Reading My Red

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

I refused to leave Sedona, Arizona, home to a "spiritual vortex," without visiting at least one of the city's renowned psychics. Sharing my spirited lust for travel, my mom brought my sisters and me to "Sedona Center for the New Age," where I was convinced we would experience self-revelation.

Noting that we were first-timers, the shop owner recommended we have our auras read, a process involving a sensor that detects a person's energy field through her hands and displays it as a colorful cloud.

My sister Elise was read first. The psychic smiled, explaining that her orange and yellow aura proved her to be gregarious, witty, and independent. She could sense that Elise's best friend was a boy in her carpool and that she loved horses – eerily accurate. Lizzy volunteered next, her aura a mix of lime green and blue. Apart from the arbitrary insight that Lizzy's spirit animal was an armadillo (we joke about it to this day), the psychic's analysis of her as a serene friend, determined scholar, and stubborn athlete was spot-on.

When my turn came, I drifted into the dimly-lit room, placed my hands on the glowing sensor, and listened to the printer spit out what I believed was my destiny. The psychic scrutinized the image, then urgently...

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