Interfaith Ministry

“I’m not religious. I’m spiritual.”

I have heard this more often than not in the past 15 years. It is how I’ve described my own Faith system for more than 30 years now.

And it is exactly why my compulsion to serve in a spiritual role led me to my recent induction as a First Responder Chaplain.

When my daughter was born 27 years ago, I sought a church that would meet my/our spiritual needs in a broader capacity. I enjoyed the ritual and community of church, but not the dogma. My search went on for years as I researched and explored many different faith systems.

Along the way, one thing became clear – spirituality resonated with me, religion did not.

I grew up in a very Roman Catholic household. My mother’s brother was a missionary priest stationed in the Amazon and their two sisters were School Sisters of Notre Dame nuns. My uncle would say mass in our living room when he was home. It is here that I developed my love of ritual, I’m sure of it.

I went to a Women’s Catholic liberal arts college where we attended mass either in the lounge in our pajamas or in the beautiful chapel and full of dancing, singing and poetry.

After college I attempted to find that same sort of relaxed, inclusive, interactive atmosphere, to no avail. Studying other religions, philosophies and ways of life not only enabled me to expand my knowledge and understanding, it also enabled me to collect rituals, beliefs and practices that resonated as True for me.

I learned how similar all religions are in their core teachings, and how much of what we know as organized religion was appropriated from nature religions and Eastern philosophies.

For my own spiritual fulfillment I found solace in the nature religions with added appreciation of Eastern Philosophies.

In 2003, I became an ordained Minister in the Universal Life Church, because I wanted to offer an alternative officiant for anyone identifying as ‘spiritual, not religious’.

Since that time I have offered what I refer to now as Interfaith Ministry. While the dictionary defines ‘Interfaith’ as “relating to or between different religions or members of different religions,” I do not. That same dictionary defines faith as follows: noun -1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something -2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

I believe Faith goes beyond the boundaries of religion.

People can have faith in one another, in God, in the Universe, in Jesus, in a Creator, in Yahweh, in Muhammad, in Buddha, in Life, and in themselves. Faith is not reserved for those who find solace in religion. Faith is what we call the system of beliefs a person holds. Period. Thus, interfaith is relating to or between different faith systems that may or may not include religion.

So, it is here that I landed in order to offer spiritual support to any person in need. I can as easily sit and read the Bible to a non-practicing Catholic woman, as I can read The Good Book to a Humanist, as I can read from A Course In Miracles for New Age believers, as I can read poetry and prose for those more secularly minded.

More than a few times I’ve been in a situation where chaplaincy services were offered to me and I regretted accepting them. I am not a fan of having other people’s beliefs imposed upon me, but that is exactly what happened. There was no room in the conversation for exploration and true processing of my feelings and emotions in that time of suffering. I found no comfort in their words and their beliefs. I found myself shutting down and saying whatever I could to get them to leave the room as quickly as possible.

So I set out to provide actual interfaith, nonjudgemental spiritual support sans agenda. I wanted to provide what I couldn’t seem to receive from anywhere. Perhaps it is my social work training, or maybe it’s my innate nature, but in my mind spiritual support is supposed to provide comfort. Comfort does not come by disputing a person’s belief system, unless the belief system itself is creating the suffering.

I have attempted to serve in a more official spiritual capacity for many years, however most roles are Christian based and require Theological training (heavily Christian) which I have not chosen to pursue. So, when I met a woman who talked about just becoming a First Responder Chaplain my ears perked up and I enrolled into the very next training.

The training was definitely geared towards Christianity but because of it’s 501(c) status, they could not refuse training to a non-Christian. In addition, I received no ill treatment because of my different belief. In fact, it was clear that they respected my different faith system and saw where I could provide support that they were uncomfortable providing. Win/Win. That said, I will tell you there were things that I felt were imposing and I let that be known.

My intention is to serve those who

  1. have followed a solo spiritual path
  2. are at a crossroads, in celebration or in crisis
  3. in need of guidance, support or ritual within their framework of faith
  4. and find themselves without a spiritual advisor.

To provide this service to, and in conjunction with, our First Responders to make death notifications or offer support in times of trauma is a privilege I do not take lightly. Not everyone who receives bad news or is involved somehow in a traumatic event will be comforted by traditional means.

I do not think that my perspective is unique in this, although I do think it is a well kept secret. To some extent there is still backlash experienced when one is vocal about not being Christian, so those who have alternative faith systems tend to be silent about it. However, more and more I have been privy to officiating rites of passage for groups with mixed faith systems and the experience is more beautiful than you can imagine.

The key to live harmoniously is to focus on what unites us, not on what separates and divides us. To close ourselves off from others because on the surface they appear to be ‘different’ doesn’t serve our highest good. Our highest good is served by creating brotherhoods and sisterhoods; by forging unimaginable alliances; by not investing ourselves in being right, but in being happy.

Happy people don’t do harm. They don’t seek to judge. They don’t seek to impost their beliefs on another. They don’t seek opportunities to convert others to their way of thinking and believing. Happy people recognize the happy in others. Happy comes in all shapes and sizes.

Chaplaincy, Spiritual Guidance or whatever else you name it, needs to be about one thing…holding the Space for Light to enter. That Light might be the breath in your body, the love in your heart, the God within you or the gods above you. It is not for me to dictate that to anyone. I take it as my solemn responsibility to hold a mirror up to reflect and magnify the Light in each person I serve, in whatever space I’m in, in whatever way brings comfort to those around me.

Peace Be With You

Beautiful – It’s Not What You Think

IMG_20170904_104700I love to do a good face mask. My favorite is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay mask made from Calcium Bentonite Clay. I love it because I feel like it actually digs deep down and pulls stuff out of my pores and afterwards my skin glows. I find it an analogy for so many things. Digging the crap out of your internal psychoemotional pores and sloughing off the dead surface layer to allow the deeper radiance to shine through.

Its also an analogy for something else. As I endeavor to do more videos, I am more aware of my appearance and notice myself weighing this feature against another when setting things up. I often opt out of doing a video because I don’t feel like showering and putting on make up. As I looked into the mirror while putting on the mask and cherishing this moment of indulgence, it hit me.

Not all moments of beauty are beautiful.

To prove it, I took this picture. (This face never fails to make my hubby laugh.) Aside from that though it caused me to think about other non-beautiful moments of beauty. Pictures like that fireman carrying the child on 9/11, or childbirth, or a mother’s face just after giving birth as she holds her newborn all sweaty and fatigued.

But there are many many MANY more non-beautiful moments of beauty that we can’t take pictures of and might not even recognize as such. Moments of ferreting out those thoughts, beliefs and emotional patterns that don’t serve our spiritual destiny. Ugly stuff. It feels uncomfortable, awkward and sometimes seemingly painful, but in the end the beauty it creates in our lives is limitless. Without these non-beautiful moments of beauty we could not explore our true beauty.

Right now, I guarantee there are non-beautiful moments going on right now in your life that you can’t embrace for their hidden beauty. I know I have a shit-ton of them right now and I was completely overlooking them.

As a Intuitive Spiritual Transformation Facilitator I fall into the trap often of thinking I need to present a ‘perfect package’, like so many others do, to prove I’ve ‘made it’ and therefore worthy of getting paid to walk with others on their journey. Pfft, as if there were a landing space called ‘success’ in life! There are no landing places. This is a journey and there are hills, valleys, mountains, curves and steep grades, but no landing places. We stop to catch our breath then we keep moving. The only landing place is the present moment we are in. In each present moment there are gifts…some are beauties and some are uglies.

Instead of hiding mine, I’m going to share and I hope you will too. Getting the uglies out into the daylight can help us see their hidden beauty. Here we go…

These are the Uglies I can get caught up in: My husband had a brainstem stroke in January of this year. He is the bread winner of the family currently as I struggle to get my business going. My daughter has been in a dark place since her father died a year ago. I’m in court fighting his deathbed widow over my own retirement funds. As a result of a kylego I created, envisioned and organized an amazing two day transformational retreat/workshop. Despite my excitement and  forward feeling of achievement not one person has registered. My husband is in construction and we got stiffed just under $7,000 on a tiling job this month. Subsequently, our mortgage automatic payment bounced. I broke a tooth about a month ago and made arrangements to pay half at the first visit and half at the second visit to get it fixed. Because of being stiffed we didn’t have the resources to go back for the second visit.

Now here are the beauties that have shown up as a result: My husband’s recovery has been amazing. With a combination of mindset work and energy healing work he was the shortest stay in the rehab unit they have ever had. He went back to work the Monday after he was released, with caution. He was back to driving within months. The lasting effects are minimal and isolated mostly to short term memory loss and expressive communication. My daughter has moved back home to heal from her loss and has turned a corner in the darkness that grief can be. I just won an important appeal in my court case. Although right now no one else will experience my amazing retreat I have done some really phenomenal work creating interactive, reflective and transformative individual, paired and group exercises all ready and waiting to go for future retreats/workshops and client work. The best part is that I got to do that creating. The only thing I love more than creating transformative experiences is facilitating them for people. Despite getting stiffed on $7,000 worth of work, we kept the lights on. We didn’t miss the mortgage payment, because although the one contractor failed to pay, my hubby had secured another job. It was enough to cover that mortgage payment (the deposit was made hours after the automatic payment was kicked) as well as some other necessities.  My temporary crown is holding nicely and we shall soon have enough money for me to go back for the permanent one because work is lined up.

I can even go back further to three years ago when I quit my 28 year career to move across two states where we bought a house with no money and no credit; and when I had fibromyalgia and was living with an average daily pain of 7-8, to now when my average daily experience is a pain level 1 with no meds.

I could go back even further because at 53 I’ve come a long long way baby…but I won’t. 🙂

The point is we have a tendency at times to define our journeys by the distance we have yet to go, and by lamenting things that don’t show up the way we think they need to and thus overlooking the multitude of ways we manifest abundance and miracles. When you are stuck in “what am I doing wrong that I can’t manifest what I want” remember your ‘success’ is about the distance travelled not the distance yet to go…

*Please share your ‘uglies’ either in words or pictures below! Let’s all be real and share our non-beautiful moments of beauty with each other!

Is This You Or Someone You Know?

Does anyone ever feel like they’re just not meant for this life? I know how blessed I am. I live in a developed country, I have a family, friends, a house, animals who I adore and a job. Everything people who are less fortunate would die for. But I’m still not happy. I feel so forced. I just want to be running wild and free, a natural woman, with animals and living off the land. I don’t want the troubles of money, the social media, the modern life. Is that really even natural for humans? Is anyone really comfortable living like this or is it just something we have to accept because everyone else does. My head hurts because it just can’t cope with what society wants from me  ☹️” ~Woman A
“Im with you! Feels so pointless and empty at times. On my good days [I’m trying to] work towards a more fulfilling life but am not really sure how to get there or if its worth it etc etc. Its is society not us thats wrong, take each day as it comes is all you can do. Stay strong we will get there…x Woman B in response to woman A
“Can I ask for guidance again? My mother wasn’t the warmest individual growing up. She’s someone multiple therapists have told me to cut out of my life, even if it’s just until I’m stronger. I’ve gone through much of my adult life in an off and on relationship with her because of her controlling nature. When I was a child I was often compared to other children and asked why I can’t be like someone else’s kid or why their kid, who’s “slow” (her words, not mine) would be doing better than me. I was locked in closets, kicked out of the house at night, told she wished I wasn’t hers, which didn’t end until 7th grade…”~Woman C

Is this you or someone you know? This is just a sampling of what I’ve been hearing lately. We as woman have suffered under patriarchy. That is not a feminist or anti-masculine thing. We can only survive in a balanced society and this is NOT that!

This feeling, THIS longing, THIS UNSETTLING is why the Healing Rite of Passage was created. Men and woman are invited to join in the Feminine Rising that this will be. Its not male bashing and it isn’t ‘woman stuff’ it is just a connecting to the feminine yin energies that have been ignored for centuries now. We need to connect to Mother Earth AND Father Sky. To Grandmother Moon AND Grandfather Sun. We can ONLY be our highest selves, live the highest version of our lives and have the grandest experiences when we are balanced in masculine and feminine energies.

We HAVE to heal the wounds of the past that keep harming us. You don’t know how to ‘get there’ because no one taught you to look inside yourself. And you can’t do it with the eyes that society has taught you to look through. It has set you up to fail.

There is SO much you can do to get so much more out of life! I can help you unlearn everything you’ve learned that is actually getting in your way. You have to go deeper than just meditating and gratitude journalling. You have to unravel all the manipulative programming EGOS set in play. You have learn the truth about how the Universe works by understanding and working WITH (not against) the three Universal Laws and their seven principles.

Universal Laws

Take a step today and reserve your spot or contact Jade Willow Song for more information, right now!

When: September 16 & 17, 2017
Where: Waterford, Michigan
Early Bird Registration: $500*
Registration after September 1, 2017: $675*

For Tickets: https://squareup.com/store/judy-klemos

Recommended affordable nearby accommodations: http://www.oldemillinnofclarkston.com/

*Introductory prices only- 2018 prices are $675 and $800

What Is A Sacred Medicine Path Reading?

Sacred Medicine Path Reading
What message does Spirit have for you?

Imagine sitting down with Spirit and having a one on one Life Coaching session…

In what seems like a simple conversation, confusion about your life, your needs and your wants become clear. Questions you didn’t even know you had are answered. That ‘lost’ feeling is gone. You gain a new sense of purpose and direction…and you’ve made a new friend.
Life is your Sacred Medicine Path and an intuitive spiritual reading is an opportunity to explore a broader perspective of your life path. Through this experience you will gain new understanding of your current situations as well as guidance on actions to take, shifts in sabotaging beliefs and so very many ‘aha’ moments.
Jade Willow Song is a Medicine Woman with great access to the healing energies. These healing energies come in the form of facilitating physical healing as well as receiving messages from the Spirit world, as an Intuitive Spiritual Advisor.
Sometimes those messages include words from deceased loved ones, but more often than not the messages come from your Highest Self and Spirit Guides. These readings can be done face to face (in person or via video), by email or by instant messenger.
Schedule your Sacred Medicine Path today!