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My Move from Surviving to Thriving

My Move from Surviving to Thriving

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We all have unique life stories, and I am no exception. After a Catholic education, I went to college, put aside my dreams of an architecture or art career, and majored in business. Immediately after college, I started working in the “new” field of Information Systems…this was the early 80s, after all! I did well, changed jobs on a few occasions, and built up my skills in project management and planning. Then came marriage…a child…my mother’s illness and passing…marital problems…divorce…significant financial setbacks…depression…anxiety…

It was a lot in a short amount of time, too much too quickly… Trauma.

I was in survival mode. Keep the job, pay the bills, and raise my daughter. I sought out therapists and medication to help me survive. And I did. I was in a bit of a fog, and my life had become work…not much outside of that except for my crafting hobby which became my oasis of joy.

Surviving Isn’t Really Living
About 10 years ago, in my mid-50s, as my daughter was out of high school and finding her own way, I realized that I was just surviving. My life was on the back burner. I realized I wasn’t feeling anything – that I was, in fact, numb. The years of antidepressants had taken their toll.

But I was fortunate to work with practitioners who helped me get off the medication, though it took a year and a bit of trial and error.

The fog lifted. I had a conversation with a work colleague during which I realized that I was just surviving, and I didn’t want to keep doing that. I was fortunate to have a good job and work with people I enjoyed, with plenty of opportunities to keep at my creative hobbies while I worked in IT infrastructure. We talked about finding our “why.” Maybe it’s not what we do, but the meaning we find in it. I realized there was something missing in my life, but I didn’t know what it was.

The Spiritual Journey toward Living
My spiritual journey started like an avalanche. I had left behind my Catholic upbringing around the time of my marriage (that’s another story!), and I suddenly found myself seeking to understand the world around me. Is there a higher power? What created all of this? What is my intuition, anyway…which had always been a strong part of my life and my compass? Is it a coincidence that I’m suddenly meeting all these wonderful people, or something greater at work?

I began a meditation practice (thank you to the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey 21-day challenge!) and discovered mindful practices. This created space in my being for spirit to enter, and it did – very loudly.

I followed the breadcrumbs. I met one person, who introduced me to another person, who introduced me to energy work. I found a community of spiritual seekers and suddenly and inexplicably felt like I was home. I learned all about crystal healing and color therapy. I tried every modality I could to accelerate this rapid spiritual awakening, and I had fun doing it. It was also very painful, though, as I worked through healing a lot of the trauma from my life (and we all have it!).

But something inside me knew – just knew – that my life was changing. I had the opportunity to become an advocate for mindful practices where I worked, leading meditations and sharing resources with colleagues. It became part of who I was there, the mindful IT professional.

A New Path
Very unexpected, an undeniable call came to go to One Spirit Seminary and enter a two-year program to become an Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister. Interspirituality is the intersection of all beliefs, which is the common language of love—think spiritual, but not religious. To say two years changed my life (again) is a profound understatement. I then felt drawn to continue through an additional two years of Interspiritual Counseling at One Spirit, which deepened my own healing and trained me not only to be a minister to others but a companion/counselor and coach to those on their own journeys.

Over the past few years, the calling has continued to get louder and louder. It became more difficult to see myself continuing to do a job that no longer held my passion. I would work, waiting for the day to be over so I could do what I loved, which was starting to build a practice and work with people on their journey.

So, here I am, having left a successful, over 40-year corporate career to follow my passion. Now I wake up every day to work with clients, create workshops, officiate weddings, and lead life transition ceremonies. I actually wake up each morning excited about what the day will bring. Was it easy? No. But…it is exciting.

I have developed many new practices and become deeply self-aware of who I am becoming through this process. I am constantly learning and creating, and deeply grateful for every experience.

I have looked back on my journey through developing a spiritual life map, which I do with my clients. In looking back, I see now that this is destiny. My interests, my traumas, and my decisions have all led me to this place. The threads of creativity, intuition, curiosity, imagination, and contemplation have always been there, even when I was a child. I just didn’t see it until I looked back on my life from a spiritual perspective.

My words of wisdom to others are: Keep searching. To ask questions…to wonder…to delight in living each day in awe of the mystery that surrounds us. To be present to the miracles around us, and listen deeply to what your soul is saying.

Ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and as a certified Interspiritual Counselor, I currently offer spiritual coaching and creativity sessions in person in my Bethany office, as well as by phone and Zoom.

You can learn more about me at: www.lauriingram.com or contact me by emailing lauri@lauriingram.com or calling 203.435.5650.