What does that even mean and how did I become one?
Joseph Campbell once said that “if you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path.”
Okay, well then I am definitely on my path because I didn’t see this step until my foot was on it.
I am a registered clinical counsellor. I have a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and have assembled a semi-impressive inventory of other certifications and completed trainings (there was a time in my career that I would have felt absolutely compelled to provide you with the full list, presumably in chronological order). My education and experience helped me to create a solid foundation for my career. And for about fifteen years, this all worked perfectly well.
And then everything changed. It began with a nagging feeling that something was missing…and it ended with me pushing the ESC key on my more conventional (dare I say, “normal”) job titles.
I pushed the ESC key because I began to see things I hadn’t fully seen before…and I didn’t like what I saw. I began to see, amongst clients and practitioners, an unexplainable and unjustifiable separation between the body, mind and spirit (the latter of which, in most practices of conventional psychology, is still just a strange spiritual version of Fight Club in which we can have a theoretical awareness of spirit but no one is allowed to talk about it). I began to see automatic tendencies within my profession to pathologize every aspect of human behavior. I began to see how case formulations and consultations had essentially turned into comprehensive lists of presenting problems and issues. I began to see a very broken system that unsurprisingly focused its attention on what was broken in others. Cue the clients…one by one identifying their biggest underlying fear: “I think something is wrong with me.”
As Arundhati Roy so perfectly stated, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
For me, accountability meant finding a way to do the work that I love in a way that authentically resonates with who I am and what I believe. This meant I had to fully integrate all aspects of myself…and in order to effectively do that I had to be honest about what those aspects were. This process absolutely terrified my rational, academic mind…but at the same time felt as if I had just opened a cage door and given permission for my heart to fly.
As it turns out, what I felt was “missing” in my work was also a precise reflection of what was missing within myself (funny how that works). And what was missing was the acknowledgment of spirit. The realization that our lives have meaning beyond the superficial laundry lists of our personal qualities, identities, achievements, and perceived screw ups. The awareness of our experience as spiritual beings in physical form, here to learn and evolve into a higher state of awareness. The understanding that absolutely everything we experience is methodically and intricately designed to help us evolve into our best possible selves.
We are spiritual beings.
So let’s talk about it.
Because how do we feel when we don’t?
Anxious? Lost? Depressed? Stuck? Unfulfilled? Disconnected? Insecure? Uncertain? Traumatized? Grief stricken? Fearful? Powerless? In a state of resistance or despair? Do I need to continue?
These are not pathologies…these are shared conditions of the human experience. Each and every one of us, if we are fully and truly honest, have felt these feelings. It’s normal. It’s healthy. These feelings are only problematic when they persist. When we don’t know how to effectively move through them. When they manifest as unhealthy patterns or behaviours or self-limiting beliefs. When they feel attached to our sense of self. When they overwhelm us or inhibit us in any way from having the lives we truly want to have.
If you have the awareness that you are spirit…or you are open to this awareness…spiritual counselling can help you. Spiritual counselling integrates healing and intuitive therapies with more traditional forms of counselling and psychotherapy, and recognizes that the division between psychotherapy and spirituality in the western world is a cultural, not a natural, phenomenon.
In the western world we are so over programmed and deliberately distracted that it can be difficult to connect with anything but our own egos. We are conditioned to believe that what we think and what we do is more important than who we are or what we feel, and so most of us spend our lives chasing infinite goals and trying to collect reasons to prove that our existence matters. I’ve been there. And I never want to go back.
I have had an awareness of spirit since I was a small child, but like most of us with various intuitive gifts, I didn’t understand (and most often ignored) this connection until much later in life. Actually, until that “nagging feeling” I told you about earlier. Until that point, my own spiritual experiences seemed to be quite random and unsolicited. I actually had no idea it was possible to develop my awareness of spirit or heighten my ability to communicate with the unseen world, nor did I have any interest in doing so. Because as it turns out, we all just want to be loved and accepted…and let’s be honest, spiritual unfoldment and conscious transformation were not exactly tickets to either of those things in the circles I ran with.
When I realized how heavily I depended upon other people to be my source of love and acceptance, I immediately felt disempowered. And so I decided to love myself instead. Accept myself. Radical notion, I know. The funny thing is that for years I thought I knew what that meant. I thought I was doing it. Turns out, you can’t love or accept yourself if you only allow yourself to see the aspects that are easy to love and accept. You can’t just ignore the bits you don’t like. You can’t turn a blind eye to the things you wish were different or that you don’t understand. Because as much as I loved and accepted myself, what I realized was that it was pretty damn conditional. To really love and accept myself…free of condition or expectation…meant I would have to let my spiritual self out of the proverbial closet.
So here I am.
And that’s how I became a spiritual counsellor…I guess I finally became myself.
If my story resonates with you and you are looking for ways to realize your own intuitive power, overcome your current challenges, and create the life you truly want, I would love to work with you.