I WAS INTRODUCED TO GOD WHEN I WAS A CHILD
I was first formally introduced to God by an angel who appeared at the foot of my bed. I had heard about God in my grandmother’s Christian church where I was taught to pray and do other religious things, but this was something different. This is the first moment that I remember knowing that something similar to what the church talked about actually existed.
This beautiful woman appeared out of nowhere and hovered over my bed. I was both excited and afraid but when I was brave enough to listen, she said, “You can start talking to God now,”.
I told her I didn’t know how but her reply was simple, “You just talk like you would to anyone else.”
So, I gave it a try.
“Hi God. The lady said I could start talking to you, so I am”
BUT STRIVING FOR PERFECTION WAS STRESSFUL
When I woke up the day after meeting God for the first time I don’t remember feeling all that different. My parents were divorcing, and as an only child I didn’t have siblings to share the experience with. I felt isolated and terrified that my mother would one day walk in and tell me that it was my turn to leave.
The fictional version of a story like my childhood encounter with the angelic realm and introduction to God might have started the heroine on a fast-track path to Enlightenment, where wise teachers showed up at miraculous times to inspire exponential leaps in consciousness by adulthood. In my story, the path was much longer and more twisted, and the wise teachers were often disguised.
In my search for safety, I dove headfirst into Christianity doing all of the things that I thought good Christians were supposed to do. I went to services, sang passionately and read the Bible cover to cover. But in truth, the Christian idea of absolute right and wrong only added stress to my already emotionally charged world, making me feel like I needed to be perfect.
I LEFT MY SMALL TOWN AND GOOD GIRL IMAGE BEHIND ME
It was the 80’s when I went to college in Los Angeles, full of excess and angst. I fell into a “cool kids” routine of smoking, drinking and going to the hottest clubs in town. At 18 I had all of the energy in the world. I was out five nights a week chasing parties and discovering my power as a sexual being.
I have always been an experience junkie and I applied the same passion that I had for Jesus as a teenager to the pursuit of living the best life that L.A. had to offer.
I left no stone unturned in my 20’s and 30’s. I worked hard and played hard, putting as much time into making sure my friends and I could get past any velvet rope in the country as I did working my way up in the entertainment industry. In just 7 years, I went from assistant to Sr. Vice President, likely becoming the youngest woman at the time to start her own division at a movie studio.
BUT MY SEARCH FOR BELONGING LEFT ME EMPTY
After 10 years in the entertainment industry, I was offered the choice to pick my next project or take a severance package when the leadership of the studio changed. Before I could think, I heard myself telling the chairman that I was ready to move on (but to what, I didn’t know).
I stuck around L.A. for a while, working freelance for friends and colleagues in the industry, but one night at an intimate party that my 25-year-old self would have killed to be at, I realized I had nothing to say to people that I had I always wanted to meet. I no longer wanted to belong.
Although I had achieved the life I set out to create … I felt empty. I had buried myself in work thinking that if I just got to the “next level,” made more money, etc. I would finally feel happy. It didn’t work.
Now I was forced to spend every day with myself with none of the old excuses: I’m too busy, too tired, too frustrated…You know the drill. I had to get real with myself that if I chose to keep going on the path I was on, no matter what amount of future success I garnered there was always going to be something missing.
SOMETHING NEEDED TO CHANGE
I didn’t know it at the time, but my life took its biggest turn on a trip to New York in December 2001. Even though my career had come first up until this point, I never stopped trying to fulfil the spiritual longing that had always been inside me and sought out ways to connect with the Divine beyond the confines of my childhood religion.
Since the early 1990’s I have trained with teachers practicing psychometry, spiritualism, divination, channeling and energetic healing. I have also connected to the many aspects of God through New Thought church services that introduced me to meditation, classes with a Native American Shaman, intimate conversations with gurus throughout India and Nepal and 5 years training for my Ordination as a Christian Mystic Priest. All the while, honing my ability to connect the dots of every experience, which always leads back to the same Source.
But back to 2001. I was in New York with friends and stayed on to do some writing and explore the city on my own. On my first morning alone, I closed the blackout curtains in the Times Square hotel room and relaxed into my normal meditation routine, stilling my mind and opening my spiritual awareness. I set my intention to connect with the highest knowing within myself and receive inspiration for the next phase of my life.
In those days I carried a tape recorder with me to capture ideas and inspirations, and as the words flowed out of me I was surprised to find that various aspects of God had been waiting for me to be ready to have a conversation – about everything. It was not unlike the long-forgotten conversations I had with that same Voice Within as a child.
It was thrilling, and I went back again and again to connect with the Source, which I call All That Is in my book The Message, and that others call Allah, Yahweh, Shiva, God, Akal Murat, The Great Spirit, Universe, Oneness and many other names.
You may, reasonably, be wondering why I waited until 2020 to share what I learned in 2001. For a long time I asked myself that same question. What I didn’t realize is that I was living the words of The Message and forging my own unconventional path to Self-Realization, and had been doing so long before I did my first meditation or knew there even was a path.
SO, I RETURNED TO THE TRUTH
In the two decades since that day in Times Square I have lived the truths held within The Message. I know that the guidance is true, and that achieving Self-Realization did not require me to follow a predetermined path or a specific timeline. This understanding led me to leave the confines of religion once again, while maintaining my sacred vows, so that I can serve from the highest expression of the Oneness, unencumbered by outdated traditions.
I also have cultivated a deeply intimate understanding of the infinite and finite parts of myself and know how to integrate them into what I call a big little life.
Like everyone, it’s not always easy for me to live up to the Truths outlined in The Message day in and day out, but I also know that I did not have to be perfect, special or unique to be invited into this divine relationship with All That Is. I just have to keep showing up…to opportunities that expand my consciousness and the wisdom they bring…then, to the keyboard, camera or gathering to create a space for you to remember all that you are.
YOUR TIME IS NOW
The unprecedented events of 2020 also indicate that the time for The Message is now. Our attention is focused as a global community around shared challenges, and people of all backgrounds are feeling a pull inward to define who they are and what kind of world they want to live in. The Message is a guide for exactly this type of exploration. It encourages us to remember that we are creators, not minions, with the power to shape our individual and collective experience.
We are beautiful in our power; The Message reminds us. And it is time to wake up and reclaim this Truth of who we are. The pressure to conform is massive and everywhere we turn we are told to follow “the rules” if we want to feel safe, loved and accepted.
Taking full responsibility for our lives can feel daunting, and the process of getting unconditionally honest about where we are and where we truly want to be can feel isolating. But please know that being the architect of your own destiny does not mean that you have to take the journey alone. I invite you to join me in living your own unique big little life, and wish you many unexpected joys as you walk your unconventional path to Self-Realization.