find me and share their story, ultimately moving on after they have had my witness.
My particular extra sensory abilities come in the form of claircognizance and clairsentience. You are probably familiar with the term clairvoyant which is often used interchangeably with the word “psychic.” Clairvoyance simply means “clear seeing.” People who are clairvoyant experience visions or daydreams which some feel help them know past, present, or future events.
I am not psychic. I do not feel any of my knowing is predictive of the future or even anything definitive about the past or present. My abilities are simply a tool I use to better my understanding of myself, others, situations, and experiences. I cannot assume any sort of predictive accuracy, but I can use the information that comes through to ask better questions of myself and others. It also happens often that I will receive validation of my knowing through various synchronicities that occur around the same time.
Claircognizance means “clear knowing.” This is something I experience as just knowing something before I have any actual, tangible confirmation. It’s beyond being an assumption or thinking something might be possible. As others do, I will often refer to these knowings as downloads.
Clairsentience means “clear feeling.” I imagine this being the most common extra sensory perception and I equate it closely with the aspect of our intuition we call “gut feeling.” For me, I believe this to be heightened sensitivity to energy. It allows you to feel residual and current energies in places and around objects, but also the particular energies involved in situations. On the individual level, I can sense the various energies a person carries. It’s very hard to put this experience into words as it is very sensory.
These types of perceptions combined, if I purposely focus with intention, allows me to receive channeled insights into the whys of a person’s energy dynamics. These insights come from The All that is in all as the all is in The All. I am merely sensing what is possible based upon the energies that have already been put into motion. Energy can be adjusted or manipulated at any time.
I find myself able to readily read the energies of the people who are around me, and especially so if they are interacting with me. However, I have also realized that I can tune into the energies of people from a distance. All I need is a name, the person’s request to be read, and a location is helpful, but not necessary.
Aside from using this perception to assist myself in navigating the world, situations, and interactions, I do not pay attention to it. I don’t randomly intrude upon the energies of individuals without permission beyond what I utilize to better communicate and understand others. It is more like the application of instinct.
When I began a committed yoga practice, and even more so when I began learning Kundalini Yoga in the early 2000s, I developed a deeper understanding of the energies I was perceiving in others by studying the chakra system. Through the practice of yoga, I explored how to work effectively with these energy centers in my body. This provided a scaffolding for me to organize the insights I was receiving and the sensations I was feeling, and then apply them to my life. I found I was better able to process my past and work through the present.
I studied the chakra system in a variety of contexts, including classes with Anodea Judith who wrote one of the first widely read modern comprehensive texts on the chakras called, Wheels of Life. I studied in other areas of interest like education, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, alternative spirituality, occult, art, literature, etc… I saw correlations with many other organizational structures of the human experience and process of spiritual growth. A few examples are Rudolph Steiner’s philosophy of The Stages of Life, and The Tree of Life in the esoteric practices of Jewish mysticism - Qabbalah. There are many more across spiritual, philosophical, and religious schools of thought throughout the world. In my opinion, this makes chakra energy an innate human understanding that surpasses language and cultures.
When I was studying in my 200 hour yoga teacher training program, we were shown how to use a pendulum to read the energies present in each of the bodily locations of the chakras. For the first time, I was seeing a sort of physical confirmation of what I could sense through my feelings. Later that same year, I received my Level 1 Reiki attunements, and began to use my focus to direct energy in a more purposeful way.
From there, I developed a system for using these skills to do readings for others. They are similar to the types of readings you receive from those who practice various forms of divination in that they can give insight into past and current states of affairs in your personal life, and at times act as a validation of things you might be feeling, but struggling to put into words or understand in depth. It can be like an ah-ha moment for many as suddenly their own intuition that they have been shrugging off has a witness. Sometimes having a layer of separation by another person or tool like a reading will allow us to acknowledge insights we’ve had for ourselves all along. This can aid us when we feel we are stuck or need encouragement in our personal growth process. It can also help us better communicate with therapists, counselors, and spiritual teachers.
One very important way that my system of reading chakras is different from divination is that it isn’t going to be any kind of future prediction. It also is not going to tell you about the energy of anyone else aside from how you are currently receiving and interacting with the energies around you. It is crucial to remember that the energy of our chakra system is always in flux and can be influenced from something as commonplace as going outside. So, even gaining awareness that energy isn’t moving well through a particular chakra can be enough to open to better flow. Given this state of constant flow, we must also understand that the experiences of our lives bring us into certain patterns of holding back and pushing through the energy of the chakras. To change these patterns requires the same type of diligence and repetition that established them in the first place. This revealing of our patterns, in my opinion, is the most helpful aspect of having a chakra reading or having them on a regular basis.
Once (and often before) I read the flow of energy through the chakra using the pendulum, I typically will receive channeled statements of insight around why the individual’s energy is not optimally moving, or words of encouragement or things to ponder. I believe these messages to come from the energies that flow through all created things. It is the energy we share. You can say that it is coming from my subconscious if you feel that is more accurate. That is not something I will dispute. For me, it doesn’t matter. All I know is that it is there, and I bring it out. I feel that is the same thing as it coming from The All. I always give the option of someone not receiving these messages as part of their reading. They can sometimes be intense and blunt. I write these insights into a special notebook by hand for remote readings. I speak them directly in person as I go.
This service has been one that has taken me a long time to ground into something that I am no longer self conscious about performing and receiving payment for. There are particular associations with the word “chakra” and even “divination,” or “readings” that I don’t desire a connection with at all. I am not looking to establish myself as any of the New Age identities that I feel harbor so much toxicity within our current alternative spiritual communities. I believe we all have gifts we were put here to share. This is one of mine. My intention is to simply share a process that has been helpful to me and to give back a little of what I have received.
To receive a reading from me, check out this link.
Kelli Hansel Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, weightlifter, yoga and movement instructor, chakra reader, and Reiki practitioner.