Each soul path is a divine unique fingerprint and its existence
adds to the beautiful tapestry of the cosmos.
~~Jan Porter

Everyone wants to know where their life is going and yet nearly no one’s goes as planned. Still, when you look back over the details and events of your journey through conscious eyes, your soul’s path may make more sense.

The definition of path is “the course or direction in which a person or thing is moving”, while one meaning of inertia is “the uniform motion in a straightline, unless that state is changed by an external force”. We would all like to think we have full control over our path, but sometimes it seems that the Universe has different plans for how our lives will go. However, if you ascribe to the idea that prior to life our soul designs and agrees to the situations and circumstances we need in order to evolve, you eventually accept that many of life’s challenges are pre-contemplated tests—they are simply obstacle courses our soul constructs to help us learn what we are supposed to learn throughout each lifetime. Others believe that everything is already laid out by God or some other omnipresent power. Regardless of the belief, much understanding and peace arises when you can realize how each step—or even each breath along your path—leads to the next and paves the way for your soul’s ultimate journey.

Around this time last year I experienced what I’ve come to know as a “shaman’s death”—I arrived at the conclusion that very little matters, while everything matters at the same time. Without intention, I began to experience a systematic life review, noting multiple events that led me to the “now” at the time. I didn’t plan to do this evaluation, it just happened prior to my “rebirth” rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. Of course, much has happened since then, but I was able to recognize the dots that were connected between every key event and juncture in my life; I was able to see how the spider web of my experiences led me to be the person I had become. It prepared me to let everything go in case I didn’t return from the canyon.

As part of the exploration, I could see how my dad’s accident when I was nine years old led me to develop my Soul Health Model nearly thirty years later. I could see how the uncomfortable gut reaction I experienced prior to getting married was actually my inner ally—my soul—speaking very loudly to alert me that something was wrong. I saw how my passion for teaching others led me to taking the job as a professor in a medical school here in North Carolina, even though I would leave it just shy of five years later because it would have killed my soul to stay. I understood why I’d dated who I had and what I was supposed to learn about myself as a result of having those relationships. I realized why and how every move was connected in bringing me to North Carolina. It also became clear why I experienced the pain I did when my mother’s health declined, including the challenging relationship with a sibling that caused me to distance from my family of origin. These experiences and many more were woven together to create my tapestry of life.

It all became very clear. And with each thread that tied my soul path together, I found more and more peace. I understood even more deeply that the many challenges of my human condition were all part of my soul’s evolution—part of seasoning my soul so I can better help others understand and mend their lives through conscious evolution.

As part of preparing for the next chapter of my life, I’ve embarked on an overhaul and facelift of my home office, including cleaning out and resorting every single file I own. Interestingly, I came across a file that contained report cards back to elementary school as well as a handful of term papers I had written in high school, college or graduate school. I only kept a few from way back then because they were the only ones I apparently still found interesting.

Something remarkable happened once I flipped through the pages I discovered. I realized that each of those papers also paved my soul’s path to now. The high school papers were about Charles Darwin, evolution and mummification. Each reminded me that I was interested in the progression of life as well as afterlife even back then. A biology paper explored perception and illusion—how our consciousness helps us make sense of the world around us. A college paper described metaphor and meaning—a way to draw conclusions about something through the construction of symbols or allegory so others can understand a concept more easily. I also came across a paper I wrote in college analyzing various cognitive theories, which as the professor pointed out in his comments, explored the human ego and how fear drives many actions—something I talk about and live by every day. In the file I found study note cards from several geology classes I took in college since I was so fascinated with rocks. Now I have healing stones and crystals all over my house, yard and office.

Since I found that file, other factors of my life have been illuminated in such a way to indicate even my very early landscape was paved with interests that brought me to now. I remembered that as a second grader we were tasked with creating a visual science project to share in a school-wide display. I chose to create the planets of the solar system out of play dough, all hanging around a large orange doughy sun—an early sign of my current fascination with other life within the cosmos. I also recalled the many house plants I accumulated in my bedroom as an early teen and high schooler. I remember counting 38 at one point, which proved my parents were tolerant of my unusual need for living things around me. I grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where everything was brown and tumbleweeds blew. Now I see why my soul’s path brought me to North Carolina where it seems something stays green all the time. I particularly love my sunroom which feels like a tree house in the spring and summer.

My reflections emphasized that our soul is present in every moment whether or not we know to look for or listen to it. It constantly influences our choices, both to lead us to what we already somehow already know we adore and to the situations from which we are supposed to learn. Although I choose to create spiritual retreats to do my own soul work, one doesn’t have to go on an extravagant sacred journey or experience a drug-induced state in order to access the soul. It is alive and well in each breath, thought, action and observation whether we know it or not. All we have to do is open our conscious minds, observe how everything is connected and allow ourselves to live in constant “soul space” in order to thrive.

I’ve said several times that I wouldn’t want to be on this planet without dogs or my awareness of soul and Spirit. Soul-based living makes the human condition far more tolerable and allows us to collect the various artifacts of our path to better understand our life in the end. As we glean—or gradually collect awareness bit by bit—the bricks or stones of our soul path come together to form the trail to the next chapter of our journey. The mortar that holds it together is our consciousness related to how every stone was placed and what each means to us along the way.

The saying “life is a journey” may seem cliché but none of us know our true destination until we arrive. As reflected in the quote above by Jan Porter, each individual creates their own mark and impression on the world according to the choices we make, the events in our lives and how we handle the many experiences of the human condition. By illuminating the soul side of our experience, our many confusing and painful circumstances as humans makes far more sense.

While on Kaua’i I spent time exploring many concepts I had begun to entertain many years ago. I’d been slowly working on an acronym to explain Soul Health to others in a way they could easily understand. On the island, the last piece fell into place. Below is what I wrote:

S – Seeking
O – Our
U – Unlimited
L – Light

H – Healing
E – Every
A – Aspect (of)
L – Life
T – Through
H – Harmony of Mind, Body and Soul

“Soul Health is a construct that enhances our ability to align and heal many aspects of the human condition to reach a state of optimal health. In doing so, we simultaneously embark on a journey of soul evolution.

Essentially, our human condition and soul work in tandem to evolve and actualize our “whole being” experience of life.

To know your soul is to know true health. Only then can you reach radiant living.”

As a psychologist, I work with people to heal their human condition. As a soul-healing specialist, I help to illuminate and integrate the once invisible aspects of our everyday experience that can enhance a person’s journey. Conscious evolution, then, allows the human condition and the soul to become one again. The soul is then elevated to its rightful place in our lives: front and center and at the core of everything we know, do and experience.

My soul path as a practitioner has created my mission to help you reunite with your inner ally—your most vital and valuable asset. The understanding of my path will hopefully assist in understanding your own.

Sometimes a soul chooses a path so challenging that we draw
others into deeper questions.
~~Catherine Carrigan

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Katherine T. Kelly Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Katherine T. Kelly Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

With 35+ years of direct clinical experience, Dr. Kelly doesn’t just believe in helping others to heal; instead, her mission is to help them to evolve. Using her own integrative and trademarked framework—the Soul Health Model—Dr. Kelly approaches her work with clients from a “whole person” or “whole organization” perspective. She provides a uniquely progressive, yet down-to-earth approach and is well-known in therapeutic, medical and corporate communities. She thrives as she helps clients and organizations to reach what she calls “conscious evolution” through a variety of self-designed strategies. Her dedication to healing has been widely recognized as she was the recipient of the Provider of the Year Award by the regional Mental Health Association and was nominated as an Incredible Woman for a local community television network, which spotlights role models to inspire young women to pursue their own passions.

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