Catherine S. Linard, MA
I did not begin as a big believer in God. I was raised Christian, but soon found myself with a stronger proclivity for the scientific explanations of the world in which I lived. What was the value of something I could not see or touch, something that could not be proven to exist?
Having tested early with a rather high IQ, I was allowed to skip kindergarten and enter immediately into the first grade. I later skipped ninth grade as well, graduating from high school and entering college at The Ohio State University at the age of 16, with enough AP (advanced placement) credits to begin just one quarter shy of sophomore status. I gravitated immediately toward the fields of Psychology and Medicine (and music!).
In the first quarter of my senior year at OSU, I withdrew without completing my studies and moved to Los Angeles. I explored many vocations – working in organ transplant at UCLA, temping as an executive assistant at various corporations, even dabbling in the entertainment industry – before finally deciding to attend massage school in the hopes of making some better money.
This is when things began to change. I was exposed to a whole other world of healing, far removed from my linear, practical studies in college. Though I focused my attention on the practical – teaching anatomy and physiology and running the school – it became increasingly difficult to ignore what I was beginning to experience.
I continued my education in various bodywork modalities, but also began exploring meditation and other “alternative” approaches. I found relief from the “unexplained” in research being published in the fields of Quantum Physics and Cosmology (especially the research on particles and superstring theory). Slowly, the two worlds I inhabited – the linear and logical, and the creative and magical – began to seem less and less divergent. My mind was beginning to “crack open” in ways I could not have imagined.
I decided to return to Ohio and finish my BA in Psychology. Having re-ignited my passion for healing, I dedicated myself to building a private practice in bodywork and hypnotherapy, specializing in chronic pain and injury in the former, and general self-improvement in the latter. It would not be long before my hunger for knowledge and the sense of responsibility to my clients would drive me back to school, to attain my MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles. My intention was to have something to evolve into when my body could no longer handle the rigors of performing deep tissue massage. I began an internship, and was in the process of building a practice in psychotherapy, when the most unexpected thing occurred.
While taking a class for CEUs at Esalen in Big Sur – an all-time favorite workshop/vacation destination of mine – on the morning of the third day during a brief meditation exercise designed to get in touch with our “inner voice” or “inner physician”, I had the extraordinary experience of connecting to something that was quite different from anything I’ve ever known prior. Though it was my own voice, it had the distinct feeling of “not me”, for lack of a better description. It was incredibly subtle, but utterly unmistakable.
The next several months would be an ever-deepening process of first understanding this “Being”, then communicating with “It” more efficiently and effectively, before finally moving into the realization that it really was after all, on some level, “me”. It is not the “me” who went to school and studied and worked, but some “higher” version – one capable of immeasurable degrees of love, compassion, understanding, and incredibly accurate predictive abilities.
I now recognize this Being, this Voice, as the voice of God (or Spirit, as I prefer to call it). I do not claim any exclusive access to it; indeed I know it to be the very essence of all of us, the Self that is hidden behind all the stories we have come to believe about who we are and what this world is.
I also now know that I am here to help anyone and everyone who is interested in finding It for themselves to do just that, to whatever degree they wish, and it is my great honor and pleasure to do so.