Today, I'm a spiritual energy and manifestation coach, medium, and speaker. So, questions come to me frequently about religion and spirituality. In this article I will share my own religious and spiritual journey, and perhaps you will gain more clarity on your own path.
I grew up inside the Catholic church. I was baptized by my grandfather on my mother's side. He also gave me my first communion. You see, my grandfather was a deacon of our local Catholic church. As I learned in later years before he died of brain cancer, he truly believed that coming to the church saved his life in many ways.
I attended church with my parents and younger brother every Sunday. We would even sometimes go on Saturday's and sleep in on Sunday. I remember Christmas masses, Easters, CCD. My parents taught CCD and hosted adult groups in our home from our church. We attended spaghetti dinners. My favorite memory of church was singing the songs. I loved the music.
One day, that all abruptly ended.
When I was around ten years old, my mom came to me and told me we weren't going to church anymore. We weren't going back to St. John's. I wasn't sure what to think. She told me it was because my grandma was leaving my grandpa to be in a relationship with her good friend, who I knew very well. Who was a woman. And gay people were not welcome inside the church, so we wouldn't be going anymore. Instead, we would find a new church.
That was that.
So, we did eventually find a new church. It was about a 60min drive away, and it was called Unity (not to be confused with Unitarian- Unity is a Christian non-denominational church). Grandma and her partner went to this church as well.
I remember going and not knowing any of the songs. Not knowing the prayers. Not knowing any of the people. I remember being angry. Not at anyone in particular, just angry that now I had to be stretched into something unfamiliar and outside my comfort zone. The songs weren't the same. I didn't like singing them as much.
We didn't go to church every Sunday anymore. We started going every other week, then once a month, then down to hardly at all. The drive was really long... our community wasn't the same. I was okay with it.
My mom started doing spiritual lessons inside our home, instead. We learned about The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. We started discussing different books. We would look at spiritual lesson cards every day and have a conversation about what it meant. My brother and I would listen and began to see things through a spiritual lens for the first time- where God was in our every day life and not a big building that we visited once a week.
I lived many years in this space. Wanting to know God, but doing it on my own or with my mom. It followed me into college, and even after. I met a man who grew up with his mom teaching him spiritual lessons inside his home. He didn't want to attend church- but he enjoyed learning about different religions and was open minded about concepts I had grown to live by. I knew how rare this was- and was deeply content knowing he was a man I could speak to about my beliefs and would not be judged.
Then I started on my paying off student loans journey. And I encountered Dave Ramsey- a very religious, traditional, and conservative teacher. Even though I didn't agree with all his views, I was drawn to how he lived, which was by his faith. I started to become more interested in spirituality again. I began to miss church. My then fiancé and I attended a local Financial Peace University class at a start-up church. The people were so kind and warm. We had fun chatting with them after class. But, again, the drive was long- over 60min one way. And we knew that our beliefs were a little too radical for a traditional church. So, I blessed them and thanked them and sent it out into the universe that we wanted a community closer to home that was more aligned with our values and faith.
Then I saw a Unity church was nearby. I couldn't resist the urge any longer- so I called my mom and asked her to go with me. She obliged.
We walked into the community center to find a small congregation of probably no more than 30 people, 15 which attended regularly.
We sat down and waited to see what this church was like. And on came Renee. I heard her speak and my soul cheered. FINALLY. I had found a spiritual leader who spoke to my soul. Her message was loving. It was new. It was fresh. I was so alive after the first Sunday- I planned to attend the next Sunday.
Soon, my husband was joining me. And my dad. And my brother. We all began to go together and listen to Renee. We met others and made some friends. It was going so well!
I began to chat with Renee outside of church, and attended programs she put on at her home. I began to sense that not all was well with this particular church. Renee eventually did leave, because of the church asking her to continue staying on at a certain monthly salary. The salary was not enough to live on, and Renee had to make the decision to leave.
Renee came to me and told me she had an idea. A vision. Of a non-profit organization that wasn't a church, but a spiritual center. We got others together, and created a Spiritual Center for Conscious Living: A local center for those who were looking for a connection with God without rules or conditions. Meaning they could attend our center no matter their religion, sexuality, and so on. All we asked is attendees be open-minded and respectful of our beliefs.
We started this center because we understand that religion has created rules and doctrine that can make it challenging to stay, whether it's rules about who you can marry, who you can divorce, what you can believe, and who or what you have to listen to. But, we knew there's something beautiful and powerful about community, celebrating faith, and love. So we wanted to create a center without the doctrine but with the love and faith. This center has brought me and my family so much joy in the past year. We have also grown a lot in this process.
Is our center perfect? GOODNESS, NO. Is my spiritual business perfect?! Um, no. Whenever humans try to understand spirit and incorporate it - there will be imperfection. We are not meant to be perfect. But we can lead with compassion, acceptance, and love. We can strive to be more God-like.
So whatever your experience, your position on religion, or your faith, know this: As long as you are connecting to your higher power and your faith ("FAITH= For Allowing In The How"- Michaela Pay), you are walking among your angels. But you sometimes have to take yourself out of it (i.e., ego) to see if you're truly living your truth, or just going through the motions.
Many people blindly follow and never question their pastors, leaders, ministers, etc. We are not made to follow. We are made to find our own truth, no matter how winding that road may be.
So be your own spiritual leader; your own oracle. Find your own truth. And take the road where it leads- whether it's to church, out of church, to a medium, away from a medium... you get the idea.
Your road is yours and yours alone. So walk it, and walk it with angels.
So much love,
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