I'm not sure about you, but my 2013 has been full of change—not only in my personal life, but also in the lives of people I love and care about. We've been met with new jobs, the end of romantic relationships and the beginning of new ones, makeovers and a-ha moments prompted by wine-fueled self-reflection.

It's strange for me, in particular, after years of what felt like stagnation in my personal life. There's a charge in the air that led me to ask the universe a simple yet important question: What the fuck is going on?

Naturally, being a logical and intelligent woman who picks apart every aspect of her life with a precision that rivals a serial killer's carving prowess, I sought answers. I'm never happy with things just being good or bad. My mental OCD requires me to understand why they are that way. Even when I try to be cool and nonchalant about something, I go into a long-winded analysis of why, which is also why I'm currently meandering instead of getting to the good bits. Blame it on all the Dawson's Creek and My So-Called Life episodes I've watched since the 1990s.

I decided to go to an alternative source to shed light on some of these changes: I went to Controversial Bookstore.

The North Park shop's been in business since the early 1960s, selling literature on spiritual enlightenment and other new-age stuff that gives hippies a chubby. They also hold daily psychic readings, spirit and energy healings, mediumship workshops and more.

I set up an appointment to see an energy healer to clear out all the cobwebs collecting bad vibes in my inner being and provide the answers I sought. I expected to meet a grayhaired hippie in a peasant top who dances like she's catching moonbeams and openly discusses her saggy-balls lovers.

Instead, I was greeted by Kathryn Schiff, who's like the cool, younger mom at a youth soccer game who won't get mad if you sneak a beer. She just happens to also be strangely and magically connected to the spirit world.

Schiff explained that she'd use spirit guides for my healing, which are beings that follow you all your life. You can call upon them for anything, whether it's to locate a long-lost love or a good parking spot at the mall. They'll send you the answer through a message. You just have to be open to receiving it.

She instructed me to sit up straight, place my feet square on the floor without crossing my legs and to breathe deeply. With her eyes closed, she made fluid waves of her hands, yawned incessantly to release energy and made contact.

Apparently, I have six guides, and Schiff was able to identify each of them: my grandmother (who I already knew follows me around), a guardian angel named Raphael (who, when asked, confirmed the correct spelling of his name), a teenage kid (which explains my affinity for fart jokes), an older man with whom I shared multiple past lives and a saint named Maria. I googled St. Maria and found out she was a young Italian girl who was stabbed 14 times amid an attempted rape in 1902. She was canonized on June 24, 1950. My birthday is June 25. Do what you will with that information.

Through my spirit guides, Schiff was able to pinpoint which of my chakras needed healing. Chakras are vital points in our bodies that are centers of specific forces. We have seven of them, and when one is in need of repair, a psychic like Schiff sees them light up. My second and fifth chakras, which pertain to my creative and emotional space and my will and communication, respectively, were looking stank (I believe that's a genuine medical term), so she cleared them out. And strangely enough, I felt lighter.

She also explained that I was at the end of a life cycle, which is why so many things were changing around me. Everything is about to start shifting. I don't need to be prepared, just aware.

A few days later, I spoke with Schiff over the phone, and she gave me a past-life reading that she assured would give me some answers.

She read my energy, which she said was radiating hot pink and magenta. I looked down at my hot pink t-shirt and magenta socks with wide eyes and then looked out my window to see if she was peeping from behind my lemon tree. She wasn't.

Schiff called upon a past incarnation that would have the best information for me to use in this lifetime.

"I see you belly dancing on a stage with a bunch of other girls."


Switch "belly dancing" for "twerking" and she could've been describing a drunken Saturday night with my girlfriends. But, no, this version of Alex was wiggling and jiggling for the boys in a 1400s-era Middle Eastern palace.

Upon further inspection, Schiff found that the past me was a spy delivering secret letters between a girl held captive in the palace and her family and conspiring to free her. Holy shit! What a badass!

But what does this mean? 

Schiff says that past me was telling me that I have a talent for communication and connecting people that I'm going to use for greater importance in my coming life cycle. I just need to find and trust my voice and not be afraid to start something new. Things are changing simply because it's time they did, and I have to use my innate skills to navigate through those changes and better myself.

I've decided to embrace this advice from past me. I figure anyone who can body roll in a jeweled top and vanquish evil, kidnapping tyrants knows what she's talking about.

Write to alexz@sdcitybeat.com. You can also bug her on Twitter.


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