“I see religion like the diversity of language, accents, skin color, denomination, etc. We are often a product of our raising. I do encourage you challenge what you’ve been taught and dive into yourself and take gratitude in the rebirth.”
1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am originally born and raised in a small town called Bullitt County Kentucky. I am currently living outside of Dallas, TX.
2. Tell me a little bit about what you spend most of your days doing.
I generally find myself on emails and phone calls to cater to my client’s needs. When I’m not balancing my business and being a mom, I am in the gym.
3. Give us a little insight into your backstory/upbringing…
I was raised in a split home. My dad and mom were each remarried. I was the middle child of 4 on my mom’s side and the youngest of 4 on my dad’s. My mom was pretty liberal and raised me to believe I could achieve anything. My dad’s wife was very religious to extremes. So much to the point that she hand carved 6 foot figurines of the bible story and had them displayed in our front yard. (The neighbors thought we were crazy). We’re talking the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion story, the burning bush, all of that. Needless to say, when I attended mandatory bible studies at the house, I was often told of the fiery gates of Hell, Jesus rising from the dead and ending the world, etc. I was certainly taught by my step mother than I was to fear God.
Fast forward years later. As an adult, I would shop around for churches of all denominations. I found myself having conversations with random people or friends about the meaning of life. They would ask me to attend their church, I would accept, and even after several visits, never felt at home with what I was hearing. I just wanted to feel something real.
Upon research, I stumbled upon the Dallas Meditation Center. I learned to meditate and began routinely joining in on silent group seated and walking meditations. One Sunday “Awakening Heart” meditation session, I found my little cushion and was starting to relax into my own zone. And before me was this super chill, grey haired man with the most relaxed posture and a smile on his lips. After the silent portion of the meditation that night, he gave the Dharma (Spiritual teachings) and he was FASCINATING!!!! He goes on to say that he is the Reverend at Agape Spiritual Center in Plano.
I held out 2 years before stepping foot into Agape. Once I made the decision to attend, I promised myself that I would complete 10 visits before I made a decision on how I felt about the place.
They gave out warm smiles and hugs freely, freaked me out.
They knew I was gay and were fully accepting and not trying to change me, what?
The center is made up of majority older adults ranging from 40-70 years old. These are the individuals who were raised in generations of strict religious values, feeling boxed in, shamed, unaccepted, imperfect and broken.
It took just about every bit of those 10 visits to decide that I liked it. I had to really work past the discomfort of hugs and raw conversation with people who love you and DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU!
My favorite take away from Agape is this:
*We see your greatness for you until you can see it for yourself
*There is an infinite power and presence in the Universe. It is a law of cause and effect that always says yes
*every word I speak out into the Universe is like a ripple on a lake creating an impact on the entire consciousness of humanity
My job has taught me to work respectfully with so many religious backgrounds and traditions. Years ago, I did have conflicting ideas about serving different religious communities. But after years of being a part of Agape, my eyes, mind and heart have been opened. I realize that Universal light is transcendent. I see religion like the diversity of language, accents, skin color, denomination, etc. We are often a product of our raising. I do encourage you challenge what you’ve been taught and dive into yourself and take gratitude in the rebirth.
We are constantly faced with challenging moments that grow us. I could not be more grateful that in my most complicated life events, I have my spiritual community at Agape to turn to for guidance. This place has given me the tools to love and accept myself. To work through moments that in the past you may have turned away only causing more pain. And it has taught me to love more fully.
Amithaba, Infinite Love, Infinite Life, Infinite Light.
4. What is your religious background?
I identify as non denominational with Buddhist teachings and meditative practice.
5. On a scale of 1 – 5 how supportive was your family when you came out?
6. What is one accomplishment in your life that you’re proud of that most people might not know of?
Being in a relationship with my partner has been one of the most challenging experiences that has provided exponential rewards. We keep our beautiful private life pretty private, but what you may not know about me is that in effect, this loving partnership has allowed me to become a better mother, daughter, sister, friend and human. This love has translated into every facet of my life and I could not be more grateful of becoming an accepting and loving person.
7. Why do you feel that the simple message of the Promote Love Movement is important?
I love that there is only positive verbiage represented by the title. It is such an uplift to the spirit reading stories where you can relate.
8. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone if you knew that today was going to be your last day to live?
Love with all your heart. Live life free. Be fulfilled. Give of yourself. Practice self care.
9. Why do you think it is important to be your authentic self?
To quote one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Lee Wolak, “The purpose of life is to find joy. A joy that is beyond the senses, an unending bliss. When we achieve this ultimate joy, we are liberated and free to experience life and all it has to offer with no attachment”
10. How do you feel like growing up in church played a part [positively or negatively] in shaping who you are?
I think being born into a religion does one of two things. You can either stay in the same thoughts and values you were told from the beginning, or you feel the need to explore. Religion has without a doubt shaped me as I was told how to think my whole life, and I sought a way to think for myself.
11. Do you still attend church/religious gatherings?
Agape Center for the Spiritual Living
12. Top 3 books/documentaries/podcasts that have helped in life?
“Happy” is a documentary on Netflix, “A new design for Living” book by Earnest Holmes, and “The Book of Joy” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.