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More Than One Way to Access God—Life After Mormonism
Episode 616th May 2021 • Butterfly Kisses • Amy Gray-Cunningham
00:00:00 00:39:01

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Join Amy as she talks with Kara Gallagher, a 7th generation Mormon. Learn about Kara's spiritual journey as she makes the difficult, yet courageous decision to step away from the Mormon church and pursue a relationship with a God of her own understanding.

For Kara, it was about allowing herself the freedom to explore the many paths to God. She believes God is all-loving. At the end of the day, you have the power to access God on your own to receive the guidance and direction your soul desires.

Kara Gallagher is an intuitive reader, coach, and guide. Her spiritual practices include oracle cards, Akashic records, and continuing to be opened minded about how miracles can work in her life. She gives her clients the guidance, tools, and resources to do the same. She is a former Mormon who also specializes in helping other women who have stepped away or wanting to step away from Mormonism rebuild their spiritual foundation with freedom, exploration, and love. She lives near Boston, Ma with her four kids, husband, and a dog named Honey. You can read more about her work and services at www.kara-gallagher.com.

Follow her on:

Instagram—@kara.writer.healer

Facebook—https://www.facebook.com/KaraWriterHealer

Clubhouse—@karadgal

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Website: ButterflyKissesPodcast

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Amy Cunningham:

Hello and welcome to Butterfly Kisses a Journey of Spiritual Transformation. I am Amy Gray-Cunningham, your host and I am here today with Kara Gallagher. She is a writer and a healer. And we are going to talk with her today about her journey through growing up in the spiritual spirituality of Mormonism, and how she has grown and moved through that. And now she does Akashic Record readings. And so we're going to learn a little bit more about her journey, and her transformation through spirituality. So I'd like you all to meet Kara.

Kara:

Hello, tell you, thank you. Thank you for having me. Amy. This is really fun to talk to you today. Thank you.

Amy Cunningham:

You're welcome. Thank you for being on. I appreciate it. So tell it tell us a little bit about growing up in your childhood faith of Mormonism and what that was like for you and kind of where you're at now.

Kara:

Yeah,

Amy Cunningham:

so background history.

Kara:

Yeah, of course, on both sides of my family, my mom and my dad. I'm a seventh generation Mormon pioneer, I like to claim and say. So I have ancestors who joined the Mormon Church back in the 1840s.

Amy Cunningham:

Wow. And came across with the pioneers settled in Utah. And that's where my roots are. I have most of my family is still there. So I was born a Mormon raised Mormon. And pretty much my entire life I was invested in the theology and the doctrine, and it was truth to me with a capital T.

Kara:

the voice in my heart, said, Kara, what these women are doing is not wrong.

Amy Cunningham:

Wow.

Kara:

And that just stopped me in my tracks.

Amy Cunningham:

Because that say that feeling that that emotion that like love and that wash over of like these women are not doing anything wrong. That was the same feeling. I had been taught to look for my whole life. If I'm following God's will, if I'm doing the right thing, this is how you're going to feel. So that kind of turned my world upside down. That Yeah, that's so low afternoon in my kitchen. My I say down the rabbit hole, like, like, like to say of curiosity, and it sent me on a different path with with what my spiritual journey was going to be.

Kara:

And so I just was spinning my wheels about who am I what, you know, just all these big questions. And then

Amy Cunningham:

you can go into lightly then. No, no, this was, I mean, it was serious, because as a woman, there's so much doctrine tied up with what's going to happen in the next life. And if I was not going to live the same life that my family was living, then we weren't going to spend eternity together. That's really heavy. Yeah.

06:34

So this wasn't, this wasn't a light investigation of like, oh, let's see, like this was a, it was a lot of tears. It was a lot of, I felt very lonely. Because there was also a lot of fear, tied up with these questions of even questioning and doubting, you're not supposed to know, you're supposed to just pray, read your scriptures go to church, and then you're on the right track, and I was doing those things. But what was this other voice of peace, love, comfort?

Kara:

Just that was telling me, you got to go over down this road instead?

Amy Cunningham:

What did your family say? How would How did they react?

07:24

it's been, you know, that was:

Amy Cunningham:

it was a couple of reasons. I, I understand now, first of all, I know I didn't really have to, because I recognize that my own spiritual journey is my own. And so I really didn't owe an explanation to anyone, if you want to put it in that light, yes, in putting Oh, in quotation marks. But on the other hand, this idea that I told you that this doctrine of the afterlife, if we don't live the same lifestyle, then we're not going to live together. I knew how painful that would be for my family to process and so I also didn't want to invite that pain into their life, if that makes any sense.

08:48

So it was that outcome that I mean, do you still believe that you won't see them in the afterlife? Or what are your beliefs on that now?

08:57

I don't believe that no, I definitely believe that I will still be able to have relationships with these amazing beautiful people in my life when this when this particular life is over. So now I don't I don't think that we're going to be cut off or not see each other I definitely believe our relationships are going to continue

Kara:

and how I how I deal with that now i i have a lot I try to I try to view our current relationships together with a lot of love and respect. is given just as much respect, honor and love as I want with my path to God.

Amy Cunningham:

That's awesome.

Kara:

I don't know if it's the perfect way to go about it. If because I mean, is it healthy to like, not ever talk about it? I don't know.

Amy Cunningham:

But just currently, that's kind of where we're at is I think they kind of know. But we also haven't like sat down and been like, Okay, this is what I believe. What do you think there may come an opportunity one day when that will, will present itself and have an opportunity to share?

Kara:

Yeah, I mean, maybe when they listen to this podcast,

Amy Cunningham:

wouldn't that'd be nice. Tell us a little bit about your novel that you have that you've been working on?

Kara:

Oh, sure. Yeah, about that.

Amy Cunningham:

I would love to. So this came about during my years of research and investigation into my history and roots, I came across some biographies of some ancestor says in my life, some great great, great, great grandmother's. And of course, along with it came biographies of their husbands. And I noticed So I went down again, another rabbit hole research, and I started to investigate and look into what her life was like where she lived. And even though she didn't have any journals, or she didn't have a lot of history written about her, I was able to find history about the time of where she lived. And so then, I started to form a story, using her life sketch, my imagination, my intuition, of course, I tapped a lot into my own intuition about what her life would have been like, and the trials, the joys, the struggles, the heartache, the wonderment she might have experienced. And I just started to pen her story of, telling her story, it became this really healing bomb, that I was able to pen something that that would have meant something to her. Because spoiler alert, I didn't.

14:50

I wrote a different ending. I wrote a different ending than to how she actually died. I wrote something totally different.

14:57

I love it.

14:59

And so it just gave me this extra boost of sovereignty and autonomy over my own life, that I have complete control over my spiritual progress and path and connection to God. It's up to me.

15:18

I love that. I absolutely love that. That's one of the things I'm learning through my spiritual journey is that our connection to God is completely up to us. And being raised in the Episcopal Church, it there's always somebody that we had to go to, I guess, in order to a middleman.

Amy Cunningham:

Yes, to access God, and knowing that God is within and God is everywhere, and God is, God is it's just IS for me that was the biggest realization that I could access God on my own. It wasn't in the Bible. It wasn't I didn't have to understand the Bible. I didn't have to understand anything I just had to be

16:13

that makes any sense at all.

16:16

I am 100%. With you, yes. That that access without having to get permission or

Kara:

authority or, you know, that middleman was was a huge part of my transformation as well, understanding that I didn't need someone else to tell me what steps were or if I was worthy. Or, or any of that. Yeah, I love that.

Amy Cunningham:

And that God wasn't some big man in the sky shooting down arrows of judgments anymore. It was. means just just Papa. So then it's not really a he or she or it's just papa.

Kara:

Yeah. Oh, that's great. I love that. Yeah.

Amy Cunningham:

And a lot of people would would think that that was sack religious. And

17:17

you're not supposed to do that. And I know in the Catholic Church, that's, that's that's definitely frowned upon. And I know in a lot of religions, it's frowned upon. But there's a lot of and I don't say that in a mean way, either. Because there's a lot of ritual that goes behind that, that for me, God is so much more accessible than what I used to think.

17:41

Yes. Yeah, I had a big transformation about my idea of God as well. Because the, the Mormon God, you know, when when we're taught to pray, it's Heavenly Father. It's these, it's these pronouns, the thou, you know, very formal, the doctrine and theology is we do have a Heavenly Mother, but we're not really supposed to talk about her because she's really sacred and special. And that never sat right with me. It just was something that I just didn't understand. Because, because I love the relationship I have with my earthly mother. And so I'm trying to imagine her in the other room. And, and me having to go to my dad and say, Can I talk to mom? And he says, Well, why don't you tell me and then I'll tell her because she's very special. So I don't want to bring her out. You know what I mean? Like that, as a kid that that was the image that was in my head, I just couldn't put the two together of how important my relationship was with my mother. But my Heavenly Mother, she's too special somewhere.

18:56

Yeah.

18:57

So when I was able to feel this freedom, of, of exploring my connection to God, the idea of a Heavenly Mother and the feminine divine just kept coming and just washing over me and just all kinds of ideas and signs and guideposts about this divine feminine and idea of God the mother, it's, it's been a huge part of where I am now is embracing this idea of a Heavenly Mother and the feminine divine and how powerful that that is for me.

19:41

They say we're coming into the Aquarian Age and it's all divine feminine coming in. So I, I love that. I really do. Do you receive any or have you received any, I guess, backlash or criticism for referring to As the divine feminine or the Divine Mother, I know. For some people that might be a little hard to, to accept, because it has has been such a masculine image.

20:16

Sure. Okay, so so truth time I

Kara:

Here we go. So me talking to you today is not something I've been doing for years, I have not talked about my story to a lot of people. There's a Yeah, there's a very small handful of people in my life that actually know my, the genesis of my story where I started where I am. So having this conversation and talking about God, the mother, I can't say that I've received a lot of backlash, because I haven't really been very out loud and vocal about it. There. There was one time I remember having a conversation with some girlfriends, we were like, had a fun retreat one weekend all together. And it was in a place when I felt relatively safe. And I brought up the idea of Heavenly Mother. And we were in a casual conversation. And one of my friends immediately got tense and tight. And she was like, well, we're not supposed to talk about her. And it just looked like, like, yeah, suddenly, I was not safe. And I felt shut down. And I felt afraid. And so I didn't, I didn't talk about it back then, when I had these questions and lingering ideas and things I wanted to explore. Because when I did, you know, it just that one time, it was not a safe place to do it. And I just felt very reprimanded, you know, but, but but now I can honestly say, I don't know yet. If there's, if there's, you know, the time that I do bring it up, like on my Instagram account, when I when I refer to Goddess, she, there's been very little backlash about it or, you know, yeah, so that's good.

Amy Cunningham:

Well, thank you for using butterfly kisses as your platform to kind of move out of the closet again, I know I mean, out of the closet myself.

22:22

Oh, we're all doing it together. I

22:24

think that's part of the the magic of, of the the time that we're living in now, is that we can talk about these things. And it's, you know, people's spiritual journey is all different, yet the same. And our awakening is so special, and so magical that it but it's also very difficult when we go through it, because we're stepping outside of what we're comfortable with. And, you know, I've talked on other podcasts about the reason why I call this butterfly kisses is the spiritual transformation, that the transformation that the caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly, you know, and it's, it goes from this little insect that's used to be in this insect, and, you know, go on about its life doing its thing, and then it goes into this cocoon and becomes goo. And, you know, it's our transformational process to physically go through it. And when you're stepping outside of being born and raise seventh generation Mormonism into hearing a voice that tells you to do something, or that feels so real.

Amy Cunningham:

And you actually have the courage to step out and do that. I mean, that takes a lot of strength and courage. So thank you for doing that. And for sharing your story with us about that, too.

Kara:

Oh, thank you. Thank you for the platform.

Amy Cunningham:

You can you share with us, though, just a little bit about what it's like for you with fear of judgment of surrounding this. What people might think your closest family and friends if they do watch this podcast and hear your story. What What would you say to them?

Kara:

Sure. I one thing I can say with complete conviction is I've never doubted this sincere love that my family has for me. And I and I have had individual family members reach out to me and let me know that like, Hey, I just want you to know that even though we're on different paths, I love you no matter what. So, you know, just the idea that I that I'm unloved like that's never been a question. Whether it's the fear that comes up in their family's lives of, you know, where this person's life is gonna go now or whatever it is, like I, I know that it's not everyone's experience that they're still wrapped up in love, even if they choose a different paths. So I'm grateful for that. The fear part for me in what I'm trying to get past, you mentioned the judgment. of just this idea that, you know, you never know who's gonna, who's who's gonna be deceived by the devil, it could be someone that you thought was really righteous and upstanding. And so just with that idea floating around in the, in the, you know, in the ethers of Mormonism, in the atmosphere of Mormonism, just just knowing that maybe they would never say it to your face. But that was something we were taught. And so just knowing that that's out there. Yeah, you don't know who is looking at you with a smiley face. But inside they're like, led away by the devil, she was a very lacked, and now she's not. So that's part of where that fear of judgment comes from is not not knowing who is actually thinking that of you.

26:50

How do you move past that?

Kara:

Yeah, that's a great question. Because you need a lot of confidence and belief that you are light, and that you are God, and you are divine, no matter what anyone else thinks, no matter their own outlook, dogma, theology, no matter what they are thinking of you. You have to already know that you're worthy. And then you're capable of carrying that divine light around you inside all day long, no matter what. Anyone other other beliefs about you are, it's not easy. Yeah. But I think another thing that helps me is this, this idea of love, how powerful that's been for me, when everything I believed about Mormonism burned to the ground. And I was kind of sifting through the ashes to decide, like, what, what's left, like what's still standing. That was one of the major pillars that love never dies. God is loving. In fact, my capacity to love God, like, you know, the The Grinch, when you see his heart go, boom, I literally felt that energetic shift in my heart space. And when I really understood that there's more than one way to access God, and there's more than one way to go down the spiritual path of connecting and, and being with God, my own capacity to love my fellow man to love my neighbor, it, it grew 100 fold, I was just overwhelmed with how much God opened my heart and mind to being able to love. So I extend that I practice that and I extend that to And it helps kind of shield whatever I might take in internally.

Amy Cunningham:

That's awesome. We are of God. That is definitely true. I believe that. We're all together on one. You also do Akashic Record readings. I do. Can you tell us a little bit about that and what you do there?

Kara:

Yes, I would love to this. This just came about. Again, in my years of just kind of exploring and investigating and feeling out my own path to God. I was. I was introduced to the idea of Kaushik records through a podcast. I was listening to an And then that same podcast was in my queue, like six months later, and it just, it kind of came up after another one. I listen to a lot of podcasting. So be a theme here. So this this podcast that was just kind of over my head, and right through my ears, it came up again. And this time, I was listening to the explanation of what they were how they worked. And something inside me just clicked. Like, I was actually amazed, like, Wait, is this the same podcast? It just was so clear. And it felt so concise? And it felt for me that in that moment, so from there, I just decided to look into it. And I read some books, and I did my own research and study. And I did my own practice. And I just began to practice reading the records. on my own, which, I think, yeah, I think it's an important part of my story personally, just because I did have such an attachment to someone else giving me permission to be with God, to talk to God to go be in this room so you can receive the rights and ordinances from God. Like it was important that I was able to do this without anyone elses. say so. Permission certificate. You know what I mean? Yeah. So, yeah, that's, that's something I try to relate to my clients. Whenever I do spiritual work with my clients, I really like to leave them with a sense of, you have the power. I'm going to help you with some tools, guidance, direction, happy to. But at the end of the day, you have your own power to do these things, and to access God and to talk to God and get your own guidance and direction. That's always been something that's been just kind of a steady theme.

32:18

For me.

Amy Cunningham:

We are the divine creators have our own experience. That's what I believe in. We love that. We create our own experience, and we have our own way of doing things which brings a lot of responsibility.

32:39

True. You can't blame anybody.

32:44

This is true. This is true.

Amy Cunningham:

Well tell people how they can find you where can they find you out on Facebook? And how can they find you know find out about getting reading from you and

Kara:

yeah, sure I am on Instagram. My handle is Kara.Writer.Healer. So you can find me on there. And on Facebook. I think it's just Kara. Kara.Writer.Healer. Like if you search Facebook and type in Kara, writer healer, I'm pretty sure I'll come up. I'm not there as often as I am on Instagram. But it's another way you can get a hold of me on the page here it says Facebook/KaraWriterHealer. Okay, great. Yes. I'll have a link to all of this also in the show notes as well. Yeah, come come say hi. Ask me questions. Say hello. I love it. I love the little community that we have forming in our own little corner of the internet. It's lovely.

33:46

Well, one question I'm asking all of my guests because I love hearing their responses is if you could talk to one person, either dead or alive on the park bench for one hour. What would you talk about? And why?

Kara:

Wow,

Amy Cunningham:

I know I always blindsides people with this one.

Kara:

So that's a great question.

Amy Cunningham:

I love to hear their responses because we get some interesting people.

Kara:

You know who just popped into my mind. I'm sure I could come up with a list of 50 people given the time, but the first person that popped into my mind is Mother Teresa.

Amy Cunningham:

Ohh! She's a good one. Yeah.

Kara:

And I'll tell you why. I saw she was I don't think she's officially canonized yet but she was is it beatified I'm sorry. I don't know how to pronounce that. If we're any Catholic listeners, I'm sorry if I ruin that word. But, you know, after she died, I think of six years after death. They started the process for becoming a saint. Yes. Shortly after that. Some of her journals were uncovered. From when she was younger, I think in her 20s and 30s, maybe I can't remember how old she was. But in her journals, she wrote about her doubts about her faith in God. When she wrote to an end, I think she wrote letters to I think there were some letters she sent about how she didn't know she felt God anymore in her life. And this was, this, this was when she was my age. Yeah, she went on to live this life of service. And you know, here she is going to be canonized for taking care of the poor and the needy. And you just would never know Mother Teresa, you would never know that this woman had doubts, and questioned the origins of her faith.

Amy Cunningham:

That is pretty awesome.

Kara:

So I would love to sit with her. And I would love to talk to her about what she was feeling when she wrote those letters. And if she felt safe, and if this if what what she was, you know, feeling when she had these journal entries and, and how did she get from there to becoming this sanctified woman of God, this nun that everyone looks to as an example of service and devotion? And did she carry those doubts with her her whole life? Or? I don't know. I just would love to sit with her talk with her.

Amy Cunningham:

Those are some really good questions. I wish I could have her on a podcast and

Kara:

I know.

Amy Cunningham:

See, I love asking that question because I always get some really interesting answers. And that's probably one of the best answers for so far.

Kara:

Oh, I would love to sit with her. Yeah, that would be amazing.

Amy Cunningham:

Well, Kara, thank you so much for joining us today. And I appreciate the time and for you being so willing to tell your story and for being so honest and loving and it's so transparent.

Kara:

Oh, Amy, thank you for having me. This has been a joy and you've been a wonderful a wonderful, safe, safe place to tell my story. I was happy to do it.

Amy Cunningham:

Well good. I'm glad I could be that safe place so thank you again and everyone if you will reach out to Kara she can be found like a like she said on Instagram at Kara.Writer.Healer and Facebook at KaraWriterHealer. And she's also on clubhouse @karadgal. So yes, follow her and clubhouse as well. And she also has a personal website kara-gallagher.com and I will have all of that on the podcast notes as well. So thank you again care, and I appreciate your time today. You're welcome. And thank you so much. Thank you for joining me on another episode of butterfly kisses a journey of spiritual transformation. If you like what you've heard, please subscribe by hitting the subscribe button. This way you won't miss it when a new episode is released. also join me on the Facebook page at butterfly kisses podcast. Here we can continue the conversations we've been discussing on these podcasts and you can also ask questions of our guests as well. Also, if you're interested in learning more about Akashic Record readings, you can schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me on the Facebook page. Or you can do so by visiting my website at Amy Gray-Cunningham.com again, thank you and remember, always spread your gorgeous wings my friend and fly. Until next time. See ya

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