This my reflection of my whole life in terms of spirituality (44 years – hard to summarise), a great place to start to get the background of my life.
Spiritual Experiences – The Early Years
My family didn’t talk about spirituality, we did go to church for a few years when I was young but I don’t remember my parents praying or talking about God.
These are my very early spiritual memories. I can’t give too much context to them or remember much else about them. I am not sure I would have ever even thought of them as spiritual experiences but I feel they are significant in my spiritual journey as the memories are still very clear to me even though I must have been very young. There is one common theme in all of them a bright UV light.
I am very young and standing in my parents room, I am in their doorway looking out their windows (two walls of their room were glass very large glass windows) all I can see is a very very bright white UV light that is edged with a very warm bright golden light, I feel a warm and calm presence. I know this to be around the time my mum had a stillborn baby called Timothy, I feel like I have come into look at the empty cot. This means I would have been around 2 years old.
I am guessing I am around 4 years old. I am standing on the driveway of our house. I am looking down the driveway and again the sky doesn’t look like it normally does, there is only a very intense bright white golden light that is illuminating everything. I feel like I’m somehow alone on the earth, like I am the only one there but it does not frighten me, there is a calm and loving presence.
I am 6 years old waiting at my primary school with my older sister at the bottom of a pathway and we are waiting to be picked up. It is the day of my Nana’s funeral. Its the same white light in the sky. I don’t feel like I am alone but I can see the light.
This one is very clear but I can’t place the age or time. I feel like I didn’t want to go to school that day and Mum has let me stay home. I am looking out the window of our front lounge and I get the sense that I am all alone on the earth again. There is the bright white light but this time also a rainbow light which is highlighting a patch of our front lawn.
When thinking about the sense of being all alone on the earth, it really is not a frightening feeling, its like I am going to a place on earth that has no people but the one with the people still exists.
The Christian Years
When I was 11 and I went to an Easter camp run by a Christian organisation. My parents were not particularly religious (while we had attended church when I was quite young). Over the camp I was curious around what one of the pastors was saying about Jesus but was not particularly engaged. On Easter Sunday though while in the singing I felt this presence come over me, I felt this incredible feeling inside me and I began to cry. It was an incredibly powerful experience, I felt complete unconditional love in a way that is hard to describe. I kept asking my friends if they had felt it but none of them had and I couldn’t understand it.
I went back home and my life resumed as before. I tried to read my bible and pray to an unknown far away God but all I really wanted was that connection and experience of unconditional love which didn’t arrive. Over the next few years I would find myself at other Christian events – looking for this experience to repeat. If it happened in a Christian setting then why wasn’t it happening again? After a few years I stopped thinking too much about it. I did however continue to have a sense of not belonging, like something was missing, a feeling that had been with me all my life.
This feeling was how I would define my late teen years – not belonging. I did have a friend group but felt a loneliness and feeling of not fitting in. I felt a lot of pressure to not disappoint people but always would anyway. It was an unhappy time in my life and there was a lot of conflict with my parents. I did well academically and started University but I had a deep questioning around what was the point of it all, everything seemed so meaningless. We were all just following this path to nowhere and nobody seemed to be bothered by it or even questioning of it. I felt this tension between conforming to please my parents and this urge to do the exact opposite. It was when I started drinking alcohol – a welcome escape from my reality. I became friends with a group of people who were feeling the same way and I enjoyed feeling like I belonged and people understood me. However, I began to feel a darkness inside me, like I wanted to be away from this lifestyle but my need to belong and fit in held me there.
Over time I again began to question what was the point of my new lifestyle – rebelling and partying and dropping out of university had fulfilled a need in me but overtime it was also taking more than it was giving. I felt a need to get away from this new community – again feeling like I was disappointing people.
I began to sense there was a spiritual side of life that I wanted to discover – I went to psychic mediums but just didn’t know what it was I was looking for. My younger sister had started going to a charismatic church in the city which was attracting a large and ever growing community of young people. I decided to go along. I didn’t immediately feel that same experience I had when I was younger but I did see a group of people who were fun to be around and something was calling me here. I guess on reflection this was also a good way to escape from the lifestyle I wasn’t enjoying but kept going back to . Hey guys I cant come and drink with you as I’m a Christian now! And yes, I do think you are going to hell.
As I continued to go to Church the experience I had at the camp when I was 11 began to return. When I was singing worships songs or praying by myself I felt a real tangible presence – a heat, a powerful energy that would cause me to shake, laugh and cry. This experience was all happening in the Christian context so my logical assumption was then everything that I am being told or read about in Christian books must be true – I am a sinner and need to be saved, the bible is real, you are bad if you do this list of things, your purpose in life is to live this truth so that others who are sinners can find this path too.
I full heartily embraced it and went hard out for Jesus – street evangelising, sharing my “testimony”, worshipping, praying, receiving visions and words from God. I committed to this cause for the next 6 years of my life. When I was 22 I left my graduate marketing role to work at the church running programs for young adolescents. I was so convinced that God had called me to do this, that I was special and that the world needed me to be doing this. However, that year I gave all my time to the church but I began to feel a disillusionment with it all. Behind the scenes of church wasn’t as idealistic as I had imagined.
I began to feel like what the church was teaching was not aligned with what I believed. I had put a lot of conditions around how I needed to be living, I needed to please God thru service and had become very judgmental of myself and other people. It was hard work. I also began to feel like God was letting me down – I was working so hard for him and had given up so much – why were things not working out how I had planned? I left the church community in my early twenties feeling very burned out. I carried a lot of regret around how I had got it all wrong – the harsh judgement of people and telling them what to do and how they should live was not aligned with the unconditional love experiences that had drawn me into the Christian community.
Nonetheless, I knew my spiritual experiences had been and were real, when I was singing and praying to God I felt an incredible peace and sense of unconditional love. I had experienced genuine emotional healing in my life. I couldn’t reconcile the experiences though with the messaging of the church. If these experiences had happened in a Christian context then surely they can only be about the Christian God. So I left both my experiences and the church and shut the door hard on a spiritual life in any form, never wanting to be reminded of it again.
I travelled overseas where nobody had known me as a Christian and I felt completely liberated to be myself. I would do everything I could to never have to tell people that I had been so involved in the Christian church, I felt like I had really been brainwashed and had finally woken up. It was so great to be free to do what I wanted without judgement.
The wandering years
Thru my mid-20s to late 20s I travelled Europe and had a lot of fun. I had my first serious relationship which on ending found me living in Melbourne. Here I meet my now husband, we travelled South and Central America for 6 months before living in Amsterdam (where he was from) for 3 years. We had our first son a year later moved back to NZ.
During this time I don’t recall having much interest or calling into spiritual life. Think I had well and truly closed off a lot of my spiritual senses as I associated it all with the Christian church and my experience there. Plus I was happy and didn’t feel a need to seek out anything else. I had started to achieve the things I had wanted – marriage and children.
Starting again in NZ was hard – my husband knew nobody and it wasn’t that easy to just start back with old friendships has everybody had changed and so in a way I was starting again too. We had another child – this time a daughter. When you are parenting a new born and a two year old they are the centre of your life, every ounce of your energy goes into keeping them alive and thriving. Neither of them were great sleepers so the tiredness is also overwhelming.
Then we found ourselves in a legal battle with our tenants in Amsterdam. The details are not that important but the laws in The Netherlands are very much in favor of our tenant – who had decided to take advantage of those laws at our expense. This caused us a lot of anxiety and stress. We were constantly wondering what the outcome would be – potentially indefinitely stuck with a tenant who only had to pay a 1/3 of what our mortgage was costing us. With me on maternity leave we were a one income household which put us under a lot financial uncertainty. This sent my husband into a deep depression. There I was at home with a two year old, a new born and depressed husband. I felt very alone.
I had a desire to be having a connection with something but not knowing what it was. I began to call out to God for help but I was unsure about who God was. I felt in this dark time that was all I knew what do. I did rejoin a Church wondering if I had got it wrong but again I felt this wasn’t for me.
I began to explore meditation and started listening to podcasts from Derek Rydall. I started to have visions or senses about things. One memorable one that sticks with me is that after a year of us embattled with our tenant in Amsterdam I saw a vision of a very large light being which I believe was an angel standing at the door of our apartment and I got a deep sense of peace about the situation. Within days we received an email saying the tenant was moving out.
I started to follow the program by Derek Rydall called Emergence. It is centered around us having a life purpose which is like a seed inside us, when the conditions are right the seed will grow. I began to understand that I was the one that was not creating conditions for the things I wanted in my life. How my life was playing out was being directed by me.
While being a very intelligent women who graduated top of her class at university I always felt like I was never good enough. While I felt I was capable of it and desired it, I didn’t feel like I would ever be able to have a corporate management role as I had spent my twenties travelling and in administration roles. Felt like I had missed the career boat.
I began to use Derek Rydall’s visioning strategies and also started to address my limiting beliefs and started to see real change in my life. I had been hired as a part-time administrator but after starting this inner work my manager said to me I realise you are actually offering far more value to this organisation than as an administrator and I would l like to offer you significantly more money and change your job title to Business Manager. This gave me a lot of confidence in the strategies I was using and motivated me to continue with the meditations and visioning.
Once I began to have confidence in myself, I had a desire to earn the same as my husband so that he would not feel the burden of having to carry the financial load for my family (his salary was $60k more than mine a year). I saw a job advertised and immediately knew that I would get it. When they asked me what I wanted to get paid I gave the salary my husband was on and got the job. From here I further built my career and went on to be a Business Services Manager in a medium sized corporate firm in NZ.
Within 4 years I had gone from part-time administrator at a small not for profit to a Business Services Manager for a corporate professional services firm! Just from changing the way I thought about it myself.
So surely that means happily ever after – I had achieved all the things that were meant to make me satisfied and fulfilled – marriage, children, a home, money and a career!
Burn out of 2021
The cracks began to show! 2020 was not an easy year for lots of people but I was put under immense pressure at work during lockdown trying to migrate financial systems with very little support and very little appreciation from the company I worked for. The owner of the company was also negotiating the sale of the company with some of my colleagues so what can I say but politics, politics, politics.
My husband and I were not getting on. We were co-existing in the same house, just trying to get along for the sake of the children. I welcomed opportunities to be away with friends and I think he welcomed them too.
On reflection I had abandoned all my usual self care tools – exercising and meditating. I returned back to my old friend alcohol. Most nights I was drinking a bottle of wine, as soon as I got home from work all I could think about was what wine was in the fridge. The days were just trying to push thru and get to the end. I found very little pleasure in life.
I realized I wanted to change as I knew I wasn’t happy and did have an awareness that I could change my life but motivation and energy to change was low. I thought if I changed my job and had my own company I would be happier. So I negotiated to reduce my hours at work and started my own consulting business.
It gave me some sense of satisfaction that I was able to achieve this and ended up with a few clients. However, it didn’t bring the fulfillment i was looking for.
This brings us into 2021. I started to experience anxiety and depression, while I had known the feeling of both I had never experienced this before. I knew enough about mental health to know I needed to get help. I was crying alot and yelling alot, I had lost touch with who I was, some days I didn’t even feel like I was in control of my own body.
After a particularly bad night of drinking by myself in our bedroom I got up and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked terrible, my skin was red and blotchy and my eyes were very dark. I knew then I needed to change. I also felt a change in me, like I knew that the pretending had to stop, it was in that moment that I realized I deeply desired to be spiritual connected and I needed to find out how.
The next morning I started the search to find a psychotherapist to help me, which is not that easy as they are all fully booked. I was also extremely scarded and nervous about what to say and how to ask for help. I eventually found one who could see me in a few weeks.
When the session arrived I walked into her office and she asked me how I was and why I was here. I began to shake and cry and said “My life is a mess, I don’t want to be a business manager but I feel stuck”. She asked what do you want to be and I just blurted out “A spiritual healer but I don’t even know what that means”. I am not even really sure where that came from, it was like I knew that was the way my life needed to go but I didn’t know what I even meant.
My next blog posts are going to be my experiences of finding myself again and my journey to becoming an energy healer. I want to inspire people with ordinary lives like mine who feel a soul calling that they have another purpose in this life to be inspired that they too can find it and start being who they long to be.