Building Your Own Authentic Spiritual Life – Why It Requires Bravery Today

Part of the series "Spirituality and Success Today"

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When I was a child, I was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith, but truthfully speaking, what I heard in church and what I experienced all around me when I was in church, Greek school, or Sunday school, felt very “off” to me somehow. Even though I was very little, I had a highly attuned radar as to what felt true to me, and what felt wrong and hurtful. And the experiences I had in church and how I saw people behave to each other didn’t fill me or connect  me with love and inspiration – quite the opposite.

As I matured, I started developing my own ideas about how a loving “God” would speak and behave – and it was clear that my own definition was very different from the dogma I had been taught and the rigid beliefs I was exposed to. Very different indeed.

I didn’t know how to process those differences, and I thought to myself “who am I to think I know what a loving God would do and say?” so I swept the idea of having a spiritual life under the carpet for many years. I just couldn’t reconcile my own heart’s longings for more love, compassion, connection, forgiveness and inclusiveness in the world, with everything I was seeing around me that was being touted as religion.

I even had the amazing experience of singing for a year in NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral choir, as a non-Catholic. While I’m grateful for the experience, I saw once again first-hand how exclusionary and prejudicial organized religion can be. I remember one  woman in the choir leaning over to me and whispering in a critical tone “We don’t cross ourselves like that here,” referring to my Greek Orthodox way of doing the sign of the cross. Even in my 20’s I knew that a truly loving God wouldn’t care at all how you cross yourself.

Then something happened that altered my life and thinking dramatically. I was ejected from my corporate life at age 41 (laid off in a brutal way that crushed me, in the days following 9/11), and like so many of us who had a huge wakeup call after the tragedies of 9/11, something cracked open in me that couldn’t be ignored. I suddenly and desperately wanted to connect from a spiritual place with others, and to build more of a spiritual life that felt right to me. And suddenly I was committed to do it.

But I faltered in that process as well, trying on different paths that still left me feeling either hurt or disillusioned, or that I had not quite yet found my spiritual truth or “home.” So I kept exploring, researching and trying on new and older spiritual teachings and practices, to see if they felt right, good, loving and life-affirming to me personally.

During my time of professional transformation when I left corporate life and was studying to be a marriage and family therapist and coach, my heart and spirit opened wider than ever before, working with people who had been through so much trauma, pain, abuse and cruelty in their lives. I worked one weekend with first responders who’d had served in 9/11 and witnessed the unspeakable and were struggling in themselves and their relationships to process the trauma. And I felt more love, admiration and compassion for others than I’d literally ever experienced in my entire life. I still cry when I think of it. Something shifted, and I started relating to people differently – from a deep love in my heart and soul, not from my head.

Then I found the books of Neale Donald Walsch – Conversations with God – and said, “Yes! Finally! These are messages that I can wrap my heart and soul around. These are messages that for me, help me see a true loving force in the world, not the common messages of exclusion, punishment, hatred, and self-rejection that we so often hear in the name of “religion.”

My eyes were opened to the fact that millions of others in the world were going through their own spiritual exploration and were pursuing their own efforts to develop an authentic spiritual life that may or may not align with the religious teachings we’re exposed to daily.

A next step in my professional training included studying REIKI and other forms of energy healing, which I truly adored. These studies brought me even closer to feeling the experiences of others, connecting deeply with them. Studying energy healing unlocked in me so many ways to feel (in my body and in my emotional and energetic field) what another person is experiencing without the use of words. These approaches and tools are with me today and I use every one of them in career/executive/leadership coaching, training, my writing on Forbes, Thrive Global, and LinkedIn, in my media work and speaking engagements today.

About 8 years ago, I was drawn to take a class with Trudy Griswold, a bestselling author of the book Angelspeake about how to connect with your angels, and I found my work with Trudy another amazing and eye-opening experience. I began writing to my angels, and receiving incredible, uplifting messages of love, wisdom and guidance that offered insights that I felt were not coming “from me” but were emanating from a higher level of support.

Then, in 2016, my connection with angels evolved into a deeper practice and experience. In December of 2016, I learned of Lorna Byrne through the work of Mike Dooley (whom I truly admire and enjoy). From the minute I watched Lorna’s videos, I felt a deep urge and calling from way deep inside me to learn more about her and her work and experiences with the angels. That Christmas week, in 2016, I spent the entire 7 days reading every one of her books and listening to the 9-hour audio version of the amazing, bestselling book Angels in My Hair, and I was thoroughly mesmerized and moved.

From that experience, I mustered the courage to reach out to Lorna to ask if I could interview her. She said Yes! and I had the immense privilege and pleasure of interviewing her via video in our Messages From the Angels webinar.

Here’s the first interview of two we did together:

Meeting Lorna

All I can say is WOW! Everything Lorna shared felt so very real and authentic for me. I felt changed after being with her, even on video. And just being in connection and conversation with Lorna, I felt what I can only describe as being “closer to God” and to the divine and a deep source of spirituality and loving compassion within and around me.

From that conversation, I longed to meet Lorna in person in Ireland, and spend even more time learning with her. I was able to do just that last April Ireland and my two grown children joined me, and spent a day and a half in Lorna’s beautiful Ireland home with her daughter, Aideen. Since that time, our lives have changed in ways that are so beautiful and thrilling. We now feel in deeper connection with our beautiful Angels and other forms of spiritual support, and it’s been life-enriching experience in so many ways for me and my family.

After our Ireland visit, I immediately had another deep longing, and that was to be able to help other women experience what I had, being in Lorna’s presence, and learning from her amazing life and experiences about how we too can connect and speak daily to our Guardian angel and other spiritual supporters.

Having the chance to spend time directly in the presence of Lorna in the gorgeous splendor of Ireland, to ask your questions about your Guardian angel and the other angels who are here to support us, and how to learn how to access their guidance about your life, work, relationships, health and more, I believe you’ll find as I did that Lorna’s answers are so honest, real, and transformational in their simplicity and love. And they are healing.

When you ask Lorna questions, sometimes you’ll hear what you always have known and divinity and spirituality but never had the courage to believe. And other times you’ll hear answers that will make you want to dance and sing with joy and relief. But always, the honesty and transparency of Lorna’s messages will ring in your heart.

Since being with Lorna last April, we’ve explored the idea of bringing a group of amazing women directly to Ireland to have the chance to experience this sumptuous land and also be in direct companionship with Lorna to learn from her insights and experiences, and to help you get to know our own guardian angel and other spiritual helpers. Towards that end, I’m thrilled to be co-hosting an amazing retreat experience for women with Lorna called Connecting with Your Angelic Support To Build a Happier Life and Career.”  I’m beyond excited at this opportunity to bring 20 women to Ireland to experience a spiritual retreat that will renew, inspire, heal and transform.

Why do we need to find brave to develop our own spirituality?

One final note about developing your own authentic spirituality – I’ve lived the truth that it takes a large dose of bravery and strength. Our world can be very rigid and prescriptive about what spirituality is and isn’t, and how you should formulate your beliefs around spirituality. And society can be extremely judgmental about people who are open about their spirituality.

It can be a cruel and judgmental world, where people think for instance, “How can you be a leading Forbes contributor and executive/leadership coach and successful business owner yet connect with angels?” The are not mutually exclusive, but many people fear talking and even thinking about spirituality and shun it.

And in working with thousands of people a year, I come from a place of respect for their beliefs. If they want to explore developing their own spirituality in their lives, I’m happy to. If they want to explore personal and professional growth without touching on spirituality, that’s fine too.

But I know for a fact that we are much more multi-faceted than we realize (or admit out loud), and there are many aspects to who we are that can inform and enrich our lives, work, careers and businesses.  In my way of thinking, it’s time that we walk through the fear and start the process of connecting with our true authentic selves, even when that “self” seems at odds with what our society says is right and acceptable. As long as love, empathy, forgiveness, equality, fairness, compassion, and inclusion are at the heart of it, I think you’re most likely on a healing path.

If you’re like me, you know that rigid and hateful societal beliefs that aren’t inclusive, aren’t loving, and aren’t compassionate simply don’t align with how we want to show up in the world, and engage with our fellow humans. And you might feel as I do that it’s time to find brave every day, to take action to stop being afraid and start to “close you power gaps” so you can finally step into your own power and strength to build the spiritual life that YOU believe will envelop you in greater and deeper love, support and compassion.

I believe it’s just the right time to do that.

For hands-on help to build your own authentic spiritual life and connect with angelic support, join Lorna Byrne and Kathy Caprino in their women’s retreat in Ireland in September 2019. And work with Kathy in her private coaching program Live Your True Spirit.

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