BY Cady Kuzmich
Clifton Park — Local medium and intuitive consultant Kelly Ballard will be hosting “An evening of messages” at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park Friday evening September 9.
Tickets to the event cost $40 and all proceeds benefit the Walk for R.I.T.A., a Capital Region chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Your Clifton Park chatted with Ballard to learn about her process, what it means to be a medium and how she first discovered her unique abilities.
Q: How would you describe what you do?
A: A medium is someone who can engage with someone who has passed away. All mediums are psychic. A psychic is someone who uses their intuition in order to give you information about present day things. A medium uses intuition and their ability to reach spirits who have transitioned to the other side to provide insight and healing to their loved ones.
Q: How did you first realize you had this ability? Can you describe that moment?
A: This runs four generations back in my mom’s family. I’ve been working as a medium for 19 years now. It’s a very rewarding career to be able to help people in a time of grief and loss. When our souls leave our bodies we have a much longer journey ahead of us.
I was eight years old when I realized I had this ability. I grew up in a very small farming community in western New York near Buffalo. I got into some mischief and felt someone watching me. I saw my dad’s mom who had died when I was three years old clear as day, scowling and wagging her finger at me. It terrified me. A couple days later I had the opportunity to talk to my mom’s mom. I shared my experience with her. I was expecting her to say ‘Oh, Kelly… You’re full of it!” But she smiled and said ‘Well, why wouldn’t she be with you? We all have the ability to talk with our loved ones and she’s watching over you.” My grandma at the time was a very successful Avon lady. I grew up doing readings at two of my grandma’s Avon customers’ homes. That’s where I practiced my mediumship.
Q: Do you always do readings in person or do you do readings over the phone as well?
A : Today I have clients I read for all over the United States and internationally. The majority of clients are in person readings, though.
Q: Are you able to turn your ability off and ignore spirits when you aren’t working?
A: I teach mediumship and intuitive development. I think of it as a dimmer switch on a light. When you start to develop these abilities you can’t turn them off. There are very clear boundaries I have worked years to put in place. The moment I walk in the door I’m theirs until I leave. They usually respect that. There are moments when I go grocery shopping and I will wear headphones so I’m not distracted by spirits everywhere.
Q: Do you have any kids and if so, do they have this ability as well?
A: Yes, I have two children –seven years old and nine years old. Both of them have seen and heard spirits. We’ve made it pretty normal. I try to make this as normal as possible for them. They know not everyone understands or believes in what mommy does. I think it’s helped to give them a healthy understanding of grief, death and dying.
Q: How do you deal with people’s apprehension?
A: I know not everybody is going to believe in what I do. A psychology professor came to me for a reading years ago. He was a doubting Thomas — very skeptical. I provided some information for him that removed all doubt from his mind.
Q: Can you tell me about your experience working with other mediums?
A: I’ve probably taught 500 or 600 people over the last 10 years. I believe that a lot of it is working with yourself and working with your own instincts. The more you learn, the more you grow, the more open you are. It’s about validating the continuation of life.
Q: What can people expect from events like the one in Clifton Park?
A: I start out talking about mediumship. I let them know ways that their loved ones are trying to get in touch. I’ll talk to them about the different ways spirits come through to give us information. I stand in front of a group of people and I look for the spirits who are the loudest. I go to their living loved one and I pass along messages from their loved one. I try to access as many people as possible.