Following the Intuitive Path

Dear Beloved One,

Today is exactly one month since I arrived in British Columbia, Canada! My schedule has been mostly filled with tasks like finding a permanent place to live, importing our vehicles, finishing up the sale of our house in Portland, Oregon (we closed escrow this past Thursday!), and just being here.

My Chihuahuas Angel and Gracie made the trip with me!

It’s been pretty overwhelming to move countries. And yet, in my soul I know this is right for my journey right now. I’m not going to lie, it can be hard to follow that Inner Knowing especially when the outer appearance doesn’t always make sense. I mean, it’s expensive to live in the Vancouver, BC area. My husband and I are downsizing from a 4 bedroom house on half an acre to a 2 bedroom condo in a 27-floor high rise building (who does that?!) The taxes and cost of living are much higher here.

But, money isn’t always the best indicator for making life decisions.

I’m not saying that money isn’t important – it is. In fact, moving here is motivating me to increase my consciousness around spending and budgeting. I am saying there are other vital factors to consider.

I’m reminded of a decision I made back in 2011. I was finishing up the prerequisites to enter practitioner training with the Centers for Spiritual Living. I’d had a particularly challenging experience with my 18-year old daughter and so I took an afternoon off for self-care. I went to the Land’s End Park in San Francisco, California to walk the labyrinth on the beach with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a very special place! During this walk, I received the call to ministry and the trajectory of my life took on a whole new direction. All of a sudden, practitioner training meant something different to me. It wasn’t the end of a 2-year journey; it was now the beginning of ministerial training.

Photo of Lands End Labyrinth by C N

So I decided to look at the other centers in my area to make sure that I trained at the best center for me. I’d never actually considered any other centers before. In this exploration, I found Rev Jane Beach. The very first time I heard her speak I knew she was my next teacher.

We shared a similar history of atheism. Although our stories were very different, I felt a deep resonance in how we both made the journey from atheism to the Centers for Spiritual Living.

I felt safe in her presence. I wanted to learn and grow with her and, more importantly, she inspired me to open up to deeper parts of myself and my heart. I respected her teaching style, her leadership, her ethics, and her wisdom. She had something I wanted even if I couldn’t quite articulate what at the time.

So I moved centers. And guess what? I could no longer go to practitioner training! Rev Jane wasn’t offering it. I knew I was being called into ministry and practitioner training was the next step in that process. But, I decided to put it all on hold in order to follow my Inner Knowing that Rev Jane was my next teacher.

I wasn’t letting go of my dream. I was just letting go of the path to that dream.

I didn’t choose the most direct or logical route (that would have been to stay at my previous center). I chose the intuitive path and it wasn’t until many years later that I could see why that “detour” was necessary. I learned things from Rev Jane that were key to my personal healing. Plus moving to her center put many other things into motion that were imperative to my development as a spiritual leader.

Fast forward eight years and here I am living in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia and I’m a licensed minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living! While I don’t yet know exactly why I’ve been called to this area of the world, I do know that during my first visit to this area I felt that same resonance I felt with Rev Jane. There is a certain sensation that happens when my soul is nudging me in a particular direction. It takes courage to follow that soulful sensation (especially when logic and reason might be pointing in a different direction!)

Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia – our temporary housing is about 30 minutes from this gorgeous park!

So today on my one month anniversary of moving from the States to Canada, I acknowledge my willingness to follow Inner Knowing. I know this kind of commitment has unforeseen detours that take me to surprising places, but what I learn along the way always provides just what I need for the fulfillment of my soul’s purpose (and beautiful country too!)

Much Love,

Questions for Reflection:

  • How do you tune into your Inner Knowing?
  • What signs does your soul send you?
  • What unexpected journey have you taken that’s provided you with invaluable lessons?

Your Infinite Courage

I am so excited to announce that I am facilitating a workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia! It’s called Your Infinite Courage. Check it out:

The fear is real. But, it doesn’t have to stop us. Join in the beauty and strength of community for a soul-nourishing workshop to fill your cup so that you can be who you are meant to be and do what you are called to do. We will address five common fears and the spiritual principles that empower us to move forward in creating the life of your desires. Let us rise up together.

Join us on Sunday, November 18, 2018, 2:00 – 5:00 pm (doors open at 1:30 pm) 

Hosted by Spirit Circles at the Lord Stanley Suites on the Park meeting room, 1889 Alberni St, Vancouver, BC, V6G 3G7

$20 cash at the door (no one turned away)

Community potluck to follow

RSVP on Facebook so that we know to save you a seat. See you in Canada!

The Confidence of Conviction

Right after becoming a licensed minister, I met with a seasoned minister who counseled me about how to fund a new venture. After talking with her I was overwhelmed with the enormity of my endeavor. The reality and scope of my dream hit home and I began to judge myself as small, incapable, and unworthy of creating what I want to create. I was paralyzed by fear.

So I took it into spiritual practice. During meditation new ideas began to flow and I was guided back to the power of the creative process. I was reminded that the fear and overwhelm are not my reality. I was reminded that I’ve been given gifts, talents, skills, experiences, resources, and relationships to support my work, my ministry, and my dreams. In fact, my dreams are seeds planted within me by the Divine. The same power that planted it there is the same power that grows it.

As possibility began to grow in my mind, excitement began to grow in my heart. I was brought back to the delight and enthusiasm of creating something new. I reconnected with the Infinite Presence and Power of God that is always with me, within and all around, waiting and wanting to co-create with me. Trusting that there is nothing for me to do to prove myself worthy, I moved deeper into the receptivity of faith, taking note of the potential things I could do and people who might be able to help.

It’s not always easy to stay in the confidence of conviction. As I move forward, additional fears, worries, and concerns continue to come up. But, they do not have the power to stop me. Why? Because I am committed to rise up in faith. I will continue to show up for my dreams because they have shown up within me. There is a Divine Purpose planted within me and I am dedicated to nourishing it into life.

Now I’m curious. What is your dream? Are you willing to spend some time with it? You see, I believe the world needs each one of us to bring our dreams to life. Furthermore, your soul needs you to bring your dream into life. Your health, your heart, your joy, and your purpose not only enrich your life. They make a monumental difference in the lives of others. 

Journal prompts for you:

  • What is your dream?
  • What is one brave baby step you can take this week?
  • What support do you need?
  • Create an affirmation that will help you keep your focus on possibility, creativity, and fulfillment.

Would you like to connect with me in person about this topic? I’m giving a talk in British Columbia, Canada. Here are all the details:

The Power to Create with Rev Cassandra Rae
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Turnbull Room, Semiahmoo Arts Centre
Located at the South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre
14601 20th Ave, South Surrey
Sunday Services from 10:30 am – 11:30 am (doors open at 10:00 am)

Introducing Reverend Cassandra Rae!

I have been working toward this moment for more than 7 years! I received the call to ministry in Spring 2011. It was a circuitous route! I went to grad school and practitioner training before officially entering ministerial training in January 2016. And now I have graduated and become licensed with the Centers for Spiritual Living. Woohoo!

The last step of many, many requirements is a process called Immersion. You gather with other candidates for one last retreat before sitting for oral panels. Once you pass oral panels, then you are licensed as a minister.

During Immersion we all had to “Stand and Deliver.” We picked a quote at random from a selection of books, read it aloud, and immediately gave a 3 minute talk. Talk about intense! But, it was also rich with wisdom. Check out the messages: 

  • Don’t set aside important parts of yourself. Bring your whole self. ~ Rev Julie Lobato
  • Living from deep inside my soul there is no fear. ~ Rev Ami Papadopulo
  • The most important thing happening is inside of people…including you as the minister. ~ Rev Jane Burnette
  • There is a song you sing. It has always been there. It always is there. ~ Rev Linda Rengel
  • Reframing “I suffer from anxiety” to “I have a lot of energy and excitement!” I am surrounded and held by the Beloved. ~ Rev Nicole Von Atzinger
  • Everyone and everything is your teacher. ~ Me! Rev Cassandra Rae
  • Release the old pattern of listening to fix and embrace the new approach of listening to be present. ~ Rev Tom Pittman
  • You are a Creative Being and your thoughts are more powerful than you think. ~ Rev Theresa Slusher
  • Every second is fresh. ~ Rev Lyssa Bozeman
  • You aren’t doing this alone. ~ Rev Mary Ellen Cassey
  • My favorite name for God is Love. Touch love through spiritual practice. ~ Rev Kathy Mastrioanni
  • Your uniqueness is your value. ~ Rev Karin Lewis
  • Spirit needed my hands empty. ~ Rev Rosedale Jones
  • There is a Light at the center of all. Your spiritual community is wherever you are. ~ Rev Jennifer Wilde
  • Ministerial school is birthing spiritual ministry as me. ~ Rev Marie Kirkland
  • Why not now? ~ Rev Lynnea Nowicki

After each candidate successfully passed their panel, they would be introduced as Reverend so-and-so, walk through the archway, and be celebrated by their fellow candidates. Here is my introduction:

It was a monumental experience – one I am very proud of – and I look forward to this next chapter in my life!

From Doubt to Possibility

I’m finding it quite challenging to write today. You see, I like to write from a place of clarity and confidence. But, quite frankly not much is clear or confident over here!

I’m in this in between space having finished ministerial training with the Centers for Spiritual Living and waiting to become licensed. I must pass oral panels, which are actually coming up in early August! (Side note: I plan on sharing the experience on Instagram if you want to come along for the journey.) This is the final step in becoming Reverend Cassandra Rae!

The thing is…my path isn’t exactly turning out the way I thought it would. I had this plan for how it would unfold and it’s not happening that way, which is okay…except I’m finding I’m much more attached to the initial plan than I thought I was. 

But, now that I’m writing, I’m realizing that the attachment isn’t really about everything going according to my previous plan. It’s about knowing how and when things will happen. I don’t like not knowing.

All of this is compounded by the fact that I’ve interviewed for a position at an organization and I’m waiting to find out if I got the job or not. Another level of not knowing {yet}.

From this vantage point, it seems as if my future is in other people’s hands and I’m just waiting to find out what’s going to happen. But…

I remember that my intention and my focus have power.

I remember that before new life bursts through the soil that it appears dark and scary.

I remember there are many, many things that are clear about what I want and what I’m passionate about.

I remember that the Universe is conspiring for my good.

I remember that Infinite Possibility is the nature of this Life.

So, I have some work to do. It’s time to get creative. It’s time to give myself some space and remember that while productivity might not look like how it normally looks in my life right now, but this in-between space is productive for the soul. I’m going to let that be enough. 

I’m going to spend some time visioning and visualizing. I’m going to get clear on what I want and why. Job or no job, I am responsible for creating my ministry, for cultivating the life I want to live.

And you know what? I’m excited about what’s to come! I might not know what it is {yet}. But, I know it will be good. 

UPDATE: I did not get the job I had applied for. While I am disappointed, I am also trusting that this is the best direction for my life and ministry.

Connecting with the Wisdom of Your Soul

One of the things I’ve learned during these past couple of years is that connection changes everything:

Disagreements are resolved. Relationships are healed. New careers are chosen. Creativity is accelerated. Talents are discovered. New trajectories are forged. Fear is dissolved. 

All through a willingness to connect. 

You see, there is a loving presence, a spiritual magnificence, a creative genius at the center of everyone, at the center of you. Call it what you will. I call it your soul.

Your soul is guiding you. Are you listening? Are you following? Are you resisting?

The real catch here is that your soul doesn’t follow any sort of pre-determined, socially-accepted path. Have you ever noticed how the people who experience deep levels of joy, fulfillment, purpose, and peace have unique stories, surprising adventures, and even painful challenges and triumphs? 

So this is what I want to explore: 

How to connect with your soul, your clarity, your truth, your calling and also how to connect with one another in order to create healthy community.

I believe that connection changes everything. It has the power to change our society, our laws, our government, our churches, our schools, our culture. 

Would you like to join me? 

I hope so. I’m currently in the process of creating a new website with freebies for you. I will keep you updated through this email list and you can sign up here:

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If not, no worries and no pressure.

Either way, I am grateful for you and know that you are being clearly guided. Your soul knows and you have the wisdom and power to choose the highest and best for you.

Belonging, Uplifting, and Unleashing

Focusing on one’s presence really makes a huge difference. Well, I’m sure that Brene Brown mantra helped too! I went to my last Spring Retreat in ministerial training and I had so much fun.

Even more than that, I had a solid sense of belonging. I never felt weird or lonely or out of place. I have a group of friends that love and accept me. I felt welcomed and celebrated. I genuinely appreciated each person at the retreat – even those I don’t necessarily jive with. There was a deep sense of peace within me that I haven’t experienced at one of these retreats before. 

The old narrative of ‘I don’t belong’ is loosening its grip on me. This is a major breakthrough for me – one that I’ve been actively and intentionally working to heal. 

You see, I believe that belonging is a birthright. I also believe that it’s a critical element of spiritual community. It’s something I want to cultivate and nurture as a spiritual leader. So It’s something I need to cultivate and nurture within myself.

One of my favorite experiences was co-creating the Sunday service with my fellow graduates. We chose the theme Uplift: Spiritual Passion Unleashed and I helped to create the program:

Here are the four of us together:

Graduates from left to right: Tamara, Peggy, me, and Aikya

And here is a group photo of all of us:

Spring Retreat 2018 ~ School of Spiritual Leadership ~ Santa Rosa Campus

As I approach graduation and the completion of ministerial training, I am focusing more and more on who I am and how I want to show up. I’m not at all where I thought I would be at this stage in the process and that’s okay. I’m letting go of what I thought it would be and I’m embracing what it is. Because truly there is something bigger at play here and I choose to trust in it.

Journal prompts for you:

  • When do you feel a sense of belonging?
  • Who celebrates you?
  • Who really gets you?
  • What do you want to cultivate and nurture in your life?
  • How do you want to show up?

Your Presence Changes Things

Remember last time how I shared about experimenting with being versus doing? Well, I had a breakthrough! And I’m super grateful because I’ve found it really challenging to explore being. In fact, I was talking with my husband about it and he lovingly pointed out to me that all the ideas I had were things I could do! Yeah, I know. Being isn’t something you do. It’s something you allow and experience.

Which is why I am so excited that I had one of those Aha! moments this morning. I was reflecting on the retreat I’m going to this weekend (it’s my last one for ministerial school!) and I realized that as it turns out I have a very small role to play. You see, the seniors have responsibilities at retreat and being a senior I have responsibilities. But, they are minor. Then it hit me:

Even though I have a small part to play this weekend, my presence will make a difference.

The most important part about this experience isn’t what I’m going to do. In fact, there are other people who could do what I’m going to do at this retreat. But, there is absolutely no one else who can be me at this retreat. I am the one who brings my insights, my heart, my energy, and me to this retreat.

And my presence will change things.

Just like the presence of each student and each facilitator will change things. Together we will create an experience, an opportunity to know ourselves, to know Universal Truth, and to know each other. And isn’t that what spiritual community is all about? Being together, growing together, supporting each other, seeing the Truth in each other, and celebrating one another with love, kindness, and respect? Yes, it is.

It is also about providing space for our humanity – the tender parts of ourself, the pain, the disappointment, the grief, the fear, the uncertainty. I have found that some of the strongest connections I’ve experienced are when we are brave enough to feel all the feels together without judgment and with compassion.

So I enter this retreat with an open heart. My intention is to deepen my understanding and experience of being. I am reminded of one of Brene Brown’s mantras:

Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground and be seen.

I remember that true belonging isn’t about fitting in. It’s about authenticity and courage. It’s about the willingness to be oneself, to let yourself be fully present, and to love yourself through it all.

On Being a Newbie

Remember how I posted about being in the space in between? Yeah, well apparently I’m not that good at just hanging out! In fact, it kind of terrifies me.

So in the last session with my practitioner she lovingly challenged me to explore being versus doing. Ever since, I’ve been in a haze of confusion. I don’t even know where to begin! This whole doing thing is so deeply engrained that I’m struggling to even grasp the concept of just being. Needless to say, I’ve felt so inadequate in exploring this new way of being.

And then yesterday I received an email from Tara Mohr who shared about her experience taking a new dance class for the first time:

This time, I could comprehend that I was simply a newbie in this class; nothing personal about that. I was able to chuckle at myself when needed and – most importantly – I was able to enjoy.

Oh! I’m simply a newbie at this being stuff! Now, there’s some self-criticism around this – like I should be farther along than I am – but, when I put the negative self talk aside, I am so relieved to know that I’m just a beginner.

In her email, Tara referenced this blog post where she talks about giving yourself permission to learn and how a growth mindset can enable you to play and practice. As I read, I felt myself soften and relax. And then I began to wonder….

  • Is it possible for me to enjoy learning about being?
  • Might I really enjoy letting go of all the doing?
  • Could it be that this space in between is actually the best part of ministerial training?

Honestly, I don’t know! But, I feel a crack in the veneer of doing and I’m willing to experiment with just being and see what happens. Maybe being a newbie is the best part of living?!


The Space in Between

I haven’t really talked about it much. It feels tender. But, it also feels right.

You see, a few weeks back I decided to take a leave of absence from my job at New Thought Center for Spiritual Living. I started working there at almost the same time I started ministerial training and for the last couple of years I’ve been going to school full-time and working almost full-time too.

It’s been an incredible learning experience and it has also stretched me to the max.

The thing about being stretched super thin is that it’s not sustainable. So as I wrap up these final months of training and get ready to take senior exams, I knew I needed to slow down.

I felt this need to pause and ruminate in all that I’m learning. My soul yearned for spaciousness and quiet time to reflect, discern, and feel into what’s mine to do and be.

So the other morning when I went for a jog (something I never did when I was working!) it dawned on me:

I’m in the space in between.

As soon as I thought it, I knew it was true. I also realized that I needed to allow myself to stay in the space in between. I decided to stop trying to figure everything out and to focus on taking exquisite care of myself. I would do the things I’d been wanting to do and the things I love to do. I would catch up on homework and read all the things.

I would let go of going somewhere and just be right where I am.

As much as I intuitively know this is exactly where my soul needs me to be, I’m not exactly comfortable here. I’m way more comfortable going, going, going, working, working, working. There’s something reassuring about the black and white living of busy-ness.

But, I’m willing to slow down because I know that letting my soul unfold requires time, space, connection, and presence.

So, I’m doing it. I’m staying put in the space in between – even when it feels uncomfortable (especially when it feels uncomfortable!) – and I’m just going to see what happens. I’m going to let it unfold.