Leaps of Faith

One thing that I really admire about myself is that I won't stay miserable for long. I will always choose uncertainty over unhappiness and maybe that's why it's been easy for me to take so many leaps of faith throughout my life.

Leaps of Faith
Sedona, AZ - October 2016

If You're Feeling Froggy, Jump!

One thing that I really admire about myself is that I won't stay miserable for long. I will always choose uncertainty over unhappiness and maybe that's why it's been easy for me to take so many leaps of faith throughout my life. I took a leap of faith for my first job out of college to move to Boston, a city I'd never been, on a plane, a mode transportation I'd never taken, to do a type of work I had no experience in. I took another leap of faith to leave that job in Boston, after only a month or so, because I felt so out of place and unsupported by the company that hired me. A third leap of faith came about a year after that to move to Oklahoma City — another place I'd never been, to live with a friend I'd only met in person once before, to work a job I'd somehow landed without ever stepping foot in the building, and to chase a dream that I had no evidence to support would come true. With each of these leaps I was carried by belief, not just in myself and my abilities, but in my understanding of what God was at the time and though these beliefs helped me to overcome the fear that was present in walking into the unknown, they also ultimately left me disappointed when my idea of what should have happened didn't reflect reality.

Faith is advertised as a belief that what you want to happen will happen but I see faith and belief as two totally different things. Belief is based in the known; it is reaching a conclusion based on what you think you know and believing that what unfolds in the future will match the conclusion you've already reached. Faith, on the other hand, is the absence of a conclusion. Faith is walking into total darkness, jumping off the cliff even though you can't see the ground, running bravely into the unknown and trusting that whatever is in that unknown will serve your highest good. Simply put, belief is hoping to get what you want while faith is knowing you always get what you need. With each of the leaps that I mentioned in the first paragraph, I ended up disappointed because I had a rigid set of expectations around what those leaps should have brought me. However, reflecting on them in hindsight has strengthened my faith because I can see clearly that even though they didn't give me exactly what I wanted, they did give me exactly what I needed.

The 6th Sense

It seems to me that the main difficulty we face in taking leaps of faith is a lack of faith and a lack of faith is the result of a weak or non-existent relationship with our intuition. We're taught that we only have 5 senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste. But we also have a psychic sense called intuition and I've found that it's this sixth sense that is the most valuable for connecting directly with Source and using that connection to navigate the unknown. I have a theory that deep down we all know precisely what needs to happen in our lives and the paths we need to take in order to fulfill the purpose of this incarnation. The problem is, most of us navigate life primarily through the intellect and the mind, while a powerful tool, is easily confused and manipulated, especially when it comes to something it's unfamiliar with. The ego's main desire is to keep you safe and that's the biggest reason why a leap of faith looks so scary; because when it comes to the unknown, safety can't be guaranteed. But getting hurt is a part of life and the belief that pain should be avoided at all costs and that God/Source/The Universe/your intuition wouldn't lead you into a painful situation is main reason why so many people live their lives paralyzed — feeling stuck, unfulfilled, unresolved, and undeveloped.

While love itself does not hurt, love does not fear pain and love understands the necessity of pain for healing and growth. I used to have a persistent and deep existential fear around not knowing what the future was going to bring me. This was wholly because I had a rigid idea of what my future was supposed to look like and when my life didn't actually unfold that way, it caused me stress and pain. It was hard for me to have faith, especially after my mom got cancer, because how my life appeared on the outside was not an exact reflection of how I envisioned it in my mind. This discrepancy between how I thought my life should look and how it actually looked eventually led me to stop relying so much on external appearances and instead to look within for guidance and answers. And though when I looked within I usually saw darkness, this darkness brought with it a rediscovery of my capacity to feel. Like a man who'd suddenly lost his vision, I had to stop relying so much on sight for navigation and resorted to feeling my way around life. The better we get at feeling, the less we depend on seeing and in my personal experience, what has often led me into the unknown, and through it successfully, is this deep knowing, not in my mind, but in my heart. This heart based wisdom has led me on several life defining adventures but one stands out more than others because it served as a sort of initiation for me into fully embracing my spirituality and trusting my intuition.


When my mother left her body in June of 2016, I'd been anticipating it for some months and that helped dampen the blow but no matter how much I'd tried to prepare for it, it actually happening left me feeling lost, depressed, and a bit crazy, if I'm being totally honest. For two years at that point, I'd been knee deep in my spiritual search, trying to find meaning in all suffering that was happening within me and around me. Through this search I encountered many lights that helped to guide and encourage me to keep moving forward. One of these guides came in the form of a Twitter account that I stumbled upon at some point in 2015. I honestly don't remember how I found it, probably just the algorithm, algorithming, but what I do remember is being deeply impacted, not only by the spiritual knowledge of the being behind the account, but also by their dedication to sharing their knowledge, day in and day out, without wavering and seemingly without a care to whether or not they had an audience.

The handle for this profile was @KYOTA47153971 and their profile picture was an image of the side of a mountain that I later learned was located in Sedona, AZ. They never showed their face or deviated from tweeting about anything other than spiritual subjects. When I had my first spiritual awakening in 2014, I started having a lot of strange experiences that were inconsistent with what I knew life and the world to be at that point. So, it was really comforting to stumble upon this stranger who, from their tweets, seemingly understood & could relate to what I was experiencing spiritually. A couple months after my mom passed, my existential loneliness started to get the best of me and I decided to DM the person behind the account to ask them if I could come visit them and talk about spiritual matters. The DM went something like this:

Hi Kyota,

I've been following you for awhile and am really inspired by your wisdom. I've been going through a spiritual awakening that was triggered by my mom getting cancer. She just recently passed away and I'm feeling a bit lost and confused and I feel like you can help me. Can I come to Sedona and hang out with you for a few days to hike the red rocks and talk about God?

To my surprise, they wrote me back soon after and basically said "pull up!"

Part of an email Kyota sent me before my trip detailing our itinerary.

Sedona and my 'friend', Ralph

I told my family that I was going to Sedona to visit a 'friend' and hike, which wasn't entirely a lie. However, I knew that if I'd told them I was going to meet a person whom I'd never met and whose first name I didn't know, they would have vehemently objected. For all I knew, I could have been walking into a scene from a horror movie, but I didn't care. This was partly because I already felt so dead inside during that period that it didn't really matter to me whether or not I would be killed, and partly because my heart told me that I was safe.

When I arrived at Kyota's house, I didn't know what to expect. I called him to let him know that I was pulling into his place and as soon as I entered the driveway, this elderly, sort of frail looking, white man walked out of his house with the biggest smile on his face. He introduced himself to me as Ralph, his human name, as he put it, and he gave me a warm welcome before telling me how excited he was about my visit and the hikes we were about to embark on. I felt a lot of relief upon finally meeting him, in part because of how friendly and kind he came off as but in larger part due to the fact that he was also old, which meant that I stood a great chance at defending myself if he did intend to kill me, lol. He told me he was 93 years old and while I didn't get to look at his birth certificate, I can confirm that he was old as shit. Nonetheless, he exuded this youthful vigor, zest for life, and an infectious enthusiasm.

The only photo I have of Ralph :(

On our first hike of the trip, we stopped by the trailhead at this shrine that the Native Americans of the area had built where he prayed for our safe travel into the red rocks and honestly, it must have worked because despite being surrounded by wildlife, cacti, steep falls, and sharp rocks all around us, we both returned from a 7 hour hike, without so much as a bug bite. During the hikes we talked a lot about my mom, life, death, and spirituality. He introduced me to concepts like duality, numerology, gematria, the akashic records, and the spiritual significance of names and of not eating meat. I learned that he'd spent much of his life working in hospitality at the resorts in Sedona and that he'd regularly rubbed elbows with the celebrities who'd vacationed there. Since retiring from hospitality, he spent most of his time studying spirituality and hiking in the canyons of Sedona where he had located and cataloged a number of Native American ruins, a couple of which he took me to.

Inside a cave home of people from the past.

Sedona has a type of beauty and majesty that words can't approach — you really have to experience it in person. It has a reputation for being a spiritual place. Some people call it a vortex, a place on earth where the physical veil in thinned and spiritual energies are amplified. What I can say for sure is, there is something about those rocks. To say that I was enchanted would be a grave understatement — it felt like I was in a totally different world. When I got back to my AirBnB after our hikes and closed my eyes to try and sleep, instead of seeing the darkness that usually accompanies closing my eyelids, I instead saw those red rocks in vivid, glittering detail, as if I was still out amongst them.

Ralph had this mysterious quality to him. He spoke in riddles and parables as many spiritual teachers do. He was very vague about his life prior to becoming a spiritual guide, of sorts, and he was much more interested in his present than his past. He'd often share something with me and tell me not to discuss it with anyone other than him. He asked me to not take photos of his face, which I respected, and though he tried to tell that there was a spiritual significance to him not wanting to be photographed, I intuitively sensed that it was also because he felt a little insecure about his age and the way he looked. Ralph was a profoundly spiritual being, probably the clearest I'd met in person at that point in my life, but he was also human, though he tried his best to hide it. Seeing his humanity in the midst of his spirituality was probably the highest lesson I learned from him during my trip; that is, if we don't fully embrace our humanity, then our spirituality is incomplete.

Faith brought me to Sedona. Though I was physically led on the hikes by Ralph, it was my faith in my own intuition that made me feel secure in following him. Ralph didn't allow cell phones on the hikes, which meant that I had no GPS or any way of contacting someone if trouble arose. We also hiked primarily off the trails, so if something were to happen, no one would have stumbled upon us.

One of the Native American ruins Ralph took me to.

Ralph definitely knew the area like the back of his hand, but he was also elderly. We often had to stop for him to take breaks, catch his breath, and regain his strength. Honestly, he could have given up the ghost at any moment. In hindsight, though recalling these facts and recognizing that my blind leap of faith into the Arizona wilderness could have ended tragically, something in me knew that it wouldn't.

During the hikes, I did not feel afraid at any point. I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. This feeling was further validated upon my return home, as I felt immediately inspired to take a Yoga Teacher training and embark on my journey to share my story and the healing practices I'd discovered with the world.

Still Jumping

Since that trip to Sedona, I've taken many more leaps of faith with the most recent being my move to Pittsburgh — another city I have no history with or connections to. I first felt a pull to Pittsburgh many years ago when I stumbled upon a picture of the cities' skyline on Tumblr and felt drawn to it, though I didn't know why. This pull intensified in the last couple of years with me seeing the name Pittsburgh in the most unexpected places accompanied with an intuitive knowing that I have business here. When my last relationship ended, I felt a need to relocate somewhere new and my intuition told me that Pittsburgh was the place to go. I visited here for the first time last December to soak the vibes and to look for a potential apartment and of the two that I viewed, one was ideal for me in every way from price to space. The guy who showed me the apartment told me that same night that it was mine if I wanted it and though I was still a little apprehensive to committing to such a big change, especially while processing the loss of a meaningful relationship, somewhere deep inside I knew it was mine too.

Shot I took during one of my bike rides here in Pittsburgh.

During that same trip to Pittsburgh, I asked the Universe to send me a sign if I was in the right place. Shortly after my request, I popped into a nearby coffee shop to try and locate a couple more apartments to look at as backups just incase the one I wanted fell through. I had my earbuds in which meant that I couldn't hear the world around me but for whatever reason, I took one of them out and I heard a familiar song playing through the coffee shop's speakers. Not just a familiar song, but one of my favorite songs ("He Would Have Laughed" by Deerhunter), a song that is not super popular or mainstream — I'd just happened across it on Spotify many years ago. That was a good enough sign for me and was truly the final push I needed to follow through on a leap of faith to this city.

Shot I took from the stairs outside of my apartment.

When I viewed my current apartment, it was nighttime, so I couldn't get an accurate sense of where I was in the city. Despite being in literal and figurative darkness about the neighborhood I was committing to, I signed the lease. Only after I moved in did I find that the neighborhood has everything I desire: grocery stores and restaurants within walking distance, a bike shop, easy access to riverfront bike trails, dentists, clinics, and pretty much anything else I could need. In fact, despite being here for six months, I haven't really ventured outside of my immediate neighborhood yet. Not only that, the people I’m renting from are genuinely kind, aren’t intrusive, and often reach out just to check in and see how I’m adjusting to the city and if I need anything. The bulk of the challenges I've faced since moving to Pittsburgh have been internal; externally, I've found an abundance of ease. Although I'm still not 100% sure of all the reasons why I felt called to follow my heart to Pittsburgh, I know that it’s partly to evolve, and a big part of that evolution is committing to trusting my intuition, the places it guides me to, and the truths it tells me, despite how reality may contradict those truths.

Growth Challenge - A Leap Of Faith

Objective: Take a risk this week by doing something that scares you.

Here are some ideas:

  • Boldly share an unpopular opinion on social media, amongst friends, or at work.
  • Try a new restaurant that you don't think you'd like or cook a meal that is different from what you're used to.
  • Approach strangers and try to spark up a conversation with them.
  • Ask your crush out on a date.
  • Catch and relocate the next bug you find in your house instead of killing it.
  • Quit your job, sell your house/break your lease, and move to a city you've never been to before 😏

Let your faith be bigger than your fear and do something your heart calls you to do, despite if your mind thinks it's a good idea.

What's been going on with me?

I find myself in this weird space where, on one hand, I'm longing for a cozy home and on the other hand, I'm entertaining the idea of traveling the world.

On my walks around the neighborhood, I often peak into strangers' cozy homes and wonder what their lives are like. I'm a man of many talents but creating cozy spaces isn't one of them so while I definitely feel at home within myself and within my apartment, I can't say that my apartment feels like a cozy space and there's a part of me that has been longing to have a cozier home. I think a big part of the issue is that I don't think a solo home can be that cozy because what makes a home cozy is not just the lighting, furniture, and the items that fill it but also the people. So, what I think I'm actually longing for is, not so much a physical space that feels more like home, but perhaps a group of people that feel like home.

Conversely, I've also recently been feeling a bit of wanderlust which is unusual for me because I'm such a homebody. But perhaps the wanderlust is being birthed from that same space of not feeling fully 'at home' while alone in my apartment and so, maybe subconsciously, I'm desiring travel in hopes to find connections that feel like home in other parts of the world.

Loneliness is a difficult problem to solve because we don't want company, we want connection, and though I'm sure this will upset the free-will federation, I don't think meaningful connections can be chosen. Instead, I think they are assigned. And they don't always come when we want but when we need. In the meantime, I will continue to trust in Divine timing and when/if the time comes for me to take another leap of faith towards a cozier home, I will certainly jump at the opportunity.

With love,

Micheal Sinclair 💜