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My Apology

Homosexuality is a sin, right? We are to love the sinner and hate the sin, right? But what if that’s not accurate? What if a deeper study of translations and culture surrounding the time when scriptures were written reveals otherwise? Or what if the focus is shifted to simply loving everyone as they are and trusting that God is big enough to work in hearts.

I know many will disagree. That’s ok. It’s taken me a long time and a lot of research and self-work to get to where I am today. And for those who choose to see this as a move backwards – that’s your choice. I choose to focus on love and support without having a list of criteria that makes someone “worthy” of love or salvation.

Want to start diving in to bible translations and what they say about LGBTQIA+? Click on through and read more. Don’t agree with it? That’s ok. Let’s just stop weaponizing scripture to tear others down.

Want to start looking into your faith and religion and figure out what you believe? Let’s have a conversation to see what program is the best fit for you. Contact me for your 15 minute connection call.

Religion VS Faith

Wait – religion and faith aren’t the same thing?

Nope. They are different.

Religion – a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.

Faith – something that is believed especially with strong conviction

Faith is the heart – the belief in something or someone. Religion is the social construct surrounding the faith.

So, now that we got that out of the way – on to the real reason I am writing.

I’ve gotten a lot of flack for starting this Integrative Religion Recovery practice. I’m anti-church. I’m an atheist. I have no moral compass. I just need to get back into a church. What I went through in church didn’t really happen like I remember it – I’ve exaggerated it over time.

Nope. Sorry. None of that is true.

You see – there’s that difference between faith and religion. I have faith in God (though it does look much different now than it did 10 years ago, but is there anyone whose faith has remained unchanged over a decade?) but I have little to no faith in the religious systems that abound. Sure – churches (and religious institutions of other faiths) are made up of humans and humans are sinful and fail. They make bad decisions. But sometimes it goes beyond simple human failures.

Sometimes there is a conscious decision to lead a flock astray. Maybe it’s for power. Maybe money. Maybe fame or notoriety. Sometimes the rise to power and the controlling and manipulation of the congregants is a product of a very warped system. This second point is how seemingly good churches (or institutions) become dangerous.

Sadly, I’ve seen and been involved with churches that have become dangerous. I’ve seen it take time- like a slowly creeping fog of confusion. I’ve seen it happen abruptly with the firing of all staff and a sudden fresh start.

Are you at risk? Could your religious institution be corrupt? Are there warning signs that it is headed down that path? Or, have you been in a church that was dangerous and now you are afraid to step back in?

Understanding the techniques used – knowingly or not – is key. Knowledge is power. With knowledge, you can determine if it is a church that is losing its way a bit or if there is something deeper and more sinister going on.

Join me for a look inside the world of cults. Discover what methods are used for manipulation and brainwashing. Dive into some case studies. Gather tools to prevent being taken in by groups like these. Click through this image to learn more about this amazing program.

http://audramichelle.com/?page_id=95

What questions do YOU have about cults? Let me know in the comments!

What to Expect from Coaching

what to expect from coaching

What is this whole life coaching thing and how am I doing it differently?

Coaching comes in more flavors than Baskin Robins ice cream. You can find business coaches, life coaches, relationship coaches, and every specialization you can imagine within those and more.

How do I specialize?

I focus my counseling in two basic ways:

  • individual life coaching
  • religion self-recovery

I help you find your true self and create goals with action steps that move you toward the life you want. My job is to listen to what you aren’t saying, piece it together with your words, and help you see both the bigger picture and a deeper truth. I’m not here to tell you what to do or what is best for you. I’m here to help you sift through life and the noise to find your best path and to help you stay accountable with the action steps we create.

I spent 10 years in a cult and the past 6 years recovering. I am very good at helping people find themselves again after getting out of an unhealthy religious organization. I am very good at helping people take the faith steps that are right for them – either with walking away from the religion or stepping back in but in a healthy way.

How Does It Work?

  1. We have a free 15 minute conversation to see if we are a good fit and I have a program that is a good fit for you.
  2. For either individual or group work, we have an intake session where we get to know each other a bit and start figuring out what goals we want to set.
  3. We create a plan with action steps. We include the integrative items that interest you (essential oils, journaling, meditation, affirmations, yoga, etc)
  4. We meet according to the package purchased and work toward achieving the goals.

What do I Get Out of It?

  • Increased clarity on your core self
  • Greater self-confidence
  • Attainable goals that fit your true self
  • A step by step plan to reach your goals
  • Accountability and compassionate support

But more than anything, you get yourself back. No matter if you’ve been hurt by a church or have been knocked around a bit by life, working with me can help you find yourself again.

Thank You, 2018

As I woke up New Year’s Eve morning, I lazily scrolled through Facebook. I happened upon my memories. I found a super cute video of my kids, so much smaller, doing their own ball drop. But I also found something else that caught my attention.

I started reading my past musings of the changing of the year. I noticed a shocking trend. Each year, I ended the year saying something to the effect of “Good Riddance! I can’t wait for the new year!”

I get it. I was ready for a new start each year. Some years were harder than others. In general, I wanted the pain from the last year to go away and the new year to be filled with amazing love and happiness.

But the reality is that there will always be pain. Each year will bring happiness and grief. The pain we experience causes growth.

I submit to you that I have been approaching each new year in a less-than-helpful way. I’ve started each year with a negative. Good riddance! I bet I’m not the only one who eagerly wished away the past year, focusing on the negatives.

Join me in a challenge.

I am challenging myself to thank the hard times. Thank those times for the experience and the lessons. For the growth. Thank 2018 for the rough times – for what they taught you and thank 2018 for the amazing gifts it gave. Honor it. And then move on.

2018 was full of incredibly difficult life changes. I got divorced and then un-divorced. I was forced to take a hard look at every aspect of life and relationships. 2018 taught me my strength. It helped me clarify my own values and helped me slow down. 2018 helped me grow in gratitude.

I wish I could have avoided the pain that came last year, but since I cannot wish it away, I can be grateful. I am thankful for the person 2018 has taught me to be. I wouldn’t want to be any different.

2018 – thank you. Thank you for your beauty. Thank you for your fun. And thank you for your trials. Thank you for challenging me to grow and be a better me. I send you off with love. 2019 – welcome. I welcome you warmly. May you be filled with love and prosperity. May we grow to the person able to weather your obstacles. Welcome.

I challenge you to intentionally and positively send off 2018 and welcome 2019. Start the year off with the best energy possible.

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