Spiritual Awakening-My Back Story

I have had friends and clients ask how I got into the field of Healing and Soul Education.  In my awareness, I did not grow up being clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient or any of the “clairs.” I consider myself to be a “normal” person, as average as many of us think ourselves to be; so, when did my awareness of spiritual matters begin?

As a child I attended a Congregational church.  I made golden spray-painted macaroni framed Jesus pictures, marched to the front of the congregation with flowers on Children’s day, rang bells in the children’s bell choir.  Upon confirmation,  I wrote about my beliefs about Jesus and religion. We were not told what to believe, but were offered opportunities to come to our own decisions. The church welcomed a questioning mind. At the time, the minister of the church considered himself to be a Universal mystic, but as a teenager, I was unaware of such things. Church represented sitting, singers in robes and impatience, as I waited for my parents to finish their social coffee hour.  My own spirituality was not yet quite in the picture.

Then came Spring of 1986.  Spring, typically being a joyous season of flowers, Easter bunnies, cleansing rain. It so happens my birthday comes in springtime.  What’s not to like about Spring?   But Spring of 1986 brought something unexpected.  Michelle, my dear friend since the seventh grade, close companion on the high school dance line and sorority sister during college, died in a car accident, just shy of celebrating her own April birthday of 21 years.  A tragedy to say the least.  Though as difficult as this time was in my life, I mark her passing to be the start of my spiritual journey.

Amy & Michelle
Michelle & Amy

I began to have vivid dreams, not of Michelle, but with Michelle.  I was speaking to her in my dreams.  The next night I would recap of what we had spoken the previous night to confirm our interactions were actually “real.”  Some dreams were like conversations and others were more surreal.  One late afternoon during my period of grieving, I was concentrating on her essence.  I was not asleep, but was in some altered state.  I suppose I was meditating, although I was unfamiliar with that practice at the time.  In any case,  I saw Michelle in my mind’s eye, come down and reach out her hand to me.  We were to go exploring together; but as I reached for her hand I became scared, for I did not know what the outcome would be.  I withdrew my hand and shook myself into a more conscious state of mind.

Of course, one can argue that these dreams and visions were a result of a grieving heart and mind in search of comfort.  This still may be the case.  Whatever the belief, they drove me to look further into the idea of life beyond death, the soul and spirit.  My curiosity was awoken.

My awareness of spirituality came in little packages, little baby steps here and there.  For example, I came across a random book at Price Club (a previous version of Costco), of all places.   It was about an autistic girl that upon having means to communicate had profound spiritual insights to share.   Then one day while working on the set of a Hollywood sitcom, my coworker told me about a medium from England, Brian Edward Hurst, who was doing a demonstration in his home.  I didn’t know about mediums at the time; but, driven by my curiosity about Michelle and life beyond death, I decided to join her.  I was intrigued with Brian’s analogy of reincarnation.  It simply made sense to me.  I had taken another step on my spiritual path.

Not soon after, my friend and neighbor, Darlene, told me about another medium, James Van Praagh, who was doing demonstrations in Los Angeles.  Once again, motivated by my connection with my dear deceased friend, Michelle, I attended some of those, all the while questioning the authenticity of such things.  I even went so far as to invite a friend magician and my husband at the time, to hear their probable skeptical opinions.  Unfortunately, my toddler became ill, so I was unable to attend this particular evening.  I had hoped to compare my own sense of the demonstration against theirs, as a personal gauge.   At this time in my life, my spiritual awareness was a mixture of questions, doubts, curiosity, wonderment and yet a driving sense that there is something of truth within the mystery.

I began reading a fair share of books on spirituality and consciousness.  Offering a challenge to my traditional understanding of life and reality, I tested my limits with books about star beings from beyond, and other topics I considered “New Age.”  Eventually I broke down my underlying judgmental view of “New Age” ideas and was able to enjoy topics of reality and illusion, books addressing the ego mind, manifesting with the power of thought.  The list goes on.  Many of these topics seem mainstream by today’s standards, after all, even Oprah hosts authors of such subject matters; but back then, to me, it was all new.

Voyage Of Enlightenment


Eventually, my friend, Darlene, and I went on a cruise trip titled, “Voyage of Enlightenment.”  I can’t help but smile regarding the title.  Really, how many people get enlightened over a course of a few days while being “trapped” at sea with a bunch of strangers?  Anyhow, needing a respite from parenting two small children, a cruise to Mexico seemed like a nice thing to do.  Throw in topics of spirituality and the unknown and I’m in!

The “Voyage of Enlightenment” was comprised of four presenters:  medium, James Van Praagh, psychologist and past-life regressionist, Dr. Brian Weiss, a psychic referred to as “the body finder,” for she worked along side the police, and lastly a spiritual healer named Michael Tamura.  “What was this ‘Healer’ thing?” I asked myself.  My dear Uncle Jack was suffering from pancreatic cancer at the time, so I made a point to introduce myself to the healer to ask some questions.  Perhaps he could help my uncle.  Surprisingly, Michael looked at me and said, “Well, you’re a healer.  You just need to take care of yourself first.”  Hmmm… more curiosity ignited.

I began attending Michael Tamura workshops when he’d come into town.  He recommended I learn on a more frequent basis.   I was guided to the Southern California Psychic Institute.  The school’s foundational studies, as well as Michael’s teachings, were based on curriculum developed by Lewis S. Bostwick of the Berkley Psychic Institute (BPI).   I began taking beginning meditation and healing classes, offering tools to manage and maintain a healthy energetic body. Eventually I enrolled in the psychic development program.   Just as I was beginning to see how all this psychic stuff worked, having an “ah-ha!” moment of recognition, my family and I moved back to Minnesota.  Ugh!  I was just beginning to get it.

From whom was I going to learn while living in Minnesota?  I hadn’t yet established certainty with my clairvoyant awareness.  In fact, I still judged my experience, being around all those “crazy” Californian psychic classmates.  How would conservative Minnesotans react to what I had learned?   The Twin Cities has their share of psychic people, as do all cities these days,  but I was a cautious person. I wasn’t going to learn from some random person advertising in a local paper.   They could be quacks, charlatans, people not of truth, or simply young souls without a foundational base of love and wisdom.  One can be highly psychic without being spiritually evolved or be spiritually evolved without being psychically aware.  How was I to find my next teacher?  Synchronicity.

One day I revisited Michael Tamura’s book, You Are the Answer.  Lo and behold, the back cover had an endorsement written by Echo Bodine, a Minnesota local!  Oh, how the pieces fit together!  I studied healing with Echo and a bit of her psychic development.   Interesting stuff, but how was I to help people with this knowledge and experience?  What would my “normal” friends and family think of me?

Around the same time I was learning from Echo, my sister had told me about Healing Touch.  Nurses who work in mainstream hospitals, were doing that.  Aha!  If nurses were doing it, then it must be okay!  Comprised of five levels of training, 100 hours of documented client sessions, a case study, a Code of Ethics, hoops to jump through.  That’s just what I needed!  Upon completion, I’d have a certificate and credential.  My cautious self thought, “Now that’s acceptable.  I’ll do it!” And I did.

Ah.  Deep breath.  All well and good, but I missed the wisdom and humor of Michael Tamura.  I resonated with his teaching and knew he was and important mentor on my path. Running a psychic institute, he had been there, done that.  He no longer taught formal series of classes, just periodical weekend seminars, mostly on the west coast.  And then… and THEN!

An Advanced Healers’ Apprenticeship was offered by Michael Tamura!  It was about Healing!  I was much more comfortable with healing vs. clairvoyant awareness.  (Little did I know, the two cross over quite a bit.) I attended the first weekend seminar held in beautiful Mt. Shasta, CA, not believing I’d do more than the one.  Michael would speak to the class referring to our future healing practices.  I told myself I was just attending for my own self healing.  I had no intention of opening a practice.  It was also a serious commitment to travel away from my children for the remaining 3 weekend seminars within a short period of time, for he was coming to the close of this series soon after I had learned of it.  But as the story goes, I continued and have continued for many years since.

I’ve had additional mentors & helpful colleagues along the way, of whom I honor and respect.  Much gratitude to Raphaelle TamuraJeanne Cherner, Michelle Weiss, Michelle Mayama, Aine Armour, Ron Moor and teachers at Psychic Horizon Center. My healing practice and conscious awareness is a blending of all my experiences, choosing to follow that which speaks to me.   I find inspiration in nature, animals, the stars, silent stillness, family, friendship and dancing.   And yet, after all these years, I feel I am only beginning to look within.   In our search outward, we are reminded of who we are and what we already know, but ultimately, our truth is within.  I am guided by my own, inner knowing and resonance, following what makes sense and feels authentic and correct… to ME.   That’s all I can know; and when I feel overwhelmed, lost or alone, when I need reminders that I have the answers already, thank goodness for friends, colleagues and mentors to bring us back to our truth.

The Ultimate Truth is that which does not change.  We are Spirit. We are unlimited, eternal, spiritual beings.   No one needs to be provided a certificate of completion to be granted this title.  We just ARE.  And so It Is.

With this awareness, I continue on my spiritual journey. Most likely, I will always feel like a beginner on my path, for I find the more I become aware, the more I am aware of that which I am not aware.   Perhaps this is progress!  At times, I still question my experiences and wonder what is of Truth, but there is joy in life’s mystery. That topic I shall explore in a future posting to be titled,”Kindergarten, Clairvoyance and Pepperoni Pizza.”  Until then, enjoy finding your neutrality, amusement and your Truth!


-Amy Laederach




About the Author

Amy Laederach is an energy-based therapist and health advocate, facilitating health & well-being for the body, mind & soul, at Everspring Health in Minneapolis, MN. In her spare time, Amy enjoys writing, photography, art and West Coast Swing Dance.