I grew up in the Lutheran religion. It was the first organized community I learned to identify with due to my family’s choosing for me. I went to church every Sunday and even attended a Lutheran High School.
The problem was I hated going to church ever since I can remember. It was incredibly boring to me, and I just felt, well, numb as I sat through the sermon finding no connection to anything.
Growing up, I always knew there was probably a different spiritual path—a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves involving a search for meaning in life—but I didn’t know how to communicate this embarrassing realization to anyone. So every Sunday, I sucked it up for two hours and tried not to let my family or God down.
I remember often looking around during the singing portions of a church service and seeing people in the congregation close their eyes and raise their hands high while swaying to the music with big grins on their faces. I could see in their actions that they truly believed in something greater than themselves. They looked so happy, like their lives were filled with glorious purpose.
I was jealous. I wanted to feel that passion inside of me too. I wanted to believe in something big, something that made me stand up during the middle of a church sermon, close my eyes, pump my fist into the air and scream, “Yes, I believe!”
As hard as I tried, that feeling never happened for me, so I began to justify my jealousy by thinking the people in my church were crazy and I was the smart one for being skeptical.
As I went through high school and college, I still clung on to some Lutheran values, because they were all I knew, but for the most part I fell away from the church system with huge loads of guilt. I still had this gut feeling that there was a different path I should be taking and religion was not the answer.
I searched, but couldn’t find anyone who felt like me. All I felt was judgment and strange looks from my Lutheran friends when I tried to express my unhappiness to them. So I remained alone and deeply lost on my spiritual quest.
I decided to try a yoga class in 2008 during my junior year at the University of Missouri. I immediately fell in love with the practice. For the first time, I felt love and support from people for wanting to follow my own path.
I was so happy that I signed up to become a yoga instructor. I started to slowly wake up with passion in my life. That numb feeling I would get when sitting in church was dissolving. I was encouraged to explore myself on a deeper level and find contentment with not always having all the answers.
After a couple of years of practicing and teaching yoga, I was ready to expand my mind and see if there were other opportunities that might lead me closer to a spiritual experience and more meaningful answers about life. Even though I was feeling better and not quite as lost, I still didn’t like having nothing to believe in. Despite all the progress I had made, I was still scared to admit to people, even in the yoga world, that large amounts of unhappiness that crowded my mind, so I journeyed alone and in silence. The funny thing is, I ended up finding my true spiritual path in a way I would have never expected.
After attending college for four-and-a-half years, I graduated with a nursing degree and a soon-to-be-husband whom I met in nursing school. A great full time job presented itself immediately after I graduated as well. Due to the distraction of a new life with a partner and a new job, I put my spiritual quest on the back burner. I thought that I had found true happiness at last and maybe that was all I needed.
However, five years into my nursing career I started to feel that something was terribly wrong. I was living a life that on the surface looked amazing but underneath I was silently suffering. I couldn’t really identify yet where the problem was, but I knew it had something to do with my marriage and my job.
Yoga was always my go-to when I was feeling sad and lost, so I created an at-home studio and started teaching yoga classes while holding on to my hospital job for stability. I started to feel a little more fulfilled having something else to focus on besides my crumbling “I-got-married-too-young” marriage and a job I really didn’t connect with. I wanted to get more serious with creating a self-sustaining yoga business so I could permanently leave the nursing field forever and maybe find true purpose and happiness.
I elicited help from a business coach that I heard about through a friend because I had no idea what I was doing as a first-time entrepreneur. Luckily, she was also a holistic life coach and could help build my business while gently guiding me to seek a more authentic life than the one I was living.
One of my life coach’s suggestions was to talk with a psychic that she used herself. She advised that this psychic might provide answers about who my target client might be as I started the business.
I was hesitant about seeing a psychic, initially because I was under the impression that they worked closely with the devil, or at least that’s what I was taught back in the day during religion class.
I also remember watching horror movies where people went to see psychics on their foreign travels and wound up forever cursed because the devil now was inhabiting their bodies.
Oh, how my imagination could have run wild and convinced me not to go. However, I greatly trusted my coach’s opinion, and decided to open my mind, step outside my comfort zone and book an online Skype appointment with the psychic.
The psychic’s name was Reese and she seemed like a normal and nice human being. We chatted briefly through Skype and I told her a few things about myself and the reason for my quest. Reese told me my “spirit guides” were saying that something really big was going to happen for my business in three months. According to Erin Pavlina, spirit guides are “…incorporeal beings that are assigned to us before we are born that help nudge and guide us through life.”
I decided to let go of fear and skepticism and embrace some possibilities. I silently joked to myself that in three months I might get a book offer or, even better, my own reality TV show!
Unfortunately, the reality of the situation was that I was fired from my nursing job and started filing divorce papers the same week with my soon-to-be-ex husband…
This was not part of my plan. I knew I was extremely unhappy in my marriage and job but I wanted to be in charge of those decisions when I was ready to let go. I felt that life was pushing me in a direction that I wasn’t ready to take yet.
To escape from my crumbling world I bolted off to my parents’ vacation home in Florida for a couple of weeks to let the sun and the ocean heal me. I needed some space from life, but in reality I was broken and felt betrayed by this less than perfect world. I had hit rock bottom and was more lost than ever. Anger swelled inside of me, but I didn’t even now who to be mad at.
While staying in Florida, I saw an add for a psychic reading near my parent’s house at a rate of one dollar per minute. I was desperate for guidance and more life answers and I was curious to see what this psychic would say compared to the first one I saw back in November.
The physic’s name was Estefania and immediately she knew I had suffered a terrible tragedy in my life, but she reassured me. She said the pain and suffering was over and I was finally on the right journey. Apparently all of this was supposed to happen so that I could go out into the world and inspire thousands of people who have gone through similar situations.
I started to feel enlightened and encouraged by the slight glimmer of a life spilling over with raw passion and purpose that had been shown to me. Maybe this was the reason I was put on earth. I could help guide people to more authentic lives by encouraging them to seek out their own spiritual paths much like what I was trying to do. All I needed to do was follow my soul’s calling, but how was I going to do that?
Well, my ex-husband and I were supposed to go on a one year travel-around-the-world journey together after he got out of the military. We planned it for years during our marriage. I decided that now was the time to continue this journey alone. I would transition my yoga business to being online by blogging, filming inspirational videos and sharing my voice while letting myself heal from the divorce and job loss. This decision felt very good in my body.
I am now traveling the globe as a digital nomad, sharing my story with everyone I meet. I wake up most days and feel that strong sense of purpose balanced with passion. No longer are there days where I feel numb, lost and depressed.
My goal in life is to encourage people to step outside their comfort zone and find a spiritual existence that’s meaningful and without guilt. This may mean letting go of an organized religion, embracing a job that has ended suddenly or saying goodbye to a relationship that has served its purpose.
No life is perfect and we should never strive for that. It certainly is the quickest way to unhappiness and leading a fake existence.
I noticed that the more I share my fearless imperfect stories, the more people contact me in private wanting to share their sufferings as well. This gives me hope that there are others out there who are experiencing what I went through growing up and that I can help them by relating.
Enlightenment and all else aside, it hasn’t been easy. Some days are a roller coaster of emotions, pain and suffering, but I have seen several more psychics along the way. They all tell me the same thing: “Go out in the world and begin to spread your message. It will help individuals to become alive and present.” Every time I hear this message, it feels like God is speaking directly to me through another human and it’s a beautiful heart warming feeling.
It feels good to know my spirit guides are all on the same page and are still looking out for me, feeding me with life direction so I don’t get lost again.
We have our whole lives to find a meaningful spiritual path and odds are that it will happen in a way we never dreamed. Don’t fret it if hasn’t happened yet. Feel encouraged to go out into the world and embrace a journey that feels safe, authentic and passionate. Also don’t be afraid to try unconventional methods to connect with something greater than yourself. These methods like yoga, psychics and life coaches, helped me to understand myself and how I can serve others more than sitting through a church sermon ever has.
I will forever be grateful for my business coach’s advice that led to a psychic changing my spiritual journey!
Author: Krista Butler
Image: Open Door Photography
Editor: Travis May