Back to School…Divinity Calling

My quest to find a path of authentic service that supports the personal and cultural transformation that I feel is necessary for the healing of our world has lead me away from business…and towards the ministry.

And therefore, back to school.

I shifted out of coaching as my full time focus in 2014 so I could loosen the grip of the commodified business relationship and hopefully free up my energy to be more useful in the healing of the world. I didn’t know what that was going to look like. Although I felt sure that it was necessary for me to pull out of the business model it felt crazy and scary and terribly sad to turn away from the work that I loved doing and felt so passionately about. And it has not been easy to submit myself to working a full-time J-O-B to pay the bills since then. These last four years have been such a challenging journey of letting go and making space for the new…of reflecting and distilling and seeking and surrendering.

I have been asking for guidance every step of the way and paying close attention.

The very first gift that the Universe offered me on this journey was the opportunity to become a student of Martin Prechtel at his unique and life changing school, Bolad’s Kitchen. My family and I had the indescribable honor and pleasure of being able to study with him for two years. What we learned there transformed our souls and broke open our minds to understand the world as a much more complex, beautiful and living expression of preciousness than I could have ever previously imagined.

Martin taught us (among many other intriguing and delicious details of the world) about the roots and origins of the Indo-European dominant society we find ourselves in today. He guided us in understanding where we come from so we could understand why the world is the way it is today and how we might respond to it in a way that cultivates beauty, reconnection, reciprocity with the Holy Wild and the possibility of a viable culture for those who may come after us (gods willing).

As we began our studies at Bolad’s Kitchen I had this sneaking suspicion that they were going to lead me back to my own personal roots in some way…that I would have to return to where I had come from in order to fulfill my mission of service. It kind of freaked me out because I was attached to the life I had created, which happened to be quite far removed from the life of my childhood.

In the midst of our time studying with Martin we had a major upheaval in our personal lives. The emerging needs of our family caused us to have to move quite unexpectedly away from the community in Colorado that I had been devoted to for nearly 15 years. This shook me even deeper than the shift away from coaching. I thought I was going to live in that community for the rest of my life. I arrived there when I was 23 and had poured everything I had into it, investing my hopes and dreams and love and attention and hard work and vision into what I thought was a lifelong relationship with place…mountains, water, plants, trees, animal relatives and the human community.

Set adrift, newly married, without career or home, the path beneath my feet was unclear to me.

This was a time of great soul searching and uncertainty for me. I knew I had to make decisions about my future and career path that would allow me to meet the growing needs of my family. I was humbled, kind of broken down, and trying to be practical. I knew I would have to go back to school for something. I thought teaching would be my best bet. But my spirit resisted like a bucking bronco every time I envisioned myself going down that path.

This is when the Heart Centered Manifestation tools that I had curated for my clients over the years kicked in to help me through. Using these tools I tapped into the feelings and the qualities of the yearning that arose from my heart. I allowed that yearning to speak to me and to breathe a bit, without having to rush to a conclusion. I dreamt on it and journaled on it. And then something surprising emerged.

A calling to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry.

As I leaned into my yearning to serve, I knew I wanted to create a path that would allow me to collaborate with others in service of the world. I wanted a platform to raise up issues of social and environmental justice and to promote radical cultural transformation. But I also wanted to nurture the personal. I wanted to care for individuals and families in the ordinary struggles and joys of their lives, as I had done for years through my coaching practice and in my beloved Colorado community. I wanted to dive in to the real work of navigating the beauty and precariousness of these precious lives we’re given with a group of kind hearted, questioning people.

And right there from the midst of this personal and cultural transformation heartstorm, I remembered the fleeting aspiration I had when I was 18 years old to one day become a UU minister.  It made perfect sense. It all fit in…the personal and the collective…the radical and the spiritual…the structure and the freedom. And it had that subtle ironic humor that so often comes with direct guidance from the Divine.

I was raised as a Unitarian Universalist. This path would be a return to my roots. The justice oriented values and the inclusive respect of all spiritual paths that I had learned from the UU church had always guided my heart and my dedication to the world. And even as my own spiritual journey had led me beyond the church walls and more deeply into various earth-based practices, the sense of community I experienced in my childhood congregation was always alive in me.

All of sudden I was able to envision a path in which I could serve people, Spirit and planet more holistically and authentically than I had been able to before.

Moving towards this goal is going to take several years of hard work and academic dedication. I’m working up to it in stages. This past year, as my family and I settled in to our new home in the city, I participated in a year-long facilitator development program for the Work That Reconnects. This felt like the perfect preamble to the academic journey ahead. The skills and perspectives cultivated through this program will weave into the UU ministry with ease.

These next two years will be dedicated to preparing myself to apply to the Masters of Divinity program at Starr King School for the Ministry, as I save money for tuition and reactivate my academic chops.

During this coming school year (2018-19) I’ll be engaged in an online program called Speak the Spark: Sacred Storytelling for a New Paradigm, facilitated by Leah Lamb. This learning experience promises to be a delicious feast for the heart and mind, with an incredible line up of master teachers from different cultural perspectives that will guide us in the art of storytelling as a vehicle for social change. I’ll also be moving through the Harvard EdX series of courses in Religious Literacy: Traditions and Scriptures. The courses in this series dive into the cultural and spiritual study of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. Once I’ve completed these courses I’ll return to further my studies of earth-based and indigenous spiritual traditions and continue my pursuit of understanding oppression and the cultural transformation necessary to dismantle and heal from it.

I’m sharing all of this with you in a blog post to anchor and activate this plan.

My intention is to regularly post about what I am learning in order to share the process of my studies with anyone that cares to follow along or read a little here and there. I feel that this practice will help me track my progress and stay accountable to my plan. It will also allow me to practice sharing what I’m learning and honing my transformational communication skills. And hopefully it will provide some content that may be of interested to some of you along the way.

If you read my posts I would love to hear from you in the comments below. It will help keep my spirits up, encourage me along the way and it will be another special opportunity for connection.

All Blessings!!




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