An Unexpected Journey

This article was originally published in The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal, Winter Issue #76. Read it here.

By Ann Olugbile

In 2016 my life started to transform. I was pregnant with my second daughter and I was joyous and terrified at the same time. My daughter’s father and I had been on and off for several years. He was in another relationship and I wanted to be with someone so badly. I believed if I were patient enough, kind enough, and quiet enough, he would pick me. Shortly after announcing I was pregnant, he admitted there was no choosing me, and the pregnancy would not change that. It was the biggest wake-up call of my life. For years I’d waited for him to choose me and make me a priority. The breakup slowly made me realize that I needed to choose and love myself. I gave birth in 2017 and committed to a journey of self-love, but it evolved into a deep spiritual journey. 

The first step on the journey was mental health counseling. The break-up and the postpartum hormones had left me in a bad place. I learned in therapy that my childhood shaped beliefs of unworthiness and low self-esteem. The “not good enough” narrative was rampant in all my relationships. I lacked boundaries and allowed others to misuse me. It took months to unlearn the negative narrative and place necessary boundaries around my toxic relationships. I began challenging that childhood belief and created a new one—I am enough, just as I am, and I am deserving of good things in my life. A year into regular sessions, I gained a new sense of self and wanted to explore becoming a yoga instructor. The universe announced a different plan. 

A week following that decision, I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle in two places. I was devastated. Right when I was ready to make a huge step forward, I was literally stopped in my tracks. I cried for many nights asking God, “Why? Why now?” I did not expect an answer, but God answered through two woo-woo experiences.

First, I noticed a local tarot reader’s card appearing in different places in my home. I found her card once in the kitchen, once in the bedroom, and then again in the bathroom. I got the message and scheduled a reading. The reading was phenomenal. We discussed what to gain from a broken ankle spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. The reading also helped me decide to apply for disability through my employer and take some needed time off. 

The next experience was a very lucid dream. I saw myself sitting on the edge of the bed crying to God (again!) and asking why my disability paperwork was denied. I was very angry and confused in the dream. When I woke up, I immediately called the doctor’s office and discovered they never faxed the disability paperwork. I talked to the office manager and the paperwork was faxed immediately and approved. Something new and mysterious was happening.

Read related article: Toward a Universal Spirituality

My tarot reader was teaching a workshop called Deepening Your Intuition. I enrolled and learned about the basics of intuition, guarding energetic space, clearing energy with sounds and water, and setting boundaries with the spirit world. We were also given a shamanic energy clearing. During my clearing, the shamanic practitioner said to me, “There’s a lot of fear around walking your path.” How interesting, since I just broke my ankle! I mulled over her words for weeks, questioning what I was so afraid of. In the last class I mustered the courage to ask the practitioner, “What if I want to go deeper with this? Are there more classes?” She calmly said yes and advised a psychic studies and mediumship class that started in three weeks. This class was way out of my breadth of knowledge and budget, but I made a deal with God that if I received the money before the class started, I would enroll. Once again God answered, and the money came!

Fear again emerged the first night of class. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I would make a fool of myself. Who am I to think I could be a psychic? This was only for special, gifted people, and I never felt special or gifted. The not good enough narrative was back. 

I sat quietly through class and was hit with a surprise. We would give a psychic reading that same night. Through the fear, I gave my first psychic reading. I noticed the information came to me quickly and accurately. The next twelve weeks of class I discovered the gifts of claircognizance, clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychometry, and mediumship. Mediumship became my passion because it offers such a healing experience. The ability to provide answers to the living from those who have crossed over is transformative. This sparked more inner healing because I tapped into my power. It was clear from then on that it was my responsibility to express these gifts with the world. 

An opportunity to learn shamanism appeared next and I went full steam ahead. It was a tough experience. Doubt and fear reared its head again during the sacred rites initiation. Again, I thought, am I really a shaman? Am I cut out for this? All the fears and negativity took a toll on me and I became sick. Shamanic illness is common during this process. Old wounds surface that need addressing in order to move on. My shamanic illness was pneumonia. I needed to confront the root of the fear and unworthiness narrative. I scheduled a shamanic journey session with my teacher and remembered as a little girl, during a traumatic event, I silenced my voice and convinced myself speaking up was not worth it. The belief I’d kept since childhood for safety, disabled me emotionally as an adult. I stayed quiet about my unhappiness in all relationships. It made others happy, but I was suffering inside and scared to voice my true feelings. I felt whole after the session and regained my voice. 

I made a promise to myself, to use my voice when it’s clear, when I doubt, or even when it shakes. Joan Walsh Anglund beautifully wrote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” I became well again and received the final sacred rites to become a shaman and a new name, Lowanpi Nagi, which means singing soul. 

The path I had in mind was to reconnect with loving myself. I achieved that and so much more! I am forever grateful for the heartache, ankle break, and pneumonia. Those events birthed a new woman who is confident and knows her worth. I still struggle with some doubts, but I know their roots and how to talk to them. I am gentle and compassionate toward my inner child and move at her speed. The spiritual journey is tough and intimidating and I wanted to give up many times. I don’t know what’s next, but I know God will answer, and I look forward to meeting the next version of myself. 

Ann Olugbile is a shamnic practitioner, psychic medium, and an avid writer. You can contact her at aolugbile@gmail.com.

Author: ckarr114